The Elements of Patentability Do Not Include Common Sense
As 2010 draws to a close, I thought it might be fun to highlight some of the most amusing patents of the year. During my search, I began to understand why the patent office is buried under a backlog of applications. Here are a few of my favorite patents that were granted in 2010:
The “Pet Food Gun”
This adaptation of a child’s pellet gun will let you send Spot chasing after his dinner all over the house. In fairness to the inventor, this one actually sounds like a lot of fun.
The “Crying Doll”
This “toy” is exactly what its name suggests and no more – a child’s doll which releases a torrent of tears upon command. A good example that simply because we can make something does not necessarily mean that we should.
Yes, this invention is designed to facilitate beer pong. The inventor claims groundbreaking advances, such as the cup holder doubling as a chilling device.
Claiming a method of “minimizing foam,” by first exposing root beer to ice (causing foaming) and then, once foaming has subsided, adding ice cream (which subsequently does not foam). To be clear, this device allows you to avoid the annoyance of foaming when adding ice cream to root beer, by guiding you through a complicated “pre-foaming” process. Priceless.
Most disturbing of all — the “stomach pump diet”.
This device consists of a tube that is surgically implanted through the abdominal wall and into the stomach, and an attached pump which can literally pump food out of the stomach to improve weight loss without necessitating any change in eating habits. Eurgh.
These are just a few inventions that caught my eye; and triggered a little soul searching regarding the advisability of the current patent system’s scope. If you’re aware of a particularly humorous patent granted in the last year, please share it here.