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)!
Valentine’s Day is again upon us, a day for lovers to express their undying affection for one another by giving gifts of chocolates, flowers, and love coupons. It’s also a day for inventors to strap on their thinking caps and come up with new ways to bring a little more love into the world. For your inspiration, here are 10 fun patents and applications for the lover in all of us. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Alexander Graham Bell’s Improved Telegraphy patent is not particularly romantic, but for the fact that it happened to be filed on Valentine’s Day 1876. With a coincidence, it’s easy to jump into a bit of musing about early love messages sent via Morse code: – . .- — —
The early 20th Century’s Men of Science believed that along with the smashing of the atom and the triumph over engine knock (with leaded gasoline), all the universe’s mysteries might one day be solved. Even the Mysteries of Love. This is a design patent for the face of a love tester machine. Just one penny and you could get reliable data about the “Measure of Your Sex Appeal.”
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. In fact it is only one week away, so if you don’t already have any plans in the works consider this a warning shot across the bow!
There is a lot riding on the proper selection of gift on Valentine’s Day. If you pick a gift like a kitchen gadget, no matter how cool, even if it is a counter-top paper towel holder on wheels or a bagel slicer shaped like a bagel (see Successful Inventions) you should anticipate sleeping on the couch or in the dog house or on the couch in the dog house!
With this in mind we thought we might point to a couple tried and true holiday gifts that are sure to win the heart of your significant other, or at least insure that you don’t wind up with an awful lot of explaining to do.
Of course, upon identifying the proper category of gift we then turn to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to find patent references to help further explore. And who said patents can’t be fun?
Every year we all gather around and celebrate the new year. So that got us to thinking — what patents are there for devices that any self respecting raucous reveler ought to have on New Years Eve? As you might imagine, we found a few that seem appropriate to the occasion, proving that patented innovations are not only fun but they are everywhere!
Here is hoping that your night is safe and magical! Happy new year! See you in 2013!
This invention is a molded tethered safety closure device for use on bottles containing pressurized liquids such as champagne or sparkling wines comprising a cork or closure element and a retainer collar joined by an intercoupling section.
The problem this invention is intending to solve is explained in the patent: “The problem of premature or inadvertent explosive release of champagne corks is exacerbated by the fact that many lower priced champagnes and sparkling wines are closed by molded plastic corks.” You have to hate those problematic premature, inadvertent explosive releases! Particularly on a festive occasion like New Years Eve!
On this most festive of American holidays, where we emerse ourselves with family, food and football, I am once again inspired to share some thematically appropriate patents. After all, what better way to celebrate a holiday than reading patents appropriate for the festivities?
Before proceeding immediately into the discussion of various turkey related U.S. patents, allow me to first present my yearly Thanksgiving public service announcement. This announcement is not about the perils of eating too much turkey and falling asleep before dessert, or before you have gotten your appropriate fill of the NFL. Rather, this public service announcement is for the mathematically, or at least geometrically, challenged in the audience.
If you are going to deep fry your turkey you MUST remember 2 things (at least). First, make sure the turkey is completely thawed! You do not want to put something frozen into a pot of boiling oil! Second, for goodness sakes don’t fill the turkey fryer to the top with oil and then put in the turkey! Let Archimedes be your guide.
It is that time of the year where when we prepare to spend time with family and friends celebrating the holiday season. No other holiday is quite like Christmas in terms of the anticipation, not to mention the colossal magnitude of the commercialization of the holiday. In any event, last night children all over the world were “nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.” As the kids were in bed many adults might have tried to catch a glimpse of “a miniature sleigh and eight tinny reindeer;” or perhaps nine if Rudolph was along for the trip!
As I contemplated Twas the Night Before Christmas it started getting me to think about sleighs and then I wondered what kind of patents I might find on various state-of-the-art sleigh technologies from Christmases past. So without further ado, and to celebrate the season, I present a look at a variety of sleigh related patents from the 1880s and 1890s.
My review of the state-of-the-art sleigh technologies shows that during the early 1880s more comfortable sleigh rides were on the minds of many an inventor, and by the mid to late 1890s improvements evolved to include additional features, such as removable seats, steps to assist one to enter and disembark from the sleigh and various steering mechanisms. Like virtually all reviews of patented technology, even such low tech inventions as sleighs, the ongoing evolution of improvement is apparent, which is the hallmark of innovation. Make things safer, faster, cheaper or stronger. Innovate to make operational improvements the users will greatly appreciate, such a smoother riding sleigh. Such a review of sleigh technology also gives us a glimpse into life of the day by showing us the problems that creative members of society were working to solve.
Did you know that since President George H. W. Bush started the tradition of pardoning turkeys in 1989 there have been 24 turkeys to receive Presidential Pardons, sparing them from the dinner table? Somewhat ironically, that first turkey to receive a Presidential Pardon was sent to Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Virginia. In any event, the latest two turkeys to receive a Pardon were Peace and Liberty, both who received a pardon by President Barack Obama in a ceremony held on the North Portico of the White House.
But was President George H. W. Bush the first to pardon a turkey? According to the definitive history of turkey pardons on the White House blog, the answer is technically yes but not really yes. While there are rumors that President Lincoln issued the first pardon at the behest of his son, it is known that in 1963 President Kennedy returned the turkey sent to the White House saying: “We’ll just let this one grow.” Perhaps not exactly a pardon, but the turkey was spared the death penalty.
It is one again time to take pause and try and have a little bit of fun patent style. From time to time I like to profile specific patents, so what better way to kill two birds with one stone than to look for holiday themed patents? OK, maybe not your particular cup of tea, but work with me here and get into the spirit (pun intended).
Today is Halloween, as if you didn’t already know or figure out. Wikipedia explains: “Halloween (or Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, which commonly includes activities such as trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.”
The holiday patent du jour gives us the opportunity to explore the candy collecting aspects of trick-or-treating. More specifically, U.S. Patent No. 7,594,669 is for a portable container having wheels and a handle. What makes it worthy note on Halloween is that the container itself is either a pumpkin, witch, ghost, goblin, monster, vampire or werewolf. And yes, that is required in the broadest claim, claim 1. The pictures in the patent show a jack-o’-lantern version of the invention.
It is time once again to profile some patents in honor of the festive day. While many might not consider Valentine’s Day to be a major holiday worth of profiling patents, allow me to suggest that you test the theory by failing to acknowledge the amorous sentiment of the day and see just exactly how much of a major holiday your significant other considers it to be! Not that I would suggest giving heart shaped pepperoni slices to the love of your life (yes, patented, see below), but Valentine’s Day does need a proper celebration. In addition to the patents listed below be sure to also check out the Love Box, a patent from Valentine’s Day past.
“The present invention provides a florists’ gift box support that can be conveniently used to securely attach a rectangular gift box to an open-mouthed container simultaneously being used to hold a bouquet of flowers. The support holds the gift box adjacent to the flower bouquet so that the flowers compliment the gift box, thereby providing an attractive presentation of the gift to the recipient. More importantly, because the support allows quick and easy assembly of the floral kit, floral employees of even low skill can quickly and properly assemble the kit for delivery. Yet another advantage is that the support securely holds the gift box within the assembled kit so that the bouquet of flowers and the gift become one easily deliverable unit. Upon delivery, the recipient can easily remove the gift box from the support and there is no unsightly sticky residue left on the gift box… A method of assembling a floral kit is also provided.”
From US Patent No. 4,113,020, titled "Fire safety Christmas ornament."
It is that time of the year where when we prepare our homes for the arrival a jolly old magical chief elf who despite his enormous girth is still able to make his way down our narrow chimneys lickedy-split, while somehow managing not to get any soot on his pristine red and white trousers and overcoat.
In order to celebrate holidays I always like to profile some patents relative to the festivities, proving once and for all that the entire world does revolve around and can be answered by the creative and awe inspiring power of the patent system! Okay, maybe a touch of hyperbole there, but what do you expect? In any event, feel free to visit our growing list of Holiday Patents.
This year I asked Glen Kotapish of Planet Patent if he could provide me some examples of interesting or bizarre US patents that somehow relate to “Christmas trees.” I figured that Glen, the owner of a patent search firm, probably had come across an interesting Christmas tree patent or two over the years. Glen did not disappoint! Incidentally, if you are into bizarre patents I highly recommend visiting his Bizarre Inventions Weird Inventions page.
From Design patent D297,249, titled: Turkey hunter's safety placard
Earlier today President Barack Obama carried out a traditional Presidential duty of pardoning the National Thanksgiving Turkey. This year there were two pardons handed out by the President, one to the National Thanksgiving Turkey Apple, and one to his understudy Cider. Apple and Cider will live out their days at Mount Vernon, home of our nation’s first President, George Washington. I can assure you that in the Quinn household there will be no pardoning of turkeys, and we will consume copious amounts of the creature as we celebrate, give thanks and watch football.
The pardoning of the Presidential turkey caught my imagination as I was trying to figure out what holiday patents to profile for this Thanksgiving, something I always try and do whenever possible. So what better thing to focus on than on turkey patents, and there are many of them. I easily found multiple dozens of turkey callers and all kinds of turkey transportation devices used by hunters to carry their prey home, but these were the ones that really caught my attention for one reason or another.
Frequent readers of IPWatchdog.com know that on holidays I look for appropriate patents to profile that fit within the festive spirit of the holiday. Call me a geek if you like, you wouldn’t be the first and I’m sure not the last, but what better way to say “happy holiday” than with a patent? Alright, Hallmark® I am not, but what I am is a purveyor of multiple things patent, and one of those things is a little bit of fun and hopefully some learning as well.
What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July, our Independence Day in the United States, than enjoying a fireworks display? And where better to have a fireworks display than at Disney World in Orlando (really Kissimmee), Florida? But I am getting ahead of myself. In order to properly tie this interesting patent to celebration of our Nation’s Independence from Great Britain, we need to take a step back and spend a moment explaining the connection between July 4th celebrations and fireworks.
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