Title:
Device for carrying mobile telephone & method of use
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A mobile telephone carrying device is capable of being detachably secured to a user's foot.



Inventors:
Masi, Paul (Westlake Village, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/910099
Publication Date:
02/09/2006
Filing Date:
08/03/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/930, 224/267
International Classes:
A45C13/30; A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
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20050077330Child slingApril, 2005Fernandez
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20040226973One-hand-holding aid for tablet personal computerNovember, 2004Kao
20070138217Cup carrierJune, 2007Hranilovich
20090127307MAT FOR CHANGING DIAPERMay, 2009Austwick et al.



Primary Examiner:
LARSON, JUSTIN MATTHEW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CONNORS ASSOCIATESpc (SEAL BEACH, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A device for carrying a mobile telephone comprising a strap element adapted to be wrapped around one foot of a user and secured thereto, and a pocket member connected to the strap element and adapted to receive the mobile telephone.

2. The device of claim 1 where the strap element has a left side section and a right side section and includes a fastener system for detachably connecting the left and right side sections.

3. The device of claim 2 where the fastener system includes a, hook and fabric two-component connector.

4. The device of claim 2 where a connection section joins the left side section and right side section together.

5. The device of claim 4 where the left side section and right side section each have a substantially Y-shaped configuration with a tail member, said connection section joining said tail members together.

6. The device of claim 2 where the left side section and right side section are substantially symmetrical about a centerline.

7. The device of claim 1 where the strap element has a length from 11 to 14 inch and a width from 12 to 15 inch.

8. The device of claim 1 where the pocket member has an open entry end, said open entry end, with the strap element wrapped around and secured to one foot of a user, being oriented towards the user to enable the user to insert and remove the mobile telephone.

9. The device of claim 8 where the pocket member is on an outer side of the one foot of the user.

10. The device of claim 9 where the pocket member has a flexible cover member that is manually moveable between an open position uncovering the entry end and a closed position covering the entry end, said cover member including a connector system for securing said cover member in the closed position until opened.

11. A device for carrying a mobile telephone comprising a strap element adapted to be wrapped around one foot of a user and secured thereto, and a pocket member connected to the strap element and adapted to receive the mobile telephone, said strap element including a left side section and a right side section, each side section having a heel segment and a foot top segment and each segment having an outer free end and an inner end, said inner ends merging together at a connection section that joins the left side section and right side section together, the heel segments of the left and right side sections each having at or near the outer free end one component of a two-component connector, and the foot top segments of the left and right side sections each having at or near the outer free end one component of a two-component connector.

12. The device of claim 11 where the two-component connectors are hook and fabric connectors.

13. The device of claim 11 where the heel segment and foot top segment of each side section form an angle with respect to each other from 110 to 130 degrees.

14. The device of claim 11 where the connection section has a length from 5 to 7 inches and a width from 0.5 to 1.5 inches.

15. The device of claim 11 where the connection section has an intermediate portion disposed between opposed outer portions, said intermediate portion having a width that is less than the outer portions, and the outer portions have a maximum width of 3.0 inch and the intermediate portion has a maximum width of 1.5 inch.

16. The device of claim 11 where the left side section and right side section are substantially symmetrical about a centerline.

17. The device of claim 11 where the strap element has a length from 11 to 14 inch and a width from 12 to 15 inch.

18. The device of claim 11 where the pocket member has an open entry end, said open entry end, with the strap element wrapped around and secured to one foot of a user, being oriented towards the user to enable the user to insert and remove the mobile telephone.

19. The device of claim 18 where the pocket member is on an outer side of the one foot of the user.

20. The device of claim 19 where the pocket member has a flexible cover member that is manually moveable between an open position uncovering the entry end and a closed position covering the entry end, said cover member including a connector system for securing said cover member in the closed position until opened.

21. The device of claim 20 where the cover member has a cut-a-way section to enable an antenna of the telephone to extend outward from the pocket.

22. A device for carrying a mobile telephone comprising a pocket member attached to a strap element made of a flexible fabric and adapted to be wrapped around one foot of a user, said pocket member having an open entry end adapted to receive the telephone, said strap element including a left side section and a right side section, each section having a heel segment and top foot segment with one component of a two-component connector thereon to enable the heel segments to be connected together and the top foot segments to be connected together, said pocket member being located in a position on the strap element to be on an outer side of the one foot of a user with said open entry end being oriented to enable the user to insert and remove the telephone when the strap element is wrapped around said one foot of the user.

23. The device of claim 22 where the pocket member has a flexible cover member that is manually moveable between an open position uncovering the entry end and a closed position covering the entry end, said cover member having a cut-a-way section to enable an antenna of the telephone to extend outward from the pocket and a connector system for securing said cover member in the closed position until opened.

24. A method of carrying a mobile telephone comprising the steps of (a) providing a device having a pocket member adapted to receive the mobile telephone and connected thereto a strap element adapted to be wrapped around one foot of a user, (b) wrapping the strap element around the one foot of the user, and (c) securing the strap element with the pocket member on a side of the one foot of the user.

25. The method of claim 24 where the pocket member is on an outer side of the foot and the telephone is inserted into the pocket member prior to securing the strap element.

26. The method of claim 24 where the pocket member is on an outer side of the foot and the telephone is inserted into the pocket member after securing the strap element.

27. The method of claim 24 where the strap element has a left side section and a right side section and includes a fastener system that detachably connects the left and right side sections, said sections being connected by the fastener system after wrapping the strap element around the one foot of the user.

28. The method of claim 27 where a connection member joins the left side section and right side section together, and with the strap element in an unfolded condition, said connection member being first positioned underneath a lower arch of the one foot of the user and then folding the left and right side sections inward over a top arch of said one foot and fastening said sections to secure the device to said one foot.

29. The method of claim 27 where the left side section and right side section are substantially symmetrical about a centerline.

30. The method of claim 24 where, with the strap element wrapped around and secured to one foot of a user, the pocket member has an open entry end that is oriented to enable the user to insert and remove the telephone.

31. The method of claim 30 where the pocket member has a flexible cover member that is manually moveable between an open position uncovering the entry end and a closed position covering the entry end, said cover member having a cut-a-way section to enable an antenna of the telephone to extend outward from the pocket and a connector system for securing said cover member in the closed position until opened.

32. A mobile telephone holding device comprising a strap that is capable of being secured about a user's foot, and a closeable pocket capable of holding a mobile telephone that is coupled to said strap, said strap comprises a pair of arms connected by a bridge section to form a substantially ‘H’ shaped strap configuration, each arm having opposed first and second outer ends, the first outer ends of each arm including one component of a first two component connector, and the second outer ends of each arm including one component of a second two component connector.

33. The device of claim 32 where the device has an overall length from 11 to 14 inch and an overall width from 12 to 15 inch, and the bridge section has a length from 5 to 7 inches and a width from 0.5 to 1.5 inches.

34. The device of claim 32 where the arms are bowed outward away from each other to form a pair of concaved structures having backsides facing each other.

35. A mobile telephone holding device comprising strap means for securing the device about a user's foot, said strap means having opposed ends, pocket means coupled to said strap means for holding a mobile telephone, and fastener means for connecting said opposed ends together, said fastener means including one connector component attached to one of the opposed ends, and another connector component attached to the other of the opposed ends, said connector components adapted to be detachably connected together.

36. The device of claim 35 including cover means for covering and uncovering an entry end of the pocket means.

Description:

DEFINITIONS

The words “comprising,” “having,” “containing,” and “including,” and other forms thereof, are intended to be equivalent in meaning and be open ended in that an item or items following any one of these words is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of such item or items, or meant to be limited to only the listed item or items.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

A mobile telephone may be carried by placing it in a pocket of a user's clothing. Alternately, a mobile telephone holding device may be secured about the user's waist by attaching it to either the user's belt or pants. This requires the holding device to either have a loop through which a belt can be passed or a clip that can be attached to the user's waistline. This means the user has to either be wearing a belt or be wearing pants with a waistband that can support the additional weight of the mobile telephone. The problem with this is that if the user is involved in athletic activities, such as walking or otherwise exercising, he or she will typically be wearing pants with an elastic waistband that will not be tight enough to support the weight of a phone attached to the pants.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

This invention has one or more features as discussed subsequently herein. After reading the following section entitled “DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ONE EMBODIMENT OF THIS INVENTION,” one will understand how the features of this invention provide its benefits. These benefits include, but are not limited to: (a) providing a portable device that has the ability to secure a mobile telephone about a user's foot, (b) the ability to mount the device at an alternative location other than the user's waist, (c) the ability to secure a mobile telephone on his or her person without having an unsightly bulge along his or her waist, (d) the ability to carry a mobile telephone on a user's person without having the discomfort of having the weight or bulk of a mobile telephone on his or her waist.

Without limiting the scope of this invention as expressed by the claims that follow, some, but not necessarily all, of its features are:

One, the device of this invention includes a strap element adapted to be wrapped around one foot of a user and secured thereto, and a pocket member connected to the strap element and especially adapted to receive the mobile telephone. This pocket may also be used to hold other items such as, for example, keys, folded bills (money), credit cards, etc. A fastener system may be provided for detachably connecting sections of the strap element together. This fastener system may be a two-component connector with one component connected to one section and another component connected to another section.

Two, the strap element may have a left side section and a right side section and may have connection section joining the left side section and right side section together. The left side section and right side section may each have a substantially Y-shaped configuration with a tail member, and the connection section may join the tail members together. The connection section may have an intermediate portion disposed between opposed outer portions. The intermediate portion may have a width that is less than the outer portions, and the outer portions may have a maximum width of about 3.0 inch and the intermediate portion has a maximum width of about 1.5 inch and a minimum width of about 0.5 inch.

Three, the left side section and right side section may be substantially symmetrical about a centerline, and when connected by a connection section, may have a substantially H shaped configuration. Each side section may have a heel segment and a foot top segment and each segment may have an outer free end and an inner end. The inner ends may merge together at a connection section that joins the side sections together. The heel segments may each have at or near the outer free end one component of a two-component connector, and the foot top segments of the side sections may each have at or near the outer free end one component of a two-component connector.

Four, the pocket member may be on an outer side of the one foot of the user and may have an open entry end. This open entry end, with the strap element wrapped around and secured to one foot of a user, may be oriented towards the user to enable the user to insert and remove the mobile telephone. The pocket member may have a flexible cover member that is manually moveable between an open position uncovering the entry end and a closed position covering the entry end. The said cover member may include a connector system for securing the cover member in the closed position until opened and may have a cut-a-way section to enable an antenna of the telephone to extend outward from the pocket.

These features are not listed in any rank order nor is this list intended to be exhaustive.

This invention also includes a method of carrying a mobile telephone using the device of this invention. The steps of this method include wrapping the strap element of the device around one foot of the user, and securing the strap element with the pocket member on one side of the user's foot. The strap element may be secured to the foot either prior to or after inserting the telephone into the pocket member.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

One embodiment of this invention, illustrating all its features, will now be discussed in detail. This embodiment depicts the novel and non-obvious mobile telephone carrying device and method of this invention as shown in the accompanying drawing, which is for illustrative purposes only. This drawing includes the following figures (FIGS.), with like numerals indicating like parts:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the mobile telephone carrying device of this invention secured to the user's foot with the telephone inserted into the device;

FIG. 1A is a cross-sectional view taken along line 1A-1A of FIG. 1;

FIG. 1B is a perspective view showing the telephone being inserted into the mobile telephone carrying device of this invention secured to the user's foot;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the mobile telephone carrying device of this invention in an unfolded condition showing its front side;

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the mobile telephone carrying device of this invention in an unfolded condition showing its backside;

FIGS. 4 through 8 illustrate the mobile telephone carrying device being attached to the user's foot in accordance with the method of this invention where:

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the mobile telephone carrying device of this invention positioned underneath the shoe prior to securing any of the device's straps;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the mobile telephone carrying device of this invention with a first strap placed around the heel of the user's foot;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the mobile telephone carrying device of this invention with a second strap placed around the heel of the user's foot and secured to the first strap;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of the mobile telephone carrying device of this invention with a third strap placed across the top of the user's foot; and

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the mobile telephone carrying device of this invention with a forth strap placed across the top of the user's foot and secured to the third strap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ONE EMBODIMENT OF THIS INVENTION

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 3, one embodiment of this invention is a mobile telephone carrying device 10 adapted to be detachably secured to one foot of a user. In accordance with the method of this invention as illustrated in FIGS. 4 through 8, the device 10 is attached to a user's foot 50 by a body member 2 that is wrapped the foot with a mobile telephone 46 (FIG. 1A) inserted into a pocket 24 of the device either before or after the device is attached to the user's foot. FIG. 1 shows the mobile telephone 46 in the pocket 24 and the device 10 attached to the user's foot. FIG. 1B shows the device 10 attached to the user's foot and its cover 28 open with the mobile telephone 46 being inserted into the pocket 24. The body member 2 and pocket 24 may be made of the same or different material. For example they may each be made from a suitable flexible sheet material such as nylon, cotton, a plastic, or any other durable fabric material.

As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the mobile telephone carrying device 10 includes a flexible body member 2 having a substantially H-shaped with a front side 2a (FIG. 2) and a backside 2b (FIG. 3). The pocket member 24 is fixedly attached to, or integral with, the body member 2. For example, the pocket member 24 may be sewn, stapled, glued, or otherwise fastened to, or formed as an integral structure with, the body member 2. The pocket 24 may be positioned to be closer to either the left side or right side of the device 10; in either case the pocket 24 is attached to the front side 2a. In the embodiment depicted, the pocket 24 is positioned closest to the right side of the device 10 as viewed in FIG. 2 and worn on the right foot of the user as shown in FIG. 1. The position of the pocket 24 depends, however, on the individual preference of the user. For example, a left handed user may prefer a device which is a mirror image of the device 10 and would be suitable for attachment to the left foot of the user.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 1A, the pocket 24 has a box-like wall structure W configured to provide a cavity 24a having an open entry end 26 into which the mobile telephone 46 is inserted. The wall structure W includes an upper wall portion 24b, a lower wall portion 24c, a back wall portion 24e, a front wall portion 24f, and opposed sidewall portions 24d1 and 24d2. The back wall portion 24e is fixedly attached or integral with the body member 2. When the device 10 is secured to the user's foot 50 as shown in FIG. 1, the entry end 26 faces upward to facilitate inserting and removing the mobile telephone 46 into and out of the pocket 24. To ensure the mobile telephone 46 does not fall out of the pocket 24 accidentally, the pocket includes the cover 28. The cover 28 may be integral with, or otherwise attached to, the wall portion 24b. The dimensions of the cavity 24a are approximately the same as the dimensions of the mobile telephone 46 to be inserted therein; however, the cover 28 is sufficiently long to adjust the cavity's lengthwise dimension for mobile telephones of different lengths.

The cover 28 may be made of a flexible material, enabling it to be folded over to cover the entry end 26. In the embodiment depicted, the cover 28 is a flap of additional material identical to the material used to make pocket 24, and it extends from an edge 26a (FIG. 1A) of the wall portion 24b and has a free end 28a that points downward away from the top 50a of the foot 50 as shown in FIG. 1 when covering the entry end 26. As shown in FIG. 1A, the cover 28 may be folded over the mobile telephone 46 within the cavity 24a and fastened to the front wall portion 24f of the wall structure W forming the cavity 24a. The lower wall portion 24c is nearby the sole 50b of the user's foot on the outer side 50c of the foot 50 when the device 10 is attached to the foot as shown in FIG. 1. The cover 28 can be fastened by any suitable means such as, but not limited to, a hook-and-fabric fastener, a cinch, a buckle, or buttons. FIG. 1A shows a hook-and-fabric fastener 6 being used. A suitable fastener is sold under the trademark Velcro®. This fastener 6 has a hook component 6a and a fabric component 6b that upon engagement with each other secure the cover 28 in position covering the entry end 26. The cover 28 has a cut-a-way section 28b to enable an antenna 46a of the telephone 46 to extend outward from the pocket 24 when the cover 28 is closed.

The flexible body member 2 is symmetrical about a central reference line 11 as shown in FIG. 3. As viewed in FIG. 3, this line 11 divides the mobile telephone carrying device 10 into a left side section 16 and a right side section 18. These two sections 16 and 18 are each substantially Y-shaped, and each includes a tail end 117 (FIG. 2) and a tail end 119 (FIG. 2), respectively. These tail ends 117 and 119 are joined together by a central connection member 14. The flexible body member 2 serves as a strap that is capable of being secured about a user's foot. The body member's ‘H’ shape forms a pair of arms A1 and A2 connected by a bridge section B. These arms A1 and A2 are bowed outward away from each other and may be viewed as concaved structures with their backsides facing each other. As viewed in FIG. 2, a top strap portion T1 of the arm A1 includes one component 22a and a top strap portion T2 of the arm A2 includes another component 22b (FIG. 3) of a two-component connector system 22. As viewed in FIG. 2, a bottom strap portion B1 of the arm A1 includes one component 23a and a bottom strap portion B2 of the arm A2 includes another component 23b (FIG. 3) of a two-component connector system 23. The components 22a and 23a are on the front side 2a of the body member 2, and the components 22b and 23b are on the backside 2b of the body member 2.

The fastener systems 22 and 23 may be any suitable means of connecting the top and bottom strap portions of the arms A1 and A2 together, such as, but not limited to, a hook-and-fabric fastener as discussed above, a cinch, a buckle, or buttons. The mobile telephone carrying device 10 is secured to the user's foot by joining the arms A1 and A2 together to form a pair of loops L1 and L2 (FIG. 1) respectively about the heel H and foot top FT of the foot 50. The use of the fastener systems 22 and 23 allows the mobile telephone carrying device 10 to be secured to a wide range of foot sizes and shoe styles because the loops L1 and L2 may be adjusted to vary in circumference.

The fastener system 22 and 23 depicted in this embodiment is a hook-and-fabric fastener system. The component 22a is a fabric component of the hook-and-fabric fastener system 22. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the fabric fastener component 22a covers the whole width of the top strap portion T1 and extends from the left tail end 17 inward towards the bridge section B. The component 22b is a hook component of the hook-and-fabric fastener system 22. As shown in FIG. 3, the hook component 22b covers the whole width of the top strap portion T1 and extends from the right tail end 19 inward toward the bridge section B. The component 23a is a fabric component of the hook-and-fabric fastener system 23. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the fabric fastener component 23a covers the whole width of the bottom strap portion B1 and extends from the left tail end 13 inward towards the bridge section B. The component 23b is a hook component of the hook-and-fabric fastener system 23. As shown in FIG. 3, the hook component 23b covers the whole width of the bottom strap portion B1 and extends from the right tail end 15 inward toward the bridge section B. The locations of these fabric components 22a and 23a and hook components 22b and 23b may be reversed.

As best illustrated in FIG. 2, the top strap portions T1 and T2 that create the loop L2 around the foot top FT are shorter than the bottom strap portions B1 and B2 that create the loop L1 around the heel H of the foot 50. The distance d1 between the ends 13 and 15 is greater than the distance d2 between the ends 17 and 19. The distance d3 between the ends 13 and 17 and the distance d4 between the ends 15 and 19 are substantially equal. The overall width of the device 10 is the same as the distance d1, which may range between about 12 and about 15 inches, and overall length of the device 10 is the same as the distance d3, which may range between about 11 and about 14 inches. The strap portions T1, T2, B1, and B2 may all taper outward slightly and all may have a width w1 at their inner portions from about 1.5 to about 2.5 inch and a length l1 from about 4.5 to about 5.5 inch. The bottom strap portions B1 and B2 may be from about 0.25 to about 0.75 inch longer than the top strap portions T1 and T2. The length l2 of the bridge section B is from about 5 to about 7 inch, and its width w2 from about 0.5 to about 1.5 inch. The top strap portions T1 and the bottom strap portion B1 form an angle with respect to each other from about 110 to about 130 degrees. Likewise, the top strap portions T2 and the bottom strap portion B2 form an angle with respect to each other from about 110 to about 130 degrees.

There are a few different ways in which a user may secure the device 10 to his or her foot, typically over the shoe worn by the user. One way is illustrate in FIGS. 4 through 8. The first step typically would be to place the device 10 on the ground in an unfolded state as shown in FIG. 4 with the backside 2b of the body member 2 facing the user and the user's foot 50 positioned centrally over the bridge section B substantially at a right angle to the longitudinal axis X of this section. The front side 2a is thus facing away from the user's foot 50 towards the ground. As shown in FIG. 3, the top strap portion T1 extends to the left pointing outward in the general direction of the heel H at an angle a1 with respect to the central reference line 11 and the top strap portion T2 extends to the right pointing outward in the general direction of the heel H at an angle a2 with respect to the central reference line 11. The angles a1 and a2 are substantially equal. The bottom strap portion B1 extends to the left pointing outward in the general direction of the toe T of the foot 50 at an angle b1 with respect to the central reference line 11 and the bottom strap portion B2 extends to the right pointing outward in the general direction of the toe T at an angle b2 with respect to the central reference line 11. The angles b1 and b2 are substantially equal. If the mobile telephone holding device 10 is being placed on the right foot, as depicted in FIGS. 4 through 8, the pocket member 24 is on the outside of the user's right foot 50, centrally located beneath the user's right angle AA. In an embodiment especially designed for a left handed user, such an embodiment is placed on the left foot (not shown) and then the pocket member 24 is on the outside of the user's left foot, also centrally located beneath the user's left angle.

Once the mobile telephone holding device 10 has been properly positioned as shown in FIG. 4, the user begins to fasten the arms A1 and A2 that serve as strap elements. It does not matter whether the user starts with the strap portions B1 and B2 that go over the foot top FT to form the loop L2 or the strap portions T1 and T2 around the heel H to form the loop L1. Simply as an illustration, the loop L1 is shown first being formed around the heel H of the foot 50. As shown in FIG. 5, the user begins by bringing the strap portion T1 up against the heel of the user's foot, near the top of the back of the user's shoe, or where the top of a low-top athletic shoe would be. This exposes the connector component 22a. In this embodiment the strap portion T1 is brought up first because of the laid out design of the fastening system 22. In other embodiments, an alternate fastening system may dictate that the other strap portion T2 be brought up first. The order is either dependent on the fastening system that is used or the user's own preference.

After positioning the strap portion T1 as shown in FIG. 5, the user wraps the strap portion T2 of the arm A2 around the heel H and presses its connector component 22b into engagement with the connector component 22a, fastening them together as shown in FIG. 6. The strap portions T1 and T2 are secured around the user's heel H tight enough that there is some tension applied to the two strap portions T1 and T2, but not so tight as to move the mobile telephone carrying device 10 from its position under the user's foot 50. The strap portions B1 and B2 are connected in a similar manner. First, the bottom strap portion B1 is pulled across the foot top FT, exposing the connector component 23a as shown in FIG. 7. In this case this locates the connector component 23a approximately over the tied laces of the shoe. Next the strap portion B2 is pulled across the foot top FT and the connector component 23b is attached to the exposed connector component 23a to form the loop L2 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 8. The bottom strap portion B1 is drawn across the foot top FT tight enough that the mobile telephone carrying device is securely attached to the user's foot 50. Once all the strap portions T1, T2, B1, and B2 have been properly connected, the mobile telephone carrying device 10 is then ready for the mobile telephone to be inserted, unless inserted prior to securing the device to the foot 50.

SCOPE OF THE INVENTION

The above presents a description of the best mode contemplated of carrying out the present invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains to make and use this invention. This invention is, however, susceptible to modifications and alternate constructions from that discussed above which are fully equivalent. Consequently, it is not the intention to limit this invention to the particular embodiment disclosed. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications and alternate constructions coming within the spirit and scope of the invention as generally expressed by the following claims, which particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter of the invention: