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Publication numberUS20100294908 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/645,450
Publication dateNov 25, 2010
Filing dateDec 22, 2009
Priority dateMay 21, 2009
Publication number12645450, 645450, US 2010/0294908 A1, US 2010/294908 A1, US 20100294908 A1, US 20100294908A1, US 2010294908 A1, US 2010294908A1, US-A1-20100294908, US-A1-2010294908, US2010/0294908A1, US2010/294908A1, US20100294908 A1, US20100294908A1, US2010294908 A1, US2010294908A1
InventorsPatrick Mish, Jim Ward, Adam Ashley
Original AssigneePatrick Mish, Jim Ward, Adam Ashley
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
BOOKSTAND FOR AN eREADER
US 20100294908 A1
Abstract
A bookstand for an eReader including a center support and a plurality of manipulatable supports coupled to the center support. The plurality of manipulable supports being moveable between at least a first storage position and a second open position for supporting the eReader in a reading position.
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Claims(31)
1. A bookstand for an eReader, the bookstand comprising:
a center support; and
a plurality of manipulatable supports coupled to the center support, the plurality of manipulable supports being moveable between at least a first storage position and a second open position for selectively supporting the eReader in a plurality of reading positions.
2. The bookstand of claim 1, wherein the plurality of manipulatable supports comprises at least three manipulatable supports.
3. The bookstand of claim 1, wherein one of the plurality of manipulatable supports comprises a flexible cable.
4. The bookstand of claim 1, wherein one of the plurality of manipulatable supports is moveable between a plurality of positions.
5. The bookstand of claim 1, wherein one of the plurality of manipulatable supports includes a first end, a second end, and a longitudinal extension between the first end and the second end,
the one of the plurality of manipulatable supports being coupled, at a coupling location along the longitudinal extension and between the first end and the second end, to the center support, and
wherein the one of the plurality of manipulatable supports has an arm portion extending from the coupling location with the center support to the first end, and a leg portion extending from the coupling location with the center support to the second end.
6. The bookstand of claim 1, wherein one of the plurality of manipulatable supports includes a first end, a second end, and a longitudinal extension between the first end and the second end,
the one of the plurality of manipulatable supports being coupled, at a coupling location at the first end, to the center support, and
wherein the one of the plurality of manipulatable supports has one of an arm portion and a leg portion extending from the coupling location with the center support to the first end.
7. The bookstand of claim 1, wherein the plurality of manipulatable supports includes:
a first manipulatable support having a first end, a second end, and a longitudinal extension between the first end and the second end;
a second manipulatable support having a first end, a second end, and a longitudinal extension between the first end and the second end; and
a third manipulatable support having a first end, a second end, and a longitudinal extension between the first end and the second end,
each of the first manipulatable support, the second manipulatable support, and the third manipulatable support coupled, at a coupling location along the longitudinal extension and between the first end and the second end, to the center support.
8. The bookstand of claim 7, wherein each of the first manipulatable support, the second manipulatable support, and the third manipulatable support includes:
an arm portion extending from the center support to the first end; and
a leg portion extending from the center support to the second end.
9. The bookstand of claim 1, wherein the center support includes a collar receiving a portion of each of the plurality of manipulatable supports.
10. The bookstand of claim 1, wherein the center support includes an external surface having a plurality of longitudinal grooves spaced around the external surface of the center support,
each of the plurality of longitudinal grooves receiving a portion of one of the plurality of manipulatable supports.
11. The bookstand of claim 10, wherein the plurality of longitudinal grooves are equally spaced around the external surface of the center support.
12. The bookstand of claim 10, wherein one of the plurality of longitudinal grooves comprises a cylindrical-shaped groove including an opening extending along a length of the cylindrical-shaped groove,
the opening having a width in a direction transverse to the length of the cylindrical-shaped groove,
the width of the opening being less than a diameter of the cylindrical-shaped groove such that a portion of one of the plurality of manipulatable supports engages the cylindrical-shaped groove in a snap-fit manner.
13. The bookstand of claim 1, wherein one of the plurality of manipulatable supports includes a first end having a molded grip.
14. The bookstand of claim 1, wherein one of the plurality of manipulatable supports includes a first end having a first ball-shaped grip.
15. The bookstand of claim 14, wherein the one of the plurality of manipulatable supports includes a second end having a second ball-shaped grip.
16. The bookstand of claim 14, wherein the one of the plurality of manipulatable supports includes a second end having a corner-capturing grip.
17. The bookstand of claim 14, wherein the first ball-shaped grip comprises a resilient ball-shaped grip.
18. The bookstand of claim 1, wherein one of the plurality of manipulatable supports includes a first end having a first corner-capturing grip.
19. The bookstand of claim 18, wherein the one of the plurality of manipulatable supports includes a second corner-capturing grip.
20. The bookstand of claim 18, wherein the first corner-capturing grip comprises a resilient corner-capturing grip.
21. The bookstand of claim 18, wherein the first corner-capturing grip includes a pocket that engages a corner of the eReader.
22. The bookstand of claim 7, wherein each of the first end and the second end of the first manipulatable support includes a corner-capturing grip.
23. The bookstand of claim 7, wherein each of the first end and the second end of the first manipulatable support includes a ball-shaped grip.
24. The bookstand of claim 23, wherein each of the first end and the second end of the second manipulatable support includes a corner-capturing grip.
25. The bookstand of claim 24, wherein each of the first end and the second end of the third manipulatable support includes a corner-capturing grip.
26. The bookstand of claim 18, wherein the first corner-capturing grip includes a pocket configured to receive a corner of the ereader.
27. The bookstand of claim 18, wherein the first corner-capturing grip includes a groove configured to receive an edge of the ereader.
28. The bookstand of claim 18, wherein the first corner-capturing grip includes a groove configured to receive an edge of the ereader and a pocket configured to receive a corner of the ereader.
29. A bookstand for an eReader, the bookstand comprising:
a center support; and
a plurality of manipulatable support means for supporting the eReader in a plurality of reading positions,
the plurality of manipulatable support means being coupled to the center support and moveable between at least a first storage position and a second open position.
30. The bookstand of claim 29, wherein at least one of the plurality of manipulatable support means includes a first end having gripping means for gripping one of a supporting surface, a surface of the eReader, an edge of the eReader, and a corner of the eReader.
31. A bookstand for an eReader, the bookstand comprising:
a plurality of manipulatable supports coupled to each other,
the plurality of manipulatable supports being moveable between at least a first storage position and a second open position for selectively supporting the eReader in a plurality of reading positions.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present invention claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/180,414, filed May 21, 2009, and entitled “BOOKSTAND FOR AN eREADER”, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/251,295, filed Oct. 14, 2009, and entitled “BOOKSTAND FOR AN eREADER”, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed toward a bookstand for an eReader, and more specifically, to a flexible tripod bookstand for an eReader, and more particularly, to a flexible bookstand having a plurality of manipulatable supports for supporting an eReader in an upright or angled position.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Recently, eReaders such as electronic books have become increasingly popular. Such eReaders include a display for displaying the contents of an electronic book. Since the eReader is substantially flat, the user commonly either lays the eReader on a surface, or manually holds the eReader in front of the user to position the eReader for optimal visibility for the user. Laying the eReader on a surface, such as a desk or table, may cause the user to look downward for long periods of time, which may lead to fatigue on the user's eyes, neck, etc. Alternatively, if the user manually holds the eReader in front of the user to position the eReader for optimal visibility for the user, the user may become fatigued from holding the eReader in the desired position, thereby reducing the enjoyment of the reading experience. Hence, it is desirable to provide “hands-free” reading for the user that is also comfortable and convenient.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These problems and others are addressed by the present invention, a first exemplary embodiment of which comprises a bookstand for an eReader, the bookstand including a center support, and a plurality of manipulatable supports coupled to the center support, the plurality of manipulable supports being moveable between at least a first storage position and a second open position for supporting the eReader in a reading position.

Another exemplary embodiment is directed to a bookstand for an eReader, the bookstand comprising a center support, a plurality of manipulatable support means for supporting the eReader in a reading position, the plurality of manipulatable support means being coupled to the center support and moveable between at least a first storage position and a second open position.

In this manner, the exemplary embodiments of the present invention provide a bookstand for an eReader, and more specifically, a flexible tripod bookstand for an eReader, and more particularly, a flexible bookstand having a plurality of manipulatable supports (e.g., arm portions and/or leg portions) for supporting the eReader in an upright or angled position.

The present invention provides a bookstand that is lightweight, flexible, and compact and that easily and conveniently can be collapsed and stored or transported by the user. The bookstand can provide a stable and secure base for physically holding the eReader in a position that provides optimal visibility for the user. An exemplary embodiment of the bookstand can provide for variable positioning of the eReader, for example, in an upright position or at an infinite number of angled positions with respect to a supporting surface. The embodiments of the bookstand relieve the user from holding the eReader while reading, thereby reducing fatigue on the user and providing a more enjoyable reading experience. The user also can easily stop and start reading without having to pick up or put down the eReader.

The exemplary embodiments provide further advantages in that the eReader can be positioned on surfaces other than flat or horizontal surfaces, as well as surfaces of various materials and rigidity, by flexing or manipulating the position of the flexible supports (e.g., arm portions and/or leg portions).

The exemplary embodiments provide advantages in that the flexible supports (e.g., arm portions and/or leg portions) can be flexed, molded, or manipulated to securely hold eReaders having a variety of sizes and shapes, for example, as produced by a variety of manufacturers, thereby providing a universal bookstand for an eReader. In other exemplary embodiments, the bookstand can include features for accommodating specific features of a particular eReader type, model, or manufacturer. For example, the bookstand can support an eReader, such as the Amazon® Kindle™ or the like. The bookstand can be configured for other eReaders and is not limited to the eReader illustrated in the Figures.

The exemplary bookstand can include a plurality of manipulatable supports for supporting an eReader. The manipulatable supports can be configured to be collapsible into a storage or closed position in which the manipulatable supports are parallel to each other or parallel to a surface of the eReader, or extended into an open position for supporting an eReader. The manipulatable supports are not limited to open and closed positions, and can be configured or manipulated in a plurality of positions therebetween.

The exemplary embodiments of the manipulatable supports can have the same or different lengths. For example, a length of an arm portion can be less than a length of a leg portion, or vice versa.

The bookstand can include a different number of manipulatable supports. For example, the bookstand can have a tripod configuration, including three manipulatable supports, or other amounts of manipulatable supports, such as two, four, five, etc.

The manipulatable supports can be formed from separate parts, or integrally formed from a single part. The manipulatable supports can be flexible or pivotable in one or more directions. For example, one or more manipulatable supports can include a plurality of rigid parts that move or pivot with respect to each other.

In the disclosed exemplary embodiments, the manipulatable supports can be formed from flexible cable, coated wire, or the like. As such, the manipulatable supports can be manipulated from a closed storage position to any number of open positions or arrangements as needed to provide a stable stand for supporting eReaders of a variety of sizes, shapes, weights, etc.

In other embodiments, less than all of the manipulatable supports can be flexible. That is, one or more manipulatable supports can be rigidly formed, while another is flexible. In another embodiment, the bookstand can include one or more fixed supports in addition to a manipulatable support.

The bookstand can include a center support configured to receive a plurality of manipulatable supports. For example, the center support can be a triad-shaped molded center support having a plurality of cylindrical grooves for receiving and securing portions of the manipulatable supports therein. For example, an exemplary embodiment includes three integrally formed flexible cable manipulatable supports and a molded center support including three corresponding cylindrical grooves.

The ends of the manipulatable supports can include grips for gripping a surface of the eReader, such as a corner or side of the eReader. In an exemplary embodiment, the grips can be molded grips. The grips can be the same or different sizes. For example, the grips can be modular balls, or oval-shaped grips. In other embodiments, the hand grips can be molded or formed to correspond to specific parts of the eReader, such as a corner of the eReader. In still other embodiments, one or more of the grips can be different from another of the grips. In another example, the grips can be molded or formed to correspond to specific parts of the eReader, such as a corner of the eReader, for example, as shown in the Figures.

One or more of the grips can be molded from a rubber material or other tacky material to provide a tacky grip. One or more of the grips can include one or more gripping features, such as beads, grooves, ribs, dimples, etc. to improve a gripping action on the mounting surface or on a surface of the eReader, such as the bottom edge of the eReader.

The aspects are not limited to the disclosed embodiments, and can include other arrangements. For example, in other embodiments, the bookstand can include wider grips (e.g., feet grips) to support the bottom of eReader and flexible manipulatable supports (e.g., arm portions) firmly supporting the back of the eReader device. The arm portions can include smaller grips (e.g., hand grips) than the feet grips or vice versa.

In another embodiment, the eReader can be coupled or mounted to the bookstand, either directly or using an intermediate part, such as a base plate. In these embodiments, the manipulatable supports may not be needed for coupling, mounting, or supporting the eReader. The eReader, or intermediate part, can be coupled to one or more of the manipulatable supports, a hand or foot grip, a center support, or other part of the bookstand.

The eReader can be coupled to, mounted to, or supported by the bookstand in a variety of manners. For example, the bookstand and/or the eReader can include mating parts for coupling the eReader to the bookstand, such as a slot formed on a part of one of the bookstand or eReader that receives a corresponding protrusion formed on a part of the other of the bookstand or eReader.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other aspects and features of embodiments of the present invention will be better understood after a reading of the following detailed description, together with the attached drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a front view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates another perspective view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates a rear perspective view of a bookstand according to an embodiment of the present invention coupled to an eReader;

FIG. 6 illustrates a front perspective view of a bookstand according to an embodiment of the present invention coupled to an eReader;

FIG. 7 illustrates a front assembly view of a bookstand according to an embodiment of the present invention coupled to an eReader;

FIG. 8 illustrates an exploded view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9A illustrates a perspective view of a center support for a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9B illustrates a side view of a center support of FIG. 9A;

FIG. 9C illustrates another side view of a center support of FIG. 9A;

FIG. 9D illustrates a top view of a center support of FIG. 9A;

FIG. 10A illustrates a perspective assembly view of corner grip for a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10B illustrates another perspective assembly view of corner grip for a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10C illustrates a perspective view of corner grip for a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10D illustrates a bottom view of the corner grip of FIG. 10C;

FIG. 10E illustrates a side view of the corner grip of FIG. 10C;

FIG. 10F illustrates top view of the corner grip of FIG. 10C;

FIG. 10G illustrates a cross-sectional view taken along section 10A-10A of the corner grip of FIG. 10F;

FIG. 11A illustrates a perspective view of a molded grip for a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11B illustrates top view of the molded grip of FIG. 11A;

FIG. 11C illustrates a cross-sectional view taken along section 11A-11A of the molded grip of FIG. 11B;

FIG. 12A illustrates a perspective view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12B illustrates a partial view of the center support of the bookstand of FIG. 12A;

FIG. 12C illustrates a partial view of the plurality of molded grips of the bookstand of FIG. 12A;

FIG. 13 illustrates a rear assembly view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 14 illustrates a rear assembly perspective view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 15 illustrates a rear assembly top perspective view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 16 illustrates a rear assembly perspective view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 17 illustrates a front assembly perspective view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 18 illustrates a front assembly perspective view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 19 illustrates a side view of a bookstand for an eReader according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The present invention now is described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art.

Referring now to the drawings, the FIGS. 1-19 illustrate exemplary embodiments of a bookstand for an eReader.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1-8, an exemplary embodiment of a bookstand 100 for an eReader includes a center support 104 and a plurality of manipulatable supports 102 coupled to the center support 104. The plurality of manipulable supports 102 are moveable between at least a first storage position (e.g., as exemplarily illustrated in FIG. 3) and a second open position (e.g., as exemplarily illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, and 4-7) for supporting the eReader 200 in a reading position. The manipulable supports 102 are not limited to open and closed positions, and can be configured or manipulated in a plurality of positions therebetween. The manipulable supports 102 also can be rotated or twisted into various positions.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1-8, the manipulable supports 102 can include one or more types of grips 106, 108, such as mold grips, at ends of the manipulable supports 102 for engaging a surface, edge or corner of the eReader 200, or for providing a stable engagement with a supporting surface of the bookstand 100. Exemplary embodiments of the grips 106, 108 will be described in more detail below.

Referring again to the exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-8, each of the manipulatable supports 102 includes a first end, a second end, and a longitudinal extension between the first end and the second end. The manipulatable support 102 is coupled, at a coupling location along the longitudinal extension and between the first end and the second end, to the center support 104. In this manner, each of the manipulatable supports 102 has an arm portion 102 a extending from the coupling location with the center support 104 to the first end, and a leg portion 102 b extending from the coupling location with the center support 104 to the second end. In other embodiments, the manipulatable support 102 can be coupled to a portion of another manipulatable support 102.

The bookstand is not limited to any particular number of manipulatable supports 102. For example, in the illustrated embodiments, the plurality of manipulatable supports 102 includes at least three manipulatable supports 102. In this manner, the bookstand can have a tripod configuration, including three leg portions 102 b, along with three arm portions 102 a. However, in other embodiments, the bookstand can include other amounts of manipulatable supports 102, such as two, four, five, etc.

In other embodiments, the manipulatable supports 102 may not include arm portions 102 a and leg portions 102 b. For example, as illustrated in the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 19, one or more of the manipulatable supports 102 can be coupled, at a coupling location at the first end, to the center support 104 (or another arm or leg portion of another manipulatable support 102), such that a manipulatable support 102 only includes a leg portion 102 b extending from the coupling location with the center support 104 (or another arm or leg portion of another manipulatable support 102) to the first end.

In other embodiments, one or more of the manipulatable supports 102 can be coupled, at a coupling location at the first end, to the center support 104 (or another arm or leg portion of another manipulatable support 102), such that this manipulatable support 102 only includes an arm portion 102 b extending from the coupling location with the center support 104 (or another arm or leg portion of another manipulatable support 102) to the first end. In still other embodiments, a combination of manipulatable supports 102 having only an arm portion or a leg portion can be provided.

In the disclosed embodiments, the manipulatable supports 102, as well as leg/arm portions of the manipulatable supports 102, are illustrated as having the same length. However, in other embodiments, the manipulatable supports 102, or the leg/arm portions of the manipulatable supports 102, can have different lengths in comparison with each other. For example, in an embodiment, a length of the arm portions 102 a of each of the manipulatable supports 102 can be less than a length of the leg portions 102 b of each of the manipulatable supports 102.

The manipulatable supports 102 can be formed from separate parts, or integrally formed from a single part. For example, in embodiments in which the manipulatable supports 102 include an arm portion 102 a and a leg portion 102 b, the arm portion 102 a and the leg portion 102 b can be integrally formed with the manipulatable support 102 and coupled to the center support 104. In another embodiment, the arm portion 102 a and the leg portion 102 b can be formed separately from each other and individually coupled to the center support 104.

The manipulatable supports 102 can be flexible or pivotable in one or more directions. For example, the manipulatable supports 102 can be formed from flexible cable, such as commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) 7 mm flexible cable. As such, the manipulatable supports 102 can be manipulated from a closed storage position to any number of open positions or arrangements as needed to provide a stable stand for supporting eReaders of a variety of sizes, shapes, weights, etc. The closed storage positions can include, for example, a position in which all of the manipulatable supports 102 are arranged substantially parallel to each other, or in which all of the manipulatable supports 102 are arranged parallel to a rear surface of the eReader.

In other embodiments, less than all of the manipulatable supports 102 can be flexible. That is, one or more of the manipulatable supports 102 can be rigidly formed, while another is flexible. In still other embodiments, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that only a portion of one of the manipulatable supports 102 may be flexible. For example, only the arm portion 102 a or the leg portion 102 b may be flexible, while another portion is rigid. In another example, a portion of one or more of the manipulatable supports 102 closest to the center support 104, or a portion of one or more of the manipulatable supports 102 closest to the ends, may be flexible, while the remaining portion of the manipulatable support 102 is rigid.

One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the manipulatable supports 102, or portions thereof, can be provided with different amounts of flexibility or resiliency. In other embodiments, the manipulatable supports 102 may be formed from a plurality of rigid portions that are manipulatable with respect to each other, for example, by pivoting about a hinge, ball joint, etc.

As explained above, in the exemplary embodiment, the manipulatable supports 102 are coupled to a center support 104, as illustrated for example in FIGS. 9A-9D. The center support 104 can be a collar having an exterior surface that receives a portion of each of the manipulatable supports 102. For example, the center support 104 can be a triad-shaped molded center support having a plurality of cylindrical grooves 404 for receiving and securing portions of manipulatable supports 102 therein. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1-8, the center support 104 can include three integrally formed flexible cable arms/legs 102 a, 102 b and the molded center support 104 can includes three corresponding cylindrical grooves 404.

Referring again to the exemplary embodiment of FIGS. 9A-9D, the center support 104 includes an external surface 402 having a plurality of longitudinal grooves 404 spaced around the external surface 402 of the center support 104. Each of the longitudinal grooves 404 receives or engages a portion of one of the manipulatable supports 102. In the disclosed embodiment, the longitudinal grooves 404 are equally spaced around the external surface 402 of the center support 104. However, in other embodiments, one or more of the longitudinal grooves 404 can be grouped or clustered closer to each other than the others.

The number of longitudinal grooves 404 can correspond to the number of the manipulatable supports 102, as shown in the illustrated embodiments. However, in other embodiments, the center support 104 can be configured to be universal to a variety of embodiments having different numbers of manipulatable supports 102 or arrangements of manipulatable supports 102. The center support 104 can be configured to provide a modular arrangement in which one or more of the manipulatable supports 102 can be added or removed selectively by the user.

Referring again to FIGS. 9A-9D, the longitudinal grooves 404 can include a cylindrical-shaped groove including an opening extending along a length of the cylindrical-shaped groove having a predetermined diameter D that preferably corresponds to a diameter of the portion of the manipulatable supports 102 engaging the center support 104. As illustrated in FIG. 9D, the opening has a width W in a direction transverse to the length of the cylindrical-shaped groove. The width W of the opening can be less than the diameter D of the cylindrical-shaped groove such that a portion of the manipulatable support 102 engages the cylindrical-shaped groove in a snap-fit manner.

The longitudinal grooves 404 are not limited to cylindrical shaped grooves. In other embodiments, the longitudinal grooves 404 can be different sizes and shapes, such as rectangular/square grooves, V-grooves, or other shapes. Similarly, the portion of the manipulatable support 102 that engages the center support 104 can be different sizes and shapes, and do not necessarily correspond to the size and shape of the grooves 404. The size and shape of each of the grooves 404, or the portion of the manipulatable supports 102, may be different for each coupling location of the manipulatable support 102 to the center support 104, for example, such that the bookstand only can be assembled in one way, thereby avoiding or reducing assembly errors, improving manufacturing efficiency, etc.

In other embodiments, the center support 104 can receive a portion of each of the manipulatable supports 102 in an interior cavity (not shown). Alternatively, the center support 104 can be coupled around an exterior of the manipulatable supports 102 to bundle the manipulatable supports 102 together. In the illustrated embodiments, the center support 104 engages all of the manipulatable supports 102. In other embodiments, the center support 104 can be formed from separate parts or portions that each engage less than all of the manipulatable supports 102.

Referring again to FIGS. 1-8, and also to FIGS. 10A-10G and 11A-11C, the manipulable supports 102 can include one or more types of grips 106, 108, such as molded grips, at one or more ends of the manipulable supports 102 for engaging a surface, edge, or corner of the eReader 200, or for providing a stable engagement with a supporting surface of the bookstand 100.

For example, the grips on the ends of the arm portions 102 a or leg portions 102 b of the manipulable supports 102 can be modular balls or oval-shaped grips. In other embodiments, the grips can be molded or formed to correspond to specific parts of the eReader, such as an edge or corner of the eReader. In other embodiments, one or more of the grips can be different from another of the grips.

For example, as illustrated in FIGS. 11A-11C, one or more ends of the manipulable supports 102 can include a first ball-shaped grip 106, such as a modular ball or spherical grip. The ball-shaped grip 106 can include an outer surface 602 having an opening 606 that engages an end of one of the manipulable supports 102. The outer surface 602 of the ball-shaped grip 106 can engage the supporting surface of the bookstand or a surface of the eReader to support the eReader in a desired position.

The grips 108 can be molded or formed to correspond to specific parts of the eReader, such as an edge or corner of the eReader. For example, as illustrated in FIGS. 4-7 and 10A-10G, one or more ends of the manipulable supports 102 can include a corner-capturing grip 108.

For example, in the exemplary embodiment of FIGS. 10A-10G, the corner-capturing grip 108 includes a sleeve portion 802 having an opening 804 that engages an end of one of the manipulable supports 102. The corner-capturing grip 108 includes a protruding portion 806 that extends from the sleeve portion 802 and includes an elongated pocket 808 that engages a corner of the eReader 200. The protruding portion 806 also can include a lip 810 at each end of the elongated pocket 808 that forms a channel for engaging an edge of the eReader, as shown for example in FIGS. 10E and 10G. In this manner, the corner-capturing grip 108 can be formed to universally engage an edge of the eReader 200 or a corner of the eReader 200.

In other embodiments, the corner-capturing grip 108 can be formed to specifically correspond to a single feature of the eReader. For example, the corner-capturing grip 108 can include a slot for receiving a tab on the eReader, or a tab or protrusion (e.g., in the pocket 808) that engages a slot or opening formed in the surface of the eReader.

In the disclosed embodiments, at least four ends of the manipulable supports 102 include the corner-capturing grips 108, thereby engaging and supporting each corner of the eReader 200. However, other arrangements are possible and it is not necessary to engage each corner of the eReader 200 to position and support the eReader 200 in a stable and reliable manner. In this manner, the exemplary embodiments provide an important advantage in that a user can support the eReader 200 in a variety of ways. Also, the bookstand 100 can be used with a variety of eReaders having different sizes and shapes.

The grips 106, 108 can be formed, for example, from a resilient material. For example, one or more of the grips 106, 108 can be molded from a rubber material or other tacky material to provide a tacky grip. One or more of the grips 106, 108 can include one or more gripping features, such as beads, grooves, ribs, dimples, etc. (for example, as illustrated in FIG. 12C) to improve a gripping action on the mounting surface or on a surface of the eReader 200, such as the bottom edge of the eReader 200.

The embodiments are not limited to the disclosed aspects, and can include other arrangements. For example, in other embodiments, the bookstand can include grips 112 having different sizes and shapes, for example, for engaging the top of the eReader or the bottom of the eReader, for engaging the supporting surface, or for firmly supporting the back of the eReader 200, as illustrated in FIGS. 12A-17.

Another exemplary embodiment is directed to a bookstand for an eReader, the bookstand including a center support 104; and a plurality of manipulatable support means (e.g., 102) for supporting the eReader in a reading position. The plurality of manipulatable support means (e.g., 102) are coupled to the center support 104 and moveable between at least a first storage position and a second open position. At least one of the plurality of manipulatable support means (e.g., 102) includes a first end having gripping means (e.g., 106, 108) for gripping one of a supporting surface, a surface, an edge, and a corner of the eReader 200.

In another embodiment, the bookstand 100 can be coupled or mounted to the eReader 200, either directly or using an intermediate part (not shown), such as a base plate. In these embodiments, the manipulatable supports 102 may not be needed for coupling, mounting, or supporting the eReader 200. The eReader 200, or intermediate part (not shown), can be coupled to one or more of the manipulatable supports 102, the center support 104, or other part of the bookstand 100.

One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the invention is not limited to the exemplary embodiments and the eReader 200 can be coupled to, mounted to, or supported by the bookstand 100 in a variety of manners. For example, the bookstand 100 and/or the eReader 200 can include mating parts for coupling the eReader 200 to the bookstand 100, such as a slot formed on one of the bookstand 100 or eReader 200 that receives a corresponding protrusion formed on the other of the bookstand 100 or eReader 200.

In this manner, the exemplary embodiments can provide a sturdy platform for eReader use. The embodiments can be applied and modified or manipulated for various eReader platforms having a variety of sizes, shapes, weights, etc. The embodiments can provide an affordable and inexpensive design that is manufactured easily. The number of parts can be minimized, for example, by providing flexible cable for the arms/legs. The overall bookstand can be lightweight, portable, easily transported and stored or collapsed.

The present invention has been described herein in terms of several preferred embodiments. However, modifications and additions to these embodiments will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon a reading of the foregoing description. It is intended that all such modifications and additions comprise a part of the present invention to the extent that they fall within the scope of the several claims appended hereto.

Like numbers refer to like elements throughout. In the figures, the thickness of certain lines, layers, components, elements or features may be exaggerated for clarity.

The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. Unless otherwise defined, all terms (including technical and scientific terms) used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. It will be further understood that terms, such as those defined in commonly used dictionaries, should be interpreted as having a meaning that is consistent with their meaning in the context of the specification and relevant art and should not be interpreted in an idealized or overly formal sense unless expressly so defined herein. Well-known functions or constructions may not be described in detail for brevity and/or clarity.

As used herein, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms “comprises” and/or “comprising,” when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. As used herein, the term “and/or” includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items. As used herein, phrases such as “between X and Y” and “between about X and Y” should be interpreted to include X and Y. As used herein, phrases such as “between about X and Y” mean “between about X and about Y.” As used herein, phrases such as “from about X to Y” mean “from about X to about Y.”

It will be understood that when an element is referred to as being “on”, “attached” to, “connected” to, “coupled” with, “contacting”, etc., another element, it can be directly on, attached to, connected to, coupled with or contacting the other element or intervening elements may also be present. In contrast, when an element is referred to as being, for example, “directly on”, “directly attached” to, “directly connected” to, “directly coupled” with or “directly contacting” another element, there are no intervening elements present. It will also be appreciated by those of skill in the art that references to a structure or feature that is disposed “adjacent” another feature may have portions that overlap or underlie the adjacent feature.

Spatially relative terms, such as “under”, “below”, “lower”, “over”, “upper”, “lateral”, “left”, “right” and the like, may be used herein for ease of description to describe one element or feature's relationship to another element(s) or feature(s) as illustrated in the figures. It will be understood that the spatially relative terms are intended to encompass different orientations of the device in use or operation in addition to the orientation depicted in the figures. For example, if the device in the figures is inverted, elements described as “under” or “beneath” other elements or features would then be oriented “over” the other elements or features. The device may be otherwise oriented (rotated 90 degrees or at other orientations) and the descriptors of relative spatial relationships used herein interpreted accordingly.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US20120025684 *Jul 29, 2011Feb 2, 2012Octa LlcMobile Electronic Device Positioning Unit
US20120091312 *Oct 14, 2011Apr 19, 2012One Hand Clapping Ltd.One-handed, back-based support for a hand-held object
US20120170194 *Dec 2, 2011Jul 5, 2012Charles LordMobile computer stand
US20130026324 *Jul 29, 2011Jan 31, 2013Boomerang Enterprises, Inc.Holding device
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Classifications
U.S. Classification248/451, 248/454
International ClassificationA47B97/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47B23/043, F16M13/00, F16M2200/065, F16M2200/08, F16M11/40, F16M11/041
European ClassificationA47B23/04D2, F16M11/40, F16M13/00