Patent application title: PROTECTIVE COVER/SLEEVE FOR FURNITURE LEGS AND/OR FEET
Amannda Schneider (Kirkland, WA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47B9600FI
Class name: Supports scuff plate or bumper
Publication date: 2012-03-15
Patent application number: 20120061545
A furniture leg/foot protective cover/sleeve is provided for placing on
and/or around furniture legs/feet. The protective cover/sleeve can
include a base for engaging a supporting surface, or in an alternative
embodiment can be open at the base end. The cover/sleeve is flexibly
shaped and preferably extends from a bottom edge of the cover/sleeve
closest to the support surface to a top open edge defining an interior
cavity for receiving the furniture leg/foot therein and substantially
covers the furniture foot/leg.
1. A protective cover for a furniture leg comprising: a substantially
hollow sleeve formed of padded material, the hollow sleeve having an
upper edge and a lower base portion, wherein said upper edge defines an
upper opening to an interior area sized and shaped to enable said sleeve
to receive a furniture foot, and said lower base portion configured to
rest on a surface; said hollow sleeve extending, in use, upwardly from
the lower base portion terminating in the upper opening, wherein an outer
peripheral surface of the furniture leg is substantially covered by the
2. The protective cover for a furniture leg, wherein the hollow sleeve is substantially cylindrical and formed of a flexible material.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 Preferred and alternative examples of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the following drawings:
 FIG. 1 is a bed frame with a combination wheel casters and flat feet supports common in the prior art with an exemplary embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve in accordance with the present invention;
 FIG. 2 is a metal storage rack common in the prior art with an exemplary embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve for the leg/feet of the storage rack;
 FIG. 3A is an exemplary embodiment of a cylindrically shaped protective cover/sleeve in accordance with the present invention;
 FIG. 3B is a bottom plan view of an exemplary embodiment of a base end of the protective cover/sleeve shown in FIG. 3A in accordance with the present invention;
 FIG. 4 is an exemplary embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve in accordance with the present invention;
 FIG. 5 is an exemplary embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve in accordance with the present invention;
 FIG. 6 is an exemplary embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve in accordance with the present invention;
 FIG. 7 is an exemplary embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve in accordance with the present invention;
 FIG. 8 is an exemplary embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve in accordance with the present invention; and
 FIG. 9 is an exemplary embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve in accordance with the present invention.
 It is common when manipulating furniture to inadvertently come in contact with a leg and/or foot of the furniture. For example, painful injury can result from hitting toes and feet on bed frame feet while making a bed, or just walking by the bed, particularly when there are sharp metal pieces and/or wheels attached to the furniture legs and/or feet.
 A variety of coaster and furniture glides act as buffers between furniture legs/feet and the floor on which a piece of furniture rests. These devices focus on the placement of the coaster or glider on the terminal end of the furniture leg to prevent contact of the furniture leg with the floor and thus prevent damage to the floor or noises and vibrations as a result of contact of the leg with the floor.
 Some devices further disclose extendable portions of the coaster or glider to aid positioning onto the furniture leg thus preventing disengagement of the coaster or glider while the furniture is in use. By way of example, a self-adjusting furniture guide with a sleeve to mount on to the terminal end of a furniture leg. In this example the sleeve snugly fits the furniture leg to keep the glider in position on the leg. While functional for its intended purpose, it has certain limitations, in particular the sleeve lacks padding to cover the furniture leg thus it does not protect a user from having injurious contact with the furniture legs/feet. Furniture glides and/or coasters fail to provide padding around the furniture leg/feet to prevent contact and injury to a furniture user.
 In a preferred embodiment, a protective sleeve/cover is a pre-manufactured, low cost, and simple out of the box consumer product that can fit over and/or around the foot/leg of furniture to protect a furniture user's feet and toes from injury when coming in contact with the furniture leg/foot. The protective sleeve/cover can additionally reduce floor and carpet damage (floor scratches and indentation) from the furniture leg/feet, and keep the furniture leg/feet (e.g., beds, rack) from moving and/or sliding along the floor. Common residential uses of the sleeve/cover include, but are not limited to, placement on the feet of: metal bed frames, metal storage racks, cribs, free standing chopping blocks, dining tables, coffee tables, couches, and the like. For example, in use the protective sleeve/cover can prevent injury resulting from toes and feet bumping into a bed frame foot while making a bed, vacuuming around the bed, or just walking around the bed to get in it. Commercial uses include, but are not limited, to use in restaurants, retail establishments, healthcare facilities, daycare facilities, and retirements homes where any table, baking rack, free-standing chopping block, display rack, hospital birthing bed, child's bed/crib, or hospital bed.
 In a preferred embodiment the product composition can be polyurethane, foam, rubber and/or plastic based. Some exemplary materials include, but not limited to, polyethylene foams, polyester foam, vinyl nitrile foams, and the like. Alternative flexible and hardwearing materials are also contemplated.
 In one embodiment the protective sleeve/cover can be pre-designed to fit a standard sized foot of a piece of furniture (e.g., a metal bed frame with or without wheels). The material can be of a sufficient thickness, density, and resilience to provide ample padding and impact resistance to protect a user of the furniture from injury if their foot comes in contact with the foot/leg of the furniture. For example, in one embodiment a 0.1-4'' inch thickness polyurethane foam material is used to provide a cylindrically-shaped protective cover/sleeve having an interior cavity to accommodate the furniture foot. In this example, the protective cover/sleeve can be slipped onto leg/foot of furniture; encircling the furniture leg/foot. A complete range of sizes, hardness/flexibility of material, and/or colors and designs of the polyurethane foam material are contemplated depending on the application and furniture leg to be housed in the protective cover/sleeve.
 FIG. 1 shows a metal bed frame with a combination of wheel casters and flat feet support and an exemplary embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve. As shown the protective cover/sleeve can be configured to cover a variety of alternative furniture leg/feet sizes and configurations including, but not limited to, a wheel caster or a flat foot support of a metal bed. As will be further discussed below, the protective/sleeve cover in a preferred embodiment can be cylindrical in shape to slip over and/or wrap around the furniture leg and/or foot to substantially cover the leg and/or foot and protect a furniture user's feet from contact.
 FIG. 2 is a metal storage rack with an exemplary embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve. In this exemplary embodiment the protective cover/sleeve is configured to cover a square metal storage rack leg/foot. Alternative furniture leg/feet configurations include, but are not limited to, a variety of shapes, sizes and materials dependent on the end use of the protective cover/sleeve.
 FIG. 3A is an exemplary embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve 10 in a substantially cylindrical shape with a continuous single side 20, an exterior face 25 and an interior face 35 defining an interior space 40 into which a furniture leg/foot 50 is inserted. The hollow, substantially cylindrical protective cover/sleeve 10 can have an open top end 60, and a closed base end 65. In use, the closed base end 65 is in contact with the bottom of the leg/foot 50 in the interior space 40, and with the floor on the floor face 70 of the closed base end 65. The continuous side 20 and the closed base end 65 of the protective cover/sleeve 10 may be fully integrated. The diameter of the opening of the open top end 60 and of the interior space 40 is configured to permit the protective covering/sleeve 10 to be positioned around the outer peripheral surface of a furniture leg/foot 50 thereby facilitating easy slipping on and off of the protective cover/sleeve 10 onto the furniture leg/foot 50. In another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 3B, the closed base end 65 of the protective/cover sleeve 10 can have a pad 80 affixed to the exterior surface. The pad is thus positioned to protect the floor from scratching and impressions and also to facilitate movement of the furniture leg/foot across a supporting surface once enclosed within the protective cover/sleeve 10. For example a felt pad or the like can be used.
 FIGS. 4A and 4B show an embodiment of a protective cover/sleeve 90, which can be cylindrical in shape with a continuous single side 20, an exterior face 25 and interior face 35 defining an interior space 40, a first open end 60, and second open end 90. In this exemplary embodiment, the single side 20 encircles the furniture leg/foot 50 but the leg/foot 50 is engaged with the support surface 110 rather than the closed base end 65 of the protective cover/sleeve as shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B. The single side 20 can be made of a single molded form without seams, the open top end forming an annulus at an upper edge and an annulus at a lower edge. Alternatively, the single side 20 can be made of a single piece of material sewn together at opposing sides to thus form an annulus at an upper edge and an annulus at a lower edge.
 In alternative embodiments a protective cover/sleeve 150, 200 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 respectively includes, a single piece of padded material with an interior facing side 160, and exterior facing side 170, and two opposing ends 180, 190. The cover/sleeve 150 can be configured to wrap around the peripheral surface of a furniture leg/foot and fastened together by fastening means 210, 220 thus bringing the two opposing edges 180, 190 in close juxtaposition. In this embodiment the protective cover/sleeve 150 forms a substantially tubular sleeve. In use, the protective cover/sleeve 150 can either be slipped around the furniture leg, or can be installed in situ with fastening means 210 or 220. In the later embodiment, the protective cover/sleeve 150, 200 can be wrapped around the furniture leg/foot and adjustably fastened around the furniture leg/foot.
 Referring now to FIGS. 7A and 7B, in an embodiment a protective cover/sleeve 300 can be substantially cylindrical in shape with a continuous single side wall 310. The single side wall 310 further comprises an interior face 330 and exterior face 320 defining an interior space 340 into which the furniture foot/leg is inserted or enclosed, a first open top end 350, and second base end 360. In this exemplary embodiment the continuous single side/wall 310 is inflatable; the inflation valve 370 is in communication to an internal chamber 380 between the exterior face 320 and interior face 330. The inflation valve 370 is in operable communication with the internal chamber 380 of the side wall portion wherein the valve 370 permits rigid inflation of said unitary construction; air circulating into the internal chamber 380 filling the chamber and thus providing the padding and surrounding the furniture leg/foot. The inflated chambers 380 of the protective cover/sleeve provide the padding to protect the user's feet from injury when coming in contact with the furniture leg/feet.
 A single inflatable chamber, or multiple chambers in communication with each other are contemplated. In one alternative embodiment the protective cover/sleeve 300 can also have a base portion whereby said base and said side portions define a unitary construction for receiving the furniture leg. In use the cylindrical protective cover/sleeve can be slipped into place prior to inflation and then chambers inflated once the furniture leg is inserted into the interior cavity defined by the sleeve.
 Referring now to FIGS. 8 and 9, other exemplary embodiments of a protective sleeve/cover 400, 500 can be substantially rectangular or triangular in shape, respectively. Other shapes are also possible depending on the end use of the protective sleeve/cover 400, 500 so that when in use the protective sleeve/cover 400, 500 is positioned around the foot and/or leg of furniture to thus substantially cover the foot and/or leg. As shown in FIG. 8, the protective sleeve/cover can be made from a molded, fully integrated rectangular form. The rectangular form can otherwise be produced and assembled from individual pieces and sewn together to make the desired configuration. In this example the protective sleeve/cover 400, 500 is a single unitary piece and the protective sleeve/cover 400, 500 is slipped onto the furniture foot/leg. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 9, the protective sleeve/cover 400, 500 is formed by folding and curving the material elements of the protective/sleeve 400, 500 together. In this example, the opposing edges 180, 190 of the protective sleeve/cover 400, 500 are brought in close juxtaposition to form a substantially tubular shape. The opposing edges 180, 190 can be fastened together by fastening means 220, for example overlapping hook and eye tabs, or straps with hood and eye pieces. When the opposing edges 180, 190 are brought together they produce an interior face 160 and an exterior face 170 and define an interior space 40 that encloses the furniture leg/foot 50. In this embodiment the protective sleeve/cover 400, 500 adopts a pre-determined configurable cylindrical or tubular shape made by curving the protective/cover sleeve 400, 500 around the furniture leg/foot. The cylindrical or tubular shape forms a first open end 60, a second opened end 90, and an interior space 40; the furniture foot/leg 50 is positioned within the interior space 40. Other pre-determined configurable shapes are also contemplated. A variety of fastening means to hold the protective cover/sleeve 400, 500 in place include, but are not limited to, hooks and eye fasteners, ties, snaps, straps, and the like. Alternatively, metal stays can be integrated into the padded foam material, for example such that the side is flexible to accommodate positioning around the leg, and then forms a fitted and flexible fit once in place surrounding the leg. The protective sleeve/cover 400, 500 can thus be installed in situ encircling the furniture/leg foot 50.
 The product can be made of various combinations engineered of plastic rubber, polyurethane and foam extrusions, flexibly shaped (cylindrical, rectangular, triangular, and the like) as to fit specifically around furniture legs and or feet and thus substantially cover the furniture leg and/or feet. Other features include methods and process for shape, size, design and strength/durability, and fasteners, specific for the purpose of creating the flexibly shaped product for furniture legs and feet and for maximizing foot and toe protection. The product dimensions can vary based on size of furniture legs and feet.
 While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, as noted above, many changes can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the protective cover/sleeve composition, dimensions, and shape can vary based on the size of the furniture leg and feet. Moreover the choice of material in terms of flexibility, density, color, and external design details can vary depending on the environment and intended use of the protective cover/sleeve. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is not limited by the disclosure of the preferred embodiment. Instead, the invention should be determined entirely by reference to the claims that follow.
Patent applications in class SCUFF PLATE OR BUMPER
Patent applications in all subclasses SCUFF PLATE OR BUMPER