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2022 Patent Picks – Weird and Wonderful

If ever proof were needed that innovation knows no bounds, look no further than our list of out-of-the-ordinary patents.

Dust Cover for Dog (1964)

This dust cover, patented by Kesh Seroun in 1964, helps you to get rid of fleas and other pest on your dog more efficiently. This invention “will greatly assist the animal owner in the effective application and retention of pesticides on the animal, for a period of time sufficient to do the work required” – the patent explains. Easily installed on or removed from the animal, the cover will also “protect the clothing, rugs, furniture” from your pet while the animal is being treated for fleas and the like. And no more dusty dogs, for sure.

Device for Moistening the Adhesive Coating on Postage Stamps and Envelopes (1981)

Do you like sending handwritten letters but dislike the taste of envelope and postage stamp glue? In 1981, Donald B. Poynter patented a solution: “an apparatus for moistening the adhesive coating on a postage stamp, envelope or the like”. The device features a plunger that lifts “an absorbant applicator from the liquid and passes the applicator through an opening in the side of the enclosure”. And, of course, function meets form for this device: “the applicator may be in the form of a human tongue and the closure may be in the form of a human lip”. Now that’s a clever hack!

Wearable Device for Feeding and Observing Birds and Other Animals (1999)

Have you ever wondered how you can make bird-watching yet more enjoyable? Then this hat is for you. Patented by David M. Leslie in 1999, this wearable device consists of “a hat, a support mounted on the hat and extending outward from the hat, and a feeder mounted on the support”. When birds feed from the feeder, “a person wearing the hat may observe them from a short distance”. Bye bye, binoculars!

Cycling Activity Belt (2001)

Good news for cycling parents: riding with your kids on the back of your bike can become less stressful thanks to this cycling activity belt. Patented by Laurie J. Norton in 2001, the belt features devices that “entertain a child riding in a child carrier seat behind the cyclist”. Designed to prevent children’s boredom and tantrums, "the amusement devices may attach with clips so they can be changed to suit the age and interests of the child” – the patent says. Fun assured!

Snake Repellent System (2001)

If you are scared of snakes, try this snake repellent. Patented in 2001 by Thelma F. Pogue, this invention consists of “a receptacle into which is placed a quantity of garlic or onion, the aroma of which is believed to be effective in repelling snakes”. Attached to the arm or leg of the user, the receptacle features “a plurality of openings for facilitating the dispersal of the garlic or onion aroma” and can be “provided with a mincing rack used to mince a clove of garlic, thereby more fully releasing its aroma”. We’re facing a tough choice: it’s either garlic body odor or snakebites!

Umbrella Carrier for a Bicycle (2010)

How can you cycle safely and comfortably in both hot and rainy weather? This umbrella mounting device for bicycles can “easily block external sunlight or rainwater” without “deteriorating the operability of an occupant's hand”. Patented in 2010 by Jae Sung Hong, this invention has the potential to make your bicycle rides more comfortable and fashionable – and make you the envy of all those smug folding bike owners.

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