Title:
EYEGLASS RETAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An eyeglass retainer having a clip for attaching the eyeglass retainer to an article, such as a shirt collar, is provided. An emblem is affixed to and substantially covers the clip when the eyeglass retainer is attached to the article. Furthermore, an elastic loop is coupled to the clip and extends away from the emblem and selectively receives an eyeglass temple bar therein. The clip further includes a pair of spring biased jaws having interconnecting teeth and an extension flange for substantially permanently retaining the elastic loop therein. The emblem is adhesively, thermally or mechanically affixed to the clip and may comprise an American flag, a playing card, a representation of a hand or the like.



Inventors:
Severen, Gary (Mission Viejo, CA, US)
Tonoff, Boris M. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/928143
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
10/30/2007
Assignee:
Boris and Natasha, Inc. dba Dynamic Business Associates (Beverly Hills, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/3.12
International Classes:
A45F5/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DO, ROWLAND
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KELLY & KELLEY, LLP (WOODLAND HILLS, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An eyeglass retainer, comprising: a clip for attaching the eyeglass retainer to an article; an emblem affixed to and substantially covering the clip when attached to the article; and an elastic loop coupled to the clip and extending away from the emblem for selectively receiving the eyeglass therein.

2. The eyeglass retainer of claim 1, wherein the clip comprises a set of spring-biased jaws.

3. The eyeglass retainer of claim 2, wherein the jaws comprise interconnecting teeth.

4. The eyeglass retainer of claim 2, wherein the clip comprises an alligator clip.

5. The eyeglass retainer of claim 1, wherein the emblem is adhesively, thermally or mechanically affixed to the clip.

6. The eyeglass retainer of claim 1, wherein the clip includes an extension flange for retaining the elastic loop.

7. The eyeglass retainer of claim 6, wherein the extension flange encompasses the elastic loop for substantial permanent retainment therein.

8. The eyeglass retainer of claim 1, wherein the emblem comprises an American flag, a playing card, or a representation of a hand.

9. The eyeglass retainer of claim 1, wherein the elastic loop is stretchable to at least double in size in comparison with its un-stretched size.

10. An eyeglass retainer, comprising: a clip comprising a set of spring-biased jaws for attaching the eyeglass retainer to an article; an emblem adhesively, thermally or mechanically affixed to and substantially covering the clip when attached to the article; an elastic loop coupled to the clip and extending away from the emblem for selectively receiving the eyeglass therein, the elastic loop being stretchable to at least double in size in comparison with its un-stretched size; and an extension flange for retaining the elastic loop.

11. The eyeglass retainer of claim 10, wherein the jaws comprise interconnecting teeth.

12. The eyeglass retainer of claim 10, wherein the clip comprises an alligator clip.

13. The eyeglass retainer of claim 10, wherein the extension flange encompasses the elastic loop for substantial permanent retainment therein.

14. The eyeglass retainer of claim 10, wherein the emblem comprises an American flag, a playing card, or a representation of a hand.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an eyeglass retainer. More specifically, the present invention relates to a clip-on eyeglass retainer for attachment to a clothing article and capable of carrying a plurality of small objects suspended from an elastic loop.

Misplacement of eyeglasses or other small carry-along articles is a common problem that affects many individuals. For example, eyeglasses are frequently removed and applied multiple times throughout the day. Such eyeglasses may include reading glasses, driving glasses or intermediate glasses for reading computer screens or the like. Eyeglasses are usually stored in a case or carried in a pocket or purse when not in use. Sunglasses are also removed when unneeded, such as during cloud cover, evening hours, or after going indoors. It is even common for individuals to remove or exchange prescription sunglasses with regular eyeglasses when transitioning from sunny areas to relatively dimmer areas, or vice versa. Conventional eyeglasses holders, such as a case or pouch, are commonly misplaced throughout the course of the day. Hence, it comes as no surprise that eyeglasses, sunglasses, and other similarly frequently changed articles are frequently misplaced.

There are a variety of methods of remedying misplacement of eyeglasses. For example, eyeglasses may be stored in articles of clothing such as a shirt pocket or pants pocket. Shirt pockets are often loose and the eyeglasses may easily fall out and consequently be lost or broken. In pants, eyeglasses can have a bulging appearance, cause discomfort, or even be scratched, damaged or broken. In another example, eyeglasses are hung from a neck strap that has a loop or end fastener for retaining the temple bars. The eyeglasses remain open when hung around the neck. During physical movement the eyeglasses may swing, even wildly at times. Such an eyeglasses holder certainly restricts the wearer's activity, can be extremely distracting, cumbersome and certainly subjects the open eyeglasses to possible damage. Even changing to a different pair of eyeglasses is inconvenient as the straps must be removed from each temple bar and reapplied to the temple bars of the new pair of eyeglasses.

There are various styles of eyeglass holders known in the art that endeavor to remedy the above problems. Some eyeglass holders are designed to attach to a clothing article, such as a jacket or blouse. These holders incorporate a pin that perforates a clothing article layer. Pins are generally undesirable, especially for dresses or other expensive clothing, as the clothing article is subject to pin holes. Additionally, pins are often difficult to attach and pose pinprick injury to the person applying the pin.

In another example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,956,812 to Moennig discloses an eyeglass holder for securing a pair of eyeglasses to a clothing article when the eyeglasses are not in use. The eyeglass holder has a flexible strand that folds back upon itself to form a loop that encircles and releasibly retains a temple bar of the eyeglasses. An adjusting sleeve runs along the length of the loop and adjusts the size thereof. A retention bead prevents the adjusting sleeve from sliding off the loop. A spring loaded clamp attached to the loop selectively clamps the eyeglass holder to a selected clothing article. But, such an eyeglass holder is often an eyesore as the holder, flexible strand, loop and sleeve are readily visible. Moreover, the flexible loop is not stretchable to best accommodate variously sized objects.

Further, U.S. Pat. No. 6,076,925 to Kraut discloses an eyeglass holder configured to be worn by means of a clothing article. The holder includes a base having a pivotal jaw. A mounting ring is connected to the base for supporting an elastic or otherwise flexible ring that receives the temple bar of a pair of eyeglasses. The flexible ring can swivel such that the eyeglasses assume a normal flat position relative to the body. But, Kraut does not provide a means for aesthetically disguising the otherwise obvious and unappealing eyeglass holder. Furthermore, the clipping force produced between the movable jaw and the base is also less than ideal because of the limited surface contact area. Therefore, the eyeglass holder is limited to retaining relatively lighter objects.

Moreover, U.S. Publication No. 2002/0170147 to Heller discloses an eyeglass holder that attaches to a clothing article and comprises a loop integral to a decorative design. The loop is adapted to receive the temple piece of the eyeglasses for suspension therefrom. The eyeglass holder magnetically attaches to a clothing article. The Heller eyeglass holder is consequently limited by the thickness of the clothing article. Ultimately, the eyeglass holder may detach from the clothing article such that hanging eyeglasses may fall to the floor and risk being broken. Thicker clothing articles will prevent use of the eyeglass holder at all because the magnet will be unable to sufficiently attach through the thickness of the clothing article.

Accordingly, there exists a need for a simplified and versatile eyeglass retainer compatible with a wide range of clothing articles. Such a eyeglass retainer should clip-on and be nondestructive to the clothing article, should be aesthetically pleasing as hidden or otherwise masked by an emblem, should provide convenient and fast access to the eyeglasses for rapid and easy changes, and should be able to stretch to fit or retain multiple pocketable objects. The present invention fulfills these needs and provides further related advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an eyeglass retainer having a clip for attaching the retainer to an article, such as a piece of clothing or a car interior. An emblem is affixed to and substantially covers the clip when the clip is attached to the article. An elastic loop coupled to the clip and extending away from the emblem is included for selectively receiving an eyeglass temple bar therein.

More specifically, the clip comprises a set of spring biased jaws having interconnecting teeth which is preferably manufactured from a durable metal material. In an especially preferred embodiment, the clip is an alligator clip, similar to those used for electrical connections. The corresponding emblem is adhesively, thermally or mechanically affixed to the clip. The emblem is preferably substantially permanently affixed to the clip to prevent disconnection therefrom during rough use, especially placement in a washing machine or dryer. The clip further includes an extension flange for substantially and permanently retaining the elastic loop therein. The emblem may include a wide variety of designs including an American flag, a playing card, or a representation of a hand.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate the invention. In such drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an eyeglass retainer clipped to a shirt collar;

FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of the eyeglass retainer having an American flag emblem;

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of the eyeglass retainer illustrating the flexibility of the elastic loop;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the eyeglass retainer having a playing card emblem; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the eyeglass retainer illustrating the elastic loop coupled to the clip as attached to the backside of an emblem.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in the drawings for purposes of illustration, the present invention relates to an eyeglass retainer, generally referred to by the reference number 10. As shown in FIG. 1, the eyeglass retainer 10 may attach to a shirt collar 12 or alternatively, a sleeve 14, a shirt pocket 16, a blouse or pant loop (not shown), etc. In essence, the eyeglass retainer 10 has the versatility for attaching to a clothing article most comfortable and most accessible to the wearer. Likewise, the eyeglass retainer 10 may attach to other items that most accessible to the user. Such items may include, but are not limited to, various locations in an automobile, including a visor or dashboard, a purse, carry-along, bag or other storage or transportation device or article.

As further shown in FIG. 1, the eyeglass retainer 10 is used to secure eyeglasses 18 to an elastic loop 20. Likewise, the eyeglass retainer 10 may be used to secure other items such as a cell phone, voice recorder, ear buds, glasses, pens, badges, thermometer, clip-ons, pencils or any other “pocketable” item that fits into or attaches to the elastic loop 20. The eyeglass retainer 10 is a multipurpose clip such that a plurality of small objects may be suspended from the elastic loop 20.

Referring to FIG. 2, the eyeglass retainer 10 has an alligator clip 22 to which the elastic loop 20 is fastened. Preferably, the alligator clip 22 is a ⅝ inch standard clip, similar to alligator clips typically used for electrical connections. Accordingly, the alligator clip 22 is adhesively, thermally, or mechanically coupled to an emblem 24, as generally shown. The alligator clip 22 further comprises an inner jaw 26 coupled to an outer jaw 28 about a pivot 30. The inner jaw 26 and the outer jaw 28 are sufficiently maintained in the closed position as shown in FIG. 2 by means of a coil spring (not shown) coupled between the jaws 26, 28. A set of teeth 32 disposed at a front end 34 of the alligator clip 22 prevent the alligator clip 22 from slipping out from a clipped material, such as the shirt collar 12 in FIG. 1. The teeth 32 at the front end 34 are opened by applying pressure along the directional arrow shown in FIG. 2 such that the back end 36 of the inner jaw 26 is compressed toward the back end 38 of the outer jaw 28. Accordingly, the coil spring disposed about the pivot 30 is compressed therein and provides resistance thereto. Thereafter, the inner jaw 26 rotates relative to the outer jaw 28 about the pivot 30 to open the teeth 32. After releasing the back end 36 of the inner jaw 26 from the back end 38 of the outer jaw 28, the coil spring forces the alligator clip 22 to close at the front end 34. The serrated teeth 32 thereafter grip to the attached item, like the shirt collar 12 in FIG. 1. Thereafter, the coil spring tension in addition to the serrated teeth 32 help keep the eyeglass retainer 10 attached to the clothing article (or other attached item), leaving the elastic loop 20 available for insertion of the eyeglasses 18 (FIG. 1) or any other comparable small item mentioned herein.

The elastic loop 20 is attached to the back end 36 of the inner jaw 26 by folding a metal connector 40 about a portion of the closed elastic loop 20. The connector 40 is preferably manufactured with an ⅛ inch metal extension capable of folding all the way over the elastic loop 20. Narrow ends on each side of the connector 40 (not shown) are bent sideways to lock the connector 40 to the back end 36 of the inner jaw 26 thereby permanently attaching the elastic loop 20 to the alligator clip 22. The connector 40 may be welded shut or otherwise adhesively or mechanically secured around the elastic loop 20 to ensure full attachment thereto.

FIG. 3 illustrates the elastic loop 20 being stretched from a resting position to a stretched position (in phantom). The elastic loop 20 is stretchable to over twice its unstretched size. The elastic loop 20 is preferably rounded or oval in shape so as to provide the easiest and most convenient means for attaching any of the above-identified items, especially the eyeglasses 18. Also, the elastic loop 20 is preferably approximately ¾ inch and may be colored to match or coordinate with the corresponding emblem 24. But, the elastic loop 20 may be any size or shape, including being rigid, such that the elastic loop 20 meets the needs of the specific user. Of course, the elastic loop 20 may be stretched around other small objects for retention therein. These objects may include a wide variety of “pocketable” items, including: sunglasses, as mentioned above, badges, pens or pencils, ear buds, portable voice recorders, thermometers, clip-ons, or other small items attachable to the elastic loop 20.

In use, as shown in FIG. 1, the pair of eyeglasses 18 attaches to the elastic loop 20 by threading a temple bar 42 of the eyeglasses 18 through the elastic loop 20. The alligator clip 22 is tensioned to sufficiently maintain engagement with the collar 12, despite the added weight of the eyeglasses 18 as connected to and hanging from the elastic loop 20. Alternatively, virtually any small item of comparable weight to the eyeglasses 18 may be hung from or passed through the elastic loop 20 for retention therein. For example, headphones or ear bud wires slide easily into the interior of the elastic loop 20. Alternatively, a cell phone clip (not shown) may be inserted into the elastic loop 20 and retained therein. Accordingly, the elastic loop 20 stretches to accommodate the variety of items previously described. The elastic loop 20 in conjunction with the eyeglass retainer 10 is ideal for temporary retention of small items that may otherwise fall from a shirt pocket 16. The elastic loop 20 is also an ideal alternative for a shirt pocket 16 when one does not exist. The eyeglass retainer 10 also provides retention of items when attached to other clothing articles or when attached to other items in general, such as the visor of an automobile. In an automobile, security badges or tags, toll road devices or driving glasses are ideally retained by the eyeglass retainer 10 of the present invention.

In still other uses, pens retained in the elastic loop 20 are more accessible and do not mark clothing, such as the shirt pocket 16, when effectively retained by the eyeglass retainer 10. In the medical profession, the eyeglass retainer 10 has a variety of uses for hanging thermometers or ID badges thereon. Small voice recorders (not shown) may also attach to the elastic loop 20 for easy accessibility, especially when driving, to instantly record ideas.

As shown in FIGS. 3-5, the eyeglass retainer 10 is used in conjunction with the emblems 24 shown therein. FIG. 3 illustrates a hand emblem 24, FIG. 4 illustrates a playing card emblem 24 and FIG. 5 illustrates an American flag emblem. As best shown in use in FIG. 1, the emblem 24 substantially hides the alligator clip 22. The emblem 24 is designed primarily for aesthetic purposes.

In construction, the eyeglass retainer 10 should be simply designed and built with sufficient strength to withstand dropping or washing in an industrial washing machine. Only the elastic loop 20 extends beyond the exterior of the emblem 24 to provide easy accessibility for attaching any of the above described items while sufficiently hiding the alligator clip 22.

Although several embodiments have been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made to each without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited, except as by the appended claims.