Whether you’re cooling down with some trademarked treats or barbecuing with a patented grill, this season you’re bound to be surrounded by summer-themed intellectual property (IP).

Summer is a season to relax and unwind and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued many classic patents that make any summer fun! To kick-off summer, we’ve put together 5 of the most classic summer patents.

1.The Weber Grill

The long, hot days of the summer months are perfect for grilling food with friends and family. While there are various varieties and sizes of grills now, George Stephen Jr. is credited as the first inventor of the charcoal grill. Stephen Jr., once a welder at Weber Brother Metal Works, primarily welded spears together to make marine buoys.

In 1952, Stephen split a buoy in half to make a dome-shape. He then welded legs on the lower half and added holes to allow the flow of oxygen needed to maintain a fire. This unique design and technology proved to be more efficient and easier to maintain than other grills while offering better charcoal temperature control and enhancing the flavor of grilled food. In 1959, the Weber Brothers Metal Works was acquired by Stephen Sr., and fifteen years later he was granted U.S. Patent No. 3,330,266 for the Barbecue Vessel.


2. Popsicle (U.S. Patent Number 1,505,592)

In 1905, an 11-year-old named Frank Epperson invented the first Popsicle ice pop, by accident! After being outside, Frank left his cup of soda with the stirring stick in out on the porch. The next morning, he found his drink froze. Frank called his creation the “Epsicle.” His invention became popular with his friends, and later on, his own kids who began calling it “Pop’s ‘sicle.” Frank patented the name in 1923 to share his Popsicle ice pops with the world. Now, there are 15 varieties of Popsicles, and six different flavors.


3.  Sunscreen 

Whether you’re in the pool or laying out catching rays, chances are you’ve used a variety of different sunscreen patents and trademarks. The earliest forms of sun protection came from plant extracts. Ancient Egyptians used extracts of jasmine, rice, and lupine plants, while early Greek civilizations used olive oil.

One of the first popular sunscreen products was invented for the United States military in 1944 by Florida airman and pharmacist, Benjamin Green. Green’s patented “Red Vet Pet” helped protect soldiers from the hazards of overexposure to the sun during World War II in the Pacific tropics. His patent was later acquired by Coppertone, which later improved and marketed it as brands like “Coppertone Girl” and “Bain de Soleil” in the early 1950s.

4. Aquatic Play Equipment (U.S. Patent Number 2,982,547)

In 1960, Robert Carrier applied for a patent on the “Aquatic Play Equipment” that would eventually be marketed by Wham-O as the Slip ‘n Slide in 1961. The slide was inspired by the long, durable-yet-flexible design of the filmstrip, and invented to turn an activity people were already doing into a user-friendly product. According to Carrier’s patent application, Carrier wanted to improve the activity of body planing. Body planing, Carrier explained, referred to the practice of hurling oneself into shallow water and gliding across a slick coat of mud. To make the activity safer, he created a soft, smooth, and water-lubricated aquatic device. Brutal but exhilarating, the beloved roll-out backyard slide is still a beloved summer activity.

5. Ice Cream Scoop (U.S. Patent Number 576,395)

While working at a drugstore and hotel, Alfred L. Cralle noticed how ice cream servers struggled to transfer ice cream from its container into cones for customers. Thus, Cralle created the ice cream scoop, originally called the Ice Cream Mold and Disher. It was designed to be strong, inexpensive, and easy to operate with one hand. It had no moving parts that could break or malfunction. While originally made for ice cream parlors and restaurants, it quickly became used by the general public around the country. His invention was patented in 1897, and still used during hot days when you want to get that picture-perfect scoop.

Suiter Swantz IP is a full-service intellectual property law firm providing client-centric patenttrademark, and copyright services. If you need assistance with an intellectual property matter and would like to speak with one of our attorneys, please contact us at info@suiter.com.