IANAL, but my understanding is that the America Invents Act now in effect in the USA gives the inventor a one-year grace period to file a patent after publishing an idea. Publishing immediately makes the idea Prior Art so nobody else can file a valid patent on your idea. So it's a good idea to publish before telling anyone about your idea in confidence.
Hmmm. I certainly have seen more annoying patents and fashion tends, but not many. Has someone patented the "baggy pants with legs that split at the knee or ankle? How about a belt that will allow pants to maintain a constant distance between the knee and actual belt-line?
I know what my next patent is going to be. I'm going to take a microcontroller and a string of LEDs that will encircle said "buttocks cleavage revealing feature" for the purpose of decoration, attention gathering or warning. There will be a stand-alone model, a bluetooth model for control via your smartphone, and a WiFi model for web-based control from anywhere on the planet.
I'll also design an add-on camera so that you can use your smartphone to see whom is staring at you in horror or to prevent you from tripping over a curb when walking backwards.
You read it here first so no one else can patent this. Kickstarter here I come...
Should have also mentioned that in England, a woman cannot be arrested for indecent exposure. When Queen Victoria put the law in place she did not think that women would ever do such a thing and thus it was an insult to make the law apply to them. So today, if a woman were to appear naked in public, she would be arrested not for being indecent but for behavior likely to cause a breach of the peace or to incite a riot.
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.