Our obsession is best evidenced by the tremendous success of AMC’s television series “The Walking Dead,” about the zombie apocalypse. The show first aired on Halloween night in 2010 and was watched by 5.35 million viewers. It premiered worldwide the same week, in 120 countries. The premier was preceded by a zombie invasion (orchestrated by AMC and Fox) on October 26, 2010 in 26 cities throughout the world, including Hong Kong, Taipei, and Los Angeles. The show is now going strong in its fourth season.
Movies about zombies are also alive and well. Since 1980, zombie movies have brought in almost $1 billion. The highest grossing zombie movie was Sony’s 2009 “Zombieland,” bringing in $75 million since it opened. “Warm Bodies,” one of several zom-rom-coms (as this genre is now called) has grossed $65 million since it opened three months ago. Other favorites include the “Resident Evil” and “Night of the Living Dead” series, and “Shaun of the Dead.”
Thus, even though zombies have been walking (slowly) among us for hundreds (thousands?) of years, we have really just recently (as evidenced by our 33 years of TV and movies) noticed them. Zombies have been here all along. In fact, they are way ahead of us in the intellectual property world.
Zombies have amassed a significant number of U.S. patents for their inventions. The biggest problem zombies face is a defining one: how to come back from being dead. The undead have developed several inventions to solve this problem and they have obtained patents on these inventions. (We are not sure why a zombie would want a patent, but we don’t know who to ask, so we can’t tell you.)
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