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Mobile device holder

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20140091192 patent thumbnailZoom

Mobile device holder


A mobile device holder includes a holding portion having a pair of opposed holding portion arms, a lower edge at a base of the holding portion, an upper pivot assembly affixed to the holding portion and configured to pivot about an upper axis extending through a plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, a lower pivot assembly affixed to the upper pivot assembly and configured to pivot about a lower axis generally perpendicular to the upper axis, and a base affixed to the lower pivot assembly, wherein the holding portion, lower edge and upper pivot assembly are pivotable about the lower axis relative to the base.


USPTO Applicaton #: #20140091192 - Class: 248447 (USPTO) -
Supports > Easel; Book, Copy Or Music Score Holder >Holder Pivots To Operative Position



Inventors: Randy Mersky

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140091192, Mobile device holder.

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BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Disclosure

The present disclosure relates to the field of mobile device holders. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to mobile device holder configured to hold mobile devices of different dimensions and orientations.

2. Background Information

Smartphones and other electronic mobile devices have become increasingly popular for managing multiple aspects of one's daily life. One such aspect is shopping. For example, shoppers have increasingly been using electronic mobile devices to manage shopping lists or to otherwise enhance the shopping experience. As such, a need has arisen for a system to not only hold, but to display the screen of such mobile devices to the shopper, so that the shopper can safely push a shopping cart while still being able to view the device. One such system is disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/978,768 the entire contents of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein.

Holders attachable to shopping carts and designed to hold articles such as beverages, coupons, pens, and the like are known in the art; however, many of such devices are attachable to shopping cart handles, which interferes with the nesting of the shopping carts and wasting floor space.

Some electronic devices have been provided to enhance the shopping experience by displaying, e.g., store and/or product information and electronic coupons, on a proprietary display device integral to the shopping cart; however, such integral electronic devices require the shopper to upload his/her shopping list to this display device (or do not allow for such uploading at all), thereby inconveniencing the shopper.

In view of the above, a need has arisen for a diverse mobile device holder configured to hold mobile devices.

SUMMARY

OF THE DISCLOSURE

According to a non-limiting feature of the disclosure, provided is a mobile device holder which may include a holding portion having a pair of opposed holding portion arms, a shelf at a base of the holding portion, an upper pivot assembly affixed to the holding portion and configured to pivot about an upper axis extending through a plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, a lower pivot assembly affixed to the upper pivot assembly and configured to pivot about a lower axis generally perpendicular to the upper axis, and a mount affixed to the lower pivot assembly, wherein the holding portion, shelf and upper pivot assembly are pivotable about the lower axis relative to the mount.

The upper axis may perpendicularly extend through the plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms. Also, each arm of the pair of opposed holding portion arms may be a generally U-shaped channel or may be generally L-shaped.

Also provided may be a ramp depending from the shelf, and the ramp may depend from the shelf from an opposite side of the shelf as the pair of opposed holding portion arms. The ramp may be generally V-shaped and/or may depend from the shelf at an angle oblique to the plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms.

Further, the mount may be attachable to a collapsible basket or other part of a shopping cart.

The mobile device holder may further include a front section and a rear section defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, wherein one of the front section and the rear section is open. Also, the other of the front section and the rear section may be generally closed.

Also provided may be an arm spring connected to one holding portion arm of the pair of opposed holding portion arms, the arm spring configured to bias the mobile device toward the other holding portion arm of the pair of opposed holding portion arms.

Further provided may be a pair of arm springs respectively connected to the pair of opposed holding portion arms such that the pair of arm springs inwardly biases the pair of opposed holding portion arms toward each other.

A spring assembly insertable between the pair of opposed holding portion arms may be provided, the spring assembly comprising the pair of arm springs. Also, the pair of arm springs may be a pair of tape springs.

At least one wall of both holding portion arms of the pair of opposed holding portion arms may extend in a direction oblique to the plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms. The pair of opposed holding portion arms may be parallel. A support shaft affixing the lower pivot assembly to the upper pivot assembly may also be provided.

The support shaft may include a bend dividing the support shaft into upper and lower ends, the upper end and lower end in parallel, and the support shaft aligns a pivot axis of the upper pivot assembly with a center of an axial length of the lower pivot assembly.

In an aspect, the upper pivot assembly provides for the pivoting of the holding portion between a range of approximately 0 degrees and approximately 90 degrees.

Also provided may be an expansion holding portion removably insertable in the holding portion, the expansion holding portion having a pair of opposed inner expansion holding portion walls configured be removably held between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, a body depending from each inner expansion holding portion wall of the pair of expansion holding portion walls, a first support depending from the body, a second support depending from an opposite side of the body as the first support, wherein the first and second support are configured to hold a mobile device therebetween.

The first support and second support may extend parallel to each other and in a direction parallel to a direction in which the pair of opposed inner expansion holding portion walls extends. Also, at least one of the first support and second support may be resiliently biased toward the body.

Further, the first support may have a pair of first prongs on opposite sides of the pair of opposed inner expansion holding portion walls, and the second support may have a pair of second prongs on opposite sides of the pair of opposed inner expansion holding portion walls, wherein the first and second pair of prongs are configured to hold a mobile device therebetween.

Also, at least one of the pair of first prongs and the pair of second prongs may be slidable toward the other of the pair of first prongs and the pair of second prongs, such that a distance between the pair of first prongs and the pair of second prongs may be adjustable. Both the pair of first prongs and the pair of second prongs may be slidable toward each other.

A prong spring configured to inwardly bias the at least one of the pair of first prongs and the pair of second prongs may be provided, such that a distance between the pair of first prongs and the pair of second prongs is narrowed. Also, the prong spring may be a tape spring.

The body may have a central lower contact having an irregularly-shaped surface, and an underside of the shelf may have a complimentary irregularly-shaped surface configured to matchingly engage with the irregularly-shaped surface of the body when the expansion holding portion may be inserted in the holding portion.

Also provided may be a mobile device holder having a holding portion, a pair of opposed holding portion arms each attached to an opposite side of the holding portion, a shelf affixed to a base of the holding portion and configured to support a mobile device, an upper pivot assembly affixed to the holding portion and configured to pivot the holding portion about an upper axis extending through a plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, a mount affixed to the pivot assembly, an edge ramp depending from the shelf, a lower pivot assembly connected to the upper pivot assembly and configured to pivot about a lower axis generally perpendicular to the upper axis, wherein the holding portion, the pair of opposed holding portion arms, the ramp and the lower edge are pivotable together about the lower axis relative to the mount.

Also, the holding portion, mount and edge ramp may be integrally unitarily formed.

Each holding portion arm of the pair of opposed holding portion arms may have an engagement portion configured to engage the mobile device, and a wing portion depending from the engagement portion in a direction away from the holding portion.

The wing portion may generally form a 90 degree angle with the engagement portion. The mobile device holder may also include a magnet configured to magnetically engage the mobile device. Also provided may be padding affixed to each holding portion arm of the pair of opposed holding portion arms, the padding configured to engage the mobile device.

At least one holding portion arm of the pair of opposed holding portion arms may be slidable along a plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, such that a distance between the pair of opposed holding portion arms is adjustable.

Also provided may be a spring configured to inwardly bias the at least one holding portion arm slidably along the plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, such that a distance between the pair of opposed holding portion arms is narrowed.

The pair of opposed holding portion arms may be slidable along a plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, such that a distance between the pair of opposed holding portion arms is adjustable. Also provided may be a spring configured to inwardly bias the pair of holding portion arms slidably along the plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, such that a distance between the pair of opposed holding portion arms is narrowed.

Also, the mount may have a pair of vertical arms, and the lower pivot assembly may have a rotation shaft supported between the pair of vertical arms and pivotable about the lower axis. Each vertical arm of the pair of vertical arms may have a protruding bumper.

According to another aspect, a shopping cart may include a main basket, a secondary basket configured to swing upward relative to the main basket when the shopping cart is nested with another shopping cart, and a mobile device holder having, a holding portion having a pair of opposed holding portion arms, a lower edge at a base of the holding portion, an upper pivot assembly affixed to the holding portion and configured to pivot about an upper axis extending through a plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, a lower pivot assembly affixed to the upper pivot assembly and configured to pivot about a lower axis generally perpendicular to the upper axis, and a base affixed to the lower pivot assembly and attached to the secondary basket, wherein the holding portion, lower edge and upper pivot assembly are pivotable about the lower axis relative to the base.

Also provided may be a handle for pushing the shopping cart, wherein the mobile device holder further may have a ramp depending from the lower edge such that when the secondary basket swings upward, the ramp may be engageable with the handle to pivot the holding portion, the ramp and the lower edge are pivotable about the lower axis relative to the base.

According to another aspect, provided may be a mobile device holder having a holding portion, a pair of opposed holding portion arms each attached to an opposite side of the holding portion and configured to hold a mobile device therebetween, at least one holding portion arm of the pair of opposed holding portion arms being slidable along a plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, such that a distance between the pair of opposed holding portion arms is adjustable, a shelf affixed to a base of the holding portion, and a mount affixed to the base.

Further provided may be an upper pivot assembly affixed to the holding portion and configured to pivot the holding portion about an upper axis extending through the plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms.

Still further provided may be a lower pivot assembly connected to the mount and configured to pivot about a lower axis extending parallel to the plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, wherein the holding portion, the pair of opposed holding portion arms, and the lower edge are pivotable together about the lower axis relative to the mount.

Additionally provided may be an upper pivot assembly affixed to the holding portion and configured to pivot the holding portion about an upper axis extending through a plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion arms, and a lower pivot assembly connected to the upper pivot assembly and configured to pivot about a lower axis generally perpendicular to the upper axis, wherein the holding portion, the pair of opposed holding portion arms, and the lower edge are pivotable together about the lower axis relative to the mount.

Other exemplary embodiments and advantages of the present invention may be ascertained by reviewing the present disclosure and the accompanying drawings, and the above description should not be considered to limit the scope of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is further described in the detailed description which follows, in reference to the noted plurality of drawings, by way of non-limiting examples of preferred embodiments of the present invention, in which like characters represent like elements throughout the several views of the drawings, and wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a mobile device holder according a first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 shows front elevational view of the mobile device holder according the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 shows a rear perspective view of the mobile device holder according the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 shows a rear view of the mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 5 shows a side elevational view of the mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 6 shows a front perspective exploded view of the mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 7 shows a rear perspective exploded view of the mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 8 shows a side elevational view of the mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure in an in-use position affixed to a shopping cart;

FIG. 9 shows a side elevational view of the mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure in a stowed position affixed to a shopping cart;

FIG. 10 shows a side elevational view of the mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure affixed to a nested shopping cart;

FIG. 10A shows an enlarged side elevational view of the mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure of the area A in FIG. 10;

FIG. 11A shows a front elevational view of an expansion holding portion for use with the mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 11B shows a top plan view of the expansion holding portion for use with the mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 11C shows a side elevational view of the expansion holding portion according to a first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 11D shows a perspective view of the expansion holding portion according to the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 12 shows a rear perspective view of the expansion holding portion and the mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 13 shows a front perspective view of an expansion holding portion holding a mobile device and inserted in a mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 14 shows a rear perspective view of an expansion holding portion holding a mobile device and inserted in a mobile device holder according to the first aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 15 shows a perspective view of a mobile device holder and expansion holding portion according to a second aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 16 shows a front elevational view of the mobile device holder according to the second aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 17 shows a side sectional view of the mobile device holder according to the second aspect of the present disclosure taken along the lines A-A of FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 shows an exploded view of the mobile device holder according to the second aspect of the present disclosure;

FIG. 19 is a rear perspective view of a holding portion arm according to the second aspect of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 20 is an exploded view of the expansion holding portion according to the second aspect of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In view of the foregoing, the present disclosure, through one or more of its various aspects, embodiments and/or specific features or sub-components, is thus intended to bring out one or more of the advantages as specifically noted below.

The particulars shown herein are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the embodiments of the present invention only and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the present invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the present invention in more detail than is necessary for the fundamental understanding of the present invention, the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the present invention may be embodied in practice.

Referring now to the drawings wherein like characters represent like elements, FIGS. 1-7 show a mobile device holder 10 according to the first aspect of the present disclosure. As used herein, “mobile device” can mean any mobile device, including but not limited to a tablet computer (such as, e.g., an iPad), a smartphone (such as, e.g., a Blackberry, iPhone, Android), personal digital assistant (PDA), a global positioning satellite (GPS) device, a portable music player (such as, e.g., an iPod), an e-reader, a palmtop computer, a laptop computer, a wireless/cellular telephone, a camera, a pager, a personal trusted device, a portable video game system, and a web appliance (such as, e.g., an iPod Touch). Nor is the present invention limited to electronic devices, e.g., a notepad or coupon book may be used with the present invention.

In a non-limiting aspect, the mobile device holder 10 includes a holding portion 12, an upper pivot assembly 14, a lower pivot assembly 16 and a mount (also called a “base”) 18 for affixing the mobile device holder to a pivotable secondary basket 102 of a shopping cart 100, as shown in, e.g., FIGS. 8-10A. The holding portion 12 optionally includes a shelf 20 and a pair of opposed holding portion arms (also referred to as holding portion channels) 22a, 22b which are aligned with each and extend in the direction of insertion of a mobile device (i.e., when inserted from the top T of the holder 10). Although the figures show the holding portion channels 22a, 22b as four-sided and U-shaped (to secure a mobile device on three sides), those skilled in the art would appreciate that the holding portion channels each can have any suitable number of sides and any suitable configuration, e.g., V-shaped or L-shaped (to secure a mobile device on two sides), although it is noted that having a front channel segment 26 helps prevent the mobile device from falling out of the holding portion 12 toward the user. In the U-shaped channel arrangement, the mobile device is inserted into the top T of the device holder 10, while in the L-shaped channel arrangement, the mobile device may be inserted into either the top or the front of the device holder.

The mobile device holder 10 preferably has an open front end section to facilitate the user\'s contact with the keys and/or touchscreen of a mobile device, although it is understood by those of skill in the art that one or more crossbars connecting the holding portion channels 28a, 28b may be provided to further secure a mobile device to the mobile device holder 10. Although the figures show the holding portion 12 as having a closed rear section 52, it is understood that the rear section may have one or more openings (e.g., to save weight or cost of materials), including but not limited to perforations, latticework, crossbars and like.

Optionally provided may be a spring assembly 24 inserted in the holding portion 12, the spring assembly including a pair of springs configured to engage the edges of a mobile device inserted into the holder. Specifically, the springs are inwardly biased to prevent vertical displacement of a mobile device from the top T of the holder 10. Although the figures show leaf springs, other suitable biasing mechanisms may be employed, such as coil springs and elastomers. Also, although the figures show a pair of (two) springs, those skilled in the art would appreciate that fewer or more than two springs may be used to the same effect of retaining a mobile device. It is noted that according to an aspect of the disclosure, the spring assembly 24 may be formed of a material that is more flexible than the material of which the holding portion 12 is formed. For example, the spring assembly 24 may be rubberized, a flexible plastic or rubber material, elastomerically-coated metal, or any other suitable material, whereas the holding portion may be formed of a hard plastic or rigid metal material to protect the mobile device held therein. Although the figures show the spring assembly 24 as having a closed rear section 54, it is understood that the rear section may have one or more openings (e.g., to save weight or cost of materials), including but not limited to perforations, latticework, crossbars and like, and that these openings can align with any openings in the back of the holding portion 12.

As shown in, e.g., FIGS. 8-10A, the mobile device holder 10 is preferably attachable to a pivotable secondary basket 102 of a shopping cart 100. The secondary basket 102 of a shopping cart 100 is typically positioned in front of the end gate 104 and within the main basket 106. In the shopping art, a folding child seat 108 may be positioned between the secondary basket 102 and the end gate 104, such that the child seat may be folded when the secondary gate is pulled toward the cart pusher/shopper and against the end gate to make more room for items in the main basket 106. This arrangement also allows for the end gate 104, folding child seat 108 and secondary basket 102 to pivot together toward the front of the shopping cart 100 when another shopping cart is nested with the shopping cart, as shown in FIG. 10. By mounting the mobile device holder 10 to the top of the secondary basket 102, nesting of the shopping carts is still possible, since the end gate 104, folding child seat 108 and secondary basket 102 pivot together, thereby conserving floor space.

According to a non-limiting embodiment, the upper pivot assembly 14 is affixed to a rear of the holding portion 12 and pivots about upper axis Pu (shown in FIGS. 6 and 7) such that the mobile device held in the holding portion can rotate between a portrait and landscape position, i.e., the upper axis perpendicularly extends through the plane defined between the pair of opposed holding portion channels 22a, 22b. The upper pivot assembly 14 is held together and affixed to the holding portion 12 by screws 34 and rivets 36 although it is appreciated by those skilled in the art that other affixing devices may be used.

It is preferred that the upper pivot assembly rotate the holding portion 12 about the upper axis Pu in a range of 0-90 degrees, although it is appreciated by those skilled in the art that the holding portion can rotate within a greater or narrower range (e.g., by 180 degrees so that the mobile device can be rotated between portrait, left landscape and right landscape, or by 360 degrees for full rotation). The rotation of the upper pivot assembly 14 is facilitated by upper pin 38 sliding within and guided by upper groove 40, and it is noted that the length of the groove about the circumference of the upper pivot assembly dictates the range of motion of the holding portion 12 relative to the upper pivot assembly. Further, a spring may be used to facilitate the pivoting of the upper pivot assembly 14 by, e.g, biasing the upper pivot assembly in a predetermined direction. Although the illustrated upper pivot assembly 14 is shown as rotating within a single plane and about a single axis, those skilled in the art would appreciate that the upper pivot assembly can rotate within multiple planes and about multiple axes using, e.g., a ball-and-socket or other suitable configuration.

The upper pivot assembly 14 and a lower pivot assembly 16 are connected to each other by a support shaft 30. The support shaft 30 may include three sections, namely an upper end 32a affixed to the upper pivot assembly 14, a lower end 32b affixed to the lower pivot assembly 16 and a bend 32c connecting the upper end to the lower end. In a non-limiting embodiment, the bend 32c offsets the upper end 32a and lower end 32b so that they extend in parallel. This arrangement of the bend 32c, upper end 32a and lower end 32b allow the support shaft 30 to aligns the pivot axis of the upper pivot assembly 14 with a center of an axial length of the lower pivot assembly 16 (in other words, the diameter of the upper pivot assembly 14 is aligned with the length of the lower pivot assembly 16 by positioning the upper pivot assembly directly over the lower pivot assembly), as shown in FIG. 4, thereby keeping the width of the device 10 to a minimum and saving space.

The lower pivot assembly 16 is affixed to the base 18 and pivots about lower axis P1 (shown in FIGS. 6 and 7) thereby rotating the support shaft 30, upper pivot assembly 14 and holding portion 12 together. Thus, the mobile device holder 10 allows the mobile device to be pivoted to adjust the viewing angle of the mobile device to accommodate the view of users of varying heights or to pivot the mobile device out of the way when, e.g., the shopping cart is transporting a child in child seat 108 (to keep the mobile device and/or the mobile device holder out of reach of the seated child) or nesting shopping carts 100 (as further described below). The lower pivot assembly 16 is held together by screws 42 although it is appreciated by those skilled in the art that other affixing devices may be used. Also, the lower pivot assembly 16 is shown as being unitarily constructed with the mount 18, although it is appreciated by those skilled in the art that other ways of joining the lower pivot assembly 16 with the base 18 may be used.

It is preferred that the lower pivot assembly 16 rotate the support shaft 30, upper pivot assembly 14 and holding portion 12 about the lower axis P1 in a range of 0-120 degrees, although it is appreciated by those skilled in the art that the lower pivot assembly can provide for rotation within a greater or narrower range. The rotation of the lower pivot assembly 16 is facilitated by lower pin 46 sliding within and guided by lower groove 48, and it is noted that the length of the groove about the circumference of the lower pivot assembly dictates the range of motion of the support shaft 30, upper pivot assembly 14 and holding portion 12 relative to the base 18. Further, a spring may be used to facilitate the pivoting of the lower pivot assembly 16 by, e.g, biasing the lower pivot assembly in a predetermined direction. Although the illustrated lower pivot assembly 18 is shown as rotating within a single plane and about a single axis P1, those skilled in the art would appreciate that the upper pivot assembly can rotate within multiple planes and about multiple axes using, e.g., a ball-and-socket or other suitable configuration.

In an embodiment (as shown, e.g, in FIGS. 6-10A) the mount 18 is mounted to the shopping cart 100 using a mounting bracket 44 secured by bolts 50 such that the secondary basket 102 is sandwiched between the mount 18 and the mounting bracket. It is also understood by those of skill in the art that the mobile device holder 10 may be mounted to the shopping cart 100 by other methods than the mounting bracket 44 and bolts 50, including but not limited to a bayonet-type attachment, spring-loaded attachment, and the like. Alternatively, the mobile device holder 10 may be integrally formed with the secondary basket such that mounting hardware is not needed.

A non-limiting feature of the disclosure provides a ramp 56 depending from an underside of the shelf 20 (i.e., from an opposite side of the shelf as the pair of opposed holding portion channels). The ramp 56 serves to engage the secondary basket 102, shopping cart handle 110 and other obstacles to pivot the holding portion about the lower axis P1 into a stowed position (shown in FIGS. 9, 10 and 10A) so that the obstacles to not damage the mobile device holder 10, e.g., during nesting of the shopping carts 100. In this way, the snagging of the mobile device holder 10 against shopping cart and other components is avoided.

According to a non-limiting feature, the ramp includes two sections defining a prismatic general V-shaped structure, namely, an upper ramp portion 56u depending from the shelf 20, and a lower ramp portion 561 depending from the upper ramp portion. As shown in e.g., FIG. 5, the upper ramp portion 56u obliquely extends in a direction away from the shelf 20 (the shelf being generally perpendicular to the rear section 52) toward the user, and the lower ramp portion 561 extends underneath the shelf at approximately a 90 degree angle with the upper ramp portion, although those skilled in the art appreciate that different suitable angular relationships among the shelf, upper ramp portion and lower ramp portion are possible. Also, part or all of the ramp 56 may be a spring or other flexible material, so that the ramp can flex when engaging an obstacle to further avoid damage to the mobile device holder. It is also noted that while the figures show the ramp 56 extending the entire length (i.e., in a direction between the holding portion channels 22a, 22b) of the shelf 20, those skilled in the art would appreciate that the ramp can be longer or shorter than the length of the shelf, and that the ramp can be in multiple sections along the length of the shelf.

FIGS. 15-20 show a mobile device holder 210 according to a second aspect of the present disclosure. Elements of the second aspect of the disclosure that are analogous to the first aspect are designated use the same reference character increased by two hundred. The second aspect of the mobile device holder 210 includes a holding portion 212, an upper pivot assembly 214, a lower pivot assembly 216 and a mount 218.

As with the first aspect, by mounting the mobile device holder 210 to the top of the secondary basket 102 of a shopping cart 100, nesting of the shopping carts is still possible, since the end gate 104, folding child seat 108 and secondary basket 102 pivot together, thereby conserving floor space. Also as with the first aspect, the mobile device holder 210 allows the mobile device to be pivoted, as further explained below.

The holding portion 212 optionally includes a shelf 220 configured to support the mobile device from below and a pair of opposed holding portion arms 222a, 222b which are aligned with each other. Each holding portion arm 222a, 222b includes a wing portion 223a, 223b and an engagement portion 225a, 225b. Although the figures show the wing portions 223a, 223b depending from the engagement portions 225a, 225b at 90 degree angles (forming a prismatic L-shape), those skilled in the art would appreciate that the wing portions can respectively depend from the engagement portions at suitable angles greater or less than 90 degrees. With such an arrangement, the mobile device may be inserted into either the top or the front of the device holder 210.

Optionally provided may be padding 224 affixed to a respective engagement portion 225a, 225b. Padding may have a soft covering in order to avoid scratching of a mobile device, and/or may be elastomeric to prevent displacement of the mobile device from the holder 210. It is noted that mechanisms other than padding 224 may be employed, such as leaf springs (from the first aspect) and coil springs. Padding 224 may extend the entire length of the engagement portion 225a, 225b or may be shorter than the length of the engagement portions or be interrupted.

Referring to FIG. 18, the mobile device holder 210 has a rear section 252 which slidably connects the holding portion arms 222a, 222b. Specifically, the mobile device holder 210 includes an expansion assembly 227, allows one or both holding portion arms 222a, 222b to move relative to the rear section, thereby allowing the mobile device holder 210 to securely accommodate mobile devices of differing widths. One holding portion arm 222a includes an inner rack 229a, and the other holding portion arm 222b includes an outer rack 229b (shown in FIG. 19). A pair of pinions 231 affixed to the back of the rear section 252, each of which engages the inner rack 229a and outer rack 229b. The holding portion arm 222a also includes a pair of slide guides 233, each of which slides within a guide channel 235 (shown in FIG. 19) to facilitate the sliding engagement of the holding arm portions 222a, 222b. Also provided is a pair of tape springs 237 housed within the rear section 252, a free end of which is affixed to a respective slide guide 233. The tape springs bias (or pull) the holding portion arm 222a toward the rear section, and since the sliding action of the holding portion arm 222a causes the inner rack 229a to engage the pinions 231 which in turn engage the outer rack 229b, the sliding action of the holding portion arm 222a also causes the holding portion arm 222b to also slide toward the rear section. Thus, holding portion arms 222a, 222b are always biased inwardly to securely hold a mobile device between the engagement portions 225a, 225b. It is noted that while a tape spring 237 is disclosed herein, those skilled in the art would appreciate that other suitable biasing devices may be used.

As with the first aspect, the mobile device holder 210 includes an upper pivot assembly 214 affixed to the rear section 252 of holding portion 212 and pivots about upper axis Pu (shown in FIG. 17) such that the mobile device held in the holding portion can rotate between a portrait and landscape position. The upper pivot assembly 214 is held together and affixed to the holding portion 212 in a manner similar to that disclosed in the first aspect. It is noted that a cover 239 may be provided to cover the hardware affixing the upper pivot assembly 214 to the holding portion 212. It is also noted that the cover 239 may be magnetic to enable the mobile device to be even more securely held in the holding portion 212. Instead of or in addition to a magnetic cover 239, a separate magnet may be provided in the rear section 252 of the holding portion 212.

As with the first aspect, it is preferred that the upper pivot assembly 214 rotate the holding portion 212 about the upper axis Pu in a range of 0-90 degrees, although it is appreciated by those skilled in the art that the holding portion can rotate within a greater or narrower range (e.g., by 180 degrees so that the mobile device can be rotated between portrait, left landscape and right landscape, or by 360 degrees for full rotation), and a spring may be used to facilitate the pivoting of the upper pivot assembly 214 by, e.g, biasing the upper pivot assembly in a predetermined direction. Also as with the first aspect, the upper pivot assembly 214 can rotate within a single plane and about a single axis and/or can rotate within multiple planes and about multiple axes using, e.g., a ball-and-socket or other suitable configuration.

The upper pivot assembly 214 and a lower pivot assembly 216 are connected to each other by a support shaft 230, which may be in the shape of an I-beam (to save weight) or any other suitable configuration (including the configuration in the first aspect).

The lower pivot assembly 216 is affixed to the base 218. The lower pivot assembly 16 includes a generally U-shaped mount (or base) 218 having a pair of vertical arms 243 for rotatably supporting a rotation shaft 241 therebetween, and the support shaft 230 is affixed to the rotation shaft, thereby rotating the rotation shaft 241, support shaft 230, upper pivot assembly 214 and holding portion 212 together about lower axis P1 (shown in FIG. 16) so that the mobile device can be pivoted. The mount 218 also includes a bumper 245 that protrudes toward the front of the shopping cart 100 (preferably beyond the other components of the device holder 210), in order to engage and protect the other components of the device holder when shopping carts are pushed or banged together (e.g., during a cart nesting operation).



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Piano seat with automatic height adjustment
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Holder for books and electronic devices
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140091192 A1
Publish Date
04/03/2014
Document #
13630552
File Date
09/28/2012
USPTO Class
248447
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
47B23/02
Drawings
20


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Supports   Easel; Book, Copy Or Music Score Holder   Holder Pivots To Operative Position