Title:
Compartmented belt buckle for storing folded eyeglasses
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A new and unique style of belt buckle forms a compartment for storing folding eyeglasses. Individuals engaged in strenuous activities such as motorcycle or bicycle riding, horse back riding or construction work require means for safely and conveniently storing eyeglasses. The embodiments of the present invention provide a heavily constructed protective compartment within a belt buckle. Several variations of a closure means are provided by the versatile design embodiments. The belt buckle can also be used by individuals not engaged in strenuous activities for storing a second pair of eyeglasses or possibly keys, papers or other small articles. In all embodiments, the belt buckle may include the appearance of a highly decorative front face for concealing the storage function of the belt buckle.



Inventors:
Conner, William A. (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/302640
Publication Date:
05/27/2004
Filing Date:
11/21/2002
Assignee:
CONNER WILLIAM A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44B11/00; (IPC1-7): A44B11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRONIN, STEPHEN K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Quirk & Tratos (Suite 500 North 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, Las Vegas, NV, 89109, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A compartmented belt buckle for containing folding eyeglasses comprising: a mounting unit having an attachment member connected to a rear surface thereof, said attachment member for attaching said mounting unit to a belt; a retaining hook integrated to the rear surface of the mounting unit, said hook for restraining the belt in a proper position; and a cover unit rotatably connected to said mounting unit such that inner recesses of the cover unit and mounting unit in combination define a compartment having a perimeter shape generally matching the shape of the eyeglasses in a folded position.

2. The belt buckle of claim 1 wherein a lower edge of the cover unit is connected by a hinge to a lower edge of the mounting unit such that the cover unit opens by rotating about the hinge in a generally forward direction to provide frontal access to the compartment.

3. The belt buckle of claim 2 wherein the hinge is spring loaded to maintain the cover in a closed position.

4. The belt buckle of claim 1 wherein the mounting unit and cover unit each incorporate corresponding magnetic clasps for maintaining the cover in a closed position.

5. A compartmented belt buckle comprising: a mounting unit defining a compartment, said mounting unit having an attachment member and retaining hook joined to a rear surface thereof, said attachment member for attaching said mounting unit to a belt and said hook for restraining the belt in a proper position; and a cover unit rotatably connected to a side of the mounting unit such that the cover unit opens by rotating in a generally forward direction to provide side access to the compartment.

6. A compartmented belt buckle comprising: a mounting unit defining a compartment, said mounting unit having an attachment member and retaining hook joined to a rear surface thereof, said attachment member for attaching said mounting unit to a belt and said hook for restraining the belt in a proper position; and a cover unit rotatably connected to a side of the mounting unit such that the cover unit opens by rotating in a generally side ways direction to provide side access to the compartment.

7. The belt buckle of claim 6 wherein the cover unit defines a partial compartment which combines with the mounting unit compartment to increase an overall compartment size when the cover unit is in a closed position.

8. A compartmented belt buckle comprising: a mounting unit defining a compartment, said mounting unit incorporating two frontal grooves, said mounting unit having an attachment member and retaining hook joined to a rear surface thereof, said attachment member for attaching said mounting unit to a belt and said hook for restraining the belt in a proper position; and a cover unit having an integrated lip on each opposite edge thereof, said lips for receipt by said grooves such that the cover unit is translatably coupled to said mounting unit for providing frontal access to the compartment.

9. The belt buckle of claim 8 wherein the grooves and lips are vertically positioned such that the cover unit is translatable in a generally vertical direction.

10. The belt buckle of claim 8 wherein the grooves and lips are horizontally positioned such that the cover unit is translatable in a generally horizontal direction.

11. The belt buckle of claim 9 wherein the mounting unit further includes a spring biased ball detent and the cover unit further includes a concave cavity on an inner surface thereof for receipt of the ball detent to maintain the cover unit in a closed position.

12. In combination a pair of folding eyeglasses and a belt buckle for containing said eyeglasses comprising: a pair of folding eyeglasses; a mounting unit defining a compartment for containing said eyeglasses in a folded position, said mounting unit having an attachment member connected to a rear surface thereof, said attachment member for attaching said mounting unit to a belt; a retaining hook integrated to the rear surface of the mounting unit, said hook for restraining the belt in a proper position; and a cover unit movably coupled to said mounting unit for providing access to said compartment.

13. The combination of claim 12 wherein the cover unit is movably coupled to said mounting unit such that inner recesses of the cover unit and mounting unit in combination define a compartment having a perimeter shape generally matching the shape of the eyeglasses in a folded position.

14. The combination of claim 13 wherein a lower edge of the cover unit is connected by a hinge to a lower edge of the mounting unit such that the cover unit opens by rotating about the hinge in a generally forward direction to provide frontal access to the compartment.

15. The combination of claim 12 wherein the cover unit is movably coupled to a side of the mounting unit such that the cover unit opens by rotating in a generally forward direction to provide side access to the compartment.

16. The combination of claim 12 wherein the cover unit is movably coupled to a side of the mounting unit such that the cover unit opens by rotating in a generally side ways direction to provide side access to the compartment.

17. The combination of claim 12 wherein the cover unit includes an integrated lip on each opposite edge thereof, said lips for receipt by grooves in said mounting unit such that the cover unit is translatably coupled to said mounting unit for providing frontal access to the compartment.

18. The combination of claim 17 wherein the grooves and lips are vertically positioned such that the cover unit is translatable in a generally vertical direction.

19. The combination of claim 17 wherein the grooves and lips are horizontally positioned such that the cover unit is translatable in a generally horizontal direction.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The embodiments of the present invention relate to a new and unique device for conveniently storing and carrying folding eyeglasses within a compartment of a belt buckle. The buckle's compartment is accessible by several means, including a cover that may or may not be self-closing, a conventional clasping mechanism or a magnetic clasp.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Conveniently carrying and storing reading glasses and sunglasses is a constant problem in that the glasses are often lost, misplaced or damaged when not being worn. Moreover, many people carry more than one pair of eyeglasses. For example, people may require reading glasses to read menus and sunglasses while they are outside. It is not uncommon to see people carrying eyeglasses in their hair, on a cord around their neck or loosely attached to a shirt by a temple member. Based on the creative methods of carrying eyeglasses during non-use, it is easy to see why eyeglasses need to be replaced so often.

[0003] The latest and most convenient form of eyewear comes in the form of folding eyeglasses which incorporate telescoping or folding temples and a rotatable bridge member for folding the eyeglasses thereabout. In this manner, the size of the eyeglasses is reduced dramatically. But even with folding eyeglasses, there is a continued need for a safe and convenient location to store them when people are engaged in strenuous activities such as construction work, horseback riding, bicycle riding or motorcycle riding. By way of example, construction workers require sunglasses for working outdoors, but may also require a pair of reading glasses to read blueprints or other plans. Similarly, people riding motorcycles may require a pair of riding eyeglasses and a pair of sunglasses.

[0004] The prior methods of carrying eyeglasses have not addressed the situation whereby people require multiple eyeglasses during a rigorous activity. For example, certain U.S. patents disclose and claim certain belt buckles for holding various items. However, the disclosed belt buckles are not suitable for folding eyeglasses, are overly complex and are not fashionable.

[0005] The embodiments of the present invention transform a belt buckle into a convenient and safe carrying case for folding eyeglasses. In but one example, the western style belt buckle has been around for many years and is a favorite buckle style worn by men and women wearing jeans and a western style belt. Western style belts typically have a large and highly ornamented buckle. In one embodiment of the present invention, a western style belt buckle is adapted to form a unique compartmented means for safely carrying, storing and protecting a pair of folding eyeglasses.

[0006] This new and unique compartmented belt buckle is not limited to carrying just eyeglasses, but has been found to be a very convenient location for storing other articles such as keys, motorcycle registrations, drivers licenses, etc. By its very location, the belt buckle provides ready access to stored articles. Moreover, carrying eyeglasses and other articles in the pockets of jeans can cause damage to the articles. In particular, eyeglasses carried in pockets tend to have their lenses scratched by other articles in the pocket or have their frames bent.

[0007] Thus, there is a continuing need for providing a convenient and safe compartmented location for quick and easy storing and removing of folding eyeglasses and other articles. The embodiments of the present invention address the continued need of providing a convenient and safe location for carrying folding eyeglasses.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] While the objects of the present invention are numerous, the following are illustrative of the objectives of present invention.

[0009] A first object of the embodiments of the present invention is to create a compartmented belt buckle for storing folding eyeglasses.

[0010] Another object of the embodiments of the present invention is to create a compartmented belt buckle for storing folding eyeglasses in a durable, heavy metal enclosure that prevents the eyeglasses from being damaged or lost during strenuous activities.

[0011] Yet another object of the embodiments of the present invention is to create a compartmented belt buckle for storing folding eyeglasses that can also be used to store other similarly-sized articles.

[0012] Yet another object of the embodiments of the present invention is to create a compartmented belt buckle for storing folding eyeglasses or other articles in a location where they are easy to access..

[0013] Accordingly, the embodiments of the present invention accomplish the desired objects by providing a unique sealed and latched compartment within a belt buckle, including western or motorcycle style buckles. In a first embodiment of the present invention, the belt buckle consists of a back mounting unit with a fixed belt attachment bale and a variable size adjustment prong. The back mounting unit has a partial compartment and is connected to a cover by means of a hinge, that may be spring-loaded. The mounting unit and cover may also incorporate a conventional or magnetic clasp to maintain the cover in a closed position. An interior portion of the cover incorporates a partial compartment that in combination with the partial compartment of the back mounting unit forms a complete compartment. An exterior portion of the cover is available for ornamentation. With this style of compartmented belt buckle for storing folding eyeglasses, access to the compartment is accomplished by opening the cover a forward direction of the person wearing the belt buckle.

[0014] A first alternate embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle for storing folding eyeglasses includes a tubular compartment accessible from either end by means of a forward-rotating cover. A fixed belt attachment bale and variable size adjustment prong are located on a rear side of the buckle. Again, the buckle's front face is available for decorative ornamentation. The buckle cover rotates forward on a pivot pin to reveal the internal compartment for easy storage and removal of contents. The cover may or may not be spring-loaded and/or may incorporate a conventional or magnetic clasp.

[0015] A second alternate embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle for storing folding eyeglasses includes a tubular compartment accessible from either end by means of a forward-rotating cover. The cover on this embodiment incorporates a portion of the compartment on an inner portion thereof. The third embodiment incorporates a flexible belt attachment bale and the variable size adjustment prong located on the back of the buckle with a front face for decorative ornamentation.

[0016] A third alternative embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle for storing folding eyeglasses includes a cover that slides longitudinally within horizontal grooves formed adjacent a front face of the buckle. The cover has a lip on an upper and lower edge for engaging the grooves thereby allowing it to slide longitudinally along the grooves. A spring biased ball detent positioned for receipt by a corresponding concave groove integrated on an inner surface of the cover acts as a locking means.

[0017] A fourth alternate embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle for storing folding eyeglasses incorporates a cover that slides vertically along vertical grooves. In this embodiment, the cover includes a lip on a left and right side edge for engaging the vertical grooves. The force of gravity maintains the cover in a closed position.

[0018] In each of the embodiments, the belt buckle used for storing the folding eyeglasses may be equipped with a magnetic clasp, a conventional clasping mechanism or a spring-loaded closing feature. These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent from the details of the construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view showing a first embodiment of a compartmented belt buckle, for storing folding eyeglasses, with a buckle cover in an open state and the folding eyeglasses resting in a partial compartment formed in an interior portion of the cover;

[0020] FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle, for storing folding eyeglasses, with the compartment accessible on a right edge by means of an end cover that rotates in the forward direction about a pivot pin;

[0021] FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of another alternate embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle, for storing folding eyeglasses, with the compartment accessible from a left edge by means of an end cover which hinges open to the side;

[0022] FIG. 4 depicts a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle, for storing folding eyeglasses, with a longitudinally sliding cover in a partially closed position; and

[0023] FIG. 5 depicts a perspective view of another embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle, for storing folding eyeglasses, with a vertically sliding cover in a partially closed position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0024] A compartmented belt buckle generally designated with reference numeral 10 consists of a mounting unit 13 having a fixed belt attachment bale 14 and a variable size adjustment prong 16 for engaging a belt 20. The mounting unit 13 of the belt buckle 10 defines a first partial compartment 22 and is connected to a cover 30 by means of hinge 24. Hinge 24 may be spring-loaded 26 so that the cover 30 is held in a closed position by means of spring tension. In addition, or alternatively, a conventional clasp or magnetic clasping mechanism 28 incorporated on an interior portion of the mounting unit 13 removably engages a corresponding clasping mechanism 34 on an interior portion of the cover 30 to secure the cover 30 in a closed position. The cover 30 of the compartmented belt buckle 10 forms a second partial compartment 32 which combines with the first partial compartment 22 to define a complete compartment for holding a pair of folding eyeglasses 38. A front cover face 36 is available for ornamentation. In this arrangement, the cover 30 opens in a forward direction away from a wearer thereby providing convenient access to the stored folding eyeglasses 38.

[0025] A first alternate embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle 50 consists of an integral tubular compartment 54 accessible by means of a rotating cover 56 incorporated at one end thereof. The cover 56 rotates about a rotating pin 58 secured to an inner portion of the compartment 54. A fixed belt attachment bale 60 and a variable size adjustment prong 62 are integrated on a back surface 64 of the buckle 50. A front face 66 is available for decorative ornamentation. In this arrangement, the cover 56 rotates in a forward direction to provide access to the tubular compartment 54 and folding eyeglasses stored therein. The cover 56 may be spring-loaded so that the cover 56 is held in a closed position by means of spring tension. In addition, or alternatively, a conventional clasp or magnetic clasping mechanisms may be incorporated on an interior portion of the cover 56 and an outer edge of the compartment 54 thereby securing the cover 56 in a closed position.

[0026] A second alternate embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle 80 consists of a first integral tubular compartment 82 accessible by means of a hinged cover 88. The hinged cover 88 may be spring-loaded to maintain the cover 88 in a closed position. The cover 88 of this embodiment defines a partial compartment 90 which combines with the first compartment 82 to define a complete compartment for containing the folding eyeglasses. A flexible belt attachment bale 92 and a variable size adjustment prong 94 are attached and integrated respectively on a back surface 96 of the buckle 80. A front face 98 is once again available for decorative ornamentation.

[0027] A third embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle 110 consists of a cover 112 that translates longitudinally within grooves 114 to reveal a compartment 116. The cover 112 includes lips 120 on an upper edge and lower edge for engaging the grooves 114 allowing the cover 112 to translate in a generally horizontal direction. A spring biased ball detent 122 positioned for receipt by a corresponding concave groove integrated on an inner surface of the cover 112 acts as a locking means.

[0028] A fourth alternate embodiment of the compartmented belt buckle 130 consists of a cover 132 which translates in a generally vertical direction. Lips 134 on a right and left edge of the cover 132 engage grooves 136 thereby permitting vertical translation of the cover 132. In this arrangement, gravity provides sufficient force to maintain the cover 132 in a closed position.

[0029] Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to multiple embodiments, additional variations and modifications exist within the scope and spirit of the invention as described and defined in the following claims.





 
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