Title:
Protective cover for remote control devices
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective cover for remote control devices used for remotely operating televisions, VCR's, and music systems. The protective cover includes a thin, flexible main cover which is formed in a folded, elongate U-shaped configuration, interconnected at opposite pairs of longitudinal edges by a pair of flexible, expandable side panels. The main cover includes a transparent front through which the push buttons are visible and operable, a transparent top disposable adjacent the emitter cover through which the emitter of the remote control device can luminesce, a bottom panel, and a back panel. The remote control device is insertable into and removable from the protective cover using an extension of the top which forms a flap which is overlappable about a portion of the back of the protective cover to retain the remote control device, and secured using mating patches of a hook and loop fastener. Other versions of the protective cover do not utilize a flap, but rather include a zipper which is mounted to slit side zipper or back of the remote control device.



Inventors:
Zuleta, Victor H. (Naples, FL, US)
Kopper, Maria E. (Naples, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/042438
Publication Date:
07/10/2003
Filing Date:
01/10/2002
Assignee:
ZULETA VICTOR H.
KOPPER MARIA E.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
H01H9/02; (IPC1-7): B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LUONG, SHIAN TINH NHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John H. Oltman (Ft. Lauderdale, FL, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A protective cover for a remote control device, the remote control device being of the type having a casing with a transparent emitter cover, a plurality of push buttons which extend through the casing to manually control the functions of the remote control device, and an emitter which sends commands via an non-visible, infrared light which shines through an emitter cover to signal a device to be remotely controlled such as a television as to the desired commands, the protective cover comprising: a thin, flexible main cover having a transparent front panel; a pair of flexible side panels; and wherein said main cover is disposed in a folded, generally elongate U-shaped configuration to form a transparent front through which the push buttons are visible and operable by depressing them, a transparent top end disposable adjacent the emitter cover through which the emitter can luminesce, a bottom panel, and a back panel, respective edges of said side panels being affixed to pairs of opposing longitudinal edges of said main cover to comprise respective opposite sides of the protective cover, the remote control device being insertable into the protective cover and the protective cover closable therearound so as to be operable therein while being protected by the protective cover.

2. The protective cover according to claim 1, further comprising a foam pad connected to the outer back panel which provides cushioning for the remote control device.

3. The protective cover according to claim 2, further comprising an inner back panel affixed to the outer back panel with the foam pad sandwiched therebetween.

4. The protective cover according to claim 3, wherein the side panels are expandable and contractible fit remote control devices of differing thicknesses.

5. The protective cover according to claim 4, wherein the respective side panels are expandable and contractible by each having formed therein at least one longitudinally extending crease which forms respective of said side panels into a V-shaped cross-section and which can extend when under lateral tension.

6. The protective cover according to claim 1, wherein side panels are expandable and contractible fit remote control devices of differing thicknesses.

7. The protective cover according to claim 6, wherein the respective side panels are expandable and contractible by each having formed therein at least one longitudinally extending crease which forms respective of said side panels into a V-shaped cross-section and which can extend when under lateral tension.

8. The protective cover according to claim 1, wherein the main cover assembly and the side panels are joined together by an edging which is folded over to form a flattened U-shape and affixed together at a sewn circumferential edge seam.

9. The protective cover according to claim 1, wherein the main cover includes an outer back panel which is opaque over most of its surface area.

10. The protective cover according to claim 9, wherein the side panels are opaque.

11. The protective cover according to claim 9, wherein a bottom of the protective cover is transparent.

12. The protective cover according to claim 1, wherein the protective cover is closable by using an extension of the front panel forms a closable flap which is wrapable over the remote control device contained within the protective cover and removably connectable to the outer back panel using a closing device.

13. The protective cover according to claim 12, wherein the closing device comprises respective mating patches of a hook and loop fastener, one of said patches being affixed to the closable flap and the other being affixed to the outer back panel.

14. The protective cover according to claim 12, further comprising a foam pad connected to the outer back panel which provides cushioning for the remote control device.

15. The protective cover according to claim 14, further comprising an inner back panel affixed to the outer back panel with the foam pad sandwiched therebetween.

16. The protective cover according to claim 12, wherein the side panels are expandable and contractible fit remote control devices of differing thicknesses.

17. The protective cover according to claim 12, wherein the respective side panels are expandable and contractible by each having formed therein at least one longitudinally extending crease which forms respective of said side panels into a V-shaped cross-section and which can extend when under lateral tension.

18. The protective cover according to claim 12, wherein the main cover includes an outer back panel which is opaque over most of its surface area.

19. The protective cover according to claim 1, wherein the protective cover is closable by using a zipper having a pair of interlockable tracks and a handled closure member, said zipper being affixed at a slit through at least one of the panels for inserting and removing the remote control device therethrough.

20. The protective cover according to claim 19, wherein the panel having the slit to which the zipper is affixed is the outer back panel.

21. The protective cover according to claim 20, further comprising a foam pad connected to the outer back panel which provides cushioning for the remote control device, and an inner back panel affixed to said outer back panel with said foam pad sandwiched therebetween.

22. The protective cover according to claim 20, wherein the side panels are expandable and contractible fit remote control devices of differing thicknesses.

23. The protective cover according to claim 19, further comprising a three-side panel which includes the pair of flexible side panels which are interconnected by a bottom panel.

24. The protective cover according to claim 23, wherein the panel having the slit to which the zipper is affixed is the outer back panel.

25. The protective cover according to claim 24, further comprising a foam pad connected to the outer back panel which provides cushioning for the remote control device, and an inner back panel affixed to said outer back panel with said foam pad sandwiched therebetween, said

26. The protective cover according to claim 24, wherein the side panels are expandable and contractible fit remote control devices of differing thicknesses.

27. The protective cover according to claim 23, wherein the panel having the slit to which the zipper is affixed is the three-side panel.

28. The protective cover according to claim 27, wherein the three-side panel has a longitudinal length, and wherein the slit and the zipper extend substantially along an entirety of said longitudinal length.

29. The protective cover according to claim 27, further comprising a foam pad connected to the outer back panel which provides cushioning for the remote control device.

30. The protective cover according to claim 29, further comprising an inner back panel affixed to the outer back panel with the foam pad sandwiched therebetween.

31. The protective cover according to claim 27, wherein the three-sided panel is expandable and contractible fit remote control devices of differing thicknesses.

32. The protective cover according to claim 31, wherein the three-sided panel is expandable and contractible by having formed therein a pair of longitudinally extending creases formed therein closely adjacent along opposite sides of the zipper which forms said-three-sided panel into a modified V-shaped cross-section having a flattened apex which can extend when under lateral tension.

33. The protective cover according to claim 19, wherein the main cover includes an outer back panel which is opaque over most of its surface area.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field

[0002] The present invention relates to covering structures, and more particularly to protective covers for electronic devices such as remote control devices used with televisions, VCR's, and stereo music equipment.

[0003] 2. State of the Art

[0004] Remote control devices to control electronic appliances such as televisions, VCR's, and stereo music systems have become increasingly popular in recent years. The use of a remote control device permits the user of the particular appliance to remain in a comfortable position on the couch, in a lounge chair, in bed, or even on the floor and operate the appliance. Such remote control devices include a casing through which a plurality of push buttons extend. The user depresses and releases the specific push buttons which control the function which is desired to be controlled. The remote control device sends a coded infrared signal indicative of the instructions desired by the user via an infrared diode or emitter which is located behind a tinted, transparent emitter cover disposed at the front end of the remote control device. A corresponding infrared light sensor of the appliance senses the signal, which is decoded by the appliance and the decoded instructions are executed.

[0005] A major problem with remote control devices is their vulnerability to damage due liquids which can short out the electronics contained within the casing. While some remote control devices are designed to be resistant to liquids, the majority are not. This is specially true in the age of an ever growing number of persons which eat and drink while using their remote control device. An equally big problem is damage caused by dropping the remote control device. Such shock can break the casing and the electronics are also vulnerable such as by breaking electrical connections.

[0006] There is a need for a protective cover specifically designed for remote control devices which protects them from damage due to fluids and shock.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention is a protective cover for remote control devices. The remote control devices are of the type having a casing with a transparent emitter cover and a plurality of push buttons which extend through the casing. The push buttons are used to manually control the functions of the remote control device and signal an emitter of the remote control device which sends commands via a non-visible, infrared light which shines through an emitter cover to signal a device to be remotely controlled such as a television as to the desired commands. The protective cover comprises a thin, flexible main cover having a transparent front panel, and a pair of flexible side panels. The main cover is disposed in a folded, generally elongate U-shaped configuration to form a transparent front through which the push buttons are visible and operable by depressing them, a transparent top end disposable adjacent the emitter cover through which the emitter can luminesce, a bottom panel, and a back panel. Respective edges of the side panels are affixed to pairs of opposing longitudinal edges of the main cover to comprise respective opposite sides of the protective cover. The remote control device is insertable into the protective cover and the protective cover is closable therearound so as to be operable therein while being protected by the protective cover.

THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0009] FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a first embodiment protective cover according to the present invention as used with a remote control device for televisions;

[0010] FIG. 2, a rear elevational view of the first embodiment protective cover and the remote control device;

[0011] FIG. 3, a side elevational view of the first embodiment protective cover and the remote control device, but showing the flap of the cover in an open position;

[0012] FIG. 4, a front elevational view of a second embodiment protective cover according to the present invention as used with the remote control device for televisions;

[0013] FIG. 5, a rear elevational view of the second embodiment protective cover and the remote control device;

[0014] FIG. 6, a side elevational view of the second embodiment protective cover and the remote control device showing the zipper which extends around thre sides of the cover; and

[0015] FIG. 7, a rear elevational view of a third embodiment protective cover and the remote control device which has a rear zipper.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] As best shown in FIGS. 1-3, therein is shown a first embodiment protective cover, generally designated at 20, as used for protecting a remote control device 23 such as used for remotely controlling a television or a VCR (not shown).

[0017] The first embodiment protective cover 20 comprises a flexible main cover assembly 26 and a pair of side panels 29 which are all connected together by a flexible circumferential edging 32. The main cover assembly 26 includes an elongate transparent panel 35 to which is affixed an opaque padded back panel assembly 38 at a sewn seam 41, and an opaque closing tab 44 at a sewn seam 47. The back panel assembly 38 includes respective inner and outer back panels 50 and 53 between which is sandwiched a foam pad 56. The side panels 29 each include a longitudinal crease 59 formed therein which forms a V-shaped cross-section which can extend when under lateral tension. The main cover assembly 26 and the side panels 29 are joined together by the edging 32, which is folded over to form a flattened U-shape and sewn together at a sewn circumferential edge seam 62. A hook pad 65 is affixed to the closing tab 44 at a sewn circumferential seam 68, and a mating loop pad 71 is affixed to the outer back panel 53 at a sewn circumferential seam 74. The hook pad 65 and the loop pad 71 are releasibly interconnectable hook and loop connector pads such as known under the trade name VELCROâ„¢. This forms the protective cover 20 with a clear front 77, an opaque back 80, opaque sides 83 and 86, a clear bottom 89, and a clear top 92. The remote control device 23 includes a tapered casing 95 having a tinted transparent emitter cover 98, and a plurality of push buttons 101 which extend through the casing 95. The push buttons 101 control the functions of the remote control device 23 which sends commands via an non-visible, infrared light (not shown) which shines through the emitter cover 98 to signal the television or VCR as to the desired commands. The remote control device 23 fits within the protective cover 20 by grasping the closing tab 44 and pulling outwardly to remove the hook pad 65 affixed thereto from the mating loop pad 71 affixed to the outer back panel 53. The remote control device 23 is placed within the protective cover 20 with the push buttons 101 juxtaposed the clear front 77 and the emitter cover 98 closely adjacent the clear top closing tab 92. The closing tab 44 is then replaced such that the hook pad 65 and the mating loop pad 71 are re-engaged to retain the remote control device 23 within the protective cover 104. The infrared light shines through the emitter cover 98 and the clear top 92.

[0018] A second embodiment protective cover 104 is shown in FIGS. 4-6, as used for protecting the remote control device 23. The protective cover 104 comprises a flexible main cover assembly 107 and a flexible zippered three-side panel 110, which are connected together by a flexible circumferential edging 113. The main cover assembly 107 includes an elongate transparent panel 116 to which is affixed an opaque padded back panel assembly 119 at a sewn seam 122. The back panel assembly 119 includes respective inner and outer back panels 125 and 128 between which is sandwiched a foam pad 131. The three-side panel 110 includes a longitudinal zipper 134 having a pair of interlockable tracks 137 and 138, and a handled closure member 140, with a pair of closely adjacent creases 143 and 146 formed therein which forms a modified V-shaped cross-section, having a flattened apex, which can extend when under lateral tension. The main cover assembly 107 and the three-side panel 110 are joined together by the edging 113, which is folded over to form a flattened U-shape and sewn together at a sewn circumferential edge seam 149. This forms the protective cover 104 with a clear front 152, an opaque back 155, opaque sides 158 and 161, a opaque bottom 164, and a clear top 167. The remote control device 23 fits within the protective cover 104 by grasping the handled closure member 140 and unzipping the zipper 134. The remote control device 23 is placed within the protective cover 104 with the push buttons 101 juxtaposed the clear front 152 and the emitter cover 98 closely adjacent the clear top 167. The zipper 134 is they re-zipped to retain the remote control device 23 within the protective cover 104. The infrared light shines through the emitter cover 98 and the clear top 167.

[0019] A third embodiment protective cover 170 is shown in FIG. 7, as used for protecting the remote control device 23. The protective cover 170 comprises a flexible main cover assembly 173 and a flexible three-side panel 176, which are connected together by a flexible circumferential edging 179. The main cover assembly 173 includes an elongate transparent panel 182 to which is affixed an opaque padded back panel assembly 185 at a sewn seam 188. The back panel assembly 185 includes respective split inner and outer back panels 191 and 194 between which is sandwiched a split foam pad 197, and a longitudinal zipper 200 having a pair of interlockable tracks 203 and 204, and a handled closure member 206. The zipper 200 is affixed to the inner and outer panels 191 and 194, and to the foam pad 197 at a pair of sewn seams 209 and 212. The three-side panel 176 includes a longitudinal crease 215 formed therein which forms a V-shaped cross-section which can extend when under lateral tension. The main cover assembly 173 and the three-side panel 176 are joined together by the edging 179, which is folded over to form a flattened U-shape and sewn together at a sewn circumferential edge seam 218. This forms the protective cover 170 with a clear front 221, an opaque back 224, opaque sides 227 and 230, a opaque bottom 233, and a clear top 236. The remote control device 23 fits within the protective cover 170 by grasping the handled closure member 206 and unzipping the zipper 200. The remote control device 23 is placed within the protective cover 170 with the push buttons 101 juxtaposed the clear front 221 and the emitter cover 98 closely adjacent the clear top 236. The zipper 200 is they re-zipped to retain the remote control device 23 within the protective cover 170. The infrared light shines through the emitter cover 98 and the clear top 236.

[0020] Many changes can be made to the protective cover while staying within the same inventive concept. For example, the materials used for the main cover assemblies, the side panels, the three-sided panels, and the circumferential edging can be sheet plastic, woven cloth or plastic, plastic coated fabric, or any other suitable material, which can be treated with waterproofing materials if required. The foam pads can be any of the standard types including polyurethane foam of the open or closed cell variety. While sewn seams are shown, heat sealing can be employed, as well as adhesive sealing or any other such process suitable for the particular materials.

[0021] Whereas this invention is here illustrated and described with reference to embodiments thereof presently contemplated as the best mode of carrying out such invention in actual practice, it is to be understood that various changes may be made in adapting the invention to different embodiments without departing from the broader inventive concepts disclosed herein and comprehended by the claims that follow.





 
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