Title:
Knee protection system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A knee protection system has a garment such as pants with a closed pocket. A shaped elastomeric pad is encased in the closed pocket. The shaped pad has a number of sub-pads including a patella pad, a pair of side pads and a top pad. The side pads protect the used when they roll on their knees and the top pad protects the user knee when they lean forward. The elastomer does not absorb water, can be washed and protects against both sharp points and more general pressure.



Inventors:
Matuszak, Daniel R. (Woodland Park, CO, US)
Medovich, Christan (Woodland Park, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/649984
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
01/05/2007
Assignee:
Woodland Wear, LLC
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PATEL, TAJASH D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICES OF DALE B. HALLING (COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A joint protection system, comprising: a garment made of cloth having a closed pocket over a joint location; and an elastomeric pad encased in the closed pocket.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the garment is pants and the joint location is a knee.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein the closed pocket is sewn into a seam of the pants.

4. The system of claim 3, wherein the closed pocket has no visible seams.

5. The system of claim 2, wherein the elastomeric pad has a non-rectangular shape.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein the elastomeric pad had a plurality of sub-pads.

7. The system of claim 6, wherein one of the plurality of sub-pads is a side pad.

8. A knee protection system, comprising: a pair of pants having a closed pocket covering a knee location; and a butterfly shaped pad encased in the closed pocket.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the butterfly shaped pad is made of an elastomeric material.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein the butterfly shaped pad has a pair of side pads.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the butterfly shaped pad has a non-rectangular patella pad.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein the butterfly shaped pad has a top pad.

13. The system of claim 8, wherein the closed pocket is sewn into a seam of the pants.

14. The system of claim 13, wherein the closed pocket has no visible seams.

15. A knee protection system, comprising: a pair of pants; an integrated pad in the pair of pants covering a knee location.

16. The system of claim 15, further including a plurality of integrated pads.

17. The system of claim 16, wherein each of the plurality of integrated pads are encased in a closed pocket in the pair of pants.

18. The system of claim 15, wherein the integrated pad is made of an elastomeric material.

19. The system of claim 17, wherein the closed pocket is sewn into a seam of the pants.

20. The system of claim 19, wherein the closed pocket has no visible seams.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present invention claims priority on provisional patent application, Ser. No. 60/756,518, filed on Jan. 15, 2006, entitled “Knee Protection Device” and is hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of garments and more particularly to a garment having protective patches.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A large number of people have to be on their knees at least part of the time at work, such as carpenters, carpet installers, plumbers, janitors-tile setters, etc. Being on your knees can be painful and make doing your job more difficult and inefficient. One solution has been to wear knee pads like volleyball players. These pads fit over the knee and are made of a soft foam padding encased in a stretchable fabric. Unfortunately, these pads do not fit over pants well, are awkward to walk in, creates discomfort to the wearer and does not protect from sharp points and hard surfaces. Another solution has been hard shell knee pads that are held onto the user's legs by an elastic band. Unfortunately, these pads do not fit over pants well and are awkward to walk in. Another solution has been to have pants made with pockets in the knee area. A rectangular piece of foam is placed in the pocket. Unfortunately, foam absorbs water, becomes compacted over time and does not protect from sharp points. In addition, the foam pads have to be removed from the pants before the pants are washed.

Thus, there exists a need for a knee protection system that allows the user to walk comfortably, provides the necessary comfort and protection for wearer to perform a task or function, has resistance to impact and sharp points and does not induce discomfort.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

A knee protection system that overcomes these and other problems has garment such as pants with a closed pocket that is fully integrated in the final assembly of the pant. A shaped elastomeric pad is encased in the closed pocket . The shaped pad has a number of sub-pads including a patella pad, a pair of side pads and a top pad. The side pads protect the user when they roll on their knees and the top pad protects the user's knees when they lean forward. The elastomer does not absorb water, can be washed and protects against both sharp points and more general pressure. By integrating the pads in a pair of pants a user can comfortably walk around with the knee protection system.

Note that while the invention is described with respect to pants and knee protection, the invention is applicable to other joints and garments including elbows and shirts.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of the knee pad in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the knee protection system in accordance with one embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 3 is a cutaway side view of the knee protection system in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is related to a knee protection system that has a garment such as pants with a closed pocket. A shaped elastomeric pad is encased in the closed pocket. The shaped pad has a number of sub-pads including a patella pad, a pair of side pads and a top pad. The side pads protect the user when they roll on their knees and the top pad protects the user knee when they lean forward. The elastomer does not absorb water, can be washed and protects against both sharp points and more general pressure. By placing the pads in a pair of pants a user can comfortably walk around with the knee protection system.

FIG. 1 is a top view of the knee pad 10 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The knee pad 10 is made of any suitable elastomeric material. An elastomeric material is selected because it is durable, hard enough to protect from sharp points such as nail heads and soft enough to be flexible and move with the user. The pad 10 had a butterfly shape and is made up of a number of sub-pads. The sub-pads include the patella pad 12 which covers the patella of the knee of the user. Note that the patella pad 12 is not just a rectangle but is shaped to cover the shape of the knee. A pair of side pads 14 are designed to protect the side of the knee either from bumping into something or if the user rolls over onto the side of their knee. A top pad 16 protects the top of the knee from bumps into hard objects and allows the user to lean forward and still have protection. In one embodiment, all the sub-pads 12, 14 &16 are connected together by an elastomer frame 18. The frame 18 is a thinner layer of elastomer which allows the pads to move freely with the user's movements. In another embodiment, each of the sub-pads are enclosed in their own closed pockets within the garment. The thickness of the sub-pads 12, 14 &16 are selected to provide adequate protection with a minimum of weight. In one embodiment, the thickness is between ⅛th and ¼ of an inch of material.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the knee protection system 30 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The knee protection system 30 is a pair of pants 32 with a pair of enclosed pockets 34. The pockets 34 encase the knee pad 10 of FIG. 1. Note that the pockets 34 are completely sealed to form an integrated pad. Because of this the pad cannot fall out of the pants 32. The elastomeric material of the pads 10 is selected to be able to withstand the temperature and conditions of the pants being washed and dried in an automatic washer and clothes dryer. In one embodiment, the pockets 34 are replaced with a number of sub-pockets that each contain one of the sub-pads 12,14,16. A key factor in either embodiment, is to hold the pad(s) in place and not allow them to shift or become folded within the pockets. If additional support is needed, the pads may be glued, stitched or otherwise attached to a part of the pocket 34 in the garment 30. A major advantage of the elastomeric material is that it does not absorb water. This allows the garment to be washed. In addition, when a user does place their knee in water the pad does not continue to be wet as occurs with foam pads.

FIG. 3 is a cutaway side view of the knee protection system 40 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. Some users of the knee pad system may require that the pads be hidden. This may be necessary if the user needs a more professional appearance. The knee protection system 40 hides the knee pads so that the pants to all outward appearance do not appear to have a knee pad system. This is accomplished by having an outer cloth layer 42 and an inner cloth layer 44 that is only sewn to the outer layer 42 at normal seam points. The inner layer 44 has a top pad 46 pocket 48. Just below the top pad 46 pocket 48 is the patella pad 50 pocket 52. The inner layer 44 is sewn to the out layer 42 at the hem 54, waistband 56 and to the inseams (not shown). As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the system 40 would also contain pockets for the side pads 14. Using this system the pants outward appearance is that of a normal pair of pants. A single pocket could also be used for a connected pad as shown in FIG. 1.

Thus there has been described a knee protection system that has a garment such as pants with a closed pocket. A shaped elastomeric pad is encased in the closed pocket. The shaped pad has a number of sub-pads including a patella pad, a pair of side pads and a top pad. The side pads protect the user when they roll on their knees and the top pad protects the user knee when they lean forward. The elastomer does not absorb water, can be washed and protects against both sharp points and more general pressure. By placing the pads in a pair of pants a user can comfortably walk around with the knee protection system.

While the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alterations, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alterations, modifications, and variations in the appended claims.





 
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