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Publication numberUS20070252048 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/739,879
Publication dateNov 1, 2007
Filing dateApr 25, 2007
Priority dateApr 26, 2006
Publication number11739879, 739879, US 2007/0252048 A1, US 2007/252048 A1, US 20070252048 A1, US 20070252048A1, US 2007252048 A1, US 2007252048A1, US-A1-20070252048, US-A1-2007252048, US2007/0252048A1, US2007/252048A1, US20070252048 A1, US20070252048A1, US2007252048 A1, US2007252048A1
InventorsKelli Ivie, Marc J. Ivie
Original AssigneeKelli Ivie, Ivie Marc J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Object retaining device
US 20070252048 A1
Abstract
An object retaining device includes an expandable loop having elastic material attached to and disposed within a fabric sleeve substantially encasing the elastic material. A gripping material is affixed to an inwardly facing surface of the loop. A tether, which is expandable in length, has a first end attached to the loop. A first fastener is attached adjacent to a second end of the tether generally opposite the loop. A second fastener is attached to the tether in spaced relation to the first fastener, wherein engaging the first and second fasteners forms a second loop at a second end of the tether. A baby bottle, drinking cup, or the like is removably inserted into the expandable loop, and tethered to an object, such as a child's wrist, stroller, etc.
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Claims(20)
1. An object retaining device, comprising:
an expandable loop;
a gripping material attached to an inwardly facing surface of the loop;
a tether having a first end attached to the loop; and
closure means for selectively forming a second loop at a second end of the tether.
2. The device of claim 1, wherein the loop is comprised of an elastic material attached to and disposed within a fabric sleeve substantially encasing the elastic material.
3. The device of claim 2, wherein the elastic material is shorter in length than the fabric sleeve so as to expand to a greater length such that the loop is adapted to hold objects of varying diameters.
4. The device of claim 1, wherein the gripping material comprises a rubber or synthetic rubber material.
5. The device of claim 4, wherein the gripping material comprises a strip of rubber matte material.
6. The device of claim 1, wherein the tether is expandable in length.
7. The device of claim 6, wherein the tether comprises an elastic material attached to and disposed within an elongated fabric sleeve substantially encasing the elastic material.
8. The device of claim 7, wherein the elastic material is shorter in length than the fabric sleeve and adapted to expand to a greater length.
9. The device of claim 8, wherein a segment of the fabric sleeve generally opposite the loop is devoid of elastic material, the closure means being attached to the segment in spaced apart relation.
10. The device of claim 9, wherein the closure means comprises mating snap fasteners.
11. The device of claim 9, wherein the closure means comprises complementary hook and loop fastener sections.
12. The device of claim 2, wherein the loop fabric sleeve is comprised of a fabric selected from chenille, fur, synthetic fur, silk brocade, silk, or synthetic silk.
13. The device of claim 7, wherein the tether fabric sleeve is comprised of a fabric selected from chenille, fur, synthetic fur, silk brocade, silk, or synthetic silk.
14. An object retaining device, comprising:
an expandable loop comprised an elastic material attached to and disposed within
a fabric sleeve substantially encasing the elastic material;
a gripping material comprising rubber or synthetic rubber material attached to an inwardly facing surface of the loop;
a tether having a first end attached to the loop, the tether being expandable in length;
a first fastener attached adjacent to a second end of the tether generally opposite the loop; and
a second fastener attached to the tether in spaced relation to the first fastener, whereby engaging the first and second fasteners forms a second loop at a second end of the tether.
15. The device of claim 14, wherein the elastic material is shorter in length than the fabric sleeve so as to expand to a greater length such that the loop is adapted to hold objects of varying diameters.
16. The device of claim 14, wherein the gripping material comprises a strip of rubber matte material.
17. The device of claim 14, wherein the tether comprises an elastic material attached to and disposed within an elongated fabric sleeve substantially encasing the elastic material, and wherein the elastic material is shorter in length than the fabric sleeve so as to be adapted to expand to a greater length.
18. The device of claim 17, wherein a segment of the fabric sleeve generally opposite the loop is devoid of elastic material, the closure means being attached to the segment in spaced apart relation.
19. The device of claim 14, wherein the first and second fasteners comprise either mating snap fasteners or complementary hook and loop fastener sections.
20. The device of claim 17, wherein the loop and tether fabric sleeves are comprised of a fabric selected from chenille, fur, synthetic fur, silk brocade, silk, or synthetic silk.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention generally relates to retaining devices. More particularly, the present invention relates to a retaining device in the form of a tether removably attachable to an object at one end thereof, and having an expandable loop at an opposite end thereof for retaining objects, such as a baby bottle or the like.
  • [0002]
    Infants and toddlers often times feed or drink from a baby bottle or a drinking cup with a lid of the type commonly known as a “sippy cup”. Aside from nourishment purposes, drinking from a bottle or a sippy cup can have a calming influence on the child.
  • [0003]
    A common problem with such cups or bottles is that the child either drops or throws the bottle or sippy cup. This can be accidental, in jest, or in anger, or simply to get attention. In any event, the bottle or sippy cup drops to the ground or floor which is usually unsanitary, and in some cases renders the bottle nipple or sippy cup undrinkable. This can occur when the child is sitting in a highchair, being pushed in a stroller, walking, or while in a car seat.
  • [0004]
    Dropping or throwing the baby bottle or sippy cup in a moving motor vehicle can be dangerous. This is due to the fact that the driver can be distracted when the object is thrown or dropped. Often times, especially if the bottle or sippy cup is accidentally dropped, the child will want to have the parent immediately retrieve it. When the parent is driving, this is not possible and the child often begins to cry.
  • [0005]
    Accordingly, there is a continuing need for a tether device which is attachable to a child's wrist, or other object adjacent to the child, such as a car seat, stroller, highchair, etc., and which is attachable at an opposite end to the bottle or sippy cup such that if the bottle or sippy cup is dropped or thrown, it is within reach of the child. The present invention fulfills these needs and provides other related advantages.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    The present invention resides in an object retaining device particularly suited for retaining baby bottles, sippy cups, children's toys and the like. The device generally comprises an expandable loop having gripping material attached to an inwardly facing surface thereof. A tether has a first end attached to the loop. Closure means for selectively forming a second loop is attached to a second end of the tether.
  • [0007]
    The loop is comprised of an elastic material attached to and disposed within a fabric sleeve substantially encasing the elastic material. The elastic material is shorter in length than the fabric sleeve so as to expand to a greater length, such that the loop is adapted to hold objects of varying diameters. The gripping material, which assists in retaining the object within the loop, comprises a rubber or synthetic rubber material. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the gripping material comprises a strip of rubber matte material.
  • [0008]
    The tether is also preferably expandable in length. Typically, the tether comprises an elastic material attached to and disposed within an elongated fabric sleeve substantially encasing the elastic material. The elastic material is shorter in length than the fabric sleeve so as to be adapted to expand to a greater length.
  • [0009]
    The loop and tether fabric sleeves are preferably comprised of a soft and visually appealing fabric, such as chenille, fur, synthetic fur, silk brocade, silk, or synthetic silk.
  • [0010]
    Preferably, a segment of the fabric sleeve generally opposite the loop is devoid of elastic material. The closure means are attached to the segment in spaced apart relation. In one embodiment, the closure means comprise mating snap fasteners. In another embodiment, the closure means comprise complementary hook and loop fastener sections.
  • [0011]
    Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0012]
    The accompanying drawings illustrate the invention. In such drawings:
  • [0013]
    FIG. 1 is an environmental perspective view illustrating an object retaining device of the present invention retaining a baby bottle to a wrist of a child, in accordance with the present invention;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 2 is an environmental perspective view illustrating the object retaining device of the present invention interconnected between a highchair and a baby bottle, in accordance with the present invention;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the object retaining device of the present invention;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of area “4”, illustrating snap closure fasteners used in accordance with the present invention;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of area “5”, illustrating complementary hook and loop strip fasteners, used in accordance with the present invention;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 6-6, illustrating various component parts of a tether and loop section of the retaining device;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic view illustrating a loop and tether of the retaining device in a relaxed and non-expanded state; and
  • [0020]
    FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic view similar to FIG. 7, illustrating the loop and tether of the device in expanded and extended positions, in accordance with the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0021]
    As shown in the accompanying drawings, for purposes of illustration, the present invention resides in an object retaining device, generally referred to by the reference number 10. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, and as will be more fully described herein, the object retaining device 10 selectively and releasably interconnects objects. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the device 10 is particularly adapted for holding a baby bottle, sippy cup, child's toy, or the like and tethering the object 12 to a child, and more particularly a child's wrist 16, or another object in close proximity to the child, such as the illustrated highchair. Of course, the device 10 could removably and selectively tether the object 12 to other objects, such as a stroller, car seat, etc. In any event, the device 10 of the present invention keeps the baby bottle or other object 12 in close proximity to the child 14 so that the child can retrieve the object 12 and not lose it or have it come into contact with the ground.
  • [0022]
    With reference now to FIG. 3, the device 10 is generally comprised of an expandable loop portion 20. An elongated tether 22 has a first end 24 thereof attached to and extending from the loop 20. A second end thereof 26 can be formed into a loop, as illustrated, by the use of closure means 28 associated with the second end 26 of the tether 22.
  • [0023]
    As illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, the closure means 28 typically comprise mating snap fasteners 30 and 32, one of the snap fasteners 30 being disposed adjacent to a free end of the tether 22, and the other snap fastener 32 being spaced apart from the first snap fastener 30, such that a loop 26 can be formed. As illustrated in FIG. 5, however, other fasteners, such as the illustrated complementary hook and loop fastener sections 34 and 36, can be used to selectively and removably create the second, typically smaller, loop 26.
  • [0024]
    As mentioned above, this second loop 26 is sized so as to fit around a child's wrist, or other nearby object. The loop 26 should be of such a dimension so as to fit around the child's wrist 16 comfortably, but without being easily removed. In the event the child drops or attempts to throw the bottle or sippy cup 12, it will dangle from the tether 22 and the child's wrist 16, as illustrated in FIG. 1. A benefit of the snap closure fasteners 30 and 32 is that the child cannot easily pull the tether 22 and remove its connection to the child's wrist, or other object, as can happen with hook and loop tape closures 34 and 36. In the event the child intentionally or accidentally drops the bottle 12, or other object, in most circumstances the bottle 12 will not come into contact with the ground and will be within reach of the child as it will fall no farther than the length of the tether 22.
  • [0025]
    With reference now to FIGS. 6-8, the loop 20, in a particularly preferred embodiment, is comprised of an elastic material 38 which is attached to and disposed within a fabric sleeve 40 substantially encasing the elastic material. The elastic material 38 is shorter in length than the fabric sleeve 40 so as to expand to a greater length such that the loop 20 is adapted to hold objects of varying diameters.
  • [0026]
    In the construction of a particularly preferred retaining device 10, a strip of fabric 40 which is wider and longer than the elastic material 38 is used. For example, the strip of fabric material 40 may be approximately four inches in width and twelve inches in length. An elastic strip of material 38 is approximately two inches in width and eight inches in length. The elastic material 38 is stretched to twelve inches, and sewn or otherwise affixed to the fabric material 40. The fabric material is then folded over and closed, by sewing or otherwise, so as to create the fabric sleeve substantially encasing and surrounding the elastic material 38. Of course, the elastic material 38, which has been stretched to twelve inches in length, contracts back to its original eight-inch length, causing the fabric 40 which is attached thereto to also constrict and bunch up. The ends of the elastic and fabric material 38 and 40 are sewn together to create the loop of the desired width.
  • [0027]
    As the loop 20 is placed over an object, the loop 20 can expand somewhat so as to accommodate objects of varying diameters, yet still be fairly tightly fit around the object 12. With the dimensions provided above, objects having diameters between approximately two inches and four inches could fit within and be held by the loop 20. It has been found that such a range accommodates a large number of bottles and sippy cups. Of course, if objects of a smaller diameter were to be retained by the loop 20, then the initial length of the elastic and fabric material 38 and 40 would be shorter, and conversely longer if objects of a larger diameter were to be retained by the loop 20.
  • [0028]
    A gripping material 42 is attached to an inwardly facing surface of the loop 20. This lining 42 is comprised of a material which has gripping or friction characteristics so as to securely hold the object 12 to be retained by the loop 20. Typically, the gripping material comprises a rubber or synthetic rubber material. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the gripping material comprises a strip of rubber matte material which is sewn or otherwise affixed to the inwardly facing surface of the fabric sleeve 40. Such rubber matte material is typically used for lining shelves and drawers. It consists of a mesh fabric having rubber or synthetic rubber material adhered thereon.
  • [0029]
    A strip of the rubber matte material which is equal to or less than the width of the loop 20 is typically sewn onto the surface of the fabric sleeve 40, which will comprise the inwardly facing surface of the loop 20. With the example and dimensions provided above, the strip of rubber matte material is typically ten to twelve inches in length and which constricts and bunches up when the elastic strip 38 returns to its natural length, yet it is capable of being stretched to the necessary diameter of the loop 20 as it is placed over various objects.
  • [0030]
    With continuing reference to FIGS. 6-8, the tether 22 is preferably expandable somewhat in length as well. The tether comprises an elastic material 44 attached to and disposed within an elongated fabric sleeve 46. In accordance with a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, a length of fabric, such as nineteen inches, is used. An elastic strip which is shorter than the fabric, such as eight inches in length, is stretched to a longer length, such as eleven inches. In its stretched state, the elastic strip of material 44 is attached to the fabric material 46. The fabric material 46 is folded over so as to create a sleeve substantially encasing the elastic strip of material 44. When released, the elastic 44 contracts into its natural state, causing the fabric sleeve 46 to bunch up and constrict in length. However, when an object is placed within loop 20 and allowed to dangle and pull the tether 22, the elastic material 44 stretches, also lengthening the fabric sleeve 46, as illustrated in FIG. 8. Such an arrangement allows the device 10 to be connected to an object somewhat close to the child, such as a stroller, highchair, car seat, etc. and yet the child can extend and expand the tether 22 so as to bring the bottle, sippy cup, or other object 12 close to the child 14.
  • [0031]
    Although the tether 22 should be sufficiently long so as to enable the bottle or sippy cup 12 to be brought to the child's mouth when the device 10 is attached to a nearby object, for safety purposes, the length of the tether 22 is preferably minimized. For example, with a nineteen inch length of fabric, the maximum diameter circle which could be formed by the tether 22 alone would only be six inches. Of course, the free end 26 of the tether 22 is typically formed into a loop, as illustrated in FIGS. 3, 7 and 8, thus effectively shortening the tether 22 and the diameter of the circle which it could form, rendering it safe for children.
  • [0032]
    FIGS. 7 and 8 not only illustrate the extension in length of the tether 22, but also diagrammatically illustrate the expansion of the loop 20, so as to accommodate objects of different diameter.
  • [0033]
    With continuing reference to FIGS. 7 and 8, in a particularly preferred embodiment, a segment 48 towards the free end 26 of the tether 26 is devoid of elastic material. The closure means are attached to this segment 48, in spaced apart relation. Typically, as described above, a closure fastener is adjacent to the free end of the tether 22. The mating or complementary fastener is spaced apart from the fastener at the free end so that a loop 26 can be formed at the free end of the tether 22. This loop 26 is sized and configured so as to comfortably fit around a child's wrist, but yet not be able to be easily removed over the open hand or clenched fist of the child. For example, if the distal eight inches of the fabric sleeve 46 is devoid of elastic material, a loop 26 approximately two and a half inches in diameter, which is sufficiently large so as to wrap comfortably around the child's wrist, but not be easily pulled over the child's hand. Although the distal segment 48 could have elastic material therein, it might enable the child to expand the loop 26 and pull the device 10 off of his or her wrist.
  • [0034]
    It will be appreciated that the fabric sleeves 40 and 46 can be comprised of a wide variety of fabric materials to suit the aesthetic needs and wants of the parent. Accordingly, the fabric sleeves 40 and 46 can be comprised of materials which would match the children's clothing, be comfortable to the skin of the child, etc. Such a fabric sleeve material could be comprised of chenille, fur, synthetic fur, silk brocade, silk, or synthetic silk which are all aesthetically pleasing and soft and comfortable to the skin.
  • [0035]
    Although several embodiments have been described in some detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited, except as by the appended claims.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7661636 *Sep 26, 2008Feb 16, 2010Julie BurkeCombined bottle holder and activity center apparatus for infant
US20060289713 *Jun 27, 2006Dec 28, 2006Joel KaplanCup tether
US20070289929 *Jun 16, 2006Dec 20, 2007Laurie Heather RogersHanging foldable apparatus for scarves, ties, bandannas and the like, belts, leg coverings, suspenders, and other types of articles
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US20090152410 *Dec 18, 2007Jun 18, 2009Michele TomicoHolding Device for Bottles
US20090227381 *Mar 4, 2008Sep 10, 2009Snavely Ii Paul RaymondTether for game controller
US20110290835 *May 25, 2010Dec 1, 2011Nicole BartetInfant Grip
US20160192765 *Jan 7, 2016Jul 7, 2016Shad PeaseBeverage Container Support Assembly
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Classifications
U.S. Classification248/104, D24/199
International ClassificationA47D15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61J9/06
European ClassificationA61J9/06