Iconic update to patented toys and games – and trademarks too!


It’s Christmas time again and IPWatchdog is back, compiling a list of iconic patented toys and games. This year, we’ve added a few iconic brands to complete the list. This tradition was originally made popular in 2018 and updated in 2019, with a holiday feature from IPWatchdog founder Gene Quinn: The Most Iconic (and Patented) Toys and Games of All Time. The original post included iconic toys such as “Video Game Console, Barbie Doll, Monopoly, Rubik’s Cube, Battleship, Super Soaker, Hoola Hoop, Slinky, Play-Doh, Easy Bake Oven, Game -Boy Frisbee, YoYo, Lego blocks, Transformers, tricycles, bikes, scooters, Tonka trucks, rocking horse, Twister, Simon, Magic 8 Ball, Erector Set, Etch A Sketch, Bunch-o-Balloons and Mr. Potato Head. Last year an updated list was released: More Iconic (and Patented) Toys and Games: A 2020 Update, including updates to the previous list such as the Red Ryder BB pistol, Teddy Ruxpin, Little Tykes Toy Coupe, Koosh Ball, Furby, Mousetrap Game, Lite-Bright, Stretch Armstrong, Lincoln Logs and Skip-It.

Here are a few more that have made so many people smile on Christmas Day over the years.

Elf on the shelf

The Christmas tradition of the Elf on the Shelf has been around since around 2004, when Carol Aebersold filed two trademark applications, one for the words “The Elf on the Shelf” and one for this elf elf design. beloved on the shelf. It was registered for products such as elven dolls and children’s books, sold as a whole. The stylized version of “The Elf on the Shelf” was filed in 2008 and received U.S. registration number 3,553,223.

According to the lore and story that accompanies the Elf doll on the shelf, the elves are Santa’s helpers, and they keep an eye on the children and report to Santa every night when they return to the North Pole. Every morning, the children are delighted to wake up to find their elf in a new place in the house. Parents have become an active part of the tradition by “helping” the elves to find new places to hide or play around the house. Countless articles have been devoted to ideas for making your elf on the shelf the most interesting elf in the neighborhood, like making your elf a sled with candy canes or tangling in dental floss.

Mechanical fish mounted

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was rare to find someone who did not know or own a mechanical singing fish mounted on a plate. Those who were very lucky even woke up on Christmas morning to find one under the Christmas tree! The one shown at left was the subject of US D440,525, issued April 17, 2001 to Think Tek, Inc. Think Tek’s mechanically mounted fish was marketed as Boogie Bass and sang songs and played phrases while moving and opening and closing his mouth. Several other similar products were introduced around the same time, but none of them, including the patented version of Think Tek, were as popular as the Big Mouth Billy Bass, which is protected by the registration number of US brand 4,944,012. Big Mouth Billy Bass is arguably the most successful product ever produced by Gemmy Industries. The animatronic songfish performed “Take Me to the River” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Al Green. According to an interview statement from Al Green, the the use of his song in the popular Singing Fish had earned him more royalties than any other recorded version of the song.

Chatty Cathy Talking Doll

No iconic toy list is complete without a talking doll! The Chatty Cathy Talking Doll was introduced in the early 1960s and carried US patent number 3,017,187, entitled “Multiple Speech Phonograph”. The patent was for a phonograph that could be incorporated into a doll. According to the patent, a child can make the doll speak or utter a number of different sentences by pulling on a cord. The first Chatty Cathy Talking Doll had blue eyes and blonde hair, and she randomly recited 11 sentences, such as “I love you” and “Tell me a story”. Such talking dolls have been the subject of dreams of many little girls (and perhaps nightmares too). Recently, Chatty Cathy served as the inspiration for a talking doll character named Gabby Gabby in Toy Story 4. Gabby Gabby had a dark side that would be inspired by another Chatty Cathy spin-off, an evil doll named Talky Tina, who appeared in a 1963 episode of “Twilight Zone”. Chatty Cathy is also the subject of several dead marks and a pending United States trademark application, US 88,620,210.

Speak and spell

The Speak & Spell was created by Texas Instruments and sold between 1978 and 1992. US Patent No. 4,516,260 for an “electronic learning aid or game having synthesized speech” is one of the Texas patents. Instrument relating to Speak & Spell. What started as a three month feasibility study with a budget of $ 25,000 became the invention of Speak & Spell, “marked the first time that the human vocal tract was electronically duplicated on a single silicon chip” and a primitive version of synthetic discourse. technology that drives things like Alexa today. The Speak & Spell remained poplar in the late 1970s and into the 1980s and was reinforced by its appearance in the movie “HEY. the Extraterrestrial” where it was used by ET to “call home”.

Pogo stick

For over 50 years, the perfect gift for any energetic and determined child has been a pogo stick. The first modern two-handed pogo stick was issued in February 1955 to GB Hansburg under US patent number 2,793,036. The object of the ‘036 invention was to provide a pogo stick which was “clean, compact and durable and not likely to bother even with long use, which can be made from relatively inexpensive components and easily assembled at low cost, and which in addition to functioning as a conventional pogo stick, can easily be adjusted to set its recoil to a value which depends on the weight of the user, in order to avoid injury to the user due to excessive recoil action.


Dominoes is an iconic game that young and old have been playing for many years. A particular color set was patented on May 29, 1883 as U.S. Patent No. 278,646, in which each number was distinguished by a distinct color. As shown in Figure 1, the spots are distinguished by different shades or colorations. Alternatively, the spots can be colored in the same way and the spaces between the spots can be distinguished by different shades or colors.

Flying ring

The Flying Ring, patented October 16, 1973 under US Patent No. 3,765,122, is a ring-shaped flying toy comprising an annular skirt and a central circular opening. When the ring is’ thrown by a person and rotated around its axis while traveling through the air, a flow of air flowing over the leading edge of the toy will be guided by the surface of the deflector downward. into the central opening and then headed under the toy trail. edge to support the trailing edge in flight.


Originally, the View-Master was developed for both adults and children. The device described in U.S. Patent No. 2,189,285 was marketed from 1939 to 1950 and was sold alongside View-Master coils, which featured interesting scenery for adults. Claim 1 of the ‘285 patent stated, in part, “[a] disc … having fourteen windows formed therein in each of which is mounted a transparency, means for simultaneously viewing a pair of diametrically opposed transparencies, means for moving said disc to expose it in alternating succession, so that a cycle of views can be displayed in repeated succession without inversion. “In the late 1940s, the View-Master Model C was marketed to children and was the subject of U.S. Patent No. 2,511,334, entitled” Stereoscopic Viewer. “The ‘334 patent issued to Wilhelm Gruber in June 1950. The patent was for “a stereoscopic device suitable for viewing stereoscopic images arranged in a circular or disc form, whereby the disc can be inserted and removed with a minimum of effort, skill or attention from the patient. In particular, the device was designed to be easy to use for a child. View-Masters continue to delight adults and children alike and are still available at many retailers.

Monkey sock

monkey sockThe Sock Monkey has been an iconic toy for generations and was made using a special type of sock called the “Nelson Red Heel Rockford Socks”, for which the Nelson Knitting Company was assigned the serial number US 71,532,152. On July 14, 1953, Helen Cooke received Design Patent No. 170,008 for a sock doll design, which claimed the classic Sock Monkey. Cooke sued a man named Stanley Levy for selling dolls of a design not made by Cooke. Levy contacted the Nelson Knitting Company and the company gathered evidence that others had been making similar dolls for more than two years before Cookes’ patent was filed. Cooke eventually settled the case against Levy and sold the patent for the sock monkey doll to Nelson Knitting for $ 750 in 1955. Nelson began including instructions for making the sock monkey on every pack of Rockford Red Heel socks.

Vintage Christmas card.  Merry Christmas lettering

Image source: Photo repository

Image 1 Author: Verzhy
Vector ID: 7717590

Image 2 Author: Alisa Foytik
Image ID: 34452823


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