Sunday, June 28, 2015

Surprise!... The I. Miller & Sons shoes were patented!

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Indeed...even if they are now expired, many patents were associated with the I. Miller & Sons shoes that Andy Warhol was hired to advertise! Whether it was the shoe upper structure, the shoe soles, the shoe shank, the shoe heel, the manufacturing lasts or various protective coatings, the shoe(s) perdu(s) were definitely patented!

It appears that the inventor was Charles Miller who assigned some of his patents to I. Miller & Sons. However, Charles Miller died in the process, and thus many of the patents were actually granted to Ida Gordon Miller, Executrix of the Charles Miller Estate. This is stated on the original patent documents granted to Ida Gordon Miller (e.g.; US2138385 & US2111935 , both of which were also assigned to I. Miller & Sons).

Both design and utility patents were granted, and a few patents were also filed in Canada. A couple of patents were assigned to Charles Miller by Max Feinstein (e.g.; US 1693398 and US 1693397)
 Andy Warhol - My shoe is your shoe

So, indeed, the shoe(s) perdu(s) were very patented shoes!

In fact, I. Miller & Sons was a large and very popular shoe manufacturing company. When the founder, Israel Miller, died in August 1929, the company was worth 8 million USD, with 16 retail shops in New York City, 200 agencies across the US, and 2 shoe manufacturing factories! [JTA, 1929]. In 1929, this was considered a small empire.

The following is a hyperlinked list of the utility and design patents retrieved in connection with I. Miller and Sons shoes, using different search engines: EspaceNet at the EPO, Google Patents and FPO (Free Patents online).  Remember that various available patent search engines often retrieve different results as each has negotiated varied access to the patent databases belonging to different patent offices worldwide. Additionally, different results are sometimes obtained due to incomplete or inaccurate data input, or OCR (Optical character Recognition) error when the  documents were scanned.

Utility patents
US2138385 A - Elastic top shoe filed March 5, 1935 and granted on November 29, 1938
US2111935 A Shoe filed Jan. 7, 1935 and granted on March 22, 1938
US 2163696 A - Method of making cemented shoes filed Nov.. 19, 1934  and granted on June 27, 1939.
US2072838 A - Last and last attachment filed Nov. 12, 1934, and granted on March 2, 1937
US2134196 A - Protective cover for shoes filed March 9, 1936, and granted on Oct. 25, 1938
US2069964 A - Shoe and tongue therefore filed April 8, 1935, and granted on Feb. 9, 1937
US2102804 A - Method of applying protective coatings to shoes another other aspects filed Jan 21, 1935, and granted on Dec. 21, 1937
US1807792  - Shoe, filed  Nov 1930  and granted on June 2, 1931, to Charles Miller and Arthur Livers
US1693398 A -  Therapeutic shoe filed July 7, 1927, and granted on Nov. 27, 1928
US1693397 A - Shoe last filed March 3, 1927, and granted on Nov. 27, 1928
CA284349 A - Shoe last 
CA273434 A - Demonstrating shoe sample 
CA270663  A - Shoe shank 
CA270661 A - Shoe heel 

Design patents
USD86397 - Design for a shoe, filed December 29, 1931, granted March 1, 1932, to Charles Miller
USD86925 - Design for a shoe, filed Feb. 5, 1932, granted May 10, 1932, to Charles Miller
USD86393 Design for a shoe, filed Dec. 29, 1931, granted March 1, 1932, to Charles Miller
USD86796  - Design for a shoe, filed Feb. 18, 1932, granted April 19, 1932, to Charles Miller


Herrmann, F. (2014) Design and utility patents - What's the difference? at Patents on the soles of your shoes 
I. Miller, shoe manufacturer, dies (Aug. 15, 1929) Jewish Telegraphic Agency
I. Miller & Sons

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