Around the world, inventors are coming up with improvements for everything from running shoes to swimsuit material. When a better tennis racket or mountain bike is developed, the inventor may be able to claim numerous advantages.
A desirable new product in the sporting goods industry can mean increased sales, better brand exposure and the opportunity for lucrative licensing deals. However, all of those things may be in jeopardy if the inventor fails to protect his innovation with a patent.
Patenting Sporting Goods
Holding a patent ensures that the inventor holds the only rights to the invention for a prescribed period of years. This provides the inventor with time to make the most of their hard work.
Whether the invention improves athlete performance or makes participation safer, a patent is the only way to protect the rights of the inventor. Patents, regardless of their specific subject matter, are designed to not only protect new inventions but also to assist with the diffusion of technology.
How Does a Patent Protect Your Rights?
This is accomplished by providing the patent holder with a period of time, usually 20 years, in which they have the sole right to make, use or sell the invention that is covered by that patent. The system is designed to give inventors an incentive to come up with new and better products and processes. The research and development period can be long and costly. Having the exclusive right to use the patented technology provides the inventor with a chance to recoup their time and money.
At the same time, the patent holder has the legal right to prevent others from making, using, selling or distributing a competing product that infringes on the invention that is covered by the patent. These legal remedies include everything up to and including litigation, which may be critical when it comes to stopping others from infringing on the patent holder’s rights.
The patent system encourages manufacturers and innovators in the sporting goods industry by providing an incentive for inventions. Additionally, holding a patent is an excellent way to persuade investors to put their money into a new venture. Innovators also may appreciate that the patent system helps to expand public knowledge.
The result of the patents that have already been awarded in the sporting goods field is a move away from the natural materials such as rubber, wood, gut and twine that used to prevail in the manufacturing of equipment. Today, equipment is made from manmade materials that are incredibly sophisticated. These materials may include polymers and alloys that the sporting goods manufacturers of decades ago could not have dreamed of.
These advances have made equipment lighter and stronger than ever before, increasing their durability and their ease of use. At the same time, this revolutionary equipment has led to fewer injuries and improved athletic performance for everyone from amateurs to professionals.
Which Sporting Goods Can Be Patented?
Comfortable gloves with anti-slip grips, faster surfboards, aerodynamic bobsleds and improved stopwatches are just a few examples of the many sporting goods patents that have been obtained by manufacturers over the years. Other patents relate to supplements for nutrition and muscle building as well as sports drinks, demonstrating just how varied this field is.
The practitioners at Williams IP Law have extensive experience when it comes to working with individuals and companies that develop sporting goods equipment. Practicing in diverse areas like volleyball, skateboarding, roller hockey, skiing and more, Williams IP Law is uniquely qualified to help designers and developers obtain appropriate protection for their innovations.
At Williams IP Law, clients are provided with strategic legal advice in addition to well-informed business insight to help them make the best decisions possible. Providing comprehensive legal counsel for every aspect of intellectual property is the main focus of the Williams IP Law practice, making them the ideal advocates for innovators in the world of sporting goods.
Whether you are interested in protecting your invention in the U.S. only or in various regions around the world, Williams IP Law stands ready to provide reliable legal advice that ensures that you can always take full advantage of your intellectual property rights.