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Publication numberUS20090212606 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/072,396
Publication dateAug 27, 2009
Filing dateFeb 26, 2008
Priority dateFeb 26, 2008
Publication number072396, 12072396, US 2009/0212606 A1, US 2009/212606 A1, US 20090212606 A1, US 20090212606A1, US 2009212606 A1, US 2009212606A1, US-A1-20090212606, US-A1-2009212606, US2009/0212606A1, US2009/212606A1, US20090212606 A1, US20090212606A1, US2009212606 A1, US2009212606A1
InventorsSherry Bunch
Original AssigneeSherry Bunch
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Chair with ice bucket armrests
US 20090212606 A1
Abstract
A chair including an armrest having an inner chamber arranged to hold a liquid, an outer surface, and a plurality of apertures extending from the outer surface to the inner chamber, wherein the plurality of apertures is arranged to drain the liquid out of the inner chamber such that the liquid coats at least a portion of the outer surface of the armrest as the liquid drains from the inner chamber.
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Claims(13)
1. An armrest for a chair comprising:
an inner chamber arranged to hold a liquid;
an outer surface; and,
a plurality of apertures extending from the outer surface to the inner chamber, wherein the plurality of apertures is arranged to drain the liquid out of the inner chamber such that the liquid coats at least a portion of the outer surface of the armrest as the liquid drains from the inner chamber.
2. The armrest recited in claim 1, further comprising a lid for opening and closing the inner chamber.
3. The armrest recited in claim 1, wherein the armrest is shaped so as to substantially resemble at least one ice cube.
4. The armrest recited in claim 1, wherein the armrest is shaped so as to substantially resemble a cresting wave.
5. The armrest recited in claim 1, furthering comprising a cup holder.
6. The armrest recited in claim 1, wherein the inner chamber is operatively arranged to also hold ice, and the liquid is primarily water that forms as a result of the ice melting.
7. A chair comprising:
a seat portion; and,
an armrest including an inner chamber arranged to hold a liquid, an outer surface, and a plurality of apertures extending from the outer surface to the inner chamber, wherein the plurality of apertures is arranged to drain liquid out of the inner chamber, when the liquid is arranged therein, such that the liquid coats at least a portion of the outer surface of the armrest as the liquid drains.
8. The chair recited in claim 7, wherein the chair is a lounge-style chair.
9. The chair recited in claim 7, wherein the seat portion of the chair is made from a water, UV light, and mildew resistant material.
10. The chair recited in claim 7, wherein the armrest is shaped to substantially resemble at least one ice cube.
11. The chair recited in claim 7, wherein the armrest is shaped to substantially resemble a cresting wave.
12. The chair recited in claim 7, wherein the seat portion is substantially shaped to resemble an ice pop in a cellophane tube.
13. A chair comprising:
a seat portion; and,
an armrest, which includes:
an inner chamber arranged to hold a liquid;
a lid for closing the inner chamber;
a cup-holder proximate to the inner chamber;
an outer surface; and,
a plurality of apertures extending from the outer surface to the inner chamber, wherein the plurality of apertures is arranged to drain the liquid out of the inner chamber, such that the liquid coats at least a portion of the outer surface of the armrest as the liquid drains from the inner chamber.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to chairs and ice buckets. In particular, the invention relates to chairs having ice buckets for arms.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Lounge chairs and ice buckets are both well known. Lounge chairs are generally arranged to provide comfortable sitting in contexts such as beaches and pools. Ice buckets are arranged to provide housing for ice and beverages in order to cool the beverages. Chairs having arms comprising containers arranged to hold ice and/or liquid for cooling beverages are also known. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,628,544 (Goodman) discloses a combination beach chair and cooler, wherein the arms of the beach chair comprise thermal-insulated containers operatively arranged to store and cool beverages. This arrangement is intended to provide a user sitting in the chair convenient access to the beverages.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,942,289 (McBride) discloses a chair with arms comprising water basins for the purpose of mitigating heat strain. A user immerses his forearms and hands in the water-filled basins as he sits, thereby cooling his extremities and mitigating heat strain.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,350,215 (DeMars) discloses a foldable chair having armrests and an insulated container attached to each armrest. The containers, which are intended to be used as coolers, join together when the chair is folded.

However, none of the above references disclose a chair with armrests including ice buckets built into the armrests for cooling beverages, where the ice buckets further include a plurality of small drainage apertures in at least one side that assist in producing a unique aesthetic effect of a flowing watery surface.

Thus, there is currently no chair that is used at the beach, pool, or the like, which includes armrests which can hold ice for cooling beverages, and a plurality of small drainage openings for producing a unique aesthetic effect of a flowing water surface.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention broadly comprises a chair, which includes an armrest having an inner chamber arranged to hold a liquid, an outer surface, and a plurality of apertures extending from the outer surface to the inner chamber, wherein the plurality of apertures is arranged to drain the liquid out of the inner chamber such that the liquid coats at least a portion of the outer surface of the armrest as the liquid drains from the inner chamber.

The inner chamber operates as an ice bucket for cooling a user's beverage. The drainage openings operate to produce the aesthetic effect of a flowing watery surface when water produced by melted ice drains out of the chamber through the openings. In one embodiment the chair is a lounge-style chair. In another embodiment of the invention, the seat of the chair is made of a water resistant foam. In another embodiment of the invention, the armrest includes a lid. In yet another embodiment, the armrest includes a cup-holder.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the armrest resembles at least one oversized ice cube. When water drains out of the apertures, the aesthetic effect, as described above, coupled with the arm's resemblance of an ice cube produces the visual effect of a melting ice cube.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the armrest resembles a cresting wave of water. When water drains out of the apertures, the aesthetic effect, as described above, coupled with the arm's resemblance of a wave of water produces the visual effect of a flowing wave of water.

It is a general object of the present invention to provide a comfortable sitting or lounging apparatus for use at a beach, pool, or the like.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a chair with armrests which can hold ice for cooling a beverage or other items.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a chair according to the above objects, where the armrest exhibits a unique appearance of a flowing watery surface.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciable from the following description of preferred embodiments of the invention and from the accompanying drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The nature and mode of operation of the present invention will now be more fully described in the following detailed description of the invention taken with the accompanying drawing figures, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a chair including ice bucket armrests;

FIG. 1A is a view of the back of the chair shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 1B is a view of the bottom of the chair shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the armrest shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the armrest shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 with the lid removed, revealing an inner chamber;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the armrest taken generally along line 4-4 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is substantially the same cross-sectional view as FIG. 4, but where the inner chamber is filled with ice and water;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view generally of the area circled in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of armrest for the current invention chair;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the second embodiment armrest shown in FIG. 7, with the lid removed, revealing an inner chamber;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of armrest for the current invention chair, which includes a cup-holder; and,

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the third embodiment of armrest, taken generally along line 10-10 in FIG. 9.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

At the outset, it should be appreciated that like drawing numbers on different drawing views identify identical, or functionally similar, structural elements of the invention. While the present invention is described with respect to what is presently considered to be the preferred aspects, it is to be understood that the invention as claimed is not limited to the disclosed aspects. Also, the adjectives, “top”, “bottom”, “right”, “left”, “front”, “back”, and their derivatives, in the description herebelow, refer to the perspective of one facing the invention as shown in the figure under discussion.

Furthermore, it should be understood that this invention is not limited to the particular methodology, materials and modifications described and as such may, of course, vary. It should also be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects only, and is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention, which is limited only by the appended claims.

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood to one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although any methods, devices or materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the invention, the preferred methods, devices, and materials are now described.

Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 is a perspective view of lounge chair 10 including armrest 12 and seat portion 14. In the preferred embodiment shown, armrest 12 substantially resembles a stack of four oversized ice cubes. In the shown embodiment, the armrest is made of one ice bucket block 20 and three support blocks 22. Each ice bucket block 20 includes lid 24 and plurality of apertures 26. In the preferred embodiment shown, seat portion 14 resembles an oversized replica an ice pop contained in a cellophane tube. In other embodiments, the seat portion may resemble a surfboard, a tube of sunscreen, an ordinary beach chair, or any of a limitless number of ornamental shapes and designs.

Hence, it should be appreciated that only one preferred embodiment of chair 10 is shown. In another embodiment, seat portion 14, which is shown generally in a lounge position may be repositioned in a substantially sitting position. Alternatively, seat portion 14 may be adjustable, as is known in the art, so that the chair can be adjusted into a substantially sitting or substantially lounging position, or any other position in between, as desired by the user.

Additionally, in a preferred embodiment, seat portion 14 is made from a weather resistant material; preferably including resistance from water, salt water, chlorinated water, UV light, moderate impacts, and mildew. One such material that has been found is a closed cell foam, such as the foam offered by Spongex, LLC. Preferably, seat portion 14 is shaped and gets strength to support a person's weight by coating or covering a rigid frame in the general shape of the chair with fabric or foam. Covering a rigid frame in material to make a chair is known in the art, and any method of making such a chair by covering or coating a rigid frame with material may be used. Examples of some commonly shaped chair frames can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 4,773,708 (Natsu), U.S. Pat. No. 4,725,094 (Greer), and U.S. Pat. No. D235,494 (Juergensonn), to name just a few. The particular shape, style, and material of seat portion 14 is not germane to the invention, and any seating means with accompanying support means known in the art should be considered to be within the scope of the current invention.

In a preferred embodiment, support blocks 15 are located behind each armrest 12, and below seat portion 14, as is shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B. The seat portion rests on, and is preferably secured to, seat blocks 15 to give the chair support and keep the seat portion up off the ground. Two seat blocks 15 are shown in the illustrated embodiment, but more blocks could be used, if needed, to provide additional support or balance. In an alternate embodiment, traditional leg pieces, such as those made out of rigid frame segments, as shown in the United States Patents identified in paragraph directly above, could be substituted for seat blocks 15. The use of traditional frame-style legs may be advantageous in one embodiment to provide additional support, but may not be desired in other embodiments because the use of visible frames may detract from the overall aesthetics of the chair. Similarly, in one embodiment, portions of the rigid frames could be used in conjunction with seat blocks 15 to secure both armrests together underneath seat portion 14. This would provide support, but would not significantly detract from the aesthetics of the chair, because the frame would remain substantially hidden from view.

A close up of armrest 12 is shown detached from chair 10 in FIG. 2. In a preferred embodiment, it can be seen that armrest 12 is comprised of ice bucket block 20, and three support blocks 22. Lid 24 is shown atop ice bucket block 20. A plurality of drainage apertures 26 are shown in the sides of ice bucket block 20. In a preferred embodiment armrest 12 is fabricated from a translucent plastic, and shaped and textured so as to resemble a stack of large ice cubes. Ice bucket block 20 should substantially resemble support blocks 22.

FIG. 3 shows armrest 12 with lid 24 removed. It can be seen that ice bucket block 20 is substantially hollow, thus defining inner chamber 28. In a preferred embodiment, inner chamber 28 is filled with ice and perhaps water, to provide a space to store beverages in order to keep the beverages cold. In the shown embodiment, the drainage apertures are shown in three sides of ice bucket block 20. However, in other embodiments, the holes may be included in only one or two sides. The exact number of apertures is not germane to the invention. The number, spacing, and size of the holes should be determined so that water can drain at such a rate to sufficiently provide a flowing watery surface effect. The number, size, and spacing of the apertures may depend on many variables, including the particular dimensions of any given armrest, and the volume of ice which is added to the inner chamber. To provide the best performance, the apertures should drain liquid at a rate slow enough to allow the ice to melt, so that there is adequate water in the inner chamber to enable the flowing watery surface effect for a sufficient period of time, but fast enough so that the flowing watery surface effect is clearly visible.

FIG. 4 is a cross-section of armrest 12 taken generally along line 4-4 in FIG. 2. Inner chamber 28 is shown as a cavity within ice bucket block 20, which is closable by lid 24. In a preferred embodiment, the lid includes lip 30 which rests just inside inner chamber 28, and acts to hold the lid substantially in place. It can also be seen that apertures 26 extend from outer surface 32 of cooler block 20 into inner chamber 28. Support block 22 is shown as completely solid throughout, but it should be understood that in another embodiment it may be partially hollow to reduce weight, conserve materials, or facilitate manufacture.

A cross-section of armrest 12 is also shown in FIG. 5. In this view, it can be seen that inner chamber is filled with ice cubes 34 and water, as represented by the dashed lines. As ice 34 melts, it becomes water, which then drains from inner chamber 28 via apertures 26. As the liquid drains out of the inner chamber, it coats outer surface 32 of the armrest with layer of water 36. Layer of water 36 creates a unique aesthetic effect of a flowing watery surface, as mentioned supra. In the shown preferred embodiment, where armrest 12 resembles ice cubes, the flowing watery effect created by layer of water 36 creates the illusion that the armrest is melting.

When lid 24 is removed ice 34 can be added to or removed from inner chamber 28. Lid 24 may be placed back on to slightly insulate the ice and keep it from melting too rapidly or to generally seal off and isolate inner chamber 28. However, it should be understood that ice bucket block 20 is preferably not nearly as insulated as a traditional cooler, because some degree of melting is required to enable the desired flowing watery effect on the outer surface of the armrest.

During use of chair 10, lid 34 may simply be removed so that opened beverage containers, be they bottles, cans, cups, or the like, can be inserted into the ice to keep the beverages cold, while at the same time, close to the user of the chair. Alternatively, closed beverage containers may be placed inside the inner chamber with the ice so that they may be chilled for consumption at a later time. Furthermore, it should be obvious that any other item which one might want chilled and readily available while lounging at a beach or pool, such as ice cream, popsicles, or the like, could also be stored in the armrest.

A close up of the area boxed in FIG. 5 is shown in FIG. 6. Once again, it can be seen that water flows out of inner chamber 28 via apertures 26, as indicated by a set of arrows at each of the four illustrated apertures. The drainage of water creates layer of water 36 on outer surface 32 of ice bucket block 20, and the surface of the support block below the ice bucket block, which, as discussed supra, enables the aesthetic effect of a flowing watery surface.

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate a second embodiment of an armrest for the current invention chair. In this embodiment, armrest 12 is replaced by armrest 112. Armrest 112 includes wave ice bucket 120, lid 124, and a plurality of apertures 126 in outer surface 132. In FIG. 8, lid 124 is removed, revealing inner chamber 128. Similar to inner chamber 28 in armrest 12, inner chamber 128 is operatively arranged to be filled with ice. As the ice melts, water will drain from apertures 126, and down surface 132 of wave ice bucket 120. This will create the aesthetic effect of a flowing watery surface. Since armrest 112 is substantially shaped as a cresting wave, the flowing water effect will create the illusion that the wave is flowing.

A third embodiment of an armrest for the current invention is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. In the third embodiment, armrest 212 replaces armrest 12. Armrest 212 is substantially similar to armrest 12, and as a result, ice bucket block 220, support blocks 222, apertures 226, lip 230, and outer surface 232 are all essentially equivalent in function, structure, and operation to their corresponding counterparts described with respect to the preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-6. The difference between armrest 212 and armrest 12 is the addition of cup-holder 225 in armrest 212. Therefore, when inner chamber 228 is filled with ice and cold water, a beverage inserted into cup-holder 225 will stay chilled. The cup-holder may have holes 225′ in the sides or bottom of the cup-holder, as shown, to allow cold water or cold air from the ice to contact the beverage container to increase the cooling efficiency of the cup-holder. It should be apparent that any number of cup-holders could be included. Furthermore, cup-holders could be included in the support blocks, if the chilling of the beverage is not desired.

Although the ice-cube and cresting wave designs are the two preferred shapes for the armrest of chair 10, any number of other ornamental designs could be used, and the present invention should not be limited to the shown designs.

It should be further appreciated that several variations of the ice cube embodiment are not shown, but are still within the scope of the present invention. For example, in an embodiment similar to the ice cube embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-6, the armrest may include two ice bucket blocks, instead of just one, each of which sits atop a corresponding support block. Therefore, this embodiment would include two ice bucket blocks instead of one, and two support blocks instead of three. Likewise, each of the two top blocks may include separate lids, but the blocks may share a single, unified inner chamber that runs between them. If the inner chamber is shared by both top blocks, then apertures may be included in both top blocks, so that the flowing watery surface effect is provided on all of the blocks. Similarly, both top blocks may share both a single inner chamber and a single lid. Furthermore, it may be advantageous for just one block to have a lid, but to have the inner chamber shared by both of the top blocks. In such an embodiment, the cup-holder could be built into the block which does not have a lid, and since the inner chamber is shared between both top blocks, the cup-holder would still extend into the inner chamber, and therefore would be able to chill a beverage. It should be readily apparent that any number of blocks could be used, and that the above reasoning can easily apply to other embodiments, regardless of the number of ice bucket or support blocks.

Thus, it is seen that the objects of the present invention are efficiently obtained, although modifications and changes to the invention should be readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art, which modifications are intended to be within the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed. It also is understood that the foregoing description is illustrative of the present invention and should not be considered as limiting. Therefore, other embodiments of the present invention are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7883145 *Jun 30, 2009Feb 8, 2011Kolcraft EnterprisesHigh chairs and methods to use high chairs
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/188.14
International ClassificationA47C7/62, A47C7/54
Cooperative ClassificationA47C7/54, A47C7/62, A47C1/143
European ClassificationA47C7/54, A47C7/62, A47C1/14C