US20080034466A1 - Handwear item having a flexible impermeable liner - Google Patents

Handwear item having a flexible impermeable liner Download PDF

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US20080034466A1
US20080034466A1 US11974949 US97494907A US20080034466A1 US 20080034466 A1 US20080034466 A1 US 20080034466A1 US 11974949 US11974949 US 11974949 US 97494907 A US97494907 A US 97494907A US 20080034466 A1 US20080034466 A1 US 20080034466A1
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Prior art keywords
liner
outer layer
item
handwear
hand
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Abandoned
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US11974949
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Jean Zicarelli
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Jean Zicarelli
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B23/00Uppers; Boot legs; Stiffeners; Other single parts of footwear
    • A43B23/07Linings therefor
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41DOUTERWEAR; PROTECTIVE GARMENTS; ACCESSORIES
    • A41D19/00Gloves
    • A41D19/001Linings
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41DOUTERWEAR; PROTECTIVE GARMENTS; ACCESSORIES
    • A41D19/00Gloves
    • A41D19/0013Gloves with openings, e.g. for the nails or for exposing jewellery
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41DOUTERWEAR; PROTECTIVE GARMENTS; ACCESSORIES
    • A41D19/00Gloves
    • A41D19/01Gloves with undivided covering for all four fingers, i.e. mittens

Abstract

A reusable handwear item, including: an outer layer of a woven material; at least one gripping element fixed to an outside surface of the outer layer; and a liner made of a flexible impermeable material and secured to the outer layer only along at least a portion of a periphery for the outer layer. An inside surface of the liner is arranged to contact a hand of a person wearing the handwear item and the at least one gripping element enables the hand to grip an object which would not otherwise be possible without the gripping element. In some aspects, the liner is attached to the outer layer only at a cuff for the outer layer. In some aspects, the liner is at least partially removable from inside the outer layer to expose at least a portion of the inside surface of the liner.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/025,394 filed on Dec. 29, 2004 which application is incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to an item worn by a person, and more particularly, to a hand wear item, for example, a mitten-like item, having a liner in contact with a wearer's hand and made of a flexible impermeable material and an outer layer made of a woven cloth material.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • A common treatment for dry skin or other medical or aesthetic conditions of the hand is to apply oil, unguent, or medication to the affected area of the hand. To maximize the curative affect of the treatment, the medication should remain in contact with the hand for an extended period of time, for example, overnight. It is known to apply the medication and then cover the treated hand with a glove or mitten made of an absorbent material such as cotton. Unfortunately, the medication soaks into the material, lessening the curative affects of the treatment and causing possible staining of the glove or mitten or other items in contact with the glove or mitten.
  • It is known to wrap a treated hand with an impermeable material and then place a separate cloth or mitten over the wrapping. Unfortunately, the wrapping process can be awkward, may be difficult for some patients to perform, and may trap heat and prevent air movement around the hand. As a result, the wrapped hand can be sweaty and uncomfortably hot.
  • It is known to use a single layer, disposable glove made of an impermeable material. Unfortunately, such gloves are not reusable, increasing the cost of using these gloves, the outer surface of the gloves presents a surface that is not comfortable to other body parts that may come in contact with the gloves, and the gloves provide little or no heat retaining ability. Further, the gloves are form-fitting and relatively tight on a user's hand, making the gloves more difficult to put on and uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time, for example, overnight.
  • U.S. Patent Application No. 2004/0244132 (Ouellette et al.) discloses a disposable mitt or glove with an impermeable liner and an outer liner of a non-woven material. The outer liner is impregnated with a cleaning or other chemical compound and the mitt or glove is designed to be used to apply the compound. Unfortunately, the glove or mitt is not suitable for application of oil, unguent, or medication to a hand. The compounds impregnated in the outer layer would make contact between the outer layer and other body parts unpleasant if not harmful. Further, the outer surface is made deliberately slippery, to enhance application of the compound, making it difficult to grip any objects with the mitt or glove.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,087,675 (Sansonetti) discloses a multi-piece assembly of a glove made of an impervious material and a separate heated mitten for use over the glove. Unfortunately, the outer mitten is relatively expensive, complicated, and cumbersome. Further, the mitten is separate from the glove, creating potential problems with respect to missing or misplaced parts. Also, the gloves are disposable, increasing the cost of using the assembly.
  • Therefore, what is needed is an item of handwear to keep a therapeutic compound in contact with a wearer's hand in a more comfortable and cost effective manner, while enabling more functionality during use of the item, for example, the ability to easily grip and hold objects.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention broadly comprises a reusable handwear item, including: an outer layer of a woven material; at least one gripping element fixed to an outside surface of the outer layer; and a liner made of a flexible impermeable material and secured to the outer layer only along at least a portion of a periphery for the outer layer. An inside surface of the liner is arranged to contact a hand of a person wearing the handwear item and the at least one gripping element enables the hand to grip an object which would not otherwise be possible without the gripping element. In some aspects, the liner is attached to the outer layer only at a cuff for the outer layer. In some aspects, the liner is at least partially removable from inside the outer layer to expose at least a portion of the inside surface of the liner.
  • In some aspects, the at least one gripping element has a higher coefficient of friction than the outside surface of the outer layer. In some aspects, a material for the at least one gripping element is selected from the grouping consisting of a rubber-based material, a plastic-based material, and a silicon-based material. In some aspects, a material for the outer layer and a configuration of the outer layer are selected such that the handwear item substantially maintains a specific shape. In some aspects, the liner and the outer layer are arranged to form a mitten having a first portion for fingers of the hand and a second portion, at least partially separate from the first portion, for a thumb of the hand. In some aspects, the liner and the outer layer are arranged to form a glove having a plurality of first portions, each first portion for one or more fingers of the hand, and a second portion, at least partially separate from the plurality of first portions, for a thumb of the hand.
  • A general object of the present invention is to provide an item of handwear to comfortably keep a therapeutic compound in contact with a wearer's hand, using safe materials.
  • This and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art from a reading and study of the following detailed description of the invention, in view of the drawing and appended claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The nature and mode of operation of the present invention will now be more fully described in the following detailed description of the invention taken with the accompanying drawing figures, in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a present invention handwear item;
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the handwear item shown in FIG. 1 taken generally along line 2,3-2,3 in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the handwear item shown in FIG. 1 taken generally along line 2,3-2,3 in FIG. 1; and,
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a present invention handwear item with a finger opening.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • At the outset, it should be appreciated that like drawing numbers on different drawing views identify identical, or functionally similar, structural elements of the invention. While the present invention is described with respect to what is presently considered to be the preferred aspects, it is to be understood that the invention as claimed is not limited to the disclosed aspects.
  • Furthermore, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the particular methodology, materials and modifications described and as such may, of course, vary. It is also understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects only, and is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention, which is limited only by the appended claims.
  • Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood to one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although any methods, devices or materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the invention, the preferred methods, devices, and materials are now described.
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of present invention handwear item 100.
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of handwear item 100 shown in FIG. 1 taken along line 2,3-2,3 in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of handwear item 100 shown in FIG. 1 taken along line 2,3-2,3 in FIG. 1. The following should be viewed in light of FIGS. 1 through 3. In the discussion below handwear item 100 may be referred to as mitten 100. However, it should be understood that handwear item 100 is not limited to a mitten and that other types of handwear, for example, gloves, are included in the spirit and scope of the claims. Mitten includes liner 102 made of a flexible, impermeable material and outer layer 104 made of a flexible woven material. Inner surface 106 of the liner is arranged to contact a hand (not shown) of a person wearing the mitten, in particular and as further described infra, to contact a hand to which a treatment compound has been applied. By impermeable, we mean the material forming liner 102 does not allow liquids to pass. In particular, liner 102 does not allow therapeutic compounds, which are described further below, to pass. In some aspects, liner 102 enables the passage of air or vapor. The mitten includes at least one gripping element 108 fixed to outside surface 110 of the outer layer.
  • The liner is secured to the outer layer long at least a portion of a periphery for the outer layer. Alternately stated, the liner and outer layer are separate elements, for example, not bonded or layered together, that are partially joined together. That is, liner 102 and layer 104 are free to be at least partially moved with respect to one another. In particular, liner 102 is free to be moved with respect to layer 104. This arrangement allows liner 102 and the user's hand to “float” within layer 104. The “floating” arrangement reduces binding of the user's hand, thus increasing the comfort of the user. For example, in some aspects and as shown in FIG. 2, the liner is only connected to the outer layer along cuff 112. In these aspects, the liner is at least partially removable from inside the outer layer to expose inner surface 106 of the liner. That is, the mitten can be turned “inside out” to expose surface 106, which enables the surface to be cleaned or otherwise treated, enhancing the usability, reusability, and longevity of the mitten. The ability to wash or treat surface 106 also enhances the range of uses of the mitten. For example, treatment compounds used with the mitten can be washed off the inner surface after use of the mitten, preventing undesirable mixing of various compounds used later with the mitten. In some aspects, cuff 112 is elastic. In some aspects and as shown in FIG. 3, liner 102 and layer 104 also are joined at other points besides the cuff, for example, along all or parts of edge 113. Cuff 112 can be made elastic by any means known in the art, including the use of elastic band 114 within the cuff.
  • Gripping element 108 enables the hand placed in the mitten to grip an object which would not otherwise be possible without the gripping element. For example, as noted supra, some known handwear items are made of non-woven materials that are inherently slippery and such slipperiness is an intentional and necessary aspect of these handwear items. Thus, while wearing mitten 100 a user can still grasp and hold objects, increasing the functionality of the mitten and the range of actions possible while wearing the mitten. For example, the increase in hand function possible with the mitten enables a user to wear mitten 100 for longer periods of time, with subsequent increases in efficacy for treatment compounds used with the mitten. As a simple example, a wearer using the mitten at bedtime is much more able to hold a glass of water or a toothbrush. Gripping element 108 is made of a material having a coefficient of friction higher than the coefficient of friction for outer surface 110 of the outer layer. Any material known in the art, including, but not limited to a rubber-based material, a plastic-based material, or a silicon-based material can be used for element 108. Mitten 100 is not limited to a particular number, shape, size, or configuration of elements 108. In some aspects, elements 108 are applied only to a side of the mitten designated as a “palm,” or front, side. In some aspects, elements 106 are applied to both the front and back side of the mitten.
  • Any process known in the art can be used to apply elements 108. For example, heat treatment can be used to apply the material forming elements 108 in a liquid or softened state to enhance the bonding of the material to surface 110. In some aspects a thermal graphic process is used to apply an ink-like material to form elements 108.
  • The material for layer 104 can have different degrees of flexibility as described below. In some aspects, the materials for liner 102 and layer 104 are not particularly elastic or stretchy. As a result, liner 102 rests against portions of a user's hand, but is not stretched over or pressed against the user's foot by an elasticity of liner 102 or layer 104. Thus, the hand is less encased by the liner and the hand may feel less constricted to the user. In some aspects, the material of liner 102 or layer 104 is more elastic That is, liner 102 is stretched over or pressed against the user's hand due to a greater elasticity of the liner or outer layer. Alternately stated, the liner or outer layer squeezes the hand and conforms the liner to contours of the hand. The aspects with a more elastic liner or outer layer are useful for situations in which it is desirable to maintain a closer contact between a user's hand and the liner.
  • In general, item 100 is used in conjunction with a therapeutic compound or compounds applied to a user's hand. However, it should be understood that the present invention is not limited to just use with a therapeutic compound. By therapeutic compound we mean any compound know in the art having soothing, healing, and/or generally medicinal properties. Therapeutic compounds include, but are not limited to, lotions, oils, creams, and unguents. Liner 102 is impermeable, therefore, the compound is not absorbed by liner 102, and the compound advantageously remains in contact with the user's hand. Further, liner 102 prevents the compound from touching other objects in contact with item 100. For example, if the user applies the compound and dons item 100 for an overnight treatment, liner 102 prevents the compound from staining the user's bedding. Layer 104 provides protection for liner 102, enabling liner 102 to be made as thin, lightweight, and inexpensive as possible, thus increasing the comfort and cost-effectiveness of item 100. As described below, layer 104 also can provide padding, insulation, and an aesthetically pleasing appearance for item 100.
  • In some aspects, item 100 is reusable and in some aspects, item 100 is disposable. By reusable we mean item 100 is designed and constructed for a larger number of repetitions or uses. By disposable, we mean the item is designed and constructed for a limited number of uses, typically a single use. Typically, a disposable item 100 is made of thinner or less durable materials to minimize a cost associated with the slipper. On the other hand, a substantially reusable item 100 is typically made of heavier or more durable materials to enable the item to be used a greater number of times and in some cases to allow the item to be washed and reused.
  • Liner 102 and layer 104 can be joined at cuff 112 using any method known in the art. For example, folding layer 104 over elastic band 114 to form the cuff. Then, liner 102, layer 104 and the band are stitched together, for example by stitching 116. It should be understood that the present invention is not limited to any particular stitching arrangement and other stitching arrangements are included within the spirit and scope of the claims. Other methods of forming the cuff include, but are not limited to, gluing and heat treatment. The method of joining liner 102 and layer 104 to form the cuff can be selected according to the materials used for liner 102 and layer 104 or the intended use of item 100, for example, whether the item is disposable or reusable.
  • Layer 104 can be formed by any means known in the art. In some aspects, layer 104 includes halves 118 and 120 joined together along edge, or periphery, 113 by any means known in the art. In some aspects, stitching 124 is used to join the halves. It should be understood that the present invention is not limited to any particular stitching arrangement. Other methods of joining the halves include, but are not limited to, gluing and heat treatment. Liner 102 can be formed by any means known in the art. In some aspects, the liner is a single, seamless piece. In other aspects, the liner is formed of separate pieces joined by any means known in the art. The method of forming liner 102 or layer 104 can be selected according to the materials used for liner 102 and layer 104 or the intended use of item 100, for example, whether the item is disposable or reusable.
  • Liner 102 can be made of any flexible impermeable material known in the art that is suitable for contact with human flesh. Another criterion for selecting a material for liner 102 is the desired degree of elasticity for liner 102. Examples of materials suitable for making liner 102 include, but are not limited to: cellulose acetate, nylon, polyethylene, polypropylene, polytetrafluoro ethylene, polyvinyl chloride, and vinylchloride acetate. Thickness 126 of liner 102 can be determined according to the material used for liner 102 or the intended use of item 100. For example, certain materials are more durable than other materials and can therefore be used in thinner layers to provide a same degree of durability. For a disposable item 100, thinner or less durable materials may be acceptable, since a disposable item 100 is subjected to a limited number of uses.
  • Layer 104 can be made of any flexible woven material known in the art. For example, layer 104 can be made of natural materials such as cotton or wool, synthetic materials such as polyester, or natural/synthetic blends such as cotton and polyester. It should be understood that layer 104 is not limited to any particular material. As with liner 102, the material for layer 104 can be chosen according to the intended use of item 100. For example, a more durable and/or washable material for layer 104 may be preferable for a reusable item 100. There are additional considerations regarding layer 104. Layer 104 can provide padding or cushioning; therefore, a thicker material may be preferable. Layer 104 can provide an insulating layer; therefore, a “warmer” material, such as synthetic fleece, may be preferable. Also, layer 104 can provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance; therefore, a brightly colored or patterned material may be preferable. The relative costs for materials suitable for liner 102 and layer 104 also are a factor in selecting these materials.
  • Item 100 is not limited to any particular shape. In some aspects, layer 104 is made of a firmer material to substantially maintain a specific, predetermined shape for item 100, for example, a traditional mitten or glove shape. In some aspects, the liner and the outer layer are arranged to form a mitten having portion 128 for fingers of the hand and portion 130, at least partially separate from portion 128, for a thumb of the hand. In some aspects (not shown), the liner and the outer layer are arranged to form a glove having a plurality of first portions, each first portion for one or more fingers of the hand, and a second portion, at least partially separate from the plurality of first portions, for a thumb of the hand. In some aspects (not shown), layer 104 is made of a more flexible material and item 100 can take a plurality of amorphous or “baggy” shapes. For example, layer 104 may be too flexible to maintain a single, specific shape. In some aspects, item 100 includes only a single portion or compartment which receives both a user's fingers and thumb.
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of present invention handwear item 200 with finger opening 202. In general, the discussion regarding item 100 in the descriptions of FIGS. 1 through 3 is applicable to item 200. For example, the discussion of liner 102, layer 104, surface 106, and elements 108 is applicable to liner 202, layer 204, surface 206, and elements 208. Item 200 includes at least one additional opening 209 beyond the opening formed by the cuff. In general opening 209 is positioned to allow at least a portion of one or more fingers or a thumb of a user of item 200 to extend beyond item 200. Opening 209 is not limited to any particular size or shape. It should be understood that openings can be located in other parts (not shown) of item 200.
  • The following should be viewed in light of FIGS. 1 through 4. Although item 100 is used as an example in the discussion below, it should be understood that the discussion also is applicable to any present invention item. Item 100 is not limited to any particular size. In some aspects, item 100 can be configured as a “one size fits all.” For example, this can be accomplished by using a more flexible material for liner 102 and layer 104 or providing generous amounts of liner 102 and layer 104. In some aspects, item 100 can be configured to correspond to traditional glove or mitten sizes or ranges of glove or mitten sizes. Item 100 is not limited to any particular appearance. Layer 104 can be made of materials having various colors and/or patterns. Appendages (not shown) can be added to item 100 to make create a desired appearance. For example, playful colors, patterns, or appendages make item 100 more attractive to children and increase their compliance with treatment involving item 100.
  • Thus, it is seen that the objects of the present invention are efficiently obtained, although modifications and changes to the invention should be readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art, which modifications are intended to be within the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed. It also is understood that the foregoing description is illustrative of the present invention and should not be considered as limiting. Therefore, other embodiments of the present invention are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Claims (9)

  1. 1. A reusable handwear item, comprising:
    an outer layer of a woven material;
    at least one gripping element fixed to an outside surface of the outer layer; and,
    a liner made of a flexible impermeable material and secured to the outer layer only along at least a portion of a periphery for the outer layer, wherein an inside surface of the liner is arranged to contact a hand of a person wearing the handwear item and the at least one gripping element enables the hand to grip an object which would not otherwise be possible without the gripping element.
  2. 2. The handwear item of claim 1 wherein the liner is attached to the outer layer only at a cuff for the outer layer.
  3. 3. The handwear item of claim 2 wherein the liner is at least partially removable to expose at least a portion of the inside surface of the liner.
  4. 4. The handwear item of claim 1 wherein the at least one gripping element has a higher coefficient of friction than the outside surface of the outer layer.
  5. 5. The handwear item of claim 1 wherein a material for the at least one gripping element is selected from the grouping consisting of a rubber-based material, a plastic-based material, and a silicon-based material.
  6. 6. The handwear item of claim 1 wherein a material for the outer layer and a configuration of the outer layer are selected such that the handwear item substantially maintains a specific shape.
  7. 7. The handwear item of claim 1 wherein the liner and the outer layer are arranged to form a mitten having a first portion for fingers of the hand and a second portion, at least partially separate from the first portion, for a thumb of the hand.
  8. 8. The handwear item of claim 1 wherein the liner and the outer layer are arranged to form a glove having a plurality of first portions, each first portion for one or more fingers of the hand, and a second portion, at least partially separate from the plurality of first portions, for a thumb of the hand.
  9. 9. A reusable mitten, comprising:
    an outer layer of a woven material, an outside surface of the outer layer having a first coefficient of friction;
    at least one gripping element fixed to the outside surface of the outer layer and having a second coefficient of friction higher than the first coefficient of friction; and,
    a liner made of a flexible impermeable material attached to the outer layer only at a cuff for the outer layer, wherein an inner surface for the liner is arranged to contact a hand of a person wearing the handwear item, the at least one gripping element enables the hand to grip an object which would not otherwise be possible without the gripping element, and the liner is at least partially displaceable to expose at least a portion of the inner surface of the liner.
US11974949 2004-12-29 2007-10-17 Handwear item having a flexible impermeable liner Abandoned US20080034466A1 (en)

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US11025394 US20060137223A1 (en) 2004-12-29 2004-12-29 Footwear item having a flexible impermeable liner in contact with a foot and method of implementing the footwear item
US11974949 US20080034466A1 (en) 2004-12-29 2007-10-17 Handwear item having a flexible impermeable liner

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US20090077711A1 (en) * 2006-01-19 2009-03-26 Sung-Kwang Kim Glove
US20120191022A1 (en) * 2010-07-23 2012-07-26 Muehlbauer Thomas G Methods and apparatus for therapeutic application of thermal energy
US8443462B1 (en) * 2011-11-08 2013-05-21 Jamelle Brian Eugene Athletic grip enhancing finger gloves
US9192509B2 (en) 2013-03-11 2015-11-24 Avacen, Inc. Methods and apparatus for therapeutic application of thermal energy including blood viscosity adjustment
US20170172231A1 (en) * 2015-12-18 2017-06-22 Easton Baseball / Softball Inc. Batting glove with internal slip layer
US9687385B2 (en) 2013-03-11 2017-06-27 Avacen, Inc. Methods and apparatus for therapeutic application of thermal energy including blood viscosity adjustment

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Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US20090077711A1 (en) * 2006-01-19 2009-03-26 Sung-Kwang Kim Glove
US20120191022A1 (en) * 2010-07-23 2012-07-26 Muehlbauer Thomas G Methods and apparatus for therapeutic application of thermal energy
US8679170B2 (en) * 2010-07-23 2014-03-25 Avacen, Inc. Methods and apparatus for therapeutic application of thermal energy
US9066781B2 (en) 2010-07-23 2015-06-30 Avacen, Inc. Methods and apparatus for therapeutic application of thermal energy
US8443462B1 (en) * 2011-11-08 2013-05-21 Jamelle Brian Eugene Athletic grip enhancing finger gloves
US9192509B2 (en) 2013-03-11 2015-11-24 Avacen, Inc. Methods and apparatus for therapeutic application of thermal energy including blood viscosity adjustment
US9687385B2 (en) 2013-03-11 2017-06-27 Avacen, Inc. Methods and apparatus for therapeutic application of thermal energy including blood viscosity adjustment
US20170172231A1 (en) * 2015-12-18 2017-06-22 Easton Baseball / Softball Inc. Batting glove with internal slip layer
US9808038B2 (en) * 2015-12-18 2017-11-07 Easton Diamond Sports Llc Batting glove with internal slip layer

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