Thanksgiving is the best family holiday. It is stocked full of tradition: family, laughing, turkey dinner, football, and more turkey; while at the same serving as a catalog for memories that mark the progression of our lives. The best part of Thanksgiving for me has changed a bit over the years. When I was very young, dinner was in my grandfather’s German/Irish home in Baltimore sitting at the “children’s table,” where the rules of etiquette were much more relaxed than the old people’s table in the other room. That freedom was great, except of course when my oldest sister, acting on behalf of my mother, made me eat a big helping of sauerkraut. That was nasty stuff. Fortunately, I was always able to get at least one of the Turkey legs, which you could pick up like fried chicken and dive-in without concern for cutlery rules, dripping juice or falling bits of skin or meat (these were the dog’s responsibility). Imagine the shock when a few months ago I stumbled on U.S. Patent No. 10,327,596 for a turkey leg holder.

The claims are related to a device for storing a turkey leg. But Why? Turkey legs never survived even the first wave of hungry barbarians at my grandfather’s house! Of course, they sell monster turkey legs in the park at Disney now, but even there, who is really going to tote a half-eaten turkey leg onto the Splash Mountain ride? But that’s not the only patent out there. Design patent USD 789,755 also relates to a turkey leg storage container.

C’mon man! If we must talk turkey patents, let’s talk turkey sensors (e.g., U.S. 10,194,650), decoys (e.g., U.S. D849,879 & U.S. 9,820,479), or even turkey calls (e.g., U.S. 10,448,629 & U.S. 8,398,452), but let’s leave the drumstick alone. Massasoit and William Bradford are turning over in their graves.

Years later, the entire extended family would come to our house. My favorite task was to deep fry one of the three turkeys we would cook. Knowing that my guests were never quite comfortable being close to me, an open propane burner, large pot of hot oil and a can of Budweiser all together at the same time, I would take up station some distance from the house. My oldest daughter was my faithful runner, taking messages back and forth, and delivering the occasional handful of M&M’s or canned beverage. Oil splatters were the biggest annoyance, of course, and I could certainly have benefited from a turkey fryer with splatter protection, as illustrated in U.S. Patent No. 9,016,190.

The Thanksgiving crowd has given way in recent years to just my family. The deep fryer has long been sidelined, and there is of course no more sauerkraut, although it has been replaced by only slightly more tolerable “healthy” side dishes. However, it is still the best family holiday. These days, my favorite thing about Thanksgiving actually occurs the day before, when my faithful runner, now in college and far away, pulls up in the driveway. She still brings me a bagful of M&M’s.

We at Dilworth IP, LLC hope everyone has the most wonderful of Thanksgivings. For my part, I’m really looking forward to next Wednesday.

-William Reid

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