or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Suit claims Nike, Apple stole idea for Nike+ iPod Sport Kit
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Suit claims Nike, Apple stole idea for Nike+ iPod Sport Kit

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
A little-known athletic company from Utah has filed a lawsuit that names both Nike and Apple, claiming that Nike knowingly stole its decade-old idea for the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit.

Brothers Greg and Kenny Anderson of Leaper Footwear, LLC say they invented in 1995 and successfully patented in 1998 a unique breed of footwear which -- like the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit co-developed by Nike and Apple -- measures locomotive performance parameters such as a users walking or running speed and/or distance traveled.

According to their complaint, filed Monday in the United States District Court for The District of Utah Central Division, Leapers counsel sent a letter to Nike in 2000 suggesting that the shoe maker take a license to the Anderson's patent (#5720200) and incorporate their invention into Nike shoes.

Nike reportedly wrote back two weeks later, stating that it had "no interest" in pursuing the idea.

"Six years later," the suit continues, "in May 2006, acting on Leapers suggestion but without contacting or seeking permission from Leaper to use the patent, Nike and Apple jointly announced their partnership to launch Leapers invention through the 'Nike + iPod Sport Kit'."

The "Nike + iPod Sport Kit" allows Nike+ footwear to communicate with Apple's iPod nano music player. It includes a sensor that fits into a pocket in the inner sole of Nike+ footwear, and a receiver that plugs into the bottom of an iPod nano. Information about time, distance, calories burned and pace is displayed on the iPod screen and audio feedback is announced to the user through the iPods earbud headphones.

In their 8-page suit, the Andersons claim that Apple and Nike have achieved "huge success" through unauthorized use of their patent. They recall comments made by Nike chief executive Mark Parker during a conference call last December in which he widely touted the sport kits, stating that users had already logged more than 3 million miles on the devices and that over 3-million Nike+ shoes had shipped.

"We expect that number to double by the year end," Parker added during the call. "Clearly our confidence in this concept has proven to be accurate."

The $30 Nike+ iPod Sport Kit | High-res photos.

As a result, the Andersons allege, Nike and Apple have generated "hundreds of millions of dollars in infringing sales" of iPod nanos, Nike + shoes, and Nike + iPod Sport Kits, "easily exposing them to liability in the tens of millions of dollars" for their infringement of Leapers patent.

"It is further believed that Nike and Apples infringement has spawned additional revenues through sales of products related to the Nike + iPod system, such as the Nike Amp + bracelet, " the suite adds.

The brothers are seeking damages in the amount to be determined at trial, a permanent injunction barring Apple and Nike from further infringement on their patent, and an order from the Court that they be awarded three times the damages assessed at trial due to the "willful and deliberate nature" of Nike's actions.

The last time Nike or Apple provided sales figures for the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit was in September of 2006, when Apple said it had sold 450,000 units in the kit's first three months on the market.

Leaper's complaint is the second to target both Apple and Nike over allegations that the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit makes unauthorized use of patented technology. In January, Colorodo-based PhatRat Technology filed a similar suit, charging both companies with infringing on four of its own patents.
post #2 of 40
Sounds like they have a case to me.
post #3 of 40
I have a problem with many of these patent filings and subsequent law suits. My main question is... After patenting the idea, did they actually develop a working model and try to market the product?

If not, it seems to me I can sit here all day and come up with fantastic ideas for future technologies, patent these ideas as unique, and wait for someone else to do the R&D. Once that's out of the way, I simply sue them for a few percentage points.

A bad analogy would be domain name squatting were I simply think of domain names that could be huge later, or take the names of brands and register them before the owner of the name does and squat on them to wait for the payoff. In a number of these cases I know the decision has gone against the squatter.

If coming up with fantastic ideas is all that's needed, then it's time for me to think what Apple, Microsoft and everyone else could be doing 20 years from now and secure my retirement with just a few thousand dollar investment in a patent.
post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by svesan03 View Post

I have a problem with many of these patent filings and subsequent law suits. My main question is... After patenting the idea, did they actually develop a working model and try to market the product?

It sounds like they tried to market it to at least one shoe maker.

There is no requirement to make a prototype or promote it.
post #5 of 40
Yes, if they have the patent, they have the patent.

Anyone have a link to the patent on Google Patents?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeny View Post

Sounds like they have a case to me.

Really? Doesn't sound like a Nike+ iPod device to me.

The microprocessor and display are mounted on the footwear, preferably on the tongue of the shoe, in a water resistant housing with a long life battery providing self contained operation.
post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeny View Post

Sounds like they have a case to me.

I don't know, they patented shoe with electronics built into it. Not a sensor that you attach or insert into it after the fact. Their system also doesn't seem to have an accelerometer in it, which i believe is how the nike+ sensor works.

I don't think that a shoe with with buttons and an lcd display on the tongue, that tracks your mileage, and doesn't seem to have any way to hook up to a computer to download your info equals the nike+ system. Not even close. If they had patented a system using a sensor that could hook up to a pda and track your mileage, and download it into a computer they'd have something.

Not that their patent isn't similar, but what they patented was totally unfeasible for the most part, if you build the electronics into the shoes, they're only going to last the life of the shoe, and if you're a serious runner, you might get a year out of a pair of shoes.
post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Yes, if they have the patent, they have the patent.

Anyone have a link to the patent on Google Patents?

Spam, I linked the patent in the article...

Best,

K
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
Reply
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
Reply
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Spam, I linked the patent in the article...

Best,

K

Sorry 'bout that... these days, if I don't see a link... well, you know...

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It sounds like they tried to market it to at least one shoe maker.

There is no requirement to make a prototype or promote it.

There used to be a requirement to create a model or what would likely now be called a prototype of things you were trying to patent (in the US). Sadly, that requirement hasn't been around for a long time now (the requirement existed from 1790-1880). It needs to go back into place. It would reduce the number of junk patents submitted to ones from legitimate inventors and reduce the load on the overloaded patent office to more legitimate ideas. As I was told by lawyers at one of the largest patent holding companies in the US: you really shouldn't be patenting "ideas" you should be patenting "implementations of ideas".

Not to say there is anything wrong with this person's patent ... I haven't seen it.
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

I don't know, they patented shoe with electronics built into it. Not a sensor that you attach or insert into it after the fact. Their system also doesn't seem to have an accelerometer in it, which i believe is how the nike+ sensor works.

I don't think that a shoe with with buttons and an lcd display on the tongue, that tracks your mileage, and doesn't seem to have any way to hook up to a computer to download your info equals the nike+ system. Not even close. If they had patented a system using a sensor that could hook up to a pda and track your mileage, and download it into a computer they'd have something.

Not that their patent isn't similar, but what they patented was totally unfeasible for the most part, if you build the electronics into the shoes, they're only going to last the life of the shoe, and if you're a serious runner, you might get a year out of a pair of shoes.

Are you guys telling me that neither Nike nor Apple applied and received patents for their system prior to taking it to market?

These companies have to have the biggest bunch of inept lawyers I've ever seen.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Really? Doesn't sound like a Nike+ iPod device to me.

The microprocessor and display are mounted on the footwear, preferably on the tongue of the shoe, in a water resistant housing with a long life battery providing self contained operation.

I think a more pertinent quote from the patent abstract would be this:

Four membrane switches are located in the sole of the footwear: a pair of membrane switches is positioned under the ball of the user's foot and a pair of membrane switches is positioned under the heel of the user's foot. The membrane switches sense the compressive pressure of the foot on the sole and detect when the foot leaves and contacts the underlying surface. A microprocessor calculates a performance parameter for the person based upon the elapsed time between the foot push off and the foot strike.

That doesn't sound like the Nike+ kit at all. The Nike+ sensor is just an accelerometer mounted in the sole of the shoe. No pressure sensors involved.

And why aren't they going after every other maker of similar distance/speed recording athletic devices? They are just as similar to the the patented idea as the Nike+ kit.
post #13 of 40
here is the abstract of the patent:
Quote:
A foot mounted apparatus for measuring one or more locomotive performance parameters of a person is disclosed. Such locomotive performance parameters preferably include user vertical leap time, user vertical jump distance, user walking or running speed, user trip distance traveled, and accumulated total lifetime distance traveled by the apparatus. It is preferred that the apparatus include all of the structures of an athletic shoe such as a sole, upper, tongue, and lace. Four membrane switches are located in the sole of the footwear: a pair of membrane switches is positioned under the ball of the user's foot and a pair of membrane switches is positioned under the heel of the user's foot. The membrane switches sense the compressive pressure of the foot on the sole and detect when the foot leaves and contacts the underlying surface. A microprocessor calculates a performance parameter for the person based upon the elapsed time between the foot push off and the foot strike. A pair of pushbuttons connected to the microprocessor allow the user to change the mode of operation of the apparatus. The performance parameter which is output from the microprocessor is conveyed to the user either visually or aurally. The microprocessor and display are mounted on the footwear, preferably on the tongue of the shoe, in a water resistant housing with a long life battery providing self contained operation.

And here is an image of the patent

This really has nothing to do with the Nike+ iPod, which is just a pedometer in your shoe that tells your iPod what to play. the pedometer works in any shoe, not just a Nike+
17" i7 Macbook Pro (Mid 2010), Mac Mini (early 2006), G3 B&W, G3 Beige Tower, 3 G3 iMacs (original, bondi, snow), Power Mac 7600/132, Power Mac 7100/100, Power Mac 6100/60, Performa 5280, Performa...
Reply
17" i7 Macbook Pro (Mid 2010), Mac Mini (early 2006), G3 B&W, G3 Beige Tower, 3 G3 iMacs (original, bondi, snow), Power Mac 7600/132, Power Mac 7100/100, Power Mac 6100/60, Performa 5280, Performa...
Reply
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeny View Post

Sounds like they have a case to me.

Possibly... but I don't know.

The problems I have with this, is that we know very little about the claims being made. Yet, that this is not necessarily a unique idea in the sense that there are plenty of tachometer that we can place on our bodies to monitor a person's performance output. Without the use of an iPod. So, in my view, there is very little that makes this a Unique idea. But, that is just my opinion.

My real problem is, if they do have the patent, does it make use of the iPod?

I think it is likely there is major problem in the sense that it took TWO parties to create the one product. ie: You have to buy Nike's shoes, then, Nike/Apple kit, then go out an buy an iPod. It requires two different companies to create the result of these people's claims. Was this their idea? I doubt it.

These guys claim is that they went to Nike. Never does it really mention they went to Apple. Then you have the people in Colorado [PhatRat] who are making similar complaints against the Nike/Apple Kit. Which then makes you question... Okay, so who owns the patent and to what technology are we referring to here?

If anything, it sounds messy. It sounds to me that these people made products that weren't really unique and they didn't think of the idea of attaching it to the iPod wave. Also, a Sensor inside a shoe makes more sense than a sensor that wraps around a shoe.

Where is the actual infringement since there are two different parties making the similar claims. Yet, do any of their ideas originate to use the iPod exclusively?
post #15 of 40
If I remember well, it was Adidas that made shoes back in the late 80's early 90s which had a little display in the shoe with work-out info... The Nike-iPod thing is something different.. it is a little sensor that transmits wirelessly the info to a Mp3 Player that can display that info...
post #16 of 40
This is exactly why companies don't accept unsolicited ideas. I'm willing to bet that "no thanks" letter contained broilerplate to cover exactly such a lawsuit.
post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

There used to be a requirement to create a model or what would likely now be called a prototype of things you were trying to patent (in the US). Sadly, that requirement hasn't been around for a long time now (the requirement existed from 1790-1880). It needs to go back into place. It would reduce the number of junk patents submitted to ones from legitimate inventors and reduce the load on the overloaded patent office to more legitimate ideas. As I was told by lawyers at one of the largest patent holding companies in the US: you really shouldn't be patenting "ideas" you should be patenting "implementations of ideas".

Not to say there is anything wrong with this person's patent ... I haven't seen it.

They did away with providing prototypes because the patent office ran out of space to store all that.
post #18 of 40
The mechanism for measuring this isn't even the same as how the Nike+ sensor works, the only thing that is similar is the idea of measuring the distance you've traveled and it goes in a shoe. A pedometer does that. The Nike+ iPod solution is so elegant in that you aren't limited to one pair of shoes to use it, I know plenty of runners (myself included) that has different shoes for different running conditions, (btw the diagram shown is NOT a running shoe) it was marketed to Nike likely as a basketball shoe (measuring hang time and vertical leap) I'd have to say this case will go nowhere, but likely Nike will just pay them off.
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

They did away with providing prototypes because the patent office ran out of space to store all that.

You wouldn't have to store the actual prototype anymore to keep record of one. Keep digitally notarised video or pictures on a hard-drive somewhere. It would be a whole lot better than the rough sketches that are submitted with current patent findings.

I wonder if I can patent this idea?
post #20 of 40
Nike had almost the same product with Philips as they do with Apple now...

As philips is from the netherlands (same as I), i have seen a product that did the same, and almost looked the same. Also with a sensor in a shoe...

i guess Nike stopped the deal with Philips because of bad sales or so...
Or it was pilot based in the Netherlands..

I wonder if i can find a picture or so
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

There used to be a requirement to create a model or what would likely now be called a prototype of things you were trying to patent (in the US). Sadly, that requirement hasn't been around for a long time now (the requirement existed from 1790-1880). It needs to go back into place. It would reduce the number of junk patents submitted to ones from legitimate inventors and reduce the load on the overloaded patent office to more legitimate ideas. As I was told by lawyers at one of the largest patent holding companies in the US: you really shouldn't be patenting "ideas" you should be patenting "implementations of ideas".

Not to say there is anything wrong with this person's patent ... I haven't seen it.

Eh? No. Never again will we see the requirement of a working demo, except for a perpetual motion machine.

most patents are far too complex, and often too expensive, or too large to demo.

It was stopped for good reasons.
post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelprince View Post

This is exactly why companies don't accept unsolicited ideas. I'm willing to bet that "no thanks" letter contained broilerplate to cover exactly such a lawsuit.

Normally, companies don't even open the envelope. Once it's opened, you are subject to this kind of "stealing my idea" problem.

Most envelopes are just put into a bigger envelope and sent back with a brief explanation that they dont accept them.
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton View Post

You wouldn't have to store the actual prototype anymore to keep record of one. Keep digitally notarised video or pictures on a hard-drive somewhere. It would be a whole lot better than the rough sketches that are submitted with current patent findings.

I wonder if I can patent this idea?

No. You can't patent an idea, only the "expression" of one as a device, process, software, or unique application of nature (I'm not going to explain that one).
post #24 of 40
I do wonder if the patents of Leaper Footware, and PhatRat Technology are impinging on each others patents.

Perhaps they should be suing eath other?
post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeny View Post

Sounds like they have a case to me.

not having read it all, what I read quickly, say's they DON'T have a case - why - like I was once told when I presented an idea to Harley-Davidson, that they later THAT WEEK, presented to they're dealers - "Sorry, you can't trademark a concept or idea"

Now if they had inventory a "iPod Style" device, and so on, then they might have a case.

Skip
post #26 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Normally, companies don't even open the envelope. Once it's opened, you are subject to this kind of "stealing my idea" problem.

Most envelopes are just put into a bigger envelope and sent back with a brief explanation that they dont accept them.

How do they know the envelope contains an idea?
post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

The microprocessor and display are mounted on the footwear, preferably on the tongue of the shoe, in a water resistant housing with a long life battery providing self contained operation.

Sounds like a pedometer to me. Are they going to sue all the pedometer manufactures that have designed pedometers that clip on your shoe too? That would be more fitting than the Nike+ iPod combination.
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

How do they know the envelope contains an idea?

They don't have to. But, they can usually tell by where in the company it is addressed to. Often there is a hint in the name of the sender, or address. If they don't do business with that person they won't bother with it, but it must be returnedin case.
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

Not that their patent isn't similar, but what they patented was totally unfeasible for the most part, if you build the electronics into the shoes, they're only going to last the life of the shoe, and if you're a serious runner, you might get a year out of a pair of shoes.

Heh. Many serious runners get a couple of months out of a pair of shoes. Elite runners get maybe a month.
post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeTheRock View Post

here is the abstract of the patent:


And here is an image of the patent

This really has nothing to do with the Nike+ iPod, which is just a pedometer in your shoe that tells your iPod what to play. the pedometer works in any shoe, not just a Nike+

Actually, from the standpoint of measuring performance, this is very similar to how the Nike+ works. It is not "just a pedometer." Ok, it's a pedometer, but a very intelligent one. The accelerometer in the Nike+ doesn't actually measure your speed directly. It measures the timing of your foot strike. From that, based on formulas determined by testing in sports performance labs, it calculates your speed. That's why it won't work when riding your bike (no foot strikes) and why it does work (albeit less accurately) on a treadmill where you aren't actually going anywhere.

That being said, I assume the patent isn't on the exercise science behind the formula to derive speed. It's based on the implementation. In that regard, other than being in your shoe, there's nothing in common with the Nike+. Different sensor type, different sensor arrangement, not built into the shoe, different display, etc.

If however the patent is on the science behind the technique to derive your speed, Nike and Apple's only defense may be prior art and the patent holder's failure to defend their patent against other's who have implemented similar techniques (Polar's Foot Pod being the most obvious example).
post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

Not that their patent isn't similar, but what they patented was totally unfeasible for the most part, if you build the electronics into the shoes, they're only going to last the life of the shoe, and if you're a serious runner, you might get a year out of a pair of shoes.

I agree this idea would have been terrible for runners. I run very serious and shoes wear out after 400 miles. This would not be a system that people would use. I suspect that they are jealous that Nike/Apple thought of a much better idea. I don't personally own the Nike+ system but i have a Garmin Forerunner GPS watch and use that to log all my miles. I personally burn through shoes every 6-7 weeks.
post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton View Post

You wouldn't have to store the actual prototype anymore to keep record of one. Keep digitally notarised video or pictures on a hard-drive somewhere. It would be a whole lot better than the rough sketches that are submitted with current patent findings.

I wonder if I can patent this idea?

You know that, I know that, but this IS the government we're talking about.
post #33 of 40
I'm sure a lot of people thought of combining mp3 players and phones.. I know I did well before they existed, but theres no way I could have done anything about it. If a company invests the time and money making a quality product, they deserve the rewards.

I'm curious how patents work when different companies come out with similar products though. Correct me if I am wrong, but Apple didn't invent mp3 players, so do they have to license the technology?
post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

I think a more pertinent quote from the patent abstract would be this:

Four membrane switches are located in the sole of the footwear: a pair of membrane switches is positioned under the ball of the user's foot and a pair of membrane switches is positioned under the heel of the user's foot. The membrane switches sense the compressive pressure of the foot on the sole and detect when the foot leaves and contacts the underlying surface. A microprocessor calculates a performance parameter for the person based upon the elapsed time between the foot push off and the foot strike.

That doesn't sound like the Nike+ kit at all. The Nike+ sensor is just an accelerometer mounted in the sole of the shoe. No pressure sensors involved.

And why aren't they going after every other maker of similar distance/speed recording athletic devices? They are just as similar to the the patented idea as the Nike+ kit.


The description of the patent doesn't matter. What matters is the claim. See Claim 1:
"A foot mounted apparatus for measuring the locomotive performance of a person having a foot which is fit with footwear having a flexible sole, the apparatus comprising:

means for sensing the acceleration of the foot when the sole of the footwear is flexed and the foot is pushing off from an underlying surface and for generating a foot push off signal;

means for sensing the deceleration of the foot when the foot is striking against an underlying surface and for generating a foot strike signal;

means for receiving the foot push off signal and the foot strike signal and calculating a performance parameter for the person based upon the elapsed time between the foot push off signal and the foot strike signal, the means for calculating comprising means for selectively determining all of the following performance parameters: user vertical leap time, user vertical jump distance, user running speed, user trip distance traveled, and accumulated total lifetime distance traveled by the apparatus;

means for receiving input from the user, and

means for communicating at least one performance parameter to the person. "

Based on this claim, I would say they have a case.
post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Are you guys telling me that neither Nike nor Apple applied and received patents for their system prior to taking it to market?

These companies have to have the biggest bunch of inept lawyers I've ever seen.

I will bet $1000 that they had. However, the patent system is severely backlogged. Whatever they filed won't be reviewed until maybe three years after, and won't be approved until one year after that.

So, if Apple/Nike applied for the patent in 2006, we won't know anything about it until at least 2009.
post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by svesan03 View Post

I have a problem with many of these patent filings and subsequent law suits. My main question is... After patenting the idea, did they actually develop a working model and try to market the product?

If not, it seems to me I can sit here all day and come up with fantastic ideas for future technologies, patent these ideas as unique, and wait for someone else to do the R&D. Once that's out of the way, I simply sue them for a few percentage points.

A bad analogy would be domain name squatting were I simply think of domain names that could be huge later, or take the names of brands and register them before the owner of the name does and squat on them to wait for the payoff. In a number of these cases I know the decision has gone against the squatter.

If coming up with fantastic ideas is all that's needed, then it's time for me to think what Apple, Microsoft and everyone else could be doing 20 years from now and secure my retirement with just a few thousand dollar investment in a patent.

Feel free to do that.

However, keep in mind that applying for a patent will cost you at least $10K to $20K, a lot are rejected (to the surprise of a lot of people here), and 95% of the patents never generate any income for the patent holders.

Knowing those numbers, would you still want to file whatever "ideas" you can think of as patents?
post #37 of 40
Others pointed this out, I do not believe they even attempted to make a product. They put some drawing together with some words around them but had no idea how to actually make the idea work.

I hate patents like this, the US patent office needs to change its rules and say unless you can show or prove how the patent would be implemented the patent would not be granted.

The fact they attempted to shop it around right after they filed it, just go to show they have not clue nor did they want to spend their time and money marketing the idea. Also, notice how long they waited to file their suit, obviously if they shopped this idea to Nike years ago and when nike and apple come out with a product why didn't they file suit the next day.

The reason, they wanted to see if the idea would take off and how much nike and apple would made on the idea. They probably could not get a lawyer to take their case until it was worth a few million $.

Just so people know there are patent scams, people come up with an idea get a lawyer to put the patent application together and file it, then people sent them to as many companies they think would could use the idea, then wait and see if the company comes out with a similar product, then sue them.

What surprises me is Nike bother to send them a letter back, most companies have a policy of never recognizing anyones ideas, they usually just send letters like this back un-open if they can for this exact reason. Hell, you hear all the time about people getting pissed because apple will not listen to their ideas, well this is why.

Anyway, I think this will get tossed because you will find there is prior artwork on this idea. This is nothing new, researcher on human physiology have been using similar systems for a very long time, thus the reason apple and nike did not attempt to patent the idea.
post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnqh View Post

The description of the patent doesn't matter. What matters is the claim. See Claim 1:
"A foot mounted apparatus for measuring the locomotive performance of a person having a foot which is fit with footwear having a flexible sole, the apparatus comprising:

means for sensing the acceleration of the foot when the sole of the footwear is flexed and the foot is pushing off from an underlying surface and for generating a foot push off signal;

means for sensing the deceleration of the foot when the foot is striking against an underlying surface and for generating a foot strike signal;

means for receiving the foot push off signal and the foot strike signal and calculating a performance parameter for the person based upon the elapsed time between the foot push off signal and the foot strike signal, the means for calculating comprising means for selectively determining all of the following performance parameters: user vertical leap time, user vertical jump distance, user running speed, user trip distance traveled, and accumulated total lifetime distance traveled by the apparatus;

means for receiving input from the user, and

means for communicating at least one performance parameter to the person. "

Based on this claim, I would say they have a case.

The patent isn't based on what they did, but how they did it. The specifics of the design are the patent.

Saying that they put sensors in the shoe that are read digitally isn't enough.
post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

How do they know the envelope contains an idea?

Now I know how my bill payments get "lost" by companies I owe... they think I'm sending them ideas about how to improve their products or business.

Funny, I never get my payments back in the mail, enclosed in another envelope.
post #40 of 40
You may have had a copyright.

N

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncee View Post

like I was once told when I presented an idea to Harley-Davidson, that they later THAT WEEK, presented to they're dealers - "Sorry, you can't trademark a concept or idea"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Suit claims Nike, Apple stole idea for Nike+ iPod Sport Kit