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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Every patent should be automatically rejected if it hasn't been granted within a set period of time. If the person really thinks they have something they will just reapply.

     

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  2.  
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    Cohen (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 11:59am

    I'm going to patent my new invention!!

    It's called the "aciculate hot dog splitter". It consists of a sharpened metal blade that is drawn lengthwise along the hot dog surface.

    The hot dog can then be split into two sections that are each covered with mustard, relish, or other condiments.

    The hot dog and condiments are then enclosed within the bun and eaten.

    The smaller section of the hot dog as is less likely to cause choking.

    I will enforce my patent rigorously.

     

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  3.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    PRIOR art

    before its stuffed its hollow already....DUM

    and why not reinvent a hammer so we can gouge the construction workers and thus bilk home buyers for more cash

    HEY why not do real stupid patents like the toothbrush that talks to you. LOL.

    a method to inform a person to sanitize and clean the oral area of a humans mouth.

     

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  4.  
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    qhartman (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    Seriously?

    I'm not sure what is more absurd, the patent, or the idea that this enough of a problem that it actually needs a solution. What is so magical about hotdogs that they are more likely to choke a kid than any other solid food? Really though, hotdogs are barely food in first place and people should be more concerned about the health problems of successfully ingesting them rather than the problems associated with not...

     

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  5.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Seriously?

    Here here!

    Besides, can you just imagine the stupid commercials?
    [Commercial:] Are you having trouble eating your hotdogs? Does that constant choking bother you alot? Can't afford deep-throating lessons? Then do we have a solution for you! Our new choke-free* hotdogs!! Buy yours today!!!

    *Choke free hot-dogs may induce choking if used improperly. Please read instructions and terms of service before attempting to use.[/Commercial]

     

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  6.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Seriously?

    "Can't afford deep-throating lessons?"

    I'd like to take a moment to offer extremely innexpensive deep-throating lessons to all the ladies of the world...

     

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  7.  
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    DS, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Seriously?

    He said Deep Throat, not roof of the mouth tickling...

    Oh snap!

     

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  8.  
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    DS, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Re: I'm going to patent my new invention!!

    I have the same patent, but I use knissors, so I guess we're safe.

     

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  9.  
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    Cohen (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:26pm

    Yes. Seriously

    The number of children who choke on hot dogs each year is more than enough.

    The circular shape of a hot dog is exactly the right size to plug up a child's esophogus.

    However, it does not take a new design to avoid the problem.

    Just cutting the hot dog into vertical halfs and then quarters is enough to avoid the problem.

    If you want to check it out, slip a circular piece of hot dog into your 3-year-olds mouth and then watch if he turns blue.

     

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  10.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Seriously?

    I'd argue, but I can't.

    God I both love and hate being Irish....

     

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  11.  
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    taoareyou (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Other dangerous foods

    Additional foods on the dangerous for children list include:

    Nuts, Seeds, Popcorn, Snack chips and puffs, Pretzels, Raw carrots, Raisins and other small dried fruit such as cranberries, blueberries, and cherries, Whole grapes, Fresh or frozen blueberries, Melon balls, Marshmallows, Large chunks of meat, poultry, and hot dogs, Peanut butter and other nut butters, Hard candy and cough drops, Chewing gum, Jellybeans, Gumdrops and other soft jelly candies, Gummy bears and other hard jelly candies

    Source: http://life.familyeducation.com/page/39382.html

    So basically, children should eat paste, as long at it is not a nut butter paste, or perhaps be fed via IV?

    Perhaps it's not the foods that are dangerous but the lack of parental involvement during eating. If you are with your child and you teach them how to eat solid food properly and observe their progress, they will probably survive the dangerous ritual called dinner.

     

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  12.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Yes. Seriously

    "If you want to check it out, slip a circular piece of hot dog into your 3-year-olds mouth and then watch if he turns blue."

    Feeding a kid hot dogs turns the into the Na'vi?

     

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  13.  
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    Lowest Common Denominator, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    Next: knives redesigned without pesky sharp edges

    All talk of patents aside, it's utter shite to call for a redesign of a hot dog because parents are either too dumb or indifferent to be near their children while eating, or worse, to actually quarter a hot dog lengthwise so the pieces won't be a choking hazard.

    Guess what? Grapes are even better for choking, as spheres don't require a specific orientation to plug a trachea. Let's genetically modify them bitches to grow in an annular shape.

    Dumbass patents are one thing. Rampant dumbassery in the general public is another, and I dare say, is enabling greater heights/depths of patent and other dumbassery.

     

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  14.  
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    John Doe, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    I hope they do redesign the dog...

    If they redesign the dog, I will come out with a line of old fashioned dogs to sell to the millions who prefer the current design. I will get rich I tell you!

     

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  15.  
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    interval, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    I have a hot-dog redesign tool, very easy to use; its called a knife. I don't know of any one with children who doesn't employ this fantastic new tool when serving this food to their children. So let the patents come; I hope the patent holders make gobs of cash, as I won't be using any such products.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    lol @ lack of "won't the PTO please think about the children?!?" comments

     

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  17.  
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    Chris Meadows (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:59pm

    Hollow dogs have been done before

    Surely I can't be the only one who remembers those "chili dogs with the chili inside" called Frank'n'stuffs?

     

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  18.  
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    Abattoir (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 12:59pm

    Application is dead...

    This is nothing more than a stereotypical knee-jerk reaction to the patent system from those who don't understand it. The fact that no-one noticed that the patent application was deemed abandoned last month is quite revealing. FYI: all patent applications are published after 18 months, and remain published, no matter how ridiculous they are. That does not mean they are considered "patents".

    For those who want to double-check their facts before denouncing all patents, please check out Public PAIR from the USPTO. The facts that the attorney for the patent application in question had his telephone number disconnected, AND that the patent application had been issued a non-final rejection, are public information.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Yakko Warner, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Yes. Seriously

    Well, that should cut down on those suicides of people who were so depressed for not being able to find the "real" Pandora.

    "See? You CAN be a Na'vi!"

     

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  20.  
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    Yakko Warner, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Re:

    *gasp* You use a KNIFE around CHILDREN¿¡¿¡

    You... you MONSTER¡

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Yes. Seriously

    Ok, what fucking planet are these kids on? I have 3 of them and none have ever been stupid enough to choke on a hot dog.

    Perhaps its just natural selection at work...

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:11pm

    From the it-ain't-an-application Department

    You cannot say it is an application once it is dead. So, you may say that it is an "abandoned application," meaning it is freaking old news, but you cannot say it is an "application" because that would be misleading.

     

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  23.  
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    Blatant Coward (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:15pm

    What kind of human race would we be if we let children dumber than hotdogs breed. I say leave the hotdogs as they are, in fact, they need to be more dangerous, too many idiots making patents get through as it is.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Next: knives redesigned without pesky sharp edges

    It's not dumbassery. It's doucebaggery.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    And the system worked!

    Not only is it not an application, but an abandoned application, but the USPTO slam-dunked the rejection. So guess what? The hollow hot dog is fully available to be innovated to the max, and has been available to be innovated for decades, except, no one seems interested in innovating a hollow hotdog.

    Which brings up another point. Just for the sake of argument, let us say that this person got their patent on the hollow hot dog. Who cares? Would the patent have actually stopped anyone from doing anything? The answer has to be no since the hollow hot dog could have been innovated at any point within the last four or five decades and there was zero interest in innovating a hollow hot dog.

    You would think that Mike would have better things to talk about than an abandoned patent application for a product that no one wants.

    *sigh*

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:30pm

    Seems like LifeSavers candy is prior art that is hard to ignore. Choking hazard is exactly why LifeSavers have a hole and the name LifeSavers. Holes in food stuffs that make us choke is hardly a new idea.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Re:

    Did you read any of the posts above before you posted? The application is abandoned, dead, toast, worm meat, dead meat, a cadaver, etc.; i.e., it is an A-BAN-DONED application, not an application. The USPTO rejected the application in a way that the applicant was unable to respond.

    In other words, this news is already old.

     

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  28.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    Re:

    "What kind of human race would we be if we let children dumber than hotdogs breed. I say leave the hotdogs as they are, in fact, they need to be more dangerous, too many idiots making patents get through as it is."

    I agree. AND legalize abortion and and euthanasia. Whatever keeps the highways moving....

     

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  29.  
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    Cohen (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 3:11pm

    None of yours ever choked?

    Too bad for the rest of us.

     

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  30.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 3:52pm

    or, you know, you could just use proper sausages, which are, oh, at least twice the thickness of 'american hotdog' sausages, or wieners, or whatever you want to call the stupid things. (they're also about 2/3rds the length)

    they only way you can choke on Those is if you don't bite through the skin properly, and if you've got that issue it's still attached to the solid part in your mouth, which you can reach in and pull on to clear the blockage... without making yourself puke. and that situation almost never shows up in the first place, and certainly not with small children, because the things are too big to swallow without chewing.

    not that sausage is a good idea health-wise anyway... it's as bad as spam. possibly worse. how much of the meat in a sausage is actually meat rather than fat, breadcrumbs, and soy? well, if you go to an actual butcher who's any good, a fair amount. all of it if they're particularly good. buy it from a supermarket all nicely packaged up? very little indeed.

    so, yeah, this all goes to show that a) the US patent office is lame, and b) sausages are evil.

     

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  31.  
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    trilobug, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 4:56pm

    I eat my hotdogs from the side because I'm not gay. :p

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2010 @ 6:26am

    Re:

    You will have to explain how your description of sausages leads to the conclusion that the "US patent office is lame."

     

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  33.  
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    Thomas (profile), Mar 4th, 2010 @ 8:13am

    Someone forgot...

    hotdogs are relatively small. If you want real danger, try polish sausage (kielbasa) or German Bratwurst or Knockwurst; they are far thicker than puny hotdogs.

    When I was a kid we used to eat hotdogs every week and somehow managed to survive.

     

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  34.  
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    Raymond Samora, Jul 27th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    about the hot dog

    my idea is to keep the hot dog like is. But put the hot dog threw a Tender riszer miachine

     

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  35.  
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    Francisco Jose Rodriguez Valero (profile), Aug 27th, 2013 @ 6:56am

    Redesigning the Hot Dog bread

    Method and apparatus for GEOMETRIC FIGURE NEW Hot Dog bread.

    Method and apparatus for GEOMETRIC FIGURE NEW Hot Dog bread, which solved problems in their production, use, and when consuming the Hot Dog.
    Request more information
    Nuevo concepto de diseo del Know- How para producir
    "contenedor comestible" PAN ACANALADO (AHUECADO) para PERRO CALIENTE, (Hot Dog Buns cupped)
    Listo para ser llenado, adems de ser homogneo en sus otras caractersticas fsicas y organolpticas

    Caractersticas Principales.
    Moderno diseo industrial e integral, que incluye elegante y ecolgico empaque multipropsito, para la obtencin del producto cientficamente suave y FUERTE

    Ud. Tambin puede participar de los grandes beneficios de la ECONOMIA DEL CONOCIMIENTO. Mayor informacin e imgenes del sistema, pueden encontrar en:
    Www. Panificacion. Es
    --
    Francisco Jos Rodrguez Valero
    Celular: +(57) 315 575 4078
    Www. Youtube.com/watch? V=kSNjdilvXAg
    Www. Safecreative.org/user/0712050034668
    *www.panificacion.es*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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