Patenting Pet Products
Pet owners will spend an about $58.5 Billion on their pets in 2014. Here’s the estimated breakdown for pet products in 2014:
Food $22.62 billion
Supplies/OTC Medicine $13.72 billion
Vet Care $15.25 billion
Live animal purchases $2.19 billion
Pet Services: grooming & boarding $4.73 billion
New Pet Products are Patentable
New pet technologies are patentable. From the standpoint of patent law, the patentability analysis is the same as for all other technologies.
New pet food or food products could potentially be patented as compositions of mater. Other patentable pet products include devices and machines, such as toys, crates, cages, scratching posts, etc. These could be patented as machines. Vet care would include drugs (compounds and compositions of matter), medical devices, methods of treatment, etc.. The regular rules of patentability apply. The technology must be new when compared to all existing technology; and it must not be an obvious improvement over existing technology.
Owning a monopoly on a popular new pet product provides a significant market advantage–they ability to exclude all competition from making, using, and selling that invention. This monopoly allows the owner of the patent to set the price. Accordingly, innovators in the pet space should claim their new technology.
Below are a few interesting examples of patented pet products.
Interesting Pet Product Patents
IP watchdog wrote about United States Patent No. 6,360,693, which claims an animal toy. This patent is the famous case of patenting a stick. The Kong Company, LLC makes a variety of highly recommended dog toys. They have a portfolio of patents and patent applications. Kong’s dental toys are built with patented Denta-Ridges, which are special grooves designed to clean teeth and sooth gums as dogs chew.
United States Patent No. 5,443,036 defines a method of exercising a cat. This patent claims methods including a “beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus onto the floor or wall or other opaque surface in the vicinity of the cat, then moving the laser so as to cause the bright pattern of light to move in an irregular way fascinating to cats, and to any other animal with a chase instinct.”