Title:
TRI-FINGER SPORTS GLOVE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is an improved sports glove covering the ring finger, pinky finger, thumb, a portion of the palm, a portion of the wrist, and optionally a portion of the middle finger of a human hand. The index finger, at least a portion of the middle finger, a portion of the palm, and a portion of the dorsal side of the hand are left uncovered with the glove of the present invention, which allows for greater aeration throughout the glove during use and greater control when gripping a sporting implement such as a tennis racquet handle, a golf club handle, or the like.



Inventors:
Desjardin, Warren (Townville, SC, US)
Vestling, Thomas (Naples, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/207134
Publication Date:
06/11/2009
Filing Date:
09/09/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/163, 2/167, 2/162
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
QUICKPATENTS (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sports glove for a human hand comprising: a front panel for covering at least a portion of the palm, wrist, ring finger, pinky finger, middle finger, and thumb of the hand, the front panel having a peripheral edge, a ring finger section, a pinky finger section, a middle finger section, a thumb section, a palm section, and a wrist section; a back panel for covering at least a portion of the dorsal side of the hand, wrist, ring finger, pinky finger, middle finger and thumb of the hand, the back panel having a peripheral edge, a ring finger section, a pinky finger section, a middle finger section, a thumb section, a dorsal section, and a wrist section, the peripheral edges of the front and back panels mutually fixed at the peripheral edge thereof, and at either side of the wrist sections to form a wrist aperture between the wrist sections of each panel; whereby with the hand inserted between the panels at wrist sections, the index finger and an uncovered portion of the hand protrude from between the panels.

2. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein the front and back panels are mutually unattached at tips of the finger and thumb sections, whereby the tips of the ring finger, pinky finger, middle finger, and thumb may at least partially protrude from between the panels.

3. The sports glove of claim 2 wherein the middle finger section is truncated such that substantially the entire middle finger protrudes from between the panels.

4. A sports glove for a human hand comprising: a front panel for covering at least a portion of the palm, wrist, ring finger, pinky finger, and thumb of the hand, the front panel having a peripheral edge, a ring finger section, a pinky finger section, a thumb section, a palm section, and a wrist section; a back panel for covering at least a portion of the dorsal side of the hand, wrist, ring finger, pinky finger, and thumb of the hand, the back panel having a peripheral edge, a ring finger section, a pinky finger section, a thumb section, a dorsal section, and a wrist section, the peripheral edges of the front and back panels mutually fixed at the peripheral edge thereof, and at either side of the wrist sections to form a wrist aperture between the wrist sections of each panel; whereby with the hand inserted between the panels at wrist sections, the index finger, middle finger, and an uncovered portion of the hand protrude from between the panels.

5. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein the front and back panels are mutually unattached at tips of the finger and thumb sections, whereby the tips of the ring finger, pinky finger, and thumb may at least partially protrude from between the panels.

6. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein the wrist section of the back panel includes a notch at the peripheral edge thereof and extending towards the palm section thereof, the wrist section further including a size adjustment strap fixed at one end to the wrist section at one side of the notch and terminating at a second end that extends to the other side of the notch, an adjustment means fixed to the adjustment strap at the second end, whereby the size of the wrist aperture is selectively adjustable.

7. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein the finger and thumb sections of the front panel each include a plurality of air holes therethrough.

8. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein the back panel is comprised of an elastic open mesh material.

9. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein the back panel is comprised of an elastic fabric material.

10. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein the front panel is comprised of an elastic fabric material.

11. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein the front panel is made from a polyurethane material having a relatively high coefficient of friction against the palm.

12. The sports glove of claim 1 further including at least one side panel fixed between and connecting the front and back panels.

13. The sports glove of claim 12 wherein one side panel is fixed along the thumb of each panel.

14. The sports glove of claim 12 wherein the at least one side panel is made from a leather material.

15. The sports glove of claim 12 wherein the at least one side panel is made from a synthetic leather material.

16. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein the back panel includes a leather strip between the wrist section to between the thumb section and the ring finger section.

17. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein the back panel includes a synthetic leather strip between the wrist section to between the thumb section and the ring finger section.

18. The sports glove of claim 1 further including an elastomeric band fixed to the front and back panels around the wrist aperture.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/951,185, filed on Dec. 5, 2007, and incorporated herein by reference.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to gloves, and more particularly to a sports glove for improved gripping of a sporting implement.

DISCUSSION OF RELATED ART

Sports gloves to improve gripping are well known in the art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,768,711 to Wissink on Jun. 23, 1998 teaches such a device. Such devices are made to improve a wearer's grip of a sporting implement allowing for better control of the sporting implement. However, despite the development of many approaches to sports gloves, these approaches often have significant drawbacks.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,621,918 to Bernhard, published on Apr. 22, 1997, teaches a traditional sports glove that covers the entire hand including all five fingers of the hand. This approach provides the advantage of protecting all areas of the hand and increasing the gripping surface of the glove. However, this approach has the disadvantage of restricting the amount of ventilation the hand receives because the entire hand is covered. Insufficient ventilation causes sweaty palms and fingers, which can lead to slippage of the glove on the hand and reducing the effectiveness of the glove. Therefore, there is a need for a sports glove that can allow greater ventilation but still provide an adequate grip. Moreover, a traditional five-finger glove can feel constrictive and make the sports glove uncomfortable. Thus, a need exists for a less restrictive and more comfortable sports glove.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,768,711 to Wissink on Jun. 23, 1998 teaches a sports glove with exposed finger tips. The open finger tips allows for better ventilation of the interior of the glove. However, the Wissink does not teach direct ventilation of the palm area. Thus, a need exists for a sports glove that also ventilates the palm region of the hand.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,035,443 to Green, published on Mar. 14, 2000, teaches a golf glove with an exposed palm. The exposed palm provides greater ventilation to the hand and prevents the build up of unwanted moisture in the glove. However, an exposed palm does not provide desired gripping surface over the palm area. A need exists, then, for a sports glove that provides partial coverage of the palm area of the hand but also allows for direct ventilation of the palm area.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,882,787 to Hull et al., published on Nov. 28, 1989, teaches a golf glove covering only the ring finger and little finger to provide bare handed feel. This device combines the benefit of greater ventilation to the hand while providing a gripping surface over part of the palm area. The Hull et al. device teaches away from covering the thumb, ring finger and pinky finger in order to provide the wearer a barehanded feel. However, a barehanded feel is not always desired for the thumb, ring finger and pinky finger as these tend to be the dominant fingers when gripping a sporting implement such as a tennis racquet, golf club, or the like. A need exists, consequently, for a sports glove that covers the thumb, ring finger and pinky finger but does not cover the entire palm region to provide increased ventilation.

US Patent Application 2007/0079421 A1 to Davis, published Apr. 12, 2007, teaches a billiard training glove. The Davis device provides a glove that covers the thumb, ring finger and pinky finger but does not cover the entire hand which provides increased ventilation. However, the Davis device discloses a billiard gloved with low friction material to reduce friction as the cue stick passes along the hand. Therefore, a device is needed that provides a higher friction surface to increase the effectiveness of the glove in gripping sporting elements.

US Patent Application 2004/0199978 A1 to Cass, published on Oct. 14, 2004, teaches a sports glove for basketball with at least three fingers and with a gripping surface. However, the Cass device teaches away from covering the thumb as the device is designed for use with a basketball. Also, the Cass device teaches using a very rough gripping surface such as 80 grit Emory cloth or sandpaper. Such a rough gripping surface would not be suitable for sporting implements such as tennis racquet handles and golf club handles, which tend to have special grips on the handles. Over time with repeated use, the glove disclosed by Cass would damage such special grips. Therefore, a sports glove is needed that provides an improved grip for sporting implements such as tennis racquets and golf clubs without causing damage to the sporting implement.

Regarding one Applicant's previous U.S. application Ser. No. 11/951,185, filed on Dec. 5, 2007, it was found with certain sports that having the pinky and ring finger uncovered, while beneficial for improving tactile awareness of a held sporting implement, led sometimes to irritation on the pink or ring finger where the implement is held tightly. For example, in the sports of racquetball, tennis, and golf, some users of this type of glove complained about sore spots developing on the uncovered fingers causing by rubbing of the sporting implement.

In addition to the above deficiencies, many sports gloves allow for too much slippage between the hand and a sporting implement such as a tennis racquet, a golf club, or the like. With many currently available gloves, the glove material can be pulled in many directions to cause bunching of the material, creating areas of the glove that are too loose and other areas that are too tight. Thus, a need exists that allows for a sports glove that provides sufficient grip between the glove and the hand and does not cause bunching of the glove material. Unexpectedly, it was found that covering the pinky and ring finger with the glove material while uncovering the index and middle fingers provided many of the same benefits of the—185 device, while considerably reducing or eliminating sore spots on the areas of the hand where such sporting implements are held tightly.

Therefore, there is a need for an improved sports glove that is comfortable to use, allows for ample aeration throughout the glove, provides an improved grip that allows for better control of sporting implements, such as tennis racquets, golf clubs, and the like, without causing damage to the sporting implement, and minimizes slippage between the glove and the hand. The present invention accomplishes these objectives.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present device is a sports glove that allows for improved gripping of a sporting implement by a human hand. Such an implement may be a tennis racquet handle, a golf club handle, or any other handle, whether for a sporting implement, tool, or the like, and particularly those implements that, when held, tend to rub or tightly contact the pinky and ring fingers of the hand.

The sports glove includes a front panel for covering at least the portion of the palm, wrist, ring finger, pinky finger, thumb and optionally middle finger of the hand. The front panel has a peripheral edge, a ring finger section, a pinky finger section, a thumb section, a palm section, a wrist section, and optionally a middle finger section. The finger and thumb sections of the front panel may further each include a plurality of air holes therethrough to allow further air flow through the glove. The front panel may be comprised of any suitable flexible material such as cotton, spandex, leather, or the like.

A back panel covers at least the portion of the dorsal side of the hand, wrist, ring finger, pinky finger, thumb and optionally middle finger of the hand. The back panel has a peripheral edge, a ring finger section, a pinky finger section, a thumb section, a dorsal section, a wrist section and optionally a middle finger section.

The front and back panels are mutually fixed at their peripheral edges at the ring finger sections, the pinky finger sections, the thumb sections, the palm and dorsal sections, opposing sides of the wrist sections, and optionally middle finger sections. As such, a wrist aperture is formed between the wrist sections of each panel. Fixing the front and back panels in such a way allows for greater air flow in the palm region of the glove. In one embodiment of the invention, the front and back panels are mutually unattached at tips of the ring finger, the pinky finger, the thumb, and the middle finger. Such open-ended finger and thumb sections allow for greater air flow between the panels when the glove is in-use.

In one embodiment, a side panel is fixed between and connects the front and back panels. Such a side panel may be a flexible and optionally elastomeric material such as cotton, flexible open mesh, spandex, Lycra or the like. The side panel may be one or more individual pieces as necessary to allow for a proper shape between the panels, and may be sewn to each panel at the peripheral edges thereof. Use of a side panel between the front and back panels makes the glove more comfortable to wear, decreases bunching of the glove material and thus improves the grip of the glove.

In use, with the hand inserted between the panels through the wrist aperture at the wrist sections, the ring finger, pinky finger, and the uncovered portion of the hand protrude from between the panels at a larger aperture.

The present device is a sports glove that is comfortable to use, allows for ample aeration through the glove during use, provides an improved grip that allows for better control of sporting implements such as tennis racquets, golf clubs, and the like, without causing damage to the sporting implement, and minimizes slippage between the glove and the hand. Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a rear elevational view of the invention, as worn by a human hand;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the invention, as worn by the human hand;

FIG. 3 is a right side elevational view of an alternate embodiment of the invention, as worn by the human hand;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the alternate embodiment of the invention, as worn by the human hand;

FIG. 5 is a close-up perspective view of a sporting implement as gripped by a human hand fitted with the invention;

FIG. 6 is a close-up elevational view of a mesh material of the invention; and

FIG. 7 is a partial cross-sectional view of the invention, taken along lines 7-7 of FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIGS. 1, 2 and 5 illustrate a sports glove 10 that allows for improved gripping of a sporting implement 18 by a human hand 15. Such an implement 18 may be a tennis racquet handle, as shown in FIG. 5, a golf club handle (not shown), or any other handle or implement, tool (not shown), or the like. For example, the present invention also provides a user benefits while wearing during water skiing, jet skiing, and other physical activities.

For clarity, it is to be understood that in the drawings the hand 15 is any human hand 15, the front or palm side of which may include a portion 15a of the palm, wrist 15b, ring finger 15c, pinky finger 15d, and thumb 15e, as illustrated in FIG. 2. The dorsal side 15f of the hand 15 has a wrist 15g, ring finger 15h, pinky finger 15i, and thumb 15j, as illustrated in FIG. 1. The hand 15 further includes index finger 15k, middle finger 15l, and an uncovered portion 15m.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, the sports glove 10 includes a front panel 20 for covering at least the portion 15a of the palm, wrist 15b, ring finger 15c, pinky finger 15d, thumb 15e, and optionally the middle finger 15l of the hand 15. The front panel 20 has a peripheral edge 25, a ring finger section 21, a pinky finger section 22, a thumb section 23, a palm section 24, a wrist section 26, and optionally a substantially truncated middle finger section 27. The finger and thumb sections 21,22,27,23 of the front panel 20 may further each include a plurality of air holes 80 therethrough (FIG. 2) to allow further air flow through the glove 10. The front panel 20 may be comprised of any suitable flexible or elastic fabric material such as cotton, spandex, Lycra®, leather, or the like. Alternately, the front panel 20 may be made from a polyurethane material having a relatively high coefficient of friction against the palm 15a.

FIG. 1 illustrates a back panel 30 that covers at least the portion 15f of the dorsal side of the hand 15, wrist 15g, ring finger 15h, middle finger 15l, pinky finger 15i, and thumb 15j. The back panel 30 has a peripheral edge 35, a ring finger section 31, a pinky finger section 32, a thumb section 33, a dorsal section 34, a wrist section 36, and optionally a substantially truncated middle finger section 37. The back panel 30 may be comprised of an elastic open mesh material 90 (FIG. 6), elastic fabric material such as Lycra®, or any other suitable flexible and absorbent material such as cotton, spandex, terrycloth, or the like.

Illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, the front and back panels 20,30 are mutually fixed at least a portion of their peripheral edges 25,35 at the ring finger sections 21,31, the pinky finger sections 22,32, the thumb sections 23,33, the palm and dorsal sections 24,34, wrist sections 26,36, and optionally at the middle finger sections 27,37. As such, a wrist aperture 40 is formed between the wrist sections 26,36 of each panel 20,30, illustrated in FIG. 1. Fixing the front and back panels 20,30 as described allows for greater air flow in the palm region 15a of the glove 10.

In one embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the front and back panels 20,30 are mutually unattached at tips 21a and 31a, tips 22a and 32a, and 23a and 33a of the finger and thumb sections 21,22,23,31,32,33, respectively. Optional middle finger sections 27,37 are substantially truncated such that the middle finger 15l is substantially exposed. As such, tips 15n, 15o, and 15p of the fingers and thumb of the hand 15 at least partially protrude from between the panels 20,30, and the middle finger 15l almost entirely protrudes from between the panels 20,30. Such open-ended finger and thumb sections 31,32,33 allow for greater air flow between the panels 20,30 when the glove 10 is in-use.

Preferably the wrist section 36 of the back panel 30 includes a notch 50 at the peripheral edge 35 thereof, and extends towards the palm section 34 thereof (FIGS. 1 and 3). The wrist section 36, in such an embodiment, further includes a size adjustment strap 60 fixed at one end 64 thereof to one side 54 of the notch 50. The strap 60 terminates at a second end 66 thereof to the other side 56 of the notch 50, an adjustment means 70 being fixed to the adjustment strap 60 at the second end 66. As such, the size of the wrist aperture 40 is selectively adjustable. The adjustment means 70 (FIG. 7) is preferably a hook-and-loop type fastener, but can also be mechanical snaps, clips, buttons, or the like. The wrist sections 26,36 may also include an elastomeric band 130 fixed around the wrist aperture 40.

In an alternate embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 3, a side panel 125 is fixed between and connects the front and back panels 20,30. Such a side panel 125 may be a flexible and optionally elastomeric material such as cotton, flexible open mesh, spandex, Lycra or the like. The side panel 125 may alternately be made of leather, synthetic leather, or the like. The side panel 125 may be one or more individual pieces as necessary to allow for a proper shape between the panels 20,30, and may be sewn to each panel 20,30 at the peripheral edges 25,35 thereof. Use of an elastic side panel 125 between the front and back panels 20,30 decreases bunching of the glove material, makes the glove more comfortable to wear and improves the grip of the glove 10. Such a side panel 125 may be fixed from the wrist 15b along the thumb 15e of each panel 20,30, for example (FIG. 3).

In one embodiment of the invention, illustrated in FIG. 1, the back panel 30 includes a leather or synthetic leather strip 120 between the wrist section 30 to between the thumb section 33 and the ring finger section 31. Further, in one embodiment, illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the uncovered portion 15m of the hand 15 includes a portion of the palm, or, with the middle finger sections 27,37 may include substantially none of the palm, illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

In use, with the hand 15 inserted between the panels 20,30 through the wrist aperture 40 at the wrist sections 20,30, the index finger 15k, middle finger 15l, and the uncovered portion 15m of the hand 15 protrude from between the panels 20,30 at a larger aperture 45, illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. In another embodiment of the invention, illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the larger aperture 45 is replaced with separate apertures 46e and 46k for the middle finger 15l and index finger 15k, respectively.

While a particular form of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be apparent that various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, various types of flexible materials may be used for the front and back panels 20,30. Accordingly, it is not intended that the invention be limited, except as by the appended claims.