Interesting “invention”: “Animal Toy,” U.S. Pat. No. 6,360,693, “inventor” Ross Eugene Long, III. The patent was filed on Dec 2, 1999 and issued Mar 26, 2002, meaning it will be in force until December 2019 (20 years from the filing date). It’s basically a patent on a stick that a dog can play with–a stick that floats and has a part of a branch protruding from one end:
1. An animal toy, comprising:
- (a) a solid main section having a diameter and a longitudinal length and extending a predetermined distance along said longitudinal length; and
- (b) at least one protrusion attached at one end thereof said main section and extending a predetermined distance therefrom and wherein said at least one protrusion includes a second longitudinal axis that is not in parallel alignment with a first longitudinal axis of said solid main section;
- and wherein said animal toy is adapted to float on the water.
(h/t Tuur Demeester) For examples of other ridiculous or absurd patents, see patently silly; PatentLawPractice Wiki; Gene Patent Absurdity; Christmas tree stand watering system; other examples in The Intellectual Property Quagmire, or, The Perils of Libertarian Creationism [PPT; PDF].