Title:
Removalble holder for displaying pictures and other materials
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flexible, detachable display pouch is disclosed for display on a garment, hat, banner, mail box, or other display media item of essentially flat display materials. The pouch is detachably attached to the display media by Velcro, snaps, etc, that hold the perimeter of the pouch close to the media item. In preferred embodiments the pouch is sized to accept one or more pictures or printed documents with standard sizes, and in some embodiments it can contain a stack of items, whereby the displayed item can be changed by reordering the stack. Other embodiments include a flap or other seal to retain displayed items and/or protect them from water. Other embodiments allow dry erase marking on the pouch, and still others allow washing of the display media after pouch removal without harming or loosening the Velcro etc. A plurality of pouches can be included that can be preloaded and exchanged.



Inventors:
White, Jonathan D. (New Philadelphia, OH, US)
White, Annette M. (New Philadelphia, OH, US)
Application Number:
12/004625
Publication Date:
06/25/2009
Filing Date:
12/22/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/244, 2/247, 2/250
International Classes:
A41D1/00; A41D27/08; A41D27/20
View Patent Images:
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20080301845HELMET MOUNTED LIGHTING APPARATUS AND METHOD OF MANUFACTUREDecember, 2008Boulan
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Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Russ Weinzimmer (Milford, NH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for visible display on a garment or other display media item of essentially flat display materials, the apparatus comprising: a flexible display pouch that is able to contain the essentially flat materials, the flexible display pouch including an outward facing side and an inward facing side, the outward facing side including a transparent area through which contents of the flexible display pouch can be observed; and a first attachment mechanism fixed to the inward facing side of the flexible display pouch and configured so as to maintain the perimeter of the flexible display pouch in close proximity with the garment or other display media item when the first attachment mechanism is attached to a compatible second attachment mechanism fixed to the garment or other display media item.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first attachment mechanism includes at least one of hook material, loop material, one-half of a zipper, a male snap, a female snap, a button, a button hole, and a magnet.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a second attachment mechanism that is compatible with the first attachment mechanism and is fixable to a garment or other display media item so as to allow removable attachment of the flexible display pouch to the garment or other display media item by attachment of the first attachment mechanism to the second attachment mechanism.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the second attachment mechanism includes at least one of hook material, loop material, one-half of a zipper, a male snap, a female snap, a button, a button hole, and a magnet.

5. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the second attachment mechanism is fixable to a garment or other display media item by at least one of sewing and gluing.

6. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the second attachment mechanism, having been fixed to a garment or other display media item, can be cleaned together with the garment or other display media item without damage to the second attachment mechanism and without degradation of the fixing of the second attachment mechanism to the garment or other display media item.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the flexible display pouch is sized so as to conveniently accept display items with standard dimensions, the standard dimensions being at least one of 8.5 inches by 11 inches, 21 centimeters by 30 centimeters, 5 inches by 7 inches, 4 inches by 6 inches, 3 inches by 5 inches, and other standard dimensions applicable to documents, photographs and other display items.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the flexible display pouch includes a closable, openable seal that is able to prevent materials from falling out of the flexible display pouch.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the closable, openable seal is a flap that extends from an edge of the inward facing side of the flexible display pouch and is able to overlap a corresponding edge of the outward facing side of the flexible display pouch.

10. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the closable, openable seal is a zip lock seal that seals an edge of the inward facing side of the flexible display pouch to a corresponding edge of the outward facing side of the flexible display pouch.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the flexible display pouch is able to protect contents inside the flexible display pouch from exposure to water.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first attachment mechanism is fixed to the inward facing side of the flexible display pouch by at least one of sewing and gluing.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the flexible display pouch is made from flexible plastic.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the flexible display pouch is able to contain a plurality of documents printed on photographic printing paper.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the transparent area of the outward facing side of the flexible display pouch is compatible with marking by a dry erase marker and with erasure of marks made by a dry erase marker.

16. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a plurality of flexible display pouches is included that can be pre-loaded with essentially flat materials, so that a change in the materials displayed on a garment or other display media item can be made simply by removing one of the flexible display pouches from the garment or other display media item and attaching another of the flexible display pouches to the garment or other display media item.

17. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the flexible display pouch is able to contain a plurality of essentially flat materials arranged essentially in a stack, such that only the item nearest to the outward facing side of the flexible display pouch is visible, and such that the item displayed can be changed by changing the order of items in the stack.

18. A method for visible display on a garment or other display media item of essentially flat display materials, the garment or other display media item including a first attachment mechanism fixed thereto, the method comprising: providing a flexible display pouch that can contain the essentially flat materials, the flexible display pouch including an outward facing side and an inward facing side, the outward facing side including a transparent area through which contents of the flexible display pouch can be observed; providing a second attachment mechanism fixed to the inward facing side of the flexible display pouch, able to be aligned with and detachably attached to the first attachment mechanism and configured so as to maintain the perimeter of the flexible display pouch in close proximity with the garment or other display media item when the second attachment mechanism is attached to first attachment mechanism; aligning the first attachment mechanism with the second attachment mechanism; attaching the first attachment mechanism to the second attachment mechanism, thereby attaching the flexible display pouch to the garment or other display media item; and placing the essentially flat materials into the flexible display pouch, this action being taken at least one of before completing the previous two actions and after completing the previous two actions.

19. A method for visible display on a garment or other display media item of essentially flat display materials, the method comprising: providing a first attachment mechanism that is fixable to the garment or other display media item; providing a flexible display pouch that is able to contain the essentially flat materials, the flexible display pouch including an outward facing side and an inward facing side, the outward facing side including a transparent area through which contents of the flexible display pouch can be observed; providing a second attachment mechanism fixed to the inward facing side of the flexible display pouch, the second attachment mechanism being detachably attachable to the first attachment mechanism when the first attachment mechanism is attached to a garment or other display item in a configuration that is compatible with the second attachment mechanism, the second attachment mechanism being configured so as to maintain the perimeter of the flexible display pouch in close proximity with the garment or other display media item when the second attachment mechanism is attached to the first attachment mechanism; fixing the first attachment mechanism to the garment or other display media item in a configuration that allows the first attachment mechanism to be aligned with and attached to the second attachment mechanism; aligning the first attachment mechanism with the second attachment mechanism; attaching the first attachment mechanism to the second attachment mechanism, thereby attaching the flexible display pouch to the garment or other display media item; and placing the essentially flat materials into the flexible display pouch, this action being taken at least one of before completing the previous two actions and after completing the previous two actions.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention generally relates to displaying decorative and informational pictures and other materials, and more specifically to apparatus for attaching decorative and informational pictures and other materials to garments and other display media items.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The display of decorative and/or informational materials on clothing, fashion accessories, and other objects is a popular and well known practice. Logos, pictures, team names, humorous sayings, names of tourist sites and attractions, and many other informational and/or decorative illustrations are commonly displayed on clothing, tote-bags, book bags, back packs, hats, purses, book covers, mail boxes, decorative display banners, and such like, herein referred to as “display media items,” as a means for individual expression, fashion display, identification with a group, advertising, entertainment, and such like.

In most cases, the decorative and/or informational materials are permanently attached to the clothing or other display media, or permanently printed on the display media using silk screen, heat transfer, and/or similar methods. This approach is durable, washable, and easy to use, but does not allow the displayed materials to be changed in any way. Individuals are therefore required to purchase and maintain multiple garments or other display media if they wish to display different decorative or informational materials under different circumstances or on different occasions. For example, an individual may have a T-shirt or other garment with a sports team name and/or log printed on the front, but nothing printed on the back. The individual may wish to use the back of the shirt to display a team number and/or a name or a picture of the most valuable player from the most recent game, and change the displayed items after each game. However, the individual may lack the tools and skills required to print the information onto the back of the T-shirt, and it may be impractical to own a separate T-shirt for each member of the team.

Or an individual may have a flag or banner intended to be displayed at sporting events. If the individual attends sporting events for more than one sport, for example, baseball, hockey, basketball, football, and such like, it will be necessary for the individual to possess multiple banners so as to display different sports team logos at different events. This also applies to hats and other accessories.

Some garments and other display media include pouches, pockets, frames, or similar holders that can contain pictures, printed documents, and/or other essentially flat items for display. Some of these holders do not cover the outward facing surfaces of displayed items, while others cover displayed items with a transparent window made from plastic or a similar transparent material. This approach allows display materials to be exchanged, so that a single garment or other display media item can display different materials on different occasions. However, in most cases exchange of the display materials is somewhat cumbersome and time consuming. Also, in many cases displayed materials can be damaged by exposure to rain and other elements, especially where a transparent window is not included. And when a transparent window is included it can be scratched and otherwise damaged by normal wear and tear, and can also be damaged when the garment or other display media is washed.

An apparatus disclosed in a co-pending application includes a garment such as a T-shirt or fashion accessory, a display pouch, and attachment mechanisms that are able to detachably attach the display pouch to the garment. This apparatus solves some of the problems indicated above, but does not address the display of materials on pre-existing garments or other pre-existing display media.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An apparatus and methods of use thereof are disclosed for visible display on clothing, fashion accessories, and other objects, herein referred to collectively as “garments and other display media items,” of essentially flat materials that are informational, entertaining, and/or decorative. The apparatus includes a flexible display pouch that is detachably attachable to a display media item and is able to contain the essentially flat materials. The flexible display pouch has an inwardly facing side and an outwardly facing side. It is made from plastic and/or other flexible materials, and includes a transparent area on the outwardly facing side that is able to display the essentially flat materials. A first attachment mechanism is included and is fixed to the inward facing side of the flexible display pouch in a configuration that will keep the perimeter of the inward facing side of the flexible display pouch in close proximity with a display media item when the flexible display pouch is attached to the display media item.

In preferred embodiments, a second attachment mechanism is also included that is attachable to a garment or other display media item so as to make it the garment or other display media item detachably attachable to the display pouch. In some of these embodiments the second attachment mechanism is fixable to a garment or other display media item by at least one of sewing and gluing, and in some of these embodiments the second attachment mechanism, having been fixed to a garment or other display media item, can be cleaned together with the garment or other display media item without damage to the second attachment mechanism and without degradation of the fixing of the second attachment mechanism to the garment or other display media item.

Attachment mechanisms in preferred embodiments include hook-and-loop, snaps, zippers, magnets, and/or other attachment mechanisms, and can be fixed to the garment and to the inwardly facing side of the display pouch by sewing, gluing, and other attachment methods.

In some preferred embodiments, the flexible display pouch is sized so as to accept display items with standard dimensions, such as 8.5 inch by 11 inch and/or 21 cm by 30 cm (i.e. European A4 format), as well as standard photographic sizes such as 5 inches by 7 inches, 3 inches by 5 inches, etc. In other preferred embodiments the flexible display pouch includes a seal that can be opened and closed, such as a zip-lock seal or a flap that extends from an edge of the inward facing side and can overlap a corresponding edge of the outward facing side, the seal being able to prevent materials from falling out of the flexible display pouch. In some preferred embodiments the display pouch is able to protect its contents from exposure to water.

In preferred embodiments, the display pouch is able to contain a stack of display items, such that only the item closest to the outward facing side is visible and the displayed item can be changed simply by changing the order of items in the stack. In other preferred embodiments, the transparent area of the outward facing side of the flexible display pouch is compatible with marking by a dry erase marker and with erasure of marks made by a dry erase marker.

As described above, some embodiments of the present invention provide for display of virtually any text and/or picture that can be printed by a computer, for example by pressing the “print screen” button, or reproduced by a photocopier. Other embodiments provide for display of essentially flat items of varying size and shape, such as postcards, snapshots, athletic school “letters,” can also be displayed by preferred embodiments of the invention. In some embodiments a plurality of flexible display pouches is included, allowing for quick exchange of pouches that are pre-loaded with display items. In other preferred embodiments the flexible display pouch is able to contain a stack of documents or other essentially flat items so that the item displayed can be changed simply by changing the order of items in the stack.

The methods of use of the present invention include providing an apparatus as described above, fixing an attachment mechanism to a garment or other display media item if the garment or other display media item does not already include a compatible attachment mechanism, placing the essentially flat materials into the flexible display pouch, aligning the attachment mechanisms on the flexible display pouch and on the garment or other display media item, and attaching the flexible display pouch to the garment or other display media item.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is an illustration from the front of a T-shirt the includes a sports logo printed on it;

FIG. 1B is an illustration from the back of the T-shirt of FIG. 1A, to which a Velcro attachment mechanism has been fixed;

FIG. 2A is an illustration from the front of a transparent flexible display pouch showing a sealing flap and a Velcro attachment mechanism;

FIG. 2B is an illustration from the side of the flexible display pouch of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 3 is an illustration from the back of flexible display pouch of FIG. 2A attached to the T-shirt of FIG. 1B;

FIG. 4 is an illustration from the back of the flexible display pouch and T-shirt of FIG. 3 with a sports team member number and name inserted in the flexible display pouch;

FIG. 5 is an illustration from the front of a preferred embodiment in which a flexible display pouch containing a photograph is attached to the front of a T-shirt, and in which the transparent display area has been written on by a dry erase marker;

FIG. 6 is a perspective drawing of a preferred embodiment in which a flexible display pouch is attached to the lid of a laptop computer;

FIG. 7 is a perspective drawing of a preferred embodiment in which a flexible display pouch is attached to the cover of a book;

FIG. 8 is a perspective drawing of a preferred embodiment in which a flexible display pouch is attached to the front of a baseball cap;

FIG. 9 is a perspective drawing of a preferred embodiment in which a flexible display pouch is attached to the side of a mail box; and

FIG. 10 is a perspective drawing of a preferred embodiment in which a flexible display pouch is attached to the side of a display banner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

One application of the present invention is for display of a picture, logo, and such like on a garment. The T-shirt 100 shown in FIG. 1A has a sports logo on the front, however the back side of the T-shirt 100, shown in FIG. 1B, is blank. As shown in FIG. 1B, a user of the present invention has sewn or glued Velcro strips 102 to the back of the T-shirt 100 as an attachment mechanism 102 prepared to receive the flexible display pouch of the present invention the attachment mechanism 102 is a rectangle formed from one inch wide strips of “home decorating grade” Velcro “loop” material sewn to the T-shirt 100 using polyester thread. In similar embodiments a similar thread material such as nylon or silk thread is used. The rectangle in the embodiment of FIG. 1B is 7.5 inches wide and 10 inches tall (outer dimensions), leaving a one-half-inch margin on all sides as compared to an 8.5 inch by 11 inch sheet of paper. These dimensions will ensure that the perimeter of a flexible display pouch sized to hold an 8.5 inch by 11 inch sheet of paper will be held in close proximity to the T-shirt. In similar embodiments, the dimensions of the rectangle are selected according to European A4 paper size. In these embodiments, virtually any document and/or picture that can be printed by a computer, for example by pressing the “print screen” button, or reproduced by a photocopier, can be displayed on the garment 100.

In other embodiments, the dimensions are 5 inch by 7 inch or other sizes, and in some preferred embodiments a plurality of documents, for example up to five sheets of 10.0 mil photo paper, or of other essentially flat items can be contained as a stack in the flexible display pouch, such that only the top item on the stack is visible and the item displayed can be changed simply by changing the order of items in the stack.

Other preferred embodiments include different types of garments such as a jacket, pants, a purse, a baseball cap, etc, and different types and dimensions of attachment mechanisms, including other grades and sizes of Velcro sewn or glued to the garment, as well as snaps, zippers, buttons, and such like.

Some preferred embodiments include multiple display pouches that can be pre-loaded with display materials, so that the item displayed can be changed simply by removing one pouch from the garment and attaching another pouch to the garment.

FIG. 2A illustrates a flexible display pouch 200 in a preferred embodiment where the flexible display pouch 200 is made entirely from clear plastic and is similar in size and shape to a “sheet protector” used to protect 8.5 inch by 11 inch sheets of paper. The flexible display pouch 200 has rounded corners and includes an attachment mechanism 202 with type and dimensions similar to the attachment mechanism 102 of FIG. 1B, except that strips of Velcro “hook” material are glued to the pouch 200, while strips of Velcro “loop” material are sewn to the T-shirt 100 of FIG. 1B. The flexible display pouch 200 includes a flap 204 that can be folded over the top of the pouch 200 to prevent sheets of paper or other contents in the pouch 200 from falling partly or completely out of the pouch 200. In other preferred embodiments a “zip lock” seal or other closable and openable seal is included.

FIG. 2B presents a side view of the flexible display pouch 200 of FIG. 2A. The pouch 200 includes an outward facing side 206 and in inward side 208. In the embodiment of FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B, the entire pouch 200 is made from transparent material such as poly, while in other preferred embodiments the pouch is made from cloth or other materials. However, in all cases the pouch 200 includes a transparent area on the outward facing side 206 through which contents of the pouch are visible. The flexible display pouch 200 also includes an inward facing side 208, to which an attachment mechanism is fixed. As mentioned above, in this embodiment the attachment mechanism is formed of strips of Velcro “hook” material glued to the pouch, while other embodiments include different types and dimensions of attachment mechanisms, including other grades and sizes of Velcro sewn or glued to the pouch 200, as well as snaps, buttons, and such like.

FIG. 3 shows a rear view of the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1B, FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B, with the flexible display pouch 200 attached to the garment 100 and the sealing flap 204 open, but with no contents in the display pouch 200. FIG. 4 shows the same embodiment with a sports team member number and name 400 inserted in the flexible display pouch 200 and the sealing flap 204 closed.

FIG. 5 shows a similar embodiment in which a user has attached a flexible display pouch 200 of the present invention to a T-shirt 500 originally obtained as part of a combined T-shirt and flexible display pouch apparatus, as disclosed in a co-pending application. The flexible display pouch 200 contains a photograph 502, and in this embodiment the flexible display pouch 200 of the present invention is compatible with the attachment mechanism supplied with and attached to the T-shirt 500, thereby allowing the flexible display pouch 200 of the present invention to serve as an exchangeable replacement for the flexible display pouch originally provided with the T-shirt 500. This allows continued use of the T-shirt 500 if the original display pouch is damaged, and it allows convenient and rapid exchange of the displayed materials if more than one flexible display pouch is available, by pre-loading the pouches with different display materials and simply exchanging the pouches.

In this embodiment, the flexible display pouch 200 has the added feature that it is compatible with marking by a dry erase marker and with erasure of marks made by a dry erase marker. Writing 504 made by a dry erase marker on the flexible display pouch can be seen in the figure.

In other preferred embodiments, flexible display pouches of the current invention can be attached to a variety of clothing accessories and other objects. FIG. 6 illustrates a preferred embodiment in which a flexible display pouch 200 of the current invention is attached to the lid of a laptop computer 600 using Velcro strips (not shown). In a similar embodiment, FIG. 7 illustrates attachment of a flexible display pouch 200 by Velcro strips (not shown) to the cover of a book 700. In FIG. 8, a smaller flexible display pouch 200 is attached to the front of a baseball cap 800, and in FIG. 9 a flexible display pouch 200 is attached to the side of a mailbox 900. And in FIG. 10, a flexible display pouch 200 is attached to the side of a team banner 1000. In particular, the embodiment of FIG. 8 allows the same baseball cap 800 to be worn at sporting events featuring different teams, the embodiment of FIG. 9 allows display on the mailbox 900 of different sports logos, holiday decorations, or other thematic display materials appropriate for the time of year, and the embodiment of FIG. 10 allows the same team support banner 1000 to be used at sporting events featuring different teams.

Other modifications and implementations will occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as claimed. Accordingly, the above description is not intended to limit the invention except as indicated in the following claims.