Title:
Stationary Guard and Brace For a Baseball Cap-Type Visor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A visor guard and brace adapted to shape and protect the visor of a baseball cap is provided. The brace preferably comprises a rigid “U” shaped plate slid over the edge of the visor, although the brace may alternatively be flat or define a shallow curve. The brace releasably attaches and constrains the surface of the visor and forces the visor to conform to one particular, user selectable shape. The brace remains attached to the visor as the cap is worn by the user to permanently guard against grime, dirt, tears, or fraying. The plate itself provides a long lasting improved esthetic appearance with or on the visor of the cap with or without additional ornamentation attached to the brace.



Inventors:
Lawrence, Lonnie L. (Odessa, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/739325
Publication Date:
12/13/2007
Filing Date:
04/24/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/18
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20150047089FORM-FITTING STICK SPORTS GLOVESFebruary, 2015Chambers
20120180182SOCCER KICKING AID AND METHOD OF USING THE SAMEJuly, 2012Wade
20070044207Clothing for hood ornamentMarch, 2007Herman
20120216324BODY ARMORAugust, 2012Medwell
20130040109BIODEGRADABLE MEDICAL MATERIALFebruary, 2013Lebrette et al.
20070083969Garment alterationApril, 2007Brusilovsky et al.
20160038791SWIMMING GOGGLESFebruary, 2016Chiang
20040049828Sanitary disposable capeMarch, 2004Moses
20020152533ENHANCED VISIBILITY SAFETY GARMENTOctober, 2002Lesley
20160309790DECORATIVE SPORTS THEMED CLOTHINGOctober, 2016Hicks
20170135413Apparel SystemMay, 2017Young et al.



Primary Examiner:
HADEN, SALLY CLINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TIM COOK (LIBERTY, TX, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A rigid guard and brace for a cap type visor that slides over to conceal, hide and rest against a front edge of the visor as well as a substantial front portion of a top surface and a bottom surface of the visor, and a lesser front portion of the left and right edges of the visor, suitable to be actively worn in combination with the cap visor on a wearer's head, the cap type visor having a top surface, a bottom surface, a left edge, a right edge, and a front edge, the visor joined to a dome-shaped portion of a cap at a cap band, the guard and brace comprising: substantially rigid spaced apart top and bottom planar members and a single fold forming a single opening to a void between the top and bottom planar members, the fold further defined as a single joining peripheral wall extending from the left edges of the top and bottom planar members all the way around to the right edges of the top and bottom planar members, the joining peripheral wall, and the top and bottom planar members essentially forming an enclosure defined by the wall joining the front edges, left edges and right edges of the top and bottom planar members, said top and bottom planar members absent a joining back wall describing one said single opening to a void located between the back edges of the top and bottom planar members and directly opposite the front of the said joining peripheral wall, to releasably insert the front edge and a lesser frontal portion of the left and right edges of the bill of a cap into said void between the top and bottom plates, such void substantially filled with the frontal portion of the cap bill, the inside back surface of the said joining peripheral wall resting against and concealing the front of a cap type visor as well as a lesser frontal portion of the left and right edges of a cap bill, and the inside surface of the said top and bottom plates to rest against and conceal a substantial front portion of top and bottom surfaces of a cap bill; the spaced apart top and bottom planar members defining the single fold of predetermined fixed area as a means to forcibly shape a substantial front planar portion of the cap type visor; said spaced apart planar members with the single fold located on a substantial front portion of the bill of a cap and the rear portion of the cap type visor remaining exposed, the device substantially away from the cap band as a means to allow the substantial rear portion of the cap bill the flexibility to conform to the shape of a forehead of the wearer; and the cap band comfortably and securely tightened to prevent losing the cap during windy weather or actively tilting of the user's head, the conforming flexible rear portion of the cap visor and tightened cap band having substantially no shaping affect on the substantial front portion of the cap visor constrained by the visor brace.

2. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein spaced apart top planar and bottom planar members are parallel and define the single fold and wherein a single void is bounded by the spaced apart top and bottom planar members, the single fold, and the single opening.

3. The visor guard and brace of claim 2, wherein a single opening to said void is directly opposite the said single fold of said spaced apart top planar and bottom planar members with said fold.

4. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein the top planar member, the bottom planar member, and the joining member comprise an article of manufacture formed of a single contiguous material and wherein the joining member comprises a single fold.

5. The visor guard and brace of claim 4, wherein the single fold of the spaced apart top planar and bottom planar members include a seam running laterally along the single fold wherein the seam is welded or snaps together to join separate top and bottom planar members.

6. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein the spaced apart top planar and bottom planar members with single fold defines one continuous piece formed from a material selected from the group consisting of precious metal, non-precious metal, spring steel, metal alloy, rigid polymer, polyolefins, polyamides, polyethylene, polypropylene, and copolymers and terpolymers thereof.

7. The visor guard and brace of claim 6, wherein a lateral seam in the said single fold of the spaced apart top planar and bottom planar members defines separate planar members, the top planar member formed from a metal type of material and the bottom planar member formed from a plastic material and then glued or snapped together.

8. The visor guard and brace of claim 6, wherein the top planar member, the bottom planar member, and the joining wall member comprise an article of manufacture formed of separate plates and a wall, a composite of fixtures of different materials fit and joined together to form one unit and wherein the joining member comprises a single wall with an opening to a void between the top and bottom planar members.

9. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein the spaced apart top and bottom planar members with single fold are slightly curved and parallel to one another and wherein the void is slightly curved.

10. The visor guard and brace of claim 9, wherein the spaced apart top and bottom planar members with single fold are reversible and may be flipped over to curve a substantial front portion and left and right edges of a cap type visor in the opposite direction.

11. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein the single fold of the spaced apart top plate and bottom plate is substantially a “U” shape wall running laterally along the edges of the top and bottom planar members and joining the top and bottom planar members, the “U” shaped wall having one end on each side of the top and bottom planar members describing an opening to a void to conceal the front portion of a cap type visor as well as the cap type visor's front edge and lesser front portion of the left and right edges of the cap type visor.

12. The visor guard and brace of claim 11, wherein the single fold of the spaced apart top plate and bottom planar members is substantially “U” shaped and may be further formed with additional design configuration such as cut or molded holes, stars, and other shapes.

13. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein the top and bottom planar members are substantially flat and parallel to one another, and wherein the void is substantially flat.

14. The visor guard and brace of claim 13, wherein the top and bottom planar members are substantially flat and parallel to one another and the void is substantially flat, and wherein the device may be removed, flipped over, and reinstalled, and have no effect on the frontal shape of the cap type visor, but give a different esthetic look with the same guard and brace.

15. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein the spaced apart top planar and bottom planar members with single fold is substantially unbendable, except with substantial heat, it will bend slightly and keep a desirable form.

16. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein the bottom planar member is positioned partially beneath the front of the visor and may be reversed to be positioned partially above the front of the visor.

17. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein the top planar member is positioned partially above the front of the visor and may be reversed to be positioned partially below the front of the visor.

18. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein a curved cap type visor may be forcibly shaped to be substantially flat, and wherein a flat cap type visor is forcibly shaped to be curved.

19. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein wear and tear of a substantial portion of the front edge and a lesser portion of the left and right edges of the cap type visor are concealed above, below, and in front of the device.

20. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein the top and bottom planar members and joining wall member may be accessorized by printing on any surface, attaching to any surface or building into any surface independent objects for utility use or display, such as a golf ball marker, bottle cap opener, or a lighted device, or for advertisement, a decal.

21. The visor guard and brace of claim 1, wherein the front edge of the cap type visor may not rest completely flush against the back wall of the single fold.

Description:

This is a Continuation in Part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/908,250, filed May 4, 2005, which application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/568,207 filed May 6, 2004.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of head coverings which have a flexible crown and a generally horizontally extending visor, such as a ball cap, and more particularly to a device providing a wearable substantially rigid guard and brace to cover and conceal the front surfaces and front and side edges of a visor of such a ball cap, the shape of the front of the visor of the ball cap forcibly conforming to the non-bendable shape of the device installed, the device being reversible and primarily affecting the front portion of the cap type bill for comfort.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various ways to bend and shape visors of baseball caps have been used for some time. A visor's main distinguishing characteristic typically includes a fabric covered canopy made of cardboard or plastic generally affixed to a portion of the rim of the flexible crown of a baseball cap. The visor is adapted to extend over the eyes of the wearer to shade the wearer's eyes. Other similar visors are affixed to hat gear that have no crown for the head of a user, but rather are affixed to a rim that fits around the user's head and extend over the eyes, leaving the top of the user's head exposed. Preferably, the visor of a hat shades and protects portions of the wearer's face from the sun, wind, rain, and other elements.

The visor is usually made of a material to give it a certain amount of stiffness to retain a desired shape while also retaining some type of flexibility. Unfortunately, the fabric of the visor gets dirty or torn over time. By grasping the visor with the user's hands, the user often will manually bend or straighten the visor according to the user's desired preference. By constantly manipulating the cap visor, the visor gets dirty and even torn over time from such normal use. Other visors are somewhat pre-curved from the manufacturer but still are constantly touched and manually adjusted by the user. Furthermore, the curvature of the visor, over time, loses its shape and the user has to start over, compounding the problem of cleanliness and wear.

Thus, although the maintaining a particular desired shape of the visor requires a constant effort and is an issue, it is not the only issue. In any case, no presently known user wearable or un-wearable device addresses the need for forcibly conforming one permanent shape on the front of a cap type visor and concealing a substantial front portion of a cap type visor, including concealing the cap type visor's front, left and right edges and forming them while allowing flexibility of a substantial rear portion of the cap type visor next to the crown of the cap as the crown is tightened and pressed against the forehead; maintaining the front surfaces and edges of a baseball cap visor's cleanliness, hiding dirty and worn spots or tears, and by means of the brace's minimal affect on the rear portion of the cap type visor, adding comfort to the visor when worn in combination with the cap type visor, and lastly, reversing the curve of the cap type bill.

Flexible or adjustable devices for baseball cap type visors do exist in the art for shaping or storing. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,533,652 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,908,146 both issued to Levin relate to a cap visor shaping, transport, storage, washing and/or display device including a lateral member with two hook tabs extending up to retain a cap visor with the lateral or central member being arched upwardly in the center with the hook tabs forming a shoulder to receive both sides of a cap visor. An elastic strap extends over the top of the visor to bend the visor to a desired curvature.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,234,367 issued to McCallister teaches a similar device for bending a cap visor. The device includes first and second interconnected block members each having an S-shaped portion upwardly extending from the outer edge thereof that forms a groove on the upper surface for receiving a side edge of a cap visor. A threaded shaft extends from one of the block members and alternately continues with a threaded bore on the other block member so that rotation of the screw in the shaft moves the blocks closer or farther apart. A user can bend a cap visor to a desired curvature by securing the visor within the block grooves and moving the blocks a select distance until the desired curvature is achieved.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,634,575 issued to Scharrenberg relates to another apparatus and method of reforming cap visors. The device includes a visor shaped upper member having a pair of adjustable retention plate strips that snap to each other for bending and retaining a cap visor. The pair of elongated retention plate devices are attached to the upper visor member that is laid on top of the visor. The visor member then bends the cap visor as the two retention plate strips are attached together at the desired juncture the user demands.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,927,063 issued to Fricano relates to a combination cap hanger and cap visor press that includes spring loaded gripping members with a curved form to receive a cap visor. The curvature of the gripping members and the force of the spring combine to press the cap visor into a desired shape. The device has a hanging member portion that is formed in the gripping member to allow the cap to be hung by the visor.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,074,508 issued to Powers provides a retention hook tab with a barb located within a vehicle to insert the cap visor and support the cap out of the way while not being worn.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,163,589 issued to Biehl relates to a cap press including a cylindrical base portion for stretching the body of the cap and a visor clamp with a pair of jaws operably connected to press the cap visor into a predetermined shape.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,161,719 issued to Otteson et al. relates to a cap shaping and drying device having a mesh support frame for the crown and a wire framed projection member for supporting and shaping the visor and is particularly useful for allowing the crown and cap to keep the shape the user intends after washing and drying time.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,196,428 issued to Robak is essentially another cap visor shaping device that consists of a rectangular arched body with a molded hollow sleeve on each end and a molded hanger type hook in the center portion of the body. On one end is a cylindrical sleeve for inserting the visor of a cap and on the other end is another cylindrical sleeve to insert the visor of another cap for shaping. The device has a hanger feature between the two cylinders to hang the hat on a clothes hanger rod.

Barbaccia, U.S. Pat. No. 5,991,927, teaches a shaping device with a bill-shaping wall having a bill locking portion at each of its first and second terminal ends. The bill of the cap fits into the shaping device such that the bill locking portions frictionally hold the bill against the bill-shaping wall, thereby shaping the bill into the shape of the bill-shaping wall. Unfortunately, the bill of the cap extends beyond the bill-shaping device so that the bill or visor is exposed to dirt and wear, as previously described.

Thus, different flexible or adjustable devices do exist in prior art for bending and storing the baseball cap type visor, although none address the need for a wearable and replaceable guard and brace for forcibly conforming a cap type visor to one permanent very rigid un-bendable shape, while also concealing dirt, grime and wear on a substantial front portion of a cap visor's top and bottom surfaces and edges, yet allowing flexibility of a substantial rear portion of the cap visor as the cap band next to the crown is tightened for comfort and security, and furthermore, protecting the front top and bottom surfaces and edges of the cap bill from additional dirt, tears, and wear, and lastly, the ability to reverse the curve of the front portion of a cap type visor with the same outcome of comfort. The present invention addresses these and other needs in the art. No presently known device addresses such needs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a wearable dual plated enclosure of rigid material defining a guard and brace which may be slipped onto the front portion of a cap type visor by the user and then force the front substantial portion of the visor into one predetermined shape, provide frontal protection against smudging, and hide frayed edges. If desired, the user may remove the guard and brace and replace it with another such brace with a different type of utility accessory such as a gold ball marker, or an adornment, such as a decal, or another fixed shape. The user may select another less curved or flat shaped brace and change the shape of the front of a cap type visor, as in the case of a slightly curved guard and brace, by flipping the brace upside down to forcibly cause the front edge and front portion of the left and right edges of the visor of a cap to curl in the opposite direction, or as in the case of a flat guard and brace, the front edge and front most portion of the left and right edges remain flat but the front portion of the cap type bill have a different aesthetic look. Furthermore, the guard and brace can force a curved bill to be substantially flat, or a flat bill to be slightly curved. Additionally, the present invention is unique in that it provides a permanent flat or curved shape to the substantial front portion of the bill of a cap while at the same time allowing the user to tighten the band of the cap next to the crown of the cap as tight as necessary, forcing the rear portion of the cap bill to bend as the band around the crown of the cap is tightened against the forehead to keep the cap from falling off while actively being worn. This is a unique comfort and security feature that affords the user the ability to not lose their cap as they bend over, run, or otherwise find themselves in windy conditions. And lastly, the guard and brace is adaptable to force a curved cap type visor to be flat or a flat cap type visor to be curved.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor that is lightweight, inexpensive, and unobtrusive, suitable to be actively worn in combination with the visor head gear.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor may be removed and placed on another cap visor.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor will cover and conceal frayed or worn areas on the front of the cap bill so as not to be seen.

It is also an object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor provides protection from dirt and grime from handling and tossing around.

It is an object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor that can be reversed to make the cap bill edges turn upwards instead of the edges down.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor which does not have to be attached every time the user stores the baseball cap type visor or detached every time the user decides to wear the visor head gear.

It is still further an object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor that when worn on the baseball cap type visor has a pleasing, aesthetic, ornamental look to the eye.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor will afford the user a way to force the front of the visor to maintain one permanent shape while being stored.

It is still another object of this invention to provide a device for a baseball cap type visor that may be used for advertising.

It is an object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor that covers and conceals a substantial portion of the front portion of a cap bill or visor.

It is an object of this invention to provide a device when applied to a baseball cap type visor that can forcibly conform the front portion of the curve of a cap bill to remain in one shape while allowing the rear portion of the cap bill to flex as the band of the crown of the cap is comfortably tightened against the forehead to safely keep the cap from falling off while actively being worn.

It is an object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor that is reversible and can be flipped over to forcibly conform the front portion of the cap bill to another permanent shape while allowing the rear portion of the cap bill to bend as the band of the crown of the cap is tightened against the forehead to keep the cap from falling off while actively being worn.

It is an object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor that is able to forcibly conform the front portion of a flat cap bill to become permanently curved, and a vice-versa, forcibly conform the front portion of a curved cap bill to become permanently flat.

It is an object of this invention to provide a device when applied to the front of a baseball cap type visor, the user is able to select additional functional accessories that may be added to the device.

These and other objects, features, and advantages will be immediately apparent to those of skill in the art from a review of the following detailed description along with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

So that the manner in which the above recited features, advantages and objects of the present invention are attained and can be understood in detail, more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings.

FIG. 1 is a rear perspective view of the present invention showing a baseball cap type brace of rigid material adapted to be placed onto the front of a visor.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of one of several replaceable accessory devices to be added to the brace of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an isometric frontal view of a preferred embodiment of the device with the replaceable device of FIG. 2 affixed to the brace of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an isometric frontal view of a preferred embodiment of a brace of rigid material of FIG. 3 with the front of the cap type visor slid into the brace.

FIG. 5 is an isometric frontal view of another preferred embodiment of the device shown as two plates soldered together at a seam to form a brace with the front of the cap type visor slid into the brace.

FIG. 6 is a perspective rear view of an alternative embodiment of the brace of this invention having a flat profile.

FIG. 7 is an end view of the opening of the brace of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the brace shown in FIG. 6 installed on a cap type visor showing the bending of the rear portion of the cap bill while maintaining the flat shape of the front most portion of the cap type visor caused by tightening the band of the crown of the cap against the forehead of a user, the dotted lines and direction arrows indicating the tightening of the cap band.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the brace of this invention having a slightly curved profile and installed on front of a cap type visor worn by a user causing the left and right edges of the cap type visor to curl downward.

FIG. 10 is perspective view of the brace shown in FIG. 9 flipped over and installed on front of a cap type visor forcing the left and right edges of the cap type visor to curl upwards instead of downwards.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 and 3 through 5 depict a presently preferred embodiment of a visor guard and brace 10 of the present invention. The brace 10 in FIGS. 1, and 3 through 10 comprises a spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b separated by a single “U” shaped fold or joining wall 16, the top and bottom planar members and fold forming a single opening 22 shown in FIG. 1 to form a void 24 between the top and bottom planar members 14a and 14b, the said joining wall or fold 16 further defined as a single joining peripheral wall 16 extending from the left edge 18a of the top and bottom planar members 14a and 14b all the way around to the right edge 18b of the top and bottom planar members 14a and 14b, the joining peripheral wall 16, and the top and bottom planar members 14a and 14b essentially forming an enclosure defined by the wall 16 joining the front edge 18c, left edge 18a and right edge 18b of the top and bottom planar members 14a and 14b, said top and bottom planar members absent a joining back wall describing one said single opening 22 located opposite the front edge 18c between the left edge 18a and right edge 18b of the joining wall or fold 16 of the top and bottom planar members 14a and 14b. The planar members 14a and 14b are spaced apart to provide a void 24 with sufficient gap to grip the visor of a ball cap 40, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. In FIGS. 4 and 5, the brace 10 when installed on a cap type visor 42, forcibly constrains the frontal portion of the cap type visor 42 into one permanent shape and maintains the frontal shape of the cap type visor 42 as long as the user wears the brace 10. The brace 10 furthermore covers, encloses, conceals and hides the front edge of the cap type visor at the front edge 18c of the brace 10, as well as a lesser portion of the left and right edge of the cap type visor at the left edge 18a and right edge 18b of the brace 10.

The spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b and joining wall or fold 16 of the brace 10 of the embodiment of FIGS. 1, and 3 through 5 is preferably stamped or molded, but it may be extruded, die cast, cut out or other appropriate manufacturing techniques known or discovered in the art. Such units are preferably made out of a metal material, most preferably from thin, tempered aluminum or steel stock or other such treated and blended metal alloys that lend themselves to a very stiff property that renders itself to being absolutely rigid. Alternatively, the spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b and joining wall or fold 16 may be formed of a material such as plastic that may be injected into a mold, so long as it is sufficiently rigid to permanently form the front of the visor of the cap.

Many other materials lend themselves to such rigid properties allowing for no bend or motion, yet having casting, cutting or stamping ease and thus the preference of tempered aluminum or steel should not limit the scope of the invention. For example, the device may be made of a precious metal, spring steel, metal alloy, spring alloy, rigid polymer, polyolefins, polyamides, polyethylene, polypropylene, copolymers, and terpolymers thereof. While the manufacture of the visor guard and brace device 10 by a multi-step process of using a metal material of a particular stock, that is subsequently stamped, cast, molded, or cut is preferred, it can also be appreciated that the visor guard and brace device 10 can also be thermoformed or a combination thereof, such as is the case with a corrugated carbide fiber plastic or other similar plastic or nylon raw materials and such materials are well within the scope of the present invention.

As previously described, the spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b and joining wall or fold 16 in FIGS. 1 and 3 through 5 is preferably molded, cast, cut or stamped from stock in various lengths and widths and formed flat or arched in various degrees of shape. Once so formed, the spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b and joining wall or fold 16 in FIGS. 1 and 3 through 5 is preferably similar in size and appearance to any substantial amount of the front portion of the cap bill and has a cross-sectional distance of approximately one-half inch to three inches in the center portion and a length of approximately 7 to 11 inches depending on the width of the visor intended, and a cross-sectional thickness at any given point from bottom surface to top surface of approximately one-half inches, and a wall thickness of approximately 1 to 1.5 millimeter.

The spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b and joining wall or fold 16 in FIGS. 1 and 3 through 5 receives the front, as well as lesser portion of the left and right edges of a baseball cap type visor 42, the cap type visor 42 being inserted into the opening 22 of FIG. 1 of the void 24. A preferred embodiment of the visor guard and brace 10 of FIG. 4 arches substantially under the baseball cap type visor 42, the spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b and joining wall or fold 16 in FIGS. 1 and 3 through 5 pushing the central portion of the baseball cap type visor 42 in an arch shape while grasping and pulling the edges of the baseball cap type visor 42 in the opposite direction after insertion. By grasping the baseball cap type visor edge 42 on the left or right side, with one hand, the user can first grasp the spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b and joining wall or fold 16 in FIGS. 1 and 3 through 5 with the other hand, making sure that the opening 22 aligns with the edge of the visor 42, and then push the baseball cap type visor edge 42 into the void 24 filling the void 24. In FIG. 4 the front edge of the cap type visor 42 rests against the back of the front joining wall or fold 18c.

Additionally, the brace 10 of spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b and joining wall or fold 16 in FIGS. 1 and 3 through 5 may also take on other esthetic characteristics, such as having a Florentine finish or having more curves and bends and holes to produce different designs while maintaining the functions just described, or the brace 10 of spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b with joining wall or fold 16 in FIGS. 1 and 3 through 5 may have no bend at all and be perfectly flat.

FIG. 5 depicts another preferred embodiment of an ornamental baseball cap type visor guard and brace device 10 formed of spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b welded or brazed together along a seam or joint 30 in the arcuate joining wall or fold 16. Alternately, the device 10 may be formed of a single article of manufacture and simply folded to provide the upper and lower plates. In either case, the seam or joint 30, located laterally in joining wall or fold 16 conceals and hides the front edge of the cap type visor 42, as well as a lesser portion of the left and right edges of the cap type visor 42 and joining wall or fold 16 extends a substantial linear distance around the linear curvature of the frontal portion of the brim of the cap 42, from a lesser portion of the cap type visor's left edge all the way around to a lesser portion of the cap type visor's right edge. There may be some space between the back of the seam 30 in joining wall or fold 16 and the front edge of the cap type visor, but the seam 30 in joining wall or fold 16 is curved to the general shape of the front edge of a cap type visor and likewise conceals the front, as well as a lesser amount of the left and right edge of a cap type visor. The placement of the seam or joint 30 in joining wall or fold 16 could be more or less moved substantially lower or higher depending on manufacturability constraints. Alternately, the top and bottom planar members 14a and 14b may be releasably joined together by snapping together or apart along seam or joint 30 of FIG. 5. The embodiment of FIG. 5 conforms in all other respects to the structure and function previously described in respect of FIGS. 1 and 3 through 5.

In FIG. 2-5, a device 26 may be affixed to the brace 10 by gluing, screwing, wedging or any other preferred means of attachment desirable to attach the device to the brace 10. The device 26 is preferably made of a material that can be stamped, cut, engraved, painted or molded and can be any number of useable accessories such as a detachable golf ball marker, bottle cap opener, or lighted display apparatus, all with functionality, or the device can be an aesthetic decor such as rhinestones, or a decal for advertisement. The device 26 can be set-in or molded into the brace 10 and is preferably small enough to be placed somewhere on or into the spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b with joining wall or fold 16 of brace 10.

Other devices 26, without detracting from the utility of the invention, may allow for the visor guard and brace 10 to be used as ornamentation of the ball cap. Such additional features include the spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b with joining wall or fold 16 having fixed design on the top and bottom plate surfaces, either stamped, painted, cut, molded or affixed to the plate. Additionally, the device 26 may substantially cover the entire device 10. Furthermore, the brace 10 may also render itself to different shapes other than an arch, for example the spaced apart top planar member 14a and bottom planar member 14b with joining wall or fold 16 may more closely define a flat shape, the brace 10 being more than able to hold a shape permanently according to a user selectively choosing a pre-styled shape. Finally, the brace 10 with or without the device 26 may be packaged for resale as a single unit or a separate units.

FIGS. 6 through 8 depict another preferred embodiment of the invention, wherein a device 50 defines a substantially flat configuration. The device 50 defines a substantially rigid body 52 with an arcuate front seam or fold 54. The device is formed of a top plate 56 and a bottom plate 58, both of which are flat and substantially parallel to one another. As in previously described embodiments of the invention, the front seam or fold 54 may be formed of a single article of manufacture with the top and bottom plates, or the top and bottom plates may be jointed together as by welding, brazing or snapping together. The seam or fold 54 is curved in the plane of the top and bottom plates to yield a general shape similar to the curve of the front portion of the cap type visor from the visor left edge to right, and thus substantially conform to the curved front edge of a visor 60 of a ball cap 62.

As shown in FIG. 7, the top plate 56 and the bottom plate 58 define a flat pocket 64 which is closed at the front to cover, conceal, hide, and enclose the front edge of a cap type visor, as well as a lesser portion of the left and right edge of the cap type visor 60 in FIG. 8 and is only open at the back in order to receive the visor. As shown in FIG. 8 of this configuration, when installed on the front portion of the cap type visor 60, the front of the visor 60 is forcibly constrained to remain flat. In FIG. 8, even as the band 66 of the crown 68 of cap 62 is tightened, as indicated by the direction and location of the dotted line, the pressure applied to the forehead of the user does not cause the front portion of the cap type visor 60 to bend, and indeed the user is able to tighten the band 66 without losing the flatness of the front of the cap type visor. This feature is not lost on the user since until the brace 10 of the present disclosure, the band 66 had to remain loose in order to keep the front of the cap bill flat due to the flexibility of the cap type visor 60 absent a brace 10. The rear portion of the cap type visor 60 of FIG. 8 still may flex and bend as the band 66 is tightened without affecting the flat frontal portion of the cap type visor 60. This is a unique comfort and security feature that affords the user the ability to not lose their cap as they bend over, run, or otherwise find themselves in windy conditions.

FIGS. 9 and 10 depict another preferred embodiment of the invention, wherein a device 70 defines a substantially semi-flat configuration. The device 70 defines a substantially rigid body of spaced apart top planar member 76 and bottom planar member 78 with joining wall or fold 74. The device is formed of a top plate 76 and a bottom plate 78, both of which are semi-flat and substantially parallel to one another. In this embodiment, the brace 70 in FIG. 9 is installed on the cap type visor 80 of cap 82 as to forcibly yield a turning down of the cap type visor 80 left and right edges. The brace 70 of FIG. 9 is removed, flipped over, and re-installed on the cap type visor 80 to forcibly yield a configuration in FIG. 10 whereas the front, left, and right edges of the cap type visor 80 turn upwards instead of down.

While the preferred embodiment of the invention comprises a substantially rigid spaced apart top planar member and bottom planar member with joining wall or fold, the spaced apart top planar member and bottom planar member with joining wall or fold may also be made of a relatively pliable material that is reinforced with another rigid material at intervals within the spaced apart top planar member and bottom planar member with joining wall or fold to hold a rigid unbendable user desired shape of the front portion of a cap type visor.

Other alterations and modifications of the invention will likewise become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the present disclosure, and it is intended that the scope of the invention disclosed herein be limited only by the broadest interpretation of the appended claims to which the inventors are legally entitled.





 
Previous Patent: Thermal bathwear

Next Patent: Therapeutic sock for diabetics