Two years later, McDonald's sandwich patent can't hold back Domino's

McDonald's tried to corner the market on efficient sandwich-making, but those darned pirates just won't leave it alone.

For centuries people have enjoyed sandwiches, and many businesses have made them without the "critical" protection of patents to ensure a short-term monopoly.

Indeed, here in the United States, Domino's Pizza is making a furious push to up-end Subway's sandwich dominance.

!%!%!%!% pirates!

Have they forgotten that McDonald's filed for a patent on sandwich-making two years ago? The U.K.'s Guardian covered this momentous patent two years ago, but it apparently hasn't struck fear into these would-be sandwich maestros.

Of course, McDonald's was not simply trying to patent the sandwich. It was trying to put a lock on automating sandwich-making, so that 16-year-olds everywhere would find themselves unemployed, and so that its plastic-tasting burgers would have even less variation in plasticity:

The present invention relates to a sandwich assembly tool and methods of making a sandwich, which may be a hot or cold sandwich, quickly by pre-assembly of various sandwich components and simultaneous preparation of different parts of the same sandwich....Methods of making a sandwich are disclosed. The methods may include one or more of the use of preassembled sandwich fillings, assembly of garnishes in advance of a customer's order or while ether portions of the sandwich are being heated using the sandwich assembly tool, the simultaneous heating of a bread component and the sandwich filling, placing the bread component over the tool containing garnish, and inverting the tool and bread combination to deposit the sandwich garnish onto the bread component.

Genius! And yet those pesky competitors keep making them by hand, foiling the McDonald's plans for world sandwich domination. Drat those upstart pirates!

At least software isn't the only industry that comes up with goofball patents.

Via OpenDotDot.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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