Valentine’s Day is here again.  To most, Valentine’s Day is the holiday of love and the color red, but for many businesses, Valentine’s Day is the color of green.  In fact, Valentine’s Day is one of the nation’s top grossing holidays.  In case you missed the endless aisles of heart-shaped boxes, stuffed animals, and pink and red items, you should know that it is big business.  This year it is estimated the average person will spend about $143.56 on Valentine’s Day, up from $136.57 in 2017.  On a national scale, these numbers add up to around $19.6 billion across the U.S.  According to WalletHub, on average, 94% of the population participating in Valentine’s Day will ask for chocolates, $2 billion will be spent on flowers, and over $4.7 billion will be spent on jewelry.

Whether you enjoy the holiday or try to avoid it, we can all get some enjoyment from the intellectual property associated with Valentine’s Day.

What’s more romantic than a heart-shaped pizza with heart-shaped pepperonis and heart-shaped cheese slices?  Most might assume that pizza and pizza toppings are not patentable subject matter.  Well, they would be wrong!   William C. Arbaugh, II was granted two separate design patents for 1) a Heart Shaped Pepperoni Slice (United States Design Patent No. D491,388) and 2) a Heart Shaped Cheese Slice (United States Design Patent No. D491,711) in 2004.


As for dessert, 55% of those who participate in Valentine’s Day will buy chocolate, with the nation averaging $1.8 billion in chocolate sales for the one day alone. Hershey’s® is perhaps the most famous and widely recognized chocolate producer.  As one of the most widely recognized chocolate brands, it should come as no surprise that Hershey’s® takes their intellectual property pretty seriously.  The company has acquired over 66 trademarks for the HERSHEY name alone.  Milton S. Hershey, creator of the chocolate company, did more than produce delicious chocolate, he was also an inventor.  Hershey invented and was granted patents for many items, many of which were candy-related.  One such patent was for a Candy Holder (United States Patent No. 412,090).  The patented product was designed not only to hold candy, but also to be used as a toy holder once the candy had been removed.  Hershey also invented and was granted a patent for a Machine for Cutting Candy (United States Patent No. 532,554).

If dinner and candy weren’t enough, $894 million will be spent on Valentine’s Day greeting cards this year.  Hallmark®, one of the most popular greeting card manufactures, has over 900 Valentine’s Day card options to choose from.  However, for those wishing to branch out and get a little creative with their greeting card, the patented Greeting Card with Electronic Sound Recording (United States Patent No. 5,063,698) may be the Valentine’s Day card of choice!  A memory device within the card allows a user to record and store a voice message which may then be played over and over.

Regardless of your plans for Valentine’s Day, we wish you a loving and happy Valentine’s Day!  With that 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.”

Suiter Swantz IP is a full-service intellectual property law firm based in Omaha, NE, serving all of Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota.  If you have any intellectual property questions or need assistance with any patent, trademark, or copyright matters and would like to speak with one of our patent attorneys please contact us.