Six Degrees of Christie Brinkley
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?
With a question like that naturally the mind shifts to the man, the myth, the legend Mr. Kevin Bacon, who allegedly can be connected to anyone in Hollywood through 6 steps or less. So, starting with any patent where would we find ourselves after 6 steps through the references cited network? Today we beautify the patent system with the Uptown Girl herself, Christie Brinkley.
Start: US 4,998,883 A, an educational toy for teaching the alphabet invented by Christie Brinkley
First Degree: US 5,100,324 A, a pre-school stencil kit
Second Degree: US 7,334,518 B2, a kit for creating artistic works on a residential lawn
Third Degree: US 6,330,503 B1, a staking apparatus controlled by a global positioning system
Fourth Degree: US 5,512,905 A, a surveyor range pole with tilt and direction sensors
Fifth Degree: US 5,841,392 A, a pulse-echo ranging system using an improved, reflective target
Sixth Degree: US 4,698,636 A, a ground speed determining radar used by airplanes
So there you have it, in 6 steps you can go from learning your ABC’s to determining your speed at takeoff. While this journey represents one connection path for the Brinkley 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!