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Mary Bellis

Inventor Threatens To Prohibit The Making of Snowmen

By December 5, 2012

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According to Gawker humor, Ignacio Marc Asperas invented snowmen in 2006 and now demands that no one makes a snowman without paying him a royalty. Asperas sent the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a 25-page application titled "Apparatus for facilitating the construction of a snow man/woman" that has finally been  approved by the office. Did I just say 25 pages?

Photo Credit Creative Commons: World's Largest Snowman

December 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm
(1) Marc Asperas, The Inventor says:

Hi Mary! Thanks for your interest in my Snowpeople Patent! If you want to know more please see my web site http://www.ultimatesnowman.com

PS Happy Holidays!!!

December 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm
(2) inventors says:

Hi Marc, Thanks for letting me and my readers know about your website. Folks its worth a visit. Happy holidays to you too. xoxox Mary

December 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm
(3) Chuck says:

A patent for ‘apparatus’ doesn’t prevent construction of the end product by other means. The best you should be able to get on a ‘snowman’ is a copyright or perhaps trademark for a particular design.

Not that the USPTO might not have issued other documents, but they’ve been pushing the line for decades about what they accept and issue.

Certainly there are dozens of software patents which are extremely questionable, though issued.

One central issue seldom discussed is the violation of the implicit social agreement represented by a patent.

A patent is a monopoly, granted to the filer in return for ‘revealing their invention.’

Implied is that such ‘revealing’ actually provides sufficient information for others to duplicate the work–it can hardly be said to have been ‘disclosed’ if it cannot be replicated.

Over the past century, patents have become less and less revealing and harder to duplicate based upon the application documentation.

Many patents today are written to be as incomprehensible as possible, and to obscure rather than reveal details of the invention.

Issuing patents to such applications goes directly against the purpose of a patent–to widely distribute new processes and designs.

Of course, the recent change from ‘first inventor’ to ‘first filer’ is an invitation to industrial spying and theft of IP.

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