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Golf Inventions, Patents, and Technology via The IP Golf Guy (aka The Golf Patent Attorney)

Matty G the Inventor! Say What

Last week a patent application caught my eye because it listed the Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella as an inventor. Yes sir, Matty G played a part in the invention titled “Determination of Custom Information Based on Golfer Performance Data.” What’s next, a training aid designed by Damon Hack, a line of cotton tank tops designed by Gary Williams, or maybe a vegan cookbook authored by Charlie Rymer?....<< MORE >>

Been Chunking Your Putts? A Dual Purpose Putter May be the Answer

Check out this beauty!....<< MORE >>

Is This the Future of Golf Equipment Fitting, or Just Plain Lazy?

A recently published patent application discloses a pretty interesting fitting concept, plus I just love the image of the golfing robot. The patent application published this month as US Pub. No. 20140074425 titled “System for Remotely Swinging a Golf Club,” which describes the invention as.... Interesting idea, but boy a purchaser would have to put a lot of faith in other people. Although, it is fun to imagine a line of 10 robots, each outfitted with a different driver; you take one swing, all 10 robots mimic your swing and hit a ball, and then you instantly get feedback on all 10 shots. Perhaps some day. << MORE >>

Cobra Golf Sued for Someone Else’s Product

On March 19th NovelPoint Tracking LLC filed at least six patent infringement lawsuits regarding USPN 6442485 titled “Method and Apparatus for an Automatic Vehicle Location, Collision Notification, and Synthetic Voice.” One of the lawsuits named Cobra Golf Inc. as the defendant (see Complaint). This got my attention. Within 90 seconds I could see that the allegedly infringing product was the Cobra 5600 LM (a GPS navigation system), add another 30 seconds to drop that into a Google search, and clearly it is a product that is not made by Cobra Golf. Generally I think non-practicing entities (NPE’s), or patent trolls as some refer to them, get a bad rap; but come on, how do you make that mistake? Sure, they have sued a lot of golf retailers (check out this list of retailers they sued over golf GPS products), but that is no excuse for naming the wrong company in a patent infringement complaint! This just one reason why NPE’s get so much negative press. Sadly, today I am disappointed in my profession.<< MORE >>

These Irons Look Like Something Phil Would Love

No one would dispute that Phil can pimp a product, and the iron design found in a Callaway patent that issued today is just odd enough that he would probably love to tell the world about it. Check out this iron design.... In what seems to be a recent trend with Callaway, the associated application was filed with a nonpublication request meaning that Callaway wanted to keep this under wraps (away from the eyes of competitors or pesky golf blogs). The patent describes the invention as.... At this point can anyone pull off a low & forward CG location story without it appearing as a "me too" play? << MORE >>

Nike Covert 3.0?

As I stated in a post back in April regarding some Nike Covert variations, golf equipment companies come up with a lot of club head designs in the process of developing one commercial product, majority of which golfers never get to see. Fortunately their patent applications often reveal some of the hidden gems that for one reason or another did not survive the process, or may be a glimpse of a future generation product. Check out these potential Covert driver designs!.... Will we ever see these designs in a commercial product? My guess - not anytime soon; too radical....<< MORE >>

A Great Product Name for Cleveland Golf / Srixon; Can the Product Live Up to the Name?

Selecting a good product name is hard work. For every ten good names that the marketing guys come up with, one may survive a proper trademark clearance and protectability analysis. In the past Cleveland Golf has not been known for creative and catchy product names, however that may be a thing of the past. Last week they filed a trademark application for.... Not bad, not bad at all! Place your bets; is it a new line of putters or drivers?....<< MORE >>

A Hot New Entry into the Golf Equipment Market; Only for the Player that Will Settle for Nothing but the Best

Just imagine the look on the faces of your golfing partners when you stroll up to the first tee with the latest _____ _____ brand golf bag, balls, and clubs!.... Boy, that is one heck of a list! You can check out the trademark application HERE. How is that for hard-hitting golf reporting!.... << MORE >>

A New Titleist Adjustable CG Driver Design

What would Titleist’s core market of "purists" think of this design?.... Place you bets; will this design ever become an actual Titleist product? My prediction; not a chance!....<< MORE >>

Want to Add Some Excitement to Your Practice? Are You Brave Enough for This Training Aid?

What do you think: safe effective training aid or merely a maker of a raw ring around your neck?.... Birdie or bogey? I would try it.... << MORE >>

My Best and Worst Golf Purchases of 2013

Let me start by saying that I am a pretty frugal guy, but golf equipment is my weakness. I am always searching for that product that somehow allows me to show up 5 minutes before my tee time and shoot in the 70’s despite no warm up or practice since my last round. Needless to say I am still searching for that magical club. My annual equipment purchases generally include at least one set of irons (three this year), multiple hybrids, and at least one putter (generally more). Surprisingly I am rather loyal to my driver and fairway wood. Therefore I decided to share with you my single best purchases and my single worst purchase of 2013.... << MORE >>

If You Love Motorcycles and Golf Then This Invention is for You

But you need to also have thick skin because there may be some laughter at your expense. Check out this helmet design!....<< MORE >>

The New i25 Hybrid? Nope, the new Karsten Line

A PING design patent issued today that may give us a first look at a new PING hybrid. Check it out.... << MORE >>

Does Your Swing Need a Contoured Backstop?

No, not a swing training device; it appears that Nike Golf has been working on a golf club head with a contoured backstop. Backstops to control the maximum face deflection are nothing new, but they are generally flat and a fixed distance behind the face. See what you think of what the Nike engineers have disclosed in a patent application that recently published as US Pub. No. 20130331202 titled “Golf Clubs and Golf Club Head Structures Having Contoured Backstop,” which describes the invention as.... Place you bets; will this ever make it into an actual product? How much extra would you pay for the customization aspect?<< MORE >>

And the New Entry into the Golf Equipment Market Is…

Drum roll please.... ______ ____ of Scottsdale Arizona. Golf gearheads are undoubtedly familiar with the rumors surrounding the GoDaddy founder starting a golf equipment company and cherry picking some of the local Karsten (PING) engineers. Well, it looks like they also got one of their attorneys. On Monday the attorney filed two trademark applications, namely Slick Golf and Slick! So the rumors look to be true. Check out their website here.... What do you think of the name?<< MORE >>

Are Non-Conforming Golf Balls about to Go Mainstream?

Perhaps Nike Golf is betting on it! One of their patent applications recently published as US Pub. No. 20130324323 titled “Golf Ball Having A Cover Layer With Two Different Hardness Values.” Yes, a cover with 2 different hardness values!.... Would you play such a ball? << MORE >>

Vertical Adjustment of the Center of Gravity; Innovative?

Well, if you read my post yesterday then you already know the answer. Yesterday’s post titled “Introducing the Gravity Core by Cobra Golf” suggested that vertical center of gravity adjustability was indeed an innovation back in 1922, but not in 2013! Why do I say this? Because vertical CG adjustability seems to be a hot topic this week, and the truth is that it rubs me the wrong way when any golf company goes too far in patting themselves on the back and suggesting they were the first to do something. After all, golfers have been tinkering with clubs since the first smother hook. As I mentioned yesterday, the word “innovation” is thrown around way too loosely in the golf industry. There is no doubt that there are lots of elegant solutions found in today’s club designs, and there is no doubt that these elegant solutions required a lot of creativity and engineering hours, but are they really “innovations” or just a unique implementation of an older innovation? You decide. Elegant solution or innovation? Check out these designs!....<< MORE >>

Introducing the Gravity Core by Cobra Golf!

Yep, that’s right, Cobra Golf, not Callaway Golf. Why am I posting this? Dumb luck. A Cobra Golf patent application published today while I was working on another post regarding vertical center of gravity adjustment systems in light of this week's launch of the Big Bertha. Let's be honest, the word “innovation” is thrown around way too loosely in the golf industry. In fact, if you work in the golf industry and ever catch yourself starting to say “this is the first club to…,” or “our new innovation…”, then you should really demote yourself because eventually someone will call you out. Plus it makes you sound like you are on an infomercial and kills your credibility! After all, golfers have been tinkering with clubs since the first worm-burner. Sure, there are lots of elegant solutions found in today’s club designs, and there is no doubt they required a lot of creativity and engineering hours, but there are very few real innovations. Later this week I will illustrate that vertical center of gravity adjustability was indeed an innovation back in 1922, not 2013!....<< MORE >>

The Technology Behind the Hype: 2014 RZN Golf Balls with Speedlock Core Technology

Most golf geeks are well aware of last week's media schmooze fest put on by Nike Golf (if not, read about it here and here). Apparently my invitation got lost in the mail; probably smart given my distrust of anything associated with over the top marketing. I prefer facts, technical data, and generally boring “spin-free” information; you know, like the information found in patent applications. Most of the lucky invitees seemed to be most impressed with their 2014 RZN golf balls with Speedlock Core Technology. I have to admit, the pictures are pretty intriguing. Recently a Nike Golf patent application published as US Pub. No. 20130288825 titled “Golf Ball Core Having Radial Appendages,” which describes the invention as.... The application appears to be the first of many directed to the Speedlock Core Technology concept....<< MORE >>

What is APW?

It is a trademark that ____________ intends to use in association with golf clubs, but I suspect it is really just another technology acronym rather than a new product name. After all, each new golf product must have at least three technologies, each with its own acronym. So what could APW be short for?<< MORE >>

Callaway Golf’s Next Hot Driver? Perhaps the Big Bertha?

I wouldn’t bet on it because these "backstryke" driver designs could take down any golf company. Check out these beauties!.... The drawings come from a patent that issued today as USPN 8,585,510 titled “Golf Club Head With Improved Aerodynamic Characteristics.” The associated application was filed with a nonpublication request meaning that Callaway wanted to keep this under wraps (perhaps in fear of a shareholder revolt.... I kid). The patent describes the invention as.... Interesting stuff but could these designs ever really find their way into an actual product line?...<< MORE >>

Betting These Cobra Golf Designs Never See the Light of Day

Check out the designs disclosed in a Cobra Golf patent application that published this week.... Sure, I could see them incorporating phospholuminescent or glow-in-the-dark pigment, heck it might even be pretty cool, but “LEDs or other illumination elements within or around window” – give me a break. Prove me wrong and I will buy one!....<< MORE >>

G-Mac’s New Golf Ball?

Rumors are circulating that G-Mac has been testing this golf ball design and is going to put it in play in early 2014. OK, I haven’t actually heard any of these rumors, but they might be out there (and it makes this post a little more interesting). Check out the latest bizarre golf ball dimple design patent that was issued to SRI this week!...<< MORE >>

The Biggest Golf Technology Breakthrough Since Perimeter Weighting?

Well, it probably won't find a home in any golf equipment museum, but the invention is interesting nonetheless. The ground breaking invention at hand is found in a patent application that recently published as US Pub. No. 20130276211 titled....<< MORE >>

New Golf Ball Cover-Shredding Groove Invention

It is hard to believe that it has been 20 months since I reported on a ridged score line patent awarded to Bridgestone Golf. This week an interesting variation of the ridged score line concept was disclosed in a patent application that published as US Pub. No. 20130281226, which....<< MORE >>

Clubmakers - I Want Your Old Component Catalogs

I am looking to add to my library of golf club data and want to get my hands on all the component club head catalogs that I threw away in the late 80's and 90's. Please shoot me an email if you have old GolfWorks catalogs, or the like, and want to get rid of them. I can't make you rich, but will compensate you for your efforts, particularly if you have a nice large collection.....<< MORE >>

Clubs So Ugly That They are Cute!

That club is so ugly that it is cute; just what every manufacturer wants to hear. Actually, when confronted by a jaw-dropping ugly golf club I am more likely to think “there must be something to that club because no one would make something look like that if it didn’t perform, let me give it a try.” Soak in the beauty of these designs.... What do you think, would it work?.... << MORE >>

The PING I25 Driver

Limited information can be found on the popular golf forums regarding PING’s upcoming I25 driver (here), fortunately a design patent that issued today provides us with a better perspective of the overall shape and design of the club head. Check it out.... Looks like the new driver will be adjustable and include a swing weight port. Baby steps that PING loyalists will love.... << MORE >>

Deceiving Grooves; Who Did it Better?

Earlier this summer a post titled “Adjustable Bounce; Who Did it Better” pitted Acushnet against Bridgestone in a death match concerning the best adjustable bounce wedge (perhaps slightly overly dramatic). Today we tackle a different issue, perhaps a sensitive issue for some (not me, of course), regarding men and their desire to have things appear larger than they actually are. Come on; I am talking about grooves and today the competitors are Cobra Golf and Karsten (aka PING).... So, who did it better?.... Now I am off to purchase a muscle suit to wear during my round tomorrow because I am sure it will make me hit the ball further (and with improved accuracy)!<< MORE >>

Guess the Wedge Game

Cue the cheesy game show music. Can you guess the golf company that was awarded a design patent this week for the following wedge design?.... I will give you a hint, the.... Now the million dollar question, is it an upcoming product or simply a design that never made it out of R&D? I suspect the later since the patent application was filed back in October 2012, but either way it is different enough from past products that there must be a good story behind it....<< MORE >>

Forget Surlyn and Urethane, Golf Ball Marketers are about to Unleash a New Golf Ball Buzz Word

Surlyn, please. Urethane, no thank you – so yesterday. Based upon a recently filed trademark application I suspect the marketing guys on the Pirate Ship at Callaway Golf are hoping that 2014 will be the year of the....<< MORE >>

SuperStroke Grip Design; Is it Worthy of Trademark Registration?

This week the company associated with the popular SuperStroke grips, namely Technique Golf, L.L.C., filed a trademark application seeking registration of a trademark that consists of the shape of a golf club grip. The application includes the following drawing of the grip shape that they are trying to register.... Other grip manufacturers should take notice. Unfortunately for Technique Golf, my gut tells me that they have roughly a zero percent chance of registering this product design as a trademark via this application.... << MORE >>

Which Major Champion Invented this Putting Invention?

A patent application recently published that lists a major champion as one of the inventors. Take a guess who invented this “golf putting training device and method.”.... I will go out on a limb and say that this invention would probably improve any golfer’s handicap. Reading between the lines, the inventors clearly believe that a golfer should be focused a few inches in front of the golf ball while putting. So, who is the inventor? Drum roll please....<< MORE >>

How Long Before Every Pro Golfer Has Their Own Golf Ball Dimple Profile?

I wonder if it is just a matter of time before each pro golfer has their own custom dimple pattern and/or profile; similar to how they all have their preferred wedge grinds. Why am I thinking about such nonsense? Simple, because a Nike patent application that published this week leads me to believe that the concept may not be outside the realm of possibility..... Not exactly the artistic personal touch of grinding a player's wedge, but pretty darn cool. I wonder how long each ball would take, not to mention the final cost of a ball with laser cut dimples....<< MORE >>

What Comes After an AMP CELL?

Well, Cobra Golf has indicated an intend to use the following marks.... Not bad product names, good work....<< MORE >>

Do Golfers Really Want to Customize Their Balls? Nike Golf Must Think So

The simple fact is that it is easy for a golfer to tweak the settings on a modern adjustable golf club, yet 90%+ of golfers will never change a setting. What does that tell us about the likely market for golf balls that have to be tweaked/assembled by a golfer in order to use the product?.... Can you imagine spending the time to assemble this golf ball puzzle and then lose it on your first shot? I would go nuts. I think the more accurate representation of a golfer assembling their custom golf ball is something like this.... Crazy stuff! It may be time for someone to shorten the leash on the crew in golf ball R&D....<< MORE >>

The Next USGA Initiative to Grow the Game

You saw it here first!.... Um, 3-putt machine! I am not convinced that my scores would improve by playing archery golf!<< MORE >>

The First Look at the Next PING Driver

Drum roll please. The next PING driver is .... (probably).... Now, the million dollar question: is that some type of adjustable, or interchangeable, sole plate?....<< MORE >>

Which Golf Club Company Intends to Proclaim They are the “KING OF ALL DISTANCE”?

This week _{take a guess}_ filed 3 trademark applications directed to variations of the KING OF ALL DISTANCE mark. They include.... << MORE >>

Another Cool and Wacky Golf Ball Invention from Nike that Will Never Make it to the Market!

When it comes to really outside-the-box golf inventions, bordering on wacky, Nike Golf is the leader in the field. While some may argue that such a distinction is not a compliment, I think that it is and demonstrates that they are not tied down by conventional thinking. Now with that said, it sure would be nice if they brought one of their really odd designs to a commercial product instead of just dreaming and filing patent applications! The latest unique golf ball invention is disclosed in a patent application that published recently as US Pub. No. 20130165270 titled “Golf Ball With Material-Filled Grooves,” which describes the invention as..... Come on, if Nike would bring a ball like this to the market I promise to purchase at least 10 dozen, and I suspect there are millions of golfers like me willing to try something a little unconventional....<< MORE >>

The IP Golf Guy Discusses Small Business IP Strategy Baby Steps on The Small Business Advocate® Radio Program

I was honored to be a guest on the nationally syndicated The Small Business Advocate® radio show this morning. Jim Blasingame and I discussed some steps that small business owners can take to begin the process of strategically thinking about intellectual property. Feel free to listen to the interview HERE....<< MORE >>

What’s Next for Bridgestone Golf?

As if Bridgestone Golf doesn’t have enough golf balls on the market, they recently filed a trademark application announcing their intent to use the _____ _____ mark on a line of golf balls. Will the industry circle back from solid core golf balls to _____? Can’t wait to see the Trevino commercial for these! << MORE >>

While We Are On The Subject of Golf Glasses….

Check out the golf glasses disclosed in a patent application that recently published as US Pub. No. 20130150173 titled “Golf Training Glasses and Method of Use Thereof.”.... What do you think, any chance these would help your game?<< MORE >>

Is Your Golf Game Ready for a Heads-Up Display?

Forget about Google Glass! Golfers need to dream of Nike’s Golf Glass. A recent Nike patent application published as.... Wicked cool! How many years before this is reality?....<< MORE >>

What is with Nike Golf’s Love of Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Coatings?

Well, it just makes sense. As I stated in a prior post, everything I read in their patent applications about hydrophobic and hydrophilic coatings seems like such a good idea (albeit one that sounds much easier to say than do) that I am left wondering whether it has been done before. As you may recall, back in 2010 I posted about one of their patent applications directed to a golf club having hydrophobic and hydrophilic portions. Then, in 2011 I posted about a patent application directed to a golf ball with a hydrophilic coating such that when the ball gets wet the dimples become shallower and the coating becomes softer. This week the love affair with hydrophilic and hydrophobic coatings continued as a patent application published as.... << MORE >>

Adjustable Bounce Wedges; Who Did it Better?

This week Acushnet had a patent application published directed to a “reversible sole” iron design that allows a golfer to adjust a club head's bounce. This is not a new concept, as evidenced by these prior posts about similar attempts by Bridgestone Golf and Nike Golf. So, who did it best? There is no question in my mind....<< MORE >>

Come on USGA, While We’re Young!

The tag line “While We’re Young” should not apply only to slow play but also to trademark protection. It appears that someone aims to take advantage of the USGA’s slow play by....<< MORE >>

A New Callaway Golf Product Line Named....

On June 18th Callaway Golf announced their intent to launch a line of ______ _______ _______ golf clubs by filing THIS trademark application. Frankly it is nice seeing a product name without an X in it. Good work!<< MORE >>

Concerned That Your Tee Height is Not Perfect?

Some golfers are meticulous about the elevation of their golf ball on a tee. Personally I love watching these golfers when they arrive at a tee box that is just a little bit uneven. Are you “that guy?” You know, the one that gets to the tee box and tees up on the far right edge, takes a practice swing, decides that the ball is too low, raises the tee, then tries to tilt the tee slightly forward to gain that extra six inches on the drive, the ball falls off the tee, tees up again, takes another practice swing, and then decides that the tee box is not level on the right side, or too spongy, and proceeds to repeat the process on the left side of the tee box. Don’t be ashamed; scratch that, you should be ashamed, however you are not alone...<< MORE >>

Is Cobra Golf Getting Back in the Putter Market?

A design patent issued last month to Cobra Golf suggesting they may launch a line of putters. I suspect a lot of golfers would welcome more players in the putter market; I just hope the initial product line has a little more sizzle than this design. Check it out.... Yawn; a pass for me unless it was wittled by Ian Poulter and finished by Rickie Fowler.... << MORE >>