Strange Patents


July 23, 2015

10 of the strangest ideas ever patented

Many inventions have made significant improvements in the quality of life of people around the world. These innovations may make life easier or more efficient or are perhaps designed to protect us from harm. Then there are the ones that make you scratch your head. Well meaning inventors sometimes dream up innovations that they think will be a fantastic product that takes the world by storm. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, but these strange items were nonetheless unique enough to merit an official U.S. patent.

1. Patent No. 883,611 – Bells on Rats

This 1908 patent was aimed at creating the proverbial “better mousetrap.” The rodent is lured to the trap using cheese, but instead of being killed the device snaps a bell onto its neck. Thus alarmed the rat runs home, scaring away the other rodents.

2. Patent No. 4,764,111 – Headgear Alarm

Wearing braces is a pain, and one inventor in the 1980s noticed that many teens avoid wearing their headgear. The inventor devised a beeping alarm that was fitted inside the mouth. The alarm would go off at preset times when headgear was supposed to be worn. Suitably embarrassed and annoyed, the teen would supposedly submit to wearing headgear.

3. Patent No. 3,216,423 – Centrifugal Birth

The 1960s were innovative, and these inventors were looking for a way to make giving birth easier. The mother-to-be is strapped to a spinning bed, which is meant to encourage a swifter birth. This may have been patented, but it’s doubtful it was ever used.

4. Patent No. 4,384,212 – Silent Screaming

Users hold this device over the mouth, and then are free to vent their frustration with screams and yells without disturbing others. This one should have been a hit in offices everywhere.

5. Patent No. 2,929,459 – Gas-Powered Pogo

Unlike the traditional pogo stick, this one came with a gas-powered engine. They were incredibly dangerous. How did anyone think this was a good idea?

6. Patent No. 35,600 – Plow with Gun

This 1862 invention was designed for the farmer who worked in treacherous fields. If under threat while plowing, the farmer simply fired the gun built into the body of the plow.

7. Patent No. 81,437 – Casket with Bell

Being buried alive was a real fear in 1868 when this patent was granted. These specially designed burial caskets included what was essentially a tunnel that led from the head of the interred individual up to the surface. If able to do so, the mistakenly buried person climbed a ladder to the surface. Otherwise, he could ring a bell to signal that a rescue was necessary.

8. Patent No. 7,062,320 – Hiccup Cure

When drinking water doesn’t cut it, you can strap this device to your face. It delivers electric shocks to pertinent nerves as you drink, providing an effective if not particularly comfortable cure.

9. Patent No. 5,356,330 – High Five

If you’ve ever felt the urge to high five yourself, this invention is for you. It’s essentially a plastic arm that you can mount to a wall. Now you won’t need anyone else around to celebrate.

10. Patent No. 5,727,565 – Kissing Shield

The germaphobes among us will appreciate this hand-held device that can be placed like a guard against your mouth before kissing someone. Nothing says romance like using a kissing shield.

Weird or not, if you need any patent services in the Houston or Dallas Fort Worth areas please contact the Law Offices of Jeff Williams.

Author: Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is an experienced mechanical engineer and lawyer that consults closely with clients in a strait forward and clear manner.  He brings a particular set of strengths and unique perspectives to the firm.    
 Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2005.  He was an engineer for a number of years at a number of large corporations before pursuing his law degree.  He graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law) with a J.D. in 2010.  By combining his education and prior work experience into the field of intellectual property law, Jeff has developed key skills to fully assist clients.