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Patent Searching and Data

Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2001/068194
Kind Code:
The invention concerns the making of leather toy balls for dogs, equipped with a strap fixed on the ball so as to enable the animal to play an exercice autonomously. The ball has an oval shape and is constructed using leather on the interior and soft and light filling inside. The invention combines the use of elements of the art available in leather goods and soft toy industry in such a way that, using the novel device of the strap, it creates a new product for the pet toy industry.

Kittou-michael, Marina (18A Akropoleos, Yeri 2200, Nicosia, CY)
Michael, Doros (18A Akropoleos, Yeri 2200, Nicosia, CY)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
September 20, 2001
Filing Date:
March 14, 2000
Export Citation:
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Kittou-michael, Marina (18A Akropoleos, Yeri 2200, Nicosia, CY)
Michael, Doros (18A Akropoleos, Yeri 2200, Nicosia, CY)
International Classes:
A01K15/02; A63B43/00; (IPC1-7): A63B43/00; A01K15/02
Foreign References:
Other References:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kakoullis, Doros (89 Eptanisou, 1016, Nicosia, CY)
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1. THE STRAP: The making of toy balls for dogs characterized by a strap, fixed on the ball as a part or as an extension of it.
2. OVAL SHAPE: The making of toy balls for dogs characterized by an oval shape, considered an improvement to the existing round shape of toy balls for dogs.
3. COMBINATION OF LEATHER AND SOFT FILLING : The making of toy balls for dogs characterized by the use of leather and soft material serving as filling of the ball.
4. AMENDED CLAIMS [received by the International Bureau on 12 February 2001 (12.02.. 01) ; original claims 13 replaced by new claims 14 (1 page)] 1. A toy ball for dogs comprising s (a) An oval shaped ball whose outer surface is made of leather and its inside is filled with a kind of soft and light material that has the property of retaining the shape of the ball even after continuous use and harsh treatment; (b) A strap made of leather which is fixed on the ball as a part or as an extension of it.
5. 2 A toy ball for dogs according to Claim 1, where the toy ball varies in size and weight, and the strap varies in length, so that, according to its size and height, the dog can easily catch and carry the ball in its mouth, and/or bite the strap and use it to play and exercise independently, and/or engage in acrobatic exercises, such as knocking the ball on the ground.
6. 3 A toy ball for dogs according to claim 1, where the material used for the outer surface of the ball and for the strap is suede leather, and the material used for filling the ball is dacron, used in pillows, sofas, quilts, etc.,.
7. A method for making toy balls for dogs comprising the following: (a) Four pieces of leather sewn together, allowing for unsewn front area; (b) Two front pieces pierced before sewing, allowing hand stiching after filling the ball ; (c) One front piece and one opposite facing piece at the back having a hole some distance from the top to receive a strap fixed on them using metal rings and rivets ; (d) A leather strap fixed on two oppositefacing pieces of leather ; (e) Waxed thread used to sew the unsewn front area, after filling the ball.
THE DESCRIPTION Title of Invention :- The swinging doggy ball.

TECHNICAL FIELD The invention is related to three fields, namely the making of leather goods, soft toys and pet toys, more specifically toy balls for dogs. It combines elements of the art available in these three fields and introduces a completely new device, a leather strap (fig 1 a) fixed on the ball, resulting in a new toy ball for dogs that is both useful and exciting to pets and people.

BACKGROUND ART The making of leather artefacts has a long and varied tradition in many countries and civilizations. Leather is used by hand and/or machine, to make clothes, shoes, bags etc. To the knowledge of the Applicants, it has NOT been used in making toy balls for dogs.

Various soft, light materials (dacron, rags, sponge, etc.) are being used in making soft toys, mainly dolls and toy pets. Some toys for pets may use similar material.

The art of making toys and balls for dogs is developing fast, hand in hand with dog loving. Various materials are used in making toy balls for dogs, (latex, rubber, polyethylene, plastic, etc., but not leather). To the Applicants' knowledge, the balls in the market are always round. They do not use any elements similar to a strap.

THE INVENTION The invention was inspired by the dog's instinctive attraction to leather, coupled with the animal's use of its mouth to play and exercise with. Leather

was also chosen because of its durability compared to other material (plastic, imitation leather, etc.).

The invention of the strap, fixed on a soft ball, enables the dog to play and exercise autonomously, as if it had hands. The ideal length of the strap allows the dog to have control over the device and uses it to knock the ball on the ground, throw it in the air, knock on its human playmates to invite them to play, etc.

The invention cannot function properly and safely without soft and light filling, for obvious reasons. In addition, the material has to have the property of retaining the shape of a ball even after continuous use and harsh treatment.

For the same reason, other construction reinforcements had to be developed, thus resulting in a durable ball, a toy which can last for months, even with daily use and harsh treatment.

The oval shape as opposed to the round shape, was developed to facilitate catching, fetching, chewing, etc.

Experimentation over many months and testing of various models have led to the ideal process of making the ball and the most suitable shape, materials, dimensions and sizes (big, medium and small) to suit the three main size categories of dogs.

THE DRAWINGS The drawings concern the model for the big size ball. They contain the following: Fig 1: Preface of the ball, showing its main elements and dimensions of height (the strap included) and diameter.

Figs 2-5: Patterns 1-4, used in drawing and cutting the four pieces of leather. Other technical details (holes, flap, etc.) are also shown.

Fig 6: Preface of the strap showing its dimensions and holes, used in fixing it on the ball.

Note: All dimensions are in millimetres (MM).

BEST MODE The proposed best mode in constructing the ball is as follows : (It concerns the big size ball. The dimensions for smaller sizes are analogous).

Four oval pieces of leather (fig 2-5) are cut and then sewn together by machine, allowing for an unsewn front area. The pieces have a hole at the top and bottom allowing for hand stitching. (fig 2 a and c).

The two front pieces are pierced (b holes, figs 2 and 3), before sewing, the number of holes depending on the size of the ball, so that they be hand- stitched after filling the ball.

One of the two front pieces (fig 2 x) and one opposite facing piece at the back (fig 4 x) have a hole each, some distance from the top, where the strap is fixed, using metal rings inside (fig 2 y and 4 y) and a set of metal rivets (fig 1 c) for fixing.

A fifth piece of material, a rectangular flap, is sewn on the front piece receiving the strap, to be used in covering the filling, thus facilitating hand- stitching. (fig 1 d) A leather strap (fig 6), width and length varying according to the size of the ball, is cut and fixed on two opposite facing pieces of leather. It has a hole at the top and bottom (fig 6a and b) to receive the rivets and rings.

The ball is hand-stitched at the top and bottom, using holes a and c.

It is then turned inside-out and filled with soft material (dacron, rags or similar).

The filling is covered with the flap and the ball is finished by cross-stitching using waxed thread. (fig 1 b).

CHOICE OF MATERIAL The leather has to be strong enough, especially the piece used for the strap, so that it is durable and resistant to tearing by the dog's teeth. Thus it must be of some considerable thickness (no less than 1.3mm.) but not thick to the point of creating difficulties in being turned into a ball. (This is especially the case for the smaller size ball, which is very difficult to be turned inside-out for filling, if the leather is too thick).

The leather must not be amenable to scratching.

It has to be soft and elastic enough to take the shape of a soft ball, suitable for the dog's teeth.

For all the above reasons, suede has been found to be the ideal material.

Other types of leather which have the same properties cannot be ruled out.

The material with which the ball is filled has to be soft and light enough for the dog to catch, fetch, chew, play and exercise with, but strong enough to retain the shape of a ball even after continuous use by the dog, which may include considerable shocks on the floor and other hard surfaces.

The ideal material possessing the above properties is dacron, a material used in pillows, sofas, quilts etc. Rags could also be used, after some special treatment.

The thread used in sewing the pieces of leather on the inside has to be strong, to resist shocks and other harsh treatment.

The thread used on the outside for finishing the ball must be very strong and

waxed to protect the dog's gums when chewing. The choice of this thread was also based on its elegance when used in hand-stitching.

Rings and rivets are used as reinforcements to add resistance against strong shocks. They must be made of metal and be smooth, especially the rivets which come into direct contact with the dog.

NOTE OF CAUTION In making the ball, all kinds of toxic material, such as glues, chemicals and other material damaging to the dog's health must be avoided.

MAIN ADVANTAGE The use of leather and the special filling, in conjunction with the oval shape, are ideal for catching, chewing and carrying of the ball by the dog.

The additional feature of the strap allows the dog to play and exercise independently, provoking even spontaneous acrobatics. Thus the invention fights dog inertia and boredom and gives vent to the dog's frustration, anger and other related pent-up feelings.

The exercise of control by the dog over the device, provides the animal with a sense of achievement and pride, enhancing its attraction to the toy.

The spectacular feats performed by the dog are of great joy to the dog's human mates, especially children, and this enhances the interaction between animal and human.

OTHER ADVANTAGES 1. The ball can be used continuously for months, without being damaged.

2. Given the level of unemployment in the field of the leather goods industry, production of the ball can provide employment to skilled workers in this field.

3. The choice of material results in a soft and light toy that is harmless to dogs, children or others playing with the dog.

4. All materials used are not particularly expensive and are freely available in the market. The ball can be easily constructed, the machines required are in use for years in leather industry, while part of the process is done by hand.