PL Homework 1 -- Due Monday, January 24

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Homework 1

Due: Monday, January 24

I will be looking at patent 4,846,469 which was filed on July 11, 1989. The patent is titled "Apparatus for flexibly mounting a basketball goal" and was invented by Stephen F. Nye. The invention is a mounting system for a basketball rim being attached to a backboard. It consists of a mounting plate, which is bolted to the backboard, and the basketball rim, which is attached to the mounting plate. The rim is attached to the mounting plate with two bolts at the bottom and two bolts at the top. The bottom bolts are designed with bushings ("resilient rings") to allow for some flexiblity, while top is attached with two bolts, each with a spring around it. This mechanism allows for the rim to break-away from the backboard when a downward force is applied to the rim (e.g.- someone slam dunking), and then return to the horizontal position when the force is removed.

There were already several devices which accomplished the general goal of providing a damping system for a basketball rim invented before this patent, but the patent claims novelty in the following areas: (1) the apparatus is more simple than previous designs and therefore allows it to be produced more economically and fail less often, (2) the device is to be made of durable materials which are suited for outdoor use, and (3) the simplicity of the design allows it to be easily installed to other backboards which previous designs did not.