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United States Patent Application 20190116949
Kind Code A1
Mulford; David April 25, 2019

UMBRELLA ANTI-INVERSION DEVICE

Abstract

An anti-inversion apparatus for an umbrella may include a removable clasp having at least one movable appendage and at least one matching appendage configured to couple the movable appendage. A housing may be coupled to a top end of the removable clasp with at least one linking member at least partially contained within the housing and at least one ring coupled to an end of the at least one linking member.


Inventors: Mulford; David; (Rahway, NJ)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Mulford; David

Rahway

NJ

US
Family ID: 1000003678475
Appl. No.: 16/167930
Filed: October 23, 2018


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62575730Oct 23, 2017

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A45B 25/22 20130101; A45B 2025/003 20130101
International Class: A45B 25/22 20060101 A45B025/22

Claims



1. An anti-inversion apparatus for an umbrella comprising: a removable clasp comprising: at least one movable appendage and at least one matching appendage configured to couple to the at least one movable appendage; a housing coupled to the removable clasp; at least one linking member at least partially contained within the housing; and at least one ring coupled to a first end of the at least one linking member.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one linking member is retractable into the housing and is coupled to a spring at a second end of the at least one linking member.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one linking member is stretchable.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one linking member comprises a pair of linking members.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein each of the pair of linking members extend through openings in the housing wherein the openings are directed between approximately 135 degrees and approximately 225 degrees with respect to each other.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the housing is coupled to the removable clasp with a fastener.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the housing is circular and includes at least one flat surface.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one linking member further comprises a stopper between the at least one ring and the housing.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one ring is deformable.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one moveable appendage is a strap.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the strap comprises a rubber material.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one matching appendage is a hook.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the hook comprises a plastic material.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the housing contains a through-hole at a center of the housing.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the housing contains a circular cavity, at least one rotatable spool fitted within the circular cavity; and wherein the at least one rotatable spool are coupled to the at least one linking member.

16. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a length of the at least one linking member is adjustable by winding the at least one linking member on at least one length adjuster.

17. An anti-inversion apparatus for an umbrella comprising: a removable clasp comprising: at least one movable appendage and at least one matching appendage configured to couple to the movable appendage; a housing coupled to a top end of the removable clasp, wherein the housing is circular and includes at least one flat surface, and wherein the housing contains a circular cavity and at least one rotatable spool fitted within the circular cavity; and at least a pair of deformable linking members, wherein each of the pair of deformable linking members are partially contained within the housing with at least one ring coupled to an end of the at least one linking member, and wherein each rotatable spool is coupled to each of the at least two linking members.

18. An anti-inversion system comprising: an umbrella; an anti-inversion apparatus coupled to a runner of the umbrella; the anti-inversion apparatus comprising: a removable clasp comprising: at least one movable appendage, at least one matching appendage configured to couple to the movable appendage; and a housing coupled to a top end of the removable clasp, wherein the housing is circular and includes at least one flat surface, wherein the housing contains a circular cavity, at least one rotatable spool fitted within the circular cavity, wherein the at least one rotatable spool is coupled to at least one deformable linking member, and wherein each of the at least one deformable linking member is partially contained within the housing with at least one ring coupled to an end of the at least one deformable linking member.
Description



CLAIM OF PRIORITY

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Application 62/575,730 filed on Oct. 23, 2017, the contents of which are herein fully incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE EMBODIMENTS

[0002] The field of embodiments of the present invention relate to a device for protecting an umbrella and reducing inversions of the umbrella in various wind related conditions.

BACKGROUND OF THE EMBODIMENTS

[0003] Umbrellas are meant to protect people from a wide variety of elements. They can cover people from rain and snow, and shield users from the wind and sun as well. Because they are used in this wide variety of elements they tend to get worn out and break. They tend to be light, since they have to be carried around and are therefore made of materials and parts that tend to be flimsy and break easily. Unfortunately umbrellas don't typically get fixed, as the parts are too specific to one model or another. Clearly a need exists for protecting these devices that are integral to our everyday lives. There have been numerous past attempts at strengthening and reinforcing umbrella's moving parts, but none have been as effective, simple to use, and cost effective as the present invention.

[0004] U.S. Pub. 2014/0283888 pertains to an umbrella anti-inversion apparatus including a removable cuff and a plurality of removable and adjustable straps. The cuff is attached around an umbrella shaft and the straps extend radially from the strap openings on the adjustable cuff to the umbrella tips to which they are connected. There are adjusting means incorporated on to the straps enabling easy modification of length thereby providing varied tension in each strap for effectively preventing undesirable displacement of the rib outer ends.

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 5,794,637 pertains to a whole umbrella having elongated strings having its inner ends connected to a sliding catch and its outer ends connected to the outer ends of said ribs, and suspender means having its lower ends connected to said elongated strings and its upper ends connected to said ribs.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,433,233 pertains to a whole umbrella including a central shaft, a plurality of fabric support ribs extending outwardly from the central shaft, a fabric cover associated with the fabric support ribs, a plurality of rib support elements for supporting the fabric support ribs and a plurality of detachable attachment elements, each operative to detachably attach a rib support element onto a fabric support rib, whereby in response to strong winds or other forces, detachment occurs, thereby preventing breakage of the support ribs.

[0007] However, none of the art described above address all of the issues that the embodiments of the present invention do. A need still exists for providing a user with an easily adjustable and easily usable, lightweight device for protecting an umbrella from inversion. One that is able to adapt to an existing umbrella of any size whether it's a golf, beach, parasol, patio, or everyday umbrella, and automatically function without having to be taken off, removed or adjusted after every use.

SUMMARY OF THE EMBODIMENTS

[0008] Embodiments of the present invention include an anti-inversion apparatus for an umbrella including a removable clasp which includes at least one movable appendage and at least one matching appendage configured to couple the movable appendage, a housing coupled to the removable clasp, at least one linking member at least partially contained within the housing, and at least one ring coupled to a first end of the at least one linking member. The moveable appendage can be a strap and the matching appendage can be a hook. The appendages can be flexible, or be made of rubber or plastic.

[0009] It is another object of the embodiment of the present invention to have the at least one linking member be retractable into the housing and be coupled to a spring, inside the housing, at a second end of the at least one linking member. The housing can also contain a circular cavity, a rotatable spool fitted within the circular cavity with the rotatable spool being coupled to the second end of the linking member.

[0010] It is yet another object of the embodiment of the present invention to have the linking member be stretchable or deformable. The linking member can also be a pair of linking members that extend through openings in the housing with the openings being directed between approximately 135 degrees and approximately 225 degrees with respect to each other. The housing can also be a pair of housings, coupled together using an adhesive or a fastener, and coupled to the removable clasp with a fastener or adhesive.

[0011] It is yet another object of the embodiment of the present invention to have each of the housings be circular and include at least one flat surface. The flat surfaces being the point of contact between the housings. The housing or housings can also contain a through-hole at the center, in order for a fastener to be placed therein.

[0012] It is yet another object of the embodiment of the present invention to have the at least one linking member further include a stopper between the ring and the housing, in order to keep the linking member from sliding completely into the housing. The ring can also be removable and interchangeable with other style rings.

[0013] It is yet another object of the embodiment of the present invention to have the ring or rings be deformable so in order to make it easier to attach the rings

[0014] It is yet another object of the embodiment of the present invention to have the parts mentioned above be part of a system or as part of a kit with an existing umbrella.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] FIG. 1 shows a side perspective view of the present invention with linking members.

[0016] FIG. 2 shows a close up of the interaction between the ring and the umbrella tip (a close up of FIG. 4).

[0017] FIG. 3 shows an exploded view of the mechanism.

[0018] FIG. 4 shows the device attached to an umbrella.

[0019] FIG. 5 shows a string adapter used in addition to the device attached to the umbrella.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0020] The preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the drawings. Identical elements in the various figures are identified with the same reference numerals.

[0021] Reference will now be made in detail to each embodiment of the present invention. Such embodiments are provided by way of explanation of the present invention, which is not intended to be limited thereto. In fact, those of ordinary skill in the art may appreciate upon reading the present specification and viewing the present drawings that various modifications and variations can be made thereto.

[0022] As seen in FIG. 1, an anti-inversion apparatus 10 for an umbrella can include a removable clasp 4 which can be made of at least one movable appendage 14 and at least one matching appendage 15 configured to couple to the movable appendage 14. The movable appendage 14 may include a strap and the matching appendage 15 may include a hook. The movable appendage 14 may interact with the matching appendage 15 at multiple positions (such as through a variety of holes on the movable appendage 14) such that different types of umbrellas can be used with the invention. The appendages can be flexible, and be made of rubber or plastic. The plastics specifically include polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE), high-density polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), high impact polystyrene (HIPS) and polycarbonate (PC), or any combination thereof.

[0023] The removable clasp 4 can be coupled to a housing 1. The housing 1 can be generally round and coupled to the removable clasp 4 with a fastener 5 (see FIG. 3). The housing 1 can contain a circular cavity 35 (as shown in FIG. 3). The cavity 35 can contain a rotatable spool 36 and spring 37. The cavity 35 can also contain other spools and springs. The spool 36 can be coupled to one end of a linking member 2. The inside of the housing 1 and the inner components can be seen in FIG. 3. The housing 1 should also have an opening 16 through which the linking member 2 can be pulled though. The openings 16 should be large enough to allow the linking member 2 to be pulled through easily. The openings should be smooth and not abrasive such that prolonged use of pulling the linking member 2 back and forth does not abrade and lead to tearing of the linking member 2.

[0024] The linking member 2 can be a cord or string with a ring 8 on the end that can be pulled out of the housing 1. The linking member 2 should be made of a strong but flexible material that will not snap during wind gusts but that swill also not etch out over time. The linking member 2 can include a stopper 9 (as shown in FIG. 2) on the outer ends to prevent the members from fully retracting into the housing 1. The stopper 9 can be of various shapes but should be larger than the opening 16. The stopper 9 can be interchangeable and can be used to add style, color, and some individuality to the anti-inversion apparatus 10.

[0025] The ring 8 may be coupled to the outer end of the linking member 2. The ring 8 should be large enough such that it can easily fit over the umbrella ends 11 (as seen in FIG. 4), but also small enough such that the ring 8 holds the umbrella ends 1 when a gust of wind hits the umbrella 12 (shown in FIG. 4). The ring 8 can be removable and interchangeable with other style of rings. The ring 8 can be changed out in order to fit over a specific umbrella end 11. The ring 8 can also be made of a flexible material, possibly rubber or plastic. FIG. 2 shows a close up of the ring 8 coupled with the umbrella end 11.

[0026] As seen in FIG. 1, it is beneficial to have the linking member 2 extend through the opening 16 in the housing 1 with the opening 16. The housing 1 may include a number of the openings 16 and the linking members 2. For example, another linking member may extend through another opening in the housing 1. The openings (16 and another) may be separated by approximately 135 degrees and approximately 225 degrees from each other. "Approximately" defines an angle or other angle(s) formed within several degrees plus or minus of 135 degrees to 225 degrees. This allows the linking members (2 and another) to be attached in various configurations to the ends (11 and another).

[0027] Since there is no umbrella standard about the spacing and density of the umbrella ends 11, the direction of the openings (16 and others), the lips of the openings (16 and others) and the flexibility of the linking members (2 and others) allow the device 10 to be paired with any umbrella. In another embodiment, the outer ends of the linking members (2 and others) can be split into multiple ends with multiple rings, each of the rings attaching to an individual umbrella tip. This configuration would add even more structure to the umbrella during windy conditions, and prevent unnecessary space consumption by the linking member 2 underneath the umbrella 12.

[0028] As further seen in FIG. 4, the anti-inversion apparatus 10 can be placed on a central portion of the umbrella 12 preferably on a shaft portion or directly on a runner 20 on the shaft of the umbrella 12. The benefit of placing the anti-inversion apparatus on the runner 20 is that the anti-inversion apparatus 10 never has to be removed. As the runner 20 moves up and down, the linking member 2 is automatically retracted and pulled out, while the umbrella is opened and closed.

[0029] The anti-inversion apparatus 10 can be attached to any thickness and shape of the runner 20. Attributes of the appendages such as flexibility and stretch-ability allow the anti-inversion apparatus 10 to be mounted and locked to multiple placements associated with the runner 20. The position of the linking member 2 in relation to the umbrella end 11 allows the linking member 2 to pull the end 11 at such an angle that the linking member 2 bends the end 11 slightly inwards and the flapping of the end 11 is not exacerbated during a wind gust. The anti-inversion apparatus 10 bolster or replace a function of pre-installed rods in preventing an inversion of the umbrella 12 because the pre-installed rods are not attached to the end 11 and do not control or hold the end 11 with sufficient stability during forceful events such as a gust or a wind.

[0030] As seen in FIG. 5, the anti-inversion apparatus 10 may be placed on the shaft or the runner 20 on the shaft of the umbrella 12 (similar to as seen in FIG. 4). However, a radius of the umbrella 12 may be shorter (or longer) than the linking member 2 connecting the anti-inversion apparatus 10 to the end 11. In such a scenario, a length adjuster 22 may be utilized to adjust a length of the linking member 2. In an example scenario, an excess portion of the linking member 2 (such as a string) may be wound on the length adjuster 22. As such, a length of the linking member 2 may be adjusted to match the radius of the umbrella 12. The linking member 2 may be connected to the end 11 through the length adjuster 22. As a result, an inversion of the umbrella 12 may be prevented during an application of a variety of forces such as wind and others.

[0031] Finally, the anti-inversion apparatus 10 and all the embodiments mentioned above can be part of a system or kit with an existing umbrella 12. The kit can be supplied such that it can be retrofitted onto any existing umbrella 12 and the system can be supplied such that it can provided as one piece with the umbrella.

[0032] Although this invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is to be understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of illustration and that numerous changes in the details of construction and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention.

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