Questions & Answers about Table Top
Advertising Claims & Patents
Q - I have been told that there is "only one sole
legitimate manufacturer of advertising tabletops in
America" and one company that is "the
ONLY authorized manufacturer of restaurant
tabletops featuring advertisements".
And, because this company holds a patent, no one else can
produce tables which feature advertisements. Is this
A - NO! As a matter of fact there are many
companies across America
(as well as all over the world) which produce tables
that feature advertisements (concerning any patent
claims see the information below). Our goal at
Associates, LLC is to make our trademarked product TableAds® the best!
Q - Does a person or a company hold a current patent on
Yes! A quick patent search of the United States Patent
Office database using the keywords
"table top advertising" reveals two existing patents.
by William A. Waterhouse – Norman, OK – December 4, 2000
by William M. Crabtree – Sedalia, MO – February 15, 1995
Well, if two patents exist, how can GEH, and the
other companies you mentioned produce advertising
A - According to the United States Patent Office patents are
issued for inventions. See excerpts below from the
USPTO web site.
Click here to view the entire document
What Is a Patent?
A patent for an invention is the grant of
a property right to the inventor, issued by the Patent
and Trademark Office. The right conferred by the patent
grant is, in the language of the statute
and of the grant itself, "the right to exclude others
from making, using, offering for sale, or selling
" the invention in the United States or "importing" the
invention into the United States. What is granted
is not the right to make, use, offer for sale, sell or
import, but the right to exclude others from
making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing
Since patents are clearly for inventions, and since the
manufacturing processes (the invention) used by other
companies (including the process we use for
in no way violates any of the claims of the existing
patents, the patent holders have no legal claim to any
patent infringement or product exclusivity and any
statements otherwise are simply not true!
Can you get a patent on a idea, like
putting advertisements on tabletops?
NO! Again, according to the United States
Patent Office and the USPTO web site, "A patent cannot be obtained upon a mere idea or suggestion"!
below from USPTO web site.
Click here to view entire document
WHAT CAN BE PATENTED
General Information Concerning Patents
The patent law
specifies the general field of subject matter that can
be patented and
the conditions under which a patent may be obtained.
A patent cannot be
obtained upon a mere idea or suggestion. The patent is
granted upon the
new machine, manufacture, etc., as has
been said, and not upon the idea or suggestion of the
new machine. A complete description of the actual
machine or other subject matter for which a patent is
sought is required.
Since the United States Patent Office states no patent can be granted
on an "idea" (such as table top advertising) and
must be on the machine or manufacturing process, any
patent holders making claims to have patents on the
"idea" of table top advertising are obviously
distributing false information!
We hope you have found this information helpful and
Should you have additional questions
or comments on this
subject please feel free to contact us.