So Long And Thanks For All The Turkey Patents

from the abstract:-gobble-gobble dept

Here in Canada, we gave our proverbial thanks over a month ago, and since all the Americans at Techdirt have taken off for the weekend, I thought I’d take a moment to put together some advice on preparing a great Thanksgiving turkey—with a little help from the USPTO.

If you’re tired of the traditional roast, maybe it’s time to try a more creative preparation—just be careful you don’t run afoul of any patents. Here’s an idea: with some skilled knife-work, you can slice a turkey into pieces that resemble various cuts of steak—and that method will only be under patent for another five years!

There are lots of unique recipes out there that call for a deboned turkey. For the inexperienced, it’s probably wise to ask your butcher to do this for you—just make sure he doesn’t use this method until 2022:
Luckily, there are plenty of open alternatives for the patent-savvy chef. Who needs those fancy new turkey cutlets when you can use this classic “method of preparing turkey … in the form of a flat elongated slice or slices of raw fowl free from bones, tendons, membranes and skin.” Mmmmmm. This patent was granted back in the 60s, so it’s long since expired:
Or you could try this method of preparing barbecued poultry such as turkey which closely simulates barbecued pork”, patented in the early 70s and now free for all to follow in handy flow-chart form:
And finally, for the vegetarian in your life (assuming they prefer a lump of vaguely meat-shaped tofu to a nice falafel or something), there’s this “method and apparatus for preparing a roast turkey analog (replica) from vegetarian ingredients”. A patent was applied for in 2005, but appears not to have been granted…yet. Patents are retroactive to the date of filing, so only use this method if you want to gamble on the USPTO rejecting silly patents (then come play poker with me). All you need to do is make yourself what appears to be some kind of turkey mould, or possibly the sunken city of R’lyeh:
This is an exciting time, with much to be thankful for! Who knows what bold new turkey innovations the patent system will fuel next? A turkey-shaped gravy boat? A way of pulling the bones out from a different angle? A recipe where the sauce goes on after the broth? A toy turkey made out of a pine cone? Ooh, that’s a good idea—I should call up the USPTO and… oh, never mind, some other Leigh beat me to it in 1927.

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Comments on “So Long And Thanks For All The Turkey Patents”

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The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: What???

Don’t you know? They’ve patented everything, including human activity such as dancing, posing, thinking, eating, breathing, etc. Not to mention every shape, color, sound, word, method, invention, object, material, life-form, planet, star, galaxy, and solar system, both discovered and undiscovered, in the universe.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

In a way i suppose you’re actually right.

If these patents were common knowledge, and people cared, they would have to come up with alternate ways of cutting their Turkey.
Far more likely though is people laughing at the patents with their families over a nice Turkey dinner.

In reality though, patents like these undermine peoples respect for the patent system, eventually leading to them laughing at the patent system as a whole.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Heh, hadn’t seen that before. Funny thing is I sifted through all the patents for turkey calls and turkey decoys to find the cooking ones, while he targeted the turkey hunting patents specifically — between us, we’ve got the world of turkey patents covered!

Sarah Black (profile) says:

I am curious to know more...

A) Which of these Turkey-preparation patents were strictly used for turkeys — or was the patent just a normal “bird-preparation” patent with the word “turkey” slapped on to it, to present the idea as being “new” and “noble”?

B) Have these patent holders ever sued (or litigated) over a similar method of bird-preparation so they could have exclusive rights?

C) How the heck does one enforce such patents? By visiting culinary schools and food dispensaries throughout the year?

maclypse (profile) says:

I remember reading somewhere on techdirt that “you can patent a plow, but not the concept of plowing”. Call me crazy, but isn’t that EXACTLY what’s going on here? They aren’t patenting knives, protective gloves, automated butch-o-matics… They are patenting the concept of cutting a piece of meat. How the hell did that get through the patent office? What are they smoking over there, and can I please have some?

out_of_the_blue says:

Without even a note, Missing Mike abandoned you.

Apparently Mike thinks the world stops when America goes first on holiday, then into shopping frenzy on “Black Friday”. He could have re-written a piece or two in advance, or for him a nearly unprecedented original piece just saying best wishes and mentioning he’d be off until Monday, but nope, nothing but Missing Mike.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Without even a note, Missing Mike abandoned you.

It’s really a giant conspiracy, Blue.

Techdirt has taken a couple of days off leaving you without an outlet for your crazy rants right around the same time you will most likely be with your family.

Obviously, the whole purpose of this must be to finally get you the help you need. I mean, really, why would Mike want to spend the Holiday with his family or anything like that?

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Without even a note, Missing Mike abandoned you.

Aww that is soooo, soooo, soooo fucking cute… OOTB misses Mike.

He is going through Mike withdraw.

I am too, but I understand the whole work life balance thing.

Maybe… just maybe… Mike would rather spend time with his kid & wife during the holiday rather than reading your nonsensical bullshit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Some people in this world believe that giving monopolies to people is a good thing, that vision is dependent on selective memory and tunnel vision to work else it becomes just another absurd bad idea, if we applied the principles of patents or IP law to every aspect of our lifes we wouldn’t be able to function.

Monopolies may have been at some point in time necessary, they are not today, because everybody knows already that cooperation and disclosure is important for us all to advance, the good ol’ days when people couldn’t trust each other, when it was every men for himself temporary monopolies may have been the only way to get people to cooperate and share information this is not true today in an hyper connected world where groups of people everywhere can group together in cyberspace to solve problems.

Monopolies should be going away they are evil instruments that cause a lot of problems if they were a good thing we would be applying that silly concept to everything, but we don’t we know it is bad, everybody knows that trying to exclude everybody else is not the way to go and this is why, IP law is doomed, it may take some time but eventually it will go away.

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