Patent application title: Rotatable Earring Post
Derrick Bailey (Emeryville, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA44C700FI
Class name: Jewelry having direct body attachment
Publication date: 2012-04-26
Patent application number: 20120096897
An earring fastening post that allows for the attachment of an ornamental
or decorative portion without need of an earring back or fastener. The
device comprises of a rotating earring post attached that can be utilized
with any ornamental or decorative earring. The post has two outer post
members pivotably attached to a center securing member. The center
securing member rotates and locks perpendicularly to the outer post
members, securing a user's ear lobe between the ornamental earring and
the securing member.
1) A unitary, securable earring post comprising: a post assembly secured
to an ornamental front portion; said post assembly having a center
securing member pivotably attached between two outer post members; and
said center securing member rotatable from a stowed position, parallel to
said outer post member into a securing position, perpendicular to said
outer post members to sandwich a user's earlobe between said securing
member and said ornamental front portion.
2) A device as in claim 1, wherein said center securing member is lockable in said securing position, preventing ease of rotation from said securing position.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/406,621 filed on Oct. 26, 2010 entitled "Earring Post."
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates earring posts and attachments thereof to a human ear. More specifically, the present invention pertains to a more efficient and practical device for the attachment of earrings to a practitioner's ear via the use of a rotating backing member.
 Traditionally, many cultures use earrings to adorn pierced ears. Typically, the basic pierced earring includes a decorative front portion secured to a thin post which passes through a small opening in the earlobe and then into a clasping device along the back surface of the ear lobe. Thus, the front portion and the backing member are parallel and are perpendicular to the earring post, providing securement of the earring post to the user's earlobe and preventing disengagement therefrom.
 Another method of securing an earring includes an earring post. Earring posts for pierced ears have been in use for many years. Such posts typically include a wire shank portion, extending through an ear lobe and projecting outwardly from the backside of the ear. A complementary fastener that claps the post on the backside of the ear holds the earring in place against the front of the ear while clasping the post on the backside of the ear. A common drawback to such two-piece mountings is the misplacement or loss of the fastener used to engage the post.
 In order to eliminate the need for separate post fasteners, earring posts are designed with various bends and loops for hooking and holding an earring in place without the aid of a separate clasp or fastener. Although these one-piece posts function satisfactorily in general, they are typically difficult to insert through the ear lobe, and provide no backing structure to secure the earring to the user's earlobe.
 Moreover, such earring posts without clasps do not always function properly when there are relatively heavy ornaments attached to the posts. In these situations, heavy earring ornaments tend to distort the ear lobes and cause the earring posts to shift and twist under the weight of the earring. In some cases, posts can actually disengage the ear, resulting in a loss of an earring. Replacing the jewelry can be an expensive endeavor. Many individuals own incomplete sets of earrings because of missing earring backs that dislodged during use. Accordingly, a need exists for a unitary or one-piece earring post, which easily attaches and secures to a user's ear without risk of loss of the earring back or the earring itself.
Description of the Prior Art
 Several issued U.S. patents and published applications address earring backing and devices for securing an earring to an individual's ear. These prior art have several known drawbacks and fail to address the fundamental issues of the present invention, namely a single piece, minimal, comfortable earring attachment assembly.
 Several publications and patents present solutions to earring attachment that require multiple parts. Kent U.S. Patent Publication No. 2009/0019891 is directed to an earring backing that retains the earring front piece with an upward tilt. A contact plate resides in contact with the back of the earlobe and couples to a support structure that defines a channel for an earring post. While the Kent invention works to secure an earring with an upward tilt effectively, it does so with the use of multiple pieces and does not address the issue of having a single attachment assembly for an earring as the present invention does.
 Similarly, Biagi U.S. Pat. No. 5,893,277 is directed to an earring assembly that is comfortable to wear even while sleeping and is easily manipulated when desired to change the decorative portion of the earring. A snap-fit back portion has a front tube portion into which an earring post is insertable, a notch in the tube positioned to engage a corresponding notch in the tube portion. A flat disc is affixed to the back end of the tube that retains the back end of the back portion against entering the earlobe hole. While the Biagi invention allows for a custom fit earring securement, it fails to address the need for an integrated, single-piece earring post fastener.
 Further, Cheng U.S. Pat. No. 6,612,131 is directed to a post and connector assembly for an earring and pierced ear that utilizes a conventional straight post and a connector. The Cheng invention further includes a resilient surface that pushes into a groove in the post to establish a positive locking position, which surface is manually deflectable to release the lock and to facilitate both connection and removal. The Cheng invention, like the Kent and Biagi inventions, requires multiple pieces, leading to a potential for lost or missing parts.
 Corry U.S. Patent Publication No. 2011/0099777 is directed to a clasp for securing a post of an earring including a torsion spring having a receptacle, a flexible member at least partially located within the receptacle, and said flexible member including an aperture for receiving the earring post. The flexible member includes a channel on at least a portion of a periphery for receiving a torsion spring and retaining the flexible member within the receptacle. The Corry invention is a redesigned back piece of an earring and clasp assembly. Further, the invention fails to address the need for a single piece earring post to prevent loss.
 Shechter U.S. Pat. No. 5,638,700 is directed to a backless earring post formed with a pair of wire portions interconnected by a substantially full 360-degree spiral or looped portion. The pair of wire portions aligns along a common axis, which passes through or is offset above the center of an earring. If offset, the post can resist the high pull out forces of heavy ornaments and can also maintain an earring in a predetermined orientation and location on the ear. The Shechter invention works as a single piece, but does not secure the earring other than with a twist in the post. Further, the Shecter invention does not provide a definitive means of securing the earring as the present invention provides.
 Antonyan U.S. Pat. No. 7,171,826 is directed to a covering for preventing allergic reactions to earring posts. There exists an elongated member having a first end, a second end and a peripheral wall extending between the two. The elongated member also has an aperture extending into the first end such that it defines a tube. The second end is closed and has a rounded outer surface. The Antonyan invention addresses the issue of allergic reactions to earring components; it does not provide a single piece solution to prevent the loss earring components.
 The prior art patents describe alternative structures for securing an earring assembly to a user's ear. In particular, the prior art does not disclose a unitary earring structure that provides secure fitment of an earring that eliminate the risk of lost or missing earring parts. The present invention substantially diverges in structural elements from the prior art, therefore it is clear that there is a need in the art for an improvement to the existing earring backing structures. In this regard the instant invention substantially fulfills these needs.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of earring post assemblies now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new device for earring attachment wherein the same can be utilized for providing convenience for the user by providing a secure earring structure that prevents the loss of parts of earrings.
 The present invention offers a secure alternative to conventional earring backs by providing users with an earring post that utilizes the same features as a dress shirt cufflink to ensure that the earring back disengage a user's ear. The present invention prevents an earring back from sliding off the post, which often results in a lost earring or earring back. This concept is applicable to virtually any design of post-style earrings.
 The present invention has been developed to fulfill the needs noted above and therefore has as an object of providing a single piece, clasp-less earring post, which is easy to insert and attach to an ear or the like.
 Another object of the invention is the provision of a one-piece or clasp-less earring or jewelry post, which effectively secures an ornament to an ear lobe and maintains the ornament without risk of loss.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide an earring backing structure with a member that is rotatably pinned at its midpoint, allowing rotation of the member from a post-parallel configuration into a post-perpendicular configuration, thus providing a bearing surface for which to sandwich a user's ear between the member and an ornamental front portion of the earring.
 These and other objects are met by the present invention that is directed to a single piece earring post which is easy to insert and which provides a secure mounting for an earring.
 Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS
 Although the characteristic features of this invention will be particularly pointed out in the claims, the invention itself, and the manner in which it may be made and used may be better understood by referring to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
 FIG. 1 is a side view of the present invention, showing the post in the secured position.
 FIG. 2 is a perspective vertical view of the present invention, showing the post in the secured position.
 FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the present invention in use, with the post in the secured position.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a side view of the present invention, showing the post in a secured position. The device presently described includes an ornamental or decorative front portion 11 affixed to a post assembly 12. The post comprises a pair of outer post members 13 pivotably connected to a center securing member 14. A pivot point 15 allows the rotation of the securing member 14 from a stowed position into a securing position, perpendicular to the outer post members 13 in order to hold the earring in place on a user's ear.
 Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a perspective view of the present invention, showing the post assembly 12 in the secured position. The device described demonstrates an ornamental or decorative portion 11 affixed to a central post 12. The post secures the earring to the ear by pivotably rotating a center securing member 14 to be perpendicular to two outer post members 13. The center securing member 14 turns with a pivot point 15.
 Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a perspective view of the present invention in use, with the post assembly 12 in the secured position. A practitioner wears the ornamental or decorative portion 11 by pushing the post 12 through the piecing of the ear. The center securing member 14 rotates about a locking pivot point 15, which may be a pinned joint, to be positioned perpendicular to the two outer post members 13 to secure the earring in place. The pivot point 15 may be positioned anywhere along the length of the outer post members 13 in order to provide 360 degree rotation of the rotating member without interference from the ornamental front portion 11.
 In use, the present invention secures an ornamental or decorative earring in a manner similar to a cufflink device; however with an ornamental front region 11 and a post 12 suited for contact with human flesh at the piercing location. The present invention is comprised of an earring post assembly 12 that can be used with virtually any post-style decorative or ornamental earring portion 11. The post assembly 12 inserts into the ear as a traditional earring, and then a rotatable securing center member 14 rotates and locks perpendicularly with respect to the two outer post members 13 to secure the device in place. The post 12 is therefore prevented from dislodgement due to pull-through forces, which would cause the rotating member 14 to bear into the back of a user's earlobe. This eliminates the common problems associated with standard earring clasps, which can easily slide along the earring post and fall off. The pinned joint provides no such sliding action, and prevents loss in this manner.
 The use of a single post assembly 12, comprising of a pivotably rotating center securing member 14 attached to outer post members 13 via locking pivot point 15, allows the device to be secured to an ear with a single, unitary device. Thus, the user will never lack for backing portions of earrings or have to deal with the loss of an earring. Further, the small post 12 and securing center member 14 are low profile, compact and comfortable to wear. As such, they may be used in conjunction with any ornamental or decorative portion 11 that would normally be suitable for use with a post earring. Finally, the locking pivot point 15 of the center securing member 14 allows the post 12 to be used with heavier ornamental earring portions, which would normally be at risk of falling off the ear if not properly secured.
 With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.
 Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
Patent applications in class HAVING DIRECT BODY ATTACHMENT
Patent applications in all subclasses HAVING DIRECT BODY ATTACHMENT