February 17, 2020

Presidents’ Day 2020: Presidential Patents Beyond Lincoln

While it is appropriate for patent lawyers to acknowledge Abraham Lincoln on Presidents Day (he is, after all, the only president to ever receive a patent) other presidents have be made their mark in patents as well.

In April 1994, near the end of an MTV forum on youth and violence, a 17-year-old high school student from Potomac, Maryland, famously asked President Clinton, “The world is dying to know — is it boxers or briefs?” President Clinton’s answer — “usually briefs” — sparked considerable discussion at the time.

A few years later, while the boxers v. briefs debate continued, Robert Wald of Toluca Lake, California, filed a patent application on Male Boxer Shorts with Integrated Male Briefs, which eventually issued as U.S. Patent No. 5,978,971. The patent solves the need for a male undergarment that combines the benefits of both boxers and briefs.

Curiously, in Fig. 1 of the ‘971 Patent, it appears that President Clinton’s predecessor, George H. W. Bush, makes a guest appearance modeling the undergarment under his suit.

5978971 | Intellectual Property Law Firm | Harness IP