Time To Redesign The Hotdog... But Watch Out For Patents
from the can-someone-patent-a-bun-that-doesn't-fall-apart? dept
You may have heard the stories that went around recently suggesting that hot dogs need to be redesigned because they're "potentially lethal to small children." Yikes. Reader Michael Bazelewick sent this in while noting that he'd heard this for years -- and even back in the 80's he had a solution: hollowing out the hotdogs with a 4" kitchen corer -- and his daughter cutely nicknamed the resulting product "hole dogs." So when he heard about this new pediatric warning, he went looking to see if any of the hotdog makers were offering pre-hollowed dogs -- and instead discovered that in 2006 someone had applied for a patent on hollow hot dogs. Seriously. It's still an application, but the fact that it hasn't been thrown out yet is pretty scary (Update: As was, snidely, pointed out in the comments, the patent was considered "abandoned" last month after a failure to respond to the USPTO -- but still, that means it took years before the application was rejected, and even then the rejection is only for abandonment, not entirely due to the (lack of) merits). So, by all means, go ahead and redesign the hotdog -- but please don't patent it.