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Intellectual Property Insights from Fishman Stewart PLLC
Newsletter – Volume 24, Issue 15

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Patented Innovations Illuminate Independent Day

By Kameron Bonner

Yesterday was the 4th of July in the United States, where Americans celebrate the nation’s Independence Day with spectacular fireworks and outdoor barbecues. While these traditions may be deeply rooted in history, there is an interesting layer of modern innovation behind the scenes, all protected by patents.  

Fireworks have become synonymous with Independence Day, with brilliant displays in highly coordinated shows that captivate us, such as the Ford Fireworks in Detroit, Michigan. The problem with old-fashioned fireworks, however, is that they were not very “green” as the traditional method used black powder propulsion. This Disney patent US5339741A, in addition to precisely controlling firework detonation, is more environmentally friendly by eliminating the black powder ignition at ground level for the initial burst, instead using a non-explosive launching medium (compressed air).

Of course, Independence Day would not be complete without sparklers glowing in the dark summery sky, with the technology taking root 90 years ago as highlighted in this patent US2063601A. Or, for the more extreme crowd, this patent US6718882B1 provides a modern twist in the form of two-way sparkler, effectively doubling the glow time and color over conventional sparklers. 

For backyard barbeques, nothing has been more instrumental than the barbecue grill. In 1897, the design for charcoal briquettes was first patented by Ellsworth B. A. Zwoyer, USD27483S. Fast forward a half-century, and early versions of the Weber grill began to hit the market US3330266A

As we celebrate Independence Day, it is worth taking a moment to appreciate the pivotal and patriotic role of patents in our festivities. Happy 4th of July Holiday weekend! 

Kameron is a partner and registered patent attorney at Fishman Stewart PLLC, specializing in Intellectual Property with ten (10) years of experience counseling clients on patent, trademark, and related contractual matters. Kameron’s practice encompasses all aspects of preparing, procuring, and enforcing worldwide IP rights. Check out his full bio here

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