Title:
Pool cue grip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pool cue includes a butt that has a butt sleeve and a groove. A shaft extends from the butt and includes a tip. A grip is positioned within the groove. The grip is formed of a generally soft, elastomeric material. The grip is positioned in the groove such that a smooth continuous surface is defined with an outer surface of the butt. The grip is constructed of a material that is elastic enough to roll or slide over the butt sleeve and into the groove during assembly.



Inventors:
Bowe, Graham (Yardley, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/962711
Publication Date:
06/26/2008
Filing Date:
12/21/2007
Assignee:
DMI Sports, Inc. (Fort Washington, PA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63D15/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040209716Composite softball bat with inner sleeveOctober, 2004Vacek et al.
20080271333BALL LINER FOR GOLFNovember, 2008Sung et al.
20050119058Apparatus and method for propelling the corresponding billiard or snooker cue ball over another object ball of simular sizeJune, 2005Walton
20020160857Energy absorbing deviseOctober, 2002Budzynski
20060211526Convertible racket for multiple stringing configurationsSeptember, 2006Hauptman
20080318688SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR FACILITATING COMPETITIONDecember, 2008Powell
20030224885Illuminated ballDecember, 2003Leal et al.
20070254746Golf club with two piece hoselNovember, 2007Poynor
20020198061Golf putting and chipping training deviceDecember, 2002Mitchell
20030139222Golf club set with optimal center of massJuly, 2003Vadersen
20050227795Ball bat having a hitting portion with variable wall thicknessOctober, 2005Fritzke



Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PANITCH SCHWARZE BELISARIO & NADEL LLP (TWO COMMERCE SQUARE 2001 MARKET STREET, SUITE 2800, PHILADELPHIA, PA, 19103, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A pool cue comprising: a butt having a butt sleeve and a groove; a shaft extending from the butt and including a tip; and a grip positioned within the groove, the grip formed of a generally soft, elastomeric material, the grip being positioned in the groove such that a smooth continuous surface is defined with an outer surface of the butt, the grip constructed of a material that is elastic enough to one of roll and slide over the butt sleeve and into the groove during assembly.

2. The pool cue of claim 1 wherein the shaft is removably mounted to the butt.

3. The pool cue of claim 1 wherein an outside surface of the grip is one of contoured and textured.

4. The pool cue of claim 1 wherein the grip includes a gel material positioned one of therein and between the grip and the groove to provide flexibility and pliability to the grip.

5. A pool cue comprising: a butt having a forearm and a butt sleeve, a groove extending between the forearm and the butt sleeve; a shaft extending from the butt and including a tip; and a deformable grip positioned within the groove, the grip forming a continuous outer surface with the forearm and the butt sleeve.

6. The pool cue of claim 5 wherein the continuous outer surface of the butt tapers from the butt sleeve toward the forearm.

7. The pool cue of claim 5 wherein the groove forms a first recessed step and a second recessed step, the grip abutting against the first and second recessed steps.

8. The pool cue of claim 5 wherein the grip is formed of a pliant material.

9. The pool cue of claim 5 wherein the grip is formed of a molded elastomeric material.

10. The pool cue of claim 5 wherein the grip includes a gel material.

11. The pool cue of claim 5 wherein the grip is removably mounted within the groove.

12. The pool cue of claim 5 wherein the grip is a hollow sleeve.

13. The pool cue of claim 5 wherein the groove extends radially inwardly and is circumferentially continuous.

14. The pool cue of claim 5 wherein the shaft is removably mounted to the butt.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/871,278 filed Dec. 21, 2006 entitled “Soft Grip Pool Cue” which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention generally relates to a pool cue and, more particularly, to a pool cue having a pliant or soft grip.

Pool cues are often made of a rigid material such as wood and typically have a smooth surface to allow for the pool cue to easily slide through a supporting hand. In order to prevent the stroke hand from slipping, the butt of the pool cue is given a textured surface. However, the butt of the pool cue remains rigid.

Grips or wraps have been used for pool cues to provide a specific feel or secure grip for a pool player. The grips are typically constructed of a thread material, which is wrapped around a butt or a handle portion of the cue. However, the grips or wraps are typically secured to the pool cue after the cue has been manufactured and as a result, the grips extend outwardly from the outer surface of the cue, creating a discontinuity at the front and rear of the grip, resulting in a undesirable appearance and feel.

What is therefore needed, but not provided in the prior art, is a pool cue with a groove in the handle area that accepts a soft or gel-like material to enhance the feel and grip of the pool cue for the billiard player and is generally smooth and continuous with the outer surface of the cue.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly stated, the present invention is directed to a pool cue that includes a butt that has a butt sleeve and a groove. A shaft extends from the butt and includes a tip. A grip is positioned within the groove. The grip is formed of a generally soft, elastomeric material. The grip is positioned in the groove such that a smooth continuous surface is defined with an outer surface of the butt. The grip is constructed of a material that is elastic enough to roll or slide over the butt sleeve and into the groove during assembly

In another aspect, the invention is directed to a pool cue that includes a butt that has a forearm and a butt sleeve. A groove extends between the forearm and the butt sleeve. A shaft extends from the butt and includes a tip. A deformable grip is positioned within the groove. The grip forming a continuous outer surface with the forearm and the butt sleeve.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings an embodiment which is presently preferred. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pool cue in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the pool cue shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a greatly enlarged cross sectional view of a grip of the pool cue shown in FIG. 1 taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Certain terminology is used in the following description for convenience only and is not limiting. The words “inwardly” and “outwardly” refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of a pool cue in accordance with the present invention, and designated parts thereof. Unless specifically set forth herein, the terms “a”, “an” and “the” are not limited to one element but instead should be read as meaning “at least one”. The terminology includes the words noted above, derivatives thereof and words of similar import.

Referring to FIG. 1, in a preferred embodiment, the pool cue, generally designated 10, includes a shaft 10a and a buff 10b that are removably mountable to each other using a male joint 11b on the butt 10b and a female joint 11a on the shaft 10a. The soft grip pool cue 10 is not limited to having a two-part construction including the shaft 10a and butt 10b that are removably mountable to each other at the male and female joints 11b, 11a, respectively, and may have a single-part or unitary construction or may be constructed of nearly any number of parts that are removably mountable to each other to form the general shape and size of the pool cue 10. For example, the pool cue 10 may be constructed of a continuous material that is able to take on the general size and shape of the entire pool cue 10 and is able to withstand the normal operating conditions of the pool cue 10. The shaft and butt 10a, 10b are also not limited to being removably mountable to each other through the male and female joints 11b, 11a and may be clipped, adhesively bonded or otherwise secured to each other to form the pool cue 10.

The shaft and butt 10b of the preferred embodiment may be constructed of a wood, metallic, composite or nearly any structural material that is able to take on the general shape of the pool cue 10 and withstand the normal playing conditions of the pool cue 10. The wood and metallic materials are typically preferred for their manufacturability and cost to construct the preferred soft grip pool cue 10, but are not limiting.

The shaft 10a of the pool cue 10 of the preferred embodiment also includes a ferrule 12 and a tip 14 at a front end to strike a ball such as a cue ball (not shown) during game play. The ferrule 12 and tip 14 are generally well known to those having ordinary skill in the art and may be modified to suit a particular player's needs.

In the preferred embodiment, the butt 10b includes the male joint 11b at a front end or forearm 24, a butt sleeve 16 and a butt plate 18 at a rear end and a groove 20 (FIG. 2) between the front and rear ends where a player would grasp the butt 10b during game play. The groove 20 preferably extends radially inwardly and is preferably circumferentially continuous to form a first recessed step 20a toward the forearm 24 and a second recessed step 20b toward the butt sleeve 16. The groove 20 is preferably tapered to match the taper of the butt 10b that tapers from the butt sleeve 16 toward the forearm 24. A wrap or grip 22 is preferably located in the groove 20 such that the outside surface of the grip 22 creates a generally smooth, continuous surface with the outside surface of the butt 10b beyond the groove 20 in either direction. Accordingly, the groove 20 preferably has a depth that is equivalent to the thickness of the grip 22 so that the smooth, continuous surface is formed when the grip 22 is positioned in the groove 20 in the assembled configuration.

The grip 22 is preferably constructed of a soft, molded rubber sleeve in the shape of a tube that is slipped over the butt 10b and butt sleeve 16 and into the groove 20 in the handle area of the pool cue 10. The grip 22 preferably abuts the first and second recessed steps 20a, 20b. The groove 20 preferably holds the grip 22 in place and allows for a smooth seam between the forearm 24 and the grip 22 and between the butt sleeve 16 and the grip 22. The smooth seam is preferred, but not limiting and is generally preferred by a user to create a smooth, continuous feel to the butt 10b of the pool cue 10.

The grip 22 is preferably sufficiently elastic to slide or roll over the butt sleeve 16 and into the groove 20 after the butt 10b is constructed. However, the grip 22 may be integrally formed on the butt 10b during construction of the butt 10b, such as by wrapping a sheet of soft material into the groove 20 and bonding together the terminal ends of the sheet after wrapping, or may be molded into the groove 20 during a secondary construction process.

The grip 22 may be contoured, textured, colored or otherwise include surface features that improve the gripping of the grip 22 and pool cue 10 or provide for advertising space, product identification or related ornamental surface features. The texture of the grip 22 may be customized for individual players depending upon their preferred feel when grasping the butt 10b during game play or various pool cues 10 for the same player may be alternatively textured, contoured or ornamented for the same player depending upon the type of shot or specific use the player desires for the pool cue 10. For example, the grip 22 may identify the specific pool cue 10 as a cue that is particularly configured for the break in a pool game, another pool cue 10 may be identified as a masse cue and yet another pool cue 10 may be identified by the grip 22 for an alternative function during play or for display purposes only.

Referring to FIG. 3, the preferred grip 22 may also include a gel material 26 between an outer polymeric sleeve 22a and an inner polymeric sleeve 22b. The gel material 26 may be positioned within the groove 20 beneath the grip 22. The gel material 26 is preferably any viscous liquid material that flexes under pressure from a player's hand or additional pressures and partially conforms to the grip of the player. The gel material 26 coupled with the grip 22 is preferred by users for a specific purpose or for a specific player's feel.

The preferred pool cue 10 is adaptable to the preferred feel and grip of specific players. The preferred elastomeric or gel grip 22 also absorbs vibration and is pliant to flex or contour under pressure from the hand for improved user comfort.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes could be made to the embodiment described above without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but it is intended to cover modifications within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.