Obscure Patent: The Dog Umbrella & Leash

Pet umbrella and combined pet leash
US Patent No. 6,871,616
Issued October 28, 2003

Before I start getting to deep, allow me to point out that I am a animal lover and a dog person. That being said, I think this takes things just a little bit too far. Dog lovers always spoil their pets, but an umbrella specifically designed to keep a K-9 dry? In my home our dog – Daisy – has become something of a “treat snob,” now only liking certain treats and not others. What a life?!?! Anyway, I digress. A dog to a dog person is much more than a pet I suppose, but a personal umbrella for the dog? Now I think that is just a little bit over the top, or perhaps just farther than I am willing to personally go.  I love you Daisy, but a special umbrella just for you is probably not in the cards anytime soon.

Let’s face it, umbrellas are a pain in the neck in and of themselves. Even a small gust of wind can wreak havoc upon an umbrella. Furthermore, this dog umbrella is connected to a leash assembly. Maybe there are dogs out there that could pull off walking calmly below an umbrella, but every dog I have ever had pulls on the leash and is just excited to be outside walking. Call me crazy, but I can’t imagine that would be good for a dog-umbrella-leash-assembly.

Presumably, if the dog walker is concerned enough to provide Rover with protection from the rain then the dog walker will also seek protection themselves, which means that we have added a second umbrella to the equation! Myself, I am willing to get wet sometimes just to not have to deal with an umbrella, so I am afraid that Daisy will just need to cope!

In any event, for those interested in the details of this particular patent, the Background of the Invention nicely explains what the present invention relates to and the problem that is attempting to be solved. As you read what is below you will notice that this is not a first of its kind invention, but an improvement upon other dog umbrellas of the past. The Background reads:

The present invention relates to an umbrella for a pet, such as a dog, and particularly relates to a combined pet leash and umbrella which in an open position of the umbrella canopy overlies the pet to protect the pet from inclement weather conditions while also serving as a leash for the pet in both umbrella canopy opened and closed positions.

While umbrellas have been conventionally provided individuals to protect them from inclement weather conditions, animals likewise require protection from inclement conditions, e.g. when they are being walked. Obviously the protection afforded by the protective envelope or spread of a conventional umbrella useful to protect individuals from inclement weather conditions is insufficient to protect the pet from such conditions. The pet obviously would walk beyond the envelope of protection afforded by the individual’s umbrella.

Umbrellas for pets are per se not new and a number of umbrella type devices have been adapted to protect pets from inclement weather conditions. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,546,970 and 5,918,611 disclose umbrellas for pets which are secured to conventional pet harnesses and the pet collars. These umbrellas are independent of any leash for the pet whereby the individual may retain control of the pet. Also the movement of the pet relative to the harness, collar and/or umbrella as can be discerned from those patents may cause the umbrella to be skewed from its intended protective position overlying the pet to a partially unprotecting position. See also U.S. design patents D324,117; D324,943; and D325,296. It will be appreciated therefore that there is a need for an umbrella to protect a pet from inclement weather conditions and which umbrella is under control of the individual walking the pet as well as enabling the pet to be under control of the individual via the umbrella and a leash in both umbrella opened and closed positions.

To see other obscure patents go to the Museum of Obscure Patents.

About the Author

Eugene R. Quinn, Jr.
President & Founder of IPWatchdog, Inc.
US Patent Attorney (Reg. No. 44,294)

B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Rutgers University
J.D., Franklin Pierce Law Center
L.L.M. in Intellectual Property, Franklin Pierce Law Center
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Gene is a US Patent Attorney, Law Professor and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He teaches patent bar review courses and is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Inventors Association. Gene has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the LA Times, CNN Money and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide


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