Title:
Athletic Hammock
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is a garment which has the characteristic of supporting the male genitals in a cradle created by a suspension of cloth which does not pull towards the abdomen, but rather is itself supported by anchoring points at the waistline at the maximum width of the torso. This forms a sling-like platform which functions much like a hammock stretched between two trees, and the wearer's genitals rest on the hammock. The structure necessary to support the hammock is a form-fitting athletic short, with certain modifications to support the improvement of the invention.



Inventors:
Boston, James Lloyd (Shalimar, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/164955
Publication Date:
09/14/2006
Filing Date:
12/12/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B9/02
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Primary Examiner:
SOLD, JENA A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JAMES LLOYD BOSTON (SHALIMAR, FL, US)
Claims:
1. (canceled)

2. I claim a men's active wear garment of unique design generally composed of two main elements: the chassis and the hammock.

3. Said chassis of claim 2 is a form contouring short composed of tightly fitting elastic fabric with an opening from the base of the scrotum to pubic bone.

4. Said opening of claim 3 prevents the wearer's genitals from being displaced, compressed or encumbered in any fashion.

5. Said hammock of claim 2 is composed of a fabric which resists tension in one direction.

6. Said hammock of claim 5 is attached to the chassis at either end in a generally V-shaped configuration at three main points: top points of the V outside the legs on the body centerline below the waist; the lowest point of the V at the anatomic point where the scrotum is attached to a man's body.

7. The forward edge of said hammock of claim 6 is displaced forward of the described anatomic point by its positioning across the front of each leg.

8. The forward edge of said hammock is attached to the chassis outside the legs on the body centerline below the two points described above in claim 6.

9. Said hammock forms a platform of cloth between the described anatomic point of claim 6 and the displaced forward edge of claim 7.

10. The tension resistance of the hammock cloth acts as a cable whose effective positioning is the forward edge of the hammock described in claim 7.

11. The cable of claim 10 supports said platform of claim 9.

12. Said configuration of claim 6 provides support without compressing the objects resting on the platform when the wearer is in a standing position.

13. When the wearer is in a seated position the hammock is in tension from its point of attachment on the outside of the left leg, across the top of the left leg, under the wearer's genitals, across the top of the right leg, to its point of attachment on the outside of the right leg.

14. Said configuration of claim 13 tends to prevent the wearer's genitals from displacing to their natural location between the legs when the wearer is seated.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Active wear athletic support garment for men

DISCUSSION OF THE PRIOR ART

U.S. Pat. No. 2,454,507 Flaherty 23-Nov.-1948

U.S. Pat. No. 3,035,586 Bell May-1962

U.S. Pat. No. 3,449,442 Steinmetz 10-Mar.-1970

U.S. Pat. No. 3,504,671 Nelkin 7-Apr.-1970

U.S. Pat. No. 3,517,666 Atlee 30-Jun.-70

U.S. Pat. No. 4,173,976 Bloomquist, et al. 13-Nov.-1979

U.S. Pat. No. 4,186,739 Hall, et al. 5-Feb.-1980

U.S. Pat. No. 4,453,541 Castelli, et al. 12-Jun.-1984

U.S. Pat. No. 4,660,554 Wright 28-Apr.-1987

U.S. Pat. No. 4,679,554 Markham 14-Jul.-1987

U.S. Pat. No. 4,759,355 Thrower 26-Jul.-1988

U.S. Pat. No. 4,811,427 Regan March-1989

U.S. Pat. No. 4,967,768 Tatro 6-Nov.-1990

U.S. Pat. No. 5,131,100 Atwater et al. July-1992

U.S. Pat. No. 5,136,727 Brisco. August-1992

U.S. Pat. No. 5,157,793 Michels 27-Oct.-1992

U.S. Pat. No. 5,237,706 Nalbandian August-93

U.S. Pat. No. 5,379,462 Morgan, et al. 10-Jan.-1995

U.S. Pat. No. 5,718,003 Gwinn 17-Feb.-1998

U.S. Pat. No. 5,819,323 Edenfield October-1998

U.S. Pat. No. 5,875,495 Thrower 2-Mar.-1999

U.S. Pat. No. 5,920,914 Dempsey 13-Jul.-1999

U.S. Pat. No. 6,023,789 Wilson, et al. 15-Feb.-2000

U.S. Pat. No. 6,041,441 Counts, et al. 28-Mar.-20000

U.S. Pat. No. 6,061,840 Alligator 16-May-2000

U.S. Pat. No. 6,243,880 Lyden 12-Jun.-2001

U.S. Pat. No. 6,245,036 McRoberts, et al. 12-Jun.-2001

U.S. Pat. No. 6,289,520 Page 18-Sep.-2001

U.S. Pat. No. 6,353,940 Lyden 12-Mar.-2002

Traditional athletic supporters have as their chief objective the “support” of a man's genitals by holding them tightly against the body, minimizing movement while locating them above their naturally occurring placement. U.S. Pat. No. 2,454,507 (Flaherty); U.S. Pat. No. 3,449,442 (Steinmetz); and U.S. Pat. No. 3,504,671 (Nelkin) are variations of this concept. The success of this traditional design is the rational for the invention as the former is unsuitable for extended wear. They are generally uncomfortable.

Alternatively, modern stretch fabrics have allowed for construction of form fitting garments wherein the man's genitals are enclosed in a form fitting pouch created by a stretch of this type fabric across the groin area. Though not as constricting as the traditional approach this manifestation does not provide much support. U.S. Pat. No. 4,173,976 (Bloomquist, et al.); U.S. Pat. No. 5,131,100 (Atwater et al.); U.S. Pat. No. 6,023,789 (Wilson, et al.); U.S. Pat. No. 6,041,441 (Counts, et al.) are variations embodying this concept. While seated these designs provide no support to the wearer, who after standing must indelicately reposition his genitals or rely on gravity to do the job. Gravity being impeded by the nature of the garment.

Another purpose of these types of garments is to create a method by which to install a protective cup device. This purpose is sometimes contained within one of the two aforementioned constructions. U.S. Pat. No. 4,811,427 (Regan); U.S. Pat. No. 5,819,323 (Edenfield); U.S. Pat. No. 5,920,914 (Dempsey); U.S. Pat. No. 6,041,441 (Counts, et al.) all include this approach. The very nature of a cup encroaches on the comfort of the wearer.

Others are contoured anatomically U.S. Pat. No. 6,061,840 (Alligator); or use a string or strap as a design element U.S. Pat. No. 6,245,036 (McRoberts, et al.) They differ from the invention in both regards.

Still other men's active wear claim a totally natural positioning of the genitals. U.S. Pat. No. 6,243,880 (Lyden); U.S. Pat. No. 6,289,520 (Page) include this approach. They differ from the invention in that they provide no support at all.

The inventions awarded U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,875,495 and 4,759,355 (Thrower) contain a common element in that an opening through which the genitals are placed is specified. The similarity ends as the shape of the opening differs, the nature of the brief differs, and most critically, the support offered in the cited design is different.

No other garment provides the support offered by this invention trough the use of a hammock, which lifts without crush. It provides variable, comfortable positioning of the genitals depending on the stance of the wearer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The Athletic Hammock is a garment which has the characteristic of supporting the male genitals in a cradle created by a suspension of cloth which does not pull towards the abdomen, but rather is itself supported by anchoring points at the waistline at the maximum width of the torso. This forms a sling-like platform which functions much like a hammock stretched between two trees, and the wearer's genitals rest on the hammock.

The structure necessary to support the hammock is a form-fitting athletic short of the style typically known as a trunk, compression short, or bicycle short, with certain modifications to support the improvement of the invention. The shorts' chief characteristic being they are composed of cloth which has elastic properties and are constructed so as to tightly conform to the shape of the wearer around the top of his legs and his lower waist. The design makes them less prone to twisting and thus provides a stable structure (or chassis) on which to attach the hammock element of the garment. The chief difference in their construction from the usual form being they have an opening in the front which begins at a point between the legs of the wearer just aft of the scrotum and extends up to a point adjacent to the top of the pubic bone. This opening has an inelastic reinforced basting which is sewn around its perimeter to make the size and shape of the opening constant or nearly so. Obviously, the wearer's genitals would simply hang exposed if not for the addition of the improvement (hammock) or some other modesty enhancing element.

The hammock is composed of a fabric which, though soft and comfortable, has little stretch capability in the transverse direction. The hammock piece is somewhat banana-leaf in shape. It is secured to the bottom of the opening in the chassis (adjacent to the posterior of the scrotum) with an inelastic stitch technique. From the top of each side opening the hammock is attached to the shorts on a line roughly following the natural joining of the leg and torso, to a point at the outside top of the hipbone. The width of the hammock (anterior to posterior) at its lowest point is sufficient to establish a platform. The forward edge of this platform is held approximately horizontal while the wearer stands. This is due to the hammock's non-stretch bias being oriented on line with the anchor points. The end result is that it acts as a cable in tension, supporting the platform on which the genitals rest. The placement of anchor points for this support cable below the anchor points for the posterior edge ensures the cable is held forward by the bulk of the wearer's legs. The genitals are cradled in this sling, the forward edge of which is in tension, anchored at only two points (on the body centerline below the waist). From this forward edge the hammock fabric wraps up, forming a pouch, and is secured at the elastic waistline of the chassis with a stitch technique allowing for the stretch of the waistband. Attachment at the waist-line requires darts, pleats, an asymmetrically weaved cloth, or a similar manufacturing technique to prevent undesirable bunching of the excess materiel. As the wearer raises his legs or spreads his legs the hammock assembly is pulled forward and/or up due to the anchor points moving farther apart. The inelastic bias of the hammock prevents excessive stretching, thereby ensuring the cable-like action which pulls on and displaces the platform in concert with the leg movement. By lowering the terminus of the hammock from the waist-line the effect of the action of the leg movement on the hammock can be modulated. The larger the wearer's legs the farther the forward edge of the hammock is pulled. It is by ensuring the hammock cloth is cut to such a width and anchored appropriately (meaning that the lowest point of the V-shaped line from hip-to body centerline-to hip does not fall below the bottom of the opening in the chassis), that the full realization of the hammock effect is achieved. When the wearer is seated the hammock will pass from the outside of the leg, across the top of the leg, under the genitals, back across the top of the opposite leg to its anchor point on the opposite side. This supports the genitals and prevents them from falling between the wearer's legs.

The wearer will don the garment like any other sport short/athletic supporter and adjust his genitals through the opening into the hammock. Access for bathroom breaks would be “over the top.” Alternatively the hammock could be constructed with a traditional fly allowing for necessary access.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a profile view which provides reference points useful in the description of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a front view which provides reference points useful in the description of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a top view of a cross section through the plane defined at point B (re: FIG. 3, the bottom of the torso) which provides reference points useful in the description of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a profile view showing anchor points of the hammock assembly, points E and F.

FIG. 5 is a front view illustrating the 3 front components of the trunk's chassis assembled.

FIG. 6 is a back view illustrating the 3 back components of the trunk's chassis assembled.

FIG. 7 illustrates the 3 front components of the trunk's chassis individually.

FIG. 8 illustrates the 3 back components of the trunk's chassis individually.

FIG. 9 illustrates the hammock component individually.

FIG. 10 is a front view with the hammock assembled.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In FIG. 1 point A is the forward (anterior) edge of the platform and point B is the aft (posterior) edge. Point C is the center of mass of the wearer's genitals and could fall anywhere between the range defined by vertical lines through points g and h. One can readily see that the center of mass will always fall between points A and B. Point D is the most forward point on the leg that the hammock would be extend and therefore defines the most forward position of point A. Points E and F are the anchor points for the hammock roughly on the body centerline.

In FIG. 2 one can see that points A, B, and C roughly overlap when viewed from the front. The aft edge of the hammock would be defined by the line E-B-E. The forward edge of the hammock would be defined by the line F-A-F. The line through point D defines the most forward edge of the wearer's leg.

FIG. 3 has an overhead perspective of a cross section taken at the top of the wearer's legs. Point E overlays point F of the previous figure. One can see that a line originating at point E, passing across point D through point A, proceeding back across the opposite point D to point E defines the platform between points B and A. This platform provides the chief support of the invention.

FIG. 4 depicts the two lines described in FIG. 3 with a profile perspective. The aft edge of the hammock is anchored at point E, proceeds across the front of the leg through point D and continues to point B (not depicted). The forward edge of the hammock is anchored at point F, also proceeds across the front of the leg and proceeds to point A.

In FIG. 5 one can see the three panels typically required to construct the forward part of the form fitting short, the chassis on which the hammock is anchored. The quadrilateral without a number depicts the opening through which the genitals would extend. FIG. 6 depicts the three panels typically required to construct the aft part of the form fitting chassis.

FIGS. 7 and 8 are exploded views of the panels depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6. Line a-b of panel 2 (FIG. 7) and of panel 5 (FIG. 8) are joined to form the inseam for the left leg. Line c-d of panel 2 (FIG. 7) and of panel 5 (FIG. 8) are joined to complete the tubular shape required for the left leg. In FIG. 7 line e-f-g of panels 1 and 2 are joined to form a seam for the left side, and the entire process is repeated to form the right leg. The back side of the chassis is completed by joining the line e-a of panels 4 and 5 (FIG. 8), and repeating for panels 4 and 6 for the right leg. The lines a-h on panel 4 (FIG. 8) are joined to lines a-h on panel 2 and 3 (FIG. 7).

The opening depicted in FIG. 5 is defined by the quadrilateral (formed after the panels are joined) depicted in FIG. 7 as g-h-h-g. This opening is finished with an in-elastic stitch technique in order for it to retain its dimensions. Alternatively, the opening can be finished with basting to ensure it retains its dimensions. All panels are constructed of the same material. A 44% cotton, 44% polyester, 12% Lyra® Spandex weave would work satisfactorily.

The hammock would be best constructed of a double ply of knit weave (96% cotton, 4% polyester) with a stretch bias in one direction only. FIG. 9 illustrates that the non-stretch bias would be oriented along the transverse direction E-E. The aft edge of the hammock is depicted by the line E-B-E, which corresponds to the same line depicted in FIG. 2. The hammock is anchored to the chassis along this line. The forward edge of the hammock is depicted by the line F-A-F of FIG. 9, which again corresponds to the same line depicted in FIG. 2. The hammock is attached to the chassis along a short seam from E-F on either side of the body. The line F-A-F is not attached, but rather is defined by a fold of the knit weave up towards the waistline where the hammock is joined along a line from point c to d. Attachment at the waist-line requires darts, pleats, an asymmetrically weaved cloth, or a similar manufacturing technique to prevent undesirable bunching of the excess materiel. FIGS. 9 and 10 depict a dart on the body centerline to account for excess material.

The garment is finished by the addition of an elastic waistband (not depicted). The description of the preferred embodiment is interpretive and not intended to be limiting. For instance, the relative positions of points E and F (FIGS. 1, 2 and 4) can be adjusted for the size of the wearer and to modulate the support provided. Cloth specifications can be varied significantly and the length of the garment's inseam is a matter of style. Stitching techniques (except where specified) are subject to both manufacturing requirements and style. A lower rise short can be manufactured by reducing the distance between the top of the opening depicted in FIG. 5 to the waist, and by extension the dimensions of every other panel depicted require adjustment.