Title:
Apparatus for Fastening
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Apparatus for fastening includes a linkage and a body. The linkage has an end enlarged to form a ball. The body forms a carabineer's hook. A side of the body has a guideway which is open at a side and at an end of the body. Most of the guideway is dimensioned to receive the linkage, but not the ball. Near the end of the body, the guideway forms a dock which opens at the side, wide enough to receive the ball. A slide is held in the guideway and has a fork dimensioned to receive the linkage while blocking the ball. The slide is movable toward and away from said end so that the fork alternately uncovers and partially covers the dock, alternately confining and releasing the ball. The linkage is free to rotate through at least 90 degrees, from parallel to the guideway to normal to the side, while the fork confines the ball in the dock. Optionally, the linkage in hingedly connected to a pedestal adapted for attachment to objects. This, with the rotational freedom of the linkage in the dock, allows an article to be suspended comfortably near a vertical surface.



Inventors:
Johnson, Phillip L. (Mullimbimby, AU)
Application Number:
11/531231
Publication Date:
12/27/2007
Filing Date:
09/26/2006
Assignee:
RIVET INTERNATIONAL, INC. (SAN DIEGO, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAVINDER, JACK W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLEINBERG & LERNER, LLP (LOS ANGELES, CA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. Apparatus for fastening, comprising: a linkage distally enlarged to form a ball; a body; a hook formed on said body; a guideway formed in said body, said guideway being open at a side of said body and at an end of said body opposite said hook and being dimensioned both at said side and at said end to receive said linkage, said guideway enlarging to form a dock, said dock opening at said side and being located proximate said end, said dock being dimensioned to receive said ball; a slide approximated to said side of said body and held in said guideway in slidable relation against said side, said slide including a fork dimensioned to receive said linkage while blocking said ball, said slide being movable toward and away from said end such that said fork alternatively uncovers and partially covers said dock, thereby alternately allowing and preventing passage of said ball, said linkage being free to rotate free to rotate through at least 90 degrees, from parallel to said guideway to normal to said side, while said fork confines said ball within said dock.

2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein a riser formed on said slide extends into said guideway and a flange formed on said riser engages said body within said guideway to hold said slide in slideable relation to said body.

3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein a ridge formed on said slide engages a groove formed on said side of said body to stabilize said slide on said body.

4. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein a clip affixed to said body cooperates with said hook to form a carabiner.

5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein a steel liner is disposed in said dock.

6. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein a spring disposed in said guideway biases said slide toward said end.

7. Apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said guideway forms first and second block stations and a block is located each of said block stations to limit travel of said flange along said guideway.

8. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said linkage is proximally hingedly attached to a pedestal, said pedestal so as to be positioned against said pedestal and substantially parallel to and proximate said attachment surface.

9. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said linkage is proximally attached to a fitting, said fitting being hingedly attached to a holster.

10. Apparatus for fastening comprising: a linkage, said linkage being distally enlarged: a body; a guideway located in said body, said guideway being open at a side of said body and at an end of said body; a dock located in said body, said dock opening at said side and being located proximate said end, said dock being dimensioned to receive said distally enlarged linkage; a slide approximated to said slide of said body and held in said guideway in slidable relation against said slide, said slide including a fork, said slide being movable between a first position proximate said end wherein said fork confines said distally enlarged linkage in said dock and a second position retracted from said end wherein said distally enlarged linkage is free to pass into and out of said dock, said linkage, when confined in said dock by said fork, being free to rotate through at least 90 degrees, from an orientation parallel to said guideway to an orientation normal to said side.

11. Apparatus as set forth in claim 10 wherein a riser formed on said slide extends into said guideway and a flange formed on said riser engages said body within said guideway to hold said slide in slideable relation to said body.

12. Apparatus as set forth in claim 10 wherein a ridge formed on said slide engages a groove formed on said side of said body to stabilize said slide on said body.

13. Apparatus as set forth in claim 10 wherein said body includes a hook and a clip, said clip cooperating with said hook to form a carabiner.

14. Apparatus as set forth in claim 10 wherein a liner is disposed in said dock.

15. Apparatus as set forth in claim 10 wherein said slide is biased toward said end.

16. Apparatus as set forth in claim 15 wherein said guideway forms first and second block stations and a block is located each of said block stations to limit travel of said flange along said guideway.

17. Apparatus as set forth in claim 10 wherein said linkage is rotatably attached to a pedestal, said pedestal being adapted for attachment to an article which is to be suspended by said linkage, said linkage being positionable so as to lie proximate said pedestal while extending toward said body.

18. Apparatus as set forth in claim 10 wherein said linkage is proximally attached to a fitting and a holster is hingedly attached to said fitting. attached to a fitting and a holster is hingedly attached to said fitting.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of earlier-filed U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/805,969, filed Jun. 27, 2006, “Apparatus For Fastening,” inventor Phillip L. Johnson.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to fastening apparatus for small personal articles and especially for wearable accessories that are to hand flush against a body surface while suspended from a belt loop or other point of attachment.

2. General Background and State of the Art

U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/502,363 describes apparatus suitable for fastening small articles to an individual's clothing.

INVENTION SUMMARY

It is an object of the present invention to provide a carabiner-like hook equipped with a fastening system allowing both the carabiner and the suspended article to hang flush against a surface of a person's wearing apparel or other environmental place of attachment.

In accordance with these objects and with others which will be described and which will become apparent, an exemplary embodiment of the apparatus for fastening in accordance with the present invention comprises a linkage distally enlarged to form a ball; a body; a hook formed on the body; and a guideway formed in the body, the guideway being open at a side of the body and at an end of the body opposite the hook and being dimensioned both at the side and at the end to receive the linkage, the guideway enlarging to form a dock, the dock opening at the side and being located proximate the end, the dock being dimensioned to receive the ball. A slide is approximated to the side of the body and held in the guideway in slidable relation against the side, the slide including a fork dimensioned to receive the linkage while blocking the ball, the slide being movable toward and away from the end such that the fork alternately uncovers and partially covers the dock, thereby alternately allowing and preventing passage of the ball. The linkage is free to rotate through at least 90 degrees, from parallel to the guideway to normal to the side, while the fork confines the ball within the dock.

In an exemplary embodiment, a riser formed on the slide extends into the guideway and a flange formed on the riser engages the body within the guideway to hold the slide in slideable relation to the body.

In an exemplary embodiment, a ridge formed on the slide engages a groove formed on the side of the body to stabilize the slide on the body.

In an exemplary embodiment, a clip affixed to the body cooperates with the hook to form a carabiner.

In an exemplary embodiment, a steel liner is disposed in the dock.

In an exemplary embodiment, a spring disposed in the guideway biases the slide toward the end.

In an exemplary embodiment, the guideway forms first and second block stations and a block is located each of the block stations to limit travel of the flange along the guideway.

In another exemplary embodiment of the apparatus for fastening in accordance with the present invention, the linkage is proximally hingedly attached to a pedestal, the pedestal having an attachment surface, the linkage being rotatable relative to the pedestal so as to be positioned against the pedestal and substantially parallel to and proximate the attachment surface. The body, linkage and pedestal hang comfortably flush against a wearer's apparel or other surface of attachment. Alternatively, the linkage is proximally attached to a fitting, the fitting being hingedly attached to a holster which similarly hangs comfortably flush against a wearer's apparel or other surface of attachment.

Such comfort and the ease of use of the linkage and ball in combination with the dock and slide constitute major advantages of the present invention.

Also in accordance with these objects and with others which will be described and which will become apparent, an exemplary embodiment of the apparatus for fastening in accordance with the present invention comprises a linkage which is distally enlarged, and a body. A guideway is located in the body and is the open at a side of the body and at an end of the body. A dock is also located in the body proximate the end and opens at the side. The dock is dimensioned to receive the distally enlarged linkage. A slide is approximated to the side of the body and held in the guideway in slidable relation against the side. The slide includes a fork and is movable between a first position proximate the end wherein the fork confines the distally enlarged linkage in the dock and a second position retracted from the end wherein the distally enlarged linkage is free to pass into and out of the dock. The linkage, when confined in the dock by the fork, is free to rotate through at least 90 degrees, from an orientation parallel to the guideway to an orientation normal to the side.

In an exemplary embodiment, a riser formed on the slide extends into the guideway and a flange formed on the riser engages the body within the guideway to hold the slide in slideable relation to the body.

In an exemplary embodiment, a ridge formed on the slide engages a groove formed on the side of the body to stabilize the slide on the body.

In an exemplary embodiment, the body includes a hook and a clip, the clip cooperating with the hook to form a carabiner.

In an exemplary embodiment, a liner is disposed in the dock.

In an exemplary embodiment, the slide is biased toward the end.

In an exemplary embodiment, the guideway forms first and second block stations and a block is located each of the block stations to limit travel of the flange along the guideway.

In an exemplary embodiment, the linkage is rotatably attached to a pedestal, the pedestal being adapted for attachment to an article which is to be suspended by the linkage, the linkage being positionable so as to lie proximate the pedestal while extending toward the body.

In an exemplary embodiment, the linkage is proximally attached to a fitting and a holster is hingedly attached to the fitting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a further understanding of the objects and advantages of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which like parts are given like reference numbers and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of apparatus for fastening in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view thereof;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view thereof;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view thereof;

FIG. 5 is a side sectional view thereof;

FIG. 6 is a top sectional view thereof;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view thereof in use with a mobile telephone; and

FIG. 8 is a side perspective view of an alternative embodiment thereof in use with a holster for a mobile telephone or such.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The invention will now be described with reference to FIG. 1, which illustrates in perspective view a preferred embodiment of the apparatus for fastening in accordance with the present invention, shown generally at 20, having a body 22, a side 23, an end 33, a guideway 28, a dock 32, a groove 30, a hook 24, a clip 26, a slide 40 including a fork 48 having tines 49, and a steel linkage 34 which is enlarged distally to form a ball 36. The body 22 is cast of aluminum. The hook 24 is formed integrally with the body 22. The clip 26 is formed of spring steel and is mounted on the body 22 in tension so that it is biased against the hook 24, forming a structure partially resembling a carabiner. The slide 40 is located on the body 22 and positioned substantially at the end 33 of the body 22 that is opposite the hook 24. The ball 36 is shown disposed in the dock 32. The linkage 34 is shown projecting from the guideway 28 at the end 33 of the body 22.

FIG. 2, a side view of the apparatus for fastening, again shows the body 22, side 23, groove 30, end 33, hook 24, clip 26, slide 40, fork 48, tines 49, linkage 34, ball 36, guideway 28, and dock 32. The slide 40 is retracted away from the end 33 of the body 22, partially exposing the guideway 28 and exposing the dock 32. A steel liner 54 is disposed in the dock 32. The linkage 34 and ball 36 are shown withdrawn from the dock 32.

FIG. 3, a front view of the apparatus for fastening, shows the body 22, the hook 24, the clip 26, the end 33 opposite the hook 24, the slide 40, and the linkage 34. The ball 36 is shown by dotted lines. The linkage 34 is shown to be able to rotate between two orientations 90 degrees apart; a first orientation, in which the linkage 34 projects from the end 33 of the body 22 roughly in line with the guideway 28; and a second orientation, in which the linkage 34 projects from the dock 32, between the tines 49 of the fork 48, roughly perpendicular to the side 23 of the body 22.

FIG. 4, an exploded perspective view of the apparatus for fastening, shows the body 22, side 23, end 33, hook 24, clip 26, guideway 28, dock 32, liner 54, and groove 30. As can be seen, the dock 32 is formed by a widening of the guideway 28 at the side 23 of the body 22, proximate the end 33 of the body 22 opposite the hook 24 and spaced a short distance therefrom. Shown in greater detail than in previous figures, the guideway 28 is seen to have an inverted T-shape and is undercut within the body 22, opening at the end 33 of the body 22. Spaced farther from the end 33 are a first block station 29 and a second block station 31, each of these also being formed by a widening of the guideway 28 at the side 23 of the body 22. As can also be seen more clearly in this picture, the groove 30 is shallowly formed in the side 23 of the body 22 parallel the guideway 28, extending from the second block station 31 toward the hook 24.

With continued reference to FIG. 4, the guideway 28 is dimensioned to allow the linkage 34, at times when the ball 36 is positioned in the dock 32, to rotate freely between an orientation in which it projects from the guideway 28 via the dock 32 to one in which it projects from the guideway 28 via the end 33 of the body 22.

With continued reference to FIG. 4, also shown are the slide 40, fork 48, and tines 49. The slide 40 has a riser 42 which is enlarged distally to form a flange 44. A ridge 46 is formed on the slide 40 in line with the riser 42. A fork 48 with tines 49 is formed on the slide 40. The riser 42 and flange 44 are dimensioned to engage the guideway 28, thereby holding the slide 40 against the side 23 of the body 22 while permitting the slide 40 to move along the guideway 28. The ridge 46 is dimensioned to engage in the groove 30 that is formed in the side 23 of the body 22, thereby stabilizing the slide 40 in relation to the body 22. The fork 48 is dimensioned so that the linkage 34 may fit between the tines 49, allowing the linkage 34 to project from the guideway 28 via the dock 32 when the slide 40 is moved into a position such that the fork 48 is located directly over the dock 32.

With continued reference FIG. 4, also shown are a first block 50 to be disposed in the first block station 29, a second block 51 to be disposed in the second block station 31, a steel spring 56 with central stop 58 to be disposed in the guideway 28 between the first block 50 and the second block 51. Each of the first block 50 and second block 52 has a centrally located notch 52.

With continued reference to FIG. 4, assembly is accomplished by interference-fitting the second block 52 in the second block station 31 (with the notch 52 visible), inserting the spring 56 in the guideway 28 between the second block station 31 and the first block station 29, inserting the riser 42 and flange 44 into the guideway 28 at the end 33 of the body 22, backing the slide 40 toward the second block 51 (thereby compressing the spring 56 between the flange 44 and the second block 51) until the first block station 29 is exposed, interference-fitting the first block 50 in the first block station 29 (with the notch 52 visible), and interference-fitting the liner 54 in the dock 32. Thus configured, the slide 40 is biased toward the end 33 of the body 22, where its travel is limited by interference of the riser 42 and flange 44 with the first block 50. The ridge 46 on the slide 40 rides in the groove 30 in the side 23 of the body 22 and also in the notch 52 of each of the first block 50 and the second block 51, stabilizing the slide 40 on the body 22. The liner 54 protects the dock 32 and the guideway 28 from being worn away by friction with the ball 36.

With continued reference to FIG. 4, a pedestal 38 is shown attached to the linkage 34. A cut-out 37 is formed in the pedestal 38. As shown by the dotted lines, when the linkage 34 is inserted in the guideway 28, the linkage 34 has at least 90 degrees of rotational freedom in plane with the guideway 28. The linkage 34 may lie parallel to the guideway 28 and project endwise away from the end 33 of the body 22 opposite the hook 24 (in practice, the hook 24 points upward and engages a belt loop or other point of attachment, while the linkage 34 depends downward from the end 33 opposite the hook 24 and bears the load of the attached article). Alternatively—as, for example, when a user is inserting or withdrawing the linkage 34, the linkage 34 may project sideways away from the side 23 of the body 22. The pedestal 38 has an adhesive pad 39 for attachment to an article which is to be suspended—a mobile telephone, for example. The pedestal 38 is centrally and hingedly attached to the linkage 34 by means for a pin 41 and has a radially projecting cut-out 37 which allows the linkage 34 to project parallel to the adhesive pad 39 and close to the article to which the pedestal 38 is attached. It will be appreciated that in some cases an article such as a mobile telephone does not have suitable top surfaces to which the pedestal 38 may be attached. In such cases, the pedestal 38 is usually attached to a side of the article—for example, the backside of a mobile telephone—and is oriented such that the cut-out 37 points toward the top of the article. The reader may visualize that doing so permits the linkage 34 to be oriented downward from the end 33 of the body 22, to the pedestal 38, and within the cut-out 37, thereby joining the pedestal 38 to the body 22 and attaching the article to the wearer's clothing in a generally co-planar, flat arrangement providing comfort and convenience.

FIG. 5, a side cross sectional view of the apparatus for fastening as assembled, shows the body 22, hook 24, clip 26, end 33, guideway 28, dock 32, liner 54, first block station 29, a second block station 31, first block 50, second block 51, spring 56, stop 58, riser 42, ball 36, linkage 34, pedestal 38, and adhesive pad 39. A pin 42, shown by dotted lines, attaches the linkage 34 to the pedestal 38. The stop 58 prevents overcompression of the spring 56.

FIG. 6, a sectional view of the apparatus for fastening taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 2, shows the body 22, slide 40, riser 42, and flange 44. The riser 42 and flange 44 are dimensioned to fit the guideway 28 and retain the slide 40 on the body 22 while allowing the slide 40 to move along the guideway 28.

FIG. 7, a perspective view of the apparatus for fastening, shows the body 22, side 23, end 33, groove 30, hook 24, clip 26, slide 40, fork 48, tines 49, dock 32, guideway 28, ball 36, linkage 34, pedestal 38 and pin 41. The linkage 34 is shown projecting from the pin 42, through the cut-out 37, and into the guideway 28. The adhesive pad, not shown in this figure, attached the pedestal 38 to the article, which happens to be a mobile telephone.

With continued reference to FIG. 7, a user may depress the clip 26, hang the hook 24 on any apparel structure (such as a belt loop) or other suitable place of attachment, and release the clip 26, with the result that the hook 24 and body 22 are secured to the belt loop. The user may next manually retract the slide 40 toward the hook 24 until the dock 32 is exposed, approximate the mobile telephone to the body 22, insert the ball 36 in the dock 32, and release the slide 40, with the result that the ball 36 is confined in the dock 32 with the linkage 34 projecting from the dock 32 or guideway 28. The user may next release the mobile telephone, whereupon the linkage 34 will be pulled such that it projects from the end 33 of the body 22. Simultaneously, the pedestal 38, which is attached above the center of mass of the mobile telephone, will be oriented so that the linkage 34 nests in the cut-out 37, allowing the mobile telephone to depend neatly from the place of attachment.

FIG. 8, a side view of an alternative embodiment of the apparatus for fastening in according to the present invention, shows the body 22, side 23, end 33, groove 30, hook 24, clip 26, slide 40, fork 48, tines 49, guideway 28, ball 36, and linkage 34. The linkage 34 is shown affixed to a hinged fitting 43, which has been riveted to a holster suitable for carrying a mobile telephone or the like. The linkage 34 is shown projecting from the hinged fitting 43 into the guideway 28.

With continued reference to FIG. 8, a user may depress the clip 26, hang the hook 24 on any apparel structure (such as a belt loop) or other suitable place of attachment, and release the clip 26, with the result that the hook 24 and body 22 are secured to the belt loop. The user may next manually retract the slide 40 toward the hook 24 until the dock 32 is exposed, approximate the holster to the body 22, insert the ball 36 in the dock 32, and release the slide 40, with the result that the ball 36 is confined in the dock 32 with the linkage 34 projecting from the dock 32 or guideway 28. The user may next release the holster, whereupon the linkage 34 will be pulled such that it projects from the end 33 of the body 22. Simultaneously, the hinged fitting 43, which is rotatably attached to the holster, will allow the holster to depend neatly from the place of attachment.

As can be seen from the drawing figures and from the description, each embodiment of the apparatus for fastening in accordance with the present invention solves a problem by addressing the need for conveniently suspending a personal article, such as a telephone handset, audio device or the like, from wearing apparel or from another place of attachment in a way that allows the article to hang flush with the wearer's clothing or other surface. The flat form of the hook 24 and body 22 contribute to this solution by minimising protrusions; moreover, the clip 26 operates in a plane parallel to the surface it is dangling against. The ball 36 and linkage 34 cooperate with the fork 48, dock 32 and guideway 28 to preserve this solution by ensuring sufficient rotational freedom of the linkage 34 relative to the body 22, while at the same time exploiting the convenient operation of the slide 40 to secure the ball 36 in the dock 32. In the preferred embodiment, the cut-out 37 and the hinged attachment of the linkage 34 to the pedestal 38 ensures that the article in question, which is being suspended from an attachment point on its side near its top, hangs flush with the linkage 34 and the body 22 against the user's clothing or other surface. In the alternative embodiment, the hinged fitting 43 likewise allows the holster to hang flush, while also allowing it to tilt in place with the body 22.

While the specification describes particular embodiments of the present invention, those of ordinary skill can devise variations of the present invention without departing from the inventive concept.





 
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