Swinging

Antoun Nabhan anabhan@attglobal.net
Tue, 16 Apr 2002 12:35:47 -0700


At 12:22 PM 4/16/02 -0300, Owen Byrne wrote:
>Via Slashdot:
>http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=/netahtm
>l/search-adv.htm&r=23&f=G&l=50&d=FT00&p=1&p=1&S1=(Swinging+AND+swing)&OS=Swi
>nging+and+swing&RS=(Swinging+AND+swing)
>http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork

So, the really strange thing about this patent is how easy it is to 
innovate around it. The claims only cover "chains" hanging from a support 
of "tree branches," whereas the description clearly contemplates 
embodiments in which the chains could be replaced by several alternate 
flexible or even rigid attachments, and the tree branch could be replaced 
by a structure of alternate materials.

The other thing is that I, personally, have been practicing this method - 
or, being an urban dweller more likely to find steel swing sets than tree 
branches, an obviating prior art method, since, oh, at least 1977. I am 
not, however, bored enough to bother filing the requisite suit for 
declaratory judgment of invalidity and noninfringement, unless they sue me 
first.

--A.