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Obscure Patent: The Love Box

Love Box US Patent No. 4,194,629 [ PDF ] [ HTML ] Issued March 25, 1980 While this patent is perhaps not wacky, I think it certainly qualifies as obscure. And in honor of Valentine’s Day an appropriate addition here. 

Verizon Says NO to Hollywood

Recently Hollywood executives approached both AT&T and Verizon to seek their help in preventing piracy over their networks.  According to a New York Times article, AT&T is working with the entertainment industry to figure out how to identify illegally copied material that is being transmitted over its broadband network.  Verizon, on the other hand, said — NO — we are…

Obscure Patent: The Pest Death Ray

Method and system for exterminating pests US Patent No. 6,647,661 [ PDF ] [ HTML ] Issued November 18, 2003 This invention first locates pests, weeds, pathogens and the like through the use of a microwave scanner. Once located, said vermin are then immediately killed by what the patent calls “a lethal impact.” Being skeptical at this point you are…

McDonald’s Burgers & Burger King Fries

I would love to open up my own business selling McDonald’s Burgers and Burger King Fries. But such an endeavor would probably be so costly to “do it my way.” But I have to give Joey credit. He’s quite innovative for an 11 year old boy.

Patriots Trademark 19-0?

By now it would seem that virtually everyone knows of the enormous upset pulled off by the New York Giants against the New England Patriots (17-14) in the Super Bowl on Sunday.  As soon as I saw Bill Belichick, the Coach for the New England Patriots, who I have taken to calling Belicheat, I knew the Patriots were in trouble. …

Improvement Patents & Inventions

By far, most inventions are improvements upon other known devices or solutions. Even Thomas Edison, the most prolific inventor in US history, rarely came up with pioneering inventions. What Edison had the knack for was taking something that someone else had come up with and making it extraordinarily better.

Improved Human Slingshot Machine

 Amusement device US Patent No. 6,497,623 Issued December 24, 2002 Those of you who are familiar with patent law may think you recognize this invention.  Virtually everyone who is a wacky patent fan has probably seen the Human slingshot machine, which is US Patent No. 5,421,783, which issued on June 6, 1995.  This invention is certainly similar, but this is…

U2 Says ISPs to Blame for © Infringement

According to U2 manager Paul McGuinness, Internet service providers are to blame for continuing music piracy.  Speaking at conference in France, McGuinness said that ISPs should be disconnecting those who download tracks illegally, stating that ISPs have “been at our trough for too long.” He also claimed that ISPs are to blame for the “shoddy, careless and downright dishonest way” in which artists…

Protecting Trade Secret Assets

If you ask the owners of most companies whether they have any intellectual property assets, assuming they know what you are talking about they are likely to say no.  The problem with that, however, is that the answer should universally be a resounding YES!  Every company has intellectual property assets.  The name of your company is an asset that can…

Obscure Patent: Flush Toilet for Dogs

Flush toilet for a dog US Patent No. 6,769,382 [ PDF ] Issued August 3, 2004  The patent on this toilet for dogs reads almost like a Monty Python sketch really.  The Background of the Invention starts by explaining that domestic pets such as dogs provide love and companionship to human beings, but they also create the daunting task associated with,…

Vacuum Cleaner Patented Jan. 1, 2008

Upright Type Cleaner U.S. Patent No. 7,313,845 [ PDF ] Patent Issued: January 1, 2008 It is almost unbeliveable to imagine, but on New Years Day 2008, while many of us were recovering from the previous night or watching lopsided college football bowl games, the United States Patent Office was issuing a patent covering a revolutionary invention.  They call it…

Inventing to Solve Problems

The key to making money with innovation is to be able to solve a problem that will lead to a product or service that others will be willing to pay for.  As Thomas Edison famously learned early in his career, inventing for the sake of inventing is not something that will lead to riches.  After one of Edison’s first inventions was a flop he vowed to never again invent anything without first researching and determining that there would be a demand for the invention or innovation.

Blogging Live From NY

I have been away on an extended business trip, and I have now just returned.  One of the stops on this trip was the headquarters of the Practising Law Institute (PLI) in New York City.  As some of you may know, I am the editor and blogger for the PLI Patent Practice Center.  On Monday and Tuesday of this week…

“I am Legend” Copyright Infringement?

After reading the book and seeing the movie, it’s a wonder that Director Lawrence even states that the movie is based on this book. While discussing the difference between the book and movie, this very question came to mind. There are some similarities between the two, but the book is so incredibly different that one could think they were different stories all together.

Subway… More Meat? Right!

Who would not want to buy a sub or sandwich that looks like the subs that are shown on the Subway website, or those that are shown on their popular TV commercials? But who among us has ever received a sub or sandwich from Subway that looks anything like those that they promote in their advertising? I know that I have never once seen a sub like those. Simply said, based on my experiences it is my belief that Subway advertising is laughably misleading.