Patents for Easy Cooking

Some people enjoy spending hours lovingly preparing their meals (whether that meal involves gourmet turkey stuffing or home-style barbecue), and there is nothing wrong with that. I’m just the type of person who would rather toss something in the microwave for two minutes and eat it on the go, rather than spending half the morning preparing Lemon-Ricotta Poppy Seed Pancakes and a Spanish Omelet with Romesco Sauce.  If you’re a person who feels that boiling a pot of water is about as far as you’re willing to travel into the culinary world, then you have many inventors to whom you should silently thank for letting us live in a culture of convenient food products.  From the toaster pastry to the frozen TV-dinner, there are foods for any time of day that only take moments to prepare.

Read on for a quick review of some of the quintessential food-related patents (found on Google Patents) that have simplified the cooking process!
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Patents for Celebrating the Holidays with your Pets

The holidays are a wonderful time of year for humans and a terrifying time of year for pets. Christmas is filled with terrible temptations and unspeakable horror for dogs and cats. A dog will desperately want to eat every semi-edible holiday treat on the table (except maybe the fruit cake), while the cat will be itching to climb the new pine-scented scratching post that has mysteriously appeared in the the living room. And then there are the Christmas card pictures that involve the doggy reindeer antlers and kitty Santa hats…your pets will never forgive you. So how can you ease the temptation and trauma that your pets face every year during the holidays?

Luckily, a few innovative minds have created some brilliant patents to help your pets get happily through the holidays.  The following inventions (found on Google Patents) provide the edible decorations, Christmas tree protection, and cat-appropriate snow boots that will make Mittens and Fido look forward to the arrival of Santa Paws for years to come!

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Patents for the Apocalypse

As the holiday season is fast upon us, one would expect to see some patents related to the holidays, but since yesterday was 12/12/12, and the Mayan Apocalypse is fast upon us, it seems like the best use of time in what could be my last post before the end of the world would be to help highlight some of the things that will keep us safe during the upcoming Apocalypse (I don’t think excessively long, run-on sentences are one of them).  There are many signs that the Mayans are correct. Hockey has disappeared from the face of the planet, causing tons of negative karmic energy to come streaming out of Canada. The Gangham Style dance express to one billion YouTube views has taken over from the Macarena as possibly the weirdest dance trend ever.  And Chelsea won the Champions League despite finishing fifth in the Premier League.  So, in short, we’re doomed (unless, of course, the Mayans went all Harold Camping on us, and they turn out to be wrong).

It’s better to be safe than sorry, though, so continue reading for patents to help you survive the (maybe) oncoming Apocalypse!

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IP Protecting IP: When IP Gets Meta

Sometimes modern society gets a bit too self-referential for its own good.  If you’ve spent any amount of time on Twitter, you often see tweets about tweets (“Thanks for the retweet!”). The intellectual property field is full of very tech-savvy, forward-thinking individuals who are so attuned to the world of IP that they think about everything through an IP lens, and intellectual property concepts are included in their patent, trademark, and copyright applications.  I first noticed this trend when I was looking at the homepage for the USPTO 2012 National Trademark Expo, and I saw the T.Markey logo waving back at me. T.Markey is an anthropomorphized registered trademark symbol, complete with googly eyes, gloves, and a pair of tennis shoes.

T.Markey (image from USPTO website).

I thought, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if this personified trademark was also a registered trademark?”  I checked TESS, and sadly I couldn’t locate “T.Markey” as a registered trademark.  This experience planted a seed of interest, though, so I began searching for examples of meta IP.

After the jump, read about patent applications, trademarks, and copyright records that begin to loop back in on themselves!
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6 Must-Have Inventions for Ladies of the Future

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The votes are in and here’s what you all thought of my last column. Fortunately, the weapon was only a pie, and not a jagged spork. Luckily, someone in this family is doing well; it just happens to not be me. I really need to go out and practice my writing. As promised, this week I am bringing you the top inventions for a future woman, presented in order of use throughout the day. A special thanks to working mothers ED and JW for their valuable input. Ladies, if something bothers you about this list, feel free to blame them.

Read on for the 6 inventions you simply must have!

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Patently Overused

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Aren’t we a little tired of all the patent puns these days? It could be that I’m chronically hyper-exposed to this kind of thing, but there are a lot of Patently (blank) and Patent (blanks) phrases and puns going around. With the exception of the great patent law blog Patently-O, I’m a little bored by it all, frankly. Not to be too Andy Rooney about it (heck, I used it ironically in my title of this post), I just think we could be doing better.
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