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.

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Comments on “Time To Redesign The Hotdog… But Watch Out For Patents”

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Cohen (profile) says:

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.

qhartman (profile) says:


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…

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

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]

Cohen (profile) says:

Re: 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.

taoareyou (profile) says:

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.

Lowest Common Denominator says:

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.

Abattoir (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Chargone (profile) says:

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.

Francisco Jose Rodriguez Valero (profile) says:

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 dise?o del Know- How para producir
“contenedor comestible” PAN ACANALADO (AHUECADO) para PERRO CALIENTE, (Hot Dog Buns cupped)
Listo para ser llenado, adem?s de ser homog?neo en sus otras caracter?sticas f?sicas y organol?pticas

Caracter?sticas Principales.
Moderno dise?o industrial e integral, que incluye elegante y ecol?gico empaque multiprop?sito, para la obtenci?n del producto cient?ficamente suave y FUERTE

Ud. Tambi?n puede participar de los grandes beneficios de la ECONOMIA DEL CONOCIMIENTO. Mayor informaci?n e im?genes del sistema, pueden encontrar en:
Www. Panificacion. Es

Francisco Jos? Rodr?guez Valero
Celular: +(57) 315 575 4078
Www. Youtube.com/watch? V=kSNjdilvXAg
Www. Safecreative.org/user/0712050034668

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