Title:
Adjustable rod mounting system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A novel adjustable rod mounting system including a rod having at least one hollow end and at least one attachment plug being attached to a support structure and extending into the hollow end. The attachment plug is configured to be attached to a support structure, and extend within the at least one hollow end.



Inventors:
Lavi, Gavriel (Larchmont, NY, US)
Weiss, Gregory M. (Long Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/035821
Publication Date:
07/20/2006
Filing Date:
01/14/2005
Assignee:
Lido Designs (Valencia, CA, US)
LAVI INDUSTRIES
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/08; A47K3/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN LLP (LA) (McLean, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A rod assembly configured to be secured between first and second support structures comprising: an expandable rod having first and second hollow ends; a first attachment plug configured to extend within the first hollow end; means for attaching the first attachment plug to the first support structure; a second attachment plug configured to extend within the second hollow end; and means for attaching the second attachment plug to the second support structure.

2. The rod assembly according to claim 1, wherein the means for attaching the first attachment plug is selected from the group consisting of a mechanical fastener, a nail, a bolt, a screw, an adhesive, and prongs.

3. The rod assembly according to claim 1, wherein the expandable rod is expanded by way of a twisting action.

4. The rod assembly according to claim 1, wherein the expandable rod is expanded by way of a spring.

5. The rod assembly according to claim 1, wherein the expandable rod is formed from a material selected from the group consisting of plastic, wood, steel, tin, aluminum, metal, and a combinations thereof.

6. The rod assembly according to claim 1, wherein the first attachment plug is formed from a material selected from the group consisting of plastic, wood, steel, tin, aluminum, metal, and a combinations thereof.

7. The rod assembly according to claim 1, wherein the first attachment is equipped with a collar.

8. The rod assembly according to claim 1, wherein the expandable rod is comprised of first and second rod portions, and further wherein the first and second rod portions are positioned with respect to each other by a positioning means selected from the group consisting of a screw mechanism, an internal friction mechanism, a spring, and a metal tab on the first rod portion which fits into a corresponding opening on the second rod portion.

9. A rod assembly configured to be secured between first and second support structures comprising: a first tube having first and second ends, the first tube being equipped with a first plurality of threads on the inside of the second end, wherein the first end of the first tube is hollow; a second tube having first and second ends, wherein the second end of the second tube is hollow, and further wherein the first end of the second tube extends into the second end of the first tube; a second plurality of threads secured to an exterior of the second hollow tube for extendably coupling with the first plurality of threads; a first attachment plug configured to extend within the first end of the first tube; means for attaching the first attachment plug to the first support structure; a second attachment plug configured to extend within the second end of the second tube; and means for attaching the second attachment plug to the second support structure.

10. The rod assembly according to claim 9, wherein the means for attaching the first attachment plug is selected from the group consisting of a mechanical fastener, a nail, a bolt, a screw, an adhesive, and prongs.

11. The rod assembly according to claim 9, wherein the expandable rod is formed from a material selected from the group consisting of plastic, wood, steel, tin, aluminum, metal, and a combinations thereof.

12. The rod assembly according to claim 9, wherein the first attachment plug is formed from a material selected from the group consisting of plastic, wood, steel, tin, aluminum, metal, and a combinations thereof.

13. The rod assembly according to claim 9, wherein the first attachment is equipped with a collar.

14. A rod assembly configured to be secured between first and second support structures comprising: a first tube having first and second ends, the first end of the first tube being hollow and the second end of the first tube having a first internal diameter; a second tube having first and second ends, the first end of the second tube having a first external diameter and the second end of the second tube being hollow, wherein the first end of the second tube extends into the second end of the first tube and further wherein the first internal diameter and the first external diameter are such that the second end of the first tube frictionally engages the first end of the second tube; a first attachment plug configured to extend within the first end of the first tube; means for attaching the first attachment plug to the first support structure; a second attachment plug configured to extend within the second end of the second tube; and means for attaching the second attachment plug to the second support structure.

15. The rod assembly according to claim 14, wherein the means for attaching the first attachment plug is selected from the group consisting of a mechanical fastener, a nail, a bolt, a screw, an adhesive, and prongs.

16. The rod assembly according to claim 14, wherein the expandable rod is formed from a material selected from the group consisting of plastic, wood, steel, tin, aluminum, metal, and a combinations thereof.

17. The rod assembly according to claim 14, wherein the first attachment plug is formed from a material selected from the group consisting of plastic, wood, steel, tin, aluminum, metal, and a combinations thereof.

18. The rod assembly according to claim 14, wherein the first attachment is equipped with a collar.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates generally to utility poles designed to be positioned in a generally horizontal arrangement, and more specifically to an adjustable rod for use with first and second interior fittings which are attached to vertical posts or walls.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There is a need to provide, in private homes, hotels, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and elsewhere, generally horizontal utility poles or support structures which may be used to hang clothes, shower curtains and the like. There is also a need to provide such structures in a manner which is aesthetically pleasing and does not consume unnecessary space.

Temporary horizontal support devices are known in the art. One type of support device is held in place by friction. While such friction-fit support devices are typically fairly easy to install and remove, they are also less reliable and, over time, have a tendency to slip or fall down. Friction-fit support devices may be stable for a longer period of time if they are equipped with larger end pieces. However, such end pieces are less aesthetically appealing. Furthermore they only serve to prolong the support device's ability to stay horizontal. Even support devices having larger end pieces have a tendency to slip and fall over time if they are held up solely by friction.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,330,061, to Geltz, discloses a spinning shower rod assembly. This shower rod assembly is telescoping, and utilizes a flexible threaded rod. One end of the threaded rod is braced against one support, while the second end engages threads within a hollow tube. Over time, it is expected that this shower rod will slip and fall.

If the horizontal pressure is too low in a friction-fit device, the support may not be capable of supporting the weight of the articles which are hung on it (clothes, shower curtains, etc.). Similarly, if the horizontal pressure is too high, the support may damage the surfaces against which its ends abut. This is especially true in the case of drywall surfaces where, if the longitudinal pressure is too high, the end of the structure abutting against the drywall may cause it to buckle and/or be crushed. On occasion, certain users have difficulty positioning the support with sufficient pressure to support the weight of the articles which are hung on it.

Some utility poles known in the art fit in to separate braces which may be independently affixed to walls or other support structures, thus obviating the concern about slipping over time. However, such braces typically have a circumference which is larger than the circumference of the utility pole. Thus, such a configuration may not be aesthetically appealing.

It would be advantageous to have a horizontal support which, when installed, provides the necessary lateral support during use without risk of damaging wall surfaces, and is aesthetically appealing to the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first end of the rod and attachment plug according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a first end of the rod and attachment plug according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention as it would appear when installed between two generally vertical supports.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A novel adjustable rod mounting system has been discovered, whereby a adjustable rod may be attached to opposing support structures through the use of two attachment plugs. Each such attachment plug is attached to a support structure, and then inserted within a hollow end of an adjustable rod. Since the attachment plugs are attached to the walls, and then inserted within the rod, this allows for a virtually invisible or hidden attachment to the wall. Furthermore, since the rod is supported by the attachment plugs, users do not have to worry about positioning the support with sufficient horizontal pressure to support the weight of the articles which are hung on it.

The rod may or may not be permanently affixed to the attachment plugs. Such affixation may be achieved by any means known in the art, including pressure and gluing. If the horizontal rod is not permanently affixed to the attachment plugs, the user may readily remove the horizontal rod. This may be desirable in many instances. For example, a user may require a drying rod in the laundry room or a bathroom, but want to remove the rod when it is not in use. The relatively small attachment plugs will not present an eyesore when the rod is not present.

The rod may be formed in two or more pieces, and may be formed from any material known in the art having sufficient strength to be used as a support rod. By way of example, and not of limitation, the rod may be formed from plastic, wood, steel, tin, aluminum, other metals, or combinations thereof. Similarly, each attachment plug may be formed from any material known in the art having sufficient strength to support the rod and whatever is hung from the rod. By way of example, and not of limitation, each support plug may be formed from plastic, wood, steel, tin, aluminum, other metals, or combinations thereof.

The multiple sections of the rod are configured so that they lock into place with respect to one another. As used herein, ‘lock’ refers to a snug fit, so that the individual sections do not readily slide with respect to each other. The locking may be achieved by any means that is known in the art. By way of example, and not of limitation, such locking may be achieved by a screw mechanism, an internal friction mechanism, a spring, or a metal tab on a first rod portion which fits into a corresponding opening on a second rod portion.

As shown herein, the attachment plugs are generally circular in shape. In those instances where it is desirable that the support rod not rotate, the attachment plugs may have a different geometric shape, and the corresponding hollow end of the rod may be configured to slide over such shape. By way of example, and not of limitation, the attachment plug may be oval, quadrangular, triangular, trapezoidal, or have a non-traditional geometric shape. Such a configuration may be preferred when using a rod which may be extended by movement of a hinge.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the mounting system according to the present invention. A first end of the rod 10 is configured to fit over attachment plug 12. In this embodiment, the attachment plug 12 may be attached to a vertical support (not shown) through use of a screw 14. Screw 14 should be of sufficient length so that it may extend through attachment plug 12 and into the vertical support a sufficient distance to provide support for the weight of the rod plus any articles which are hung from the rod. In one embodiment of the invention, attachment plug 12 is equipped with threads that are appropriately sized for the chosen screw.

The utility pole or rod 10 according to the present invention has first and second hollow ends. In one embodiment of the invention, the rod is adjustable in length. Such adjustment may be telescopic in nature. For example, the adjustment may be performed by twisting two segments of the same rod in opposite directions so that internal threads or other screw mechanism allow the rod to expand in length. Alternatively, the expansion may be caused by spring or by any other means known in the art.

Each attachment plug may be attached to its vertical support in many different ways. By way of example, and not of limitation, an attachment plug may be attached using a mechanical fastener. Such mechanical fasteners may include, but are not limited to, tacks, nails, bolts and screws. The attachment plugs may be attached by an adhesive such as glue. Alternatively, the attachment plugs may be designed to fit into pre-drilled holes. By way of example, and not of limitation, the attachment plugs may include prongs which are configured to fit into the European Standard 32 mm hanging system. FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a first end of the rod and attachment plug according to one embodiment of the present invention, wherein the attachment plug 20 is equipped with a plurality of prongs 22 designed to fit with the European Standard 32 mm hanging system.

The circumference of attachment plug 16 is just slightly smaller than the interior circumference of the rod 10, so that the rod 10 fits snugly on the attachment plug 16.

In the embodiment of the invention depicted in FIG. 1, the attachment plug 12 is equipped with a collar 16. Similarly, in FIG. 2, the attachment plug 20 is equipped with a collar 16. Collar 16 serves to prevent the rod 10 from hitting, and possibly scratching or otherwise damaging the supporting surface. Collar 16 may have a circumference that is smaller, larger or the same as the exterior circumference of the rod 10. It may be preferable for the collar 16 to have a circumference that is approximately the same as the exterior circumference of the rod 10, as this makes the fitting virtually invisible, leaving an impression that is pleasing to the eye.

Still further alternatively, the attachment plugs may be attached to the vertical support using a plurality of attachment means. For example, an attachment plug may be first glued, then screwed in place. One of ordinary skill in the art will realize that there may be other means for attaching the attachment plugs to the vertical supports, and such means are within the scope of this invention.

Means known in the art to provide enhanced stability when affixing items to softer surfaces may be employed in association with the present invention. By way of example, and not of limitation, countersunk screws may be used to affix the attachment plug 12 to a vertical support.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention as it would appear when installed between two generally vertical supports 30. As may be seen, in this embodiment of the invention rod 10 is composed of a first segment 32 and a second segment 34. As indicated by the arrows, the rod 10 may be expanded by rotating the first segment 32 relative to the second segment 34. If it is desired to remove the rod 10, a user may simply rotate the first segment 32 relative to the second segment 34 in the opposition direction.

As discussed above, the horizontal rod according to the present invention is equipped with two hollow ends. In one embodiment of the invention, the entire rod is hollow. In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, the rod may be only partially hollow. In a still further alternate embodiment of the present invention, the rod (with its two hollow ends) may be equipped with an internal expansion mechanism such as is known in the art.

While the present invention is particularly suitable for use as a closet rod or a shower rod, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the present invention may be used in a variety of different configurations. Furthermore, while the present invention has been described with respect to a generally horizontal configuration, one of ordinary skill in the art will realize that the present invention may be positioned in a vertical configuration or, if the attachment plugs are appropriately angled, in an angular configuration.

While the description above refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The accompanying claims are intended to cover such modifications as would fall within the true scope and spirit of the present invention.

The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims, rather than the foregoing description, and all changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.





 
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