Intellectual Property Law

New Matter WINTER 2022, VOLUME 47, EDITION 4


Thomas A. Ward
Holland Law, LLP

Welcome to the winter edition of New Matter for 2022. The cover of this edition shows New Matter’s winter spirit with one of the U.S. Patent Office’s historical journey of innovation stories published on the USPTO website at The historical information in this story is from the patent savvy inventor, Samuel Allen. When Sam was a child in the mid-1800s toboggans were the norm for sleds and most were homebuilt. Few had runners. But every child wanted the fastest sled. By the late 1800s, Sam Allen held multiple design patents and utility patents for his steerable sled with runners and promoted the sled as the fastest around. The cover art shows one such utility patent. Not only did Sam focus on innovation using patents, but he also reinvested his earnings in trademarks, advertising, and marketing. His "Flexible Flyer" sled became an instant classic that dominated the market for many years. By the early 1900s, basically the only sled that could be found in stores was the Flexible Flyer. Now many years later, Sam’s Flexible Flyer has run its course and we are back to primarily toboggans in stores. However, hopefully the Flexible Flyer patent on the cover will bring back memories for many and show a picture of the past in America for others—all based on Sam Allen’s spirit of innovation.

As always, I continue to thank our New Matter editorial staff for accomplishing the work to get this publication to you. In particular, thanks to Amanda Nye who is the Acquisition Editor, Anthony Craig and Leaf Williams who are Co-Production Editors, and Dabney Eastham who is Senior Articles Editor.

Also, I continue to thank the members of the IP Executive Committee and California Lawyer’s Association who provided support for each issue. On behalf of all the New Matter staff, we hope you are enlightened and informed by this issue of New Matter. Happy Holidays!

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