Title:
Automobile umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sun shield device for protecting either a small area or a large area of a vehicle. A first embodiment employs a square umbrella supported by its post on an H-shaped support bracket attached to the vehicle by suction cups. A second embodiment employs a ball with four suction cupped legs, the umbrella shaft being inserted into a bore defined through the ball. The third embodiment employs a large sheet supported by rods attached to magnetic bases by ball and socket joints. The sheet can be rolled up for storage or travel, and unrolled to cover a van.



Inventors:
Shi, Chen (Doraville, GA, US)
Application Number:
09/818965
Publication Date:
10/03/2002
Filing Date:
03/28/2001
Assignee:
SHI CHEN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/88.07, 135/88.14, 135/25.4
International Classes:
A45B11/00; B60J11/00; B60R11/02; B60R13/00; B60R11/00; (IPC1-7): A45B3/00; A45B5/00; A45B19/08; E04H15/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAI, LANNA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A portable vehicle shade, comprising: an umbrella having a cover and a shaft, the cover being collapsible mounted on the shaft, the shaft having an end distal to the cover; a support bracket, the distal end of said umbrella shaft being removably attached to said support bracket; and means for attaching said support bracket to a vehicle.

2. The portable vehicle shade according to claim 1, wherein said support bracket comprises: a pair of parallel arched legs, each leg terminating in a pair of feet, each arched leg having an apex substantially at a midpoint of the leg; a cross-beam extending between the apex of each arched leg; and a cylindrical socket attached to said cross-beam, the distal end of said umbrella shaft being insertable in the socket.

3. The portable vehicle shade according to claim 2, further comprising a threaded fastener inserted transversely through said cylindrical socket for clamping said umbrella shaft in said socket.

4. The portable vehicle shade according to claim 1, wherein said support bracket comprises: a ball having a bore defined through a diameter of the ball; and a plurality of arcuate-legs attached to said ball; wherein the distal end of said umbrella shaft is insertable into the bore defined through said ball.

5. The portable vehicle shade according to claim 4, further comprising a threaded fastener inserted transversely through said ball and into the bore for clamping said umbrella shaft in the bore.

6. The portable vehicle shade according to claim 1, wherein said means for attaching comprises a plurality of suction cups attached to said support bracket.

7. The portable vehicle shade according to claim 1, wherein said means for attaching comprises a plurality of magnetic base elements attached to said support bracket.

8. The portable vehicle shade according to claim 1, wherein said cover is rectangular in shape.

9. A portable vehicle shade, comprising: a pair of support elements, each support element having a rod, a base element, and a ball and socket joint connecting the rod with the base element, the base element having a magnetic bottom surface for attachment to a roof of a vehicle; and an umbrella cover attachable to said rods for shading the roof of the vehicle.

10. The portable vehicle shade according to claim 9, wherein said umbrella cover is rectangular in shape.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to shade devices for motor vehicles. More specifically, the invention is a folding automobile umbrella for shading either the windshield or the entire automobile.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] The related art of interest describes various vehicle covers, but none discloses the present invention. There is a need for an economical umbrella or cover which can protect a part of or the entire vehicle from sunlight positioned on unique detachable supports. The related art of interest will be discussed in the order of perceived relevance to the present invention.

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 5,385,161, issued on Jan. 31, 1995 to Keith G. Loker et al., describes an umbrella support that attaches to a vehicle using either suction cups or magnets that can be pivotally connected to the handle. The suction cups are used for mounting the device to a window and the magnets used to attach the device to a door pillar or a vehicle roof. FIGS. 21 and 22 describe a grip having an annular magnet. FIGS. 23 and 24 describe a handgrip member rotating on a ball in a socket or base having four magnets in its periphery. The magnets are covered with polyethylene. The device in FIGS. 23 and 24 is distinguishable for locating its plurality of disc-shaped magnets in an annular array covered by polyethylene.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,727,583, issued on Mar. 17, 1998 to Phillip D. Kennedy, describes a service umbrella comprising an umbrella with a magnet attached at the base of an adjustable jointed pole which can compensate for the movement of the sun during use. The magnet supports a semicircular bracket having five positioning holes for inclining the handle with pins. The umbrella device is distinguishable for requiring an adjustable jointed pole, i.e., gooseneck fitting and the positioning bracket with a pin.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 4,805,654. issued on Feb. 21, 1989 to Kuo-Hsin Wang, describes a collapsible sun shield for automobiles comprising an umbrella-like device with foldable flexible cloth material that is suspended above a vehicle body by a pole connected to a tripod base. The base has suction cups to adhere the device to a vehicle roof. A second embodiment uses either magnets or a suction cup and magnet combination for attaching the device to the vehicle's roof. The device is distinguishable for requiring a tripod base and a collapsible radial framework.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 5,700,048, issued on Dec. 23, 1997 to D. Scott Wade et al., describes a van canopy comprising a cover having an L-shaped tubular frame supported by five ball-joint feet on magnetic pads. The canopy is positioned on a side of a van with three feet on top and two feet on a side. The device is distinguishable for its offset frame structure.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 3,156,497, issued on Nov. 10, 1964, and U.S. Pat. No. 3,373,792, issued on Mar. 19, 1968 to Alcide Lessard, describes collapsible automobile windshield rain visors comprising one-half of an umbrella structure supported by a support structure and suction cups. The rain visors are distinguishable for their half-umbrella structure.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 5,529,368, issued on Jun. 25, 1996 to Kan Cui et al., describes an umbrella unit attachable to the roof or to a side door of a vehicle having an umbrella-deploying and retracting device which has an enclosure with closable doors. The device is distinguishable for its enclosure structure.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 5,287,871, issued on Feb. 22, 1994 to Denis V. P. Trice, describes a vehicle sun shade device comprising a mounting bracket for a foldable canopy on a stem for fitting to an open window of a vehicle. The device is distinguishable for its specific window mounting bracket.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 5,388,883, issued on Feb. 14, 1995 to Shyue-Jong A. Yang, describes a sun shield cover for a vehicle comprising a plastic sheet with an apron including a sewn elastic wire and two plastic belts to maintain an oval shape. Two ear-shaped belts on the side of the shield are connected to the elastic fixing belt to hold the shield on the top of the vehicle. The device is distinguishable for its required wire and belt structure.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 5,795,012, issued on Aug. 18, 1998 to Nick Liou et al., describes a collapsible car shield structure comprising a main body containing worm gears, large and small belt pulleys, primary and secondary legs, and a drive belt. The device is distinguishable for its involved mechanical structure.

[0014] U.K. Patent Application No. 2 112 638 A, published on Jul. 27, 1983, describes a parasol assembly for a vehicle comprising a parasol mounting bracket having a base and two movable sheath plates removably connected to opposed mounting plates on the base. T-shaped fixing strips having a hook and a socket receive the parasol pole. The device is distinguishable for its required mounting bracket structure.

[0015] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singularly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus, automobile umbrellas which are economical and simple in structure are desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0016] The present invention is directed to a sun shield device for protecting either a limited area or an extensive area of a vehicle. A first embodiment employs an umbrella supported by its post in a cylindrical socket on a four-legged base with suction cups. A second embodiment modifies the base socket to a lockable ball socket with four suction cupped legs. A third embodiment employs a large sheet supported by a foldable rectangular frame carrying a logo which is attached by modified devices with magnets, and can be rolled up and unrolled to cover a van or station wagon.

[0017] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide portable sun shield devices for protection of part of or the entire vehicle.

[0018] It is another object of the invention to provide a sun shield device supported by a four-legged base having a cylindrical socket and suction cups for shading a vehicle windshield.

[0019] It is a further object of the invention to provide a portable sun shield device with a four-legged base having a lockable ball socket and suction cups for shading a vehicle windshield.

[0020] Still another object of the invention is to provide a portable, foldable and rectangular sun shield for the roof of a vehicle supported by a magnetic ball and socket base.

[0021] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0022] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0023] FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a support bracket for an automobile umbrella according to the present invention.

[0024] FIG. 2 is an environmental, perspective view of a square automobile umbrella according to the present invention with the umbrella broken away to show attachment to the support bracket.

[0025] FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of a second embodiment of an umbrella support bracket having a spherical socket with a locking screw.

[0026] FIG. 4 is an environmental side elevational view of a third embodiment of an automobile umbrella attached with supports mounted by magnets to a van.

[0027] FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the third embodiment with the expanded rectangular cover having an advertising logo thereon.

[0028] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0029] A first embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 which is directed to an automobile umbrella or portable vehicle shade device 10 comprising a square fabric umbrella cover 12 collapsibly mounted on an umbrella shaft 16 (FIG. 2), as is conventionally known. The umbrella shaft 16 is, in turn, mounted on a support bracket 14 attached to a vehicle 28. The rectangular shape of the umbrella cover 12 provides a shade area commensurate with a conventional rectangular window.

[0030] A cylindrical socket element 18 mounted on support bracket 14 accepts the distal end of umbrella shaft 16, which is secured to the socket 18 by a threaded fastener 40 which extends transversely through the cylindrical socket 18 and clamps the shaft 16 in the socket 18. The support bracket 20 has a pair of parallel arched legs 24 joined by a cross-beam 22 at the apex of the arches, the cylindrical socket 18 being mounted on the cross-beam. The arched legs 24 terminate in four feet having plastic suction cups 26 to hold the support bracket 14 in a fixed position on a vehicle 28, with two cups 26 positioned on the roof 30 and the other two cups resting on the windshield 32 for increased resistance to movement from wind forces.

[0031] The socket element 18, the cross-beam 22 and the legs 24 can be made from flexible aluminum in order to enable the legs to conform to the inclination angle of the roof 30 to the windshield 32. The portable shade device 10 in the first embodiment shades the windshield 32, and can advantageously be left in place while driving the vehicle 28 slowly from one area to another.

[0032] In a second embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the support bracket 14a for holding the shaft 16 of the umbrella has been modified to a spherically shaped ball 20 with four radiating arched legs 36 with a suction cup 26 mounted at the foot of each leg 36 by fasteners 42. A socket 38 in the form of a bore defined through the ball 20 is centered in the ball 20, and the umbrella shaft 16 is secured by a threaded fastener 40.

[0033] In a third embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, a rectangular portable vehicle shade device or cover 44 can be attached to a roof 30 of a van or station wagon 46 to shade an entire roof 30. Two modified devices 48 having only two supporting rods 50 support the shade device 44 which has a foldable rectangular frame (hidden). The supporting rods 50 have terminal ball elements 52 frictionally rotatable in their hemispherical sockets of base elements 54, which have a magnetic bottom surface. The rectangular cover 44 can be folded in a tied up roll and left on the vehicle roof 30. The rectangular cover 44 advantageously can have advertising indicia 58 (FIG. 5) on its upper surface.

[0034] Thus, a system of covering a part of or the entire roof of a vehicle by utilizing a single supporting rod and support bracket or a twin rod support has been shown. The umbrella can be limited to the windshield, or expanded to cover a van's roof, and be foldable for travel.

[0035] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.