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Zaniest Patents

June 05, 2009

Fenwick & West IP partner Robert Sachs was quoted in a Forbes article titled "Zaniest Patents."

Since 1996, patent filings to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have jumped 130%, with the grand total coming to 485,000 last year. However, not all of these patents are the noblest displays of ingenuity. Patents have been filed for everything from a Human Waste Management Suit (with a built-in "diaper pail") to the aptly-labeled User Operated Amusement Apparatus for Kicking the User's Buttocks. So, why would some inventors spend upwards of $15,000 and years of legal wrangling in the patent application process for even the most far-out, wacky ideas?

Sachs, a Fenwick partner, patent examiner and patent holder, says "one man's wackiness is another man's dire need," adding that there is always demand for innovation in even the most obscure and seemingly marginal areas of "human activity."

Click here to read the full article by Christopher Steiner.