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Title:
ADJUSTABLE MOUNTING BRACKET
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/043371
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An adjustable mounting bracket for a window blind comprising a fixed body element, a sliding plate and a height adjuster; wherein the sliding plate defines a blind receiving portion configured to receive therein one end of blind; wherein the fixed body portion defines a first part of a slidable coupling; the sliding plate defines a second part of a slidable coupling; the slidable coupling has an engaged configuration in which the sliding plate is slidably coupled to the fixed body portion, and a release configuration in which the sliding plate is detachable from the fixed body portion; wherein the sliding plate includes a first leg comprising a first contact foot at a distal end thereof and a second leg separate to the first leg, the second leg comprising a second contact foot at a distal end thereof, the first foot being spaced from the blind receiving portion by a first distance, the second foot being spaced from the blind receiving portion by a second distance which is different to the first distance; and wherein the height adjuster contacts the first contact foot or the second contact foot of the sliding plate when the slidable coupling is in its engaged configuration.

Inventors:
BARNES, Antony (Louver-Lite Limited, Ashton Road, Hyde Cheshire SK14 4BG, SK14 4BG, GB)
GREENING, Andrew (Louver-Lite Limited, Ashton Road, Hyde Cheshire SK14 4BG, SK14 4BG, GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/052428
Publication Date:
March 07, 2019
Filing Date:
August 29, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LOUVER-LITE LIMITED (Ashton Road, Hyde Cheshire SK14 4BG, SK14 4BG, GB)
International Classes:
E06B9/50
Foreign References:
US20130284383A12013-10-31
US7854419B22010-12-21
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRIDLE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LIMITED (6F Thomas Way, Lakesview Business Park, Canterbury Kent CT3 4JZ, CT3 4JZ, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. An adjustable mounting bracket for a window blind comprising a fixed body element, a sliding plate and a height adjuster; wherein the sliding plate defines a blind receiving portion configured to receive therein one end of blind; wherein the fixed body portion defines a first part of a slidable coupling; the sliding plate defines a second part of a slidable coupling; the slidable coupling has an engaged configuration in which the sliding plate is slidably coupled to the fixed body portion, and a release configuration in which the sliding plate is detachable from the fixed body portion; wherein the sliding plate includes a first leg comprising a first contact foot at a distal end thereof and a second leg separate to the first leg, the second leg comprising a second contact foot at a distal end thereof, the first foot being spaced from the blind receiving portion by a first distance, the second foot being spaced from the blind receiving portion by a second distance which is different to the first distance; and wherein the height adjuster contacts the first contact foot or the second contact foot of the sliding plate when the slidable coupling is in its engaged configuration.

2. An adjustable mounting bracket according to Claim 1, wherein the height adjuster

comprises a captive nut and a threaded rod.

3. An adjustable mounting bracket according to Claim 1 or Claim 2, wherein the first part or the second part of the slidable coupling is a rail member and the other of the first part and the second part of the slidable coupling is an engagement element which engages the rail member.

4. An adjustable mounting bracket according to Claim 3, wherein the engagement element defines a channel which receives therein the rail member.

5. An adjustable mounting bracket according to Claim 1 or Claim 2, wherein the first part or the second part of the slidable coupling is defined by an elongate channel and the other of the first part and the second part of the slidable coupling is an engagement element which is slidably engaged within the elongate channel.

6. An adjustable mounting bracket according to any of Claims 3 to 5, wherein the rail member or the elongate channel terminates at one end thereof in an opening which is larger than the respective engagement element, wherein the engagement element is aligned with the opening in the release configuration.

7. An adjustable mounting bracket according to any of Claims 1 to 6, wherein the bracket includes a pair of opposed slidable couplings, wherein the fixed body portion defines a pair of respective first parts of the slidable couplings and the sliding plate defines a pair of respective second parts of the slidable couplings.

8. An adjustable mounting bracket according to any of Claims 1 to 7, wherein the first contact leg and the second contact leg are disposed on opposite sides of the sliding plate.

9. A window blind including a pair of adjustable mounting brackets according to any of Claims 1 to 8; a roller tube secured at each end to a respective one of the adjustable mounting brackets; and a blind substrate carried by the roller tube.

Description:
Adjustable Mounting Bracket

The present invention relates to adjustable mounting brackets and, in particular to window blind mounting brackets that are adjustable.

Window blinds are typically secured to either a vertical surface (such as a wall) or a horizontal surface (such as a ceiling or window rebate) via a pair of opposed mounting brackets.

In addition to aesthetic considerations, if a window blind, such as a roller blind, is not mounted horizontally, the operations of the blind can be affected. For example, the substrate of a roller blind which is not mounted horizontally may "telescope" as it is retracted, resulting in the sides of the blind substrate effectively being disposed towards one end of the blind as the substrate is wound onto the roller. This can impact on the operation of the blind and may damage the sides of the blind substrate.

It is often difficult to fix the mounting brackets to the respective substrate in such a way that the blind is carried horizontally.

Alternatively, where the blind is mounted on a vertical surface, it may be desired to adjust the spacing between the blind substrate and the window or other architectural opening, for example to minimise light strike at the sides of the blind substrate.

In view of the above, it is desired to provide a mounting bracket suitable for window blinds which is adjustable.

An example of an adjustable mounting bracket for blinds is described in US 7,854,419. However, the adjustable mounting bracket describe in this document has a movable mounting bracket which is permanently fixed to a base bracket via rivets. Thus, once assembled, it is not possible to detach the movable mounting bracket from the base bracket. This in turn limits the available adjustment in the bracket to that which was set during the manufacture of the bracket.

An object of the present invention as claimed is to provide an adjustable mounting bracket for window blinds which addresses or ameliorates the problems associated with the known adjustable brackets. According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided an adjustable mounting bracket for a window blind comprising a fixed body element, a sliding plate and a height adjuster; wherein the sliding plate defines a blind receiving portion configured to receive therein one end of blind; wherein the fixed body portion defines a first part of a slidable coupling; the sliding plate defines a second part of a slidable coupling; the slidable coupling has an engaged configuration in which the sliding plate is slidably coupled to the fixed body portion, and a release configuration in which the sliding plate is detachable from the fixed body portion; wherein the sliding plate includes a first leg comprising a first contact foot at a distal end thereof and a second leg separate to the first leg, the second leg comprising a second contact foot at a distal end thereof, the first foot being spaced from the blind receiving portion by a first distance, the second foot being spaced from the blind receiving portion by a second distance which is different to the first distance; and wherein the height adjuster contacts the first contact foot or the second contact foot of the sliding plate when the slidable coupling is in its engaged configuration.

According to the invention, the fixed body element is secured to a respective substrate, which may be a horizontal substrate or a vertical substrate. Accordingly, the fixed body element suitably includes one or more fixing elements, such a through-holes, channels or apertures through which fixings, such as screws, can pass in order to secure the fixed body element to the substrate.

The sliding plate is slidably coupled to the fixed body element when in engaged configuration, which is the "in use" configuration. The sliding plate is adjusted relative to the fixed body element by the height adjuster which contacts a contact foot of one of the legs of the sliding plate in use. One of the benefits of the invention according to the first aspect of the invention is that the sliding plate may be detached from the fixed body element by arranging the slidable coupling in the release configuration. The ability of detaching the sliding plate from the fixed body element allows for different sliding plates to be used in connection with the fixed body element, wherein the different sliding plates may define different ranges of adjustment for the mounting bracket.

Additionally or alternatively, the sliding plate may be reversed or inverted. For example, the sliding plate may define a first blind receiving portion on one side and a second, different blind receiving portion on the opposite side. Alternatively, the blind receiving portion may be off-centre such that inverting the sliding plate alters the range of adjustment that is available to an installer of the blind In an embodiment of the invention, the first contact leg and the second contact leg are disposed on opposite sides of the sliding plate. In this way, the sliding plate has a first orientation in which the first contact leg is adjacent to the adjuster, and it has a second orientation in which it is inverted or rotated through 180° relative to the first orientation, wherein the second contact leg is adjacent to the adjuster. As the first and second legs define different distances between the respective feet and the blind receiving portion, the adjustment available to an installer can be varied by switching between the first and second orientation or vice versa.

In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the first and second contact legs are provided on the same side of the sliding plate and the bracket includes two height adjusters or two components of the height adjuster (e.g. the fixed body element includes a pair of captive nuts), wherein each height adjuster or component of the height adjusters (e.g. each captive nut) is aligned with a respective one of the contact legs. In this way, the installer can select the desired range of adjustment by selecting the most appropriate height adjuster or component of the height adjuster (e.g. locating a threaded rod in the desired captive nut).

In an embodiment of the invention, the height adjuster comprises a captive nut and a threaded rod. In such an embodiment, rotation of the threaded rod varies the displacement of one end (a contact end) of the rod from the captive nut. As the contact end of the rod contacts a respective one of the contact feet of the sliding plate when the slidable coupling is in the engaged

configuration, the sliding plate is urged towards or away from the captive nut as the threaded rod is rotated. The captive nut is suitably carried by the fixed body element such that the sliding plate is slidably adjustable relative to the fixed body element via rotation of the threaded element. In the context of the invention, the term "captive nut" is intended to mean any body which defines therethrough a threaded bore and which is prevented from rotation relative to the fixed body element.

The slidable coupling may take a number of different forms. In one example, the slidable coupling includes a rail member and an engagement element which engages the rail member. In this way, the engagement element is able to slide relative to the rail or vice versa, depending on whether the fixed body element defines the rail or the engagement member. The engagement element in such an embodiment may define a channel which receives therein the rail. This type of arrangement allows for longitudinal displacement of the engagement element along the rail, but prevents detachment of the engagement element from the rail in the engaged configuration. For example, the channel of the engagement element may be defined by a tab which extends from a body portion and which includes a lug that is arranged substantially parallel to the body portion and overlies a part of the body portion, whereby the lug is spaced from the body portion; the channel is formed by the body portion, the tab and the lug; and the rail is located within the gap defined between the lug and the body portion in the engaged configuration.

In an alternative embodiment, the slidable coupling includes an elongate channel as one part and an engagement element as the other part, wherein the engagement element is slidably engaged within the channel. In such an embodiment, the engagement element may include a head portion, a waist portion and a base portion, wherein the head portion and the base portion have a dimension which is greater than the width of the channel, and the waist portion has a dimension which is less than the width of the channel such that the waist portion is located within the channel, engagement element can slide within the channel, but the engagement element is unable to disengage from the channel.

In order to provide a release configuration, one part of the slidable coupling, such as the rail or the elongate channel, may define an opening at one end thereof, wherein the opening defines an aperture which is larger than the other part of the slidable coupling, such as the engagement element. In such an arrangement, when the engagement element is aligned with the opening, the engagement element may be detached from the rail or the elongate channel.

In embodiments in which the adjuster includes a captive nut or an equivalent arrangement, the opening is suitably at the opposite (i.e. distal) end of the respective part of the slidable coupling relative to the captive nut. In other words it is at the end furthest from the captive nut.

In an embodiment of the invention, the adjustable mounting bracket includes a pair of opposed slidable couplings. In such an embodiment, the opposed slidable couplings are suitably the same and each of the slidable couplings may be as described and defined herein. Thus, the fixed body portion may define a pair of respective first parts of the slidable couplings and the sliding plate may define a pair of respective second parts of the slidable couplings, wherein the first parts of the slidable couplings engage with respective second parts of the slidable couplings in the engaged configuration. According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a window blind including a pair of adjustable mounting brackets according to the first aspect of the invention, a roller tube secured at each end to a respective one of the adjustable mounting brackets and a blind substrate carried by the roller tube.

The window blind may be a roller blind. The term "roller blind" is intended to cover all blind systems based around a rotating tube. These include conventional roller blinds, but also include blinds such as pleated blinds, cellular blinds, Roman blinds and Venetian blinds that may be operated via a rotating tube.

The skilled person will appreciate that the features described and defined in connection with the aspect of the invention and the embodiments thereof may be combined in any combination, regardless of whether the specific combination is expressly mentioned herein. Thus, all such combinations are considered to be made available to the skilled person.

An embodiment of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is an exploded perspective view from the front of an adjustable mounting bracket according to the first aspect of the invention;

Figure 2 is an exploded perspective view from the rear of the mounting bracket shown in Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a perspective view showing the assembled components of Figures 1 and 2; Figure 4a is a front elevational view of the assembled mounting bracket shown in Figures 1 to 3 with the short contact leg in contact with the adjuster; and

Figure 4b is a front elevational view of the assembled mounting bracket shown in Figure 4a with the long contact leg in contact with the adjuster.

For the avoidance of doubt, the skilled person will appreciate that in this specification, the terms "up", "down", "front", "rear", "upper", "lower", "width", etc. refer to the orientation of the components as found in the example when installed for normal use as shown in the Figures. Figures 1 and 2 show exploded views of an adjustable mounting bracket 2. The mounting bracket comprises four components: (1) a fixed body element 4; (2) a sliding plate 6; (3) an adjuster screw 8; and (4) a cover plate 10. The fixed body element 4 is formed from a central body portion 12, a pair of opposed side tabs 14a, 14b, an upper tab 16 and a lower tab 18. The side tabs 14a, 14b and the upper tab 16 all extend substantially perpendicularly from the central body portion 12 and each define a pair of through holes 20a-f via which the fixed body element may be secured to a desired substrate by a pair of fixings, such as screws.

The lower tab 18 also extends substantially perpendicularly from the central body portion 12 and defines therethrough a threaded bore 22 such that the lower tab 18 functions as a captive nut. The threaded bore 22 is configured for threaded engagement with the adjuster screw 8. The central body portion 12 defines a shaped aperture 24. The shaped aperture 24 defines a first portion located adjacent to the lower tab 18 which has a first width; a second portion, disposed immediately above the first portion, which has a second width, wherein the second width is greater than the first width; a third portion, disposed immediately above the second portion, which has a third width, wherein the third width is greater than the second width; and a fourth portion, disposed immediately above the third portion, which has a fourth width, wherein the fourth width is smaller than each of the first, second and third widths. The fourth portion of the shaped aperture 24 extends substantially to the upper tab 16. Each of the portions of the shaped aperture 24 has a respective function, which will be discussed in more detail below. The central body portion 12 further defines four small rectangular apertures 26a-d (best seen in Figure 2).

The cover plate 10 comprises a substantially planar rectangular body 28 which defines four lugs 30a-d which are arranged to snap-fit into respective ones of the small rectangular apertures 26a-d defined by the central body portion 12. The cover plate 10 is substantially the same shape and size as the fixed body element 4, such that when the cover plate 10 is secured to the fixed body element 4 via the interengagement of the lugs 30a-d with the small rectangular apertures 26a-d, the cover plate 10 covers the entire rear surface of the fixed body element 4. The sliding plate 6 comprises a substantially planar body 32 from which extend a pair of engagement elements 34a, 34b; a short contact leg 36 and an opposed long contact leg 38. In Figures 1, 2 and 3, the short contact leg 36 extends upwards from the planar body 32 and the long contact leg 38 extends downwards from the planar body 32.

The planar body 32 defines in a central position a cruciform shaped blind receiving aperture 40. The blind receiving aperture 40 is shaped and configured to receive therein one end of a window blind apparatus (i.e. the control end or the idle end of the blind apparatus), which is not shown in the figures.

Each of the engagement elements 34a, 34b has a proximal portion connected to the planar body 32 and which extends out of the plane of the planar body 32, and a distal portion which is arranged to be parallel to the planar body 32, but spaced therefrom by the proximal portion. In this way, the planar body 32, each of the proximal portion of the engagement elements 34a, 34b, and each of the distal portions of the engagement elements 34a, 34b define a pair of channels on either side of the blinds receiving aperture 40.

The short contact leg 36 includes a leg body and a foot portion formed by the distal end of the leg body. The long contact leg 38 has a similar arrangement, but the leg body portion of the long contact leg 38 is longer than the leg body portion of the short contact leg 36. Accordingly, the foot portion of the long contact leg 38 is spaced further from the planar body 32 than the foot portion of the short contact leg 36.

The adjustable mounting bracket 2 (as shown in Figure 3) is assembled as follows:

The sliding plate 6 is positioned adjacent to the front face of the fixed body element 4 such that the engagement elements 34a, 34b are aligned with the third portion of the shaped aperture 24. This is the portion of the shaped aperture that has the greatest width. The width of the third portion of the aperture 24 (the third width) is such that the distal portions of the engagement elements 34a, 34b are able to pass through the aperture. As the alignment of engagement elements 34a, 34b of the sliding plate 6 with the third portion of the shaped aperture 24 allows the sliding plate 6 to be moved laterally relative to the fixed body element 4, this is referred to as the release configuration. With the engagement elements 34a, 34b extending through the shaped aperture 24 in its third portion, the sliding element is then displaced downwards to be aligned with the second portion of the shaped aperture 24. In this configuration, the width of the second portion of the shaped aperture 24 is slightly greater than the width of the proximal portions of the engagement elements 34a, 34b, but is less than the distal portions of the engagement elements 34a, 34b. Such an arrangement permits the sliding element 6 to slide upwards and downwards within the second portion of the shaped aperture 24, but prevents detachment of the sliding plate 6 from the fixed body element 4, as the distal portions of the engagement elements 34a, 34b are unable to pass through the shaped aperture 24.

When located within the second portion of the shaped aperture 24, the side walls of the central body portion 12 which define the second portion of the shaped aperture 24 act as rails which are located within the respective channels defined by the engagement element portions 34a, 34b and the planar body 32 of the sliding element 6.

The walls of the central body portion 12 which define the transition between the second portion and first portion of the shaped aperture 24 define a stop which limits the available downward displacement of the sliding plate 6 relative to the fixed body element 4. With the engagement elements 34a, 34b located within the second portion of the shaped aperture 24, the short contact leg 36 is located within the fourth portion of the shaped aperture 24, and the long contact leg 38 is located within the first portion of the shaped aperture 24. The width of the first portion (the first width) and the fourth portion (the fourth width) of the shaped aperture 24 are greater than the width of the short contact leg 36 and the long contact leg 38. Accordingly, the short contact leg 36 and the long contact leg 38 are able to be displaced up and down relative to the first and fourth portions of the shaped aperture 24.

The location of the engagement elements 34a, 34b within the second portion of the shaped aperture 24 is known as the engaged configuration, as in this configuration, the sliding plate 6 is able to be displaced upwards and downwards relative to the fixed body element 4, but is prevented from being detached from the fixed body element 4 by the distal portions of the engagement elements 34a, 34b. The action of gravity on the sliding plate urges it to its lowest available position. In this position, the foot portion of the long contact leg 38 is adjacent to the lower tab 18.

The adjuster screw 8 is threadedly engaged with the threaded bore 22 defined by the lower tab 18 and is adjusted until the upwardly facing end of the adjuster screw 8 contacts the foot of the long contact leg 38. The sliding plate 6 may then be displaced upwards or downwards relative to the fixed body element 4 by the rotation of the adjuster screw.

As can be seen from Figure 4b, with the long contact leg 38 in contact with the adjuster screw, the centre of the blind receiving aperture 40 can varied by 10mm. Thus, the centre of the blind receiving aperture 40 can be spaced from the bottom of the mounting bracket 2 by between 48.05mm and 58.05mm.

However, the skilled person will have appreciated that the sliding plate can be inverted (rotated through 180° about a horizontal axis) such that the short contact leg 36 is located within the first portion of the shaped aperture 24 and adjacent to the adjuster screw 8 and the long contact leg 38 is located within the fourth portion of the shaped aperture 24. This arrangement is shown in Figure 4a. In this inverted orientation, the engagement elements 34a, 34b are still located within the second portion of the shaped aperture 24 and the sliding plate 6 may still be detached from the fixed body element 4 by aligning the engagement elements 34a, 34b with the third portion of the shaped aperture 24.

Furthermore, the available adjustment of the vertical location of the sliding plate relative 6 to the fixed body element 4 is still 10mm. However, the centre of the blind receiving aperture 40 can now be spaced from the bottom of the mounting bracket 2 by between 39.25mm and 49.25mm.

Accordingly, by selecting the orientation of the sliding plate 6 relative to the fixed body element 4, the person assembling the bracket has an available range of spacings for the blind receiving aperture 40 from the bottom of the mounting bracket 2 of between 39.25mm and 58.05mm.