If you’ve been working on a way to see more butts, the solution has already been patented! Seems like those footie pajamas complete with buttflap would have precluded this invention (or maybe certain leather chaps).
Why does this pass the PTO examination?
There are three theoretical hurdles to obtaining your new utility patent; the subject matter must be useful, novel, and nonobvious. Yes, this is a utility patent. This patent contains multiple claims and design patents are only allowed to have one claim. See 37 CFR 1.153(a).
Usefulness is satisfied when there is beneficial use of the invention. The patent claims that these pants provide beneficial use to those that find tight, low-rise jeans uncomfortable but would like to incorporate a revealing feature. This claim is correct in that the pants are revealing. However, the wearer is unlikely to find the pants comfortable, because going commando would seem to allow a draft.
Novelty is satisfied when the patent has not been anticipated by prior art or public use more than a year prior to the critical date. Public use occurs when the product has been tested and examined by a PHOSITA. However, every element of the subject matter must be anticipated. Maybe the prior art just didn’t anticipate a cut-out of the chevy symbol revealing cleavage!
Non-obviousness is similar to novelty, but includes the entire field of the invention. For example, a toothbrush patent would be included in the universe of prior art for a new hair brush patent. I think a PHOSITA could have adapted buttless chaps to anticipate this patent easily.
Why did this fail in the market?
This product could be wonderful in a few situations. The pants send such a clear message that even the most distant father would cringe to see his daughter in them. There are, however, people that should steer clear of these things (cite people of Walmart). Quite frankly, Americans are still a conservative bunch. Dresses revealing butt cleavage have been popular in France for years.
What do you think?
Do you think a PHOSITA could have figured this out based on buttless chaps and pajamas with the buttflap as prior art? – comment below