In 2002 Ross Long came very near to patenting a stick:
An apparatus for use as a toy by an animal, for example a dog, to either fetch carry or chew includes a main section with at least one protrusion extending therefrom that resembles a branch in appearance. The toy is formed of any of a number of materials including rubber, plastic, or wood including wood composites and is solid. It is either rigid or flexible.
Presumably the Almighty would have stepped in if He’d considered this infringement.