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The IP of Santa's Sleigh

The intellectual property of Claus: 9 inventions that make the flight of Santa's Sleigh possible.

If you ever wondered how Santa gets it done, and wanted to explain it to kids, here’s the science and intellectual property behind the fame explained in original seasonal artwork. All the patents and IP innovation that help Team Rudolph: GPS-enabled route planning, aerodynamics, propulsion, nanotech composites, nutrition, and anti-friction lacquer for the sleigh runners.

IP of Santa's Sleigh-Digital


Happy Holidays from everyone at IPfolio!


Santa's Portly Patent Portfolio

Rapid-start Turbineless Jet engine

US 825085 SC: Rapid-start turbineless jet engine comprising fuel delivery and combustion, and airflow control.

Christmas Eve is all about take-offs and landings. Repeated over and over and over. A team of reindeer needs a helping hand so Santa adapted a solid fuel rocket patent, originally granted to Los Alamos National Laboratory, to provide Rudolph & Co. with a little jet propulsion.

Aerodynamic Body Fairings for Large Sleighs

US 710822 SC: The invention described here provides better aerodynamics for large sleighs in flight.

In Jan. 2011, three elves (magna cum laude grads in aeronautical engineering) slipped into Boeing Test & Evaluation's wind tunnel for airflow testing. Adapting an invention originally designed for airplane wheel fairings, they reduced aerodynamic drag by 95% compared to the 1964 Rankin/Bass sleigh.

Self-Steering Apparatus for Sleighs

US 407851 SC: A self-steering device for sleighs that transmits pivotal movements to a reindeer harness.

Santa doesn’t ignore safety, even when digging into his sack to find the next gift. These hand-free moments require self steering. A self steering device for sailboats patented in 1975 provided the inspiration for one of the most important safety elements of Santa’s sleigh. Steering control is automatically transmitted to the reindeer harness, a necessity in crowded urban centers.

Wear-Resistant Anti-friction Lacquer for Runners

US 2012010318 SC: A coating comprising a phenolic resin and lubricant with an advantageous wear resistance and friction coefficient

Nippon Paint Company’s anti-friction technology for engine pistons inspired Elf Josefina Charvet to improve the wear resistance and friction coefficient of the sleigh runners. After clock making shifts in the Workshop, she spent evenings in Chem Lab #19. Six months later, she had perfected a new phenolic resin and lubricant coating, which was first used on Christmas Eve 2014

Carbon Fibre Nanotube Composite Material

EP 10444871 SC: The invention provides a carbon fiber nanotube composite material with excellent strength and impact resistance.

“The lighter the flight, the shorter the night.”

This message hangs on the wall of “Elven Aeronautics,” inspiring each generation of researchers striving to minimize the take-off weight of Santa’s sleigh. The latest generation of epoxy resin/carbon fiber/halloysite nanotube composite material reduced its unladen weight to 87kg.

Childrens' Name-Based GPS Navigation System

EP 10444872 SC: The invention provides a carbon fiber nanotube composite material with excellent strength and impact resistance.

Big Data puts big smiles on kids’ faces. The advent of GPS navigation and route planning software makes it simple for Santa to plan and prioritize December 24. A 2014 patent for a delivery route system inspired Santa to upgrade his distribution planning process. Using the Lean Startup model, Santa bootstrapped product development to automate delivery based on a child's annual behavior.

Reindeer Feed Additive

US 668276 SC: A reindeer feed additive containing 56% electrolytes, carrots and olive oil to increase time in flight.

The Bar-Tailed Godwit can fly over 10,000 km non-stop while migrating. Santa’s reindeer cover the latitude and longitude of the globe in one night. To improve their time-in-flight and speed over open water, Santa’s nutritional scientists created a reindeer feed additive, based on nutritional research funded by Heart-O-Dixie Animal Nutrition, which contains 56% electrolytes, carrots and olive oil.

Lighting System With Snow Melting Function

US 531141 SC: Lighting system combining lighting and heat-dissipating surfaces to counter snow and fog.

Upgrades in LED lighting technology since 1995 have helped Rudolph improve his confidence during inclement weather, such as snow and fog. Santa’s newest system combines lighting and heat-dissipating surfaces that prevent snow and ice from accumulating on the light-emitting window. The system was rigorously tested during the Polar Vortex of 2014-15, and certified as SantaSafe (TM).

Reindeer Harness for Take-Off and Landing

US 6513461 SC: A harness device for assisting reindeer to fly and land on a variety of surfaces, including roofs.

Santa lives a long way from the nearest farm, but an invention to help newborn livestock walk was the catalyst for a harness device first used in 2007. The harness helps reindeer with load distribution, and improves in-flight balance. Most importantly, it helps them land on a variety of surfaces, including the steep roofs so common in Western Europe

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