Yes, its been somewhat of a slow week on the bio/pharma patent news front. So what to write about that is still patent related?
Boeing Co. engineers have found a way to increase the size of those claustrophobia-inducing aircraft lavatories. Yes, a more spacious bathroom on airplanes. Mind you, I am a petite 5 feet 4 inches, and I felt cramped, so given the size of the general population, wasn’t this obvious? How did they get a patent on this? Where’s the patent quality police. Come to think of it, there was a long-felt yet unfulfilled need.
This past Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Boeing Co., a patent for a bathroom that expands into passenger doorways between cabins when a plane is in flight.
This extreme makeover/airplane bathroom edition promises to provide passengers more room for changing clothes, diapers and “refreshing themselves,” the patent says, without taking up more room in the passenger cabin — a concern for many nearly bankrupt airlines which need to squeeze in every possible “seat,” so to speak.
During take-off, landing and while a plane is on the ground, the lavatories would be locked into tight compartments to give passengers and crew ample room to board and exit the aircraft.
Once in flight, the lavatories would rotate into the emergency doorways via giant turntables, their sinks connected to the aircraft’s innards via flexible plumbing lines.
The patent also addresses one likely passenger fear: that the giant lazy susan might accidentally swing shut, trapping an occupant. “(D)uring a turbulent flight, a suitable locking mechanism (e.g., latches, etc.) can be provided,” the patent states. Can’t wait to try this one…..