This post was first published on November 12, 2014.
There is nothing more refreshing than a pint of chilled beer and a hearty chat with friends after a generally lousy week. But beware! You may be infringing a patent while sipping down the chilled “barley juice”. Here is why – Below is the description of a patent granted for the “Method of Presenting Beer” which is our Wacky Patent No. 1.
US Patent No. 8,240,155 B2 relates to a Method of Presenting Beer. Filed in August, 2007, the patent was granted in August, 2012, which means that the patent is still in force. Here is how the invention actually works. The problem sought to be solved by this invention is regarding beer being served chilled. Beer is normally served at a temperature above zero degrees since chilling beer to near zero degree results in loss of flavor. So the inventor, Kevin Dale, came up with this invention to serve beer chilled at near zero temperature without compromising on taste.
First, the glass is to be chilled to a temperature below at least -5 Degrees. So, once the beer is poured into the glass the beer in contact with the surface of the glass freezes, forming beer crystals. This keeps the beer chilled for a longer time without affecting the taste.
The Wackiness of this patent comes from its claim, which reads –
A method of serving beer from the font, comprising the steps of: Chilling a container for beer to a temperature of at least -5degree Celsius; and filling the container with the beer from the front, the beer being delivered from the front at a temperature above the freezing point of water for creating a drink having a head of foam of crystals of frozen beer formed below the head of the foam after filling of the container with the beer.
What the claim is basically saying is that the invention includes the method of pouring beer into a glass from the front so that foam is formed on the top. What boggles me is this – Isn’t this how beer has been presented over the ages? The more I try to analyze the patent grant pattern of the US Patent Office, the more it puzzles me. On the one hand, it refuses to grant a patent to some amazing inventions on the ground of subject-matter being non eligible. On the other hand, it grants patents to (bizarre) claims like this one! Well, seems like some things are better off not understood.
Beware of infringing a patent the next time you sit down with friends and pour down a glass of happiness!