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How Intellectual Property Shapes New Year's Eve Shenanigans

How Intellectual Property Shapes New Year's Eve Shenanigans

News 29/12/2023

As the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, a cacophony of cheers, clinking glasses, and fizzing fireworks erupts across the globe. It is a time for reflection, resolutions, and a touch of pyrotechnic pandemonium. But amidst the revelry, there lies a hidden world of intellectual property (IP) – patents and trade marks that shape the very way we celebrate New Year’s Eve.

 

Fireworks Frenzy

New Year's without fireworks is like a party without cake. But these dazzling displays are more than just colourful explosions; they are the product of meticulous engineering and protected ingenuity. Pyrotechnics are constantly evolving, fuelled by the ingenuity of pioneering minds. Enterprising pyrotechnicians push the boundaries with innovations like whistling rockets (US Patent No. 5,018,440 for a "novel pyrotechnic whistle composition") that scream across the sky, leaving trails of sonic wonder. And then there are the multi-stage fireworks (US Patent No. 7,614,546 for a "staged pyrotechnic device and method"), unleashing a cascade of effects that transform the night into a breathtaking spectacle. These patented marvels, born from meticulous engineering and protected by IP, ensure the vibrant, dynamic displays that leave us gasping in awe every New Year's Eve.

Auld Lang Syne

As the clock strikes twelve, many raise a glass and belt out the Scottish ballad "Auld Lang Syne." But did you know this melody, now synonymous with New Year's, was once the subject of a legal battle? In 1912, music publisher Francis Hopkinson claimed copyright of the song, sparking outrage in Scotland. The ensuing public outcry and legal challenges confirmed "Auld Lang Syne" as a traditional work, free from copyright restrictions. This IP saga reminds us that certain cultural cornerstones transcend individual ownership and belong to the collective spirit.

Trade Mark Treats

From bubbly champagne to clinking champagne flutes, New Year's Eve is awash with branded beverages and accessories. Trade marks play a crucial role in protecting these symbols of celebration. The iconic Moët & Chandon champagne bottle, for instance, is protected by a registered trade mark (US Trademark Registration No. 76,091,209), safeguarding its distinctive silhouette and instantly recognizable label. Similarly, the Waterford Crystal "Lismore" champagne flute, renowned for its intricate cuts, boasts a trade mark (US Trademark Registration No. 1,427,053) that ensures its elegance graces only authentic glasses.

Resolution Revelry

New Year's resolutions, those whispered promises of self-improvement, are as much a tradition as fireworks and bubbly. But even these personal pledges can involve IP. Fitness trackers, language learning apps, and productivity planners, all marketed as tools to unlock your potential, are often protected by patents and trade marks. The "Peloton Bike" (US Patent No. D765,305), for example, revolutionised home fitness with its patented design and interactive platform, while brain-computer interface devices like the Muse headband (US Patent No. 10,043,570) utilise patented EEG technology to track brain activity and provide real-time feedback on meditation progress. This innovative approach, protected by IP, supports mindful habits and personal growth, helping us unlock the potential within.

IP Fireworks for the Future

As we step into a new year, the IP landscape surrounding New Year's celebrations continues to evolve. From innovations in firework technology to the rise of virtual reality experiences that transport you to Times Square, the possibilities are endless. We can expect to see more personalized celebrations, powered by AI and data-driven insights, with tailor-made fireworks displays and curated playlists synchronised to the chimes of midnight.

So, as you raise a glass this New Year's Eve, remember the invisible threads of IP woven into the very fabric of your celebration. It is a reminder that just as Secerna supports countless businesses in protecting their intellectual property, so too does IP provide the foundation for the traditions that bring us together. May this new year be filled with not just dazzling fireworks, but also with an abundance of opportunities and growth, supported by the power of intellectual property.

 

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and IP-filled New Year!

Dermot Medtech Rising 2023 Galway
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