15 Feb’24

Lynn’s Picks: Foresight’s Patent of the Week – US Granted Patent 9,601,033: Pop-Up Greeting Card with Tab Support of a Laser-Cut, Slice-From Pop-Up Element (LovePop)

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Disclaimer: This blog was created for informational purposes only and does not represent Foresight’s or the author’s opinion regarding the validity, quality or enforceability of any particular patent covered in this blog.  Foresight is not a law firm and no portion of the information contained in this blog was intended to serve as legal opinion.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the patent pick of the week is related to a trusted method of expressing your love and admiration to that special someone or secret admirer. This method of expression is rarely viewed through a technical, nor patent, lens; however, the use of written Valentine’s messages dates back to 1415 when the oldest known valentine poem was written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Fast forward to 2024 and many of us view Valentine’s Day cards as an exercise of searching through rows of cards at the local grocery store in the hopes of finding one that captures a moment or provides a laugh, but what does this have to do with patents? This week’s pick is from a company that got its big break in 2015 when LovePop was selected to appear on Shark Tank and managed to secure an investment from Kevin O’Leary (aka Mr. Wonderful), who invested $300,000 for a 15% of the company. Since that investment, LovePop has sold over 55 million cards.

While you may not recognize the LovePop name, you will likely have seen their cards on display for every major holiday. The images below should refresh your memory of the unique design of these cards.

LovePop has built its business around 3 dimensional fold-flat cards, with designs covering every major holiday, event and even custom designs for large brands such as Marvel, Star Wars and even The Office. While LovePop can attribute some of its success to the exposure generated from Shark Tank, the reality of their lasting success and the reason you do not see an abundance of similar 3D cards is due to the intellectual property portfolio held by LovePop. The first application filed by LovePop occurred the same year as their Shark Tank debut, and since that date, the company has grown their portfolio annually with multiple applications filed and granted every year since 2015 for a total of 31 granted US patents as of the writing of this article. The patent that started it all for LovePop is the pick for this week, patent number 9,601,033. This patent was granted in 2017 from the 2015 filing mentioned above and is titled “Pop-up greeting car with tab support of a laser-cut, slide-form pop-up element.”

As seen in the images below, the patent relates to the process and article of creating and combining slice forms (combining 2D slices of an object to form a 3D final product) in a manner that would allow the card to lay flat when folded and open into the desired design when unfolded. The patent claims are primarily focused on the use of multiple slice forms, arranged in such a way and coupled to the card in such a way to create the 3D final form when unfolded.

This seemingly simple process has morphed into blank canvas onto which the only limitation is the creativity of the designer and the tolerances of the laser cutting machine. Next time you find yourself pacing the card aisle in the desperate, usually last minute, search for the perfect card, think about the combination of intellectual property on display. From patented pop-up cards, to trademarked cards from companies like Hallmark and copyrighted material from movies or famous artists, this relatively non-technical space found in every grocery store is a microcosm of intellectual property protection and monetization.

Have you come across any interesting patents you would like us to feature in future blogs or did you invent a technology you would like featured? Please send us an email at media@foresightvaluation.com or call our office at (650) 561-3374.