Title:
Nail Trimming System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A nail trimming system that provides for retention of nail trimmings includes a nail clipper and a receptacle attached to the nail clipper. The receptacle circumscribes and extends past the blades of the nail clipper, and has an opening for insertion of a finger or toe. The receptacle may have a transparent region, allowing a user to view the nail trimming site. A method of trimming a nail includes inserting a distal edge of a nail into the opening of the receptacle and between the blades of the nail clipper, forming a nail trimming by compressing the distal edge between the lower and upper blades and severing the distal edge from a main nail plate, and retaining the nail trimming in the receptacle.



Inventors:
Saenim, Peter (Wadsworth, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/557711
Publication Date:
03/17/2011
Filing Date:
09/11/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
30/28, 132/75.5, 206/349
International Classes:
A45D29/02; A45C11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KALACH, BRIANNE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jonathan Blanchard (P.O. Box 51295 Knoxville TN 37950-1295)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A nail trimming system, comprising: a nail clipper, comprising a lower arm comprising a proximal end and a distal end, the proximal end comprising a first blade; an upper arm comprising a proximal end and a distal end, the proximal end comprising a second blade, the distal end of the lower arm attached to the distal end of the upper arm; a fulcrum attached to the lower arm distally from the proximal end of the lower arm, and passing through the upper arm distally from the proximal end of the upper arm; and a lever comprising a first end and a second end, the first end of the lever attached to the fulcrum; and a receptacle attached to the nail clipper, and comprising a blade portion and an arm portion, the blade portion comprising a wall circumscribing the first and second blades, and extending proximally past the first and second blades by at least 0.5 cm to an opening, where the wall comprises a transparent region above the first and second blades, and the arm portion is in contact with the nail clipper at a region distal from the fulcrum.

2. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the blade portion extends proximally past the first and second blades by a distance of from 0.5 to 4 cm.

3. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the blade portion extends proximally past the first and second blades by a distance of from 1 to 3.5 cm.

4. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the arm portion extends distally from the fulcrum by a distance of at least 1 cm.

5. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the arm portion extends distally from the fulcrum by a distance of at least 3 cm.

6. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the arm portion extends distally from the fulcrum by a distance of at least 6 cm.

7. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the arm portion encloses the distal ends of the lower and upper arms.

8. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the opening has a longest cross-section of from 2 cm to 4 cm.

9. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the opening has a longest cross-section of from 2.5 cm to 3.5 cm.

10. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the opening is non-circular and has a shortest cross-section of at least 1.7 cm.

11. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the opening is non-circular and has a shortest cross-section of at least 3 cm.

12. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the wall is transparent.

13. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the transparent region comprises a magnifying lens.

14. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the lower arm has a length of from 4 to 7 cm, the upper arm has a length of from 4 to 7 cm, the blade portion extends proximally past the first and second blades by a distance of from 0.5 to 1.5 cm, the arm portion extends distally from the fulcrum by a distance of at least 2 cm, and the opening has a longest cross-section of from 2 cm to 3 cm.

15. The nail trimming system of claim 14, where. the lower arm has a length of from 5 to 6 cm, the upper arm has a length of from 5 to 6 cm, the blade portion extends past the first and second blades by a distance of from 1 to 1.2 cm, the arm portion extends distally from the fulcrum by a distance of at least 4 cm, and the opening has a longest cross-section of from 2.25 cm to 2.75 cm.

16. The nail trimming system of claim 1, where the lower arm has a length of from 7 to 10 cm, the upper arm has a length of from 7 to 10 cm, the blade portion extends proximally past the first and second blades by a distance of from 1.2 to 4 cm, the arm portion extends distally from the fulcrum by a distance of at least 4 cm, and the opening has a longest cross-section of from 2.5 cm to 4 cm.

17. The nail trimming system of claim 16, where. the lower arm has a length of from 8 to 9 cm, the upper arm has a length of from 8 to 9 cm, the blade portion extends proximally past the first and second blades by a distance of from 1.5 to 3.5 cm, the arm portion extends distally from the fulcrum by a distance of at least 6 cm, and the opening has a longest cross-section of from 2.75 cm to 3.5 cm.

18. A receptacle for a nail clipper, where the nail clipper comprises a first blade and a second blade at a proximal end of the nail clipper, the receptacle comprising: a blade portion comprising a wall the wall having a length of at least 0.5 cm, a transparent region, and an opening having a longest cross-section of from 2 cm to 4 cm; and an arm portion attached to the blade portion, the arm portion comprising a length of at least 1 cm; where when the receptacle is attached to the nail clipper, the first and second blades of the nail clipper are circumscribed by the wall.

19. A nail trimming system, comprising: a means for forming a nail trimming, and a means for retaining the nail trimming near the forming means.

20. A method of trimming a nail, comprising: inserting a distal edge of a nail into an opening of a receptacle, the receptacle attached to a nail clipper comprising a lower blade and an upper blade, positioning the distal edge of the nail between the lower blade and the upper blade, where the lower and upper blades are circumscribed by the receptacle, and the receptacle extends proximally from the blades for a distance of at least 0.5 cm to the opening, forming a nail trimming by compressing the distal edge of the nail between the lower and upper blades and severing the distal edge from a main nail plate, and retaining the nail trimming in the receptacle.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising disposing of the nail trimming.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Nail trimmers are common tools for personal hygiene and grooming. Typical nail trimmers include nail scissors and nail clippers. FIG. 1 is a representation of a conventional nail clipper 100, which includes a lower arm 110, an upper arm 120, a fulcrum 130 and a lever 140. The lower arm 110 includes a proximal end 112 and a distal end 114, where the proximal end includes a first blade 116. The upper arm 120 includes a proximal end 122 and a distal end 124, where the proximal end includes a second blade 126. The distal end 114 of the lower arm and the distal end 124 of the upper arm are attached. The fulcrum 130 is attached to the lower arm 110 distally from the proximal end 112, and passes through the upper arm 120 distally from the proximal end 122. The lever 140 includes a first end 142 and a second end 144, and the first end 142 is attached to the fulcrum 130.

First and second blades 116 and 126 may be curved as shown in FIG. 1, or they may be straight. The nail clipper 100 may be symmetrical as shown, or the blades 116 and 126 may extend farther in the proximal direction on one side of the clipper than on the other side of the clipper.

A toenail or fingernail may be trimmed by positioning the distal edge of the nail between the first and second blades 116 and 126, and squeezing the second end 144 of the lever and the lower arm 110. This moves the proximal end 122 of the upper arm and the proximal end 112 of the lower arm together, causing the first and second blades to compress the distal edge of the nail, severing it from the main nail plate and forming a nail trimming.

One concern with the use of a nail clipper is the debris associated with the nail trimmings. To reduce the amount of cleaning required after a trimming, a nail clipper may be used over an open receptacle such as a trash can, or they may be used over a disposable sheet such as a tissue. These techniques, however, do not prevent nail trimmings from being projected away from the receptacle or sheet due to the force required to cut the nail. Some users may prefer to use a nail clipper outside, leaving the trimmings on the ground. This technique, however, may be unsuitable for certain climates throughout the year.

One approach to solving the problem of nail debris has been to combine a conventional nail clipper with a case for retaining clippings. For example, FIG. 2 is a representation of a nail clipper 200, which includes a lower arm (not shown), an upper arm 220, a fulcrum 230, a lever 240, a clippings case 250 and a retaining space 260. The lower arm includes a proximal end 212 and a distal end (not shown), where the proximal end includes a first blade 216. The upper arm 220 includes a proximal end 222 and a distal end (not shown), where the proximal end includes a second blade 226. The distal end of the lower arm and the distal end of the upper arm are attached. The fulcrum 230 is attached to the lower arm distally from the proximal end 212, and passes through the upper arm 220 distally from the proximal end 222. The lever 240 includes a first end 242 and a second end 244, and the first end 242 of the lever is attached to the fulcrum. In some configurations, the second end 244 of the lever is covered with a material that matches or coordinates with a material present in the case 250. The case 250 is below the lower arm, and extends from the lower arm to the upper arm 220, spanning the gap between the two arms. The retaining space 260 is enclosed by the lower arm, the upper arm 220 and the case 250. The case does not extend past the first and second blades 216 and 226. The case 250 may at least partially cover the upper arm 220.

Referring to FIG. 2, a toenail or fingernail may be trimmed by positioning the distal edge of the nail between the first and second blades 216 and 226, and squeezing the second end 244 of the lever and the lower arm. This causes the first and second blades to compress the distal edge of the nail, severing it from the main nail plate and forming a nail trimming. The nail trimming can then be trapped in the retaining space 260. Nail trimmings can be removed from the retaining space 260 by positioning the proximal ends 212 and 222 of the upper and lower arms below the distal ends of the upper and lower arms, and shaking the clipper 200.

One drawback to nail clippers having an integrated case for retaining nail trimmings, such as the clipper 200 depicted in FIG. 2, is that the trimmings are only retained when they fall into the retaining space 260. It is not uncommon for nail trimmings to be projected away from the retaining space, due to the relative positioning of the blades and the nail and/or due to the force required to cut the nail. If these trimmings are not captured in some other manner, then the resulting nail debris is still a problem. Another drawback to a nail clipper such as 200 is that the retaining space may become clogged with nail trimmings before ten fingernails or ten toenails have been trimmed. Thus, a user may have to stop and empty the trimmings out of the nail clipper frequently, resulting in an undesirably long process of nail trimming.

It is desirable to provide a nail trimming system in which a higher proportion of nail trimming debris is retained for easy disposal. Preferably such a system will be as convenient and easy to use as a conventional nail clipper. Ideally, such a system is amenable to use with an existing nail clipper already owned by a user.

SUMMARY

In one aspect, the invention provides a nail trimming system that includes a nail clipper and a receptacle attached to the nail clipper. The nail clipper includes a lower arm having a proximal end and a distal end, the proximal end including a first blade; an upper arm having a proximal end and a distal end, the proximal end including a second blade, where the distal end of the lower arm is attached to the distal end of the upper arm; a fulcrum attached to the lower arm distally from the proximal end of the lower arm, and passing through the upper arm distally from the proximal end of the upper arm; and a lever having a first end and a second end, where the first end of the lever is attached to the fulcrum. The receptacle includes a blade portion and an arm portion. The blade portion includes a wall circumscribing the first and second blades, and extends proximally past the first and second blades by at least 0.5 cm to an opening. The wall includes a transparent region above the first and second blades. The arm portion is in contact with the nail clipper at a region distal from the fulcrum.

In another aspect of the invention, there is a receptacle for a nail clipper, where the nail clipper includes a first blade and a second blade at a proximal end of the nail clipper. The receptacle includes a blade portion including a wall, and an arm portion attached to the blade portion. The wall has a length of at least 0.5 cm, and includes a transparent region and an opening having a longest cross-section of from 2 cm to 4 cm. The arm portion has a length of at least 1 cm. When the receptacle is attached to the nail clipper, the first and second blades of the nail clipper are circumscribed by the wall.

In another aspect of the invention, there is a nail trimming system that includes a means for forming a nail trimming, and a means for retaining the nail trimming near the forming means.

In another aspect of the invention, there is a method of trimming a nail that includes inserting a distal edge of a nail into an opening of a receptacle, where the receptacle attached to a nail clipper including a lower blade and an upper blade; positioning the distal edge of the nail between the lower blade and the upper blade, forming a nail trimming by compressing the distal edge of the nail between the lower and upper blades and severing the distal edge from a main nail plate, and retaining the nail trimming in the receptacle. The lower and upper blades are circumscribed by the receptacle, and the receptacle extends proximally from the blades for a distance of at least 0.5 cm to the opening.

To provide a clear and more consistent understanding of the specification and claims of this application, the following definitions are provided.

The term “proximal” with respect to a nail trimming system, or a component of a nail trimming system, means a direction toward the body of the patient whose nail is being trimmed, if the nail trimming system were in use.

The term “distal” with respect to a nail trimming system, or a component of a nail trimming system, means a direction away from the body of the patient whose nail is being trimmed, if the nail trimming system were in use.

The scope of the present invention is defined solely by the appended claims and is not affected by the statements within this summary.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings and description. The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention.

FIG. 1 depicts a conventional nail clipper.

FIG. 2 depicts a conventional nail clipper having an integrated case for retaining clippings.

FIGS. 3A and 3B depict a nail trimming system that includes a nail clipper and a receptacle.

FIG. 4 depicts a nail trimming system including a nail clipper and a receptacle, where the distal end of the nail clipper is enclosed by the receptacle, and the blade portion of the receptacle includes a concave portion.

FIG. 5 depicts a nail trimming system including a nail clipper and a receptacle, where the receptacle is transparent and spans the distance between the lower arm and the upper arm of the nail clipper.

FIG. 6 depicts a nail trimming system including a nail clipper and a receptacle, where receptacle has a rectangular cross-section.

FIG. 7 depicts a nail trimming system including a nail clipper and a receptacle, where the receptacle includes a concave portion that extends from the blade portion to the arm portion.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A nail trimming system provides for retention of nail trimmings. The system includes a nail clipper and a receptacle attached to the nail clipper. The nail clipper may be a conventional nail clipper such as clipper 100 in FIG. 1. The receptacle extends past the blades of the nail clipper and has an opening for insertion of a finger or toe. The receptacle may have a transparent region, allowing a user to view the nail trimming site.

A method of trimming a nail that provides for retention of nail trimmings includes inserting a distal edge of a nail into an opening of a receptacle, positioning the distal edge between a lower blade and an upper blade while in the receptacle, forming a nail trimming by compressing the distal edge between the lower and upper blades and severing the distal edge from a main nail plate, and retaining the nail trimming in the receptacle. The lower and upper blades are circumscribed by the receptacle, and the receptacle extends from the blades to the opening for a distance of at least 0.5 cm. The method may further include disposing of the nail trimming.

FIGS. 3A and 3B represent a nail trimming system 300 that includes a nail clipper 310 and a receptacle 380. The nail clipper 310 includes a lower arm 320 including a proximal end 322 and a distal end 324, the proximal end including a first blade 326; an upper arm 330 including a proximal end 332 and a distal end 334, the proximal end including a second blade 336, where the distal end 324 of the lower arm and the distal end 334 of the upper arm are attached; a fulcrum 340 attached to the lower arm 320 distally from the proximal end 322, and passing through the upper arm 330 distally from the proximal end 332; and a lever 350 including a first end 352 and a second end 354, the first end of the lever attached to the fulcrum 340.

The receptacle 380 is attached to the nail clipper 310 and includes a blade portion 382, an arm portion 384, and a slot 386 through which the lever contacts the fulcrum 340. The blade portion 382 of the receptacle includes a wall 390 that circumscribes the first and second blades 326 and 336, and extends past the blades by a distance 392 of at least 0.5 centimeter (cm) to an opening 394. The opening 394 has a longest cross-section 396 of at least 2 cm. The term “longest cross-section” means the longest straight cross-section distance across the opening 394. The wall 390 includes a transparent region 398 above the first and second blades 326 and 336. The arm portion 384 of the receptacle is in contact with the lower and upper arms 320 and 330, and extends distally by a distance 388 from the fulcrum 340.

Referring to FIG. 3, a toenail or fingernail may be trimmed by inserting a distal edge of a nail into the opening 394, positioning the distal edge of the nail between the first and second blades 326 and 336, and forming a nail trimming by compressing the distal edge between the first and second blades 326 and 336 and severing the distal edge from the main nail plate. The nail may be a fingernail or a toenail. Compressing the distal edge between the first and second blades 326 and 336 may include squeezing the second end 354 of the lever and the lower arm 320. This causes the first and second blades to compress the nail, severing the distal edge from the main nail plate. The resulting nail trimming is retained in the receptacle 380. The nail trimming retained in the receptacle 380 may then be disposed of. Disposal of the nail trimming may be accomplished by placing the nail trimming system 300 over a waste container, positioning the proximal ends 322 and 332 of the upper and lower arms below the distal ends 324 and 334 of the upper and lower arms, and shaking the system.

The nail clipper 310 may have a variety of dimensions, which may vary depending on the intended use of the nail clipper. The upper and lower arms 320 and 330 may have lengths from 4 to 7 cm, which may be useful as a fingernail clipper or as a compact clipper (i.e. “travel-size”). The upper and lower arms may have lengths from 7 to 10 cm, which may be useful as a toenail clipper or as a fingernail clipper for patients having large hands. The upper and lower arms may have lengths from 10 to 12 cm, which may be useful as a toenail clipper for patients having large feet. Preferably the upper and lower arms have a length from 5 to 6 cm or from 8 to 9 cm.

The first and second blades 326 and 336 may be curved, or they may be straight. The nail clipper 310 may be symmetrical as shown, or the blades 326 and 336 may extend farther in the proximal direction on one side of the clipper than on the other side of the clipper. The nail clipper 310 may be made of any rigid material. Examples of rigid materials include metal, plastic, ceramic, and mixtures of these materials. Preferably the nail clipper is made of stainless steel. In some configurations, at least a portion of the lever 350 may be covered with a material that matches or coordinates with a material present in the receptacle 380.

The blade portion 382 and the arm portion 384 of the receptacle 380 may be attached, or they may be separate. In one example, the blade portion 382 and the arm portion 384 may be separate. In this example, the two portions may include the same or different materials. The two portions may be attached to the nail clipper 310 separately, or the two portions may attach to the nail clipper only when they are combined as the receptacle 380. In another example, the blade portion 382 and the arm portion 384 may be formed separately and then combined to form the receptacle 380. In this example, the two portions again may include the same or different materials. In another example, the receptacle may be formed as a monolithic object, where the blade portion 382 and the arm portion 384 are integral and include the same material.

The receptacle 380 may have a variety of shapes and dimensions. The blade portion may have a length of at least 0.5 cm, and more preferably has a length of at least 1 cm, at least 1.2 cm, or at least 1.5 cm. For example, the blade portion may have a length of from 0.5 to 1.5 cm, from 1 to 1.2 cm, from 1.2 to 4 cm, or from 1.5 to 3.5 cm. The arm portion may have a length of at least 1 cm, and preferably has a length of at least 2 cm, at least 3 cm, at least 4 cm, at least 6 cm, or at least 7 cm.

Preferably the distance 392 is large enough that nail trimmings are not projected out of the receptacle 380. Preferably the distance 392 is at least 1 cm, at least 1.2 cm, or at least 1.5 cm. Preferably the distance 392 is small enough that the end of a finger or toe can be easily inserted into the receptacle and brought into contact with the blades 326 and 336. The distance 392 may be from 0.5 to 4 cm, and preferably is from 1 to 3.5 cm. If nail trimming system 300 is intended for use as a fingernail clipper or as a compact clipper, the distance 392 preferably is from 0.5 to 1.5 cm, and more preferably is from 1 to 1.2 cm. If nail trimming system 300 is intended for use as a toenail clipper or as a fingernail clipper for patients having large hands, the distance 392 preferably is from 1.2 to 4 cm, and more preferably is from 1.5 to 3.5 cm.

Preferably the longest cross-section 396 of the opening 394 also is large enough that nail trimmings are not projected out of the receptacle 380, but small enough that the end of a finger or toe can be easily inserted into the receptacle and brought into contact with the blades 326 and 336. The longest cross-section 396 may be from 2 to 4 cm, and preferably is from 2.5 to 3.5 cm. If nail trimming system 300 is intended for use as a fingernail clipper or as a compact clipper, the longest cross-section 396 preferably is from 2 to 3 cm, and more preferably is from 2.25 to 2.75 cm. If nail trimming system 300 is intended for use as a toenail clipper or as a fingernail clipper for patients having large hands, the longest cross-section 396 preferably is from 2.5 to 4 cm, and more preferably is from 2.75 to 3.5 cm.

The opening 394 may be circular, in which case the longest cross-section 396 is the diameter of the opening. The opening 394 may be a non-circular shape, including rectangular, square, trapezoid and oval, and including rectangular, square or trapezoid shapes having rounded corners. If opening 394 is non-circular, it has both a longest cross-section 396 and a shortest cross-section. The shortest cross-section is the shortest straight cross-section distance across the opening 394. Preferably the shortest cross-section of a non-circular opening 394 is at least 1.7 cm for a nail trimming system 300 that is intended for use as a fingernail clipper or as a compact clipper. Preferably the shortest cross-section of a non-circular opening 394 is at least 3 cm for a nail trimming system 300 that is intended for use as a toenail clipper or as a fingernail clipper for patients having large hands.

The opening 394 may be configured to be sealed before, during and/or after use. In one example, a cap or plug (not shown) may fit the opening 394. In this example, nail trimmings may be retained in the receptacle until the user chooses to dispose of the trimmings. In another example, the opening may include an elastic material or a drawstring (not shown) around the perimeter. In this example, the opening may be at least partially closed around a finger or toe when trimming the nail of that finger or toe. In another example, the opening may include a penetrable material (not shown) at least partially spanning the opening. Examples of penetrable materials include a flexible material including one or more slits, and a flexible material including an orifice. In this example, a finger or toe may be inserted through the penetrable material into the receptacle, allowing the penetrable material to at least partially close around the finger or toe. In these latter two examples, enclosing the nail in the receptacle 380 may provide an increased likelihood of retaining the trimmings in the receptacle.

The wall 390 may have a variety of shapes and dimensions. The wall 390 may have a cross-section that is identical to that of the opening and that extends from the opening 394 to a region distal from the blades 326 and 336. For example, the wall may be shaped as a cylinder, an oval cylinder, a square prism, a rectangular prism or a trapezoidal prism. The wall 390 may have a cross-section that changes as the wall extends from the opening 394 to a region distal from the blades 326 and 336. For example, the wall may be shaped as the frustum of a cone or a pyramid, in which the longest cross-section gradually reduces in size as the wall extends from the opening 394 to a region distal from the blades 326 and 336. In another example, the wall may change shape in an uneven way as the wall extends from the opening 394 to a region distal from the blades 326 and 336.

Preferably the distance 388 over which the receptacle 380 extends distally from the fulcrum 340 toward the distal end 384 of the receptacle is long enough that nail trimmings cannot fall out of an opening between the distal ends of the lower and upper arms 320 and 330 and the receptacle 380. The distance 388 may be at least 1 cm, and preferably is at least 2 cm, at least 3 cm, at least 4 cm, at least 6 cm or at least 7 cm. The distal end 384 of the receptacle may enclose the distal ends of the lower and upper arms 320 and 330, in which case the distance 388 is at least the distance from the fulcrum to the distal ends of the lower and upper arms.

The receptacle 380 may contain any of a variety of materials. Preferably the receptacle is both flexible and durable. The wall 390 and/or other portions of the receptacle 380 may be solid materials, or they may include one or more pores or holes. For example, the receptacle 380 may contain a fabric or a mesh material. The interior surface of receptacle 380 may have a low level of adhesiveness or surface tack, to further facilitate retention of nail trimmings in the nail trimming system, and subsequent disposal of the nail trimmings.

Examples of materials for receptacle 380 include elastomers, such as elastomeric polyolefins, polysiloxanes, polychloroprenes, polysulfides, acrylonitrile block copolymers, polystyrene block copolymers, polyolefin block copolymers, polyester block copolymers, polyamide block copolymers, polyurethane block copolymers. Examples of materials for receptacle 380 include mixtures of these elastomers with each other or with elastomeric or non-elastomeric polyolefins, polyacrylates, polyesters, polyamides or poly(vinyl chloride). Preferably the receptacle 380 includes a polysiloxane elastomer or a polyurethane elastomer. Examples of materials for receptacle 380 include SMOOTH-SIL 940 (polysiloxane elastomer; SMOOTH-ON INC., Easton, Pa.), CLEAR FLEX 50 (polyurethane elastomer; SMOOTH-ON INC.), and CRYSTAL CLEAR (polyurethane elastomer; SMOOTH-ON INC.).

The wall 390 of the receptacle 380 includes a transparent region 398 above the first and second blades 326 and 336. The transparent region 398 allows for a user to view a fingernail or toenail while using the nail trimming system 300. The transparent region 398 and the rest of the wall 390 may be different materials, or they may be the same material. The transparent region may provide for magnification of the blades 326 and 336 and/or of a nail that has been inserted into the receptacle. In one example, the transparent region 398 includes a magnifying lens. The transparent region 398 may be attached to the wall 390 by any of a variety of attachments, such as an adhesive, a mechanical fastening system, or an elastic fit. If the transparent region 398 and the wall 390 are the same material, then they may be integral. Preferably the transparent region 398 and the wall 390 are the same material, and more preferably are integral.

The outside and/or inside of the receptacle 380 may include decorative and/or informative features. These features may be on a portion of the receptacle, or they may on the entire receptacle, provided that the wall 390 still includes the transparent region 398. Examples of decorative features include colors, pictures, designs and logos. Examples of informative features include instructions for using the nail trimming system, quotations, maxims and advertisements. Decorative and/or informative features may be permanently attached to or embedded in the receptacle, or they may be temporarily adhered to the receptacle.

The nail clipper 310 and the receptacle 380 may be permanently attached. For example, the receptacle 380 may be bonded to at least a portion of the lower arm 320 and/or at least a portion of the upper arm 330, such as with an adhesive. In another example, the receptacle 380 may be formed around the nail clipper 310, such as by casting or extruding the material for the receptacle around at least a portion of the nail clipper 310.

The nail clipper 310 and the receptacle 380 may be attached in such a way that they can be separated. The receptacle 380 then may be reattached to the nail clipper 310, or the receptacle may be disposable. For example, the receptacle 380 may include a slot 386, and the nail clipper 310 may be attached to the receptacle 380 by inserting the distal ends of the clippers into the arm portion 384 of the receptacle while inserting the lever 350 through the slot 386. In another example, the nail clipper and the receptacle may be attached with a friction fit, an elastic fit or with a mechanical fastener. These attachments may be better suited for a receptacle having a configuration other than that shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B.

Configurations other than that shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B are possible for a nail trimming system that includes a nail clipper and a receptacle attached to the nail clipper, where the receptacle extends past the blades of the nail clipper, has an opening for insertion of a finger or toe, and includes a transparent region. A variety of shapes, dimensions and materials can be used for the blade portion of the receptacle. In addition, a variety of shapes, dimensions and materials can be used for the arm portion of the receptacle. One of a variety of blade portions and one of a variety of arm portions may be combined to form a receptacle.

FIGS. 4-7 provide additional examples of receptacles, including interchangeable blade portions and arm portions, which may be included in a nail trimming system. The variations in shapes, dimensions, materials and/or other aspects of the receptacle and components of FIG. 3 described above may be applicable to the receptacles and components of FIGS. 4-7.

FIG. 4 represents a nail trimming system 400 that includes a nail clipper 410 and a receptacle 480. The nail clipper 410 may be as described for nail clipper 310 in FIGS. 3A and 3B, and includes a lower arm (not shown) including a proximal end and a distal end, the proximal end including a first blade; an upper arm including a proximal end 432 and a distal end (not shown), the proximal end including a second blade, where the distal end of the lower arm and the distal end of the upper arm are attached; a fulcrum 440 and a lever 450 attached to the fulcrum. The receptacle 480 is attached to the nail clipper 410 and includes a blade portion 482, an arm portion 484, and a slot 486 through which the lever contacts the fulcrum. The blade portion 482 of the receptacle includes a wall 490 that circumscribes the blades of the nail clipper, and extends proximally past the blades by a distance of at least 0.5 cm to an opening 494. The wall 490 includes a transparent region 498 above the blades. The wall 490 also includes a concave portion 492 below the blades, which provides additional space for retaining nail trimmings. The arm portion 484 encloses the distal end of the nail clipper.

FIG. 5 represents a nail trimming system 500 that includes a nail clipper 510 and a receptacle 580. The nail clipper 510 may be as described for nail clipper 310 in FIGS. 3A and 3B, and includes a lower arm 520 including a proximal end 522 and a distal end 524, the proximal end including a first blade 526; an upper arm 530 including a proximal end 532 and a distal end 534, the proximal end including a second blade 536, where the distal end 524 of the lower arm and the distal end 534 of the upper arm are attached; a fulcrum 540 attached to the lower arm and passing through the upper arm 530; and a lever 550 in contact with the fulcrum 540. The receptacle 580 is attached to the nail clipper 510 and includes a blade portion 582 and an arm portion 584. The blade portion 582 of the receptacle includes a wall 590 that circumscribes the blades 526 and 536, and extends proximally past the blades by a distance of at least 0.5 cm to an opening 594. The wall 590 is made of a transparent material, and thus the region above the blades is transparent. The arm portion 584 of the receptacle spans the distance between the lower arm 520 and the upper arm 530, and extends distally by a distance 588 from the fulcrum 540, and may enclose the distal ends of the lower and upper arms 520 and 530. The nail clipper 510 and the receptacle 580 may be attached, for example, with a friction fit or with an elastic fit.

FIG. 6 represents a nail trimming system 600 that includes a nail clipper 610 and a receptacle 680. The nail clipper 610 may be as described for nail clipper 310 in FIGS. 3A and 3B, and includes a lower arm 620 including a proximal end (not shown) and a distal end 624, the proximal end including a first blade (not shown); an upper arm 630 including a proximal end 632 and a distal end 634, the proximal end including a second blade 636, where the distal end 624 of the lower arm and the distal end 634 of the upper arm are attached; a fulcrum 640; and a lever 650 in contact with the fulcrum 640. The receptacle 680 is attached to the nail clipper 610 and includes a blade portion 682, an arm portion 684, and a slot 686 through which the lever contacts the fulcrum. The blade portion 682 includes a rectangular wall 690 that circumscribes the blades of the nail clipper, and extends proximally past the blades by a distance of at least 0.5 cm to a rectangular opening 694. The wall 690 includes a transparent region 698 above the blades of the nail clipper. The arm portion 684 of the receptacle extends distally along the lower and upper arms 620 and 630 by a distance 688 from the fulcrum 640. The shape of the arm portion 684 of the receptacle is rectangular and does not conform to the shape of the clippers 610, instead possibly providing additional space for retaining nail trimmings.

FIG. 7 represents a nail trimming system 700 that includes a nail clipper 710 and a receptacle 780. The nail clipper 710 includes a lower arm 720 including a proximal end (not shown) and a distal end 724, the proximal end including a first blade; an upper arm 730 including a proximal end 732 and a distal end 734, the proximal end including a second blade, where the distal end 724 of the lower arm and the distal end 734 of the upper arm are attached; a fulcrum 740; and a lever 750 in contact with the fulcrum 740. The receptacle 780 is attached to the nail clipper 710 and includes a blade portion 782, an arm portion 784, and a concave portion 792. The blade portion 782 of the receptacle includes a wall 790 that circumscribes the blades of the nail clipper, and extends past the blades by a distance of at least 0.5 cm to an opening 794. The wall 790 includes a transparent region 798 above the blades of the nail clipper. The arm portion 784 of the receptacle spans the distance between the lower and upper arms 720 and 730, extends distally by a distance 788 from the fulcrum 740, and may enclose the distal ends of the lower and upper arms 720 and 730. The concave portion 792 below the nail clipper 710 provides additional space for retaining nail trimmings.

A nail trimming system may include a means for forming a nail trimming, and a means for retaining the nail trimming near the forming means. The means for forming a nail trimming may include a nail clipper, such as nail clipper 100 of FIG. 1, nail clipper 310 of FIG. 3, nail clipper 410 of FIG. 4, nail clipper 510 of FIG. 5, nail clipper 610 of FIG. 6, or nail clipper 710 of FIG. 7. The means for retaining the nail trimming may include a receptacle, such as receptacle 380 of FIG. 3, receptacle 480 of FIG. 4, receptacle 580 of FIG. 5, receptacle 680 of FIG. 6, or receptacle 780 of FIG. 7. The means for retaining the nail trimming may include a receptacle that includes a combination of a blade portion and an arm portion. The blade portion may be as described for blade portion 382 of FIG. 3, blade portion 482 of FIG. 4, blade portion 582 of FIG. 5, blade portion 682 of FIG. 6, or blade portion 782 of FIG. 7. The arm portion may be as described for arm portion 384 of FIG. 3, arm portion 484 of FIG. 4, arm portion 584 of FIG. 5, arm portion 684 of FIG. 6, or arm portion 784 of FIG. 7.

While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that other embodiments and implementations are possible within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be restricted except in light of the attached claims and their equivalents.