Closure Patents (Class 36/50.1)
  • Patent number: 11388956
    Abstract: An article of footwear may comprise an upper and a closure system. The closure system may include a strap, a tensioning cable, and a plurality of pulleys. The strap may have a fixed end fixed relative to the upper, a free end selectively securable to the upper in a fastened position, and an elastic portion between the fixed end and the free end. The closure system may include a tensioning cable anchored to the upper and secured to the strap. The closure system may also include a plurality of pulleys anchored to the upper and engaging the tensioning cable. The tensioning cable may be configured to tighten against the upper when the elastic portion of the strap stretches as the free end of the strap is pulled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Tinker L. Hatfield, Risha Dupre, Austin Orand, Haley Toelle
  • Patent number: 11388957
    Abstract: An article of footwear may include an upper configured to receive a foot of a wearer and a sole structure fixedly attached to the upper, the sole structure including a ground-contacting outer member and a removable midsole. The footwear may further include a motorized tensioning system including a power source, a control unit, a tensile member, and a motorized tightening device, the motorized tightening device being attached to an outer surface of the upper, and the tightening device being configured to apply tension in the tensile member to adjust the size of an internal void defined by the article of footwear. In addition, the power source and the control unit of the tensioning system may be configured to be removably disposed in the removable midsole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas J. Rushbrook, Tiffany A. Beers
  • Patent number: 11350701
    Abstract: Described is a shoe upper for a shoe, in particular an athletic shoe, wherein the shoe upper is laceless and comprises: (a.) a lateral portion; (b.) a medial portion; and (c.) at least an elastic intermediate portion between the lateral portion and the medial portion, wherein the stiffness of at least one of the lateral portion and the medial portion is at least 2 times higher than the stiffness of the elastic intermediate portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2022
    Assignee: ADIDAS AG
    Inventors: Fu Wen Lee, LuLu Chen, Sam Forester
  • Patent number: 11324284
    Abstract: An article with an automatic tensioning system includes a lace guide assembly. The lace guide assembly includes a lower guide member and two upper guide members that include channels for routing a tensioning member. Straps of the upper are attached to the two upper guide members. As the tensioning member is pulled into a tensioning device, the two upper guide members are pulled toward the lower guide member. This pulls on the straps and acts to tighten the upper around a foot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2022
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Tiffany A. Beers, Andrew A. Owings
  • Patent number: 11298120
    Abstract: Methods and anchor devices for repairing soft tissue with a suture are provided. An anchor device comprises an elongate body having a proximal end, a distal end, and a first lumen extending from the proximal end, the first lumen having at least one face which is sloped relative to the central axis of the elongate body such that the cross-sectional area of the first lumen decreases in the proximal direction. The anchor device also comprises a suture locking wedge movably disposed at least partially within the first lumen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2022
    Assignee: RESPONSIVE ARTHROSCOPY, LLC
    Inventors: Brian Bowman, Jonathon Gold, Jacob Hustedt
  • Patent number: 11291267
    Abstract: An improved article of footwear of the invention includes an upper, an adjustable closure system affixed to the upper, the closure system having a guide member having a first groove portion and a second groove portion, a fastening member positioned opposite the guide member and having at least two tensioning members, and removable cable assembly connecting the guide member and the fastening member, wherein the cable assembly extends sequentially through the first groove portion of the guide member, a first tensioning member of the fastening member, the second groove portion of the guide member, and a second tensioning member of the fastening member, a bottom secured to the upper, a stabilizing member positioned between the upper and the bottom, wherein the stabilizing member has a base portion and at least one of a lateral support portion and a medial support portion extending upwardly from opposing sides of the base portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Inventor: Laurence James
  • Patent number: 11129445
    Abstract: Lacing systems for articles of apparel can include a first continuous lace element and a second continuous lace element, with each having a lace-receiving portion secured to the article of apparel, directly or indirectly, and a lacing portion that can engage with respective loop apertures of the lace-receiving portion to provide a closure mechanism. The articles of apparel can be articles of footwear and the lacing system can be provided to close an opening in an upper of the article of footwear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2021
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Noah Murphy-Reinhertz, Haley L. Toelle, James Zormeir
  • Patent number: 11129362
    Abstract: A protective article for a horse includes a protective member and a replaceable securing member. The protective member includes a body portion extending between a pair of opposing ends and dimensioned to be wrapped around and secured to a horse's body part, and further includes a first engagement member coupled to the body portion adjacent one end, and a second engagement member coupled to the body portion adjacent the other end. The replaceable securing member is adapted to be selectively engaged with the engagement members in a manner that urges the engagement members towards one another. The replaceable securing member includes a first securing assembly adapted to be manually reversibly secured to the first engagement member, and a second securing assembly adapted to be manually reversibly secured to the second engagement member, the first securing assembly securing to the first engagement member independently of the second securing assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2021
    Inventor: Brett W. Mills
  • Patent number: 11103028
    Abstract: An article includes a two layered braided upper assembly with an outer braided structure and an inner braided structure. The braided structures may have different braid patterns. The dual layered upper assembly can be manufactured using a braid machine with multiple rings of spools.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert M. Bruce, Eun Kyung Lee
  • Patent number: 11058183
    Abstract: A tensioning system for articles of footwear and articles of apparel is disclosed. The tensioning system includes a tensioning member that is tightened or loosened using a motorized tensioning device for winding and unwinding the tensioning member on a spool. The motorized tensioning device includes a torque transmitting system that allows for incremental tightening, incremental loosening and full loosening of the tensioning member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Tiffany A. Beers, Andrew A. Owings
  • Patent number: 11026472
    Abstract: An article of footwear includes an upper defining an interior void and a first cable movable in a tightening direction to move the upper into a tightened state and movable in a loosening direction to move the upper into a loosened state. The article of footwear also includes a tightening grip operable to be moved away from the upper in a first direction to move the first cable in the tightening direction and a cable lock operable in a locked state to restrict movement of the first cable in the loosening direction and operable in an unlocked state to permit movement of the first cable in the loosening direction. A release grip is operable to be moved away from the upper in a second direction to move the cable lock from the locked state to the unlocked state, whereby the release grip is separate from the tightening grip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Caleb W. Dyer, Peter Lam, Austin Orand, Andrea M. Vinet, Peter Williams, Samantha Young
  • Patent number: 11026481
    Abstract: A foot presence sensor system for an active article of footwear can include a sensor housing configured to be disposed at or in an insole of the article, and a controller circuit, disposed within the sensor housing, configured to trigger one or more automated functions of the footwear based on a foot presence indication. In an example, the sensor system includes a capacitive sensor, and the sensor is configured to sense changes in a foot proximity to the sensor in footwear. Information about the sensed proximity can be used to determine a foot velocity characteristic, which in turn can be used to update an automated footwear function, such as an automatic lacing function, or can be used to determine a step count, foot strike force, a rate of travel, or other information about a foot, about an activity, or about the footwear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven H. Walker, Phillip Meneau
  • Patent number: 11013292
    Abstract: An article of footwear has an upper and a sole structure connected to the upper. The sole structure includes a casing having a bottom surface and a sidewall. The bottom surface and the sidewall define a cavity. A mixture is provided in the cavity that includes a binder and a plurality of plastic bodies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: Puma SE
    Inventors: Jacob Garcia, Joshua Muller, Jerry C Ni
  • Patent number: 10918158
    Abstract: An article of footwear includes a sole structure and an upper that is coupled to the sole structure to at least partially defining an internal volume that is operative to receive a foot of the wearer. The upper includes an enlarged throat opening that is in communication with the internal volume and a forwardly extending flap section that defines a portion of the enlarged throat opening. The flap section is operative to fold laterally across an instep portion of the upper to reduce the size of the throat opening. Additionally, a plurality of perforations extend through a portion of the upper on a first side of the flap section. Folding the flap section laterally in a first direction covers the plurality of perforations to provide selective water resistance. Conversely, folding the flap section laterally in a second direction exposes the plurality of perforations to provide ventilation to the interior volume.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2021
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian Linkfield, Darryl Matthews
  • Patent number: 10918164
    Abstract: An article of footwear with various types of guide elements is disclosed. The article of footwear provides a set of tensile elements that can be moved through the guide elements to switch between a loosened and tightened position of the upper. The tensile elements may be routed through a guide element associated with the upper that can provide compressive strength and support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2021
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Tiffany A. Beers
  • Patent number: 10863797
    Abstract: An article of footwear facilitates relatively easy donning and removal, and secure adjustment. The article of footwear comprises a sole structure, an upper secured to the sole structure, and a plurality of tensioning cables having proximal ends fixed to at least one of the upper or the sole structure and extending out of the upper. A strap has a proximal end connected to distal ends of the plurality of tensioning cables, and has a distal end releasably securable to the upper to tighten the tensioning cables. A webbed spacer is secured to the plurality of tensioning cables. The webbed spacer extends between adjacent ones of the plurality of tensioning cables, and the adjacent ones of the plurality of tensioning cables spaced apart from one another by the webbed spacer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas G. Bell, Jeffrey C. Spanks
  • Patent number: 10856618
    Abstract: Systems and apparatus related to an automated footwear platform including an actuator assembly for controlling a footwear lacing apparatus are discussed. In an example, an Lacing architectures for automated footwear assemblies are discussed. In an example, a footwear assembly can include a floating tongue within an upper assembly. The lacing architecture can include a first plurality or lace guides forming a first lacing zone and a second plurality of lace guides forming a second lacing zone. The lacing architecture can also include a tongue lace guide assembly secure to a proximal portion of the floating tongue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric P. Avar, Fanny Yung Ho, Daniel A. Johnson, Peter R. Savage, Summer L. Schneider
  • Patent number: 10834999
    Abstract: A tensioning system for use with an article of footwear includes a pulley assembly. The pulley assembly may include a first disc and a second disc connected by a central shaft. A tensioning element can be engaged around the central shaft. A ring element can be used to prevent the tensioning element from disengaging the pulley when there is slack in the tensioning element. The tensioning element may provide support to various regions of the article of footwear or may be used to close the throat of the article of footwear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Austin Orand
  • Patent number: 10834998
    Abstract: An article of footwear includes an upper having a lacing system, an underfoot support plate, and a holding cage that has support members extending up from the support plate, forming a portion of a cradle around and rearward of a wearer's calcaneus bone. The support members join with the lacing system so when the cage is in a loaded state, the system translates a forward force of a wearer's instep against it, through the members so the cradle is pulled toward the calcaneus bone, with the lacing system, to impair the foot from sliding forward over the support plate. The footwear can include a tensioning member, joined with the system and a constrictor strap that wraps rearward around an ankle of the wearer, and operable in a tightening mode in which the lace is tightened to lock the holding cage against the heel and tighten the strap around the ankle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2020
    Assignee: Wolverine Outdoors, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven A. Workman, William J. Cass, Clark A. Matis
  • Patent number: 10827803
    Abstract: An article of footwear facilitates relatively easy donning and removal, and secure adjustment. The article of footwear comprises a sole structure, an upper secured to the sole structure, and a plurality of tensioning cables having proximal ends fixed to at least one of the upper or the sole structure and extending out of the upper. A strap has a proximal end connected to distal ends of the plurality of tensioning cables, and has a distal end releasably securable to the upper to tighten the tensioning cables. A webbed spacer is secured to the plurality of tensioning cables. The webbed spacer extends between adjacent ones of the plurality of tensioning cables, and the adjacent ones of the plurality of tensioning cables spaced apart from one another by the webbed spacer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas G. Bell, Jeffrey C. Spanks
  • Patent number: 10758010
    Abstract: An article of footwear providing easy donning and doffing through a heel region. A heel cup is pivotably coupled with the footwear to articulate between an open configuration allowing easier access to a foot-receiving cavity and a closed configuration enclosing a heel region of the footwear. A tensioning strap extends from a first side of the footwear around the heel cup to an opposite second side of the footwear when the heel cup is in the closed configuration. The heel strap is effective to structurally secure the heel cup in the closed configuration. One or more tensioning strands may extend from the tensioning strap. The tensioning strands may be effective to convert force provided through the tensioning strap across a forefoot portion to generate a forefoot securing force through a lacing mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, INC.
    Inventor: Brett Drake
  • Patent number: 10743621
    Abstract: A lace-tightening device for a shoe lace in a shoe includes a rotating cam within a housing disposed within the shoe. The cam is connected to the opposite ends of the shoe lace and includes an outer surface for receiving the shoe lace as the cam rotates to pull the lace. A ratchet arm is slidably disposed within the housing and includes linear teeth arranged to engage the teeth of a driven gear as the ratchet arm translates in a linear direction, to rotate the gear in the one direction. The driven gear is part of a gear train connected to the cam to rotate the cam. The ratchet arm is pulled by at least one shape memory alloy (SMA) wire attached to a controller that is configured to execute a power cycle to energize and deenergize the SMA wire to thereby sequentially translate the ratchet arm in the linear direction, and ultimately to incrementally pull and tighten the shoe lace.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: Recovery Force, LLC
    Inventors: Matthew W. Wyatt, Brian J. Stasey, Ryan Hamilton
  • Patent number: 10731690
    Abstract: An electromagnetic coupling device. The coupling device has a device body and at least one tongue member protruding from the device body. The tongue member has one or more ferro-magnetic engagement means provided thereon. At least one tongue member receiving means is provided on or defined by the device body and at least one electromagnet is provided substantially adjacent the receiving means. The engagement means provided on the tongue member of a second electromagnetic coupling device may be accommodated within the receiving means of the device body. The electromagnet is operable to cause the engagement means of the tongue member of the said second electromagnetic coupling device to substantially resist or prevent movement of the said tongue member within the receiving means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Inventor: Arthur L. Jenkins, III
  • Patent number: 10721993
    Abstract: A plantar surface pressure offloading system includes an insole capable of coupling with a shoe and interfacing with a foot. A number of compressible bladders and pressure sensors are coupled to the insole. Each bladder has an adjustable compressibility, and each pressure sensor is configured to measure a pressure exerted on a respective portion of the foot. A controller of the system can perform, for each compressible bladder, a compressibility adjustment process including (i) receiving, from a respective pressure sensor associated with a respective bladder, a signal indicative of a pressure exerted on a respective portion of the foot, (ii) determining, based on the signal, that the pressure exerted on the respective portion of the foot exceeds a threshold pressure, and (iii) responsive to the determination, adjusting the compressibility of the respective bladder, thereby offloading pressure from the respective portion of the foot to a different portion of the foot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2020
    Assignees: Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
    Inventors: Noah J. Rosenblatt, Ryan Crews, Farid Amirouche
  • Patent number: 10687586
    Abstract: An article of footwear comprises a sole structure, and an upper. The upper includes a front section and a rear section, both secured to the sole structure. The front section is fixed to the sole structure at least partially forward of the rear section and includes a medial portion and a lateral portion that together define a foot-receiving cavity over the sole structure, and a foot entry opening of the foot-receiving cavity. A zipper is secured to the medial portion and to the lateral portion. The zipper includes a slider movable between a zipped position and an unzipped position forward of the zipped position. An anchor is secured to one of the front section or the sole structure forward of the zipped position of the slider, and a cord is engaged with the zipper and with the rear section of the upper, and routed through the anchor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Gerald Sullivan
  • Patent number: 10674779
    Abstract: A magnetic fastener such as for an article of footwear comprises a male fastener portion and a female fastener portion. The male fastener portion is configured to magnetically fasten to the female fastener portion. The female fastener portion defines a recess with an outer periphery that is asymmetric about a center axis of the recess. The male fastener portion fits into the recess when the male fastener portion is in a first orientation relative to the female fastener portion, and interferes with the female fastener portion when the male fastener portion is urged to rotate about the center axis of the recess away from the first orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Giorgio Anceresi, Eric Y. Lee
  • Patent number: 10674793
    Abstract: Systems and apparatus related to an automated footwear platform including a button assembly for controlling a footwear lacing apparatus are discussed. In an example, the button assembly can include a bushing and an actuator. The bushing can include an actuator housing surrounded by an outer flange. The actuator housing can include an exterior side and an interior side relative to the footwear platform. The actuator can include a plurality of actuator bodies disposed within the actuator housing. Each actuator body of the plurality of actuator bodies can include a switch interface adapted to interact with a switch on a lacing engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Narissa Chang
  • Patent number: 10624423
    Abstract: A tensioning system for use with an article of footwear includes a pulley assembly. The pulley assembly may include a first disc and a second disc connected by a central shaft. A tensioning element can be engaged around the central shaft. A ring element can be used to prevent the tensioning element from disengaging the pulley when there is slack in the tensioning element. The pulley assembly can include a guide portion that guides a tensioning member so as to restrict the entry angle of segments of the tensioning member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Austin Orand, Timothy P. Hopkins
  • Patent number: 10617169
    Abstract: An article of footwear or an article of apparel can include provisions for facilitating the use of a sensor device and protecting the sensor device from external particles or fluid. The sensor device can include a conduit for moving air through the sensor device from one portion of the sensor device to another portion of the sensor device. An elastic membrane can be attached to an opening formed in the sensor device. The elastic membrane can deform in response to changes in air pressure within the sensor device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Tiffany A. Beers, Andrew A. Owings
  • Patent number: 10609984
    Abstract: Sole structures for articles of footwear, including athletic footwear, include: (a) a lightweight foam midsole component for supporting the foot; and (b) a plurality of heavier and/or denser cage components covering selected areas of the midsole component. Spaces are provided between the cage components. These spaces may be sized, shaped, and oriented to define and/or correspond to flexion lines of the foot and/or to produce a more natural flex motion to the sole. The soles additionally may include one or more outsole components, e.g., on bottom surface(s) of the cage component(s) and/or the foam midsole. These sole structures may be engaged with an upper to form a shoe. The uppers may include one or more lace receiving openings supported by elongated wire or textile components. Methods of making footwear including such uppers and/or sole structures also are described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Simidele A. Adeagbo, Chad C. Grover, Kevin W. Hoffer, Matthew J. Holmes, Tamimu A. Shyllon
  • Patent number: 10555578
    Abstract: A rapid-entry shoe allows the shoe to be rapidly entered and readied for wearing by the user. The shoe may be any of a wide variety of shoe types, including shoes of a wide variety of styles and functions. The rapid entry features of the shoes utilize various movable elements that are attached to a sole portion or other portion of the shoe and allow movement of a portion of the shoe under pressure to allow rapid entry of the user's foot into the shoe. The moveable elements may include flexible elements, elements having constructed to have a memory of a native position, magnetic elements, and/or elastic elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2020
    Assignee: FAST IP, LLC
    Inventor: Michael Pratt
  • Patent number: 10512298
    Abstract: A footwear upper comprises a front section and a rear section. The front section is at least partially forward of the rear section and at least partially defines a foot-receiving cavity. The front section has a medial edge and a lateral edge partially defining a foot entry opening. A zipper system includes a medial slider movable along the medial edge of the front section to zip the rear section to the medial edge, a medial zipper pull engaged with the medial slider, a lateral slider movable along the lateral edge of the front section to zip the rear section to the lateral edge, and a lateral zipper pull engaged with the lateral slider. A tightening system includes a lace-receiving feature on the front section forward of the zipper system, and a lace extending through the lace-receiving feature, through the medial zipper pull, and through the lateral zipper pull.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Tinker L. Hatfield, Tiffany A. Beers, John T. Dimoff, Jared M. Kilmer, Ami M. Davis
  • Patent number: 10492940
    Abstract: An orthopedic device has at least one flexible or rigid frame member contoured to generally correspond to an anatomical limb. The device also includes a tightening system having a dial tensioning device and at least one cable and/or strap connected to the dial tensioning device. The dial tensioning device has a rotary ratchet permitting incremental adjustment of the cable and/or strap. Adjustment of the dial tensioner in a first direction secures the frame member to the limb.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: OSSUR HF
    Inventors: Arni Thor Ingimundarson, Palmi Einarsson, Irving Hu, Jane Lee
  • Patent number: 10477911
    Abstract: A charging system can include provisions for providing power to various systems or components associated with the article of footwear. A charging system may include a charging unit with one or more components configured for use with one or more articles of footwear, where the articles of footwear can include different sizes. The components can be magnetically joined to the article in some cases. Upon connection with a power source, the article may be configured to unlace automatically. In some cases, the charging system can be used to facilitate the transfer of power to components in an automated tensioning system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Tiffany A. Beers
  • Patent number: 10433999
    Abstract: A closure system for braces, protective wear and similar articles is disclosed. The closure system includes a plurality of opposing lace guide members and a tightening mechanism. The closure system further includes a lace extending through the guide members and coupled to the tightening mechanism. In some embodiments, a quick release apparatus is included to facilitate opening of the closure system. The tightening mechanism in some embodiments includes a control for winding the lace into a housing to place tension on the lace thereby tightening the closure system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Assignee: Boa Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary R. Hammerslag, James Capra
  • Patent number: 10405610
    Abstract: A tensioning system for articles of footwear and articles of apparel is disclosed. The tensioning system includes a tensioning member that is tightened or loosened using a motorized tensioning device for winding and unwinding the tensioning member on a spool. The motorized tensioning device includes a torque transmitting system that allows for incremental tightening incremental loosening and full loosening of the tensioning member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Tiffany A. Beers, Andrew A. Owings
  • Patent number: 10327514
    Abstract: An eyelet for an article of footwear includes an eyelet body configured to slidably couple a first string to a second string. The eyelet body defines a first arc-shaped aperture and an opposing, second arc-shaped aperture. The first arc-shaped aperture is configured to slidably receive the first string, and the second arc-shaped aperture is configured to slidably receive the second string. The eyelet may be disposed over (but not necessarily attached to) an upper of an article of footwear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Blake Rhulen, Carl L. Madore
  • Patent number: 10285472
    Abstract: A lace-tightening device for a shoe lace in a shoe comprises a rotating cam within a housing disposed within the shoe. The cam is connected to the opposite ends of the shoe lace and includes an outer surface for receiving the shoe lace as the cam rotates to pull the lace. A driven gear disposed is rotatably coupled to the cam through a one-way clutch configured so that rotation of the driven gear in one direction rotates the cam in the one direction, thereby tightening the shoe lace connected to the rotating cam. A ratchet arm is slidably disposed within the housing and includes linear teeth arranged to engage the teeth of the driven gear as the ratchet arm translates in a linear direction. to rotate the gear in the one direction. The ratchet arm is pulled by at least one shape memory alloy (SMA) wire attached at one end to the ratchet arm and at its opposite end to a controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: Recovery Force, LLC
    Inventors: Matthew W. Wyatt, Brian J. Stasey, Mark Gummin, Ryan Hamilton
  • Patent number: 10238180
    Abstract: A position sensing assembly for a tensioning system designed to provide tension to a lace, cord, or other type of strand is disclosed. The tensioning system includes a reel member configured to rotate about a central axis and the position sensing assembly. The position sensing assembly includes a shaft, an indicator tab, and an optical sensing unit. The position sensing assembly assists in controlling the degree to which the strand is tightened and loosened. The position sensing assembly prevents tightening of the strand when the strand is meant to be loosened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Tiffany A. Beers, Andrew A. Owings
  • Patent number: 10231506
    Abstract: An article of footwear having an upper secured to an outsole in combination having three toe pockets, the first toe pocket having a configuration to separately receive within a big toe of a wearer, and the second toe pocket having a configuration to separately receive within a second toe of the wearer, and the third toe pocket having a configuration to receive within the remaining third toe, fourth toe and fifth toe of the wearer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: S9, LLC
    Inventor: John M. Chenciner
  • Patent number: 10231503
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a collar element for an article of footwear is disclosed. The method comprises knitting the collar element comprising a tubular structure defining an interior cavity and a plurality of floating yarns within the cavity. The method further comprises securing the collar element to an upper of the article of footwear. A method of manufacturing an upper for an article of footwear having a collar element is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Pamela S. Greene, Michael A. Aveni, Christopher James Lyke, Bryan N. Farris
  • Patent number: 10201212
    Abstract: An article with an automatic tensioning system includes a lace guide assembly. The lace guide assembly includes a lower guide member and two upper guide members that include channels for routing a tensioning member. Straps of the upper are attached to the two upper guide members. As the tensioning member is pulled into a tensioning device, the two upper guide members are pulled toward the lower guide member. This pulls on the straps and acts to tighten the upper around a foot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Tiffany A. Beers, Andrew A. Owings
  • Patent number: 10172423
    Abstract: A foot presence sensor system for an active article of footwear can include a sensor housing configured to be disposed at or in an insole of the article, and a controller circuit, disposed within the sensor housing, configured to trigger one or more automated functions of the footwear based on a foot presence indication. In an example, the sensor system includes a capacitive sensor configured to sense changes in a capacitance signal in response to proximity of a body. A dielectric member can be provided between the capacitive sensor and the body to enhance an output signal from the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven H. Walker, Phillip Meneau
  • Patent number: 10169737
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention address deficiencies of the art in respect to manufacturing production and provide a novel and non-obvious method, system and computer program product for reuse of cancelled products that are partially manufactured. In one embodiment of the invention, a method for reusing a partially manufactured product during a manufacturing process can be provided. The method can include reading a configuration of the partially manufactured product and reading a set of rules that match a given configuration with one of a set of defined target configurations. The method can further include executing the set of rules upon the configuration of the partially manufactured product so as to match the configuration of the partially manufactured product with a target configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Steven C. Erickson, Ivory W. Knipfer, Jason S. Lee, Fraser A. Syme, Matthew H. Zemke
  • Patent number: 10149514
    Abstract: A system for securing shoes to the feet using a one pull shoe closure arrangement. Each embodiment of the system uses a squared-cord arrangement that extends between the lateral and medial sides of the shoe. The various embodiments arrange a single draw strap connected to one or more squared-cord portions to draw in and tighten the sides of the squared-cord arrangement. A single pull strap in a first embodiment is redirected from a lateral orientation to a longitudinal orientation where it is drawn back and secured on the heel portion of the shoe. Alternate embodiments pull a shorter draw strap laterally to a point of securement on the side of the shoe. Further alternate embodiments pull a draw strap longitudinally along a midline at the top of the shoe to a point of securement back onto the squared-cord arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2018
    Assignee: Fit Squared Shoes, LLC
    Inventors: Thomas M. Adams, Zenon O. Smotrycz, Eric J. Clement
  • Patent number: 10136701
    Abstract: An arrangement of tensile strands is incorporated into a footwear article to provide at least part of an enclosure. The tensile strands may be adjustable to affect a size of the enclosure and an amount of compression of the enclosure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Ross Klein, Nathan G. Schultze
  • Patent number: 10123589
    Abstract: A lacing system configured to selectively adjust the size of an opening on an object and allow for the incremental release of the lace within the lacing system. The lacing system can have a reel comprising a housing, a spool supported by the housing, and a knob supported by the housing. The reel can be configured so that cable is gathered in the channel formed in the spool when the spool is rotated in a first direction relative to the housing, and so that cable can be incrementally released from the spool when the spool is rotated in a second direction relative to the housing. In some embodiments, the reel can include a rotation limiter which can be configured to prevent over-tightening of the lacing system and/or to prevent rotation past the substantially fully loosened state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: Boa Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Soderberg, Michael Joseph Nickel, Sean Cavanagh, James Paul Goodman
  • Patent number: 10070696
    Abstract: A holding assembly for articles can be used with a flexible manufacturing system to hold an article in place. The holding assembly can be used with a printing system to print onto the article. The holding assembly can expand to fit the article. The holding assembly can include a moldable surface that can be provided with a temporarily fixed geometry through the use of a vacuum. The holding assembly can help provide a flattened outer surface for the article to facilitate printing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Todd W. Miller, Mike A. Chamblin, Eli R. Troyke
  • Patent number: 9980534
    Abstract: A spacer textile material has at least a portion of multiple tensile strands located between a first layer and a second layer of the spacer textile material where the first layer and second layer have been joined together to form channels in which the tensile strands move freely. In one or more locations, a first tensile strand and a second tensile overlap at an intersection region. Further, the spacer textile material may be incorporated into an article of footwear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas A. Beye, Lysandre Follet
  • Patent number: 9949532
    Abstract: An article of footwear has an upper with multiple components. The upper includes a fastening system with a moveable assembly. The moveable assembly may include a flap portion and a throat portion. The moveable assembly is attached to the upper. The moveable assembly may be readily moved to facilitate entry of a foot into the article of footwear, or exit of a foot from the article of footwear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: George A. Xanthos, Tobie D. Hatfield, Claudio Innocente, Zachary E. Hull, Samantha Melinyshyn