IP & Copyright

You Can Thank This Patent For Your Best Halloween Memories

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Fall is officially here. The weather is changing, sweaters are back, and the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte is in the hands of every bubbly blonde girl on the East Coast. So, in honor of this exciting time, here is a profile of the most amusing Halloween patent that was ever filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office.

First, let me set the scene and take you back to your Trick-or-Treating days. Super excited about your cheap, plastic costume, you traveled door to door in your neighborhood hoping not to get those lame pumpkin-shaped pretzels and, instead, eyeing up some Jumbo Reese’s. As you got older, you ditched the candy and scoped out all the spooky festivities in your town. If you’re a boy and you were lucky, your crush got so scared on that haunted trail that she ran right into your skinny, prepubescent arms.

For a serendipitous moment like that one, you have patents like this one to thank.

The ‘Haunting Aid’ (Patent #: US 6776687) is an invention designed specifically for haunting purposes. Filed October 11, 2002, the device uses LED lights and comes together to form a face with glowing eyes that will stare and blink right back at you. It seems pretty simple until you read the patent and realize that the creator of this gadget takes his Halloween haunting to a whole other level.

Inventor Frank Becking, hailing from California, writes, “This relates to components for spooky entertainment, particularly those suited for haunting mortals, for example, on hallows eve” and “may even be useful in producing mass-hysteria.” He’s quite the economic thinker as well, citing that the “main cost to consumers comes in terms of lost sleep.”

Becking even slips some formal Halloween theory into the mix, exploring why “for some reason, red eyes make werewolves howl, while green eyes make ghosts positively haunting.” He also admits that the lighted eyes in his invention are an “effort to produce a macabre appearance.”

Although the inspiration for this patent is not apparent, the nature of the text serves as a reminder of two things:

You are never too old for Halloween and yes, patent law can actually be fun.




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