Taken individually, patents can be humorous in themselves. But taken as a whole, Wright finds that patterns in the patent application pipeline reveal absurd and disturbing truths about society's attitude toward its security, its pets and its meat.
One recurring theme Wright focuses on is the double standard Americans apply to the animals we live with and the animals we eat.
Hardly a week goes by without Patently Silly featuring some new invention for pampering pets, be it the dog umbrella, pet product vending machine or meat-filled flying disk.
In the course of skimming thousands of patents each week, however, Wright also encounters an abundance of patents geared for the poultry and livestock industries. These patents -- which bear names like "spinal cord removal tool with adjustable blades," and "animal sorting and grading system using MRI to predict maximum value" -- offer a rather striking contrast to the soft and cuddly pet genre.
"If you're a dog, you get umbrellas and all kinds of good things," notes Wright. "But if you're a cow, you get stuck in an MRI that'll tell you how good your meat is going to taste...."