What’s cooler? Patents for summer fun!

By Debby Winters

As Labor Day approaches and summer season ends, we should take some time to look back at patents that increase our summer fun.

Remember having fun as a kid in splash pools and on water slides? U.S. Patent No. 4,910,814 issued in 1990 is surely a favorite of kids of all ages. As is U.S. Patent No. for the water slide. The water slide patent U.S. Patent No. 4,540,622 is described as a device for reducing the impact felt by riders when they contact the slower-moving water at the bottom of an incline. Anyone remember how much impact was felt on these water slides. I can’t imagine that it was reduced by a whole lot!

Other memorable summer fun from years past includes patents for things like the Portable Grill U.S. Patent No. 4,878,476, and the Ice Cream Scoop U.S. Patent No. 4,721,449. There are a number of ice cream scoops that are patented with the variable being the handle or the mechanism for removing the ice cream from the scoop. Other things we associate with summer that have received patents are beach items such as beach toys and games like beach golf, scuba equipment, and swim wear.

What would summer be without beverage mixers or blenders? Many different types of blenders have been patented, mostly different mechanisms for chopping up the food we all like to make into a liquid beverage but the end result of blending is all the same. There are also patents on coolers to keep your beach beverages cool and one on a self-cooling beverage cooler that is “not dependent on chemicals or power sources” to cool your beverages “in inconvenient places or times.”

A new cooler to emerge for this summer combines the cooler and the blender and calls itself Coolest Cooler. It boasts of LED lights to make it easier to find items at night, gear tie down bungees, cooler dividers, a cutting board, storage for plates and knives, extra wide tires for rolling, and last but not least a bottle opener. This Coolest Cooler raised money on a Kickstarter campaign to get the cooler in production. They claimed that this multi-faceted cooler will be the envy of tailgaters, parrotheads,  fraternity brothers picnickers, and cabin owners everywhere. How successful the patent application and the marketing strategy are remains to be seen.