Patent application title: Animal Pad Bed Cover Extension
Peggy Davis (Hebron, OH, US)
John Davis (Hebron, OH, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47G902FI
Class name: Beds bedclothing one section being adjustable or having characteristics which differ relative to another section
Publication date: 2012-07-05
Patent application number: 20120167305
A bedcovering with an expandable center extension of fabric for
accommodating an animal pet while sleeping. The bedcovering accommodates
a pet, such as a dog, in sleeping on the bed without depriving human
occupants of bed coverings. The bedcovering is comprised of two side
panels affixed longitudinally to a central panel extension. Further, on
each side panel, proximal to the center panel extension is a longitudinal
attachment means. The two attachment means mate together to allow the
center extension to be collapsed and hidden beneath the two side panels,
giving the appearance of a standard bed covering. Non-pet owners who
desire extended bed coverings may also use the present invention.
1) An expandable bed covering comprising: two side panels of bed covering
permanently joined by a central extension panel to form a single
expandable bed covering, wherein each of said side panels and said
central extension panel has a top surface and a bottom surface; said side
panels each having attachment means disposed along said top surfaces
running proximally to said central extension panel; said attachment means
capable of affixing proximal edges of said top surfaces of said side
panels to one another to fold and obscure said central extension panel
beneath said side panels during storage.
2) The bed covering defined in claim 1, further comprising a central extension panel made of a material or design specifically fabricated for pets.
3) The bed covering defined in claim 1, wherein said side panel's combined width is sized for a given bed width when said central extension panel is stowed.
4) The bed covering defined in claim 1, wherein said attachment means comprises of hook and loop fastening.
5) The bed covering defined in claim 1, wherein said attachment means comprises of buttons.
6) The bed covering defined in claim 1, wherein said attachment means comprises of a zipper.
7) The bed covering defined in claim 1, wherein said attachment means comprises of clips.
8) An expandable bed covering comprising: two side panels of bed covering permanently joined by a central extension panel to form a single expandable covering wherein each of said side panels and said central extension panel has a top surface and a bottom surface; said side panels having the same material construction; said side panels each having attachment means disposed along said top surfaces running proximally to said central extension panel; said attachment means capable of affixing proximal edges of said top surfaces of said side panels to one another to fold and obscure said central extension panel beneath said side panels during storage.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/429,800 filed on Jan. 5, 2011, entitled "Puppy Pad."
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to a bedding system designed to accommodate multiple persons and their dogs in a single bed, while expanding to allow comfortable sleeping and sufficient bed covering for human occupants.
 A bedcovering is commonly used to outfit a bed for warmth while sleeping. Unfortunately, when two people share a bed, one or both of the people may have a tendency to compete for and take some or all of the sheets and blankets from the other person. This tendency can disrupt and interfere with sleep. Additionally, many people allow one or more of their pets to sleep on a portion of the bed. The pets can inhibit the people from freely moving the flat sheet or the blankets during sleep. This further interferes with the sleep cycles of the individuals. Not only does competition for the blankets cause discomfort, it may also disrupt or prevent adequate resting and REM sleep.
 Pets, and in particular, dogs, like to sleep on their owners' beds throughout the night. Most blankets, comforters, and quilts, however, are designed to cover various sized beds and do not have additional fabric extensions to allow space for pets. Throughout the night, pet's weight can prevent owners from being able to roll over or reposition the blanket to cover them. This can deprive pet owners of a comfortable sleep and can lead such persons to try to move and wake up the pet, which in turn disrupts the pet's sleep and the other individual in the bed.
 In light of the above, there is a need for an article of bedding that facilitates continuous sleep and adequate covering throughout the night, particularly in the presence of pets. Further, there is a need for an article of bedding that reduces the impact of competition between humans and pets for an article of bedding during sleep. An effective solution is described herein which meets these needs.
 2. Description of the Prior Art
 There exists in the prior art several published applications and granted patents related to modified forms of bedding. These prior art devices, while serviceable for their intended purposes have several known drawbacks when used to provide comfort for owners who sleep with their pets.
 Several patents and publications are directed toward sleeping systems that separate in their middle for ease of cleaning, comfort during sleep, or to accommodate different sleeping cover preferences of co-practitioners. Jones III, U.S. Patent Publication No. 2009/0151072 is directed to a closable dual sleeping system that divides a bed in two zones for the comfort of dual occupancy. A top comforter and a bottom comforter are removeably interconnected down a longitudinal centerline to form two separate sleeping compartments. Similarly, Klein U.S. Pat. No. 4,005,499 is directed to a bed covering such as a blanket or sheet that provides two separately cleanable and washable halves or parts, to be utilized independently and with tie means for removably connecting the parts together to form a complete assembly. Each part has its own individual characteristics suited for the needs of two persons. The connecting means is of a type that facilitates cleaning or washing without damage to the covering.
 Thode U.S. Design Pat. No. D476,720 is directed to an ornamental design for a comforter having separable halves, as shown and described. Further, Robke U.S. Pat. No. 6,643,871 is directed to an article of bedding for a bed including a flexible first section and a flexible second section. The first section includes a first end and a second end and the second section includes a first end and a second end. In one embodiment, the sections are permanently secured together with a section connector and the sections cooperate to form an overlapping region, a first non-overlapping region, and a second non-overlapping region.
 The Jones, III, Klein, Thode, and Robke patents all address the issue of larger bed coverings that separate into smaller portions for comfort or convenience. As such, these inventions fail to address the issue of pets on top of bedding, or to provide a single, unified bed covering that addresses the necessity of extending the size of a traditional bed covering. The present invention addresses both of these issues, allowing the practitioner to extend traditional bed coverings to accommodate pets or a need for lengthened covers in a stylish and decorative manner.
 Other patents are directed toward the adjustment of various types of bed clothing to accommodate practitioner preferences. Evans U.S. Pat. No. 5,353,456 is directed to a height-adjustable bed skirt assembly having fasteners for adjustably coupling together a longitudinal fold in the sheet surface, and an elongated skirt. A support sheet includes a plurality of rows of spaced fasteners for adjustably coupling a pair of longitudinal folds in the sheet surface. The support sheet also includes elastic keepers adjacent the corners for securing the support sheet to an underlying box spring. Similarly, Phillips U.S. Pat. No. 5,887,299 is directed to a convertible multi-purpose covering formed of pair of similarly shaped and sized flexible sheets of material having predetermined surfaces and edges positioned in face-to-face relationship at a first location. The sheets are aligned along their edges and connected along the top and side marginal edges leaving the sheets bottom edges open and thereafter turning the connected sheets right side out. Insulating filling of sufficient shape, size or volume is inserted through the opening and arranged to evenly fill the space between the connected sheets, with the sheets then being connected along the bottom marginal edges to close the opening forming a comforter body.
 The Evans and Phillips patents are directed to inventions related to types of bedclothes other than traditional coverlets and comforters. Additionally, these inventions are not designed to address issues of coverage when pets are allowed on the bed. Evans is directed to a bed skirt, not a covering for sleeping. While the Phillips patent is directed to a covering system, similar in application to a sleeping bag. Neither of the Evans and Phillips inventions are not directed to addressing the problems solved by the present invention.
 Based on the currently available prior art, there exists a need for a bed covering which allows owners to comfortably share their bed with pets, such as dogs and other large domestic pets. Such a covering should be of one piece construction for comfort, practicality and aesthetics. The present invention substantially fulfils these needs.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of bed clothes now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new pet friendly covering wherein the same can be utilized for providing convenience for the user when one or more dogs or other animals are sleeping on the bed with their owners.
 The present invention is a blanket, coverlet, comforter or other bed covering with a built-in center section of additional fabric upon which pets, such as dogs, may rest. The additional fabric allows pet owners extend their particular regions of covering to provide adequate coverage to sleep comfortably without having to pull and tug on the blanket throughout the night. The present invention is similar in appearance to a traditional bed comforter, quilt, or blanket when not in use. When practitioners go to bed, the additional center fabric may be unsecured and unfolded from a concealed position, exposing the additional fabric upon which dogs or other animals may sleep. The additional fabric prevents practitioners from losing their covers during the night when the pets get in the bed and weigh down the covers. Further, because of its design, the present article of bedding facilitates continuous sleep and reduces the impact of competition for the article of bedding during sleep. In addition to pet owners, individuals who simply prefer to have additionally enlarged bedding that does not droop onto the floor, and can be stowed while not in use, may also benefit from the use of this product while maintaining the look of a traditional bed covering.
 It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a bed covering that may be expanded to expose an additional center fabric portion to allow for additional covering. Further, said center fabric folds onto itself and secures closed when not in use, such that the present invention appears to be a bed covering of standard length for a given sized bed. Further, said securing should be accomplished through a quick and convenient means, including, but not limited to, snaps, buttons or hook and loop fastening means.
 It is a further object of the present invention to provide a bed covering in all manner of sizes, such as twin, double, full, queen, king and any other sizes contemplated in the field. Additionally, the present invention should be made available in a variety of fabrics, colors and styles. Further, the present invention may be used in situations without pets to provide practitioners with larger bed coverings while in use, and appropriately sized for a given bed when stowed, assisting in the comfort of the practitioner while sleeping with a partner.
 Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the practitioners and a dog sleeping with two occupants in a bed, with the present invention fully opened, exposing the additional fabric section.
 FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the present invention showing the additional central fabric extension panel being folded and secured away for storage while not in use.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of the present invention in use and unfolded with practitioners and their dog sleeping in the bed. The present invention consists of two side panels 11, attached to a central extension panel 12. On each side panel 11, proximal to the central extension panel 12, is an attachment means 13, such as hook and loop fastening, buttons, snaps or any other appropriate attachment means. In the open position, as displayed in FIG. 1, the present invention allows one or more practitioners 14 and one or more animals 15 to sleep comfortably without conflict over covers. The practitioners 14 are afforded extra lengths of covering when the central section 12 is opened, providing adequate covering to prevent fighting over a blanket or rearrangement during the night. The side panels 11 are extended outward by the unveiling of the central section 12.
 Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a perspective view of the present invention showing the central fabric extension panel 12 being folded and secured away for storage. To secure the central fabric extension panel 12, the practioner makes use of two sets of attachment means 13 proximal to the central extension panel 12. As shown in FIG. 2, the central extension panel 12 is folded in half and onto itself to securely close via the attachment means 13 when the bed is made and the central panel 12 is hidden. Securing the central extension panel 12 by the attachment means 13 results in the present invention having the appearance of a standard bed covering when the bed is made. The overall width of the covering is reduced to appear appropriate for the given size of the bed, without the edges of the covering touching the floor or extending proximally in an unaesthetic nature.
 In use, the present invention is a built-in extension for blankets, quilts, coverlets and comforters that allows both pets, particularly dogs, and pet owners to sleep at night with the optimal amount of bedding coverage. The present invention may comprise two side panels 11 of traditional bed covering with a section of extra fabric extension panel 12 in the center. The center extension panel 12 section can be folded in half and secured closed when not in use by means of hook and loop fasteners, buttons, zippers, or any additional type of attachment means. Such fasteners 13 shall be located on the edges of each side panel 11 proximal to the center extension panel 12. Once opened, the width of the bedding increases, allowing for a section of bedding that allows an area for a pet. This center extension 12 may come in the same color as the rest of the bedding or in different yet complementary shades and patterns designed to suit user preference. Further, if desired, the center extension panel 12 could be fabricated from material specifically suited for pets. Such materials could be heavier or repel loose fur, to prevent tears from pet digging and fur build-up.
 The present invention may be manufactured in a variety of colors and styles to suit practitioner preferences. The side panels 11 and center extension panel 12 may be of the same of different colors or fabrics depending on user preference. Additionally, the side panels 11 and center extension panels 12 may be made of a variety of fabrics suitable for different seasons and climates. In each instance the center extension panel 12 may be made of a more durable and animal suited fabric. Side panel 11 styles may include heavy comforters, lighter spring coverlets and others suitable to user preferences. When in a stowed position, the overall blanket width appears as a normal size for the given bed. When deployed, the width of the blanket is increased to accommodate two practitioners and a central region for a sleeping pet.
 With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.
 Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
Patent applications in class One section being adjustable or having characteristics which differ relative to another section
Patent applications in all subclasses One section being adjustable or having characteristics which differ relative to another section