Title:
Lace buckle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A structure of a lace buckle is disclosed. The lace buckle comprises a case having a pair of projected blocks at a base., an upper lid, attached to one slide of the case through and attachment part, which can be flipped through 180° to engageably coupling onto the case, wherein two oblique elastic slip lock arms extend vertically from a inner surface from a central region of the upper lid, projecting inwardly into the case. The two elastic slip lock arms will resiliently press against a lace from the top, while the two projected blocks of the case press against the lace from the bottom side, thus the lace is prevented from dislodging from the case, and remain secured in position. Thus the two ends of the lace can be secured in between two elastic slip lock arms of the upper lid and the two projected blocks of the case.



Inventors:
Chung, Yao-tsu (Chung-Li City, TW)
Application Number:
10/224480
Publication Date:
04/17/2003
Filing Date:
08/21/2002
Assignee:
Taiwan Industrial Fastener Corporation (Taipei, TW)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43C3/00; A43C7/08; (IPC1-7): A43C1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SANDY, ROBERT JOHN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACON & THOMAS, PLLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:

What the claimed is:



1. A lace buckle for shoes, bags, and garments, for securing a lace, comprising: a hollow case, having an open top, a side hole on two side wall of the case, wherein said two side wall are located opposite to each other; two distal ends of a lace inserted into two side holes of the case; and an upper lid, integrally attached to one side of the open top, comprising two oblique elastic slip lock arms extending vertically from a inner surface of the upper lid, wherein said elastic slip lock arms face each other, and face a central vertical plane of the case, flipped through 180° to engageably couple with the case through a coupling means, wherein each of said elastic slip lock arms presses resiliently against each of said lace from a top side for securing said lace in position.

2. The lace buckle according to claim 1, wherein the case further comprises at least two projected blocks projecting from a bottom inner side, wherein said projected blocks are positioned alternate to said elastic slip lock arms in conjunction with said elastic slip lock arms secure the lace.

3. The lace buckle according to claim 1, wherein each distal part of said two elastic slip lock arms further comprises a gear-like structure, preventing said lace from being slipped off or pulled out of the case.

4. The lace buckle according to claim 1, wherein the shape of said gear-like structure of each of said elastic slip lock arms is a thorny-wheel shape.

5. The lace buckle according to claim 1, wherein the upper lid comprises a plurality of slip lock elements extending vertically from along a perimeter of the upper lid on a side, and in a central region of each slip lock element comprises a slot for engaging with case.

6. The lace buckle according to claim 5, wherein a hook is disposed on the vertical side wall of the case at a position corresponding to each of said slip lock element of the upper lid, for engageably coupling with the slip lock elements of the upper lid.

7. The lace buckle according to claim 1, wherein the case further comprises a U-shaped element disposed on a outer surface of the case for securing the case in position.

8. The lace buckle according to claim 7, wherein U-shaped element is secured to a surface of a substrate through knitted belt.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a lace buckle, and more particularly to a lace buckle with a capability of firmly fastening in a fix position or releasing two ends of a lace, and resisting from pulled out by force.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] The use of lace or rope in our every day life is common, in that a lace may be used for tying shoes, tying bags and in garments. Most commonly, a lace used in shoes may be passed through holes of the shoes and ultimately the two ends of the lace are tied to form a slipknot so as to fasten lace in position. However, for example, after a long-hours of usage, the slipknot may become loose and gets untied, as a result the shoes may come off or even at times the person with loose shoes may fall and sprain ankle due to losing of balance.

[0005] A conventional lace buckle has been developed to overcome the above problems. A conventional lace buckle is shown in FIG. 7. The lace buckle comprises a buckle base A, a fastening portion A2, a channel A1 located on a side wall of the buckle base A, and a rotary plug B rotatably disposed into a central hollow opening which passes from a top to a bottom of the buckle base A and traverses through the channel A1. The lace is passed through the channel A1 in between the rotary plug B and the internal sidewall of the buckle base A. Then, the lace is pulled until a desired distance, the lace will remain fastened in that position. As the lace is being pulled, and since the rotary plug B is free to rotate within the central hollow opening of the buckle base A, will rotate as the lace passes through the channel A1 in between the rotary plug B and the internal sidewall of the buckle base A, thus making the frictional force between the rotary plug B and the sidewall of the buckle base A as less as possible. Therefore, the action of tightening the lace can be done promptly without much effort and because of less frictional force is applied during the tightening, therefore the life of the lace can be extended. However, there are drawbacks from using the above-mentioned conventional buckle, in that since the rotary plug B is free to rotate within the central hollow opening of the buckle base A cannot efficiently secure the lace into position, and in order to secure in position, one need to tie a slipknot. Referring to FIG. 8, shows another conventional buckle comprising a buckle case C having a base C1 attached on the buckle case C, and an operative rod D inserted in a hollow hole from a top of the base C, secured by torsional spring E, and a projected turning handle F1 having a gear like surface F1 operatively mounted on the base C1 of the buckle case C. The projected turning handle F1 is positioned as a preset angle, such that a lace can be passed through a gap between the gear like surface F2 of the projected turning handle F1 and an internal sidewall of the base C1 in the through channel C2, wherein the dimension of the gap is designed to be smaller than a diameter of the lace when the projected turning handle F is positioned in the preset angle, thus the lace can be secured in position between the gear like surface F2 of the projected turning handle F1 and the internal wall of the base C1 of the buckle case C in the through channel C2. To slip the lace out off case C, the projected turning handle F1 turned to increase the dimension of the gap in which the lace was secured. However, still there are drawbacks in the above-mentioned conventional buckle although it can more securely position the lace, buckle assembly required three major elements, thus the cost of manufacturing assembly parts and their material are higher. Therefore, a new lace buckle for overcoming the problems of the prior art, such as securing the lace in position as well as reduce manufacturing cost for make the lace buckle is highly desirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Accordingly, in the view of the foregoing, the present inventor makes a detailed study of related art to evaluate and consider, and uses years of accumulated experience in this field, and through several experiments, to create a new lace buckle of the present invention. The present invention provides an innovated cost effective lace buckle for firmly fastening or releasing two ends of a lace, which can effectively prevent the two ends of the lace from being pulled out by force.

[0007] In order achieve the above objects and other objects of the present invention, a lace buckle is provided. The lace buckle comprises a case having a pair of projected blocks at a base, and an upper lid, attached to one slide of the case through and attachment part, which can be flipped through 180° to engageably coupling onto the case, wherein two oblique elastic slip lock arms extend vertically from a inner surface along a central region of the upper lid, projecting inwardly into the case. When the upper lid is flipped through 180°, the upper lid will engageably couple with the case through a coupling means, and the two elastic slip lock arms will resiliently press against a lace from the top, while the two projected blocks of the case press against the lace from the bottom side, thus the lace is prevented from dislodging from the case, and remain secured in position. Thus the two ends of the lace can be secured in between the two elastic slip lock arms of the upper lid and the two projected blocks of the case.

[0008] According to an aspect of the present invention, the upper lid is flipped through 180° to engageably couple onto the case, in doing so, the upper lid will engageably couple with the case through a coupling means, and the two elastic slip lock arms will resiliently press against a lace from the top, while the two projected blocks of the case press against the lace from the bottom side, thus the lace is prevented from dislodging from the case, and remain secured in position. The buckle of the present invention is easy to operate, the lace can be secured accurately and can be suitably applied for securing a variety of laces.

[0009] According to another aspect of the present invention the end part of the two oblique elastic slip lock arms comprising a gear-like structures at a distal end part of each elastic slip lock arms are projected inwardly from the inner surface of the upper into the case, and face each other, and wherein the gear-like structures face away from the lace insertion hole. In other words, the gear-like structure of the oblique arms face the central region of the case, and face to each other. Thus the elastic slip lock arms together with the blocks of the case can effectively lock the lace and prevent from pulling out, thus the lace is prevented from coming loose from the through hole.

[0010] According to another aspect of the present invention, a hollow case with an open top and to one of its side, an upper lid is attached through an attachment part, as an integral piece. Thus, this design allows the manufacture of both the case and the upper lid by using, for example, a molding process in one step. Thus, the manufacture cost can be substantially reduced.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a buckle showing before covering the upper lid onto case of buckle according to the present invention.

[0012] FIG. 2 is an elevational view of a buckle showing after covering the upper lid onto case of buckle according to the present invention;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the buckle showing after covering the upper lid onto case of the buckle according to the present invention;

[0014] FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the buckle taken along another side, showing after covering the upper lid onto case of the buckle according to the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 5 is an elevational view showing after a lace is secured within the case of the buckle according to the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 6 is a sectional view showing after a lace is secured within the case of the buckle according to the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 7 is an exploded view of a conventional buckle; and

[0018] FIG. 8 is an exploded view of another conventional buckle.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] Reference will be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers are used in the drawings and the description to refer to the same or like parts.

[0020] Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4, show embodiments of the buckle, the lace buckle of the present invention comprises a hollow case 1 comprising an open top with one side of the open top attached to an upper lid 2 through a attachment part 3. The case 1 comprises a through hole 11 on two sides walls of the case 1, wherein said side walls are located opposite each other, a plurality of groove 111 is formed on one vertical side of the through hole 11 of case 1, a plurality of slip lock groove 1111 disposed on a vertical inner sidewall of the case 1, two projected blocks 112 disposed on a bottom inner surface of the case 1, and a U-shaped element 12 attached to one of the external side of the case 1, for supporting and securing the buckle in position.

[0021] One side upper lid 2 is attached to the case 1 through an attachment part 3, and on the other side, a plurality of slip lock elements 21, extending vertically from an inner surface along a perimeter of the upper lid 2, wherein each of the slip lock elements 21 comprises a slot 211. At a lateral central region of the upper lid 2, two oblique elastic slip lock arms 22 are extend vertically from an inner surface of the upper lid 2, and each distal end part of the elastic slip lock arm 22 have a gear-like structure 222, wherein the gear-like structure 222 of each of the elastic slip lock arms 22 face each other. The upper lid 2 is flipped over the case 1, and the slots 211 of the slip lock elements 21 of the upper lid 2 are engaged with the corresponding slip lock grooves 1111 of the case 1 to secure the upper lid 2 on to the case 1.

[0022] Referring to FIGS. 1, 3, 5 and 6, show two ends of a lace 4 are secured inside the case 1 of the lace buckle of the present invention enter the case 1. The two ends of the lace 4 are inserted through the through hole 11 of the case 1, wherein each end is passed through each end of the through hole 11. Next, the upper lid 2 is flipped over the case 1 by bending the upper lid 2 through 180° and the slip lock elements 21 of the upper lid 2 are engaged with the corresponding slip lock grooves 1111 of the case 1 to secure the upper lid 2 on to the case 1, as a result, the lace 4 is securely engaged in a gap between the gear-like structure 222 of the elastic slip lock arm 22 and the projected block 112 of the case 1, wherein the gear-like structure 222 of the elastic slip lock arms 22 are disposed resiliently against the lace 4, and the projected blocks 112 against the lace 4 from the bottom side and pressing against the lace 4 in position. Further more, a knitted belt 5 is securely fastened with the U-shaped element 12 of the case 1 for the lace buckle onto, for example, a surface of a shoe, a garment, a bag and the like.

[0023] According to an aspect of the present invention, by merely the upper lid 2 is flipped over the case 1 by bending the upper lid 2 through 180°, and engaging the slip lock hooks 211 of the upper lid 2 with the slip lock grooves 1111 of the case 1, the upper lid 2 is secured on to the case 1, as a result, the lace 4 is securely engaged in a gap between the gear-like structure 222 of the elastic slip lock arms 22 and the projected block 112 of the case 1, wherein the gear-like structure 222 of the elastic slip lock arms 22 are disposed resiliently against the lace 4, and the projected blocks 112 against the lace 4 from the bottom side and pressing against the lace 4 in position. Thus, this arrangement will effectively prevent the lace 4 pulling off from the case 1 once the lace 4 is secured in position as described above.

[0024] According to another aspect of the present invention, the lace buckle assembly, i. e. both the case 1 and the lid 2, can be manufactured using a plastic through a simple molding process, as one integral piece. Further, because all of the assembly parts of the buckle of the present invention can be manufactured by a single molding process, as one integral piece, and requires no additional parts or accessories in order to practice the invention, therefore the process, and use of the buckle is more simplified and cost effective. Although it should understood that the case and the upper lid can be two different components and may also used to practice the present invention.

[0025] While the invention has been described in conjunction with a specific best mode, it is to be understood that many alternatives, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the a foregoing description. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications, and variations which fall within the spirit and scope of the included claims. All matters set forth herein or shown in the accompanying drawings are to be interpreted in an illustrative and non-limiting sense.