Title:
Charm attachable to an object
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A charm is received in a hole of an object to provide a decorative appearance. The charm includes a decorative portion and a connecting portion. The connecting portion includes a stem, a base located at one end of the stem and a stop located at an opposing end of the stem. The stop has an oval shape. When the charm is attached to the object, the stem is received in the hole, the stop is positioned inside the object, and the decorative portion is outside the object.



Inventors:
Blunden, Douglas P. (Rochester, MI, US)
Downey, Timothy W. (Huntington Woods, MI, US)
Majors, Scott (Berkley, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/980876
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
10/31/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
63/1.11
International Classes:
A43B23/24; A44C13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CARLSON, GASKEY & OLDS, P.C. (BIRMINGHAM, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A charm comprising: a connecting portion including a stem having a first end and an opposing second end, a stop located at the first end of the stem and a base located at the opposing second end of the stem, wherein the stop is substantially oval in shape; and a decorative portion attached to the base of the connecting portion, wherein the charm is attachable to an object including a hole such that the stem is located in the hole, the stop is located on a first side of the object, and the decorative portion is located on an opposing second side of the object.

2. The charm as recited in claim 1 wherein the decorative portion is one of plastic and rubber.

3. The charm as recited in claim 1 wherein the base, the stem and the stop are a single solid integrated component.

4. The charm as recited in claim 1 wherein the connecting portion is made of PVC.

5. The charm as recited in claim 1 wherein the base is substantially circular in shape.

6. The charm as recited in claim 1 wherein the stop includes a domed shaped portion that faces away from the stem and the base.

7. The charm as recited in claim 1 wherein the base is secured to the decorative portion with an adhesive.

8. The charm as recited in claim 1 wherein a longest dimension of the stop is greater than any dimension of the hole.

9. The charm as recited in claim 1 wherein the object is a shoe.

10. An assembly comprising: a shoe including a hole; and a charm including a connecting portion including a stem having a first end and an opposing second end, a stop located at the first end of the stem and a base located at the opposing second end of the stem, wherein the stop is substantially oval in shape, the charm including a decorative portion attached to the base of the connecting portion, wherein the stem is located in the hole, the stop is located on a first side of the shoe, and the decorative portion is located on an opposing second side of the shoe.

11. The assembly as recited in claim 10 wherein the hole is substantially circular.

12. The assembly as recited in claim 10 wherein the decorative portion is one of plastic and rubber.

13. The assembly as recited in claim 10 wherein the base, the stem and the stop are a single solid integrated component.

14. The assembly as recited in claim 10 wherein the connecting portion is made of PVC.

15. The assembly as recited in claim 10 wherein the base is substantially circular in shape.

16. The assembly as recited in claim 10 wherein the stop includes a domed shaped portion that faces away from the stem and the base.

17. The assembly as recited in claim 10 wherein the base is secured to the decorative portion with an adhesive.

18. The assembly as recited in claim 10 wherein the stop is inserted into the hole from outside the shoe.

19. The assembly as recited in claim 10 wherein the shoe is flexible and the hole is expandable.

20. The assembly as recited in claim 10 wherein a longest dimension of the stop is greater than any dimension of the hole.

21. The assembly as recited in claim 10 wherein the stem is received in the hole, the stop is positioned inside the shoe and the decorative portion is positioned outside the shoe.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/855,521 filed Oct. 31, 2006.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a charm including a connecting portion having an oval stop that removably secures the charm to an object.

Charms can be attached to an object or an accessory, such as a shoe, to provide a decorative appearance and individualize the object. It is beneficial for the charms to be easily removed and attached to the object, allowing the charms to be changed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A charm is removably received in a hole of an object to provide a decorative appearance. In one example, the object is a shoe. The object is made of a flexible material such that hole is expandable. Each charm includes a decorative portion and a connecting portion. The decorative portion includes a decorative image.

The connecting portion includes a stem, a base located at one end of the stem and a stop located at an opposing end of the stem. The stop has a substantially oval shape. In one example, the base, the stem and the stop are molded as a single integrated component. The base includes a flat portion that is secured to the decorative portion.

When attaching the charm to the object, the stop is inserted into the hole from outside the object. The hole expands to allow the stop to pass through the hole. Once the stop has been inserted into the hole, the stem is received in the hole, the stop is positioned inside the object, and the decorative is positioned outside the object, exposing the decorative portion. The longest dimension of the stop is greater than any dimension of the hole, preventing the charm from falling out of the hole of the object.

These and other features of the present invention can be best understood from the following specification and drawings, the following of which is a brief description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a shoe including circular holes that receive a charm;

FIG. 2 illustrates a shoe including diamond-shaped holes that receive the charm;

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the charm;

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of the charm;

FIG. 5 illustrates another example charm;

FIG. 6 illustrates a base of the charm;

FIG. 7 illustrates a stop of the charm;

FIG. 8 illustrates alternate shaped stops of the charm;

FIG. 9 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the charm received in a hole in the shoe; and

FIG. 10 illustrates another cross-section view of the charm received in a hole in the shoe.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 illustrates an accessory or an object 10 including at least one hole 16. In one example, the object 10 is a shoe including a sole 12 and a vamp 14. In one example, the holes 16 are circular shaped. In another example shown in FIG. 2, the holes 16 are diamond shaped. However, the holes 16 can have any shape, and the object 10 can include any number of holes 16. In one example, the holes 16 are located in the vamp 14 of the shoe. The object 10 is made of a flexible material such that the holes 16 are expandable. That is, if the holes 16 are substantially circular, a diameter of the holes 16 can be expanded. A charm 18 is removeably attachable to the object 10.

Although a shoe has been illustrated and described, the charm 18 can be attached to any type of object 10 including a hole 16. For example, the object 10 can be attached to a bracelet, a hat, a purse, a keychain, a backpack, a headband, a book cover, a pencil case or any type of object that can be personalized.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate a charm 18 that is removably attached to the object 10. A charm 18 can be received in any or all of the holes 16 of the object 10. Each charm 18 includes a decorative portion 20 and a connecting portion 22. The decorative portion 20 includes a decorative image 34 that is used to decorate and personalize the object 10. The decorative portion 20 is made of a molded plastic material. In one example, the decorative portion 20 is made of flexible plastic or rubber. The decorative portion 20 includes an underside 32 that faces away from the decorative image 34.

The connecting portion 22 includes a stem 26, a base 24 located at one end of the stem 26, and a stop 28 located at an opposing end of the stem 26. In one example, the base 24, the stem 26 and the stop 28 are molded as a single integrated component. In one example, the connecting portion 22 is black. However, the connecting portion 22 can be any color. In one example, the connecting portion 22 is made of PVC. In one example, the connecting portion 22 is lead free. In one example, the connecting portion 22 has a length of 0.3125 inch.

In one example, as shown in FIG. 5, the connecting portion 22 includes two pieces. One portion 50 of the connecting portion 22 is attached to the base 24, and the other portion 52 of the connecting portion 22 is attached to the stop 28. The portions 50 and 52 can be connected by a threaded attachment, a snap fit attachment, a twist and lock attachment, or any type of attachment.

The stem 26 is substantially cylindrical in shape. In one example, the stem 26 has a length of 0.1875 inch and a diameter of 0.1875 inch. These dimensions and the dimensions provided are for example only, and any dimensions can be employed.

As shown in FIG. 6, in one example, the base 24 is substantially circular in shape. In one example, the base 24 has a diameter of 0.375 inch and a height of 0.0625 inch. The base 24 includes a flat portion 30 that faces away from the stem 26 that is attached to the underside 32 of the decorative portion 20.

As shown in FIG. 7, the stop 28 is shaped as an oval or an ellipse. For example, the stop 28 can have a shape of a football or a surfboard. In one example, the stop 28 has a length of 0.875 inch, a width of 0.375 inch and a height of 0.0625 inch. The stop 28 is elongated and is defined by an arc that continuously extends to define the oval shape and includes no sharp corners. The stop 28 includes a first end 40 and an opposing second end 42. The stop 28 also includes a domed shaped surface 31 that faces away from the stem 26 and the base 24.

As shown in FIG. 8, the stop 28 can also have any non-circular shape. For example, the stop 28 can also be shaped as a square, a rectangle, a pentagon, a hexagon, an octagon, or have any shape. Although these shapes are illustrated and described, any shape can be employed.

The flat portion 30 of the base 24 is secured to the underside 32 of the decorative portion with an adhesive 36. In one example, the adhesive 36 has a composition similar to a superglue.

When attaching the charm 18 to the object 10, the first end 40 of the stop 28 is inserted into one of the holes 16 from outside the object 10. As the material of the object 10 is flexible, the hole 16 expands and stretches to allow the stop 28 to pass through the hole 16. As the charm 18 is inserted into the hole 16, the charm 18 is pivoted to allow the second end 42 of the stop 28 to pass through the hole 16. As the charm 18 has an oval shape, the stop 28 includes ends 40 and 42 that assist insertion of the charm 18 in the hole 16.

The longest dimension of the stop 28 of the charm 18 is greater than any dimension of the hole 16, preventing the stop 28 from falling out of the hole 16. The charm 18 can then be rotated in the hole 16 to position the charm 18 in the desired position.

As shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, once the charm 18 is received in the hole 16, the stem 26 is received in the hole 16, the stop 28 is positioned inside the object 10, and the decorative portion 20 is positioned outside the object 10, exposing the decorative image 34 of the decorative portion 20 outside the object 10. If the object 10 is an object that is worn by a person, the domed shaped surface 31 faces the skin of the wearer and prevents any sharp edges or mold seams from contacting the wearer.

As shown in FIG. 9, the base 24 can be located outside of the object 10 and can contact an outer surface 44 of the object 10. However, the charm 18 can be lifted such that the stop 28 can contact an inner surface 46 of the object 10. That is, the stem 26 of the charm 18 can slide in the hole 16. The charm 18 can be positioned in the hole 16 such that both the stop 28 and the base 24 contact the object 10 at the same time, that only one of the stop 28 and the base 24 contact the object 10 at the same time, or that neither of the stop 28 of the base 24 contact the object 10.

As shown in FIG. 10, the base 24 can be located in the hole 16 such that the decorative portion 20 can contact the outer surface 44 of the object 10 and the base 24 is located within the hole 16. The charm 18 can also be lifted such that the stop 28 can contact the inner surface 46 of the object 10. That is, the stem 26 of the charm 18 can slide in the hole 16. The charm 18 can be positioned in the hole 16 such that both the stop 28 and decorative portion 20 contact the object 10 at the same time, that only one of the stop 28 and decorative portion 20 contact the object 10 at the same time, or that neither of the stop 28 of the decorative portion 20 contact the object 10.

If the charm 18 needs to be removed from the object 10, the charm 18 is pulled away from the hole 16. The material of the object 10 flexes to allow the stop 28 to pass through the hole 16 to facilitate removal of the charm 18 from the object 10. The charm 18 is pivoted such that one end 40 can be directed towards outside the object 10. The charm 18 is then pulled to remove the charm 18 and the other end 42 from the hole 16.

The foregoing description is only exemplary of the principles of the invention. Many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. The preferred embodiments of this invention have been disclosed, however, so that one of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described. For that reason the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.