Title:
GARMENT WITH A POUCH
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A garment having a pouch formed between an inner layer and an outer layer, which are bound to each other at each shoulder, at about mid-torso and at the sides. The outer layer of the pouch has an opening at its top in its middle where a neckline extends to about one-quarter to about one-half of the way down the pouch. The garment has supports bound to the inner or outer layer or both layers at the shoulders, and which supports go over the shoulders and down the person to about mid-torso, where the supports are bound to the inner or outer layer or both layers at about the mid-torso, but preferably not under the arms. The garment can be worn independently, worn over other items of clothing, or worn in combination with another apparel which is worn over the garment.



Inventors:
Mcmullen, Joseph E. (Greenville, SC, US)
Application Number:
13/509158
Publication Date:
11/15/2012
Filing Date:
11/19/2009
Assignee:
MCMULLEN JOSEPH E.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/69, 2/93, 2/102
International Classes:
A41D1/00; A41D1/02; A41D1/04; A41D3/02
View Patent Images:
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20080201826Laser Safety Goggles for AnimalsAugust, 2008Pryor et al.
20080115256Back Finger Portion for GlovesMay, 2008Son
20030177563Neonatal infant hospital garmentSeptember, 2003Reich N.
20040025226Glove constructionFebruary, 2004Jaeger
20090282595Antiballistic GarmentNovember, 2009Branson et al.
20060048287Frameless diving face maskMarch, 2006Kuo



Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Metz Lewis Brodman Must O'Keefe (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A garment having a pouch located on the upper torso when the garment is worn by a person, said pouch formed between an inner layer which extends downward in front from at the shoulders to about the mid-torso of the person and an outer layer which extends downward from at the shoulders to about the mid-torso of the person, where the inner layer and outer layer are bound to each other at the shoulders, at the sides and at about mid-torso; wherein the garment has an opening around the neck, and the top of the outer layer of the pouch in the middle has a downward neckline having a general U-shape which extends down to about one-quarter to about one-half way down the pouch; and wherein said garment has supports bound to the inner layer or the outer layer or both at the shoulders, which supports go over the shoulders, around the neck and downward in back to about the mid-torso of the person, where the supports are bound in back to the inner layer or outer layer or both on the side near the mid-torso, but not under the arms.

2. The garment of claim 1, wherein the pouch is located in front on the upper torso.

3. The garment of claim 1, wherein the pouch is located in back on the upper torso.

4. The garment of claim 1, wherein the inner layer of the pouch at its top in the middle has a downward neckline having a general U-shape which extends down to about one-quarter to about one-half way down the pouch.

5. The garment of claim 1, wherein the downward neckline of the outer layer of the pouch has an extensible piece of cloth of about two to about four inches in length located in the middle of the lowest part of the neckline.

6. The garment of claim 1, wherein the outer layer or the inner layer or both are bound to each other and to the supports in a substantially permanent manner by virtue of how the layers and supports are manufactured, or by sewing, stitching, gluing or heat melting the layers and supports together.

7. The garment of claim 1, wherein the downward neckline of the pouch has a security strap bound to it, which security can be connected to a harness, a collar or the like worn by the pet.

8. A combination of a garment of claim 2 with another apparel selected from the group consisting of a shirt, a vest, a sweater, a sweatshirt, a jacket and a coat, wherein the other apparel is worn over the garment and the other apparel has an opening at its top near the neck and the opening has means located at the top of the opening of the apparel near its middle to open and close the apparel in a downward manner and which means extend to at least about one-half way down the pouch.

9. The combination of claim 8, wherein said means to open and close said other apparel are selected from the group consisting of zippers, hooks, hooks and eyelets, fasteners, snaps, buckles, buttons, cords, strings, twine, and interlocking hooks and pile.

10. The combination of claim 9, wherein the means on the apparel extend down to the bottom of the apparel.

11. The combination of claim 8, wherein the garment and the other apparel are connected together in a non-permanent detachable manner at the shoulders of the garment and the other apparel and at each side of the garment and the other apparel at each side.

12. The combination of claim 11, wherein the garment and the other apparel are connected by means selected from the group consisting of zippers, hooks, hooks and eyelets, fasteners, straps, snaps, buckles, buttons, cords, strings, twine, and interlocking hooks.

13. The combination of claim 12, wherein the garment and the other apparel are connected together (a) at the shoulders of the garment and the other apparel by a strap located on the other apparel's inside near each shoulder, which strap is looped around each shoulder area of the garment, and which strap is connected to itself by means selected from the group consisting of zippers, hooks, hooks and eyelets, fasteners, snaps, buckles, buttons, cords, strings, twine, and interlocking hooks; and (b) at each side of the garment and the other apparel near the mid-torso by a strap located on the other apparel's inside which strap is connected to the garment on the inside layer or the outside layer of the pouch by means selected from the group consisting of zippers, hooks, hooks and eyelets, fasteners, snaps, buckles, buttons, cords, strings, twine, and interlocking hooks.

14. The combination of claim 8, wherein a sweatshirt is worn over the garment.

15. The combination of claim 8, wherein a vest is worn over the garment.

16. The combination of claim 8, wherein a jacket is worn over the garment.

Description:

REFERENCE TO A RELATED APPLICATION

This application is related to U.S. application Ser. No. 12/004,699 filed on Dec. 12, 2007; U.S. application Ser. No. 12/288,364 filed on Oct. 20, 2008; and PCT Application No. PCT/US2008/013894 filed on Dec. 19, 2008.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is in the field of apparel, and the invention relates to a garment having a pouch and worn by a person to carry small pets and/or other items.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many people have small pets such as cats, small dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, etc., which they would like to take with them on walks, bicycling, boating and other activities. However, due to their size and other factors, small pets are difficult to be taken places or walked on a leash. Hence, various pet carriers have been devised to carry a small pet.

Even though this invention is directed to a garment having a pouch and useful for carrying small pets and/or other items, designs for baby carriers are noted.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment of the present invention, a garment is provided having a pouch which, when worn by a person, is positioned on the upper torso in front and/or in back of the person. The pouch is formed between an inner layer which extends downward in front from shoulder height to about the mid-torso of the person, and an outer layer which extends downward in front from shoulder height to about the mid-torso of the person. The outer layer has a neckline extending downward in a general U-shape to about one-quarter to about one-half of the way down the pouch. The inner layer and the outer layer are bound to each other at the shoulders and at about the mid-torso. The inner layer and outer layer extend sideways to about the shoulders and are bound to each other sides.

The pouch is preferably open at the top of the neckline. A small pet and/or other items can be conveniently placed into the pouch. The garment may include supports bound to the inner layer or the outer layer or both at the shoulders, and such supports may extend over the shoulders and downward in back to about the mid-torso. The supports may also be bound to the outer layer or the inner layer or both at the sides near the mid-torso, but the supports are not bound to the outer layer or the inner layer under the arms.

The garment having the pouch can be worn as an independent garment. The garment can be worn over items of clothing. A potentially fashionable way to wear the garment may be to have another apparel worn over the garment of the invention. This other apparel can be connected to the garment. For example the apparel can be a sweatshirt which is worn over the garment. If the apparel is connected to the garment, the points of connection could be at the shoulders in front and at the mid-torso at the sides.

The materials of construction of the garment can be anything appropriate for use in a large variety of climate conditions or activities. The designs on the garment can be whatever the person wearing the garment desires.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The drawings referenced herein form a part of the specification. Features shown in the drawings are meant to be illustrative of some, but not all, embodiments of the invention, unless otherwise explicitly indicated, and implications to the contrary are otherwise not to be made. Although like reference numerals correspond to similar, though not necessarily identical, components and/or features in the drawings, for the sake of brevity, reference numerals or features having a previously described function may not necessarily be described in connection with other drawings in which such components and/or features appear.

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a garment constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention having a pouch located in front on the upper torso of a person. Supports are bound to the outer layer of the pouch at the shoulders, and extend over the shoulders and downward in back to about the mid-torso of a person. The outer layer of the pouch has a downward generally U-shaped neckline at the top of the pouch which extends to about one-quarter of the way down the pouch.

FIG. 1B is a perspective view of the back of the garment shown in FIG. 1A. Supports in back are bound to the outer layer in front at the shoulders and are bound to the outer layer at the sides near the mid-torso. The supports are not bound to the inner layer or outer layer in back under the arms.

FIG. 1C is a perspective view of a first alternate embodiment garment constructed in accordance with the present invention where the pouch is located on the back on the upper torso of a person. The supports are in front, and are bound to the , supports in front at about mid-torso, but are not bound to the inner layer or the outer layer in front under the arms.

FIG. 1D is a perspective view of a second alternate embodiment garment constructed in accordance with the present invention having the pouch in front. Supports in back are bound to the outer layer in front at the shoulders. The supports are also bound to the outer layer of the pouch at the sides near the mid-torso of a person, but are not bound to the inner layer or outer under the arms.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a third alternate embodiment of the present invention and includes an apparel article having the appearance of a vest, and shows the apparel worn over a garment having the pouch in front (shown in dotted lines). The apparel has means to open and close the apparel at its neck near the middle where a zipper is located which extends from the top of the neckline of the apparel to the bottom of the apparel.

FIG. 3A is a perspective view of a fourth alternate embodiment of the present invention and includes an apparel article having the appearance of a pullover or sweatshirt, and shows the apparel worn over a garment having the pouch in front (shown in dotted lines). The apparel has means to open and close the apparel at its neck near the middle where a cord is located which extends from the top of the neckline of the apparel to about the middle of the pouch.

FIG. 3B is a perspective view, with parts cut away, of the apparel article shown in FIG. 3A and shows that the apparel is connected to the garment by a strap extending from each shoulder of the apparel which strap loops around each shoulder area of the garment, and another strap which extends from each side of the apparel at about mid-torso which strap connects to the garment at the sides at about mid-torso.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a person wearing a fifth alternate embodiment of the present invention, which includes a sweatshirt-type apparel worn over a garment of the invention. A small dog is in the pouch of the garment. The pouch is located in front on the upper torso of a person. The sweatshirt apparel has an opening at its top near the neck where a zipper is located near the middle, which zipper extends from the top of the opening of the neckline of the apparel to about the middle of the pouch. The sweatshirt apparel has pockets near the sides near the waist of a person.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a single piece of material from which a garment constructed in accordance with the invention can be made.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following detailed description of exemplary embodiments of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific exemplary embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. While these embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, it will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the present disclosure is thereby intended. Alterations and further modifications of the features illustrated herein, and additional applications of the principles illustrated herein, which would occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of this disclosure. Specifically, other embodiments may be utilized, and other changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the following detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense.

The garment of the invention, when worn by a person, has a pouch positioned in front and/or back on the upper torso of the person. The pouch is formed between an inner layer which extends downward in front from each shoulder to about the mid-torso of the person, and an outer layer which extends downward in front from each shoulder to about the mid-torso of the person. The outer layer has a neckline extending downward in a general U-shape to about one-quarter to about one-half of the way down the pouch. The inner layer and the outer layer of the pouch are bound to each other at the shoulders and at about the mid-torso. The inner layer and outer layer of the pouch extend sideways to about the shoulders and are bound to each other at the sides.

The garment is normally worn so that the pouch is located in front on the upper torso between the shoulders to about the mid-torso of the person. In this location, the pouch provides greater safety and security for a pet because the pet is less prone to being bumped by the person wearing the garment or by another person or object. Further, the close proximity of a pet in the pouch to the face and the heart of the person provides comfort and intimacy to the pet which can see the person and hear or feel the heartbeat of the person.

The outer layer of the pouch has a neckline in its middle which extends downward in a general U-shape to about one-quarter to about one-half way down the pouch. In the lowest part of the neckline of the pouch, there can optionally be a small piece of an extensible material; i.e. about 2 to 4 inches in length, which can stretch to help a person place a pet or other item into the pouch.

The inner layer of the pouch extends around the neck in front from shoulder to shoulder. However, the inner layer can also have a downward neckline in its middle which neckline can extend down to about the one-quarter to about one-half of the way down the pouch.

The inner layer of the pouch is bound to the outer layer of the pouch at the shoulders, at the sides and at about mid-torso.

The garment has an opening at the neck. The outer layer of the pouch has a downward neckline opening near the top of the pouch which has a general U-shape. Hence, a pet and/or other items can be conveniently placed into the pouch. The pouch can also hold items such a cigarettes, lighters, small tools and the like. The pouch can hold a small pet and the pet's leash, treats, toys and food. The opening at the top of the pouch allows the pet to stick out its head and see the person and other things.

If a pet is placed in the pouch, for added safety, a security strap can be bound to the pouch of the garment near its neckline, which strap is connected to a harness, coat, collar or the like worn by the pet.

Supports are bound to the pouch's inner layer or the outer layer or both at the shoulders. The supports go over the shoulders and down the back or front of the person to about the mid-torso. The supports are bound to the inner layer or the outer layer or both at the sides near the mid-torso. The supports are not bound to the inner layer or the outer layer at the sides under the arms.

The garment of the invention is designed to be worn separately. The garment can be worn over other items of clothing. A potentially fashionable way to wear the garment is to have another apparel worn over the garment such as a shirt, a tee-shirt, a vest, a sweater, a sweatshirt, a jacket, a coat or the like. If another apparel is worn over a garment having the pouch in front, the apparel has an opening near the neck and means located at the top of the opening near its middle to open and close the apparel in front in a downward manner. The means extend from the top of the opening of the apparel downward to at least about the middle of the pouch of the garment. If the other apparel is a jacket, a coat or the like, the means can extend further down the apparel to the bottom of the apparel. The means permit the apparel to be opened to allow for a pet or other item to be easily placed into the pouch of the garment. The means on the apparel can then be used to close, or at least partially close, the apparel to secure the pet or other items in the pouch. The means employed with the apparel are zippers, hooks, hooks and eyelets, fasteners, snaps, buckles, buttons, cords, strings, twine, interlocking hooks and pile (sold under the trademark Velcro) and the like.

The other apparel can be worn over the garment with or without a pet or other items placed inside of the pouch and maintain the appearance of a traditional article of apparel. This feature enhances the utility of the combination of the garment and the other apparel because it does not require the person wearing both to carry additional apparel and/or change apparel to carry a pet or for different social settings. The other apparel can have a collar or not, and can have sleeves and pockets or not.

As stated, the garment and the other apparel can be worn completely independent of each other. However, the apparel can be connected to the garment to make the combination more secure for a pet. By “connected” is meant that the garment and the other apparel are bound together in a non-permanent, detachable manner. Means to accomplish this include zippers, hooks, hooks and eyelets, fasteners, straps, snaps, buckles, buttons, cords, strings, twine, interlocking hooks and pile (which is sold under the trademark Velcro) and the like. If connected, the apparel is connected to the garment at the shoulders of the apparel and the garment and near the mid-torso of the apparel and the garment.

A preferred way to connect the other apparel to the garment is to have a piece of material such as a strap extending from the inside of the apparel at each shoulder area, where each strap is looped around each shoulder area of the garment. The strap is then connected to itself by, for example, Velcro, a snap or a button. By being connected in this manner, the apparel can move free of the garment at the shoulders. A second series of straps can extend from the inside of the apparel on each side at about mid-torso. This second series of straps can be connected to the inside layer or outside layer of the garment at mid-torso by, for example, Velcro, a snap, a button or the like.

In the invention, the phrase “bound” means that the garment's pouch has its inner layer or outer layer or both secured to each other and to the supports in a substantially permanent manner by virtue of how the layers and supports are manufactured, such as being a continuous woven piece, or by sewing, stitching, gluing or heat melting the layers and supports together. More preferred, the pet carrier's inner layer or outer layer or both are bound to each other and to the supports by sewing or stitching the layers and supports. If the layers and supports are bound together at positions and locations on the garment where seams normally occur, this helps in the construction of the garment and enhances the look of the garment.

In one embodiment of the invention, the garment has a pouch located on the upper torso in front, which pouch is formed between an outer layer which extends from each shoulder to about the mid-torso of the person and an inner layer which extends from each shoulder to about mid-torso, where the inner layer and the outer layer are bound at the shoulders, at about mid-torso and at the sides. The supports are bound to the outer layer at the shoulders, and go over the shoulders, around the neck and down the back to about the mid-torso of the person. The outer layer and the supports are bound at the sides near the mid-torso, but not under the arms. The garment has an opening near the neck, and the outer layer of the pouch has a downward neckline in a general U-shape.

FIG. 1A shows a right-sided view of a garment of the invention. The pouch is located in front on the upper torso, and is formed between an outer layer (110) and an inner layer (130). Both the outer layer and the inner layer extend downward in front from the shoulders to about the mid-torso of the person where they are bound to each other. The inner layer is also bound to the outer layer at the shoulders and at the sides. The supports (140) are bound to the outer layer at the shoulders, and go over the shoulders, around the neck and down the back of the person to about the mid-torso of the person. The outer layer and supports are bound at the sides near mid-torso (142), but are not bound under the arms. The garment has an opening at the neck (100). The outer layer (110) of the pouch has an downward neckline opening (101) near the top of the pouch which has a general U-shape.

FIG. 1B shows the back of a garment such as shown in FIG. 1A. The supports (140) are bound to the outer layer (110) of the pouch at the shoulders. The supports go over the shoulders and down the back in a continuous piece to about the mid-torso. The supports are bound to the outer layer (110) in front at the sides (142) near mid-torso, but the supports are not bound to the inner layer or the outer layer under the arms.

FIG. 1C shows another design for the garment where the pouch is worn in back on the upper torso. The inner layer (230) and the outer layer (210) of the pouch are bound together at the shoulders, at the sides and at about mid-torso. The supports (240) are bound to the inner layer at the shoulders, and go over the shoulders, around the neck and downward in front to about mid-torso where the supports are bound to the outer layer of the pouch in front at the sides (242) but not under the arms.

FIG. 1D shows another design for the back of a garment such as shown in FIG. 1A. The supports (150) are bound to the outer layer (110) of the pouch at the shoulders. The supports go over the shoulders and down the back in an inwardly curved manner to about the mid-torso. The supports are bound to the outer layer of the pouch in front at the sides (152) near mid-torso, but the supports are not bound to the inner layer or the outer layer under the arms.

As mentioned, the garment can be worn independently. The garment can also be worn over other items of clothing. The garment can also be worn in combination with another apparel which is worn over the garment. This creates a fashionable look.

FIG. 2 shows a combination of a garment of the invention, shown in dotted lines, and another apparel which has the appearance of a vest. In FIG. 2, the outer layer (110) of the pouch of the garment is bound to the inner layer (130) of the pouch at each shoulder, at the sides and at the mid-torso (135). The supports (140) of the garment are bound to the outer layer (110) of the pouch at the shoulders, and go over the shoulders, around the neck and down the back to about the mid-torso of the person. The outer layer and the supports are bound at the shoulders and on the sides (142) near the mid-torso in back, but not under the arms. The garment has an opening (100) near the neck in the middle, and the outer layer of the pouch has a downward neckline opening (101). The vest-type apparel has an opening around the neck (240). At the top of the opening of the apparel, at the middle, there is a zipper (190) which extends downward from the top of the opening of the apparel to the bottom of the apparel. The vest-type apparel has pockets (132) near the waist.

FIG. 3A shows a combination of a garment of the invention, which is shown in dotted lines, and another apparel which has the appearance of a sweatshirt. In FIG. 3A, the outer layer (110) of the pouch of the garment is bound to the inner layer (130) of the pouch at each shoulder, at the sides and at the mid-torso (135). The supports of the garment are bound to the outer layer of the pouch at the shoulders, and go over the shoulders, around the neck and down the back to about the mid-torso of the person. The outer layer and the supports are bound at the shoulders and on the sides (142) near the mid-torso in back, but not under the arms. The garment has an opening (100) near its neck in the middle, and the outer layer of the pouch has a downward neckline opening (101). The sweatshirt-type apparel has an opening (145) around the neck. At the top of the apparel's opening in the middle, there is a cord (190) which extends downward from the top of the opening to about the middle of the pouch. The sweatshirt-type apparel has sleeves (144) bound to its shoulders.

FIG. 3B is a cut-out view of FIG. 3A which shows that the apparel is connected to the garment by a strap (160) located on the inside of the apparel near each shoulder, which strap loops around each shoulder area of the garment and is then connected to itself by Velcro (161), or the means can be a snap or a button. The apparel also has another strap (162) located inside near each side at about mid-torso. Each strap is connected to a side of the garment at about mid-torso by Velcro (163).

FIG. 4 shows a view of a person wearing a garment of the invention, which is shown in dotted lines, in combination with a sweatshirt-type apparel, with a small dog in the pouch of the garment. The garment has an outer layer (110) which extends downward in front from the shoulders to about the mid-torso of the person. The outer layer has a downward neckline (101) having a general U-shape. The inner layer (130) of the pouch extends downward in front from the shoulders to about the mid-torso of the person. The inner layer (130) is bound to the outer layer (110) at the shoulders, at the sides and at about mid-torso (135). The supports (140) of the garment are bound to the outer layer (110) at the shoulders, and go over the shoulders, around the neck and down the back to about the mid-torso of the person. The outer layer and the supports are bound at the shoulders and on the sides near mid-torso (142), but not under the arms. The sweatshirt-type apparel has an opening (240) near the neck, and has a zipper (190) located at the top of the opening near its middle which extends downward from the top of the opening to about the middle of the pouch. The sweatshirt apparel has sleeves (144) and pockets (134) at each side near the waist so the person can place his/her hands or other objects inside.

As mentioned herein, the inner layer, the outer layer and the supports can be bound together by way of manufacture. FIG. 5 shows a single piece of cloth which can be formed to make a garment of the invention having the pouch in front. In FIG. 5, positions A and B, which are at the two bottom end parts of the cloth, are folded upward and outward to positions C and D on the cloth near the opening (100). Positions A and B are sown onto the cloth at positions C and D respectively, and the sides of the cloth located from positions A to C and from positions B to D are sown together. In doing this, inner layer (420) and the outer layer (310) of the pouch is formed. Positions E and F, which are at the two top ends of the cloth, are folded down and inward to position G shown as a line on the cloth. Position G is now the bottom of the pouch. Positions E and F are sown onto the cloth on line G at positions H and J respectively. In doing this, the supports (440) for the garment are formed. FIG. 5 and the process shows that the inner layer (420) of the pouch is bound to the outer layer (310) of the pouch, and the inner layer (420) of the pouch is bound to the supports (440) of the pouch by way of manufacture wherein the layers and supports are a continuous woven piece. The downward neckline opening (300) of the pouch is also formed.

The method of manufacture described above can be used in a similar manner to make a garment having the pouch in back.

The materials of construction used to make the garment's outer layer. the inner layer and the supports, and other parts of the garment can be any appropriate materials. Typically, the materials are the same materials used to make apparel worn by persons or pets. The materials can be natural materials such as cotton, wool, leather and the like, or synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester, and the like; or the materials can be made out of mixtures of natural and synthetic materials. In a given garment, the materials for the inner layer, the outer layer and the supports can be the same or different. The materials are often fabrics which can be reinforced, especially in the area of the pouch. The fabrics can be chosen to make a garment for light summer wear, or for heavier winter wear, or for use in any season. For comfort, the inner layer of the pouch can be made of a softer, more breathable fabric or weave, and the outer layer of the pouch can be made of a fabric having good water or dirt repellency. The pouch can treated on the inside of the pouch or can be made of a material that protects against the claws of a pet and permits easier cleaning of the garment in case of soiling.

The garment can have any kind of design on it. Pet owners often like to personalize items for their pets. Hence, designs can range from favorite colors and patterns, to pictures of types of pet, to scenes, to photographs of the pets and the like. The garment can be used to carry items other than a pet.

While several embodiments have been described in detail herein, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the disclosed embodiments may be modified. Therefore, the foregoing description is to be considered exemplary and is not intended to limit the invention to these embodiments. On the contrary, the invention is intended to cover alternatives, modifications and equivalents, which may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

Furthermore, in the detailed description of the present invention, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. In other instances, well-known methods, procedures, and components have not been described in detail as not to unnecessarily obscure aspects of the present invention. However, it will be recognized by one of ordinary skill in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details.