History of Patent Medicines. A patent medicine, which isn’t really patented, is an over-the-counter (nonprescription) medicine that is typically protected and advertised by a trademark and trade name and claimed to be effective against minor disorders and symptoms. Its contents are typically incompletely disclosed. These quack remedies are ineffective and have questionable safety. Pseudoscience runs amuck. Please register for this class if you are interested in participating via in person only.