If You Can’t Patent Water, Can’t You at Least Patent the Bottle?
Collapsible Water Bottles
I was flipping through a travel magazine and came across a clever little foldable water bottle, perfect for traveling. The company that manufactures the water bottle, Vapur, interestingly, markets the water bottle as the Anti-Bottle because of its foldable pouch-like design. When I first saw it, it brought to mind a plastic see-through Capri Sun. After looking at it for a while, it also conjured up images of a modified Camelbak bladder, an IV drip system, and finally the Platypus Platy (a foldable water bottle that is remarkably similar to the Vapur Anti-Bottle). I looked up the company, Vapur, to see if they had any patents on their clever little design, and they did. While I wasnt surprised to find that they had patents, I was a little surprised to find that they only had design patents; USD0619906S (a clear plastic bottle design) and USD0622612S (the same bottle but with a bubble pattern on it). I decided to do a quick title or abstract search (fairly simple, and with no time limitations) of (foldab! Or rollab! Or (roll! w/1 up!)) and water! And (bottle! Or container! Or pouch!) and 481 references came uphmm. I then decided to see if Platypus had any patents on Platy, their foldable water bottle design. Platypus is a brand under the company Cascade Designs Inc and they have 193 patents/published applications, including a design patent USD396630S1, for a collapsible bottle, that looks pretty similar to Vapurs design patent.
Here is a comparison of Cascade Designs design patent and Vapurs design patent:
USD619906S1 (Vapur Anti-Bottle)
USD396630S1 (Cascade’s Platypus Platy)
Even more interesting, while looking at the patents that cited USD396630S1, I came across Vapurs Design patent as well as USD560122S1, which looks so similar to Cascade Designs Platypus Soft Bottle product that I had to look and see if Kapak Corp and Cascade Design werent possibly related.
Platypus Soft Bottle (Cascade Design)
USD560122S1 (Kapak Corp)
So, from flipping through my travel magazine, I have now found at least three companies that seem to be stepping on each others toes; Cascade Design, Kapak Corp and Vapur. Kapak and Vapur definitely know about Cascade Design, but I wonder if Cascade Design knows about the others?