In October 1992
, a United States wheel spinner patent
was filed by American inventor James D. Gragg
, original inventor of the spinning Wheel Enhancer and over 70 other inventions in 20 fields. The American Tru Spinners
Wheel Enhancer patent was issued on March 1
, making it the first patent of its kind.
This patent became known as "Tru Spinners". A foreign patent for Tru Spinners was later issued in October 1997
. Over the years, Tru Spinners evolved into several different variations, including holographic and "double" rotating versions, which has spun several bootlegs
globally. Tru Spinners was not only known to be the original spinning Wheel Enhancer, but it had technical advantages far above the rest producing spinners that spin-tests resulted in over 18 minutes of spin time and spinners that had 27 different formulated spinning mode variations.
The invention of the spinner is generally attributed to David Fowlkes Jr.
Fowlkes graduated from Rufus King High School
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
before moving on to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design
when he was 17. With a sketch and a prototype Fowlkes created the first spinner for a design project in 1990
. The prototype then remained stored until 1998
when Fowlkes was working at Reebok
and met his future business partners, Hank Seemore
, and Ian Hardman
. Together the three formed Davin Wheels
with a $250,000 loan from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp
The corporate entity behind the original patented spinner, American Tru Spinners
, have begun to take legal action against the massive bootlegging
involved in the market. As a result of erroneous invention attribution and bootlegging
, Gragg brought in as consultant Dr. Charles Abraham
to assemble a legal team, which has been embroiled in numerous patent and trademark infringement suits around the United States. The legal cases have resulted in a federal court's declaration of patent infringement against numerous types of wheel spinners and their manufacturers.
In the 1995 film Batman Forever
, the wheels on the Batmobile used a counter-rotating gear assembly to keep the bat-emblem hubcaps upright when the wheels were in motion. The technology was never marketed, however it currently is used on Rolls Royce
cars' hubcaps in order to keep the "RR" logo horizontally oriented