Last month, Google introduced its new Patent Search feature (in beta), allowing users to dig through 7 million US patents from 1790 to mid-1996. On-line patent searching has already been possible through the US Patent and Trademark Office website, but Google makes it fast and easy using their already familiar interface.
So, inspired by Google’s new easy-to-use patent search, I decided to dig up some of the celebrity patents that have been issued over the years. The following
18 20 patents are all by celebrities not usually known for being inventors. You can follow the links to the actual patents to learn more about each one.
1. Eddie Van Halen, Musician.
Patent #4,656,917 — Musical instrument support
2. Zeppo Marx, Actor/Comedian.
Patent #3,473,526 — Cardiac pulse rate monitor
3. Harry Connick, Jr., Musician/Actor.
Patent #6,348,648 — System and method for coordinating music display among players in an orchestra
4. Penn Jillette, Magician.
Patent #5,920,923 — Hydro-therapeutic stimulator (for, um, sexual stimulation)
5. Michael Jackson, Singer.
Patent #5,255,452 — Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion
6. Abraham Lincoln, President.
Patent #6,469 — [Method of] Buoying vessels over shoals
7. Julie Newmar, Actress (“Batman” TV Show).
Patent #3,914,799 — Pantyhose with shaping band for cheeky derriere relief
8. Marlon Brando, Actor.
Patent #6,812,392 — Drumhead tensioning device and method
9. Lawrence Welk, Musician/Bandleader.
Patent #D170,898 — Welk ash tray (design)
10. Jamie Lee Curtis, Actress.
Patent #4,753,647 — Infant garment
11. Gary Burghoff, Actor (Radar on “M*A*S*H” TV Show).
Patent #5,235,774 — Enhanced fish attractor device
12. Mark Twain, Author.
Patent #140,245 — Improvement in scrap-books
13. Hedy Lamarr, Actress.
Patent #2,292,387 — Secret communication system
14. Walt Disney, Animation Innovator.
Patent #2,201,689 — Art of animation (method of filming animation cells with a shadow on the background)
15. Harry Houdini, Magician.
Patent #1,370,316 — Diver’s suit
16. Danny Kaye, Actor/Singer/Entertainer.
Patent #D166,807 — Blowout toy or the like (design)
17. George Lucas, Director.
Patent #D265,754 — Toy figure (design)
18. Charles Fleischer, Actor (voice of Roger Rabbit).
Patent #4,219,959 — Toy egg
UPDATE: Here are two more celebrity patents, courtesy of comments on this blog and others:
19. Prince, Musician/Singer.
Patent #D349,127 — Portable electronic keyboard musical instrument (design)
20. Paul Winchell, Ventriloquist.
Patent #3,097,366 — Artificial Heart