This object (Non-lethal arrow) has been in use for over 30 years in the various medieval combat sports. A review of the Non-lethal arrow - US 8449413 B1 patent does not demonstrate any significant change from what is currently available from many vendors. What does this patent imply for the various national sports that currently use this type of gear?
The initial patent application was just for a foam tipped arrow, and was rejected. The claim was amended to have "shaft connection end includes an elongate cylindrical portion, wherein said elongate cylindrical portion defines a hollow tube sized and configured to receive an end of said shaft", and the claim was then allowed. Do the previous foam tipped arrows have detachable heads? And if so do they attach to an elongated hollow cylinder?
If one believes the answer is yes, one can either file a request for reexamination ($3000 fee) which may invalidate the patent, or simply use the patented arrow and then assert invalidity as a defense to infringement if the patent owner sues.