Title:
Portable Retainer Apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable retainer apparatus and method of use for retaining an article, wherein the retainer apparatus removably engages a body part, the retainer apparatus includes primary, secondary, and tertiary flexible panels. The secondary flexible panel is positioned adjacent to a portion of the primary flexible panel, wherein the secondary flexible panel forms a secondary partial pocket as against the primary flexible panel. The tertiary flexible panel is positioned adjacent to both a portion of the primary flexible panel and a portion of the secondary flexible panel, wherein the combination of the primary, secondary, and tertiary flexible panels form a combination pocket. Further included is a structure for removable engagement to the body part, wherein operationally the combination pocket allows an unobstructed single hand access to the article disposed within the pocket for article replacement while the retainer apparatus is engaged to the body part.



Inventors:
Grise, Glenn Eugene (Evergreen, CO, US)
Grider, Sheryl Lynn (Conifer, CO, US)
Application Number:
12/239741
Publication Date:
04/01/2010
Filing Date:
09/27/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/219, 224/.5
International Classes:
A41D20/00; A41D27/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WEEKS, GLORIA R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JACKSON ESQUIRE (Littleton, CO, US)
Claims:
1. A portable retainer apparatus for retaining an article to be adjacent to a body part, comprising: (a) a primary flexible panel having a longitudinal axis, an axial axis, and a bi-sect axis, said primary flexible panel including a first end portion and a second end portion, said primary flexible panel also includes a first margin portion and a second margin portion; (b) a secondary flexible panel having a third end portion and a fourth end portion, said secondary flexible panel also having a third margin portion and a fourth margin portion, said secondary flexible panel is positioned adjacent to a part of said primary flexible panel such that said third end portion is affixed 155 to a part of said first end portion and said fourth end portion is affixed 155 to a part of said second end portion and said third margin portion is affixed 155 to said first margin portion and said fourth margin portion is free, wherein said secondary flexible panel and said primary flexible panel define a secondary partial pocket; (c) a tertiary flexible panel having a fifth end portion and a sixth end portion, said tertiary flexible panel also having a fifth margin portion and a sixth margin portion, said tertiary flexible panel is positioned adjacent to a part of said primary flexible panel and to a part of said secondary flexible panel such that said fifth end portion is affixed 155 to a part of said first end portion and a part of said third end portion, said sixth end portion is affixed 155 to a part of said second end portion and a part of said fourth end portion, and said fifth margin portion is affixed 155 to said second margin portion and said sixth margin portion is free, wherein said tertiary flexible panel and said primary flexible panel define a tertiary partial pocket, a combination of said primary flexible panel, said secondary flexible panel, and said tertiary flexible panel define a combination pocket; and (d) a means for removable engagement between said portable retainer apparatus and the body part, wherein operationally said primary flexible panel, said secondary flexible panel, and said tertiary flexible panel form said combination pocket allowing a single hand free access to said combination pocket facilitating replacement of the article disposed within said combination pocket with the single hand while said portable retainer apparatus is engaged to the body part.

2. A portable retainer apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said primary, secondary, and tertiary flexible panels are constructed from a single piece of material.

3. A portable retainer apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said secondary flexible panel and said tertiary flexible panel partially form an overlap to one another adjacent to the article access to further retain the article in said combination pocket.

4. A portable retainer apparatus according to claim 3 wherein said means for removable engagement is sized and configured to provide a force along said longitudinal axis that is co-incident to said overlap while said portable retainer apparatus is engaged to the body part such that said force is operational to further close said overlap assisting in securing the article within said combination pocket.

5. A portable retainer apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said primary flexible panel is constructed of a material having a higher elasticity than both said secondary flexible panel and said tertiary flexible panel, wherein operationally said force along said longitudinal axis will apply to a greater degree to said secondary flexible panel and said tertiary flexible panel than said primary flexible panel that is more elastic, resulting in a further increase in said closed overlap.

6. A portable retainer apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said means for removable engagement is a substantially planar band affixed adjacent to said first end portion and on an opposing end portion of said band to said second end portion.

7. A portable retainer apparatus according to claim 6 wherein said substantially planar band further includes a hook and loop fastener disposed between said first end portion and said second end portion.

8. A portable retainer apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said primary flexible panel is constructed from an enhanced thermo-transferable material.

9. A portable retainer apparatus according to claim 8, wherein said secondary flexible panel and said tertiary flexible panel are constructed from an enhanced thermo-insulating material.

10. A portable retainer apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said secondary flexible panel further includes a first semi rigid element adjacent to said fourth margin portion, wherein said first semi rigid element is disposed substantially along said longitudinal axis and is operational to further retain the article in said apparatus.

11. A portable retainer apparatus according to claim 10, wherein said tertiary flexible panel further includes a second semi rigid element adjacent to said sixth margin portion wherein said second semi rigid element is disposed substantially along said longitudinal axis and is operational to further retain the article in said apparatus.

12. A portable retainer apparatus kit for retaining an article to be adjacent to a body part, compromising: (a) a portable retainer apparatus that includes a primary flexible panel having a longitudinal axis, an axial axis, and a bi-sect axis, said primary flexible panel including a first end portion and a second end portion, said primary flexible panel also includes a first margin portion and a second margin portion, further included is a secondary flexible panel having a third end portion and a fourth end portion, said secondary flexible panel also having a third margin portion and a fourth margin portion, said secondary flexible panel is positioned adjacent to a part of said primary flexible panel such that said third end portion is affixed to a part of said first end portion and said fourth end portion is affixed to a part of said second end portion and said third margin portion is affixed to said first margin portion and said fourth margin portion is free, wherein said secondary flexible panel and said primary flexible panel define a secondary partial pocket, also included in said portable retainer apparatus is a tertiary flexible panel having a fifth end portion and a sixth end portion, said tertiary flexible panel also having a fifth margin portion and a sixth margin portion, said tertiary flexible panel is positioned adjacent to a part of said primary flexible panel and to a part of said secondary flexible panel such that said fifth end portion is affixed to a part of said first end portion and a part of said third end portion, said sixth end portion is affixed to a part of said second end portion and a part of said fourth end portion, and said fifth margin portion is affixed to said second margin portion and said sixth margin portion is free, wherein said tertiary flexible panel and said primary flexible panel define a tertiary partial pocket, a combination of said primary flexible panel, said secondary flexible panel, and said tertiary flexible panel define a combination pocket and a means for removable engagement between said portable retainer apparatus and the body part, wherein operationally said primary flexible panel, said secondary flexible panel, and said tertiary flexible panel form said combination pocket allowing a single hand free access to said combination pocket facilitating replacement of the article disposed within said combination pocket with the single hand while said portable retainer apparatus is engaged to the body part; (b) an article in the form of a thermal reactive chemical device; (c) a set of instructions for how to manually replace said thermal reactive chemical device in said combination pocket and how to removably engage said portable retainer apparatus with the body part; and (d) a package containing said portable retainer apparatus, said instructions, and said article.

13. A portable retainer apparatus kit according to claim 12 wherein said thermal reactive chemical device is an endothermic device.

14. A portable retainer apparatus kit according to claim 12 wherein said thermal reactive chemical device is an exothermic device.

15. A method for placing an article adjacent to a body part, compromising the steps of: (a) providing a portable retainer apparatus that includes an article, a primary flexible panel having a longitudinal axis, an axial axis, and a bi-sect axis, said primary flexible panel including a first end portion and a second end portion, said primary flexible panel also includes a first margin portion and a second margin portion, further included is a secondary flexible panel having a third end portion and a fourth end portion, said secondary flexible panel also having a third margin portion and a fourth margin portion, said secondary flexible panel is positioned adjacent to a part of said primary flexible panel such that said third end portion is affixed to a part of said first end portion and said fourth end portion is affixed to a part of said second end portion and said third margin portion is affixed to said first margin portion and said fourth margin portion is free, wherein said secondary flexible panel and said primary flexible panel define a secondary partial pocket, also included in said portable retainer apparatus is a tertiary flexible panel having a fifth end portion and a sixth end portion, said tertiary flexible panel also having a fifth margin portion and a sixth margin portion, said tertiary flexible panel is positioned adjacent to a part of said primary flexible panel and to a part of said secondary flexible panel such that said fifth end portion is affixed to a part of said first end portion and a part of said third end portion, said sixth end portion is affixed to a part of said second end portion and a part of said fourth end portion, and said fifth margin portion is affixed to said second margin portion and said sixth margin portion is free, wherein said tertiary flexible panel and said primary flexible panel define a tertiary partial pocket, a combination of said primary flexible panel, said secondary flexible panel, and said tertiary flexible panel define a combination pocket and a means for removable engagement between said portable retainer apparatus and the body part, wherein operationally said primary flexible panel, said secondary flexible panel, and said tertiary flexible panel form said combination pocket allowing a single hand free access to said combination pocket facilitating replacement of the article disposed within said combination pocket with the single hand while said portable retainer apparatus is engaged to the body part; (b) engaging said portable retainer apparatus with the body part; and (c) replacing manually with a single hand the article within said combination pocket with said portable retainer apparatus remaining engaged to the body part.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention generally relates to a portable retainer apparatus for holding an article on a person or any other object wherein access to the article for article removal and article replacement is facilitated for one hand use while the portable retainer apparatus is engaged to the person or object. More particularly, the present invention is a portable thermal apparatus that is adapted to be adjacent to a part of human anatomy with a pocket to secure an article, i.e. a heat pack or cooling pack, thus helping the individual to maintain comfortable body temperature while exposed to uncomfortable environmental conditions. Furthermore, the present invention allows an individual to replace the pocketed article with a single hand while the device is engaged to the person or object being useful for replacing the article in the pocket while participating in a sports activity or if the retainer apparatus is engaged to the wrist for instance, thus the user only having a single hand available for quick “on-the-fly” article replacement in the pocket which could be facilitated by the present invention.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

For individuals engaging in work, exercise, and other activities, a convenient place to store various articles is advantageous. Whether occupational or leisurely, maintaining a comfortable body temperature can be problematic because of uncomfortable environmental conditions. To combat this problem, many people either increase or decrease the layers of clothing depending on the outside temperature and the individual's personal preference. Although gloves and mittens help protect the user's hands from the outdoor elements, occupational hazards, etc., the user loses their sense of touch. When portions of the anatomy are exposed to temperatures colder than the body's temperature, the blood vessels constrict and decrease in diameter prohibiting them from carrying more blood. This restriction lowers the temperature in the body's extremities, such as the ears, nose, feet, and hands. A highly overlooked remedy for assisting a person's body temperature is the heating and cooling of an individual's wrists. With a thin layer of skin covering veins, wrists are a highly regarded location for improving a person's body temperature. By applying a heating or cooling means to the wrists, a person's body temperature can be regulated. The present invention responds to these issues.

The present invention relates to a pocket created having a primary panel, a secondary panel, and a tertiary panel. The primary panel is preferably made of a thermo-transferable material while the secondary and tertiary panels are preferably made of a thermo-insulating material. The panels are affixed together at their edges while leaving two free edges that overlap one another. The tertiary panel overlaps the secondary panel and further two straps are affixed to the edges of the panels to preferably removably engage one another by a hook and loop fastener, thus facilitating removably engagement of the portable retainer apparatus to the body part. The partially overlapping edges are created by the marginal difference in the edges helping to simplify the user's ability to open and close the pocket for the purpose of replacing the article, which eliminates the need for fasteners of any type to secure the free overlapping edges of the panels and the need to remove the portable retainer apparatus from the body part when replacing the article. Thus, as fasteners in the overlap area (snaps, zipper, and the like) would most likely require both of the user's hands to facilitate article replacement which would inconveniently require removal of the portable retainer apparatus form the body part, whereas in the present invention without fasteners in the overlap area, single hand article replacement in the pocket is possible not requiring the portable retainer apparatus to be removed from the body part, allowing for a quick and easy article replacement “on-the-fly” while the user is participating n a sports activity for instance. The user spreads apart the overlap with one or more fingers gaining immediate access to the inside of the pocket where the user may add or remove an article for storing. While the invention is worn by the user, the straps pull the panel edges away from one another applying additional tension force along a longitudinal axis that is operational to help close the overlap and furthermore helping to secure the article in the pocket. A wide variety of articles may be stored inside the pocket such as keys, money, identification, dog treats, heating pads, cooling pads, etc. When carrying a heating or cooling pad in the housing, the primary panel being preferably made of a thermo-transferable material that promotes an increase in the heating or cooling that is transferred from the pad to the user or vice versa, while the secondary and tertiary panel being preferably made of a thermo-insulating material helps contain the heating or cooling inside the pocket.

In looking at the prior art, several patents teach a wristband with a housing such as U.S. Pat. No. 6,893,455 to Rafferty et al. that discloses a cooling band of elongated fabric with a pocket having a flap for folding over an elongated cooling pack with the flap being provided with a fastening means for securing the flap. The cooling pack in Rafferty et al., is inserted in the pocket and retained in the pocket by the flap, see column 1, lines 53-58, further a hook and loop fastener may be utilized to seal the flap of the pocket and also at the ends of the band to provide the adjustable closed loop and the fabric of the headband or wristband is made of terry cloth, see column 2, lines 15-17 and 38-39, thus requiring that the cooling band be removed from the user for cooling element replacement of which the present invention does not require removal of the cooling band of the portable retainer apparatus for cooling element (article) replacement. Unlike Rafferty, the present invention does not seal the flap by a hook and fastener or by any other fastener means. Continuing, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,342,692 to Hart et al. disclosed is a thermal device for maintaining the temperature of body extremities. The Hart et al., device includes a pocket adapted to receive a heating element and a strap attached to the pocket such that the device is adapted to encircle and be secured around a portion of the human body. The pocket of Hart et al., has a tri-fold configuration formed from a rear panel, a front panel, and an intermediate panel positioned atop one another, the intermediate panel being positioned between the front panel and the rear panel. Each of the three panels is connected along their vertical side edges. The first horizontal edges of the Hart et al., front panel and the rear panel are fixedly attached forming a first open space between the front panel and the intermediate panel and the second horizontal edges of the rear panel and the intermediate panel are fixedly attached forming a second open space there between. In operation for Hart et al., a heating element is inserted into the first open space and maneuvered around the first horizontal edge of the intermediate panel until it rests within the second opening space of the pocket between the rear and intermediate panels. The device in Hart et al., is then placed on the user with the rear panel of the pocket positioned on the interior surface of the wrist and secured in place with the strap (Abstract). While each of the three panels in Hart et al., is of approximately equal size, in the preferred embodiment, the first and second vertical side edges of the intermediate panel are of shorter vertical length than the first and second vertical side edges of the rear panel. It is preferred in Hart et al., that the first and second vertical side edges of the intermediate panel are about 25-50% shorter than the respective vertical side edges of the rear panel. More preferably, in Hart et al., the first and second vertical side edges of the intermediate panel are about 30% shorter than the vertical side edges of the rear panel. In the preferred embodiment in Hart et al., the first vertical side edges of each of the three panels are fixedly attached to one another, at least partially, by any suitable means, for example, stitching, to form a first side junction. Likewise, in Hart et al., the second vertical side edges of each of the three panels are fixedly attached to one another, at least partially, by any suitable means to form a second junction. It is to be understood, however, that the scope of the present invention overlap free edges of the panels are not fixedly attached as in Hart et al., see column 4, lines 48-67. Hart et al., requires that the device be completely removed from the body part for the purpose of replacing the article and when the article is replaced that the open side of the pocket be mounted and faced against the user's body part to secure the article in the pocket, see column 3, lines 1-17.

While the device disclosed in Hart et al. recognizes the advantage of securing a heating element without additional fastening means such as snaps, buckles, zippers or the like, it can be difficult time consuming, and cumbersome to maneuver larger, or rigid articles around the first horizontal edge of the intermediate panel until it rests within the second opening space of the pocket between the rear and intermediate panels. The complications of the device disclosed in Hart et al. increase substantially while the device is on a portion of the user's body and the user is attempting, with a single hand, to maneuver the article around the first horizontal edge of the intermediate panel until it rests within the second opening space of the pocket between the rear and intermediate panels being a virtually impossible move, as Hart et al., relies upon the retention force of pulling the pocket opening against the user's body part while attached to the user to secure the article in the pocket as previously discussed. Also, the article, i.e. chemical warming pads, are typically replaced frequently thus furthers the need for easy one handed replacements described. In addition, the device disclosed in Hart et al., is constructed from a single length of continuous material, and is void of heat conductive material, thus restricting the transfer of heat from the device to the user's skin, as a result hinders its effectiveness, and requiring more frequent changes in warming elements.

The present invention, not only retains the advantage of securing a heating element or article without the use of additional fastening means as disclosed in Hart et al., but also adds improvements. The present invention presents a smaller overlap between the secondary panel and the tertiary panels, allowing for easier access to the pocket between the primary and secondary panels. This design in the present invention also allows the user to secure an article inside the pocket while the device is simultaneously engaged to a part of the user's body part as the pocket overlap (opening) faces away from the user's body part (which Hart et al., requires the opening to face the user's body part for securing the article in the pocket). Further, the present invention has the overlap co-incident to the force from the attachment strap, thus the attachment strap pulling force helps to close the overlap, whereas in Hart et al., the overlap panel free edges are not co-incident to the attachment strap closing force, thus Hart et al., does not utilize the strap force to help secure the article in the pocket and furthermore teaches away from using the strap force to close the pocket as the overlap opening is required to be placed against the user's body part to secure the article in the pocket. In addition, the present invention pocket is created with two or more pieces of material, in which the primary panel can be made of a thermo-transferable material while the secondary and tertiary panels can be made of a thermo-insulating material. The two different materials allow for an improved heat or cooling transfer between the pad and the user, as well as containing the heat or cooling inside the pocket.

Other wristband and sweatband patents include U.S. Pat. No. 6,425,137 to Fakhrai discloses a wristband having at least one pocket configured so that the pocket is accessible to the user while the user is wearing the apparatus, the pockets could be closed with a hook and loop fastener, a button, a snap, a zipper, or a resilient member—such as elastic bands. In Fakhrai, the invention may have a cylindrical body portion which can be slid onto an extremity of a user, with no attachment means, see column 1, lines 30-33 and lines 45-47, also see column 2, lines 26-29 and lines 46-47. Continuing, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,671,481 to Giard disclosed is a folding sweatband with an interior compartment, the fabric material is cut, sewed, and folded to a shape adapted to provide an interior portion for carrying small articles and/or for cleaning or drying other articles. In Giard as in Hart et al., previously discussed the interior portion of has a laterally-opening pocket which is folded longitudinally when in use and faces inward toward the user's body part to secure the article within the pocket, thus severely restricting access to the article unless the entire sweatband device is removed from the user's body part, further, hook-and-loop fastener strips connect the ends to make a closed loop to fit various wrist sizes, see column 2, lines 41-45 and lines 53-56.

Next, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,146,630 to Richard discloses a sweatband comprising a removable package for holding granular moisture absorbing material capable of being regenerated after absorbing liquid with the removable package being configured to fit within a pocket. A second embodiment of Richard illustrates the removable package with strings and secured to the first and second ends and of the removable package with an adjustable band that is moveable upon the strings and to secure the removable package to the head of the wearer, see column 2, lines 59-66 and column 6, lines 26-28 and lines 39-44. Thus as in Hart et al., and Giard, in Richard there is no access to the article pocket while the band is attached to the user as these wristbands and sweatband are designed for the user to slide an article in between two adjoined layers. Continuing, U.S. Pat. No. 5,329,638 to Hansen et al. discloses a protective wristband with inner and outer layers of absorbent, stretchable material, of a cushioned shield disposed between the layers of the band such that the cushioned shield is concealed to provide the appearance of a conventional, unprotective wristband. The cushioned shield in Hansen et al., is housed in a pocket and the pocket is secured to the inner layer of the band, see column 1, lines 44-49 and lines 62-65. A couple differences between Hansen and the present invention are Hansen's wristband is designed in a cylindrical manner as to slide over the user's hand onto their wrist, and also the cushioned shield housed in the pocket is sealed and the shield cannot be removed.

Additional wristband and sweatband patents include, but not limited to, U.S. Pat. No. 5,119,513 to McKay and U.S. Pat. No. 5,956,963 to Lerner. McKay discloses a sports band for absorbing perspiration and for cooling the wearer comprised of a band of elastic absorbent material, generally toroidal in shape and is configured to be worn upon a person's head or wrist. The sports band in McKay has a slit formed upon its inner surface (again restricting article pocket access like Hart et al., Giard, and Richard), such that a flexible cold pack may be received thereby and disposed within the band (Abstract), also the bands are preferably comprised of a terry cloth or terry cloth-like material having elastic properties, see column 3, lines 17-20. Lerner discloses a relief for hot flash symptoms of menopause and body overheating by providing a wrist cooler, wherein the cooler preferably includes chemical cooling pellets that remain in a solid state until broken. In Lerner, a woman experiencing symptoms such as menopausal hot flashes carries the cooler in her purse, when hot flashes occur, the cooler is removed from her purse, the pellets are broken and the cooler is slid onto her wrist and once the flashes have subsided, the cooler is discarded. The Lerner invention is easily transportable and provides for immediate relief, as there are no reusable cooling elements to be frozen or chilled (Abstract). In Lerner, the preferred material of the wristband is a fabric material which is slightly stretchable to conform to the wrist; alternatively, the material may be a flannel material, in which case the strips are adhesive. Also, in Lerner, the wristband may be a metallic wristband with elastic inserts for giving the appearance of a decorative wide bracelet while aiding the conduction of heat away from the body temporary relief of symptoms without pharmaceuticals, see column 2, lines 25-33. Both the McKay and Lerner patents demonstrate the accountability of regulating a person's body temperature by applying a cooling pad to a person's wrists and forehead, the same application can be implemented in the present invention by placing a cooling pad in the housing and worn at a person's wrists. As seen with the some of the patents previously mentioned, McKay's wristband and headband is designed in a cylindrical shape for sliding over a user's wrist or head. McKay's band receives a flexible cold pack by feeding the cold pack through a slit opening on the inner surface (again restricting article pocket access like Hart et al., Giard, and Richard) of the band when not worn by the user. Whereas the present invention allows the user to access and interchange the article enclosed in the pocket while the user is wearing and not wearing the device. Dissimilar to Lerner, the present invention allows for more uses than the initial use and therefore does not need to be disposed with each use.

Despite the prior art pertaining to a band carrying an article, none of the prior art cited addresses the need for a pocket created with two or more pieces of material having a primary panel made of a thermo-transferable material, with a tertiary and secondary panels made of a thermo-insulating material. In addition the prior art does not provide for a convenient means to secure the pocked article without the use of additional fasteners, such as hook loop fasteners, snaps, buckles, or zippers, and while the apparatus is in use. Accordingly, it can be appreciated that there is a continuing need for and interest in improvements to helping regulate a user's body temperature, and in this respect, the present invention addresses this need and interest.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

Broadly, the present invention is a portable retainer apparatus and method of use for retaining an article, wherein the retainer apparatus removably engages a body part. The retainer apparatus includes primary, secondary, and tertiary flexible panels. The secondary flexible panel is positioned adjacent to a portion of the primary flexible panel, wherein the secondary flexible panel forms a secondary partial pocket as against the primary flexible panel. The tertiary flexible panel is positioned adjacent to both a portion of the primary flexible panel and a portion of the secondary flexible panel, wherein the combination of the primary, secondary, and tertiary flexible panels form a combination pocket. Further included is a structure for removable engagement to the body part, wherein operationally the combination pocket allows an unobstructed single hand access to the article disposed within the pocket for article replacement while the retainer apparatus is engaged to the body part.

These and other objects of the present invention will become more readily appreciated and understood from a consideration of the following detailed description of the exemplary embodiments of the present invention when taken together with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the portable retainer apparatus for retaining an article that is disposed within, wherein the portable retainer apparatus is in a closed position state;

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the portable retainer apparatus for retaining the article that is disposed within, wherein the portable retainer apparatus is in an open position state;

FIG. 3 shows a first flat pattern view of the portable retainer apparatus for retaining the article that is disposed within, wherein the portable retainer apparatus is in a closed position state;

FIG. 4 shows a second flat pattern view of the portable retainer apparatus for retaining the article disposed within, wherein the portable retainer apparatus is in the closed position state;

FIG. 5 shows a cross sectional view 5-5 from FIG. 3 for the portable retainer apparatus that is retaining the article, showing the primary, secondary, and tertiary flexible panels with the article disposed within the flexible panels of the portable retainer apparatus in the closed positioned state;

FIG. 6 shows cross section view 6-6 from FIG. 5 showing the article disposed within the primary flexible panel;

FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of the portable retainer apparatus in use removably engaged about a wrist of a user, wherein the portable retainer apparatus is in the closed position state;

FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of the portable retainer apparatus in use removably engaged about a wrist of a user, wherein the portable retainer apparatus is in the open position state that allows the user to manually replace the article without having to remove the portable retainer apparatus from the wrist of the user;

FIG. 9 shows the portable retainer apparatus for retaining the article disposed within, with the portable retainer apparatus in the open position state, wherein the user is manually replacing the article while the portable retainer apparatus is not engaged to the user; and

FIG. 10 shows the portable retainer apparatus in the form of a kit that includes the article, instructions, and packaging.

REFERENCE NUMBERS IN DRAWINGS

  • 50 A portable retainer apparatus
  • 51 Bisect axis
  • 52 Primary flexible panel
  • 53 Longitudinal axis of primary flexible panel 52 and the apparatus 50
  • 54 Axial axis of primary flexible panel 52
  • 55 First end portion of primary flexible panel 52
  • 56 Second end portion of primary flexible panel 52
  • 57 First margin portion of primary flexible panel 52
  • 58 Second margin portion of primary flexible panel 52
  • 59 Combination pocket
  • 60 Secondary flexible panel
  • 61 Third end portion of secondary flexible panel 60
  • 62 Fourth end portion of secondary flexible panel 60
  • 63 Third margin portion of secondary flexible panel 60
  • 64 Fourth margin portion of secondary flexible panel 60
  • 65 Secondary partial pocket
  • 67 Closing of secondary flexible panel 60 third end portion 61 and fourth end portion 62 against primary flexible panel 52 first end portion 55 and second end portion 56
  • 70 Tertiary flexible panel
  • 71 Fifth end portion of tertiary flexible panel 70
  • 72 Sixth end portion of tertiary flexible panel 70
  • 73 Fifth margin portion of tertiary flexible panel 70
  • 74 Sixth margin portion of tertiary flexible panel 70
  • 75 Tertiary partial pocket
  • 76 Closing of tertiary flexible panel 70 fifth margin portion 73 against primary flexible panel 52 second margin portion 58
  • 77 Closing of tertiary flexible panel 70 fifth end portion 71 and sixth end portion 72 against primary flexible panel 52 first end portion 55 and second end portion 56
  • 78 Partial closing of tertiary flexible panel 70 fifth end portion 71 and sixth end portion 72 against secondary flexible panel 60 third end portion 61 and fourth end portion 62
  • 80 Partial overlap of secondary flexible panel 60 and tertiary flexible panel 70
  • 81 Means for removable engagement
  • 83 Substantially planar band of means 81
  • 84 Opposing end portion of planar band 83
  • 85 Hook and loop fastener of planar band 83
  • 90 Unobstructed single hand access to combination pocket 82
  • 91 First semi rigid element
  • 92 Second semi rigid element
  • 94 Article
  • 96 Securing of article 94
  • 98 Longitudinal tension for retaining the article 94
  • 103 Human anatomy or body part
  • 105 Single hand
  • 145 Article 94 access
  • 150 Force along longitudinal axis 53
  • 155 Affixed structure between the primary flexible panel 52, secondary flexible panel 60, tertiary flexible panel 70, and means 81 for removable engagement 81
  • 160 Removably engaging of portable retainer apparatus 50 to the body part 103
  • 165 Portable retainer apparatus kit
  • 170 Set of instructions
  • 175 Kit package
  • 180 Closed position state of the portable retainer apparatus 50
  • 185 Open position state of the portable retainer apparatus 50
  • 190 Manually replacing the article 94
  • 200 User
  • 205 External environment

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With initial reference to FIG. 1 shown a perspective view of the portable retainer apparatus 50 for retaining an article 94 that is disposed within, wherein the portable retainer apparatus 50 is in a closed position state 180 and FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the portable retainer apparatus 50 for retaining the article 94 that is disposed within, wherein the portable retainer apparatus 50 is in an open position state 185. Next, FIG. 3 shows a first flat pattern view of the portable retainer apparatus 50 for retaining the article 94 that is disposed within, wherein the portable retainer apparatus 50 is in a closed position state 180 and FIG. 4 shows a second flat pattern view of the portable retainer apparatus 50 for retaining the article 94 disposed within, wherein the portable retainer apparatus 50 is in the closed position state 180. Further, FIG. 5 shows a cross sectional view 5-5 from FIG. 3 for the portable retainer apparatus 50 that is retaining the article 94, showing the primary 52, secondary 60, and tertiary 70 flexible panels with the article 94 disposed within the flexible panels of the portable retainer apparatus 50 in the closed positioned state 180. Continuing, FIG. 6 shows cross section view 6-6 from FIG. 5 showing the article 94 disposed within the primary flexible panel 52 and FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of the portable retainer apparatus in use removably engaged about a wrist 103 of a user 200, wherein the portable retainer apparatus 50 is in the closed position state 180.

Yet further, FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of the portable retainer apparatus 50 in use removably engaged 160 about a wrist 103 of a user 200, wherein the portable retainer apparatus 50 is in the open position state 185 that allows the user 200 to manually replace 190 the article 94 without having to remove 160 the portable retainer apparatus from the wrist 103 of the user 200. Next, FIG. 9 shows the portable retainer apparatus 50 for retaining the article 94 disposed within, with the portable retainer apparatus 50 in the open position state 185, wherein the user 200 is manually replacing 190 the article 94 while the portable retainer apparatus 50 is not engaged 160 to the user 200 and FIG. 10 shows the portable retainer apparatus 50 in the form of a kit 165 that includes the article 94, instructions 170, and packaging 175.

Broadly, in focusing on FIGS. 1 to 9, the present invention is of the portable retainer apparatus 50 for retaining an article 94 to be adjacent to a body part 103, wherein the portable retainer apparatus 50 includes a primary flexible panel 52 having a longitudinal axis 53, an axial axis 54, and a bi-sect axis 51, with the primary flexible panel 52 including a first end portion 55 and a second end portion 56, the primary flexible panel 52 also includes a first margin portion 57 and a second margin portion 58. Further included is the portable retainer apparatus 50 is the secondary flexible panel 60 having a third end portion 61 and a fourth end portion 62, the secondary flexible panel 60 also having a third margin portion 63 and a fourth margin portion 64, the secondary flexible panel 60 is positioned adjacent 67 to a part of the primary flexible panel 52 such that the third end portion 61 is affixed 155 to a part of the first end portion 55 and the fourth end portion 62 is affixed 155 to a part of the second end portion 56 and the third margin portion 63 is affixed 155 to the first margin portion 57 and the fourth margin portion 64 is free, similar to a cantilever, wherein the secondary flexible panel 60 and the primary flexible panel 52 define a secondary partial pocket 65.

Continuing, on the portable retainer apparatus 50, also included a tertiary flexible panel 70 having a fifth end portion 71 and a sixth end portion 72, the tertiary flexible panel 70 also having a fifth margin portion 73 and a sixth margin portion 74, the tertiary flexible panel 70 is positioned adjacent 76 and 77 to a part of the primary flexible panel 52 and positioned adjacent 78 to a part of the secondary flexible panel 60 such that the fifth end portion 71 is affixed 155 to a part of the first end portion 55 and a part of the third end portion 61. The sixth end portion 72 is affixed 155 to a part of the second end portion 56 and a part of the fourth end portion 62, and the fifth margin portion 73 is affixed 155 to the second margin portion 58 and the sixth margin portion 74 is free similar to a cantilever. Wherein the tertiary flexible panel 70 and the primary flexible panel 52 define a tertiary partial pocket 75, a combination of the primary flexible panel 52, the secondary flexible panel 60, and the tertiary flexible panel 70 define a combination pocket 59. Further the tertiary flexible panel 70 and the secondary flexible panel 60 have a defined partial overlap 80 to one another, all as best shown in FIG. 5 cross section.

Next, also included in the portable retainer apparatus 50, is a means 81 for removable engagement 160 between the portable retainer apparatus 50 and the body part 103, wherein operationally the primary flexible panel 52, the secondary flexible panel 60, and the tertiary flexible panel 70 form the combination pocket 59 allowing a single hand 105 free access 145 to the combination pocket 59 facilitating replacement of the article 94 disposed within the combination pocket 59 with the single hand 105 while the portable retainer apparatus 50 is engaged to the body part 103, see FIG. 9 for the best example. Referring to FIG. 5, as option for the primary 52, secondary 60, and tertiary 70 flexible panels they can be preferably constructed from a single piece of material. Further, on the portable retainer apparatus 50 the secondary flexible panel 60 and the tertiary flexible panel 70 partially form an overlap 80 to one another adjacent to the article access 145 to further retain the article 94 in the combination pocket 59, as best shown in FIG. 5. Note that the means 81 for removable engagement is preferably sized and configured so that the overlap 80 is coincident, meaning in line with, as being adjacent to the longitudinal axis 53 and bisect axis 51, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 5 respectively to best take advantage of a force 150 along the longitudinal axis 53 in further closing the overlap 80 such that the tertiary flexible panel 70 and the secondary flexible panel 60 are held closed together from force 150 of the means 81 for removable engagement in the preferred form of a planar band 83, again see FIG. 2 for the best example.

Further on means 81 for removable engagement that is preferably the substantially planar band 83 it is affixed 155 adjacent to the first end portion 55 and on an opposing end portion 84 of the band 83 to the second end portion 56, as best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, also optionally the planar band 83 can further include a hook and loop fastener 85 disposed between the first end portion 55 and the second end portion 56, also as best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. As the planar band 83 is preferably sized and configured to provide a force 150 along the longitudinal axis 53 that is co-incident to the overlap 80 while the portable retainer apparatus 50 is engaged to the body part 103 such that the force 150 is operational to further close the overlap 80 assisting in securing the article 94 within the combination pocket 59, while allowing the overlap 80 to be exposed away or opposite of the user's 200 body part 103 for ease of access 145 of article 94, contrast FIG. 1 for the closed state 180 (with the article 94 further secured in the combination pocket 59 and FIG. 2 for the open state 185 (having article 94 access 145).

To further enhance the previously mentioned overlap 80 closing, alternatively the primary flexible panel 52 can be constructed of a material having a higher elasticity than both the secondary flexible panel 60 and said tertiary flexible panel 70, wherein operationally the previously mentioned force 150 force along the longitudinal axis 53 will apply to a greater degree to the secondary flexible panel 60 and the tertiary flexible panel 70 than the primary flexible panel 52 that is more elastic, resulting in a further increase in the closed overlap 80 in going from the open state 18 as shown in FIG. 2 to the closed state 180 in FIG. 1. In addition, to the coincident relationship as previously discussed being that the planar band 83 being preferably sized and configured to provide a force 150 along the longitudinal axis 53 that is co-incident to the overlap 80, as the overlap 80 is adjacent to the sixth margin portion 74 and the fourth margin portion 64, again looking at FIGS. 1 and 2, these margin portions 74 and 64 will experience a higher deformation of stretching be having the force 150 or the tension 98 applied in line or co-incident with the edge margin portions 74 and 64, as they are on the edge of the respective panels and would be weaker along the longitudinal axis 53, as opposed to the margin portions 74 and 64 extending all the way to the margin portions 57 and 58 respectively which would result in a lower deformation of stretching as the force 150 applied along the longitudinal axis would not be at the edge margin and this the panels 60 and 70 would have more strength (due to more cross sectional area and deform less resulting in less closing tautness on the overlap 80), which ultimately results in a more enhanced securing 96 of the article 94 in the combination pocket 59.

Further options on the materials of construction for the primary flexible panel 52 is preferably constructed from an enhanced thermo-transferable material to enhance the heat transfer from the article 94 to the body part 103 and also optionally the secondary flexible panel 60 and the tertiary flexible panel 70 are preferably constructed from an enhanced thermo-insulating material to help preserve the heat transfer to mostly occur as between the article 94 and the body part 103 and not be lost to the external environment 205.

Another alternative, for the portable retainer apparatus 50 the secondary flexible panel 60 further includes a first semi rigid element 91 adjacent to the fourth margin portion 64, wherein the first semi rigid element 91 is disposed substantially along the longitudinal axis 53 and is operational to further retain the article 94 in the apparatus 50, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 5. Another option is to for the portable retainer apparatus 50 is for the tertiary flexible panel 70 to further include a second semi rigid element 92 adjacent to the sixth margin portion 74, wherein the second semi rigid element 92 is disposed substantially along the longitudinal axis 53 and is operational to further retain the article 94 in the apparatus 50, also as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 5. The first 91 and second 92 semi rigid elements which can either be used separately or together are preferably constructed of a composite or a water-proof metal band or wire type material that can add a degree of stiffness to the margin portions 74 and 64, that ultimately are operational to add to the closing at the overlap 80 as between the secondary flexible panel 60 and the tertiary flexible panel 70 contacting one another further retaining the article 94 in the pocket 59.

Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 10, yet another option would be to provide the portable retainer apparatus 50 in the form of a kit assembly 165 for retaining the article 94 to be adjacent to a body part 103 that would include the portable retainer apparatus 50 as previously described and an article 94 in the form of thermal reactive chemical device. Further included in the kit assembly is a set of instructions 170 for how to manually replace the thermal reactive chemical device 94 in the combination pocket 59 and how to removably engage 160 the portable retainer apparatus 50 with the body part 103 using the means 81 for removable engagement as previously described and a package 175 containing the portable retainer apparatus 50, the instructions 170, and article 94. The article 94 can be any form of commercially available heating or cooling device that works by chemical device that is an endothermic device or is an exothermic device.

The preferred the materials of construction for the portable retainer apparatus 50 being specifically the flexible panel 52, secondary flexible panel 60, and tertiary flexible panel 70 would be micro-fleece, though any intermediately elastic material could be used. The primary flexible panel 52, secondary flexible panel 60, and tertiary flexible panel 70 could be configured from a single piece of fabric for ease of manufacture, see FIG. 5. Preferably, the sheet of fabric would be approximately 4.5 inches wide by approximately 6.25 inches long, so that when properly configured with approximately 0.25 inch seams, the combination pocket 59 is preferably 4 inches wide by 2.25 inches long. An optional hem at the fourth margin portion 64 of the secondary flexible panel 60 and an optional hem at the fifth margin portion 73 of tertiary flexible panel 70 could be made by folding the fabric with about a half inch overlap at each of the two long ends of the fabric piece and sewing the two overlapping pieces to the remaining fabric. The overlapping optional hem at the fourth margin portion 64 of secondary flexible panel 60 and the optional hem at fifth margin portion 73 of the tertiary flexible panel 70 would lend strength to the opening of the combination pocket 59 once it is fully assembled. Once the optional hem at the fourth margin portion 64 of secondary flexible panel 60 and the optional hem at fifth margin portion 73 of tertiary flexible panel 70 are in place, the remaining 5.25 inches of length will be folded approximately 1.5 inches from each edge, with the ends being secured by a means such as sewing, forming a secondary partial pocket 65 opening at the fifth margin portion 73 and a combination pocket 59 at the fourth margin portion 64 of the secondary flexible panel 60. This will leave an overlap 80 of approximately 0.75 inches with a gap along the longitudinal axis 53, which serves as the access 90 opening of the combination pocket 59 formed through the folding and securing of the fabric.

In an alternative embodiment the preferred optional material of construction for the primary flexible panel 52 will be of a flexible thermal conducting material. The preferred type of thermal conducting material useful in forming the primary flexible panel 52 is commonly available under the registered trade name X-STATIC®. Such X-STATIC® are silver fibers with a layer of pure silver permanently bonded to the surface of a textile fiber, and retains traditional textile and tactile characteristics. The silver bonded to the textile fiber is highly thermally conductive and thus will quickly and evenly transfer heat throughout the fiber. In addition, the silver bonded to the textile fiber contains low emissivity ratings, allowing it to sustain its warm or cool temperature longer.

In the alternative embodiment, the preferred optional material of construction for the secondary flexible panel 60 and tertiary flexible panel 70 can be a flexible thermal insulating material. Thermal insulating materials may include, but are not limited to: wool, felt, polypropylene, or any other synthetic that may have a low thermal conductivity rating and a low emissivity rating. Notable that the preferred method of affixing 155 materials, wherein affixing 155 was previously described is by conventional sewing, however, other methods such as rivets, staples, adhesives, and the like may also be employed that are essentially weatherproof.

Method of Use

Referring to FIGS. 7 to 10, a method is disclosed for placing an article 94 adjacent to a body part 103, that compromising the steps of firstly providing a portable retainer apparatus 50 as previously described that includes an article 94 also as previously described. Next a step of engaging the portable retainer apparatus 50 with the body part 103, as best shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, wherein the means 81 for removable engagement in the preferred form of a planar band 83 should be wrapped around the selected body part 103 pulled tight and secured with the hook and loop fastener 85 in effect to create the force 150 as previously described. A further step of placing or replacing the article 94 manually with a single hand 105 within the combination pocket 59 with the portable retainer apparatus 50 remaining engaged to the body part 103, specifically as shown in FIG. 8.

CONCLUSION

Accordingly, the present invention of a portable thermal apparatus 50 has been described with some degree of particularity directed to the embodiments of the present invention. It should be appreciated, though; that the present invention is defined by the following claims construed in light of the prior art so modifications of the changes may be made to the exemplary embodiments of the present invention without departing from the inventive concepts contained therein.