Head mounted letter “M” [ PDF ]
US Patent No.6,834,453
Issued December 28, 2004
Searching for obscure patents can sometimes seem like looking for a needle in a haystack. Certainly, there are no shortage of patents that get issued on a weekly basis that should never have seen the light of day. Unfortunately, invalid patents are increasingly becoming a way of life. Occasionally, however, a holy grail of obscurity is stumbled across. Finding and reading such wacky patents makes the journey through the hundreds of thousands of patents issued yearly all worth while. This particular patent is one of those rare finds. Spotting a patent like this is both fun, entertaining and tremendously sad. How in the name of all that is right in the world could the United States Patent Office issue a patent on a modified letter “M”? Giving the USPTO the benefit of the doubt, this letter “M” is worn on the head of the user. To quote Charlie Brown… “GOOD GRIEF.”
The Background of the Invention explains:
It is an object of the present invention to provide a display that is adapted to be mounted onto the head of a fan and which is provided with the shape of a letter “M” that has some association with a particular team. For example, the Seattle Mariners baseball team is commonly referred to as the “M’s.” It is an object of the invention to provide a display in the shape of a “M” that is adapted to be self-secured to the head of a fan, so that, for example, the fan can wear it to a game or elsewhere.
For those keeping score, there are 25 derivative inventions easily identifiable as an off-shoot of this invention. Of course, even the Patent Office may find other single letter head mounted displays obvious, but then again who knows! There would seem to be several that would not be obvious. Can you imagine trying to keep a “V” on your head in the same manner as this “M”? Even if all of the other 25 single letters would be obvious just imagine the patent portfolio that could be created with the addition of multiple letters.
The Summary of the Invention explains:
The letter “M” display of the present invention is basically characterized by a foam body having the shape of a letter “M” and including a pair of laterally spaced apart side portions and an interconnecting portion. The interconnecting portion forms a substantially “V” shaped central upper portion of the letter “M”. The side portions depend from the interconnecting portion and define a space between them, below the interconnecting portion. The side portions of the foam body also form the side parts of the letter “M”.
According to an aspect of the invention, the side portions of the foam body include confronting, temple engaging, inside surfaces, spaced apart a distance less than the temple-to-temple width of a person’s head. The foam body is constructed from a springable foam that stores spring energy when bent and allows the side portions to be sprung apart, and when released moved back towards each other. The side portions of the foam body can be sprung apart so as to enable a person to place his/her head between the side portions. Then, the side portions can be released so that they will spring back towards their static positions and clamp onto the person’s head. In this manner, the letter “M” display is secured to the person’s head.
Preferably also, the foam body is compressable and when compressed will store spring energy. When the letter “M” display is clamped onto a person’s head, there will be some compressing of the side portions of the foam body. This compression will store further spring energy that will act together with the bending spring energy to clamp the display onto the person’s head. In preferred form, the foam body is constructed from a flexible polyurethane foam. The side portions of the foam body are squared members and the inside surfaces of the side portions are substantially planar and parallel to each other.
Accordingly to a further aspect of the invention, the foam body is provided with at least one color that is a color associated with a particular sports team. For example, the color blue is a color that is associated with the Seattle Mariners. In preferred form, the foam body includes a border outlining the letter “M” that is a first color that is associated with a particular sports team. Within the border, the foam body is covered with a second color that is associated with the same team. For example, the first color may be the color gold and a second may be the color blue. Both of these colors are associated with the Seattle Mariners.