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By Public Collectors (compiled and designed by Marc Fischer) Chicago, IL, Public Collectors, 2010
Pages: 36 double sided loose sheets plus folded cardstock cover and postcard
Dimensions: 8.5" X 11"
Cover: Paper
Binding: unbound sheets in folio cover and plastic sleeve
Process: digital
Color: black
Edition size: 22 signed and numbered copies
ISBN: none

This Public Collectors release takes an already public collection and distills millions of patent applications into a more personal selection of favorites. Drawings from these applications are printed on many different colors of paper stock to create a colorful assortment that could be hung on the wall to create an instant exhibition. This publication has a regrettably small print run of just 22 identical signed and numbered copies. It probably won't be reprinted so don't wait too long if you want one.

Excerpts from the introduction to "Drawings from U.S. Patent and Trademark Applications":

"Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a patent as: “a writing securing for a term of years the exclusive right to make, use, or sell an invention.”

Recently Google.com introduced the ability to search the database of U.S. patents online and download each application in PDF form.

Patent application drawings present a clinical view of each object, devoid of its sensual material qualities, freed from surface colors and textures, and often exploded into its constituent parts in a way that makes feelings of nostalgia or other kinds of desire harder to access. These are the lowly origin stories of products. Some have gone on to lives of mass availability, such as the spoon and fork combination known as the “Spork.” Others never went into production.

The absurd decision-making in so many patents is immediately apparent. How was it determined that an extremely complicated apparatus should be inserted inside a doll to make it cry or wink? How was it decided that dolphins should appear on a cremation urn? What did dolphins do to deserve to be on a container for human cremains? What compelled an inventor to put a human head on the end of a dildo?

Currently over seven million applications can be viewed online. This folio presents a highly subjective selection of drawings from this vast well of material. Among the seventy applications here, I’ve included drawings from:

Anatomical Doll for Child Abuse Investigations; Miniature Coffin Cigarette Case; Shark Protector Suit; Magnetic Pendulum Device for Feline Amusement and Exercise; Surrogate Sexual Partner; Bird Scaring Device; Inflatable Humanoid Forms; Flatulence Deodorizer; Method of Making a Readily Portable Burrito; Facial Liquid Excreting Doll; Arm Restraint Device for Children Afflicted with a Compulsive Biting Disorder; Gender Neutral Doll Body with Replaceable Photographic Face; Multiple Bladed Retractable Claw Weapon; Apparatus for Exercising the Penis; War on Terrorism Flag.

In some cases I printed the first page of the application, which includes a title. For other applications I only included my favorite drawing and left the function or purpose of the object open to speculation."
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