Plato postulated that “necessity” was the mother of invention and we’ve always wondered—who’s the baby’s daddy? If the backlog of applications under review by the US Patent & Trademark Office is any indication, inventions are fertilized by Having Way Too Much Time on Your Hands.
Often you’ll see “patent pending” branded on items you pick up at the store. This means that for a $82-$330 fee (depending on whether you work for a big company), the inventor has filed an application to register it as their original and unique creation. It by no means guarantees that the US patent office will ever certify it, especially if it’s loony.