Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 83)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on January 22, 2008

U.S. Pat. No. 5,413,328: Body supported sports target and method.

 hattarget 

Abstract: 

To entertain fans at sporting events, such as baseball, basketball backboards, palm trees, hockey and soccer goals are provided as targets for fans to participate by tossing objects at the target. Targets are strapped to a person moving through the stands. In one configuration the target is attached to a backpack and raised over the head using a telescoping mechanism attached between the target and the backpack worn by the operator. In another configuration the target is attached to a helmet worn by the person working the crowd. Both the helmet and backpack arrangement use mounting brackets for attachment of the target members. To telescope the target overhead from the backpack, concentric tubes are extended from within each other using a pulley and cable system controlled by the operator.

What is claimed is:

1. A body supported sports target comprising:

a target member having an image affixed to a surface of the target member, the member having a perimeter dimensioned to form a silhouette of the image;

a container affixed to the target member, the container having an open portion for receiving an object tossed at the target member and a closed portion for holding the object;

a multiplicity of concentric generally tubular members each having distal ends and proximal ends, the members having an innermost tubular member and an outermost tubular member, the innermost tubular member distal end affixed to the target member;

means affixed to the tubular members for telescoping the concentric tubular members from a first position wherein the tubular member distal ends are proximate each other to a second position wherein the distal ends are separated by a distance sufficient to extend the target member a predetermined distance above a head of a person operating the target; and

means for affixing the outermost tubular member to the person operating the target.

2. The target as recited in claim 1, further comprising:

a foldable bracket having a top portion rotatably affixed by a spring hinge to a bottom portion, the top portion affixed to the target member, the bottom portion affixed to the innermost tubular member distal end, the spring hinge biasing an end of the top portion against an end of the bottom portion for holding the portions in a first position within a single plane; and

a hook member affixed to the top portion of the bracket for removably affixing the top portion to an intermediate tubular member in a second position parallel to the bottom portion, the intermediate tubular member biasing the top portion in a second plane parallel to the top portion when the distal ends are proximate each other and releasing the top portion as the concentric tubular members are telescoped and the distal ends are separated from each other.

3. The target as recited in claim 2, wherein the target member image comprises a portion of a palm tree and the perimeter is dimensioned to form a silhouette of palm fronds.

4. The target as recited in claim 3, further comprising a curtain member having a first end affixed to the bracket bottom portion and a second end affixed to the outer tubular member distal end, the curtain having an image of a palm tree trunk affixed to a surface of the curtain for viewing the target member and curtain in combination as a palm tree image when the tubular members are telescoped to the second position.

5. The target as recited in claim 4, wherein the container comprises a burlap woven mesh forming the container closed portion for receiving and holding an object formed in the image of a coconut tossed at the target by another person.

6. The target as recited in claim 2, wherein the multiplicity of concentric hollow generally tubular members comprise a multiplicity of pairs of the tubular members wherein the pairs are positioned in parallel for cooperating with each other.

7. The target as recited in claim 2, wherein the target member image comprises:

a baseball catcher in a squatting position;

the perimeter dimensioned in a silhouette of the catcher; and

the container closed portion forming a catcher’s mitt having finger and webbing portions making up the mitt for receiving and holding the object formed as a baseball.

8. The target as recited in claim 2, wherein the target member image comprises a circular backstop having an aperture within the center of the backstop for forming the image as an automobile tire and the container open portion communication with the aperture for receiving the object through the aperture and holding the object within the closed portion of the container, the closed portion formed from a loose netting material.

9. The target as recited in claim 2, wherein the target member comprises a pair of elongated vertical members separated by an elongated cross bar thereby forming the frame in an image of a hockey goal, the container having an edge member formed in front of the goal for representing a goal crease to a person tossing the object at the target.

10. The target as recited in claim 9, further comprising a light affixed to a top center portion of the goal, the light turned on by the person operating the target when the object tossed at the target enters the container thereby representing a successful toss.

11. The target as recited in claim 9, further comprising a barrier rotatably mounted on the edge member, the barrier dimensioned in an image of a hockey goalie, the barrier rotated by an object hitting the barrier, the object formed in the image of a hockey puck.

12. The target as recited in claim 2, wherein the target member comprises a pair of elongated vertical members separated by an elongated cross bar thereby forming the frame in an image of a soccer goal, the container rotatably affixed to goal lower members for folding into a closed position with the bracket top portion biased in the second plane.

13. The target as recited in claim 2, wherein the target member comprises a rectangular frame formed in the image of an arena football goal post, the frame having an aperture enclosed by a net stretched partially across the aperture, the frame having a pair of vertical members forming uprights of the arena goal post, the vertical members affixed within the frame, the vertical members forming a center aperture with horizontal frame members, the center aperture having a net portion loosely filling the remaining portion of the aperture, and the container having a net forming the closed portion.

14. The target as recited in claim 1, wherein the affixing means comprises a back pack assembly dimensioned to be strapped to the back of a person operating the target, the back pack having attachment means for affixing the backpack to the pair of outer tubular members.

15. The target as recited in claim 1, wherein the multiplicity of concentric hollow tubular members comprises a hollow tubular central member dimensioned to slidably fit within the outermost member, the central member having a bore dimensioned to receive the innermost member.

16. The target as recited in claim 15, wherein the telescoping means comprises:

a first pulley rotatably affixed to the outermost member distal end, the first pulley dimensioned to receive and direct a cable passing from within the outermost member to a position proximate a person operating the target;

a first cable having first and second ends, the cable first end affixed within the outermost member to the center member at the center member proximal end and extending from the proximal end through the first pulley to a position proximate a person operating the target, the position convenient for the person to hold a loop affixed within a cable second end for pulling the cable and causing the center member to telescope out of the outer member;

a second pulley rotatably affixed to the center member distal end, the second pulley dimensioned to receive and direct a cable passing from within the center member to a position proximate the outer member distal end; and

a second cable having first and second ends, the cable first end affixed within the center member to the innermost member proximal end, the second cable extending from the innermost member proximal end through the second pulley to a position wherein the cable second end is affixed to the outermost tubular member distal end for causing the center member to telescope the innermost member out of the center member when the center member is telescoping out of the outermost member from the action of the person pulling on the first cable second end.

17. The target as recited in claim 1, wherein the container further comprises a rim, the rim having an aperture dimensioned for receiving the object and the closed portion formed from a netting material, the netting material dimensioned for holding the object.

18. A game using a body supported target in combination with an object for tossing the object at the target, the game comprising:

a target member having an image affixed to a surface of the target member, the member having a perimeter dimensioned to form a silhouette of the image;

a container affixed to the target member, the container having an opening for receiving an object tossed at the target member and a closed portion for holding the object therein;

means for removably affixing the target member to a person operating the target, the affixing means positioning the target member above a head of the person operating the target for receiving an object tossed at the target; and

an object dimensioned to be received by the target member and held by the container, the object shaped in an image for cooperating with the image of the target member.

19. The game as recited in claim 18 wherein the target member image comprises a palm tree and the object an image of a coconut.

20. The game as recited in claim 18, wherein the target member image comprises a baseball catcher in a squatting position and the object an image of a baseball.

21. The game as recited in claim 20 wherein the container is dimensioned to form a catcher’s mitt having fingers and webbing forming the container closed portion.

22. The game as recited in claim 18 wherein the target member image comprises an automobile tire.

23. The game as recited in claim 18 wherein the affixing means comprises a helmet having a bracket, the bracket affixing the helmet to the target member.

24. A method for placing a target in a position to receive an object tossed at the target by another person, the method comprising the steps of:

providing a target member having a perimeter and a surface defined by the perimeter;

affixing an image the surface of the target member;

dimensioning the perimeter to form a silhouette of the image;

affixing a container to the target member, the container having an open portion for receiving an object tossed at the target member and a closed portion for holding the object;

placing a multiplicity of concentric hollow generally tubular members each having distal ends and proximal ends within each other, the members having an innermost tubular member and an outermost tubular member;

affixing the innermost tubular member distal end to the target member;

affixing the outermost tubular member to a person operating the target for positioning the target member proximate the person’s head;

providing means affixed to the tubular members for telescoping the concentric tubular members from a first position proximate the person’s head wherein the tubular member distal ends are proximate each other to a second position wherein the distal ends are separated by a distance sufficient to extend the target member a predetermined distance above the head of the person operating the target;

raising the target member above the person’s head;

tossing the object at the target member; and

receiving the object and holding the object in the container closed portion.

25. The method as recited in claim 24, further comprising the steps of:

providing a foldable bracket having a top portion rotatably affixed by a spring hinge to a bottom portion, the spring hinge biasing an end of the top portion against an end of the bottom portion for holding the portions in a first position within a single plane;

affixing the bracket top portion to the target member;

affixing the bracket bottom portion to the innermost tubular member distal end;

providing a hook member;

affixing the hook member to the top portion of the bracket;

folding the target member for storing the member away from the face of the person by hooking the top portion to a portion of an intermediate tubular member for placing the target member in a second position parallel to the bottom portion, the intermediate tubular member biasing the top portion in a second plane parallel to the top portion when the distal ends are proximate each other and releasing the top portion as the concentric tubular members are telescoped and the distal ends are separated from each other; and

partially telescoping the tubular members for unhooking the top portion from the intermediate tubular member thereby causing the spring hinge to position the target member in the first position for further lifting the target member above the head of the person.

26. The method as recited in claim 25, wherein the target member comprises a pair of elongated vertical members separated by an elongated cross bar thereby forming the frame in an image of a hockey goal, the container having an edge member formed in front of the goal for representing a goal crease to a person tossing the object at the target.

27. The method as recited in claim 26, further comprising the steps of:

affixing a light to a top portion of the goal; and

turning on the light in response to the object tossed at the target coming to rest in the container.

28. The method as recited in claim 26, further comprising the step of affixing a barrier rotatably mounted on the edge member, the barrier dimensioned in an image of a hockey goalie, the barrier rotated by an object hitting the barrier.

29. The method as recited in claim 25, wherein the target member comprises a pair of elongated vertical members separated by an elongated cross bar thereby forming the frame in an image of a soccer goal, and the container is rotatable affixed to goal lower members for folding into a closed position when the bracket top portion biased in the second plane.

30. The target as recited in claim 25, wherein the target member comprises a rectangular frame formed in the image of an arena football goal post, the frame having an aperture enclosed by a net stretched partially across the aperture, the frame having a pair of vertical members forming uprights of the arena goal post, the vertical members affixed within the frame, the vertical members forming a center aperture with horizontal frame members, the center aperture having a net portion loosely filling the remaining portion of the aperture, and the container having a net forming the closed portion.

31. The method as recited in claim 24, wherein the image placing step further comprises the step of placing an image of a palm tree palm fronds portion on the target member surface and the perimeter dimensioning step comprises dimensioning the target member into a silhouette of a palm tree top portion having palm fronds.

32. The method as recited in claim 31, further comprising the steps of:

providing a curtain member expandable from a folded position to an extended position, the curtain member having first and second ends;

affixing an image of a palm tree trunk onto a surface of the curtain member;

affixing the curtain first end to the bracket bottom portion; and

affixing the curtain second end to the outermost tubular member thereby causing the curtain member to extend to the extended position from the action of telescoping the tubular members from the first position to the second position.

33. The method as recited in claim 24, wherein the image placing step further comprises the step of placing an image of a baseball catcher in a squatting position, the perimeter dimensioning step comprises the step of dimensioning the target member into a silhouette on the catcher, and the container affixing step further comprises the step of forming the container from a baseball catcher’s mitt, the mitt having fingers and webbing for forming the closed portion of the container.

34. The method as recited in claim 24, wherein the image placing step comprises the step of placing an image of an automobile tire onto the target member, the dimensioning step comprises the step of dimensioning the target member into a silhouette of an automobile tire, forming an aperture in a center of the target member for communicating with the container open portion, and the step of affixing the container further comprising the step of affixing the container open portion for communicating with the aperture for receiving the object through the aperture and holding the object within the closed portion of the container.

35. The method as recited in claim 24, wherein the step of affixing the outermost tubular member to the person further comprises the steps of:

providing a back pack assembly having straps adapted to be worn on the back of the person operating the target;

affixing the outermost tubular member to the assembly; and

strapping the assembly to the person operating the target.

36. The method as recited in claim 24, wherein the multiplicity of tubular members is a multiplicity of pairs of tubular members, each of the pairs positioned parallel to each other for cooperating with each other.

37. A game using a body supported target in combination with an object for tossing the object at the target, the game comprising:

a target member having a pair of elongated vertical members and an elongated horizontal member affixed therebetween, the members having a perimeter dimensioned to form the target member in an image of a sports goal;

a container affixed to the target member, the container having an opening for receiving an object tossed at the target member and a closed portion for holding the object therein;

means for removably affixing the target member to a person operating the target; and

an object dimensioned to be received by the target member and held by the container, the object shaped in an image for cooperating with the image of the target member.

38. The game as recited in claim 37 wherein the target member comprises the elongated members forming an image of a hockey goal, the container further having an edge member formed in a front portion of the goal for representing a goal crease to a person tossing the object at the target, and wherein the object is dimensioned as a hockey puck.

39. The game as recited in claim 37, wherein the target member comprises the elongated member forming an image of a soccer goal, and wherein the object is dimensioned in an image of a soccer ball.

40. The game as recited in claim 37, wherein the target member comprises the elongated member dimensioned to a rectangular frame formed in the image of an arena football goal post, the frame having an aperture enclosed by a net stretched partially across the aperture, the frame further having a pair of linear vertical members forming uprights of the arena goal post, the linear vertical members affixed within the frame, the inner vertical members forming a center aperture with the horizontal members, the center aperture having a net portion loosely filling a portion of the aperture, and wherein the object is dimensioned into an image of a football.

41. The game as recited in claim 37 wherein the affixing means comprises:

a backpack assembly dimensioned to be strapped to the back of a person operating the target, the backpack having attachment means for affixing the backpack to a tubular member;

a multiplicity of concentric generally tubular members each having distal ends and proximal ends, the members having an innermost tubular member, a center tubular member, and an outermost tubular member, the outermost tubular member affixed to the backpack assembly;

a foldable bracket having a top portion rotatably affixed by a spring hinge to a bottom portion, the top portion affixed to the target member, the bottom portion affixed to the innermost tubular member distal end, the spring hinge biasing an end of the top portion against an end of the bottom portion for holding the portions in a first position within a single plane;

a hook member affixed to the top portion of the bracket for removably affixing the top portion to an intermediate tubular in a second position parallel to the bottom portion, the intermediate tubular member biasing the top portion to a second plane parallel to the top portion when the distal ends are proximate each other and releasing the top portion as the concentric tube members are telescoped and the distal ends are separated from each other; and

means affixed to the tubular members for telescoping the concentric tubular members from a first position wherein the tubular member distal ends are proximate each other to a second position wherein the distal ends are separated by a distance sufficient to extend the target member a predetermined distance above a head of a person operating the target.

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