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more on McDonald's puts patent on sandwiches
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 14:36:56 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

From: Dave Crocker <dcrocker () bbiw net>
Date: November 27, 2006 2:21:02 PM EST
To: dave () farber net
Cc: ip () v2 listbox com
Subject: Re: [IP] McDonald's puts patent on sandwiches


Subject: McDonald's puts patent on sandwiches
McDonald's puts patent on sandwiches
McDonald's wants to own the rights to how a sandwich is made.
The fast-food chain has applied for a patent relating to the 'method and apparatus' used to prepare the snack.

What is most interesting about this article is the way it starts with a headline that misleads the reader, even while being formally accurate.

Notice the sequence of the 4 statements above. Each gets progressively more careful. Only the last sentence tells the reader what the patent is actually about. The first three serve mostly to play to a reader's likely emotions.

And indeed, comments from readers reflect exactly the misunderstanding the article is (however unintentionally) designed to create.

MacDonald's patented a *particular* scheme for how to assemble a sandwich. They believe they have figured out a particular way to assemble a sandwich to ensure consistent quality (and probably lower costs and maybe higher speed.)

Patents for "cheaper, faster, more consistent, etc." methods of doing things are typical.

As the article nicely notes, albeit farther down, this patent is probably quite easy to work around, to avoid infringement.

In other words, this patent actually is not very interesting from a social standpoint.

But gosh the article sure was effective at getting folks riled up.


  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking

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