Patent application title: Pant-leg retaining device and method of use.
Jesse Keller (Corvallis, OR, US)
Chris Golden, Jr. (Corvallis, OR, US)
IPC8 Class: AA41F1702FI
Class name: Buckles, buttons, clasps, etc. trouser guards, clips, straps (e.g., above shoetops)
Publication date: 2009-10-22
Patent application number: 20090260193
A preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a pant-leg
retaining device that requires no structural modification to the garment
or to the footwear and comprises a U-shaped clip formed from an
elastically resilient material, a portion of which is covered with a
decorative cover. A clamping assembly attached to a front face of the
U-shaped clip adapts to selectively and releasably hold a portion of the
pant leg. A portion of the front face includes a shield member adapted to
protect an engaging edge of the front face from wear from repeated use
and, ideally, the shield piece is colored in contrasting color to the
1. A device for retaining a pant-leg relative to footwear without
requiring structural modification to the pant-leg or to the footwear, the
device comprising:a generally U-shaped clip member adapted to selectively
engage the footwear, the U-shaped clip member formed from a resilient
material and having a front face;a cover member adapted to cover at least
a portion of the U-shaped clip member including at least a portion of the
front face; anda clamping means adapted to releasably couple to the
pant-leg and the clamping means coupling to the U-shaped clamp member.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein the clamping means comprises a clamping assembly.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein the clamping means comprises:a first jaw member;a second jaw member pivotably coupled to the first jaw member and adapted to engage and interlock with the first jaw member;a locking tab adapted to pivotably and selectively engage the second jaw member whereby a closing motion locks the cooperating and second jaws and whereby an opening motion releases the second jaw from the first jaw.
4. The device of claim 1 further comprising:a shield element coupled to a portion of the front face.
5. The device of claim 1 wherein the cover further comprises:a first color.
6. The device of claim 1 further comprising:a shield element coupled to a portion of the front face;and wherein the cover further comprises a first color and the shield element comprises a second color.
7. A method of manufacturing a pant-leg retaining device comprising:providing a U-shaped clip adapted to engage a footwear without causing structural modification to the footwear;providing a cover adapted to cover at least a portion of the U-shaped clip; andproviding a clamping means adapted to retain a portion of the pant-leg without causing structural modification to the pant-leg.
8. The method of claim 7 further comprising: providing a shield element.
9. The method of claim 7 further comprising:providing a decorative cover in a first color.
10. The method of claim 7 further comprising:providing a decorative cover in a first color; andproviding a shield element in a second color.
The present invention relates generally to clips for retaining a wearer's pant or trouser legs in a desired position, and more specifically to a retaining device for preventing the rear-portion of a trouser leg from becoming entangled under the wearer's shoe when walking.
Today's fashion trends toward slacks, trouser, pants and the like, having a hem-line that extends well-beyond the normal length of the wearer's leg. And, wearing a trouser that has a leg length that is longer than the wearer's inseam, results in a trouser-leg that extends over the shoe. However, in so doing, the extended trouser leg can become entangled under the wearer's shoe or may simply drag on the ground behind the shoe. This undesirable condition results in premature wear of the lower end of the garment, causing the garment to appear frayed and worn. Also as it drags on the ground it collects debris and soaks up water, both of which are undesirable. Finally, in some instances the long-hemmed pant leg can get caught under the shoe or on other objects which hinders mobility of the wearer, and--in extreme conditions--can cause the wearer to trip and fall, resulting in injury.
In the past, attempts were made to provide devices that attach to the bottom of a pant leg and cooperate with the wearer's footwear. For example, one prior art device adapts to retain a wearer's pant or trouser legs in fixed position when riding a motorcycle. This device, described in U.S. Published Application No. 2007/0192998 by Ryder published on 23 Aug. 2007, discloses an attachment device for retaining pant legs in proper position while traveling on a motorcycle. The device includes a front attachment assembly having one or more clips and a rear or back attachment assembly having one or more clips. One clip (as FIG. 9 shows, for example) attaches to the pant leg.
However, to attach the oppositely positioned clip, the wearer's shoe or boot must be modified to accept it. FIGS. 3-4, 13-17, and 22-24 illustrate possible attaching mechanisms that couple to the wearer's boot. These attaching mechanisms require permanent modification to the wearer's boot for the clip of this reference to operate. This limits the use of this disclosed device, and there remains a need for a device that does not require either modification to the wearer's shoe or specialized footwear. Further, this disclosure teaches away from pant legs that extend beyond the wearer's shoe and solely contemplates pant legs that rest upon the shoe (when the wearer is standing--hence the raised position of the lower pant when seated on a motorcycle) or are shorter than the wearer's leg.
Other past attempts to provide a pant-leg retaining device avoid modification to the wearer's footwear. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,542,156 to Oglesby issued on 6 Aug. 1996 describes a retaining device having a central elastic strap adapted to pass under the shoe or boot of the wearer. This elastic strap requires an elevated heel on the shoe, otherwise the wearer would ruin the elastic strap from the normal use or could entangle the strap on foreign objects. Although, this strap avoids necessitating a change to the wearer's shoe, it requires modification to the wearer's pant legs. Specifically, the device includes a pair of snap fasteners that attached to the pants. Thus, this device requires modifications to the pants. This also is not desirable in every situation. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 6,701,582 to Milburn issued on 9 Mar. 2004 describes a retaining device with an elastic band and a retaining element adapted to fasten to the wear's pant leg--however, it too requires permanent modification to the pant by means of a snap fastening device whereby one mating end couples to the pant leg and the opposite mating end couples to the elastic fastener on the retaining device. Again, it is not always desirable or possible to modify the wearer's garment to retain the pant leg in position. Moreover, both of these devices do not address pant legs that extend beyond the wearer's shoe. Yet another attempt includes the device described in U.S. Published Patent Application No. 2007/0277290 by Shapiro et al. published on 6 Dec. 2007. Again, the device requires modification to the wearer's shoe.
Certain prior-art devices do not require modification to the wearer's shoe or pant leg. For example, the clippable trouser retaining strap described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,115,906 by Lavine et al. issued on 26 Sep. 1978 includes a pair of clips separated by an elastic strap member. Lavine et al. teaches clipping the opposed clips to opposite sides of one pant leg near the cuff, passing the elastic strap under the foot and inside the shoe. This device is operable only on pants that are hemmed to sit above shoe or near the shoe as longer pants could not be retained by the device in any useful manner.
The disclosure of Carter in U.S. Pat. No. 7,086,123 teaches a central chain member having clip means at opposite ends. One clip means adapts to releasably attach to the top portion of the wearer's shoe and the opposite portion releasably attaches to the hem or cuff of the wearer's pants. Carter teaches that this device prevents certain pant lengths from becoming entangled under the shoe when worn. However, it is also apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art, that longer pant legs could fold-over on themselves and still become entangled under the shoe. Additionally the length of the chain serves as a practical limit and restricts the length of pant that can be worn without becoming entangled.
Teaching away from a clip device adapted to cooperate with a shoe, the disclosure of Flowers et al. in U.S. Pat. No. 7,237,306 issued on 3 Jul. 2007 describes a U-shaped clip adapted to receive a portion of a trouser leg, which allows a hem of a pants leg to be maintained and repeatedly changed without compromising the structural integrity of the garment and without requiring the use of a fastener and teaching away from attaching to a shoe. Although this device works with varying lengths of pant legs, it does not maintain the position of the pant relative to the shoe. And, thus, the Flowers device does not address preventing tangling of the pant under the shoe.
Some additional attempts to hold pant legs in fixed position to the wearer's shoe without requiring modification of the shoe or pants include the Ellington on 25 Sep. 2007, and in U.S. Published Application No. 2007/0277292 to Lambert et al. published on 6 Dec. 2007. In each of the aforementioned references, a clip design selectively engages a portion of the shoe using a combination of spring-tension caused by the shape of the clip relative to the opening of the shoe and provides a clip portion to retain the pants. However, these devices rely solely on the friction of the pant in the clip to retain the pant. Moreover, these devices do not contemplate retaining longer pant designs prevalent in today's fashion. Thus, there is a need for a device that can be used on virtually any pair of slacks worn with virtually any closed-back shoe or ankle boot. Such a device should readily couple to the pant and the shoe. Also, and perhaps more importantly, the device should further adapt to be retrofitted to existing garments so that a wearer can quickly and easily adapt their existing wardrobe. Further, there remains a need for a device that does not require the wearer to modify the trouser leg or the shoe and such a device should adapt for use when the pant leg extends beyond the sole of the shoe when normally worn. And, there remains a need for a device that enables long pant legs to be held in fixed position and prevent the bottom of the pant from becoming entangled under the shoe and such a device should not require modification of the pants or shoe.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art, specifically, the present invention--in a preferred embodiment--provides a retaining clip that adapts to releasably and selectively couple to a portion of the pant leg enabling the user to select the amount pant to be collected without degrading the integrity of the pant structure and hold the pant in fixed position relative to the wearer's shoe to prevent longer pants of the current fashion trend from becoming entangled under the shoe. Further, the present invention includes a clip structure that releasably and selectively attaches to the wearer's shoe without requiring modification to the shoe. Finally, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention provides a suitable surface for adorning the device with logos or other markings to render the device fashionably appealing.
In one preferred embodiment the present invention consists of a pant-leg clip device having an internal clip member forming an elongated U-shape and fabricated from a suitable resilient material such as spring steel. The internal clip member is surrounded on all sides by a decorative coating or cover member of a suitable pliable material including leather, rubber, paint, and the like. A bottom edge of the clip member includes a shield-piece adapted to protect the lead edge of the clip and prevent wear-and-tear on the cover at the point where the device would be inserted in a shoe. The device further includes a clamping assembly couples to a front face of the clip member. The clamping assembly includes a locking mechanism adapted to releasably manipulate a jaw-type clamp member consisting of a bottom jaw clamp piece and a corresponding top jaw clamp piece. The two clamp pieces cooperate to releasably clamp to the fabric of a pant or trouser. The cover can further include a logo or design, for example the cover could comprise contrasting colors of a sports team and the front face could further be adorned with the team logo.
A preferred method of use of the present invention includes engaging the top of a shoe by inserting the rim of the shoe into the recess of the U-shaped clip member, gathering a portion of the long-hemmed pant legs and clipping the portion in the jaws of the clamp member, thus selectively coupling the pants to the clip device without altering the pants or shoe.
FIG. 1 is a front view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Possible preferred embodiments will now be described with reference to the drawings and those skilled in the art will understand that alternative configurations and combinations of components may be substituted without subtracting from the invention. Also, in some figures certain components are omitted to more clearly illustrate the invention.
A first preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a device for retaining a pant-leg relative to footwear without requiring structural modification to the pant-leg or to the footwear. The pant-leg of the garment requires no modification for use and, accordingly, the device adapts for use with any pair of pants, trousers, slacks, jeans, and the like. Similarly, the device requires no modification to be made to the footwear and is particularly well-suited for use with shoes having a back, sneakers, dress-shoes, hi-top sneaker, basketball shoes, mid-rise boots and the like.
In this preferred embodiment, as FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate, the device 10 comprises a generally U-shaped clip member 12 adapted to selectively engage the footwear. The U-shaped clip member consists of a spring steel, molded plastic, or other similar elastic or semi-elastic material that resiliently deforms and returns to shape. Some examples of a suitable U-shaped clip include a cell-phone retaining clip that is readily available and known by cell-phone users. The U-shaped member has a front face 20.
A cover member 14, such as a decorative cover made from a closed cell foam material commonly available in craft stores, other fabrics, jean-material, leather, or imitation leather, or other similar materials covers at least a portion of U-shaped clip member, but ideally the entire clip member to protect the clip from environmental degradation and to provide an aesthetically pleasing look to the device. The cover may further adapt to include a first color or to include a logo, slogan, and the like. In a preferred embodiment the cover includes an adhesive layer for adhering or gluing the cloth-like material to the U-shaped clip.
A clamping means 16 coupled to the U-shaped clamp member adapts to selectively and releasably engage a portion of the garment, specifically a portion of the pant leg that the wearer desires to be lifted and retained in fixed position relative to the shoe to prevent the extending pant leg to become entangled under the footwear.
In a preferred embodiment, the clamping means 16 consists of a clamp assembly having a first jaw member 24 adapted to engage and interlock with a pivotably mounted and cooperating second jaw member 26. A locking tab 22 adapts to pivotably and selectively engage the second jaw member so that an inward, closing motion locks the cooperating first and second jaws and so that an opposite, outward, opening motion releases the second jaw from the first jaw. A cooperating pivot element 28 enables the locking tab, first jaw, and second jaws to locate relative to each other.
In another preferred embodiment the device is further augmented with a shield element 18 coupled to a portion of the front face and, preferably, at a lower, leading edge of the U-shaped clamp member. This shield element provides additional protection to the cover and lead-edge of the clamp from repeated use on footwear. The shield also comprises a second color that, ideally, contrast with a first color of the cover. However, the contrasting color scheme is purely an aesthetic consideration and the device would work equally well if the first and second colors were the same color or not.
A preferred method of use includes attaching a portion of the pant-leg to the clamping means and inserting the U-shaped clip member over the top portion of the shoe at the rear of the shoe. In this way, the device prevents long pant-legs from dropping below the sole of the shoe and provides a large range of adjustment that can be selected the wearer.
Another preferred method includes assembling or manufacturing the device. This method comprises the steps of: Providing a U-shaped clip adapted to engage a footwear without causing structural modification to the footwear; providing a cover adapted to cover at least a portion of the U-shaped clip; and providing a clamping means adapted to retain a portion of the pant-leg without causing structural modification to the pant-leg.
Another preferred method adds the additional steps of: Providing a shield element; providing a decorative cover in a first color; and providing a shield element in a second color.
Although the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to certain embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.