The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants hundreds of new patents every week, showcasing developments in technology and innovation. In our Interesting Patents series, we highlight exciting US patent applications and patents recently issued by the USPTO. The patent system enables the protection of innovative ideas, and newly published patent applications provide a glimpse into the future of technology and innovation.
Looking for more information on patents? Want to run a free AI-Powered Prior Art Patent Search? We also offer useful Intellectual Property News & Resources with guides, videos, and insight on patents and inventorship. Think you might need a legal professional? Check out our Tips on Choosing a Patent Lawyer and contact us if you’d like a free consultation.
Sole Structure With Midsole Protrusions And Arced Profile For Forward Momentum
ASSIGNEE: Nike, INC.
US PAT. NO. 11,666,119 B2
Nike, Inc., a global leader in sports footwear, has recently been granted a patent for a new sole structure that promises to redefine the way we think about athletic shoes. The patent, titled “Sole Structure with Midsole Protrusions and Arced Profile for Forward Momentum,” was published on June 6, 2023, and it introduces a novel design aimed at enhancing both comfort and performance.
The patented technology revolves around a unique midsole design that features downwardly-extending protrusions distributed over the midfoot and heel regions. Each of these protrusions has a convex outer surface, and the midsole’s height is greatest at the midfoot region. This design allows for a “rocker” functionality of the midsole, providing a smooth transition from heel to toe during movement. The ground-facing surface of the midsole curves upwardly from the midfoot region to both the forward and rear extents of the midsole, establishing an arced profile. This arced profile, combined with the protrusions, ensures that only a relatively small area of the ground-facing surface is in contact with the ground at any given time during a forward stride. This design helps to avoid the “slapping” phenomenon and associated foot fatigue that can occur with traditional sole structures.
In contrast to the midfoot and heel regions, the forefoot region of the midsole is relatively flat, providing a stable platform for toe-off. This design choice ensures that the wearer can push off from a supportive and relatively stiff platform at the forefoot region, enhancing the efficiency of forward motion. Nike’s new patented technology aims to strike a balance between mitigating impact and promoting efficient forward motion. The compressibility of the protrusions helps to absorb impact, protecting against muscle fatigue, while the arced profile promotes an efficient transition from heel strike to toe-off. This balance is often hard to achieve, as increasing compressibility often decreases the efficiency of forward motion.
The new sole structure is particularly beneficial for walkers and slower runners who tend to land on the heel region more frequently. The design mitigates heel impact and promotes a smooth, efficient transition from heel to toe, making it especially beneficial for these activities and paces. Nike’s new patent represents a significant step forward in footwear technology. By rethinking the design of the midsole, Nike has created a shoe that not only provides increased comfort but also enhances performance. This innovative approach to footwear design is a testament to Nike’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in athletic footwear.
PATENT ABSTRACT & ART:Source: USPTO
A footwear sole structure includes a midsole having a ground-facing surface with a forefoot region, a midfoot region, and a heel region. The midsole defines downwardly-extending protrusions at the ground-facing surface distributed over the midfoot region and the heel region, each of the downwardly-extending protrusions having a convex outer surface. A height of the midsole is greatest at the midfoot region. The sole structure may also include an outsole covering at least a portion of the ground-facing surface of the midsole, and a height of the sole structure may be greatest at the midfoot region.
INTERESTING PATENTS BY FOUNDERS LEGAL
Founders Legal® (Bekiares Eliezer LLP) is a boutique law firm headquartered in Atlanta, GA, USA, that focuses exclusively on complex matters in the areas of Patents and Intellectual Property, Corporate, Transactional, Securities and Data Privacy Law. Founders Legal is composed of highly skilled and experienced attorneys who are diverse in disciplines and specialized in their unique areas of practice. Founders Legal is dedicated to creating, utilizing, and continually iterating upon the latest software, technology, and processes to maximize efficiency and provide uncompromising value to its clients. Schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.