Title:
Protective eyeglass covering
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective covering for eyeglasses having a frame and a plurality of temple pieces is disclosed. The protective covering includes a body of substantially elastic material defining a central cavity, the body having proximal and distal ends, an anchor portion in the proximal end, a cover portion in the distal end, and an opening in the distal end. The body is adapted for operationally accepting a temple piece of the eyeglasses into the central cavity through the opening whereby the anchor portion is maintained about the temple piece. The cover portion is moveable from a storage position about the temple piece to a protective position about a portion of the frame.



Inventors:
Francia, Richard P. (Wilton, CT, US)
Application Number:
10/354852
Publication Date:
08/05/2004
Filing Date:
01/31/2003
Assignee:
FRANCIA RICHARD P.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C11/04; (IPC1-7): A45C11/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COLLINS, DOLORES R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SONNABENDLAW (New York, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A protective covering for eyeglasses having a frame and a plurality of temple pieces comprising: A body of substantially elastic material defining a central cavity, said body having: proximal and distal ends, an anchor portion in said proximal end, a cover portion in said distal end, and an opening in said distal end; said body being adapted for operationally accepting a temple piece of said eyeglasses into said central cavity through said opening whereby said anchor portion is maintained about said temple piece; and said cover portion being moveable from a storage position about said temple piece to a protective position about a portion of said frame.

2. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said anchor portion is elastically deformed by said temple piece, substantially anchoring said anchor portion to said temple piece.

3. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said eyeglass frame elastically deforms said cover portion when in its protective position, thereby securely maintaining said cover portion in its protective position.

4. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said cover portion is dimensioned to tightly conform to said frame when in its protective position.

5. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said cover portion is dimensioned to tightly conform to said temple piece when in its storage position.

6. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said substantially elastic material has sufficient elasticity to allow said cover portion to tightly conform to said temple piece when in its storage position and to tightly conform to said frame when in its protective position.

7. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said substantially elastic material is a synthetic fabric.

8. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said substantially elastic material is spandex.

9. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said substantially elastic material is a natural material.

10. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said substantially elastic material is lambskin.

11. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said substantially elastic material is cotton.

12. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said proximal end includes an opening whereby said temple piece may extend through said opening in said distal end, through said cavity, and through said opening in said proximal end.

13. The protective covering of claim 12, wherein said anchor portion is maintained in a first location about said temple piece when its storage position and in a second location about said temple piece when in its protective position.

14. A protective covering for eyeglasses having a frame and a plurality of temple pieces comprising: A body of substantially elastic material defining a central cavity, said body having: proximal and distal ends, an anchor portion in said proximal end, a cover portion in said distal end, an opening in said distal end, and an opening in said proximal end, said body generally tapering from said distal end to said proximal end; said body being adapted for operationally accepting a temple piece of said eyeglasses through said opening in said distal end, through said central cavity and through said opening in said proximal end, whereby said anchor portion is maintained about said temple piece; and said cover portion being moveable from a storage position about said temple piece to a protective position about a portion of said frame.

15. A protective covering of claim 14, wherein said substantially elastic material has sufficient elasticity to allow said cover portion to tightly conform to said temple piece when in its storage position and to tightly conform to said frame when in its protective position.

16. The protective covering of claim 14, wherein said substantially elastic material is a synthetic fabric.

17. A protective covering of claim 14, wherein said elastic material is spandex.

18. The protective covering of claim 14, wherein said substantially elastic material is a natural material.

19. The protective covering of claim 14, wherein said substantially elastic material is lambskin.

20. The protective covering of claim 14, wherein said substantially elastic material is cotton.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to the field of protective devices for eyeglasses. More particularly, it relates to a compact, wearable, retractable fabric protective covering for eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses.

[0003] 2. Background of the Related Art

[0004] It is well known that eyeglasses, which are understood to include, among other types, sunglasses, protective eyewear and various goggles, may become damaged during ordinary use and storage. Eyeglass lenses in particular, whether constructed from glass, plastic or other material, are often prone to scratching or other damage from ordinary use and storage. Additionally, the use of various coatings for lenses, such as coatings to filter ultraviolet radiation or minimize reflective glare, have become common place. These coatings also may be scratched or otherwise damaged during ordinary use or storage.

[0005] A number of devices have been developed which seek to avoid or minimize damage to eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses during ordinary use and storage. In order to maximize convenience, these devices are often designed to be portable or wearable. Thus, several devices are known in the prior art which seek to provide compact, wearable protection for eyeglasses.

[0006] One such device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,953,695, which includes a single tubular sleeve which fits across the entirety of the frames of eyeglasses when in a protective mode and which may be slid across one of the temple pieces of the eyeglasses onto an eyeglass neck strap attached to the temple pieces of the eyeglasses when in a storage mode. This mode of storage may be desirable in instances where an eyeglass user wishes to wear the eyeglasses while maintaining the protective cover in a readily accessible manner without resort to the use of clothing pockets or the like. This device has the considerable shortcoming, however, of requiring the use of an eyeglass neck strap to effectuate the desired convenience of use discussed herein.

[0007] Another device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,593,024, which discloses a multi-part eyeglass cover permanently affixed to an eyeglass neck strap, or formed as an integral part of an eyeglass neck strap. The user of the eyeglass cover disclosed in this reference is required to perform a series of steps in order to place the eyeglasses effectively within the eyeglass cover, and is required to repeat these steps in reverse in order to remove the eyeglasses effectively from the eyeglass cover. Because the eyeglass cover disclosed in this reference is permanently affixed to or formed as an integral part of an eyeglass neck strap, a potential user of this device is forced to use an eyeglass neck strap in order to gain any portable protective benefit from the device. The use of eyeglass neck straps is often undesirable or impractical. In such situations, use of the eyeglass covers in question would be unsuitable or infeasible.

[0008] Yet another device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,863,013, which discloses a sock-like pouch which may contain the entirety of a pair of eyeglasses in a protective mode and which is removed completely from eyeglasses when in a storage mode. When not in use, the device must be stored by the user in some fashion apart from the eyeglasses; that is, in a clothing pocket, handbag or other storage location. Thus, this device lacks the desired convenience of easy storage with its associated eyeglasses when not in being use to protect the associated eyeglasses.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 5,014,846 discloses a device which includes a storage pouch for maintaining the eyeglass cover when no being used in a protective mode. The storage pouch may be attached to the associated eyeglass temple piece, where it hangs, or may be formed integrally with an eyeglass neck strap. In either embodiment, the device has the undesirable feature of a separate eyeglass covering which may be lost easily. Also, a user of this device must utilize either a neck strap or a dangling pouch in addition to the eyeglass cover in order to have a storage location for the eyeglass cover on or about the associated pair of eyeglasses.

[0010] Each of the foregoing devices have the further shortcoming of an aesthetically displeasing appearance. Each requires the user to utilize bulky straps or other unwieldy appendages to eyeglasses, thus detracting from the aesthetic styling of the eyeglasses and making the device's use less desirable.

[0011] It is therefore desirable to provide a protective eyeglass covering device which is convenient to use and store, which may be stored on or about the associated eyeglasses, and which does not require the use of eyeglass neck straps or other additional device for operation or storage. It is further desirable to provide a protective eyeglass covering device which is aesthetically pleasing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] The subject invention is directed to a new and useful eyeglass protective covering device which is compact, convenient to use, aesthetically pleasing and may be stored directly upon associated eyeglasses without resort to eyeglass neck straps or other additional storage devices.

[0013] The present invention discloses a protective covering for eyeglasses having a frame and a plurality of temple pieces. The protective covering for eyeglasses includes a body of substantially elastic material defining a central cavity. The body has both proximal and distal ends with an anchor portion in the proximal end and a cover portion in the distal end. The distal end includes an opening. The body is adapted for operationally accepting a temple piece of eyeglasses into the central cavity through the opening, whereupon the anchor portion is maintained about the temple piece. The cover portion is moveable from a storage position about the temple piece to a protective position about a portion of the frame.

[0014] It is understood that any eyeglasses having a frame and a plurality of temple pieces are suitable for use with the instant invention. These include, among others, eyeglasses formed of molded plastic and eyeglasses with metal temple pieces such as “wire rim” eyeglasses. Furthermore, eyeglasses may be specifically designed and manufactured to accommodate protective eyeglass coverings of the instant invention. For example, eyeglasses may be designed and manufactured with recesses or grooves formed in the temple pieces. These recesses may operatively accept protective eyeglass coverings of the instant invention when in their storage position, thereby minimizing the increased diameter of the temple piece/eyeglass covering combination.

[0015] The anchor portion may be elastically deformed by the temple piece, substantially anchoring the anchor portion to the temple piece. Similarly, the eyeglass frame may elastically deform the cover portion when in its protective position, thereby securely maintaining the cover portion in its protective position. Additionally, the cover portion may be dimensioned to tightly conform to the frame when in its protective position and may be dimensioned to tightly conform to the temple piece when in its storage position. The elastic material may be selected to have sufficient elasticity to allow the cover portion to tightly conform to the temple piece when in its storage position and to tightly conform to the frame when in its protective position. In such embodiments, it is important to select a sufficiently elastic material so as to avoid inelastic deformation (i.e., plastic deformation) of the protective covering of the instant invention.

[0016] The protective covering may be constructed of a substantially elastic material which may be a synthetic fabric. The synthetic fabric may be spandex. The protective covering may also be constructed of natural materials such as cotton, animal fibers such as lambskin or other natural materials. The protective covering may also be constructed of combinations of the foregoing materials.

[0017] The protective covering may include an opening in the proximal end whereby the temple piece may extend through the opening in the distal end, through the cavity of the body, and through the opening in the proximal end. In this configuration, the anchor portion may generally occupy one location about the temple piece when in storage mode and slide to a second location when in protective mode.

[0018] These and other aspects of the subject invention will become more readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art from the following detailed description of the invention taken in conjunction with the drawings described herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] So that those having ordinary skill in the art to which the subject invention pertains will more readily understand how to make and use the subject invention, preferred embodiments thereof will be described in detail herein with reference to the drawings.

[0020] FIG. 1 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the protective eyeglass covering of the instant invention.

[0021] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the protective eyeglass covering of the instant invention in an operative position on a pair of eyeglasses.

[0022] FIG. 3 is another perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the protective eyeglass covering of the instant invention in another operative position on a pair of eyeglasses.

[0023] FIG. 4 is an additional perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the protective eyeglass covering of the instant invention in an operative position on a pair of eyeglasses.

[0024] FIG. 5 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the protective eyeglass covering of the instant invention in an intermediate stage of fabrication.

[0025] FIG. 6 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the protective eyeglass covering of the instant invention in another intermediate stage of fabrication.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0026] Referring now in detail to the drawings wherein like reference numerals identify similar structural features of the several embodiments of the subject invention, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the protective eyeglass covering of the instant invention. Body 1 of substantially elastic material includes proximal end 2 and distal end 3. Proximal end 2 includes anchor portion 4 and opening 5. Distal end 3 includes cover portion 6 and opening 7. The body 1 may taper from the distal end 3 to the proximal end 4 as depicted in FIG. 1. The material of the protective eyeglass covering may be sufficiently elastic to permit stretching along the longitudinal axis and perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the protective eyeglass covering.

[0027] FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention operationally mounted in a storage position to a pair of associated eyeglasses. Eyeglasses 10 have temple piece 11 upon which the protective eyeglass cover of the instant invention is mounted. Temple piece 11 extends through opening 7 in distal end 3 of body 1, through the cavity of body 1, and through opening 5 in proximal end 2 of body 1. Temple piece 111 elastically deforms anchor portion 4, thereby anchoring body 1 to temple piece 11. Cover portion 6 is retracted from frame 12 and lens 13 and stored on a portion of temple piece 11, thereby permitting the wearer of eyeglasses 10 to see through lens 13. The elastic material of body 1 may be sufficiently elastic to permit cover portion 6 to substantially conform to the shape of temple 11 when in its storage position.

[0028] FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention operationally mounted in a protective position to a pair of associated eyeglasses. Eyeglasses 10 have temple piece 11 which extends through the cavity of body 1 and out opening 5 in proximal end 2 of body 1. Temple piece 11 elastically deforms anchor portion 4, thereby anchoring body 1 to temple piece 11. Distal end 3 includes cover portion 6 which is extended to cover frame 12 and lens 13 of eyeglasses 10. Frame 12 elastically deforms protective portion 6 so as to securely maintain protective portion 6 in its protective position.

[0029] FIG. 4 depicts a frontal perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention operationally mounted in a protective position to a pair of associated eyeglasses. Distal end 3 and cover portion 6 of protective eyeglass covering 1 are shown extended over a portion of frame 12 and lens 13 of eyeglasses 10. A second lens indicated by 13′ is contained in a different portion of frame 12 and is not covered by a protective eyeglass cover of the present invention.

[0030] FIGS. 5 and 6 depict plan views of a preferred embodiment of the present invention in intermediate stages of fabrication. Body 1 is cut from a suitable piece of substantially elastic material such as spandex in to the shape depicted in FIG. 5. The dimensions and shape of the body may be selected according to the size of the eyeglasses to be used with the protective covering. After cutting, edge 20 is brought in contact with edge 20′ so that corner 21 is brought in contact with corner 21′ and corner 22 is brought in contact with corner 22′. Edges 20 and 20′ are then sewn together with a merrow stitch using any suitable elastic thread to form a seam 25, as will be readily understood by those of skill in the pertinent art, thus creating a central cavity and openings in both proximal and distal ends. In order to hide the seam, the protective covering may be turned inside-out for use so that the stitching is contained in the cavity of body 1. Additionally, as will be readily understood by those of skill in the pertinent art, ends 23 and 24 may be folded back and sewn (i.e., finish stitched) to form a more finished appearance prior to sewing edges 20 and 20′.

[0031] While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the pertinent art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects.





 
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