FUN: Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time Patents

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Science  28 Jul 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5786, pp. 417
DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5786.417d

The light bulb and the microchip were stellar ideas that revolutionized our lives. The bird diaper and the gravity-powered shoe air conditioner? Not so much. Check out these dubious innovations and more than 50 other examples of ingenuity gone awry at the Gallery of Obscure Patents, hosted by the publisher Thomson's Delphion patent service. The site provides excerpts from the patent documents, original drawings, and even animations showing the creations in action. However, you have to pay to see the full patent for entries such as the antieating facemask, a diet aid whose inventor proudly noted that it can be “locked in place on the user's head to prevent removal.”

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