March Madness is officially underway, but before we jump into discussing our broken brackets, we wanted to dive into the ktMINE Search App to take a closer look at some of the patents that protect the game we know and love.
To start, the basketball itself has been improved upon since the late 1800s when it was held together with laces. The ball was then modernized in the 1940s when the laces were no longer part of the ball construction. Today, we have patents like the grooved basketball seams that protect the aspects of a basketball (shell, panel covers, and panel strips) as well as the assembly method. The shell has defined panel regions and channel regions. During assembly, panels are placed on the respective regions, which creates a channel between each panel. The strips are then positioned within those channels, producing a groove around the ball. The groove extends between 20 and 70 percent of the width of the strip
The hoop is composed of several different elements. From using a peach basket in the 1890s to a regulated and precisely measured system in the 2020s, the basketball hoop has seen plenty of advancements over the years. The Basketball system patent encapsulates the support structure, multiple sets of arms, the backboard, and the rim. The support structure is connected to the hoop above the playing surface via the first set of arms. A second set of arms connects the rim to the support structure. In addition to the assembly, modern hoops also have a shock absorption system. The Triggerless handle mechanism and shock-absorbing elements for the basketball system are a safeguard against shattering the backboard or displacing the regulation measurements of the hoop. With the current system setup, there is a hoop attached to the backboard, a height adjustment handle, as well as a shock-absorbing element. The height adjustment handle enables users to easily change the height of the hoop above the playing surface. The shock-absorbing element allows for the system to temporarily displace itself in the event of applied heavy force, most notably from slam dunks. Without the displacement of this energy, too much pressure would be forced onto the goal system resulting in shattered backboards or bent rims.
Finally, the patent, Article of footwear with an adaptive fluid system, protects a method of enhanced comfortability for players during a game. The adaptive fluid system is made of a chamber to house the fluid and an adjustable pressure valve. The chamber is in place to act as a cushion/shock absorbing piece for the player. The adjustable pressure valve allows for the wearer to increase or decrease the amount of pressure held within the chamber, effectively giving the player control to harden or soften the cushion. The system also includes a second valve that ensures no fluid is able to escape during use.
These are just a few of the many patents that have developed basketball into the game it is today. Keep these in mind while watching your favorite team work through March Madness.