Title:
Umbrella table with oversized opening for umbrella pole
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An umbrella table with an oversized opening in the center of the table that allows the umbrella pole to pivot below the table while accommodating the angle of the tilt of the pole. The umbrella table has a pair of flanges on either side of the table underneath the surface of the table. The flanges are used to secure sitting furniture to either side of the table. This prevents the sitting furniture and table from becoming separated due to wind or other forces that may cause movement of the sitting furniture or table. The table is also weighted with a heavy base, which prevents the umbrella table from toppling over.



Inventors:
Carter, Raymond M. (Marina Del Ray, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/145854
Publication Date:
12/07/2006
Filing Date:
06/06/2005
Assignee:
Brown Jordan International, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B37/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
AYRES, TIMOTHY MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOTT & FISCHER, P.L. (CORAL GABLES, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An umbrella table comprising: a base; supporting members wherein said supporting members connect said base and a table top; and a table top wherein said table top contains a central oversized opening for receiving an umbrella pole that pivots below the surface of said table top.

2. The umbrella table of claim 1, further comprising a shaft for receiving an umbrella pole.

3. The umbrella table of claim 1, further comprising flanges for connecting said umbrella table to sitting furniture.

4. The umbrella table of claim 3, wherein said flanges are connected to said supporting members.

5. The umbrella table of claim 1 wherein said base is weighted.

6. The umbrella table of claim 1 wherein said oversized opening accommodates an umbrella pole that contains a pivoting joint that pivots below the surface of the umbrella table.

7. An umbrella table which accommodates the pole of an umbrella that pivots at a joint below the table top surface comprising: a table top wherein said table top has an oversized opening through which an umbrella pole may be inserted; and at least one supporting member wherein said supporting member supports the weight of the table top.

8. The umbrella table of claim 7, further comprising at least one flange for connecting said umbrella table to sitting furniture.

9. The umbrella table of claim 8, wherein said at least one flange is connected to said at least one supporting member.

10. The umbrella table of claim 7, further comprising a shaft for receiving said umbrella pole.

11. The umbrella table of claim 7, further comprising a base wherein said base receives said at least one supporting member.

12. The umbrella table of claim 11 wherein said base is weighted.

13. A table for outdoor use comprising: a base; a table top; at least one support member connecting said base and said table top; and at least one flange for connecting said table to sitting furniture.

14. The table of claim 13 wherein said table comprises two pairs of flanges on opposite sides of said at least one supporting member.

15. The table of claim 13 wherein said table top contains a central oversized opening for receiving an umbrella pole that pivots below the surface of said table top.

16. The table of claim 13, further including a shaft below said table top for receiving an umbrella pole.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of outdoor patio furniture and more specifically to an umbrella table. The umbrella table of the invention has unique features for accommodating an umbrella pole that pivots below the surface of the table and for attaching sitting furniture to the table. First, the table has an oversized opening in the center of the table. The umbrella is attached to the table by insertion of the umbrella pole into a shaft located under the surface of the table. The umbrella pivots at a joint below the surface of the table. The wider than normal opening in the center of the table allows the umbrella pole to pivot below the table while accommodating the angle of the tilt of the pole. The umbrella table has two hook-like elements or flanges on either side of the table underneath the surface of the table. The hooks are used to secure sitting furniture (defined for purposes of the present application as including chairs, beds, ottomans, recliners, chaise lounges, etc.) to either side of the table. This prevents the sitting furniture and table from becoming separated due to wind or other forces that may cause movement of the sitting furniture or table. The table is also weighted with a heavy base, which prevents the umbrella table from toppling over.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The use of outdoor furniture is well known. Outdoor tables commonly include an opening in the center of the table, which allows for insertion of an umbrella. The umbrella functions to shade the table and chairs that flank the table. Typically, outdoor umbrellas function by pivoting at a joint above the table surface, which allows the user to move the umbrella to block the sun depending upon the direction of the sun. This pivoting joint is commonly accompanied by a crank handle which can open and close the umbrella. The pivoting joint above the surface of the table is in plain view and is not very aesthetically pleasing. Moreover, when the pivoting joint is above the surface of the table, it is difficult for some people to easily reach it. Umbrella tables that utilize umbrellas that pivot above the surface of the table contain openings in the center of the table that are only slightly larger than the diameter of the umbrella pole. The size of such an opening serves to secure the placement of the pole in the table in addition to any locking means that may be utilized to hold the umbrella in place in the table.

Several patents and applications disclose pivoting umbrellas and corresponding tables. These patents and applications do not disclose an umbrella table which allows for an umbrella to pivot below the table. U.S. Publication No. US 2003/0051747 to Lai (the '747 application) describes an automatic bending-angle changing structure for an umbrella designed to allow umbrella shafts to be changed in bending angles to shade sunshine. The construction of the device allows the umbrella pole to bend, which includes an upper and lower sleeve, a pulley holding rod, a pulley set, a turning cylinder, a turner bracket, a hinge set and a reel. The '747 application does not disclose the type of table to be used with this umbrella pole; however, the pole pivots above the crank-type handle, both of which are above table level.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,353,659 to Comte (the '659 patent) describes an umbrella locking sleeve. The locking sleeve comprises a tubular body adapted to be fit into a hole in a table and formed with a longitudinal slot allowing outward spreading of the body upon the tightening of a screw threaded therein against the post. By tightening the screw, the sleeve is anchored to the table and the umbrella post is stopped from rotating. This patent does not teach an umbrella table that would allow a pole to pivot below the surface of the table.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,132,236 to Petersen et al. (the '236 patent) describes a tiltable collapsible umbrella and table combination. The umbrella portion is collapsible into a canister underneath the center of the table when not in use. When the umbrella is open, it pivots at a joint above the table surface. The hole in the center of the table must be large enough to accommodate the entire umbrella when collapsed. This patent does not teach or disclose an umbrella table where the umbrella pole pivots below the surface of the table.

The use of sitting furniture surrounding tables in outdoor furniture is known. However, such sitting furniture is subjected to the outdoor elements, including wind. The sitting furniture is also subjected to being easily moved when a person sits down or gets up from the sitting furniture due to the lightweight construction of most outdoor furniture. These factors can cause the sitting furniture to move away from their intended position, which is next to the table. The user of a chair and table combination desires the chair to remain close to the table for easy access to items that may be put on the table, like beverages, food or suntan lotion. The user also desires for the sitting furniture to remain close to the table, so that the user remains in the shade of the umbrella. Known furniture does not prevent the sitting furniture from becoming separated from the table and hence the accompanying shade of the umbrella.

Several patents and applications describe structures underneath the table surface; however, these structures are typically limited to supporting the table surface and do not describe a structure that would easily connect sitting furniture to a table to prevent the sitting furniture from moving away from the table. U.S. Pat. No. 3,910,631 to Inaba (the '631 patent) describes a collapsible table and stools, which can be readily assembled and disassembled for transport. Radial bores are adapted to receive pipes for supporting the stools. The connection between the table and the chairs provides the only actual support to the chairs. The chairs are not latched to a hook or flange to the center of the table. U.S. Publication No. US2002/0036008 to Hickam et al. (the '008 application) describes an integrated umbrella base stand and table having a collapsible frame and that includes a center tube adapted for receiving the pole of an umbrella. From the central tube extend appendages that are supported by linking arms and which extend upwardly to support the table and downwardly to stabilize the table. This combination umbrella stand and table is specifically designed to be used at the beach and is collapsible for easy transport. This application does not disclose an umbrella table that accommodates an umbrella that pivots below the surface of the table, nor hooks or flanges for connecting chairs to the central pole of the table.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,624,732 to Bowden (the '732 patent) describes a beach umbrella table. The quick adjustment beach umbrella tray has a central sleeve for fitting umbrella shafts. The umbrella is simply inserted into a central hole in the tray and the tray is lifted to the desired height. The tray is supported solely by the umbrella pole and grips the pole with a spring mechanism. The umbrella tray is designed to be used with an umbrella that pivots above the tray and does not include an oversized opening in the tray. U.S. Pat. No. 3,434,484 to L. L. Dilullo (the '484 patent) describes a tiltable table for an umbrella. A table is placed around the pole of an umbrella adapted to be inserted into the ground. When the pole of the umbrella is inserted into the beach tilted at an angle, means are provided to tilt the angle of the table so that it can be maintained in a level position. The table may have a wide central opening, which would allow an umbrella to be tilted at a greater angle and yet the table of the invention still be able to be made parallel with the ground. The patent does not disclose an umbrella that pivots below the surface of the table, nor hooks or flanges for connecting sitting furniture to the central pole of the table.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,190,222 to B. J. Strasser (the '222 patent) describes a portable table structure that is adapted to fit around an umbrella. The table can be clamped upon a substantially cylindrical rod-like upright member such as usually comprises the support of a beach umbrella. The table can be adjusted in height to suit the needs of the user. The table is entirely supported by the umbrella pole, which is designed to be inserted into the sand. This umbrella table does not accommodate an umbrella pole that pivots below the surface of the table, and further does not allow for sitting furniture to be connected to the table.

Accordingly, there is a need for an umbrella table that accommodates an umbrella pole that pivots below the surface of the table. There is also a need for an umbrella table that is capable of being connected to sitting furniture, thus preventing the sitting furniture from being inadvertently moved from the table. Such an umbrella table would provide a more aesthetically pleasing table, while also providing the user of the table with an easier way to tilt the umbrella. The umbrella table would also prevent the sitting furniture from being moved out from under the shade or being moved a distance from the table which would prevent the user from comfortably reaching any items placed on the table.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention solves significant problems in the art by providing an umbrella table with unique features for attaching an umbrella to the table and for attaching sitting furniture to the table. First, the table has an oversized opening in the center of the table. The umbrella is attached to the table by insertion of the umbrella pole into a shaft located under the surface of the table. The umbrella pivots at a joint below the surface of the table. The wider than normal opening in the center of the table allows the umbrella pole to pivot below the table while accommodating the angle of the tilt of the pole. This feature of the invention provides a more aesthetically pleasing umbrella table, in addition to an umbrella pole that is easier to tilt.

It is the object of the invention to provide an umbrella table where the table has one or more hooks or flanges underneath the surface of the table. The flanges emanate from the center support of the table. Each flange is composed of one or more prongs. The flanges are used to secure sitting furniture to the table. This prevents the sitting furniture and table from becoming separated due to wind or other forces that may cause movement of the sitting furniture or table. The table is also weighted with a heavy base, which prevents the umbrella table from toppling over.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a an umbrella table comprising a base, supporting members wherein the supporting members connect the base and a table top, and a table top wherein the table top contains a central oversized opening for receiving an umbrella pole that pivots below the surface of the table top. Also provided is an umbrella table which accommodates the pole of an umbrella that pivots at a joint below the table top surface comprising a table top wherein the table top has an oversized opening through which an umbrella pole may be inserted, and at least one supporting member wherein the supporting member supports the weight of the table top.

In another embodiment of the invention provided is a table for outdoor use comprising a base, a table top, at least one support member connecting the base and the table top, and at least one flange for connecting the table to sitting furniture.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the umbrella table.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the umbrella table.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the umbrella table.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the umbrella table.

FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the umbrella table.

FIG. 6 is a front elevation view of the umbrella table with an umbrella.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

While the invention is susceptible of several embodiments, there is shown in the drawings, specific embodiments thereof, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments shown.

FIG. 1 shows the umbrella table 1 with an umbrella 9. The oversized opening 2 in the umbrella table top 3 accommodates an umbrella pole 8 that pivots below the surface of the umbrella table top 3. The umbrella pole 8 fits within shaft 7 of the table 1. The shaft 7 of the umbrella table 1 receives the umbrella pole 8. Shaft 7 extends from the base 6 of the umbrella table 1 to a point below the umbrella table top 3. The length of the shaft 7 serves to provide a sturdy support for the umbrella pole 8. The umbrella table top 3 is supported by support members 4 located adjacent to the shaft 7. Both the shaft 7 and the support members 4 are connected to the base 6 of the umbrella table 1. The base 6 of the umbrella table 1 may be weighted to prevent the table from tipping over or being easily moved from its intended location.

In a preferred embodiment, the umbrella table 1 has flanges 5 attached to support member 4 beneath the table top 3. The flanges 5 are used to secure sitting furniture to either side of the umbrella table 1. In the preferred embodiment, there are a total of four flanges 5 with a set of two flanges on either side of each support member 4. The flanges 5 are connected to the support member 4 perpendicularly. The flanges 5 contain 90 degree angles and are pointed downward toward the base 6 of the umbrella table 1 parallel to the shaft 7 and supporting members 4. Each pair of flanges 5 is capable of latching onto a suitable element of the sitting furniture designed to receive the same. In the preferred embodiment and as shown in the figures, the umbrella table 1 is a small table wherein the table top 3 is smaller in diameter than ordinary dining tables. This type of umbrella table 1 is ordinarily used between two chairs or chaise lounge chairs. The flanges prevent the sitting furniture and umbrella table 1 from becoming separated due to wind or other forces that may cause movement of the sitting furniture or umbrella table 1.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the umbrella table 1. The side elevation shows the oversized opening 2 and the surrounding table top 3. The shaft 7 extends from a point beneath the table top 3 to the base 6. The shaft 7 is hollow and capable of receiving an umbrella pole. Also shown is one of the support members 4, which provide support to the table top 3. A turn key 11 enables a user to lock an umbrella pole into place to prevent the pole from rotating or being moved from its position. The turn key 11 can be made up of a variety of mechanisms which are known in the industry to be useful for retaining the position of an umbrella pole 8. For instance, the turn key 11 can be a screw which fits within predrilled holes in the shaft 7 and the umbrella pole. As the turn key 11 is tightened, the screw is driven through the shaft 7 and the umbrella pole, thus acting to lock both in place. Optionally, the turn key 11 device can be a screw that only goes through one side of the shaft 7 and does not go through the umbrella pole. As such, when the turn key 11 is tightened, it pushes against the umbrella pole thus locking the pole in place.

Also shown in FIG. 2 are the flanges 5. The flanges 5 are connected to the shaft 7 perpendicularly and are bent at right angles to form a portion of the flange that is parallel to the shaft 7. The flanges 5 are capable of being connected to a patio chair, chaise lounge chair, or other similar piece of outdoor patio furniture that comprises sitting furniture. The flanges 5 are designed to engage a portion of the sitting furniture designed to receive the flanges 5 and serve to hold the sitting furniture in place. Preferably, the flanges 5 connect to a portion of the frame of the sitting furniture.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the umbrella table. Shown are the support members 4 extending from the base 6 to the table top 3. The support members 4 are generally parallel to the shaft 7 until a point approximately level with the top of the shaft 7, where the support members 4 angle outward. The support members 4 are angled such that they accommodate the oversized opening 2 for the umbrella pole. The support members 4 attach to the underside of the table top 3 on the outside edge of the oversized opening 2. This allows for an umbrella pole 8 to be tilted at a joint below the table top 3 but above the shaft 7 without any interference from the support members 4. Additional structural supports 12 and 13 attach the support members 4 to the shaft 7 and assist in providing strength to the umbrella table 1.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the umbrella table 1. The table top 3 surface may be composed of any material suitable for a table top. Typical table top 3 materials used in outdoor furniture are glass, granite, marble, stone, wood, metal or combinations thereof. The table top 3 has an oversized opening 2 in it to accommodate an umbrella pole that pivots or tilts below the surface of the table top 3. From the top view, some of the structural components found underneath the table top 3 of the umbrella table 1 may be viewed from the oversized opening 2. The shaft 7 is shown in the center of the oversized opening 2. On either side of the shaft 7 are the support members 4 connected to the shaft 7 by the structural supports 12. Also shown are the top portion of the flanges 5 which are connected perpendicularly to the shaft 7. Through the oversized opening 2, also visible is the top of the base 6.

FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the umbrella table 1. This is essentially a bottom view of the base 6. The shaft 7 for receiving an umbrella pole can be seen to extend all the way through the base 6. The base is weighted to prevent the umbrella table 1 from tipping over or blowing in the wind.

FIG. 6 is a front elevation view of the umbrella table with an umbrella. The umbrella pole 8 pivots at a pivot joint 14 below the table top 3 but above the shaft 7. The umbrella 9 may be tilted at various angles to block the sun. When the umbrella 9 is tilted, the umbrella table 1 accommodates the tilt of the umbrella pole 8 with the oversized opening 2. A typical umbrella table with an opening only slightly larger than the umbrella pole would not allow an umbrella to pivot below the table top, as the opening in the table top would prevent the pole from being angled to any significant degree. The umbrella table 1 of the invention solves this problem with an oversized opening 2 in the table top 3 which accommodates the various potential angles of the pole 8 when the umbrella pole 8 is pivoted at a pivot joint 14 below the table top 3.

Accordingly, it will be understood that the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been disclosed by way of example and that other modifications and alterations may occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the appended claims.





 
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