Patently arrogant

Jinjer sent me a link to a company called Rebecca and Drew. She knew it’d interest me because they’re making blouses sizing by bra size and she knows I have long advocated sizing women’s blouses and dresses by bra size rather than dress size. See my post Alternatives in women’s sizing. Anyway, initially I was glad to hear that Rebecca and Drew sized their blouses by bra size until I saw that they purport to have a patent pending on the affair…excuse me? I just about fell out of my chair; this is just about one of the most arrogant things I’ve ever seen a DE company do. They think cutting to bra size is unique? I’ve been doing it since they were in diapers; do they honestly believe that we were too stupid to think of it first? Are they so green that they sincerely and honestly believe that:

1) They’re the first to come up with the idea?
2) They can garner royalties from people who adopt the practice?
3) They can stop others who are already doing it?

Since I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, I’d love to know how they plan on stopping me and everybody else who’s been doing it since before Rebecca and Drew learned to tie their own shoes. Sure, it’s a great idea and I applaud them for adopting the practice because not nearly enough manufacturers are doing it but they’re far from being the first to do it, they’re not the sole practioners of it and I’d love to see how they plan on enforcing it.

What many people don’t realize is that just because you can file for a patent, it doesn’t mean you’ll get one. Not only must you supply proofs of your claim, the general public has the right to file objections to what you consider to be your intellectual property. If you’re interested in the whole issue of patents, your first stop should be the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Read the basic facts about patents to have your most common questions answered.

Which brings me to the whole issue of protesting patents because you can be very sure a patent examiner will get my two cents when R & D’s application crosses his desk.

Protests by a member of the public against pending applications will be referred to the examiner having charge of the subject matter involved. A protest specifically identifying the application to which the protest is directed will be entered in the application file if: (1) The protest is submitted prior to the publication of the application or the mailing of a notice of allowance under rule 1.311, whichever occurs first; and (2) The protest is either served upon the applicant in accordance with rule 1.248, or filed with the Office in duplicate in the event service is not possible. For more detailed information on protesting a patent, you may visit our Web site for the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) Chapter 1900.

According to the manual of patent examining procedure, the first thing is to search for the patent (pending or granted) by keywords. I searched under just about any keyword you can think of including “sizing” (for which there were 400+ patents, few of them apparel related) and came up with nothing. So according to the database (going back to 2001) Rebecca and Drew don’t have a patent pending. Maybe they only intended to stave off competition in the market -personally, I don’t think their blouses are very attractive- by saying they have one pending? Regardless, I’ll be checking the database every couple of months just in case. In the meantime, cut away! Please do cut your women’s tops, blouses, dresses and shirts according to cup size.

Feel free to add the names of companies you know of who are already sizing by cup size by using the comments feature so that I can contact those companies in the event that a patent protest is necessary.

And by the way ladies, the average bra size is a 36 C…go wild!

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