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Title:
Preformed artificial nails and tips having flared free edge
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A preformed artificial nail and nail tip for attachment to a natural wherein the shape of a free edge of the artificial nail or nail tip does not conform to the shape of a free edge possible with a typical natural nail. More specifically, the side edges of the free edge portion of the preformed artificial nail or preformed artificial nail tip flare out at least 5° from the side edge line of the artificial nail at the nail bed portion, or the width of the distal edge of the free edge portion is preferably at least 5% wider than the width of the artificial nail or tip at the transition from the nail bed portion to the free edge portion. The preformed artificial nail or nail tip may further flatten slightly at the distal end of the free edge. The preformed artificial nail and preformed artificial nail tip are preferably formed from plastic, such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyethylene or polypropylene, preferably by injection molding the same in a known manner similar to currently available preformed artificial nails.


Inventors:
Robinson, Kenneth D. (Laguna Niguel, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/032663
Publication Date:
08/25/2005
Filing Date:
01/10/2005
Assignee:
Pacific World Corporation (Lake Forest, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D29/00; A45D31/00; (IPC1-7): A45D29/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEYDIG VOIT & MAYER, LTD (TWO PRUDENTIAL PLAZA, SUITE 4900, 180 NORTH STETSON AVENUE, CHICAGO, IL, 60601-6780, US)
Claims:
1. A preformed artificial nail for coupling to a nail bed of a user's natural nail, the artificial nail having a free edge portion and a nail bed portion and a transition therebetween, the nail bed portion being adapted to be disposed along the nail bed of the user's natural nail, the free edge portion having a free edge width, the transition having a transition width, the free edge width being greater than the transition width.

2. The preformed artificial nail of claim 1 wherein the free edge width is at least 5% wider than the transition width when taken as a percentage of the transition width.

3. The preformed artificial nail of claim 2 wherein the free edge width is between 5% and 70% wider than the transition width when taken as a percentage of the transition width.

4. The preformed artificial nail of claim 1 wherein the free edge flares out at least 5° from a line extending from the nail bed portion and transition.

5. The preformed artificial nail of claim 4 wherein the free edge flares out between 5° and 45° from a line extending from the nail bed portion and transition.

6. The preformed artificial nail of claim 1 wherein the free edge portion comprises an arcuate cross-section taken from side edge to side edge of the artificial nail, and the nail bed portion comprises an arcuate cross-section taken from side edge to side edge of the artificial nail, the free edge portion arcuate cross-section relatively flatter than the nail bed portion arcuate cross-section.

7. The preformed artificial nail of claim 1 formed of a plastic material.

8. The preformed artificial nail of claim 7 comprising at least one of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polyethylene, and polypropylene.

9. A preformed artificial nail tip for coupling to a user's natural nail, the artificial nail having a free edge portion and a nail bed portion and a transition therebetween, the nail bed portion being adapted to be disposed along the user's natural nail, the free edge portion having a free edge width, the transition having a transition width, the free edge width being greater than the transition width.

10. The preformed artificial nail tip of claim 9 wherein the free edge width is at least 5% wider than the transition width when taken as a percentage of the transition width.

11. The preformed artificial nail tip of claim 10 wherein the free edge width is between 5% and 70% wider than the transition width when taken as a percentage of the transition width.

12. The preformed artificial nail tip of claim 9 wherein the free edge flares out at least 5° from a line extending from the nail bed portion and transition.

13. The preformed artificial nail of claim 12 wherein the free edge flares out between 5° and 45° from a line extending from the nail bed portion and transition.

14. The preformed artificial nail tip of claim 9 wherein the free edge portion comprises an arcuate cross-section taken from side edge to side edge of the artificial nail, and the nail bed portion comprises an arcuate cross-section taken from side edge to side edge of the artificial nail, the free edge portion arcuate cross-section relatively flatter than the nail bed portion arcuate cross-section.

15. The preformed artificial nail tip of claim 9 formed of a plastic material.

16. The preformed artificial nail of claim 15 comprising at least one of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polyethylene, and polypropylene.

17. A nail kit comprising a package containing an adhesive and a plurality of at least one of preformed artificial nails or preformed artificial nail tips for coupling to a user's natural nail, the preformed artificial nails having a free edge portion and a nail bed portion and a transition therebetween, the nail bed portion being adapted to be disposed along the nail bed of the user's natural nail, the free edge portion having a free edge width, the transition having a transition width, the free edge width being greater than the transition width, the preformed artificial nail tips having a tip free edge portion and a tip nail bed portion and a tip transition therebetween, the tip nail bed portion being adapted to be disposed along a portion of the user's natural nail, the tip free edge portion having a tip free edge width, the tip transition having a tip transition width, the tip free edge width being greater than the tip transition width.

18. The kit of claim 17 wherein at least one of the free edge width is at least 5% wider than the transition width when taken as a percentage of the transition width, or the tip free edge width is at least 5% wider than the tip transition width when taken as a percentage of the tip transition width.

19. The kit of claim 18 wherein at least one of the free edge width is between 5% and 70% wider than the transition width when taken as a percentage of the transition width, or the tip free edge width is between 5% and 70% wider than the tip transition width when taken as a percentage of the tip transition width.

20. The kit of claim 17 wherein the free edge flares out at least 5° from a line extending from the nail bed portion and transition of the preformed artificial nails, or the tip free edge flares out at least 5° from a edge line extending from the tip nail bed portion and tip transition of the preformed artificial nail tips.

21. The kit of claim 17 wherein the free edge flares out between 5° and 45° from a line extending from the nail bed portion and transition.

22. The kit of claim 17 wherein the free edge portion or the tip free edge portion comprises an arcuate cross-section taken from side edge to side edge of the artificial nail or artificial nail tip, and the nail bed portion or the tip nail bed portion comprises an arcuate cross-section taken from side edge to side edge of the artificial nail or artificial nail tip, the free edge portion arcuate cross-section being relatively flatter than the nail bed portion arcuate cross-section.

23. The kit of claim 17 wherein at least one of the preformed artificial nails or the preformed artificial nail tips are formed of a plastic material.

24. The kit of claim 23 wherein at least one of the preformed artificial nails or the preformed artificial nail tips comprise at least one of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polyethylene, and polypropylene.

25. The nail kit of claim 17 further comprising at least one of a towelette including a cleaner, a roughening surface, and a stick.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to human nail decorations, and more specifically the invention pertains to preformed artificial nails and tips for placement over and adherence to human nails.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Well manicured hands and feet present a polished, professional appearance. A major factor in such a manicured appearance is the presentation of ones nails. Many individuals are unable or unwilling, however, to grow or maintain healthy nails of a desired length or uniformity. As a result, many people utilize artificial nails to augment their own nails to enhance their length, uniformity, or strength.

One type of artificial nail that is commonly utilized is an acrylic nail. Prior to application, a bonding agent or primer is applied directly to the natural nail. Typically, a form is placed subjacent the free edge of the user's finger nail or a tip portion is applied to the finger nail when the user desires a lengthening of the natural nail. Acrylic nails are built up and formed directly on the user's own finger nail and the form and/or tip from a mixture of an acrylic liquid (typically methacrylate ester) and an acrylic powder (typically methacrylate copolymer). The operator then dips an applicator brush in the liquid and powder are mixed together to provide a flowable acrylic resin that is repeatedly brushed over the length of the nail and tip and/or form to develop an acrylic nail. The acrylic literally bonds with the user's own fingernail. Although kits are available for home fabrication of such acrylic nails, acrylic nails are typically formed in salons. While such acrylic nails are relatively durable, the process of fabricating acrylic nails is time consuming and can be expensive. The use of acrylic nails also requires regular maintenance as the user's natural nails grow out. Finally, because the acrylic bonds to the nail surface, removal of such acrylic nails from the user's natural nails requires particular chemicals or mechanically prying the developed acrylic nail from the natural nail surface, and can still result in damage to the natural nail.

In sharp contrast, preformed artificial nails provide users with a relatively quick and economical means by which to provide a polished, manicured appearance. Such preformed artificial nails are traditionally made of plastic materials such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyethylene or polypropylene and are secured to the user's nail with an adhesive. The preformed nails may be removed using commonly available acetone nail polish remover, which dissolves the adhesive to separate the preformed nail from the natural nail. Preformed artifical nails may either be polished or decorated once applied, or the preformed nail may include color and/or other decoration prior to application. For the purposes of this disclosure, the term “preformed artificial nail” shall mean an artificial nail that is molded, by injection molding or the like, into a complete, discrete nail that may then be secured to the user's natural nail, rather than a nail that is formed directly on the user's nail, as with the acrylics described above.

Preformed artificial nails are traditionally supplied in either a full nail form or a nail tip form. As indicated by the name, full nails simulate a complete nail, including nail bed and free edge and are adhered thereto, covering the entire nail, including the nail bed and free edge of the nail. In contrast, nail tips do not simulate the complete nail, but, rather, only the free edge and, typically, a small extended portion to cover only a portion of the nail bed in order to facilitate attachment to the nail. In use, nail tips are secured to the edge of the nail bed adjacent the free edge and the tip only.

Preformed artificial nails are provided in a variety of lengths to extend the free edge of the user's nail from a relatively short, sportier amount to relatively long, glamorous lengths. Moreover, the free edge of such artificial nails is provided in a variety of shapes to meet the user's preference as to how one might file one's own nails. The free edge of such preformed artificial nails is typically provided with an oval shape, a square shape, or a shape that is a cross between the two. The one thing that each of these shapes has in common, however, is that they all seek to mimic natural nail shapes.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a preformed artificial nail or nail tip for attachment to a natural wherein the shape of a free edge of the artificial nail or nail tip does not conform to the shape of a free edge possible with a typical natural nail. More specifically, the side edges of the free edge portion of the preformed artificial nail or preformed artificial nail tip flare out at least 5° from the side edge line of the artificial nail at the nail bed portion. By way of alternate defining characteristic, the width of the distal edge of the nail free edge portion is preferably at least 5% wider than the width of the artificial nail at the transition from the nail bed portion to the free edge portion. The preformed artificial nail or nail tip may further flatten slightly at the distal end of the free edge. The preformed artificial nail and preformed artificial nail tip are preferably formed from plastic, such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyethylene or polypropylene, preferably by injection molding the same in a known manner similar to currently available preformed artificial nails.

The invention further includes a kit comprising a plurality of such preformed artificial nails or tip and an adhesive contained in a package. The kit may further comprise at least one of a towelette including a cleaner, a roughening surface, and a stick.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading the following summary and detailed description and upon reference to the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first preformed artificial nail constructed in accordance with teachings of the invention and showing an exemplary user's finger in phantom.

FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of a preformed artificial nail constructed in accordance with the prior art.

FIG. 3 is a bottom perspective view of the preformed artificial nail of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 2-3.

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 2-4, the opposite side elevational view being a mirror image.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 2-5, taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is an elevational view of the proximal end of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 2-6.

FIG. 8 is an elevational view of the distal end of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 2-7.

FIG. 9 is a top perspective view of the preformed artificial nail of FIG. 1.

FIG. 10 is a bottom perspective view of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 1 and 9.

FIG. 11 is a plan view of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 1 and 9-10.

FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 1 and 9-11, the opposite side elevational view being a mirror image.

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 1 and 9-12 taken along line 13-13 in FIG. 11.

FIG. 14 is an elevational view of the proximal end of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 1 and 9-13.

FIG. 15 is an elevational view of the distal end of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 1 and 9-14.

FIG. 16 is a bottom view of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 1 and 9-15.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a preformed artificial nail constructed in accordance with teachings of the invention.

FIG. 18 is a plan view of the preformed artificial nail of FIG. 17.

FIG. 19 is a side elevational view of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 17-18, the opposite side elevational view being the mirror image.

FIG. 20 is an elevational view of the proximal end of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 17-19.

FIG. 21 is an elevational view of the distal end of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 17-20.

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of a preformed artificial nail constructed in accordance with teachings of the invention.

FIG. 23 is a plan view of the preformed artificial nail of FIG. 22.

FIG. 24 is a side elevational view of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 22-23, the opposite side elevational view being the mirror image.

FIG. 25 is an elevational view of the proximal end of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 22-24.

FIG. 26 is a side elevational view of the distal end of the preformed artificial nail of FIGS. 22-25.

FIG. 27 is a top perspective view of a nail tip constructed in accordance with teachings of the invention.

FIG. 28 is a bottom perspective view of the nail tip of FIG. 27.

FIG. 29 is a plan view of a nail tip of FIGS. 27-28.

FIG. 30 is a side elevational view of a nail tip of FIGS. 27-29, the opposite side elevational view being a mirror image.

FIG. 31 is a cross-sectional view of the nail tip of FIGS. 27-30 taken along line 31-31 in FIG. 29.

FIG. 32 an elevational view of the proximal end of the nail tip of FIGS. 27-31.

FIG. 33 is an elevational view of the distal end of the nail tip of FIGS. 27-32.

FIG. 34 is a bottom view of the nail tip of FIGS. 27-33.

FIG. 35 is an exploded perspective view of an exemplary kit comprising a plurality of the nails or tips constructed in accordance with teachings of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Turning now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1, a preformed artificial nail 30 constructed in accordance with teachings of the invention. The nail 30 includes a nail bed portion 32 at its proximal end 34 of the nail 30, and a free edge portion 36 at the distal end 38 of the nail 30. It is to be noted that the demarcation 39 shown generally at the transition between the nail bed portion 32 and the free edge portion 36 in the figures is not necessarily shown in a preformed artificial nail 30 in practice. Rather, the demarcation line 39 is provided only to illustrate the general area of such transition between the nail bed portion 32 and the free edge portion 36 and is not intended to be limiting in any way.

In use, the nail 30 is secured to a user's own natural nail 40 as shown in FIG. 1 with the nail bed portion 32 disposed along the user's nail bed 42 with the extreme proximal end 34 of the nail 30 disposed substantially adjacent the user's cuticle 44, the free edge portion 36 disposed along the free edge 46 (if existent) of user's natural nail 40. The preformed artificial nail 30 may be secured to the user's own natural nail 40 by any appropriate adhesive. Such adhesives are known in the industry and include, by way of example only, ethyl cyanoacrylate. The preformed artificial nail 30 is formed of any appropriate polymer such as, by way of example only, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyethylene or polypropylene. It is to be noted that the line of demarcation 39 in the artificial nail 30 may or may not correspond generally to the transition of the user's nail bed 42 to the free edge 46.

Turning now to FIGS. 2-8, there is shown a preformed artificial nail 50 according to the prior art. Significantly, even though the free edge portion 56 of the prior art nail 50 is of a relatively square shape, the free edge portion 56 typically actually angles inward somewhat from the nail bed portion 52, as may best be seen in FIG. 4.

According to an important feature of the invention, the free edge 36 of the preformed artificial nail 30 according to the invention flares outward from the nail bed portion 32. As may best be seen in FIG. 11, the side edges 36a, 36b defining the free edge 36 are disposed at an angle (a) to a line defining the side edges 32a, 32b of the nail bed portion 32. In this way, the relationship of the free edge portion 36 relative to the nail bed portion 32 is an otherwise flaring that would not normally otherwise be presented in a natural nail.

The angle (α) at which the edges 36a, 36b of the free edge 36 angle outward from the edges 32a, 32b of the nail bed 32 may vary. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 9-16, for example, the angle (α) is on the order of 12°. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 17-21, however, the angle (a) is on the order of 5°, and in the embodiment of FIGS. 22-26, the angle (a) is on the order of 20°. Thus, it will be appreciated by those of skill in the art that the angle (a) may vary, so long as a widening effect is obtained as a result of the difference between the width of the nail bed portion 32 and the free edge portion 36. For example, the flaring may be between 5° and 45°.

The flaring of the free edge portion 36 may alternately be defined relative to the differences between the widths of the nail 30 from its nail bed portion 32 to the widest section of the free edge portion 36. As shown in FIG. 9, for example, the difference between the width of the nail 30 at the widest portion of the free edge portion 36 and the width of the nail 30 at the position that generally corresponds to the transition from the nail bed portion 32 to the free edge portion 36 (see generally the area of the line of demarcation 39), taken as a percentage of the width at the position that generally corresponds to the area of demarcation. In this first illustrated embodiment, i.e., FIG. 9, the free edge portion 36 flares on the order of 20% for example. Similar measurements of the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 18 and 23 reveal that the free edge portions 66, 76 flare 10% and 30%, respectively. Alternate flaring may be provided. For example, the flaring may preferably be between 5% and 70%.

It will be appreciated that the preformed artificial nails according to the invention may be of any desired length. Moreover, the invention may alternately include nail tips, as shown, for example in FIGS. 27-33, as opposed to full artificial nails. The nail tips may exhibit similar flaring as a percentage of the width at the transition or as measured in degrees. While only one flaring design is illustrated with regard to the tips, the artificial tips may be flared in a similar manner as illustrated with regard to the preformed artificial nails.

The artificial nails and/or tips may further be provided as a part of a kit 100 (See FIG. 35) that includes a plurality of such nails 102, as well as an appropriate adhesive 104 contained in a package 106. Such a kit could also optionally include a rough or emery type surface 108 for buffing the natural nail prior to placement of the artificial nail, a towelette 110 including an acetone or other substance to clean the nail prior to placement, and a rosewood stick 112 for assistance during installation of the artificial nail onto the natural nail surface.

While this invention has been described with an emphasis upon preferred embodiments, variations of the preferred embodiments can be used, and it is intended that the invention can be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications encompassed within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.

All of the references cited herein, including patents, patent applications, and publications, are hereby incorporated in their entireties by reference.