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Global Capital Summit Takes Place Online This Week

The Global Capital Summit takes place as an online interactive event this week.Global Capital Summit takes place online March 2022

Joining them for 2 days of interactive workshops is our Head of Business Development for North America Christian Hartmann. He will join the discussion with some of the most influential leaders at the intersection of innovation, capital and entrepreneurship.

Investors are taking risks on entrepreneurs like never before and high growth companies are emerging. Find out what’s driving these massive changes and learn how to get involved. Engage in meaningful conversations to enable new possibilities.


Patent Seekers recently launched an innovative analysis designed to help entrepreneurs and investors make key product, market and investment decisions.

StartPoint© is the latest ground-breaking advancement in market research and competitive intelligence using the power of patent data and market analysis.

StartPoint© is an affordable solution to help guide you through your innovation journey, provide you with a competitive edge and importantly help make your invention more attractive to investment.

Christian and a team of researchers designed StartPoint© with Entrepreneurs and Investors in mind. Please feel free to contact Christian if you would like to learn more.

Christian Hartmann
Christian Hartmann – Head of Business Development

Christian Hartmann is the Head of Business Development for North America. He regularly advises clients on the use of Intellectual Property search and analysis to support their innovation journey.

Further details on the Global Capital Summit can be found here.

Do you understand IP?

Do you understand IP? For some start-up companies and inventors Intellectual Property (IP) can be an unknown commodity. Having a basic understanding can help to inform business decisions and ensure you are able to support your innovation going forward. This could include approaching the relevant experts including intellectual property researchers such as Patent Seekers and/or patent, design or trademark attorneys for guidance as needed*.

With this in mind we were recently asked if there were any questions that newcomers to IP often ask. There are many, and so we asked Sue Leslie also relatively new to both IP and Patent Seekers, to develop an article answering some of these questions, including:

  • Should I keep my invention secret?
  • What is a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)?
  • Can I carry out my own prior art search?

Developed from a newcomers’ perspective we hope it answers many of the questions people new to IP may face.

Do you understand IP? You can read the full article in the latest addition of The Global IP Matrix.

For further information on Patent Seekers services including patent, design and trademark searching please check out our Services page.

* For legal advice we recomend you speak to an attorney. Please see our Directory of Patent Attorneys for details of attorneys in your area.

Sue Leslie works as part of our Marketing and Business Development team, based in the UK but supporting development worldwide. Why not reach out on LinkedIn and grow your connections?

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The High Steaks of BBQ IP

With July 4th weekend upon us, we at Patent Seekers would like to wish our families, friends and colleagues in the United States a Happy Independence Day by looking at the US patents that have helped make July 4th the undisputed King of BBQ related holidays.  We’ll explore the filing history of these patents, investigate the oldest BBQ patents we can find and take a look at some of the most recent publications to get a glimpse of where BBQ technology is currently. We’ll also take a sweeping look at the patent landscape, seeing where innovation is heaviest. Lastly, we’ll highlight some of the more weird and wonderful innovations in the area. By the end we’ll have shone some light on this niche of the culinary industry, highlighting the American innovations that have culminated in the barbecue’s domination of holidays such as July 4th, as well as its place amongst the top traditions of the summer months.

BBQs: A Patent History

As part of our insight in to the world of patents it only felt right to take a look back to some of the earliest references to BBQ innovation, to those barbecues that took the first foray into the realm of patent protection. Some of the earliest documents include: US1156773A, entitled “Barbecue Furnace”. This patent has an application date from 1915, making it the earliest reference we could find. It appears to relate to “constructing a portable folding stove or furnace for camp or field use made usually of a size to receive a quarter of beef for instance, so that it could be stored in small compass, easily transported, quickly set up”. US1250861A, entitled “Barbecue Stove” has an application date of 1917 and also appears to focus on portability. By contrast we also looked at some of the most recent patents that relate to barbecues. We found US2020178546A with an application date of 10th Dec 2019, entitled “Smoke-producing device for an outdoor grill” and US2020054168A “Pizza oven” with an application date of 13th August 2019, which appears to relate to a device for allowing pizza to be cooked on a barbecue grill.

Figure 1 (below) shows the filing history of barbecue related patents from 1915 to 2019. The filings appear to follow a pattern of almost sudden spiking, followed by a slight dip. There is a clear upward trend of filings from 1915 through to a tremendous peak in 2005, however, filings appear to have gradually decreased thereafter. Other noticeable peaks include the years 1989 & 2000.

Filing history of barbecue related patents from 1915 to 2019
Figure 1. Earliest Priority Year vs Number of Patent Families* (US only) *Produced using PatWorld.

Current BBQ Landscape

Figure 2 illustrates a set of documents clustered according to their semantic proximity where a point corresponds to a patent family. The map provides a visualisation of the technology clusters prevalent within the barbecue portfolio and reveals a diverse set of interests. The largest clusters appear to mainly relate to portability (blue dots) and barbecue covers/smokers (orange dots). Other clusters appear to relate to specific parts of the barbecue such as the grill assembly (dark blue dots), the stove (red dots) and the fuel supply (brown dots) or to accessories such as tongs (purple dots). The last remaining clusters appear to relate to barbecue sauce (green dots, grey dots).

Figure 2. Barbecue-related patent family map (US only)
Figure 2. Barbecue-related patent family map (US only)

Weird and Wonderful BBQ

When conducting the research for this paper, we came across a number of stand-out patents. We thought it would be a disservice not to draw attention to at least some of these great innovations!

US2006254433A1 - Barbeque and smoker
US2006254433A1 – Barbeque and smoker. Abstract An apparatus for barbecue cooking and smoking is described herein. Provided is a grill enclosure having a grill chamber and an adjustable vent to allow smoke to be released from the grill chamber. Additionally, an adjustable venting hood is coupled to the grill enclosure to channel and control smoke from the grill chamber. A smoker that is coupled to the venting hood receives the smoke channelled from the grill chamber. The smoker includes one or more racks connected to an axle capable of movement



US2016345774A1 – Stadium Barbeque Grill – Abstract – A stadium barbecue grill comprising an upper hood and a lower base defining an interior of the grill, a grid cooking surface with an indicia of an American football field; and an exterior indicia of an American football stadium attached to the hood.

USD627597S – Boxing glove shaped barbecue grill



With the current long days and cool nights of the summer months upon us, we are well and truly into the prime barbecue season. It is a wonder how much of the innovation present in today’s barbecues is patented, and how today’s barbecues have been shaped by the patents before them. This brief and light-hearted glimpse into the patents behind the barbecue culture has shown that barbecue innovation appears to be on the decline, does this mean that we have already reached the pinnacle of barbecue related technology?

Although the barbecue appears to be a relatively simple invention, with a long patenting history, there still appears to be room for innovation, certainly for attachments, accessories and/or means to cook food not usually associated with a barbecue, such as pizzas. Could this be enough to warrant at least a small resurgence in US barbecue tech?

As we make our way through these summer months, people everywhere have a renewed sense of appreciation for the barbecue and its long-standing tradition of bringing friends, families and communities together. We hope that this report has helped increase that appreciation by drawing some attention to the hard, behind-the-scenes work that has gone into making the barbecue the amazing cooking device that it is today.

From everyone at Patent Seekers, we hope you have an amazing July 4th Weekend!

Happy Independence Day!

This article was written by Alec Griffiths, IP Manager at Patent Seekers.

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