Monday, November 30, 2009

Monsanto: Patents for Seeds

St. Louis-based Monsanto has a lot of seed patents, to the growing chagrin of some farmers.

How many U.S. patents & patent apps in total?


See them here.

Consider their most recent patent, #7,622,660 titled Plants and seeds of hybrid corn variety CH475361 from 11/24/2009--

According to the invention, there is provided seed and plants of the hybrid corn variety designated CH475361. The invention thus relates to the plants, seeds and tissue cultures of the variety CH475361, and to methods for producing a corn plant produced by crossing a corn plant of variety CH475361 with itself or with another corn plant, such as a plant of another variety. The invention further relates to genetic complements of plants of variety CH475361.

This article in the Winnipeg Free Press talks about Monsanto's patent enforcement, and the likely effect on farmers.

On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our University Patent Portfolios here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sherwin-Williams IP

How many U.S. patents & patent apps for Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams?


See them here.

Since its founding by Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams in 1866, The Sherwin-Williams Company has not only grown to be the largest producer of paints and coatings in the United States, but is among the largest producers in the world.

Their latest patent is from October 2009 titled Pigment and coating composition capable of inhibiting corrosion of substrates:

The present invention relates to a pigment and a coating composition comprising such a pigment, wherein it is contemplated that a coating composition containing such pigment is capable of inhibiting corrosion of a substrate to which it is applied. In one embodiment, the pigment comprises a filler having calcium borate, calcium molybdate, and calcium phosphate deposited on the surface of the filler. In an exemplary embodiment, the filler is calcium carbonate.

There are three inventors listed--
  1. Simpson, Charles H. (Avon, OH)
  2. Peck, Michael W. (Coffeyville, KS)
  3. Wright, Lisa M. (Coffeyville, KS).

On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our University Patent Portfolios here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blackwater IP

Blackwater (Moyock, NC) is pretty controversial. But like them or not, they have IP-- eleven U.S. patents and patent apps, see them all here.

Consider Target System, from 5/30/2006, invented by Jim Dehart--

A target system provides a unified target solution where a plurality of targets are fixed to a base member. This base member allows, for example, easy portability of the plurality of targets as well as provides a mechanism for allowing multiple targets systems to be interconnected and interchanged.

And here's a recent book about the company.

On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our University Patent Portfolios here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Inventor Jacques Cousteau

Jacques Cousteau received his first U.S. patent in 1949, called Diving Unit.

Over his long life, he garnered a total of 16 U.S. patents.

The last was Apparatus for Producing a Force When in a Moving Fluid, from 12/23/1986--

A device for producing a force when in a moving fluid, such as air or water, and a method for using said device. The device may be placed in a fluid moving in a first direction for producing a force in a second direction, which is substantially transverse with respect to the first direction. The device avoids the use of large sail areas needed where the force derived from wind is proportional to said area. The device according to the invention comprises an elongated body having in cross-section a rounded symmetrical profile, which defines an elongated and rounded leading portion whose thickness increases from the front to the rear and a rounded trailing portion whose thickness decreases from the front to the rear, the leading portion being longer than the trailing portion. The device according to the invention is also provided with at least one flap, which projects from the body and which is located on the trailing portion of the profile.

Brad Matsen recently authored a superb book on Cousteau, called The Sea King, and Cousteau's work continues today at

On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our University Patent Portfolios here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Munchkin: 59 Patents

North Hills, CA-based Munchkin develops "innovative products that excite and delight parents, children and pets."

The company was founded in 1991, and sits atop 59 U.S. patents and patent applications.

Straw Drinking Cup from inventor Justin McDonough from 4/14/2009 got our attention:

A straw drinking cup includes a container and a flexible straw having a first, drinking, end and a second and that is disposed within the container. Advantageously, the cup includes a straw positioning mechanism that ensures that the first, drinking end of the flexible straw will remain upwardly oriented to minimize the possibility of leakage, regardless of whether the straw positioning mechanism is in the open position, the closed position, or in transit between the two positions. The straw drinking cup further includes an advantageous venting mechanism that includes a flexible membrane that permits air to flow into the container only when a sufficient pressure differential is developed across the membrane, such as will occur when a consumer is sucking on the flexible straw. The venting mechanism further operates so as to prevent leakage from the container, as sufficient pressure will not exist to draw any liquid across the flexible membrane.

Early this year, Munchkin announced a partnership with Arm & Hammer to develop a line of deodorizing products for the nursery.

On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our University Patent Portfolios here.