Title:
CASE FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A case for consumer products is provided that provides a plurality of products in a single package to facilitate carrying and ready use and at the same time helping the user in choosing the desired kind of product to be used. In one embodiment, the case comprises a cover and a base. The base of the case comprises a frame having at least one section wherein said section holds a tray, wherein said tray has recesses on at least one of its side to accommodate the product on the tray wherein said recess in the tray has at least one compartment to receive the product and there is provided an actuating means that triggers the rotation of the trays so as to reveal the products stored on either side of the tray.



Inventors:
Pires, Leo Clifford (Basking Ridge, NJ, US)
Hwang, Roger (Maple, CA)
Basak, Abhisek (New Delhi, IN)
Kohli, Manisha (New Delhi, IN)
Pandey, Anjani Lal (Haryana, IN)
Application Number:
12/100830
Publication Date:
10/15/2009
Filing Date:
04/10/2008
Assignee:
Zen Design Solutions Limited (Wanchai, HK)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/235, 206/564
International Classes:
B65D69/00; B65D1/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DOAN, ROBYN KIEU
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATTERSON & SHERIDAN L.L.P. NJ Office (3040 Oak Post Road, Suite 1500, Houston, TX, 77056-6582, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A case for consumer products comprising: a cover, a base, said base comprising: a frame having at least one section wherein said section holds a tray, wherein said tray has recesses on at least one of its sides to accommodate a consumer product on the tray wherein: said recess in the tray has at least one compartment to receive the product; a means for connecting the base and the cover together in a manner permitting their relative movement with respect to one another to open and close the case; and an actuating means that triggers the rotation of the tray so as to reveal a selected side of the tray.

2. The case according to claim 1 further comprising a latching means to prevent opening of cover when not in use.

3. The case according to claim 2 wherein the latching means comprises a fastener piece on the cover that interfaces with a fastener unit on the base for securing purpose.

4. The case according to claim 1 wherein the actuating means is operatively connected to a conveyor system present inside the base.

5. The case according to claim 4 wherein the conveyor system comprises an arrangement which is effective to rotate the trays from one position to another.

6. The case according to claim 5 wherein the conveyor system is a conveyor belt that is trained around a sprocket, a gear, a wheel or a pulley like configuration present on the two ends of the trays or is a gear and pinion like arrangement or a crankshaft like arrangement.

7. The case according to claim 1 wherein each side of the tray has at least one recess to receive the product.

8. The case according to claim 8 wherein the recess contains pan to receive the product.

9. The case according to claim 7 wherein the at least one recess incorporates holding space for an applicator.

10. The case according to claim 1 wherein an interior surface of the cover comprises a reflector such as a mirror.

11. The case according to claim 1 wherein the actuating means is a rotor, a button, a toggle switch, a dialer or other actuating means and is placed in a suitable position in the case such that it is easily accessible by the user.

12. The case according to claim 11 wherein the actuating means has mark indicia to provide additional information to the consumers thereby helping the user in selecting the product to be used.

13. The case according to claim 1 wherein the case is a kit with varied options of products in a single package.

14. The case for consumer products according to claim 1 wherein the case stores cosmetic, cosmeceutical and/or care products, especially powder compositions in the form of a pressed powder, a cake, a hot pour or a pasty product, for example face powder, eye shadow, rouge, foundation, blush, cake mascara, lip stick, or a skin care or regimen product.

15. A case for consumer products comprising: a cover, a base, said base comprising: a frame having at least one section wherein said section holds a tray, wherein said tray has recesses on at least one side to accommodate the product on the tray wherein: said recess in the tray has at least one compartment to receive the product; a means for connecting the base and the cover together in a manner permitting their relative movement with respect to one another to open and close the case; and an actuating means that triggers the rotation of the trays so as to reveal the products stored on either side of the tray, wherein the actuating means is directly attached to one end of the tray such that the actuating means when actuated causes simultaneous rotation of the tray.

16. The case according to claim 15 further comprising a latching means to prevent opening of cover when not in use.

17. The case according to claim 16 wherein the latching means comprises a fastener piece on the cover that interfaces with a fastener unit on the base for securing purpose.

18. The case according to claim 17 wherein the tray is having multiple sides wherein each side has recess to receive the product.

19. The case according to claim 15 wherein the at least one recess contains pan to receive the product.

20. The case according to claim 19 wherein the at least one recess incorporates holding space for an applicator.

21. The case according to claim 15 wherein an interior surface of the cover comprises a reflector such as a mirror.

22. The case according to claim 15 wherein the actuating means is a rotor, a button, a toggle switch or other direct actuating means and is placed in a suitable position in the case such that it is easily accessible by the user.

23. The case according to claim 22 wherein the actuating means has mark indicia to provide additional information to the consumers thereby helping the user in selecting the product to be used.

24. The case for consumer products according to claim 15 wherein the case stores cosmetic, cosmeceutical and care products, especially powder compositions in the form of a pressed powder, a cake, a hot pour or a pasty product, for example face powder, eye shadow, rouge, foundation, blush, cake mascara, lip stick, or a skin care or regimen product.

25. A case for consumer products comprising: a cover, wherein the interior surface of the cover comprises a reflector such as a mirror a base, wherein said base comprises a frame having at least one section wherein said section holds a tray, wherein the tray is having a polygonal cross-section and has recesses on at least one of its side to accommodate the product on the tray wherein said recess in the tray has at least one compartment to receive the product; wherein the at least one recess contains pan to receive the product wherein the at least one recess incorporates holding space for an applicator; a means for connecting the base and the cover together in a manner permitting their relative movement with respect to one another to open and close the case; a latching means to prevent opening of case when not in use wherein the latching means comprises a fastener piece on the cover that matches a fastener unit on the base for securing purpose; and an actuating means that triggers the rotation of the trays so as to reveal the products stored on either side of the tray wherein the actuating means is operatively connected to a conveyor system present inside the base wherein the conveyor system comprises an arrangement which is effective to rotate the trays from one position to another and wherein the conveyor system is a conveyor belt that is trained around a sprocket, a gear, a wheel or a pulley like configuration present on the two ends of the trays or a gear and pinion like arrangement or a crankshaft like arrangement and wherein the actuating means is a rotor, a button, a toggle switch or a dialer and is placed in a suitable position in the case such that it is easily accessible by the user and wherein the actuating means has mark indicia to provide additional information to the consumers thereby helping the user in selecting the product to be used and wherein the actuating means is optionally directly connected to one end of the tray to cause its rotation upon actuation of the actuating means.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to a case for consumer products. More particularly the invention relates to a case that stores a range of products in a compact and portable manner. The case of the present invention provides a plurality of products in a single package to facilitate carrying and ready use and at the same time helping the user in choosing the desired kind of product to be used

The case of the present invention can be used to store a wide variety of cosmetic and care products such as powder cosmetic compositions in the form of a cake powder also known as a pressed powder, for example face powder, eye shadow, rouge, foundation, blush, cake mascara, lip stick, and the like or skin care and regime products.

2. Description of the Related Art

The cosmetic industry generally uses cosmetic cases to store cosmetic compositions. A conventional case has a base and a cover which is pivotally attached to the base in which are provided pans to receive the cosmetics therein. Most of the cases have different colorset of same product category, for example one case would store different shades of either lip colors or eye colors. Therefore, several cosmetic cases storing respective cosmetics are required when a person desires to use various kinds of cosmetics, for example when a user needs colors for two different looks (day and night), or regimen products, she has to carry different cases whereas she would like to carry them in one single package. Some cosmetic cases referred to as kits provide a solution to this and provide different products together as a wholesome face makeup kits. In such a cosmetic case, the inner case is partitioned into several sections by partitions, and respective sections store different kinds of cosmetics. However, such compact kits become larger in size with inclusion of number of colors which makes the kit bulky and idea of portability is not resolved.

There have also been attempts at solving this problem by giving pans on multiple layers or on both sides of a flip tray. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,437,294 to Ebbets III et al. broadly reflects the provision of a compact including a base member and a cover member wherein at least one of the members comprises a frame wherein a central platform mounted therein is rotatable relative to the frame, through at least 180°, between two positions. Similarly, United States Patent Application No. 20080000493 to Anderson, et. al. discloses a flipping compact assembly comprising a base, a cover and a frame member in which is fitted a tray such that the tray is capable of rotation within the frame when the cover is in open position.

However, in all the existing inventions the trays are to be rotated manually due to which the user can innocently damage the product while flipping the tray. Additionally, most compact kits do not provide any information to the consumer to identify colored pallets or products.

Hence, there exists a need to design and develop a case that is able to store a variety of products and at the same time is portable and provides a cleaner and user-friendly interface to reveal the products stored therein.

SUMMARY

The present invention generally is a case for consumer products. The case provides a plurality of products in a single package to facilitate carrying and ready use and at the same time helping the user in choosing the desired kind of product to be used. The term consumer products is intended to include cosmetic, cosmeceutical and care products, especially powder compositions in the form of a pressed powder, a cake, hot pour pr pasty product, for example face powder, eye shadow, rouge, foundation, blush, cake mascara, lip stick, and the like or skin care and regimen product.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the case comprises a cover, a base and a means for connecting the base and the cover together in a manner permitting their relative movement with respect to one another to open and close the case. The attachment means could be a hinge, a pin, a snap, a hook or any suitable means. The interior or exterior surface of the cover of the case may comprise a mirror. In the base is provided a frame having at least one section that holds a tray. The tray may be a two-sided tray or may have multiple sides such that it has a polygonal cross-section. An example of a multi-sided tray could be a tray having a shape similar to a polygonal prism wherein its two polygonal faces or ends lie in parallel planes and its lateral faces are parallelograms. Also, recesses could be provided on at least one of its multiple sides to accommodate products therein. The recess may also incorporate holding space for an applicator to be used as per the kind of product stored in the tray. Also, the recesses in the trays may have a plurality of compartments to receive different products.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the case further comprises an actuating means for triggering the rotation of the trays so as to reveal the products stored on either side of the tray. There is also provided a conveyor system in the base which is triggered by the actuation of the actuating means. The conveyor system causes rotation of the two-sided trays in order to allow access of the products stored on either side of the tray at one point of time. The conveyor system may comprise of an arrangement wherein a conveyor belt is trained around a sprocket, a gear, a wheel or a pulley like configuration present in the trays. The conveyor system may alternatively comprise a gear and pinion like arrangement or a crankshaft like arrangement or any other suitable arrangement which is effective to rotate the trays from one position to another may be used as the conveyor system.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, the actuating means could be directly attached to one end of the tray such that the actuating means when actuated causes simultaneous rotation of the tray.

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention a latching means are provided in the cover and base to prevent opening of case when not in use. The latching means may comprise of a fastener piece on the cover that matches a fastener unit on the base for securing purpose. Further, any suitable latching means such as a snap, a magnet or a button could be provided to secure the case.

In accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention the actuating means could be any suitable means such as a rotor, a button, a toggle switch or a dialer. Further, the conveying system used could be accordingly modified depending on the kind of actuating means used. For example, when a toggle switch is used, the switch could be operatively connected to a ratchet wheel which is operatively engaged with a sprocket, a gear or wheel like configuration which moves the conveyer belt.

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention the actuating means could be placed in any suitable position in the case such that it is easily accessible by the user such as it could be placed on either side of the case or it could be placed in a central position in the case.

According to yet another embodiment of present invention the actuating means of the cosmetic case may also serve as a guiding tool with mark indicia and provide additional information to the consumers thereby helping the user in selecting the product to be used. For example, the mark indicia on the actuating means could help in identification of the product by telling about the kind of product on a particular tray or it could give instructions on the steps to be followed or which the kind of product to use when. The mark indicia on the actuating means in a cosmetic case could tell about the color or texture (mat/gloss) of the product, or appearance (day/night) or products for different application area (lip/eye/face) stored on either tray and in a regimen product it could tell about the sequence of products to be used or completion of a stage or time of usage of the product.

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention there is provided a case that acts as a kit with varied options of products in a single package.

In accordance with another embodiment of the invention the case may be of any shape such as square, rectangular, circular polygonal or any suitable shape, such that the cover and the base having identical configuration of varying depths.

These and further aspects which will be apparent to the expert of the art are attained by a case for consumer products in accordance with the main claim.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present invention can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to embodiments, some of which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a case in open position according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a case showing trays in the process of rotation according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the case of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the case of FIG. 1 in closed position in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the case of FIG. 1 in open position according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of a case in open position according to another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of the case of FIG. 6 showing the tray in the process of rotation according to another embodiment of the present invention.

To facilitate understanding, identical reference numerals have been used, where possible, to designate identical elements that are common to the figures. It is contemplated that elements and features of one embodiment may be beneficially incorporated in other embodiments without further recitation. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 is one embodiment of the present invention showing a case 1 for consumer products that provides a plurality of products in a single package to facilitate carrying and ready use and at the same time helping the user in choosing the desired kind of product to be used. As represented by FIGS. 1 and 2, the case 1 comprises a cover 2 and a base 3, wherein the cover 2 and the base 3 have identical rectangular configurations of varying depth. The interior surface of the cover 2 may be provided with a reflector such as a mirror. There is also provided a means 4 for connecting the base 3 and the cover 2 together in a manner permitting their relative movement with respect to one another to open and close the case 1. The attachment means 4 could be a hinge, a pin, a snap, a hook or any suitable means. The cover 2 comprises side walls 2a, 2b and front wall 2c. The case 1 further comprises a latching means 5 that comprises a fastener piece 5a on front wall 2c that matches a fastener unit 5b on the base 3. The latching means 5 protects exposure of consumer product to external environment when the cover 2 is pivoted towards the base 3. The cover 2 and base 3 may be formed of a suitable polymeric material such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or styrene acrylonitrile.

As illustrated by FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, in the base 3 is provided a frame 6 having sections 6a, 6b, 6c and 6d that hold the trays 7, 8, an actuating means 9 and an applicator respectively. There are present recesses on the two sides of the trays 7 and 8 to accommodate products on both sides of the trays. The recesses in the trays 7 and 8 have a plurality of compartments 7a, 7b, 7c and 8a, 8b, 8c respectively to receive different products. Alternatively, the compartments in the recesses could hold pans to receive the products. The pans may be removably inserted inside the said compartments such that the pans are retained in the tray by suitable means, for example, by a friction fit or by a magnet positioned on the recess of the tray as the case may be, with a complementary metal strip on the bottom surface of pan. Also, the pans are made customizable, i.e. they can be changed as per user's requirement. Further, the frame 6 has a step 14 that fits on a step 15 provided in the base 3 in order to hold the frame 6 inside the base 3. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the actuating means 9 held in a section of the frame 6 triggers the working of a conveyor system 10 present in the base 3 of the case 1. As shown in the FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the actuating means 9 is a rotor, however, any suitable means such as a rotor, a toggle switch or a dialer could be used. Further, the actuating means 9 could be placed in any suitable position in the case such that it is easily accessible by the user. The conveyor system 10 causes rotation of the two-sided trays 7 and 8 in order to allow access of the products stored on either side of the trays at one point of time.

When the user wishes to apply the product, he/she opens the case 1 which exposes one set of product. For the user to access second set of products, he/she actuates the actuating means 9. When the actuating means 9 is actuated, it triggers the working of the conveyor system 10 which facilitates the rotation of the trays 7 and 8 and exposes the second set of products to the user. As reflected by FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the trays 7 and 8 as well as the actuating means 9 have cylindrical projections 7a, 8a and 9a on both their ends that sit on the slots 7b, 8b and 15 present in the base 3. The slots 7b, 8b and 15 hold the trays and the actuating means 9 as well as guide and restrict their rotational movement on their central axis. The slots 7b, 8b and 15 could either be present as already molded in the base 4 or they could be provided separately in the form of a clip in the base 4. The cylindrical projections 7a, 8a, 9a further have sprocket or gear like profile 7c, 8c, 9c on their end proximal to the side of the tray/rotor.

Further, the conveyor system 10 comprises of an arrangement wherein a conveyor belt 13 is trained around the sprocket like configuration 7c, 8c and 9c present in the trays 7, 8 and the actuating means 9. When the actuating means 9 is actuated, the conveyor belt 13 rotates over sprocket like profile 9c in the actuating means and simultaneously gets engaged by the sprocket like profile 7c and 8c of the trays 7 and 8. This process transfers the rotational motion of said actuating means 9, caused by the user, to the trays 7 and 8, thereby causing the trays 7 and 8 to rotate simultaneously which in turn results in exposure of second set of products to the user. Rotation of trays 7 and 8 could also be governed by a suitable conveying system such as a gear and pinion like arrangement or a crankshaft mechanism or any other suitable mechanism. Further, the conveying system used could be accordingly modified depending on the kind of actuating means used. For example, when a toggle switch is used, the switch could be operatively connected to a ratchet wheel which is operatively engaged with a sprocket, a gear or wheel like configuration which moves the conveyor belt.

FIGS. 6 and 7 depict the case 100 according to another embodiment of the present invention. The case 100 comprises a cover 101, a base 102 wherein the cover 101 and the base 102 have identical rectangular configuration of varying depths. The cover 101 of the case 100 is attached to the base 102 by an attachment means 103. The attachment means 103 could be a hinge, a pin, a snap fit, a hook or any suitable means. The cover 101 comprises side walls 101a, 101b and front wall 101c. The case 100 further comprises a latching means 104 that comprises a fastener piece 104a on front wall 101c that matches a fastener unit 104b on the base 102. The latching means 104 protects exposure of consumer product to external environment when the cover 101 is pivoted towards the base 102. Interior surface of the cover 101 may comprise a reflector such as a mirror 108. In the base 102 is provided a frame 105 having sections 105a, 105b and 105c that hold a tray 106, an applicator 107 and an actuating means 109 respectively. Alternatively, the applicator housing could be pre-molded in the base itself. Further, there are present recesses on both sides of the tray 106 to accommodate products on both sides of the tray. The recesses in the tray 106 have a plurality of compartments 106a, 106b, 106c to receive different products. Alternatively, the compartments may hold pans to receive the products. The pans may be removably inserted in the recesses and may be retained in the tray 106 by suitable means, for example, by a friction fit or by a magnet positioned on the recess of tray as the case may be, with a complementary metal strip on the bottom surface of pan. Also, the pans are made customizable i.e. they can be changed as per user's requirement. The actuating means 109 in the case 100 trigger the rotation of the tray 106. The actuating means 109 is directly attached to a cylindrical projection (not shown, similar to the projections as in case 1 of FIG. 3) in the tray. As the user rotates the actuating means 109, it causes simultaneous movement of the tray 106 thereby exposing the second set of products.

The recess on either side of the trays may be used to accommodate different compositions, colors, colors for different application area. Recess on either side of the trays can also be used to store complementary compositions such as skin care and regimen products.

The conveyor belt 13 may be formed of a suitable elastomer such as monoprene or sanoprene or any other suitable polymer. All other components of the case could be fabricated in a generally conventional manner using any suitable polymer material such as ABS, SAN, etc while any reflective material could be used as mirror. Also, the base and cover member of the case are rigid and are self-sustaining in shape.

The actuating means of the case of the present invention may have mark indicia that provide additional information about usage of the products to the consumers thereby helping the user in selecting the product to be used. For example, the mark indicia on the actuating means could help in identification of the product by telling about the kind of product on a particular tray or it could give instructions on the steps to be followed or which kind of product to use when. The mark indicia on the actuating means in a cosmetic case could tell about the color or texture (mat/gloss) of the product, or appearance (day/night) or products for different application area (lip/eye/face) stored on either tray and in a regimen product it could tell about the sequence of products to be used or completion of a stage or time of usage of the product.

Although the above description and drawings show the case being rectangular, the shapes and profile cross section thereof are not limited to the same. The case of the present invention may be of any suitable shape such as square, rectangular, circular, polygonal. Similarly, the tray may be a two-sided tray or may have multiple sides such that it has a polygonal cross-section. An example of a multi-sided tray could be a tray having a shape similar to a polygonal prism wherein its two polygonal faces or ends lie in parallel planes and its lateral faces are parallelograms.

The case for consumer products of the present invention could also serve as a kit with varied options of products in a single package. Hence, the case of the present invention provides a case which gives the user a range of products in a single package and at the same time give the user a simplified and user-friendly interface to interact with the package.

While the foregoing is directed to embodiments of the present invention, other and further embodiments of the invention may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof, and the scope thereof is determined by the claims that follow.