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Golf Patents: Everything You Need to Know

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A ton of innovation goes into golf equipment and accessories that help players achieve the perfect swing. So, it is no wonder that golf is the leading sport in the United States in terms of patents filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Over 500 golf patents were issued by the USPTO in 2020! Tees, club design, practice putting greens and mats, and golf swing assistance devices are just a few of the many contraptions invented to improve one’s form and technique.  

Types of Patents

A golf-related innovation is usually either some sort of device, like a new golf club handle or high-tech gadget that lets a player know how accurate their swing is, or the innovation can lie in the specific design of golf equipment, such as how the specific dimpling on a golf ball can generate lift or the patterning on a driver’s head can enhance performance of the club. There are two types of patents that are particularly relevant to golf-related inventions – utility patents and design patents

  • Golf Utility Patents – A utility patent, when issued, offers 20 years of protection against others making, selling or using the invention, starting from the date the patent application was filed. Utility patents in the golf world are for inventions related to swing assistance devices, training aids for improving your swing, golf gloves and cleats, golf club heads and handles, golf course scheduling management software and mobile apps, and the like. 
  • Golf Design Patents – Design patents offer protection on specific ornamental features or designs (e.g., how the device looks, is shaped, its surface configuration, etc.), and protection lasts for fifteen years from issuance. Design patents are useful for protecting the surface patterning of a golf ball or the head configuration of a driver, putter or other golf club head. 

Golf Club Patents

Any avid golfer is familiar with the brands Callaway, Ping and TaylorMade as these are some of the main manufacturers of golf clubs. And these companies hold a great many number of patents on their specific golf club lines of products. For instance, the Callaway GBB Epic Driver has several patents protecting its design and functionality, including U.S. Patent No. 9,174,097 (a utility patent on the adjustable shaft and hosel assembly) and U.S. Design Patent Nos. D813,331, D813,332, and D813,333, are each directed to ornamental design features on the Epic club head. Similarly, Ping’s incredibly popular G® Driver is protected by over twenty patents. TaylorMade’s patent portfolio for the SIM driver 2020 contains upwards of 100 patents. When it comes to protecting novel features and designs of golf clubs against infringement by competitors and knockoff suppliers, these companies take patenting seriously. 

Golf Club Patent Example: Callaway Big Bertha Driver – Patent D786,993

Golf Ball Patents

It isn’t just protecting golf clubs with patents that is a big deal in the golf industry. Golf balls are the subject of many patents as well. Companies like Acushnet and Callaway have extensive patent portfolios directed to various features of golf balls – from surface dimpling patterns (U.S. Patent No. 6,945,880), to golf ball construction (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,744,491 and 10,058,741), to golf balls that contain electrical components (U.S. Patent No. 10,688,366). There are literally thousands of patents directed specifically to golf balls. 

Golf Software Patents

Software has also been integrated into a number of golf-related innovations. For instance, there are a number of golf training devices and tools that use software to analyze a player’s swing, trajectory, and form (such as U.S. Patent Nos. 8,202,248 and 10,201,739). Players who want to improve their skills can get virtual lessons online using patented web based interactive lessons (U.S. Patent No. 8,613,620). Patent applications have been filed on portable score keeping devices (U.S. Publication No. 2005/0096761), devices that track pace of play using software (U.S. Publication No. 2018/0204227), computerized systems for managing traffic on busy golf courses (U.S. Publication No. 2017/0164152), and scheduling software for tee time (U.S. Patent No. 8,457,883). 

Want to Protect Your Golf Related Invention? Here’s Where to Start. 

Golfers are passionate individuals who often have great ideas on how to improve their game. These ideas could be patent worthy, and a good place to start when you think you have a great new golf idea is to conduct a prior art search – and more specifically, to hire a trained professional to conduct a prior art search for you. A prior art search involves researching relevant patents and published applications, as well as digging into literature and looking for products that are already available on the market. By seeing what is already out there, a trained professional can better evaluate whether your golf idea is a good candidate for patent protection.    

The professionals at the Rapacke Law Group have extensive experience performing prior art searches, and have worked with a number of avid golfers to protect their novel golf inventions.  Feel free to contact us today for a free initial consultation

Source: https://arapackelaw.com/patents/golf-patents-everything-you-need-to-know/

Patents

Covid-19: video shows how the virus spreads in school classrooms

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Researchers from the University of Cassino and Basso Lazio have made a video to explain how Covid-19 spreads inside school classrooms.

Are schools a safe place? Is it possible to contract Covid-19 in classrooms despite the masks and social distancing imposed by school authorities? These questions have been accompanying (and disturbing) politicians and many parents or relatives of school-age boys and girls for months. In an attempt to provide an authoritative answer, researchers at the University of Cassino and Lazio Meridionale have used a statistical model called AIRC (Airbone Infection Risk Calculator). This is an algorithm that determines the risk of Covid-19 infection in indoor environments. The AIRC model takes into account many variations: the professor speaking loudly or with a microphone, the windows open or closed, the type of mask worn. The result is a very accurate calculation of the risk of Covid-19 infection in classrooms.

Read also →  Coronavirus: ‘Dogs and cats can be infected by their owners’

Covid-19 in school classrooms: how does contagion occur?

This is not the first time that researchers have used statistical models to calculate the risk of Covid-19 infection indoors. Already during the first pandemic wave, MSC Software – an American company specialising in data processing and three-dimensional rendering – created a simulation showing the spread of the Coronavirus in an underground car. The study was coordinated by a team of virologists and researchers from the University of Leicester. The simulation was very accurate and compared the risks with and without the mask (WATCH VIDEO HERE). Of course, the results of the rendering showed that the probability of infection is much higher when users do not wear a mask and do not respect social distancing.

You might also be interested in → Coronavirus: will we ever get back to normal life? The opinion of the virologist Viola

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Source: https://www.thepatent.news/2021/03/07/covid-19-video-virus-spreads-school-classroom/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=covid-19-video-virus-spreads-school-classroom

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Most read news of the week: 5 March

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Last week’s most read news selected by the editors: Clou Box, Arianna ths smart vase and the digital video sold for 6 billion by Christie’s

What are the most read news stories of the last week? What were the trending topics in the world of innovation? What was talked about on social networks around the world? To answer these questions, we have selected the news that, in the last week, has had more visibility on our portal and have ignited the curiosity of our readers.

The most read news of the week

Clou Box: the patent to recycle used condoms

Clou Box, a portable and very discreet dispenser used to collect and recycle used condoms.The young Sicilian inventor Giovanni Farinella has created a very special patent. The project is called Clou Box (Clean Up After Clou!) and is a sort of very small and practical sachet dispenser. The device can be inserted inside the packaging of condoms without increasing the external dimensions or affecting the content inside. Once “completed the use”, the user can insert the used condom inside one of the Clou Box airtight sachets. READ MORE

Arianna: the “intelligent” vase that detects particulate matter

arianna vase particulate matterPaolo Barbato, Carlo Alberto Gaetaniello, Fulvio Bambusi and Andrea Bassi have designed a modular structure that can be placed on balconies or windowsills of city apartments to measure air quality. The pot is made of recycled plastic with a 3D printer. At the top, there is a solar panel that provides power to the device. At the bottom, however, there is an air intake with an air particulate sensor that detects the presence of fine dust or other pollutants. READ MORE

A 10-second digital video sold for $6.6 billion

video bilions soldHow much can a 10-second video be worth? We’re not talking about a super exclusive image, an epic fail of some superstar or a film that depicts a natural event more unique than rare. We’re talking about an animated digital collage made on a PC. Well, for such a video someone paid the astronomical sum of 6.6 million dollars (just over 6 million euros). The reason? The author: the video is the work of Beeple – pseudonym of Mike Winkelman – a grapich designer from South Carolina with a huge following on social networks. READ MORE

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Source: https://www.thepatent.news/2021/03/06/most-read-news-week-5-march/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=most-read-news-week-5-march

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Envipco and DPG settle dispute over bottle deposit system

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Dutch Envipco Holding and DPG Deutsche Pfandsystem jointly announced a settlement agreement in February. Both parties agreed on a resolution of all pending legal disputes in Germany. As such, the two parties did not face each other in other countries. The dispute concerns bottle deposit systems in Germany.

DPG will make a onetime lump-sum payment of €1.85 million to Envipco. The Dutch company withdrew the appeal against the revocation of patent DE 10 2006 011 143 B4 and three related infringement actions.

In 2017, Envipco filed suits against beverage manufacturer Gerolsteiner at the Regional Court Mannheim (case ID: 2 O 80/17), retail company Netto at the Regional Court Düsseldorf (case ID: 4b O 48/17) and manufacturer of bottle labels Rako at the Regional Court Hamburg (case ID: 327 O 152/17).

Envipco accused the three companies of infringing German patent DE 143. This protects a technique for reading security features.

It is unclear why Envipco did not sue DPG as the operator of the deposit system or Tomra as the largest manufacturer of reverse vending machines directly. However, the three defendants are important participants in the deposit system. Most likely, this increased the pressure on DPG.

As a result, DPG joined all infringement proceedings as co-defendant. Tomra only joined Gerolsteiner and Netto as co-defendant.

Strong economic factor

The German deposit system is the most advanced in Europe. Several billion glass and PET bottles and aluminium cans are in circulation, most of which require a mandatory deposit. All German supermarkets have machines where customers can return empty bottles and cans. Germans recycle 95 percent of these, according to the Federal Environment Agency.

bottle deposit system

Felix Rödiger

DPG operates this system, which turns over an estimated several billion euros per year. A shutdown of the machines due to a patent infringement would have meant serious economic consequences. Therefore, the lawsuits were met with huge resistance.

In 2016 DPG filed an opposition against the granting of the patent at the German Patent and Trademark Office. Netto and Tomra later joined the opposition. Quiss AG, a manufacturer of  turnkey image processing solutions, also participated in this case but is not involved in the infringement suits against the deposit system.

The German Patent and Trademark Office revoked the Envipco patent in June 2019 (case ID: 10 2006 011 143.5). The Dutch company filed an appeal and since then, the infringement proceedings in Düsseldorf, Mannheim and Hamburg have been stayed.

Bottle deposit new business policy

The parties did not comment on the reasons for the settlement. However, the revocation of the disputed patent may have contributed to this. Another possible reason is a change in management at Envipco.

Simon Bolton, the new CEO of Envipco comments, “Settling the IP and other litigation matters in Germany at this time is appropriate for the company. It allows the company to be fully focused on building the organisation and executing to deliver on the exciting DRS opportunities ahead.”

Envipco is a Netherlands-based holding company. It develops and operates reverse vending machines (RVMs), automated technological systems for the recovery of used beverage containers. Envipco is not currently active in the German market, although it is considered extremely attractive market for the company. Competitor Tomra manufactures the majority of the returnable bottle machines.

bottle deposit system

Martin Fähndrich

Tomra changes law firm

Most parties involved in the proceedings worked with their go-to firms from the beginning. Bird & Bird has a long-standing relationship with Envipco. It conducted the proceedings with a mixed team of lawyers and patent attorneys led by Düsseldorf partner Felix Rödiger.

Conversely, Tomra changed horses during the trial. Initially, the vending machine manufacturer was represented by a Munich-based patent attorney firm. Later, however, Hogan Lovells partner, and dual-qualified lawyer and patent attorney, Martin Fähndrich took over the litigation.

For Envipco
Bird & Bird (Düsseldorf): Felix Rödiger (lead), Jonas Smeets (Düsseldorf, both IP), Felix Harbsmeier, Moritz Neidel (Hamburg, both patent attorneys), Jörg Witting (Düsseldorf, anti-trust law), Benedikt Burger (Frankfurt, insolvency law), Michael Brooks-Zavodsky (Düsseldorf, litigation), Alexander Csaki (Munich, public law)

For DPG
K&L Gates (Berlin): Klaus Schubert (lead), Julia Goetz; Christiane Schweizer (patent attorney)
Eisenführ Speiser (Berlin): Joachim von Oppen (patent attorney)

bottle deposit system

Tobias Wuttke

For Tomra
Hogan Lovells (Düsseldorf): Martin Fähndrich, Frederic Mühlenbruch

For Netto
Meissner Bolte (Munich): Tobias Wuttke (lead), Stefan Zech, Florian Henke (both patent attorneys)

For Gerolsteiner
CMS Hasche Sigle (Cologne): Gerd Schoenen, Simon Biermann
btb Bungartz Baltzer (Cologne): Klaus Bungartz (patent attorney)

For Rako
Esche Schümann Commichau (Hamburg): Oliver Stegmann

For Quiss
Kehl Ascherl Liebhoff & Ettmayr (Munich): Andreas Ascherl (patent attorney)

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Source: https://www.juve-patent.com/news-and-stories/cases/envipco-and-dpg-settle-dispute-over-bottle-deposit-system/

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A 10-second digital video sold for $6.6 billion

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This is a video collage made by the American artist Beeple and sold at auction by Christie’s for 6.6 billion dollars: let’s try to understand why it is worth so much

How much can a 10-second video be worth? We’re not talking about a super exclusive image, an epic fail of some superstar or a film that depicts a natural event more unique than rare. We’re talking about an animated digital collage made on a PC. Well, for such a video someone paid the astronomical sum of 6.6 million dollars (just over 6 million euros). The reason? The author: the video is the work of Beeple – pseudonym of Mike Winkelman – a grapich designer from South Carolina with a huge following on social networks. The American artist is considered one of the major exponents of the “digital art community” and has created a real cultural movement known as “everyday”. In practice, since 2007, every day Beeple creates and shares on his social channels an image created with three-dimensional graphics programs. The video sold for 6.6 million dollars is just a collection of 5000 images made daily by Beeple in the last 13 years.

Read also —> Arianna: the “intelligent” vase that detects particulate matter

A 10-second digital video has been sold for 6.6 billion dollars

The video has a duration of 10 seconds and contains 5000 images made by Beeple since 2007. These are mostly surreal scenes and drawings of politicians such as Donald Trump and Mao Tse Tung. Alongside world leaders, there’s also room for cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse or Pokemon. The images were put together using the digital collage technique. There is no common thread but, according to the artist, the work speaks of society’s “fears and obsessions in the face of technology.” The video has been sold by the historic London auction house Christie’s that for the first time in its history, has put up for auction a 100% digital work (i.e. without any physical component). The starting price was just 100 dollars but – within a few minutes – the astronomical figure of 6.6 billion dollars was reached. The identity of the buyer is unknown but we know that the video is protected by a complex blockchain system with an encrypted NFT (Non Fungible Token) that contains the artist’s signature and “guarantees” the authenticity of the work.

You might also be interested in —> SSC Tuatara is the fastest production car in the world: 455 km/h

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Source: https://www.thepatent.news/2021/03/03/10-second-digital-video-sold-6-6-billion/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=10-second-digital-video-sold-6-6-billion

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