Go to dennemeyer.com

As time goes by – a lookback on the year 1962

Leon Steinberg / March 6, 2018

Happy Birthday, Dennemeyer, you look pretty good for 55! I thought it would be fun to talk about what made the world go round in 1962, when Dennemeyer was founded, and how everything changed since then. I will start with some personal observations and then analyze how the IP industry and Dennemeyer evolved over the past decades.

Concerning industry changes, I have had to dig up additional facts, but as to life in 1962, I have some memories - although it is strange what I remember.

Things a kid remembers from 1962

I remember Bond, James Bond. Did you know that Sean Connery first played Bond the year Dennemeyer was founded? My mother had a cow when she found out that my dad took me to see Dr. No.

Just like today, in 1962 the world was facing a dictator with missiles. We were in the middle of the Cuban missile crisis. School children were taught to kneel under a desk for a nuclear attack. Looking back, I ask myself: what were we thinking? Kneeling under a desk would not save us.

I also remember a Volkswagen dealership opening within a mile of our house and seeing the “beetle” for the first time.  The idea of buying a foreign car was an alien concept, but my father wanted that “German engineering.” So, we bought a 1962 Beetle for $1,600. It had 40 horsepower. Unfortunately, my dad did not order the optional heater, so the car was unbearable in the winter.  

Major events of 1962

  • Sam Walton founded Wal-Mart
  • John Dennemeyer founded Dennemeyer
  • John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth
  • Beatles release their first record
  • Marilyn Monroe sings happy birthday to President Kennedy

What were things like in Dennemeyer in 1962?

In 1962 Dennemeyer service fee for paying an annuity was between $10 and $80 depending on volume. Today the range is between $9 and $225. That means in the last 55 years annuity service charges have increased, for the average size customer, by approximately 35% or an average of 0.6% a year, or 1.4 fold. 

My conclusion - patent annuity costs are a bargain today compared to 55 years ago. Dennemeyer has done an excellent job of driving efficiency and cost competitiveness.

Here are some numbers that help put this increase in perspective:


Cost in 1962

Cost in 2017


 Harvard tuition a year



38 fold

 Gallon of gasoline

27 Cents


12 fold

 US postage stamp

 4 Cents

47 Cents

12 fold

 Doctor’s office visit

$ 5.00


25 fold

 Movie ticket

59 Cents


15 fold

 VW Beetle



16 fold

Dennemeyer Patent Annuity payment service fee



1.4 fold

In 1962, Dennemeyer had five employees. Today, we have over 600. That is an increase of 120 fold. Not a bad growth at all. When measured by IP transaction volume, Dennemeyer is currently the second largest IP service provider in the world.

In 1962, Dennemeyer had one office in Luxembourg. Today, we have more than 20 offices, on all continents. Along with the employee and office growth, Dennemeyer continues to grow our services – and has developed into a comprehensive IP full-service provider. The diversification of our service portfolio comprises of administrative services to IP law firm services, IP consulting, right down to IP management software. 

To another 55 years

My birthday congratulations to Dennemeyer on 55 years of growth and success.

Dennemeyer's birthday celebration is not just for us but also for our clients. As part of our anniversary celebration, we are offering preferential pricing for one or more of our 40 IP services. The only condition is that the service(s) is new for you.Choose your service(s) here!The above article is part of series on “55 years of Dennemeyer." Read other blog posts here:

1. “30 years of Dennemeyer Japan”, by Futoshi Anouma
2. “33 years of Trademark Renewals”, by Maryse Heirend
3. “55 years of IP history – the right time to take off”, by Stefan Rautenberg
4. “The digitalization of patent annuity payments”, by Romain Hoffmann

Posted by Leon Steinberg

Leon Steinberg is the Managing Director, North America for Dennemeyer Group. Prior to joining Dennemeyer Leon was the Chairman of the Black Hills Group and served as CEO of Black Hills renewals business and its technology businesses. Leon was previously the founder and CEO of Intellevate and the CEO of Foundation IP, both of which were sold to CPA Global. After the sale, Leon served as a member of CPA Global's senior management team. Leon is a lawyer and a former partner at the Maslon law firm in Minneapolis. Leon founded and served as CEO of Meritas and was an owner and former President of Super Lawyers and Law & Politics magazine. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Institute on Law Firm Management. Leon is married, with four beautiful children, and one not so beautiful child. He enjoys running, skiing, tennis and is known to have an irreverent sense of humor.

Join the discussion