U.S. Patents – Celebrity Edition

I smile every time I am reminded about what Charles H. Duell, the Commission of the U.S. Office of Patents said in 1899: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” It seems he was mistaken.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office issues over 150,000 patents each year. It took 75 years to get from the first patent ever filed (1836) to patent No. 1 million (1911). It took 24 more years for patent No. 2 million to be issued (1935). Amazingly, it took only six years to go from patent No. 6 million (1999) to patent No. 7 million (2006). Only two years later, the USPTO was very close to issuing patent No. 8 million (2008). That’s a lot of innovation. I guess people still had a few more ideas after 1899.

I’ve been wondering whether celebrities have been actively filing patent applications. After all, great ideas are not limited to scientists. I took a look and here are a few examples of what I discovered while looking for celebrity product design ideas:

Harry Houdini received patent No. 1,370,316 for a new type of diving suit to make it easier to handle water pressure and to put the suit on and off.

Michael Jackson received Patent No. 5,255,452 for a method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion.

And not surprisingly, Walt Disney invented a new device and method for allowing animators to make a more realistic looking shadow for a moving character in an animation ( Patent No. 2,201,689).

That leaves me wondering…what will some of our current celebrities – 50 Cent, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, or Bow Wow invent?