Title:
Modular drapery assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular drapery assembly including a plurality of rods and a plurality of connecting elements. Each connecting element in the plurality of connecting elements is fastenable to respective ends for a pair of rod assemblies formed from the plurality of rods and each connecting element is flexible to modify an angle between the pair of rod assemblies. In one embodiment, at least one connecting element in the plurality of connecting elements includes an embedded flexible metal wire. In one embodiment, at least one of the rod assemblies is a single rod. In one embodiment, at least one of the rod assemblies includes at least two rods.



Inventors:
Ivankovic, Michelle (Toronto, CA)
Application Number:
11/999662
Publication Date:
06/11/2009
Filing Date:
12/06/2007
Assignee:
Umbra LLC (Buffalo, NY, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47H1/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KRYCINSKI, STANTON L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SIMPSON & SIMPSON, PLLC (5555 MAIN STREET, WILLIAMSVILLE, NY, 14221-5406, US)
Claims:
What I claim is:

1. A modular drapery assembly comprising: a plurality of rods; and, a plurality of connecting elements, where each connecting element in the plurality of connecting elements is fastenable to respective ends for a pair of rod assemblies formed from the plurality of rods and where each connecting element is flexible to modify an angle between the pair of rod assemblies.

2. The modular drapery assembly of claim 1, wherein the plurality of rods and the plurality of connecting elements comprise equal respective outside diameters.

3. The modular drapery assembly of claim 1, further comprising at least one end cap and wherein at least one rod in the plurality of rods comprises an end and wherein the at least one end cap is attachable to the end.

4. The modular drapery assembly of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of hooks attachable to a surface and wherein the plurality of hooks supports the plurality of rods.

5. The modular drapery assembly of claim 1, wherein at least one connecting element in the plurality of connecting elements includes an embedded flexible metal wire.

6. The modular drapery assembly of claim 1, wherein the plurality of connecting elements is comprised of thermoplastic rubber.

7. The modular drapery assembly of claim 1, wherein each connecting element is removably fastenable to the respective ends.

8. The modular drapery assembly of claim 7, wherein each connecting element is removably frictionally fastenable to the respective ends.

9. The modular drapery assembly of claim 7, wherein each connecting element includes externally threaded extensions which are removably fastenable to the respective ends.

10. The modular drapery assembly of claim 1, where each connecting element comprises first and second extensions disposed on first and second ends of each connecting element and where the respective ends comprise first and second openings arranged to receive the first and second extensions, respectively.

11. The modular drapery assembly of claim 1, where at least one of the rod assemblies is a single rod.

12. The modular drapery assembly of claim 1, where at least one of the rod assemblies includes at least two rods.

13. A modular drapery assembly comprising: first, second, and third rod assemblies, each rod assembly including at least one rod and including respective ends; and, first and second connecting elements, where the first connecting element is removably connectable to one end of the first rod assembly and to a first end of the second rod assembly and the second connecting element is removably connectable to the other end of the second rod assembly and to one end of the third rod assembly, where the first and second connecting elements are flexible to modify an angle between the first and second rod assemblies and between the second and third rod assemblies, respectively, and where the first and second connecting elements each contain a flexible metal wire embedded therein.

14. The modular drapery assembly as recited in claim 13 wherein the first connecting element is screwed to the one end of the first rod assembly and to the first end of a second rod assembly, and the second connecting element is screwed to the other end of the second rod assembly and to the one end of the third rod assembly.

15. A modular drapery assembly comprising: first and second rod assemblies, each rod assembly including at least one rod and including respective ends; and, a connecting element, where the connecting element is screwed to one end of the first rod assembly and to one end of the second rod assembly, where the connecting element is flexible to modify an angle between the first and second rod assemblies, and where the connecting element contains a flexible metal wire embedded therein.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to window drapery hardware. More specifically, the present invention relates to drapery rods and drapery rod assemblies.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Drapery rods are well known in the window drapery hardware field. Unfortunately, known drapery rods do not conform to the shape of multiple window arrangements, such as bow and bay windows. In order to effectively drape each window of a bow or bay window, separate individual drapery rods must be used. This causes both aesthetic and structural problems. For example, most multiple window arrangements do not allow enough space between each window for multiple separate traditional drapery rods. Also, the use of an assembly of multiple rods can result in undesirable gaps between the individual rods.

Thus, there is a need for a continuous drapery rod assembly that can conform to the shape of a multiple-window arrangement.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention broadly comprises a modular drapery assembly including a plurality of rods and a plurality of connecting elements. Each connecting element in the plurality of connecting elements is fastenable to respective ends of a pair of rod assemblies from the plurality of rods and each connecting element is flexible to modify an angle between the pair of rod assemblies.

In a preferred embodiment, the plurality of rods and the plurality of connecting elements have equal respective outside diameters. The modular drapery assembly includes at least one end cap and at least one rod in the plurality of rods includes an end and the at least one end cap is attachable to the end. The modular drapery assembly includes a plurality of hooks attachable to a surface and the plurality of hooks can support the plurality of rods.

In a preferred embodiment, at least one connecting element in the plurality of connecting elements includes an embedded flexible metal wire. The plurality of connecting elements is composed of thermoplastic rubber. Each connecting element is removably fastenable to the respective ends. Each connecting element may be removably frictionally fastenable to the respective ends. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, however, each element is screwed to the respective ends. Each connecting element includes first and second extensions disposed on first and second ends of each connecting element and the respective ends include first and second openings arranged to receive the first and second extensions, respectively. In one embodiment, at least one of the rod assemblies is a single rod. At least one of the rod assemblies includes at least two rods.

The present invention also broadly comprises a modular drapery assembly including first, second, and third rod assemblies and first and second connecting elements. Each rod assembly includes at least one rod and respective ends. The first connecting element may be frictionally removably connectable or screwed to one end of the first rod assembly and to a first end of the second rod assembly. The second connecting element may be frictionally removably connectable or screwed to the other end of the second rod assembly and to one end of the third rod assembly. The first and second connecting elements are flexible to modify an angle between the first and second rod assemblies and between the second and third rod assemblies, respectively. The first and second connecting elements each contain a flexible metal wire embedded therein.

The present invention further broadly comprises a modular drapery assembly including first and second rod assemblies and a connecting element. Each rod assembly includes at least one rod and respective ends. The connecting element may be frictionally removably connected or screwed to one end of the first rod assembly and to one end of the second rod assembly. The connecting element is flexible to modify an angle between the first and second rod assemblies and the connecting element contains a flexible metal wire embedded therein.

A general object of the present invention is to provide a drapery rod assembly that conforms to the shape of a multiple-window assembly, such as a bow or bay window.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become readily apparent to one having ordinary skill in the art upon study of the following detailed description in view of the drawings and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The nature and mode of operation of the present invention will now be more fully described in the following detailed description of the invention taken with the accompanying drawing figures, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a present invention modular drape assembly;

FIG. 2 is an exploded front perspective view of the modular drape assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a first embodiment of a connecting element shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the first embodiment of a connecting element shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a side view of an end cap shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a side view of a hook shown in FIG. 1; and,

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of a present invention modular drape assembly;

FIG. 8 is a front view of a second embodiment of a connecting element; and,

FIG. 9 is a side view of the second embodiment of a connecting element shown in FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

At the outset, it should be appreciated that like drawing numbers on different drawing views identify identical structural elements of the invention. While the present invention is described with respect to what is presently considered to be the preferred embodiments, it is understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments.

Furthermore, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the particular methodology, materials and modifications described and as such may, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention, which will be limited only by the appended claims.

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood to one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although any methods, devices and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the invention, the preferred methods, devices and materials are now described.

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of present invention modular drape assembly 10.

FIG. 2 is an exploded front perspective view of modular drape assembly 10 shown in FIG. 1. The following should be viewed in light of FIGS. 1 and 2. A present invention drapery rod assembly includes a plurality of drapery rods and a plurality of connecting elements. Each connecting element in the plurality of connecting elements is fastenable to respective ends for a pair of rod assemblies from the plurality of rods. That is, each connecting element can be fastened to the respective ends. A rod assembly is formed from rods from the plurality of rods and can include more than one rod or can include only a single rod. For example, rod assemblies 12A and 12B include single rods 13A and 13B, respectively, and rod assembly 12C includes rods 13C and 13D. Thus, rod assemblies 12A and 12C form a pair and rod assemblies 12B and 12C form a pair. Connecting element 14A is connected to ends 16 and 18 of assemblies 12A and 12C, respectively, and element 14B is connected to ends 20 and 22 of assemblies 12C and rod 12B, respectively. In FIG. 1, three rod assemblies, four rods, and two connecting elements are shown. However, it should be understood that a present invention assembly is not limited to the number or combination of rod assemblies, rods, or connecting elements shown and that other numbers and combinations of rod assemblies, rods, and connecting elements are included in the spirit and scope of the claimed invention.

FIG. 3 is a front view of connecting element 14 shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side view of connecting element 14 shown in FIG. 1. The following should be viewed in light of FIGS. 1-4, 8, and 9. Each connecting element 14 is flexible to modify angle 24 between a pair of rod assemblies connected to the element. For example, element 14B is flexible to adjust angle 24 between assemblies 12B and 12C. In one embodiment, elements 14 include an embedded flexible metal wire 26. Wire 26 is flexible enough to be bent, but is stiff enough to maintain a shape once bent into the shape. For example, wire 26 can be bent to provide a specific angle 24 and will maintain angle 24. Thus, wire 26 enables connecting elements 14 to bend, which enables the rods connected to the elements to conform to the shape and angle of a multi-window configuration. For example, in FIGS. 1 and 2, angle 24 is approximately 90 degrees, enabling assemblies 12 to conform to an arrangement (not shown) of two side windows approximately orthogonal to a front window. In one embodiment, wire 26 is embedded throughout length 28 of body 30 of elements 14. Any type of wire or wire material known in the art can be used for wire 26. Body 30 can be made of any flexible material known in the art. In one embodiment, body 30 is made of thermoplastic rubber.

In general, elements 14 and 114 are removably fastenable to the respective ends of the rod assemblies. By this we mean that the elements can be inserted into the respective ends and remain fastened/connected to the respective rod assemblies, but can be removed by applying moderate force. For example, the elements and the rod assemblies are shaped and configured to be assembled and disassembled by hand. In a first embodiment, elements 14 are frictionally fastenable to the rod assemblies. By this we mean that the friction between the elements and the rods is sufficient to hold the elements in the rod assemblies. In a second embodiment, the elements are removably fastenable to the respective ends via a screwed engagement.

In a first embodiment, connecting elements 14 include extensions 32 on respective ends 34 and rods 12 forming the pairs noted above include openings 36 in at least one of the respective ends of the rods 12. Extensions 32 are engagable with openings 36 in a complimentary friction fit. That is, openings 36 are arranged to receive extensions 32. In one embodiment, extensions 32 all have substantially the same shape and dimensions and openings 36 all have substantially the same dimensions. In one embodiment (not shown), shapes and dimensions for the extensions vary and dimensions for the openings vary.

In a second embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, connecting element 114 includes externally threaded extensions 132 on respective ends 134. In this embodiment of the present invention, openings 36 of rods 12 included complimentary internal threads (not shown) for receiving externally threaded extensions 132, thereby enabling a removably fastenable screwed engagement between element 114 and rod 12. Similar to element 14, element 114 also includes embedded flexible metal wire 126 embedded throughout length 128 of body 130.

In FIGS. 1 and 2, rod assembly 12C includes rods 13C and 13D that form a ‘straight run.’ That is, the rods are aligned such that the respective longitudinal axes for the rods are substantially co-linear. Any means known in the art can be used to connect or align the rods, for example, extension 38 in rod 13C and opening 40 in rod 13D. It should be understood that a present invention assembly is not limited to a particular number of co-linear rods and that more than one set of co-linear rods may be used. For example (not shown), assemblies 12A and/or 12B could include two respective co-linear rods in a manner similar to that shown for assembly 12C.

FIG. 5 is a side view of end cap 42 shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a side view of hook 44 shown in FIG. 1. The following should be viewed in light of FIGS. 1 through 6. In one embodiment, assembly 10 includes end caps 38 connectable to rod assemblies 12A and 12B. In one embodiment, end cap 38 has a ball with a collar construction. However, it should be understood that any end cap configuration known in the art can be used for cap 38. In one embodiment, modular drapery assembly 10 includes a plurality of hooks, for example, hooks 44, attachable to a surface (not shown). The hooks are used to support rod assemblies 12. Hooks 44 include portion 46, that can be affixed to the surface, and portion 48 configured to receive rods 12. However, it should be understood that any configuration known in the art can be used for hooks 44. It also should be understood that assembly 10 is not limited to a particular number of hooks.

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of modular drape assembly 100. The discussion regarding assembly 10 is applicable to assembly 100. Assembly 100 includes rod assemblies 12D and 12E, a single connecting element 14C, end caps 42, and hooks 44. Rod assemblies 12D and 12E include respective single rods 13E and 13F, respectively. However, as noted supra, other numbers of rods are possible in the rod assemblies.

It also should be understood that rods and connecting elements in a present invention assembly are not limited to the respective shapes shown in the figures. For example, the rods and elements are shown with a generally circular cross-section; however, the rods and/or the elements can have other respective cross-sectional shapes.

Thus it is seen that the objects of the invention are efficiently obtained, although changes and modifications to the invention should be readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art, which changes would not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed.