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January 18, 2005


Eric Nicholson


I looked around for snowshoes made from aluminum tubing and neoprene decks made by Prater...no luck. I did find U.S. patent 4,085,529 by Fred Merrifield of Bellevue, Washington which appears to fit the bill. He also improved the snowshoe with 4,271,609.

Eric Nicholson


Great!! I love my snowshoes....

Rex Prater

Hi Bob,

I have enjoyed reading your blog - I realize you posted this in 2005 - and got a kick out of seeing the patent drawing. It's been awhile since I last saw them. To answer your question about any additional patent's - you found the extent of it regarding Sherpa Design. My Dad only filed a patent on the specific 'hinge rod' design, nothing else (though many people thought otherwise). I believe you would call it just a technical patent(?). Good research on your part.

Son of Bill Prater,
Rex Prater

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