Turkey Patent Review 2016: U.S. Turkey Innovation Plummets

By Gene Quinn
November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving turkey serving pumpkin pieHappy Thanksgiving and welcome to our annual review of turkey related patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office during the preceding 12 months. As Americans prepare to watch football, enjoy time with family and partake in an annual food-coma inducing feast that will consist of a main course of turkey (with sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, corn, pumpkin pie and many other annual favorites) it is time for our annual turkey patent report.

Since our last turkey patent report over Thanksgiving 2015 there have only been 5 U.S. patents issued with the word “turkey” in the title, which suggests a steep and rather unexpected decline in the number of turkey related innovations year over year. These 5 issued patents were:

  1. U.S. Design Patent No. D769744, titled Turkey detection device
  2. U.S. Patent No. 9,474,267, titled Turkey decoy apparatus
  3. U.S. Patent No. 9,414,582, titled Box-type turkey call…
  4. U.S. Patent No. 9,345,240, titled Turkey hunting systems and methods
  5. U.S. Design Patent No. D752921, titled Turkey cradle

What does that tell us? That there was not a lot of patented innovation dealing with turkeys over the last year. Indeed, last year there were 11 issued patents in our annual turkey review, which means turkey related innovation in America has been cut in half! While that may be in the best interests of America’s turkey population, it raises some interesting questions.

It is unclear whether this sharp decline in turkey related innovation is due to prosecution delays at the Office, or perhaps as the result of innovators being concerned about an over active Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that may seek to pluck patents on turkey related innovations from the hands of patent owners. Perhaps inventors are just suspicious of seeking rights when American Presidents have for so long made it a practice to rather arbitrarily and capriciously grant full pardons to one or more tasty birds! See President Obama’s Final Turkey Pardon, which chronicles his turkey pardons over the last 8 years!

Of course, that isn’t really the point of this article, as fun as it was to write (tongue planted firmly in cheek, except maybe with respect to the cheap shot at the PTAB).

For years now I have used this yearly Thanksgiving column to remind readers about the dangers of deep-frying a turkey, as something of a public service announcement I suppose. Several years ago I wrote:

[W]hatever you do, if you are going to deep fry your turkey remember 2 things (at least).  First, make sure the turkey is thawed, you don’t want to put something frozen into a pot of boiling oil!  Second, for goodness sakes don’t fill the turkey fryer to the top with oil and then put in the turkey!  Let Archimedes be your guide.  If you fill the fryer to the top with oil the boiling oil that overflows the cooking vessel will be equal in volume to that of the turkey you just dropped into the cooking vessel!

So if you are going to deep fry your turkey this year be careful, and don’t be a statistic! Every year 900 homes are destroyed as the result of turkey fryer accidents, with 5 deaths and 60 injuries, not to mention $15 million in property damage. See Top 5 states with most turkey fryer accidents.

But the point of this article isn’t just to remind you to let Archimedes by your guide, or to identify a handful of recent patents that deal with turkeys, make a gratuitous mention of football (go Cowboys!), weave in mention of Presidential turkey pardons, or even to take a cheap shot at the PTAB (although I couldn’t resist). Instead, the point of the article is to simply to have a little fun patent style, hopefully make you smile, and to say THANKS! Thank you for reading IPWatchdog.com!

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

For other turkey and Thanksgiving themed articles and patents please see:

For more festive patents check out our Holiday Patents page too!

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 8 Comments comments.

  1. Paul Cole November 23, 2016 12:33 pm

    Best thanksgiving wishes from the UK

  2. tifoso November 24, 2016 7:04 am

    As the staff of WKRP learned, turkeys do not fly so much as plummet. Just like sheep.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  3. Gene Quinn November 24, 2016 10:00 am

    tifoso-

    That is one of the funniest scenes in television history! “As god as my witness I thought turkeys could fly!” One of my all time favorites! Wish I had thought to add that into the article. There is always next year. Funny, I just shared that video clip on Facebook too!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    -Gene

  4. step back November 24, 2016 2:44 pm

    Gene,

    It’s not that hard to cite to a video even here.
    Just say:
    Check out U Tube at watch?v=lf3mgmEdfwg

    Although I don’t see what is funny about a Turkeynado.

  5. step back November 24, 2016 4:20 pm

    Off topic for Tx Giving:

    Trump expected to tap Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/11/24/trump-expected-to-tap-billionaire-investor-wilbur-ross-for-commerce-secretary/

  6. Debby Kay November 24, 2016 9:27 pm

    I raise turkeys. They do fly

  7. tifoso November 25, 2016 5:02 pm

    Debby has Bourbons, a heritage breed. Wild ones fly. The skit, however, seemed to refer to those white birds with huge breasts and tiny wings. Those do not fly. They can barely walk.

  8. Stuart Fox November 28, 2016 10:22 am

    Can a Turkey plastic wishbone invention be protected by Copyright ?
    http://www.luckybreakwishbone.com/ourstory.php US Inventor Ken Ahroni – making it in America – won $1.7 million in a copyright infringement case against Sears and Young and Rubicam …… could it happen again ?
    Stuart Fox