Season 4 Ep #3- You Can Patent That???

  • Season 4 Ep #3- You Can Patent That???

    Join co-hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue on a new episode of "IP Goes Pop!" that will leave you wondering "You can patent that?!". This episode focuses on a variety of curious and/or unusual patents, demonstrating the wide range of ideas that can result in an issued patent. From the surprising to the peculiar, this episode provides an overview of the “usefulness” threshold in United States patent law. Listeners will learn about existing patents that are as bizarre as they are “useful,” and how anyone might have an idea that has “utility” and is therefore worthy of a patent.

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The episode begins with a discussion on the United States Patent Act, the cornerstone of patent law in the United States. Michael and Joseph break down some of the Patent Act's key provisions, focusing on the “utility” or “usefulness” requirement for patentability. The hosts then explore a series of unusual patents, each serving as a case study of this requirement.

From a self-inflicted kicking device to an apparatus that allows one to simulate a high-five, to a banana case, listeners will marvel at the odd range of inventions that have been awarded patents. This episode also features patents that highlight the importance of protecting even the simplest of items and serves as a reminder that patent law is not just about groundbreaking technology, but also about practical solutions to everyday problems.

The reach of patent law protection is broader than one might think. This episode of "IP Goes Pop!" is not just an exploration of the quirky side of patents. It's a celebration of human creativity and innovation, demonstrating that no idea is too outlandish or too trivial to be considered for patent protection. Whether you're an IP enthusiast, a pop culture aficionado, or just someone who enjoys the world of the bizarre, this episode is a must-listen. Tune in to be entertained, enlightened, and inspired to think outside the box- or perhaps patent the box itself.


1:22 Setting the Table - The Patent Act

8:01 “User-operated amusement apparatus for kicking the user's buttocks”

9:47 “Apparatus for simulating a ‘high five’”

11:03 “In-Car Coffee Maker”

 13:00 “Graffiti prevention apparatus”

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15:13 “Banana Protective Device”

17:50 “Beerbrella”

22:36 “Safety system for removing rider from vehicle by deploying a parachute”

26:53 “Method of Swinging on a Swing”

29:50 Child-Related Patents

  • “Hypodermic syringes and attachments thereto pleasing to children”
  • “Barrier Device for Children”

34:14 Final Thoughts

  • The threshold for usefulness in the U.S. Patent Office is often lower than that of the market
  • Pursue your patent dreams!




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