Title:
Foldable Umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foldable umbrella includes a cover support unit having a movable block disposed directly above a top end of a pole, and a plurality of cover support ribs having inner ends connected pivotally to the movable block. A stretcher rib unit interconnects the cover support unit and the pole. The movable block is movable relative to the top end of the pole between an upper limit position, where the umbrella is folded, and a lower limit position, where the umbrella is unfolded. The lower limit position is located under the upper limit position.



Inventors:
Lee, Henry (Kaohsiung City, TW)
Application Number:
11/924285
Publication Date:
04/30/2009
Filing Date:
10/25/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H15/50
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY LLP (2049 CENTURY PARK EAST, 38th Floor, LOS ANGELES, CA, 90067-3208, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A foldable umbrella comprising: a pole having a top end; a cover support unit including a movable block disposed directly above said top end of said pole, and a plurality of cover support ribs having inner ends connected pivotally to said movable block; and a stretcher rib unit interconnecting said cover support unit and said pole; wherein said movable block of said cover support unit is movable relative to said top end of said pole between an upper limit position, where said foldable umbrella is folded, and a lower limit position, where said foldable umbrella is unfolded, the lower limit position being located under the upper limit position.

2. The foldable umbrella as claimed in claim 1, wherein said stretcher rib unit includes: a runner sleeved movably on said pole; a plurality of radially extending first stretcher ribs having radial inner ends connected pivotally to said runner, and radial outer ends connected respectively and pivotally to said cover support ribs of said cover support unit; and a plurality of radially extending second stretcher ribs having radial inner ends connected pivotally to said pole and disposed above said runner, and radial outer ends connected respectively and pivotally to said first stretcher ribs, said runner being movable on said pole to fold and unfold said foldable umbrella.

3. The foldable umbrella as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a stop block fixed on said top end of said pole, said radial inner ends of said second stretcher ribs being connected pivotally to said stop block.

4. The foldable umbrella as claimed in claim 3, further comprising a positioning unit for positioning said movable block of said cover support unit relative to said pole when said foldable umbrella is unfolded.

5. The foldable umbrella as claimed in claim 3, wherein: said stop block has a top face, and said movable block has a bottom face confronting said top face of said stop block; and said positioning unit includes a positioning groove formed in one of said bottom face of said movable block and said top face of said stop block, and a positioning tongue formed on the other one of said bottom face of said movable block and said top face of said stop block and engaging said positioning groove when said foldable umbrella is unfolded.

6. The foldable umbrella as claimed in claim 5, wherein said positioning tongue has an engaging portion disposed at a top end thereof and having a non-circular cross section that engages fittingly said positioning groove so as to prevent relative rotation between said movable block and said stop block.

7. The foldable umbrella as claimed in claim 6, wherein said engaging portion of said positioning tongue is in the form of a pyramid.

8. The foldable umbrella as claimed in claim 1, wherein said pole is made of wood.

9. The foldable umbrella as claimed in claim 1, wherein said pole is made of metal.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a foldable umbrella, more particularly to a foldable umbrella having a relatively large cover.

2. Description of the Related Art

FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional foldable garden umbrella that includes a pole 4, a top block 40 fixed on a top end of the pole 4, a plurality of cover support ribs 6 having inner ends 61 connected pivotally to the top block 40, a runner 50 sleeved movably on the pole 4, and a plurality of radially extending stretcher ribs 5 having radial inner ends connected pivotally to the runner 50, and radial outer ends connected respectively and pivotally to the cover support ribs 6. The runner 50 is movable relative to the top block 40 between a lower limit position, where the conventional foldable garden umbrella is folded, as shown in FIG. 1, and an upper limit position, where the conventional foldable garden umbrella is unfolded. The lower limit position is located under the upper limit position.

When the conventional foldable garden umbrella is installed on a table 7 by inserting the pole 4 into the table 7 through a positioning hole 70, the length of the cover support ribs 6 should be smaller than a distance between the top block 40 and a top surface of the table 7 in order to avoid interference from the table 7 when the conventional foldable garden umbrella is folded. As a result, if the cover support ribs 6 are lengthened, the conventional foldable garden umbrella cannot be folded as a result of interference from the table 7, as shown in FIG. 2.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a foldable umbrella that has a relatively large cover.

According to the present invention, a foldable umbrella comprises:

a pole having a top end;

a cover support unit including a movable block disposed directly above the top end of the pole, and a plurality of cover support ribs having inner ends connected pivotally to the movable block; and

a stretcher rib unit interconnecting the cover support unit and the pole.

The movable block of the cover support unit is movable relative to the top end of the pole between an upper limit position, where the foldable umbrella is folded, and a lower limit position, where the foldable umbrella is unfolded. The lower limit position is located under the upper limit position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a conventional foldable garden umbrella when folded;

FIG. 2 is a schematic view illustrating the conventional foldable garden umbrella having lengthened cover support ribs;

FIG. 3 is a schematic view showing an unfolded state of the first preferred embodiment of a foldable umbrella according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a schematic view showing a semi-folded state of the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a schematic view showing a folded state of the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a schematic view showing an unfolded state of the second preferred embodiment of a foldable umbrella according to the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a schematic view showing a semi-folded state of the second preferred embodiment when semi-folded; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing a positioning tongue of a positioning unit of the second preferred embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Before the present invention is described in greater detail, it should be noted that like elements are denoted by the same reference numerals throughout the disclosure.

Referring to FIGS. 3 to 5, the first preferred embodiment of a foldable umbrella according to the present invention is shown to include a pole 1, a cover support unit 3, and a stretcher rib unit 2.

The pole 1 has a top end 10. In this embodiment, the pole 1 can be made of wood or metal. A stop block 12 is fixed on the top end 10 of the pole 1.

The cover support unit 3 includes a movable block 31 disposed directly above the top end 10 of the pole 1, and a plurality of cover support ribs 32 having inner ends 321 connected pivotally to the movable block 31. A foldable laminar cover (not shown) can be attached on the cover support ribs 32.

The stretcher rib unit 2 interconnects the cover support unit 3 and the pole 1. In this embodiment, the stretcher rib unit 2 includes a runner 21, a plurality of radially extending first stretcher ribs 22, and a plurality of radially extending second stretcher ribs 23. The runner 21 is sleeved movably on the pole 1. The first stretcher ribs 22 have radial inner ends 221 connected pivotally to the runner 21, and radial outer ends 222 riveted respectively and pivotally to the cover support ribs 32 of the cover support unit 3. The second stretcher ribs 23 have radial inner ends 231 connected pivotally to the stop block 12, and radial outer end 232 riveted respectively and pivotally to the first stretcher ribs 22. The runner 21 is movable on the pole 1 to fold and unfold the umbrella.

As shown in FIG. 3, when the runner 21 is moved upwardly along the pole 1 to an unfolded position so as to unfold the umbrella, the movable block 31 of the cover support unit 3 is moved downwardly toward the pole 1 to a lower limit position. Subsequently, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, when the runner 21 is moved downwardly along the pole 1 from the unfolded position to a folded position so as to fold the umbrella, the movable block 31 of the cover support unit 3 is moved upwardly from the lower limit position to an upper limit position.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate the second preferred embodiment of a foldable umbrella according to this invention, which is a modification of the first preferred embodiment.

In this embodiment, the stop block 12 has a top face 120, and the movable block 31′ has a bottom face 310 confronting the top face 120 of the stop block 12.

The foldable umbrella further includes a positioning unit for positioning the movable block 31′ of the cover support unit 3′ relative to the pole 1 when the umbrella is unfolded. The positioning unit includes a positioning groove 34 formed in the bottom face 310 of the movable block 31′, and a positioning tongue 14 formed on the top face 120 of the stop block 12 and engaging the positioning groove 34 in the movable block 31′ when the umbrella is unfolded, as shown in FIG. 6. In particular, the positioning tongue 14 has an engaging portion 140 disposed at a top end thereof and having a non-circular cross section. The engaging portion 140 engages fittingly the positioning groove 34 in the movable block 31′ so as to prevent relative rotation between the movable block 31′ and the stop block 12. Preferably, the engaging portion 140 of the positioning tongue 14 is in the form of a pyramid, as shown in FIG. 8.

In such a configuration, since the movable block 31, 31′ is separated from the stop block 12, and since the movable block 31, 31′ is moved relative to the stop block 12 from the lower limit position to the upper limit position when the foldable umbrella is converted from an unfolded state to a folded state, if the pole 1 has the same length as that of the pole 4 (see FIG. 1) of the abovementioned prior art, the cover support ribs 32 can have a relatively long length as compared to that of the cover support ribs 6 (see FIG. 1) without interference from the table 7 to which the foldable umbrella is installed, as shown in FIG. 5. As a result, the foldable umbrella of this invention can have a relatively large cover.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what are considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.