Interesting Patent Facts

September 2nd, 2012 by Potato

Did you know that there are separate categories for patents? Odd ones include a separate category for flexible bags (almost 50 patent applications per year!), knots and knot tying (8 patents issued last year), railway mail delivery (zero patents since 1971 – it’s a wide-open market! Must think about patentable railway mail delivery technologies now…), button making (one patent every other year on average – think of the archaic buttons we must be using now), and baths, sinks, and spittoons (259 patents last year – somehow I suspect more for the first third of the category than the last third). Reading that, you may be thinking that there must be tens of thousands of categories to have such specific categories. While there are a lot of categories, this isn’t because of a ridiculous level of comprehensiveness — there’s only about a hundred or so.

I thought the guy with the drugs and bioactive compounds portfolio must have it rough with over 5000 applications last year, but telecommunications blows that out of the water with over 12,000 combined between telecommunications and mechanisms for multiplexing signal transmission.

Ordnance I had assumed would fall under military secrets, but managed to rack up over 100 [public] patents per year for the last three decades running. Unless that’s a misspelling of city ordinances, in which case yeah, there’s a lot of new ways to ticket people being dreamed up… though I didn’t think you could patent that.

Finally, 2011 seems to have marked a sudden end to the innovative efforts of the world’s farriers: consistently coming up with 5-20 patents even decades after the horseless carriage made the trade all but obsolete, suddenly 0 patents were issued in the field in 2011. Yes, even as recently as 2002, when Firefly showed us that space cowboys would still be herding cattle on horseback in the future, farriers managed to come up with 18 patentable inventions for shoeing horses.

Comments are closed.