Patent of the Day

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Posts Tagged ‘utility 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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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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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!

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Patents Aren’t Necessarily Rocket Science

Posted by innovativeip on August 4, 2010

In case you are wondering, two common types of U.S. patents are utility and design.  Utility patents protect functionality, and have a 20 year term, and design patents protect appearance, and have a 14 year term.  Today’s Patent of the Day is a design patent, and so essentially has no text, only images.

Today's Patent of the Day

U.S. Patent no. D218,264, issued August 4, 1970, for the design of a “toaster”.  I find this interesting for a few reasons.  First, it brings back memories of college life, where a toaster oven that looked just like this was a staple for cooking up frozen pot pies (6/$1.00!), and even before that, memories of my friend Lois and her sweet mother who used this toaster oven to make us cheese toast on late, lazy pre-teen sleepover mornings.  Good times.  Second, it exemplifies that “ornamental” (in the design patent world) does not have to mean “ornate”.  Simplicity can be a distinguishing feature.  And, I’m a fan of simplicity.  There are no additional pages to this patent, but you are invited to visit to see all of the Patent of the Day patents at your leisure.  Enjoy!

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