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Title:
IMPROVED METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SECURING EYEGLASSES WHILE BEING WORN
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2002/025354
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An eyeglasses system comprises an eyeglasses frame (601) having a pair of opposite temple regions (614); and an attachment interface at each temple region; and two or more sets of laces (612, 613). The laces sets are interchangeably attachable and detachable from the attachment interfaces at the temple regions of the frame, such that laces of different styles may be used with the single frame. There are in some systems plural frames each having a pair of opposite temple regions with an attachment interface at each temple region, such that plural sets of laces may be freely interchanged and worn with plural sets of laces. Individual ones of the lace sets may include laces of one or more of different styles, colors, indicia, widths, or materials.

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Inventors:
JOHNSON KEVIN B (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2001/029484
Publication Date:
March 28, 2002
Filing Date:
September 20, 2001
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
JOHNSON KEVIN B (US)
International Classes:
G02C3/00; G02C11/00; (IPC1-7): G02C3/00
Foreign References:
US4930885A1990-06-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kaardal, Ivar M. (PC 3500 S. First Avenue Circle, Suite 25, Sioux Falls SD, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims: I claim:
1. An eyeglasses system, comprising: an eyeglasses frame having a pair of opposite temple regions; a lace structure having opposite ends ; and coupling means for removably coupling each of the opposite ends of the lace structure to one of the temple regions of the eyeglasses frame.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein the coupling means comprises a temple piece with a slot having upper and lower indentions or rounded protrusions, and each lace set comprises attachment clips with flexible arms, each arm having a rounded protrusion or an indention, such that the arms deflect inward as the clip is inserted in the slot, and the arms deflect outward again as the rounded protrusions or indentions engage the indentions or rounded protrusions in the slot, holding the clips in the slots.
3. The system of claim 2 wherein the rounded nature of the protrusions allows disengagement of clips from slots by pulling on the laces or clips.
4. The system of claim 1 wherein the coupling means comprises a temple piece with a blade having upper and lower rounded protrusions or indentions, and each lace set comprises attachment clips with flexible arms, each arm having an indention or a rounded protrusion, such that the arms deflect outward as the clip is pushed over the blade, and the arms deflect inward again as the indentions or protrusions engage the rounded protrusions or indentions of the blades, holding the clips on the blades.
5. The system of claim 4 wherein the rounded nature of the protrusions allows disengagement of clips from blades by pulling on the laces or clips.
6. The system of claim 1 wherein the coupling means comprises a temple piece with a socket, and each lace set comprises attachment clips implemented to engage the sockets securely by inserting the attachment clips into the sockets and twisting the attachment clips with respect to the sockets.
7. The system of claim 1 wherein the sets of laces each have non adjustable engagement elements at the temple pieces, and each lace set includes separate laces including a separable clip arrangement at the ends opposite the nonadjustable engagement elements, the separable clip arrangement comprising two joinable pieces, one of which engages a lace in a manner to allow adjustment of the length of the lace.
8. The system of claim 7 wherein adjustment of the length of the lace is provided by hook and loop fastening elements mounted on the lace.
9. The system of claim 7 wherein adjustment of the length of the lace is provided by a slot in one of the joinable pieces allowing a lace to pass therethrough, and a buckle allowing the ends of the lace passed through to be adjustably engaged.
10. The system of claim 7 wherein adjustment of the length of the lace is provided by a slot in one of the joinable pieces allowing a lace to pass therethrough, and a friction clamp allowing the ends of the lace passed through to be adjustably engaged.
11. The system of claim 10 wherein the friction clamp is spring loaded.
12. The system of claim 1 wherein the sets of laces each have adjustable engagement elements at the temple pieces, and each lace set includes separate laces including a separable clip arrangement at the ends opposite the adjustable engagement elements, the separable clip arrangement comprising two joinable pieces.
13. The system of claim 12 wherein adjustment is provided at the temple pieces by laces that pass through a slot in the relevant temple piece and fold back, joined by a buckle or friction element providing length adjustment.
14. The system of claim 1 wherein the coupling means is a male or female thread, and each lace element has a complementary threaded element for engaging the thread at the temple pieces.
15. The system of claim 1 wherein the coupling means comprises a coupler ring mounted on each of the ends of the lace, each of the coupler rings comprising two ring portions, first ends of the ring portions being coupled together by a hinge and second ends of the ring portions being releasably couplable together by a latching structure, the ring portions being pivotable between a closed condition with the second ends of the ring portions latched and an open condition with the second ends of the ring portions unlatched and spaced from each other; the coupling means further comprising a coupler receiver formed on each of the temple regions of eyeglass frame, each of the coupler receivers comprising a hole extending through the temple region for receiving a portion of the coupler ring.
16. The system of claim 1 wherein the coupling means comprises a male coupler element and a female coupler element, the male and female coupler elements being removably couplable together, the male coupler element being mounted on one of the lace and the eyeglasses frame and the female coupler element being mounted on the other of the lace and eyeglasses frame.
17. The system of claim 16 wherein the male coupler element comprises a pair of arms, the pair of arms being spaced from each other, the arms extending substantially parallel to each other, each of the arms having a protrusion formed thereon, the protrusion on each of the arms extending in a direction opposite of the other of the arms, the arms being formed from a resiliently flexible material for permitting the arms to be moved toward each other by application of force thereto and returning to a substantially parallel orientation with respect to each other when the force is removed; and the female coupling element comprises a channel formed in the temple region of the eyeglass frame, the channel removably receiving the arms of the male coupler element when the male coupler element is inserted into the female coupler element, a pair of opposed indentations being formed on an inner surface defining an interior of the channel for receiving the protrusions of the arms when the arms are inserted into a locked position in the channel of the female coupling element.
18. The system of claim 16 wherein the male coupler element comprises a peg having a pair of protrusions, each protrusion of the pair of protrusions extending in a direction opposite of the other protrusion of the pair of protrusions; and the female coupler element comprises a pair of arms, the pair of arms being spaced from each other to form a channel therebetween, the arms extending substantially parallel to each other, each of the arms having a notch formed thereon, the notches on the arms being in an opposed condition to each other, the notches receiving the protrusions of the male coupler element when the male coupler element is inserted between the arms of the female coupler element, the arms being formed from a resiliently flexible material for permitting the arms to be moved away from each other by application of force thereto and returning to a substantially parallel orientation with respect to each other when the force is removed.
19. The system of claim 16 wherein the male coupler element comprises a peg being elongate with a transverse cross section having a substantially circular shape, the peg of the male coupler element having a pair of protrusions, the pair of protrusions extending in substantially diametrically opposite directions; the female coupler element comprises a slot formed on the temple region of the eyeglass frame, the slot removably receiving the peg of the male coupler element, the slot having a generally cylindrical shape, a pair of opposed grooves being formed on an inner surface defining an interior of the slot for receiving the protrusions as the peg is moved into and out of the slot, a pair of notches each being formed in the inner surface at a location along one of the grooves, the notches being adapted to permit rotation of the peg of the male coupler element in the slot to lodge the protrusions in the notches such that longitudinal movement of the male coupler element out of the slot is resisted.
20. The system of claim 16 wherein the male coupler element comprises an elongate peg having a hole formed transversely therethrough; wherein the female coupler element comprises a pair of arms, the pair of arms being spaced from each other to form a channel therebetween for receiving the peg of the male coupler element, the arms extending substantially parallel to each other, each of the arms having a hole formed therein, the holes of the arms of the female coupler element being substantially axially aligned with each other, the holes of the arms being alignable with the hole in the peg of the male coupler element when the peg is inserted in the channel between the arms; and including a connecting pin removably insertable through the holes of the pair of arms and the hole of the peg when the peg is positioned in the channel, the pin having opposite ends, each of the ends of the pin having enlarged portions, a first one of the enlarged portions at a first one of the ends of the pin having a size preventing movement of the first end of the pin through the holes of the arms and peg, a second one of the enlarged portions at a second one of the ends of the pin resisting movement of the second end of the pin through the holes of the arms and the peg but not preventing movement of the second end of the pin through the holes of the arms and the peg.
Description:
IMPROVED METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SECURING EYEGLASSES WHILE BEING WORN Field of the Invention The present invention is in the field of eyeglasses, and has particular application in providing an improved method and apparatus for securing eyeglasses in the desired position while being worn.

Cross-Reference to Related Documents The present invention is related to and improves upon an existing patent US 5,956,118 issued to the present inventor on September 21,1999.

Background of the Invention Eyeglasses, also commonly known as spectacles or glasses, comprise an instrument or device including lenses or prisms mounted in a plastic or metal frame to hold them in position in front of the eyes, for the purpose of aiding vision or compensating for various visual defects such as myopia or astigmatism for example. In addition to correcting visual defects eyeglasses are also commonly worn to protect the user's eyes from harm caused by environmental or workplace hazards. For example, eyeglasses consisting of lenses of various shades or colors and often manufactured with a protective ultraviolet coating, are used to protect the eyes from the harmful rays of the sun, or from the glare of very bright lights. In another example, in order to protect the eyes from the actinic rays of welding flames, workers wear eyeglasses having lenses of a much deeper tint. In still other examples, machinists and other factory workers wear eyeglasses or goggles having lenses of great strength to shield their eyes from flying particles of metal or some other hazardous material, and aviators and racing drivers wear protective goggles to shield their eyes from the wind and other airborne particles. Protective eyeglasses are also commonly worn in many court sports as racquetball and basketball, or other sports where equipment used or close proximity between participants causes a potential hazard to the eyes.

The most common form of eyeglasses consists of a pair of glass or plastic lenses mounted within a metal or plastic frame resting the bridge of the nose usually supported by a pair of nose pads for a nose piece shaped to provide a comfortable fit. A common frame for eyeglasses consists of bows, or arms extending to the rear of the frame from end pieces or temples on each opposite side of the frame end usually hinged and sometimes permanently attached at temple areas of the frame. A common eyeglasses frame is held in place on the user's head by inward spring pressure applied to the arms causing them to grip the head from the sides, or by curved ends of the arms that hook around behind the user's ears. A combination of spring-loaded arms and hooked ends is often utilized.

Another less common form of eyeglasses, known as pinch nose glasses, have frames held in place by pressure on the bridge of the nose utilizing a nosepiece using spring pressure or some form of resilient material. Single lenses, known in the art has monocles are used to correct the sight of just one eye and are held in place by wedging in the orbit of the eye. Eyeglasses with a handle attached to the frame rather than utilizing spring-loaded arms for example, is occasionally employed for reading, and are commonly referred to as lorgnettes.

As previously mentioned many attempts have been made over the many years since the development of eyeglasses to hold the frame of the eyeglasses in place while worn so that the lenses mounted within the frame rest in their proper position in front of the eyes without undue movement.

It is especially important for wearers of eyeglasses with corrective lenses to maintain the proper distance between the lens and the surface of the eye so as to best utilize the corrective properties of the lenses. For example, if corrective eyeglasses worn by a user according to conventional art are moved or bumped into an uneven position in front of the eyes, optimal vision correction is lost and the view through the lens can become distorted.

A common problem encountered by users wearing conventional eyeglasses is a tendency for the frame to slide downward on the bridge of the nose due a combination of the forces of gravity and activity by the user.

The problem is exacerbated when perspiration occurs and the skin surface of

the user's nose becomes slippery, thus increasing the tendency for the eyeglasses to slide downward and outward from the face. The holding effectiveness of temple arms with ends that hook around the ears is also diminished when perspiration occurs behind the ear causing the surface of the skin behind the ear to become increasingly slippery as well, causing the hooked ends to lose their grip. The problem is further exacerbated when external forces are applied to eyeglasses worn by an active user such as an athlete performing a strenuous sport such as funning or riding a bike down a bumpy trail.

The formed nosepiece or nose pads, used in conjunction with temple arms having ends that hook around the ears, as is the method commonly used in conventional eyeglasses, often does not adequately provide the fit and support many users desire. The shape, width and slope of the bridge of the nose can vary greatly from different users, as can the circumference of the head and distance between the ears and bridge of the nose. Because of these physical disparities between users no single combination of temple arms and nosepiece or nose pads provides optimal fit, hold and support for most users. Eyeglasses frames must often be adjusted in many ways for different users in order to obtain the desired secure and comfortable fit. For example, a user having a nose bridge thinner than average must adjust the pair of nose pads of the eyeglasses, if so equipped, inward to diminish the space between each other. The opposite is true for a user with a nose bridge wider than is average, necessitating an outward adjustment of the nose pads to obtain the proper fit. As previously mentioned the head circumference and distance between the bridge of the nose and the ears varies greatly between users necessitating and additional adjustment of the hooked ends of, if so equipped, and the amount of space between the temple arms. Many modern eyeglasses are furnished with temple arms having a straighter end with a sometimes ergonomically shaped cover, usually made of a textured rubberized material, instead of a hooked end that partially wraps around behind the ear as in more conventional art. Such a temple arm end covering is viewed by many to be trendy and fashionable, but can provide the

necessary anchoring of the temple arms only in dry and optimal conditions.

As is the case with temple arms having ends that wrap around the ear such straighter, rubber-covered temple arms are also very susceptible to slippage due to perspiration behind the ears or being subjected to otherwise wet conditions in the environment such as rain, snow or the like.

What is clearly needed is an improved method and apparatus for holding the frames of eyeglasses in the proper position in front of the eyes, enabling the average user to more easily maintain the lenses of the eyeglasses at the proper distance and alignment with the eyes. Such a method and apparatus will provide the user with the desired fit and hold regardless of the amount of activity, perspiration or environmental conditions. Variations of such method and apparatus will also allow the average user interchangeability of securing components while offering a broad choice between different fashionable colors, sizes and styles of straps (laces) and buckles.

Summary of the Invention In a preferred embodiment of the present invention an eyeglasses system is provided, comprising an eyeglasses frame having a pair of opposite temple regions; and attachment interface at each temple region; and two or more sets of laces. The lace sets are interchangeably attachable and detachable from the attachment interfaces at the temple regions of the frame, such that laces of different styles may be used with the single frame.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention the eyeglasses system further comprises plural frames each having a pair of opposite temple regions with an attachment interface at each temple region, such that plural sets of laces may be freely interchanged and worn with plural sets of laces.

In some embodiments each attachment interface comprises a temple piece with a through hole, and each lace set comprises rings that may be opened to pass through both the through holes in the temple pieces and a loop in the laces. The rings may be triangular or oval in shape, or of other shapes.

In some embodiments of the invention each attachment interface

comprises a temple piece with a slot having upper and lower indentions or rounded protrusions, and each lace set comprises attachment clips with flexible arms, each arm having a rounded protrusion or an indention, such that the arms deflect inward as the clip is inserted in the slot, and the arms deflect outward again as the rounded protrusions or indentions engage the indentions or rounded protrusions in the slot, holding the clips in the slots.

The rounded nature of the protrusions allows disengagement of clips from slots by pulling on the laces or clips. In other embodiments each attachment interface comprises a temple piece with a blade having upper and lower rounded protrusions or indentions, and each lace set comprises attachment clips with flexible arms, each arm having an indention or a rounded protrusion, such that the arms deflect outward as the clip is pushed over the blase, and the arms deflect inward again as the indentions or protrusions engage the rounded protrusions or indentions of the blades, holding the clips on the blades. Again, the rounded nature of the protrusions allows disengagement of clips from blades by pulling on the laces or clips.

In some embodiments each attachment interface comprises a temple piece with a socket, and each lace set comprises attachment clips implemented to engage the sockets securely by push and twist action.

In some preferred embodiments the sets of laces each have non- adjustable engagement elements at the temple pieces, and each lace set includes separate laces including a separable clip arrangement at the ends opposite the non-adjustable engagement elements, the separable clip arrangement comprising two joinable pieces, one of which engages a lace in a manner to allow adjustment of the length of the lace. Adjustment of the length of the lace may be provided by Velcro elements incorporated with the lace, or by a slot in one of the joinable pieces allowing a lace to pass therethrough, and a buckle allowing the ends of the lace passed through to be adjustably engaged, as well as by other means. In some cases a friction clamp is used, and the friction clamp may be spring-loaded.

In some embodiments the sets of laces each have adjustable engagement elements at the temple pieces, and each lace set includes separate laces including a separable clip arrangement at the ends opposite

the adjustable engagement elements, the separable clip arrangement comprising two joinable pieces. Adjustment in these embodiments may be provided at the temple pieces by laces that pass through a slot in the relevant temple piece and fold back, joined by a buckle or friction element providing length adjustment. In alternative embodiments the attachment interface is a male or female thread, and each lace element has a matching threaded element for engaging the thread at the temple pieces.

In preferred embodiments of the present invention individual ones of the lace sets include laces of one or more of different styles, colors, indicia, widths, or materials.

It is a particular object of the invention to provide a system wherein glasses frames of many sorts, such as prescription glasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, goggles, and others may be interchanged with many different laces of many different styles, colors, indicia and materials, as well as sizes and widths, to suit a user's mood and inclination at any given time.

With the system of the present invention, taught in enabling embodiments below, for the first time, the object just described as met, allowing users to freely interchange laces of many different sorts and styles.

Brief Description of the Drawings Fig. 1 a is an elevation view of a snap ring according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. I b is an elevation view of the snap ring of Fig. la and an eyeglasses securing strap or lace.

Fig. I c is an elevation view of the snap ring and securing strap of Fig. lb and an eyeglasses temple piece according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. ld is a side view of eyeglasses used with the snap ring and securing strap of Fig. lb according to an embodiment of present invention.

Fig. 2a is an elevation view of a strap clip according to another embodiment of present invention.

Fig. 2b is a side view of the clip of Fig. 2a, an eyeglasses strap and an eyeglasses temple piece and frame according to an embodiment of the

present invention.

Fig. 3 a is an elevation view of a strap clip according to another embodiment of present invention.

Fig. 3b is a side view of the clip of Fig. 3a, an eyeglasses strap and an eyeglasses temple piece and frame according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 4a is an elevation view of an eyeglasses strap with swivel clip according to another embodiment of present invention.

Fig. 4b is a rear broken view of a portion of eyeglasses frame according to embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 4c is a rear view of the eyeglasses frame of Fig. 4b.

Fig. 5a is an elevation view of a strap clip according to another embodiment of present invention.

Fig. 5b is a side view of the clip of Fig. 5a, an eyeglasses strap and an eyeglasses temple piece and frame according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 6a is a rear view of an eyeglasses frame, straps and buckle according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 6b is a rear view of an eyeglass frame, straps and buckles according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 6c is a top broken view of a portion of an eyeglasses frame, temple piece and eyeglasses strap according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 6d is a top broken view of a portion of an eyeglasses frame, temple piece and eyeglasses strap according to yet another embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 7a is an elevation view of a strap clip and securing pin according to another embodiment of present invention.

Fig. 7b is a side view of the clip and securing pin of Fig. 7a, and eyeglasses strap and an eyeglasses temple piece according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 8a is an elevation view of an eyeglasses strap with angled swivel clip according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 8b is a top broken view of a portion of eyeglasses frame and temple piece according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 8c is a top view of the eyeglasses frame of Fig. 8b.

Fig. 9a is elevation view of an eyeglasses temple piece according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 9b is a side view of eyeglasses utilizing the temple piece of Fig.

9a and an eyeglasses strap according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 9c is a side view of a glasses frame with a temple piece according to an alterative embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 9d illustrates the frame and temple piece of Fig. 9a in relation to a retainer and strap.

Fig. 9e illustrates a temple piece allowing a strap to be attached by a screw thread.

Fig. 9f illustrates another embodiment of a temple piece and engagement element in an embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 10a is a view of an end of an eyeglasses strap according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 10b is a top broken view of a portion of eyeglasses frame, temple piece and securing pin according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 10c is a top view of the eyeglasses frame, temple pieces and securing pin of Fig. 10b used with the eyeglasses strap of Fig. 10a according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 10d illustrates a friction element for adjusting laces in an embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 1 la is a top broken view of a portion of eyeglasses frame and temple piece according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 1 lb is a rear broken view of the eyeglasses frame and temple piece of Fig. 11 a, and securing pin according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 12a is an elevation view of a securing ring and small eyeglasses strap according to another embodiment of present invention.

Fig. 12b is an elevation view of the securing ring of Fig. 12a used

with a large eyeglasses strap according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 12c is an elevation view of an oval securing ring and small eyeglasses strap according to another embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 12d is an elevation view of an oval securing ring and larger eyeglasses strap according to another embodiment of the invention.

Description of the Preferred Embodiments It is the object of the present invention to provide an improved method and apparatus for securing eyeglasses on the head enhanced such that, among other improvements, allows a user to safely and securely wear eyeglasses during extreme physical activity or during adverse conditions such as wind or rain. It is also an object of the present invention to provide the eyeglasses wearer greater flexibility in choosing difference sizes, colors and styles of the securing apparatus with the ability to easily interchange components to suit a particular need. Such method and apparatus is described in enabling detail below. A patent on some novel arrangements of eyeglasses and laces was issued to the present inventor on September 21, 1999, and the present disclosure builds upon and improves the methods and apparatus taught in the disclosure of that patent. It should be noted that the terms of"laces"and"straps"are used interchangeably in this specification.

Fig. la is an elevation view of a snap ring according to an embodiment of the present invention. In a preferred embodiment snap ring 101 is manufactured of strong, resilient metal alloy or other similarly sturdy wire-like material and comprises portion 104 and portion 105, both hemi- circular in shape, connected at one end by hinge 107 allowing both portions to open in close in the directions indicated. The opposing ends of each portion each have a notch 110 arranged in opposite configuration from each other so as to snap together, one end securing the other, when both portions are closed together and the notched ends meet and are pushed together.

Fig. lb is an elevation view of snap ring 101 of Fig. la and an eyeglasses securing strap 112. In this view strap 112 can be seen extending over the hinged portion of snap ring 101, which is now in the closed and

locked portion via the conjunction of notches 110. Strap 112 in this embodiment is looped around the hinged portion of snap ring 101 and stitched to itself at seam 114, thus attaching itself to ring 101. The alternative embodiments the method of attaching the end of strap 112 once passed through snap ring 101 and vary and may include methods such as bonding with adhesive material, securing by a metal clamp or by using a non-permanent method such as a metal clamp or clip allowing a user to remove strap 112 from snap ring 101.

Fig. 1 c is an elevation view of snap ring 101 and securing strap 112 of Fig. lb and an eyeglasses temple piece according to an embodiment of the present invention. Temple piece 114 in this embodiment extends out from an eyeglasses frame 118, molded to frame 118 or otherwise attached using a variety of methods, and is provided with a vertical hole 116 passing completely through the center of temple piece 114. The purpose of hole 116 is to accommodate passage of snap ring 101 in this embodiment, one portion of open snap ring 101 passed through hole 116 and then snapped closed, thereby securing strap 112 to the eyeglasses frame via temple piece 114.

Fig. ld is a side view of eyeglasses frame 118 used with snap ring 101 and securing strap 112 of Fig. lb according to an embodiment of present invention. In this view temple piece 114 can be seen in its position extending out from eyeglasses frame 118, with strap 112 secured to temple piece 114 using attached snap ring 101. In alternative embodiment using a similar strap securing method as is depicted here, the size, shape, and location of temple piece 114 can vary depending on the style and shape of the eyeglasses frame it is attached to. Similarly, the size and thickness of snap ring 101 can vary, as can the method of snapping or otherwise securing and open ends of a snap ring such as snap ring 101. In other alternative embodiments a hinged securing ring may be used having one open end hollow and the other end solid and of a slightly smaller diameter than that of the hollow end, allowing it to slip into the hollow end when the ring is closed, similarly to the method utilized in closing a common type of earring.

Fig. 2a is an elevation view of a strap clip according to another embodiment of present invention. Clip 201 is provided as an. alternative

method and apparatus for securing an eyeglasses strap to the frame of the eyeglasses.'Clip 201 is a preferred embodiment is manufactured of sturdy, resilient plastic, or can be manufactured of a resilient metal alloy or similar material in other embodiment. Clip 201 is substantially rectangular in shape having a strap post 208 at the rear creating a slot 209 through which the end of an eyeglasses strap may pass. Arms 207 extend outward from slot 209 each having a rounded protrusion 205 near the end on the outer surface as shown. Arms 207 are flexible and resilient in nature allowing them to bend inward towards each other in the direction indicated, snapping back to their original position once released.

Fig. 2b is a side view of clip 201 of Fig. 2a, an eyeglasses strap and an eyeglasses temple piece and frame according to an embodiment of the present invention. Temple piece 214 in this embodiment is somewhat similar in overall shape to temple 114 of Fig. lc, attached to their rear of eyeglasses frame 218, providing a slot 210 having a height and width similar to that of clip 201 but slightly larger to allow clip 201 to slide inward into slot 210. The opening of slot 210 is slightly curved outward as shown to allow easier insertion of clip 201. Slot 210 is provided with rounded notches 216 located at the rear and extending somewhat into temple piece 214.

Arms 207 are rounded at the outboard end such that one need not manually depress arms 207 to engage clip 201 in slot 210. It is only necessary to position the clip and push the clip into the slot. The design of the clip arms 207 causes the arms to deflect. When protrusions 205 reach the position of notches 216, the deflected arms re-extend to engage the protrusions in the notches, and the clip is then secured in the temple piece with sufficient holding power that the clip, therefore a connected strap 212, will not disengage in normal use.

The rounded nature of protrusions 205 and the notches 216 serves another important purpose. This is that the clip may be easily disengaged from temple piece 214 when the user wishes to make the disengagement.

This can be done simply by pulling the clip straight out from the slot. This action will cause the arms to again deflect and protrusions 205 to disengage

from notches 216, allowing disengagement.

Clip 201 can be seen in this view attached to a strap 212, and it can be assumed the method of attachment, being similar to that utilized for strap 112 and snap ring 101 of Fig. lb, is utilized. However as with strap 112 the method of attaching strap 121 to clip 201 can vary in different embodiments. In a preferred embodiment arms 207 flex slightly inward when clip 201, attached to strap 212 is inserted into slot 210 and then snap back into place once fully inserted, protrusions 205 neatly fitting into notches 216 of temple piece 214 thus securing clip 201 to temple piece 214.

Once fully inserted and snapped into place, a small portion of arms 207 remains exposed so that a user can easily disengage clip 201 from temple piece 214 by pressing down on the exposed portions of arms 207, bending them slightly inward thereby releasing protrusions 205 from notches 216 and allowing clip 201 to slide out of slot 210.

Fig. 3 a is an elevation view of a strap clip according to another embodiment of the present invention. Clip 301 is provided being manufactured of similar materials and of similar overall shape and size to clip 201 of Fig. 2a. Clip 301 has two flexible arms 307 with the ability to be flexed outward in the direction indicated, returning to the original position when released. Clip 301 also has a post 308 creating a slot 309, both also similar to clip 201 of Fig. 2a. Instead of having protrusions such as those of clip 201, clip 301 has rounded notches 305 located on the inner surfaces near the ends of arms 307, which are rounded on the outboard ends.

Fig. 3b is a side view of the clip of Fig. 3a, an eyeglasses strap 312 and an eyeglasses temple piece 314 and frame 318 according to an embodiment of the present inventions. Temple piece 314 in this embodiment is attached to an eyeglasses frame 318 and is somewhat similar to temple piece 214 of Fig.

2b but has a peg 315 extending outward from its rear surface. Rounded protrusions 316 are provided in this embodiment, extending out from opposing sides of peg 315. Clip 301 is attached to eyeglasses strap 312 by similar method used for strap 212 and clip 201 of Fig. 2b, but s is the case with previous components the method of attachment, either permanent or non-permanent, can vary in alternative embodiments. To attache strap 312

to temple piece 314, clip 301 is slid over peg 315 until the ends of arms 307 make contact with protrusions 316 of peg 315. Once contact is made further pushing of clip 301 causes arms 307 to slide over protrusions 316, bending slightly outward until they finally snap back into place once rounded notches 305 are completely over protrusions 316, thereby securing clip 301 to peg 315 of temple piece 314. The rounded nature of the elements as described above also allows easy disengagement of clip 301 from temple piece 314. One need only pull on the clip with sufficient force to cause the clip arms to deflect and the clip to disengage.

Fig. 4a is an elevation view of an eyeglasses strap with swivel clip according to another embodiment of present invention. Swivel clip 401 is provided as another alternative for securing an eyeglasses strap to an eyeglasses frame. Clip 401 in this embodiment is permanently attached to eyeglasses strap 412 using a variety of methods such as bonding or gluing, and has a peg 402 with protrusions 405 extending out from opposite sides near the end.

Fig. 4b is a rear broken view of a portion of eyeglasses frame according to embodiment of the present invention. Eyeglasses frame 418 is provided with a temple piece 414 that accommodates hole 410, hole 410 extending in this embodiment approximately half the distance into frame 418, and designed to allow for the insertion of clip 401. Hole 410 has notches 411 located at opposing ends at the surface of hoe 410, and are shaped similarly to protrusions 405 of clip 401. Notches 412, located deeper within hole 410 as seen here in a hidden view, are located in positions opposite to each other as with notches 411, but rotated 90 degrees.

To attach strap 412 to frame 418 clip 401 is inserted into hole 410, aligning protrusions 405 of clip 401 with notches 411 of hole 410. Once fully inserted into hoe 410, clip 401 is rotated 90 degrees thereby locking protrusions 405 into notches 412. Detachment of the components is achieved by rotating the inserted clip 401 90 degrees in a direction opposite to that which was used in insertion, thereby locking protrusions 405 from notches 412, aligning them with notches 411, allowing the complete withdrawal of clip 401 from temple piece 414.

Fig. 4c is a rear view of the eyeglasses frame of Fig. 4b. In this view eyeglasses frame 418 can be seen in its entirety with a temple piece 414 at each end with holes 410 extending into each.

Fig. 5a is an elevation view of a strap clip according to another embodiment of present invention. Clip 501 is provided being manufactured of similar materials and of similar overall shape and size to clip 301 of Fig.

3a. Clip 501 has two flexible arms 507 with the ability to be flexed outward in the direction indicated, returning to the original position when released, similarly to clip 301 of Fig. 3a. Further, arms 507 are angled or rounded at the outboard ends as shown. Clip 301 also has a post 508 creating a slot 509 through which an eyeglasses strap passes, both attributes also been similar to clip 301 of Fig. 3a. However, instead of having notches such as those of clip 301, clip 501 has rounded protrusions 505 located on the inner surfaces near the ends of arms 507 in a similar location to notches 305 of clip 301 of Fig. 3a.

Fig. 5b is a side view of clip 501 of Fig. Sa, an eyeglasses strap and an eyeglasses temple piece and frame according to an embodiment of the present invention. Temple piece 514 in this embodiment is attached to an eyeglasses frame 518 and is similar in size in shape to temple piece 314 of Fig. 3b, and is provided with a peg 515, similar in size to peg 315 of Fig.

3b. Rounded notches 516 are provided in this embodiment located on opposite sides of peg 515 extending into peg 515 to a depth approximately equal to the height of rounded protrusions 505 of clip 501. Clip 501 can be seen attached to eyeglasses strap 512 by similar method used for strap 312 and clip 301 of Fig. 3b, but as is the case with previous components the method of attachment, either permanent or non-permanent, can vary in alternative embodiments. To attach strap 512 to temple piece 514, clip 501 is slid over peg 515 in the direction indicated, arms 507 spreading slightly outward as protrusions 505 make contact with the sloped edges of peg 515.

Clip 501 is slid further over peg 515 until protrusions 505 align with notches 516 and lock into place within notches 515 due to the tendency of arms 507 of clip 501 to snap back into their original position. As is also true for clip 301 of Fig. 3a, once fully inserted with arms 507 snapped in

place on peg 515, disengagement may be easily accomplished, because of the rounded elements, by pulling the clips outwardly.

Fig. 6a is a rear view of an eyeglasses frame, straps and buckle according to another embodiment of the present invention. Eyeglasses 601 in this embodiment have a frame 618, typical of a common eyeglasses frame known in the art. A temple piece 614 is located on either end of frame 618 and is used, as are other temple pieces previously described, as an interface for attaching an eyeglasses strap to the frame. In this embodiment eyeglasses straps 612 and 613 are each attached to temple pieces 614, and are connected at the other ends utilizing a detachable clasp assembly comprising of male clasp 603 attached to strap 613, and a female clasp 604 attached to strap 612. Male clasp 603 is designed to slide into female clasp 604 in the direction indicated and lock in place once fully inserted. Strap 612 is attached in this embodiment to female clasp 604 first looping through the slot in a rear of female clasp 604, and then reattaching to itself utilizing Velcro strip 610. By utilizing this method the user can quickly and easily adjust the length of strap 612 by loosening the attached strap 612 from Velcro strip 610, readjusting the length of strap 612 and then reattaching the strap to Velcro strip 610.

Fig. 6b illustrates another embodiment similar to the embodiment of Fig. 6a, wherein straps 612 and 613 are adjustably attached to the temple pieces of the frame, using buckles 630. In this embodiment strap 613 is attached to element 604 without adjustment. There may be two buckles as shown, or they may be just one, with all adjustment made on one side. In other embodiments adjustment may be provided in other ways, such as by Velcro elements.

Fig. 6c is a top broken view of a portion of eyeglasses frame 618, temple piece 614 and eyeglasses strap 613 according to another embodiment of the present invention. In this enlarged view the method of attachment of strap 613 to temple piece 614 utilized in this embodiment is more clearly seen. Temple piece 614 can be seen attached to eyeglasses frame 618 using attachment methods previously described such as welding or bonding with adhesive material, or in other embodiments may be molded into frame 618

as an integral part of the frame. Temple piece 614 has a slot 616 extending down through a portion of temple piece 614 to a depth in this embodiment of approximately half the height of temple piece 614, within and opening in the rear of temple piece 614 designed to allow for the insertion of a strap.

Strap 613 is fitted with a pin 615 having a diameter slightly less than that of hole 616, and a height approximately equal to that of the depth of hole 616.

Attachment of strap 613 to temple piece 614 is achieved by sliding pin 615, attached to strap 613, down into slot 616 until it can slide no further.

Detachment is achieved by simply lifting strap 613, with pin 615 attached, upward and out of slot 616.

Fig. 7a is an elevation view of a strap clip and securing pin according to another embodiment of present invention. Clip 701 is provided as another alternative for securing and eyeglasses strap to an eyeglasses frame.

Clip 701 has a rectangular shape and is of a size similar to clip 501 of Fig.

5a. A post 708 is also provided similarly to previous rectangular clips descried creating a slot 709 through which the end of a securing strap will pass. Clip 701 is provided with arms 707 also similar to previous rectangular clips described but with the upper arm having a hole 705 passing completely through, and the lower arm having a hole 706 also passing completely through and having a diameter slightly less than that of the upper hole 705. Securing pin 703 is provided having a length slightly greater than the height of clip 701 and a body diameter slightly less than that of holes 705 and 706. Securing pin 703 has a top cap 710 with a diameter slightly greater than that of the body of pin 703, and a bottom cap 709 also a diameter slightly greater than the body of pin 703 but slightly less than that of top cap 710. Pin 710 is designed to be inserted down in the direction indicated first passing through hole 705, and then passing completely through hole 706 until it can travel no further due to the bottom edge of 710 resting on the upper surface of arm 707. As previously mentioned pin 703 is of a length slightly greater than the overall height of clip 701 so that when pin 703 is of a length slightly greater than the overall height of clip 701 so that when pin 703 is fully inserted the bottom cap 709 passes just far enough through hole 706 so that the raised portion of bottom

cap 709 passes just far enough through hole 706 so that the raised portion of bottom cap 709 snaps into place within hole 706. Pin 703 is designed so that it may be removed from clip 701 by grasping upper cap 710 and pulling pin 703 up and-out of clip 701.

Fig. 7b is a side view of clip 701 and securing pin 703 of Fig. 7a, and eyeglasses strap and an eyeglasses temple piece according to an embodiment of the present invention. Temple piece 714, attached to frame 718 is similar to temple piece 514 of Fig. 5b. A peg 715 is also provided being similar in size and shape to peg 515 but instead of notches as with peg 515, peg 715 has a hole 716 passing completely through peg 715 and having a diameter slightly larger than that of pin 703. Clip 701 can be seen attached to an eyeglasses strap 712 using methods previously described. As shown, the method of attaching strap 712 to temple piece 714 using clip 701 is achieved by sliding clip 701, attached to strap 712, over peg 715 until hole's 705 and 706 of clip 701 align with hole 716 of peg 715. Once the holes are aligned, pin 703 is inserted through the holes of clip 701 and peg 715 and locking into place.

In some embodiments clip 701 may be fashioned as an element with a rectangular opening such that it encloses peg 715 completely when engaged.

This is true as well of the arrangements described with the aid of Figs. 3a and b and 5a and b.

Fig. 8a is an elevation view of an eyeglasses strap with angled swivel clip according to another embodiment of the present invention. Clip 801 is provided with an angled body 802 attached to an eyeglasses strap 812 utilizing various means previously mentioned. The lower portion of angled boy 802 is similar in shape and size to swivel clip 401 of Fig. 4a and has similar protrusions 805 located on opposing sides.

Fig. 8b is a top broken view of a portion of eyeglasses frame and temple piece according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Eyeglasses frame 818 is provided with attached temple piece 814 as is similar to other embodiments previously described. A hole 810 is provided located approximately in the center of temple piece 814 and extending to a depth of approximately half the height of temple piece 814 and having a

diameter slightly larger than that of the circular body clip 801. Hole 810 is also provided with notches 811 and 812, approximately the same shape but having slightly larger dimensions than protrusions 805 of clip 801. Hole 810 is designed to accommodate the insertion of clip 801. Attachment of inserted clip 801 to temple piece 814 is achieved by first inserting clip 801 into hole 810 and rotating clip 801 90 degrees, a method identical to the method described for clip 401 and hole 410 of Fig. 4b.

Fig. 8c is a top view of eyeglasses frame 818 of Fig. 8b. In this view eyeglasses frame 818 can be seen in its entirety with a temple piece 814 at each end with holes 810 extending into each.

Fig. 9a is elevation view of an eyeglasses temple piece according to another embodiment of the present invention. Temple piece 901 is provided in this embodiment as another alternative for securing an eyeglasses strap to an eyeglasses frame. Temple piece 901, substantially rectangular in shape in this embodiment and of other shapes in other embodiments is secured to eyeglasses frame 918 using methods previously described, and has a slot 905 designed for the insertion of the end of an eyeglasses strap.

Fig. 9b is a side view of eyeglasses utilizing temple piece 901 of Fig.

9a and an eyeglasses strap according to an embodiment of the present invention. Eyeglasses strap 912 is similar to eyeglasses strap 612 of Fig.

6a, and similarly has a Velcro (TM_ strip 910 at one or both ends. To attach strap 912 to temple piece 901, the end of strap 912 having Velcro strip 910 is inserted through slot 905 and then reattached to itself utilizing Velcro strip 910. In this manner the user can easily readjust strap 912 by simply lifting VelcroTM strip 910, performing the desired adjustment, and reattaching the VelcroTM strip 910. The Velcro elements can be arranged on different sides in different embodiments of the invention.

Figs 9c and 9d illustrate yet another attachment arrangement in an embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment frame 922 has a temple piece 924 having three post extensions. Extensions 928 are flexible extensions with retaining shoulders, and extension 926 is a guide. Fig. 9d illustrates frame 922 with temple piece 924, and a retaining socket element 926 which is fashioned to engage temple piece 924 in a manner allowing

easy disengagement as described above with the aid of Figs. 2a and b, 3a and b, and 5a and b. Element 926 also has a post for passing a strap 928, which in this case has Velcro elements allowing the strap to fold back upon itself engage the Velcro elements. There are likewise a number of other ways the strap may be secured in alternative embodiments. For example strap 928 may pass through element 926 and be secured with an adjustable buckle on one or both sides of the frame.

It will be apparent to the skilled artisan that the arrangement of elements as shown in Figs. 9c and 9d can be interchanged, with the male elements on the frame and female elements on the lace assembly.

Fig. 9e illustrates a side view of a frame 960 having a temple piece 962 with a female thread. An element 964 with a male thread secures strap 968, which can be attached to element 964 in any of a broad variety of ways, such as, for example, with Velcro elements.

Fig. 9f illustrates yet another embodiment for joining laces sets to eyeglass frames in an embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment eyeglasses frame 970 has temple pieces with a simple post 972 on each side. Lace or strap 976 has an end piece 974 that is made of flexible material, such as synthetic or natural rubber, and has a bore 973 with a diameter smaller than the diameter of post 972. Because of the flexibility of the material of element 974, the post can be inserted into the bore, but will not easily be removed. The holding power will be enough to ensure that the laces will not disengage in normal use. When it is desired to remove the laces, it may be done by pulling with sufficient tension to do so.

Fig. 10a is a broken view of the end of an eyeglasses strap according to another embodiment of the present invention. Eyeglasses strap 1001 is provided as yet another alternative embodiment for securing an eyeglasses strap to an eyeglasses frame. Strap 1001 in this embodiment has a main portion 1016, the end of which passes through sheath 1003, loops around creating loop 1015, and then is reinserted into sheath 1003 and attached at that point.

Fig. 1 Ob is a top broken view of a portion of eyeglasses frame, temple piece and securing pin according to an embodiment of the present invention.

In this embodiment eyeglasses frame 1018 has a temple piece 1014 having to arms extending out from frame 1018. Holes 1017 are provided, located approximately in the center of each arm of the temple piece 1014 and passing completely through each arm. Pin 1015 is provided having a length approximately equal to the overall width of temple piece 1014, and is of a diameter controlled to produce a snug fit with holes 1017. The method of attachment in this embodiment is by first inserting the looped end of eyeglasses strap 1001 in between the arms of temple piece 1014 aligning the hole of loop 1015 with holes 1017 of temple piece 1014. Once aligned, pin 1015 is inserted through the first hole of temple piece 1014 in the direction indicated, through loop 1015 of eyeglasses strap 1001 and into the second hole, being secured within holes 1017 due to the snug fit achieved by a diameter of 1015 being controlled to produce a snug fit in holes 1017. To remove strap 1001 from temple piece 1014 a user is simply required to manually hole in 1015 out of holes 1017 thereby releasing strap 1001.

Fig. 10c is a top view of eyeglasses frame 1018, temple pieces 1014 and securing pin 1015 of Fig. lOb, used with eyeglasses strap 1001 of Fig.

10a according to embodiment of the present invention. In this view eyeglasses frame 1018 can be seen in its entirety with eyeglasses straps 1001 in their proper location secured by pins 1015 as previously described.

In alternative embodiments straps may be joined in many other ways, as indicated, for example, in Figs. 10d, 12a, 12b, 12c and 12d.

Fig. 10d shows a lace 1020 and a friction clamp 1022 that may be used in alternative embodiment of the present invention for adjusting and holding laces. In this arrangement a friction clamp 1022 allows a lace to e passes through, looped, and passed through again. The friction clamp allows either leg passed through the clamp to be adjusted by pulling on the lace. The clamp itself can take any one of many forms, being, for example, a simple ring with the size controlled to provide clamping for certain size laces. It may also be a spring-loaded device such that laces of different sizes may be used, and so on.

Fig. 1 la is a top broken view of a portion of eyeglasses frame and temple piece according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Temple piece 1124 is seen here attached to eyeglasses frame 1128 utilizing methods previously described, and is similar in size in shape to temple piece 1014 of Fig. 10, having a hole 1127 passing through each arm of temple piece 1124. In this embodiment however, temple piece 1124 is horizontal in its orientation to eyeglasses frame 1128.

Fig. lib is a rear broken view of eyeglasses frame 1128 and temple piece 1124 of Fig. 11 a, and securing pin according to an embodiment of the present invention. Securing pin 1125 is provided also being similar in size and shape to pin 1015 of Fig. lOb. Temple piece 1124 and pin 1125 are designed to be used with an eyeglasses strap similar to strap 1001 of Fig.

10a when securing the strap to the temple piece. The method of attaching an eyeglasses strap such as strap 1001 in this embodiment is identical to method previously described in Fig. lOb.

Fig. 12a is an elevation view of a securing ring and small eyeglasses strap according to another embodiment of present invention. Ring 1201 is provided in this embodiment being trapezoidal in shape, with one of the parallel sides having a greater length than the other. Ring 1201 is manufactured in this embodiment of metal or similar strong wire material and is designed to be used with eyeglasses straps of different sizes. Other materials will be suitable as well, such as synthetic materials, plastics for example.

In this view, the smaller eyeglasses strap 1212 is attached to the smaller end of ring 1201 using any of various methods previously described.

The method of attachment can be permanent or non-permanent in alternative embodiments.

Fig. 12b is an elevation view of securing ring 1212 of Fig. 12a used with a large eyeglasses strap according to another embodiment of the present invention. To accommodate the larger strap ring 1201 is flipped horizontally so that the larger of the two parallel sides is the side used for attaching the larger strap 1214. As is true with smaller strap 1212, larger strap 1214 can be attached to ring 1201 utilizing a variety of methods previously described.

Fig. 12c is an elevation view of an oval securing ring and a small

eyeglasses strap in another embodiment of the present invention. Fig. 12d is an elevation view of an oval securing ring and a larger eyeglasses strap in another embodiment of the present invention. Securing rings can take these and other shapes as well in alternative embodiments.

It will be apparent to a worker of ordinary skill that there are many alterations that may be made in the embodiments described herein without departing from the overall spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, the adjustable arrangements for fastening straps to frames of fastener elements may be implemented in many different materials in various widths, and in various colors and patterns. There are many other alterations that may be made in the embodiments described without departing from the spirit and cope of the invention. For these reasons the invention should be afforded the broadest possible scope limited only by the language of the clams that follow.