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Publication numberUS20030070268 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/978,312
Publication dateApr 17, 2003
Filing dateOct 15, 2001
Priority dateOct 15, 2001
Publication number09978312, 978312, US 2003/0070268 A1, US 2003/070268 A1, US 20030070268 A1, US 20030070268A1, US 2003070268 A1, US 2003070268A1, US-A1-20030070268, US-A1-2003070268, US2003/0070268A1, US2003/070268A1, US20030070268 A1, US20030070268A1, US2003070268 A1, US2003070268A1
InventorsBennett Ross
Original AssigneeBennett Ross
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shoelace binder system
US 20030070268 A1
Abstract
A shoelace binder system for alleviating the repetitive process of tying shoelaces. The shoelace binder system includes a main body, an upper member attached to the main body, a button slidably positioned within the main body, a pair of receiver openings extending through the main body and the upper member for receiving a two distal portions of the shoelace, a compression spring between the button and the main body, and a pair of upper side members connected to a pair of lower members forming a pair of side openings for receiving the distal portions of the shoelace. The button has a pair side recesses that slide about a pair of corresponding stoppers thereby selectively engaging a portion of the shoelace there between when the button is released thereby preventing the release of the shoelace from the receiver openings.
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Claims(20)
I claim:
1. A shoelace binder system, comprising:
a main body having an upper portion, a lower portion, an end portion, a pair of side walls, an inner cavity between said lower portion and said upper portion, and an end opening;
a pair of receiver openings extending through said lower portion and said upper portion of said main body;
a button slidably extending within said end opening and said inner cavity of said main body; and
a compression spring positioned within said inner cavity between said end portion and said button.
2. The shoelace binder system of claim 1, wherein said button includes a pair of side recesses that receive a portion of a shoelace extending through said receiver openings, and wherein said main body includes a pair of stoppers extending inwardly within said inner cavity for engaging said shoelace opposite of an inner end of said button.
3. The shoelace binder system of claim 2, wherein said main body includes a pair of side members each having a side opening within for snugly receiving a distal portion of said shoelace.
4. The shoelace binder system of claim 3, including a bracket structure secured within a tongue of a shoe and wherein said main body is secured to said bracket structure.
5. The shoelace binder system of claim 3, including a bracket structure secured within a tongue of a shoe and wherein said main body is removably secured to said bracket structure.
6. The shoelace binder system of claim 5, wherein said bracket structure is comprised of a body portion with a pair of guide members extending upwardly from thereof defining a receiving slot between for receiving a connecting member attached to a lower portion of said main body.
7. The shoelace binder system of claim 6, wherein said connecting member has an inverted-T shaped structure.
8. The shoelace binder system of claim 7, wherein said connecting member includes a resilient catch member extending downwardly that is positionable within a recessed portion within said body portion of said bracket structure.
9. The shoelace binder system of claim 8, wherein said body portion includes a lower opening for receiving a shaft of a release member for manipulating the resilient catch member thereby allowing for the release of said connecting member from said bracket structure.
10. The shoelace binder system of claim 9, wherein said button has an I-shaped structure.
11. A shoelace binder system, comprising:
a main body having an upper portion, a lower portion, a first end portion, a second end portion, a pair of side slots, and an inner cavity between said lower portion and said upper portion;
a pair of receiver openings extending through said lower portion and said upper portion of said main body;
an inner member slidably extending within said inner cavity of said main body, wherein said inner member has a cutout and an engaging end; and
a compression spring positioned within said inner cavity between said first end portion and said inner member within said cutout.
12. The shoelace binder system of claim 11, wherein said inner member includes a pair of flanged portions that engage a portion of a shoelace extending through said receiver openings, and wherein said main body includes a pair of extended portions extending toward said inner member within said inner cavity for engaging said shoelace opposite of flanged portions of said inner member.
13. The shoelace binder system of claim 12, wherein said inner member includes a pair of wing members each having an opening within for snugly receiving a distal portion of said shoelace.
14. The shoelace binder system of claim 13, including a bracket structure secured within a tongue of a shoe and wherein said main body is secured to said bracket structure.
15. The shoelace binder system of claim 13, including a bracket structure secured within a tongue of a shoe and wherein said main body is removably secured to said bracket structure.
16. The shoelace binder system of claim 15, wherein said bracket structure is comprised of a body portion with a pair of guide members extending upwardly from thereof defining a receiving slot between for receiving a connecting member attached to a lower portion of said main body.
17. The shoelace binder system of claim 16, wherein said connecting member has an inverted-T shaped structure.
18. The shoelace binder system of claim 17, wherein said connecting member includes a resilient catch member extending downwardly that is positionable within a recessed portion within said body portion of said bracket structure.
19. The shoelace binder system of claim 18, wherein said body portion includes a lower opening for receiving a shaft of a release member for manipulating the resilient catch member thereby allowing for the release of said connecting member from said bracket structure.
20. The shoelace binder system of claim 19, wherein said wing members are angled outwardly from said inner member.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not applicable to this application.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not applicable to this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] The present invention relates generally to shoelace securing devices and more specifically it relates to a shoelace binder system for alleviating the repetitive process of tying shoelaces.

[0005] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0006] Shoelaces have been in use for years. Conventional shoelaces are comprised of an elongate structure that is passed through two rows of opposing eyelets within a shoe in a crossing manner. The user first positions their foot within the shoe and then tightens the shoelace to a desired tautness. The user then must “tie” the two opposing ends of the shoelace in a desired manner typically forming a bow-like pattern.

[0007] Conventional shoelaces require the user to expend significant amounts of time tying them into a desired position. In addition, conventional shoelaces are prone to becoming accidentally untied. Another problem with conventional shoelaces is that some individuals, such as children or the elderly, require the assistance of a third-party to tie the shoelaces.

[0008] Examples of patented devices which are related to the present invention include U.S. Pat. No. 6,185,798 to Ton; U.S. Pat. No. 6,003,214 to Lee; U.S. Pat. No. 5,718,021 to Tatum; U.S. Pat. No. 3,845,575 to Boden; U.S. Pat. No. 4,485,529 to Blum; U.S. Pat. No. 5,402,589 to Lubrani et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 6,192,559 to Munsell, Jr; U.S. Pat. No. 5,293,675 to Shai; U.S. Pat. No. 5,335,401 to Hanson.

[0009] While these devices may be suitable for the particular purpose to which they address, they are not as suitable for alleviating the repetitive process of tying shoelaces. Conventional shoelaces require the user to expend significant amounts of time in tying the distal portions of the shoelace within a shoe and are prone to becoming loose.

[0010] In these respects, the shoelace binder system according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of alleviating the repetitive process of tying shoelaces.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of shoelace systems now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new shoelace binder system construction wherein the same can be utilized for alleviating the repetitive process of tying shoelaces.

[0012] The general purpose of the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to provide a new shoelace binder system that has many of the advantages of the shoelace systems mentioned heretofore and many novel features that result in a new shoelace binder system which is not anticipated, rendered obvious, suggested, or even implied by any of the prior art shoelace systems, either alone or in any combination thereof.

[0013] To attain this, the present invention generally comprises a main body, an upper member attached to the main body, a button slidably positioned within the main body, a pair of receiver openings extending through the main body and the upper member for receiving a two distal portions of the shoelace, a compression spring between the button and the main body, and a pair of upper side members connected to a pair of lower members forming a pair of side openings for receiving the distal portions of the shoelace. The button has a pair side recesses that slide about a pair of corresponding stoppers thereby selectively engaging a portion of the shoelace there between when the button is released thereby preventing the release of the shoelace from the receiver openings.

[0014] There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and that will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

[0015] In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of the description and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0016] A primary object of the present invention is to provide a shoelace binder system that will overcome the shortcomings of the prior art devices.

[0017] A second object is to provide a shoelace binder system for alleviating the repetitive process of tying shoelaces.

[0018] Another object is to provide a shoelace binder system that eliminates the need to tie a shoelace.

[0019] An additional object is to provide a shoelace binder system that may be utilized within existing or newly manufactured shoes.

[0020] A further object is to provide a shoelace binder system that may be utilized upon various types of shoes and shoelaces.

[0021] Another object is to provide a shoelace binder system that reduces the number of times an individual must retie their shoelaces.

[0022] Another object is to provide a shoelace binder system that allows individuals who are unable to secure their shoelaces themselves perform the task of securing the shoelaces without the assistance of a third-party.

[0023] Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become obvious to the reader and it is intended that these objects and advantages are within the scope of the present invention.

[0024] To the accomplishment of the above and related objects, this invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described within the scope of the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] Various other objects, features and attendant advantages of the present invention will become fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

[0026]FIG. 1 is an upper perspective view of the present invention with a shoelace positioned within.

[0027]FIG. 2 is an upper perspective view of the present invention.

[0028]FIG. 3 is an upper perspective view of a first alternative embodiment of the present invention illustrating a permanently installed bracket structure within a tongue of a shoe.

[0029]FIG. 4 is an upper perspective view of the first alternative embodiment with the upper portion permanently attached to the bracket structure.

[0030]FIG. 5 is an upper perspective view of the bracket structure of the first alternative embodiment installed within a tongue of a shoe.

[0031]FIG. 6 is an upper perspective view of the first alternative embodiment secured within the tongue of the shoe.

[0032]FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6.

[0033]FIG. 8 is an exploded upper perspective view of the first alternative embodiment with the button depressed to allow for the removal of the shoelace.

[0034]FIG. 9 is an exploded upper perspective view of the first alternative embodiment with the button released thereby securing the shoelace within.

[0035]FIG. 10 is an upper perspective view of a second alternative embodiment of the present invention with a shoelace positioned within.

[0036]FIG. 11 is an exploded upper perspective view of the second alternative embodiment.

[0037]FIG. 12 is an exploded upper perspective view of the second alternative embodiment illustrating the securing structure being released.

[0038]FIG. 13 is a side cutaway view of the second alternative embodiment with a release member inserted within for releasing the upper portion thereof from the bracket.

[0039]FIG. 14 is a side cutaway view of the second alternative embodiment with the bracket member catchably receiving the upper portion thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0040] 1. Overview

[0041] Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, FIGS. 1 through 14 illustrate a shoelace binder system 10, which comprises a main body 30, an upper member 20 attached to the main body 30, a button 40 slidably positioned within the main body 30, a pair of receiver openings 22 extending through the main body 30 and the upper member 20 for receiving a two distal portions 14 of the shoelace 12, a compression spring 26 between the button 40 and the main body 30, and a pair of upper side members 50 connected to a pair of lower members forming a pair of side openings 54 for receiving the distal portions 14 of the shoelace 12. The button 40 has a pair side recesses 42 that slide about a pair of corresponding stoppers 32 thereby selectively engaging a portion of the shoelace 12 there between when the button 40 is released thereby preventing the release of the shoelace 12 from the receiver openings 22.

[0042] 2. Main Embodiment

[0043]FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the main embodiment of the present invention which may be attached to the shoelace 12 upon an existing shoe. FIGS. 3 through 9 illustrate a first alternative embodiment basically comprised of the main embodiment that is secured within the upper portion of a tongue 16 of a shoe. FIGS. 10 through 14 illustrate a second alternative embodiment of the present invention.

[0044] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, a main body 30 having an inner cavity is provided with an upper member 20 secured to the upper portion thereof. The main body 30 may have various shapes and sizes. The upper member 20 and the main body 30 each include a pair of receiver openings 22 as best shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 7 of the drawings. The receiver openings 22 are formed for receiving the upper distal portions 14 of the shoelace 12. The receiver openings 22 may have various shapes and sizes to receive various sizes and designs of shoelace 12.

[0045] As best illustrated in FIGS. 7 through 9 of the drawings, main body 30 has an inner cavity within formed for slidably receiving the button 40. The button 40 is comprised of an elongate structure that extends outwardly from an opening within the main body 30. A compression spring 26 is positioned between the button 40 and the main body 30 opposite of the opening within the main body 30 for forcing the button 40 outwardly from the main body 30. The main body 30 may also have a pair of opposing side apertures 34 for receiving the shoelace 12

[0046] As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 of the drawings, the button 40 preferably includes a pair of side recesses 42 within for allowing the shoelace 12 to pass through and are aligned with the receiver openings 22. The main body 30 includes a pair of opposing stoppers 32 that extend inwardly within the side recesses 42 of the button 40 as further shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 of the drawings.

[0047] The distal portions 14 of the shoelace 12 extend through the receiver openings 22 and through the side recesses 42 of the button 40 when the button 40 is depresses. The user releases the button 40 thereby causing the ends of the side recesses 42 to compress the shoelace 12 against the stoppers 32 thereby preventing movement of the shoelace 12 within. It can be appreciated that additional engaging structure may be added to the stoppers 32 to enhance the engaging of the shoelace 12.

[0048] As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the drawings, a pair of upper side members 50 extend from the upper member 20 and a pair of corresponding lower side members 52 extend from the main body 30 in opposition to one another. A pair of side openings 54 are formed between the side members 50, 52 for receiving the distal portions 14 of the shoelace 12 exposed from the upper member 20 as shown in FIGS. 1 through 4.

[0049] To utilize the main embodiment, the user inserts their foot within the shoe and then tightens the shoelace 12 to the desired tautness. The user then depresses the button 40 and then inserts the opposing distal portions 14 of the shoelace 12 through the receiver openings 22 and the side recesses 42.

[0050] When the distal portions 14 are fully extended through the receiver openings 22 so as to be relatively taut, the user then releases the button 40 wherein the shoelace 12 is engaged between the button 40 and the stoppers 32. The user then may extend the extra length of the distal portions 14 of the shoelace 12 through the side openings 54 within the side members 50, 52 as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings.

[0051] 3. First Alternative Embodiment

[0052] In the first alternative embodiment of the present invention, a bracket structure 70 is secured within the tongue 16 of the shoe. The bracket structure 70 preferably has a curved body portion with a pair of opposing slots 74 for receiving fasteners 17 and the like to secure the bracket structure 70 within the tongue 16 of the shoe as best illustrated in FIGS. 3 through 7 of the drawings. FIG. 4 illustrates the main body 30 being permanently attached to the neck of the bracket structure 70.

[0053]FIGS. 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the drawings illustrate the usage of a connecting member 60 extending from the lower portion of the main body 30 to be catchably received within a central slot within the bracket structure 70 defined by a pair of guide members 72. The guide members 72 each have an inverted-L shaped structure as shown in FIGS. 5 and 7 of the drawings.

[0054] The connecting member 60 is releasably received by the bracket structure 70 as best illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14 of the drawings. A resilient catch member 90 is secured within a lower portion of the connecting member 60 for selectively catching the edge of a recessed portion 78 within the bracket structure 70 as shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 of the drawings. A lower opening 76 within the bracket structure 70 allows for the insertion of a shaft 19 of a release member 18 as shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 of the drawings.

[0055] The shaft 19 engages the resilient catch member 90 thereby allowing the resilient catch member 90 to pass over the bracket structure 70 and thereby allowing the connecting member 60 to be released from the bracket structure 70. The first alternative embodiment allows for the removal of the upper portion of the present invention with the bracket structure 70 remaining within the tongue 16 as illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawings.

[0056] 4. Second Alternative Embodiment

[0057] As shown in FIGS. 10 through 13 of the drawings, the second alternative embodiment is similar to the first alternative embodiment except that the main body 30, the button 40 and the upper member 20 have a different structure. The main body 30 no longer has an end opening, but rather utilizes a pair of side slots 74 for allowing a pair of wing members 82 extend from an inner member 80 slidably positioned within the main body 30 similar to the button 40 in the main embodiment and the first alternative embodiment.

[0058] A loop structure 24 is preferably attached to the upper member 20 for receiving the distal portions 14 of the shoelace 12 as shown in FIG. 10 of the drawings. A pair of openings within the distal portion of the wing members 82 allows for the insertion of the distal ends of the shoelace 12 as shown in FIG. 10 of the drawings. The compression spring 26 is positioned between a wall of the main body 30 and within a cutout within the inner member 80 as best illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12 of the drawings.

[0059] The shoelace 12 is positioned between the outer portions of the inner member 80 and the main body 30 when the inner member 80 is compressed wherein the shoelace 12 is engaged when the inner member 80 is released similar to the main embodiment and the first alternative embodiment. The second alternative embodiment may be utilized with or without the bracket structure 70 similar to the main embodiment.

[0060] As to a further discussion of the manner of usage and operation of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.

[0061] With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed to be within the expertise of those skilled in the art, and all equivalent structural variations and relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

[0062] Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7143486May 17, 2004Dec 5, 2006Rolla Jose SantiagoAnchoring device for fastening laces
US8910353 *Nov 17, 2011Dec 16, 2014Geox S.P.A.Locking device for laces, shoelaces, cords and the like, particularly adapted to close shoes, rucksacks, items of clothing and the like
US20130263413 *Nov 17, 2011Oct 10, 2013Geox S.P.A.Locking device for laces, shoelaces, cords and the like, particularly adapted to close shoes, rucksacks, items of clothing and the like
WO2004100694A1 *Apr 8, 2004Nov 25, 2004Flyclip LlcLace retention clip
WO2009048238A2 *Oct 2, 2008Apr 16, 2009Jong O WhangTying tool for shoelace
Classifications
U.S. Classification24/712.1
International ClassificationA43C7/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10T24/3703, A43C7/00
European ClassificationA43C7/00