• When Christmas Meets Intellectual Property
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 By Coraline FARDINI

As the end of the year draws near, the magic of Christmas becomes inescapable. From Christmas trees and decorative garlands to gifts for both the young and old, festive meals, and Advent calendars to enhance the anticipation, there is something for everyone, and that includes the realm of industrial property.

Yes, industrial property is present in every aspects of our daily lives, even throughout the seasons. A notable instance was in 2021, when Mariah Carey tried to register "The Queen of Christmas" as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO[1]. Hélas, pour elle, deux autres artistes feront opposition à cette demande, ce qui aboutira à un rejet de l’USPTO.

Unfortunately for her, this application was opposed by two other artists, leading to its rejection by the USPTO.

Now, let's explore a variety of patents, patent applications, designs, and trademarks related to Christmas, some of which you might not have known existed.


Christmas Decorations

Starting with decorations, what would Christmas be without the tree, snowmen, garlands, and lights that bring joy to the cold nights of December?

The Christmas Tree

Let’s begin with the emblem of Christmas: the tree. The international patent application, WO0044265A1, published in 2000, relates to a unique artificial Christmas tree. This tree is designed to hold various objects and decorations to "attract customer’s attention and stimulate their interest in purchasing within a warm atmosphere."[2]. However, a tree with so many elements also "presents a significant risk of injury or accident to passers-by."[3]. This problem is obviously overcome by the invention, which secures the decorative elements in a way that makes the tree both attractive and safer. Whether it's an innovative idea or a simple combination of Christmas tree and IKEA furniture, you be the judge!


Innovative or Just a Twist on the Familiar?

Is the aforementioned Christmas tree not to your taste? Then you might consider the industrial design USD669813S, published in 2012, will appeal to many thanks to its originally and practicality. . It features a Christmas tree decorated with a garland and... bottles, promising to be a topic of discussion on Christmas Eve.

Beyond the Tree

Now, with our tree set up, it’s time to think about additional decorations. The patent US6273584B1, published in 2001, describes a light garland designed in the shape of a tree. This innovation consists of a central pole with various supports for arranging the lighted garland. 

The Snowman

The industrial design, CN205468213U,published in 2016, introduces a Christmas snowman designed for easy assembly and disassembly, facilitating transport and various assembly options.


The Wreath with a Twist

The patent application, EP2468148A1, published in 2012, concerns a Christmas wreath with bells, enough to decorate your front door ! This isn’t your typical wreath with bells placed at random on a wire. [4]. Instead, this design ensures that the positioning elements of the wreath do not rotate arbitrarily, offering an extremely stable connection between the bell and the wire, thus reducing production costs and improving the stability and appearance of the hanging.

Toys Under the Tree

No discussion of Christmas is complete without mentioning toys and gifts. In light of the excitement surrounding this year's Barbie® movie, let's revisit the first Barbie® patent, published in 1961. The patent, US3009284A describes a doll with an articulated body and a stand for upright display. But Barbie® did not stop there, and other applications for dolls and accessories were filed in the following years. Mattel®, the owner of Barbie®, has diversified its product and registered various patents and trademarks.

In recent years, Mattel® has fields number of patent applications and designs for games ranging from miniature vehicles (US8162715B2US7568753B2) to a variety of children's accessories (WO2004041386A1) ), including trademarks such as Hot wheels® and Monster high® as well as other patent applications for the iconic Barbie® doll, such as US6425796B1 and EP1148918B1.


A Bonus Peek into Industrial Property

As a bonus, here are some other interesting applications that caught my eye during my research.

The industrial design, USD906639S, published in 2021, showcases a Santa hat with fur on the brim and a fur ponytail at the back.

The industrial design, CN216581864U, issued in 2022, describes a Christmas elf-shaped container for candies, sure to delight both young and old.  

Lastly, the patent US5523741A,

is for a Christmas stocking-shaped device that visually signals Santa Claus's arrival with an external light source. According to the inventors, when a child sleeps on Christmas Eve and a string is pulled, it activates a light and a music generator. The child wakes up on Christmas Day, believing that Santa Claus has visited.



[1]United State Patent and Trademark Office (des Brevets et des marques des Etats-Unis)

[2] Extrait traduit de la demande WO0044265A1

[3] Extrait traduit de la demande WO0044265A1

[4] Extrait traduit de la demande EP2468148A1

[5] Extrait traduit de la demande EP2468148A1

[6] Extrait traduit en français de la demande US5523741A

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