Title:
EYEGLASS CLIP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An eyeglass clip comprising a beam having a tip at one end, a lever on the other end, and a mounting disk. The beam is designed to be the main structural member of the eyeglass clip and provides the clamping force which secures the eyeglass clip to a person's garment. The mounting disk is designed to attach the beam to the eyeglass temple piece. The tip is designed to focus the clamping forces at a specific point on the temple piece trapping the garment between the beam and the temple piece. The lever is designed to allow the user to activate the clamping mechanism comprising the beam and tip. Depressing the lever will allow the material of the garment to slide between the temple piece and the tip. Then releasing the lever, the material and eyeglasses are securely locked in place.



Inventors:
Woodbury, Clyde A. (Templeton, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/428665
Publication Date:
01/11/2007
Filing Date:
07/05/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090113604Attachment clip or support for a garmentMay, 2009Ells
20090260199Sanitary Clip AssemblyOctober, 2009Nashief et al.
20010025435Means for securing a device or parts thereof to flaps of a shoeOctober, 2001Bowen
20080060114NECKTIE ITEM HOLDER AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE SAMEMarch, 2008Joseph
20010013157Device to close footwear and clamp footwear to sports equipmentAugust, 2001Giancarlo
20100011542BUCKLE ASSEMBLYJanuary, 2010Badrenas Buscart
20080179365CYLINDER LOADING AND RETAINING DEVICE FOR A HARNESSJuly, 2008Hogg
20070050951Towel holdersMarch, 2007Simmons
20080034556Cord lock deviceFebruary, 2008Liao
20090038128DEVICE AND METHOD OF RAPIDLY TYING SHOELACESFebruary, 2009Cho
20050108860Child safety clipMay, 2005Crane et al.



Primary Examiner:
BRITTAIN, JAMES R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Maine Cernota & Rardin (Nashua, NH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An eyeglass clip comprising: a mounting disk, the edge of which is configured with a mounting slot for engaging a temple piece of an eyeglass frame, the mounting disk being adjustably positionable on the temple piece of the eyeglass frame; and a beam having a first end and a second end, the first end being a lever and said second end being a tip, the beam being pivotally connected to the mounting disk by a spring hinge, the beam being pivotable between an open position in which the tip spaced apart from an outer lateral surface of the temple piece and a closed position in which the tip is pressed against the outer lateral surface of the temple piece.

2. The eyeglass clip of claim 1 wherein the mounting disk is adjustably securable by a clamping screw spanning the mounting slot.

3. The eyeglass clip of claim 1 wherein the beam is integrally formed with the mounting disk.

4. The eyeglass clip of claim 1 wherein the mounting disk is plastic.

5. The eyeglass clip of claim 1 wherein the beam is made of metal.

6. The eyeglass clip of claim 12 wherein the mounting slot is configured for a press fit on the temple piece.

7. An eyeglass frame comprising: a lens frame for holding a pair of lenses, first and second temple pieces each having a front end pivotally connected to the lens frame by a hinge and a rear end; and a clip pivotally mounted on an outer lateral surface of the first temple piece, the clip being capable of gripping an item of clothing, the clip being comprised of a mounting disk and a beam, the mounting disk being slotted to engage the first temple piece of the eyeglass frame, the beam having a first end and a second end, the first end being a lever and said second end being a tip.

8. The frame of claim 7 wherein the mounting disk is adjustably mounted to the temple piece of said eyeglass frame by a clamping screw.

9. The frame of claim 7 wherein the mounting disk is plastic.

10. The frame of claim 7 wherein the beam is pivotally connected to the mounting disk by a spring hinge.

11. The frame of claim 7 wherein the beam is integrally formed with the mounting disk and the spring hinge.

12. The frame of claim 7 wherein the beam is made of metal.

13. The frame of claim 7 wherein the clip is pivotable between an open position in which the tip is spaced apart from the outer lateral surface of the first temple piece and a closed position in which the tip is pressed against the outer lateral surface of the first temple piece and is spring loaded so as to be normally in a closed position.

14. The frame of claim 7 wherein the tip is serrated.

15. A magnetic retention system for securing the temple pieces of an eyeglass frame comprising: a pair of magnetic disks mounted on each the first and second temple pieces via a mounting slot, the magnetic disks being substantially aligned when the temple pieces are in a closed position, the magnetic disks having opposite polarities, the magnetic disks being capable of gripping an item of clothing between them via the attraction of the opposite polarities to each other when the first and second temple pieces are in a closed position

16. The magnetic retention system of claim 15 wherein the magnetic disks is adjustably mounted to the temple piece of the eyeglass frame by a clamping screw.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/697,009, filed Jul. 5, 2005. This application is herein incorporated in its entirety by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to eyeglass storage systems, and more particularly, to an eyeglass clip that provides an easy and secure method for a person to store a pair of eyeglasses when they are not being used.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It can be appreciated that eyeglass storage systems have been in use for years. Typically, eyeglass storage systems are comprised of an eyeglass carry case/pouch or a tether made from a fine chain or a decorative rope.

There are drawbacks with conventional eyeglass storage systems. When using a carry case, the user must fold and store the glasses in the case before they can secure the case in a pocket or to a collar. The carry case is often bulky and does not fit well into a shirt or jacket pocket. Thus, the carry case is inconvenient and easily lost or misplaced. In the case of the tether, the glasses are not well protected while the user is engaged in everyday activities as the temple pieces of the glasses may become disengaged from the tether. This may result in the eyeglasses falling to the ground and becoming damaged.

An additional problem with conventional eyeglass storage systems is that they do not blend in with the style of the glasses. While these devices may be suitable for the particular purpose to which they address, they are not as suitable for providing an easy and secure method for storing eyeglasses on one's person when they are not being used.

Another common method for temporary storage of eyeglasses is to suspend them from one of the temple pieces of the eyeglass frame from a collar, placket or pocket of a shirt. However, this means of storage is not secure since both the temple piece and the shirt material are smooth and the glasses can easily slide out, fall to the ground, and break.

Another method for temporary storage of eyeglasses is to attach a clip to the temple piece in order to more firmly secure the eyeglasses to the garment. Various types of clips are described in the prior art. Some are molded as one piece with the temple bar or attached to the bar via a clamp or screw. Others are designed to be retrofitted to existing eyeglasses using “O” rings or elastically deformable material. Still others utilize complicated spring clips or hinges.

The disadvantages of the prior art clips is that they do not match the style of the glasses, add expense to the manufacture and assembly of the glasses, and are not strong enough to last the life of the glasses. Thus, an object of the present invention is to provide a eyeglass clip that will overcome the shortcomings of the prior art devices. In this respect, the eyeglass clip according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of providing an easy and secure method for storing eyeglasses on one's person when they are not being used.

Another object is to provide an eyeglass clip that blends in with the eyeglasses, can be easily attached to most popular sizes of eyeglasses, is to provide an eyeglass clip that is quick and easy to use, can be easily transferred to another pair of eyeglasses as needed, secures the eyeglasses to the user's shirt pocket or collar, and can be manufactured in many different colors to match the eyeglasses.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The eyeglass clip of the present invention generally comprises a beam having a tip at one end, a lever on the other end, and a mounting disk. The beam is designed to be the main structural member of the eyeglass clip and provides the clamping force which secures the eyeglass clip to a person's garment. The mounting disk is designed to attach the beam to the eyeglass temple piece. The tip is designed to focus the clamping forces at a specific point trapping the garment between the tip and the eyeglass temple piece. The lever is designed to allow the user to activate the clamping mechanism comprising the beam and tip.

In one embodiment of the present invention a single molded plastic eyeglass clip is provided along with a mounting system through a slotted disk that slips over the temple piece. The beam is connected to the mounting disk by a narrow plastic web. This web, also known as a “living hinge”, allows the beam to rotate/pivot and creates the forces with which the clip secures the eyeglasses to the user's garment. The lever and the tip are also integrated into the beam at the same time. This single component is fastened to the temple piece by the means of a small clamping screw passing from the inside to the outside.

In another embodiment, the eyeglass clip is an assembly of plastic and metal components. The mounting system is provided in the form of a plastic molded disk with a slot for the temple piece. The beam is a sheet metal stamping and has the tip and lever incorporated into it at the appropriate ends. The beam has two tabs with holes in them that extend into tab slots in the mounting disk. Once the beam and disk are positioned properly, a pin is pressed vertically through the disk, tab slots, and tabs to fasten them together. This assembled system allows the beam to rotate/pivot about the pin. The beam, in this design, also has an integral leaf spring that bears on the disk to generate the clamping forces required to secure the eyeglasses to the garment.

In both of these embodiments, the disk component of the eyeglass clip slips over the eyeglass temple piece. The user can chose which temple piece they prefer, left side or right side. The clip is then positioned along the temple piece to a point appropriate for that specific style of eyeglass frame. While the user is wearing the eyeglasses, the clip remains secured to the temple piece. When the user does not need the eyeglasses for a period of time, they will remove the eyeglasses, fold them, and then slip them into a pocket or into the collar of the garment. Pressing the lever will allow the material of the garment to slide between the temple piece and the tip. Then releasing the lever, the material and eyeglasses are securely locked in place. Since the clip is semi-permanently attached to the temple piece by way of the small clamping screw, it is relatively easy for the user to remove the device from one pair of eyeglasses and install it on a different pair as needed.

In a further embodiment, the eyeglass clip consists of a pair of magnetic disks, one mounted on each of the temple pieces of the eyeglass frame. When the frame is suspended by one of the temple pieces of the eyeglass frame, with the temple pieces folded, such as from a collar, placket or pocket of a shirt, the magnets attract each other and trap the garment between them, thus securing the frame to the material.

The features and advantages described herein are not all-inclusive and, in particular, many additional features and advantages will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art in view of the drawings, specification, and claims. Moreover, it should be noted that the language used in the specification has been principally selected for readability and instructional purposes, and not to limit the scope of the inventive subject matter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pair of eyeglasses equipped with an eyeglass clip in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an outer side perspective view of the eyeglass clip of FIG. 1 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is an inner side perspective view of the eyeglass clip of FIG. 1 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an end view of the disk portion of FIG. 1 illustrating the mounting slot and clamping screw by which the eyeglass frame is secured to the temple piece.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a pair of eyeglasses equipped with an eyeglass clip in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a cross section view of the embodiment of FIG. 5 illustrating the spring element extending from the beam and bearing on the disk surface on the lever side of the hinge pin to provide closing pressure for the beam.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a pair of eyeglasses in the open position equipped with an eyeglass clip in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a pair of eyeglasses in the closed position equipped with an eyeglass clip in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the eyeglass clip of the present invention. The clip 10 is shown attached to a pair of eyeglasses 100. Eyeglasses 100 include a lens frame 61, which houses lenses 62, and temple pieces 60 each having a front end that is pivotally connected by a hinge 63 to lens frame 61, and a rear end that rests upon the ear of the wearer.

The eyeglass clip comprises a beam 20 having a first end (a tip 30) and a second end (a lever 40) and a mounting disk 50. Beam 20 is designed to be the main structural member of clip 10 and provide the clamping force that secures clip 10 to a person's garment. Mounting disk 50 is designed to attach beam 20 to temple piece 60. Tip 30 is designed to focus the clamping forces at a specific point on temple piece 60 trapping the garment between beam 20 and an outer lateral surface 64 of temple piece 60. Lever 40 is designed to allow the user to open the clamping mechanism comprising beam 20 and tip 30.

FIGS. 2 and 3 are outer and inner side perspective views, respectively, of the eyeglass clip of one embodiment of the invention. Beam 20 is attached to mounting disk 50 in such a way as to allow beam 20 to flex in rotational manner when lever 40 of beam 20 is depressed. Beam 20 is generally aligned to temple piece 60. In the present embodiment, beam 20 is constructed from a plastic material. However, beam 20 may be constructed from a number of materials including metal. In the present embodiment, beam 20 is integrated with mounting disk 50. However, beam 20 may also be a separate component in the clip assembly.

Beam 20 is connected to mounting disk 50 by an integral plastic spring 90, also known as a “living hinge”. This allows beam 20 to rotate/pivot and creates the force with which the clip secures the eyeglasses to the user's garment. Mounting disk 50, beam 20 and integral plastic spring 90 are manufactured from glass filled plastic, which gives the spring hinge its flexibility.

Mounting disk 50 is designed to adjustably attach beam 20 to temple piece 60. Referring to FIG. 4, mounting disk 50 slips over temple piece 60 via a mounting slot 55 and is then secured in position by a small clamping screw 71 into a hole 70, the inboard portion of which is threaded to receive the screw. Mounting slot 55 of mounting disk 50 may be positioned over the top or underneath temple piece 60 depending upon the directional orientation of clip 10. Mounting disk 50 may also be configured for a press on or snap on fit with temple piece 60 in which the inner surface of mounting slot 55 is conditioned for gripping. Mounting slot 55 may also be wedge shaped in order to facilitate engagement with temple piece 60. In the present embodiment, mounting disk 50 is made of plastic, but may also be manufactured of sheet metal or other material. Mounting disk 50 is integrated with beam 20 in the present embodiment, but may also be a separate component.

Tip 30 is designed to focus the clamping forces at a specific point trapping a garment between beam 20 and lateral outer surface 64 of temple piece 60. Tip 30 is a protrusion located at one end of beam 20. Tip 30 closes the gap between beam 20 and lateral outer surface 64 of temple piece 60 by the spring action of plastic spring 90. Tip 30 has a rounded profile in the present embodiment, but may also have serrated teeth, for providing a better grip.

Lever 40 allows the user to activate the clamping mechanism comprising beam 20 and tip 30. Lever 40 is the portion of beam 20 that is located at the rear end, and by pressing it the user releases the clamping forces securing the clip assembly to the user's garment. In the present embodiment, lever 40 is an integral part of beam 20 made from a plastic molded component.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a pair of eyeglasses equipped with an alternative embodiment of the eyeglass clip of the present invention. The eyeglass clip shown in FIG. 5 is an assembly of plastic and metal components. The mounting system is provided in the form of a plastic mounting disk 150 with a mounting slot 155 for the temple piece 160. In this design, mounting disk 150 made also be made of an elastomeric material. Beam 120 is a sheet metal stamping and has tip 130 and lever 140 incorporated into it at the appropriate ends. Beam 120 has two tabs 185 with holes in them that extend into tab slots 195 in mounting disk 150. Once beam 120 and mounting disk 150 are positioned properly, a pin 170 is pressed through disk 150, tab slots 195 and tabs 185 to pin them together. This assembled system allows beam 120 to rotate/pivot about pin 170. Beam 120, in this design, also has an integral leaf spring 180 that bears on the surface of mounting disk 150 to generate the clamping force required to secure the eyeglasses to the garment. Beam 120 is generally aligned with temple piece 160, but may also be mounted with other orientations.

FIG. 6 is a cross section view of the embodiment of FIG. 5 illustrating the spring element extending from the beam and bearing on the disk surface on the lever side of the hinge pin to provide closing pressure for the beam.

In both of these embodiments, the user can chose which temple piece they prefer, left side or right side. The clip is then positioned along the temple piece to a point appropriate for that specific style of eyeglass frame. While the user is wearing the eyeglasses, the clip remains secured to the temple piece. When the user does not need the eyeglasses for a period of time, they will remove the eyeglasses, fold them, and then slip them into a pocket or into the collar of the garment. Pressing the lever will allow the material of the garment to slide between the temple piece and the tip. Then releasing the lever, the material and eyeglasses are securely locked in place. Since the clip is semi-permanently attached to the temple piece by way of the small clamping screw, it is relatively easy for the user to remove the device from one pair of eyeglasses and install it on a different pair as needed.

Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, FIG. 7 illustrates another alternative embodiment of the eyeglass clip of the present invention. The clip is shown attached to a pair of eyeglasses 200 in the open position. Eyeglasses 200 include a lens frame 261, which houses lenses 262, and temple pieces 260 each having a front end that is pivotally connected by a hinge 263 to lens frame 261, and a rear end that rests upon the ear of the wearer.

In this embodiment, a magnetic disk 250 is attached to each of the temple pieces 260 via a mounting slot (not shown). Referring to FIG. 8, when frame 200 is suspended by one of the temple pieces 260, with the temple pieces folded, from a collar, placket or pocket of a shirt, the magnetic disks 250 attract each other and trap the garment between them, thus securing the frames 200 to the material. The mounting slot (not shown) is similarly configured with a hole (not shown) and clamping screws as illustrated in the embodiment of FIG. 4.

The foregoing description of the embodiments of the invention has been presented for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible in light of this disclosure. It is intended that the scope of the invention be limited not by this detailed description, but rather by the claims appended hereto.