Happy Easter 2013! Patents for the Occasion

By Gene Quinn
March 30, 2013

Happy Easter everyone! It is that time of the year where children go searching for eggs full of candy hidden by a giant rabbit, or perhaps awaken to a basket full of candy also mysteriously delivered by said giant rabbit! Certainly not the level of hype or commercialization associated with Christmas, but Easter still drives commerce. According to the National Retail Federation, total spending by American’s on Easter for 2013 is estimated to reach $17.2 billion. In 2012, spending on Easter candy alone was $2.1 billion, coming in just above the $2 billion spent on Halloween candy. See Sweet Easter Facts.

Even President Obama will be helping the engine of commerce the day after Easter with the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Indeed, the First Family will host the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House. Some 35,000 people from all over the U.S. will be in attendance for games, stories, and, of course, the traditional egg roll.

But here we focus on intellectual property. So what better way to celebrate Easter than by reading patents? Okay, I’m sure you can think of many better ways to celebrate Easter, including watching the Elite Eight match-ups that will determine two of the teams that will make it into the Final Four.

In any event, here are a couple patents with an Easter theme to help celebrate the occasion in patent style! Also, as an added bonus at the bottom I give you the top 10 reasons why chocolate Easter bunnies make better gifts than real bunnies, courtesy of the National Confectioners Association (via the Easter Bunny himself)!

 

Fig. 1 from US Pat. No. 8,273,441, which covers a garage door display.

Garage door display
U.S. Patent No. 8,273,441

The patent explains the problem facing the industry in this way: “It is sometimes desirable to decorate one’s residence so as to celebrate a holiday, a birthday or a special event. Although a garage door provides a large surface, decorating a garage door is challenging as it is undesirable to permanently alter the garage door and reliably, but releasably, securing decorative articles to the garage door is difficult as the decorative articles are exposed to the weather and the elements.”

This invention relates to a garage door display (which is also shown in the image at the top of this article) that includes a closed cell foam layer having a thickness of at least 0.1 inches. A rare earth metal magnet is fused to the previously melted and presently solidified portions of the foam layer on the rear. A decorative piece is fused to the previously melted and now solidified portions of the foam layer on the front face.

 

Fig. 1 of US Pat. No. 3,848,564.

Rotating egg coloring device
U.S. Patent No. 3,848,564

What story about patents associated with Easter could be complete without a gadget to facilitate the coloring of Easter eggs?

The patent explains that this invention “belongs to a class of creative entertainment devices or toys if used by children.” Furthermore, the patent explains that the device is intended to help alleviate the rigors of coloring Easter eggs: “The coloring of an egg could be enjoyable to some people but it may be also a tiresome or difficult task, especially when more than a single color is desired.”

This invention is an egg coloring device that holds and rotates an egg. The coloring takes place when coloring means (such as a pencil, marking pen, paint brush) are held against the rotating egg. An indexing drive allows the drawing of lines parallel to the axis of the egg, spaced equally apart. Templates that can be placed next to the egg allow for drawing of uniform patterns, leaving absolutely nothing to chance!

 

Fig. 1 of U.S. Pat. App. No. 201220321750.

Complex confectionery products
U.S. Patent Application No. 20120321750

According to the inventor, prior to the innovation coming into being “a manufacturer could not make a complex confection that would allow a consumer to break open a chocolate shell and find the well shaped form of an edible object like an animal, or toy inside.” Thus, the patent application explains that there is a need for a stable complex confection that has “a three-dimensional edible sculpted object placed in a hollow confection which surrounds the edible object.”

Enter the invention. While not an issued patent, but rather a published patent application, the invention relates to a novel process for manufacturing what is referred to as a complex confection that comprises a first confection that has an edible hollow shell and a separately formed second confection that is also edible and rests within the first confection shell.

In some embodiments of the invention the complex confection will have both white chocolate and brown chocolate in distinct regions that comprise the outer shell of the confection. In other embodiments the outer shell will be chocolate and the inner object will be a marshmallow confection resembling a ducky, as pictured in figure 1 (the only figure) of the application, shown to the right.

 

Now, straight from the Easter Bunny, “The Big Bunny’s Top 10,” which the National Confectioners Association says is for the purpose of informing consumers about the leading reasons the Easter Bunny declares candy bunnies outrank live rabbits as Easter gifts.

According to the Easter Bunny, chocolate and candy bunnies make better presents because they:

10. Don’t require bathing
9. Don’t need their toenails clipped
8. Won’t hop out of your Easter basket
7. Don’t shed on your Easter clothes
6. Can’t bite back when you nibble on their ears (76% of people eat the ears first)
5. Can come to the dinner table
4. Can be shared with your friends and family
3. Are easy to travel with (in the car, to school or work)
2. Are always sweet in nature
1. Never require feeding or clean up

Happy Easter everyone!

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and founder of IPWatchdog.com. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and an attorney with Widerman Malek. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 1 Comment comments.

  1. Eileen March 30, 2013 9:55 pm

    Hi,
    I had seen a cute colorful “Happy Easter Everyone” email that a friend had emailed me yesterday. It had a great Easter Bunny and some nice sentiments. I was trying to locate it when I happened upon your website. I plan to come back on it, when we get back to NJ.

    Tomorrow, we have been invited to a friend’s home in Fernandina, FL, and I just printed out your “Happy Easter 2013! Patents for the Occasion.” Got a kick out of the “Big Bunny’s Top 10” and will read the rest and look at those patents later. My friends will no doubt enjoy your work as well. Thanks for making Easter weekend more interesting and stimulating. Must have been fun to put this together.

    I’m attracted to inventions, and I’m amused by people like Rube Goldberg (not sure that is the correct name). I’m more of a dreamer than a doer, and I sometimes fantasize about inventions. As a senior, I fantasize about gadgets that might help a situation that frustrates me. I dislike it when a conversation gets interrupted, I’m trying to figure out a simple invention that will help seniors, like myself, keep the information that they are listening to before it goes into never-never land. Busy for a few weeks. Will email you in early May.

    Happy Easter!
    Eileen