Title:
PURSE HANGER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A purse holder apparatus includes a first arm including a first surface contact element and a first connecting portion, a second arm includes a second surface contact element and a second connecting portion, and a compression element is connected to the first connecting portion and the second connecting portion.



Inventors:
Sweeney, Michael T. (Laguna Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/498018
Publication Date:
01/07/2010
Filing Date:
07/06/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/309.1
International Classes:
A44C5/00; A47B96/06
View Patent Images:
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20100024479FASTENER FOR SECURING JEWELRY ITEMFebruary, 2010Corona
20070186586Oval-cut diamondAugust, 2007Matsumura et al.
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20030041620Non-rectangular multistone jewelryMarch, 2003Gruber
20050229635Appendage attachmentOctober, 2005Peterson



Primary Examiner:
BATSON, VICTOR D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Myers Andras LLP (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A purse holder apparatus comprising: a first arm including a first surface contact element and a first coupling portion; a second arm including a second surface contact element and a second coupling portion; and a compression element coupled to the first coupling portion and the second coupling portion.

2. The purse holder apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first coupling portion couples with the second coupling portion forming a hinge.

3. The purse holder apparatus of claim 2, wherein the opening angle between the first surface contact element and the second surface contact element is based on the contact angle between the first coupling portion and the second coupling portion.

4. The purse holder apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a link element coupled to the compression element configured to compress the compression element when a force separates the first arm from the second arm.

5. The purse holder apparatus of claim 4, wherein the compression element is a compression spring.

6. The purse holder apparatus of claim 4, wherein the compression element is one of a pneumatic element and a hydraulic element.

7. The purse holder apparatus of claim 4, wherein the link element includes a curved push tab configured to maintain a positive central force on the second arm.

8. The purse holder of claim 7, wherein without including the curved push tab of the link element the central force will change from positive to negative as the second arm rotates and a point of force application moves across an axis of rotation.

9. The purse holder apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first surface contact element and the second surface contact element are configured to make contact with a surface.

10. The purse holder apparatus of claim 9, wherein the first surface contact element and the second surface contact element are made of a non-marring frictional material.

11. The purse holder apparatus of claim 9, wherein the first surface contact element is configured to fit within a first recess portion in the first arm, and the second surface contact element is configured to fit within a second recess portion in the second arm.

12. The purse holder apparatus of claim 9, wherein the first surface contact element and the second surface contact element have a thickness configured to separate respective ends of the first arm and the second arm from a surface when one of the first arm and the second arm are in contact with the surface.

13. The purse holder apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first coupling portion is configured to fit within the second coupling portion.

14. The purse holder apparatus of claim 13, further comprising a rod configured to rotatably couple the first coupling portion with the second coupling portion.

15. A purse holder bracelet comprising: a first arm including a first surface contact element and a first hinge portion; a second arm including a second surface contact element and a second hinge portion; and a compression element coupled between the first hinge portion and the second hinge portion.

16. The purse holder bracelet of claim 15, wherein the compression element is configured to apply a force to the first hinge portion and the second hinge portion.

17. The purse holder bracelet of claim 16, wherein the opening angle between the first surface contact element and the second surface contact element is based on the contact angle between the first coupling portion and the second coupling portion.

18. The purse holder bracelet of claim 15, wherein the first surface contact element and the second surface contact element are made of a non-marring frictional material.

19. The purse holder bracelet of claim 18, wherein the first surface contact element is configured to fit within a first recess portion in the first arm, and the second surface contact element is configured to fit within a second recess portion in the second arm.

20. The purse holder bracelet of claim 15, wherein the first hinge portion is configured to fit within the second hinge portion.

21. The purse holder bracelet of claim 20, further comprising a rod configured to rotatably couple the first hinge portion with the second hinge portion.

22. A purse holder bracelet comprising: a first arm including a first non-marring surface contact element and a first complimentary hinge portion; a second arm including a second non-marring surface contact element and a second complimentary hinge portion coupled with the first complimentary hinge portion; and a compression element coupled between the first complimentary hinge portion and the second complimentary hinge portion, the compression element configured to force an end of the first arm toward an end of the second arm, wherein the first complimentary hinge portion is configured to fit within the second complimentary hinge portion, and a rod couples the first complimentary hinge portion to the second complimentary hinge portion, and the purse holder bracelet is configured to hold a purse on one of the first arm and the second arm when coupled to a surface.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This Non-Provisional application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/078,026 filed on Jul. 3, 2008, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to purse holders and, more particularly, to improved bracelet purse holders.

2. Description of the Related Art

There are purse or handbag hangers on the market that have not been successful due to many factors. The problem that a purse hanger is trying to solve is where does someone place their purse while at a counter, bar or table. Placing a purse on the floor is an option but not preferred (A recent study by Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona showed 30% of purses contaminated with fecal bacteria). An extra chair is not always available. Holding it is an option but not always preferred. A purse hanger holds the purse under the table or bar while providing a visual indication of the purse but doesn't take up much usable space.

Existing purse hangers are typically carried inside purses. It takes time and effort to locate the hanger, remove it from the bag or two (many hook type hangers have their own bag to eliminate hooking other things inside the purse), place it on the strap and hang it on the flat surface. Similarly, when someone is done using the existing purse hanger, the operating steps are reversed.

FIGS. 1A-D show typical bangle bracelets that are not designed for use in hanging/holding a purse or pocket book. FIG. 2 shows a typical purse holder/hanger that has a wire hook attached to a circular pad. FIG. 3 shows the prior art purse holder of FIG. 2 connected to a beveled surface of a table. As illustrated, one problem with this purse holder is that the surface contact end only has a small portion that remains in contact with the surface of the table. This is because the shape of the prior art hanger limits what it can be hung from. This can cause the purse holder to dislodge easily from the table surface and defeat the purpose of keeping a purse off the floor.

Examples of typical bangle bracelets experimented with for use as purse holders are shown in FIGS. 4-7. With these typical bracelets, the ring is hinged in the center. FIG. 4 illustrates a bangle bracelet hinged on the short side and where the bracelet is spring loaded but the travel distance or angle created between the arms is excessive. In this case, a purse can easily slip off the bracelet or easily be removed.

FIG. 5 shows a typical bangle bracelet being hinged on the short side where the travel distance or angle between the arms is too restricted to be used as a purse holder. FIG. 6 shows a decorative bangle bracelet where the hinge is formed on a long side but the travel distance or angle between the arms is too excessive if attempted to be used as a purse holder. FIG. 7 shows a decorative bangle bracelet where the hinge has broken when used experimentally to hold a purse. This is due to the fact the bangle bracelet is not intended to hold the weight of a purse.

BRIEF SUMMARY

One aspect of an embodiment of the invention includes a purse holder apparatus having a first arm including a first surface contact element and a first connecting portion, a second arm includes a second surface contact element and a second connecting portion, and a compression element is connected to the first connecting portion and the second connecting portion.

Another aspect of an embodiment of the invention provide purse holder bracelet including a first arm with a first surface contact element and a first hinge portion. A second arm includes a second surface contact element and a second hinge portion. A compression element is coupled between the first hinge portion and the second hinge portion.

Yet another aspect of an embodiment of the invention provides a purse holder bracelet including a first arm with a first non-marring surface contact element and a first complimentary hinge portion. A second arm includes a second non-marring surface contact element and a second complimentary hinge portion coupled with the first complimentary hinge portion. A compression element is coupled between the first complimentary hinge portion and the second complimentary hinge portion. The compression element configured to force an end of the first arm toward an end of the second arm. The first complimentary hinge portion is configured to fit within the second complimentary hinge portion. A rod couples the first complimentary hinge portion to the second complimentary hinge portion. The purse holder bracelet is configured to hold a purse on one of the first arm and the second arm when coupled to a surface.

Other aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, which, when taken in conjunction with the drawings, illustrate by way of example the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

For a fuller understanding of the nature and advantages of the invention, as well as a preferred mode of use, reference should be made to the following detailed description read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1A-D illustrate typical decorative bangle bracelets with conventional hinges;

FIG. 2 illustrates a prior art non-hinged purse holder;

FIG. 3 shows prior art purse holder shown in FIG. 2 in use on a beveled table;

FIG. 4 illustrates a typical decorative bangle bracelet hinged on a short side having an excessive opening for attempted use of holding a purse;

FIG. 5 illustrates a typical bangle bracelet hinged on a short side having too limited opening for attempted use of holding a purse;

FIG. 6 illustrates a typical bangle bracelet hinged on a long side having an excessive opening for attempted use of holding a purse;

FIG. 7 illustrates a broken hinge of a bangle bracelet when attempted to be used as a purse holder as a result of unintended design use regarding purse weight;

FIG. 8 illustrates a purse holder bracelet according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 9 illustrates a purse holder bracelet shown in an open state according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 10 illustrates an exploded view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 illustrates the purse holder bracelet of FIG. 9 shown in a closed state;

FIG. 12 illustrates a detailed view of the purse holder bracelet of FIG. 9 shown in an open state; and

FIG. 13 illustrates the purse holder bracelet embodiment illustrated in FIG. 9 in use holding a purse strap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description is made for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention and is not meant to limit the inventive concepts claimed herein. Further, particular features described herein can be used in combination with other described features in each of the various possible combinations and permutations. Unless otherwise specifically defined herein, all terms are to be given their broadest possible interpretation including meanings implied from the specification as well as meanings understood by those skilled in the art and/or as defined in dictionaries, treatises, etc. The description may disclose several preferred embodiments for bracelet purse holders, devices, and methods, as well as operation and/or component parts thereof. While the following description will be described in terms of purse holder devices, systems and methods for clarity and placing the invention in context, it should be kept in mind that the teachings herein may have broad application to all types of systems, devices and applications.

FIG. 8 illustrates one embodiment of the invention including a purse holder/hanger bracelet 800. In one embodiment of the invention the bracelet purse holder 800 includes a first arm 805, a second arm 806, a hinge portion 110 and surface contact ends 120. In one embodiment of the invention the hinge 110 is spring-loaded and the formed bracelet ring is about 2.5″ in diameter. The bracelet purse holder 800 is designed to hold a heavy handbag without breaking and has ring ends 120 that are shaped to rest on a surface.

In one embodiment of the invention the bracelet purse holder 800 is made from metal by various processes including metal injection molding, die-casting, investment molding and stamping. In one embodiment of the invention the bracelet purse holder 800 is assembled by riveting the two halves with a torsion spring together and snapping on rubber ends. Some embodiments of the invention include replaceable rubber-like (i.e., rubber, silicone, plastic, PVC, etc.) ends in different colors/designs. In one embodiment of the invention the rubber ends have three functions: 1) to provide surface protection from the ring to the resting surface; 2) to provide a higher friction interface between the ring and the resting surface helping keep the bag/purse hanging; and 3) to match the angle between the ring end and the resting surface. These embodiments assist to provide a larger interface between the ring end and resting surface. The rubber-like ends can be made from different materials, for example, thermoplastic elastomers, and injection molded separately or integrally onto the ring ends 120.

In some embodiments of the invention different ring models are made by traditional jewelry making processes, stamping, injection molding or other methods. In some embodiments of the invention accessorizing the purse ring 800 is possible. In one embodiment of the invention the ends 120 are differently colored, decorative sleeves or items snapped into holes on the purse ring are also incorporated in other embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 9 illustrates another embodiment of the invention including a purse holder bracelet 900. As illustrated in FIG. 9, the purse holder 900 includes a first arm 901, a second arm 902, a formed hinge portion 905, first and second ends 920, and first and second surface contact portions 910. In one embodiment of the invention the hinge 905 is formed from a first coupling portion of the first arm 901 connecting with the second coupling portion of the second arm 902 (see FIG. 10, 1020, 1030). In one embodiment of the invention the first surface contact 910 and the second surface contact 910 are configured to make contact with a surface, such as a table, bar, counter, etc. In one embodiment of the invention, the first surface contact 910 and the second surface contact 910 are made of a non-marring material, such as molded material (e.g., rubber, plastic, thermoplastics, PVC, silicone, etc.) or a polyurethane dome label.

FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 8-9. As illustrated, in this embodiment of the invention the opening angle between the first surface contact 910 and the second surface contact 910 is based on the contact area angle 1070 between the first coupling portion 1020 and the contact area angle 1075 of the second coupling portion 1030. That is, when the first arm 901 is forced apart from the second arm 902 via the hinge 905 the contact area angle 1070 and the contact area angle 1075 will become abutted to each other, which stops the first arm 901 and the second arm 902 from being rotated farther.

In one embodiment of the invention a link element 1050 is coupled to the compression element 1040, which is configured to compress the compression element 1040 when a force separates the first arm 901 from the second arm 902. The link element 1050 couples the compression element 1040 to the second arm 902 in a precise manner. In one embodiment of the invention this allows for a large compression element 1040 (e.g., a large spring) to be used and to always position the compression force on the outside of the pivot pin 1060, which forces the first arm 901 and the second arm 902 together unless a counter force exceeds the force of the compression element 1040 to separate the first arm 901 from the second arm 902.

In one embodiment of the invention, the link element 1050 is in contact with a recessed portion of the first coupling portion 1020 and compresses the compression element 1040 when a force separates the first arm 901 from the second arm 902. In one embodiment of the invention the link element 1040 (e.g., a spring push tab) has a cut out area to allow rotation around the hub of the second arm 902 and application of force at a position on the outside of the pivot pin 1060.

In one embodiment of the invention the compression element 1040 is a compression spring. In other embodiments of the invention the compression element 1040 is one of a pneumatic element and a hydraulic element (e.g., a small shock absorber or strut type of element, etc.) that forces the first arm 901 end 920 and the second arm 902 arm 920 together unless another greater force is applied to separate the ends 920.

In one embodiment of the invention the first surface contact 1010 is configured to fit within a first recess portion 910 in the first arm 901, and the second surface contact 1010 is configured to fit within a second recess portion 910 in the second arm 902. In one embodiment of the invention the first surface contact 1010 and the second surface contact 1010 have a thickness configured to separate the end 920 of the first arm or end 920 of the second arm 902 from a surface (e.g., a table, bar, counter, etc.) when either the first arm 901 or the second arm 902 are in contact with the surface. That is, the first or second surface contact 1010 acts as a separation element to allow for frictional or a good surface adhesion point on surfaces where the angle of the surface to the ends 920 may not be appropriate for a straight flat surface. The surface contacts 1010 being made of non-marring material prevent scratching or other damage to a surface and also allow for display of symbols, text, etc. when the surface contacts are made of a clear or see-through material.

In one embodiment of the invention the first coupling portion 1020 is configured to fit within the second coupling portion 1030. In this embodiment of the invention the fitting of the first coupling portion 1020 within the second coupling portion 1030 is a significant strength improvement to existing spring closing hinge designs. Because the compression element 1040 is located off axis, no space is required to make room for it according to one embodiment of the invention. Accordingly, curved push tab of link element 1050 maintains a positive central force on the opposite arm. It should be noted that without the curved push tab of link element 1050, the central force will change from positive to negative as the arm rotates and the point of force application moves across the axis of rotation. In a typical torsion spring located coaxially, material must be removed from either or both sides, which reduces strength. In this embodiment of the invention a rod or pivot pin 1060 is configured to rotatably couple the first coupling portion 1020 with the second coupling portion 1030.

FIG. 11 illustrates the embodiment shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 shown in a resting or closed state. FIG. 12 illustrates the embodiment shown in FIGS. 9, 10 and 11 shown in an open state where the purse holder 900 can be used to hold/hang a purse when one surface contact 1010 is connected to a surface. FIG. 13 illustrates purse holder 900 shown in use of holding a purse strap 1310 on the second arm 902 with the surface contact 1010 in contact with a surface 1325 of a table 1320. As illustrated the surface contact 1010 separates the end 920 of the first arm 901 a distance from the table surface 1325 based on the thickness of the surface contact 1010.

Reference in the specification to “an embodiment,” “one embodiment,” “some embodiments,” or “other embodiments” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiments is included in at least some embodiments, but not necessarily all embodiments. The various appearances of “an embodiment,” “one embodiment,” or “some embodiments” are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiments. If the specification states a component, feature, structure, or characteristic “may,” “might,” or “could” be included, that particular component, feature, structure, or characteristic is not required to be included. If the specification or claim refers to “a” or “an” element, that does not mean there is only one of the element. If the specification or claims refer to “an additional” element, that does not preclude there being more than one of the additional element.

While certain exemplary embodiments have been described and shown in the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that such embodiments are merely illustrative of and not restrictive on the broad invention, and that this invention not be limited to the specific constructions and arrangements shown and described, since various other modifications may occur to those ordinarily skilled in the art.