Patently absurd

January 6, 1995

The wacky patent application competition 1994, held by Chemistry & Industry magazine, yields one UK winner who has proposed a waterproof bird-feeder.

Trevor Rowston of Nottingham has designed a transparent plastic dome which keeps the bird-food dry but visible. Other winners include a battery-operated lollipop holder, which rotates the sweet, obviating the need to lick; a Japanese proposal for gold leaf-coated rice (stays on even when cooked); a proposal for a combined pen and massage unit: pen in the bottom half, massage motor "for rubbing parts of the body alternatively" in the top; and an umbrella that lights up at the end of each spoke when you cross the road in the dark.

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