Parola Analytics is highlighting sports-related intellectual properties during this Summer Olympics season. We begin with patented designs for competitive swimming garments, meant to help athletes compete and train.
The patent was assigned to TYR, a swimwear manufacturer from California partnered with several Olympic athletes and medalists. Though the company produces attire for people across a wide range of ages and skill levels, this patent features designs aimed at competition swimmers.
TYR’s USPTO submission mentions the ever-increasing levels of performance by elite swimmers, aided by advances in nutrition, training, and especially swimsuit technology. The company points out how no major Olympic or world record in men’s or women’s competitive swimming has stood unbroken for more than a decade. Similar progress is seen at many other sports, though record-breaking Olympic performances have been declining over the games’ 125-year modern history. The designs from TYR serve as yet another avenue for athletes to inch closer toward a supposed pinnacle of human performance.
To help accomplish this goal, the patent suggests an improved swimsuit that includes a plurality of tension bands and reinforcement liners in its interior. TYR says the tension bands are for storing energy and resisting motion, functionality complemented by the reinforcement liners. The liners also serve to maintain strength and flexibility in targeted locations, and feature a network of strategically positioned drains to keep water out of the suit.
Front and rear internal views of the swimsuit, illustrating the arrangement of tension bands and reinforcement liners according to an exemplary embodiment of the disclosure
The patent states that the swimsuits may also be designed for training purposes, with the bands and liners configured to make the wearer’s swimming motion substantially more difficult. Such attire would be applicable for improving a swimmer’s strength and range of motion.
In terms of material, TYR’s exemplary embodiment of the swimsuit would have an external surface made out of a nylon-spandex woven fabric blend. This would be consistent with the standard athletic “skinsuit” that is built to be tighter, lighter, and smaller while minimizing friction in the water.
Inside the suit, TYR specifies using annular leg bands that consist of material with a lower coefficient of friction when wet than the suit’s external surface. This way, they could grip the thighs of the swimmer more securely. Meanwhile, a binding material would be folded over both the inner and outer edges of areas where the swimmer’s arms and neck protrude.
The featured patent, “Swimsuit with tension bands and reinforcement liners”, was filed with the USPTO on April 21, 2020 and published thereafter on February 2, 2021. The current assignee is TYR Sport Inc. The listed inventors are Matthew Vito DiLorenzo, Joseph DiLorenzo, and Jared Berger.