So last summer I filed a provisional patent for an idea I came up with. A provisional patent is only good for 1 year and you must file a full utility patent application within that time. The past several months I’ve been toying around with and improving my idea, made up some prototypes and have had some people test it. It’s still not perfect, but I think I’ve finally gotten to the point where I feel confident jumping into writing this full utility patent application. So for the past week, most of my free time has been spent doing research and an even more exhaustive patent search than I did when filing my provisional application.
I realize that no one reading this (other than my dad, if he’s reading?) likely has any idea what an exhaustive patent search entails, but oh well. Just play along like you know and care, ok? 🙂 Basically, I’ve spent a lot, A LOT, of time searching through the google of all patent search websites…which, well, IS Google Patent Search (go ahead, click the link and search for something, like say “talking toilet”. I dare you. Better Call Saul fans will especially like this one: https://www.google.com/patents/US4883749).
What is an exhaustive Google Patent Search like? Exhibit A:
Sounds like a fun time, right? If anything, I thankfully get small bits of humor injected into my searches (and into my constant struggle not to tell myself that this whole thing is stupid and will never come to anything and I should just give up on it. But that’s a whole other issue and possibly a whole other post someday) when I stumble upon some rather interesting ideas.
So for today’s SEVEN QUICK TAKES link-up (hosted at This Ain’t The Lyceum), I’m going to list 7 Interesting Patents I’ve Stumbled Upon in My Recent Searches:
1) Parent-child bonding bib
ABSTRACT: A bib-like device for assisting in nursing a child and improving bonding between a parent and the child. The device includes a bib-like member made from a fabric, such as terry cloth, comfortable for the child. The device defined includes a generally mammary-shaped area defining a pouch therein for retaining a container of liquid, such as formula, milk, juice, or water for the child. The pouch is sized to receive the container therein and communicates with a opening in the fabric for permitting a nipple on the container to protrude therefrom. When worn by either parent, the device improves bonding between the child and parent, especially for the male, by anatomically simulating the female.
Current Patent Status: LASPED. Which means that you’re free to make and sell now without repercussions; I know you just have to have one of these, right??
2) Infant feeding device with female’s breast odour and method of use.
ABSTRACT: A method of feeding an infant, the method comprising the steps of: providing a feeding device; adding a female’s breast odour to the feeding device; and feeding the infant using the feeding device. A feeding device (1), a pacifying device and an odour carrier (20) are also described.
Current Patent Status: Still in APPLICATION process. Though it looks like it’s been in the application process for 10 years now. Soo, not sure of its prospects, but hey, apparently someone believes that this has the ability to change the world and is still pursuing it.
3) Infant’s pacifier with magnetic nipple
ABSTRACT: A bar magnet is contained within the hollow resilient nipple of an infants pacifier to provide a magnetic nipple for extraction of magnetizable metallic objects from the infants mouth.
Current Patent Status: Granted in 1969, so it should be LAPSED by now (patents are only good for 17/20 years). So if you’d like to make and sell a magnet that you stick in a baby’s mouth to find swallowed metal objects – go for it.
4) Pacifier securement device
**I thought this patent was funny only because of the drawings. Apparently crudely hand-drawn is totally fine…or maybe not, considering this application has been still in process since 2005.**
Current Patent Status: Still in APPLICATION process.
5) Interactive baby feeding bottle
ABSTRACT: An interactive baby bottle has an electronic unit that includes a sensor unit configured to sense the heart beat of a person bottle feeding a baby and an actuator unit configured to transmit the sensed heart beat to the baby.
Current Patent Status: GRANTED and does not expire until 2028. So you think you thought of this idea already too? Well, too bad, someone beat you to it.
6) Bottle opener attached to a garment
ABSTRACT: A wearable garment with a stitched or otherwise secured accessory, which is preferably a one piece PVC or injection molded plastic accessory. The accessory includes a base for attachment to the garment and a disk in the general shape of a bottle cap and bottle flange. The disk is attached together with the base by a flexible tether. The base unit is glued, stitched or otherwise attached to the wearable garment and the, bottle cap shape, is snapped onto the base unit.
Current Patent Status: GRANTED and does not expire until 2028. Any college students in my blog audience are probably so bummed right now.
7) Mood pacifier (yes, just like a mood ring)
ABSTRACT: An infant pacifier has a temperature sensitive material mounted on the front forming a “mood stone.”. The front of the pacifier would change color based on the body temperature of the infant using the pacifier. The pacifier includes a metal strip or other temperature conductive material that connects to the metal frame of the mood stone and wraps around to come in contact with the baby’s lips when the baby is sucking on the pacifier. The metal strip carries the heat from the baby to the stone, facilitating color change as the child’s temperature changes.
Current Patent Status: Still in APPLICATION process. Since 2002.