Title:
Enhanced glove cuff
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An enhanced cuff design for gloves is disclosed, which allows for greater comfort and flexibility for the wearer while maintaining the rigidity and snug fit that is needed for many sports, work, and industrial use gloves.



Inventors:
Dolenak, Kenneth (Moorpark, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/314116
Publication Date:
06/21/2007
Filing Date:
12/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hankin Patent Law, APC (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An enhanced cuff for gloves worn by humans, comprising, a first material forming a first portion of the cuff, a second material forming a second portion of the cuff, said first material being formed of materials of relatively rigid composition to those materials used in said second material, said second material being used on one or more portions where the glove covers or lies adjacent to a joint on the wearer's hand, a third material generally forming a part or all of the distal portion of the cuff, said third material being configured to surround the portions of the second material.

2. An enhanced cuff for gloves according to claim 1, wherein said second portion lies on the top portion of the cuff and adjacent to the top of the wearer's wrist.

3. An enhanced cuff for gloves according to claim 2, wherein said third material is generally U-shaped.

4. An enhanced cuff for gloves according to claim 3, wherein said third material includes one or more ridges that add rigidity to said third material.

5. An enhanced cuff for gloves according to claim 1, wherein said glove cuff includes a tightening mechanism in order to tighten the glove to the wearer's wrist.

6. An enhanced cuff for gloves according to claim 1, wherein said second portion lies on the bottom portion of the cuff and adjacent to the bottom of the wearer's wrist.

7. An enhanced cuff for gloves according to claim 6, wherein said third material is generally U-shaped.

8. An enhanced cuff for gloves according to claim 1, wherein said second portion lies on the top portion of the cuff and the bottom portion of the cuff, adjacent to the top and bottom of the wearer's wrist.

9. An enhanced cuff for gloves according to claim 1, wherein said third material is comprised of one of the following: rubber, plastic, polyvinyl chloride, neoprene, silicone, polyurethane, or any of the other suitable materials known in the art.

10. An enhanced glove according to claim 1, wherein said third material is located on the outside surface of the glove, such that it remains visible when worn.

11. An enhanced glove according to claim 1, wherein said third material is located on the inside surface of the glove, such that is cannot be seen when the glove is worn.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates, generally, to cuffs for gloves worn on the human hand and, more particularly to cuffs for gloves worn on the human hand with features that allow greater flexibility and comfort for the user and allowing the user to maintain a proper fit.

BACKGROUND

Glove manufacturers customarily produce gloves to be used by persons while performing specific task that are tailored to enhance the wearer's ability to perform the task. Numerous sports, for example, use specific gloves to enhance the player's ability. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,820,282 to England, et al. (golf), U.S. Pat. No. 6,088,834 to Seminara (baseball and softball), U.S. Pat. No. 5,745,916 to Linner (ice hockey), U.S. Pat. No. 4,064,563 (billiards), U.S. Pat. No. 5,500,956 to Schulkin, et al. (basketball), U.S. Pat. No. 5,537,692 to Dorr (snowboarding), U.S. Pat. No. 5,079,886 (rock climbing), U.S. Pat. No. 6,832,391 to Bower (weightlifting), U.S. Pat. No. 3,096,523 to Bruchas (football), and numerous other gloves that are used in specific sports.

Gloves are also often used in vocational activities or in industrial environments where user's hands must be protected from harsh or harmful elements in the environment. See, for example, U.S. Patent No. 5,882,796 to Harges, Jr., et al. (for firefighters), U.S. Pat. No. 4,416,026 to Smith (for mechanics), U.S. Pat. No. 5,452,478 to Rombach, et al. (for gardening), and numerous other gloves that are used for specific vocational and industrial applications.

In developing glove designs, improvements have also been made that allow less restricted and easier movement of the wearer's wrists and hands. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,270,363 to Weeber discloses a glove that “permits free movement of all the moveable portions of the wrists and all portions of the hands so that their movement is relatively unrestricted, thus permitting easier, more accurate work and absence of fatigue to the wearer as well as avoid the cause of many avoidable accidents.” Weeber's design, however, by leaving the wearer's hand uncovered, provides an insufficiently snug fit, and is, thus, unsuitable to many industrial or sports applications where hand coverage and a snug fit are essential to the glove's operation.

Another glove designed to allow flexibility is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,096,523 to Bruchas, which allows “freedom, flexibility, and maneuverability of the hand.” Like Weeber, however, this glove achieves flexibility by leaving many portions of the hand uncovered and is, thus, unsuitable to many applications where coverage of the hand is important to the glove's operation.

Another invention that provides enhanced freedom of movement is disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 5,444,874 to Samelian, et al., which utilizes a number of foldable flaps hingedly connected to the glove to allow easy ingress and egress from the glove and freedom of movement of the wearer's wrists. Because this system of flaps leaves portions of the hand uncovered, however, it is likewise unsuitable to many applications when a snug fit and protection of the entire hand is needed.

Another mechanism, which allows freedom of movement of the wearer's wrist is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,810,531 to Lento, which utilizes an elastic cuff in order to allow flexibility and maneuverability of the wearer's wrist. This glove has many shortcomings also, despite the use of lighter, elastic materials at the cuff, because a cuff of this type is nevertheless prone to crimping and folding as the wrist is curled, this limiting movement and causing irritation in the user.

Another mechanism intended to allow greater flexibility of movement is disclosed by Fox Racing in its Flexair Glove #03114, which utilizes two different materials at the cuff in order to enhance maneuverability. While the use of a lighter material at the top of the cuff allows the Fox glove greater flexibility, because the glove lacks a mechanism to ensure the rigidity and snug-fit of the glove as a whole.

In summary, for each of the foregoing inventions, the wearer is forced to compromise between a snug fit to the glove and maneuverability and flexibility of the wearer's wrist. That is, the gloves that provide a snug fit, such as those utilizing a hook and eye type wrist strap, invariably restrict movement by limiting maneuverability of the wrist, crimping or folding on movement, or otherwise causing resistance or discomfort on movement of the wearer's wrist. This is particularly burdensome in many applications where the wearer must make repetitive motions with his wrist, such as mechanic gloves, gardening gloves, or sporting gloves. On the other hand, those inventions that seek to allow greater maneuverability by not restricting wrist movement, tend to lack the rigidity and support needed for the snug fit that is often required for glove use.

Thus, there remains a long-felt need in the art for a glove design that allows the user both a firm, snug fit, as is suitable for sports and vocational use of gloves, and maneuverability and flexibility of the wearer's wrist, making the glove more comfortable to wear.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention is directed towards overcoming the above shortcomings by providing a enhanced glove cuff design that allows for a snug and secure fit and yet remains comfortable and flexible for the wearer, while being adaptable to many different types of gloves for many different uses.

In one embodiment of the invention, the glove cuff is formed with a lighter material at the top portion of the wrist area, such that the glove provides less resistance and greater flexibility for movement of the wearer's wrist. Unlike the above prior art, however, in order to maintain the snug and secure fit of the glove, a heavier, inflexible material, such as rubber, plastic, or PVC, is used as a cuff reinforcement and attached to the portion surrounding the lighter material. Thus, the cuff reinforcement provides structural rigidity to the glove that it would lack if only the lighter material were used. Meanwhile, the heavier material is placed in locations that do not require flexibility, so that the comfort and flexibility of the glove is not compromised by the use of the heavier material.

In another embodiment of the invention, both the upper and lower portions of the cuff include lighter, more flexible materials and thereby allow for greater comfort and flexibility. In this embodiment, the heavier, cuff reinforcement material again surrounds the lighter materials such that the glove maintains its rigidity and snug fit.

In other embodiments of the invention, this combination of alternating light and rigid materials is used along other portions of the glove, such as along the fingers, such that greater flexibility is allowed while maintaining the glove's structural rigidity.

Any of the above embodiments of the enhanced glove cuff invention are equally adaptable and usable for any of the above different glove types, including but not limited to work gloves, sports gloves, mechanics gloves, and any other glove type where comfort and rigidity are beneficial to glove performance. This invention will be particularly useful in applications such as mechanic's gloves or golf gloves, where precise, unrestricted movement of the wearer's wrist is commonly desired.

The enhanced cuff design is, further, adaptable to all varieties of glove materials. The design can be used with any number of natural and/or synthetic materials wherein the material used at the cuff is relatively light and flexible and a heavier, more rigid material is included adjacent to the lighter material. Thus, for example, a light elastic material can be used with a heaver, cuff reinforcement material such as rubber. Or, a light natural material, such as cotton cloth, may be used in combination with a heavier cuff reinforcement material such as leather.

The enhanced cuff design is, moreover, usable in conjunction with existing cuff tightening mechanisms known in the art such as hook and eye, laces, or any of the many tightening mechanisms known in the art.

Further, multiple materials may be used in concert with one another. For example, differing materials can be used on the top and bottom of the glove to allow for added comfort, while maintaining the rigidity of the glove.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of a glove featuring the enhanced glove cuff.

FIG. 2A is an enlarged top view of the cuff reinforcement of the enhanced glove cuff.

FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional view of the cuff reinforcement of the enhanced glove cuff.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention relates to an enhanced cuff design for glove that allows the greater comfort for the wearer while not compromising the fit, rigidity, and usefulness of the glove as a whole. As used throughout this specification, “glove” shall refer to any of the many forms of hand coverings used to protects the wearer's hands. Specific references to materials used throughout the specification are only many to illustrate by way of example the principles of the invention. The invention is adaptable and useable with any of the many materials used for glove manufacturing known in the art and any of the many glove types known in the art.

FIG. 1 is a top view of a glove 100 featuring the enhanced glove cuff. A glove 100 is shown that features the enhanced glove cuff. Included on the cuff of the glove is a hook and eye strap 110 for tightening the glove, a elastic top portion of the cuff 120, and a rigid cuff reinforcement 130. The combination of the lighter elastic material and the cuff reinforcement serve to provide comfort while maintaining rigidity of the glove.

FIG. 2A is an enlarged top view of the cuff reinforcement 200 of the enhanced glove cuff. A cuff reinforcement 200 is shown along with its constituent parts, including the raised ridge 210, which allows for greater reinforcement, the inner edge 220 which abuts the elastic portion of the cuff, and the middle section 230, which can be used to display a brand name, logo, or advertisement.

FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional view of the cuff reinforcement 200 of the enhanced glove cuff. The raised ridge 210 is displayed with its thickened material as well as the middle portion 230, which can be used for display of a brand name, logo, or advertisement.

While the invention has been set forth in relation to specific embodiments, it is to be understood that certain changes may be made in the novel invention without departing from the scope of the invention and it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover the generic and specific features of the invention herein described.