Can I patent my logic for a pantry management system?


Is it possible to patent my own logic for determining if pantry items have gone bad in a software system for managing items?

I don't expect there to be a god-given algorithm for this logic, but if I have my own, can I patent it?

Travis Emery

Posted 2012-09-20T19:00:30.263

Reputation: 63



A quick google search for warehouse management systems with logic for tracking expiration dates brought back this system. While it's not a pantry system and is in fact intended for much larger operations, it does track products and locations, includes "Tracking for Expiration Dated Food", and is mobile. I've never used it so I can't attest to the truth in the advertising.

Relevant search terms in this case would be 'warehouse management' or 'asset management' software. I don't have the ability to look up if there's a specific patent on the subject currently.


These patents and applications seem to cover what you're looking for:

  • 2010179881 - System for Making Product Purchases (application)
  • 6,982,740 (2006) - RFID system and method for tracking food freshness (patent)
  • 20120101876 - Method of Managing Household Product Inventory (application)

The first one consists of web-based software plus an in-house terminal; the second is an RFID system; the third is "virtual" on an "electronic device". Of them I think the first is the best fit (and kind of cool.)

Roddy of the Frozen Peas

Posted 2012-09-20T19:00:30.263

Reputation: 220


Without specifics, it's hard to give an absolute answer. For instance, "A System for Tracking Expiration and Stock of Pantry Items" would likely have quite a bit of prior art (and perhaps a degree of obviousness). However, if there's something unique about the process that you can describe, it may be patentable.


Posted 2012-09-20T19:00:30.263

Reputation: 121


A specific, applied method like that you describe is, in principle, patentable under section 101. The real question is whether it meets the other standards for patentability, as other answers have noted. Is is truly novel and nonobvious? Can you describe it an an application-specific way? If the answers to this are yes, then you have a shot.

Polk Wagner

Posted 2012-09-20T19:00:30.263

Reputation: 171


In my brief career as a hotel steward, I found that nearly all expiration dates were governed by labels and/or state and local laws. I'm not sure to what point there could be an algorithm for this.

Diego Escalera

Posted 2012-09-20T19:00:30.263

Reputation: 165

Money? Well, suing folks for something which is damned obvious would be primary, I'd think. No? Asking people how best to abuse the system seems a misuse of this group. – David T. Macknet – 2012-09-20T23:10:56.330