Monday, September 6, 2010

Beer-Related Ideas That Make You Say ‘WTF’? – Part II

Whenever I start getting into a lot of patent related work as part of my day job, I almost invariably seem to gravitate toward patent searches that reveal incredibly silly / bizarre concepts. This, in turn, gets me to alter my keywords to look for stranger and stranger inventions. Before I know it, I’m completely given up on my intended search and just keep poking around for patents that I find just plain amusing.

Similar to the first post I did back in January, many of the inventions that I dug up produce a head-scratching “Huh?” or a “who the hell paid for this!” response. These “WTF?!?” inventions were numerous enough that I started jotting down those that were beer-related as I know fellow beer aficionados would certainly get a chuckle from them.

Take a gander at the ideas below, have a laugh, and remember that some people pay $10,000 or more to get a patent issued these days.

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“Decorative Beer Dispenser for Killing Slugs”
United States Patent No.: 5,505,018 (issued: April 9, 1996)
Inventor: G. R. Parker
For those individuals whose backyards, gardens, or green areas are ravaged by nefarious invertebrates, this is the invention for you. This patent describes “decorative dispensers adapted to hold and continuously dispense beer solutions for killing slugs, snails, and the like.” Only the uncouth would use unsightly vessels such as plates and saucers to lay their alcoholic traps. The sophisticated and refined individuals would prefer “an attractive outdoor beer dispenser” that not only “compliment(s) a yard’s decor”, but prevents the pooled beer from soiling by refreshing the pooled beer.

Available in a duck format, a cat format, or a mock bird-bath format.

Various Sports-Related Beer Dispensers
United States Patent No.: D533,739 (issued: December 19, 2006), D501,344 (issued: February 1, 2005), D501,343 (issued: February 1, 2005), D501,342 (issued: February 1, 2005)
Inventor: Miesieski et al.
Taking the concept of a PEZ dispenser, these inventors devised a series of ‘beer’ dispensers that market to any sport or sporting event that can be conceived. Put in a refrigeration aspect to the design, and this can sit in anyone’s living room next to the lazyboy. Finish your beer? Just pull back the helmet and your next cold beer is waiting for your enjoyment.

“Yeast-Containing Beer”
United States Patent No.: 4,911,936 (issued: March 27, 1990)
Inventor: Kijima et al.
While the Germans have been doing it for hundreds of years, apparently it was the Japanese in 1990 that patented the concept of adding yeast to the beer for bottle conditioning. Huh?!? I’m not sure how this patent and it's claims were allowed with all the prior art (knowledge) out there, but it looks like Kirin owns rights to bottle conditioning.

“Beer Bottle Ornament”
United States Patent No.: D610,398 (issued: February 23, 2010)
Inventor: D. R. Bathey
Pictures say a thousand words and the diagrams for this design patent say it all. I guess the idea is that boobs just make everything better.

“Board Game Simulating Drunk Driving”
United States Patent No.: 4,216,966 (issued: August 12, 1980)
Inventor: T. H. MacRae
Even after finding this one and reading it, I’m still a bit dumbfounded. The game is exactly as the title describes: players roll dice and move their pieces from liquor establishment to liquor establishment. “The amount of liquor consumed and the time of consumption … is transferred to a blood alcohol chart which indicates sobriety or drunkenness”. The player wins if they can visit four locations successfully and maintain sobriety. A player is eliminated if their character becomes drunk and either occupies the same square as a police car (i.e. arrested) or by landing on a road hazard (i.e. car crash).


Granted the game was ‘invented’ in 1980 before drunk driving became a vehement enemy of society, but …. Huh?!

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There are plenty more of these head-scratchers out there – if you happen to bump into any other ‘WTF’ beer-related ideas/patents, please let us know.



“… in life, there’s always room for beer.”
-Tom Ciccateri

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