Title:
Combination seat cushion and cheering aid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The specification discloses a combination cheering aid and seat cushion, comprising a substantially planar seating member formed of a flexibly resilient and flexibly compressible material, the seating member including opposite upper and lower surfaces, opposite first and second lateral portions, and opposite front and rear portions, and complementary fastening elements. The seating member is characterized by a first configuration adapted for use as a seat cushion, wherein the seating member is in the substantially planar condition thereof, and a second configuration adapted for use as a cheering aid, wherein the opposite first and second lateral portions are removably connected by the complementary fastening elements to thereby define a tubular configuration of the seating member characterized by an interior passageway communicating opposing first and second openings defined by the front and rear portions, respectively.



Inventors:
Martin, Mark (Flushing, MI, US)
Application Number:
10/926211
Publication Date:
03/02/2006
Filing Date:
08/25/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CONLEY, FREDRICK C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Christopher A. Mitchell (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:
The invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed is defined as follows:

1. A combination cheering aid and seat cushion, comprising: A substantially planar seating member formed of a flexibly resilient and flexibly compressible material, the seating member including opposite upper and lower surfaces, opposite first and second lateral portions, and opposite front and rear portions, and complementary fastening elements; and The seating member characterized by a first configuration adapted for use as a seat cushion, wherein the seating member is in the substantially planar condition thereof, and a second configuration adapted for use as a cheering aid, wherein the opposite first and second lateral portions are removably connected by the complementary fastening elements to thereby define a generally tubular configuration of the seating member characterized by an interior passageway communicating opposing first and second openings defined by the front and rear portions, respectively.

2. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 1, further comprising a handle provided on the seating member.

3. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 2, wherein the handle is provided proximate at least one of the first and second lateral portions.

4. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 3, wherein the handle is formed integrally with the seating member and extends outwardly away from one or the other of the first and second lateral portions thereof.

5. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 1, wherein the seating member is characterized by a generally trapezoidal shape in which the first and second lateral portions define the non-parallel sides of the trapezoid and wherein, in the second configuration of the seating member, the seating member defines a frusto-conical shape in which the opposing first and second openings defined by the front and rear portions, respectively, have different diameters.

6. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 1, further comprising indicia on at least one of the opposite upper and lower surfaces thereof.

7. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 1, further comprising indicia on both of the opposite upper and lower surfaces thereof.

8. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 1, wherein the complementary fastening elements are provided on each of the upper and lower surfaces of the seating member.

9. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 8, wherein the complementary fastening elements comprise hook and loop type fasteners.

10. A combination cheering aid and seat cushion, comprising: A substantially planar seating member formed of a flexibly resilient foam material, the seating member having opposite upper and lower surfaces, opposite first and second lateral portions, and opposite front and rear portions, and complementary fastening elements provided on each of the first and second lateral portions; and The seating member characterized by a first configuration adapted for use as a seat cushion, wherein the seating member is in the substantially planar condition thereof, and a second configuration adapted for use as a cheering aid, wherein the opposite first and second lateral portions are removably connected by the complementary fastening elements to thereby define a tubular configuration of the seating member characterized by an interior passageway communicating opposing first and second openings defined by the front and rear portions, respectively.

11. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 10, wherein the complementary fastening elements are provided on each of the upper and lower surfaces of the seating member.

12. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 11, wherein the complementary fastening elements comprise hook and loop type fasteners.

13. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 10, further comprising a handle provided on the seating member.

14. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 13, wherein the handle is provided proximate at least one of the first and second lateral portions.

15. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 14, wherein the handle is formed integrally with the seating member and extends outwardly from one or the other of the first and second lateral portions thereof.

16. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 10, wherein the seating member is characterized by a generally trapezoidal shape in which the first and second lateral portions define the non-parallel sides of the trapezoid and wherein, in the tubular configuration of the seating member, the seating member defines a frusto-conical shape in which the opposing first and second openings defined by the front and rear portions, respectively, have different diameters.

17. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 10, further comprising indicia on at least one of the opposite upper and lower surfaces thereof.

18. The combination cheering aid and seat cushion of claim 10, further comprising indicia on both of the opposite upper and lower surfaces thereof.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention pertains generally to seat cushions, such as may be employed by persons to render a hard seating surface, including, for example, a stadium bench, more comfortable, and more particularly to such seat cushions which are selectively convertible to a generally tubular configuration for employment as a cheering aid.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Public venues for sporting events and the like are frequently characterized by hard and uncomfortable seating surfaces, and it has thus become commonplace for spectators to employ portable seat cushions, for instance such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,572,758, issued to Merritt.

It is likewise known, particularly in the context of public sporting events, to employ cheering aids such as megaphones, placards, and the like in support of one's team, player, etc.

Unfortunately, it is cumbersome for an individual to transport numerous objects, including for instance, cheering aids, seat cushions, foods, cameras, etc., into and out of a public venue. It would thus be desirable to provide means for facilitating the transportation by an individual of two or more of such objects into and out of a public venue.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The present invention addresses and solves the foregoing problems, and encompasses other features and advantages, by providing a combination cheering aid and seat cushion. According to one embodiment thereof, the inventive combination cheering aid and seat cushion comprises a substantially planar seating member formed of a flexibly resilient and flexibly compressible material, the seating member including opposite upper and lower surfaces, opposite first and second lateral portions, and opposite front and rear portions, and complementary fastening elements. The seating member is characterized by a first configuration adapted for use as a seat cushion, wherein the seating member is in the substantially planar condition thereof, and a second configuration adapted for use as a cheering aid, wherein the opposite first and second lateral portions are removably connected by the complementary fastening elements to thereby define a generally tubular configuration of the seating member characterized by an interior passageway communicating opposing first and second openings defined by the front and rear portions, respectively.

The flexibly resilient and flexibly compressible material of the seating member may, according to one feature hereof, comprise a foam material, such as open-cell or closed-cell foam.

Per another feature hereof, the seating member further comprises a handle provided proximate at least one of the first and second lateral portions. The handle may be formed integrally with the seating member and extends outwardly from one or the other of the first and second lateral portions thereof.

According to a further feature of the present invention, the seating member is characterized by a generally trapezoidal shape in which the first and second lateral portions define the non-parallel sides of the trapezoid and wherein, in the tubular configuration of the seating member, the seating member defines a frusto-conical shape in which the opposing first and second openings defined by the front and rear portions, respectively, have different diameters.

Indicia may, per another feature of this invention, be provided on one and/or both of the opposite upper and lower surfaces of the seating member.

According to yet another feature, the complementary fastening elements are provided on each of the first and second lateral portions. The complementary fastening elements may further be provided on each of the upper and lower surfaces of the seating member. And, according to one embodiment of this invention, the complementary fastening elements may comprise hook and loop type fasteners.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reference to the following written description and drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 comprises a top-down elevation of the seating member of the invention, shown in a first configuration thereof;

FIG. 2 comprises a quartering perspective view of the seating member of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 comprises a quartering perspective depicting the seating member in the second, generally tubular configuration thereof, in which the same is adapted for employment as a cheering aid;

FIG. 4 comprises an end-view of the seating member as shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 comprises a detailed cross-section of the seating member of FIG. 4, depicting the complementary fastening elements according to one embodiment thereof; and

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate employment of the present invention according to the dual utilities thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings, wherein like numerals indicate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, the present invention will be seen to most generally comprise a combination cheering aid and seat cushion. Referring specifically to FIGS. 1 and 2, the said invention more particularly comprises a seating member 10 characterized by substantially planar dimensions; that is, the seating member, though characterized by a thickness T, is generally flat in cross-section. The seating member 10 includes opposite upper 11 and lower 12 surfaces, opposite first 13 and second 14 lateral portions, and opposite front 15 and rear 16 portions.

According to the illustrated embodiment, the seating member 10 is characterized by a generally trapezoidal shape in which the first 13 and second 14 lateral portions define the non-parallel sides of the trapezoid. As will be appreciated with continuing reference to this disclosure, such a trapezoidal shape provides the seat member 10, when configured as a cheering aid, with a frusto-conical shape particularly suited to employment of the cheering aid as a megaphone. Of course, other shapes may also be adopted for the seating member 10.

The seating member 10 is formed of a flexibly resilient and flexibly compressible material suitable for employment as a seat cushion. Such materials include, without limitation, known and commercially available closed-cell and open-cell polymer foams.

Complementary fastening elements are provided whereby the first 13 and second 14 lateral portions may be removably connected in order to configure the seating element 10 as a cheering aid, all as described further herein. Such complementary fastening elements may take any of numerous forms, including, as depicted in the illustrated embodiment, complementary strips 17 and 18 of hook-and-loop type fastening material. Alternatively, by way of non-limiting example, the complementary fastening elements may comprise complementary rivet-type snaps. By way of further example, the complementary fastening elements may comprise one or more tabs formed integrally with the seating member 10, such tabs being removably received in correspondingly dimensioned slots likewise formed in the seating member 10. Such means are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,517,665, issued to Hochstein, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. Such complementary fastening elements as described may be secured to the seating member 10 according to known means, as best suited to the complementary fastening elements selected.

Further to the illustrated embodiment, the complementary fastening elements 17, 18 are provided on the opposite upper 11 and lower 12 surfaces and on each of the first 13 and second 14 lateral portions proximate the lateral edges of the seating member 10. Such an arrangement permits the lateral portions 13, 14 to be disposed in lapped relation in the second, generally tubular configuration of the seating member 10, all as explained further herein. Of course, alternative disposition of the complementary fastening elements are contemplated by this invention, including, by way of non-limiting example, along the opposite lateral edges of the seating member 10, by which arrangement the lateral edges would be abuttingly connected in the tubular configuration of the seat member.

As shown, the seating member 10 may optionally be provided with indicia 19 on one or both of the opposite upper 11 and lower 12 surfaces thereof. Such indicia may take any desired form, including, for instance, logos or other identifiers for a given athletic team or personality. The disposition of the indicia 19 is preferably, though not exclusively, such that the same is visible when the seating member 10 is in both of the seat cushion and cheering aid configurations thereof. And, according to a further embodiment, not shown, the indicia 19 are oriented such that a user can grasp the seating member 10 proximate the rear 16 portion thereof and display the planar seating member 10 as a placard. The desired indicia may be applied by conventional means, including, for example, printing.

In addition, it is contemplated that the seating member 10 be coated with a liquid impermeable coating to prevent damage to the underlying material of the seating member 10 in the event of contact with water, a spilled beverage, etc.

To aid in a user's transporting the seating member 10, and further in manipulating and grasping the same in the cheering aid configuration thereof, the seating member 10 may optionally be provided with one or more handles 20. In the illustrated embodiment, a single handle 20 is provided proximate to and extending outwardly from the first 13 lateral portion, according to which arrangement the handle 20 is accessible to a user in the cheering aid configuration of the seating member 10. However, alternate positioning of the handle 20 is certainly contemplated. Likewise, while the handle 20 is shown to be formed integrally with the seating member 20, it is envisioned that the handle 20 may be formed separately and thereafter connected to the seating member 10. Moreover, the handle 20 may define one of the complementary fastening elements of the present invention, according to the disclosure of U.S. Pat. No. 2,517,665.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 through 5, the seating member is characterized by a second configuration adapted for use as a cheering aid, wherein the opposite first 13 and second 14 lateral portions are removably connected in lapped relationship by the complementary fastening elements, e.g., 17, 18 (FIG. 5) to thereby define a generally tubular configuration of the seating member 10 characterized by an interior passageway 21 communicating opposing first 22 and second 23 openings defined by the front 15 and rear 16 portions, respectively. According to the illustrated embodiment, in which the seating member 10 is characterized by a generally trapezoidal shape in the planar configuration thereof (FIG. 1), the seating element 10 in the tubular configuration thereof (FIGS. 3 and 4) defines a frusto-conical shape wherein the opposing first 22 and second 23 openings are of different diameters. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that such a configuration is particularly well suited for employment as a megaphone.

In exemplary operation, depicted in FIGS. 6 and 7, the seating member 10 may be easily transported by a user U to a desired public venue, such as a stadium, and positioned atop the seating surface 30 to provide a comfortable seat cushion (FIG. 6). As desired, and especially when the user U is in a standing position (FIG. 7), the user U may convert the seating member 10 from the planar to the tubular configuration thereof in the manner heretofore described, and thereafter employ the seating member 10 as a cheering aid. Subsequently, the user U can readily convert the seating member 10 back to the planar configuration thereof for further employment as a seat cushion.

It will be appreciated from the foregoing that the present invention thus provides, in a single, easily transportable form, both a seating cushion and a cheering aid, thus addressing the problems associated with a user's having to transport multiple objects to and from a public venue such as an athletic stadium or arena.

Of course, the foregoing disclosure is exemplary of the invention only, and is not intended to be limiting thereof: Other modifications, alterations, and variations thereof, within the level of ordinary skill in the art, are certainly possible, with the benefit of this disclosure, without departing from the spirit and broader aspects of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.