Title:
Fingertip cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device and a method of using such device for protecting a finger, comprising a fingertip cover, adhesive means for attaching the fingertip cover to the finger, and a pull-tab attached to the fingertip cover for removing the fingertip cover from the finger. The fingertip cover is preferably made of a germ impervious, virus impervious, and optically clear materials. As such, the fingertip cover keeps items on surfaces touched by the finger from penetrating the fingertip cover and coming into contact with the finger. The device is preferably packaged in packaging that reveals the adhesive on the fingertip cover such that a finger can be placed in the contact with the adhesive providing fast application.



Inventors:
Duffy, Timothy (Annandale, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/825982
Publication Date:
01/15/2009
Filing Date:
07/09/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Adler & Franczyk, LLC (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for protecting a finger comprising: a fingertip cover; adhesive means for attaching said fingertip cover to said finger; and a pull-tab attached to said fingertip cover for removing said fingertip cover from said finger.

2. A device according to claim 1 wherein said fingertip cover is made of a germ impervious material.

3. A device according to claim 1 wherein said fingertip cover is made of a virus impervious material.

4. A device according to claim 1 wherein said fingertip cover is made of an optically clear material.

5. A device according to claim 1 wherein said fingertip cover comprises at least one selected form a group consisting of a plastic material; a latex material; a rubber material; a bio-degradable material.

6. A device according to claim 1 wherein said fingertip cover is made of multiple layers.

7. A device according to claim 1 and further comprising: a packaging containing at least one of said fingertip covers; and an opening in said packaging, said opening large enough for a finger to be inserted and to attach to, and remove from said packaging at least one of said fingertip covers.

8. A device according to claim 1 and further comprising: a packaging containing at least one of said fingertip covers, wherein at least a portion of said packaging is removed to reveal said fingertip cover for a finger to attach to and remove from said packaging at least one of said fingertip covers.

9. A method for protecting a finger, comprising the steps of: providing a fingertip cover, the fingertip cover having a pull-tab attached to said fingertip cover; attaching the fingertip cover to a fingertip using an adhesive means; keeping items on surfaces touched by the finger from penetrating the fingertip cover and coming into contact with the finger; and removing the fingertip cover using the pull-tab.

10. A method according to claim 9 wherein the fingertip cover is made of a germ impervious material.

11. A method according to claim 9 wherein the fingertip cover is made of a virus impervious material.

12. A method according to claim 9 wherein the fingertip cover is made of an optically clear material.

13. A method according to claim 9 wherein said fingertip cover comprises at least one selected form a group consisting of a plastic material; a latex material; a rubber material; a biodegradable material.

14. A method according to claim 9 wherein the fingertip cover is made of multiple layers.

15. A method according to claim 9 further comprising the steps of: opening a packaging and inserting a finger into the packaging so that the fingertip cover may be attached to the finger by the finger touching the adhesive means.

16. A method according to claim 9 further comprising the steps of: opening a packaging to reveal at least one of said fingertip covers and placing a finger on the fingertip cover so that the fingertip cover may be attached to the finger by the finger touching the adhesive means.

17. A method for protecting a finger, comprising the steps of: packaging at least one fingertip cover in a packaging, the fingertip cover having a pull-tab attached to said fingertip cover; inserting a finger into the packaging; pressing the finger on an adhesive means attached to the fingertip cover so that the fingertip cover is attached to the finger; removing the finger from the packaging; using the finger to touch surfaces of objects; keeping items on surfaces touched by the finger from penetrating the fingertip cover and coming into contact with the finger; and removing the fingertip cover using the pull-tab.

18. A method according to claim 17 wherein the fingertip cover is made of a germ impervious material.

19. A method according to claim 17 wherein the fingertip cover is made of a virus impervious material.

20. A method according to claim 17 wherein the fingertip cover is made of an optically clear material.

21. A method according to claim 17 wherein said fingertip cover comprises at least one selected form a group consisting of a plastic material; a latex material; a rubber material; a bio-degradable material.

22. A method according to claim 17 wherein the fingertip cover is made of multiple layers.

23. A method according to claim 17 and further comprising: opening a packaging and inserting a finger into the packaging so that the fingertip cover may be attached to the finger by the finger touching the adhesive means.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to the field of fingertip covers and more specifically, the present invention relates to a fingertip cover that prevents the transmission of germs when touching surfaces in an everyday environment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many surfaces that are touched everyday by vast amount of people present health threat as diseases and germs may be transmitted. In the medical field in particular many precautions have been employed to protect doctors and patients from disease and germ transmittals. However, germs are present everywhere and protection for everyday use is very limited. Surfaces that are often touched by vast amount of people where germs are found include ATM key pads, tough screens, elevator buttons, public phones, money, door handles, etc.

Gloves are most commonly used for protection when touching a surface. Many gloves are made of germ impermeable materials or contain lubrication. Lubricated gloves offer greater protection as antimicrobial compositions present within the glove further kill any microbes that manage to penetrate the gloves. However, the use of gloves in an everyday environment is impractical. First, gloves are obtrusive and may offer discomfort when used in public. Also, putting on gloves is time consuming to implement during the everyday fast paste environment.

Other way to disinfect a surface is to wipe the surface down with disinfectant wipes or compositions. Generally, the wipes are impregnated with disinfectant compositions containing microbe killing ingredients. Again, many people would turn away from such options in public use to avoid embarrassment. In addition, electronic equipment, such as sensitive touch screens or keypads, may be damaged when disinfectants are applied.

A more practical solution is needed that is not only effective but is unobtrusive. As people mostly use their fingertips to touch a surface, what is merely needed is a fingertip cover that prevents the transmission of germs. Many finger type covering are known in the art for different use. Such covering generally fits snuggly over the finger like a finger of a glove and further adhered to the finger if necessary.

For example, a hygienic cleansing aid in a form of a finger like glove is known in the art. Such hygienic cover comprises an outer absorbent layer that allows the user to clean part of the body without spreading microorganisms. Also, fingertip protectors are available to prevent dirt from getting under the fingernails when working in dirty or abrasive environments. In addition, other finger glove like covers are known in the art in the form of bandages, traction adding devices, solution applicators, and puncture or cut preventing devices. However, the application of glove like finger covers is time consuming and still can be obtrusive as they visibly cover a part of a finger.

Accordingly, a need exists for a fingertip cover which is effective in preventing the transmission of germs when touching surfaces in an everyday environment. Also, a need exists for a fingertip cover which can be quickly applied and is unobtrusive and substantially unnoticeable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a device in a form of a finger cover and a method of using such device for protecting a finger by keeping items on surfaces touched by the finger from penetrating the fingertip cover and coming into contact with the finger.

One object of the present invention is to provide a fingertip cover, which is effective in keeping items on surfaces touched by the finger from penetrating the fingertip cover.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a fingertip cover which is easily and quickly applied to the finger.

Another object of the present invention is to provide packaging for the fingertip cover which assists in the easy and quick application of the fingertip cover to a finger of the user.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a fingertip cover which is unobtrusive to the user of the fingertip cover.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a fingertip cover which is made of a clear material such that the fingertip cover is substantially unnoticeable.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a fingertip cover made of an optically clear material allowing a fingerprint scanner to scan the finger covered by the fingertip cover.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a fingertip cover that attached to the fingertip of a user via adhesive means.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a fingertip cover that comprises a pull-tab for removing the fingertip cover from the finger.

In one embodiment of the present invention a device for protecting a finger is provided. The device comprises a fingertip cover, adhesive means for attaching the fingertip cover to the finger, and a pull-tab attached to the fingertip cover for removing the fingertip cover from the finger. The fingertip cover is preferably comprises a germ impervious, virus impervious, and optically clear materials. The materials may include, but not limited to, plastic, latex, rubber, a bio-degradable material, or the like. Multiple layers may be also utilized in the fingertip cover. The device is preferably packaged in packaging that reveals the adhesive on the fingertip cover such that a finger can be placed in the contact with the adhesive providing fast application.

In another embodiment of the present invention a method for protecting a finger is provided. The method comprising the steps of: providing a fingertip cover, the fingertip cover having a pull-tab attached to the fingertip cover; attaching the fingertip cover to a fingertip using an adhesive means; keeping items on surfaces touched by the finger from penetrating the fingertip cover and coming into contact with the finger; and removing the fingertip cover using the pull-tab. The method may also include the step of: opening a packaging and inserting a finger into the packaging so that the fingertip cover may be attached to the finger by the finger touching the adhesive means. The method may alternatively comprise the step of opening a packaging to reveal at least one of the fingertip covers and placing a finger on the fingertip cover so that the fingertip cover may be attached to the finger by the finger touching the adhesive means.

In another embodiment of the present invention a method for protecting a finger is provided. The method comprises the steps of: packaging at least one of fingertip covers in a packaging, the fingertip cover having a pull-tab attached to the fingertip cover; inserting a finger into the packaging; pressing the finger on an adhesive means attached to the fingertip cover so that the fingertip cover is attached to the finger; removing the finger from the packaging; using the finger to touch surfaces of objects; keeping items on surfaces touched by the finger from penetrating the fingertip cover and coming into contact with the finger; and removing the fingertip cover using the pull-tab.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A further understanding of the present invention can be obtained by reference to preferred embodiments and corresponding alternate embodiments as set forth in the illustrations of the accompanying drawings. Although the illustrated embodiments are merely exemplary of systems for carrying out the present invention, both the organization and method of operation of the invention, in general, together with further objectives and advantages thereof, may be more easily understood by reference to the drawings and the following description. The drawings are not intended to limit the scope of this invention, which is set forth with particularity in the claims as appended or as subsequently amended, but merely to clarify and exemplify the specific methods and instrumentalities disclosed.

For a more complete understanding of the present invention, reference is now made to the following drawings in which:

FIG. 1A illustrates a top pain view of a fingertip cover in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 1B illustrates a bottom pain view of the fingertip cover of FIG. 1A in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 1C and 1D illustrate the fingertip cover of FIG. 1A applied to a finger in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a fingertip cover in use in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates a packaging for a fingertip cover with an opening to receive a finger in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate a packaging for a fingertip cover where a portion of the packaging is removed to reveal the fingertip cover in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a packaging for a fingertip cover where the fingertip cover is enclosed by the packaging in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Detailed illustrative embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein. However, techniques, systems, and operating structures in accordance with the present invention may be embodied in a wide variety of forms and modes, some of which may be quite different from those in the disclosed embodiments. Consequently, the specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are merely representative, yet in that regard, they are deemed to afford the best embodiments for the purposes of disclosure and to provide a basis for the claims herein, which define the scope of the present invention. The following presents a detailed description of preferred embodiments (as well as some alternative embodiments) of the present invention.

Referring to the drawings, wherein like numerals indicate like elements throughout, FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate a top view and a bottom view of a fingertip cover 100, respectfully, in accordance with the present invention; FIGS. 1C and 1D illustrate the fingertip cover of FIG. 1A applied to a finger in accordance with the present invention; and FIG. 2 illustrates a fingertip cover in use in accordance with the present invention. Fingertip cover 100 of the present invention is applied to a fingertip of finger 200 for protecting finger 200 by keeping items such as dust, dirt, germs, etc. on surfaces, such as keypad 202, touched by finger 200 from penetrating fingertip cover 100 and coming into contact with finger 200. Fingertip cover 100 of the present invention would be beneficial when touching surfaces such as, but not limited to, ATM key pads, tough screens, elevator buttons, public phones, money, door handles, or the like.

Preferably, fingertip cover 100 has a shape and size such that fingertip cover 100 can encompass the entire fingertip area of finger 200. Fingertip cover 100 can have an elliptical shape, as illustrated in the figures, or can have a square shape, rectangular shape, circular shape, some asymmetrical shape, outline of a finger shape, or the like. Since fingertip cover 100 only covers the fingertip surface of finger 200, fingertip cover 100 is not readily seen by others when worn. Additional enhancements that can make fingertip cover 100 unobtrusive would include utilization of a thin layer of material and the use of camouflaged colors. Fingertip cover 100 may be made of a clear material, skin colored materials of different shades, or the like.

Adhesive means 104 is used to attach fingertip cover 100 to the surface of finger 200. The adhesive means 104 may be applied to the bottom surface of fingertip cover 100 or may be inherent in the material of the fingertip cover 100. Materials or adhesive means utilized are preferably materials that are safe to the skin, such as sticking plasters conventionally utilized in the medical field. Further, porous adhesive matrixes are preferably utilized as they allow moisture to pass through the adhesive layer so the adhesive is not affected when it comes in contact with moisture. Fingertip cover 100 may be a one-time use item where after a single use a user will remove fingertip cover 100 and discard it. Alternatively, fingertip cover 100 may be reusable an unlimited number of times, reusable for only a limited number of times or only usable once. Accordingly, if they are reusable, then a reusable adhesive means 104 would be required in such application.

In addition, fingertip cover 100 comprises pull-tab 103 that assist the removal of fingertip cover 100 from finger 200. Preferably, as illustrated in FIG. 1B, adhesive means 104 is not applied on pull-tab 103 or the material of the pull-tab 103 is not inherently adhesive. As such, when fingertip cover is attached to finger 200, pull-tab 103 is not adhered to finger 200 allowing the user to grip pull-tab 103 with the second hand and remove fingertip cover 100 from finger 200. Fingertip cover 100 may be attached to finger 200 as desired, for example with pull-tab 103 in a downward position shown in FIG. 1C or in an upward position shown in FIG. 1D. Further, other means of assisting the removal of fingertip cover 100 can be also utilized without departing from the scope of the present invention. The pull-tab 103 may be attached to any part of the fingertip cover 100, not necessarily an edge as shown.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, fingertip cover 100 comprises material with antimicrobial properties. Such material can be germ impervious as well as virus impervious. Plastics and rubber materials are preferably used as the materials are strong and have antimicrobial properties. Latex may be utilized in the present invention as the material is successfully used in the surgical and condom industry for protection. Also, polyurethane or polyethylene can be used and is preferred for individuals that are allergic to latex. Any other type of material may be utilized without departing from the scope of the present invention. In addition, fingertip cover 100 may comprise lubrication comprising compositions containing antimicrobial ingredients. Such antimicrobial ingredients include, but not limited to, triclosan, clotrimazole, farnesol, or the like.

As fingerprint scanners become more regularly used in the public, fingertip cover 100 may be made of an optically clear material or any other material that permits scanning a fingerprint through the material. In addition, since fingerprint cover 100 is a disposable type product, biodegradable materials are preferably utilized for the conservation of the environment. In addition, any materials and adhesives may be non-poisonous to the environment.

FIG. 3 illustrates packaging 300 for at least one fingertip cover 100 in accordance with the present invention. Packaging 300 comprises top layer 301 and bottom layer 302 attached at the edges to form a pocket therein with opening 304. Before use, packaging 300 may comprise closing means (not shown) that closes opening 304. A user opens the closing means to reveal opening 304. Fingertip cover 104 is disposed on the bottom layer 302 within packaging 300 with the side containing adhesive means 104 facing upwards. As such, when packaging 300 is opened to form the pocket, a user can insert finger 200 inside packaging 300 and press finger 200 against adhesive means 104 of fingertip cover 100. Fingertip cover 100 is then attached to finger 200 allowing the user to remove fingertip cover 100. Then, the user proceeds to use fingertip cover 100 as a germ and virus protection device when touching surfaces.

Another packaging that can be utilized is illustrated in FIGS. 4A and 4B. Shown is packaging 400 comprising first layer 401 and second layer 402. Fingertip cover 100 is disposed on first layer 401 with adhesive 104 facing upward and sandwiched by layer 402. During use, a user will peel second layer 402 from layer 401, as illustrated in FIG. 4A, to reveal adhesive 401 on fingertip cover 100. As shown in FIG. 4B, the user will press finger 200 on adhesive 104 to attach fingertip cover 100 to finger 200. Then, the user proceeds to use fingertip cover 100 as a germ protection device when touching surfaces.

Yet another packaging is illustrated in FIG. 5 that encloses a plurality of fingertip covers 100 placed on sheet layers 501. The user will open packaging 500, slide one sheet layer 501 with fingertip cover 100 out of the packaging to reveal adhesive 104, and press finger 200 on adhesive 104 to attach fingertip cover 100 to finger 200 and remove it from sheet layer 501. Preferably, the underside of sheet layer 501 is made from material that does not adhere to adhesive 104 of fingertip cover 100 such that sheet layers 501 are easily separable when stacked in packaging 500. After adhering fingertip cover 100, the user proceeds to use fingertip cover 100 as a germ protection device when touching surfaces.

From the foregoing description of the preferred embodiments, which have been set forth in considerable detail for the purpose of making a complete disclosure of the present invention, it can be seen that the present invention comprises a device and a method of using such device for protecting a finger, comprising a fingertip cover, adhesive means for attaching the fingertip cover to the finger, and a pull-tab attached to the fingertip cover for removing the fingertip cover from the finger. The fingertip cover is preferably made of a germ impervious, virus impervious, and optically clear materials. As such, the fingertip cover keeps items on surfaces touched by the finger from penetrating the fingertip cover and coming into contact with the finger. The device is preferably packaged in packaging that reveals the adhesive on the fingertip cover such that a finger can be placed in the contact with the adhesive providing fast application. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes can be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but it is intended to cover all modifications that are within the scope and spirit of the invention as defined by the appended claims.