The most ridiculous patent, ever

Watch out for the USPTO when you're out on the playground

I was looking up some patents today and I stumbled upon this:

US Patent 6,368,227: Method of swinging on a swing

This is not a joke. Apparently, if you swing side-to-side on a swing by alternately pulling on the chains, you are stealing this guy’s intellectual property (he was five years old at the time of the filing, according to NewScientist) Even better is his later “description”:

“Lastly, it should be noted that because pulling alternately on one chain and then the other resembles in some measure the movements one would use to swing from vines in a dense jungle forest, the swinging method of the present invention may be referred to by the present inventor and his sister as “Tarzan” swinging. The user may even choose to produce a Tarzan-type yell while swinging in the manner described, which more accurately replicates swinging on vines in a dense jungle forest. Actual jungle forestry is not required.”

Cool. Thank you, US Patent and Trademark Office, for keeping our nation among the leaders of innovation. Whether it’s in biotechnology or in the backyard, you can patent it, apparently.