Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SPACER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2005/058093
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A spacer comprising a body to which is removably mountable a furniture item and an abutment means for engaging a substantially vertical surface, wherein said body comprising an arm adapted to engage said abutment means to thereby maintain an adjustable distance between the furniture item and said substantially vertical surface.

Inventors:
Heelass, Catherine Gladys (16 Riverleigh Place, Loganholme, Queensland 4129, AU)
Heelass, John Graham (16 Riverleigh Place, Loganholme, Queenslandd 4129, AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2004/000516
Publication Date:
June 30, 2005
Filing Date:
April 20, 2004
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PREMAWOOD PTY LTD (16 Riverleigh Place, Loganholme, Queensland 4129, AU)
Heelass, Catherine Gladys (16 Riverleigh Place, Loganholme, Queensland 4129, AU)
Heelass, John Graham (16 Riverleigh Place, Loganholme, Queenslandd 4129, AU)
International Classes:
A47B97/00; (IPC1-7): A47B95/00; A47B97/00; A47C7/00; A47C17/86; A47C31/00
Foreign References:
US2683328A
US1445726A
GB2125693A
US5799921A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fisher, Adams Kelly (Level 13 AMP Place, 10 Eagle Street Brisbane, Queensland 4000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims defining the invention are as follows :
1. A spacer comprising a body to which is removably mountable a furniture item and an abutment means for engaging a substantially vertical surface, wherein said body comprising an arm adapted to engage said abutment means to thereby maintain an adjustable distance between the furniture item and said substantially vertical surface.
2. The spacer according to claim 1 wherein said arm of said body is telescopically extendable to provide said adjustable distance between said furniture item and said substantially vertical surface.
3. The spacer according to claim 1 wherein said spacer further comprises a spacer arm engageable with said arm of said body and said abutment means.
4. The spacer according to claim 3 wherein said spacer arm is telescopically engageable with said arm of said body and said abutment means.
5. The spacer according to claim 1 wherein said spacer comprises one or more spacer members mountable to said arm of said body and/or said abutment means.
6. The spacer according to claim 5 wherein said spacer comprises one or more spacer members mountable to said abutment means.
7. The spacer according to claim 3 wherein said spacer comprises one or more spacer members mountable to said spacer arm.
8. The spacer according to claim 1 wherein said body includes a step adapted for removably mounting said furniture item.
9. The spacer according to claim 8 wherein said step includes an adhesive to retard movement of said furniture item and/or said spacer.
10. The spacer according to claim 1 wherein said spacer further comprises an extension member engageable with said body and adapted to increase a surface area of said body for removably mounting said furniture item.
11. The spacer according to claim 8 wherein said spacer comprises an extension member attachable to said step to increase a surface area of said body for removably mounting said furniture item.
12. A spacer comprising: a body including an arm telescopically extendable at one end and a step adapted for removably mounting a furniture item at the other end; an abutment means for engaging a substantially vertical surface; a spacer arm telescopically engageable with said arm of said body and said abutment means ; one or more spacer members mountable to said spacer arm and/or said abutment means; and an extension member engageable with said body and adapted to increase a surface area of said step, whereby in use, said spacer provides an adjustable distance between said furniture item and a substantially vertical surface.
13. A spacer substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
Description:
SPACER FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a spacer. In particular, this invention relates to a spacer adapted to secure an adjustable distance between a furniture item and a wall, without being limited thereto.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Damage to walls often occurs when furniture items such as sofas and large chairs are abutted against and/or moved along a wall surface.

Such movement causes damage to the wall over time. This damage is more pronounced with high volume furniture movement, as can occur with hotel, motel, holiday rental and residential properties. In addition, such movement damages the furniture item (s).

To overcome wall and furniture damage, it has been known to anchor a furniture item to a floor surface, typically by a leg. While fixing furniture to a position away from a wall prevents wall and/or furniture contact damage, it may not be convenient or desirable to do so. Such fixed devices require securing the device through the floor covering and/or to a wall surface. When furniture is moved, damage is sustained to both the floor covering, eg. hole (s) in carpet and to the wall, eg. bracket screw holes. In addition, such devices typically lack aesthetic appeal. Further, when it is desirable to routinely move furniture, eg. for cleaning purposes, it is inconvenient to release the furniture from the anchoring device.

To overcome the above limitations, wall spacers have been developed which do not rely on fixing the device to a wall or a floor. One such spacer, patent GB 2318044 is directed to an adjustable bracket for the attachment of a furniture item so as to space that item from a wall to prevent wall damage. The bracket retains, for example, a furniture leg. A single elongate tubing member is threaded through the bracket and provides for some length adjustment of the device. However, length adjustment is limited to the length of the singular tube.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a spacer which overcomes or alleviates one or more of the problems of the prior art or at least provides a useful commercial alternative.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the invention, there is provided a spacer comprising a body to which is removably mountable a furniture item and an abutment means for engaging a substantially vertical surface, wherein said body includes an arm adapted to engage said abutment means to thereby maintain an adjustable distance between the furniture item and said substantially vertical surface.

Preferably, the arm of the body is telescopically extendable to provide an adjustable distance between the furniture item and the substantially vertical surface.

In one embodiment, the spacer further comprises a spacer arm engageable with the arm of the body and/or the abutment means.

Preferably, the spacer arm is telescopically engageable with the arm of the body and/or the abutment means.

In another embodiment, the spacer further comprises one or more spacer members mountable to the arm of the body and/or the abutment means.

Suitably, the spacer members are mountable to said abutment means.

More suitably, the spacer members are mountable with the spacer arm.

Preferably, the body includes a step adapted for removably mounting the furniture item.

More preferably, the step includes an adhesive to retard movement of the furniture item and/or the spacer.

In yet another embodiment, the spacer further comprises an extension member engageable with said body and adapted to increase a surface area of the body for removably mounting the furniture item.

Suitably, the extension member is attachable to the body to thereby increase the surface area of the step.

Alternatively, the extension member is attachable to the step and adapted to increase a surface area of the body for removably mounting the furniture item.

In a preferred embodiment, there is provided a spacer comprising:

a body including an arm telescopically extendable at one end and a step adapted for removably mounting a furniture item at the other end; an abutment means for engaging a substantially vertical surface; a spacer arm telescopically engageable with the arm of the body and the abutment means; one or more spacer members mountable to the spacer arm and/or the abutment means; and an extension member engageable with the body and adapted to increase a surface area of the step, whereby in use, the spacer provides an adjustable distance between the furniture item and a substantially vertical surface.

Throughout this specification, unless the context required otherwise,"comprise", comprises"and"comprising"are used inclusively rather than exclusively, in that one or more other integers or groups of integers may be included with a stated integer or group of integers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In order that the present invention may be more readily understood and placed into practical effect, preferred embodiments of the invention will be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a spacer securing an adjustable space between a furniture item and a substantially vertical surFace according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of a spacer.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the spacer showing an extension member attached to the body to extend the surface area of the spacer.

FIG. 4A is a side view of a spacer.

FIG. 4B is a bottom view of a spacer.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The present invention provides a spacer 10 which is adjustable to maintain a desired distance between a furniture item or the like and a substantially vertical surface such as a wall, although without limitation thereto.

FIG. 1 shows a side view of a spacer 10 in use engaging a leg 12 of a furniture item, in this case chair 13 so as to retain the chairs'position a desired distance from wall 14 and thereby prevent the rear 16 of chair 13 contacting wall 14. It will be appreciated that the spacer 10 may be used with other furniture items 12 such as a sofa, chair, cabinet, table, bed, white goods, book cases and chiffonier's, although without limitation thereto. It will further be appreciated that although the use of the spacer 10 is described with reference to a substantially vertical surface such as a wall, however the spacer 10 may be used to space furniture from other substantially vertical surfaces such as a partition, barrier, door, window or divider, without being limited thereto.

Referring to FIG. 2, the spacer 10 includes a body 20 having a substantially planar platform, stand, plate or step 22 for receiving a chair leg 12. In this embodiment, the step 22 is shown circular in shape, however the step 22 may take any suitable form which corresponds to the intended use, eg. square, oval, rectangular, triangular or even irregularly shaped. If desired, an adhesive may be used on the step to retard movement of a furniture item 13 from the step 22 and/or movement of the spacer along a surface, eg. floor. Optionally, adhesive-backed felt materials may be used to protect the furniture 13 from direct contact with step 22.

The body 20 also includes an integrally formed hollow arm 26 which telescopically or otherwise slideably engages shaft 32 of an abutment means 30. The abutment means 30 further includes an abutment member 34 which engages wall 14 when the spacer 10 is in use. The abutment member 34 is substantially in the form of a cylinder so as to minimise wall-contact surface area, however abutment members 34 may also be a sphere, block, pad or the like, which in use, engages wall 14.

The spacer 10 may further include a spacer arm 40 having a reduced width portion 42 for slideably engaging the hollow arm 26 of the body 20. The spacer arm 40 further includes a hollow portion 44 for slideably engaging the shaft 32 of abutment means 30.

Also shown in FIG. 2, the spacer 10 may include one or more hollow spacer members 50A, 50B. While two spacer members are shown,

more than two of such spacer members may be used. Each spacer member 50A, 50B is retained by, and is slideably engageable with, the shaft 32 of the abutment means 30.

In use, the spacer 10 is adjusted to an appropriate length to prevent contact between a furniture item 13 and wall 14. The abutment means 30 is slideably engaged with the arm 26 of the body 20. If further distance is required, the arm 26 is telescopically extended by adding spacer arm 40 intermediate abutment means 30. If further distance is still required, one or more of the spacer members 50A, 50B are placed intermediate the abutment means 30 and the arm 26 of the body 20. Alternatively, one or more spacer members 50A, 50B may be placed intermediate the abutment means 30 and the spacer arm 40 to allow further telescopic extension of the arm 26. Advantageously and as shown in FIG. 2, the number and relative length of spacing members 50A, 50B may be varied as required. That is, the length of the spacer 10 is not limited to a single pre-determined length.

It will be appreciated that the spacer 10 is easy to use as adjusting the length of the spacer 10 is carried out without the need of pins or other fasteners. Furthermore, the spacer 10 is highly adjustable by virtue of providing spacer members 50A, 50B and a spacing arm 40 that may be used interchangeably or together.

In one embodiment, the recess step 22 of the body 20 may be adapted to receive larger furniture items 13. To this end, FIG. 2 shows an extension member 60 for releasable interlocking engagement with the

body 20. FIGS. 2 and 3 show projections or ribs 64 on the extension member 60 which may interlock with complementary mating portions 28, such as slots, guides, channels or grooves 28 on the body 20. The extension member 60 is adjacent to the step 22 and includes a platform 62 which provides an increase or extension of a mounting portion 24 of the step 22.

FIG. 4 shows a side (a) and bottom (b) view of the extension member 60 attached to the spacer 10. While complementary interlocking rib engagement is exemplified as a means of coupling the extension member 60 to the spacer 10, other forms of attachment known in the art are contemplated, such as'plug-in'interference fit coupling or'snap-on' fittings.

Figure 4a shows the spacer 10 in use, whereby the spacer is orientated such that the abutment means 34 makes abutting contact with a skirting board 15 or the like, rather than a wall 14 or other vertical surface. This is achieved by orienting the body 20 and/or hollow arm 26 downwardly such the abutment means 30 is diagonal rather than horizontal and thereby abuts the skirting board rather than the wall.

It will be further appreciated by the skilled person that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described in detail herein, and that a variety of other embodiments may be contemplated which are nevertheless consistent with the broad spirit and scope of the invention.

For example, although FIG. 2 shows the body arm 26, spacer arm 40, abutment means 30 and spacing members 52A, 52B as substantially

annular with a flattened portion 44, other shapes which restrict rotational movement between each member 26,30, 40,50A, 50B, eg. triangular, square or hexagonal are also contemplated.

It is further contemplated that each of the hollow members may be substituted for solid members without affecting the working of the invention. For example, each spacing member 50A, 50B, part of the spacer arm 44 and the arm 26 of the body 20 may alternatively be substantially solid and each of the substantially solid members, eg. the abutment means 30 and the reduced end portion 42 of the spacer arm 40 may be substantially hollow to allow the slideable engagement of each wall spacer member 50A, 50B.