Title:
ATTACHABLE, PORTABLE PET MEDICATION CARRIER HAVING A WATERPROOF MEDICATION STORAGE CONTAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A medication storage device that is that is easily coupled to a wide variety of storage facilities and easily transportable includes an inner pill box having one or more storage bins that is introduced and held within a weather and water resistant storage bag. The storage bag includes a magnet and/or rope hook with a carabiner for coupling the storage bag to a storage facility within close proximity to an animal or human. The storage bag includes a pouch wherein an identification card may be stored. The identification card provides information relevant to the proper dispensing of the medications contained within the inner pill box to an animal or human.



Inventors:
Zelek, Kathleen G. (Steamboat Springs, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/843701
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
08/23/2007
Assignee:
JONSHAWN LLC (Steamboat Springs, CO, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/538
International Classes:
B65D85/42
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dickinson, Wright Pllc (38525 WOODWARD AVENUE, SUITE 2000, BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI, 48304-2970, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A medication storage device, comprising: (a) an inner pill box containing one or more storage bins for receipt therein of one or more medications; and (b) a flexible, durable weather-resistant storage bag for receipt of the inner pill box; said storage bag comprising: a bottom portion; a front portion coupled to said bottom portion; a pair of side portions coupled to said bottom portion and said front portion; a rear portion coupled to said bottom portion and said pair of side portions; an open top border portion defined by said front portion, said pair of side portions and said rear portion; a membrane flap lid coupled to one of said front portion, a first one of said pair of side portions, a second one of said pair of side portions, or said rear portion between said open top border portion and said bottom portion; an interior region defined by said front portion, said pair of side portions said rear portion, said bottom portion and said membrane flap lid, said interior region sized sufficiently for receipt of said inner pill box; a draw string coupled through an open space defined within each of said front portion, said pair of side portions said rear portion between said open top border portion and said membrane flap lid, said draw string including a cord lock.

2. The medication storage device of claim 1, wherein said storage bag further comprises: a magnet coupled to one of the group consisting of said rear portion, said front portion, a first one of said pair of side portions, and a second one of said pair of side portions.

3. The medication storage device of claim 1, wherein said storage bag further comprises: a rope hook coupled to one of the group consisting of said rear portion, said front portion, a first one of said pair of side portions, and a second one of said pair of side portions to said rear portion; and a carabiner coupled to said rope hook.

4. The medication storage device of claim 1, wherein said storage bag further comprises: a magnet coupled to one of the group consisting of said rear portion, said front portion, a first one of said pair of side portions, and a second one of said pair of side portions; a rope hook coupled to one of the group consisting of said rear portion, said front portion, a first one of said pair of side portions, and a second one of said pair of side portions; and a carabiner coupled to said rope hook.

5. The medication storage device of claim 1, wherein said storage is bag further comprises: a pouch coupled to one of the group consisting of said rear portion, said front portion, a first one of said pair of side portions, and a second one of said pair of side portions; and an identification card that is sized to be coupled within said pouch.

6. The medication storage device of claim 5, wherein said pouch comprises a mesh pouch.

7. The medication storage device of claim 5, wherein said pouch comprises a sealable pouch that includes a clear plastic window.

8. The medication storage device of claim 1, wherein said inner pill box comprises: a housing; and one or more storage bins, each of said storage bins including a pop-up lid having a first end flexibly attached to said housing and a second end reversibly coupled to said housing.

9. The medication storage device of claim 8, wherein said pop-up lid is integrally formed with said housing along said first end.

10. The medication storage device of claim 8, wherein said second end comprises a snap closure device for reversibly coupling to said housing.

11. The medication storage device of claim 10, wherein said snap closure device is reversibly coupled onto a ledge portion of said housing, said ledge portion comprising a border of one of said one or more storage bins.

12. The medication storage device of claim 10, wherein said snap closure device is reversibly coupled onto a ledge portion of said housing, said ledge portion comprising a border between two of said one or more storage bins, wherein said one or more storage bins comprises at least two storage bins.

13. The medication storage device of claim 8, wherein said pop-up lid includes a visible feature formed thereon.

14. The medication storage device of claim 13, wherein said visible feature comprises an embossed visible feature located on an outer surface of said pop-up lid.

15. The medication storage device of claim 13, wherein said visible feature comprises a depressed visible feature located within an outer surface of said pop-up lid.

16. The medication storage device of claim 13, wherein said visible feature comprises a painted-on visible feature located on an outer surface of said pop-up lid.

17. The medication storage device of claim 13, wherein said visible feature comprises is located on an inner surface of said pop-up lid.

18. The medication storage device of claim 8, wherein a border between said first end and said housing defines a pivot point, said pop-up lid being capable of rotating about said pivot point between an open position and a closed position, said open position defined wherein said second end is uncoupled from said housing and said closed position defined wherein said second end is coupled to said housing.

19. The medication storage device of claim 11, wherein a border between said first end and said housing defines a pivot point, said pop-up lid being capable of rotating about said pivot point between an open position and a closed position, said open position defined wherein said snap closure device is uncoupled from said ledge portion to allow access to an interior portion of one of said one or more storage bins and said closed position defined wherein said snap closure device is coupled to said ledge portion to prevent access to said interior portion of said one of said one or more storage bins.

20. The medication storage device of claim 19, wherein said ledge portion comprises a portion of said housing located between a respective pair of said one or more storage bins and wherein said portion of said housing near said first end and said border is located between another respective pair of said one or more storage bins, wherein said one or more storage bins comprises two or more storage bins.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to medication storage devices and more specifically to an attachable, portable pet medication carrier having a waterproof medication storage container.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Medication storage containers for humans come in many shapes and sizes that are utilized to safely and conveniently store medications for usage. Some storage containers utilize multiple, flip-top type storage bins that can store medications based on hourly or daily consumption or some other type of measurable time reference.

Similar medication storage containers may also be utilized to ensure that that pets or zoo animals receive their proper medications on an hourly or daily basis. However, issues may arise in ensuring that these animals receive their medications at the proper times and dosages, given that these animals cannot self-medicate. For example, medications and dosages are not typically stored in close proximity to the cages or houses where the pets normally or temporarily reside. This is especially problematic at zoos or other permanent animal housing facilities, wherein multiple animals may be caged or otherwise housed together and wherein medications for such animals must be properly dispensed to the correctly identified animals at predetermined times and dosages.

Similar issues may also arise for pet owners when their pets are being temporarily housed at a kennel or location outside of the family home such as with a pet sitter, as the pet owners will rely on individuals at these facilities that are not intimately familiar with their particular pet's medication schedules to ensure that their pets receive the proper medications and dosages at the proper times. Many times these medications are stored separately from the animals, and thus the problem of associating particular medications to particular animals at proper dosages and times can be problematic. There therefore exists a need for easily storing an animal's medication in close proximity to the animal and in such a way that the facility can ensure that the medication is properly dispensed at the right time and dosage. Preferably, the medication is stored in a container that is attached to the kennel or area wherein the pet is being kept.

Also, pet owners typically have no convenient way for transporting medications for daily activities such as hiking, boating, skiing, camping and the like. These medications need to be stored in a container that is easily portable, convenient and weatherproof for subsequent dispensation when a pet owner is not home. The containers should also be securable in a locking position to prevent the storage bins from opening during transport. Preferably, such a locking position is also designed such that it is not easily accessible to a child.

Further, many times pet owners, zoos, or other entities must transport their animals via cars, trucks or airplanes. There is therefore a need to store and transport their medications in a convenient manner and in close proximity to the animals to ensure that the medications are not separated from the animal during transport and may be dispensed as prescribed.

Accordingly, there is a need for a medication storage device that is easily attachable to a wide variety of potential pet storage facilities, including kennels, cages, fencing, stalls, dog runs and the like. There is also a need for a medical storage device that is easily and safely transportable. There is a further need that such a storage device is easy to utilize and protected from the environment. Further, there is a need for such a medication storage device to have means for associating the medication storage device to a particular animal and to provide information on this means regarding dosing information and scheduling for the medication.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention provides a medication storage device for animals that is that is easily attachable to a wide variety of storage facilities for animals. The medication storage device includes an identification means for ensuring that the medications are given to the correct animals at the correct times and in the correct dosage levels. The present invention also provides a medication storage device that is easily portable and weather-proof.

The present invention provides a medication storage device having an inner pill box that includes multiple bins for storing medication, preferably in pill form. The inner pill box is removable from a storage bag having a waterproof membrane flip lid. The storage bag also includes a sewn-in magnet and/or other physical attachment means for easy attachment to a cage or other animal housing facility. The storage bag also includes a draw string that encloses over the top of a waterproof membrane flip-lid after the medication is introduced within the storage bag. The draw string includes a cord-lock that secures the top of the bag in a closed position for transport.

The storage bag further includes a sewn-in pouch and identification card wherein animal identifying information can be placed. This placard may be filled out by an individual and contain any information the individual deems necessary, including animal identifiers such as pictures or license information and medication information, to ensure that a particular animal receives their medication at the properly prescribed dosages and time interval.

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention, when viewed in accordance with the accompanying drawings and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a medication storage device in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the medication storage device of FIG. 1 wherein the inner pill box and identification card are coupled within and to the storage bag and the bag is in an open position;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the medication storage device of FIG. 1 wherein the inner pill box is coupled within the storage bag and the storage bag is in a closed position;

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the storage bag of FIG. 1 in an open position;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the storage bag of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a close-up perspective view of the inner pill box of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a close-up view of a portion of FIG. 6 taken within circle 7 in accordance with one preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a close-up view of a portion of FIG. 6 taken within circle 7 in accordance with another preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 is a close-up view of a portion of FIG. 6 taken within circle 7 in accordance with yet another preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to FIGS. 1-5, a portable, attachable and transportable medication storage device 10 in accordance with one preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated that includes as its major components an inner pill box 12 that is removable from an outer protective storage bag 14. The medication storage device 10 is ideally suited for storing animal medications 16, and will be described in those terms herein. However, the device 10 is not limited to this usage, as the device 10 may also be used by humans to store medications.

The inner pill box 12 includes medication storage bins 18 for housing the animal medications 16, preferably in pill form. Two preferred embodiments are illustrated in FIG. 1 and in FIG. 6 and will be described in further detail below. The inner pill box 12 is sized to be accommodated completely within the outer protective storage bag 14, which is designed to protect the inner pill box from damage during transport and storage. The protective storage bag 14 also provides means for easily identifying the medications 16 contained within the inner pill box 12 and multiple different means for attaching the storage bag 14 to a storage container (kennel, dog walk, cage etc.) wherein an animal is housed permanently or temporarily.

Referring back to FIGS. 2-4, the storage bag 14 is preferably formed of a waterproof, flexible and durable material or fabric such as nylon. The storage bag 14 is includes a front portion 60, rear portion 62, bottom portion 64 and side portions 66, 68 coupled together (i.e. sewn together or otherwise secured or fastened) along their respective borders to form a bag 14 having an interior region 70 and an open top border portion 72. The material can consist of a single layer or multiple layers of material coupled together and defining an open space 73 there between. Preferably, these portions are sewn together with thread 71. The interior region 70 is sized to accept the entirety of the inner pill box 12 beneath the open top border portion 72. Also, a membrane flap lid 78 is coupled to one of the front portion 60, rear portion 62, side portion 66 or side portion 68 beneath the open top border portion 72 and provides a substantially waterproof seal to the bag 14 within the interior region 70. Preferably as shown in FIGS. 1-4, the membrane flap lip 78 is coupled to the rear portion 62 with thread 71. For accuracy purposes, the membrane flap lid 78 forms the uppermost surface defining the interior region 70.

In addition, the storage bag 14 also includes a magnet 74 preferably coupled within the rear portion 62 of the bag 14. Preferably, the magnet 74 is sewn into an interior region of said rear portion 62, but alternatively may be coupled to either the interior portion 63 or exterior portion 65 of the rear portion 62. The magnet 74 allows the bag to be magnetically coupled to a metal surface, such as an animal cage, during transport of an animal or storage of the animal at a kennel or zoo.

Further, a rope hook 76 with a carabiner 79 is preferably coupled to the rear portion 62 above the magnet 74 and beneath the open top border portion 72. The rope hook 76 and carabiner 79 allows the bag 14 to be hooked onto a nail or the like for storage. Of course, the location of the magnet 74 and/or rope hook 76 and carabiner 79, as well as the number of magnets and rope hooks with carabiners, is not limited to the arrangement illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, but may include any other possible variation, as one of ordinary skill may envision. Moreover, the shape and size of the magnets 74, rope hooks and carabiners are not limited to the preferred embodiments displayed in the accompanying figures, but may vary in a virtually limitless number of ways, and still fall within the spirit of the present invention.

The storage bag 14 also preferably includes a draw string 80 that is sewn within open space 73 of the front portion 60, rear portion 62, and side portions 66, 68 near their top border portion 62 encloses over the top of the sewn-in waterproof membrane flip-lid 78 after the medication is introduced within the storage bag 14. The open space 73 is located between an inner and outer material layer, when two layers define the respective front portion 60, rear portion 62, and side portions 66, 68. Alternatively, the open space can be formed wherein the front portion 60, rear portion 62, and side portions 66, 68 are formed from one layer, wherein the topmost portion is folded over and sewn together to create the open space through which the draw string is feathered. The draw string 80 includes a cord-lock 82 that can be tightened to secure the open top border portion 70 of the bag 14 in a closed position, as shown in FIG. 3, for transport and storage. The cord-lock can also be moved back to an open position from the closed position, as shown in FIG. 2, to allow the inner pill box 12 to be removed from the interior region 70 for subsequent dispensing of the medications 16.

The storage bag 14 further includes a sewn-in pouch 84 and identification card 86 wherein animal identifying information can be placed. The pouch 84 can be of similar material to the rest of the bag 14, or alternatively may be a mesh material as shown in FIGS. 1-4. In addition, the pouch 84 may include a clear plastic window (not shown) such that the card 86 may be read without removing it from the pouch 84. In yet another alternative preferred embodiment, the pouch 84 may be sealable to the storage bag 14 along its open top end to prevent water or other fluids from leaking into the interior region of the pouch and damaging the card 86. Moreover, the pouch 84 may include a hook and loop fastener attached along the top border of the pouch 84 and storage bag 14 that allows the pouch 84 to be reversibly attached to the storage bag 14, therein preventing the card 86 from falling out during transport. This card 86 may be filled out by an individual and contain any information the individual deems necessary, including animal identifiers such as pictures or license information and medication information, to ensure that a particular animal receives their medication at the properly prescribed dosages and time interval.

The inner pill box 12 includes a housing 30 having the afore-mentioned medication storage bins 18. Each individual storage bin 18 defines an interior portion 19 that is of sufficient width, length and depth for storing the desired animal medication 16 or medications and includes a pop-up lid 32. The pop-up lids 32 are each integrally formed along one side 34 to a portion 36 of the housing 30 and there between define a pivot point 38. At least one other side 40 of the pop-up lid 32 includes a snap closure portion 42 that couples over a ledge portion 44 of the housing 30 to reversibly secure the pop-up lid 32 to the housing 30. The pop-up lid 32, therefore, is opened by uncoupling the snap closure portion 42 from the ledge portion 44 and pivoting the pop-up lid along its pivot point 38 to expose the interior portion 19 to allow for the introduction of medication 16. This is the so-called open position. After the medication 16 is introduced to the interior region 19, the snap closure portion 42 is recoupled (reversibly secured) to the ledge portion 44 in the closed position. The amount of force necessary to secure or unsecure the snap closure portion 42 onto the ledge portion 44 should be sufficient to prevent the pop-up lid 32 from opening easily under jostling pressure or bumping such as may occur as the medication storage device 10 is being transported or carried.

In the preferred embodiment of the inner pill box 12, as best shown in FIG. 6, the pivot point 38 is located along the central-most portion of the pop-up lid 32 and the snap closure portion 42 and ledge portion 44 of the housing 30 are located along the outermost diameter 54.

However, as one of ordinary skill in the art could envision, the location of the snap closure 42 portion and the integrally formed portion of the pop-up lid may be located in alternative arrangement that fall within the spirit of the present invention. For example, the pop-up lid 32 could pivot along the outermost diameter 54 and the snap closure portion 42 and ledge portion 44 be located more inwardly. Alternatively, the pivot point could be along the side of the pop-up lid, between two bins, and the snap closure portion 42 located along the opposite side. For that matter, the inner pill box 12 may be formed with other types of storage bins as well that do not require a pop-up lid to dispense the medication.

Further, while the shape of the inner pill box 12 is shown as being disk-shaped, it could take on a wide variety of other shapes, with the only requirement being that it is capable of being completely contained within the storage bag 14. For example, the inner pill box 12 could be squared or rectangular shaped and still fall within the spirit of the present invention.

The inner pill box 12 is preferably formed from a flexible polymeric material that is durable, weatherable, and water and chemical resistant. Non-limiting examples of such materials include various thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers and copolymers, including various addition polymers, condensation polymers and/or specialty polymers. Most preferably, the flexible plastic material utilized is relatively clear or translucent to allow an individual to view the medication contained in the bin 18 when the pop-up lid 32 is closed. Non-limiting examples of clear plastics that may be used to form the inner pill box 12 include acrylics, polycarbonates, nylons, and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) having the desired flexibility requirements. However, as one of ordinary skill recognizes, metallic materials may also be utilized to form the pill box 12, including but not limited to lightweight metals such as aluminum, metal alloys such steel or zinc. In addition, composite materials, including fiber reinforced composites, may also be utilized to form the inner pill box 12. Combinations of more than one type of material are also specifically contemplated. Depending upon the material choice, a variety of forming methods may be used to form the inner pill box 12, including molding, stamping, injection molding and the like.

Referring again to FIG. 6, the pop-up lid 32 of one or more of the bins 16 may be include one or more visible features 50 that are used to identify the contents of each individual bin 18. For example, as shown in FIG. 6, these features 50 could include lettering 52 symbolizing each day of the week or could include special wording 55 for bins to be utilized in case of an emergency. Alternatively, as not shown, the visible features 50 could identify individual medications by name or numerical code, or could use some other means for identifying the contents of the respective bin 18, as one of ordinary skill in the art may envision.

The visible features 50 can be formed in a wide variety of potential ways. Three preferred displays are shown in FIGS. 7-9. For example, as shown in FIG. 7, the visible features 50 may be painted on features 71 or otherwise applied onto the outer surface 56 of the lid 32. Alternatively, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, respectively, the visible features 50 may be a depressed feature 73 (i.e. indented or inscribed as in FIG. 8) or a raised feature 75 (i.e. embossed as in FIG. 9) contained on the outer surface 56 of the lid 32. The raised features 75 may also include Braille lettering that is desired for the sight-impaired. Further, while not shown herein, wherein the pop-up lid 32 is sufficiently translucent, these visible features 50 may be alternatively introduced to an inner surface 58 of the pop-up lid 32 or formed within the interior portion of the lid 32 between the outer surface 56 and inner surface 58.

While not shown, visible features may also be located on the inner pill box 12 on other areas that are readily visible to a person. For example, the visible features, including letters and numbers, may be included along the outer periphery of the bins, or along the bottom of the pill box 12, in areas not considered part of the pop-up lid 32. These visible features could be duplicative of the information contained on the pop-up lid 32 when visible features are introduced to the pop-up lid 32, or could include other information not associated with the information on the visible features. By way of one non-limiting example, information regarding the name of the pet and the pet owner's name could be painted on the back of the inner pill box 12, while the days of the week could be embossed on the pop-up lid 32, and fall within the spirit of the present invention.

The present invention is ideally suited for pet owners for use in maintaining proper medication for their pets in situations in a wide variety of possible scenarios by providing a medication storage device that is easily attachable to a wide variety of potential pet storage facilities, including kennels, cages, fencing, stalls, dog runs and the like. Thus, a pet owner who houses their pets at one of these storage facilities, while on vacation or the like, can be relatively assured that the pet's medication or medications are easily accessible at the storage facilities through use of either the magnet or rope hook and carabiner that maintains the medications in close proximity to the animal.

In addition, pet owners can be relatively assured that their pet is being given the correct medication and dosage, as the facilities can review this information on the attached identification card to confirm the timing and dosage of medication to be dispensed. The facilities can also confirm the identity of the particular animal being given the medication by comparing the identification card provided to the animal, which is an added desirable feature when multiple animals are contained in a single housing area.

The present invention also provides a transportable, convenient weather proof storage bag for transporting animal medications while participating in such activities as hiking, rafting, boating, skiing (water and snow), and camping. The draw string enclosure aids in ensuring that the storage bag remains closed until needed, while the waterproof lids aids in preventing water from entering the interior of the bag in accidental circumstances.

While the present invention is ideally suited for use by pet owners, the present invention may also be used by zoo officials or day care facilities that house multiple animals in a single pen or multiple pens to correctly identify the animals and have their medications proximally located for distributions.

Also, while the present invention is ideally suited for the use with animals such as pets, it should not be deemed as being limited to animals. The present invention may also be utilized by individuals for storing and transporting medication while participating in some of the activities listed above. Also, day care facilities and nursing homes, for example, could utilize the present invention to ensure the dispensing of medication to individuals at the proper times and in the proper dosages.

While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, numerous variations or alternate embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention be limited only in terms of the appended claims.