Yes, this week Parsons Xtreme Golf had their first utility patent issue, and yes Bob is the first listed inventor. Years ago I would have been more skeptical about the “money guy,” with presumably no golf equipment design experience, being listed as an inventor on a utility patent, but today it is unlikely anyone would risk the validity of a patent just to have someone’s name appear on a patent. What does this mean? It suggests Bob may be more than the “money guy” and is actually involved in product design. Some will view this as refreshing, while others will view it as dangerous, or reckless. You make the call.
Competitors would probably prefer that he single-handedly decide on all the designs because coming up with elegant golf club designs is not something that a person is just good at, especially the first time. It takes talent, an eye for detail, and an incredible knowledge of past successes and failures. If I had his deep pockets and started a golf equipment company my first hire would be an industrial designer that could hand sketch at least five classic iron designs from memory and explain design tweaks that would improve the designs, then worry about finding a team of engineers to focus on technology. A good industrial designer can make any ugly technology look great.
Anyway, back to the patent… the earliest filing date of the application was just 6 months ago! Keep in mind; this is a utility patent, not a design patent. “How so quickly,” you ask. Well, money talks, particularly at the patent office where an additional $4000 filing fee puts things on the fast track.
So, what is the real news here? I suspect 95 percent of you saw the pictures of the irons and thought “so what, another forged muscleback player’s iron.” Would you have ever guessed that they are most likely hollow irons? Probably not, unless you design irons for a living. You look at the pics and see a player’s iron profile, with “forged” prominently stamped on the hosel, and automatically think they are nothing more than a muscle back design with a lot of screws. The drawings from the utility patent suggest otherwise.
Bet you didn’t see that coming! Sure looks expensive to manufacture. The drawings come from USPN 8,961,336 titled “Golf Club Heads and Methods to Manufacture Golf Club Heads.”
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