Seems you have seen proof of Milliman's claim that there is a patent. I didn't know myself but didn't have any reason to doubt what he said. Perhaps I should clear something up about this thread and why I started it.
I came across this guy Joe's pod. I think I saw it mentioned in the comments on Nate Jenkins' blog. I think Nate is very knowledgeable about marathon training. I, and more importantly he, admit he neither is nor was the world's greatest marathoner. The fact that he ran better than he ever expected to and many much more talented guys have not is why I respect his opinion on what training works and what doesn't for that particular event. I jumped at the chance to hear another interview with him.
I saw some other guests whom I wanted to hear and listened to them. I also noticed some whom I was not familiar with. Jeff Milliman was in that category. I believe he and Joe go back a ways and know each other in real life. I am surprised how often I hear something that could teach me a lesson about the marathon. So I play it.
It was interesting to hear someone from Jeff's generation. His peers were runners I knew of and admired. They were the guys winning races when I was trying to win my (young) age group. A few interesting stories get told, a few names that I remember get mentioned. Then Joe changes the subject and says,
"So you have a patent, right?" or something to that effect. Maybe he said "had" - past tense - although I don't remember it that way.
Jeff goes into the story which prompted the creation of this thread. He talks about the plates. Carbon and fiberglass were the materials most mentioned, but not the only ones tried. He and his collaborators figured out the direction the fibers had to run, epoxies to hold things together that did and didn't work, different shapes, etc. He made one that, if I was picturing it accurately was wavy when viewed from the side. Then, another was stacked on top of that. In my mental picture, they touched such that the bottom of the wave on the top plate touched the top of the wave on the bottom plate.
Fascinating stuff, I thought. This is directed toward some of the readers of this thread who have not heard of the guy (as I hadn't) but also haven't heard him talk (and may object to something):
As far as I could tell, he is not angry. He blames nobody for anything. He makes no grandiose claims about his stature in the running shoe business. He does not claim that he owns every company currently making running shoes. He does not grudgingly admit to not owning them but go on to say they all owe him millions. Again, this was my perception based on what he literally said as well as tone of voice, etc. that could suggest the mood he was in while talking about all of this. Jeff Milliman simply is not to shoe design what JS is to coaching. Believe me, he doesn't sound bitter.
Neither the podcast interview nor this thread were intended to be a competition. I am one-upping nobody. Neither is Milliman himself. Why there have been negative reactions to the thread is a mystery to me. Maybe one of you could do this:
You can contact him through his running shop's website.
I already tried to get through. Maybe someone can convince him to come here and tell the story. I don't know if he would or wouldn't, but I can say this:
Jeff seems like a guy I would hope to be sitting with at a table at The Wild Duck. I'm saying he seems cool and it would be great if he tells us what he did and when. It is a good story.
Brojos, you could likely get an interview and write a feature about the concept of somewhat rigid but flexible and rebounding midsole materials and the early development of the idea(s).