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Title:
A COLLAPSIBLE CLOTHES RACK
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2009/005473
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A collapsible clothes rack removably mountable onto a support structure having at least one protrusion from a surface of the support structure, wherein said protrusion is adapted to engage with the collapsible clothes rack, said collapsible clothes rack comprising at least one (first) mounting sleeve that is adapted to be slotted over and accommodate therein the at least one protrusion of the support structure thereby engaging the mounting sleeve with said at least one protrusion; at least one (first) collapsible mechanism with its one end connected to the at least one mounting sleeve such that its other end has a direction of extension and retraction that is from and towards said at least one mounting sleeve, respectively; and at least one elongate member attached to the collapsible mechanism, wherein the elongate member is positioned in an at least substantially transverse orientation with respect to the direction of extension and retraction of the other end of the collapsible mechanism.

Inventors:
TAN, Kwee Lim (74 Jalan Pelatina, Yew Lian Park, Singapore 5, 57732, SG)
Application Number:
SG2007/000192
Publication Date:
January 08, 2009
Filing Date:
June 29, 2007
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TRUSS CLOTHING SYSTEM PTE. LTD. (3 Penjuru Lane, Singapore 4, 60918, SG)
TAN, Kwee Lim (74 Jalan Pelatina, Yew Lian Park, Singapore 5, 57732, SG)
International Classes:
D06F57/12; D06F57/10; F16B2/14; F16B7/00; F16B9/00
Foreign References:
GB1539384A1979-01-31
GB1569044A1980-06-11
EP1186696A22002-03-13
GB2317557A1998-04-01
US4771895A1988-09-20
GB1285972A1972-08-16
FR2075847A11971-10-15
Other References:
DATABASE WPI Derwent Publications Ltd., London, GB; Class F07, AN 1989-005392/01 & JP 63 286187 A (NAKA GIJUTSU KENKYUSHO) 22 November 1988
DATABASE WPI Derwent Publications Ltd., London, GB; Class F07, AN 1987119937/17 & JP 62 064399 A (NAKA GIJUTSU KENKYUSHO) 23 March 1987
DATABASE WPI Derwent Publications Ltd., London, GB; Class F07, AN 2003-003555/01 & JP 2002 210296 A (TAKAI) 30 July 2002
DATABASE WPI Derwent Publications Ltd., London, GB; Class F07, AN 2005-438165/45 & JP 2005 143556 A (OKI SEISAKUSHO KK) 09 June 2005
DATABASE WPI Derwent Publications Ltd., London, GB; Class F07, AN 2004665774/65 & KR 2004 005 317 A (EDO CO LTD) 16 January 2004
DATABASE WPI Derwent Publications Ltd., London, GB; Class F07, AN 1989-215471/30 & JP 01 151491 A (MIYASAKA) 14 June 1989
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GOH, Su Lin Audrey (Viering, Jentschura & Partner LLPP.O. Box 1088,Rochor Post Office,Rochor Road, Singapore 3, 91183, SG)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A collapsible clothes rack removably mountable onto a support structure having at least one protrusion from a surface of the support structure, wherein said protrusion is adapted to engage with the collapsible clothes rack, said collapsible clothes rack comprising: at least one (first) mounting sleeve that is adapted to be slotted over and accommodate therein the at least one protrusion of the support structure thereby engaging the mounting sleeve with said at least one protrusion; at least one (first) collapsible mechanism with its one end connected to the at least one mounting sleeve such that its other end has a direction of extension and retraction that is from and towards said at least one mounting sleeve, respectively; and at least one elongate member attached to the collapsible mechanism, wherein the elongate member is positioned in an at least substantially transverse orientation with respect to the direction of extension and retraction of the other end of the collapsible mechanism.

2. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 1 , further comprising at least one second mounting sleeve adapted to be slotted over and accommodate therein at least one second protrusion from the surface of the support structure, thereby engaging the at least one second mounting sleeve with said at least one second protrusion.

3. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 1 or claim 2, further comprising at least one second collapsible mechanism connected with its one end to the at least one second mounting sleeve such that its other end has a direction of extension and retraction that is from and towards said at least one second mounting sleeve, respectively, and,

wherein the directions of extension and retraction of the at least one (first) collapsible mechanism and that of the at least one second collapsible mechanism are parallel to each other.

4. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 3, wherein the at least one elongate member spans the collapsible mechanisms.

5. The collapsible clothes rack according to any of claims 1 - 4, wherein the mounting sleeve comprises at least one clamping mechanism that further engages with the at least one protrusion of the support structure when the mounting sleeve is slotted over the protrusion.

6. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 5, wherein the at least one clamping mechanism of the mounting sleeve is connected to the mounting sleeve by welding, brazing, adhesive bonding or mechanical joining.

7. The collapsible clothes rack according to any of claims 1 - 6, wherein the one end of the collapsible mechanism comprises at least one bracket that is directly connected to the mounting sleeve.

8. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 7, wherein the at least one bracket is directly connected to the mounting sleeve by welding, brazing, adhesive bonding or mechanical joining.

9. The collapsible clothes rack according to any of claims 1 - 6, wherein the one end of the collapsible mechanism comprises at least one bracket that is connected to the mounting sleeve via a mounting plate.

10. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 9, wherein the mounting sleeve is connected to the mounting plate by welding, brazing, adhesive bonding or mechanical joining.

11. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 9 or claim 10, wherein the mounting plate comprises a first and a second substantially planar face on opposite sides thereof and is connected to the mounting sleeve such that when the mounting sleeve is slotted over and engages with the protrusion of the support structure, the first face of the mounting plate abuts the surface of the support structure proximate to the protrusion.

12. The collapsible clothes rack according to any of claims 9 - 11 , wherein the mounting sleeve is connected to the mounting plate along a line of symmetry of the mounting plate.

13. The collapsible clothes rack according to any of claims 1 - 12, wherein the collapsible mechanism is positioned in an at least substantially perpendicular orientation with respect to the surface of the support structure that comprises the at least one protrusion.

14. The collapsible clothes rack according to any of claims 1 - 13, wherein the collapsible mechanism comprises a lazy tong mechanism, a telescopic mechanism or a slider mechanism.

15. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 14, wherein the lazy tong mechanism comprises a first plurality of vertices and a second plurality of vertices, wherein each of the plurality of vertices points in opposite directions.

16. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 15, wherein each of the first and/or second plurality of vertices of the lazy tong mechanism comprise a clamping mechanism that is adapted to clamp the at least one elongate member therein such that said at least one elongate member is in an at least substantially transverse orientation with respect to the direction of extension and retraction of the lazy tong mechanism.

17. The collapsible clothes rack according to any of claims 1 - 16, further comprising a peg adapted to secure the mounting sleeve to its respective protrusion of the support structure when said mounting sleeve is slotted over the protrusion.

18. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 17, wherein the peg is adapted to be capable of insertion into the mounting sleeve via an opening of the mounting sleeve farther from the surface of the support structure.

19. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 18, wherein the peg, when inserted into the opening of the mounting sleeve farther from the surface of the support structure, is adapted to form a watertight seal around said opening.

20. The collapsible clothes rack according to any of claims 1 - 19, wherein the at least one elongate member is adapted to receive at least one clothes- hanger.

21. The collapsible clothes rack according to any of claim 1 - 20, wherein the at least one mounting sleeve is fabricated from metal.

22. The collapsible clothes rack according to claim 21 , wherein the metal is selected from the group consisting aluminum, stainless steel, magnesium, titanium and alloys thereof.

Description:

A COLLAPSIBLE CLOTHES RACK

DESCRIPTION

[0001 ]The present invention relates to a collapsible clothes rack, and in particular, to a collapsible clothes rack removably mountable onto a support structure having at least one protrusion from a surface of the support structure, wherein said protrusion is adapted to engage with the collapsible clothes rack.

[0002]A laundry cycle is essential to the running of a household. The laundry cycle includes the washing, drying and ironing (where applicable) of various garments, which include articles of clothing. The drying of clothes during the laundry cycle may be automated using commercially available dryers or carried out manually by hanging said clothes out to dry on a clothes rack, and subjecting them to the ambient temperature, if possible.

[0003]An example of such a clothes rack is found in US patent 409,642. In this patent, the clothes rack is collapsible such that it may be folded up and stored or hung on a wall when not in use, thereby freeing up space within a household. When in use, said clothes rack is unfolded and includes a pair of legs that allow it to stand vertically on a floor, for example.

[0004]Another example of a clothes rack is disclosed in US patent 4,828,123. This clothes rack is also collapsible such that when not in use, it may be folded and stored so as not to occupy valuable floor space within a household. As above, when this clothes rack is in use, it is expanded such that it stands on legs and occupies a section of the floor.

[0005]Although the collapsible clothes racks in the aforesaid patents are collapsible, as mentioned, when said clothes racks are in use, they still require an allocation of a physical floor space. In other words a user has to give up a certain amount of floor space in order for the collapsible clothes racks to be set up and used. In areas; such as small apartments, where floor space is limited,

the above collapsible clothes racks unnecessarily occupy space, which otherwise could be used for other purposes.

[0006]The collapsible clothes rack described in US patent 2,916,160 overcomes the aforesaid difficulty of space constraints faced by users of the previously mentioned clothes racks. In more detail, the collapsible clothes rack in this US patent includes a U-shaped vertical support member that permits the clothes rack to be hung on a ledge. Alternatively, a permanent fixture may be achieved with the use of a bracket that is affixed to a wall.

[0007]The collapsible clothes rack of US patent 2,916,160 also includes a lazy tong mechanism ("lazy tong"). The lazy tong is connected to the vertical support member and is extendible and retractable with respect to the vertical support member. The lazy tong support clothes accommodating frames on either side thereof along the length of the lazy tong. The clothes accommodating frames include bars on which clothes to be dried may be hung. The bars are oriented to be parallel to the lazy tong (or perpendicular to the support member) such that they also extend and retract in conjunction with the lazy tong.

[0008]Although the collapsible clothes rack of US patent 2,916,160 overcomes the above-mentioned difficulty pertaining to space constraints, as illustrated in Figure 1 of the US patent 2,916,160, when the clothes rack is extended, due to the orientation of the bars, a user has to reach far out in order to dry any clothes on the farthest bar of the farthest clothes accommodating frame. The implementation of this collapsible clothes rack in high-rise units is not practicable, in particular if installed external to the unit on an outside wall, for example, as it creates and/or raises the risk that a person attempting to dry clothes using such a collapsible clothes rack has to lean too far out and thus, potentially risks falling out of the apartment unit.

[0009]Accordingly, there is still a need for a collapsible clothes rack that is capable of being used external or internal to a high-rise apartment or landed property, that is compact and portable when not in use, of simple construction

and is yet cost effective to manufacture. In this respect, a collapsible clothes rack of the present invention, and as defined in the appended claims, overcomes the aforesaid difficulties.

[0010]The collapsible clothes rack of the present invention is removably mountable onto a support structure. The support structure has at least one protrusion from a surface thereof and the protrusion is adapted to engage with the collapsible clothes rack. The collapsible clothes rack itself includes at least one (or a first) mounting sleeve that is adapted to be slotted over and accommodate therein the at least one protrusion of the support structure. Upon being slotted over the protrusion, the mounting sleeve engages with said at least one protrusion.

[0011]The collapsible clothes rack also includes at least one (first) collapsible mechanism and at least one elongate member attached to the collapsible mechanism. The collapsible mechanism has its one end connected to the at least one (or first) mounting sleeve such that its other end has a direction of extension and retraction that is from and towards said at least one mounting sleeve, respectively. The elongate member attached to the at least one (first) collapsible mechanism is positioned in an at least substantially transverse orientation with respect to the direction of extension and retraction of the other end of the collapsible mechanism.

[0012]The support structure may be any load bearing structure such as a pillar, a wall, a ledge, a window sill or a door, for example. The protrusions from the surface of the support structure may be built-in supports, air-conditioning ducts or even pre-existing supports for regular poles on which clothes may be hung and to dry from, for example.

[0013] In one exemplary embodiment, the collapsible clothes rack is removably mountable onto a support structure that includes two protrusions. The protrusions are spaced apart from each other and are at least substantially horizontally aligned with respect to each. In this exemplary embodiment, the

collapsible clothes rack includes at least two corresponding mounting sleeves (a first mounting sleeve and a second mounting sleeve, for example).

[0014]The two mounting sleeves are adapted to be slotted over and to accommodate therein the corresponding two protrusions of the support structure. When the two mounting sleeves are slotted over their respective corresponding protrusions, said mounting sleeves are engaged with said corresponding protrusions. The engagement between the mounting portions and corresponding protrusions may be via a tight fit, a snap fit or a mechanical locking mechanism, for example.

[0015] In the exemplary embodiment of the collapsible clothes rack having two mounting sleeves, said collapsible clothes rack also includes at least two collapsible mechanisms (a first collapsible mechanism and a second collapsible mechanism). Each of the two collapsible mechanisms has one end which is connected to its respective corresponding mounting sleeve. With one end connected to the mounting sleeve, the other end of the collapsible mechanism has a direction of extension and retraction that is from and towards the corresponding mounting sleeve, respectively. The direction of extension and retraction of the at least two collapsible mechanisms is parallel to each other.

[0016]The collapsible clothes rack of this exemplary embodiment also includes at least one elongate member attached to the two collapsible mechanisms. The elongate member is positioned in an at least substantially transverse orientation with respect to the direction of extension and retraction of the collapsible mechanisms. In other words, the elongate member is at least substantially perpendicular to the direction of extension and retraction of the collapsible mechanisms. In one exemplary embodiment, the at least one elongate member may even span across the two collapsible mechanisms. In the various embodiments of the elongate member, said elongate member may be adapted to receive at least one clothes-hanger.

[0017] In the above embodiment, it should be noted that the collapsible clothes rack may have more that two mounting sleeves. That is, said collapsible clothes rack may have three, four or five mounting sleeves depending upon the operational requirements and the support structure provided. Correspondingly, the collapsible clothes rack is not limited to having only up to two collapsible mechanisms. Rather, it may have three, four or five collapsible mechanisms, for example, depending upon the operational requirements.

[0018] In any of the above-mentioned embodiments, the mounting sleeve may further include at least one clamping mechanism that further engages with the at least one protrusion of the support structure when the mounting sleeve is slotted over the protrusion. The clamping mechanism may also be used as a means of securing the collapsible mechanism to the mounting sleeve, for example. The at least one clamping mechanism of the mounting sleeve may be connected to the mounting sleeve by welding, brazing, adhesive bonding or mechanical joining.

[0019]ln one embodiment of the collapsible mechanism, said collapsible mechanism may include at least one bracket that is directly connected to the mounting sleeve. Where the at least one bracket is directly connected to the mounting sleeve, said direct connection may be carried out by welding, brazing, adhesive bonding or mechanical joining. Alternatively, the bracket may be connected to the mounting sleeve via the clamping mechanism of the mounting sleeve described earlier.

[002O]In an alternative embodiment of the collapsible mechanism, the one end of the collapsible mechanism may include at least one bracket that is connected to the mounting sleeve via a mounting plate. The mounting plate serves to provide additional contact between the collapsible clothes rack and the support structure, thereby improving stability therebetween.

[0021]The mounting plate, as used in the alternative embodiment, may include a first and a second substantially planar face on opposite sides thereof. As

mentioned, said mounting plate may be connected to the mounting sleeve such that when the mounting sleeve is slotted over and engages with the protrusion of the support structure, the first face of the mounting plate abuts the surface of the support structure proximate to the protrusion. In one particular embodiment, the mounting sleeve may be connected to the mounting plate along a line of symmetry of the mounting plate and the mounting plate may be connected to the mounting sleeve by welding, brazing, adhesive bonding or mechanical joining, for example.

[0022] It is also to be noted that in any of the above-mentioned embodiments, the collapsible mechanism is generally positioned in an at least substantially perpendicular orientation with respect to the surface of the support structure that includes the at least one protrusion. This applies regardless of whether the collapsible mechanism is connected directly to the mounting sleeve or indirectly to the mounting sleeve via a mounting plate as described above.

[0023] In another embodiment, the collapsible mechanism may include a lazy tong mechanism, a telescopic mechanism or a slider mechanism. Where the collapsible mechanism is a lazy tong, the lazy tong mechanism typically includes a first plurality of vertices and a second plurality of vertices, wherein each of the plurality of vertices points in opposite directions. Each of the first and/or second plurality of vertices of the lazy tong mechanism may include a clamping mechanism. The clamping mechanism is adapted to clamp the at least one elongate member therein such that said at least one elongate member is in an at least substantially transverse orientation with respect to the direction of extension and retraction of the lazy tong mechanism.

[0024] In an alternative embodiment, as mentioned above, the collapsible mechanism may be a slider mechanism. The slider mechanism may be an arrangement of two or more bars which are oriented parallel to each other (and an at least substantially perpendicular orientation with respect to the surface of the support structure that includes the at least one protrusion). Essentially, the slider mechanism has one bar connected to the mounting sleeve and its

subsequent bar(s) connected to the first bar in a manner that is similar to that as used in a drawer.

[0025] In more detail, the first parallel bar functions as a guide rail for the second parallel bar that is connected thereto. The second parallel bar may be frictionally retained by and slidable along the first bar. Alternatively, as mentioned above, the first bar may include rollers or bearings upon which the second bar may be slidable. As in the lazy tong embodiment, at least one elongate member is arranged substantially perpendicular to the bars of the slider mechanism, and is used for hanging the clothes to be dried.

[0026] In yet another alternative embodiment of the invention, the collapsible mechanism may be a telescopic mechanism. This exemplary embodiment is similar to the slider mechanism in that it includes an arrangement of two or more bars which are oriented parallel to each other (and an at least substantially perpendicular orientation with respect to the surface of the support structure that includes the at least one protrusion). However unlike the slider mechanism where the second bar slides along the first bar, the second bar of the telescopic mechanism is extendible from within the first bar. This allows for the longitudinal extension or retraction of the mechanism. Accordingly, in order for the telescopic mechanism to be implemented, the first bar of the telescopic mechanism is hollow to accommodate therein the second bar. The same applies to the second bar, if there is a third bar or other subsequent bars present in the telescopic mechanism.

[0027] In another embodiment of the collapsible clothes rack, said collapsible clothes rack further includes a peg. The peg is adapted to secure the mounting sleeve to its respective protrusion of the support structure when said mounting sleeve is slotted over the protrusion. Typically, the peg is adapted to be capable of insertion into the mounting sleeve via an opening of the mounting sleeve farther from the surface of the support structure.

[0028]ln one embodiment of the peg, said peg, when inserted into the opening of the mounting sleeve farther from the surface of the support structure, is adapted to form a watertight seal around said opening. This feature is especially useful in tropical climates where the accumulation of stagnant water as a result of rainfall may give rise to the breeding of mosquitoes, which in turn spread tropical diseases such as dengue hemorrhagic fever, for example.

[0029] It is to be noted that the at least one mounting sleeve, the at least one collapsible mechanism and the at least one elongate member may be fabricated from metal. The metal may be selected from the group consisting of, but not limited to, aluminum, stainless steel, magnesium, titanium and alloys thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[003O]In order to aid in the further understanding of the present invention, the following exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, is described in greater detail below, in which:

[0031]Figure 1 shows a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a collapsible clothes rack according to the present invention as mounted onto a support structure;

[0032] Figure 2A shows perspective view of a pair of mounting sleeves engaged with a support structure;

[0033]Figure 2B shows a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a collapsible mechanism;

[0034]Figure 3A shows a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a bracket of a collapsible mechanism;

[0035]Figure 3B shows a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a "lazy tong" collapsible mechanism;

[0036] Figure 4 shows an embodiment where the collapsible mechanism is a slider mechanism; and

[0037] Figure 5 shows an embodiment where the collapsible mechanism is a telescopic mechanism.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0038] Figure 1 shows a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a collapsible clothes rack 3 according to the present invention as mounted onto a support structure 1. As mentioned above, the support structure 1 may be a wall, a door or ledge that includes at least one protrusion. In this exemplary embodiment, the support structure 1 includes two protrusions (which are not visible). The two protrusions are in horizontal alignment with each other when referenced from the support structure 1.

[0039] In this exemplary embodiment, the collapsible clothes rack 3 includes two mounting sleeves 2. The mounting sleeves 2 are slotted over the protrusions and thereby are engaged with the protrusions. As the protrusions are in horizontal alignment with each other, it follows that the mounting sleeves slotted thereon are also in horizontal alignment with each other. The collapsible clothes rack 3 also includes two collapsible mechanisms 4. The two collapsible mechanisms 4, in the present embodiment, are lazy tong mechanisms ("lazy tongs"). Each lazy tong 4 is connected to a respective mounting sleeve 2 via a bracket 8.

[0040]The lazy tongs 4 are a common collapsible mechanism. The working principle behind the lazy tong is described, for example, in US patent 6,928,683 ("Hanson"), which is incorporated herein by reference. With reference to Figure 2 of Hanson, and its corresponding description, it is noted that lazy tong mechanisms typically include two sets of vertices, each set pointing in opposite directions (i.e. one pointing upwards and another pointing downwards). In the lazy tong of the present exemplary embodiment, the vertices that are pointed upward include a clamping mechanism 48, which will be further described later

on. The clamping mechanism 48 of the lazy tong 4 is adapted such that they clamp therein portions of an elongate member 6. Clothes to be dried are hung onto the elongate member 6.

5 [0041]The elongate member 6 of the exemplary embodiment is clamped at two points 80 and 82 along its length. The two points 80 and 82 are corresponding vertices on the two respective lazy tong mechanisms 4. As such, when the elongate member 6 is clamped by the clamping mechanisms 48 at points 80 and 82, at least a portion of the elongate member spans, horizontally, between 10 the two lazy tongs 4 that are connected to the mounting sleeve 4 via the bracket 8.

[0042]Figure 2A shows perspective view of the pair of mounting sleeves 2 engaged with a support structure 1. The mounting sleeves 2 are shown to be

15 slotted over the protrusions 11 of the support structure 1. The mounting sleeve 2 includes a clamping mechanism 10 that is used to further secure the mounting sleeve 2 to the protrusion 11. In addition, the clamping mechanism 10 may also be utilized at a mechanical means of mounting the bracket 8 of the lazy tong 4 to the mounting sleeve 2.

20

[0043]As an additional safety measure, the collapsible clothes rack may also include a peg 12 that is adapted to further secure the mounting sleeve 2 to the protrusion 11. The peg 12 includes a slot 26 and a mechanical turn-screw 27. When the peg is inserted such that its slot 26 is filled with a body, the turn-screw

25 27 is then rotated such that it contacts the body in the slot 26 of the peg 12 thereby clamping the peg 12 to the body in the slot 26.

[0044]The further securing of the mounting sleeve 2 to the protrusion 11 may be achieved by a variety of methods. One method, as shown in Figure 2A, is 30 where the peg 12 is slotted over the protrusion 11 and its turn-screw 27 is rotated to mechanically fasten the peg 12 to the protrusion 11. The peg 12 is of sufficient thickness such that the mounting sleeve 2 that is slotted over the protrusion 11 is no longer slidable over the protrusion 11.

[0045]An alternative manner of further securing the mounting sleeve 2 to the protrusion 11 using the peg 12, which is not illustrated here, is by fabricating the peg 12 such that its slot 26 is wide enough to accommodate therein both the protrusion 11 and the mounting sleeve 2, followed by a rotation of the turn- screw 27, which secures the mounting sleeve 2 to the protrusion 11

[0046]Figure 2B shows a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a collapsible mechanism 4. In this exemplary embodiment, the collapsible mechanism 4 is a lazy tong mechanism 4. The lazy tong includes one end (a first end) 42 and another end (a second end) 43. The one end 42 of the lazy tong is secured to the mounting sleeve 2 via a bracket 8. The mounting of the bracket 8 onto the lazy tong 4 and the mounting sleeve 2 is described later below.

[0047]The lazy tong 4 includes two pluralities of vertices 44 and 46. When the lazy tong 4 is mounted onto the mounting sleeve 2, the first plurality 44 points downwards and the second plurality 46 points upwards in a completely opposite direction. The second plurality of vertices each includes the clamping mechanism 48 as mentioned earlier. This clamping mechanism 48 is adapted to clamp a particular portion of the elongate member as described above.

[0048] Figure 3A shows a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a bracket 8 of the collapsible mechanism 4. The bracket 8 includes a slot 84 that permits said bracket 8 to be mechanically mounted onto the bolt 99 of the clamping mechanism 10 of the mounting sleeve 2. The bracket 8 also includes a collapsible mechanism mounting portion 88 that permits the collapsible mechanism 4, such as a lazy tong, for example, to be connected with the bracket 8. In order to secure the collapsible mechanism 4 to the bracket 8, a securing means 82, which includes bearings, pins and bolts, is used. The one end (first end) 42 of the collapsible mechanism 4 is secured to the collapsible mechanism mounting portion 88 using said securing means 82.

[0049] In this exemplary embodiment of the bracket 8, said bracket also includes an optional mounting plate 89. The mounting plate 89 may be used to further secure the bracket to the support structure 1, thereby distributing the load between the mounting sleeve 2 engaged with the protrusion 11 and the support structure 1.

[0050] Figure 3B shows a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a "lazy tong" collapsible mechanism. The last tong includes one end (a first end) 42 and a second end (other end) 43. The lazy tong 4 includes a plurality of crisscross members, each member being joined at its ends and mid-section to another crisscross member such that they are rotatable about said joints. As mentioned, further details on the general construction of the lazy tong mechanism are available in the US patent 6,928,683.

[0051] In the lazy tong 4 used in the collapsible clothes rack of the present invention, said lazy tong 4 includes two pluralities of vertices 44 and 46 that result from the crisscrossed construction briefly described above. The vertices point in opposite directions and the plurality of vertices 46 include a clamping mechanism 48 at each vertex. The clamping mechanism 48 of the lazy tong 4 is adapted to clamp and engage particular portions of the elongate member 6.

Figure 4 shows a further example of an embodiment of the collapsible clothes rack of the present invention. In this example, the collapsing mechanism is a slider mechanism 49. Each slider mechanism 49 includes at least two bars 74 and 76 in an arrangement such that said bars are oriented parallel to each other (and an at least substantially perpendicular orientation with respect to the surface of the support structure 1 that includes the at least one protrusion 11). Essentially, each slider mechanism 49 has one bar 74 connected to the mounting sleeve 2 via a mounting plate 72, and its subsequent bar(s) 76 is connected to the first bar 74 along guide rail 78 in a manner that is similar to that as used in a drawer. The first parallel bar 74 includes a guide rail 78 that functions as a guide for the second parallel bar 76 during extension and retraction. The second parallel bar 76 may be frictionally retained by and

slidable along the first bar. Alternatively, as mentioned above, the first bar may include rollers or bearings upon which the second bar may be slidable.

[0052]The second bar 76 includes notches 48 that may function as a clamping mechanism (tight fit) for any elongate members 6 (not shown). As in the previous embodiment, the elongate members 6, when attached, span across the two slider mechanisms 49 in a substantially perpendicular orientation with respect to the direction of extension and retraction of the slider mechanism 49.

[0053] Figure 5 shows a further example of an embodiment of the present invention where the collapsible mechanism is a telescopic mechanism 50. In this exemplary embodiment, an arrangement of two or more bars 52, 54 and 56, which are oriented parallel to each other (and an at least substantially perpendicular orientation with respect to the surface of the support structure 1 that includes the at least one protrusion 11). Unlike the slider mechanism 49 of Figure 4, where the second bar 76 slides along the first bar 74, the second bar 54 of the telescopic mechanism 50 is extendible from within the first bar 52. This allows for the longitudinal extension or retraction of the telescopic mechanism 50. In order for the telescopic mechanism 50 to be implemented, the first bar 52 of the telescopic mechanism 50 is hollow to accommodate therein the second bar 54. The same applies to the second bar 54, if there is a third bar 56 or other subsequent bars present in the telescopic mechanism 50. In this particular illustration, the telescopic mechanism 50 is connected to the mounting sleeve 2 via a mounting plate 72. Although this illustration only shows one telescopic mechanism 50, it is to be understood that more than one may be used in conjunction with each other as operational requirements dictate.