Title:
TRAVEL BOTTLE
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Various embodiments of a travel bottle are disclosed.


Inventors:
Proctor, Louise (Hollywood, FL, US)
Hawker, Christopher (Columbus, OH, US)
Moreland, Jessica Ann (Columbus, OH, US)
Harrison, Paul (Columbus, OH, US)
Beebe, Joel (Columbus, OH, US)
Application Number:
13/936085
Publication Date:
01/09/2014
Filing Date:
07/05/2013
Assignee:
PROCTOR LOUISE
HAWKER CHRISTOPHER
MORELAND JESSICA ANN
HARRISON PAUL
BEEBE JOEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D39/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
Claims:
1. A bottle apparatus, comprising: a body comprising an interior volume and comprising substantially flexible material, wherein the substantially flexible material is at least one of a polymer and a silicone; a closure device operatively connected to the body; wherein the body comprises a folding point; and wherein the body is folded in upon itself such that a first portion of the body is disposed at least partially inside a second portion of the body.

2. The bottle apparatus of claim 1, wherein the body may be extended.

3. The bottle apparatus of claim 1, wherein the body comprises an interior volume of between about 1.5 oz. and about 3.0 oz.

4. The bottle apparatus of claim 1, wherein the body is convertible between a first interior volume and a second interior volume.

5. The bottle apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a bulkhead fitting fluidly connecting the body to the closure device.

6. The bottle apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one anchor point.

7. The bottle apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one coupling mechanism.

8. A bottle apparatus, comprising: a body comprising an interior volume and a body aperture; a closure device; and a bulkhead fitting extending from the interior volume and through the body aperture, wherein the bulkhead fitting fluidly connects the body and the closure device.

9. The bottle apparatus of claim 8, wherein: the body comprises a substantially flexible material, wherein the substantially flexible material is at least one of a polymer and a silicone; and the body comprises a folding point, and wherein the body is folded in upon itself such that a first portion of the body is disposed at least partially inside a second portion of the body.

10. The bottle apparatus of claim 9, wherein the body comprises an interior volume of between about 1.5 oz. and about 3.0 oz.

11. The bottle apparatus of claim 9, wherein the body is convertible between a first interior volume and a second interior volume.

12. The bottle apparatus of claim 8, further comprising at least one anchor point.

13. The bottle apparatus of claim 8, further comprising at least one coupling mechanism.

14. A bottle apparatus, comprising: a body comprising an interior volume; a closure device; and at least one coupling mechanism oriented to selectively engage a second coupling mechanism.

15. The bottle apparatus of claim 14, wherein the at least one coupling mechanism comprises at least one of a dovetail tail and a dovetail socket.

16. The bottle apparatus of claim 14, wherein the at least one coupling mechanism is oriented to selectively engage a second coupling mechanism on a second bottle apparatus.

17. The bottle apparatus of claim 14, wherein the at least one coupling mechanism is disposed upon the closure device.

18. The bottle apparatus of claim 14, wherein: the body comprises a substantially flexible material, wherein the substantially flexible material is at least one of a polymer and a silicone; and the body comprises a folding point, and wherein the body is folded in upon itself such that a first portion of the body is disposed at least partially inside a second portion of the body.

19. The bottle apparatus of claim 18, wherein the body is convertible between a first interior volume and a second interior volume.

20. The bottle apparatus of claim 14, further comprising at least one anchor point.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/668,501, filed on Jul. 6, 2012, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

When transporting items, such as liquids and the like, there may be instances in which variation in the volume of the fluid container is desired. For example, during travel, and particularly airline travel, luggage size constraints and regulations relating to liquid volumes in a user's luggage may dictate the volume of a user's fluid container.

Further, multiple fluid containers in a user's luggage may lead to the containers being lost, mixed, and undesirably shifted during travel.

What is needed is a fluid container capable of varied volumes, which may include a mechanism to improve storage of multiple fluid containers.

SUMMARY

In one embodiment, a bottle apparatus is provided, the apparatus comprising: a body comprising an interior volume and comprising substantially flexible material, wherein the substantially flexible material is at least one of a polymer and a silicone; a closure device operatively connected to the body; wherein the body comprises a folding point; and wherein the body is folded in upon itself such that a first portion of the body is disposed at least partially inside a second portion of the body.

In another embodiment, a bottle apparatus is provided, the apparatus comprising: a body comprising an interior volume and a body aperture; a closure device; and a bulkhead fitting extending from the interior volume and through the body aperture, wherein the bulkhead fitting fluidly connects the body and the closure device.

In another embodiment, a bottle apparatus is provided, the apparatus comprising: a body comprising an interior volume; a closure device; and at least one coupling mechanism oriented to selectively engage a second coupling mechanism.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying figures, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrates example apparatuses, and are used merely to illustrate an example embodiments.

FIG. 1 is an example embodiment of a bottle apparatus 100.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of an example embodiment of the bottle apparatus 100.

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of an example embodiment of the bottle apparatus 100.

FIG. 4A is an example embodiment of the bottle apparatus 100 in an extended configuration.

FIG. 4B is an example embodiment of the bottle apparatus 100 in a collapsed configuration.

FIG. 5 is an example embodiment of the bottle apparatus 100 in a linked configuration.

FIG. 6 is an example embodiment of the bottle apparatus 100 in a linked configuration.

FIG. 7 is an example embodiment of a bottle apparatus 200 in a linked configuration.

FIG. 8A is an example embodiment of a bottle apparatus 300 in a closed configuration.

FIG. 8B is an example embodiment of the bottle apparatus 300 in an open configuration.

FIG. 9 is an example embodiment of a bottle apparatus 400 in a linked configuration.

FIG. 10 is an example embodiment of a bottle apparatus 500 in a linked configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates an example embodiment of a bottle apparatus 100. Bottle apparatus 100 may include a body 102 operatively connected to a closure device 104. Closure device 104 may comprise a lid 106. In one embodiment, closure device 104 comprises at least one coupling mechanism 108. In one embodiment, body 102 comprises at least one anchor point 110.

Bottle apparatus 100 may comprise any container configured to contain any liquid, gas, particulate matter, toiletries, foods, drinks, and the like. In one embodiment, bottle apparatus 100 is configured to contain toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, and the like. In another embodiment, bottle apparatus 100 is configured to be selectively filled by a user. In another embodiment, bottle apparatus 100 is purchased in a filled condition and is not configured to be refilled by a user.

In one embodiment, bottle apparatus 100 includes body 102. Body 102 may enclose a volume. In one embodiment, body 102 comprises a substantially impervious material. In another embodiment, body 102 comprises a substantially flexible material. In another embodiment, body 102 comprises a substantially rigid material. In another embodiment, body 102 comprises a composite of one or more materials, any of which may be substantially flexible or substantially rigid. Body 102 may comprise any of a variety of materials, including for example a polymer, a rubber, a metal, an alloy, or a composite. In one embodiment, body 102 comprises a silicone material.

In one embodiment, body 102 encloses any desired volumes. In one embodiment, body 102 encloses about 1.0 oz. to about 4.0 oz. In another embodiment, body 102 encloses about 1.5 oz. to about 3.0 oz. In another embodiment, body 102 encloses about 10 oz. to about 22 oz. In another embodiment, body 102 encloses about 12 oz. to about 20 oz.

Body 102 may have a substantially tapered exterior, such that it is narrower at one end than the other. For example, body 102 may comprise a narrower cross-section near its top and a wider cross-section near its bottom.

Body 102 may comprise any of a variety of cross sections, including substantially circular, square, triangular, and the like.

In one embodiment, body 102 comprises a flexible material. Body 102 may be compressed and folded in upon itself to take on a collapsed configuration. In one embodiment, body 102 is folded in upon itself at a folding point. The folding point may be disposed where the cross-section of body 102 narrows.

In one embodiment, body 102 is selectively collapsed to reduce its size about at least one dimension. For example, collapsing body 102 may reduce its height or width. In another embodiment, body 102 is selectively collapsed to reduce its interior volume. In one embodiment, body 102 is selectively convertible from a collapsed configuration to an extended configuration, and vice versa. In another embodiment, body 102 is selectively convertible from a volume of about 1.5 oz. to a volume of about 3.0 oz. In another embodiment, body 102 is selectively convertible from a volume of about 12 oz. to a volume of about 20 oz.

Closure device 104 may comprise any device configured to selectively open and close body 102. In one embodiment, closure device 104 comprises a housing operatively connected to body 102. In another embodiment, closure device 104 comprises a housing.

Closure device 104 may comprise a lid 106. Lid 106 may be operatively connected to closure device 104. In one embodiment, lid 106 is any of a variety of devices configured to selectively seal closure device 104 to prevent the contents of body 102 from leaving body 102 via closure device 104. Lid 106 may comprise any of an interference fit mechanism, a screw cap, a plug seal, a cork, or the like.

In one embodiment, lid 106 is hingedly attached to closure device 104. In one embodiment, lid 106 is configured to selectively hinge open and closed, and includes a mechanism for selectively retaining lid 106 in an open or closed position. In one embodiment, lid 106 comprises a biasing device configured to bias lid 106 in one of the open or closed positions.

In one embodiment, bottle apparatus 100 comprises at least one coupling mechanism 108. In another embodiment, closure device 104 comprises at least one coupling mechanism 108. In another embodiment, body 102 comprises at least one coupling mechanism 108.

At least one coupling mechanism 108 may be configured to couple a first bottle apparatus 100 to a second bottle apparatus 100. In one embodiment, at least one coupling mechanism 108 comprises a complementary coupling mechanism, wherein at least one coupling mechanism 108 is configured to selectively engage at least one coupling mechanism on a second bottle apparatus 100.

In one embodiment, at least one coupling mechanism 108 comprises a dovetail mechanism. At least one coupling mechanism 108 may comprise at least one of a dovetail tail and a dovetail socket. In one embodiment, coupling mechanism 108 comprises a dovetail mechanism, and closure device 104 comprises a dovetail tail on at least one of its sides, and a dovetail socket on an opposing side, such that a plurality of bottle apparatuses 100 may be attached in series.

In one embodiment, at least one coupling mechanism 108 comprises any of a variety of coupling mechanisms, including a keyhole mechanism, a quick disconnect mechanism, a hook and loop mechanism, a magnetic mechanism, a bayonet connection, and the like.

In one embodiment, bottle apparatus 100 comprises at least one anchor point 110. At least one anchor point 110 may be disposed at a second end of bottle apparatus 100, while closure device 104 may be disposed at a first end of bottle apparatus 100. Anchor point 110 may comprise a loop of material integrally connected to and extending from body 102. In one embodiment, anchor point 110 comprises a loop of silicone material extending from body 102. In another embodiment, anchor point 110 is an independent device extending from body 102, and comprising at least one of a loop and a hook. In one embodiment, anchor point 110 is removably connected to body 102.

At least one anchor point 110 may be used to attach bottle apparatus 100 to any of a variety of devices, including a keychain, a luggage item, a backpack, and the like. In one embodiment, at least one anchor point 110 is used to pull body 102 from a collapsed configuration to an extended configuration. In one embodiment, at least one anchor point 110 is configured to hang bottle apparatus 100 from an object.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exploded view of an example embodiment of bottle apparatus 100. Bottle apparatus 100 may comprise a body 102, a closure device 104, a lid 106, at least one anchor point 110, and a body aperture 112. In one embodiment, bottle apparatus 100 comprises a bulkhead fitting 114 comprising a sealing surface 116 and a threaded tube 118.

Body aperture 112 comprises an opening in body 102 configured to allow adding or removing something to the interior of body 102. In one embodiment, body aperture 112 is a substantially circular opening in body 102. In another embodiment, body aperture 112 comprises any of a variety of shapes.

Bulkhead fitting 114 may comprise any of a variety of materials, including a polymer, a metal, an alloy, or a composite. Bulkhead fitting 114 may be configured to engage body 102. In one embodiment, sealing surface 116 is placed inside body 102 such that its lower surface interfaces with the surface of body 102 containing body aperture 112. Threaded tube 118 may extend through body aperture 112. A nut 120 may engage threaded tube 118 and create compression along with sealing surface 116 to compress body 102 therebetween. Bulkhead fitting 114 may substantially engage body 102 such that an item contained within body 102 is selectively sealed within body 102 such that the interior of threaded tube 118 is the only means of removing the item from body 102.

Nut 120 may comprise any of a variety of materials, including a polymer, a metal, an alloy, or a composite.

Closure device 104 may comprise a closure aperture 122 and a closure seal 124. Closure aperture 122 may be in fluid communication with threaded tube 118 such that an item within body 102 may travel through threaded tube 118 and out closure aperture 122. Closure seal 124 may be connected to lid 106 and configured to selectively seal closure aperture 122. Closure seal 124 may be integrally connected to lid 106. In another embodiment, closure seal 124 is removably connected to lid 106. In one embodiment, closing lid 106 causes closure seal 124 to engage and seal closure aperture 122. In one embodiment, engagement of closure seal 124 with closure aperture 122 substantially seals body 102 such that an item within body 102 does not leak from body 102.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exploded view of an example embodiment of bottle apparatus 100. Closure device 104 may comprise a first coupling mechanism 108 and a second coupling mechanism 126. Second coupling mechanism 126 may comprise any coupling mechanism complementary to first coupling mechanism 108. In one embodiment, second coupling mechanism 126 may comprise at least one of a dovetail tail and a dovetail socket.

Closure device 104 may comprise closure threads 128 configured to operatively attach to threaded tube 118. In one embodiment, following installation of nut 120, closure device 104 may be threaded onto threaded tube 118 via closure threads 128. In one embodiment, at least one of threaded tube 118 and closure threads 128 comprise a sealing device to at least substantially prevent leaking of an item from body 102 via the interface of threaded tube 118 and closure threads 128. In another embodiment, closure device 104 may be connected to bulkhead fitting 114 via any of a variety of connection mechanisms, including a snap fitting, an interference fitting, an adhesive, and the like.

FIG. 4A illustrates an example embodiment of bottle apparatus 100 in an extended configuration. FIG. 4B is an example embodiment of bottle apparatus 100 in a collapsed configuration. As illustrated in FIG. 4B, body 102 is configured to fold in upon itself such that a first portion (e.g., an upper portion) of body 102 fits at least partially inside a second portion (e.g., a lower portion) of body 102.

FIG. 5 illustrates an example embodiment of bottle apparatus 100 in a linked configuration. Bottle apparatus 100 may comprise at least one first coupling mechanism 108 and a second coupling mechanism 126, which are selectively engaged to one another to attach first and second closure devices 104.

FIG. 6 illustrates an example embodiment of bottle apparatus 100 in a linked configuration. In one embodiment, bottle apparatuses 100 may comprise at least one flat surface configured to accept a label 130. Label 130 may be used to write on. In one embodiment, label 130 is used to indicate the contents of each bottle apparatus 100. In another embodiment, label 130 is used to indicate the owner of each bottle apparatus 100.

FIG. 7 illustrates an example embodiment of a bottle apparatus 200 in a linked configuration. Bottle apparatus 200 may comprise a body 202 and a closure device 204.

FIG. 8A illustrates an example embodiment of a bottle apparatus 300 in a closed configuration. Bottle apparatus 300 may comprise a body 302, a closure device 304, and a lid 306.

FIG. 8B illustrates an example embodiment of bottle apparatus 300 in an open configuration. Bottle apparatus 300 may comprise a closure aperture 322 and a closure seal 324.

FIG. 9 illustrates an example embodiment of a bottle apparatus 400 in a linked configuration. Bottle apparatus 400 may comprise a body 402, a lid 406, and at least one coupling mechanism 408.

FIG. 10 illustrates an example embodiment of a bottle apparatus 500 in a linked configuration. Bottle apparatus 500 may comprise a body 502, a lid 506, at least one first coupling mechanism 508, and at least one second coupling mechanism 526.

In one embodiment, any of bottle apparatus 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 may be used in conjunction with a dual compartment case configured to contain in a first compartment a series of linked bottle apparatuses. In one embodiment, the second compartment of the dual compartment case is configured to contain any small toiletry or makeup items a user may desire. In one embodiment, the first compartment is appropriately sized to contained linked bottle apparatuses without unnecessary movement of the bottle apparatuses therein.

To the extent that the term “includes” or “including” is used in the specification or the claims, it is intended to be inclusive in a manner similar to the term “comprising” as that term is interpreted when employed as a transitional word in a claim. Furthermore, to the extent that the term “or” is employed (e.g., A or B) it is intended to mean “A or B or both.” When the applicants intend to indicate “only A or B but not both” then the term “only A or B but not both” will be employed. Thus, use of the term “or” herein is the inclusive, and not the exclusive use. See Bryan A. Garner, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage 624 (2d. Ed. 1995). Also, to the extent that the terms “in” or “into” are used in the specification or the claims, it is intended to additionally mean “on” or “onto.” To the extent that the term “substantially” is used in the specification or the claims, it is intended to take into consideration the degree of precision available or prudent in manufacturing. To the extent that the term “selectively” is used in the specification or the claims, it is intended to refer to a condition of a component wherein a user of the apparatus may manipulate, activate, or deactivate the feature or function of the component as is necessary or desired in use of the apparatus. To the extent that the term “operatively connected” is used in the specification or the claims, it is intended to mean that the identified components are connected in a way to perform a designated function. As used in the specification and the claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include the plural. Finally, where the term “about” is used in conjunction with a number, it is intended to include ±10% of the number. In other words, “about 10” may mean from 9 to 11.

As stated above, while the present application has been illustrated by the description of embodiments thereof, and while the embodiments have been described in considerable detail, it is not the intention of the applicants to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art, having the benefit of the present application. Therefore, the application, in its broader aspects, is not limited to the specific details, illustrative examples shown, or any apparatus referred to. Departures may be made from such details, examples, and apparatuses without departing from the spirit or scope of the general inventive concept.