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Patent Granted on Sideways Swinging

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the uspto-idiots-makes-the-ins-look-good dept.

Patents 508

Matt Van Gundy writes "In another brilliant move by the well loved U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a patent (6,368,227) has been granted to a Mr. Steven Olson for inventing the method of swinging sideways on a swing. The patent even lays claim to "inducing a component of forward and back motion into the swinging motion, resulting in a swinging path that is generally shaped as an oval." I claim prior art, but perhaps I am one of the few fortunate ones who enjoyed this method of swinging long before its 'invention' by Mr. Steven Olson. " My favorite line from the patent : "The user may even choose to produce a Tarzan-type yell while swinging in the manner described, which more accurately replicates swinging on vines in a dense jungle forest. Actual jungle forestry is not required."

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April Fool's is long past (1)

Tensor (102132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348707)

Tarzan yell ??

c'mon ... there is no way i'm falling for this

OMG ... its true (2, Informative)

Tensor (102132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348716)

OMG i can't believe this ...

this is WAY too ridiculous to be true ... yet it is ... strange how life surpasses fiction time and time again.

excerpt from page:

Inventors: Olson; Steven (337 Otis Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104)
Appl. No.: 715198
Filed: November 17, 2000

CLAIM

I claim:

1. A method of swinging on a swing, the method comprising the steps of:

a) suspending a seat for supporting a user between only two chains that are hung from a tree branch;

b) positioning a user on the seat so that the user is facing a direction perpendicular to the tree branch;

c) having the user pull alternately on one chain to induce movement of the user and the swing toward one side, and then on the other chain to induce movement of the user and the swing toward the other side; and

d) repeating step c) to create side-to-side swinging motion, relative to the user, that is parallel to the tree branch.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the method is practiced independently by the user to create the side-to-side motion from an initial dead stop.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the method further comprises the step of:

e) inducing a component of forward and back motion into the swinging motion, resulting in a swinging path that is generally shaped as an oval.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the magnitude of the component of forward and back motion is less than the component of side-to-side motion.

PLZ Check out the pics .... (1)

Tensor (102132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348732)

They are hilarious ... i have been LMAO for 10 mins ...

this guy is a genious ...

PLZ Check out the pics .... (link to pics) (1)

Tensor (102132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348742)

link : loong link [uspto.gov]

Re:April Fool's is long past (3, Insightful)

shyster (245228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348734)

What I can't figure out with this (and other stupid patents) is why it takes 1500 words to describe a method of swinging!?! Evidently, the patent office gets wowed by "technical" words such as parallel, perpendicular, and X-axis. Then, they are no longer able to think rationally and approve the patent.

Or perhaps the boring, dry, technical aspect of these patent claims put them in a hypnotic trance. I guess that's why patent lawyers are paid the big bucks.

if i were a patent lawyer (1)

Tensor (102132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348748)

i would've done this for free ... omg ... this is soooo funny ...

i wonder if i could get away with applaying for a patent on leaning back on a chair like the simpsons B Franklin episode, but without the supports :)

Re:April Fool's is long past (3, Interesting)

glwtta (532858) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348882)

Well they obviously don't have the manpower to read all the patents, so they probably do something similar to the IRS - approve everything that comes in (maybe check for a minimum lenght and minimum number of words longer than 5 syllables) and then "audit" a small random selection... you know by reading them.

Re:April Fool's is long past (1)

Evil Al (7496) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348885)

Come on, imagine being a patent examiner... all day looking at other peoples' ideas, most of them for better moustrap designs or long strings of dna. It must be incredibly boring. If I was doing that and saw the swinging application, of course I'd approve it.

Wow (1, Funny)

mcg1969 (237263) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348709)

This is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. If the patent office doesn't get egg on its face over this one... oh by the way, first post (I think)

Do you mean egg or cum? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348790)

Your first post has failed. You exhibit lame posting skillz. I suggest you go back to what you were doing: Making love to your right hand.

Things To Do Today (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348797)

1. Pierce cock

2. Pee red

Interesting... (4, Funny)

Sapphon (214287) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348710)

I'll have to try that position some time. I've been swinging for a while now and never come across a partner who.. oh wait ;-)

YOU ARE THE GAYEST OF THE GAY!!!!! (-1)

L.Torvalds (548450) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348715)

Hemos and Malda want to see you, NOW.

A Challenge (1)

sirsnork (530512) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348711)

I challenge you all to find a more stupid method to patent.. And try :-)

Sure, it's obvious. Now. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348713)

You fuckers can't simply accept that someone else has ideas that are new and unique, can you? Everything is obvious and easy to see once you hear it.

Don't go saying that there's prior art or that it's such an obvious invention. Where is your prior art? Can you prove that the idea is obvious?

I didn't think so. This patent stands.

Re:Sure, it's obvious. Now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348736)

You sir, have made my day ;-)

That is fuckin funny!

Word UP! (1)

ebonic plague (573997) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348754)

We need less hatin' and more appreciatin'. Ya'll stand around sayin "Man, I coulda done that." Well so what? You didn't patent it, now did you? And now someone else did and ya'll just jealous.

Re:Word UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348785)

Not all of us can afford the $10k US to patent it and the lawyers ok!

We need an MyIdeas.com for 'free prior art' registration.

Re:Sure, it's obvious. Now. (1)

Rowenio (550582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348767)

You complete idiot. Every one of us did this on the swings when there was no-one there to swing us. You clearly are the stupid one, for not ever leaving your room to go to the swings...

Re:Sure, it's obvious. Now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348783)

Yeah, and I was refining silicon for use in chip fabs long before anyone came along and patented it.

You can claim anything you like, but you don't hold the patent and you most definitely have no proof of prior art.

Re:Sure, it's obvious. Now. (2, Funny)

DagSverre (223837) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348845)

sarcasm Pronunciation Key (särkzm) n.

1. A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
2. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.
3. The use of sarcasm. See Synonyms at wit1.

Those Crazy Yellow People (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348714)

Young Asians in America come in many forms. Below are the major categories. Most Asians fit into multiple groups. For example, Rice-boys can also be Fobs and many Tabs are Fobulous. The only groups that are never part of another group are the Twinkies and the Asian-Americans. Claim your Fobbiness! When you see your Asian friend, greet them with "Wassup Fob!" And if your Asian friend says something ridiculous, say "Fob please!" Ofcourse, when a non-Asian calls you a Fob, that is grounds for a fight. Ahahaha... The categories below are to be taken lightheartedly. Read, recognize and laugh.

Twinkie

- Besides your nationality, there is little to distinguish you
from white people
- Your significant other is not Asian and never has been
- You have few Asian friends, if any
- You are embarrassed at family events because you cannot speak
your language and everyone has to switch to English to communicate with you
- You have no idea that the other types of Asians on this list even exist
- You think Hello Kitty is dumb and do not know what Sanrio is
- You are the only Asian on this list that does not know what Bubble Tea is
- You drive a Ford or some other domestic car and if you drive a Honda, it is stock

Asian-American

- You claim yourself as Asian, but real Asians think you're whitewashed and non-Asians see you as a foreigner. You fit in nowhere
- You have heard of Bubble Tea but have never actually had any
- You are confused about your cultural identity and express this frustration through spoken word performances at your college
- You read A. magazine and think it's great
- You do not know who Leon, Aaron, Sammi, Hikki, or Kangta are
- You are only vaguely aware of the other Asians below Fob (Fresh Off tha Boat)
- You were not born in America
- You know who Leon, Aaron, Sammi, Hikki, and Kangta are. In fact, you have seen them at Atlantic City or Las Vegas recently
- You speak your native language fluently and so do all your friends
- You do not have any non-Asian friends
- Your parents do not speak any English
- When you speak English, you like to make everything plural
- You get extremely good grades in school
- You cannot dance
- Your fashion sense comes from whatever country you're from and you incorporate nothing from American fashion into your wardrobe

SuperFob

- Your command of the English language is minimal and you don't care
- You like dim sum chicken feet
- You do not own a single CD, VCD, Video game, or DVD that isn't bootlegged
- Your only hangout is Chinatown
- All the lights in your house are fluorescent
- You dry your cloths outside your window
- You need a haircut
- You either smell like cigarettes or food

Fobabee

- You are an Asian-American or Twinkie who has recently "awoken"
- You have a newly found fetish of Asian girls/boys
- You have taken the Asian Studies course at college
- You are trying to learn as much as possible about your culture to make up for your lifetime of trying to be white (Twinkie ; Banana) or Black (Chigger ; Thousand year old egg)
- If you are lucky, you will grow to become Fobulous

Gangsta Fob

- You have shot another Asian
- Your favorite hangout is a pool hall
- When you talk, you sound like a cross between a Fob and an urban black kid
- Your hair looks silly, but no one will tell you because you'll shoot them
- You have a serious gambling problem
- You are a Rice-boy, but your mods are cheap and are never painted to match the rest of your car
- No one tells you your rice ride looks cheap because you'll shoot them
- You want to have a Tab girlfriend, but can only get Hoochie Tabs

Tab (Trendy Asian B*tch)

- You shop at A/X, Bebe, Banana Republic and Club Monaco
- You only wear black and will occasionally wear white to "mix it up"
- You do not weigh more than 105 lbs
- You have never paid for dinner at a restaurant in your life
- Platform heels are your favorite
- You are a makeup expert, in fact, you appear completely flawless
- You do not smile in public
- You are the object of desire of all Asian men and you know it
- You smoke
- Your cell phone is completely customized
- On the inside flip of your cell phone is a sticker pic of you and your man
- Somewhere in your purse is a Sanrio item
- You only date Asian and will only date a boy with a nice car
- You are often seen with Rice-boys
- You never travel alone. You are either in the company of other Tabs or your Rice-boy boyfriend

Hoochie Tab

- You are an import car model
- Your boobs are not real
- There are naked pictures of you floating around on the internet somewhere
- Stiletto heels are your favorite
- Your role models are Francine Dee and Kaila Yu
- Your boyfriend is a Gangsta Fob
- You cheat on your boyfriend
- Unlike most Asians, you do not do well in school

Rice-Boy

- You drive an Asian import. Usually a Honda or Acura
- Your souped up car (known as a Rice-ride or Rice-rocket)is unrecognizable from it's original stock form
- Your exhaust pipe is big enough for your head to fit in
- The spoiler on your car looks like it was made by Boeing
- The interior of your car also looks like it was designed by Boeing
- You always drive like you are racing someone
- You are not afraid of dying in a crash, but you are afraid of speed bumps and parking lot on-ramps
- The only other person besides yourself who can sit in your car is your 105 lbs Tab girlfriend. If anyone else sits in your car, the entire bottom of it will be touching the ground
- Even though your car is a Honda, it goes faster and is worth more than a Lotus Esprit
- If you drive a Civic, your dream car is a Supra. If you drive a Supra, your dream car is a Skyline (which you can never have). Poor Rice-boy.

Fobulous

- You speak perfect English and you are fluent in your native language
- You have Asian friends as well as non-Asian friends
- You listen to Asian pop as well as American music
- You are equally aware of both popular American culture and Asian pop culture
- You are a good dancer
- You date Asian by choice even though you could rock the opposite sex of any other race
- You are a good designer and have superior Html skills
- You have an Apt107 page AND an AA page and the guest books in both are packed
- For you, FOB stands for Fabulous Oriental Being
- You have lots of Asian pride

Good thing (1, Funny)

martissimo (515886) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348720)

good thing my childhood tire swing was suspended by rope since his method only patents suspension by chains...

hey maybe i could go patent the rope/tire method and become a millionaire!

Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348721)

What's next?

Sideways Swingers? (2, Funny)

AlaskanUnderachiever (561294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348723)

A sideways swinger's bar with a cowboy neal theme. Think of it. "Patent Pending Swinging Action" Hep Cats and Swingers Welcome Here. We'll make a mint!

Playgrounds are still safe ... (2, Funny)

bupernfut (446309) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348724)

This only applies to two chains hung from a tree branch (specified in the Claims section). The background section describes "other substantially horizontal support" but it's not in the Claims section. Legalistic? Yes. But someone has to think of the children ...

Prior Art!! (2)

AVee (557523) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348725)

I did that when I before, and so did my sister!
It's my invention! Mine, MINE, MINE!

So I will swing sideways when I want to and I won't license it from you, sue me!

Isnt Lisajous prior art ? (1)

Tensor (102132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348758)

i think he described the motion of bodies suspended this way (and various others) but it was sooo long ago i studied this i can't really reacall ...

google here i come ...

Re:Prior Art!! (1)

Cainam (10838) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348879)

But did you document it?

Wrong topic. (3, Informative)

codetalker (245862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348728)

This should have been listed as a "funny" article. There's no way this is for real. Anyone remember a while back when someone patented the rights to the ";-)" and people were in an uproar until they realized that you could liscence them for free. I'm sure the same thing will happen here. Probably just someone out to prove that the patent office is either overworked or very negligent.

well the patent says (2, Insightful)

Tensor (102132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348807)

"Licenses are available from the inventor upon request. "

Which might mean that he will give them out for free ... but it DOES NOT actually say so.

What if he decides to charge elementary schools with swings for using his invention ? and makes the districts pay ... after all he does hold the patent to it

:)

Re:Wrong topic. (4, Informative)

number11 (129686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348819)

>There's no way this is for real.

It's a gen-u-wine US patent. Backed by whatever force of law genuine US patents have. And possessing whatever moral force the law provides.

>someone out to prove that the patent office is either overworked or very negligent.

Probably. Did anyone notice that the patent lawyer has the same last name as the patent holder? And remarkably enough, the phone listing for the attorney (or, at least, somebody with the same name as the attorney) is for the same address as the inventor. It would appear daddy used junior as a stand-in here.

Re:Wrong topic. (3, Informative)

Confused (34234) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348837)

It was despair.com, who trademarked the :-(. There were no patents involved.

More details on this page [despair.com] .

Re:Wrong topic. (3, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348863)

very negligent

That's the point! It's not the person patenting this that's causing the "uproar" it's the patent office.

Re:Wrong topic. (3, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348873)

Probably just someone out to prove that the patent office is either overworked or very negligent.


Quite true, but that's exactly why everyone is so damn pissed off.

The I.N.S. sending green-cards to a dead terrorist isn't a security threat... It's the point that they have such a crappy system that they would send green-cards to obviously known terrorists.

Re:Wrong topic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348886)

It was ";-(", which is itself quite unique and may have no prior art.

IDIOTS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348729)

Are the US patent office even more stupid than the average US citizen? Seems so...
Ohh... In case you didn't know. We here in scandinavia often refers to US citizens as "thoose stupid americans".

Thx a lot for Linus Torvalds and socialism (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348746)

j00 Scandinavians need to stay away from computers and politics and stick to what is your best export: sexy Blond women.

Re:Thx a lot for Linus Torvalds and socialism (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348890)

oh! oh! dont forget free education systems!

holy fucking shit.. (1)

bo0push3r (456800) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348733)

that's all i really have to say about that.

i mean, seriously.. as soon as TWTC has people on top of this we'll be paying royalties every time we put our cars into park. when's it going to stop?

It won't stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348877)

It is not going to stop unless YOU do something about it and stop saying "when is it going to stop".

He's on to something: Crapflooding the USPTO (0, Troll)

Lee Bottemiller (305781) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348738)



Benefit #1: The patent office must slog thru scads of crapflood crap, thereby delaying the approval of patent-abuser crap. A big enough crapflood might buy some time while we wait for somebody to sue the USPTO for generic suckhood.

Benefit #2: Each approved crapflood patent will later serve to demonstrate the USPTO's disease-ridden promiscuity.

Benefit #3: The patent fees are a better investment then porn.

Benefit #4: Crapflooding is fun to say and even more fun to do.

Crapfloodingcrapfloodingcrapflooding

Re:He's on to something: Crapflooding the USPTO (2)

Gaccm (80209) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348796)

or....

1. the office just rubber stamps everything (don't they get more money whenever they accept something)?

2. or massive corps will use it to screw the populace while using said screwing money to lobby congress to increase the enforcement branch of the gov't. And other nasty stuff that has been on /. for the past 2^6 yrs.

3. I'm sure the office loses money everytime they look at a possible patent, otherwise it would be self sufficent.

4. i prefer the word spiffy.

spiffyspiffyspiffySPIFFY

Re:He's on to something: Crapflooding the USPTO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348818)

The USPTO makes more money by rejecting applications and having them resubmitted, thus paying the fees twice, than accepting everything.

Re:He's on to something: Crapflooding the USPTO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348823)

i think its called a denial of service attack maan...

Very Bad Idea (2)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348862)

If you crapflood the patent office, their meagre resources will be even more stretched, which will result in even more bogus patent claims being approved. However, many of these patents will actually get used against other people and organisations, rather than just being a bit of a lark, patenting 'A method of extracting excess mucus from one's probiscis by means of an outstretched digit'...

I own the patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348750)

on moving ones legs in a 'back and forth manner' in 'synchronization with the direction of travel in order to increase the momentum while on a swing'.

So ...Mr Olsen is going to owe me some royalties, should he ever try to license his patent to third parties.

Sigh... (2)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348751)

Aren't they even pretending to read the darn things any more?

According to my calendar.. (0, Offtopic)

slayer99 (15543) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348752)

it's the 16th.

Tarzan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348753)

Wouldn't a "Tarzan-type yell" already belong to Disney, or whomever currently holds the rights to "Tarzan of the jungle".

Do we need any more proof (4, Informative)

xonker (29382) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348755)

That the patent office isn't even reading these damn things?

How about a $10,000 fine for any patent clerk who approves any patent requests that are obvious, cover business practices or are just painfully stupid. (Higher damages if a patent request is in two or three categories...) I think it's only fair - if you're found to "violate" one of these bogus patents, it's going to cost you five times that just to get in front of a judge.

I have a hunch the fellow who sent this one in was trying to make a point. At least, I hope that's what was going on...

Re:Do we need any more proof (2, Interesting)

H310iSe (249662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348788)

how about a 10,000 raise for all patent clerks, new hires, and a semi-anual review with demotions and firings for negative reviews. Oh, that would be anti-labor, wouldn't it?

Here's one (1)

jchawk (127686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348756)

Well at least no one has patented masterbation yet. :-)

Re:Here's one (2)

jchawk (127686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348766)

If they did, no slash reader could afford a subscripton! :-)

Re:Here's one (1)

adavidw (31941) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348817)

Yeah? Try patents 6,142,929 or 4,790,296 among many others.

-Aaron

Re:Here's one (1)

adavidw (31941) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348829)

Or my favorite, 5,501,650 [uspto.gov]

-Aaron

Okay, seriously now... (2)

Raetsel (34442) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348760)


Oh, come on! April first has long since past!

Don't you think this is a little late to be posting April Fools...?

Oh wait... You were serious.

Sh!t.

Seriously, I will never understand some of the scatterbrained decisions the Patent Office makes.

This is great! (3, Insightful)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348761)

This is absolutely the best thing that could happen - getting more and more ridiculous patents approved. This will prove to people once and for all the USPTO is obviously approving these things in their sleep. Pretty soon the books will be bulging with absurd patents, and someone will call for a review of ALL the patents issued, and whether or not they actually were deserved and worthy of continued enforcement. A buddy of mine that used to work for a very large electronics manufacturer actually submitted a patent for a picture-window Ant Farm as a joke, and was almost awarded it!

Re:This is great! (2, Interesting)

ebonic plague (573997) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348793)

A buddy of mine that used to work for a very large electronics manufacturer actually submitted a patent for a picture-window Ant Farm as a joke, and was almost awarded it!

Yeah, "almost". You just disproved yo OWN point.

And what makes you think that the USPTO don't know that someone was tryin to clown when they submitted this swing $hit. Ain't nothin say you can't submit a joke patent. If you want to waste yo time and money I guess they don't care. There job is to make sure that yo followed protocol and didn't infringe on an idea that someone else submitted or that everyone don't already know about and that's all. If someone else want's to waste they time and money havin it struck down, that's cool too.

That's how these gubmint offices be workin. They take on as much B$ as possible and spend all the money they be gettin, so they can justify a bigger budget when the next year come up.

Re:This is great! (2)

vidarh (309115) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348810)

You are right that they aren't supposed to prevent people from clowning - it's not there decision to make. It however is their decision to make whether a patent application is for something that is obvious to someone well versed in the field of the patent, and that there is no prior art. Both of which seems to fail miserably in this case.

Re:This is great! (1)

ebonic plague (573997) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348839)

Like some other dude said. Can anyone prove that they done this before? I ain't seein how you could unless you had some home movie or something (which, true, ain't impossible). But even still, unless you claim it fo yo self you takin' the chance that somone else will. And like I said, patents get challenged all the time. The USPTO ain't sayin that the patenet is bulletproof just by grantin it, they just sayin that ain't no one though of getting a patent fo it, and all ya'll who think you thought of it first better step up.

my faith in..... (1)

happyslinky (545469) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348762)

the future of humanity hinges on this being a delightfully entertaining method of pointing out the inadequacies of our nation's patent system. oh please oh please let it just be social commentary in patent form....

Of course... (0, Redundant)

LaserBeams (412546) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348763)

Why didn't I think of that first?

I claim a patent on spinning the swing around the vertical axis! Chains, ropes, I don't care how it's suspended. Also, I only want clockwise (makes it sound more technical, and thus more appealing to the USPTO). Who wants to pick up counterclockwise? We can split the licensing fees - one to wind up, the other to unwind.

:rolleyes:

Re:Of course... (1)

H310iSe (249662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348802)

OOOH, I can patent lethal injection, then refuse to license it out, stopping capitol punishment. hrm. can I patent war?

I don't get it (5, Insightful)

digitect (217483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348764)

So does this mean the Patent Office now implicitly agrees that they think patents are silly, too?

(BTW, does anybody else see the potential here for using this as a general call for taxpayer revolt? How much did we pay for this? Do our congresspeople approve on wasting such funds? Do they want re-elected?)

Re:I don't get it (1)

ebonic plague (573997) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348814)

(BTW, does anybody else see the potential here for using this as a general call for taxpayer revolt? How much did we pay for this? Do our congresspeople approve on wasting such funds? Do they want re-elected?)

Wake UP, man. It's the fees they collect on dumb $hit like this that pays the bills. How much did you pay for this. Probably nothin since there obviously wasn't a lot of work to do. Just stamp it and cash the check. $hit, you probably made some money offa this fool.

gotta love the last line.... (1)

icejai (214906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348765)

Licenses are available from the inventor upon request.

... that just cracks me up... ;)

Pay to see swingers (1)

Mizery De Aria (554294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348771)

You mean I can't charge people to watch me swing sideways anymore without worrying about an lawsuit?
Just when I thought I hit it big...

Default should be deny. (5, Insightful)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348776)

If the patent office can't understand something, it should deny the patent.

If the patent office doesn't have the resources to properly investigate the patent, it should deny it.
If a single company submits too many patents, they should be denied.

Why is the default to allow a patent if it can't be proven not to be original, useful and non-obvious?

Re:Default should be deny. (2)

glwtta (532858) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348874)

Don't forget "inventive" which is far harder to achieve than any of the things you listed, and most people seem to have forgotten that it's part of the requirements for soemthing to be patentable.

Licenses ? (1)

maharg (182366) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348777)

Licenses are available from the inventor upon request.
Huh? I need a license to swing ? I'd better jump off right now then ,-}

Re:Licenses ? (1)

Max Diablos (573522) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348843)

Licenses are available from the inventor upon request. Huh? I need a license to swing ? I'd better jump off right now then ,-}
If a law is unenforceable in Britain it is considered a bad law and convention encourages its removal. I'm wondering why an individual patent that isn't enforceable is granted. If the convention was extended to patents how many could be removed off the books?

How might the principle be extended to patents which are deliberately obfuscated? If a similar principle or convention exists in American law would it be possible to strike all unenforceable and obfuscated patents from the registry?

Royalty? (1)

ankit (70020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348782)

Now where am I supposed to send in the royalty for trying out this technique? And what are the rates, please?

I'm not surprised... (4, Insightful)

m_evanchik (398143) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348784)

This is by the same federal government, (though, to be fair, by a different agency), that issued student visas to the 9-11 hijackers 6 months after the fact.

I'm not a lawyer, but is there anyone out there who is? Wouldn't this sort of gross incompetence bring into question other patents issued, at least by this obviously negligent examiner?

And at least the "Tarzan" yell part gives off the strong suggestion that this was submitted as a goof.

The intellectual property laws in this country have become nonsensical and counter-productive in their execution and enforcement.

Embarassing.

Funny though.

Re:I'm not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348827)

And at least the "Tarzan" yell part gives off the strong suggestion that this was submitted as a goof.

That you had to read that far to spot the goof says a lot about the patent system right?

Symptom of bigger problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348798)

The lax review process as a part of the general hijacking of the intellectual property laws and regulations by corporations is merely a symptom of a larger problem, namely corporate influence on democratic, legislative, and regulatory processes.

In this particular case, since corporations are the largest filers, cursory review, and draconian protection are called for. For politicians, the payoff is political donations, for bureaucrats and regulatory agencies, post-service jobs in the industries they oversee.

Goverment of the people, by the bought, for the corporations [tm].

Cease and Desist Notice (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348803)

For those of you blowing milk out of your nose while you laugh at this article, I just want to inform you that I own the patent on that method. Thank you.

Re:Cease and Desist Notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348830)

For those of you blowing milk out of your nose while you laugh at this article

Except for CmdrTaco. He'll be blowing cum out of his nose, also known as Taco-snotting.

Re:Cease and Desist Notice (1, Offtopic)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348857)


C:\>tracert life.liberty.pursuit-of-happiness

Sorry Our MS where do you want to go today? routing table does have any entries for life, liberty or pursuit-of-happiness.

Infinite patent scam? (1)

Max Diablos (573522) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348804)

I and my school friends used to swing side to side on swings in my old home town when I was a boy. Those swings were plastic seats, attached to chains, that hung from a galvanised tubular steel frame. Under British law all I would have to do to prove this is to find two of my old school friends who were prepared to sign an affidavit or testify in court.

One question I do have is that would the supporting structure being a steel frame make it a completely different device to one that used a tree as a supporting structure? If that was the case then wouldn't it set a precedent for taking existing patents, changing something small and insignificant, and then applying for a fresh patent as a new device?

That can't be right. Everyone would end up doing it and the whole patent system would collapse. Oh...

Re:Infinite patent scam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348880)

What about if i patent the process of patenting processes??? OR patent the process of paying my creditcard on time, obvious, yes, but do many people do it. This would also give people an excuse not to pay their bills on time.

Bureaucratic attempt at april fool? (1)

splorf (569185) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348815)

Did they want to issue this turkey on April 1 but somehow not get it out til April 9 because of slow bureaucratic wheels? Let's hope.

Man, we have the lamest government (2)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348825)

Seriously, we do. I'm moving to Canada... anyone want to house me for a bit? I'll fix your computer.

Re:Man, we have the lamest government (2)

glwtta (532858) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348852)

Seriously, I love it here - I am going to school in Canada, so I've been here for about two years now. I am sure most of it is not great (but then neither is much of the US), but I am quite enjoying myself here in Montreal.

While on paper this is a "less free" country, in practice a lot more common sense is applied to the way things are done. One of my fouvorite parts - most movies that are rated 'R' in the US are rated 'G' here, and I have to say it really doesn't look like the MPAA's the one that's right :)

Just wait till you get up there. . . (0, Troll)

ebonic plague (573997) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348859)

. . .and you have to pay a fee to the recording industry for tapes and CDs that ain't even got music on them. And its hella cold! Man, you have that $hit.

Re:Man, we have the lamest government (0, Troll)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348870)

Seriously, we do. I'm moving to Canada...

DUDE! Come on now! relax, take a deep breath, lets not do any thing irrational over a silly patent like MOVE TO A THIRD WORLD, TWO BIT COUNTRY! just take a few deep breaths and smile, every little thing is gonna be all right...

Saving americans from Canuckland, one day at a time....

A new Icon? (1)

Ratso Baggins (516757) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348826)

I think the icon should read...
  • Patently Stupid!

My god, you're a bunch of wingers.. (1)

deggy (195861) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348835)

Why are you beating up on the guy who submitted this patent is clearly 'taking the mick' out of the US patent office, and maybe he has a good point - the way to make them see the error of their ways might be to submit ever more obvious and ludicrous patent applications (disguised as very serious proposals) until they realise that we're making fun on them.
There's no better way of making an organsation change then making it realise that it's an object of ridicule.

Re:My god, you're a bunch of wingers.. (1)

ebonic plague (573997) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348876)

. . .until they realise that we're making fun on them.

What makes you think they don't already know that? $hit, they probably laughin right now about how some dumba$$ wasted his money filing this whack $hit, and how a bunch of self-styled geniuses are gettin all high and mighty thinkin they smart and $hit. You been played, my man.

In other news... (1)

GrandCow (229565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348838)

I have just patented a way to drink beverages out of an aluminum can. I place a tab at the top with a slightly scored circle around it. When the person raises the tab the sealed can is opened at the top. The person is then able to drink from the can at their own leisure.

Send $50,000,000 paypal to me and I won't have all you fools charged the billions I am owed.

Government doesn't work on its own. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348842)

You are a part of society, what can you do to help fix the problems?

Employment requirements (1)

dswan69 (317119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348850)

Isn't it about time that patent office employees were required to have at least graduated kindergarten?

An IQ over 10 might be nice too.

My new patent (1)

el_flynn (1279) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348854)

Tonight I'm going to patent a spitball:

1) Hock
2) Ptuie
3) Tarzan-like yell

That is, until I get through figuring out how to apply the patent on my home-made swing in the back, which i've used for front, back and side-swinging for ages.

Good enough for the USPTO?

Who do I sue for injuries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348855)

Great! Give the guy the patent, then whack him with a class-action lawsuit for negligent design for every time anyone has ever gotten injured on a swing. Heh.

Your tax dollars at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348861)

The problems with the Patent Office will come as no surprise to those intimately familiar with our goverment agencies.

If you ever visit Washington, DC, and if you ever have a chance to visit a workaday government office, you will find something interesting. Most of the government employees (70 or 80 percent), including the patent office, are minimally qualified minorities (mostly blacks). You won't find Harvard graduates. You won't find MIT graduates. What you will find is a plethora of high school and community college graduates whose highest aspiration in life was to become a government civil servant.

These are not the cream of the crop who migrated to Washington from around the country to achieve their dream. They are mostly natives to the shabby run down ("ghetto") sections of Washington DC east of the Anacostia river and into the Prince Georges County, Maryland (one of the least desirable places to live in the entire USA). These are not folks who spend their off-hours hacking GNU, reading Shakespeare, Tolkien, or Heinlein. They most certainly don't read Slashdot. And it is highly doubtful any of them own a computer, or even use one outside of what is provided at their place of employment.

The main reason they aspire to government employment is only because it is the biggest and least demanding "industry" in the direct vicinity of their place of birth. And once employed, it requires the least amount of effort. In the absence of this government "industry", the more industrious and less criminally inclined would be working in a tobacco field, or a textile mill, presuming of course that there were no openings at the local post office.

The problems with the INS, FAA, FCC, and other government agencies can mostly be attributed to the low quality of the employees, their lack of motivation, and their less than stellar intellect. Among government employees, the most highly regarded skill among peers is that of "getting over" -- achieving advancement and perks while doing the least amount of work. This is your tax dollars at work.

The USPTO is Slashdotted (3, Informative)

Get Behind the Mule (61986) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348864)

Can somebody put up a mirror? Or would that violate some kind of IP laws? You never know these days.

The USPTO has become such an outrage that it needs to become in issue in this year's elections. That can only happen if media attention can be drawn to absurd patents, and this is just the kind of thing to do it. Everyone can understand how preposterous this is; and then, if we're lucky, the TV news will get someone like Bruce Perens or ESR as a talking head for background, and that person can go on to say, "You know the patent office does this all the time, let me give you some more examples, and let me explain the damage that it does to our economy." It's our best chance.

If we're unlucky, they'll put on an M$ spokesmen, who will use the TV sound bite to blast the GPL as an evil, anti-capitalist plot.

April Fools! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3348887)

Oh, wait... damn...
This MMORPG sucks - who gave the admin such stupid powers? I wish I could log out, but the damned thing is wired straight to my brain. bah!

what about copyright infringment (1)

TheCyko1 (568452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348892)

Does this mean i can get arrested for swinging on the swing sideways without a lisence?

"Imagine me naked, now imagine me quickly turning a sharp corner." -Cyko

Mastermind (3, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348893)

We now have proof of a machiavellian genious working within the USPTO. We may not know his intent, but we do know his modus operandi: absurdity.


Maybe the agent posseses a sense of humor and an apreciation for irony that has slowly twisted his mind over the years. It started simply. A inane little patent. Won't hurt anything. But it was darned funny. And nobody caught it. So he upped the stakes with another gem. Unnoticed. And another. And another. The beancounter souless zombies that are his coworkers oblivious to the parade of delicious irony under their noses, presented by inane claims, burried in a sea of paperwork. Taunting him. Daring him. Just a little more. They'll appreciate his humor. If he just found one obvious enough.


Maybe our mastermind is actually an activist. Working from the inside. Sabotaging the system. Poisoning the dignity of the entire USPTO system with more and more outlandish patent grants. Daring the public to see the USPTO for the foolishness that it really is. They'll apreciate how foolish it all is. If he just made it obvious enough.


Or maybe there is no mastermind. We are simply witnessing the byproduct of a reality distortion only known to exist within the proximity of US Governmental beurocracy and Steve Jobs.


So many posibilities. And we've only just began to scratch the surface...

Since they lack man-power... (2)

glwtta (532858) | more than 12 years ago | (#3348894)

What's the suggestion we always hear when we are lacking any form of "power" for some task? Distribute it! So I am suggesting that we replace the USPTO with Patent@Home, where all patent applications will be randomly distributed between the participants to be approved or rejected. It might seem that giving the decision to 14 year old kids with no kind of training on the subject is a bad idea... but then, look at the parent.
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