Oktoberfest in Munich: a festival of patents!

The EPO has calculated that under the beer tents, you can find inventions protected by more than 2,000 European patents, with a special place for taps! 

The growing number of visitors to the Munich Oktoberfest is forcing bartenders and manufacturers to rely on technology to improve their offer to customers and keep 400,000 litres of beer flowing on busy days. This is demonstrated by the number of patents which is also growing. 

The European Patent Office (EPO) examined its databases and found:

  • 1813 patents on draught beer taps
  • 422 patents on drink-dispensing equipment
  • 74 patents on rinsing installations
  • 64 patents on parts and accessories for benches  

Krones AG, a bottling specialist, reckons that behind each tankard there are between 15 and 25 patents, not counting even more inventions for getting the beer to the tent and into the glass.

Beer itself is not patented: its recipe is generally protected as a trade secret.

This example again illustrates the importance of regularly consulting patent databases, either to find ideas, or to avoid developing a protected technical solution and becoming a counterfeiter.


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