Title:
Pillow with cape
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device adapted for use with a furniture seating apparatus having a pillow and a cape attached thereto is provided. The device enables the user of a furniture seating apparatus to maintain a pillow in its desired position against the back of a furniture seating apparatus without having to readjust or reposition it any time the user shifts his position or leaves the furniture seating apparatus. The cape, acting as a counterbalance to the pillow, is attached to the pillow in a manner which allows the cape to be fitted or draped over the top of the back of the furniture seating apparatus.



Inventors:
Nile, Jeffery G. (North Canton, OH, US)
Nile, Maria De Jesus (North Canton, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/650239
Publication Date:
07/10/2008
Filing Date:
01/05/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ALEX, JAMES S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Renner Kenner Greive Bobak Taylor & Weber Co., LPA (Akron, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device adapted for use with a furniture seating apparatus having a back, the device comprising a pillow and a cape attached to the pillow, wherein the cape is adapted to be received over the back of the furniture seating apparatus.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the cape is adapted to be draped over the back of the furniture seating apparatus.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein the cape is adapted to be fitted over the back of the furniture seating apparatus.

4. The device of claim 1, wherein the cape is sewn to the pillow.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein the cape is detachable from the pillow.

7. The device of claim 6, wherein the cape is attached by hook and eye fabric to the pillow.

8. The device of claim 6, wherein each of the pillow and the cape has snaps, and wherein the cape is snapped to the pillow.

9. The device of claim 6, wherein the cape is zipped to the pillow.

10. The device of claim 1, wherein the cape includes a first surface adapted to frictionally engage the back of the furniture seating apparatus so as to maintain the position of the pillow relative to the back of the furniture seating apparatus.

11. The device of claim 10, wherein the first surface includes a substance disposed thereon in an amount sufficient to provide an enhanced frictional resistance capability beyond that provided by the cape itself.

12. The device of claim 1, wherein the pillow is made from pillow stuffing wrapped with a material.

13. The device of claim 1, wherein the pillow is made from plastic and is inflatable.

14. The device of claim 1, wherein the cape provides frictional resistance at least against a top surface portion of the furniture seating apparatus.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to a pillow and, more particularly, to an adjustable pillow device that can maintain its position against the back of a furniture seating apparatus, such as a reclining chair, so as to support the head, neck or back of the user of the furniture seating apparatus or to provide additional comfort to the user.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Furniture seating apparatuses such as chairs, sofas, recliners and the like, are well known in the art. Many of these furniture seating apparatuses are designed with comfort in mind. However, sometimes, a user of the furniture seating apparatus is not comfortable with the back of the apparatus, or additional support for the head, neck or back of the user is required. In these instances, it is known to use a pillow to provide added comfort and/or support to the head, neck or back of the user. This is particularly true where the back of the furniture seating apparatus is not tall enough to support the neck or head of the user sitting on the furniture seating apparatus. Even if the back of the furniture seating apparatus is tall enough, some users feel particularly more comfortable when a pillow supports their head or neck.

The problem associated with the use of a pillow in these instances is that the pillow typically will not stay in the desired position against the back of the furniture seating apparatus. That is, the pillow typically falls toward the seat of the furniture seating apparatus, due to gravity, when the user gets up or shifts positions in any significant manner. Thus, the need exists for pillow that can maintain its position on the back of the furniture seating apparatus without the user being required continuously to readjust and reposition the pillow every time he shifts seating or resting positions, lifts his head, or gets up and moves away from the furniture seating apparatus.

Previous attempts to solve these problems have resulted in a pillow being securely and immovably fastened to or made an integral part of the furniture seating apparatus. That is, some prior art pillows have been integrally sewn onto the back of the furniture seating apparatus, typically at or near the top of the back of the furniture seating apparatus. Once sewn to the back of the furniture seating apparatus, the pillow is in a position approximate to where an adult user of the furniture seating apparatus would lay his head. The problem associated with this attempt to resolve the problem is that the pillow is not removable and not adjustable. There are often users of differing sizes that may wish to use the furniture seating apparatus and, therefore, maintaining the pillow in one position against the back of the furniture seating apparatus may not be satisfactory to all users. Moreover, some users may desire not to use the pillow at all. Therefore, the need exists for a pillow that can be adjusted or is removed as desired, but maintained against the back of the furniture seating apparatus as desired by any user of the furniture seating apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Broadly, the present invention seeks to solve the problem of maintaining a pillow in its desired position against the back of a furniture seating apparatus. To do so, a cape, acting as a counterbalance to the pillow, may be attached to the pillow in a manner which allows the cape to be fitted or draped over the top of the back of the furniture seating apparatus.

Thus, in general, the present invention provides a device adapted for use with a furniture seating apparatus having a back, the device comprising a pillow and a cape attached to the pillow, wherein the cape is adapted to be received over the back of the furniture seating apparatus.

Such a device advantageously provides a pillow that not only can be maintained in its position against the back of the furniture apparatus, but also permits the user of the furniture seating apparatus to adjust or remove the device entirely from the furniture seating device if desired.

Still other advantages of the present invention over existing prior art relating to pillows as used therein, which shall become apparent from the description and drawings which follow, are accomplished by the invention as hereinafter described and claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the pillow and cape device of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the device shown in FIG. 1 adapted for use with a furniture seating apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the device adapted for use with a furniture seating apparatus; and

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of another embodiment of the device adapted to be received by a back of a furniture seating apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

One representative form of a device embodying the concepts of the present invention is generally indicated by the numeral 10 in FIG. 1. The device 10 includes a pillow 12 and a cape 14 attached to the pillow 12.

The pillow 12 may be made from any material known in the art and may take any form known in the art. In one embodiment, the pillow 12 is made from materials typically associated with furniture. That is, it is made from foam, feathers, or other known materials suitable for making the “stuffing” of pillows, wrapped within upholstery material, cloth, fabric or other known materials suitable for use as a pillow's outer material. The foam, feathers or like materials may, in some instances, define the shape of the pillow, which may take any shape desired by the manufacturer of the pillow and/or the device and may provide a cushioning effect to the pillow 12. Such cushioning effect may add comfort to the user of the pillow. The upholstery material, cloth, fabric or like materials may, in other instances, define the shape of the pillow 12 and can be used to maintain the foam, feathers or like materials within the confines of the pillow's outer perimeter defined by the upholstery material, cloth, fabric or like materials. Where the upholstery material, cloth or fabric is used, it may be the same material as or different material from that provided on the furniture seating apparatus with which it will be desirably used.

In one embodiment, the pillow 12 may include a front panel and back panel that has been sewn or otherwise secured together. Such a pillow would provide a seam around the entire circumference of the front and back panels, and would be relatively flat except for the foam, feathers or other material disposed therein. In another embodiment, the pillow 12 may include a front panel, a back panel and two side panels separating at least the side edges of the front and back panels. Each of the panels would be sewn or otherwise secured together as known in the art and could be either substantially flat as recited above or have a more definitive cross section defined by the shape of the side panels. For example, the pillow 12, may be more of a cylinder type pillow with a cylinder of foam provided as the stuffing of the pillow and side panels of circular shape. In yet another embodiment, the outer perimeter of the pillow 12 could be made from one piece construction with the material folded over the stuffing and sewn or otherwise secured together on three sides. It is this type of pillow construction that is shown in FIG. 1, although any other known type of construction for the pillow 12 may be suitable for the present invention.

In another embodiment, the pillow 12 may be made from a plastic, rubber, or other expandable material and is inflatable. That is, the pillow 12 may include an inflation valve (shown in phantom as numeral 22) and may be inflated or deflated as desired with air or the like to provide a cushioning effect to the pillow 12. Advantageously, an inflatable pillow of this type could be used for travel purposes to the extent that it can be deflated and folded as desired so as to be transportable in a small compartment or bag, thus requiring minimal storage space. Alternatively, the deflated pillow 12 and device 10 may be wrapped by a strap (not shown) to maintain its compact size for travel purposes and, again, to provide for minimal storage space. It will be appreciated that such an inflatable/deflatable pillow 12 may be made from many types of materials, not just plastic or rubber, and could be made in essentially any shape desired.

In another embodiment, the pillow 12 may be designed to wrap around the head or neck of the user to provide enhanced support of the head or neck of the user. For example, the pillow 12 may have a collar-like form that enables the pillow to provide greater head and neck support. Such a pillow shape is believed well known in the art and the same materials known for those commercially available pillows could also be used for the pillow of the present invention.

In yet a further embodiment, the pillow 12 may be designed with a pocket or pouch (shown in phantom as numeral 24) for insertion of an item such as a heating or cooling pad (shown in phantom as numeral 26) therein. Pouch 24 may be formed from an additional layer of upholstery, cloth, fabric or other known material, the same or different from that of the pillow 12 and disposed on the outer perimeter of the pillow 12. Alternatively, the pouch 24 may be a slit or slot within the pillow 12 capable of providing access to the inner stuffing of the pillow. Such a pillow having a pocket of this type would preferably require a sturdy foam construction for maintaining positioning of the item to be disposed within the pillow. As another alternative, the pouch may be made from the same or different material as the outer perimeter of the pillow and may be a pocket not unlike a pants pocket having a first and second panel sewn or otherwise secured together. The pouch 24 may be open or closed with any sealing means known in the art, including but not limited to, a zipper, snaps, hook and eye fabric, buttons, and the like.

Essentially, any item may be stored inside of the pouch. In one embodiment and as noted above, heating and cooling pads may be inserted in the pillow to provide therapy or comfort to the user. For example, homemade heating pads may use cloth bags or pouches that are filled with materials such as beans, rice or corn. These materials dissipate heat slowly and may serve as a hot pad for relieving muscle tension and stress in the neck or back region of the user. Moreover, the heating pads may be heated in a microwave oven or via other means and placed into the pouch of the pillow or attached to the outer portion of the device for hands free application to the neck or back region of the use. In yet another embodiment, the pillow serves as a heating pad which is heated and draped or fitted over the back of the furniture seating apparatus for facilitating treatment of the neck or back region of the user.

The cape 14 may be made with the same or different materials as that of the outside of the pillow 12. That is, in one embodiment, the cape 14 may be made from upholstery materials, cloth, fabric or like materials suitable for use for the purposes defined herein. In other embodiments, the material from which the cape 14 is made may have no relationship whatsoever to the material of the pillow 12 or to the furniture seating apparatus for which it is adapted to be used.

Cape 14 acts as a counterbalance to the pillow 12 when used in conjunction with a furniture seating apparatus as more particularly described below. In light of this purpose, essentially any material suitable for that purpose may be employed in the development and construction of the cape 14. Generally, the amount of material necessary for making the cape 14 may depend significantly on the size, shape and weight of the pillow 12. That is, the larger the pillow 12, the more material may be necessary for the cape 14. Similarly, the heavier the pillow 12, the more material may be necessary for the cape 14. The capacity of the cape 14 to act as a counterbalance may also be affected by its design, construction and materials employed.

In one embodiment and as shown in FIG. 1, the cape 14 is essentially a single length of upholstery material, cloth or fabric suitably attached to the pillow 12. As such, the cape 14 should be of a length sufficient to provide a counterbalance to the pillow when the cape 14 is received over the back of a furniture seating apparatus. The cape 14 may be of any width desired, but, generally, should not be wider than the pillow 12 and certainly not wider than that furniture seating apparatus with which it is adapted to be used, unless it is to be fitted over the furniture seating apparatus as described below.

The cape 14 may be attached to pillow 12 in any manner known in the art so long as the cape 14 can still be adapted to be received over the back of a furniture seating apparatus as more particularly described below. In one embodiment, one edge of cape 14 may be sewn or otherwise integrally bound to pillow 12. The pillow may have one or more seams wherein the cape 14 is attached. In one embodiment, the pillow 12 and the cape 14 can be made from one piece of fabric material and pillow “stuffing.” For example, a 5×2 foot piece of cloth can be laid out and the “stuffing” can be sewn into a pillow shape at one end of the cloth by folding about 10 inches of cloth from one end over the stuffing and sewing the fabric together at three edges to create the pillow, encasing the stuffing within the fabric or cloth. The remaining approximate 3 feet of material is maintained and is considered the cape 14.

In other embodiments, the cape 14 may be removably attached to the pillow 12. For example, the pillow 12 may have one half of a zipper sewn into one of the seams of the pillow so as to attach the cape 14 having the other half of the zipper sewn onto one edge of it. Alternatively, hook and eye fabric may be positioned on the pillow 12 in a manner such that its complimentary hook and eye fabric is positioned near the end of the cape 14 proximate the pillow 12. The same can be done using buttons, snaps or other known fasteners. It will be appreciated that, by providing a device wherein the cape 14 is detachable from the pillow 12, the pillow can be used separately by the user in other known methods or in conjunction with other apparatuses that do not require the presence of the cape 14.

Notwithstanding the above, the cape 14 can be customized to provide for greater utility of the pillow 12 should the need arise. For example, the cape 14 may include fastening means for attaching the distal end of the cape 14 to the pillow 12, particularly when not in use. For instance, cape 14 may include hook and eye fabric that can be used to attach that end of the cape 14 to the pillow 12 or to itself. In this manner, the cape 14 could be wrapped around the pillow 12 such that the hook and eye fabric at the distal end of the cape 14 could be attached to a complementary hook and eye fabric located closer to the proximate end of the cape 14 or on the pillow 12. It will be appreciated that essentially any fastener can be used to attach the cape 14 in this manner. For example, snaps, buttons, and the like could be used instead of the hook and eye fabric. By wrapping the cape 14 around the pillow 12, it is easier to carry and, therefore, more portable for travel and other purposes. Additionally, wrapping the cape 14 around the pillow 12 allows the pillow 12 to be used as a pillow only for any known uses of a pillow or in conjunction with other apparatuses.

Where a shorter cape is desired, a weight means may be sewn into the cape 14 or otherwise attached to the end of the length of cape 14 distal from the pillow 12 in order to increase the counterbalance weight of the cape 14 relative to the pillow 12, thereby preventing the pillow 12 from shifting its position against the back of the furniture seating apparatus. The cape 14 should not include excess weight however, as doing so would not enable the pillow 12 to maintain its desired positioned relative to the furniture seating apparatus.

In use and as more particularly shown in FIG. 2, the device 10 is adapted for use with a furniture seating apparatus, generally indicated by the numeral 30 in FIG. 2. More particularly, the cape 14 is adapted to be received over a back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30, thereby permitting the pillow 12 to be positioned and maintained against the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30. In at least one embodiment, the cape 14 may be draped over the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30 as shown in FIG. 2.

In FIG. 2, the furniture seating apparatus 30 is shown as a reclining chair. It will be appreciated that essentially any furniture seating apparatus having a back can be used in conjunction with the device of the present invention. This includes but is not limited to sofas, chairs, loveseats, as well as even bed headboards. It will further be appreciated that the term “back” as used in conjunction with the furniture seating apparatus means that structural portion of the seating apparatus extending upwards from the seat against which a user typically and conventionally uses to rest his or her back. For most conventional seating apparatuses, the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30 includes a front portion 34, a top surface portion 36 and a back portion 38. Thus, as shown in more detail in FIG. 4, the pillow 12 will typically rest upon the front portion 34 of the back 32 of the seating apparatus 30 when the device 10 is adapted for use with the furniture seating apparatus 32. The cape 14 is adapted to be received over the top surface portion 36 of the furniture seating apparatus 32 and, as such, contacts the top surface portion 36. However, the cape 14 may or may not contact the back portion 38 of the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30. If the back portion 38 is not perpendicular to the floor, then the cape 14 may not contact the back portion 38 of the back 32 unless there is some fastening means located on the back portion 38 or the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 32 or located on the cape 14 with respect to that portion of the cape 14 that overhangs from the top surface portion of the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30.

In an alternative embodiment, and as shown in FIG. 3, a different embodiment of cape 14 may be fitted over the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30. That is, as more particularly shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the cape 14 may be sewn or otherwise constructed in such manner that the cape 14 creates a pocket adapted to receive the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30. The pocket-like construction of the cape 14 permits the cape to slide over the top surface portion 36 of the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30. Such a cape would be particularly useful for recliners or chairs having backs with relatively short widths.

To construct the pocket-like constructions of the cape 14, a wider length of the material would be necessary. However, the material could be folded over and sewn or otherwise secured together at its opposed side edges. In order to be properly fitted over the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30, sufficient excess material would be provided to provide a proper opening capable of receiving the back of the furniture seating apparatus 30.

In yet another embodiment to the present invention, the cape 14 may include a first surface 16 and a second surface 18. The second surface 18 is adapted to frictionally engage the top surface portion 36 of the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30 so as to maintain the position of the pillow 12 relative to the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30.

In another embodiment, second surface 18 may include a substance 20 thereon to provide an enhanced frictional resistance capability beyond that provided by the material of the cape 14 itself. By the term “enhanced frictional resistance capability,” it is meant that the cape 14 includes a substance that adds to the frictional resistance of the second surface 18 against at least the top surface portion 36 of the furniture seating apparatus 30 as compared to just the material of cape 14 alone. In some instances, this may mean that such a substance 20 may provide more tack than the original material of the cape 14. Such a substance may be, for example, a chemical spray or tackifier. In other instances, this may mean that such a substance 20 may adhered more rigidly to the surface of the back of the furniture seating apparatus than does the material of the cape 14. Such a substance may be, for example, a glue or fabric strengthener. In still other instances, this may mean that such a substance 20 provides a greater mechanical or physical contact to the furniture seating apparatus than does the material of the cape 14. Such a substance may be, for example, a hook and eye fabric. In each of these instances, however, the cape is never secured to the furniture seating apparatus in such a manner that it cannot be readily removed from the furniture seating apparatus upon the desire of the user.

Thus, it should now be evident that a device of the present invention can be used to provide a pillow that can be maintained in a desired position against the back of the furniture seating apparatus without having to readjust or reposition the pillow any time the user moves or leaves the seating apparatus. The cape 14 adapted to be received by the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30 acts as a counterbalance to the pillow 12 resting against the front portion 34 of the back 32 of the furniture seating apparatus 30. However, because the device is not sewn or otherwise securely and immovably attached to the furniture seating apparatus, it can be adjusted and removed from the furniture seating apparatus as desired.

In light of the foregoing, it should thus be evident that the present invention substantially improves the art. While, in accordance with the patent statutes, only the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail hereinabove, the present invention is not to be limited thereto or thereby. Rather, the scope of the invention shall include all modifications and variations that fall within the scope of the attached claims.