“Riding The U.S. Patent System Roller Coaster”September 28, 2020
In an article published in Theme Park University on September 28, 2020, Partner Jeremy Kriegel discusses the role of patents in theme park design and construction, and key considerations for theme park designers.
“When contemplating a new attraction, such as a roller coaster, design teams should understand that each system and sub-system, such as the brakes, restraints, track design, car design, seat design, acceleration systems, evacuation routes, water features (e.g., splashing or water cannons), sound effects, visual effects, crowd queueing (both actual and virtual), pass verification, loading and unloading, control systems, rider photos and souvenirs, pose a potential thicket of patent issues,” Kriegel explained.
While these issues are commonly the concern of the companies to whom development of the rides are outsourced, patent litigation can lead to unavailability of vital components, cost overruns and delays. In the article, Kriegel outlines the common types of patents, including utility patents, design patents and plant patents, explaining when each one would be best suited to meet designers' needs.
“Theme park designers should consult with intellectual property counsel to help them navigate the myriad of potential patent issues in their projects, not only to steer clear of potential third party patents, but also to identify and protect potentially patentable inventions they develop during their creative process and development,” Kriegel concluded.