Title:
Layered fingernail extension
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A layered fingernail extension to be attached to the tip of a wearer's fingernail to enhance the ornamentality thereof. In one example, decorative artwork is applied to a layer of material and a plurality of decorative moving elements are retained above the art work. The decorative art work establishes a fixed background and the decorative elements create a foreground that moves relative to the background to produce a three-dimensional ornamental and visual effect when the wearer shakes her finger. In another example, decorative art work is applied to bottom, intermediate and top layers of material that are attached one above the other. The decorative art work of the layers cooperate to produce a three-dimensional composite picture.



Inventors:
Tran, Quoc N. (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/592806
Publication Date:
06/09/2011
Filing Date:
12/04/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ELGART, VANITHA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Morland C. Fischer (Suite 1300 2030 Main Street Irvine CA 92614)
Claims:
1. A fingernail extension to be attached to a wearer's fingernail, said fingernail extension comprising a first layer of material having a recess formed therein and decorative art work applied to said first layer of material within the recess thereof, and a second layer of material attached to said first layer of material so as to cover said recess, whereby said decorative art work is spaced from said second layer of material.

2. The fingernail extension recited in claim 1, wherein said second layer of material is optically transparent so that the decorative art work applied to said first layer of material within said recess is visible through said second layer of material.

3. The fingernail extension recited in claim 2, further comprising decorative material located within the recess formed in said first layer of material so as to overlay said decorative art work, each of said decorative art work and said decorative material lying thereover being visible through said optically-transparent second layer of material.

4. The fingernail extension recited in claim 3, wherein said decorative material that is located within the recess formed in said first layer of material is a plurality of moving elements that are retained within said recess between said first and second layers of material, said plurality of moving elements being movable relative to said decorative art work.

5. A fingernail extension to be attached to a wearer's fingernail, said fingernail extension comprising a first layer of material having decorative art work applied thereto, a second layer of material attached to said first layer of material, said second layer of material having an opening formed therethrough and surrounding the decorative art work of said first layer of material, and a third layer of material attached to said second layer of material so as to cover said opening thereof, whereby said decorative art work is separated from said third layer of material by said second layer of material.

6. The fingernail extension recited in claim 5, wherein said third layer of material is optically transparent so that the decorative art work applied to said first layer of material is visible through said third layer of material and the opening formed through said second layer of material.

7. The fingernail extension recited in claim 6, further comprising decorative material located within the opening formed through said second layer of material so as to overlay the decorative artwork applied to said first layer of material, said decorative art work and said decorative material lying thereover being visible through said optically-transparent third layer of material and the opening formed through said second layer of material.

8. The fingernail extension recited in claim 7, wherein said decorative material that is located within the opening formed through said second layer of material so as to overlay the decorative art work applied to said first layer of material includes a plurality of moving elements that are retained within said window between said first and third layers of material, said plurality of moving elements being movable relative to said decorative art work.

9. A fingernail extension to be attached to a wearer's fingernail, said fingernail extension comprising a first layer of material, a second layer of material attached to said first layer of material, said second layer of material having at least one opening formed therethrough and lying over said first layer of material, and a third layer of material attached to said second layer of material so as to cover the at least one opening thereof, whereby said first and third layers of material are separated from one another by said second layer of material.

10. The fingernail extension recited in claim 9, wherein said third layer of material is optically transparent so that at least some of said first layer of material is visible through said third layer of material and the at lest one opening formed through said second layer of material.

11. The fingernail extension recited in claim 10, further comprising decorative material located within the at lest one opening formed through said second layer of material so as to overlay said first layer of material, at least some of said first layer of material and said decorative material laying thereover being visible through said optically-transparent third layer of material and the opening formed through said second layer of material.

12. The fingernail extension recited in claim 11, wherein said decorative material that is located within the at least one opening formed through said second layer of material so as to overlay said first layer of material includes a plurality of moving elements that are retained within said opening between said first and third layers of material, said plurality of moving elements being movable relative to said first layer of material.

13. A fingernail extension to be attached to a wearer's fingernail, said fingernail extension comprising a first layer of material having first decorative art work applied thereto and a second layer of material having second decorative art work applied thereto, said second layer of material being optically transparent and laying over said first layer of material so that said first and said second decorative art work are spaced one above the other and said first decorative art work is visible through said optically-transparent second layer of material.

14. The fingernail extension recited in claim 13, wherein said first layer of material is longer than said second layer of material.

15. The fingernail extension recited in claim 13, further comprising a third layer of material having third decorative art work applied thereto, said third layer of material being optically transparent and laying over said second layer of material so that said first, second and third decorative art work are spaced one above the other and said first and second decorative artwork are visible through said optically-transparent second and third layers of material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a layered fingernail extension to be attached to a fingernail of a wearer to enhance the ornamentality of the fingernail. Decorative layers of the fingernail extension are attached one above the other to create a three-dimensional visual effect.

2. Background Art

It is known for women to have their fingernails covered with a variety of colored nail polishes and/or decorative designs. To accentuate the length and ornamentality thereof, some women have extensions attached to the tips of their fingernails. Such fingernail extensions may also be treated with colors and/or decorative designs. However, the colors and decorative designs are commonly applied to the fingernail extensions to create a two-dimensional effect. That is, the fingernail extensions consist of a single layer of plastic or similar material that is usually painted or covered with a lacquer. These treatments are permanently applied to the fingernail extension, whereby the extension is static and lacking in both spatial dimension and movement. Accordingly, it would be desirable to enable women to enhance the ornamentality of the fingernail extensions by creating a three-dimensional visual effect including a decorative foreground that is capable of moving relative to a fixed background.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, and in general terms, layered fingernail extensions are disclosed to be attached to the tip of a wearer's fingernail. The fingernail extensions are provided with decorative features to enhance the ornamentality thereof. According to a first preferred embodiment, a recess is formed in a bottom layer of the fingernail extension. Decorative artwork is applied (e.g., printed) to the bottom layer within the recess. Decorative moving elements are located within the recess over the art work of the bottom layer. An optically-transparent top layer is attached (e.g., adhesively bonded) over the bottom layer to trap and retain the moving elements within the recess. The art work provides a fixed background and the moving elements that are visible through the top layer provide a moving foreground to create a three-dimensional ornamental effect.

According to a second preferred embodiment for a layered fingernail extension, decorative artwork is applied to a bottom layer. An open window is formed through an intermediate layer, and the intermediate layer is attached to the bottom layer. Decorative moving elements are located within the window to lie over the art work on the bottom layer. An optically-transparent top layer is attached over the intermediate layer to trap and retain the moving elements within the window thereof. The art work applied to the bottom layer provides a fixed background and the moving elements surrounded by the window that are visible through the top layer provide a moving foreground to create a three-dimensional ornamental effect.

According to a third preferred embodiment for a layered fingernail extension, a plurality of openings are formed through an intermediate layer. The openings are preferably provided with ornamental shapes. The intermediate layer is attached to a bottom layer, and decorative moving elements are located within each of the openings so as to lie against the bottom layer. An optically-transparent top layer is attached over the intermediate layer to trap and retain the moving elements within the openings. The ornamental shapes of the openings and the moving elements located therewithin are visible through the top layer so as to create a three-dimensional ornamental effect.

According to a fourth preferred embodiment for a layered fingernail extension, bottom, intermediate and top layers are attached one above the other. Decorative art work is applied to each of the layers. The bottom layer is longer than the intermediate layer, and the intermediate layer is longer than the top layer. The layers of art work cooperate with one another to form a three-dimensional composite picture that is visible through the top and intermediate layers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a layered fingernail extension according to a first preferred embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the fingernail extension of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-section taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 shows a layered fingernail extension according to a second preferred embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the fingernail extension of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a cross-section taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 shows a layered fingernail extension according to a third preferred embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the fingernail extension of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 shows a layered fingernail extension according to a fourth preferred embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the fingernail extension of FIG. 9; and

FIG. 11 is a cross-section taken along lines 11-11 of FIG. 9.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A layered fingernail extension 1 according to a first preferred embodiment of this invention is described while referring to FIGS. 1-3 of the drawings. The fingernail extension 1 herein described has particular application to be attached to the tip of a wearer's fingernail to enhance the ornamental appearance thereof. As will soon be described, the fingernail extension 1 is provided with a fixed background and a moving foreground to create a three-dimensional effect to enhance the ornamentality of the user's fingernail.

The layered fingernail extension 1 of FIGS. 1-3 includes a bottom layer or base 3 (best shown in FIG. 2). The bottom layer 3 is preferably manufactured (e.g., injection molded) from an ABS plastic. The bottom layer 3 may either be clear or have a solid color.

A longitudinal recess 5 is formed in the bottom layer 3 of the layered fingernail extension 1. Although a single, continuous recess 5 is formed in the bottom layer 3, it is to be understood that any number of independent recesses can also be formed. Decorative art work 7 is applied to the bottom layer 3 within the recess 5. The art work 7 may be applied to the bottom layer 3 by any suitable printing technique such as, for example, by means of an ink jet or thermal printer. The art work 7 may also be painted or attached as a decal. The art work 7 can take any form and represent different images or scenes depending upon the taste of the wearer. That is to say, although the art work 7 shown in FIG. 2 illustrates a snowman, different scenes, images and colors may be applied to the bottom layer 3 of fingernail extension 1 to change the ornamental appearance thereof.

As an important feature of the layered fingernail extension 1, one or more decorative moving elements (designated 9 and best shown in FIG. 2) are located within the recess 5 formed in the bottom layer 3. The moving elements 9 are preferably manufactured from a colored plastic and/or a light-reflective material. In the example shown in FIGS. 1-3, the moving elements 9 are formed to represent snow flakes. However, the size and shape of the moving elements 9 are a matter of choice to correspond with the art work 7 that is applied within the recess 5 of bottom layer 3.

A top layer or cover 10 is attached over the bottom layer 3 so as to extend above and close the recess 5 formed therein. The top layer 10 is preferably adhesively bonded (e.g., glued) to the bottom layer 3. Once the top layer 10 is attached to the bottom layer 3, the moving elements 9 will be retained and trapped within the recess 5 between the bottom and top layers 3 and 10. In this regard, it is preferable that the top layer 10 be manufactured (e.g., injection molded) from a clear or optically-transparent material (e.g., ABS plastic) to enable the art work 7 and the moving elements 9 which lay thereover to be visible to the wearer.

FIGS. 1 and 3 show the layered fingernail extension 1 assembled and ready to attach to a fingernail. To this end, the fingernail extension 1 may be attached to the wearer's fingernail by a manicurist or similar professional using conventional bonding techniques. After the layered fingernail extension 1 has been attached to the wearer's fingernail, the manicurist may wish to apply a protective clear acrylic overlay or clear UV gel (designated 12 in FIG. 3) over the upper layer 10. Once it is hardened, the protective layer 12 will provide the fingernail extension 1 with a glass-like seal.

It may be appreciated that the art work 7 that is applied to the bottom layer 3 within the recess 5 creates a fixed ornamental background that is spaced from the top layer 10. The moving elements 9 trapped within the recess 5 between the bottom and top layers 3 and 10 represent an ornamental foreground that is movable relative to the fixed background art work 7. Thus, when the wearer shakes her finger to which the layered fingernail extension 1 is attached, the moving elements 9 and the fixed art work 7 thereunder cooperate to create a three-dimensional visual and decorative effect (e.g., snow flakes falling past a snowman). However, as previously explained, the decorative nature and subject of the printed art work 7 and the moving elements 9 can change to suit the taste of the wearer.

A layered fingernail extension 20 according to a second preferred embodiment of this invention is described while referring to FIGS. 4-6 of the drawings. While the layered fingernail extension 1 of FIGS. 1-3 includes a top layer 10 laid over a bottom layer 3, the fingernail extension 20 of FIGS. 4-6 includes three layers located one above the other. More particularly, the layered fingernail extension 20 includes a bottom layer or base 22, an intermediate layer or frame 24, and a top layer or cover 26. Each of the bottom, intermediate and top layers 22, 24 and 26 of the layered fingernail extension 20 is preferably manufactured (e.g., injection molded) from an ABS plastic or any other suitable material. The top and intermediate layers 26 and 24 are preferably clear or optically-transparent while the bottom layer 22 may be clear or colored.

Art work 28 is printed or painted or attached to the bottom layer 22 of fingernail extension 20. As previously explained, the art work 28 can vary and is selected to suit the taste of the wearer. A longitudinally-extending opening or window 30 is formed through the intermediate layer 24. While a single window 30 is shown extending continuously along the intermediate layer 24, a plurality of independent windows, each one separated from the other, may also be formed. The fingernail extension 20 also includes one or more decorative moving elements 32 which may be similar or identical to those designated 9 and described while referring to FIGS. 1-3.

As is best shown in FIG. 6, the intermediate layer 24 is attached (e.g., adhesively bonded) to the bottom layer 22. The decorative moving elements 32 are located within the window 30 in layer 24 so as to lie over the art work 28 that is applied to the bottom layer 22. The top layer 26 of fingernail extension 20 is then attached (e.g., adhesively bonded) over the intermediate layer 24 so as to provide a cover and thereby close the window 30 through layer 24 such that the moving elements 32 are trapped and retained within the window 30 between the bottom and top layers 22 and 26. As previously indicated, the top layer 26 is transparent to enable the wearer to look into and through the window 30 and see the moving elements 32 lying over and against the art work 28 applied to the bottom layer 22.

Accordingly, the art work 28 that is applied to the bottom layer 22 and spaced from the top layer 26 creates a fixed ornamental background. The moving elements 32 surrounded by the window 30 through intermediate layer 24 creates an ornamental foreground which is movable relative to the fixed background art work 28.

The fingernail extension 20 can be attached (e.g., glued) to the fingernail tip of the wearer by a manicurist or other professional. A protective clear acrylic overlay or UV gel may be laid over the top layer 26 and hardened to create a glass-like seal 34 (best shown in FIG. 6) over the fingernail extension 20. Thus, when the wearer shakes her finger, the moving elements 32 and the printed art work 28 cooperate so as to create a three-dimensional visual and decorative effect that is visible through the intermediate and top layers 24 and 26.

Turning now to FIGS. 7 and 8 of the drawings, there is shown a variation of the layered fingernail extension 20 of FIGS. 4-6. Like the layered fingernail extension 20, FIGS. 7 and 8 show a layered fingernail extension 40 having a bottom layer or base 42, an intermediate layer or frame 44, and a top layer or cover 46. Each of the bottom, intermediate and top layers 42, 44 and 46 is located one above the other. The intermediate layer 24 of the layered fingernail extension 20 shown in FIG. 5 has a single continuous window 30 running longitudinally therealong. In the case of the intermediate layer 44 of the fingernail extension 40 of FIG. 8, a plurality of (e.g., four) openings or windows 48-1, 48-2, 48-3 and 48-4 are formed therethrough. Each window 48-1 . . . 48-4 is preferably provided with an ornamental shape that can be selected to suit the taste of the wearer. Each of the windows 48-1 . . . 48-4 through the intermediate layer 44 is separated from and independent of the other windows. For the layered fingernail extension 40 of FIG. 8, the bottom layer 42 is shown being devoid of art work. Thus, layer 42 may simply be clear or have a solid color. The top layer 46 is optically transparent, while the intermediate layer 44 preferably has a solid color.

The intermediate layer 44 is attached (e.g., adhesively bonded) to the bottom layer 42. Groups 50-1, 50-2, 50-3 and 50-4 of moving elements are located within respective ones of the windows 48-1 . . . 48-4 through the intermediate layer 44 so as to lay over the bottom layer 42. The moving elements 50-1 . . . 50-4 can be the same as or similar to those shown in FIGS. 1-6. Once the moving elements 50-1 . . . 50-4 are located in and surrounded by windows 48-1 . . . 48-4, the top layer 46 is attached (e.g., adhesively bonded) over the intermediate layer 44. The top layer 46 forms a cover to trap and retain the moving elements 50-1 . . . 50-4 within the windows 48-1 . . . 48-4 between the bottom and top layers 42 and 46.

Like the layered fingernail extensions 1 and 20 of FIGS. 1-6, the layered fingernail extension 40 of FIG. 8 can be attached (e.g., glued) by a manicurist or other professional to the fingernail tip of a wearer. The manicurist may then apply a protective sealer (not shown) over the top layer 46. When the wearer shakes her finger, the groups 50-1 . . . 50-4 of moving elements surrounded by the windows 48-1 . . . 48-4 will move relative to the bottom layer 42 to create a three-dimensional visual and decorative effect. The ornamental shape of the windows 48-1 . . . 48-4 and the moving elements 50-1 . . . 50-4 being retained therein and moving over the bottom layer 42 cooperate to enhance the ornamental appearance that is visible to the wearer through the top layer 46.

Referring to FIGS. 9-11 of the drawings, there is shown a layered fingernail extension 60 according to another preferred embodiment of this invention. The layered fingernail extension 60 includes a bottom layer 62, an intermediate layer 64 and a top layer 66. Each of the bottom, intermediate and top layers 62, 64 and 66 of fingernail extension 60 is preferably manufactured (e.g., injection molded) from an ABS plastic, or the like. Each of the bottom, intermediate and top layers 62, 64 and 66 has art work 68, 70 and 72 printed or painted or attached thereto. By way of example only, the art work 68 that is applied to the bottom layer 62 illustrates a tree, the art work 70 that is applied to the intermediate layer 64 illustrates clouds, and the art work 72 that is applied to the top layer 66 illustrates the sun in the sky. However, the particular art work applied to the bottom, intermediate and top layers 62, 64 and 66 of fingernail extension 60 is a matter of choice to suit the taste of the wearer and is not to be taken as a limitation of this embodiment. The bottom layer 62 may be clear or colored. However, each of the intermediate and top layers 64 and 66 of fingernail extension 60 is preferably optically transparent.

To create an ornamental three-dimensional effect, the bottom, intermediate and top layers 62, 64 and 66 of fingernail extension 60 are attached (e.g., adhesively bonded) together so as to lay one above the other. To this end, the bottom layer 62 is longer than each of the intermediate and top layers 64 and 66. The intermediate layer 64 is longer than the top layer 66. When the bottom, intermediate and top layers 62, 64 and 66 are stacked together as best shown in FIG. 11, the respective art work 68, 70 and 72 thereof are spaced from and overlay one another in which case the layers of art work 68, 70 and 72 cooperate to form a three-dimensional scene or picture. In the example of FIG. 9, a composite picture is created showing a tree in the background, clouds located in front of the tree, and the sun located in the foreground in front of the tree and the clouds. In other words, each layer of the art work 68, 70 and 72 forms one part of the cumulative picture that is visible to the wearer through the transparent intermediate and top layers 64 and 66 of the layered fingernail extension 60.

The layered fingernail extension 60 of FIGS. 9-11 can be attached to the fingernail of the wearer by a manicurist or other professional. A protective acrylic overlay or clear UV gel (designated 74 in FIG. 11) may be applied to the layers 62, 64 and 66 and hardened so as to create a window-like seal over the layered fingernail extension 60 in the same manner as earlier described.