December 16, 2018

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We all Scream for . . . Ice Cream Patents

Did you know there are patents on ice cream, ice pops, and other frozen confections? A search of the USPTO patent database identified 1452 granted patents with the term “ice cream” in at least one claim. What better way to prepare for the July 4th holiday than to get a taste of ice cream patents?

The Popsicle® Patent

U.S. Patent 1,505,592 was granted August 25, 1925 on a process for making a frozen confection we know better as a Popsicle®, although it first was marketed by inventor Frank Epperson as an Epsicle.

popsicle patent 1920

You Can Have Your Ice Cream And A Piece Of Fruit Too

U.S. Patent No. 3,950,548 related to a product that could be the key to a balanced diet in the dog days of summer. Claim 1 recited:

A confectionery product comprising
a stick having a handle and a seat,
a fruit having a bore therein, said fruit being carried on said seat, and
at least one of an ice cream, a sherbet and/or an ice at least partially filling said fruit’s bore.

ice cream patents

According to the figure legend, Figure 1 depicts an embodiment with a peach.

When A Waffle Cone Isn’t Special Enough

One of the most recent patents is U.S. Patent No. 9,993,007, directed to a three-part ice cream cone. According to the background section of the patent, the invention solves a critical problem:

[C]ompared to ice cream, cones are pretty boring.

In specific embodiments, “[t]he top part of the ice cream cone looks like the same cone you would see in an ice cream shop” but “[i]nstead of a cone bottom, we created and dropped in a specially shaped cookie or candy.” 
ice cream cone patent

According to the specification this solves other problems with conventional cones:

Because it is a solid cookie or candy, you can grip it hard and it won’t break. The ice cream will not drip through the cookie or candy, either. A cookie will stay crunchy much longer than a regular ice cream cone. You can use any cookie flavor: sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodle, reverse chocolate chip. You can also use cookie-like toasted rice cereal-marshmallow treats, granola bars, or any hard candy, soft candy, or solid chocolate that holds its shape at room temperature. There are so many different choices.

I half-expected the Examiner’s Statement of Reasons for Allowance to find the claims patentable because the invention sounds so delicious ….

A Distinctive Ice Cream Truck Design

There are lots of design patents on frozen confections, but embodiments of ice cream truck design patent D633007 would be hard to miss!

ice cream truck design

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About this Author

Courtenay C. Brinckerhoff, intellectual property  law attorney, Foley & Lardner  Law Firm
Partner

Courtenay Brinckerhoff is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Ms. Brinckerhoff’s practice focuses on client counseling in all aspects of obtaining, licensing and enforcing patents and conducting freedom-to-operate and due diligence investigations. She is chair of the firm’s IP Law and Practice committee, immediate past vice chair of the firm’s Chemical, Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Practice and a member of the firm's Patent Trials group, Appellate Practice and Life Sciences Industry Team. She also is involved with Foley’s...

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