Posts Tagged: "Summer Fun"

The Evolution of Roller Coasters: From Russian Ice Slides to American Steel Marvels

The development of the roller coaster as a ride for thrill seekers is primarily an American invention but the story of the modern coaster’s development spans centuries and continents. Roller coasters have served purposes as diverse as human entertainment and coal transportation. They have been the centerpieces of some of the most famous theme parks in history. As millions of people lower their shoulder harnesses and strap in for the ride this summer, let’s take a quick look back at the intriguing story of the origins of the modern roller coaster and how it has changed over the years.

A history of the bikini, a beloved innovation in fashion design

The bikini is an invention of fashion design that so rocked the world that it was named for a nuclear event, latching on to a growing zeitgeist inspired by the atomic bomb. So why are we talking about bikini’s? Frequent readers know that for holidays we like to find an appropriate holiday theme that allows us to write about patents, innovation, technology, or intellectual property. When we recently saw the new Carl’s Jr. commercial for the All American Burger, with its over the top American imagery, our minds started racing. How could we use that as a hook for a patent related article? Easy. We return to our evolution series, this time looking at the innovative fashion design icon that is the bikini.

Summer Fun Patent Style: Patentable 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.

Fun in the Sun Patent Style: Lifeguard Patents

Today in IPWatchdog’s 2013 Summer Fun series, we’re taking a look at patents that recognize the importance of safety at the pool or beach. A number of patent applications and issued patents published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that we feature in today’s column describe systems and tools to aid lifeguards in their work. One patent application explains a buoy system that can wrangle multiple distressed swimmers and provide them with a flotation line. One issued patent protects a rescue tube with a recessed extension strap for safer use. A second issued patent protects a system of detecting rip tides through computer analysis of video. Two other documents we’re discussing here create safety systems for swimmers when there are no lifeguards present, or if a lifeguard can’t detect a problem. One issued patent is for an alarm system that sounds if it detects that a swimmer is in danger. Finally, one last issued patent discusses an emergency contact system for putting poolside rescuers who aren’t trained to react to emergencies in touch with emergency personnel.

Fun in the Sun Patent Style: Let’s Go Surfing Now!

Today in IPWatchdog’s Summer Fun series, in honor of the ongoing U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California, we’re featuring some of the most interesting new patent applications and issued patents related to surfing. Some of these newly devised innovations are designed to help a surfer save their physical energy. One patent application describes a new powered surfboard with a detachable chair for riding far out into a body of water. Another issued patent protects an attachable hard edge that can improve the performance of inflatable surfboards, which are easier to transport. A new four-pointed tail design from a patent application would improve a surfer’s speed and control on the water. Better surfboard components are also described by some other official documents from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. A third issued patent protects an improved design for a surfboard ankle tether that improves rider safety. Finally, a last patent application has been filed to protect a system of measuring surfboard speed and displaying that information on an LCD screen.

Fun in the Sun Patent Style: Swimming Pool Patents

Water sports can take on a number of strange forms. We’re familiar with water volleyball and water polo, among other games, but competitive water sports can take on many forms. For example, many Eastern rowing enthusiasts take part in “dragon races”; many of these competitions happen in China, where the sport originates, but North American cities like Toronto have played host to this event. This summer, reports from American regions like the Great Lakes indicate that water levels are higher than normal this year, enticing many to take to bodies of water where they can play various games. Today, we’ll start by taking a look at a few patents issued to inventors by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding different aquatic sports. One patent protects a water polo-style goal that provides a better gameplay experience than previous designs, while another provides for netting installation that keeps a ball in play if a throwing player misses the goal. Another patent protects a new style of athletic shoe for water sports.

Patented Wake Board Made in America by Inventor Company

Licensing is relatively easy and potentially less risk financially and less time consuming, but licensing also has its negatives. So I went to Surf Expo with my wife to help us decide what to do… At the tradeshow, we found that the President of the Water Sports Industry Association loved our product, but he warned us that if we were to license this product into the existing market that what we would find was two-fold: one, they wouldn’t do it with the same heart, they wouldn’t have the same passion as the inventors and the team that created it and, two, they wouldn’t potentially invest the right amount of money into it and in some cases they may actually bury the product concept and prevent it from coming into the market, because they may see our product as competition to their market. It could have a potentially negative impact on say kneeboards. I was warned to stay away from licensing, in this particular case, and if we really wanted to see it grow, to go full-time into it. So I asked my two friends if they really wanted to take this on and I would be their mentor as they go through the process of beginning a company. So that took the stress off of me. I gave them equity in the new venture, which owned a full utility patent. They showed what they were made of and created a very successful business with a simple concept, “to help lots of people enjoy their time on the water!”

A Conversation with Zup Wake Board Innovator Glen Duff

The Zup™ is perhaps the most cool and innovative wake board you have ever seen. There are a number of other patent applications pending, trademark applications pending and ongoing research and development for future products. The Zup™ is special because literally anyone can ride the board and participate in the fun. I knew that Glen was onto something when he showed me a video of an early prototype in use years ago. There was a giant fellow — 6’8″ and easily 290 pounds — who managed to get up on the board with ease. I thought to myself, “that shouldn’t happen!” Being a big guy myself I understand how difficult, if not nearly impossible, it is to get up on a traditional wake board. In that same video I also saw an elderly grandmother get up on the board. Neither size nor upper body strength mattered. It was then I knew Glen had something special.