Title:
Outdoor decorated and ventilated shoe box
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An outdoor decorated and ventilated shoe box for ventilating, storing or drying one or more pairs of shoes outdoors. The container has a water-resistant top cover, perforations or openings on its side walls and bottom to allow the outdoor air into the box, awning or fins on its sidewalls to prevent water from getting into the box, yet letting the air inside through the perforations on its sidewalls, and secure attaching element to attach the shoe box to the window, window frame, or the wall adjacent to the entrance door of a building.



Inventors:
Arjomand, Ray (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/411262
Publication Date:
11/16/2006
Filing Date:
04/26/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/37
International Classes:
E04F19/00; E04H14/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAUX, JESSICA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RAY ARJOMAND (APT. 151C 1100 15th STREET, SPARKS, NV, 89431, US)
Claims:
1. In combination, a window frame in a building and a shoe box attached thereto, said shoe box comprising: one or more side walls having one or more apertures, a water-resistant top cover to prevent rain water or snow from getting into the box, a wall facing the outside of the building, and a side facing the inside of the building.

2. The combination of claim 1, wherein the side facing the inside of the building is attached to the window frame and the top cover is hinged and contains a handle allowing the box to be opened.

3. The combination of claim 1, wherein the bottom of the box is attached to the window frame and the side facing the inside of the building is open.

4. The combination of claim 1, wherein the box fits within the window frame with the edges of the box adjacent the side facing the inside of the building abutting the window frame.

5. The combination of claim 4, wherein the box is made of telescopic parts such that the width of the box may be adjusted to fit window frames having a variety of sizes.

6. The combination of claim 1, wherein the box contains a plurality of shelves.

7. The combination of claim 6, wherein the shelves are horizontal.

8. The combination of claim 6, wherein the shelves are slanted.

9. The combination of claim 6, wherein the side facing the inside of the building has a door.

10. The combination of claim 6, wherein the wall of the box facing the outside of the building contain an awning.

11. The combination of claim 1, wherein the bottom of the box has one or more apertures.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based on provisional application Ser. No. U.S. 60/675,227, filed on Apr. 27, 2005 entitled “Outdoor Shoe Box”. The provisional patent corresponds to Disclosure Document No. 570609 entitled “Aerated Shoe Box Attached Outside by the Window or Home Entrance”, dated Feb. 16, 2005.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

(Not applicable)

REFERENCE TO SEQUENTIAL LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING APPENDIX SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC

(Not applicable)

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1) Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to the field of shoe storage racks and more specifically it discloses an outdoor decorated and ventilated shoe rack, box or container that is attached to a window or near the entrance door of a building to ventilate the shoes outdoors.

The outdoor shoe box is an aesthetically pleasing, non-air-tight container, for storing or ventilating one or more pairs of shoes or other foul-smelling articles outdoors adjacent to or within a window opening or an entrance door for quick and convenient access from inside the building.

2) Description of the Related Art

U.S. Pat. No. 5,399,404, entitled “Foot and Shoe Deodorizing Patch,” eliminates the foul smell of shoes using patches.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,677,764, entitled “Apparel Drying Tray,” provides for a planar drying surface with an overlying water-permeable grill for the placement thereon of wet footwear and outerwear. A fan circulates ambient or heated air under and around the wet articles through the grill. The device may be a free-standing planar unit or may be positioned within an enclosure.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,591,517, entitled “Shoe Dryer,” discloses an electric shoe dryer and deodorizer that can be hung on the back of a door or mounted on a wall. It is comprised of an upper housing support member that is attached to a flat shoe rack with mesh pockets with which to hold shoes. The upper housing support member contains a motorized fan assembly, an air intake screen, a deodorizing filter, and an air discharge duct.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,845,569, entitled “Shoe drying apparatus,” provides for an apparatus that can dry washed and/or unwashed shoes in a short period of time by circulating ozone-containing air in the airtight interior of the apparatus and also deodorize and sanitize shoes by removing odor and bacteria from the shoes. It uses a sanitizing-deodorizing assembly for generating ozone-containing air (“mixed air”) and a ventilating fan for dispersing the mixed air into the central interior of the housing.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,732,858, entitled “Shoe Storage Box,” discloses an interlocking shoe storage box that provides for a ventilation layer such that air circulation between inside and outside the shoe storage box is secured.

None of cited prior art patents discloses a convenient and easily accessible (from inside the building) decorated and aerated outdoor shoe storage rack, box or container installed adjacent to an entrance door of a building or within a window opening. The cited prior art does not address the need to store and ventilate dirty, foul-smelling shoes outside of the building in a decorated and ventilated container that is conveniently accessible from inside the building adjacent to or within a window opening (like window air conditioning units).

The surfaces of sidewalks are exposed to germs and animal feces. For this reason people remove their shoes before entering their homes and leave the shoes on the floor outside or inside near the entrance door. The dirty, foul-smelling shoes are unsightly, take precious indoor space, are unsanitary and make the home smell bad. Therefore, there is a need to store the dirty, foul-smelling shoes outdoors in a convenient location that is non-offensive to the neighbors yet easily accessible from inside the home. In addition, there is a need to store, aerate or ventilate the foul-smelling shoes, and to dry wet shoes outdoors in a decorated and aerated shoe box.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the present invention is to provide a ventilated and convenient decorated outdoor shoe storage rack or box that saves indoor space.

Another object is to improve indoor sanitation by storing dirty, foul-smelling shoes outdoors.

Another object is to store, ventilate and organize shoes in a convenient place.

A further object is to store shoes in a decorated container that looks attractive from outside or inside the building.

Yet another object is to ventilate foul-smelling shoes more quickly by exposing them to outside air and wind.

Still yet another object is to eliminate the need to store dirty, foul-smelling shoes on the floor near the front door.

Another object of the invention is to store the shoes above the belt level, thereby reducing the need to kneel to pick up the shoes from the floor.

Another object is to dry wet shoes that dry more quickly outdoors in a well-ventilated container.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is disclosed an outdoor decorated and ventilated shoe box comprising: a shoe box, rack or container, having a water-resistant top cover, perforations or openings on its side walls and bottom to allow the outdoor air into the box, awning or fins on its sidewalls to prevent water from getting into the box, yet letting the air get inside the box through the perforations, and means for securely attaching the shoe box to the window, window frame, or a wall adjacent to the entrance door of a building.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the outdoor shoe box permanently affixed to the exterior wall adjacent to the window.

FIG. 2 is a bottom elevational view of the outdoor shoe box having grates or grills (parallel rods with opening in between) for ventilation.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of an outdoor shoe box that is securely attached to the window frame, similar to the way that a child's safety gate is attached.

FIG. 4 is a perspective elevational view of a shoe box of this invention viewed from outside the building showing its capability to expand horizontally from the middle, as shown by the arrow, to fit any size window opening.

FIG. 5 is a perspective elevational view of a shoe box from inside the building showing the inside door of the box half opened.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of another embodiment of the invention showing an outdoor shoe box that is securely attached to the window frame, similar to the way that a window air conditioner is attached.

FIG. 7 is a perspective elevational view of the shoe box of FIG. 6 viewed from outside the building showing fins on its side walls to prevent water from seeping into the box, but letting the outdoor air in, thereby ventilating the shoes.

FIG. 8 is a perspective elevational view from inside the building of the shoe box of FIGS. 6 and 7 with its inside door half opened, storing multiple shoes on three horizontal levels.

FIG. 9 is similar to FIG. 8, additionally showing a horizontal security rod to prevent theft and accidental falling of the shoe box outside of the window.

FIG. 10 is similar to FIG. 8, except that the shelves are at an angle rather than horizontal.

FIG. 11 is an outside elevational view of one of the side walls of this invention having a large window covered with grills to let the air in and a protective window awning to prevent rain water or snow from getting into the box.

FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is an outside elevational view of another embodiment of this invention having a large window on its side wall similar to that shown in FIG. 11, except the window is covered with mosquito netting.

FIG. 14 is a side elevational view of the embodiment of this invention shown in FIG. 13.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure, or manner.

The decorated outdoor aerated shoe box 2 is a non-air-tight shoe box 2 for storing or ventilating shoes 4 or other foul-smelling articles outdoors. The shoe box 2, rack or container is attached near to the outside of a window frame 6 or to an entrance door by means of common attaching hardware, for example, L-shaped brackets 8, screws, nails, hooks or strings. It may also be soldered or glued. In addition, it can be securely attached to an object, such as a rod, that is itself screwed to the outside of a window frame 6 (like child's safety gates). The box 2 is affixed adjacent to the outside of a window sash 10 so that from inside of the building 12 it can be accessed easily by hand through the open window. It can also be attached to the wall of the building 12 adjacent to an entrance door or affixed to the outside of the entrance door itself The shoe box 2 has an opening 14 through which foul-smelling articles can be placed or retrieved. It has a water-resistant top cover 16 to protect the articles 4 inside the box 2 from moisture, rain or snow. It has one or more aperture 18 to aerate/ventilate the inside of the shoe box 2 and thereby lessen or neutralize the bad shoe odor. Preferably the apertures 18 are positioned in the side walls 20 or the bottom 22 of the box (not the top where rain or snow can get into the shoe box).

Preferably the outdoor decorated shoe box 2 is made of plastic or other durable, relatively inexpensive, water-resistant, light-weight material. The decorations may be in the form of embossed designs. The shoe box 2 may be manufactured in various sizes so that it can store several pairs of shoes 4 simultaneously and fit into a variety of sizes of window frames 6. The shoe box 2 can also be used to dry wet, foul-smelling sneakers or shoes. Optionally a bird feeder or a bird house may be hung from its bottom (or attached to its front). It can also have an electric fan to increase air circulation and ventilation within the box 2.

Ideally, the shoe box 2 is sold with the attaching hardware (screws, L-shaped brackets 8, nails, etc) for effecting a permanent secure attachment to the outside wall or window frame 6. It can also be sold with attaching fixtures that are non-permanent. For example, it may be suspended from the window frame 6 by one or more hooks, attached to a magnetic rod that is securely attached to the wall or the window frame, or hung outside of the window by one or more strings that are also attached to a counter-weight hung inside the building. The temporary suspension of the shoe box 2 outside of a window would be more suitable for travelers.

To increase air circulation, the vertical side walls 20 or the front wall 24, i.e. that wall which faces away from the building 12, of the shoe box 2 may have or be composed of mosquito netting (mesh screen) 26. The screen walls 26 help prevent water from seeping in, yet let the air in. Other enhancements may include an electric fan built into the shoe box to increase air circulation, and a pouch for storing worn socks. Of course, the pouch should be hidden (inside the box) or be pleasant looking so as to not offend the neighbors.

It is not unusual to have objects attached to outside walls, windows or window frames of a building. Examples include mosquito nets (which expand horizontally and lock inside the window frame); standard child's safety gates (are securely screwed into the window frame); and window air conditioning units. Obviously, it is a lot harder and more dangerous to attach a heavy window air conditioning unit to a window frame than it is to attach a light-weight shoe box 2

Besides these well-known methods, there are thousands of other ways to permanently or temporarily securely attach a shoe box 2 or some other light object to the outside of a window, a window frame 6, or to a wall. These techniques are not the subject of the present invention.

With reference to FIG. 1, a shoe box 2 of one embodiment of this invention is securely attached by one or more L-shaped brackets 8 to the outside wall of the building 12 adjacent to the window frame 6. It has a water-resistant curved top cover 16 with a handle 28 and a hinge 30 that opens in the direction of the arrow. Its vertical sidewalls 20 have apertures 18 to ventilate the shoes 4 placed inside the box 2.

Referring to FIG. 2, the bottoms 22 of the shoe boxes 2 of this invention have grates or grills 32 for ventilation. There may be an optional electric fan (not shown) attached to the bottom or a side wall of the shoe box to increase air circulation. The fan may be powered by batteries or solar power.

With reference to FIG. 3, the shoe box 2 of this embodiment is securely attached to the window frame 6, similar to the way that a child's safety gate is attached. In a similar embodiment (not shown) the shoe box may 2 be attached to a standard child's safety gate or a rod that is securely attached to the window frame. The shoe box 2 has an angled water-proof top cover 16 to keep its contents dry. The sidewalls 20 and the bottom 22 of the shoe box 2 have apertures (not shown) or grates 32 as shown in FIG. 2 for ventilation. The shoe box 2 has three levels and on each level, one or more pairs of shoes 4 are placed for ventilation and storage. For convenient access, the side 34 of the shoe box 2 facing the inside of the building 12 is open. The user will have to raise the window sash 10 to access the contents of the shoe box 2 to put the shoes 4 in the box 2 or take them out. The box 2 can also have a decorated airtight door (not shown) to prevent foul odor from getting into the building 12 when the window is left open and to hide the unsightly shoes inside the box 2 visible from behind the window.

With reference to FIG. 4, the shoe rack, box 2 or container may be made up of two telescopic pieces 36, 38 that can slide horizontally in the directions of the arrow to fit the width of any size window frame 6. As shown, the sidewalls 20 of the shoe box 2 are made of mosquito nets 26 or similar materials that let the outside air into the box 2 yet prevent rain or snow from getting inside the box 2. Since the shoe box 2 is securely attached to the window frame 6, the window can be used (opened and closed) with the shoe box 2 securely attached to the window frame 6. With reference to FIG. 5, is a view of a shoe box 2 from inside the building 12 showing the inside door 40 of the box 2 half opened. The side of the shoe box 2 facing the inside of the building 12 has a decorated door 40. The purpose of the door 40 is to hide the content of the shoe box 2 and seal it to prevent the foul smell from permeating inside the building 12. The door 40 may have a magnetic seal similar to a refrigerator door.

With reference to FIG. 6, the shoe box 2 is securely attached to the window frame 6, similar to the way that a window air conditioner is securely affixed to the window frame. In this embodiment, the window sash 10 cannot be raised or lowered as its position is fixed. Like in FIG. 3, the sidewalls 20 and bottom 22 have apertures (not shown) for ventilation. The shoe box 2 also has at least one shelf 42 and one or more pairs of shoes 4 may be placed on each shelf 42 for storage and/or ventilation. The shoe box 2 also has a water-resistant top cover 16 to keep its content dry during rain or snow. In addition, there are fins 44 to prevent rain or snow from entering the shoe box 2.

With respect to FIGS. 7-10, the shoe box 2 has a door 40 which faces the inside of the building 12. The door 40 is shown as being halfway opened to allow a view of the contents. Normally, the door 40 should be closed to avoid odors from entering the building 12. The box 2 fits within the window frame 6 with the edges of the box 2 adjacent the side facing the building 12 abutting the window frame 6. With this arrangement, the bulk of the box 2 fits outside the building 12 and the box 2 is preferably flush with the inside of the window sash 10.

The advantages of this embodiment is that it is safe and the shoes 4 are easily accessible from inside the building 12. Since most buildings have more than one window, the user can attach the shoe box 2 to the outside of a window which has the least desirable view or to a window that is seldom used.

Referring especially to FIG. 7, the shoe box 2 has a top cover 16 and fins 44 on its side walls 20 to prevent water from seeping into the box 2, but permitting the outdoor air in to ventilate the shoes 4.

The most preferred box 2 of this invention is shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. This box 2 has a plurality of horizontal shelves 42. Another embodiment is shown in FIG. 10, which has two slanted shelves 42.

FIG. 9 shows an optional horizontal security rod 48 that is attached to the shoe box 2 with one or more supporters 50 in the form of rods or metal wire to prevent theft or accidental falling of the shoe box 2 outside of the window. The length of the security rod 48 is longer than the width of the window to make it very difficult to pull it outside of the window from outdoors. In addition the rod 48 may also be used as a foot stool to facilitate removing or putting on the shoes 4. Instead of the rod 48, a regular foot stool may be placed under the window to facilitate removing or putting on the shoes 4.

With reference to FIGS. 11-14, a side wall of the shoe box 2 may have a window opening facing the outside of the building 12. The opening may be covered with a grate 32 as is shown in FIG. 11 to let the air in and may have a protective window awning 54 to prevent rain water or snow from getting into the box 2. Alternatively, the opening may be covered by a mesh screen 26 as is shown in FIG. 13. The awning 54 shown in FIGS. 12 and 14 prevents water from getting into the shoe box 2 through the opening.

While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.