Patents in the bike helmet space are hot items. One major patent filer in this area is Bell. Back in 2005, Bell filed a patent application for an integrated fit and retention system. The innovation was to have a simple adjustment mechanism with relatively few number of adjustment points, but still retain a good fit for safety. A key aspect to this configuration was how the straps were connected, and how the straps were integrated with rigid elements.

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Unfortunately, Bell had a difficult time prosecuting the application as the Examiner considered the invention obvious. Despite multiple attempts with the Examiner, Bell ultimately decided to appeal. However, on appeal, the Board affirmed the rejections.

Normally patent applicants give up after losing an appeal and very few patents ever issue from such applications. But here, Bell did not give up. Despite the appeal loss in 2016, Bell continued prosecution with amended claims and was ultimately successful in obtaining a patent, which issued as US 9,756,893.

Obviously this patent was extremely important to Bell and they persisted despite a long and difficult path.

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