183Views13Replies

Author Options:

Patent Files: Method of exercising a cat (5,443,036) Answered

Patent

A method for inducing cats to exercise consists of directing a beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus onto the floor or wall or other opaque surface in the vicinity of the cat, then moving the laser so as to cause the bright pattern of light to move in an irregular way fascinating to cats, and to any other animal with a chase instinct.

Discuss!

13 Replies

user
glorybe (author)2007-12-04

An aggressive dog is a great low tech way to exercise a cat.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Goodhart (author)2007-11-28

This is evidence for either the revamping of the patent laws, or the total elimination of them.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Austringer (author)Goodhart2007-12-02

The magic word is "prior art". IANAL, but as I understand it, show one published instance prior to this guys patent of someone amusing their cat with said device and his patent evaporates. The company I work for tends to encourage us to publish research work to ensure our freedom to operate if patenting does not seem appropriate.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
VIRON (author)Austringer2007-12-03

I believe I received a sample of one of the first visible laser diodes by special delivery in the early 1990's, and as soon as I made a beam, the cat attacked it. Thus OBVIOUS-VOID. I assume there is a record of the special delivery, (TOSHIBA part#TOLD9200 delivered to CHIPTECH) because security guards were present.*** Someone didn't want it "falling into the wrong hands". ***Ok... The Documentation, dated 1988, says: This product is a strategic product subject to COCOM regulations. It should not be exported without authorization from the appropiate government agencies. (whatever that means).

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Kiteman (author)2007-11-28

I suppose you don't have to invent something to patent it, but it's damn hard to enforce a patent on something you didn't invent.

Didn't somebody patent the wheel?

Anyhoo, this "patent" has been around for as long as hand-held torches, never mind lasers.

Can't patents be taken out on substantial improvements or modifications to something else?

In that case I have dibs on the patent for entertaining small (and not-so-small) children with a laser in this exact way (unless children come under the any other animal with a chase instinct catch-all?).

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
trebuchet03 (author)Kiteman2007-11-28

I imagine there are patents for wheels :p The original having long since expired :)

Yes, you can patent an improvement - but I think it needs to be an improvement on the device (I'm not sure changing purpose is enough)... I'm no patent lawyer, so that's worth every penny you paid for it :)

This Patent in Action?

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Lithium Rain (author)trebuchet032007-11-28

yes, a man in Austraila patented the wheel a bit back to show how lax the patent laws are there. He took it back, having made his point.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Austringer (author)Lithium Rain2007-12-02

I remember reading about this - it was a new thing they called a concept patent and he said it was so weak as to be pointless. They went ahead with it and he responded with his invention.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Sedgewick17 (author)2007-12-02

The picture is all wrong it should be a patent for blinding the cat with a high powered laser.:)

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
VIRON (author)2007-11-30

VOID!!!
Obvious to those cat owners skilled in the art of using a laser.
Obvious to cats... and dogs*** and fish too.
Unenforceable.
Some kid also patented "swinging sideways" but most just do it.

***A Method of inducing Catatonia in Dogs, hahaha!

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
thunk (author)2007-11-28

I think the bit about the "beam of invisible light" suddenly becoming not only visible, but patterned when it hits an opaque surface is worth patenting. As for the cats, I would not be sad if their eyes be damaged just enough so that they couldn't chase birds (or kiteman's children)

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Goodhart (author)thunk2007-11-28

Light is like that. If it were not invisible until reflected, or refracted, we would not be able to see at all, just the light.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer