Title:
ARMORED OUTER GARMENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An outer garment worn by humans that includes segments of the outer surface of the skins of the crocodilian class of animals, such as reptiles. The outer surface of the skins of these reptiles consists of a plurality of interlocking plates that have various sizes of bony protrusions. These plates are called scutes and provide a significant degree of protection to the reptile from penetration by teeth or horns from either predators or prey defending themselves from attack by the reptile. The attachment of sections of the scutes at specific locations on an outer garment provides much the same protection to the wearer as was afforded the reptile. The scute sections are lightweight, yet very strong and can be tanned, dyed and waxed to provide the texture and finish required by the garment manufacturer.



Inventors:
Wright, Mark (Clyde, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/130017
Publication Date:
12/04/2008
Filing Date:
05/30/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PATEL, TAJASH D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BROWN & MICHAELS, PC (ITHACA, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An armored outer garment for humans comprising an outer garment to which are attached segments of the top surface of the outer skin of crocodilians.

2. The armored outer garment of claim 1 wherein the outer garment is made from leather.

3. The armored outer garment of claim 2 wherein the leather outer garment is a motorcycle jacket.

4. The armored outer garment of claim 1 wherein the segments of the top surface of the outer skin of crocodilians comprise a plurality of interlocking scutes.

5. The armored outer garment of claim 4 wherein each scute contains a bony protrusion.

6. The armored outer garment of claim 4 wherein the scute segments are attached to the outer garment by conventional attachment means.

7. The armored outer garment of claim 6 wherein the attachment means are selected from the group consisting of laces, rivets, screws, mating nuts and bolts and conventional sewing processes.

8. The armored outer garment of claim 4 wherein the segments of scutes are processed in order to make them more conducive to application to the outer garment.

9. The armored outer garment of claim 8 wherein processing includes tanning, dyeing, waxing, softening or any combination thereof.

Description:

This application claims one or more inventions which were disclosed in Provisional Application No. 60/941,309, filed Jun. 1, 2007, entitled “ARMORED OUTER GARMENT”. The benefit under 35 USC §119(e) of the United States provisional application is hereby claimed, and the aforementioned application is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention pertains to the field of protective outer garments. More particularly, the invention pertains to installing a portion of the skins of reptiles, such as alligators and crocodiles, onto the exterior of overcoats and jackets.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Animal skins have often been used by people over time to offer protection from the weather. Fur animal skins have been used to provide protection from harsh weather, such as may be found in the colder climates of the world. These skins have been made into both functional and decorative garments. In ancient times, warriors, such as Roman soldiers wore kilt-like garments made from processed hides, such as leather. These provided them some degree of protection from injury or even death in battle resulting from the impact of a sword, spear or arrow of an adversary. The leather was processed, which softened it, from hides acquired from animals such as cattle, buffalo, horses, sheep and the like.

Other animal skins have been used for decorative purposes or to signify a level of power held by the wearer. In many countries, animal hides from tigers, leopards and cheetahs are worn by tribal leaders and regional kings. Even today this practice continues in certain regions of Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.

Since leather has long been recognized for its ability to offer a significant degree of protection to the wearer from skin abrasions, it has been fashioned into chaps worn by ranch hands who ride horses and work with cattle. This material provides the wearer with some protection from severe skin abrasions that might be caused by rubbing up against cattle or while riding through thick underbrush.

With the advent of motorcycles, leather was recognized as being able to offer a degree of protection to the rider in the case of an accident where the rider is thrown from the cycle. A leather jacket provides a significant degree of protection from skin abrasions that might result from the thrown rider sliding over surfaces such as concrete, blacktop or gravel. While the leather provides some degree of protection to skin, the rider is often thrown with such force that the impact causes broken bones, including rib and limb fractures and possibly even severe spinal injuries. There is clearly a need to provide an outer garment that would combine the abrasion protection of leather with a material to impart a level of impact resistance, without adding significant weight to the garment, all the while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an outer garment that may be worn by a person. The garment consists of sections of bony scales taken from the outer surface of the skins of crocodilians. An outer garment that most benefits from such a covering are jackets that might be worn by motorcycle riders. The order Crocodilia is part of the class Reptilia of the Animal Kingdom and includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gavials. The top surface of the skins of these reptiles is formed from numerous interlocking plates that have varying sizes of bony protrusions. These plates are referred to as scutes. The scutes provide a significant degree of protection to the reptile from penetration by teeth or horns from either predators or prey defending themselves from attack by the reptile. The attachment of sections of the scutes at specific locations on an outer garment provides much the same protection to the human wearer as was afforded the reptile. The scute sections are lightweight, yet very strong and can be tanned, died and waxed to provide an aesthetically pleasing look.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 shows a segment of scutes from the outer surface of the skin of a crocodilian.

FIG. 2 shows the back of an outer human garment fitted with sections of varying sizes of scutes segments.

FIG. 2b shows the outer garment of FIG. 2 except with sections of scutes added to protect the collar bone region of the person.

FIG. 3 shows the front of an outer garment fitted with varying sizes of scutes.

FIG. 3b shows the outer garment of FIG. 3 except with sections of scutes added to protect the collar bone region of the person.

FIG. 4 shows a side view of an outer garment fitted with segments of scutes at the shoulders, the elbows an over the back of the garment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention consists of using sections of the outer surface of the skin of crocodilians 10, as shown in FIG. 1. The section of the outer skin surface consists of numerous interlocking plates or scutes 12. Most of the scutes, especially the larger ones have bony protrusions 14 projecting outward from the surface. The outer skin of crocodilians is removed and discarded from the remainder of the skin by the processor, or tanner, because this portion is too inflexible and rigid to be used in the manufacture of leather goods made from crocodilian skin. Since the outer surface of crocodilian skin a akin to armor plating, it protects the animal from injury predators or natural causes, such as falls or trees and the like falling on the animal. Of special significance is the portion of the outer skin surface that protects the spine of the animal. This segment is particularly thick and rigid to provide added protection for the sensitive spin of the animal.

It has been found that the element of protection afforded the animal by the armor plating also has utility in providing much the same protection to the wearer of an outer garment where segments of the scutes are secured to the garment. An armored garment 101 is shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 where the back, front and side, respectively, of the garment having multiple independent segments of outer crocodilian skin secured thereto. The base outer garment 16 shown is a jacket, which in this example is intended to represent a motorcycle jacket. However, this is not intended to limit the invention, as other types and styles of jackets may benefit from the protection afforded being covered by sections of scutes. The jacket shown may be made from leather. Motorcycle jackets are known to provide the wearer with a high degree of protection from skin abrasions in the event that the rider is thrown from the motorcycle onto abrasive surfaces, such as concrete, asphalt or gravel. However, very little protection is afforded the rider against broken bones caused by severe impacts with the ground or immovable objects. The present invention affords a heightened degree of protection to the rider against potentially bone breaking impacts by providing a number of segments of outer crocodilian skin secured to the outer surface of the garment. These segments are placed in strategic locations on the outer garment to provide maximum protection against broken bones in locations such as the spine, shoulder, forearm and elbow. FIGS. 2-4 show an armored garment 101 having a spinal segment 18, outer shoulder segments 20, upper shoulder segments 21 and forearm/elbow segments 22. The thick interlocking scutes 12, augmented by the bony protrusions 14, provide a heightened degree of protection against broken bones that might have otherwise resulted from an accidental fall or ejection from a motorcycle.

The armored garment 101 may also provide added protection to the wearer from a physical assault by another. In this case, an assailant wielding a club, baseball bat or the like, could not inflict serious bruising or possibly broken bones to the wearer because of the protection afforded by the various scute segments. These segments provide a significant degree of protection from club wielding assailants that would not otherwise be available from the wearing of a convention leather jacket. Also, because of their incredibly hard yet semi-pliable texture, they can offer protection to a wearer from puncture by someone that might attack the wearer with a knife.

The scute segments shown in the appended Figures are attached to the spinal area, the upper and outer shoulder areas and the forearm/elbow areas. However, the scute segments may be attached to other areas, in order to afford added protection to the wearer in other areas. Such areas might include the upper arms and the lower back regions of the outer garment 16.

Attachment of the scute segments is achieved by any conventional attachment means, which include the use of laces, rivets, screws (inserted from the inside of the garment terminating in the scute segment) or nut and bolt combinations. The size of such attachment means may vary depending on the thickness of the scute segment, the location of the scute segment on the outer garment and the amount of flexing that might be experienced at a specific location. The choice and size of the attachment means is a matter of optimization by the maker of the garment 101.

The scute segments 10 may be processed much as leather is processed. They may be optionally tanned, dyed and waxed at the discretion of the manufacturer. For example, the scute segments 10 may be dyed black for use on black colored outer garments 16, or dyed brown for use on brown colored outer garments 16. In addition, they may be optionally waxed to make them either visually match or contrast with the surface of the outer garment 16. If the scute segments are adequately softened, they may be attached using conventional sewing techniques rather than the more “rugged” means identified in the foregoing paragraph.

Accordingly, it is to be understood that the embodiments of the invention herein described are merely illustrative of the application of the principles of the invention. Reference herein to details of the illustrated embodiments is not intended to limit the scope of the claims, which themselves recite those features regarded as essential to the invention.