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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi everyone, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today Show. We’re here with the inventor, entrepreneur, business owner. Get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. Now, we’re having fun this week. We’re looking at the soccer ball, and in the spirit of honoring the World Cup, which is all around us and happening in the news, if you haven’t checked it out, yeah, take a look. The game is fun. I’m enjoying watching it. My favorite is Uruguay. I love seeing them battle it out on the turf.

So today, we’re taking a close look at the innovation that’s happened over time in creating the soccer ball. We’ve kind of taken it for granted lately. We looked at yesterday, kind of an interesting image that showed how the soccer ball, in a modern soccer ball, has really taken on very subtle incremental changes these days. And today, we’re taking a little step back from that detailed technical evaluation, and we’re instead looking at some really fun novelties that have come up and actually have been granted patents for in the realm of soccer.

What I found, and I call them novelties, but these certainly are functional. This first one here, take a look. This is sort of an interesting idea. If you’re playing by yourself instead of kicking the ball and having to go chase it, this is a way to actually have it attached so it’s attached to your leg, or maybe the other leg. As you kick the ball, it’s tethered, simply tethered. This invention first came about in the ’70s, and the inventor here thought, “Gosh, you know why do I have to go chase that ball across the parking lot or across the field? I’m gonna go to practice juggling the ball on my knee or kicking it off the ground, and if I mess up and kick the ball off to the side, it’s not going to go 10 to 15 feet down the road. It’s gonna stay attached to your leg.” So it’s a very novel invention. I think it’s kind of a fun, almost gimmicky thing, but hey, there’s kind of a patent in 1977, and so there must have been a market for it. I’m curious to see if this ever hit the mark. I don’t remember in that timeframe, but if you do, if you can think of a product that actually had some good commercial success back then, please share that in the comments below. I want to hear about it.

Alright, so the second one. This is, I think, even more cheesy. I just found some fun inventions that involve soccer, so here it is. Okay, this is a target. You strap it onto your shoe where it actually will help guide and direct you, sort of a coaching guide on how to kick the soccer ball. In this issue with the patent was issued, whoever the inventor was, believed that this location on the foot is the best place to kick a soccer ball. Now, that could certainly be up for debate, but if that position is set, the soccer player knows exactly where to hit, and on top of that, this invention takes it to the next level. Not only gives you a place where to kick it, but when you hit the target, right when you kick the soccer ball at the right part of your foot, it gives an audible sound, which is pretty neat. I mean, I like the fact that it’s able to generate that additional feedback, give you that utility. And so this could certainly be a way that you kind of think outside the box, right? You know, if you’re designing your widget, your product, maybe it’s a different type of transmission part. Don’t just get stuck always thinking about the metal, you know, how the shape is gonna be more efficient. Think outside the box a little bit. You know, how does that interface with other parts within the engine? Maybe there’s a way to position that so that it fits better in the whole system, right? Not just whether it independently functions better.

In this case, not just thinking about the soccer ball and how the soccer ball can be recreated, but think about how you can use the soccer ball, just like these, how you can train to be better at playing soccer as an innovation and a way to compete in the market.

I’m your host, J.D. Houvener, of the Bold Today’s Show. I hope you all enjoyed this fun version, and feel free to forward this to any friends of yours, and give us a call if you have any questions on patents in general. We’d love to hear from you.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at