Bass Marimba Patent (1984)
During my participation at the 1979 NAMM convention I was asked if my bass marimba (below) was patented. It was not, but this sounded pretty important, so I filed for patent protection in 1980.
It turns out that this was not a patent for a technological or functional design, rather for ornamental design. The patent was granted in 1984 and was only good for 14 years.