Title:
Sporting caps
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for constructing headwear improves upon the design and therefore the marketability of current headwear by fabricating components of headwear from materials which are the same as or substantially similar to those materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods and equipment.



Inventors:
Wakefield, Roger B. (Sasche, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/327774
Publication Date:
08/24/2006
Filing Date:
01/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/00
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Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
HADEN, SALLY CLINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael A. O'Neil (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:
1. An article of headwear comprising: a circular band having a base; a bill attached to the base of the circular band and having a top surface, a rigid center deck, and a bottom surface; and at least one surface of the bill comprising a material selected from the group consisting of materials identical to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods and materials substantially similar to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods.

2. The headwear of claim 1 wherein the surface of the bill comprises a material used in the manufacture of the outer surface of a football.

3. The headwear of claim 1 wherein the surface of the bill comprises a material used in the manufacture of the outer surface of a baseball.

4. The headwear of claim 1 wherein the surface of the bill comprises a material used in the manufacture of the outer surface of a basketball.

5. The headwear of claim 1 wherein the surface of the bill comprises a material used in the manufacture of the outer surface of a golf ball.

6. The headwear of claim 1 wherein the surface of the bill comprises a material simulating the material used in the manufacture of the outer surface of a race car tire.

7. An article of headwear comprising: a plurality of panels sewn together to form a dome-shaped crown; a bill attached to the base of the crown and having a top surface, a rigid center deck, and a bottom surface; and at least one of the panels of the crown comprising a material selected from the group consisting of materials identical to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods and materials substantially similar to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods.

8. The headwear of claim 7 wherein the panel of the crown comprises a material used in the manufacture of the outer surface of a football.

9. The headwear of claim 7 wherein the panel of the crown comprises a material used in the manufacture of the outer surface of a baseball.

10. The headwear of claim 7 wherein the panel of the crown comprises a material used in the manufacture of the outer surface of a basketball.

11. The headwear of claim 7 wherein the panel of the crown comprises a material used in the manufacture of the outer surface of a golf ball.

12. The headwear of claim 7 wherein the panel of the crown comprises a material simulating the material used in the manufacture of the outer surface of a race car tire.

13. The headwear of claim 7 wherein at least one surface of the bill comprises a material selected from the group consisting of materials identical to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods and materials substantially similar to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods.

14. A method for constructing headwear of the type having a crown and bill having a top surface, a rigid center deck, and a bottom surface secured to the base of the crown comprising: providing a plurality of panels each having opposed edges; securing the plurality of panels together at the edges thereof to form a crown having a base; providing a bill having top and bottom surfaces; securing the bill to the base of the crown; selecting a material from the group consisting of materials identical to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods and materials substantially similar to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods; and fabricating a surface of the bill from the selected material.

15. The method for constructing headwear according to claim 14 further comprising fabricating the bottom surface of the bill from a material selected from the group consisting of materials identical to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods and materials substantially similar to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods.

16. The method for constructing headwear according to claim 15 wherein at least one of the plurality of panels is fabricated from a material selected from the group consisting of materials identical to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods and materials substantially similar to materials used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part application of application Ser. No. 11/062,985 filed Feb. 22, 2005, currently pending, the entire content of which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates generally to headwear, and more particularly to a method for constructing baseball-style caps from materials which are the same as or substantially similar to those used in manufacture of the outer surfaces of sporting goods such as footballs, baseballs, basketballs, golf balls, etc.; sporting equipment such as NASCAR® (professional race car) tires, etc. in the fabrication of the bill and/or other components of the headwear.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

As is well known, sports memorabilia is an enormous industry worldwide. Fans of particular sporting activities, teams, or players often want to feel as though they themselves are participating in a sporting event. Fans will often have a ball or other piece of equipment on hand when they are watching a sporting event in order to better experience the environment of the sport. Additionally fans often purchase souvenirs that are constructed and fabricated substantially similarly to the equipment and apparel used in the sport; for example, authentic jerseys are available for purchase with either the team name and/or a particular athlete's name thereon.

Headwear such as baseball-style caps, visors, etc. are among the most popular souvenirs and memorabilia sold and worn worldwide. Traditional sporting caps are primarily constructed from a variety of textiles including cotton, polyester, wool, and various other fabrics. The bill of the cap is generally constructed using a rigid material covered by a fabric. Heretofore headwear including one or more components constructed from components of sporting equipment have not been available.

The present invention comprises an improvement over the design and construction of traditional sporting headwear. In accordance with the broader aspects of the invention, components of sporting headwear are constructed from materials that are the same as or substantially similar to materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of equipment used in the play or operation of the sport. The result is headwear having components that replicate the appearance of a particular sporting good or piece of sporting equipment.

In accordance with more specific aspects of the invention, a sporting cap representing a particular sport, team, or league has the bill constructed from the materials that are the same as or substantially similar to the materials used to construct a sporting good or an essential piece of equipment used in the represented sport. In addition to or alternative to the bill, panels of the cap may be constructed from materials that are the same as or substantially similar to those materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of equipment used in the play or operation of the sport. For example, a cap representing a NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE® (professional football) team may have the bill and/or panels of the cap constructed from the same leather material used in the manufacture of footballs used in the play of the game. Alternatively a cap representing auto racing or a particular race driver may have the bill and/or panels of the cap constructed from a material representative of the rubber used in the fabrication of the tires used on race cars.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

A more complete understanding of the present invention may be had by reference to the following Detailed Description when taken in connection with the accompanying Drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a sporting cap of the present invention having the bill fabricated from materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a football;

FIG. 2 is a view of the inside of the cap shown in FIG. 1 illustrating the bottom side of the bill fabricated from materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a football;

FIG. 3 is view similar to FIG. 1 showing an alternative construction of a sporting cap wherein the laces of a football are positioned transversely across the top side of the bill;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 showing another alternative construction of a sporting cap wherein still other components of the cap are fabricated from materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a football;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 showing another alternative construction of a sporting cap wherein yet other components of the cap are fabricated from materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a football;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 1 wherein the bill of the cap is fabricated from materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a baseball;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 1 wherein the bill of the cap is fabricated from materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a basketball;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 1 wherein the bill of the cap is fabricated from materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a golf ball;

FIG. 9 is a view showing an alternative embodiment of the cap shown in FIG. 8; and

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 1 wherein the bill of the cap is fabricated from materials representative of those used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a NASCAR® (race car) tire.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to the Drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1 thereof, there is shown a cap 10 constructed in accordance with the method of the present invention. The cap is constructed by sewing a plurality of panels 12 together to form a dome-shaped crown 14. Attached at the base of the crown 14 is a bill 16 which protrudes substantially perpendicular therefrom. The panels 12 are fabricated from textile materials such as cotton, wool, polyester, and other suitable materials known to those skilled in the art for use in the manufacture of sportswear and apparel. The bill 16 comprises a top surface 18, a center deck 20, and a bottom surface 22. The top surface 18 is fabricated from a leather or leather-like material that is the same as or substantially similar to the materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a football. Sewn into the center of the top surface 18 are laces 24 simulating the lacing down the center of a football. The center deck 20 may be formed from any rigid material such as plastic, cardboard, and other suitable materials known to those skilled in the art for use in the manufacture of athletic caps and the like.

The bottom surface 22 may be fabricated from a textile material such as cotton, wool, polyester, and other suitable materials known to those skilled in the art for use in the manufacture of sportswear and apparel. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 2, the bottom surface 22 may be fabricated from a leather or leather-like material that is the same as or substantially similar to the material used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a football and includes laces 24 identical to those sewn into the top surface 18. As will be understood the cap 10 may have a bill 16 wherein either the top surface 18, the bottom surface 22, or both are fabricated using a material that is the same as or substantially similar to those materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a piece of sporting equipment such as a football.

FIG. 3 illustrates the cap 10 similarly to FIG. 1 except having the top surface 18 of the bill 16 fabricated from a leather or leather-like material that is the same as or substantially similar to the material used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a football with laces 24 sewn thereinto transversely across the bill 16.

FIG. 4 illustrates the cap 10 having only the panel 12 located directly above the bill 16 fabricated from a leather or leather-like material that is the same as or substantially similar to the material used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a football.

FIG. 5 illustrates the cap 10 having the panel 12 located directly above the bill 16 and the two panels 12 adjacent thereto fabricated from a leather or leather-like material that is the same as or substantially similar to the material used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a football.

FIGS. 6 through 10 illustrate the cap 10 having the top surface 18 fabricated from materials which are the same as or substantially similar to those used to fabricate the outer surface of equipment used in other sporting activities. FIG. 6 illustrates the cap 10 with a top surface 18 fabricated from a leather or leather-like material that is the same as or substantially similar to those materials that are used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a baseball. Stitches 30 are sewn into the top surface 18 in a pattern simulating the stitching on a baseball.

FIG. 7 illustrates the cap 10 having the top surface fabricated from a synthetic rubber, a rubber-like material, or leather that is the same as or substantially similar to the materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of a basketball. Indentions 32 are formed into the material to simulate the appearance of a basketball.

FIG. 8 illustrates the cap 10 having the top surface 18 fabricated from the one of the various synthetic materials that are the same as or substantially similar to those used in the manufacture of the cover of golf balls such as urethane elastomer, surelyn, and other suitable materials used in the manufacture of the cover of a golf ball. The particular material selected depends on the type of ball the purchaser prefers, or the material can be the same as the ball used by a preferred professional golfer.

FIG. 9 illustrates a cap 40 comprising a second embodiment of the invention. Many of the component parts of the cap 40 are substantially identical in construction and function to component parts of the cap 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 8 and described hereinabove in conjunction therewith. Such identical component parts are designated in FIG. 9 with the same reference numerals utilized above in the description of the cap 10, but are differentiated therefrom by means of a prime (′) designation.

Instead of a crown, the cap 40 comprises one panel formed into a circular band 42 instead of a crown. The front of the band 42 is taller in height than the remaining circumference thereof. The band 42 may be a full circle, or may have a connector 43 between the ends of the band to facilitate a better fit to varying sizes of human heads. The connector 43 may be fabricated from an elastic material or another pliable material known to those skilled in the art as suitable for sizing baseball style caps.

The bill 16′ is attached at the front of the band 42 and protrudes substantially perpendicularly therefrom. The top surface 18′ is fabricated from one of the various synthetic material that are the same as or substantially similar to those used in the manufacture of the cover of golf balls such as urethane elastomer, surelyn, and other suitable materials used in the manufacture of the cover of a golf ball. The material used could vary depending on the type of ball the purchaser prefers, or the material could be the same as the ball used by a preferred professional golfer.

FIG. 10 illustrates the cap 10 having the top surface 18 fabricated from a rubber material that simulates the rubber materials used in the manufacture of the outer surfaces of race car tires. The top surface 18 is formed with treads 44 to simulate the appearance of a race car tire.

The present invention has been illustrated in the form of baseball-style caps and sun visors, however the method is equally applicable to other forms of headwear. Although preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated in the accompanying Drawings and described in the foregoing Detailed Description, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiments disclosed, but is capable of numerous rearrangements, modifications, and substitutions of parts and elements without departing from the spirit of the invention.