Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 35)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on February 14, 2007

U.S. Pat. No. 6,024,386:  Aroma-generating greeting card.



This invention relates generally to greeting cards, and more particularly to a mailable card which not only conveys a greeting and a message related to the greeting, but also an aroma associated with the occasion for the greeting. . . .

By way of example, we shall assume that the occasion for a greeting card in accordance with the invention is Valentine’s Day. This day which is celebrated annually on February 14, is a holiday in which it is customary to exchange romantic messages, called Valentines. While in the United States, the first Valentine’s Day greeting card was produced in 1840, today millions of such cards are sold annually.

When a gentleman personally delivers or has delivered a Valentine’s Day greeting card to a lady, it is traditionally accompanied by a gift in the form of a bouquet of roses packaged in a box in which the greeting card is also placed. Thus the aroma of roses is invariably associated with Valentine’s Day, not that of any other fragrance, just as the aroma of lilies is associated with Easter but not with any other holiday.

But when a greeting card is mailed to a recipient, then as a practical matter, one cannot include roses in the mailing. Hence a mailed conventional Valentine’s Day greeting card falls short of a proper romantic expression of affection.  


1. An aroma-generating greeting card comprising: 
     A. a folder having a front panel folding over a rear panel, said front panel having a greeting printed thereon appropriate to a given occasion, said rear panel having printed thereon a message related to the greeting and being provided with a port; and 
     B. a gas-barrier bag containing a fragrance reservoir mounted behind and blocking the port, said bag having a vent therein that lies within the port confines of whereby an aroma from said fragrance reservoir is discharged through said port; and 
     C. a removable sticker overlying said port to seal said fragrance reservoir whereby an aroma is discharged only when the sticker is removed.