I am aware that A. BARTHOLDI is the original owner of the patent. I heard a rumor that the current owner is Donald Trump. I would like to know if this is true.

  • I can't tell if this is a clever joke. If it is, it is off topic. If it is serious, then no one owns a patent on the Statue of Liberty.
    – Eric S
    Jan 31, 2017 at 2:04
  • @EricShain I was skeptical at first too. But on some reflection, I think that if a person did not understand design patent expiry, it could actually be a legitimate question.
    – Maca
    Jan 31, 2017 at 3:55
  • I have however removed "current" from the title, since I can't see how there could be any current patent on the statue of liberty: it is pretty public prior art.
    – Maca
    Jan 31, 2017 at 3:58
  • I know this question is old. Normally after a patent owner dies, an estate comes into existance, that takes control of all property rights and responsibilities that was controlled by the person before their death. Bartholdi's wife was the estate, but since they had no children, after her death the town where he maintained his family's home became his estate, specially since they turned his family home into a museum, showcasing his preparatory models for his statues. Legally his home town doesn't have the right to sell any of his original patents on their own, and no French politician would all
    – PatentGuru
    Jul 4, 2021 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


This design patent is from 1879 and had a 14 year term (which is apparent from its description). It therefore expired in 1893. It therefore does not really have a current owner.

While it is possible to assign some rights associated with a patent after its expiry, that is quite limited. I think that assigning rights more than 100 years after a patent's expiry would go far beyond any credible limit.

I therefore feel reasonably confident in saying that Donald Trump does not own US D11023, nor does he hold any rights which might have once existed after its expiry.

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