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McDonalds Files To Patent Making a Sandwich

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the mayo-gets-its-own-claim dept.

Patents 346

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "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."

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346 comments

Safe! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879785)

if you 'apply appropriate condiments to appropriate compartment

Thank god all of my condiments are inappropriate.

A lot of my compartments as well for that matter

Re:Safe! (5, Funny)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880247)

Just like a bunch of /.ers. First they want to pirate songs they don't own licenses for and now they want to make sandwiches without licensing the process from Mickey Ds.

cheezburgers? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879795)

I can has cheezburger patent?

Re:cheezburgers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880141)

Would you like fries with that?

With a side of broken links... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880175)

The broken link was meant to go here [patentlyo.com]. I have no idea why Slashdot changed it from the original you can find in my submission. Perhaps they intended to link to a past Slashdot story? Oh well.

- I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property [eff.org]

and here I was wondering how to make a sandwich (5, Funny)

dspkable (773450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879811)

I was just stacking bread without asking myself the tough questions like McDonalds did. My paper hat is off to them.

Save us, McDonald's! (4, Interesting)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879925)

"There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don't think that those incentives should exist."

--Bill Gates, on the motivations of those who seek to reform patent law.

Re:Save us, McDonald's! (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880479)

Bill Gates is misguided by greed. Obviously he fails to realize that patent reform would actually be good for Microsoft and even the whole rest of the computer software and hardware industries.

The problem now is that patents are used by companies the way that nuclear weapons are used by countries -- they are a weapon of last resort, and used more as a threat than for anything else.

A reform of patent law would probably mean that these companies could 'disarm,' in the end lowering their legal costs.

Drive Through user patents coffee burning method. (1)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879813)

What's next?
'McDonalds Drive Trough user patents method for burning self with hot coffee.'?

Re:Drive Through user patents coffee burning metho (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879841)

I currently have that patent pending in hopes of sueing them next time it happens!

Re:Drive Through user patents coffee burning metho (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880249)

People complain about scalding hot coffee at specific restaurant. Restaurant has policy that states coffee temperature. Coffee is continually over this temperature. People again complain about scaling coffee. Again, investigation reports coffee outside norms. Restaurant says it'll fix it. Person gets nether regions burned by coffee, sues and wins due to the afformentioned problems. Get the facts right.

Re:Drive Through user patents coffee burning metho (4, Informative)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880447)

"People complain about scalding hot coffee at specific restaurant. Restaurant has policy that states coffee temperature. Coffee is continually over this temperature. People again complain about scaling coffee. Again, investigation reports coffee outside norms. Restaurant says it'll fix it. Person gets nether regions burned by coffee, sues and wins due to the afformentioned problems. Get the facts right."

--excerpt from Rorschach's Journal, 1985

Method (4, Insightful)

Gruff1002 (717818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879831)

Other than mentioning a tool there is no tangible apparatus here. What they describe is just a way of doing something, providing a flowchart doesn't make it more impressive. Looks to me like a joke.

Re:Method (2, Insightful)

OECD (639690) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879973)

Looks to me like a joke.

To me too. Problem is, this kind of stuff is all sorted out by lawyers, who don't have a sense of humor that they are aware of.

Re:Method (0)

Lazyrust (1101059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880347)

I'm patenting the process of removing the humor from a lawyer as we speak. I'll include a flow chart and some vague apparatus.
When I'm done I'll have an army of lawyers with no sense of humor so I can sue people for their fringing on my IP when they have lawyers who cant laugh.

Wait, there may be a patent on lobotomies already. Damn you!

Re:Method (5, Informative)

jcorno (889560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880053)

Methods are statutory subject matter, which means they're patentable in principle, as long as they result in a physical change. They don't even necessarily have to involve a tool at all. Those claims are perfectly valid (though maybe not patentable due to prior art). Business methods aren't necessarily patentable, because they're generally mental processes. The difference seems to be confusing a lot of people.

Re:Method (1)

Bonobo_Unknown (925651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880145)

It's probably more a case of them being worried that some one else will get the patent first and cause them a lot of grief in the future, rather than McDonalds trying to control all sandwich making, everywhere...

Just what we need, a robotic McDonald's. (1)

j741 (788258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879833)

What's next, outsource the drive-through window person overseas?

Re:Just what we need, a robotic McDonald's. (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880091)

What's next, outsource the drive-through window person overseas?

Where I live(NOVA), they already have. I spent 5 minutes arguing over what I ordered with the guy in the drive thru only to realize that (in his almost passable version of English) we were both reciting the items correctly. At that point, I apologized and told him to cancel the order, my rational being that if his friends thought I was just being difficult, I would get "extra" condiments on the burgers.(just see "Waiting" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0348333/ [imdb.com])

Re:Just what we need, a robotic McDonald's. (1)

ROBOKATZ (211768) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880105)

That's actually a really interesting idea, at least for the order taking.

Of course it's debatable whether or not a speech recognition program would do a better job.

Re:Just what we need, a robotic McDonald's. (1)

Lazyrust (1101059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880357)

They already do that. Thats why you cant understand anyone through the speaker, and why my order always gets screwed up.
I, for one, welcome our robotic burger making overlords.

Re:Just what we need, a robotic McDonald's. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880371)

outsourcing to someone who isn't dead behind the eyes would be an improvement

Can you really patent food preparation? (2, Interesting)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879837)

How about employees that come up with their own style of work flow? Would this require management to ensure the way staff are preparing food doesn't infringe any patents?

Re:Can you really patent food preparation? (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880375)

How about employees that come up with their own style of work flow?

You must not be familiar with McDonalds, there is no improvising. Just like how you can't buy a fucking plastic pizza cutter from Papa Johns because you threw yours away that one night before going to Papa Murphys for pizza...

Trollish article description is trolling (5, Informative)

Janthkin (32289) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879843)

The flowchart is irrelevant; the question is what do the CLAIMS say. Here, the claims are directed to bringing separate refrigerated sandwich makings up to temperature in very short order. Take a look, for example, at claim 1:

A method of filling an order for a sandwich comprising: toasting a bread component for the sandwich for less than about 1 minute in response to the order in a first heating device; and initiating and completing the heating of a sandwich filling for the sandwich from about 4OF or less to about 120F or more in a second heating device, while the bread component is heating, in response to the order.

Now, I CAN do that with my toaster & my microwave. But we don't need to resort to hyperbole to do that, do we?

Moreover, this is a PCT application, based on US application 11/018,989. The US application has been abandoned, for failure to respond to the most basic of office actions.

And seriously, is this news-worthy? If /. wants to publish EVERY bad patent application, it's going to get crowded here pretty quick. There's a lot of chaff out there.

Re:Trollish article description is trolling (4, Insightful)

Throtex (708974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879903)

Not to mention the poster's ignorance of Bilski is showing. This looks nothing like a pure business method patent application, and would easily survive the machine-or-transformation test.

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, just because many Slashdotters have engineering backgrounds doesn't immediately give them tremendous insight into everything. This should be evident from the fact that patent attorneys have this same engineering/science background plus legal knowledge.

That's not to say this is a good patent application. It's crummy. But as parent said, there's plenty of that, and this application poses no threat.

Re:Trollish article description is trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879923)

for less than about 1 minute

Wording like this should instantly invalidate an application. How much time does "less than about 1 minute" entail? DOES NOT COMPUTE.

Re:Trollish article description is trolling (1)

Throtex (708974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879971)

I suppose (in the US) you could reject under 112, first paragraph. I wouldn't know, since I don't write claims that sloppily.

Re:Trollish article description is trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880115)

Indeed [uspto.gov], although it's actually 112 second paragraph.

(For those not in the know, that refers to the second paragraph of 35 USC 112, which requires the applicant to particularly point out and distinctly claim the invention in the claims.)

Re:Trollish article description is trolling (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879965)

Heh, I take it you work for McDonalds, huh? You're stretching pretty hard here to defend this.

Re:Trollish article description is trolling (2, Insightful)

teh moges (875080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880417)

No, he is defending against poor summaries. I started reading these sort of articles wondering how stupid and greedy some people are, but now I start reading the comments to find the guy that actually READ the patent and realized that the claims aren't as obvious as the summary make it out to be.

Re:Trollish article description is trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880011)

If /. wants to publish EVERY bad patent application, it's going to get crowded here pretty quick. There's a lot of chaff out there.

Well, I'd just like to get the ball rolling, then. [uspto.gov]

Re:Trollish article description is trolling (3, Informative)

Throtex (708974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880043)

You do realize you can file whatever you want with the PTO and, as long as it meets basic filing requirements and you send them your money, it will publish, right?

You do also realize that the mere publication has no legal effect unless the application subsequently issues as a patent, right?

Re:Trollish article description is trolling (1)

Zwicky (702757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880075)

If /. wants to publish EVERY bad patent application, it's going to get crowded here pretty quick. There's a lot of chaff out there.

Slashdot needs to be careful with that, someone has probably patented separating chaff from the wheat. They need to check that out.

Re:Trollish article description is trolling (1)

bcdm (1031268) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880087)

And seriously, is this news-worthy? If /. wants to publish EVERY bad patent application, it's going to get crowded here pretty quick. There's a lot of chaff out there.

Most of said chaff, though, is not supported by legal teams bigger than many mid-size companies backed by assets of almost $30 billion [cnn.com].

This may become a bigger thing. I plan to stay tuned.

Stainless Steel Rat has Prior Art! (2, Interesting)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880495)

You know what this reminds me of? The Stainless Steel Rat series.

In A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born(1985) there's a chain of restaurants serving Porcuswine(a mix between a pig and a porcupine, as large as a cow). The important thing? It describes a system pretty much as you state - that upon order placement automated systems make a burger, fresh from frozen, using automated equipment. It's so automated the restaurants are unmanned - a cleaning service comes through every so often, and they restock the robotic kitchen around once a week - or as they're notified that it's running short on stuff.

If this is simply a system for automating 'throwing a bun & burger on the grill when the order comes in', I'm sure there's all sorts of automated systems that already do it.

Thing is - that 60 second delay from refrigerated meat patty to cooked* can both reduce waste and increase taste/freshness, improving their product and increasing savings in a time of increasing food and wage costs. Heck, you can have 'anticipated' cooking - where the patty & bun is started when the order is entered into the computer. You don't get cancels that often, and in a busy restaurant, the patty would be usable anyways - at this time McD's only has two different sized patties.

*It currently takes ~90 seconds from frozen patty to cooked patty. With a refrigerated one, you could do it even faster.

So What? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879851)

So McDonalds have decided to waste their money on a worthless, unenforceable patent. Big deal. At least it's their money, not mine.

Nothing to see here, move along...

Prior Art (4, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879871)

The Earl of Sandwich called, and he wants a slice.

Re:Prior Art (5, Informative)

LilBlackKittie (179799) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879957)

...and this patent was filed three years ago and published two years ago. Oh wait, the article in the Guardian was published two years ago too. Did I accidentally get so bored as to click "yesterday" over seven hundred times... or is it a slow news day? :-)

Key difference: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880077)

Previous implementations of the so-called "sandwich" were typically composed of what would at least pass for actual food.

Re:Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880473)

Pfft... don't listen to him, he was inbread.

WTF (1)

WTF Chuck (1369665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879875)

Hasn't any of McDonalds' higher ups ever been to a different eatery that serves burgers. Come on, all places pre-prep the basic condiments/etc that go on their sandwiches. You can easily see the lettuce, tomato, and onion all stacked together ready to drop onto a sandwich. OK, they may have come up with a novel tool which guarantees uniformity, but patent the "Sandwich Uniformity Tool" not the process for making a sandwich.

My way (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879879)

If it includes holding the pickle and holding the lettuce, there's prior art.

Published 30 years ago... (4, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879883)

I wonder if all of the McManuals that cover all of this McStuff
nullify any attempt by McDonalds to patent any of this stuff. I
am sure there are 20 year old Manuals that cover all of this
stuff.

Someone with a franchise archive would be the best person to show
prior art perversely enough.

McDonald's apparatus (1)

librarybob (1043806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879895)

One might note that an "apparatus" is described. *That* can be patented. How it is used comprises the method. Nothing odd here as far as I can tell.

Additional Steps... (2, Funny)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879979)

Did any parts of sandwich drop onto floor?
If yes, have fewer than 5 seconds elapsed?
If yes, pick up and continue with procedure...

McDonald's has already passed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880007)

Well, as one with knowledge, the patent application was officially determined to be abandoned on November 12, 2008 by the USPTO. McDonald's failed to respond to an office action, possibly as a result of the Bilski decision.

So, rejoice and go make sammiches.

Re:McDonald's has already passed... (1)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880195)

If, as I suspect, this is outcome from the deli sandwich tests in the US, they may have just decided they didn't care after deciding not to get into that business.

Note to non-Americans (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880041)

Americans refer "burgers" as "sandwiches".. reserving the word "burger" to refer to just the patty.

Re:Note to non-Americans (3, Informative)

icensnow (932196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880085)

Americans refer "burgers" as "sandwiches".. reserving the word "burger" to refer to just the patty.

Speaking as a life-long American, no, we don't. America has dialect regions and I've only lived in three, but I've never thought of things this way.

Re:Note to non-Americans (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880125)

Fine. The point is that some Americans refer to those meat wrapped in bread things you get at McDonalds as "sandwiches". Which confuses the hell out of other English speaking people who visit your country.

"Can I get a Big Mac please?"
"Small, medium or large?"
"Huh? No, I just want a Big Mac."
"You just want the sandwich?"
"The what? I just want a fucking Big Mac, ok?"

Re:Note to non-Americans (0, Troll)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880179)

Unless you're terribly dense, I don't see why the question "you just want the sandwich?" would be so confusing to you.

Even a person of sub-average intelligence, when trying to order at McDonald's, should understand that the word "sandwich" in that question refers to the Big Mac you're trying to order.

Re:Note to non-Americans (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880225)

It'd be like if someone said to you "You just want the shoe?" There's no connection between the concept of a Big Mac and a sandwich in the rest of the world.

Re:Note to non-Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880217)

That's nice. But you had claimed that the word "burger" cannot refer to the whole thing. Is there really anywhere in the US where that's the case?

Re:Note to non-Americans (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880259)

Well, it's a lot harder for adults to acquire semantic categories, so you should be impressed that I even got it half right.

Re:Note to non-Americans (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880221)

The non-Americans come into McDonalds and ask for a Whopper.

Re:Note to non-Americans (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880359)

BTW, as an America, when I went over to England my family took me to Burger King right away. The menu was completely different, and many terms seemed foreign (dip pots?) but I could immediately discern what everything meant. There are idiosyncrasies in English between the States and England, but people should be able to figure them out. It is after all, the same language.

Re:Note to non-Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880323)

There's a difference of argument here.

Everywhere I've lived in America (and let's not get into the No True Scotsman fallacy too much here), people generally refer to things made with a hamburger patty as some kind of burger - "I want a burger!" A sandwich is a more general term that roughly means "some stuff between two pieces of bread". Hence why all such chicken dishes at McDonald's et al are called sandwiches.

In the McDonald's-style use you're referring to, things are a bit different. It's a special case. People order either the meat-and-bread-and-toppings part alone, or in a meal along with fries and a drink, using the same phrase; this makes ambiguity. Hence, in your above example, they were wondering if you wanted the whole "value meal". To differentiate between the two, they ask if you want the sandwich/burger or the whole meal. The word "sandwich" is a catchall that, in any other context, seems a bit odd to apply to a burger to me as an American (as well as the other Americans around me I've just informally polled in the office). Cynically, I would say that fast food workers may use the catchall term of "sandwich" because it's easier for them to remember one word for the whole process, and in many parts of the US they aren't speaking English as a native language.

So, "burger" doesn't refer solely to the patty. I can order a burger most places and get a bit of beef between two pieces of bread or a bun, likely with some lettuce and tomato and some kind of sauce on it. Alternatively, if you responded in your above-listed dialogue with "just the burger", be assured they would not have robbed you of your condiments.

Sorry for the overly elaborate response, I work in the field of language use, specifically of American English.

Re:Note to non-Americans (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880343)

A Big Mac is a Big Mac, a specific burger. And they weren't asking you the size of the sandwich. McDonalds meals have SIZES FOR THE MEALS which dictate the size of fries and drink. You didn't understand the question being asked you, and in turn you assume all Americans are stupid.

For shame, I routinely enjoy your posts and consider you an intelligent poster here.

Re:Note to non-Americans (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880459)

Huh? I knew they were asking me for the size of the meal. That's why I said I only wanted the Big Mac. To acknowledge my request the clerk asked me if I only wanted "the sandwich", which is the point of this discussion. No-one else in the English speaking world calls them sandwiches, not even at McDonalds. I didn't say anyone was stupid. It's just confusing for someone who wasn't brought up in the US to have to relearn that sandwiches have anything to do with burgers. Burgers are not a subset of sandwiches where I grew up.

According to another poster, this is actually specific to McDonalds and most other stores don't refer to burgers as sandwiches. As it seems that this is a dialectal difference across the US, you probably disagree. Quite beside the point, the clerk who was serving me knew I only wanted the Big Mac but he asked me what size meal I wanted in an attempt to up-sell me. Another irritating McDonalds custom.

You and I might say an apple is "in" a bowl and a DVD is "in" its case, but the Koreans have two different words for "in" depending on how tight the enclosure is. In Korean, the "tightness" of an enclosure matters. Does that mean we are "stupid"? Or does it just mean that different languages, and yes, even different dialects, have different semantic categories.

Re:Note to non-Americans (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880263)

It all depends highly on the context. Language is not always black and white.

McDonald's and friends push the "sandwich" moniker since it's easier to include fish/chicken items while talking, and also it makes them sound fancier.

For most Americans, the term sandwich does not, by default, include hamburgers. However, the two are similar enough such that sandwich, when used in a broad context, can refer to any sandwich-like object.

For your second point, yes, sometimes "burger" may only refer to the patty. That is typically used in a grilling context. "I'm grilling some burgers. Did you bring the buns?" If you were to ask for a burger in a restaurant, you would get the entire sandwich.

Hope that helps!

Re:Note to non-Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880451)

Says you... You can't extrapolate your experience with the 2 people you know to the whole of the US.

It's not a sandwich anyway (1)

MisterSchmoo (1262374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880093)

I have no idea why Americans call a burger a sandwich. A sandwich is two slices of bread with usually cold ingredients in between, the bread is usually square. A burger is two buns with mostly hot ingredients in between. the buns are usually round. Now there are exceptions but there is a difference that is obvious. I don't go to McDonalds to buy a sandwich, I go to buy a burger, if I want a sandwich I go to Subway, except I don't because Subway sucks, for that matter if I want a burger I go to Burger King, they are much better, and not if you'll note called Sandwich King.

Um, In Re Bilski is a US decision; may not apply. (1)

w3woody (44457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880121)

The patent is a patent application to the World Intellectual Property Organization. I'm unclear if In Re Bilski [uscourts.gov] would apply, given that Bilski is an American decision.

Of course the United States could tell WIPO to go stuff it, but that doesn't set a very good precedence, given the number of U.S. corporations which would like to leverage WIPO to prevent copyright infringement abroad.

This is what you get, by the way, when you have a treaty organization (the United Nations) with a bureaucratic agency (WIPO) pretending to be a world government but without the appropriate checks on power upwards or the appropriate guarantees of power downwards. (The U.S. Constitution, by contrast, guarantees checks upwards through the democratic process, and guarantees downwards by requiring all member States to be republics. The U.N., on the other hand, is no such critter: we don't elect U.N. officials and member States are not required to be democratic.) Now I can't even make a damned sandwich without licensing the appropriate technology from Geneva...

Exception handling? (0, Flamebait)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880139)

I don't see any.

try {
...
}
catch( DroppedTomatoSliceOnFloorException ex ) {
tomato.recover();
continue;
}
catch( SquirtedMayoOnPantsException ex ) {
bread.wipeOnPants();
continue;
}

It's a sandwich making gadget, not a process (4, Informative)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880167)

If you do enough clicking, you will find that there is, in fact, a "gadget" involved here. It's some sort of hinged sandwich assembly tray. This is not just a business process patent.

A year or two ago, McDonald's was testing out deli sandwiches in select restaurants. Based on the patent, this is probably something they came up with for that, not for their mainstream burger business.

Anyone can see exactly why are they doing this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880233)

Is because of quiznos, subways and other healthier alternative sandwich shops that are constantly biting out of mcdonalds market share. Mcdonalds patenting this is the equivilent to killing the electric car; they want you to have the dirty cheap stuff, and want to keep that healthy sandwich stuff away.

What they patented here is not the 'mcdonalds experience', what they are patenting is the quiznos/subway experience, especially the 'toasted sandwich' part in step 2. If they were to patent this method they would shut down every quiznos, subway and any other shop that posed a threat to the Big M.

Very interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880301)

My family owns a fast food restaurant, and I'm nearly positive that this is how they've been doing things for almost 40 years. If I dug through my grandparents old 8mm films, I'm sure that there's documentary footage of them following these steps that goes back decades. The owner of the local McD's is a douchebag. We just recently got a rockstar lawyer on our side. This could be a great chance to earn some free publicity by going up against them... Thanks for the info, /. - hopefully I can convince them to take this up and present some prior art.

Pssh, why do they complicate everything? (1)

ethana2 (1389887) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880333)

It's really a lot simpler than that. ./configure, make, sudo make me a sandwich

Did they patent fucking up your order too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880335)

Because they seem to have a pretty good method and apparatus for that as well! :)

Sanitation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25880383)

Notice how none of the steps in their "patent" include anything about washing hands / tools before or after the sandwich making process.

Is this the key to McDonalds success?

So Rotten Ronnies lawyered up, eh? (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880515)

McDonald's [wikia.com] still makes crappy food no matter how many patents they apply for.

As Mad Magazine said in the 1970's "MMMM" or McDonald's Makes Messy Meals.

P.S. Big Mac secret sauce is really Thousand Island Dressing, but they still patented it anyway as a trade secret.

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