Sunday, June 21, 2015

Oh, patents! Lovesac sacs

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann


Before Lovesac began marketing the versatile Sactionals, it was a gigantic puffy pillow packaged in a sac called a Lovesac that launched the company.
The original Lovesac is a huge, XXXXL bean-bag-looking item, packaged in a relatively small cubic duffle sac, that you are pressed to never call a bean-bag because it contains no polystyrene beads…! Rather, it is filled with premium shredded foam, called Durafoam, discarded from couch manufacturing, which makes it quite possibly the most comfortable pillow chair/sofa/bed on the face of the earth!
The largest of the Lovesac sacs is the original size, on which a couple of adults can comfortably sit or even lie down.  Since the original Lovesac, the product line includes a total of 6 sibling Lovesacs, of increasingly smaller size (from 88 to 6 cubic feet), the smallest of which accommodates a child. The Lovesac covers come in hundreds of fabrics, all of which (except leather) are machine washable.

©  Lovesac
The packaging method of the Lovesacs, called compressible furniture in technical terms, is patented. The patent US2004107675 titled Packaged furniture assembly and method thereof for compressible furniture discloses this invention.
Relying on a packaging method, the Lovesac invention generally addresses issues of shipment, transportation and storage for bulky furniture, such as sofas and beds, and in particular, for compressible furniture. The patented packaging method invokes vacuuming the air out of the bladder containing the compressible material of the furniture, and thus reducing the size and volume of the furniture. For example, once air-vacuumed, the largest pieces of compressible furniture are reduced to 5 % of their original volume, the intermediate pieces to 8 % and the small pieces to 10 %. This means that a large piece of compressible furniture, with about 86 cubic feet, is reduced to approximately 4 cubic feet!
As a result, once the air is vacuumed out of the Lovesacs, the sacs can be neatly packaged into duffle bags, that are in turn easily stacked, shipped, stored and transported. 
Thus, beyond the comfort and practicality of these puffy pieces of furniture, it is the packaging that is patented, which perhaps explains the brand-name term “sac”, in both the Sactional and the Lovesac. Even though both furniture packaging issues are resolved very differently, with a Lego™-inspired assembly system for the hardwood frame Sactional, and with vacuum for the shredded Durafoam Lovesac, this furniture is also all about mobility in a mobile world! In other words, it's about bringing home your sofa (or Sactional) in a sac...!
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Below, you will find the abstract for US2004107675 titled Packaged furniture assembly and method thereof for compressible furniture, and one of the patent figures showing different vacuuming forces, suctioning the air out of the furniture bladder.
The present invention provides a chair having a removable outer cover. The chair has an air permeable bladder which houses compressible filler material. The compressible filler material allows the chair to be selectively compressed between various compressed states. A method for packaging the chair is provided which significantly reduces the weight and size of the chair. The method includes placing the chair in a vacuum chamber and suctioning air from the chair. The vacuum chamber may be partially open or closed during storage. [Abstract US2004107675]
References
Lovesac -- www.lovesac.com
Herrmann, F (2015) Oh, patents! Sactionals posted at Patents on the soles of your shoes (June 20, 2015) 
http://patentsonthesolesofyourshoes.blogspot.com/2015/06/oh-patents-sactionals.html 
US2004107675 Packaged furniture assembly and method thereof for compressible furniture
http://tinyurl.com/o54h9dm  

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