Cricket and Patents

Cricket has always been one of the most followed and loved sport in India. Statistics suggest that when India plays a big game, there are around 400 million watching the match on television. Indians love cricket, be it the IPL, T20, test match or the traditional 50 over match! With just 5 days to go for the World Cup Final, the excitement is building up and fans across the world are eagerly waiting to know who the champion will be!

All this excitement about cricket got me thinking about the patent applications in the filed of cricket. I did search for cricket related patent applications and wasn’t surprised to find that there are over 50 patent applications in India for cricket techniques, cricket related accessories and virtual games. The earliest invention titled improvements in or relating to the construction of the handles of cricket bats and the like was filed way back in 1921, however, there are no documents available at the moment.  Though some of these patents have been granted, they don’t strike me as novel since there seems to be an abundance of products on these lines in the market. However, here are some inventions that I really found interesting.

Composed Cricket Match – 2822/MUM/2011 (Published)

The title of the invention caught my attention, however, on reading the specifications I found that it had nothing to do with the match being rigged or pre-planned! The abstract states that the invention consists of a product called Composed Cricket Match which is in the form of a digital video production of a fictitious cricket match created by composing the clips from the digital video recordings of a previously played match or matches.

A cricket pitch – 1009/DEL/2003 (Granted)

The object of the invention is to create a particularly kind of pitch, where bowlers will not be able to bowl bouncers. The background of the invention refers to bouncers as a fast, short pitched delivery that bounces well short-of the batsmen and rises sharply and dangerously off the pitch, often passing the batsmen at shoulder or head height and states that they are likely to cause physical injury to the player. Further, that though Law 42(6) of the Laws of Cricket authorises the umpire to intervene when bouncers are delivered, they are reluctant to do so. In light of this, the inventor has devised a particular kind of cricket pitch to overcome these disadvantages.

Apparatus for aiding the game of cricket502/MUM/2004 (Granted)

I’m sure there are many apparatus in the mark for aiding cricketers during the game, but this applications claims to do something different. The object of this invention is to enable a bowler to improve his line and length, provide an apparatus as described above which will not cause any disturbance or distraction during bowling and also a portable apparatus that can be used in the cricket pitch during practice and training sessions.

An improved cricket ball throwing machine – 1560/DEL/2003 (Granted)

The present invention particularly relates to a device for throwing a cricket ball in an accurate manner at a predetermined speed, spin and direction. According to the inventor, this will provide accurate and consistent batting practice for players.

A game simulator for a real life cricket experience – 2921/MUM/2011 (Published)

The invention is basically game simulator combining real and virtual playing environment for skills of batting and bowling. The abstract states that reality engages real, filmed bowlers, delivering their typical range of characteristic balls and the virtual world compiles scores for participants. The game has pre-embedded scenarios to create real life challenges for the players and the game software also compares data between players and teams.

This article has been authored by Nikita, an IP Law practitioner.