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Wacky Patent Wednesdays: Beach Blanket Bingo Edition

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US6192536: Wind resistant beach towel

US6192536: Wind resistant beach towel

So far this month, we’ve talked about wacky patents related to ice cream, baseball, and barbecues.

It’s about time we head to the beach, don’t you think?

First, a confession: the following collection of wacky patents has me a little torn as I can’t quite tell if I find them wacky or downright ingenious. But as Oscar Levant famously said, “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.”

So let’s take a closer look, and let us know what you think.

Exhibit A is the wind resistant beach towel. We’ve all been to the beach on windy days, right? It’s a pain to be sure. Well now you can avoid finding rocks or other heavy objects to weigh down your towel because you can just bring along this bad boy:

A beach towel made of ordinary, machine washable fabric, together with a plurality of pockets, which may be filled with sand or other material to weigh down the towel is provided. The towel may be attached to another wind resistant beach towel to provide for a blanket cover which will not be blown off by wind. In addition, the towel may be attached to another wind resistant beach towel to cover a greater area.

US 2002/0088053 A1: Beach mat

US 2002/0088053 A1: Beach mat

Next we turn to the modestly named beach mat, but oh it’s so much more than that. I mean, there’s “self-inflating resilient foam” involved for goodness’ sake:

A beach mat for maintaining a beach towel in a flat deployed position provides a barrier to the movement of sand onto the towel surface and comprises spaced side members interconnected at their ends by spaced end members and having an inner periphery defining a generally rectangular central opening. In one embodiment, the frame is filled with self-inflating resilient foam and has an air valve for allowing expulsion of air during compaction of the frame and maintenance of the frame in compacted condition for transportation and storage. In another embodiment the foam frame is folded for transportation and storage. Handles and a cup holder are provided. The frame provides a large upper surface for placement of advertising or other indicia for display.

US 2005/0039261 A1: Multi-purpose recreational blanket

US 2005/0039261 A1: Multi-purpose recreational blanket

And finally, let’s have a closer look at the multi-purpose recreational blanket. As you might have guessed, there are many more drawings associated with this invention than just the one shown here, so if you have a moment, do click through and see all the possible incarnations of this beach carry-all.

And I do mean carry *all*:

The present invention comprises a multi-purpose blanket having an underside that may be dragged across the sand, and a lying pad. The lying pad may further comprise a pillow holder and optional blowup pillow device. The area in-between the underside and lying pad of the present invention forms a storage unit. One or more compartments are housed therein such that desirable items including clothing, shoes, coolers and like items may be conveniently and securely stored and transported.

So there you have plenty of ideas for your next beach blanket bingo party. Wacky or ingenious? You make the call. Either way, be sure to come back for one last installment of Wacky Patent Wednesdays next week as LegalZoom winds up Celebrating Innovation month.

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August 24th, 2011 at 5:56 am