Can nobody make a sandwich like McDonald’s?

David Adam
Monday November 20, 2006
The Guardian

It has been the food of monarchs and commoners ever since John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, first pressed some meat between two slices of bread and took a bite. Billions of butties later, the fast-food giant McDonald’s has set its sights on his invention. The company has filed patents in Europe and the US that claim the “method and apparatus for making a sandwich” as its intellectual property.

Patent application WO2006068865 relates to the “pre-assembly of sandwich components and simultaneous preparation of different parts of the same sandwich”. It covers the “simultaneous toasting of a bread component” and heating a “meat and/or cheese filling”. And it says the company has invented a way to add garnishes and condiments using a “sandwich assembly tool”.

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Don’t worry… Lawrence Smith-Higgins, of the UK Patent Office has assured sandwich lovers that neither McDonalds nor another party can gain exclusive rights to the idea attributed to the Earl of Sandwich in 1762… that is until they figure out how.

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