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Patents Gone Wild?

April 5, 2006

Former CIS editor David Butcher spotted my article on the Netflix versus Blockbuster patent hoo-ha today, and sent me a wonderful tidbit of information...that someone has actually patented the childhood "string phone" concept. To much money do our former seven-year-old selves own the patent holders?

United States Patent 4,195,707
Kupperman, et al. April 1, 1980

Communicating Device
A device for communicating in which a hollow frustum extending outwardly from a flat base has tabs at the ends thereof for holding a relatively rigid diaphragm having spaced apart apertures therein. A pair of these devices are interconnected by a cord or string, whereby conversation or sound projected into one of the devices is reproduced at the other device. Two devices are molded as a single integral unit and merchandised as an in-pack item with children’s breakfast cereals.

We are not making this up. Repeat, we are not...


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