Title:
Crisper trim enhancement
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A refrigerator crisper and crisper trim is disclosed. The refrigerator crisper includes a body with integral front wall, back wall, opposite side walls, and a bottom wall, the integral front wall having a top edge, a bottom edge, opposite side edges, and a trim piece connected to the body and at least partially covering the top edge, the bottom edge, and the opposite side edges of the integral front wall of the body.



Inventors:
Bush, Roger K. (Aiken, SC, US)
Kniffen, Todd E. (Williamsburg, IA, US)
Eveland, Michael J. (Cedar Rapids, IA, US)
Scorpil, Greg A. (Tipton, IA, US)
Sawhney, Ravi Kumar (Calabasas, CA, US)
Nugent, Timothy Mark (Venice, CA, US)
Zinni, John Frank (Capistrano Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/195778
Publication Date:
01/30/2003
Filing Date:
07/15/2002
Assignee:
BUSH ROGER K.
KNIFFEN TODD E.
EVELAND MICHAEL J.
SCORPIL GREG A.
SAWHNEY RAVI KUMAR
NUGENT TIMOTHY MARK
ZINNI JOHN FRANK
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B88/00; F25D25/02; (IPC1-7): A47B88/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TRAN, HANH VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ATTN: MAYTAG,MCKEE, VOORHEES & SEASE, P.L.C. (801 GRAND AVENUE, SUITE 3200, DES MOINES, IA, 50309-2721, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A refrigerator crisper, comprising: a body with an integral front wall, back wall, opposite side walls, and a bottom wall, the integral front wall having a top edge, a bottom edge and opposite side edges; and a trim piece operatively connected to the body and at least partially covering the top edge, the bottom edge, and the opposite side edges of the integral front wall of the body.

2. The refrigerator crisper of claim 1 wherein at least a portion of the front wall remains uncovered by the trim piece.

3. The refrigerator crisper of claim 1 wherein the body is transparent.

4. The refrigerator crisper of claim 1 wherein the trim piece is opaque.

5. The refrigerator crisper of claim 1 wherein the integral front wall of the body includes an integral handle along the top edge.

6. The refrigerator crisper of claim 1 wherein the trim piece includes a front surface and rearwardly extending top, bottom, and opposite side panels.

7. The refrigerator crisper of claim 6 wherein the rearwardly extending top panel includes a downwardly extending rearward wall for snap fitting the trim piece to the body.

8. The refrigerator crisper of claim 6 wherein the rearwardly extending bottom panel includes an upwardly extending rearward wall for snap fitting the trim piece to the body.

9. The refrigerator of claim 6 wherein at least one of the rearwardly extending side panels includes an inwardly extending rearward wall for snap fitting the trim piece to the body.

10. The refrigerator crisper of claim 6 wherein the rearwardly extending top panel includes a downwardly extending rearward wall and the rearwardly extending bottom panel includes an upwardly extending rearward way for snap fitting the trim piece to the body.

11. A snap fit trim for connecting to a refrigerator crisper, comprising: a front surface having an aperture therein; a top panel operatively connected to the front surface and extending rearwardly therefrom; a bottom panel operatively connected to the front surface and extending rearwardly therefrom; a first side panel and an opposite second side panel operatively connected to the front surface and extending rearwardly therefrom; and an inwardly extending wall connected to a rearward portion of one of the panels for snap fitting to a refrigerator crisper.

12. The snap fit trim of claim 11 wherein the snap fit trim is molded.

13. The snap fit trim of claim 11 wherein the aperture is sized thus that at least half of a refrigerator crisper front wall is uncovered by the front surface.

14. The snap fit trim of claim 13 wherein the refrigerator crisper front wall is transparent such that contents of the refrigerator crisper are viewable through the aperture and the crisper front wall.

15. The snap fit trim of claim 11 wherein the top panel is connected to the inwardly extending wall.

16. The snap fit trim of claim 11 wherein the bottom panel is connected to the inwardly extending wall.

17. The snap fit trim of claim 11 further comprising a second inwardly extending wall connected to a rearward portion of the top panel.

18. A refrigerator crisper, comprising: a molded body with an integral front wall, back wall, opposite side walls, and a bottom wall, the integral front wall having a top edge, a bottom edge and opposite side edges; a snap fit trim connected to the body and partially covering the integral front wall; and an aperture in the snap fit trim exposing a portion of the integral front wall.

19. The refrigerator crisper of claim 18 wherein the integral front wall is transparent.

20. The refrigerator crisper of claim 18 wherein the integral front wall includes an integral handle.

Description:

PRIORITY STATEMENT

[0001] This application claims priority to Provisional Patent Application No. 60/305,668 filed on Jul. 16, 2001.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to crispers or crisper pans within refrigerators. More specifically, this invention relates to enhancement of the crisper through the use of trim.

[0003] A crisper is a drawer or pan in a refrigerator used for storing refrigerated items. Crispers are often used for storing vegetables and keeping them fresh and crisp. One of the problems involving crispers relates to how to enhance the appearance and functionality of the crisper without adding substantially to the cost and complexity of manufacturing the crisper.

[0004] Therefore it is a primary objective of the present invention to improve upon the state of the art.

[0005] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a crisper with enhanced appearance.

[0006] Another object of the present invention is to provide a crisper that is easy to manufacture.

[0007] Another object of the present invention is to provide trim for a crisper to enhance the appearance thereof.

[0008] It is a further object of the present invention to provide trim for crisper that attaches easily to the crisper body.

[0009] These and other objects, features, or advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the specification and claims that follow.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The present invention relates to a refrigerator crisper and crisper trim. According to one aspect of the present invention, a refrigerator crisper includes a body with an integral front wall, back wall, opposite side walls, and a bottom wall. The integral front wall has a top edge, a bottom edge, and opposite side edges. The refrigerator crisper includes a snap fit trim that is connected to the body and at least partially covers the top edge, the bottom edge, and the opposite side edges of the integral front wall of the body.

[0011] The snap fit trim includes an aperture such that at least a portion of the front wall remains uncovered by the snap fit trim. The snap fit trim can be a solid color such as white while the body is molded of plastic or other material and can be transparent.

[0012] According to another aspect of the present invention the snap fit trim can include a front surface and rearwardly extending top, bottom, and opposite side walls. One or more of these rearwardly extending panels can include an inwardly extending wall to provide for snap fitting the trim to the refrigerator crisper body. Thus, the present invention provides the advantage of snap fit trim that can relatively easily be snapped into place to enhance the appearance of a crisper.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of snap fit trim separated from a refrigerator crisper body.

[0014] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the refrigerator crisper according to one embodiment of the present invention.

[0015] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the snap fit trim according to one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0016] The present invention provides for snap fit trim for enhancing a crisper. FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a crisper according to one embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 1, the refrigerator crisper 10 is shown with the trim 12 separated from the crisper body 14. The crisper body 14 is a drawer, pan, or bin used in a refrigerator. The crisper body 14 includes a receptacle 16 for containing food items or other items to refrigerate.

[0017] The crisper body 14 is preferably a molded plastic material, although the present invention contemplates that other materials may be used, and the crisper body 14 can be manufactured in other manners. Preferably, the crisper body 14 is a clear plastic or other transparent material so that items within the receptacle 16 can be viewed through the walls of the crisper body 14. The crisper body 14 includes a front wall 18, a back wall 20, and opposite side walls 22. Preferably, the front wall 18 is integral with the crisper body 14 such as is achieved when the crisper body 14 is of a one piece molded construction.

[0018] The front wall 18 of the crisper body 14 includes a top edge 26, a bottom edge 28, a first side edge 30, and a second side edge 32. One or more of these walls is at least partially covered by the trim 12 when the crisper body 14 is connected to the trim 12.

[0019] The trim 12 matingly connects with the crisper body 14 such as through a snap fit connection. The trim 12 has an aperture 34 such that a portion of the front wall 18 of the crisper body 14 is exposed. When the crisper body 14 is transparent and the trim 12 is opaque, contents within the receptacle 16 of the crisper body 14 can be viewed through the aperture 34 of the trim 12. The trim 12 can be of various colors or styles to provide a decorative enhancement to the overall appearance of the crisper 10. Also, because the trim 12 snap fits into place on the crisper body 14, manufacturing efficiencies are present. For example, a number of different colors or styles of crisper trim can be used to selectively change the overall appearance of the crisper 10 without requiring any alteration of the crisper body 14. Further, snap fit means to secure without requiring additional fasteners or adhesives, thus this snap fitting does not require extra manufacturing time or costs associated with other types of connection means.

[0020] The trim 12 includes a front surface 38. Operatively connected to the front surface 38 is a top panel 40, a bottom panel 42, a first side panel 44, and a second side panel 46. One or more of the panels snap fits with one or more corresponding edges of the crisper body 14. Preferably, the top edge 26 of the crisper body 14 includes an integral handle 36. The top panel 40 of the trim 12 preferably snap fits over the top edge 26 and the integral handle 36 of the front wall 18 of the crisper body 14. FIG. 2 illustrates the trim 12 snap fit into place over the crisper body 14.

[0021] FIG. 3 provides a perspective view of the trim 12. As shown in FIG. 3, the trim 12 includes an aperture 34 so that when placed against the front wall 18 of the crisper body 14, a portion of the front wall 18 can be seen. Preferably, the exposed portion of the front wall 18 is substantial, such as more than half of the front wall is exposed. However, the present invention contemplates that the trim 12 can cover other amounts of the front wall 18, including the entire front wall.

[0022] FIG. 3 illustrates the top panel 40, the bottom panel 42, the first side panel 44, and a second side panel 46 of the trim 12. The top panel 40 includes a downwardly extending wall 48 on its rearward portion to provide for snap fitting to the crisper body 14. The bottom panel 42 includes an upwardly extending wall 50 at its rearward portion to provide for snap fitting the trim 12 to the crisper body 14. The first side panel 44 includes an inwardly extending wall 54 to provide for snap fitting the trim 12 to the crisper body 14. Similarly, the side panel 46 includes an inwardly extending wall 52 at its rearward portion to provide for snap fitting the trim 12 to the crisper body 14. It should be appreciated that the upwardly extending wall 50 on the bottom panel 42 can also be described as inwardly extending. Similarly, the downwardly extending wall 48 on the top panel 40 can also be described as inwardly extending. The present invention contemplates that where such walls are used for snap fitting, there need not be a wall on every panel, the wall need not extend the complete length of the panel, and there may be more than one wall on each panel.

[0023] Preferably, the snap fit configuration of the trim 12 allows the trim 12 to be easily snap fit into place on the crisper body 14. Also, once the trim 12 has been snap fit into place on the crisper body 14, preferably the trim 12 is more difficult to remove.

[0024] Therefore, a refrigerator crisper has been disclosed. The present invention contemplates numerous variations in the material used for the crisper body 14 and the trim 12, the manufacturing techniques used to form a crisper body 14 and the trim 12, the relative sizes and dimensions of the invention, the manner of connecting the trim 12 and the crisper body 14, and other variations all within the spirit and the scope of the invention.