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.




Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    shill, Jun 4th, 2014 @ 5:28am

    The use of geometric shapes maybe obvious now but it wasn't obvious then.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2014 @ 5:49am

    Patents are no longer about innovation, but rather about protecting a business model, that of patent attorneys.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2014 @ 6:26am

    I never knew I needed one of these before, but now I can't imagine my life without one... or twenty!
    No longer are my cans of soda in chaotic disarray, free to sit wherever they may be placed upon a flat open surface without organization or harmony.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2014 @ 6:50am

    Do I need a licence to put soil in one, put end caps on, and grow lettuce, herbs and dandelions ?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2014 @ 7:39am

    There was a couple on Shark Tank who were trying to get funding for cupcake pans arranged like packed hexes. The Sharks passed.
    http://www.bakersedge.com/product_bmp.html

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2014 @ 8:16am

    The patent drawings clearly show cans AND bottles organized together. That's innovation at its finest, and I for one am proud to come from a country where inventors can reap the benefits of thinking outside the box. Cans AND bottles!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Michael, Jun 4th, 2014 @ 8:34am

    I'm pretty sure Eggland's Best violates this patent with their 1/2 dozen egg containers.

    They should be expecting a shakedo...I mean letter shortly.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Baron von Robber, Jun 4th, 2014 @ 9:05am

    Dammit!

    I should have saved all my mechanical drawing sketches back from high school. I would have been rich!!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    6, Jun 4th, 2014 @ 10:40am

    examiner6k@yahoo.com

    "as any design probably looks slightly useful if you squint at it for a few minutes."

    If they design is useful in a design patent and they're trying to claim it being useful in any way they may not have a design patent. Utility patents are for the "useful". Design patents are for the design. Only.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jun 4th, 2014 @ 11:10am

    Rounded corners?

    Oh they are so getting sued.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    John85851 (profile), Jun 5th, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    Even more

    Please stand out of my way as I patent a 4-soda and 2-soda holder. I think the world would be better off using 3 4-soda holders instead of 2 of this guy's 6-soda holder.
    I don't see any problem getting this patent through the office since it's definitely not based on prior work.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.