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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
HEEL AND NEEDLE CAP GUARD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/137410
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A heel guard includes a) a base portion having a wider surface then a lower end of the heel post and b) an upper heel clutch portion on the base portion to receive the heel post. A needle cap guard includes a) a base portion having a wider surface then a lower end of a needle cap end and b) an upper needle cap clutch portion on the base portion configured to receive the needle cap when a needle cap is inserted within the upper needle cap clutch portion.

Inventors:
ZADEH PARSA T (US)
Application Number:
US2013/067631
Publication Date:
September 12, 2014
Filing Date:
October 30, 2013
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ZADEH PARSA T (US)
International Classes:
A43B21/00
Foreign References:
US1875806A1932-09-06
US2875534A1959-03-03
GB2214053A1989-08-31
US20090282702A12009-11-19
US3439435A1969-04-22
GB2428177A2007-01-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KULKARNI, Abhay et al. (5670 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2100Los Angeles, California, 90036, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A heel guard for a high heel shoe having a heel post, comprising:

a) a base portion having a wider surface then a lower end of the heel post; and

b) an upper heel clutch portion on the base portion to receive the heel post, whereby when a user of the high heel shoe inserts the heel post within the upper heel clutch portion and applies pressure with the lower end of the heel post on the base portion the pressure will be distributed across the wider surface of the base portion to provide the user with a stabilized walking control over soft and rough terrain.

2. The heel guard as recited in Claim 1 , wherein the base portion is fabricated out of a rigid material.

3. The heel guard as recited in Claim 2, wherein the upper clutch portion is fabricated out of a shape retentive polymeric material that will grip the heel post without marring texture of the heel post and allow the heel post to be easily removed without scratching and damaging the heel post.

4. The heel guard as recited in Claim 1 , wherein the base portion further comprises a textured bottom surface having nodules to form a ground engaging frictional component to impede slipping on ice.

5. The heel guard as recited in Claim 3 , further comprising:

a) the base portion having on a top surface a rimmed heel receptacle and a peripheral circumferential ridge with transverse flanges, each terminating in flange lip; and

b) the upper heel clutch portion having a lower peripheral edge with hook-like catches that matingly engage the base flange lips.

6. The heel guard as recited in Claim 5 , wherein the upper heel clutch portion further comprises a plurality of curvilinear tongue-like stays, with each stay having to frictionally engage the heel post.

7. The heel guard in Claim 6, wherein the upper heel clutch portion further comprises a plurality of pliable stay supports to help maintain the stays and accommodate the heel posts of varying thicknesses.

8. The heel guard and recited in Claim 3, wherein the upper heel clutch portion comprises a generally dome shaped housing having a central aperture and a plurality of radial slits in the housing extending into the aperture thereby dividing the housing into a plurality of curvilinear sections converging into the aperture to receive and hold the heel post of the high heel shoe therein.

9. The heel guard as recited in Claim 3 , wherein the upper heel clutch portion comprises an hourglass shaped member with a midpoint constriction that will frictionally engage the heel post, the member having a curvilinear wall forming an aperture with an upwardly depending top portion and a narrower center portion flaring outwardly to receive the heel post therein.

10 The heel guard as recited in Claim 3, wherein the base portion and the upper heel clutch portion can be fabricated in a variety of geometric shapes to receive and support the heel post of the high heel shoe.

11. A needle cap guard for a needle cap , comprising:

a) a base portion having a wider surface then a lower end of a needle cap end; and

b) an upper needle cap clutch portion on the base portion configured to receive the needle cap when a needle cap is inserted within the upper needle cap clutch portion.

12. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 11 , wherein the base portion comprises a rigid material.

13. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 12, wherein the upper needle clutch portion comprises a shape retentive polymeric material configured to grip the needle cap end and allow the needle cap end to be removed.

14. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 11 , wherein the base portion further comprises a textured bottom surface having nodules to form a ground engaging frictional component to impede slipping.

15. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 13 , further comprising:

a) the base portion having on a top surface a rimmed needle cap receptacle and a peripheral circumferential ridge with transverse flanges, each terminating in flange lip; and

b) the upper needle cap clutch portion having a lower peripheral edge with hook-like catches that matingly engage the base flange lips.

16. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 15, wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion further comprises a plurality of curvilinear tongue-like stays, with each stay having to frictionally engage the needle cap post.

17. The needle cap guard in Claim 16, wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion further comprises a plurality of pliable stay supports to help maintain the stays and accommodate the needle cap posts of varying thicknesses.

18. The needle cap guard and recited in Claim 13, wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion comprises a generally dome shaped housing having a central aperture and a plurality of radial slits in the housing extending into the aperture thereby dividing the housing into a plurality of curvilinear sections converging into the aperture to receive and hold the needle cap therein.

19. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 13, wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion comprises an hourglass shaped member with a midpoint constriction that frictionally engages the needle cap, the member having a curvilinear wall forming an aperture with an upwardly depending top portion and a narrower center portion flaring outwardly to receive the needle cap post therein.

20. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 13, wherein the base portion and the upper needle cap clutch portion can be fabricated in a variety of geometric shapes to receive and support the needle cap.

AMENDED CLAIMS

wo 2014/137410 ved bV the International Bureau on 04 July 2014

21

1. A heel guard for a high heel shoe having a heel post, comprising:

a) a base portion having a wider surface then a lower end of the heel post; and b) an upper heel clutch portion on the base portion to receive the heel post, the upper heel clutch portion further comprising a plurality of curvilinear tonguelike stays, with each stay able to frictionally engage the heel post;

whereby when a user of the high heel shoe inserts the heel post within the upper heel clutch portion and applies pressure with the lower end of the heel post on the base portion, the pressure will be distributed across the wider surface of the base portion to facilitate stabilized walking control over soft and rough terrain.

2. The heel guard as recited in Claim 1, wherein the base portion is fabricated out of a rigid material. 3. The heel guard as recited in Claim 2, wherein the upper clutch portion is fabricated out of a shape retentive polymeric material that will grip the heel post without marring texture of the heel post and allow the heel post to be easily removed without scratching and damaging the heel post. 4. The heel guard as recited in Claim 1, wherein the base portion further comprises a textured bottom surface having nodules to form a ground engaging frictional component to impede slipping on ice.

5. A heel guard for a high heel shoe having a heel post, comprising:

a) a base portion having a wider surface than a lower end of the heel post; and b) an upper heel clutch portion on the base portion to receive the heel post; whereby when a user of the high heel shoe inserts the heel post within the upper heel clutch portion and applies pressure with the lower end of the heel post on the base portion, the pressure will be distributed across the wider surface of the base portion to provide the user with more stabilized walking control over soft and rough terrain;

the heel guard further comprising:

the base portion having on a top surface a rimmed heel receptacle and, distinct from the rimmed heel receptacle, a peripheral circumferential ridge with transverse flanges, each terminating in a flange lip; wherein

the upper heel clutch portion comprises a lower peripheral edge with hooklike catches that matingly engage the base flange lips.

6. The heel guard in Claim 1, wherein the upper heel clutch portion further comprises a plurality of pliable stay supports to help maintain the stays and accommodate the heel posts of varying thicknesses.

7. The heel guard and recited in Claim 1, wherein the upper heel clutch portion comprises a generally dome shaped housing having a central aperture and a plurality of radial slits in the housing extending into the aperture thereby dividing the housing into said plurality of curvilinear sections converging into the aperture to receive and hold the heel post of the high heel shoe therein. 8. The heel guard as recited in Claim 1, wherein the upper heel clutch portion comprises an hourglass shaped member with a midpoint constriction that will frictionally engage the heel post, the member having a curvilinear wall forming an aperture with an upwardly depending top portion and a narrower center portion flaring outwardly to receive the heel post therein.

9 The heel guard as recited in Claim 1, wherein the base portion and the upper heel clutch portion can be fabricated in a variety of geometric shapes to receive and support the heel post of the high heel shoe. 10. A needle cap guard for a needle cap, comprising:

a) a base portion having a wider surface then a lower end of a needle cap end; and

b) an upper needle cap clutch portion on the base portion configured to receive the needle cap when a needle cap is inserted within the upper needle cap clutch portion;

wherein the upper needle clutch portion is configured to grip the needle cap end and allow the needle cap end to be removed.

11. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 10, wherein the base portion comprises a rigid material.

12. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 11, wherein the upper needle clutch portion comprises a shape retentive polymeric material. 13. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 10, wherein the base portion further comprises a textured bottom surface having nodules to form a ground engaging frictional component to impede slipping.

14. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 10, further comprising: a) the base portion having on a top surface a rimmed needle cap receptacle and a peripheral circumferential ridge with transverse flanges, each

terminating in a flange lip; and

b) the upper needle cap clutch portion having a lower peripheral edge with hook-like catches that matingly engage the base flange lips.

15. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 10, wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion further comprises a plurality of curvilinear tongue-like stays, with each stay having to frictionally engage the needle cap post.

16. The needle cap guard in Claim 15, wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion further comprises a plurality of pliable stay supports to help maintain the stays and accommodate the needle cap posts of varying thicknesses. 17. The needle cap guard and recited in Claim 10, wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion comprises a generally dome shaped housing having a central aperture and a plurality of radial slits in the housing extending into the aperture thereby dividing the housing into a plurality of curvilinear sections converging into the aperture to receive and hold the needle cap therein.

18. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 10, wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion comprises an hourglass shaped member with a midpoint constriction that frictionally engages the needle cap, the member having a curvilinear wall forming an aperture with an upwardly depending top portion and a narrower center portion flaring outwardly to receive the needle cap post therein.

19. The needle cap guard as recited in Claim 10, wherein the base portion and the upper needle cap clutch portion can be fabricated in a variety of geometric shapes to receive and support the needle cap.

Description:
HEEL AND NEEDLE CAP GUARD

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. application number 13/786,843 filed on March 6, 2013, the entirety of which is all hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

[0001 ] There are other support devices designed for high heels. Typical of these is U.S. Patent No. 1 ,875 ,806 issued to Givens on September 06, 1932. Another patent was issued to Fredon on April 22, 1969 as U.S. Patent No. 3 ,439,435. Yet another U.S. Patent No. 4,498,252 was issued to Connors on February 12, 1985 and still yet another was issued on may 17, 1994 to Topel as U.S. Patent No. 5,31 1 ,675. Another patent was issued to Brown et al. on June 26, 2008 as U.S . Patent Application No. 2008/0148606 Yet another U.S. Patent No. 7,971 ,373 was issued to Epping on July 05, 2011. Another was issued to Brown et al. on October 11 , 2011 as U.S. Patent No. 8,033,035 and still yet another was issued on February 14, 1963 to Wunderle as Germany Patent No. DE1867331. Another patent was issued to Fredon on May 26, 1966 as U.K. Patent No. GB 1 ,080 ,846 Yet another EU Patent No. EP231 1342 was issued to Bertrand on April 20, 201 1 .

[ 0002 ] Needle caps may be affixed to a syringe or a needle to cover and protect the needle from contamination and protect against accidental needle pricks. During use, the needle caps are typically removed, the needle is inserted into a person or device such as tubing, etc., pulled out and then the needle is reinserted into the needle cap. After needle caps are removed, they can be either held in one hand, which limits the use of that hand, or placed on a surface, where the needle cap can inconveniently tip, roll or fall. After use, the needles are typically reinserted into the needle cap. This can be accomplished by holding the needle cap in one hand and the syringe/needle in the other hand. Such a reinsertion process exposes the hand holding the needle cap to accidental pricks or piercings by the needle. This can be especially problematic since the needle has typically come into contact with patient fluids and/or is contaminated. Alternatively, the needle may be reinserted into a cap that is placed on a table or other such surface. One issue with such a placement is the cap may be prone to tipping, falling and/or rolling before or during needle reinsertion. SUMMARY

[0003] An aspect of the technology described herein relates to a heel guard for a high heel shoe having a heel post. The heel guard includes a) a base portion having a wider surface then a lower end of the heel post and b) an upper heel clutch portion on the base portion to receive the heel post. When a user of the high heel shoe inserts the heel post within the upper heel clutch portion and applies pressure with the lower end of the heel post on the base portion the pressure will be distributed across the wider surface of the base portion to provide the user with a stabilized walking control over soft and rough terrain.

[ 0004 ] Another aspect of the technology described herein relates to a needle cap guard for a needle cap. The needle cap guard includes a) a base portion having a wider surface then a lower end of a needle cap end and b) an upper needle cap clutch portion on the base portion configured to receive the needle cap when a needle cap is inserted within the upper needle cap clutch portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005 ] Figure 1 is an illustrative view of an embodiment of a a guard of the present technology .

[0006 ] Figure 2 is an illustrative view of an embodiment of a guard of the present technology depicting top and bottom portions.

[ 0007 ] Figure 3 is an illustrative chart of an embodiment a guard of the present technology.

[0008 ] Figure 4 is a perspective view of an embodiment a guard of the present technology.

[ 0009 ] Figure 5 is a perspective view of an embodiment a guard of the present technology.

[ 0010 ] Figure 6 is a perspective view of yet another embodiment a guard of the present technology.

[ 0011 ] Figure 7 shows plan views of an embodiment a guard of the present technology.

[ 0012 ] Figure 8 is a top view of a plurality of shapes for a guard. [ 0013 ] Figures 9(A)-(D) are illustrative views of some embodiments of the heel guard of the present technology.

[0014 ] Figure 10 is an illustrative view of the heel guard of the present technology.

[0015 ] Figure 1 1 is an illustrative view of the heel guard of the present technology.

[ 0016 ] Figure 12 is an illustrative assembly view of the heel guard present technology.

[0017 ] Figure 13 is an illustrative view of the heel guard of the present technology.

[0018 ] Figure 14 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the heel guard of the present technology.

[ 0019 ] Figures 15(A)-(D) are illustrative views of some embodiments of a needle cap guard of the present technology.

[0020 ] Figure 16 is an illustrative assembly view of a needle cap guard of the present technology.

[ 0021 ] Figure 17 is an illustrative view of needle cap guard of the present technology.

[ 0022 ] Figure 18 is an illustrative view of needle cap guard of the present technology.

[ 0023 ] Figure 19 is an illustrative view of a needle cap guard of the present technology.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[ 0024 ] The present technology relates to an apparatus, system, and method for making the same related to a heel guard & needle cap guard. Each apparatus, system and method may include one or more embodiments in any combination. The features of any embodiment may be used in combination with any other embodiment. Furthermore, use of the term "top" and "bottom" is not intended to limit the orientation of any element(s), but is only used for convenience of discussion.

[ 0025 ] One aspect of the present technology relates to guards for heels or needle caps, for example.

[ 0026 ] The guard can include a base portion and an upper portion, with the base portion made of a rigid material. The upper portion can be designed to frictionally grip an object such as a heel post or needle cap. [0027 ] Preferably, the upper portion is manufactured from a polymeric and/or elastomeric material that projects from the base in curvilinear fashion into a plurality of stays that converge forming an aperture before extending into the upper portion interior.

[0028 ] Furthermore, the present technology provides for an upper portion columnar receptacle with a bore manufactured from an elastomeric or polymeric material that tapers from a wide opening to a narrower middle section then to a wider base, much like an hourglass with the narrower middle section forming the frictional element for objects. In some embodiments, these objects can include, for example, heel posts or needle caps of varying thicknesses and shapes.

[0029 ] One aspect of the present technology relates generally to shoes and, more specifically, to guards that are detachably mountable onto the post of women's high heels to extend the heel pressure area while moving over rough terrain and to prevent the heel from sinking into soft surfaces. The heel guard can comprise a base portion and an upper portion with the base portion made of a rigid material that will dissipate the heel pressure across the base while the upper portion is designed to frictionally grip the heel post. An aspect of the present technology provides a heel guard for high heel shoes, such as stiletto heels, that can prevent the heel from sinking into soft ground.

[ 0030 ] The guard can include a base portion and an upper portion, with the base portion made of a rigid material that can dissipate the heel pressure across the base while the upper portion is designed to frictionally grip the heel postAnother aspect of the present technology provides a heel guard for high heel shoes that once mounted onto the heel provides a greater heel surface while moving over rough terrain, such as graveled surfaces .Yet another aspect of the present technology provides a heel guard that is easily mounted onto and removed from the heel post of high heel shoes without marring the surface of the shoes.

[ 0031 ] Still yet another aspect of the present technology provides a heel guard having a base portion and an upper portion.

[ 0032 ] An additional aspect of the present technology provides a base portion manufactured from a rigid polymeric and/or elastomeric material that can disperse the pressure placed on a heel or a needle cap over the breadth of the base portion.

[ 0033 ] A further aspect of the present technology provides a guard upper portion structure, such as a heel guard upper portion structure or a needle cap upper portion structure, that encompasses an aperture that receives the heel post of a high heel shoe or a needle cap with the structure frictionally engaging and holding the heel guard to the post of said high heel shoe or the needle cap guard to the needle cap.

[ 0034 ] A yet further aspect of the present technology provides a guard, such as a heel guard or a needle cap guard, for example, wherein said base portion has a top surface and a bottom surface with said top surface having a substantially centered rimmed receptacle for receiving the heel of a high heel shoe or a needle cap therein.

[0035 ] A still yet further aspect of the present technology provides a base portion having an interiorly positioned peripheral ridge forming seat for an upper portion.

[ 0036 ] Another aspect of the present technology provides a base portion with said peripheral ridge having a plurality of outwardly projecting flanges each having a lip for engaging correspondingly located catches within the heel guard's upper portion or the needle cap guard's upper portion.

[0037 ] Yet another aspect of the present technology provides a guard, such as a heel guard or a needle cap guard, wherein said base portion optionally provides a bottom surface having a textured surface forming a heel guard ground engaging frictional surface.

[0038 ] Still yet another aspect of the present technology provides a base portion having a geometric shape with an upper portion extending therefrom,

[ 0039 ] An additional aspect of the present technology provides a base portion having an irregular shape with an upper portion extending therefrom

[ 0040 ] A further aspect of the present technology provides a guard, such as a heel guard or a needle cap guard, having an upper portion that project from the periphery of the base portion.

[0041 ] A yet further aspect of the present technology provides a guard, such as a heel guard or a needle cap guard, having an upper portion with a base having a smaller footprint that the base portion.

[0042 ] A still yet further aspect of the present technology provides a guard, such as a heel guard or a needle cap guard, having an upper portion that projects from the base in curvilinear fashion into a plurality of stays that converge forming an aperture before extending into the upper portion interior.

[0043 ] An additional aspect of the present technology provides a guard, such as a heel guard or a needle cap guard, having a concave shape on the terminal ends of said stay. [ 0044 ] A further aspect of the present technology provides a guard, such as a heel guard or a needle cap guard, having a plurality of post-like supports extending between the bow-like stays and base portion.

[ 0045 ] A yet further aspect of the present technology provides a guard, such as a heel guard or a needle cap guard, further providing panel-like structure extending between the post-like supports and terminal ends of said stays to prevent puckering of the stays as the heel post is removed from the heel guard or the needle cap is removed from the needle cap guard.

[ 0046 ] A still yet further aspect of the present technology provides a guard, such as a heel guard that can accommodate heel posts or a needle cap guard that can accommodate needle caps of varying thicknesses by virtue of the pliable stays.

[ 0047 ] The present technology provides a guard, such as a heel guard or a needle cap guard, having a base portion made of a rigid material that can distribute heel pressure or needle cap pressure during use across the breadth of the base and an upper portion forming a heel post receptacle that frictionally grips a heel post preferably by a plurality of pliable bowlike stays having interior support structure engaging a rimmed heel receptacle forming an integral part of the base portion that can prevent puckering of the stays as the heel guard is removed from the heel post.

[ 0048 ] In the description reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration some embodiments in which the technology may be practiced. These embodiments can be described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the technology, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the technology. In the accompanying drawings, like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several figures.

[ 0049 ] Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several figures, the Figures illustrate the guard of the present technology. With regard to the reference numerals used, the following numbering is used throughout the various drawing figures.

20 guard

22 base portion of guard 20

24 rigid material of base portion 22 upper clutch portion of guard 20 polymeric material of upper portion 26 heel post of shoe 36

user of shoe 36

shoe

bottom surface of base portion 22 nodules/texture on bottom surface 38 flexible material end tip of upper portion 26 top side of base portion 22 rimmed receptacle on top side 44

peripheral circumferential ridge on top side 44 transverse flange on ridge 48

flange tip on flange 50

lower peripheral edge of upper portion 26 hook-like catch on edge 54

curvilinear tongue -like stay of upper portion pliable stay support of stay 57

guard housing for upper portion 26 aperture in housing 60

radial slip in housing 60

curvilinear section of housing 60 68 receptacle for upper portion 26

70 curvilinear wall in receptacle 68

150 syringe

152 needle cap

154 needle

[ 0050 ] The following discussion should not be construed as limiting the technology to any particular embodiments, since practitioners skilled in the art can recognize numerous other embodiments as well.

[ 0051 ] Figures 1 and 2 show an illustrative View of an embodiment of a heel or needle cap guard of the present technology. A guard 20 comprises a guard base 22 and upper clutch portion 26 attachable to the base 22. The base 22 has a bottom side 38 and a top side 44 with the top side 44 having a rimmed receptacle 46 and a peripheral circumferential ridge 48 with transverse flanges 50 each terminating in a flange lip 52. The clutch portion 26 has a lower peripheral edge 54 with hook-like catches 56 that matingly engage the base flange lips 52. The body of the clutch portion 26 extends into a plurality of curvilinear tongue-like stays 57 that can frictional engage the heel post 30 when inserted. Each of the tongue-like stays 57 has a pliable stay support 58 that can help maintain the memory retentive stays 57 during the life of the guard 20 and accommodate heel posts 30 of varying thickness.

[0052 ] In all embodiments where the guard 20 is a heel guard, guard 20 can be a heel guard, the upper clutch portion 26 can be an upper heel clutch portion, the receptacle 68 can be a heel receptacle and the rimmed receptacle 46 can be a rimmed heel receptacle. In such a heel embodiment, the base 22 can dissipate the pressure of a stiletto heel 30 across the guard base 22 fundamentally enlarging the heel footprint allowing the wearer 32 to walk over soft ground where a stiletto heel 30 may sink into the ground or on rocky terrain, such as loose gravel, that may imperil the user 32 to grave bodily harm or damage the shoes 36. Furthermore, the guard 20 can be fitted onto a stiletto heel 30 to impede slipping on ice by incorporating a bottom surface 38 having nodules or texture 40 serving as a heel guard frictional element. The heel 30 can be easily pulled out of the device without scratching or marring the heel surface due to the inward bends in the flexible material end tips 42, while accommodating a range of heel thickness. In all embodiments where the guard 20 is a needle cap guard, guard 20 can be a needle cap guard, the upper clutch portion 26 can be an upper needle cap clutch portion, the receptacle 68 can be a needle cap receptacle, and the rimmed receptacle 46 can be a rimmed needle cap receptacle..

[ 0053 ] Referring to Figure 3, shown is an illustrative chart of the embodiments of the guard of the present technology. The present technology can include a guard 20 having a bottom portion 22 made of a rigid material 24 and a top portion 26 made of a shape retentive polymeric material 28. The device may be inserted onto the shoe heel post 30 or needle cap 152 providing the user 32 with walking control over soft ground in the case of a heel guard or stability in the case of a needle cap. The heel 30 or needle cap 152 can be easily pulled out of the device without scratching or damage due to the inward bends in the flexible material end tips 42, while accommodating a range of heel or needle cap thicknesses.

[0054 ] Referring to Figure 4, shown is a perspective View of an alternate embodiment of the guard of the present technology. The guard 20 of the present technology provides a device mountable onto either the heel post 30 of a high heel shoe 36 or a needle cap 152. The guard 20 can include a guard housing 60 providing a guard receptacle 62 with a rigid base 22 so that the pressure from a heel tip or needle cap is distributed across the rigid base 22. The housing 60 further provides an upwardly depending top portion 26 with a top side heel aperture 62 for inserting a heel 30 or a needle cap 152. Illustrated is a top portion 26 that is folded into the interior with a plurality of top portion radial slits 64 extending into the interior dividing the top portion 26 into a plurality of curvilinear sections 66 converging to form the aperture 62 then curving into the receptacle 68.

[0055 ] Referring to Figure 5, shown is a perspective view of another alternate embodiment of the guard of the present technology. The guard 20 of the present technology provides a device mountable onto the heel 30 of a high heel shoe 36 or onto a needle cap 152 comprising a guard housing 60 forming a receptacle 68 having a rigid base 22 so that the pressure from a heel tip 30 or needle cap 152 is distributed across the rigid base 22. The housing 60 further provides an upwardly depending top portion 26 with a top side aperture 62 for inserting a heel 30 or a needle cap 152. Illustrated is a top portion 26 that is folded into the interior with a plurality of radial slits 64 extending into the interior dividing the top portion 26 into a plurality of curvilinear sections 66 converging to form the aperture 62 then curving into the receptacle 68.

[ 0056 ] Referring to Figure 6, shown is a perspective View of yet another embodiment of the guard of the present technology. The guard 20 of the present technology provides for a guard 20 having a base 22 that radially extends beyond a receptacle 68 having a hourglass shape with a midpoint constriction that can frictionally engage a heel post 30 or a needle cap 152. The receptacle 68 consists of an upwardly depending top portion 26 with a top side aperture 62 for inserting a heel 30 or a needle cap 152. Illustrated is a top portion 26 having a curvilinear wall 70 with a narrower center portion flaring outwardly forming the aperture 62. The narrower constriction forms a frictional element for grasping the heel 30 or needle cap 152 once inserted into the guard 20.

[ 0057 ] Referring to Figure 7, shown are plan views of an embodiment of the guard of the present technology. Shown is an embodiment of the present technology comprising a guard housing 60 manufactured from a polymeric or elastomeric material 28 having a compartment for receiving a heel 30 or a needle cap 152 therein. The present technology provides a housing 60 having various shapes incorporating a base 22 for supporting a heel tip or needle cap and a top side 26 having a substantially center aperture 62 formed by a plurality of inwardly depending curvilinear sections 66 that frictionally grip the heel 30 or needle cap 152 when inserted and can be easily removed without scratching or marring the heel 30.

[0058 ] Referring to Figure 8, shown is a top view of a plurality of shapes for the guard. The present technology envisions that the exterior housing 60 of the guard 20 can take any shaped housing 60 providing a receptacle 68 capable of receiving and supporting a heel tip or needle cap with the receptacle 68 having a plurality of radially positioned inwardly extending stays 57 for gripping a portion of the heel 30 or a needle cap 152.

[ 0059 ] Referring to Figure 9, shown is an illustrative view of embodiments of the heel guard of the present technology. A guard 20 having a base portion 22 made of rigid material 24 that can distribute the heel pressure across the base 22 and an upper clutch portion 26 made of a shape retentive polymeric material 28 that can grip the post 30 of the heel without marring the post texture. The device is inserted onto the shoe heel post 30 providing the user 32 with walking control over soft or rough terrain, such as gravel or soft ground. The heel 30 can be easily pulled out of the guard 20 without scratching or damaging the heel post 30 of the shoe 36.

[ 0060 ] Referring to Figure 10, shown is an illustrative view of the heel guard of the present technology. The present technology includes a guard 20 that is inserted onto a shoe heel post 30 to aid the user 32 in walking over soft or uneven surfaces, such as gravel and grass, and to prevent damage to the shoe heel 30, which may sink into the ground endangering the user 32 as well as the shoes 36. [ 0061 ] Referring to Figure 1 1 , shown is an illustrative view of the heel guard of the present technology. The guard 20 comprises a guard housing 60 having a rigid base 22 with a polymeric top portion 26 having a heel post aperture 62 and shaped to frictionally engage the heel post 30.

[0062 ] Referring to Figure 12, shown is an illustrative assembly view of the present technology. The guard 20 can be easily pulled out of the heel post 30 without scratching or damage due to the inward bends in the flexible material end tips 42, while accommodating a range of heel thickness.

[ 0063 ] Referring to Figure 13, shown is an illustrative view of the heel guard of the present technology. The present technology is a guard 20 that is inserted onto a shoe heel post 30 to aid the user 32 in walking over soft or uneven surfaces, such as gravel and grass, and to prevent damage to the shoe heel 30, which may sink into the ground endangering the user 32 as well as the shoes 36.

[0064 ] Referring to Figure 14, shown is a perspective view of another embodiment of the heel guard of the present technology. Illustrated is a guard 20 for a shoe 36 having a heel post 30. The guard 20 has a top portion 26 forming a receptacle 68 with a rigid base 22, so that the pressure from the heel tip is distributed across the rigid base 22. The receptacle 68 further provides the upwardly depending top portion 26 terminating in a top side heel aperture 62 for inserting a heel post 30 within the aperture 62. A curvilinear wall 70 with a narrower center portion flaring outwardly to the heel aperture 62, so that the narrower constriction forms a frictional element for grasping the heel 30 once inserted into the guard 20.

[ 0065 ] Referring to Figure 15, shown is an illustrative view of embodiments of the present technology wherein the guard 20 is a needle cap guard. In some embodiments, a guard 20 having a base portion 22 made of rigid material 24 can keep the base 22 upright and an upper clutch portion 26 made of a shape retentive polymeric material 28 can grip the needle cap 152 when it is on or off of the needle 154 and/or syringe 150, minimizing slippage, or damage to the needle cap, and helping retain the needle cap 152 in an upright position. The needle cap guard 20 can thus receive the needle cap 152 and provide stability and control when the needle 154 and/or syringe are removed from and/or reinserted into the needle cap 152, minimizing the chances of accidental needle pricks and providing a stable housing for the needle cap 152. The guard 20 can also provide stability and control of the syringe 150 when the syringe is attached to the needle cap 152 and the needle cap 152 is inserted into the guard 20. Thus, the needle cap guard can function as both a needle cap holder and/or a needle cap and syringe holder.

[0066] Referring to Figure 16, shown is an illustrative view of the needle cap guard of the present technology. Figure 16 shows a needle cap 152 attached to a syringe 150 when it is not engaged with the guard 20. When a user wishes to remove the needle cap 152 from the syringe 150 or wishes to place the syringe in a fixed or upright position, they can insert the needle cap 152 into guard 20 while the needle cap 152 is still affixed to the syringe 150. The cap may alternatively be inserted into the guard 20 without being attached to a syringe or any other device. The cap may alternatively be inserted into the guard 20 while being attached to a device other than a syringe, including but not limited to tubes, tubing and/or other medical apparatus.

[ 0067 ] As shown in Figure 17, the guard 20 can slidably receive the needle cap 152 while it is affixed to the syringe 150. The cap may alternatively be inserted into the guard 20 without being attached to a syringe or any other device. The cap may alternatively be inserted into the guard 20 while being attached to a device other than a syringe, including but not limited to tubes, tubing and/or other medical apparatus. The guard 20 includes a guard housing 60 having a rigid base 22 with a polymeric top portion 26 having an aperture 62 and shaped to frictionally engage the needle cap 152. The frictional engagement helps retain the needle cap 152 (and syringe 150 or other device, if attached) in place and upright. This can help prevent the needle cap 152 and syringe 150 or other device, if attached, from tipping, rolling or getting lost. The base 22 can help minimize the chances of the needle cap 152 and/or syringe 150 from tipping when the needle cap 152 is engaged with the guard 20. It can also provide convenient access to the syringe 150 or the needle cap 152.

[ 0068 ] Figure 18 shows the needle cap 152 frictionally engaged in aperture 62 by polymeric top portion 26 and separated from syringe 150, with needle 154 exposed. The guard 20 includes a guard housing 60 having a rigid base 22 with a polymeric top portion 26 having an aperture 62 and shaped to frictionally engage the needle cap 152. Once the needle cap 152 and syringe 150 have been inserted into the guard 20, the syringe 150 and needle 154 can be separated from the needle cap 152. This separation can be accomplished in several ways. In some embodiments, the syringe 150 may simply be pulled away from the needle cap 152 or vice versa while the needle cap 152 is frictionally engaged in aperture 62 of guard 60 by polymeric top portion 26, thereby separating the syringe 150 and needle cap 152 and exposing needle 154. This may be accompanied by an opposing force applied to the guard 20 to provide assistance in separating the syringe 150 from the needle cap 152. For example, a user may place their other hand on the guard 20 while pulling the syringe 150 away from the guard 20. In some embodiments, the syringe 150 may be rotated to disengage it from the needle cap 152. In such an embodiment, the rotation may be assisted by an opposing force or resisting force applied to the guard 20.

[0069 ] The syringe 150 and needle cap 152 can also be reconnected together using guard 20. Figure 18 shows the needle cap 152 separated from syringe 150 and frictionally engaged in aperture 62 by polymeric top portion 26, with needle 154 exposed. To reconnect the syringe 150 with the needle cap 152, the syringe 150 can be inserted into the needle cap 152. This can be done single handedly, as the guard 20 retains the needle cap 152 in an upright position. This can, for example, minimize accidental pricks by contaminated or uncontaminated needles when two hands are used, and also prevent tipping, rolling or loss of the needle cap 152 and/or syringe 150.

[0070 ] Once the syringe 150 and needle cap 152 are reconnected, they can be disengaged from the guard 20 together. The guard 20 and needle cap 152 can be separated without damage due to the inward bends in the flexible material end tips 42, while accommodating a range of needle cap thicknesses. As shown in Figure 19, the syringe 150 and needle cap 152 can be disengaged from guard 20 by applying a force sufficient to overcome the frictional engagement by the polymeric top portion 26 in a direction away from the guard 20. This can be done single handedly or be accompanied by an opposing force applied to the guard 20 to provide assistance in overcoming the frictional engagement by the polymeric top portion 26. For example, a user may place their other hand on the guard 20 while pulling the syringe 150 away from the guard 20. In some embodiments, the syringe 150 may be rotated to disengage it from the needle cap 152 in either a clockwise or counterclockwise manner. In such an embodiment, the rotational force with or without assistance is sufficient to overcome the frictional engagement by the polymeric top portion 26.

[0071 ] In all embodiments of the needle cap guard, the guard 20 can receive a needle cap 152 of many shapes and diameters, so that a single guard 20 can accommodate a variety of needle cap guards, for example. This can reduce costs and materials and minimize the need for duplicate guards, for example. In all embodiments of the needle cap guard, the guard 20 can optionally provide a visual cue to help quickly identify the location of the needle cap 152, for example and can also optionally help quickly identify which needle cap 152 belongs to which syringe 150 for example. The visual cue can be simply the placement of the guard 20 in a particular location, or the fact that the guard 20 is lightweight, mobile/movable, the color or shape of the guard 20, or an identifying marking on the guard 20. For example, a plurality of guards may be grouped together by shape, color, placement or marking. The grouping can be by patient, medication, doctor, dosage, etc. In all embodiments, the guard 20 can optionally be disposable and cheaper, for example. In all embodiments, a single guard 20 can optionally be used with one patient. The guard 20 can optionally accommodate a needle cap 152 of any cross sectional shape, including but not limited to circular, rectangular, faceted, etc. The syringe 150 and/or needle 154 in all embodiments may optionally be substituted with any other device. The syringe 150 may optionally have been previously used, or be a new, sealed syringe in all embodiments. The guard 20 can require less material to make and be lighter.

[ 0072 ] It can be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together may also find a useful application in other types of methods differing from the type described herein.

[0073 ] While certain novel features of this technology have been shown and described and are pointed out in the annexed claims, it is not intended to be limited to the details above, since it can be understood that various omissions, modifications, substitutions and changes in the forms and details of the device illustrated and in its operation can be made by those skilled in the art without departing in any way from the spirit of the present technology.

[ 0074 ] Without further analysis, the foregoing can so fully reveal the gist of the present technology that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this technology.

[ 0075 ] While certain features have been described herein, many other features are contemplated and fall within the scope of the disclosure.

[0076 ] Some embodiments include one or more of the following concepts :

Concept 1. A heel guard for a high heel shoe having a heel post, comprising:

a) a base portion having a wider surface then a lower end of the heel post; and b) an upper heel clutch portion on the base portion to receive the heel post, whereby when a user of the high heel shoe inserts the heel post within the upper heel clutch portion and applies pressure with the lower end of the heel post on the base portion the pressure will be distributed across the wider surface of the base portion to provide the user with a stabilized walking control over soft and rough terrain.

Concept 2. The heel guard as recited in Concept 1 , wherein the base portion is fabricated out of a rigid material.

Concept 3. The heel guard as recited in any of Concepts 1-2, wherein the upper clutch portion is fabricated out of a shape retentive polymeric material that will grip the heel post without marring texture of the heel post and allow the heel post to be easily removed without scratching and damaging the heel post.

Concept 4. The heel guard as recited in any one or more of Concepts 1-3, wherein the base portion

further comprises a textured bottom surface having nodules to form a ground engaging frictional component to impede slipping on ice.

Concept 5. The heel guard as recited in any one or more of Concepts 1-4 , further comprising:

a) the base portion having on a top surface a rimmed heel receptacle and a peripheral circumferential ridge with transverse flanges, each terminating in flange lip; and

b) the upper heel clutch portion having a lower peripheral edge with hook-like catches that matingly engage the base flange lips.

Concept 6. The heel guard as recited in any one or more of Concepts 1-5, wherein the upper heel clutch portion further comprises a plurality of curvilinear tongue-like stays, with each stay having to frictionally engage the heel post.

Concept 7. The heel guard in any one or more of Concepts 1-6, wherein the upper heel clutch portion further comprises a plurality of pliable stay supports to help maintain the stays and accommodate the heel posts of varying thicknesses.

Concept 8. The heel guard and recited in any one or more of Concepts 1-7, wherein the upper heel clutch portion comprises a generally dome shaped housing having a central aperture and a plurality of radial slits in the housing extending into the aperture thereby dividing the housing into a plurality of curvilinear sections converging into the aperture to receive and hold the heel post of the high heel shoe therein.

Concept 9. The heel guard as recited in any one or more of Concepts 1-8 , wherein the upper heel clutch portion comprises an hourglass shaped member with a midpoint constriction that will frictionally engage the heel post, the member having a curvilinear wall forming an aperture with an upwardly depending top portion and a narrower center portion flaring outwardly to receive the heel post therein.

Concept 10 The heel guard as recited in any one or more of Concepts 1-9, wherein the base portion and the upper heel clutch portion can be fabricated in a variety of geometric shapes to receive and support the heel post of the high heel shoe.

Concept 11. A needle cap guard for a needle cap , comprising:

a) a base portion having a wider surface then a lower end of a needle cap end; and

b) an upper needle cap clutch portion on the base portion configured to receive the needle cap when a needle cap is inserted within the upper needle cap clutch portion.

Concept 12. The needle cap guard as recited in Concept 11 , wherein the base portion comprises a rigid material.

Concept 13. The needle cap guard as recited in any one or more of Concepts 1 1-12, wherein the upper needle clutch portion comprises a shape retentive polymeric material configured to grip the needle cap end and allow the needle cap end to be removed.

Concept 14. The needle cap guard as recited in any one or more of Concepts 1 1-13, wherein the base portion

further comprises a textured bottom surface having nodules to form a ground engaging frictional component to impede slipping.

Concept 15. The needle cap guard as recited in any one or more of Concepts 1 1-14, further comprising:

a) the base portion having on a top surface a rimmed needle cap receptacle and a peripheral circumferential ridge with transverse flanges, each terminating in flange lip; and b) the upper needle cap clutch portion having a lower peripheral edge with hook-like catches that matingly engage the base flange lips. Concept 16. The needle cap guard as recited in any one or more of Concepts 11-15, wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion further comprises a plurality of curvilinear tongue-like stays, with each stay having to frictionally engage the needle cap post.

Concept 17. The needle cap guard in any one or more of Concepts 11-16, wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion further comprises a plurality of pliable stay supports to help maintain the stays and accommodate the needle cap posts of varying thicknesses.

Concept 18. The needle cap guard and recited in any one or more of Concepts 11-17 , wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion comprises a generally dome shaped housing having a central aperture and a plurality of radial slits in the housing extending into the aperture thereby dividing the housing into a plurality of curvilinear sections converging into the aperture to receive and hold the needle cap therein.

Concept 19. The needle cap guard as recited in any one or more of Concepts 11-18, wherein the upper needle cap clutch portion comprises an hourglass shaped member with a midpoint constriction that frictionally engages the needle cap, the member having a curvilinear wall forming an aperture with an upwardly depending top portion and a narrower center portion flaring outwardly to receive the needle cap post therein.

Concept 20. The needle cap guard as recited in any one or more of Concepts 11-19, wherein the base portion and the upper needle cap clutch portion can be fabricated in a variety of geometric shapes to receive and support the needle cap.

[ 0077 ] All elements, parts and steps described herein are preferably included. It is to be understood that any of these elements, parts and steps may be replaced by other elements, parts and steps or deleted altogether based on this disclosure.