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IPcopy’s Top 10 Halloween Patents

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Credit: Meigsinh via Morguefile

Halloween is nearly upon us and falls this year on a Monday which means that we have a whole weekend of trick or treaters to look forward to. Whatever wee beasties you find out looking for sweets this weekend, it’s likely they’ll pale into comparison in the horror stakes to Ed Balls on Strictly. After last week’s TV Gold moment in “that lift”, I shudder to think what’s in store for us next.

The dancing abilities of an ex politician aren’t what we’re here for though and this Halloween IPcopy has 10 wicked and ghoulish patents for you….

1) h1-dollWe start in the 19th century with a creeping doll. The inventor (Robert Clay) of this freaky toy actually titles his patent as “Improvement in Creeping Dolls” which presumably means that there’s at least one earlier generation of these creeping toys out there somewhere. IPcopy also notes the introduction refers to the invention as “a very amusing toy”.  IPcopy supposes that the inventor’s children were either gibbering wrecks after watching Daddy’s prototype dolls slithering round the house or were scared of absolutely nothing on Earth….

2)h2-costume Starting a run of clothing based Halloween patents is a weather and climate adaptive Halloween costume that addresses the often overlooked weather based uncertainties inherent in buying a Halloween costume “a week or perhaps even a month before Halloween, when weather conditions can hardly be anticipated”. The invention relates to a costume comprising a number of inbuilt venting mechanisms and insulting materials. It just looks like a pissed off elephant to me…

3) An appropriate costume this year, given the current global fad for dressing up as creepy clowns, is this offering of a poncho type element which incorporates two inflatable heads and a headpiece for the person wearing the costume “so that when the costume is properly worn, it will appear as though the person has three heads”.h3-clowns

4) Of course, if wearing two inflatable heads on your shoulders doesn’t do it for you, then this multiple person outfit will help you and your friends go that little further…h4-multi-person

5) If a full body costume isn’t your thing then US737371 might be what you’re looking for, a Jack O’Lantern invention that can be flat-packed for easy posting. What caught our eye on this one was the suggestion in Figure 4 that you can wear this headpiece with a candle inside! Don’t try this at home or indeed anywhere…h5

6) If the threat of accidentally setting yourself on fire doesn’t grab you then US6093475 describes a costume that allows the wearer to “selectively increase the frightening or entertaining effect of the element, thus increasing the element’s play and entertainment value”. What this actually means is a face mask in which the user can pump a blood-like fluid between inner and outer layers to make it look like they’re bleeding. Delightful.h6-bleeding-helmet

7) US6035447 on the other hand provides for a scary Halloween mask with an inbuilt flash device. Now you can cycle home and scare the bejeebers out of everyone on the No. 73 bus as you pass by while staying visible to all road users….h7-flashing-mask

8) To help you decorate your pathway on Halloween comes this “ghost-like decorative object” which shows a patent attorney’s tendency for over-complicating things slightly, see for example paragraph 1 of the background section which opens the document as follows:

This invention relates to ghost-like decorative objects, and more particularly to ghost-like decorative objects which simulate or otherwise represent the universal image or conception of the appearance of a ghost, i.e., what is generally thought to be what a ghost “looks” like. Such decorative objects are referred to hereinafter as “ghost-like” objects, “ghost-like decorative objects” or other similar terminology. 

Basically, it’s sheet on a stickh8

9) On a similar theme is this “entertainment prop” which comprises a ghost shaped panel with flashing LED eyes. The patent helpfully notes that “The approach to prop construction described may also be employed for less sinister purposes”.h9-led-ghost

The patent attorney who drafted this patent clearly had some fun:

“Unfortunately, one needs to be a grave robber in order to afford the lit-up props available today.”

“The LED’s may burn steadily, staring unnervingly at onlookers. Alternately, they may blink or wink with cunning.”

“The efficient construction of props as described herein ensure that that the main cost to consumers comes in terms of lost sleep.”

10) Finally, we return to the subject of oozing orifices with this charming life sized item which combines a motion sensor and a reservoir of fluid to hilarious effect. Walk too close to this abomination and it will start to ooze fluid from its tongue.h10

After Halloween of course comes All Saints’ Day which is a day for believers to remember all saints and martyrs throughout Christian history. If the previous night’s escapades have left you feeling a little less than holy then you could do worse than turning to this US design patent for a holy water sprinkler…h11

But if you’re not done with the ghoulish then perhaps you could try this horror. Warning – clicking on this link is not for the faint hearted……..

Mark Richardson 27 October 2016

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