At the origin of this article, a patent on which we came across a bit by chance and which we found very funny. This leads us to search for more! And this is how the idea of presenting some absurd patents came to us. While some of these documents have been filed as a complete joke or as a challenge for the Offices, others are the work of inventors who really wish to market them… and all these patent applications have been studied by the Industrial Property Offices, some have even been duly accepted and delivered.
We wish you as much pleasure as we had in discovering these patents. And if you know of any others, do not hesitate to submit them to us, they will be presented in a future article.
1 – The “leash for a snake” – US6490999
The invention consists of a collar apparatus to handle a snake in the open range so that it does not run away. It is assumed to be very practical for reptile owners who wish to walk their favorite pet or who do not want to lose it when they let it play in the tall grass (our team doesn’t have enough experience with these animals to know whether the reptiles should be walked as regularly as canines but we could ask an Australian fellow about it…).
2 – Device for waking persons from sleep – US256265
Who hasn’t already experienced an oversleeping? In 1832, people already knew this problem and an inventor imagined this completely original concept of alarm clock which can also be connected, if necessary, to any type of mechanical security alarm (consider here that electricity hadn’t entered homes at the time).
The inventor noticed that alarm clock users quickly got used to their alarm ring and would no longer wake up when alarm is activated (a propably still true assessment two centuries later). But with this invention, impossible to stay in bed! Indeed, a frame is suspended above the head of the sleeper. It includes a multitude of cords with, at the end, wooden or cork blocks, or balls, acorns, or whatever comes to your imagination. At the desired time, an automatic release device is activated and the items strike the face of the sleeper. Even though it’s not intended to hurt, we wouldn’t like to be under a volley of wooden blocks. So probably better to wake up before the release system is triggered!
3 – Life expectancy timepiece – US5031161
No doubt this patent deserves its place in our inventory. This timepiece gives its owner the number of minutes, days and years he has left to live based on statistical data taking into account the consumption of alcohol and tobacco, genetic factors, etc.
Knowing how much time is left and seeing the seconds go by can certainly motivate the owner of this wonderful watch to enjoy every moment, in a modern version of the “tempus fugit” that adorns many sundials. For our part, we have a little trouble imagining this object in a gift box.
4 – Cork containing electronic clock and explosive charges – FR2788035
The only French patent of our selection, this invention takes the form of an original cork to close bottles containing sparkling, carbonated or effervescent drinks, for example champagne.
The inventor mentioned festive evenings, and in particular New Year’s Eve, during which it is customary to want to pop the cork at the precise moment of the transition to the new year, with the underlying synchronization issues one can imagine.
With this invention, no more problems! Indeed, the cork includes an electronic clock, a firing device and an explosive charge to eject it at the right time. You just have to program the bomb at the desired time, and there is no doubt that your next December 31st will be an amazement for your guests.
The description does not say if the bottle remains intact after the explosion, if the pyrotechnic cork can prevent damage to the ceiling (or to your eyes), or if the champagne does not take on a smoky aftertaste.
5 – Forehead support apparatus – US6681419
This is an invention that takes the form of a support to rest the forehead of a user standing against a wall. The headrest is fixed on the wall so that it can be used in the bathroom, for example in the shower or above a chest of drawers or above a urinal. The user can thus rest his head when using the urinal. We admit it, we don’t really know what this can be used for. Maybe in the case of neck pain or extreme fatigue at work? Most certainly a tall tale!
6 – Carry-all hat – US3496575
The interest of the previous invention may be more obvious if you try this carry-all hat first. Specifically designed for women (sorry about that, gentlemen), the hat has a compartment to be able to store cosmetics, jewelry, medicines or other things. Il would allow women not to have to carry a handbag when going out. Certainly very practical, especially with the integrated earmuffs, but probably also a little rigid, and perhaps heavy and unattractive. Does it sounds like maracas if you shake your head?
7 – Anti-eating face mask – US4344424
We get it, everyone is a little tired of talking about masks in 2022. But this one should make you laugh (unless you put it on).
Designed to fight obesity, this mask is particularly aimed at those who are often exposed to food and who cannot resist the temptation to taste it (cooks, restaurant staff, etc.).
A rather radical solution since the mask, once attached to the user’s head, prevents him or her from consuming any food. It is even possible to add a lock!
The description does not say how the cook should do to determine if the dish is salty enough. Or what happens if the user loses its key?
At Brandon, no muzzle, we can eat chocolate and cheesecakes whenever we want and we do not deprive ourselves of it.
8 – Dog umbrella – USD324117
It is not a patent but a design and model filed in 1992, by an inventor who is aware of our animal friends and wants to protect them from the rain during their walks. We notice the ingenious way to link the protection with the animal, however we do not really see if the device allows to keep the dog on a leash. This saves us from having to wiper them down in going home, but we are not sure our four-legged friends will really appreciate this device once locked inside.
9 – Pantyhose garment with spare leg portion – US5713081
But why didn’t anyone think of it before? The 3-legged pantyhose described in this patent is intended for women (however men can use it too) who put on pantyhose and discover a run or hole in it just before an important meeting, an event or a date.
With these 3-legged tights, you no longer need to have a spare in your handbag “just in case”. The idea is to hide the unused leg in a pocket of the garment and, in the event of a hole, to change the leg. Useful, isn’t it?
One question remains, however: what to do when we only have 2 legs left?
10 – Man-catching tank – US1392095
Please calm down, ladies, it’s not at all what you think! This patent dates back to 1921 and the machine it refers to was primarily intended for banks, to catch and hold robbers (presumed to be male) while waiting for the police to arrive.
It consists of a shielded and motorized enclosure with articulated arms on the outside to grab and hold thieves. A guard can hide inside to manipulate the machine and take advantage of the various small openings to aim a firearm at the bandit. Ingenious but strangely not widely used nowadays.
11 – Apparatus for kicking the user’s buttocks – US6293874
This is a very special entertainment device aimed at literally getting your ass kicked. We are not talking about mistreatment since the user manipulates the machine by himself. Rotating elements with shoes at their end are thus put in motion and kick the buttocks of the consenting user, one after the other, at the desired frequency. No need to recharge the device after each use, the user can continue to turn the hand crank as long as he enjoys it.
12 – Fresh-air breathing device – US4320756
This patent relates to emergency situations. The invention was born from the relevant need to save lives during fires in large buildings or hotels, when the air becomes unbreathable with toxic fumes. The device consists of an adapted breathing tube of sufficient length, with an open end that can be inserted in the toilets so that the user can breathe “fresh” air from the wastewater pipe while waiting for rescue.
All this is made possible thanks to the “water trap” of the toilets, which usually avoids gas leaks from the sewers to the bathroom. Thanks to it, the toxic smoke does not go the other way either.
Our hearts and thoughts go to the courageous person who had to test this system. One word: congratulations!