Following a week of intense media attention, the man who created a new food that merges a hot dog and a hamburger has decided to auction off his intellectual property rights.
The Hamdog was invented in 2004 by Mark Murray, who lives in Perth, Australia. He successfully applied for patents in the US, but after his story went viral last week, has decided to "pass it onto an entity that has the criteria required to roll it out in America."
"It's certainly gotten way bigger that I was expecting," he told CNBC via email, although he added that he will be retaining rights to sell the product in Australia.
News of the hamburger-hot dog hybrid has stretched across the globe and was even the subject of an on-air rant by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. The Hamdog comes in a bun made in a special mould and also features lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese and a variety of sauces. It's currently being sold for 8 Australian dollars (S$8.40). Murray told CNBC last week that he had plans to roll out the product to America next year.
The auction will see the global intellectual property rights, and the US patent and trademark sold by online auction house WA Auctioneers and will commence September 30.
"While there is a massive global market for the Hamdog, even if the Hamdog could find its way into just a 1 per cent of the American burger market, that would generate its owner over $2 billion (S$2.8 billion) in annual sales," Murray said in a press release Wednesday.
Australian news and entertainment website News.com.au quoted Murray suggesting the patent could be worth $100 million, but others have said that estimate isn't realistic.
"I smell a rat," Murray told CNBC. "A couple of so-called experts have been attacking my claims, commenting that there is no valid patent." he added.