I’ve applied for a provisional patent on individualized butt-end weighting of a tennis racquet handle. Butt-end weighting itself is in the public domain, but, to date, it has been purely subjective as to amount of weight added to the butt-end of the handle and left up to the best ‘sense’ of the player or his pro. My invention is objective - butt-end weighting based on measured physical capacity of the player e.g. grip strength and stipulates a specific criteria: greater weight for a player of lesser grip strength? Is that enough difference for patentability?
State/Country relating to question: Florida
well that depends on the prior art patents and what they disclose
you would have to conduct a prior art search and review any relevant patents to see if such a feature/system has already been disclosed or not...or you could just file the patent and take a chance and see what the Examiner comes back with. most individuals do not pay a lot up front to conduct searches, and this type of specific search would cost some money. you could do a free search using some keywords at the PTO website or Google Patents and if you don't find anything proceed with filing
remember that a provisional patent does not give any rights and does not get examined...and does not lead to anything....it just reserves and filing date and gives you a year to file a real (utility) patent
an invention must be new (novel), useful and non-obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art....but to answer your question qould require a patent attornney/agent to run a search and analysis the results
Thanks Alex. I appreciate your fielding this one. Your answer is right on. Actually, I do know the territory extremely well. I have done the search and know exactly what is out there. I think that the main thing I have going for me is that, on its own, my recommendation for a GREATER amount of butt-end weight for a player of LESSER physical capacity should prevent an examiner from rejecting patentability based upon my idea being obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art. That is because conventional wisdom - applying even to those schooled in the art - would be that a player of greater versus lesser strength should have greater butt-end weight.
Thank you Alex for fielding this one. Your answer was right on. Actually, I know this territory quite well. I know exactly what patents are on the subject. Over and above my invention for weighting being based on a player's MEASURED physical capacity (which is new), my stipulation for greater butt-end weight for a player of LESSER physical capacity, alone, should prevent an examiner from rejecting patentability based upon my idea being obvious to someone of ordinary skill in the art because conventional wisdom would be that a player of greater versus lesser strength should have a frame employing greater than lesser butt-end weight.
Experienced in intellectual property law
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