Patent application title: DISPOSABLE HEADREST SHEET AND ATTACHMENT MEANS
Laura Smith (Ayden, NC, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47C3110FI
Class name: Chairs and seats detachable supplemental flexible pad or cover headrest
Publication date: 2009-02-12
Patent application number: 20090039689
The present invention relates to a disposable head rest sheet with an
attachment means suitable for attachment and removal without leaving
behind or necessitating having portions of the attachment means left on a
transportation seat. It generally comprises a disposable sheet of
material such as absorbent non woven cloth that incorporates an
attachment means suitable for attaching either to the front side or back
of the transportation seat.
17. A removable and disposable headrest sheet for attaching to the top front of a transportation seat back consisting essentially of:a) a sheet of soft pliable disposable material having an elastic band pocket; andb) an elastic band positioned through the pocket capable of attaching to the top portion of a transportation seat.
18. A headrest sheet according to claim 17 wherein at least a portion of the sheet is made of an absorbent material.
19. A headrest sheet according to claim 17 wherein at least a portion of the sheet is made of a water impermeable material.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a disposable head sheet and attachment means for use in covering the upper portion of a seat where the head contacts the seat for use in mass transportation vehicles such as in railroad cars, buses and airplanes.
2. Description of the Related Art
Commercial transportation seating is used by many people over the period of a day, week or month. It is fairly universal that these seats do not have independent head rests and that each passenger rests their head against the upper portion of the front of the seat back. Accordingly, to present a clean and sanitary surface to the passenger, a cloth or sheet is frequently removably attached to the surface such that it will engage the back of the head of the passenger sitting in the seat. Originally, these types of sheets were made of linen or fabric which could be laundered and reused. More recently, headrest sheets are made of relatively inexpensive linen or paper type material and disposed after each use.
A number of different disposable sheet materials are widely known that are used. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 3,916,447 to Thompson there is disclosed a disposable sheet comprising at least one layer of synthetic polymeric microfibers bonded to at least one other layer of cellulosic fibers. This sheet presents a clinging side as well as an absorbent side to use where the sheet can be draped over the top of the seat. In U.S. Pat. No 4,056,281 to Byrnes disclosed a disposable back seat sheet comprising a single layer of material designed to be impervious to use of hook and loop fasteners. Primarily, the sheet is made of olefin type materials or felt-like materials of moderate tensile strength. In U.S. Pat. No. 4,274,673 to Kifferstein there is disclosed a more complex sheet of material. The material is pocketed so that the disposable material comprises pillow unites and acts as both the head protector as well as having a cushioning effect. Once again the material is draped over the top of the seat which holds the device in place.
The disposable sheets have to this point been designed for installation by the transportation vehicle owner. The owner can replace the head sheet between each passenger sitting in the seat with a fresh sheet. One problem, of course, is it is never clear to the passenger if the sheet is actually a new sheet or if the sheet has been used repeatedly. This is, of course, in part because the sheets are designed to be replaced frequently by the owner, not the traveler. It is the case that the attachment means have, to this point, been designed for the convenience of the owner. Typically, the current method is to attache a Velcro hook strip permanently to the upper portion of the seat, for example, by sewing, and the corresponding loop strip on the sheet or in some cases the material itself bonds to the Velcro hook strip. Another approach for attachment has been to make the sheet long enough that it can drape over the top of the seat far enough that it says in place due to gravity and the weight distribution of the sheet on both the front and back of the seat back. This method, while effective, necessitates a much larger size sheet than necessary and where there are things like tray tables pockets or the like on the seat back, such a draping attachment means would interfere with the back mounted pockets and tables.
In U.S. Pat. No. 3,318,632 to Struble there is described a head rest cover for use with public transportation type vehicles. It describes the prior art as having fastening elements on the back of the seat and also describes button and eye fasteners as well as snap fasteners. The invention describes the use of Velcro type connections on the front of the seat where one portion is permanently attached to the seat and the other portion attached to the cloth. This particular invention uses a non woven material that is described and disposable after each use. In U.S. Pat. No. 3,804,458 there is also described a disposable headrest cover (cloth) for aircraft and train seats comprising permanent Velcro attachment. In this embodiment one side of the Velcro is "permanently attached to the rearward side of the headrest". In U.S. Pat. No. 4,206,945 there is disclosed a head sheet that is disposable, attached by Velcro means with a means for attaching to the top of the seat. Another approach is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,253,701 wherein a disposable sheet is attached to the top edge of the seat and including a use detector for indicating if the headrest sheet has been used by a passenger.
It is clear that the present state of the art is directed to the convenience of the transportation vehicle owner and not the passenger. It is also clear that the present methods of attaching and using disposable head sheets involves permanent attachments to the seat itself. It would be useful therefore if there were a disposable head sheet that could be obtained and used by the passenger, affixed without permanent attachments and relatively easy to use without interfering with the use of the transportation seat especially the back.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It has been discovered that a disposable sheet with a laterally positioned attachment means would solve the problems associated with the current state of the art. Such a disposable sheet could be purchased at the airport or bus terminal by a passenger and attached to virtually any seat without the need for a permanent attachment to the seat and disposed after use.
Accordingly, an aspect of the invention relates to a removable and disposable headrest sheet for attaching to the top front of a transportation seat back comprising: a. a sheet of soft pliable disposable material; b. a seat attachment means attached to a top portion of the sheet and laterally disposed from a left and right side of the sheet such that it is attachable to a transportation seat and completely removable from the seat to which it has been applied.
The present invention accomplishes solving the problems and disadvantages of the above disclosed headrest sheets by its novel and unobvious attachment means as well as the positioning of the attachment means of the invention.
The objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the are in view of the following description, examples of the invention and the like when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings where like numbers refer to like or equivalent parts.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1a is a perspective of an embodiment where an elastic band holds the sheet in place.
FIG. 1b is a perspective view of an embodiment wherein the attachment means is reusable ad the lateral attachment means bind together.
FIG. 1c is a perspective view of an embodiment wherein the attachment means is adhesive backed tape.
FIG. 1d is a perspective view of an embodiment wherein the attachment means is an alligator clip or a safety pin.
FIG. 2a is a perspective view of an embodiment attache to a seat back on the front of the seat back.
FIG. 2b is an embodiment wherein the attachment means attaches to the seat back on the sides of the seat back.
FIG. 2c is a perspective view of an embodiment wherein the attachment means is an elastic band.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The general description of the invention including the headrest sheet and attachment means are stated in the Brief Summary above. This detailed description defines the meaning of the terms used herein and specifically describes specific embodiments shown in the figures in order for those skilled in the art to practice the invention.
As used herein a "sheet of soft pliable disposable material" refers to those sheets of materials of fiber, usually non-woven, usually synthetic, cast or the like designed for single use. This would be as opposed to woven natural fibers such as cotton and the like which are designed to be washed and reused. These types of sheets are well know in the art and a variety of different disposable materials are described in the references sited in the background of the invention. These sheets include single layer and multi-layer sheets of fibers such as cellulosic fibers, olefin and other polymeric type fibers and the like. Normally, there would be at least one layer of the sheet comprising an absorbent material but also water impermeable layers could also be included in the sheet construction or the sheet could consist solely of a water impermeable sheet. Generally these sheets are relatively thin and are sized to fit the seat generally they would be of rectangular construction and running from about 8-10 inches on a side up to 15-20 inches on a long side. However, one skilled in the art will be able to pick sheets of appropriate size shape and thickness suitable for a headrest sheet. So, for example, round sheets, multi sided sheets and the like could also be used consistent with a disposable nature for the sheets.
As used herein "attachment means" refers to a device of attaching a disposable sheet to a transportation seat without having to permanently attach something to the seat itself such that the attachment means is self contained and removable from the seat after use. A number of specific embodiments are considered within the scope of this invention. One method is adhesive backed paper or polymer tape. This is usually covered with a removable backing covering the adhesive for removal prior to use one time. Another means for attachment would be clips, such as alligator type clips or pins such as a safety pin. In this type of attachment means, a wing much like the tape would be added as a means of using the clips or pins without having to attach the pins or clips directly to the disposable sheet. Yet another embodiment of seat attachment means would be an elastic or rubberized band that would be attached to the disposable sheet as well as a strap that clipped in back of the seat. As one element of the present invention, all the attachment means are attached to a top portion of the sheet and laterally disposed from a left and right side of the sheet. As used herein "top portion" refers to approximately the top third of the disposable sheet such that gravity holds the bottom potion in place and the portion above the attachment means does not appreciably fold down over the attachment means. The attachment means in the present invention essentially extends left and right from the disposable sheet. This can be from a side where the sheet is rectangular but where the sheet is another shape such as circular or the like it would just be on opposite sides and close to a designated top of the sheet.
The attachment means can attach to the front of the seat, the sides of the seat or in yet another embodiment the back of the seat. Where the attachment means uses the front or side of the seat, it can be by attachment means such as adhesive backed tape, clips, pins or the like. While the same means can be used to attach to the back of the seat, the attachment means can meet and join to form a loop holding the sheet in place. So, for example, the attachment means could be an elastic band or clips that lock as in the drawings. Yet another embodiment of the attachment means could have an adjustable length to adjust to different seat sizes or to attach to a choice of either the front, side or back of a transportation seat.
The attachment means can be attached to the disposable sheet by any number of methods. For example, they can be glued or sewn on either the front or back of the sheet. They also could be pressed into or be an integral part of the sheet itself. In one embodiment the sheet is folded over from the top and the elastic band or other attachment means threaded through the pocket thus formed.
In one embodiment of the invention, the attachment means is reusable and detachable from the disposable sheet. In that embodiment, the user meanly disposes of the sheet and reuses the attachment means such as in FIG. 1b discussed and described below.
Now referring to the drawings, FIG. 1a is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention wherein disposable sheet 1 has a top 2 that has been folded over in back to form pocket 3. The pocket is held in place, in this embodiment, by sewing stitches 10. Disposable sheet 1, has a left side 20 and a right side 21. In this embodiment, the attachment means consists of a single elastic loop 30 but can be considered extending laterally from the left side 20 and right side 21 and in this embodiment joined as one loop 30. In use, FIG. 1a stays on a back of a transportation sheet by its elastic pressure and the hold it puts on the back of the seat back keeping it from falling off the seat back.
In FIG. 1b there is another embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment sheet 1 is also folded over to form pocket 3 but in this embodiment the sheet is glued on itself at point 6 across the entire back of sheet 1 instead of sewn as in FIG. 1a. In this embodiment of FIG. 1b, the attachment means consists of a left lateral portion 40 and a right lateral portion 41. The two portions join together via male buckle piece 42 and female buckle piece 43 to form a non-elastic loop which holds the sheet in place on the back of the seat. The strap in this embodiment can be 1 or 2 pieces but also after use be easily removed from the sheet, reused by threading a new disposable sheet on the reusable attachment means 30 of FIG. 1b. This embodiment also shows adjustable means 45. The adjustment means 45 can be used to adjust the length of the strap for use on different size seats. While the adjustable means is displayed on a reusable attachment means. The adjustable means could easily be adapted for use on the disposable attachment means displayed in the other drawings and generally in the invention.
FIG. 1c represents a perspective view of an embodiment designed for attachment to the front of a transportation seat. Sheet 1 is a flat rectangular sheet with short attachment means 30 consisting of left tape arm 51 and right tape arm 52. There is adhesive 54 on the back side of the left tape arm 51 and right tape arm 52. In this embodiment, there is removable adhesive backing 55 which is removed prior to use and protects the adhesive 54 from coming into contact prematurely with an exposed surface. The two arms are pressed against the seat back, adhesive toward the seat and remain in place due to the adhesive effect. One skilled in the art could clearly pick the appropriate adhesives to use to stick to the woven fabrics, leather or imitation leather used in transportation seats. It will be noted in this embodiment the arms 51 and 51 are glued onto the front of the sheet 1 but could easily be sewn or glued on the back side of the sheet 1.
FIG. 1d is another perspective combining 2 embodiments for ease of viewing. In this embodiment, sheet 1 is also laterally disposed with a left arm 61 and right arm 62. Instead of adhesive on the back of the tape in this embodiment, the left arm 61 has an alligator clip and the right arm 62 is disposed with a safety pin. In use one would probably use matching attachment means, but by no means is the present invention so limited. T the arms 61 and 62 in this embodiment are sewn 70 on the sheet 1 on the front of the sheet 1.
In FIGS. 2a, 2b and 2c perspective views of embodiments of the invention are shown on the top portion of a transportation seat 80. The three figures primarily show attachment to the front of the seat 80, the side of the seat 80 and the rear of the seat 80. One skilled in the art could substitute the attachment means taught herein at the various positions in light of the teachings herein. In FIG. 2a there is shown a transportation seat 80 having a front 81 a side 82 and a back 83 portion. A disposable sheet 1 as an embodiment as in FIG. 1c is shown. The tape arms 51 and 52 are of a length sufficient to stick to the front 81 of the seat in this view. It is clear that in light of the disclosure herein the length of the tape arms and other attachment means is well within the skill of the art and can be adapted accordingly to any size transportation seat as needed and to fit on the front side or back respectively.
FIG. 2b is another embodiment on a transportation seat 80. Once again the embodiment of the invention is as in FIG. 1c. However, in this embodiment the left and right arms 51 and 52 are sufficiently long enough to extend around to the side of the seat 82 and attach there. Although adhesive could actually be along the entire length of the tape gluing both the front of the seat and the side, adhesive could be positioned just at the distal ends of the tape. The tape as in other embodiments could also be adjustable. In other embodiments not shown the alligator clips or pins could be used here as well at the distal end of the tape means but without the adhesive back.
Lastly, FIG. 2c represents where the attachment means 30 binds via the back of the seat 83. This embodiment is as in FIG. 1a where an elastic band is used. The elastic is strung through pocket 3 and around the back 83 of the seat 80. The sheet 1 hangs from the elastic band 31 and stays in place because of pressure by the elastic band 31 on the back 83 of the seat. In these figures it has been assumed that the sheet 1 is a pliable soft disposable sheet of those kind known in the art or substitutable therefore, with as necessary the modifications indicated in the specifications and drawings.
The drawings and the description herein is not intended to be limiting. Substitution of attachment means, sewing and adhesive methods, sizes, lengths, and materials are within the scope of one skilled in the art in view of the disclosure. The following claims are to be read in light of that breadth of scope.
Patent applications in class Headrest
Patent applications in all subclasses Headrest