Kiefer's Patent Pending Kickboard

Swimmer Magazine, September - October 2013, page 18

Swimmer Magazine, September – October 2013, page 18

Kickboard Patents – Kiefer Core Kickboard

The Kiefer Core Kickboard was pictured on page 18 of the September—October issue of U.S. Master’s Swimming’s Swimmer Magazine.  See Figure, below.  Kiefer describes this kickboard on their website.
Kiefer’s ad in Swimmer Magazine caught our eye because it showed Kiefer’s attention to the patentable aspects of kickboards.  Good job Kiefer.  Further investigation showed that Kiefer is among the patent savvy members of the swimming community.  They have filed at least one patent application on the Core Kickboard.  Their founder, Adolph Kiefer has been patenting inventions since the 1960’s.

Patenting Swimming Gear & Kickboards

In earlier articles, we discussed both patenting swimming gear and patenting kickboards.  We noted that swimming gear and kickboards are patentable subject matter.  We concluded that patenting a kickboard would likely depend on showing that the kickboard was new and not obvious.  Often nonobviousness can be viewed as showing that the invention’s differences make it better.  In Kiefer’s ad, we identified language indicating that their Core Kickboard has patentable aspects.

Kiefer's patent pending kickboard, as displayed in page 18 of Swimmer Magazine's September - October Issue

Kiefer’s patent pending kickboard, as displayed in page 18 of Swimmer Magazine’s September – October Issue

Kiefer Core Kickboard – Patentable Features

Kiefer’s ad in Swimmer describes the kickboard as follows:

  • A Great New Training Aid!
  • “Its unique shape and buoyancy activate core muscles, resulting in a  better workout  . . .

Notably, the above description points out that the Core Kickboard is new, having unique shape and buoyancy.
The language above indicates that the kickboard is “new.”  To get a patent, the kickboard would also need to be not obvious.

Kiefer’s ad indicates that the core kickboard is likely to be “not obvious” because it is described as “resulting in a better workout.”  Generally speaking, an inventor chances of getting a patent improve where the invention differs from the existing technology in a way that provides something better.  
In addition to the advantages described above, Kiefer’s website lists additional advantages to the Core Kickboard.  Namely, “The Core board can be used horizontally as a traditional board or vertically for resistance kick training. Molded hand grips ensure a consistent hold with every use. Designed to promote exceptional body position on top of the water….”  Showing that these benefits arise from the new features of the invention would strongly support a case that the kickboard is patentable.

Patent Pending Means Application Filed

The website also notes that the kickboard is “patent pending,” meaning that Kiefer has claimed some patentable aspects of the invention, drafted a patent application, and filed it with the patent office.  After Kiefer argues for the patentability of its claims, a patent will be issued on the invention, rewarding the inventors with a patent on the invention.

Kiefer’s Patent Savvy

Kiefer’s success using the patent system dates back to at least 1966, when Adolph Kiefer patented the first design for a no-wave, non-turbulence racing lane.

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