Title:
SEATING CONNECTOR BRACKETS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a tubular seating connector bracket assembly for modular seating furniture, the seating being aligned in side by side proximity. A three-piece connector bracket is disclosed for securing independent sections of modular furniture, preferably two seating units having an arm between. Additionally, a two-piece connector bracket is disclosed for adjoining a modular seating unit with an arm, or two modular seating units. A backing member is also disclosed to be secured to the frame of the modular furniture and fits behind the tubular connector brackets.



Inventors:
Berning, Lloyd (Hazel Green, WI, US)
Maas, Patrick (Dubuque, IA, US)
Application Number:
11/276350
Publication Date:
09/13/2007
Filing Date:
02/24/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BROWN, PETER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Barnes & Thornburg LLP (CH) (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A modular seating connector bracket assembly comprising: a bracket arm having a first end and a second end; a first extension extending perpendicularly from the first end; a second extension extending perpendicularly from the second end and parallel to the first extension; wherein the first extension and second extension are dispersed between, and adapted to be secured to a plurality of seating units.

2. The connector bracket assembly of claim 1, further comprising at least one aperture on the first extension, wherein the aperture is adapted for receiving bolts to secure the bracket to seating units.

3. The connector bracket assembly of claim 2, further comprising at least one aperture on the second extension, wherein the aperture is adapted for receiving bolts to secure the bracket to seating units.

4. The connector bracket assembly of claim 1, further comprising a medial extension extending generally from the midpoint of the bracket arm and parallel to the first extension and the second extension.

5. The connector bracket assembly of claim 4, wherein the connector bracket adjoins a first seating unit with a second seating unit having an arm between the first and second seating units.

6. The connector bracket assembly of claim 1, wherein the connector bracket adjoins a first seating unit and an arm.

7. The connector bracket assembly of claim 1, further comprising a backing member having at least one aperture adapted to receive bolts to secure the backing member to a furniture frame.

8. The connector bracket assembly of claim 7, wherein the backing member further comprises a flange along each side of the length of the backing member.

9. A modular seating connector bracket assembly comprising: a bracket arm having a first end and a second end; a first extension extending perpendicularly from the first end, the first extension comprising at least one aperture; a second extension extending perpendicularly from the second end and parallel to the first extension, the second extension comprising at least one aperture; and a medial extension extending generally from the midpoint of the bracket arm and being parallel to the first extension and the second extension; wherein the first extension, the medial extension and second extension are dispersed between and adapted to be secured to a plurality of seating units.

10. The connector bracket assembly of claim 9, further comprising a backing member comprising at least one aperture, adapted to receive bolts and to be secured to a furniture frame.

11. The connector bracket assembly of claim 10, wherein a plurality of backing members are secured to a furniture frame.

12. The connector bracket assembly of claim 9, wherein the first extension, the medial extension and the second extension are dispersed between and adapted to be secured a first seating unit, an arm and a second seating unit.

13. A modular seating connector bracket comprising: a bracket arm having a first end and a second end; a first extension extending perpendicularly from the first end, the first extension comprising at least one aperture; a second extension extending perpendicularly from the second end and parallel to the first extension, the second extension comprising at least one aperture; wherein the extensions are dispersed between and adapted to be secured to two seating units.

14. The connector bracket of claim 13, wherein the second seating unit is an arm.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to connectors for modular seating and sectional so furniture.

BACKGROUND

Modular seating arrangement furniture, such as sectional sofas are comprised of combinations of chairs, recliners, curves and the like, and provide flexibility in design and utility in a sofa arrangement to suit consumer preferences. The different modules, or sections, once selected are required to be adjoined into one unit. The differences in the seating components of modular seating arrangements and sectional sofas pose unique difficulties for interconnection of the individual modules. Various attempts have been made to provide connections between modules but have been either ineffective, unduly complex or have created additional problems.

Some seating connectors provide rigid connections and require massive components and frames, or result in distortion of lighter weight frames and misalignments when mechanisms are operated.

The prior use of complex high-strength connectors to make a rigid connection between the seating elements has disadvantages in the added strength requirements for the component parts such as the frame.

The present invention and disclosure overcome the aforementioned disadvantages of the prior art.

SUMMARY

The present invention relates to a tubular seating connector bracket assembly for modular seating furniture, the seating units being aligned in side by side proximity. Generally, the present invention adjoins components of modular sofas having a plurality of furniture sectional components.

Particularly, a connector bracket is disclosed for securing independent sections of modular furniture. For example, one embodiment of the present disclosure is configured to join three pieces of modular furniture. This bracket embodiment may be referred to as a “W” bracket because of its general shape. Typically, in this embodiment, the bracket is used for connecting two seating units with an arm between them. The connector comprises a bracket arm having extensions on two lateral end points of the bracket arm along with a medially extending arm.

In another embodiment, a connector bracket is disclosed for adjoining a modular seating unit with an arm, or generally two units of modular seating components. This embodiment may also be referred to as a “U” bracket.

A backing member is also disclosed which is secured to the frame of the modular furniture and fits between the tubular connector brackets and the frame of the modular furniture unit.

Other features and advantages of the disclosure will be set forth in part in the description which follows and the accompanying drawings, wherein the embodiments of the disclosure are described and shown, and in part will become apparent upon examination of the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above mentioned and other features of this disclosure and the manner of obtaining them will become more apparent and the disclosure will be best understood by reference to the following description of embodiments of the disclosure taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a depicts a connector bracket for connecting three pieces of modular furniture;

FIG. 2 depicts a connector bracket for connecting two pieces of modular;

FIG. 3 depicts a backing member;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of a connector bracket;

FIG. 5 is a bottom view of a connector and backing member attached to a furniture frame;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a connector bracket in use;

FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the bracket connecting a seating piece and one arm;

FIG. 8 depicts the relationship of the bracket, the backing member and the furniture frame;

FIG. 9 depicts a backing member; and

FIG. 10 depicts the relationship of the bracket, the backing member and the furniture frame.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

While the present disclosure will bc described fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which a particular embodiment is shown, it is to be understood at the outset that persons skilled in the art may modify the disclosure herein described while still achieving the desired result. Accordingly, the description that follows is to be understood as a broad informative disclosure directed to persons skilled in the appropriate art and not as limitations on the present disclosure.

FIG. 1 depicts a tubular connector bracket 10 for connecting two modular seating pieces with an arm between them, or generally three pieces of modular seating furniture. This “W” connector bracket 10 has a bracket arm 16 having a first end 17 and a second end 18. Extending from first end 17 is a first extension 13 parallel to a second extension 14 extending from the second end 18 of the bracket arm 16. The bracket arm 16 is perpendicularly oriented to the two extensions. Connector bracket 10 further comprises a medial bracket extension 15, generally extending perpendicularly from the midpoint of the bracket arm 16. As seen is FIG. 4, the first extension 13 and second extension 14 has at least two apertures therethrough for receiving a bolt 12 for engaging blocking member 33 attached to a frame of section furniture 50, as seen is FIG. 5.

FIG. 2 shows a tubular connector bracket 20 structured similarly to the seat-arm connector bracket, without having the medial extension. This “U” connector bracket 20 has a bracket arm 16 having a first end 17 and a second end 18. Extending from the first end 17 is a first extension 13 parallel to a second extension 14 extending from the second end 18 of the bracket arm 16. The connector bracket arm 16 is again, perpendicularly oriented to the two extensions.

FIG. 4 is a side view of connector brackets 10 and 20, showing apertures 11 for receiving bolts 12 for engaging the bracket to the frame 50 of the furniture to be adjoined.

FIG. 3 shows a view of a backing member 33 that is secured on the furniture frame, the tubular connector brackets 10 further secured to the backing member 33 and furniture frame, as shown in FIG. 5. The backing member 33 includes apertures 35 for receiving screws, bolts or similar fasteners, for securing the backing member 33 to the frame 50 of furniture being adjoined. The backing member 33 may optionally include a first flange 31 and a second flange 32 perpendicular to the backing member 33 generally along the length of the backing member 33. In an embodiment shown in FIG. 3 and FIG. 8, backing member 33 includes flanges 31 and 32. In an embodiment shown in FIG. 9 and FIG. 10, the backing member 33 is a flat plate without flanges. The length of the backing member 33 may be manufactured to any suitable length for use in adjoining furniture or a plurality of backing members 33 may be used as appropriate to generate stability between seating sections.

FIG. 8 and FIG. 10 show the relationship between the furniture frame, the backing member 33 and a first or second extension arm 13, 14. The bolts 12 may engage the apertures 11 of the extensions arms 13, 14. The apertures 35 of the backing member 33 are to secure the backing member 33 to a furniture frame 50. In an embodiment, the backing member 33 is secured by bolts, screws, or other suitable fasteners (not shown) to the furniture frame. Bracket 10 or 20 is secured to the furniture frame by engaging bolts 12 to apertures 11, wherein the bolts 12 exert force on the backing member 33 to secure the bracket 10 or 20 to the backing member 33 and furniture frame 50.

As seen in FIG. 5 and FIG. 6, a first seating unit 51 is adjoined to a second seating unit 52 having an arm 60 in between the first seating unit 51 and the second seating unit 52. Backing members 33 are secured to the furniture frame 50 on at least one side of a seating arm 60. In FIG. 5 and FIG. 6, at least two “W” connector brackets 10 are perpendicularly oriented to the length of arm 60 and engaged with the furniture frame 50 with bolts 12, the medial bracket extension 15 being engaged with the seating arm 60. The “W” connector brackets 10 may adjoin two seats with an arm in between or generally three modular seating components.

FIG. 7 shows a tubular connector bracket securing a seat 55 to an arm 60. The “U” connector bracket may adjoin any two modular seating components or a seating component to an arm. Again the “U” connector bracket 20 is secured to the frame 50 by the bolts 12 being received through the apertures 11 on the bracket. As noted in FIG. 7, the backing members 33 may or may not be used in the use of the seat 55 being connected to the arm 60.

The connector brackets described in the present disclosure may generally be made of square or rectangular steel tubing or fabricated flat steel welded or joined together as is generally known in the art. The backing member 33 may generally be made from a length of steel c-channel or similar material known in the art. Alternatively, another embodiment of backing member 33 may be fabricated from flat steel plate as shown in FIG. 9. Appropriate alloys of steel or other material sufficient in strength may be used for the purposes of the present invention.

Various features of the disclosure have been shown and described in connection with the illustrated embodiment, however, it is understood that these arrangements merely illustrate, and that the disclosure is to be given its fullest interpretation.