Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 211)

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on December 14, 2011

U.S. Pat. No. 7,591,569:  Christmas holiday access, indicator, and mementos key method and apparatus.

JW Note:  Wishing a Happy Holidays to all!  See you in 2012!

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Children have believed in Santa Claus (under any the many known names) for hundreds of years. No matter what incarnation, whether it is the Magi King, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, etc., the tradition is still very much alive in the 21st century. One thing that has changed is children’s sophistication. The Santa legend evokes images of the jolly toy maker flying with the reindeer, landing on roofs, and entering homes via chimneys to deliver treasures on Christmas Eve. The problem is that children in modern times, living in an age of apartment complexes, condominiums, and a host of other domiciles without chimneys or fireplaces, tend to be more inquisitive, and want to know just how Santa Claus will pay them a visit if they don’t have chimney access. Will he have to break the door down or pick the lock and trip off the security alarm? Will their homes be bypassed and presents given to other children if Santa Claus can’t find a way in?

Accordingly, there is an established need for a Christmas decoration and associated method, that in addition to remaining true to the decorative parameters of bright, festive ornamentation during the holiday season, also provides children with an explanation for Santa Claus’s ability to enter their homes, allaying their fears and concerns over missing out on their presents on Christmas morning.

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A holiday key entertainment method, the holiday key entertainment method comprising the steps of: illuminating an illumination source, wherein the illumination source is located within a holiday key, the holiday key being an oversized key shaped apparatus comprising a key handle section and a key blade section; securing the holiday key to an object on an outside of a residence; and informing a child that the holiday key is being placed outside such that a holiday persona can utilize the holiday key as a means for unlocking a door to the residence.

2. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 1, the holiday key entertainment method comprising the additional steps of: deactivating the illumination of the illumination source within the holiday key; and placing the holiday key on an object located inside the residence.

3. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 2, creating the illumination by combining two different chemical compositions that are originally provided in two separate reservoirs within the holiday key to create a chemo-luminescent reaction.

4. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 2, wherein the step of combining the chemo-luminescent reaction is accomplished by twisting an key handle respective to a key blade portion of the holiday key, wherein the twisting action provides a means for combining for each of the two different chemical compositions that are originally provided in two separate reservoirs within the holiday key.

5. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 2, wherein the step of illuminating an illumination source is achieved by activating an electrically induced lighting, wherein the electrically induced lighting is provided by a portable power source, an electrical lighting circuit, and an electrically induced lighting device, all of which are assembled within the holiday key.

6. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 5, wherein the step of illuminating the electrically induced lighting is accomplished by twisting an key handle respective to the key blade portion of the holiday key, wherein the twisting action activates the electrical lighting circuit.

7. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 5, the holiday key entertainment method comprising the additional step of selecting an illumination mode, the illumination modes being at least one of: on, flashing, a slow flash, a fast flash, a fixed message, and a programmed message.

8. A holiday key entertainment method, the holiday key entertainment method comprising the steps of: utilizing a holiday key, the holiday key being an oversized key shaped apparatus comprising a key handle section, a key blade section, and incorporating an audio recording and playback device within the holiday key; securing the holiday key to an object on an outside of a residence; and informing a child that the holiday key is being placed outside such that a holiday persona can utilize the holiday key as a means for unlocking a door to the residence.

9. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 8, the holiday key entertainment method comprising the additional steps of recording a message using the audio recording and playback device within the holiday key and locking the recorded message.

10. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 8, the holiday key entertainment method comprising the additional step of a child recording a message for a holiday persona.

11. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 8, the holiday key entertainment method comprising the additional step of a holiday persona recording a message for a child.

12. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 8, the holiday key entertainment method comprising the additional steps of: a child recording a message for a holiday persona, and a holiday persona recording a message for a child.

13. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 8, the holiday key entertainment method comprising the additional step of illuminating an illumination source, wherein the illumination source is located within a holiday key.

14. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 13, the holiday key entertainment method comprising the additional steps of: deactivating the illumination of the illumination source within the holiday key; and placing the holiday key on an object located inside the residence.

15. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 13, creating the illumination by combining two different chemical compositions that are originally provided in two separate reservoirs within the holiday key to create a chemo-luminescent reaction.

16. The holiday key entertainment method of claim 13, wherein the step of illuminating an illumination source is achieved by activating an electrically induced lighting, wherein the electrically induced lighting is provided by a portable power source, an electrical lighting circuit, and an electrically induced lighting device, all of which are assembled within the holiday key.

17. A decorative oversized key-shaped holiday novelty item is provided, the decorative oversized key-shaped holiday novelty item comprising: an oversized holiday key having a translucent plastic shell, the shell defining a completely encapsulated interior space; wherein the oversized holiday key is adorned with at least one decorative holiday feature, the decorative feature being selected from a group comprising: a) a holiday image, b) a character image, c) a cartoon character image, d) a holiday character image, e) a ribbon, f) an indicia presenting a year, g) a holding and displaying a picture, h) a puppet character; and at least one of: an illumination source contained within the interior space; and an audio recording and playback apparatus contained within the interior space.

18. The decorative oversized key-shaped holiday novelty item of claim 17, the decorative oversized key-shaped holiday novelty item wherein the illumination source contained within the interior space comprising: a first reservoir; a second reservoir; wherein the first reservoir and the second reservoir are separated by a barrier; a first chemical composition stored in the first reservoir; a second chemical stored in the second reservoir; wherein when the first chemical composition and the second chemical are combined the combined chemical compositions create a chemo-luminescent reaction.

19. The decorative oversized key-shaped holiday novelty item of claim 17, the decorative oversized key-shaped holiday novelty item wherein the illumination source contained within the interior space comprising: at least one electrically activated illumination device; a portable power source; and an illumination circuit, wherein the illumination circuit provides power between the at least one electrically activated illumination device and the portable power source.

20. The decorative oversized key-shaped holiday novelty item of claim 17, the decorative oversized key-shaped holiday novelty item comprising the audio recording and playback apparatus contained within the interior space further comprising at least one of: a software routine for locking a recorded message, and a hardware device for locking the recorded message, wherein said locked recorded message is unable to be at least one of erased, edited, and recorded over.

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