Skip to main content

IP Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated

March 15, 2021

Posted in Uncategorized

Wine Bottle Shipping Protector — Howell, MI — The Patent Baron

Image credit: USPTO

How Can My Company Create IP?

Often clients or prospective clients talk to me and they ask “We don’t make smartphones or electric vehicles – how can we create IP (patents) to benefit our company?”

They are often looking at ways to stay ahead of the competition.

I typically give them many examples of IP. These examples aren’t smartphones or EVs. However, they can still have tremendous value. I just received one by FedEx recently – a case of wine bottles that arrived safely. Here, the example is the wine bottle shipping protector. It did a great job of protecting my wine bottles in their journey to my house.

Wine Bottle Shipping Protector

This particular shipping protector is by Western Pulp Products Company ( and granted U.S. Pat. No. 7,584,852:

Many people don’t give packaging materials much thought. Additionally, they are upset if their deliveries are damaged or broken, in the case of bottles of wine. Shippers are not likely to be pleased either. They don’t want leaking boxes of wine in their trucks, planes, and conveyor systems!

1000 Parts Not Needed

As the wine bottle protector shows, a company can develop a product with no moving parts and no assembly required. And they can protect it with a patent (assuming that the application survives the patent examination process).

IP Not By Accident

Of course, Western Pulp’s shipping protector didn’t happen by accident. It required engineering and testing to develop. Western Pulp had to develop the machine to mold the protector and the composition of the pulp in the protector, among other things.

Western Pulp sought and received a patent for their invention. A patent conveys certain rights, including the right to exclude others from practicing the invention. Also, companies license patent rights. Licensing can bring in additional profits (always a good thing!).

The Bottom Line

IP isn’t just for products with a thousand parts.

Patents can be secured for a product with 1 part, or just a few. It is critical to not overlook protecting components, in-process parts, or other consumable items that don’t make it to the customer. These items make your company run smoother and more profitably. You spend the time to develop these items – why not protect them?

Contact Us Today!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.