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This past weekend here in the States we celebrated our independence from our once enemies and now best friends, England (is that where frienemies came from?). As I understand it, the search for independence was started when several Boston residents were going to have a tea party, but were so disappointed when they found out the local tea importer only had English Breakfast tea (and not their preferred Earl Grey) that they dumped all of the tea into the harbor. I’m pretty sure it was that, but maybe it was something to do with taxes (who ever heard of someone upset about taxes?). So let’s turn our attention away from scorn and vitriol in the patent world, and instead celebrate an independence from boringness by finding some of the awesomeness in unique patent classifications and their broad swath of interesting patents.
My goal for this project was two-fold: to find classes and subclasses in the US Classification System that are interesting for some reason, and to find a patent document that represents the uniqueness of that subclass. I hereby present to you five unique patents and their classification.
Introductory Note: Welcome back to “Gear Grinder with Danny Rooney.” We aim to bring this series to you on the first and third Thursdays of the month. Here are our previous installments: #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5, #6, #7, and #8. Think of this post as a way to have fun and let loose–no frustration here this week!
US 435,748 (September 2, 1890) – US Class we found it in: 132/215 (Toilet/Hair Device/Mustache)
The mustache holder subclass is full of amazing documents, but this is one of my favorites. Mustaches have always been awesome, especially when worn by celebrities, but they can be cumbersome when trying to drink tea or eat soup like a gentleman. This mustache guard solves the problem by not only protecting the mustache, but by also adding a touch of class to the wearer by making them look like a cute, fluffy rabbit.
US 77,582 (May 5, 1868) – US Class we found it in: 43/59 (Fishing, Trapping, and Vermin Destroying/Traps/Burglar)
Back in the 1800s, burglaries were frequent enough that someone at the patent office thought it wise to add a whole subclass related to the capturing of burglars, jungle style. While the burglar trap didn’t catch on in the American household, it did become a mainstay in the evil villain profession. Dr. Evil, Jabba the Hutt, and C. Montgomery Burns were all purveyors of the burglar trap-type door.
US 4,037,790 (July 26, 1977) – US Class we found it in: 472/52 (Amusement Devices/For Perpetrating Practical Joke or Initiation Ceremony/Unexpectedly expels fluid or powder (e.g., into face of victim, etc.))
Practical jokes are never fun if you are the receiver, but to everyone else they are hilarious as long as no one gets hurt (even then it’s still pretty funny). This water glove has two abilities that would make any child content. When worn, it looks like a real hand but is actually fake, a la Luke Skywalker’s fake hand, and it has the ability to shoot something out of the hand, a la Spiderman. Since my informal surveys of the patent community suggest these are things patent professionals probably enjoy, someone needs to step up to the plate and build one of these things.
US 2,183,594 (December, 1939) – US Class we found it in: 472/49 (Amusement Devices/Parachute-Drop Simulator)
The parachute drop simulator subclass appears to be a remnant of World War II, but this parachute training and amusement device has so much more going for it. Not only can it safely prepare troops for the otherwise dangerous task of falling out of the sky, but it can also provide comedy to those troops while they watch a misfit being dangled as punishment for not polishing their boots to the appropriate level of shininess.
US 2,593,188 (April 15, 1952) – US Class we found it in: 472/51 (Amusement Devices/For Perpetuating Practical Joke or Initiation Ceremony)
That’s all I have for today, I hope you found these as amusing as I did!
This post was contributed by Registered Patent Agent Dan Wolka and edited by Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company, Landon IP, a major provider of patent search, technical translation, and information services.