Easy To Use Patents Search & Patent Lawyer Directory

At Patents you can conduct a Patent Search, File a Patent Application, find a Patent Attorney, or search available technology through our Patent Exchange. Patents are available using simple keyword or date criteria. If you are looking to hire a patent attorney, you've come to the right place. Protect your idea and hire a patent lawyer.


Search All Patents:



  This Patent May Be For Sale or Lease. Contact Us

  Is This Your Patent? Claim This Patent Now.



Register or Login To Download This Patent As A PDF




United States Patent Application 20180317685
Kind Code A1
Boles; Alex R. November 8, 2018

SPACE SAVING STACKABLE TANGLE FREE CLOTHES HANGER SYSTEM

Abstract

A space saving stackable tangle free clothes hanging system wherein a clothes hanger has a non-protruding hook in lieu of a protruding hook. A hanger designed to stack on top of each other to improve organization. A hanger that prevents tangling, and overlapping, designed to save time while inserting or removing the hanger. A hanger designed to eliminate stretched out collars. A screw free installation hanger system, which can be easily moved from one room to another to assist for faster times and easier laundry. A contoured hanger with a non-tilting feature.


Inventors: Boles; Alex R.; (Lubbock, TX)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Boles; Alex R.

Lubbock

TX

US
Family ID: 1000003474983
Appl. No.: 16/029942
Filed: July 9, 2018


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
14844061Sep 3, 2015
16029942

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A47G 25/32 20130101; A47G 25/1442 20130101; A47G 25/34 20130101
International Class: A47G 25/32 20060101 A47G025/32; A47G 25/14 20060101 A47G025/14

Claims



1. A clothes hanger for hanging on a miniature closet rod, the clothes hanger comprising: a head defining a hook and the hook defines a central axis, the head has a thickness measured parallel to the central axis, and the hook defines a radius of curvature having a center at the central axis; a first arm that extends from the head to a first extremity, and the first arm has a thickness measured parallel to the central axis, the thickness of the first arm equal to the thickness of the head; and a means for latching the hook onto the miniature closet rod.

2. The clothes hanger as defined in claim 1 wherein the means latching further comprises: an entrance channel defined between a distal end of the hook and a peak region of the head; a hinge region defined by the hook, the hook configured to hinge about the hinge region; and the hook has a rest rotational orientation in which the entrance channel defines a span less than twice the radius of curvature of the hook, and the hook has a displaced rotational orientation in which the entrance channel defines a span greater than twice the radius of curvature of the hook.

3. The clothes hanger as defined in claim 2 wherein the hinge region of the hook further comprises a first notch in the hook, the first notch defines a closed bottom, an open top, and a notch channel, the notch channel parallel to the central axis.

4. The clothes hanger as defined in claim 3 wherein the hinge region of the hook further comprises a first notch in the hook disposed on an opposite side of the hook from the first notch, the second notch defines a closed bottom, an open top, and a notch channel, the notch channel of the second notch parallel to the central axis.

5. The clothes hanger as defined in claim 1 wherein the means for latching further comprises: a latch arm that defines a proximal end and distal end, the proximal end of the latch arm coupled to the head, and the latch arm extends toward a distal end of the hook; an entrance channel defined between the distal end of the latch arm and the distal end of the hook; a hinge region defined by the latch arm, the latch arm configured to hinge about the hinge region; and the latch has a rest rotational orientation in which the entrance channel defines a span less than twice the radius of curvature of the hook, and the latch arm has a displaced rotational orientation in which the entrance channel defines a span greater than twice the radius of curvature of the hook.

6. The clothes hanger as defined in claim 5 wherein the hinge region of the latch arm further comprises a first notch latch arm, the first notch defines a closed bottom, an open top, and a notch channel, the notch channel parallel to the central axis.

7. The clothes hanger as defined in claim 6 wherein the hinge region of the latch arm further comprises a second notch in the latch arm disposed on an opposite side of the latch arm from the first notch, the second notch defines a closed bottom, an open top, and a notch channel, the notch channel of the second notch parallel to the central axis.

8. The clothes hanger as defined in claim 1 wherein the means latching further comprises: a latch arm that defines a proximal end and distal end, the proximal end of the latch arm coupled to the head, and the latch arm extends toward a distal end of the hook; an entrance channel defined between a distal end of the latch arm and the distal end of the hook; a first hinge region defined by the hook, the hook configured to hinge about the first hinge region; and a second hinge region defined by the latch arm, the latch arm configured to hinge about the second hinge region.

9. The clothes hanger as defined in claim 1 further comprising: a second arm that extends from the head to the second extremity, the second arm as a thickness measured parallel to the central axis, the thickness of the second arm equal to the thickness of the head; and the bar coupled to the second extremity.

10. The clothes hanger as defined in claim 1 wherein the bar has a length and the length is centered below the central axis of the hook.

11. A method of hanging a hanger on a miniature clothes rod, the method comprising: placing a head of the clothes hanger in contact with the miniature clothes rod; deflecting a latching mechanism defined by the head, the deflecting by the miniature clothes rod as the clothes hanger moves upward relative to the miniature clothes rod; hooking the clothes hanger on the miniature clothes rod; and returning the latching mechanism to a rest orientation by spring force of the latching mechanism.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein deflecting the latching mechanism further comprises deflecting a hook of the head about a hinge region, the deflecting widens an entrance channel that leads to an inside diameter of the hook.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein deflecting the hook further comprises deflecting the hook about a hinge region comprising a first notch in the hook, the first notch defines a closed bottom, an open top, and a notch channel, the notch channel parallel to a central axis of the hook.

14. The method of claim 11 wherein deflecting the latching mechanism further comprises deflecting a latch arm in operational relationship to the hook, the deflecting widens an entrance channel that leads to an inside diameter of the hook.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein deflecting the latch arm further comprises deflecting the latch arm about a hinge region comprising a first notch in the latch arm, the first notch defines a closed bottom, an open top, and a notch channel, the notch channel parallel to a central axis of the hook.

16. The method of claim 11 wherein deflecting the latching mechanism further comprises: deflecting a hook of the head about a first hinge region; and deflecting a latch arm in operational relationship to the hook; the deflecting of the hook and latch arm widens an entrance channel that leads to an inside diameter of the hook.

17. A system comprising: a miniature closet rod at an offset below a horizontal surface, the miniature clothes rod defines a longitudinal central axis; a clothes hanger comprising: a head defining a hook hanging on the miniature clothes rod, the hook defines a central axis coaxial with the longitudinal central axis, and the head has a thickness measured parallel to the central axis; a first arm that extends from the head to a first extremity, the first arm has a thickness measured parallel to the central axis; a radius of curvature defined by the hook, the radius of curvature sweeps out an inside annular surface, and the inside annular surface begins on an entrance side of the hook; a length of the first arm measured from the central axis to the first extremity; wherein the offset below the horizontal surface, the inside annular surface, and the length of the arm are such that when the first extremity abuts the horizontal surface, the inside annular surface remains hooked on the miniature closet rod.

18. The system of claim 17 wherein the inside annular surface begins on the entrance side of the hook below a straight line between an apex of the inside annular surface and the first extremity.

19. The system of claim 17 wherein the clothes hanger further comprises a means for latching the hook onto the miniature closet rod.

20. The system as defined in claim 17 wherein the means for latching further comprises: a hinge region defined by the hook, the hook configured to hinge about the hinge region; and the hook has a rest rotational orientation in which the entrance channel defines a span less than a diameter of the miniature closet rod, and the hook has a displaced rotational orientation in which the entrance channel defines a span greater than the diameter of the miniature closet rod.

21. The system as defined in claim 17 wherein the means for latching further comprises: a latch arm that defines a proximal end and distal end, the proximal end of the latch arm coupled to the head, and the latch arm extends toward a distal end of the hook; a hinge region defined by the latch arm, the latch arm configured to hinge about the hinge region; and the latch has a rest rotational orientation in which the entrance channel defines a span less than the diameter of the miniature clothes rod, and the latch arm has a displaced rotational orientation in which the entrance channel defines a span greater than the diameter of the miniature clothes rod.

22. A contoured clothes hanger for hanging on a miniature closet rod, the clothes hanger comprising: a head defining a hook and the hook defines a central axis, the head has a thickness measured parallel to the central axis, and the hook defines a hook radius of curvature having a center at the central axis; a radius of curvature defined by the hook, the radius of curvature sweeps out an inside annular surface, the inside annular surface begins on an entrance side of the hook, and the inside annular surface has a radial span of at least 180 degrees of circular distance; a first arm that extends from the head to a first extremity a second arm that extends from the head to the second extremity opposite the first extremity, a hanger length measured between the first extremity and the second extremity; the first arm, head, and second arm define a contour radius of curvature having a radius greater than the hanger length, and a center displaced away from the head; wherein the thickness of the head and the radial span limits tilting of the clothes hanger to two angular degrees or less when the clothes hanger is hanging on a miniature closet rod having a diameter about twice the radius of curvature of the hook.

23. The contoured clothes hanger of claim 22 further comprising: the first arm has a thickness measured parallel to the central axis, the thickness of the first arm equal to the thickness of the head; and the second arm as a thickness measured parallel to the central axis, the thickness of the second arm equal to the thickness of the head.

24. The contoured clothes hanger of claim 23 wherein the thickness of the head is between and including 0.5 inches and 2.0 inches.

25. The contoured clothes hanger of claim 22 wherein the inside annular surface has a radial span of 225 degrees of circular distance.

26. The contoured clothes hanger of claim 22 wherein thickness of the head and the radial span limits tilting to one angular degree or less.

27. The contoured clothes hanger of claim 22 wherein thickness of the head and the radial span limits tilting to 0.5 angular degree or less.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation in part of U.S. application Ser. No. 14/844,061, filed Sep. 3, 2015, titled "Space Saving Stackable Tangle Free Clothes Hanger System," and the application is incorporated by reference herein as if reproduced in full below.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

[0002] Various embodiments are directed to clothes organization and more particularly to a Space Saving Stackable Tangle Free Clothes Hanger System (SSTFCHS) without a protruding hook, which prevents the hangers from becoming tangled, and saves vertical space that is wasted by the traditional hook. The Space Saving Stackable Tangle Free Clothes Hanger System is the most space saving closet system, by maximizing the horizontal and vertical space saved. A miniature closet rod is used to eliminate wasted space from the use of a traditional closet rod.

2. Description of the Related Art

[0003] The traditional clothes hanger, comprised of a hanger body upon which clothing is draped, and a protruding hook for holding the hanger on a pole or rod, has seen very little modification during the course of its history. Modifications in the prior art have consisted of variations of material used to create the hanger body, such as wire, wood or plastic; variations in shape, such as triangular or rectangular; and various methods to keep clothing from slipping off, such as slot areas to hold straps, or friction materials on the shoulder and pant bar area to keep clothing in place.

[0004] Multiple disadvantages exist with the traditional clothes hanger design. The hooks in the traditional design cause hangers to quickly become tangled if stored in a pile. Traditional hangers and closet rods require excess vertical space, and limits clothing storage in certain small areas.

[0005] Traditional closet rods come in long lengths which are difficult to maneuver, and costly to ship.

[0006] The traditional clothes hanger was designed with a flaw on purpose. If the hanger had been designed with a "true" shoulder shape/slope design, it would be nearly impossible to insert the hanger through a collar. That is why traditional clothes hangers' arms slope at a greater degree verses the natural slope of human shoulders.

[0007] Traditional contoured hangers are primarily used for suits, coats, and dresses. The problem is they "tilt" forward when clothing is placed on them. "Tilting" reduces the benefit of a contoured clothes hanger, so manufacturers have added extra contour to compensate.

[0008] The hook feature found on traditional hangers can easily stretch out the collar or neck line of garments as the user attempts to insert the hanger into the article of clothing. In order to avoid stretching out the neck the user must insert the hanger from the bottom of the shirt, pulling it up through the inside of the shirt and grasping it from the top of the shirt. This method is cumbersome and tedious; especially in the retail setting where speed (amount of time) in hanging articles of clothing is important.

[0009] There accordingly remains a need for a simple, innovative design for hanging clothing, as well as shipping and installing closet rods that eliminate the above disadvantages found in the prior art.

SUMMARY

[0010] The disadvantages shown in the prior art are solved at least in part by the Space Saving Stackable Tangle Free Clothes Hanger System. Various embodiments are directed to a new "shoulder shape/slope" hanger structure, with the hook feature not protruding from the "head" of the hanger. In its place, the hanger has a hook within the "head", (top of hanger), which connects to the miniature closet rod. Traditional hangers are adaptable to the miniature closet rod.

[0011] The various embodiments may have numerous advantages, not all of which need be present in every embodiment. The first advantage is that with the hook not protruding from the head of the hanger, it eliminates the age old problem of stretched out necklines and collars, even if the clothing is buttoned all the way up enabling the user to quickly hang a shirt, dress, blouse or sweater with no stretching. This is also beneficial for children's clothing because the collar is smaller in size. This makes hanging up clothing faster, and is especially useful for commercial applications such as clothing retailers who need to hang up a lot of clothing in a short amount of time.

[0012] The second advantage is that the elimination of the protruding hook renders a neat, contemporary look to clothes hanging, giving a modern, edgy appearance. With the micro design a miniature closet rod can be added in doorways as the rod only hangs approximately 3/4'' from what it is mounted to.

[0013] The third advantage is the handgrip. The handgrip assists with holding and inserting the hanger vertically through the collar. This method is much faster and easier to place clothing on the hanger, especially for smaller individuals, and children, because the neck collar is generally smaller on their articles of clothing.

[0014] The fourth advantage is wheelchair users can now have two rows for clothing verses one, doubling the usable closet space. With a traditional clothes hanger system the top row is over a foot higher making it unreachable by most people in a wheelchair.

[0015] The fifth advantage is that by eliminating the protruding hook, it eliminates the tangled mess that so quickly materializes when hangers are tossed together in a pile. Without the protruding hook, it is literally impossible for the hangers to tangle together, or overlap while on the rod, a welcome relief for consumers and retailers alike.

[0016] The sixth advantage is the addition of concave grooves on one side, and convex grooves on the opposite side of the hangers, which line up to allow the hangers to stack on top of each other, eliminating a piled mess of hangers and neatly stacking them. The concave grooves and convex grooves can also be assisted by neodymium magnets, or a similar device, or replaced by magnets located anywhere on the hanger. There can be one or more magnets imbedded in the hanger, and they can all be facing the same direction through the hanger to allow multiple hangers to connect together. Multiple hangers can stack up on the side of a metal surface, such as a washer or dryer.

[0017] The seventh advantage is the option of a wheel, sleeve, roller, bearing, etc., where the hook is located which allows for easy rolling or sliding of the hangers back and forth on the miniature rod.

[0018] The eighth advantage is the space savings of the design of the hanger. The hook on traditional hangers is a few inches tall. With elimination of the traditional protruding hook, a few inches of vertical closet space is saved.

[0019] The ninth advantage is the space savings of the design of the miniature closet rod. The miniature closet rod hangs approximately 3/4'' below the surface from what it is mounted to and is attached by clips/brackets, or wall mounts. Traditional closet rods hang 1 to 3 inches below.

[0020] The tenth advantage is the shoulder shape/slope design. Reducing the degree of slope the hanger "arms" save vertical space by bringing the hanger arms up to a more natural shoulder shape with less slope. The lesser degree of the angle does not allow the clothing to droop down as far.

[0021] The eleventh advantage is the closet shelving can be lowered accordingly, allowing more accessibility for the user. The bottom shelving can now be lowered for wheelchair users to be classified as "usable space" for accessibility.

[0022] The twelfth advantage is the shelf clip used with the miniature rod eliminates the use of screws, creating a quick and easy installation for the user. The miniature rod then clips onto the bottom part of the shelf clip.

[0023] The thirteenth advantage is the miniature closet rod can be shipped in the same box as the hangers, eliminating expensive shipping costs which are associated with shipping standard length traditional closet rods. The miniature closet rods can come in shorter lengths which is easier for the user to maneuver, and can easily be connected together by a connection pin, which inserts into the ends of the closet rods, creating a long closet rod with a smooth finish the entire length. The miniature closet rod could also have a male and female end on opposite sides which connect together.

[0024] The fourteenth advantage is the texture can be included in the production of the hangers, applied to all or parts of the hangers or an alternate method which achieves the same goal. Texture will help prevent clothing from slipping off of the hangers and prevent "nipples" from forming on the shoulders of the clothing.

[0025] The fifteenth advantage is the new hanger "guides" itself onto the miniature closet rod. If the top of the hanger head touches the bottom of the shelf it will guide itself onto the rod. The curvature of the hanger design body also assists with guiding the hanger onto the miniature closet rod.

[0026] The sixteenth advantage is without a protruding hook, the hangers will save space in travel bags and suitcases.

[0027] The seventeenth advantage is the design of a contoured hanger. The front side of the hanger underneath the hook touches the top of the miniature closet rod and the rear side of the hanger underneath the miniature closet rod touches the bottom of the miniature closet rod which prevents the hanger from tilting forward when clothing is added. The thicker contoured hanger (coat hangers are generally 1/2'' to 2'' thick) and miniature closet rod have a close tolerance maximizing the use of the contour to perfectly shape the clothing.

[0028] The eighteenth advantage is the hook can be slightly flexible to "clip" onto the miniature closet rod to prevent the hanger from falling off when in use in vehicles, boats, planes, etc. A traditional clothes hanger can easily fall off when in use in vehicles, boats, planes, etc.

[0029] The nineteenth advantage is the clothes hanger can have an aerodynamic shape to allow for flight of the hanger, it can be similar to, but not limited to that of a boomerang, or any similar method with the curvature of the hanger to create an aerodynamic effect.

[0030] Other advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying figures, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0031] The drawings contained herein represent preferred embodiments of the invention and are not intended to limit the scope.

[0032] FIG. 1 illustrates the front view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0033] FIG. 2 illustrates the rear view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0034] FIG. 3 illustrates the front view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0035] FIG. 4 illustrates the rear view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0036] FIG. 5 illustrates the front view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0037] FIG. 6 illustrates a close up perspective view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0038] FIG. 7 illustrates a front, rear, top, or bottom view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0039] FIG. 8 illustrates a front, rear, top, or bottom view in accordance of with at least some embodiments.

[0040] FIG. 9 illustrates a side view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0041] FIG. 10 illustrates a side view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0042] FIG. 11 illustrates a top view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0043] FIG. 12 illustrates a top view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0044] FIG. 13 illustrates a side view in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0045] FIG. 14 illustrates a side view of a closet in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0046] FIG. 15 illustrates a top view of an embodiment with a boomerang "flying" design, in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0047] FIG. 16 shows a side elevation view of a hanger in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0048] FIG. 17 shows a side elevation view of a hanger on a miniature closet rod in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0049] FIG. 18 shows an overhead view of a contoured hanger in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0050] FIG. 19 shows an overhead view of a hanger that is contoured in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0051] FIG. 20 shows a side elevation view of a hanger on a miniature clothes rod in accordance with at least some embodiments.

[0052] FIG. 21 shows a side elevation view of a head of a hanger in accordance with at least some embodiments.

DEFINITIONS

[0053] Certain terms are used throughout the following description to refer to particular system components. As one skilled in the art will appreciate, design and manufacturing companies may refer to a component by different names. This document does not intend to distinguish between components that differ in name but not function.

[0054] In the following discussion, the terms "including" and "comprising" are used in an open-ended fashion, and thus should be interpreted to mean "including, but not limited to . . . " Moreover, the term "system" means "one or more components" combined together. Thus, a system can comprise an "entire system" or "subsystems" within the system.

[0055] "About" in relation to a recite distance shall mean the recited distance+/-5%.

[0056] "Apex" of an inside annular surface swept out by a radius of curvature shall mean a location on the inside annular surface where a line bisecting the hanger through the central axis intersects the inside annular surface.

[0057] "Above" and "below" in reference to a hanger shall be considered with the hook of hanger higher relative to the force of gravity.

[0058] Claiming that a portion of a hanger has a first rotational orientation such that an entrance channel defines a first span and a second rotational orientation such that an entrance channel defines a second span different than the first span shall not be read to require both rotational orientations of the portion of the hanger simultaneously present.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0059] For a detailed description of various embodiments, reference will now be made to the accompanying illustrative drawings:

[0060] FIG. 1 is the front view of a clothes hanger 10 (hereafter just hanger 10), with the body having a more shoulder shaped/slope space saving design constructed of plastic, metal, wood, resin, composite, or a recyclable material. The hanger 10 does not have a protruding hook and instead has a small hook 12 (hereafter just "hook 12") located in the head 13 of the hanger, the hook 12 in the vicinity of where the base of a traditional hook would sit. FIG. 1 further illustrates two side arms 14 projecting down from opposite sides near where the upper portion of the hanger 10 is located and upon which a garment would be draped. The left side arm 14 in the figure has a first extremity 19, and the right side arm 14 in the figure has a second extremity 21.

[0061] FIG. 1 further depicts a bottom or pant bar 16 (which is optional) with a first and a second end. The first end is coupled (e.g., adhered) to the lower end of the side arms 14, and in particular the first extremity 19. The second end of the pant bar 16 is coupled (e.g., adhered) to the second extremity 21. The pant bar 16 is located over which a garment such as pants, slacks, or skirt could be draped. In the example hanger 10, the pant bar 16 has a length L that is centered below the head 13 and side arms 14, and thus is centered below the hook 12.

[0062] In the hanger 10 shown in FIG. 1, the two side arms 14 come together in the upper portion of the hanger 10 to form the upper point of an overall triangular body where the protruding hook would traditionally be housed. In lieu of the traditional hook, the hook 12 is located such that the body of the hook 12 is in the top of the hanger 10. The head 13 defines a peak region 17, and between the peak region 17 and the distal end of the hook 12 is defined an entrance channel enabling the hanger to couple to and hang on a miniature closet rod 40 (discussed more below). In one example embodiment the hook 12 can be slightly flexible to enable the hanger 10 to "latch" or "clip" onto the miniature closet rod 40 (not shown) to prevent the clothes hanger 10 from falling off when in use in vehicles, boats, airplanes, etc. The latching aspects are discussed in greater detail below.

[0063] In example embodiments the concave grooves 20 on one side of the hanger 10 line up with the convex grooves 26 on the opposite side of another hanger 10. The concave grooves 20 and convex grooves 26 can also be assisted by a magnet 28 (e.g., neodymium) or a similar device, or replaced by multiple magnets located anywhere on the hanger 10. There can be one or more magnets 28 imbedded in the hanger 10, and they can all be facing the same direction through the hanger 10 to enable multiple hangers 10 to connect together. Multiple hangers 10 can stack up on the side of a metal surface, such as a washer or dryer. This enables the hangers 10 to stack up neatly, one on top of the other, preventing a pile of unorganized hangers 10.

[0064] In an example embodiment the hand grip 18 is disposed in the head 13 below the hook 12. In particular, the head 13 defines a bottom 31 below and opposite the hook 12. The example hand grip 18 is thus disposed at the bottom 31 of the head 13 opposite the hook 12. The hand grip 18 assists with holding and inserting the hanger 10 vertically through a collar. Moreover, the hand grip 18 assists with the ease of use for inserting and removing the hanger 10 from clothing. Further, the example hanger 10 comprises a pair of holes 33 through the head 13. In the example system, each hole of the pair of holes defines a triangular aperture, with each apex of the pair of holes 33 closer to the top 27 of head 13. In particularly the side arms 14 of the example hanger 10 each define an under surface. For example, the left side arm 14 defines a first under surface 23 that extends from the example hand grip 18 to the first extremity 19. Likewise the right side arm 14 defines a second under surface 25 that extends from the example hand grip 18 to the second extremity 21.

[0065] In an example embodiment the texture 24 can be built in to the hanger 10, applied to all or part of the hanger 10, or an alternate method which achieves the same goal can be added. Texture 24 helps prevent clothing from slipping off of the hanger 10, and prevents "nipples" from forming on the shoulders of the clothing.

[0066] The example hanger 10 has a uniform thickness. That is, the head 13 has a thickness T.sub.H measured parallel to a central axis 34 as defined by the hook 12. Likewise each side arm 14 has a thickness measured parallel to the central axis 34 of the hook. In example embodiments the thickness T.sub.S of each arm is equal to the thickness of the head T.sub.H.

[0067] FIG. 2 is the rear view of the hanger 10. As in FIG. 1, the hook 12 is located in the center upper portion of the hanger 10 and the right and left side arms 14 and pant bar 16 are visible.

[0068] Referring simultaneously to FIGS. 1 and 2, in an example embodiment the hanger 10 comprises convex grooves 26 on one side of the hanger 10. In the example shown, the convex grooves 26 span from the first extremity 19 to the second extremity 21. The example system further comprises convex grooves that encircle each hole of the pair of holes 33. Concave grooves 20 reside on the opposite side of hanger 10. The concave grooves 20 likewise span from the first extremity 19 to the second extremity 21, and around each hole of the pair of holes 33. The convex grooves 26 and concave grooves 20 enable a multiple of the hangers 10 to be stackable to organize them and to prevent a pile of tangled clothes hangers 10. That is the convex grooves 26 of a first hanger mate with the convex grooves 26 of a second hanger to neatly stack and arrange the hangers. Magnet 28 in each hanger 10 can also be used to assist with the stackable function. That is, the magnet 28 may hold abutting hangers 10 in the stacked configuration with the convex grooves mating with the concave grooves.

[0069] FIG. 3 is the front view of a pant hanger 22 with the body having a shape that is similar to a traditional open-end pant hanger and illustratively constructed of plastic, metal, or wood, resin, composite, or a recyclable material. In the example hanger of FIG. 3 the pant hanger 22 has only one side arm 14 and a pant bar 16 with an open end design for ease of use hanging up garments such as pants, slacks, or skirts. Similar to the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2, the example pant hanger 22 of FIG. 3 has concave grooves 20 on one side of the pant hanger 22 that line up with the convex grooves 26 on the opposite side of another pant hanger 22. Magnets 28 can also be used to assist with the stackable function. The grooves enable the pant hangers 22 to stack up neatly, one on top of the other, preventing tangling. In the example embodiment of FIG. 3 the hand grip 18 assists with the ease of use for holding onto the pant hanger 22. The example embodiment of FIG. 3 can be equipped with a roller 30 that is seen on the hanger 10 in FIG. 5.

[0070] FIG. 4 is the rear view of the pant hanger 22. In an example embodiment, the pant hanger 22 has convex grooves 26 on one side of the pant hanger 22 that line up with the concave grooves 20 on the opposite side of another pant hanger 22. Magnets 28 can also be used to assist with the stackable function. This enables the pant hangers 22 to stack up neatly, one on top of the other, reducing tangling.

[0071] FIG. 5 is the front view of the hanger 10 with a roller 30, wheel, sleeve, bearing or any other embodiment that achieves the desired purpose of enabling the hanger 10 to roll. In an example embodiment the roller 30 will be where the hook 12 is located to enable the hanger 10 to "roll" on the miniature closet rod 40 (not shown). The roller 30 will assist the hanger 10 to roll back and forth with ease, assisting the user as they look through their clothing.

[0072] FIG. 6 is a close up perspective view of the thicker contoured 84 hanger 80. The contoured 84 hanger 80 is used frequently for suits, coats, and dresses. The example hanger 80 is discussed in greater detail below in FIGS. 18 and 19. As with the prior example embodiments, the convex grooves 26 on the hanger 80 will line up with the concave grooves 20 on the opposite side of another hanger 80. Magnets 28 can also be used to assist with the stackable function. This enables the hangers 80 to stack up neatly, one on top of the other, reducing tangling.

[0073] As discussed in greater detail below, the design of the contoured 84 hanger 80 functions by having a close tolerance between the contoured 84 hanger 80, the hook 12, and the miniature closet rod 40. The front side of the hanger 80 underneath the hook 12 touches the top of the miniature closet rod 40. The rear side of the hanger 80 underneath the miniature closet rod 40 touches the bottom of the miniature closet rod 40, which prevents the hanger 80 from tilting forward (i.e., tilting of a plane defined by hanger 80 in relation to a longitudinal axis of the miniature closet rod 40). This increases the use of the contour 84 and perfectly shapes the clothing. The thickness T.sub.C of the contoured 84 hanger 80 assists with this function.

[0074] FIG. 7 is a front, rear, top, or bottom view of the miniature closet rod 40. In an example embodiment the miniature closet rod 40 can be shipped in the same box as the hangers 10, eliminating expensive shipping costs which are associated with shipping standard length closet rods. The length can vary and can easily be connected together by a coupling or mounting bracket that the rod is pressed or snapped into. This would be beneficial to be able to move an entire rod from the laundry room to the closet, or from a doorway, back and forth with ease. A connection pin 44 would also work, which inserts into the female ends 42 of the miniature closet rods 40, creating a long closet rod with a smooth finish the entire length. The miniature closet rod 40 can be cut to length by the user. The miniature closet rod 40 and the connecting pin 44 can be made of, but not limited to, metal, plastic, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. The miniature closet rod 40 has a diameter of approximately 3/8'', although a wide variety of dimensions will work, depending on the strength of the material. Sleeve inserts and or caps can also be added into or on the ends of the miniature closet rod 40. The miniature closet rod 40 can be mounted by screw in clips 50, miniature closet rod wall mount holders 58, shelf clips 60, brackets, or any other method familiar with mounting. Drilling a hole in either side of a vertical surface for the rod to fit in will work also. In an example embodiment the miniature closet rod 40 can be in an "L"-shaped bracket form mountable to a vertical surface to create a closet anywhere one chooses. FIG. 8 is a front, rear, top, or bottom view of the miniature closet rod 40. In an example embodiment the miniature closet rod 40 could have a male end 46 and a female end 42 on opposite sides which connect together. Sleeve inserts and or caps can also be added into or on the ends of the miniature closet rod 40.

[0075] FIG. 9 is a side view of a screw-in clip 50 which is in the open position. The screw-in clip 50 can be mounted underneath a horizontal surface such as a shelf 66 by a screw through the mounting hole 54. The clip ends 52 are flexible and press together to clamp around the miniature closet rod 40 (not shown). FIG. 10 is a side view of a screw-in clip 50 which is in the closed position. The screw-in clip 50 can be mounted underneath a shelf 66 (not shown) by a screw through the mounting hole 54. The clip ends 52 are flexible and press together to clamp around the miniature closet rod 40. FIG. 11 is a top view of a screw-in clip 50. The screw-in clip 50 can be mounted underneath a horizontal surface 66 by a screw through the mounting hole 54.

[0076] FIG. 12 is a front view of a wall mounted miniature wall mount holders 58. The wall mount holders 58 can be mounted on a vertical surface by a screw through the mounting hole 54. The miniature closet rod 40 (not shown) is held in position by the inside of the support 56.

[0077] FIG. 13 is the side view of a shelf clip 60 which slides onto a shelf 66. The top 62 of the shelf clip 60 is angled down to create tension between the shelf clip 60 and the shelf 66. This enables an easy, screw-less installation. The miniature shelf closet rod 40 snaps/sets into the rod mount 64 for easy installation.

[0078] FIG. 14 is a front view of the interior of a closet, showing the garment 70 on the hanger 10 which is attached to the miniature closet rod 40 which is illustratively held in place on one end by a screw-in clip 50 and on the second end by a wall mount holder 58. The miniature closet rod 40 defines a longitudinal central axis 68. The screw-in clip 50 is connected to a bottom horizontal surface of the shelf 66. The offset O between the bottom horizontal surface of the shelf 66 and top of the miniature closet rod 40 is approximately 3/4'', but this dimension can vary, depending on the size of the miniature closet rod 40 and the screw-in clips 50 or wall mount holders 58. The offset O in combination with the bottom horizontal surface of the shelf limits the amount a hanger 10/80 can rotate about the miniature closet rod 40 (or equivalently, about the longitudinal central axis 68) to reduce inadvertent un-hooking of the hooks of the hangers 10/80 (discussed more below).

[0079] FIG. 15 is a top view of the hanger 10 with a shape similar, but not limited to, that of an aerodynamic hanger 10. The aerodynamic curves 90 located on the bottom side, but not limited to, of the hanger 10 can be used for flight similar to that of a boomerang, although this type of use would void the warranty. The hand grip 18 can be located on the side arm 14 of the hanger 10 and used to assist with throwing the hanger 10 in a manner to enable it to fly.

[0080] FIG. 16 shows a side elevation view of a hanger 80 in accordance with at least some embodiments. In particular, FIG. 16 shows the head 13 of a hanger 80 intended to be used with a contoured hanger (but the head 13 of FIG. 16 may also be used with a non-contoured hanger (e.g., hanger 10) as well). The example head 13 defines a hook 12. The hook 12 defines a central axis 100 that, in the view of FIG. 16 is perpendicular to the plane of the page. In particular, the hook 12 defines a radius of curvature 102 that has a central point (where the central point is the central axis 100 of the hook). The radius of curvature 102 sweeps out an inside annular surface 104. The inside annular surface begins on an entrance side of the hook 12 (i.e., the portion closest to the entrance channel 29) and has a radial span (as illustrated by arrow 106) of at least 180 angular degrees (or, equivalently stated, at least 180 degrees of circular distance). In some example embodiments, the radial span is about 225 degrees of circular distance. With radial spans much beyond 225 degrees of circular distance, it may be difficult to hook the hook 12 over a miniature closet rod (not shown in FIG. 16). In example embodiments, the radius of curvature 102 is selected for a particular miniature closet rod diameter. That is, the diameter of the miniature closet rod is slightly smaller than twice the length of the radius of curvature to enable the hanger 80 to slide along the miniature closet rod. In the view of FIG. 16, sliding along the miniature closet rod would be movement axially along the central axis 100 (into and out of the plane of the page).

[0081] FIG. 17 shows a side elevation view of a hanger 80 on a miniature closet rod 40 in accordance with at least some embodiments. In particular, the miniature closet rod 40 is shown mated with the hook 12, and the longitudinal central axis 68 of the miniature closet rod 40 is coaxial with the central axis 100 defined by the center of the radius of curvature 102 (FIG. 16). More particular, the hook 12 is hooked over the miniature closet rod 40 such that the miniature closet rod 40 abuts the inside annular surface 104 of the hook 12. As previously mentioned, the head 13 (including the hook 12) has a thickness T.sub.H measured parallel to the central axis 100. In the view of FIG. 17 the thickness T.sub.H is measured perpendicular to the plane of the page (as shown by the "feathers" of an arrow extending into the page). In some example embodiments, the thickness T.sub.H is between and including 0.5 inches and 2.0 inches. The thickness T.sub.H in combination with the radial span of the inside annular surface 104 reduces or prevents tilting of the hanger 80. Consider, as an example, that a force is applied at the bottom 31 of the hanger 80, the force into the page and thus tending to produce a torque on the hanger 80 and miniature closet rod 40. However, because of the thickness T.sub.H of the hanger 80 and the radial span of the inside annular surface 104, the position of the example hanger 80 relative to the miniature closet rod 40 remains substantially unchanged. More particularly, for the example force applied into the plane of the page at the bottom 31, the interaction of the inside annular surface 104 at upper location 110 on the front side of the hanger 80 (i.e., the portion visible in FIG. 17) and the interaction of the inside annular surface 104 on the back side of the hanger 80 at the lower location 108 tends to resist tilting of the hanger 80 on the miniature closet rod 40. The closer the tolerance between the outside diameter of the miniature closet rod 40 and the inside diameter of the inside annular surface 104, and the greater the thickness T.sub.H of the head 13 and/or hook 12, the less tilt will be present in spite of torque loads applied to the miniature closet rod 40 (e.g., torque loads created by clothes hanging on contoured 84 hanger 80). In some example hangers 80, the tilting may be limited to two angular degrees or less (e.g., measured from front surface of the hanger 80 to the longitudinal central axis 68), in some cases one angular degree or less, in some cases 0.5 angular degree or less.

[0082] FIG. 18 shows an overhead view of a hanger 80 that is contoured in accordance with at least some embodiments. In particular, FIG. 18 is presented to show the contour of the side arms 14. The example hanger 80 comprises first arm 14 (e.g., on the left), the head 13 (including a hook not fully visible in this view), and a second arm 14 (e.g., on the right). Also visible in FIG. 18 is the thickness T.sub.S of the side arms 14, which thickness is equal to the thickness T.sub.H of the head 13. The side arms 14 and the head 13 define a radius of curvature 112 and a center 114. In example embodiments, the center 114 is displaced away from the head 13 (or equivalently stated, the length of the radius of curvature) is greater than a length L of the hanger 80 (the length measured along the contour).

[0083] Because the example hanger 80 experiences very little or no tilt when placed on an appropriately sized miniature closet rod 40 (the lack of tilt because of the interaction between the inside annular surface 104 (FIG. 17) with the miniature closet rod 40 (FIG. 17)), the amount of contour may be less than traditional hangers with wire hooks. When a traditional hanger with contoured arms and a wire hook is placed on the closet rod, the wire hook does not limit the tilting of the hanger. That is, the contour moves the center of gravity of the hanger outside the hanger body (i.e., into the concave region of the hanger when viewed from above), and since the wire hook does not limit tilting the traditional contoured hanger tilts. The tilting reduces the effective contour, and thus traditional hangers have significantly greater contour to account for the fact that tilting reduces the effective contour.

[0084] FIG. 19 shows an overhead view of a hanger 80 that is contoured in accordance with at least some embodiments. In particular, FIG. 19 is presented to show that the alternate embodiments of thickness T.sub.S of the side arms 14 need not be the same as the thickness T.sub.H of the head 13. As before, the example hanger 80 comprises first arm 14 (e.g., on the left), the head 13 (including a hook not fully visible in this view), and a second arm 14 (e.g., on the right). In the example embodiment the thickness T.sub.S at the distal ends of the side arms 14 is greater than the thickness T.sub.H at the head 13 (e.g. T.sub.S twice as thick as T.sub.H). In the example embodiment, a center line 116 through the side arms 14 and the head 13 define a radius of curvature 112 and a center 114. In example embodiments, the center 114 is displaced away from the center line 116 (or equivalently stated, the length of the radius of curvature) is greater than a length L of the hanger 80 (the length measured along the contour).

[0085] FIG. 20 shows a side elevation view of a hanger on a miniature closet rod in accordance with at least some embodiments. In particular, in accordance with example embodiments features of the hanger 10 may work in conjunction with the miniature closet rod 40 and shelf 66 to limit rotation of the hanger 10 and thus inadvertent unhooking of the hanger 10. For example, clothing hanging on traditional hangers in travel trailers tend to rotate backward and forward with acceleration and deceleration, respectively (and depending on the direction of the longitudinal central axis of the closet rod in relation to direction of travel). Depending on the rate of acceleration or deceleration, the traditional hangers may come unhooked, allowing the clothes to fall to the floor and become wrinkled. However, in accordance with example embodiments shown in FIG. 20. features of the hanger 10 work in conjunction with the miniature closet rod 40 and shelf 66 to limit rotation of the hanger 10 and thus inadvertent unhooking.

[0086] In particular, the miniature closet rod 40 is held below a bottom horizontal surface 118 of the shelf 66 (such as by the shelf clip 60 (FIG. 14)) at an offset O. That is, the distance between the bottom horizontal surface 118 and the top of the miniature closet rod 40 defines an offset O. The example hanger 10 defines head 13 and hook 12 hanging on the miniature closet rod 40 such that the central axis 100 of the hook is substantially coaxial with the longitudinal central axis 68 of the miniature closet rod 40. The head 13 defines a thickness (not visible in FIG. 20) measured parallel to the central axis. The hanger 10 includes a first side arm 14 (e.g., extending to the left in the view of FIG. 20) that extends from the head 13 to the first extremity 19. The radius of curvature of the hook 12 (see, e.g., FIG. 16) sweeps out an inside annular surface (again, FIG. 16) that begins on an entrance side of the hook 12. In some cases, the inside annular surface begins on the entrance side of the hook 12 below a straight line between an apex of the inside annular surface and the first extremity (as shown by dashed line 120 in FIG. 20). The side arm 14 has a length LA measured from the central axis to the first extremity 19. In example embodiments, the offset O below the bottom horizontal surface 118, the inside annular surface 104 of the hook 12, and the length LA of the side arm 14 are such that when the first extremity 19 abuts the bottom horizontal surface 118 as shown, the inside annular surface remains hooked on the miniature closet rod 40 (again as shown). Stated slightly differently, the bottom horizontal surface 118 and length LA of the side arm 14 limit the amount of rotation of the hanger 10 about the central axis 100 such that the hanger 10 does not become unhooked from the miniature closet rod 40.

[0087] In addition to or in place of limiting rotation of the hanger 10 about the central axis (e.g., the central axis of the hook, or the longitudinal central axis of the miniature closet rod when coaxial with the central axis of the hook), alternate embodiments may also implement various features to latch the hanger to the miniature closet rod to further reduce or eliminate unintentional unhooking of the hangers. Using the example of travel trailers again, in addition to rotation caused by acceleration and deceleration, travel trailers experience sometimes significant changes in the up and down directions (e.g., going over a railroad track at constant speed). Traditional hangers can become unhooked by excessive oscillation in elevation. Further example embodiments thus may implement a means for latching the hanger 10 to the miniature closet rod 40.

[0088] FIG. 21 shows a side elevation view of a head of a hanger 10 in accordance with at least some embodiments. The example hanger 10 has a means for latching the miniature closet rod 40 (not shown) into the hook 12. In fact, FIG. 21 shows two means for latching: first in the form of a latch arm 122 that rotates about the hinge region (discussed more below); and second in the form of the hook 12 that rotates about the hinge region (also discussed more below). While in some cases both the latch arm 122 and deflectable hook 12 may be implemented, in other cases just the latch arm 122 and a rigid hook 12 may be used, or the latch arm 122 may be omitted in favor of the deflectable hook 12. Focusing initially on the deflectable hook 12, FIG. 21 shows the head 13 defining a hook 12. The entrance channel 29 is defined between the distal end 124 of the hook 12 and a portion of the peak region 126 of the head 13 (peak region 126 also designated in FIG. 16). The hook 12 defines a hinge region 128, and the hook 12 is configured to hinge about the hinge region 128 (as shown by curved arrow 130).

[0089] In example embodiments, the hinge region 128 comprises a first notch 132. The first notch 132 defines a closed bottom, an open top, and channel that runs parallel to the central axis 100 of the hook 12. In the view of FIG. 21, the channel of the first notch 132 runs into the plane of the page, and the channel of the first notch 132 spans the thickness T.sub.H of the head (thickness T.sub.H not specifically delineated in FIG. 21). In example embodiments where the hinge region 128 is created by notches, the hinge region 128 may further comprise a second notch 134. The second notch 134 defines a closed bottom, an open top, and channel that runs parallel to the central axis 100 of the hook 12. In the view of FIG. 21, the channel of the second notch 134 runs into the plane of the page, and the channel of the second notch 134 spans the thickness T.sub.H of the head (not specifically delineated in FIG. 21). Regardless of the how the hinge region 128 is created, in example cases the hook 12 rotates about the hinge region 128 (again as shown by arrow 130).

[0090] The entrance channel 29 defines a span S. The hook 12 has a non-deflected or rest orientation in which the span S of the entrance channel 29 is less than twice the radius of curvature of the hook. Stated differently, in the rest orientation of the hook 12 the span S is slightly smaller than the diameter of the miniature closet rod 40 (not shown). Moreover, the hook 12 has a deflected or displaced rotational orientation in which the span S of the entrance channel 29 is greater than twice the radius of curvature of the hook. Stated differently, in the displaced orientation of the hook 12 the span S is slightly larger than the diameter of the miniature closet rod 40 (not shown). Considering for the moment that the latch arm 122 (or some other feature peak region 126 of the hanger 10 defining the opposite side of the span S of the entrance channel 29) is rigid and thus does not move, the hanger 10 may be placed on the miniature closet rod 40 (not shown) by placing the head 13 in contact with the miniature closet rod, and then providing additional force to deflect the latching mechanism in the form of the hook 12 rotating about the hinge region 128 such that the span S opens enough to enable the miniature closet rod 40 to slide into the region 136 and ultimately hook on the hook 12. As soon as the miniature closet rod 40 clears the entrance channel 29, the latching mechanism in the form of the hook 12 returns to its non-deflected or rest orientation by the spring force associated with the material that makes up the head 13 (and particular the hook 12).

[0091] The specification now turns to an example latching mechanism in the form of the latch arm 122. FIG. 21 shows the latch arm 122 defines a proximal end 138 and a distal end 140. The entrance channel 29 is defined between the distal end 140 of the latch arm 122 and the distal end 124 of the hook 12. The latch arm 122 defines a hinge region 142, and the latch arm 122 is configured to hinge about the hinge region 142 (as shown by arrow 144). In example embodiments, the hinge region 142 comprises a first notch 146. The first notch 146 defines a closed bottom, an open top, and channel that runs parallel to the central axis 100 of the hook 12. In the view of FIG. 21, the channel of the first notch 146 runs into the plane of the page, and the channel of the first notch 146 spans the thickness T.sub.H of the head (thickness T.sub.H not specifically delineated in FIG. 21). In example embodiments where the hinge region 142 is created by notches, the hinge region 142 may further comprise a second notch 148. The second notch 148 defines a closed bottom, an open top, and channel that runs parallel to the central axis 100 of the hook 12. In the view of FIG. 21, the channel of the second notch 148 runs into the plane of the page, and the channel of the second notch 148 spans the thickness T.sub.H of the head (thickness T.sub.H not specifically delineated in FIG. 21). Regardless of the how the hinge region 142 is created, in example cases the latch arm 122 rotates about the hinge region 142 (again as shown by arrow 144).

[0092] As before, the entrance channel 29 defines a span S. The latch arm 122 has a non-deflected or rest orientation in which the span S of the entrance channel 29 is less than twice the radius of curvature of the hook. Stated differently, in the rest orientation of the latch arm 122 the span S is slightly smaller than the diameter of the miniature closet rod 40 (not shown). Moreover, the latch arm 122 has a deflected or displaced rotational orientation in which the span S of the entrance channel 29 is greater than twice the radius of curvature of the hook. Stated differently, in the displaced orientation of the latch arm 122 the span S is slightly larger than the diameter of the miniature closet rod 40 (not shown). Considering for the moment that the hook 12 is rigid and thus does not move, the hanger 10 may be placed on the miniature closet rod 40 (not shown) by placing the head 13 in contact with the miniature closet rod, and then providing additional force to deflect the latching mechanism in the form of the latch arm 122 rotating about the hinge region 142 such that the span S opens enough to enable the miniature closet rod 40 to slide into the region 136 and ultimately hook on the hook 12. As soon as the miniature closet rod 40 clears the entrance channel 29, the latching mechanism in the form of the latch arm 122 returns to its non-deflected or rest orientation by the spring force associated with the material that makes up the head 13.

[0093] As mentioned, it is possible for the latching mechanism to comprise both the latch arm 122 and the hook 12 that hinges about the hinge region 128. In such circumstances, the hanger 10 may be placed on the miniature closet rod 40 (not shown) by placing the head 13 in contact with the miniature closet rod, and then providing additional force to deflect both the hook 12 and the latch arm 122 by rotating about their respective hinge regions such that the span S opens enough to enable the miniature closet rod 40 to slide into the region 136 and ultimately hook on the hook 12. As soon as the miniature closet rod 40 clears the entrance channel 29, both the latch arm 122 and the hook 12 return to their respective non-deflected or rest orientations by the spring force associated with the material that makes up the head 13. Likewise, removal of the hanger 10 from the miniature closet rod is performed by reversing the steps. In particular, the hook 12 is lifted off the miniature closet rod and the miniature closet rod is placed in the region 136 proximate to the entrance channel 29. A force is applied to the hanger 10 tending to deflect both the hook 12 and the latch arm 122 by rotating about their respective hinge regions such that the span S opens enough to enable the miniature closet rod to slide out of the region 136. As soon as the miniature closet rod clears the entrance channel 29, both the latch arm 122 and the hook 12 return to their respective non-deflected or rest orientations by the spring force associated with the material that makes up the head 13.

[0094] One example use of the disclosed embodiments is as an anti-theft device for commercial establishments such as hotels and clothing retailers. Few end users would wish to steal a hanger that could only be used with a miniature closet rod. In a hotel, as an example, the miniature closet rod could be installed as part of a rod system in the closet. In such an embodiment the hook could have a wheel such that it easily rolls along the accompanying rod system. Additionally, decorative and aesthetic accoutrements could be added to the rod system including lighting inside, above, or on the side of the rod. The hanger can be constructed of plastic, metal, wood, resin, composite, or a recyclable material, or just the top portion may be metal, or wrapped in metal or a durable material. The elimination of the protruding hook, and the addition of the stackable system, solves the problems identified in the prior art and offers a neat, contemporary look to clothes hanging.

[0095] In an example embodiment, the stackable feature with concave and convex grooves can be knobs, holes, magnets, or any other method that can be used to assist with stacking the hangers to prevent a tangled mess.

[0096] In an example embodiment, the user removes the existing traditional closet rod in the closet and affixes the miniature closet rod to the underside of the closet shelving that is in place above the traditional closet rod. The miniature closet rod can be of varying sizes although 3/8'' to 1/2'' diameter is sufficient to enable the hanger to connect smoothly, while maximizing the vertical space saved and minimizing the visual of the miniature rod. The user will save approximately 6'' of vertical closet space (approximately 3/4 of a cubic foot per linear foot) by using this system rather than a traditional clothes hanger and closet rod. In addition, the user may elect to affix additional short, wall mount miniature closet rods to hang the clothing parallel, instead of perpendicular, to the wall behind the clothing for additional hanging space. These articles of clothing could lie against the back wall and the miniature closet rods would thereby provide additional hanging, storage, for articles that are used less frequently.

[0097] The same system may be used under laundry room cabinets, in small spaces, under doorways or anywhere that a user desires to hang clothing but does not wish to mount a bulky and unsightly traditional clothes rod, especially if using the metal L bracket to enable even more potential hanging spaces.

[0098] Yet another embodiment for the system is for it to be applied to tie or belt holders in the same fashion it is used in place of the traditional hook on hangers.

[0099] The versatility of this system is that the hangers guide themselves to hang up and are just as easily removed, providing another benefit in speed of hanging up and removing clothes. Yet another benefit is when in use in vehicles, RV's for example, if the hanger sways the arm of the hanger will hit the shelving above it to prevent the hanger from falling off.

[0100] The miniature closet rod may be any color to blend in with its surroundings. In an embodiment, a 3/8'' diameter rod could be mounted to the top of a doorway. If the doorway is white, the rod can be white. The rod would be minimally visible verses a traditional closet rod, yet the user could quickly and easily hang clothing in the doorway. This could be of value in a laundry room or even in a living room or bedroom. Many people enjoy folding their laundry while watching TV in a living room or den. With this embodiment they can hang their clothes without making multiple trips to the bedroom closet. The closet rod can be removable for ease of moving from one room to another.

[0101] The color of the rods and the hangers can be virtually any color, depending on the user's preference.

[0102] The term hanger used herein can refer to any clothes hanger that has a body capable of supporting an article of clothing. As an example, some clothes hangers are in a rectangular, rather than triangular shape, and may have clips to hold pants or other garments. The type of hanger body or material of which it is constructed is not an obstacle to the use of the miniature hook method. Tie and belt holders are another example.

[0103] The hanger shape can be that with an aerodynamic shape, it can be similar to the shape of a boomerang, but not limited to, allowing the hanger to be thrown for flight. The hand grip can assist with the use of the aerodynamic hanger and can be placed anywhere on the hanger to assist with the throwing of the hanger.

[0104] While the disclosed invention has been described in conjunction with the preferred embodiments thereof, many changes, modifications, alterations and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. The invention should therefore not be limited to the particular preferred embodiment disclosed but should include all embodiments that could fall within the scope of the claims.

[0105] Accordingly, the various embodiments shown in the drawings and described in detail above are intended to be illustrative, not limiting, and various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims set forth below.

* * * * *

File A Patent Application

  • Protect your idea -- Don't let someone else file first. Learn more.

  • 3 Easy Steps -- Complete Form, application Review, and File. See our process.

  • Attorney Review -- Have your application reviewed by a Patent Attorney. See what's included.