This Kat is vegetarian, but she was intrigued by the thought that, in the US, you could patent a steak. National Public Radio (NPR) in the U.S. recently did a great 20-minute piece on patents associated with cuts of bambi's mother, oh, I mean meat. Tech Dirt and Time magazine, among others, also picked up on this story in a I-can't-believe-that-got-a-patent kind of way.
The coverage was prompted by news that the Oklahoma State University has patented and is licensing a new steak. More precisely, they are licensing a new cut called (and trademarked) the Vegas Strip Steak. In an interesting example of university-industry technology transfer, the academic research of meat scientist Dr. Tony Mata is bringing the world a tender, extra lean steak that does not require aging.
|Buttercup, is that you?|
The NPR piece talks to the inventor of the Steak-Umm, "the best-known sandwich steak brand in America." I haven't had the pleasure, but apparently this processed meat product allows for you to bite into a Philly cheesesteak and not pull out all of the meat in one bite. They also cook faster than traditional steaks. In true social-contract theory of IP, the NPR presenter posits that this represents an innovation, a benefit to society and merits protection. Other patented protein sources considered in the piece are chicken and hot dogs.
Representatives of the bovine persuasion could not be reached for comment on this story. And now, please excuse me as this "value added processed soy bean curd specialist" goes and sanctimoniously attempts to create a new cut of tofu.