Title:
FOOTWEAR PROTECTORS AND METHODS OF PRODUCTION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Footwear protectors and covers are disclosed that include a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion, and at least one tightening member coupled to the body member. High heel footwear protectors are also disclosed that include a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion, wherein the heel portion conforms to the individual heel of the footwear. High heel footwear protectors also comprise a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion opening, wherein the heel portion opening allows the heel of the footwear to fit through the opening. In the high heel footwear protectors, these may include at least one tightening member.



Inventors:
Giacoppo, Janna M. (Sherman Oaks, CA, US)
Giacoppo, Barbara (Boca Raton, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/403155
Publication Date:
09/17/2009
Filing Date:
03/12/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B13/22
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20030110663Shoe cover deviceJune, 2003Patterson
20090277041THREE-PIECE FOOTWEARNovember, 2009Hubner
20080263900Therapeutic ShoeOctober, 2008Determe et al.
20070193068Footwear mold assembly with removable plate and method of manufacturing footwearAugust, 2007Calvano et al.
20020174569Shoe with changeable stylesNovember, 2002Tsai
20090320327SELECTABLE BOOT SUPPORT AND ARTICULATION SYSTEMDecember, 2009Perkins et al.
20030110661Shock-absorbing shoeJune, 2003Wu
20090084560Quick install and quick release horseshoe calk and cleatApril, 2009Spooner et al.
20090307933REMOVABLE SPIKE FOR FOOTWEARDecember, 2009Leach
20080222922SHOE WITH REDUCED LENGTH INNERSOLE AND SMOOTH TRANSITION IN FLEXIBILITYSeptember, 2008Mora
20070193071FIRST METATARSAL HEAD LIFT ORTHOTICAugust, 2007Gilmore



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT M. DOWNEY, P.A. (BOCA RATON, FL, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A footwear protector, comprising: a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion, and at least one tightening member coupled to the body member.

2. The footwear protector of claim 1, wherein the body member further comprises a leg portion.

3. The footwear protector of claim 1 wherein the body member comprises at least one transparent material, at least one partially opaque material, at least one opaque material, at least one patterned material or a combination thereof.

4. The footwear protector of claim 3, wherein the at least one transparent material is clear.

5. The footwear protector of claim 3, wherein the at least one transparent material comprises a color component.

6. The footwear protector of claim 3, wherein the at least one partially opaque material, the at least one opaque material or a combination thereof comprise a color component.

7. The footwear protector of claim 1, wherein the at least one tightening member is physically attached to the body member.

8. The footwear protector of claim 1, wherein the at least one tightening member comprises a tie string, at least one face, an elastic member or a combination thereof.

9. The footwear protector of claim 1, wherein the at least one tightening member is located on the body member at the ball of the foot, at the top of the heel, above the ankle bone, midway up the leg, on the back of the foot, on the back of the leg, on the back of the heel, at the open top end of the body member or a combination thereof.

10. The footwear protector of claim 1, wherein the protector is designed to cover a high heel shoe.

11. The footwear protector of claim 10, wherein the heel portion conforms to the individual heel of the footwear.

12. A high heel footwear protector, comprising: a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion, wherein the heel portion conforms to the individual heel of the footwear; and at least one tightening member.

13. The footwear protector of claim 12, wherein the body member further comprises a leg portion.

14. The footwear protector of claim 12, wherein the body member comprises at least one transparent material, at least one partially opaque material, at least one opaque material, at least one patterned material or a combination thereof.

15. The footwear protector of claim 14, wherein the at least one transparent material comprises a color component, clear component or a combination thereof.

16. The footwear protector of claim 14, wherein the at least one partially opaque material, the at least one opaque material or a combination thereof comprise a color component.

17. The footwear protector of claim 12, wherein the at least one tightening member is physically attached to the body member.

18. The footwear protector of claim 12, wherein the at least one tightening member comprises a tie string, at least one lace, an elastic member or a combination thereof.

19. The footwear protector of claim 12, wherein the at least one tightening member is located on the body member at the ball of the foot, at the top of the heel, above the ankle bone, midway up the leg, on the back of the foot, on the back of the leg, on the back of the heel, at the open top end of the body member or a combination thereof.

20. A high heel footwear protector, comprising: a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion opening, wherein the heel portion opening allows the heel of the footwear to fit through the opening; and at least one tightening member.

Description:

This application is a United States Utility Application that claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/036,604 filed on Mar. 14, 2008, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE SUBJECT MATTER

Protective coverings for footwear and particularly a protective covering for shoes and boots are described herein.

BACKGROUND

During periods of snow and rain it is often difficult to wear high heels or boots in view of the high possibility of the shoes being ruined in the snow or rain, especially when made of suede, leather, satin, silk, finer fabrics, etc. Even a single day in the snow or the rain, can make brand new shoes appear to be several years old. Therefore, most women walk around in snow boots or old shoes. Thus, what is needed in the art is a device which will allow women to wear their expensive heels, boots and other shoes while walking outside in the rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc. and without causing harm to such shoes and/or boots. There are several people who have tried to solve this problem with various designs, but as shown below, they all fall short for different reasons.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,479,006 issued to Garth uses a vinyl-based material with a zipper on the top of the “overshoe” in order to secure the covering on the shoe. In addition, the overshoe is manufactured by fusing several parts of the vinyl-based material together. The zipper on the top of the overshoe can rust, break down or cause water to leak into the inside of the overshoe and onto the foot and/or shoe. In addition, if the vinyl-based material is made to a certain specific size or stretches over time, there is no method to conform the overshoe to other types of shoes or tighten the overshoe to compensate for stretching. One weakness in the design is that the sole of the overshoe is straight along the bottom of the shoe and does not conform to the heel of the shoe, as in the case of high heel shoes (see FIG. 1 of Garth).

Larson et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 3,634,954) discloses wearable disposable coverings for hands and feet made from heat shrinking film. While this solves one of the problems of Garth in that Larson does not have a zipper on top of the covering, it creates other problems for the wearer. In Larson, the covering is designed to “loosely fit onto the foot” where it can be tightened by applying heat to the covering. While this arrangement may work at home, it is impossible to carry these coverings in a purse or briefcase and apply it on the run. One rarely carries a heating element around during the day to heat shrink foot coverings.

Plotkin (U.S. Pat. No. 4,967,491) discloses disposable, collapsable overshoes that have a plurality of foldlines or score lines on the overshoe to permit folding and collapsing the overshoe. Plotkin refers to these foldlines as “areas of weakening”, and it is understood by those in the art that repeated use of these overshoes will result in splits and tears at these “areas of weakening”, which will lead to leakage and expose to the elements for the shoes.

March (U.S. Pat. No. 6,584,704) discloses a rolled disposable shoe cover, wherein the cover is rolled over the shoe and snapped into place. Again, while this design solves some of the problems inherent in the other art, it is still a problematic design. For example, in order to provide a material that can be rolled up and unrolled, the material must be thin and pliable. This design may be fine if the cover is designed to be disposable, as is the case with the covers in March, but it is not an appropriate design if the wearer wants to reuse the covers multiple times. Second, the March design does not conform to the heels of a high heel shoe, as shown in FIG. 13 of the March patent. These covers are clearly designed to be uniformly applied to flat and heeled shoes, without taking into consideration the shoe design. Finally, the March design does not incorporate any method of tightening or adjusting the shoe cover in order to accommodate different types of shoes. Regardless of the fact that March utilizes polyurethane to provide an elastic and stretchable material, once the material is stretched beyond natural retraction, there is no method of tightening the shoe cover—and thus, it must be discarded.

Therefore, it would be ideal to develop a footwear protective covering that a) conforms to high heel shoes and boots by not only conforming to the shoe portion, but also conforming individually to the heel, b) is transparent, so that the shoe can be seen through the protective covering, c) protects the upper part of the foot and shoe from inclement weather, d) can be tightened to fit the individual shoe or foot, so that one protective covering can accommodate several types of heeled shoes and can survive after stretching during wear, e) can be reused overtime in order to reduce landfill materials, f) can be provided in different colors and with different designs to enhance the footwear and or act as a fashion accessory, and g) can be provided in at least partially opaque or fully opaque materials in order to provide a versatile design.

SUMMARY OF THE SUBJECT MATTER

Footwear protectors and covers are disclosed that include a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion, and at least one tightening member coupled to the body member.

High heel footwear protectors are also disclosed that include a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion, wherein the heel portion conforms to the individual heel of the footwear.

High heel footwear protectors also comprise a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion opening, wherein the heel portion opening allows the heel of the footwear to fit through the opening.

In the high heel footwear protectors, these may include at least one tightening member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a contemplated footwear protector utilized for boots.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a contemplated shoe protector of FIG. 1 shown in use disposed over a boot.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the back of a contemplated footwear protector.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a contemplated shoe protector utilized with a skinny or slim heel women's shoe.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the shoe protector of FIG. 4 shown in use disposed over a skinny or slim heel women's shoe.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a contemplated shoe protector utilized with a thick heel women's shoe.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the shoe protector of FIG. 6 shown in use disposed over a thick heel women's shoe.

FIG. 8 shows a contemplated protector and footwear.

FIG. 9 shows a contemplated protector and footwear.

FIG. 10 shows a contemplated protector and footwear.

FIG. 11 shows a contemplated protector and footwear where the heel of the footwear is exposed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Surprisingly, a footwear protective covering has been developed that a) conforms to high heel shoes and boots by not only conforming to the shoe portion, but also conforming individually to the heel, b) is transparent, so that the shoe can be seen through the protective covering, c) protects the upper part of the foot and shoe from inclement weather, d) can be tightened to fit the individual shoe or foot, so that one protective covering can accommodate several types of heeled shoes and can survive after stretching during wear, e) can be reused overtime in order to reduce landfill materials, f) can be provided in different colors and with different designs to enhance the footwear and or act as a fashion accessory, and g) can be provided in at least partially opaque or fully opaque materials in order to provide a versatile design.

Contemplated footwear protectors may a shoe or boot protector for each shoe or boot, which is designed to protect the footwear from the snow, rain, sleet, hail and other outside elements while walking outside and at the same permit the aesthetics and design of the shoe to be seen or otherwise visible.

Specifically, footwear protectors and covers are disclosed that include a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion, and at least one tightening member coupled to the body member. High heel footwear protectors are also disclosed that include a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion, wherein the heel portion conforms to the individual heel of the footwear. High heel footwear protectors also comprise a body member, wherein the body member comprises an open top end, a foot portion, and a heel portion comprising an opening, wherein the heel portion opening allows the heel of the footwear to fit through the opening and be exposed. In the high heel footwear protectors, these may include at least one tightening member.

In some embodiments, contemplated footwear protectors comprise a leg portion that effectively extends the footwear covering up the leg. This type of protective covering is advantageous to protect boots and shoes with knee socks, such as might be worn with mini skirts and school uniforms.

FIG. 1 shows a contemplated embodiment of the protector, generally designated as protector 10, preferably for use with a boot, such as a women's boot. FIG. 2 illustrates protector 10 disposed over a women's boot 50.

In contemplated embodiments, protector 10 may comprise at least one transparent material, at least one partially opaque material, at least one opaque material, at least one patterned material or a combination thereof. In some embodiments, protector 10 is constructed from a clear or transparent material, such as, but not limited to plastics and polymer-based materials. In some embodiments, the material of the protector is designed to be transparent, so that the shoe or boot can be seen through the material. However, in some contemplated embodiments, the protector may comprise a color, such that it is transparent, but not clear. For example, the protector 10 may be any suitable color, such as pink, red, blue, purple, green, orange, yellow, gray, and any other number of suitable colors. Contemplated protectors 10 may be designed to be worn by marching bands and cheerleaders, so that they protect their shoes and feet during outdoor games, while still having the colors of the school. Additionally, aesthetic designs or artwork (i.e. flowers, school logos, words/phrases, sports team logos, etc.) can also be imprinted onto protector 10 to enhance its appearance.

Contemplated protector materials should permit a certain amount of stretching (without ripping), similar to a nylon stocking, such that protector 10 preferably conforms to the shape of women's boot 50, including heel 52. By conforming to boot 50, the style, design and shape of boot 50 is not ruined or obstructed. Other materials which allow protector 10 to be stretched and slid over boot 50, without prematurely tearing or ripping, can be used.

In some contemplated embodiments, protector 10 comprises a material that will allow for at least one tightening member 18 to be incorporated into the design, such as is shown in FIG. 3. So, for example, in those embodiments where the at least one tightening member includes a shoestring-type of product, the protector 10 must comprise a material that can hold up as the tightening members are tightened and loosened. In some embodiments, the holes in the protector material may also include protective eyelets, loops or lugs 20 that are designed in impart durability to the protective covering.

In one contemplated embodiment, protector 10 comprises a body member 11 having an open top end 12, foot portion 14, heel portion 16, leg portion 17 and one or more tightening members 18. Tightening members 18, when provided, can be used to customize the shape and size of protector to boot 50 or any other piece of footwear.

In use, protector 10 is designed to fit over a shoe or boot 50 similar to a glove on a hand and generally forms the shape of boot 50. To secure protector 10 onto boot 50, the foot portion 54 and heel portion 52 of boot 50 are inserted within protector 10 through open end 12. Protector 10 is stretched enough to permit heel portion (tall or short heel) 52 of boot 50 to be disposed or positioned within heel portion 16 of protector 10 and foot portion 54 to be disposed or positioned within foot portion 14 of protector 10. The remaining leg portion of 56 of boot 50 is covered and protected by leg portion 17 of protector 10.

Tightening members may be provided at certain strategic locations on the protective footwear coverings, including at the ball of the foot, at the top of the heel, above the ankle bone, midway up the leg, along the back of the leg, foot and or/heel, and/or at the open end 12 of the protector. In one embodiment, the at least one tightening member can be a tie string or set of laces, whereas in another embodiment tightening members 18 can be an elastic member that is either physically attached to or coupled with the protector 10, wherein the at least one tightening member snugly grabs the portion of boot 50 or shoe to which it is adjacent to. Thus, protector 10 is slid over boot 50 and preferably tightened to fit exactly to boot 50.

As distinguished from the Grath patent in the background section, tightening members are designed to tighten the protective cover around the piece of footwear and/or leg and not just to close the protective cover after inserting the shoe and foot. So, for example, in Grath—the zipper is included in the design merely to close the protective covering and not to tighten the protective covering. As also pointed out in the background, the zipper closure in Grath is also poorly placed, such that water can leak into the protective covering, especially if it is raining hard or the wearer is wading through high standing water. Additionally, in some contemplated embodiments of the present protector, tightening members are coupled with additional material or “tongues”, which may or may not be separate pieces of material from the protector 10, that provide extra protection in addition to the tightening member. So, in embodiments where the tightening members comprise laces that lace up the protector, there is a tongue of material (shown in FIG. 3 as reference number 22) under the tightening members that provides protection to the underlying foot or footwear.

In use disposed over a shoe or boot 50, protector 10 is in the shape of boot 50. In some embodiments, the actual shape of protector 10 fits closely against boot 50, similar to a glove over a hand. The visible tightening members 18 can be of a color and/or design such that protector 10 adds to the aesthetics of boot 50, as opposed to being a distraction.

FIG. 4 shows a second version of the protector, generally designated as protector 110, preferably for use with a skinny or thin heel shoe 150. FIG. 5 illustrates protector 110 disposed over a women's skinny or thin high heel shoe 150. As described earlier, contemplated materials should permit a certain amount of stretching (without ripping), similar to a nylon stocking, such that protector 110 preferably conforms to the shape of shoe 150, including heel 152. By conforming to shoe 150, the style, design and shape of shoe 150 is not ruined or obstructed. Other materials which will allow protector 110 to be stretched and slid over shoe 150, without prematurely tearing or ripping, can be used.

In some contemplated embodiments, protector 110 comprises a body member 111 having an open top end 112, foot portion 114, heel portion 116, ankle/leg portion 117 and one or more tightening members 118. Tightening members 118, when provided, can be used to customize the shape and size of protector 110 to shoe 150 or any other shoe it is used with, as discussed earlier with other embodiments.

In use, protector 110 preferably fits over shoe 150 similar to a glove on a hand and preferably generally forms the shape of shoe 150. To secure protector 110 onto shoe 150, preferably foot portion 154 and heel portion 152 of shoe 150 are inserted within protector 110 through open end 112. Protector 110 is stretched enough to permit heel portion 152 of shoe 150 to be disposed or positioned within heel portion 116 of protector 110 and foot portion 154 to be disposed or positioned within foot portion 114 of protector 110. The remaining ankle/leg portion of 156 of shoe 150 is covered and protected by ankle/leg portion 117 of protector 110.

Tightening members may be provided at certain strategic locations on the protective footwear coverings, including at the ball of the foot, at the top of the heel, above the ankle bone, midway up the leg (for boots and in embodiments where the wearer wants to cover socks), along the back of the leg, foot and or/heel, and/or at the open end 112 of the protector. In one embodiment, the at least one tightening member can be a tie string or set of laces, whereas in another embodiment tightening members 118 can be an elastic member that is either physically attached to or coupled with the protector 110, wherein the at least one tightening member snugly grabs the portion of boot 150 or shoe to which it is adjacent to. Thus, protector 110 is slid over boot 150 and preferably tightened to fit exactly to boot 150.

FIG. 6 shows another contemplated embodiment of a protector, generally designated as protector 210, preferably for use with a thick heel shoe 250. FIG. 7 illustrates protector 210 disposed over a women's thick high heel shoe 250. As mentioned, the material should permit a certain amount of stretching (without ripping), similar to a nylon stocking, such that protector 210 preferably conforms to the shape of shoe 250, including heel 252. By conforming to shoe 250, the style, design and shape of shoe 250 is not ruined or obstructed.

Protector 210 preferably comprises a body member 211 having an open top end 212, foot portion 214, heel portion 216, ankle/leg portion 217 and one or more tightening members 218. Tightening members 218, when provided, can be used to customize the shape and size of protector 210 to shoe 250 or any other shoe it is used with.

In use, protector 210 preferably fits over shoe 250 similar to a glove on a hand and preferably generally forms the shape of shoe 250. To secure protector 210 onto shoe 250, preferably foot portion 254 and heel portion 252 of shoe 250 are inserted within protector 210 through open end 212. Protector 210 is stretched enough to permit heel portion 252 of shoe 250 to be disposed or positioned within heel portion 216 of protector 210 and foot portion 254 to be disposed or positioned within foot portion 214 of protector 210. The remaining ankle/leg portion of 256 of shoe 250 is covered and protected by the ankle/leg portion 217 of protector 210.

In use disposed over shoe 250, protector 210 is basically in the shape of shoe 250. The actual shape of protector 210 preferably fits closely against shoe 250, similar to a glove over a hand. The visible tightening members 218 can be of a color and/or design such that protector 210 adds to the aesthetics of shoe 250, as opposed to being a distraction.

FIGS. 8-11 show various contemplated embodiments of protective footwear coverings in use with shoes and boots that are contemplated. In FIG. 8, a protector 810 is utilized over an open-toe shoe 850 having an ankle strap 854, wherein a plurality of tightening members 818 are located on the back of the protector 810. In FIG. 9, a protector 910 is utilized over an open-toe shoe 950 having an embellishment 953, wherein a plurality of tightening members 918 are located on the back of the protector 910. In FIG. 10, a protector 1010 is utilized over a closed toe shoe 1050, wherein a plurality of tightening members 1018 are located on the back of the protector 10107 according to one contemplated embodiment. In FIG. 11, a protector 1110 is utilized over a closed toe shoe 1150, wherein a plurality of tightening members 1118 are located on the back of the protector 1110, according to one contemplated embodiment. In this figure, an opening 1119 in protector 1110 is shown, wherein the heel 1152 of the shoe 1150 fits through the opening 1119 and is exposed.

Given the potential for slippery conditions when the protector will be used, in contemplated embodiments, the bottom area of the protector can be provided with an anti-slip, anti-skid, nonskid, nonslip and/or oil resistant component or material (all collectively referred to as “anti-slip”). The anti-slip member will not detract from the design of the protector or the shoe or boot, since it will be located on the bottom of the protector (when the protector is secured to the shoe or boot) and thus out of sight for the most part.

It should also be recognized that in, an alternative embodiment for all of the above versions (10, 110 and 210), the heel portion (16, 116 and 216) can be eliminated or removed such that the heel is not covered. A small aperture or slit may be provided to permit passage of the heel through body member (11, 111 or 211) of the protector (10, 110 or 210). The tightening members (18, 118 or 218) are still preferably provided in these embodiments, at the top of the heel and/or below the start of the shoe at the heel. Additionally, all other components or features (i.e. materials, anti-skid, designs, etc.) described above for protector (10, 110 or 210) can be included in this alternative embodiment.

Thus, in use, the protector covers the shoe or boot to protect it from the elements, while at the same permits the shoe or boot to be visible (in some embodiments). It should be recognized that contemplated footwear protectors can also be shaped for use with men's and children's shoes. It should be also appreciated that contemplated footwear protectors may be utilized for open-toe shoes, wedge shoes, platform shoes, sandals and shoes that having open areas on different parts of the shoes, tennis shoes and other types of athletic shoes. Contemplated protectors are able to protect and cover toe shapes and heel shapes of all sizes, including pointed, rounded, square, wedge and platform. Where the footwear comprises ankle straps, t-straps and embellishments, contemplated protectors are designed to cover all of these features and details comfortably without tearing. In contemplated embodiments, protectors disclosed herein are designed to stretch to fit different shapes of shoes and boots, heels and toes.

Contemplated protectors may be manufactured by any suitable methods, including molding protectors into a one-piece protector or fusing portions of the protector together, in order to meet the specific needs of a particular type of shoe. It should be understood, however, that the method of manufacturing is ideally optimized to produce a protector that is durable, reusable and substantially able to control leaks into the internal cavity of the protector.

The protector can be provided in a unique packaging. In one embodiment, the packaging can be in the shape of a purse. The handle can be cut-out so that, not only will it look like a purse, but it will be able to be displayed at retailers very easily by sliding the handle onto a rack. The box can also be fairly thin, similar to a typical panty-hose box, and thus can be displayed by stacking the packages of protectors up against each other, again similar to how panty-hose packaging is commonly displayed Though not limited to any particular colors, in one embodiment the packaging can be pink and black, with the base pink and the accents black or vice versa. The use of a “purse” style packaging can help to reinforce the idea that the protectors can easily be stored in one's purse without any hassle.

Prior to use, contemplated protectors can be shaped flat and fit comfortably into a purse or pocket. After use, contemplated protectors may be placed into a separate package or complimentary bag that allows the dirty protector to be placed in a bag or purse without damage to other items in the purse or bag.

Contemplated protectors can be designed such that it can be rinsed with water to be cleaned and then re-used again. It is anticipated that twenty to twenty five uses of contemplated protectors may be obtained before replacement would be necessary, though such is not considered limiting. In another embodiment, contemplated protectors can be designed such that it is replaced after each use or a few uses, and preferably a package of folded and/or flattened contemplated protectors would be carried by the user. In some contemplated embodiments, footwear protectors are considered ideal, because they are not disposed after each use and therefore will reduce landfill waste and reduce the costs to the wearer.

Thus, specific embodiments and methods of production for protective footwear coverings have been disclosed. It should be apparent, however, to those skilled in the art that many more modifications besides those already described are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The inventive subject matter, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of the disclosure herein. Moreover, in interpreting the specification and claims, all terms should be interpreted in the broadest possible manner consistent with the context. In particular, the terms “comprises” and “comprising” should be interpreted as referring to elements, components, or steps in a non-exclusive manner, indicating that the referenced elements, components, or steps may be present, or utilized, or combined with other elements, components, or steps that are not expressly referenced.