Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Is Marty McFly prior art?

Is this prior art?

Marty went to the future (namely, 2015). Nike must have realized 2015 was coming up, so they got around to actually inventing this technology, and they want to protect it. On May 2, 2008, Nike filed a patent application for an "Automatic Lacing System."  And the design looks familiar.

Examination of this application has not yet begun.  The first proposed claim reads:
An automatic lacing system for an article of footwear, comprising:
a sole including a cavity;
a motor disposed in the cavity; the motor including a driveshaft; the driveshaft including at least one gear;
at least one belt engaged with the at least one gear at an intermediate portion of the belt;
a yoke member connected to the at least one belt at an attachment portion of the at least one belt;
a plurality of straps attached to the yoke member, the plurality of straps being configured to adjust an upper of the article of footwear; and
wherein the straps can be automatically moved between a closed position and a loosened position by activating the motor. 
Nike has submitted a couple of Information Disclosure Statements to provide background information to the Examiner.  I did not see Back to the Future II as a listed reference.  But that's probably ok, because the video above is likely not enabling.  But I'm glad the self-tying shoe is finally here.  And I'm ready for my flying car.

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