Hello innovators and patent enthusiasts,
Welcome to Patently Yours! Each week, I will perform a cursory patent search on a particular topic and then report back with some general observations and a few surprising treasures. For our inaugural blogging month, we shall stick to a holiday patent theme through December, beginning with the classic tradition – the Christmas Tree.
During my search, I was overwhelmed with innovations related to clever and creative ways to prevent or extinguish a Christmas Tree fire. (Click these patent numbers for a few random inventions US2477981 US2522020 US2682310 US3783946 US7963343)
Thankfully, the prevalence of such patents has diminished of late, at least, relative to the exponential increase of issued patents over the decades. According to the USPTO, 45679 patents were granted in 1963, and 253155 patents were granted in 2012.
The reason for this decline? Well, perhaps the modern Christmas Tree is less flammable. Perhaps the inventions truly solved the problem; so, rapid development within the field may not be crucial to combating those fires. Or, perhaps we have limited our use of flaming, lit candles as festive tree ornaments.
Still, the results of Christmas Tree fires are alarmingly severe, though rare, with approximately 230 reported per year in the U.S., which is a significant decrease from the 850 reported in 1963 (congratulations to us). So, I shall wish everyone a safe and emergency-free holiday. And, to those with a Christmas Tree, may your fires remain in the confines of your fireplace. Click here for more Christmas Tree fire safety tips and facts from the National Fire Protection Association.
Stay tuned later this week for a few selected results from my Christmas Tree patent search. Until then, I wish you a happy holiday season!