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Bellhop
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re: What were they thinking: A crazy patent makes money
Bellhop   1/24/2013 9:16:38 PM
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The "sandwich" in question is actually on the market and, as far as I know, no one is making a knockoff. http://www.smuckers.com/products/group.aspx?groupId=3

bnowak0
User Rank
CEO
re: What were they thinking: A crazy patent makes money
bnowak0   1/21/2013 6:36:04 PM
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Old Timer, as your name suggests you might be unfamiliar with this whole 'internet thing'. See, we have this tool called google. Your generation might call it a voodoo magic machine, mine calls it a search engine. Just plug in any one of the sentences that Brian supplied you with from the abstract into this voodoo machine, and presto, you have the patent staring you right in the face.

Duane Benson
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Blogger
re: What were they thinking: A crazy patent makes money
Duane Benson   1/21/2013 5:23:01 PM
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"The examiner probably restricted his prior art search to previous patents" Prior art searches are not supposed to be limited to previous patents. It certainly is possible that the examiner did that, but my understanding is that doing so would not be adequate. Of course, maybe it's so obvious to most people that it's never been written down and the patent examiner just happened to have been raised on cheese sandwiches instead of peanut butter and jelly.

BrianBailey
User Rank
Blogger
re: What were they thinking: A crazy patent makes money
BrianBailey   1/21/2013 4:04:30 PM
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Thanks @Battar for supplying the number - I usually do, but failed to on this one. My mistake.

Battar
User Rank
Rookie
re: What were they thinking: A crazy patent makes money
Battar   1/21/2013 2:29:20 PM
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Thats US patent 6004596, and the legalistic language used to describe a sandwich is hilarious. (Perimiter coplaner to surface... edible filling juxtaposed...). The claim says, make a sandwich, remove the crust, crimp the edge so the PB doesn't squeeze out. The USPTO shouldn't grant patents for such rubbish.

dstauffer193
User Rank
Rookie
re: What were they thinking: A crazy patent makes money
dstauffer193   1/21/2013 7:16:24 AM
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We have not seen enough of the patent to even know what is patented. Everything in a patent leading up to the claims is just fluff. Until you read the claims (and only the independent ones really matter) you realy cannot tell what the patent actually protects. In the future it would be helpfull to our understanding if the patent number would be included in the article. That way we could easily read the whole patent for educational value.

Battar
User Rank
Rookie
re: What were they thinking: A crazy patent makes money
Battar   1/20/2013 7:07:44 AM
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The question of non-obviousness is subjective. It is assumed that a patent must be non-obvious to someone "ordinarily skilled in the art", which means people normally employed in the field, not experienced engineers who would come up with the same solution. In the case of sandwiches "ordinarily skilled in the art" would be any hungry 8-year old, so the patent application should have been deemed obvious. The examiner probably restricted his prior art search to previous patents. If the examiner had also turned to back issues of "Good housekeeping", I'm pretty sure he would have found something.

BrianBailey
User Rank
Blogger
re: What were they thinking: A crazy patent makes money
BrianBailey   1/19/2013 6:38:47 PM
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Lets all be nice now. This was a regular patent so both prior art and obviousness applied.

BrianBailey
User Rank
Blogger
re: What were they thinking: A crazy patent makes money
BrianBailey   1/19/2013 6:38:01 PM
NO RATINGS
This is a regular patent and not a design patent, so the patent office thought that a) there was no prior are and b) it was non obvious.

BrianBailey
User Rank
Blogger
re: What were they thinking: A crazy patent makes money
BrianBailey   1/19/2013 6:37:23 PM
NO RATINGS
No, it did not make that distinction.

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