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Title:
Integrated convertible foot towel
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention is entirely new in that there is no other product known to the inventor which accomplishes the aim of enabling an individual to dry his or her feet without stooping or bending and without putting a towel or rug on the floor. The invention quite simply is a water resistant base portion which stays put on the tub (but is easily removable therefrom), accompanied by a convertible portion on which there is a towel mounted, which is easily removable from the base portion for cleaning.


Inventors:
Kerley, Christopher S. (Huntsville, AL, US)
Application Number:
11/158705
Publication Date:
12/28/2006
Filing Date:
06/22/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Christopher, Kerley S. (2514 REABOK CIRCLE, HUNTSVILLE, AL, 35803, US)
Claims:
Independent Claim:

1. [a1] The first independent claim is for a fully integrated convertible foot towel; the invention is not organically complex in that it consists principally of two parts: a base portion and a convertible portion; The base portion (hereinafter “base portion”) is simply a piece of rubber or similar material, whether pre-crimped (that is to say, pre-molded at the factory to conform to the outer dimensions of a bathtub) or not pre-crimped. If the base portion is not pre-crimped, it will be flexible enough to conform to the outside of the bathtub so that it can be draped across and lie flat against it as one would drape a towel over the edge of the tub so as to wipe one's feet on it prior to stepping out of the tub. The underside of the base portion will either be flat, if the base portion is manufactured utilizing such materials so as to adhere on its own to the surface of the tub, or as an alternative it will have mini suction cups similar to those found on the base of a device which holds bar soap in the bathtub. It must be recognized that the dimensions of the base portion may vary depending upon the size of the tub, or design of the tub, or manufacturer of the tub on which it is used; nevertheless the design will achieve the same essential purpose, which is to be a base portion for the convertible portion. The convertible portion is a flat portion which is made of the same material as the base, but which has glued or otherwise attached onto the top of it a rectangular (or perhaps square, depending upon the dimensions of the tub) section of towel. The towel could be any make, model, product, pile thickness, or color, and its composition and character should be construed as broadly as possible to avoid infringement. The convertible portion is detachable from the base portion because the underside of the convertible portion will have suction cups on it like those found in a bar soap holder in the bathtub. It should be recognized that the underside of the convertible portion may as an alternative have on it Velcro instead, in which case the base portion would have Velcro on the top of it so as to fasten to the convertible portion securely. It should be recognized that the convertible portion could also potentially have a zipper around its perimeter, allowing the user to “zip off” the towel portion for easier laundering, as in such case the convertible portion would consist only of towel without any rubber component to it. The convertible portion could also potentially have snaps around its perimeter which would correspond to snap fasteners on the top of the base portion, as a means of securing one to the other. Finally, as an alternative, the convertible portion could also consist of two components: namely, (1) the towel portion which zips off from (2) the rubber portion, which in turn mounts to the base portion in a manner allowing easy detachment therefrom, by means of Velcro, a zipper or suction cups.

2. Dependent Claims: [b1] As described above, the device described in [a1] in which the underside of the base portion adheres to the tub by means of suction cups. [c1] The device described in [b1], in which the convertible portion consists of a section of towel with a zipper around its perimeter, allowing the user to in essence “zip off” the towel for ease in laundering. [c1-1] The device described in [c1], in which the towel zips off from the top of the convertible portion, and the convertible portion zips off from the top of the base portion. [c1-2] The device described in [c1], in which the towel zips off from the top of the convertible portion, and the convertible portion mounts to the base portion by means of suction cups. [c1-3] The device described in [c1], in which the towel zips off from the top of the convertible portion, and the convertible portion mounts to the base portion by means of snaps and/or fasteners. [c2] The device described in [b1] in which the convertible portion consists of a section of towel mounted permanently to a rubber base (hereinafter “rubber base”), or base of similar material, on the underside of which base are suction cups, which then allow the convertible portion to be temporarily affixed to the base portion. [d1] The device described in [c2] in which the section of towel is not permanently mounted to the rubber base, but rather is fastened to the rubber base by means of Velcro, suction cups, a zipper, or fasteners. [c3] The device described in [b1] in which the convertible portion consists of a section of towel mounted permanently to a rubber base, or base of similar material, on the underside of which base are buttons or snaps. In such case, corresponding fasteners to the snaps would be found on the top of the base portion. [e1] The device described in [c3] in which the section of towel is not permanently mounted to the rubber base, but rather is fastened to the rubber base by means of Velcro, suction cups, a zipper, or fasteners. [b2] As described above, the device described in [a1] in which the underside of the base portion adheres to the tub by nature of its chemical composition alone. [f1] The device described in [b2], in which the convertible portion consists of a section of towel with a zipper around its perimeter, allowing the user to in essence “zip off” the towel for ease in laundering. [f2] The device described in [b2] in which the convertible portion consists of a section of towel mounted permanently to a rubber base, or base of similar material, on the underside of which base are suction cups, which then allow the convertible portion to be temporarily affixed to the base portion. [g1] The device described in [f2] in which the section of towel is not permanently mounted to the rubber base, but rather is fastened to the rubber base by means of Velcro, suction cups, a zipper, or fasteners. [f3] The device described in [b2] in which the convertible portion consists of a section of towel mounted permanently to a rubber base, or base of similar material, on the underside of which base are buttons or snaps. In such case, corresponding fasteners to the snaps would be found on the top of the base portion. [h1] The device described in [f3] in which the section of towel is not permanently mounted to the rubber base, but rather is fastened to the rubber base by means of Velcro, suction cups, a zipper, or fasteners. While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that it is not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed, but, on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:

The examiner has no doubt heard anecdotal stories about elderly persons who slipped and fell in a common bathtub, causing serious bodily injury, paralysis or death. This is a serious and persistent health care issue for the elderly, which increases the length of rehabilitation from illness, increases the duration and cost of hospital visits, and lessens the degree of independence of seniors everywhere. However, elderly persons have no monopoly on these slips and falls. Adults and children who have simply encountered slippery surfaces due to water in, on and around their bathtub have no doubt taken similar spills, resulting, in many cases, in serious bodily injury and possible permanent disability.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The integrated convertible foot towel is a fanciful and highly useful device which is designed to serve two principal aims: (1) to reduce the risk of slip and fall in the bathtub: and (2) to allow the user to dry his or her feet prior to exiting the bathtub without having to bend over using a towel to dry his or her feet. There are doubtless those with arthritis or other degenerative changes in their back, who have difficulty bending over without pain, for whom the invention would serve to allow them to dry their feet without exiting the tub first, and without stooping and bending with a towel to dry their feet. It encourages them to dry their feet without simply ignoring the issue and stepping onto a wet floor if they have forgotten to put a towel down, or if the rug they originally had outside the tub is in the laundry, or if they do not have a rug.

The device, in essence, makes exiting the tub safer, more efficient and more sanitary. Another related benefit is that the device will enable the user to not have a wet towel left lying on the floor of the bathroom, or a wet rug lying on the floor of the bathroom, which invites mold, mildew, and germs, and creates related health hazards for all persons in the household. The lack of moisture buildup on the bathroom floor area will also prevent the untimely rotting of wood trusses and/or support beams under the floor of the bathroom, which threatens the structural integrity of the home over a long period of time, particularly in older homes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING:

FIG. 1 shows an exploded view of the invention in which figure the convertible portion is shown with all its components (towel portion and non-towel rubber portion) fully integrated and sealed together, and the base portion draped over the edge of the user's bathtub. The bottom side of the convertible portion has suction cups on it to adhere to the top of the base portion, but remains fully detachable therefrom.

FIG. 2 shows an exploded view of the invention in which figure the convertible portion is shown with its components fully separable from each other by the end user. The rubber portion of the convertible portion is detached from the towel portion of the convertible portion which permits the user to launder the towel portion in a washing machine without risking melting the rubber portion in the hot water.

FIG. 3 shows an exploded view of the invention in which figure the convertible portion is shown with all its components (towel portion and non-towel rubber portion) fully integrated and sealed together, and the base portion draped over the edge of the user's bathtub. Unlike FIG. 1, however, in this case the bottom side of the convertible portion has Velcro on it to adhere to the top of the base portion, but remains fully detachable therefrom.

FIG. 4 shows an exploded view of the invention in which figure the convertible portion is shown with all its components (towel portion and non-towel rubber portion) fully integrated and sealed together, and the base portion draped over the edge of the user's bathtub. Unlike FIGS. 1 and 3, however, in this case the bottom side of the convertible portion has snaps on it to adhere to corresponding fasteners on the top of the base portion, but remains fully detachable therefrom.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The integrated convertible foot towel consists of a base portion which is made of rubber or some type of similar waterproof material in the form of a square, rectangle, or perhaps other shapes, but which in any event can be draped over the edge of a bathtub and will adhere to the tub without slipping off into the tub or onto the floor. This could be accomplished in practice by putting rubber suction cups onto the bottom of the base portion, or by making the base portion pre-crimped to form fit over the edge of the tub, or by making the base portion of a non-slipping material polymer or coating that would keep it secure on the edge of the tub. The convertible portion is a top portion which is basically a towel, but which by various means is made to be detachable from the base portion. While it is detachable, the intent is that it is also secure, meaning it will not simply slide off the base portion onto the floor when the feet are wiped on it. This can be accomplished any number of ways, but the examples given in the claims contemplate metal fasteners, a zipper, rubber suction cups, or some combination thereof as the most likely securing mechanisms to anchor the convertible portion to the base portion.