Date: Pat. pend.
This site is about LEGO® from the period 1949 until 1974.
Also called the 'pat pend period'.
In 1949 the first plastic Automatic Binding Bricks are made, the predecessors of the modern LEGO.
In 1974 the first LEGO Mom is made.
Pat pend stands for patent pending, or patent in request.
In 1958 patent is requested on the stud-tube-technic which we see today in all the bricks.
Because of this patent the specific gripsystem, with which the LEGO bricks stick together but can also be seperated again,
it cannot be duplicated by others (read: competitors).
This patent is granted in 1962.
Some LEGO parts have a kind of stain printed, at the place where before 'pat pend' would be printed.
As if the words 'pat pend' have been obscured.
This is a distinguishing mark of LEGO in the transferperiod from pat pend to modern.
Not all old LEGO has the words 'pat pend' printed.
Many parts simply did not have room for it.
Nevertheless these parts from the pat pend period can be recognized.
First because these parts are not produced any more, but in this period only.
Pat pend has to do with LEGO parts in the first place. It is almost always possible to tell if a part is from the pat pend period, because of these distinguishing marks. With sets this is not so easy. Sets until 1974 almost certain completely build with pat pend LEGO. Sets from 1974 until 1979 are partly or completely build from pat pend LEGO parts and / or pat pend obscured. Sets beyond 1980 are most likely build from moderne LEGO parts only.
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