Great Invention Idea? Disguise for Baldness. (We've All Seen This One Before!)

Today dear readers, I am turning my blog over to you. That's because frankly, I'm stumped. Is United States Patent 4022227 worthy of a patent? Do you consider this an invention? An innovation? Or did Frank and Donald Smith the "inventors" merely lay claim to something men have been doing for centuries? You decide; then let me know what you think.

United States patent 4022227 is for a Method of Concealing Partial Baldness. Now, I could go into some of the detail from the patent application itself: A method of styling hair to cover partial baldness using only the hair on a person's head. The hair styling requires dividing a person's hair into three sections and carefully folding one section over another. Or, I could simply call it by its more common, vulgar name: the combover.

Comb Hair to Conceal BaldnessComb Hair to Conceal Baldness

That's right. These two guys - I mean "engineers" - actually spent time, money and valuable government resources patenting the combover! The funny thing is, I'll bet the guy at the United States Patent Office who handled the Smiths' paperwork was sporting a combover at the time their application was filed, giving these guys more reason to believe this idea was a money-maker! No worries though. I'm sure the Smiths grandfathered that poor civil servant in releasing him from any financial obligation to the "inventors."

First Stage of Grief: DenialFirst Stage of Grief: Denial

Anyway, as far as I can tell, the only value enforcing this patent offers us as a society is the possibility that the threat of a huge payout to the Smiths might be enough to get Donald Trump to finally reconsider his hairdo. If so, we face one of two outcomes:

1. The Donald retires to a non-public life where the rest of us no longer have to look at his ugly mug on the Apprentice, bottles of wine, or at building sites.

2. We might find out The Donald is really the Grasshopper, David Carradine, in disguise, which could offer the rest of us some much needed comic relief in the form of the horrified look on Melania's (The Donald's gorgeous wife) face!

The Donald, His Combover, & MelaniaThe Donald, His Combover, & Melania

You might remember I first found myself wondering if a patented article was really an invention or not in an earlier blog, Bull's Eye Toilet Bowl . And here I am again. What's going on? Isn't government bureaucracy bad enough without adding nonsensical inventions to the mix? What do you all think? Perhaps I'm making too much of this patent? If so, maybe I'll reconsider filing my patent application for: Method for Putting Pants On, One Leg at a Time!

Elizabeth Valeri
Patents Writer

Feb 26, 2008
by Michelle
Michelle's picture

This is hilarious. Half the

This is hilarious. Half the men of a certain generation owe some serious royalties to someone.



Feb 26, 2008
by MOJO (not verified)

Perfect example that shows

Perfect example that shows how screwed up th USPTO really is.

Feb 26, 2008
by Elizabeth Valeri
Elizabeth Valeri's picture


If they could get the patent violators to pay royalties I would totally put this one in the, "Why didn't I think of that," category!

Feb 26, 2008
by Elizabeth Valeri
Elizabeth Valeri's picture


I don't know what they're thinking over there.

Feb 26, 2008
by DrZibbs (not verified)

what the?

I can't believe Bob "Comb Over" Murphy has never filed a lawsuit over this B.S. Does he have ANY pride?

Feb 26, 2008
by Elizabeth Valeri
Elizabeth Valeri's picture

Re: Bob "Comb Over" Murphy

Are pride and the combover compatible?

Feb 27, 2008
by G (not verified)


I can't believe that this "patent" was actually accepted by the US patent office. I have loads of ideas that I've been sitting on, only because I didn't think they were sophisticated enough. Apparently , the barriers to entry are not as high as I may have assumed.

Keep up the great blog.


Feb 27, 2008
by Elizabeth Valeri
Elizabeth Valeri's picture

For G

Don't underestimate your ideas.  Go for it!  Thanks for reading.