|Publication number||USRE39638 E1|
|Application number||US 09/457,658|
|Publication date||May 22, 2007|
|Filing date||Dec 9, 1999|
|Priority date||Apr 10, 1996|
|Also published as||US5695073, US5855279|
|Publication number||09457658, 457658, US RE39638 E1, US RE39638E1, US-E1-RE39638, USRE39638 E1, USRE39638E1|
|Inventors||Richard B. Klein, Chris Serslev|
|Original Assignee||Lynk, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (40), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (3), Classifications (18), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention is generally directed to a hanging shoe rack. More particularly, the present invention is directed to a hanging shoe rack which supports the shoes in an inclined manner, such that each shoe is sloped downwardly toward the vertical surface upon which the shoe rack is attached. Additionally, the hanging shoe rack of the present invention contains attachment structure allowing multiple such racks to be suspended from one another.
2. Description of the Related Art
Numerous types of shoe racks have been developed for storing shoes in a convenient manner. For instance, U.S. Pat. No. 2,682,955 (Moore) illustrates a reversible shoe rack having a shoe support pivotally mounted to a side frame. The shoe support includes front and rear support bars which retain the shoe in an inclined manner, such that the toe of the shoe is angled downwardly and abuts against the wall supporting the shoe rack. U.S. Pat. No. 4,688,681 (Bergeron) discloses a foot apparel storage assembly which includes shelves supported at a base upon a back plate. The shelves are inclined downwardly toward a supporting wall such that shoes positioned on the shelf are inclined downwardly toward the wall. U.S. Pat. No. 1,769,344 (Hoffmire) discloses a portable shoe rack wherein paddles extend outwardly from a back brace in a manner to support shoes in an inclined manner such that the toe of a shoe is angled downwardly and abuts against the back brace. U.S. Pat. No. 2,238,884 (Hoffman) and U.S. Pat. No. 2,090,108 (Cicero) illustrate shoe racks for hanging on a vertical surface, such as a wall or the back of a door.
One known prior art shoe rack has a pair of elongate, spaced-apart base members for abutting with a door or wall upon which the shoe rack hangs. Each base member has a plurality of outwardly extending side bars, wherein corresponding side bars of the base members have a pair of spaced-apart rod members extending therebetween for supporting shoes. The side bar members are inclined upwardly as they extend from the base members. Thus, shoes positioned on the rod members incline downwardly towards the supporting surface of the rack. Additionally, this known prior art shoe rack is modular in nature, thereby permitting additional such racks to be attached to it in a suspended manner.
A primary problem with conventional shoe racks, including the known modular shoe rack previously described, is their inability to prevent shoes from sliding sideways off the rack without an additional side support member for blocking the shoes. Thus, those prior art shoe racks which do not provide such a side support member have difficulty in retaining shoes on the rack, particularly where the rack is positioned on a closet door. It will be appreciated that, as the door is swung open and closed, the shoes on the rack are forced toward the side of the rack and, in the absence of a side supporting member, may fall from the rack. Alternatively, those racks which provide a side support member are more structurally complex and costly to manufacture due to the addition of the side support members.
Additionally, a known problem with the heretofore described prior art modular shoe rack is the inability to retain suspended members in a rigid position relative to the shoe racks with which it is connected, particularly when the racks are positioned on a swinging door, as described above. In this regard, the known prior art modular hanging shoe rack previously described utilizes a pair of posts extending rearwardly from an upper portion of the base members. A lower portion of the base members have a pair of apertures such that the posts at the upper portion of a first shoe rack are inserted into the apertures at a lower portion of a second shoe rack. However, when such a modular shoe rack is placed on a door, these lower shoe rack portions have a tendency to swing from side-to-side as the doors open and close. This increases the likelihood of shoes falling from the racks, particularly where no side support structure is provided. Additionally, the suspended racks bow outwardly from the door, causing them to flop when the door is opened and closed and creating a space through which shoes slip.
Accordingly, the need exists for an inexpensive hanging shoe rack having side supporting members and a minimum number of parts. The need also exists for a modular hanging shoe rack which allows multiple racks to be suspended from one another and which engage one another in a manner to resist lateral displacement therebetween. The present invention fills these and other needs, and overcomes the drawbacks associated with prior art shoe racks.
It is an object of the present invention to support shoes in an inclined manner sloped downwardly toward a surface upon which the shoe rack is supported.
It is a further object of the present invention to prevent the shoes from sliding laterally off of a shoe rack made in accordance with the principles of the invention.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an inexpensive hanging shoe rack, for supporting shoes in an inclined manner sloped downwardly toward the door, with side support members for abutting against the shoes to prevent the shoes from sliding off the rack, all with a minimal number of parts.
It is a further object of the present invention to suspend multiple shoe racks from one another in a manner to prevent lateral displacement therebetween.
These and other objects are achieved by a shoe rack having side frame members which securely retain a plurality of shoe-retaining bars therebetween. The side frame members include a main body section and a plurality of support arms projecting outwardly therefrom. The support arms are angled downwardly from their respective main body section.
The side frame members are secured to, or hang from, a vertical surface, such as a wall or a door, such that a corresponding pair of support arms upon opposed side frame members securely retain opposite ends of a first retaining bar, positioning proximate an outer end of each support arm. This first, outer retaining bar is adapted to receive a first portion of the sole of a shoe. The main body portions of the side frames receive opposite ends of the second retaining bar adapted to support a second portion of the shoe. The pairs of shoe-retaining bars are aligned in a plane forming an acute angle with respect to vertical, to thereby support the shoes in an inclined manner with the shoes directed downwardly toward the door or wall. Additionally, and in accordance with a key aspect of the present invention, the support arms upon opposite side frames traverse the side sections of the shoes to form a barrier against lateral movement of the shoes, thereby preventing the shoes from falling off the rack as the doors open and close.
The present shoe rack also includes unique attachment structure upon the upper and lower ends of the side frames for suspending shoe racks from one another. Particularly, an upper portion of each side frame member of the shoe rack includes upper attachment structure, while a lower portion of each side frame member includes lower attachment structure. The upper attachment structure of a first shoe rack of the present invention is adapted to mate with the lower attachment structure of a second shoe rack of the present invention, to thereby suspend the two shoe racks together. The upper attachment structure includes a pair of spaced-apart slots, while the lower attachment structure includes a pair of spaced-apart male members. The male members are adapted to be slidingly introduced, in a sidewise fashion, into position within the female channels, to thereby interconnect two shoe racks of the present invention together.
The objects and features of the invention noted above are explained in more detail with reference to the drawings, in which like reference numerals denote like elements, and in which:
With reference initially to
With additional reference to
Each bar of a first plurality of shoe-retaining bars, each bar designated by the reference numeral 20, is fixedly retained between side frame members 12, 14. Particularly, a corresponding pair of support arms 18 upon opposed side frame members 12, 14 have sockets which securely retain opposite outer ends of a retaining bar 20 proximate an outer end 23 of the respective support arms 18. Retaining bars 20 support a first portion of the sole of a shoe, such as shoes 34, 36. The elongate body portions 16 of side frame members 12, 14 also have sockets, each socket preferably located at a position proximate an upper end of a support bar 18, which sockets receive opposite ends of each of a plurality of second retaining bars 21, each of which bars 21 is adapted to support a second sole portion of a shoe. As shown, pairs of shoe-retaining bars 20, 21 are aligned in a plane forming an acute angle with respect to vertical, to thereby support the shoes 34, 36 in an inclined manner with the shoes directed toward the vertical surface 30 upon which shoe rack 10 is supported.
Each side frame member 12, 14 is preferably fabricated as one integral piece of plastic and has openings 32 therethrough. Specifically, each side frame member 12, 14 is preferably formed of thermal plastic molding compound. Retaining bars 20, 21 are preferably formed of lightweight, sturdy material, such as aluminum or steel. It will be appreciated that side frame members 12, 14 and retaining bars 20 can be constructed of any suitable material, such as plastic or wood, or any combination thereof.
Shoe rack 10 is adapted to be supported on a vertical surface, such as a wall or door. For hanging shoe rack 10 over a door, such as door 30 illustrated in
In addition to hanger 25, or alternatively, fasteners, such as fastener 60 shown in
In accordance with a key principle of the present invention,
With additional reference now to
As shown in
As also shown in
As illustrated in
With reference now to
Specifically, during assembly, a first side frame member, such as side frame member 12, may be laid on a flat surface, and the various retaining bars 20, 21 loosely positioned within the second, outer portion 72 of corresponding receiving sockets 70. Side frame member 14 may then be positioned downwardly onto the retaining bars, wherein the retaining bars are similarly loosely positioned within the outermost large diameter portion 72 of the receiving sockets. It will be appreciated that, with the retaining bars 20, 21 only loosely positioned within the sockets within the larger diameter areas 72, the bars are less rigid than when snugly secured within the innermost, smaller diameter area 71 of the receiving sockets 70. As such, the bars 20, 21 may be manipulated to align with the receiving sockets on the opposing side frame member 14, so that the bars may be placed within the larger diameter area of corresponding receiving sockets in the side frame member 14. Once all the bars are properly aligned, and loosely positioned within the outer, larger diameter area 72 of corresponding receiving sockets 70, the side frame members 12, 14 may be depressed together, thus forcing the bars 20, 21 into the innermost, smaller diameter areas of the receiving sockets 70, thereby figidly attaching the retaining bars to the side frame members 12, 14. The receiving socket structure of the present invention, having the first and second peripheral dimensions of different sizes, facilitates insertion and alignment of retaining bars 20, 21 and the overall easy assembly of shoe rack 10.
From the foregoing it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all ends and objects hereinabove set forth together with the other advantages which are obvious and which are inherent to the structure.
It will be understood that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of the claims.
Sine many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US20090008345 *||Aug 26, 2008||Jan 8, 2009||Azad Sabounjian||Shoe rack|
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|USD731822||Sep 3, 2014||Jun 16, 2015||Lynk, Inc.||Fabric locking shelf|
|U.S. Classification||211/35, 211/113, 248/214, 248/300, 211/118|
|International Classification||A47F7/08, A47F5/08, A47B87/02, A47F5/00, A47B61/04|
|Cooperative Classification||A47F5/0846, A47F7/08, A47B61/04, A47B87/0207|
|European Classification||A47F7/08, A47B61/04, A47B87/02B, A47F5/08B4|