Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 182)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on September 8, 2010

U.S. Pat. No. 5,076,029:  Helium-filled shades.

JW Note:  Thanks to Dave Purdue at Purdue Law Offices in Toledo, Ohio for bringing this TIW? to our attention.

Having fully described and disclosed the instant invention and alternately preferred embodiments thereof in such clear and concise terms as to enable those skilled in the art to understand and practice the same, the invention claimed is:

1. A body-carried sun shade for protecting a person comprising:
     a) an inflatable canopy including
          i) a first sheet of flexible material having a plurality of edges, said sheet having a predetermined width
          ii) a second sheet of flexible material having a plurality of edges secured to said edges of said first sheet and having a width approximately equal to the width of said first sheet, with a portion of said second sheet being spaced from said first sheet to define an enclosed hollow area, and
          iii) a fill valve communicating with said hollow area for filling said hollow area with helium; said valve controls the flow of helium into and out of said hollow area; and
     b) a plurality of flexible connectors secured to said canopy for suspending said canopy over the head of said person and attaching said canopy to the body of said person such that said canopy is movable with said person.

2. A sun shade according to claim 1, further comprising a seam formed along the edges of said first and second sheets, portions of said sheet being extended to form tabs, each of said tabs having an eyelet for receiving the end of a flexible connector.

3. A sun shade according to claim 2, wherein each of said connectors comprises a cable having a first end received in one of said eyelets and a second end received in an adjacent eyelet, the portion of said cable between said first and second ends forming a U-shaped harness for fitting under the person’s underarm.

4. A sun shade according to claim 1, wherein said flexible material comprises a polyester film.

5. A sun shade according to claim 1, wherein said first and second sheets are crimped together at regular intervals to define a plurality of fluidly communicating cells.

6. A sun shade according to claim 5, wherein said plurality of fluidly communicating cells comprise a plurality of concentric annular cells.

7. A sun shade according to claim 6, wherein the outer diameter of the outermost of said concentric annular cells is slightly greater than the distance from the outer end of a person’s shoulder to the outer end of the person’s other shoulder.

8. A sun shade according to claim 1, wherein the width of each said sheets is slightly greater than the distance from the outer end of a person’s shoulder to the outer end of the person’s other shoulder.

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