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Title:
FACE MASK EQUIPPED WITH MAGNETIC ATTACHMENTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/225697
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A face mask includes embedded magnetic components for attaching items to the face mask including cords for wearing the face mask.

Inventors:
SCHUMANN, Sage (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2021/022690
Publication Date:
November 11, 2021
Filing Date:
March 17, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SCHUMANN, Sage (US)
International Classes:
A41F1/00; A41D13/11; A41D31/02; A62B18/08; B32B7/06; A62B23/02; A41D27/08; A44C3/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLOSOWSKI, Bernard, S., Jr. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
That which is claimed is:

1. A face mask, comprising: a wearable material with bacteria filtration and air permeability for use on a face, the wearable material including at least two layers with at least one of the two layers including metallic or magnetized thread; a pocket being formed proximate the wearable material, the pocket having an opening therein; a metallic component being insertable in the opening of the pocket; a cord attachable to the wearable material, the cord being configured to position the wearable material over a nose and a mouth of the face; and wherein an item can be magnetically attracted to the metallic component to adorn the wearable material, or magnetically attracted to the layer including metallic or magnetized thread.

2. The face mask as in Claim 1, wherein the pocket is formed between the two layers.

3. The face mask as in Claim 1, wherein the pocket is attached to one of the two layers.

4. The face mask as in Claim 1, wherein the wearable material includes a first surface and a second surface, the pocket being attached to one of the surfaces.

5. The face mask as in Claim 1, wherein the metallic component is a magnet.

6. The face mask as in Claim 1, wherein the item is magnetic.

7. The face mask as in Claim 1, wherein the wearable material includes metallic thread.

8. The face mask as in Claim 1, wherein the wearable material includes magnetized thread.

9. The face mask as in Claim 1, wherein the cord includes metallic or magnetized thread.

10. The face mask as in Claim 1, wherein the cord includes a metallic or magnetized end component.

11. The face mask as in Claim 1, wherein the wearable material has a metal or metallic insert and a flap having a respective metallic or metal element configured to detach from the metal or metallic insert of the wearable material to provide temporary access to the face.

12. A face mask, comprising: a wearable material with bacteria filtration and air permeability for use on a face, the wearable material having a metal or magnetic portion; a pocket being formed proximate the wearable material, the pocket having an opening therein; a metallic component being insertable in the opening of the pocket; a cord having a magnetic or metal end being attracted to the respective metal or magnetic portion of the wearable material, the cord being configured to position the wearable material over a nose and a mouth of the face; and a flap having male or female portion attachable to a respective female or male portion disposed on or in the wearable material, the flap being configured to be opened to provide an aperture in the wearable material for access to the face; wherein an item can be magnetically attracted to the metallic component to adorn the wearable material.

13. The face mask as in Claim 12, wherein the wearable material includes at least two layers, the pocket being formed between the two layers or attached to one of the layers.

14. The face mask as in Claim 12, wherein the wearable material includes at least three layers with a middle layer including metallic or magnetized thread;

15. The face mask as in Claim 12, wherein the metallic component is magnetic.

16. The face mask as in Claim 12, wherein the ornamental item is magnetic.

17. The face mask as in Claim 12, wherein the male and female portions of the flap and of the wearable material are selected from the group consisting of metallic material, magnetic material, and combinations thereof.

18. The face mask as in Claim 12, wherein the wearable material includes metallic thread.

Description:
TITLE

FACE MASK EQUIPPED WITH MAGNETIC ATTACHMENTS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS [0001] This utility patent application claims benefit of United States Provisional Patent Application Serial Number 63/022,283, filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office on May 8, 2020, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0002] Face masks, such as surgical or “N95” masks, are used by medical personnel, first responders, construction workers, and the like to filter airborne particles and contaminants. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an N95 mask is designed for a close facial fit around a mouth and nose of a wearer to filter at least 95 percent of extremely small (0.3 micron) particles. By comparison, a surgical mask is a looser fitting mask that does not form as tight of a seal around the nose and mouth as an N95 mask.

[0003] A drawback to most surgical, N95, and similar disposable masks is that the strings or cords that typically attach behind a wearer’s ears or behind the wearer’s head to hold a mask against the wearer’s face can easily break or detach from a mask. Moreover, simply removing the mask once or twice for any reason then re-stretching the cords to re-don the mask can break the cords. This conventional arrangement leads to excessive cord breakage and requires an inordinate amount of mask replacements. This is particularly detrimental if masks are in short supply or in an emergency situation when there is no time to repair the only available mask or to locate a replacement. [0004] Another drawback to conventional masks arises when stretching mask cords around the ears or over the back of the head. As the mask cord - usually an elastic material - is stretched, it can become entangled with and pull hair on the head or face. Still further, conventional masks tend to be bland and may even frighten some patients, such as children. [0005] What is needed in the industry is a mask that will permit comfortable removal and reinstallation of the mask without excessive breakage, waste, and hair entanglement, which also may be configured to be aesthetically pleasing and comforting to young or frightened patients.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE DTSCFOSTTRF

[0006] The present disclosure is directed in general to face masks that are simple to wear and remove without cord breakage, reduce hair entanglement, and can be adorned with various functional items and aesthetically pleasing decorations or ornaments to comfort, for instance, young or anxious patients. The face masks are simple to make, easy to use, and can accommodate personal preferences and customization.

[0007] In one embodiment, a face mask may include a string or cord detachably connectable to a cover material having a first layer and a second layer. A cavity or pocket may be formed between the first and second layers, and a first magnet may be placed in the pocket. The pocket may be located near an attachment area on the cover material where an end of the cord attaches. The end of the cord may include a complementary piece of metal or an opposing second magnet configured for detachable connection to the first magnet. A metallic ornament can be magnetically attached to the piece of metal or the first magnet to decorate the face mask.

[0008] In another embodiment, metal fabric can be sewn into fabric of a face mask or between a first layer and a second layer of the face mask. Still further, a metal strip or a metal component can be attached to a cord or string of the face mask to hold the mask against a face of a wearer. Magnetic jewelry can be attached to the metal fabric and to the metal strip or component of the string. Once the useful life of the face mask is complete, the magnetic jewelry can be detached and re-used to decorate another mask.

[0009] In other embodiments, a mask may be provided with flaps or covers having magnets or metal components to allow for a user to open an aperture over or near a mouth of the user in order to, for instance, sip liquid from a straw without having to remove the mask. Once the user has taken a drink, eaten a bite, et cetera through the aperture, the flap can be reconnected to the mask by mating the magnet or metal component in the flap to a respective metal component or magnet embedded in a pocket of the mask.

[00010] Additional objects and advantages of the present subject matter are set forth in, or will be apparent to, those of ordinary skill in the art from the description herein. Also, it should be further appreciated that modifications and variations to the specifically illustrated, referenced, and discussed features, processes, and elements hereof may be practiced in various embodiments and uses of the disclosure without departing from the spirit and scope of the subject matter. Variations may include, but are not limited to, substitution of equivalent means, features, or steps for those illustrated, referenced, or discussed, and the functional, operational, or positional reversal of various parts, features, steps, or the like. Those of ordinary skill in the art will better appreciate the features and aspects of the various embodiments, and others, upon review of the remainder of the specification. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[00011] A full and enabling disclosure of the present subject matter, including the best mode thereof directed to one of ordinary skill in the art, is set forth in the specification, which refers to the appended figures, wherein:

[00012] FIGURE 1 shows a front perspective view of one embodiment of a mask according to the disclosure, particularly showing a metallic ornament attracted to a magnet shown in phantom embedded in the mask;

[00013] FIGURE 2 shows side elevational view of an embodiment similar to FIGURE 1; [00014] FIGURE 3 is a front elevational view of a mask similar to the embodiments in FIGURES 1 and 2, particularly showing multiple metallic decorations held against respective magnets (shown in phantom) embedded in the mask;

[00015] FIGURE 4A is another embodiment of a mask, particularly showing metallic and magnetic arrangements on face straps that magnetically attach to respective magnets or metal inserts in the mask;

[00016] FIGURE 4B shows an exploded plan view of the embodiment of FIGURE 4A, particularly showing layers of the mask, a pouch with magnets therein, and one of the face straps with magnets or metallic ends; and

[00017] FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of another embodiment according to a further aspect of the disclosure, particularly showing an N95-type mask with embedded magnet and metallic ornament attached thereto as well as detachable flap through which a user may sip a drink or eat a bit of food. PET ATT, ED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

[00018] As required, detailed embodiments are disclosed herein; however, the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary and may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure, as well as their equivalents.

[00019] Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as is commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this disclosure belongs. In the event that there is a plurality of definitions for a term or acronym herein, those in this section prevail unless stated otherwise.

[00020] Wherever the phrase “for example,” “such as,” “including,” and the like are used herein, the phrase “and without limitation” is understood to follow unless explicitly stated otherwise. Similarly, “an example,” “exemplary” and the like are understood to be non-limiting. [00021] The term “substantially” allows for deviations from the descriptor that do not negatively impact the intended purpose. Descriptive terms are understood to be modified by the term “substantially” even if the word “substantially” is not explicitly recited.

[00022] The term “about” when used in connection with a numerical value refers to the actual given value, and to the approximation to such given value that would reasonably be inferred by one of ordinary skill in the art, including approximations due to the experimental and or measurement conditions for such given value. [00023] The terms “comprising” and “including” and “having” and “involving” (and similarly “comprises”, “includes,” “has,” and “involves”) and the like are used interchangeably and have the same meaning. Specifically, each of the terms is defined consistent with the common United States patent law definition of “comprising” and is therefore interpreted to be an open term meaning “at least the following,” and is also interpreted not to exclude additional features, limitations, aspects, etcetera. Thus, for example, “a device having components a, b, and c” means that the device includes at least components a, b, and c. Similarly, the phrase: “a method involving steps a, b, and c” means that the method includes at least steps a, b, and c. [00024] Where a list of alternative component terms is used, e.g., “a structure such as ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’, ‘d’ or the like”, or “a” or b”, such lists and alternative terms provide meaning and context unless indicated otherwise.

[00025] Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, throughout the description and the claims, the words “comprise”, “comprising”, and the like are to be construed in an inclusive sense as opposed to an exclusive or exhaustive sense; in the sense of “including, but not limited to”.

[00026] The various embodiments of the disclosure and/or equivalents falling within the scope of present disclosure overcome or ameliorate at least one of the disadvantages of the prior art or provide a useful alternative.

[00027] Detailed reference will now be made to the drawings in which examples embodying the present subject matter are shown. The detailed description uses numerical and letter designations to refer to features of the drawings. The drawings and detailed description provide a full and written description of the present subject matter, and of the manner and process of making and using various exemplary embodiments, so as to enable one skilled in the pertinent art to make and use them, as well as the best mode of carrying out the exemplary embodiments. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, and some features may be exaggerated to show details of particular components. Thus, the examples set forth in the drawings and detailed descriptions are provided by way of explanation only and are not meant as limitations of the disclosure. The present subject matter thus includes any modifications and variations of the following examples as come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

[00028] Turning now to FIGURE 1, a surgical mask according to the disclosure is designated broadly by element number 10. The exemplary mask 10 may include an interior layer of material or first surface 12 and an exterior layer or second surface 14 to which one or more straps, cords, or strings 16 are affixed or connected. Here, a pocket or pouch 18 is formed between the interior layer 12 and the exterior layer 14, and a magnet 20 is placed into the pouch 18 (both shown in phantom for clarity). An ornamental and/or functional metallic or magnetic item or decoration 22 may be connected to the magnet 20 via magnetic attraction through the exterior layer 14.

[00029] In the example shown in FIGURE 1, the layers 12, 14, and the mask 10 as a whole, may be made from non-woven fabric for bacteria filtration and air permeability. The material used to make the non-woven fabric may be polypropylene at 20 or 25 grams per square meter (GSM) in density. However, the mask 10 can also be made of polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyethylene, or polyester. Moreover, although only two layers 12, 14 are described by way of example, the mask 10 may include additional layers or only one layer of necessary thickness. The pouch 18 may be made from the same or similar material layers 12, 14 and formed therewith as a unitary item. Alternatively, the pouch 18 subsequently can be affixed to the mask 10, for instance, by sewing the pouch 18 to either surface 12, 14 or by use of an adhesive.

[00030] Also shown in FIGURE 1, an exemplary opening or aperture 24 can be provided in the pouch 18 in which the magnet 20 can be easily inserted and removed at the end of the serviceable life of the mask 10. Although FIGURE 1 shows only one substantially square shaped pouch 18 and one correspondingly square-shaped magnet 20 (both in phantom for clarity), the disclosure is not limited to these shapes, and more than one pouch 18 and magnet 20 can be provided as will be described further below. Additionally, the magnet 20 can be a simple metallic object if the item 22 is magnetized, or both components 20, 22 can be magnetic.

[00031] Turning now to FIGURES 2 and 3, masks 10 similar to FIGURE 1 are shown. As above, each exemplary mask 10 may include the previously introduced interior layer of material 12 and the exterior layer 14 to which the straps, cords, or strings 16 are affixed or connected. Again, the pocket 18 may be formed between the interior layer 12 and the exterior layer 14, or the pocket 18 may be a separate component attached mechanically or by adhesives to one of the layers 12, 14, usually the interior layer 12. Before donning the mask 10, a user may insert the magnet or metal piece 20 into the pouch 18 via the slot 24. The ornamental metallic or magnetic decoration 22 may then be connected to the embedded magnet 20 via magnetic attraction through the exterior layer 14. Although the slot 24 is shown at a top portion of the pouch 18 in these examples, the slot 24 can be formed elsewhere on the pouch 18, and a Velcro ® arrangement, flap, or snap-attachment (not shown) can be added to secure the magnet 20 within the pouch 18. [00032] FIGURE 4 A shows components of a face mask 110 according to a further embodiment. Here, the face mask 110 is an exemplary surgical mask that may include an interior layer of material or first surface 112 and an exterior layer or second surface 114 to which one or more straps, cords, or strings 116 are affixed or connected. One or more pockets or pouches 118 are formed between the interior layer 112 and the exterior layer 114. The cord 116 may include an embedded metallic thread 130. One or more magnets 120 may be placed into the respective pouches 118 via openings 124 that may include Velcro ® -type, snap, or flap closures. One or more ornamental or functional and metallic or magnetic decorations 122 may be connected to the magnets 120, the metallic fabric 128, and/or the metallic thread 130 via magnetic attraction to decorate the face mask 110 according to a user’s preference.

[00033] Also shown in the exemplary embodiment of FIGURE 4A, the straps 116 may include magnetic or metallic ends 126 that can be connected to the magnets 120. Thus, the mask 110 can be easily removed and donned by disconnecting the metallic ends 126 to/from the magnets 120 without straining or tearing the strings 116 and with less hair pulling.

[00034] FIGURE 4B shows a partial, exploded view of portions of the mask 110 as in FIGURE 4A. Here, one of the pockets 118 as in FIGURE 4A is shown formed between the interior layer 112 and the exterior layer 114. One or more of the magnets 120 is shown inserted in the pocket 118 to receive the metallic ends 126 of the cord 116. Still further, the mask 110 may include a third layer 128 that may be a metallic or magnetic fabric to attract the ends 126. Although the ends 126 are metallic in this example and the magnets 120 are magnetic, the disclosure is not limited to this arrangement as the ends 126 could be magnets and the components 120 could be metallic, or a combination thereof.

[00035] With reference to FIGURE 5, another embodiment of a face mask according to the disclosure is designated broadly by element number 210. The exemplary mask 210 may be of the N95 variety and include an interior surface 212 and an exterior surface 214 to which one or more straps, cords, or strings 216 are affixed or connected. A pocket or pouch 218 may formed between the interior layer 212 and the exterior layer 214, or the pouch 218 may be sewn or glued to the mask 210, such on the interior layer 212. A magnet 220 is placed into the pouch 220 via a slot or opening 224 (both shown in phantom for clarity). An ornamental or functional metallic item or decoration 222 may be connected to the magnet 220 via magnetic attraction through the exterior surface 214. The item 222 might be aesthetically pleasing and/or functional, such as a UV or light filtration attachment to reduce or eliminate bacteria. When the mask 210 has served its useful life, both the magnet 220 and the item 222 may be removed and reused on another mask.

[00036] FIGURE 5 further shows a flap or cover 232 having a metallic end 226. Here, the cover 232 can be pulled open as shown by the bold arrow to release the metallic end 226 from the magnet 220 inside the mask 210 to reveal an opening or aperture 234. With the flap 232 in the open position, a straw 1 may be received by lips 5 through the aperture 234 so that a user make take a sip from a cup or glass 3, take a bite of food or the like. Once the user has sipped or eaten, the flap 232 can be closed by returning the metallic end 226 to the magnet 220. Alternatively, the end 226 could be magnetic and the magnets 220 could be metallic, or a combination thereof, or the components 220, 226 could be a hook and loop arrangement such a Velcro ® -brand closure system. Still further, although the flap 232 is shown in this example being opened in a downward direction, side openings or other arrangements can be provided.

[00037] By way of example and not of limitation, various embodiments of the present application may include but are not limited to: [00038] EMBODIMENT 1

[00039] A face mask, comprising: a wearable material with bacteria filtration and air permeability for use on a face; a pocket being formed proximate the wearable material, the pocket having an opening therein; a metallic component being insertable in the opening of the pocket; a cord attachable to the wearable material, the cord being configured to position the wearable material over a nose and a mouth of the face; and wherein an item can be magnetically attracted to the metal component to adorn the wearable material.

[00040] EMBODIMENT 2

[00041] The face mask as in Embodiment 1, wherein the wearable material includes at least two layers, the pocket being formed between the two layers.

[00042] EMBODIMENT 3

[00043] The face mask as in Embodiment 1, wherein the wearable material includes at least two layers, the pocket being attached to one of the two layers.

[00044] EMBODIMENT 4

[00045] The face mask as in Embodiment 1, wherein the wearable material includes a first surface and a second surface, the pocket being attached to one of the surfaces.

[00046] EMBODIMENT 5

[00047] The face mask as in Embodiment 1, wherein the metallic component is a magnet or magnetic. [00048] EMBODIMENT 6

[00049] The face mask as in Embodiment 1, wherein the item is a magnet or magnetic.

[00050] EMBODIMENT 7

[00051] The face mask as in any of the foregoing embodiments, wherein the wearable material includes metallic thread.

[00052] EMBODIMENT 8

[00053] The face mask as in any of the foregoing embodiments, wherein the wearable material includes magnetized thread.

[00054] EMBODIMENT 9

[00055] The face mask as in in any of the foregoing embodiments, wherein the cord includes metallic or magnetized thread.

[00056] EMBODIMENT 10

[00057] The face mask as in any of the foregoing embodiments, wherein the cord includes a metallic or magnetized end component.

[00058] EMBODIMENT 11

[00059] The face mask as in Embodiment 1, wherein the wearable material includes at least three layers with a middle layer including metallic or magnetized thread.

[00060] EMBODIMENT 12

[00061] The face mask as in any of the foregoing embodiments, wherein the wearable material has a metal or metallic insert and a flap having a respective metallic or metal element configured to detach from the metal or metallic insert of the wearable material to provide temporary access to the face. [00062] EMBODIMENT 13

[00063] A face mask, comprising: a wearable material with bacteria filtration and air permeability for use on a face, the wearable material having a metal or magnetic portion; a pocket being formed proximate the wearable material, the pocket having an opening therein; a metallic component being insertable in the opening of the pocket; a cord having a magnetic or metal end being attracted to the respective metal or magnetic portion of the wearable material, the cord being configured to position the wearable material over a nose and a mouth of the face; and a flap having male or female portion attachable to a respective female or male portion disposed on or in the wearable material, the flap being configured to be opened to provide an aperture in the wearable material for access to the face; wherein an item can be magnetically attracted to the metal component to embellish the wearable material.

[00064] EMBODIMENT 14

[00065] The face mask as in Embodiment 13, wherein the wearable material includes at least two layers, the pocket being formed between the two layers or attached to one of the layers. [00066] EMBODIMENT 15

[00067] The face mask as in Embodiments 13 or 14, wherein the metallic component is a magnet. [00068] EMBODIMENT 16

[00069] The face mask as in Embodiments 13, 14 or 15, wherein the item is a magnet or magnetic.

[00070] EMBODIMENT 17

[00071] The face mask as in any of the Embodiments 13 through 16, wherein the male and female portions of the flap and of the wearable material are selected from the group consisting of metallic material, magnetic material, and combinations thereof.

[00072] EMBODIMENT 18

[00073] The face mask as in any of the Embodiments 13 through 17, wherein the wearable material includes metallic thread.

[00074] EMBODIMENT 19 [00075] A face mask, comprising: a wearable material with bacteria filtration and air permeability for use on a face, the wearable material including at least three layers with a middle layer including metallic or magnetized thread; a pocket being formed proximate the wearable material, the pocket having an opening therein; a metallic component being insertable in the opening of the pocket; a cord attachable to the wearable material, the cord being configured to position the wearable material over a nose and a mouth of the face; and wherein an item can be magnetically attracted to the metallic component to adorn the wearable material, or magnetically attracted to the middle layer. [00076] While the present subject matter has been described in detail with respect to specific embodiments thereof, it will be appreciated that those skilled in the art, upon attaining an understanding of the foregoing may readily produce alterations to, variations of, and equivalents to such embodiments. Accordingly, the scope of the present disclosure is by way of example rather than by way of limitation, and the subject disclosure does not preclude inclusion of such modifications, variations and/or additions to the present subject matter as would be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.