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.

2. A greeting card as set forth in claim 1, in which the fragrance reservoir is formed by a group of porous plastic beads impregnated with said fragrance.

3. A greeting card as set forth in claim 2, in which the fragrance is a synthetic fragrance which is chemically reactive with inks with which the card is printed, said beads and said bag being formed of a synthetic plastic material non-reactive with said fragrance.

4. A greeting card as set forth in claim 3, in which said bag is formed of a polyester.

5. A greeting card as set forth in claim 1, in which the occasion is associated with a particular type of flower having a scent, and the fragrance has the scent of this flower.

6. A greeting card as set forth in claim 5, in which the occasion is Valentine’s Day and the flower is a rose.

7. A greeting card as set forth in claim 6, in which the bag is formed of transparent plastic film material and the beads are rose colored.

8. A greeting card as set forth in claim 7, on which the region of the rear panel surrounding the port is printed with a cluster of roses that are visually integrated with the rose-colored beads.

9. A greeting card as set forth in claim 1, in which a sticker is formed of transparent synthetic plastic film whose undersurface is coated with a pressure-sensitive adhesive.

10. A greeting card as set forth in claim 1, in which said folder is formed of a rectangular sheet of paper folded in quarters to create a double-ply front panel formed by folded over left side quarters and a double-ply rear panel formed of folded over right side quarters, said port being formed in an upper right side quarter and said bag which blocks the port being sandwiched between the upper right side quarter and a lower right side quarter.

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