Title:
Decorative bathroom tool cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An ornamental covering that is an extruded, injected or molded from a plastic material. The ornamental covering is supported by a handle attached to a toilet tool. The handle is inserted into the center of the trunk. The ornamental covering includes a skirt attached at a bottom of the trunk.



Inventors:
Cortinas, Antonio (Virginia Beach, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/636266
Publication Date:
06/12/2008
Filing Date:
12/07/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRANO, ERNESTO ARTURIO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bradley, Goldizen D. (One Columbus Center, Ste. 665, Virginia Beach, VA, 23462, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A formed toilet tool cover that covers a toilet tool in a bathroom, said formed toilet tool cover comprising: a hollow skirt having an open bottom, a sidewall and a closed top; a hollow elongated member having an upper end, a lower end and an exterior surface, said lower end extending from the closed top of the hollow skirt; and, a plurality branches having leaves formed at the upper end of the hollow elongated member.

2. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 1 wherein the exterior surface of the hollow elongated member is roughened to resemble the bark on a trunk of a tree.

3. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 1 wherein the exterior surface of the hollow elongated member is formed to resemble the bark of a palm tree.

4. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 1 wherein the leaves are formed in the shape of palm leaves.

5. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 1 wherein the closed top is shaped in the shape of pebbles.

6. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 1 further comprising Spanish moss adhered to the closed top of the hollow skirt.

7. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 1 further including a deodorizing device fastened to an interior side of the sidewall of the hollow skirt.

8. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 7 wherein said deodorizing device comprises: a back wall; a front wall including a keyhole opening formed by sloping edges; two sidewalls that are arranged between the back wall and the front wall on opposite sides thereof;

9. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 8 further comprising a deodorizing tablet having scented material provided on a wafer that is periodically replaced.

10. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 8 further comprising a deodorizing wafer that is periodically replaced.

11. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 8 wherein the deodorizing device is arranged on an interior surface of the sidewall of the hollow skirt nearer in distance to the closed top than in distance to open bottom.

12. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 1 further comprising one or more selected from a group consisting of polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene.

13. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 1 wherein said toilet tool cover comprises one or more selected a group consisting of a thermoset plastic and are thermoplastic material that is formed, molded or extruded in a particular shape to create a realistic look of a plant.

14. A toilet tool cover comprising: a hollow elongated member having a top, a bottom and a sidewall that surrounds a first hollow chamber, said hollow elongated member extending substantially vertical and having an exterior surface that is formed in the shape of a bark of a particular tree; a plurality of branches formed integrally with and extending from the hollow elongated member and including leaves; a base comprising a top, a bottom with an opening, and a sidewall that extends from the top end to the bottom with the opening to define a second hollow chamber; wherein a bottom of first hollow chamber opens into a top of the second hollow chamber.

15. The toilet tool cover of claim 14 wherein said plurality of branches further includes fruits.

16. The toilet tool cover of claim 14 wherein the closed top is shaped in the shape of pebbles.

17. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 14 further comprising Spanish moss adhered to the closed top of the base.

18. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 14 further including a deodorizing device fastened to an interior side of the sidewall of the base.

19. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 14 wherein said deodorizing device comprises: a back wall; a front wall including a keyhole opening formed by sloping edges; two sidewalls that are arranged between the back wall and the front wall on opposite sides thereof;

20. The formed toilet tool cover of claim 8 further comprising a deodorizing tablet having scented material provided on a wafer that is periodically replaced.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention is generally related to an ornamental or decorative cover that slips over a top end of a handle for a self-supported and standing tool. The cover hides the tool so that it may be stored within in the bathroom in view of a user. More specifically, the present invention is directed towards a cover that includes a tree or plant that comprises a hollow trunk or stem for accepting and disguising a handle of a toilet tool and having an operating end of the toilet tool contained with a lower end of the cover below the trunk. Preferably, the cover is formed through an injection or molding process as a single unitary device that is formed in the shape of a tree, namely a palm tree. The various elements of the cover may advantageously vary in thickness throughout to provide supports as well as to give a more realistic three dimensional appearance.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many Americans have toilet tools that are used and stored in the bathroom. These tools are necessary for maintaining a proper working order of the bathroom fixtures. Previously, patents have been directed towards hiding these toilet tools in a variety of places and manners.

One such patent is U.S. Pat. No. 5,114,006. This patent discloses a tool assembly having a housing that hides a plunger or brush from view. Moreover, this patent was directed towards maintaining sanitary conditions and to prevent young children from playing with toilet tools which may transfer infectious diseases.

Another patent directed towards hiding toilet tools is U.S. Pat. No. 5,456,356 to Kurzawa. This patent is a toilet plunger accessory that is a combination toilet plunger cover and toilet tissue roll holder.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,927,492 to Moore is a decorative container for storing a plumbing plunger. In this patent, a decorative container includes a base member for receiving a plunger and a cover member that engages the base member.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,971,141 to Shafik discloses a toilet accessory kit that includes a holder with receptacles at opposite ends for receiving and holding a plunger and a brush. A divider extends across the holder to separate the receptacles from one another.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,109,429 to Cunningham et al. discloses an apparatus for storing toiletries. The toiletries are easily accessible and enclosed in a fashionable container that is able to occupy a small area.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,241,091 to Moore et al. discloses a decorative container for storing a plunger. The plunger is stored in a container that includes a detachable bottom.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,883,189 to Pierce discloses a concealed toilet cleaning system for concealing a cleaning device such as a toilet plunger within a toilet flush tank. A modified toilet plunger includes a hinge to that the plunger cup can pivot on the end of the plunger handle. The folded plunger is secured to the inside of the toilet flush tank.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,085,993 to Nasco discloses a flora integrated cover for toilet tools. In one embodiment, the working end of the toilet tool is secured within a decorative pot that includes a cover having an opening through which the toilet tool's handle extends. A floral arrangement is arranged on the handle of the toilet tool opposite the working end. In a further embodiment, a cover includes a handle and a base. Artificial plant retainers are arranged in the cover for receiving artificial plants.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment, the present invention is an ornamental covering that is formed as a unitary device which includes a hollow trunk having leaves and fruits formed and arranged at a top end thereof. A lower end of the hollow trunk extends from a skirt that is formed in the shape of an open bottomed planter. Flora such as Spanish moss or the like may be arranged atop an upper side of the planter. Otherwise, the top of the skirt may be formed in various shapes to mimic rocks, pebbles or the like. The ornamental covering is inserted over the toilet tool such that a handle of the tool is inserted into the center of the hollow trunk. The skirt region covers the operating head of the toilet tool and is large enough to accommodate existing plungers or brushes already having protective coverings or stands. Fasteners may be provided within the interior of the skirt region for accepting deodorizing materials. Thus, the cover may also operate as a room deodorizer.

In another embodiment, the invention includes an ornamental tree that comprises palm leaves arranged at an upper end of a trunk. Coconuts are included at the top of the upper end of the trunk. The lower end of the trunk is preferably attached to a skirt that is formed in the shape of a pot having a top that is covered with Spanish moss or the like. The cover may be provided in a variety of shapes and colors and may be matched to a particular décor of the bathroom.

It is an object of the invention to hide a toilet tool from view under a covering that includes an open bottom or a bottom comprising a large opening, a cylindrical sidewall that may include various diameters at different elevations taken along a skirt, and a trunk with leaves and/or fruit arranged at a top end of thereof.

It is another object of the invention to conceal a toilet tool under a decorative covering that is formed in the shape of a tree or bush that includes a hollow trunk for accepting a handle of a toilet tool.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a cover for a toilet tool that contributes to the décor of a bathroom.

The above and further objects, details and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the cover. FIG. 1B is a plan view of the bottom end of the cover.

FIG. 2 is a cross section view of the cover of FIG. 1 shown with a prior art plunger deposited therein.

FIG. 3 is a cross section view of the cover of FIG. 1 shown with a prior art toilet brush and brush holder. Cartridge holders attach to an inner surface of the sidewalls of the base for providing a storage compartment for deodorizing materials.

FIG. 4 shows a user disguising a conventional plunger with the cover.

FIG. 5A is a front elevation view of a cartridge holder shown in FIG. 2. FIG. 5B is a perspective view showing a deodorant cartridge deposited within the cartridge holder. FIG. 5C is an elevation view shown from within the hollow area defined within the base of the cover. FIG. 5D is an elevated side view of the cartridge holder and showing a skirt sidewall, which helps to define the base, in cross section.

FIG. 6A is a perspective view of a prior art brush and cover assembly that may be used with the invention. FIG. 6B is a perspective view showing the cover assembly in an open position.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a prior art plunger.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another prior art brush and cover assembly that may be used with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The embodiments of the invention and the various features and advantageous details thereof are more fully explained with reference to the non-limiting embodiments and examples that are described and/or illustrated in the accompanying drawings and set forth in the following description. It should be noted that the features illustrated in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale, and the features of one embodiment may be employed with the other embodiments as the skilled artisan recognizes, even if not explicitly stated herein. Descriptions of well-known components and techniques may be omitted to avoid obscuring the invention. The examples used herein are intended merely to facilitate an understanding of ways in which the invention may be practiced and to further enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. Accordingly, the examples and embodiments set forth herein should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention, which is defined by the appended claims. Moreover, it is noted that like reference numerals represent similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

The cover comprises lightweight, molded plastic and includes an elongated hollow member extending from an upper end of an open or bottomless, hollow skirt that forms a base. The cover may be created from a thermoset or thermoplastic material that is formed, molded or extruded in a particular shape to provide a realistic look of a plant. Dyes may be added to the various parts of the cover to change the coloration of each to mimic a realistic look. For example, the color of the pot may be terracotta, while the palm leaves are green and the tree trunk is brown. The various plastics used in creating the cover may include one or more of polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene or any other moldable material that may be formed in a unitary shape. The material comprising the cover should be impervious to harsh cleansers or drain clog removers such as those used in cleaning toilet fixtures and clearing waste pipes. Preferably, the cover is formed in the shape of a miniature tree or bush planted in a planter. The elongated hollow member includes an exterior surface formed in the shape of a plant trunk or stem and may include a roughened exterior surface that appears to be bark from a particular tree.

In a preferred embodiment, as shown in the various views, the cover is formed in the shape of a miniature palm tree, typically a foot to three feet in height from a bottom of the base to a top of the formed plant. The exterior surface of the elongated hollow member has a roughened appearance and texture that looks like the bark of a palm tree. Palm leaves and branches are formed at a top of the cover. Coconuts may also be included atop the trunk or within the palm leaves or branches.

Thus, the present invention is a cover for a toilet tool having a handle end and an operating head end. The operating head of the toilet tool is arranged atop a floor surface of a bathroom such that the handle extends upwards. The cover is lowered onto the handle of the toilet tool by passing the handle through an open bottom of the base of the cover and into the hollow trunk of the cover. The base of the cover is then positioned atop the floor surface such that the open bottom surrounds the operating head of the toilet tool. The cover may be removed by grasping the hollow trunk or the leaves, branches or fruit arranged or formed at the top of the hollow trunk and simply lifting the cover upward.

The skirt defines a hollow area in which an operating end of a toilet tool and any associated toilet tool cover is situated. The elongated hollow member extends from a skirt top which may be thicker in cross section than the other elements of the cover. The hollow area defined by the elongated hollow member opens into the hollow area defined by the cover skirt. The hollow area defined by the cover skirt is large enough that it will accommodate both the operating end of a toilet tool and any associated toilet tool cover. Since the cover is hollow, it is lightweight and may be easily removed for use of the covered toilet tool by simply lifting it upward. Moreover, a bathroom may be decorated with matching pairs of covers.

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment. In this embodiment, the cover 1 comprises a base 13 having an open bottom and being formed in the shape of a planter. Preferably, the overall diameter of the bottom of the planter 18 is smaller than the overall diameter of the skirt top 15. The top of the planter 15 may be formed in the shape of pebbles or may be covered in Spanish moss or the like. The base 13 comprises a skirt wall 14 that includes an upper end attached to a skirt top 15. An exterior surface 17 of the skirt wall may be smooth or roughened to create differing looks. The skirt wall 14 and the skirt top 15 define a hollow area 16 into which the operating end of a toilet tool is inserted and stored. The skirt top 15 may be of increased thickness in relation to the other various elements of the cover. This not only aids in stability of the cover but also contributes to structural support for the elongated member and elements formed at an upper end thereof. The end view shown in FIG. 1B shows a bottom 18 that includes an opening 19 into which the toilet tool 100 is passed and stored. A bottom end of the skirt wall 14 is flattened and includes a circular opening 19 through which the toilet tool is passed.

As shown in FIG. 1A, the preferred embodiment is a miniature palm tree that includes a hollow elongated member 25 formed in the shape of a palm tree to include a roughened exterior surface that looks like bark of a palm tree trunk. That is, the exterior surface 26 of the elongated member 25 is roughened. A plurality of branches 31 extend from an upper end 29 of the elongated member 25. These branches 31 include palm leaves 35 and coconuts 33. The bottom end 28 extends from the skirt top 15 which is shown as pebbles in this view. However, Spanish moss may be adhered to the exterior surface of the skirt top. The roughened exterior surface 26 is preferably thicker in cross section than the formed leaves. This tends to keep the center of inertia at a lower elevation which in turn stabilizes the cover. The thickness of the elongated member 25 may be several mils thick. In turn, the thickness of the sidewalls of the base may be equal to or thicker than the sidewalls that comprise the elongated member to add stability to the cover. It should be noted that various other trees and their associated branches, leaves and fruits may be formed and used according to a desired particular décor of a room. Thus the device also serves as a hiding place for other materials or valuables and may be used in different rooms of the house other than the bathroom.

FIG. 2 is a cross section view of FIG. 1A and shown without deodorizing devices 5 of FIG. 3 and FIGS. 5A-5D. As shown, the elongated member 25 includes a roughened surface 26 that may be formed to have a realistic look of a trunk, stalk or stem of a particular plant. In FIG. 2, a toilet tool 100 such as that of FIG. 7, includes an operating end 125 and a handle 120 attached thereto. One particular commonly known toilet tool is a plunger. Another is shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B, as well as FIG. 8. In FIG. 6A, the toilet tool 100 includes a base 105 that operates in an opening manner similar to that of a clam shell. Brush head 130 is confined within the base 105 when the tool is not in use. A similar brush is shown in FIG. 8, which includes a handle 120 and a brush head 130. An elongated skirt 110 is provided for preventing toilet water from flowing back onto the handle area during use. Each of these types of toilet tools may be confined within the hollow area 16 defined by the skirt wall 14 and skirt top 15. That is to say, the height of the sidewalls are tall enough to accommodate any of these prior art toilet tools. The hollow space 30 within the elongated member is preferably at least one-half inch in diameter and large enough to accommodate at least the diameter of a handle of a toilet tool. It should be noted that the hatching of the various elements of FIG. 2 is different to aid in understanding the invention and should not be interpreted as necessarily comprising different materials with the exception of dyes or other coloring materials as discussed above.

A deodorizing device 5 may be included on an interior surface of the skirt sidewall 14 as shown in FIG. 3. FIGS. 5A-5D depict various views of the deodorizing device 5. The device 5 includes a back wall 8 which may comprise a portion of skirt sidewall 14, as shown in FIG. 3. An opening 6 is arranged at a top end of the deodorizing device. The front sidewall 7 includes a keyhole opening formed by sloping edges 12A and 12B. The keyhole opening aids in replacement of deodorizing tablet 50. The deodorizing tablet 50 may comprise scented material provided on or in the shape of a wafer that is periodically replaced. The deodorizing device 5 is arranged on the interior surface of sidewall 14, preferably nearer in distance to top 15 than in distance to bottom 18, as shown in FIG. 5C. An upper lip 11 extends around the top of deodorizing device 5 to define opening 6. Sidewalls 10 extend from back wall 8 and couple the front wall 7 to the sidewall 14.

FIG. 4 shows a user arranging a cover 1 onto a toilet tool 100. The user grasps the cover at an upper end of the elongated member and simply aligns the hollow opening of the elongated member over the handle of the tool. The cover is then simply deposited such that the base extends around the operating end of the toilet tool. To remove the cover for use, the user simply grasps the top of the cover and pulls upwards to reveal the toilet tool.

While the invention has been described with respect to preferred embodiments, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in limiting sense. From the above disclosure of the general principles of the present invention and the preceding detailed description, those skilled in the art will readily comprehend the various modifications to which the present invention is susceptible. Therefore, the scope of the invention should be limited only by the following claims and equivalents thereof.





 
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