Title:
Rotational plant basket holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A plant basket hanger that allows hanging potted plants to be rotated. A hook with a snap or lock-in shaft that would mate to a hanger embodiment that has three or four long runners with clip or lock-in ends to attach to a plant basket while the upper ends of said runners form various top portions with a center hole for hook attachment.



Inventors:
Vogt, Paul Andrew (W. St. Paul, MN, US)
Application Number:
10/681593
Publication Date:
04/14/2005
Filing Date:
10/09/2003
Assignee:
VOGT PAUL ANDREW
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
47/67
International Classes:
A47G7/04; (IPC1-7): A47G7/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WUJCIAK, ALFRED J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAUL ANDREW VOGT (W. ST. PAUL, MN, US)
Claims:
1. 1-12. (canceled)

13. A plant basket comprising: a) an open-topped pot having an outward directed, flanged wall displaced along a sidewall and above a bottom wall and including an alignment key that projects from an interior surface of said sidewall, and further including an aperture that extends through said sidewall above said flanged wall; and b) a plate member supported on said flanged wall having a generally flat portion and a water inlet shroud that rises from said flat portion and communicates with a peripheral edge of said plate member, wherein said shroud comprises a successively increasing portion of said plate member that rises above said aperture such that a bottom surface portion of said plate member surrounds said through aperture and defines a channel that communicates with an open space within said pot beneath said plate member, wherein said plate member includes a recess at said peripheral edge that mates with said key and aligns said shroud to said aperture, wherein said plate member includes a hole having a barbed edge that projects into a bore of said hole, and wherein an absorbent wick member is mounted in said bore and secured to said barbed edge to extend generally orthogonal to said plate member, whereby water stored in the bottom of said pot is wicked into soil contained in said pot above said plate member.

14. A plant basket as set forth in claim 13 wherein said wick member comprises a length of rope.

15. A plant basket as set forth in claim 13 wherein said plate member includes a depending support pillar that contacts said bottom wall.

16. A plant basket as set forth in claim 13 wherein said key projects from said flanged wall.

17. A plant basket comprising: a) an open-topped pot having a support surface displaced along a sidewall and above a bottom wall and including an alignment key that projects from an interior surface of said sidewall, and further including an aperture that extends through said sidewall above said flanged wall; and b) a plate member supported on said support surface to define a water reservoir between said bottom wall and said plate member and having a generally flat portion and a water inlet shroud that rises from said flat portion and communicates with a peripheral edge of said plate member, wherein said shroud comprises a successively increasing portion of said plate member that rises above said aperture such that a bottom surface portion of said plate member surrounds said through aperture and defines a channel that communicates with said water reservoir, wherein said plate member includes a recess at said peripheral edge that mates with said key and aligns said shroud to said aperture, wherein said plate member includes a hole having a barbed edge that projects into a bore of said hole, and wherein an absorbent wick member is mounted in said bore and secured to said barbed edge to extend generally orthogonal to said plate member, whereby water stored in said water reservoir is wicked into soil contained in said pot above said plate member.

18. A plant basket comprising: a) an open-topped pot having an outward directed, flanged wall displaced along a sidewall and above a bottom wall and including an alignment key that projects from an interior surface of said sidewall, and further including an aperture that extends through said sidewall above said flanged wall; and b) a plate member supported on said flanged wall having a generally flat portion and a water inlet shroud that rises from said flat portion and communicates with a peripheral edge of said plate member, wherein said shroud comprises a successively increasing portion of said plate member that rises above said aperture such that a bottom surface portion of said plate member surrounds said through aperture and defines a channel that communicates with an open space within said pot beneath said plate member, wherein said plate member includes a recess at said peripheral edge that mates with said key and aligns said shroud to said aperture, wherein said plate member includes a hole having a bore, and wherein an absorbent wick member is mounted in said bore and secured to said hole to extend generally orthogonal to said plate member, whereby water stored in the bottom of said pot is wicked into soil contained in said pot above said plate member.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to hanging baskets for plants and, in particular, to a discrete hanger which would allow hanging plant baskets (pots) to be rotated by hand or wind. This function would enable plants to receive ample and even sunlight without the hassle of unhooking and lifting a hanging plant to turn it.

It would also enable people to rotate a hanging plant also while watering for more even watering, especially on larger hanging plants.

Applicant is aware of a variety of hanging basket hangers commercially marketed but none with a rotational hook implemented.

Applicant did apply and receive a design patent for a snap in hook type hanger. Design patent was filed Jun. 25, 1999 and granted Jan. 30, 2001. U.S. Pat. No. D436,840 S.

Applicant has since discovered after the granting of design patent number U.S. Pat. No. D436,840 S design flaws which are not feasible or able to be used for manufacture of product.

Applicant has since also discovered more appropriate and feasible means to readily manufacture a product of this nature.

Applicant most notably has discovered the hook if designed correctly will rotate on the hanger, and has determined a variety of ways this could be accomplished.

Applicant accordingly believes a need exists for a rotational hanger for hanging plant baskets (pots).

Applicant also wishes to disclose the fact that he unveiled for the first time a rotational type basket (pot) hanger for hanging plants at the National Hardware show in Chicago, Ill. on Aug. 10, 11, 12 of 2003, but has not made any market sales as of October 2003.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In appreciation of the need for the foregoing rotational plant hanger and for the short comings of available plant hangers, applicant has developed a variety of rotational hanging plant hangers which will enable a person or the wind to spin a hanging plant basket (pot).

It is accordingly a primary objective of the invention to provide a snap in rotational type hook with perspective hanger embodiment.

It is another objective of the invention to provide for a rotational plant basket (pot) hanger which accommodates a variety of basket (pot) styles and sizes.

It is still further objective of the invention to provide for a plant basket hanger constructed as a two piece part to minimize cost.

Various of the above objects, advantages and distinctions of the invention are particularly achieved in a number of alternative constructions developed by applicant. In one such embodiment, a molded plastic hanger body is molded to provide a rounded flat upper base area with a centered hole where a molded plastic hook body that is molded in a hook shape and has a centered shaft with a protrusion to act as a snap and another shaft ending protrusion to act as a stopper can be pulled through the hole of the upper base area of the hanger body and be captured. From the round upper base area of the hanger body three long runners extend downward to where their ends form into rounding clips which would enable the hanger body to be connected to an accommodating plant basket (pot). In other embodiments the hook body portion comprises a protrusion or protrusions which may encompass or be intermittent on the hook shaft portion and act as a snap or lock-in system with the hook shaft end stopper protrusion. In other embodiments the hanger body portion comprises an upper flat base area with centered hole for hook body that can be formed round, triangular or square to accommodate three or four runners with appropriate runner end clips or lock-in ends compatible to capture perspective plant baskets or pots.

The foregoing objects, advantages and distinctions of the invention, as well as the detailed construction, will be more apparent hereinafter upon reference to the following description thereof with respect to the appended drawings. Before referring thereto, it is to be appreciated the following description is made by way of the presently preferred and alternative embodiments only, which should not be interpreted in limitation of the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed hereinafter. To the extent modifications or enhancements have been contemplated, they are described as appropriate.

BREIF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an isometric view of a rotational plant basket hanger having four runners with lock-in clip ends.

FIG. 2 shows an isometric view of an alternative hanger body having three runners with clip ends.

FIG. 3 shows an isometric view of an alternative hanger body having four runners with clip ends.

FIG. 4 shows an isometric view of an alternative hanger body having three runners with lock-in clip ends.

FIG. 5 shows an isometric view of a hanger hook with collapsible lock-in shaft mountable in hanger body in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4.

FIG. 6 shows an isometric view of an alternative hanger hook with stopper end and lock-in band mountable in hanger body in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 4.

FIG. 7 shows an isometric view of an alternative hanger hook with lock-in pegs mountable in hanger body in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1, an isometric view is shown of a presently preferred, rotational plant basket hanger assembly 10. The assembly 10 is formed as a two piece assembly and provides a hanger body 11 and hook piece 12. The hook piece 12 is secured permanently or semi-permanently through the centered hook receiving hole 31 on the oval top portion 14 of the hanger body 11.

Directing attention also to FIG. 6, the hook piece 12 in FIG. 1 is shown separated from hanger body 11 to view the entire hook piece embodiment 150. The hook body 28 is rounded to be compatible with circular hook receiving hole 31 on hanger body 11.

The hook embodiment 150 has a half circular or arc shaped top portion 20 of which the frontal portion ends with a rounded tip 21 while the back portion 19 curves around and drops downwardly to form a vertical shaft 22 creating an open recessed area 15 which would allow the basket hanger assembly 10 to accommodate a variety of mounting applications. The vertical shaft 22 has a protruding tapered lock-in band 23 which encircles the hook shaft 22 and works in unison with the mushroom shaped hook stopper end 29 at the base of the hook embodiment 150 to capture the hanger body 11.

The hook stopper end 29 has a curved bottom 28 with a spherical upper flat surface 27 protruding outward from the vertical shaft 22.

Mounting the hook embodiment 150 to the hanger body 11 requires the rounded tip 21 of the hook piece 12 to enter the hook receiving hole 31 from the level bottom portion 33 of the oval top 14 on the hanger body 11. The hook piece 12 is then ultimately slid upward manually through the hook receiving hole 31 until the lock-in band 23 is above the level top portion 32 and the stopper end 29 has met the level bottom portion 33 of the oval top 14 on the hanger body 11, thus the hook piece 12 is now attached.

In FIG. 1 the hanger body 11 has four round runners 16 which project downwardly from the level bottom portion 33 of the oval top 14 hanger body 11. There are lock-in ends 18 at the base or end of each of the four runners 16 to attach an accommodating basket 50 securely.

Each runner end 18 has a bulge 44 which acts in unison with tapered protrusion(s) 41 to securely mate hanger assembly 10 to accommodating basket rim 49. The hanger body 11 could also incorporate alternatively preferred runner clip-type ends in FIGS. 2, 3, or 4 for basket attachment.

The embodiments of FIG. 1 to 7 are particularly molded from a polypropylene or other suitable plastic material. Such materials also find ready application with injection molding processes and have sufficient shape retention properties which are maintainable when exposed to ultraviolet light and heat.

In passing it might also be noted that the rotational plant basket hanger assembly 10 is approximately 18 to 24 inches tall. The hook embodiment 150 is approximately 2¼ to 4 inches wide, 4 to 5½; inches tall and ¼ to ½ inch thick. The hanger body 11 will have a long and short version approximately 12-20 inches dictated by the length of the runners 16. The oval top portion 14 is approximately 1¼ to 2 inches wide and ¼ to {fraction (3/8)} inch thick. The foregoing dimensions are however illustrative only of a presently preferred embodiment and may be appropriately changed as necessary to accommodate a variety of different types and sizes of plant baskets 50.

Referring to FIG. 2, an isometric view is shown of another presently preferred rotational plant basket hanger body 52. Generally the hanger body 52 has an oval top portion 53 with hook mating hole 60 like that of hanger body 11 shown in FIG. 1.

However in FIG. 2 from the oval top portion 53, there are three runners 65 projecting downwardly evolving into U-shaped clip ends 70 for accommodating plant basket 50.

The clip ends 70 have a radius top portion 71 dropping downwardly forming two vertical sides 72 which then hook inward and then upwardly 73 ending thereafter, creating a recessed area 76 for attachment means to plant basket rim 49 shown in FIG. 1.

It might also be noted that the embodiment 69 of the clip ends 70 is approximately ½ to ¾ inches wide by 1 to 1½ inches tall. The recess 76 is approximately ½ inch wide by ½ to 1 inch deep. Again, the foregoing dimensions are however illustrative only of a presently preferred embodiment and may be appropriately changed as necessary to accommodate a variety of different types and sizes of plant baskets 50.

The hanger body 52 can also incorporate the hook embodiment 150 shown in FIG. 6.

Directing further attention to FIG. 3 an isometric view is shown of another presently preferred rotational plant basket hanger body 77 having a rectangular top portion 80 with a centered circular cavity 79 for hook piece 12 shown in FIG. 6. The square top portion 80 has a level upper surface 81 and from the level lower portion 82 multiple runners 87 project downwardly.

At the lower ends of the runners 87 are push-in clips 89 for basket attachment. The push-in clips 89 have a circular top portion 91 projecting downwardly forming two semi-vertical sides 92 with hook-shaped ends 95 which project outwardly forming a V-shaped recess area 97 to capture accommodating plant basket 50.

With attention next directed to FIG. 4 an alternatively preferred hanger body 100 is shown having a rigid triangular top portion 102 with a level top surface 103 and level bottom surface 104. A centered circular hole 101 which could have tapered walls 105 from top to bottom or vise versa further enabling the assembly of hook embodiment 150 in FIG. 6.

From the triangular top portion 102 three long runners 107 stretch downwardly forming into three hook shaped ends 112 for accommodating plant basket 50. The base point 109 of the hook-shaped ends 112 may be sharp or rounded (not shown) before turning upwards to form tips 110. Circular protrusion 108 at the lower end of the runners 107 work in unison with hook shaped ends 112 to prevent free play once attached to accommodating basket 50.

FIG. 5 shows an alternatively preferred hook piece 125 similar to that of FIG. 6, but wherein the vertical shaft 135 is divided into sectional portions 145 via a cross-shaped recess 149.

The hook piece 125 has an arc-shaped top portion 130 with a frontal portion 128 ending in a rounded tip 127 while the back portion 133 curves around and downwardly to form the vertical shaft 135, thus leaving an open recess 126 between the rounded tip 127 and vertical shaft 135 which would allow hanger assembly multiple mounting applications. The hook body 129 is round and could be chamfered to save plastic material.

The vertical shaft 135 as mentioned divides into multi-sectional portions 145 by the cross-shaped recess 149 which is open from the bottom end of the hook piece 125 upwards to the projecting lock-in band portions 136. The projecting lock-in band portions 136 work in unison with the protruding stopper ends 146 to affix the hook piece 125 to any hanger body in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 or 4.

The protruding stopper ends 146 jut out from the lower portion of the sectional vertical shaft portions 145 then taper downwards toward center forming tips 147 similar to that of an arrowhead. The semi-recessed area 142 between the projecting lock-in band portions and the top portion of the protruding stopper ends 146 which intermittently encircles the vertical shaft is where the mating hole on a hanger body is captured.

To define the hook piece 125 more thoroughly, its application to the hanger body 100 in FIG. 4 will be examined. To affix the hook piece 125 to the hanger body 100 requires the protruding stopper ends 146 at the base of the hook piece 125 be pushed into and through the hook receiving hole 101 from the upper level surface 103 of the triangular top portion 102. On the hook piece 125 the cross-shaped recess 149 will allow the protruding stopper ends 146 which have a larger circumference than the hook receiving hole 101 to collapse inward allowing them to pass through the hook receiving hole 101 to the lower level portion 104 of the triangular top portion 102 at which time they will recoil outwards while the projecting lock-in band portions 136 halt further progress resulting in an assembled rotational plant basket hanger 50.

It should also be said a lock-in band of variable shape could be molded above the cross-shaped recess 149 to encircle the hook shaft 135 as well as, one or more protrusions appropriately placed to act in unison with the protruding stopper ends 146 to mate hook piece 125 with a hanger body (not shown).

Also a Y-shaped recess on the hook shaft 135 of the hook piece 125 could also invite a collapsible shaft (not shown).

Lastly, FIG. 7 shows another alternatively preferred hook piece 160 which is similar to that of FIGS. 5 and 6, wherefore it has an arcing top portion 162 with a frontal rounded tip 163 and a rear portion 164 that curves downwardly to the vertical hook shaft 165. At the base of the hook shaft 165 is a coin-shaped protruding stopper end 172 that juts outwardly from the hook shaft 165 forming an upper level surface 174 and flat bottom 175. Positioned higher up from the stopper end 172 on the hook shaft 165 are one or more protruding lock-in tabs 167 that have a tapered top 168 and bottom portion 169.

Assembling the hook piece 160, for example, to the hanger body 77 shown in FIG. 3 requires the hook tip 163 to enter the hook receiving hole 79 from the bottom surface 82 of the square top portion 80 on the hanger body 77. The hook piece 160 is ultimately slid manually upwards through the hook receiving hole 79 until the protruding lock-in tabs 167 are above the level top surface 81 of the square top portion 80 and the hook stopper end 172 has met the bottom surface 82 of the square top portion 80. Thus the hook piece 160 is now affixed to the hanger body 77.

It should be noted that the hook receiving hole on any one of the hanger bodies shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4 could also have tapered inner walls to more easily accommodate assembly of hook pieces shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7.

It should also be noted that the hanger bodies shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4 could incorporate any one of the alternatively preferred basket attachment end means represented amongst said figures.

While the present invention has been described with respect to a number of presently preferred and alternative embodiments, it is to be appreciated that still other embodiments and modifications thereto might be suggested to those of skill in the art. Accordingly, it is contemplated that the following claims should be interpreted to include all those equivalent embodiments within the spirit and scope of the invention.