Copa di Vino showcases wine-by-the-glass invention on Shark Tank

The first installment of the second season of Shark Tank also brought us James Martin and what he described as his “revolutionary” invention that allows wineries to package wine into individual per-serving portions. The vessel is a plastic-covered cup, and to drink the wine inside one need only to peel back the plastic & imbibe.  Martin says that the invention is ideal for serving wine at stadiums or corporate functions, since the staff doesn’t have to muck around with corkscrews or bottle openers. Sounds like a good idea to me, though some would say that it’s not exactly a new idea:

The idea is far from revolutionary. The wine industry is littered with concepts attempting to break wine away from its 750-milliliter trappings with smaller, portable quantities.

Previous efforts, including wine in juice boxes and bottles with attached glasses, focused more on portability while requiring that the wine be poured into another vessel.

The distinction with Copa di Vino is that the wine is meant to be consumed directly from the hour-glass shaped recyclable plastic cup that comes sealed at the rim.

Martin told the Sharks that he holds a patent on the vessel & on the bottling process, but I’ve been unable to locate that patent in either USPTO granted patents or published applications.  That’s not to say that he hasn’t applied for a patent – perhaps it hasn’t yet been published, or maybe he wasn’t the inventor of this revolution in mass wine consumption. I sure hope he didn’t fall for the ol’ provisional patent scam and walk away thinking that he had protection for his invention when he really didn’t.

The Sharks accurately pointed out that the real value of his business was in licensing the patent, not in building his winery, Copa di Vino, on the back of his bottling method.  They offered him what I thought was an unbelievable deal for 51% of the patent rights, but he inexplicably turned that offer down, saying that he thought there was more value in his Copa di Vino being the exclusive licensee of his packaging technology.  I suppose time will tell if he was right.

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