Happy St. Patrick’s Day

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone could use a wee bit of the luck of the Irish. Here are collection of shamrock design patents to bring a little luck to you on St. Patrick’s Day 2020:

U.S. Patent No. D460716 covers a Shamrock Decoration.
U.S. Patent No. D505846 covers a Shamrock Shaped Bottle Opener.
U.S. Patent No. D445315 covers a Shamrock Cookie Die.

Finally, what says “lucky” more than a Shamrock Shaped Bingo Dobber:

U.S. Patent No. D529549 covers a Shamrock Bingo Dobber.

International Women’s Day

March 8 is International Women’s Day . It is appropriate to recognize trail blazer Mary Dixon Kies, who on May 5, 1809, became the first woman to receive a U.S. Patent. Unfortunately here patent was destroyed in the Patent Office fire of 1836. Her invention, a new technique of weaving straw with silk and thread to make hats, was less frivolous that it might seem today and until fashions changed, bolstered New England’s hat industry, which had been faltering due to the Embardo Act of 1807. In 2006, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Presidents’ Day 2020

While it is appropriate for patent lawyers to acknowledge Abraham Lincoln on Presidents Day (he is, after all, the only president to ever receive a patent) other presidents have be made their mark in patents as well.

In April 1994, near the end of an MTV forum on youth and violence, 17-year-old high school student from Potomac, Maryland, famously asked President Clinton” “The world is dying to know — is it boxers or briefs?” President Clinton’s answer, “usually briefs,” sparked considerable discussion at the time.

A few years later, Robert Wald, of Toluca Lake, California, while the boxers v. briefs debate continued, filed a patent application on Male Boxer Shorts with Integrated Male Briefs, which eventually issued as U.S. Patent No. 5,978,971. The patent solves the need for a male undergarment that combines the benefits of both boxers and briefs.

In Fig. 1 of the ‘971 Patent, it appears that President Clinton’s predecessor, George H. W. Bush, makes a guest appearance, modeling the undergarment under his suit.

Recognizing the History-Makers in Black History Month

An important part of black history is the many inventive contributions of black Americans. The achievements of just a few of them are highlighted below.

George Washington Carver was an African American scientist and educator, famous for many inventions relating to peanuts. He as born into slavery but become one of the most prominent scientists and inventors of his time, as well as a teacher at the Tuskegee Institute. Carver did not patent most of his inventions, but did receive three patents, including U.S. Patent No. 1,522,176 on a Cosmetic and Process for Making Same, and U.S. Patent No. 1,632,236 on Process of Producing Paints and Stains.

Lonnie G. Johnson is a former Air Force/NASA engineer who among other things, invented the Super Soaker water gun, for which he received U.S. Patent No. 5,074,437.

U.S. Patent No. 5,074,437

Johnson’s other patents include U.S. Patent No. 5,982,144 on Rechargeable Battery Power Supply Overcharge Protection Circuit; U.S. Patent Nos. 6,000,386 and 6,003,503 on Toy Gun with Fluid Pulsator; U.S. Patent No. 6,099,266 on Air Pump; U.S. Patent No. 6,180,281 on Composite Separator and Electrode; U.S. Patent No. 6,220,237 on Compressed Air Toy Gun; U.S. Patent No. 6,223,449 on Apparatus for Extracting Plasticizer; U.S. Patent Nos. 9,266,085 and 9,387,453 on Johnson Ambient-Heat Engine.

Garrett Morgan, the son of a freed slave, started out as a sewing-machine mechanic, but went to patent several inventions, including a hair-straightening product, a breathing device (U.S. Patent No. 1,113,675), an improved sewing machine and an improved traffic signal (U.S. Patent No. 1,475,074).

Lewis H. Latimer was an patent draftsman and inventor in his own right who worked with Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Hiram Maxim. His greatest invention may be the carbon filament for light bulbs , a vital component of the light bulb (U.S. Patent No. 252,386).

U.S. Patent No. 252,386

His other inventions included Water-Closets for Railroad-Cars (U.S. Patent No. 147,363); Electric Lamp (U.S. Patent No. 247,097), Globe Supporter for Electric Lamps (U.S. Patent No. 255,212); Apparatus for Cooling and Disinfecting (U.S. Patent No. 334,078); Locking Rack for Hats, Coats, Umbrellas, &c. (U.S. Patent No. 557,076); and Book Supporter (U.S. Patent No. 781,890).

Marie Van Brittan Brown was an African-American inventor, who, motivated by how long it would take the police to arrive in her neighborhood, invented the first form of a home security system. Her U.S. Patent No. 3,482,037 issued in 1969.

U.S. Patent No. 3,482,037

Otis Frank Boykin was an African American engineer and inventor of as many as 27 electronic devices, but he is best known for inventing electronic control devices for guided missiles, IBM computers, and the pacemaker. His other inventions included a Resistor, U.S. Patent 2,634,352 and 2,891,227; Electrical Resistor And Method Of Making The Same, U.S. Patent No. 4,418,009, and 4,561,996; Self Supporting Electrical Resistor Composed Of Glass, Refractory Materials And Noble Metal Oxide (U.S. Patent No. 4,267,074.

Marian R Croak is a Vice President of Engineering at Google. She was previously Senior Vice President of Research and Development at AT&T Labs, where she is credited as a developer of Voice over IP (VoIP) creating most of methods and features that both improved its reliability and ushered in its nearly universal adoption, and more than 125 of her more than 200 U.S. patents cover VoIP.

Her U.S. patents include: 10,295,358, 9,823,087, 9,621,719, 9,360,327, 9,344,322, 9,282,198, 9,224,108, 9,219,820, 9,210,027, 9,137,361, 9,078,023, 9,054,887, 9,014,053, 9,001,987, 8,983,046, 8,954,352, 8,953,763, 8,942,367, 8,934,474, 8,897,436, 8,885,638, 8,867,525, 8,867,524, 8,855,908, 8,837,695, 8,836,752, 8,804,703, 8,804,539, 8,799,976, 8,798,258, 8,793,150, 8,787,551, 8,775,639, 8,755,496, 8,750,479, 8,737,584, 8,737,575, 8,737,381, 8,731,164, 8,730,952, 8,730,941, 8,718,265, 8,711,680, 8,705,518, 8,705,401, 8,699,681, 8,693,665, 8,687,502, 8,682,711, 8,681,633, 8,676,702, 8,675,857, 8,675,638, 8,670,323, 8,667,545, 8,660,903, 8,654,788, 8,654,670, 8,644,296, 8,638,656, 8,625,770, 8,625,754, 8,625,578, 8,615,004, 8,615,003, 8,614,959, 8,612,512, 8,611,258, 8,600,009, 8,594,128, 8,593,939, 8,588,216, 8,588,083, 8,582,590, 8,576,832, 8,570,906, 8,565,409, 8,553,863, 8,549,156, 8,538,005, 8,532,088, 8,520,816, 8,520,811, 8,515,045, 8,457,108, 8,437,337, 8,437,246, 8,411,668, 8,379,817, 8,369,230, 8,358,770, 8,358,760, 8,355,314, 8,340,261, 8,307,091, 8,306,190, 8,295,461, 8,284,679, 8,279,856, 8,275,828, 8,265,256, 8,259,608, 8,254,540, 8,243,912, 8,238,353, 8,213,584, 8,199,744, 8,199,742, 8,184,792, 8,184,548, 8,155,295, 8,150,009, 8,130,934, 8,130,932, 8,130,923, 8,107,459, 8,098,803, 8,098,281, 8,094,568, 8,072,968, 8,072,881, 8,064,452, 8,064,438, 8,059,645, 8,018,835, 7,995,739, 7,995,709, 7,995,486, 7,995,464, 7,983,404, 7,978,601, 7,974,292, 7,965,700, 7,958,561, 7,948,965, 7,933,213, 7,925,503, 7,924,814, 7,912,039, 7,903,798, 7,899,159, 7,881,294, 7,881,289, 7,852,991, 7,852,832, 7,843,964, 7,843,841, 7,839,992, 7,801,115, 7,801,114, 7,797,459, 7,792,269, 7,783,024, 7,778,402, 7,773,734, 7,760,861, 7,756,254, 7,756,024, 7,746,771, 7,738,641, 7,738,446, 7,734,024, 7,734,022, 7,734,021, 7,733,850, 7,733,847, 7,715,548, 7,715,412, 7,715,368, 7,668,714, 7,664,252, 7,664,241, 7,664,237, 7,664,106, 7,664,101, 7,664,099, 7,664,039, 7,664,038, 7,664,033, 7,639,793, 7,639,790, 7,627,106, 7,626,980, 7,626,941, 7,623,647, 7,613,113, 7,609,830, 7,602,900, 7,602,887, 7,599,359, 7,599,357, 7,593,520, 7,593,343, 7,593,325, 7,583,794, 7,583,660, 7,580,792, 7,555,113, 7,532,579, 7,522,717, 7,468,984, 7,450,502, 7,447,160, 7,447,159, 7,440,445, 7,417,984, 7,415,010, 7,411,942, 7,369,506, 7,231,210, 7,224,773, 5,987,508.

Happy New Year!

Celebrating the start of a new year and a new decade with patents.

U.S. Patent No. D12792
U.S. Patent No.4491494
U.S. Patent No. 5439102
U.S. Patent No. 6260982
U.S. Patent No. 8,936503
U.S. Patent No. 8376161

Happy New Year and best wishes for a prosperous 2020 from HDP.

Merry Christmas!

U.S. Patent No. D196445 on Combined Christmas Tree Holder and Stable for a Nativity Scene
U.S. Patent No. D435229 Christmas Nativity Light Decoration
U.S. Patent No. 3,116,096 Christmas Nativity Stable with a Christmas Tree Stand
U.S. Patent No, D564936 Nativity Scene Decoration Including Santa Claus
U.S. Patent No. D587161 Nativity Scene Decoration Including Santa Claus and Rudolph
U.S. Patent No. D500,701 on Nativity Display
U.S. Patent No. D175,650 Christmas Nativity Stable
U.S. Patent No. 9.084,943 Nativity Stable Structure and Kit for same

Presidents Day 2019

It’s Presidents Day, and while the USPTO is closed for the occasion, here is a look a few instances where presidents were honored in the records of the USPTO:

U.S. Patent No. D537666 covered a toy bank that celebrated the apocryphal story of George Washington and the cherry Tree:

U.S. Patent No. D537666

The presents have been remembered in a chart puzzle show in U.S. Patent No. 1148885:

U.S. Patent No. 1148885

Americans are big fans of George Washington, and in U.S. Patent No. D9138, George Washington was a big fan for the people:

U.S. Patent No. D9138.

Commemorative medals and badges were apparent a “thing” and several design patents, including D8000 and D51046:

U.S. Patent No. D8000
U.S. Patent No. D51046

Valen-tech

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here is a tribute to the inventors who make Valentine’s Day, and every day better for society.

U.S. Patent No. 5,160,087 protected a drinking straw for couples.
U.s. Patent No. 7,339,449 protects a Magnetic Woven Heart.
U.S. Patent No. 1,603,592 protected a greeting card perfect for the holiday.
U.S. Patent No. 4,194,629 protected a “Love Box.”
U.S. Patent No. D85,341, protected the name plate for a Love Tester.