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Patent 2405926 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2405926
(54) English Title: LENGTH ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM FOR A STRAP
(54) French Title: MECANISME DE REGLAGE DE LA LONGUEUR D'UNE COURROIE
Status: Granted
Bibliographic Data
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • A44B 11/25 (2006.01)
  • A44B 99/00 (2010.01)
  • A42B 3/14 (2006.01)
  • A43B 5/04 (2006.01)
  • A43C 11/14 (2006.01)
  • A44B 11/00 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • LANDRY, MICHEL (Canada)
(73) Owners :
  • NORTH SAFETY PRODUCTS LIMITED (Canada)
(71) Applicants :
  • NORTH SAFETY PRODUCTS LIMITED (Canada)
(74) Agent: GOWLING WLG (CANADA) LLP
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2007-12-11
(22) Filed Date: 2002-10-01
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2004-04-01
Examination requested: 2004-10-07
Availability of licence: N/A
(25) Language of filing: English

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT): No

(30) Application Priority Data: None

Abstracts

English Abstract

A length adjustment mechanism for a strap having a row of teeth. The mechanism comprises a pinion for meshing with the row of teeth and a finger operable actuator pivotable in a first direction and a second direction. The mechanism also comprises a pivoting link coupled with the pinion, the pivoting link being pivotable about a first pivot axis to impart pivotal movement to the pinion. The mechanism further comprises a rotating element coupled with the finger operable actuator and being pivotable about a second pivot axis. The rotating element engages the pivoting link in a driving relationship such that movement of the finger operable actuator is communicated to the pinion via the rotating element and the pivoting link to displace the strap. When a force is applied to the pinion for tending to pivot the pivoting link, the pivoting link and the rotating element interlock for resisting pivotal movement of the pinion.


French Abstract

Un mécanisme de réglage de longueur de la courroie pourvu d'une rangée de dents. Le mécanisme comprend un pignon pour maillage avec la rangée de dents et un actionneur déclenchable avec le doigt et pouvant pivoter dans deux directions. Le mécanisme comprend aussi un lien pivotant couplé au pignon, et pouvant pivoter autour d'un premier axe de pivot pour imprimer un mouvement de pivot au pignon. Le mécanisme comprend en outre un élément rotatif couplé à l'actionneur déclenchable avec le doigt et pouvant pivoter autour d'un second axe de pivot. L'élément rotatif engrène le lien pivotant dans une relation d'entraînement de telle sorte que ce mouvement de l'actionneur déclenchable avec le doigt est communiqué au pignon par le biais de l'élément rotatif et du lien pivotant pour déplacer la courroie. Quand une force est appliquée au pignon pour faire pivoter le lien pivotant, le lien pivotant et l'élément rotatif se verrouillent pour résister au mouvement de pivot du pignon.

Claims

Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.





CLAIMS:

1. A length adjustment mechanism for a strap having a row of teeth, said
mechanism
comprising:
(a) a pinion for meshing with the row of teeth;
(b) a finger operable actuator pivotable in a first direction and in a second
direction;
(c) a pivoting link coupled to said pinion, said pivoting link being pivotable
about a
first pivot axis to impart a pivotal movement to said pinion; and
(d) a rotating element coupled with said finger operable actuator, said
rotating element
being pivotable about a second pivot axis, said rotating element engaging said

pivoting link in a driving relationship such that movement imparted to said
finger
operable actuator is communicated to said pinion via said rotating element and
said
pivoting link to displace the row of teeth, wherein when a force is applied to
said
pinion tending to pivot said pivoting link, said pivoting link and said
rotating
element interlock for resisting pivotal movement of said pivoting link.


2. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 1, wherein said pivoting
link comprises
first and second surfaces defining therebetween an angle less than
180°, a portion of said
first and second surfaces of said pivoting link contacting a portion of said
rotating element.


3. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 2, wherein said pinion is
pivotable
about said first pivot axis.


4. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in any one of claims 1 to 3
further comprising
a casing having an elongated aperture for receiving a portion of the strap,
said casing
further comprising a ring gear encircling said first pivot axis.


5. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 4, wherein said pinion is
a first pinion
and said rotating element is a second pinion, said second pinion being meshed
with said
ring gear.



8




6. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 5, wherein said second
pinion
comprises a first section including teeth meshed with said ring gear and a
second section
frictionally engaging said pivoting link.


7. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 6, wherein said second
section of said
second pinion is free of teeth.


8. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 7, wherein when said
second pinion
and said pivoting link interlock, said pivoting link applies a force on said
second pinion
that is oriented along an axis intersecting said second pivot axis.


9. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 8 further comprising a
third pinion
pivotable about a third pivot axis, said third pinion being coupled with said
finger operable
actuator and meshed with said ring gear, said third pinion engaging said
pivoting link in
a driving relationship such that movement of said finger operable actuator is
communicated
to said first pinion via said third pinion and said pivoting link to displace
the row of teeth.


10. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 9, wherein said third
pinion comprises
a first section including teeth meshed with said ring gear and a second
section frictionally
engaging said pivoting link.


11. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 10, wherein said second
section of said
third pinion is free of teeth.


12. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 11, wherein said force
is a first force
and said pivoting link comprises third and fourth surfaces defining
therebetween an angle
less than 180°, and wherein when said third pinion and said pivoting
link interlock, said
pivoting link applies a second force on said third pinion that is oriented
along an axis
intersecting said third pivot axis.


13. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 12, wherein said
pivoting link is
connected to said first pinion, said pivoting link being located above said
first pinion.



9




14. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 13 further comprising a
disc, said disc
being located between said pivoting link and said first pinion.


15. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 14, wherein said
pivoting link, said
disc and said first pinion are integrally formed.


16. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 15, wherein said ring
gear comprises
an annular peripheral projection having an internal surface from which
originate teeth, said
disc has a disc diameter and said ring gear has a ring diameter, said disc
diameter being
substantially identical to said ring diameter.


17. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 16, wherein said second
and third
pinions are located above said disc.


18. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 17, wherein said finger
operable
actuator comprises first and second lugs projecting downwardly along said
second and
third pivot axes, said first and second lugs engaging said second and third
pinions such that
said second and third pinions pivot upon actuation of said finger operable
actuator.


19. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 18, wherein said finger
operable
actuator is a knob having a gripping portion.


20. A length adjustment mechanism as defined in claim 18, wherein a portion of
said second
section of said second pinion contacts a portion of said internal surface of
said ring and a
portion of said second section of said third pinion contacts another portion
of said internal
surface of said ring.


21. An adjustable strap having a length adjustment mechanism as defined in any
one of claims
1 to 20.


22. A headband having the strap as defined in claim 22.


10




23. A helmet comprising the headband as defined in claim 23.


24. An article of footwear comprising the strap as defined in claim 22.



11

Description

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.



CA 02405926 2002-10-01

86307-1
LENGTH ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM FOR A STRAP

Field of the invention

The invention relates to a length adjustment mechanism for a strap.
Background of the invention

U.S. Patent 3,214,809 issued to Edwards on December 20, 1963 discloses a
length
adjustment mechanism for a strap having overlapping portions. U.S. Patent
5,950,245
issued to Binduga on September 14, 1999 discloses an adjustable headband
comprising
a ratchet mechanism having different resistances.

Although these prior art adjustable mechanisms allow adjusting the length of a
strap
when desired by the user while normally preventing undesirable movement of the
strap,
such movement is nevertheless possible when the force applied to the strap
exceeds a
certain level.

Against this background, there is a need in the industry for a mechanism that
allows the
length of the strap to be easily adjusted by the user while preventing or at
least reducing
the possibility of unwanted loosening or tightening of the strap.

Summary of the Invention

As embodied and broadly described herein, the invention seeks to provide a
length
adjustment mechanism for a strap having a row of teeth. The mechanism
comprises a
pinion for meshing with the row of teeth and a finger operable actuator
pivotable in a first
direction and in a second direction. The mechanism also comprises a pivoting
link


CA 02405926 2006-11-15
85579-35

coupled to the pinion, the pivoting link being pivotable about a first pivot
axis to impart a pivotal
movement to the pinion and a rotating element coupled with the finger operable
actuator. The
rotating element is pivotable about a second pivot axis and engages the
pivoting link in a driving
relationship such that movement imparted to the finger operable actuator is
communicated to the
pinion via the rotating element and the pivoting link to displace the row of
teeth. When a force is
applied to the pinion tending to pivot the pivoting link, the pivoting link
and the rotating element
interlock for resisting pivotal movement of the pivoting link

Brief descrigtion of the drawings

A detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention
is provided herein
below, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in
which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a strap having a length adjustment mechanism
constructed in
accordance with a first embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 is a perspective exploded view of the mechanism of Figure 1;
Figure 3 is an elevational exploded view of the mechanism of Figure 2;

Figure 4 is a perspective enlarged view of the mechanism, the finger operable
actuator of the
mechanism being omitted;

Figure 5 is a plan view of the mechanism of Figure 4, arrows showing
directions in which
components pivot;

Figure 6 is a plan view of the mechanism of Figure 4, arrows showing forces
acting between the
pivoting link and pinions;

Figure 7 is a perspective view of a ski boot having straps with a length
adjustment mechanism
constructed in accordance with a second embodiment;

Figure 8 is a perspective exploded view of the mechanism of Figure 7;
2


CA 02405926 2006-11-15
85579-35

Figure 9 is an elevational exploded view of the mechanism of Figure 8; and

Figure 10 is a perspective view of a helmet having a headband with a length
adjustment
mechanism constructed in accordance with the first embodiment.


In the drawings, embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of
examples. It is to be
expressly understood that the description and drawings are only for the
purpose of illustration and
are an aid for understanding. They are not intended to be a definition of the
limits of the invention.
Detailed description of embodiments

Figures 1 to 6 show a length adjustment mechanism 1 constructed in accordance
with a first
embodiment of the invention, mechanism I being mounted on a strap 10 for
adjusting the length
of the strap 10.


Strap 10 comprises first and second overlapping portions 12 and 14.
Overlapping portions 12 and
14 have respective first and second elongated slots 16 and 18 with opposite
first and second rows
of teeth 20 and 22. Elongated slots 16 and 18 are in general alignment.

Mechanism 1 comprises a pinion 24 having teeth meshing with first and second
rows of teeth 20
and 22. Pinion 24 is coupled to a pivoting link 26. A disc 28 is provided
between pinion 24 and
pivoting link 26. Preferably, pinion 24, pivoting link 26 and disc 28 are
integrally formed. Thus,
pinion 24, pivoting link 26 and disc 28 are pivotable about a first pivot axis
Al and pivoting link
26 imparts a pivotal movement to pinion 24 (and disc 28).

3


CA 02405926 2002-10-01

86307-1
It is understood that it is not essential that disc 28 pivots and be
integrally formed with
pinion 24 and/or pivoting link 26. While pinion 24 is coupled to pivoting link
26 and
pivots about first pivot axis Al, it is also understood that this pinion may
pivot about
another pivot axis or may be coupled to pivoting link 26 via another driving
component
which pivots about first pivot axis Al.

Pivoting link 26 comprises first and second surfaces 30, 32 that define
therebetween an
angle less than 180 , and third and fourth surfaces 34, 36 that also define
therebetween
an angle less than 180 .

Mechanism 1 further comprises a finger operable actuator 38 having a gripping
portion
40 for allowing a user to turn the finger operable actuator 38 in a first
direction Dl or in
a second direction D2 that is opposite to direction Dl. Finger operable
actuator 38 also
comprises first and second lugs 42, 44 projecting downwardly and engaging
respective

second and third satellite rotating elements 46, 48 in order to communicate
movement
of finger operable actuator 38 to rotating elements 46, 48. In the illustrated
embodiments,
rotating elements 46, 48 are formed of pinions but it is understood that other
types of
rotating elements can be used without departing of the scope of the present
invention.

Second rotating element 46 is pivotable about a second pivot axis A2 and third
rotating
element 48 is pivotable about a third pivot axis A3. Second rotating element
46
comprises a first circular section 46T having teeth anci a second circular
section 46S
being free of teeth. Similarly, third rotating element 48 comprises a first
circular section
48T having teeth and a second circular section 48S being free of teeth.


Mechanism 1 further includes a casing 50 having an elongated aperture 52 for
receiving
overlapping portions 12, 14. Casing 50 has a ring gear 54 with an annular
peripheral
projection 56 having an internal surface 58 from which originate the teeth of
the ring
gear. As shown on Figures 2 and 5, the diameter of disc 28 is substantially
identical to
4


CA 02405926 2002-10-01

86307-1
the diameter of ring gear 54 and fits in the peripheral projection 56 in order
to properly
support rotating elements 46, 48 that are located above disc 28.

Referring now more specifically to Figures 4 to 6, teeth of first circular
sections 46T, 48T
of second and third rotating elements 46, 48 mesh with ring gear 52, while the
second
circular section 46S of the second rotating element 46 contacts the first and
second
surfaces 30, 32 of pivoting link 26. Similarly, the second circular section
48S of third
rotating element 48 contacts the third and fourth surfaces 34, 36 of pivoting
link 26.
Second and third rotating elements 46, 48 are therefore frictionally engage
with pivoting

io link 26 in a driving relationship such that pivotal movement of finger
operable actuator
38 is communicated to pinion 24 via rotating elements 46, 48 and pivoting link
26,
causing first and second overlapping portions 12, 14 to be displaced in
opposite
directions to either loosen or tighten the strap 10.

More specifically, when the finger operable actuator 38 is turned by hand, the
motion
imparts opposite pivotal movement to second and third satellite rotating
elements 46, 48
about the second and third pivot axes A2, A3, respectively. Since the teeth of
first
circular sections 46T, 48T mesh with ring gear 54, satellite rotating elements
46, 48 also
pivot in an orbital fashion about first pivot axis Al in the same direction as
finger
operable actuator 38.

Furthermore, since a portion of second circular section 46S contacts a portion
of first and
second surfaces 30, 32 of pivoting link 26 and a portion of second circular
section 48S
contacts a portion of first and second surfaces 34, 36 of pivoting link 26,
the orbital

pivotal movement of rotating elements 46, 48 imparts a pivotal movement to
pivoting
link 26 about the first pivot axis Al.

As pivoting link 26 is coupled to pinion 24, the pivotal movement of the
pivoting link 26
imparts pivotal movement of pinion 24 in order to displace first and second
overlapping
5


CA 02405926 2002-10-01

86307-1
portions 12, 14 in opposite directions. Thus, pivotal movement of finger
operable
actuator 38 in one direction tightens the strap 10 by moving the overlapping
portions 12,
14 toward one another. Conversely, the pivotal movement of the finger operable
actuator
38 in the opposite direction loosens the strap 10 by moving the overlapping
portions 12,
14 away from one another.

When a force is applied on the strap 10 for loosening or tightening it, such
as when the
overlapping portions 12, 14 are pulled away or pushed toward one another, the
teeth 20,
22 tend to impart a turning movement to pinion 24 and to pivoting link 26.
However, the

driving relationship between the satellite rotating elements 46, 48 and
pivoting link 26
is unidirectional such that the satellite rotating elements 46, 48 and the
pivoting link 26
interlock, thus preventing the any one of the rotary components (finger
operable actuator
38, satellite rotating elements 46, 48, pivoting link 26 and pinion 24) from
turning.

In other words, relative movement between the overlapping portions 12, 14 of
strap 10
is precluded when a force is applied to pinion 24 tending to drive pivoting
link 26. A
turning force imparted on pivoting link 26 by the pivot 24 is transmitted to
satellite
rotating elements 46, 48. The forces acting on the satellite rotating elements
46, 48 are
shown at F 1 and F2 in Figure 6. The geometry of the various parts is such
that forces Fl

and F2 intersect the respective pivot axes of the satellite rotating elements
48, 48, thus
interlocking the mechanism.

Figure 8 shows a length adjustment mechanism 100 constructed in accordance
with a
second embodiment of the invention, mechanism 100 being mounted on a strap
110.
Mechanism 100 for adjusting strap 110 is identical to that of mechanism 1, and
the only

difference resides in the construction of the strap 110 that has a single part
112 including
a row of teeth 114 that can be moved forward or backward such as to tighten or
loosen
the strap 110.

6


CA 02405926 2006-11-15
85579-35

It will become apparent to a person skilled in the art that the mechanism of
the present invention
may be used for adjusting the length of a strap in a wide variety of
applications, such as the strap
forming the headband on a helmet. In fact, the headband may comprise an
adjustable strap having
the length adjustment mechanism 1. For example, as illustrated in Figure 1 and
10, strap 10 may
be part of a headband. Moreover, as illustrated in Figure 10, a helmet may
comprise the headband.
The mechanism of the present invention may also be used for adjusting the
length of a strap for
fastening footwear as illustrated in Figure 7.

The above description of preferred embodiments should not be interpreted in a
limiting manner
since other variations, modifications and refinements are possible within the
spirit and scope of
the present invention. For example, friction drive rollers may replace the
various pinions of the
mechanism. Also, instead of using a pair of satellite pinions 46, 48, a single
satellite pinion can
be used. The scope of the invention is defined in the appended claims and
their equivalents.

7

Representative Drawing
A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.
Administrative Status

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Administrative Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2007-12-11
(22) Filed 2002-10-01
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2004-04-01
Examination Requested 2004-10-07
(45) Issued 2007-12-11

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2002-10-01
Application Fee $300.00 2002-10-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2004-10-01 $100.00 2004-09-17
Request for Examination $800.00 2004-10-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2005-10-03 $100.00 2005-08-23
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2006-10-02 $100.00 2006-09-14
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2007-10-01 $200.00 2007-09-21
Final Fee $300.00 2007-09-27
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 6 2008-10-01 $200.00 2008-09-23
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 7 2009-10-01 $200.00 2009-09-17
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 8 2010-10-01 $200.00 2010-09-17
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 9 2011-10-03 $200.00 2011-09-22
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 10 2012-10-01 $250.00 2012-09-27
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 11 2013-10-01 $250.00 2013-09-20
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2014-10-01 $250.00 2014-09-22
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2015-10-01 $250.00 2015-09-18
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2016-10-03 $250.00 2016-09-16
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2017-10-02 $450.00 2017-09-15
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 16 2018-10-01 $450.00 2018-09-21
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 17 2019-10-01 $450.00 2019-09-23
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 18 2020-10-01 $450.00 2020-09-18
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 19 2021-10-01 $459.00 2021-09-17
Owners on Record

Note: Records showing the ownership history in alphabetical order.

Current Owners on Record
NORTH SAFETY PRODUCTS LIMITED
Past Owners on Record
LANDRY, MICHEL
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.
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Document
Description 
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd) 
Number of pages   Size of Image (KB) 
Representative Drawing 2003-01-30 1 12
Drawings 2002-10-01 7 132
Description 2002-10-01 7 264
Abstract 2002-10-01 1 24
Claims 2002-10-01 4 137
Cover Page 2004-03-04 1 44
Drawings 2006-11-15 8 144
Claims 2006-11-15 4 132
Description 2006-11-15 7 275
Claims 2007-05-22 4 132
Representative Drawing 2007-11-15 1 13
Cover Page 2007-11-15 1 45
Assignment 2002-10-01 4 155
Fees 2008-09-23 1 34
Prosecution-Amendment 2004-10-07 2 52
Fees 2004-09-17 5 199
Fees 2005-08-23 1 35
Prosecution-Amendment 2006-08-30 2 41
Fees 2006-09-14 1 34
Prosecution-Amendment 2006-11-15 12 374
Prosecution-Amendment 2007-05-08 2 40
Prosecution-Amendment 2007-05-22 3 104
Correspondence 2007-09-27 1 23
Fees 2007-09-21 1 35
Correspondence 2012-10-29 1 21
Correspondence 2013-04-09 2 70
Correspondence 2013-04-18 1 16
Correspondence 2013-11-26 2 56
Correspondence 2013-12-04 1 15
Correspondence 2013-12-04 1 17