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United States Patent Application 20180017360
Kind Code A1
Adamow; Dmitri Bazyli ;   et al. January 18, 2018

DEVICE FOR PROTECTION AGAINST ENEMY FIRE

Abstract

A protective shield device with one or more holes including covers through which a user may use a weapon such as, but not limited to a pistol, rifle, stun gun, etc. The device may enable law enforcement or military personnel to discharge a weapon through a hole while remaining completely behind the protective shield. This may give the user total protection from enemy fire even while firing a weapon.


Inventors: Adamow; Dmitri Bazyli; (Norwich, NY) ; Adamow; Olena; (Norwich, NY)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Adamow; Dmitri Bazyli
Adamow; Olena

Norwich
Norwich

NY
NY

US
US
Family ID: 1000002385220
Appl. No.: 15/208372
Filed: July 12, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F41H 5/26 20130101; F41H 5/08 20130101
International Class: F41H 5/08 20060101 F41H005/08; F41H 5/26 20060101 F41H005/26

Claims



1. A device comprising: a shield implement, wherein said shield implement comprises a bulletproof shield configured to protect a user from enemy fire; a sight window section disposed on said shield implement; a porthole section, said porthole section is configured to accept a weapon, in which said porthole section comprising a nonabrasive inner edge configured to prevent scratching an outer finish of said weapon when said weapon is pushed through said porthole to engage in an offensive fire; and a cover component mounted to said shield implement, wherein said cover component is configured to cover said porthole section when said weapon is removed from said porthole section.

2. The device of claim 1, further comprising a handle portion, wherein said handle portion is configured for carrying said shield implement.

3. The device of claim 2, further comprising a plate portion, wherein said plate portion is configured to attach said handle portion to said shield implement.

4. The device of claim 3, further comprising an adjustable strap portion, wherein said strap portion and said handle portion is configured for adjustably securing said shield implement to a user.

5. The device of claim 4, further comprising an insert tool, wherein said insert tool is configured to fit in said porthole section, and wherein said insert tool being configured to fit different weapons through said porthole section.

6. The device of claim 1, in which said shield implement further comprises at least a rectangular and concave shaped shield.

7. The device of claim 4, in which said sight window section comprises at least a clear bulletproof sight window.

8. The device of claim 1, in which said porthole section comprises at least one of a square shape, a rectangular shape, half-circular shape, and U-shape porthole section.

9. The device of claim 1, in which said porthole cover component comprises a self-closing hinge mounted to said shield implement.

10. The device of claim 9, in which said self-closing hinge comprises a spring-loaded hinge configured to hold said porthole cover component in a closed position.

11. The device of claim 4, in which said porthole section comprises a U-shaped hole section.

12. The device of claim 11, in which said cover component comprises a pivot point, wherein said cover implement is configured for rotating around said pivot point to move said cover implement between an open and a close position.

13. The device of claim 12, in which said cover component further comprises a channel segment configured to hold said cover implement in said close position.

14. The device of claim 13, in which said cover component further comprises a stop segment configured to limit a rotation of said cover implement when in said open position.

15. The device of claim 1, in which said cover component comprises a left portion and a right portion attached to said shield implement by hinges, each of which are notched to typically fit together in a close position.

16. The device of claim 5, in which said porthole section further comprising a rectangular shaped hole, and in which said insert tool comprises a fastening plate configured to secure said insert tool to said shield implement, and wherein said cover component is configured to attach to said fastening plate by a hinge.

17. A device comprising: means for protecting a user from enemy fire; means, disposed on said protecting means, for allowing a user to see through said protecting means; means for accepting a weapon to engage in an offensive fire, wherein said accepting means is configured to prevent scratches to an outer finish of a weapon when said weapon is pushed through said accepting means; means for covering said accepting means when said weapon is removed from said accepting means; means for carrying said protecting means; and means for adjustably securing said protecting means to a user.

18. The device of claim 17, further comprising a means configured for fitting different weapons through said accepting means.

19. A device comprising: a shield implement, wherein said shield implement comprises a bulletproof shield configured to protect a user from enemy fire; a sight window section disposed on said shield implement; a porthole section configured to accept a weapon, said porthole section comprising a nonabrasive inner edge configured to prevent scratches to an outer finish of said weapon when said weapon is pushed through said porthole to engage in offensive fire; and a cover component mounted to said shield implement, wherein said cover component is configured to cover said porthole section when said weapon is removed from said porthole section. a handle portion configured for carrying said shield implement. an adjustable strap portion, wherein said strap portion and said handle portion is configured for adjustably securing said shield implement to a user.

20. The device of claim 19, in which said porthole section comprises at least one of a square shape, a rectangular shape, half-circular shape porthole section, in which said porthole cover component comprises a self-closing hinge mounted to said shield implement, and in which said self-closing hinge comprises a spring-loaded hinge configured to hold said porthole cover component in a closed position.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not applicable.

RELATED CO-PENDING U.S. PATENT APPLICATIONS

[0002] Not applicable.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF SEQUENCE LISTING PROVIDED AS A TEXT FILE

[0003] Not applicable.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0004] Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER LISTING APPENDIX

[0005] Not applicable.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

[0006] A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material that is subject to copyright protection by the author thereof. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or patent disclosure for the purposes of referencing as patent prior art, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office, patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

BACKGROUND OF THE RELEVANT PRIOR ART

[0007] One or more embodiments of the invention generally relate to personal protective gear. More particularly, certain embodiments of the invention relate to a hole in a protective shield with a cover.

[0008] The following background information may present examples of specific aspects of the prior art (e.g., without limitation, approaches, facts, or common wisdom) that, while expected to be helpful to further educate the reader as to additional aspects of the prior art, is not to be construed as limiting the present invention, or any embodiments thereof, to anything stated or implied therein or inferred thereupon. It is believed that military personnel and law enforcement officers may have little protection when engaging in enemy fire in open areas. Such dangerous conditions may result in the military or law enforcement personnel getting injured or killed. These individuals may be in particular danger of injury to the head, neck, shoulders, arms, and/or hands when using conventional bullet proof protective gear (vests, shields etc.).

[0009] By way of educational background, an aspect of the related technology generally useful to be aware of is that some currently available means for protection may be shields. Some of these protective shields may be hand held and others may be able to stand on their own. Typically, with the use of a defensive protective shield, the individual must reach around the shield to engage in offensive fire, which may expose portions of his body such as, but not limited to, the head, neck, shoulder, arm, and hand to enemy fire. Some protective shields may be used as an offensive device by attaching a firearm to a portion of the shield. Since the firearm is typically mounted to the shield in a permanent fashion in such devices, the position of the firearm may not be optimal in all applications. In addition, the user may be limited to only using the permanently mounted firearm. Furthermore, if the user needs to discard the shield, for example to pursue an offender, the user may need to carry another weapon. One may expect that when shooting the attached firearm using the gun sights, the weapon sights may be impaired by the attached shield. Moreover, a portion of the user's body may be past the edge of the shield and exposed to harm. Some currently available protective shields may comprise a hole or slot into which a firearm may be inserted. This opening in the shield may result in exposing the user to harm when the firearm is removed from the opening. The opening when the weapon is inserted may allow a projectile to pass through the protective shield when engaging in offensive fire (gap between weapon and shield). some of the protective shields have a cover that when weapon is inserted greatly reduces the view of the sights and of the assailant.

[0010] In view of the foregoing, it is clear that these traditional techniques are not perfect and leave room for more optimal approaches.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] The present invention is illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings and in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements and in which:

[0012] FIGS. 1A through 1C illustrate an exemplary protective shield with a hole into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1A is a rear diagrammatic view of the protective shield. FIG. 1B is a front perspective view of the shield with a handgun inserted into the hole, and FIG. 1C is a rear perspective view of the shield with the handgun inserted into the hole;

[0013] FIGS. 2A through 2D illustrate exemplary holes in shields that may fit specific types of weapons, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2A is a rear diagrammatic view of a shield with a hole that may fit a rifle. FIG. 2B is a rear diagrammatic view of a shield with a hole that may fit a pistol or handgun.

[0014] FIG. 2C is a rear diagrammatic view of a shield with a hole that may fit a shotgun or machine gun, and FIG. 2D is a rear diagrammatic view of a shield with a hole that may fit a stun gun;

[0015] FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate an exemplary cover for a hole in a protective shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 3A is a front perspective view of the cover in a closed position, and FIG. 3B is a front perspective view of the cover in an open position;

[0016] FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate an exemplary self-closing cover for a hole in a protective shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 4A is a front perspective view of the cover in an open position, and FIG. 4B is a front perspective view of the cover in a closed position;

[0017] FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of an exemplary cover for a hole in a shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0018] FIGS. 6A and 6B illustrate an exemplary interlocking cover for a hole in a shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 6A is a front perspective view, and FIG. 6B is a top diagrammatic view;

[0019] FIG. 7 is a side perspective view of an exemplary insert being placed in a hole in a protective shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0020] FIGS. 8A through 8D illustrate exemplary inserts made to accept different weapons, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 8A is a front perspective view of an insert made to accept a rifle. FIG. 8B is a front perspective view of an insert made to accept a shotgun or machine gun. FIG. 8C is a front perspective view of an insert made to accept a handgun or pistol. FIG. 8D is a front perspective view of an insert made to accept a stun gun;

[0021] FIG. 9 is a front perspective view of an exemplary insert being placed in a hole in a protective shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0022] FIG. 10 is a rear perspective view of an exemplary protective shield with a hole into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0023] FIGS. 11A and 11B illustrate an exemplary protective shield with a hole into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 11A is a rear perspective view of the shield being used by a user while in a kneeling position, and FIG. 11B is a rear perspective view of the shield being used by the user while in a standing position;

[0024] FIG. 12 is a rear perspective view of an exemplary protective shield with multiple holes into which weapons may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0025] FIGS. 13A through 13C illustrate an exemplary protective shield with multiple holes into which weapons may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 13A is a rear perspective view of shield in a vertical position. FIG. 13B is a rear perspective view of shield in a horizontal position, and FIG. 13C is a side perspective view of shield being used in the horizontal position;

[0026] FIG. 14 is a front perspective view of an exemplary protective shield with a hole into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0027] FIG. 15 is a rear perspective view of an exemplary protective shield with a hole into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0028] FIGS. 16A and 16B illustrate an exemplary protective shield with a hole into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 16A is a rear perspective view of the shield with a cover in a closed position, and FIG. 16B is a rear perspective view of the shield with the cover in an open position;

[0029] FIGS. 17A and 17B illustrate an exemplary protective shield with holes into which weapons may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 17A is a rear perspective view of the shield, and FIG. 17B is a front perspective view of a flashlight adapter that may be attached to the shield;

[0030] FIGS. 18A and 18B illustrate an exemplary camouflage cover for a protective shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 18A is a rear perspective view, and FIG. 18B is a front perspective view; and

[0031] FIG. 19 is a front perspective view of an exemplary protective into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0032] Unless otherwise indicated illustrations in the figures are not necessarily drawn to scale.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS

[0033] The present invention is best understood by reference to the detailed figures and description set forth herein.

[0034] Embodiments of the invention are discussed below with reference to the Figures. However, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the detailed description given herein with respect to these figures is for explanatory purposes as the invention extends beyond these limited embodiments. For example, it should be appreciated that those skilled in the art will, in light of the teachings of the present invention, recognize a multiplicity of alternate and suitable approaches, depending upon the needs of the particular application, to implement the functionality of any given detail described herein, beyond the particular implementation choices in the following embodiments described and shown. That is, there are modifications and variations of the invention that are too numerous to be listed but that all fit within the scope of the invention. Also, singular words should be read as plural and vice versa and masculine as feminine and vice versa, where appropriate, and alternative embodiments do not necessarily imply that the two are mutually exclusive.

[0035] It is to be further understood that the present invention is not limited to the particular methodology, compounds, materials, manufacturing techniques, uses, and applications, described herein, as these may vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is used for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention. It must be noted that as used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include the plural reference unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, a reference to "an element" is a reference to one or more elements and includes equivalents thereof known to those skilled in the art. Similarly, for another example, a reference to "a step" or "a means" is a reference to one or more steps or means and may include sub-steps and subservient means. All conjunctions used are to be understood in the most inclusive sense possible. Thus, the word "or" should be understood as having the definition of a logical "or" rather than that of a logical "exclusive or" unless the context clearly necessitates otherwise. Structures described herein are to be understood also to refer to functional equivalents of such structures. Language that may be construed to express approximation should be so understood unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

[0036] All words of approximation as used in the present disclosure and claims should be construed to mean "approximate," rather than "perfect," and may accordingly be employed as a meaningful modifier to any other word, specified parameter, quantity, quality, or concept. Words of approximation, include, yet are not limited to terms such as "substantial", "nearly", "almost", "about", "generally", "largely", "essentially", "closely approximate", etc.

[0037] As will be established in some detail below, it is well settle law, as early as 1939, that words of approximation are not indefinite in the claims even when such limits are not defined or specified in the specification.

[0038] For example, see Ex parte Mallory, 52 USPQ 297, 297 (Pat. Off. Bd. App. 1941) where the court said "The examiner has held that most of the claims are inaccurate because apparently the laminar film will not be entirely eliminated. The claims specify that the film is "substantially" eliminated and for the intended purpose, it is believed that the slight portion of the film which may remain is negligible. We are of the view, therefore, that the claims may be regarded as sufficiently accurate."

[0039] Note that claims need only "reasonably apprise those skilled in the art" as to their scope to satisfy the definiteness requirement. See Energy Absorption Sys., Inc. v. Roadway Safety Servs., Inc., Civ. App. 96-1264, slip op. at 10 (Fed. Cir. Jul. 3, 1997) (unpublished) Hybridtech v. Monoclonal Antibodies, Inc., 802 F.2d 1367, 1385, 231 USPQ 81, 94 (Fed. Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 480 U.S. 947 (1987). In addition, the use of modifiers in the claim, like "generally" and "substantial," does not by itself render the claims indefinite. See Seattle Box Co. v. Industrial Crating & Packing, Inc., 731 F.2d 818, 828-29, 221 USPQ 568, 575-76 (Fed. Cir. 1984).

[0040] Moreover, the ordinary and customary meaning of terms like "substantially" includes "reasonably close to: nearly, almost, about", connoting a term of approximation. See In re Frye, Appeal No. 2009-006013, 94 USPQ2d 1072, 1077, 2010 WL 889747 (B.P.A.I. 2010) Depending on its usage, the word "substantially" can denote either language of approximation or language of magnitude. Deering Precision Instruments, L.L.C. v. Vector Distribution Sys., Inc., 347 F.3d 1314, 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (recognizing the "dual ordinary meaning of th[e] term ["substantially"] as connoting a term of approximation or a term of magnitude"). Here, when referring to the "substantially halfway" limitation, the Specification uses the word "approximately" as a substitute for the word "substantially" (Fact 4). (Fact 4). The ordinary meaning of "substantially halfway" is thus reasonably close to or nearly at the midpoint between the forwardmost point of the upper or outsole and the rearwardmost point of the upper or outsole.

[0041] Similarly, the term `substantially` is well recognize in case law to have the dual ordinary meaning of connoting a term of approximation or a term of magnitude. See Dana Corp. v. American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc., Civ. App. 04-1116, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 18265, *13-14 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 27, 2004) (unpublished). The term "substantially" is commonly used by claim drafters to indicate approximation. See Cordis Corp. v. Medtronic AVE Inc., 339 F.3d 1352, 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2003) ("The patents do not set out any numerical standard by which to determine whether the thickness of the wall surface is `substantially uniform.` The term `substantially,` as used in this context, denotes approximation. Thus, the walls must be of largely or approximately uniform thickness."); see also Deering Precision Instruments, LLC v. Vector Distribution Sys., Inc., 347 F.3d 1314, 1322 (Fed. Cir. 2003); Epcon Gas Sys., Inc. v. Bauer Compressors, Inc., 279 F.3d 1022, 1031 (Fed. Cir. 2002). We find that the term "substantially" was used in just such a manner in the claims of the patents-in-suit: "substantially uniform wall thickness" denotes a wall thickness with approximate uniformity.

[0042] It should also be noted that such words of approximation as contemplated in the foregoing clearly limits the scope of claims such as saying `generally parallel` such that the adverb `generally` does not broaden the meaning of parallel. Accordingly, it is well settled that such words of approximation as contemplated in the foregoing (e.g., like the phrase `generally parallel`) envisions some amount of deviation from perfection (e.g., not exactly parallel), and that such words of approximation as contemplated in the foregoing are descriptive terms commonly used in patent claims to avoid a strict numerical boundary to the specified parameter. To the extent that the plain language of the claims relying on such words of approximation as contemplated in the foregoing are clear and uncontradicted by anything in the written description herein or the figures thereof, it is improper to rely upon the present written description, the figures, or the prosecution history to add limitations to any of the claim of the present invention with respect to such words of approximation as contemplated in the foregoing. That is, under such circumstances, relying on the written description and prosecution history to reject the ordinary and customary meanings of the words themselves is impermissible. See, for example, Liquid Dynamics Corp. v. Vaughan Co., 355 F.3d 1361, 69 USPQ2d 1595, 1600-01 (Fed. Cir. 2004). The plain language of phrase 2 requires a "substantial helical flow." The term "substantial" is a meaningful modifier implying "approximate," rather than "perfect." In Cordis Corp. v. Medtronic AVE, Inc., 339 F.3d 1352, 1361 (Fed. Cir. 2003), the district court imposed a precise numeric constraint on the term "substantially uniform thickness." We noted that the proper interpretation of this term was "of largely or approximately uniform thickness" unless something in the prosecution history imposed the "clear and unmistakable disclaimer" needed for narrowing beyond this simple-language interpretation. Id. In Anchor Wall Systems v. Rockwood Retaining Walls, Inc., 340 F.3d 1298, 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2003)" Id. at 1311. Similarly, the plain language of claim 1 requires neither a perfectly helical flow nor a flow that returns precisely to the center after one rotation (a limitation that arises only as a logical consequence of requiring a perfectly helical flow).

[0043] The reader should appreciate that case law generally recognizes a dual ordinary meaning of such words of approximation, as contemplated in the foregoing, as connoting a term of approximation or a term of magnitude; e.g., see Deering Precision Instruments, L.L.C. v. Vector Distrib. Sys., Inc., 347 F.3d 1314, 68 USPQ2d 1716, 1721 (Fed. Cir. 2003), cert. denied, 124 S. Ct. 1426 (2004) where the court was asked to construe the meaning of the term "substantially" in a patent claim. Also see Epcon, 279 F.3d at 1031 ("The phrase `substantially constant` denotes language of approximation, while the phrase `substantially below` signifies language of magnitude, i.e., not insubstantial."). Also, see, e.g., Epcon Gas Sys., Inc. v. Bauer Compressors, Inc., 279 F.3d 1022 (Fed. Cir. 2002) (construing the terms "substantially constant" and "substantially below"); Zodiac Pool Care, Inc. v. Hoffinger Indus., Inc., 206 F.3d 1408 (Fed. Cir. 2000) (construing the term "substantially inward"); York Prods., Inc. v. Cent. Tractor Farm & Family Ctr., 99 F.3d 1568 (Fed. Cir. 1996) (construing the term "substantially the entire height thereof"); Tex. Instruments Inc. v. Cypress Semiconductor Corp., 90 F.3d 1558 (Fed. Cir. 1996) (construing the term "substantially in the common plane"). In conducting their analysis, the court instructed to begin with the ordinary meaning of the claim terms to one of ordinary skill in the art. Prima Tek, 318 F.3d at 1148. Reference to dictionaries and our cases indicates that the term "substantially" has numerous ordinary meanings. As the district court stated, "substantially" can mean "significantly" or "considerably." The term "substantially" can also mean "largely" or "essentially." Webster's New 20th Century Dictionary 1817 (1983).

[0044] Words of approximation, as contemplated in the foregoing, may also be used in phrases establishing approximate ranges or limits, where the end points are inclusive and approximate, not perfect; e.g., see AK Steel Corp. v. Sollac, 344 F.3d 1234, 68 USPQ2d 1280, 1285 (Fed. Cir. 2003) where it where the court said [W]e conclude that the ordinary meaning of the phrase "up to about 10%" includes the "about 10%" endpoint. As pointed out by AK Steel, when an object of the preposition "up to" is nonnumeric, the most natural meaning is to exclude the object (e.g., painting the wall up to the door). On the other hand, as pointed out by Sollac, when the object is a numerical limit, the normal meaning is to include that upper numerical limit (e.g., counting up to ten, seating capacity for up to seven passengers). Because we have here a numerical limit--"about 10%"--the ordinary meaning is that that endpoint is included.

[0045] In the present specification and claims, a goal of employment of such words of approximation, as contemplated in the foregoing, is to avoid a strict numerical boundary to the modified specified parameter, as sanctioned by Pall Corp. v. Micron Separations, Inc., 66 F.3d 1211, 1217, 36 USPQ2d 1225, 1229 (Fed. Cir. 1995) where it states "It is well established that when the term "substantially" serves reasonably to describe the subject matter so that its scope would be understood by persons in the field of the invention, and to distinguish the claimed subject matter from the prior art, it is not indefinite." Likewise see Verve LLC v. Crane Cams Inc., 311 F.3d 1116, 65 USPQ2d 1051, 1054 (Fed. Cir. 2002). Expressions such as "substantially" are used in patent documents when warranted by the nature of the invention, in order to accommodate the minor variations that may be appropriate to secure the invention. Such usage may well satisfy the charge to "particularly point out and distinctly claim" the invention, 35 U.S.C. .sctn.112, and indeed may be necessary in order to provide the inventor with the benefit of his invention. In Andrew Corp. v. Gabriel Elecs. Inc., 847 F.2d 819, 821-22, 6 USPQ2d 2010, 2013 (Fed. Cir. 1988) the court explained that usages such as "substantially equal" and "closely approximate" may serve to describe the invention with precision appropriate to the technology and without intruding on the prior art. The court again explained in Ecolab Inc. v. Envirochem, Inc., 264 F.3d 1358, 1367, 60 USPQ2d 1173, 1179 (Fed. Cir. 2001) that "like the term `about,` the term `substantially` is a descriptive term commonly used in patent claims to avoid a strict numerical boundary to the specified parameter," see Ecolab Inc. v. Envirochem Inc., 264 F.3d 1358, 60 USPQ2d 1173, 1179 (Fed. Cir. 2001) where the court found that the use of the term "substantially" to modify the term "uniform" does not render this phrase so unclear such that there is no means by which to ascertain the claim scope.

[0046] Similarly, other courts have noted that like the term "about," the term "substantially" is a descriptive term commonly used in patent claims to "avoid a strict numerical boundary to the specified parameter."; e.g., see Pall Corp. v. Micron Seps., 66 F.3d 1211, 1217, 36 USPQ2d 1225, 1229 (Fed. Cir. 1995); see, e.g., Andrew Corp. v. Gabriel Elecs. Inc., 847 F.2d 819, 821-22, 6 USPQ2d 2010, 2013 (Fed. Cir. 1988) (noting that terms such as "approach each other," "close to," "substantially equal," and "closely approximate" are ubiquitously used in patent claims and that such usages, when serving reasonably to describe the claimed subject matter to those of skill in the field of the invention, and to distinguish the claimed subject matter from the prior art, have been accepted in patent examination and upheld by the courts). In this case, "substantially" avoids the strict 100% nonuniformity boundary.

[0047] Indeed, the foregoing sanctioning of such words of approximation, as contemplated in the foregoing, has been established as early as 1939, see Ex parte Mallory, 52 USPQ 297, 297 (Pat. Off. Bd. App. 1941) where, for example, the court said "the claims specify that the film is "substantially" eliminated and for the intended purpose, it is believed that the slight portion of the film which may remain is negligible. We are of the view, therefore, that the claims may be regarded as sufficiently accurate." Similarly, In re Hutchison, 104 F.2d 829, 42 USPQ 90, 93 (C.C.P.A. 1939) the court said "It is realized that "substantial distance" is a relative and somewhat indefinite term, or phrase, but terms and phrases of this character are not uncommon in patents in cases where, according to the art involved, the meaning can be determined with reasonable clearness."

[0048] Hence, for at least the forgoing reason, Applicants submit that it is improper for any examiner to hold as indefinite any claims of the present patent that employ any words of approximation.

[0049] Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meanings as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Preferred methods, techniques, devices, and materials are described, although any methods, techniques, devices, or materials similar or equivalent to those described herein may be used in the practice or testing of the present invention. Structures described herein are to be understood also to refer to functional equivalents of such structures. The present invention will be described in detail below with reference to embodiments thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

[0050] References to a "device," an "apparatus," a "system," etc., in the preamble of a claim should be construed broadly to mean "any structure meeting the claim terms" exempt for any specific structure(s)/type(s) that has/(have) been explicitly disavowed or excluded or admitted/implied as prior art in the present specification or incapable of enabling an object/aspect/goal of the invention. Furthermore, where the present specification discloses an object, aspect, function, goal, result, or advantage of the invention that a specific prior art structure and/or method step is similarly capable of performing yet in a very different way, the present invention disclosure is intended to and shall also implicitly include and cover additional corresponding alternative embodiments that are otherwise identical to that explicitly disclosed except that they exclude such prior art structure(s)/step(s), and shall accordingly be deemed as providing sufficient disclosure to support a corresponding negative limitation in a claim claiming such alternative embodiment(s), which exclude such very different prior art structure(s)/step(s) way(s).

[0051] From reading the present disclosure, other variations and modifications will be apparent to persons skilled in the art. Such variations and modifications may involve equivalent and other features which are already known in the art, and which may be used instead of or in addition to features already described herein.

[0052] Although Claims have been formulated in this Application to particular combinations of features, it should be understood that the scope of the disclosure of the present invention also includes any novel feature or any novel combination of features disclosed herein either explicitly or implicitly or any generalization thereof, whether or not it relates to the same invention as presently claimed in any Claim and whether or not it mitigates any or all of the same technical problems as does the present invention.

[0053] Features which are described in the context of separate embodiments may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable subcombination. The Applicants hereby give notice that new Claims may be formulated to such features and/or combinations of such features during the prosecution of the present Application or of any further Application derived therefrom.

[0054] References to "one embodiment," "an embodiment," "example embodiment," "various embodiments," "some embodiments," "embodiments of the invention," etc., may indicate that the embodiment(s) of the invention so described may include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic, but not every possible embodiment of the invention necessarily includes the particular feature, structure, or characteristic. Further, repeated use of the phrase "in one embodiment," or "in an exemplary embodiment," "an embodiment," do not necessarily refer to the same embodiment, although they may. Moreover, any use of phrases like "embodiments" in connection with "the invention" are never meant to characterize that all embodiments of the invention must include the particular feature, structure, or characteristic, and should instead be understood to mean "at least some embodiments of the invention" includes the stated particular feature, structure, or characteristic.

[0055] References to "user", or any similar term, as used herein, may mean a human or non-human user thereof. Moreover, "user", or any similar term, as used herein, unless expressly stipulated otherwise, is contemplated to mean users at any stage of the usage process, to include, without limitation, direct user(s), intermediate user(s), indirect user(s), and end user(s). The meaning of "user", or any similar term, as used herein, should not be otherwise inferred or induced by any pattern(s) of description, embodiments, examples, or referenced prior-art that may (or may not) be provided in the present patent.

[0056] References to "end user", or any similar term, as used herein, are generally intended to mean late stage user(s) as opposed to early stage user(s). Hence, it is contemplated that there may be a multiplicity of different types of "end user" near the end stage of the usage process. Where applicable, especially with respect to distribution channels of embodiments of the invention comprising consumed retail products/services thereof (as opposed to sellers/vendors or Original Equipment Manufacturers), examples of an "end user" may include, without limitation, a "consumer", "buyer", "customer", "purchaser", "shopper", "enjoyer", "viewer", or individual person or non-human thing benefiting in any way, directly or indirectly, from use of, or interaction with, some aspect of the present invention.

[0057] In some situations, some embodiments of the present invention may provide beneficial usage to more than one stage or type of usage in the foregoing usage process. In such cases where multiple embodiments targeting various stages of the usage process are described, references to "end user", or any similar term, as used therein, are generally intended to not include the user that is the furthest removed, in the foregoing usage process, from the final user therein of an embodiment of the present invention.

[0058] Where applicable, especially with respect to retail distribution channels of embodiments of the invention, intermediate user(s) may include, without limitation, any individual person or non-human thing benefiting in any way, directly or indirectly, from use of, or interaction with, some aspect of the present invention with respect to selling, vending, Original Equipment Manufacturing, marketing, merchandising, distributing, service providing, and the like thereof.

[0059] References to "person", "individual", "human", "a party", "animal", "creature", or any similar term, as used herein, even if the context or particular embodiment implies living user, maker, or participant, it should be understood that such characterizations are sole by way of example, and not limitation, in that it is contemplated that any such usage, making, or participation by a living entity in connection with making, using, and/or participating, in any way, with embodiments of the present invention may be substituted by such similar performed by a suitably configured non-living entity, to include, without limitation, automated machines, robots, humanoids, computational systems, information processing systems, artificially intelligent systems, and the like. It is further contemplated that those skilled in the art will readily recognize the practical situations where such living makers, users, and/or participants with embodiments of the present invention may be in whole, or in part, replaced with such non-living makers, users, and/or participants with embodiments of the present invention. Likewise, when those skilled in the art identify such practical situations where such living makers, users, and/or participants with embodiments of the present invention may be in whole, or in part, replaced with such non-living makers, it will be readily apparent in light of the teachings of the present invention how to adapt the described embodiments to be suitable for such non-living makers, users, and/or participants with embodiments of the present invention. Thus, the invention is thus to also cover all such modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of such adaptations and modifications, at least in part, for such non-living entities.

[0060] Headings provided herein are for convenience and are not to be taken as limiting the disclosure in any way.

[0061] The enumerated listing of items does not imply that any or all of the items are mutually exclusive, unless expressly specified otherwise.

[0062] It is understood that the use of specific component, device and/or parameter names are for example only and not meant to imply any limitations on the invention. The invention may thus be implemented with different nomenclature/terminology utilized to describe the mechanisms/units/structures/components/devices/parameters herein, without limitation. Each term utilized herein is to be given its broadest interpretation given the context in which that term is utilized.

[0063] Terminology. The following paragraphs provide definitions and/or context for terms found in this disclosure (including the appended claims):

[0064] "Comprising." This term is open-ended. As used in the appended claims, this term does not foreclose additional structure or steps. Consider a claim that recites: "A memory controller comprising a system cache . . . " Such a claim does not foreclose the memory controller from including additional components (e.g., a memory channel unit, a switch).

[0065] "Configured To." Various units, circuits, or other components may be described or claimed as "configured to" perform a task or tasks. In such contexts, "configured to" or "operable for" is used to connote structure by indicating that the mechanisms/units/circuits/components include structure (e.g., circuitry and/or mechanisms) that performs the task or tasks during operation. As such, the mechanisms/unit/circuit/component can be said to be configured to (or be operable) for perform(ing) the task even when the specified mechanisms/unit/circuit/component is not currently operational (e.g., is not on). The mechanisms/units/circuits/components used with the "configured to" or "operable for" language include hardware--for example, mechanisms, structures, electronics, circuits, memory storing program instructions executable to implement the operation, etc. Reciting that a mechanism/unit/circuit/component is "configured to" or "operable for" perform(ing) one or more tasks is expressly intended not to invoke 35 U.S.C. .sctn. 112, sixth paragraph, for that mechanism/unit/circuit/component. "Configured to" may also include adapting a manufacturing process to fabricate devices or components that are adapted to implement or perform one or more tasks.

[0066] "Based On." As used herein, this term is used to describe one or more factors that affect a determination. This term does not foreclose additional factors that may affect a determination. That is, a determination may be solely based on those factors or based, at least in part, on those factors. Consider the phrase "determine A based on B." While B may be a factor that affects the determination of A, such a phrase does not foreclose the determination of A from also being based on C. In other instances, A may be determined based solely on B.

[0067] The terms "a", "an" and "the" mean "one or more", unless expressly specified otherwise.

[0068] Unless otherwise indicated, all numbers expressing conditions, concentrations, dimensions, and so forth used in the specification and claims are to be understood as being modified in all instances by the term "about." Accordingly, unless indicated to the contrary, the numerical parameters set forth in the following specification and attached claims are approximations that may vary depending at least upon a specific analytical technique.

[0069] The term "comprising," which is synonymous with "including," "containing," or "characterized by" is inclusive or open-ended and does not exclude additional, unrecited elements or method steps. "Comprising" is a term of art used in claim language which means that the named claim elements are essential, but other claim elements may be added and still form a construct within the scope of the claim.

[0070] As used herein, the phase "consisting of" excludes any element, step, or ingredient not specified in the claim. When the phrase "consists of" (or variations thereof) appears in a clause of the body of a claim, rather than immediately following the preamble, it limits only the element set forth in that clause; other elements are not excluded from the claim as a whole. As used herein, the phase "consisting essentially of" and "consisting of" limits the scope of a claim to the specified elements or method steps, plus those that do not materially affect the basis and novel characteristic(s) of the claimed subject matter (see Norian Corp. v Stryker Corp., 363 F.3d 1321, 1331-32, 70 USPQ2d 1508, Fed. Cir. 2004). Moreover, for any claim of the present invention which claims an embodiment "consisting essentially of" or "consisting of" a certain set of elements of any herein described embodiment it shall be understood as obvious by those skilled in the art that the present invention also covers all possible varying scope variants of any described embodiment(s) that are each exclusively (i.e., "consisting essentially of") functional subsets or functional combination thereof such that each of these plurality of exclusive varying scope variants each consists essentially of any functional subset(s) and/or functional combination(s) of any set of elements of any described embodiment(s) to the exclusion of any others not set forth therein. That is, it is contemplated that it will be obvious to those skilled how to create a multiplicity of alternate embodiments of the present invention that simply consisting essentially of a certain functional combination of elements of any described embodiment(s) to the exclusion of any others not set forth therein, and the invention thus covers all such exclusive embodiments as if they were each described herein.

[0071] With respect to the terms "comprising," "consisting of," and "consisting essentially of" where one of these three terms is used herein, the presently disclosed and claimed subject matter may include the use of either of the other two terms. Thus in some embodiments not otherwise explicitly recited, any instance of "comprising" may be replaced by "consisting of" or, alternatively, by "consisting essentially of", and thus, for the purposes of claim support and construction for "consisting of" format claims, such replacements operate to create yet other alternative embodiments "consisting essentially of" only the elements recited in the original "comprising" embodiment to the exclusion of all other elements.

[0072] Devices or system modules that are in at least general communication with each other need not be in continuous communication with each other, unless expressly specified otherwise. In addition, devices or system modules that are in at least general communication with each other may communicate directly or indirectly through one or more intermediaries.

[0073] A description of an embodiment with several components in communication with each other does not imply that all such components are required. On the contrary a variety of optional components are described to illustrate the wide variety of possible embodiments of the present invention.

[0074] As is well known to those skilled in the art many careful considerations and compromises typically must be made when designing for the optimal manufacture of a commercial implementation any system, and in particular, the embodiments of the present invention. A commercial implementation in accordance with the spirit and teachings of the present invention may configured according to the needs of the particular application, whereby any aspect(s), feature(s), function(s), result(s), component(s), approach(es), or step(s) of the teachings related to any described embodiment of the present invention may be suitably omitted, included, adapted, mixed and matched, or improved and/or optimized by those skilled in the art, using their average skills and known techniques, to achieve the desired implementation that addresses the needs of the particular application.

[0075] It is to be understood that any exact measurements/dimensions or particular construction materials indicated herein are solely provided as examples of suitable configurations and are not intended to be limiting in any way. Depending on the needs of the particular application, those skilled in the art will readily recognize, in light of the following teachings, a multiplicity of suitable alternative implementation details.

[0076] An embodiment of the present invention may provide a protective shield with one or more holes with covers through which a user may use a weapon such as, but not limited to a pistol, rifle, stun gun, etc. Some embodiments may enable law enforcement or military personnel to discharge weapons through a hole while remaining completely behind the protective shield. This may give the user total protection from enemy fire even while firing a weapon.

[0077] FIGS. 1A through 1C illustrate an exemplary protective shield 100 with a hole 105 into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1A is a rear diagrammatic view of protective shield 100. FIG. 1B is a front perspective view of shield 100 with a handgun 110 inserted into a porthole or hole 105, and FIG. 1C is a rear perspective view of shield 100 with handgun 110 inserted into hole 105. In the present embodiment, hole 105 may be molded into shield 100 when manufactured or may be machined into shield 100 after shield 100 is formed. Protective shield 100 may be made of a solid bulletproof material with a clear bulletproof sight window 115 material. It is contemplated that some embodiments may be made of various different materials such as, but not limited to, bullet resistant material, riot type material, non-bullet resistant material, etc. In the present embodiment, hole 105 may be located just under sight window 115 in the middle of shield 100. Referring to FIGS. 1B and 1C, this positioning of hole 105 may typically enable the user to use the sites on a weapon such as, but not limited to, handgun 110 for improved accuracy when shooting. Referring to FIG. 1A, shield 100 may comprise a plate 120 to hold a handle 125 and an arm strap 130 that may be used to secure shield to a user. Plate 120 may be reversible for use by right-handed and left-handed users. Arm strap 130 may be made adjustable using a multiplicity of suitable means including, but not limited to, hook and loop material, snaps, buttons, hooks, elastic, etc. Some embodiments may be implemented with a non-reversible handle plate or without a handle plate. In some embodiments handles may be attached directly to the shield. In the present embodiment, plate 120 may be placed just under hole 105 and may extend out from shield 100 so that the user's shooting hand may be able to rest on the forearm secured by arm strap 130 for better shooting accuracy.

[0078] In the present embodiment, hole 105 may be made to fit specific weapons such as, but not limited to, handguns, rifles, stun guns, etc. Alternatively, porthole or hole 105 may be made to fit a variety of weapons or may be configured to accept multiple insert tools that are made to fit various different weapons. Some embodiments may comprise covers for the holes that may be self-closing or manual closing as described by way of example below. In some embodiments holes similar to porthole or hole 105 may be incorporated into shields of many different sizes and types including, but not limited to, small, medium and large shields, portable and stationary shields, rotating and moving shields, bulletproof and non-bulletproof shields, round shields, etc.

[0079] In typical use of the present embodiment, shield 100 may be used when protection is needed from enemy fire. A weapon may be pushed thru hole 105 to engage in offensive fire typically with little risk of danger to the user. When the weapon is removed from hole 105 a manual or self-closing cover may block hole 105 so that shield 100 may better protect the user. The user may also use the weapon without shield 100 by removing the weapon from hole 105 and shooting in any direction quickly. The present embodiment may be used by various different individuals including, without limitation, law enforcement personnel, first responders, SWAT, police officers, TSA agents, FBI agents, CIA agents, military personnel, etc.

[0080] FIGS. 2A through 2D illustrate exemplary holes in shields that may fit specific types of weapons, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2A is a rear diagrammatic view of a shield 200 with a hole 205 that may fit a rifle. FIG. 2B is a rear diagrammatic view of a shield 210 with a hole 215 that may fit a pistol or handgun. FIG. 2C is a rear diagrammatic view of a shield 220 with a hole 225 that may fit a shotgun or machine gun, and FIG. 2D is a rear diagrammatic view of a shield 230 with a hole 235 that may fit a stun gun. In these embodiments, holes 205, 215, 225, and 235 may be configured to snugly fit around the weapon so that shields 200, 210, 220, and 230 may typically remain bullet resistant while a weapon is inserted. Holes 205, 215, 225, and 235 may each comprise a nonabrasive inner edge, which may help prevent scratches to the outer finish of the weapons. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize, in light of and in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, that the shapes and sizes of the holes in some alternate embodiments may vary to accommodate a wide range of weapons, including square shape, rectangular shape, circular, half-circular shape, U-shape, etc.

[0081] FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate an exemplary cover 300 for a hole 305 in a protective shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 3A is a front perspective view of cover 300 in a closed position, and FIG. 3B is a front perspective view of cover 300 in an open position. In the present embodiment, cover 300 may be attached to the shield at a pivot point 310. A user may rotate cover 300 around pivot point 310 to move cover 300 between the open and closed positions. A channel 315 may hold cover 300 in place in the closed position, and a stop 320 may limit the rotation of cover 300 when in the open position. It is contemplated that covers in some embodiments may be made in various different sizes and shapes. Furthermore, a multiplicity of suitable means for opening and closing the covers may be used such as, but not limited to, hinges, sliding mechanisms, iris mechanisms, etc. In the present embodiment, cover 300 may be installed on the outer side of the shield or the inner side of the shield. Cover 300 may be made of bulletproof glass or other types of bullet resistant material.

[0082] In typical use of the present embodiment, a user may have cover 300 closed when using the shield as a defensive device. Then, if the user needs to use a weapon, he may open cover 300 and insert the weapon into hole 305 to fire the weapon. In addition to protecting the user from bullets fired from afar, cover 300 may also typically prevent an assailant from putting his weapon thru hole 305 from the opposite side of the shield to engage in fire with the user or attempt to cut or otherwise injure the user.

[0083] FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate an exemplary self-closing cover 400 for a hole 405 in a protective shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 4A is a front perspective view of cover 400 in an open position, and FIG. 4B is a front perspective view of cover 400 in a closed position. In the present embodiment, cover 400 may be attached to the shield by a manual or self-closing hinge 410 mounted directly to the shield. Hinge 410 may be spring-loaded to hold cover 400 in the closed position. In typical use of the present embodiment, when cover 400 is closed, the shield may typically be used as a defensive device. For offensive operation, a user may insert a weapon through hole 405, which may typically push cover 400 open. When the weapon is removed from hole 405 the spring in hinge 410 may cause cover 400 to return to the closed position. It is contemplated that various different self-closing mechanisms may be used in some alternate embodiments such as, but not limited to, elastic materials, magnets, gravity, etc.

[0084] Those skilled in the art will readily recognize, in light of and in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, that covers in some embodiments may be made in a multiplicity of suitable shapes and sizes and may be attached to the shield in various different ways. The following figures are non-limiting examples of such embodiments. FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of an exemplary cover 500 for a hole 505 in a shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In the present embodiment cover 500 may be attached with a hinge 510 to the shield vertically just below a sight window 515. Cover 500 may be manually operated or self-closing. FIGS. 6A and 6B illustrate an exemplary interlocking cover 600 for a hole 605 in a shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 6A is a front perspective view, and FIG. 6B is a top diagrammatic view. In the present embodiment, cover 600 comprises a left portion 610 and a right portion 615, each of which are notched to typically fit together smoothly. Left portion 610 and right portion 615 may be attached to the shield by hinges 620. Cover 600 may be manually operated or self-closing.

[0085] FIG. 7 is a side perspective view of an exemplary insert 700 being placed in a hole 705 in a protective shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In the present embodiment, hole 705 may be made rectangular in shape so that different inserts for different weapons may be installed in the shield. This may enable the shield to accept a wide variety of weapons. Insert 700 may be configured to accept a pistol or handgun. In some alternate embodiments inserts and the holes may be made in different shapes including, but not limited to, circular inserts. In the present embodiment, insert 700 may comprise a nonabrasive inner edge as typically prevent scratching of the weapon's outer finish. In some embodiments a protective molding may be located inside the hole of the inserts. These moldings may be made of a multiplicity of suitable nonabrasive materials such as, but not limited to, plastic, rubber, foam, etc. In the present embodiment, insert 700 may be installed by first placing insert 700 into hole. Then, a fastener plate 710 may be attached to both the shield and the insert 700 for example, without limitation, with bolts or screws In alternate embodiments the insert may comprise a flange that may be attached to the shield rather than a separate fastener plate. In other alternate embodiments, the inserts may be adhered or welded directly to the shield without the use of fasteners. It is contemplated that previously manufactured shields may be modified to accept such inserts, or shields may be manufactured with holes meant to accept such inserts.

[0086] FIGS. 8A through 8D illustrate exemplary inserts made to accept different weapons, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 8A is a front perspective view of an insert 800 made to accept a rifle. FIG. 8B is a front perspective view of an insert 805 made to accept a shotgun or machine gun. FIG. 8C is a front perspective view of an insert 810 made to accept a handgun or pistol. FIG. 8D is a front perspective view of an insert 815 made to accept a stun gun. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize, in light of and in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, that inserts may be made with holes of varying shapes and sizes to accommodate a wide variety of weapons. The inserts outer edges can also be varying in shapes such as, but not limited to square, rectangle or oval.

[0087] FIG. 9 is a front perspective view of an exemplary insert 900 being placed in a hole 905 in a protective shield, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In the present embodiment, insert 900 may be secured to the shield by a fastening plate 910 with a cover 915. Cover 915 may be attached to fastening plate 910 by a hinge 920. Hinge 920 may be self-closing or manually operated. It is contemplated that in some embodiments covers may be attached to fastening plates in different location, for example, without limitation, vertically to the side of the plate. Furthermore, in some embodiments covers may be attached directly to the inserts.

[0088] FIG. 10 is a rear perspective view of an exemplary protective shield 1000 with a hole 1005 into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In the present embodiment, protective shield 1000 may be made of clear bullet resistant material so that a sight window is not needed. Shield 1000 comprises a handle 1010 and a strap 1015 for the forearm. Shield 1000 may also comprise a cover for hole 1005. Hole 1005 may be configured to accept inserts formed to fit various different types of weapons. In some embodiments the outer edge of a clear shield may be surrounded by a plastic or rubber trim. The trim is designed to prevent the shield from chipping and cracking of the clear shield when coming in contact with hard objects also to prevent marring of other objects it comes in contact with the shield. Handle 1010 may be located just under hole 1005 so that when a weapon is inserted into hole 1005 the shooting hand may rest on the non-shooting hand for stability. Shield 1000 may be small enough in size to enable users to carry shield while in use. For example, without limitation, shield may be used by police officers walking the streets or military personnel while in the field. In addition, shield 1000 may be strapped to the back or mounted to a backpack frame for military use in the field or mounted behind the seat or to the ceiling in a police car for easy access.

[0089] FIGS. 11A and 11B illustrate an exemplary protective shield 1100 with a hole 1105 into which a weapon 1110 may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 11A is a rear perspective view of shield 1100 being used by a user 1115 while in a kneeling position, and FIG. 11B is a rear perspective view of shield 1100 being used by user 1115 while in a standing position. In the present embodiment, shield 1100 is shown as a solid shield with a sight window 1120. An optional handle 1125 can be added below a main handle 1130 which may or may not be connected to a reversible plate. Optional handle 1125 may give user 1115 greater control of shield 1100 when shield 1100 is used to subdue an assailant. In typical use of the present embodiment, user 1115 may remain completely behind shield 1100 while engaging in offensive fire by inserting weapon 1110 into hole 1105 rather than reaching around shield 1100.

[0090] FIG. 12 is a rear perspective view of an exemplary protective shield 1200 with multiple holes 1205 into which weapons may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In the present embodiment, shield 1200 may be a large clear shield. A handle plate 1210, which may or may not be reversible, may be attached to shield 1200. Holes 1200 may be configured to accept inserts and may be covered by manual or self-closing covers. The inclusion of multiple holes 1205 may enable a user to aim a weapon from different positions or may enable multiple users to use shield 1200 at the same time.

[0091] FIGS. 13A through 13C illustrate an exemplary protective shield 1300 with multiple holes 1305 into which weapons may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 13A is a rear perspective view of shield 1300 in a vertical position. FIG. 13B is a rear perspective view of shield 1300 in a horizontal position, and FIG. 13C is a side perspective view of shield 1300 being used in the horizontal position. In the present embodiment, shield 1300 may be a large, clear shield with three holes 1305, which may enable up to three users to use shield 1300 at the same time. Referring to FIG. 13A, shield 1300 can be made to be freestanding in the vertical position using vertical telescoping bracing rods 1310. Vertical bracing rods 1310 may collapse against shield in a closed position 1315 when not in use. Referring to FIG. 13B, shield 1300 can be held in the horizontal position by horizontal telescoping bracing rods 1320. Horizontal bracing rods 1320 may be collapsed into a closed position 1325 when not in use. Bracing rods 1310 and 1320 may be attached to shield 1300 by a quick attach screw, similar to a screw in a gun stock to hold a quick attach sling, that may be swivel mounted to shield 1300. Bracing rods 1310 and 1320 may be able to adjust to different lengths and angles for positioning shield 1300 on uneven surfaces. This may be important when used in the field. Referring to FIG. 13C, to engage in long range shooting, a user 1330 may lay down with a rifle 1335 placed through one of holes 1305 with shield 1300 in the horizontal position. In the laying position, user 1330 may remain completely behind shield 1300. Furthermore, the clear material of shield 1300 may enable user 1330 to use any sights on rifle 1335 for aiming.

[0092] FIG. 14 is a front perspective view of an exemplary protective shield 1400 with a hole 1405 into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In the present embodiment, shield 1400 is a solid shield with a sight window 1410. A user 1415 is shown in a kneeling position with a rifle 1420 inserted through hole 1405.

[0093] FIG. 15 is a rear perspective view of an exemplary protective shield 1500 with a hole 1505 into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In the present embodiment shield 1500 comprises a large hole 1510 with a cover. A user may be able to insert his hand into large hole 1510 to open doors, to give tickets to potentially dangerous people, or to perform other such actions. The cover on large hole 1510 may be self-closing or manually operated may be may mounted to the inside or outside of shield 1500. In other embodiments such large holes may be implemented in various different types of shields including, but not limited to, large shields, small shields, clear shields, solid shields, etc.

[0094] FIGS. 16A and 16B illustrate an exemplary protective shield 1600 with a hole 1605 into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 16A is a rear perspective view of shield 1600 with a cover 1610 in a closed position, and FIG. 16B is a rear perspective view of shield 1600 with cover 1610 in an open position. In the present embodiment, cover may block both hole 1605 and a portion of a sight window 1615 to help protect sight window 1615 from dangerous objects that can distort the sight window when hit such as, but not limited to, bullets, knives, shrapnel, blunt objects, etc. Cover 1610 may be self-closing or manually operated. Some embodiments may comprise a cover that blocks the entire sight window when weapon is pushed thru porthole opening full view of sight window is obtained.

[0095] FIGS. 17A and 17B illustrate an exemplary protective shield 1700 with holes 1705 into which weapons may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 17A is a rear perspective view of shield 1700, and FIG. 17B is a front perspective view of a flashlight adapter 1710 that may be attached to shield 1700. In the present embodiment, referring to FIG. 17A, one or more quick attach flashlight adapters 1710 may be added to various locations on shield 1700 to enable flashlights to be used in a hands-free manner in low light conditions. Referring to FIG. 17B, flashlight adapter 1710 may comprise a bracket 1715 into which a flashlight 1720 may be inserted and a clamp 1725 that may enable adapter 1710 to be attached to shield 1700. It is contemplated that various different attachment means may be used to attach flashlight adapters to shield in alternate embodiments such as, but not limited to, different types of clamps, bolts, screws, welding, adhesives, etc.

[0096] FIGS. 18A and 18B illustrate an exemplary camouflage cover 1800 for a protective shield 1805, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 18A is a rear perspective view, and FIG. 18B is a front perspective view. In the present embodiment, camouflage cover 1800 may be removably attached to shield 1805 at an inside edge 1815 using various different means including, without limitation, hook and loop material, snaps, hooks, etc. Some embodiments may be implemented with a permanent camouflage cover or with a camouflage design incorporated into the shield itself.

[0097] FIG. 19 is a front perspective view of an exemplary protective shield 1900 with a hole 1905 into which a weapon may be inserted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In the present embodiment, shield 1900 comprises a blanket shield 1910 attached to a clear or solid shield 1915. Blanket shield 1910 may be a multi-layer, bullet resistant, carpet type material. Blanket shield 1910 is shown extended and can be rolled up when not needed. Blanket shield may be permanently or removably attached to shield 1915. When needed, blanket shield 1910 may be attached to the bottom of shield 1915 or unrolled to typically provide protection to the lower extremities of a user.

[0098] Those skilled in the art will readily recognize, in light of and in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, that some embodiments may comprise a multiplicity of suitable additional and alternate features such as, but not limited to, shoulder straps, hinges for connecting two or more shields to create a bulletproof strong hold for defensive and offensive cover, radio brackets, etc. Furthermore, holes meant for the insertion of weapons with self-closing or manual covers may be installed in various different locations where protection from enemy fire may be needed including, but not limited to, armored cars, tanks, police vehicles, stationary protective dwellings, government buildings, etc.

[0099] It is contemplated that some embodiments of the present invention may be used with many different types of weapons including, but not limited to, rifles, pistols, hand guns, shotguns, stun guns, military weapons, etc. Weapons can be kept on or near a user to be used when needed for different situations. Typically, weapons can be changed quickly to adapt to changing conditions and different shooting necessities. Persons can use some embodiments to better assess the danger of a situation with limited risk of personal harm because of the protection of the shield. These persons may be able to make more rational decisions knowing they are typically safe form harm while contemplating what to do next. If the user chooses to use non-lethal force, a stun gun can be used even if the offender is using a gun or other deadly weapon. Many embodiments may enable a user to take a precise aim when shooting rather than firing in a rapid and inaccurate manner. For example, compare a hunter with buck fever (uncontrollable shaking due to adrenaline rush). The hunter more often than not misses the target completely. a hunter who is calm and confident more often than not hits the target.

[0100] All the features disclosed in this specification, including any accompanying abstract and drawings, may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.

[0101] It is noted that according to USA law 35 USC .sctn.112 (1), all claims must be supported by sufficient disclosure in the present patent specification, and any material known to those skilled in the art need not be explicitly disclosed. However, 35 USC .sctn.112 (6) requires that structures corresponding to functional limitations interpreted under 35 USC .sctn.112 (6) must be explicitly disclosed in the patent specification. Moreover, the USPTO's Examination policy of initially treating and searching prior art under the broadest interpretation of a "mean for" claim limitation implies that the broadest initial search on 112(6) functional limitation would have to be conducted to support a legally valid Examination on that USPTO policy for broadest interpretation of "mean for" claims. Accordingly, the USPTO will have discovered a multiplicity of prior art documents including disclosure of specific structures and elements which are suitable to act as corresponding structures to satisfy all functional limitations in the below claims that are interpreted under 35 USC .sctn.112 (6) when such corresponding structures are not explicitly disclosed in the foregoing patent specification. Therefore, for any invention element(s)/structure(s) corresponding to functional claim limitation(s), in the below claims interpreted under 35 USC .sctn.112 (6), which is/are not explicitly disclosed in the foregoing patent specification, yet do exist in the patent and/or non-patent documents found during the course of USPTO searching, Applicant(s) incorporate all such functionally corresponding structures and related enabling material herein by reference for the purpose of providing explicit structures that implement the functional means claimed. Applicant(s) request(s) that fact finders during any claims construction proceedings and/or examination of patent allowability properly identify and incorporate only the portions of each of these documents discovered during the broadest interpretation search of 35 USC .sctn.112 (6) limitation, which exist in at least one of the patent and/or non-patent documents found during the course of normal USPTO searching and or supplied to the USPTO during prosecution. Applicant(s) also incorporate by reference the bibliographic citation information to identify all such documents comprising functionally corresponding structures and related enabling material as listed in any PTO Form-892 or likewise any information disclosure statements (IDS) entered into the present patent application by the USPTO or Applicant(s) or any 3.sup.rd parties. Applicant(s) also reserve its right to later amend the present application to explicitly include citations to such documents and/or explicitly include the functionally corresponding structures which were incorporate by reference above.

[0102] Thus, for any invention element(s)/structure(s) corresponding to functional claim limitation(s), in the below claims, that are interpreted under 35 USC .sctn.112 (6), which is/are not explicitly disclosed in the foregoing patent specification, Applicant(s) have explicitly prescribed which documents and material to include the otherwise missing disclosure, and have prescribed exactly which portions of such patent and/or non-patent documents should be incorporated by such reference for the purpose of satisfying the disclosure requirements of 35 USC .sctn.112 (6). Applicant(s) note that all the identified documents above which are incorporated by reference to satisfy 35 USC .sctn.112 (6) necessarily have a filing and/or publication date prior to that of the instant application, and thus are valid prior documents to incorporated by reference in the instant application.

[0103] Having fully described at least one embodiment of the present invention, other equivalent or alternative methods of implementing a hole in a protective shield with a cover according to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Various aspects of the invention have been described above by way of illustration, and the specific embodiments disclosed are not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed. The particular implementation of the holes in protective shields may vary depending upon the particular context or application. By way of example, and not limitation, the shields described in the foregoing were principally directed to law enforcement and military implementations; however, similar techniques may instead be applied to hunting applications or recreational applications such as, but not limited to, paintball, which implementations of the present invention are contemplated as within the scope of the present invention. The invention is thus to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the following claims. It is to be further understood that not all of the disclosed embodiments in the foregoing specification will necessarily satisfy or achieve each of the objects, advantages, or improvements described in the foregoing specification.

[0104] Claim elements and steps herein may have been numbered and/or lettered solely as an aid in readability and understanding. Any such numbering and lettering in itself is not intended to and should not be taken to indicate the ordering of elements and/or steps in the claims.

[0105] The corresponding structures, materials, acts, and equivalents of all means or step plus function elements in the claims below are intended to include any structure, material, or act for performing the function in combination with other claimed elements as specifically claimed.

[0106] The corresponding structures, materials, acts, and equivalents of all means or step plus function elements in the claims below are intended to include any structure, material, or act for performing the function in combination with other claimed elements as specifically claimed. The description of the present invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description, but is not intended to be exhaustive or limited to the invention in the form disclosed. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. The embodiment was chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and the practical application, and to enable others of ordinary skill in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.

[0107] The Abstract is provided to comply with 37 C.F.R. Section 1.72(b) requiring an abstract that will allow the reader to ascertain the nature and gist of the technical disclosure. That is, the Abstract is provided merely to introduce certain concepts and not to identify any key or essential features of the claimed subject matter. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to limit or interpret the scope or meaning of the claims.

[0108] The following claims are hereby incorporated into the detailed description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment.

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