Valentine’s Day is again upon us, a day for lovers to express their undying affection for one another by giving gifts of chocolates, flowers, and love coupons. It’s also a day for inventors to strap on their thinking caps and come up with new ways to bring a little more love into the world. For your inspiration, here are 10 fun patents and applications for the lover in all of us. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Alexander Graham Bell’s Improved Telegraphy patent is not particularly romantic, but for the fact that it happened to be filed on Valentine’s Day 1876. With a coincidence, it’s easy to jump into a bit of musing about early love messages sent via Morse code: – . .- — —
2. Love Tester
The early 20th Century’s Men of Science believed that along with the smashing of the atom and the triumph over engine knock (with leaded gasoline), all the universe’s mysteries might one day be solved. Even the Mysteries of Love. This is a design patent for the face of a love tester machine. Just one penny and you could get reliable data about the “Measure of Your Sex Appeal.”
Of course, our contemporary Information Age has its own version of the Love Tester: internet dating. The most famous (infamous if you read TechDirt) patent associated with the internet dating phenomenon is the Eharmony patent, “Method and system for identifying people who are likely to have a successful relationship.” The masterminds behind this incredibly successful website long ago patented a process for matching people in a way that they had the best chance forming a lasting relationship. Critics have argued that the Eharmony patent should never have been granted because it’s too close to simple mathematics, which is not patentable.
Valentine’s Day is a great day to rekindle the fire in a relationship. But what’s a good way to keep that flame burning year round? How can one maintain the “emotional connection” required to keep a relationship together? Douglas D. Lazarus has a possible solution with his “Gift Bag for Maintaining an Emotional Connection or Conventional Support” patent application. Lazarus’s gift bag contains a full year’s worth of loving messages.
By the way, the broken lines on this drawing indicate parts that are not essential to the specification. In Lazarus’s application, the pieces of paper all have the same love message, “I love you.” Because the message is written in broken lines, we know that the message itself can change. The word “love” on the bag is also in broken lines, so we know it can say other things.
Flowers are always an easy option for Valentine’s Day gifting. Roland Walker and René Rodriguez offer a system and method for taking flowers to the next level with their “Methods and Systems for Providing an Image on an Organic Product.” Now you can print a little message of love on every flower.
If you have a difficult time expressing yourself to your significant other, there were plenty of cards you can pick up at your local Hallmark, Target, drugstore, or 7-11. With the right card, you can communicate the many subtleties of your feelings for your special someone. In an attempt to further the customization of the greeting card, Yousef Daneshvar has invented a “Romantic Card.” The Romantic Card has “use zones” for adding pictures, hair clippings, and scents. So not only is it a wonderful custom greeting card; it could also be used to track you down if you ever disappeared
7. Lover’s Game
Gunn’s “Lover’s Game and Method of Play” attempts to “gamify” romantic relationships to make them more exciting and lasting. The game encourages harmony and affection between couples by having them compete for jewels representing “loving acts.” Of course, if you’re one of those highly competitive Type-A power couples, you may want to pass as it will just be one more thing to fight over.
What better way to say, “I love you” than with the gift of patent application. Certainly putting himself in the running for Best (or only) Patent-Related Marriage Proposal in History is Ryan Thomas Grace of Omaha, Nebraska. Mr. Grace, a registered practitioner, decided to write up one of the most romantic patent applications ever. He even paid to submit the application to the US Patent & Trademark Office, where it was subsequently examined and rejected! Unfortunately, Mr. Thomas’s application was abandoned due to non-response to an office action. His marriage, we hope, is doing a little better.
The heart is the international symbol for love, and with that in mind, William C. Arbaugh II offers us the heart-shaped pepperoni slice. This truly romantic take on the old pizza topping is sure to make many a heart flutter — and not just with heart disease.
Finally, Antoine Elhaj offers us the “Broken Heart Shaped Urn.” If you want to tell you lover you’re in it for the long run, this is the gift for you!