Title:
Pregnancy symbol
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A symbol that communicates the “yes, I am pregnant” message to observers. The symbol abstractly displays a silhouette like representation of a pregnant woman and includes a head portion, a chest portion and a torso portion. Optionally, the symbol may also include a smaller silhouette like representation of a fetus within the mother's womb situated in the torso portion of the symbol. The symbol can be incorporated into items of jewelry, integrated into items of apparel, or otherwise displayed on the body or proximity of an expecting mother.



Inventors:
Dunikoski, Linda J. (Decatur, GA, US)
Enders, Stephany (Atlanta, GA, US)
Application Number:
10/961931
Publication Date:
04/13/2006
Filing Date:
10/08/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REESE, DAVID C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SMITH TEMPEL BLAHA LLC (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus to be worn by an expecting mother, the apparatus conveying a message to observers indicating that the expecting mother is pregnant, the apparatus comprising: an upper portion representing the silhouette of the expecting mother's head; a middle portion integrally connected with the upper portion, the middle portion representing the silhouette of the expecting mother's breast; and a lower portion integrally connected with the middle portion, the lower portion representing the silhouette of the expecting mother's torso; wherein the apparatus graphically illustrates the silhouette of an expecting mother thereby communicating the message, when worn by an expecting mother, that the expecting mother is pregnant.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a fastening means that is operative to attach the apparatus to a piece of apparel in a removable manner.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a loop fixedly attached to the upper portion, wherein the apparatus can be worn on a necklace.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of upper portions, middle portions and lower portions, interconnected end to end to create a bracelet.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a first interior portion, the first interior portion being integrally connected to the lower portion and representing the silhouette of a fetus's head; and a second interior portion, the second interior portion being integrally connected to the first interior portion an representing the silhouette of the fetus's torso.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, further comprising a fastening means that is operative to attach the apparatus to a piece of apparel in a removable manner.

7. The apparatus of claim 5, further comprising a loop fixedly attached to the upper portion, wherein the apparatus can be worn on a necklace.

8. The apparatus of claim 5, further comprising a plurality of substantially identical apparatuses interconnected end to end to create a bracelet.

10. A symbol that can be attached to an item of apparel, the symbol conveying a message to observers indicating that the expecting mother is pregnant, the symbol comprising: an upper portion representing the silhouette of the expecting mother's head; a middle portion integrally connected with the upper portion, the middle portion representing the silhouette of the expecting mother's breast; and a lower portion integrally connected with the middle portion, the lower portion representing the silhouette of the expecting mother's torso; wherein the combined upper portion, middle portion and lower portion graphically illustrate the silhouette of an expecting mother thereby communicating the message, when born by an expecting mother, that the expecting mother is pregnant.

11. The symbol of claim 10, further comprising: a first interior portion, the first interior portion being integrally connected to the lower portion and representing the silhouette of a fetus's head; and a second interior portion, the second interior portion being integrally connected to the first interior portion an representing the silhouette of the fetus's torso.

12. The symbol of claim 11, wherein the symbol is embroidered onto an item of apparel.

13. The symbol of claim 11, wherein the symbol is silk screened onto an item of apparel.

14. The symbol of claim 11, wherein the symbol is integrated into an item of apparel.

15. A symbol that can be attached to an item of apparel, the symbol conveying a message to observers indicating that the expecting mother is pregnant, the symbol comprising: an upper portion representing the silhouette of the expecting mother's head; a middle portion proximate to the bottom of the upper portion, the middle portion representing the silhouette of the expecting mother's breast; and a lower portion substantially arc shaped and proximate to the bottom of the middle portion, the lower portion representing the silhouette of the expecting mother's torso; a first interior portion proximate to the interior of the arc of the lower portion and representing the silhouette of a fetus's head; and a second interior portion proximate to the interior of the arc of the lower portion and the bottom of the first interior portion and representing the silhouette of the fetus's torso.

16. The symbol of claim 15, wherein the symbol is embodied in a pendant and includes a fastening means for removable attachment of the apparatus to an item of apparel.

17. The symbol of claim 15, wherein the symbol is embodied in a pendant and includes a loop fixedly attached to the upper portion, wherein the apparatus can be worn on a necklace.

18. The symbol of claim 15, further comprising a plurality of the symbols embodied in links to a necklace.

19. The symbol of claim 15, further comprising a plurality of the symbols embodied in links to a bracelet.

20. The symbol of claim 15, further comprising a plurality of the symbols embodied in links to a anklet.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISK APPENDIX

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed towards symbols and items of jewelry that communicate information and, more particularly towards items of jewelry that indicate the pregnancy status of parties that wear the jewelry.

One of the most amazing miracles of life is the ability to create new life. The miracle is keenly evident in the faces of young mothers and fathers upon first discovering that they are pregnant and that the weeks, months and even sometimes years worth of temperature monitoring, vitamin popping, scheduling and wearing of boxer shorts have paid off! The pregnancy test reads positive. It is also evident in the tears of joy that the expecting mothers and fathers shed during their first visit to the doctor when, through the sonogram technology, they get to see the miracle of life that is growing within, as they stare excitedly at the sonogram display to watch the little hands and feet waving around. And the miracle is also evident on the proud faces of the future mothers and fathers as they break the news to their family and friends, one by one.

But for anyone that has been through this process, you are quite cognizant of the fact that these early feelings of elation, although not forgotten, are soon accompanied by a sundry of discomforts. If you are lucky, you have morning sickness. If you are not so fortunate, you have morning sickness 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for what seems like an eternity. Oh, but this is just the beginning. Along with such symptoms, the expecting mother experiences iincreased frequency in trips to the bathroom, a wardrobe that becomes unusable, swelling ankles, midnight cravings for very odd food selections, emotional outbursts and inopportune burping. Yet, if the mother is confronted with the woes of her pregnancy, they are always quick to proclaim they would not trade it for a minute in exchange for the wonderful miracle that is growing within.

Have you ever been walking through the mall, a grocery store, a Target store or some other public location and run into an old friend you have not seen in quite awhile. As you approach each other you may notice your long lost friend looks a little heavier than you remembered her. However, it does not look like the typical Moon Pie and RC Cola weight gain, and you suspect that she may be pregnant. Then comes that awkward moment right after you gleefully exclaim “you're pregnant aren't you!?” and your friend uncomfortable replies “no, I am not, why?”. The reverse situation also occurs frequently. In this situation you refuse to ask if your friend is pregnant so she finally just blurts it out “well, can't you see I'm pregnant?”. If you are fast on your feet you simply reply “of course I can, congratulations”. However, if you are not fast on your feet, this can also create an uncomfortable situation.

Thus, there is a need in the art for a solution that can let everyone know that a person is an expecting mother and thus, alleviate such uncomfortable situations. Prior attempts to address this need in the art have included the use of messages on shirts such as “I'm not fat I'm pregnant” or “Baby On Board”. However, the use of messages on apparel is not a viable solution to this need in the art in that if the expecting mother is going to work, church or some other place that is not suitable for such attire, then the message is not delivered. Thus, there is a need in the art for a solution to convey the “I'm pregnant” message in a manner that is classy, appropriate for a multitude of situations and can be apparel independent. The present invention provides a novel and unique solution to this need in the art.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a solution to the above-mentioned needs in the art by providing a symbol that is used to communicate the “yes, I am pregnant” message to observers. The symbol can be incorporated into items of jewelry, integrated into items of apparel, or otherwise displayed on the body or proximity of an expecting mother.

More specifically, the present invention includes a symbol that abstractly displays a silhouette like representation of a pregnant woman. In one embodiment of the invention, the symbol includes a head portion, a chest portion and a torso portion. In another embodiment of the present invention the symbol further includes a smaller silhouette like representation of a fetus within the mother's womb and is situated in the torso portion of the symbol. Advantageously, the symbol, when worn by an expecting mother, readily communicates to observers that the bearer is with child.

The present invention can be incorporated into a variety of embodiments including a pendant or brooch that can be worn on items of clothing, a necklace, a bracelet, an anklet, a hat pin, a hair pin, a temporary tattoo, embroidery, cross-stitching, silk screening, woven into fabric, or a variety of other embodiments. Other aspects and embodiments of the present invention are further described in the following description, figures and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is an illustration of one environment suitable for embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a drawing illustrating one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a three dimensional view of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 2, embodied in a pin or brooch.

FIG. 4 is a drawing illustrating an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed towards a symbol that can be incorporated into various embodiments and used to convey a message “I'm pregnant”. Thus, by wearing the symbol in any form, such as a pendant, necklace, patch, etc., the “I'm pregnant” message is clearly communicated to others. Advantageously, the present invention can eliminate awkward social situations and can be worn by an expecting mother at all times.

Now turning to the drawings in which like numerals and references refer to like elements throughout the several views, various aspects and embodiments of the present invention are described.

FIG. 1 is an illustration of one environment suitable for embodiments of the present invention. An expecting mother 100 is shown as wearing an item of apparel 104. One embodiment of the invention is shown as being attached to the item of apparel 104 in the form of a pin, pendent or brooch 108. As illustrated, the expecting mother 100 is wearing the pin 108 in such a manner that an observer can easily ascertain that the expecting mother 100 is pregnant.

FIG. 2 is a drawing illustrating one embodiment of the present invention. This embodiment of the present invention includes three portions, an upper portion, a middle portion and a lower portion. The upper portion 112 is an arc that is almost a full circle. The upper portion 112 represents the silhouette of a person's head. In the illustrated embodiment, the left side of the upper portion 112 represents the face of the person's head and the right side of the upper portion 112 represents the back of the person's head. The middle portion 116 begins near the bottom of the upper portion 112 and arcs away from the upper portion 112 in a generally downward and forward direction representing the upper portion of the person's chest and then arching in a generally downward and backward direction representing the person's breast. As illustrated, the middle portion 116 is attached to the right side of the upper portion 112, however, the middle portion 116 could alternatively be attached to the left side of upper portion 116 or, the upper portion 112 could be a complete circle or ellipse and the middle portion 116 could simply be attached to a lower portion of the upper portion 112. In addition, it is not necessary that the middle portion 116 and the upper portion 112 be physically connected. They may simply be in proximal relationship to each other or may be fixedly attached to a support structure which operates to maintain the proximal relationship.

The lower portion 120 begins near the lower end of the generally downward and backward oriented portion of the arc of the middle portion 116 and arcs away from the middle portion 116 in a generally downward and forward direction for a first portion, then continues in a generally downward and backward direction for a second portion, then continues in a generally upward and backward direction for a third portion and then continuing in a generally upward and forward direction for a fourth portion. The lower portion 120 generally represents the silhouette of a person's torso in an impregnated condition.

It should be appreciated that the illustrated embodiment is an abstract silhouette of an expecting mother. Although the upper, middle and lower portions are illustrated as being connected, the various portions could also be unconnected and proximate to each other. In addition, rather than being oriented in a generally left facing direction, the abstract silhouette may also appear as a mirrored image and oriented in a generally right facing direction.

FIG. 3 is a three dimensional view of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 2, embodied in a pin or brooch. The silhouetted shape 142 includes a pin 143 that extends from the top of the upper portion 112 to the bottom of the lower portion 120. The pin 143 is pivotally connected at the top of the upper portion 112 utilizing structure 144, as is well known in the art. Alternatively, the pin can be fixedly attached to the top of the upper portion 112 through techniques such as soldering, welding, braising or other techniques well known in the art.

A latch 148 is fixedly attached to the bottom of the lower portion 120 and is operable to receive the lower portion of the pin 143 and latch the pin 143 in place. It will be appreciated that the illustrated embodiment is provided only as an example and the present invention anticipates many other embodiments as well. For instance, one or more posts can be secured to various locations on the back side of the silhouetted shape 142 and extending substantially perpendicular to the face of the back side of the silhouetted shape 142. Similar to the mechanisms used to secure pierced earrings or military insignias, the posts can be forced to penetrate an item of apparel and then clasps or locks can be applied to the posts to secure the silhouetted shape 142 to the item of apparel. Another embodiment would include fixedly attaching a clip to the back side of the silhouetted shape, similar to the clip used to secure name badges or identification tags to a shirt pocket or uniform. The clip generally includes two portions that are connected in a hinge like manner with a springing forcing the clip into a closed position. When pressure is applied to one end of the clip, the clip is forced into an open position. While in the open position, the clip can be slid onto a piece of apparel. Once the pressure is removed from the clip, the clip will return to the closed position thereby securing the clip, and any items attached thereto, to the apparel. It will be appreciated that many other alternative means for attaching the silhouetted shape 142 to an item of apparel are also anticipated and the techniques presented herein are simply for illustrative purposes and do not limit the invention in any way.

FIG. 4 is a drawing illustrating an alternate embodiment of the present invention. This embodiment of the present invention includes five portions, an upper portion, a middle portion, a lower portion, a first interior portion and a second interior portion. In general, this embodiment of the present invention illustrates the silhouette of an expecting mother and illustrates the silhouette of the fetus within the expecting mother. The upper portion 124 is an arc that is almost a full circle. The upper portion 124 represents the silhouette of a person's head. In the illustrated embodiment, the left side of the upper portion 124 represents the face of the person's head and the right side of the upper portion 124 represents the back of the person's head. The middle portion 128 begins near the bottom of the upper portion 124 and arcs away from the upper portion 124 in a generally downward and forward direction representing the upper portion of the person's chest and then arching in a generally downward and backward direction representing the person's breast. The lower portion 132 begins near the lower end of the generally downward and backward oriented portion of the arc of the middle portion 128 and arcs away from the middle portion 128 in a generally downward and forward direction for a first portion, then continues in a generally downward and backward direction for a second portion and then continuing in a generally upward and backward direction for a third portion, and then in a generally forward and upward direction for a fourth portion. The lower portion 132 generally represents the silhouette of a person's torso in an impregnated condition.

The first interior portion 136 generally represents the silhouette of the fetus's head within the expecting mother's womb. The first interior portion 136 begins near the fourth portion of the lower portion 132 and is generally shaped as an open circle. The second interior portion 140 begins near the lower front oriented end of the first interior portion 136 and arcs in a generally downward and forward direction and then changes to a generally downward and backward direction. The first and second interior portion generally represents the shape of a fetus in the expecting mother's womb.

It should be appreciated that the illustrated embodiment is an abstract silhouette of an expecting mother and fetus. Although the upper, middle, lower, first interior and second interior portions are illustrated as being connected, the various portions could also be unconnected and proximate to each other. In addition, rather than being oriented in a generally left facing direction, the abstract silhouette may also appear as a mirrored image and oriented in a generally right facing direction.

In FIGS. 2-4, the symbol is illustrated as being three-dimensional, however, it will be appreciated that the overall configuration of the shape can be generally flat, or two-dimensional, can be constructed of bent piping or rod that has a uniform thickness or can include various thicknesses as is illustrated in the figures.

The symbol can be attached to apparel as has been illustrated and described, or the symbol can be incorporated into other embodiments. Some of these embodiments are being described for illustrative purposes and, although the presented examples in and of themselves may represent inventive embodiments or inventive aspects, the examples are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

In one embodiment, the symbol can include a loop attached to the top of the upper portion and that is suitable for receiving chains of various thicknesses. In another embodiment, the symbol can be integrated into an item of apparel or a patch such as through embroidering, needlepoint, silk screening or the like. In addition, the symbol can be attached to the body through the use of a temporary tattoo. The symbol may also be embodied in a laminated pin similar to the pins used for politician campaigns.

Overall, the present invention includes abstract shapes that generally represent the silhouette of an expecting mother. Although the illustrated symbols are generally silhouette oriented, aspects of the symbol may be modified to be more of a frontal view or the entire symbol could be modified to be substantially frontal views.

The present invention has been described using detailed descriptions of embodiments thereof that are provided by way of example and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. The described embodiments comprise different features, not all of which are required in all embodiments of the invention. Some embodiments of the present invention utilize only some of the features or possible combinations of the features. Variations of embodiments of the present invention that are described and embodiments of the present invention comprising different combinations of features noted in the described embodiments will occur to persons of the art.