US20100229426A1 - Pair of athletic shoes with asymmetric support between the uppers of the pair - Google Patents

Pair of athletic shoes with asymmetric support between the uppers of the pair Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100229426A1
US20100229426A1 US12/661,315 US66131510A US2010229426A1 US 20100229426 A1 US20100229426 A1 US 20100229426A1 US 66131510 A US66131510 A US 66131510A US 2010229426 A1 US2010229426 A1 US 2010229426A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
material
portion
forefoot
pair
left
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US12/661,315
Inventor
Stephen John Brown
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New Balance Athletics Inc
Original Assignee
New Balance Athletics Inc
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US21028309P priority Critical
Application filed by New Balance Athletics Inc filed Critical New Balance Athletics Inc
Priority to US12/661,315 priority patent/US20100229426A1/en
Assigned to NEW BALANCE ATHLETIC SHOE, INC. reassignment NEW BALANCE ATHLETIC SHOE, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BROWN, STEPHEN JOHN
Publication of US20100229426A1 publication Critical patent/US20100229426A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B5/00Footwear for sporting purposes
    • A43B5/06Running boots
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B1/00Footwear characterised by the material
    • A43B1/02Footwear made of animal or plant fibres or fabrics made therefrom
    • A43B1/04Braided, knotted, knitted, or crocheted footwear
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B13/00Soles; Sole and heel units
    • A43B13/14Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the constructive form
    • A43B13/22Soles made slip-preventing or wear-resisting, e.g. by impregnation or spreading a wear-resisting layer
    • A43B13/24Soles made slip-preventing or wear-resisting, e.g. by impregnation or spreading a wear-resisting layer by use of insertions
    • A43B13/26Soles made slip-preventing or wear-resisting, e.g. by impregnation or spreading a wear-resisting layer by use of insertions projecting beyond the sole surface
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B23/00Uppers; Boot legs; Stiffeners; Other single parts of footwear
    • A43B23/02Uppers; Boot legs
    • A43B23/0205Uppers; Boot legs characterised by the material
    • A43B23/0215Plastics or artificial leather
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B23/00Uppers; Boot legs; Stiffeners; Other single parts of footwear
    • A43B23/02Uppers; Boot legs
    • A43B23/0245Uppers; Boot legs characterised by the constructive form
    • A43B23/0295Pieced uppers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B3/00Footwear characterised by the shape or the use
    • A43B3/0036Footwear characterised by a special shape or design
    • A43B3/0094Footwear characterised by a special shape or design with means to differentiate between right and left shoe
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B7/00Footwear with health or hygienic arrangements
    • A43B7/06Ventilated footwear
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43CFASTENINGS OR ATTACHMENTS OF FOOTWEAR; LACES IN GENERAL
    • A43C15/00Non-skid devices or attachments
    • A43C15/09Equipment associated with footwear for walking on inclines to compensate for angle of inclination

Abstract

A pair of shoes is provided that includes a left and a right shoe. The left shoe includes an upper having a left forefoot portion, the left forefoot portion having a lateral side with a portion thereof made of a first material and a medial side with a portion thereof made of a second material. The right shoe includes an upper having a right forefoot, the right forefoot having a medial side with a portion thereof made of the first material and a lateral side with a portion thereof made of the second material, wherein one of the first material and the second material provides more support than the other. The more supportive first material can include a polyurethane, such as TPU, a non-stretch synthetic material, or ceraprene. The second, less supportable material can be a light weight breathable mesh.

Description

  • This patent application claims priority to the provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/210,283, entitled “Pair of Athletic Shoes with Asymmetric Support Between the Uppers of the Pair,” filed on Mar. 16, 2009, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to athletic footwear. In particular, the present invention relates to athletic shoes having an improved upper used in sports that entail asymmetric movement of the feet, for example, track running.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Athletic footwear must provide stable and comfortable support for the foot. Specifically, it is important that the footwear be comfortable while providing adequate support during various foot movements associated with athletic activity. Athletic footwear typically includes an upper and a sole having a midsole and an outsole. Much attention has been paid to the construction of the sole of athletic footwear, which is often segmented and constructed of various materials constructed and positioned to provide suitable cushioning and stabilizing properties to the wearer. The standard upper, however, is typically constructed primarily of one kind of material, for example, one that is breathable and lightweight. Though this material may be comfortable, it often does not provide adequate support for an athlete. In addition, while a pair of shoes of any type typically includes a right shoe that is a mirror image of the left shoe in order to provide the same functionality to corresponding portions of each foot, this is not optimal for sports that require asymmetrical foot movement, such as track running.
  • Indoor track running facilities have evolved with various configurations and sizes. Often tracks incorporate banked curves in an attempt to compensate for body lean presumably to enhance running performance and/or reduce lower limb injuries. More specifically, it is thought that a banked curve puts less torque on the ankles and that it is easier to reach maximum speed without being injured. Since a banked track is built with an upward slope from the inner edge to the outer edge at a curve, asymmetric bilateral foot support conditions occur during curved running. Shoes do exist in which the soles of a left and right shoe have different characteristics, such as for bowling and curling. There does not exist a pair of shoes, however, with different uppers for use in sports requiring asymmetric foot support, such as running on a track.
  • Accordingly, a need exists for athletic shoes having shoe uppers adapted for sports involving asymmetric foot movements, such as banked track running. A need also exists for a pair of athletic shoes optimized for a particular sport involving asymmetric foot movements, where each shoe upper of the pair is designed for optimal support for each of the wearer's feet.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides an article of footwear adapted for sports involving asymmetric foot movements, such as banked track running. The present invention also provides a pair of athletic shoes optimized for a particular sport involving asymmetric foot movements, where each shoe upper of the pair is designed for optimal support of the wearer's corresponding foot.
  • To optimize such a pair of athletic shoes, the forces applicable to the different areas, of the shoe are considered. Different designs are provided for the lateral and medial portions of the shoe upper, in order to enhance flexibility, balance control, propulsion, stability and support in the specific areas where needed. This, in turn, provides improved performance and minimizes injuries.
  • In particular, the present invention provides a pair of shoes including a left shoe and a right shoe. The left shoe includes an upper having a left forefoot, the left forefoot having a lateral side, at least a portion thereof made of a first material, and a medial side, at least a portion thereof made of a second material. The right shoe has an upper having a right forefoot, the right forefoot having a medial side, at least a portion thereof made of the first material and a lateral side, at least a portion thereof made of the second material. One of the first and second materials is more supportive than the other. Support is thus provided asymmetrically to the wearer's feet.
  • In one aspect, the less supportive material includes a light weight breathable mesh.
  • In another aspect, the one of the first material and the second material first material that is more supportive can include one or more of polyurethane, a non-stretch synthetic material, and/or ceraprene.
  • The advantages and various features of the present invention will become apparent through the following description of various embodiments of the invention described in reference to the accompanying drawings, and the claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE. DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1A is a top view of two panels of materials used to make a forefoot portion of an upper for a left shoe in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 1B is a top view of two panels of materials used to make a forefoot portion of an upper for a right shoe that pairs with the left shoe of FIG. 1A.
  • FIG. 2 is a representation of the forces on each foot when a runner is running on a banked track in a clockwise direction.
  • FIG. 3A is a top view of a left shoe in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3B is a top view of a right shoe for pairing with the left shoe of FIG. 3A.
  • FIG. 4 is a side view of the left shoe of FIG. 3B.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS
  • Preferred embodiments of a pair of shoes of the present invention are described below with reference to the figures where like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1A and B, and FIG. 2, a pair of shoes is provided in one embodiment for running in a clockwise direction on a track, in particular, a track with at least a portion thereof banked. In this case, the inside or medial side of the left foot and the lateral or outer side of the right foot will endure more stress than their corresponding other sides (left lateral and right medial). Therefore, it is desirable to provide at least a portion of the medial upper of the left shoe and of the lateral upper of the right shoe with a more supportive structure than the corresponding portions of the left lateral upper and the right medial upper. The portions that do need support can be made of a lighter, breathable material, thus providing a lightweight shoe that provides support where needed.
  • In particular, referring to FIG. 1A, a forefoot portion 114 of a left shoe upper 110 includes a lateral portion 116 and a medial portion 118. The lateral forefoot portion 116 and the medial forefoot portion 118 are designed to function differently. The lateral portion 116 is formed of a first material which can be of a light breathable mesh material. The medial portion 118 is formed of a second material, which is of a more supportive, preferably nonstretch synthetic material.
  • Referring to FIG. 1B, a forefoot portion 120 of a right shoe upper 112 includes a medial portion 122 and a lateral portion 124. The medial forefoot portion 122 and the lateral forefoot portion 124 are designed to function differently. The medial portion 122 is formed of a first material which can be a light breathable mesh material providing decreased foot support compared to the lateral side. In one embodiment, the material of the right forefoot medial portion 122 is the same material as utilized for the left forefoot lateral portion 116.
  • The right forefoot lateral portion 124 is formed of a second material which can be supportive non-stretch synthetic material providing increased foot support for the athlete running clockwise on a track, especially a banked track. In one embodiment, the material of the right forefoot lateral portion 124 is the same material as utilized for the left forefoot medial portion 118.
  • The first material can be formed of lightweight breathable mesh materials, and can be a stretchable material. Any material can be used that is suitable for non-stress areas of the shoe upper. In one embodiment, the same light breathable mesh materials are utilized for the left forefoot lateral side portion 116 and the right forefoot medial side portion 122. These are considered non-stress areas that do not require support when the athlete runs on a banked track such as shown in FIG. 2, in a clockwise direction.
  • The second material can be formed of any supportive material, preferably non-stretch synthetics, that can provide increased foot support in the areas of the foot that experience increased stress when the athlete is running on the track. In the embodiment represented in FIG. 2, the supportive material is formed over at least a substantial portion of the left forefoot medial 118 and the right forefoot lateral portion 124, where most pressure is applied on the feet of the athlete running clockwise, especially while on the turns of a curved track. Possible supportive materials include non-stretch synthetics, ceraprene and polyurethane (PU), including thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
  • Another embodiment of a pair of shoes for running in a clockwise direction on a track is shown in FIGS. 3A, 3B and 4. A left upper 311, as shown in FIG. 3A, includes a forefoot portion 314, a midfoot portion 317 and a rearfoot portion 325.
  • With further reference to FIG. 3A, left forefoot portion 314 further includes a medial forefoot portion 316 and a lateral forefoot portion 318. The left midfoot 317 includes a medial midfoot portion 326 and a lateral midfoot portion 328; and the rearfoot portion 325 includes a medial 330 and a lateral rearfoot portion 332.
  • In one embodiment as shown in FIG. 3A, a zone of support is provided in the shape of a band 350 that includes the second supportive material. One end of the band is positioned centrally to a nominal position of the fifth metatarsal head in the medial forefoot portion 316. The width of the band may also cover a portion of the medial midfoot 326. The supportive band 350 extends over the lacing area of the shoe to the left lateral forefoot 318, preferably ending adjacent the fifth phalange.
  • The first material including light breathable mesh materials can extend in the remaining area of the forefoot 314 and midfoot portions 317.
  • With further reference to FIG. 3A, the left shoe 310 also includes an insole 342. The left shoe insole 342 includes a heel area, which can be prepared of any suitable cushioning material.
  • An upper 313 of a right shoe for pairing with the left shoe upper of FIG. 3A is shown in FIG. 3B. The upper 313 includes a right forefoot 320, a right midfoot 321 and a right rearfoot portion 329.
  • With further reference to FIG. 3B, right forefoot 320 further includes a medial forefoot 322 and a lateral forefoot portion 324. The right midfoot portion 321 includes a medial 334 and a lateral midfoot portion 336; and the right rearfoot portion 329 includes a medial 338 and a lateral rearfoot portion 340.
  • In one embodiment as shown in FIG. 3B, the second material including supportive synthetic material can be formed in the shape of a band 355 as shown to provide a supportive zone. One end of the band is positioned centrally to a nominal position of the first metatarsal head in the lateral forefoot portion 324. The width of the band may also cover a portion of the lateral midfoot 336. The supportive band 355 extends over the lacing area of the shoe to the right medial forefoot 322, preferably ending adjacent the first phalange.
  • The first material including light breathable mesh materials can extend in the remaining area of the forefoot 320 and midfoot portions 321.
  • With further reference to FIG. 3B, the right shoe 312 also includes an insole 344. The right shoe insole 344 includes a heel area that can be formed of any suitable cushioning material.
  • FIG. 4 is a lateral side view of the left shoe 310 of FIG. 3B. The light weight breathable mesh material extends over most of the lateral forefoot and midfoot. A supportive material such as a non-stretch synthetic covers the heel in the rearfoot portion. In one embodiment, this supportive heel section wraps around to the medial rearfoot side. A sole 446 of the left shoe 310 is coupled to the upper. A plurality of spikes 450 are coupled or otherwise attached to a forefoot portion of an outsole 448 for gripping a running surface. The spikes can be arranged in any pattern suitable for the particular activity for which the shoe is intended. Likewise, a plurality of spikes is also suitably arranged and coupled to a forefoot portion of an outsole of the right shoe.
  • While various embodiments and individual features of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. As will also be apparent to those skilled in the art, various combinations of the embodiments and features taught in the foregoing description are possible and can result in preferred executions of the present invention. Accordingly, it is intended that such changes and modifications fall within the scope of the present invention as defined by the claims appended hereto.

Claims (6)

1. A pair of shoes comprising:
a left shoe including an upper having a left forefoot portion, the left forefoot portion having a portion thereof made of a first material and a medial side having a portion thereof made of a second material; and
a right shoe including an upper having a right forefoot, the right forefoot having a medial side having a portion thereof made of the first material and a lateral side having a portion thereof made of the second material, wherein one of the first material and the second material provides more support than the other.
2. The pair of shoes of claim 1, wherein the other of the first material and the second material is a light weight breathable mesh.
3. The pair of shoes of claim 1, wherein the one of the first material and the second material first material includes a polyurethane.
4. The pair of shoes of claim 1, wherein the one of the first material and the second material includes a non-stretch synthetic material.
5. The pair of shoes of claim 1, wherein the one of the first material and the second material includes ceraprene.
6. The pair of shoes of claim 1, the left shoe and the right shoe each including a sole coupled to the corresponding upper, each sole having a forefoot portion, wherein a plurality of spikes are coupled to each of the forefoot portions, the plurality of spikes adapted and positioned on each of the left shoe and the right shoe for optimally gripping a particular running surface.
US12/661,315 2009-03-16 2010-03-15 Pair of athletic shoes with asymmetric support between the uppers of the pair Abandoned US20100229426A1 (en)

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US21028309P true 2009-03-16 2009-03-16
US12/661,315 US20100229426A1 (en) 2009-03-16 2010-03-15 Pair of athletic shoes with asymmetric support between the uppers of the pair

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12/661,315 US20100229426A1 (en) 2009-03-16 2010-03-15 Pair of athletic shoes with asymmetric support between the uppers of the pair

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090307932A1 (en) * 2008-06-17 2009-12-17 Brown Shoe Company, Inc. Shoe with traction outsole
WO2014100462A1 (en) 2012-12-19 2014-06-26 New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. Customized footwear, and systems for designing and manufacturing same
US20160015120A1 (en) * 2014-07-15 2016-01-21 Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc. Asymmetric shoes
JP2016036743A (en) * 2014-08-11 2016-03-22 アディダス アーゲー Sole for shoe
USD818253S1 (en) 2016-04-28 2018-05-22 Caleres, Inc. Tread for footwear
USD821078S1 (en) 2016-08-22 2018-06-26 Adidas Ag Shoe
USD825909S1 (en) * 2016-05-02 2018-08-21 Adidas Ag Shoe
USD838958S1 (en) 2015-11-04 2019-01-29 Adidas Ag Shoe

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US3769723A (en) * 1972-12-14 1973-11-06 M Wilbert Athletic footwear
US4204346A (en) * 1978-01-23 1980-05-27 Fugere Albert L Training shoe for soccer
US4335529A (en) * 1978-12-04 1982-06-22 Badalamenti Michael J Traction device for shoes
US4578883A (en) * 1983-08-08 1986-04-01 Puma-Sportschuhfabriken Rudolf Dassler Kg Pair of shoes for the sport of curling
US5216827A (en) * 1989-12-01 1993-06-08 Yoav Cohen Soccer training shoe
US5377430A (en) * 1993-09-17 1995-01-03 Nike, Inc. Shoe with elastic closure system
US5711094A (en) * 1995-11-22 1998-01-27 Grossman; Gerald Pair of shoes for use by golfers and a method of swinging a golf club using the same
US6108943A (en) * 1998-01-30 2000-08-29 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear having medial and lateral sides with differing characteristics
US6128835A (en) * 1999-01-28 2000-10-10 Mark Thatcher Self adjusting frame for footwear
US20020020082A1 (en) * 2000-08-08 2002-02-21 James K. Ann Continuous design footwear
US20020069558A1 (en) * 1999-10-27 2002-06-13 William T. Wilkinson Flexible non-restrictive toe structure for shoes
US6430847B2 (en) * 1999-01-07 2002-08-13 Adidas International B.V. Asymmetric shoes
USD495862S1 (en) * 2004-03-30 2004-09-14 Skechers U.S.A., Inc. Ii Shoe upper
US6857205B1 (en) * 2002-05-09 2005-02-22 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear having a sole structure with a split plate
US7293371B2 (en) * 2004-09-22 2007-11-13 Nike, Inc. Woven shoe with integral lace loops
US20070277394A1 (en) * 2006-06-05 2007-12-06 Nuria Hansen Article of Footwear with Open Upper
US20080083138A1 (en) * 2006-08-01 2008-04-10 David Lacorazza Athletic Shoe Having a Segmented Upper
US7562471B2 (en) * 2006-12-04 2009-07-21 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear with gripping system
US7814686B2 (en) * 2007-03-06 2010-10-19 Nike, Inc. Lightweight and flexible article of footwear
US7823298B2 (en) * 2003-04-24 2010-11-02 Asics Corporation Athletic shoes having an upper whose fitting property is improved

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2660813A (en) * 1951-02-10 1953-12-01 A R Hyde & Sons Company Track shoe
US3769723A (en) * 1972-12-14 1973-11-06 M Wilbert Athletic footwear
US4204346A (en) * 1978-01-23 1980-05-27 Fugere Albert L Training shoe for soccer
US4335529A (en) * 1978-12-04 1982-06-22 Badalamenti Michael J Traction device for shoes
US4578883A (en) * 1983-08-08 1986-04-01 Puma-Sportschuhfabriken Rudolf Dassler Kg Pair of shoes for the sport of curling
US5216827A (en) * 1989-12-01 1993-06-08 Yoav Cohen Soccer training shoe
US5377430A (en) * 1993-09-17 1995-01-03 Nike, Inc. Shoe with elastic closure system
US5711094A (en) * 1995-11-22 1998-01-27 Grossman; Gerald Pair of shoes for use by golfers and a method of swinging a golf club using the same
US6108943A (en) * 1998-01-30 2000-08-29 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear having medial and lateral sides with differing characteristics
US6430847B2 (en) * 1999-01-07 2002-08-13 Adidas International B.V. Asymmetric shoes
US6128835A (en) * 1999-01-28 2000-10-10 Mark Thatcher Self adjusting frame for footwear
US20020069558A1 (en) * 1999-10-27 2002-06-13 William T. Wilkinson Flexible non-restrictive toe structure for shoes
US20020020082A1 (en) * 2000-08-08 2002-02-21 James K. Ann Continuous design footwear
US6857205B1 (en) * 2002-05-09 2005-02-22 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear having a sole structure with a split plate
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US7814686B2 (en) * 2007-03-06 2010-10-19 Nike, Inc. Lightweight and flexible article of footwear

Cited By (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090307932A1 (en) * 2008-06-17 2009-12-17 Brown Shoe Company, Inc. Shoe with traction outsole
US8365441B2 (en) * 2008-06-17 2013-02-05 Brown Shoe Company, Inc. Shoe with traction outsole
WO2014100462A1 (en) 2012-12-19 2014-06-26 New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. Customized footwear, and systems for designing and manufacturing same
US20160015120A1 (en) * 2014-07-15 2016-01-21 Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc. Asymmetric shoes
US9713357B2 (en) * 2014-07-15 2017-07-25 Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc. Asymmetric shoes
JP2016036743A (en) * 2014-08-11 2016-03-22 アディダス アーゲー Sole for shoe
USD838958S1 (en) 2015-11-04 2019-01-29 Adidas Ag Shoe
USD818253S1 (en) 2016-04-28 2018-05-22 Caleres, Inc. Tread for footwear
USD825909S1 (en) * 2016-05-02 2018-08-21 Adidas Ag Shoe
USD826530S1 (en) 2016-05-02 2018-08-28 Adidas Ag Shoe
USD828000S1 (en) 2016-05-02 2018-09-11 Adidas Ag Shoe
USD862867S1 (en) 2016-05-02 2019-10-15 Adidas Ag Shoe
USD821078S1 (en) 2016-08-22 2018-06-26 Adidas Ag Shoe

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Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: NEW BALANCE ATHLETIC SHOE, INC., MASSACHUSETTS

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BROWN, STEPHEN JOHN;REEL/FRAME:024150/0920

Effective date: 20100310

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION