Heard of a rack for drying a golf glove, a cricket ball for rainy days and a portable soccer goal post

While retaining their key values ​​and traditions, most sports have made serious efforts to modernize over the years. Thousands of patents have been filed for inventions aimed at finding new and improved ways to train and compete in various disciplines. Golf – considered by many to be one of the most traditional sports – is the most innovative in terms of patents filed since the start of the new millennium.

According to data from Sagacious IP, a global intellectual property research and advisory firm, 83,267 golf-related patents were filed between 2000 and 2019. Football is far second in this regard with 22,397 and tennis third (20 195). Cricket, meanwhile, saw 1,916 patents filed during that time.

Understanding “patents”

A patent, once granted, guarantees the intellectual property of the inventor for a specified period in return for monetary compensation.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), “A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is the product of a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. “

There is, however, a difference between “published” and “granted” patents.

According to UpCounsel, a website providing legal services, “just because a patent application is published, it won’t always be granted. Patent applications are published in order to make known to the public what requires patent protection. This means that, if the patent is not actually granted to the work, the public can learn from the work anyway.

“Granted” patents mean what the term suggests – that the patent has been approved and is protected by intellectual property rights.

Golf leads the way

Jordan Spieth in action at the Masters golf tournament in April 2021 (AP Photo / Gregory Bull)

The first patent filed for golf dates back to 1891 when Frances Archibald Fairlie introduced improvements in metal-head golf clubs.

The sport has seen more than 83,000 patents filed between 2000 and 2019. However, so far only 26,541 of those applications have been “granted”.

Some of the patents issued relate to data collection, storage and analysis – data such as a golf swing or a player’s scoreboard.

Interchangeable club heads

Quite simply, this patent published in July 2014 relates to a single golf club shaft equipped with interchangeable heads. Usually a golf bag will contain many clubs with different heads on the top – a putter and a driver, for example. With this new invention, however, the size of the golf bag decreases because a different club head can be screwed onto or off a single shaft.

Golf glove holder

Another published patent – dated 2002 – is the golf glove holder mounted on the golf cart. It has been specially designed to provide players with a quick way to dry their gloves which may have become wet from perspiration.

Making football modern

Between 2000 and 2019, 22,397 patents were filed in football and 7,392 issued. The first patent filed in football dates back to 1907 when Maria Henriette Godey created an outer shell or envelope for soccer balls, according to Sagacious IP.

The online gambling industry has developed several football games, which have also been patented.

Portable football goal

The invention in 1986 of the portable football goal is probably one of the most important inventions that has contributed to the current trend for multipurpose sports venues around the world. Essentially, the soccer goal post frame can be easily taken apart and stored when not needed, and can just as easily be erected when a soccer match is to be played.

Animated graphics on the balloon

Visual designs on a soccer ball don’t just serve as a cosmetic effect. In 2017, Nike obtained a patent for the animated graphics of a balloon. Essentially, this means that there are patterns in one or more contrasting colors on the housing of a soccer ball that allow data to be evaluated – for example, the number of rotations per minute of a ball in flight after a hit. frank, etc.

Chirping Patent Cricket

Cricket has only seen 332 of the 1,916 issued patents between 2000 and 2019. The sport’s first patent dates back to 1894, when William David Cameron invented improvements for bats.

A large number of modern cricket patents were for applications that collect and disseminate data. But there have been a decent number which also relates to changes on the pitch.

Rain cricket

In 2011, George William Beldam invented a cricket ball that does not lose its shape when wet and can be used for playing in the rain. However, various other factors hampered the implementation of this patent, such as poor visibility and damaged bats.

Mongoose cricket bats

Mongoose bat Mongoose bats were made popular by Matthew Hayden. (TO FILE)

As the 2021 IPL season draws to a close, it’s worth remembering that in the second T20 league season in 2009, former Australian opener Matthew Hayden decided to play with a Mongoose bat. The bat had a longer handle and a shorter wooden face at the bottom. The face, however, was much thicker – almost three times that of a conventional bat. He offered greater power against yorkers or low throws.

Despite Hayden’s success with this bat, it didn’t work.

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