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Six Patents That I'm Going to Need, Like, Yesterday

We rag on the patent system pretty often here in Open-Source-Landia. Let's take a look at a few positive contributions patent holders are trying to make to our lives!

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Here are just a few of the patents I found that could really find a place in my life if someone wants to get them on the Home Shopping Network sooner rather than later.

You know how sometimes you really want to go relax on the lake and catch a few fish, but you don't actually want to have to do any fishing...and you do actually want to have to clean some fish? Don't worry! There's a patent for that!

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Finally! <-

The only thing better than this autonomous suitcase is imagining hundreds of them in an airport, all trying to get to different places. It's like "Fantasia" for road warriors (your call whether it's an elegant "Waltz of the Flowers" or a nightmarish "Sorcerer's Apprentice"!) Also, the sensor is in your shoe! Fifty points to wearables*!

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Yes, yes, a hundred times yes. <-

Okay, maybe I don't need a flaming prank wallet full of flaming prank money, but someone does. That said, I do think a little more consideration is in order before we move forward with the suggestion that it would be a hoot and a half at a gas station.

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What could go wrong?

Sorry. Blame 2016 for this one. I don't want to live in a world without Leonard Cohen, and I think a swarm of weaponized autonomous underwater swarmbots are probably on the same page. I mean in that they also don't want me to live ~~in a world without Leonard~~.

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Sorry, sometimes you just want to watch the world burn.

I want it, you want it, everyone who has ever wanted to print a D&D figurine that they can roll in Cheetos powder and munch on after a vampire's pet coffin mimic perms their character wants it**. This is a goldmine.

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Are you paying attention, Soylent? Because this is a collaboration opportunity!

Taco Tape. Open source community? We really dropped the ball on this. It was right in front of us, if we'd only opened our eyes. And Mr. Schreiner? Please don't patent troll us on this one. We need you. The world needs you. My burrito needs you.

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No, there aren't any electronics. No, I'm not sorry.

Everyone feeling better about patents? Yeah, I was too until I found a 2014 patent for "pants."


If these products were open source, users would be empowered to get out there and make them even better. Make the robot clean the fish! Make the filament taste...better? OK? I don't know where our filament flavor standards are, truthfully. Consider maybe autonomous underwater hugbots! Make the suitcase follow literally anything that will make the TSA less antsy than your shoes will! But because they're patented, they're static until the inventor acts on them. So get out there and open source something! (But not pants. They're already patented. Try shirts!)

*The points are meaningless; Dumbledore's just going to give it to IOT at the end of the year regardless of standings.
** It happens.

Comments 10 comments

  • That's just silly, pants aren't patented, they're pantented!

  • I helped build some robot luggage on the Ben Heck Show! I didn't know there was a patent out there already, people are always asking me to build them one. http://blog.colecago.com/?p=87

    • Actually looks like ours came first. I call PRIOR ART!

      • It's not a patent, just a patent publication (publishing the application before it issues). Looks like the patent itself never did issue. Maybe your prior art nailed 'em. ;-)

  • I've always been fond of this one...


    The more you go... The more you go!!!

  • I believe it would make sense to eliminate the monopoly patents grant. Instead, perhaps a patent should only grant a fee to the patent holder for each product sold that incorporates the patented idea. Someone smarter than I should come up with a fair formula for computing said fee, maybe based on the profit and percentage of the product covered by the patent. That way,if it's a nonprofit project, no harm no foul, but if it makes money, the patent holder gets a fair slice. Best of all, no one could say, "no you can'take make such and such." No trolling.

  • It’s always fun to trash patents, but take a look at, for example, the fishing robot. Claim 1 has so many parts that they run out of letters, and get all the way to (xx) using double letters. In order for your alternative fish-catching-and-cleaning robot to infringe this patent, it has to have all of those parts that work in the way described — and the inventor has had to tell you enough about his invention so that you can figure out just how it works. So now, armed with that information, you can change and improve on his invention, and make something better (and that doesn’t infringe).

    And take a look at the edible 3d printer filament patent. He’s told you how to produce it, including his magic ingredient: polyvinylpyrrolidone. So go out and find something that works better than polyvinylwhatever (and maybe is easier to pronounce), and patent it yourself — or open source it if you like. Or do both!

    And, by the way, the US patent on form-fitting pants (https://www.google.com/patents/US3068871) expired in 1980, so go ahead do whatever you like with that one! ***

    *** There are other design patents on things like pants (see https://www.google.com/patents/USD736495 for example) but these are completely different, and provide protection to ornamenal designs, not to innovations — don’t be fooled (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_patent)

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