Patent of the Day

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Paper or Plastic?

Posted by innovativeip on August 5, 2010

Today’s Patent of the Day is U.S. Patent no. 7,407,089, issued August 5, 2008 for a “System and Method for Determining Packaging Preference”.  Yes, today’s patent seeks to eliminate the need for your grocery store visit to include the question “paper or plastic?” on every trip.

Today's Patent of the Day

Apparently, the general concept is to electronically evaluate your purchases and to store your preferences, so that bagging selection is pre-determined. 

Interestingly, although this patent was recently issued, the bag dynamic has already changed.  That is, while plastic bags were hailed as the environmentally friendly save-a-tree solution when they were introduced, there are now so many clogging landfills and landscapes, and negatively impacting wildlife, many geographic regions have now instituted outright bans on their distribution and use.  The reusable cloth-like bag (byob) now seems to be the more popular alternative.  I can attest that not only do I enjoy knowing that I am not generating more landfill waste, I love how the reusable bags are able to hold so much more, yet are still easier to carry.  Presumably, the system of today’s patent could be adapted to provide automated answer to “paper, plastic, or byob?” 

If you’d like a more complete read of the patent, you can find it at  Enjoy!


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