October 31st, Halloween, to some, is just another day, but to others, it is a day to escape reality. Others choose to live vicariously through their children and secretly indulge in the surplus of their Halloween bounty. Regardless of how seriously one partakes in Halloween, intellectual property plays a large, unseen role, in its popularity.

It is estimated that more than 171 million Americans will participate in Halloween this year sending the national spending average to an all-time high of $8.4 billion, an increase of nearly 22% from last year’s $6.9 billion.

patent-illustration-jack-a-lanternA large portion of that money will be spent on pumpkins and spooky accessories such as the JACK-A-LANTERN (U.S. Patent No. 396,252), the patent granted in 1889, was meant to amuse children. Today, people have veered from the traditional carving design of triangle eyes/nose and jagged smile to the much more elaborate, artistic designs; many who create these designs require pumpkin carving kits such as the one patented in 1989, PUMPKIN CARVING KIT (U.S. Patent No. 4,828,114). One spooky accessory, sure to scare trick-or-treaters, is the HALLOWEEN VAMPIRE DECORATION (U.S. Patent No. D332,761) this decoration comes with a balloon with a vampire’s face printed it on it as well as a vampires cape to hang with the balloon. Another spooky patent is the HAUNTING AID (U.S. Patent No. 6,776,687), this patent has a face with blinking eyes that stare or blink at onlookers and will have trick-or-treaters thinking twice before taking more than one piece of candy.


From the extravagant to the simple, a large money maker for Halloween is costumes. One fun costume, very practical for those whocostume live in climates that change with season to season, is the WEATHER CLIMATE AND ADAPTIVE HALLOWEEN COSTUME (U.S. Patent No. 6,904,612). This costume is adaptable to accommodate changes in climate. It allows the wearer to layer the insulated material while another portion of the material functions as a ventilator. Another fun costume is the PIZZA SLICE COSTUME (U.S. Patent No. D542,507), patented in 2007, this costume has grown in popularity. Not to leave out our four-legged friends, there are many costume patents for them as well, including, a design patent for PET COSTUME (U.S. Patent No. D699,403) which depicts a toy surfer riding a surfboard on the dog’s back.

Another big item people spend money on during Halloween is candy. Surprising to some, intellectual property plays a significant role amongst candy makers. One of the most widely known chocolate manufacturers and candy makers is Hershey Chocolate Corporation. Hershey, established in 1894, was granted the trademark for the original Hershey Chocolate bar in 1906 (Trademark Registration No. 0054041). chocolate-bar-524263_1280Hershey also obtained a trademark on Hershey’s Kisses (Trademark Registration No. 4895783), and trademarked the word “Kisses” (Trademark Registration No. 2416701). In 1996, Hershey filed a trademark on the word Kiss but was refused. In 2000, the Appeals Court sided with Hershey and stated “‘kiss’ represented not just a candy, but a particular candy from one manufacturer.”


candy-corn-1726481_1920Candy Corn is one of the most popular candies associated with fall and Halloween; the yellow, orange, and white candy originated in Pennsylvania in the 1880s by George Renninger. The Goelitz Confectionery Company, manufacturer of Candy Corn, received the trademark for the popular candy in 1997 (Trademark Registration No. 2085121). In 2001, Goelitz was renamed the Jelly Belly Company.

After all the candy has been consumed and the overeating regret has set in, one might seek the use of the watch patented in 1990 (U.S. Patent No. 4,965,553), us4965553-1which detects when the wearer’s hand approaches their mouth; when this motion is detected an alarm is activated in the hope that it will dissuade the wearer from eating the item he/she was about to ingest.


Whether you will dawn a costume of your own, or live vicariously through the millions of children hitting the streets this evening, we at Suiter Swantz want to wish you a Happy Halloween!