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Title:
LEASH CLIP
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2006/076769
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A leash clip (1) comprises a body (2) having a hole O therethrough. The body further comprises a lateral opening into the hole. An element (10) is pivotally mounted to the body, with the element being adapted such that, when in a first position, it closes the lateral opening into the hole and also interacts with the body whereby its pivoting with respect to the body is restricted. The element is displaceable to a second position (25) in which it can pivot with respect to the body to open the lateral opening. Alternatively, the element may have its pivoting with respect to the body restricted by a locking member (32) pivotally mounted to the body. In a locking position the locking member interacts with the element (10) in the first position to restrict its pivoting. However, the locking member is pivotable from the locking position to an unlocked position whereby the element is freed to pivot with respect to the body to open the lateral opening.

Inventors:
Chalk, Craig (Red Dingo Australia Pty Ltd, 4/11 Sydenham Rd Brookvale, NSW 2100, AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2006/000059
Publication Date:
July 27, 2006
Filing Date:
January 18, 2006
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
RED DINGO GMBH (Röhrliberg 20, Cham, CH-6340, CH)
Chalk, Craig (Red Dingo Australia Pty Ltd, 4/11 Sydenham Rd Brookvale, NSW 2100, AU)
International Classes:
A01K27/00; F16B45/02
Foreign References:
US4118840A
US3317972A
US0479026A
US1879168A
US1985596A
US5579564A
US6718601B1
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Claims:
Claims
1. A leash clip comprising: a body comprising a hole therethrough, the body further comprising a lateral opening into the hole; an element pivotally mounted to the body, the element being adapted such that, when in a first position, it closes the lateral opening into the hole and also interacts with the body whereby its pivoting with respect to the body is restricted, with the element being displaceable, relative to the body, to a second position in which it can pivot with respect to the body to open the lateral opening.
2. A leash clip comprising: a body comprising a hole therethrough, the body further comprising a lateral opening into the hole; an element pivotally mounted to the body, the element being adapted such that, when in a first position, it closes the lateral opening into the hole and also has its pivoting with respect to the body restricted; and a locking member pivotally mounted to the body, the locking member in a locking position interacting with the element in the first position to restrict its pivoting, the locking member being pivotable from the locking position to an unlocked position whereby the element is freed to pivot with respect to the body to open the lateral opening.
3. A leash clip as claimed in claim 1 or 2 wherein the hole is defined by a loop construction in the body, with the loop construction terminating at a loop free end, and a first end of the element engaging the loop free end in the element first position to close the lateral opening.
4. A leash clip as claimed in claim 3 wherein the loop free end and element first end each have a shape whereby the element is prevented from pivoting past the loop free end and out beyond a perimeter of the body.
5. A leash clip as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the element and body are mutually adapted such that the pivoting action of the element with respect to the body is constrained to a pivoting of the element first end into the hole.
6. A leash clip as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the element is a member having first and second free ends, with the member being pivotally mounted to the body intermediate its ends.
7. A leash clip as claimed in claim 6 wherein the member second end protrudes beyond the body and is adapted for manual actuation.
8. A leash clip as claimed in claim 6 or 7 wherein the member has a generally arcuate shape throughout its length to assist in its pivoting action.
9. A leash clip as claimed in claim 1, or any one of claims 3 to 8 when dependant on claim 1, wherein the element comprises a protrusion that defines a shoulder on the element which, in the element first position, engages a correspondingly shaped mating shoulder defined in the body to restrict pivoting of the element with respect to the body.
10. A leash clip as claimed in claim 9 wherein, when the element is displaced to the second position, the element shoulder disengages from the body mating shoulder to free the element for pivoting.
11. A leash clip as claimed in claim 9 or 10 wherein the element is urged into its first position by a spring that operates between the body and the element, causing the protrusion to be positioned in closefacing engagement with the body mating shoulder.
12. A leash clip as claimed in claim 11 wherein displacement of the element to the second position disengages the element shoulder from the body mating shoulder, whereby to free the element for pivoting a force is required that overcomes the spring force urging the element into its first position.
13. A leash clip as claimed in claim 1, or any one of claims 3 to 12 when dependant on claim 1, wherein the adaptation of the element that enables it to be displaceable to the second position is a slot in which a pivot pin that extends from the body is received wherein, as the element is displaced to the second position, the pin travels in the slot to guide such displacement and also provides support for element pivoting when the element is in the second position.
14. A leash clip as claimed in claim 2, or any one of claims 3 to 8 when dependant on claim 2, wherein the locking member comprises a projection which, in the element first position and in the locking position of the locking member, engages a shoulder of the element to restrict pivoting of the element with respect to the body.
15. A leash clip as claimed in claim 14 wherein, when the locking member is pivoted to the unlocked position, the locking member projection disengages from the element shoulder to free the element for pivoting.
16. A leash clip as claimed in claim 14 or 15 wherein a spring is provided to interact between the locking member and a wall of the body, the spring causing the projection of the locking member to be urged into engagement with the element shoulder in the element first position, whereby pivoting of the locking member to the unlocked position requires a spring force in the spring to be overcome.
17. A leash clip as claimed in claim 16 wherein the spring is a spring arm that extends integrally from the locking member to engage the body wall.
18. A leash clip as claimed in claim 16 or 17 wherein the locking member comprises a protrusion that extends therefrom and beyond a perimeter of the body, the protrusion being adapted for being manually engaged to cause pivoting of the locking member to the unlocked position whilst overcoming the locking member spring force.
19. A leash clip as claimed in claim 2, 15 to 18, or any one of claims 3 to 8 when dependant on claim 2, wherein the element is pivoted back into its first position by a separate spring that operates between the body and the element, whereby the locking member can move back into engagement with the element to restrict its pivoting.
20. A leash clip as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the body comprises first and second body ends, with the first body end being adapted for connection to a leash, and with the second body end comprising the hole therethrough.
21. A leash clip as claimed in any one of the preceding claims that is adapted for the releasable connection of a leash to an animal collar, harness or restraint.
22. A leash clip comprising: a body comprising a hole therethrough, the body further comprising a lateral opening into the hole; an element pivotally mounted to the body such that, in a first position, it closes the lateral opening into the hole and has its pivoting with respect to the body restricted; and a release mechanism operable with respect to the element such that, when the release mechanism is activated, the element is released from its restriction to pivoting to enable it to pivot with respect to the body to open the lateral opening.
23. A leash clip as claimed in claim 22 that is otherwise as defined in any one of claims 1, 3 to 13, 20 or 21.
24. A leash clip as claimed in claim 22 or 23 wherein the release mechanism is defined by the arrangement of the clip that allows for displacement of the element, the arrangement being as defined in any one of claims 1, 10, 12 or 13.
25. A leash clip as claimed in claim 22 that is otherwise as defined in any one of claims 2 to 8, 14 to 19, 20 or 21.
26. A leash clip as claimed in claim 24 or 25 wherein the release mechanism comprises the locking member as defined in any one of claims 2 or 14 to 19.
Description:
LEASH CLIP

Technical Field

A leash clip that can simultaneously self-close and self-lock is disclosed. The leash clip can be employed on the end of a leash for restraining an animal (eg. such as a dog) but is not limited to this application.

Background Art

Domestic pets typically permanently wear a collar or may temporarily wear a harness. When exercising or transporting a pet, a pet owner will temporarily connect a leash via a leash clip to a fixed ring or loop on the collar or harness so that the pet can be restrained via the leash. During or at completion of exercising or transportation the pet may be unleashed (by disconnecting the leash from the collar or harness) to run free.

Leash clips are employed at the end of a leash to effect easy leash connection and disconnection to and from a collar or harness. However, some known leash clips have configurations that can inadvertently release (eg. due to seizure or malfunction of a latching bar (gate) or a spring-biased sliding gate).

For example, some known leash clips used on pet leads employ a sliding gate mechanism or a hinged gate mechanism. A problem with a sliding gate is that it often "sticks", making it difficult to use. Over time, corrosion, dirt, debris or other foreign matter can easily foul the gate, restricting its movement and resulting in inadequate/insufficient closure of a bar or slide and thus inadvertent clip release. For example, the gate can seize in an open position when sliding surfaces entrain debris therebetween (eg. granular debris such as sand and dirt).

A problem with a hinged gate is that the clip can become prematurely disconnected from a ring of the collar / harness. This can occur when the clip becomes entangled with the collar and one side of the ring applies pressure to the outside surface of the gate whilst tension is applied to the lead.

Summary Li a first aspect, a leash clip is provided that comprises:

- a body comprising a hole therethrough, the body further comprising a lateral opening into the hole;

- an element pivotally mounted to the body, the element being adapted such that, when in a first position, it closes the lateral opening into the hole and also interacts with the body whereby its pivoting with respect to the body is restricted, with the element being displaceable, relative to the body, to a second position in which it can pivot with respect to the body to open the lateral opening.

The leash clip of the first aspect thereby has a mechanism whereby inadvertent lateral opening to the hole is avoided. In this regard, pivoting of the element to open the lateral opening first requires displacement of the element to the second position. Embodiments of the leash clip of the first aspect are nevertheless still easy to attach to and disengage from eg. a ring on a pet collar or the like. Also, embodiments of the leash clip of the first aspect can be provided that simultaneously self-close and self-lock. In a second aspect, a leash clip is provided that comprises:

- a body comprising a hole therethrough, the body further comprising a lateral opening into the hole;

- an element pivotally mounted to the body, the element being adapted such that, when in a first position, it closes the lateral opening into the hole and also has its pivoting with respect to the body restricted; and

- a locking member pivotally mounted to the body, the locking member in a locking position interacting with the element in the first position to restrict its pivoting, the locking member being pivotable from the locking position to an unlocked position whereby the element is freed to pivot with respect to the body to open the lateral opening.

Again, the leash clip of the second aspect has a mechanism whereby inadvertent lateral opening is avoided. In this regard, pivoting of the element to open the lateral opening first requires pivoting of the locking member to the unlocked position. Again, embodiments of the leash clip of the second aspect are still easy to attach to and disengage from eg. a ring on a pet collar or the like. Also, embodiments of the leash clip of the second aspect can be provided that simultaneously self-close and self-lock.

In one embodiment of the leash clip of the first and second aspects, the hole is defined by a loop construction in the body. This loop construction can terminate at a loop free end, and a first end of the element can engage the loop free end in the element first position to close the lateral opening. The loop free end and element first end may also each have a shape whereby the element is prevented from pivoting past the loop free end and out beyond a perimeter of the body.

In this regard, and in one embodiment of the leash clip of the first and second aspects, the element and body are mutually adapted such that the pivoting action of the element with respect to the body can be constrained to a pivoting of the element first end into the hole. This constraint may also (or alternatively) be exercised against a part of the element remote from its first end, with that part also interacting directly or indirectly with the body to prevent element pivoting out beyond a perimeter of the body.

In one embodiment of the leash clip of the first and second aspects, the element is a member having first and second free ends, with the member being pivotally mounted to the body intermediate its ends. In this embodiment the member second end can protrude beyond the body. In addition, the member second end may then be adapted for manual actuation. Further, in this embodiment the member may have a generally arcuate shape throughout its length to assist in its pivoting action. hi one embodiment of the leash clip of the first aspect, the element can comprise a protrusion that defines a shoulder on the element which, in the element first position, engages a correspondingly shaped mating shoulder defined in the body. This engagement restricts pivoting of the element with respect to the body. When the element is displaced to the second position the element shoulder disengages from the body mating shoulder to free the element for pivoting.

Li this embodiment of the leash clip of the first aspect, the element can be urged into its first position by a spring that operates between the body and the element, causing the protrusion to be positioned in close-facing engagement with the body mating shoulder. Thus, displacement of the element to the second position to disengage the element shoulder from the body mating shoulder and free the element for pivoting requires a force that can overcome the spring force urging the element

into its first position. This spring can also be adapted and arranged to cause the element to self-close once pivoted and then released.

In one embodiment of the leash clip of the first aspect, the adaptation of the element that enables it to be displaceable to the second position is a slot in which a pivot pin that extends from the body is received wherein, as the element is displaced to the second position, the pin travels in the slot to guide such displacement and yet also provides support for element pivoting when the element is in the second position.

In one embodiment of the leash clip of the second aspect, the locking member can comprise a projection which, in the element first position and in the locking position of the locking member, engages a shoulder of the element to restrict pivoting of the element with respect to the body. When the locking member is pivoted to the unlocked position the locking member projection disengages from the element shoulder to free the element for pivoting. In this embodiment of the leash clip of the second aspect, a spring may be provided to interact between the locking member and a wall of the body, the spring causing the projection of the locking member to be urged into engagement with the element shoulder in the element first position. Thus, pivoting of the locking member to the unlocked position requires a spring force in the spring to be overcome. The spring may be a spring arm that extends integrally from the locking member to engage the body wall. Also, the locking member may comprise a protrusion that extends therefrom and beyond a perimeter of the body, the protrusion being adapted for being manually engaged to cause pivoting of the locking member to the unlocked position, whilst overcoming the locking member spring force. In this embodiment of the leash clip of the second aspect, the element can be pivoted back into its first position by a separate spring that operates between the body and the element, whereby the projection of the locking member can move back into engagement with the element shoulder. Thus, pivoting of the element typically requires a sufficient force to overcome the separate spring force that tends to pivot the element back into its first position.

In one embodiment of the leash clip of the first and second aspects, the body can comprise first and second body ends, with the first body end being adapted for

connection to a leash,, and with the second body end comprising the hole therethrough.

In a third aspect, a leash clip is provided that comprises:

- a body comprising a hole therethrough, the body further comprising a lateral opening into the hole;

- an element pivotally mounted to the body such that, in a first position, it closes the lateral opening into the hole and has its pivoting with respect to the body restricted; and

- a release mechanism operable with respect to the element such that, when the release mechanism is activated, the element is released from its restriction to pivoting to enable it to pivot with respect to the body to open the lateral opening.

The release mechanism of the third aspect may be defined by that arrangement of the clip that allows for displacement of the element, with this arrangement being as defined in the first aspect. Alternatively, the release mechanism can comprise the locking member as defined in the second aspect.

The leash clip of the third aspect may otherwise be as defined in the first and second aspects.

A typical though not exclusive application of the leash clip is in the releasable connection of a leash to an animal collar. In this regard, the hole can receive (via the lateral opening) and retain therein (when the lateral opening is closed by the element) a connector associated with an animal collar, harness or other restraint, such as a D- or O-ring. The collar may be a conventional strap or choker chain etc.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Notwithstanding any other forms which may fall within the scope of the leash clip as defined in the Summary, specific embodiments of the leash clip will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Figure 1 shows a side schematic view of a leash clip according to a first embodiment in a closed (locked) configuration;

Figure 2 shows a side schematic view of the leash clip of Figure 1 in an open (unlocked) configuration;

Figure 3 shows a side sectional view through the leash clip of Figures 1 and 2; and Figure 4 shows a side sectional view through a leash clip of a second embodiment.

Detailed Description of Specific Embodiments

Leash clips will now be described that are fastenable to the end of a leash or lead and are suitable for releasable attachment to a collar or harness for an animal (eg. domestic pet). However, it should be appreciated that the leash clips are not limited to such applications, and can be employed wherever similar releasable clips are required.

Also, the leash clips depicted are stylized to have the form of a dog, and this depiction is merely exemplary and for aesthetic appeal, with the clips capable of having many other possible appearances.

Referring now to Figures 1, 2 and 3 a leash clip embodiment is shown in the form of a self-locking clip assembly 1 comprising a clip body 2. The body 2 includes a first end 3 and a second end 4. The second end 4 is adapted via an integral lug 5 to be mounted to a swivel S of the end ring R of a leash L. A free end 5 A of lug 5 is swaged to fasten it in the swivel S.

In clip assembly 1 the first end 3 of body 2 comprises an arm 6 which defines a loop shape around an opening O extending through the clip, with the arm 6 terminating at a free end 7. In Figures 1 and 2 the free end 7 is defined as a bevel 8 and in Figure 3 the free end 7 is defined as a shoulder 9. Whilst the bevel 8 is easier to form, the shoulder 9 provides a tortuous path to restrict removal of a collar ring etc from the clip assembly when in the locked configuration.

A self-locking mechanism for the clip assembly comprises an arcuate locking bar 10 that is pivotally mounted to the body. The arcuate shape of bar 10 helps promote a pivoting action of the bar. The bar 10 comprises a first free end 11 projecting beyond a perimeter of the body 2, and a second free end 12 for inter- engagement with the free end 7 of arm 6 to close the clip. Disengagement of end 12

from end 7 opens a lateral passage LP into the clip assembly to enable access to opening O. In the locked configuration of Figure 3, it will be seen that the second free end 12 includes a shoulder 13 to cooperate and mate with the shoulder 9 of arm free end 7 and define the tortuous path. The locking bar 10 further includes an intermediate projection 14 which defines a shoulder 15. Further, the locking bar 10 is arranged in a recess 16 of the body 2, with a corresponding mating shoulder 17 being defined in the body 2 and extending into the recess 16. Further, the locking bar 10 is pivotally mounted to the body 2 via a pivot pin 18, the pin supporting the pivoting action of the bar 10 with respect to the body 2.

A biasing coil spring 19 is arranged in recess 16 and extends into a recess 20 of the locking bar 10, with the recess 20 surrounding the pivot pin 18 when the bar 10 is mounted thereto. The spring 19 thus also surrounds the pin 18 in use. The spring 19 has a first end 21 which engages with the body at a corner 22 of recess 16, and a second end 22 which engages a wall 23 in recess 20. The spring thus urges the bar 10 into the position as shown in Figure 3 (ie. self-locked position) and, to free the bar for pivoting, the bias in the spring 19 must first be overcome, as now described.

In this regard, the interaction of the spring first end 21 at corner 22 and the spring second end 22 with recess wall 23 applies a resistive force to bar pivoting, thus urging the bar into a self-closed configuration (ie. where bar free end 12 is urged into abutment with arm free end 7 and bar free end 11 is urged against an inner surface 24 of recess 16). Thus, spring 19 provides for both self-closing and self-locking of the clip. In this regard, in the self-closed, self-locked configuration of Figures 1 and

3, the body shoulder 17 opposes the bar shoulder 15 to generally prevent bar pivoting in the direction of arrow U. To unlock the bar 10 from this self-locked configuration, the shoulder 15 needs to be cleared from the shoulder 17. In this regard, the locking bar 10 is first displaced in the direction of arrow D and against the resistive spring force of spring 19. To enable such displacement, a slot 25 is defined in the locking bar 10 and into which the pivot pin 18 is received in use and slides therein during displacement D so as to guide such displacement.

Once displaced to a position in which the shoulder 15 has been moved beyond the shoulder 17, the bar 10 is now freed for pivoting on pin 18, in the direction of arrow P (Figure 2). This enables the bar free end 12 to pivot away from the arm free end 7 in the direction of arrow U and the bar free end 11 to pivot away from the wall 24 in the direction of arrow P. This in turn opens the lateral passage LP into the clip assembly to enable access to opening O. Then, after eg. a collar ring or the like has been fed into the opening via the lateral passage, the free end 11 of the bar 10 is released (ie. manually), and the spring 19 causes the bar 10 to both displace and pivot back to the position of Figure 3 (self-closure), thereby closing the lateral passage and self-locking the clip assembly 1.

Referring now to Figure 4, where like reference numerals are used to denote similar or like parts, an alternative embodiment of a leash clip in the form of clip assembly 1 ' is shown, the assembly comprising modifications to the locking mechanism depicted in Figure 3. In this embodiment, locking bar 10' is modified to include an alternative shoulder configuration 30. Also, in this embodiment, an additional locking member in the form of a latching member 32 is pivotally mounted at pivot pin 33 to the body 2 within recess 16. The latching member 32 is adapted for engagement and disengagement with the shoulder 30 to selectively latch closed the locking bar 10'. The latching member 32 comprises a shoulder abutting surface 34 defined at a first free end thereof and a protruding finger 35 defined at second opposing free end, with the finger being adapted for manual engagement by a user to cause the latching member to pivot about the pivot pin 33 in the direction of arrow M and thus unlock bar 10' for pivoting. More particularly, abutting surface 34 is disengaged from shoulder 30 to free bar 10' for pivoting in the direction of arrow U.

The latching member 32 is biased into a latching (locking) position via an integral spring arm 36, with this arm interacting with a wall 37 of the body 2 at the recess 16.

To open the clip a user first pivots the finger 35 of latching member 32 in the direction of arrow M, against the resistive spring force in spring arm 36. This disengages abutting surface 34 from shoulder 30 to release the bar 10' for pivoting in the direction of arrow P. After such pivoting of bar 10' the lateral passage is

opened, and after eg. a collar ring or the like has been fed into the opening via the lateral passage, the bar 10' is released at 11, and is return pivoted by spring 19 back to self-closure (closing the lateral passage). The finger 35 of the bar lO'has typically already been released so, once the shoulder 30 moves past the surface 34, the spring arm 36 now causes the latching member 32 to pivot back into a latching (locking) position whereby the abutting surface 34 re-engages shoulder 30. In other words, the clip assembly 1 ' is also self-locking.

In both the embodiments of Figures 1 to 3 and 4, the opening O in the body can receive and retain therein a connector such as a metal D- or O-ring associated with an animal collar or harness. The collar may be in the form of a strap or choker chain.

Whilst a maj ority of components of the leash clips may be formed (eg. machined or cast) of metal, in the embodiment of Figure 4 the latching member 32 may be moulded out of a resilient plastics material. Also, whilst the leash clip has been described with reference to a number of embodiments, it will be appreciated that the clip can be embodied in many other forms. In addition, whilst the leash clip has been described with reference to its application with an animal (eg. dog) leash it will be recognised that the clip has a variety of applications not limited to that described.