Interesting Patents: Umbrella-Shovel

I do alot of design patent work, so I’ve developed a habit of browsing through the issued design patents every week. It’s interesting to see some of the things that people patent.

This week’s case in point: US D652,615 for a “Combined beach umbrella and entrenching tool.”

This caught my attention because I couldn’t imagine how someone could use a shovel that had a large umbrella attached to the end of the handle. But, then I realized that the shovel appears to be detachable. So I guess it’s a convenience issue – carry your shovel and umbrella together. Still, when I see this image, I can’t help but imagine someone trying to dig a hole with a shovel that’s attached to a large umbrella.

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New PatentBytes Website Design

Welcome to the new re-designed PatentBytes website!
PatentBytes has been transitioned to WordPress and re-designed to be more user-friendly.
I had several goals in mind for the new version of the Patent Bytes website.
First, I wanted to make it easier to access the various search options. So now users can easily conduct full-text searches of the MPEP, patent regulations, patent laws, etc. using the form located on the front page. The search results open in a new window so that it’s easy to repeat the same search of another source by just returning to this page, selecting another source, then clicking search again.
Second, I’ve broadened the scope of the sources from which recent blog headlines are retrieved and consolidated them on the home page next to recent patent-related news headlines. So now, with a quick glance at the home page, visitors can get a glimpse of recent happenings in the patent world.
A third goal was to try to make the site easier to maintain and update. Past versions of this site have been built on CMS platforms PostNuke and Joomla. These are good platforms, but really more complex than necessary for this site. So far I’ve enjoyed working with WordPress. I’m optimistic that WordPress will make it easier for me to update and maintain this site, and maybe even write an occasional blog entry.
Let me know what you think about the new site, and feel free to offer suggestions. You can comment below or contact me at the email address located below.

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