If You Can't Patent Water, Can't You at Least Patent the Bottle?

Apr 07, 2011

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 wasn’t 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 up…hmm. 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 Vapur’s design patent.


Here is a comparison of Cascade Design’s design patent and Vapur’s design patent:


Bottle1   Angel resized 600 


 USD619906S1 (Vapur “Anti-Bottle”)


Water Bottle Picture resized 600 


                  










                                  USD396630S1 (Cascade's Platypus Platy)




 


Even more interesting, while looking at the patents that cited USD396630S1, I came across Vapur’s Design patent as well as USD560122S1, which looks so similar to Cascade Design’s “Platypus Soft Bottle” product that I had to look and see if Kapak Corp and Cascade Design weren’t possibly related.


Bottle3   Angel resized 600


Platypus Soft Bottle (Cascade Design)


 Bottle4   Angel resized 600


                                        










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 other’s 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?


- A.S.





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