Title:
Pull over toilet paper cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dispensing device stores covers for a toilet seat adjacent to the toilet seat and in a location that is spaced above the toilet seat. The dispensing device stores the seat covers on a roll in a manner similar to the way toilet tissue is stored. The roll of seat covers is placed on a spring-loaded axle and the axle is mounted on two bracket arms which are fixed to the toilet bowl and which extend upwardly and rearwardly from the top rim of the toilet bowl. A housing cover can also be included to further protect the roll of toilet seat covers during storage thereof.



Inventors:
Getahun, Tezera A. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Kassa, Sara (Las Vega, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/386431
Publication Date:
09/27/2007
Filing Date:
03/22/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K13/14; A47K13/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SUNG I. OH, PROFESSIONAL LAW CORPORATION (710 QUAIL VALLEY LANE, WEST COVINA, CA, 91791, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for storing and dispensing toilet seat covers comprising: A) a toilet bowl unit which includes a front end which a user faces when using the toilet bowl unit, a rear end which is located behind the user when the user is using the toilet bowl unit, and a water storage tank mounted adjacent to the rear end, the toilet bowl having a major axis which extends between the front end and the rear end and a minor axis which extends transverse to the major axis, the toilet bowl unit further including a rim having a thickness; B) a mounting bracket unit fixedly mounted on the toilet bowl unit between the water storage tank and the rear end of the toilet bowl unit, the mounting bracket unit including (1) first and second mounting arms, each mounting arm including (a) a proximal end, (b) a distal end, (c) a longitudinal axis which extends between the proximal and distal ends, (d) a clamp unit on the proximal end, the clamp unit having first and second prongs which are spaced apart from each other in the direction of the longitudinal axis, and a screw element threadably mounted on the first prong, the prongs being spaced apart a distance sufficient to accommodate the rim of the toilet bowl unit therebetween with the screw element being located to clamp the rim to the clamp unit between the screw element and the second prong, and (d) a mounting hole defined near the distal end; C) the mounting arms of the mounting bracket unit extending upwardly from the rim of the toilet bowel unit to have the distal ends located above the rim while the clamp unit on the proximal end is fixed to the rim and tilting at an oblique angle with respect to vertical from the proximal ends toward the distal ends from the rear of the toilet bowl unit towards the water storage tank; D) an axle element which includes (1) a first end having a pin therein, with the pin in the first end being biased away from the first end, (2) a second end having a pin therein, with the pin in the second end being biased away from the second end, (3) the axle element extending across the toilet bowl unit in the direction of the minor axis and having the pin in the first end accommodated in the mounting hole defined in the first mounting arm and the pin on the second end accommodated in the mounting hole defined in the second mounting arm when the axle is mounted on the mounting bracket unit; and E) a roll of toilet bowl rim covering sheets mounted on the axle element to be located above the rim of the toilet bowl unit and between the rear end of the toilet bowl unit and the water storage tank.

2. A device for storing and dispensing toilet seat covers comprising: A) a toilet bowl unit; B) a mounting bracket unit fixedly mounted on the toilet bowl unit adjacent to a water storage tank associated with the toilet bowl unit, the mounting bracket unit including (1) first and second mounting arms, each mounting arm including (a) a proximal end, (b) a distal end, (c) a longitudinal axis which extends between the proximal and distal ends, (d) a clamp unit on the proximal end, the clamp unit being adapted to clamp to the toilet bowl unit; and (d) a mounting hole defined near the distal end; C) the mounting arms of the mounting bracket unit extending upwardly from the toilet bowel unit to have the distal ends located above the toilet bowl while the clamp unit on the proximal end is fixed to the toilet bowl and tilting at an oblique angle with respect to vertical from the proximal ends toward the water storage tank; D) an axle element which includes (1) a first end having a pin therein, with the pin in the first end being biased away from the first end, (2) a second end having a pin therein, with the pin in the second end being biased away from the second end, (3) the axle element extending across the toilet bowl unit and having the pin in the first end accommodated in the mounting hole defined in the first mounting arm and the pin on the second end accommodated in the mounting hole defined in the second mounting arm when the axle is mounted on the mounting bracket unit; and E) a roll of toilet bowl rim covering sheets mounted on the axle element to be located above the toilet bowl unit and near the water storage tank.

3. The device defined in claim 1 further including a housing element mounted on the bracket arms and covering the roll of toilet bowl rim covering sheets mounted on the axle.

4. The device defined in claim 3 wherein the housing element includes an exit port and a cutting edge located adjacent to the exit port.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the general art of toilets, and to the particular field of toilet seats and accessories therefor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Restrooms, and in particular public restrooms, are often unsanitary and potentially unhealthy. The problems associated with toilet seat sanitation have long been recognized. Toilet seats contaminated with human waste, bacteria, or viruses created health risks, and the user is often required, especially in public rest rooms, to clean the toilet seat before use. The problem of toilet seat sanitation has been addressed several ways. Conventionally, in order to prevent users from feeling unsanitary, unclean, and the like, disposable types of toilet seat sanitary covers that prevent contact between the toilet seat and a user are provided in public rest rooms

One common toilet seat cover that is well known is a disposable toilet seat cover which comprises a single sheet of paper of a size to cover a toilet seat, with a cutout central portion detachably secured at one end to the outer portion which hangs down into the bowl to aid in drawing the seat cover down the drain when the toilet is flushed. Generally, in this case, people put a toilet seat sanitary cover on a toilet seat by themselves However, there are several problems associated with the use of these seat covers. For example , before use or after use, in some forms of this cover, a used toilet seat sheet laid down on the toilet seat must be peeled off by hand by the user, and a new toilet seat sheet laid down by hand by the user, it takes time and labor for replacing the toilet seat sheet, and in addition since it is used after putting the toilet seat sheet on the sitting side of the toilet seat, the setting position of the toilet seat sheet is not stable, and the direction and position of the toilet seat sheet are likely to change, and it is hard to lay down the toilet seat sheet so as to cover the sitting side of the toilet seat. Or when the user sits on the toilet seat, the toilet seat sheet may be curled up, deviated in the laying position or drop out, and the buttocks of the user may contact with the sitting side, and it may be unclean and unsanitary. Furthermore, sometimes people cannot easily put a toilet seat sanitary cover on the toilet seat properly, and sometimes the toilet seat sanitary cover does not stay in position when people sit on it.

In addition to the just-discussed sheet covers, the inventor is aware of two additional categories of toilet seat covers: pads and slip covers. Pad type toilet seat covers are similar to the just-discussed sheets and are placed on the top surface of the toilet seat. In addition to the above-discussed drawbacks these pad covers often do not have the desirable degree of security and alignment necessary to prevent contact of the toilet seat by a user. Portions of the toilet seat can be exposed if the pads do not match the shape and size of the toilet seat, and pads can be misplaced or moved by a user. Finally, a user can contact the toilet seat with his or her hand when placing or removing sheets or pad type toilet seat covers. This will often deter someone from using the sheets, or may expose the user to undesirable contact with the toilet seat.

Slip cover type toilet seat covers are those covers which slide onto and enclose a toilet seat instead of just resting on the surface. Slip cover type toilet seat covers provide an inherently secure attachment to the toilet seat, and they do not lose their alignment. Also, slip covers more completely enclose or surround the toilet seat, and they tend to conform to the shape and size of the toilet seat. Thus, slip covers provide greater sanitary protection than pad type or sheet type toilet seat covers. However, slip covers are more difficult to install and remove than pad covers, so a user is more likely to contact the toilet seat. In addition, the added difficulty may cause some users to not install a toilet seat cover.

Yet a further problem with some seat covers is associated with replenishing the supply of such covers. Maintenance personnel may be required to handle a toilet seat during such replenishing process. This is not desirable for the maintenance personnel.

Therefore, there is a need for a toilet seat cover that is easy to use, easy to remove and easy to replenish when necessary.

Yet another problem associated with known toilet seat covers is that they are often stored in a location that the next cover to be used may contact a prior user. If the cover is located in a position that is likely to be contacted by the skin of a prior user, a subsequent user may be deterred or discouraged from using the cover for fear of contacting a device or a cover that has been contacted by a prior user. This may vitiate the advantages associated with such devices. Accordingly, the stored covers should be located out of the way so the stored covers are not likely to contact the skin of a toilet seat user when that user is using the toilet seat. In this manner, a new user will be sure that a new seat cover has not been contaminated by contact with a prior user.

Therefore, there is a need for a toilet seat cover that can be stored in a location that is not likely to contact the exposed skin of a prior user while the seat cover is being stored for use by the next user.

Still further, some known devices are located so that a potential user may easily overlook the device, especially if he or she is not looking for the dispenser.

Therefore, there is a need for a toilet seat cover dispenser unit that can be located in a clearly evident location where it will not be overlooked by a potential user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above-discussed disadvantages of the prior art are overcome by a toilet seat cover dispenser which places the toilet seat cover in a location that is easy and desirable to use as well as easy to replenish. The unit will also be in plain view so a potential user can easily see it. In this manner, the device will not be overlooked by a potential user.

The dispenser includes a bracket unit that elevates a roll of seat covers above a toilet seat associated therewith. The covers are simply unrolled in the manner of toilet paper rolls and can be replaced in the same manner. A container can be included to further protect the toilet seat covers during storage.

Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the invention will be, or will become, apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following figures and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the invention, and be protected by the following claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGS.

The invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings and description. The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention. Moreover, in the figures, like referenced numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the different views.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a toilet having mounted thereon a toilet seat cover dispenser unit embodying the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a support arm included in the dispenser unit of the present invention, with the second support arm being identical to the support arm shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a roll of toilet seat covers included in the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows an axle used to support the roll of toilet seat covers shown in FIG. 3 during storage on the toilet.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a housing used to protect the toilet seat covers during storage.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the figures, it can be understood that the present invention is embodied in a device for storing and dispensing toilet seat covers.

The overall dispensing device comprises a toilet bowl unit 12 which is well known in the art and which includes a front end 14 which a user faces when using the toilet bowl unit, a rear end 16 which is located behind the user when the user is using the toilet bowl unit and a water storage tank 18 mounted adjacent to the rear end. The toilet bowl has a major axis 22 which extends between the front end and the rear end and a minor axis 24 which extends transverse to the major axis. Toilet bowl unit 12 further including a rim 26 having a thickness T.

A mounting bracket unit 30 is fixedly mounted on the toilet bowl unit between the water storage tank and the rear end of the toilet bowl unit. The mounting bracket unit includes first and second mounting arms. The mounting arms are identical, therefore, only one arm will be shown, and is shown in FIG. 2 as mounting arm 40.

Each mounting arm includes a proximal end 42, a distal end 44, and a longitudinal axis 46 which extends between the proximal and distal ends. A clamp unit 50 is located on the proximal end. Clamp unit 50 has first and second prongs 52 and 54 respectively which are spaced apart from each other in the direction of longitudinal axis 46. A screw element 56 is threadably mounted on first prong 52. The prongs are spaced apart a distance S which is larger than thickness T of the rim so as to be sufficient to accommodate the rim of the toilet bowl unit therebetween. The screw element is located to clamp the rim to the clamp unit between the screw element and the second prong. A mounting hole 58 is defined near distal end 44 of each mounting arm.

As can be understood from FIG. 1, the mounting arms of the mounting bracket unit extend upwardly from the rim of the toilet bowel unit to have the distal ends located above the rim while the clamp unit on the proximal end is fixed to the rim and tilting at an oblique angle with respect to vertical from the proximal ends toward the distal ends from the rear of the toilet bowl unit towards the water storage tank.

An axle element 70 includes a first end 72 having a pin 74 therein. Pin 72 is biased, as by a spring 76 in the axle, away from the first end in the direction indicated by arrow 78. Axle 70 further includes a second end 80 having a pin 82 therein which is biased away from the second end. The pins are biased in the manner of the pins in an axle on a toilet tissue holder. The axle element extends across the toilet bowl unit in the direction of minor axis 24 and has pin 74 accommodated in the mounting hole defined in the first mounting arm and pin 82 accommodated in the mounting hole defined in the second mounting arm when the axle is mounted on the mounting bracket unit.

A roll 90 of toilet bowl rim covering sheets 92 is mounted on the axle element to be located above the rim of the toilet bowl unit and between the rear end of the toilet bowl unit and the water storage tank as indicated in FIG. 1.

In one form of the device, a housing element 100 having a wall 102 and an exit port 104 is mounted on the bracket arms and covers the roll of toilet bowl rim covering sheets mounted on the axle. The housing element will protect the sheets during storage. A paper cutter edge 106 can be located on the wall adjacent to port 104 if desired. Housing element 100 has two cutouts, such as cutout 108, and two depressions, such as depression 110, that mate with corresponding elements on the arms 40, and with the axle to mount the housing element over roll 90.

Use of the dispensing device can be understood from the teaching of the foregoing disclosure and thus will only be briefly discussed. A roll of toilet bowl unit covering sheets is mounted on axle 70, and axle 70 is mounted on the mounting bracket unit arms in the manner of a toilet tissue dispenser. The arms are positioned and oriented to locate the roll of sheets above and behind the toilet bowl rim for easy access by both a user and a maintenance person charged with keeping the device full. A user simply pulls a cover sheet from the roll and drops it down onto the toilet bowl rim for use. The sheets are dispensed in the manner of paper towel dispensers and can be located inside housing 100 for protection.

While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many more embodiments and implementations are possible within the scope of this invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be restricted except in light of the attached claims and their equivalents.