Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Patents and Trademarks Related to America's Favorite Pastime
Press Release

Maria V. Hernandez
Kim Byars

The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office joins in the celebration of this year's World Series by recognizing some patents and trademarks relative to baseball.

Baseball is America's pastime. The thousands of patented inventions associated with the sport are testament to that. Most recently patents have been issued on a way to improve a batter's swing (patent #6,306,050); a swing speed indicator (patent #6,173,610) that measures the batter's swing using a digital readout that can be slipped onto any bat; a baseball trainer, which helps pitchers practice by indicating a "strike" or "ball" as well as the speed of the pitch by using a microcomputer (patent # 5,566,964); and a glove (patent #5,113,530) with inflatable chambers which softens the impact of an incoming baseball or softball. There are also numerous patents for softball and t-ball. Design patent #418,569 is for a t-ball mat, which helps children position themselves to hit the ball. Patent #4,993,708 covers a batting tee. Design patent #402,414 is for a helmet that can be used for a player to pull their ponytail through while playing softball, t-ball or little league baseball.

Trademarks also play an important role in baseball and are seen on and off the field. Most professional team logos, equipment and even mascots, have trademark registrations. The New York Yankees, which have won the most World Series Championships, have a very well known and recognized logo, which has trademark registration #1898998 for use on baseball shirts. The Arizona Diamondbacks, a relatively new team, has several trademark applications pending, including serial #76161641 for baseball uniforms and other sport-related clothing. Trademarks for baseball equipment include Rawlings (registration #1149932) and Wilson (registration #1553005) for sporting good equipment such as baseballs, gloves, and bases.

These patents and trademarks, as well as the more than 6 million patents issued since the first in 1790 and the 2.3 million trademarks registered since 1870, can be seen on the Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office website at www.uspto.gov.

Last year USPTO issued 182,223 patents and registered 127,794 trademarks.