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Title:
AUXILIARY WIPER BLADE APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2009/111353
Kind Code:
A3
Abstract:
An auxiliary wiper blade apparatus includes substantially rigid segments detachably interconnected to form an elongate member having opposed first and second ends, and extending between the opposed first and second ends a length, opposed upper and lower sides, and opposed first and second sides. A wiper is formed in the lower side of the elongate member extending from the first end of the elongate member to the second end of the elongate member, and the upper side of the elongate member is constructed and arranged to receive and detachably secure a wiper blade attached to a wiper blade assembly.

Inventors:
MARTINEZ RANDY J (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2009/035606
Publication Date:
December 30, 2009
Filing Date:
February 28, 2009
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
MARTINEZ RANDY J (US)
International Classes:
A47L1/02
Foreign References:
US3545028A1970-12-08
US3828388A1974-08-13
US2847694A1958-08-19
US20020053112A12002-05-09
US2663043A1953-12-22
US4807326A1989-02-28
GB524165A1940-07-31
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GOLTRY, Michael, W. (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. An auxiliary wiper blade apparatus, comprising: substantially rigid segments detachably interconnected to form an elongate member having opposed first and second ends, and, extending between the opposed first and second ends, a length, opposed upper and lower sides, and opposed first and second sides; a wiper formed in the lower side of the elongate member extending from the first end of the elongate member to the second end of the elongate member; and the upper side of the elongate member adapted to receive and detachably secure a wiper blade attached to a wiper blade assembly.

2. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising an engagement assembly formed in and detachably interconnecting each interconnected pair of the segments.

3. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the engagement assembly comprises an engagement element and a complemental engagement element formed in and detachably interconnecting each detachably interconnected pair of the segments.

4. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the engagement element comprises at least one male engagement element received by at least one female engagement element comprising the complemental engagement element .

5. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising each of the segments formed

with a foil segment, the foil segments cooperating to form a foil in the first side of the elongate member.

6. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising: a joint formed between a detachably interconnected pair of the segments; a spade formed in one of the corresponding pairs of segments extending into a recess formed in the elongate flexible member; and the spade and the recess together relate to the joint .

7. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising: a joint formed between each detachably interconnected pair of the segments; cuts partially severing the elongate flexible member at spaced intervals along the length of the elongate flexible member between the opposed first and second ends of the elongate flexible member; and the cuts each relate to one of the joints.

8. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 7, further comprising the wiper formed with a bumper located at, and extending outwardly with respect to, each of the opposed first and second sides of the elongate member along the lower side of the elongate member and extending along the length of the elongate member from the first end to the second end.

9. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the cuts are formed in one of the bumpers .

10. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising: the wiper formed with a bumper located at, and extending outwardly with respect to, the first side of the elongate member along the lower side of the elongate member and extending along the length of the elongate member from the first end to the second end; and the first side of the elongate member and the bumper at the first side of the elongate member cooperating to form a foil extending from the first end of the elongate member to the second end of the elongate member.

11. An auxiliary wiper blade apparatus, comprising: substantially rigid segments detachably interconnected to form an elongate member having opposed first and second ends, and, extending between the opposed first and second ends, a length, opposed upper and lower sides, and opposed first and second sides; a wiper formed in the lower side of the elongate member extending from the first end of the elongate member to the second end of the elongate member; a valley formed in each of the segments cooperating to form a channel in the upper side of the elongate member extending along the length of the elongate member from the first end of the elongate member to the second end of the elongate member, the channel to receive a wiper blade attached to a wiper blade assembly; and clips formed in the segments to clip onto a wiper blade received in the channel to detachably secure the

elongate member to the wiper blade received in the channel .

12. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 11, further comprising an engagement assembly formed in and detachably interconnecting each interconnected pair of the segments.

13. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the engagement assembly comprises lugs formed in a first one of the segments of each interconnected pair of segments detachably received in corresponding sockets formed in a second one of the segments of each interconnected pair of segments.

14. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 11, further comprising each of the segments formed with a foil segment, the foil segments cooperating to form the foil in the first side of the elongate member.

15. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 11, further comprising: a joint formed between each detachably interconnected pair of the segments; cuts partially severing the elongate flexible member at spaced intervals along the length of the elongate flexible member between the opposed first and second ends of the elongate flexible member; and the cuts each relate to one of the joints.

16. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 15, further comprising: the wiper formed with a bumper located at, and extending outwardly with respect to, each of the opposed first and second sides of the elongate member along the lower side of the elongate member and extending along the length of the elongate member from the first end to the second end; and the cuts are formed in one of the bumpers.

17. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 11, further comprising: the wiper formed with a bumper located at, and extending outwardly with respect to, the first side of the elongate member along the lower side of the elongate member and extending along the length of the elongate member from the first end to the second end; and the first side of the elongate member and the bumper at the first side of the elongate member cooperating to form a foil extending from the first end of the elongate member to the second end of the elongate member.

18. An auxiliary wiper blade apparatus, comprising: an elongate, flexible member having opposed first and second ends, and extending between the opposed first and second ends a length, opposed upper and lower sides, opposed first and second sides, and a wiper blade formed in the lower side between the opposed first and second sides; substantially rigid segments formed in the upper side of the elongate flexible member extending along the length of the elongate flexible member from the first end of the

elongate flexible member to the second end of the elongate flexible member; the segments adapted to receive and detachably secure a wiper blade attached to a wiper blade assembly; a joint formed between each pair of the segments; cuts partially severing the elongate flexible member at spaced intervals along the length of the elongate flexible member between the opposed first and second ends of the elongate flexible member; and the cuts each relate to one of the joints.

19. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 18, further comprising the cuts are formed in one of the first and second sides of the wiper.

20. The auxiliary wiper blade apparatus according to claim 19, further comprising a gutter formed on either side of the wiper blade between the wiper blade and the lower side of the wiper extend along the length of the wiper from the first end of the wiper to the second end of the wiper.

Description:

AUXILIARY WIPER BLADE APPARATUS

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to wiper blades and, more particularly, to a replacement wiper blade assembly configured to be applied over, and secured to, a worn out or damaged wiper blade attached to a wiper blade assembly.

BACKGROUND ART A wiper blade is a device used to wipe rain and debris from a windscreen. Almost all motor vehicles, trains, aircraft, and watercraft incorporate wiper blades. Wiper blades are attached to a wiper blade assembly fastened to a wiper arm that is, in turn, operatively coupled to a wiper motor, which, when activated, oscillates the wiper blade assembly moving the wiper blade across the windscreen to wipe away rain and debris. Because wiper blades can become damaged, and are constantly exposed to sun, moisture, and extreme changes in temperature, wiper blades wear out and must be replaced periodically. Unfortunately, wiper blades tend to wear out or become damaged at times when a replacement wiper blade is not available. Accordingly, it would be highly desirable to provide an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus that may be installed over a worn-out or damaged wiper blade until the worn-out or damaged wiper blade may be replaced or repaired.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION According to the principle of the invention, an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus includes substantially rigid segments detachably interconnected to form an elongate member having opposed first and second ends, and,

extending between the opposed first and second ends, a length, opposed upper and lower sides, and opposed first and second sides. A wiper is formed in the lower side of the elongate member extending from the first end of the elongate member to the second end of the elongate member. The upper side of the elongate member is constructed and arranged or otherwise adapted to receive and detachably secure a wiper blade attached to a wiper blade assembly. An engagement assembly is formed in and detachably interconnects each interconnected pair of the segments. The engagement assembly includes an engagement element and a complemental engagement element formed in and detachably interconnecting each detachably interconnected pair of the segments. The engagement element includes at least one male engagement element, such as a lug or a plurality of lugs, received by at least one female engagement element, such as a socket or a plurality of sockets, constituting the complemental engagement element. In one embodiment, each of the segments is formed with a foil segment, and the foil segments cooperate to form a foil in the first side of the elongate member. In another embodiment, a joint is formed between a detachably interconnected pair of the segments, a spade is formed in one of the corresponding pairs of segments extending into a recess formed in the elongate flexible member, and the spade and the recess together relate to the joint. In yet a further embodiment, a joint is formed between each detachably interconnected pair of the segments, cuts are formed partially severing the elongate flexible member at spaced intervals along the length of the elongate flexible member between the opposed first and second ends of the elongate flexible member, and the cuts each relate to one of the joints. In yet still another embodiment, the wiper is

formed with a bumper located at, and extending outwardly with respect to, each of the opposed first and second sides of the elongate member along the lower side of the elongate member and extending along the length of the elongate member from the first end to the second end, and the cuts are formed in one of the bumpers. In yet still a further embodiment of the invention, the wiper is formed with a bumper located at, and extending outwardly with respect to, the first side of the elongate member along the lower side of the elongate member and extending along the length of the elongate member from the first end to the second end, and the first side of the elongate member and the bumper at the first side of the elongate member cooperate to form a foil extending from the first end of the elongate member to the second end of the elongate member .

According to the principle of the invention, an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus includes substantially rigid segments detachably interconnected to form an elongate member having opposed first and second ends, and, extending between the opposed first and second ends, a length, opposed upper and lower sides, and opposed first and second sides. A wiper is formed in the lower side of the elongate member extending from the first end of the elongate member to the second end of the elongate member. A valley is formed in each of the segments that cooperate to form a channel in the upper side of the elongate member extending along the length of the elongate member from the first end of the elongate member to the second end of the elongate member, and the channel is to receive a wiper blade attached to a wiper blade assembly. Clips are formed in the segments to clip onto a wiper blade received in the channel to detachably secure the elongate member to

the wiper blade received in the channel. An engagement assembly is formed in and detachably interconnects each interconnected pair of the segments. The engagement assembly includes lugs formed in a first one of the segments of each interconnected pair of segments detachably received in corresponding sockets formed in a second one of the segments of each interconnected pair of segments. In one embodiment, each of the segments is formed with a foil segment, and the foil segments cooperate to form the foil in the first side of the elongate member. In another embodiment, a joint is formed between each detachably interconnected pair of the segments, cuts partially sever the elongate flexible member at spaced intervals along the length of the elongate flexible member between the opposed first and second ends of the elongate flexible member, and the cuts each relate to one of the joints. Further to this embodiment, the wiper is formed with a bumper located at, and extending outwardly with respect to, each of the opposed first and second sides of the elongate member along the lower side of the elongate member and extending along the length of the elongate member from the first end to the second end, and the cuts are formed in one of the bumpers. In yet a further embodiment, the wiper is formed with a bumper located at, and extending outwardly with respect to, the first side of the elongate member along the lower side of the elongate member and extending along the length of the elongate member from the first end to the second end, and the first side of the elongate member and the bumper at the first side of the elongate member cooperate to form a foil extending from the first end of the elongate member to the second end of the elongate member .

According to the principle of the invention, an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus includes an elongate, flexible member having opposed first and second ends, and extending between the opposed first and second ends a length, opposed upper and lower sides, opposed first and second sides, and a wiper blade formed in the lower side between the opposed first and second sides. Substantially rigid segments are formed in the upper side of the elongate flexible member extending along the length of the elongate flexible member from the first end of the elongate flexible member to the second end of the elongate flexible member. The segments are constructed and arranged or otherwise adapted to receive and detachably secure a wiper blade attached to a wiper blade assembly. A joint is formed between each pair of the segments, cuts partially sever the elongate flexible member at spaced intervals along the length of the elongate flexible member between the opposed first and second ends of the elongate flexible member, and the cuts each relate to one of the joints. The cuts are formed in one of the first and second sides of the wiper. A gutter is formed on either side of the wiper blade between the wiper blade and the lower side of the wiper extend along the length of the wiper from the first end of the wiper to the second end of the wiper.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring to the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus shown installed with respect to a wiper blade carried by a wiper blade assembly, the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus including segments interconnected to form an elongate member and a wiper formed in the elongate

member;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2A is a side elevation view of the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus of FIG. 1 illustrating the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus as it would appear in an operative position in contact with a part of a vehicle windscreen, shown in section;

FIG. 3A is an enlarged fragmented perspective view of the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus of FIG. 1 shown as it would appear being pulled apart in a process of severing the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus to adjust the length of the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus;

FIG. 3B is an enlarged fragmented perspective view of the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus of FIG. 1 similar to FIG. 3A shown as it would appear being further pulled apart in a process of severing the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus to adjust the length of the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus; FIG. 4 is a fragmented perspective view similar to that of FIG. 3 illustrating the auxiliary wiper blade as it would appear having been severed to detach a portion of the auxiliary wiper blade to adjust the length of the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus; FIG. 5 is a generalized perspective view of a vehicle shown as it would appear with an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus installed onto each of opposed wiper assemblies;

FIG. 6 is a rear perspective view of a segment of the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus of FIG. 1; FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of the segment of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the segment of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a right side elevation view of the segment

of FIG. 6, the opposed right side elevation view being the mirror image thereof;

FIG. 10 is rear elevation view of the segment of FIG. 6; FIG. 11 is a front elevation view of the segment of FIG. 6;

FIG. 12 is an end elevation view of auxiliary wiper blade apparatus installed with respect to the wiper blade carried by the wiper blade assembly of FIG. 1 and shown in an operative position in contact with a part of a vehicle windscreen, shown in section;

FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus shown installed with respect to a wiper blade carried by a wiper blade assembly, the auxiliary wiper blade apparatus including segments interconnected to form an elongate member and a wiper formed in the elongate member, and the segments each formed with a foil segment that cooperate to form a foil in the elongate member;

FIG. 15 is a sectional view taken along line 14-14 of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a sectional view of yet another alternate embodiment of an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus;

FIG. 17 is a fragmented perspective view of an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus constructed and arranged in accordance with a further embodiment of the invention; and FIG. 18 is an enlarged vertical section view of a portion of an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus constructed and arranged in accordance with the embodiment depicted in FIG. 17.

BEST MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

Turning now to the drawings, in which like reference characters indicate corresponding elements throughout the several views, attention is first directed to FIG. 1 in which there is seen a perspective view of an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus 20 shown installed with respect to a wiper blade 21 carried by a wiper blade assembly 22.

Apparatus 20 is constructed and arranged to be applied over a worn-out or damaged wiper blade, and attached to the worn-out or damaged wiper blade attached to a wiper blade assembly and used on a temporary basis until the worn-out or damaged wiper blade can be replaced or repaired. In FIG. 5, wiper blade assembly 22 is shown connected conventionally to a wiper arm 23 of a vehicle 24, which is, in turn, operatively connected to the wiper motor (not shown) near the base of a windscreen or windscreen 25 of vehicle 24 and which, when activated, draws apparatus 20 back and forth across windscreen 25 to wipe away debris and water as is the case with a conventional wiper blade. As a matter of illustration, there are two wiper blade assemblies 22 each having apparatus 20 installed therewith and each coupled to a corresponding wiper arm 23. In the present example, windscreen 25 is the front windshield of vehicle 24. Referencing FIGS. 1 and 2, apparatus 20 includes a plurality of segments 30 attached to, or otherwise formed with, a wiper 31. Segments 30 are interconnected to form an elongate member 32 having opposed ends 33 and 34. Extending between end 33 of elongate member and end 34 of elongate member 32, elongate member 32 has a length, opposed upper and lower sides 35 and 36, and opposed first and second sides 37 and 38. In a further and more specific aspect, segments 30 are detachably

interconnected. As such, each interconnected pair of segments 30 are separable from each other.

Preferably, an engagement assembly is formed in and detachably interconnects each interconnected pair of segments 30. Wiper 31 is applied to lower side 36 of elongate member 32 across the plurality of segments 30 securing together segments 30 forming elongate member 32, and extends from end 33 of elongate member 32 to end 34 of elongate member 32 and between opposed first and second sides 37 and 38 of elongate member 32. Upper side 35 of elongate member 32 formed by interconnected segments 30 is constructed and arranged to receive and detachably secure wiper blade 21 attached to wiper blade assembly 22.

Segments 30 are identical to each other. The details with respect to one segment 30 will now be discussed in detail in conjunction with FIGS. 6-11, with the understanding that the ensuing discussion applies to each segment 30. Referencing FIGS. 6-11 in relevant part, segment 30 consists of an elongate substantially rigid and resilient body 40 formed preferably of resilient and substantially rigid material, such as plastic, nylon, or the like. Body 40 has opposed proximal and distal ends 41 and 42, opposed upper and lower ends 43 and 44, and opposed sides 45 and 46. A central depression or valley 47 is formed in body 40. Valley 47 extends downwardly into body 40 toward lower end 43 of body 40 from opposed, parallel edges 50 and 51 formed in upper end 43 of body 40, and extends longitudinally through body 40 from proximal end 41 to distal end 42 between opposed sides 45 and 46 of body 40. In the present embodiment, valley 47 is substantially V-shaped to conform to the shape of a wiper blade, and it is to be understood that valley 47 may be of any suitable shape and size to accommodate a

corresponding shape and size of a wiper blade. A clip 52 is formed in side 45 of body 40 at upper end 43 of body 40, and a clip 53 is formed in side 46 of body 40 at upper end 43 of body 40. Clips 52 and 53 oppose one another, extend upwardly from opposed edges 50 and 51, respectively, formed in upper end 43 of body 40, and are directed or otherwise project inwardly with respect to and overlying valley 47. Clips 52 and 53 cooperate to clip segment 30 onto a wiper blade set into valley 47. As such, segment 30 can be considered a clip segment.

As previously mentioned, an engagement assembly is formed in, between, and detachably interconnects, each opposed interconnected pair of segments 30. Corresponding engagement pairs are formed in each segment 30 as illustrated in segment 30 depicted in FIG. 6, and includes opposed sockets 60, and opposed lugs 61. In the present embodiment, sockets 60 formed in proximal end 41 on either side of valley 47, and opposed lugs 61 are formed in distal end 42 on either side of valley 47. Sockets 60 extend into proximal end 41 of body 40 and are substantially equal in size and shape, and lugs 61 extend outwardly and away from distal end 42 of body 40 and are substantially equal in size and shape. Moreover, sockets 60 and lugs 61 are of comparable or cooperating size, such that sockets 60 in proximal end 41 of one segment 30 are sized to accept or otherwise mate with lugs 61 in distal end 42 of another segment 30. Sockets 60 formed in proximal end 41 of body 40 are each exemplary of a female engagement element, and together cooperate as a female engagement element. Lugs 61 formed in distal end 42 of body 40 are each exemplary of a male engagement element, and together cooperate as a male engagement element. Although two sockets 60 are formed in proximal end 41 of

body 40 together forming the female engagement element of the engagement pair formed in body 40, less or more sockets may be used. Moreover, although two lugs 61 are formed in distal end 42 of body 40 together forming the male engagement element of the engagement pair formed in body 40, less or more lugs may be used, and the respective positioning of sockets 60 and lugs 61 may mixed-and- matched. Other comparable complementing engagement elements can be used for the engagement assembly to provide the detachable engagement, including other forms of male and female engagement pairs or elements, such as mutual snap fasteners, detent engagement assemblies, and the like.

And so segments 30 forming elongate member 32 are located proximal end 41 to distal end 42, which is an end- to-end attachment configuration, and lugs 61 of each segment 61 are fitted into and detachably received by the corresponding sockets 60 of the next or adjacent segment 30 to form elongate member 32 of interconnected segments 30 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. Lugs 61 and sockets 60 between each interconnected pair of segments 30 form an engagement assembly between each interconnected pair of segments 30. Elongate member 32 is thus formed by interconnected segments 30, and a joint 65 denoted in FIGS. 1 and 2 is formed between the proximal and distal ends 41 and 42 of each detachably interconnected pair of segments 30.

FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken alone line 13-13 of FIG. 2A illustrating lugs 61 of one segment 30 received by sockets 60 of an adjacent segment 30. With segments 30 detachably interconnected forming elongate member 32, the proximal end 41 of the innermost one of segments denoted at 3OA forms end 33 of elongate member 32, the distal end

42 of the outermost one of segments denoted at 3OB forms end 34 of elongate member 32, upper ends 43 of segments 30 cooperate to form upper side 35 of elongate member 32, lower ends 44 of segments 30 cooperate to form lower side 36 of elongate member 32, sides 45 of segments 30 cooperate to form second side 38 of elongate member 32, sides 46 of segments 30 cooperate to form first side 37 of elongate member 32, and depressions or valleys 47 of segments 30 cooperate to form a channel 68 in upper side 35 of elongate member 32 located between first and second sides 37 and 38 of elongate member 32 and which extends along the entire length of elongate member 32 from the innermost one of segments 3OA to the outermost one of segment 3OB. The cross-sectional shape of channel 68 is the same along the entire length of channel 68.

As previously mentioned, wiper 31 is formed in lower side 36 of elongate member 32 across the plurality of segments 30, and extends from end 33 of elongate member 32 to end 34 of elongate member 32 and between opposed first and second sides 37 and 38 of elongate member 32. Referencing FIGS. 1 and 2, wiper 31 consists of an elongate, flexible strip or member 70 having opposed ends 71 and 72. End 71 of elongate flexible member 70 is located at the proximal end 41 of the innermost one of segments 3OA, and end 72 of elongate flexible member 70 is located at the distal end 42 of the outermost one of segments 3OB. Extending between end 71 of elongate flexible member 70 and end 72 of elongate flexible member 70, elongate flexible member 70 has a length that is equal to the length of elongate member 32, and with additional reference to FIGS. 12 and 13 opposed upper and lower sides 73 and 74, opposed first and second sides 75 and 76, and a wiper blade 77 formed in lower side 74 between opposed

first and second sides 75 and 76. Lower ends 44 of segments 30 cooperating to form lower side 36 of elongate member 32 are applied and affixed to upper side 73 of elongate flexible member 70. Upper side 73 of elongate flexible member 70 is formed on lower side 36 of elongate member 32, and is affixed to the lower ends 44 of the plurality of segments 30 of, and forming, the lower side 36 of elongate member 32 with an adhesive, such as an aggressive, water- resistant adhesive, or by over molding wiper 31 onto the lower ends 44 of the plurality of segments 30 of, and forming, the lower side 36 of elongate member 32. Upper side 73 of elongate flexible member 70 may be affixed to lower side 36 of elongate member 32 with fasteners in other embodiments, such as rivets or the like. Looking to FIGS. 12 and 13, upper side 73 of elongate flexible member 70 extends across lower side 36 of elongate member 32 from first side 75 of elongate flexible member 70 at and extending along first side 37 of elongate member 32, to second side 76 of elongate flexible member 32 at and extending along second side 38 of elongate member 32. First side 75 of elongate flexible member 70 extends somewhat outboard with respect to, or otherwise outwardly with respect to, first side 37 of elongate member 32 and somewhat upwardly there-along side 37 of elongate member 32 formed by sides 46 of the plurality of segments 30. Second side 76 of elongate flexible member 32 likewise extends somewhat outboard with respect to, or otherwise outwardly with respect to, second side 38 of elongate member 32 and somewhat upwardly there-along side 38 of elongate member 32 formed by sides 45 of the plurality of segments 30. As such, the first and second sides 75 and 76 of elongate flexible member constitute bumpers on the

respective sides 37 and 38 of lower side 36 of elongate member 32 extending along the entire length of elongate member 32 from end 33 to end 34 thereby protecting elongate member 32 from damage from impacting forces, such as by oncoming debris and the like, at the first and second sides 37 and 38 of elongate member 32 extending along lower side 36.

Wiper blade 77 formed in lower side 74 of elongate flexible member 70 between opposed first and second sides 75 and 76 of elongate flexible member 70 extends outwardly and away from lower side 74 of elongate flexible member 70 and lower side 36 of elongate member 32 as illustrated. Wiper blade 77 can take on any configuration, and may be configured with any number of windscreen engagement points. Although on wiper blade 77 is formed with elongate flexible member 70, more can be used if desired.

Apparatus 20 is installed onto wiper blade 21 attached to wiper blade assembly 22 to essentially substitute or otherwise relieve wiper blade 21 with wiper blade 77 as the operative wiper blade. This is beneficial when wiper blade 21 is damaged or worn rendering it ineffective, such that installation of apparatus 20 provides wiper blade assembly with the new wiper blade 77 of apparatus 20 to be used temporarily until wiper blade 21 can be replaced or repaired. The structure of upper side 35 of elongate member 32 of apparatus 20 formed by interconnected segments 30, namely, channel 68 and clips 52 and 53 formed in the plurality of segments 30, is adapted to receive and detachably secure wiper blade 21 attached to wiper blade assembly 22 as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 12, and 13. Referencing FIGS. 12 and 13, wiper blade 21 has an upper end 21A conventionally coupled to wiper blade assembly 22, and an opposed lower blade end

21B that is normally applied against the windscreen of a vehicle. To install apparatus 20 to temporarily replace or relieve wiper blade 21 with wiper blade 77 of apparatus 20 in the case of wiper blade 21 being damaged or worn, wiper blade 21 is placed into channel 68 lower blade end 21B first, and is applied downwardly into channel 68 in the direction indicated by the arrowed line A in FIGS. 12 and 13 until clips 52 and 53 of the plurality of segments 30 snap engage over upper end 21A of wiper blade 21 on either side of wiper blade 21 thereby embracing and securing apparatus 20 onto wiper blade 21. Channel 68, formed by the cooperation of the valleys 47 of the plurality of interconnected segments 30, and wiper blade are longitudinally substantially comparably sized allowing wiper blade 21 to fit longitudinally in channel 68 while allowing clips 52 and 53 of the plurality of segments 30 to clip onto upper end 21A of wiper blade 21 to clippingly secure or otherwise embrace wiper blade 21. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the length of apparatus 20 is provided to be generally equal to the length of wiper blade 21, and apparatus 20 is located on wiper blade 21 such that the length of apparatus 20 extends concurrently along the length of wiper blade 21. To detach apparatus 20 from wiper blade 21, the foregoing operation for installing apparatus 20 with respect to wiper blade 21 need only be reversed.

The final installation of apparatus 20 is illustrated in FIG. 2A, which is a side elevation view of apparatus 20 as it would appear in an operative position in contact with a part of windscreen 25, shown in section. Windscreen 25 may be substantially flat, but is curved in this illustration, and this is typical with conventional vehicle windshields. In the operative position of

apparatus 20 in contact with windscreen 25, wiper blade 77 is in contact with windscreen 25 and wiper blade 21 and apparatus 20 are together being flexed being inwardly so as to be inwardly curved allowing wiper blade 77 to contact windscreen 25 along the entire length of wiper blade 77. The flexibility of elongate flexible member 70, and the detachably engagement between the plurality of segments 30 allows segments 65 to separate at the joints 65 to permit elongate flexible member 70 to flex and curve inwardly toward windscreen 25 to allow wiper blade 77 to contact windscreen 25 along the entire length of wiper blade 77. Although segments 30 are free to separate at joints 65 when apparatus 20 is so inwardly flexed toward windscreen 25, the mutual engagement between the lugs 61 and the corresponding sockets 60 remains substantially in place with only a partial separation occurring between the lugs 61 and sockets 60 between the plurality of segments 30 thus maintaining the continuity and engagement between the plurality of detachably interconnected segments 30 to ensure elongate member 32 provides a firm and reliable connection and supporting platform between wiper blade 21 and wiper blade 77.

In the present example, apparatus 20 is installed onto wiper blade 21 such that first sides 37 and 75 of elongate member 32 and elongate flexible member 70, respectively, are directed downwardly and forwardly toward the hood of the vehicle facing a forward direction of travel of the vehicle, and second sides 38 and 76 of elongate member 32 and elongate flexible member 70 face the opposing direction. Installation of apparatus 20 onto wiper blade 21 may be reversed such that such that second sides 38 and 76 of elongate member 32 and elongate flexible member 70, respectively, are directed downwardly

and forwardly toward the hood of the vehicle facing a forward direction of travel of the vehicle, and first sides 37 and 75 of elongate member 32 and elongate flexible member 70 face the opposing direction. In this latter installation, apparatus 20 will work equally as well as in the former installation.

Referencing FIGS. 12 and 13, first side 75 of elongate flexible member 70 extending somewhat upwardly there-along side 37 of elongate member 32 formed by sides 46 of the plurality of segments 30 cooperates with side 37 of elongate member 32 formed by sides 46 of the plurality of segments 30 to form an inwardly curved or concave face in apparatus 20 constituting a foil along one side or apparatus 20 that when facing the direction of travel of a vehicle functions to deflect oncoming water and debris, and that interacts with the oncoming wind to force apparatus 20 against the windscreen to ensure that wiper blade 77 remains in good operative contact with the windscreen. Likewise, the second side 76 of elongate flexible member 32 extending somewhat upwardly there-along side 38 of elongate member 32 formed by sides 45 of the plurality of segments 30 cooperates with side 38 of elongate member 32 formed by sides 45 of the plurality of segments 30 to form an inwardly curved or concave face in apparatus 20 constituting a foil at the opposing side of apparatus 20 that when facing the direction of travel of a vehicle functions to deflect oncoming water and debris, and that interacts with the oncoming wind to force apparatus 20 against the windscreen to ensure that wiper blade 77 remains in good operative contact with the windscreen .

FIG. 12 is an end elevation view of apparatus 20 installed with respect to wiper blade 21 carried by wiper

blade assembly 22 and shown in an operative position in contact with a part of windscreen 25, shown in section, and FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 2A. In the operative installation of apparatus 20 as depicted in FIGS. 12 and 13, lower side 74 of elongate flexible member 70 is substantially parallel with respect to windscreen 25, and opposed gutters 80 and 81 are formed in apparatus 20 on either side of wiper blade 77 between wiper blade 77 and lower side 74 of elongate flexible member 70. Gutter 80 extends along lower side 74 from wiper blade 77 to side 75 of elongate flexible member 70, and the opposing gutter 81 extends along lower side 74 from wiper blade 77 to side 76 of elongate flexible member 70. Gutters 80 and 81 extend along the entire length of apparatus from end 33 of apparatus 20 to end 34 of apparatus 20 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, receive and channel water outwardly from either end 33 and 34 of apparatus 20, and prevent water from spraying outwardly and upwardly away from the windscreen as apparatus 20 is drawn back and forth across the windscreen during normal use. Gutters 80 and 81 also function to receive and channel ice, snow, and debris outwardly from the respective ends 33 and 34 of apparatus 20 to keep such material out of the field of view across the area of the windscreen that apparatus 20 is being moved across.

Although it is preferred that the length of apparatus 20 be generally equal to the length of wiper blade 21, there may be in instance where the length of apparatus 20 may be longer than the length of the wiper blade onto which it is to be installed. In such a case, the length of apparatus may be adjusted as needed to adjust its length to meet or substantially meet the length of the wiper blade onto which it is to be installed by detaching

a predetermined length of apparatus 20. To adjust the length of apparatus 20, wiper 31 of apparatus 20 may be cut or severed at a joint 65 between adjacent, interconnected segments 30. After cutting wiper 31, the two, detachably interconnected segments 30 may simply be pulled apart as illustrated in FIG. 4 detaching lugs 61 of one segment 30 from sockets 60 of the other segment 30. The detachably engagement between the adjacent segments 30 permits segments to be easily separated after cutting wiper 31.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, elongate flexible member 70 forming wiper 31 is partially severed with cuts 84 formed in elongate flexible member 70 at points located at spaced intervals along the length of elongate flexible member 70 between ends 71 and 72 of elongate flexible member 70. Cuts 84 each form a weak point in elongate flexible member 70. The points at which cuts 84 are formed each partially severing elongate flexible member 70 are each located substantially at the intersection between each interconnected pair of segments 30, namely, each joint 65. As such, cuts 84 each relate to or otherwise correspond to one of joints 65. Cuts 84 are formed in first side 75 of elongate flexible member 32, which is one of the bumpers of elongate flexible member 32 as previously discussed. Because cuts 84 each relate or otherwise correspond to one of joints 65, this allows a user to take up apparatus 20 by hand on either side of a particular cut 84 at which apparatus 20 is desired to be separated to size apparatus 20 to a desired length, and to divide apparatus 20 simply by bending apparatus 20 at the selected joint 65 as illustrated in FIG. 3A so as to initially open the corresponding cut 84. By then continuing to bend apparatus 20 to further open cut 84

while concurrently applying a pulling force across the selected joint 65 and corresponding cut 84, elongate flexible member 70 will eventually tear at the corresponding cut 84 as substantially illustrated in FIG. 3B and the engagement assembly between the opposed pair of segments 30, i.e., the corresponding lugs 61 and sockets 60, will separate. Then in response to a continued pulling and shearing force applied to apparatus 20 across the particular joint 65, elongate flexible member 70 is torn in two at the corresponding joint 65 to detach the pair segments 30 corresponding to the particular joint 65 to thereby remove a predetermined length of apparatus 20 from apparatus 20 as illustrated in FIG. 4. Cuts 84 initiate and help to guide the required tearing of elongate flexible member 70 at the respective joints 65, and thus permit elongate flexible member 70 to be torn apart at joints 65 to form apparatus 20 at a predetermined length without having to use a knife or other tool to cut elongate flexible member 70. In the present embodiment, cuts 84 are slits, but may be perforate cuts or slits if desired. Although cuts 84 are formed in the bumper formed by first side 75 of elongate flexible member 32, cuts 84 may alternatively be formed in the bumper formed by second side 76 of elongate flexible member 70. If desired, cuts 84 may be formed in the bumpers formed by both first and second sides 75 and 76 of elongate flexible member 70.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus 100 shown installed with respect to wiper blade 21 carried by wiper blade assembly 22. Although somewhat different in design, apparatus 100 is identical in structure and function in every respect to apparatus 20, and shares segments 30, wiper 31, and all associated components. Unlike apparatus

30, side 46 of each segment 30 is formed with a foil segment 101. With segments 30 of apparatus 100 detachably interconnected forming elongate member 32, foil segments 101 formed in sides 46 of segments 30 cooperate to form a foil 102 in first side 37 of elongate member 32 extending along the entire length of apparatus 100 from end 33 to end 34. The side profile of foil 102 is illustrated in FIG. 15. So formed in first side 37 of elongate member 32, when apparatus 100 is installed with respect to wiper blade 21 attached to wiper blade assembly 22 as illustrated in FIGS. 14 and 15 and is facing the direction of travel of a vehicle, foil 102 operates to deflect oncoming water and debris, and that interacts with the oncoming wind to force apparatus 100 against the windscreen to ensure that wiper blade 77 remains in good operative contact with the windscreen.

FIG. 16 is a sectional view of yet another alternate embodiment of an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus 110 that is common in every respect to apparatus 100, with the exception that in apparatus 110 a pair of opposed male engagement elements 111 formed in upper side 73 of elongate flexible member 70 are fitted in corresponding opposed female engagement elements 112 formed in lower side 36 of elongate member 32 to secure elongate flexible member 70 to elongate member 32. Each corresponding pair of male and female engagement elements 111 and 112 is exemplary of a tongue-and-groove attachment, and any suitable configuration can be used according to specific needs . The positioning of male and female engagement elements 111 and 112 can be reversed, if desired. Although in apparatus 110 two corresponding pairs of male and female engagement elements 111 and 112 are illustrated, less or more can be used without departing

from the invention. The configuration of wiper blade 77 in elongate flexible member 70 in apparatus 100 has a somewhat different configuration as compared to prior embodiments, and this is shown merely for illustration. Any suitable mechanical attachment can be formed between elongate member 32 and elongate flexible member 70.

Reference is now made to FIG. 17, which is a fragmented perspective view of an auxiliary wiper blade apparatus 120 constructed and arranged in accordance with a further embodiment of the invention, and to FIG. 18, which is an enlarged vertical section view of a portion of apparatus 120. In common with the previously described auxiliary wiper blade apparatus designated at 20, apparatus 120 shares segments 30 interconnected to form elongate member 32, wiper 31 including elongate flexible member 70 having upper side 73 affixed or otherwise formed in lower side 36 of elongate member 32 formed by lower end 44 of the interconnected segments 30, opposed first and second sides 75 and 76, and all related components. The views in FIGS. 17 and 18 illustrate a pair of interconnected segments 30. For clarity, one segment is denoted with a prime ("'") and the other segment 30 is denoted with a double prime ("''"), and the segment formed between the two is denoted with a prime ("'") . Also, although in FIGS. 17 and 18 only two segments 30 are illustrated, this is shown only by way of illustration and that more can be used to form apparatus 120 of a selected length .

The instruction provided by apparatus 120 is that segment 30' is formed with a spade 121. Spade 121 is located in lower end 44 of segment 30' at proximal end 41. Spade 121 extends downwardly into upper side 73 of elongate flexible member 70 forming wiper 31 between the

opposed first and second sides 75 and 76. Spade 121 is a sharp projection. Spade 121 encounters and extends into elongate flexible member 70 forming wiper 31, and, moreover, extends into a corresponding cut or recess 122 formed into or otherwise extending into elongate flexible member 70 through upper side 73 of elongate flexible member 70 located between opposed sides 75 and 76 of elongate flexible member 70. In FIG. 18, an exaggerated space is formed between spade 121 and recess 122 simply for illustrative purposes so as to clearly illustrate spade 121 and recess 122 and the relationship therebetween. Because spade 121 is located at proximal end 41 of segment 30', the extension of spade 121 into elongate flexible member 70 relates to joint 65' formed between proximal end 41 of segment 30' and distal end 42 of adjacent segment 30' ' . Recess 122 also relates to joint 65' . As such, spade 121 carried by segment 30' and recess 122 formed in wiper 31 together relate or otherwise correspond to joint 65' . Spade 121 and recess 122 are provided to together assist a user in severing apparatus 120 to adjust the length of apparatus 120 to meet a particular installation as discussed above in conjunction with apparatus 20. To separate segment 30' formed with spade 121 from segment 30' ' and the remaining length of apparatus 120, one need only take up apparatus 120 and pull and twist apparatus 120 across joint 65' relating to spade 121. In so doing or otherwise in response to such action, spade 121 will act against and cut into elongate flexible member 70 to cut into elongate flexible member 70 to thereby assist a user in severing elongate flexible member 70 at joint 65' to, in turn, separate segment 30' formed with spade 121 from segment 30'' at the corresponding joint 65' to

separate segment 30' and the attached section of wiper 31 from the remaining length of apparatus 120. A user may act on segment 30' to actually saw elongate flexible member 70 with spade 121 to cut segment 30' and its corresponding length of wiper 31 away. Recess 122 formed in elongate flexible member 70 partially severs elongate flexible member 70 and constitutes a weakened point formed in elongate flexible member 70 that also helps to initiate the tearing of elongate flexible member 70 and guide the tearing of elongate flexible member 70 at the corresponding joint 65' , as with cuts 84 formed in apparatus 20.

It is to be understood that in apparatus 120 each segment 30 may be provided with such a spade and corresponding recess each located so as to together correspond or otherwise relate to a corresponding joint 65 such that there are corresponding spade 121 and recess 122 pairs formed at spaced intervals along the length of apparatus 120 between its opposed ends that each relate or otherwise correspond to a respective one of the joints 65. Although spade 121 is formed in proximal end 41 of segment 30' , spade 121 and a corresponding recess 122 can be similarly located at distal end 42 of segment 30' . In apparatus 120, it is to be understood that a spade received in a corresponding recess in wiper 31 is preferably formed at each joint 65, in which the spade can be located at either the proximal end 41 or the distal end 42 of the corresponding pair of segments 30 forming the corresponding joint 65. If desired, the proximal and distal ends 41 and 42 of each segment 30 may be furnished with a spade extending into a common or corresponding recess .

The invention has been described above with reference to preferred embodiments. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that changes and modifications may be made to the embodiments without departing from the nature and scope of the invention. Various changes and modifications to the embodiments herein chosen for purposes of illustration will readily occur to those skilled in the art. To the extent that such modifications and variations do not depart from the spirit of the invention, they are intended to be included within the scope thereof.

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