Patent a surfboard shape?

I’ve had some interesting search questions show up in my website statistics, but since they don’t get asked of me, I don’t get to chat with the person who searched. One was: “Can surfboard shapers patent their designs”. To get legal advice you would need to consult with a patent attorney or the patent office, however I have two patents and done some study so I may be able to help.

 Generally the answer will be: No, a shaper cannot patent his design. The test for patentability includes: Is it novel? (Something new and different) Is it unobvious? (Does the novelty produce new and unexpected results?) For the most part shapers are making minor changes to the lines that comprise a surfboard’s shape; most are not novel and most are quite obvious as to result.

 You would have to do something unusual like make a surfboard that started long, then after catching the wave, shrunk to a short board, expanded again to glide over a flat section, etc. That would probably be patentable, but the novel aspect is not the shape but the lengthening/shortening while riding.

 There is also a design patent which is for a new, original, and ornamental design. (Note that Meyerhoffer has US design patent 604,785 for his surfboard. Of course Tom Morey with his “Swizzle” surfboard might contest the originality of Meyerhoffer’s design…)

 I used the book “Patent it Yourself” by David Pressman from nolo.com for my reference and if you are serious about a patent, read that book first.

 Bob

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2 Responses to “Patent a surfboard shape?”

  1. tim costa-jones Says:

    sir .. i layed claim 2 putting 2gether the hardtail 1st then the concave bottom 2nd onto simon’s thruster i got the idea from a board in the 70’s and 1 in the 80’s … i’m the mixmaster with rocker profile and some vee … i never cashed in because it was really never there .. but i’d like 2b inducted into the hall of fame … b nice …. anyway hi have a nice day ..

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