« Post Election Day | Main | Quote of the Week 5 »

Not About The Election

For the most part, I've been pretty content with the content of my courses so far. (+10 points for use of homograph!) And I've run across quite a bit of stuff that's been chuckle-worthy. But none so much as this.

The idea of a patent is interesting enough in and of itself -- that you have come up with something so original that you feel a need to call the US Government on your side to protect your interests in it is cool. What other people gauge as being this important is a great source of amusement.

Case in point: Mr. Steven Olson, who I'm proud to say is from St. Paul, MN, and his patent, issued on April 9, 2002.

Yes, this is an actual US Patent, and can be located if searched for in the official patent database of the US Patent and Trademark Office. Just plug the patent number into the search interface, choosing Patent Number for your search.

As you peruse this patent (and please do -- take a look especially at the original documents -- they contain pictures), think about this. A patent needs to satisfy three requirements: it must be 1) original, 2) useful, and 3) quote-unquote "nonobvious" -- that is, it mustn't be obvious to those "learned in the art." That's the language of patenting, by the way -- those learned in the art would be experts in the particular field the patent falls into.

These additional details once again just serve to increase the hilarity of this patent, in my opinion. Not only did Mr. Olson believe that his "invention" satisfied these three qualities, but a patent reviewer for the US Government did too! Who do you suppose they talked to who was "learned in the art" that told them "Oh, no, this is definitely outside the realm of the obvious!"

Here's some more crazy patents for your perusal. The things I'm learning...


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 3, 2004 3:33 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Post Election Day.

The next post in this blog is Quote of the Week 5.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.32