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Publication numberUS20060130716 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/295,017
Publication dateJun 22, 2006
Filing dateDec 5, 2005
Priority dateOct 20, 2003
Publication number11295017, 295017, US 2006/0130716 A1, US 2006/130716 A1, US 20060130716 A1, US 20060130716A1, US 2006130716 A1, US 2006130716A1, US-A1-20060130716, US-A1-2006130716, US2006/0130716A1, US2006/130716A1, US20060130716 A1, US20060130716A1, US2006130716 A1, US2006130716A1
InventorsKent Ashby, Robert Astle, L. Strong, S. Nye
Original AssigneeKent Ashby, Astle Robert A, Strong L C, Nye S C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Table
US 20060130716 A1
Abstract
A table may include a table top, a frame and one or more legs. The table may also include one or more corner guards that are sized and configured to protect the table. The corner guards may be generally aligned with the table top and/or the frame. The corner guards may also facilitate attachment of the frame to the table top and the corner guards may facilitate stacking of the table. In addition, the corner guards may allow an aesthetically pleasing table to be constructed and, if the corner guards are selectively attached, then the corner guards may be easily repaired and/or replaced.
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Claims(21)
1. A table comprising:
a table top constructed from molded plastic and including a hollow interior portion that is formed during the molding process, the table top including an upper surface, a lower surface, a first side, a second side, a first end and a second end;
a frame including a first side rail and a second side rail;
at least one support member movable relative to the table top between an extended position in which the support member generally extends outwardly from the table top and a collapsed position in which the support member is generally positioned between the side rails of the frame;
a first corner guard connected to the table top, at least a portion of the first corner guard being received within a first receiving portion formed in the table top, a portion of the first corner guard being generally aligned with the first side of the table top, a portion of the first corner guard being generally aligned with the first end of the table top;
a second corner guard connected to the table top, at least a portion of the second corner guard being received within a second receiving portion formed in the side of the table top, a portion of the second corner guard being generally aligned with the first side of the table top, a portion of the second corner guard being generally aligned with the second end of the table top;
a third corner guard connected to the table top, at least a portion of the third corner guard being received within a third receiving portion formed in the table top, a portion of the third corner guard being generally aligned with the second side of the table top, a portion of the third corner guard being generally aligned with the second end of the table top; and
a fourth corner guard connected to the table top, at least a portion of the fourth corner guard being received within a fourth receiving portion formed in the table top, a portion of the fourth corner guard being generally aligned with the second side of the table top, a portion of the fourth corner guard being generally aligned with the first end of the table top.
2. The table as in claim 1, wherein a portion of the first corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the table top; wherein a portion of the second corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the table top; wherein a portion of the third corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the table top, and wherein a portion of the fourth corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the table top.
3. The table as in claim 1, wherein a portion of the first corner guard is generally aligned with a lower surface of the first side rail; wherein a portion of the second corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the first side rail; wherein a portion of the third corner guard is generally aligned with a lower surface of the second side rail; and wherein a portion of the fourth corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the second side rail.
4. The table as in claim 1, wherein the first corner guard includes a receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first side rail; wherein the second corner guard includes a receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first side rail; wherein the third corner guard includes a receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second side rail; and wherein the fourth corner guard includes a receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second side rail.
5. The table as in claim 1, wherein the frame further includes a first end rail and a second end rail; wherein a portion of the first corner guard is generally aligned with a a lower surface of the first side rail, and a portion of the first corner guard is generally aligned with a lower surface of the first end rail; wherein a portion of the second corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the first side rail, and a portion of the second corner guard is generally aligned with a lower surface of the second end rail; wherein a portion of the third corner guard is generally aligned with a lower surface of the second side rail, and a portion of the third corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the second end rail; and wherein a portion of the fourth corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the second side rail, and a portion of the fourth corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the first end rail.
6. The table as in claim 1, wherein the frame further includes a first end rail and a second end rail; wherein the first corner guard includes a first receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first side rail and a second receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first end rail; wherein the second corner guard includes a first receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first side rail and a second receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second end rail; wherein the third corner guard includes a first receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second side rail and a second receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second end rail; and wherein the fourth corner guard includes a first receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second side rail and a second receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first end rail.
7. The table as in claim 1, wherein the first corner guard includes a projection extending beyond a lower surface of the table frame, the projection sized and configured to be at least partially received by a corresponding receiving portion formed in an upper surface of another table to facilitate stacking.
8. The table as in claim 1, wherein the first corner guard includes a tapering position that tapers from a first position that is generally aligned with an outer edge of the table top to a second position that is generally spaced apart from the outer edge of the table top; wherein the second corner guard includes a tapering position that tapers from a first position that is generally aligned with the outer edge of the table top to a second position that is generally spaced apart from the outer edge of the table top; wherein the third corner guard includes a tapering position that tapers from a first position that is generally aligned with the outer edge of the table top to a second position that is generally spaced apart from the outer edge of the table top; and wherein the fourth corner guard includes a tapering position that tapers from a first position that is generally aligned with the outer edge of the table top to a second position that is generally spaced apart from the outer edge of the table top.
9. A table comprising:
a table top constructed from molded plastic and including a hollow interior portion that is formed during the molding process;
a frame including a first metal side rail and a second metal side rail;
at least one support member movable relative to the table top between an extended position in which the support member generally extends outwardly from the table top and a collapsed position in which the support member is generally positioned between the side rails of the frame;
a first corner guard including a receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the frame, the first corner guard being formed separately from the table top;
a second corner guard including a receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the frame, the second corner guard being formed separately from the table top;
a third corner guard including a receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the frame, the third corner guard being formed separately from the table top; and
a fourth corner guard including a receiving portion that is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the frame, the fourth corner guard being formed separately from the table top.
10. The table as in claim 9, wherein the receiving portion of the first corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first side rail; wherein the receiving portion of the second corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first side rail; wherein the receiving portion of the third corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second side rail; and wherein the receiving portion of the fourth corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second side rail.
11. The table as in claim 9, wherein a portion of the first corner guard is generally aligned with a first side of the table top, and a portion of the first corner guard is generally aligned with a first end of the table top; wherein a portion of the second corner guard is generally aligned with the first side of the table top, and a portion of the second corner guard is generally aligned with a second end of the table top; wherein a portion of the third corner guard is generally aligned with a second side of the table top, and a portion of the third corner guard is generally aligned with the second end of the table top; and
wherein a portion of the fourth corner guard is generally aligned with the second side of the table top, and a portion of the fourth corner guard is generally aligned with the first end of the table top.
12. The table as in claim 9, wherein a portion of the first corner guard is generally aligned with a lower surface of the table top; wherein a portion of the second corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the table top; wherein a portion of the third corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the table top; and wherein a portion of the fourth corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the table top.
13. The table as in claim 9, wherein a portion of the first corner guard is generally aligned with a first portion of a lower surface of the first side rail, wherein a portion of the second corner guard is generally aligned with a second portion of the lower surface of the first side rail, wherein a portion of the third corner guard is generally aligned with a first portion of a lower surface of the second side rail, and wherein a portion of the fourth corner guard is generally aligned with a second portion of the lower surface of the second side rail.
14. The table as in claim 9, wherein the frame further includes a first end rail and a second end rail; wherein a portion of the first corner guard is generally aligned with a lower surface of the first side rail, and a portion of the first corner guard is generally aligned with a lower surface of the first end rail; wherein a portion of the second corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the first side rail, and a portion of the second corner guard is generally aligned with a lower surface of the second end rail; wherein a portion of the third corner guard is generally aligned with a lower surface of the second side rail, and a portion of the third corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the second end rail; and wherein a portion of the fourth corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the second side rail, and wherein a portion of the fourth corner guard is generally aligned with the lower surface of the first end rail.
15. The table as in claim 9, wherein the frame further includes a first end rail and a second end rail; wherein at least one receiving portion of the first corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first side rail, and at least one receiving portion of the first corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first end rail; wherein at least one receiving portion of the second corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first side rail, and at least one receiving portion of the second corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second end rail; wherein at least one receiving portion of the third corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second side rail, and at least one receiving portion of the third corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second end rail; and wherein at least one receiving portion of the fourth corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the second side rail, and at least one receiving portion of the fourth corner guard is sized and configured to selectively receive a portion of the first end rail.
16. The table as in claim 9, wherein the first corner guard includes a projection extending beyond a lower surface of the table frame, the projection sized and configured to be at least partially received by a corresponding receiving portion formed in an upper surface of another table to facilitate stacking.
17. The table as in claim 9, wherein the first corner guard includes a tapering position that tapers from a first position that is generally aligned with an outer edge of the table top to a second position that is generally spaced apart from the outer edge of the table top; wherein the second corner guard includes a tapering position that tapers from a first position that is generally aligned with the outer edge of the table top to a second position that is generally spaced apart from the outer edge of the table top; wherein the third corner guard includes a tapering position that tapers from a first position that is generally aligned with the outer edge of the table top to a second position that is generally spaced apart from the outer edge of the table top; and wherein the fourth corner guard includes a tapering position that tapers from a first position that is generally aligned with the outer edge of the table top to a second position that is generally spaced apart from the outer edge of the table top.
18. A table comprising:
a table top constructed from molded plastic and including a hollow interior portion that is formed during the molding process, the table top including an upper surface and a lower surface;
at least one support member movable relative to the table top between an extended position in which the support member generally extends outwardly from the table top and a collapsed position in which the support member is generally proximate the lower surface of the table top; and
a first corner guard connected to the table top, at least a portion of the first corner guard being received within a first receiving portion formed in the table top, at least a portion of the first corner guard being generally aligned with a first portion of the table top.
19. The table as in claim 18, wherein the first corner guard includes a projection sized and configured to be at least partially received by a corresponding receiving portion formed in an upper surface of a table to facilitate stacking.
20. A corner guard for a table, the corner guard comprising:
a first portion sized and configured to be received within a first receiving portion formed in a table top of a table;
a second portion sized and configured to be generally aligned with a first side of the table top; and
a third portion sized and configured to be generally aligned with a first end of the table top.
21. The corner guard as in claim 20, further comprising a fourth portion sized and configured to be generally aligned with a lower surface of a side rail of a table frame of the table.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/633,067, filed on Dec. 3, 2004.

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/949,777, filed on Sep. 24, 2004; which claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/513,161, filed Oct. 20, 2003. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/949,777, filed on Sep. 24, 2004, is also a continuation-in-part of United States Design Pat. Application Serial No. 29/192,259, filed Oct. 20, 2003.

Each of these applications is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to furniture, in particular, to tables that include a table top and one or more support legs.

2. Description of Related Art

Conventional tables are used for a variety of purposes and come in a wide array of designs. Conventional tables often include table tops constructed from wood, particle board or metal. Table tops constructed from wood, particle board or metal, however, are often relatively heavy and this may make the table awkward or difficult to move. Conventional table tops constructed from wood or metal are also relatively expensive and the table tops must generally be treated or finished before use. For example, table tops constructed from wood must generally be sanded and painted, and metal table tops must be formed into the desired shape and painted. In addition, these relatively heavy table tops may increase the cost of shipping, transportation and/or storage of the tables.

In order to decrease the weight of conventional tables, table tops can be constructed from relatively light-weight materials. Disadvantageously, these light-weight table tops frequently require reinforcing members or other structural parts such as braces, brackets, support members and the like to strengthen the table top. While these additional parts may increase the strength of the table top, the additional parts may also increase the weight of the table. In addition, these additional parts may increase manufacturing costs and require additional time to assemble the table. For example, additional fasteners may be required to connect these additional parts to the table, which may require extra time and labor during the manufacturing process. The additional parts and fasteners may also increase the cost of the table and make the table more difficult to manufacture. Furthermore, these additional parts may have sharp edges that can injure the user's legs, arms or other body parts.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A need therefore exists for a table that reduces or eliminates the above-described or other disadvantages and problems.

One aspect is a table that may be relatively lightweight, which may allow the table to be more easily transported and moved. For example, the table may include a lightweight table top that reduces the overall weight of the table. The table may also include a lightweight frame that is connected to the table top. The lightweight frame may also be used to support all or a portion of the table top. In addition, the table may include one or more lightweight legs or support pedestals that support the table top above a surface such as the ground or a floor. The lightweight table top, lightweight frame and/or lightweight legs may allow a lightweight table to be constructed.

Another aspect is a table that may include one or more legs that are capable of being moved between a use position and a storage position. The legs preferably extend outwardly from the table top in the use position and the legs may support the table top above a surface such as the floor. In the storage position, the legs are preferably collapsed into a relatively compact area, which may allow the table to be easily transported or stored. The legs, in the collapsed position, may be placed generally adjacent, parallel and/or proximate to at least a portion the bottom surface of the table top. Of course, the legs could be disposed in other suitable positions.

Yet another aspect is a table that may include a table top constructed from a lightweight material. Advantageously, the lightweight table top may allow a table to be created that is easily portable and can be readily lifted and moved by a single person. Desirably, the table top is constructed from blow-molded plastic, such as high density polyethylene. The blow-molded plastic table top may provide a rigid, high-strength structure that is capable of withstanding repeated use and wear. The blow-molded table top may also be quickly, easily and efficiently manufactured, and the blow-molded table top may be readily formed into the desired size, shape and configuration. In addition, the blow-molded table top may include a hollow interior portion formed during the blow molding process and two opposing walls that are spaced apart a predetermined distance, which may help to increase the strength and rigidity of the table top. The blow-molded table top may also include one or more depressions or tack-offs, and the depressions may be designed to increase the strength of the table top and/or interconnect the spaced apart walls. Significantly, the blow-molded table top may be relatively lightweight, durable, weather resistant, temperature insensitive and resistant to corrosion, rust and the like. It will be appreciated that the table top can be formed in various shapes, sizes, configurations and designs; and the table top may be formed by other suitable processes or methods.

Still aspect is a table that may include a frame attached to the table top. The frame may be attached to a lower portion of the table top and, if desired, at least a portion of the frame may be exposed to the user. For example, the frame may include one or more portions, such as side rails, that extend along at least a portion of the table top. In particular, the frame may include two side rails that are disposed along opposing edges or sides of the table top. The side rails may be generally aligned or flush with the sides of the table top. The side rails may also have outer surfaces that are generally aligned with the edges of the table top. For example, the side rails may have generally planar outer surfaces that are generally aligned with generally planar outer surfaces of the table top. It will be appreciated that the side rails and table top may also have other suitable configurations and arrangements. Further, it will be appreciated that the side rails may be spaced inwardly from the sides of the table to allow, for example, the edge of the table top to be grasped or held. This may allow the table to be easily moved or transported. The frame may also include other portions and these portions may be connected to the table top, if desired. For instance, the frame may include end rails that are disposed along the ends of the table top. While portions of the frame, such as the side rails and/or end rails, may be disposed about the perimeter or outer edges of the table, all or a portion of the frame could also be spaced inwardly from the perimeter or outer edges of the table top.

Advantageously, if at least a portion of the frame is exposed, then that may indicate to the user or purchaser that the table has increased strength and/or rigidity than a conventional table. Thus, the exposed frame may create a perception of a stronger table. In addition, if the frame is disposed along the outer edges of the table top, the frame may provide increased support for the edges or extremities of the table top. Therefore, the frame may be used to create a stronger and/or more rigid table, and/or the appearance of a stronger and/or more rigid table. Further, if the frame is disposed along the outer edges of the table top, then the frame may help prevent the table top from being damaged. For example, the frame may absorb impacts or forces because it is disposed about the perimeter of the table top that otherwise would be applied directly to the table top. Accordingly, the frame may also help protect the table top from being dented, damaged or broken. In addition, if at least a portion of the frame is exposed, then tables with various aesthetics, styles and designs may be created. For example, the exposed frame may provide a color contrast with the table top. That is, the table top may be one color and the frame may have a different color in order to create a table with a stylized appearance. Of course, the table top and frame may have the same or similar color, if desired.

Still yet another aspect is a table that may include a frame attached to the outer edges of the table top to allow, for example, wider table legs to be used in connection with the table. For example, the table may include two side rails that are disposed along the sides of the table top and the table legs may be disposed between the side rails when the legs are in the collapsed position. Advantageously, because the side rails may be disposed along the edges of the table top, the legs may have a width that is approximately equal to or slightly less than the width of the table top. Thus, for example, the legs could include two support portions that are disposed proximate the edges of the table top and the support portions could be separated by a distance that is approximately equal to or slightly smaller than the width of the table top. The legs could also have a foot that has a length that is approximately equal to or slightly smaller than the width of the table top. Advantageously, because the legs may have a width and/or a foot that has a length that is approximately equal to the width of the table top, that may allow a very sturdy and stable table to be created.

A further aspect is a table that may include a table top with a generally planar upper surface and a generally planar lower surface. For example, the table may include a table top that does not include any generally downwardly extending portions or protrusions such as a lip. This may make the table top easier to manufacture if it does not include any downwardly extending projections. In addition, it may decrease the amount of plastic or other material used to create the table top. In addition, the table may include a table top with a generally planar upper surface. Advantageously, the generally planar lower surface and the generally planar upper surface may be separated by a generally constant distance. In addition, the upper and lower surfaces may be separated by a relatively small distance so that, for example, a relatively lightweight table may be created. For example, the upper and lower surfaces may be separated by a distance that is generally equal to or smaller than the height of the frame, if the table has such a frame. Significantly, this may allow a strong, sturdy and lightweight table to be constructed. It will be appreciated, however, that the upper and lower surfaces of the table top may be separated by any suitable distance and the upper and lower surfaces do not have to be separated by a generally constant distance.

Another aspect is a table that may include one or more corner guards. The corner guards may help protect the frame or other portions of the table from damage that can occur, for example, from dropping the table. The corner guards may also be replaceable and/or repairable. Thus, if the corner guard is damaged, then it may be replaced or repaired. Significantly, the corner guards may be replaced or repaired by the consumer, retailer and/or manufacturer. In addition, the corner guards may allow a skirt or other objects to be easily connected to the table. Further, the corner guards may facilitate stacking and/or nesting of the tables. Finally, the corner guards may be used to create a table with a particular style or design. For example, the corner guards may be used to provide a color contrast with the table top and/or the frame. This may allow a table with improved aesthetics and appearance to be created.

Yet another aspect is a table that may include one or more corner guards which aid in attaching a frame and/or legs to the table. For example, the corner guards may be attached to the table top and the frame may be connected to the corner guards. Thus, the frame may not be directly connected to the table top. Advantageously, if the corner guards attach the frame to the table top, then additional fasteners may not be required to attach the frame to the table top. Fasteners, however, could be used to connect the corner guards and/or frame to the table top, if desired. On the other hand, the frame may be attached to the table top and the corner guards may be attached to the frame. Thus, the frame and/or corner guards may be attached to the table top depending, for example, upon the intended design of the table. It will be appreciated that the corner guards and/or frame could be integrally formed with the table top as part of a one-piece structure, if desired.

Still yet another aspect is a table that may include one or more corner guards which may be aligned with a portion of the table. For example, the corner guards may include a portion that is generally aligned with an outer edge of the table top. The corner guards could also include two or more portions that are generally aligned with two or more portions of the table top. In particular, the corner guards could include one portion that is generally aligned with a first side of the table top and a second portion that is generally aligned with a second side of the table top. It will be understood that all or a portion of the corner guards may be spaced inwardly from the sides of the table top, if desired.

A further aspect is a table that may include one or more corner guards which may be generally aligned with at least a portion of the frame. For example, the corner guards may include a portion that is aligned with a side and/or end rail of the frame. The corner guards could also include two or more portions that are generally aligned with two or more portions of the frame. For instance, the corner guards could include a first portion that is generally aligned with a side rail of the frame and a second portion that is generally aligned with an end rail of the frame.

A still further aspect is a table that may include one or more corner guards which may be generally aligned with at least a portion of the frame and at least a portion of the table top. For example, the corner guards may include a portion that is generally aligned with an outer edge of the table top and a portion that is generally aligned with at least a portion of the frame. The corner guards could also include two or more portions that are generally aligned with the table top and/or the frame. Thus, for instance, the corner guards could include a first portion that is generally aligned with a first side of the table top and a first portion of the frame, and a second portion that is generally aligned with a second side of the table top and a second portion of the frame.

Another aspect is a table that may include one or more corner guards which are generally aligned with portions of the table. For example, the corner guards could include an upper surface that is generally aligned with a lower portion of the table. The corner guards could also include a lower surface that is generally aligned with a lower surface of the frame. Advantageously, this may facilitate shipping, transportation and/or stacking of the table.

Yet another aspect is a table that may include one or more corner guards with receiving portions that are sized and configured to receive at least a portion of a frame. In particular, the corner guards may include one or more receiving portions that are sized and configured to receive the side and/or end rails of the frame. Advantageously, the receiving portions may allow the frame to be connected to the table without directly connecting the frame to the table top.

Still yet another aspect is a table that may include a table top that is sized and configured to protect one or more portions of the frame from damage. For example, the table top may include one or more sides or edges that are sized and configured to extend past the sides or edges of the frame. Accordingly, the table top may absorb some or all of the stresses or forces applied to the table, which may prevent the frame from being damaged. In particular, because the table top may be constructed from relatively durable and resilient materials, such as blow-molded plastic, the table top may help prevent the frame from being damaged. Thus, the table top may help protect the exposed portions of the frame from damage, which may be particularly advantageously if the exposed portions of the frame have painted or finished surfaces because such forces and impacts can leave scars or other visible blemishes on the painted or finished surfaces. Additionally, because damage to the table top may be less noticeable than damage to the frame, it may be desirable to use the table top to help protect the frame from damage. Advantageously, this may help keep the table looking like new.

A further another aspect is a table that may include one or more legs attached to the table top and the legs may be connected to the table top by braces. The braces, for example, may include one end that is connected to the table top and another end that is connected to a leg. Advantageously, if the legs have a pedestal style, that legs may help hide the braces from view and these legs may allow a table with a more pleasing appearance to be created. It will be appreciated that the table could include any suitable type of legs and, for example, the legs may also be sized and configured to provide increased leg room and space under the table and the legs could be adjustable in height, if desired.

A still further aspect is a table that may be relatively straight-forward to assemble. Advantageously, this may allow the table to be quickly and easily manufactured. In addition, this may allow the table to be shipped in an unassembled configuration and the consumer may be able to assemble the table. This may allow manufacturing and shipping costs to be decreased. It may also allow labor costs to be reduced.

Another aspect is a table may include one or more components that can be quickly and easily manufactured. For example, the table top may include upper and lower portions that have generally planar surfaces, which may simplify the manufacturing process and allow the table top to be quickly and easily manufactured. In addition, the legs and/or frame may be quickly and easily attached to the table top, which may reduce manufacturing costs.

Yet another aspect is a table that may include a table top constructed from blow-molded plastic with a hollow interior portion formed during the blow molding process. The table may also include support members movable relative to the table top between a first position in which the support member extends outwardly from the table top and a second position in which the support member is positioned proximate the lower surface of the table top. In addition, the table may include a first side rail generally aligned with a first side of the table top, a second side rail generally aligned with a second side of the table top, a first end rail generally aligned with a first end of the table top and a second end rail generally aligned with a second end of the table top. The table may further include X a first guard member that is connected to the first side rail and the first end rail, a second guard member that is connected to the second side rail and the first end rail, a third guard member that is connected to the first side rail and the second end rail, and a forth guard member that is connected to the second side rail and the second end rail. The guard members may be selectively connected to the table top, side rails and/or end rails.

These and other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The appended drawings contain figures of preferred embodiments to further clarify the above and other aspects, advantages and features of the present invention. It will be appreciated that these drawings depict only preferred embodiments of the invention and are not intended to limits its scope. The invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a table, illustrating the legs in an extended position;

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the table shown in FIG. 1, illustrating the legs in a collapsed position;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of a portion of the table shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the table shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of another exemplary embodiment of a table, illustrating corner guards disposed proximate the corners of the table top;

FIG. 6 is a top view of the table shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a front view of the table shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a side view of the table shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 9 is a bottom view of yet another exemplary embodiment of a table, illustrating the legs in a collapsed position;

FIG. 10 is a top perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a corner for a table;

FIG. 11 is a bottom perspective view of the corner shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is another bottom perspective view of the corner shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a side view of another exemplary embodiment of a corner for a table;

FIG. 14 is another side view of the corner shown in FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of the corner shown in FIG. 13;

FIG. 16 is another perspective view of the corner shown in FIG. 13;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of still another exemplary embodiment of a corner for a table;

FIG. 18 is another perspective view of the corner shown in FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is yet another perspective view of the corner shown in FIG. 17;

FIG. 20 is still another perspective view of the corner shown in FIG. 17;

FIG. 21 is a bottom perspective view of a further exemplary embodiment of a corner for a table;

FIG. 22 is a top perspective view of the corner shown in FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 is another bottom perspective view of the corner shown in FIG. 21; and

FIG. 24 is another top perspective view of the corner shown in FIG. 21.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is generally directed towards tables. The principles of the present invention, however, are not limited to tables. It will be understood that, in light of the present disclosure, the table disclosed herein can be successfully used in connection with other types of furniture and equipment.

Additionally, to assist in the description of the table, words such as top, bottom, front, rear, right and left may be used to describe the accompanying figures. It will be appreciated, however, that the present invention can be located in a variety of desired positions including various angles, sideways and even upside down. A detailed description of the table now follows.

As shown in FIG. 1, an exemplary embodiment of the table 10 includes a table top 12. The table top 12 is preferably constructed from a lightweight material such as plastic. In particular, the table top 12 can be constructed from plastic, such as high density polyethylene, but other materials with suitable characteristics may also be used to construct the table top. The plastic table top 12 is desirably formed by a blow-molding process because, for example, it may allow a relatively strong, lightweight, rigid and sturdy table top to be quickly and easily manufactured. In particular, the blow-molded table top 12 may be relatively lightweight because it may include a hollow interior portion. In addition, the blow-molded plastic table top 12 may be constructed from less plastic than conventional plastic table tops, which may save manufacturing costs and reduce consumer costs. Further, the blow-molded table top 12 can be manufactured with relatively thin outer walls, which may allow the table top to cool more quickly during the manufacturing process and that may decrease both manufacturing time and costs.

The blow-molded plastic table top 12 can be constructed to form a variety of suitable shapes, configurations, sizes, designs and/or colors depending, for example, upon the intended use of table 10. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1-4, the table top 12 can be constructed with a generally rectangular configuration and it may be used to create a utility table. The utility table may have a length of four, six or eight feet and a width of about two or three feet. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the table top 12 can have other suitable sizes and configurations. For example, the table top can have a circular configuration with a diameter of about five feet or a generally square configuration with sides two to four feet in length. Of course, the blow-molded table top 12 can have other suitable shapes, sizes and configurations depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table 10.

The table top 12 is preferably constructed from blow-molded plastic because the blow-molded plastic table tops may be relatively durable, weather resistant and temperature insensitive. In addition, the blow-molded table top 12 may be corrosion resistant, rust resistant and it generally does not deteriorate over time. One skilled in the art, however, will appreciate that the table top 12 does not have to be constructed from blow-molded plastic and other suitable materials and/or processes can be used to construct the table top depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table 10. For example, the table top 12 could be constructed from other suitable types of plastic and the table top could be constructed using other suitable processes such as injection molding, extrusion molding, compression molding and the like.

As shown in the accompanying figures, the table top 12 preferably has a generally planar construction. For example, the table top 12 may have a generally planar upper surface, which may allow the table to be used in a wide variety of situations and environments. The table top 12 may also have a lower surface that is spaced apart from the upper surface. Preferably the lower surface of the table top 12 has a generally planar construction. In particular, neither the upper nor the lower surfaces of the table top 12 preferably include any outwardly extending projections, such as a lip. Thus, both the upper and lower surfaces of the table top 12 are preferably generally planar. In addition, if desired, the upper and lower surface of the table top 12 may be separated be a generally constant distance. Advantageously, the generally planar upper and lower surfaces may allow the table top 12 to be quickly and easily manufactured, which may decrease the manufacturing costs of the table 10. Further, the generally planar upper and lower surfaces of the table top 12 may reduce the amount of materials required to construct the table top, which may decrease the manufacturing costs of the table 10. This may also create a table top 12 with a relatively simple and straightforward design. While the table top 12 preferably has a generally planar upper and lower surface, the table top may include one or more inwardly or outwardly extending portions. For example, as discussed below, the table top 12 may include one more depressions. In addition, if desired, the table top 12 could include one or more outwardly extending portions, such as a generally downwardly extending lip, that may be formed in or attached to any desired portion of the table top.

The table top 12 may include one or more features that are integrally formed in the table top as part of a unitary, one-piece structure. For example, the table top 12 may include one or more recesses formed in the lower surface of the table top, which may be sized and configured to receive at least a portion of a table legs in the collapsed or storage position. Advantageously, this may facilitate stacking of the tables 10 and/or securing the table legs in the collapsed position. In addition, one or more depressions may be formed in the table top 12 and the depressions may be sized and configured to increase the strength and structural integrity of the table top. In greater detail, the depressions may extend from one surface of the table top 12, such as the bottom surface, to an opposing surface, such as the top surface. The ends of the depressions may contact or engage the opposing surface and/or the ends of the depressions could be spaced apart from the opposing surface. The depressions may allow the table top 12 to be constructed with thinner walls, which may allow the table top to cool faster during the manufacturing process and may require less plastic to manufacture. It will be appreciated that these and other features may be formed in or connected to the table top 12.

As shown in the accompanying figures, the table 10 may include one or more legs or support pedestals 14. The legs 14 are preferably movable between an extended or use position in which the legs extend generally outwardly from the table top 12 and a collapsed or storage position in which the legs are positioned proximate and/or contact the table top. The legs 14 may include one or more elongated portions and the elongated portions may be interconnected, if desired. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, the legs 14 may include two elongated portions that are interconnected by a cross brace 16. As shown in FIG. 5, the legs 14 may include only a single elongated portion. It will be appreciated that the legs 14 may have a variety of suitable sizes, configurations and/or designs.

The table 10 may also include a frame 20 and the frame may include one or more side rails 22 that are disposed along the sides, edges or perimeter of the table top 12. The side rails 22 may also extend at least a majority of the length of the table top 12 and the side rails may be generally aligned with the edges of the table top. For example, the side rails 22 may include an outer surface that is generally aligned with an outer edge of the table top 12. The side rails 22, however, could be spaced apart from the outer edges of the table top 12.

Advantageously, because the side rails 22 may be disposed along the outer edges of the table top 12, the frame 20 may help support the edges or extremities of the table top. This may allow a stronger table top 12 to be formed because the edges of the table top may be supported by the frame 20. In addition, the frame 20 may help prevent damage to the table top 12. For example, the frame 20 may help prevent the table top 12 from undesirably bending or deforming if a force or sudden impact is applied to an edge of the table top. In addition, the frame 20 may help absorb various forces and/or prevent items from striking the table top 12.

If the side rails 22 are disposed proximate the edges of the table top 12, then that may allow wider legs 14 to be attached to the table 10. For example, if the side rails 22 are generally aligned with the outer edges of the table top 12, then the legs 14 may have a width that is approximately equal to or slightly less than the width of the table top. Thus, for example, the legs 14 could include two elongated portions that are disposed proximate the edges of the table top 12 and the elongated portions could be separated by a distance that is approximately equal to or slightly smaller than the width of the table top. The legs 14 could also have a foot that has a length that is approximately equal to or slightly smaller than the width of the table top 12. Advantageously, because the legs 14 may have a width and/or a foot that has a length that is approximately equal to the width of the table top 12, that may allow a very sturdy and stable table to be created.

The frame 20 may also include connecting portions 24, which may be disposed proximate the ends of the table top 12. As best seen in FIG. 2, the connecting portions 24 may be connected to the side rails 22. The connecting portions 24 may also be integrally formed with the side rails 22 to create a unitary, one-piece frame 20. Of course, the connecting portions 24 and the side rails 22 do not have to be interconnected, the connection portions could be spaced apart from the ends of the table, and the frame 20 could have other suitable shapes, sizes and configurations.

The frame 20 is preferably constructed from a relatively strong and rigid material, such as steel. Advantageously, the frame 20 may be used to support all or a portion of the table top 12. It will be appreciated, however, that the frame 20 could be constructed from other materials with suitable characteristics and the table 10 does not require the frame. In addition, while the frame 20 is preferably at least partially disposed along the exterior portions of the table top 12, the frame could be connected to any desired portions of the table top and the frame could have a variety of suitable shapes, configurations and arrangements depending, for example, upon the size and shape of the table 10.

As shown in the accompanying figures, the legs 14 may be connected to a crossbar 26 and the crossbar may allow the legs to pivot between the use and storage positions. The crossbar 26, for example, may be rotatably or pivotally attached to the lower surface of the table top 12 using the brackets 28 or other suitable fasteners. Thus, the legs 14 and/or crossbar 26 may be independently connected to the table top 12. The crossbar 26 may also be rotatably attached to frame 20, if desired. For example, the crossbar 26 may be connected to the frame 20 by inserting at least a portion of the ends of the crossbar into a hole, recess or other opening formed in the side rails 22 of frame. The legs 14 and/or crossbar 26 may also be attached to the table 10 by other suitable mechanisms or devices depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table 10. In addition, the legs 14 could include a crossbar, if desired.

The table 10 may also include one or more braces 18 that may help stabilize the table and/or guide the legs 14 between the use and storage positions. For example, as best seen in FIG. 2, a brace 18 may be connected to each leg 14 and a support structure. The support structure, for example, may include a support member 30 that is disposed near the center of the table 10 and the support member may be attached to the lower surface of the table top 12 and/or frame 20 using the brackets 32 or other suitable fasteners. It will be appreciated that other suitable types of braces 18, support structures and/or support members 30 may be used depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table 10.

The crossbars 26 and/or support member 30 may be used to connect the frame 20 to the table top 12. For example, if the crossbars 26 and/or support member 30 are connected to the frame 20, and the crossbars and support member are connected to the table top 12, then the frame may also be connected to the table top. On the other hand, the frame 20 may be used to connect the crossbars 26 and/or the support member 30 to the table top 12. The frame 20, crossbars 26 and/or support member 30 could also be connected to the table top 12 in other suitable configurations and arrangements.

The legs 14, braces 18, frame 20, crossbars 26 and support members 30 are preferably constructed of a strong material, such as metal. In addition, the legs 14, crossbars 26 and support members 30 are preferably constructed from hollow, tubular members, which may decrease the weight of the table 10. Of course, legs 14, braces 18, frame 20, crossbars 26 and support members 30 may be constructed from other suitable materials and may have other appropriate shapes, sizes, configurations and arrangements depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table 10.

As best seen in FIGS. 1-4, all or at least a portion of the frame 20 may be exposed and visible to the user. That is, when the table 10 is in the use position, all or at least a portion of the frame 20 is exposed and visible to the user. Advantageously, if the frame 20 is visible, then a contrast between the table top 12 and the frame may be used to create a stylish or fashionable table 10. For example, the table top 12 and the frame 20 may be constructed using different materials, textures and colors. It will be understood, however, that the frame 20 does not have to be exposed or visible to the user and the frame and/or table top 12 could have any suitable combination of textures, colors, designs and the like.

Advantageously, if at least a portion of the frame 20 is exposed, then that may create the impression, whether real or imaged, that the table 10 is relatively strong. In addition, if at least a portion of the frame 20 is disposed along the outer edges of the table top 12, then the frame 20 may provide increased support for the edges or extremities of the table top. Further, if the frame 20 is disposed along the outer edges of the table top 12, then the frame may help prevent the table top from being damaged. For example, the frame 20 may absorb impacts or forces because it is disposed about the perimeter of the table top 12 that otherwise would be applied directly to the table top. Accordingly, the frame may also help protect the table top from being dented, damaged or broken.

On the other hand, the table top 12 may be sized and configured to protect the frame 20. For example, as best seen in FIG. 4, the table top 12 may include an upper surface 33, a lower surface 34 and outer edges 35. In this exemplary embodiment, the side rails 22 of the frame 20 may be spaced inwardly from the outer edges of the table top 12. With the edges 35 of the table top 12 extending past the outer portions of the frame 20, the table top may help prevent potentially damaging contact with the frame. Thus, the table top 12 may be sized and configured to minimize or otherwise reduce the damage to the frame 20, which helps keep the table 10 looking like new.

The table may also include one or more guards that are sized and configured to help protect the table. For example, as shown in FIGS. 5-8, an exemplary table 60 may include a table top 62, legs 64, feet 66 and end caps 68. The table 60 may also include a frame 72 with one or more side rails 74. The edges of the side rails 74 may be generally aligned with the edges 76 of the table top 62 to provide a generally flat, planar outer surface. The edges of the side rails 74 and the edges 76 of the table top 62, however, could be offset or spaced apart, if desired. It will be appreciated that the table 60 could also have other suitable shapes, sizes, configurations and arrangements depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table.

The table 60 may include one or more guards that may be sized and configured to protect a portion of the table. As shown in the accompanying figures, the table 60 may include corner guards 78 that are disposed in each corner of the table. The exemplary table 60 shown in the accompanying figures has a rectangular table top 12 with four corner guards 78, but it will be appreciated that the number, size and configuration of the corner guards may depend upon the size, type and configuration of the table 60.

The corner guards 78 are preferably sized and configured to protect the corners of the table. Accordingly, the corner guards 78 are preferably constructed from a relatively tough, durable, resilient and/or wear resistant material such plastic. The plastic corner guards may be constructed using injection molding, rotary molding, compression molding and the like. The corner guards 78 may be constructed using other suitable materials and processes, if desired.

As best shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, at least a portion of the corner guards 78 may be sized and configured to extend past the corners of the table frame 72 and/or the corners of the table top 62. Thus, the corner guards 78 advantageously may help prevent damage to the table top 62 and/or the frame 72 and/or the table top 62. The corner guards 78 may also provide impact protection for the table 60. For example, the corner guards 78 may form a bumper or cushion that absorbs energy if forces are applied to the corner of the table 60.

The corner guards 78 may also be used to connect various portions of the frame 72. For example, the corner guards 78 may be used to connect the side rails, end rails and/or connecting members of the frame 72. The corner guards 78 may also help align and position the frame 72 in the desired location. In order to facilitate connection of the frame 72 to the corner guards 78, the corner guards may include one or more receiving portions that are sized and configured to receive a portion of the frame. Advantageously, the frame 72 may be connected to the corner guards 78 may a friction, snap or interference fit. The frame 72 may also be connected to the corner guards 78 by fasteners, adhesives and the like. This may allow, for example, the frame 72 to be attached to the table 60 by simply connecting the frame to the corner guards 78. Thus, the corner guards 78 may allow the table 60 to be quickly and easily assembled, which may expedite the manufacturing process and allow the consumer or retailer to assemble the table. This may also allow the table 60 to be sold in an unassembled configuration, if desired. It will be appreciated that the frame 72 and/or corner guards 78 may be connected to the table 60 by any suitable process, device and the like.

The corner guards 78 may be permanently or selectively attached to the table 60. If the corner guards 78 are selectively attached to the table 60, then the corner guards may be repaired or replaced. Significantly, this may allow a consumer, retailer or manufacturer to repair the table 60 if the corner guards are broken, worn or damaged. The corner guards 78 could also be permanently attached to the table 60, if desired. In addition, the corner guards could be an integral part of the table 60, table top 62 and/or frame 72.

As best seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, the lower portion of the corner guards 78 may be sized and configured to extend beyond a lower portion of the frame 72. For example, the lower portion of the corner guards 78 may extend beyond the lower surface of the side rails 74 of the table frame 72. If the corner guards 78 extend beyond the lower portion of the frame 72, then the corner guards may help protect the frame from damage. In addition, when the legs 64 are in the collapsed position, the corner guards may help prevent damage to the legs 64. Thus, the corner guards 78 may help protect the lower portion of the table 60 from damage when the table legs 64 are in the collapsed position.

The corner guards 78 may also facilitate stacking of the table 60. For example, a lower portion of the corner guards 78 of one table may be sized and configured to contact, engage and/or abut a portion of an adjacent table, such as the table top 62, when the tables are stacked. Thus, the corner guards 78 may act as guides to facilitate stacking of the tables 60. The corner guards 78 may also assist in aligning the tables 60 when the tables are positioned adjacent to each other. Additionally, the corner guards 78 may help prevent one table from damaging an adjacent table when the tables are stacked or positioned adjacent to each other.

The corner guards 78 may help create a table 60 with an aesthetically pleasing design. For example, the corner guards 78 may create a distinction or dissimilarity between the table top 62, the frame 72 and/or the corner guards 78 to create a stylish or fashionable table 60. For example, the table top 62, the frame 72 and/or the corner guards 78 may be constructed using different materials, textures, colors and the like to create a desired design, appearance and the like. It will be appreciated that while the various components of the table 60 may have different colors, textures, materials and the like, one or more of the components may have the same colors, textures, materials, and the like.

As shown in FIGS. 5 to 8, the corner guards 78 may be positioned in each corner of the table top 62. A portion of the corner guards 78 may extend beyond the outer edges of the table top 62 and/or the frame 72. The corner guards 78 may also be generally aligned with the table top 62 and/or the frame 72, if desired. In addition, the corner guards 78 may include one or more portions that are generally flush with the table 60 and one or more portions that are generally spaced apart from the table. For example, the corner guards 78 could be generally aligned with the outer edges of the table top 62 and spaced apart from the frame 72. On the other hand, the corner guards 78 could be spaced apart from the outer edges of the table top 62 and generally aligned with the frame 72. It will be appreciated that the table top 62, frame 72 and/or corner guards 78 could have a variety of suitable configurations and arrangements depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table 60.

As seen in FIG. 9, another exemplary embodiment of a table 80 includes a table top 82 with legs 84, 86 that are preferably movable relative to the table top between a collapsed position and an extended position. In greater detail, the legs 84, 86 may be connected to or include crossbars 88, 90 respectively, and the crossbars may be pivotally connected to the table top 82 by braces 92, 94. Each of the legs 84, 86 may include two elongated portions that are spaced apart and interconnected by a connecting members 96. As shown in FIG. 9, the elongated portions of the legs 84, 86 may have a generally straight configuration and the legs may be offset, which may permit legs with an extended length to be used. It will be appreciated that the legs 84, 86 may have other desirable shapes and configurations depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table. It will also be appreciated that the table 80 may have other features and characteristics similar to the table tops 12 and 62, but the table could have other suitable features and characteristics.

As discussed above, various types of tables, such as the tables 10, 60 and 80, may have a variety of suitable shapes, sizes, configurations, arrangements and the like. These tables may also include an assortment of features such as corner guards. Exemplary embodiments of corner guards that may be used in connection with these or other suitable types of tables are discussed in further detail below. It will be understood that these corner guards may have various suitable shapes, sizes, configurations, arrangements and the like depending, for example, upon the particular type of table. Thus, while the following corner guards are illustrated and discussed in connection with a table that has a frame and a corner formed at a right angle, the corner guards could be used in connection with other appropriate types of tables.

As shown in FIGS. 10-24, a corner guard is preferably disposed in each corner of the table top and the corner guard is preferably constructed from a relatively tough, durable, resilient and/or wear resistant material, such plastic, rubber and the like. Thus, both the table top and the corner guard may be constructed from similar or different materials. If the corner guard is constructed from plastic, it may be from suitable processes such as injection molding, rotary molding, compression molding and the like. Therefore, both the corner guard and the table top could be constructed from the same or different processes. It will be appreciated, however, that the corner guard and/or table top may be constructed using other suitable materials and processes. If the corner guards are constructed from different materials and/or processes, then the corner guards and table top may have different characteristics such as being more (or less) tough, durable, resilient, wear resistant and/or flexible. Further, if the table includes more than one corner guard, then the different corner guards may be constructed using different materials and/or processes.

The corner guards may be formed separately from the table top. This may allow the corner guard to be selectively attached and/or detached from the table top. This may facilitate the manufacturing process because the corner guards could be attached to the table during or after the manufacturing process. This may also allow a retailer or consumer to attach the corner guard to the table top. In addition, this may allow the corner guards to be easily repaired and/or replaced. The corner guards may be attached to the table by fasteners, adhesives and the like. The corner guards may also be attached by a snap, friction and/or interference fit, if desired. It will be appreciated the corner guards and the table top may be integrally formed as part of a unitary, one-piece structure.

In greater detail, as shown in the accompanying figures, the corner guards may be attached to a portion of the table such as the table top and/or frame. For example, the table top may include a receiving portion that is sized and configured to facilitate attachment of the corner guard to the table. In particular, the table top may include one or more recesses, channels, grooves, inwardly extending portions, outwardly extending portions or other portions that are sized and configured receive at least a portion of a corner guard. The receiving portions may be sized and configured to receive and retain at least a portion of a corner guard using a snap, friction and/or interference fit, which may help allow the corner guard to be selectively attached and detached from the table top. Desirably, the receiving portions are integrally formed in the table top during a blow molding process or other molding process, which may help the receiving portions to be quickly and easily formed. It will be appreciated, however, that other manufacturing processes may be used to form the receiving portions in the table top and that the table top does not require any receiving portions.

A receiving portion of the table top may also be sized and configured to help generally align one or more portions of the corner guard with one or more portions of the table top and/or a table frame. For example, the receiving portion may be sized and configured to help position a portion of the corner guard generally in the same plane as a portion of the table top and/or a portion of the table frame. Also, for example, the receiving portion may be sized and configured to help position a portion of the corner guard generally parallel to a portion of the table top and/or a portion of the table frame. It will be understood, however, that a corner guard does not require any portion to be generally aligned with any portion of a table top or a table frame.

As shown in FIGS. 10-24, a receiving portion of the table top may also be sized and configured to help position an edge of the corner guard to abut an edge of a portion of the table top and/or at least one edge of a portion of the frame. In addition, a portion of the table top and the corner guard may be generally aligned. When the portion of the table top and the corner guard are generally aligned, the table top and the corner guard may touch, engage or contact. It will be appreciated, however, that the table top and the corner guard could also be spaced apart. In addition, when the portion of the table top and the corner guard are generally aligned, the surfaces of the table top and the corner guard may be in the same plane, parallel, flush or at an angle. Desirably, when the portion of the table top and the corner guard are generally aligned, the surfaces mate, join, match, correspond and/or complement each other. Advantageously, this may help the corner guard create a table with an esthetically pleasing design and appearance.

As shown in the accompanying figures, a frame may be used to connect the corner guards to the table top. For example, if the table top is connected to the frame, and the frame is connected to the corner guards, then the corner guards may also be connected to the table top. For example, the corner guard may include a receiving portion that is sized and configured to facilitate attachment of the corner guard to the frame. In particular, the corner guard may include one or more recesses, channels, grooves, inwardly extending portions, outwardly extending portions or other portions that are sized and configured receive at least a portion of the frame. The receiving portions may be sized and configured to receive and retain at least a portion of the frame using a snap, friction and/or interference fit, which may help allow the corner guard to be selectively attached and detached from the frame. Desirably, the receiving portions are integrally formed in the corner guard during an injection molding process or other molding process, which may help the receiving portions to be quickly and easily formed. It will be appreciated, however, that other manufacturing processes may be used to form the receiving portions in the corner guard and that the corner guard does not require any receiving portions. It will also be appreciated that the corner guard may be connected to the table top, the table frame, and/or other portions of the table.

In greater detail, as shown in FIGS. 10-12, an exemplary corner guard 98 may be attached to a corner of a table top 100. The corner guard 98 may include a first portion 102 that is generally aligned with a first side 104 of the table top 100 and a second portion 106 that is generally aligned with a second side 108 of the table top. The corner guard 98 may also include a first ridge 110 that is generally aligned with a lower portion 112 of the table top 100 and a second ridge 114 that is generally aligned with another lower portion 112 of the table top. In addition, other portions of the corner guard 98 may be generally aligned with other portions of a table top 100, if desired. On the other hand, all or a portion of the corner guard 98 may be spaced apart from the table top 100.

The corner guard 98 may also include one or more portions 118 that are generally aligned with the frame. For example, a portion of the corner guard 98 may be generally aligned with a lower portion of a side rail 120 and a lower portion of an end rail 122. It will be understood that other portions of the guard 98 may also be generally flush with other portions of a frame. All or a portion of the corner guard 98 may also be spaced apart from the frame.

As shown in FIGS. 10-12, the corner guard 98 may include one or more receiving portions that are sized and configured to receive at least a portion of the frame 116. For example, a receiving portion 124 may receive a portion of the side rail 120 and a receiving portion 126 may receive a portion of the end rail 122. Advantageously, the receiving portions may facilitate connection of the frame 116 and the corner guards 98. It will be understood, however, that the frame 116 and the corner guards 98 could be connected in other know ways or methods. The frame 116, however, does not have to be connected to the corner guards 98.

The corner guard 98 may be sized and configured to facilitate stacking of a table. For example, the table top 100 may include receiving portions 128 that are sized and configured receive at least a portion of the corner guard 98. This may allow the tables to be aligned and may prevent the adjacent tables from being damaged.

As shown in FIGS. 10-12, the corner guard 98 may include one or more angled or tapered portions. The tapered portions may taper from a first portion that is generally flush with a side of the table top 100 to a second portion that is generally spaced apart from the side of the table top. For example, the corner guard 98 may include a tapered portion 130 that tapers from a first portion that is generally flush with the side 104 of the table top 100 to a second portion that is generally spaced apart from the side 104; and the guard 98 may include a tapered portion 132 that tapers from a first portion that is generally flush with the side 108 of the table top 100 to a second portion that is generally spaced apart from the side 108. The tapered portions 130, 132 may be tapered to the side rails 120, 122 of the frame. For example, if the side rails 120, 122 of the frame are spaced inwardly from the sides 104, 108 of the table top 100, then the tapered portions 130, 132 may be aligned with this portion of the frame. The frame, however, does not have to be spaced apart from the edges of the table top 100 and the corner guards 98 do not require any tapered portions.

Another exemplary embodiment of a corner guard is shown in FIGS. 13-16 and it may include some features and attributes that are similar to the corner guard 98 discussed above. In greater detail, the corner guard 134 may be connected to a table top 136 and one or more portions of the corner guard may be generally aligned with one or more portions of the table. For example, the corner guard 134 may include a first portion 138 that is generally aligned with a first side 140 of the table top 136 and a second portion 142 that is generally aligned with a second side 144 of the table top. It will be appreciated that the corner guard 134 could also be spaced apart from the sides 140, 144 of the table top 136.

The corner guard 134 may include one or more portions that are generally aligned with the frame. For example, the corner guard 134 may be generally aligned with the side rails of the frame. In addition, the corner guard 134 may include one or more receiving portions that are sized and configured to receive at least a portion of the frame. For example, a first receiving portion may receive a portion of the side rail 150 and a second receiving portion may receive a portion of the end rail 152.

The corner guard 134 may also be sized and configured to facilitate stacking of a table. For example, the corner guard 134 may include a projection 148 and the table top 136 may include a receiving portion that is sized and configured receive to receive the projection. In addition, the corner guard 134 may include a first tapered portion 156 that tapers from a first portion that is generally flush with the side 140 of the table top 136 to a second portion that is generally spaced apart from the side 140. The corner guard 134 may also include a second tapered portion 158 that tapers from a first portion that is generally flush with the side 144 of the table top 136 to a second portion that is generally spaced apart from the side 144.

Another exemplary embodiment of a corner guard 160 is shown in FIGS. 17-20 and it may include some features and attributes similar to the corner guards 98 and 134. The corner guard 160 is attached to a table top 162 and the corner guard may include a first portion 164 that is generally aligned with a first side 166 of the table top 162 and a second portion 168 that is generally aligned with a second side 170 of the table top. The corner guard 160 may also include one or more portions that are generally aligned with the frame 172. The corner guard 160 may include one or more portions that are generally aligned with the frame. In addition, the corner guard may include a downwardly extending projection 174, which may facilitate stacking of the table. For instance, if the table top 166 includes a receiving portion, the projection 174 may be sized and configured to be at least partially disposed within the receiving portion to facilitate stacking of the table. Further, the corner guard 160 may include a first tapering portion 180 that tapers from a first portion that is generally flush with the side 166 of the table top 162 to a second portion that is generally spaced apart from the side 166; and a second tapering portion 182 that tapers from a first portion that is generally flush with the side 170 of the table top 162 to a second portion that is generally spaced apart from the side 170.

As shown in FIG. 19, the table top 162 may include one or more channels 184 that are sized and configured to receive at least a portion of the table frame 172. In particular, as shown in FIG. 19, the channel 184 may receive at least a portion of the side rail 176.

Another exemplary embodiment of a corner guard 184 is shown in FIGS. 21-24 and it may include some features and attributes similar to the corner guards 98, 134 and 160. For example, the corner guard 184 may be attached to a table top 186 and one or more portions of the corner guard may be generally aligned with one or more portions of a table top. In particular, the corner guard 184 may include a first portion 188 that is generally aligned with a lower portion 190 of the table top 186 and a second portion 192 that is generally aligned with the lower portion 190 of the table top. The corner guard 184 may also be generally aligned with one or more portions of a frame 194. For example, the guard 184 may include a portion 196 that is generally aligned with a lower portion of a side rail 198 and a lower portion of an end rail 200 of the frame 194.

The corner guard 184 may also include one or more receiving portions that are sized and configured to receive a portion of the frame 194. For example, a receiving portion 202 may receive a portion of the side rail 198 and a receiving portion 204 may receive a portion of the end rail 200. In addition, the corner guard 184 may be sized and configured to facilitate stacking of the table. For example, the table top 186 may include a receiving portion 206 that is sized and configured receive a portion 196 of the corner guard 184. The corner guard 184 may further include a first tapered portion 208 that tapers from a first portion that is generally aligned with a side 210 of the table top 186 to a second portion that is generally spaced apart from the side 210; and a second tapered portion 212 that tapers from a first portion that is generally aligned with a side 214 of the table top to a second portion that is generally spaced apart from the side 214.

As shown in the accompanying figures, the corner guards 98, 134, 160, 184 may have various suitable shapes, sizes, arrangements and configurations. In addition, all or a portion of the corner guards 98, 134, 160, 184 may be spaced inwardly from the outer edges of the table top, aligned with the outer edges of the table top or extend outwardly beyond the outer edges of the table top. Further, all or a portion of the corner guards 98, 134, 160, 184 may be spaced inwardly from the frame, aligned with the frame or extend outwardly beyond the frame. The corner guards 98, 134, 160, 184 may also form part of the table top, if desired, and the corner guards could be integrally formed with the table top or attached to the table top.

It will be appreciated that the corner guards may be used with a variety of different tables, and the corner guards and tables may include other features, such as disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/888,166, which was filed Jul. 9, 2004; U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/485,817, which was filed Jul. 9, 2003; and U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/485,754, which was filed Jul. 9, 2003. Further, the corner guards and/or tables may also include features such as disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/949,777, which was filed Sep. 24, 2004; U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/513,161, which was filed Oct. 20, 2003; and U.S. design Pat. application serial No. 29/192,259, which was filed Oct. 20, 2003. Each of these applications is expressly incorporated by reference in its entirety.

Although this invention has been described in terms of certain preferred embodiments, other embodiments apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art are also within the scope of this invention. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is intended to be defined only by the claims which follow.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7707947 *Nov 1, 2006May 4, 2010Lifetime Products, Inc.Table
US8567322 *Jan 5, 2011Oct 29, 2013Cosco Management, Inc.Table with tabletop corner support
US8667909 *May 23, 2012Mar 11, 2014Knoll, Inc.Adjustable attachment device for furniture
US20110253015 *Jan 5, 2011Oct 20, 2011Cosco Management, Inc.Table with tabletop corner support
US20120304902 *May 23, 2012Dec 6, 2012Knoll, Inc.Adjustable attachment device for furniture
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/125
International ClassificationA47B3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B3/091
European ClassificationA47B3/091
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 6, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: LIFETIME PRODUCTS, INC., UTAH
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ASHBY, KENT;ASTLE, ROBERT A.;STRONG, L. CURTIS;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017307/0431;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060302 TO 20060303