Title:
FLORAL BOUQUET ACCESSORY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed toward an adapter that makes possible the use of decorative handles as floral bouquet holders. An umbrella handle floral adapter couples to a handle, such as a detachable umbrella handle, while receiving a flower-mounting device on the opposing side. Vintage umbrellas are one type of the class of umbrellas that typically have a decorative handle that includes a threaded aperture to receive the umbrella portion; however, the present invention is applicable to umbrellas of any date or period that have a detachable handle. Handles such as vintage umbrella handles are made of solid material, decorated with etchings and jewel stones. Such handles are designed to have a comfortable and secure grip. Therefore, when complemented by the present invention and used as a bouquet holder, they provide unique aesthetic value and a comfortable maintenance-free grip. In addition, the handle may be retained after use as a durable and aesthetic memorabilia from the event or for future use. The umbrella handle floral adapter can receive a flower-mounting device that has floral foam. The floral foam can be wet to keep natural flowers fresh throughout a long and demanding event such as weddings and award ceremonies.



Inventors:
Egbert, Jodell (Duvall, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/538640
Publication Date:
06/21/2007
Filing Date:
10/04/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, SON T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SEED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW GROUP LLP (SEATTLE, WA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An adapter for coupling a handle to a flower-mounting device, comprising: a base; clamping means for receiving a flower-mounting device; and fastening means adapted to secure the base to the handle.

2. The adapter of claim 1 wherein the base, clamping means, and fastening means are integrally formed in one piece.

3. The adapter of claim 1, further comprising a bearing member proximate to the fastening means, wherein the bearing member provides additional bearing area for the fastener to secure the base to the handle.

4. A bouquet holder, comprising: a handle; a flower-mounting device; and an adapter coupling the handle to the flower-mounting device, the adapter comprising a base, a clamping member for receiving a flower-mounting device, and a fastening device to couple to a handle.

5. A kit, comprising: an umbrella having a detachable handle; a flower-mounting device; and an adapter, coupling the handle to the flower-mounting device; wherein, the umbrella handle is configured to receive the adapter; and the adapter comprises a base, clamping means for receiving a flower-mounting device, and fastening means for coupling to a handle.

6. A floral display device for displaying a floral arrangement, comprising: a handle; an adapter removably coupled to the handle; and a flower holder configured to retain the floral arrangement, the flower holder removably coupled to the adapter by at least one coupling member.

7. The device of claim 6 wherein the handle is adapted to couple to an umbrella to function as an umbrella handle.

8. An adapter for coupling a handle to a flower-mounting device, comprising: a base; clamping means for receiving a flower-mounting device; and coupling means adapted to captively receive the handle and removably secure the base to the handle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to adapters that facilitate the interconnection of two incompatible objects and more specifically, to an accessory for umbrella handles that enables mounting of floral bouquets to such decorative handles.

2. Description of the Related Art

There are numerous devices and methods to facilitate the display and manual grasping of floral bouquets and like objects. These range from simple decorative ribbons designed to surround flower stems to more complex mounting apparatus that hold and display floral arrangements and retain liquid to extend the life of cut flowers. In most cases the devices are either disposable or have negligible aesthetic value without flowers. Furthermore, existing accessories typically require maintenance throughout an event to provide for a comfortable grip and composure of a floral bouquet arrangement.

Floral arrangements have historically provided aesthetic enhancement to a variety of occasions such as weddings, birthdays, contests, anniversaries, or award ceremonies. Consumers frequently desire an enduring memorabilia that was associated with a bouquet from a special occasion; however, natural flowers expire and artificial flowers can be damaged or deteriorate over time. Existing flower-mounting devices such as the IGLU® made by OASIS® are designed to house floral foam and provide a stable base for the floral foam for the purpose of displaying floral arrangements secured in the floral foam. However, even such devices do not have means for being held or transported comfortably and they have no autonomous aesthetic value without a floral arrangement. Thus far, related art in the field has failed to provide a floral bouquet holder that aids in the longevity of flowers throughout an event, that provides for a comfortable grip, that has autonomous aesthetic value, and that can be retained after an event for further use or as memorabilia.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an adapter that makes possible the use of decorative handles as floral bouquet holders. In one embodiment, an umbrella handle floral adapter for coupling a handle to a flower-mounting device is provided. The adaptor includes a base, a clamping device for receiving the flower-mounting device, and a fastening device adapted to secure the base to the handle. In another embodiment, the base, clamping device, and fastening device are integrally formed of a single material.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a kit is provided that includes an umbrella with a detachable handle, a flower-mounting device, and an adapter. The umbrella handle can receive the adapter when detached from the umbrella, and the adapter couples the umbrella handle to the flower-mounting device.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a floral display device is provided for displaying a floral arrangement. The floral display device includes a handle, an adapter that attaches to the handle, and a flower holder to retain the floral arrangement that is attached to the adapter by a coupling device. The floral display device components can be disassembled and reassembled for cleaning and rearrangement purposes. Furthermore, the handle of the floral display device can be detached and used as an umbrella handle.

In accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention, an adapter for receiving a flower holder and captively securing a handle is provided. The adaptor includes a base, clamping means for receiving a flower-mounting device, and coupling means adapted to captively receive the handle and removably secure the base to the handle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an umbrella handle floral adapter, illustrating the adapter side that receives a flower-mounting device, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the umbrella handle floral adapter of FIG. 1 coupled to a flower-mounting device;

FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view of the umbrella handle floral adapter of FIG. 1 joined to an umbrella handle and a flower-mounting device;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the umbrella handle floral adapter of FIG. 1 illustrating the adapter side that couples to a handle;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of another embodiment of the present invention, illustrating an umbrella handle floral adapter formed from a unitary body of material;

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of yet another embodiment of the present invention, illustrating a handle coupling device;

FIG. 7 is a side view of the umbrella handle floral adapter of FIG. 6 joined to a handle;

FIG. 8 is an isometric view of a floral display device with accompanying floral display formed in accordance with the present invention; and

FIGS. 9A-9D are an isometric projection, a side elevational view, a front elevational view, and a rear elevational view of an adaptor formed in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following description, certain specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various disclosed embodiments. However, one skilled in the relevant art will recognize that embodiments may be practiced without one or more of these specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, etc.

The present detailed description is directed toward embodiments of an umbrella handle floral adapter. One particular embodiment is shown in FIGS. 1 through 4, with further embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 5 through 8.

According to one embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 1, an umbrella handle floral adapter 10 is provided, and it includes a base 12, at least one and preferably three clamping members 14, and an aperture 16 for receiving a fastener such as a threaded screw. The clamping member 14 extends from the base 12 at a substantially right angle. The clamping member 14 has an arcuate wall with a barb 17 formed along a free end 15. As shown in FIG. 2, the barbs 17 are preferably formed on an interior side, for receiving a flower-mounting device 18. However, other embodiments are possible. The clamping members 14 can be integrally formed with the base 12. Additionally, or alternatively, the clamping members 14 can be mounted on the base 12 with mounting agents such as adhesives or fasteners or both (not shown). In other embodiments the clamping members 14 may be removably engaged to the base 12 by a locking mechanism (not shown). The clamping members 14 may be made from substantially rigid or resilient materials. Rigid materials include metals, composites, dense foam, hard or soft wood, dense plastic, or any other material that is not deformable. Clamping members 14 made from a rigid material can receive a flower-mounting device 18 that is made from a resilient material such as plastic.

An example of a standard flower-mounting device 18 is the IGLU® made by OASIS®. The IGLU® has a plastic dome-shaped cage 18 that holds a floral foam (not shown). The IGLU® cage 18 includes a base 19 and a plurality of radial members 20 extending between a plurality of vertically arcuate members 21. To achieve a tight fit between one of the radial members 20 and the barbs 17 of the clamping members 14, the plastic radial member 20 can temporarily bend as it slides past the barbs 17 and resume its original position to snap in place under the barbs 17. As shown in FIG. 2, the clamping member 14 grips the cage radial member 20 to securely hold the flower-mounting device 18 in place while the floral foam housed inside the flower-mounting device 18 accommodates a desired floral arrangement. Alternatively, the clamping members 14 can be fabricated from a resilient material such as plastic, flexible composites, or any other material capable of temporarily deforming and immediately resuming its original shape. In such embodiments the clamping members 14 can receive a flower-mounting device 18 that is fabricated from rigid material, which temporarily deforms the clamping members 14 as it slides past barbs 17. The clamping members 14 resume their original shape after the flower-mounting device 18 is situated under the barbs 17, creating a tight fit between the barbs 17 and the radial member 20 of the flower-mounting device 18. Furthermore, since the floral foam is designed to retain a liquid such as hydrating agents, the floral foam can be soaked with water or other hydrating agent having plant-nurturing qualities to extend the life of cut flowers and preserve the floral arrangement appearance throughout an event.

Referring to FIG. 3, the aperture 16 in the base 12 receives a threaded fastener 22. The aperture 16 is configured to receive a countersunk fastener and to provide a flush surface for the base 19 of the flower-mounting device 18. The fastener 22, such as a threaded screw, can be installed in aperture 16 with the threaded portion protruding from the adapter 10 to fasten to a handle 24, such as a detachable umbrella handle. Vintage umbrellas are one type of the class of umbrellas that typically have a decorative handle that includes a threaded aperture 26 to receive the umbrella portion; however, the adapter 10 is applicable to umbrellas of any date or period that have a detachable handle. When detached from the umbrella portion, the handle 24 can receive the fastener 22 protruding from the adapter 10, which in turn receives the flower-mounting device 18, such as the IGLU®. Therefore, the adapter 10 can convert decorative handles to bouquet holders that can accommodate a floral arrangement mounted in floral foam, which can be wet to keep the flowers fresh throughout an occasion. Furthermore, decorative umbrella handles provide an eloquent and comfortable handle for a floral bouquet, and a flower-mounting device 18 maintains the composure of a floral bouquet without requiring maintenance throughout an event.

FIG. 3 further depicts a bearing member 28 protruding from the base 12 of the adapter 10 and surrounding the fastener 22. The bearing member 28 provides additional bearing area to prevent material tear-out or shearing from the floral bouquet load transferred between the adapter 10 and the handle 24.

The bearing member 28 can be integrally formed with the base 12. Additionally, or alternatively, the bearing member 28 can be mounted on base 12 with mounting agents such as adhesives or fasteners or both. In other embodiments the bearing member 28 may be removably engaged to the base 12 by a locking mechanism (not shown). In such embodiments the handle 24 and the bearing member 28 may be temporarily removed from the adapter 10 by disengaging the bearing member 28 from the base 12, allowing the floral arrangement to be displayed on a flat surface. The bearing member 28 may be made from plastic, metals, composites, dense foam, hard or soft wood, or any other material capable of transferring the load of the floral bouquet between the adapter 10 and the handle 24.

FIG. 4, is a bottom view of the adapter 10, illustrating the bottom surface of the bearing member 28. The bearing member 28 will typically have a circular shape; however other embodiments are possible. As shown in FIG. 3, this surface can be contiguous with the end of handle 24 when the adapter 10 fastens to the handle 24.

FIG. 5 illustrates another embodiment of an umbrella handle floral adapter 30, in which a base 32, clamping members 34, a fastener 36, and a bearing member 38 are integrally formed of a single material. The advantage of this embodiment is that manufacturers can use processes such as molding or casting to fabricate the umbrella handle floral adapter 30 and forego assembly requirements.

FIG. 6 illustrates yet another embodiment of an umbrella handle floral adapter 40 that includes a handle coupling device 42 protruding from the base 44. The coupling device 42 can be fabricated from a resilient material such as plastic, rubber, foam, or synthetic rubber such as neoprene or any other material that can temporarily deform and tend to retract to its original shape. The coupling device 42 will typically have a circular shape to receive a handle. FIG. 7 shows a handle 46 captively and removably secured in the coupling device 42. Forcibly inserting the handle 46 in coupling device 42 expands the entry of the coupling device 42 from its original diameter to receive the handle 46. After receiving the handle 46, the coupling device 42 tends to retract, inducing friction to captively secure the handle 46. Although the friction is sufficient to allow the adapter 40 to support a floral display or a bouquet during use, a pulling force can overcome the friction to separate the adapter from the handle 46 after use.

FIG. 6 illustrates the handle coupling device 42 and the base 44 in integrated form; however, other embodiments are possible. For example, if it is desired to use different materials for the base 44 and the handle coupling device 42, the handle coupling device 42 can be attached to the base 44 by fasteners or adhesives or both. The advantage of this embodiment is that the adapter 40 can convert handles, arms, shafts, or any other protrusions or stems that do not have an aperture for receiving a fastener, to a bouquet holder or a floral display. For example, the coupling device 42 can couple a candy cane to the adapter 40 and provide for a seasonal floral display device. Additionally, or alternatively, the coupling device 42 can receive shafts installed on a wall, similar to wall-mounted coat hangers, allowing the display of a floral arrangement at any angle on a wall or any other structure.

In accordance with another embodiment, FIG. 8 illustrates the flower display device 50 with accompanying floral display 52. The floral display 52 is secured in the flower holder or flower-mounting device 18, which is gripped by the adapter 10 as previously described. The flower holder 18 and adapter 10 illustrated in FIG. 3 are covered by the floral display 52 in FIG. 8. The handle 54 shown in FIG. 8 can be detached from the adapter 50 and used as an umbrella handle. The floral display device may be used as a bouquet in occasions such as weddings or award ceremonies, or it may be displayed on a surface as shown in FIG. 8. Additionally, or alternatively, the floral display device 50 can be displayed in a store display, inserted in the grip of a mannequin or in a hollow holder that can receive the handle 24 and on which the adapter 50 can rest.

FIGS. 9A-9D illustrate another adaptor 200 formed in accordance with the present invention wherein the adaptor includes a base plate 202 having a lip 204 circumscribing an outer edge 206 thereof. Four openings 208 are formed in the base plate 202, which are spaced apart equidistantly at 90 degrees. Adjacent the outer edge 206. A central axial opening 210 is formed at the center of the base plate 202. While the central opening 210 is circular, the four peripheral openings 208 are generally oblong in shape.

Four resilient clamping members 214 project from a front surface 212 of the base plate 202 at about 90 degrees. Each clamping member comprises an arcuate wall 216 attached or integrally formed at one end to the base plate 202. An interior wall 218 includes a barbed free end 220 for gripping a flower holder or flower mounting device as described above. Each of the clamping members is preferably formed adjacent a peripheral opening 208 in the base plate 202.

On a back surface 222 of the base plate 202 is a disk-shaped mounting member 224 centered about the central axial opening 210 and including a matching opening 210A. A fastener (not shown) passes through the openings 210, 210A to attach the adaptor 200 to an umbrella handle (not shown). Positioned around the central axial opening 210 are one or more arcuate-shaped openings 226 that extend in to the mounting member 224, which provides a closed bottom to form one or more containers 228. In this case four openings 226 are formed to create four containers 228. These containers can be used to catch water dripping from flowers held by the adaptor 200.

In use, the umbrella handle attaches to the mounting member 224 with a fastener, such as a bolt or screw inserted through the openings 210, 210A. A flower container is then snapped into the clamping members 214 to be held in place by the clamping members 214 due to the elastic nature of the clamping members 214.

It is to be understood that the adaptor 200 can be manufactured using plastic, aluminum, cast metals, wood, or other known materials. In one embodiment, the adaptor 200 can be made as a single unitary device or from distinct components that are subsequently attached together using known methods, such as adhesives, thermal bonding, fasteners, and the like.

All of the above U.S. patents, U.S. patent application publications, U.S. patent applications, foreign patents, foreign patent applications and non-patent publications referred to in this specification and/or listed in the Application Data Sheet, are incorporated herein by reference, in their entirety.

From the foregoing it will be appreciated that, although specific embodiments of the invention have been described herein for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without deviating from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not limited except as by the appended claims.