How Do Crazy Patents Get Filed?

Crazy patents are filed when an inventor's unusual idea follows the basic rules required for a patent to be approved:

  • The invention must be novel and inventive.
  • The invention must be nonobvious. This means it can't be an idea that's already clear to everyone (such as the use of tissues to blow one's nose).
  • The invention must be able to be utilized and manufactured.

Such broad rules leave opportunity for some crazy ideas to get through the system. Basically, if an invention is original and can be proven useful in one way or another, a patent can protect it. 

Inventors with interesting ideas have lots of freedom when it comes to protecting their intellectual property. Some of these crazy ideas are so crazy that they are actually quite revolutionary in the world of technology. Many great technological advancements started with an idea that probably seemed insane in its time.

Feline Exercise 

Challenging the nonobvious patent rule is a patented idea from 1993. This patent protected the use of a laser pointer for feline exercise. Not only have most cat owners figured this out on their own, but flashlights have been used the same way.

Hiccups Cure

In 2003, the use of electric shock therapy to get rid of hiccups was patented. The idea was to only be used by individuals desperate to get rid of hiccups that have lasted more than 48 hours. If drinking water and holding your breath doesn't do the trick, you can send a small shock to the nervous system that will eliminate this pesky ailment. 

Brain Buzzer

For those who find it difficult to stay awake during a lecture or a movie, a brain-buzzing wand was patented to send vibrations to your brain to wake you up. The wand is designed for the user to bite down on in order to send the electric pulse to his or her brain for renewed focus. Perhaps this would also work as a hiccup cure.

Gerbil Shirt

Gerbil owners don't need to leave their furry friends behind with the gerbil shirt. The patented invention is a see-through shirt that can hold gerbils, mice, hamsters, or other rodents in a maze, worn on the body. 

Sail Bike

Seafarers and cyclists can come together over this bicycle that harnesses the wind using a sail on the rear wheel. Patented in 2004, the history of this patent stated that this type of bike had been attempted before, but not yet successfully created. 

Health-Monitoring Contacts 

Smart contact lenses powered by the sun were patented in 2012. These lenses would use solar energy and keep track of the wearer's health information, such as glucose levels. It can also check for fevers.

Blood-Testing Watch

Diabetics would benefit from this invention, patented in 2014. This smartwatch is able to take blood samples through a tiny skin puncture that collects blood into a small area of the watch, which tests glucose levels. No needles and quick testing doesn't sound so crazy, and it could actually prove quite convenient. 

Drone and Robot Package Delivery

In 2014, an idea was patented for a new element to drone delivery. This invention explained how a drone would deliver packages to a robot on the ground. That robot would then transport packages to their destinations. Amazon and other companies have begun experimenting with drones for package delivery. But adding a ground robot to the process would further phase out the need for human workers.

A Tattoo That Provides Phone Alerts

A patent for a kind of "smart" tattoo outlines the idea of putting a microphone just under the skin in order for people to answer phone calls and text messages completely hands-free. Another possible use detailed in the patent is for lie detection. The same embedded device could monitor the skin for signs of lying. 

Odor Removal Fan

An inventor came up with the idea for a fan system in 2012 that works to keep you smelling pleasant even after a workout. Not only will it cover body odor with a fragrance when it detects that you're embarrassed of your smell, but it also will alert you when friends are near if you'd rather avoid people altogether. 

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