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Patent Searching and Data

Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/162782
Kind Code:
The present invention relates to the furniture field, in particular outdoor furniture; even more particularly, it relates to a kit configuration of a sofa, armchair, chair or similar item of garden furniture (although obviously it is not possible to exclude different uses also in interiors) and the relative mounting method.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 04, 2019
Export Citation:
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International Classes:
A47C13/00; A47C4/02; A47C5/04; A47C5/10; A47C7/42; A47C7/54
Foreign References:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SOLDATINI, Andrea (Società Italiana Brevetti S.p.A, Stradone San Fermo 21 sc.B, Verona VR, 37121, IT)
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1 . A kit for obtaining a module of a sofa-like, chair or armchair furniture article, comprising at least one base (1 ) with a seat (1 1 ) extending over a geometric seating plane (XY), and at least one backrest or armrest component comprising a body (21 ) defining an inner side adapted to face a user sitting on said seat, said base and said component being adapted to be mutually connected through mutual connection means arranged on at least a peripheral segment of said seat (1 1 ) and on a corresponding lower side of said body (21 ), the kit being characterized in that said connection means comprise: a bar (13) having a generally oval crosswise section, arranged along said peripheral segment of said seat, and exposed at an upper side, a lower side and an outer side, said section having a major axis (Z’) orthogonal or close to orthogonal with respect to said seating plane (XY); and a claw arrangement comprising: - a tubular member (22) arranged along said lower side of said body, having a C-shaped crosswise section, forming a bore (23) opened through a slit (24) at an inner side, said crosswise section being generally oval to substantially match the section of said bar at least over said upper, outer and lower sides, - and a wing (26) projecting inwards from a lower side of said tubular member (22); said tubular member (22) being configured in an elastically deformable fashion; whereby said at least one component is adapted to be mounted on said base by first setting said inner side close to said seat (1 1 ) and housing said bar (13) inside the bore (23) of said tubular member (22) through said slit (24), and then by rotating the component to a mounting position in which a tight coupling between the bore and the bar is obtained, causing the two respective oval sections to match, and said wing (26) abuts against a lower face of said seat (1 1 ).

2. The kit according to claim 1 , wherein the oval section of said bar (13) and of said bore (23) has a minor axis (X’, X”) and a major axis (Z’, Z”) having a length ratio comprised between about 1/3 and about 2/3.

3. The kit according to claim 2, wherein said ratio is about 1/2.

4. The kit according to any of the previous claims, wherein said slit (24) of said member (22) extends along said major axis (Z”) between a lower edge (22a) and an upper edge (22b) lying respectively over a first radial plane (A) originating from a central axis (O) of the bore, downwards inclined by an acute angle (a) comprised between about 10° and about 30° with respect to an elevation plane (Y”Z”) defined by said central axis (O) and by the major axis (Z”), and over a second radial plane (B) originating from said central axis (O) and inclined upwards by an acute angle (b) comprised between about 20° and about 40° with respect to the same elevation plane (Y”Z”).

5. The kit according to any of the previous claims, wherein said tubular member comprises a lower portion (22c) from which said wing (26) projects, having a development that departs from the oval curvature by taking a substantially tangential development, and an upper portion (22b) having a greater extension than the lower portion and following the oval curvature of the section towards the inner side, thus taking on the physical configuration of a beam fixed to a base end of said body.

6. The kit according to claim 5, wherein said lower portion (22c) has a protrusion (25) that points towards the interior of said bore (23) and is adapted to clamp said bar

(13) on the outside.

7. The kit according to any of the previous claims, wherein said minor axis (X’) of the section of said bar (13) is staggered upwards with respect to said seating plane (XY), whereby the oval of the bar develops to a greater extent above said seating plane. 8. The kit according to any of the previous claims, wherein said seat (1 1 ) has a mesh structure, said wing (26) having a mesh structure that match those of the seat (1 1 ), whereby in said mounting position the wing remains hidden behind the seat.

9. The kit according to any of the previous claims, wherein said wing (26) has a shaping (27) fitting with a corresponding part of said seat (1 1) in said mounting position. 10. The kit according to any of the previous claims, wherein said bar (13) and said tubular member (22) comprise one or more ridges/recesses adapted to be mutually coupled to prevent displacements between said bar (13) and said tubular member (22) in a common longitudinal direction.

1 1. The kit according to any of the previous claims, comprising fastening means adapted to lock said wing (26) to said seat (1 1 ) in said mounting position.

12. The kit according to any of the previous claims, wherein said seat (1 1 ) has a polygonal periphery, said bar (13) or bars (13) being provided along a side, more than one side or all the sides of said polygonal periphery.

13. The kit according to claim 12, wherein said seat (1 1) has a quadrilateral periphery, said bar (13) or bars (13) being provided along a back side and/or at least one hip side of said quadrilateral periphery.

14. The kit according to any of the previous claims, wherein said module comprises one backrest component and at least one armrest component.

15. The kit according to any of the previous claims, comprising two or more of said modules, and clip means adapted to mutually connect two or more bases (1 ) in series by acting on the relative bars (13) when set close to each other.

16. A method for obtaining a furniture article according to any of the previous claims, wherein at least one component is mounted on said base, the mounting of each component comprising the steps of: setting the body (21 ) of the component in a substantially parallel fashion to said seat (1 1 ) above it, causing said slit (24) of the tubular member (22) to become in correspondence and aligned with said bar (13); displacing said body towards the seat (1 1 ) causing said bar (13) to become partially housed inside said bore (23) through said slit (24); rotating the component around said bar (13), causing said body (21 ) to lift up until said tubular member (23) snaps in a position of tight fit coupling and mutual match between the oval sections of said bore (23) and said bar (13), and said wing (26) to abut against a lower face of said seat (1 1 ).

17. The method according to claim 16, wherein said wing (26) is finally locked to said seat (1 1 ) with said securing means.

18. A sofa-like, chair or armchair furniture article obtained with the method according to claims 16 or 17 and/or with the kit of the claims from 1 to 15.



Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to the furniture field, in particular outdoor furniture; namely, it refers to a kit arrangement of a sofa, an armchair, a chair or a similar outdoor furniture article (being it clear that an indoor use of such an article is not excluded), and to a method for mounting the article.

Background of the invention

in the above-mentioned field, there is a constant need to always identify new technical solutions that allow to offer significant advantages both from the manufacturer's side (simplification of production methods, reduction and/or better functional management of the warehouse etc.) and from the user's side (greater and easier possibilities for customization, transport convenience, ease of assembly, improved or novel aesthetic results, etc.). Clearly, the two sides are closely related to each other and are reflected in each other, given that, for example, offering better prerogatives in terms of customization determines an advantage for both the user and the producer (generating an incentive to the purchase); or that the improvement of the warehouse management materializes productive economies that affect the sale price, and therefore determine savings for the customer/user; or, moreover, that from a mounting method that the consumer finds particularly simple, there results more efficient management of warehouse spaces, a rationalization of stocks, and economies in transport.

The search for such solutions has to generally take into account the style trends, which require to seek results in which the connection elements that are necessary to a stable and safe assembly of the product, are made as much hidden as possible, in order to achieve aesthetic results which are particularly pleasant in their cleanliness and linearity. Furthermore, it has to be considered the importance of attaining a satisfactory (and possibly high) seating comfort for the user, as well as a relatively basic mounting (and maintenance) operations, that can be performed with common tools by sales personnel lacking particular skills or a high degree of specialization in the field of furniture mounting, but even by the end user himself.

in this context, the outdoor furniture field has featured, in particular, some proposals according to which a piece of furniture such as a chair or a sofa is supplied in separate parts (seat and backrest), provided with quick connection systems (basicaily snap couplings or the like), to permit a relatively quick assembly of the article even by the user himself. However, to the best of the applicant’s knowledge, none of these solutions proved itself capable of ensuring simplicity of assembly, stability and security of the connection, a full reversibility of the latter, and completely satisfactory results in terms of aesthetics.

Summary of the invention

The object of the present invention is indeed to provide a solution capable of effectively complying with ail these requirements just mentioned, without excluding the achievement of other and important accessory results.

The surprisingly effective solution proposed herein concerns a kit of sofa, chair or armchair or similar article of furniture and a related mounting method which according to the invention have the essential characteristics of the attached independent claims. Further advantageous features are defined by the dependent claims.

Brief description of the drawings

The characteristics and the advantages of the sofa, chair armchair or similar article of furniture in kit and relative mounting method according to the invention will become apparent from the following description of an embodiment thereof, given as a non-limiting example, with reference to the attached drawings in which:

- figure 1 is an axonometric view of a chair or sofa module kit according to the invention in a configuration that precedes mounting;

- figure 2 and figure 3 are axonometric views of the armchair or sofa module of figure 1 , respectively in an ongoing mounting configuration and in a mounted configuration (also provided with an armrest);

- figures 4a to 4d are sectional, schematic and partial views of the module of the previous figures, taken according to a plane orthogonal both to the seating plane and to the backrest when in the upright position, the views showing respective subsequent steps of the mounting procedure according to the invention.

Detailed description of the invention

With reference to the above figures, a kit of a module of furniture article according to the invention provides a base 1 , comprising a seat 1 1 supported by a frame 12 adapted to rest on the ground and to rise from it (four traditional legs as in the example or other equivalent structural solutions of a known type such as a tripod, a central upright, etc.). The shape (in particular of the perimeter) and in general the configuration of the seat 1 1 may differ according to the most varied configurations, even if, normally, mesh configurations such as the one here shown are to be considered as advantageous. In any case, the seat extends over a geometric seating plane XY (X direction of depth, Y direction of width) and furthermore provides, according to the invention, at least along a segment of its perimeter, a bar 13 with a substantially elliptical or generally oval crosswise section. The bar 13 is exposed at least on three sides (upper, outer, lower) and a major axis Z' of its section is arranged orthogonally (as in the example) to the XY plane, or in any case closely to the orthogonal direction (angularly displaced by no more than about 20°), the latter being defined by means of a height reference axis or direction Z; in the present case (see in particular figure 4a among those in which the bar is seen in section), Z 'is in fact parallel to the direction Z, but this does not apply in general.

Besides to the major axis Z', a minor axis X' can be distinguished, the length of which preferably has a ratio between about 1/3 and about 2/3 with respect to the major axis, even more preferably measuring abouf half of the greater axis. This minor axis X', orthogonal to the major axis, is staggered upwards with respect to the geometric seating plane XY (considering the width of the seat, such geometric plane will be the median plane of the seat in the sense of the width), whereby the oval of the bar has a development that is somewhat greater above the seat itself.

According to a typical (but not limitative) solution, the seat 1 1 is quadrilateral (in particular, rectangular) and at least one of the sides, intended to be the back side, is equipped with the above-mentioned bar, which - as discussed hereafter - is intended for securing a backrest 2 to the seat.

Such typical solution is shown in the armchair of the example here depicted, which however, according to a specific and particularly interesting embodiment, presents, in addition to a bar 13 along the back side, other alike bars 13 on the two hip sides, for connection of respective armrests 3 to be secured therefore to the seat 1 1 with the same system as the backrest and which will be described in detail hereafter. The bar can clearly be provided even on all sides (again, as shown in the present embodiment), allowing a modular choice on which sides to be mount a backrest and armrests, and which ones to leave free.

Referring to the backrest component 2, but analogous considerations apply to the armrest component or components, it has a backrest body 21 of a generally flat development and a configuration, here again, substantially of any nature, determined by the aesthetic and functional design choices and extraneous to the aspects that are relevant to the present invention. Along a lower side adapted to correspond with the bar 13, the backrest body 21 has a claw appendix arrangement, comprising a tubular member 22 which extends with its longitudinal axis Y" according to a width direction, and comprising an inner surface that defines a bore 23 which, in crosswise section, has a profile which matches the external profile of the bar at least along the upper side, lower and outward side of the bar, being thus adapted to realize a tight-fit coupling with the same bar.

Thus, the section of the bore 23, as indicated only in figure 4a for the sake of illustrative clarity, presents a major axis Z" and a minor axis X" which mutually cross at a center O on the longitudinal axis Y", preferably staggered with respect to the median geometric plane of the body 21 (i.e. the plane which is median with respect to the body thickness or depth direction), towards a front face 21 a, which is the face adapted to support the back of a sitting user and therefore to overlook the volume above the seat 1 1 .

The bore 23 of the member/claw 22 is then open at an inner side through a wide slit 24, running along the longitudinal axis Y", that is according to the direction of fhe axis of the tubular member which is adapted to correspond to the width direction Y of the seat 1 1. The provision of the slit 24 gives the member 22 a substantially C-shaped section.

More precisely, the slit extends in height (i.e. parallel to the major axis Z”) between a lower edge 22a and an upper edge 22b. Taking as a reference the plane Y”- Z", as represented in figure 4d, the lower edge 22a lies over a first radial plane A which originates from the axis {and therefore in section from the center O) towards the front side and downwards, inclined by an acute angle a comprised between about 10° and about 30° with respect to the aforesaid plane Y”-Z", while the upper edge 22b lies over a second radial plane B which originates from the axis, again towards the front side but upwards, inclined by an acute angle b between about 20° and about 40° with respect to the same plane Y"-Z".

As a result of this configuration, the tubular member has a lower portion 22c and an upper portion 22d, mutually non-symmetrical and corresponding to the two end arms of the C-shape. The upper portion 22d follows the oval curvature, extending to some extent over the front side ending with the upper edge 22b and assuming the physical configuration of a beam fixed at one end (base of the backrest) and free to the other (the aforementioned upper edge 22b). The lower portion 22c, besides being shorter than the upper portion, has a development that departs from the oval curvature and takes in fact a substantially tangential development, the lower edge 22a being about at the same level as the lower end of the major axis Z". On the lower portion, for example near the edge, there is, however, a projection 25 which protrudes towards the inferior of the bore 23 and is adapted to snap into engagement on the outside of the bar 13, as will be clarified shortly hereafter.

The claw-shaped appendix of the backrest 2 (and, alike, of one or each of the armrests, if provided) is completed by a wing 26 extending from the lower portion 22c of the member 22 beyond the lower edge 22a and below it, towards the front (this spatial reference is still the one consistent with the orientation of the backrest face contacting a seated user, but more generical!y - as far also the armrest is concerned - one could also speak of internal direction, inasmuch it is the direction overlooking the internal region of the seat). The wing 26 is angled and extends suitably, to carry out a stop action on the lower face of the seat when the backrest is in the upright position. This result is normally achieved with a wing 26 which extends over a plane which is substantially orthogonal with respect to the backrest body 21 , but variations of angle can be contemplated according to the desired inclination for the backrest body in the position of use. The extension length, measured in the X" direction between a root point 26a (at the lower end of the major axis Z") and a free end 26b, can be, for example and with no limiting purpose, between 3 and 5 times the length of the minor axis X".

For reasons that are both functional and aesthetic, the wing 26 can advantageously have a mesh-like structure that matches the mesh of the seat 1 1 , whereby the wing remains hidden below the seat, looking from above, causing no visual disturbance.

Seeking maximum safety and a precise reference, the wing 26, for example at its free end outline, can be provided with a shaping, such as a notch 27 shown in the present embodiment, suitable for male-female fitfing with a corresponding part ot the seat, so that when the wing abuts on the seat, a greater and more stable contact surface is obtained. Still for the sake of a more precise and stable match, and consequently also of an increased comfort of the seat, mutually coupling ridges/recesses can further be formed between the bar and the tubular member 22 (not represented here, but obviously understandable), suitable for preventing displacements in the direction ot the common longitudinal axis of bar and member.

The material of which all the components described above are made is a rigid material, but nevertheless provided with a certain elastic detormabiiity where sized with relatively thin wails and with a certain elongation from a fixed point, as in the region of the upper portion 22b which must actually be bended to some extent in order to allow the mounting. A particularly suitable material is polypropylene loaded with glass fiber, a material already commonly used in outdoor furniture, but other materials of equivalent behavior, as well known to experts in the field, can be equally used it should also be noted that, although from a production point of view the most sensible solution is to manufacture ail the parts by molding in the same material, from a strictly functional point of view nothing prevents a selective the use of a material such as the one indicated, that is with a certain elastic detormabiiity, for e.g. the tubular member 22 only, being it the "active" component in the coupling system between the seat and the backrest.

The mounting of the backrest (or of an armrest) on the seat is carried out as follows. The body 21 of the backrest is arranged substantially parallel to the seat 1 1 above it, causing the slit 24 of the tubular member/claw 22 to be in correspondence and alignment with the bar 13 (figure 4a and figure 1 ). At this point the backrest is moved towards the seat causing the bar 13 to become partially housed in the bore 23 through the slit 24 (figure 4b). In this condition, the major axis Z” of the section seat is oriented substantially parallel (or in any case relatively close to the parallelism) with respect to the minor axis X’ of the bar section.

At this point, by driving the backrest into rotation around the bar, making the body 21 lift up towards the upright position, taking advantage of the width of the slit 24, the upper portion 22d, and in particular the relative upper edge 22b, is propped against the front (or inner) side of the bar. Assisted by the controlled flexion of the material, the lower portion 22c overlaps the lower part of the bar (figure 4c and figure 2), until snapping into the mounted position, in which the bar and the bore become tight-fit coupled, bringing into perfect match the two respective oval sections (external profile of fhe bar, inner profile of the bore). The operation is also assisted by the slightly upwards staggering of the bar 13 with respect to the geometric seating plane XY.

in this final position (figure 4d and figure 3, in which an armrest is also visible when mounted) the projection 25 of the lower portion 22c of the member 22 is forced on the bar exerting a contrast to fhe rotation opposite to that of assembly and therefore acting as a stabilizing factor. The wing 26 has also come into contact with the lower face of the seat, and this determines a safe stop to the rotation (in this case the rotation in the same mounting direction), also transferring to the seat the load that the seated user will exert by leaning on the backrest.

The connection can be, as normally the case, further stabilized and made even safer by inserting screws into suitably arranged holes, as obviously understandable and not illustrated in detail. In particular, screws which engage in holes formed in the wing 26 and lock in the lower part of the seat 1 1 will ensure a stop action with respect to stresses on the backrest (or armrest) that could rotate it in the opposite direction to that of mounting, i.e. the sense of the backrest dropping onto the seat.

It will be easily appreciated from the foregoing that the mounting system for the backrest and armrest of the sofa, chair or armchair according to the invention is capable to achieve remarkable advantages in terms of modularity and convenience. It is in particular apparent that one can advantageously reduce the packaging bulk and warehouse stocks, since the elements (base with seat, armrest, backrest) can be packaged and managed separately, allowing the formation of the final arrangement of the furniture piece according to the customer choices.

The mounting is simple, not requiring special skills or tools, and can therefore be carried out not only by technically unskilled warehouse or sales staff, but also and more importantly by the same customer, taking advantage of the easy transportability of the article, purchased as a kit of unmounted elements, at the same time being fully satisfied from the point of view of the aesthetic and functional quality of the resulting (mounted) product. The aesthetics of the piece of furniture is in fact extremely clean and elegant, without exposing any unattractive fastening means, or any other attachment features that would be perceived as extraneous to the styling of the article.

The product can be customized also in terms of color choices (different between base and backrest/armrests), even post-sales (replacement of individual components). A seat module such as the one here illustrated can then be used to compose sofas of length and development at will, connecting in series a plurality of seats 1 1 through common connecting clips between bars of adjacent modules, and then completing the article with the arrangement of backrests and armrests where appropriate. The product can clearly be completed by arranging cushions and coverings generally suitable to increase comfort, here again to be customizable and possibly to be sold in kit with the other components and/or individually.

Thanks to its reversibility, the mounting system also facilitates easy disassembly, by operating in reverse order with respect to the mounting sequence; this option can be exploited to better transport the item from one environment to another or to store it with less space, for example in a garage in winter months.

The present invention has been so far described with reference to its preferred embodiments it has to be understood that other embodiments may exist which belong to the same inventive concept as defined by the scope of the protection of the claims here enclosed.