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United States Patent Application 20180213876
Kind Code A1
Parsons; Michael J. August 2, 2018

CHIN GUARD AND SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR USING SAME

Abstract

Disclosed herein are chin guard devices and systems for use with a helmet. The chin guard device may include a cupped portion comprising a front face and a rear face, wherein the front face is opposed to the rear face, wherein the rear face is configured to receive the chin of a wearer; at least one strap attached to the cupped portion; and at least one securement device attached to the at least one strap. The securement device may be configured to releasably secure the strap to the helmet, the securement device including a female component comprising a hollow body with a bottom wall, two side walls, a cavity defined by the bottom and back walls, a substantially open top communicating with the cavity, and a plurality of locking slots at one or more top portions of the side walls; and a male component having first and second opposed ends, and first and second opposed sides, the male component configured to connect to at least one strap end and comprising a raised portion at one or more ends. Also disclosed herein are methods of using the disclosed chin guard devices and systems.


Inventors: Parsons; Michael J.; (Erie, PA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Parsons; Michael J.

Erie

PA

US
Family ID: 1000003166261
Appl. No.: 15/885502
Filed: January 31, 2018


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62452663Jan 31, 2017

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A42B 3/205 20130101; A63B 71/10 20130101; A42B 3/00 20130101; A63B 2209/00 20130101; A63B 2243/007 20130101; A63B 2102/18 20151001
International Class: A42B 3/20 20060101 A42B003/20; A63B 71/10 20060101 A63B071/10

Claims



1. A chin guard device comprising: a cupped portion comprising a front face and a rear face, wherein the front face is opposed to the rear face, wherein the rear face is configured to receive the chin of a wearer; at least one strap attached to the cupped portion; and at least one securement device attached to the at least one strap; wherein the securement device is configured to releasably secure the strap to the helmet, the securement device comprising: a. a female component comprising a hollow body with a bottom wall, two side walls, a cavity defined by the bottom and back walls, a substantially open top communicating with the cavity, and a plurality of locking slots at one or more top portions of the side walls; and b. a male component having first and second opposed ends, and first and second opposed sides, the male component configured to connect to at least one strap end and comprising a raised portion at one or more ends; wherein the female and male components are configured to detachably couple in a plurality of locked states; and wherein the female component is configured to connect to a portion of the helmet using a connecting means.

2. The chin guard device of claim 1, wherein the female and male components are configured to detachably couple by inserting an end of the male component having a raised portion into the cavity through an opening at a first end of the female component to cause the raised portion to engage at least one locking slot in order to lock the male component to the female component in the locked state.

3. The chin guard device of claim 2, wherein the female component comprises a first locking slot at a first position configured to lock the male component to the female portion in a first locked state, and a second locking slot at a second position configured to lock the male component to the female portion in a second locked state.

4. The chin guard device of claim 3, wherein the locking slot comprises at least one of: a cross member extending from a top portion of one side wall to a top portion of the other side wall and at least one projection extending from a top portion of a side wall.

5. The chin guard device of claim 4, wherein the male component comprises a slot or recess disposed at one end configured to connect with a strap end; and wherein the strap end is connected to the male component using a plurality of connecting means.

6. The chin guard device of claim 5, wherein the raised portion of the male component comprises an engagement element selected from a protrusion, projection, rib, tab, foot, lip, and a raised surface.

7. The chin guard device of claim 3, wherein the first end of the female component has a top opening sized and dimensioned to allow for a strap connected to the male component to pass through the top opening; and wherein the top opening has a smaller width than the cavity width.

8. The chin guard device of claim 7, wherein an abutment end of the top opening corresponds to a point of engagement for the raised portion in order to lock the male component to the female portion in the first locked state.

9. The chin guard device of claim 8, wherein the male and female components couple using a tongue and groove engagement configuration.

10. The chin guard device of claim 9, wherein first and second sides of the male component are configured as tongues to matingly couple with the grooves of the female component; and wherein at least a portion of the first and second side are configured as rails.

11. The chin guard device of claim 10, wherein the thickness of the bottom wall of the female component tapers down in size towards the second end of the female component; and wherein the tapered portion of the bottom wall is configured to allow movement of the raised portion down into the tapered portion.

12. The chin guard device of claim 11, wherein an interior surface of the bottom wall of the female component has a recessed portion at the first end of the female component sized and dimensioned to allow for a portion of the male component to be depress into the recessed portion when inserting the male component into the cavity of the female component.

13. The chin guard device of claim 10, further comprising: at least one reel configured to wind the at least one strap; and at least one housing configured to encase the at least one reel.

14. The chin guard device of claim 13, further comprising a helmet configured to connect to the female component of the securement device.

15. A system, the system comprising: a helmet; and a chin guard configured to protect the chin of a wearer, the chin guard comprising: a cupped portion comprising a front face and a rear face, wherein the front face is opposed to the rear face, wherein the rear face is configured to receive the chin of a wearer; a plurality of straps having first and second opposed ends, one end being attached to the cupped portion; at least one securement device attached to one end of each strap, the securement device comprising: a female component comprising a hollow body with a bottom wall, two side walls, a cavity defined by the bottom and back walls, a substantially open top communicating with the cavity, and a plurality of locking slots at one or more top portions of the side walls; and a male component having first and second opposed ends, and first and second opposed sides, the male component being connect a strap end and comprising a raised portion at the opposed end; wherein the locking slot comprises at least one of: a cross member extending from a top portion of one side wall to a top portion of the other side wall and at least one projection extending from a top portion of a side wall; wherein the female and male components are configured to detachably couple in a plurality of locked states; wherein the female component is connected to a portion of the helmet using a connecting means; and wherein the female and male components are configured to detachably couple by inserting an end of the male component having a raised portion into the cavity through an opening at a first end of the female component to cause the raised portion to engage at least one locking slot in order to lock the male component to the female component in the locked state.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein the female component comprises a first locking slot at a first position configured to lock the male component to the female portion in a first locked state, and a second locking slot at a second position configured to lock the male component to the female portion in a second locked state.

17. The system of claim 16, wherein the first end of the female component has a top opening sized and dimensioned to allow for the strap connected to the male component to pass through the top opening; and wherein the top opening has a smaller width than the cavity width.

18. The system of claim 17, wherein an abutment end of the top opening corresponds to a position of engagement for the raised portion in order to lock the male component to the female portion in the first locked state.

19. A method for securing a helmet to a user, the method comprising: a. providing a helmet system comprising: a helmet; and a chin guard configured to protect the chin of a wearer, the chin guard comprising: a cupped portion comprising a front face and a rear face, wherein the front face is opposed to the rear face, wherein the rear face is configured to receive the chin of a wearer; first and second straps having first and second opposed ends, one end being attached to the cupped portion; at least one securement device attached to one end of each strap, the securement device comprising: a female component comprising a hollow body with a bottom wall, two side walls, a cavity defined by the bottom and back walls, a substantially open top communicating with the cavity, and first and second locking slots at one or more top portions of the side walls; and a male component having first and second opposed ends, and first and second opposed sides, the male component being connect a strap end and comprising a raised portion at the opposed end; wherein the locking slot comprises at least one of: a cross member extending from a top portion of one side wall to a top portion of the other side wall and at least one projection extending from a top portion of a side wall; wherein the female and male components are configured to detachably couple in a first locked state and second locked state; wherein the female component is connected to a portion of the helmet using a connecting means; and wherein the female and male components are configured to detachably couple by inserting an end of the male component having a raised portion into the cavity through an opening at a first end of the female component to cause the raised portion to engage at least one locking slot in order to lock the male component to the female component in the locked state b. positioning the helmet on the user's head; and c. securing the straps to the helmet by inserting the ends of the male component having the raised portions into the cavity through the opening at the first end of the female component to cause the raised portion to engage at the second locking slot in order to lock the male component to the female component in the second locked state.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the first end of the female component has a top opening sized and dimensioned to allow for the strap connected to the male component to pass through the top opening; wherein the top opening has a smaller width than the cavity width; and wherein an abutment end of the top opening corresponds to a position of engagement for the raised portion in order to lock the male component to the female portion in the first locked state.
Description



CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/452,663, filed Jan. 31, 2017, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0002] The present disclosure generally relates to chin guard and system configured to protect the chin of a wearer. More specifically, the disclosure relates to chin guard configured to be removably attached to a helmet.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Helmets are crucial sports gear that protect athlete from severe head injuries, jaw misalignments, and various other impacts. Helmets are essential in close contact games such as football, hockey, boxing, and baseball, etc. These helmets are fabricated from a shock absorbing material, which facilitates energy distribution of the impact across all parts of the helmet, hence saving the athlete from injury.

[0004] Further, the helmet includes a chinstrap, which is incorporated to adjustably secure the helmet on the athlete's head. However, often the chinstrap makes the athlete uncomfortable while wearing the helmet because the athlete does not get required time to adjust the helmet, which may be either too tight or too loose.

[0005] Further, adjustment of the chin straps requires substantial effort from the athlete. However, during dynamic gameplay scenarios, the athlete may not have adequate time to adjust the straps or realign the helmet for a proper fit. In addition, adjusting the chinstraps becomes more tedious task where the athlete is unable to locate the buckle to fasten the loosened or tightened chinstraps. Additionally, in many situations, the athlete may find difficulty to adjust the chinstraps with their hands while wearing the gloves.

[0006] Therefore, there is a need for improved chin guards, devices and systems to allow quick adjustment and reliably secure the chin guard and helmet to athlete's head to provide better protection.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] In accordance with the purposes of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, the disclosure, in some aspects, relates to a chin guard device and systems configured to protect the head and chin. Accordingly, the chin guard devices and systems may include a cupped portion including a front face and a rear face. Further, the front face may be opposed to the rear face. Further, the rear face may be configured to receive the chin of a wearer. Furthermore, the chin guard may include one or more one strap attached to the cupped portion.

[0008] In further aspects, the disclosure also relates to the chin guard device that may include one or more securement devices attached to the one or more straps. Accordingly, the chin guard may include one or more securement devices configured to secure the chin guard on the chin of the wearer. Further, the chin guard may include one or more reels configured to wind the one or more straps. Still further, the securement device may be configured to releasably secure the strap to the helmet, the securement device including a female component and a male component configured to releasably couple. Accordingly, one or more chin guard housings may be provided.

[0009] The invention also relates to methods for using the disclosed chin guard devices and systems.

[0010] Additional aspects of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or can be learned by practice of the disclosure. The advantages of the disclosure will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the disclosure, as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate several aspects of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

[0012] FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic diagram showing a rear perspective view of a chin guard, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 2 illustrates a schematic diagram showing a side view of the chin guard including securement devices in the form of a cam buckle and a cam button, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 3 illustrates a schematic diagram showing a front perspective view of the chin guard, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0015] FIG. 4 illustrates a schematic diagram showing perspective view of the chin guard, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0016] FIG. 5 illustrates a schematic diagram showing a perspective view of a button fastener, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0017] FIGS. 6A-6D display drawings showing various perspective views of a securement device of the chin guard, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0018] FIGS. 7A-7C display drawings showing various perspective views of a securement device of the chin guard, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0019] FIGS. 8A-8C display drawings showing various perspective views of a securement device of the chin guard, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0020] FIGS. 9A-9B display drawings showing various perspective views of a securement device of the chin guard, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0021] The present invention can be understood more readily by reference to the following detailed description of the invention and the Examples included therein.

[0022] Before the present articles, systems, devices, and/or methods are disclosed and described, it is to be understood that they are not limited to specific manufacturing methods unless otherwise specified, or to particular materials unless otherwise specified, as such can, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects only and is not intended to be limiting. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, example methods and materials are now described.

[0023] Moreover, it is to be understood that unless otherwise expressly stated, it is in no way intended that any method set forth herein be construed as requiring that its steps be performed in a specific order. Accordingly, where a method claim does not actually recite an order to be followed by its steps or it is not otherwise specifically stated in the claims or descriptions that the steps are to be limited to a specific order, it is no way intended that an order be inferred, in any respect. This holds for any possible non-express basis for interpretation, including: matters of logic with respect to arrangement of steps or operational flow; plain meaning derived from grammatical organization or punctuation; and the number or type of aspects described in the specification.

[0024] All publications mentioned herein are incorporated herein by reference to disclose and describe the methods and/or materials in connection with which the publications are cited.

A. Definitions

[0025] It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects only and is not intended to be limiting. As used in the specification and in the claims, the term "comprising" can include the aspects "consisting of" and "consisting essentially of" Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. In this specification and in the claims which follow, reference will be made to a number of terms which shall be defined herein.

[0026] As used in the specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a," "an" and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to "an aperture" includes two or more apertures.

[0027] Ranges can be expressed herein as from one particular value, and/or to another particular value. When such a range is expressed, another aspect includes from the one particular value and/or to the other particular value. Similarly, when values are expressed as approximations, by use of the antecedent `about,` it will be understood that the particular value forms another aspect. It will be further understood that the endpoints of each of the ranges are significant both in relation to the other endpoint, and independently of the other endpoint. It is also understood that there are a number of values disclosed herein, and that each value is also herein disclosed as "about" that particular value in addition to the value itself. For example, if the value "10" is disclosed, then "about 10" is also disclosed. It is also understood that each unit between two particular units are also disclosed. For example, if 10 and 15 are disclosed, then 11, 12, 13, and 14 are also disclosed.

[0028] As used herein, the terms "about" and "at or about" mean that the amount or value in question can be the value designated some other value approximately or about the same. It is generally understood, as used herein, that it is the nominal value indicated .+-.10% variation unless otherwise indicated or inferred. The term is intended to convey that similar values promote equivalent results or effects recited in the claims. That is, it is understood that amounts, sizes, formulations, parameters, and other quantities and characteristics are not and need not be exact, but can be approximate and/or larger or smaller, as desired, reflecting tolerances, conversion factors, rounding off, measurement error and the like, and other factors known to those of skill in the art. In general, an amount, size, formulation, parameter or other quantity or characteristic is "about" or "approximate" whether or not expressly stated to be such. It is understood that where "about" is used before a quantitative value, the parameter also includes the specific quantitative value itself, unless specifically stated otherwise.

[0029] The terms "first," "second," "first part," "second part," and the like, where used herein, do not denote any order, quantity, or importance, and are used to distinguish one element from another, unless specifically stated otherwise.

[0030] As used herein, the terms "optional" or "optionally" means that the subsequently described event or circumstance can or cannot occur, and that the description includes instances where said event or circumstance occurs and instances where it does not. For example, the phrase "optionally affixed to the surface" means that it can or cannot be fixed to a surface.

[0031] Moreover, it is to be understood that unless otherwise expressly stated, it is in no way intended that any method set forth herein be construed as requiring that its steps be performed in a specific order. Accordingly, where a method claim does not actually recite an order to be followed by its steps or it is not otherwise specifically stated in the claims or descriptions that the steps are to be limited to a specific order, it is no way intended that an order be inferred, in any respect. This holds for any possible non-express basis for interpretation, including: matters of logic with respect to arrangement of steps or operational flow; plain meaning derived from grammatical organization or punctuation; and the number or type of aspects described in the specification.

[0032] Disclosed are the components to be used to manufacture the disclosed devices and articles of the invention as well as the materials themselves to be used within the methods disclosed herein. These and other materials are disclosed herein, and it is understood that when combinations, subsets, interactions, groups, etc. of these materials are disclosed that while specific reference of each various individual and collective combinations and permutation of these materials cannot be explicitly disclosed, each is specifically contemplated and described herein. For example, if a particular material is disclosed and discussed and a number of modifications that can be made to the materials are discussed, specifically contemplated is each and every combination and permutation of the material and the modifications that are possible unless specifically indicated to the contrary. Thus, if a class of materials A, B, and C are disclosed as well as a class of materials D, E, and F and an example of a combination material, A-D is disclosed, then even if each is not individually recited each is individually and collectively contemplated meaning combinations, A-E, A-F, B-D, B-E, B-F, C-D, C-E, and C-F are considered disclosed. Likewise, any subset or combination of these is also disclosed. Thus, for example, the sub-group of A-E, B-F, and C-E would be considered disclosed. This concept applies to all aspects of this application including, but not limited to, steps in methods of making and using the articles and devices of the invention. Thus, if there are a variety of additional steps that can be performed it is understood that each of these additional steps can be performed with any specific aspect or combination of aspects of the methods of the invention.

[0033] It is understood that the devices and systems disclosed herein have certain functions. Disclosed herein are certain structural requirements for performing the disclosed functions, and it is understood that there are a variety of structures that can perform the same function that are related to the disclosed structures, and that these structures will typically achieve the same result.

B. Chin Guard and System

[0034] According to various aspects, the present disclosure relates to a chin guard configured to protect the chin of a wearer and secure a helmet to the head of a wearer during impact. Accordingly, the chin guard may include a cupped portion comprising a front face and a rear face. Further, the front face may be opposed to the rear face. Furthermore, the rear face may be configured to receive the chin of a wearer. Additionally, in some aspects, the cupped portion may be configured to receive the jaw of the wearer. Accordingly, in some aspects, the chin guard may be configured to protect the jaw of the wearer.

[0035] In some aspects, the rear face may be concave. Additionally, in some aspects, the front face may be convex. Moreover, in some aspects, the cupped portion further may include a left side face and a right side face. Further, the left side face may be opposite to the right side face. Still further, in some aspects, the cupped portion further may include an upper face and a lower face. Yet further, the upper face may be opposite to the lower face. In some aspects, at least one of the front face and the rear face may be constructed of at least one of a rigid material, a semi-rigid material and a deformable material.

[0036] In some aspects, the chin guard may further include a compressible layer disposed over at least a part of the rear face. Further, the compressible layer may be configured to provide protection to the chin. In some aspects, the compressible layer may include a padding constructed from at least one of foam and felt. Further, in some aspects, the compressible layer may include a fluid based shock absorber.

[0037] In some aspects, the compressible layer may include a low-resilience polyurethane foam. Further, in some aspects, an exterior surface of the compressible layer facing the chin may include an indentation conforming to the chin.

[0038] In some further aspects, the compressible layer may be attached to the rear face. In yet some aspects, the compressible layer may be removably attached to the rear face. In still some aspects, the compressible layer may be attached to the rear face using a releasable adhesive. Still further, in some aspects, the compressible layer may be irremovably attached to the rear face.

[0039] Yet further, in some aspects, the compressible layer may include at least one sanitizing substance. Even further, in some aspects, the the at least one sanitizing substance may include at least one of an antibacterial agent and an antifungal agent. Further, in some aspects, the compressible layer may be coated with the sanitizing substance. Still further, in some aspects, the compressible layer may be coated with at least one of a vinyl solution and a nitrile solution. Yet further, in some aspects, the compressible layer may include a non-allergic material.

[0040] In some aspects, the rear face may be delineated by an outer periphery. Further, the compressible layer extends beyond the outer periphery. Further, in some aspects, the compressible layer may be disposed over the entirety of the rear face.

[0041] Additionally, the chin guard may include at least one strap attached to the cupped portion. In some aspects, the at least one strap may include a pair of straps. Further, each strap of the pair of strap may include of an upper end and a lower end. Additionally, the upper end may be configured to be attached to a helmet. Further, the lower end may be attached to the chin guard.

[0042] Further, the chin guard may include at least one securement device attached to the at least one strap. Furthermore, the at least one securement device may be configured to secure the chin guard on the chin of the wearer.

[0043] In some aspects, the at least one securement device may be attached to the upper end. Further, the at least one securement device may be configured to cooperate with a corresponding securing device comprised in the helmet to secure the chin guard on the chin. Furthermore, in some aspects, the upper end may be configured to be attached to an end of a helmet strap. Additionally, the helmet strap may include a securing device. Further, the at least one securement device may be configured to cooperate with the securing device to secure the chin guard on the chin.

[0044] In some aspects, an upper end of at least one of the pair of straps may include at least one aperture. Additionally, the helmet may include at least one hole disposed proximal to a periphery of the helmet. Further, the at least one securement device may include a button fastener configured to cooperate with each of the at least one aperture and the at least one hole to secure the chin guard on the chin.

[0045] In some aspects, the button fastener may include an anchor and press button. Further, the anchor may include a head portion and a leg portion. Furthermore, each of the head portion and the leg portion comprise a passage configured to receive an extension comprised in the press button. Additionally, the leg portion may be configured to enter through each of the at least one aperture and the at least one hole. Further, the leg portion may be configured to expand when the extension of the press button may be inserted into the passage. Furthermore, expansion of the leg portion secures the at least one strap to the helmet. In some aspects, the button fastener may be held in a fastened state based on frictional contact between an interior surface surrounding the passage and an exterior surface of the extension. Further, in some aspects, the leg portion may include a pair of legs.

[0046] Additionally, the chin guard may include at least one reel configured to wind the at least one strap. Further, the chin guard may include at least one housing configured to encase the at least one reel.

[0047] In various aspects, the chin guard may comprise a plurality of reels. In some aspects, the at least one reel may include a pair of reels. Further, the at least one strap may include a pair of straps. Furthermore, each strap of the pair of strap may include of an upper end and a lower end. Additionally, the upper end may be configured to be attached to a helmet. Further, the lower end may be configured to cooperate with a corresponding reel of the pair of reels. In further aspects, the reels may be configured to a spatial relationship such that a wearer can simultaneously operate multiple reels with a single hand. In still further aspects, a reel may be spaced at least about 1 cm, or 5 cm, or 10 cm apart from an adjacent reel. In yet further aspects, a reel may be spaced no greater than about 25 cm, or 20 cm, or 15 cm apart from an adjacent reel.

[0048] In some aspects, the at least one reel may include a recoil mechanism configured to retract at least a portion of the at least one strap, for example, when a lever is moved from a locked position to an open position. Further, in some aspects, the at least one reel further may include a locking mechanism configured to prevent retraction of the portion of the at least one strap.

[0049] In some aspects, each of the at least one strap, the at least one reel and the at least one securement device may be configured to enable adjustment of a length of the at least one strap. In some aspects, the at least one securement device may include a quick release latch.

[0050] In some aspects, the at least one securement device may include a pair of cam buckles disposed proximal to peripheral ends of the cupped portion. Additionally, the at least one strap may include a pair of straps. Further, each strap may be configured to cooperate with a corresponding cam buckle.

[0051] In some aspects, the pair of cam buckles comprise a corresponding pair of cam buttons. Further, each cam button configured to unfasten a corresponding cam buckle. In some aspects, the pair of cam buttons are disposed proximal to each other to enable each of the cam buttons to be operated simultaneously with a single hand. Further, in some aspects, the pair of cam buckles are disposed proximal to each other. Still further, in some aspects, each cam buckle may be configured to provide an adjustable tension along a corresponding strap of the pair of straps.

[0052] In various aspects, the disclosed chin guard and systems may comprise one or more securement devices, for example, to secure the chin guard strap to the helmet in order to keep the helmet in place. In further aspects, the securement device may be configured to releasably secure the strap to the helmet. In still further aspects, the securement device may comprise a female component comprising a hollow body with a bottom wall, two side walls, a cavity defined by the bottom and back walls, a substantially open top communicating with the cavity, and a plurality of locking slots at one or more top portions of the side walls; and a male component having first and second opposed ends, and first and second opposed sides, the male component configured to connect to at least one strap end and comprising a raised portion at one or more ends. In yet further aspects, the female and male components are configured to detachably couple in a plurality of locked states. In even further aspects, the female component may be configured to connect to a portion of the helmet using a connecting means.

[0053] In further aspects, the female and male components may be configured to detachably couple by inserting an end of the male component having a raised portion into the cavity through an opening at a first end of the female component to cause the raised portion to engage at least one locking slot in order to lock the male component to the female portion in the locked state. In some aspects, the female component may comprise a first locking slot at a first position configured to lock the male component to the female portion in a first locked state. In other aspects, the female component may comprise a second locking slot at a second position configured to lock the male component to the female portion in a second locked state. In further aspects, the locking slot may comprise at least one of: a cross member extending from a top portion of one side wall to a top portion of the other side wall or at least one projection extending from a top portion of a side wall.

[0054] In further aspects, the locking slot can comprise at least one engagement portion, for example, configured to engage the raised portion of the male component. In still further aspects, the locking slot engagement portion and raised portion may be configured to cooperatively engage in a locked state or position that releasably secures the raised portion of the male component to the locking slot such that the male component or a strap connected to the male component is restricted from being pulled out of the female component, such as from forces from a violent collision or impact. In yet further aspects, the engagement portion can comprise a protrusion, projection, rib, foot, tab, lip, member, bar, raised surface, groove, or depression, or combinations thereof.

[0055] In further aspects, the male component may comprise a slot or recess disposed at one end configured to connect with a strap end. In still further aspects, the strap end may be connected to the male component using a plurality of connecting means. In yet further aspects, the connecting means may be configured to connect the strap end to the male component through a plurality of apertures disposed on the surface of the strap.

[0056] In various aspects, the raised portion of the male component can comprise at least one engagement element. In further aspects, the engagement element can comprise a protrusion, projection, rib, tab, foot, lip, raised surface, or a combination thereof. In still further aspects, the engagement element can comprise an outward extending projection. In yet further aspects, the engagement element can comprise a tab. In even further aspects, the engagement element can comprise a raised surface. In still further aspects, the engagement element can comprise an abutment portion. In some aspects, the raised portion or engagement element may have a width smaller that the width of the male component. In other aspects, the raised portion or engagement element of the male component may be configured to be depressible or flex independently from other portions of the male component.

[0057] In further aspects, the first or insertion end of the female component may have top opening sized and dimensioned to allow for a strap connected to the male component to pass through the top opening. In still further aspects, the top opening may have a smaller width than the cavity width. In yet further aspects, the female component may comprise an abutment end in the top opening corresponding to the position or point of engagement for the raised portion to lock the male component to the female portion in the first locked state.

[0058] In further aspects, the interior surface of the bottom wall of the female component may have a recessed portion at a first or insertion end of the female component sized and dimensioned to allow for a portion of the male component to be depress into the recessed portion when inserting the male component into the cavity of the female component, for example, to allow the raised portion of the male component to pass through the first end opening. In some aspects, the recessed portion may have a smaller width than the cavity width. In other aspects, the recessed portion at the opening or insertion end may comprises a groove, slot or channel, or the like.

[0059] In further aspects, the thickness of the bottom wall of the female component tapers down in size towards the second or opposed end of the female component. In still further aspects, the tapered portion of the bottom wall may be configured to allow movement of the raised portion down into the tapered portion. Accordingly, in embodiments with a tapered portion end, the receiving end of the female compartment includes an end opening size that is shorter or smaller in height than the end opening of the tapered end or opposed end.

[0060] In further aspects, the male and female components may couple using a tongue and groove engagement configuration or arrangement. In still further aspects, the interior surfaces of the female component side walls may comprise a groove or slot sized and dimensioned to receive a portion of the male component. In still further aspects, the height of groove is slightly larger or taller than the height of the portion of the male component configured as the tongue to be inserted in the groove. In yet further aspects, portions of the first and second sides of the male component may be configured as tongues to matingly couple with the grooves of the female component. In even further aspects, at least a portion of the first and second sides of the male component may be configured as rails or cross-members, or the like.

[0061] In further aspects, the portions of the male component functioning as the tongue may have a t-shaped configuration, which may include a base member and a cross-bar. In still further aspects, the receiving groove of the female component may have two differently sized portions or channels. For example, the groove may have a first portion or exterior channel sized and dimensioned to receive the base member and allow it to pass through, and a slightly taller adjacent second portion or interior channel sized and dimensioned to receive the cross-bar and it allow to pass through.

[0062] In further aspects, the chin guard and system may have one or more straps connected to the chin guard or chin guard housing. In still further aspects, the chin guard may have a plurality of straps, one strap end being configured to connect to a portion of the chin guard or housing and the other end configured to connect to a helmet. In yet further aspects, the chin guard may have a single strap that extends through the chin guard housing from one side to the opposite side, such that the user can secure one end of the strap to one side of helmet and the other end to the other side of the helmet.

[0063] In further aspects, the strap can be attached or connected to the chin guard, housing or casing in any conventional manner or can be an extension of the housing itself. In some aspects, the strap and housing can be attached together much like a conventional watch and watchband with hinges or pins. In other aspects, the strap can be an extension of the material of housing. For example, a middle portion of the strap can be disposed within the housing. In some embodiments, at least a portion of the strap may be permanently connected to or integrated with the housing. In other embodiments, the strap may be releasably connected to the housing. In further aspects, the housing may comprise a top shell, an internal strap guide, and a bottom shell.

[0064] In various aspects, the chin guard and system can further comprise a cover or shield that can be releasably attached to the front face of the cupped portion. In further aspects, the cover can be comprised of any desired material, such as, for example, an impact-resistant plastic material or a foam material to provide additional protection. In still further aspects, the cover can be configured to fit the cupped portion and provide protection to the reel and housing, for example, by absorbing the initial impact force. In yet further aspects, the cover can be configured to display a team color or logo, or the like.

[0065] In various aspects, the components of the disclosed devices and systems can be integrally connected, or releasably connected. In further aspects, the components can be connected by a connecting means. In still further aspects, the connecting means can comprise a fitting, fastener, insert, adhesive, brazing, soldering, welding, spot weld, screw with nut, rivet, threading, friction fit, snap-fit, twist-lock, or interlocking mechanism or a combination thereof. In yet further aspects, the connection can be achieved using a snap, friction fitting, snap ring, O-ring, pressure fitting, clip, clasp, and the like. The snap ring or O-ring can be retained within a groove to accommodate the snap ring or O-ring. In a further aspect, the system can comprise an engagement means for coupling and holding components together. In a further aspect, the engagement means can be a screwing mechanism, a click-lock mechanism, or friction mechanism, or the like.

[0066] In still further aspect, the components can be integrally or mechanically attached to other components. In a yet further aspect, the disclosed components can be connected, attached, or mounted using a connecting means, the connecting means comprising a fitting, fastener, insert, adhesive, brazing, soldering, welding, spot weld, screw with nut, rivet, fitting, insert, threading, friction fit, or snap-fit or a combination thereof.

[0067] In various aspects, the present disclosure also relates, to methods of using the disclosed chin guard devices and systems, for example, to easily remove and reliable secure a helmet to a user's head. In further aspects, the disclosed chin guard devices and systems can be adapted to fit any number of helmets and helmet configurations.

[0068] In various aspects, also disclosed herein are kits comprising one or more disclosed chin guard devices. For example, according to aspects, a kit can comprise a disclosed chin guard and instructions for using the chin guard in conjunction with a helmet, or the like.

[0069] In various aspects, the disclosed devices and methods provide numerous advantages over current chin guards. In further aspects, the disclosed devices and methods provide new solutions for securing a helmet in place on a user's head, and, according to some aspects, can prevent slippage or movement when the user's experience a violent impact. In still further aspects, the chin guards inventive design and configuration improve how the chin guard is secured and released, and according to some aspects, the chin guard can allow the helmet to be removed and secured with minimal adjustment or effort.

[0070] According to various aspects of the invention, the disclosed chin guard devices and systems can comprise multiple configurations. For example, various exemplary embodiments of the inventive chin guard devices and systems are shown in FIGS. 1-XXX

[0071] FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic diagram showing a rear perspective view of a chin guard 100, in accordance with an embodiment. The chin guard 100 may be configured to protect a chin (not shown in FIG. 1) of a wearer. The wearer may be a person, such as but not limited to, a sportsperson, a mountaineer, or a motorbike rider. The chin guard 100 may include a cupped portion 102 including a front face 104 and a rear face 106. Further, the cupped portion 102 may include a left side face 108 and a right side face 110. Furthermore, the left side face 108 may be disposed opposite to the right side face 110. Moreover, the cupped portion 102 may include an upper face 112 and a lower face 114. The upper face 112 may be disposed opposite to the lower face 114. Further, in some instances, the cupped portion 102 may be configured to receive the jaw of the wearer.

[0072] In some aspects, the front face 104 may be convex. Further, the rear face 106 may be configured to receive the chin of the wearer. In some aspects, the rear face 106 may be concave. In some embodiments, one or more of the front face 104 and the rear face 106 of the chin guard 100 may be constructed of one or more of a rigid material, a semi-rigid material and a deformable material.

[0073] Additionally, the chin guard 100 may include one or more straps (not shown in FIG. 1) attached to the cupped portion 102. For instance, in some aspects, the chin guard 100 may include a pair of straps. Further, each strap of the pair of straps may include an upper end and a lower end. The upper end may be configured to be attached to a helmet. Further, the lower end may be configured to be attached to the chin guard 100.

[0074] Further, the chin guard 100 may include a compressible layer 116 disposed over one or more parts of the rear face 106. The compressible layer 116 may be configured to provide protection to the chin and/or in some aspects the jaw of the wearer. Accordingly, in some aspects, the compressible layer 116 may be attached to the rear face 106. Further, in some aspects, the compressible layer 116 may be removably attached to the rear face 106. Accordingly, in some aspects, the compressible layer 116 may be attached to the rear face 106 using a releasable adhesive. Still further, in some aspects, the compressible layer 116 may be irremovably attached to the rear face 106.

[0075] Even further, in some aspects, the compressible layer 116 may include a padding constructed from one or more of foam and felt. Additionally, the compressible layer 116 may include one or more sanitizing substances. The one or more sanitizing substances may include one or more of an antibacterial material and an antifungal agent. In some aspects, the compressible layer 116 may be coated with the sanitizing substance. Further, in some aspects, the compressible layer 116 may be coated with one or more of a vinyl solution and a nitrile solution. In other aspects, the compressible layer 116 may include a non-allergic material.

[0076] Further, in some aspects, an exterior surface of the compressible layer 116 may be disposed to face the chin. Further, the exterior surface may include an indentation conforming to the chin. Accordingly, a comfortable fit may be achieved. Further, the compressible layer 116 may include a low-resilience polyurethane foam. In some aspects, the compressible layer 116 may include a fluid based shock absorber. In addition, the cupped portion 102 including the rear face 106 may be delineated by an outer periphery. Accordingly, in some aspects, the outer periphery may be covered by the compressible layer 116. Further, in some aspects, the compressible layer 116 may be disposed over the entirety of the rear face 106.

[0077] Additionally, the chin guard 100 may include one or more housings 118 configured to house one or more reels 120. Further, the one or more reels 120 may be configured to wind the one or more straps.

[0078] Additionally, the chin guard 100 may include a pair of securement devices, in the form of cam buckles 122. The cam buckles 122 may be configured to enable an adjustment of a length of the one or more straps. Accordingly, the pair of cam buckles 122 may be configured to provide an adjustable tension along the corresponding strap of the one or more straps.

[0079] Further, a strap of the one or more straps may be configured to cooperate with the corresponding cam buckle 122. Additionally, the pair of cam buckles 122 may include a corresponding pair of cam buttons 124. The cam buttons 124 may be configured to unfasten a corresponding strap fastened to the corresponding cam buckle 122. Further, the pair of cam buckles 122 may be disposed proximal to peripheral ends of the cupped portion 102. Furthermore, in some aspects, the pair of cam buckles 122 may be disposed proximal to each other. As a result, the wearer may be enabled to simultaneously unfasten both the pair of cam buckles 122 using a single hand.

[0080] FIG. 2 illustrates a schematic diagram showing a side view of the chin guard 100 comprising securement devices in the form of the pair of cam buckles 122 and the cam button 124, in accordance with an embodiment.

[0081] As shown, the chin guard 100 may include one or more housings 118 configured to encase the one or more reels 120. Further, a strap of the one or more straps may be wound over a corresponding reel 120. In order to secure the chin guard 100 to the chin, in some aspects an upper end of the strap may be configured to detachably attach to a lower end of a helmet strap (not shown in the figure). Accordingly, the upper end of the strap may include a securement device, such as for example, a male part of a quick latch mechanism. Accordingly, the helmet strap may include a securing device such as, for example, a female part of the quick release latch.

[0082] Alternatively, in some aspects, the helmet may include one or more holes disposed proximal to the periphery of the helmet. Further, the upper end of the strap may include one or more apertures configured to cooperate with the one or more holes to secure the chin guard 100 on the chin. Additionally, the securing device may include a button fastener configured to cooperate with each of the one or more apertures and the one or more holes to secure the chin guard on the chin.

[0083] FIG. 3 illustrates a schematic diagram showing a frontal view of the chin guard 100, in accordance with an embodiment. In some aspects, the one or more reels 120 may be configured to provide rollable straps. The rollable straps may be tightened or loosened in accordance with a recoil mechanism included in the one or more reels 120. The recoil mechanism may be configured to retract one or more portions of the one or more straps.

[0084] In some aspects, a strap of the one or more straps may include an upper end and a lower end. Further, the upper end may be configured to be attached to the helmet. Accordingly, the lower end may be configured to cooperate with a corresponding reel 120. Further, the fastening of the strap may be facilitated with the cam buckle 122 and a locking mechanism included in the one or more reels 120. Accordingly, the strap may secure the chin guard 100 in place on the chin while being attached to the helmet. In some embodiments, the chin guard 100 may be detachably attached to varied categories of helmets, such as but not limited to, motorcycles helmet, police helmet, American football helmet, baseball helmet, and crash helmet.

[0085] FIG. 4 illustrates a schematic diagram showing perspective view of the chin guard 100, in accordance with an embodiment. In one instance, the cam buckle 122 may be configured to secure the chin guard 100 to an American football helmet. Accordingly, the one or more straps originating from the one or more reels 120 may cooperate with the cam buckle 122. Accordingly, the cam buckle 122 may include teeth 402 configured to secure a strap. In some embodiments, the one or more straps may be configured to remove the helmet from the chin guard 100.

[0086] In some aspects, the one or more straps may be fabricated with an elastic material. The elastic material may be configured to provide elasticity to the one or more straps. Furthermore, in some aspects, the one or more reels 120 may be configured to retract the one or more straps detachably attached to a securing device of the helmet. Further, the retracting operation may include rewinding the one or more straps over the one or reels 120.

[0087] FIG. 5 illustrates a schematic diagram showing a configuration of a button fastener, in accordance with an embodiment. The button fastener 500 may include an anchor 502 and a press button 504. The anchor 502 may include a head portion 506 and a leg portion 508. Further, the head portion 506 and the leg portion 508 may include a passage 510 configured to receive an extension 512 included in the press button 504. The leg portion 508 may be configured to enter through each of the one or more apertures and one or more holes. Further, the leg portion 508 may be configured to expand when the extension 512 of the press button 504 is inserted into the passage 510. Accordingly, the expansion of the leg portion 508 may secure a strap of one or more straps to the helmet. Further, the leg portion 508 may include pair of legs. Additionally, the button fastener 500 may be held in a fastened state based on a frictional contact between an interior surface surrounding the passage 510 and an exterior surface of the extension 512.

[0088] In further aspects, the chin guard may further comprise a cover or shield that can be releasably attached to the front face of the cupped portion. In further aspects, the cover can be comprised of any desired material, such as, for example, an impact-resistant plastic material or a foam material to provide additional protection. In still further aspects, the cover can be configured to fit the cupped portion and provide protection to the reel and housing, for example, by absorbing the initial impact force. In some aspects, the cover can be configured to display a team color or logo, or the like.

[0089] FIGS. 6A-7D show various views and perspective of an exemplary securement device connected to a strap used in various chin guard devices of the present invention. The securement device is configured to releasably secure the strap 601 to a helmet. In various aspects, the securement device 600 comprises a female component 602 and male component 604 that are configured to detachably couple in a first locked stated and a second locked state. The second locked state is shown in FIGS. 7A-7D, and is the most secure position and can reliably keep the chin guard in place to ensure the helmet is correctly position on a user's head to be most effective during substantial impacts. The first locked state is shown in FIGS. 6A-6C, and keeps the chin guard strap secured to the helmet, but loosens the strap enough to allow the user to remove the chin guard and the helmet from their head.

[0090] In further aspects, the female component comprises a hollow body with a bottom wall 606, two side walls 608, a cavity 610 defined by the bottom and back walls, a substantially open top communicating with the cavity, and a first locking slot 612 at the top portions of the side walls at the insertion end and a second locking slot 614 at the top portions of the side walls at the opposed end. The female component is configured to connect to a portion of the helmet using a fastener 624.

[0091] In still further aspects, the male component has first and second opposed ends, and first and second opposed sides, the male component comprises a raised portion 616 in the form of a foot at the first or insertion end and recessed portion 618 configured to connect to a strap at the second end. The strap end is connected to the male component using a pair of button fasteners 625, and configured to cooperate with the strap apertures 626 to connect with the male component. The raised portion does not extend to the edges of the male and can thus be depressible and flex independently from other portions of the male component to facilitate insertion and release from the locking slots.

[0092] The female and male components are configured to detachably couple by inserting the raised portion end of the male component into the cavity through a front opening at the first end of the female component to cause the raised portion to engage the first locking slot in order to lock the male component to the female portion in the first locked state, as shown in FIGS. 6A-6C. As shown in FIGS. 7A-7D, the male component can continue to travel down the channel until the raised portion engages the second locking slot in order to lock the male component to the female portion in the second locked state. To engage the raised portion of the male component, the first locking slot has a projection extending from a top portion of each side wall, while the second locking slot comprise a cross member 622 extending from a top portion of one side wall to a top portion of the other side wall. The locking slot engagement portions and raised portion are configured to cooperatively engage in a locked state or position that releasably secures the raised portion of the male component to the locking slot such that the male component or a strap connected to the male component is restricted from being pulled out of the female component.

[0093] In further aspects, the insertion end of the female component has a top opening 628 sized and dimensioned to allow for a strap connected to the male component to pass through the top opening, but smaller than width of the raised portion or cavity width to ensure the raised portion engages with two projections of the first locking slot. The top opening allows easy access to the male component to release or advance with the channel. The interior surface of the bottom wall of the female component has a recessed portion 630 at the insertion end of the female component sized and dimensioned to allow for a portion of the male component to be depress into the recessed portion when inserting the male component into the cavity of the female component, for example, to allow the raised portion of the male component to pass through the front insertion end opening. At the opposed end, the thickness of the bottom wall of the female component tapers down in size to allow movement of the raised portion down into the tapered portion, such when attempting to release the male component from the second locking slot.

[0094] In further aspects, the male and female components couple using a tongue and groove engagement arrangement. The interior surfaces of the side walls comprise a groove 632 sized and dimensioned to receive the corresponding portion of the male component functioning as the tongue. Here, the first and second sides of the male component comprise rails 634 to matingly couple with the grooves of the female component.

[0095] FIGS. 8A-9B show various views and perspective of another exemplary securement device connected to a strap used in various chin guard devices of the present invention. The securement device is configured to releasably secure the strap 801 to a helmet. In various aspects, the securement device 800 comprises a female component 802 and male component 804 that are configured to detachably couple in a first locked stated and a second locked state. The second locked state is shown in FIGS. 9A-9B, and is the most secure position and can reliably keep the chin guard in place to ensure the helmet is correctly position on a user's head to be most effective during substantial impacts. The first locked state is shown in FIGS. 8A-8C, and keeps the chin guard strap secured to the helmet, but loosens the strap enough to allow the user to remove the chin guard and the helmet from their head.

[0096] In further aspects, the female component comprises a hollow body with a bottom wall, two side walls, a cavity defined by the bottom and back walls, a substantially open top communicating with the cavity, and a first locking slot 812 at the insertion end and a second locking slot 814 at the opposed end. The female component is configured to connect to a portion of the helmet using a fastener 824.

[0097] In still further aspects, the male component has first and second opposed ends, and first and second opposed sides, the male component comprises engagement elements 816 on the sides at the insertion end and recessed portion 818 configured to connect to a strap at the second end. The strap end is connected to the male component using a pair of button fasteners 825, and configured to cooperate with the strap apertures to connect with the male component. The engagement elements are depressible inward and flex independently from other portions of the male component to facilitate insertion and release from the locking slots.

[0098] The female and male components are configured to detachably couple by inserting the raised portion end of the male component into the cavity through a front opening at the first end of the female component to cause the raised portion to engage the first locking slot in order to lock the male component to the female portion in the first locked state, as shown in FIGS. 8A-8C. As shown in FIGS. 9A-9B, the male component can continue to travel down the channel until the engagement elements engage the second locking slot in order to lock the male component to the female portion in the second locked state. To engage the raised portion of the male component, the first locking slot has a projection extending from a top portion of each side wall, while the second locking slot comprise an opening. The locking slot engagement portions and engagement elements are configured to cooperatively engage in a locked state or position that releasably secures the raised portion of the male component to the locking slot such that the male component or a strap connected to the male component is restricted from being pulled out of the female component.

[0099] In further aspects, the insertion end of the female component has a top opening sized and dimensioned to allow for a strap connected to the male component to pass through the top opening, but smaller than width of the engagement elements to ensure the raised portion engages with two projections of the first locking slot. The top opening allows easy access to the male component to release or advance with the channel.

[0100] In various aspects, the strap has a plurality of apertures at the connecting end to allow the user to size the effective strap length in order to ensure a proper fit. Once a user has determined the proper size and corresponding apertures to use to secure the strap end to the male component, the excess strap material can be cut off to ensure the strap fits with the recessed portion of the male component. In some embodiments, the male component may have a recessed portion that extends the entire length of the body or a channel configured to allow the excess strap material to inserted into the channel and directed out the front end of the male component. In other embodiments, the excess strap may be use to pull the male component into the various locking positions.

[0101] The disclosed devices and systems include at least the following aspects:

[0102] Aspect 1: Aspect 1: A chin guard device comprising: a cupped portion comprising a front face and a rear face, wherein the front face is opposed to the rear face, wherein the rear face is configured to receive the chin of a wearer; at least one strap attached to the cupped portion; and at least one securement device attached to the at least one strap; wherein the securement device is configured to releasably secure the strap to the helmet, the securement device comprising: a) a female component comprising a hollow body with a bottom wall, two side walls, a cavity defined by the bottom and back walls, a substantially open top communicating with the cavity, and a plurality of locking slots at one or more top portions of the side walls; and b) a male component having first and second opposed ends, and first and second opposed sides, the male component configured to connect to at least one strap end and comprising a raised portion at one or more ends.

[0103] Aspect 2: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the female and male components are configured to detachably couple in a plurality of locked states.

[0104] Aspect 3: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the female component is configured to connect to a portion of the helmet using a connecting means.

[0105] Aspect 4: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the female and male components are configured to detachably couple by inserting an end of the male component having a raised portion into the cavity through an opening at a first end of the female component to cause the raised portion to engage at least one locking slot in order to lock the male component to the female portion in the locked state.

[0106] Aspect 5: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the female component comprises a first locking slot at a first position configured to lock the male component to the female portion in a first locked state.

[0107] Aspect 6: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the female component comprises a second locking slot at a second position configured to lock the male component to the female portion in a second locked state.

[0108] Aspect 7: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the Locking slot comprises at least one of: a cross member extending from a top portion of one side wall to a top portion of the other side wall or at least one projection extending from a top portion of a side wall.

[0109] Aspect 8: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the locking slot can comprise at least one engagement portion, for example, configured to engage the raised portion of the male component.

[0110] Aspect 9: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the locking slot engagement portion and raised portion are configured to cooperatively engage in a locked state or position that releasably secures the raised portion of the male component to the locking slot such that the male component or a strap connected to the male component is restricted from being pulled out of the female component, such as from forces from a violent collision or impact.

[0111] Aspect 10: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the engagement portion can comprise a protrusion, projection, rib, foot, tab, lip, member, bar, raised surface, groove, or depression, or combination thereof.

[0112] Aspect 11: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the male component comprises a slot or recess disposed at one end configured to connect with a strap end; and wherein the strap end is connected to the male component using a plurality of connecting means.

[0113] Aspect 12: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the connecting means is configured to connect the strap end to the male component through a plurality of apertures disposed on the surface of the strap.

[0114] Aspect 13: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the raised portion of the male component can comprise an engagement element.

[0115] Aspect 14: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the engagement element can comprise a protrusion, projection, rib, tab, foot, lip, raised surface, or a combination thereof.

[0116] Aspect 15: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the engagement element can comprise an abutment portion.

[0117] Aspect 16: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the raised portion or engagement element has a width smaller that the width of the male component.

[0118] Aspect 17: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the raised portion or engagement element of the male component is configured to be depressible or flex independently from other portions of the male component.

[0119] Aspect 18: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the first end of the female component has a top opening sized and dimensioned to allow for a strap connected to the male component to pass through the top opening; and wherein the top opening has a smaller width than the cavity width.

[0120] Aspect 19: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the abutment end of the top opening corresponds to the position or point of engagement for the raised portion in order to lock the male component to the female portion in the first locked state.

[0121] Aspect 20: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the interior surface of the bottom wall of the female component has a recessed portion at the first end of the female component sized and dimensioned to allow for a portion of the male component to be depress into the recessed portion when inserting the male component into the cavity of the female component, for example, to allow the raised portion of the male component to pass through the first end opening; and wherein the recessed portion has a smaller width than the cavity width.

[0122] Aspect 21: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the recessed portion at the opening end comprises a groove, slot or channel.

[0123] Aspect 22: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the thickness of the bottom wall of the female component tapers down in size towards the second end of the female component; and wherein the tapered portion of the bottom wall is configured to allow movement of the raised portion down into the tapered portion.

[0124] Aspect 23: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the receiving end of the female compartment includes an end opening that is shorter or smaller in height than the end opening of the tapered end.

[0125] Aspect 24: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the male and female components may couple using a tongue and groove engagement configuration.

[0126] Aspect 25: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the interior surfaces of the side walls comprise a groove or slot sized and dimensioned to receive a portion of the male component.

[0127] Aspect 26: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the height of groove is slightly larger than the height of the portion of the male component configured as the tongue in the tongue and groove arrangement.

[0128] Aspect 27: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the first and second sides of the male component are configured as tongues to matingly couple with the grooves of the female component. Wherein at least a portion of the first and second side are configured as rails or cross-members.

[0129] Aspect 28: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the portion of the male component functioning as the tongue may have a t-shaped configuration, which may include a base member and a cross-bar.

[0130] Aspect 29: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the receiving groove of the female portion may have two differently sized portions or channels. For example, the groove may have a first portion or exterior channel sized and dimensioned to receive the base member and allow it to pass through, and a slightly taller adjacent second portion or interior channel sized and dimensioned to receive the cross-bar and it allow to pass through.

[0131] Aspect 30: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, further comprising a helmet.

[0132] Aspect 31: A chin guard device comprising: a cupped portion comprising a front face and a rear face, wherein the front face is opposed to the rear face, wherein the rear face is configured to receive the chin of a wearer; at least one strap attached to the cupped portion; at least one securement device attached to the at least one strap, wherein the at least one securement device is configured to secure the chin guard on the chin of the wearer; at least one reel configured to wind the at least one strap; and at least one housing configured to encase the at least one reel.

[0133] Aspect 32: The chin guard of any preceding aspect, further comprising at least one reel configured to wind the at least one strap; and at least one housing configured to encase the at least one reel.

[0134] Aspect 33: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the rear face is concave.

[0135] Aspect 34: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the front face is convex.

[0136] Aspect 35: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein at least one of the front face and the rear face is constructed of at least one of a rigid material, a semi-rigid material and a deformable material.

[0137] Aspect 36: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the cupped portion further comprises a left-side face and a right-side face, wherein the left side face is opposite to the right-side face.

[0138] Aspect 37: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the cupped portion further comprises an upper face and a lower face, wherein the upper face is opposite to the lower face.

[0139] Aspect 38: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, further comprising a compressible layer disposed over at least a part of the rear face, wherein the compressible layer is configured to provide protection to the chin.

[0140] Aspect 39: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer comprises a padding constructed from at least one of foam and felt.

[0141] Aspect 40: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer is attached to the rear face.

[0142] Aspect 41: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer is removably attached to the rear face.

[0143] Aspect 42: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer is attached to the rear face using a releasable adhesive.

[0144] Aspect 43: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer is irremovably attached to the rear face.

[0145] Aspect 44: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer comprises at least one sanitizing substance.

[0146] Aspect 45: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the at least one sanitizing substance comprises at least one of an antibacterial agent and an antifungal agent.

[0147] Aspect 46: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer is coated with the sanitizing substance.

[0148] Aspect 47: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer is coated with at least one of a vinyl solution and a nitrile solution.

[0149] Aspect 48: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer comprises a non-allergic material.

[0150] Aspect 49: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer comprises a low-resilience polyurethane foam.

[0151] Aspect 50: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein an exterior surface of the compressible layer facing the chin comprises an indentation conforming to the chin.

[0152] Aspect 51: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer comprises a fluid-based shock absorber.

[0153] Aspect 52: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the rear face is delineated by an outer periphery, wherein the compressible layer extends beyond the outer periphery.

[0154] Aspect 53: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the compressible layer is disposed over the entirety of the rear face.

[0155] Aspect 54: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the at least one strap comprises a pair of straps, wherein each strap of the pair of strap comprises of an upper end and a lower end, wherein the upper end is configured to be attached to a helmet, wherein the lower end is attached to the chin guard device.

[0156] Aspect 55: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the at least one securement device is attached to the upper end, wherein the at least one securement device is configured to cooperate with a corresponding securing device comprised in the helmet to secure the chin guard device on the chin.

[0157] Aspect 56: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the upper end is configured to be attached to an end of a helmet strap, wherein the helmet strap comprises a securing device, wherein the at least one securement device is configured to cooperate with the securing device to secure the chin guard device on the chin.

[0158] Aspect 57: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein an upper end of at least one of the pair of straps comprises at least one aperture, wherein the helmet comprises at least one hole disposed proximal to a periphery of the helmet, wherein the at least one securement device comprises a button fastener configured to cooperate with each of the at least one aperture and the at least one hole to secure the chin guard device on the chin.

[0159] Aspect 58: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the button fastener comprises an anchor and press button, wherein the anchor comprises a head portion and a leg portion, wherein each of the head portion and the leg portion comprise a passage configured to receive an extension comprised in the press button, wherein the leg portion is configured to enter through each of the at least one aperture and the at least one hole, wherein the leg portion is configured to expand when the extension of the press button is inserted into the passage, wherein expansion of the leg portion secures the at least one strap to the helmet.

[0160] Aspect 59: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the button fastener is held in a fastened state based on frictional contact between an interior surface surrounding the passage and an exterior surface of the extension.

[0161] Aspect 60: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the leg portion comprises a pair of legs.

[0162] Aspect 61: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the at least one reel comprises a pair of reels, wherein the at least one strap comprises a pair of straps, wherein each strap of the pair of strap comprises of an upper end and a lower end, wherein the upper end is configured to be attached to a helmet, wherein the lower end is configured to cooperate with a corresponding reel of the pair of reels.

[0163] Aspect 62: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the at least one reel comprises a recoil mechanism configured to retract at least a portion of the at least one strap.

[0164] Aspect 63: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the at least one reel further comprises a locking mechanism configured to prevent retraction of the portion of the at least one strap.

[0165] Aspect 64: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein each of the at least one strap, the at least one reel and the at least one securement device is configured to enable adjustment of a length of the at least one strap.

[0166] Aspect 65: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the at least one securement device comprises a quick release latch.

[0167] Aspect 66: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the at least one securement device comprises a pair of cam buckles disposed proximal to peripheral ends of the cupped portion, wherein the at least one strap comprises a pair of straps, wherein each strap is configured to cooperate with a corresponding cam buckle.

[0168] Aspect 67: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the pair of cam buckles comprise a corresponding pair of cam buttons, wherein each cam button configured to unfasten a corresponding cam buckle.

[0169] Aspect 68: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the pair of cam buttons are disposed proximal to each other to enable each of the cam buttons to be operated simultaneously with a single hand.

[0170] Aspect 69: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the pair of cam buckles are disposed proximal to each other.

[0171] Aspect 70: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein each cam buckle is configured to provide an adjustable tension along a corresponding strap of the pair of straps.

[0172] Aspect 71: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, wherein the cupped portion is configured to receive the jaw of the wearer.

[0173] Aspect 72: The chin guard device of any preceding aspect, further comprising a helmet configured to receive the at least one securement device.

[0174] Aspect 73: A system, the system comprising: a helmet; and a chin guard device configured to protect the chin of a wearer, the chin guard device comprising: a cupped portion comprising a front face and a rear face, wherein the front face is opposed to the rear face, wherein the rear face is configured to receive the chin of a wearer; at least one strap attached to the cupped portion; at least one securement device attached to the at least one strap, wherein the at least one securement device is configured to detachably attach to the helmet to thereby secure the chin guard device on the chin of the wearer; at least one reel configured to wind the at least one strap; and at least one housing configured to encase the at least one reel.

[0175] Aspect 74: The chin guard device or system of any preceding aspect, further comprising a cover configured to releasably attach to the front face of the cupped portion.

[0176] Aspect 75: The chin guard device or system of any preceding aspect, wherein the cover is comprised of an impact-resistant plastic material or a foam material, or the like.

[0177] Aspect 76: The chin guard device or system of any preceding aspect, wherein the cover is configured to provide additional impact dampening properties.

[0178] Aspect 77: The chin guard device or system of any preceding aspect, wherein the cover is configured to fit the cupped portion and provide protection to the reel and housing.

[0179] While aspects of the present invention can be described and claimed in a particular statutory class, such as the system statutory class, this is for convenience only and one of skill in the art will understand that each aspect of the present invention can be described and claimed in any statutory class. Unless otherwise expressly stated, it is in no way intended that any method or aspect set forth herein be construed as requiring that its steps be performed in a specific order. Accordingly, where a method claim does not specifically state in the claims or descriptions that the steps are to be limited to a specific order, it is no way appreciably intended that an order be inferred, in any respect. This holds for any possible non-express basis for interpretation, including matters of logic with respect to arrangement of steps or operational flow, plain meaning derived from grammatical organization or punctuation, or the number or type of aspects described in the specification.

[0180] Throughout this application, various publications are referenced. The disclosures of these publications in their entireties are hereby incorporated by reference into this application in order to more fully describe the state of the art to which this pertains. The references disclosed are also individually and specifically incorporated by reference herein for the material contained in them that is discussed in the sentence in which the reference is relied upon. Nothing herein is to be construed as an admission that the present invention is not entitled to antedate such publication by virtue of prior invention. Further, the dates of publication provided herein can be different from the actual publication dates, which can require independent confirmation.

[0181] The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and can include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal languages of the claims.

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