Title:
Garment with retractable cuff system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An elongated, tubular, flexible garment is described which has sleeves with open ends and a centrally located, longitudinal opening. The garment is adapted to fit over the arms and across the shoulders of a person. Embodiments of the inventive technology may include inner and outer cuffs (e.g., retractable cuffs, such as retractable outer cuffs); such cuffs (particularly the outer cuffs) may be secured in retracted or extended positions using fasteners. If desired, the garment may include an elastic back portion. The garment may keep a person's arms warm without restricting movement of the arms in any way and without providing an unnecessary and undesired warming of the wearer's torso region. The garment is useful in various sporting activities (e.g., golfing, skiing, exercising, etc.) or working activity where free arm movement is required.



Inventors:
Jones, David J. (Carpenter, WY, US)
Application Number:
11/895907
Publication Date:
02/28/2008
Filing Date:
08/27/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/123, 2/125, 2/69
International Classes:
A41D3/08; A41B1/08; A41B7/00; A41D1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ANDERSON, AMBER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SANTANGELO LAW OFFICES, P.C. (FORT COLLINS, CO, US)
Claims:
1. A garment comprising: two sleeves having two open ends, a centrally located opening between said sleeves; an inner cuff at each of said two open ends; an outer cuff at each of said two open ends; wherein said garment is adapted to fit over the arms and across the shoulders but not over the torso of a person wearing said garment.

2. A garment as described in claim 1 wherein said centrally located opening comprises a centrally located, longitudinal opening.

3. A garment as described in claim 1 wherein said garment has a length in the range of about 30 to 90 inches and a diameter in the range of about 3 to 12 inches.

4. A garment as described in claim 1 wherein each said outer cuff is retractable from an extended configuration to a retracted configuration.

5. A garment as described in claim 4 wherein each said outer cuff includes at least part of a cuff fastener usable to secure a respective said outer cuff in said retracted configuration.

6. A garment as described in claim 5 wherein each said cuff fastener is also usable to secure said respective outer cuff in said extended configuration.

7. A garment as described in claim 5 wherein said cuff fastener is Velcro®.

8. A garment as described in claim 1 further comprising a flexible hood adjacent said centrally located opening.

9. A garment as described in claim 1 further comprising a neck band adjacent said centrally located opening and adapted to encircle the neck of said person.

10. A garment as described in claim 1 wherein said garment is separable into two or three parts via at least one fastener located substantially adjacent said centrally located opening.

11. A garment as described in claim 10 wherein said at least one fastener comprises Velcro®.

12. A garment as described in claim 1 further comprising an elastic back portion between said sleeves.

13. A garment comprising: two sleeves, each having an open end, a centrally located opening between said sleeves; and an elastic back portion between said sleeves and substantially opposite said centrally located opening, wherein said garment is adapted to fit over the arms and across the shoulders but not over the torso of a person wearing said garment.

14. A garment as described in claim 13 further comprising at least one fastener enabling separation of said garment into at least two parts

15. A garment as described in claim 14 wherein said at least one fastener is located substantially adjacent said centrally located opening.

16. A garment as described in claim 14 wherein said at least one fastener comprises Velcro®.

17. A garment as described in claim 13 further comprising an inner cuff and an outer cuff at each of said two open ends.

18. A garment as described in claim 17 wherein each said outer cuff is retractable from an extended configuration to a retracted configuration.

19. A garment as described in claim 18 wherein each said outer cuff includes at least part of a cuff fastener usable to secure a respective said outer cuff in said retracted configuration.

20. A garment as described in claim 19 wherein each said cuff fastener is also usable to secure said respective outer cuff in said extended configuration.

21. A garment as described in claim 19 wherein said cuff fastener is Velcro®.

22. A garment as described in claim 13 wherein said centrally located opening comprises a centrally located, longitudinal opening.

23. A garment as described in claim 13 wherein said garment has a length in the range of about 30 to 90 inches and a diameter in the range of about 3 to 12 inches.

24. A garment as described in claim 13 further comprising a flexible hood adjacent said centrally located opening.

25. A garment as described in claim 13 further comprising a neck band adjacent said centrally located opening and adapted to encircle the neck of said person.

26. A garment as described in claim 13 wherein said an elastic back portion comprises spandex.

27. A garment as described in claim 15 wherein said an elastic back portion is separable from said sleeves at said at least one fastener.

28. A garment as described in claim 15 wherein said an elastic back portion is separable into at least two parts via said at least one fastener.

Description:

This is a United States non-provisional patent application claiming priority to U.S. provisional application 60/840,356, filed Aug. 25, 2006, said provisional application hereby incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Embodiments of the inventive technology relate to wearing apparel which, among having other uses, may find particular application for sports or working activity. Preferred embodiments of the inventive technology may relate to apparel for a person's arms.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTIVE TECHNOLOGY

The human body is so structured and biomedically programmed that, when the temperature of the body starts to fall, more blood will be pumped to the vital organs in the torso, and to the brain, to keep the life support system running within an acceptable temperature range. Blood supply to the limbs will be constricted, and the sensation of ‘being cold’ will be often be first felt in feet, arms and legs, though not necessarily in that order. A natural response is then to don a coat with sleeves, gloves, heavier socks, or overpants to stay warmer. But in many cases, coats with sleeves have the effect of both restricting movement and overheating the torso area, causing it to perspire. The garment technology described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,706,304 includes sleeves but lacks a torso section. As such, it is able to insulate those areas that may be in particular need of such insulation and the warmth it generates—the upper extremities—without insulating the torso, which may not be in need of such insulation.

Various types of wearing apparel, other than conventional coats and vests, are described, for example, in the patents cited in the information disclosure statement filed with this application. However, none of such prior patents—including U.S. Pat. No. 4,706,304, hereby incorporated herein in its entirety—address the problems solved by embodiments of the garment of the present inventive technology. In particular, none provide a garment that is designed only to fit over the arms and across the shoulders, but not over the torso, while also affording features such as inner and outer cuffs, cuff retractability, overall garment “stretchability” (e.g., at the garment back), and/or garment separability.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTIVE TECHNOLOGY

In accordance with certain embodiments of the present inventive technology there is provided a flexible garment having sleeves, each with an open ends and a centrally located opening between the sleeves (when the garment is worn). This garment may be adapted to fit over the arms and across the shoulders of a person wearing it and, in various embodiments, may include an inner cuff at each of the two open ends and an outer cuff at each such end and/or at least one fastener enabling separation of the garment (e.g., into two or three parts). The garment may find particularly suitable application while worn in conjunction with a vest.

Embodiments of the garment of the inventive technology may be especially useful and desirable for persons involved in various sporting or working activities who wish to keep their arms warm without restricting the mobility thereof (as may be required in sport or work activities). Thus, the garment of the inventive technology may be very beneficial for persons engaged in skiing, golfing, mountaineering, etc.

Other advantages will be apparent from the detailed description provided herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The inventive technology is described in more detail hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to the same parts throughout the several views and in which:

FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of the inventive garment technology.

FIGS. 2A and 2B illustrate front and rear views of a person wearing an embodiment of the inventive garment technology.

FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of the inventive garment with a neck band.

FIG. 4 shows an embodiment of the inventive garment with a hood.

FIG. 5 shows a front view of an embodiment of the inventive technology having a separable elastic back portion.

FIG. 6 shows a rear view of an embodiment of the inventive technology having a separable elastic back portion.

FIG. 7 shows a front view of a one-piece embodiment of the inventive technology having an elastic back portion.

FIG. 8 shows a rear view of a one-piece embodiment of the inventive technology having a elastic back portion.

FIG. 9 shows a view of an embodiment of the inventive technology with a removable bib and standard cuffs (particularly suited for welding).

FIG. 10 shows a rear view of an embodiment of the inventive technology of FIG. 9 (bib not shown in this view).

FIG. 11 shows a part of an embodiment of the garment with a closer view of a inner and outer cuffs (extended configuration; unfastened) and a cuff fastener.

FIG. 12 shows a part of an embodiment of the garment with a closer view of inner and outer cuffs (retracted configuration; unfastened) and a cuff fastener.

FIG. 13 shows a part of an embodiment of the garment with a closer view of inner and outer cuffs (retracted configuration; partially fastened) and a cuff fastener.

FIG. 14 shows a part of an embodiment of the garment with a closer view of inner and outer cuffs (retracted configuration; fastened).

FIG. 15 shows a part of an embodiment of the garment with a closer view of the outer cuff fastened in extended configuration and forming an overlap around a glove.

FIG. 16 shows a part of an embodiment of the garment with a closer view of the outer cuff fastened in retracted configuration and a glove forming an overlap around the inner cuff.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTIVE TECHNOLOGY

As mentioned earlier, the present invention includes a variety of aspects, which may be combined in different ways. The following descriptions are provided to list elements and describe some of the embodiments of the present invention. These elements are listed with initial embodiments, however it should be understood that they may be combined in any manner and in any number to create additional embodiments. The variously described examples and preferred embodiments should not be construed to limit the present invention to only the explicitly described systems, techniques, and applications. Further, this description should be understood to support and encompass descriptions and claims of all the various embodiments, systems, techniques, methods, devices, and applications with any number of the disclosed elements, with each element alone, and also with any and all various permutations and combinations of all elements in this or any subsequent application.

At least one embodiment of the inventive technology may be a garment 1 that includes two sleeves 3 having two open ends 4 and a centrally located opening 5 between the sleeves, an inner cuff 6 at each of the two open ends, and an outer cuff 7 at each of the two open ends, where the garment is adapted to fit over the arms and across the shoulders but not over the torso 8 of a person wearing the garment. The garment's centrally located opening (centrally located when the garment is worn) may be a centrally located, longitudinal opening in that it may have a length that is at least three times its width.

The garment may be separable into two or three parts via at least one fastener 10 (including but not limited to Velcro®, other hook and loop fasteners, snap closures, buttons, fastening clasps, adjustable straps and strap buckles, etc.) located substantially adjacent the centrally located opening. Indeed, any fastener—whether as a cuff fastener or other type of fastener—that finds use in embodiments of the inventive technology may be any of such aforementioned specific types of fastener. The tubular garment is intended to be worn over the arms and across the shoulders of the wearer to keep the arms warm without restricting free movement of the arms for sporting activities (e.g., skiing, golfing, tennis, etc) or for working activities or for exercising.

As shown in the figures, the garment may include sleeves and inner 6 and outer 7 cuffs at the open ends nearest to the hands. Although indeed both the inner and outer cuffs may be reconfigurable between extended and retracted positions, preferred embodiments envision only the outer cuff as reconfigurable in such fashion. Each of the outer cuffs may be retractable from an extended configuration 12 to a retracted configuration 13; each such cuff may include at least part of a cuff fastener 15 usable to secure a respective outer cuff in retracted configuration (see, e.g., FIG. 16) and/or usable to secure the respective outer cuff in the extended configuration see, e.g., FIG. 15). In some embodiments, the remaining part of the cuff fastener will be located on the outer part of a sleeve of the garment, perhaps in an area of the garment corresponding to the mid or upper forearm of the wearer. However, as shown in FIG. 11, e.g., typically the entire fastener (e.g., the hook portion and the corresponding loop portion) will be on a cuff and usable to secure a cuff in an extended and a retracted configuration. It is of note that a cuff that is sufficiently elastic to allow reconfiguration from an extended to a retracted configuration and that is securable in such retracted configuration through action of such elastic is deemed to include a cuff fastener.

Again, in certain embodiments, each outer cuff can be retracted (e.g., be folded back onto the forearm). Cuff retractability may enhance wearer comfort, warmth and freedom of motion, inter alia; cuff retractability may be particularly convenient when a wearer of the garment is engaged in manual work (e.g., with hands, and in tight places). When extended (and perhaps secured in such extended configuration using a cuff fastener), the outer cuff may provide an overlap; perhaps the outer cuff may overlap a glove whose open end itself provides an additional overlap over the inner cuff (see, e.g., FIGS. 15 and 16). Again, any overlap provided by the outer cuff may be maintained with a cuff fastener of some sort.

In certain embodiments, a garment may include two sleeves, each having an open end, a centrally located opening between the sleeves; and an elastic back portion 20 between the sleeves and substantially opposite the centrally located opening, where the garment is adapted to fit over the arms and across the shoulders but not over the torso of a person wearing it. As mentioned, the garment may further include at least one fastener 10 enabling separation of the garment into parts (e.g., two or three parts), where the garment is adapted to fit over the arms and across the shoulders but not over the torso of a person. In some designs, the least at one fastener is located substantially adjacent the centrally located opening. In some designs (see, e.g., FIGS. 5 and 6), the elastic back portion is separable from the sleeves at the at two fasteners. Certain wearers may particularly appreciate those designs where the elastic back portion is separable into at least two parts via the at least one fastener 10.

The tubular garment may be made in various sizes in order to accommodate persons of varying size and age. Generally speaking, the length of the garment may vary from about 30 to about 90 inches. The diameter may also vary, for example, from about 3 to about 12 inches, if desired. The diameter may be uniform along the length of the garment or it may be smaller at the ends and larger in the middle, if desired. The central opening is typically sufficiently large to accommodate the width of the wearer's body. Generally speaking, the central opening has a length in the range of about 12 to 30 inches to accommodate persons of different sizes.

Particular embodiments may further include a flexible hood 25 adjacent the centrally located opening and/or a neck band 26 adjacent the centrally located opening and adapted to encircle the neck of the person. If desired, the neck band may be openable, where ends thereof are connectable together by means of a fastener.

The garment may be made of various materials or combinations of materials. For example, it may be made of wool, cotton, leather, denim, synthetics (polyester, rayon, taslon, nylon, acrylic, nylon taffeta, ripstop, polyurethane, Gore-tex™, leather, bio-steel or Kevlar for ballistic resistance capabilities, thinsulate, polyester, as but a few examples). In some designs it may be knitted or woven. It may also include thermal insulation (down, synthetic insulating material, thinsulate or polyester, foam, as but a few examples), if desired. Cuffs may be made from an elastic material.

The arm portions of the garment may be made of one material and any back portion (which connects the two sleeves at the back) may be composed of an entirely different material (e.g., spandex or other elastic material), if desired. Such design may afford the benefit of preventing unwanted dislodging of overlaps provided by outer cuffs in extended configuration over glove portions; such dislodging might otherwise occur when the wearer puts his or her arms into certain positions (e.g., crossing of arms in front of the chest). As can be appreciated, when a wearer puts arms into such certain positions an elastic back portion of the garment may “absorb” the tension that otherwise would be applied to cuffs, such force application on cuffs often sufficient to dislodge any desirable overlap. Any elastic back portion may be small in width (e.g., ¼″, as but one example), or, as in preferred embodiments, it may be larger (e.g., in some larger sized garments, 22″). It is of note that the elastic back portion may be an elastic fastener (e.g., adjustable elastic strap(s) and associated buckle(s)).

As mentioned, the garment—whether it has an elastic back portion or not—may be separable into two or three parts via at least one fastener located substantially adjacent the centrally located opening (e.g., located at the back of the garment). Such fastener(s) may provide an ability to custom fit the garment. Where there is an elastic back portion, there may be (but not need be) a fastener(s)—where there is one fastener, it may be located on either side of the elastic back portion or between parts thereof (e.g., in the middle of the elastic back portion); where there are two fasteners, they typically will be located on either side of the back portion and act to connect the separable back portion to both sleeves.

Other variants are possible without departing from the scope of the present inventive technology. For example, the garment may be worn as a scarf or a muffler by wrapping it around the neck of the wearer.

As can be easily understood from the foregoing, the basic concepts of the present invention may be embodied in a variety of ways. It involves both garment design techniques as well as devices to accomplish the appropriate design. In this application, the garment techniques are disclosed as part of the results shown to be achieved by the various devices described and as steps which are inherent to utilization. They are simply the natural result of utilizing the devices as intended and described. In addition, while some devices are disclosed, it should be understood that these not only accomplish certain methods but also can be varied in a number of ways. Importantly, as to all of the foregoing, all of these facets should be understood to be encompassed by this disclosure.

The discussion included in this application is intended to serve as a basic description. The reader should be aware that the specific discussion may not explicitly describe all embodiments possible; many alternatives are implicit. It also may not fully explain the generic nature of the invention and may not explicitly show how each feature or element can actually be representative of a broader function or of a great variety of alternative or equivalent elements. Again, these are implicitly included in this disclosure. Where the invention is described in device-oriented terminology, each element of the device implicitly performs a function. Apparatus claims may not only be included for the device described, but also method or process claims may be included to address the functions the invention and each element performs. Neither the description nor the terminology is intended to limit the scope of the claims that will be included in any subsequent patent application.

It should also be understood that a variety of changes may be made without departing from the essence of the invention. Such changes are also implicitly included in the description. They still fall within the scope of this invention. A broad disclosure encompassing both the explicit embodiment(s) shown, the great variety of implicit alternative embodiments, and the broad methods or processes and the like are encompassed by this disclosure and may be relied upon when drafting the claims for any subsequent patent application. It should be understood that such language changes and broader or more detailed claiming may be accomplished at a later date (such as by any required deadline) or in the event the applicant subsequently seeks a patent filing based on this filing. With this understanding, the reader should be aware that this disclosure is to be understood to support any subsequently filed patent application that may seek examination of as broad a base of claims as deemed within the applicant's right and may be designed to yield a patent covering numerous aspects of the invention both independently and as an overall system.

Further, each of the various elements of the invention and claims may also be achieved in a variety of manners. Additionally, when used or implied, an element is to be understood as encompassing individual as well as plural structures that may or may not be physically connected. This disclosure should be understood to encompass each such variation, be it a variation of an embodiment of any apparatus embodiment, a method or process embodiment, or even merely a variation of any element of these. Particularly, it should be understood that as the disclosure relates to elements of the invention, the words for each element may be expressed by equivalent apparatus terms or method terms—even if only the function or result is the same. Such equivalent, broader, or even more generic terms should be considered to be encompassed in the description of each element or action. Such terms can be substituted where desired to make explicit the implicitly broad coverage to which this invention is entitled. As but one example, it should be understood that all actions may be expressed as a means for taking that action or as an element which causes that action. Similarly, each physical element disclosed should be understood to encompass a disclosure of the action which that physical element facilitates. Regarding this last aspect, as but one example, the disclosure of a “fastener” should be understood to encompass disclosure of the act of “fastening”—whether explicitly discussed or not—and, conversely, were there effectively disclosure of the act of “fastening”, such a disclosure should be understood to encompass disclosure of a “fastener” and even a “means for fastening” Such changes and alternative terms are to be understood to be explicitly included in the description.

Any patents, publications, or other references mentioned in this application for patent are hereby incorporated by reference. Any priority case(s) claimed by this application is hereby appended and hereby incorporated by reference. In addition, as to each term used it should be understood that unless its utilization in this application is inconsistent with a broadly supporting interpretation, common dictionary definitions should be understood as incorporated for each term and all definitions, alternative terms, and synonyms such as contained in the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, second edition are hereby incorporated by reference. Finally, all references listed in the list of References To Be Incorporated By Reference In Accordance With The Provisional Patent Application or other information statement filed with the application are hereby appended and hereby incorporated by reference, however, as to each of the above, to the extent that such information or statements incorporated by reference might be considered inconsistent with the patenting of this/these invention(s) such statements are expressly not to be considered as made by the applicant(s).

Thus, the applicant(s) should be understood to have support to claim and make a statement of invention to at least: i) each of the garments as herein disclosed and described, ii) the related methods disclosed and described, iii) similar, equivalent, and even implicit variations of each of these devices and methods, iv) those alternative designs which accomplish each of the functions shown as are disclosed and described, v) those alternative designs and methods which accomplish each of the functions shown as are implicit to accomplish that which is disclosed and described, vi) each feature, component, and step shown as separate and independent inventions, vii) the applications enhanced by the various systems or components disclosed, viii) the resulting products produced by such systems or components, ix) each system, method, and element shown or described as now applied to any specific field or devices mentioned, x) methods and apparatuses substantially as described hereinbefore and with reference to any of the accompanying examples, xi) the various combinations and permutations of each of the elements disclosed, xii) each potentially dependent claim or concept as a dependency on each and every one of the independent claims or concepts presented, and xiii) all inventions described herein.

With regard to claims whether now or later presented for examination, it should be understood that for practical reasons and so as to avoid great expansion of the examination burden, the applicant may at any time present only initial claims or perhaps only initial claims with only initial dependencies. The office and any third persons interested in potential scope of this or subsequent applications should understand that broader claims may be presented at a later date in this case, in a case claiming the benefit of this case, or in any continuation in spite of any preliminary amendments, other amendments, claim language, or arguments presented, thus throughout the pendency of any case there is no intention to disclaim or surrender any potential subject matter. It should be understood that if or when broader claims are presented, such may require that any relevant prior art that may have been considered at any prior time may need to be re-visited since it is possible that to the extent any amendments, claim language, or arguments presented in this or any subsequent application are considered as made to avoid such prior art, such reasons may be eliminated by later presented claims or the like. Both the examiner and any person otherwise interested in existing or later potential coverage, or considering if there has at any time been any possibility of an indication of disclaimer or surrender of potential coverage, should be aware that no such surrender or disclaimer is ever intended or ever exists in this or any subsequent application. Limitations such as arose in Hakim v. Cannon Avent Group, PLC, 479 F.3d 1313 (Fed. Cir 2007), or the like are expressly not intended in this or any subsequent related matter. In addition, support should be understood to exist to the degree required under new matter laws—including but not limited to European Patent Convention Article 123(2) and United States Patent Law 35 USC 132 or other such laws—to permit the addition of any of the various dependencies or other elements presented under one independent claim or concept as dependencies or elements under any other independent claim or concept. In drafting any claims at any time whether in this application or in any subsequent application, it should also be understood that the applicant has intended to capture as full and broad a scope of coverage as legally available. To the extent that insubstantial substitutes are made, to the extent that the applicant did not in fact draft any claim so as to literally encompass any particular embodiment, and to the extent otherwise applicable, the applicant should not be understood to have in any way intended to or actually relinquished such coverage as the applicant simply may not have been able to anticipate all eventualities; one skilled in the art, should not be reasonably expected to have drafted a claim that would have literally encompassed such alternative embodiments.

Further, if or when used, the use of the transitional phrase “comprising” is used to maintain the “open-end” claims herein, according to traditional claim interpretation. Thus, unless the context requires otherwise, it should be understood that the term “comprise” or variations such as “comprises” or “comprising”, are intended to imply the inclusion of a stated element or step or group of elements or steps but not the exclusion of any other element or step or group of elements or steps. Such terms should be interpreted in their most expansive form so as to afford the applicant the broadest coverage legally permissible.

Finally, any claims set forth at any time are hereby incorporated by reference as part of this description of the invention, and the applicant expressly reserves the right to use all of or a portion of such incorporated content of such claims as additional description to support any of or all of the claims or any element or component thereof, and the applicant further expressly reserves the right to move any portion of or all of the incorporated content of such claims or any element or component thereof from the description into the claims or vice-versa as necessary to define the matter for which protection is sought by this application or by any subsequent continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof, or to obtain any benefit of, reduction in fees pursuant to, or to comply with the patent laws, rules, or regulations of any country or treaty, and such content incorporated by reference shall survive during the entire pendency of this application including any subsequent continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof or any reissue or extension thereon.