Patents that never made it

There are many examples of patents that never made it at all over the world. One of the earliest inventions that never made it or one that never saw the light of the day was one that was registered in 1965 by two American inventors. Their invention was supposed to bring forth a device whose sole purpose was to help women give birth using centrifugal force. According to the inventors the doctor was supposed to press a button, a table was to lift up and begin to rotate round its axis, starting out slow, and then faster and faster. The woman was to continually push until the crying baby would shoot out of the device. Although the idea sounded bizarre and odd to the two American inventors it was not. Unfortunately, for the two American inventors, the patent never made it.

Cloaking FabricThe two American inventors who set out to create a device to help woman give birth using centrifugal force and whose patent never saw the light of the day are just one of the many examples of patents that flopped or never made it. Another example is the cloaking fabric. The cloaking fabric was registered under the (Fractal Antenna systems) as a patent in 2012. It was registered as a special fabric that could ‘bend’ electro –magnetic waves and make them move around the body of the one who would use it, instead of bouncing off or being absorbed in it. According to the information that was made available to the press by the owners of this patent, the fabric is made of fractal shapes, which means same- shape patterns that repeats itself in different sizes and can make big objects seem ‘invisible’ for radiation in certain frequencies.

The Fractal Antenna Systems, the company that registered this patent, asserts that although for now the fractal fabric can only work with microwave radiation, but the company said that the technology could be upgraded to work with visible light waves that will result in an invisible object for the human eyes. One is bound to wonder as to what is hindering Fractal Antenna Systems from making the fabric. The answer to this question is lack of finances. For the expansion of the fabric’s technology to the visible waves, a lot of money needs to be invested and according to the company they do not have any investors that are willing to invest that much money. The only reasons that caused the company to register the patent, was to secure the idea from being stolen or copied and to equally draw the interest of potential investors to the project. The president of the company was quoted as having said “Give us a reason to develop and take this idea forward.’’


The Holo Deck is still another patent that unfortunately never made it. It is described as one of the most desirable technologies (from amongst all the lasers and space ships) that were viewed on the sci –fi series the ‘Star Trek’ it was the ultra – realistic virtual reality environment – the Holodeck. In the Holodeck one is able to not only see the objects around them but to even touch them. It is however important to note that although there has been a speedy advancement in as far as technology is concerned; it does not seem possible that both work and play can be done in such a sophisticated environment in any foreseeable future. The patent was approved on September 2012 and was registered by Microsoft.

 As history has already recorded Microsoft as a company has a knack for seeing into future ahead of the rest of the pack. The company describes a display projection system that will allow to project visual graphics on all 4 walls of a room, even behind the television screen. Microsoft notes that this is not a simple setup projection like is known today,  but a projector that will know how to blend the pictures into different colors, and wall patterns in order to make them “diasappear” and by that magnify the feeling of virtual reality. The distinctive projector will be so highly developed to not project the image straight into the user’s eye and by that making him blind for a few seconds, one of the options in the patent actually talks of the use of 3D glasses.

Actually even without the option of ‘touch’ projections like on the Holodeck, Microsoft is well aware that this is quite an ambitious patent. Microsoft through this patent has every intention of branding its self as a leading company in the console gaming market. It is worth mentioning that in the consoling industry the Xbox is always in competition against other consoles by Nintendo and Sony. One of the main purposes of the patent by Microsoft is to indicate to her clients that its gaming console shall continue to be relevant and leading even in the future.

ipad-ovenThe IPad oven is another patent from Apple the pioneers of the smart phones interface that is an addition to the long list of patents that never made it. The patent was received in March 2010 with Apple planning to bring her innovative interface into the less portable devices, like kitchen appliances. Optical sensors that are able to recognize gestures on different surfaces like glass and marble are one of the things that are described in the patent. Every patent has a special something in it and for the iPad oven by Apple that something is  the touch on the surface that shall be recognized not only by a point on a plane but also by the pressure amount of that press. The sensors shall measure the distortion made on the surface, if one’s press is hard then this might set the temperature to be higher.

Apple concludes that the patent does not apply only to special surfaces but to regular surfaces as well. The remarkable of this patent by Apple is that for the first time it was registered by a Canadian inventor who was known as Timothy Pryor in the mid 90’S.  He eventually passed apple this patent (probably for money, which completed the registering process. This patent by apple raises two important issues, the first being why our kitchens are yet to become stylish, more than 15 years since the time that Pryor applied for the patent. The second issue is the fact that it may be easy to register a patent, and it is possible for anyone to do that but the big challenge is to develop such a technology, both resources and skills are required something that one man may not have access to. Finally from the above examples it is easy to note that patents are no longer tool to protect inventors from copiers but can also be used as ‘weapons’ in business arguments, but also as a good publicity stunt in order to appeal to new customers.

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