The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

“I'm sorry, but Donald Duck did it first.”

There is a famous story (among patent attorneys, at least) about a Donald Duck story being used as prior art against a patent. This concerned an invention in which sunken ships can be raised by pumping buoyant bodies into them, which eventually will provide sufficient upward lift to bring the ship back to the surface. In a 1949 Donald Duck story, titled The Sunken Yacht a ship is raised by stuffing it full of ping-pong balls. But whether the story was actually used by a patent office to refuse the patent application remains unclear.

Via news from me, The “Donald Duck as prior art” case

I think that's really neat, and even better, the story itself was written and drawn by my favorite Disney cartoonist Carl Barks.

I also remember him doing an Uncle Scrooge comic where the Ducks use old inner tubes to raise a riverboat (a charming story about Scrooge McDuck raising a riverboat to finish a riverboat race with a rival).

Heck, I remember another Carl Barks story which had a credible explaination for the Flying Dutchman myth. Heck, all the Carl Barks stories were great.

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