Pneumatic Patents (Class 36/29)
  • Patent number: 10499842
    Abstract: Systems and methods for clinical assessment of balance may include a tilting balance platform further including: an upper platform, a lower platform, and an array of force transducers sandwiched between the upper platform and the lower platform. The systems may also include: a toroidal bladder supporting the lower platform; an air pressure sensor and a control valve connected to the toroidal bladder; an inclinometer that measures tilt information of the balance platform; and a computer that receives a control signal to activate one of: the array of force transducers and the inclinometer. If the array of force transducers is activated, then a clinical test is performed to measure changes to a subject's Center of Pressure on a stabilized balance platform, and if the inclinometer is activated, then another clinical test is performed to measure the tilt information caused by a subject's movements on a de-stabilized balance platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: Diversified Healthcare Development, LLC
    Inventors: Dean G. Sbragia, John F. Byrd
  • Patent number: 10477919
    Abstract: A sole structure for an article of footwear comprises a barrier that has a first portion that includes a first outer surface, and a second portion that includes a second outer surface. The barrier includes a first and a second interior cavity between the first portion and the second portion. The barrier includes a bond that secures an inner surface of the first portion to the second portion and separates the first and the second interior cavity. An outsole is secured to the second outer surface, and includes a first outsole portion extending under the first interior cavity, and a second outsole portion extending under the second interior cavity and separated from the first outsole portion by a gap, with the bond aligned with and overlying the gap such that the second outer surface is exposed between the first outsole portion and the second outsole portion at the bond.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Danielle L. Taylor, Dolores S. Thompson, Frederick J. Dojan
  • Patent number: 10477914
    Abstract: A shoe has an air pump device comprising a bellows formed in a cavity in a heel area of the sole structure. The cavity has an average height of at least 4 mm and extends horizontally over most of the surface of the heel area, so that a support strip of the compressible material of the at least one intermediate layer remains between the cavity and the outside edges of the sole structure on the sides and at the heel, wherein the support strip extends vertically over the full height of the cavity and the average width of the support strip is not more than 20% of the maximum width of the heel area measured transversely to the walking direction. The compressible material has an average hardness between 30 and 55 Shore-A at least in the area of the support strip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: ATMOS AIRWALK AG
    Inventors: Wilhelm Möhlmann, Jens Schmidt
  • Patent number: 10455892
    Abstract: Disclosed is a sole structure for shoes, which includes a lower midsole. The lower midsole includes a medial-side midsole portion which extends in a medial side portion of a heel region supporting a heel of a wearer's foot, and a lateral-side midsole portion which extends in a lateral side portion of the heel region, and which faces, and is spaced apart from, the medial-side midsole portion in a foot width direction. The lateral-side midsole portion includes supports which are arranged adjacent to each other in a longitudinal direction with a gap interposed therebetween and which support the wearer's heel, and a coupling portion which is provided in the gap, and couples the adjacent supports to each other to reduce displacement or twist in the foot width direction occurring between the adjacent supports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: MIZUNO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Kazunori Iuchi, Yusuke Ide, Natsuki Sato
  • Patent number: 10413016
    Abstract: A fluid-filled chamber, which may be incorporated into articles of footwear and other products, may include an outer barrier, a first tensile structure, and a second tensile structure. Any of the first and second tensile structures may include one or more textile tensile members. The first and second tensile structures may be located within an interior void defined by the outer barrier and may be bonded to the outer barrier. The first and second tensile structures may be bonded to the outer barrier in different areas of the outer barrier that are in fluid communication with each other. The first tensile structure may have a height greater than a height of the second tensile structure. In turn, the relative locations and differences of height between the tensile structures may impart a contour to the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Frederick J. Dojan, Danielle L. Taylor, Kirvan L. Chao, Klaas P. Hazenberg
  • Patent number: 10398194
    Abstract: A spacer textile material may include a first layer, a second layer, and a plurality of connecting members extending between and joining the first layer and the second layer. The connecting members may form a series of at least ten rows that are separated by spaces. The rows have a width that is less than a width of the spaces, and the connecting members form at least one stabilizing row with a width that is greater than the width of the spaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Klaas P. Hazenberg, Kirvan L. Chao, Yu Hui Wang, Tim Chen
  • Patent number: 10398189
    Abstract: An article of footwear includes an upper member and a sole structure, with a sensor system connected to the sole structure. The sensor system includes a plurality of sensors that are configured for detecting forces exerted by a user's foot on the sensor. Each sensor includes two electrodes that are in communication with a force sensitive resistive material. Additionally, the sensor system may be provided on an insert that may form a sole member of the article of footwear. The insert may include an airflow system that includes one or more air chambers in communication with one or more air reservoirs through air passages extending therebetween. The insert may also have a multi-layered structure, with the airflow system provided between the layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael S. Amos, Andrew A. Owings, Anthony C. Dean, Allan M. Schrock
  • Patent number: 10327506
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing an article includes forming a fluid-filled bladder element from polymeric material. The method further includes securing an overlay to the polymeric material. At least one portion of the overlay is substantially transparent, and an image on one of the fluid-filled bladder element and the overlay is aligned with and exposed to view through the at least one portion of the overlay that is substantially transparent. The fluid-filled bladder element is assembled in the article so that a first portion of the fluid-filled bladder element and the image are exposed to view, and a second portion of the fluid-filled bladder element is blocked from view by the article. An article includes the fluid-filled bladder element with the image, and with the overlay secured to the fluid-filled bladder element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Taryn Hensley, Dervin A. James
  • Patent number: 10327504
    Abstract: A sole structure for an article of footwear comprises a bladder having a first side formed from a first polymeric sheet and a second side formed from a second polymeric sheet. The first and second polymeric sheets define a closed volume between the first side and the second side. The second polymeric sheet at least partially defines an outsole at the second side of the bladder. The outsole includes a ground-contacting surface and a plurality of lugs. The first polymeric sheet includes a portion that extends from the first side of the bladder and is fused to the second polymeric sheet opposite the ground-contacting surface at the one of the plurality of lugs, and further defines the one of the plurality of lugs. A method of manufacturing the sole structure comprises forming the bladder and fusing the portion of the first polymeric sheet to the second polymeric sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher Conrad Rehagen
  • Patent number: 10321735
    Abstract: A sole structure includes a heel region, a forefoot region, and a midfoot region disposed between the heel and forefoot regions. The sole structure also includes a first fluid-filled segment disposed within the forefoot region and includes a first portion extending continuously from a medial side of the sole structure to a lateral side of the sole structure. The sole structure also includes a second fluid-filled segment disposed between the heel region and the first fluid-filled segment and includes a first portion extending continuously between the medial side and the lateral side. The sole structure also includes a third fluid-filled segment disposed between the first fluid-filled segment and the second fluid-filled segment and includes a first portion extending along one of the medial side and the lateral side and a second portion extending from the first portion toward the other one of the medial side and the lateral side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremy L. Connell, Frederick J. Dojan, Olivier Henrichot, Troy C. Lindner, Lee D. Peyton
  • Patent number: 10290793
    Abstract: Aspects relate to an energy harvesting device adapted for use by an athlete while exercising. The device may utilize a mass of phase-change material to store heat energy, the stored heat energy subsequently converted into electrical energy by one or more thermoelectric generator modules. The energy harvesting device may be integrated into an item of clothing, and such that the mass of phase change material may store heat energy as the item of clothing is laundered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Summer Schneider, Vikram Malhotra
  • Patent number: 10264849
    Abstract: An item of footwear including a sole assembly that comprises at least an outsole and an insole, and further comprising one or more shear force-reducing coupling elements (30) disposed between the insole and the ground. The coupling elements (30) are adapted to permit limited displacement, in a plane parallel, in use, to the ground, of overlying components of the item of footwear. The coupling elements (30) provide less resistance to displacement of overlying components of the item of footwear in a first direction than in a second, reverse direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Roozbeh Naemi, Nachiappan Chockalingam, Panagiotis Chatzistergos
  • Patent number: 10263168
    Abstract: Aspects relate to an energy harvesting device adapted for use by an athlete while exercising. The device may utilize a mass of phase-change material to store heat energy, the stored heat energy subsequently converted into electrical energy by one or more thermoelectric generator modules. The energy harvesting device may be integrated into an item of clothing, and such that the mass of phase change material may store heat energy as the item of clothing is laundered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Summer Schneider, Marcus Ward, Jerry Wiant, Ingo Stark
  • Patent number: 10258105
    Abstract: An adaptive fluid system for an article of footwear is disclosed. The adaptive fluid system includes a fluid chamber that provides cushioning and shock absorption for a foot. The adaptive fluid system includes an adjustable pressure regulating valve that may be used to control the pressure of the fluid chamber. The adaptive fluid system includes a valve that prevents fluid from escaping from a fluid chamber during use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Elizabeth Langvin, James Molyneux, Lee D. Peyton, Ty A. Ransom, Nicola J. Reynolds
  • Patent number: 10231510
    Abstract: The invention relates to devices and methods for designing and manufacturing customized footwear, and components thereof. An exemplary method includes a method of designing at least a portion of a sole of an article of footwear customized for a user. The method includes the steps of determining at least one input parameter related to a user, analyzing the at least one input parameter to determine at least one performance metric of a foot of the user, and determining at least one customized structural characteristic of at least a portion of a sole of an article of footwear for the user based on the performance metric.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: New Balance Athletics, Inc.
    Inventors: Chris Wawrousek, Daniel P. Dempsey, Jean-Francois Fullum, Sean B. Murphy, Pedro Rodrigues, Trampas Tenbroek
  • Patent number: 10219583
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides footwear designs and related methods of manufacturing footwear. Certain embodiments of the footwear are particularly well suited for use traversing steep rocky uneven terrain. The footwear provides the user's foot support over steep and uneven terrain, underfoot rock protection, shock attenuation, and maximum traction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: RED WING SHOE COMPANY, INC.
    Inventor: Jason Dallas
  • Patent number: 10172419
    Abstract: An adjustable bladder system for an article of footwear is disclosed. The bladder system includes an outer bladder that may be inflated using an external pump. A valve member may be disposed externally to the outer bladder. In addition, one or more tensile members may be disposed within the outer bladder to control deformation of the outer bladder during compression.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Amy E. Gishifu, Elizabeth Langvin, James Molyneux, Lee D. Peyton, Ty A. Ransom, Nicola J. Reynolds, John F. Swigart
  • Patent number: 10172420
    Abstract: An article of footwear includes an upper for securing the article of footwear to a wearer. The footwear also includes a sole assembly operatively coupled to the upper. The sole assembly includes a bladder that contains a fluid. The bladder has a posterior portion, an anterior portion, and a middle portion disposed between the posterior and anterior portions. The posterior portion has a heel recess that is approximately coincidental with a center of a heel of the wearer. The middle portion includes a neck chamber that extends between the posterior and anterior portions. The neck chamber is elongate and has a width that is less than both the posterior and anterior portions, and the anterior portion has a plurality of toe recesses that extend generally away from the neck chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Dervin A. James
  • Patent number: 10165820
    Abstract: A valve assembly includes a rotating shaft 16 rotatably supported and having an internal passage 20 formed within the rotating shaft, first and second connecting portions 26 and 28 connected to both sides of the internal passage within the rotating shaft and adapted to externally send a fluid passing through the internal passage and to receive an external fluid, and a check ball 18 embedded in the internal passage and adapted to control a flow of the fluid. Furthermore, check ball seating portions 24a and 24b adapted to communicate with the first connecting portion and the second connecting portion and to have the check ball seated therein are formed on both insides of the internal passage 20. When the internal passage 20 is inclined by rotation of the rotating shaft 16, the check ball closely adheres to a check ball seating portion at a low position due to gravity or buoyancy and restricts a fluid flow from the internal passage to any one of the first and the second connecting portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Inventor: Yong Soo Kim
  • Patent number: 10143266
    Abstract: An article of footwear includes an upper and a sole structure. The sole structure can be manufactured using a customized cushioning sole system. A user's foot morphology and/or preferences may be used to design the sole structure. The sole structure can also include a lattice structure made by a three-dimensional printer. The sole structure includes compartments to receive air bladder components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey C. Spanks
  • Patent number: 10098413
    Abstract: An electronically controlled bladder assembly includes an adjustable pressure bladder and a constant pressure reservoir connected by an electronically controlled valve. The electronically controlled valve is operated in a manner that inflates the adjustable bladder when the current pressure is below a target pressure and in a manner that deflates the adjustable bladder when the current pressure is above the target pressure. The inflation and deflation of the adjustable bladder are achieved in an iterative manner by controlling the flow of fluid between the constant pressure reservoir and the adjustable bladder over several cycles of heel strikes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: James Molyneux, Aaron B. Weast
  • Patent number: 10076153
    Abstract: A thermal protection system is disclosed herein. In various aspects, the thermal protection system includes an insert. The insert may include a first layer and a second layer bonded to one another. The insert may be removeably receivable within a cavity of a shoe to form a thermally insulating barrier between a plantar surface of a user's foot and a sole of the shoe with a side of the first layer oriented toward the sole and a side of the second layer oriented toward the plantar surface. The first layer may include an aerogel and the second layer may include a meta aramid polymer, in various aspects. Related compositions of matter disclosed herein, in various aspects, include a plurality of layers bonded to one another in the form of an insert removeably receivable within a cavity of a shoe to create a thermal barrier between a sole of the shoe and a plantar surface of a foot of a user. This Abstract is presented to meet requirements of 37 C.F.R. § 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2018
    Assignee: Kassel LLC
    Inventors: Dena Garner, Henry D. Cross, III
  • Patent number: 10016941
    Abstract: Systems and methods of capturing images of body parts to create a three-dimensional (“3D”) model for designing customized outerwear are provided. Images of a body part are captured by an image sensor on a camera or mobile device from various angles, after which they are combined using an algorithm to generate a point cloud map of the image data which is used to generate a 3D representation of the body part. The 3D model of the body part can then be analyzed to determine any unique features of the body part that will require customized outerwear, such as pressure points, deformities, etc. The 3D model can thus be used to develop highly-customized outerwear for an individual. The 3D model is a digital file which can then be utilized by software to design the customized outerwear and request that the outerwear be manufactured, for example by additive manufacturing on a 3D printer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2018
    Assignee: FEETZ, INC.
    Inventors: Lucy A. Beard, Nigel P. Beard
  • Patent number: 10016017
    Abstract: A sole includes a base having a medial side and a lateral side; and a plurality of projections extending from the base, wherein at least one of the projections includes a first pod filled with ambient air and a foam layer disposed below the first pod. The first pod and the foam layer are disposed such that the projection extends non-orthogonally from the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2018
    Assignee: Reebok International Limited
    Inventors: Brian Christensen, William Marvin, David Lacorazza, Ricardo Vestuti, Alexandre Leblanc
  • Patent number: 9974359
    Abstract: Soles for footwear and footwear are disclosed. The sole may include a midsole having a first surface. The sole may additionally include an outsole having a second surface and a plurality of first recesses. The second surface may be attached to the first surface. The first surface and the plurality of first recesses may define a plurality of chambers. One or more chambers of the plurality of chambers may include trapped air. The midsole may further include first protruding portions that extend downwardly from the first surface toward one or more first recesses of the plurality of first recesses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Assignee: Chinook Asia LLC
    Inventors: Robert Kent Scofield, Sangmin Lee
  • Patent number: 9955774
    Abstract: A backpack includes two sheets, two straps and a moisture-expelling apparatus. The sheets are connected to each other. The straps are connected to one of the second sheet. The moisture-expelling apparatus includes a permeable bag, a pump and a tube. The permeable bag is attached to the second sheet. The pump is inserted in the permeable bag. The pump can be squeezed to release air and can automatically expand to suck air when the squeezing stops. The tube is inserted in the permeable bag. The tube is connected to the pump so that air travels into the tube from the pump when the pump is squeezed and that air travels into the pump from the tube when the pump expands. The tube includes apertures via which air can enter and leave the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Inventor: Jung-Hua Chuang
  • Patent number: 9907354
    Abstract: An article of footwear has a sole structure with interconnected compliant components. The sole structure includes a sole plate, inner sole structure and lasting board. The inner sole structure is placed in between the sole plate and lasting board. The inner sole structure provides compliant components that protrude through the sole plate towards a ground surface. The compliant components are interconnected by channels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Caleb W. Dyer
  • Patent number: 9901135
    Abstract: An article of footwear may include an outer member that has a first ground engaging member extending downward from the outer surface of an outer member. Ground engaging members, or cleats, may be auxetic structures that can increase their dimensions in a direction that is orthogonal to the direction of applied force or tension. Ground engaging member shapes may include various polygonal features. The first ground engaging member may have a three-pointed star-shaped pyramidal structure. The outer member may have an inner surface with apertures that correspond with the ground engaging members of the outer surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Tory M. Cross
  • Patent number: 9877543
    Abstract: A sole structure may include a midsole element, a plate, a first chamber, and a second chamber. The midsole element may be formed from a foamed polymer material. The plate may be formed from a substantially non-foamed polymer material, and the plate has an upper surface and an opposite lower surface. The plate is embedded within the midsole element such that the foamed polymer material exposes a first area and a second area of the lower surface. The first chamber and the second chamber each have a fluid-filled configuration. The first chamber is secured to the first area, and the second chamber is secured to the second area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Lee D. Peyton
  • Patent number: 9867758
    Abstract: A device can comprise: a trigger chamber, having a trigger elastic wall and a trigger base wall, the trigger chamber configured for relative motion between the trigger elastic wall and the trigger base wall; a connecting line fluidly coupled to the trigger chamber, the connecting line having a substantially inelastic wall; a stimulation chamber fluidly coupled to the connecting line, the stimulation chamber having a stimulation elastic wall and a stimulation base wall, the stimulation chamber configured for relative motion between the stimulation elastic wall and the stimulation base wall, the stimulation elastic wall having an exterior surface; a plurality of projections coupled to the exterior surface; and a stabilizing frame, the stabilizing frame having a substantially rigid wall, the stabilizing frame having a plurality of apertures, the stabilizing frame extending over the stimulation chamber, the projections configured to extend through the apertures when the stimulation chamber is expanded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: Regents of the University of Minnesota
    Inventor: Khalafalla Bushara
  • Patent number: 9861509
    Abstract: A method of treating a patient suffering from pain in the lower limb or a lower limb musculoskeletal disease is provided. The method includes placement of at least two calibrated, differential disturbances or protuberances under the patient's feet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: APOS—Medical and Sports Technologies Ltd.
    Inventors: Avi Elbaz, Amit Mor
  • Patent number: 9861159
    Abstract: An article of footwear includes an upper and a sole structure with a sole member. The sole member can be manufactured using a cushioning sole system that provides different cushioning characteristics to a sole member using varying patterns of apertures. A user's foot morphology and/or preferences may be used to design the sole member. The sole member can include a set of apertures that are formed along various surfaces of the sole member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Shane S. Kohatsu, Christopher S. Cook, Bret Schoolmeester
  • Patent number: 9833040
    Abstract: A footwear insole system for use with an article of footwear including a base insole component and an upper insole component. The base insole includes a chassis and first and a second shock absorbing inserts. The upper insole includes a spacer panel, first and a second gel insert members, and a fabric sheet layer. The insole system may be permanently secured to an article of footwear or the insole system may be replaceable or interchangeable for installation and removal to and from an article of footwear by a user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: UKIES LLC
    Inventors: Umesh K. Khaitan, Kavita Khaitan
  • Patent number: 9820531
    Abstract: A sole structure may include chambers and a transfer channel containing an electrorheological fluid. Electrodes may be positioned to create, in response to a voltage across the electrodes, an electrical field in at least a portion of the electrorheological fluid in the transfer channel. The sole structure may further include a controller including a processor and memory. At least one of the processor and memory may store instructions executable by the processor to perform operations that include maintaining the voltage across the electrodes at one or more flow-inhibiting levels at which flow of the electrorheological fluid the through the transfer channel is blocked, and that further include maintaining the voltage across the electrodes at one or more flow-enabling levels permitting flow of the electrorheological fluid through the transfer channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven H. Walker, Chin-yuan Cheng
  • Patent number: 9789542
    Abstract: Fixture Apparatus and methods of manufacturing fixture apparatus. Fixture apparatus comprising: a first body to at least partially support an object, the first body including a structure having variable stiffness along at least a first axis of the first body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: ROLLS-ROYCE plc
    Inventors: Stewart Lowth, Dragos A. Axinte, Mark H. Raffles, Kiran Kolluru
  • Patent number: 9743711
    Abstract: A method of forming a sole assembly of an article of footwear including an interior space and an exterior surface includes providing a first portion of the sole assembly. The first portion includes a first surface that at least partially defines the interior space and a first chamber surface that opposes the first surface. The first portion is made from a first material. The method also includes providing a second portion of the sole assembly that includes a second surface that at least partially defines the exterior surface of the article of footwear and a second chamber surface that opposes the second surface. The second portion is made from a second material that is different from the first material. The method additionally includes operably securing the first and second portions such that the first chamber surface and the second chamber surface cooperate to at least partially define a chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: David J. Dirsa, Haim Horesh, Gary M. Peters
  • Patent number: 9737113
    Abstract: An adjustable bladder system for an article of footwear is disclosed. The bladder system includes an outer bladder that may be inflated using an external pump. In addition, one or more tensile members may be disposed internally to the outer bladder to provide enhanced support. A valve member may also be disposed internally to the outer bladder. The valve member can include a contoured edge to provide a contoured shape for the outer bladder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Amy E. Gishifu, Elizabeth Langvin, James Molyneux, Lee D. Peyton, Ty A. Ransom, Nicola J. Reynolds, John F. Swigart
  • Patent number: 9730488
    Abstract: An adjustable multiple bladder system for an article of footwear is disclosed. The bladder system includes an outer bladder that may be inflated using an external pump. A valve member is disposed within the outer bladder and divides the outer bladder into two distinct inflation chambers. The inflation chambers may be inflated separately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Elizabeth Langvin, James Molyneux, Lee D. Peyton, Ty A. Ransom, Nicola J. Reynolds, Aaron B. Weast
  • Patent number: 9681700
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing an article of footwear having an upper, a footbed, an outsole, and a bladder that is disposed between the footbed and the outsole includes providing a plurality of layers. The layers include a top, outsole, first bladder, and second bladder layer. Also, the method includes molding the layers together substantially simultaneously to form the upper, the footbed, the outsole, and the bladder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Zachary M. Elder, Taryn M. Hensley, Dervin A. James, Levi J. Patton
  • Patent number: 9661893
    Abstract: Articles of footwear having both interior and exterior midsole components may include: (a) an upper that at least in part defines an interior chamber; (b) an interior midsole component within the interior chamber, wherein, at a forefoot region, the interior midsole component includes a longitudinal flexion line and a plurality of transverse flexion lines; and (c) an exterior sole structure engaged with the upper. This exterior sole structure may include: (a) an exterior midsole component in a heel region of the article of footwear that does not extend under the forefoot region of the article of footwear and (b) an outsole component that extends under the forefoot region. If desired, the outsole component may extend under the exterior midsole component in the rearfoot region. The interior midsole component may include a plurality of pod elements separated from one another by the flexion lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Barbara Stegmaier, Daniel A. Williamson, David J. Dirsa, Miaochang Zadnik, Fei Huang, Pu He
  • Patent number: 9655402
    Abstract: An electronically controlled bladder assembly includes an adjustable pressure bladder and a constant pressure reservoir connected by an electronically controlled valve. The electronically controlled valve is operated in a manner that inflates the adjustable bladder when the current pressure is below a target pressure and in a manner that deflates the adjustable bladder when the current pressure is above the target pressure. The inflation and deflation of the adjustable bladder are achieved in an iterative manner by controlling the flow of fluid between the constant pressure reservoir and the adjustable bladder over several cycles of heel strikes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: James Molyneux, Aaron B. Weast
  • Patent number: 9609912
    Abstract: An article of footwear has an upper and a sole structure secured to the upper. The sole structure includes a chamber that encloses a pressurized fluid. The chamber includes subchambers laterally extending in a medial to lateral direction of the bladder. A bottom surface of the chamber may include at least one bond that laterally extends across the bottom surface of the chamber from one side edge to another side edge of the chamber in the medial to lateral direction. The bond may cooperate with an indentation in the bottom surface that separates one subchamber from an adjacent subchamber. A diameter of the subchambers may decrease in a direction from a heel region of the bladder to a forefoot region of the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott C. Holt, Eric S. Schindler, Travis K. Ernst, Robert W. Dolan, Lisa M. Hovey, Tamimu A. Shyllon
  • Patent number: 9526299
    Abstract: An adjustable bladder system for an article of footwear is disclosed. The bladder system includes an outer bladder that may be inflated using an external pump. A valve member may be disposed externally to the outer bladder. In addition, one or more tensile members may be disposed within the outer bladder to control deformation of the outer bladder during compression.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Amy E. Gishifu, Elizabeth Langvin, James Molyneux, Lee D. Peyton, Ty A. Ransom, Nicola J. Reynolds, John F. Swigart
  • Patent number: 9445646
    Abstract: An article of footwear is disclosed that includes an upper and a sole structure secured to the upper. The sole structure incorporates a support element that includes a fluid-filled chamber. The chamber may be bonded to other portions of the sole to secure the chamber within the sole. A surface of the chamber may also be angled to form a corresponding bevel in a lower surface of the sole structure, potentially in a rear-lateral area of the sole structure. A plate may also extend under a portion of the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2016
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher S. Cook, Bryan N. Farris, Jeffrey L. Johnson, Steven F. Smith, Paul VanDomelen
  • Patent number: 9433256
    Abstract: An article of footwear with an undulating sole provides a different and unique ride and/or feel to the article of footwear while also providing adequate cushioning and support to an article of footwear. The sole has an undulating shape that may be substantially similar to a sine wave with a series of alternating peaks and troughs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2016
    Assignee: Reebok International Limited
    Inventors: Erica Callahan, Matthew Montross, Henry Hardigan, Ricardo Vestuti
  • Patent number: 9428912
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a membrane comprising a bulkhead layer, wherein more than 50% by weight of the bulkhead layer is composed of PVC, and a barrier layer. The barrier layer can, on the one hand, be a barrier layer S1, wherein the barrier layer S1 has a polyvinyl alcohol layer comprising more than 50% by weight of copolymer PA, which is connected to the bulkhead layer by a polyurethane layer, wherein more than 10% by weight of the polyurethane layer is composed of polyurethane PUR. The barrier layer can, on the other hand, be a barrier layer S2, wherein the barrier layer S2 has a composition comprising 5-50% by weight of polyurethane PUR and 50-95% by weight of copolymer PA. The membranes according to the invention have significantly lower plasticizer migration compared to the membranes of the prior art and are distinguished by improved resistance to aging, particularly as regards the adherence of the barrier layer on the bulkhead layer, and imperviousness to damp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: Sika Technology AG
    Inventors: Elyes Jendoubi, Carine Kerber
  • Patent number: 9420847
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing an article of footwear having an upper, a footbed, an outsole, and a bladder that is disposed between the footbed and the outsole includes providing a plurality of layers. The layers include a top, outsole, first bladder, and second bladder layer. Also, the method includes molding the layers together substantially simultaneously to form the upper, the footbed, the outsole, and the bladder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2016
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Zachary Elder, Taryn M. Hensley, Dervin James, Levi J. Patton
  • Patent number: 9392843
    Abstract: An article of footwear with an undulating sole provides a different and unique ride and/or feel to the article of footwear, while also providing a unique aesthetic appeal and adequate cushioning and support. The midsole has an undulating shape substantially similar to a sine wave with a series of alternating peaks and troughs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: Reebok International Limited
    Inventors: Erica Callahan, Matthew Montross, Henry Hardigan, Ricardo Vestuti
  • Patent number: 9339074
    Abstract: A shoe or other footwear which includes a sole section and a bottom sole that includes at least a portion of rubber material. The sole section includes at least two inner bladders each of which contains a fluid, and at least a part thereof is located in a single frontal plane cross-section of the sole. The sole section also includes a duct and/or valve providing fluid communication between the inner bladders, an electronic control system including a microprocessor that controls the fluid communication and an outer bladder. The inner bladders are inside the outer bladder and separated from the outer bladder at least in part by an internal sipe formed by a portion of an inner surface of said outer bladder and a portion of an outer surface of each of said inner bladders. The surface portions of the sipe oppose each other and can slide relative to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Inventor: Frampton E. Ellis
  • Patent number: 9326564
    Abstract: An article of footwear may incorporate a chamber with an outer barrier and a tether element. The barrier may be formed from a polymer material that defines an interior cavity, and tether element may be located within the interior cavity and joined to opposite sides of the barrier. Upon pressurization of the chamber, the tether element may extend across the interior cavity and be placed in tension by the outward force of a pressurized fluid within the interior cavity. The tether element may have a variety of configurations. For example, the tether element may have a diagonal orientation, or different tether elements may have different lengths. A tether element may also have plates or tie pieces secured to opposite sides of the chamber, with one or more tethers extending between. Also, the tether element may include one of more sheets that extend across the interior cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Lee D. Peyton, James C. Meschter, Danielle L. Taylor