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This application claims priority of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/668,430, filed on Apr. 5, 2005, which is incorporated herein by reference.
This invention relates to a display table, and more particularly, to a multi-layer display table that is collapsible into a single layered table and is further collapsible into an easily transportable case.
Display tables with multiple layers so that goods for sale can be arranged on shelves of varying heights are well known in the art. Such tables have been used in grocery stores as well as at conventions with exhibits and trade shows. However unlike at grocery stores where the display table may be used for a long duration, trade shows and conventions are general of a defined duration. Thus an individual at a trade show and/or convention usually is responsible for transporting, setting up, taking down, and again transporting a display table that is used for displaying goods for sale over a shorter period, such as a weekend but typically no longer than a week.
Situations may arise as well where the individual, upon arriving at the trade show and seeing the surroundings, decides that to best display goods for sale, a single layer display table, or fewer display levels, are needed instead. This determination may result because a configuration of the display table may be dictated by an amount of area available to place the display table and/or a belief of the individual that a different configuration may work better than a multi level display in view of the surrounding displays and/or environment.
Additionally, most trade show and/or convention displays are usually bettered received when signage is also used to identify the display. Such signage is usually not part of the display stand. If the signage is part of the display stand though, it is usually a removable sign that is not permanently fixed to the display stand.
In view of the prior art, the present invention is directed towards a display table that can be configured into a plurality of configurations. Towards this end a display table is disclosed. The display table comprises a plurality of shelves, and a support arm extending between at least two adjacent shelves of the plurality of shelves. A plurality of adjustable legs extend from a bottom side of at least two of the plurality of shelves. The legs and shelves can be adjusted to create at least one of a multi-tiered display table and a single tiered display table. The plurality of shelves, support arm, and plurality of adjustable legs are compacted to allow for transportation.
A multi-tiered display table convertible to a single-tiered display table and to a six-sided transportable configuration is also disclosed. The display table comprises a plurality of shelves configurable to form the multi-tiered display table, the single-tiered display table and the six-sided transportable configuration. A support arm extends between at least two adjacent shelves of the plurality of shelves. A plurality of adjustable legs extend from a bottom side of at least two of the plurality of shelves.
A more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment of an elevational view of the display table in a multi-tier configuration;
FIG. 2 is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment of an elevational view of the display table in a multi-tier configuration where tier can be combined;
FIG. 3 is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment of an elevation view of the display table in a single-tier configuration;
FIG. 4A is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention in a closed configuration;
FIG. 4B is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention in a closed configuration;
FIG. 4C is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention in a closed configuration;
FIG. 5 is an illustration of an underside of the present invention; and
FIG. 6 is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention in another closed configuration.
Reference will now be made in detail to the embodiments consistent with the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numerals used throughout the drawings refer to the same or like parts.
The present invention solves a problems in the art by providing an apparatus that allows for a display to convert between multi-levels to a single level, is easily transportable, and has signage permanently fixed to the display. Towards this end, FIG. 1 depicts an exemplary embodiment of an elevational view of the display table in a multi-tier configuration. As illustrated when positioned as a multi-level display table, the display table comprises a plurality of display shelves 10, 11, 12, such as three, each at a different elevation.
At least one support arm 14 extends along an outer edge 16 of each shelf 10, 11, 12 from a first shelf 12 to a higher elevated shelf 10. In FIG. 1 the support arm 14 is a continual arm that supports multiple shelves 10, 11, 12. The continual arm may be a solid piece or may be bendable (such as jointed) to allow independent adjustment between shelves 10, 11, 12. However, as illustrated in FIG. 2, the support arm 15 may also be configured so as to only provide support between two adjacent levels 10, 11. In this configuration, the number of shelves 10, 11, 12 may be varied wherein, as an exemplary example, a first shelf 12 and a second shelf 11 may be combined into a single level shelf.
FIG. 1 illustrates telescoping legs 20 extending from the first shelf 12 and the third shelf 10. The telescoping legs 20 may be adjusted to select a desired height of the table 5 and/or to insure the table 5 is level. As illustrated further in FIG. 2, telescoping legs 20 may extend from additional shelves 11. In addition to the reasons stated above, the legs 20 may be adjusted to allow adjacent levels to be grouped into a single level. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize various ways in which the legs 20 may be telescoping. For example a clamp may be used with a lever that when released allows movement of the inner leg with an outer leg. In another embodiment, a detent may be provided which have a plurality of settings. In another exemplary embodiment the legs may not be telescoping.
When multi-tiered, an end segment 22 can be positioned vertically. In an exemplary embodiment the end segment 22 may be used as signage. The signage may be a plurality of embodiments such as but not limited to printed information directly onto the segment, an illuminated sign, such as using fiber optics and/or light emitting diodes fixed within the level, or a place to affix a detachable sign. A locking hinge 24 may be used to insure that the end segment 22 remains in a vertical position. If signage is not desired, the end segment 22 may be placed horizontally resulting in a longer top shelf 10, 22.
FIG. 3 is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment of an elevation view of the display table in a single-tier configuration. As illustrated, the arms 14, 15 are positioned so as to allow all shelves 10, 11, 12, 22, or tiers, to be positioned at a single level. The side arms 14, 15 provide support for when items are then placed on the table 5. The side arms 14, 15 are positioned to provide such support whether the side arms 14, 15 are as illustrated in FIG. 1 or FIG. 2.
FIG. 4A depicts an exemplary embodiment of the present invention in a closed configuration. When continual support arms are used, the arms are removed wherein the various shelves 10, 11, 12, 22 are placed together wherein a connector (not shown) allows for the shelves 10, 11, 12, 22 to be held together. In other embodiments where the arms 14, 15 are bendable, the arms and positioned along an outside edge of the shelves to allow for compacting the table to a six-sided configuration. As illustrated in FIG. 4B, the arms are attached, or nested, to an underside of one of the levels. The legs are also attached to an underside of one of the levels, as illustrated in FIG. 4C.
In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the legs are configured so that they are folded against the underside of the shelves 10, 11, 12, 22. In another exemplary embodiment, they are detached and then fixed to an underside of a shelf 10, 11, 12, 22. Ones skilled in the art will recognize that there are numerous ways in which to collapse the legs so that the legs 22 will be minimized for storing purposes, as well as may a way to attach the legs 22 for transporting.
As further illustrated in FIG. 5, at one end of the table 5, when in a horizontal configuration, one set of legs 30, 31 are not at the end of the last shelf 22, but are further under the table 5. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize that these legs 30, 31 can be adjusted, such as by a track system 32 disposed under the shelves 10, 22 to allow the legs to be positioned at the end of the table, or by removing the legs and fixing them at the end of the last shelf 22.
With respect to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, when the present invention 5 is placed in a closed configuration, the support arms 15 are rotated to allow adjacent shelves 10, 11, 12, 22 to be placed immediately beneath an adjacent upper shelf, resulting in the same configuration illustrated in FIG. 4A. In another embodiment, when an even number of shelves are used, equal number of shelves on both sides of a center line are folded together wherein the collapsed shelves 10, 11, 12, 22 are then folded together where the legs 22 on each side of the center line are in the center of the shelves as the shelves are brought together. In an exemplary embodiment a connection device (not shown) is used to insure the shelves 10, 11, 12, 22 do not freely separate once in the closed configuration.
To assist in transporting the present invention, one of the center shelves may have a handle 26. The handle 26 may be positioned wherein it inserts into a side of the shelf when used as a display table 5 and is then pulled out when used to transport the present invention 5. In another embodiment, the handle 26 is always visible.
In another embodiment, a carrying case 28 may fit around the shelves 10, 11, 12, 22 once folded together. The carrying case 28 may have its own handle(s) or can have an opening through which handles attached directly to the folded table protrude therethrough. The carrying case 28 may be a hard cover or a soft cover. If the present invention is being used for a particular company, the company's logo can be placed on the outside of the removable carrying case. Similarly, the logo may be placed on each shelf
In another exemplary embodiment, further illustrated in FIG. 2, several legs 21, 23 are fixed to an inner floor 40 of a carrying case 28. In this configuration, when the case 28 is opened, the table 5 is pulled out wherein the case 28 and legs 21, 23 remain fixed together.
To properly fit the display table 5 within the carrying case 28, the legs connected to the carrying case 21, 23 may employ a different folding technique than discussed above. For example, the legs 21, 23 may retract within the leg segment closest to the shelf 12 and then the leg may bend at a joint so as to assist in folding the display table into the carrying case. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize various ways to place the table 5 within the case 28.
While the invention has been described in what is presently considered to be a preferred embodiment, many variations and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the specific illustrative embodiment, but be interpreted within the full spirit and scope of the appended claims.