Six Degrees of Astroturf
As we all may have noticed at some point there is a list of references cited adorning the face of every US patent. Utilizing these lists of references cited, patents can be connected to other patents through the references cited on their own face, as well as the instances where the patent is cited on a subsequent patent’s face. By connecting patents in this manner a network begins to form and begs the question: How many steps would it take to connect any patent with any other patent?
So, starting with any patent where would we find ourselves after 6 steps through the references cited network? Today we fake our way through the patent network with the start of the artificial playing surface movement.
Start: US 3,332,828 A, a synthetic turf which simulates grass
First Degree: US 4,203,592 A, a horseshoe type game where disks or rings are pitched or tossed at targets provided on game mats
Second Degree: US 5,749,136 A, a device for removing a koozie from a beverage can
Third Degree: US 5,079,978 A, a wrench and socket set with double indicia for identifying size and measuring system
Fourth Degree: US 6,931,744 B1, a brake pad measuring tool
Fifth Degree: US 5,471,757 A, a kit for determining the diameter and thread of a spin-on oil filter
Sixth Degree: US 4,329,783 A, a hand tool for locating and measuring inaccessible rafters from the outside of a roof or wall
So there you have it, in 6 steps you can connect an artificial grass floor to a roof rafter locating device. While this journey represents one connection path for the Astroturf patent, feel free to follow your own path of patent connection intrigue and share it in the comments section below. Have a suggestion for an inventor or invention you would like to see in the Six Degrees post? Share that in the comments too!