Title:
DECORATIVE SKIN FOR A FILING CABINET DRAWER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Planar sheets or “skins” are attachable to the outwardly facing vertical surfaces of filing cabinet drawers. These skins may fully or partially cover the outwardly facing surface of the filing cabinet drawers. Also, the skins may be textured or smooth, and they may be colored in one or more different colors. Further, the skins may have one or more design features that are visible in the workplace. These design features may include, but are not limited to, patterns, graphics, pictures, photos, drawings, icons, paintings, illustrations, symbols, calendars, quotes, holiday specific design features, exchangeable head-torso-feet images, text, or the like. For multiple drawer filing cabinets, multiple skins may be provided where each skin includes a portion of a design feature that is visibly revealed in the workplace when they are attached to the outwardly facing surfaces of the drawers in a predetermined or random arrangement.



Inventors:
Yamada, Kobi (Seattle, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/687589
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/16/2007
Assignee:
Compendium, Inc. (Seattle, WA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
700/231
International Classes:
A47B97/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GALLEGO, ANDRES F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAUG PARTNERS LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is:

1. An apparatus for decorating an external and outwardly facing surface of a drawer in a filing cabinet, comprising: a skin that is substantially planar and sized to cover at least a portion of the external and outwardly facing surface of the drawer, wherein the skin includes at least one decorative design feature that is visible to a user of the drawer; a port that passes through the skin for enabling access to at least one of a lock, a handle, and a display bracket; and an attacher for attaching the skin to the external outwardly facing surface of the drawer.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the attacher comprises at least one of a magnet, bracket, adhesive, mechanical hook, clip, tape, fabric hook and loop, snap, screw, nail, post, or rivet.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the design feature includes at least one of a pattern, graphic, picture, photo, drawing, image, icon, painting, illustration, symbol, calendar, quote, holiday specific design feature, exchangeable head-torso-feet image, advertisement, logo, or text.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising separate ports for at least the display bracket, handle, or lock.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the port is sized so that the planar sides of the skin are reversible.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one decorative design feature is revealed by the attachment of a plurality of skins to the external outwardly facing surfaces of a plurality of filing cabinet drawers.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the planar surface of the skin is writable.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a sleeve frame that is directly attachable to the external outwardly facing surface of the drawer by the attacher, wherein the sleeve frame is arranged to hold the skin in a removable position against the external outwardly facing surface of the drawer.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one manual tool for physically editing at least one decorative design feature for one or more skins, wherein the at least one manual tool includes at least one of a pen, pencil, marker, paint, sticker, tape, hook, magnet, picture frame, cut-out text, or pin.

10. A method for decoratively covering an external outwardly facing surface of office furniture, comprising: enabling the provision of a design feature for a skin; enabling the editing of the design feature for the skin; producing the skin with the at least one design feature; and attaching the skin to the external outwardly facing surface of the drawer.

11. The method of claim 10, further comprising providing a template for one or more design features for the skin.

12. The method of claim 10, further comprising selecting a predetermined design feature for use with the skin.

13. The method of claim 10, further comprising enabling physical editing with at least one manual tool for at least one decorative design feature for one or more skins, wherein the at least one manual tool includes at least one of a pen, pencil, marker, paint, sticker, tape, hook, magnet, picture frame, cut-out text, or pin.

14. The method of claim 10, wherein the skin is produced at least one of remotely and shipped to the user, or locally with a printer.

15. The method of claim 10, wherein the office furniture includes at least one of a filing cabinet, bank cabinet, storage cabinet, or bookcase.

16. A system for providing a decorative skin for office furniture, comprising: a network; a server; and a client that performs actions, including: enabling the provision of a design feature for a skin; enabling the editing of the design feature for the skin; enabling the production of the skin with the at least one design feature; and enabling the attachment of the skin to an external outwardly facing surface of the office furniture.

17. The system of claim 16, wherein the client is operative with a mobile device that communicates with the server over a wireless network.

18. The system of claim 16, further comprising a printer for producing the skin with the design feature locally.

19. The system of claim 16, wherein the client is operative with a computing device that communicates with the server over a wired network.

20. The system of claim 16, wherein the office furniture is at least one of a filing cabinet, bank cabinet, storage cabinet, or bookcase.

Description:

FIELD OF ART

The present invention relates generally to decorative coverings for furniture and, more particularly, but not exclusively, to a covering or skin for a filing cabinet drawer that may be attached to the outwardly facing surface of the drawer that is generally visible in the workplace.

BACKGROUND

Although computers can be found in almost every office environment, filing cabinets are just as popular, if not more so than ever. Also, there are many different kinds of filing cabinets with frames that can accommodate vertical and/or lateral arrangements of drawers of different depths for storing letter and/or legal sized files. Some cabinets have wheels for easy mobility, while others are built into desks and are stationary. Also, most filing cabinets share similar features. They have a handle to open and close the drawer, a locking mechanism to secure the drawer, a bracket for displaying a label descriptive of the drawer contents, and the drawer's vertical surface that faces the office environment is often colored in a nondescript color, e.g., tan, black, or white. Also, the width and height of this vertical surface of the drawer is relatively the same from most any manufacturer because these dimensions are based on the standard size of a letter or a legal sized file.

As businesses move away from formal settings to relaxed, casual atmospheres, employees increasingly wish to decorate their working space. Filing cabinets, with their solid, neutral tones, have become a stumbling block in the final steps of personalizing a work space. Therefore, it is with respect to these considerations and others that the present invention has been made.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Non-limiting and non-exhaustive embodiments of the present invention are described with reference to the following drawings. In the drawings, like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the various figures unless otherwise specified.

For a better understanding of the present invention, reference will be made to the following Detailed Description, which is to be read in association with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1A is a diagram illustrating skins attached to the outwardly facing surfaces of vertically arranged drawers in a filing cabinet;

FIG. 1B is a diagram showing skins attached to the outwardly facing surfaces of laterally arranged drawers in a filing cabinet;

FIG. 2A is a diagram illustrating a frame that is attached to the periphery of the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer;

FIG. 2B is a diagram showing a skin attached to the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer;

FIG. 2C is a diagram illustrating a skin with holes arranged along its periphery for attaching to the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer;

FIG. 2D is a diagram showing a skin with straps arranged along its periphery for attaching to the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer;

FIG. 2E is a diagram illustrating a cross-sectional perspective of a skin;

FIG. 3 is a diagram showing a networked client-server system; and

FIG. 4 is a flow chart in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and which show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments by which the invention may be practiced. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Among other things, the present invention may be embodied as methods or devices. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense.

Throughout the specification and claims, the following terms take the meanings explicitly associated herein, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. The phrase “in one embodiment” as used herein does not necessarily refer to the same embodiment, though it may. Furthermore, the phrase “in another embodiment” as used herein does not necessarily refer to a different embodiment, although it may. Thus, as described below, various embodiments of the invention may be readily combined, without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.

In addition, as used herein, the term “or” is an inclusive “or” operator, and is equivalent to the term “and/or,” unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. The term “based on” is not exclusive and allows for being based on additional factors not described, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. In addition, throughout the specification, the meaning of “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural references. The meaning of “in” includes “in” and “on.”

Briefly stated, the invention is directed to relatively planar sheets or “skins” that are attachable to the outwardly facing vertical surfaces of office furniture, e.g., filing cabinets, book shelves, storage cabinets, bank cabinets, and the like. In one embodiment, these skins may fully or partially cover the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet's drawers. Also, the skins may be textured or smooth, and they may be colored in one or more different colors. Further, the skins may have one or more design features that are visible in the workplace. These design features may include, but are not limited to, patterns, graphics, pictures, photos, images, drawings, icons, paintings, illustrations, symbols, calendars, quotes, holiday specific design features, exchangeable head-torso-feet images, logos, advertisements, text, or the like. For multiple drawer filing cabinets, multiple skins may be provided where each skin includes a portion of a design feature that is visibly revealed in the workplace when they are attached to the outwardly facing surfaces of the drawers in a predetermined or random arrangement.

Additionally, in at least one embodiment, the skins may be made of one or more materials, including, but not limited to, plastic, paper, fiberboard, composite material, ceramic, melamine, bamboo, wood, composite material, fabric, metal, magnetic film, rubber, and the like. In at least one embodiment, the outward facing side of the skin may partially or fully include a writeable surface that may be drawn or written on. Further, in at least one embodiment, this writeable surface may be arranged to be rewriteable, and somewhat similar to those surfaces found on a chalk board, a white board, and the like.

Furthermore, in at least one embodiment, a sleeve frame may be affixed in a relatively substantial manner to at least a portion of the periphery of the outward facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer. The sleeve frame may be sized and arranged to hold a skin disposed within the frame in such a position that the skin is visible in the workplace on the outwardly facing surface of the filing cabinet drawer. The sleeve frame may be arranged so that a skin may be easily/quickly replaced without having to reattach the sleeve to the filing cabinet drawer.

Also, in at least one embodiment, a skin may be cut out to include a port for the drawer's handle and/or drawer lock. Also, the skin may be cut out to include a port for the drawer's display bracket for labels. In different embodiments, the skin may be attached to a filing drawer's vertical and outwardly facing surface in one or more ways, including, but not limited to, magnets, adhesives, fabric hook and loop fasteners (velcro), mechanical hooks, clips, snaps, screws, nails, rivets, and the like. Moreover, in at least one embodiment, a skin may be sized to accommodate filing cabinet drawers that are sized to accommodate one or more sizes of files, including, but not limited to, letter, legal, and A4.

In yet another embodiment, a user may employ a software application to provide and arrange at least one design feature for one or more skins for office furniture. This software application may be provided as a client-server service over a network, and/or a local application. The software application may enable the provided/arranged design feature to be printed on a “blank” skin with a printer that is local or remote to the user. Further, the blank skin is typically formed from a planar sheet of material that may be accommodated by a local printer, e.g., paper, mylar, plastic, melamine, and the like. In yet another embodiment, a skin is remotely manufactured with at least one design feature provided/arranged by a user in a size/shape selected by a user and subsequently shipped to the user at a later date.

A blank skin is typically sized to fit within a sleeve frame attached to an outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer, or sized to directly attach to the outwardly facing surface of the drawer itself. Also, the blank skin may include indications for and/or be provided with one or more portals cut out of the skin for a drawer handle, a drawer lock, and/or a drawer display bracket. Additionally, a blank skin may not be completely blank, e.g., the outwardly facing surface of the blank skin may also include one or more predetermined design features.

Additionally, in at least one embodiment, a user may be provided with one or more tools to create a new design feature or edit a provided template for one or more skins. These creation and editing tools may be provided with the software application. Also, in at least one embodiment, manual tools may be provided for physically creating and editing design features for one or more skins, e.g., pens, pencils, markers, paints, stickers, tape, hooks, magnets, picture frames, cut-out text, and the like.

Illustrative Embodiments

FIG. 1A is a diagram showing a substantially planar view of vertically arranged filing cabinet 100a. A plurality of skins 106a are shown attached to the external outwardly facing surfaces of the drawers in filing cabinet 100a. As shown, each skin 106a has two portals cut out of its center portion, i.e., display portal 102a and handle portal 104a. Display portal 102a is arranged so that display bracket 108a remains visible and accessible when the skin is attached to the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer. Similarly, handle portal 104a is arranged so that drawer handle 110a and drawer lock 112a are visible and accessible when the skin is attached to the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer. Furthermore, the openings of handle port 104a and display portal 102a may be sized in such a way to enable skin 106a to be reversible so that a user may select which of the two planar sides of the skin to display on the outwardly facing surface of the filing cabinet drawer.

It is understood that in other embodiments that are not shown, the openings for handle port 104a and/or display portal 102a may be merely optional, and if present, they may be arranged in substantially different positions on skin 106a to accommodate different arrangements of drawer handles, drawers locks, and/or drawer display brackets on the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer. Also, although not shown, separate ports may be provided for locks which may be of different sizes and disposed in different positions for different types of office furniture.

Frame 114 is arranged to accommodate the vertical arrangement of four filing cabinet drawers. Also, although not shown, frame 114 provides support for an internal mechanical system that may employ one or more brackets, bearings, wheels, and/or hinges for each drawer. The internal system enables a user to easily pull and push individual drawers outward and inward from the frame in such a way that they are supported throughout their length of travel. Additionally, the inventive skins may be used with virtually any vertical or lateral arrangement of filing cabinet drawers. Furthermore, one or more filing cabinet drawers may also be arranged to accommodate one or more different sizes of files, including, but not limited to, letter, legal, A4, and the like.

Skins 106a may be arranged randomly or in a predetermined order on the outwardly facing surface of the filing cabinet drawers. Skin 106a may be attached to the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer with one or more mechanisms, including, but not limited to, magnets, brackets, adhesives, mechanical hooks, clips, tape, fabric hooks and loops, snaps, screws, nails, rivets, or the like. Also, skins 106a are typically arranged to cover at least a portion of the vertical outwardly facing surface of the cabinet drawers without altering the functionality of the drawers.

Skins 106a may fully or partially cover the outwardly facing surface of the filing cabinet drawers. Also, skins 106a may be textured, smooth, or reflective and they may be colored in one or more colors. Further, the skins may include one or more design features that are visible to a user of the drawer. For multiple drawer filing cabinets, multiple skins may be provided where each skin includes a portion of a design feature that is visibly revealed in the workplace when they are attached to the outwardly facing surfaces of the drawers in a predetermined or random arrangement. For example, in one embodiment, the design feature may be an image of a zebra with its stripes being openings in skin 106a that show the outwardly facing surface of the filing cabinet drawers beneath.

Additionally, in at least one embodiment, skins 106a may be made of one or more materials, including, but not limited to, plastic, paper, fiberboard, composite material, ceramic, metal, magnetic film, rubber, and the like. In at least one embodiment, the outward facing side of skin 106a may partially or fully include a writeable surface that may be drawn or written on. Further, in at least one embodiment, this writeable surface may be arranged to be rewriteable, and somewhat similar to those surfaces found on a chalk board, a white board, and the like.

Additionally, in at least one embodiment, skins may be attached to the sides of frame 114 which are perpendicular to the outwardly facing surface of the filing cabinet drawers. In still another embodiment, skins may be manufactured from a rubberized material to increase the safety of children and/or comprised adults in the vicinity of the filing cabinets. In yet another embodiment, the material of skin 106a may include an anti-bacterial agent to prevent the spread of disease among users of the filing cabinets. In yet still another embodiment, the material of skin 106a may be manufactured from a material that prevents corrosion of the filing cabinet in corrosive environments. Moreover, in at least one embodiment, a single port may be cut out of the skin and arranged so that the display bracket, the handle, and the lock for the filing cabinet drawer are accessible through the single port.

FIG. 1B is a diagram showing a substantially planar view of laterally arranged filing cabinet 100b, which is somewhat similar to filing cabinet 100a, albeit different. A plurality of skins 106b are shown attached to the external outwardly facing surfaces of the drawers in filing cabinet 100b. As shown, each skin 106b has two portals cut out of its center portion, i.e., display portal 102b and handle portal 104b. Display portal 102b is arranged so that display bracket 108b remains visible and accessible when the skin is attached to outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer. Similarly, handle portal 104b is arranged so that drawer handle 110b and drawer lock 112b are visible and accessible when the skin is attached to the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer. Furthermore, the openings of handle port 104b and display portal 102b may be sized in such a way to enable skin 106b to be reversible so that a user may select which of the two planar sides of the skin to display on the outwardly facing surface of the filing cabinet drawer.

It is understood that in other embodiments that are not shown, the openings for handle port 104b and/or display portal 102b may be merely optional, and if present, they may be arranged in substantially different positions on skin 106b to accommodate different arrangements of drawer handles, drawers locks, and/or drawer display brackets on the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer. Also, although not shown, separate ports may be provided for locks which may be of different sizes and disposed in different positions for different types of office furniture.

Frame 116 is arranged to accommodate the lateral arrangement of two filing cabinet drawers. Also, although not shown, frame 116 provides support for an internal mechanical system that may employ one or more brackets, bearings, wheels, and/or hinges for each drawer. The internal system enables a user to easily pull and push individual drawers outward and inward from the frame in such a way that they are supported throughout their length of travel. Additionally, the inventive skins may be used with virtually any vertical or lateral arrangement of filing cabinet drawers. Furthermore, one or more filing cabinet drawers may also be arranged to accommodate one or more different sizes of files, including, but not limited to, letter, legal, A4, and the like.

Skins 106b may be arranged randomly or in a predetermined order on the outwardly facing surface of the filing cabinet drawers. Skin 106b may be attached to the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer with one or more attachers, including, but not limited to, magnets, brackets, adhesives, mechanical hooks, clips, tape, fabric hooks and loops, snaps, screws, nails, rivets, or the like. Also, skins 106b are typically arranged to cover at least a portion of the vertical outwardly facing surface of the cabinet drawers without altering the functionality of the drawers.

Skins 106b may fully or partially cover the outwardly facing surface of the filing cabinet drawers. Also, skins 106b may be textured, smooth, or reflective and they may be colored in one or more colors. Further, the skins may include one or more design features that are visible to a user of the drawer. For multiple drawer filing cabinets, multiple skins may be provided where each skin includes a portion of a design feature that is visibly revealed in the workplace when they are attached to the outwardly facing surfaces of the drawers in a predetermined or random arrangement. For example, flower top element 120 and flower stem element 122 are arranged across two drawers to reveal a design for the developed length of a flower.

Additionally, in at least one embodiment, skins 106b may be made of one or more materials, including, but not limited to, plastic, paper, fiberboard, composite material, ceramic, metal, magnetic film, rubber, and the like. In at least one embodiment, the outward facing side of skin 106a may partially or fully include a writeable surface that may be drawn or written on. Further, in at least one embodiment, this writeable surface may be arranged to be rewriteable, and somewhat similar to those surfaces found on a chalk board, a white board, and the like.

Additionally, in at least one embodiment, skins may be attached to the sides of frame 116 which are perpendicular to the outwardly facing surface of the filing cabinet drawers. In still another embodiment, skins 106b may be manufactured from a rubberized material to increase the safety of children and/or comprised adults in the vicinity of the filing cabinets. In yet another embodiment, the material of skin 106b may include an anti-bacterial agent to prevent the spread of disease among users of the filing cabinets. In yet still another embodiment, the material of skin 106b may be manufactured from a material that prevents corrosion of the filing cabinet in corrosive environments.

Illustrative Skin Attachment

FIG. 2A shows planar view of skin system 200a, which includes sleeve frame 206 that is directly attachable to the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer by at least one or more of the attachers discussed above, including, but not limited to, magnets, brackets, adhesives, mechanical hooks, clips, tape, fabric hooks and loops, snaps, screws, nails, rivets, or the like. Blank skin 208 is disposed within sleeve frame 206. Also, display port 202a and handle port 204a are cut out of the middle portion of blank skin 208 to respectively accommodate a drawer display bracket, and a drawer handle (and lock).

FIG. 2B illustrates a planar view of skin 200b with display port 202b and handle port 204b cut out of the middle portion of skin 200b to respectively accommodate a drawer display bracket, and a drawer handle (and lock). Attached to the planar surface of skin 200b is magnetic film 210 which enables skin 200b to be directly attached to the ferrous metal surface of an outwardly facing filing cabinet drawer.

FIG. 2C shows a planar view of skin 200c with display port 202c and handle port 204c cut out of the middle portion of skin 200c to respectively accommodate a drawer display bracket, and a drawer handle (and lock). Fastener ports 212 are arranged along the periphery of the planar surface of skin 200c to accommodate the direct attachment of the skin to the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer. The fasteners may include, but are not limited to, screws, nails, rivets, pegs, snaps, and the like.

FIG. 2D illustrates a planar view of skin 200d with display port 202d and handle port 204d cut out of the middle portion of skin 200d to respectively accommodate a drawer display bracket, and a drawer handle (and lock). Fasteners 214 are arranged along the periphery of the planar surface of skin 200d to accommodate the direct attachment of the skin to the outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer. The fasteners may include tabs, hooks, brackets, clips, tape, fabric hooks and loops, snaps and the like.

FIG. 2E shows a side cross-sectional view of skin 2003 which further illustrates how display port 204e and handle port 202e are cut through the skin to provide access to a display bracket, handle, and/or lock when the skin is attached to an external outwardly facing surface of a filing cabinet drawer.

Illustrative Application Environment

FIG. 3 illustrates one embodiment of an environment in which the invention may operate. However, not all of these components may be required to practice the invention, and variations in the arrangement and type of the components may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.

As shown in FIG. 3, system 300 includes first and second mobile devices 310-311, first and second client devices 315-316, server 320, and network 330. System 300 enables a user to employ a software application to provide and arrange at least one design feature for one or more skins for office furniture. This software application may be provided as a client-server service over a network, and/or a local application for mobile devices and/or client devices. The software application may enable the provided/arranged design feature to be printed on a “blank” skin with a printer that is local or remote to the user. In yet another embodiment, a skin is remotely manufactured with at least one design feature provided/arranged by a user in a size/shape selected by a user and subsequently shipped to the user at a later date. Additionally, in at least one embodiment, a user may be provided with one or more tools to create a new design feature and/or edit a provided template for one or more skins. These creation and editing tools may be provided with the software application.

Generally, first and second mobile devices 310-311 and first and second client devices 315-316 and server 320 may include virtually any computing device capable of connecting to another computing device to send and receive information, including web requests for information from a server device, and the like. First and second mobile devices 310-311 and first and second client devices 315-316 may further include a client application that is configured to manage various actions, for example, a web browser application that is configured to enable an end-user to interact with server 320 and other devices and applications over network 330.

Likewise, server 320 may include a server application that is configured to manage various actions, for example, a web-server application that is configured to enable an end-user to interact with server 320 over network 330. In one embodiment, server 320 may be configured to manage providing and editing design features and/or templates for skins which are manufactured remotely or printed locally by a user.

Generally, server 320 includes a processing unit, video display adapter, and a mass memory, all in communication with each other via a bus. The mass memory generally includes RAM, ROM, and one or more permanent mass storage devices, such as a hard disk drive, tape drive, optical drive, and/or floppy disk drive. The mass memory stores an operating system for controlling the operation of server 320. Server 320 also includes applications, including for example, a web-server, design feature editor, and design feature viewer, which may be expressed as one or more executable instructions stored at one or more locations within RAM, although the instructions may be stored elsewhere. Server 320 may also include a database or other archive or medium for storing, retrieving, organizing, and otherwise managing advertisements, advertising campaigns, and elements thereof. Server 320 may include many more or less components than those discussed. The components discussed, however, are sufficient to disclose an illustrative embodiment for practicing one or more embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 3 shows mobile devices 310, 311 that may be included in a system implementing the invention. As shown in the figure, mobile devices 310, 311 include a processing unit (CPU) in communication with mass memory via a bus. Mobile devices 310, 311 may also include a power supply, one or more transceivers, an audio interface, video interface, display, keypad, illuminator, input/output interface, haptic interface, storage medium, and optional global positioning systems (GPS) receiver.

Mobile devices 310, 311 may optionally communicate with a base station (not shown), or directly with another computing device. The mobile devices include transceivers for coupling to one or more networks, and is constructed for use with one or more communication protocols and technologies including, but not limited to, global system for mobile communication (GSM), code division multiple access (CDMA), time division multiple access (TDMA), user datagram protocol (UDP), transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP), SMS, general packet radio service (GPRS), WAP, ultra wide band (UWB), IEEE 802.16 Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax), SIP/RTP, or any of a variety of other wireless communication protocols.

Mobile devices 310, 311 include a mass memory which further includes a RAM, a ROM, and other storage means. The mass memory provides storage for information such as computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data. The mass memory stores a basic input/output system (“BIOS”) for controlling low-level operation of mobile devices 310, 311 and an operating system. At least a portion of applications and/or other data may also be stored on a storage medium, such as a disk drive, removable storage, or the like. Mobile devices 310, 311 may include many more or less components than those shown in FIG. 3. However, the components shown are sufficient to disclose an illustrative embodiment for practicing the present invention.

Generally, client devices 310, 311 are personal computers, notebook computers, and the like. Client devices 310, 311 typically include a processing unit, video display adapter, and a mass memory, all in communication with each other via a bus. The mass memory generally includes RAM, ROM, and one or more permanent mass storage devices, such as a hard disk drive, tape drive, optical drive, and/or floppy disk drive. The mass memory stores an operating system for controlling the operation of client devices 310, 311. The mass memory also includes applications, including for example, a web-server, design feature editor, and design feature viewer, which may be expressed as one or more executable instructions stored at one or more locations within RAM, although the instructions may be stored elsewhere. Client devices 310, 311 may also include a database or other archive or medium for storing, retrieving, organizing, and otherwise managing advertisements, advertising campaigns, and elements thereof. Client devices 310, 311 may include many more or less components than those discussed. The components discussed, however, are sufficient to disclose an illustrative embodiment for practicing one or more embodiments of the invention.

Illustrative Flowchart

FIG. 4 is a workflow diagram depicting one embodiment of a workflow. As illustrated, the workflow shows possible steps and elements for creating, generating, customizing and designing features for skins. It is recognized that certain steps or elements may be omitted or added as suitable for a given implementation. Likewise, the individual steps or elements, and combinations thereof, may be accomplished either manually or automatically, as suitable for each given implementation or as discussed above.

Moving from a start block, the process steps to block 402 where at least one design feature for a skin is provided. In one embodiment, the design feature is provided by a user and edited with a tool for use with a skin for office furniture. In another embodiment, the user selects the design feature from predetermined design features provided in a template and/or as part of a service that may be accessed locally or remotely over a wired or wireless network. At block 404, the user may edit the design features for use with a skin for office furniture.

Flowing to block 406, the user may optionally locally produce a skin that includes the selected and/or edited design features. In one embodiment, the user may employ a printer to print out the design features on a blank skin that may or may not include one or more predetermined design features. Advancing to block 408, the user employs a service to remotely produce and provide the skin with at least one of the provided and/or edited design features. This remotely produced skin would be subsequently shipped to the user. Next the process returns to perform other actions.

The examples provided should not be construed as narrowing the embodiments of the invention, and are intended merely to provide a better understanding. Thus, other mechanisms may therefore be employed, without departing from the scope of the invention.

The above specification, examples, and data provide a complete description of the manufacture and use of the composition of the invention. Since many embodiments of the invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, the invention resides in the claims hereinafter appended.





 
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