Heelys patent drawing
Skates.com has stopped selling the Skate Shoe as a result of a patent dispute involving industry giant Heelys.
Skate Shoe is a gym shoe with wheels protruding from either heel. (Heelys are gym shoes with wheels embedded in the bottom of the heel.)
Skate Shoe is made by the German company of former aggressive skater Rainer Mairoes.
Mairoes says he invented the Skate Shoe in 1998. But Heelys claims the product infringes on one of its U.S. patents.
Heelys filed the patent application in February 2003 and won approval in June 2006.
The patented device, which Heelys never brought to market, resembles the Skate Shoe. The legal issue is which company patented the invention first.
Skates.com's Lee Cole says he hopes to be able to bring the Skate Shoe back to the USA once the patent issue is resolved.
Skates.com was Skate Shoes' sole U.S. distributor.