Summer is here which can mean only one thing. It’s time to give you a run down of the weird and wacky intersection of the vacation industry and the patent system!
Before You Leave
Leaving for a summer holiday means, in this day and age, that you need to set your email account up with an Out of Office message.
Earlier this year IBM were awarded a US patent by the USPTO for their out-of-office email system and were then quickly awarded a “stupid patent of the month” from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). IBM decided to “dedicate the patent to the public”!
Of course, despite the out of office message you’ll still return to a mountain of unread emails which will do their best to burn off your holiday glow by lunchtime on your first day back…..
Jet lag can be a major downside of travelling but fear not because British Airways has you covered with its Travel Environment Control invention which can “facilitate greater efficiencies within the aircraft travel environment”. Sensor inputs are monitored and a passenger’s environment is controlled, e.g. to change the recline position of their seat or to change lighting levels, to make their journey more pleasant.
In a slightly worrying development however the sensor inputs can include an ingestible sensor! The patent doesn’t seem to specify whether British Airways want this back at the end of the flight….
Still at least British Airways are trying. Other travel related patents for your flight could see you trying out the saddle seat, sitting on top of each other or trying out Boeing’s upright sleep support system which allows passengers to lean into a cushion which has a cutout for their eyes nose and mouth…..
At the resort
Now that you’ve negotiated the horrors of the squatting seats and have returned your ingestible sensor it’s time to kick back and relax. And what could be more relaxing than letting your ice cream do the work for you with this motorised ice cream cone that spins your ice cream cup gently against your tongue.
Once you’ve had time to relax you might want go for a swim and this downright odd patent from the 1950s will turn you into a swimmer from Atlantis with its webbed legs and low drag helmet. Or if looking like the Creature from the Black Lagoon isn’t your style, why not turn yourself into a human sailing boat?
When it’s time for food, convene under your beach umbrella with inbuilt radio and snack on your lunch from your theft proof picnic hamper…. And finally, if you’re lucky enough to have brought your pet along for your vacation, don’t forget that he wants to look cool as well….
Mark Richardson 19 July 2017