Patent on a Stick: Learning from the Animal Toy Patent
Claim #1, the broadest claim in this patent, says that this “animal toy” has a solid main section, at least one protrusion and is adapted for floating in the water. While not every stick would infringe claim 1 of this patent, I would venture that there are many which would. No need to worry, however. This patent fell into the public domain on March 26, 2010, for failure to make the first maintenance fee payment. The lesson here, however, is not that the Patent Office occasionally makes a mistake (true though that may be). The fact that a patent can be obtained or has been obtained does not mean that a valuable asset has been obtained, and this “invention” is a wonderfully vibrant example of that.