Oh My, the Plot Thickens
Purina Pet Food Executive Brenda Bax applied for a patent that seems to control corporations (any corporation) working with Animal Welfare Organizations. By the way, Brenda Bax also sits on the Board of Directors for Delta Society; the same charity that just banned raw fed pets from participating in charity visitations.
Weeks ago The Delta Society, a national charity responsible for training and organizing pet visitations to hospitals and nursing homes made a bold announcement that it would ban from its Pet Partner program all pets fed a raw food diet. Pet owners nationwide were shocked and angry over Delta Society’s’ basically unscientifically founded decision. Then it was discovered that a corporate executive for Purina Pet Food sits on the board of Delta Society. And now a new twist.
Brenda Bax, Marketing Director for Purina Pet Food and Delta Society Board of Directors member has applied for a very unusual patent; “Methods for marketing corporate brands”. The patent Ms. Bax is seeking is basically a means for Big Corporations to work through animal charities (use animal charities) to develop a specific marking plan to pitch their products. Nothing new in marketing really, but what is puzzling and concerning is a pet food company wishing to patent a system where an animal charity works with a corporation for donations.
The Abstract of the patent Ms. Bax of Purina Pet Food…
“Abstract: Business methods are provided for marketing and increasing sales of corporate products or brands by collecting information about one or more animal welfare organizations, collecting information from one or more consumers about animal welfare, and processing the animal welfare organization information and the consumer information to design a marketing program executable by the corporation that enables the consumer to interact with the animal welfare organization.”
When you read on it gets very concerning…
1. A method of marketing a corporate brand comprising: collecting information about at least one animal welfare organization; collecting information from at least one consumer about animal welfare; and using at least one of the animal welfare organization information and the consumer information to design a brand marketing program executable by the corporation that enables the consumer to interact with the animal welfare organization.
10. The method of claim 1 wherein the animal welfare organization must meet a specified requirement to be a part of the marketing program.
13. The method of claim 1 wherein the marketing program benefits the corporation by increasing marketing opportunities for the corporation.
14. A method for improving animal welfare comprising: collecting information about at least one animal welfare organization in a database; collecting information from at least one consumer about animal welfare in the database; using the animal welfare organization information and the consumer information to design a marketing program for a corporation; and rewarding the animal welfare organization based on a performance of the marketing program.
15. The method of claim 14 further comprising rewarding the AWO (Animal Welfare Organization) based on the association of a marketed brand of the corporation with the AWO.
16. The method of claim 14 wherein the animal welfare organization must meet a specified requirement to be a part of the marketing program.
20. A method of marketing a corporate brand comprising: collecting information about at least one animal welfare organization through a first website connected to an internet; collecting information from at least one consumer about animal welfare through a second website connected to the internet; and processing the animal welfare organization information and the consumer information on a central computer processor to design a brand marketing program executable by the corporation that enables the consumer to interact with the animal welfare organization through the internet.”
I am confused and concerned. Why would Purina Pet Food want to patent a marketing method associated with an Animal Welfare Organization? Is this patent application a concern to all Animal Welfare Organizations that do not currently work with Purina Pet Food? Does this patent provide Purina Pet Food control over all other corporations working with/donating to an Animal Welfare Organization?
Is/was Delta Society their first test market and the “wherein the animal welfare organization must meet a specified requirement to be a part of the marketing program” was the ban of pets fed a raw diet?
Purina has not been shy in the patent department. Wysong Pet Foods sued Purina, and won, revoking a patent Purina was provided for a Dr. Wysong invention. Fifteen years prior to the Purina patent, Dr. Wysong invented the probiotic application technology. The Wysong Pet Food website states that Purina (Nestec) “has reportedly been collecting licensing fees from companies internationally for the use of the patent’s technology, and attempting to force those who would not comply – such as Wysong – into costly patent litigation.” http://www.wysong.net/wysong-vs-purina.php
So again, for legal minds out there, I have to ask…Could this patent, if provided to Brenda Bax of Purina Pet Food, be a means for Purina Pet Food to permanently link itself to every Animal Welfare Organization and at the same time preventing other corporations from working with animal charities (or at best forcing other corporations to pay Purina a patent fee)? Is this patent a means for spying on pet owners, collecting personal data for marketing purposes under the trusted pretense of an Animal Welfare Organization?
I’m not sure, but I am very concerned. A patent, held by a major pet food company, for a corporation to link itself with an Animal Welfare Organization seems wrong no matter how you look at it. All Animal Welfare Organizations desperately need money to continue their work, my concern (which could be based on not completely understanding the potential effects of this patent) is the possibility of other animal charities getting caught up in the legal issues of this patent and end up losing funds in the future.
Delta Society, your decision to ban raw fed pets from participating in your Pet Partner programs denies a pet owners basic freedoms; the freedom of choice. Further, and possibly more concerning let’s hope your corporate associations don’t compromise the future of other animal charities.
To read the full Brenda Bax of Purina Pet Food patent application visit http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20090254418
My thanks to the very wise pet owner that alerted me to this patent concern!
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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