Please step AWAY from the cold cuts …

Unless you have retained a lawyer…

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 … 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 …



  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    November 26, 2008

    Well, you know, their process does have the big advantage of reminding people to remove the tools. WTF?

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    November 26, 2008

    whoa…. working on this … working on this ….

  3. #3 Sandra Porter
    November 26, 2008

    Greg: you might want to resize that image a bit. It’s a bit too large to read.

    Happy Turkey Day!

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    November 26, 2008

    There, fixed. I don’t know how that happened, but it was pretty scary!

    Sandra, are you coming to down? Can I buy you a beer or something?

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    November 26, 2008

    We also learn what the top and bottom of a hamburger role is officially called (crown and heel).

  6. #6 ris
    November 26, 2008

    It is also fascinating that we are asked the existential question: “Are cold garnishes necessary.”

  7. #7 watercat
    November 26, 2008

    LOL, I’m safe. This is much different from my procedure:
    get bread –> put stuff on –> eat

  8. #8 Alcari
    November 26, 2008

    Apearently, it is possible to “close” a sandwich

  9. #9 MarkusR
    November 26, 2008

    I hope Spongebob or Mr. Krabs sues if they accept the patent.

  10. #10 aporeticus
    November 26, 2008

    To be fair, figures and background often describe the situation in which the patent is used, and not the patent itself. For example, computer architecture patents usually include general diagrams of PCs. Additionally, this is all very vague and general fluff so as to not unintentionally place restrictions on how the claims may be interpreted. It’s the claims that matter:

    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.

    You might argue (and I’d be inclined to agree) that simultaneously toasting a bun and heating pre-assembled filling with different machines isn’t so novel, but at least they aren’t attempting to patent simply “making a sandwich.”

  11. #11 Azkyroth
    November 26, 2008

    Since when can one successfully patent something obvious?

  12. #12 clevedan
    November 27, 2008

    what do you do after “END”?