The clinical observation that some psychotic patients were attempting to register their ideas as patents prompted a survey of published patents. The hypothesis was that, given supposed links between creativity and mental illness, the Patent Office might be a repository of psychotic ideas. Searches were made on specific topics suggested by our patients' applications. A survey was undertaken of unusual patents in the collection as a whole, and of authors with unusual track records. Bizarre and eccentric patents were identified, but patents of the sort that our patients attempted to register were absent. Possible explanations for this result are discussed.
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