It’s a clear fall day, mid 50s and no rain, the fallen leaves paint the nearby surroundings in different shades of red, orange and yellow. The air is crisp and new beginnings are on the horizon. Today, you have your quarterly business summit meeting to discuss the next fiscal quarter and you’ve been looking forward to this day all summer. This is your opportunity to make the leap to accounts manager. In preparation for this meeting, you’ve purchased a variety of high-tech devices, including a laptop, tablet, smartphone, camera, sunglasses, headphones, speakers, and projector. While a backpack may store all these devices, it doesn’t achieve the professional aesthetic you desire. Cargo slacks may suffice, but they scream to the world you have the fashion sense of a spoon. To make matters worse, your son, Taurus, recently converted your briefcase into a latrine. What’s a business professional such as yourself to do?
Presumably, Scott E. Jordan, likely an avid fisherman, found himself in a similar situation, but rather than buckle under the pressure, Scott envisaged a vest having many pockets for electronic devices and the like. “Why should fisherman be the only people with vests having so many pockets?” Scott likely said to himself on an identical fall morning and got to work.
Scott’s vest, more commonly known as the Personal Assistant Garment in U.S. Pat. No. 6, 826, 782, specifically describes a vest having two separate central passageways on opposite sides of a central opening of the vest. The passageways are segmented and allow for wires to be installed. It’s quite surprising that such a simple idea may be granted a patent, especially in light of more recent garment patents struggling with their own patent prosecution cases. Take for example, a Patagonia patent (U.S. Pat. No. 2017/0028669), which faced an election requirement and is now on its final Office action, with references from the non-final Office action being maintained. It begs the question, what is so different about this vest?
In short, the vest provides a variety of pockets which have dividers connected by Velcro. Thus, some pockets may be used to hold a beverage and other adjacent pockets may be used to hold electronic devices. Another key feature of the vest includes the optionally interconnectivity of the pockets to allow wires to extend therethrough.
In hindsight, this patent seems fairly obvious, but that’s the benefit of hindsight. What we can learn from this patent is that it does not take years of research and development or excessive ingenuity to be granted a patent on a garment. For example, walking a dog in cold weather may be challenging due to pockets not having a hole therein for accommodating a leash. A jacket which could allow a user to have their hand arranged in a pocket while also holding the leash may be both patentable and commercially viable.