December, 5th, 2017

By Patrick D. Duplessis

While WHIPgroup’s elves were busy printing IP Cloud ornaments on the firm’s new 3D printer, we went to work searching through the U.S. Patent Office archives for an answer to the age-old question of whether Santa Claus is real.

We were at first encouraged by the titles of patents and published applications such as U.S. Patent No. 5,523,741 (“Santa Claus Detector”), U.S. Patent Publication No. 2011/0234850 (“SantaCam”), U.S. Patent Publication No. 2006/0046603 (“Santa Claus Visit Kit”), and U.S. Patent Publication No. 2002/0128081 (“Santa’s reindeer food”).

However, upon closer review of these documents, we were dismayed to find that the inventors universally described Santa as a “fictional character.”  The disclosed inventions do not actually detect Santa or provide nourishment for his reindeer, as their titles would suggest.  Instead, they provide clever apparatus and methods for deceiving young children about the existence of the plump, jolly, and white-bearded man and his hooved transport team.

Particularly entertaining is the “Talking Santa Clause Device With Red Light For Inside The Chimney” disclosed in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2015/0202543, which includes an electronic device that magnetically attaches to a damper handle on the inside of a chimney and plays audio in the voice of Santa Claus to give the illusion that the voice is coming from the roof down the chimney.

For those unwilling or unable to accept the harsh realty that they will never experience a real-life visit from Santa, perhaps consider the next best thing: a simulated visit.  Look for the aptly-titled “Kit for simulating a visit by Santa Claus” disclosed in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2006/0116049.


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