File puptcrit/puptcrit.0810, message 78

Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2008 23:49:02 EDT
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Topo Gigio & other puppet patents /plus thoughts

U.S. Patents are easily searchable on-line. A quick search of "puppet" on  
the U.S. Patent web site generated 607 patents. Patents aren't worth much unless 
 you are prepared to defend the infringements in court. Hobey?
Anyone can be a puppeteer? Brain Surgeon? Reminded me of "Anyone Can Cook,"  
from the recent Pixar opus "Ratatouille," where this concept is artfully  
In a message dated 10/4/2008 7:00:36 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

David  Covarrubias-

Please post the U.S. Patent number and filing date for  Topo Gigo. With it, 
it is easy to access a copy at several patent departments  of major Public 
Libraries, including the central Los Angeles Public Library.  Without the number 
and date, it can take a couple of days searching.

I  have not checked, but would not be surprised if nowdays it could be found 
also  on line. 

Hazelle Marionettes claimed a patented marionette control.  Has anyone ever 
found THAT patent? I've always wondered how you could patent a  basic airplane 
control for marionettes. Maybe because it was painted  red?

Many patentable puppet ideas cost to much to process. Others have  probably 
been filed which were already in wide use.

Early Disney  animatronics patents according to rumour, were buried in 
different patent  locations, instead of being of a piece, making it difficult to 
verify if they  really were patentble or  not, thus discouraging competitors. 
When I  worked with the Krofft puppet show at Six Flags Over Texas (Amusement 
Park in  Arlington TX) the park management hired an "ex-Disney employee" to 
create an  animatronic lifesize  figure of Will   Rogers.


But one  phrase Betsy used frequently in her puppet courses, was "anyone can 
be a  puppeteer". My brain would say to itself, "anyone can be a brain surgeon 
too,  but I would be careful which one I picked."

I felt that what was  overlooked in those puppet classes, was pointing out 
that our top professional  puppeteers WERE better than average, WERE deserving 
of special respect and  admiration, and WERE a source of inspiration Anyone can 
paint a picture, too,  but not all of us are Rembrandt, Picasso or Vincent 
van Gogh. It is fine to  encourage fledgling puppeteers, but a dose of humility 
is also helpful.  


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