Earth Day 2023

Earth Day has been the inspiration for numerous environmental initiatives, including the EPA. and it has also been the motivation for many inventions:

U.S. Patent No. 5505114 protects a Simulated Musical Rainmaker, which the patent describes as the “perfect toy to celebrate Earth Day.

U.S. Patent No. D407127 protects the ornamental design for a baseball. which can include an Earth Day logo:

U.S. Patent No. 10,712,723 on a System and Method of Compiling and Organizing Power Consumption Data and Converting such Data into One or More User Actionable Formats, suggests that the invention “could include real-time feedback as events like Earth Day occur, to demonstrate the en-masse savings and conservation, the environmental impact, etc.”

U.S. Patent No. 9336540 on a Method and System for use of Game for Charity Donations suggests that it can be used to raise funds for Earth Day:

On this this 54th Earth Day, the world has accomplished a lot, but there is much more to be done; hopefully with creativity and inventiveness we can continue to make progress.numer

St. Patrick’s Day 2023

Shamrocks, Leprechauns, and pots of gold are hard to find (except on St. Patrick’s Day), but the hunting is good in the patent collection:

One of the Novelty Displays in U.S. Patent No. 2,101,592 is this Leprechaun’s hat with a shamrock
U.S. Patent No. 7,530,893 on a Wagering Game with Dynamic Visual Gaming Indicia shows Leprechauns and pots of gold on the game display

U.S. Patent No. 8,273,441 on a Garage Door Display and Decorative Article features a pot of gold and a shamrock
U.S. Patent No. 5,487,924 on a Napkin Ring features a Leprechaun and a pot of gold
U.S. Patent No. 6,276,074 features an article of footwear with a leprechaun decoration
U.S. Patent No. D2348 covers a shamrock decoration for a collar

U.S. Patent No. D5777 covers a badge decorated with two springs of shamrocks (b)
U.S. Patent No. D12927 on a Design for an Emblem for the Ancient Order of Hibernians features shamrocks
U.S. Patent No. D19577 protects the design of a Bottle with a shamrock shape
U.S. Patent No. 21304 protects the design of a Spoon with a spray of shamrock
U.S. Patent No. D 22,226 protects the design of a Badge with a shamrock shape
U.S. Patent No. 31401 on a Match Box or Similar Article is decorated with shamrocks

While shamrocks, Leprechauns, and pots of gold are usually scarce in the real world (except on St. Patrick’s Day), they are pretty easy to find in the world of patents. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 8, 2023 – International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In the field of inventions and patents, there are many important and prolific women inventors, but one worthy of remembrance on International Women’s Day is Elizabeth J. “Lizzie” Magie was born in Macomb, Illinois in 1866. She was a stenographer, short story and poetry writer, comedian, stage actress, feminist, and engineer. In 1893, at the age of 26, Lizzie received her first patent on an improvement in typewriters:

U.S. Patent No. 498129 issued May 23 1893 on a Type Writing Machine

Lizzie was a political activist, and invented a game called The Landlord’s Game to demonstrate the economic ill effects of land monopolism, and the use of taxes as a remedy for it. Lizzie applied for a patent on her board game, and was granted U.S. Patent 748,626 on January 5, 1904:

U.S. Patent No. 748626, Issued January 5, 1904.

As her first patent on the Landlord’s game was expiring, Lizziey, now married, invented and patented an updated version of the Landlord’s Game:

U.S. Patent No. 1,509,312 issued September 23, 1924.

If Lizzie’s game seems familiar, you may be thinking of C.B. Darrow’s Monopoly game, patented in 1935 and marketed by Parker Brothers.

U.S. Patent No. 2,026,082, issued December 31, 1935.

After the release of Monopoly, Lizzie gave in interview in which she was critical of Parker Brothers, and identified the similarities between Monopoly and The Landlord’s Game. Parker Brothers agreed to publish two more of her games, but continued to give Darrow the credit for inventing the game itself. Many years later, Ralp Anspach stumbled upon Lizzie’s patents while fighting his own legal battle with Parker Brothers over Anspach’s Anti-Monopoly game, which resulted in increase appreciate for Lizzie’s contribution to the game.

Wikipedia reports that Lizzie believed that women were as capable as men in inventing, business, and other professional areas. She was correct then, and for that, worthy of remembrance now.

Mardi Gras 2023

From masks to beads, patents protect a number products for celebrating Mardi Gras, including:

U.S. Patent No. 4,864,663 protects an integral costume mask and display headgears, suitable for Mardi Gras celebrations:

U.S. Patent No. 5,135,390, protects a Flambeau Torch:

U.S. Patent No. 5,219,069 protects a chainable Plastic Coin Holder for collecting Mardi Gras coins:

U.S. Patent No. 5,787,508 protects a Decorative Mask Assembly suitable for Mardi Gras celebrations:

U.S. Patent No. 5,896,756 discloses a Soft Necklace suitable for throwing at Mardi Gras:

U.S. Patent No. 6,296,364 discloses a Lighted Bead Necklace, suitable for wearing at Mardi Gras:

U.S. Patent No. 6,578,981 discloses another version of a Lighted Bead Necklace suitable for wearing at Mardi Gras:

U.S. Patent No. 6,991,141 discloses Methods of Producing and Treating Twisted Beads for Mardi Gra celebrations:

U.S. Patent No. 8,672,169 protects a Novelty Cup with Jewelry for your Mardi Gras libations:

U.S. Patent No. D611117 protects a Mardi Gras Doubloon Fishing Lure:

U.S. Patent No. 8,082,753 protects Beverage Bead for holding your Mardi Gras hurricane:

Happy Valentine’s Day 2023 – Ten Patents to Set the Mood

The U.S. patent collection has patents for every occasion, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Here are ten patents to set mood for the day:

U.S. Patent No. 1,248,916 provides a paper decoration for your festivities.
U.S. Patent No. 1,353,709 provides a heart-shaped token (and a corny poem).

U.S. Patent No. 2,101,592 provides a novelty display, adaptable to many occasions, including Valentine’s Day.
U.S. Patent No. PP 645 provides a carnation that the invention claims is particularly adapted for Valentine’s Day
U.S. Patent No. 2,726,397 provides an apron with a replaceable applique, including one perfect for Valentine’s Day.
U.S. Patent No. 3,016,178 provides the definitive box for Valentine’s Day treats.
U.S. Patent No. 3,139,231 provides a symbolic tear string envelope or package, perfect for that sentimental Valentine’s Day card.
U.S> Patent No. 3,610,510 provides a plastic heart shaped box perfect for that Valentine’s Day gift.
U.S. Patent No. 5,035,391 provides a heart shaped balloon anchor for your lighter-than air Valentine’s Day gift.
U.S. Patent No. 5,561,928 provides a collapsible greeting display perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Leaving One’s Mark

We have frequently commented in this blog about how the U.S. patent collection records historic events in the country. So it should not be surprising that Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream,” left its mark not just on society, but in the patent collection. His speech has been referenced in at least 22 patents:
























Dr. King indisputably left his mark on the world, but he also left a mark on the patent collection. We salute a great American on what would be his 94th birthday, as we still wait for his dream to come true, sixty years later.

Happy New Year 2023

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2023, full of great new ideas and no infringements!

U.S. Patent No.1,539.895 issued to George Buzza on June 2, 1995, on a “Game Device.”

George Buzza’s invention, featured above, was a game device that provided blocks, “preferably two in number, which have imprinted on the faces thereof words which are so devised that when the blocks are thrown , the words carried by the faces which come uppermost on the different blocks, when read in proper sequence, may combine to spell expressions indicative of various greetings.” George applied for a patent on his idea in 1923, and less than two years later his U.S. Patent No. 1,539,895 issued.

What idea do you have “rolling” around in your head, that you should finally do something with in 2023?

Good Timing

U.S. Patent No. 6,333,083, on Foldable Artificial Christmas Tree is one of the few Christmas related patents that actually issued on Christmas. Since 1848, patents only issue on Tuesdays, and thus a Christmas Day Christmas patent only occurs when Christmas falls on a Tuesday. From 1850-1880, the Patent Office missed a few Tuesdays — those that fell on Christmas. Since then the Patent Office has not missed a Christmas, but they did miss a few Tuesdays during WWII in 1945, and a Tuesday in 1970 during a change in patent printing systems.

Patents have issued on Christmas in 1888, 1894, 1900, 1906, 1917, 1923, 1934, 1945, 1951, 1956, 1962, 1973, 1979, 1984, 1990, 2001, 2007, 2012, 2018, and the next batch of Christmas patents will issue in 2029.

More Christmas Tech

Continuing last Saturday’s post about Christmas Tree Candle holders, here are some candle holders through 1900:

U.S. Patent No. 217908 (1879) on Christmas-Tree Lamp
U.S. Patent No. 395514 (1889) Candle Holder for Christmas Trees
U.S. Patent No. 414897 (1889) Christmas Tree Ornament and Candle Holder
U.S. Patent No. 420607 (1890) Candle Holder for Christmas Trees
U.S. Patent No. 464228 (1891) Candlestick for Christmas Trees

U.S.Patent No. 474768 (1892) Candle Holder

U.S. Patent No. 495641 (1893) Christmas Tree Candle Holder
U.S. Patent No. 499568 (1893) Candle Holder
U.S. Patent No. 501473 (1893) Candlestick
U.S. Patent No. 530626 (1894) Lantern
U.S. Patent No. 562155 (1896) Candle Holder for Christmas Trees.
U.S. Patent No. 574356 (1896) Candle Holder.
U.S. Patent No. 582375 (1897) Christmas Tree Candle Holder
U.S. Patent No. 589821 (1897) Swinging Candle Holder
U.S. Patent No. 601397 (1898) Candle Holder for Christmas Trees
U.S. Patent No. 601754 (1898) Candle Holder and Extinguisher
U.S. Patent No. 603871 (1898) Candle Holder
U.S. Patent No. 629791 (1899) Candle Holder
U.S. Patent No 633900 (1899) Candle-Holder
U.S. Patent No. 630423 (1899) Candle-holder for christmas trees
U.S. Patent No. 660899 (1900) Candle Holder

Christmas Tech

Patents are about solutions to problems, and the patent collection contains an interesting history of solving the problems with Christmas Tree Illumination. From 1867 unitl the advent of electric Christmas lights, a surprising amount of effort was devoted to making candles safe for Christmas trees:

U.S. Pnatent 69254 (1867) on Candlestick.
U.S. Patent No. 89,270 (1869) on Candle Holder.
U.S. Patent No. 133479 (1872) on Lantern
U.S. Patent No. 150572 (1874) on Decorative Lanterns
U.S. Patent No. 151055 (1874) Candlesticks for Christmas-Trees
U.S. Patent No. 152817 (1874) on Candle-Holders

U.S. Patent No. 155450 (1874) on Candle-Holders.
U.S. Patent No. 178603 (1876) on Christmas-Tree Bracket.
U.S. Patent No. 183573 (1876) Candle-Holders for Christmas Trees
U.S. Patent No. RE7652 (1877) on Candle-Holder
U.S. Patent No. 194421 (1877) on Illuminating-Devices for Christmas Trees
U.S. Patent No. 202342 (1878) on Candle-Holder
U.S. Patent No. 216628 (1879) on Candy Toy..
U.S. Patent No. 227088 (1880) on Candle-Holder for Christmas-Trees
U.S. Patent No. 227693 (1880) Candle-Holder for Christmas-Trees.
U.S. Patent No. 244045 (1881) Christmas Tree Candle Holder
U.S. Patent No. 266463 (1882) Candle Holder
U.S. Patent No. 270771 (1883) Candle Holder for Christmas Trees

U.S. Patent No. 286572 (1883) Candle Holder for Christmas Trees.

U.S. Patent No. 295182 (1884) Christmas Tree Candle Holder
U.S. Patent No. 298478 (1884) Reflector Support for Candles
U.S. Patent No. 347873 (1886) Candle Holder for Christmas Trees

U.S. Patent No. 373958 (1887) Lamp for Decorating and Illuminating Purposes