This week on IP Goes Pop! co-hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue are joined by fellow intellectual property attorney and Volpe Koenig Shareholder, Randy Huis, to once again visit the town of Springfield in the fictional, but full of real fun, world of The Simpsons. Patents on candy, robots, and other inventions that may sound more like they are out of a writer’s room rather than based on an inventor’s technical notebook get filed with the Patent Office every day.
In this episode listeners will get a taste of just how much intellectual property can come out of, or be inspired by, popular culture.
As many are aware, The Simpsons has a long history of accurately predicting future events and technologies. During IP Goes Pop!’s last trip to the town of Springfield, Michael, Joe and Randy scratched the surface on some of the inventions and technologies of the legendary cartoon “inventor” Homer Simpson. This time their journey focuses on the inventions of everyone’s favorite “wacky” professor, John I.Q. Nerdelbaum Frink Jr. (aka Professor Frink).
So, is The Simpsons truly prophetic or does the show borrow inventions and technology from the real world? IP Goes Pop! is here to settle the score of “who did what first” – Professor Frink and The Simpsons or a humble human inventor in real life.
Listen in as Michael, Joe and Randy look at eight popular inventions concocted by Professor Frink and their real-world manifestations, or possibly inspirations. From the sports betting apps now flooding the airways with commercials, to acid shooting projectiles, the line between fiction and reality may be thinner than you think. If you’ve ever thought something as outrageous as a “Sarcasm Detector,” made by a yellow cartoon character, could become a reality, then this episode will have you asking “is there a patent for that?”
1:39 Professor John I.Q. Nerdelbaum Frink Jr.
4:15 The Simpsons Predicts
- Events and Inventions
- Gummi Venus de Milo
- Real world inventions: sour candies
8:53 Acid Shooting Ray
- 1940 – Projectile Shooting Firearm – US2737889A
13:37 Floyd – Robot
- The Fly (1986)
- Real World examples
- 2022 Publication (Autonomous mobile robot control system, control method thereof, a non-transitory computer readable medium storing control program thereof, and autonomous mobile robot control device) – US20220066454A1
- Issaac Asimov
- The Jetsons, Rosey the Robot
18:52 Robot Dog
- Six-legged walking robot having robotic arms for legs and plurality of joints – US9359028B2
- Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)
- Runaway (1984) – Gene Simmons
- Lost and Space (1998) – William Hurt
- Broadcast News (1987)
- Wild, Wild West (1999) with Will Smith
24:56 Frinkosonic MHV – Soundwave powered vehicle
- Back to the Future (1985)
- Chinese Patent
- Sound wave processing system and motor vehicle – CN111681632A
26:42 Quinn Greenhaus – Producer
27:01 Gamble-Tron 2000 – Sports Betting
- Real World examples
- sports betting apps
- ‘having a bookie’
- machine learning
- IBM big blue
- Sports data information patents – 2015 Korean Patent
- Game result predicting method using sports data information – KR101585399B1
30:44 The Frink Hover Bike
- Real world examples
- “Iron Man” type suits
- ‘over-sized’ drone technology
- Method of controlling an actuator system and aircraft using said method – US20210072771A1
32:47 Sarcasm Detector
- Real World example
- Compassion, variety and cohesion for methods of text analytics, writing, search, user interfaces – US9213687B2
34:10 Final Thoughts – Role of Inventions in Real and Make-Believe Worlds
- Does fiction lead science?