Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 200)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on April 15, 2011

U.S. Pat. No. 5,195,917:  Tear-apart stress relief doll and method.

What is claimed is:

1. A method for relieving tension, comprising:
          providing a stuffed doll simulating a sports referee with indicia simulating a referee uniform, the doll representing an actual sports referee whose actions can constitute a source of tension-inducing stress, the doll having
a torso portion; and
          leg elements, arm elements, said arm elements mounting a releasable attachment means and terminating in a simulated hand and said leg elements comprising a fabric casing, the fabric extended into an integral flap which mounts a releasable attachment means, a flag attached to one of said hands and a head element with releasable attachments, at least some of the elements being removably attached to the torso portion by said attachment means, said elements selectively torn off the torso portion in response to an action of the actual sports referee, such as in the event of a bad call, and the removably-attached elements subsequently replaced after user tension has been relieved.

2. A method in accordance with claim 1, which comprises providing a doll wherein the removably-attached elements releasable attachment means comprise hook-and-loop fastening material.

3. A tear-apart tension-relieving stuffed doll comprising:
          a torso portion;
          a pair of leg elements, a pair of arm elements, said arm elements mounting a releasable attachment means and terminating in a simulated hand and said leg elements comprising a fabric casing, the fabric extended into an integral flap which mounts a releasable attachment means, a flag attached to one of said hands and a head element with releasably attachment means which, when attached to said torso portion, form a sports referee figure with indicia simulating a referee uniform representing an actual sports referee whose actions can constitute a source of tension-inducing stress; and
           at least some of said elements being removably attached to said torso portion by said attachment means such that said removably-attached elements can selectively be torn off said torso portion in response to an action of the actual sports referee, such as in the event of a bad call, and said removably-attached elements can be subsequently replaced.

4. A tear-apart tension-relieving doll in accordance with claim 3, said releasable attachment means comprise hook-and-loop fastening material for removably attaching said removably-attached elements to said torso portion.

2 Responses

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  1. Dan Feigelson said, on April 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Hey Jake, unilike some of the crazy things you find and post here, there was an actual product that was covered by this patent – my brother bought one (the basketball ref) when we were in college (long before either of us considered patent law as a career)! My kids assure me that it’s still sitting at our parents’ home.

    • Jake Ward said, on April 27, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Dan. I seem to remember seeing one of these years ago also (in a Cleveland Browns football edition, if I remember correctly). I think this product is ripe for a come-back . . . maybe a Patent Examiner/Patent Attorney edition? :-)


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