Wasted Weeks — Looking at Ski Binding Patents

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 25, 2015      

If you’ve got even a grain of engineering in your genes, stay away from the US Patent Office online. Going there could wreck your job and your marriage. You could even end up in rehab. If you do go there, a couple of tips. The query system is easy but you probably need to study the help tips for at least five minutes. Key thing is once you find an interesting patent, click on ALL the back referenced patents “References Cited” That’s where you can really have some fun.

Paul Ramer's 1977 patent for a frame touring binding that used a ball-socket at the toe for both pivot and release. This was the point of departure for Fritz Barthel to change the world with the tech binding he invented.

Paul Ramer’s 1977 patent for a frame touring binding that used a ball-socket at the toe for both pivot and release. I love this beautiful drawing. Ramer binding was the point of departure for Fritz Barthel to change the world with the tech binding he invented around 1981. Fritz based his idea on the combined pivot-release toe concept that Ramer came up with, only with using the ski boot as the binding frame.

Ramer’s first heel riser really was a coil spring. If that ain’t trivia I don’t know what is. And, it did make for some ribald jokes.


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11 Responses to “Wasted Weeks — Looking at Ski Binding Patents”

  1. Really? February 25th, 2015 1:05 pm

    Give a link to the patent application on a free access site, but put a “researched by wildsnow.com” tag over the exploded view that available on the site for free? Why bother? The US Patent office search isn’t that hard. That full of your self Lou?

  2. Eric Steig February 25th, 2015 1:09 pm

    Mr “Really”: Lou is at worst probably just tired of people ripping off his ideas. It gets old. Least full-of-himself blogger around!

    Lou: I still have Ramers, and still use them on glaciology field work. They are perfect for this — and quickly adjusted to fit everything from real ski boots to leather mountain boots, etc. Wish I could find a few more pairs!

  3. Lou Dawson 2 February 25th, 2015 2:05 pm

    Really, don’t get paranoid, that’s just on there as a disincentive to prevent hot linking and scraping, nothing nefarious. Hot linking costs us money while scraping is all sorts of bad, so we try to reduce it. Nearly all our images hosted on our server have some sort of watermark. That’s why I “bothered.” Lou

  4. Charlie Hagedorn February 25th, 2015 2:53 pm

    Patent descriptions are in the public domain; watermarking, and almost anything else, is fine.


  5. Drew Tabke February 25th, 2015 6:04 pm

    Looks like a total game changer. I’ll prolly wait for the 16 din version tho.

  6. Lou Dawson 2 February 25th, 2015 6:28 pm

    I know from experience it went to 11.

  7. John February 25th, 2015 6:33 pm

    Eric I’ve got a pair of Ramer’s collecting dust in a storage unit. You interested in them?

  8. Lou Dawson 2 February 25th, 2015 7:07 pm

    The sad thing about this post and image is how little boots have changed in comparison to bindings… yeah, they’ve gotten better, but perhaps someday we’ll see something truly innovative and different?

  9. Eric Steig February 26th, 2015 1:12 am

    John: yes, I could be interested. In good shape? How much? You can find my email at http://www.ess.washington.edu/dwp/people/faculty.php

  10. Mark Worley February 26th, 2015 11:03 pm

    Reminds me of the (very) rudimentary mechanical drawing I learned eons back that was done with pencil. The Ramer patent drawing would have gotten me an A+ in that class for certain!

  11. Mark Worley February 26th, 2015 11:05 pm

    I know someone who has some nicely modified Ramer-based bindings that tele…

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