US Patent Office Refuses To Hold Back Beverage-Organization Industry Any Longer, OKs 50% Improvement In Storage Capacity
from the office-claims-approval-rate-'never-been-better' dept
There are some patents that make you question their very existence and others that seem to exist solely to provide the East Texas court system with work. Then there are others that seem destined to appear on television between the hours of 1-5 am, seeking to fill a void that doesn't actually exist and hawked by "spokespersons" whose ability to remain credulous in the face of utter ridiculousness is
a prized their only virtue.
This is one of the latter. For everyone who's ever wondered "where did the soda go," James Reid, Jr. has the answer.
This patent has indeed been granted, but it's a design patent (in some ways, more similar to a trademark), rather than a utility patent, which means Reid, Jr. likely won't be trolling existing bottle/can-organizer manufacturers for infringing on his 6-holed miracle. Even if this seems to be a product no one actually needs, it is at least an improvement over his previous design, which seems to be targeted at consumers with unused, narrow spaces and more sodas/beer that can be safely placed out in the open.
These patents draw on years of previous advancements in the organization-of-cylindrical-objects field, including spice racks, baking racks, wine stopper holders… almost literally, the list goes on and on.
The rectangular, 6-holed market may be (slightly) cornered, but the aspiring entrepreneur still has the 8-holes-and-above market to exploit as well as all manner of unused geometric shapes.
I'm not really going to spend much time badmouthing the USPTO as any design probably looks slightly useful if you squint at it for a few minutes. Furthermore, the patent office isn't the Shark Tank -- whether your product lives or dies is of no concern to examiners and they're not going to talk you out of making six-holed beverage "organizers" if that's what you'd like to be doing with your time. But all the same, there's nothing about this that elevates it above previous beverage organization technology, although the rounded corners are a nice touch.