April’s Wacky Patent

Apologies to those of you who have been eagerly awaiting another wacky patent post from me.  Time got away from me recently, what with the IPReg consultation response to write and the EQE pre-exam to prepare for.  But of course, I shouldn’t complain: seven-times as much time has gone by between wacky patent posts for our canine companions.

Dog owners may think nothing of spending hours catching-up on their favourite TV show instead of taking their beloved Fido to the park.  However, a few hours in front of the TV for humans is practically a lifetime for dogs.  More considerate humans may find themselves worrying about how much time (in dog minutes and hours) their pet spends cooped-up indoors while they’re at work, or chained-up outside a swanky coffee shop while they sip slowly on a frothy beverage and pore over the Sunday papers.  Luckily for them in US5,023,850 two US inventors describe a watch for “keeping time at an animal’s rate, defined in terms of a multiple of human rate by dividing the average lifetime of a particular animal into the average lifetime of a human being. The multiple for dogs is seven, for example“.

The watch comprises “a housing, a source of reference frequency for producing pulses, means for producing 60 pulses per second times the multiple for the particular animal, means for accumulating time, and means for displaying time“.  As the document describes, the watch display shows a standard twelve hour analogue display but “with the hands revolving, say, seven times faster for dog time so that seven ‘dog days’ would elapse in the time it takes for one ‘human day’.  Further, the date would also be displayed with a designation of ‘Dog Day‘ followed by the number of dog days elapsed during the dog year so that the human date of June 14th (at about 9:00 AM) would be displayed as DOG DAY 56th (8:00 AM) in ‘dog’ time.”

"A wristwatch worn by a typical dog"

“A wristwatch worn by a typical dog”

But, the inventors haven’t stopped at a watch for humans.  As shown in Fig. 1 above, they’ve envisaged the watch being worn by pets too.  In the figure, dog 10 is shown wearing a wristwatch 12.  When worn by animals, the watches are “preferably secured by a strap 14 with VELCRO ends for ease of application but may also be secured by the conventional belt and buckle. The material used for the straps is preferably a synthetic material that is not easily chewed through“.  Presumably, the dog’s watch has a different display to show the dog how much ‘human time’ has elapsed.

Parminder (Yellow Sheet Editor)

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