Sunday, April 01, 2007

Pug Bowling and Patents

I'm not an intellectual property lawyer, so don't take my words as the gospel, but I began pondering the question of pug bowling somehow infringing on U.S. Patent 5,443,036. My guess is it doesn't, since the claims of 5,443,036 are explicit in references to felines:

"A method for inducing cats to exercise consists of directing a beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus onto the floor or wall or other opaque surface in the vicinity of the cat, then moving the laser so as to cause the bright pattern of light to move in an irregular way fascinating to cats, and to any other animal with a chase instinct. "

Also, the point of pug bowling doesn't seem to be wholly one of exercising the pugs. The more serious players are probably in it for the love of the game.

That said, my guess is any attempt to patent pug bowling should probably cite 5,443,036 as prior art.


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