The wonderful world of patents (2)

Episode 2

The wonderful world of patents (2)

Once again. I find myself drawn to weird and wonderful patents as inspiration to start the New Year.

Many of the world’s population (predominantly female, I suspect) will have started (yet another) diet on 1st January 2022, having consumed much of their 2022 calorie allowance for the year in the preceding two weeks or so.

We are often looking for a ‘quick fix’ or a miracle diet aid, and I think I may have found the answer to all of our prayers. Allow me to present the…

Anti-eating face mask

The wonderful world of patents (2): US Patent No. 4344424 “Anti-eating face mask”

US Patent No. 4,344,424 was granted in 1982. I offer you an excerpt from the introduction by way of explanation of the problem sought to be addressed and an insight into the inventor’s motivation here: “the housewife who must frequently cook meals during the day which generally includes the preparation of such fattening foods such as pies, pastries, and the like. During the preparation of such meals not only is there the temptation to nibble on the food being prepared but it is generally necessary that the food be tasted during preparation thereby constantly stimulating the appetite and promoting the consumption of large quantities of food.

Let’s just leave that hanging there, shall we…?

You would be forgiven, at this point, for thinking (like me) that the device was invented by a man (for “the housewife” who may be a great cook but is getting a bit portly in her middle age). But the inventor and owner of the patent appears to be a woman, Lucy L. Barmby. One can only imagine what her state of mind was at the time.

Now, my initial reaction, given the ongoing pandemic, was: ‘surely, a face mask could offer the same additional advantages?’ However, this was a rather short-sighted viewpoint on my part, as what would stop us from removing the mask to eat “the large quantities of food”? The inventor, being the innovator she clearly is, has pre-empted this issue with a PADLOCK, the key to which is (presumably) given into one’s husband’s safe keeping whilst he saunters off to work, leaving paramedics to cut me out of the device “in emergency conditions”. She thought of everything.

Stuck between a rock and hard place?

I have to be frank here, if my choice lies between looking like Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs and scaring my family half to death (or making them laugh till they cry) at mealtimes, versus going up a dress size, I think I would choose the latter. My husband, however, being the erstwhile keeper of the key, may feel differently…especially if also hinders or muffles my voice! XD

What do you think?

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Happy New Year from all of us at Strachan IP

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