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Patent Numbers and IMC Codes


Located on one side of the stem, and towards the bottom, you will find a line of molded type that will say either "U.S. Patent #X,XXX,XXX", or European Patent "DBP 818,829" (Deutsches Bundes Patent), or the words "BOX Patent".

BOX Patent -

The "BOX Patent" marking is the oldest *patent* found on a PEZ dispenser. This marking can only be found on original regulars. It is my opinion that in reality this marking is more equivalent to "Patent Pending". I'm basing this guess on the fact that PEZ called their early regulars "PEZ BOX", and typically any type of a patent marking would contain some type of a number. To continue with this line of reasoning, I also guess that the "flower" shape under the word "PATENT" was a type of *place holder* that would eventually be replaced with a correct patent number.

US Zone Patent -

After the fall of Germany in World War II, the Allies (US, Britain, Russia, and France) occupied Germany and sectioned the country (including the Capital of Berlin) off into four zones. During this time PEZ's manufacturing plant was located in the American controlled zone. All dispensers made in this plant during this era had this unique Patent marking applied on them. Since PEZ was not yet manufacturing dispensers with character heads on them, only Vintage Regulars from this time period will have the "Made in Germany, US Zone" Patent marking.

Patent Dating -

The patent number molded onto the stem changed every time PEZ, Inc. made a significant change in the design of the dispenser, and reapplied for a new Patent Number.  By looking at the patent number, you can also determine a rough guess of the dispenser's age.  The patent number timeline is as follows:

Series Patent Number Year
- BOX Pre-1950's
- DBP 818,829 1950's
1st 2,620,061 1952
2nd 3,410,455 1968
3rd 3,845,882 1974
4th 3,942,683 1976
5th 4,966,305 1990

No-Patent Dispensers -

There were a series of dispensers that were manufactured during the mid 70's to mid 80's that did not have a Patent number molded on the stem. These dispensers came out at about the same time as 3.9 Patent dispensers, and are referred to as 3.9, No Patent dispensers. Since these "No Patent" stems are only found on non-footed PEZ, it is my opinion that they are another transitional piece during the 3.9 era that bridged the gap between non-footed and footed PEZ.


PEZ IMC (Injection Molding Code) Numbers and Country of Origin -

On most PEZ dispensers, located on one side of the stem, and towards the top, you will find a single or double digit number molded in the plastic.  This number is a code number that relates to a specific Injection Molding facility (manufacturing / molding plant) used by PEZ. A single digit number is the most common occurrence and indicates which country the molding plant is/was located.  The IMC Code numbers are as follows:

Note:   Where two countries are indicated, the first country came first in time.

IMC # Country of Origin

Austria / Hungary (1991)

2 Austria / Hong Kong
3 Austria / Hungary (1991)
4/1 * Austria
4/2 * Austria
4/3 * Austria
4/4 * Austria
4/5 * Austria
4/6 * Austria
4/7 * Austria
4/8 * Austria
5 Jugoslavia / Yugoslavia / Slovenia (1992)
6 Hong Kong / China (1991)
7 Hong Kong / Austria / Czechoslovakia / Czech Republic
8 Austria
9 Vermont, U.S.A.
V Jugoslavia / Yugoslavia

* Denotes a Dual IMC marking (see below). The first number is the primary number and the second number is the secondary one.

Dual IMC Codes -

A double-digit IMC code, as shown above, is commonly called a Dual IMC code. Stems with these codes are harder to find. PEZ used Dual IMC codes to help identify a specific facility in a country that had several molding plants.  The first number, like the single-digit code, identified the country of origin.  The second number (subscript) identified the specific facility within that country.

Country of Origin -

In addition to the IMC Code, PEZ also clearly marked the Country of Origin on the stem, right below the Patent Number. They molded this notation on the stems so that the dispensers would comply with the United States import regulations.

Pictured below are the main Country of Origin markings:


Made in Austria

Made in China

Made in Czechoslovakia

Made in Czech Republic

Made in Hong Kong

Made in Hungary

Made in Jugoslavia

Made in Yugoslavia

Made in Mexico

Made in Mexico

Made in Slovenia

Made in Spain

Made in USA!