Nancy’s Journal: The Hum Bone

Patenting your inventions


Hey, it’s Nancy here from soon-to-be world famous pop group Nancy and the Meerkats!

So today, whilst the meerkats were playing about with their silly old-fashioned instruments, I invented an entirely new instrument called the Hum Bone!

It’s a new wind instrument made entirely from bone. And more importantly, it was pink, with some pink detailing and finished in a nice pink gloss! You can never have too much pink.

Our manager Big Joe wasn’t that impressed until I explained it’s a new invention and it could make us a squillion pounds! He even looked into making sure Kitty Perry won’t be able to steal it!


He found something called a ‘patent’. Once your invention is patented, no one can copy, make, sell, or import your invention without your permission.

As I seem to be the only genius in the band I came up with the idea of patenting pop music. Then we’d be the only pop band in the world!

Boring old Joe explained that it doesn’t work like that. You can’t patent an idea like “pop music”.

Copyright looks after music. You can only get a patent for how things work and what they do, something no one else has ever thought of or a new invention.

Then the Hum Bone hit a bit of a snag. We looked on the internet and it turns out people have been using bones as musical instruments for thousands of years. So it’s nowhere near being a new idea. Drat!

You can listen to this episode of Nancy and the Meerkats below…

Nancy and the Meerkats is supported by the Intellectual Property Office. Click here to find out more!