* Patently Funny

A method of swinging on a swing.

Patent 6,368,227 (http://makeashorterlink.com/?O16A424B), which issued 04/09/02 (http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html), describes “a method of swinging on a swing, in which a user positioned on a standard swing suspended by two chains from a substantially horizontal tree branch induces side to side motion by pulling alternately on one chain and then the other.” The patent also suggests using a “Tarzan-type” yell and notes that “actual jungle forestry is not required.”

So what’s the deal with this patent? The swing patent was apparently submitted by the father of a 7-year-old inventor. The patent is certainly educational. If the idea is so obvious, why hadn’t it been patented previously? Where is all of the prior art? Maybe the father just wanted to give a framed patent to his son for a birthday present. Maybe the inventor got the idea during National Inventor’s Month. Maybe he wanted to prevent the kids next door from getting a similar patent. Maybe he wanted to get his name in the paper (mission accomplished). We may never know the full story behind this patent, but one thing is certain. There are many reasons to get a patent!

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