NIKE has been granted a patent for a strobel in footwear manufacturing. The polymeric bladder retains fluid, with a peripheral flange and groove. The method involves welding polymeric sheets to form the strobel and securing it to the upper. The innovation enhances footwear construction. GlobalData’s report on NIKE gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on NIKE, AI-assisted fitness tracking was a key innovation area identified from patents. NIKE's grant share as of January 2024 was 76%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Footwear manufacturing method using polymeric bladder with fluid retention

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: NIKE Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11882899B2) discloses a method for manufacturing footwear that involves forming a strobel by welding two polymeric sheets together to create a peripheral flange with a groove and interior welds. The strobel includes a polymeric bladder with an interior cavity for retaining fluid, and the welding process includes creating spaced-apart first and second welds along the peripheral flange. The strobel is then secured to an upper by stitching it along the groove in the peripheral flange, ensuring a secure attachment between the components.

Additionally, the method includes specific arrangements of interior welds in rows and columns, with alternating offsets and alignments to create equilateral triangles. The patent also covers the manufacturing of different-sized strobels by welding sheets together to form polymeric bladders with additional rows or columns of interior welds. The process further involves placing the upper with the secured strobel on a last, aligning locating features for accuracy, and potentially securing a midsole while on the last. Furthermore, the method includes inflating the polymeric bladder post-attachment and sealing the interior cavity, with the option of placing the assembly on a last before or after inflation. Lastly, a lasting component can be disposed at the peripheral flange before securing the strobel to the upper, ensuring structural integrity in the footwear manufacturing process.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.