Title:
Pocketable folding umbrella as maximally flattened
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pocketable folding umbrella includes a flat central shaft consisting of a plurality of flat tubes each formed as a rectangular shape and telescopically engageable with one another; a rib assembly including a plurality of flat-side rib means (or devices) respectively universally secured to an upper notch and a lower runner by a plurality of pivoting devices each projectively aligned with a long axis X on the upper notch or the lower runner, and a plurality of extremity rib means (or devices) respectively pivotally secured to opposite extremity end portions of the upper notch or lower runner; whereby upon closing of the umbrella, the rib means may be folded to maximally flatten a folded umbrella.



Inventors:
Lin, Chung-kuang (Taipei Hsien, TW)
Chang, Jung-jen (Taipei Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
11/263965
Publication Date:
05/03/2007
Filing Date:
11/02/2005
Assignee:
Fu Tai Umbrella Works, Ltd.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/20.1, 135/25.4, 135/28
International Classes:
A45B19/04; A45B11/00; A45B25/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TROXELL LAW OFFICE PLLC (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A pocketable flat folding umbrella comprising: a flat central shaft consisting of a plurality of flat tubes telescopically engaged with one another; a flat upper notch formed at a top of said flat central shaft and defining a long axis and a short axis on said notch; a flat lower runner slidably held on said central shaft and defining a long axis and a short axis on said runner; a rib assembly having an umbrella cloth secured thereon including a plurality of flat-side rib means respectively universally secured to said flat upper notch and said flat lower runner by a plurality of pivoting means which are respectively formed in said flat upper notch and in said lower runner, each said pivoting means projectively aligned with each said long axis formed at the flat upper notch or at the flat lower runner; and a plurality of extremity rib means each respectively pivotally secured to opposite extremity end portions of said upper notch and of said lower runner; whereby upon closing of the umbrella, said rib means will be universally or pivotally folded to maximally flatten and fold an umbrella.

2. An umbrella according to claim 1, wherein said flat central shaft includes a plurality of flat tubes each generally formed as a rectangular shape and said flat tubes telescopically engaged with one another for forming multiple folds of the shaft, said tubes gradually or gradationally increasing the number of concave portions, each recessed inwardly into an interior of said tube, from an outermost tube to an innermost tube; whereby two neighboring tubes will be slidably engaged with each other by engaging one concave portion formed in one tube with the other concave portion formed in the other tube.

3. An umbrella according to claim 1, wherein said flat central shaft consisting of said flat tubes defines a long axis at a latitudinal center line in said shaft linearly connected between an east direction and a west direction disposed about a shaft center; and a short axis defined at a longitudinal center line in said shaft linearly connected between a north direction and a south direction to intersect the long axis at said shaft center.

4. An umbrella according to claim 3, wherein each said tube has at least a concave portion inwardly recessed in a tube wall and positioned in a direction, selected from the group consisting of: east, west, north, south, southeast, southwest, northeast and northwest, about the shaft center.

5. An umbrella according to claim 1, wherein each said extremity rib means includes: at least a top rib pivotally secured to an end portion of the upper notch, and at least a stretcher rib pivotally connected to said top rib and pivotally secured to an end portion of the lower runner.

6. An umbrella according to claim 1, wherein said upper notch includes a central flat sleeve portion disposed about a shaft center for securing an uppermost tube of the central shaft into the central flat sleeve portion; and the lower runner having a central flat sleeve formed on a central portion of the lower runner for slidably engaging the central shaft.

7. An umbrella according to claim 1, wherein each said flat-side rib means includes: at least a top rib universally secured to the upper notch by a universal pivoting means, and at least a stretcher rib pivotally connected with said top rib and universally secured to the lower runner by a lower universal pivoting means.

8. An umbrella according to claim 1, wherein said universal pivoting means are linearly arranged on the upper notch to be projectively aligned with said long axis of the upper notch, and are disposed on opposite sides about the shaft center in between two opposite end portions of the upper notch.

9. An umbrella according to claim 7, wherein each said universal pivoting means includes: a rib holder having a vertical pivot vertically rotatably engaged in a pivot hole formed in the upper notch for rotating the rib holder about a pivoting center generally perpendicular to a long axis of said upper notch, and a horizontal pivot transversely formed in the rib holder for pivotally securing the top rib of the flat-side rib assembly to the rib holder, thereby allowing the top rib to be universally pivotally secured to the upper notch.

10. An umbrella according to claim 7, wherein said lower universal pivoting means are linearly arranged on the lower runner to be projectively aligned with the long axis of the lower runner, and are disposed on opposite sides about the shaft center in between two opposite end portions of the lower runner.

11. An umbrella according to claim 10, wherein each said lower universal pivoting means includes: a lower rib holder having a lower vertical pivot vertically rotatably engaged in a lower pivot hole formed in the lower runner for rotating the lower rib holder about a lower pivoting center generally perpendicular to the long axis of the lower runner, and a lower horizontal pivot transversely formed in the lower rib holder for pivotally securing the stretcher rib of the flat-side rib assembly to the lower rib holder, thereby allowing the stretcher rib to be universally pivotally secured to the lower runner.

12. An umbrella according to claim 1, wherein each said pivoting means is rotatably held in a socket recessed in said upper notch or in said lower runner.

13. An umbrella according to claim 2, wherein an inner tube has one said concave portion recessed in said inner tube, said concave portion in said inner tube corresponding to a portion in an outer tube neighboring to said inner tube having zero concave portion formed in said outer tube, defining an air chamber in between said concave portion of said inner tube and said outer tube having zero concave portion formed therein.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

U.S. Pat. No. 5,533,535 issued to the same inventors of this application disclosed a pocketable folding umbrella (hereinafter called the “prior art”) as inferentially illustrated in FIG. 1, which however has the following drawbacks:

  • 1. The central shaft (1), if made of a plurality of tubes telescopically engageable, will weaken its strength especially the innermost tube (1i) of which the diameter has been greatly reduced, thereby being easily deformed, bent or damaged.
  • 2. Each flat-side rib means (2a) is pivoted about a center (C) which is however positioned at a side portion of the upper notch (3) or lower runner (4) as separated from the X-axis (X) so that the umbrella ribs at the flat side can not be greatly biased to approximate the “center line” aligned with the axis (X), thereby being still unable to be maximally flattened when closing the umbrella.

The present inventor has found the drawbacks of the prior art and invented the present pocketable folding umbrella which may be flattened maximally.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a pocketable folding umbrella including a flat central shaft consisting of a plurality of flat tubes each formed as a rectangular shape and telescopically engageable with one another; a rib assembly including a plurality of flat-side rib means each universally pivoted about a pivoting center projectively aligned with a long axis X on an upper notch or a lower runner, and a plurality of extremity rib means each pivotally secured to opposite extremity end portions of the upper notch or lower runner; whereby upon closing of the umbrella, the rib means may be folded to maximally flatten a folded umbrella.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an upper notch and the related elements of a flat umbrella of a prior art.

FIG. 2 shows a multiple-fold umbrella when folded in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows the plural tubes telescopically engageable for forming the central shaft of penta-fold of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional drawing of the tube as viewed from 4-4 direction of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional drawing as taken from line 5-5 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional drawing as taken from line 6-6 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional drawing as taken from line 7-7 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional drawing as taken from line 8-8 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 9 is a cross sectional drawing of the tubes of the central shaft of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is an illustration showing an opening umbrella of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a top view illustration of the upper notch of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a top view of the lower runner of the present invention.

FIG. 13 shows the upper notch and the lower runner having partial ribs pivotally secured thereto.

FIG. 14 is a cross sectional drawing of another preferred embodiment of the central shaft of triple folds in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 15 shows another penta-fold shaft of the present invention.

FIG. 16 shows a hepta-fold shaft of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As shown in the drawing figures, the present invention comprises: a flat central shaft 1 consisting of a plurality of flat tubes telescopically engageable with one another and a flat grip 10 formed on a lower portion of the shaft 1, a rib assembly 2 consisting of a plurality of extremity rib means 2e and a plurality of flat-side rib means 2a respectively pivotally secured to a flat upper notch 3 formed on a top of the flat central shaft 1 and pivotally secured to a flat lower runner 4 slidably held on the shaft 1, and an umbrella cloth 5 secured on the rib assembly 2.

The flat central shaft 1 includes a plurality of flat tubes telescopically engageable with one another for forming multiple folds of the shaft 1. The tubes gradually or gradationally increase the number of concave portions V formed on each tube from the outermost (or lowest) tube 11 to the innermost (or uppermost) tube 15.

As shown in FIGS. 2˜9, the flat central shaft 1 includes: a first or lowest or outermost flat tube 11, a second or lower flat tube 12, a third or middle flat tube 13, a fourth or upper flat tube 14, and a fifth or uppermost or innermost flat tube 15, all tubes being telescopically engaged with one another to form the flat central shaft.

The flat central shaft 1 or the upper notch 3 or the lower runner 4 each defines a long axis or latitudinal axis X at a latitudinal center line linearly connected between the east direction E and the west direction W (FIGS. 9, 10, 11, 12); a short axis or longitudinal axis Y at a longitudinal center line linearly connected between the north direction N and the south direction S to intersect the long axis X at a shaft center O.

The first or lowest or outermost tube 11 (FIG. 4) has zero concave portion V as recessed inwardly from a rectangular tube wall towards an interior I of the shaft 1; the second or lower tube 12 (FIG. 5) having one concave portion V as recessed inwardly from a rectangular tube wall (positioned at a southwest direction SW about the shaft center O) towards the interior I of the shaft 1; the third tube 13 having two concave portions V as respectively recessed inwardly from the rectangular tube wall and positioned at the southwest direction SW and the northeast direction NE (FIG. 6) about the center O to slidably engage the concave portion positioned at SW direction of the third tube 13 with the concave portion also located at SW direction of the second tube 12 to have their mutual smooth sliding engagement when extending or retracting the tubes for opening or closing the umbrella; the fourth tube 14 having three concave portions V recessed inwardly from the tube wall at three locations of SW, SE and NE directions about the center O to slidably engage the concave portions V at directions SW, NE of both the fourth tube 14 and of the third tube 13; and the fifth or uppermost or innermost tube 15 having four concave portions V recessed inwardly from the tube wall at four locations of SW, SE, NE and NW (northwest) directions about the center O to thereby slidably engage the concave portions V at directions SW, SE and NE of both the fifth tube 15 and the fourth tube 14 as shown in FIG. 9.

Accordingly, the concave portions V are gradually or gradationally increased from the first or outermost tube 11 towards the fifth or innermost tube 15 with an increment of one concave portion V gradually increased from an outer (or lower) tube to a neighboring inner (or upper) tube.

Namely, there is an increment of one concave portion V between every two neighboring tubes (or between the inner tube and the outer tube).

By the way, every two neighboring tubes will commonly define an air chamber A therebetween. For example, the first tube 11 having zero concave portion and the second tube 12 having one concave portion V at SW direction will define an air chamber A at SW direction as shown in dotted line of FIG. 4 and as shown in FIG. 9. The second tube 12 and the third tube 13 will commonly define another air chamber A at direction NE (FIGS. 5 and 9).

Such an air chamber A between every two neighboring tubes will provide an aperture for air flow therethrough to prevent from serious frictional dogging or “braking” between the neighboring tubes when slidably extending or retracting the tubes.

The concave portions V as formed in the flat tubes of the central shaft 1 have the following functions and advantages:

  • 1. The concave portion as formed in the tube wall of the shaft tube will play a role like a reinforcing rib for reinforcing the strength of the tube especially on the long side wall of the rectangular-shaped tube wall.
  • 2. The concave portions V of two neighboring tubes will make the tubes to be slidably engaged with each other in a smooth way.
  • 3. The tubes with the concave portions V formed in the tube walls will prevent the tubes from being vibrated or twisted.

The second tube 12 includes a lower enlarged portion 121 to be engaged with an upper contracted portion 111 of the first tube 11 as shown in FIG. 3 to thereby limit the two tubes 12, 11 and prevent from their separation when extended. The lower enlarged portion 121 of the second tube 12 may be directly enlarged from a lower end portion of the concave portion V which is recessed in the second tube 12. Correspondingly, the upper contracted portion 111 of the first tube 11 may be directly formed on an upper end portion of the first tube 11 defining an air chamber A between the first tube 11 and the second tube 12.

Similarly, the second tube 12 has its upper contracted portion 122 engaged with a lower enlarged portion 131 of the third tube 13. The third tube 13 has its upper contracted portion 132 engaged with a lower enlarged portion 141 of the fourth tube 14. The fourth tube 14 has its upper contracted portion 142 engaged with a lower enlarged portion 151 of the fifth tube 15.

Other modifications may be made to form multiple-fold central shaft 1. For instance, the triple-fold shaft 1 as shown in FIG. 14 includes a first tube 11, a second tube 12 having its concave portion V formed at NW direction and a third tube 13 having its two concave portions V formed at NW and NE directions.

As shown in FIG. 15, another penta-fold shaft 1 of the present invention is presented by forming a concave portion V in the second tube 12 at south direction S; two concave portions V in the third tube 13 at south and north direction S, N; three concave portions V in the fourth tube 14 at directions of south, north and east (S, N and E); and four concave portions V in the fifth tube 15 at four directions of east (E), west (W), south (S) and north (N), thereby engaging the first tube through fifth tube 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 to be a penta-fold shaft 1.

In FIG. 16, a hepta-fold shaft 1 is formed by modifying the shaft tubes of the embodiment as shown in FIG. 9 by further adding a sixth tube 16 having five concave portions V formed at locations of E, SE, SW, NE and NW, and adding a seventh tube 17 having six concave portions V formed at locations of E, W, SE, SW, NE and NW.

So, the flat central shaft 1 of the present invention may be modified to be multiple folds by selectively forming the concave portions V in the related tubes at suitable locations or directions, not limited in the present invention.

Since each tube of the central shaft 1 is formed as a flat shape or rectangular shape having a proper length and width and reinforced by the concave portion(s) V formed in the tube, not a circular tube having a small diameter and weak strength of an upper or uppermost (or innermost) tube of the prior art, the flat shaft 1 of the present invention provides an umbrella with reliable strength and maneuverability.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 10˜13, a plurality of (or two) extremity rib means 2e are respectively formed on opposite end portions of the upper notch 3 and of the lower runner 4; and a plurality of flat-side rib means 2a normally linearly arranged respectively on the upper notch 3 and on the lower runner 4 when closing the umbrella, and operatively universally biased outwardly for opening the umbrella. Each extremity rib means 2e includes: at least a top rib 21 pivotally secured to an end portion 32 of the upper notch 3, and at least a stretcher rib 22 pivotally secured to an end portion 42 of the lower runner 4, with the stretcher rib 22 pivotally connected with the top rib 21.

The upper notch 3 has a central flat sleeve portion 31 disposed about a shaft center O for securing the uppermost tube 15 of the central shaft 1 into the central flat sleeve portion 31; and the lower runner 4 having a central flat sleeve 41 formed on a central portion of the lower runner for slidably engaging the central shaft 1.

Each flat-side rib means 2a includes: at least a top rib 21 universally secured to the upper notch 3 by a universal pivoting means 33, and at least a stretcher rib 22 universally secured to the lower runner 4 by a lower universal pivoting means 43, with the stretcher rib 22 of the rib means 2a pivotally connected with the top rib 21.

All the universal pivoting means 33 are linearly arranged on the upper notch 3 (FIGS. 10, 11) to be projectively aligned with the long axis X of the upper notch, and are disposed on opposite sides about the shaft center O in between two opposite end portions 32 of the upper notch 3.

Each universal pivoting means 33 includes: a rib holder 331 having a vertical pivot 332 vertically rotatably engaged in a pivot hole 301 formed in the upper notch 3 for rotating the rib holder 331 about a pivoting center C generally perpendicular to the long axis X, and a horizontal pivot 333 transversely formed in the rib holder 331 for pivotally securing the top rib 21 of the flat-side rib assembly 2a to the rib holder 331, thereby allowing the top rib 21 to be universally pivotally secured to the upper notch 3.

All the lower universal pivoting means 43 are linearly arranged on the lower runner 4 (FIG. 12) to be projectively aligned with the long axis X of the lower runner 4, and are disposed on opposite sides about the shaft center O in between two opposite end portions 42 of the lower runner 4.

Each lower universal pivoting means 43 includes: a lower rib holder 431 having a lower vertical pivot 432 vertically rotatably engaged in a lower pivot hole 401 formed in the lower runner 4 for rotating the lower rib holder 431 about a lower pivoting center C1 generally perpendicular to the long axis X of the lower runner, and a lower horizontal pivot 433 transversely formed in the lower rib holder 431 for pivotally securing the stretcher rib 22 of the flat-side rib assembly 2a to the lower rib holder 431, thereby allowing the stretcher rib 22 to be universally pivotally secured to the lower runner 4.

Other pivoting means 33, 43 may be further modified and used in accordance with the present invention.

The rib assembly 2 of the present invention are multiple folds, including triple folds, penta folds, etc., not limited in this invention, thereby providing a multiple-fold umbrella.

Each universal pivoting means 33 has its rib holder 331 rotatably held within a socket 30 recessed in the upper notch 3, having an outside retarding wall 302 defining an acute angle B from the long axis X to the outside retarding wall 302 for retarding an outwardly extended top rib 21 when opening the umbrella, and having an inside retarding wall 303 recessed inwardly in the socket 30 to be opposite to the outside retarding wall 302 for receiving an inwardly retracted top rib 21 when closing the umbrella. The pivot hole 301 is vertically communicated with the socket 30.

Each lower universal pivoting means 43 has its rib holder 431 rotatably held within a socket 40 recessed in the lower runner 4, having an outside retarding wall 402 defining an acute angle B from the long axis X to the outside retarding wall 402 for retarding an outwardly extended stretcher rib 22 when opening the umbrella, and having an inside retarding wall 403 recessed inwardly in the socket 40 to be opposite to the outside retarding wall 402 for receiving an inwardly retracted stretcher rib 22 when closing the umbrella. The pivot hole 401 is vertically communicated with the socket 40.

Upon opening of the umbrella as shown in FIG. 10, the extending of the rib assembly 2 when raising the lower runner 4 will simultaneously tension the umbrella cloth 5 to universally bias all (or four) flat-side rib means 2a (aiming four directions of northeast NE, northwest NW, southeast SE, and southwest SW) and to pivotally extend the plural (or two) extremity rib means 2e (aiming two directions of east E and west W) to fully open the umbrella. Each flat-side rib means 2a will be outwardly biased from the long axis X of the upper notch 3 or lower runner 4 in an acute angle B (e.g., about 60 degrees).

Upon closing of the umbrella, the runner 4 is lowered to retract the rib assembly 2 and to close the umbrella cloth 5. All flat-side rib means 2a and all extremity rib means 2e are inwardly retracted towards the shaft center O for closing the umbrella. Since each flat-side rib means 2a is universally pivoted about the upper notch 3 or lower runner 4, it may be then universally inwardly biased towards the long axis X to maximally flatten the folded umbrella.

Since all universal pivoting means 33 or 43 are generally linearly arranged on the notch 3 or runner 4 to be projectively aligned with the long or latitudinal axis X at a center line of the notch or runner, the rib assembly 2 and cloth 5, after being folded and closed, will be greatly flattened to minimize the folding volume of the umbrella, thereby being easily conveniently carried, stored or handled. The linear arrangement of the flat-side rib means 2a of the present invention can greatly minimize the volume of the folded umbrella to be superior to the prior art which includes the flat-side rib means 2a disposed on each flat side portion (not at a center line) of the upper notch or lower runner and can not be maximally flattened for minimizing its folding volume when closing the umbrella.

The present invention provides a flat central shaft 1 consisting of a plurality of flat tubes telescopically engaged with one another, and a flat upper notch 3 and flat lower runner 4 to linearly distribute all rib means 2a, 2e to be projectively aligned with a center line defined at the long axis X of the notch 3 or runner 4, thereby forming a slim compact pocketable flat folding umbrella.

The present invention may be further modified without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

The rectangular notch 3 or runner 4 may be made so slim, for example, by setting the length-to-width ratio of its rectangular shape to be 7:1 or other ratio.