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United States Patent Application 20170202429
Kind Code A1
COOPER; Kerry July 20, 2017

GRIPPING TOWEL

Abstract

A towel includes a body formed from a first material and having a first side and an opposed second side. A first gripping area is disposed on at least a first portion of the first side of the body. The gripping area includes a plurality of friction elements formed from a second material that is different from the first material.


Inventors: COOPER; Kerry; (Pleasantville, NY)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

POLDER PRODUCTS, LLC

Oxford

CT

US
Assignee: POLDER PRODUCTS, LLC
Oxford
CT

Family ID: 1000002050484
Appl. No.: 15/000143
Filed: January 19, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A47L 19/00 20130101; A47L 25/00 20130101
International Class: A47L 25/00 20060101 A47L025/00; A47L 19/00 20060101 A47L019/00

Claims



1. A towel, comprising: a body formed from a first material and having a first side and an opposed second side; and a first gripping area disposed on at least a first portion of the first side of the body, the gripping area including a plurality of friction elements formed from a second material that is different from the first material.

2. The towel of claim 1, further comprising at least one flap coupled to the second side of the body, the at least one flap forming at least one pocket with the body and being positioned such that the at least one pocket is disposed behind the first gripping area.

3. The towel of claim 2, wherein the at least one flap is formed from the first material.

4. The towel of claim 2, wherein the at least one flap is formed from a third material that is different from the first material.

5. The towel of claim 2, wherein the at least one pocket includes a first pocket and a second pocket disposed adjacent to one another.

6. The towel of claim 5, wherein the first pocket is separated from the second pocket by a seam.

7. The towel of claim 6, wherein the towel has a rectangular shape, and wherein the first gripping area extends from a first edge to a second edge along a third edge that is disposed between the first edge and the second edge.

8. The towel of claim 1, further comprising a second gripping area disposed on at least a second portion of the first side of the body.

9. The towel of claim 8, further comprising at least one first flap coupled to the second side of the body, the at least one first flap forming at least one first pocket with the body and being positioned such that the at least one first pocket is disposed behind the first gripping area; and at least one second flap coupled to the second side of the body, the at least one second flap forming at least second first pocket with the body and being positioned such that the at least one second pocket is disposed behind the second gripping area.

10. The towel of claim 1, further comprising a second gripping area disposed on at least a first portion of the second side of the body.

11. The towel of claim 10, further comprising at least one first flap coupled to the second side of the body, the at least one first flap forming at least one first pocket with the body and being positioned such that the at least one first pocket is disposed behind the first gripping area; and at least one second flap coupled to the first side of the body, the at least one second flap forming at least one second pocket with the body and being positioned such that the at least one second pocket is disposed behind the second gripping area.

12. A towel, comprising: a body having a rectangular shape comprising four edges and having a first side and an opposed second side; a first gripping area disposed on at least a first portion of the first side of the body, the first gripping area including at least one friction element formed from a second material that is different from the first material; and at least one first flap coupled to the second side of the body, the at least one first flap forming at least one first pocket with the body and being positioned such that the at least one first pocket is disposed behind the first gripping area.

13. The towel of claim 12, wherein the first gripping area extends from a first edge to a second edge along a third edge that is disposed between the first edge and the second edge.

14. The towel of claim 13, wherein the at least one first pocket includes a first pocket and a second pocket disposed adjacent to one another.

15. The towel of claim 14, wherein the first pocket is separated from the second pocket by a seam.

16. The towel of claim 12, wherein the first material is an absorbent material and the second material has a higher coefficient of friction compared to the first material.

17. The towel of claim 12, further comprising a second gripping area disposed on at least a second portion of the first side of the body, the second gripping area including at least one friction element formed from a second material that is different from the first material.

18. The towel of claim 17, further comprising at least one second flap coupled to the second side of the body, the at least one second flap forming at least one second pocket with the body and being positioned such that the at least one second pocket is disposed behind the second gripping area.

19. The towel of claim 12, further comprising a second gripping area disposed on at least a first portion of the second side of the body, the second gripping area including at least one friction element formed from a second material that is different from the first material.

20. The towel of claim 19, further comprising at least one second flap coupled to the first side of the body, the at least one second flap forming at least one second pocket with the body and being positioned such that the at least one second pocket is disposed behind the second gripping area.
Description



BACKGROUND

[0001] Many people do not have dishwashers and thus hand wash and dry their dishes. There are also many better-quality examples of glass and stemware that are not advised to be used in a dishwasher, and thus implore the user to hand wash and dry these items. The tediousness of washing and drying dishes can be made even more unpleasant when the dish being dried, such as glassware, stemware, plates, and bowls to list only a few examples, slips out of the grasp of the person using a conventional towel to dry the dish as it is in its freshly wet state. Such slippage can result in the dish, tray, glassware, etc. being damaged or even broken.

SUMMARY

[0002] In some embodiments, a towel includes a body formed from a first material and having a first side and an opposed second side. A first gripping area is disposed on at least a first portion of the first side of the body. The gripping area includes a plurality of friction elements formed from a second material that is different from the first material.

[0003] In some embodiments, a towel includes a body having a rectangular shape comprising four edges. The body also has a first side and an opposed second side. A first gripping area is disposed on at least a first portion of the first side of the body. The first gripping area includes at least one friction element formed from a second material that is different from the first material. At least one first flap is coupled to the second side of the body. The at least one first flap forms at least one first pocket with the body and is positioned such that the at least one first pocket is disposed behind the first gripping area.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] FIG. 1A is a top side plan view of one example of an improved towel configured with a gripping area in accordance with some embodiments;

[0005] FIG. 1B is a rear side plan view of the improved towel shown in FIG. 1B in accordance with some embodiments;

[0006] FIG. 2A is a side view of one example of a friction element in accordance with some embodiments;

[0007] FIG. 2B is a side view of another example of a friction element in accordance with some embodiments;

[0008] FIG. 3A is a top side view of friction elements having zig-zag patterns in accordance with some embodiments;

[0009] FIG. 3B is a top side view of friction elements having v-shapes in accordance with some embodiments;

[0010] FIG. 3C is a top side view of friction elements having oscillating shapes in accordance with some embodiments;

[0011] FIG. 3D is a top side view of friction elements having hollow triangular shapes in accordance with some embodiments;

[0012] FIG. 3E is a top side view of friction elements having hollow rectangular shapes in accordance with some embodiments;

[0013] FIG. 3F is a top side view of friction elements having triangular pad shapes in accordance with some embodiments;

[0014] FIG. 4A is a top side view of another example of an improved towel configured with a plurality of gripping areas in accordance with some embodiments;

[0015] FIG. 4B is a rear side view of the improved towel illustrated in FIG. 4B in accordance with some embodiments;

[0016] FIG. 5 is a top side view of another example of an improved towel configured with at least one gripping areas in accordance with some embodiments;

[0017] FIG. 5A is a close-up view of a section of the gripping area of the improved towel illustrated in FIG. 5;

[0018] FIG. 6 is a rear side view of the improved towel illustrated in FIG. 5 in accordance with some embodiments;

[0019] FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 7-7 in FIG. 5 in accordance with some embodiments;

[0020] FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along line 8-8 in FIG. 6 in accordance with some embodiments;

[0021] FIG. 9 is a top side view of another example of an improved towel configured with a plurality of gripping areas on a common side in accordance with some embodiments;

[0022] FIG. 10 is a rear side view of the improved illustrated in FIG. 9 in accordance with some embodiments;

[0023] FIG. 11 illustrates a person inserting his or her hand into a pocket of an improved towel in accordance with some embodiments; and

[0024] FIG. 12 illustrates a person using an improved towel with at least one gripping surface to dry a dish in accordance with some embodiments.

[0025] FIG. 13 illustrates a person using another example of an improved towel with at least one gripping surface to dry a dish in accordance with some embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0026] This description of the exemplary embodiments is intended to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are to be considered part of the entire written description.

[0027] This description is intended to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are to be considered part of the entire written description. The drawing figures are not necessarily to scale and certain features of the invention may be shown exaggerated in scale or in somewhat schematic form in the interest of clarity and conciseness. In the description, relative terms such as "horizontal," "vertical," "up," "down," "top" and "bottom" as well as derivatives thereof (e.g., "horizontally," "downwardly," "upwardly," etc.) should be construed to refer to the orientation as then described or as shown in the drawing figure under discussion. These relative terms are for convenience of description and normally are not intended to require a particular orientation. Terms including "inwardly" versus "outwardly," "longitudinal" versus "lateral" and the like are to be interpreted relative to one another or relative to an axis of elongation, or an axis or center of rotation, as appropriate. Terms concerning attachments, coupling and the like, such as "connected" and "interconnected," refer to a relationship wherein structures are secured or attached to one another either directly or indirectly through intervening structures, as well as both movable or rigid attachments or relationships, unless expressly described otherwise. The term "operatively connected" is such an attachment, coupling or connection that allows the pertinent structures to operate as intended by virtue of that relationship. In the claims, means-plus-function clauses, if used or implied, are intended to cover the structures described, suggested, or rendered obvious by the written description or drawings for performing the recited function, including not only structural equivalents but also equivalent structures.

[0028] The disclosed towels advantageously provide for enhanced gripping of dishes and other objects--in wet or dry states--compared to conventional towels. In some embodiments, the disclosed towels are provided with a plurality of frictional elements on at least one side of the towel. As described in greater detail below, the frictional elements can take a variety of forms and be provided in a variety of arrays or patterns one or more sides of the towel. The friction elements can be spaced in a manner with the gripping area such that they also offer absorbency as well as the enhanced gripping function while holding a wet object. In some embodiments, the towel also includes at least one pocket sized such that a person may put at least a part of his or her hand therein to reduce the likelihood of the towel from falling out of the grasp of the user while the user is rotating or otherwise manipulating a wet item.

[0029] FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate one example of a towel 100 in accordance with some embodiments. Towel 100 can have a body 101 with a first side 102 (FIG. 1A) and a second side 103 (FIG. 1B) and be formed from a variety of absorbent materials including, but not limited to, cotton, chamois leather, polyesters, polyamides, or a conjugation of polyester, polyamide, and polypropylene sometimes referred to as microfiber, to list only a few possible types of materials. In some embodiments, the towel 100 is formed from a machine-washable material. Although towel 100 is shown as having a rectangular shape, a person of ordinary skill in the art will understand that towel 100 can take a variety of shapes and be provided in a number of sizes.

[0030] Towel 100 includes at least one gripping area 104 in an upper left corner of first side 102 as shown in FIG. 1A. In some embodiments, gripping area 104 includes a plurality of friction elements 106 arranged in a regular or irregular pattern. In some embodiments, friction elements 106 are formed from silicone, rubber, or other materials having a higher friction coefficient than the fabric from which the towel is formed to provide increased friction between friction elements 106 and the item to be dried, such as a glass bowl, compared to what would be provided by a wet towel alone. Friction elements 106 can be affixed to the body 102 towel 100 in a variety of ways such as, for example, over-molding, gluing, or sewing.

[0031] Friction elements 106 include a gripping surface 108, which can be smooth, such as gripping surface 108-1 shown in FIG. 2A, or can be textured, such as gripping surface 108-2 shown in FIG. 2B. The textured gripping surface 108-2 can be formed by knurling or other mechanical process for providing one or more raised areas for increasing the friction of the friction element 106.

[0032] Although friction elements 106 are shown in FIG. 1A as having a circular shape taking the form of solid dots, a person of ordinary skill in the art will understand that frictional elements 106 can have other shapes including, but not limited to, rectangular, triangular, or otherwise polygonal and be solid or hollow.

[0033] For example, FIGS. 3A-3F illustrate a few non-limiting examples of other potential shapes of friction elements 106. FIG. 3A illustrates one example in which friction elements 106A have a zig-zag shape comprising a series of connected vertically extending legs 110 and horizontally extending legs 112. In FIG. 3B, friction elements 106B have a v-shape comprising a pair of divergent legs 110, 112 extending away from a vertex 114. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3C, friction elements 106C are formed in a wavy or oscillating pattern. FIG. 3D illustrates an embodiment in which the friction elements 106D are formed as hollow triangles in an alternating (e.g., up/down) pattern, and FIG. 3E illustrates an embodiment in which friction elements 106E are formed as hollow rectangles.

[0034] The size and arrangement of friction elements 106 in gripping area 104 may also be varied. For example, friction elements 106 provided in an array can have a maximum diameter or width/length dimension ranging 0.1 inches to 2 inches, for example, and be spaced apart from directly adjacent friction elements 106 by 0.25 inches to 0.5 inches such that towel 100 remains absorbent between friction elements 106. In some embodiments, friction elements 106 have a size of approximately 2 mm in diameter, 1.7 mm in height, and are spaced apart from one another by 2.85 mm across the gripping area 104. One of ordinary skill in the art will understand that friction elements 106 can have other dimensions and be located at distances greater or less than 2.85 mm. Further, the size of gripping area 104 may be varied from five percent of the area of a side 102, 103 of towel 100 to up to and including 50 percent of the area of a side 102, 103 of towel 100.

[0035] In some embodiments, friction elements 106 are not provided in an array of discrete elements as discussed above with respect to FIGS. 2A-3E. For example, FIG. 3F illustrates one example of a gripping area 104 including a friction elements 106F-1, 106F-2 (collectively, "friction elements 106F") taking the form of generally triangularly shaped pads. As shown in FIG. 3F, friction elements 106F are disposed adjacent to one another within gripping area 104. In some embodiments, a space or gap 107 is provided between friction elements 106F to facilitate folding of gripping area 104 about an object that is to be held by towel 100 such that a person can hold the object as described in greater detail below.

[0036] Friction elements 106F, like friction elements 106A-106E, can be sewn, glued, or otherwise affixed to towel body 101. Further, in some embodiments, slots 115 can be formed in friction elements 106F to absorbency and to increase friction between friction elements 106F and the object being dried. As will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art, each of the friction elements 106A-106F can have either a smooth gripping surface, such as gripping surface 108-1 shown in FIG. 2A, or a textured gripping surface, such as gripping surface 108-2 shown in FIG. 2B.

[0037] Turning now back to FIG. 1B, the second side 103 of towel 100 includes at least one flap 116 affixed, in a permanent or removable manner, to body 101 by sewing, gluing, using Velcro.RTM., or through other fastening mechanism. In some embodiments, flap 116 is triangular in shape and is affixed to body 101 along two of the edges 118, 120 of flap 116 and the third edge 122 of flap 116 remains free such that body 101 and flap 116 form a pocket 123 that is sized such that at least a portion of a hand can be received therein. Flap 116 is located on second side 103 of towel 100 such that it is positioned behind (or in front of) gripping area 104 on first side 102. Flap 116 can be formed from the same material as body 101 of towel 100, or flap 116 can be formed from a different material. As described in greater detail below, flaps 116 can have other configurations.

[0038] As noted above, the number of gripping areas 104 can be varied. For example, FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate another embodiment of a towel 100-1 configured with a pair of gripping areas 104-1, 104-2 and a pair of flaps 116-1, 116-2. Gripping area 104-1 and flap 116-1 are disposed on first side 102 of towel 100-1, and gripping area 104-2 and flap 116-2 are disposed on second side 103 of towel 100-1. In some embodiments, gripping areas 104-1 and 104-2 are arranged such that they are positioned diagonally across from one another. In such embodiments, gripping area 104-1 is be positioned diagonally across from flap 116-1, which is positioned in back (or in front) of gripping area 104-2, and gripping area 104-2 can be positioned diagonally across from flap 116-2, which is positioned in back (or in front) of gripping area 104-1. Providing a gripping area 104 and a flap 116 at diagonally opposed ends of a single towel 100 advantageously enables a person to be able to use both ends of the towel while enjoying the benefits of the enhanced gripping of the object. Further, the use of multiple flaps 116 provides increased towel area and therefore increased absorbency. While only two gripping areas 104 and flaps 116 are illustrated in FIGS. 4A and 4B, a person of ordinary skill in the art will understand that additional gripping areas and flaps can be provided.

[0039] In some embodiments, a single gripping area is provided on a first side with multiple flaps provided on the opposite side of a towel with as shown in FIGS. 5-9. Referring first to FIG. 5, towel 100-2 is shown comprising a gripping area 104 extending adjacent to the upper edge 128 of towel 100-2 from the left edge 124 to the right edge 126 of side 102. In some embodiments, gripping area 104 extends across 30 percent of the side 102, although one of ordinary skill in the art will understand that gripping area 104 can extend across less than 30 percent (e.g., five percent) or more than 30 percent (e.g., 50 percent) of side 102. Gripping area 104 is shown as including a plurality of discrete friction elements 106 as best seen in FIG. 5A; however, a person of ordinary skill in the art will understand that gripping area 104 can be configured with other friction elements.

[0040] As best seen in FIG. 6, a pair of flaps 116-1, 116-1 ("flaps 116") are provided on side 103 of towel 100-2. Flaps 116 are separated from each along line 132, which, as described in more detail below, can be a seam formed by stitching, gluing, or other fastening means. The lower edge 134 of flaps 116 are free, i.e., not fixed, such that a person is able to slide his or her hand between flap 116 and body 101 of towel 100-2.

[0041] The construction of flaps 116 and the respective pockets 123-1, 123-2 ("pockets 123") formed by flaps 116 is now described with reference to FIGS. 7 and 8. Turning first to FIG. 7, flaps 116 are formed by folding over the material of body 101 thereby creating upper edge 128 of towel 100-2 and pockets 123. In some embodiments, stitching 130 is provided to maintain the body 101 folding over itself to provide flaps 116. As noted above, the lower edges 132 of flaps 116 are free, i.e., not fixed to body 101. As shown in FIG. 8, pocket 123-2 is formed between line 132 and secured edge 120-2, which can be formed by stitching or otherwise affixing flap 116-2 to body 101.

[0042] In some embodiments, a towel is providing with a plurality of separate gripping areas on a common side. For example, FIG. 9 illustrates one example of a towel 100-3 including diagonally opposed gripping areas 104-1, 104-2 ("gripping areas 104") both disposed on side 102. Each gripping area 104-1, 104-2 includes at least one friction element 106 disposed therein. Although friction elements 106 within each of the gripping areas 104 are illustrated as having a round configuration, a person of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the friction elements 106 can have other configurations including, but not limited to, those configurations described above with respect to FIGS. 2A-3F. Further, gripping areas 104 of towel 100-3 can include different types of friction elements.

[0043] Behind each gripping area 104-1, 104-2 is a respective flap 116-1, flap 116-2 ("flaps 116") as best seen in FIG. 10. Flaps 116 are shown as having a triangular shape, but one of ordinary skill in the art will understand that flaps 116 can have other shapes or forms. Flap 116-1 is secured to side 103 of body 101 along edges 118-1 and 120-1. As described above, flap 116-1 can be secured to body 101 in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, sewing, stitching, gluing, Velcro.RTM., or through other means as will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art. Edge 122-1 of flap 116-1 is not secured to body 101 such that flap 116-1 forms a pocket (not shown in FIG. 10) with body 101.

[0044] Flap 116-2 is secured to the opposing corner of body 101 along edges 118-2 and 120-2. As with flap 116-1, flap 116-2 can be secured to body 101 in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, sewing, stitching, gluing, or through other means as will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art. Edge 122-2 of flap 116-2 is a free edge as it is not secured to body 101 as are edges 118-, 120-2 to provide an opening for receiving a person's hand or other appendage in the pocket (not shown in FIG. 10) formed between flap 116-2 and body 101 of towel 100-3. Although two flaps 116 are shown in FIG. 10, one of ordinary skill in the art will understand that additional flaps can be provided.

[0045] FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate one example of a towel being used in accordance with some embodiments. Referring first to FIG. 11, a person slides a hand H1 into pocket 123 formed between a flap 116 and body 101 of the towel 100. As shown in FIGS. 12, with the gripping surface 104 disposed on the opposite side of towel 100 as pocket 123, the person is able to grasp the dish D using gripping area 104 including friction elements while having his or her hand secured within pocket 123. A second hand H2 of the person can dry the dish D using another portion of the towel, such as an opposed corner. FIG. 13 illustrates a person using a dish towel having a gripping area configured with circular friction elements in accordance with some embodiments. The gripping area advantageously reduces the likelihood of the dish slipping from the grasp of the person when the person grabs the dish via the gripping area.

[0046] In some embodiments, a towel has a body formed from a first material and has a first side and an opposed second side. A first gripping area is disposed on at least a first portion of the first side of the body. The gripping area includes a plurality of friction elements formed from a second material that is different from the first material.

[0047] In some embodiments, at least one flap is coupled to the second side of the body. The at least one flap forms at least one pocket with the body and is positioned such that the at least one pocket is disposed behind the first gripping area.

[0048] In some embodiments, the at least one flap is formed from the first material.

[0049] In some embodiments, the at least one flap is formed from a third material that is different from the first material.

[0050] In some embodiments, the at least one pocket includes a first pocket and a second pocket disposed adjacent to one another.

[0051] In some embodiments, the first pocket is separated from the second pocket by a seam.

[0052] In some embodiments, the towel has a rectangular shape, and the first gripping area extends from a first edge to a second edge along a third edge that is disposed between the first edge and the second edge.

[0053] In some embodiments, a second gripping area is disposed on at least a second portion of the first side of the body.

[0054] In some embodiments, at least one first flap is coupled to the second side of the body. The at least one first flap forms at least one first pocket with the body and is positioned such that the at least one first pocket is disposed behind the first gripping area. At least one second flap is coupled to the second side of the body. The at least one second flap forms at least second first pocket with the body and is positioned such that the at least one second pocket is disposed behind the second gripping area.

[0055] In some embodiments, a second gripping area is disposed on at least a first portion of the second side of the body.

[0056] In some embodiments, at least one first flap is coupled to the second side of the body. The at least one first flap forms at least one first pocket with the body and is positioned such that the at least one first pocket is disposed behind the first gripping area. At least one second flap is coupled to the first side of the body. The at least one second flap forms at least one second pocket with the body and is positioned such that the at least one second pocket is disposed behind the second gripping area.

[0057] In some embodiment, a towel includes a body, a gripping area, and at least one first flap. The body has a rectangular shape comprising four edges and has a first side and an opposed second side. The first gripping area is disposed on at least a first portion of the first side of the body. The first gripping area includes at least one friction element formed from a second material that is different from the first material. The at least one first flap is coupled to the second side of the body and forms at least one first pocket with the body. The at least one first flap is positioned such that the at least one first pocket is disposed behind the first gripping area.

[0058] In some embodiments, the first gripping area extends from a first edge to a second edge along a third edge that is disposed between the first edge and the second edge.

[0059] In some embodiments, the at least one first pocket includes a first pocket and a second pocket disposed adjacent to one another.

[0060] In some embodiments, the first pocket is separated from the second pocket by a seam.

[0061] In some embodiments, the first material is an absorbent material and the second material has a higher coefficient of friction compared to the first material.

[0062] In some embodiments, a second gripping area is disposed on at least a second portion of the first side of the body The second gripping area includes at least one friction element formed from a second material that is different from the first material.

[0063] In some embodiments, at least one second flap is coupled to the second side of the body. The at least one second flap forms at least one second pocket with the body and is positioned such that the at least one second pocket is disposed behind the second gripping area.

[0064] In some embodiments, a second gripping area is disposed on at least a first portion of the second side of the body. The second gripping area includes at least one friction element formed from a second material that is different from the first material.

[0065] In some embodiments, at least one second flap is coupled to the first side of the body. The at least one second flap forms at least one second pocket with the body and is positioned such that the at least one second pocket is disposed behind the second gripping area.

[0066] The disclosed towels advantageously provide for enhanced gripping of dishes and other objects--in wet or dry states--compared to conventional towels. In some embodiments, the disclosed towels are provided with a plurality of frictional surfaces on at least one side of the towel. As described herein, the frictional surfaces can take a variety of forms and be provided in a variety of patterns one or more sides of the towel.

[0067] Although the invention has been described in terms of exemplary embodiments, it is not limited thereto. Rather, the appended claims should be construed broadly, to include other variants and embodiments of the invention, which may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and range of equivalents of the invention.

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