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  • Francis Mubwaro Mwine

Skateboarding Patents and Olympics

The first celebration of the modern Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece in 1896. It’s far a cry the Games featured only 10 sporting activities, and these were, athletics, tennis, swimming, shooting, weightlifting, fencing, cyclic track and cycling road. Since then, new Games, have been added or removed over the years and the Olympics in Tokyo-2020 will be no different.

According, to the International Olympics Committee (IOC), skateboarding, baseball and softball, karate, and sport climbing will be making their debut during the Tokyo Olympics bringing the total to 339 sports.

The Intellectual Property (IP) system, and trademarks in particular, play an important role in safeguarding the unique character of the Olympic Games. The Games are as much a celebration of invention and ingenuity as they are of humanity, fair play, and sporting brilliance.

The history of skateboarding dates to the 17th-century when roller skates were shaped as a summer substitute to ice skating. With the start of urethane wheels, empty swimming pools, skateparks, and the allies (1973-1980), skateboarding spreads to all corners of the globe.

Skateboarding has been molded and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. According to a report in 2019, the global skateboard industry is estimated at USD 4.8 billion in annual revenues, with 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world.

Will to Live

The world’s first skateboard would only see the light of day somewhere between the early 1900s and late 1950, depending on what a skateboard is for historians and skating fans.

1760: Belgian inventor Jean-Joseph Merlin creates a pair of roller skates with iron wheels and nearly killed himself crashing into a mirror as he demonstrated them at a costume ball.

1819: Monsieur Pettitbled patents a design that uses two-to-four rollers made of ivory, copper, or wood and attached to a wooden sole tape, then fitted to a skater’s boot.

1823: Inline skating pioneer Robert John Tyres patents the “Rolito,” a roller skate with five wheels in a single row and smaller wheels on each end to allow for turning and maneuvering.

1828: Jean Garcin patents an inline skate with three wheels named “Cigar”.

1863: James Leonard Plimpton, a New York furniture manufacturer, patents a skate with two wheels in the front and two wheels in the back. Safer and easier to use than existing versions.

2016: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announces that skateboarding will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020, taking the street sport fully mainstream. The event will feature a street skateboarding and a park skateboarding competition at the Ariake Urban Sports Park. The sport has already been approved for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

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