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Thank the good law for basketball!

Regardless of how or where you grew up, you may have spent many evenings shooting hoops with the neighbor kids. Whether you could dunk or never quite manage to bring the ball down the court, playing basketball may have been your way to pass the time as a kid.

As you grew older, maybe your skills improved enough to get you a college scholarship. Or perhaps you've simply enjoyed rooting for your favorite team (Go Nuggets!). But no matter your interest in the sport, have you ever thought about how basketball came to be?

Think there's no connection between patents and playing? Think again.

Everything must come from something; astute business people have continually improved products and processes, then protected them with patents. But are you familiar with the patents that have propelled "basket ball" from 1891 to present day?

By hanging up some peach baskets in the Springfield YMCA, James Naismith invented the game to facilitate indoor exercise during the winter. With additional inventions throughout the years, the sport is now enjoyed around the globe, thanks to patents which include the:

  • Hoop - Hiram B. Rockhill patented a holder for a bucket the same year the game was invented.
  • Goal - Patented by Milton Reach, the goal helped support the basket to the wall.
  • Ball - Though A.G. Spalding developed the first basketball similar to the early laced football design, George L. Pierce patented the first ball specific to basketball in 1929.

Through a goal improvement in 1936, Alvie Sandeberg applied for both a utility and design patent for a goal where you can loop the net over hooks.

Protecting your intellectual property can increase your competitive edge

Many others offered improvements to the game over the course of time. However, it's the ones who took their ideas further, securing patent protection, who are reaping the profits today.

Whether you think of new things you could bring to market or see ways you can improve on existing inventions, you would be wise to protect your ideas - you never know which ones will be slam dunks.

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