Pepper Food Service (Tokyo), owner of the growing "Ikinari!
Steak" franchise, obtained a patent (the link is to the patent
owner's Japanese press release) for its "System for
Providing Steaks" before the JPO. The patent (JP5946491)
covers steps from having customers stand at the high tables to
taking and fulfilling orders, focused on certain steps such as an
order recording system and scale for weighing the beef.
This patent may come as a surprise for its non-mechanical,
general content of a method for serve steaks. While the USPTO has
tightened requirements for patenting methods, the JPO may
occasionally allow for such unusual "applications" as
this. It is unclear whether or not this patent would hold up in a
The first claim provides for:
"A system for providing steaks that practices a steak
provision method that includes the steps of showing a customer to
tables for stand-up dining, inquiring a customer of the desired
amount of steak, cutting the inquired amount of steak from a block
of meat, cooking the steak, and carrying the steak to the
customer's table; this system for providing steaks is
characterized by a tag indicating the table number to which a
customer is shown, a weighing scale that measures the amount of
meat cut to fit the customer's order, and provision of a
marking for each slice of meat to distinguish it for the customer
who ordered it from other slices of meat ordered by other
customers." (Keisen's translation)
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