Title:
GARMENT HANGER WITH RELEASABLE INFORMATION TAB
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Garment hangers having information tab mounts are described. An exemplary information tab mount includes a recessed portion for receiving an information tab, a rib member that extends upwardly to inhibit removal of the information tab from the holder, and a channel to facilitate deliberate removal of the information tab. The information tab may be releasably secured to the information tab mount with a latch.



Inventors:
Yau, Wai Shing (Kowloon, HK)
Application Number:
11/306762
Publication Date:
07/12/2007
Filing Date:
01/10/2006
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:
1. A garment hanger, comprising: a body; and an information tab mount forming a portion of the body, the information tab mount comprising: a recessed portion for receiving an information tab, the recessed portion defining; a coupling surface; first and second guide sides extending along opposing ends of the coupling surface; an end tab side; and a receiving side, wherein the end tab side and the receiving side are defined at opposing ends of the coupling surface; a rib member extending from the coupling surface, the rib member and coupling surface cooperating to be substantially T-shaped in profile wherein the rib member is disposed in between the end tab side and the receiving side, and a first end of the rib member and the first guide side define a gap; and a channel formed in a portion of the coupling surface corresponding to the gap.

2. A garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein a second end of the rib member and the second guide side define a second gap, the garment hanger further comprising a second channel formed in a portion of the coupling surface corresponding to the second gap.

3. A garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the rib member is substantially perpendicular to the channel.

4. A garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the rib member forms an angle with the channel, the angle being not a right angle.

5. A garment hanger according to claim 2, wherein the rib member is substantially perpendicular to the second channel.

6. A garment hanger according to claim 2, wherein the rib member forms an angle with the second channel, the angle being not a right angle.

7. A garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the channel is formed to have substantially uniform depth.

8. A garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the channel is formed to have varying depth.

9. A garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the channel begins proximate the rib member and extends beyond the end tab side.

10. A garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the channel begins proximate the receiving side and extends beyond the end tab side.

11. A garment hanger according to claim 2, wherein the second channel begins proximate the rib member and extends beyond the end tab side.

12. A garment hanger according to claim 2, wherein the second channel begins proximate the receiving side and extends beyond the end tab side.

13. A garment hanger, comprising: a body; and an information tab mount forming a portion of the body, the information tab mount comprising: a recessed portion for receiving an information tab, the recessed portion defining a coupling surface; and an end tab side; a receiving side, wherein the end tab side and the receiving side are defined at opposing ends of the coupling surface; a rib member extending from the coupling surface, the rib member and coupling surface cooperating to be substantially T-shaped in profile, wherein the rib member is disposed in between the end tab side and the receiving side; and a channel formed in the coupling surface, the channel beginning proximate the rib member and extending beyond the end tab side.

14. A garment hanger according to claim 13, wherein the recessed portion further defines a first guide side and a second guide side, and wherein the rib member extends from the first guide side to the second guide side.

15. A garment hanger according to claim 13, wherein the recessed portion further defines a first guide side and a second guide side, and wherein the rib member and the first guide side define a first gap and the rib member and the second guide side define a second gap.

16. A garment hanger according to claim 13, wherein the recessed portion further defines a first guide side and a second guide side, the first and second guide sides being substantially parallel to one another.

17. A garment hanger according to claim 13, wherein the channel is formed to have substantially uniform depth.

18. A garment hanger according to claim 13, wherein the channel is formed to have varying depth.

19. A method for removably providing an information tab on a garment hanger, comprising: providing a garment hanger having an information tab mount, the information tab mount having a recessed portion defining a receiving side and an end tab side, and the information tab mount further having a rib member extending from the recessed portion, the rib member and coupling surface cooperating to be substantially T-shaped in profile, wherein the rib member is disposed in between the end tab side and the receiving side; providing an information tab having a base, a pair of elongated sides extending from the base and a pair of latches forming terminal ends of the elongated sides; positioning the latches over the receiving side; and exerting a force on the information tab toward the end tab side to mount the information tab on the hanger, whereby at least one of the latches is positioned between the rib member and the end tab side.

20. A method according to claim 19, wherein the recessed portion includes a channel defined therein, the method further comprising inserting a tool into the channel to engage the at least one latch over the rib member, thereby disengaging the information tab from the information tab mount.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

Disclosed embodiments herein relate generally to garment hangers, and more particularly to garment hangers having releasable information tabs.

BACKGROUND

Numerous types of hangers have been used to hang garments, such as jackets, shirts, skirts, shorts, and trousers. In the retail environment, it is desirable to find an appropriately sized article of clothing quickly without having to sort through many garments of the wrong size.

Some stores address this problem by sectioning off a clothes rack with similarly sized clothes, and providing flags on the clothes rack to show the sizes of the clothes within a particular zone of the rack. Other stores place information markers on the hangers themselves to represent clothing size information. It has been found that some conventional information tabs or markers are very difficult to release.

Other information tab designs present an opposite problem. That is, some conventional information tabs have been found to be easily removable, thus presenting problems of safety and fraud. For example, easily removable information tabs may be easily removed and swallowed by children. In addition, information tabs that show price information may be removed intentionally, thus creating fraud issues, where a tab showing a higher price can readily be exchanged for a tab with a lower price.

BRIEF SUMMARY

Disclosed herein is a garment hanger adapted to receive an information tab or clip mounted thereon. The garment hanger includes a body, a hook member extending from the body, and an information tab mount. The information tab mount generally includes a recessed portion for receiving the information tab. In one embodiment, the recessed portion defines a coupling side, a first guide side, a second guide side, and an end tab side. The information tab mount also includes a rib-like member to inhibit undesired removal of the information tab and one or more channels to facilitate deliberate removal of the information tab. Several embodiments are shown and described having varying configurations of the channel(s). The rib member extends upwardly from the coupling side to engage with latches on the information tab. In each case, the channel has a depth extending downward from the coupling side. In some embodiments, the channel begins proximate the rib member, and has a length extending in a direction away from the rib member, and beyond the end tab side. In other embodiments, the channel begins at the coupling side, and has a length extending parallel to the first guide side, and beyond the end tab side. The channel facilitates deliberate removal of the information tab by permitting a tab removal tool to disengage the latch on the information tab from the rib member on the information tab mount.

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 an elevational fragmentary view of a garment hanger with an information tab mount in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a perspective fragmentary view of a first embodiment of an information tab mount in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 is a partial plan view of the information tab mount illustrated in FIG. 2 in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 is a front view of an information tab mount, as illustrated in FIG. 2, viewed along line X-X of FIG. 3, in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 5 is a perspective fragmentary view of another embodiment of an information tab mount in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 6 is a partial plan view of the information tab mount illustrated in FIG. 5 in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 7 is a front view of an information tab mount, as illustrated in FIG. 5, viewed along line Y-Y of FIG. 6, in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 8 illustrates a front view of yet another embodiment of an information tab mount in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 9 illustrates a transverse sectional view of an information tab in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of the information tab of FIG. 9 in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 11 illustrates a transverse sectional view showing the information tab of FIG. 10 secured to the information tab mount of FIG. 2;

FIG. 12 is a perspective fragmentary view of yet another embodiment of an information tab mount in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 13 is a perspective fragmentary view of yet another embodiment of an information tab mount in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 14 is a partial plan view of the information tab mount illustrated in FIG. 13 in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 15 is a front view of the information tab mount illustrated in FIG. 13, viewed along line Z-Z of FIG. 14, in accordance with the present disclosure; and

FIG. 16 is a perspective fragmentary view of yet another embodiment of an information tab mount in accordance with the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates an elevational fragmentary view of an exemplary garment hanger 100 having an information tab mount 8 for receiving an information tab (not shown). Garment hanger 100 includes a body 2, arms 4 extending outwardly from the body, a hook 6 extending upwardly from the body, and information tab mount 8 defined in an area generally adjacent to the body 2 and the hook 6. As is apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art, hook 6 may be integrally molded to body 2, or may be of metal construction and connected to the body 2 by conventional coupling means known in the art. Garment hanger 100 may be constructed in whole or in part of plastic and in accordance with injection molding techniques known in the art.

FIG. 2 illustrates one embodiment of the information tab mount 8. Information tab mount 8 includes a recessed portion 12 for receiving an information tab. The recessed portion 12 generally includes a coupling surface 14, a first guide side 16, a second guide side 18, an end tab side 20 and a receiving side 22. Information tab mount 8 further includes a rib-like member 10 extending upwardly (as viewed in FIG. 2) from the coupling surface 14. Additionally, information tab mount 8 includes a channel 24 formed in the coupling surface 14 and extending beyond the end tab side 20.

First guide side 16 may, in this exemplary embodiment, be substantially parallel to second guide side 18. However, it is to be appreciated that first and second guide sides 16 and 18, respectively, may be tapered or otherwise configured differently, to facilitate mounting of an information tab (e.g., as shown in FIGS. 9-11) on the information tab mount 8.

Rib member 10 extends from the coupling surface 14 to a height sufficient for inhibiting removal of the information tab as will be described. As shown in FIG. 2, channel 24 begins proximate the rib member 10 and extends in a direction away from the rib member 10, and beyond the end tab side 20. In this manner, channel 24 facilitates deliberate removal of the information tab by permitting an appropriate tool (not shown) to be inserted into the channel. Exemplary clip removal tools may include a pry bar, a lever, a screwdriver, or the like. Removal of the information tab also facilitates reuse of the garment hanger 100 for hanging apparel of different prices/sizes and with different information tabs therefor.

FIG. 3 illustrates a partial plan view of the information tab mount 8 illustrated in FIG. 2, with no information tab mounted thereon. In this exemplary embodiment, rib member 10 extends substantially parallel to receiving side 22 and substantially perpendicular to channel 24 and cooperates with guide sides 16 and 18 to define gaps therebetween. In an alternative embodiment, rib member 10 and channel 24 are not perpendicular to each other. Instead, a non-right angle can be formed between the rib member and the channel. As long as a clip removal tool can be used along the channel to remove the information tab, different angles can be formed between the rib member and the channel, which can be readily perceived by a person skilled in the art without departing from the gist of the present disclosure. An information tab may be appropriately shaped to fit in the gap to enhance security and fitting thereon.

In practice, an information tab may be pushed onto the tab mount 8 using a force perpendicular to the line X-X and in the direction of the exemplary arrows shown in FIG. 3. When removal is desired, the information tab may be removed in the opposite direction using a tool to cooperatively engage the tab via the channel 24.

FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of the information tab mount 8 of FIG. 2, viewed along line X-X of FIG. 3, with no information tab mounted thereon. The channel 24 extends for a depth to enable an information tab removal tool to sufficiently lever the information tab from the rib member 10. Receiving side 22 may be flat, tapered, rounded, or in any profile that facilitates interfacing of the tab mount with an information tab. In this exemplary embodiment, only one rib member 10 is provided with information tab mount 8. However, as will be apparent from later exemplary embodiments, information tab mount 8 may include more than one rib member, such as rib members extending from opposing coupling surfaces of the tab mount.

FIG. 5 is a perspective fragmentary view of another embodiment of an information tab mount 28, with no information tab mounted thereon. Information tab mount 28 includes a recessed portion 32 (similar to recessed portion 12 of FIG. 2) for receiving an information tab (not shown). The recessed portion 32 generally includes a coupling surface 34, a first guide side 36, a second guide side 38, an end tab side 40 and a receiving side 42. In this exemplary embodiment, a rib member 30 extends upwardly from coupling surface 34, and extends from first guide side 36 to second guide side 38, without gaps between the rib member and the guide sides. A channel 44 is also defined in the recessed portion 32 as beginning proximate the rib member 30 and extending beyond end tab side 40. With the exception of rib member 30 extending continuously between the guide sides 36 and 38, this embodiment has similar structural and operational features as the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 2. FIG. 6 is a partial plan view of the information tab mount 28 further illustrating the rib member 30 as extending continuously from first guide side 36 to second guide side 38.

FIG. 7 is a front view of the information tab mount 28 viewed along line Y-Y of FIG. 6, with no information tab mounted thereon. In practice, a tool (not shown) may be inserted into channel 44 to engage and release an information tab disposed on the tab mount 28.

FIG. 8 illustrates a front view of another embodiment of an information tab mount 48, with no information tab mounted thereon. In this example, information tab mount 48 includes a first rib member 50 and a second rib member 70, extending from a first coupling surface 54 and a second coupling surface 74, respectively. The addition of an additional rib member on an opposing side of the tab mount 48 increases security of the information tab 150. The tab mount 48 further includes a first channel 64 formed adjacent to the first rib member 50 and a second channel 84 formed adjacent to the second rib member 70. In this manner, an information tab (not shown) may be removed by insertion of a tool in first channel 64 and/or second channel 84.

FIG. 9 illustrates a transverse sectional view of an information tab or clip 150. Information tab 150 includes base 102, elongated sides 104, guides 106 and latches 108. Base 102, as shown is flat, though it may be of other suitable shapes, such as curved shapes. Similarly, elongated sides 104 are shown to be flat, but may also take curved configurations. It is to be appreciated that the information tab 150 may have any suitable configuration for facilitating disposal of the tab onto a corresponding tab mount. Guides 106 provide lateral separation and positioning of tab 150 on the information tab mount embodiments disclosed herein.

The information tab 150 may be formed of plastic and can be manufactured in accordance with injection molding techniques or any other form of manufacture that provides rigid, yet flexible and resilient properties. In practice, the tab 150 may be of various colors, with each color being associated with information, such as size, price, or a promotion. In addition, the tab 150 may be stored in a tube, on a holder designed for sliding, or may be manufactured in pluralities, so that individual tabs may be broken off a line of tabs. FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of the exemplary information tab 150 of FIG. 9. As may be seen, the transverse section shown in FIG. 9 is extended for a length to form information tab 150. Information data 110 and 112, such as price and size, may be provided on elongated sides 104 and base 102, respectively.

FIG. 11 illustrates a transverse sectional view showing the information tab of FIG. 9 secured to the information tab mount 8 of FIG. 2. In practice, the information tab 150 may be pushed onto the tab mount portion of garment hanger 100, thereby securing the information tab thereto. Information tab 150 is secured by the latch 108 clipping over the rib member 10. As previously mentioned, the tab 150 may be removed by inserting a tool into channel 24 and levering latch 108 over the rib member 10. Guides 106 provide lateral separation and positioning of tab 150 on information tab mount. It is to be appreciated that the information tab 150 may be used with other embodiments of the presently disclosed garment hanger, e.g., garment hangers 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, and equivalents thereof.

FIG. 12 illustrates a perspective fragmentary view of another embodiment of an information tab mount 428, with no information tab mounted thereon. Information tab mount 428 includes a recessed portion 432 for receiving an information tab. In this embodiment, information tab mount 428 includes a first rib member 422 and a second rib member 423, with channel 420 formed therebetween. Channel 420 extends from receiving side 424 to beyond end tab side 426, thereby allowing a removal tool to be inserted at the end tab side 426 to release an information tab. In this embodiment, there is a gap between rib member 422 and first guide side 428, although in other embodiments there may be no gap. Similarly, in this embodiment, there is a gap between rib member 423 and second guide side 430, although in other embodiments there may be no gap. Additionally, in this embodiment, rib members 422 and 423 are disposed on one side of information tab mount 428, although other embodiments may include rib members and an associated channel disposed on opposing sides of the tab mount in a manner similar to the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 8. Also, the channel 420 is shown as being fairly uniform in depth from receiving side 424 to beyond end tab side 426. However, in some embodiments, the channel 420 may be non-uniform in depth. For example, the profile of the channel 420 may take a parabolic shape such that the channel 420 is relatively shallow in depth adjacent to each of the end tab side 426 and the receiving side 424 and relatively deep in depth along a middle portion of the channel.

FIG. 13 illustrates a perspective fragmentary view of an information tab mount 528 in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure, with no information tab mounted thereon. Information tab mount 528 includes a recessed portion 532 for receiving an information tab. The information tab mount 528 includes a coupling side 534, a first guide side 536, a second guide side 538 and an end tab side 540. Information tab mount 528 further includes a rib member 530 extending upwardly from a coupling surface 534 and a pair of channels 544, 546 formed at each side of the rib. The rib member 530 protrudes above the coupling surface 534 and has a height sufficient to inhibit removal of an information tab disposed on the tab mount. The channels 544 and 546 begin at or proximate the receiving side 542, and have a length extending in a direction away from the receiving side 542, and beyond the end tab side 540.

First guide side 536 may, in this exemplary embodiment, be substantially parallel to second guide side 538. However, it will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that the first and second guide sides may be tapered or shaped differently to facilitate mounting of the information tab 150 (shown in FIGS. 9-11).

In operation, first channel 544 and/or second channel 546 facilitate deliberate removal of the information tab using an appropriate tool (not shown in this figure) inserted into first channel 544 and/or second channel 546. As discussed above, exemplary tab removal tools may include a pry bar, a lever, a screwdriver, or the like. Removal of the information tab also facilitates reuse of the garment hanger 500 for hanging apparel of different prices/sizes and with different information tabs therefor.

FIG. 14 is a partial plan view of the information tab mount 528 illustrated in FIG. 13, with no information tab mounted thereon. In this exemplary embodiment, rib member 530 extends substantially parallel to receiving side 542 and substantially perpendicular to channels 544 and 546. Alternatively, rib member 530 and channels 544 and 546 can be not perpendicular to each other. That is, non-right angles can be formed between the rib member and the two channels, respectively. As long as a clip removal tool can be used along the channel to remove the information tab, different angles can be formed between the rib member and the channels, which can be readily perceived by a person skilled in the art without departing from the gist of the present disclosure. As illustrated in FIG. 14, there is a gap between guide sides 536 and 538 and the rib member 530, between which the channels 544 and 546 are situated. The information tab may be appropriately shaped to fit in the recessed portion 532, which is bounded by the first guide side 536, the second guide side 538, and the end tab side 540.

In operation, the information tab may be pushed on using a force perpendicular to the line Z-Z (in the direction of the arrows). The information tab may be removed in the opposite direction using the removal tool, as described above.

FIG. 15 is a front view of the information tab mount 528 viewed along line Z-Z of FIG. 14. As may be seen, first and second channels 544 and 546 are of a sufficient depth to enable an information tab removal tool to sufficiently lever the information tab from the rib member 530. Receiving side 542 may be flat, tapered, rounded, or in any profile that facilitates interfacing with an information tab. In this exemplary embodiment, rib member 530 is on one side of information tab mount 528, however, as will be apparent from other exemplary embodiments, such as FIG. 8, information tab mount 528 may include more than one rib member, such as rib members extending from each recessed side.

FIG. 16 is a perspective fragmentary view of an information tab mount 628 in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure, with no information tab mounted thereon. Information tab mount 628 is similar to the information tab mount 528 of FIGS. 13-15, except that information tab mount 628 includes only one channel 644 formed therein. Accordingly, in this exemplary embodiment, rib member 630 may extend from (or proximate to) first guide side 636 to channel 644. It should be apparent of one of ordinary skill in the art that the channel 644 may be adjacent to first guide side 636, as described above, or alternatively, second guide side 638.

It should be understood that rib members with different shapes and numbers can be used in the current invention. For example, one can use curved, instead of straight, rib members in the above mentioned embodiments. In another example, the number of rib members can be changed. In one embodiment, one surface of the information tab mount is provided with one rib member (corresponding to the coupling surface), while the other surface of the information tab mount is provided with no rib member. In another embodiment, one rib member is provided on each of the two opposite surfaces of the information tab mount, so that both surfaces become coupling surfaces. In yet another embodiment, more than one rib member can be used on one surface (or both opposite surfaces) of the information tab mount to provide coupling between the rib members and the information tab. All variations in these respects can be implemented in accordance with the aforementioned specific examples.

While various embodiments of an information tab mount for a garment hanger according to the apparatus and 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 “Brief 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.