Title:
Lower chair shelf
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a planar member having a plurality of leg members extending vertically down from the planar member, and each of the leg members define a clamping structure.



Inventors:
Mcguire, Frederic (Indianapolis, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/404669
Publication Date:
11/23/2006
Filing Date:
04/14/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/62
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCPARTLIN, SARAH BURNHAM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FAEGRE DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH LLP (INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A shelf comprising: a planar member having a plurality of leg members extending vertically down from said planar member, each of said plurality of leg members defining a clamping structure.

2. The shelf of claim I wherein said planar member has a flat surface, said flat surface defining an opening therein.

3. A foldable chair comprising: a plurality of legs including a first pair of legs and a second pair of legs; a first support member connected to each leg of said first pair of legs and extending there between; a second support member connected to each leg of said second pair of legs and extending there between; and a planar member having a plurality of leg members extending vertically down from said planar member, each of said plurality of leg members defining a clamping structure that attaches to one of said first and second support members.

4. The foldable chair of claim 3 wherein said planar member has a flat surface defining an opening therein.

Description:

TECHNICAL BACKGROUND

This application claims the benefits of provisional patent application No. 60/683,569, filed on May 23, 2005 and provisional patent application No. 60/738,670, filed on Nov. 21, 2005 and which are herein incorporated by reference for all purposes as if fully set forth herein.

The present invention generally relates to a shelf.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Chairs, for example those used in school classrooms, often contain shelves integrated with the bottom portion of the chair for use in storing schoolbooks, folders, drinks, lunchboxes and the like. However, storing these chairs can take up a lot of valuable storage space because the chairs cannot be folded due to the integrated shelf. For this reason, a chair shelf is needed in the art that enables storage space to be conserved when the chair is stored.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a shelf for use with a foldable chair, and the shelf can be removed when the chair is stored. In one form of the present invention, a planar member is provided, the planar member having a plurality of leg members extending vertically down from the planar member, and each of the plurality of leg members defining a clamping structure.

In another form of the present invention, a foldable chair is provided, the foldable chair including a plurality of legs including a first pair of legs and a second pair of legs; a first support member connected to each leg of the first pair of legs and extending there between; a second support member connected to each leg of the second pair of legs and extending there between; and a planar member having a plurality of leg members extending vertically down from the planar member, each of the plurality of leg members defining a clamping structure that attaches to one of the first and second support members.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned and other features of this invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the invention itself will be better understood by reference to the following description of embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective bottom view of one embodiment of the shelf of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective top view of another embodiment of the shelf of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a folding chair displaying the shelf of FIG. 1 in a position detached from the chair;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a folding chair displaying the shelf of FIG. 1 in a position attached to the chair; and

FIG. 5 is a side view of the folding chair of FIG. 4.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. Although the drawings represent embodiments of the present invention, the drawings are not necessarily to scale and certain features may be exaggerated in order to better illustrate and explain the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The embodiments disclosed below are not intended to be exhaustive or limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed in the following detailed description. Rather, the embodiments are chosen and described so that others skilled in the art may utilize their teachings.

Shown in FIG. 1, the shelf of the present invention includes a planar member 10 having four legs 12, 14, 16, 18 integrally formed with planar member 10 and each defining a clamping structure at its end. In other embodiments, instead of being defined by legs 12, 14, 16, 18, the clamping structures may be attached to respective legs 12, 14, 16, 18. It is also contemplated that other means of attachably coupling legs 12, 14, 16, 18 to a chair may be provided at the ends of legs 12, 14, 16, 18, for example, a snap and fastener mechanism or a screw/bolt member to which a washer/nut could be secured.

In another embodiment of the shelf shown in FIG. 2, planar member 100 forms opening 20 so that a cup, pencil, money, utensils or other objects may be stored in a more secure setting than the surface of planar member 100. Opening 20 may include a protruding end 22 that extends from beneath planar member 100. In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, opening 20 is circular.

A chair 20 including planar member 10 is shown in FIGS. 3-5. In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, chair 20 is a folding chair. Chair 20 includes four legs 22, 24, 26, 28, back 27 and sitting portion 29. Support member 32 is connected to leg 22 and extends to connect to leg 28. Support member 34 is connected to leg 24 (not shown) and extends to connect to leg 26. When the user of chair 20 desires to attach planar member 10 to chair 20, he/she may clamp legs 12, 18 on support member 32 and clamp legs 14, 16 on support member 34. When the user of chair 20 desires to remove planar member 10 and store chair 20, he/she may then detach legs 12, 14, 16, 18 from respective support members 32, 34, remove planar member 10 and store chair 20 in a folded position.

FIGS. 3-5 show planar member 10 being attached to chair 20. In FIG. 3, planar member 10 is positioned beneath sitting portion 29 and above support members 32, 34. Planar member 10 is then lowered and attached to chair 20 when legs 12, 14, 16, 18 are clamped to respective support members 32, 34. In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, when planar member 10 is attached to chair 20, planar member 10 is parallel to seating portion 29 in the horizontal plane represented by dashed line 5-5. A side view of chair 20 is shown in FIG. 5 with planar member 10 attached thereto. As exhibited, when planar member 10 is attached to chair 20, legs 12 (not shown), 18 are clamped to supporting member 32 and legs 14 (not shown), 16 are clamped to supporting member 34.

While this invention has been described as having an exemplary design, the present invention may be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains.