Method of exercising a cat

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U.S. Patent 5,443,036 was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on August 22, 1995 for a method of exercising a cat by getting it to follow a visible spot generated on reflective surfaces by a laser pointer with an invisible light beam. The patent has been taken as an example of a "goofy",[1] "seemingly absurd" [2] or questionable [3] patent justifying, in the opinion of some, reform of the patent system. (The original filing date is November 2, 1993.)

The patent expired in 2007 for failure to pay maintenance fees.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Darren Franklin, Patent-Reform Bill Promises Changes to Transform Law, Los Angeles Daily Journal, September 14, 2005
  2. ^ Small-time inventors cry foul on patent changes, MSNBC, October 21, 2005
  3. ^ N. Stephan Kinsella, “Against Intellectual Property”, Journal of Libertarian Studies 15, no. 2 (Spring 2001), pp. 1–54. (see Appendix: Some questionable examples of patents and copyrights)
  4. ^ "Notice of Expiration of Patents Due to Failure to Pay Maintenance Fee". United States Patent and Trademark Office. August 22, 2007. Retrieved June 27, 2011.