Yes, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Ignacio Marc Asperas’s application to patent an “Apparatus for facilitating the construction of a snowman/woman.”
And in case you thought this was a joke, it’s not — it even says so right in the patent: “The following is not a joke patent. Its [sic] completely serious and is a serious undertaking to obtain a patent.”
The first paragraph lays the foundation for the patent as such:
The history of the snow man [sic] or snow woman [sic] is unknown. But, I have to say this. Whoever the first person was to think to form snow into a human figure was a genius. For untold years thereafter, children and adults alike have been thrilled and received joy in making and watching others make snowmen, err women. You know what I mean.
You can find all the details at Patent #8,011,991, but if you’re only interested in the cold, hard facts, the patent consists largely of instructions and advice on how to roll the balls that make up a snowman’s body (aka “snow spheres”) as well as the other body parts.
Within the application, Asperas humbly accepts his place in patent history: “I do not pretend that the ultimate Snow Man [sic] will be as revolutionary to the advancement of mankind [as the wheel], but I do contend that as far as I know no one has ever conceived and reduced to practice such an apparatus.”
Oh come on. If you’ve ever built a snowman, you know there’s definite technique involved — but if you haven’t had the pleasure or simply weren’t aware of this fact of nature, you might consider getting some tips from Alveras’s method.
But just don’t copy it.
You wouldn’t want your backyard Frosty to snowball into a patent infringement lawsuit.