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Archive for the ‘Patents’ Category

The Future of Automobiles: A Public Domain Perspective

Yesterday I attended the Motor Trend sponsored Pennsylvania Auto Show in Harrisburg, PA where I had a chance to see all the new 2010 and 2011 car and truck offerings from all our favorite auto manufacturers. While crossovers and hybrids seemed to get the most attention from the crowds, the sportscars are what held my gaze. Although I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed with Ford’s showing (or lack of showing) their Mustangs. They had a 2011 Mustang V6 convertible there (yawn) and a 2010 GT convertible (what’s will all the convertibles guys?). No 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 Coyote, no Shelby Cobras. Cheverolet’s display of their Camaro was more impressive (they did a good job with it). But I can’t say that ANY car offered by the manufacturers caused me to pause and say, WOW! The only exception was an after-market Mustang that one of the local dealers had there…a 2010 Roush Stage 3 Mustang with 540HP. That one stopped me in my tracks…grin. Below is a Publicity photo of it:

Was I impressed with the new car designs being offer for 2010/2011? In a word…No! . It’s funny, it only takes ONE auto manufacturer to create a design that becomes popular and then the parade begins with the endless knock-offs (like the Scion xB, the Honda Element and now the new Ford Flex, which I almost like). You saw it with mini-vans, with SUVs, with crossovers and now hybrids too. Where’s your innovation guys (I mean…beyond the concept cars, that is)?

Well, in honor of the Car Show, I decided to dig around in old Patent submissions to see what creative automobile designers from the past could teach us today about designing cars. So of the designs I found are super cool…some, not so much…but ALL are in the Public Domain. Hope you enjoy them (and think about product possibilities)!

Crazy About Puzzles

I like puzzles…always have. Not the jigsaw puzzles where you have a bunch of tiny pieces that, once assembled, reveal an image of some sort. No…I like wire puzzles and cast puzzles…3D puzzles, usually made from metal that challenge you to figure out how to take them apart, and then put them back together again…kind of like Humpty Dumpty, except without the mess. There is something about working with those puzzles that just make me happy…they help me think spatially, boost my creativity and challenge me to think outside the box. Finding puzzles that really challenge me, however, seems to be more of a challenge than the puzzles themselves. Most level 6 puzzles (the most difficult) usually take me less than 15 minutes to disassemble and re-assemble again. Here are a few of the cast puzzles I played with over the Holidays (these are from Hanayama).


After solving the puzzles above, I was reading the accompanying literature when the following sentence caught my attention:

“At the end of the 19th century, Britain experienced a huge puzzle craze. I managed to pick up a number of the puzzles famous during that period in flea markets, despite their rarity.”

Now, I don’t know what that sentence says to your brain, but to mine it said, “Public Domain” loud and clear! And so I was off and running to research old puzzles. Seeing how they were crafted metal objects, my first thought was to look for patents. After all, designs of physical objects would be covered by patent rather than copyright. While it took me a while to find what I was looking for (you would think “puzzle” would be a good keyword to start with…it wasn’t), I did eventually begin to uncover the goodies. A few examples are included below.

enigma_PUZZLE_DEVICE-1One of the cool advantages, of course, to finding these puzzle patents is that they describe how to solve the puzzle! Not that I would cheat…takes all the fun out of solving them…but good to know, nonetheless. Also, because most patents before 1995 are now in the Public Domain (the average patent term is 14 years and cannot be renewed as-is), you can use the information in them to create your own versions of the puzzles, if you chose to do so. That’s why you see so many variants of the Rubik’s Cube now…the original patent has expired, providing the opportunity for others to create something similar or better! Gotta love free enterprise!

Wire_puzzle-2Essentially, that’s what Hanayama did after finding the old British puzzles…he recreated them with a touch of his own creativity to re-introduce the puzzles to a new generation of puzzle lovers. And, after all…isn’t THAT what the Public Domain is all about?! You BET!

Patents Revisited

I thought I would revisit patents briefly today to share a few more facts about what’s available to you as a product creator. Most people don’t realize it, but when a patent expires, it falls into the Public Domain. This is important to remember for one simple reason: The longest a patent (utility patent) can remain in force is 20 years (17 years depending on when it was filed), with some patents (such as design patents) lasting just 14 years. What that means for you is this: Every patent filed before June 1988 is expired and in the Public Domain. Some estimate that there are now over 1.5 million expired patents, although that number must certainly be higher.

Another little known fact about expired patents is this: If a patent holder fails to pay the required maintenance fees for maintaining current patent status (3 yrs., 7 yrs., & 11 yrs. after filing), the patent will expire and fall ito the Public Domain. Patents that expire in this fashion are published in the weekly United States Patent Official Gazette. You can also search through them using the free, online database,

What makes this information SO exciting is our ability to literally plug into the creative genius of so many individuals…for free! If you’ve ever read a patent, you’ll know that it includes drawings of the invention and a detailed description of how the invention works. So, as you can imagine, the possibility for product creation is, once again, nearly endless.

For more information on patents, look elsewhere on this blog, or check out my ebook on Patents over at Tony’s Yard Sale (

The Robots Are Coming!

Spent some time tonight digging around on the Patent website and found some really cool robots. Now I don’t think I’ll be making any marketing info products out of them, but I DO want to empasize once again that there is a whole bunch of content just waiting for you or your competition to develop creative products from Patents.

Take me to your leader…


The World of Patents Is a Bizarre Place…for Product Development

Here’s a fun post for you…

Ever since beginning research on the product creation potential of patents, I find myself drawn more and more to research the types of things that make me go, hmmm. For your curiosity (and entertainment), here are a few VERY interesting inventions I re-discovered tonight that took me back through some of the fond memories of my life:

 200+MPG Carburetor: 02026798  

My grandfather built a similar carburetor back in 1964, but after trying to patent it, he was later “encouraged” to not build anymore (and Dad won’t tell me how he built it…I asked him again tonight).

Oscillating Wave Device (Developed to Cure Cancer): 1,962,565

One of my early mentors (Mr. Houck) actually built a working model of one of these and saw some success with it before he was accused of being a spy by the US Government and thrown into Federal Prison. Of course he never really stayed in the prison…they had him working in one of their labs for nearly 14 years (seriously).

Anti-Gravity Device: 03626605
Flyer Saucer: 02912244

Now the flying saucer technologies…well, we just don’t talk about that much anymore, but you should have been in Upper Strasburg, PA that one July night back in 1976…holy cow was that spaceship big!

You think I’m kidding…

Sometime I’ll tell you about the experiments my friends and I did with plants…boy were those plants smart!

BTW…you can pick up a copy of my newest e-book, “Discovering the Product Creation Potential of Patents” over at my Marketing Yard Sale page ( Have fun creating new products from patents! 

To your continued success…


Here Are Millions More…

Over the past several months, I’ve revealed how to find and use for your product creation, millions of Public Domain Books, millions of Public Domain Magazines, millions of Public Domain images, and millions of everything else (audios, videos, and lots more). You’d think that I’ve revealed just about everything there is to be revealed as sources for incredible content for your projects, right?

WRONG! Dude, we’re just getting started! Wait until you check out my latest discovery…the vastness of this content is going to blow you away! It surprised me and I thought I had this all figured out!

Imagine being given exclusive access to the most brilliant, innovative men and women to have ever lived…the very ones responsible for imagining and creating every benefit and technology we enjoy today.  What if they offered you their best, most creative secrets…


You could build upon their ingenuity and innovation to create brand-new products! And what if they told you that you didn’t owe them ANY type of payment or royalty for using their ideas…that you could keep ALL the money for yourself? Would that be a good deal? Would that be an amazing deal? Well, I’m going to tell you how to gain access to those men and women in a brand-new ebook, and it’s through a research method that you’ve probably never considered before…

You can find out what that method is over at Tony’s Yard Sale…that’s where you’ll find the new ebook!

Head over there right now and find out what new treasure field I’ve been playing in. Hey, and while you’re there, make sure you click on Kola to find out what he’s up to (you’ll see him over on the left…watching you). That crazy dog is always into something! See you there!

To your continued success!

Tony Laidig
The Public Domain Expert