The Breathable Fursuit

Sometimes a product fails, not because it was a bad idea, but because it never found its market. Maybe it was before its time, or maybe that particular fetish hadn’t gained popular traction yet. I think the “weather and climate adaptive Halloween costume” may have been in the latter category:

Elephant-headed costume.
USP 6,904,612, FIG. 1

Filed in 2002, the invention included a two-layer costume. The outer layer took the form of the character being portrayed, while the inner layer was used to provide shaping and ventilation. This was needed because, “Plus is a relatively dense and insulative material and tends to hold in both heat and moisture.” The inventor recognized the threat this posed to comfort and wellbeing for the wearer and so provides a porous inner layer to circulate air as the user walks around.

The headpiece appears to be one solid unit, but there are also options for cooling there:

A hood over a derpy looking face with a potato bunny on the forehead.
USP 6,904,612, FIG. 12

Unfortunately, there are some problems with the application that the Examiner never caught. For example, in the image above, what is 312? Why bother designate the user’s dashed-line face? These elements are not described in the specification. I just want to know why they’re wearing a… potato rabbit?

The issued patent expired in 2009 because the owner didn’t pay the maintenance fee. Wikipedia tells me that the fursuit business really started picking up in the mid-2000s, and I am certain they were trying to solve the same ventilation problems. But I am guessing that the inventor either never noticed that potential market, or perhaps didn’t want to get involved when their main product appears to be the kinds of plush animals you’d find in a hospital gift shop. Or maybe the fursuiters just found a better way to ventilate the costumes and never bothered with this patent.

However it went down, the patent is expired now and is in the prior art. A boon to furries everywhere!

USP 6,904,612, FIG. 2

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