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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, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, or business owner, get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. Well, we’re here on a Friday, we have finished up a five-part series on the soccer ball, looking at all the way back from when we started with, you know, the pre-medieval days and kicking a soccer ball made of human skull or animal skin and pig bladder. We’ve come a long way, all right, to where we are today, using nice synthetic materials in a very nice format to limit the amount of seams. It’s watertight, it’s got foam to really have good cushion and control.

Today, we’re going to look at the very latest. I’ve got two patents that have just issued this year in 2018 on soccer ball technology. The first one, let’s get right to it, was granted this March, and you can see from the image here that it’s actually got some interesting pockets, little recesses in the sub-layer where it’s filled with gel, a gel format instead of a rigid structure like plastic or polymer. It allows for increased flexibility, and so the inventor here has put in, you know, an interesting… has done a good job in putting into the claim language very flexible claim terms that allow for a plurality of these pockets. You know, he’s called them, I believe he said recesses in the claims, where the material is a gel as opposed to, like I said, a solid substance, which will allow the ball, in the pentagons or in the larger-shaped panels, to have much more flexor to them. This will allow the foot, the ball, when they collide, to have better deformation and therefore more control as the ball travels.

So, I’m excited to see if this is going to actually roll out into a ball, get accredited, and get put into maybe the next World Cup in 2022. And this year also was a second patent issued on the soccer ball. This one originated from the country of Taiwan and was filed under a foreign patent here in the US, which just got issued, as I said, this year in March as well. This one, unlike the patent we just looked at for the gel, what this patent does is it’s got lighting. It’s really neat. I mean, it’s got to add some weight, and it likely is not going to have as much playability. This is more for the novelty, the fact you can have lights in the ball. But in theory, you could play this in the dark.

The inventor here has done a nice job of making a symmetrical core with six different output, sort of reaching through the core of the ball, giving a lighted display in at least six spots on the ball. And it’s not like they’re having a round and curved, you know, a bubble effect right at the surface of the ball. The ball is a complete perfect sphere, in theory. The lights are actually below the surface. So, you can see with a nice cut view how the structure works and how they’re actually able to set up some of that in the ball. As a mechanical engineer, I tend to think about some of the problems they may have in terms of fatigue or damage if a ball were kicked too hard, but they may have already taken that into account.

What’s interesting about patent laws is that it’s going to cover a lot of different iterations, not just the first version. If the claims are written properly, it’s going to cover lots of different materials, different types of lights and bulbs and wiring, and even batteries, as it may be the case. So, I hope this has been an enjoyable series for you. I’ve learned a lot about soccer balls and doing my own research. Hope you’ve enjoyed it as well. If you have any questions about something you’re working on, maybe you’ve got a patent idea involving a different sports article or a completely different product, you can always give us a call at [our patent attorneys are always going to do a free 30-minute consultation for those qualified inventors that have thought through the process and are ready to sit down with an attorney.

I’m your host J.D. Houvener of the Bold Today Show. Have a great weekend, everybody. Go big, go bold.

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 https://boldip.com/contact/