Saturday, February 27, 2010

Can I Patent the Hug?

After Facebook made its move yesterday to patent the news feed and making computer pundits everywhere scream foul, I started thinking about what is required to patent something? I went over the U.S. government's patent Web site ( and began to see what was required.

Basically getting a patent is broken down into five steps. Step 1, make sure no one has your exact patent before. Step 2, keep an eye on that fee schedule. Step 3, apply for the patent. Step 4, check the status of the patent. Finally, step 5, maintain your patent.

Since Facebook can take a relatively simple thing like the news feed and patent it, I decided that it may be time to patent the hug. There is money to be made and while yes, it is relatively popular and has been around awhile but someone needs to start collecting. Now I know that the regular hug is too popular and out in the open, kind of like Facebook knew the concept of the news feed has been around way before them, so to avoid being turned down by the governmental snobs who manage patents, I decided to make my hug more specific and give it a special name.

My hug is a lower-back hug. A lower-back hug requires that the hugger's hands meet behind the huggee's back on the lower-back, approximately 4-6 inches from the ass region. I began to go through the steps, I searched the database for lower-back hug. To my delight, there were 0 patents. Since nothing is being manufactured, my patent will be a utility patent so that looks to run me about $500. I'll go ahead and apply for my patent and it is now just a waiting game. In a few weeks - every lower-back hug is money in my pocket.

I would like to commend Facebook for taking the initiative of taking a common Internet component and having the courage to say, we may not have invented it, but we can say we patented it. If only more companies would take the time to take up public domain concepts of the Web and make it corporate, the entire Web will belong to corporations (as opposed to the huge chunk that already does).

In closing, after reading this please take the time to go ahead and give your loved one's a nice big hug. In a few months, I may start collecting so watch where those hands end up. Didn't you hear, there is money to be made?

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