Title:
Easel for clip frame
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An easel for coupling to the back of a clip frame by one or more clip frame clips that hook around the front of the clip frame and engage in slots in the back of the clip frame, the easel comprising an easel body; and at least one opening defined in the easel, whereby a clip is passed through at least one such opening and engaged in a slot in the back of the clip frame, to hold the easel body relative to the back of the clip frame.



Inventors:
Delfrate, Robert R. (Westboro, MA, US)
Application Number:
09/770578
Publication Date:
11/29/2001
Filing Date:
01/26/2001
Assignee:
DELFRATE ROBERT R.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/14; (IPC1-7): A47G1/16
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070234610Digital display binOctober, 2007Pelak et al.
20050183302Color-changing information sysmbolAugust, 2005Wang
20090188143LABEL WITH A FORMABLE CUPJuly, 2009Riis et al.
20020032975Mobile advertising systemMarch, 2002Shin
20010042331Hinged picture frame memberNovember, 2001Ostrovsky
20090025263Method for manufacturing a pop-up articleJanuary, 2009Ross et al.
20060218836Wristband label assembly with outboard cinch slotOctober, 2006Riley
20090241857Pet flyer/pet ID holderOctober, 2009Zolfaghari
20060010740Method and apparatus for creating an optical illusionJanuary, 2006Fay
20080209958SAFETY LOCK FOR REAL ESTATE SIGNSSeptember, 2008Visotcky
20060070275Name card cartridgeApril, 2006Liu



Primary Examiner:
SILBERMANN, JOANNE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mirick, O'Connell, DeMallie & Lougee, LLP (Worcester, MA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An easel for coupling to the back of a clip frame by one or more clip frame clips that hook around the front of the clip frame and engage in slots in the back of the clip frame, the easel comprising. an easel body; and at least one opening defined in the easel, whereby a clip is passed through at least one such opening and engaged in a slot in the back of the clip frame, to hold the easel body relative to the back of the clip frame.

2. The easel of claim 1 where in the easel body generally defines a two-sided triangular form.

3. The easel of claim 1 including two openings defined in the easel.

4. The easel of claim 3 wherein the easel comprises two clip-receiving portions, each defining one of the openings.

5. The easel of claim 4 wherein the clip-receiving portions lie against the back of the clip frame when the easel is coupled to the clip frame.

6. The easel of claim 1 further including at least one clip-receiving portion integral with the easel body, each clip-receiving portion defining one of the openings.

7. The easel of claim 1 wherein each clip-receiving portion is separated from the easel body by a fold line.

8. The easel of claim 7 wherein each fold line comprises scoring passing partially through the easel.

9. An easel for coupling to the back of a clip frame by one or more clip frame clips that hook around the front of the clip frame and engage in slots in the back of the clip frame, the easel comprising: an easel body; two clip-receiving portions integral with the body, each clip-receiving portion separated from the easel body by a fold line comprising scoring passing partially through the easel, each clip-receiving portion lying against the back of the frame when the easel is coupled to the frame; and an opening defined in each clip-receiving portion, whereby a clip is passed through both of the openings and engaged in a slot in the back of the clip frame, to hold the easel body relative to the back of the clip frame.

10. A free-standing frame, comprising: a clip frame with a plurality of clip frame clips that hook around the front of the clip frame and engage in slots in the back of the clip frame; and an easel for coupling to the back of the clip frame, the easel comprising: an easel body; two clip-receiving portions integral with the body, each clip-receiving portion separated from the easel body by a fold line comprising scoring passing partially through the easel, each clip-receiving portion lying against the back of the frame when the easel is coupled to the frame; and an opening defined in each clip-receiving portion, whereby a clip is passed through both of the openings and engaged in a slot in the back of the clip frame, to hold the easel body relative to the back of the clip frame.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims benefit of Provisional application serial No. 60/178,284, filed on Jan. 27, 2000.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to an easel that modifies clip frames so that they are free-standing.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Clip frames are a type of frame known in the art. A prior art clip frame is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Clip frame 10 includes glass or plastic glazing 12 and backing board 14 typically made of medium density fiberboard or hardboard. The image is designed to be held between portions 12 and 14. Metal spring clips 20-23 hold the assembly together. As best shown in FIG. 2, clip 23 includes U-shaped portion 30 that has a front lip that fits around the front of member 12. Clip 23 also includes distal angled portion 31 that fits into groove 16 machined in member 14. The clips are assembled to the frame by hooking member 30 around the front of member 12 and then pushing down on the back of clip 23 to compress spring leg 13 until lip 31 snaps into groove 16. Leg 13 then urges the spring clip away from backing 14 to pull member 12 against member 14. Such clip frames are typically hung from a wall, but are not enabled to be free-standing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] It is therefore a primary object of this invention to provide an easel that adapts a clip frame to be free-standing.

[0005] It is a further object of this invention to provide such an easel that can be packaged flat to minimize storage and display space required for the easel.

[0006] This invention features in one embodiment an easel for coupling to the back of a clip frame by one or more clip frame clips that hook around the front of the clip frame and engage in slots in the back of the clip frame, the easel comprising an easel body; and at least one opening defined in the easel, whereby a clip is passed through at least one such opening and engaged in a slot in the back of the clip frame, to hold the easel body relative to the back of the clip frame.

[0007] The easel body may generally define a two-sided triangular form. There may be two openings defined in the easel. The easel may comprise two clip-receiving portions, each defining one of the openings. The clip-receiving portions may lie against the back of the clip frame when the easel is coupled to the clip frame. The easel may further include at least one clip-receiving portion integral with the easel body, each clip-receiving portion defining one of the openings. The clip-receiving portions may be separated from the easel body by a fold line. Each fold line may comprise scoring passing partially through the easel.

[0008] Featured in a more specific embodiment is an easel for coupling to the back of a clip frame by one or more clip frame clips that hook around the front of the clip frame and engage in slots in the back of the clip frame, the easel comprising: an easel body; two clip-receiving portions integral with the body, each clip-receiving portion separated from the easel body by a fold line comprising scoring passing partially through the easel, each clip-receiving portion lying against the back of the frame when the easel is coupled to the frame; and an opening defined in each clip-receiving portion, whereby a clip is passed through both of the openings and engaged in a slot in the back of the clip frame, to hold the easel body relative to the back of the clip frame.

[0009] Also featured in the invention is a free-standing frame, comprising: a clip frame with a plurality of clip frame clips that hook around the front of the clip frame and engage in slots in the back of the clip frame; and an easel for coupling to the back of the clip frame, the easel comprising: an easel body; two clip-receiving portions integral with the body, each clip-receiving portion separated from the easel body by a fold line comprising scoring passing partially through the easel, each clip-receiving portion lying against the back of the frame when the easel is coupled to the frame; and an opening defined in each clip-receiving portion, whereby a clip is passed through both of the openings and engaged in a slot in the back of the clip frame, to hold the easel body relative to the back of the clip frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] Other objects, features and advantages will occur to those skilled in the art from the following description of the preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings in which:

[0011] FIG. 1 is a rear three-dimensional view of a prior art clip frame;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a close up view of a clip engaged in the clip frame of FIG. 1;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a top view a preferred embodiment of the easel of this invention;

[0014] FIG. 4 illustrates the manner in which the easel of FIG. 3 is folded into the working position shown in FIG. 5;

[0015] FIG. 6 discloses the manner in which the clips engage with the assembled easel of FIG. 5;

[0016] FIGS. 7A and 7B are side, partially cut-away and rear views, respectively, of the assembled easel of FIG. 5 attached to a clip frame, in accordance with the invention;

[0017] FIG. 8 is a rear view similar to that of FIG. 7B, showing an alternative preferred embodiment of the invention; and

[0018] FIG. 9 is a top view of another embodiment of the easel of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] The invention may be accomplished in an easel for coupling to the back of a clip frame by one or more clip frame clips that hook around the front of the clip frame and engage in slots in the back of the clip frame, the easel comprising an easel body; and at least one opening defined in the easel, whereby a clip is passed through at least one such opening and engaged in a slot in the back of the clip frame, to hold the easel body relative to the back of the clip frame.

[0020] The preferred embodiment of the easel of this invention is shown alone, and assembled and then attached to the clip frame, in FIGS. 3-7. The easel of this invention is preferably a construction that can be shipped flat and folded up for use. This can be accomplished by making the easel of various weights of chipboard or other flat stock that can be cut and scored for folding, including other paper or wood-based or plastic-based sheet stock. However, this flat and foldable concept is not a limitation of the invention.

[0021] The preferred embodiment of the easel of the invention is shown in its flat, unassembled state in FIG. 3. Easel 40 includes easel body 42 comprising triangular sections 54 and 56 integrally attached to clip-receiving portions 44 and 46, respectively. Lines 40 and 50 at which portions 44 and 46 are attached to portions 54 and 56, respectively, are preferably scored partially through the chipboard material of easel 40, so that the easel can be folded as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. Similarly, score line 52 defines portions 54 and 56 within body 42, and also accomplishes a fold line. Clip-receiving openings 45 and 47 are defined within portions 44 and 46, respectively. Bottom edges 60-63 of portions 44, 54, 56 and 46, respectively, form the lower edge of the easel that sits on a table or other flat surface when the easel is assembled and clipped to the clip frame.

[0022] Easel 40 is assembled by folding portions 44 and 46 relative to portions 54 and 56, respectively, and then folding along line 52 to create a generally triangular pyramid shape as shown in FIG. 5. This is a free-standing structure that is attached to the back of the clip frame. The attachment is accomplished by using two of the clips 23, FIG. 6. Upper portions 31 of clips 23 are passed through the clip-receiving openings and engaged in the same slot in the back of the clip frame, in this case slot 16 as shown in FIG. 7B. This holds portions 44 and 46 against back portion 14 of clip frame 10. Because of the angle between edges 60 and 63 and edges 61 and 62, respectively, the assembled frame lower edges 60-63 are disposed at a slight receding angle as compared to the bottom of frame 10 so that, when the clip frame with the easel attached thereto is placed on a flat surface, frame 10 sits back at a slight angle of perhaps 10 degrees. This causes the frame to be relatively stable, so that it does not tend to fall forward.

[0023] An advantage of the easel construction just described is that the clip receiving portions in the assembled state are folded up within the volume defined by the two-sided triangular pyramidal form, and thus the portions and the clips are hidden from view. However, that construction is not necessary to the functionality of the invention, and the clip-receiving portions could just as easily be adapted to fold outward in relation to the assembled easel body, such as shown by portions 44a and 46a, FIG. 8.

[0024] Also, the triangular shape of the easel panels, and the two-sided easel body, are not limitations of the invention, as any convenient form that accomplishes an easel body that defines one or more openings through which a clip is passed will accomplish the invention. Thus, the easel may not be flat, may not have triangular faces and need not have more than one clip-easel may not be flat, may not have triangular faces and need not have more than one clip-receiving opening. For example, portions 44 and 46 could be interconnected and define a single opening for a single clip that would hold easel 40 to the clip frame in the same manner as just described. An alternative construction of easel 80, FIG. 9, includes a generally rectangular form comprising sides 81-83 having clip-receiving portions 84 and 85. Again, one, or more than two, clip-receiving portions and clip-receiving openings could accomplish the same functionality. The lower portion of body 80 would need to be cut at the proper angle so that frame 10 is held at a slight backward angle so that it does not topple over.

[0025] The invention accomplishes an easel comprising an easel body that defines at least two lower surfaces that are adapted to sit on a flat surface such as a desktop when the easel is assembled to the clip frame. The easel defines one or more openings that accept a clip for the clip frame so that one or more of the clip frame clips are also used to couple the easel to the back of the clip frame. The easel allows the clip frame to be free-standing.

[0026] Although specific features of the invention are shown in some drawings and not others, this is for convenience only as certain features may be combined with any or all of the other features in accordance with the invention.

[0027] Other embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art and are within the following claims.