Title:
Weighted Tarp
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A weighted tarp for providing a waterproof covering that can remain in position without the need for cables, bungee cords, external weights, or other fasteners. The tarp includes a multi-layer sheet having a first and second layer of waterproof or water-resistant material. The first and second layers are coextensive and are preferably secured to one another via an adhesive. A plurality of weights is disposed between the first and second sheets. The weights are preferably flat disks and are arranged in a grid, such that the weights are spaced at fixed intervals. The weights help to maintain the tarp in a desired position without the need for additional fasteners, and the weights serve to evenly distribute the weight of the tarp. The tarp includes grommets on the perimeter or corners thereof, allowing the user to further secure the tarp using cables, if so desired.



Inventors:
Siegel, Mark (Gray, TN, US)
Application Number:
14/518293
Publication Date:
05/28/2015
Filing Date:
10/20/2014
Assignee:
SIEGEL MARK
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
428/137, 428/196, 428/201, 112/402
International Classes:
B65D65/22
View Patent Images:



Other References:
Hammock Forums, "New idea for tarp waterproofing", July 2011, https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-35552.html
TarpsPlus, "Ball Bungees", November 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCwus8BEIUA
Merriam-Webster, "Definition of Grid, August 15, 2016, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grid
Wolfram MathWorld, "Grid" Feb 18, 2009, https://web.archive.org/web/20090218002705/http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Grid.html
Primary Examiner:
ZHANG, MICHAEL N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Global Intellectual Property Agency, LLC (P.O. Box 382 Swedesboro NJ 08085)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A weighted tarp, comprising: a multi-layer sheet comprising a first layer that is attached to and is coextensive with a second layer; a plurality of weights secured between said first layer and said second layer.

2. The weighted tarp of claim 1, wherein said first layer and said second layer are composed of a waterproof material.

3. The weighted tarp of claim 2, wherein said waterproof material comprises a cloth material coated in urethane.

4. The weighted tarp of claim 1, wherein said first layer and said second layer are secured together by means of an adhesive.

5. The weighted tarp of claim 1, wherein said first layer and said second layer are secured together via stitching about the perimeter of said first layer and said second layer.

6. The weighted tarp of claim 1, wherein said plurality of weights comprise a flat disk shape.

7. The weighted tarp of claim 1, wherein said plurality of weights are arranged in a grid.

8. The weighted tarp of claim 1, wherein said plurality of weights are spaced at a fixed interval.

9. The weighted tarp of claim 1, wherein said plurality of weights are secured between said first layer and said second layer by means of an adhesive.

10. The weighted tarp of claim 1, wherein said tarp comprises one or more grommets thereon.

11. The weighted tarp of claim 10, further comprising a securement cable attached to one of said one or more grommets.

12. The weighted tarp of claim 11, wherein said securement cable comprises a loop of flexible cable having a stopper thereon, wherein said stopper is sized so as to be unable to pass through said grommet.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/894,222 filed on Oct. 22, 2013, entitled “Smart Tarp.” The above identified patent application is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety to provide continuity of disclosure.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a weighted tarp. More specifically, the present invention provides a weighted tarp comprising a first waterproof layer that is coextensive with a second waterproof layer, wherein a plurality of weights is disposed between the first and second layer and is arranged in a grid.

Tarps are often used to cover and protect various objects and areas. Tarps are used to cover sports fields, such as baseball fields, in order to protect the fields from rain and other precipitation so that play on the field may resume once the precipitation has stopped. Similarly, tarps are often used to cover objects and equipment stored within a truck bed. The tarps protect the equipment from precipitation and also help to hold the objects in place within the truck bed. The tarps also conceal objects thereunder and may help to prevent theft.

However, tarps are lightweight and flexible and must be tied down or otherwise secured in position so that the tarp does not move out of position. Tarps are often secured in position by placing weights or heavy objects thereon. Weighted objects may not be readily available, however, and the weighted objects must be distributed onto various portions of the tarp in order to hold the tarp in position. This can be inconvenient and time consuming. Further, tarps can be tied down using ropes, cables, or bungee cords, among others. Again, taking the time to secure and tie down cables in order to properly position a tarp is undesirable and may require the help of several people.

Thus, the present invention provides a weighted tarp that does not require additional weights or fasteners to remain in a desired position. The tarp comprises a first and second layer of waterproof or water-resistant material that are coextensive with one another. A plurality of weights is positioned between the first and second layer. The weights are preferably arranged in a grid such that the weights are spaced at fixed intervals. In this way, the weight of the tarp is evenly distributed so that the tarp will remain in position once placed. The weights are secured in position between the first and second layer by adhesives, stitching, or other suitable fastening methods.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

Devices have been disclosed in the prior art that relate to weighted tarps. These include devices that have been patented and published in patent application publications. These devices generally relate to weighted tarps. The following is a list of devices deemed most relevant to the present disclosure, which are herein described for the purposes of highlighting and differentiating the unique aspects of the present invention, and further highlighting the drawbacks existing in the prior art.

One such device, U.S. Pat. No. 6,966,152 to Glynos discloses a protective tarp. The tarp comprises a flexible sheet having a plurality of unconnected tank compartment anchors on the periphery thereof. Each compartment has at least one orifice and a closure means for sealing the orifice. The compartments can be filled with a fluent material in liquid or solid form such as water or sand, in order to add weight to the tarp to help secure the tarp in position. Glynos suffers the drawback that a user must individually fill and later empty each tank compartment, which may be time consuming and inconvenient. Glynos fails to disclose a multi-layer tarp enclosing a plurality of weights arranged in a grid layout.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,575,518 to Henning discloses a flexible cover for an open container. The cover includes a weighted element adjacent to the front end thereof. The weighted element pulls the cover down and holds it in place against a load within the container. The weighted element may include one or more metal bars enclosed within a pocket that spans the width of the cover. Thus, Henning does not disclose a tarp having a weighted element evenly distributed on the tarp, and instead discloses only a tarp with a weighted bar disposed near a front end thereof.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,363,661 to Myers discloses a protective cover. The protective cover comprises a double-ply canvas having a plurality of bladders disposed between the layers of the canvas. Each bladder is connected to an adjacent bladder via conduits. The cover includes inlet conduits for filling the bladders with water. Check valves are positioned in the conduits to allow water to flow into additional bladders. The bladders further comprise discharge conduits for emptying the same. Similar to Glynos, the tarp of Myers has the drawback that a user must take the time to fill and empty the bladders of the tarp. Thus, Myers fails to disclose a tarp having a plurality of flat, disk-shaped weights enclosed therein.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,758,922 to Wheatley discloses a tonneau cover having a magnetic attachment means. The cover includes a flexible sheet that can be attached to the frame rail of a vehicle, such as a pick-up truck, by means of a pivot lever. The pivot lever can engage an outward facing surface of the frame rail. The lever can be rotated to apply tension to the cover. The lever is held to the rail by means of magnets disposed on the pivot lever and frame rail. Thus, Wheatley fails to disclose a multi-layer tarp having a plurality of weights therein, and instead discloses a cover that can be secured to a vehicle using magnets.

Finally, U.S. Pat. No. 4,455,790 to Curle discloses a tarp anchoring system. The system comprises a plurality of anchors embedded in a pile of grain, wherein each anchor has an attachment element that extends upward from the pile. The attachment elements can be engaged with fasteners on the underside of a tarp. Thus, Curle requires that a user position a plurality of anchors in a pile of grain in order to secure a tarp thereover. Further, Curle is limited in application to securing a tarp over a pile of grain or similar substance. Curle fails to disclose a multi-layer tarp having a plurality of weights enclosed therein.

These prior art devices have several known drawbacks. The devices known in the prior art provide tarps that are weighted or that can be positioned over a pile or other objects. However, the prior art devices do not disclose tarps that are evenly weighted, and instead disclose tarps with weighted portions. Further, the tarps of the prior art include bladders or compartments to be filled and later emptied in order to weight the tarp. Filling a tarp with water or other solids is time consuming and inconvenient. Thus, the prior art devices fail to disclose a tarp that encloses a plurality of flat, weighted disks arranged in a grid layout.

In light of the devices disclosed in the prior art, it is submitted that the present invention substantially diverges in design elements from the prior art and consequently it is clear that there is a need in the art for an improvement to existing weighted tarp devices. In this regard the instant invention substantially fulfills these needs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of tarps now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new weighted tarp wherein the same can be utilized for providing convenience for the user when covering and protecting equipment and objects without the need for additional fasteners and weighted objects.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved weighted tarp device that has all of the advantages of the prior art and none of the disadvantages.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a weighted tarp having a plurality of weights disposed therein.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a weighted tarp that does not require additional weights or fasteners to be secured in position.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a weighted tarp that is waterproof or water-resistant.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a weighted tarp that may be readily fabricated from materials that permit relative economy and are commensurate with durability.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

Although the characteristic features of this invention will be particularly pointed out in the claims, the invention itself and manner in which it may be made and used may be better understood after a review of the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like numeral annotations are provided throughout.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the weighted tarp of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the layers of the weighted tarp of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of the weighted tarp of the present invention having a securement cable thereon.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference is made herein to the attached drawings. Like reference numerals are used throughout the drawings to depict like or similar elements of the weighted tarp of the present invention. For the purposes of presenting a brief and clear description of the present invention, the preferred embodiment will be discussed as used for covering and protecting objects and equipment from inclement weather and theft, while helping to restrain such objects and equipment. The figures are intended for representative purposes only and should not be considered to be limiting in any respect.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of an embodiment of the weighted tarp of the present invention. The weighted tarp 11 of the present invention comprises a multi-layer sheet 12 having a plurality of weights 13 enclosed therein. The tarp 11 is preferably rectangular in shape, but may alternatively be provided in other shapes. The tarp 11 is flexible so that it can be rolled up or folded into a compact configuration for storage. Further, the flexible construction allows the tarp 11 to be placed over equipment and objects having various shapes, and can be used to cover areas of land with various topography.

The weights 13 are distributed evenly across the tarp 11. In this way, the tarp 11 is evenly weighted and will remain in position when placed in a desired location. The weights 13 are preferably spaced at fixed intervals so as to form a grid pattern. Traditional tarps are only tied down or are weighted at the perimeter or edges thereof. In such an arrangement, if the wind blows under the tarp, the central portion of the tarp may move out of position since it is not anchored or weighted. The even distribution of weights 13 of the present invention helps to ensure that the entire tarp 11 remains in position at all times.

The weights 13 are preferably round or circular in shape so as to have a disk-like appearance. The weights 13 may be substantially circular, or may have an annular or ring-like shape. The rounded shape of the weights 13 allows the tarp to be positioned flush against one or more objects having various shapes and geometry. The rounded shape prevents any sharp edges or corners from forming when the tarp 11 is bent, folded, or flexed. The weights 13 are preferably flat so as to not substantially increase the thickness of the tarp. Further, the weights 13 may be composed of various materials, and are preferably composed of metal. The material must be sufficiently dense so as to allow the weights to have a small profile while providing sufficient weight to maintain the tarp in a desired position.

The multi-layer sheet 12 further includes one or more grommets 16 or eyelets thereon. The grommets 16 are positioned on the perimeter or periphery of the multi-layer sheet 12, and are preferably positioned on the corners of the multi-layer sheet 12. The grommets 16 are adapted to receive ropes, cords, or cables, such as bungee cables therethrough. The cables can be threaded through the grommets 16 in order to tie the tarp down. While the tarp 11 is weighted so as to maintain the tarp in position without the need to use additional fasteners, additional fasteners may occasionally be required such as when the tarp 11 is used to cover objects in the bed of a pick-up truck that is driving at a high speed, or when the tarp 11 is used to cover items left outdoors during a strong storm or hurricane.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a perspective view of the layers of the weighted tarp of the present invention. The multi-layer sheet 12 is composed of a first layer 14 and a second layer 15. The first and second layers 14, 15 are preferably composed of the same material and are the same shape and dimension. However, in some embodiments, the first layer 14 is thicker than the second layer 15 and may provide cushioning or padding. In this way, the first layer 14 is adapted to directly contact the equipment or objects that the tarp 11 will be used to cover, and will help to prevent damage thereto. Further, each layer 14, 15 is preferably composed of a waterproof material so as to protect objects covered by the tarp from rain or moisture. The tarp 11 may be composed of canvas, polyester, or other cloth material that is coated with a waterproof material such as urethane. Alternatively, the first and second layers 14, 15 may be composed of a lightweight plastic material.

The first and second layers 14, 15 are secured together via an adhesive. Preferably, the faces of the first and second layers 14, 15 that are facing one another comprise an adhesive on substantially the entire surface thereof. Similarly, the weights 13 can be adhesively secured in position between the first and second layers 14, 15 so that the weights 13 are unable to move out of position. The first and second layers 14, 15 are secured together so that they are coextensive with one another, forming a multi-layer sheet 12. Further, the perimeter of the multi-layer sheet 12 may have stitching thereon to further secure the first and second layers 14, 15 together, and to prevent the layers from separating.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a perspective view of the weighted tarp of the present invention having a securement cable thereon. In the illustrated embodiment, the weighted tarp 11 includes grommets 16 on the perimeter thereof through which a securement cable 17 is threaded. In the illustrated embodiment, the securement cable 17 is permanently secured to the weighted tarp 11 and provides the user with further assurance that the tarp 11 will remain in position. The securement cable 17 can comprise an elongated flexible cable, such as a bungee cable, and can include a fastener thereon, such as a hook. The securement cable 17 comprises a flexible cable formed into a loop, and having a stopper 18 on an end thereof. The stopper 18 is substantially spherical but may be provided in other shapes, and the topper 18 is sized so as to be unable to pass through the grommet 16 on the weighted tarp 11. In this way, the user may wrap the loop around an object in order to secure the weighted tarp 11 in position.

It is therefore submitted that the instant invention has been shown and described in what is considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments. It is recognized, however, that departures may be made within the scope of the invention and that obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art. With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.