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Halloween & Intellectual Property

As we approach the end of October, a big portion of the world will be partaking in the celebration of Halloween. October 31st to some will be just another day, while to others it will be the opportunity to indulge in spooky dressing, pumpkin carving, body painting and adventurous trick-or-treating.

As in any other festival or celebration in our modern world, the magic of Halloween is made possible by the imagination and creativity of businesses and individuals alike. This creativity and imagination are very often protected by intellectual property rights.

Halloween related IP rights

From candys to toys and costume’s designs; intellectual property rights play an important part in the businesses of Halloween.


Many candy configurations are registered as non-traditional trademarks which include Hershey’s Kisses, pyramid shape of Toblerones, Twizzlers, Tootsie Roll’s, skittles and many more. One company evn developed a special treat for dogs “ The Official Dog Treat of Halloween (US Trademark: 4738563)


Halloween related inventions are protected under patents.

Forbes offers a Top 10 Halloween Inventions including:

  • Halloween house projector; a 2016 invention by Ryan Franklin Darling (US patent number 9451245B1). A three dimensional digitizing and projection system that scans and digitizes your house so it can project it to look like a haunted mansion.

  • Smart Halloween Candle ; a 2017 invention from Ludela, Inc (US patent number 7866276B2).

  • Spider Web Maker allows you to weave your own webs. A 2011 patent for a hand held gun that uses pressurised air directed into a stream of hot glue discharging nozzle to create web-like filaments that dry and cool quickly

Spider Web "Gun"patent image
Image from Spider Web Maker patent. US7866276B2

In the United Kingdom the Word Mark “Halloween halloweeny” was awarded in February 2017 under class 41 for education, training, entertainment and cultural activities. Application number UK00002601336 to Timothy Kingham.


There isn’t a Halloween without fancy dressing and costumes. Spooky costumes are best sellers, many of which are very often inspired by protected original designs. While design elements in the costumes can be protected by copyrights, other more innovative concepts can fall under the banner of designs marks, trademarks and patents.

  • One such costume is the WEATHER CLIMATE ADAPTIVE HALLOWEEN COSTUME (US patent 6904612); which is adaptable to accommodate changes in climate.

For pet owners, a design patent by PET COSTUME (US patent D699403) depicts a toy surfer riding a surfboard on the dob’s back.

Although people can create their own designs, protection is mostly accorded to those designs used for commercial purposes.

Body painting

Body art and painting has gained an unprecedented recognition in the last decade with artists creating unique and mind blowing experiences by using the human body as canvas. This type of art work falls under the banner of copyrights.

However for this right to be enforced the artist must first register their unique and original design.

  • Tree Frog by Johannes Stoetter consists of five made-up bodies. Stoetter was crowned the 2012 World BodyPainting champion and is internationally known for his artistic skills with skin.

  • Venom Body Painting by Sevil Beck from the UK

  • 3D Carved Leg by Russina grafiti artist Znag.

Halloween is a spooky, fun and creative celebration that many businesses and creatives rely on to generate revenues. Regardless of how some feel about candys and costumes, we must recognise and celebrate the importance that intellectual property rights play in promoting and protecting businesses and individual innovation and creativity.

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