Patent of the Day

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Yes, Method Patents Can be Controversial and Utility Patents Can be Lifesavers

Posted by innovativeip on August 23, 2010

The Patent of the Day for yesterday, Sunday, August 22, is U.S. Patent no. 5,443,036, issued August 22, 1995, and is entitled “Method of Exercising a Cat”.

Sunday's Patent of the Day

You may know that the issue of business method patents was considered by the U.S. Supreme Court recently (you can find the opinion at, and that the specific definition of what is appropriate subject matter remains generally unsettled.  Many believe that too many U.S. “method” patents have been wrongly issued.   When I  read that someone has garnered the exclusive rights to “a method of exercising a cat by moving around a beam of light,” I have to admit that I agree, at least on general principle.  

That being said, and having had more than one cat as a pet, discerning a method of repeatedly controlling any element of cat behavior for even the shortest period of time is rather impressive.  If you’d like to read the patent and learn more about a method for exercising a cat, please visit

On a more traditional “utility” patent note, today’s Patent of the Day is U.S. patent no. 768,495, issued August 23, 1904, for tire snow chains.

Today's Patent of the Day

Harry D. Weed of Canastota, New York gave us this classic lifesaving invention that has stood the test of time, remaining virtually unchanged over a century.  I will admit that it is this type of invention, the cleverly original and relatively timeless problem solver, that I find most fascinating.  If you’d like to consider today’s patent more closely, and evaluate how close the 1904 version is to the tire chains you carry in your trunk in the winter, you can access the patent at  Enjoy!


2 Responses to “Yes, Method Patents Can be Controversial and Utility Patents Can be Lifesavers”

  1. I just stumbleupon your blog and i must say what a fantastic website and great posts, I will bookmark your blog.Best Regards! Mark

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