Monday, July 14, 2008

A Patent On A Stick, Literally

U.S. patent 6,360,693 always reminds me there is always some uncertainty in the law of what's patentable. I have to hand it to the patent attorney that handled this patent application. Claim 1 of this patent claims (in fancier words of course) a floating animal toy having a main shaft and a minor shaft coming off the main shaft at an angle. That's it!

The actual text is:

An animal toy, comprising: (a) a solid main section having a diameter and a longitudinal length and extending a predetermined distance along said longitudinal length; and (b) at least one protrusion attached at one end thereof said main section and extending a predetermined distance therefrom and wherein said at least one protrusion includes a second longitudinal axis that is not in parallel alignment with a first longitudinal axis of said solid main section; and wherein said animal toy is adapted to float on the water.

While this patent claim could be invalidated in a court, having an issued patent nonetheless can be quite annoying to one's competitors in the animal toy business. As a matter of patent prosecution strategy, this is why I may sometimes draft at least one claim that I think might be too broad so as to encompass the prior art. I may be wrong, and the client may be entitled to broader protection that I thought.

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At April 22, 2010 at 7:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...Now he has the power to sue any tree he wants...What a special guy

At March 15, 2011 at 10:45 AM , Anonymous Jeff Maday said...

hmm... I'm thinking about drafting an "improvement" application with a second minor shaft and working out a cross-licensing deal :)

At May 10, 2012 at 3:46 AM , Blogger Michelle said...

Never imagine before that every single I see now are patented. It's funny to think of it sometimes, but I just ignore it. Wondering, what would be the reaction of the patent attorneys about the said discovery.


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