第2回 「トイレ使用の予約システム」の発明

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米国の実用特許(Utility Patent)を知るために、先ず米国で話題となった興味深いアイディアの発明の特許を見てみましょう。米国特許第6329919号の”system and method for providing reservations for restroom use”(訳:トイレ使用の予約を提供するためのシステム及び方法)です。どんな発明でしょうか。


“The present invention is an apparatus, system, and method for providing reservations for restroom use. In one embodiment, a passenger on an airplane may submit a reservation request to the system for restroom use. The reservation system determines when the request can be accommodated and notifies the passenger when a restroom becomes available. The system improves airline safety by minimizing the time passengers spent standing while an airplane is in flight”.



Patent Claims(請求の範囲)

1. A method of providing reservations for restroom use, comprising:
receiving a reservation request from a user; and
notifying the user when the restroom is available for his or her use.


2. The method according to claim 1, further comprising assigning a reservation number in response to the request.


3. The method according to claim 2, wherein said assigning the number assigns number based on a set of priority rules.


4. The method according to claim 2, wherein said assigning the number assigns number on a first come, first served basis.


5. The method according to claim 1, further comprising providing the user with an approximate waiting time.


6. The method according to claim 1, further comprising determining whether the reservation is cancelled.


7. The method according to claim 1, wherein said reservations are provided on an airplane.


8. The method according to claim 1, wherein said reservations are provided on a passenger train or boat.


9. The method according to claim 1, further comprising determining whether the user has entered the restroom within a predetermined time period.


10. A method of providing reservations for restroom use, comprising:
submitting a reservation request for restroom use; and
receiving notification when the restroom becomes available for use.



  1. Claims(請求の範囲)
  2. Field of the Invention(発明の属する分野)
  3. Background(発明の背景)
  4. Summary(発明の概要)
  5. Brief Description of the Drawings(図面の簡単な説明)
  6. Detailed Description(詳細な説明)

明細書の項目のタイトルは様々ですが、他の明細書も大体、上記のような構成から成り立っています。明細書には実施例の記載がされるのが通常であり、上記”Detailed Description”に”Embodiment”(実施形態)という項目が置かれるものがほとんどです。



“The dangers of standing on an airplane while the airplane is in flight are well known. However, because of the shortage of restrooms on board, it is often necessary for passengers to stand for quite sometime in the aisles while queuing to use the restroom. Standing in the aisle of a moving aircraft creates safety hazard and inconveniences for both the passenger and other people on board. For example, a standing passenger may fall and injure himself or other passengers when the airplane encounters turbulence in the air. Likewise, a passenger may lose a great deal of his valuable time or miss a significant portion of an entertainment program because of waiting to use a restroom. Similar safety concerns also exist with restroom uses on a passenger train or boat”.


Detailed Description(詳細な説明)


“FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of a system. In this embodiment, the system includes a centralized controller 100 configured to receive information from a communications network 200 through its input/output(I/O)facility 175, preferably, via a network interface 180. The I/O facility is capable of both receiving and sending information. Peripheral devices 150 may be attached to the centralized controller for any number of purposes including, but not limited to:printers for output, scanners for input, additional or alternative storage devices for data storage and retrieval, network interfaces for communication, and devices of the like. Also, the central controller may receive information from one or more users from user input device(s)120”.




35 U.S.C. 101 Inventions patentable.

“Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title”.





  • 米国特許明細書は、Field of the Invention(発明の属する分野)、Background(発明の背景)、Summary(発明の概要)、Brief Description of the Drawings(図面の簡単な説明)、Embodiment(実施態様)などの項目から成ります。
  • 35USC101条に発明の対象が規定されています。
  • 特許の対象となるのは、プロセス、機械、製造物、合成物あるいはそれらの改良ですが、新規かつ有用であることが必要です。


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