There are plenty of stupid patents out there. Among them, software patents are probably the stupidest. There's supposedly a requirement that patents cover Novel technologies or applications.

Amazon.com's one click patent is among the worst. TheBrain's US6031537: Method and apparatus for displaying a thought network from a thought's perspective is almost as bad.

The Brain's patent could easily conflict with all existing mindmap or context-linking applications, including Everything2.

If you'd like to challenge a stupid patent, a good place to check is technocrat.net. Also see the Intellectual Property section of EFF

I have a favourite stupid patent. This is US 636093 B2, titled "Animal toy". The basic idea is for a dog chew type toy, but on closer inspection is becomes clear that the patent is for something quite well known in the prior art of animal toys. Or trees. Looking at the claims:

What is claimed is:
1. An animal toy, comprising:
(a) a solid main section having a diameter and a longitudinal length and extending a predetermined distance along said longitudinal length; and
(b) at least one protrusion attached at one end thereof said main section and extending a predetermined distance therefrom and wherein said at least one protrusion includes a second longitudinal axis that is not in parallel alignment with a first longitudinal axis of said solid main section; and wherein said animal toy is adapted to float on the water.

So as you can see that in patent speak, we have a y shaped object for use as an animal toy and which can float on water. It's obviously for a stick.

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