It’s a fun yet creepy day, so a fun and creepy patents post is in order. Hopefully you are reading this while dressed as a goblin, ghoul, or your favorite/ most hated politician. While I must admit that the USPTO database exhibited a dearth of Halloween-related patents this year, below are the few newer additions, along with some of the classics. Happy Halloween everyone!
Halloween bag with pop-up surprise
US Patent No. 10,364,068
Issued July 30, 2019
This patent is described as follows:
“A pop-up mechanism for use with a bag so that when operated by a user, a decorative object pops up from a hidden position within the bag to a position clearly in view. A twistable circular band is held within a sleeve at the top of the bag. The band has attached thereto at least one finger tab, and a pivotal post having an end to which the decorative object is attached. When the finger tab is operated, the band twists and thereby pivots the post and the decorative object from the hidden position to the viewable position.” BOO!!!!
Reflective Halloween pumpkin
U.S. Patent No. D839,129
Issued: January 29, 2019
“The ornamental design for a reflective Halloween pumpkin, as shown and described.”
Did anyone think this wasn’t already patented? I’m positive I trick-or-treated in the 80s dressed as Raggedy Andy carrying a reflective Halloween pumpkin. I guess someone was late to the USPTO.
Halloween themed serveware
U.S. Patent No. D826,633
Issued: August 28, 2018
“The ornamental design for Halloween themed serveware, as shown and described.”
In case you’re a particularly “TALON”ted host and plan on entertaining this Halloween.
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.
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 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!