Title:
Protective attachment assembly for headgear
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to an improved method and device for temporarily affixing a protective attachment assembly 20 to a headgear 30 having a headband inner surface 36. The stiffener 10 has an arched shape between the two ends 16 and 16A with a left tab 12 and a right tab 12A both having first projections 19 and second projections 19A that provide frictional holding when inserted between the headband inner surface 36 and the perimeter surface 35 of the headgear 30. A center tab 13B consists of an upper relief radius 13 that will accommodate a ponytail 40 and a protruding lower radius 13A that provides stabilizing support when placed over the adjustment strap 33 of the headgear 30.



Inventors:
Sonne, Lawrence Julius (Okemos, MI, US)
Stockdale, Mark Eugene (Julian, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/826418
Publication Date:
12/09/2004
Filing Date:
04/17/2004
Assignee:
SONNE LAWRENCE JULIUS
STOCKDALE MARK EUGENE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/06; (IPC1-7): A42B1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LINDSEY, RODNEY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAWRENCE JULIUS SONNE (PO BOX 830, OKEMOS, MI, 48805-0830 4864 HILLCREST AVE, OKEMOS, MI, 48864-1631, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A protective headgear attachment assembly that attaches to a headgear device having an internal headband with an upwardly facing inner channel between the headband and the headgear with the protective attachment assembly comprising: a) a stiffener having opposed ends forming a plane; b) a stiffener having opposed ends forming a plane with both ends of the stiffener connected to a tab and sharing a common plane and i) the tabs extending beyond the width of body of the stiffener in a downward direction on opposed ends and ii) the tabs having a frictional surface on opposing surfaces. c) a stiffener having and arc shape between the opposed ends; d) a stiffener having a relief on the upper edge of the arc between the opposed ends to accommodate a ponytail; e) a stiffener having a protruding tab on the lower edge of the arc between the opposed ends providing additional support for the protective headgear attachment; f) a stiffener constructed of a pliable material such as plastic or a fibrous material; g) a stiffener attached to a material body that drapes downward from the stiffener to shield the neck, ears and sides of face of the wearer from areas not protected by the headgear device.

2. A protective headgear attachment assembly as in claim 1 with a pocket between layers of the material body where an absorbent material may be placed to hold a liquid for cooling or warming or an insect repellant or particular scent may be applied for release over time or for electrical wiring for a heating element or lighting to be enclosed.

3. A protective headgear attachment assembly as in claim 1 where the material body is designed in the particular shape of an object.

4. A protective headgear attachment assembly as in claim 1 where the material body is made of multiple layers of disposable material that may be removed along a tear line to expose a new layer.

5. A protective headgear attachment assembly as in claim 1 where the material body is made of a specific material that aids the identification the wearer in an obvious or discrete manner.

6. A protective headgear attachment assembly as in claim 1 where the outward facing side is imprinted with particular images or words.

7. A stiffener as in claim 1 fabricated from flat material and the frictional surface created by mechanical impressions.

8. A stiffener as in claim 1 fabricated from flat material and the frictional surface created by applying a material or adhesive to the surface of the stiffener.

9. A stiffener as in claim 1 made in a mold with the frictional surface created by protrusions extending from the surface.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to an improved method for temporarily affixing a protective attachment assembly to a headgear having a headband inner surface. In particular, the present invention relates to a method of securing a protective attachment assembly made of a stiffener affixed to a material such as cloth to a headgear such as a baseball cap with a upturned headband with a headband inner surface in such a way that it is readily removable, requires no modification the headgear, and the protective attachment assembly may be screen printed upon after the material is attached to the stiffener.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Sun shields to attach to a headgear such as a baseball cap are well know to protect the wearer from the elements of sun, rain and wind. Most hats offer limited protection for the neck, ears, and sides of the face from the elements. Protection of these areas has been accomplished by affixing a shield to the back and sides of the hat. These shields are typically made of cloth and have tabs to affix them to the hat. Printing a logo or message upon the outfaced side of the cloth creates a banner for advertising or promotion.

[0005] The promotional products industry utilizes the services of the screen-printing industry that typically prints garments with a vinyl-based ink that dries when heated in a drying oven. The drying oven has temperatures high enough to melt or significantly deform most plastics. A sun shield that is inexpensive, easy to manufacture, can be printed upon after assembly, and will withstand the temperature of the ink drying oven is desirable.

[0006] Typically the sun shields presently available are directly sewn to the hat, cannot be detached, and cost two to three times the price of a plain hat. Prior designs of sun shields that have been presented either do not secure well to the hat, are cumbersome to attach, impinge upon the ears with attachment tabs or clips or require modification to the hat prior to attachment, such as installing Velcro. Further disadvantages of prior designs are that some have materials that will deform when passing through the drying oven or the cloth must be printed before being affixed to the attachment mechanism.

[0007] The related art shows various methods of attaching sun shields to hats. Illustrative are U.S. Pat. No. 5,655,225 to Mathers; U.S. Pat. No. 5,355,535 to Bruder; U.S. Pat. No. 5,603,120 to Gifford; U.S. Pat. No. 5,884,334 to Collette; U.S. Pat. No. 5,081,717 to Shedd; U.S. Pat. No. 5,669,074 to Newman; U.S. Pat. No. 5,048,128 to Watson; and U.S. Pat. No. 5,701,609 to Bridges.

[0008] Mathers describes a headgear attachment comprising substantially rectangular engagement clips having an upper and lower portion with the upper portion attached to the fabric material and the lower portion extending downward so as to engage in the upward turned inner band of a hat and the lower edge on the hat. This arrangement depends on the upward turned inner band of the hat to have a certain dimension and requires considerable dexterity by the user to install the protective headgear attachment. Additionally there is no provision for supporting the attachment between the two clips as in the middle back of the hat, thus the attachment may droop in the rear due to lack of support. Additionally it does not take in account that the typical head is spherical and a straight line headgear attachment will naturally have a low point in the center rear of the head as the circumference of the average head at the lower edge of the typical hat is above the midpoint or equatorial circumference thus creating a great circle type line having an arched line when projected in the planar dimension. The flat layout and straight line placement of the engagement clips positions the material attached to hang straight down and impinge upon the shoulders of the wearer causing dragging and pulling upon the attachment assembly when the wearer turns their head. Additionally the lower portion the two engagement tabs are located at a position directly over the wearer's ears thus impinging directly upon the ears.

[0009] Bruder describes a hat sunguard of a substantially rectangular body having a pair of pockets and a centrally positioned notch along the upper portion of the body. The pockets are defined by stitching a double thickness of fabric material or tabs to the cloth that are formed of plastic material and the pockets or tabs are frictionally pinched between the interior opposite sides of the upturned hatband. There is no provision for supporting the attachment between the two pockets as in the middle back of the hat thus allowing the sun guard to droop in the rear due to lack of support. Additionally it does not take in account that the typical head is spherical and a straight line sun guard will naturally have a low point in the center rear of the head as the circumference of the average head at the lower edge of the typical hat is above the midpoint or equatorial circumference thus creating a great circle type line having an arched line when projected in the planar dimension. The flat layout and straight line between the pockets of the invention positions the material to hang straight down and impinge upon the shoulders of the wearer causing dragging and pulling upon the material when the wearer turns their head.

[0010] Gifford describes an attachment with a flat strip extruded from a low density polyethylene material with slitted tabs at opposite ends having U-shaped tongues that slip over the top of the hatband into the pocket there behind or accommodated to the internal sizing strap of a hardhat. Additionally the invention pertains to an attachment for a headgear for protecting the wearer against the sun and for displaying an image such as a logo. There is no provision for supporting the attachment between the two slitted tabs as in the middle back of the hat thus allowing the attachment for a headgear to droop in the rear due to lack of support. Additionally it does not take in account that the typical head is spherical and a straight line attachment for a headgear will naturally have a low point in the center rear of the head as the circumference of the average head at the lower edge of the typical hat is above the midpoint or equatorial circumference thus creating a great circle type line having an arched line when projected in the planar dimension. The flat layout and straight line between the pockets of the invention positions the material to hang straight down and impinge upon the shoulders of the wearer causing dragging and pulling upon the material when the wearer turns their head. Furthermore the low-density polyethylene will not retain its shape when passing through the temperatures of a typical screen print drying oven if the product is embellished with an image or a logo after the cloth is assembled to the flat strip of polyethylene assembly, when utilizing standard of the industry screen-printing practices.

[0011] Collette describes a hat with a semi-rigid blinder assembly on either side having front and back edges. A sunshade to compliment the hat comprises a fabric and a band fixedly attached to the fabric that is wrapped around the wearer's head such that the fabric covers the wearer's ears and neck. The design includes a special manufacture hat with blinder assemblies and a separate sunshade with an attached strap. The sunshade has no special or unique means of attachment to the hat and is placed on the head before or after installing the hat. The design does not tie the hat and sunshade together in any mechanical fashion other than proximal alignment. The attached strap on the sunshade, if worn under the hat, presents an additional pressure to the head and may interfere with the fit of the hat.

[0012] Shedd describes a headgear attachment to protect the neck and sides of the face in the form of a material such as cloth with a contourable stiffener around the perimeter edge. In the preferred embodiment the method of attachment to a headgear, such as a baseball cap, is with three spring-loaded binder clips that are riveted to the headgear attachment. The binder clips are typically made of rigid materials that have hard edges so that the clip will sustain the forces of the built in spring. These clips would be positioned one on either side of the hat and one in the back of the hat as shown in the drawings. Concurrent with the placement of the side clips are the wearer's ears that may come in direct contact with the clips. Additionally, a hard un-flexible clip would present a significant discomfort to the wearer should he have outside contact against the clip while wearing the headgear attachment. Other means of attachment are mentioned such as Velcro, snaps, buttons, rivets, grommets, plastic strips, and flat bands of plastic, acrylic or latex coated wire, though specific shapes, means, and placement are not indicated. The clips as shown would render the assembled headgear attachment difficult for logo or advertising imprinting in the accepted practices of the screen print industry.

[0013] Newman describes a neck sunshade constructed of a fabric of about one half the diameter of a baseball cap permanently attached to a stretchable elastic ringlet which is slightly smaller than the diameter of the cap and will expand to fit over the cap while the elastic is disposed along a top surface of the bill portion of the cap in a front portion and the sunshade is disposed along a rear portion of the cap. There are no provisions to prevent the portion of the sunshade at the very back of the wearer's head from slipping downward thus exposing a portion of the wearer's head to the sun and elements. Additionally, the stretchable elastic required to maintain attachment of the sunshade with the wearer would exert a constant contracting force on the wearer's head that may be undesirable.

[0014] Watson describes a one-piece headwear with a semi-rigid visor portion, a kerchief portion and a ribbon portion. The crescent visor is affixed to the rectangular kerchief and the ribbon holds the assembly in place by circling the head from the front to back and tying in the back thus holding the assemblage upon the wearer's head. There is no allowance for the wearer to wear their favorite baseball cap and the kerchief portion is significantly convoluted when worn thus obscuring any possible logo or imprint on the kerchief portion.

[0015] Bridges describes a substantially rectangular protective drape that is attached to a hardhat with Velcro along one edge necessitating the installation of complimentary Velcro to the appropriate locations on the inner wall of the hardhat. This attachment solution requires the application of complimentary Velcro to each additional piece of headgear in order to accept the protective drape. Additionally the installation of Velcro to a banded hat such as a baseball cap would place the Velcro in direct contact with the wearer's head when not utilizing the protective drape.

[0016] Of only minimal interest is U.S. Pat. No. 5,153,943 to Clement showing a flexible weather shield that can be attached to any hat with a forward visor and rear size adjustment system. An elastic band is utilized similar to the previously mentioned Newman design with the inclusion of a rear fastening system that attaches to the rear adjustment system of the hat. It further includes an adjustment system for the wearer's comfort as well as a closure system on the left and right front edges of the shield to enable the shield to be closed over a forward portion of the wearer's neck. The illustrations show Velcro being utilized at the fastening and adjustment closures.

[0017] There remains the need for a protective attachment assembly for headgear that is simple and inexpensive to manufacture, can be readily screen printed on automatic presses, will pass through screen printing drying oven temperatures unaffected, can be worn with almost any hat design, will function with a wide variety of materials and fabrics, is comfortable to wear, is easy to install on a typical hat, requires no modification to the hat, can be conventionally laundered by the wearer, conically drapes away from the bottom of the hat and neck naturally, will not impinge upon the wearer's ears, stores readily inside the hat while installed, and will not become casually dislodged while being worn.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION—OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

[0018] Accordingly, several objects and advantages of the present invention are:

[0019] (a) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that will frictionally maintain contact with the inner sides of the upturned headband of a headgear and will not become casually dislodged;

[0020] (b) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear with a mechanical means of support at the rear adjustment opening of a headgear such as a baseball cap;

[0021] (c) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that conforms to the natural arc curvature of the head of the wearer;

[0022] (d) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that will accommodate the ponytail of the wearer;

[0023] (e) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that can be economically manufactured with accepted cut-and-sew industry and practices;

[0024] (f) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that can be readily adapted to automatic multi-color screen printing presses;

[0025] (g) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that is unaffected by the normal temperatures of the typical screen print industry ink drying ovens;

[0026] (h) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that may be utilized with most any headgear design with an upturned inner headband;

[0027] (i) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that will function with a wide variety of materials and fabrics;

[0028] (j) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that is comfortable to wear while having minimal contact with the wearer's ears, shoulder and neck;

[0029] (k) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that requires no modification to the complimenting headgear;

[0030] (l) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that can be laundered by conventional washing and drying;

[0031] (m) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that stores readily inside the headgear while remaining engaged with the inner headband of the headgear while being worn; and

[0032] (n) to provide a protective attachment assembly for headgear that will accomplish (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (l) and (m) as listed previously with the identical design and assembly.

[0033] Further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from a consideration of the drawings and ensuing description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0034] The present invention relates to an improved method for temporarily affixing a protective attachment assembly to a headgear having an upturned headband with an inner surface. The invention calls for a substantially planar flexible stiffener of a plastic or other material to have an upwardly turned arched shape with a tab protruding downward on either end of the arc with a frictional surface or protrusions on both sides of the tabs and having a central tab protruding downward to additionally support the attachment assembly with a relief cut above the central tab. The assembly comprising the above mentioned stiffener directly attached to a shield of material or cloth. In particular, the present invention relates to a method of securing a protective attachment assembly made of a material such as cloth to a headgear such as a baseball cap with a headband inner surface in such a way that it is readily removable, requires no modification the headgear, and the protective attachment assembly may be screen printed upon after the material is attached to the stiffener.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0035] FIG. 1 is a planar view of the stiffener 10.

[0036] FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross sectional view A-A of FIG. 1.

[0037] FIG. 1A is a planar view of the embodiment of the protective attachment assembly 20 constructed in accordance with the invention.

[0038] FIG. 2A is an enlarged cross sectional view B-B of FIG. 1A.

[0039] FIG. 1B is a perspective view of the protective attachment assembly 20 attached to a partial view of a headgear 30.

[0040] FIG. 2B is an enlarged cross-sectional view C-C of FIG. 1B.

[0041] FIG. 1C is a perspective view of the protective attachment assembly 20 attached to a headgear 30 shown on a person.

[0042] FIG. 2C is an enlarged partial view of FIG. 1C.

[0043] FIG. 1D is a perspective view of the protective attachment assembly 20 attached to a shown on a person with a ponytail.

[0044] FIG. 2D is an enlarged partial view of FIG. 1D and the cross-sectional view D-D.

REFERENCE LETTERS AND NUMERALS

[0045] A-A cross-sectional view of right tab 12A through first projection 19 and second projection 19A

[0046] B-B cross-sectional view of protective attachment assembly 20 and stiffener 10

[0047] C-C cross-sectional view of headgear 30 and protective attachment assembly 20

[0048] D-D cross-sectional view of a ponytail 40A

[0049] 10 stiffener

[0050] 11 left central section

[0051] 11A right central section

[0052] 12 left tab

[0053] 12A right tab

[0054] 13 upper radius

[0055] 13A lower radius

[0056] 13B center tab

[0057] 14 left upper edge

[0058] 14A right upper edge

[0059] 15 left lower edge

[0060] 15A right lower edge

[0061] 16 left outer edge

[0062] 16A right outer edge

[0063] 17 left lower tab edge

[0064] 17A right lower tab edge

[0065] 18 left inner tab edge

[0066] 18A right inner tab edge

[0067] 19 first projection

[0068] 19A second projection

[0069] 20 protective attachment assembly

[0070] 21 material body

[0071] 22 left material edge

[0072] 22A right material edge

[0073] 22B lower material edge

[0074] 22C upper material edge

[0075] 22D material fold over edge

[0076] 23 edge finish line

[0077] 23A attachment line

[0078] 23B material pocket

[0079] 24 left material radius edge

[0080] 24A right material radius edge

[0081] 25 promotional area

[0082] 30 headgear

[0083] 31 adjustment opening

[0084] 32 adjustment opening edge

[0085] 33 adjustment strap

[0086] 34 lower perimeter edge

[0087] 35 perimeter surface

[0088] 36 headband inner surface

[0089] 37 crown

[0090] 38 visor

[0091] 40 ponytail

[0092] 40A ponytail cross section

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0093] FIG. 1 shows a stiffener 10 made of preferably a resilient plastic like material. The stiffener 10 has a left central section 11 and a right central section 11A. The left central section 11 has a left upper edge 14 and a left lower edge 15 and the right central section 11A has a right upper edge 14A and a right lower edge 15A respectively. The left upper edge 14 and the left lower edge 15 and the right upper edge 14A and the right lower edge 15A are described by preferably an arc shape and are preferably parallel arc segments. Joining the left central section 11 and the right central section 11A is a center tab 13B. The center tab 13B has an upper radius 13 and a lower radius 13A. The upper radius 13 joins the left upper edge 14 to the right upper edge 14A. The lower radius 13A joins the left lower edge 15 to the right lower edge 15A. At the end of the left central section 11 and the right central section 11A opposing the center tab 13B is a left tab 12 and right tab 12A respectively. The left tab 12 has a left outer edge 16 and the right tab 12A has a right outer edge 16A respectively. The left outer edge 16 and right outer edge 16A are preferably perpendicular at the point of intersection to the tangent of the left upper edge 14 and the right upper edge 14A respectively. The left outer edge 16 and the right outer edge 16A describe the opposing boundaries of left tab 12 and right tab 12A respectively. The left tab 12 and right tab 12A have a left lower tab edge 17 and a right lower tab edge 17A respectively that intersect with the left outer edge 16 and the right outer edge 16A respectively. The left lower tab edge 17 and right lower tab edge 17A are preferably arc segments parallel to the arc of the left upper edge 14 and the right upper edge 14A. The tangent of the left lower tab edge 17 and the tangent of the right lower tab edge 17A are preferably perpendicular to the intersection of left outer edge 16 and the right outer edge 16A respectively. The left tab 12 and right tab 12A have a left inner tab edge 18 and a right inner tab edge 18A respectively. The left inner tab edge 18 and the right inner tab edge 18A are preferably perpendicular to the tangent of the left lower tab edge 17 and the tangent of the right lower tab edge 17A respectively. The left inner tab edge 18 and the right inner tab edge 18A describe the opposing inner boundaries of left tab 12 and right tab 12A. The left inner tab edge 18 and the left lower tab edge 17 and the left outer edge 16 and the left upper edge 14 describe the boundaries of the left tab 12. The right inner tab edge 18A and the right lower tab edge 17A and the right outer edge 16A and the right upper edge 14A describe the boundaries of the right tab 12A. Within the boundaries and on opposing surfaces of the left tab 12 and the right tab 12A is a frictional surface indicated by a first projection 19 and a second projection 19A in the preferred embodiment. The first projection 19 and the second projection 19A are in multiples on the left tab 12 and the right tab 12A in the preferred embodiment.

[0094] FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view A-A of FIG. 1. The sectional view A-A through the right tab 12A shows the first projection 19 and second projection 19A protruding from opposite surfaces of the stiffener 10. The left tab 12 and the right tab 12A each have multiple first projection 19 and second projection 19A protuberances creating a frictional surface on opposing planar surfaces in the preferred embodiment.

[0095] FIG. 1A shows a planar view of the stiffener 10 attached to a material body 21. The material body 21 has a left material edge 22 and a right material edge 22A. The left material edge 22 is in approximate alignment with the left outer edge 16 of the stiffener 10 and the right material edge 22A is in approximate alignment with the right outer edge 16A respectively of the stiffener 10. The material edge 22 and the right material edge 24A are joined to a left material radius edge 24 and a right material radius edge 24A respectively in the preferred embodiment. The left material radius edge 24 and the right material radius edge 24A are joined by a lower material edge 22B. Opposing the lower material edge 22B is an upper material edge 22C. The upper material edge 22C is parallel to and preferably is in contact with the left upper edge 14 and the right upper edge 14A of the stiffener 10 and denotes a fold line in the preferred embodiment. Between the upper material edge 22C of the material body 21 and the left lower edge 15 and the right lower edge 15A of the stiffener 10 is a material fold over edge 22D in the preferred embodiment. The material fold over edge 22D is parallel to the upper material edge 22C in the preferred embodiment. Between the upper material edge 22C of the material body 21 and the left lower edge 15 and the right lower edge 15A of the stiffener 10 is an attachment line 23A. The attachment line 23A is between the left outer edge 16 and the right outer edge 16A and preferably parallel and between the left upper edge 14 and the left lower edge 15 and the right upper edge 14A and the right lower edge 15A of the stiffener 10 in the preferred embodiment. The attachment line 23A may be accomplished by sewing or by adhesive or by mechanical bonding or by removable means such as hook and loop or snaps or another method such that the stiffener 10 is securely fastened to the material body 21. The material body 21 may be a variety of materials that are specific to the particular application. The Stiffener 10 and the material body 21 create a protective attachment assembly 20. The protective attachment assembly 20 has an edge finish line 23. The edge finish line 23 is approximately parallel to and forms a pocket 23B with the left material edge 22 and the right material edge 22A and the lower material edge 22B and the left material radius edge 24 and the right material radius edge 24A in the preferred embodiment.

[0096] FIG. 1B shows the protective attachment assembly 20 fitted to a headgear 30. The headgear 30 shown is of a baseball style with a crown 37 and a visor 38. The crown 37 is attached to a perimeter surface 35. The perimeter surface 35 has a lower perimeter edge 34. The lower perimeter edge 34 is attached to a headband inner surface 36. Between the headband inner surface 36 and the perimeter surface 35 is attached an adjustment strap 33. The adjustment strap 33 is shown located on the opposite side of the perimeter surface 35 as the visor 38. The perimeter surface has an adjustment opening 31 between the adjustment strap 33 and the crown 37. The adjustment opening 31 is shown in the shape of an ellipse and has an adjustment opening edge 32. The center tab 13B of the stiffener 10 is shown in the center of the adjustment opening 31. The upper material edge 22C is shown positioned at the apex of the adjustment opening edge 32. The adjustment strap 33 is shown in contact with the center tab 13B of the stiffener 10. The right tab 12A of the stiffener 10 is shown between the inside of the perimeter surface 35 and the headband inner surface 36. The material body 21 of the protective attachment assembly 20 is shown protruding below the lower perimeter edge 34 of the headgear 30.

[0097] FIG. 2B is an enlarged partial cross sectional view C-C showing the right tab 12A positioned between the inner surface of the perimeter surface 35 and the headband inner surface 36. The first projection 19 and the second projection 19A are shown in contact with the inner surface of the perimeter surface 35 and the headband inner surface 36.

[0098] FIG. 1C shows the protective attachment assembly 20 fitted to a headgear 30 fitted to a person.

[0099] FIG. 2C shows an enlarged partial view of the protective attachment assembly 20 and the headgear 30. The upper material edge 22C is shown at the apex of the adjustment opening edge 32. The lower radius 13A of the stiffener 10 is shown in contact with the adjusting strap 33. The protective attachment assembly 20 is shown covering the adjustment opening 31.

[0100] FIG. 1D shows the protective attachment assembly 20 fitted to a headgear 30 fitted to a person with a ponytail 40.

[0101] FIG. 2D shows an enlarged partial view of the protective attachment assembly 20 and the headgear 30 with a sectional view D-D of the ponytail 40A. The upper material edge 22C is shown deformed toward the upper radius 13 by the ponytail 40A that is shown at the apex of the adjustment opening edge 32. The lower radius 13A of the center tab 13B is shown overlapping the adjustment strap 33.

[0102] Operation:

[0103] To use the protective attachment assembly 20 requires a headgear 30 with an headband inner surface 36. The drawings depict a headgear 30 such as a baseball style cap with the adjustment opening 31, however any hat with an inner headband creating an upward facing open channel between the inner edge of the headband and the inner edge of the perimeter of the hat will function similarly. Placing the left tab 12 and the right tab 12A of the protective attachment assembly 20 into the upward facing open channel created by the juncture of the headband inner surface 36 and the inner surface of the perimeter surface 35 of the headgear 30 positions the protective attachment assembly 20 for use. The center tab 13B may also be positioned into the upward facing open channel created by the juncture of the headband inner surface 36 and the inner surface of the perimeter surface 35 if the headgear does not have an adjustment opening 31.

[0104] One feature of the invention is that it shields the neck and ears and side of the face of the wearer from the elements and other undesirable affects.

[0105] Another feature of the invention is that it covers and protects the wearer in the area behind the head where the adjustment opening 31 is located on a headgear 30 baseball style cap above the adjustment strap 33.

[0106] Another feature of the invention is that the frictional surface as depicted by first projection 19 and second projection 19A secures the protective attachment assembly 20 to the headgear 30 without modifying the headgear 30. The protective attachment assembly 20 becomes more secure when the headgear 30 is worn due to the frictional projections 19 and 19A, yet the protective attachment assembly 20 can be readily removed when the headgear is removed from the head.

[0107] Another feature of the invention is the center tab 13B helps secure the protective attachment assembly 20 to the headgear 20 by overlapping the adjustment strap 33. The center tab 13B also stabilizes the protective attachment assembly 20 and provides three-point suspension in a headgear with a continuous headband inner surface 34 and without the adjustment opening 31.

[0108] Another feature of the invention is the relief created by the upper radius 13 that will accommodate a wearer's ponytail in normal attachment configuration.

[0109] Another feature of the invention is that the arched shape of the stiffener 10 contours to the great circle arch shape of the wearer's head resulting in the attached material body 21 hanging conically away from the shoulders, ears, and neck of the wearer.

[0110] Another feature of the invention is that the center of the protective attachment assembly 20 has a promotional area 25 that may be utilized for printing of information or graphics or advertising.

[0111] Another feature of the invention is that is may be utilized as a receptacle and time release surface for repellants or oils for protection from insects. Desirable scents may be applied to the material body 21 to identify or mask the wearer such as for hunting or military operations.

[0112] Another embodiment of the invention is accomplished when the material body 21 of the protective attachment assembly 20 is constructed from a variety of specific materials to provide shielding from natural elements such as solar rays, wind, dust, cold, snow, rain and natural particulate precipitation from volcanic activity and manufacturing hazards such as metal melting furnaces and material removal operations. A puncture resistant material may be employed to create a shield from explosives and shrapnel and from jet engine blast on flight decks of aircraft carriers.

[0113] Another embodiment of the invention is accomplished when the material pocket 23B is filled partially or completely with a weighted material for contour or lofting control of the material body 21. The pocket 23B may also be filled with a material that is impregnated with a substance for moisture retention and slow release so as to create evaporative cooling for the wearer. The pocket 23B may enclose a heating element that is powered by electricity or chemicals to aid in warming the wearer. A material may be enclosed inside the material pocket 23B that is impregnated with a bug repellent to protect the wearer from annoyance and bites from flying insects.

[0114] Another embodiment of the invention is accomplished when the material body 21 is made of a reflective or colored or a specific material that can be impregnated with a substance or chemical so as to identify the wearer in an obvious or discrete manner. Certain coatings that are not normally obvious by the casual observer but that can be viewed or read by specialized equipment would make the wearer discemable for a specific event or time and thus the personnel that have been issued the specific treated or coated protective attachment assembly 20 can be discretely identified.

[0115] Another embodiment of the invention is accomplished when the material body 21 is designed such that it has a specific shape or length. The material body 21 can be cut to resemble a car or a soccer ball or a skateboard or other item and the material body 21 may be slit-vented and printed upon to further embellish the specific shape. The material body 21 may also be made of exceptionally long and light weight colored material and may have several different independent pieces secured to the stiffener 10 so that the material would wave in the relative wind either naturally or due to the movements of the person wearing it.

[0116] Another embodiment of the invention is accomplished when the material body 21 is made of a multi-layer disposable material that has a perforated tear line below the left tab 12 and the right tab 12A of the stiffener 10. The tear line would allow persons wearing the protective attachment assembly 20 such as painters and spray applicators and people in the food service industry and in slaughter houses to discard the soiled outer layer of material and continue to have protection for the neck and ears and sides of the face. The disposable layers could be made of thin yet resilient material and could be imprinted in the promotional area 25 with a sequence of promotions for related supplier merchandise or advertising.

[0117] Advantages:

[0118] Accordingly, the reader will see that the protective attachment assembly for headgear of this invention can be incorporated into a variety of shapes, designs, and materials. In addition, the protective attachment assembly for headgear provides multiple functions to include protection from the sun, wind, rain, and cold, advertising space on the material attachment, evaporative cooling by soaking the material attachment in water, and an inexpensive one-time use disposable item for protection in dirty environments and for messy occupations. Furthermore, the protective attachment assembly for headgear has the additional advantages in that

[0119] it provides an additional mechanical means of support at the rear of a headgear and at the adjustment opening of a headgear such as baseball cap providing three point suspension;

[0120] it conforms to the natural arc curvature of the head of the wearer;

[0121] it accommodates a wearer's ponytail

[0122] it can be economically manufactured and assembled with accepted cut-and-sew practices;

[0123] it can be readily adapted to automatic multi color screen printing press

[0124] it is unaffected by the normal temperatures of the typical screen print industry ink drying ovens;

[0125] it may be utilized with most any headgear design with an inner upturned headband;

[0126] it will function with a wide variety of materials and fabrics;

[0127] it is comfortable to wear having minimal contact with the wearer's ears, shoulder and neck;

[0128] it requires no modification to the complimenting headgear;

[0129] it can be laundered by conventional washing and drying;

[0130] it stores readily inside the headgear while remaining engaged with the inner headband of the headgear and can be worn in this fashion; and

[0131] it will accomplish the above listed advantages with the identical design and assembly.

[0132] Although the description above contains much specificity, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. For example the protective attachment assembly for headgear can be incorporated into specific designs and materials suitable for use in desert, volcanic, arctic, tropical, and wet environments. Industrial manufacture and steel mills, painting and sandblasting, and the meat packing industry are additional options, as well as military camouflage and flack protection, camouflage for sportsmen and search and rescue reflective designs. Out-door activities to include inline skating, mountain biking, volley-ball and other sports may utilize unique shapes, colors and materials to include streamers, vents in the fabric, and multiple layers. Disposable units utilizing a cardboard stiffener with similar qualities would serve the painting and foodservice industries.