Title:
Portable privacy screen
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The portable privacy screen is a system comprising: at least one or more panels, one or more column assemblies, and an attachment means for attaching said one or more panels to said one or more column assemblies.



Inventors:
Haugen, Matthew William (Minnetonka, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/230860
Publication Date:
03/23/2006
Filing Date:
09/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RAMSEY, JEREMY C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Roger, Belfay L. (829 Tuscarora Avenue, Saint Paul, MN, 55102, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A portable privacy screen comprising: (a) at least one panel (b) at least one column assembly, and (c) at least one attachment means for attaching said panel to said column assembly.

2. The portable privacy screen of claim 1 further comprising at least one support cable.

3. The portable privacy screen of claim 1 wherein said column assembly comprises: (a) at least one stake, and (b) at least one stackable column.

4. The portable privacy screen of claim 1 wherein the panel includes at least one wind slit.

5. The portable privacy screen of claim 1 wherein the panel includes a pattern of holes.

6. The portable privacy screen of claim 1 further comprising at least one support cable.

7. The portable privacy screen of claim 1 further comprising at least one spike.

8. The portable privacy screen of claim 1 further wherein at least one said column assemblies further comprises an ornament.

9. The portable privacy screen of claim 1 wherein said panel includes a first and second end.

10. the portable privacy screen of claim 9 wherein the first end is folded and fastened to form a tunnel through which said column assembly is inserted to provide said attachment means.

11. The portable privacy screen of claim 9 wherein the second end is folded and fastened to form a tunnel in which said column assembly is inserted to provide said attachment means.

12. The portable privacy screen of claim 9 wherein both the first and second end are folded and fastened to form first and second tunnels through which said column assemblies are inserted to provide said attachment means.

13. The portable privacy screen of claim 1 wherein said column assembly comprises a plurality of stackable columns.

14. The portable privacy screen of claim 13 further comprising an elastic cord attached to a first stackable column and a last stackable column to keep said column assembly in tension.

15. The portable privacy screen of claim 13 wherein said column further comprises a stake.

16. The portable privacy screen of claim 15 further comprising an elastic cord attached to a first stackable column and a last stackable column to keep said column assembly in tension.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of the earlier filing date under 35 USC 119(e) of provisional application No. 60/611,985 filed on Sep. 22, 2004.

SPECIFICATION

The portable privacy screen is a system comprising: at least one or more panels, one or more column assemblies, and an attachment means for attaching said one or more panels to said one or more column assemblies.

The portable privacy screen may be free standing or utilize one or more support cables. Said support cables may be attached to the ground by suitable means such as a spike or an available support structure such as a tree or building.

The column assembly may be comprised of a single stackable column or any number of stackable columns and may include a stake. The column assembly may also include an ornament. The column assembly may include an elastic cord affixed to at least two members of the column.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL SPONSORSHIP

No invention claimed in this application was made under Federally sponsored research or development.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to camping equipment and fencing equipment. U.S. Pat. No. 6,092,792 is typical of the portable fencing group. In these groups the objective of the invention is generally to keep animals or environmental conditions either within or without a defined perimeter and consequently this group of inventions are include mechanism to assure closed loop constructions and are constructed of materials of strength suitable to this purpose. This necessarily implies significant weight and size limitations to produce the desired result. The present invention differs from these in that it is of light weight modular construction.

The primary purpose of the present invention is to provide a visual privacy barrier. This purpose permits lightweight construction of all components. The present invention also provides modular construction not only in the horizontal sense but in its height as well. The construction of column assemblies from stackable columns in combination with the provision of panels of vertical dimensions compatible with the stackable columns allows the user to create portable privacy screens of nearly any height desired.

The use of the stackable column permits the portable privacy screen to be packed in containers where no dimension of the container approaches that of the overall height of the erected portable privacy screen which it contains.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The portable privacy screen is a system comprising: at least one or more panels, one or more column assemblies, and an attachment means for attaching said one or more panels to said one or more column assemblies.

The portable privacy screen may be free standing or utilize one or more support cables. Said support cables may be attached to the ground by suitable means such as a spike or an available support structure such as a tree or building.

The column assembly may be comprised of a single stackable column or any number of stackable columns and may include a stake. The column assembly may also include an ornament.

The column assembly may include an elastic cord affixed to at least two members of the column. The elastic cord and its attachment points are chosen to keep the column assembly in tension to prevent unintended disassembly but not so much tension that intentional disassembly of the column assembly may not be accomplished. In one example the elastic cord could be attached to a stake forming one end of a column assembly and to an ornament forming the other end of the column assembly. It will be appreciated that such an elastic cord may be placed within the column assembly or outside the column assembly. It will also be appreciated that the elastic cord may be attached to stackable columns and that since a column assembly may or may not include a stake and may or may not include an ornament and may include any number of stackable columns in any given column assembly the elastic cord may attach to any number of the column assembly's components. It will also be appreciated that if the elastic cord used externally to the column assembly and fixed to at least one member of the column assembly in a releasable manner the elastic cord need be only minimally elastic and could be any rope, wire or other suitably flexible line.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the portable privacy screen.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a stackable column

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a stake.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a column assembly.

FIG. 5 is a front view of an ornament

FIG. 6 is a side view of an ornament.

FIG. 7 is a front view of a second ornament

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the portable privacy screen configured in a star pattern

FIG. 9 is a detail view of a connection between an arm and a panel.

FIG. 10 is a detail view of a connection between a column assembly and a panel using a tunnel

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a stackable column with a single arm.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a column assembly with a single arm.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a column assembly with a cut away view illustrating attachment means for the elastic cord.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a column assembly illustrating external attachment of the elastic cord.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The portable privacy screen 10 is a system comprising: at least one panel 22, at least one column assembly 36, and at least one attachment means 24 for attaching said panel 22 to said column assembly 36.

The portable privacy screen 10 may be free standing or utilize one or more support cables 18. Said support cables 18 may be attached to the ground by suitable means such as a spike 20 or an available support structure such as a tree or building.

The column assembly 36 may be comprised of a single stackable column 14 or any number of stackable columns 14 and may include a stake 12. The column assembly 36 may also include an ornament 16. The column assembly 36 may include an elastic cord 28 affixed to at least two members of the column. The elastic cord 28 and its attachment points are chosen to keep the column assembly 36 in tension to prevent unintended disassembly but not so much tension that intentional disassembly of the column assembly 36 may not be accomplished. In one example the elastic cord 28 could be attached to a stake 12 forming one end of a column assembly 36 and to an ornament 16 forming the other end of the column assembly 36. It will be appreciated that such an elastic cord 28 may be placed within the column assembly 36 or outside the column assembly 36. It will also be appreciated that the elastic cord 28 may be attached to stackable columns 14 and that since a column assembly 36 may or may not include a stake 12 and may or may not include an ornament 16 and may include any number of stackable columns 14 in any given column assembly 36 the elastic cord 28 may attach to any number of the column assembly's 36 components. It will also be appreciated that if the elastic cord 28 used externally to the column assembly 36 and fixed to at least one member of the column assembly 36 in a releasable manner the elastic cord 28 need be only minimally elastic and could be any rope, wire or other suitably flexible line.

The stackable column 14 includes a first end which is reduced in circumference to fit into the unreduced circumference of the second end of another stackable column 14. The mechanisms for achieving this reduced circumference are of two types: 1) the first end may be crimped or extruded, or 2) a sleeve 32 may be employed. The stackable column 14 may also include any number of attached loops 30 to facilitate the attachment of panels 22.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The stake 12 is fitted with a hole in its top which accommodates either the first or second end of the stackable column or a sleeve 32. This determination is made to suite the necessities of the particular overall design chosen by the manufacturer. Similarly ornaments 16 are provided with a shaft for insertion into the top of a column assembly 36. It is readily apparent that the the shaft size for an ornament 16 is chosen for compatibility with the design choice made for the hole in the top of the stake 12. However, this decision is also influenced by the choice to employ a sleeve 32. It can now be appreciated that the ornament 16 or stake 12 may each independently be fitted with a hole or shaft of suitable size to function with the sleeve 32 or the stackable column 14 as desired by the manufacturer.

The panel 22 may include one or more wind slits or a pattern of holes or similar mechanisms to reduce wind resistance and may provide two surfaces for the display of advertising or other images as determined by the manufacturer or with proper selection of materials by the user.

The portable privacy screen 10 may employ one or more support cables 18. Said support cables 18 may be affixed to the ground or nearby support structure with a suitable spike 20.

The panel 22 may be affixed to the column assembly 36 in any number of ways, including but not limited to: 1) folding and fastening the end of the panel 22 to form a tunnel 38 which slides over the support column, 2) placing grommets 26 near the panel 22 ends and passing split or other style rings through the grommets 26 and around the column assembly 36, and 3) providing a plurality of arms 34 on the column assembly 36 or stackable columns 14 and using suitable means to attach the panel 22 to said arms 34. It should be noted that a single column assembly 36 may be provided with any number of arms 34 suitable for making desired patterns of the privacy screen to partition an area into multiple segments. It will further be appreciated that various combinations of the foregoing attachment means 24 may be employed in the construction of a single portable privacy screen 10 arrangement.





 
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