Title:
Baseball cap attachment assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An attachable ornamental assembly (100) is disclosed, that is adapted for releasably connecting to a conventional baseball cap (90). The ornamental assembly (100) has a base (102) with a generally concave lower surface (104). The lower surface includes a central recess (106) that houses a connector (120), for example a rare earth magnet. The connector engages the cap button (94), in one embodiment pulling the button into the recess. The ornamental assembly also includes an ornamental member (130) that connects to the base, for example with a post (224) by a friction fit or the like. The ornamental member (130) may be removable, whereby a number of different ornamental members may be selectively attached to the base (102) and cap (90) at different times.



Inventors:
Paulson, Steven (Shoreline, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/494843
Publication Date:
02/01/2007
Filing Date:
07/28/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HADEN, SALLY CLINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHRISTENSEN O'CONNOR JOHNSON KINDNESS PLLC (Seattle, WA, US)
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A attachable ornamental assembly adapted to be attached to a baseball cap having a top button, the ornamental assembly comprising: a base having a concave lower surface with a central recess, and an upper surface having a first engagement element; a connector disposed in the central recess of the base element, the connector adapted to releasably engage the baseball cap top button; and a first ornamental member having a second engagement element that engages the first engagement element, to releasably connect the first ornamental member to the base element.

2. The ornamental assembly of claim 1, wherein the base is generally disc-shaped with a diameter greater than about one and one-half inches.

3. The ornamental assembly of claim 1, wherein the connector comprises a magnet.

4. The ornamental assembly of claim 3, wherein the magnet is a rare-earth magnet.

5. The ornamental assembly of claim 1, further comprising a second ornamental member that is interchangeable with the first ornamental member.

6. The ornamental assembly of claim 1, wherein the connector is adapted to retain the button in the recess when the connector engages the baseball cap top button.

7. The ornamental assembly of claim 1, wherein the connector is a generally concave member with a narrowed opening that is sized to attach to the baseball cap top button by a friction fit.

8. The ornamental assembly of claim 7, wherein the narrowed opening of the concave member is smaller than the baseball cap top button, and further wherein the concave member is sufficiently elastic to receive the baseball cap top button.

9. The ornamental assembly of claim 1, wherein the connector is a clip having a generally C-shaped lower portion that is sized to engage the baseball cap top button, and an upper portion that includes an upwardly-extending post that is sized to engage the recess in the base.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/702,698, filed Jul. 28, 2005, the disclosure of which is hereby expressly incorporated by reference in its entirety, and priority from the filing date of which is hereby claimed under 35 U.S.C. ยง119.

BACKGROUND

The disclosed apparatus relates to hat mountable devices, and in particular to devices mountable on baseball caps. Baseball caps are ubiquitous at sporting events and gatherings of all kinds. The caps are frequently decorated or embellished for amusement purposes, and to display an individuals personal interests, hobbies and/or sense of humor. Sometimes baseball caps are decorated with permanently attached insignia, for example by sewing on patches, stitching decorations, using adhesives and the like.

Refer to FIG. 1, which shows a conventional baseball cap 90 with an attachable ornament assembly 100 made in accordance with the present invention. The conventional baseball cap 90 is a soft cap with a long, stiffened and curved visor or brim 92. The back of the cap often has a mechanism for quick adjustment, although fitted caps are also common. The baseball cap 90 is typically sewn in sections, and is topped with a fabric-covered metal button 94, which is typically formed from a ferromagnetic material. Although the baseball cap 90 is historically associated with baseball players, it is now arguably the most popular style of hat in the United States and many Western nations, and Japan. Baseball caps are made of may types of material and in a number of different styles. For example, major league baseball players wear classic-style caps made of wool with their team's logo embroidered into the wool.

Sometimes, the military uses baseball caps as part of the uniform, especially the United States Navy. In such applications, the baseball cap generally has a command logo on the front to denote command affiliation, and/or the baseball caps may be of a particular color to indicate a particular user's job.

It is sometimes desirable to removably mount a displayable object to a cap. Examples of hat mountable devices are found, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,874,167, US. Pat. Pub. No. 2003/0051317 and in US Pat. Pub. No. 2004/0006900. In some of the prior art devices the mountable device engages the button 94 on top of the baseball cap 90.

A common problem with prior art cap mounting systems that engage the button projection in a baseball cap is that they have a tendency to inadvertently de-attach or to pull the button of the cap sideways, causing the display element to tilt or tip over, and may also thereby become uncomfortable to wear.

SUMMARY

An attachable ornamental assembly is disclosed that is particular suited to attachment to a conventional baseball cap having a top button. The ornamental assembly includes a base with a concave lower surface defining a central recess. A magnet or other connector is disposed in the central recess, and is adapted to engage the button on the baseball cap. It will be appreciated that in many conventional baseball caps the central button includes a ferrous metal member. An ornamental member is attachable to the base member.

In an embodiment of the invention, more than one ornamental member is attachable to the base, such that a user can selectively change from one ornamental member to another, for example to accommodate different circumstances.

In an embodiment of the invention, the connector is a rare earth magnet that is adapted to pull the button of the baseball cap into the central recess of the base.

This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This summary is not intended to identify key features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily appreciated as the same become better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a hat mountable display according to the present invention, shown atop a conventional baseball cap;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the hat mountable display shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an alternate embodiment of the hat mountable display shown in FIG. 1, showing an alternate ornament; and

FIGS. 4A and 4B show alternative cap connectors for use with the hat mountable display shown in FIG. 1, that are not magnetic.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As mentioned above, FIG. 1 shows a baseball cap 90 with an attachable ornamental assembly 100 shown above the baseball cap 90, positioned to be placed on the cap 90 to engage the button 94. The attachable ornamental assembly 100 is a relatively small, and lightweight structure. For example in a current embodiment the ornamental assembly 100 does not exceed about three inches in total height, width or length.

Refer now also to FIG. 2, which shows an exploded view of the attachable ornamental assembly 100. In this embodiment the ornamental assembly includes a base 102, that is generally disc-shaped, and has a generally concave lower surface 104. It will be appreciated that the concave shape generally conforms to the shape of the baseball cap 90. A recess 106 is formed in the lower surface, generally centered therein. A connector 120, for example a magnet is fixedly disposed in the central recess 106. The upper surface 108 of the base 102 includes an upwardly projecting first engagement element 110, for example a post or a cylindrical member with an axial aperture (post shown). The first engagement element 110 is located generally above the connector 120.

An ornamental member 130, comprising an ornamental portion 132 and a downwardly-extending second engagement element 134 is attachable to the base 102. For example, the second engagement element 134 may conveniently comprise a cylindrical structure with an axial aperture that is sized to snugly receive the first engagement element 100 on the base 102. The ornamental member 130 may therefore be retained on the base 102 by frictional forces between the first and second engagement members 110, 134. Alternatively, an adhesive may be used to joint the first and second engagement members 110, 134. In another alternative, the first and second engagement members 110, 134 may be threaded, such that they may threadably engage. It is also contemplated the first and second engagement members 110, 134 may include a keying element (not shown) such that the ornamental member 130 may be limited to a particular orientation with respect to the base 102. These, and other attachment mechanisms may be utilized, as will be apparent to persons of skill in the art. It is also contemplated that the base 102 and the ornamental member 130 may be formed as a unitary structure.

In a currently preferred embodiment, the connector 120 is a rare earth magnet, for example, a neodymium-based permanent magnet. It is known that neodymium is used in very powerful permanent magnets, e.g., Nd2Fe14B. These magnets are cheaper, lighter, and stronger than samarium-cobalt magnets. Of course, if the connector 120 is a magnet the intended use of the ornamental assembly 100 will be to traditional baseball caps 90, i.e. baseball caps 90 having a button 94 including a ferrous element that is attracted to the magnetic connector 120.

In one embodiment, the base 102 and ornamental member 130 are formed from polyethylene using a blow molded process to producer a very lightweight, and manufacturable product. Alternatively, the base 102 and ornamental member 130 may be formed from a die cut foam or other similarly lightweight material. The ornamental member 130 may be formed in a variety of shapes and colors, for example to accommodate a particular marketing motif or the like. The marketing motif may be to sports teams, schools, or other organizations, including utilizing a particular, logo, mascot, sports equipment, tourist attraction, or other general novelty item. It is contemplated that the ornamental member 130 may be formed in the shape of a particular sports athlete's or other celebrity's head, for example as a promotional giveaway to commemorate a particular athlete and/or a milestone or other accomplishment by a particular individual. Of course, the ornamental member 130 may be painted or otherwise decorated to enhance its appearance, and/or to display team colors or the like.

It will be appreciated that the base 102 is relatively large in lateral extend, relative to the button 94 on the baseball cap 90, providing a relatively stable platform for the ornamental member 130. In a particular embodiment the base 102 is generally disc-shaped with a diameter greater than about one and one-half inches. It will be appreciated that the base 102 may include indicia, for example text or design that is related to the ornamental member 130, or that indicates sponsorship, for example marketing-type indicia.

It is believed to be particularly advantageous in some embodiments to form the central recess 106 in the base 102 to have sufficient depth and diameter to accommodate the button 94, in addition to the connector 120, particularly when the connector is a magnet. The button 94 is thereby mechanically coupled to the base 102 in the lateral directions by virtue of generally abutting the boundaries of the base 102 defined by the recess 106.

A second embodiment of an attachable ornamental assembly 200 is shown in FIG. 3. This second embodiment shows a different ornamental member 230 attached to the base 102 described above. It will be appreciated, therefore, that the base 102 may be provided with a plurality of ornamental members 230, allowing the user to select a particular ornamental member 130, 230 to fit a particular occasion. For example, it is contemplated to provide a single base with different ornamental members, one for each of the local professional sports franchises, or to provide ornamental members caricaturing the heads of a number of different team members for a particular sports team. Variations on this theme will be readily apparent to the skilled artisan, upon studying the disclosure herein.

Although the currently preferred embodiment utilizes a connector 120 comprising a magnet, it is also contemplated that other means for engaging the baseball cap button 94 may be utilized. FIGS. 4A and 4B show two representative alternative connectors 220, 320, that may be used rather than the magnetic connector 120, and may be particularly suitable, for use with baseball caps that do not have a metal member in the button 94.

FIG. 4A shows a connector 220 incorporated integrally into a base 202 and having a generally concave recess 206 with a narrowed opening or aperture 222 at the bottom, that is sized to attach to the button 94 of the baseball cap 90 by a friction fit. The diameter of the aperture 222 is slightly smaller than the diameter of the button 94, and the connector 220 has sufficient elasticity to allow the button 94 to be forced through the aperture 222, to be releasably locked thereto. The connector 220 may include a post portion 224 that is sized to engage the ornamental member 130 second engagement member 134 (FIG. 2).

FIG. 4B shows a connector 320 comprising a clip having a generally U-shaped or C-shaped lower portion 322 that is sized to clip or slide beneath the button 94, and an upper portion 323 that includes an upwardly-extending post portion 324 that is sized to engage and attach to the recess 106 in the base 102, for example by a friction fit, or with appropriate threading (not shown). Other connection mechanisms will be apparent to persons of skill in the art.

While illustrative embodiments have been illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that various changes can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.