Saturday, June 20, 2015

Oh, patents! Sactionals

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Is there a sectional in your media room called a Sactional? Is it reconfigurable, washable, changeable, durable, and super comfortable? If so, then you might be pleased to know that your Sactional, manufactured by Lovesac is a patented sectional sofa system, inspired by Legos™ and informed by practicality!

The WIPO patent WO2006135855 titled Modular furniture assembly discloses the Sactional invention.  This invention resolves several problems of the prior art in sofa/sectional furniture. The first is an issue of furniture assembly. Hardwood-frame sofas are typically massive pieces of furniture, assembled with hardware and nails, that are not readily disassembled, and thus not easily transported from one location to another, moved from one room to another, or changeable from one configuration or dimension  to another. It follows also that sofas/sectionals are also not easily shipped in containers as they cannot easily be stacked without damage to maximize the use of space, thus contributing to costs. The second issue of the prior art is that hardwood-frame sofa upholstery is not typically removable and washable, and thus not easily and inexpensively changeable or resistant to the assaults of everyday use.

The Sactional invention resolves the issues of furniture assembly with a modular assembly system comprising a base and a transverse piece that can be easily, swiftly and effortlessly coupled and decoupled, in different ways, and to other bases and transverse pieces, without any tools, using a simple Lego™-inspired interlocking system. Thus, the Sactional is easily assembled and disassembled for shipment, storage (at retailers), transportation and moving. And it is also easily and variously configurable  as an ottoman, a bench, an armchair, a chaise, a loveseat, deep sofa or sectional of different dimensions and configurations (L-, T-, M-, W-shaped, twister, playpen...) or even as a bed!. Additionally, regardless of the configuration, the Sactional is also easily upholstered, using any one of hundreds of removable, and machine-washable covers! Just add seat and back pillows (also with removable and washable covers) and the Sactional, in whatever configuration, is ready-to-use! There are also provisions for the Sactional to be manufactured in children sizes.

Below, you will find the abstract for patent WO2006135855 titled Modular furniture assembly and two of the patent drawings: the Lego™-inspired interlocking system used to bring together a base and transverse piece or to connect them to other bases or transverse pieces in rock-solid configurations,  and a base and transverse piece coupled using the Lego™-inspired interlocking system.  

Lego-inspired interlocking system
[Abstract WO2006135855]
The invention relates to a modular furniture assembly that is convenient and versatile. One embodiment of the modular furniture assembly comprises a base and a transverse member manually, detachably coupled to the base by a coupler. The base and the transverse member have a defined spatial relationship which enables a variety of different types, configurations and sizes of furniture assemblies to be formed therefrom. Further, the base is configured such that the transverse member can be coupled to the base in a first position to form a first furniture assembly, and can be coupled to the base in a second position to form a second furniture assembly. 
Base and transverse assembled

Lovesac -
Modular furniture assembly WO2006135855

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