Holiday Gifts Comic Strip from

Comic Strip from

While adding those perfect holiday gift items into your shopping cart keep this in mind… all of the patents behind the magic. Here are 10 slightly creepy patents you might come across with your next online purchase, all owned by Amazon. Enjoy!
Continue reading “Amazon’s Holiday Shopping Patents, Creepy?”

Science & innovation are border-blind. That is, great minds come from all corners of the planet, inspired by infinite experiences.

Every year, The World Intellectual Property Organization celebrates World IP Day on April 26, commemorating the day it was established in 1970. Organizations all over the world will hold events to celebrate innovation and encourage future generations of great thinkers.

Of course, we can all thank the future of innovation on the great work of those who have come before us. So today, on the eve of World IP Day 2013, we’d like to share (in no particular order!) 6 great, inspirational quotes from a few of the greatest contributors to our innovative history: Continue reading “Celebrate World IP Day With These Great Global Innovators”

The Christmas tree is the center of the decorations for Christmas. While the tree brings joy and beauty to the Christmas season, there are many problems associated with this Christmas tradition. Inventors are constantly coming up with new solutions to decorating the tree, watering the tree, and new kinds of Christmas trees.
So it seems that the process of remembering to and then actually watering the Christmas tree is something that many people, not just me, struggle with each holiday season. Many inventions have been patented which attempt to solve this problem.
Remote Christmas tree watering apparatusDonald P. Voorhis received US Patent 5201140 on April 13, 1993 for a Remote Christmas Tree Watering Apparatus.

“Because of the undesirable characteristics of watering the Christmas tree, many times this task would be avoided, sometimes causing the water in the Christmas tree stand to be completely drained and thus, creating a fire hazard from a dry Christmas tree, as well as an unpleasant looking tree.”

Continue reading “Patents for the Christmas Tree”

Thanksgiving is a holiday all about food. Many of the foods we eat at this massive meal have a convenience counter part that was invented by someone or even patented. Some of these foods like cranberry sauce in a can are now part of many people’s holiday traditions.


Cranberry Sauce

How many of us sit down for our Thanksgiving dinner and among the other foods there is a log of jelled cranberry sauce? The first canned cranberry sauce was developed in 1912 by lawyer and cranberry farmer Marcus L. Urann. He harvested more berries than he sold during what was then considered cranberry season. In order to profit from these additional berries, Urann developed a way to make sauce that could be canned. He started the Ocean Spray Preserving Company to market his new recipe. In 1941, the log that we think of as cranberry sauce became available.

Continue reading “Thanksgiving Patents”

times squareThe famous Times Square time ball is one of the most iconic players in the tradition of ringing in the New Year. For over 100 years, millions have gathered together in New York City to celebrate its decent.

The first New Year’s Eve Ball in Times Square was dropped in 1907. Owner of The New York Times, Adolph Ochs, wanted to create a New Year’s Eve midnight show to draw attention to Time’s Square. Chief electrician for the Times constructed a 700-pound, 5-feet in diameter ball of iron and wood with 100 25-watt bulbs for this shows. Continue reading “Happy New Year! Invention of the New Year’s Eve Ball”

The likeness of Santa Claus has been patented for use on everything from pasta to flashlights. There is even a design patent on just Santa’s foot. Below are some patents in honor of Santa Claus and Christmas.

Santa Pasta
Santa Shaped Pasta
Patent number: D333546
Filing date: Jun 21, 1991
Issue date: Mar 2, 1993
Assignees: Kraft General Foods, Inc.
Continue reading “Santa Claus Patents: Pasta, Pins, Lighters and a Foot”

evergreen treeArtificial Christmas trees first appeared in America during the late 19th century. German immigrants brought these new types of Christmas decorations with them. These early trees did not resemble live pine trees in the least. Instead, they were made of metal wires covered in feathers of turkeys, ostrich, swan or goose feathers. These feathers were often dyed green.

In the 1930’s, an American toilet bowl brush manufacturer changed the look of artificial trees. The Addis Brush Company created the first artificial brush tree. This tree was actually manufactured using the same equipment as the company’s toilet brushes. The introduction of these trees increased the popularity of the artificial tree. Continue reading “A Toilet Brush Christmas? Invention of the Aluminum Tree”

Stove Top Stuffing

Stuffing PatentU.S. Patent No 3,870,803 was issued to General Foods on March 11, 1975 for Instant Stuffing Mix. Ruth Siems, Anthony C. Capossela Jr., John F. Halligan and C. Robert Wyss are listed as the inventors. The patent was based on the correct size of the bread crumb for successful rehydration. A bread crumb that is too small will turn into a soggy mess when water is added. If the crumb is too large, the water will not soften the crumb.

“The nature of the cell structure and overall texture of the dried bread crumb employed in this invention is of great importance if a stuffing which will hydrate in a matter of minutes to the proper texture and mouthfeel is to be prepared.”

The idea for the instant stuffing came from the marketing department of General Foods but the research and development team had to create the product. The test kitchens, chefs and employees were all working on developing the stuffing. Ultimately, Siems’ idea was the one chosen. Kraft, who now owns the Stove Top Stuffing brand, sells over 60 million boxes around Thanksgiving. Continue reading “It’s Not All About the Turkey: Thanksgiving Patents”

August is National Inventors Month. The United Inventors Association of the USA, the Academy of Applied Science, and Inventor’s Digest Magazine started this celebration in 1998. The purpose of this month is to celebrate creativity and innovation. Some of the most imaginative patents granted have not been for products that most would consider practical but they all celebrate the spirit of invention. From the Electrified Table Cloth to Inflatable Rug, these are some of the most interesting and possibly useless patents granted.
Inflatable Rug

Patent #3,984,595 was issued October 5, 1976 for an Inflatable Rug.

A rug which is convertible to an air mattress includes a rug member adhesively laminated on top of a flexible-walled backing member composed of a pair of stacked sheets sealably joined around their margins. Continue reading “August is National Inventors Month”