Boing Boing 

1932 banana-ice cream injector patent


Someone named P. Marchio filed this patent for a "banana extractor and ice cream injector" in 1932. What a wonderful idea! Unfortunately, there's no evidence that this was ever actually made, nor is there any sign that a banana with …

Sony files patent on any-object motion control


Silicon Era uncovers a patent, filed by Sony, for using everyday objects as game controllers.

Sony details a system where a camera can dynamically map an object -- any real world object -- for use in a video game. The

Michael Jackson's patented "Smooth Criminal" leaning shoes


Patent number 5255452, filed in 1992, shows how Michael Jackson and his dancers could lean at 45-degree angles during live performances of the song "Smooth Criminal".

1. A system for engaging shoes with a hitch mans to permit a

Gallery: A Visual History of The Artificial Dog

aibo collage.jpg

Sony's four-legged entertainment bot AIBO launched a decade ago. At left is a figure from patent #6458011, which was filed in 2001 by inventors Makoto Inoue and Emi Kato:

A walking-on-four-legs type robot whose body is connected at the

Nokia's folding keyboard looks like a challenge


Keyboard size has proven itself a major hurdle to miniaturization. QWERTY will not be replaced, and our hands cannot simply be shrunken. This leaves us with a practical minimum of perhaps 70-90% size of a standard layout. Any smaller, and …

Cygnus systems patents desktop icons, sues Microsoft, Apple and Google

Cygnus Systems of Michigan patented thumbnail icons and is suing Microsoft, Apple, and Google. From Ars:

The patent in question is US 7,346,850, called "System and method for iconic software environment management." Its abstract describes "a method and system for

iPod-like gadget from 1979 gets new life battling patent trolls


At first sight, this drawing might be a teenager's design for The Ultimate iPod, sketched between a map of a dungeon and the answer to "If 0≤x≤π, which equation is a line of symmetry for the graph of y =

"Explosion containment net" patent also good against hippies


Behold, a filthy hippie. Visible smell waves oscillate off of him, offending the sensitive, mucus-soaked nasal capillaries of all who stand downwind. One grubby hand is extended in a placating gesture of love... a message turned even more loathsome by …

Great moments in patents: "Be The Bike"


Ingenious though it was, the "Be The Bike" patent did not attract much attention amongst bicycling aficionados. But dreams were not dashed: the same inventor's later patent for "Be The Pony" would eventually make him a kinky S&M baron of …

Top Ten Patent Holders


Image: Number 9, Mark Gardner. (Photo: Dan Winters)

Nate writes:

This is a pretty fantastic article from this month's issue of "Portfolio" about the top 10 patent holders [by patents awarded] in the USPTO. The article is interesting because it