At first glance, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may not seem like the most likely place to find some yuletide cheer. However, digging through their records reveals nine charming Christmas-related patents and applications that are certain to bring a smile even to Ebenezer Scrooge’s face.
1. Santa Claus Detector U.S. Patent No. 5,523,741
Parents who want to dial up the magic factor for little ones will love this idea. Essentially, it involves a Christmas stocking that is designed to be displayed on the mantle. Using the means of an “entity detector,” the stocking lights up when Santa is near. Contained within the stocking is a switch, power source and light source so that the arrival of Santa Claus can be announced via the light when activated. Your kids will be certain to scurry up to bed in no time.
2. Automatic Christmas Tree Fire Extinguisher U.S. Patent No. 2,522,020
Accidental fires are always a possibility at Christmas, especially when a real tree is brought into the house. This 1950 patent sought to address this problem by introducing a water-filled star or another ornament that could be placed at the top of a tree. If a fire was detected, the ornament broke open, spilling water on all sides of the tree.
3. Naughty or Nice Meter U.S. Patent Publication No. 2008/0299533
Have your kids been naughty or nice this year? With this meter, you’ll always know, and so will your kids. The meter is equipped with 12 questions that are used to grade the child’s behavior. Figuring out whether to give coal or presents has never been easier.
4. Crayfish Christmas Stocking U.S. Design Patent D290242
A design rather than an invention, this fishy Christmas stocking is the perfect gift for any angler on your list. Other people may find the crayfish-shaped stocking a little off-putting. The hat is a festive touch, however.
5. Smoke Detector Disguised as a Christmas Tree Ornament U.S. Patent No. 5,396,221
Another inventor tackled the problem of flammable Christmas trees in the 1990s. This one didn’t have water in it, but it was shaped like a star and designed to function as a smoke detector. At least it’s more festive looking than a conventional alarm.
6. Kit for Simulating a Visit by Santa Claus U.S. Patent Publication No. 20060116049
This one sounds like a lot of fun. It’s a kit that comes with all sorts of props that are intended to indicate a visit from St. Nicholas. Among the included items are a thank you card, Santa’s driver’s license, a scrap of fabric torn from Santa’s suit and a hoof with which to make reindeer prints in the yard.
7. Christmas Tree Watering Ornament U.S. Patent No. 7,757,435
If you’re constantly worried that you might forget to water your Christmas tree, then this is the solution for you. It’s a tree ornament with a water reservoir. When it senses the tree is low on water, it dispenses the necessary liquid.
8. Edible Gift-Wrap for Pets U.S. Patent Publication No. 2013/0149418
Give your beloved pet some much-needed mental and physical stimulation this Christmas season by wrapping up some treats in this edible gift wrap. When does the human version come out?
9. Semi-Artificial Christmas Tree U.S. Patent No. 2,186,351
This patent from the 1940s is for everyone who can’t decide between an artificial and a real Christmas tree. The invention consists of a metal pole into which real fir branches are affixed. It’s hard to imagine this one catching on.
From our family at the Law Offices of Jeff Williams, want to wish all of our friends, families and readers a very Happy Holiday.