Pumpkin Patents for Halloween
"All Hallows' Eve”, or “Halloween”, is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October. Traditional Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, apple bobbing, and carving jack-o'-lanterns. It is believed that the jack-o’-lantern originates from Ireland, where turnips or other root vegetables were hollowed-out to act as lanterns with horrifying faces (see a truly terrifying example here). Irish immigrants brought this tradition with them to the USA in the 19th century, where they found pumpkins to be perfect fruit for carving. The pumpkin jack-o’-lantern was born! Since then, as well as forming an essential background to many a spooky Halloween party, these colourful lanterns have inspired patentable inventions around the world. We describe below two recent examples.
Solar pumpkin illuminator – US Patent No. 11,231,156
Traditionally pumpkins are lit using candles, which can be difficult to light and are easily extinguished by a gust of wind, or worse still can be a fire safety risk. This invention provides a means of keeping your creation safely illuminated in all weather conditions using a solar-powered LED light attached to a “flesh auger”. Although it may sound like a prop from a Halloween horror movie, this feature allows the light to be screwed directly into the pumpkin.
Pumpkin-shaped recyclable container – ES Patent No. 1,287,700
Many mass-produced pumpkin lanterns and related products have replaced the pumpkin entirely with single-use moulded plastics. Such products are convenient, but have an environmental impact. Spanish patent 1,287,700 solves this problem with a pumpkin-shaped recyclable sweets container, providing a simple but effective alternative to plastic versions. Environmentally-friendly inventions of this type are increasingly important under European directive 2019/904, which seeks to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics.