During the summer months, beaches are major tourist destinations across the country. Americans take almost two billion trips to beaches every year and spend billions in beach communities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection agency. All of these beach visitors look for a variety of ways to enjoy their time near or in the water.
Today in IPWatchdog’s continuing Summer 2013 Fun series, we want to look at some very intriguing patent applications and issued patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding fun at the beach. A number of these documents describe active games for many participants that involve a lot of physical activity. One issued patent protects a safe game for young children who rush out to plant a flag in the coast while avoiding incoming waves. Another issued patent describes a portable tennis court for beach use.
Three other patent applications featured here encourage more passive forms of play and recreation. A first application would protect a style of beach golf where players can easily build a small course. Another patent application describes a portable beach toy kit that builds a more complete play environment, including a castle and a moat. Finally, we take a look at a patent application that would protect a board for a seashell collection game.
Beach Golf Hand Ball
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130017897
People often use the wide spaces available on beaches to play organized games in groups. Paddleball, bocce ball and volleyball are various games to be played on beach surfaces, but each have various drawbacks. Players may want more competitive forms of playing without requiring too much equipment in order to play.
This patent application, filed in January 2013 by joint inventors Gregory and Peggy Ann Tsiopanas of Pooler, GA, would protect a beach game where players try rolling balls into a cup entrenched into the sand. Players take a rigid PVC cup and create a hole in the sand so that the top of the cup is level with surrounding sand, laying the cup’s spade-shaped ridge on the bottom. Players take four balls and try to roll them into the cup across a distance of sandy beach.
Claim 1 of this patent application would give the inventors the legal right to protect:
“A beach golf game comprising: at least one rigid cup; a plurality of balls, each of the balls being sized to fit in the rigid cup; a rules sheet setting forth game rules and describing game play; and a carrying bag sized to encase at least the rigid cup and the balls.”
Castle and Moat Beach Toy
U.S. Patent Application 20100248581
Kits full of beach toys have long been a fixture at beaches and sandboxes across the country. Children often have access to toys, such as shovels, spades and sifters, but these only allow them to manipulate the sand in a few ways. Even when mesh bags are used to carry these toys, there can be excess sand and water that stay in the kit. If opened at home, this trapped water and sand can create a mess.
This patent application, filed by Scott Adams of Boca Raton, FL, is written to protect a beach toy kit that is compact while containing many toys a child could use at the beach. The kit is shaped as a sand castle mold and moat with a flexible sand liner. Various features, such as handles, can be separated from the castle and used as tools, including a shovel, a rake and a bridge.
As Claim 1 describes, Mr. Adams is seeking legal protections for:
“A beach toy kit comprising: a sand mold, a first accessory, a second accessory, and a third accessory; the sand mold having an opening and defining a partially closed volume, the partially closed volume being configured to provide storage for the first accessory; the second accessory being removably connected to the sand mold at the opening to hold the first accessory within the partially closed volume; the third accessory removably connected to an outside surface of the sand mold to form a handle for transporting the beach toy kit.”
U.S. Patent No. 5613689
Beach recreation can involve a number of very active sports and other games that provide a lot of physical exercise, including surfing and paddle boarding. Young children, however, may want to enjoy more exerting activities but cannot safely enter deep waters. There are not many games that young children can play which involve the water while keeping them incredibly safe from drowning hazards.
This game, patented by American inventor Erhan Gunday of Santa Barbara, CA, involves a group of players who engage in a game along a beach coast where the objective is to keep from getting too wet from incoming waves. Players race out towards the water as a wave travels back to sea, plant a flag, and then rush back to avoid the incoming wave. Water indicator bands worn around players’ ankles show if players were able to avoid the incoming wave.
Claim 1 of this patent gives the inventor legal protections over:
“A beach game comprising:
a plurality of poles, each pole having a first end which is adapted to be implantable in sand and a second end which is configured to be grippable by a person’s hand; and
a plurality of water indicators, each water indicator including means for attaching the water indicator to a person and a material which provides indication of contact of the material with water when the material contacts water.”
U.S. Patent Application No. 20120193871
Games can be invented from more passive forms of recreation. People of all ages enjoy combing a beach’s shores to find interesting items, such as beach glass or seashells. Seashells especially contain a great amount of historical and ecological information that might be even more interesting to those who enjoy collecting them.
This patent application, filed with the USPTO by Robert Levin of Navarre, FL, would protect a game board with many features that can turn seashell collecting into a more competitive and informational experience. The game board contains indentations that can hold seashells of different sizes and shapes, each with an accompanying point value. Labels affixed to the game board can describe seashells from different geographical locations and other educational material.
As Claim 1 states, Mr. Levin is seeking to earn the right to protect:
“A seashell game, comprising: a cover; and a game base, the game base being formed in the shape of a scallop shell, the game base having: a game face formed on a side of the game base; a plurality of ribs formed on the game face; a plurality of labels applied to the gameface; and a plurality of indents formed on the game face; wherein the cover is configured to fit over the game face.”
Portable Beach Game
U.S. Patent No. 4979754
Beach volleyball is a very popular sport, but other ball and net games are difficult to achieve because of the inability to bounce a ball on sand. Other portable tennis courts have been created in the past, but are non-conducive to beach environments. Some pre-existing portable kits have mechanisms that sand can damage or don’t include reboundable surfaces.
This patent, issued to Michael F. Eisenhart of Hatboro, PA, protects a portable tennis-style game that can be used on granular surfaces. This portable game kit includes plastic boards that are unfolded to determine the court’s boundaries. The plastic material creates a reboundable surface on top of granular surfaces like sand. The kit also includes net supports that can be anchored by filling the base with water or sand.
Claim 1 of this USPTO patent grants legal protections to Mr. Eisenhart for:
“An easily transportable and storable beach game that is played by hitting a ball back and forth across a net that includes
a foldable rectangular sheet that is spreadable upon the ground to define at least a portion of a playing court, said sheet combining with the ground to provide a rebounding surface for a ball,
a pair of hollow net support units positionable on either side of the sheet at the mid-court region, each support unit having a hollow base and a hollow post integral with said base, the width of the base being related to the height of the post so that the center of gravity of the support is located along the axis of the post below the mid-height of said support, each post having an open top to permit the support to be at least partially filled with water or sand to provide additional weight to said support,
each support unit post further including a pair of axially spaced connecting means for attaching a net thereto, and
a net having attaching means at opposite ends thereof for securing the net to the connecting means of said posts whereby the net is suspended across the court.”