There are few foods which are more iconically American than hot dogs and hamburgers. The idea to mix the two together, however, comes from an Australian innovator who is hoping for a windfall by auctioning off a U.S. patent which protects a food preparation which is truly unique. Mark Murray of Perth, Australia, is the inventor of the Hamdog, a combination hot-dog-and-hamburger entree that uses a bun, which is specifically designed to hold both the hamburger and the hot dog. Murray’s inspiration came to him while visiting Nashville, TN, when he left a bar and tried to eat a hamburger and a hot dog at the same time to assuage his hunger; once again, necessity is the mother of invention. Murray has sought to auction the U.S. rights to his invention, which is sold at Australian sports events for $6 USD, and the inventor believes that the Hamdog could be a product which rakes in $2.5 billion-per-year if it captures 1 percent of the United States’ burger market, which includes some 50 billion hamburgers sold each year.
I find this patent so exasperating because the patented method essentially breaks down to nothing more than chilling a container to at least -5° C and then filling that container with beer that is above 0° C. I wonder how many bars and restaurants are infringing this patent? Perhaps you should warn you favorite watering hole to make sure that any glasses chilled are not chilled to -5° C.
Did you know that there is clothing available to assist jails, mental hospitals and others with the prevention of suicide? Special protective wear has been issued to inmates and patients with suicidal tendencies for years. As a matter of fact, you can go online and see a variety of items that are available for facilities that might need them — much of which is made out of a very uncomfortable, yet strong nylon shell that is held together with nylon thread. However, that type of material can be quite rough on the skin and quite irritating to the wearer in the long run.
Valentine’s Day is again upon us, a day for lovers to express their undying affection for one another by giving gifts of chocolates, flowers, and love coupons. It’s also a day for inventors to strap on their thinking caps and come up with new ways to bring a little more love into the world. For your inspiration, here are 10 fun patents and applications for the lover in all of us. Happy Valentine’s Day!
According to Men’s Health, the #3 gift idea for women on Valentine’s Day is lingerie. So we set out to find some patent related lingerie and find some we did! One of the more interesting things we located relates to lingerie attached to a human arousal indicator. So not only does it quality for lingerie, but it also give the guy a little heads up about whether the wearer is sexually aroused — that is in case the fact that your significant other stripping down to lingerie wasn’t enough of a clue.
Do cats need pants? Do horses need goggles? Pet clothes and accessories symbolize the close relationship we have with animals. We want to make our pets as “comfortable” as we are. We want to make them as fashionable as we are – or as fashionable as we perceive ourselves. To these ends, hardworking inventors have been striving for new ways to make pets and animals happier and more stylish. Some of their inventions have utility, and some are just about looking cool.
Every year we all gather around and celebrate the new year. So that got us to thinking — what patents are there for devices that any self respecting raucous reveler ought to have on New Years Eve? As you might imagine, we found a few that seem appropriate to the occasion, proving that patented innovations are not only fun but they are everywhere! Here is hoping that your night is safe and magical! Happy new year! See you in 2013!
When it comes to patentability, safety is not necessarily a major factor in the equation. The Patent Office only cares if an invention is sufficiently inventive. Whether or not it’s safe is a superfluous question. And yet I’m always amazed at how cavalier inventors can be about the safety of their inventions — especially inventors from the past. For example, most patents for cradles from the 1800s could have been more aptly titled “System and Method for Killing a Baby Through Violent Shaking.” Pretty much any factory machine, farm implement or laundry wringer patent, for that matter, was just as likely to pull off a hand as serve its intended purposes.
The holiday patent du jour gives us the opportunity to explore the candy collecting aspects of trick-or-treating. More specifically, U.S. Patent No. 7,594,669 is for a portable container having wheels and a handle. What makes it worthy note on Halloween is that the container itself is either a pumpkin, witch, ghost, goblin, monster, vampire or werewolf. And yes, that is required in the broadest claim, claim 1. The pictures in the patent show a jack-o’-lantern version of the invention.
Just in time for Mothers Day, finally a gift suitable for both Mothers Day and Fathers Day. In keeping with the age-old tradition of inventing by juxtaposition, this highly functional and aesthetically pleasing invention “Cigar Lighter and Perfumery Ejector Combined,” which was patented on August 31, 1886, and combines the lighting of cigars with the dispensing of perfume.
It is time once again to profile some patents in honor of the festive day. While many might not consider Valentine’s Day to be a major holiday worth of profiling patents, allow me to suggest that you test the theory by failing to acknowledge the amorous sentiment of the day and see just exactly how much of a major holiday your significant other considers it to be! Not that I would suggest giving heart shaped pepperoni slices to the love of your life (yes, patented, see below), but Valentine’s Day does need a proper celebration.
This year I asked Glen Kotapish of Planet Patent if he could provide me some examples of interesting or bizarre US patents that somehow relate to “Christmas trees.” I figured that Glen, the owner of a patent search firm, probably had come across an interesting Christmas tree patent or two over the years. Glen did not disappoint! Incidentally, if you are into bizarre patents I highly recommend visiting his Bizarre Inventions Weird Inventions page.
The end of 2009 is rapidly approaching, and with it will come the end of the first decade of the new century and millennium. I always try and find some interesting patents to help celebrate the holidays, and given that we are wrapping up the decade I thought it might be appropriate to limit these New Year Patents to those…
Disposable rainwear US Patent No. 6,658,665 Issued December 9, 2003 I have not been doing as many obscure patents as I once did, but I have been increasingly hearing from inventors that they miss this feature because humorous patents coupled with a story provide a good learning opportunity. That being the case, I will try and write more about obscure…
I thought it might be interesting to take a look at a few recently granted patents and see some of the far more important inventions that are worthy of obtaining patent protection. Before I go any further allow me to point out that I am not trying to beat up on the Patent Office here, but rather to illustrate the complete and total reckless stupidity that is gripping the debate relating to whether we should allow software patents and business method patents. The Patent Office issues patents (again, hurray!) and they are not and should not engage in picking what subjectively warrants protection, KSR and the Supreme Court notwithstanding.