Valentine’s Day and Intellectual Property
Valentine’s Day is here again and, in case you missed the endless aisles of heart-shaped boxes, stuffed animals and flower ads, you should know that it is big business. Valentine’s Day is one of the top grossing holidays. The average person spends about $136.57/year, which when aggregated comes to about $18.6 billion nationally. On average, 90% of the population will ask for chocolates; jewelry purchases will gross about $4.3 billion¹.
Whether you are a person who embraces the holiday or avoids it, we can all get some enjoyment from the various intellectual property that protects some of the products associated with the day.
One interesting fact is that roses account for over 4% of issued plant patents. The first patent for a rose was the CLIMBING ROSE (U.S. PP1) granted in 1931 to Henry F. Bosenberg of New Brunswick, New Jersey. Fred H. Howard of Montebello, California may have had Valentine’s Day on his mind when he created his hybrid tea rose, ROSE PLANT (U.S. PP953); its color is described as tinged with red or rose red. Carnations are another flower that are in abundant supply on Valentine’s Day. John Harry Bonhard from West Chicago, Illinois was one of the first to patent a carnation, CARNATION PLANT (U.S. PP645). Bonhard’s plant is a red carnation that originated as a pink carnation by the name of “Charm”. When it is in full bloom it is red with a pinkish tinge.
One of the most recognizable names in the floral industry is Florists’ Transworld Delivery, Inc. ®, as also known as FTD. FTD has a trademark on their symbol, a mythological character Mercury, which is the Latin version of the Greek god Hermes. The FTD mark depicts Mercury, or “Mercury Man,” delivering flowers (Registration No. 0821318). They have also trademarked their phone number 1-800-SEND-FTD® (Registration No. 1848732).
No one is surprised that candy is one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts. 94%¹ of those celebrating Valentine’s Day will ask for candy in some form. One Valentine’s Day standby is the chocolate heart, such as the one Verlooy Herwig designed in 2001, HEART-SHAPED CHOCOLATE, which is protected by the following design patent: U.S. Patent No. D449,147. Another chocolate-heart option includes the design by Maria Kestekids-Kesdekoglu, CHOCOLATES HAVING A HEART DESIGN in U.S. Patent No. D344,843).
And no one can forget chomping on Sweethearts® (TM Registration No. 2172266).
Jewelry is, of course, another option for couples on Valentine’s Day. 18.7%¹ of those purchasing gifts on this Valentine’s Day will choose jewelry for their significant other. Such jewelry options include the TRIPLE HEART JEWLERY WITH DIAMOND OUTLINE, protected via design patent U.S. Patent No. D656,858), which was designed by Pascal Mouaward in 2012. Another option includes the HEART SHAPED DIAMOND CUT HAVING HEARTS AND ARROW PATTERN, covered by the utility patent U.S. Patent No. 8,353,181, which issued in 2013. In 2002, Ami Haimoff patented a new method for creating a heart-shaped diamond, METHOD OF MAKING A HEART-SHAPED DIAMOND, covered by utility patent U.S. Patent No. 6,434,805. This is a process for cutting and placing two pear-shaped diamonds into a side-by-side setting to create a heart-shaped diamond.
Of course all of Valentine’s Day-themed products are accompanied by what seems to be an endless number of jewelry-related commercials. Many of the catchy jingles and phrases heard in commercials also have their own have IP protection. For instance, Kay Jewelers’ “Every Kiss Begins with Kay”® is protected via TM Registration No. 2602439. Jared the Galleria of Jewelry protects the slogan “He Went to Jared” with TM Registration No. 4321229. Zales has also trademarked their slogan “Zales the Diamond and Valentine Gift Store” with TM Registration No. 2112448.
For Valentine’s Day we leave you with these parting words from Charles M. Schulz “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”