Christmas Patents of 2016 – Market Exclusivity and Christmas Decor
As Christmas approaches, it’s a good time to take a look back at 2016 and look at a top 5 list of utility patents that have issued in the United States this year related to Christmas. These patents are in no particular order, as the importance of the invention is in the eyes of the beholder (or consumer, as the case may be). 1. S. Patent No. 9,265,374 is entitled “Trunk Mounted Christmas Tree Water Level Measuring and Alarm Device.” This patent issued to an individual inventor out of Pennsylvania in February 2016. This invention addresses the need for a tree water level measuring and alarm device that can be adapted to many trees and tree supports to indicate to the user of the need to water the Christmas tree. It includes a water sensor extending into the water holder of the tree and a water level alarm that activates when the water sensor indicates the water level is below the low water level.
2. S. Patent No. 9,375,109 is entitled “Christmas Tree Stand.” This patent issued to Patent Innovations LLC out of New York in June 2016. This invention is a tree stand that accepts a range of sizes and shapes of tree trunks, is easy to secure to the tree, is easy to erect the tree, holds the tree up straight, holds sufficient water to keep the tree hydrated, is stable (i.e., no wobble when erected), and is a simple construction with minimal parts.
3. S. Patent No. 9,347,657 is entitled “LED Christmas Lamp Structure.” This patent issued to an individual inventor in Taiwan in May 2016. This invention aims to improve upon Christmas light strings having a twinkling effect of alternating and switching various colors of light, wherein each Christmas lamp of the LED lamp string can be operated in an individual and independent pattern of twinkling and color changing.
4. S. Patent No. 9,238,382 is entitled “Greetings Card and a Blank for Forming It.” This patent was issued to an individual inventor in Great Britain in January 2016 (unfortunately missing Christmas 2015). The invention is a novelty card which is simple to manufacture and, when firmly held at opposite sides of the card, when the sides are pulled away from each other, a cracker snap mechanism causes a bang to issue.
5. S. Patent No. 9,267,651 is entitled “Christmas Light Apparatus and Lamp Base Thereof.” This patent issued to an individual inventor in Taiwan in February 2016. The invention is a way to address the problem of the wires associated with Christmas tree lighting being easily disconnected from the pins. More specifically, the invention involves the pins of an LED lamp passing through the lamp base to be in close contact with electrode pads.
But there are not just Christmas utility patents. Perhaps even more prevalent in 2016 were Christmas-related design patents. These include design patents on:
Christmas is a big business in the United States, with Americans expected to spend $6 billion on Christmas decorations, including LED lights, inflatable Santas, and pre-decorated Christmas trees. So it is not surprising that inventors are turning to the patent system to create some market exclusivity as the spend rate on Christmas decorations is only expected to grow.
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