Title:
INTERCHANGEABLE MEDALLION TABLE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention includes a game table, such as a pool or billiard table, with interchangeable parts that can change the look or style of the table by someone other than the factory that originally produced or manufactured the table.



Inventors:
Cartwright, Thomas (Stuart, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/099836
Publication Date:
10/16/2008
Filing Date:
04/09/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63D15/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080207345Removable Insert for a Bowling BallAugust, 2008Bernhardt
20070087861Golf ball with light-emitting control mechanismApril, 2007Liao et al.
20090305806PUTTER WITH AIMING ARMSDecember, 2009Campadore et al.
20090017934Putters with Enhanced Alignment VisualizationJanuary, 2009Stites et al.
20090124410SOLE CONFIGURATION FOR METAL WOOD GOLF CLUBMay, 2009Rife
20100022324GOLF CLUB SHAFTJanuary, 2010Kato
20090253530Golf club gripOctober, 2009Sugimae
20080188329Impact resistant golf teeAugust, 2008Chiou
20100069176GOLF BALL WITH POLYGONAL DIMPLE GROUPINGSMarch, 2010Aoyama
20060116224Hockey puck collection apparatusJune, 2006Andersen
20050250605Replaceable grip handleNovember, 2005Moore et al.



Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Barclay Damon, LLP (Syracuse, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A game table, comprising: a frame; a first plurality of design elements having designs thereon, one or more of the first plurality of design elements being removably affixed to the frame; and a second plurality of design elements having designs thereon, the second plurality of design element being operable to be removably affixed to the frame.

2. The game table of claim 1, the first plurality of design elements being medallions.

3. The game table of claim 1, the designs of the first plurality of design elements comprising a first theme and the designs of the second plurality of design elements comprising a second theme, wherein the first theme and the second theme are different.

4. The game table of claim 1, each design element defining a tapped blind bore that is operable to engage a threaded fastener associated with the frame.

5. The game table of claim 1, the each design element defining a blind bore configured to engage a quick-release pin affixed to the frame.

6. A pool or billiard table comprising: a frame disposed around the periphery of the table with panels on all sides of the table and covering the frame; one or more apertures in the frame, each aperture extending through the frame; a medallion having an outside surface for bearing a decoration and an inside surface for contacting a side of the table; means for engaging and retaining he medallion to the side of the table.

7. The pool or billiard table of claim 6 wherein the medallion has a threaded bore and the means for engaging and retaining the medallion comprises a matching threaded screw.

8. The pool or billiard table of claim 6 wherein the medallion has a stepped bore and the means for engaging and retatingin the medallion comprises a quick release pin operable from a extended position to a retracted position to fit inside the stepped bore whereby upon release the pin engages the side or step in the bore and holds the medallion in place.

10. The method of claim 9, the first plurality of design elements being medallions.

11. The method of claim 9, the first plurality of design elements comprising a first theme and second plurality of design elements comprising a second theme, wherein the first theme and the second theme are different.

12. The method of claim 9, each design element defining a tapped blind bore that is operable to engage a threaded fastener associated with the frame.

13. The method of claim 9, the each design element defining a blind bore configured to engage a quick-release pin affixed to the frame.

96. A method of changing a game table design, comprising the steps of: a) providing a game table frame having a plurality of first design elements removably affixed thereto; b) providing a second plurality of design elements c) removing the first plurality of design elements; and c) affixing one or more of the second plurality of design elements to the frame.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/911,116, filed Apr. 11, 2007, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to pool or billiards tables.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Game tables, such as pool tables and billiard tables, are conventionally distinguished in style at the time of manufacturing. Consumers are confined to the style and design of the table as set by the manufacturer. Changing the style or design generally requires one to purchase a new table. Also, retailers are required to stock and display tables with several designs in order to appeal to as many potential consumers as possible.

Therefore, a game table with a changeable design is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention comprises, in one form thereof, an apparatus and a method to enable the seller or user of a game table to have the ability to customize the table with interchangeable decorative components, such as a medallion. The game table may be a pool table, billiard table, poker table, or any other table with a game surface.

The decorative components can be added onto the table by fastening onto specific areas that are made to accept the component parts. The component parts have certain decorative designs that cause the general look, or theme, of the table to change through showing the particular design of the component part. For example, a table could show a fish medallion on the sides of the table that would appeal to a fisherman. Another medallion that could be shown would be a pineapple that would give a hospitality or tropical look to the table. The medallions would be available to the seller or user as an add-on feature. The table would be manufactured without medallions and it would be up to the buyer of the table to decide which decorative medallion will be put on the table.

The various medallions would he manufactured and offered as add-on components to the buyer. These components would he relatively smaller than the size of the game table. One example would be that the seller has an advantage in that they could purchase one generic pool table and pay the freight costs for the table, usually around 500 to 600 pounds, but have multiple sets of medallions with various designs that now give them the ability to offer or have multiple table designs with the one table. Due to the relatively small size of the medallions, the freight costs for the medallions would be much less as the medallions generally weigh less than the table weight.

This method of interchangeability has certain benefits such as reduced freight costs, lower inventory levels, sales and marketing promotion, and wider customer appeal.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is disclosed with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the interchangeable medallion table of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the interchangeable medallion table having alternative placards and medallions;

FIG. 3A is a side view of a medallion and the table frame of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3B is an exploded side view of the medallion and table frame of FIG. 3A;

FIG. 4A is a side view of an alternative medallion and the table frame of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4B is an exploded side view of the alternative medallion and table frame of FIG. 4A;

FIG. 5A is a side view of a further alternative medallion and the table frame of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5B is an exploded side view of the further alternative medallion and table frame of FIG. 5A; and

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of the stored medallions.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. The examples set out herein illustrate several embodiments of the invention but should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention in any manner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown the interchangeable medallion table of the present invention. The table 10 includes a table frame 12 and a design element or medallion 14.

The frame 12, and table 10 in general may have a design thereon that is generic to several different medallions 14, or that is minimal so that any number of medallions may be used with the table. Alternatively, the frame may have no design at all. The medallions may be inexpensive and lightweight so that a user or a retailer may have numerous medallions with different designs on hand. In this case, while the medallions 14 having a particular theme are displayed on the table, alternative medallions 15 having a different theme may be easily stored (FIG. 6).

As shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B, the medallion 14 is a circular block with a tapped blind bore 16 in the back that mates with a screw 18. The screw passes through a clearance hole in the frame 12 to secure the medallion 14 to the table. The medallion 14 may alternatively be made with different shapes and sizes. Particularly, the design element may be a large block or placard 20 instead of a medallion as shown if FIG. 2. In this embodiment, the block covers a substantial part of the frame to have a larger affect on the design of the table. Such a large block may require multiple fasteners to secure it to the frame.

In an alternative embodiment shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B, the fastener 18 is replaced by a push-button quick-release pin 22 incorporated into the frame. The pin 22 may be attached to the frame by adhesive, press-fitting, or other fastening means. The quick-release mechanism may include spring-loaded arms or ball bearings that are retracted by depressing a button on the end of the pin. The blind bore 16′ of the medallion 14′ includes a ledge 17 to catch the arms/bearings of the quick- release pin. In a further alternative embodiment shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, a dowel 24 is adhered, press fit, or otherwise affixed to the frame 12. The dowel 24 includes an o-ring 26 that cooperates with a recessed ring 27 communicating with the blind bore 16″. The medallion 14″ then simply snaps onto the dowel 24. In either of the alternative embodiments the blind bore 16′ or 16″ may include angled sides as shown in the figures for easier attachment to the pin or dowel.

In use, a retailer has a small number of game tables 10 having a generic or minimal design and a large variety of medallions 14 in stock. A consumer purchases one of the tables and chooses a style of medallion or a theme for the table. The retailer or the consumer attaches the medallions to the table by fitting the screw 18 into the through hole in the frame 12, aligning the medallion 14 with the frame 12, and tightening the screw 18 into the tapped blind bore 16 as shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B. Alternatively, the user snaps the medallion 14′ onto the quick-release pin 22 by aligning the blind bore 16′ with the pin 22 and pressing the medallion 14′ onto the pin. The user may alternatively snap the medallion 14″ onto the dowel 24 by aligning the blind bore 16″ with the pin 22 and pressing the medallion 14″ onto the dowel 24.

The consumer may also buy several medallion themes in order to mix and match the medallions or to change the theme for different occasions. For example, a user that usually has a nautical themed table may host a tropical-themed party. In this case the user may replace the nautical medallions with pineapple medallions. The consumer could also have medallions with one or more initials of his or her name and thereby provide a monogram for the game table. Such medallions could be blank when shipped and later routed with a mechanical or laser routing machine to have a design or initials. As an alternative, a substrate with a design could be affixed to a blank or smooth medallion. For example, a image could be printed on paper, cloth or other substrate material and the substrate could be attached to the blank medallion surface. The attachment could be temporary or permanent, depending upon the means for attachment. For example, some adhesive are more releaseable than others.

Although the medallions are shown in the figures as being affixed to the center of the sides of the table, they may be placed anywhere in use. Further, more than one medallion may be placed on a side as shown in FIG. 2,

While the invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof to adapt to particular situations without departing from the scope of the invention. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiments disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope and spirit of the appended claims.