|Publication number||USRE37155 E1|
|Application number||US 08/663,527|
|Publication date||May 1, 2001|
|Filing date||Jun 13, 1996|
|Priority date||Jan 19, 1993|
|Also published as||US5320261|
|Publication number||08663527, 663527, US RE37155 E1, US RE37155E1, US-E1-RE37155, USRE37155 E1, USRE37155E1|
|Inventors||M. Dan Andersen|
|Original Assignee||M. Dan Andersen|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (57), Non-Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (7), Classifications (13), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to the protection and restraint of neckstrap-suspended equipment, specifically to an improved method for protecting, and restraining the swinging motion of many different types of equipment such as binoculars, cameras, compasses, or wild game cells.
There are many different types of protection and restraining devices available for use with neckstrap-suspended equipment. Some were developed to keep neckstrap-suspended equipment from swinging. Others were developed to only protect the suspended equipment. And still others have been invented which protect and restrain specific types of equipment. The problem with them is that some are too complicated, others too product specific, and most do not provide adequate protection and restraint during equipment use. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,782,614 to Campisi works well for binoculars but will not work for some types of cameras or other types of equipment and requires the manufacture of a whole separate piece of clothing. U.S. Pat. No. 4,556,159 to Swain is also too product oriented in that the lens cover portion is unable to fit a wide variety of binocular sizes. In addition, this invention doesn't protect all of the lenses and the binocular body from damage. Other inventions, such as U.S. Pat. No. 4,232,808 to Gray and U.S. Pat. No. 4,865,191 to Easter, protect the neckstrap-suspended equipment but fail to restrain the equipment from swinging, a major disadvantage for use while hiking, climbing, hunting, skiing, horseback riding or any number of other sports requiring physical activity.
Accordingly, several advantages and objects of my restraining and protective device are as follows. My device is very inexpensive to manufacture, non-product specific, and can be made out of a wide variety of materials. Not only is my device extremely easy to use, but it can be used while doing many activities. My device works well with many different types of clothing, is very quiet to use, and is easily stowed away when not in use. It is lightweight, and provides neckstrap-suspended equipment protection from rain, dust, and damage due to banging. The object of my device is to provide a simple, inexpensive, and easy to use method to keep neckstrap-suspended equipment from swinging and at the same time provide adequate protection.
Further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from a consideration of the drawings and ensuing description.
FIG. 1 is a pictorial front view of my invention showing it in use to protect and restrain a pair of binoculars.
FIG. 2 is a pictorial rear view showing the side of my invention which goes against the user and the elastic action used to keep it in place on a pair of binoculars.
FIG. 3 shows a pictorial rear view of my invention and a few of the various methods used to hold it in position on the user.
tie tack hole
tie tack hole
front view of restraint
Rear view of restraint
and protection device
restraint and protection
device with binoculars
rear view of restraint
and protection device
FIG. 1 shows a front view of a basic version of my restraining and protective device 100 in use with a pair of neckstrap-suspended binoculars 80. A cover 10 consists of a single expanse of flexible material, preferably also being stretchable and water proof. However, any material having properties which produce a flexible water resistant cover could be used.
In FIG. 3 a rear view of my device 100B shows a elastomeric material 20 which is sewn directly to the outer extremities of the cover 10, fed through a casing, or otherwise attached to the outer extremities of the cover 10 to form an expandable opening. The relaxed length of the elastomeric material 20 is less than the relaxed length of the cover 10 edge. A gathering or puckering of the cover 10 edge occurs when the elastomeric material 20 is attached. The cover 10 size, and the length of the elastomeric material 20 attached to the cover 10 is of sufficient size and length to allow for the covering of approximately 98% of all neckstrap-suspended equipment surfaces not facing the user, in this case a pair of binoculars as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
Approximately 60% of the binocular surfaces shown in FIG. 2 which go against the user are not covered. Attach tabs 40A and 40B shown in FIG. 1, 2, and 3 are made of any suitable material of sufficient strength and size to accomplish a means for maintaining positional location of the device 100 and binoculars 80 on the user or user's clothing. The attach tabs 40A and 40B are sewn or otherwise attached directly to the cover, or they may be an integral part of the elastomeric material 20 enclosed in a casing along the outer extremities of the cover 10, except where the tabs 40A, 40B would protrude from the casing. FIG. 3 shows two attach tabs 40A, 40B which include different means used for maintaining positional location of the restraining and protective device 100B on the user or user's clothing. A slit 70A and 70B provides for the attachment of a stretchable strap 90 or a clip 30A and 30B which is fed through the slits 70A or 70B and held in position by a snap 90A, 30C, or 30D. Also a tie tack hole 50A and 50B is provided in each attach tab 40A or 40B to allow for the use of various tie tack type of attachment means. To one skilled in the art it is easy to see that many different means for maintaining positional location of the device 100B can be used in place of the previously described attach tabs 40A and 40B. For example, loops may be sewn in place of the attach tabs to provide for the attachment of clips 30A and 30B or a strap 90. Also the cover 10 material could be cut to such a form as to provide tabs which are part of the cover 10.
From the above description it becomes apparent how simple my restraining and protective device 100 is to use in the field. To use my device the user merely stretches the elastomeric material 20 and the cover 10 to a size sufficient to allow the positioning of the device 100 over the piece of equipment to be restrained and protected. For example, a pair of neckstrap-suspended binoculars 80 is protected and restrained from movement by first stretching the lower portion of the cover 10 and elastomeric material 20 around and over the lower portion of the suspended binoculars 80 which covers the lenses facing down. Next the upper portion of the cover 10 and elastomeric material 20 is stretched up, over, and around the upper portion of the suspended binoculars covering the lenses facing up.
Due to the elastomeric action of the cover 10 and the elastomeric material 20 attached to the cover edge, the device 100 is kept in position to cover nearly all outward facing surfaces of the binoculars 80, as is shown in FIG. 1. The only surfaces of the binoculars 80 not covered are those which go against the user and small areas near the neckstrap 60 attach points as seen in the rear view of the device 100A shown in FIG. 2. It should be noted here that the neckstrap 60 attached to the binoculars 80 is easily accommodated by the device 100A because the elastic action of the cover 10 and elastomeric material 20 simply allows the cover 10 edge to stretch over and around the attach points. After the device 100A has been positioned over the equipment, it is then held in position on the user by means of the attach tabs 40A and 40B, in combination with any of the following parts and methods as shown in FIG. 3. Tie tacks can be positioned through the tie tack holes 50A and 50B and through the user's clothing or clips 30A and 30B can fed through slits 70A and 70B and held in place by snaps 30C and 30D thus enabling the device 100 to maintain position by clipping to the user's clothing as shown in FIG. 1. A strap 90 can be fed through one of the slits 70A or 70B and held in place by the strap snap 30D, with the free end being extended around the user's body and held in position by a clip 30A or 30B on the opposite side of the device 100B. With the device thus kept in position on the user and at the same time covering the equipment, in this case a pair of binoculars, the device 100 provides protection and at the same time restricts the movement of the equipment it covers. To remove the equipment from the device 100 while the device 100 is attached to the user or user's clothing, the user needs only to lift upward on the upper edge of the cover 10 and slip the upper portion of the cover 10 up and over the top portion of the equipment. Then by lifting the neckstrap-suspended equipment out from behind the device 100, the equipment is totally freed for use.
The attachment of the device 100 to the user or user's clothing aids in preventing the loss of the device 100 and also maintains the location of the device 100 for quick placement of the device 100 over the neckstrap-suspended equipment being carried in the field.
To place the equipment being used back into the device 100 while the device 100 is still attached to the user or user's clothing, the user needs only to slide the equipment between the user and behind the device 100. Then the lower portion of the device 100 is positioned over the lower portion of the equipment and the upper portion of the device 100 is positioned over the upper portion of the equipment, providing protection and restraint as is shown in FIG. 1.
My device is very simple to use and yet very adequate for providing protection and restraining the swinging motion of equipment. It is also quiet and quick to use when at a moment's notice the equipment is needed for use. An added benefit of my device 100 is its ability to camouflage. Often neckstrap-suspended equipment swings freely during use and exposes shiny surfaces which create reflected flashes of light. These reflections often brighten wildlife being hunted or photographed.
The reader can see that my device 100 is highly versatile, lightweight, and easy to use. My device 100 is surprising in its simplicity and the synergistic results achieved while it protects, restrains, and camouflages neckstrap-suspended equipment. For example, as the equipment tries to swing due to the activities of the user, the attachment means, while being attached to the user or user's clothing, actually causes the cover to become more secure on the equipment. This action in turn aids in the restraining action of the device 100.
While the above description contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of one preferred embodiment thereof. Many other variations are possible. For example, my restraining and protective device could be made in one piece by forming or molding elastomeric, stretchable, waterproof materials into a one piece stretchable cover with attaching means built in. Accordingly, the scope of my invention should be determined not only by the embodiment described and illustrated. but also by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|U.S. Classification||224/194, 224/676, 224/666, 224/269, 224/909|
|International Classification||A45F5/00, A45C11/08|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S224/909, A45F2005/006, A45F5/00, A45C11/08|
|European Classification||A45C11/08, A45F5/00|
|Dec 10, 2001||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Sep 8, 2005||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12