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Merry Christmas: Christmas and Santa Patents 2009


Written by Gene Quinn
President & Founder of IPWatchdog, Inc.
Patent Attorney, Reg. No. 44,294
Zies, Widerman & Malek
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Posted: December 24, 2009 @ 5:34 pm
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It is hard to believe that this year is almost over, and it is Christmas 2009!  It seems the older I get the faster the years pass, just like my parents always warned me would be the case some day.  I still remember how the minutes would drag on forever on Christmas morning waiting for my parents to get moving, make sure the lights were on and film was in the camera.  Those were the days!  In any event, we at IPWatchdog wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and hope you all make some wonderful memories to cherish for a lifetime!

Without further ado, to help facilitate the spirit in a patent sort-of way, here are some patents that fit the season, and don’t forget to check out my all-time favorite – the Santa Claus Detector, which I profiled last Christmas.

Structural improvement of toy Christmas tree
US Patent No. 6,053,798
Filing date: August 26, 1998
Issue date: April 25, 2000

I don’t have the box handy, it seems pretty clear that this device is the famous (or infamous) Dancing Douglas Fir (see YouTube Video), or an improvement thereof. The device is explained to be a structural improvement of toy Christmas tree. The lower part of the foundation unit has a motor with intermittent off-and-on rotation controlled by a control circuit board installed in the base. The motor being linked with a reduction gear and a spring to drive a toy lower jaw part at the lower part of the foundation unit, and a driving rod to activate a toy eyebrow. According to the patent “the control circuit board will play happy music and flash LED light… while the motor will drive the eyebrows and mouth of the Christmas tree to flip up and down and open and close, to create a fun image…” My parents have a Dancing Douglas Fir, so I will have to take a look and see if there is, in fact, a patent number when I visit next week.

Garage door message banner
US Patent No. 6,395,369
Filing date: December 7, 1999
Issue date: May 28, 2002

This invention relates to a garage door banner for partially covering the front of a conventional garage door. The banner is attached so as not to change its position after successive up and down garage door cycling operations. The banner may be mounted by placing the banner over the front of the garage door while the garage door is partially open such that the U-shaped clips of the top of the banner may be secured to the top of the garage door, and the U-shaped clips of the bottom of the banner may be secured to the bottom of the garage door. The U-shaped clips are preferably fabricated of a thin durable material so as to provide garage door securement without effecting the door/frame seal. Likewise, because the banner is neither attached to the back of the door, nor required to envelope the door, it is less likely to shift during door cycling. Furthermore, the banner of the present invention is low in cost and easy to install, replace, and maintain.

Santa Claus visit kit
US Patent No. 7,258,592
Filing date: August 26, 2004
Issue date: August 21, 2007

This invention is a kit useful for creating an illusion that suggests a Santa Claus visit has occurred. The kit includes items appropriate for use to convince a child that Santa Claus did in fact visit.

The kit includes items at least one item temporarily concealed from the child, such as a boot print stencil to mark a trail of Santa Claus or a letter professing to be from Santa Claus. The method comprises the steps of:

  1. assembling the Christmas diorama;
  2. attaching the card to the diorama outside the presence of the child audience;before the child audience has gone to sleep on Christmas Eve, and in front of the child audience:
  3. sprinkling contents of said packaged glitter outside the premises;
  4. placing the toy key outside the premises;
  5. placing a snack within the region;outside of the child audience on Christmas Eve:
  6. marking the premises with the marking means to signify a recent presence of Santa Claus;
  7. removing at least a portion of the snack;
  8. leaving the letter professing to be from Santa Claus in the region; and
  9. removing the card from the diorama.

Lights in a blanket
US Patent No. 6,402,336
Filing date: September 2, 2000
Issue date: June 11, 2002

This invention discloses a means for decorating using lights which are fixed to a blanket. The blanket can be of variable length and width constructed of a backing material providing means for attaching a decorative symbol, as well as means for permanently attaching a light string thereto. The light string can form a random pattern, or a recognizable symbol and can be used to highlight some decorative design within the blanket itself. The blanket can be attached to any appropriate surface using fastening means. Further the blanket can be rolled up for storage purpose which eliminates the lights and wires becoming entangled.

Greeting cards, postcards, gift bags, and the like
US Patent Application No. 10/618,300
Publication No. 2004/0128876 A1
Filing date: July 11, 2003

This invention, which was never patented and was in fact abandoned for failure to respond to a non-final office action in May of 2009, relates to books, puzzles, cards, posters, and other items that relate to coins. The images show a snow globe attached to a greeting card, among other things. In Figure 2 the message on the greeting card reads:

Since it hasn’t snowed in Texas since 1938, will this greeting card’s fake snow, and say $100, tempt you to come visit your grandmother in Alaska?

Perhaps I am a sap, but I found that interesting and certainly in keeping with the spirit of the Holiday season.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and finds time to visit family and friends, and even grandmothers that live in Alaska!

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Posted in: Gene Quinn, Holiday Patents, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Museum of Obscure Patents

About the Author

is a Patent Attorney and the founder of the popular blog IPWatchdog.com, 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.

 

7 comments
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  1. Merry Christmas and HappyNew Year, Gene.

    May the 10s be a world better than the 00s, and may Washington D.C. return to being a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” (At least the patent system seems to be moving in the right direction….)

  2. Gene,

    Definitely a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Looking forward to more blogging in 2010.

  3. Heppy Heppy Holiday, Gene.

    We talk more about zeh software petints and zeh global vorming when you recover from egg nog overdose, yes?

    Really enjoy your web site and the heated debates.

    Best wishes to you and all readers for a healthy and prosperous New Year.

    –The Zohan

  4. Happy Holidays EG, Scrappy and Zohan!

    I look forward to more debates and blogging in 2010.

    -Gene

  5. Sometimes the humus is good for patenting,
    and sometimes it isn’t.

    That’s the way the baklava cookie breaks itself:

    Ex parte PERRIELLO
    http://des.uspto.gov/Foia/ReterivePdf?system=BPAI&flNm=fd2009004930-12-31-2009-1

    We humus beings are “obviously” very sensitive to someone pre-empting us from eating lots of microbiologically accelerated humus. It’s good for your kishka’s. Has electrolytes. Eat bubalah, eat. :-)

  6. By the way, the Zohan only eat the M&M kind of hummus, not the lone star, one M, humus.

    The one M humus is feh.
    The two M hummus is Tove Mi Ode.
    Be careful when you pick up a container in the ethnic foods section of your supermarket. Make sure it has the M&M (and also the circle K).

    Happy New Years people!

  7. [...] Merry Christmas: Christmas and Santa Patents (from 2009) [...]