The Santaland Patents


Once you start digging through Google Patents, as I did for our recent slideshow of thirty-one years of Apple patents, it can be hard to stop. And if you’re doing your digging in December, you might find yourself choosing to luxuriate in the wealth of Christmas-themed patents that have been issued over the past 125 years or so. I just did, anyhow. Jolly Old St. Nick pops up again and again in the patent files, and while I don’t know if any inventor has ever found his fortune with a Claus-related innovation, I found them interesting enough that I wanted to share some of the ones I found with you. (The title of this slideshow is, of course, a David Sedaris tribute.) May your days be merry and bright…



  1. Victoria February 3, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    I can’t believe it! Slide #9 must be the patent diagram for the “pop-up Santa Claus” that scared the crap out of me around age 4 or 5! It was the subject for years of jokes and retelling of the stories of how my family just could pull my head up to look at ol’ St. Nick! The scary thing was the same concept as this — An inflatable full-body Santa who popped out of a chimney. This was at an old Kroger around 1966 or ’67 in suburban Detroit.

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