Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 79)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on December 27, 2007

U.S. Pat. No. 5,023,850:  Clock for keeping time at a rate other than human time.

JW Note:  Wishing you a Prosperous and Happy New Year 2008!

 dogtime

What is claimed is:

1. A clock for keeping animal time, wherein animal time is defined as human time multiplied by a ratio given by the average lifespan of a human divided by the average lifespan of a type of animal whereby an animal second is equal to one human second divided by said ratio, one animal minute is equal to one human minute divided by said ratio, one animal hour is equal to one human hour divided by said ratio, and one animal day is equal to one human day divided by said ratio, said clock comprising:

          a housing;
          means for generating a reference frequency;
          first means responsive to said generating means for producing pulses at a rate of sixty pulses per second times said ratio;
          first clocking means for accumulating said pulses from said first producing means and producing an animal time output signal in animal hours, animal minutes and animal seconds;
          second means responsive to said generating means for producing pulses at a rate of sixty pulses per second; and
          second clocking means for accumulating said pulses from said second producing means and producing a human time output signal in human hours, human minutes and human seconds.

2. The clock as recited in claim 1, further comprising first display means responsive to said first clocking means for displaying said animal time output signal.

3. The clock as recited in claim 2, further comprising second display means responsive to said second clocking means for displaying said human time output signal.

4. The clock as recited in claim 2, further comprising first date means responsive to said first clocking means for keeping track of animal days and whereas said first display means displays an animal date as a number of said animal days in a year of arbitrary length.

5. The clock as recited in claim 1, further comprising first display means responsive to both said first clocking means and said second clocking means; and means for switching from said first clocking means to said second clocking means, said first display means displaying alternatively animal time and human time.

6. A clock for keeping animal time, wherein animal time is defined as human time multiplied by a ratio given by the average lifespan of a human divided by the average lifespan of a type of animal whereby an animal second is equal to one human second divided by said ratio, one animal minute is equal to one human minute divided by said ratio, one animal hour is equal to one human hour divided by said ratio, and one animal day is equal to one human day divided by said ratio, said clock comprising:

          a housing;
          means for generating a reference frequency;
          first means responsive to said generating means for producing pulses at a rate of sixty pulses per second times said ratio;
          first clocking means for accumulating said pulses from said first producing means and producing an animal time output signal in animal hours, animal minutes and animal seconds;
          first display means responsive to said first clocking means for displaying said animal time output signal; and
          means for varying said ratio to correspond to average life spans of different types of animals.

7. The clock as recited in claim 6, further comprising:

          second means responsive to said generating means for producing pulses at a rate of sixty pulses per second; and
          second clocking means for accumulating said pulses from said second producing means and producing a human time output signal in human hours, human minutes and human seconds.

8. The clock as recited in claim 6, wherein said ratio can be varied from 5.6 to 8.4.

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