Patent: A Talking Head of the Worst Kind

patent for talking toiletYou’d think the bathroom would be the one place you could escape to for some quiet time, but no.

U.S. Patent No. 6,417,773, issued July 9, 2002, is for a talking toilet. This invention allows one to record audio messages that are delivered to toilet users when a microphone hears the sound of the toilet flushing. The purpose of the invention is to promote good hygiene by reminding toilet users to wash their hands, but since users can record any message they want, there’s no reason the device couldn’t be put to other good uses like practical jokes or even political commentary. “There goes the economy” with every flush could have your guests in stitches.

For more toilet humor, check out U.S. Patent No. 5,829,068, issued Nov. 3, 1998, which could prove to be the greatest invention ever for promoting peace in the war between the sexes. The invention is a hydraulic toilet seat raising and lowering device. No more, “Honey, you didn’t put the seat down.” Let this baby do it for you.

— Thanks to David Barman, the Patent Man.


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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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