Happy Halloween: Halloween Patents
|Written by Gene Quinn
Patent Attorney & Founder of IPWatchdog
Zies, Widerman & Malek
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Posted: Oct 31, 2009 @ 3:26 pm
There are issued US patents for virtually ever occasion, and certainly for every holiday. I like to try and profile holiday patents, which are always interesting if not outright funny at times. So with no further ado, I give you some Halloween Patents! Happy Halloween everyone, and safe trick-or-treating kids!
Climate Adaptive Halloween Costume
US Patent No. 6,904,612
Issued June 14, 2005
When I saw this picture I knew it had to be included in any compilation of Halloween patents! The costume is made up of a first garment base, which generally defines the shape of at least a portion of a Halloween character. This under-garment has insulating material is disposed over at least a portion. The second garment layer is secured to the first garment and the second garment together with the first garment layer defines the complete shape on the Halloween character. The second garment also has a venting material which functions as a ventilator for the Halloween costume. The costume also has at least one decorative member secured to either the first or the second garment layers, and which further outlines the appearance of the Halloween character.
Halloween portable container
US Patent No. 7,594,669
Issued September 29, 2009
The Background of the Invention explains the Halloween tradition:
“Halloween is a tradition celebrated on the night of October 31, most notably by children dressing in costumes and going door-to-door collecting confections, such as sweets, fruit, and other gifts. “Trick-or-treating”, also known as guising, is an activity for children on Halloween in which they proceed from house to house in costumes, asking for confections with the question, ‘trick or treat?’. Guising is one of the main traditions of Halloween. It has become socially expected that if one lives in a neighborhood with children to purchase confections in preparation for trick-or-treaters.”
The Background then goes on to explain the problems associated with getting so much candy carrying it around becomes unmanageable.
Typically, children collect confections in containers, such as bags, backpacks, cases, duffel bags, handbags, knapsacks, pillowcases and even the popular orange plastic pail resembling a pumpkin. As more confections are received, the container becomes weighted and difficult to carry or transport from house to house. Additionally, the containers traditionally used do not have a cover, such as a lid, to prevent the confections from falling out of the container or becoming damaged from weather elements, such as rain.
Therefore, there is a demand for an apparatus that is portable and easy to transport while collecting confections during Halloween “trick-or-treat”. Likewise, there is a demand for an apparatus that protects and secures the confections. The present invention satisfies these demands.
US Design Patent D507989
Issued August 2, 2005
Design patents do not typically have any written description, and this design patent is no exception. Nevertheless, one can easily see the resemblance to the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. Presumably one could hang things on the branches, perhaps miniature jack-o-lanterns or small skull heads. Perhaps you could even hang Achmed the Dead Terrorist ornaments on this Halloween tree. You could always use the Achmed ornaments again for Christmas… and yes… believe it or not there are Achmed the Dead Terrorist ornaments. What can I say? My wife and kid are big Jeff Dunham fans!
Halloween treat carrier
US Patent No. 6,619,810
Issued September 16, 2003
This invention, one of my all-time favorite obscure patents, claims “a container having thereon a Halloween design, wherein the container and/or the Halloween design comprises a glow-in-the-dark material.” I have used this patent for many reasons when I teach. As outrageous and it is ridiculous that it was ever patented, the primary reason I have used this patent is to demonstrate the difficulty one faces with respect to doing a patent search on their own. See Patent Searching 101. When doing a patent search the “holy grail” is to discover which US classification the Patent Office believes is most relevant. If you do that typically you can look through that classification and find all kinds of related patents. But how many would guess that this bag with a glow in the dark jack-o-lantern was classified in the “Light source or light source support and luminescent material” area? Not many I suspect. Having said that, I recently asked a patent searcher I work with this same question and the second classification he identified off the top of his head as being relevant was, in fact, exactly where this patent was classified. The moral of the story: it is no wonder independent inventors cannot find anything when they search and a professional patent searcher finds a wealth of related patent references!
About the Author
Gene Quinn is a US Patent Attorney, law professor and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He is also a principal lecturer in the top patent bar review course in the nation, which helps aspiring patent attorneys and patent agents prepare themselves to pass the patent bar exam. Gene started the widely popular intellectual property website IPWatchdog.com in 1999, and since that time the site has had many millions of unique visitors. Gene has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the LA Times, USA Today, CNN Money, NPR and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide. He represents individuals, small businesses and start-up corporations. As an electrical engineer with a computer engineering focus his specialty is electronic and computer devices, Internet applications, software and business methods.