From the Practical to the Unusual
In the spirit of Easter, here are a few patents related to Easter that I found interesting.
First, let’s start with a couple iconic Easter candies. Love ‘em or hate ‘em (and everyone seems to fall into one of these two categories), marshmallow Peeps have become almost synonymous with Easter. The history of Peeps, in a way, dates back to 1910, when Sam Born emigrated to the United States from Russia. In the old country, Born was a candy maker and continued to do so upon his arrival in America, calling his candy company Just Born. After many other successes, the company bought out another candy maker in 1953. This company, called Rodda Candy Company, had created a line of candy by squeezing marshmallows through pastry tubes to make candy treats. After acquiring the company, Sam Born’s son, Bob, helped create a method of mechanizing this process, and soon after the company started making seasonal marshmallow treats. In the early 1980s, the Peep’s Marshmallow Bunny was introduced, and the company has since trademarked the product (trademark # 75276326).
A second traditional Easter candy would be the Cadbury Crème Egg. The first of these was introduced in 1923 by the candy company founded by John Cadbury in 1824. While it was a cream-filled egg, it was not what would be viewed today as a Cadbury Egg. These were not introduced until much later (1971), and they almost instantly became a holiday classic. Today the Cadbury Company (which was purchased by Kraft in 2009, and since spun off as part of the food and beverage unit of Kraft known as Mondelez International) owns numerous trademarks in the United Kingdom related to its cream-filled eggs.
Now, how about a few inventions that make Easter easier? The first would be connected decorative Easter grass, which was invented by Christine Marie Mikulas. The goal of this is to prevent the mess that inevitably occurs after kids tear through their Easter baskets and leave scraps of Easter grass all over the floor. Mikulas was granted a patent for this in 1999 (patent # 5897926).
Another helps solve the problem of losing half of your plastic Easter egg. The hinged plastic Easter egg was introduced in 1978 by the Highland Manufacturing and Sales Company, Inc. (patent # 4124135). Unlike real eggs, these could be filled with candy or other treats and also never spoil, unlike hard-boiled eggs. Perhaps even more interesting about this is that one of its inventors was a man named Donald Weder. Although Weder may not necessarily be famous, he holds the distinction of being the first American to pass up Thomas Edison in the total amount of US patents held. As of February 2013, Weder held almost 1400 US patents, while Edison had about 1100 (speaking of Edison, US Patent Services has created awards for Edison Award Winner. These and all of our other products can be seen at (http://recognizinginnovation.com).
Finally, let’s look at a few of the more unusual Easter patents. The first has nothing to do with eggs or bunnies, but instead it is a doll formed in the likeness of Jesus with a movable head and extremities, as described in its patent (#5456625). The description is kind of odd, but the picture (image 1) is even more so. Even creepier is patent # 6371825, which is described as a doll having an internal religious image. Yikes (picture 2)! Then there is the “tomb basket” (patent #6021900). Sounds festive (picture 3).
We hope you enjoyed this special edition of Easter patents. Special thanks to blawgit.com and Google patent images for the ideas and pictures, respectively, on the more unusual Easter patents. From all of us at US Patent Services, we wish you the best this holiday season. Happy Easter!