Title:
Apparatus and method to correctly orient garments
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pair of indicia that aid a child in orienting shoes or any article of wearing apparel that has a first section for one appendage and a second section for another appendage. The first indicium is an image that indicates a first direction while a second indicium indicates a second direction. The second direction is substantially collinearly contradictory to the first direction. Children know that shoes or articles of wearing apparel are properly oriented when first indicium and the second indicium are substantially collinearly contradictory.



Inventors:
Hunter, Shelley A. (Danville, CA, US)
Kofoed, Bradley D. (Walnut Creek, CA, US)
Monosoff, Tamara (Walnut Creek, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/876036
Publication Date:
10/13/2005
Filing Date:
06/23/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B3/28; A43B3/30; (IPC1-7): A43B3/28
View Patent Images:
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20060201034Alterable / designable shoeSeptember, 2006Ambrogio
20060086006Suspension ski bootApril, 2006Forrest
20060042124Athletic shoe having an improved cleat configurationMarch, 2006Mills et al.
20060254085Thong sandal accessoryNovember, 2006Mollicone
20070006489Control systems and foot-receiving device products containing such systemsJanuary, 2007Case Jr. et al.
20040068891Shoe with elastic soleApril, 2004Wang
20010007176Transpiring sole structure for footwearJuly, 2001Attilieni



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEST & ASSOCIATES, A PC (WALNUT CREEK, CA, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for aiding shoe orientation comprising: a first indicium associated with a first item, said first indicium visibly indicating a first direction; and a second indicium associated with a second item, said second indicium visibly indicating a second direction, wherein, when said first item and said second item are oriented in a first orientation, said first indicium indicates a direction that is substantially collinearly contradictory to said second direction of said first indicium.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said first item is a first shoe and said second item is a second shoe.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said first indicium is associated with the interior of said first shoe and said second indicium is associated with the interior of said second shoe.

4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said first indicium is associated with the exterior of said first shoe and said second indicium is associated with the exterior of said second shoe.

5. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said first indicium and said second indicium are each comprised of a self-adhesive label for association with the interior of a shoe.

6. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said first indicium and said second indicium are each comprised of a self-adhesive label for association to the exterior of a shoe.

7. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said first indicium is integral with said first shoe and said second indicium is integral with said second shoe.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said first indicium includes information to identify a wearer of said first item.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said information is a photograph of said wearer of said first item.

10. A method for orienting at least two wearable items comprising of the steps of: associating a first indicium with a first item, said first indicium visibly indicating a first direction; and associating a second indicium with a second item, said second indicium visibly indicating a second direction; wherein when said first item and said second item are properly oriented, said first indicium and said second indicium indicate directions that are substantially collinearly contradictory.

11. The method for orienting as least two wearable items of claim 10, wherein said first item is a first shoe and said second item is a second shoe.

12. The method recited in claim 11 wherein said first indicium is associated with the interior of said first shoe and said second indicium is associated with the interior of said second shoe.

13. The method recited in claim 12 wherein said first indicium is associated using a self-adhesive label and said second indicium is associated using a self-adhesive label.

14. The method recited in claim 11 wherein said first indicium is associated with the exterior of said first shoe and said second indicium is associated with the exterior of said second shoe.

15. The method recited in claim 14 where said first indicium is associated using a self-adhesive label and said second indicium is associated using a self-adhesive label.

16. A system for aiding in correctly orienting as least two items comprising: a first indicator, said first indicator being selectively attachable to a first item and said first indicator indicating a first direction; a second indicator, said second indicator being selectively attachable to a second item and said second indicator indicating a second direction; wherein when said first indicator is attached to said first item and said second indicator is attached to a second, said first item and said second item are substantially in a first orientation when said first direction and said second direction are substantially collinearly contradictory.

17. The system of claim 16 wherein said first item is attachable to said first item via adhesive.

18. The system of claim 16 wherein said first item is attachable to said first item via thermal transfer.

19. The system of claim 16 wherein said first item is attachable to said first item via pressure transfer.

20. The system of claim 16 wherein said first item is a first shoe and said second item is a second shoe.

21. The system of claim 20 wherein said first shoe and said second shoe comprise a pair of shoes.

22. The system of claim 21 wherein said first indicator is attachable to said first shoe via adhesive.

23. The system of claim 16 wherein said first indicator includes uniquely identifying information.

Description:

CLAIM OF PRIORITY

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/561,077, filed Apr. 8, 2004, entitled “SHOE POSITION INDICATING SYSTEM,” which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a method and apparatus to aid in correctly orienting garments.

2. Description of Related Art

As most parents know, children at a young age and/or developmentally challenged persons frequently have difficulty putting shoes on the correct feet. The prevalent cause is not only the inability to distinguish left from right, but also the inability to distinguish the two shoes. Because a child's shoes are so small, the contours are very subtle. These contours are often unnoticeable to a young child. Thus, it becomes very difficult for a young child to distinguish which shoe is correctly tailored for the corresponding foot. Without a method of indicating the appropriate shoe for the appropriate foot, a child is forced to helplessly guess. A child who is unable to put shoes on correctly is likely to become frustrated at the repeated attempts necessary to deal with the problem. Frustration can lead to pain and injury if the child chooses to forego the effort and wear the shoes inappropriately. A child may also become confused and befuddled from the inability to put shoes on correctly. Furthermore, the child may become overly dependent on the parents. Not only does this impede the child's learning, it frustrates the parent who must divert attention away from other matters to correct the child's shoes.

Although the most common scenario involves the incorrect orientation of shoes, young children often have difficulty orienting any article of wearing apparel that has a left side and a right side. One example is a pair of gloves. Gloves also have subtle contours because of their small size making it difficult for a young child to distinguish the left from the right. All of the harmful consequences that may result from the incorrect orientation of shoes may also result from the incorrect orientation of any article of wearing apparel that has one side tailored for a left appendage and right side tailored for a right appendage.

In the past this problem has been dealt with in a number of ways. One of such ways utilized two halves of a single image. Each of the two halves would be placed on a shoe or a glove. Once the two sides were properly aligned the image would be recognizable signifying to the child that the shoes or gloves were correctly positioned. Although this method may help solve the underlying problem, each half of the image was in and of itself incomplete and thus unappealing. The shoes and gloves became unattractive because of the inchoate images that were attached.

Others attempts to resolve the problem have employed the use of two distinct images. One image would be placed inside the left shoe and another completely different image would be placed inside the right. In order to utilize this method, the child would have to remember a story that associates the left image as belonging on the left and the right image as belonging on the right. The images in and of themselves do not help determine which configuration is correct. If the underlying story is forgotten, the child is left frustrated and confused.

Another method required the same color paint to be applied to a child's toe and corresponding shoe. A parent would apply paint to the child's foot and then place a strip of the same color in the shoe. This method is inconvenient and intrusive as it requires a consistent application of paint. Once the paint rubs off, the child is again forced to helplessly guess which shoe is tailored for the correct foot. A parent must then divert their attention from other matters to reapply the paint to the child.

Alternatively some tried to address the problem by utilizing dots. Dots or symbols would be attached to the instep portion of the shoe's exterior. Once the dots or symbols were adjacent, the shoes were positioned correctly. The location of the dots on the instep portion created a visual imbalance in the shoes. It also caused children to twist their necks or pick up their shoes in order to determine whether the dots are adjacent. Further, it was difficult for a child to determine whether the shoes are correctly orientated by merely standing over the shoes.

What is needed is an orientation device that is appealing to children, does not require the use of external data, and is easy to use. The inventors herein have designed a device that utilizes totally unitary images. Therefore, when the images are viewed separately, they are appealing, not inchoate. Further, the images indicate opposite directions in order to aid orientation. Thus, there is no need to remember a story, paint the child, or employ the use of any external data. Finally, the indicia can be associated in a number of ways that make it easy for the child to locate the indicia and properly orient the shoes or garment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a pair of correctly oriented shoes having internal indicia associated therewith.

FIG. 2 depicts an alternate embodiment of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 depicts an alternate embodiment of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 depicts a pair of incorrectly oriented shoes having external indicia associated therewith.

FIG. 5 depicts a pair of correctly oriented gloves having indicia associated therewith.

FIG. 6 depicts an alternate embodiment of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 depicts a sheet containing three sets of indicia.

FIG. 8 depicts an alternate embodiment of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A pair of shoes consists of a left shoe shaped to fit the left foot and a right shoe shaped to fit the right foot. When the shoes are placed side-by-side, the pair of shoes are properly oriented if the left shoe is positioned on the left and the right shoe is positioned on the right. To assist in the proper orientation of a pair of shoes, a first indicium is associated with one shoe and a second indicium is associated with the other shoe. The first indicium is an image indicating a first direction. The second indicium is an image indicating a second direction. The second direction is substantially collinearly contradictory to the first direction. When the first indicium and second indicium are substantially collinearly contradictory, the pair of shoes is properly oriented.

An alternate embodiment of this device can be used to orient any article of wearing apparel that has a first section tailored to one appendage and a second section tailored to fit another appendage. The first indicium would be associated with a first section and the second indicium would be associated the other section. Children and/or developmentally challenged persons would know the sections are correctly oriented when the first indicium and the second indicium are substantially collinearly contradictory.

The indicia can be associated with the shoes or article of wearing apparel in any convenient and/or known manner. The indicia can be associated on any portion of the interior or exterior of the shoe or garment. Indicia can be associated using any convenient and/or known manner, including by way of example any convenient and/or known adhesive device, removable or non-removable. Alternatively, the indicia can be manufactured as part of the shoes or garment or can be embedded within the material of the shoes or garment using any convenient and/or known device and/or method. The indicia can be depicted using one or any number of images. Furthermore, the images depicting the indicia can vary widely in shape, color, size, and design and in one embodiment can vary be substantially different. By way of example, this can include any animal, human, creature, cartoon figure, shape, form, sign, representation, icon, mark, emblem, or any other picture, drawing, sketch, design, symbol, device or customizable contrivance that indicates a direction.

FIG. 1 depicts a pair of correctly oriented shoes containing indicia. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the indicia are located on the heal portion inside the shoe. However, in alternate embodiments, the indicia can be located in any convenient location on the shoe or garment.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the pair of shoes is comprised of a left shoe (1) shaped to fit the left foot and a right shoe (2) shaped to fit the right foot. As is apparent from the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the contours of the shoes are quite subtle. As shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the left shoe (1) generally includes an upper toe portion (3) which is mounted on a sole (4). The shoe contains an opening (5) through which the left foot is inserted to put on the shoe. Similarly, the right shoe (2) generally includes an upper toe portion (6) which is mounted on a sole (7). The right shoe also contains an opening (8) for receiving the right foot. The inner soles, sock liners, or the like are identified as (9) on the left shoe (1) and (10) on the right shoe (2). The inner soles or sock liners (9), (10) are typically located inside the shoes and can be removable or non-removable. However, the left and right shoes can be constructed or formed in any convenient or known manner using any convenient and/or known components and/or materials.

The first indicium (11) is shown in the heel area of the insole or sock liner (9) of the left shoe (1). The first indicium (11) is an image of a dog looking indicating the right direction. The second indicium (12) is shown in the heel area of the insole or sock liner (10) of the right shoe (2). The second indicium (12) is an image of a dog indicating the left direction. As shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the indicia (11), (12) can be either silk-screened or imprinted directly onto the insole or sock liner (9),

    • (10).

In alternate embodiments, the indicia (11), (12) can be manufactured and associated with the shoes in any convenient and/or know manner. By way of example, the indicia (11), (12) can be embedded within the material of the shoes using any convenient and/or known method or can be removably attached using any convenient and/or known manner, such as with a detachable fastener. The indicia (11), (12) can also be imprinted on any kind of removable or non-removable label, including by way of example a self-adhesive label, and attached to the heal or any other area of the shoe using any convenient and/or known method.

As is shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the first indicium (11) and the second indicium (12) are totally unitary images. Also, as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the indicia are substantially collinearly contradictory. Because the first indicium (11) and the second indicium (12) are substantially collinearly contradictory, a child would know that the shoes are properly oriented and may proceed to put them on the corresponding feet.

FIG. 2 depicts an alternate embodiment of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. The embodiment shown in FIG. 2 is a pair of properly oriented shoes with internal indicia. The pair consists of a left shoe (13) and a right shoe (14) which are similar to the shoes (1), (2) shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. The embodiment shown in FIG. 2 is intended to illustrate another variation of indicia that can be utilized. The first indicium (15) is an image of a fish visibly indicating the right direction. The second indicium (16) is an image of the fish visibly indicating the left direction. As shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the shoes are properly oriented and the indicia (15), (16) are substantially collinearly contradictory. Because the two indicia (15), (16) are looking at each other, a child would recognize that the shoes are properly oriented.

In alternate embodiments, the indicia (13), (14) can be manufactured and associated with the shoes in any convenient and/or know manner. By way of example, the indicia (13), (14) can be embedded within the material of the shoes using any convenient and/or known method or can be removably attached using any convenient and/or known manner, such as with a detachable fastener. The indicia (13), (14) can also be imprinted on any kind of removable or non-removable label, including by way of example a self-adhesive label, and attached to the heal or any other area of the shoe using any convenient and/or known method. Further, the embodiment shown in FIG. 2 illustrates only one alternative of indicia. The images of the indicia can vary widely in shape, color, size, and design and, by way of example, can include any animal, human, creature, cartoon figure, shape, form, sign, representation, icon, mark, emblem, or any other picture, drawing, sketch, symbol, device or customizable contrivance that indicates a direction.

FIG. 3 depicts an alternate embodiment of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, external indicia are associated with a pair of properly oriented shoes. The pair of shoes consists of a left shoe (17) and a right shoe (18) which are similar to the shoes (1), (2) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. The first indicium (21) is on the toe portion (19) of the left shoe (17). The image of the first indicium (21) is similar to the image of the first indicium (11) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. The second indicium (22) is on the toe portion (20) of the right shoe (18). The image of the second indicium (22) is similar to the image of the second indicium (12) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. As shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 3 the indicia (21), (22) are substantially collinearly contradictory because the shoes are properly oriented.

In alternate embodiments, the indicia (21), (22) can be manufactured and associated with the shoes in any convenient and/or know manner. By way of example, the indicia (21), (22) can be embedded within the material of the shoes using any convenient and/or known method or can be removably attached using any convenient and/or known manner, such as with a detachable fastener. The indicia (21), (22) can also be imprinted on any kind of removable or non-removable label, including by way of example a self-adhesive label, and attached to the toe or any other portion of the shoe using any convenient and/or known method.

FIG. 4 depicts a pair of incorrectly oriented shoes having external indicia associated therewith. The pair consists of a left shoe (23) and a right shoe (24) which are similar to the shoes (1), (2) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. As shown in the embodiment shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the first indicium (27) is on the toe portion (25) of the left shoe (23) and is similar to the image of the first indicium (11) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. The second indicium (28) is on the toe portion (26) of the right shoe (24) and is similar to the image of the second indicium (12) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. As show in the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the indicia (27), (28) are not substantially collinearly contradictory. Accordingly, because the indicia (27), (28) are not looking at each other, a child would know that the shoes are not properly oriented.

FIG. 5 depicts a pair of correctly oriented gloves having indicia associated therewith. The pair of gloves is an article of wearing apparel comprising a left glove (29) for the left hand and a right glove (30) for the right hand. The left glove (29) includes a hand portion (31) and a finger portion (32). The left glove (29) contains an opening (33) for which the left hand is inserted. The right glove (30) also includes a hand portion (34) and a finger portion (35). The right glove contains an opening (36) for which the right hand is inserted. The first indicium (37) is on top of the left glove (29). The first indicium (37) is similar to the image of the first indicium (15) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 2. The second indicium (38) is on top of the right glove (30). The second indicium (38) is similar to the image of the second indicium (16) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 2. A child would recognize that the pair of gloves depicted in the embodiment shown in FIG. 5 is properly oriented because the first indicium (36) and the second indicium (37) are substantially collinearly contradictory.

In alternate embodiments, the indicia (36), (37) can be manufactured and associated with the gloves or other article of wearing apparel in any convenient and/or know manner. By way of example, the indicia (36), (37) can be embedded within the material of the gloves or garment using any convenient and/or known method or can be removably attached using any convenient and/or known manner, such as with a detachable fastener. The indicia (36), (37) can also be imprinted on any kind of removable or non-removable label, including by way of example a self-adhesive label, and attached to any portion of the gloves or garment using any convenient and/or known method.

FIG. 6 depicts an alternate embodiment of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. The embodiment shown in FIG. 6 depicts a pair of shoes having external indicia associated with the back portion. The embodiment shown in FIG. 6 depicts an alternate location where external indicia can be associated in order to assist in proper shoe orientation. The embodiment shown in FIG. 6 also depicts an alternate pair of shoes. The pair of shoes as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 comprises a left shoe (39) and a right shoe (40). As shown, the left shoe (39) includes an upper toe portion (41) which is mounted on a sole (43). The left shoe has laces (42) which are used to tighten the shoe. The shoe contains an opening (44) through which the left foot is inserted to put on the shoe. The shoe includes a back portion (49) on which the first indicium (50) is associated. The image of the first indicium (50) is similar to the image of the first indicium (11) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. Similarly, the right shoe (40) includes an upper toe portion (45) which is mounted on a sole (47). The right shoe has laces (46) which are used to tighten the shoe. The right shoe contains an opening (48) for receiving the right foot. The shoe includes a back portion (51) on which the second indicium (52) is associated. The image of the second indicium (52) is similar to the image of the second indicium (12) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. A child would know that the shoes as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 are properly oriented because the left indicium and the right indicium are substantially collinearly contradictory.

In alternate embodiments, the pair of shoes can be constructed or formed in any convenient and/or known manner using any convenient and/or known components and/or materials. In addition, the indicia (50), (52) can be manufactured and associated with the shoes in any convenient and/or know manner. By way of example, the indicia (50), (52) can be embedded within the material of the shoes using any convenient and/or known method or can be removably attached using any convenient and/or known manner, such as with a detachable fastener. The indicia (50), (52) can also be imprinted on any kind of removable or non-removable label, including by way of example a self-adhesive label, and attached to the back portion or any other area of the shoe using any convenient and/or known method.

Additionally the images depicting the indicia can vary widely and by way of example, can include any animal, human, creature, cartoon figure, shape, form, sign, representation, icon, mark, emblem, or any other picture, drawing, sketch, design, symbol, device or customizable contrivance that indicates a direction. For example, in an alternate embodiment, the image depicting an indicium can be a picture of a child to whom the shoes or garment belong. Utilizing a child's picture to depict an indicium not only aids in orientation but also causes the shoes or garment to be uniquely identifiable. In addition, an indicium can be depicted by a combination of multiple images. For example, if a child's picture fails to indicate a direction, a symbol that does indicate a direction can be used in conjunction with the child's picture to depict an indicium. Furthermore, in alternate embodiments, the indicia can have additional identifying information associated with it. For example, the indicia can include an address, telephone number, social security number, identification number, and/or any other identifying information.

FIG. 7 depicts a sheet containing three sets of indicia. As shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 7 the first indicium (53) is an image of a dog facing the right direction. The image of the first indicium (53) is similar to the image of the first indicium (11) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. The first indicium (53) would be associated with the left shoe or left section of a garment. The second indicium (54) is an image of a dog facing the left direction. The image of the second indicium (54) is similar to the image of the second indicium (12) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. The second indicium would be associated with the right shoe or right section of a garment. The third indicium (55) is an image of a fish facing the right direction. The image of the third indicium (55) is similar to the image of the first indicium (15) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 2. The third indicium (53) would be associated with the left shoe or left section of a garment. The fourth indicium (56) is an image of a fish facing the left direction. The image of the fourth indicium (56) is similar to the image of the second indicium (16) as shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 2. The fourth indicium would be associated with the right shoe or right section of a garment. The fifth indicium (57) is an image of a duck facing the right direction. The fifth indicium (57) would be associated with the left shoe or left section of a garment. The sixth indicium (58) is an image of a duck facing the left direction. The sixth indicium (58) would be associated with the right shoe or right section of a garment. As shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, the indicia (53), (54), (55), (56), (57), (58) can be imprinted on any kind of removable or non-removable label, including by way of example a self-adhesive label, and attached to any area of a shoe or garment using any convenient and/or known method.

In alternate embodiments, the indicia (53), (54), (55), (56), (57), (58) can be manufactured in any convenient and/or known manner. By way of example, the indicia (53), (54), (55), (56), (57), (58) can be manufactured in any or no color, size, having any number of indicia per sheet, with any convenient and/or known material using any convenient and/or known method. Further, the indicia (53), (54), (55), (56), (57), (58) can be imprinted on any kind of removable or non-removable label, including by way of example a self-adhesive label. The images of the indicia can also vary widely and by way of example, can include any animal, human, creature, cartoon figure, shape, form, sign, representation, icon, mark, emblem, or any other picture, drawing, sketch, design, symbol, device or customizable contrivance that indicates a direction.

FIG. 8 depicts an alternate embodiment of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. The embodiment shown in FIG. 8 is a pair of properly oriented shoes with internal indicia. The pair consists of a left shoe (59) and a right shoe (60) which are similar to the shoes (1), (2) shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. The embodiment shown in FIG. 8 is intended to illustrate an example of a symbol that can be used to depict an indicium. The first indicium (61) is an image of an arrow visibly indicating the right direction. The second indicium (62) is an image of an arrow visibly indicating the left direction. As shown in the embodiment shown in FIG. 8, the shoes are properly oriented and the indicia (61), (62) are substantially collinearly contradictory.

In alternate embodiments, the indicia (61), (62) can be manufactured and associated with the shoes in any convenient and/or know manner. By way of example, the indicia (61), (62) can be embedded within the material of the shoes using any convenient and/or known method or can be removably attached using any convenient and/or known manner, such as with a detachable fastener. The indicia (61), (62) can also be imprinted on any kind of removable or non-removable label, including by way of example a self-adhesive label, and attached to the heal or any other area of the shoe using any convenient and/or known method. Further, the embodiment shown in FIG. 8 illustrates only one alternative of indicia. The images depicting the indicia can vary widely in shape, color, size, and design and, by way of example, can include any animal, human, creature, cartoon figure, shape, form, sign, representation, icon, mark, emblem, or any other picture, drawing, sketch, design, symbol, device or customizable contrivance that indicates a direction.

There are various changes and modifications that can be made as would be apparent to those skilled in the art. It is intended that the invention be limited only by the scope of the claims appended hereto.