I like to think of it more as an "exercise" or an "experiment" than a "joke". I believe that the U.S. patent system is badly broken, and I thought I could demonstrate how broken it was by getting a patent on a device that violates the laws of physics. Unfortunately, the system is so badly broken that no one noticed.
A commenter referred to this as a device for performing super luminal communication although the title of the patent (filed January 6, 2003 ) is Communications method and apparatus using quantum entanglement .
The comment, however, ignores all the press coverage of superluminal propagation which appeared in the year 2000, three years BEFORE the application was filed. See for example:
Lawrence B. Ebert, Anatomy of a Superluminal Technical Story;
FASTER THAN A SPEEDING PHOTON?, Int. Prop. Today, p. 14 (Sept. 2000), which included the text:
The coverage by Associated Press n15 stated: "Scientists have
apparently broken the universe's speed limit . . . Researchers say it is the most
convincing demonstration yet that the speed of light - supposedly an
ironclad rule of nature - can be pushed beyond known boundaries, at least under
certain laboratory circumstances."
Neither the popular stories nor the technical articles were retracted or modified. And the commenter wants to blame the USPTO?