Patent of the Day

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Posts Tagged ‘patent’

NASA, Home to Preeminent Inventors

Posted by innovativeip on April 29, 2011

Today’s Patent of the Day coincides with and celebrates today’s Space Shuttle launch.  What better topic than some space shuttle patents?  Not only are they very interesting, but they offer a view of a professional path of product and intellectual property development. 

First, we see the early stage embodiment, with generally broad claims protecting the concept, even though development continues.  This first patent is described by some as the “lunar capsule with wings”, but surely it is the precursor to the shuttle:  

U.S. Patent 3,576,298, Filed in 1967

By 1978, the technical details of the launch were ready for disclosure and protection:

U.S. Patent 4,265,416, Filed in 1978

Finally, after decades of development, the sexy design was completed, and protected:

U.S. Patent D302,148, Filed in 1986

 There are, of course, numerous patents related to the shuttle, and many, many that have resulted from space exploration.  Today, with the final launch of Endeavor, Innovative IP says “hat’s off” to NASA innovators. 
If you’d like to take a look at these patents in detail, click over to where you can find all of the “Patent of the Day” patents.  I suggest, give a quick read, and take in the launch this afternoon.  I’ll be watching from my boat.  Science, Law, History and boating all in one day!  Enjoy!

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G.E….General Electric AND Genetic Engineering? A Landmark US Supreme Court Case

Posted by innovativeip on March 23, 2011

Thirty years ago, on March 31, 1981, U.S. Patent 4,259,444 was issued to inventor Ananda Chakrabarty, on behalf of General Electric Company.  The subject matter, a new single cell life form, was rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and it was only after appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court that the patent was allowed, breaking ground for future patents for “genetically altered life”.

Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303 (1980)

In its 5 to 4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Chakrabarty’s genetically engineered bacteria, a new single cell life form modified to create an oil-dissolving microbe, was patentable subject matter.  (You can link through to the Court’s Opinion at

The resulting patent cleared the path for patenting genetically-produced material. 

U.S. Patent 4,259,444

 Scores of genetically engineered plants and animals and human genes have since been patented, recognizably including patents for billion dollar monoclonal antibody drugs.  Amazing what can be accomplished in just a quarter of a century!

If you’d like to read the Chakrabarty patent, link over to   Enjoy!

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Patenting the Six Pack (Beer, not Abs)

Posted by innovativeip on March 8, 2011

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, a beer-focused patent seems like a timely subject for the Patent of the Day.  Take a look at U.S. Patent 2,371,317, issued March 13, 1945, for a bottle carrier.  Although technically not directed at beer, the essential characteristics of the folding paperboard six-pack carrier of this patent remain in use today, primarily for beer.

U.S. Patent 2,371,317, Issued March 13, 1945

If you are a regular Patent of the Day follower, you know that I love inventions that remain relevant over the passage of time.  This  innovation was not only a simple means to carry six bottles, but offered an efficiently foldable structure and a sturdy construction from materials that are now routinely recycled.  Cudos to forethinking  inventor, William Ringler from the Gardner-Richardson Company of Ohio. 

Now, as you pick up a six pack to dye green for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, you will be not only prepared to carry your beers easily, but will be set with some interesting and intelligent party banter on the inventive tote.  

If you’d like to know more history on the Miami Valley paper industry of Ohio, you can read an interesting article from the 1933 Dayton Daily News at  If you’d like to read the Patent of the Day in its entirety, visit and the “of interest” tab offers a download.  Enjoy!

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You Can’t Win If You Don’t Play

Posted by innovativeip on March 3, 2011

This week, I’m in Las Vegas for a conference, so what better subject matter for the Patent of the Day than a gambling-related patent?!  My selection is U.S. Patent no. 5,722,891, issued on March 3, 1998 to Eagle Co., Ltd., of Japan, for a Slot Machine with Two Distinct Sets of Wheels:

March 3, 1998, Dual-Wheel Slot Machine

This particular patent covers the operative scenario when a first “winning” result causes spinning of a “bonus” reel.  If you’ve ever played any slots, you know that any such bonus action adds to the excitement of your spin, creating a second level of “potential win” anticipation. 

This patent was successfully sold in 2003 to slot machine giant International Gaming Technology (IGT), along with a portfolio of others.  No doubt, the sale of the entire patent portfolio by Eagle Co. to IGT was huge jackpot, all spinning aside.  If you’d like to know more on that sale, it can be found at

If you’d like to read the entire patent and learn a bit more about slot machine mechanics, head over to, where you can find all of the Patents of the Day.  Enjoy!

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FACEBOOK…a Business Method Patent for the Masses.

Posted by innovativeip on February 23, 2011

Some believed that the Supreme Court was going to invalidate the lot, but business method patents remain, and today’s Patent of the Day is an interesting read for any FACEBOOK user.  U.S. Patent no. 7,669,123 was issued just last year on (my birthday, no less) February 23.

Issued February 23, 2010, Assigned to Facebook, Inc.

Given the easy familiarity of the subject matter, this patent can serve as a nice tool for enhancing understanding of just how one might define or explain a business method, and how one might construct claims to specify a hopefully enforceable subject matter.  That is not to say that I have undertaken a validity analysis of this patent; I have not.  Nonetheless, the opportunity for an average reader to follow along, with his or her own routinely performed actions described, along with the technological support for the handling of the data related to those actions, exists in this patent. 

The entire patent text can be found at, on the “of interest” tab.  I encourage you to take a look.  If you find it interesting, you can even link to it or share it on your FACEBOOK page.  I like the concept of the “layers” involved in participating in the business method of the patent that is actually the topic.  In fact, I like it so much that I’m going to link over to the innovativeip FACEBOOK page right now.  Hope you Enjoy!

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This Inventor’s Full of It

Posted by innovativeip on February 5, 2011

Today’s Patent of the Day, a Manure Loader, was invented by Charles D. Ricketts of Vernon, Kansas, about 100 years ago. 

U.S. Patent 938401, Issued February 7, 1911

If you read the description, the device first impales the manure, and then an ejection bar pushes the manure from the tines.  I’m not sure what alternatives were in use at the time, but I’m picturing a pitch fork and some back breaking and all around disgusting work.  Mr. Ricketts, your hands off approach was likely a great improvement.  

Although I’ve never before considered the topic, apparently manure remains big business.  If you’d like to know more crap about it, check out  Seriously, an online and print magazine that is totally full of it.

If you’d like to read the entire Patent of the Day, click over to, and you’ll find it, along with previous posts.  Enjoy!

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Another Century-Old Invention Still In Use…

Posted by innovativeip on January 28, 2011

I love old patents, and I especially love “antique” inventions that remain relevant.  One has to wonder what portion of today’s innovations will remain in use 100 years from now?

Today’s Patent of the Day is U.S. Patent 982,593, issued January 24, 1911, to J.G. Griesinger for a “Loose Leaf Binder”. 

Issued January 24, 1911

This is not today’s discount store school supply three-ring binder, but is a sturdy spring post binder still common to professionals, such as for organization of real estate or other legal documents, or for sample books, such as for invitations.  The binders allow for page removal and replacement, yet deliver a “bound” experience during routine page perusal.  A simple, yet effective design.  Timeless qualities.

If you’d like to read the patent text, it is posted at, along with previous “Patents of the Day”.  Enjoy!

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One to many horror movies?

Posted by innovativeip on January 20, 2011

Today’s Patent of the Day is a doll, invented 100 years ago.  A fully articulated, come-alive-when-you-are-sleeping doll, if you ask me. 

Yes, I probably have seen more than my share of horror movies.  But, after you take a look at this patent, number 980,096, issued January 17, 1911  (the entire patent may be found at

Jointed Schoenhut Doll Patent

take a look at the actual doll that was the subject of this patent, offered for sale online, and tell me you can’t just hear her eyes clicking open in the dark as she turns her head ever so slowly…  I love old patents.  The subject matter is so diverse.  It never ceases to interest me.  I hope you, too, Enjoy!

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I have tried to use a screwdriver as an opener…

Posted by innovativeip on January 14, 2011

It is true.  I have tried to use a screwdriver both as a can opener and as a bottle opener, each time during that crazy first day or two after a move when you can’t find anything.  Although I don’t recall great success, I do remember successfully using a Phillips head to punch a hole in a soup can.  Necessity may just really be the mother of invention.

Actually, without knowing it, in reaching for a screwdriver, I was apparently regressing 100+ years.  Yes, today’s Patent of the Day is entitled “Screwdriver” but it sure seems to be a can opener to me.  What’s more, the simple design remains generally unchanged and is on the market still today.

U.S. Patent no. 981202, Issued January 10, 1911

Reportedly, the tin can was invented about 100 years earlier, in London in 1810, but a hammer and chisel were used for opening.  Seems I wasn’t so far off with my screwdriver after all! 

If you’d like to read more about this or a past Patent of the Day, click over to  Enjoy!

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Yesterday, Utility…Today, Design

Posted by innovativeip on September 25, 2010

Today’s Patent of the Day is U.S. Patent no. D52473, issued September 24, 1918, for a trumpet design.

Today's Patent of the Day

Not being a trumpet player, I am unable to easily discern which features of this trumpet are utilitarian, and which elements are aesthetic.  Perhaps someone can comment on that.  I find it noteworthy that the inventor, Mr. Couturier, is also the inventor of yesterday’s Patent of the Day, a utility patent for a coronet that issued a few years before this design patent.  Even in the early 1900’s, it appears that the strength of a diverse portfolio was appreciated, at least by Mr. Couturier, wherein he sought protection for both the appearance of his instruments, as well as the functional distinction thereof.

If you’d like to read either of Mr. Couturier’s instrument patents, please visit, and you will find them on the “Of Interest” page.  Enjoy!

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