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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CHIDL'S TOY WITH REMOVABLE SKIN
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/135781
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A selectively removable skin for a doll is provided. The skin may include a plush material which has at least one seam. The shape of the material may be essentially the same shape as the doll and be configured to fit snuggly on the doll so that if the doll moves, the skin does not shift on the doll. There may be an the opening which may be slectively closed by a fastener. There may also be at least one elastic portion coinciding with the neck of the doll. There may also be a locking mechanism that selectively secures the skin to the doll.

Inventors:
SMITH SHELLEY MARIE (US)
ASKELAND LEIF (US)
RODRIGUEZ EDUARDO JAVIER (US)
MADDOCKS RICHARD JOSEPH (US)
CHUNG YAE DO (US)
HOROWITZ AARON J (US)
SCHWARTZ JOEL B (US)
CHUNG HANNAH (US)
Application Number:
US2018/023039
Publication Date:
July 11, 2019
Filing Date:
March 17, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
AMERICAN FAMILY LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY OF COLUMBUS (US)
International Classes:
A63H3/02; A63H3/16; A63H3/38; A63H13/02
Foreign References:
US5983552A1999-11-16
US20030110540A12003-06-12
US4842566A1989-06-27
US5066259A1991-11-19
US20130280493A12013-10-24
US3002317A1961-10-03
US2274303A1942-02-24
US6544094B12003-04-08
US3420412A1969-01-07
Other References:
WITH OR WITHOUT FUR: "Squawkers McCaw FurReal Parrot Without Fur", YOUTUBE, 19 June 2017 (2017-06-19), XP054979667, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20180509]
DRITZ SEWING: "How to use Dritz Heavy Duty Snap Pliers", YOUTUBE, 23 May 2017 (2017-05-23), XP054979668, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20180509]
W. THIBODEAUX: "Kids with Cancer Have New Hope Thanks to the Aflac Duck (Yes, That Duck", INC.COM, 9 January 2018 (2018-01-09), XP055619633, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20180508]
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEHRER, Richard M. et al. (LLP1 Prior Cour, Palisades NY, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims:

1. A selectively removable skin for a doll, the doll having a shape, the skin

comprising:

an outer material having a shape that is substantially the same as the shape of the doll; wherein the outer material is selectively removable from the doll; the outer material having an opening, the opening having a size and at least two sides;

a fastener connected between the at least two sides, the fastener having an open position and a closed position, wherein when the fastener is positioned in the closed position the opening in the outer material is diminished in size; and, the outer material having at least one elastic portion which assists in removing the outer material from the doll.

2. The skin according to claim 1 further comprising:

a plurality of eyes coupled to the skin.

3. The skin according to claim 2 wherein:

at least one of the plurality of eyes includes

a mushroom shaped top,

a shaft; wherein the shaft includes at least one positive locking tooth; and

a tip, the tip having a cutout portion;

the skin further includes an eye plate having a top and a bottom, the top of the eye plate being secured to the skin, and the bottom of the eye plate mating with the at least one positive locking tooth of the eye.

4. The skin according to claim 1 wherein each of the at least two sides of the opening has a hole formed therein, wherein the holes are configured to line up and receive a locking mechanism therethrough when the fastener is positioned in the closed position.

5. The skin according to claim 1 wherein the outer material is a plush material.

6. The skin according to claim 1 further comprising an inner elastic material connected to the outer material; the inner elastic material having a shape that is substantially the same as the shape of the outer material.

7. The skin according to claim 6 wherein the outer material and the inner material each have edges and the inner material is connected to the outer material by the edges.

8. The skin according to claim 6 wherein the outer material includes seams and the inner material covers at least one of the seams when the skin is in an inside out configuration.

9. The skin according to claim 1 wherein the shape of the outer material is that of a duck, the duck having a head a body, and a neck attaching the head to the body.

10. The skin according to claim 9 wherein the elastic portion is on the neck.

11. The skin according to claim 1 further comprising an indicator located on the skin, which corresponds to a location of an element on the doll.

12. A selectively removable skin for a doll, the doll having a head and a body and a neck connecting the head to the body, wherein the neck is smaller than the head, the doll also having at least one input, the skin comprising:

an outer material formed from at least two pieces of smaller material connected by at least one seam; the outer material having a shape that is configured to form fit to the head, neck and body of the doll when the skin is positioned on the doll;

the outer material having an opening, the opening being framed by least two sides;

a fastener connected between the at least two sides, the fastener having an open position and a closed position, wherein when the fastener is positioned in the closed position at least a portion of the opening in the outer material is closed;

the outer material having at least one elastic portion coinciding with the neck of the doll; wherein the elastic portion includes a plurality of holes in the outer material;

a plurality of eyes coupled to the skin; and,

an indicator located on the skin in a location which corresponds to the at least one input on the doll when the skin is positioned on the doll.

13. The selectively removable skin according to claim 12 wherein the doll further includes a locking mechanism and the outer material includes at least one hole for receiving the locking mechanism.

14. The selectively removable skin according to claim 12 wherein the at least one hole is the opening and the fastener is a zipper.

15. The selectively removable skin according to claim 12 wherein the doll

includes a mouth attached to the head, and the outer material includes an elastic opening coinciding with the mouth, wherein the elastic opening is configured to fit snuggly around the mouth when the skin is positioned on the doll.

16. The selectively removable skin according to claim 12 further including a

mouth attached to the outer material, wherein the mouth is located proximal the head of the doll when the skin is positioned on the doll.

17. The selectively removable skin according to claim 12 further comprising an inner elastic material connected to the outer material; the inner elastic material having a shape that is substantially the same as the shape of the outer material.

18. The selectively removable skin according to claim 17 wherein the outer

material and the inner material each have edges and the inner material is connected to the outer material by the edges.

19. The selectively removable skin according to claim 17 wherein the inner elastic material covers the at least one seam when the skin is in an inside out configuration.

20. A selectively removable skin for a duck shaped animatronic doll, the doll having a head and a body and a neck connecting the head to the body, wherein the neck is smaller than the head, the doll also having at least one input and a bill attached to the head, the skin comprising:

A plush outer material having at least one seam; the outer material having a shape that is configured to form fit to the head, neck and body of the doll when the skin is positioned on the doll;

the outer material having an opening, the opening being framed by least two sides; a fastener connected between the at least two sides, the fastener having an open position and a closed position, wherein when the fastener is positioned in the closed position at least a portion of the opening in the outer material is closed;

the outer material having at least one elastic portion coinciding with the neck of the doll;

a plurality of eyes coupled to the skin; and,

the outer material including an elastic opening coinciding with the bill, wherein the elastic opening is configured to fit snuggly around the bill when the skin is positioned on the doll.

Description:
Child’s Toy with Removable Skin

Field of the Technology

[0001] The technology of this application relates generally to a child’s toy and more specifically but not exclusively to a selectively removable skin for use with an animatronic animal shaped toy

Background of the Technology

[0002] An animatronic toy is typically a plastic figure in the shape of an animal, person or fictional character, which has internal gears and controllers that move parts of the toy to mimic organic movements. Animatronic toys have existed since at least the mid-l980s with the introduction of toys such as Teddy Ruxpin™, a bear whose mouth and eyes moved while he read stories that were played from an audio tape cassette deck built into its back, and others.

[0003] Animatronic toys have a potential use not only for play, but also in a healthcare setting. It is well known that pet therapy can provide comfort and emotional support to people of all ages. The movement and interaction of an animatronic toy simulating an animal, can provide a similar form of therapy to those who do not otherwise have access to pet therapy.

[0004] For use in a healthcare setting, animatronic toys should provide the ability for efficient cleaning and sterilization. A disadvantage of conventional toys of this nature is that the skin/fur/scales is/are not removable, which makes cleaning difficult and ineffective. Since a healthcare environment is conducive to using such an animatronic toy with multiple users it may be advantageous for the cleaning and sterilization of the plush skin that covers the animatronic toy.

[0005] Further when used with sensitive pediatric populations, such as children diagnosed with cancer, there is a chance that the animatronic toy might come in contact with bodily fluids. Thus, another reason why a plush skin that can be rapidly removed and cleaned may be advantageous over existing toys that do not have removable skins.

[0006] Children undergoing chemotherapy may be subject to isolation after certain procedures. For instance, a child may spend up to 100 days in isolation after a bone marrow transplant, which is lonely and scary. Emotional support and comfort are critical during this period of time, yet therapy pets carry too many pathogens and conventional animatronic toys that cannot be sufficiently cleaned are not allowed for children in such isolation.

[0007] It may be advantageous to create a removable skin for a child’s toy. Brief Summary of the Technology

[0008] Many advantages will be determined and are attained by one or more embodiments of the technology, which in a broad sense provides a selectively removable skin for a child’s toy. The toy may be an animatronic representation of an animal, person, or fictional character or creature or it may simply be a plain doll. The skin may be a single layer or a multi-layer skin. It preferably includes at least a stretchable portion which enables the skin to be removed over larger portions of the toy without ripping, while enabling the skin to be replaced so that it is relatively tight around the toy.

[0009] In one or more embodiments, a selectively removable skin is provided for a doll of a certain shape. The skin may include an outer material having a shape that is substantially the same as the shape of the doll. The outer material may be selectively removable from the doll. The outer material may also have an opening, the opening having a size and at least two sides. The skin may include a fastener connected between the at least two sides, and the fastener may have an open position and a closed position, such that when the fastener is positioned in the closed position the opening in the outer material is diminished in size. The outer material may also have at least one elastic portion which assists in removing the outer material from the doll.

[0010] In one or more embodiments, a selectively removable skin is provided for a doll which has a head, a body and a neck connecting the head to the body. The neck may be smaller than (have a smaller diameter than) the head. The doll may also have at least one input. The skin may include an outer material formed from at least two pieces of smaller material connected by at least one seam. The material may have a shape that is configured to form fit to the head, neck and body of the doll when the skin is positioned on the doll. The outer material may have an opening that is framed by at least two sides. A fastener may be connected between the at least two sides.

The fastener may have an open position and a closed position, such that when the fastener is positioned in the closed position at least a portion of the opening in the outer material is placed into a closed position. The outer material may have at least one elastic portion, which coincides with the neck of the doll. The elastic portion may include a series of holes. The skin may also include eyes locked into the outer material. The outer material may also include an indicator which corresponds to an input on the doll when the skin is positioned on the doll.

[0011] In one or more embodiments, a selectively removable skin is provided for a duck shaped animatronic doll. The doll may include a head, a body and a neck which connects the head to the body. The neck may be smaller than the head. The doll may also have at least one input and a bill attached to the head. The skin may include a plush outer material having at least one seam. The outer material may have a shape that is configured to form fit to the head, neck and body of the doll when the skin is positioned on the doll. The outer material may include an opening that is framed by least two sides. A fastener may be connected between the sides, and the fastener may have an open position and a closed position, such that when the fastener is positioned in the closed position at least a portion of the opening in the outer material is placed into a closed position. The outer material may have an elastic portion which coincides with the neck of the doll. Eyes may also be secured to the outer material. The outer material may include an elastic opening which coincides with the bill, such that the elastic opening is configured to fit snuggly around the bill when the skin is positioned on the doll.

[0012] The technology will next be described in connection with certain illustrated embodiments and practices. However, it will be clear to those skilled in the art that various modifications, additions and subtractions can be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the claims.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0013] For a better understanding of the technology, reference is made to the following description, taken in conjunction with any accompanying drawings in which:

[0014] FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of an exemplary doll with a removable skin in accordance with one or more embodiments of the disclosed technology; [0015] FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of the exemplary doll of FIG. 1 in accordance with one or more embodiments of the disclosed technology;

[0016] FIG. 3 illustrates a bottom view of the exemplary doll of Fig. 1 showing the skin open for selective removal in accordance with one or more embodiments of the disclosed technology;

[0017] FIG. 4 illustrates the skin inside out and removed from the doll of FIG 1 in accordance with one or more embodiments of the disclosed technology;

[0018] FIG. 5 illustrates a rear view of the exemplary doll of Fig. 1 showing an exemplary aperture in the outer skin which assists with the selective removal in accordance with one or more embodiments of the disclosed technology; and

[0019] FIG. 6 illustrates and eye of the exemplary doll of Fig. 1 showing the eye attached to the skin and placed within the doll in accordance with one or more embodiments of the disclosed technology.

[0020] The technology will next be described in connection with certain illustrated embodiments and practices. However, it will be clear to those skilled in the art that various modifications, additions, and subtractions can be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the claims.

Detailed Description of the Technology

[0021] One or more embodiments of the technology provides, in a broad sense, a doll with a selectively removable skin. A doll such as an animatronic duck is provided which includes, among other things, a skin which is worn by the duck to make the duck look more lifelike. The skin, which may include one or more layers, may be selectively removable from the doll. The skin may also include features which allow the skin to be locked in place when fitted onto the duck.

[0022] Discussion of an embodiment, one or more embodiments, an aspect, one or more aspects, a feature, one or more features, a configuration or one or more configurations, an instance or one or more instances is intended be inclusive of both the singular and the plural depending upon which provides the broadest scope without running afoul of the existing art and any such statement is in no way intended to be limiting in nature. Technology described in relation to one or more of these terms is not necessarily limited only to use in that embodiment, aspect, feature, configuration or instance and may be employed with other embodiments, aspects, features, configurations and/or instances where appropriate.

[0023] For purposes of this disclosure“doll” means a scaled figure which has the shape of a person, animal or creature and which has at least one part that moves relative to the rest of the doll. The doll may be animatronic, manually posable or some combination thereof. While the disclosure may refer to a duck shaped doll or simply a duck, the technology is not so limited. This reference is made for ease of explanation only and is not intended to be limiting as far as the shape or size of the doll. Disclosure related to the duck may be applied or related equally to other dolls.

[0024] For purposes of this disclosure“selectively removable” means that the skin is removable from the doll without causing damage to the skin or the doll and that the skin may be returned to the doll without causing damage to the skin or the doll.

[0025] For purposes of this disclosure“fastener” means any device that can selectively secure two pieces of material of natural or synthetic fibers together.

Examples of such fasteners may include hook and loop, zippers, buttons/button holes, buttons/loops, snaps, laces/holes, laces/loops, laces/eyelets, toggles/loops, etc.

[0026] For purposes of this disclosure“locking mechanism” means any device that can selectively secure the skin to the doll. Examples of such fasteners include screws and key locks. While not preferred, locking mechanisms may also include hook and loop fasteners, zippers, buttons/button holes, buttons/loops, snaps, laces/holes, laces/loops, laces/eyelets, toggles/loops, etc. without departing from a scope of one or more claims.

[0027] For purposes of this disclosure“elastic” means selectively stretchable due to the properties of the material and/or due to a series of holes in the material.

[0028] In one or more embodiments, as illustrated in Figs. 1-3 the doll 10 is duck shaped and has a top bill 20 and a bottom bill 21. The bill 20/21 may be formed of plastic, rubber or some other material that can hold the shape of the bill. The duck 10 has eyes 25, feet 35 and wings 30. While feet 35(as illustrated in Fig. 3) are depicted as a single unit, they may be separate and still fall within a scope of one or more claims. The feet 35 may be formed of the same material as the bill or they may be formed of a different material. The duck 10 may also have one or more sensors and/or ports (not illustrated) for interacting with various external objects. The skin 100 (as illustrated in Figs. 4 and 5) may include an indicator 40 (Fig. 1) for indicating the location of such sensor(s)/port(s). Although Fig. 1 illustrates indicator 40 as a single circular plastic section, the indicator 40 may be a shape other than a circle, a pattern of smaller circles, or a pattern of one or more different shapes. It may be a coloration of the skin 100 or there need not be any indicator 40 at all. Additionally, while only a single indicator 40 is illustrated on the stomach of the duck 10, the location and number of indicators 40 is a design choice. The sensor(s)/port(s) and thus the indicator(s) 40 may be placed at different locations on the duck 10.

[0029] As illustrated in Figure 3, the skin 100 includes an opening 300, for removing the skin 100 from the duck 10. The opening 300 may be selectively opened/closed using fastener 310. In the embodiment illustrated, the fastener 310 includes a hook and loop fastener with the hooks connected to one side of the opening 300 and the loops connected to the other side of the opening 300. While illustrated as being at the bottom of the duck 40 the location is a design choice. The opening 300 may be located elsewhere on the duck 40 and still fall within a scope of one or more claims. In addition, the opening 300 is illustrated as relatively short as compared to the entire body length. The opening 300 may be longer or shorter than illustrated without departing from a scope of one or more claims. The opening 300 is utilized to remove the skin 100 from the duck 10. It will thus be long enough to fit over the widest portion of the duck 10 and/or it will be elastic such that it can be stretched to fit over the widest portion of the duck 10.

[0030] The sides of the opening 300, which include the fastener 310, may include one or more holes 320/325 configured to receive a locking mechanism 330 for securing the skin 100 to the duck 10. The locking mechanism 330 may be employed to prevent young children from removing the skin without the assistance of an adult or older child. While illustrated as button holes 320/325 which are located within fastener 310, the holes 320/325 may be located apart from the fastener 310 (e.g. there may be a small section of material between the edge of the opening 300 and the hook and loop fastener 310 and the holes 320/325 may be located on the material between the fastener and the edge of the opening 300) and/or may be a single hole collocated with an end of the fastener 310. For example, in an embodiment wherein fastener 310 includes a zipper, the hole 65/66 which receives the locking mechanism 330 may be configured to align with the hole in the slider/pull handle (not illustrated) such that the locking mechanism 330 would also be received by the hole in the slider/pull handle of the zipper to prevent the zipper from being opened when the locking mechanism is locked.

[0031] Figures 1 and 2 illustrate that the doll 10 may include eyes 25. In the illustrated duck 10 the eyes 25 are located on opposite sides of the head, although the eyes 25 may be in the front of the head or elsewhere (e.g. in the case of a creature). In the embodiment illustrated in Figure 6, the eyes 25 are attached to the skin 100 such that when the skin 100 is removed from the duck 10 the eyes 25 are also removed. In one or more embodiments, the eyes may be attached to the doll 10. In such an embodiment, the eyes 25 may be generally mushroom shaped and the skin 100 may have corresponding elastic holes which are smaller than the mushroom top portion of the eyes 25 such that when placing the skin 100 on the doll 10 the holes may stretch over the eyes 25 and shrink back to hide below the mushroom top or within a groove in the mushroom top.

[0032] Figure 6 illustrates the eyes 25 connected to the skin 100. As illustrated, an eye 25 may include a mushroom shaped top 600, a shaft 610 with at least one positive locking tooth or ridge 620 and a rounded tip 630 which may include a cutout portion 640. The rounded tip 630 may be configured to match the shape of the eye socket 650 in the duck 10 and the cutout portion 640 may be configured to receive a protrusion 660 in the eye socket 650 for proper positioning of the eye 25. A generally funnel shaped eye plate 670 may be secured to the skin 100 (e.g. by sewing it to the skin) such that the narrower portion 680 of the funnel shape is configured to mate with the tooth/ridge of the eye 25 and lock the eye 25 to the skin 100. In one or more embodiments, the eye plate 670 may be generally tubular with a ridge on the lower portion of the tube for mating with the tooth/ridge 620. Further, the tooth/ridge 620 may fully encircle the shaft 610 or it may only encircle a portion of the shaft 610 and the eye plate 67- may be solid or it may include gaps or multiple sections.

[0033] The duck 10 may include a bill, illustrated in figures 1 and 2, which may include an upper bill 20 and a lower bill 21. Upper and lower bill 20/21 may be separate elements or may be a single unit. One or both bills 20/21 may be connected to the duck 10 or they may be connected to the skin 100. In an embodiment in which the bills 20/21 are connected to the skin 100 they may be connected in a similar manner as the eyes 25 are connected to the skin 100. In an embodiment in which the bills 20/21 are connected to the duck 10, there may be a gap or groove proximal to the duck 10 such that when the skin 100 is placed onto the duck 10 the skin fits within the gap or groove. The gap or groove is not required. The skin 100 may include a hole for the bill 20/21 which is surrounded by an elastic portion such that the pressure from the elastic holds the skin 100 in place around the bill when the skin is on the doll. Alternatively, the skin 100 may include a fastener that holds the skin in place around the base of the bills 20/21 proximal to the duck 10.

[0034] Figures 1, 2 and 5 also illustrate that the duck 10 may include wings 30.

Like the bills 21/22, wings 30 may be attached to or be part of the skin 100 or they may be attached to the duck 10, in which case the skin 100 may include pockets that correspond to the wings 30. In an embodiment in which the wings 30 are attached to the duck 10, the pockets of the skin may include an elastic portion proximal to the base of the wing 25 to ensure that the skin 100 remains in place. Alternatively, the entire wing 25 may be elastic. The pockets may be the same shape as the wing 25 on the doll 10 or they may be padded to add additional shape and/or texture to the wings 30.

[0035] The skin 100, as illustrated in Fig. 3, may include multiple layers. An outer layer 500 (Fig. 5) may be made from a plush material such as fur, or some other relatively plush material. The outer layer 500 may be configured to look like the skin of the doll 10 and may generally be shaped to cover at least a majority of the doll 10. Some non-limiting examples, such as the embodiment illustrated in figures 1-6, may include the outer material 500 being white and furry to emulate a duck, whereas in an embodiment wherein the doll 10 is a reptile, fish or other creature the outer material

500 may be configured to emulate scales or a shell. If the doll 10 is shaped like a fictional character or creature, the outer layer of material 500 may be selected to make the doll 10 look like that character/creature.

[0036] If the plush material is not elastic, it may include cutouts/holes 60 which allow portions of the material to stretch over larger portions of the doll 10 (e.g. the head) while still fitting correctly when placed back on the doll 10. At least one inner layer/material 400 (Fig. 4) may include a relatively elastic material such as nylon or polyester, neoprene or a blend of materials. The elasticity of the inner material 400 may help to keep the skin 100 in place on the duck 10. This inner material 400 may be configured such that when the skin 100 is removed from the doll 10, the skin 100 may be turned inside out so that the inner material 400 will protect one or more seams of the outer material 500 during the washing. The inner material 400 may be attached to the outer material 500 by sewing just the edges together. Alternatively, the inner material 400 and outer material 500 may be connected at various additional locations to keep the layers/materials collocated.

[0037] It is considered within the scope of one or more claims that the skin 100 only includes 1 layer of material. It is also considered within the scope of one or more claims that the skin 100 includes multiple layers. In an embodiment where the skin 100 is formed of a single layer of material, the material may be plush and/or or it may be elastic and/or it may be a combination of materials.

[0038] In the embodiments illustrated in Figures 1-6, the skin 100 may be removed from the duck 10 by unscrewing locking mechanism 330 (Fig. 3) which enables fastener 310 to be opened, unfastening fastener 310, which enables the opening 300 to be opened. The skin is then slid up the duck 10 until the point where the wings 30 are attached. The pockets of the skin which cover the wings 30 are removed from the duck 10 and the skin is further slid off until it reaches the neck 45 area, at which time the elastic skin 100 around the neck 45 (which in this embodiment is the result of a series of holes in the outer material 500) is stretched so that the skin 100 can fit over the head and be removed. In addition to the above steps, which are not necessarily in order, the eyes 25 are pulled away from the duck 10 (reverse of Fig. 6) and the skin 100 is pulled over the bill 20/21. To replace the skin, the above steps are performed in reverse.

[0039] Having thus described preferred embodiments of the technology, advantages can be appreciated. Variations from the described embodiments exist without departing from a scope of one or more claims. It is seen that a selectively removable skin is provided for a doll. The skin may be reversible with different patterns on each side. Although specific embodiments have been disclosed herein in detail, this has been done for purposes of illustration only, and is not intended to be limiting with respect to the scope of the claims, which follow. It is contemplated by the inventors that various substitutions, alterations, and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the technology as defined by the claims. Other aspects, advantages, and modifications are considered within the scope of the following claims. The claims presented are representative of the technology disclosed herein. Other, unclaimed technology is also contemplated. The inventors reserve the right to pursue such technology in later claims.

[0040] It is accordingly intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings be interpreted as illustrative rather than in a limiting sense. It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover the generic and specific features of the technology as described herein, and all statements of the scope of the technology which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall there between.

[0041] Having described the technology, what is claimed as new and secured by Letters Patent is: