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Title:
Umbrella having an elastomeric strap
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention provides for an umbrella with an elastomeric tie strap. The tie strap is capable of stretching in length upon pressure by the user applied to the strap to lengthen it while securing the umbrella cover folds and rib linkages around the centerpost of the umbrella. The present invention also provides for an umbrella with an elastomeric carrying strap.


Inventors:
Fenton, Timm J. (Califon, NJ, US)
Application Number:
10/889435
Publication Date:
01/12/2006
Filing Date:
07/12/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/33.4
International Classes:
A45B3/00; A45B25/30
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BAKER & BOTTS (30 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA, NEW YORK, NY, 10112, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An umbrella comprising: a centerpost, a plurality of rib linkages attached to said centerpost, a cover attached to said rib linkages, wherein the cover comprises a plurality of gores, and a tie strap attached to one of said gores, wherein the tie strap is capable of being stretched in the longitudinal direction.

2. The umbrella of claim 1, wherein the tie strap is capable of being stretched an additional length of between 10 to 70 percent of the original length of the tie strap.

3. The umbrella of claim 2, wherein the tie strap is capable of being stretched an additional length of between 10 to 50 percent of the original length of the tie strap.

4. The umbrella of claim 2, wherein the tie strap is capable of being stretched an additional length of between 10 to 30 percent of the original length of the tie strap.

5. The umbrella of claim 1, wherein the tie strap is made of an elastomeric material.

6. The umbrella of claim 5, wherein the tie strap is made of a rubber.

7. The umbrella of claim 1, wherein the tie strap further comprises a tab at a distal end of the tie strap.

8. The umbrella of claim 7, wherein the tab further comprises a fastener.

9. The umbrella of claim 1, further comprising a handle attached to said centerpost and a carrying strap attached to said handle, wherein said carrying strap is capable of being stretched in the longitudinal direction.

10. The umbrella of claim 9, wherein said tie strap and said carrying strap are made of an elastomeric material.

11. The umbrella of claim 10, wherein said tie strap and said carrying strap are made of rubber.

12. An umbrella comprising: a centerpost, a plurality of rib linkages attached to said centerpost, a cover attached to said rib linkages, wherein the cover comprises a plurality of gores, a tie strap attached to one of said gores, a handle attached to said centerpost, and a carrying strap attached to said handle, wherein said carrying strap is capable of being stretched in the longitudinal direction.

13. The umbrella of claim 12, wherein the carrying strap is capable of being stretched an additional length of between 10 to 70 percent of the original length of the carrying strap.

14. The umbrella of claim 12, wherein the carrying strap is capable of being stretched an additional length of between 10 to 50 percent of the original length of the carrying strap.

15. The umbrella of claim 12, wherein the carrying strap is capable of being stretched an additional length of between 10 to 300 percent of the original length of the carrying strap.

16. The umbrella of claim 12, wherein the carrying strap is made of an elastomeric material.

17. The umbrella of claim 12, wherein the carrying strap is made of rubber.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an umbrella. More particularly, the present invention relates to an umbrella with a novel, efficient means of securing the cover folds of an umbrella for storage.

The present invention also provides an umbrella having a novel means for carrying the umbrella.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is well known in the art to provide a means for securing the cover folds of an umbrella after use for storage. Traditionally, a tie strap is used to secure the cover folds and the rib linkages around the centerpost of the umbrella. The tie strap is useful in furling the cover folds around the centerpost as they are collapsed with the rib linkages against the centerpost.

A traditional umbrella has a single section rib linkage that, when collapsed, may be about a meter in length. Collapsible umbrellas, on the other hand, have multiple section rib linkages to provide for storage as a relatively small package. The multiple section rib linkages can create a problem during closing of the umbrella, because there is a tendency for the rib linkages to fold upon the umbrella itself. It becomes difficult to secure the cover folds and rib linkages neatly and efficiently, creating inconvenience for the user. The attempt to collapse an umbrella is further complicated by wet cover folds, which often do not furl easily in place.

The tie strap is generally of the same material as the cover fold material and oriented perpendicular to the cover folds of the umbrella. It is generally uniform and thin in width, ranging from 0.2 to 3 cm. The length of the tie strap corresponds to a length sufficient to surround the cover folds and rib linkages around the centerpost. The tie strap also generally comprises a fastener, which is received on the cover fold at a specific position to secure the cover folds and the rib linkages in place for storage.

The user often struggles with the tie strap when furling the wet cover folds around the center post. First of all, it is difficult to locate the tie strap, since it is small relative to the cover folds, made of the same material as the cover folds, and embedded within the wet cover folds. Secondly, it can slip easily out of the user's fingers when wet. The distal end of the tie strap does not provide a substantial grip for the user's fingers. Thirdly, the length is generally just sufficient to surround the cover folds and rib linkages to the center post, but not long enough during the act of securing the snap button. The tie strap often slips out of the user's fingers just before the fastener can be secured, requiring that the user relocate the tie strap again embedded within the cover folds. Therefore, the prior art tie straps are insufficient at providing an effective means of securing the cover folds of an umbrella for storage.

Therefore, there is a need for an effective means of securing the cover folds of an umbrella for storage to save the user time and inconvenience.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides for an umbrella with an elastomeric tie strap. The tie strap is capable of stretching in length upon pressure by the user applied to the strap to lengthen it while securing the umbrella cover folds and rib linkages around the centerpost of the umbrella.

The present invention also provides for an umbrella with an elastomeric carrying strap.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a view of the umbrella in the open position.

FIG. 2 shows a view of the umbrella in the closed position with one cover fold unfurled.

FIG. 3 shows a close-up view of the tie strap.

FIG. 4 shows a close-up view of the carrying strap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An elastomeric tie strap 10 is attached to the umbrella cover fold 12, which is capable of being stretched in a longitudinal direction in a manner that facilitates the furling of the cover folds. The tie strap 10 is capable of being stretched to an additional length of between 10 to 70 percent of the original length, upon pressure applied to the tie strap in a longitudinal direction. Preferably, the tie strap 10 may be additionally stretched between 10 to 50 percent of the original length. Most preferably, the tie strap may be additionally stretched between 10 to 30 percent of the original length.

Having the additional length is useful during the closure of the umbrella 14. The user may furl the cover folds around the centerpost 16 of the umbrella 14 using the tie strap 10 and will find that the length of the tie strap is sufficient to surround the closed umbrella. To secure the closure, the tie strap 10 can be stretched at this point to an additional length to tighten the furls and secure the fastener 18.

The tie strap 10 is made of a uniform material that is different from the material of the umbrella cover fold 12, which is generally a coated fabric or a woven synthetic fiber material. The tie strap 10 may be made of an elastomeric material, such as neoprene or synthetic rubber. Such material has non-slip characteristics, so that the user would easily locate the tie strap 10 and grip any portion of the tie strap, without the user's fingers sliding off the surface of the tie strap 10. The tie strap 10 may be uniform in length and width. Preferably, the width of the tie strap 10 is between 0.2 to 10 cm for a typical rain umbrella. The length of the tie strap 10 is of a length sufficient to surround the cover folds and rib linkages around the centerpost. The length of the tie strap 10 is between 15 and 30 cm for a typical rain umbrella. Preferably, the tie strap is 22 cm. When longitudinal pressure is applied to the tie strap 10, the length of the tie strap 10 may be extended up to 45 cm, as indicated above.

The tie strap 10 may have a thickness of between 0.5 and 5 cm. Preferably, the tie strap 10 is 1 cm in thickness. The use of a tie strap 10 of such thickness and made of an elastomeric material also facilitates the act of locating the tie strap, since the strap has a substantial weight and is easily distinguishable by the user's fingers from the material of the cover folds 12.

One of skill in the art can envision variations in the length, width, and thickness of the tie strap 10 disclosed herein given the range of sizes of different types of umbrellas, e.g. rain umbrellas, sun or beach umbrellas, canopy umbrellas, etc.

In an alternative embodiment, the distal unattached end 22 of the tie strap 10 has a tab 24 made of the same elastomeric material as the tie strap. The width of the tab 24 is preferably wider than the width of the tie strap 10. Preferably, the tab 24 has an ovoid shape. The tab 24 is useful for better grip of the user's thumb to the tie strap 10. The better grip contributes to the ease of securing the fastener 18 and closing the cover folds 12 of the umbrella 14.

The distal unattached end 22 of the tie strap 10 further comprises a means 26 for securing the tie strap 10 to the umbrella cover folds 12, wherein the umbrella cover folds 12 and rib linkages 20 are secured around the centerpost 16 of the umbrella 14. Such means may include fasteners, such as a snap button, a hook, or Velcro®, that may be secured to the umbrella cover fold 12. The fastener may be made of plastic or metal.

The tie strap 10 may be attached by any means sufficient to secure the tie strap 10 to the umbrella cover folds 12. It is attached at a midway point generally between the length of the umbrella cover folds 12 in the closed position.

The present invention also provides for an umbrella 14 with a carrying strap 28 capable of being stretched in the longitudinal direction. It may be made of a elastomeric material. An elastomeric carrying strap 28 attached to the handle 30 of the umbrella 14 facilitates carrying of the umbrella on the wrist, and in particular on the arm. Having an elastomeric carrying strap 28 also facilitates carrying of additional items, since the carrying strap 28 can be stretched when the umbrella is moved from hand to the arm. Providing an elastomeric carrying strap 28 also facilitates storage of the umbrella 14, where it is necessary to stretch the carrying strap.

The carrying strap 28 is capable of being stretched to an additional length of between 10 to 70 percent of the original length, upon pressure applied to the carrying strap 28 in a longitudinal direction. Preferably, the carrying strap 28 may be additionally stretched between 10 to 50 percent of the original length. Most preferably, the carrying strap 28 may be additionally stretched between 10 to 30 percent of the original length.

This invention is directed to the umbrella 14 having the handle 30 with the carrying strap 30, where the handle 30 is connected to the centerpost 16 having a plurality of telescoping sections 32 (FIG. 1). The umbrella 14 has a plurality of the rib linkages 20, each being attached to the centerpost 16. The umbrella 14 also has a cover 34 comprising a plurality of 36, attached to the rib linkages 20 at various points along the rib linkages 20. In the closed position, the cover 34 forms the cover folds 12 that may be furled around the centerpost 16, along with the rib linkages 20.

The tie strap 10 is affixed to a gore 36 at a midway point of the umbrella cover folds 12 when the umbrella 14 is in the closed position.

The tie strap 10 has the tab 24 at its distal end. The tab 24 is provided on its internal-facing side with a snap button 38, which is received in a snap button receiver 40 located on one of the cover folds 12 to secure to the tie strap 10 when wrapped around the closed umbrella 14. The tie strap 10 has a length sufficient to wrap around the closed umbrella 14.

From the above disclosure of the detailed description of the present invention, those skilled in the art will comprehend the various modifications to which the present invention is susceptible. The present invention is not limited in any manner by the disclosure provided herein.