US20100186908A1 - Retractable shade system - Google Patents

Retractable shade system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100186908A1
US20100186908A1 US12/321,917 US32191709A US2010186908A1 US 20100186908 A1 US20100186908 A1 US 20100186908A1 US 32191709 A US32191709 A US 32191709A US 2010186908 A1 US2010186908 A1 US 2010186908A1
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Prior art keywords
shade panel
shade
continuous
panel
attachment
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US12/321,917
Inventor
Ralph C. Meadows, JR.
Wilbert R. Parker
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Meadows Jr Ralph C
Parker Wilbert R
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Application filed by Meadows Jr Ralph C, Parker Wilbert R filed Critical Meadows Jr Ralph C
Priority to US12/321,917 priority Critical patent/US20100186908A1/en
Publication of US20100186908A1 publication Critical patent/US20100186908A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E06DOORS, WINDOWS, SHUTTERS, OR ROLLER BLINDS IN GENERAL; LADDERS
    • E06BFIXED OR MOVABLE CLOSURES FOR OPENINGS IN BUILDINGS, VEHICLES, FENCES OR LIKE ENCLOSURES IN GENERAL, e.g. DOORS, WINDOWS, BLINDS, GATES
    • E06B9/00Screening or protective devices for wall or similar openings, with or without operating or securing mechanisms; Closures of similar construction
    • E06B9/24Screens or other constructions affording protection against light, especially against sunshine; Similar screens for privacy or appearance; Slat blinds
    • E06B9/40Roller blinds
    • E06B9/42Parts or details of roller blinds, e.g. suspension devices, blind boxes
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E06DOORS, WINDOWS, SHUTTERS, OR ROLLER BLINDS IN GENERAL; LADDERS
    • E06BFIXED OR MOVABLE CLOSURES FOR OPENINGS IN BUILDINGS, VEHICLES, FENCES OR LIKE ENCLOSURES IN GENERAL, e.g. DOORS, WINDOWS, BLINDS, GATES
    • E06B9/00Screening or protective devices for wall or similar openings, with or without operating or securing mechanisms; Closures of similar construction
    • E06B9/24Screens or other constructions affording protection against light, especially against sunshine; Similar screens for privacy or appearance; Slat blinds
    • E06B9/40Roller blinds
    • E06B9/42Parts or details of roller blinds, e.g. suspension devices, blind boxes
    • E06B9/50Bearings specially adapted therefor

Abstract

A retractable shade system is disclosed which includes a continuous shade panel adapted for removable attachment to the flexible shade panel of the shade system. The continuous shade panel can be replaced with another continuous shade panel without having to remove or disconnect shade system hardware.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • There are no previously filed, nor currently any co-pending applications, anywhere in the world.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • This application discloses and claims embodiments generally related to window shades and blinds, and more particularly, to a retractable shade system.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • There are many types of window dressings that can be used to cover windows. One of the most common types of window dressings are roller blinds or shades. Generally, roller blinds include an elongated, cylindrical mandrel holding a decorative pliable panel of material. The cylindrical mandrel may be operable through the use of a crank, motor, or solar powered motor. Clutch operated blinds are provided with a clutch formed on one side of the mandrel, a pin on the opposite side, and is supported by two brackets on each side. The clutch allows the mandrel to be rotated in a controlled fashion to permit panel to be selectively raised or lowered. The clutch may incorporate a control mechanism to facilitate customer operation of the roller blind via a chain or a rope.
  • Crank or retractable reel operated blinds include a cord loop wound around a cord drive wheel, which is connected to a drive shaft. The drive shaft is connected to the window covering. Pulling on one side of the cord loop actuates rotation by the cord drive wheel in a first direction, in turn causing the drive shaft to rotate in the first direction. Rotation by drive shaft in the first direction causes the window covering to move in the first direction, thereby raising the window covering. Pulling on the other side of the cord loop causes the cord take-up wheel to rotate in a second direction, in turn causing drive shaft to rotate in the second direction. Rotation by drive shaft in the second direction causes the window covering to move in the second direction, thereby lowering the window covering.
  • Motor powered shades are generally secured at an upper end thereof to a roller which is rotated in a first direction to lower the shade and in a second, opposite direction to retract the shade. The roller is typically mounted immediately above or on the inner walls of the window casing via brackets and is generally rotationally displaced by an electric motor and drive assembly. Solar power motorized shades utilize a rechargeable source, such as lithium batteries, to power the motor.
  • In yet another type of window covering, such as the common retractable roller shade, an adjustable spring is provided inside the roller.
  • In still another type of window covering, such as the common horizontal blind, a window covering material in the form of slats extends from a headrail to a bottom rail and lift cords extending from the bottom rail past or through the slat material into the headrail. The lift cords may travel through a cord fastener to the exterior of the blind or may be wound on a spindle inside the blind. The lift cords extend to a level accessible to the user to raise or lower the slats.
  • Generally, the aforementioned types of roller shades or blinds are mounted by attaching the headrail to an overhead bracket along the upper wall of the window casing, by attaching the headrail thereof to brackets on the inner walls of the window casing, or by attaching the headrail to the ceiling adjacent the window. Generally, two or more brackets are required to mount the window covering to the window frame, window casing, or ceiling. In the event one desires to replace a window covering, the brackets must be replaced with brackets which correspond aesthetically to the new window covering. Such removal may require a degree of skill and the help of at least two persons. Such task can also be cumbersome and time intensive. Thus, many homeowners and business owners do not frequently change window coverings.
  • In addition, many homeowners, in addition to office employees, prefer to redecorate their home and offices every few years, and in many instances, every few months. Particularly, homeowners usually decorate their homes for holidays, thus requiring decorations to be put up and taken down numerous times each year. Shop and store owners frequently replace window displays and signs. However, given the effort and time entailed in replacing window coverings and decorating for holidays, most people are discouraged from redecorating and replacing coverings.
  • The art does not appear to disclose the combination of features disclosed herein, specifically, a retractable shade system which allows a continuous shade panel to be removably attachable to the flexible shade panel of the retractable shade system via an attachment means.
  • Accordingly, a need has arisen for a retractable shade system which allows the user to quickly, easily, and efficiently replace the continuous shade panel whenever desired without having to replace roller shade hardware. The development of the retractable shade system fulfills this need.
  • A search of the prior art did not disclose any patents that read directly on the claims of the instant invention; however, the following references were considered related.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,705,378 B1, issued in the name of Smidt;
  • U.S. Pat. No. 7,428,792 B2, issued in the name of Kochan et al.;
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,079,473, issued in the name of Ackerson, II et al.;
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,618,998 B1, issued in the name of Thomas et al.;
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,470,511 B1, issued in the name of Smale;
  • U.S. Patent Application no. 2008/0245917 A1, published in the name of Pon;
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,128,204, issued in the name of Wade; and
  • U.S. Patent Application no. 200810078511, published in the name of McCarty et al.
  • Consequently, a need has been felt for a retractable shade system which allows the user to quickly, easily, and efficiently replace the continuous shade panel whenever desired without having to replace roller shade hardware. This application presents claims and embodiments that fulfill a need or needs not yet satisfied by the products, inventions and methods previously or presently available. In particular, the claims and embodiments disclosed herein describe a retractable shade system with a continuous shade panel being removably attachable to the shade panel of a roller drum, the system providing unanticipated and nonobvious combination of features distinguished from the products, inventions and methods preexisting in the art. The applicant is unaware of any product, method, disclosure or reference that discloses the features of the claims and embodiments disclosed herein.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a retractable shade system which allows the continuous shade panel thereof to be removably attached thereto.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a retractable shade system with a replaceable continuous shade panel.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a continuous shade panel being removably attachable to the flexible shade panel of the retractable shade system via an attachment means.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a continuous shade panel embellished with distinctive ornamentation.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a retractable shade system which allows the user to quickly, easily, and efficiently replace the continuous shade panel whenever desired, such as for holidays or advertising purposes, without having to replace or remove roller shade hardware.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a kit for replacing a shade panel of a conventional retractable roller shade.
  • In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a retractable shade system is disclosed, wherein system comprises an elongated tubular drum and a flexible shade panel, the shade panel has an upper end secured to the drum and is adapted to be rolled on and unrolled therefrom. The system further comprises mounting brackets for mounting the drum on a surface, such as a window casing. The drum includes a spring motor adapted to assist retraction or wounding of the shade panel on the drum and for raising and lowering the shade panel to a desired, releasably held position.
  • The system further comprises an attachment means provided on the lower edge of the shade panel. The attachment means is adapted to allow for the removable attachment of a continuous shade panel to the shade panel. The continuous shade panel may be opaque or may be porous and embellished with distinctive ornamentation selected from the group consisting of a colorful digital image, photo, picture, pattern, symbol(s), or indicia, wherein the ornamentation is transposed to the continuous shade panel via a suitable method, wherein suitable method includes but is not limited to heat transfer, heat transfer utilizing paper-dyed backing, or direct transfer such as electronic digital printer.
  • A kit is provided, wherein kit comprises: a package for housing an elongated tubular drum; a flexible shade panel, the flexible shade panel secured to the drum; mounting brackets for mounting the drum on a surface; an attachment means; a continuous shade panel, the continuous shade panel is packaged into a tightly-rolled configuration in order to facilitate compact storage; and an instruction leaflet which provides detailed instructions for mounting the drum on a surface, and for removably attaching the continuous shade panel to the flexible shade panel.
  • A kit for replacing a shade panel is provided, wherein kit comprises: a package for housing a continuous shade panel, the continuous shade panel is packaged into a tightly-rolled configuration in order to facilitate compact storage; an attachment means, the attachment means for removably attaching the continuous shade panel to a flexible shade panel of a shade support assembly; and an instruction leaflet, the leaflet provides detailed instructions for removably attaching the continuous shade panel to a flexible shade panel.
  • A method for replacing a portion of a shade panel of a shade support assembly with a continuous shade panel is disclosed, wherein the method comprising the steps of: cutting or suitably severing the shade panel horizontally across a full width thereof linearly leaving a shade panel portion attached to a drum of the shade support assembly; attaching a female portion of an attachment means horizontally along a lower edge of the shade panel portion to a front side thereof; attaching a male portion of the attachment means horizontally along an upper or leading edge of a continuous shade panel, to the front side or rear side thereof; and engaging the male portion of the attachment means with female portion of attachment means, thereby removably attaching the continuous shade panel to the shade panel portion.
  • An alternative method for replacing a portion of a shade panel of a shade support assembly with a continuous shade panel is disclosed, wherein the method comprising the steps of: cutting or suitably severing the shade panel horizontally across a full width thereof linearly leaving a shade panel portion attached to a drum of the shade support assembly; attaching an elongated female portion of an attachment means horizontally along a lower edge of the shade panel portion to a front side thereof; attaching an elongated male portion of the attachment means horizontally along an upper or leading edge of a continuous shade panel, to the rear side or front side thereof; and mating the elongated male portion of the attachment means with the elongated female portion of attachment means, so as to allow the elongated male portion to be removably held by elongated female portion in a sealed, engaged manner by mechanical impingement, thereby removably attaching the continuous shade panel to the shade panel portion.
  • The use of the present invention allows the user to quickly, easily, and efficiently replace the continuous shade panel of a shade support assembly, such as a retractable roller shade, whenever desired without having to replace or remove roller shade hardware, such as the drum, or brackets in a manner which is quick, easy, and efficient.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The advantages and features of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following more detailed description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements are identified with like symbols, and in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional retractable roller shade;
  • FIG. 2 is a front side exploded view of a retractable shade system, according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a right side elevational view of the retractable shade system shown before attachment of the continuous shade panel, according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a left side elevational view of the retractable shade system shown before attachment of the continuous shade panel, according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of the shade panel illustrating a vertical length thereof, according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an electronic digital printer;
  • FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of an attachment means in the form of a zipper, according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of an attachment means, according to another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 9 is a side elevational of the attachment means of FIG. 8 illustrating sealable engagement by the male and female portions thereof;
  • FIG. 10 is a front side elevational view of an attachment means, according to still another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 11 is top plan view of a kit, according to one embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIG. 12 is a top plan view of a kit, according to another embodiment of the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • With reference to FIG. 2, a retractable shade system is disclosed and generally denoted by the reference character 10. Referring now to FIG. 2 through FIG. 6, and in accordance with the preferred embodiment, the retractable shade system, hereinafter system 10, comprises an elongated tubular drum 20 and a flexible shade panel 30, the shade panel 30 has an upper end secured to the drum 20 and is adapted to be rolled on and unrolled therefrom. The shade panel 30 has a front side 32 and a rear side 33, and a vertical length measuring approximately 3 inches, as indicated by “L” in FIG. 5. The system 10 further comprises mounting brackets 22 for mounting the drum 20 on a surface S, such as a window casing (not shown). The mounting brackets 22 have an elongated mounting member 24 and a drum support portion 26 which extends generally perpendicular to a plane of the elongated mounting member 24.
  • The drum 20 includes a spring motor 40 adapted to assist retraction or wounding of the shade panel 30 on the drum 20 and for raising and lowering the shade panel 30 to a desired, releasably held position. The spring motor 40 comprises an elongated, adjustable coil spring 42 having one end anchored to the drum 20 and an opposite end connected to a spear 44, wherein spear 44 extends from one end of the drum 20 and is non-rotatably received in a first bracket 22 a of the mounting brackets 22. An opposite end of the drum 20 has a pin 46 extending therefrom and is rotatably supported in a second mounting bracket 22 b of the mounting brackets 22. The coil spring 42 is adjustable so as to provide spring motor 40 with a selectively desired torque.
  • The spring motor 40 may incorporate a clutch (not shown) as an alternative means for releasably holding the shade panel 30 in a drawn condition.
  • The system 10 further comprises an attachment means 50 provided on the lower edge of the shade panel 30. The attachment means 50 is adapted to allow for the removable attachment of a continuous shade panel 60 to the shade panel 30, the continuous shade panel 60 being preferably constructed the same width as the shade panel 30, and having a substantially longer vertical length as shade panel 30. The continuous shade panel 60 has a front side 62 and a rear side 63. The continuous shade panel 60 may be opaque or may be porous and embellished with distinctive ornamentation 64 (FIG. 10) selected from the group consisting of a colorful digital image, photo, picture, pattern, symbol(s), or indicia, wherein the ornamentation 64 is transposed to the panel 60 via a suitable method, wherein suitable method includes but is not limited to heat transfer, heat transfer utilizing paper-dyed backing, or direct transfer, such as via an electronic digital printer 130. For purposes of this disclosure, distinctive ornamentation 64 is intended to include advertisement ornamentation. The ornamentation 64 is transposed to the panel 60 in a manner such that the ornamentation 64 is visible from the front side 62 thereof, while panel 60 being transparent or “see-through” when viewed from the rear side 63 thereof. Alternatively, the ornamentation 64 may be transposed to the panel 60 in a manner such that the ornamentation 64 is visible from the rear side 63 thereof, while panel 60 being transparent or “see-through” when viewed from the front side 62 thereof. Window or roller shades of the type constructed of porous or mesh material are typically transparent from both sides thereof.
  • Referring now more specifically to FIG. 2, the attachment means 50 comprises a female portion 52 attached, such as by a suitable adhesive or sewn, along a lower edge of the shade panel 30, to the front side 32 thereof. The attachment means 50 further comprises a male portion 56 attached, such as by a suitable adhesive or sewn, along an upper or leading edge of the continuous shade panel 60, to the rear side 63 thereof. The attachment means 50 defines a horizontal width measuring slightly less than the width of shade panel 30. Preferably, attachment means 50 is a hook and loop fastener 51, wherein the hook portion 51 b thereof is provided as an elongated strip attached, such as by a suitable adhesive or sewn, horizontally along an upper or leading edge of the continuous shade panel 60, to the rear side 63 thereof, as shown in FIG. 2, and the loop portion 51 a is provided as an elongated complementary strip attached, such as by a suitable adhesive or sewn, horizontally along a lower edge of the shade panel 30, to the front side 32 thereof, also shown in FIG. 2. Thus, the continuous shade panel 60 is removably attached to the shade panel 30 by engaging the hook portion 51 b of fastener 51 with the loop portion 51 a of fastener 51.
  • In FIG. 7, according to an alternate embodiment, it is envisioned attachment means 50 may be provided as a zipper 70, wherein zipper 70 includes a tab 72 and a first row of teeth 74 suitably attached along the lower edge of the shade panel 30. The zipper 70 further includes a second row of teeth 76 suitably attached along the upper or leading edge of the continuous shade panel 60, wherein second row of teeth 76 includes a fastening cord 77 adapted to mate with tab 72. After insertion of fastening cord 77 into tab 72, the first row of teeth 74 and second row of teeth 76 are interlocked by sliding tab 70 in a direction distal to fastening cord 77 and parallel with the first row of teeth 74, as indicated by direction arrow 140, such fashion being in the conventional manner employed when zipping articles, thereby removably attaching the continuous shade panel 60 to shade panel 30.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 8-9, according to still another embodiment, attachment means 50 may comprise a horizontal strip fastener 80, wherein horizontal strip fastener 80 defines a horizontal width measuring approximately a same width as the width of shade panel 30. The fastener 80 comprises an elongated female portion 82 constructed of a flexible plastic or rubber material. Female portion 82 defines a C-shaped cross-section having a flat base 83 from which a pair of spaced prongs 84, 84 a integrally extends so as to form a male receiving void 85. The flat base 83 of female portion 82 is attached, such as by a suitable adhesive, along a lower edge of the shade panel 30, to the front side 32 thereof.
  • The fastener 80 further comprises an elongated male portion 86 constructed of a flexible plastic or rubber material, the material being a same construction material as the female portion 82. The male portion 86 defines a C-shaped cross-section having an upper end from which a bulbous portion 87 extends, and a lower portion from which an arm 88 extends spatially from the bulbous portion 87 so as to form a prong receiving cavity 89. The arm 88 includes a forward end having a flat surface to which the front side 62 of the continuous shade panel 60 is attached, such as by a suitable adhesive, along an upper or leading edge of the continuous shade panel 60. To facilitate removable attachment of continuous shade panel 60 to shade panel 30, the bulbous portion 87 of male portion 86 mates with male receiving void 85 of female portion 82, and an upper surface of arm 88 of male portion 86 firmly engages a lower surface of the lower prong 84 a of the female portion 82. Upon engagement by bulbous portion 87 with male receiving void 85, the bulbous portion 87 is removably held in male receiving void 85 in a sealed, engaged manner by mechanical impingement.
  • It is envisioned that the female portion 52 or male portion 56 of attachment means 50 may comprise a double-sided adhesive (not shown) having a suitable adhesive strength to facilitate removable attachment by continuous shade panel 60 to shade panel 30. It is further envisioned that the female portion 52 or male portion 56 of attachment means 50 may comprise a double-sided hook-and-loop fastener material (not shown) to facilitate removable attachment by continuous shade panel 60 to shade panel 30.
  • Referring now more particularly to FIG. 10, it is still further envisioned that attachment means 50 may comprise a first magnetic slat 110 and a second magnetic slat 120. In accordance to this embodiment, the lower edge of the shade panel 30 is hemmed to form a slat receiving pocket 114 which extends a full width of the shade panel 30. At least one first magnetic slat 110 is inserted in the pocket 114. The upper or leading edge of the continuous shade panel 60 is hemmed to form a slat receiving pocket 115 which extends a full width of the continuous shade panel 60. At least one second magnetic slat 120 is inserted in the pocket 1 15. The first magnetic slat and second magnetic slat 110 and 120 are positioned in their respective pockets 114, 115 such that the second magnetic slat 120 is magnetically attracted to first magnetic slat 110 when engaged in contact. Thus, in order to facilitate removable attachment of continuous shade panel 60 to shade panel 30, the slat receiving pocket 115 with inserted second magnetic slat 120 is placed horizontally directly atop or against the slat receiving pocket 114 with inserted first magnetic slat 110, thereby facilitating magnetic attraction therebetween and releasable attachment by the continuous shade panel 60 to the shade panel 30. The first magnetic slat 110 and the second magnetic slat 120 define a magnetic attraction strength being suitable to releasably hold continuous shade panel 60 to shade panel 30 during normal operation of the system 10 or a conventional retractable shade 12.
  • Referring now to FIG. 11, a kit 90 with attachable shade panel is disclosed, wherein kit 90 comprises: an elongated tubular drum 20; a flexible shade panel 30, the flexible shade panel 30 secured to the drum 20, the drum 20 being adapted to wound the flexible shade panel 30 therearound in a retractable manner; mounting brackets 22 for mounting the drum 20 on a surface S; an attachment means 50; a continuous shade panel 60, the continuous shade panel 60 is packaged into a tightly-rolled configuration in order to facilitate compact storage; an instruction leaflet 94 which provides detailed instructions for mounting drum on a surface S, and for removably attaching the continuous shade panel 60 to the flexible shade panel 30; and a package 92 for housing the elongated tubular drum 20 with attached flexible shade panel 30, mounting brackets 22, attachment means 50, continuous shade panel 60, and instruction leaflet 94.
  • Referring now to FIG. 12, a kit 100 for replacing a shade panel is disclosed, wherein kit 100 comprises a continuous shade panel 60, the continuous shade panel 60 is packaged into a tightly-rolled configuration in order to facilitate compact storage; an attachment means 50, the attachment means 50 for removably attaching the continuous shade panel 60 to a flexible shade panel 30 of a shade support assembly 1 1, such as a retractable shade 12 (FIG. 1); an instruction leaflet 102, the leaflet 102 provides detailed instructions for removably attaching the continuous shade panel 60 to a flexible shade panel 30; and a package 104 for housing the continuous shade panel 60, attachment means 50, and instruction leaflet 102. For purposes of this disclosure, the flexible shade panel 30 can be otherwise defined as a lagging which is an element supported by every type of shade support assembly 11 utilized for supporting a flexible shade panel 30, wherein panel 30 is intended to include but is not limited to screens, banners, and signage. Thus, the term “shade support assembly” 11 is intended to include but is not limited to hardware, such as a drum, hooks, and/or brackets utilized with and necessary for supporting conventional retractable shades, roller shades (operable via spring-loaded or spring-assisted mechanism, crank or chain driven clutch, clutch continuous loop, motor, or solar powered motor), free-standing shades or banners, and other similar window coverings, banners, and signage. Therefore, the kit 100 is intended to be utilized and adapted for use with conventional retractable shades, roller shades (operable via spring-loaded mechanism, crank or chain driven clutch, motor, or solar powered motor), free-standing, and similar window coverings, banners, and signage, all of which having a shade panel 30 or the like.
  • A method for replacing a portion of a shade panel 30 of a shade support assembly 11, such as a conventional retractable shade 12, with a continuous shade panel 60 is disclosed, wherein the method comprising the steps of: cutting or suitably severing the shade panel 30 horizontally across a full width thereof linearly, so as to remove a substantial portion of the shade panel 30 in such a manner whereby a portion 30 a of shade panel 30 left attached to drum 20 measures between approximately 2 to 48 inches in length; attaching a female portion 52 of an attachment means 50, such as by a suitable adhesive or sewn, horizontally along a lower edge of the shade panel portion 30 a, to a front side 32 thereof; attaching a male portion 56 of the attachment means 50, such as by a suitable adhesive or sewn, horizontally along an upper or leading edge of a continuous shade panel 60, to the front side 62 or rear side 63 thereof; and engaging the male portion 56 of the attachment means 50 with female portion 52 of attachment means 50, thereby removably attaching the continuous shade panel 60 to the shade panel portion 30 a, wherein the attachment means 50 is a hook and loop fastener 51.
  • Finally, a method for replacing a portion of a shade panel 30 of a shade support assembly 11, such as a conventional retractable shade 12, with a continuous shade panel 60 is disclosed, wherein the method comprising the steps of: cutting or suitably severing the shade panel 30 horizontally across a full width thereof linearly, so as to remove a substantial portion of the shade panel 30 in such a manner whereby a portion 30 a of shade panel 30 left attached to drum 20 measures between approximately 2 to 48 inches in length; attaching an elongated female portion 82 of an attachment means 50, such as by a suitable adhesive or sewn, horizontally along a lower edge of the shade panel portion 30 a, to a front side 32 thereof; attaching an elongated male portion 86 of the attachment means 50, such as by a suitable adhesive or sewn, horizontally along an upper or leading edge of a continuous shade panel 60, to the rear side 63 or front side 62 thereof; and mating the elongated male portion 86 of the attachment means 50 with the elongated female portion 82 of attachment means 50, so as to allow the elongated male portion 86 to be removably held by elongated female portion 82 in a sealed, engaged manner by mechanical impingement, thereby removably attaching the continuous shade panel 60 to the shade panel portion 30 a, wherein the attachment means 50 is a horizontal strip fastener 80 (as described in detail above).
  • It is envisioned that the various embodiments, as separately disclosed, are interchangeable in various aspects, so that elements of one embodiment may be incorporated into one or more of the other embodiments, and that specific positioning of individual elements may necessitate other arrangements not specifically disclosed to accommodate performance requirements or spatial considerations.
  • It is to be understood that the embodiments and claims are not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of the components set forth in the description and illustrated in the drawings. Rather, the description and the drawings provide examples of the embodiments envisioned, but the claims are limited to the specific embodiments. The embodiments and claims disclosed herein are further capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purposes of description and should not be regarded as limiting the claims.
  • Accordingly, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which the application and claims are based may be readily utilized as a basis for the design of other structures, methods, and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the embodiments and claims presented in this application. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions.
  • Furthermore, the purpose of the foregoing Abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially including the practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent and legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The Abstract is neither intended to define the claims of the application, nor is it intended to be limiting to the scope of the claims in any way. It is intended that the application is defined by the claims appended hereto.
  • Therefore, the foregoing description is included to illustrate the operation of the preferred embodiment and is not meant to limit the scope of the invention. As one can envision, an individual skilled in the relevant art, in conjunction with the present teachings, would be capable of incorporating many minor modifications that are anticipated within this disclosure. The foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application, to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the Claims appended hereto and their equivalents. Therefore, the scope of the invention is to be broadly limited only by the following Claims.

Claims (23)

1. A retractable shade system comprising:
an elongated tubular drum;
a shade panel, said shade panel is flexible and has an upper end secured to said drum, said shade panel is adapted to be rolled on and unrolled from said drum, said shade panel has a front side and a rear side, and has a vertical length;
mounting brackets for mounting said drum on a surface, said mounting brackets have an elongated mounting member and a drum support portion, said drum support portion extends generally perpendicular to a plane of said elongated mounting member, said drum includes a spring motor adapted to assist retraction or wounding of said shade panel on said drum and for raising and lowering said shade panel to a desired, releasably held position, wherein said spring motor comprises an elongated, adjustable coil spring having one end anchored to said drum and an opposite end connected to a spear, wherein said spear extends from one end of said drum and is non-rotatably received in a first bracket of said mounting brackets, said drum has an opposite end with a pin extending therefrom and said pin is rotatably supported in a second mounting bracket of said mounting brackets, said coil spring is adjustable so as to provide said spring motor with a selectively desired torque; and
an attachment means, said attachment means is provided on a lower edge of said shade panel.
2. The retractable shade system of claim 1, further comprising a continuous shade panel, said continuous shade panel is removably attached to said shade panel via said attachment means.
3. The retractable shade system of claim 2, wherein said continuous shade panel is constructed a same width as a width of said shade panel and having a substantially longer vertical length than a vertical length of said shade panel, said continuous shade panel has a front side and a rear side.
4. The retractable shade system of claim 3, wherein said continuous shade panel comprises distinctive ornamentation embellished thereon.
5. The retractable shade system of claim 2, wherein said attachment means comprises a female portion attached by a suitable adhesive or sewn along a lower edge of said shade panel, to said front side thereof, said attachment means further comprises a male portion attached by a suitable adhesive or sewn along an upper edge of said continuous shade panel, to a rear side thereof, and wherein said attachment means defines a horizontal width measuring slightly less than the width of said shade panel.
6. The retractable shade system of claim 5, wherein said attachment means is a hook and loop fastener.
7. The retractable shade system of claim 1, wherein said attachment means is a horizontal strip fastener, said fastener defines a horizontal width measuring approximately a same width as the width of said shade panel, said fastener comprises an elongated female portion constructed of a flexible plastic or rubber material, said female portion defines a C-shaped cross-section having a flat base from which a pair of spaced prongs integrally extends so as to form a male receiving void, said flat base of said female portion is attached by a suitable adhesive along the lower edge of said shade panel, to said front side thereof.
8. The retractable shade system of claim 7, wherein said fastener further comprises an elongated male portion constructed of a flexible plastic or rubber material, the material being a same construction material utilized for constructing said female portion, said male portion defines a C-shaped cross-section having an upper end from which a bulbous portion extends, and a lower portion from which an arm extends spatially from said bulbous portion so as to form a prong receiving cavity, said arm includes a forward end having a flat surface to which a front side of a continuous shade panel is attached by a suitable adhesive along an upper edge of said continuous shade panel, said bulbous portion of said male portion mates with said male receiving void of said female portion, and an upper surface of said arm of said male portion firmly engages a lower surface of a lower prong of said pair of spaced prongs of said female portion, whereupon engagement by said bulbous portion with said male receiving void, said bulbous portion is removably held in said male receiving void of said female portion in a sealed, engaged manner by mechanical impingement, thereby facilitating removable attachment of said continuous shade panel to said shade panel.
9. The retractable shade system of claim 1, wherein said attachment means is a zipper, wherein said zipper includes a tab and a first row of teeth suitably attached along said lower edge of said shade panel, said zipper includes a second row of teeth suitably attached along an upper edge of a continuous shade panel, wherein said second row of teeth includes a fastening cord adapted to mate with said tab, said fastening cord is inserted into said tab, said first row of said teeth and said second row of teeth are interlocked by sliding said tab in a direction distal to said fastening cord and parallel with said first row of teeth, thereby removably attaching said continuous shade panel to said shade panel.
10. The retractable shade system of claim 1, wherein said lower edge of said shade panel is hemmed to form a slat receiving pocket, said slat receiving pocket extends a full width of said shade panel
11. The retractable shade system of claim 2, wherein said continuous shade panel has an upper edge hemmed to form a slat receiving pocket, said slat receiving pocket extends a full width of said continuous shade panel.
12. The retractable shade system of claim 1, wherein said attachment means comprises at least one first magnetic slat and at least one second magnetic slat.
13. The retractable shade system of claim 12, wherein said at least one first magnetic slat is inserted in said slat receiving pocket of said shade panel, and wherein said at least one second magnetic slat is inserted in said slat receiving pocket of said continuous shade panel, said at least one first magnetic slat and said at least one second magnetic slat are positioned in their respective said pocket such that said at least one second magnetic slat is magnetically attracted to said at least one first magnetic slat when said at least one first magnetic slat and said at least one second magnetic slat are engaged in contact.
14. The retractable shade system of claim 13, wherein said at least one first magnetic slat and said at least one second magnetic slat define a magnetic attraction strength being suitable to releasably hold said continuous shade panel to said shade panel 30 during normal operation of said system.
15. A kit with attachable shade panel is disclosed, said kit comprises:
an elongated tubular drum;
a flexible shade panel, said flexible shade panel is secured to said drum, said drum is adapted to wound said flexible shade panel therearound in a retractable manner;
mounting brackets for mounting said drum on a surface;
an attachment means;
a continuous shade panel, said continuous shade panel is packaged into a tightly-rolled configuration in order to facilitate compact storage;
an instruction leaflet which provides detailed instructions for mounting said drum on a surface, and for removably attaching said continuous shade panel to said flexible shade panel; and
a package for housing said drum with attached said flexible shade panel, said mounting brackets, said attachment means, said continuous shade panel, and said instruction leaflet.
16. A kit for replacing a shade panel is disclosed, said kit comprises:
a continuous shade panel, said continuous shade panel is packaged into a tightly-rolled configuration in order to facilitate compact storage;
an attachment means, said attachment means for removably attaching said continuous shade panel to a flexible shade panel of a shade support assembly;
an instruction leaflet, said instruction leaflet provides detailed instructions for removably attaching said continuous shade panel to the flexible shade panel; and
a package, said package for housing said continuous shade panel, said attachment means, and said instruction leaflet.
17. The kit of claim 16, wherein said continuous shade panel comprises distinctive ornamentation embellished thereon.
18. The kit of claim 17, wherein said distinctive ornamentation is transposed to said continuous shade panel in a manner such that said distinctive ornamentation is visible from the front side of said continuous shade panel, while continuous shade panel being transparent when viewed from the rear side of said continuous shade panel.
19. The kit of claim 17, wherein said distinctive ornamentation is transposed to said continuous shade panel in a manner such that said distinctive ornamentation is visible from the rear side of said continuous shade panel, while said continuous shade panel being transparent when viewed from the front side of said continuous shade panel.
20. The kit of claim 16, wherein said attachment means is a hook and loop fastener.
21. The kit of claim 16, wherein said attachment means is a horizontal strip fastener.
22. A method for replacing a portion of a shade panel of a shade support assembly with a continuous shade panel, the method comprising the steps of:
(a) cutting or suitably severing the shade panel of the shade support assembly horizontally across a full width thereof, in a straight-line fashion, so as to remove a substantial portion of the shade panel in such a manner whereby a small portion of shade panel is left attached to the shade support assembly;
(b) attaching a female portion of an attachment means horizontally along a lower edge of the shade panel portion, to a front side thereof;
(c) attaching a male portion of the attachment means horizontally along an upper edge of the continuous shade panel, to a front side or a rear side thereof; and
(d) engaging the male portion of the attachment means with the female portion of the attachment means, thereby removably attaching the continuous shade panel to the shade panel portion.
23. A method for replacing a portion of a shade panel of a shade support assembly with a continuous shade panel, the method comprising the steps of:
(a) cutting or suitably severing the shade panel of the shade support assembly horizontally across a full width thereof, in a straight-line fashion, so as to remove a substantial portion of the shade panel in such a manner whereby a portion 30 a of the shade panel is left attached to the shade support assembly;
(b) attaching an elongated female portion of an attachment means horizontally along a lower edge of the shade panel portion, to a front side thereof;
(c) attaching an elongated male portion of the attachment means horizontally along an upper edge of the continuous shade panel, to a rear side or a front side thereof; and
(d) mating the elongated male portion of the attachment means with the
elongated female portion of attachment means, so as to allow the elongated male portion to be removably held by the elongated female portion in a sealed, engaged manner by mechanical impingement, thereby removably attaching the continuous shade panel to the shade panel portion.
US12/321,917 2009-01-27 2009-01-27 Retractable shade system Abandoned US20100186908A1 (en)

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8164830B2 (en) * 2010-09-23 2012-04-24 Astill Todd M Screen assembly for simulator
US9047758B2 (en) 2013-03-14 2015-06-02 Dometic Corporation Solar powered energy module
EP3184712A3 (en) * 2015-08-11 2017-10-04 Martin Lichtman Retractable shade system
US20180266176A1 (en) * 2017-03-14 2018-09-20 David R. Hall Motorized Roll-Up Window Shade

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US9047758B2 (en) 2013-03-14 2015-06-02 Dometic Corporation Solar powered energy module
EP3184712A3 (en) * 2015-08-11 2017-10-04 Martin Lichtman Retractable shade system
US20180266176A1 (en) * 2017-03-14 2018-09-20 David R. Hall Motorized Roll-Up Window Shade

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