I receive press release emails for several companies. One of those companies is Kit Check. Iâ€™ve written about Kit Check several times before.
YesterdayÂ I received and email from Kit Check stating that â€œthe U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued two meaningful patents with two more expected on June 16, 2015. The patented innovations reach back to Kit Checkâ€™s founding and are fundamental to automating key hospital pharmacy processesâ€. Ok, that caught my attention. I’m always curious when patents are granted.
The two patents issued are U.S. Patent Numbers 8,990,099 and 9,037,479. Both have to do with the management of pharmacy kits. I proceeded to the USPTO where I found the same abstract for both:
â€œA system for managing pharmacy kits comprises a reading station configured to read tag information from a plurality of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags associated with a pharmacy kit, and an information processing system operatively connected to the reading station and configured to receive the tag information from the reading station and determine a status of the pharmacy kit based on the tag information, a plurality of stored templates defining contents to be included in each of a plurality of pharmacy kits, and a plurality of kit records indicating the current contents of a plurality of pharmacy kits.â€
I didn’t spend any great amount of time reading through the details of the patents because letâ€™s face it, people who write patents do a masterful job of filling space with useless dribble. Seriously, patents make pouring a cup of coffee sound like someone has created a method for generating perpetual motion. With that said, I did do a cursory overview.
I was surprised at the gist of what was patented. In summary, the patents were given for a system that uses RFID tags to read things inside a closed container. Obviously there’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s my understanding of the patents in a nutshell.
I cringe when I see patents like this because it’s proof that you can patent just about anything these day. And in my opinion it stifles innovation, creativity, and ingenuity.
Does this mean that other companies wonâ€™t be able to develop a closed system that reads multiple items with RFID tags? I certainly hope not. Only time will tell what Kit Check plans to do with these patents, but I can only guess that they didnâ€™t spend all that time, energy, and money for the heck of it.