Patently Absurd: Ham Sandwich Edition

28 November 2006 at 5:31 pm 2 comments

| Peter Klein |

On a day when the scope of patent law is being hotly debated before the Supreme Court, there’s news that McDonald’s has filed a 55-page patent application in Europe and the United States claiming “intellectual property rights” on how to make a hot deli sandwich. . . . 

The application discusses the “simultaneous toasting of a bread component” and inserting condiments into the sandwich with a “sandwich delivery tool.” The filling is placed in the ‘bread component’. The application explains: “Often the sandwich filling is the source of the name of the sandwich; for example, ham sandwich.”

Courtesy of the WSJ Law Blog. Each day I become more of an intellectual property skeptic (1, 2, 3).

The “hotly debated” case mentioned above is KSR International v. Teleflex, one of the most important patent cases to reach the US Supreme Court in years. I’m rooting for KSR.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Institutions. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bo  |  28 November 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Haha – this is funny! Perhaps they should also file a patent on their greasy burgers? As a matter of fact, Denmark is one of the few countries where we have a law stipulating the amount of fat that is legal in certain types of food (needless to say I am strongly against this type of government intervention). McDonalds ran into problems because their “patented” burgers have up to 30 times the allowed fat content….

  • 2. Reader  |  29 November 2006 at 2:58 am

    In a sum: Absurd.

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