Glen Kotapish, Founder of Planet Patent, shares some of his weird patent discoveries with a quest to continue the search.
Never done a patent search before? Have you ever wondered what a patent search actually involves? It’s not like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. It’s more like discovering the right needle in a stack of over 100 million patent “needles” from over a hundred countries! But, searching for that needle can be fun, especially when you uncover a patent that is both clever and outlandish. Some patents are inventions that appear, to say the least, weird, but at times turn out to be a solution to a problem.
I’ve made a hobby of featuring “bizarre” patents on my website. I often think some of these would make very entertaining patent models or good material for T-shirts.
One of my favorite patents is what I call “Beetle Mania”, not related to The Beatles, but to the famous Volkswagen Beetle. At first glance this may look like a device to turn the VW bug into a wind turbine, but in reality, it’s a complex but still humble automobile protector. It’s unfortunate that the attached pin wheel is intended only as an “ornamental device”, not a propeller to make this beetle fly over a traffic jam. US4154254 spins out more details about this “whirligig”.
A handful of images from my bizarre patents collection, including “Beetle Mania”, have also found their way onto mugs that I give to clients. To my pleasure and surprise, and to some of my clients’ surprise as well, some of these bizarre inventions were from patents they had prosecuted. One such invention, sure to keep things cool, is the Beerbrella—an umbrella for a bottle of beer. I enjoyed sending this client a mug with this image on it. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find this product in the market. For this beer “necessity” see US6637447.
At times some seemingly bizarre patents, and even published patent applications, cover inventions that have been successfully made into products for sale. The User Wearable Animal Decoy is one such product. This device is currently being sold under the Be the Decoy name. User testimonials share that wearing a hat that makes them look more like an elk or goat has made them successful hunters. Now that’s using your head. Hunt for more details about this invention by reviewing US20120272428.
Visit our Bazaar of Bizarre Inventions at PlanetPatent.com/laugh. Perhaps one day you, or a client of yours, may want to add a bizarre brainstorm to this collection. If you have a favorite invention or patent, please let us know, and I’ll add it to our collection. Email it to Search@PlanetPatent.com.
Glen Kotapish, Founder of Planet Patent
Glen Kotapish is the founder of PlanetPatent.com, a patent research firm. Glen’s background is in aerospace and manufacturing engineering. For many years Glen was president of the Inventors Network of the Capital Area (INCA) where he still serves as a volunteer. He has also served on the board of the United Inventors Association (UIA). Mr. Kotapish has written articles that have been published in Inventors Digest magazine. Glen currently also enjoys computer aided design (CAD) and 3D printing.