“McDonalds has applied for patent WO2006068865, which carries the title ‘METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING A SANDWICH.’ John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, can eat his heart out (unless that’s been patented, too). Undoubtedly, some people are contemplating whether there’s anything novel in this patent that is somehow obscured by its generic title. Feel free to examine their flowchart for yourself and see exactly how novel their sandwich ‘subroutines’ are. The good news is that, given that it only mentions generic sandwich making ‘tool(s),’ rather than any specific machine, it might not survive after the In Re Bilski decision, which was meant to put a stop to absurdities such as this. But until McDonalds’s application is rejected or invalidated, make sure you don’t use their flowchart when making sandwiches. After all, if you ‘apply appropriate condiments to appropriate compartment,’ you might infringe upon their IP.”
Here’s the patent intro info: (WO/2006/068865) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING A SANDWICH
Applicant: MCDONALD’S CORPORATION [US/US]; McDonald’s Plaza, Oak Brook, IL 60521 (US) (All Except US).
Inventors: PROPER, Kathryn, V.; 530 N. Lake Shore Drive, Unit 1807, Chicago, IL 60611 (US).
EWALD, Henry, T.; 338 Jennifer Lane, Roselle, IL 60172 (US).
SIMMONS, Paul, G.; 22W400 McCarron Road, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 (US).
Agent: RYNDAK, James, D.; Ryndak & Suri LLP, 200 W. Madison Street, Suite 2100, Chicago, IL 60606 (US).
11/018,989 21.12.2004 US
Title: METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING A SANDWICH
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. The sandwich assembly tool is composed of a member preferably having one or two cavities for containing a quantity of garnish. The cavities are used for the assembly of the sandwich. The tool may have a raised ridge adjacent one or both cavities for placement against the hinge of a bread component. Methods of making a sandwich] are disclosed. The methods may include one or more of the use of preasseribled 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.
The Guardian has a really interesting article on this.