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Kristina Mulina

Assistant to Patent Attorney

25 March 2019

Interesting facts about patenting and patents

The history of patenting and patents originated many centuries ago and it is lasting to this day. Many surprising facts about creative inventors and their incredible inventions have become known during this long period of time. I would like to draw your attention to the most, in me opinion, interesting facts about patents and their inventors who could have become rich and famous due to their developments or, on the contrary, could have missed their luck and profits.

One of the interesting patents, which helped to enrich their inventors, is Amazon Company, which had patented the 1-Click purchase technology, and thanks to that it now gets charges from those companies that use this technology. For example, Apple Company is among such organizations.

As to Microsoft Company, it has a patent for the following function: when you click on a hyperlink, a new window opens. This patent will expire in 2021.

The first telephone was invented by Antonio Meucci in 1871. However, the inventor's greed played a cruel joke with him: Meucci refused to pay a ten-dollar patent fee. And 5 years later, Alexander Bell patented the telephone, thanks to which he earned a lot of money.

Samsung Company had to pay 1.5 billion US dollars for the design stolen incidentally: the rounded corners of a tablet. All this was due to the fact that it had not occurred to the marketing department of the Corporation to carry out a preliminary check and to find out that such design was legally owned by Apple Company. They paid an impressive penalty for this

Fred Bohr, an American chemist, had invented a can-tube for potato chips Pringles, and subsequently he patented his invention. The scientist was proud of his brainchild, and he instructed that he should be cremated in such can after his death, and this was done by his descendants.

The next position of “interesting patents” is presented by the drug aimed to improve the quality of erection, under the name Viagra. It is noteworthy that initially, in 1992, in a clinical setting, the specialists of the pharmacological company Pfizer studied a new drug, Sildenafil Citrate, which was intended for the treatment of heart diseases, but a significant improvement of the blood circulation in the myocardium and the blood pressure indicators was not observed. At the same time, the men participating in the testing procedure felt a well-known stimulating effect, and they did not want to return the pills. A little bit later, the drug was patented.

If you have an interesting invention that can be used by large retailers, and you think, “Shall I contact the company directly?” “Maybe I should not do so, shall I?” Here is an example. In 1963, one teenager invented a quick method of making a ratchet, and then he contacted Sears Company. The company paid him 10 thousand dollars for this idea, saying that this invention was, in fact, useless. A few years later, the company representatives themselves earned 44 million US dollars from that invention.

It is not without funny solutions in patenting. It must be said that various, sometimes even strange applications for obtaining patents are filed annually. For example, there was a case when Halliburton Company once attempted to patent the process of obtaining a patent. But the patent office did not appreciate the idea and rendered a refusal. But other funny patents were granted after all. I shall give the examples of some of them below.

Patent RU 2083239, which protects the method of symptomatic treatment of diseases with the help of the aspen sticks, which have been prepared during the first 3-4 days of the moon at the new moon moment to restore the integrity of the energy shell of the human body, while a continuous talk about the patient's state of health and his body condition is being held constantly. The comments to this patent, I think, are unnecessary.

I would also draw your attention to patent of the USA US 5713081 for tights. If you are tired of the arrows on the tights, you can try to manufacture the tights having three legs! The essence of the patent is that each pair of tights has three stockings, one of which is neatly rolled up, and in case of an arrow, it will be necessary simply to cut off one stocking and to roll out a third one.

Another interesting patent is a mask against eating that fits over the face and protects your mouth from food getting inside the human body. Do not worry, it does not impede the ingress of air, the mask has a mesh, so you can breathe easily. Despite the fact that the patent was obtained far back in 1982, it has not found its application so far.

 No less curious patent is a patent for the comb-over of a bald patch. The majority of people suffering from baldness wish to hide this defect. The three-way hair comb-over technique to hide a bald patch was patented as far as in 1977. The process is very simple: it is necessary to divide the hair into three parts and then to comb it over the bald patch along the head, that should do it!

Is it worth patenting the invention for the benefit of all? Why not? We met such altruists more than once in the history of the patent law. Thus, for example, the discoverers of insulin refused officially to obtain the right to this vaccine so that diabetes treatment would remain affordable, spread throughout the world, and the mankind would be able to use this new medicine without any limits.

Jonas Salk, the inventor of the medicine against poliomyelitis, also refused to obtain a patent in 1955. He decided that the whole mankind needed it more. But if he had patented it, he would have earned about 7 billion US dollars.

Among the majority of the above said interesting facts about patents throughout the whole history one can see that although there are very unusual inventions in the patent law, but despite this fact the majority of discoveries really have a great value and they need to be legally protected.

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