Innovations that Made the Super Bowl Safer and Cooler

Super Bowl LIII is in the books with a record-breaking win. Like every Super Bowl before it, this year’s NFL championship was a spectacle not only of talent, but also technology. Unlike past championships, this year’s Super Bowl featured players wearing state-of-the art equipment while battling it out in a state-of-the art stadium.

The Vicis ZERO1 Football Helmet

In 2018, the NFL and its players association banned ten different football helmet models after they performed poorly on an annual assessment to determine a wearer’s concussion severity when met with impact. Helmet models from many big names in equipment had were named ineligible, including Rawlings, Schutt and Ridell. Out of the assessment emerged an unexpected top safety performer – a company called Vicis and their highly engineered ZERO1 football helmet.

While Vicis does not have any utility patents of their own, they currently have six utility patent applications pending before the USPTO. Their most recently filed patent application, titled “LATERALLY SUPPORTED FILAMENTS,” along with three of their other utility patent applications, have been assigned to Group Art Unit 3732. The patent statistics available on Group Art Unit 3732 shows that it has historically granted only 56.2 percent of the patent applications assigned to it. We will have to wait and see whether Vicis can beat the statistics in prosecuting its applications.

In the meantime, while Vicis continues to prosecute its utility patent applications, they have licensed rights to technology described in five U.S. patents owned by Oakley® (Patent Nos. 8,770,749; 9,143,547; 9,383,594; 9,575,335; and 9,910,297), which all relate to the face shields integrated into Vicis helmets. Vicis can also rest assured that the ornamental appearance of their products is protected after having secured several U.S. design patents, which include designs for their helmet shape and face mask (see USD778504S1 and USD758669S1, respectively).

The Mercedes Benz Stadium “Halo Board” and Camera Rig

This year, Super Bowl LIII was played in Atlanta, Georgia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The stadium, which opened only recently in 2017 and seats over 70,000 fans, is a spectacle of both architecture and design. One of its coolest features is the Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s retractable roof, which is unlike any other retractable roof in that it frames the sky with a circular opening (called the “halo”) that is created by drawing back eight petal-shaped pieces.

Inside the stadium, the roof’s halo is encircled completely by a 3,200-foot-long video screen. This “halo board,” which would be longer than the Eiffel Tower if stretched out, relies on Radiant Technology’s patent-pending modular camera rig to accurately capture and stitch 360-degree footage just for the board. This hopefully soon-to-be patented technology brings a uniquely artistic view to the center of the stadium, and made the viewing in this year’s Super Bowl even more spectacular.

Patents referenced in this article were obtained using the user-friendly LexisNexis TotalPatent One™ patent search platform. USPTO patent data and patent statistics were made available through LexisNexis PatentAdvisor® patent prosecution tools. Patent practitioners who use TotalPatent One™ and PatentAdvisor™ have the tools they need to conduct efficient patent searches and to develop superior patent prosecution strategies. LexisNexis® IP products enable professionals to perform at the highest level.