The poetry of patents
December 10, 2004 3:05 PM   Subscribe - a semi-regular rundown of strange, cool, scary, and silly patents. For the last 2 sets of entries, the authors have decided to become poetic...
posted by pitchblende (10 comments total)
"Sphincter exerciser"???
posted by 1016 at 3:17 PM on December 10, 2004

I think this patent belongs on that site, but I don't think it's there. (It's for a "Semen taste-enhancement dietary supplement")
posted by titanshiny at 3:28 PM on December 10, 2004

As if we needed more proof that the patent system is broken. I mean, it's a gene. How does one patent a gene?

I think I'm going to register a patent for "registering a patent for future technologies that I have neither the resources nor inclination to invent so that I can use the patent to sue anyone who tries to use the idea later." Would the USPTO implode if I tried to take legal action on that one?
posted by eyeballkid at 3:44 PM on December 10, 2004


[this is good]
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:51 PM on December 10, 2004

A personal favourite is the Microsoft (TM) door hinge which can be used where the door hinge must be on the inside of a room containing people whom you wish to forcibly confine.

It seems like a great way to train windows users.
posted by shepd at 4:10 PM on December 10, 2004

I just finished writing an article for my paper on this invention and how it came about. I Googled the patent yesterday to see where else it had shown up, and PatentlySilly was one of the few places. That's my story, wasn't it good?
posted by grrarrgh00 at 5:04 PM on December 10, 2004

Why are they making fun of this one? This looks pretty nifty to me.
posted by sour cream at 6:29 PM on December 10, 2004

eyeballkid: What about learning something about the patent system first? First of all, the title is not what determines the scope of protection. That is done by the claims, a series of sentences at the end of the patent.
If you go here you'll see the answer to your question. The first claim reads:
1. An isolated nucleic acid comprising SEQ ID NO:43.
So, that is how you patent a the US. I request your attention to the word "isolated", which is very obviously there to comply with the requirement of novelty of the USPTO. That gene may be present in our bodies, but the patent owners can claim that it had not been isolated before.
Things are a bit different elsewhere. In Europe a gene per se is not considered patentable. Its use in a novel and inventive way, however, may be patented. Biotech patent law is incredibly abstruse, though, and I'm not sure how this case may work out: in the event, this same application is still being examined at the European Patent Office. The European patent is still pending.
posted by Skeptic at 1:47 AM on December 11, 2004

Republicans would love this one.
posted by mountainmambo at 5:33 AM on December 11, 2004

I think it's funny that the inventors of these gadgets actually thought they'd be worthwhile. Great link, nonetheless!
posted by kartooner at 8:27 AM on December 15, 2004

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