It’s been a while since I unveiled a new Cigar Site of Interest, and today’s site may be an indication why. Today we journey forth into the thrilling terrain of Intellectual Property Law!
I have to admit I don’t know the first thing about inventions and patents, but after discovering the patent application for this “cigar measuring device” it appears that an integral element of a patent application is a description so tediously meticulous that it brings tears to the patent examiner’s eyes.
A pocket-sized apparatus for determining the length and ring gauge of a cigar comprising an outer case having a front portion and a back portion of rigid material, wherein the front and back portions of said outer case are rotatably mounted on a fastening means, said fastening means having an axis of rotation parallel to the front portion of said outer case, said outer case containing plural leaves of rigid material rotably mounted on said fastening means, whereby each of said plural leaves is rotatable through 180.degree., each of said plural leaves having at least one aperture therethrough, the back portion of said outer case being provided with ruled markings, whereby the back portion of said outer case when rotated through 180.degree. forms a straight edge with the front portion of the outer case, and wherein each of said plural leaves is further provided with indicia indicative of ring gauge, wherein each indicium is adjacent a corresponding one of said at least one apertures.
Unfortunately there are no pictures on the free version of this patent website (and no, I’m not paying for the illustrations) but just in case this description was not precise enough for you, there are several others in the application that provide additional shots of mental lidocaine. But maybe the device is best understood in action.
20. A method for ascertaining the particular type of a cigar comprising the steps of:
a. determining the manufacturer’s name from the cigar band,
b. aligning one end of the cigar with a zero point of a ruled straight edge of a pocket-sized measuring apparatus and determining the length thereof, and
c. passing the cigar through a series of apertures of said pocket-sized measuring apparatus, said apertures having unique diameters and said apparatus having indicia indicative of ring size adjacent said apertures and determining the ring gauge thereof.
So basically, this is a ruler with plastic ring gauge cards attached thereto. Whereupon one reads the indicia of the ruler and pokes the cards with a cigar to adjudge the ring gauge of the aforesaid cigar. Because otherwise, you’ll never know what you’re smoking. No, really:
While many manufacturers use similar standard sizes for their cigars, they typically assign their own proprietary names for the various sizes of the cigars they make. These proprietary names, however, do not typically appear on the paper band or ring on the cigar itself. Rather, the paper band typically contains only the manufacturer’s name. Table 1 lists examples of sizes and names of various cigars according to The Cigar Companion.
Each manufacturer has its own blend, and each manufacturer generally uses a different blend of tobaccos in each of the sizes of cigars it makes in its product line.
Thus, a cigar smoker who has enjoyed a particular cigar cannot use the manufacturer’s name on the paper band to determine the name or size of the particular cigar. Accordingly, such a cigar smoker has no way to purchase the same cigar.
The application filing date on this extraordinary invention is 1995 and it was published in 1997. Sounds about right. What’s even better is that there’s another patent that cites this one for a gadget called a “Novelty Cigar Gauge and Measuring Apparatus,” or “Cigar-O-Gauge,” made for Cigar Aficionado. The Cigar-O-Gauge is described a bit more succinctly as “A Flat Paper Product Pullout Insert Titled ‘Ring Gauge Guide and Ruler’.”
I bet the Cigar-O-Gauge looks a little like my Cigar Measuring Device, which I have used for years, as you can see by the coffee stain which was carefully applied to distinguish it as my personal property:
Courtesy freepatentsonline.com, may I present today’s Cigar Site of Interest: