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Publication numberUS20070130670 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/300,538
Publication dateJun 14, 2007
Filing dateDec 14, 2005
Priority dateDec 14, 2005
Publication number11300538, 300538, US 2007/0130670 A1, US 2007/130670 A1, US 20070130670 A1, US 20070130670A1, US 2007130670 A1, US 2007130670A1, US-A1-20070130670, US-A1-2007130670, US2007/0130670A1, US2007/130670A1, US20070130670 A1, US20070130670A1, US2007130670 A1, US2007130670A1
InventorsRichard Henf
Original AssigneeRichard Henf
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Novelty sports cap
US 20070130670 A1
Abstract
A novelty sports cap. On the head of the wearer, the cap makes the visual impression of a football helmet.
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims(20)
1. A novelty baseball cap which simulates an appearance of a football helmet comprising:
a crown having a generally concave shape including a front section and a back section, said crown dimensioned to fit about an upper portion of a person's head, and formed from a fabric material;
a semi-rigid bill portion extending from said front section along a portion of a peripheral edge of said crown;
a modified area defined on a portion of said crown extending from said peripheral edge above said bill portion, said modified area defining a simulated profile that corresponds to a helmet profile of a portion of a football helmet face opening, at least a portion of a surface of said modified area having a contrasting color that is different from a color of an exterior of said crown so as to create an illusion of a football helmet interior;
said surface of said modified area further includes a graphic image consisting of an upper portion a football player's face that is generally visible within a corresponding upper portion of an actual football helmet face opening when a football helmet is positioned on a football player's head.
2. (canceled)
3. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 1, wherein said color is black.
4-5. (canceled)
6. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 1, wherein said surface of said modified area has a texture that is different from an exterior of said crown.
7. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 1, wherein said surface of said modified area is recessed relative to an exterior surface of said crown.
8. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 1, wherein at least one surface discontinuity is defined around said edge of said modified area, whereby said surface discontinuity enhances an illusion that said edge corresponds to a helmet profile of a portion of a football helmet face opening.
9. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 1, further comprising at least one guard member attached to said bill portion, said guard member comprising an elongated substantially tubular element having a size and shape that simulates an appearance of a portion of a football helmet face mask.
10. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 9, wherein said guard member is attached along a peripheral edge of said bill portion.
11. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 9, further comprising at least one flap extending from a peripheral edge of a concave shape defining said crown, said crown including at least one ear vent portion therein.
12. A novelty baseball cap which simulates an appearance of a football helmet comprising:
a crown having a generally concave shape including a front section and a back section, said crown dimensioned to fit about an upper portion of a person's head, and formed from a fabric material;
a semi-rigid bill portion extending from said front section along a portion of a peripheral edge of said crown;
a modified area defined on a portion of said crown extending from said peripheral edge above said bill portion, said modified area defining a simulated profile that corresponds to a helmet profile of a portion of a football helmet face opening, and at least a portion of a surface of said modified area having a contrasting color that is different from a color of an exterior of said crown, said contrasting color creating an illusion of a football helmet interior;
said surface of said modified area further including a graphic image consisting of an upper portion a football player's face that is generally visible within a corresponding upper portion of an actual football helmet face opening when a football helmet is positioned on a football player's head and
at least one guard member attached to said bill portion, said guard member comprising an elongated substantially tubular element having a size and shape that simulates an appearance of a portion of a football helmet face mask.
13-14. (canceled)
15. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 12, wherein said surface of said modified area has a texture that is different from an exterior of said crown.
16. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 12, wherein said surface of said modified area is recessed relative to an exterior surface of said crown.
17. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 12, wherein at least one surface discontinuity is defined around said edge of said modified area, whereby said surface discontinuity enhances an illusion that said edge corresponds to a helmet profile of a portion of a football helmet face opening.
18. (canceled)
19. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 1, wherein said graphic image is exclusive of a region of said person's face comprising a mouth.
20. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 19, wherein said graphic image includes a region of said person's face comprising eyes and a nose.
21. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 12, wherein said graphic image is exclusive of a region of said person's face comprising a mouth.
22. The novelty baseball cap according to claim 21, wherein said graphic image includes a region of said person's face comprising eyes and a nose.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Statement of the Technical Field

The inventive arrangement relates to a novelty sports cap that particularly relates to the game of football.

2. Description of the Related Art

Sports fans often wear various forms of clothing to show support for a particular sports team. Some articles of clothing used include t-shirts, jerseys, baseball caps, and shorts that contain distinctive markings associated with a particular sports team.

In the game of football, many fans wear baseball caps to demonstrate their support. Baseball caps are also practical to wear since they are typically made from a substantially breathable fabric material. Also, baseball caps provide adequate shade protection during sunny days, allowing for improved visibility.

However, baseball caps, as its name aptly describes, relates to the game of baseball, not football. Baseball players wear these caps as part of their uniform when playing on the field. Football fans, by contrast, do not have an article of headwear that closely resembles football helmet gear, while providing all the comfort advantages of a conventional baseball cap.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention concerns a novelty baseball cap. It can include a crown having a generally concave shape including a front section and a back section. The crown can be formed from a fabric material and dimensioned to fit about an upper portion of a person's head. The invention can also include a semi-rigid bill portion extending from the front section along a portion of a peripheral edge of the concave shape. Furthermore, the novelty baseball cap can also include a modified area defined on a portion of the crown above the bill portion. The modified area can have a peripheral edge defining a simulated profile that corresponds to a helmet profile of a portion of a football helmet face opening.

At least a portion of a surface that comprises the modified area of the crown can have a contrasting color that is different from a color of a remaining exterior of the crown. The contrasting color can create an illusion of a football helmet interior. According to one alternative, the contrasting color can be black. Further, the surface of the modified area can include a graphic image consisting of a portion of a person's face. The person's face can correspond to a region of a football player's face that is generally visible within the portion of an actual football helmet face opening when positioned on a player's head.

The surface of the modified area can also have a texture that is different from an exterior of the crown. According to one alternative, the modified area can be made from a transparent material. In addition, the surface of the modified area can be recessed relative to an exterior surface of the crown. The novelty baseball cap can also define one or more surface discontinuities defined around the edge of the modified area. The surface discontinuity can enhance an illusion that the edge corresponds to a helmet profile of a portion of a football helmet face opening.

The novelty baseball cap can further comprise one or more guard members attached to the bill portion. The guard member can comprise an elongated, tubular element having a size and shape that can simulate an appearance of a portion of a football helmet face mask. In particular, the guard member can be attached along a peripheral edge of the bill portion. The invention can further comprise one or more flaps extending from a peripheral edge of the crown's concave shape. The cap can include one or more ear vent portions therein.

Further aspects and objectives of the invention will be apparent from the claims, the following detailed description and the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a novelty baseball cap that is useful for understanding the invention.

FIG. 2 is a front view of a second embodiment of a novelty baseball cap that is useful for understanding the invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of a novelty baseball cap that is useful for understanding the invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a fourth embodiment of a novelty baseball cap that is useful for understanding the invention.

FIG. 5 is a rear view of the first embodiment of the novelty baseball cap shown in FIG. 1 that is useful for understanding the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The invention concerns a novelty baseball cap that is sized, shaped, textured, and colored to resemble a football helmet. Referring now to FIGS. 1-4, four embodiments of a novelty baseball cap 100, 200, 300, and 400 are illustrated that are useful for understanding the inventive arrangements. Note that an element(s) may be shared by more than one embodiment and identical elements will be reflected as such using the same reference number throughout the various embodiments. According to a first embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the novelty baseball cap 100 is defined by a crown 101. The crown 101 can have a generally concave shape that is defined by a front section 102 and a back section 103. The crown 101 can be formed from a fabric material, preferably one that is breathable and washable. Suitable fabrics include, but are not limited to brushed cotton, cotton twill, washed chino twill, polyester mesh, brushed canvas, wool blend, open-cell polyurethane foam, and other synthetic materials.

According to FIG. 5, the crown 101 can be dimensioned to fit about an upper portion of a person's head. There are two main ways to dimension the crown to fit about an upper portion of a person's head: a fitted or an adjustable configuration. In the fitted configuration, a peripheral edge 117 of the concave shape of the crown 101 is fixedly dimensioned to fit a particular size of a person's upper head. By contrast, the adjustable configuration, shown in FIG. 5, includes a mechanism that allows the circumference of the peripheral edge 117 to be widened or narrowed depending on the size of the person's upper head portion. Typically, an adjustable baseball cap has a half-moon shaped opening 518 at the bottom of back section 103. A strap 519 made of either fabric or plastic links one end of the opening to the other end of the same opening. Suitable adjustable closures that are commonly known include mating Velcro straps, buckle/strap, D-ring/T-slide/strap buckle, and plastic snap closures.

The novelty baseball cap 100 includes a semi-rigid bill portion 104 that extends from the front section 102, along a portion of a peripheral edge 105 of the crown 101. Typically, the bill portion of a baseball cap is semi-rigid due to it being constructed of material such as cardboard or plastic that is covered with fabric material. However, other embodiments of the bill portion are possible. For example, the bill portion 104 can be made of a plastic material that is not covered with fabric material. If the bill portion 104 is made of uncovered plastic, the plastic material of the bill portion 104 may be translucent, tinted, or solidly colored. The bill portion 104 should be substantially planar or slightly curved. Both crown 101 and bill portion 104 can be formed of a fabric material, preferably one that is breathable and washable. Suitable fabrics include, but are not limited to brushed cotton, cotton twill, washed chino twill, polyester mesh, brushed canvas, wool blend, open-cell polyurethane foam, and other synthetic materials.

In addition, the baseball cap 100 can include a modified area 106 that is defined on a portion of the crown 101 above the bill portion 104. The modified area 106 has a peripheral edge 107 defining a simulated profile that corresponds to a helmet profile of a portion of a football helmet face opening. The modified area 106 can be substantially rectangular in shape, preferably with chamfered edges at the top right and top left corners of the modified area 106. The modified area wraps around the front section 102 of the crown 101. The modified area 106 should also be dimensioned such that it simulates the helmet profile of the portion of the football helmet face opening. The bottom peripheral edge of the modified area 106 borders on the portion of the peripheral edge 105 of the crown 101 from which the semi-rigid bill portion 104 extends.

According to one aspect of the invention, an exterior surface portion 116 of the modified area 106 can have a contrasting color that is different from a color of an exterior surface 108 of the crown 101. The exterior surface 108 of the crown 101 is defined as those portions of the crown 101 (excluding ear vent portions 115, discussed later) that are disposed outside of the modified area 106. This contrast of colors between the modified area 106 and the exterior surface 108 of the crown 101 is advantageously selected so that the modified area 106 creates an illusion of a football helmet interior. For example, the contrasting color of the modified area can be black to simulate a dark helmet interior. However, black is not the only color that can be used to contrast the modified area 106 from the exterior surface 108 of the crown 101. Rather, any combination of colors may be used provided that the contrast creates an illusion of a helmet interior.

Alternatively or in addition to the contrasting colors described herein, there are a myriad of possible graphic images that can be used in the modified area 106 to enhance the illusion of a helmet interior. A graphic image 209 can consist of a portion of a person's face as illustrated in FIG. 2. In particular, the portion of the person's face can correspond to a region of a football player's face that would generally be visible within a corresponding portion of an actual football helmet face opening when a helmet is positioned on a player's head. Further, the face image need not be an ordinary human face. Instead a stylized or mascot face could also be used. Besides face images, other graphic images 209 can also be placed within the modified area 106, such as a sports team's logo. According to two embodiments of the novelty baseball cap 300 and 400 illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, respectively, the modified area 106 may consist of a substantially transparent material.

Contrasting color and graphics is not the only manner in which to create an illusion of a football helmet interior. If fabrics are used, the modified area 106 may have a different fabric texture that is different from the exterior surface 108 of the crown 101. There are numerous examples of fabric textures, which include, but are not limited to shiny, matte, smooth, rough, weaved, and lined textures. According to another alternative illustrated in FIG. 3, the modified area 106 can be recessed somewhat relative to the exterior surface 108 of the crown 101. This recess can define a peripheral edge 107 that corresponds to the helmet profile of the portion of the football helmet face opening. Referring to FIG. 4, another alternative means for enhancing the illusion is to dispose one or more surface discontinuities 410 around the peripheral edge 107 of the modified area 106. Such surface discontinuities 410 help to enhance the illusion that the peripheral edge 107 corresponds to the helmet profile of a portion of a football helmet face opening. One example of surface discontinuities can include stitching that delineates the modified area 106 from the exterior surface 108 of the crown 101. Other kinds of discontinuities can include a thin, tubular material, as illustrated in FIG. 4, which outlines the top and side portions of the modified area 106 to simulate the face opening profile of a football helmet.

Referring back to FIG. 1, the novelty baseball cap 100 can further include one or more guard members 111. According to one aspect of the invention, the guard member(s) 111 can be attached to the bill portion 104. For example, the guard member 111 can be attached along a bill peripheral edge 412 of the bill portion 104. According to one alternative shown in FIGS. 1-3, the guard member 111 can be defined by an elongated and substantially tubular element that is sized, shaped, and colored to simulate the appearance of a portion of a football helmet face mask. As another alternative shown in FIG. 4, the guard member 111 may be delineated by shading the bill peripheral edge 412 with a color that is different from the color on the remaining portion 413 of the bill.

Additional simulated guard members can also be added to enhance the illusion of a football helmet. For example, additional tubular elements can be interconnected to simulate different face mask configurations. Face mask configurations largely depend on what type of facial protection is desired for a player position. Examples include, but are not limited to Oral Protection Only (OPO), Jaw/Oral Protection (JOP), Nose/Oral Protection (NOP), Nose/Jaw/Oral Protection (NJOP), and Eye Glass/Oral (EGOP). FIG. 3, for example, shows this interconnection of tubular elements to simulate an OPO face mask configuration. As shown in FIG. 3, a portion of the guard member 111 is attached to the bill portion 104. In addition, portions of the guard member 111 may also be attached substantially adjacent to the peripheral edge 107 of the modified area 106. One or more conventional face mask fasteners 320 may be used to fasten portions of the tubular elements that are disposed on the front section 102 of the cap 300. To provide a more realistic football helmet simulation, a chinstrap 321 may be attached to flap portions 114 (to be discussed in more detail).

Referring to FIGS. 1-4, each of the novelty baseball cap embodiments 100, 200, 300, and 400 can further include one or more flaps 114 that extend from a peripheral edge 117 of the concave shape defining the crown 101. To maintain the overall appearance of a football helmet, the flaps 114 should be preferentially made from the same fabric material used for the crown 101. According to one alternative shown in FIG. 2, the flaps 114 may be made of a rigid or semi-rigid plastic material such that the flaps curve inward in a concave pattern, simulating an actual football helmet. The plastic material can have an outer covering that matches the exterior of the crown 101. The flaps may be sewn attached to the crown 101. Alternatively, the crown 101 and flaps 114 can be formed of a seamless continuous fabric material. Suitable fabrics include, but are not limited to brushed cotton, cotton twill, washed chino twill, polyester mesh, brushed canvas, wool blend, open-cell polyurethane foam, and other synthetic materials.

One or more ear vent portions 115 can be disposed on the crown 101, preferably located on the flap 114. The ear vent portion 115 can be sized, shaped, bored, or colored to simulate the earhole of an actual football helmet. For example, in FIG. 1, the ear vent portion 115 has been shaded with a colored fabric material to contrast with the rest of the exterior surface 108 of the crown 101. By contrast, FIG. 3 defines the ear vent portion 115 by a hole that is made through the flap 114. Further still, FIG. 4 defines the ear vent portion 115 by piece of transparent material. By no means are the illustrated ear vent portion alternatives exhaustive. The ear vent portion 115 may be comprised of a fabric material that is recessed relative to the exterior surface of the flap 114. In another example, the ear vent portion 115 may simply be defined by a surface discontinuity that is disposed circularly or polygonally to give the appearance of an actual football helmet earhole.

While the specific embodiments of the invention have been disclosed, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alterations to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, the particular arrangements disclosed are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of the invention which is to be given the full breadth of the appended claims and any and all equivalents thereof.

Classifications
U.S. Classification2/195.1
International ClassificationA42B1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA42B1/062, A42B1/004, A42B1/24, A42B1/066
European ClassificationA42B1/00C, A42B1/06B2, A42B1/24, A42B1/06C