Beer Patent Fun (Part I)

With all of the bad press coming out lately reporting craft brewers suing each other for allegedly infringing their intellectual property rights, we thought it might be a good idea to try to lighten the mood a bit.  With that in mind, here are a few humorous beer-related patent applications we came across:

  • Tooth Protector for Beverage Bottle and Beverage Bottle Enclosure” – US Patent Application No. 2012/0225166 by Krag David Hopps.  I get as excited as the next guy/girl when I crack open a bottle of craft beer.  That said, I have, to date, been able to temper my excitement enough to avoid crashing into and injuring my incisors with a beer bottle.  Unfortunately for those individuals who have not shared in my good fortune, to quote Mr. Hopps, “No device has heretofore been available to protect a person’s teeth when he/she is drinking from a glass bottle.”  This device, shown on the left, literally shields a beer drinker’s teeth from a beer bottle while drinking from the bottle.  Mr. Hopps’ invention is sure to bring us into the golden age of bottle consumption safety.  Good news for those of you with drinking problems.
  • Chewing gum with containing ethanol flavors” – US Patent Application No. 2013/0034625 by David L. Ross.  It is truly unfortunate that this patent application apparently does not include any images because I would love to see what this invention looks like. Mr. Ross has invented a beer flavored gum wrapped in a beer mug/bottle/keg shaped packaging “that encloses between 0.01 milliliters and 2 milliliters of alcoholic beverage [ethanol] in at least one cavity inside the gum.”  Our rough calculations show that you’d have to chew at least 18 pieces of gum to get about the same alcoholic content as a single bottle of a popular macrobrew.  Better a sore jaw than a sore liver, I guess.
  • Netting system for drinking games” – US Patent Application No. 20120071278 by Andrew Mansfield.  We agree with Mr. Mansfield’s sentiment that “a need exists for a cheap, easy to manufacture and an easy to use system that prevents ping pong balls from hitting the surrounding floor during game play.”  As Mr. Mansfield points out, the previous attempt to clean up these games by providing wash cups to clean playing balls before throwing them into an opponents’ beer glass “is inefficient and often ineffective as the wash cups become dirty and contaminated from repeated contact with dirty ping pong balls as the game progresses. In addition, research has shown that the wash cups still hold bacteria, such as E. coli.”  Without going through Mr. Mansfield’s undoubtedly comprehensive research results, we are relieved to hear that hygiene-conscious partygoers will no longer be left out of beer pong games.
  • Beer Pong Table with Cooling System” United States Patent No. 8,235,389, issued to Big Dog Pong, LLC.  Big Dog Pong also took great strides to improve the great sport of Beer Pong with this invention.  A true visionary, they recognize that playing beer pong on kitchen tables, closet doors, and other homemade tables can “unfairly affect the game” and that “beverages may become warm during play.”  Big Dog Pong accomplishes all of this by placing a series of cooling areas into the table top surface of a standardized beer pong table.
We hope you enjoyed this reprieve from the mostly serious tone of this website.  After all, drinking beer is supposed to be a fun endeavor, right?

About Dan

Daniel Christopherson of is a beer and trademark attorney at Lehrman Beverage Law. He is an avid craft beer enthusiast who helps new and established breweries develop their business models, comply with the TTB and FDA, and protect their intellectual property.
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