Patent application title: Systems for Hanging Articles
Barbara B. Womble (Dallas, TX, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47G2514FI
Class name: Apparel apparatus garment hangers
Publication date: 2012-12-06
Patent application number: 20120305610
A system for the display and support of apparel includes a support arm
which is attached to a horizontal surface such as a clothing bar or shelf
The support arm is positioned perpendicularly relative to the horizontal
surface so that hanging apparel hung from the support arm is displayed
showing the front of the apparel. The support arm, once attached to the
clothing bar is prevented from side-to-side, and swaying movement.
1. A system for support and display of hanging articles comprising: a
horizontal attachment surface; and, a support arm projecting
perpendicularly, and attached to the surface; and, a gripping member
connecting the support arm to the support surface.
2. The system according to claim 1 in which the support arm extends in a direction transverse that of a clothing bar.
3. The system according to claim 1 in which the support arm can be pivoted while attached to the surface.
4. The system according to claim 1 in which the support arm can be reversibly extended.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application No. 61/404,497 filed Oct. 04, 2010, and Provisional Patent Application No. 61/464,385 filed Mar. 03, 2011.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 Not applicable
THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT
 Not applicable
INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC
 Not applicable
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates generally to supports for hanging articles, and more specifically to support arms designed for the consumer market which can be mounted on a clothing bar or shelf for the support of hanging clothing or other articles.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Within the merchandising environment, various displays are used to hang articles such as clothing. The most common display means for hanging garments are clothing bars which are most typically straight or circular in order to display garments for sale. The clothing bars used in commercial environments typically have a rectangular profile while those available to the consumer market have a cylindrical profile. Certain commercial clothing bars may also employ support arms which are attached to the clothing bars in order to showcase or enable sorting garments by type. Although commercial bars have more structural variation than clothing bars manufactured for non-commercial use, because of proprietary design, parts associated with commercial assemblies such as support arms and other accessories are not interchangeable with systems from other makers or with clothing bars manufactured for the consumer market such as those often sold as part of a closet storage solution.
 While support apparatus are known that attach to vertically oriented poles, a support apparatus for hanging garments and other articles which is quickly attachable to a horizontally positioned cylindrical clothing bar without requiring additional tools or fasteners would be a valuable accessory to any consumer closet system.
 Moreover, a such a retrofittable support arm would be especially desirable if it were strong enough to support multiple articles without slipping, relocatable to any position along the bar and easily removable.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention is directed to a support member for hanging articles that is reversibly attachable to horizontal supports such as clothing bars, shelves and the like. One embodiment according to the present invention is mounted to a typical clothing bar so as to project perpendicularly from the bar in order to display articles such as garments from the front rather than the sides. The support member is especially useful for planning wardrobe changes, selecting items that need to be dry cleaned and many other wardrobe related tasks.
 Multiple support members can attach along a clothing bar or a length of shelving to provide additional hanging space.
 In one aspect according to the present invention, the support member possesses a support arm which is firmly attachable to a horizontal cylindrical clothing bar.
 In another aspect according to the present invention, the support member possesses a support arm which is firmly attachable to an edge of a solid shelf.
 In another aspect according to the present invention, the support member possesses a support arm which is firmly attachable to an edge of a wire shelf.
 In yet another aspect according to the present invention, the support arm is extendible.
 Inclusive to all the foregoing aspects, the support arm is firmly attachable to the horizontal support, whether a shelf edge or cylindrical bar, and is easily re-positionable along the support.
 One object of the present invention is to provide a retrofittable means for displaying apparel along a clothing bar.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparel display means for garments that extends perpendicularly from any commonly sized clothing bar.
 Yet another object of the present invention is provide an apparel display means that while affixed to a clothing bar is easily loosened and re-positionable by sliding along the clothing bar.
 Still another object of the present invention to provide an apparel display means that requires no tools for repositioning and removal.
 The description as follows is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular forms set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, combinations and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the detailed description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment according to the present invention for attachment to a cylindrical clothing bar;
 FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another embodiment according to the present invention for attachment to a cylindrical clothing bar;
 FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment according to the present invention for attachment to a cylindrical clothing bar;
 FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment according to the present invention for attachment to a cylindrical clothing bar;
 FIG. 5 is a side view of the embodiment shown in (FIG. 1);
 FIG. 6 is a side view of the embodiment shown in (FIG. 2);
 FIG. 7 is a perspective view of one embodiment according to the present invention;
 FIG. 8 is a perspective view of one embodiment according to the present invention;
 FIG. 9 is a perspective view of one embodiment according to the present invention;
 FIG. 10 is a side view of the embodiment shown in (FIG. 9);
 FIGS. 11-20 are perspective views of another embodiment according to the present invention;
 FIG. 21 is a perspective view of another embodiment according to the present invention for attachment to wire shelf;
 FIG. 22 is a side view of the embodiment shown in (FIG. 21);
 FIG. 23 is a perspective view of an embodiment according to the present invention with a telescoping rod as support member;
 FIG. 24 and FIG. 25 are side views of an embodiment similar to the one shown in (FIG. 22), with a tightening member for attachment to a shelf unit;
 FIG. 26 depicts a bent support member with support arm 110 which telescopes;
 FIG. 27 depicts a straight support member with support arm 110 which telescopes.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Reference Listing:
 100' support member
 110 support arm
 120 gripping member
 124 hinge
 126 teeth
 128 tightening member
 130 slot
 132 hanger stop
 136 garment rod
 138 shelf
 142 stay
 144 pin
 Referring generally to FIGS. 1-27, a support member 100' for displaying garments includes a rigid support arm 110 with a gripping member 120 in which the support arm is secured perpendicularly to a horizontal structure such as a clothing bar 136 or shelf 138. The support member once attached to the cylindrical clothing bar, permits hanging garments to display face out when hung from support arm 110. The support arm can be telescoping or fixed.
 The support member 100' and gripping member 120 may be made of plastic, metal, a combination of the two materials, or any other material combination suggesting itself to those skilled in the art. A series of troughs or ridges, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 on the top edge of the support arm 110 can serve to separate and evenly space a number of hanging garments. The support arm can be level or sloping.
 A preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-6, allows for the rapid attachment of the support member 100' to a cylindrical clothing bar 136 and removal therefrom by a simple gripping member 120 which can include a pair of hinged sections that can be angular, curving or cylindrical, and attachable to clothing bars ranging from 0.75 inches to 1.5 inches in diameter. The hinged sections can be secured by a locking means that includes a threaded knob 128. When the gripping member 120 is closed around the clothing bar, the U-shaped hasp portion surrounds the threaded part of the knob 128 and is secured in position by tightening the knob.
 FIGS. 5-7 show inner faces of hinged sections which include a series of teeth 126 either formed into the faces, or as separate inserts which are attached to the jaws and reside between the jaws and the clothing bar. The teeth 126, which are preferably formed from soft metal such as a zinc alloy, but can be made of hard plastic, provide multiple regions for contacting the clothing bar and resist coaxial, rotational or longitudinal movement relative to the clothing bar once secured thereto.
 FIGS. 9 and 10 show an embodiment with the hinged sections secured together by a threaded knob, the threaded portion thread-able into a tapped recces on one of the sections.
 Referring to FIGS. 11-20, an embodiment is shown in which the support arm 110 is reversibly extendible. The support member can be pulled forward or pushed backward through an aperture within gripping member 120 as shown in FIGS. 11, 14 and 15, in which the support member resides in sufficiently tight fit to prevent the support member from sliding movement absent any manual readjustment. The gripping member can also be divided as shown in FIGS. 12, 13, 16 and 17 in which the gripping member has a cleft spanned by a pin 144 around which slotted arm 110 pivots and slides. The pin can have the profile of an offset cylinder, or a cam, to create a friction fit between the pin and the inner surfaces of the slot 130 when rotated by knob 128. It is intended that the invention encompass other means of staying the sliding movement of the support arm as will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. The gripping member can be in two hinged sections, or the gripping member can be a one piece spring clip which is snapped into place over the clothing bar as shown in FIG. 14. FIG. 18 shows a gripping member as a spring clip, while FIGS. 19 and 20 show the gripping member as a pair of hinged sections joined by spring hinge 124. The gripping member pivots so that the rearward section of the support arm can rise to contact the underside of a shelf situated above the clothing bar, thus preventing further pivoting of the forward section of the arm.
 FIGS. 21-23 depict a support member with support arm 110 that is attachable to a wire shelf by means of teeth 126 that fit between the wire lattice of the wire shelf.
 FIGS. 24 and 25 show a support arm 110 which is clamped to a solid surface such as a shelf.
 FIGS. 26 and 27 depict a support member with support arm 110 which telescopes.
 While the invention has been described by the particular embodiments given, it is not intended that the scope of the invention be limited to the particular forms set forth. For example, the gripping member can be combined with any one of the support arms shown. The gripping member can be a spring clip or hinged clamp as depicted, or other clamping means that may suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. Whatever the attachment means to the clothing bar, it is intended that the support member be retained perpendicularly to the clothing bar while preventing pendulum type, or side to side movement experienced by closet hangers on a clothing bar. The entire assembly can pivot vertically, or include a tightening means that substantially prevents rotational movement about the clothing bar. Accordingly, the invention is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Patent applications by Barbara B. Womble, Dallas, TX US
Patent applications in class GARMENT HANGERS
Patent applications in all subclasses GARMENT HANGERS