LegalZoom Blog

Legal news and small business tips.

Wacky Patent Wednesdays: Back to School Edition

no comments yet

US6254295: Dual-purpose pen

US6254295: Dual-purpose pen

And so the end of the dog days of summer are here and with them come the end of Wacky Patent Wednesdays.

We’ve talked about wacky patents related to ice cream, baseball, barbecues, and the beach, so now it’s only appropriate that we have a special back to school edition.

First we have a dual-purpose pen. One thing you can do with it is, of course, write. The other? From the patent application:

A dual-purpose pen has a barrel, a cap engaged with the barrel, and a ball point that is extendable from the end of the barrel, and a key-pressing point that is extendable from the end of the cap. The pen can be used for writing when the ball point is extended and for pressing keys when the key-pressing point is extended.

That’s right, it has a special “key-pressing point” to poke at keyboards, telephones, etc. See, apparently if you’ve just been poking your keyboard with a normal pen, you’ve been doing it *all* wrong.

US5897042: Talking backpack

US5897042: Talking backpack

This next one is geared toward smaller children, especially those who may forget (or “forget”) homework assignments and messages from teachers.  The solution is a talking backpack.

Yes, you read that correctly. From the patent description:

A combination backpack and audio cassette system wherein the audio cassette system, separately contained, is mounted to the back panel of the backpack. The contained audio cassette system is provided with a simulated face, where the components thereof are accessible through various features of the simulated face, such as the mouth, nose, and ear.

The idea is that the backpack can “record and playback . . . school messages and class assignments.” Sounds like it could be useful for some children, although I don’t know that I’d want to try to get through airport security with it.

Speaking of which, the last invention on the list might not be a hit among school children, but frequent travelers actually might find it useful.

USD426937: See-through vest for school supplies

USD426937: See-through vest for school supplies

A see-through vest for school supplies!

Not much in the way of words in this patent’s description, just photos from every angle you can imagine, but I think you get the gist that this is vest with see-through pockets to store items inside of them.

Hey, it wouldn’t even count as a carry-on item if you’re wearing it on an airplane! Do you think the TSA has seen these?


Although Celebrating Innovation month is coming to a close, you know that here at LegalZoom we appreciate new and exciting ideas year-round, and if you want to know more about how to protect them, read about copyrights, trademarks, and patents on the main site.

Adieu August!

ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Sign up for the LegalZoom newsletter!

Written by

August 31st, 2011 at 12:53 pm