Title:
Beach umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates generally to a beach umbrella with a lower shaft, having an improved anchoring means integral to the lower half of the shaft and an air pressure venting means that results in enhanced stability. According to the present invention, the anchoring means is an auger or spiral flange. The lower shaft is further optionally provided with a handle such as a cross bar, which in addition to the auger or spiral flange, eases insertion of the lower shaft of the umbrella into the sand.



Inventors:
Tanner, Robert (East Hampton, NY, US)
Tanner, Barbara (East Hampton, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/446414
Publication Date:
12/07/2006
Filing Date:
06/05/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/530
International Classes:
A45B3/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060254628Standing umbrellaNovember, 2006Tseng
20040123889Connection of stretchers or ribs and joints of umbrellasJuly, 2004Liang
20070256717Decorative theme slipcover for patio and beach umbrellasNovember, 2007Stollar
20090301533ANTI-TIPPING DEVICE FOR WALKERSDecember, 2009Caldwell
20090159106MOBILITY DEVICES WITH INTERCHANGEABLE FEATURESJune, 2009Schulz et al.
20080099061Beach umbrella pole assemblyMay, 2008Mcknight
20020139406Connecting structure of umbrella tipsOctober, 2002Ko
20030034058Umbrella with reinforcement frameFebruary, 2003Wang
20030140954Controlling apparatus of a automatic umbrellaJuly, 2003Chang
20080060691RELIEF PACKAGEMarch, 2008Harker
20070151586Windproof umbrella with integral upper canopy and method of making sameJuly, 2007You



Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A beach umbrella comprising a shaft and an auger wherein the shaft and the auger are permanently affixed to each other.

2. The umbrella of claim 1, wherein the umbrella further comprises a canopy comprising wind vents.

3. The umbrella of claim 1, wherein the shaft comprises aluminum or titanium.

4. The umbrella of claim 1, wherein the auger comprises solid plastic or reinforced fiberglass.

5. The umbrella of claim 2, wherein the canopy is detachable.

6. The umbrella of claim 1, wherein the shaft comprises a ring clip.

7. A beach umbrella and a beach blanket combination wherein the beach umbrella comprises a shaft and an auger wherein the shaft and the auger are permanently affixed to each other and the beach blanket comprises an upper side, a lower surface and a peripheral edge, wherein said beach blanket comprises at least one hole extending from the upper side through to the lower surface for selectively receiving the handle portion of an umbrella, and wherein the lower surface comprises at least one pocket adjacent to the peripheral edge.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Applications Ser. Nos. 60/686,940 and 60/686,939, filed Jun. 3, 2006, which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to improved beach umbrellas and similar products that are used at a beach, picnic, or outdoors generally having enhanced utility. More specifically, the present invention relates to a new beach umbrella having an improved anchoring means and an air pressure venting means, resulting in enhanced stability.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

There are as many cases of skin cancer as there are of all other cancers combined—about 1 million new U.S. cases per year. Indeed, the incidence of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, has steadily increased about 3% per year since 1981. The primary cause of skin cancer is chronic unprotected exposure to the sun and intense irregular exposures such as those that occur at the beach. Further, sun exposure has been shown to cause premature aging of the skin. Skin cancer prevention and education efforts promote seeking shade, covering up and using sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection.

Beach umbrellas are often used to provide shady areas on sunny beaches. However, standard beach umbrellas are heavy, and cumbersome with low stability. What is needed is an improved means to anchor beach umbrellas against being overturned and a means to reduce the effect of sudden or unexpected gusts of wind.

The following are provided as examples of existing art:

Farley, U.S. Pat. No. 3,456,661, discloses an umbrella having in addition to the normal umbrella covering a plurality of tapered gores forming flying vents to expel air horizontally and relieve air pressure to provide aerodynamic stability.

Ryder, U.S. Pat. No. 4,804,008, discloses an umbrella having vents that are sandwiched to and perforate the fabric cover of the umbrella.

Jacinto et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,152,495 discloses a mechanism for anchoring a beach umbrella having an outer tubular member stabilizing members, an inner shaft and a helical assembly at the lower end of the outer tubular member. The end is driven into the ground through manual rotation via a gear box and handle or through a battery powered electric motor.

Tizzoni, U.S. Pat. No. 5,156,369 discloses a ground anchoring means for attachment to the pole of a beach umbrella. The ground anchoring mechanism comprises a hollow cylindrical member having a rod rotatably supported therein. A spiral screw is attached to one end and the other end is attached to a handle rotator.

Hall et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,293,889, discloses a beach umbrella having three sections. The umbrella is attached to the upper section. The lower section includes a plurality of pivotally mounted handles upon its upper collar and a screw thread on the end portion of the lower section. The sections are fixed together with a latch means.

Gibson, U.S. Pat. No. 6,199,569, discloses an umbrella anchoring means. A securing means at one end of the anchor pole secures the covering means to the anchor pole. A bit is fastened to the other end. The bit has a curved thread for digging in response to rotation of the pole. A pivot member is mounted to the pole and is connected to a handle. Rotation of the handle rotates the anchor pole. The distal end of the bit includes an elongated spike member. The bit also has at least one blade helically disposed therein.

You, U.S. Pat. No. 6,520,193 and 6,571,814, discloses vented umbrellas.

Brooks, III, U.S. Pat. No. 6,715,503, discloses a beach umbrella having an internal anchoring structure. As disclosed, the beach umbrella includes a post having a lower end for insertion in to the ground and an upper end for supporting an umbrella top. There is an integral spiral shaped anchoring structure. Retractable levers are attached along the post.

While these devices fulfill their respective, particular objectives and requirements, the need remains for a stable, light weight, beach umbrella that is easy to set up. Accordingly, there exists a need in the art for a beach umbrella with such features. The present invention is designed to fulfill these needs and overcome the problems of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a beach umbrella that is stable, light weight, and easy to set up.

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a beach umbrella comprising an anchoring means. Preferably the anchoring means is an auger or spiral flange. More preferably the width of the spiral flange is at its greatest at the top and then tapers to a point at the bottom. Preferably the anchoring means is of a strong yet light-weight material such as plastic.

It is another object of the invention to provide a beach umbrella wherein the anchoring means is integral to the lower half of the shaft, thereby enhancing stability and reducing weight.

It is another object of the invention to provide for ease of insertion. In one preferred embodiment such ease of insertion is provided by an attached handle. In a second preferred embodiment such ease of insertion is provided by a removable cross bar.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a beach umbrella having enhanced wind stability through the use of slits or vents in the umbrella canopy.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a beach umbrella having a canopy with stays that provide a backbone structure, such that the canopy can be flipped inside and out in windy weather and then be easily flipped back into shape. According to a preferred embodiment, the stays are made of fiberglass, wood or pliable plastic.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a beach umbrella having an optionally detachable canopy.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a beach umbrella having a mid-shaft ring clip for the removable attachment of items such as camera, bags, purse, ice chest and the like by way of an attachment means such as a clip or carabiner or the like. In an alternative embodiment the attachment means is a lockable attachment means.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a two compartment carrying case with shoulder strap.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a beach umbrella canopy that is resistant to fading and mildew.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a beach umbrella and/or a beach umbrella canopy having decorative aspects. In a one embodiment such decorative aspects are obtained through the use of decorative graphic prints with borders.

It is another object of the invention to provide a beach umbrella and/or a beach umbrella canopy wherein the pole and/or shaft is a strong and light-weight material that is resistant to corrosion such as aluminum, titanium or stainless steel.

It is another aspect of the invention to provide a beach umbrella and a beach blanket combination wherein the beach umbrella comprises a shaft and an auger wherein the shaft and the auger are permanently affixed to each other and the beach blanket comprises an upper side, a lower side and a peripheral edge, wherein said beach blanket comprises at least one hole extending from the upper side through to the lower surface for selectively receiving the handle portion of an umbrella, and wherein the lower surface comprises at least one pocket. adjacent to the peripheral edge.

The general purpose of the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to provide a new beach umbrella that has many of the advantages set forth above and many novel features that result in a new beach umbrella that is not anticipated, rendered obvious, suggested, or even implied by any of the prior art beach umbrellas, either alone or in any combination thereof. In these respects, the beach umbrella of the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of providing a beach umbrella that is stable, light weight, and easy to set up.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description of the preferred embodiments thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto. The objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and form part of the disclosure.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention, are included in the present invention.

Having briefly described the present invention, the above and further objects, features and advantages thereof will be recognized by those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. These accompanying drawings, which are incorporated and constitute part of the disclosure herein, illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention and serve to explain the principles of the invention. A more complete appreciation of the invention and its features will be readily apparent by reference to the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of the beach umbrella.

FIG. 2 illustrates a carrying means.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of the anchoring means.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate two embodiments of inserting means.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate an embodiment of the venting means.

FIGS. 8, 9, 10 and 12 illustrate a preferred embodiment of the anchoring means.

FIG. 11 illustrates a cross-section of the anchoring means.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals indicate like elements, in FIG. 1 there is shown an embodiment of the beach umbrella or the like which may be of any desired size. As illustrated, shaft 10 comprises two ends. First end of shaft 10 is removably attached to canopy 12. First end of shaft 10 is tubular. Auger 14 is integrated with second end of shaft 10. There are many types of materials known by those of ordinary skill in the art, which could serve as appropriate composition of shaft 10. Examples of such materials include plastic, metal and the like. In a preferred embodiment shaft 10 is aluminum or titanium. Ring clip 16 is attached to shaft 10. In a preferred embodiment, ring clip 16 is attached on or about the midpoint of shaft 10. Ring clip 16 enables the removable attachment of items such as camera, bags, purse, ice chest and the like by way of an attaching means such as a clip or carabiner or the like. In an alternative embodiment, attaching means is a lockable attaching means. A first end of canopy pole 18 is connected to canopy 12. A second end of canopy pole 18 inserts into the first end of shaft 10 and is secured by lever 40.

FIG. 2 illustrates a carrying means 2. The embodiment shown comprises first pocket 20 for carrying a variety of beach paraphernalia including but not limited to a towel or blanket, second pocket 22 for carrying the beach umbrella of the present invention, reinforcing element 24, shoulder strap 26, and handle 28.

FIGS. 3 and 8-12 illustrate a close up view of auger 14. Auger 14 comprises a spiral flange. As illustrated, shaft 10 and auger 14 are an integrated, cohesive unit. Preferably the spiral flange is widest at the top and then tapers to a point at the end. There are many types of materials known by those of ordinary skill in the art, which could serve as appropriate composition of auger 14. Examples of such materials include plastic, metal and the like. Depending on the composition of the auger, the auger may be solid or have a hollow center. In a preferred embodiment, the spiral flange of auger 14 is a solid plastic or a reinforced fiberglass composite, such as a nylon-reinforced fiberglass composite.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate alternative embodiments of inserting means. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4 comprises attached handle 42, while the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5 comprises removable cross bar 50 and hole 52 for removable cross bar 50 insertion. There are many types of materials known by those of ordinary skill in the art, which could serve as appropriate composition of handle 42 or removable cross bar 50. Examples of such materials include plastic, metal and the like. In a preferred embodiment handle 42 or removable cross bar 50 is aluminum or titanium.

Alternatively, the umbrella may not comprise a handle or crossbar. Instead, the umbrella may be inserted into the sand by gripping the lower part of the shaft 10 and turning it clockwise such as to screw it into the sand. The spiral flange of the auger 14, as seen more specifically in FIGS. 8-12, permits the auger to be easily inserted into sand. Moreover, the auger 14 may be easily removed by turning the shaft 10 counter-clockwise such as to unscrew it from the sand.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate an embodiment of a venting means. In a preferred embodiment, the detachable canopy further comprises at least one and preferably a plurality of vent(s) 60. As shown in FIG. 6, vent(s) 60 are normally closed. When air pressure builds up from below, vent(s) 60 open to release the air pressure as shown in FIG. 7. According to a preferred embodiment, the umbrella comprises a canopy that may not have any vents. According to another preferred embodiment, the canopy 12, may comprise several overlapping layers as shown in FIG. 1, with or without vent(s) 60.

There are many types of materials known by those of ordinary skill in the art, which could serve as appropriate covering means for canopy 12. Examples of such materials include cloth, plastic and the like. In a preferred embodiment, canopy 12 is a water resistant cloth treated to resist fading. In another embodiment, canopy 12 is a quick drying fabric, treated to resist fading.

As to a further discussion of the manner of usage and operation of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.

With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be made to the described embodiments without departing from the true scope and spirit of the subject invention as defined by the appended claims.

From the foregoing it is believed that those skilled in the pertinent art will recognize the meritorious advancement of this invention and will readily understand that while the present invention has been described in association with a preferred embodiment thereof, and other embodiments illustrated in the accompanying drawings, numerous changes, modifications and substitutions of equivalents may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention which is intended to be unlimited by the foregoing except as may appear in the following appended claims. Therefore, the embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined in the following appended claims.