Throwback Thursday: For the Love of Patents

Valentine’s Day is Sunday, and love is in the air!  To celebrate, Brion Raffoul is sharing three patents (and one very special patent application) that will make your heart a-flutter and bring forth images of romance, love, and Valentine’s Day.  (Or, at the very least, these should leave you shaking your head in disbelief!)

US Patent No. 6,293,280: Kissing Shield and Method of Use Thereof

The “Kissing Shield” is a simple heart-shaped frame with a thin plastic membrane that forms a barrier between the lips of two users. 

The inventor continued to refine and rework the invention after the patent issued in 2001.  Two other patents were issued to her for “safe kissing” instructional board games that use this kissing shield.  Apparently blowing a kiss to your beloved wasn’t enough for this inventor!

UK Patent No. 18,627: Improvements in and Relating to Postal Cards

This patent from 1910 discloses a “souvenir postal card with confectionery attached”—a postcard with a compartment for candy or chocolate, allowing you to mail your long-distance beloved an especially sweet message.  Best of all, this patent was issued to a Mr. Harben James Valentine.  One wonders what the recipient will think if the chocolate in the compartment arrives as a melted (but sweet!) puddle of goo.

Figures 1 to 9 from UK Patent No. 18,627 for a “souvenir postal card with confectionery attached”

US Patent No. 8,353,181: Heart Shaped Diamond Cut Having Hearts and Arrows Pattern

If you’re in the market for a diamond ring, a heart-shaped cut may be just the thing. 

The specific cut taught in this patent is for creating “a heart shaped diamond of asymmetrical shape which when exposed to light displays a hearts and arrows pattern substantially equivalent to the hearts and arrows pattern in a round diamond”.  With such a diamond, it would be hard to get a broken heart!

Fig. 7

US Patent Application No. 10/378,423: Method and Instrument for Proposing Marriage to an Individual

This application was filed in 2003 by a patent practitioner who had a very specific implementation in mind.  The claims recite, in part, as follows:

1. A method for offering marriage to an individual by converting a patent application into an offer to marry an individual, comprising the steps of:

drafting a patent application to disclose an invention, wherein the patent application is drafted in a tangible medium;

drafting a marriage proposal that proposes marriage to the individual, wherein the marriage proposal is drafted in a tangible medium; and

incorporating the marriage proposal into the patent application,

wherein the patent application is converted into an offer to marry the individual for offering marriage to the individual during a proposal event.

18. The method of claim 1 wherein the offer to marry describes a method of proposing to the individual.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein the offer to marry describes a method of proposing to the individual, wherein the method is the method used to propose to the individual.

26. The method of claim 25, wherein at least one claim of the offer to marry recites “Ellie if you will marry me, after reading the remainder of this patent application, open the other envelope and tell the limousine driver to take you to the airport.” [emphasis added]

29. The method of claim 1 further comprising sending the offer to marry to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Who knew that a patent application could be so romantic?  (Clearly, we’re talking about constructive reduction to practice for this invention!)

Brion Raffoul LLP hopes this year’s Valentine’s Day is at least as sweet! 

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