stories filed under: "helmets"
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jan 24th 2011 10:01am
Copycense points us to the news that the NFL apparently freaked out and pressured Toyota to edit a TV ad it was running during football games -- a move many people noted was "unusual." Apparently, the ad discusses how Toyota is using some of their research and technology in car safety for other fields -- such as helping to prevent concussions for football players. You can see the ad here, with the "offending" part at around 17 seconds:
I'm trying to figure out what the NFL was upset about. Here's a story of how efforts are being made to make the game even safer. That seems like a good thing -- the kind of thing that the NFL should be celebrating. Does it think that, if it hides the image of helmets colliding, people will magically think people don't get hurt playing football? And, of course, in pressuring Toyota to remove this commercial, all its done is draw a lot more attention to it. Toyota's response was apparently not to remove the ad entirely, but to just edit out that helmet-to-helmet crash. Well, phew, now football feels safe again, right?
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Sep 24th 2010 2:25am
from the safety-is-less-important-than-monopolies dept
Danny alerts us to the story of how sporting goods maker Riddell was able to drive competitor Schutt Sports into bankruptcy thanks to patent lawsuits. Riddell first sued Schutt for patent infringement on its football helmet design, winning a $29 million jury award. Right afterwards, it sued Schutt again, this time for shoulder pad design. A week later, Schutt declared bankruptcy. Now I'm sure, some will be quick to claim that this is exactly what the patent system is designed to do, but it does seem pretty troubling that, especially when it comes to safety issues, we're allowing one company to have a total monopoly on a type of safety gear. What's wrong with actually competing in the market?