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Merry Christmas: Santa Patents

Written by Gene Quinn
Patent Attorney & Founder of IPWatchdog, Inc.
Principal Lecturer, PLI Patent Bar Review Course
Posted: December 23, 2008 @ 7:17 pm

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Santa Claus Detector
US Patent No. 5,523,741
Issued June 4, 1996

Tis the season to be jolly, so why not search for some patents with the word “Santa” in the title?  This Santa patent is one of my altime favorites, and one of the more ingenious holiday patents that I have ever seen.  In addition to some very cool patent art, the invention is explained as including a christmas stocking having illumination means that light up upon the arrival of Santa Claus.  According to the invention, the Christmas stocking has a light source on the extreior of the stocking and a power source with a switching mechanism, which is preferably contained in the stocking itself.  The toe of the stocking has a hole that will allow for a slide pin.  The stocking is hung by the chiminey with care, and a decorative pull cord is tied to the ring at the toe of the stocking.  The other end of the decorative pull cord is tied to either another stocking hung opposite or secured to a decoration on the other side of the fire place.  This should then create a scene much like the one pictured below.

So when Santa comes through the chiminey he will break the electrical circuit housed in the stocking by pulling the cord.  So when Santa crosses the finish line the stocking will have lights and sounds eminate, thereby announcing the arrival of Santa Claus.

Another fun invention along these lines is US Patent 7,258,592, which relates to a Santa Clause visit kit and which was patented on August 21, 2007.  Thanks to Jake Ward at Antiticpate This! for bringing this patent to my attention.  This patent coversa a kit for creating an illustion that suggests a Santa Claus visit has occurred. 

Other recent “Santa patents” include a couple design patents.  First, D564,936, issued on March 25, 2008 and covers a Nativity scene decoration including Santa Claus.  Second, D562,714 issued on February 26, 2008 and covers a Santa ornament smoke detector.

So who says patents can’t be fun?  There are patents for all occasions!

Merry Christmas!

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Posted in: Holiday Patents, IP News, Articles, Museum of Obscure Patents

About the Author

is a Patent Attorney and the founder of the popular blog, which has for three of the last four years (i.e., 2010, 2012 and 2103) been recognized as the top intellectual property blog by the American Bar Association. He is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course. As an electrical engineer with a computer engineering focus his specialty is electronic and computer devices, Internet applications, software and business methods.


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