Bridgestone Sports had four golf ball related patent applications publish this week (January 18, 2007).
US Pub. No. US2007/0015602 is very interesting (although few men would admit to making golf ball purchasing decisions based upon a distinctive “stylish” appearance). Check out claim 1:
1. A golf ball comprising a solid core of at least one layer and a cover of at least one layer, which golf ball is characterized in that the solid core or an inner cover layer adjacent to an outer cover layer has a color difference ∆E with a ball surface of at most 30, and at least the outer cover layer is transparent or translucent and made of a resin material that includes an interference pigment in which color develops through an interference effect by reflected light.
Bridgestone takes aesthetics one step further in US Pub. No. US2007/0015603, which is directed to achieving a metallic texture look. The look is achieved by applying a metal powder pigment-containing coating to the solid core surface of a transparent cover ball.
US Pub. No. US2007/0015609 goes even further in an attempt to achieve a ball with an attractive appearance. More specifically, unique polygonal dimples cause the ball “to glitter from the irregular reflection of light by the dimples.” The application states that the desirable glitter is obtained without hurting the flight performance. Oddly, the application only contains four claims.
Lastly, US Pub. No. US2007/0015606 is actually directed to performance rather than aesthetics! Check it out.
Congratulations Bridgestone, I applaud the aggressive position taken in protecting Bridgestone’s intellectual property.