Title:
Pinch Clip Garment Hanger
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pinch clip garment hanger includes a cross member, a hook member, and at least one pinch clip member. The pinch clip member has a fixed jaw member integrally molded to the cross member, a moveable jaw member pivotally secured to the fixed jaw member, and a biasing spring that holds the jaw members together. The fixed jaw member has a first surface facing the moveable jaw member, and the moveable jaw member has a second surface facing the fixed jaw member. The first and second surfaces are pressed together by the biasing spring to hold the garment that is positioned between the fixed and moveable jaw members.



Inventors:
Yau, Wai Shing (Kowloon, HK)
Application Number:
11/537987
Publication Date:
04/05/2007
Filing Date:
10/02/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DURHAM, NATHAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BAKER & MCKENZIE LLP (Dallas account) (DALLAS, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A pinch clip garment hanger comprising: a cross member; a hook member connected to a center portion of the cross member and extending upwardly therefrom; and a first pinch clip member comprising: a fixed jaw member integrally molded to the cross member; a moveable jaw member pivotally coupled to the fixed jaw member; and a biasing spring having: a first leg end and a second leg end, the first leg end compressibly coupled to the fixed jaw member, the second leg end compressibly coupled to the moveable jaw member; a first portion connected to the first leg end, and a second portion connected to the second leg end; and a sprung arch having a first arch end and a second arch end, the first arch end connected to the first portion, the second arch end connected to the second portion.

2. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the fixed jaw member comprises a first surface facing the moveable jaw member, and the moveable jaw member comprises a second surface facing the fixed jaw member.

3. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 2, wherein the first and second surfaces are pressed together by the biasing spring.

4. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 2, wherein at least one surface of the first and second surfaces is a curved surface.

5. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 4, wherein the curved surface is one of concave and convex.

6. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 4, wherein the opposite surface to the curved surface has a profile that is substantially curved to complement the profile of the curved surface.

7. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 6, wherein the profile of the opposite surface to the curved surface comprises a set of teeth.

8. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 2, wherein at least one surface of the first and second surfaces comprises a friction-enhancing pad.

9. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the fixed and moveable jaw members comprise: a first set of teeth, each first set tooth having a triangular profile, each first set tooth being separated from the adjacent tooth by a toothless portion, wherein the leading edges of the first set of teeth are collectively in tapered relation from top to bottom, wherein the first set of teeth is located on one of the fixed and moveable jaw members; and a second set of teeth having a concave corrugated zigzag profile, wherein the second set of teeth is located on the opposing jaw member to the jaw member having the first set of teeth, wherein the first and second set of teeth mesh such that the teeth of the first set integrate with the depressions between the teeth of the second set.

10. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the biasing spring comprises a single metal piece.

11. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the biasing spring comprises a single plastic piece.

12. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the sprung arch has a profile that is one of substantially V-shaped and substantially U-shaped.

13. A pinch clip garment hanger comprising: a cross member; a hook member connected to a center portion of the cross member and extending upwardly therefrom; a first pinch clip member comprising: a fixed jaw member integrally molded to the cross member, a moveable jaw member pivotally coupled to the fixed jaw member, and a biasing spring; wherein the fixed and moveable jaw members comprise: a first set of teeth, each first set tooth having a triangular profile, each first set tooth being separated from the adjacent tooth by a toothless portion, wherein the leading edges of the first set of teeth are collectively in tapered relation from top to bottom, wherein the first set of teeth is located on one of the fixed and moveable jaw members; and a second set of teeth having a concave corrugated zigzag profile, wherein the second set of teeth is located on the opposing jaw member to the jaw member having the first set of teeth, wherein the first and second set of teeth mesh such that the teeth of the first set integrate with the depressions between the teeth of the second set.

14. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 13, wherein the first and second set of teeth are biased toward each other by the biasing spring.

15. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 14, wherein the biasing spring comprises: a first leg end and a second leg end, the first leg end compressibly coupled to the fixed jaw member, the second leg end compressibly coupled to the moveable jaw member; a first portion connected to the first leg end, and a second portion connected to the second leg end; and a sprung arch having a first arch end and a second arch end, the first arch end connected to the first portion, the second arch end connected to the second portion.

16. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 15, wherein the sprung arch has a profile that is one of substantially V-shaped and substantially U-shaped.

17. A pinch clip garment hanger comprising: a cross member; a hook member connected to a center portion of the cross member and extending upwardly therefrom; a first pinch clip member comprising: a fixed jaw member integrally molded to the cross member, the fixed jaw member comprising a first arm; a moveable jaw member pivotally coupled to the fixed jaw member, the moveable jaw member comprising a second arm; and a biasing spring operable to assert compressive forces acting upon the fixed and moveable jaw members while simultaneously asserting compressive forces upon a pivot point coupling the moveable jaw member to the fixed jaw member, wherein the second arm is disposed in substantially parallel or tapered relation to the first arm.

18. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 17, wherein the second arm is disposed in substantially parallel or tapered relation to the first arm while carrying a garment, such that when the pinch clip garment hanger is adjacent to another hanger, the second arm is resistant to being pushed toward the first arm to prevent inadvertent release of the garment.

19. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 17, wherein the fixed and moveable jaw members further comprise: a first set of teeth, each first set tooth having a triangular profile, each first set tooth being separated from the adjacent tooth by a toothless portion, wherein the leading edges of the first set of teeth are collectively in tapered relation from top to bottom, wherein the first set of teeth is located on one of the fixed and moveable jaw members; and a second set of teeth having a concave corrugated zigzag profile, wherein the second set of teeth is located on the opposing jaw member to the jaw member having the first set of teeth, wherein the first and second set of teeth mesh such that the teeth of the first set integrate with the depressions between the teeth of the second set.

20. A pinch clip garment hanger according to claim 18, wherein the sprung arch has a profile that is one of substantially V-shaped and substantially U-shaped.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/596,608, filed Oct. 5, 2005, entitled “Pinch Clip Garment Hanger,” the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

Technical Field

This disclosure relates to a hanger, and more particular to a pinch clip garment hanger.

BACKGROUND

Numerous types of hangers have been used to hang garments, such as skirts, slacks and pants. Generally, many of these hangers use clips to hold the garment on the hanger. For example, some conventional hanger assemblies utilize an elongated crossbar having clip members integrally formed with the crossbar. These clip members include cooperating jaw members and an intermediate hinge member that connects the clip members, as well as a spring that biases the jaw members against each other.

A common failing of conventional pinch clip designs is the inability to adequately grip a garment. In addition, garments often fall from the hanger when pinch clips touch hangers or objects adjacent to the hanger, thereby causing the garment to be released from the clip.

The foregoing disclosure addresses these issues, as well as others.

Summary

A pinch clip garment hanger includes a cross member, a hook member, and at least one pinch clip member. The cross member, the hook member, and the clip member can be made of plastic, metal, or other materials that are suitable for garment hangers. The pinch clip member has a fixed jaw member integrally molded to the cross member, a moveable jaw member pivotally secured to the fixed jaw member, and a biasing spring that holds the jaw members together. The fixed jaw member has a first surface facing the moveable jaw member, and the moveable jaw member has a second surface facing the fixed jaw member. The first and second surfaces are pressed together by the biasing spring to hold the garment that is positioned between the fixed and moveable jaw members.

According to one embodiment, at least one surface of the first and second surfaces is a curved surface. The curved surface can be in the shape of concave or convex. The curved surface can comprise more than one concave or convex shapes. The other surface of the first and second surfaces can be a curve that complements with the shape of the at least one surface of the first and second surfaces, so that the garment can be hung in between the two surfaces by friction. In a further embodiment of the invention, at least one surface of the first and second surfaces is attached by a friction-enhancing pad or has a set of teeth.

In another embodiment, one of the first and second surfaces has a first set of teeth, each first set tooth having a triangular profile. Each first set tooth is separated from the adjacent tooth by a toothless portion. In one embodiment, the leading edges of the first set of teeth are collectively in tapered relation from top to bottom. The other surface of the first and second surfaces has a second set of teeth. The first and second set of teeth mesh such that the teeth of the first set integrate with the depressions between the teeth of the second set. In one embodiment, the second set teeth has a concave corrugated zigzag profile

In a further embodiment, when lying horizontally, the garment hanger is designed in such a manner that the pivot post section of the garment hanger possesses the biggest height than other portions of the clipper. An advantage of such design is that, when two hangers are held next to each other, the upper ends of the clippers will not push against each other so as to cause the jaws to open, inadvertently releasing the garment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary hanger in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a rearward elevational view of the pinch clip garment hanger of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view of an exemplary pinch clip of the hanger of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 4A-C are side views of other embodiments of a pinch clip in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 5 is a rearward elevational view of a fixed jaw member formed integrally with a cross bar of a hanger in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 6 is a forward elevational view of the fixed jaw member of FIG. 5 in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 7 is a rearward elevational view of a moveable jaw member in accordance with the present disclosure; and

FIG. 8 is a forward elevational view of the moveable jaw member of FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, illustrated is a perspective view of a hanger according to the present disclosure, generally designated by reference numeral 100. Garment hanger 100 is capable of holding pants, skirts, shorts, and other garments. Garment hanger 100 includes a cross member 10, and a hook member 12 of conventional configuration for hanging on a rail. Hook member 12 is coupled to cross member 10 by collar for receiving hook 14 and is supported by collar 16. As shown, hook member 12 is metal, but in other configurations may be plastic, as part of the cross member 10 molding. Cross member 10 may be of I-beam construction or any such similar structure providing rigidity. Cross member 10 may be made using vacuum molding or injection molding techniques and may be made of translucent or colored plastic material. As shown, pinch clips 20 are disposed at opposing terminal ends of cross member 10. Alternatively or in addition, pinch clips 20 may be positioned on sliders and positioned along cross member 10.

FIG. 2 illustrates a rearward elevational view of pinch clip garment hanger in accordance with the present disclosure. Garment hanger 100 includes fixed jaws 24 integrally molded to the ends of cross member 10. Hanger 100 also includes biasing springs 22 secured to the fixed jaw members.

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of an embodiment of a pinch clip 20. Each pinch clip 20 includes a fixed jaw member 24 integrally molded to the cross member 10, and a moveable jaw member 26 pivotally secured to the fixed jaw member with biasing spring member 22. Fixed jaw member 24 includes a first set of teeth 40, a first arm 28, a pivot post 32, and retaining nodules 36. Moveable jaw member 26 includes a second set of teeth 42, a socket 34, a second arm 30, and a retaining nodule 37.

The first set of teeth 40 has a concave corrugated zigzag profile. The exemplary teeth are small in relation to the teeth of the second set 42, providing desired friction for maintaining grip of a garment. The second set of teeth 42 generally comprise large teeth with triangular profiles, with each tooth being separated from the adjacent tooth by a toothless portion 43. As shown in FIG. 3, the profile of the second set of teeth from top to bottom is progressively diminishing, thereby providing a tapered tooth profile from top to bottom. Also, the leading edges of the first set of teeth 40 mesh such that the teeth of the first set integrate with some of the depressions between the teeth of the second set 42. The outer teeth of the second set 42 overlap the outer teeth of the first set 40. Note that the combination of the first set of teeth 40 with the second set of teeth 42 in the clip provides desired friction to grip garments of various materials and varying thicknesses.

Although in the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the first set of teeth 40 are small and the second set of teeth 42 are bigger, their respective size can be exchanged. In other embodiments, the second set of teeth 42 is small while the first set of teeth 40 are bigger. In a further embodiment, both of the first and second sets of teeth 40 and 42 are small. One advantage of using smaller teeth is that they are less likely to leave notable marks on the garment even after long time of use.

Moveable jaw member 26 is pivotally secured to the fixed jaw member using biasing spring member 22. Biasing spring member 22 keeps the jaw together, ensuring coupling of the moveable jaw member and the fixed jaw member 24. The biasing spring has a first leg end 39 and a second leg end 41, configured to secure the biasing spring member to the respective jaw member. Retaining nodules 36 and 37 prevent biasing spring member 22 from releasing. However, the biasing spring member 22 is releasable with a suitable tool, such as a pry bar or a screwdriver. Retaining nodules 36 or 37 may also be other means that prevent the biasing spring 22 from releasing, such as indentations, notches, slots, cavities and the like. As shown in FIG. 3, pivot post 32 is integrally molded with the fixed jaw member 24. Socket 34 is integrally molded with moveable jaw member 26. Pivot post 32 fits into socket 34, such that a fulcrum is provided for pivotally securing the movable jaw member 26 to the fixed jaw member 24. The first arm 28 is integrally molded with cross member 10 and fixed jaw member 24. The second arm 30 is integrally molded with moveable jaw member 26. In operation, the user of the hanger 100 compressibly squeezes the second arm 30 toward the first arm 28, such that when released, the biasing spring member 22 returns the first set of teeth 40 proximate to the second set of teeth 42 as possible.

Turning now to FIG. 4A, which illustrates a side view of another embodiment, an exemplary clip includes a concave fixed jaw member 48, a moveable jaw member 26 as shown in FIG. 3, and a biasing spring member 22 as shown in FIG. 3. Concave fixed jaw member 48 may include a friction pad 46. In this embodiment, the inner surface of the concave fixed jaw member 48 is profiled as a concave curve, providing sufficient friction to hold a garment. Additional friction may be provided by having a friction pad 46 attached to the inner concave surface, or alternatively, having a scored pattern in the concave fixed jaw member 48 (not shown). As shown, the topmost and bottommost teeth of the second set of teeth 42 overlap the termination of the concave curve and the middle teeth interact with the surface of the concave curve, in order to hold a garment. It is to be noted that the provision of the friction pad 46 is only optional. If the surface of the jaw member 48 is formed to be able to provide sufficient friction, the friction pad 46 can be dispensed. Alternatively, the friction pad 46 can be replaced with small teeth like the first set of teeth 40 shown in FIG. 3.

It is further to be noted that although in FIG. 4A, the fixed jaw member 48 is shown as concave and the moveable jaw member is shown with teeth, the two members can also be designed such that the fixed jaw member has teeth thereon and the moveable jaw member is concave. In this case, the moveable jaw member can have the friction pad 46 or small teeth formed thereon.

Referring to FIG. 4B, the fixed jaw member has a concave profile 50b and the moveable jaw member has a convex profile 52b which matches with the concave profile of the fixed jaw member. As an alternative, a concave profile can be formed in the moveable jaw member and a convex profile in the fixed jaw member. As a preferred (but not required) feature, one or both of the jaw members may have a friction pad or small teeth formed thereon.

Although in the embodiment show in FIG. 4B, the concave and convex profiles of the two jaw members have only one simple curve, the profiles can have two, three or more continuous curves (50c and 52c) as shown in FIG. 4C. As in the embodiment shown in FIG. 4B, one or both of the jaw members may have a friction pad or small teeth formed thereon, but the provision of this friction pad or small teeth is only optional, not required.

It should be noted that the upper portion of the second arm 30 shown in the above embodiments is tapered toward the first arm such that when two hangers are held next to each other, the upper ends of the second arm 30 will not push against each other so as to cause the jaws to open, inadvertently releasing the garment.

However, it is to be noted that the tapering configuration in the above embodiments is only one exemplary structure used to achieve the objective that when two hangers are held next to and pushed against each other their jaws will not open. Generally speaking, this objective can be achieved as long as the overall structure of the pinch clip 20 is formed such as the pinch clip 20 has a width at the pivot post 32 (i.e. along line “a” as shown in FIG. 4A) that is either equal to or greater than the width of the arm portion of the pinch clip (i.e. along line “b” as shown in FIG. 4A).

FIG. 5 is a rearward elevational view of a fixed jaw member 24 formed integrally with a cross member 10 of garment hanger 100. The back of the fixed jaw member 24 in this embodiment is substantially flat to provide a profile that doesn't snag or catch on adjacent garments.

FIG. 6 is a forward elevational view of the fixed jaw member 24 of FIG. 5. Fixed jaw member 24 is shown in this figure to include first set of teeth 40. First set of teeth 40 has a concave corrugated zigzag profile, with the leading edges of the teeth extending laterally from side to side.

FIG. 7 is a rearward elevational view the moveable jaw member 26. The moveable jaw member 26 in this figure includes the second set of teeth 42. Each second set tooth has a triangular profile, extending from side to side, where each second set tooth is separated from the adjacent tooth by a toothless portion 44. Note that in this embodiment, the leading edges of the first set of teeth are collectively in tapered relation from top to bottom. Also note that the second set of teeth 42 may be located on one of the fixed and moveable jaw members. The first and second set of teeth mesh such that the teeth of the first set integrate with the depressions between the teeth of the second set.

In some embodiments, each second set tooth may be of varying profiles, including rounded teeth, square teeth, oblong teeth, pyramidal and hemispherical rows of teeth, and the like.

FIG. 8 is a forward elevational view of the moveable jaw member 26 of FIG. 7. The back of the moveable jaw member 26 in this embodiment is substantially flat to provide a profile that doesn't snag or catch on adjacent garments.

While various embodiments of a garment hanger according to the principles disclosed herein have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example only, and not limitation. Thus, the breadth and scope of the invention(s) should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with any claims and their equivalents issuing from this disclosure. Furthermore, the above advantages and features are provided in described embodiments, but shall not limit the application of such issued claims to processes and structures accomplishing any or all of the above advantages.

Additionally, the section headings herein are provided for consistency with the suggestions under 37 CFR 1.77 or otherwise to provide organizational cues. These headings shall not limit or characterize the invention(s) set out in any claims that may issue from this disclosure. Specifically and by way of example, although the headings refer to a “Technical Field,” such claims should not be limited by the language chosen under this heading to describe the so-called technical field. Further, a description of a technology in the “Background” is not to be construed as an admission that technology is prior art to any invention(s) in this disclosure. Neither is the “Summary” to be considered as a characterization of the invention(s) set forth in issued claims. Furthermore, any reference in this disclosure to “invention” in the singular should not be used to argue that there is only a single point of novelty in this disclosure. Multiple inventions may be set forth according to the limitations of the multiple claims issuing from this disclosure, and such claims accordingly define the invention(s), and their equivalents, that are protected thereby. In all instances, the scope of such claims shall be considered on their own merits in light of this disclosure, but should not be constrained by the headings set forth herein.