Title:
Golf club umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A uniquely structured golf umbrella comprising upper, intermediate and lower canopies attached to a supporting rib structure and central shaft portion allowing for the venting of air/wind captured within the internal portion of the umbrella through venting pockets each independently adjustable to accommodate fluctuating volumes of air. The air entering the internal portion of the umbrella traversing an air transmissible intermediate canopy section and exits through the umbrella's internal portion through the pockets so described.



Inventors:
Amador, Ismael D. (Plano, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/167771
Publication Date:
12/28/2006
Filing Date:
06/27/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/33.7
International Classes:
A45B3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WINSTEAD P.C. (DALLAS, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf club umbrella comprising: a foldable frame including a multiple sectioned main shaft (12), a fixed ring (42) secured to a top portion of the main shaft (12), a running ring (45) slidable along the main shaft, a plurality of upper supporting ribs (46) pivotally connected to the fixed ring (42), a plurality of lower supporting ribs (19) and a plurality of terminus connectors (5) attaching the upper supporting ribs (46) at one or more points along the lowermost edge portion of a lower umbrella canopy (3); an intermediate umbrella canopy (9) comprised of an air transmissible material, the intermediate canopy (9) in communication with an upper canopy (6) and the lower umbrella canopy (3); a handle portion (15) connected to the multiple sectioned main shaft (12); and, a plurality of venting pockets formed by the upper canopy (6) when the running ring (45) is deployed in its upper most position along the main shaft (12), the venting pockets (50) resulting as a consequence of the upper canopy's (6) simultaneous attachment to the lower canopy (3) and the intermediate canopy (9).

2. The golf club umbrella of claim 1, wherein the main shaft (12) is further comprised of a plurality of extendable and interconnected portions.

3. The golf club umbrella of claim 1 further comprising an umbrella attachment strap (28), the attachment strap (28) attached to the lower canopy (3) on the attachment strap's first end (20) and having an attachment clasp (29) positioned at the attachment strap's opposite end.

4. The golf club umbrella of claim 1, wherein the intermediate canopy (9) extends in an outward arc formed and positioned between the intermediate canopy's attachment to the fixed ring (42) and a plurality of points to which the intermediate canopy (9) has been attached to the lower canopy (3) and upper canopy (6).

5. The golf club umbrella of claim 1, wherein the volume of one or more of the plurality of venting pockets (50) is self-adjustable in response to wind pressure.

6. The golf club umbrella of claim 1, wherein the upper canopy is comprised of cloth material and attaches to the intermediate and lower canopies at a plurality of points along the upper canopy's lower periphery (63), along the intermediate canopy's generally lower periphery (60) and along the lower canopy's generally uppermost edge (68).

7. The golf club umbrella of claim 6, wherein the cloth material is comprised of a waterproof material.

8. The golf club umbrella of claim 6, wherein the lower canopy's center forms a circular aperture to which the intermediate canopy is attached allowing for the traversing of wind therethrough.

9. The golf club umbrella of claim 6, wherein the upper canopy additionally attaches to the intermediate canopy at the intermediate canopy's generally upper and centermost portion.

10. The golf club umbrella of claim 3, wherein the attachment strap (28) further comprises hook and loop portions to allow the attachment strap to encircle and capture the umbrella when the umbrella is not opened.

11. A golf club umbrella comprising: a foldable frame including a multiple sectioned main shaft (12), a fixed ring (42) secured to a top portion of the main shaft, a running ring (45) slidable along the main shaft; a plurality of upper supporting ribs (46) pivotally connected to the fixed ring, a plurality of lower supporting ribs (19) and a plurality of terminus connectors (5) attaching the upper supporting ribs (46) at one or more points along the lowermost edge portion of a lower canopy (3); an intermediate umbrella canopy (9) comprised of an air transmissible material, the intermediate canopy (9) in communication with an upper umbrella canopy (6) and the lower umbrella canopy (3) the upper canopy comprised of cloth material and attaching to the intermediate and lower canopies at a plurality of points along the upper canopy's lower periphery (63) along the intermediate canopy's generally lower periphery (60), and along the lower canopy's upper edge (68); a handle portion (15) connected to the multiple sectioned main shaft (12); and, a plurality of venting pockets (50) formed by the upper canopy when the running ring (45) is deployed in its upper most position along the multiple sectioned main shaft (12), the venting pockets (50) resulting as a consequence of the upper canopy's attachment to the lower canopy and the intermediate canopy (3).

12. The golf club umbrella of claim 11 further comprising an umbrella attachment strap (28), the attachment strap (28) attached to the lower canopy (3) on the attachment strap's first end (20) and having an attachment clasp (29) positioned at the attachment strap's opposite end.

13. The golf club umbrella of claim 11, wherein the intermediate umbrella canopy (9) extends in an outward arc formed and positioned between the fixed ring (42) and a plurality of points to which the intermediate canopy (9) has been attached to the lower canopy (3) and upper canopy (6).

14. The golf club umbrella of claim 11, wherein the volume of one or more of the plurality of venting pockets (50) is self-adjustable in response to wind pressure.

15. The golf club umbrella of claim 11 wherein the upper canopy's generally centermost section forms a circular aperture allowing for the traversing of wind therethrough.

16. The golf club umbrella of claim 12 wherein the attachment strap (28) further comprises hook and loop portions to allow the attachment strap (28) to encircle and capture the umbrella when the umbrella is not opened.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE

This application does not claim priority from any prior application.

STATEMENT OF FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCES TO SEQUENCE LISTING

Not applicable.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates in general to umbrellas. In particular, the present invention relates to an umbrella for adaptably secure insertion into a golf club bag, and when so inserted, is retained within the bag in a manner which protects golf clubs contained therein from inclement weather conditions.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

Golf club protection devices are known and practiced within the art. Umbrellas intended to protect golf clubs from inclement weather conditions are known within the art. What is not known is the novel, structurally distinct art enhancing features of the present invention which discloses for practice a novel and distinguishably structured umbrella for adaptable and secure insertion into a golf club bag to protect golf clubs contained therein from inclement weather conditions.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,520,193 B2 (the '193 Patent) issued to You on Feb. 18, 2003 according to its abstract discloses and claims an umbrella frame, a lower cloth, and an upper cloth, with the upper cloth in covering relation to an upper periphery of the lower cloth. The upper periphery in each sector of the lower cloth is formed as a suspending cambered-recess element. A plurality of cambered-recess elements are formed by a piece of elongate cloth. A continuous multiple-lobe element is formed along the upper periphery of the lower cloth by stitching the suspending cambered-recess elements to the upper periphery of the lower cloth. The upper periphery of each unit of the lower cloth is loosely connected to each sector of the upper cloth so that a plurality of vents are formed between the upper periphery of the lower cloth and a periphery of the upper cloth for venting wind therethrough.

The '193 Patent is absent the unique venting mechanism of both upper and lower cloths in communication with a porous golf club head protective covering as disclosed and claimed by the present invention.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,095,171 (the '171 Patent) issued to Lin et al., on Aug. 1, 2000, purports to disclose a multiple-fold windproof umbrella which includes a central shaft having a rib assembly pivotally secured to the central shaft, a lower cloth secured to the rib assembly, an upper cloth secured to the central shaft and juxtapositionally retained above the lower cloth, and a plurality of control valves each formed between the upper cloth and the lower cloth secured on the rib assembly and openable to permit escape of a strong wind blowing into the umbrella cloths; and for automatically restoring the upper cloth downwardly for closing the opening between the upper and lower cloths of the umbrella after the escape of wind.

The emphasis of the '171 Patent clearly appears directed towards a compact restoration mechanism as evidenced in its drawings, claims and disclosure. While the '171 Patent utilizes a double-cloth mechanism in association with a plurality of control valves, the structure of the umbrella in the '171 Patent is clearly distinguishable from the art enhancing features of the present invention. Most particularly the absence of the elimination of mechanically complicated restoring mechanism as evidenced in the '171 Patent and the presence of the instant invention's unique porous cloth golf club head protector.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,890,506, (the '506 Patent) issued to Kupferman, on Apr. 6, 1999, purports to disclose an umbrella having a central shaft, a spindle slidably disposed on the shaft and moveably between an upper opening position and a lower closed position, a plurality of first and second radially extending ribs hingedly secured between the shaft and spindle, an umbrella canopy being supported on the first ribs, the canopy having upper and lower umbrella canopy portions with the lower umbrella canopy portion having central first and third annular air in transmissible portions disposed at an upper end of the shaft and an outer end of the first radially extending ribs, a second central air transmissible portion disposed between the first and third central air in transmissible portions, the upper umbrella canopy portion having an air transmissible material and disposed over the first of the in transmissible portion around an upper end of the shaft and the second air transmissible portion, and overlapping in part onto the third annular air in transmissible portion, the upper and lower umbrella canopy portions placed under tension and being taut between the pairs of second plurality of extending ribs when the spindle is in a open position such that air impinging on the lower surface of the upper umbrella canopy portion being vented through the air transmissible material of the lower umbrella canopy portion and then along a channel formed between the upper and lower umbrella canopy portions.

The structure of the '506 Patent umbrella is clearly structurally distinguishable from the art enhancing features of the present invention, most particularly the '506 Patent's reliance upon a mesh portion integrated as an essential structural element of the '506 Patent's lower umbrella canopy.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,263,891, B1, (the '891 Patent) issued to Hartwell et al., on Jul. 24, 2001, purported to disclose a golf bag umbrella adapted for use in a golf bag with the umbrella having an extendable and retractable shaft and a collapsible and expandable canopy, underneath which is a flexible material, to prevent the golf clubs from becoming entangled in the support structure for the umbrella canopy. The golf bag umbrella further includes a handle, providing easy movement between an extended position and a lowered position while the canopy is expanded, such that the golf clubs within the golf bag may be easily accessible without having to remove the golf bag umbrella from the bag. The protective material beneath the canopy functions to prevent entanglement between the golf clubs and the support structure of the canopy, which prevents damage to both the support structure and the golf clubs themselves while also avoiding frustration on the part of the golfer as the golfer attempts to remove golf clubs from within the golf bag.

While the '891 Patent purportedly discloses a porous material to preventing golf clubs from being entangled in a support structure of the umbrella canopy, the '891 Patent is structurally distinguishable from the present invention, in that it lacks any of the art-enhancing valves/venting mechanisms of the present invention which provide for the escape of wind captured within the umbrella.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,561,178 B1, (the '178 Patent) issued to Hayes, on May 13, 2003, purports to disclose an umbrella assembly suitable for mounting over an outdoor barbeque grill, such as a gas or charcoal grill. The assembly includes an umbrella, an arm configured for supporting the umbrella in a position over the grill, suitable means for mounting the umbrella on the arm, suitable means for removably attaching a proximal end of the arm to the grill, and suitable means for preventing the umbrella from causing a grill to which the umbrella assembly is attached from falling over when a gust of wind strikes the umbrella. The means for mounting the umbrella on the arm may comprise a holder which receives an end portion of a vertically oriented handle of the umbrella. The arm is preferably directed outwardly from the grill and then reaches over it, leaving space for removal of a grill cover. The means for preventing the umbrella from causing the grill to tip over during a wind gust could include wind proofing features on the umbrella as well as a break-away connection permitting the umbrella to blow away without taking the grill with it.

While the '178 Patent would appear to offer a venting/valve mechanism for the escape of wind captured within the umbrella, (Referencing FIGS. 4 and 5) the '178 Patent is clearly absent structure and component relationships sufficient to allow its insertable adaptation to a golf bag.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,678,586, (the '586 Patent) issued to Baksh, on Oct. 21, 1997, purports to disclose an improved umbrella for alleviating wind gust comprising an elongated shaft having a handle to be grasped by a hand of a person. A collapsible main canopy is carried on the elongated shaft. A facility in the collapsible main canopy, is for exiting the wind gust out through the top of the collapsible main canopy, rather than becoming trapped air which can turn a conventional umbrella inside out. A smaller collapsible auxiliary canopy is carried on the elongated shaft over the wind gust exiting facility in the collapsible main canopy, to help prevent rain drops from entering in through the wind gust exiting facility.

The '586 Patent is clearly distinguishable from the present invention, specifically, the '586 Patent would appear to disclose a valve/wind escaping mechanism structurally distinct from that of the present invention; and more particularly, the '586 Patent is absent the porous/mesh-like undercloth (golf club head protector) integrated within the instant invention.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,250,319 B1, (the '319 Patent) issued to You, on Jun. 26, 2001, purports to disclose a vented umbrella which is resistant to inversion from the wind and effective in ventilation. The umbrella comprises a foldable frame, a lower umbrella canopy, and an upper umbrella canopy in a concentric covering relation with respect to lower umbrella canopy with a small overlapped peripheral area therebetween. A plurality of non-elastic ropes are provided each connected between the center portion of peripheral edge in each sector of lower umbrella canopy and the upper ring. As such, a plurality of openings are formed at the junction between sectors of upper umbrella canopy and lower umbrella canopy in a fully extended condition.

The '319 Patent is distinguishable from the present invention. Specifically, in its disclosure and claims, the '319 Patent relies heavily upon a plurality of non-elastic ropes connected to a center portion of a peripheral edge in each sector of a lower umbrella canopy and upper ring in order to effectuate its practice. Consequently, given the structure and reliance of the '319 Patent upon the rope-like structures in combination with and upper and lower rings, the '319 Patent is absent the combined teachings of your invention with respect to upper and lower cloths attached to a centralized reinforcement rib structure further connected to a mesh-like cloth for preventing entanglement of golf club heads within the umbrella.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,237,616 B1, (the '616 Patent) issued to You, on May 29, 2001, discloses a windproof umbrella comprises a main umbrella including a plurality of ribs, a lower umbrella canopy having a plurality of substantially trapezoidal sectors, and a center vent hole; and an upper umbrella including a plurality of rigid ribs, and an upper umbrella canopy having a plurality of sectors, wherein each rib of the upper umbrella is integral with each rib of the main umbrella by means of a connection of a securing device for forming a gap between a corner of two adjacent sectors of the upper umbrella canopy and a corner of two corresponding adjacent sectors of the lower umbrella canopy, and the upper umbrella canopy is in covering relation to and capable of elastically separating from the main umbrella for exhausting the air from the space between the lower umbrella canopy and the upper umbrella canopy.

The emphasis of the '616 Patent is clearly directed towards a compact and complex opening/closing mechanism as evidenced in its drawings, claims and disclosure. While the '616 Patent utilizes a double-cloth mechanism in association with a plurality of control valves, we find the structure of the '616 umbrella to be distinguishable from the art enhancement features of the present invention, most particularly the structured relationship of the present invention's rib, first and second cloths, valves (venting mechanism) porous golf club head protection sheath and lack of reliance upon a complicated restoring mechanism.

Given the deficiencies of the contemporary art it is an object of the present invention to provide, disclose, and claim a uniquely structured golf umbrella comprising upper, intermediate and lower canopies attached to a supporting rib structure and central shaft portion allowing for the venting of air/wind captured within the internal portion of the umbrella through venting pockets each independently adjustable to accommodate fluctuating volumes of air. The air entering the internal portion of the umbrella traversing an air transmissible intermediate canopy section and exits through the umbrella's internal portion through the pockets so described.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

An umbrella to adaptably secure insertion into a golf club bag, and when so inserted, is retained within the bag in a manner which protects golf clubs contained therein from inclement weather conditions.

Yet another object of the instant invention is to disclose a golf club umbrella which structurally integrates an intermediate canopy which serves a dual function, 1) to act as an air transmissible canopy allowing for the traversing of wind therethrough, and 2) to prevent golf clubs from being entangled within the support infrastructure of the umbrella when the invention is practiced.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present invention, and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 2 through 4B illustrates detailed views of the invention's internal structure.

FIG. 5 illustrates the umbrella deployed in association with a golf club bag.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While the making and using of various embodiments of the present invention are discussed in detail below, it should be appreciated that the present invention provides for inventive concepts capable of being embodied in a variety of specific contexts. The specific embodiments discussed herein are merely illustrative of specific manners in which to make and use the invention and are not to be interpreted as limiting the scope of the instant invention.

The claims and specification describe the invention presented and the terms that are employed in the claims draw their meaning from the use of such terms in the specification. The same terms employed in the prior art may be broader in meaning than specifically employed herein. Whenever there is a question between the broader definition of such terms used in the prior art and the more specific use of the terms herein, the more specific meaning is meant.

Referring now to the drawings wherein depicted elements are not necessarily shown to scale and wherein like or similar elements are designated by the same reference numeral through the several views.

FIGS. 1-5 illustrate one embodiment of the present invention's golf club umbrella. Turning now to FIGS. 1 through 5. In FIGS. 1-5 it is observed and disclosed where the golf umbrella of the present invention is illustrated comprising a foldable frame which includes a multiple sectioned main shaft (12). The multiple sectioned main shaft (12) is collapsible in structure and may be comprised of two or more sections though it will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art that the practice of the present invention may be effectuated and practiced via utilization of a single piece shaft portion.

The multiple sectioned main shaft (12) or more particularly the upper portion of the multiple sectioned main shaft (12) is attached to a fixed ring (42) with a running ring (45) slidably encircling the main shaft. A plurality of upper supporting ribs (46) are pivotably connected to the fixed ring (42) a plurality of lower supporting ribs (19) and a plurality of terminus connectors (5) attached to the upper supporting ribs (46) at one or more points along the lower most edge portion of a lower canopy (3). The terminus connectors (5) are typically rounded metal tips positioned at one end of the upper supporting ribs (46) and attach the lower canopy (3) to the upper supporting ribs (46) by crimping the terminus connectors (typically metal) around the end of upper supporting ribs (46) after first capturing the lower most edge portion of the lower canopy (3) at one or more points along its periphery.

It will be observed throughout the disclosure of the present invention that a number of material connection points at which upper canopy (6) lower canopy (3) and intermediate canopy (9) are attached. Such attachment has been found to be practiced most effectively via a stitchable attachment means such as thread or other similarly intended and functioning connection means. It will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art that other communication/connection means may be used such as but not limited to hook and loop fastening means though in experimentation such fastening means have been found inferior in invention practice. Returning now to discussion of FIGS. 1-5.

An intermediate canopy (9) is shown comprised of an air transmissible material such as but not limited to a porous mesh like material. The upper canopy is comprised of a cloth material and attaches to the lower canopy (3) at a plurality of points along the upper canopy's lower periphery (63) and continuing along the intermediate canopy's (9) generally lower periphery (60), and along the lower canopy's upper most edge (68) with such connections facilitated via the stitching means as discussed previously. When deployed the intermediate canopy (9) extends in an outward arc formed as a consequence of being positioned between the fixed ring (42) and the plurality of points to which the intermediate umbrella canopy (9) has been attached to the lower canopy (3) and upper canopy (6). In so doing the invention's unique structural attachment provides for a plurality of venting pockets (21) wherein inclement weather conditions such as high winds (50) captured within the interior portion of the lower canopy (3) may be routed and vented through the intermediate canopy (9) and out through the venting pockets (21) formed by the upper canopy (6) after having first traversed through the intermediate canopy (9). The venting pockets (21) each may accommodate a fluctuating volume of air with each of the venting pockets (21) being self-adjustable in response to the wind pressure and volume (see representative air flow arrows (50) traversing venting pockets (21)). The point at which the lower canopy (3) is attached to the intermediate canopy (9) it may be observed that the lower canopy (3) generally center most section forms a circular aperture allowing for the traversing of wind therethrough so as to facilitate and permit a transmissible airflow through the intermediate canopy (9).

The golf club umbrella of the present invention may further comprise an umbrella attachment strap (28) with the attachment strap (28) attached to the lower canopy (3) wherein the attachment strap (28) comprises an attachment clasp (29) positioned on the attachment strap's (28) opposite end. As used herein, the term clasp is referred to as a hooking or attachment means by which the strap may be securely affixed to a larger article such as but not limited to a golf bag (30). When not deployed to protect golf clubs (33) from inclement weather (35) the strap (28) may be further manipulated to encircle or otherwise contain the folded and compressed golf umbrella so that in a manner to enable the strap to remain secured around the umbrella when stored and not extended.

The following discussion and specification/dimensions are disclosed to enable ready practice of the present invention and are provided merely to further describe an embodiment of the present invention which has been found effective in invention practice through extensive testing and evaluation. As such, this discussion is for example only and in no manner is to be construed as limiting the scope or claims of the invention. Those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the specifications and dimensions provided hereunder are for example only and may be substantially altered without limiting the scope of the invention nor claim attendant thereto.

(A) The air transmissible/mesh vented material used to embody the intermediate canopy is attached to the lower and upper canopies via a color coordinated light grade industrial or nylon thread via a number of stitchable connection points.

(B) The upper canopy may be attached to the top of the umbrella via an approximately ¾″ in length rounded metal fastener of the same diameter of the rod as is present at the top of the umbrella and sewn to the end of a metal fastening.

(C) The top fasteners in one embodiment of the present invention possess an aperture at one end to attach to a round loop approximately 1″ to 1½″ in diameter with ¼″ spaces to allow movement for opening and closing of the umbrella.

(D) With respect to the golf bag application, the umbrella has been found to be most effective to have a lower canopy diameter of approximately 21″ with a total umbrella (material) height of varying between 10″ and 15″ from the upper most portion of the upper canopy to the lower most periphery of the lower most edge of the lower most canopy.

(E) When deployed application of the golf umbrella should be approximately 48″ of length including a fully extended handle portion.

(F) The strap (28) may be attached to any portion of the material represented in the upper intermediate or lower most canopy portions though it has been found to be most effectively deployed when attached to the lower most umbrella canopy via stitching or hook and fastener means.

Although the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, these descriptions are not meant to be construed in a limiting sense. Various modifications of the disclosed embodiments, as well as alternative embodiments of the invention will become apparent to persons skilled in the art upon reference to the description of the invention. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the conception and the specific embodiment disclosed may be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. It should also be realized by those skilled in the art that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

It is therefore, contemplated that the claims will cover any such modifications or embodiments that fall within the true scope of the invention.