(19)
(11)EP 3 831 248 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
09.06.2021 Bulletin 2021/23

(21)Application number: 21154609.8

(22)Date of filing:  11.09.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A47D 13/06(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 11.09.2018 US 201862729721 P

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
19196709.0 / 3622862

(71)Applicant: Wonderland Switzerland AG
6312 Steinhausen (CH)

(72)Inventors:
  • TAYLOR, Andrew J.
    Mohnton, PA 19543 (US)
  • SACK, Daniel A.
    Pottstown, PA 19465 (US)
  • BOWERS, Patrick J. G.
    Hockessin, DE 19707 (US)
  • HARTENSTINE, Curtis M.
    Birdsboro, PA 19508 (US)

(74)Representative: Zimmermann & Partner Patentanwälte mbB 
Postfach 330 920
80069 München
80069 München (DE)

 
Remarks:
This application was filed on 01.02.2021 as a divisional application to the application mentioned under INID code 62.
 


(54)PLAYPEN


(57) A playpen (100) includes an upper frame assembly (102) including a corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D), a standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) pivotally connected with the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D), the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) being rotatable relative to the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) between a folded position where the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is folded toward the upper frame assembly (102) and an unfolded position where the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is deployed for providing standing support, and a locking mechanism (158, 258, 458) disposed adjacent to the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D). The locking mechanism (158, 258, 458) has a latch (160, 260, 460) operable to lock the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) in the unfolded position and unlock the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) for its rotation between the unfolded position and the folded position, wherein the latch (160, 260, 460) is pivotally connected with the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) at a location distant from the location where the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) pivotally connects with the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D), the latch (160, 260, 460) being rotatable relative to the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) for locking and unlocking the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D).




Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)



[0001] This application is a divisional application of European patent application no. 19196709.0 filed on September 11, 2019, which claims priority to U.S. provisional application no. 62/729,721 filed on September 11, 2018.

BACKGROUND


1. Field of the Invention



[0002] The present invention relates to playpens for children.

2. Description of the Related Art



[0003] Most playpen frames currently available on the market include top rails that are connected with one another via four top rail corners, and four standing legs respectively connected with the top rail corners. Moreover, the standing legs may have foot portions respectively connected with a bottom center hub through multiple bar linkages. In use, the bottom center hub may be unlocked and pulled upward, which can move the standing legs close to one another for collapsing the playpen frame. This conventional construction has only one folding configuration that is typically used for storage of the playpen. Once it is folded, the playpen usually has to be lifted for transport, which may be cumbersome.

[0004] Therefore, there is a need for an improved playpen that is more convenient and flexible in use, and can address at least the foregoing issues.

[0005] SUMMARY

[0006] The present application describes a playpen for young children that can independently fold and unfold standing legs, and have multiple folding configurations to offer more flexibility for convenient transport and storage of the playpen.

[0007] According to one aspect, the playpen comprises an upper frame assembly including a corner joining part, a standing leg pivotally connected with the corner joining part, the standing leg being rotatable relative to the corner joining part between a folded position where the standing leg is folded toward the upper frame assembly and an unfolded position where the standing leg is deployed for providing standing support on a floor surface, and a locking mechanism disposed adjacent to the corner joining part, the locking mechanism having a latch operable to lock the standing leg in the unfolded position and unlock the standing leg for rotation of the standing leg between the unfolded position and the folded position, wherein the latch is pivotally connected with the standing leg at a location distant from the location where the standing leg pivotally connects with the corner joining part, the latch being rotatable relative to the standing leg for locking and unlocking the standing leg.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0008] 

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating an embodiment of a playpen;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the playpen;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view illustrating a middle joining part of a side frame portion in the playpen;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating construction details of a locking mechanism assembled with the middle joining part for locking an upper frame assembly of the playpen in an unfolded state;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating a latch of the locking mechanism shown in FIG. 4 in an unlocking position;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating a locking mechanism disposed adjacent to a corner joining part for locking a standing leg of the playpen in an unfolded position;

FIG. 7 is a side view illustrating the locking mechanism for locking the standing leg in the unfolded position;

FIG. 8 is a schematic view illustrating another construction of a locking mechanism disposed adjacent to a corner joining part for locking a standing leg in the unfolded position;

FIGS. 9 and 10 are schematic views illustrating exemplary operation of the locking mechanism shown in FIG. 8 for folding the standing leg;

FIG. 11 is a schematic view illustrating another variant construction of a locking mechanism disposed adjacent to a corner joining part for locking a standing leg in the unfolded position;

FIG. 12 is a schematic view illustrating another variant construction of a locking mechanism disposed adjacent to a corner joining part for locking a standing leg in the unfolded position; and

FIGS. 13 and 14 are schematic views illustrating exemplary operation of the locking mechanism shown in FIG. 12 for folding the standing leg.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS



[0009] FIG. 1 is a schematic view illustrating an embodiment of a playpen 100, and FIG. 2 is a top view of the playpen 100. Referring to FIGS. land 2, the playpen 100 can include an upper frame assembly 102, and a plurality of standing legs 104A, 104B, 104C and 104D. The upper frame assembly 102 can be coupled with upper end portions of the standing legs 104A, 104B, 104C and 104D. An enclosure 106 (shown with phantom lines in FIG. 1) can be stretched between the standing legs 104A, 104B, 104C and 104D to surround an inner space of the playpen 100 where a young child can be received. The enclosure 106 can be formed by the assembly of one or more fabric, and can have an upper end secured with the upper frame assembly 102.

[0010] The upper frame assembly 102 can be formed by the assembly of multiple bars defining a closed shape. In one embodiment, the upper frame assembly 102 can include two side frame portions 110A and 110B opposite to each other and extending substantially parallel to each other along a first direction, two other side frame portions 112A and 112B opposite to each other and extending substantially parallel to each other along a second direction perpendicular to the first direction, and a plurality of corner joining parts 114A, 114B, 114C and 114D that connect the side frame portions 110A and 110B with the side frame portions 112A and 112B.

[0011] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the side frame portion 110A can include a continuous bar 116 having two opposite ends respectively connected fixedly with two corner joining parts 114A and 114B. For example, the two opposite ends of the bar 116 can be fixedly attached in two openings respectively provided in the two corner joining parts 114A and 114B. Likewise, the side frame portion 110B can include a continuous bar 118 having two opposite ends respectively connected fixedly with two other corner joining parts 114C and 114D. According to an example of construction, each of the corner joining parts 114A, 114B, 114C and 114D may be integrally formed as a unitary part.

[0012] The side frame portion 112A is disposed between the two side frame portions 110A and 110B, and includes two bars 120 and 122 that are respectively connected pivotally with a middle joining part 124 at a middle of the side frame portion 112A. Moreover, the two bars 120 and 122 can be respectively connected pivotally with the two corner joining parts 114A and 114C at two opposite ends of the side frame portion 112A. For example, each of the two bars 120 and 122 can be respectively connected fixedly with a coupling part 126 having a curved shape that is pivotally connected with the corresponding corner joining part 114A or 114C. The two bars 120 and 122 can be respectively connected pivotally with the middle joining part 124 about two generally parallel pivot axes 128, and the two coupling parts 126 of the bars 120 and 122 can be respectively connected pivotally with the two corner joining parts 114A and 114C about two generally parallel pivot axes 130. The pivot axes 128 and 130 can extend substantially vertically when the playpen 100 stands on a floor surface.

[0013] The side frame portion 112B is disposed between the two side frame portions 110A and 110B opposite to the side frame portion 112A, and likewise includes two bars 132 and 134 that are respectively connected pivotally with a middle joining part 136 at a middle of the side frame portion 112B. The two bars 132 and 134 can be respectively connected pivotally with the two other corner joining parts 114B and 114D at two opposite ends of the side frame portion 112B, e.g., via two coupling parts 126 like described previously. The two bars 132 and 134 can be respectively connected pivotally with the middle joining part 136 about two generally parallel pivot axes 138, and the two coupling parts 126 of the bars 132 and 134 can be respectively connected pivotally with the two corner joining parts 114B and 114D about two generally parallel pivot axes 140. The pivot axes 138 and 140 can extend substantially vertically when the playpen 100 stands on a floor surface.

[0014] The upper frame assembly 102 can thus have two sides defined by the two side frame portions 110A and 110B that are not foldable, and two sides defined by the two side frame portions 112A and 112B that are foldable. The two middle joining parts 124 and 136 of the side frame portions 112A and 112B can move toward each other for folding the upper frame assembly 102 and away from each other for unfolding the upper frame assembly 102. When the upper frame assembly 102 is in the unfolded state as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the two side frame portions 112A and 112B can be generally parallel to each other with the two middle joining parts 124 and 136 spaced apart from each other by a distance, the side frame portions 112A and 112B being longer than the side frame portions 110A and 110B, i.e., the side frame portions 112A and 112B respectively define two longer sides of the playpen 100 and the side frame portions 110A and 110B respectively define two shorter sides of the playpen 100. When the upper frame assembly 102 is in the folded state, the two side frame portions 112A and 112B are folded about the two middle joining parts 124 and 136 which are displaced closer to each other, thereby reducing a distance between the two side frame portions 110A and 110B.

[0015] Referring again to FIGS. 1 and 2, the standing legs 104A, 104B, 104C and 104D can be respectively connected pivotally with the corner joining parts 114A, 114B, 114C and 114D via a plurality of pivot connections 142. The standing legs 104C and 104D may respectively have wheels 143 for facilitating transport of the playpen 100. Each of the standing legs 104A, 104B, 104C and 104D can rotate independently relative to the corner joining part 114A, 114B, 114C and 114D between an unfolded position where the standing leg is deployed for providing standing support on a floor surface (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2) and a folded position where the standing leg is folded toward the upper frame assembly 102. More specifically, each of the standing legs 104A and 104B can project downward from the side frame portion 110A for providing standing support in the unfolded position, and can be folded toward the side frame portion 110A in the folded position. Likewise, each of the standing legs 104C and 104D can project downward from the side frame portion 110B for providing standing support in the unfolded position, and can be folded toward the side frame portion 110B in the folded position. The standing legs 104A, 104B, 104C and 104D may be folded and unfolded while the upper frame assembly 102 remains in the folded or unfolded state.

[0016] With the aforementioned construction, the playpen 100 can have two independent folding configurations: a first folding configuration can reduce a distance between the two side frame portions 110A and 110B by folding the upper frame assembly 102 about the two middle joining parts 124 and 136, and a second folding configuration can reduce a height of the playpen 100 by folding the standing legs 104A, 104B, 104C and 104D. When only the upper frame assembly 102 is folded while the standing legs 104A, 104B, 104C and 104D remain unfolded, the playpen 100 may be able to stand upright on the standing legs 104A, 104B, 104C. This may facilitate transport of the playpen 100, e.g., from one room to another inside a house. For a more compact storage, the standing legs 104A, 104B, 104C and 104D can further be folded toward the side frame portions 110A and 110B at the shorter sides of the upper frame assembly 102.

[0017] In conjunction with FIGS. 1 and 2, FIG. 3 is an enlarged view illustrating the middle joining part 124 of the side frame portion 112A, and FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating a locking mechanism 144 assembled with the middle joining part 124 for locking the upper frame assembly 102 in the unfolded state. Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the locking mechanism 144 can include a latch 146 and a spring 148 assembled with the middle joining part 124. According to an example of construction, the middle joining part 124 can include a bracket 150 and a housing 152 fixedly connected with each other, and the latch 146 can be movably connected with the housing 152. The latch 146 is movable between a locking position where the latch 146 can engage with the two bars 120 and 122 of the side frame portion 112A for locking the upper frame assembly 102 in the unfolded state, and an unlocking position where the latch 146 can disengage from the two bars 120 and 122 for adjustment of the upper frame assembly 102 between the unfolded state and the folded state.

[0018] According to an exemplary embodiment, the two bars 120 and 122 can respectively have two end coupling parts 154 and 156 that are fixedly attached to the respective ends of the bars 120 and 122 and respectively have extensions 154A and 156A for engagement with the latch 146. The extensions 154A and 156A are respectively connected fixedly with the end coupling parts 154 and 156, e.g., the end coupling part 154 and the extension 154A may be formed integrally as a single part, and the end coupling part 156 and the extension 156A may be formed integrally as a single part. The end coupling parts 154 and 156 can be respectively connected pivotally with the bracket 150 of the middle joining part 124 about the two pivot axes 128 so that the end coupling parts 154 and 156 are respectively rotatable along with the bars 120 and 122 about the pivot axes 128, and the extensions 154A and 156A can extend into a gap between the two pivot axes 128.

[0019] The latch 146 can have a locking portion 146A disposed in the gap between the pivot axes 128, and is movable to engage and disengage the locking portion 146A with respect to the extensions 154A and 156A of the end coupling parts 154 and 156. More specifically, the locking portion 146A of the latch 146 can engage with the extensions 154A and 156A in the locking position, and disengage from the extensions 154A and 156A in the unlocking position. According to an example of construction, the latch 146 may be slidably assembled with the middle joining part 124, and can slide in a first direction to engage with the extensions 154A and 156A and in a second direction opposite to the first direction to disengage from the extensions 154A and 156A. FIG. 4 illustrates the latch 146 in the locking position, and FIG. 5 illustrates the latch 146 in the unlocking position.

[0020] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the spring 148 is respectively connected with the latch 146 and the middle joining part 124, and is configured to bias the latch 146 toward the locking position. For example, the spring 148 can have two opposite ends respectively connected with the middle joining part 124 and the locking portion 146A of the latch 146.

[0021] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the latch 146 may further have an actuating portion 146B exposed through the housing 152 of the middle joining part 124 for operation. According to an example of construction, the latch 146 and the actuating portion 146B can be formed integrally as a single part. A caregiver can press the actuating portion 146B to cause the latch 146 to move against the biasing force of the spring 148 from the locking position to the unlocking position.

[0022] According to an embodiment, the same locking mechanism 144 described previously may be provided in the middle joining part 136 of the side frame portion 112B for locking the upper frame assembly 102 in the unfolded state.

[0023] In conjunction with FIG. 1, FIGS. 6 and 7 are respectively a perspective and a side view illustrating a locking mechanism 158 disposed adjacent to the corner joining part 114B for locking the standing leg 104B in the unfolded position. Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, the locking mechanism 158 can include a latch 160 and a spring 162 (shown with phantom lines in FIGS. 6 and 7). The latch 160 is movably connected with the standing leg 104B, and is operable to lock the standing leg 104B in the unfolded position and to unlock the standing leg 104B for rotation of the standing leg 104B between the unfolded position and the folded position.

[0024] According to an example of construction, the corner joining part 114B can include a cavity 164 delimited at least partially between two opposite sidewalls 166 of the corner joining part 114B, and a locking slot portion 168 and a channel 170 symmetrically provided on the two sidewalls 166. The locking slot portion 168 is connected with the channel 170, and forms a bend from the channel 170. The latch 160 can engage with the locking slot portion 168 to lock the standing leg 104B in the unfolded position, and can disengage from the locking slot portion 168 for rotation of the standing leg 104B between the unfolded position and the folded position. For example, the latch 160 is fixedly connected with a pin 172, and is movable relative to the standing leg 104B to engage and disengage the pin 172 with respect to the locking slot portion 168. The standing leg 104B can be locked in the unfolded position when the pin 172 is engaged with the locking slot portion 168 and unlocked when the pin 172 is disengaged from the locking slot portion 168. According to an example of construction, the latch 160 can be pivotally connected with the standing leg 104B, whereby the latch 160 can rotate relative to the standing leg 104B to engage with and disengage from the locking slot portion 168.

[0025] Once the latch 160 is disengaged from the locking slot portion 168, the latch 160 is movable along with the standing leg 104B during rotation of the standing leg 104B relative to the corner joining part 114B. For example, the pin 172 of the latch 160 can enter the channel 170 when the latch 160 is disengaged from the locking slot portion 168, and can then slide along the channel 170 during rotation of the standing leg 104B between the unfolded position and the folded position. The pin 172 can slide along the channel 170 toward an end 170A of the channel 170 opposite to the locking slot portion 168 when the standing leg 104B is folded toward the upper frame assembly 102, and can slide along the channel 170 toward the locking slot portion 168 when the standing leg 104B is unfolded for use. The latch 160 can be at least partially received in the cavity 164 of the corner joining part 114B during rotation of the standing leg 104B.

[0026] Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, the spring 162 can be respectively connected with the latch 160 and the standing leg 104B. The spring 162 can bias the latch 160 toward a locking position where the pin 172 is engaged with the locking slot portion 168 for locking the standing leg 104B in the unfolded position. According to an example of construction, the spring 162 may be a torsion spring assembled around the pivot connection of the latch 160.

[0027] According to an example of construction, the latch 160 can have an actuating portion 160A exposed for operation. The actuating portion 160A may be formed integrally with the latch 160. A caregiver can press the actuating portion 160A to cause the latch 160 to move to the unlocking position and disengage from the locking slot portion 168 for unlocking the standing leg 104B.

[0028] FIG. 8 is a schematic view illustrating another construction of a locking mechanism 258 disposed adjacent to the corner joining part 114B for locking the standing leg 104B in the unfolded position. Referring to FIG. 8, the standing leg 104B can be pivotally connected with the corner joining part 114B like previously described, and the locking mechanism 258 can include a latch 260 and a spring 262 (shown with phantom lines). The latch 260 can be pivotally connected with the standing leg 104B via a pivot connection 264, and can rotate relative to the standing leg 104B and the corner joining part 114B to engage and disengage a locking slot portion 268 (shown with phantom lines) provided inside the corner joining part 114B. For example, the locking slot portion 268 can be at least partially delimited by a sidewall 270, and the latch 260 can have a protrusion 260A that engages through the locking slot portion 268 and contacts with the sidewall 270 to prevent a folding rotation of the standing leg 104B, which can be thereby locked in the unfolded position. The protrusion 260A can be provided on the latch 260 distant from the pivot connection 264.

[0029] The spring 262 can be respectively connected with the latch 260 and the standing leg 104B, and can bias the latch 260 toward a locking position engaged with the locking slot portion 268. According to an example of construction, the spring 262 may have one end connected with the standing leg 104B and another end connected with the latch 260 at a location adjacent to the protrusion 260A, as shown in FIG. 8. According to another example of construction, the spring 262 may be replaced with a torsion spring assembled around the pivot connection 264.

[0030] Referring to FIG. 8, the latch 260 can have an actuating portion 260B exposed for operation. The actuating portion 260B may be formed integrally with the latch 260, or fixedly fastened to the latch 260. According to an example of construction, the latch 260 may have a generally L-shape, and the protrusion 260A and the actuating portion 260B can be respectively located adjacent to two opposite ends of the latch 260. Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, a caregiver can press the actuating portion 260B to cause the latch 160 to rotate and disengage the protrusion 260A from the locking slot portion 268 for unlocking the standing leg 104B. Once the latch 260 is disengaged from the locking slot portion 268, the latch 260 is movable along with the standing leg 104B during rotation of the standing leg 104B relative to the corner joining part 114B.

[0031] FIG. 11 is a schematic view illustrating another variant construction of a locking mechanism 358 disposed adjacent to the corner joining part 114B for locking the standing leg 104B in the unfolded position. Referring to FIG. 11, the locking mechanism 358 can include a latch 360 and a spring 362 (shown with phantom lines). The latch 360 can be slidably connected with the standing leg 104B, and can slide along the standing leg 104B to engage with and disengage from a locking slot portion 368 (shown with phantom lines) provided in the corner joining part 114B. For example, the latch 360 can slide upward relative to the standing leg 104B to engage a rib 360A of the latch 360 with the locking slot portion 368 for locking the standing leg 104B in the unfolded state, and can slide downward relative to the standing leg 104B to disengage from the locking slot portion 368 for unlocking the standing leg 104B.

[0032] The spring 362 can be respectively connected with the latch 360 and the standing leg 104B. The spring 362 can bias the latch 360 toward the locking position engaged with the locking slot portion 368.

[0033] Referring to FIG. 11, the latch 360 can have an actuating portion 360B exposed for operation. According to an example of construction, the actuating portion 360B may be formed integrally with the latch 360. A caregiver can press the actuating portion 360B to cause the latch 360 to move to the unlocking position and disengage from the locking slot portion 368 for unlocking the standing leg 104B. Once the latch 360 is disengaged from the locking slot portion 368, the latch 360 is movable along with the standing leg 104B during rotation of the standing leg 104B relative to the corner joining part 114B.

[0034] FIG. 12 is schematic view illustrating another construction of a locking mechanism 458 disposed adjacent to the corner joining part 114B for locking the standing leg 104B in the unfolded position. Referring to FIG. 12, the locking mechanism 458 can include a latch 460, a linking part 462 and a spring 464 (shown with phantom lines).

[0035] The latch 460 can be pivotally connected with the standing leg 104B via a pivot connection 466, and the linking part 462 can be respectively connected pivotally with the latch 460 and the corner joining part 114B via two pivot connections 468 and 470. Each of the pivot connections 466, 468 and 470 may exemplary include a shaft portion disposed through corresponding holes provided in the pivotally coupled elements. This assembly can rotationally couple the standing leg 104B, the latch 460 and the linking part 462, wherein the latch 460 and the linking part 462 can rotate relative to each other and relative to the standing leg 104B and the corner joining part 114B during rotation of the standing leg 104B relative to the corner joining part 114B. Moreover, each of the latch 460 and the linking part 462 can have a stop surface that is radially distant from the pivot axis of the pivot connection 468, i.e., stop surface 474 for the latch 460 and stop surface 476 for the linking part 462. The stop surface 474 may be provided on a protrusion of the latch 460, and may move away or toward the stop surface 476 of the linking part 462 depending on the direction of rotation of the latch 460.

[0036] Referring to FIG. 12, the spring 464 can be connected with the latch 460, and can bias the latch 460 to rotate for protruding outside the corner joining part 114B, which corresponds to a direction of rotation that moves the stop surface 474 of the latch 460 and the stop surface 476 of the linking part 462 toward each other. According to an example of construction, the spring 464 may be a torsion spring assembled around the pivot connection 466.

[0037] When the standing leg 104B is in the unfolded state, the pivot connections 466, 468 and 470 can respectively define three distinct apexes of a triangle, and the stop surface 474 of the latch 460 can contact with the stop surface 476 of the linking part 462. Moreover, the biasing force applied by the spring 464 can keep the apex of the pivot connection 468 offset from a line joining the respective apexes of the pivot connections 466 and 470. The standing leg 104B can be thereby locked in the unfolded position, and the latch 460 can have an actuating portion 460A exposed in the unfolded position.

[0038] Referring to FIGS. 13 and 14, for folding the standing leg 104B, a caregiver can press the actuating portion 460A so that the latch 460 rotates toward an interior of the corner joining part 114B, which causes the stop surface 474 of the latch 460 to move away from the stop surface 476 of the linking part 462. The standing leg 104B can be thereby unlocked, and can then rotate in the folding direction. During rotation of the standing leg 104B, the latch 460 and the linking part 462 can move along with the standing leg 104B. Once the standing leg 104B is fully folded, the latch 460 and the linking part 462 can be entirely received inside the corner joining part 114B.

[0039] When the standing leg 104B is to be deployed, the standing leg 104B can be rotated in the unfolding direction, which causes the stop surface 474 of the latch 460 to move toward the stop surface 476 of the linking part 462. Once the standing leg 104B reaches the unfolded position, the stop surface 474 of the latch 460 can contact with the stop surface 476 of the linking part 462, which can lock the standing leg 104B in the unfolded position.

[0040] Since each of the standing legs 104A, 104B, 104C and 104D of the playpen 100 shown in FIG. 1 is folded and unfolded independently, any of the locking mechanisms 158, 258, 358 and 458 described herein can be provided adjacent to each of the corner joining parts 114A, 114B, 114C and 114D for locking the corresponding standing leg in the unfolded position.

[0041] Advantages of the structures described herein include the ability to provide a playpen that can independently fold and unfold standing legs, and have multiple folding configurations that may be set independently from one another, which can offer more flexibility for convenient transport and storage of the playpen. Moreover, because the playpen described herein has no bottom linkage, the weight of the playpen can be advantageously reduced.

[0042] Further, the following embodiments are described in the present disclosure:

Embodiment 1: A playpen (100) comprising: an upper frame assembly (102) including a corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D); a standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) pivotally connected with the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D), the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) being rotatable relative to the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) between a folded position where the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is folded toward the upper frame assembly (102) and an unfolded position where the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is deployed for providing standing support on a floor surface; and a locking mechanism (158, 258, 358, 458) disposed adjacent to the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D), the locking mechanism (158, 258, 358, 458) having a latch (160, 260, 360, 460) operable to lock the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) in the unfolded position and unlock the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) for rotation of the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) between the unfolded position and the folded position.

Embodiment 2: The playpen (100) according to embodiment 1, wherein the latch (160, 260, 360, 460) is movable along with the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) during rotation of the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) relative to the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D).

Embodiment 3: The playpen (100) according to embodiment 2, wherein the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) has a cavity (164) in which the latch (160) is at least partially received during rotation of the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D).

Embodiment 4: The playpen (100) according to embodiment 1, wherein the latch (160, 260, 360) is movably connected with the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D), and the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) includes a locking slot portion (168, 268, 368), the latch (160, 260, 360) being engaged with the locking slot portion (168, 268, 368) to lock the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) in the unfolded position and disengaged from the locking slot portion (168, 268, 368) for rotation of the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) between the unfolded position and the folded position.

Embodiment 5: The playpen (100) according to embodiment 4, wherein the latch (160, 260) is pivotally connected with the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D), and rotates relative to the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) to engage with and disengage from the locking slot portion (168, 268).

Embodiment 6: The playpen (100) according to embodiment 4, wherein the latch (360) is slidably connected with the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D), and slides relative to the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) to engage with and disengage from the locking slot portion (368).

Embodiment 7: The playpen (100) according to embodiment 4, wherein the latch (160) has a pin (172) and is movable relative to the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) to engage and disengage the pin (172) with respect to the locking slot portion (168), the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) being locked in the unfolded position when the pin (172) is engaged with the locking slot portion (168) and unlocked when the pin (172) is disengaged from the locking slot portion (168).

Embodiment 8: The playpen (100) according to embodiment 7, wherein the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) includes a channel (170) connected with the locking slot portion (168), the pin (172) sliding along the channel (170) during rotation of the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) between the unfolded position and the folded position.

Embodiment 9: The playpen (100) according to embodiment 1, wherein the latch (460) is pivotally connected with the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) via a first pivot connection (466), and the locking mechanism (458) further includes a linking part (462) respectively connected pivotally connected with the latch (460) and the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) via a second and a third pivot connection (468, 470), the latch (460) having a first stop surface (474) and the linking part (462) having a second stop surface (476), the first and second stop surfaces (474, 476) contacting with each other when the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is in the unfolded state, and the latch (460) being operable to cause the first stop surface (474) to move away from the second stop surface (476) for unlocking the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D).

Embodiment 10. The playpen (100) according to embodiment 9, wherein the first, second and third pivot connections (466, 468, 470) respectively define three distinct apexes of a triangle when the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is in the unfolded state, and the locking mechanism (458) further includes a spring (464) connected with the latch (460), the spring (464) applying a biasing force on the latch (460) for keeping the apex of the second pivot connection (468) offset from a line joining the respective apexes of the first and third pivot connections (466, 470).

Embodiment 11. The playpen (100) according to embodiment 1, wherein the locking mechanism (158, 258, 358, 458) further includes a spring (162, 262, 362, 464) connected with the latch (160, 260, 360, 460), the spring (162, 262, 362, 464) biasing the latch (160, 260, 360, 460) toward a locking position for locking the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) in the unfolded position, and the latch (160, 260, 360, 460) has an actuating portion (160A, 260B, 360B, 460A) exposed for operation, the actuating portion (160A, 260B, 360B, 460A) being operable to cause the latch (160, 260, 360, 460) to unlock the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D).

Embodiment 12: The playpen (100) according to any one of embodiments 1 to 11, wherein the upper frame assembly (102) further includes a first and a second side frame portion (112A, 112B) opposite to each other, the first side frame portion (112A) including two first bars (120, 122) respectively connected pivotally with a first middle joining part (124) at a middle of the first side frame portion (112A), one of the two first bars (120, 122) being pivotally connected with the corner joining part (114A, 114C), and the second side frame portion (112B) including two second bars (132, 134) respectively connected pivotally with a second middle joining part (136) at a middle of the second side frame portion (112B).

Embodiment 13: The playpen (100) according to embodiment 12, wherein the first and second middle joining parts (124, 136) are movable toward each other for folding the upper frame assembly (102) and away from each other for unfolding the upper frame assembly (102).

Embodiment 14: The playpen (100) according to embodiment 12 or 13, wherein the first middle joining part (124) is assembled with a second latch (146) for locking the upper frame assembly (102) in an unfolded state.

Embodiment 15: The playpen (100) according to any one of embodiments 1 to 11, wherein the upper frame assembly (102) has a longer side and a shorter side, the shorter side being defined by a side frame portion (110A, 110B) of the upper frame assembly (102) that is fixedly connected with the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D).



[0043] Realization of the playpen has been described in the context of particular embodiments. These embodiments are meant to be illustrative and not limiting. Many variations, modifications, additions, and improvements are possible. These and other variations, modifications, additions, and improvements may fall within the scope of the inventions as defined in the claims that follow.


Claims

1. A playpen (100) comprising:

an upper frame assembly (102) including a corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D);

a standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) pivotally connected with the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D), the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) being rotatable relative to the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) between a folded position where the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is folded toward the upper frame assembly (102) and an unfolded position where the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is deployed for providing standing support on a floor surface; and

a locking mechanism (158, 258, 458) disposed adjacent to the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D), the locking mechanism (158, 258, 458) having a latch (160, 260, 460) operable to lock the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) in the unfolded position and unlock the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) for rotation of the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) between the unfolded position and the folded position;

wherein the latch (160, 260, 460) is pivotally connected with the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) at a location distant from the location where the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) pivotally connects with the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D), the latch (160, 260, 460) being rotatable relative to the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) for locking and unlocking the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D).


 
2. The playpen (100) according to claim 1, wherein the latch (160, 260, 460) is at least partially received in an interior of the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) during rotation of the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D).
 
3. The playpen (100) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the locking mechanism (158, 258, 458) further includes a spring (162, 262, 464) connected with the latch (160, 260, 460), the spring (162, 262, 464) biasing the latch (160, 260, 460) toward a locking position for locking the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) in the unfolded position, and the latch (160, 260, 460) has an actuating portion (160A, 260B, 460A) exposed for operation, the actuating portion (160A, 260B, 460A) being operable to cause the latch (160, 260, 460) to unlock the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D).
 
4. The playpen (100) according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the latch (260) has a generally L-shape.
 
5. The playpen (100) according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) includes a locking slot portion (168, 268), the latch (160, 260) being engaged with the locking slot portion (168, 268) to lock the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) in the unfolded position and disengaged from the locking slot portion (168, 268) for rotation of the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) between the unfolded position and the folded position.
 
6. The playpen (100) according to claim 5, wherein the latch (160) has a pin (172) and is movable relative to the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) to engage and disengage the pin (172) with respect to the locking slot portion (168), the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) being locked in the unfolded position when the pin (172) is engaged with the locking slot portion (168) and unlocked when the pin (172) is disengaged from the locking slot portion (168).
 
7. The playpen (100) according to claim 6, wherein the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) includes a channel (170) connected with the locking slot portion (168), the pin (172) sliding along the channel (170) during rotation of the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) between the unfolded position and the folded position.
 
8. The playpen (100) according to claim 7, wherein the pin (172) slides along the channel (170) toward an end (170A) of the channel (170) opposite to the locking slot portion (168) when the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is folded toward the upper frame assembly (102).
 
9. The playpen (100) according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the locking mechanism (458) further includes a linking part (462) respectively connected with the latch (460) and the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) so that the latch (460) and the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) are rotationally coupled, the latch (460) being rotatable relative to the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) during rotation of the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) relative to the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D).
 
10. The playpen (100) according to claim 9, wherein the latch (460) has a protrusion that is movable away or toward a stop surface (476) of the linking part (462) depending on a direction of rotation of the latch (460), the protrusion of the latch (460) contacting with the stop surface (476) of the linking part (462) when the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is in the unfolded state.
 
11. The playpen (100) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the latch (460) is pivotally connected with the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) via a first pivot connection (466), and the locking mechanism (458) further includes a linking part (462) respectively connected pivotally connected with the latch (460) and the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D) via a second and a third pivot connection (468, 470), the latch (460) having a first stop surface (474) and the linking part (462) having a second stop surface (476), the first and second stop surfaces (474, 476) contacting with each other when the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is in the unfolded state, and the latch (460) being operable to cause the first stop surface (474) to move away from the second stop surface (476) for unlocking the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D).
 
12. The playpen (100) according to claim 11, wherein the first, second and third pivot connections (466, 468, 470) respectively define three distinct apexes of a triangle when the standing leg (104A, 104B, 104C, 104D) is in the unfolded state, and the locking mechanism (458) further includes a spring (464) connected with the latch (460), the spring (464) applying a biasing force on the latch (460) for keeping the apex of the second pivot connection (468) offset from a line joining the respective apexes of the first and third pivot connections (466, 470).
 
13. The playpen (100) according to any of claims 1 to 12, wherein the upper frame assembly (102) has a longer side and a shorter side, the shorter side being defined by a side frame portion (110A, 110B) of the upper frame assembly (102) that is fixedly connected with the corner joining part (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D).
 
14. The playpen (100) according to any of claims 1 to 13, wherein the upper frame assembly (102) further includes a first and a second side frame portion (112A, 112B) opposite to each other, the first side frame portion (112A) including two first bars (120, 122) respectively connected pivotally with a first middle joining part (124) at a middle of the first side frame portion (112A), one of the two first bars (120, 122) being pivotally connected with the corner joining part (114A, 114C), and the second side frame portion (112B) including two second bars (132, 134) respectively connected pivotally with a second middle joining part (136) at a middle of the second side frame portion (112B).
 
15. The playpen (100) according to claim 14, wherein the first and second middle joining parts (124, 136) are movable toward each other for folding the upper frame assembly (102) and away from each other for unfolding the upper frame assembly (102).
 




Drawing














































Search report









Search report




Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description