i love thanksgiving. food, family, and gratitude, not to mention deep history and tradition. but, even thanksgiving can be innovated. so, this month’s post is dedicated to the brave men and women who work around the clock to patent the technology behind thanksgiving 2.0.
first place goes to what I have dubbed "the turkey drone" (u.s. patent number 8,741,374; granted just this year). its actual title is “device and method to simulate cooking stuffing in a bird.” but, don't be fooled—this sucker is basically engineered to be the drone version of a dead turkey carcass’ complicated interior tunneling. the sky appears to be the limit here. to touch on just some of the many highlights: “[s]tuffing cooked in accordance with . . . the invention will have the appearance of a 'log', which holds its shape . . . .” are you kidding me?! log stuffing?! where have you been my whole life? beam me up scotty! moreover, “[t]he invention . . . provides all the benefits of cooked-in-the-bird stuffing but in less time and without the safety concerns of bacterial contamination.” this is robot turkey insides folks: bigger, better, faster, and sanitarier. dig into a steaming loaf from your contamination-free, "gut-o-matic" today!
second place goes to "the pie shoveler" (u.s. patent number 7,102,111; "multi-purpose food-serving apparatus" or "mpfsa"). ok, this thing is drawn for pizza, but the patent also specifies that it is just as appropriate for thanksgiving pie (probably after your log stuffing, see above). essentially, it provides critical support of the pie as it journeys into your mouth. then it conveniently folds to get out of your eating machinery's way, as you shovel deeper into the pie environment. think of it as a disposable rocket booster for launching the pie into your digestive space. genius. from the dashed lines in figure 2, you can also see that innovative "eye-on-the-pie" technology is incorporated into the patent. and bonus feature: this is no kidding—it multi-purposes as a sail for a tiny boat! (see figure 36). so have some pie, then sail your tiny thanksgiving friends on the ocean blue. spectacular! patented!
honorable mention goes to "drumstick car" u.s. patent publication number 2007/0113446 ("apparatus for decorating vehicles"). unfortunately, it didn't meet patentability requirements, so it never matured into a patent. but it burned brightly (for a while) as a patent application. hard-core thanksgiving fans don't even blink at the idea of turning their car or truck into a giant roving tom via an oversized, attachable drumstick ("decoration"), complete with a "happy thanksgiving" tattoo.
and just when it couldn't possibly get any better, you find out just how super versatile this technology can be. claim 18 of the patent reads that the decoration can be "one from the group consisting of a reindeer antler, a devil horn, a longhorn cattle horn, a candy cane, a cat ear, a bunny ear, a leprechaun ear, a turkey drumstick, a beach ball, a surfboard, and mouse ears." outstanding!
have a happy thanksgiving!