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United States Patent Application 20170273469
Kind Code A1
Berkey; Noah Eugene ;   et al. September 28, 2017

Convertible Bed System

Abstract

A convertible bed system is disclosed. In at least one embodiment, the system provides at least one substantially horizontally oriented guide rail configured for being secured within a room in a position substantially parallel with a substantially vertically oriented wall of the room. A pair of substantially vertically oriented first and second wall supports are positioned substantially parallel with the wall of the room and slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail in a side-by-side arrangement. A substantially horizontally oriented first bed frame is secured to the first wall support and is sized and configured for supporting a first mattress thereon. A substantially horizontally oriented second bed frame is secured to the second wall support and is sized and configured for supporting a second mattress thereon. The first and second bed frames are capable of selectively moving between one of a joined position--forming a single bed--and a separated position--forming a pair of beds.


Inventors: Berkey; Noah Eugene; (Lahaina, HI) ; Eichner; Mark Andrew; (Lahaina, HI) ; Manwell; Robert; (Newport Beach, CA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Aloha King LLC

Lahaina

HI

US
Assignee: Aloha King LLC
Lahaina
HI

Family ID: 1000002446713
Appl. No.: 15/415560
Filed: January 25, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62313036Mar 24, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A47C 19/205 20130101; A47C 17/48 20130101; A47C 17/50 20130101; A47C 19/22 20130101; A47C 19/028 20130101
International Class: A47C 19/20 20060101 A47C019/20; A47C 17/50 20060101 A47C017/50; A47C 19/22 20060101 A47C019/22; A47C 17/48 20060101 A47C017/48; A47C 19/02 20060101 A47C019/02

Claims



1. A convertible bed system comprising: an at least one substantially horizontally oriented guide rail configured for being secured within a room in a position substantially parallel with a substantially vertically oriented wall of the room; a pair of substantially vertically oriented first and second wall supports positioned substantially parallel with the wall of the room and slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail in a side-by-side arrangement, thereby allowing each of the first and second wall supports to selectively slide independently within the at least one guide rail, in a direction substantially parallel with the wall of the room; a substantially horizontally oriented first bed frame secured to the first wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the first wall support, the first bed frame sized and configured for supporting a first mattress thereon; a substantially vertically oriented first headboard engaged with the first wall support in a position above the first bed frame; a substantially horizontally oriented second bed frame secured to the second wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the second wall support, the second bed frame sized and configured for supporting a second mattress thereon; a substantially vertically oriented second headboard engaged with the second wall support in a position above the second bed frame; the first and second bed frames capable of selectively moving between one of a joined position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally into substantially adjacent contact with one another, thereby forming a single bed--and a separated position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally apart from one another, thereby forming a pair of beds; and an at least one locking mechanism configured for selectively locking the first and second bed frames in each of the separated position and joined position, the at least one locking mechanism providing a locking lever positioned proximal an outer side of at least one of the first and second bed frames, said locking lever configured for selectively actuating said locking mechanism; whereby, the first and second headboards are capable of moving in tandem with the respective first and second bed frames as the first and second bed frames move between the joined and separated positions.

2. The convertible bed system of claim 1, further comprising a pair of vertically spaced-apart guide rails secured to the wall of the room, each of the first and second wall supports being slidably engaged with each of the guide rails.

3. The convertible bed system of claim 1, further comprising two pairs of vertically spaced-apart guide rails positioned and secured in a substantially side-by-side arrangement on the wall of the room, the first wall support slidably engaged with a first pair of guide rails, and the second wall support slidably engaged with a second pair of guide rails.

4. The convertible bed system of claim 1, wherein the at least one guide rail provides a linear track within which the first and second wall supports are slidably engaged.

5. The convertible bed system of claim 4, wherein each of the first and second wall supports provides a plurality of guide wheels configured for riding within the track of the at least one guide rail.

6. The convertible bed system of claim 5, wherein the track of the at least one guide rail provides a track stop at each of the opposing ends of the at least one guide rail, the track stops being positioned and configured for preventing the guide wheels of the first and second wall supports from unintentionally sliding out of the track and becoming disengaged from the at least one guide rail.

7. The convertible bed system of claim 1, wherein each of the first and second bed frames provides an at least one frame wheel positioned and configured for being in rolling contact with a floor of the room.

8. (canceled)

9. The convertible bed system of claim 1, wherein the at least one locking mechanism provides an at least one locking rod positioned and configured for selectively indexing into an at least one locking aperture provided by the at least one guide rail.

10. The convertible bed system of claim 9, wherein the locking lever of each of the at least one locking mechanism is mechanically interconnected with the at least one locking rod and configured for allowing the at least one locking rod to be manually indexed into and out of the at least one locking aperture.

11. The convertible bed system of claim 1, further comprising a mattress pad configured for spanning a top surface of, and being removably engagable with, each of the first and second mattresses, when the first and second bed frames are in the joined position.

12. The convertible bed system of claim 11, wherein a perimeter edge of the mattress pad is removably engagable with a perimeter edge of the combined first and second mattresses, when the first and second bed frames are in the joined position.

13. The convertible bed system of claim 11, wherein a bottom surface of the mattress pad provides a longitudinally oriented filler member sized and configured for resting within, and filling, a crevice formed between the first and second mattresses when the first and second bed frames are in the joined position.

14. (canceled)

15. The convertible bed system of claim 14, wherein each of the first and second headboards provides an at least one headboard cleat configured for engagement with a corresponding at least one wall cleat provided by the corresponding one of the first and second wall supports.

16. The convertible bed system of claim 1, further comprising: a first nightstand engaged with the first wall support in a position substantially adjacent to an outer side of the first bed frame; and a second nightstand engaged with the second wall support in a position substantially adjacent to an outer side of the second bed frame; whereby, the first and second nightstands are capable of moving in tandem with the respective first and second bed frames as the first and second bed frames move between the joined and separated positions.

17. The convertible bed system of claim 16, wherein each of the first and second nightstands are engaged with the respective first and second wall supports so as to be suspended a distance above a floor of the room.

18. The convertible bed system of claim 16, wherein each of the first and second nightstands provides an at least one nightstand cleat configured for engagement with a corresponding at least one wall cleat provided by the corresponding one of the first and second wall supports.

19. A convertible bed system comprising: an at least one pair of substantially horizontally oriented guide rails positioned and secured in a substantially side-by-side arrangement on a substantially vertically oriented wall of a room; a pair of substantially vertically oriented first and second wall supports, the first wall support slidably engaged with a first one of the guide rails, and the second wall support slidably engaged with a second one of the guide rails, thereby allowing each of the first and second wall supports to selectively slide independently within the at least one pair of guide rails, in a direction substantially parallel with the wall of the room; a substantially horizontally oriented first bed frame secured to the first wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the first wall support, the first bed frame sized and configured for supporting a first mattress thereon; a substantially vertically oriented first headboard engaged with the first wall support in a position above the first bed frame; a substantially horizontally oriented second bed frame secured to the second wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the second wall support, the second bed frame sized and configured for supporting a second mattress thereon; a substantially vertically oriented second headboard engaged with the second wall support in a position above the second bed frame; the first and second bed frames capable of selectively moving between one of a joined position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally into substantially adjacent contact with one another, thereby forming a single bed--and a separated position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally apart from one another, thereby forming a pair of beds; and an at least one locking mechanism configured for selectively locking the first and second bed frames in each of the separated position and joined position, the at least one locking mechanism providing a locking lever positioned proximal an outer side of at least one of the first and second bed frames, said locking lever configured for selectively actuating said locking mechanism; whereby, the first and second headboards are capable of moving in tandem with the respective first and second bed frames as the first and second bed frames move between the joined and separated positions.

20. A convertible bed system comprising: an at least one substantially horizontally oriented guide rail configured for being secured to a substantially vertically oriented wall of a room; a pair of substantially vertically oriented first and second wall supports positioned substantially parallel with the wall of the room and slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail in a side-by-side arrangement, thereby allowing each of the first and second wall supports to selectively slide independently within the at least one guide rail, in a direction substantially parallel with the wall of the room; a substantially horizontally oriented first bed frame secured to the first wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the first wall support, the first bed frame sized and configured for supporting a first mattress thereon; a substantially horizontally oriented second bed frame secured to the second wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the second wall support, the second bed frame sized and configured for supporting a second mattress thereon; the first and second bed frames capable of selectively moving between one of a joined position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally into substantially adjacent contact with one another, thereby forming a single bed--and a separated position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally apart from one another, thereby forming a pair of beds; a substantially vertically oriented first headboard engaged with the first wall support in a position above the first bed frame; a substantially vertically oriented second headboard engaged with the second wall support in a position above the second bed frame; a first nightstand engaged with the first wall support in a position substantially adjacent to an outer side of the first bed frame; a second nightstand engaged with the second wall support in a position substantially adjacent to an outer side of the second bed frame; and an at least one locking mechanism configured for selectively locking the first and second bed frames in each of the separated position and joined position, the at least one locking mechanism providing a locking lever positioned proximal an outer side of at least one of the first and second bed frames, said locking lever configured for selectively actuating said locking mechanism; whereby, the first and second headboards, along with the first and second nightstands, are capable of moving in tandem with the respective first and second bed frames as the first and second bed frames move between the joined and separated positions.

21. The convertible bed system of claim 10, wherein the at least one locking mechanism provides: an upper locking rod configured for selectively indexing into a corresponding upper locking aperture provided by an upper guide rail; and an opposing lower locking rod configured for selectively indexing into a corresponding lower locking aperture provided by an opposing lower guide rail, said lower guide rail vertically spaced apart from the upper guide rail.

22. The convertible bed system of claim 21, wherein the upper and lower locking rods of the at least one locking mechanism are arranged on a rotatable wheel that is mechanically interconnected with the locking lever, the locking lever capable of selectively rotating the wheel and, in turn, allowing the upper and lower locking rods to be simultaneously indexed into and out of the respective upper and lower locking apertures.
Description



RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This is application claims priority and is entitled to the filing date of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 62/313,036, filed on Mar. 24, 2016. The contents of the aforementioned application are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The subject of this patent application relates generally to beds, and more particularly to a convertible bed system configured for allowing a pair of beds to be selectively joined together to form a single, larger bed as needed.

[0003] Applicant(s) hereby incorporate herein by reference any and all patents and published patent applications cited or referred to in this application.

[0004] By way of background, lodging facilities--such as hotels, motels and hostels, for example--provide a plurality of rooms in which guests may stay for temporary periods of time. Each room provides at least one bed, among select other amenities, with each bed having a discrete size such as twin, full, queen or king. To accommodate a wide range of guest numbers and bed preferences, most lodging facilities provide a variety of room options with each having a different number of beds, and those beds being of varying sizes. However, even with such variety, lodging facilities only have a finite number of each room option, which creates the possibility of having a shortage of relatively higher demand room options and a surplus of relatively lower demand room options. Furthermore, the particular types of room options that might be in relatively higher demand at a given lodging facility could change at any given time. In such scenarios, lodging facilities are then potentially forced to offer guests relatively less desirable room options--which could cause those guests to stay elsewhere at competing lodging facilities--or compensate guests with upgraded rooms. Either way, the lodging facility loses money and runs the risk of having its reputation tarnished. Thus, there remains a need for a system that allows the beds of a given room to be quickly and selectively configured to suit the needs of a particular guest.

[0005] Aspects of the present invention fulfill these needs and provide further related advantages as described in the following summary.

SUMMARY

[0006] Aspects of the present invention teach certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the exemplary advantages described below.

[0007] The present invention solves the problems described above by providing a convertible bed system. In at least one embodiment, the system provides an at least one substantially horizontally oriented guide rail configured for being secured within a room in a position substantially parallel with a substantially vertically oriented wall of the room. A pair of substantially vertically oriented first and second wall supports are positioned substantially parallel with the wall of the room and slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail in a side-by-side arrangement, thereby allowing each of the first and second wall supports to selectively slide independently within the at least one guide rail, in a direction substantially parallel with the wall of the room. A substantially horizontally oriented first bed frame is secured to the first wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the first wall support, the first bed frame being sized and configured for supporting a first mattress thereon. A substantially horizontally oriented second bed frame is secured to the second wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the second wall support, the second bed frame being sized and configured for supporting a second mattress thereon. Accordingly, the first and second bed frames are capable of selectively moving between one of a joined position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally into substantially adjacent contact with one another, thereby forming a single bed--and a separated position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally apart from one another, thereby forming a pair of beds.

[0008] Other features and advantages of aspects of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of aspects of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] The accompanying drawings illustrate aspects of the present invention. In such drawings:

[0010] FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views of an exemplary convertible bed system, in accordance with at least one embodiment;

[0011] FIGS. 3 and 4 are rear elevational views thereof, in accordance with at least one embodiment;

[0012] FIG. 5 is a partial side elevational view thereof, in accordance with at least one embodiment; and

[0013] FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of a further exemplary convertible bed system, in accordance with at least one embodiment.

[0014] The above described drawing figures illustrate aspects of the invention in at least one of its exemplary embodiments, which are further defined in detail in the following description. Features, elements, and aspects of the invention that are referenced by the same numerals in different figures represent the same, equivalent, or similar features, elements, or aspects, in accordance with one or more embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0015] Turning now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there are shown perspective views of an exemplary embodiment of a convertible bed system 20. In at least one embodiment, the system 20 provides an at least one substantially horizontally oriented guide rail 22 configured for being secured to a substantially vertically oriented wall 24 of a room 26. A pair of substantially vertically oriented first and second wall supports 28 and 30 are positioned substantially parallel with the wall 24 of the room 26 and slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail 22 in a side-by-side arrangement, thereby allowing each of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 to selectively slide independently within the at least one guide rail 22, in a direction substantially parallel with the wall 24 of the room 26. In at least one embodiment, the system 20 provides a pair of vertically spaced-apart guide rails 22, with each of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 being slidably engaged with each of the guide rails 22. In at least one further embodiment, as illustrated best in FIGS. 3 and 4, the system 20 provides two pairs of vertically spaced-apart guide rails 22 positioned in a substantially side-by-side arrangement on the wall 24 of the room 26, with the first wall support 28 slidably engaged with a first pair of guide rails 32, and the second wall support 30 slidably engaged with a second pair of guide rails 34. It should be noted that the particular size, shape and dimensions of each of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 and at least one guide rail 22, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, is merely exemplary. As such, in further embodiments, the respective size, shape, and dimensions of each of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 and at least one guide rail 22 may vary, so long as the system 20 is substantially capable of carrying out the functionality described herein. It should also be noted that while the first wall support 28 and second wall support 30 are depicted in the drawings as having a similar size, shape and dimensions, in at least one alternate embodiment, the first wall support 28 and second wall support 30 may have different sizes, shapes or dimensions. Similarly, while the first pair of guide rails 32 and second pair of guide rails 34 are depicted in the drawings as having a similar size, shape and dimensions, in at least one alternate embodiment, the first pair of guide rails 32 and second pair of guide rails 34 may have different sizes, shapes or dimensions.

[0016] In at least one embodiment, as illustrated best in FIG. 5, the at least one guide rail 22 provides a linear track 36 within which the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 are slidably engaged. Additionally, in at least one such embodiment, each of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 provides a plurality of guide wheels 38 configured for riding within the track 36 of the at least one guide rail 22, thereby assisting the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 in selectively sliding within the at least one guide rail 22, as discussed further below. It should be noted that the particular structures and mechanisms depicted in the drawings that enable the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 to be slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail 22 are merely exemplary. As such, in further embodiments, any other structures or mechanisms (or combinations thereof), now known or later developed, capable of enabling the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 to be slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail 22, may be substituted. In at least one embodiment (not shown), the track 36 of the at least one guide rail 22 provides a track stop at each of the opposing ends of the at least one guide rail 22, the track stops being positioned and configured for preventing the guide wheels 38 of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 from unintentionally sliding out of the track 36 and becoming disengaged from the at least one guide rail 22.

[0017] Referring again to FIG. 1, in at least one embodiment, a substantially horizontally oriented first bed frame 40 is secured to the first wall support 28, proximal a bottom edge 42 of the first wall support 28. Additionally, in at least one embodiment, a substantially horizontally oriented second bed frame 44 is secured to the second wall support 30, proximal a bottom edge 46 of the second wall support 30. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the first bed frame 40 is sized and configured for supporting a first mattress 48 thereon, while the second bed frame 44 is sized and configured for supporting a second mattress 50 thereon. Accordingly, the particular size, shape and dimensions of each of the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 is dependent, at least in part, on the size, shape and dimensions of the corresponding first and second mattresses 48 and 50 to be supported. In that regard, it should be noted that while the first bed frame 40 and second bed frame 44 are depicted in the drawings as having a similar size, shape and dimensions, in at least one alternate embodiment, the first bed frame 40 and second bed frame 44 may have different sizes, shapes or dimensions--particularly where the respective first and second mattresses 48 and 50 to be supported by the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 have different sizes, shapes or dimensions.

[0018] With continued reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, in at least one embodiment, each of the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 provides an at least one frame wheel 52 positioned and configured for being in rolling contact with a floor 54 of the room 26, thereby assisting each of the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 in moving in tandem with the corresponding one of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 as the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 selectively slide within the at least one guide rail 22. Accordingly, in at least one embodiment, the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 are capable of selectively and independently moving laterally, in a direction substantially parallel with the wall 24 of the room 26. It should be noted that the particular number and arrangement of frame wheels 52 shown in the drawings--along with the respective size, shape and dimensions of each of the frame wheels 52--is merely exemplary. As such, in further embodiments, the size, shape, dimensions, number and arrangement of frame wheels 52 may vary, so long as the system 20 is substantially capable of carrying out the functionality described herein. In at least one alternate embodiment, the at least one frame wheel 52 may be omitted altogether, such that the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 are cantilevered from the respective first and second wall supports 28 and 30.

[0019] In at least one embodiment, with the at least one guide rail 22 so positioned on the wall 24 of the room 26, and the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail 22 in a side-by-side arrangement, the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 (by virtue of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30) are capable of selectively moving between one of a separated position (FIGS. 1 and 3)--wherein the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 are moved laterally apart from one another, creating a space therebetween and forming a pair of beds--and a joined position (FIGS. 2 and 4)--wherein the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 are moved laterally into substantially adjacent contact with one another, forming a single bed. Accordingly, when it is desired to have two separate beds in the room 26, the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 may be moved into the separated position; and when it is desired to have a single bed in the room 26, the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 may be moved into the joined position. Thus, within minutes, the room 26 may be converted from a single-bed room to a double-bed room, and vice versa.

[0020] In at least one embodiment, the system 20 provides an at least one locking mechanism 56 positioned and configured for selectively locking the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 in each of the separated position and joined position, thereby assisting in preventing the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 from unintentionally moving out of said positions. In at least one such embodiment, as best illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, each of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 provides a track lock 58 having an at least one locking rod 60 positioned and configured for selectively indexing into an at least one locking aperture 62 provided by the at least one guide rail 22. In at least one such embodiment, the at least one guide rail 22 provides at least one locking aperture 62 positioned for allowing the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 to be selectively locked in the joined position, and at least one further locking aperture 62 positioned for allowing the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 to be selectively locked in the separated position. Additionally, in at least one embodiment, each of the track locks 58 provides a locking lever 64 configured for allowing the at least one locking rod 60 to be manually indexed into and out of the at least one locking aperture 62. In at least one embodiment, each of the track locks 58 is spring biased for urging the respective locking rod 60 into the corresponding at least one locking aperture 62. It should be noted that the particular structures and mechanisms depicted in the drawings for selectively locking the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 in each of the separated position and joined position are merely exemplary. As such, in further embodiments, any other structures or mechanisms (or combinations thereof), now known or later developed, capable of selectively locking the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 in each of the separated position and joined position, may be substituted. For example, in at least one further embodiment, the at least one locking mechanism 56 is an at least one brake pad engaged with each of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30--the brake pad being spring biased for urging the brake pad against the at least one guide rail 22, and also providing a lever for selectively moving the brake pad away from the at least one guide rail 22 in order to move the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 into each of the separated and joined positions. In yet another embodiment (not shown), the locking mechanism 56 may be incorporated into the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 and configured for selectively maintaining the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 in the joined position--i.e., selectively locking the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 together.

[0021] In at least one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 2, the system 20 provides a mattress pad 66 configured for spanning a top surface 68 and 70 of each of the first and second mattresses 48 and 50, when the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 are in the joined position, so as to create the appearance of a single mattress. In at least one embodiment, the mattress pad 66 is a pillow top cover. In at least one embodiment, the mattress pad 66 is removably engagable with each of the first and second mattresses 48 and 50, such that the mattress pad 66 may be subsequently disengaged when it is desired to move the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 into the separated position. In at least one such embodiment, a perimeter edge 72 of the mattress pad 62 is removably engagable with a perimeter edge 74 of the combined first and second mattresses 48 and 50 by way of an at least one zipper 76. However, in further embodiments, any other structures or mechanisms (or combinations thereof), now known or later developed, capable of allowing the mattress pad 66 to be removably engagable with each of the first and second mattresses 48 and 50, may be substituted. With continued reference to FIG. 2, in at least one embodiment, a bottom surface 78 of the mattress pad 66 provides a longitudinally oriented filler member 80 sized and configured for resting within, and filling, a crevice 82 formed between the first and second mattresses 48 and 50 when the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 are in the joined position. Accordingly, in at least one such embodiment, the filler member 80 assists in creating a stable, uniform surface across the entire first and second mattresses 48 and 50, giving not just the appearance of a single mattress, but also the feel of one. In at least one embodiment, the filler member 80 is constructed out of the same material, or combination of materials, as the mattress pad 66; however, in at least one alternate embodiment, the filler member 80 is constructed out of a relatively firmer material--such as a dense foam, for example--so as to provide a relatively more stable support structure when positioned within the crevice 82.

[0022] In at least one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the system 20 further provides a substantially vertically oriented first headboard 84 engaged with the first wall support 28 in a position above the first bed frame 40, and a substantially vertically oriented second headboard 86 engaged with the second wall support 30 in a position above the second bed frame 44. In this way, the first and second headboards 84 and 86 are able to move in tandem with the respective first and second bed frames 40 and 44 as the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 move between the joined and separated positions. In at least one such embodiment, as best illustrated in FIG. 5, each of the first and second headboards 84 and 86 provides an at least one headboard cleat 88 configured for engagement with a corresponding at least one wall cleat 90 provided by the corresponding one of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30, thereby allowing the first and second headboards 84 and 86 to essentially be hung from the corresponding first and second wall supports 28 and 30. The relative ease by which the at least one headboard cleat 88 may be engaged with the corresponding at least one wall cleat 90 assists in reducing the amount of time and energy required to install the system 20 within the room 26. It should be noted that the particular structures and mechanisms depicted in the drawings for enabling engagement between the first and second headboards 84 and 86 and the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 are merely exemplary. As such, in further embodiments, any other structures or mechanisms (or combinations thereof), now known or later developed, capable of enabling such engagement may be substituted. It should also be noted that the particular size, shape and dimensions of each of the first and second headboards 84 and 86, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, is merely exemplary. As such, in further embodiments, the respective size, shape, and dimensions of each of the first and second headboards 84 and 86 may vary, so long as the system 20 is substantially capable of carrying out the functionality described herein. It should also be noted that while the first headboard 84 and second headboard 86 are depicted in the drawings as having a similar size, shape and dimensions, in at least one alternate embodiment, the first headboard 84 and second headboard 86 may have different sizes, shapes or dimensions.

[0023] In at least one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the system 20 further provides a first nightstand 92 engaged with the first wall support 28 in a position substantially adjacent to an outer side 94 of the first bed frame 40 (i.e., the side of the first bed frame 40 that is furthest from the second bed frame 44), and a second nightstand 96 engaged with the second wall support 30 in a position substantially adjacent to an outer side 98 of the second bed frame 44 (i.e., the side of the second bed frame 44 that is furthest from the first bed frame 40). In this way, similar to the first and second headboards 84 and 86, the first and second nightstands 92 and 96 are also able to move in tandem with the respective first and second bed frames 40 and 44 as the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 move between the joined and separated positions. And given that the first and second nightstands 92 and 96 are positioned adjacent to the outer sides 94 and 98 of the respective first and second bed frames 40 and 44, they do not prevent the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 from moving into the joined position, as illustrated in FIG. 2. Additionally, in at least one embodiment, each of the first and second nightstands 92 and 96 are engaged with the respective first and second wall supports 28 and 30 so as to be suspended a distance above the floor 54 of the room 26, which allows the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 to move between the joined and separated positions more easily. However, in at least one alternate embodiment (not shown), each of the first and second nightstands 92 and 96 provides an at least one nightstand wheel positioned and configured for being in rolling contact with the floor 54 of the room 26, similar to the at least one frame wheel 52.

[0024] In at least one embodiment, as best illustrated in FIG. 5, each of the first and second nightstands 92 and 96 provides an at least one nightstand cleat 100 configured for engagement with the corresponding at least one wall cleat 90 provided by the corresponding one of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30, thereby allowing the first and second nightstands 92 and 96 to essentially be hung from the corresponding first and second wall supports 28 and 30. The relative ease by which the at least one nightstand cleat 100 may be engaged with the corresponding at least one wall cleat 90 assists in reducing the amount of time and energy required to install the system 20 within the room 26. It should be noted that the particular structures and mechanisms depicted in the drawings for enabling engagement between the first and second nightstands 92 and 96 and the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 are merely exemplary. As such, in further embodiments, any other structures or mechanisms (or combinations thereof), now known or later developed, capable of enabling such engagement may be substituted. It should also be noted that the particular size, shape and dimensions of each of the first and second nightstands 92 and 96, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, is merely exemplary. As such, in further embodiments, the respective size, shape, and dimensions of each of the first and second nightstands 92 and 96 may vary, so long as the system 20 is substantially capable of carrying out the functionality described herein. It should also be noted that while the first nightstand 92 and second nightstand 96 are depicted in the drawings as having a similar size, shape and dimensions, in at least one alternate embodiment, the first nightstand 92 and second nightstand 96 may have different sizes, shapes or dimensions.

[0025] As discussed above, in at least one embodiment, the first and second headboards 84 and 86 along with the first and second nightstands 92 and 96 are engaged with the respective first and second wall supports 28 and 30 using at least one headboard cleat 88, nightstand cleat 100 and wall cleat 90, respectively. In at least one such embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 6, each of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 is configured for allowing the at least one wall cleat 90 to be selectively adjusted vertically relative to the corresponding first or second wall support 28 or 30. This, in turn, allows the respective first or second headboard 84 or 86 and first or second nightstand 92 or 96 to also be adjusted vertically relative to the corresponding first or second wall support 28 or 30. In other words, in such an embodiment, the height of each of the first and second headboards 84 and 86 and first and second nightstands 92 and 96, relative to the floor 54 of the room 26, may be adjusted. Accordingly, in such an embodiment, the system 20 is able to accommodate headboards and nightstands of virtually any size, shape or dimensions, thereby allowing any given lodging facility to selectively use the headboards and nightstands of its choosing. In at least one such embodiment, each of the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 provides a plurality of vertically spaced-apart mounting hole sets 102 configured for allowing the at least one wall cleat 90 to be selectively mounted thereto. Thus, depending at least in part on the height of each of the first and second headboards 84 and 86, the at least one wall cleat 90 may be engaged with an appropriate one of the mounting hole sets 102 such that the corresponding first or second headboard 84 or 86 is properly positioned above the respective first or second bed frame 40 or 44 when engaged with the respective first or second wall support 28 or 30. Similarly, depending at least in part on the height of each of the first and second nightstands 92 and 96, the at least one wall cleat 90 may be engaged with an appropriate one of the mounting hole sets 102 such that the corresponding first or second nightstand 92 or 96 is suspended a desired distance above the floor 54 of the room 26 when engaged with the respective first or second wall support 28 or 30. It should be noted that the particular number and arrangement of mounting hole sets 102 shown in the drawings is merely exemplary. As such, in further embodiments, the number and arrangement of mounting hole sets 102 may vary--dependent at least in part on the size, shape, dimensions, number and arrangement of the corresponding at least one wall cleat 90--so long as the system 20 is substantially capable of carrying out the functionality described herein. Relatedly, it should also be noted that the particular number and arrangement of headboard cleats 88, nightstand cleats 100 and wall cleats 90 shown in the drawings--along with the respective size, shape and dimensions of each of the headboard cleats 88, nightstand cleats 100 and wall cleats 90--is merely exemplary. As such, in further embodiments, the respective size, shape, dimensions, number and arrangement of each of the headboard cleats 88, nightstand cleats 100 and wall cleats 90 may vary, so long as the system 20 is substantially capable of carrying out the functionality described herein.

[0026] While the system 20 is described above primarily in the context of an at least one wall-mounted guide rail 22, it should be noted that in at least one alternate embodiment, the at least one guide rail 22 is configured for being secured to the substantially horizontally oriented floor 54 of the room 26. In at least one such embodiment, the at least one guide rail 22 is positioned proximal to and substantially parallel with the wall 24 of the room, thereby allowing the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 to be slidably engaged therewith--obviously, with the respective components necessary to facilitate such engagement being appropriately positioned and configured on the first and second wall supports 28 and 30. In at least one further such embodiment, rather than the first and second wall supports 28 and 30 being slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail 22, the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 are slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail 22. In still further embodiments, any other mechanisms or combinations thereof, now known or later developed, capable of allowing the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 to selectively move between the joined position and the separated position, may be substituted--regardless of whether such mechanisms are wall-mounted, floor-mounted, ceiling mounted, or some combination thereof.

[0027] Additionally, while the system 20 is described above with each of the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 being slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail 22, in at least one alternate embodiment, only one of the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 is slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail 22, with the other of the first and second bed frames 40 and 44 being stationary. In such an alternate embodiment, the at least one guide rail 22 is positioned and configured for allowing the slidably engaged bed frame 40 or 44 to selectively move into contact with the stationary bed frame 40 or 44.

[0028] Aspects of the present specification may also be described as follows:

[0029] 1. A convertible bed system comprising: an at least one substantially horizontally oriented guide rail configured for being secured within a room in a position substantially parallel with a substantially vertically oriented wall of the room; a substantially horizontally oriented first bed frame sized and configured for supporting a first mattress thereon; a substantially horizontally oriented second bed frame sized and configured for supporting a second mattress thereon, the second bed frame positioned in a substantially side-by-side arrangement relative to the first bed frame; a substantially vertically oriented first wall support positioned substantially parallel with the wall of the room and slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail, thereby allowing the first wall support to selectively slide within the at least one guide rail, in a direction substantially parallel with the wall of the room, the first bed frame secured to the first wall support proximal a bottom edge of the first wall support; the first bed frame capable of selectively moving between one of a joined position--wherein the first bed frame is moved laterally into substantially adjacent contact with the second bed frame, thereby forming a single bed--and a separated position--wherein the first bed frame is moved laterally apart from the second bed frame, thereby forming a pair of beds.

[0030] 2. The convertible bed system according to embodiment 1, further comprising: a substantially vertically oriented second wall support positioned substantially parallel with the wall of the room and slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail in a side-by-side arrangement with the first wall support, thereby allowing each of the first and second wall supports to selectively slide independently within the at least one guide rail, in a direction substantially parallel with the wall of the room, the second bed frame secured to the second wall support proximal a bottom edge of the second wall support; the first and second bed frames capable of selectively moving between one of a joined position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally into substantially adjacent contact with one another, thereby forming a single bed--and a separated position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally apart from one another, thereby forming a pair of beds.

[0031] 3. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-2, further comprising a pair of vertically spaced-apart guide rails secured to the wall of the room, each of the first and second wall supports being slidably engaged with each of the guide rails.

[0032] 4. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-3, further comprising two pairs of vertically spaced-apart guide rails positioned and secured in a substantially side-by-side arrangement on the wall of the room, the first wall support slidably engaged with a first pair of guide rails, and the second wall support slidably engaged with a second pair of guide rails.

[0033] 5. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-4, wherein the at least one guide rail provides a linear track within which the first and second wall supports are slidably engaged.

[0034] 6. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-5, wherein each of the first and second wall supports provides a plurality of guide wheels configured for riding within the track of the at least one guide rail.

[0035] 7. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-6, wherein the track of the at least one guide rail provides a track stop at each of the opposing ends of the at least one guide rail, the track stops being positioned and configured for preventing the guide wheels of the first and second wall supports from unintentionally sliding out of the track and becoming disengaged from the at least one guide rail.

[0036] 8. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-7, wherein each of the first and second bed frames provides an at least one frame wheel positioned and configured for being in rolling contact with a floor of the room.

[0037] 9. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-8, further comprising an at least one locking mechanism positioned and configured for selectively locking the first and second bed frames in each of the separated position and joined position.

[0038] 10. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-9, wherein each of the first and second wall supports provides a track lock having an at least one locking rod positioned and configured for selectively indexing into an at least one locking aperture provided by the at least one guide rail.

[0039] 11. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-10, wherein the at least one guide rail provides at least one locking aperture positioned for allowing the first and second bed frames to be selectively locked in the joined position, and at least one further locking aperture positioned for allowing the first and second bed frames to be selectively locked in the separated position.

[0040] 12. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-11, wherein each of the track locks provides a locking lever configured for allowing the at least one locking rod to be manually indexed into and out of the at least one locking aperture.

[0041] 13. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-12, further comprising a mattress pad configured for spanning a top surface of, and being removably engagable with, each of the first and second mattresses, when the first and second bed frames are in the joined position.

[0042] 14. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-13, wherein a perimeter edge of the mattress pad is removably engagable with a perimeter edge of the combined first and second mattresses, when the first and second bed frames are in the joined position.

[0043] 15. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-14, wherein a bottom surface of the mattress pad provides a longitudinally oriented filler member sized and configured for resting within, and filling, a crevice formed between the first and second mattresses when the first and second bed frames are in the joined position.

[0044] 16. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-15, further comprising: a substantially vertically oriented first headboard engaged with the first wall support in a position above the first bed frame; and a substantially vertically oriented second headboard engaged with the second wall support in a position above the second bed frame; whereby, the first and second headboards are capable of moving in tandem with the respective first and second bed frames as the first and second bed frames move between the joined and separated positions.

[0045] 17. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-16, wherein each of the first and second headboards provides an at least one headboard cleat configured for engagement with a corresponding at least one wall cleat provided by the corresponding one of the first and second wall supports.

[0046] 18. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-17, wherein each of the first and second wall supports is configured for allowing the at least one wall cleat to be selectively adjusted vertically relative to the corresponding first or second wall support, thereby allowing the respective first and second headboards to be adjusted vertically relative to the corresponding first or second wall support.

[0047] 19. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-18, wherein each of the first and second wall supports provides a plurality of vertically spaced-apart mounting hole sets configured for allowing the at least one wall cleat to be selectively mounted thereto.

[0048] 20. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-19, further comprising: a first nightstand engaged with the first wall support in a position substantially adjacent to an outer side of the first bed frame; and a second nightstand engaged with the second wall support in a position substantially adjacent to an outer side of the second bed frame; whereby, the first and second nightstands are capable of moving in tandem with the respective first and second bed frames as the first and second bed frames move between the joined and separated positions.

[0049] 21. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-20, wherein each of the first and second nightstands are engaged with the respective first and second wall supports so as to be suspended a distance above a floor of the room.

[0050] 22. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-21, wherein each of the first and second nightstands provides an at least one nightstand cleat configured for engagement with a corresponding at least one wall cleat provided by the corresponding one of the first and second wall supports.

[0051] 23. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-22, wherein each of the first and second wall supports is configured for allowing the at least one wall cleat to be selectively adjusted vertically relative to the corresponding first or second wall support, thereby allowing the respective first and second nightstands to be adjusted vertically relative to the corresponding first or second wall support.

[0052] 24. The convertible bed system according to embodiments 1-23, wherein each of the first and second wall supports provides a plurality of vertically spaced-apart mounting hole sets configured for allowing the at least one wall cleat to be selectively mounted thereto.

[0053] 25. A convertible bed system comprising: an at least one substantially horizontally oriented guide rail configured for being secured to a substantially vertically oriented wall of a room; a pair of substantially vertically oriented first and second wall supports positioned substantially parallel with the wall of the room and slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail in a side-by-side arrangement, thereby allowing each of the first and second wall supports to selectively slide independently within the at least one guide rail, in a direction substantially parallel with the wall of the room; a substantially horizontally oriented first bed frame secured to the first wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the first wall support, the first bed frame sized and configured for supporting a first mattress thereon; a substantially horizontally oriented second bed frame secured to the second wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the second wall support, the second bed frame sized and configured for supporting a second mattress thereon; the first and second bed frames capable of selectively moving between one of a joined position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally into substantially adjacent contact with one another, thereby forming a single bed--and a separated position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally apart from one another, thereby forming a pair of beds; and a mattress pad configured for spanning a top surface of, and being removably engagable with, each of the first and second mattresses, when the first and second bed frames are in the joined position, a bottom surface of the mattress pad providing a longitudinally oriented filler member sized and configured for resting within, and filling, a crevice formed between the first and second mattresses when the first and second bed frames are in the joined position.

[0054] 26. A convertible bed system comprising: an at least one substantially horizontally oriented guide rail configured for being secured to a substantially vertically oriented wall of a room; a pair of substantially vertically oriented first and second wall supports positioned substantially parallel with the wall of the room and slidably engaged with the at least one guide rail in a side-by-side arrangement, thereby allowing each of the first and second wall supports to selectively slide independently within the at least one guide rail, in a direction substantially parallel with the wall of the room; a substantially horizontally oriented first bed frame secured to the first wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the first wall support, the first bed frame sized and configured for supporting a first mattress thereon; a substantially horizontally oriented second bed frame secured to the second wall support, proximal a bottom edge of the second wall support, the second bed frame sized and configured for supporting a second mattress thereon; the first and second bed frames capable of selectively moving between one of a joined position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally into substantially adjacent contact with one another, thereby forming a single bed--and a separated position--wherein the first and second bed frames are moved laterally apart from one another, thereby forming a pair of beds; a substantially vertically oriented first headboard engaged with the first wall support in a position above the first bed frame; a substantially vertically oriented second headboard engaged with the second wall support in a position above the second bed frame; a first nightstand engaged with the first wall support in a position substantially adjacent to an outer side of the first bed frame; and a second nightstand engaged with the second wall support in a position substantially adjacent to an outer side of the second bed frame; whereby, the first and second headboards, along with the first and second nightstands, are capable of moving in tandem with the respective first and second bed frames as the first and second bed frames move between the joined and separated positions.

[0055] In closing, regarding the exemplary embodiments of the present invention as shown and described herein, it will be appreciated that a convertible bed system is disclosed and configured for allowing a pair of beds to be selectively joined together to form a single, larger bed as needed. Because the principles of the invention may be practiced in a number of configurations beyond those shown and described, it is to be understood that the invention is not in any way limited by the exemplary embodiments, but is generally directed to a convertible bed system and is able to take numerous forms to do so without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It will also be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the present invention is not limited to the particular geometries and materials of construction disclosed, but may instead entail other functionally comparable structures or materials, now known or later developed, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

[0056] Certain embodiments of the present invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventor(s) for carrying out the invention. Of course, variations on these described embodiments will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventor(s) expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventor(s) intend for the present invention to be practiced otherwise than specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described embodiments in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.

[0057] Groupings of alternative embodiments, elements, or steps of the present invention are not to be construed as limitations. Each group member may be referred to and claimed individually or in any combination with other group members disclosed herein. It is anticipated that one or more members of a group may be included in, or deleted from, a group for reasons of convenience and/or patentability. When any such inclusion or deletion occurs, the specification is deemed to contain the group as modified thus fulfilling the written description of all Markush groups used in the appended claims.

[0058] Unless otherwise indicated, all numbers expressing a characteristic, item, quantity, parameter, property, term, and so forth used in the present specification and claims are to be understood as being modified in all instances by the term "about." As used herein, the term "about" means that the characteristic, item, quantity, parameter, property, or term so qualified encompasses a range of plus or minus ten percent above and below the value of the stated characteristic, item, quantity, parameter, property, or term. Accordingly, unless indicated to the contrary, the numerical parameters set forth in the specification and attached claims are approximations that may vary. At the very least, and not as an attempt to limit the application of the doctrine of equivalents to the scope of the claims, each numerical indication should at least be construed in light of the number of reported significant digits and by applying ordinary rounding techniques. Notwithstanding that the numerical ranges and values setting forth the broad scope of the invention are approximations, the numerical ranges and values set forth in the specific examples are reported as precisely as possible. Any numerical range or value, however, inherently contains certain errors necessarily resulting from the standard deviation found in their respective testing measurements. Recitation of numerical ranges of values herein is merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate numerical value falling within the range. Unless otherwise indicated herein, each individual value of a numerical range is incorporated into the present specification as if it were individually recited herein.

[0059] Use of the terms "may" or "can" in reference to an embodiment or aspect of an embodiment also carries with it the alternative meaning of "may not" or "cannot." As such, if the present specification discloses that an embodiment or an aspect of an embodiment may be or can be included as part of the inventive subject matter, then the negative limitation or exclusionary proviso is also explicitly meant, meaning that an embodiment or an aspect of an embodiment may not be or cannot be included as part of the inventive subject matter. In a similar manner, use of the term "optionally" in reference to an embodiment or aspect of an embodiment means that such embodiment or aspect of the embodiment may be included as part of the inventive subject matter or may not be included as part of the inventive subject matter. Whether such a negative limitation or exclusionary proviso applies will be based on whether the negative limitation or exclusionary proviso is recited in the claimed subject matter.

[0060] The terms "a," "an," "the" and similar references used in the context of describing the present invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. Further, ordinal indicators--such as "first," "second," "third," etc.--for identified elements are used to distinguish between the elements, and do not indicate or imply a required or limited number of such elements, and do not indicate a particular position or order of such elements unless otherwise specifically stated. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., "such as") provided herein is intended merely to better illuminate the present invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention otherwise claimed. No language in the present specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element essential to the practice of the invention.

[0061] When used in the claims, whether as filed or added per amendment, the open-ended transitional term "comprising" (along with equivalent open-ended transitional phrases thereof such as "including," "containing" and "having") encompasses all the expressly recited elements, limitations, steps and/or features alone or in combination with un-recited subject matter; the named elements, limitations and/or features are essential, but other unnamed elements, limitations and/or features may be added and still form a construct within the scope of the claim. Specific embodiments disclosed herein may be further limited in the claims using the closed-ended transitional phrases "consisting of" or "consisting essentially of" in lieu of or as an amendment for "comprising." When used in the claims, whether as filed or added per amendment, the closed-ended transitional phrase "consisting of" excludes any element, limitation, step, or feature not expressly recited in the claims. The closed-ended transitional phrase "consisting essentially of" limits the scope of a claim to the expressly recited elements, limitations, steps and/or features and any other elements, limitations, steps and/or features that do not materially affect the basic and novel characteristic(s) of the claimed subject matter. Thus, the meaning of the open-ended transitional phrase "comprising" is being defined as encompassing all the specifically recited elements, limitations, steps and/or features as well as any optional, additional unspecified ones. The meaning of the closed-ended transitional phrase "consisting of" is being defined as only including those elements, limitations, steps and/or features specifically recited in the claim, whereas the meaning of the closed-ended transitional phrase "consisting essentially of" is being defined as only including those elements, limitations, steps and/or features specifically recited in the claim and those elements, limitations, steps and/or features that do not materially affect the basic and novel characteristic(s) of the claimed subject matter. Therefore, the open-ended transitional phrase "comprising" (along with equivalent open-ended transitional phrases thereof) includes within its meaning, as a limiting case, claimed subject matter specified by the closed-ended transitional phrases "consisting of" or "consisting essentially of." As such, embodiments described herein or so claimed with the phrase "comprising" are expressly or inherently unambiguously described, enabled and supported herein for the phrases "consisting essentially of" and "consisting of."

[0062] All patents, patent publications, and other publications referenced and identified in the present specification are individually and expressly incorporated herein by reference in their entirety for the purpose of describing and disclosing, for example, the compositions and methodologies described in such publications that might be used in connection with the present invention. These publications are provided solely for their disclosure prior to the filing date of the present application. Nothing in this regard should be construed as an admission that the inventors are not entitled to antedate such disclosure by virtue of prior invention or for any other reason. All statements as to the date or representation as to the contents of these documents is based on the information available to the applicants and does not constitute any admission as to the correctness of the dates or contents of these documents.

[0063] While aspects of the invention have been described with reference to at least one exemplary embodiment, it is to be clearly understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited thereto. Rather, the scope of the invention is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims and it is made clear, here, that the inventor(s) believe that the claimed subject matter is the invention.

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