Title:
Counter-top bag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A counter-top bag may be provided for convenient object disposal. The counter-top bag may have a mouth and may include an unstructured bag and a collar. The collar may be coupled to the unstructured bag such that the collar and the mouth of the unstructured bag form the mouth of the counter-top bag. Further, a ratio between a height of the collar and a height of the unstructured bag is configured in a desired range such that the counter-top bag is capable of standing with the mouth in an open position when the counter-top bag is in one of an empty condition and a filled condition.



Inventors:
Browne, Lee H. (Greenwich, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/717648
Publication Date:
06/26/2008
Filing Date:
03/14/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER;LLP (901 NEW YORK AVENUE, NW, WASHINGTON, DC, 20001-4413, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A counter-top bag, comprising: a bag body; a semirigid collar coupled to bag body, wherein the height of the collar is chosen such that the counter-top bag is capable of standing with the mouth in an open position when the counter-top bag is empty or full.

2. The counter-top bag according to claim 1, wherein the ratio between the height of the collar and the height of the bag body is approximately 4:1.

3. The counter-top bag according to claim 1, wherein the height of the collar is between approximately 4″ and 6″, and the height of the bag is less than approximately 6″.

4. The counter-top bag according to claim 1, wherein, when the counter-top bag is filled, the ratio between the height of the collar and the height of the bag body is no less than 4:6.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE

This application is based upon and claims the benefit of priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/876,166 filed on Dec. 21, 2006, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to bags with mouth opening devices, and more particularly to techniques for collared counter-top bags.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is often difficult to keep open the mouth of an unstructured bag, such as a plain polymeric bag, etc., while placing objects into the bag. For example, holding a large polymeric lawn bag open while filling the bag with leaves may be a difficult task to perform, especially because of a tendency for the mouth of the bag to collapse.

Techniques have been developed to keep the mouth of the bag open while filling the bag. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,494,619 issued to Sulpizio on Dec. 17, 2002 (the '619 patent), discloses a mouth opening device to overcome the collapsing tendency of the mouth of the bag. As disclosed in the '619 patent, the mouth opening device may be a generally ring-shaped collar for maintaining the mouth of the bag in an open position and the collar's height may be 8-10 inches with larger bags (e.g., 20-30 gallon bags) or may be 1-2 inches with smaller sized bags.

However, while such techniques maintain the mouth of the bag in an open position, other difficulties may arise from associated bag structures as disclosed in the '619 patent. For example, because the bag structures use a relative shorter collar, the bag may be unable to stand when placed on the ground or some other supporting surface. Also, the mouth of the bag may need to be repeatedly pulled up every time when filling the bag, thus make it undesirable to be used in indoors with limited spaces, such as on a kitchen counter. Further, when the bag is filled with objects, the bag structures with a relative shorter collar may be unable to prevent the bag from tipping, thus may cause undesired spillages.

Methods and systems consistent with certain features of the disclosed embodiments address one or more of the problems set forth above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One aspect of the present invention includes a counter-top bag having a mouth. The counter-top bag may include an unstructured bag and a collar. The unstructured bag may have at least a bottom and a mouth. The collar may be coupled to the unstructured bag such that the collar and the mouth of the unstructured bag form the mouth of the counter-top bag. Further, a ratio between a height of the collar and a height of the unstructured bag is configured in a desired range such that the counter-top bag is capable of standing with the mouth in an open position when the counter-top bag is in one of an empty condition and a filled condition.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of an exemplary counter-top bag consistent with the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows an empty exemplary counter-top bag consistent with the present invention; and

FIG. 3 shows a filled exemplary counter-top bag consistent with the present invention.

DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made in detail to embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of a counter-top bag 100. As shown in FIG. 1, counter-top bag 100 may include a collar 102 and an unstructured bag 104. A counter-top bag, as used herein, may refer to a relatively small bag (e.g., ½-2 quart size, etc.) that may be used for holding small amounts, such as in a kitchen for plate scrapings, peels, coffee grinds, and other organic kitchen waste.

Unstructured bag 104 may include any appropriate type of bag without substantial additional structures besides a standard bag having a bottom, a mouth, and a side, etc. For example, unstructured bag 104 may include a polymeric bag, a plastic bag, a paper bag, or a fabric bag, etc. Further, unstructured bag 104 may be coupled to collar 102 to form a structured bag (i.e., a standard bag with additional structures such as a mouth device), such as counter-top bag 100. Although FIG. 1 shows collar 102 and unstructured bag 104 as independent parts of counter-top bag 100 for illustrative purposes, collar 102 and unstructured bag 104 may overlap. In certain embodiments, collar 102 may coincide with unstructured bag 104 and collar 102 may be configured as a mouth of unstructured bag 104 or structured bag 100.

Collar 102 may include any appropriate structure for keeping the mouth of counter bag 100 or unstructured bag 104 open. For example, collar 102 may include a strip of material with its ends secured to form a generally tubular shape. Other shapes, such as a rectangle or octagon, may also be used. Further, collar 102 may be made of different materials, such as paper, cardboard, thin metallic material, polymer material, or other materials or combinations of materials having suitable light weight, crush resistance, and radially inwardly deformable properties.

Collar 102 may be coupled to unstructured bag 104 to form a structured mouth of bag 104. Collar 102 may be coupled to unstructured bag 104 by any appropriate means, such as by adhesive; heat-sealing; or mechanical means, etc. Also, collar 102 may be manufactured with unstructured bag 104 as a single unit.

Collar 102 may also include a plurality of corrugations (not shown) formed to provide vertical strength and to facilitate collapsing of collar 102 to enable counter-top bag 100 to close. For example, the corrugations may allow counter-top bag 100 to be closed when full, and stand with certain levels of vertical crush resistance. In certain embodiments, collar 102 may extend vertically upwardly toward an upper edge and may form a generally ring-shaped collar for keeping the mouth counter-top bag 100 open.

Further, counter-top bag 100 may be structured in appropriate size such that counter-top bag 100 may be able to stand on a supporting surface while keeping the mouth of counter bag 100 in an open position. For example, as shown in FIG. 1, a diameter 106 of counter-top bag 100 may include a size of 3″ to 12″, a height 108 of collar 102 may include a size of 1″ to 8″, and a height 110 of counter-top bag 100 may include a size of 4″ to 12″. Other sizes of counter-top bag diameter, height, and collar may also be used. In certain embodiments, height 108 of collar 102 may have a size of 4″ to 6″ and a height of unstructured bag 104 (i.e., a difference between height 110 of counter-top bag 110 and height 108 of collar 102) may be less than 6″. Such structural limitations may significantly reduce possibilities of counter-top bag 100 tipping when filled, while keep the mouth of counter-top bag 100 in an open position.

FIG. 2 shows an empty counter-top bag 100. As shown in FIG. 2, with collar 102 in an open position, counter-top bag 100 may stand on a supporting surface, such as kitchen counter-top, etc. Heights of collar 102 and unstructured bag 104 may be configured such that a ratio between the height of collar 102 and the height of unstructured bag 104, as in a standing position, may be approximately 4:1. Other ratios, however, may also be used.

FIG. 3 shows a filled counter-top bag 100. As shown in FIG. 3, with collar 102 in an open position, and unstructured bag 104 filled with certain objects, counter-top bag 100 may stand on a supporting surface, such as kitchen counter-top, etc. Heights of collar 102 and unstructured bag 104 may be configured such that a ratio between the height of collar 102 and the height of unstructured bag 104, as in a filled and standing position, may be greater than or equal to 4:6. Other ratios, however, may also be used.

By using a significantly higher ratio between the height of collar 102 and the height of unstructured bag 104 than that of a conventional collared bag (e.g., around 1:30, etc.), counter-top bag 100 may be capable of simultaneously pose in both a standing position and in an open position no matter whether counter-top bag 100 is filled or not. Further, because collar 102 may also be higher than that of the conventional collared bag, it may be unnecessary to keep pulling up counter-top bag 100 while filling counter-top bag 100.

Other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the invention disclosed herein.