Saturday, October 22, 2005

This is beyond insane: A patent on serving cereal


In October 2004, enterpreneur Rocco Monteleone started a cereal bar called Bowls in Gainesville, Florida. Located in a college town with no other cereal bars, Bowls appeared likely to be a successful venture.

However, recently cereal bar chain Cereality (which has no locations in Florida) threatened Bowls with lawsuits should Bowls tread on Cereality's turf. Cereality has patents pending to give them an exclusive right to six business methods, including "displaying and mixing competitively branded food products" and adding "a third portion of liquid." If these patents are approved by the U.S. Patent Office, Cereality would have a complete monopoly on cereal bar business--just for being the first to put together the legalese necessary to describe mixing breakfast cereal.

If you don't understand why this is awful, unacceptable, and completely insane, feel free to contact me and I'll explain.