Title:
CLIP AND COLLAR FOR REVERSIBLY ATTACHING SHELVES TO POLE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A clip that is operable to reversibly connect a collar-attached shelf with a tension pole. The clip generally has an axis, and an aperture that extends in the direction of the axis, such that the aperture is shaped to correspond with the shape of the tension pole. The clip also has a flexible connecting member that connects left and right sides of the clip, such that the clip can be opened and closed around the tension pole. The clip may have an outwardly-extending faceplate which is engageable with a collar. The collar may hold the clip in a closed position and may be attached to other items, such as a shelf.



Inventors:
Gasparino, Joseph (Peekskill, NY, US)
Application Number:
14/750492
Publication Date:
12/29/2016
Filing Date:
06/25/2015
Assignee:
Richards Homewares, Inc. (Portland, OR, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/525.08, 248/231.81, 248/235
International Classes:
A47B57/56; A47B45/00; A47B81/00
View Patent Images:
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20050230339Event rack/standOctober, 2005Hartger
20150053633ROLLER ASSEMBLY FOR GRAVITY FEED SHELVING AND METHOD OF ASSEMBLYFebruary, 2015Mcdonnell
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Other References:
Fogg US pat no 2,639,816
Primary Examiner:
KRYCINSKI, STANTON L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHERNOFF, VILHAUER, MCCLUNG & STENZEL, LLP (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
1. A shower caddy system comprising: at least one tension pole segment; at least one shelf; and means for attaching and reattaching said at least one shelf to said at least one tension pole segment at any point thereon.

2. The shower caddy system of claim 1, wherein said attaching and reattaching means comprises a clip.

3. The shower caddy system of claim 2, wherein the clip includes two outwardly-projecting faceplates.

4. The shower caddy system of claim 3, wherein a portion of said at least one shelf is adapted to engage said faceplates.

5. A clip comprising: an aperture in the direction of a first axis, said aperture defined by a left side and a right side of the clip, wherein said left side and said right side are attached with a connecting member; two faceplates, each attached to one of the said sides of the clip; and a first channel that separates said faceplates, said faceplates each having a central edge, said first channel defining an opening in the direction perpendicular to said axis.

6. The clip of claim 5, wherein said connecting member is positioned to define a second channel parallel to said axis, and fluidly connected to, and adjacent, said aperture.

7. The clip of claim 5, wherein said connecting member is constructed of a flexible material.

8. The clip of claim 5, wherein said faceplates are outwardly-projecting.

9. The clip of claim 5, wherein said faceplates are shaped to receive a shelf thereon.

10. The clip of claim 5, wherein said aperture is generally circular.

11. The clip of claim 5, wherein said central edges contact each other at least partially.

12. The clip of claim 5, wherein said left side and said right side are mirror images of each other.

13. A method for arranging shelves of a shower caddy, said method comprising the steps of: securing a tension pole adjacent a shower location; attaching at least a first shelf on the tension pole at a first location thereon; and securing a first clip to the tension pole, wherein the steps of attaching the first shelf on the tension pole include securing the first shelf to the first clip.

14. A collar, securable to a clip, comprising: a u-shaped portion with width and an open end and a closed end; and at least one mounting position on said u-shaped portion available for a user to mount a shelf.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Bathrooms frequently lack adequate space to store bathing supplies such as shampoo bottles, soap bars, and shaving supplies, in a convenient location, accessible to a person showering. Various shower caddies are available which require permanent alteration to the existing structure of a shower, or require no permanent alteration, but are unstable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment, the present invention is a shower caddy system with at least one tension pole segment, at least one shelf, and at least one means for attaching and reattaching the at least one shelf to the tension pole, at any point on the tension pole. In one example, the means for attaching and reattaching comprises a clip. In one example, the clip includes two outwardly-extending faceplates, and a portion of the shelf is adapted to engage with the faceplate and the clip is adapted to engage with a tension pole segment.

In another embodiment, the present invention comprises a clip with an aperture in the direction of an axis, such that the aperture is defined by a left side and a right side of the clip. The clip also includes a connecting member which connects the right and left sides of the clip. The clip also includes two faceplates separated by a first channel defining an opening in the direction perpendicular to the axis.

In another embodiment, the present invention comprises a method for arranging shelves of a shower caddy, including the steps of securing a tension pole adjacent a shower location, attaching at least one shelf on the tension pole at a first location, and securing a first clip to the tension pole, wherein the steps of attaching the first shelf on the tension pole include securing the first shelf to the first clip.

In another embodiment, the present embodiment includes a u-shaped collar with an open and a closed end. The u-shaped collar is constructed to fit in between the faceplates of the clip and the clip body, thereby engaged with the flanges, to hold the clip in a closed position.

The foregoing and other objectives, features, and advantages of the invention will be more readily understood upon consideration of the following detailed description of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the clip.

FIG. 2 is side elevational view of the clip in FIG. 1, in a closed position.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the clip in FIG. 1, in an open position.

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the clip and the collar mounted to a shelf.

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the clip attached to a portion of a tension pole and the collar disengaged with the clip.

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of the clip attached to a portion of a tension and the collar engaged with the clip.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the drawings which form part of the disclosure herein, FIGS. 1 and 2 shows a clip 10 in what is referred to as a closed position. FIG. 3 shows a clip 10 in what is referred to as an open position. FIGS. 4-6 show the clip 10 in association with a u-shaped collar 46.

The exemplary clip 10 includes an axis 12 and a generally circular, elongate aperture 14 that extends in the direction of the axis 12.

The clip 10 shown in FIGS. 1-6 includes a body 24 having a left and a right side, 42 and 44, respectively. In this embodiment, the left 42 and right 44 sides of the clip are mirror images of each other. However, the present invention is not limited to a clip with left and right sides which are mirror images of each other.

In one embodiment, the body 24 has a generally circular inner aperture 14 and an outer clip portion which can be constructed generally to have a circular portion (shown generally at 36) and a cornered portion (shown generally at 38). The shape of the body 24, however, may have any shape.

As best seen in FIGS. 1-3, each side of the clip 10 also has an elongate faceplate 16, separated by a faceplate channel, or first channel, 18. The faceplate channel 18 is defined by the two central elongate faceplate edges 20. In one embodiment of the present invention, the faceplate edges 20 do not touch when the clip is in a closed position as shown in FIG. 2. In another embodiment, the faceplate edges 20 are constructed to touch one another at least partially as shown in FIGS. 4-6. The channel 18 defines an opening in a direction generally perpendicular to the axis 12, at 22.

The faceplates 16 can be constructed to be outwardly-projecting from the body of the clip 24. The faceplates 16 may be constructed on outwardly projecting flanges 26 to project the faceplate at a user-selected distance, or length of flanges, 28 away from the body 24, from the cornered portion 38, of the clip. The flanges 26 can be sized such that the faceplate defines an overhang 30. The dimensions of the flanges 26 can be selected to fit snugly with a u-shaped collar 46, or a flat wire clip engagement component attached to a shelf 50, as will be described in more detail.

The clip may also include a connecting member 32, which joins opposite sides, or the left 42 and right 44 sides, of the circular portion of the clip 36. The connecting member 32 extends along the axis 12, and is preferably composed of a flexible material, such that it bends to allow clip 10 to reversibly move from a closed position to an open position. The use of such a connecting member 32, allows for both simple manufacture of the clip such that the left 42 and right 44 portions of the clip are securely joined together, but also allows for use of the clip in connection with a tension pole 48, as will be described in more detail. The location of the connecting member 32, level with the outside of the clip body 24, increases the strength and durability of the clip 10 because the connecting member 32 has a greater connection with the entirety of the outside surface of the clip 10, such that any tensile forces applied on the connecting member 32 can be dispersed along the outside surface area of the clip 10.

In one embodiment, connecting member 32 defines a second channel 34 that extends along the axis 12 of the clip 10. The presence of such a second channel 34 adjacent the elongate aperture 14 reduces the potential for buildup in the second channel 34, from shower scum, for example. If the connecting member 32 was positioned on the inside of the clip wall, along the side of the elongate aperture 14, such that the channel would be openly exposed to shower scum or other shower debris while the clip 10 is in a closed position, scum could build up in the channel, obstructing the movement of the clip 10 into the open position to remove the clip 10 from a tension pole 48.

In another embodiment, connecting member 32 does not define a second channel, such that left and right sides 42 and 44 of the clip, when clip 10 is in a closed position, are fully in contact.

The clip 10 may be used in two general positions: closed, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and open as shown in FIG. 3. In one embodiment, shown in FIGS. 1-3, the closed position means that the faceplate edges 20 are placed close together, and that the connecting member edges 40 are in contact. In the open position, the faceplate edges 20 are further separated, and the connecting member edges 40 are not in contact.

Referring to FIGS. 4-6, the clip 10 herein may be used to engage a tension pole 48 and attach to a collar 46, or a clip engagement component attached to a shelf 50 such that the shelf 50 attaches to the clip engagement component or the collar 46, at mounting positions 56. In use, the shape and size of the portion of the tension pole 48 that is engaged can correspond to the size and shape of the aperture 14 of the clip 10. For example, if the tension pole has a rectangular shape, the aperture 14 can be made to correspond to the same, rectangular shape. In the present shown embodiment, however, the aperture 14 is shaped to correspond with a tension pole 48 with a circular cross-sectional shape.

To engage such a tension pole 48, first the faceplate edges 20 are separated, such that the clip 10 is in an open position, as shown in FIG. 3. Second, the tension pole 48 is inserted into the aperture 14, sized to correspond to the size and shape of the tension pole. Then the clip 10 is then placed in a closed position as shown in FIG. 2, such that the connecting member edges 40 are in contact, and the faceplate edges 20 are closer together or in contact as shown in FIG. 5. At this point, a portion of the tension pole 48 is encompassed by the aperture 14 of the clip 10.

In one embodiment, a collar 46, or a clip engagement component attached a shelf 50, or other user-selected item, is a u-shaped collar, as best seen in FIG. 5, that is shaped to conform to the shapes of the flanges 26, the faceplates 16 and the overhang 30. The collar 46, in one embodiment has an open end 52 and a closed end 54. The collar 46 may have one or more mounting positions 56 available to a user to mount a variety of useful items including, but not limited to, shelves, hooks, cup holders or bottle holders, to the collar 46. The embodiment in FIG. 4 shows a collar 46 mounted to a shelf 50. In one embodiment, the clip 10 is constructed to be used with a collar 46 that is made of flat wire and is u-shaped, as shown in FIGS. 4-6.

In one embodiment, the u-shaped collar 46 corresponds to the shape of the flanges 26 of the left 42 and right 44 sides of the clip, and one closed end 54 which corresponds to a portion of the flange including the faceplate channel 18. Therefore, in use, to attach the collar 46 to the clip, the open end of the collar 52 can slide over the flanges 26, overhang 30 and faceplate 20, until the closed side of the collar 54 comes into contact with the portion of the flange 26 including the faceplate channel 18. In so doing, the collar 46 secures the clip 10 in a closed position, and is thereby reversibly attached to a tension pole 48, as shown in FIG. 6.

The benefit of the elongate faceplates 16, shaped to accept a u-shaped, flat wire collar 46 is that once the shelf is attached, it is stable and cannot twist in response to force applied to the attached or mounted shelf, particularly if unequal weight is applied to the attached shelf. The manner in which the u-shaped flat wire collar engagement component directly corresponds to the shape of the flanges 26 and one short side provides a high surface area upon which the clip 10 is met with the collar 46, thus providing greater stability of the shelf than other systems.

To unattach the collar 46 from the clip 10 and the tension pole 48, the collar 46 can be pulled away from the clip 10, in an opposite direction than as for attachment, until the clip 10 is released. To remove the clip 10 from the tension pole 48, the left 42 and right 44 sides of the clip are moved apart, thus bending the connecting member 32, and opening the clip 10 to release the tension pole 48.

The terms and expressions which have been employed in the foregoing specification are used therein as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof, it being recognized that the scope of the invention is defined and limited only by the claims which follow.