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Courtesy photo
The shoe-cleaning sand rake helps maintain proper golf etiquette at sand traps.

Gadget helps golfers

Rakes sand trap and cleans shoes

Courtesy photo
The shoe-cleaning sand rake helps maintain proper golf etiquette at sand traps.

Patently Speaking highlights the technological achievements of Fort Wayne area residents.

Shoe Cleaning Sand Rake

•U.S. Patent No. 7,587,780

•Invented by: John G. Pfister, Fort Wayne

It may not be obvious from the title, but this patent helps maintain proper golf etiquette.

As golfers know, avoiding sand traps is helpful to one’s game. As golfers also know, avoiding those traps is sometimes easier said than done.

If the ball ends up in a sand trap, then – just like when kids play in a sandbox – getting it out is going to make a mess. Most often the golfer has to stand in the sand and hit the ball back onto the green or fairway. Hitting all that sand along with the ball makes a mess of the trap, the surrounding area and even the golfer’s shoes.

Proper etiquette dictates that after the golfer has advanced the ball from the trap, the trap is to be raked smooth as a courtesy to the next golfer. A rake is typically lying near the trap for the golfer or caddy to use.

But what about the golfer’s shoes? Just like having a sandbox means that kids’ shoes will invariably track sand into the house, the golfer’s shoes will track sand onto the fairway or green.

This patent addresses the problem with the design for a new rake that serves a dual purpose. The first purpose is, of course, to rake the sand trap, and the second purpose is to clean the golfer’s shoes.

To accomplish this, the rake head has several tines extending from its bottom for raking the sand trap, and the top and side of the head includes fine brush bristles for brushing sand off the golfer’s shoes.

Instrument for Delivery of Implant

•U.S. Patent No. 7,559,941

•Invented by: Anthony D. Zannis, Fort Wayne; Andrew M. Jacobs, Fort Wayne; Herbert E. Schwartz, Fort Wayne; Prasanna Malaviya, Fort Wayne; Danny E. McAdams, Fort Wayne; John W. Kemppainen, Richland, Mich.; Carolyn K. Day, Maumee, Ohio; and Rhonda B. Clarke, Winona Lake

•Assigned to Depuy Products Inc., Warsaw

Even relatively common surgeries involve complicated procedures. Having the right tools for the job makes the procedures a bit easier.

Repairing knee joints is a common surgical procedure. Cartilage in the knee joint called the meniscus provides a soft cushion between the leg bones. This meniscus can tear and require repair or replacement.

In this procedure, small incisions are made in the leg. Surgical instruments and even a video camera are inserted through the incisions and directed up to the knee so doctors can diagnose and repair the problem.

This patent describes an instrument that looks like a pair of scissors whose handles are angled 90 degrees from the blades. Rather than blades, however, it has a slidable sleeve shrouding a shaft. The sleeve is movable between open and closed positions.

The implant is held at the end of the shaft and covered by the sleeve when the instrument is inserted into the leg. Once in position by the knee joint, the sleeve is pulled back to expose the implant.

The preceding are lay descriptions of patents obtained from the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s public records and are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing contained herein is a legal description of any claimed invention, identification of novelty, or offer of legal advice.

Because issued patents are based on applications often filed years earlier, the subject matter of some patents may have been available on the market for some time prior to the issuance of the patent. Additional information on these patents is available at

Greg Cooper is an attorney with Barnes & Thornburg in Fort Wayne practicing in the areas of patent, trademark, copyright, procurement, and litigation in both the U.S. and internationally. He can be reached at or 425-4660.