Title:
"Chair with readily interchangeable cushions"
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A chair with replaceable cushions having a seat frame and a back frame. Upholstered cushions may be interchangeably and releasably attached to the seat frame and to the front and back of the back frame. The seat frame has slots for receiving tabs that are located on the underside of the interchangeable seat cushion. The seat cushion is further secured to the seat frame by a locking means. The back frame is connected to the seat frame by an L-shaped bracket. The back frame has molded fasteners or apertures for releasably attaching the back frame to front and back cushions which each contain complementary molded fasteners and apertures. The result of which is a chair having readily removable and interchangeable cushions.



Inventors:
Infanti, Vittorio (Staten Island, NY, US)
Application Number:
09/756020
Publication Date:
09/04/2003
Filing Date:
01/05/2001
Assignee:
INFANTI VITTORIO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C4/02; A47C5/06; A47C7/42; (IPC1-7): A47C7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VU, STEPHEN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert M. Pollaro (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A chair comprising: a back frame including an intergrally fixed hook and a fastener; a cushion having an opening complementary to the intergrally fixed hook for receiving the intergrally fixed hook and a tongue for releasably and detachably snap fitting with the fastener; a seat cushion having a bottom surface including an intergrally fixed tab and an intergrally fixed male fastener; a seat frame having a bottom surface including a slot for receiving the intergrally fixed tab and a locking means for releasably and detachably receiving the intergrally fixed male fastener, the seat frame being in mechanical communication with the back frame; a leg attached to the bottom surface of the seat frame.

2. The chair of claim 1 wherein the seat frame is attached to the back frame by a bracket.

3. The chair of claim 2 wherein the bracket is L-shaped and is attached to the seat frame and the back frame by screws or bolts.

4. The chair of claim 1 wherein the seat frame and back frame are molded plastic.

5. The chair of claim 1 wherein the seat frame and back frame are metallized, powder coated, painted, or custom molded into custom colors.

6. A chair back comprising: a back frame including an intergrally fixed hook and a fastener; a cushion having an opening complementary to the intergrally fixed hook for receiving the intergrally fixed hook and a tongue for releasably and detachably snap fitting into the tongue fastner.

7. A stool comprising: a seat cushion having an upper surface and a lower surface, the lower surface including an intergrally fixed tab and an intergrally fixed male fastener; a seat frame including a slot for receiving the intergrally fixed tab and a locking means for releasably and detachably receiving the intergrally fixed male fastener, the seat frame being in mechanical communication with the back frame; a leg attached to the lower surface of the seat frame.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to a chair having removable cushions of varying colors and designs that can be readily interchanged by the user. More particularly, the present invention relates to a chair having a releaseably detachable and interchangeable seat cushion, and releaseably detachable and interchangeable front and rear seat back cushions. The cushions may be mounted to injection molded plates. Additionally, the seat back can be interchanged with different seat back styles.

[0002] Typically, a chair does not contain readily replaceable cushions. The cushions and seat back used in chair design are meant to be permanently affixed for a given chair. Therefore, changing a chair cushion normally requires intensive labor and the use of tools.

[0003] In order to change the color or style of a typical chair cushion one had to reupholster the cushion. Similarly, in order to replace a damaged cushion one had to either reupholster the cushion or purchase a new chair. Prior art chairs also have the disadvantage that if a cushion of the chair becomes stained or soiled, the entire chair must be discarded or made unavailable while it is being cleaned or replaced. Similarly, if a chair owner wishes to vary the chair appearance this can only be done through labor intensive reupholstering or by purchasing a new chair.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] Accordingly, it is an objective of the present invention to provide a chair with readily replaceable and interchangeable components. It is therefore a further object of this invention to provide a chair with detachable and interchangeable seat cushions and front and rear seat back cushions in order to provide for variations in the design and appearance of the chair or to provide for the quick and simple replacement of damaged cushions.

[0005] It is therefore a further objective of this invention to provide a chair with a detachable and interchangeable seat back in order to provide for variations in the design and appearance of the chair.

[0006] It is therefore a further objective of this invention to provide a chair wherein the seat cushions and front and rear seat back cushions are detachable and interchangeable with an eliminated or at least minimized requirement for tools, reupholstering or other specialized effort.

[0007] It is therefore a further objective of this invention to provide a chair wherein the seat back can be replaced without the need for extensive or specialized effort.

[0008] It is therefore a further objective of this invention to provide the above objects while maintaining the structural integrity and lifetime of the chair.

[0009] It is therefore a further objective of this invention to provide the above objects while maintaining the practical and economical manufacturing costs.

[0010] These and other objects are attained by providing a chair with a seat frame and a back frame. The seat frame sits atop the leg or legs of the chair and includes slots for receiving tabs that are located on the underside of the seat cushion. Additionally, the seat frame includes a locking means for securing the seat cushion to the seat frame. Preferably, the locking means is a male-female device wherein a male fastener located on the lower surface of the seat cushion is locked into place by the locking means.

[0011] Then front and rear cushions are fixed to the back frame by aligning openings that are located in the attachment plates with complementary hooks which are located on the back frame. Once these openings have been aligned with their respective hooks the application of minimal force will allow the cushions to snap fit to the back frame thereby securely fixing the cushions to the back frame.

[0012] The use of the tab and locking means to secure the seat cushion to the seat frame and the use of the hook and slot locking system to secure the front and back cushions to the back frame is intended to eliminate the need for secondary tooling operations in the attachment and removal of the seat cushion and the front and back cushions. An establishment could therefore own a single set of chairs with multiple replacement cushions which could be selected as appropriate for the occasion and releaseably attached to the chair. Similarly, damaged cushions could be simply detached and replaced with new cushions. The seat frame and the back frame can be made of many materials including plastic with a metallized coating.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] The foregoing features and other aspects of the invention are explained in the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

[0014] FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the chair of the present invention.

[0015] FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the chair of the present invention with the seat cushion and front cushion in place.

[0016] FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the chair of the present invention with the seat cushion and front cushion removed.

[0017] FIG. 4 is a plan and profile view of the seat frame of the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 5 is a plan and profile view of the front attachment plate of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] Hereinafter, the invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the preferred embodiments. However, it is understood that the device and associated method of the invention are applicable to provide removable cushions from any number of surfaces, preferably from the front or back of the back frame and from the seat frame.

[0020] FIG. 1 is an exploded view showing the components of the chair 20 of the present invention. The chair includes a seat frame 21. The seat frame 21 is typically made of molded plastic and can be metallized to achieve a luxurious metallic appearance. Likewise, powder-coating, painting or custom molding with custom color selection can be used to achieve a luxurious appearance. This eliminates the need for secondary finishing the seat frame 21. The seat frame 21 includes a locking means 23, slots 22 and threaded apertures or holes 31. Legs 24 are attached to the bottom surface 83 of the seat frame 21.

[0021] Seat cushion 80 includes seat attachment plate 25 and foam padding covered by upholstery 28. Tabs 27 and male fastener 85 are located on the bottom surface 84 of seat attachment plate 25. Seat cushion 80 is releasably and interchangeably attached to seat frame 21 by inserting tabs 27 into slots 22 and by inserting male fastener 85 into locking means 23. Locking means 23 may consist of a rotateable wheel locking device wherein the male fastener 85 may be inserted in the wheel locking device 23 and locked into place by turning the wheel.

[0022] FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of chair 20 as it appears with the seat cushion 80 and front cushion 81 in place. FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of chair 20 as it appears with the seat cushion 80 and front cushion 81 removed. Foam padding and upholstery 28 may be fixed to seat attachment plate 25 in any number of ways to for seat cushion 83. For example, foam padding and upholstery 28 can be upholstered directly to seat attachment plate 25. In that case, seat cushion 80 acts a single unit. Foam padding and upholstery 70 may be fixed to front attachment plate 50 to form front cushion 81. Similarly, foam padding and upholstery 70 may be fixed to rear attachment plate 60 to form rear cushion 82.

[0023] As best viewed in FIG. 4, chair 20 includes a back frame 40. Back frame 40 includes front hooks 45 and rear hooks 46. Back frame 40 further includes openings 43, 61 and a front fastener 42 and a rear fastener 44. Opening 43 is located under front fastener 42 such that when front cushion 81 is attached to back frame 40, front cushion 81 may be released or detached by pressing tongue 51 thereby disengaging tongue 51 from front fastener 42. Similarly, opening 61 is located under rear fastener 44 such that when rear cushion 82 is attached to back frame 40, rear cushion 81 may be released or detached by pressing tongue 52 thereby disengaging tongue 52 from rear fastener 44. Although a particular arrangement of hooks 45, 46, fasteners 42, 44, and openings 53, 62 have been illustrated in the drawings, it should be understood that any arrangement hooks 45, 46, fasteners 42, 44, and openings 53, 62 would suffice to carry out the objective of the present invention.

[0024] As best viewed in FIG. 5, front attachment plate 50 includes a plurality of openings 53 complimentary to front hooks 45. Front attachment plate 50 further includes a tongue 51 and a double tongue 52. Rear attachment plate 60 includes a plurality of openings 53 complimentary to rear hooks 46. Rear attachment plate 60 further includes a tongue 51 and a double tongue 52.

[0025] Front hooks 45 are arranged to facilitate a releasable and interchangeable connection between to the front cushion 81 and the front surface 58 of back frame 40. Similarly, rear hooks 46 are arranged to facilitate a releasable and interchangeable connection between the rear cushion 82 and the rear surface 59 of back frame 40.

[0026] In order to facilitate ease in manufacturing, front attachment plate 50 and rear attachment plate 60 may be identical. In that case, in order to manufacture front cushion 81, the front surface 54 of front attachment plate 50 must be upholstered with foam padding and upholstery 70. Conversely, to manufacture rear cushion 82, the rear surface 55 of front attachment plate 50 must be upholstered with foam padding and upholstery 70. Front cushion 81 and rear cushion 82 are complementary in shape to back frame 40. While back frame 40, front cushion 81 and rear cushion 82 are illustrated as planar, some designs may present a concave surface to the back of the seated person. In this case, front cushion 81 would present a convex surface to back frame 40 and rear cushion 82 would present a concave surface to seat frame 40.

[0027] Front cushion 81 is secured to back frame 40 by inserting front hooks 45 into complimentary arranged openings 53 such that a minimal amount of force will cause tongue 51 to snap fit into fastener 42 thereby fixing front cushion 81 to back frame 40. Rear cushion 82 is secured to back frame 40 by inserting rear hooks 46 into complimentary arranged openings 62 such that a minimal amount of force will cause double tongue 52 to snap fit into fastener 44 thereby fixing rear cushion 82 to back frame 40.

[0028] FIG. 4 illustrates one arrangement of front hooks 45 and rear hooks 46 whereby the front attachment plate 50 and rear attachment plate 60 may be releasably and interchangeably attached to back frame 40.

[0029] The back frame 40 includes threaded apertures or holes 31. L-shaped bracket 29 includes complimentary arranged apertures or holes 31 so that the horizontal portion of L-shaped bracket 29 may be connected to the seat frame 21 and the vertical portion of the L-shaped bracket 29 may be connected to the back frame 40.

[0030] In order to assemble chair 20, a back frame 40 is chosen and affixed to seat frame 21 by the use of L-shaped bracket 29. Seat cushion 80 is then fixed to seat frame 21 by aligning tabs 27 and male fastener 85 with slots 22 and locking device 23 respectively. Then front cushion 81 is fixed to back frame 40 by aligning openings 53 with complementary front hooks 45. Once openings 53 have been aligned with front hooks 45 the application of minimal force will allow tongue 51 to snap fit into front fastener 42 thereby securely fixing front cushion 81 to the front surface 58 of back frame 40. Similarly, rear cushion 82 is fixed to back frame 40 by aligning openings 62 with complementary rear hooks 46. Once openings 62 have been aligned with rear hooks 46 the application of minimal force will allow double tongue 52 to snap fit into rear fastener 44 thereby securely fixing rear cushion 82 to the rear surface 59 of back 40.