A water war has broken out in Florida, and New York is being dragged into the fray. A Palm Beach County bagel purveyor called The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. claims it has devised a novel water treatment system that reproduces an exact chemical replica of New York City's famously pure tap water, allowing it to reproduce bagels with that unique NYC flavor. A Boca Raton franchisee claims the treatment process is a fraud. Chemistry--and the future of breakfast in South Florida--is going to court.
At the heart of the case is whether or not it's actually possible for OBWB to "Brooklynize" its water. The plaintiff, Andrew Greenbaum, claims the water filtration system doesn't replicate Brooklyn water exactly and has a team of chemists lined up to perform test on the alleged fraud water to see how it stands up, chemically speaking, to Brooklyn tap water. OBWB (which started in Florida but now has 14 stores in three states) says its system is unique and that its water, though not sourced from NYC's pristine upstate reservoirs, is a perfect analog for water from the borough.
It's worth noting that this isn't OBWB's first tangle with litigators, as it has already sued and been countersued by a restaurant in Florida that OBWB says came by the secret chemical formula for Brooklynized water dishonestly (everybody in Florida wants New York water it seems, no doubt a byproduct of the documented down-coast migration patterns of retired New Yorkers). But what's really interesting here is the legal precedent. Can a company or entity claim ownership of the chemical composition of a certain kind of water (you certainly can do so with other compounds, like pharmaceuticals)? And if you can, doesn't that composition belong to, you know, New York City?
Apparently all sides in this strange story of courtroom chemistry are in agreement on one matter, a matter that we also agree is indisputable: no matter how you serve them, New York bagels are amazing. Case closed.
Every regions water has its own flavor and chemical make up. Higher or lower levels of various minerals affect the flavor of the water. If this bagel company has found a way to reproduce the flavor of Brooklyn's water then I guess they could patent the process, but not the chemical composition might be a different story. Personally I don't see how the water could have that much of an affect on the flavor of a bagel, but if their customers can tell the difference, then more power to them.
i truly think that it was a bloody stupid idea to allow patents for chemical compounds. one of the biggest reason is because there is literally no way to draw the line as to what is constitutional and what is not and what would be a crime against humanity.
since we have patented the molecules for medicine and even the methods for getting these medicines then what is to say that we won't hear a story where some company is filing to patent H2O. i'd personally do it myself just to insure that it wouldn't be mistreated like that. but the concept stands, they could easily patent the molecules in the grain of rice, or in a steak served in restaurants.
there's just too much room for abuse if we keep allowing people to patent molecules and other things like that: it restricts the flow of knowledge and academia and in the end is an extremely bad idea.
to mars or bust!
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If is isn't full of copepods and other tiny creatures- it just isn't New York water.
With the water in the dough and the fact that bagels are boiled before being baked, water taste would certainly make a difference!
Playing Devil's Advocate since 1978
"The only constant in the universe is change"
-Heraclitus of Ephesus 535 BC - 475 BC
It seems like a frivolous law suit and there are more important things in this world to sue or worry about.
I can't imagine this lawsuit being brought to the front of the judge’s calendar.
This is done all the time in brewing beer. Breweries often adjust the water chemistry to mimic the water from where a particular style of beer originates. As far as I know there haven't been any that have been sued for this.
Amun-Ra, It's pretty important to the businesses of the guys on both sides of the debate. Do you really think that the dudes who run the bagel shop should pack it in and start working on a cure for cancer?
I agree with the previous poster who said that the flavor profile should not be patentable but the process could. They'd make more in licensing than they do in bagel sales!
Ok, too the poor company that makes bagels in Palm Beach County, Fl with water as similar it can be to Brooklyn NY and I will tell you why those bagels will never be the same. Even if you went to Brooklyn and went to the exact bagel shop and ran a hose from the bagel shop and filled up a truck with the same exact water and brought it to Palm Beach County, Fl the bagels will never be the same.
It does not share the same atmosphere!!!!
Cooking, baking involves oxygen & atmosphere and if they are going to be nit picky about H20 and those extra wonderful elements too in Brooklyn water, they best included Brooklyn’s atmospheric pollution to that hidden spice ingredient of our atmosphere, compared to Palm Beach, Florida! And as I have travelled around different cities, air in the cities are not the same! How far apart are those 2 cities, hmm?! Lol!