US20050045074A1 - Table - Google Patents

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Publication number
US20050045074A1
US20050045074A1 US10888166 US88816604A US2005045074A1 US 20050045074 A1 US20050045074 A1 US 20050045074A1 US 10888166 US10888166 US 10888166 US 88816604 A US88816604 A US 88816604A US 2005045074 A1 US2005045074 A1 US 2005045074A1
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Prior art keywords
portion
lip
side rail
table
table top
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Abandoned
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US10888166
Inventor
Ju-Young Jin
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Lifetime Products Inc
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Lifetime Products Inc
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B3/00Folding or stowable tables
    • A47B3/08Folding or stowable tables with legs pivoted to top or underframe
    • A47B3/091Folding or stowable tables with legs pivoted to top or underframe with struts supporting the legs
    • A47B3/0911Folding or stowable tables with legs pivoted to top or underframe with struts supporting the legs the struts being permanently connected to top and leg or underframe and leg
    • A47B3/0912Folding or stowable tables with legs pivoted to top or underframe with struts supporting the legs the struts being permanently connected to top and leg or underframe and leg the strut being of two parts foldable relative to one another
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B13/00Details of tables or desks
    • A47B13/08Table tops; Rims therefor

Abstract

A table may include a table top, one or more side rails, and one or more legs that are movable between an extended position and a collapsed position relative to the table top. The side rails are preferably attached to one or more lips or projections that extend downwardly from a lower portion of the table top. The side rails may include three portions that may enclose at least a portion of the lip. Advantageously, the side rails may be attached to the lip by a snap, friction or interference fit. In addition, an outer portion of the side rail may be generally aligned with an outer edge of the table top.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/485,754, entitled TABLE, which was filed on Jul. 9, 2003. This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/485,817, entitled TABLE, which was filed on Jul. 9, 2003. Each of these applications is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention generally relates to furniture and, in particular, to tables.
  • 2. Description of Related Art
  • Conventional tables typically include one or more legs that are connected to a table top. Many conventional tables include folding legs to allow the table to be more easily transported and stored. In particular, conventional tables often include legs that are pivotally attached to the table top to allow the legs to be moved between an extended position in which the legs extend outwardly from the table top and a collapsed or storage position in which the legs are positioned near or adjacent to the table top. Thus, when the table is desired to be used, the legs are placed in the extended position. On the other hand, when the table is desired to be transported or stored, the legs can be placed in the collapsed or storage position.
  • The legs of many conventional tables are pivotally connected to the table top and the legs are frequently constructed from hollow metal tubes. The table tops of conventional tables are often constructed from materials such as metal, which may be formed or cut into the desired shapes and sizes, or wood, which may include a number of slats, panels or boards that are fastened together. In particular, conventional table tops may be constructed from materials such as steel, aluminum, plywood, particle board, fiber board, pressed board, and other types of wooden laminates. Table tops constructed from wood or metal, however, are often relatively heavy and this may make the table awkward or difficult to move. Conventional table tops constructed from wood or metal are also relatively expensive and these types of table tops must generally be treated or finished before use. For example, table tops constructed from wood are often sanded, painted, stained or otherwise treated, and table tops constructed from metal must be formed or cut into the desired shape and then painted or finished.
  • It is also known to attach a covering to the top of a metal or wooden table top. These coverings are often constructed from canvas, vinyl and other types of fabrics or materials. The coverings may be intended to provide a smooth, flat upper surface to allow the user to write or work on the table. The coverings may also improve the appearance of the table and the coverings may be used to hide imperfects, blemishes, discolorations or other types of marks in the table top. Disadvantageously, the coverings may increase the costs of the table and increase the time required to construct the table. In addition, the coverings are often easily ripped, torn or otherwise damaged, and the coverings are generally very difficult to repair or replace.
  • Conventional table tops constructed from materials such as plywood, particle board, fiber board, pressed board or wooden laminates are often not very strong or rigid. Consequently, these types of tables often cannot support large or heavy items without undesirably bending, breaking or cracking. In addition, these types of tables typically cannot withstand large forces or impacts without deforming, fracturing or failing. For example, if a large load or force is applied to the table, then the table top may split, crack or shatter. Further, one or more of the legs may become disconnected from the table top, which may allow the table to collapse.
  • Card tables are well known types of tables that traditionally include table tops constructed from plywood, particle board, fiber board, pressed board or wooden laminates. Conventional card tables typically include table tops with generally planar, flat upper surfaces. Conventional card tables are also relatively lightweight and can be easily transported. Most conventional card tables include four legs that are each independently connected to the table top. Specifically, the legs of most known card tables are pivotally connected to the table top by a brace with an elongated slot. The slotted brace allows each leg to individually fold against the table top. The slotted brace may also be sized and configured to lock the leg in the extended and/or collapsed position.
  • Conventional card tables often include a covering over the upper surface of the table top. As discussed above, the covering often undesirably increases manufacturing time and costs. Additionally, conventional card tables are often not very strong because the table tops are typically constructed from plywood, particle board, Z fiber board, pressed board or wooden laminates. Further, the legs are often not securely attached to conventional card tables, and this may allow the legs to undesirably wobble or otherwise move. Once a conventional card table is damaged or broken, it is often discarded and a new card table is purchased because damaged or broken card are often difficult to fix or repair.
  • Conventional tables with table tops constructed from wood or metal may be relatively heavy, which makes the table more difficult to move and more expensive to ship and transport. In order to decrease the weight of these known tables, the table tops can be constructed from lightweight materials such as plastic. In particular, the table tops can be constructed from injection molded plastic to form thin, lightweight table tops. Disadvantageously, these lightweight table tops frequently require reinforcing members to strengthen the table top. For example, a wooden core may be placed within the injection molded table top in order to strengthen the table top.
  • It is also known to construct tables with table tops constructed from blow-molded plastic. The blow-molded plastic table tops, however, may also require reinforcing members, such as a frame, or other structural parts, such as brackets, support members and the like, to strengthen the table top. Disadvantageously, these reinforcing members and other structural parts may undesirably increase the weight of the table. The reinforcing members and other parts may also be time consuming to install and may decrease the structural integrity of the table top. For example, a number of fasteners may be required to attach each reinforcing member to the table top and these fasteners may create numerous holes in the table top, which may decrease the strength and structural integrity of the table top. In addition, these fasteners and other parts may increase the time required to assemble the table, which may increase manufacturing costs. Further, the reinforcing members may not be securely attached to the table top, which may allow the table to undesirably fail. In particular, if the reinforcing members are not securely attached to the table top by the fasteners, then the fasteners may be undesirably pulled out of the blow-molded plastic table top. If this occurs, a large opening may be created in the table top and it may be very difficult or impossible to repair the table top. Additionally, the reinforcing members and other parts of may conventional tables may have sharp edges that can injure a user's arms or legs, and these structures may impair or limit the amount of leg room and/or storage space underneath the table.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • A need therefore exists for a table that reduces or eliminates the above-described disadvantages and problems.
  • One aspect is a table that includes a table top and one or more legs. The legs are preferably movable relative to the table top between an extended position and a collapsed position. Advantageously, when the legs are in the extended position, the table can be used to support various items and/or for many different purposes. On the other hand, when the legs are in the collapsed position, the table can be easily transported and stored. Preferably, when the legs are in the collapsed position, the legs are positioned near or adjacent to the table top. The legs could also be removably connected to the table top.
  • Another aspect is a table that may include legs that are pivotal between the extended and collapsed positions relative to the table top. For example, the legs may be pivotally connected to the table top. Significantly, if the legs are pivotally connected to the table top, then the legs may be quickly and easily moved between extended and collapsed positions. Advantageously, one or more legs may be interconnected so that the legs are simultaneously moved between the extended and collapsed positions. The legs may also be independently connected to the table top so that each of the legs can be separately moved between the extended and collapsed positions.
  • Still another aspect is a table that may include one or more crossbars that are attached to the legs or are an integral part of the legs. The crossbars may allow the legs to be connected to the table. For example, the crossbars may allow the legs to be pivotally or rotatably attached to the table top. The crossbars may also be pitovally or rotatably attached to a frame. The legs may also include one or more feet, foot members and/or end caps, if desired.
  • Yet another aspect is a table that may be specifically sized and configured for particular uses. For example, the table may have a length of about six or eight feet, and a width of about two to three feet. This may allow the table to be used as a utility table. In addition, the table may also have a length of about six or eight feet and a width of less than two feet to create a conference type table. The table, however, could have any suitable size and configuration. Thus, the table may be shorter or longer, for example, and the table top could have a rectangular, square, circular, or other suitable shape. In addition, the table could be sized and configured to be used by multiple persons at one time, or by only a single user.
  • A further aspect is a table that may be relatively lightweight, which may allow the table to be easily moved and transported. For example, the table may be constructed with a relatively lightweight table top and/or legs. Thus, the table top may be constructed from relatively lightweight materials such as plastic and the legs may be constructed from relatively lightweight materials such as hollow metal tubes. In addition, the table may be sized and configured so that it does not take up any unnecessary space.
  • A still further aspect is a table that may include a table top that is constructed from lightweight materials, which may allow the table to be readily lifted and moved. Desirably, the table top is constructed from plastic, such as high density polyethylene or polypropylene, but other suitable types of synthetic and non-synthetic materials may also be used. In addition, the table top is preferably constructed by blow-molding, but the table top may also be constructed by other suitable processes such as injection molding, rotational molding, compression molding and the like. Advantageously, the blow-molded plastic table tops may be designed to create rigid, high-strength structures that are capable of withstanding repeated use and wear. In addition, the blow-molded plastic table tops may be easily manufactured and formed into the desired shapes and sizes. In addition, the blow-molded plastic table tops can form structural components of the table, which may minimize the number of components required to construct the table.
  • Another aspect is a table that may include a table top with one or more features that are integrally formed in the table top. For example, the table could include a blow-molded plastic table top and one or more features may be integrally formed in the table top during the blow-molding process as part of a unitary, one-piece structure. These features may include, but are not limited to, a recessed portion formed in the bottom of the table top and/or a generally downwardly lip or projection. The lip or projection may form part of an outer edge of the table top, or it may be spaced inwardly from the outer edge of the table top.
  • Still another aspect is a table that may be relatively simple to manufacture because it preferably consists of a table top constructed from blow-molded plastic. The blow-molded plastic table top may include two opposing walls that are spaced apart by a relatively small distance, which may increase the strength and rigidity of the table top. The blow-molded plastic table top may also include one or more depressions or tack-offs to further increase the strength of the table top and/or interconnect the spaced apart walls. Significantly, the blow-molded table top may be lightweight, rigid, durable, weather resistant and generally temperature insensitive. Additionally, the blow-molded plastic table top may not corrode, rust or otherwise deteriorate over time. Further, the blow-molded table top can also be formed in various shapes, sizes, configurations and designs.
  • Yet another aspect is a table that may be quickly and easily assembled, which may reduce manufacturing and labor costs. Further, the table may be used in wide variety of situations and uses. For example, the table may be used in conference rooms, meeting rooms, convention halls, banquet halls, ballrooms, board rooms, offices, homes, and the like. In addition, the table may be used to support various items such as televisions, computers, sewing machines, microwaves, lamps, luggage, and the like. The table may also be used, depending upon its size and configuration, as a bedside table, coffee table, night stand, desk, shop table, and the like. Further, the table can be used while performing a wide variety of tasks such as reading, writing, studying, working, eating, etc. Thus, the table can be used in a number of different environments and it can perform numerous different tasks.
  • A further aspect is a table that may include table top and a frame that is attached to the table top. Advantageously, the frame may be used to add stability and strength to the table and/or table top. The frame, for example, may include one or more elongated rails that are positioned along a length of the table top. In particular, the rails may extend along one or both sides of the table. The rails may also be securely attached to the table top in order to add stability and/or strength to the table top. In addition, all or a portion of the rails may be connected to a downwardly extending lip or projection. The rails, for example, may at least partially enclose the downwardly extending lip or projection. Significantly, the rails and/or lip may be positioned near or at an outer edge of the table top. The rails and/or lip, however, may also be spaced apart from the outer edge of the table top.
  • A still further aspect is a table that may include a table top and one or more side rails. Desirably, the table includes two side rails and each side rail is attached at or near opposing sides of the table top. For example, the side rails may be attached to an outer lip and the side rails may cover all or a portion of the lip. The side rails, however, do not have to be attached to a lip or near opposing sides of the table.
  • Another aspect is table that may include a lip that is preferably integrally constructed as part of the table top. The lip may include an inner surface, a lower surface and an outer surface. The lip may also include one or more channels, grooves or the like. For example, the outer surface of the lip may include a channel and a channel may be disposed near or in the inner surface of the channel. Advantageously, the lip may be sized and configured to allow side rails or other reinforcement structures to be attached to the table top. In particular, the channel formed in the outer surface of the lip may be sized and configured to receive a portion of a side rail and the channel formed near or in the inner surface of the lip may be sized and configured to receive another portion of the side rail. Significantly, the lip and channels may allow the rail to be attached to and/or enclose three different surfaces of the lip, which may increase the strength and stability of the table top. Additionally, the lip and channels may allow the rail to be attached to one or more portions of the lip. Further, the lip and channels may allow the rail to be attached to the lip by a friction, snap or interference fit.
  • Still another aspect is a table that may include a table top constructed from blow-molded plastic, the table top including an upper portion and a lower portion, the table top including a hollow interior portion that is formed during the blow-molding process. The table may also include a lip integrally formed with the table top as part of a unitary, one-piece construction, the lip extending generally downwardly from the lower portion of the table top, the lip including a hollow interior portion that is formed during the blow-molding process, the lip including an outer portion, an inner portion and a lower portion. In addition, the table may include a first leg support movable between a collapsed position and an extended position relative to the table top, and a second leg support movable between a collapsed position and an extended position relative to the table top. The table may also a first side rail connected to a first portion of the lip, the first side rail including an outer portion, an inner portion and a lower portion; the outer portion, inner portion and lower portion of the first side rail enclosing at least a portion of the outer portion, inner portion and lower portion of the lip; and a second side rail connected to a second portion of the lip, the second side rail including an outer portion, an inner portion and a lower portion; the outer portion, inner portion and lower portion of the second side rail enclosing at least a portion of the outer portion, inner portion and lower portion of the lip.
  • Advantageously, the table may include one or more of the following features. For example, the table may include a first groove in the outer portion of the lip and an end of the outer portion of the first side rail being at least partially disposed within the first groove; and a second groove in the outer portion of the lip and an end of the outer portion of the second side rail being at least partially disposed within the second groove. The table may also include a first channel in the inner portion of the lip and an end of the inner portion of the first side rail being at least partially disposed within the first channel; and a second channel in the inner portion of the lip and an end of the inner portion of the second side rail being at least partially disposed within the second channel. In addition, the table may include a first channel in the lower portion of the table top and an end of the inner portion of the first side rail being at least partially disposed within the first channel; and a second channel in the lower portion of the table top and an end of the inner portion of the second side rail being at least partially disposed within the second channel. Further, the inner portion of the first side rail may contact at least a portion of the inner portion of the lip, the outer portion of the first side rail may contact at least a portion of the outer portion of the lip, and the lower portion of the first side rail may contact at least a portion of the lower portion of the lip; and the inner portion of the second side rail may contact at least a portion of the inner portion of the lip, the outer portion of the second side rail may contact at least a portion of the outer portion of the lip, and the lower portion of the second side rail may contact at least a portion of the lower portion of the lip.
  • Advantageously, the first side rail may be attached to the lip by a friction, snap or interference fit; and the second side rail may be attached to the lip by a friction, snap or interference fit. In addition, the table may include an outer edge of the table top, wherein the outer edge of the table top is generally aligned with the outer portion of the first side rail and the outer edge of the table top is generally aligned with the outer portion of the second side rail. The table may also include a first projection in the lower portion of the table top, the first projection being disposed proximate an end of the inner portion of the first side rail; and farther comprising a second projection in the lower portion of the table top, the second projection being disposed proximate an end of the inner portion of the second side rail. While the lip may be generally disposed about an outer perimeter of the table top, the lip may also be disposed about only a portion of the table top and the lip may be spaced apart or inwardly from an outer edge or perimeter of the table top.
  • Significantly, the table may also include a second lip. Advantageously, the second lip may be spaced apart from the first lip, but the first and second lips do not have to be spaced apart. Preferably, the second lip is integrally formed with the table top as part of a unitary, one-piece construction, the second lip extends generally downwardly from the lower portion of the table top, the second lip includes a hollow interior portion that is formed during the blow-molding process, and the second lip includes an outer portion, an inner portion and a lower portion.
  • The table may also include one or more of the following features, such as a first channel at least partially disposed in the lower portion of the lip, one end of the first side rail being disposed proximate the first channel; and a second channel at least partially disposed in the lower portion of the lip, one end of the second side rail being disposed proximate the second channel. The table may be configured such that the lip includes three generally planar sections, the first side rail includes three generally planar sections and the second side rail includes three generally planar sections; and the three generally planar sections of the first side rail may cover at least a portion of the three generally planar sections of the lip; and the three generally planar sections of the second side rail may cover at least a portion of the three generally planar sections of the lip. In addition, the table may be configured such that the three generally planar sections of the first side rail contact the three generally planar sections of the lip; and the three generally planar sections of the second side rail contact the three generally planar section of the lip.
  • In addition, the table may be sized and configured such that the outer portion of the first side rail is disposed generally parallel to the inner portion of the first side rail; and the outer portion of the second side rail is disposed generally parallel to the inner portion of the second side rail. The table may also be sized and configured such that the outer portion of the first side rail is disposed generally parallel to the outer portion of the lip, the inner portion of the first side rail is disposed generally parallel to the inner portion of the lip, and the lower portion of the first side rail is disposed generally parallel to the lower portion of the lip; and the outer portion of the second side rail is disposed generally parallel to the outer portion of the lip, the inner portion of the second side rail is disposed generally parallel to the inner portion of the lip, and the lower portion of the second side rail is disposed generally parallel to the lower portion of the lip. Finally, while the lip may be disposed about the entire perimeter of the table top, the lip may also be disposed about only a portion of the table top.
  • These and other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments and appended claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The appended drawings contain figures of preferred embodiments to further clarify the above and other aspects, advantages and features of the present invention. It will be appreciated that these drawings depict only preferred embodiments of the invention and are not intended to limits its scope. The invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a table;
  • FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the table shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the table shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 is a bottom view of another exemplary embodiment of a table;
  • FIG. 5 is a cut-away, prospective view of an exemplary embodiment of a side rail and a table top;
  • FIG. 6 is a cut-away, side view of the side rail and the table top shown in FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 7A is a cut-away, prospective view of the side rail and the table top shown in FIG. 5, illustrating an exemplary embodiment for connecting the side rail and the table top, wherein one edge of the side rail is inserted into a channel or groove in the table top;
  • FIG. 7B is a cut-away, prospective view of the side rail and the table top shown in FIG. 5, illustrating the side rail partially connected to the table top;
  • FIG. 7C is a cut-away, prospective view of the side rail and the table top shown in FIG. 5, illustrating the side rail partially connected to the table top;
  • FIG. 7D is a cut-away, prospective view of the side rail and the table top shown in FIG. 5, illustrating the side rail connected to the table top;
  • FIG. 8A is a cut-away, prospective view of another exemplary embodiment of a side rail and a table top;
  • FIG. 8B is a cut-away, side view of the side rail and the table top shown in FIG. 8A;
  • FIG. 9A is a cut-away, prospective view of an exemplary embodiment of a side rail and a table top; and
  • FIG. 9B is a cut-away, side view of the side rail and the table top shown in FIG. 9A.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The present invention is directed towards a table. The principles of the present invention, however, are not limited to tables. It will be understood that, in light of the present disclosure, the table disclosed herein can be successfully used in connection with other types of furniture.
  • Additionally, to assist in the description of the table, words such as top, bottom, front, rear, right and left are used to describe the accompanying figures. It will be appreciated, however, that the present invention can be located in a variety of desired positions—including various angles, sideways and even upside down. A detailed description of the table now follows.
  • As seen in FIG. 1, the table 2 may include a table top 4 and one or more legs, such as legs 6, 8, 10, and 12. One or more cross braces may be provided to secure two or more legs. For example, a cross brace 14 may interconnect legs 6 and 8, and a cross brace 16 may interconnect legs 10 and 12. Accordingly, when one leg is moved, a corresponding, interconnected leg may also move. The legs 6, 8, 10, and 12 may be interconnected using other suitable connectors or methods. Of course, the legs 6, 8, 10, and 12 need not be interconnected, and cross braces are not required for the table 2. Further, if desired, the legs 6, 8, 10, and 12 may move independently of each other. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the table 2 may include any suitable number and type of legs and/or table supports.
  • The legs 6, 8, 10, 12 are preferably movable relative to the table top 4 between an extended position and a collapsed position. Advantageously, when the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 are in the extended position, the table 2 can be used to support various items and/or for many different purposes. On the other hand, when the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 are in the collapsed position, the table 2 can be easily transported and stored. Preferably, when the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 are in the collapsed position, the legs are positioned near or adjacent to the table top 4. The legs 6, 8, 10, 12, however, could also be removably connected to the table top 4.
  • The legs 6, 8, 10, 12 are preferably pivotal between the extended and collapsed positions relative to the table top 4. For example, the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 may be pivotally connected to the table top 4. Significantly, if the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 are pivotally connected to the table top 4, then the legs may be quickly and easily moved between extended and collapsed positions. The table 2 may also include one or more crossbars that are attached to the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 or are an integral part of the legs. The crossbars may allow the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 to be connected to the table 2. For example, the crossbars may allow the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 to be pivotally or rotatably attached to the table top 4. The crossbars may also be pitovally or rotatably attached to a frame. The legs 6, 8, 10, 12 may also include one or more feet, foot members and/or end caps, if desired.
  • Advantageously, the table 2 may be specifically sized and configured for particular uses. For example, the table 2 may have a length of about six or eight feet, and a width of about two to three feet. This may allow the table to be used as a utility table. In addition, the table 2 may also have a length of about six or eight feet and a width of less than two feet to create a conference type table. The table 2, however, could have any suitable size and configuration. Thus, the table 2 may be shorter or longer, if desired. In addition, the table 2 may include a table top 4 that has a rectangular, square, circular, or other suitable shape.
  • The table 2 may also be sized and configured for use by an individual or it may be sized and configured for use by more than one person. For example, if the table 2 is sized and configured for use by a single person, then it may have a relatively small table top 4. On the other hand, if the table 2 is sized and configured to be used by more than one person, it may have a larger size. In addition, the table 2 may be sized and configured for particular uses, such as a personal table, computer table, game table, bedside table, night stand, television table, utility table, and the like. The table 2 may also be sized and configured for particular uses such as a desk. Thus, while the table 2 could be specifically sized and configured for a particular use or activity, the table could have various suitable configurations and arrangements depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table or it could have a general shape and design that allows it to be used in a wide variety of situations and circumstances.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, the table top 4 may include a generally rectangular shape. For example, the table top 4 may be about seventy-two (72) inches in length and about thirty (30) inches in width, but one skilled in the art will appreciate that the table top can have other suitable sizes and configurations depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table.
  • The table top 4 may include beveled, sloped or rounded surfaces disposed between the top surface and the sides of the table 2. The beveled surfaces may be sized and configured to increase the comfort of the person(s) using the table 2, but the table does not require beveled surfaces. In addition, the corners and edges of the table top 4 do not have to be rounded and, in contrast, the corners and edges could have any desirable configuration, but the rounded features may increase the comfort of the person(s) using the table.
  • The table top 4 is preferably constructed from a lightweight material and, more preferably, the table top is constructed from plastic, such as high density polyethylene. The plastic table top 4 is desirably formed by a blow-molding process because, for example, it allows a strong, lightweight, rigid and sturdy table top to be quickly and easily manufactured. Advantageously, the blow-molded plastic table top 4 has a lighter weight than conventional table tops constructed from wood or metal, and the blow-molded plastic table top can be constructed from less plastic than conventional plastic table tops, which may save manufacturing costs and reduce consumer costs. In particular, the blow-molded table top 4 can be manufactured with thin plastic walls and that allows the table top to cool faster during the manufacturing process, which decreases the manufacturing time.
  • Further, the blow-molded plastic table top 4 can be constructed to form a variety of suitable shapes, configurations, sizes, designs and/or colors depending, for example, upon the intended use of table 2. For example, the table top 4 can be constructed with a generally rectangular configuration of about thirty-six (36) inches by about forty (40) inches. The table top 4 could also have a generally circular configuration with a diameter of about thirty (30) inches or a generally square configuration with thirty-six inch (36) sides. Of course, the blow-molded table top 4 can have any suitable size and configuration depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table 2.
  • The table top 4 is preferably constructed from blow-molded plastic because blow-molded plastic table tops are durable, weather resistant, generally temperature insensitive, corrosion resistant, rust resistant, and generally do not deteriorate over time. One skilled in the art, however, will appreciate that the table top 4 does not have to be constructed from blow-molded plastic and other suitable materials and/or processes can be used to construct the table top depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table 2. Thus, the table top 4 could be constructed from other materials with suitable characteristics, such as wood, metal, and other types of plastic. Additionally, the table top 4 does not have to be constructed from blow-molded plastic and it could be constructed from injection molded plastic, extrusion molded plastic, and the like.
  • The table top 4 may include one or more features that are integrally formed in the table top as part of a unitary, one-piece structure. For example, the table top 4 may include a generally downwardly extending lip that is disposed about the outer portion of the table top. The table top 4 could also include a recess that is formed in the lower surface of the table top which may be sized and configured to receive at least a portion of the legs 6, 8, 10 and 12 when the legs are in the collapsed position. Advantageously, this may facilitate stacking of the tables 2 if the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 do not extend beyond a plane that is generally aligned with a lower surface of the table top 4. It will be appreciated that the table top 4 could have any suitable number of features, but the table top does not require any particular features or number of features.
  • As shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4, the lower surface of the table top 4 may include a plurality of depressions. The depressions preferably cover at least a substantial portion of the lower surface of the table top 4 and the depressions preferably extend towards and/or contact the upper surface of the table top. In particular, the ends of the depressions may engage, contact or abut the inner surface of the upper surface of table top 4 or the ends of the depressions may be spaced from the upper surface of the table top. The depressions may be formed in a predetermined pattern or array, and the depressions may be placed in a staggered, geometric, random or other suitable arrangement.
  • The depressions may be designed to increase the strength and structural integrity of the table 2. While it was previously believed that stronger structures were provided by making the walls thicker and/or adding structures such as ribbing, the depressions may provide the surprising and unexpected result that an increased number of depressions may provide a stronger structure and/or thinner walls may be used to construct the structure. Surprisingly, the depressions may increase the structural integrity of the structure despite forming disruptions in the continuity of the lower surface of the table top 4, and less plastic can be used to make the structure even though the plurality of depressions are formed in the structure. The costs of manufacturing and transportation may be decreased because thinner plastic walls may be used to construct the table top 4, which may create a lighter weight table 2.
  • Additionally, when blow-molded structures such as table tops 4 are formed, a certain amount of time must elapse before the structure can be removed from the mold. Blow-molded structures with thicker walls require a longer cooling time than structures with thinner walls. The depressions, however, may allow table tops 4 with thinner plastic walls to be constructed and that reduces the cooling time before the table tops can be removed from the mold. Significantly, a reduced cycle time may increase the efficiency of manufacturing process and the cost of the table 2 may be reduced because less plastic may be used to make the table top 4.
  • The table 2 may include a frame and the frame may include one or more side rails, such as a side rail 18 and a side rail 20. The side rails 18 and 20 may be attached to the table top 4 in using one or more suitable methods. For example, the side rail 20 may be attached to the table top 4 using fasteners 22, 24, 26, and 28. The fasteners 22, 24, 26, 28 may be any suitable type of structure or device that attaches the side rails 18, 20 to the table top 2. For example, the fasteners may be bolts, screws, rivets, nails and the like. One of ordinary skill in the art will also understand that adhesives may also be used to connect the side rails 18, 20 to the table top 4. In addition, one of ordinary skill in the art will understand that any suitable number or type of fasteners may be used to connect the side rails 18 and 20 to the table top 4. Further, as discussed in more detail below, the side rails 18 and 20 may be attached to the table top 4 using a snap, interference or friction fit.
  • The table 2 may also include crossbars 30 and 32 may be used to connect the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 to the table top 4. The crossbars 30, 32, for example, may be rotatably attached to one or more of the table top 4 or the frame. As shown in the accompanying figures, each end of the crossbar 30 may be inserted into one or more holes, apertures, or the like, which may advantageously be formed in the side rails 18, 20 and/or in the table top 4. Likewise, the ends of the crossbar 32 may be inserted into one or more holes, apertures, or the like formed in the side rails 18, 20 and/or in the table top 4. Of course, the crossbars 30 and 32 may be attached in any other suitable manner, with any suitable device, to any desired portions of the table 2. The table 2, however, does not require the use of the cross bars 30, 32.
  • The legs 6, 8, 10, 12 are preferably securely attached to the crossbars 30, 32. The crossbars 30, 32 may also be an integral part of the legs 6, 8, 10 and 12. One or more braces may also be attached to the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 to assist in moving the legs between the extended and collapsed positions. The braces may also be used to secure or hold the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 in the extended and/or collapsed positions. For example, the leg 8 may be pivotally attached to a brace 34 and the leg 6 may be pivotally attached to a brace 36. The braces 34 and 36 may be pivotally attached to one or more braces, such as brace 38, and this brace may be pivotally attached to one or more braces, such as braces 40 and 42. The braces 40 and 42 may be attached to the table top 4, a side rails 18, 20, or other suitable portions of the table 2. One or more fasteners, such as rivets 44 and 46, may be used to pivotally attach the legs 6, 8 to the braces 34, 36. In addition, one or more fasteners, such as rivet 48, may be used to attach the braces 34, 36 to the brace 38. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that any suitable type of braces and fasteners may be used depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table 2.
  • As shown in FIG. 2, the leg 12 may be pivotally attached to a brace 50, and the leg 10 may be pivotally attached to a brace 52. The braces 50, 52 may be pivotally attached to a brace 54, which may be pivotally attached to braces 56 and 58. The braces 56 and 58 may be attached to the table top 4, side rails 18, 20, or other suitable portions of the table 2. One or more fasteners, such as rivets 60 and 62, may be used to pivotally attach the legs 10, 12 to the braces 50, 52. In addition, one or more fasteners, such as a rivet 64, may be used to attach the braces 50, 52 to the brace 54. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that any suitable type of braces and fasteners may be used depending, for example, upon the intended use of the table 2.
  • As discussed above, the braces 40, 42, 56 and 58 may be attached to the table top 4, the side rails 18, 20 or other suitable portions of the table 2. For example, as shown in the accompanying figures, the braces 42 and 58 may be connected to the side rail 18. In particular, the braces 42 and 58 may be inserted into one or more holes, apertures, or the like formed in the side rail 18 and formed in the table top 4. Likewise, braces 40 and 56 may be inserted into one or more holes, apertures, or the like formed in the side rail 20 and formed in the table top 4. When inserted, the braces 40, 42, 56, and 58 may advantageously rotate. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the braces 40, 42, 56, 58 may be attached in any suitable manner to any desired portions of the table top 4 and/or side rails 18, 20. For example, the braces 40, 42, 56 and 58 may be connected by one or more fasteners to the table top 4 and/or side rails 18, 20. One of ordinary skill in the art will also appreciate that the braces 40, 42, 56, 58 can have other suitable shapes, sizes and configurations, and that the braces are not required.
  • The table 2 may allow the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 to be secured in the collapsed position. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, the table top 4 may include one or more structures that are used to secure the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 in the collapsed position. In particular, the table top 4 may include molded portions 66, 68, 70, 72 that may be used to secure the legs 6, 8, 10, and 12 to the table top 4. Advantageously, the molded portions 66, 68, 70, 72 may be integrally as part of the table top 4 to form a unitary, one-piece construction. The molded portions 66, 68, 70, 72, however, do not have to be integrally molded with the table top 4.
  • The molded portions 66, 68, 70, 72 are preferably sized and configured to secure the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 in the collapsed position by a snap, friction or interference 2 g, b fit. For example, as the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 are moved into the collapsed position, the molded portions 66, 68, 70, 72 may deform slightly to allow the leg to be moved into the collapsed position. The molded portions 66, 68, 70, 72 may then resiliently return to its original position to secure the leg 6, 8, 10, 12 in the collapsed position. It will be understood that any suitable number of molded portions may be used to secure the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 in the collapsed position. It will also be understood that other types of structures, such as clips or brackets, may also be used to secure the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 in the collapsed positions. The table 2, however, does not require the use of the molded portions 66, 68, 70, 72 and the molded portions may have a variety of suitable sizes, shapes and configurations depending, for example, upon the size and shape of the legs 6, 8, 10, 12.
  • As shown in FIG. 3, the table 2 may have a variety of suitable configurations and arrangements. For example, the exemplary embodiment of the table 2 shown in FIG. 3 includes a number of molded portions that are integrally molded in the lower surface of the table top 4. In particular, the table top 4 may include molded portions 74, 76 that extend along the width of the table and molded portions 78, 80, 82, 84 that extend generally perpendicular to the molded portion 74 and 76. The molded portions 74, 76, 78, 80, 82, and 84 may located at or near the center of the table top 4, or in any other suitable portion of the table top 4. The molded portions 74, 76, 78, 80, 82, and 84 may have other desired shapes, size and configurations depending, for example, upon the size, shape and intended use of the table 2. The table 2, however, does not require any molded portions 74, 76, 78, 80, 82 or 84. The table 2 may also include one z M or more reinforcement members, but these are also not required.
  • The legs 6, 8, 10, 12 and the crossbars 30, 32 are preferably constructed from steel tubes. In addition, the cross braces 14, 16; the braces 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58; and the side rails 18 and 20 are preferably constructed using steel. These components may be finished, for example by painting or powder coating, to protect the components from the elements. Advantageously, these steel components may help create a table 2 that is strong and able to support a relatively large amount of weight. While the steel tubes preferably have a generally circular cross-section, the tubes may also have elliptical, polygonal, oblong, square or other suitable cross-sectional shapes. Further, the tubes may have a uniform or non-uniform cross-section along its length. Of course, the legs 6, 8, 10, 12; cross braces 14, 16; crossbars 30, 32; braces 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58; and side rails 18, 20 may be constructed from any other suitable materials with appropriate characteristics and may have any desired size and shape.
  • FIG. 4 is a bottom view of another exemplary embodiment of a table 85, which is similar to the table 2, in which similar components are similarly numbered. As illustrated, the table 85 includes legs 6, 8, 10, 12 and the legs are preferably pivotally attached to the table top 4. For example, the leg 6 may be pivotally attached to the brace 36 and the leg 8 may be pivotally attached to the brace 34, and these braces are pivotally attached to a brace 86, which may be pivotally attached to a crossbar 88. The illustrated example of the crossbar 88 is an elongated member that is connected to the side rails 18, 20 of the frame, but the crossbar does not have to be connected to the side rails or the frame. In contrast, the crossbar 88 may be only connected to the table top 4. Of course, the crossbar 88 may be connected to both the table top 4 and the side rails 18, 20. For example, the crossbar 88 may be attached to the table top using one more portions molded in the table top 4, such as molded portions 90, 92, 94, 96. The molded a portions 90, 92, 94, 96 may advantageously be used to attach the crossbar 88 to the table top 4 using a snap fit, a friction fit, an interference fit, or the like. The molded portions 90, 92, 94, 96 are preferably integrally molded in the table top 4 as part of a unitary, one-piece structure, but the molded portions do not have to be molded as part of the table top. For example, the molded portions 90, 92, 94, 96 may be separately formed and attached to the table top 4. In addition, the molded portions 90, 92, 94, 96 may have other suitable shapes and sizes. Further, molded portions 90, 92, 94, 96 do not have to be used to attached the cross bar 88 to the table top 4 and, in contrast, other suitable structures such as clips, brackets and fasteners may be used to attach the cross bar to the table 2. Additionally, the ends of the crossbar 88 may be inserted into one or more holes, apertures, or the like formed in the side rails 18, 20 and/or table top 4. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the crossbar 88 may have a variety of suitable shapes, sizes and configurations. For example, the crossbar 88 may extend only across a portion of the table top 4 and the crossbar may include other types of structures and components, such as plates, brackets, fasteners, flanges, projections, fixtures, and the like.
  • As shown in FIG. 4, the leg 10 may be pivotally attached to the brace 52 and the leg 12 may be pivotally attached to the brace 50, and these braces may be pivotally attached to a brace 98. The brace 98 may be pivotally attached to a crossbar 88. The braces 86, 98, however, do not have to be pivotally attached to the crossbar 88. In fact, only some of the braces, such as braces 34, 36, 50, 52, 86, 98 may be pivotally attached depending, for example, upon the intended configuration and use of the table 2. Additionally, the table top 4; legs 6, 8, 10, 12; crossbars 30, 32; braces 34, 36, 50, 52, 86, 98; side rails 18, 20; and crossbar 88 may be connected in any suitable manner, but these components do not have to be interconnected. Further, the legs 6, 8, 10, 12 may be attached to the table 2 in any suitable manner and the legs do not have to be pivotally attached to the table.
  • The legs 6, 8, 10, 12 and the crossbars 30, 32, 88 are preferably constructed from generally hollow steel tubes. In addition, the braces 34, 36, 38, 86, 50, 52, 98 and the side rails 18, 20 are preferably constructed using steel. These components may be finished using any suitable materials or processes such as painting or powder-coating. It will be appreciated that the legs 6, 8, 10, 12; crossbars 30, 32, 88; braces 34, 36, 38, 86, 50, 52, 98; and side rails 18, 20 may also be constructed using other materials with appropriate characteristics and these components may have other any suitable sizes, shapes and configurations depending, for example, upon the design and/or use of the table 2.
  • The side rails 18, 20 are preferably securely attached to the table top 4 to allow, for example, a strong and rigid table 2 to be created. For example, an exemplary embodiment for attaching the side rails 18, 20 to the table top 4 is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. While the side rails 18, 20 are illustrated as having a generally straight and elongated configuration, the side rails could have any suitable configuration depending upon the size and shape of the table 2. In addition, while the table top 4 is illustrated as having a downwardly extending lip or projection that is disposed near an edge or side of the table top, the side rails 18, 20 could be attached to any suitable portions of the table top 4.
  • As shown in FIG. 5, the exemplary embodiment of the side rail 18 a is an elongated member that is attached to a table top 4 a with an elongated edge. It will be understood that the side rail 18 a and/or table top 4 a may have other suitable shapes, sizes and configurations depending, for example, upon the type of table 2. In addition, while the side rail 18 a preferably extends along at least a majority of the length of the table top 4 a, the side rail may extend only along a portion of the table top. Further, the side rail 18 a may be attached to any suitable portions of the table top 4 a and the side rail 18 a may include multiple components that are spaced apart or interconnected.
  • In greater detail, as shown in FIG. 6, an edge of side rail 18 a may include a curvilinear portion 100 that may curve into a substantially straight portion that may contact a inner, first surface of an outside lip or edge of the table top 4 a at or near a portion 102. The side rail 18 a may also include another curvilinear portion 104 that may be spaced apart from a substantially flat portion 106 of the outside lip or edge of the table top 4 a, creating a gap 108. The side rail 18 a then may curve from the curvilinear portion 104 to a substantially flat portion that may contact a bottom, second surface of the outside lip or edge of the table top 4 a at or near a portion 110. The side rail 18 a may then lead into a curvilinear portion 112 that may curve into a substantially straight portion that may contact an outer, third surface of an outside lip or edge of the table top 4 a at or near a portion 114. The side rail 18 a may then lead into a curvilinear portion 115 that may terminate with an edge of side rail 18 a positioned within a channel, groove or opening 116.
  • The side rail 18 a is preferably connected to a lip or projection that extends downwardly from the lower surface of the table top 4 a. The lip or projection is preferably located at or near an outer edge of the table top 4 a, but the lip or projection may be located inwardly from the outer edge of the table top. Advantageously, the side rail 18 a may enclose and/or contact three or more surface of the lip or projection, which may allow the side rail to be securely attached to the table top 4 a. The side rail 18 a, however, does not have to contact three or more surfaces of the table top 4 a. Thus, while the side rail 18 a preferably covers, encloses and/or contacts at least two portions of the table top 4 a, the side rail could be attached to the table top in any suitable manner or configuration.
  • As shown in FIG. 6, the channel or opening 116 may be formed in the outer lip or edge of the table top 4 a and the channel 116 may be bounded by sides 118, 120, and 122. The side 122 may be disposed at about a 45 degree angle with respect to an outer surface of the outer lip or edge of the table top 4 a. The side 122 may also be disposed at any other suitable angle with respect to an outer surface of the outer lip or edge of the table top 4 a. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the channel or opening 116 may include any suitable number of sides, surfaces, shapes and configurations. In addition, the channel or opening 116 may be continuous or it may include one or more discrete channels or openings.
  • As shown in FIG. 6, an outer surface of a portion of the side rail 18 a may be sized to be in a substantially similar plane as an outer surface of a portion of the outer lip or edge of the table top 4 a. For example, an outer surface of the side rail 18 a at a portion 124 may be in a substantially similar plane as an outer surface of a portion of the outer lip or edge of the table top 4 a at a portion 126. Also, an outer surface of a portion of the outer lip or edge of the table top 4 a (such as, at the portion 114) may be displaced inwardly of an outer surface of a portion of the outer lip or edge of the table top 4 a (such as, the portion 126). The outer surface of the portion 114 may be displaced inwardly of the outer surface of the portion 126 in distance about the thickness of the portion 124 of the side rail 18 a. Accordingly, the portions 124 and 126 may present a substantially flat surface that may be advantageous for storing a table on its side, for shipping a table, or may present a comfortable surface against which a user of the table may grasp the table or otherwise contact the table. The portions 124 and 126, however, need not be positioned in a substantially similar plane despite the related advantages of doing so. Further, the outer surface of the portion 114 and outer surface of the portion 126 may be displaced at any other suitable distances, may be positioned in substantially the same plane, or may be positioned in any other suitable manner.
  • Additionally, a channel or opening 130 may be formed in the table top 4. The channel 130 is preferably formed in a lower or underneath portion of the table top 4, but the channel may also be formed in the lip, projection or other suitable portion of the table top 4. The channel 130 may include a curvilinear portion 132, a substantially straight portion 134, a curvilinear portion 136, a curvilinear portion 138, and a substantially straight portion 140, but the channel may have other suitable sizes, shapes, and/or designs. Desirably, an end of the side rail 18 a may be positioned within the channel 130 and may be positioned apart from the portion 134. Of course, the end of the side rail 18 a may be positioned outside the channel 130, may be position in contact with the portion 134, or may be positioned in any other suitable location.
  • Although the side rail 18 a and the table top 4 a have been described and illustrated with certain shapes, configurations, and designs; the side rail 18 a and the table top 4 a may have any other suitable shape, configuration, and/or design.
  • As shown in FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C and 7D, the side rail 18 a may be quickly and easily attached to the table top 4 a. In the illustrated embodiment, as shown in FIG. 7A, a portion of the edge of the side rail 18 a may advantageously be placed within the channel 116. The side rail 18 a may advantageously be pivoted or otherwise moved from the position shown in FIG. 7A to the position shown in FIG. 7B; from the position shown in FIG. 7B to the position shown in FIG. 7C; and from the position shown in FIG. 7C to the position shown in FIG. 7D. Advantageously, this may allow the side rail 18 a to be attached to the table top 4 a using a friction fit, a snap fit, an interference fit, or the like. Significantly, this may allow the side rail 18 a to be quickly and easily attached to the table top 4 a, which may aid in assembling the table 2. In addition, this may eliminate the need for fasteners, adhesive and the like to be used to attach the side rail 18 a to the table top 4 a. It will be understood, however, that fasteners, adhesives and the like may also be used to attach the side rail 18 a to the table top 4 a. Further, it will be understood that the side rail 18 a may be attached to the table top 4 a using any suitable device or method.
  • The side rail and/or table top may have other suitable shapes and configurations. For example, as shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B, another exemplary embodiment of the table includes a side rail 160 and a table top 165. Advantageously, the side rail 160 may be used with any suitable type of table or table top. As shown in the accompanying figures, the side rail 160 includes two sides that may contact portions of two sides of a lip or projection. As illustrated, the lip or projection may be spaced apart from the outer lip or edge of the table top 165, but the lip or projection could form part of the outer lip or edge of the table top. The side rail 160 may include two substantially flat sides and a curved portion positioned in between. An outer lip or ridge 142 may be formed using an outer portion 144 that may curve into a portion 146, which may curve into an inner portion 148. The inner portion 148 may lead to a portion 150 and a portion 152. Accordingly, a channel or opening 154 may be formed and one end of the side rail 160 may be disposed within or near the opening.
  • As shown in FIG. 8A, the portion 152 may curve into a portion 156 and then lead to a portion 158. The portions 152, 156, and 158 may advantageously form an inner lip or ridge 159. The inner lip or ridge 159 may advantageously be spaced apart from the outer lip or edge 142 in any suitable distance, including, but not limited to, less than one (1) centimeter; about one (1) centimeter; about two (2) centimeters; between one (1) and three (3) centimeters; more than three centimeters; or any other suitable distance. Further, the inner lip or ridge 159 and the outer lip or edge 142 may advantageously be spaced apart at varying distances along their lengths, at the same distance along their lengths, or in any other suitable fashion. The channel or opening 154 may be used to space apart the inner lip or ridge 159 and the outer lip or edge 142. Of course, the inner lip or ridge 159 and the outer lip or edge 142 need not be spaced apart.
  • The side rail 160 may be positioned at or near the portion 156 and at or near the portion 158 of the inner lip or ridge 159. A channel or opening 161 may be formed by the portion 158, a portion 162, and a portion 164. The portion 164 may curve into a portion 166. An end of the side rail 160 may be positioned within the channel 161 and may contact the portion 162, may be located at or near the portion 162, or may be configured in any other suitable configuration. Of course, the end of the side rail 160 may be positioned in any suitable position and need not be positioned in the channel 161, contact the portion 162, or be located at or near the portion 162.
  • The side rail 160 may be positioned at or near an inner surface and a bottom surface of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 165. The side rail 160 may be positioned at or near two or more surfaces an inner lip or ridge of the table top 165. The side rail 160 may be positioned at or near one or more portions of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 165. The side rail 160 may be positioned at or near an inner portion of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 165. The side rail 160 may be positioned in a contacting relationship with one or more surfaces of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 165. The side rail 160 may also be positioned in a non-contacting relationship with one or more surfaces of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 165. The side rail 160 may be cover at least a portion of an inner surface and at least a portion of a bottom surface of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 165. Of course, the side rail 160 may be positioned in any suitable position and in any suitable relationship with the table top 165 or portions of the table top 165.
  • Although the side rail 160 and the table top 165 have been described and illustrated with certain shapes, configurations, and designs; the side rail 160 and the table top 165 may have any other suitable shape, configuration, and/or design.
  • Another exemplary embodiment of a side rail and table top is shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B. The exemplary side rail 167 includes three sides that may contact portions of three sides of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 168. While the inner lip or ridge may be spaced apart from an outer lip or edge of the table top 168, the side rail may be attached to an outer lip or edge of the table top. The outer lip or ridge 169 may be formed using an outer portion 170 that may curve into a portion 172, which may curve into an inner portion 174. The inner portion 174 may lead to a portion 176 and then to a portion 178. The portion 178 may curve into a portion 180 and then curve to a portion 182.
  • The portions 178, 180, and 182 may advantageously form an inner lip or ridge 183. The inner lip or ridge 183 may advantageously be spaced apart from the outer lip or edge 169 in any suitable distance, including, but not limited to, less than one (1) centimeter; about one (1) centimeter; about two (2) centimeters; between one (1) and three (3) centimeters; more than three centimeters; or any other suitable distance. Further, the inner lip or ridge 183 and the outer lip or edge 169 may advantageously be spaced apart at varying distances along their lengths, at the same distance along their lengths, or in any other suitable fashion. A channel or opening 184 may be formed by the portion 174, the portion 176, and the portion 178. The channel or opening 184 may be of any suitable shape, configuration, size or design. While the channel or opening 184 is preferably continuous, the channel or opening may also include one or more discrete channels or openings. The channel or opening 184 may advantageously be used to space apart the inner lip or ridge 183 and the outer lip or edge 169. Of course, the inner lip or ridge 183 and the outer lip or edge 169 need not be spaced apart.
  • As shown in FIG. 9A, the side rail 167 may be positioned at or near one or more of the portions 178, 180 and/or 182 of the inner lip or ridge 183. In addition, the side rail 167 may include an end that curves into a substantially straight end 186, which may curve into a substantially flat portion 188 and then to a portion 189. A curvilinear portion 190 may be spaced apart from the inner lip or ridge 183 to form a gap 191.
  • The side rail 167 may be positioned at or near an inner surface, a bottom surface, and an outer surface of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 168. The side rail 167 may be positioned at or near three or more surfaces of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 168. The side rail 167 may be positioned at or near one or more portions of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 168. The side rail 167 may be positioned at or near an outer portion of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 168. The side rail 167 may be positioned in a contacting relationship with one or more surfaces of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 168. The side rail 167 may also be positioned in a non-contacting relationship with one or more surfaces of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 168. The side rail 167 may cover at least a portion of an inner surface, at least a portion of a bottom surface, and at least a portion of an outer surface of an inner lip or ridge of the table top 168. Of course, the side rail 167 may be positioned in any suitable position and in any suitable relationship with the table top 168 or portions of the table top 168.
  • A ridge 192 may be provided in the table top 168. The ridge 192 may be positioned to help secure the side rail 167 in a fixed position. The ridge 192 may be positioned to help provide a lever point about which the side rail 167 may be pivoted when attached the side rail 167 to the inner lip or ridge 183. In addition, the ridge 192 may be used to prevent the side rail 167 from undesirably moving or bending. For example, when a load or force is placed on the table, the side rail 167 and/or table top 168 may bend or deform. Advantageously, the ridge 192 may prevent or limit the bending or deformation of the side rail 167 and/or table top 168.
  • Although the side rail 167 and the table top 168 have been described and shown in connection with certain preferred shapes, configurations, and designs; the side rail 167 and the table top 168 have any other suitable shapes, configurations, and/or designs.
  • Although this invention has been described in terms of certain preferred embodiments, other embodiments apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art are also within the scope of this invention. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is intended to be defined only by the claims which follow.

Claims (17)

  1. 1. A table comprising:
    a table top constructed from blow-molded plastic, the table top including an upper portion and a lower portion, the table top including a hollow interior portion that is formed during the blow-molding process;
    a lip integrally formed with the table top as part of a unitary, one-piece construction, the lip extending generally downwardly from the lower portion of the table top, the lip including a hollow interior portion that is formed during the blow-molding process, the lip including an outer portion, an inner portion and a lower portion;
    a first leg support movable between a collapsed position and an extended position relative to the table top;
    a second leg support movable between a collapsed position and an extended position relative to the table top;
    a first side rail connected to a first portion of the lip, the first side rail including an outer portion, an inner portion and a lower portion; the outer portion, inner portion and lower portion of the first side rail enclosing at least a portion of the outer portion, inner portion and lower portion of the lip; and
    a second side rail connected to a second portion of the lip, the second side rail including an outer portion, an inner portion and a lower portion; the outer portion, inner portion and lower portion of the second side rail enclosing at least a portion of the outer portion, inner portion and lower portion of the lip.
  2. 2. The table as in claim 1, further comprising a first groove in the outer portion of the lip and an end of the outer portion of the first side rail being at least partially disposed within the first groove; and further comprising a second groove in the outer portion of the lip and an end of the outer portion of the second side rail being at least partially disposed within the second groove.
  3. 3. The table as in claim 1, further comprising a first channel in the inner portion of the lip and an end of the inner portion of the first side rail being at least partially disposed within the first channel; and further comprising a second channel in the inner portion of the lip and an end of the inner portion of the second side rail being at least partially disposed within the second channel.
  4. 4. The table as in claim 1, further comprising a first channel in the lower portion of the table top and an end of the inner portion of the first side rail being at least partially disposed within the first channel; and further comprising a second channel in the lower portion of the table top and an end of the inner portion of the second side rail being at least partially disposed within the second channel.
  5. 5. The table as in claim 1, wherein the inner portion of the first side rail side rail contacts at least a portion of the outer portion of the lip, and the lower portion of the first side rail contacts at least a portion of the lower portion of the lip; and wherein the inner portion of the second side rail contacts at least a portion of the inner portion of the lip, the outer portion of the second side rail contacts at least a portion of the outer portion of the lip, and the lower portion of the second side rail contacts at least a portion of the lower portion of the lip.
  6. 6. The table as in claim 1, wherein the first side rail is attached to the lip by a friction, snap or interference fit; and wherein the second side rail is attached to the lip by a friction, snap or interference fit.
  7. 7. The table as in claim 1, further comprising an outer edge of the table top, wherein the outer edge of the table top is generally aligned with the outer portion of the first side rail and the outer edge of the table top is generally aligned with the outer portion of the second side rail.
  8. 8. The table as in claim 1, further comprising a first projection in the lower portion of the table top, the first projection being disposed proximate an end of the inner portion of the first side rail; and further comprising a second projection in the lower portion of the table top, the second projection being disposed proximate an end of the inner portion of the second side rail.
  9. 9. The table as in claim 1, wherein the lip is generally disposed about an outer perimeter of the table top.
  10. 10. The table as in claim 1, wherein the lip is spaced inwardly from an outer perimeter of the table top.
  11. 11. The table as in claim 1, further comprising a second lip integrally formed with the table top as part of a unitary, one-piece construction, the second lip extending generally downwardly from the lower portion of the table top, the second lip including a hollow interior portion that is formed during the blow-molding process, the second lip including an outer portion, an inner portion and a lower portion.
  12. 12. The table as in claim 1, further comprising a first channel at least partially disposed in the lower portion of the lip, one end of the first side rail being disposed proximate the first channel; and further comprising a second channel at least partially disposed in the lower portion of the lip, one end of the second side rail being disposed proximate the second channel.
  13. 13. The table as in claim 1, wherein the lip includes three generally planar sections, the first side rail includes three generally planar sections and the second side rail includes three generally planar sections; wherein the three generally planar sections of the first side rail cover at least a portion of the three generally planar sections of the lip; and wherein the three generally planar sections of the second side rail cover at least a portion of the three generally planar sections of the lip.
  14. 14. The table as in claim 13, wherein the three generally planar sections of the first side rail contact the three generally planar sections of the lip; and wherein the three generally planar sections of the second side rail contact the three generally planar section of the lip.
  15. 15. The table as in claim 1, wherein the outer portion of the first side rail is disposed generally parallel to the inner portion of the first side rail; and wherein the outer portion of the second side rail is disposed generally parallel to the inner portion of the second side rail.
  16. 16. The table as in claim 1, wherein the outer portion of the first side rail is disposed generally parallel to the outer portion of the lip, the inner portion of the first side rail is disposed generally parallel to the inner portion of the lip, and the lower portion of the first side rail is disposed generally parallel to the lower portion of the lip; and wherein the outer portion of the second side rail is disposed generally parallel to the outer portion of the lip, the inner portion of the second side rail is disposed generally parallel to the inner portion of the lip, and the lower portion of the second side rail is disposed generally parallel to the lower portion of the lip.
  17. 17. The table as in claim 1, wherein the lip is disposed about the entire perimeter of the table top.
US10888166 2003-07-09 2004-07-09 Table Abandoned US20050045074A1 (en)

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WO2005006918A2 (en) 2005-01-27 application
CA2478597A1 (en) 2005-01-09 application

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