I caught the most recent episode of Shark Tank and watched as Kyle Donovan of iFork tried to get $100,000 for five percent equity. The product is a line of plates, silverware and glasses that interlock to make it easy to get your food in a picnic line. Their website states that their “first mission was to design an innovative line of forks, knives and spoons to rise above the surface. By doing this we would prevent dirtying our tables and counters from food residue sometimes left on our flatware from cooking and dining.”
Barbara eventually did a deal with Kyle, but not after some questions about his patent. Kyle displayed a table worth of patents. However, as the Sharks noted, these are all design patents. I’ve listed them below. While these will protect against a direct knock-off, you could easily design around them and still have an interlocking system.
What was more interesting was the Kyle said he had utility patents pending. Those were more interesting. In my search, I found three of them, listed below. The problem is that these are all abandoned, and I couldn’t find any others. Unless Kyle was referring to some other applications, it doesn’t look like they do have any applications pending.
|1||20150282655||PLATE, CUP AND CUTLERY SYSTEM|
|2||20130133207||Post on Eating Utensil|
|3||20130133206||Utensils With Raised Working End When Resting|
I suspect Barbara will discover this in her post-show diligence. Not sure that it will change the deal, but it is significant that there aren’t any utility patents pending.