well, if you look closely it's not only the materials that have changed in the past 100(-ish) years since those initial drawings were made, but also the actual spring and hub connector design that he uses.
His invention has both ends of the spring clamping points on the hub and off-center (one end a bit left of the hub center axis and one right) to add more lateral stability to the wheel.
If you look at those drawings, all the previous designs have almost linear blade springs that originate on the hub and terminate at (or near) the rim of the wheel.
In loopwheel's design the wheel rim is only tangentially connected to the middle of the blade spring which then loops back to the center hub.
However, about the patents... i think the chinese will re-patent their patent (as they do with much everything else) and will do it even faster if they source any parts from China without a NNN contract written (non-disclosure/non-use/non-circumvention).
Chinese patent law (and trademark law too) uses the "first-to-file the papers" principle and not first-to-invent ("first to use" in trademarks).