Maria V. Hernandez
Washington - April 8, 2002 marks opening play for the Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., one of the world's top sporting events. Golf is one of America's most popular sports, and those who play it for fun or for fortune spend countless hours of time and money trying to improve their games. The thousands of patents on golf-related inventions are testament to that. In the past five years alone, more than 8,000 patents have been granted on golf-related equipment and gadgets. More than 1,400 of these are associated with golf clubs, including the Nike® driver (patent no. 6,280,348) used by Tiger Woods. Nearly 1,000 more patents are related to golf balls, including a new composite ball from Titleist® (patent no. 6,187,864), maker of the top-selling golf ball, and whose Web site lists more than 100 golf-related patents held by the company.
These golf-related patents, as well as the more than six million patents issued since the first in 1790, can be seen on the Department of Commerce's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Web site at www.uspto.gov .
Last year USPTO issued 187,824 patents and registered 102,314 trademarks.
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