Title:
Fence-mounted, folding spectator seat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fence-mounted, collapsible spectator seat includes a compact and durable seat that is designed to fit onto or hang from fence panels. The assembly is produced from sturdy yet lightweight material and includes a hooked backing with an integrally attached seating area. The assembly is telescopically adjustable in length. A back base member has a U-shaped mounting hook attached at its top end. A second U-shaped mounting hook is attached at the bottom end of the back base member. The seat extends from the bottom of the base member at an oblique angle and is attached thereto by a seat stem. The seat is padded and is swivel mounted to the seat stem.



Inventors:
Carpenter, Kathy Faye (Hempstead, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/983180
Publication Date:
05/08/2008
Filing Date:
11/07/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/463.1, 297/16.1
International Classes:
A47C9/00; A47C4/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
BROWN, PETER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mark R. Wisner;c/o Wisner & Associates (Suite 400, 1177 West Loop South, Houston, TX, 77027, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A folding seat comprising first and second legs, said second leg being pivotally mounted to said first leg at one end thereof for pivoting from a first, folded position to a second unfolded position; a seat mounted to the end of said second leg opposite the end that is pivotally mounted to said first leg; a bracket formed in the shape of an inverted U mounted to said first leg for interacting with a vertical support to mount said first leg to the vertical support; and a stop for limiting the pivoting of said second leg relative to said first leg.

3. The folding seat of claim 1 additionally comprising a second bracket mounted to said first leg.

3. The folding seat of claim 2 wherein said first leg is comprised of telescoping first and second members for adjusting the length of said first leg.



4. The folding seat of claim 1 wherein said stop is formed integrally with said second leg for abutting said first leg when said second leg is pivoted from said first, folded position to said second unfolded position.

5. The folding seat of claim 1 wherein said stop comprises a slot formed in a bracket, said bracket being pivotally mounted to said first and second legs, the pivot point of said bracket acting as a stop to limit the pivoting of said second leg when pivoted from said first, folded position to said second unfolded position.

6. A fence-mounted, collapsible spectator seat for providing users with a convenient means of viewing a rodeo show of similar event.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/857,155, filed Nov. 7, 2006, which related patent application is hereby incorporated in its entirety by this specific reference thereto.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to seats and, more particularly, to a folding, fence-mounted spectator seat for providing users with a convenient means of viewing a rodeo show or similar event. There are numerous events that are attended year-round by spectators in which they bring their own seating means for convenience or because suitable seating is not available. Such seats are usually collapsible for convenience of transport and storage. These portable seats are typically also designed to be supported on a level support surface like grass and the like. This is an acceptable and suitable means of seating at many outdoor events. When considering a rodeo show, however, such portable seats become insufficient since the spectator's line of sight may be blocked by those standing in front of them along the fenced-in area and/or by the fence itself.

Accordingly, there is a need for a spectator's seat that can be mounted to the fence to overcome the above-noted shortcomings. The present invention satisfies such a need by providing a fence-mounted spectator seat that is convenient and easy to use, durable yet lightweight in design, portable and collapsible in nature, and provides rodeo enthusiasts with a simple and effective means of achieving an unimpeded view when watching these competitions. The seat eliminates the need for children and shorter adults to struggle to see over the barriers that panel fences often put in their way. Additionally, the fence-mounted spectator seat of the present invention alleviates the discomfort of clinging to a fence to get a better view. Being compact and lightweight, the assembly is easily transported to and from spectator events. Because it is adjustable and easy to use, the fence-mounted spectator seat of the present invention can be unfolded and mounted to a fence in moments.

Other objects, and the many advantages of the present invention, will be made clear to those skilled in the art in the following description of the preferred embodiment(s) of the invention and the drawings appended hereto. Those skilled in the art will recognize, however, that the embodiment(s) of the present invention that are described herein are only examples of specific embodiment(s), set out for the purpose of describing the making and using of the present invention, and that the embodiment(s) shown and/or described herein are not the only embodiment(s) of a targeted on/off switching system and method constructed and/or performed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These objects are met by providing a folding seat comprising first and second legs, the second leg being pivotally mounted to the first leg at one end for pivoting from a first, folded position to a second unfolded position and a seat mounted to the end of the second leg opposite the end that is pivotally mounted to the first leg. A bracket is formed in the shape of an inverted “U” and is mounted to the first leg for interacting with a vertical, support to mount the first leg to the vertical support, and a stop is provided on either the first leg or the second leg for limiting the pivoting of the second leg relative to the first leg. In an alternative embodiment, the stop takes the form of a bracket that is pivotally mounted to the first and second legs with a longitudinally-extending slot formed therein, the travel of the pivot pin in the slot limiting, or stopping, the pivoting of the second leg relative to the first leg.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features believed to be characteristic of this invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may be best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a presently preferred embodiment of a fence-mounted, folding spectator seat constructed in accordance with the present invention in the unfolded position.

FIG. 2 shows the spectator seat of FIGS. 1 and 2 mounted to a fence panel.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the spectator seat of FIG. 1 showing the seat in the folded position.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the fence-mounted, folding spectator seat of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which a preferred embodiment of the invention is shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiment set forth herein. Rather, this embodiment is provided so that this application will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the true scope of the invention to those skilled in the art.

Referring to the figures in general, the assembly includes a compact and durable seat that is designed to fit onto fence panels. The assembly is produced from sturdy yet lightweight material such as reinforced aluminum or other metal and includes a hooked backing with an integrally attached seating area. The assembly is telescopically adjustable to lengths from eighteen inches to thirty-six inches. A back base member has a U-shaped mounting hook directly attached, without the use of intervening elements, at its top end. Such a U-shaped mounting hook effectively allows the assembly to mount flush on the top panel of a fence. A second U-shaped mounting hook is directly attached, without the use of intervening elements, at the bottom end of the back base member for reinforcing the back base onto a lower fence panel.

Again referring to the figures in general, the seat extends from the bottom of the base member at an oblique angle and is attached thereto by a seat stem. Such a seat stem measures approximately eighteen inches in length and culminates in the seating area. The seat is configured as a circular stool with a diameter of ten inches. The stool is padded for optimal comfort and is swivel mounted to the seat stem. Of course, the assembly could be offered for sale fully intact, or made available in kit form for easy assembly, as is obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art. Furthermore, of course, the assembly could be made available in a variety of colors to appeal to individual tastes, as is obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art.

In use, the fence-mounted, folding seat is simple and straight-forward to operate. The folded seat is carried to the rodeo arena, or similar event, along with other implements such as food and beverages that optimize enjoyment of the event. Upon claiming a spot along the fence, the user selects a fence panel for placement of the top hook of the back base member of the stool, based on how high they wish to sit. Once the top hook is rested on top of the chosen panel, the user adjusts the telescoping base member so that the bottom hook fits flush over the next panel down. With the assembly firmly in place, the user needs only to climb the fence and sit on the stool. In this manner, the user is comfortably seated, and able to see the action in the arena.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. In more detail, and referring first to FIGS. 1-3, in a presently preferred embodiment, the folding spectator seat of the present invention is comprised of first leg, or back base member, 10 to which a second leg, or seat stem, 12 is pivotally mounted. Second leg 12 is pivotally mounted to first leg 10 at one end 14 and a bracket 16 to which a seat 18 is mounted is pivotally mounted to the other end 20 thereof. The pivot end 14 of second leg 12 is provided with a stop 22 that contacts, or abuts, the surface of first leg 10 when second leg 10 is pivoted, or unfolded, from the first, folded position shown in FIG. 2 to the second, unfolded position shown in FIG. 1 to prevent unrestricted rotation of second leg 12 about the pivot point so that second leg 12 unfolds from first leg 10 only as far as shown in FIG. 1.

Both of first and second legs 10, 12 are comprised of telescoping first and second members (designated by reference numerals 101, 102, 121, and 122, respectively), that are retracted and/or extended to provide the legs 10, 12 with lengths appropriate to the spacing of the horizontal members to which the folding seat of the present invention is to be mounted in the manner described below. Spring-loaded pins 24 that land in a selected hole 26 in the second member 102, 122, are provided on the respective first member 101, 121, for holding the legs at the desired length, and a cotter pin 28 is provided on one or both of first and second legs 10, 12 for securing the first and second members of each of legs 10, 12 from moving relative to each other when the desired length is set.

A bracket/mounting hook 30 is mounted to each of the first and second telescoping members 101, 102 of leg 10 for interacting with the horizontal members, or rails, 32 (see FIG. 3) of a fence 34 or other vertical structure to which the folding seat of the present invention is mounted. Brackets 30 are formed in the shape of an inverted “U,” the base 36 of the inverted “U”-shaped bracket 30 resting on the rail 32 and the arms 38 of the inverted “U”-shaped bracket 30 functioning to retain the folding seat of the present invention to the rail 32 as the inside surface of the arms 38 engage the surface of rail 32. As described above, the length of leg 10 is adjusted so that the brackets 30 engage two of the rails 32 of fence 34, thereby providing safe support for the folding seat of the present invention when hung on the fence 34. The second leg 12 is pivoted away from first leg 10 until the stop 22 engages the surface of first leg 10 and the length of second leg 12 is then adjusted to the desired seating height.

In the alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the inverted “U”-shaped brackets 30 are adapted to fit rails 32 that are round or shaped in a cross-sectional shape other than rectangular or square. The rounded shape of the inverted “U”-shaped bracket 30 of the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 provides the bracket with a profile that serves to better stabilize the seat of the present invention on rails 32 of different shapes (and, as set out below, it is envisioned that the folding seat of the present invention may be supported from structures other than fence panels). To better retain the bracket 30 to the rails 32, the arms 38 of the inverted “U”-shaped bracket 30 may themselves be rounded such that the bracket 30 is shaped in a parabolic, or elliptical, cross-sectional shape and/or the arms 38 may be provided with structure (not shown) for interacting with the rails 32 to better retain the bracket 30 to the rail. In one embodiment, the structure for retaining the bracket 30 to the rail 32 of the fence takes the form of a polymeric extrusion (not shown) or other structure with a high coefficient of friction that is affixed to the inside surface of the arms 38; in another embodiment, the arms are provided with a retaining chain or other structure that acts as a “keeper” by interacting with the rail 32 to reduce the likelihood that the bracket 30 can be knocked or otherwise separated from the rails 32.

As also shown in FIG. 4, the stop 22 for limiting the pivoting of second leg 12 relative to first leg 10 may take the form of a bracket 40 having a pin 42 sliding in a slot 44 formed therein, the pin 42 acting as a pivot point that bottoms out at one end of slot 44 so that the end of slot 44 acts as a stop to limit pivoting of second leg 12 relative to first leg 10. As will be apparent from the structure shown in FIG. 4, bracket 40 is pivotally mounted to the respective first and second legs 10, 12, allowing the legs 10, 12 to be folded from the second position shown in FIG. 4 to the first, folded position in the same manner as described above in connection with the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3.

While the invention has been described with respect to certain specific embodiments, it will be appreciated that many modifications and changes may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is intended, therefore, by the appended claims to cover all such modifications and changes as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention. For instance, although the folding seat of the present invention has been described herein and shown in the figures as being fence-mounted, those skilled in the art who have the benefit of this disclosure will recognize that the folding seat may be used to provide seating along many different types of vertical surfaces and should not be limited in use to only being suspended from fences at livestock and/or rodeo shows. Other such modifications will likewise be apparent to those skilled in the art from the description of this preferred embodiment.





 
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