Author: Birute Dauderiene, Senior Patent Consultant and Patent Attorney at METIDA
Germany is often associated with punctuality, hard work, order, unlimited speeds on Autobahnen, best tech gadgets and inventions that made the world move faster. The most popular ones are computer, TV, MP3, car, diesel engine, airbag, aspirin, children’s beloved gummies and beer, of course.
Most of us think that Oktoberfest, a famous beer festival, is only about entertainment and never ending beer. But are you aware that every year the fair brings a lot of new inventions to the table? In fact, this is the very reason why Oktoberfest is popular among invention and technology fans and not only among beer lovers. Probably, the number of inventions in this fete is directly proportional to the number of visitors (that continues to increase every year) and beer served.
According to the European Patent Office (EPO), to which applications related to improved inventions and new technologies are filed, there have been over 2000 European patents in every beer tent. Behind every produced litre of beer there are 15-25 new filed patents. But if we looked at how the beer travelled from beer storages to tankards, the number of patents would be even bigger.
Can you imagine that approximately 60 000-70 000 litres of beer are served in a single day in one beer tent? For the beer to flow faster into the tankards, many tents have recently started to use turbo taps and other technologies that reduce foam in beer. According to the EPO, 1813 patents have been granted for beer taps. There here have also been 422 patents on drinks-dispensing equipment, 74 on rising installations and 64 on the typical beer-garden-style tables and benches.
To specify, everything that is related to the service and entertainment in the festival is patented. For example in 1938 the owner of the ride Krinoline patented the electromechanical motor which is even used nowadays. Until then the ride had been operating using human force alone. Another examples are the highest transportable drop tower with patented magnetic braking system and the patented beer table net which can be attached to the underside of a table used to store clothes and other things.
The only thing that is not patented in Oktoberfest is beer. A beer recipe is the best kept secret that can only be shared among several brewery workers. Beer recipes are like commercial secrets and this type of attitude encourages every brewer to create unique formulas and delight Oktoberfest visitors with various types of beer.