Title:
PORTABLE, POCKET-SIZED, BILLIARD CUE HOLDER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable billiard cue holder, compact and light enough to be carried in a conventional shirt pocket. The cue holder attaches to a table or other convenient flat surface by means of an adhesive layer which is releasable, allowing easy detachment or repositioning of the holder. The holder incorporates a movable cover which protects the adhesive layer from dirt, debris and inadvertent adhesion when the holder is not in use. The adhesive layer is renewable, allowing for its replacement should it become degraded or otherwise non-functioning.



Inventors:
Helms, Timothy Nolan (Oakland, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/307149
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
01/25/2006
Assignee:
Helms (Oakland, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Timothy N. Helms (Oakland, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable, billiard cue holder for supporting a billiard cue in a substantially vertical position comprising: (a) an adhesive layer on the undersurface of said cue holder and (b) a cover for said adhesive layer, whereby said adhesive layer provides a means for attaching said cue holder to a substantially horizontal, flat surface, and said cover protects said adhesive layer from dirt, debris and inadvertent adhesion when said cue holder is being stored, transported or is otherwise not in use.

2. A portable, billiard cue holder as recited in claim 1 wherein said adhesive layer is releasable, whereby said cue holder may be easily detached from said flat surface by a steady upwards pull.

3. A portable, billiard cue holder as recited in claim 1 wherein said adhesive layer is fabricated from a renewable adhesive material, whereby said adhesive material may be renewed when it becomes degraded or otherwise non-functional.

4. A portable, billiard cue holder as recited in claim 1 wherein said cover is movable, whereby said cover may be moved away from said adhesive layer when said cue holder is readied for use, so that said cue holder may be attached to said flat surface.

5. A method for attaching a portable billiard cue holder to a substantially horizontal, flat surface comprising: (a) providing an adhesive layer on the undersurface of said cue holder and (b) providing a cover for said adhesive layer, whereby attaching said cue holder to said flat surface is accomplished by pressing said cue holder lightly onto said flat surface, and protecting said adhesive layer from dirt, debris or inadvertent adhesion is accomplished by covering said adhesive layer when said cue holder is being stored, transported or is otherwise not in use.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein said adhesive layer is composed of releasable adhesive, whereby detaching said cue holder from said flat surface is accomplished by pulling steadily upwards on said cue holder.

7. The method of claim 5 wherein said adhesive layer is composed of renewable adhesive, whereby renewing said adhesive layer is accomplished by replacing said adhesive layer with a new layer of adhesive when said adhesive layer becomes degraded or otherwise non-functioning.

8. The method of claim 5 wherein said cover is movable, providing for covering and uncovering said adhesive layer, whereby moving said cover so that said adhesive layer is uncovered allows attaching said cue holder to said flat surface.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of Invention

The present invention relates to billiard cue holders, more particularly to a portable billiard cue holder that can be releasably attached to a convenient horizontal surface such as a tabletop and that may be easily carried in a shirt pocket.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Prior Art

Billiards, pool and similar games using billiard cues are played and enjoyed all over the world. Frequent players often use privately owned cues that are valuable, many having inlays of precious or rare materials, and finely-finished coatings. These cues may be easily scratched or damaged if allowed to roll about on their sides, or fall to the floor. Players also desire to keep these cues close at hand so as to prevent them from being stolen.

Billiard and pool rooms provide stationary racks for cues; however these racks may be located at an inconvenient distance from the table being used by the player. Billiard or pool tournaments are often conducted in a space not primarily dedicated to billiards play, such as a convention center, where cue racks are frequently absent. In addition, players at a tournament may be required to move from table to table during play.

Therefore, an easily portable device for holding or retaining one or more cues in an upright position in the close proximity of the owner is highly desirable.

Attempts at providing a portable cue holder have heretofore been proposed. U.S. Pat. No. 5,139,221 to Lodrick (1992), U.S. Pat. No. 5,255,799 to Haynes (1993) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,657,882 to Johnson (1997) are illustrative of a type of holder that uses a clamping mechanism to attach to a flat horizontal surface. These holders are limited by the jaw size of their clamping mechanism. A table or other surface may be too thick for the clamp to be employed.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,547,083 to Zummo (2003) shows a cue holder that relies on a bag of weighty material, such as lead pellets, to secure it to a surface. Such a holder is likely to be too heavy and bulky to carry easily in a shirt pocket.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,957,291 to Whitfield, Sr. (1999) discloses an invention that in one aspect provides a portable cue stick holder that may be secured in place by a suitable adhesive which is preferably releasable, Velcro® fasteners, screws or other mechanical fasteners, etc.

However, in the case of the adhesive, no provision is made for renewing the adhesive layer, or protecting it when the holder is not in use. The adhesive layer in this case would rapidly lose its capacity to adhere due to degradation or accumulation of dirt and debris. In addition, the exposed adhesive would make storage or transport of the holder difficult, as it would tend to stick to any storage or transport area, such as a pocket or cue case.

Another aspect of this same invention (U.S. Pat. No. 5,957,291) provides a disposable cue stick holder in the form of a pad similar to a pad of Post-it® Notes. Each cue stick holder is formed from paper or the like and has a rigidity somewhat greater than that of a conventional Post-it® Notes sheet, for example, two conventional Post-it® Notes sheets secured together may be utilized in the practice in the invention. Each of the cue stick holders has a layer of glue or adhesive formed on the reverse side thereof, the formulation and function of the adhesive layer being identical to that of the adhesive layer of Post-it® Notes.

However, the narrow strip of low-tack adhesive provided on Post-it® Notes is not designed to retain weighty objects such as billiard cues and may fail to adhere in such usage if subjected to a casual bump or other form of mild stress. In addition, even two or three Sheets of Post-it® sheets may not have sufficient rigidity to support a billiard cue if subjected to the above mentioned stresses.

The present invention substantially departs from the concepts and designs of the prior art, and overcomes the failings and problems cited above.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Objects and Advantages

Accordingly, several objects of the present invention are:

(a) to provide a device for securely supporting a billiard cue when the cue is not is use;

(b) to provide a device for securely supporting a billiard cue, which device is easily portable, being compact and light enough so as to be easily carried in a shirt pocket of conventional size;

(c) to provide a device for securely supporting a billiard cue, which device may be used on any convenient, substantially horizontal, flat surface;

(d) to provide a device for securely supporting a billiard cue, which device attaches to flat surfaces by means of a releasable adhesive layer; and

(e) to provide a device for securely supporting a billiard cue, which device is economical, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purpose.

Several advantages of the present invention are:

(a) that it can be used on any convenient, substantially horizontal, flat surface, regardless of the thickness of that surface;

(b) that a means is provided for renewing the adhesive layer when it becomes degraded, or otherwise non-functioning;

(c) that a movable cover is provided for the adhesive layer, which layer is thereby protected from dirt and debris when the cover is closed;

(d) that, when closed, the movable cover for the adhesive layer prevents the device from sticking to any area, such as a pocket or cue case in which the device might be transported or stored when not in use; and

(e) that the provided adhesive layer is of sufficient area and tackiness to securely fasten the device to a flat surface, yet still be easily releasable.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the drawings and ensuing description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A portable, billiard cue holder is provided which is compact and light enough to be easily carried in a shirt pocket of conventional size.

The cue holder may be secured to any convenient, substantially horizontal, flat surface by means of a renewable adhesive layer, which layer is releasable, allowing removal or repositioning of the holder.

A movable cover is provided for the adhesive layer that protects said adhesive layer from dirt and debris, and prevents inadvertent adhesion when the holder is not in use.

The cue holder has a front edge wherein a plurality of recesses is formed. Each recess has a width slightly larger than the diameter of a conventional billiard cue shaft. In order to utilize the cue holder, it is secured to a convenient flat surface. A cue is then placed with its base on the floor beneath the holder, and the shaft of the cue brought to the edge of the holder and retained by one of the recesses therein.

DRAWINGS—FIGURES

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention in use, attached to a table.

FIG. 2A shows a side view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention with the movable, protective cover for the adhesive layer in the closed position.

FIG. 2B shows a side view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention with the movable, protective cover for the adhesive layer in the open position.

FIG. 3A shows a perspective view of an additional embodiment of the present invention attached to a table.

FIG. 3B shows a perspective view from below of the additional embodiment of the present invention.

DRAWINGS—REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 10 portable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder
  • 11 main body
  • 12 movable cover
  • 13 hinge
  • 14 cue recesses
  • 15 table
  • 16 billiard cue
  • 21 adhesive layer
  • 30 disposable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder
  • 31 release liner

DETAILED DESCRIPTION—PREFERRED EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 1, 2A AND 2B

A preferred embodiment of my portable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 10 is illustrated in FIG. 1 (perspective view), and FIGS. 2A and 2B (side views). The portable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 10 is approximately 9 cm long, approximately 9 cm wide, approximately 6 mm thick at its thickest part, and has a weight in the approximate range of 25 to 75 grams.

The holder has a main body 11 constructed of plastic, metal, wood or some other substantially rigid material, with semi-circular cue recesses 14a for supporting and retaining a billiard cue 16, or cues, formed into the front edge of the main body 11 of the holder.

The cue recesses 14a are approximately 2.5 cm wide at their widest point. Two cue recesses 14a are shown in the preferred embodiment of the portable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 10. It will be understood that the present invention can be constructed with other pluralities of recesses.

The underside of the main body 11 of the holder is provided with an adhesive layer 21a, by which means the holder is attached to a table 15, or other substantially horizontal, flat surface. The adhesive layer 21a is composed of a double-coated differentially adhesive sheet, the side of the sheet adhering to the underside of the main body 11 being of greater tackiness than the reverse, exposed side of the adhesive sheet.

The degree of adhesion of the side of the double-coated sheet adhering to the underside of the main body 11 when measured by the adhesion to steel (ASTM D-3330) method is in the approximate range of 50 to 200 N/mm (medium to high tack).

The degree of adhesion of the reverse, exposed side of the double-coated sheet when measured by the adhesion to steel (ASTM D-3330) method, is in the approximate range of 15 to 45 N/mm (low to medium tack).

The adhesive layer 21a may be renewed when it becomes degraded or otherwise non-functioning by peeling off the used double-coated differentially adhesive sheet and replacing it with a new, similar sheet.

It will be understood that the adhesive layer 21a may be formed and made renewable by other means, such as a spray-on or brush-on adhesive.

A movable cover 12 constructed of plastic, metal, wood or some other substantially rigid material is attached to the main body 11 of the holder by a hinge 13. The movable cover 12 is shown in the open position in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2B. By means of the hinge 13, the movable cover 12 can be swung into the closed position, as shown in FIG. 2A, to protect the adhesive layer 21a.

The movable cover 12 is prevented from adhering to the adhesive layer 21a while in the closed position by a recess on the inner surface of the movable cover 12, said recess having an area slightly larger than the area of the adhesive layer 21a.

It will be understood that the movable cover 12 may be prevented from adhering to the adhesive layer 21a by other means, such as a non-stick coating like silicone or PTFE applied to that surface of the movable cover 12 contacting the adhesive layer 21a.

It will be further understood that the movable cover 12 may be made movable by other means, such as being snap-on/snap-off, slidable or a release liner.

Operation—Preferred Embodiment—FIGS. 1, 2A and 2B

The portable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 10 is very easy to use. It is removed from its place of storage or transport, likely a pocket or a cue case, in the closed position. The movable cover 12 is swung into the open position, exposing the adhesive layer 21a. The holder is then lightly pressed down upon a table 15, or any other convenient, substantially horizontal, flat surface, to which the adhesive layer 21 a causes the holder to securely attach. In this position, the open movable cover hangs perpendicular to the main body 11 of the holder.

A billiard cue 16 is then placed with its base resting on the floor beneath the holder. The shaft of the cue is brought to the edge of the holder, and retained by one of the cue recesses 14a therein. The cue may then be easily retrieved for play, and returned to rest in the holder at the end of a turn of play.

Because the side of the adhesive layer 21a contacting the table 15 has a low to medium tackiness allowing the holder to be repositionable, the holder is easily released from the table 15 using a steady upward pull on the main body 11 of the holder.

The side of the adhesive layer 21a contacting the main body 11 of the holder has a greater degree of adhesion than the side contacting the table 15. The holder therefore releases without leaving any of the adhesive layer 21a on the table 15.

After use, the holder is released from attachment as described above, and the movable cover 12 is swung into the closed position. The adhesive layer 21a is now protected from inadvertent adhesion, and the portable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 10 may be returned to a place of storage or transport such as a pocket or a cue case without fear of sticking to said place of storage or transport.

From time to time the adhesive layer 21a may become degraded or otherwise non-functioning, and may need to be renewed. As described in the above detailed description of the portable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 10, the adhesive layer 21a is composed of a double-coated differentially adhesive sheet. Because of this, the adhesive layer 21a may be easily renewed by peeling the old double-coated differentially adhesive sheet off the main body 11 of the holder and replacing it with a new sheet.

Thus, since the portable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 10 is compact and lightweight, and because the adhesive layer 21a is releasable, renewable, and protected by the movable cover 12, the failings and problems of the prior art are overcome.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Additional Embodiment—FIGS. 3A AND 3B

FIG. 3A illustrates an additional embodiment of the present invention viewed in perspective, attached to a table 15. This embodiment is a portable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder that is disposable. The disposable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 30 is constructed of stiff cardboard or other inexpensive material such as plastic. The disposable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 30 is approximately 9 cm long, approximately 9 cm wide, approximately 1.5 mm thick, and weighs approximately 7 grams.

Semi-circular cue recesses 14b for supporting and retaining billiard cues are formed into the front edge of the disposable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 30. The recesses 14b are approximately 2.5 cm wide at their widest point. Two recesses 14b are shown in the embodiment of the disposable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 30. It will be understood that the present invention can be constructed with other pluralities of recesses.

FIG. 3B illustrates the additional embodiment of the present invention viewed in perspective from below. The underside of the disposable holder is provided with an adhesive layer 21b. The degree of adhesion of the adhesive layer 21b when measured by the adhesion to steel (ASTM D-3330) method, is in the approximate range of 15 to 45 N/mm (low to medium tack).

The adhesive layer 21b is provided with a release liner 31, constructed of a thin paper or film, which covers and protects the adhesive layer 21b when the disposable holder is not in use. The release liner 31 is designed so as to be peeled off the adhesive layer 21 b when the disposable holder is to be used. The holder may be discarded after use in the manner of ordinary trash, or the release liner 31 may be reused to cover the adhesive layer 21b if reuse of the disposable holder is desired.

Operation—Additional Embodiment—FIGS. 3A and 3B

The disposable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 30 is also very easy to use. It is removed from its place of storage or transport, likely a pocket or a cue case, and the release liner 31 is peeled off the adhesive layer 21b.The holder is then lightly pressed down upon any convenient, substantially horizontal, flat surface, such as a table 15, to which the adhesive layer 21b causes the holder to securely attach.

A billiard cue is then placed with its base resting on the floor beneath the holder. The shaft of the cue is brought to the edge of the holder and retained by one of the cue recesses 14b. The cue may then be easily retrieved for play, and returned to rest in the holder at the end of a turn of play.

Because the adhesive layer 21b contacting said flat surface has a low to medium tackiness, the holder is detachable and repositionable. After use, the holder may easily be released from said flat surface using a steady upward pull on the holder.

The holder may be discarded after use in the manner of ordinary trash. Alternatively, if the user wishes to reuse the disposable, pocket sized, billiard cue holder 30, the release liner 31 may be placed back over the adhesive layer 21b so as to protect it from inadvertent adhesion, and the holder may be returned to a place of storage or transport such as a pocket or a cue case without fear of sticking to said place of storage or transport.

Thus, since the disposable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder 30 is constructed of sufficiently thick cardboard or plastic so as to withstand casual bumps and other such stresses, and because it includes an adhesive layer 21b of sufficient surface area and tackiness so as to provide secure attachment to a table or other substantially flat surface despite said bumps and stresses, and because the adhesive layer 21b is provided with a release liner 31 that protects the adhesive layer 21b from dirt, debris and inadvertent adhesion, the failings and problems of the prior art are overcome.

Conclusions, Ramifications and Scope of the Invention

Accordingly, the reader will see that my portable, pocket-sized, billiard cue holder economically and dependably supports a billiard cue, and that it is compact and light enough to carry in a shirt pocket of conventional size. The reader will understand that the holder quickly and easily attaches to any substantially horizontal, flat surface no matter what the thickness of said surface, and is easily released from said surface.

The reader will also see that the means of attachment to said surface, an adhesive layer, is protected from dirt, debris and inadvertent adhesion when the holder is not in use, and that said adhesive layer can readily be renewed when it becomes degraded or otherwise non-functioning.

While the drawings and descriptions of my invention contain many specificities, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as exemplifications of the presently favored embodiment(s) thereof. Many other variations not shown in the drawings and described in detail are possible. For example, the invention may be made somewhat smaller or larger, be made of varying materials, or be made in differing colors or shapes without departing substantially from the spirit and intent of the invention.

Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined not by the embodiment(s) illustrated, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.