Title:
METHOD OF ENCOURAGING SOCIAL INTERACTION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of encouraging social interaction comprising an article of clothing that incorporates interchangeable name tags that are applied using a removable fastening means.



Inventors:
Gubrud, Jay (Roseville, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/379505
Publication Date:
12/14/2006
Filing Date:
04/20/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44C3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DAVIS, CASSANDRA HOPE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DICKE, BILLIG & CZAJA (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A method of encouraging social interaction comprising: providing an article of clothing having at least one corporate identification portion; selecting a first tag based upon a first predetermined activity, wherein the first tag comprises a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface, the first surface comprising a detachable fastening element and the second surface comprising user-specific information that is associated with the first predetermined activity; and reversibly securing the first tag to an exterior surface of the article of clothing by contacting the detachable fastening element of the tag with a surface of the article of clothing.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the information on the first tag comprises user-specific information selected from the group consisting of company names, logos, trademarks, employee names, nicknames, project names, employment titles, and combinations thereof.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the article of clothing further comprises at least one corporate identification portion selected from the group consisting of trademarks, logos or slogans and combinations thereof.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein the article of clothing comprises a shirt.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the article of clothing comprises a corresponding detachable fastening element.

6. The method of claim 1 further comprising removing the first tag and selecting a second tag based upon a second predetermined activity, wherein the second tag comprises a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface, the first surface comprising a detachable fastening element and the second surface comprising information that is different from the information on the first tag.

7. The method of claim 6 further comprising reversibly securing the second tag to an exterior surface of the article of clothing.

8. The method of claim 6 wherein the information on the second tag comprises a second alias name.

9. The method of claim 1 wherein the first predetermined activity is selected from the group consisting of company meetings, company retreats, company team building activities and combinations thereof.

10. The method of claim 1 wherein the information on the first tag comprises a first alias name.

11. The method of claim 1 wherein the first predetermined activity comprises a social event.

12. The method of claim 14 wherein the social event comprises attending a bar or nightclub.

13. A method of social interaction comprising: attending a social event wearing article of clothing comprising a first tag reversibly secured to the article of clothing, the first tag comprising a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface, the first surface comprising a detachable element and the second surface comprising a first alias name.

14. The method of claim 1 wherein the article of clothing comprises a shirt.

15. The method of claim 13 further comprising removing the first tag at the social event and reversibly securing a second tag to the article of clothing, the second tag comprising a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface, the first surface comprising a detachable fastening element and the second surface comprising a second alias name.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/673,684, entitled “Method Of Encouraging Social Interaction,” filed on Apr. 20, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to mechanisms used to identify people. More particularly, the invention relates to clothing incorporating interchangeable name tags.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Corporations, businesses, associations and other large institutions have historically attempted to enable their employees and members to think creatively and innovatively, to be able to communicate ideas, accept change and have good team skills. In the past consultants have used different forms and exercises to enhance these attributes. These exercises have typically either been psychological or sociological encounter sessions, or game-like activities employing a physical challenge component.

In corporate and association situations, it is a common practice to provide the attendees with labels, which are pinned or pasted onto the attendee's clothing. The paste-type of label tends to leave an undesirable residue. In the event that attendees want to leave the encounter, the pasted label is can not always be removed since its removal destroys its capability to be used again when the attendee returns to the event.

In the case of a pinned label holder, the mere insertion and removal of the pin causes minute damage to the cloth, which becomes greatly aggregated through repeated use. In some fabrics, such as silk, the use of a pinned label is totally unacceptable as even a single use damages the delicate material.

Further, the pin on the label has a sharp end, which often pricks the wearer, which can cause a drop of blood to stain or damage fine clothing.

It is clear that there is a need for an efficient mechanism to secure and release name tags from a user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention solves many of the described deficiencies and drawbacks inherent with conventional nametags. In particular, the present invention is an article of clothing that incorporates interchangeable name tags that are applied using detachable fasteners such as Velcro. This technique allows people to express themselves in a variety of ways depending on their frame of mind.

It is an object of the invention to encourage team building activities. For example, departments and companies can use the shirts with their logo on the back and the name tags can be used for several purposes. The invention can support various group initiatives or company agendas. In another embodiment, the invention can be used to indicate a role that someone has on a particular project or initiative. In yet another embodiment, the invention can be used to indicate a nickname for a team member.

It is another object of the invention to provide an incentive for employees to attain a goal or objective. Users of the invention can customize the clothing to their own configuration. For example, the name tag, color, size and design can be modified to suit a particular purpose.

In yet another embodiment, the invention can be used at camp for both adults and children. The name tag on the clothing can designate a group or cabin the wearer is affiliated with.

The invention is designed to encourage social interaction. People encountering the wearer will typically inquire what the shit is about. They may also ask where they can obtain one. The invention may become a status symbol, or emulate a particular style or “fad.” People may also react to the name on the tag, which encourages the wearer to express a different aspect of themselves. The wearer is given an opportunity to express more about who they are or who they are not.

In a further object of the invention, the invention is designed to build camaraderie among people who wear the clothing. For example, owners of a certain brand of vehicle tend to bond by wearing a customized piece of clothing advertising the logo of that particular manufacturer.

In yet another aspect of the invention, the invention can be used to promote a company, people, products or events. The name tags can be made to match a particular promotion. For example, products or company logos can be applied to the back of the clothing and the name tags can be coordinated for a particular company, person, product, or event. Furthermore, shirts can be connected with various events like NASCAR, Harley Davidson, the PGA, etc. Because the name tags are interchangeable, fans can support multiple entities.

In summary, the invention is designed to encourage social interaction, allow a wearer to express an alias or alter ego, and allow a wearer to express themselves.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of the clothing in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a back view of the clothing in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

While the invention is amenable to various modifications and alternative forms, specifics thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and will be described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the intention is not to limit the invention to the particular embodiments described. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference to FIG. 1, the article of clothing 10 is shown. The article includes a name tag 12 disposed on the front surface 14 of the clothing 10. In FIG. 1, the clothing 10 includes a t-shirt, although a variety of clothing including, but not necessarily limited to sweatshirts, jackets, pants, shorts, socks, hats, and armbands may be used while remaining within the scope of the invention.

In a preferred embodiment, a piece of Velcro fabric is attached to the surface 14 of clothing 10. A mating piece of Velcro fabric is attached to name tag 12. Tag 12 includes an identifier 18. Identifier 18 can be a symbol, name, or logo. This configuration enables the name tag to be removably attached to the clothing 10.

Name tag 12 is shown in a rectangular configuration. However, name tag 12 may include a variety of shapes including, but not necessarily limited to square, circular, triangular, polygonal, or irregular shaped while remaining within the scope of the invention.

With reference to FIG. 2, the article of clothing 10 is shown. The article includes a name tag 12 disposed on the back surface 16 of the clothing 10. In FIG. 2, the clothing 10 includes a t-shirt, although a variety of clothing including, but not necessarily limited to sweatshirts, jackets, pants, shorts, socks, hats, and armbands may be used while remaining within the scope of the invention.

In a preferred embodiment, a piece of Velcro fabric is attached to the back surface 16 of clothing 10. A mating piece of Velcro fabric is attached to name tag 12. This configuration enables the name tag to be removably attached to the clothing 10.

In another embodiment, the name tag 12 may be secured to clothing 10 using a removable adhesive, or fastening means.

Although the invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, workers of ordinary skill will recognize that changes can be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.