Title:
Laptop computer workstation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention discloses a device for holding a laptop computer further having means for attaching the device to a tray table such as would be found on an airplane train or the like. The present invention discloses a platform for placement thereon of the laptop computer having a foam pad on its lower edge to prevent the computer from falling off the platform and for ergonomic reasons. An elevational member is provided comprising a pivot head which causes the platform to be inclined at an ergonomically acceptable angle. The elevational member attaches to the tray table by means of a mounting member having a recess therein for receiving the pivot head. The mounting member has a wire frame attached thereto which frame attaches to opposite edges of the platform. The lower end of the elevational member is attached to a stand member, or, in an alternative embodiment, a stand member to be placed under the legs of a seated user for securely holding the present invention.



Inventors:
Hodge, Ronald (Richardson, TX, US)
Hodge, Teresa M. (Richardson, TX, US)
Charles Jr., Lewis Letherwood (Portland, OR, US)
Application Number:
09/768999
Publication Date:
06/21/2001
Filing Date:
01/23/2001
Assignee:
HODGE RONALD
HODGE TERESA M.
LETHERWOOD CHARLES LEWIS
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
108/42, 248/227.2, 248/228.6, 248/231.71, 248/447.2, 248/455, 297/188.2
International Classes:
A47B23/04; B60N3/00; B64D11/00; (IPC1-7): A47B23/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WILKENS, JANET MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
George L. Williamson (Fairhope, AL, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. An apparatus for holding a laptop computer onto a work surface such as a tray table as might be found on an airplane seat, comprising: a) a platform upon which is placed a laptop computer, said platform being generally rectangular shaped, said platform having a topside and an underside, a top edge, a bottom edge, a right edge and a left edge; b) an elevational member for disposing said platform at an angle to the horizontal plane, said elevational member having a top end and a bottom end; c) a base upon which said elevational member is disposed; d) a first means for connecting said platform to said elevational member; and, e) a second means for connecting said elevational member to said base.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said elevational member further comprises a pivotable head, said pivotable head being disposed on a shaft, said shaft being disposed on said base, said pivotable head having a connector member thereon.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein said pivotal head further comprises an adjustment means whereby said pivotal head can be adjustably fixed at varying angles.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein said base is planar.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein said base further comprises a U-shaped member having an upper lip and a lower lip, said upper lip and said lower lip having a tray table disposed thereinbetween, said lower lip having means for clamping to a tray table.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein said base further comprises means for a plate whereby said plate can be placed under the legs of a seated user.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein said first means for connecting said platform to said elevational member further comprises a receiving member disposed on said underside of said platform.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said receiving member further comprises a plurality of wire members for connecting said receiving member to said platform, said right edge and said left edge of said platform having horizontal apertures therein, said apertures for receiving the end of said wire members.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein four wire members are provided, wherein two of said wire members connect to said right side of said platform and two of said wire members connect to said left side of said platform so that said platform is secured to said receiving member.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein said recess is complementarily sized to removably fixedly receive said connector thereon so that said platform is thereby connected to said pivotal head.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, further comprising a foam pad disposed on said bottom edge of said platform.

12. An apparatus for holding laptop computer onto a work surface such as a tray table as might be found on an airplane seat, comprising: a) a platform upon which is placed a laptop computer, said platform being generally rectangular shaped, said platform having a topside and an underside, a top edge, a bottom edge, a right edge and a left edge. b) a foam pad disposed on said bottom edge of said platform; and, c) means for wire frame base whereby said platform is connected to a tray table.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein said means for a wire frame base further comprises a first wire piece and a second wire piece, said right edge and said left edge of said platform having horizontal apertures therein, said apertures for receiving ends of said first wire piece and ends of said second wire piece whereby said platform is connected to said wire frame base.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said first wire piece further comprises a means for attaching to a tray table.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said means for attaching to a tray table further comprises said first wire piece having a curved portion therein, said curve forming a U-shaped fold underneath a tray table for receiving a tray table thereinbetween said first wire piece and said curved portion.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein said second wire piece cooperates with said first wire piece to elevate said platform.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein said first wire piece further comprises notches for receiving said second wire piece to vary the elevation of said platform.

Description:

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/414,897 filed Oct. 8, 1999.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates generally to a laptop computer workstation. More particularly, the invention relates to an ergonomically designed laptop computer workstation for use in an airplane, train or the like.

[0004] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0005] Devices for holding articles have been described in the prior art. However, none of the prior art devices disclose the unique features of the present.

[0006] In U.S. Pat. No. 4,901,969, dated Feb. 20, 1990, Yaeger disclosed a device capable of being clamped onto a peripheral edge of a desk or table, that can support reading material in either a horizontal or elevated position for convenient viewing. Said device is composed of a backrest with lower lip that will holding reading material, and spring-loaded clamping mechanism, attached to said backrest via hinged clamp lever, that allows backrest to be rested flatly or elevated by propping in an upright position with support leg. This device can also be used on the top of a worksurface by using spring-loaded clamping mechanism as a supportive base, or folded compactly for easy storage and carrying.

[0007] In U.S. Pat. No. 6,098,952, dated Aug. 8, 2000, Tonn disclosed a laptop computer support for use in supporting a laptop computer on a top of a desk adjacent an edge of the desk. The laptop computer support supports the laptop computer such that a front end of the laptop computer extends past the edge of the desk to a position just above the lap of an individual sitting at the desk. The laptop computer support has a plate member for engaging a bottom surface of the computer supporting the computer. A flange is fixed at the front end of the plate member and extends laterally across at least a portion of the plate member projecting outwards from the top surface of the plate member. The flange engages the front end of the laptop computer and prevents the computer from sliding forwards and off of the laptop computer support. A leg is connected to the plate member and supports the plate member on the desk top at one of a plurality of angles to the top of the desk, and at least one foot member engages the top of the desk adjacent the edge of the desk. The foot members are attached to the bottom of the plate member adjacent the front of the plate member and are spaced downwards from where the leg is connected to the plate member.

[0008] In U.S. Pat. No. 3,746,295 dated Jul. 17, 1973, Stephanek, et al., disclosed a merchandising fixture for displaying a stack of articles which has a clamp for attaching the fixture to the edge of a shelf and a support arm adapted to have attached thereto one of said articles to form a base for the stack thereof.

[0009] In U.S. Pat. No. 161,026, dated Mar. 23, 1875, Grummon disclosed an invention which relates to a book-rest; and consists of an adjustable bent standard having an adjustable clamping screw, the desk or table being mounted upon a universal joint, which is adjustable and movable upon the arm of the standard, the object of the invention being to provide a bookrest that may be adjusted at any height or angle, as desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The present invention discloses a device for holding a laptop computer further having means for attaching the device to a tray table such as would be found on an airplane train or the like. The present invention discloses a platform for placement thereon of the laptop computer having a foam pad on its lower edge to prevent the computer from falling off the platform and for ergonomic reasons. An elevational member is provided comprising a pivot head which causes the platform to be inclined at an ergonomically acceptable angle. The elevational member attaches to the tray table by means of a mounting member having a recess therein for receiving the pivot head. The mounting member has a wire frame attached thereto which frame attaches to opposite edges of the platform. The lower end of the elevational member is attached to a stand member, or, in an alternative embodiment, a stand member to be placed under the legs of a seated user for securely holding the present invention.

[0011] It is an object of the present invention to provide a laptop workstation that may be used to house a laptop in an airplane or train. Accordingly, a laptop workstation is provided that clips onto a tray table of an airplane or a train.

[0012] It is another object of the present invention to provide a laptop workstation that holds the laptop at an angle to provide an appropriate elevation which facilitates use of the laptop. Accordingly, a pivot head member is provided that holds the laptop at an angle from the tray table.

[0013] It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a laptop workstation that is easy to use.

[0014] It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a laptop workstation that will maintain the laptop upon the workstation in the event of a sudden jerk. Consequently, a foam pad member is provided that prevents the laptop from falling.

[0015] To accomplish the above and related objects, the invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Attention is called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only. Variations are contemplated as being part of the invention, limited only by the scope of the claims.

[0016] The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is best defined by the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] In order that the invention may be more fully understood, it will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which like elements are depicted by like reference numerals:

[0018] FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the present invention.

[0019] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

[0020] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of another embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 3.

[0022] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

[0023] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of parts of an alternative embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 5.

[0024] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of parts of an alternative embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 5.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS

[0025] With regard to reference numerals used, the following numbering is used throughout the drawings. 1

10present invention
12user
20platform
22foam pad
25lower edge
30base member
32receiving member
33tip of wire
34wire member
36edge of platform
38aperture
40elevational member
42pivot head
43shaft
44adjustment knob
45recess
46U-shaped bracket
47connector
52laptop computer
54wire leg
55wire frame
56curved wire
58notches
60plate
62legs
64foam pad
100 tray
102 seat

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

[0026] Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, FIGS. 1 through 7 illustrate the present invention being a laptop computer workstation.

[0027] Turning to FIG. 1, therein is shown the present invention 10 being a laptop computer workstation 10. Laptop workstation 10 comprises a flat platform 20, which is substantially rectangular. The platform 20 may be made from a flat board measuring approximately twelve inches in length and ten inches in breadth. Platform 20 is provided with a foam pad member 22 at its lower edge 25 which pad slides over the lower edge somewhat like a glove. Platform 20 can be made of wood, plastic, metal or recyclable materials or any materials that can be formed into a suitable, thick plate-like platform. The foam pad 22 also provides a soft wrist support reducing potential carpal tunnel problems. Pad 22 doubles as a block in order to keep the computer (not shown) on the platform.

[0028] The platform 20 is attached to an elevational member 40 having a top pivot head 42 portion and a bottom shaft 43 portion. The platform 20 is remotely, fixedly attached to the pivot head 42 of the elevational member 40. The bottom portion 43 of the elevational member 40 is securely attached to a base member 30 in the standard manner as would be done by one skilled in the art. Platform 20 attaches to elevational member 40 by means of a receiving member 32 disposed approximately in the middle of the backside of platform 20 which member 32 has a recess 45 therein for receiving a mating connector member 47 disposed on pivot head 42. Receiving member 32 has a plurality of wire members 34 which extend radially from the receiving member 32 to the left and right edges 36 of platform 20. The edges 36 of platform 20 have small apertures 38 disposed therein for receiving the tips or ends 33 of the wire members 34. Elevational member 40 has a pivotal head 42 having an adjustment knob 44 thereon which functions in the conventional manner.

[0029] Turning to FIG. 2, in another embodiment, the shaft of 43 elevational member 40 is securely attached to the U-shaped bracket 46. The U-shaped bracket 46 has an upper and lower lip for placement of the tray table 100 thereinbetween. The U-shaped bracket 46 has means as would be done in the standard manner by one skilled in the art, e.g., a threaded member or a clamp, for being removably fixedly attaching around the edge of a tray table 100 or the like of an airplane or a train by engageably enveloping the top and bottom surfaces of the tray table 100.

[0030] Turning to FIGS. 3 and 4, shown therein is another embodiment of the present invention. The laptop workstation 10 may be provided with a lower plate 60 that allows the present invention to be securely held under the legs 62 of a seated user. Plate 60 has foam pads 64 thereon. Platform 10 mounts on top of an elevated member 40 as previously disclosed, but having a longer shaft 43 thereon for forming a workstation for a seated user 12.

[0031] Turning to FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, shown therein is an alternative embodiment of the present invention showing a laptop computer 52 disposed on platform 20 having an alternative wire frame member 55 attached to platform 20, all of which is attached to tray 100 which is disposed onto the back an airplane or like seat 102. The wire frame member 55 is shown attached to the tray 100 by having a curved portion 56 of the wire which forms a U-shaped portion which goes underneath and clamps to a tray 100. Wire piece 55 has notches 58 thereon which adjustably receives the wire support leg 54 of frame member 55 and allows for adjustment of height. Also shown are ends 33 of the wire member which connect to the platform 20 inside the foam pad 22 of the laptop holder by being inserted into the apertures 38.

[0032] Many specific details contained in the above description merely illustrate some preferred embodiments and should not be construed as a limitation on the scope of the invention. Many other variations are possible.

[0033] What is claimed to be new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims.





 
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