Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 87)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on February 19, 2008

U.S. Pat. No. 7,062,320:   Device for the treatment of hiccups.

  hiccup

What is claimed is:

1. A device for curing hiccups, comprising: a metallic cup-like vessel being a first electrode for producing electricity adapted to be applied to the lip of the user; and a second electrode electrically insulated from said first electrode being affixed to said vessel and extending from a point substantially within said vessel to a point substantially above a rim of the vessel.

2. The device of claim 1 further including an elongate bracket affixed to a wall of said vessel and to said second electrode to support said second electrode in spaced relation thereto, said bracket extending above the rim of the vessel.

3. The device of claim 7 further including at least one insulator located between said bracket and said second electrode to provide a non-conductive attachment of said electrode to said bracket whereby a conductive liquid within said vessel causes a galvanic response between said first and second electrodes to produce an electrical potential therebetween.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein said vessel is composed of a carbon-based metal.

5. The device of claim 3 wherein said second electrode is composed of a material that is of a different electrochemical potential than the metal of said vessel.

6. The device of claim 5 wherein said second electrode is composed of a carbon alloy.

7. The device of claim 1 wherein said metallic electrode contains a distal region thereof located above the rim and adapted to contact the facial skin in the temple region of the user when drinking from the vessel.

8. The device of claim 7 wherein the vessel and second electrode are adapted to apply an electrical potential between the user’s facial temple region and parts of the user’s body in contact with the electrically conductive liquid within said vessel.

9. The device of claim 8 wherein said conductive liquid is water.

10. A method of curing hiccups, comprising: applying a first electrical current of one potential to the lower lip of the patient; and applying a second electrical current of a different potential from said one potential to the facial skin of the patient.

11. The method of claim 10 further including the step of drinking an electrically conductive fluid from a vessel which includes the electrodes for applying said first and second electrical currents to the patient.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the body of the vessel provides a first electrode for applying the first electrical current and a second electrode which applies the second electrical current is non-conductively affixed to a wall of the vessel and is immersed at one end in the electrically conductive fluid.

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