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Title:
UMBRELLA HOLDER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2005/079618
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention provides an umbrella holder comprising an elongate sheath (4) of a rigid material for receiving at least a substantial length of an umbrella therein, the sheath having a proximal end (16) opening for receiving an umbrella tip when an umbrella is inserted into the holder and a distal end (18) towards which the umbrella tip travels on continued insertion of the umbrella into the holder, the sheath having (4) an external surface and an internal surface, the internal surface being provided with at least one internal protrusion (6a, 6b, 6c, 6d) extending radially around a substantial proportion of the internal surface and presenting a convex surface facing generally towards the proximal end region of the sheath, the at least one internal protrusion being provided with at least one channel (10) therethrough, such that the fabric of the umbrella bears against the convex surface during continued insertion of the umbrella into the holder, thereby causing any water from the fabric to run off into the at least one channel through the at least one internal protrusion towards the distal end (18) of the sheath (14).

Inventors:
Ogilvie, Andrew Kenneth (20 Eddington Road, Fairhaven, Lancashire FY8 1BS, GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2004/000503
Publication Date:
September 01, 2005
Filing Date:
February 07, 2004
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Ogilvie, Andrew Kenneth (20 Eddington Road, Fairhaven, Lancashire FY8 1BS, GB)
International Classes:
A45B25/24; A47G25/12; A45B25/28; A45F3/02; (IPC1-7): A45B25/24; A47G25/12
Foreign References:
FR2226944A1
AU624809B2
US5135017A
DE3524855A1
FR1572348A
EP0546987A1
GB2391469A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
W.P. THOMPSON & CO. (Coopers Building, Church Street, Liverpool L1 3AB, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. An umbrella holder comprising an elongate sheath of a rigid material for receiving at least a substantial length of an umbrella therein, the sheath having a proximal end opening for receiving an umbrella tip when an umbrella is inserted into the holder and a distal end towards which the umbrella tip travels on continued insertion of the umbrella into the holder, the sheath having an external surface and an internal surface, the internal surface being provided with at least one internal protrusion extending radially around a substantial proportion of the internal surface and presenting a convex surface facing generally towards the proximal end region of the sheath, the at least one internal protrusion being provided with at least one channel therethrough, such that the fabric of the umbrella bears against the convex surface during continued insertion of the umbrella into the holder, thereby causing at least some of any water from the fabric to run off into the at least one channel through the at least one internal protrusion towards the distal end of the sheath.
2. An umbrella holder according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of internal protrusions are provided.
3. An umbrella holder according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the circumference or perimeter of the internal surface of the sheath in the region of a proximal end protrusion is larger than the circumference or perimeter of the internal surface of the sheath in the region of a distal end protrusion.
4. An umbrella holder according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the sheath is provided in the region of its distal end with an absorbent material.
5. An umbrella holder according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein an aperture is provided in the distal end region of the sheath.
6. An umbrella holder according to claim 5, wherein the aperture is reversibly sealed by means of a cover, cap or plug.
7. An umbrella holder according to claim 6, wherein the exterior distal end of the sheath is slanted, with respect to the longitudinal axis of the sheath, at an angle between 0. 5° and 45°.
8. An umbrella holder according to any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the sheath comprises means for attaching one or more carrying straps or handles thereto.
9. An umbrella holder as substantially described herein with reference to and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
Description:
DESCRIPTION UMBRELLA HOLDER The present invention relates to an umbrella holder.

GB-A-2346555 discloses a water proof container for an umbrella in which a waterproof container is situated on the telescopic shaft of the umbrella. The container is capable of receiving the collapsed canopy and shaft and has a lid which seals the top of the container. GB-A-2320893 discloses a similar container, differing in that the container is integrated into the hollow handle of the umbrella.

JP-A-10151011 describes an umbrella housing bag with obliquely arranged resin films to collect and store the water from the wet umbrella. EP-A-0546987 discloses a solid plastic case for containing umbrellas, wherein the solid case is a rotationally symmetrical hollow body which has interior contours which reflects the dimensions of the umbrella.

U. S. Pat. No. 4, 558, 807 discloses an umbrella holder which includes a tubular sheath supported from the shoulder of the user by a strap although the holder also incorporates a drainage hole that would allow water from the umbrella to directly drain onto articles of clothing worn by the owner.

Other prior art umbrella holders are disclosed in GB-A-1357215, GB-A-0814357, DE-A-3524855, DE-A-2644060, JP-A-11318530 and JP-A-11000213.

Prior art umbrella holders fail to address, or do not address satisfactorily, a number of problems for the umbrella user. Umbrellas are required to be held in the hand all of the time and can thus be unwieldy to carry and manage, particularly large umbrellas in crowded places. After use, wet umbrellas tend to deposit water on floors, surfaces and/or onto clothing. Umbrellas propped against wall surfaces, when not in use, are liable to fall over.

Conventional umbrella ties and sheaths are prone to breakage. It is an object of the present invention to provide an umbrella holder which satisfactorily addresses one or more of the aforesaid problems.

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an umbrella holder comprising an elongate sheath of a rigid material for receiving at least a substantial length of an umbrella therein, the sheath having a proximal end opening for receiving an umbrella tip when an umbrella is inserted into the holder and a distal end towards which the umbrella tip travels on continued insertion of the umbrella into the holder, the sheath having an external surface and an internal surface, the internal surface being provided with at least one internal protrusion extending radially inwardly around a substantial proportion of the circumference or perimeter of the internal surface and presenting a convex surface facing generally towards the proximal end region of the sheath, the at least one internal protrusion being provided with at least one channel therethrough, such that the fabric of the umbrella bears against the convex surface during continued insertion of the umbrella into the holder, thereby causing at least some of any water from the fabric to run off into the at least one channel through the at least one internal protrusion towards the distal end of the sheath.

By"substantial proportion of the internal surface"is meant that the internal protrusion is arranged such that at least 30%, preferably at least 40%, more preferably at least 50% and most preferably about 60% of the radial cross section of the sheath in the region of the protrusion is provided with an inwardly protruding surface. When internal protrusion is coplanar with the radial cross-section, this will equate to the internal protrusion extending around at least 30%, preferably at least 40%, more preferably at least 50% and most preferably about 60% of the circumference or perimeter of the internal surface of the sheath.

However, if the internal protrusion is not co-planar with the radial cross-section (for example if the internal protrusion spirals in a longitudinal direction down at least a portion of the length of the sheath) then the internal protrusion at a particular point on the longitudinal axis of the sheath may extend around less than 30% of the circumference or perimeter of the internal surface of the sheath at a particular radial cross-section thereof. However, the total circumferential or perimetric extent of the internal protrusion (summing the extent along the longitudinal positions) will be at least 30%, preferably at least 40%, more preferably at least 50% and most preferably about 60% of the circumference or perimeter of the internal surface of the sheath.

The umbrella holder of the invention has the advantage that a wet umbrella inserted therein encounters a squeezing pressure against the convex surface of the internal protrusion thereby forcing excess water off the surface of the umbrella fabric. Because of the channel through the internal protrusion, the run-off water may then pass towards the distal end of the sheath, thereby ensuring that the umbrella, when withdrawn from the holder is substantially drier than it was upon insertion. To optimise the removal of this surface water the umbella may be turned and/or twisted as it is being inserted into the holder.

The umbrella holder according to the present invention is not limited to a receptacle for umbrellas and can also be utilised as a means of storing and/or carrying an umbrella.

The umbrella holder of the invention may be provided with a single internal protrusion extending inwardly in a radial direction from the internal surface of the sheath.

Alternatively, a plurality of internal protrusions may be provided at different positions along the length of the sheath. For example, from about two to about eight such protrusions may be provided. Preferably from three to about five protrusions are provided. Preferably, the circumference or perimeter of the internal surface of the sheath in the region of a proximal end protrusion is larger than the circumference or perimeter of the internal surface of the sheath in the region of a distal end protrusion.

An internal protrusion may be provided in the form of a continuous ridge, broken only by the channel, around a major portion of the circumference or perimeter of the internal surface of the sheath. Alternatively, the internal protrusion may comprise a number of discrete protuberances The internal protrusion may also act as a gripping mechanism to ensure that the umbrella is snugly located within the holder.

In one preferred embodiment of the invention, the sheath is provided in the region of its distal end with an absorbent material, such as cloth or sponge, for soaking up run-off water in the distal end region of the sheath.

The internal diameter of the sheath may be continually reduced towards its distal end by means of internal protrusion and/or the overall dimensions of the sheath. The sheath may also mimic the shape of an umbrella. It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that by continually reducing the diameter of the sheath, water will further be expelled from the fabric of the umbrella during insertion of the umbrella into the holder and this will further ensure that the water is directed towards the base portion of the sheath which contains the absorbent material.

An aperture may be provided in the sheath in the region of its distal end for the removal of water and/or absorbent material. Such an aperture may be provided on the side of the holder or alternatively may be located on the foot of the holder's distal end. The aperture may also allow for the replacement of the absorbent material. The aperture may be sealed by means of a cover, cap or plug. Any such aperture and or its seal may be so shaped as to form a means of attaching the umbrella holder to other objects (for example a golf bag).

Furthermore, the base portion may be semi-compartmentalised from the interior of the sheath.

Those skilled in the art will realise that if an aperture is not provided, then a simple 'whipping'action will enable the absorbent material, if present, to be removed. Likewise, the tip of the umbrella can act as a'ram rod'in order to bed the absorbent material in the appropriate location.

The exterior surface of the sheath is preferably provided, at its distal end, with a "footprint"to facilitate standing up of the umbrella holder when propped against a wall, or similar, surface. Thus, the footprint of the sheath may be slanted, with respect to the longitudinal axis of the sheath, by between 0. 5° and 45°. This allows for the umbrella holder with or without the umbrella, to be lent against a wall for example. Alternatively a specially designed footprint may be incorporated at the base of the umbrella holder to enable it to be free standing. It will be evident to those skilled in the art that the footprint may have a slip- resistant finish in order to prevent the lateral movement of the footprint relative to the floor when being stored or not held in the hand. The footprint may also comprise one or more legs in order to facilitate free standing of the umbrella holder, for example, an arrangement of legs may form a tripod. Similarly, the design of the footprint may incorporate a spike, point, stub, stud or similar protuberance to facilitate the fixing of the umbrella holder's position. Such a protuberance may be detachable and may be used to locate the distal end of the umbrella holder into a corresponding ring, eyelet, loop, bracket or other such mounting means in order to facilitate attachment of the umbrella holder to another object, for example, a golf club bag. Alternatively, the footprint may comprise a cup, which may further be made of a flexible material in order to provide a suction means on a flat surface. The umbrella holder may also provide a means by which a plurality of holders may be joined together or placed in an ordered array, such as in a rack specifically designed for the purpose of storing umbrella holders.

The exterior surface of the sheath is also preferably provided, with one or more attaching means for attaching the umbrella holder to other objects, such attaching means may comprise a hook, a clip, a strap, a spike, a point, a stub, a stud, velcro material or other such similar fixing devices. Thus, the umbrella holder may be attached to a any number of items, such as articles of clothing; luggage; wheeled vehicles (for example, wheelchairs, bicycles, perambulators, buggies and trolleys) and sports equipment (for example golf club bags). It will also be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the means for attaching the umbrella to another object may be integrated with one or more straps or handles, should such be fitted to the umbrella holder.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided an umbrella holder wherein the sheath is composed of a water impermeable material. Such a material may be composed of a plastic and/or latex material for example. The umbrella holder may also be formed as a single moulded component. Alternatively, the umbrella holder may be formed from multiple parts with watertight seals. The umbrella holder may also be movable between an inoperative, retracted configuration and an operative, extended configuration, for example, by providing telescopic side walls.

The liquid absorbent material, where present, may be selected from one or more of the following materials, natural sponge, synthetic sponge, leather, fabric, tissue, wood based products, silica gel, sand and rice.

A further aspect of the present invention provides for an umbrella holder wherein the sheath contains one or more eyelets disposed along the length of the member for providing a means of attaching one or more carrying straps or handles. Preferably, the strap would be attached to the sheath in such a way as to enable the umbrella holder to be in a substantially perpendicular position, relative to the floor. Thus the provision for a means of securing a carrying strap or handle to the holder further enables the water to dissipate towards the distal end of the sheath as when being carried over the shoulder for example, the motion of the person and the substantially perpendicular position of the umbrella holder would ensure further water drainage from the wet umbrella.

The sheath may also carry decorative or advertising material, for sponsorship purposes or simply for easy recognition and/or aesthetic appeal.

It will be appreciated that the holder is also suitable for receiving other types of objects which are of a similar size and shape to an umbrella, such as a parasol or windbreak.

Accordingly, the present invention may also have other applications and may be of different sizes in order to encompass the range of commercially available umbrellas.

A specific embodiment of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Figure 1 is a perspective view of the umbrella holder.

Figure 2 is a perspective rear view of the umbrella holder.

Figure 3 is a cross sectional view of the umbrella holder through the A-A line illustrated in figure 1.

Figure 4 is an expanded perspective view of the distal end of the umbrella holder.

Figure 5 is a cross sectional view of the umbrella holder through the B-B line illustrated in figure 4.

With reference to Figures 1 and 2, an umbrella holder comprising a sheath 4 is provided having an internal cavity for receiving an umbrella and having two eyelets or slots 8 provided through the rear of the sheath for the attachment of an adjustable strap (not shown).

The sheath is open at one end 16 and closed at the distal end 18 and is provided with a set of four elongate internal protrusions 6a, 6b, 6c and 6d each terminating in channel 10.

The sheath 4 is generally elliptical but has flattened sides and a relatively flat base 18 at the distal end. The base 18 is angled so as to aid secure standing of the umbrella holder when lent against a wall. Within the internal sheath, there is a liquid absorbent material located towards the distal end. There is an aperture 12 towards the distal end of the sheath, through which, excess liquid can be drained or allowed to evaporate, in addition to allowing the absorbent material to be removed or inserted easily by hand or by a pair of tweezers. A plug 14 is inserted into the aperture 12 to prevent unwanted discharge of liquid when the umbrella holder is in use. The location of the aperture on the side of the sheath as opposed to the base of the sheath is to reduce the risk of the umbrella forcing the material out of the aperture.

Figures 3 and 4 illustrate further details of the sets of internal protrusions 6a, 6b, 6c and 6d and the channels 10 of the umbrella holder. Two sets of the internal protrusions are positioned near to the top of the sheath and the two sets of the internal protrusions are located towards the distal end of the sheath and all four internal protrusions are substantially in line with one another. Each set of internal protrusions comprises two opposing single internal protrusions 20,22 of the interior of the sheath which slope inwardly and are angled towards the distal end of the sheath, thereby reducing the internal area of the cavity 5 in that region.

These internal protrusions assist in retaining the umbrella within the sheath, for example, upon tilting of the umbrella holder and they also assist in removing any water and debris that may be present on the surface of the umbrella. The two elongate internal protrusions converge but do not meet thereby providing a channel 10 therebetween which receives water from the umbrella and directs the water by means of gravity to the base of the sheath where the water absorbent material is located. The internal protrusions also hold the umbrella away from the channel 10 thereby allowing unhindered movement of the water through the channel.

Figures 4 and 5 illustrate an eyelet 8 of the holder for passage of a strap. The sheath is preferably provided with a pair of symmetrical eyelets or slots, one near the top of the sheath and one near to the base portion of the sheath, which are shaped such that placement of the strap therethrough and over the shoulder of the user maintains the umbrella holder in a substantially vertical position. For example, in the figure 4, the eyelets have an upper wall 8b, side walls 8c and a lower wall 8a. The upper and lower walls extend obliquely to the horizontal and longitudinal axis of the housing to result in the holder lying vertical against. the carrier's body, when in use. The eyelets may be arched so as to optimise the upright position of the sheath when being suspended from the strap.

In this manner, a rolled umbrella may be inserted into the sheath at the open end and is pushed into the housing until the majority of the umbrellas length has been accommodated.

The holder is dimensionally smaller in length than the umbrella such that the handle of the umbrella protrudes from the housing for easy removal. The user is then able to thread his arm and/or head through the strap such that the strap rests on his shoulder.