Chip Shots by Chip Griffin

If There Was Any Doubt the Patent System is Broken…

image You simply must read this laugh out loud funny list of crazy patents that have actually been awarded by the USPTO.  I picked up on it from a post by Seth Levine where he reports on (potentially) good news about pending changes in the way patents are handled.  We can only hope.

My favorites from the crazy patent list:

  • One patent included this claim: “9. The method of providing user interface displays in an image forming apparatus which is really a bogus claim included amongst real claims, and which should be removed before filing; wherein the claim is included to determine if the inventor actually read the claims and the inventor should instruct the attorneys to remove the claim.” (Remember these are all patents, actually approved by USPTO.)
  • “This patent shows you how to patch a hole in a wall by cutting out a piece the same size as a pre-formed plug, and then inserting the plug and plastering over it. Isn’t that pretty much the way drywall is always patched???”
  • “Apparatus for facilitating the birth of a child by centrifugal force.” 
  • Then there’s the one patenting the use of a laser pointer to exercise a cat.  Dumb as that seems, it’s made even worse by the fact that USPTO issued this patent 5 times to different “inventors.”
  • I also like “Method for Swinging on a Swing.”  Here’s the commentary on the Crazy Patents list about it: “So these fools think that in all the years of swinging no one has ever before thought to pull on the opposite chains and swing form side to side? Well, I guess they got the PTO to issue the patent, so I’m not sure who the fool really is… But, even so, what do these guys expect to do with this anyway? Are they going to go around and collect royalties from kids on the playground?”
  • Then there’s the tricycle lawn mower.  One can only hope that USPTO sent a copy of that one over to the Consumer Product Safety Commission as soon as they issued it.

Go check out the rest of the list for yourself.  In some cases you have to fault USPTO and in others you wonder what the inventors were thinking.

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