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Title:
Integrated Container Adapter and Display Tray
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An integrated contents display and sorting tray adapter assembly that connects to the top of a container or other similar vessel which allows an individual to readily display the contents of the jar, easily reinsert the contents into the jar, and easily and quickly store the jar/adapter assembly in a safe manner.


Inventors:
Darling, James E. (Manchester, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/618847
Publication Date:
07/03/2008
Filing Date:
12/31/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/751, 206/557
International Classes:
B65D23/00; B65D1/34; B65D25/22
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard, Bigelow L. (203 TREMONT STREET, NEWINGTON, CT, 06111, US)
Claims:
The following is claimed:

1. An integrated adapter and display tray assembly that is connected to the mouth of a container, and which has an opening in the adapter that allows the contents of the container to pass through said adapter and be displayed in the tray.

2. An integrated adapter and display tray assembly as in claim 1 where the adapter comprises threads that allow the adapter to be screwed on to a jar or similar container.

3. An integrated adapter and display tray assembly as in claim 1 where the adapter comprises raised dimples that allow the adapter to be snapped on to a container.

4. An integrated adapter and display tray assembly as in claim 1 that comprises a lip at its outermost end such that said assembly can be hung from a shelf or lath.

5. An integrated adapter and display tray assembly as in claim 1 that comprises a tray that flares outward from the adapter to provide more display area for the tray.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

None.

FEDERAL RESEARCH STATEMENT

None

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a contents display adapter that connects to the top of a container or other similar vessel and more specifically to an adapter that connects to the top of a jar that can readily display the contents of the jar when the jar is turned onto its side. The contents display adapter allows an individual to quickly and effortlessly display the contents of a jar or other vessel in the display tray and then equally quickly and effortlessly reinsert the contents into the jar.

Virtually every American household stores surplus screws, nails, bolts, nuts, tacks, electrical fittings, gaskets, etc. in jars, cans, or other similar vessels. When it comes time to look for a certain screw, nail, etc. in one such jar or can, the problem becomes one of quickly observing what is contained in such jar, can, etc. Normally, an individual either roots through the jar or pours the contents onto a flat surface. Once the desired element is found, the issue becomes one of placing the contents back in the jar. The instant invention presents a means and method for quickly and effortlessly displaying the contents of a jar and then equally quickly and effortlessly reinserting the contents back into the jar. Furthermore, the device presents a means for storing the jar/adapter assembly in an efficient manner.

The instant invention consists of an adapter and display tray that is attached to the top of a jar, can or other similar vessel.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

U.S. Pat. No. 6,116,425 issued to Richard A. Frayer, Sr on Sep. 12, 2000 reflects the state of the art with respect to devices used to display items from a container. The Frayer device is merely a display and sorting tray that has a funneling area to facilitate reinserting items back into a container. The instant device is a significant improvement on the Frayer patent in that it is a totally integrated display, sorting, reinsertion and storage device.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,092,471 issued to Michael L. and Nancy J. Pinizzotto on Nov. 5, 1990 teaches another display and sorting tray with funnel adapters for reinsertion. However, the Pinizzotto device is not a totally integrated display, sorting, reinsertion and storage device as is the instant invention.

Neither of the above nor any of the other prior art teaches or anticipates the integrated display, sorting, reinsertion and storage properties of the instant invention.

None of the patents described in Vest, taken either singly or in combination, are seen to disclose the specific arrangement of concepts disclosed by the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed toward an integrated contents display and sorting tray adapter assembly that connects to the top of a container or other similar vessel which allows an individual to readily display the contents of the jar, easily reinsert the contents into the jar, and easily and quickly store the jar/adapter assembly in a safe manner. The present invention will be marketed under the trade name of Jar Caddy™.

While the instant invention is applicable to all types of containers including jars, cans, bottles, and cups, for ease of illustration, reference will be made to the adapter/tray assembly in conjunction with a jar with the implicit understanding that the assembly can be used on virtually any type of similar device.

Virtually every American household stores surplus screws, nails, bolts, nuts, tacks, electrical fittings, gaskets, etc. in jars, cans, or other similar vessels stored in a basement, garage, or other similar workspace. When it comes time to look for a certain screw, nail, etc. in one such jar, the problem becomes one of quickly observing what is contained in such jar, selecting the item required and then quickly and effortlessly reinserting the un-needed items into the jar or container. Normally, an individual either forages through the jar or pours the contents onto a flat surface to find what he or she wants. Once the desired item is found, the issue becomes one of placing the contents back in the jar in an expeditious manner. The instant invention presents a means and method for quickly and effortlessly displaying the contents of a jar and then equally quickly and effortlessly reinserting the contents back into the jar. Furthermore, the device presents a means for storing the jar/adapter assembly in an efficient manner.

The instant invention consists of a display tray adapter that is attached to the top of a jar, can or other similar vessel. The adapter can be attached to the jar by “screwing” it onto the jar or by attaching it in some other way to jar. In essence, the adapter is a lid of a jar with a display tray attached to it. The lid of the jar has an opening so that stored items can be easily poured into the display tray and easily poured back into the jar.

The present invention represents a significant improvement over the Frayer and Pinizzotto devices in that it is a totally integrated display, reinsertion and storage device.

Referring to the drawings, the present invention is an integrated display, reinsertion and storage device 10 as shown in FIG. 1 that is comprised of an adapter assembly 60 that is attached to a jar 20 and display tray 30. When the jar/adapter/tray assembly is turned on its side, screws 40 or other items fall through an opening in the adapter 60 into the display tray 30 where they can be easily sorted and the desired item selected. After the desired item has been selected, the jar/adapter/tray assembly is turned right side up and the items fall/are poured back into the jar 20.

FIG. 2 shows the adapter/tray 10 device disengaged from the jar 20. The threads 50 on the jar 20 and the threads 80 on the adapter/tray 10 are also shown.

FIG. 3 shows how the jar 20 with the adapter/tray assembly 10 can be stored by suspending it from a shelf on a pegboard.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows the adapter 60 and tray 30 assembly 10 attached to a jar 20. When the entire jar/adapter/tray assembly is rotated slightly in excess of 90 degrees from the vertical, screws, bolts, nails, etc. emerge from the jar 20 through an opening in the adapter 60 and are deposited in the display tray. The tray width gradually increases the farther from the jar mouth opening in order to increase the display area of the tray. When the desired item is selected, the entire jar/adapter/tray assembly is rotated slowly back to the upright position and the screws, nails, etc. easily and quickly flow back into the jar 20. FIG. 1 also show the end 70 of the display tray 30 that is raised enough to allow the entire jar/adapter/tray assembly to be suspended as shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 2 shows the adapter/tray 10 device disengaged from the jar 20. The threads 50 on the jar 20 and the corresponding threads 80 on the adapter/tray 10 are also shown.

FIG. 3 shows how the integrated jar/adapter/tray assembly can be suspended from a shelf on a pegboard.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the adapter/tray assembly 10. This view shows the raised lip 70 of the adapter/tray assembly 10 that allows the entire assembly to be suspended from a shelf lath on a pegboard or similar device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed toward an integrated contents display and sorting tray adapter assembly that connects to the top of a container or other similar vessel which allows an individual to readily display the contents of the jar, easily reinsert the contents into the jar, and easily and quickly store the jar/adapter/tray assembly in a safe manner.

While the instant invention is applicable to all types of containers including jars, cans, bottles, and cups, for ease of illustration, reference will be made to the adapter/tray assembly in conjunction with a jar with the implicit understanding that the assembly can be used on virtually any type of similar container.

Referring to FIG. 1, the instant invention consists of a display and sorting tray adapter 60 that is attached to the top of a jar, can or other similar vessel. The adapter can be attached to the jar by “screwing” it onto the jar or by attaching it in some other way to jar. FIG. 2 shows the adapter/tray assembly 10 disengaged from the jar 20. FIG. 2 also shows the threading 50 on the jar and the threading 80 on the adapter. Other means of attaching the adapter to the jar include, but are not limited to, clamping the adapter to the jar, or snapping the adapter onto the jar. In essence, the adapter is a “lid” of a jar with a display and sorting tray 30 attached to it. The adapter 60 contains an opening in the “lid” of the jar so that stored items can be easily poured into the display and sorting tray 30 and easily poured back into the jar. The size of the opening in the adapter “lid” 60 can vary from the entire surface area of the “lid” to approximately half the surface area of the “lid”.

When the integrated jar/adapter/tray assembly is in the upright position, screws, nails, bolts, etc. are safely and efficiently stored. The adapter/tray assembly 10 is light enough so that the entire jar/adapter/tray assembly is not top heavy. The entire integrated assembly can either stand alone with the bottom of the jar resting on a suitable surface or the entire integrated assembly can be suspended from a shelf or wooden lath or similar device on a pegboard as shown in FIG. 3.

The usefulness of the jar/adapter/tray assembly is exhibited when the entire assembly is rotated somewhat greater than 90 degrees from the vertical and the contents of jar pours into the display and sorting tray 30. The entire assembly is then laid down flat on a horizontal surface for sorting.

The display and sorting tray 30 is so constructed that the sides flare out from the adapter 60 in order to make the display and sorting tray wider, thereby facilitating the display and sorting process. After the desired item is removed from the display and sorting tray, the usefulness of the entire jar/adapter/tray assembly is further evidenced by the ease with which displayed items from the jar can be reinserted into the jar. This is accomplished by rotating the entire assembly from the vertical between 45 and 75 degrees back towards the vertical. As this rotation occurs, the contents of the tray proceed through the funneling effect of the adapter 60 and into the jar.

The best mode for making and using the integrated adapter/display and sorting tray is to injection mold the device in one piece and attach it to a jar. The display and sorting tray is so constructed such the bottom of the tray is slightly rounded and the sides curve approximately one third of the way up the sides of the adapter. The tray further contains a lip on the far end suitable for suspending the entire jar/adapter/tray assembly from a lath on a pegboard. The tray flares out slightly from the opening in the “lid” so that more display and sorting surface is available. The opening in the “lid” of the adapter is positioned along the bottom surface of the adapter such that