Title:
Flexible clip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention disclosed herein describes a multi-purpose flexible clip, comprising at least a rigid portion and a flexible portion capable of being variously bent according to the shape and dimensions of the intended placement, and of being stably positioned onto.



Inventors:
Gonet, Cindy (South Dartmouth, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/339354
Publication Date:
07/26/2007
Filing Date:
01/25/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RODRIGUEZ, RUTH C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HEDMAN & COSTIGAN, P.C. (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A flexible clip, comprising a clip body (10) comprising at least a rigid portion and a flexible portion connected together, and a metal or metal alloy wire running through the whole inner part of said flexible portion to a small inner part of said rigid portion so that said rigid portion and said flexible portion are connected together, said clip body, when comprising more than two rigid portions, said portions being alternate with a flexible portion between each other.

2. The flexible clip according to claim 1, wherein the clip body (10) comprises a first rigid portion (11), an intermediate flexible portion (12) and a second rigid portion (13), wherein the intermediate flexible portion (12) covers about two-thirds of the clip body (10), and said metal or metal alloy wire is present in the rigid portions in a part shorter than one-third of their length.

3. The flexible clip according to claim 1, wherein said rigid portion is made from Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) polymer blends.

4. The flexible clip according to claim 1, wherein said flexible portion is made from soft polyvinylchloride (PVC) or rubber.

5. The flexible clip according to claim 1, wherein said a metal or metal alloy wire (14) is made of iron.

6. The flexible clip according to claim 1, further comprising a revolving swivel (20) fastened on said rigid portion of the clip body (10) but capable of revolving onto it, and intended for fastening a light source, a hearing aid, or a headset for communications systems to said clip body (10).

7. The flexible clip according to claim 2, further comprising a revolving swivel (20) fastened on said first rigid portion (11) of the clip body (10) but capable of revolving onto it, and intended for fastening a light source, a hearing aid, or a headset for communications systems to said clip body (10).

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention disclosed herein relates to a multi-purpose flexible clip, and in particular to a clip comprising a flexible portion capable of being variously bent according to the shape and dimensions of the intended placement, such as a user's ear, and of being stably positioned onto.

STATE OF THE ART

Currently some models of flexible clips are known, in particular “ear clips” intended for serving as headsets for communications systems, such as mobile phones or similar equipment, or clips for bearing a light to be directed in front of the user for doing precision work.

The problem of providing systems allowing users to communicate or to direct a light while leaving the user's hands free for working, is in fact increasingly felt in today's society, wherein efficiency and increased productivity are the driving force. Most of the prior art flexible clips are not completely stable when positioned, especially those to be worn over the ear, thus resulting in a useless device, because they require the constant aid of the user's hand to hold them in position. On the other hand, those clips designed for overcoming these problems of low stability, have a more complex structure, thus being more complicated to be used; moreover, when positioned, are often very cumbersome and user-unfriendly. Amongst the ear clips, for example, clips endowed with a satisfactory stability when positioned over the ear, are those having wide rigid portions covering most part of the ear and rendering the device very uncomfortable for the user.

For the above reasons, it would be advantageous therefor to have at one's disposal a multi-purpose clip, able to be equipped with a light, a communication device, etc., and at the same time so flexible as to be easily bent and adjusted for any intended placement.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The Applicant has now found a flexible clip comprising a flexible hanger capable of being variously bent according to the shape and dimensions of the intended placement and of being stably positioned onto.

The present flexible clip is an optimum solution for the problems explained above, connected to the uncomfortableness of the known clips and to their low stability especially of those clips serving as ear clips, therefor resolving the inconveniences of the clips presently on the market.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1: shows a frontal view of the clip in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 2: shows a side view of the clip of the invention.

FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D: shows some applications of the clip of the invention, positioned respectively on a user's ear (3A), a laptop computer screen (3B), a belt (3C), and a watchband (3D).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The FIGS. 1-3 briefly described above are reported as a non limiting illustration of the invention. With reference to these FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 above briefly illustrated, herein below follows a detailed description of the flexible clip of the invention, its characteristics and the advantages compared to prior art.

In FIG. 1 the clip of the invention is shown, comprising a clip body (10) and a revolving swivel (20), intended for fastening a light source or a headset for communications systems, such as mobile phones or similar equipment, but also hearing aids.

The swivel (20) capable of revolving on the clip body (10), is particularly advantageous when intended for fastening a light source to the clip body (10) because the light beam can be easily directed where wanted, and this is particularly useful when the clip is used as an “ear clip”, because the light beam can be directed at will simply with a user's finger, without taking off the clip.

The present clip body (10) is comprised of at least a rigid portion and a flexible portion connected together, and a metal or metal alloy wire running through the whole inner part of the flexible portion to a little inner part of the rigid portion so that the two adjacent portions are connected together; when the clip body comprises more than two rigid portions, these portions are alternate with a flexible portion between each other.

The revolving swivel (20) is fastened on a rigid portion of the clip body (10).

According to a preferred embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the clip body (10) comprises a first rigid portion (11), an intermediate flexible portion (12) and a second rigid portion (13), wherein the intermediate flexible portion (12) covers about two-thirds of the clip body (10).

As shown in FIG. 1, an inner metal or metal alloy wire (14) having circular section, runs from the first rigid portion (11) through the whole flexible portion (12) to the second rigid portion (13), wherein the wire is preferably present in the rigid portions only in a small part, for example shorter than one-third of their length.

The rigid portions in the present clip body are typically made from the same material, which is a rigid plastic material, preferably Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene polymer blends, commonly known as “ABS”; on the contrary, the flexible portions are made from a soft plastic material, preferably polyvinylchloride (PVC) or rubber. As to the inner metal wire (14), it is preferably made of iron.

The inner metal wire (14) of the invention may have a diameter ranging between 1.0 and 2.0 mm, and preferably a diameter of 1.5 mm; whereas the rigid and flexible portions of the clip body (10) have all typically the same diameter, ranging from 4.0 to 10 mm, and preferably a diameter of 7.0 mm.

With reference to the preferred embodiment of the invention, illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, the present clip body (10) can be manufactured by an injection molding process of soft plastic material on the metal wire (14) having suitable length, to create the intermediate portion (12) having at the two extremities two uncovered portions of the metal wire, then the rigid plastic material for the portions (11) and (13) is also injected on the uncovered portions of the metal wire (14) in a suitable mould, thus forming the present clip body (10). Analogous injection molding processes are useful for production of the present body clip comprising more than three portions.

The resulting clip body (10) provides a ductile, flexible clip that may be bent in the intermediate portion (12) to conform with the shape of the object on which the clip has be hanged, but at the same time provides a stable clip that maintain its shape and rests in position during use, also being comfortable for the user when serving as ear clip, and allows a custom fit for each user's ear.

Moreover, thanks to the particular structure of the present clip as described above, the prolonged use does not impair its high resistance to breakage.

In FIG. 2 is shown a lateral view of the clip body (10), from which it is evident the preferred conformation of the clip when intended for the use as ear clip, which is particularly adapted for surrounding the auricle as better showed in FIG. 3A.

In other parts of FIG. 3 are shown some other uses of the present clip, in particular the use on the screen of a laptop computer (FIG. 3B), on a belt (3C), and on a watchband (3D).

In FIGS. 3 A-D on the clip body of the invention, a light source, for example a LED (Light Emitting Diode), inserted in a housing containing a battery, is mounted on the swivel (20).

The present clip, as above described, is suitable to be equipped with and to stably support a light source, a communication device, a hearing aid, etc., and at the same time it is so flexible as to be easily bent and adjusted to any intended placement, even to the user's ear resulting in a very comfortable device.