Title:
GLOVES FOR DISPOSAL OF WASTE AND METHODS FOR MAKING AND USING THEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A glove for disposing of waste includes an open end, a plurality of finger pockets, and a closure on the open end. The glove may be sufficiently flexible to be inverted upon removal from a hand, the closure configured for closing the open end when the glove is inverted. The closure may include a mating protrusion and channel, similar to a zip-lock closure, a drawstring, or a strap. Optionally, the glove may include a decorative pattern that is exposed when the glove is inverted and/or a handle for carrying the glove. During use, a wearer's hand is inserted into the open end, waste material is grabbed by the wearer's hand, the glove is inverted, e.g., during removal from the hand, to capture the waste material within the inverted glove, and the open end of the glove is closed with the waste material therein.



Inventors:
Gober, Carla (Cherry Valley, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/961676
Publication Date:
06/25/2009
Filing Date:
12/20/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/162
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Vista IP Law Group LLP (2040 MAIN STREET, 9TH FLOOR, IRVINE, CA, 92614, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A device for disposing of waste, comprising: a glove comprising an open end and a closed end including a plurality of finger pockets for receiving fingers of a hand inserted into the open end, the glove being sufficiently flexible to be inverted upon removal from the hand; and a closure mechanism on the open end of the glove configured to substantially close the open end when the glove is inverted upon being removed from a wearer's hand.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the closure mechanism comprises a channel extending along a portion of the open end, and a protrusion extending along a portion of the open end generally opposite the channel before the glove is inverted, the channel and protrusion being oriented towards one another when the glove is inverted such that the protrusion may be received in the channel to substantially close the open end.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein the closure mechanism comprises a pocket extending around a perimeter of the open end and a drawstring disposed within the pocket that may be tightened to substantially close the open end.

4. The device of claim 1, wherein the closure mechanism comprises a strap including a first end fixed to the glove adjacent the open end and a second end that is attachable to the glove at a location across the open end from the first end for substantially closing the open end.

5. The device of claim 4, wherein the second end comprises one of a hook and eye fastener and wherein the glove comprises a mating hook and eye fastener at the location across the open end such that the second end is attachable to the mating hook and eye fastener.

6. The device of claim 5, wherein the mating hook and eye fastener is disposed on an inside surface of the glove adjacent the open end before the glove is inverted.

7. The device of claim 4, wherein the strap comprises an elastic material such that the strap is stretchable to provide sufficient length to be attached to the location across the open end from the first end.

8. The device of claim 4, wherein the strap has sufficient length to provide a handle when the second end is attached to the location across the open end from the first end.

9. The device of claim 4, wherein the second end comprises an adhesive thereon for attaching the second end to the glove.

10. The device of claim 4, wherein the second end is releasably secured to the glove to the first end or the inside surface of the glove such that the second end is separable from the glove before being attached to the location across the open end from the first end.

11. The device of claim 1, further comprising a handle adjacent the open end for carrying the device after the glove is inverted.

12. The device of claim 11, wherein the handle comprises first and second ends attached to the glove and an intermediate region between the first and second ends, at least a portion of the intermediate region being releasably secured to the glove.

13. The device of claim 12, wherein the at least a portion of the intermediate region is releasably secured to an inside surface of the glove before the glove is inverted.

14. The device of claim 1, wherein the glove comprises an examination glove.

15. The device of claim 1, wherein the glove comprises a surgical glove.

16. The device of claim 1, wherein the glove comprises an elastomeric material that is expandable to facilitate inserting a hand into the glove, the material resiliently contracting to engage a hand inserted into the glove.

17. The device of claim 1, further comprising a pattern on an inside surface of the glove, the pattern being exposed when the glove is inverted.

18. The device of claim 17, wherein the pattern comprises one or more colors printed on the inside surface.

19. A device for disposing of waste, comprising: a glove comprising an open end and a plurality of finger pockets for receiving fingers of a hand inserted into the open end, the glove being sufficiently flexible to be inverted upon removal from the hand; a channel extending along a portion of the open end; and a protrusion extending along a portion of the open end generally opposite the channel before the glove is inverted, the channel and protrusion being oriented towards one another when the glove is inverted such that the protrusion may be received in the channel to substantially close the open end.

20. The device of claim 19, wherein the channel is provided in a first elongate strip attached to an outside surface of the glove, and wherein the protrusion is provided on a second elongate strip attached to the outside surface of the glove generally opposite the first elongate strip.

21. The device of claim 19, wherein the first and second elongate strips extend substantially parallel to an edge of the glove defining the open end.

22. The device of claim 19, wherein the channel and the protrusion are molded into an edge of the glove defining the open end such that the channel and the protrusion are oriented away from one another before the glove is inverted.

23. The device of claim 19, wherein the channel and the protrusion comprises shapes that prevent removal of the protrusion when received in the channel to substantially permanently close the open end of the glove.

24. A device for disposing of waste, comprising a glove comprising an open end and a plurality of finger pockets for receiving fingers of a hand inserted into the open end, the glove being sufficiently flexible to be inverted upon removal from the hand, the glove comprising a decorative pattern on an inside surface thereof such that the decorative pattern is exposed when the glove is inverted.

25. The device of claim 24, further comprising a handle adjacent the open end for carrying the device after the glove is inverted.

26. The device of claim 25, wherein the handle comprises first and second ends attached to the glove and an intermediate region between the first and second ends, at least a portion of the intermediate region being releasably secured to the glove.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to devices and methods for disposing of waste, and, more particularly, to gloves for protecting a wearer and/or for facilitating disposal of waste, and to methods for making and using them.

BACKGROUND

Surgical or examination gloves are often used by doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. For example, such gloves may be formed from elastomeric material, e.g., latex, natural or synthetic rubber, and the like, to provide tight-fitting, flexible gloves that may protect the wearer from contact with blood or other bodily fluids, medications, contaminants, or other materials. After use, e.g., after examining an individual patient or completing a desired procedure, the gloves may be removed, which may result in the glove being at least partially inverted because of the tight fit around the wearer's hand. Despite being inverted, the gloves may have fluids or other material thereon, which may leak or otherwise exposed others to hazards associated with the material, such as disease, contaminants, corrosive and/or toxic substances, and the like, e.g., until the gloves are properly disposed of in an appropriate container.

Surgical or examination gloves may be made using a dipping process, e.g., by initially providing a form or mold corresponding to the desired shape of the gloves. The form may be dipped successively into one or more materials, e.g., into tanks or other containers, to build up one or more desired layers of material for each of the gloves. Optionally, the form may be heated, dried, and the like, e.g., to cure the materials applied to form after being dipped into one or more of the tanks. After the form is dipped into the tanks and/or otherwise treated, the resulting glove is stripped from the form, and the process may be repeated. Optionally, powder or other materials may be applied to the glove before being stripped from the form, e.g., to facilitate inserting a hand into the glove and/or to reduce slippage between the glove and the wearer's hand.

Exemplary methods for making surgical gloves may be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,852,826, 5,421,033, and 5,612,083. U.S. Pat. No. 3,852,826 discloses applying a colored band to a cuff of surgical gloves to identify the size of the glove, e.g., to avoid glove size mismatching during packaging and erroneous selection by the wearer. U.S. Pat. No. 5,421,033 discloses health-care gloves that include visual indicia along one side edge of the glove, e.g., for identifying the location of the thumb or pinkie finger member.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to devices and methods for disposing of waste, and, more particularly, to gloves that may protect a wearer and/or may be used as a waste receptacle or other may facilitate disposal of waste, and to methods for making and using them.

In accordance with one embodiment, a device is provided for disposing of waste that includes a glove including an open end or cuff and a plurality of finger pockets for receiving fingers of a hand inserted into the open end, and a closure on the open end. The glove may be sufficiently flexible to be inverted upon removal from a hand of a wearer, and the closure may be configured for substantially closing the open end when the glove is inverted.

In one embodiment, the closure may include a channel extending along a portion of the open end, and a hook, bead, or other protrusion extending along a portion of the open end generally opposite the channel before the glove is inverted. The channel and protrusion, e.g., together providing a zip-lock connector, may be oriented towards one another when the glove is inverted such that the protrusion may be received in the channel to substantially close the open end. In another embodiment, the closure may include a drawstring around the open end that may be tightened to substantially close the open end. In yet another embodiment, the closure may include a strap including a first end attached to the glove and a second loose end that is attachable to another location on the glove for substantially closing the open end.

Optionally, the device may include a handle adjacent the open end for carrying the device, e.g., after the glove is inverted. In addition or alternatively, a pattern may be provided on at least an inside surface of the glove that may be exposed when the glove is inverted. For example, the pattern may include a decorative pattern printed, embossed, or otherwise applied to the inside surface, e.g., one or more inks, dyes, or other colored pigments.

The glove may be formed from an elastomeric material, e.g., latex, natural and/or synthetic rubber, e.g., in one or more layers. In addition, the glove may have a shape or configuration, e.g., cuff length, similar to examination and/or surgical gloves. The glove may be sized to be tight-fitting around a hand inserted into the glove, yet sufficiently flexible to facilitate removal from the wearer's hand, and/or capturing waste material within the glove as it is inverted and removed from the wearer's hand.

In accordance with another embodiment, a device is provided for disposing of waste that includes a glove including an open end and a plurality of finger pockets for receiving fingers of a hand inserted into the open end, the glove being sufficiently flexible to be inverted upon removal from the hand. The device also may include a channel extending along a portion of the open end, and a hook, bead, or other protrusion extending along a portion of the open end generally opposite the channel before the glove is inverted, the channel and protrusion being oriented towards one another when the glove is inverted such that the protrusion may be received in the channel to substantially close the open end.

For example, the channel may be provided in a first elongate strip attached to an outer surface of the glove, and the protrusion may be provided on a second elongate strip attached to an outer surface of the glove generally opposite the first elongate strip. The first and second elongate strips may extend substantially parallel to an edge of the glove defining the open end, e.g., around a portion of the cuff of the glove. Alternatively, the channel and the protrusion may be molded into an edge of the glove defining the open end, e.g., such that the channel and protrusion are oriented away from one another before the glove is inverted.

The channel and protrusion may be configured such that the protrusion is substantially permanently secured in the channel when the protrusion is received in the channel, e.g., to substantially permanently close the open end after waste is received within the glove. Alternatively, the protrusion may be removable from the channel, e.g., if it is desired to reopen the open end of the glove, e.g., to place additional waste within the glove.

In accordance with still another embodiment, a device is provided for disposing of waste that includes a glove including an open end and a plurality of finger pockets for receiving fingers of a hand inserted into the open end, the glove being sufficiently flexible to be inverted upon removal from the hand, the glove including a decorative pattern on an inside surface thereof such that the decorative pattern is exposed when the glove is inverted. Optionally, the device may include a handle adjacent the open end for carrying the device after the glove is inverted.

In accordance with yet another embodiment, a method is provided for disposing of waste that includes inserting a wearer's hand into an open end of a glove, e.g., and receiving waste material within the wearer's hand outside the glove. For example, the glove (or a pair of gloves) may be worn before performing a procedure, e.g., where it is desirable to protect the wearer's hand(s) from exposure. During or after the procedure, waste material may be grabbed while wearing the glove. The glove may be removed and at least partially inverted such that the waste material is captured within the glove, and the open end of the glove may be substantially closed with the waste material therein.

In one embodiment, closing the open end of the glove may include receiving a protrusion in a mating channel. For example, upon inverting the glove, a protrusion along the open end of the glove may be disposed adjacent but opposite to a corresponding channel. The wearer may slide his/her fingers over the protrusion and channel, e.g., from one end of the protrusion and channel to the other end, to push the protrusion into the channel. Alternatively, the open end of the glove may be closed by pulling on a drawstring disposed around the open end of the glove.

In another alternative, the open end may be closed by pulling a free end of a strap with a fixed end attached to the glove adjacent the open end and attaching the free end to the glove, e.g., opposite the fixed end. Optionally, before use, the free end of the strap may be releasably secured to the glove, for example, to an inside surface of glove, e.g., such that, when the hand is inserted into the glove, the strap may not interfere substantially with inserting the hand and/or use of the wearer's hand while wearing the glove. The free end may be released from the glove before, while, or after the glove is inverted and/or removed from the wearer's hand, and then the free end may be reattached to the glove across the open end to substantially close the open end.

In accordance with still another embodiment, a method is provided for disposing of waste that includes inserting a wearer's hand into an open end of a glove, receiving waste material within the wearer's hand outside the glove, inverting the glove such that the waste material is captured within the inverted glove to expose a decorative pattern on an inside surface of the glove. Optionally, the glove may include a handle, e.g., attached to an inside surface of the glove, that may be used to carry the inverted glove and waste material until proper disposal. The decorative pattern may conceal the glove, reduce unsightliness, or allow the user to carry the waste material inconspicuously.

Other aspects and features of the present invention will become apparent from consideration of the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings illustrate exemplary embodiments of the invention, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first exemplary embodiment of a glove including an open end, a closed end including plurality of finger pockets, and a closure on the open end.

FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional detail of the open end of the glove of FIG. 1 before the glove is inverted.

FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional detail of the open end of the glove of FIGS. 1 and 2A after the glove is inverted, and showing a protrusion of the closure being received in a channel of the closure mechanism.

FIG. 2C is a perspective detail of the open end of the glove of FIG. 1 after the glove has been inverted.

FIGS. 3A-3C are cross-sectional details of alternative embodiments of closures that may be used to substantially close an open end of a glove before disposal.

FIGS. 4A and 4B are cross-sectional details of another alternative embodiment including a protrusion and channel of a closure being molded directly into the open end of the glove.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a second exemplary embodiment of a glove including an open end, a closed end including a plurality of finger pockets, a handle on the open end, and a decorative pattern on an inside surface of the glove.

FIG. 6A is a detail of the open end of the glove of FIG. 5, showing an intermediate portion of the handle releasably secured to the inside surface of the glove.

FIG. 6B is a detail of the open end of the glove of FIGS. 5 and 6A after the intermediate portion of the handle has been separated from the glove, and the glove has been inverted to expose the decorative pattern on the inside surface of the glove.

FIG. 7 is a perspective detail of an open end of another embodiment of a glove including a drawstring closure.

FIG. 8A is a detail of an open end of yet another embodiment of a glove that includes a closure including a strap having one end fixed to the glove and one end releasably secured to the glove.

FIG. 8B is a detail of the open end of the glove of FIG. 8A after the glove has been inverted and the free end of the strap has been attached to the glove across the open end to substantially close the open end of the glove.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

Turning to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows an exemplary embodiment of a glove 10 that generally includes an open end 12, a second closed end 14 including a plurality of finger pockets 16, and a closure mechanism 30 on the open end 12. The glove 10 also includes an outside surface 20 and an inside surface 22, e.g., before the glove 10 is inverted. As shown in FIG. 1, the glove 10 includes five closed finger pockets 16, e.g., for four fingers and a thumb. Alternatively, the glove 10 may include fewer finger pockets (not shown), e.g., one or more finger pockets being sized for receiving multiple fingers.

The glove 10 may be formed from a variety of materials, e.g., elastomeric materials, such as natural rubber, nitrile or other synthetic rubber, latex, and the like. The glove 10 may be formed from one or more layers of material, e.g., to provide a desired flexibility, strength, and the like. For example, the glove 10 may be sufficiently flexible to facilitate inserting a wearer's hand therein, yet sufficiently resilient to be tight-fitting around the wearer's hand, e.g., similar to surgical or examination gloves. The wall thickness of the glove 10 may be sufficiently thin to minimize impact on the wearer's use of the hand inserted into the glove 10.

Optionally, the glove material may include other features (not shown), e.g., to facilitate inserting a hand (not shown) into the glove 10, to reduce slippage between the glove 10 and a hand inserted therein, and/or to enhance gripping objects while wearing the glove 10. For example, powder or other material (not shown) may be provided on the inside surface 22, e.g., to facilitate inserting a hand into the glove 10. Exemplary materials and methods for making a glove that may be included in the devices and methods described herein may be found, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,852,826, 5,421,033, and 5,612,083, the entire disclosures of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein.

The closure 30 may be provided for substantially closing the open end 12, e.g., after use, as described further elsewhere herein. In the embodiment shown, the closure 30 includes a channel 32 extending along a portion of an edge 13 of the glove 10 defining the open end 12, and a hook, bead, or other protrusion 42 extending along another portion of the edge 13 generally opposite the channel 32. The protrusion 42 is generally shaped or otherwise configured to be received in the channel 32, e.g., providing a zip-lock connector.

With additional reference to FIGS. 2A-2C, the channel 32 may be provided in a first elongate strip 34 attached to the outside surface 20 of the glove 10, and the protrusion 42 may be provided on a second elongate strip 44 attached to the outside surface 20 of the glove 10 generally opposite the first elongate strip 34. The first and second elongate strips 34, 44 may extend substantially parallel to the edge 13 and/or to each other, e.g., if the elongate strips 34, 44 have curved shapes along their lengths. The first and second elongate strips 34, 44 may be substantially permanently attached to the outside surface 20 of the glove 10, e.g., by bonding with adhesives, fusing, sonic welding, heat sealing, and the like.

As shown, the channel 32 extends along a length of the first elongate strip 34 and is defined by a pair of spaced apart ridges 36 having complementary shapes to the protrusion 42. Similarly, the protrusion 42 extends along a length of the second elongate strip 44 and, in the embodiment shown, includes an enlarged bead 42a spaced apart from the second elongate strip 44 by a relatively narrow stem 42b. Thus, as shown in FIG. 2B, when the protrusion 42 is inserted into the channel 32, the ridges 36 may separate slightly to accommodate receiving the bead 42a within the channel 32. The ridges 36 may extend around the bead 42a, e.g., abutting the stem 42b, to prevent the protrusion 42 from being subsequently removed easily from the channel 32, as described further below. If it is desired or necessary to reopen the open end 12 after being closed, the rounded shape of the bead 42 may allow the protrusion 42 to be pulled out of the channel 32, e.g., with sufficient force to separate the ridges 36 and allow the bead 42 to be pulled out of the channel 32.

In alternative embodiments, the protrusion, channel, and ridges may have other complementary shapes or configurations. For example, as shown in FIG. 3A, the protrusion 42′ may have a hook or arrowhead shape, e.g., including a tapered tip 46′ and blunt edges 48.′ The channel 32′ may be defined by ridges 36′ that include blunt upper lips 38.′ The tapered tip 46′ may facilitate inserting the protrusion 42′ into the channel 32,′ e.g., applying force to separate or open the ridges 36.′ Once the protrusion 42′ is received in the channel 32,′ the blunt edges 48′ may abut the blunt lips 38′ on the ridges 36,′ e.g., to prevent the protrusion 42′ from being subsequently removed from the channel 32.′ Thus, the configuration of FIG. 3A may be used to substantially permanently close the open end 12 of the glove 10, e.g., after receiving waste therein. Such a substantially permanent closure 30′ may be useful for disposing of contaminated waste, e.g., including blood or other bodily fluids, corrosive or toxic chemicals, and the like, which it may be particularly undesirable to have exposed once received within the glove 10, as described further elsewhere herein.

Optionally, as shown in FIG. 3B, multiple sets of channels 32″ and protrusions 42″ may be provided for a closure 30.″ For example, a pair of channels 32″ may be provided that extend substantially parallel to one another in a single elongate strip 34″ or two elongate strips (not shown). A pair of complementary protrusions 42″ may be provided generally opposite the pair of channels 32.″ Alternatively, one or more channels and protrusions, e.g., in an alternating pattern, may be provided on a first elongate strip (or multiple strips), and a complementary pattern may be provided on a second elongate strip (or multiple strips). For example, as shown in FIG. 3C, first and second elongate strips 42′″ may be provided opposite one another on the open end 12 of a glove 10′″. Each of the elongate strips 42′″ includes a channel 32′″ and a protrusion 42′″ disposed adjacent one another, e.g., extending substantially parallel to one another. The elongate strips 42′″ may be attached opposite one another with the respective channels 32′″ disposed opposite the other strip's protrusions 42.′″ Thus, the configuration of a desired zip-lock connector for the closure may be selected based upon the desired factors, e.g., to provide a closure having a desired robustness or security, to provide a substantially fluid-tight seal when the closure is engaged, and the like. Additional exemplary configurations of zip-lock connectors that may be used for the closure, as well as methods for making and using them are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,212,337, 5,403,094, 5,947,603, and 6,305,844, and U.S. Publication No. 2006/0165316, the entire disclosures of which are expressly incorporated by reference.

Returning to FIGS. 2A-2C with additional reference to FIG. 1, the first and second elongate strips 34, 44 may be formed from plastic material, e.g., polyethylene, polypropylene, and the like. If desired, the plastic material may be substantially transparent, translucent, opaque, and/or colored, as desired. In an exemplary embodiment, the plastic material may extruded through one or more dies (not shown) corresponding to the desired cross-section of the first and second elongate strips 34, 44, e.g., substantially continuously, and then the resulting extrusion may be cut to desired length, e.g., by shearing with a blade, wire, or other cutting tool, laser cutting, and the like. Alternatively, the first and second elongate strips 34, 44 may be formed by other methods, such as molding, and the like.

To manufacture any of the gloves described herein, one or more forms or molds (not shown) may be provided, e.g., corresponding to one or more sizes for the resulting gloves. One or more tanks (also not shown) may be provided, e.g., including one or more materials for the glove 10, e.g., liquid latex, natural rubber, nitrile rubber, chemicals for treating the form(s) or the materials applied thereto, and the like. In addition, one or more other pieces of equipment, e.g., heating or curing chambers, blowers, and the like (not shown), may be provided adjacent one or more of the tanks. The form(s) may be dipped successively into each of the tanks to apply the materials to the form(s) to provide the one or more desired layers for the glove. The materials may be cured between dipping in different materials, e.g., by heating or allowing sufficient time to cure under ambient conditions.

Optionally, powder or other materials may be applied after the materials are applied to the form(s) and/or cured. In addition or alternatively, a pattern may be applied to the form(s) after the materials are applied and/or cured. For example, one or more inks, dyes, or other pigments may be applied to the form(s), e.g., by spraying, brushing, and the like. If multiple colors are applied, the colors may be applied substantially simultaneously or successively, e.g., using multiple sprayers. The pattern may include a random pattern or may include one or more images, e.g., to provide a decorative pattern on. In exemplary embodiments, the pattern may include one or more aesthetic objects, e.g., plants, such as flowers, leaves, and the like, animals, such as cats, dogs, teddy bears, and the like, cartoon characters, people, and the like. In addition or alternatively, the pattern may include embossing features into the materials and/or building features onto the material. For example, the form(s) may include one or more recesses and/or raised regions for creating the desired features.

Upon completion, the gloves may be removed from the form(s), which may caused the gloves to invert. Thus, with reference generally to FIG. 1, during manufacturing on the form(s), the resulting outer surface may define the inside surface 22 of the finished glove 10, and the inner surface adjacent the form(s) may define the outside surface 20 of the finished glove 10. After removing the finished glove 10 from the form, the closure 30 may be attached to the open end 12. For example, the open end 12 may be placed around a mandrel or other tool (not shown), and then the elongate strips 34, 44 may be attached along the open 12, e.g., to the outside surface 20 of the glove 10. Alternatively, the glove 10 may be lain flat and the elongate strips 34, 44 may be attached one at a time, flipping the glove 10 over after attaching the first of the elongate strips 34, 44 to attach the second.

In an exemplary embodiment, an adhesive may be applied to the bottom surfaces of the elongate strips 34, 44 and/or outside surface 20 of the glove 10 underlying the elongate strips 34, 44. The adhesive may be cured using heat, pressure, and/or ambient conditions, e.g., after sufficient time has passed. In addition or alternatively, a heat seal, sonic welded seam, and the like may be created along the edges of the elongate strips 34, 44 to attach the elongate strips 34, 44 to the outside surface 20 of the glove 10.

Optionally, ends of the elongate strips 34, 44 may be aligned with the thumb pocket and pinkie finger pocket, e.g., to facilitate orienting the elongate strips 34, 44 when the closure 30 is being used to close the open end 12. Alternatively, the ends of the elongate strips 34, 44 may be otherwise aligned opposite one another. The orientation of the elongate strips 34, 44 may bias the way that the open end 12 lies before use. However, the elongate strips 34, 44 may be sufficiently flexible, or sufficient space may be provided between the opposite ends of the elongate strips 34, 44 to allow the open end 12 to expand elastically to facilitate inserting a hand into the glove 10. Alternatively, multiple sets of elongate strips (not shown) may be applied along the open end 12, e.g., with spaces between the sets to allow expansion and/or contraction of the glove 10.

In an alternative embodiment, the elongate strips 34, 44 may be attached to the open end 12 of the glove 10 before the glove 10 is stripped from the form, e.g., using methods similar to those described further elsewhere herein. In this alternative, the glove 10 may need to be reinverted upon being removed from the form, e.g., to orient the channel 32 and protrusion 42 away from one another initially before use.

During use, one or two gloves, similar to glove 10, may be worn by a wearer. For example, the wearer may be a consumer, e.g., a parent or other care provider for an infant or other person wearing a diaper. For example, a parent or other care provider may don a glove 10 before changing the diaper of an infant or other person. After changing the diaper, the wearer may simply grab the diaper (not shown) in their palm, and pull the glove 10 off, thereby capturing the diaper and any other desired materials, such as wipes or cloths, within the glove 10. The closure 30 may then used to substantially close the open end 12, thereby capturing the diaper and other materials within the glove 10.

In other applications, a health care provider may wear the glove 10 (or a pair of gloves, not shown) before treating a patient. Upon completing an examination or treatment, which may involve contacting the patient with gauze or other materials, e.g., to pick up blood or other bodily fluids, deliver fluids or other materials that may contaminating, corrosive, toxic, and the like, any material used by the wearer may be captured within the glove 10 simply by grabbing the material before removing the glove 10. The open end 12 of the glove 10 may then be closed to prevent the material from falling out of the glove 10 or being accidentally exposed before proper disposal. Optionally, the glove 10 may be used without receiving any waste objects therein, e.g., if it is desired to contain fluids or other materials to which the glove 10 was exposed.

Turning to FIGS. 4A and 4B, another embodiment of a glove 110 is shown that includes an open end 112, one or more finger pockets (not shown), and a closure 130. As shown, the closure 130 may be integrally formed along the open end 112 of the glove 110. For example, a channel 132 may be formed along a portion of the edge 113 of the glove 110 defining the open end 112, and similarly, a protrusion 142 may be formed along a portion of the edge 113 generally opposite the channel 132. Similar to other embodiments herein, the channel 132 may be defined by ridges 134 molded with the material defining the open end 112 of the glove 110. Similarly, the protrusion 142 may be molded with the material defining the open end 112. Optionally, multiple channels and protrusions (not shown) may be formed along the open end 112, similar to other embodiments described elsewhere herein.

As shown in FIG. 4A, before the glove 110 is inverted, the channel 132 and protrusion 142 are oriented away from one another. When the glove 110 is inverted, e.g., upon being removed from a wearer's hand with waste material therein, the channel 132 and protrusion 142 become oriented towards one another, as shown in FIG. 4B. The protrusion 142 may then inserted into the channel 132 by applying pressure with two fingers over one end (not shown) of the channel 132 and protrusion 142, and sliding the fingers along the length of the channel 132 and protrusion 142 to the other end (also not shown), similar to other embodiments herein.

The glove 110 and closure 130 of FIGS. 4A and 4B may also be manufactured similar to other embodiments described herein. However, before or after being removed from the form (not shown) used to create the one or more layers of the glove 110, the ridges 136 defining the channel 132 and the protrusion 142 may be formed along the open end 112. For example, after removing the glove 110 from the form, at least a portion of the open end 112 may be placed within a mold (not shown), the mold having one or more cavities defining the desired shapes for the ridges 136, channel 132, and protrusion 142 and/or an insert that may be placed within the open end 112. Plastic or other material, such as those described elsewhere herein, may be injected or otherwise introduced into the mold, and cured or otherwise prepared to form the ridges 136 and protrusion 142. Alternatively, before removing the glove 110 from the form, a mold or other device (not shown) may be placed around the open end 112 of the glove 110, and similarly filled to create the ridges 136 and 142. In this alternative, after the glove 110 has been removed from the form, inverting the glove, 110 the glove 110 may have to be reinverted to orient the channel 132 and protrusion 142 away from one another. The glove 110 may then be used similar to the other embodiments described elsewhere herein.

Turning to FIG. 5, still another embodiment of a glove 210 is shown that includes an open end 212, a closed end 214 including a plurality of finger pockets 216, an outside surface 220, and an inside surface 222, similar to other embodiments herein. Unlike other embodiments, the glove 210 includes a handle 250 attached to the open end 212. As shown, the handle 250 includes fixed ends 252 that are substantially permanently attached to the glove 210, e.g., to the inside surface 222 adjacent the open end 212, and an intermediate portion 254, e.g., defining a loop or other shape.

Optionally, as shown in FIG. 6A, the intermediate portion 254 of the handle 250 may be releasably secured to the glove 210, e.g., to the inside surface 222, e.g., adjacent the fixed ends 252. For example, a low tack adhesive, hook and eye fastener, and the like (not shown) may be provided on the intermediate portion 254 and/or the underlying portion of the inside surface 222. This feature may avoid a wearer catching the handle 250 when the wearer's hand is inserted into the glove 210 and/or may minimize interference by the handle 250 during activities while wearing the glove 210. When desired, e.g., before or after removing the glove 210 from a wearer's hand, the intermediate portion 254 of the handle 250 may be separated from the inside surface 222 of the glove, thereby releasing the handle 250 for use by the user. For example, the handle 250 may be released before removing the glove 210, e.g., and used to facilitate removal, or the handle 250 may be released after removing the glove 210 but before closing the open end 212 (if the open end 212 includes a closure, not shown).

In an alternative embodiment, other handle configurations may be provided (not shown). For example, the handle may include an enclosed loop (not shown), and a strap or other feature (also not shown) may extend from the loop that is attached to the glove 210. Optionally, the loop may be releasably secured to the glove 210, e.g., to the outside surface 220 or inside surface 222.

In addition, as best seen in FIGS. 6A and 6B, the glove 210 includes a decorative pattern 223 on the inside surface 222 (and optionally, on the outside surface 220, if desired), which may be created during manufacturing of the glove 210, as described elsewhere herein. Such a decorative or other pattern may be provided on any of the embodiments herein (as can the handle 250). During use, the decorative pattern 223 may be concealed within the glove 210. However, after the glove 210 has been used, the glove 210 may be inverted during removal. As shown in FIG. 6B, this may result in the inside surface 222 becoming the outer surface, thereby exposing the decorative pattern 223. Thus, for example, if the glove 210 cannot be disposed of immediately, the user may carry the glove 210 and any waste material (not shown) therein using the handle 250.

The decorative pattern 223 may conceal or obscure the contents of the glove 210 or may provide a desired aesthetic appearance to reduce embarrassment until the glove 210 can be disposed of. For example, a parent may don a glove 210 before changing a diaper of their infant. After changing the diaper, the parent may simply grab the diaper (not shown) in their palm, and pull the glove 210 off, thereby capturing the diaper and any other materials within the glove 210. In such an application, the pattern may include baby themes or other desired features, such as those described elsewhere herein.

Turning to FIG. 7, yet another embodiment of a glove 310 is shown that includes an open end 312, a plurality of finger pockets (not shown), and a closure 330. In this embodiment, the closure 330 includes a drawstring 332 that may be tightened by a user, e.g., after removing the glove 310. For example, as shown, the glove 310 may include a pocket 334 extending around the open end 312, and the drawstring 332 may be received within the pocket 334 such that ends of the drawstring 332 exit from openings 336 in the pocket 334. The ends 333 of the drawstring 332 may be connected together, as shown, or may be loose.

To make the glove 310, the glove 310 may be formed using any of the methods described elsewhere herein, although a flap (not shown) may be provided on the open end 312. The flap may be rolled and attached to the open end 312, e.g., by bonding with adhesive, sonic welding, heat sealing, and the like, to provide the pocket 334. The drawstring 332 may be directed through the pocket 334 before or after attaching the flap. Alternatively, the edge of the open end 312 may simply be rolled and attached, and the pair of openings 336 may be created through the pocket material, e.g., by punching, mechanical or laser cutting, and the like. The ends 333 of the drawstring 332 may be attached to one another, e.g., by tying one or more knots.

During use, the glove 310 may be used by a wearer similar to other embodiments herein. After use, waste material may be grabbed, and the glove 310 may be removed to capture the material within the glove 310 as the glove 310 is inverted. The ends 333 of the drawstring 332 may be pulled to tighten the drawstring 332 and close the open end 312. Optionally, the drawstring 332 may include a lock that may be applied to the drawstring 332 to prevent the open end 312 from accidentally reopening. For example, a slide lock 338 may be provided on the drawings 332 that may be slid down the ends 333 until the slide lock 338 abuts the glove 310. The drawstring 332 may also be used as a handle, if desired. Alternatively, the ends 333 of the drawstring 332 may simply be tied, e.g., knotting down onto the glove 310 to prevent the open end 312 from reopening.

Turning to FIGS. 8A and 8B, still another embodiment of a glove 410 is shown that includes an open end 412, a plurality of finger pockets (not shown), and a closure 430. In this embodiment, the closure 430 includes a strap 432 including a first end 434 fixed to the glove 410, e.g., adjacent the open end 412, and a second free end 436 that is attachable to the glove 410. The first end 434 of the strap 432 may be substantially permanently attached to the glove 410, e.g., to the inside surface 422 adjacent the open end 412, e.g., by bonding with adhesive, sonic welding, heat sealing, and the like.

Optionally, the second end 436 of the strap 432 may be releasably secured to the glove 410, e.g., similar to the handle 350 described above. For example, as shown, the second end 436 may be secured to the first end 434 of the strap 434 or elsewhere to the inside surface 422 of the glove 410, e.g., adjacent the open end 412. The second end 436 may be attached using a low tack adhesive, e.g., which may have sufficient tack to secure the second end 436 over the first end 434 or elsewhere to the inside surface 422 before and during use. For example, the second end 436 of the strap 434 may be secured initially such that the strap 432 is taut or not slack, e.g., such that the strap 432 does not interference substantially with a wearer inserting their hand into the open end 412 of the glove 410. Optionally, the exposed surface of the second end 436 may include an adhesive, e.g., initially covered with release paper, which may be used to attach the second end 436 to the glove 410 after use, as described further below.

Alternatively, the second end 436 may be releasably secured to the glove 410 using a hook and eye connection, e.g., if the second end 436 includes a hook and eye fastener (not shown). A mating hook and eye fastener (not shown) may be provided on the exposed surface of the first end 434 or elsewhere on the inside surface 422. In this alternative, another mating hook and eye fastener may be provided on the inside surface 422 of the glove 410, e.g., generally opposite the first end 434 of the strap 432. For example, as shown in FIG. 8A, a patch 442 including a mating hook and eye fastener may be attached to the inside surface 422, e.g., by bonding with adhesive, sonic welding, heat sealing, and the like. In addition, if desired, the exposed surface of the second end 436 may also include a hook and eye fastener (not shown) for connecting to the mating hook and eye fastener on the patch 442. This alternative may avoid twisting the strap 432 to connect the mating hook and eye fasteners to close the open end 412.

Optionally, the strap 432 may be formed from elastic material, e.g., an elastomeric material, such as latex, natural rubber, synthetic rubber, and the like. Thus, the strap 432 may be stretchable, e.g., when the second end 436 is pulled away from the first end 434. Alternatively, the strap 432 may be formed from inelastic material, but may have sufficient length to allow the second end 436 to be attached to the glove 410 after use, as described further below.

During use, the glove 410 may be worn by a wearer, similar to the other embodiments described herein. Before or after removing the glove 410, the second end 436 of the strap 432 may be separated from the glove 410 and pulled across the open end 412, as shown in FIG. 8B, to substantially close the open end 412. If elastic, the strap 432 may be stretched across the open end 412 and attached to the formerly inside surface 422 of the glove 410, e.g., to the mating connector 442. Alternatively, if the second end 436 includes an adhesive, any release paper may be removed, and the strap 432 stretched to close the open end 412 to a desired degree, whereupon the second end 436 may be attached anywhere on the glove to maintain the tension.

Optionally, if the strap 432 is inelastic or has sufficient length, the strap 432 may provide a handle when the second end 436 is attached to the glove 410, which may facilitate carrying the glove 410 and any waste material therein until disposed of.

It will be appreciated that elements or components shown with any embodiment herein are exemplary for the specific embodiment and may be used on or in combination with other embodiments disclosed herein.

While the invention is susceptible to various modifications, and alternative forms, specific examples thereof have been shown in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not to be limited to the particular forms or methods disclosed, but to the contrary, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the scope of the appended claims.