Title:
Soap Container Convertible to Soap Holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disclosed convertible soap container 100 packages a bar of soap 600 or other object. A consumer may use perforations 400 to fold out a soap holding assembly 200 comprising a moveable back slide piece connected with a living hinge 220 to an inside lateral support assembly 229. The inside lateral support assembly may comprise a horizontal bar section 232 and a pair of lateral support sections 230. A soap support leg 240 may be connected by a living hinge 250 to the inside lateral support assembly. Disclosed embodiments package a bar of soap and may be easily configured to support the bar of soap between uses.



Inventors:
Dickinson, Zachary James (San Rafael, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/957663
Publication Date:
02/05/2015
Filing Date:
08/02/2013
Assignee:
DICKINSON ZACHARY JAMES
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K5/03
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060027478Container with specialized indiciaFebruary, 2006Kaufman et al.
20040065576Sports container projectileApril, 2004Deitz
20070215254Personal safety productSeptember, 2007Birke et al.
20060091030Expandable remote control organizerMay, 2006Tawanapoor
20090159544MEDICINE BOTTLE WITH GRIPJune, 2009Tune
20070261974MULTIPLE CHAMBER CONTAINER WITH MISTAKE PROOF ADMINSTRATION SYSTEMNovember, 2007Balteau et al.
20040031722Thematic candle card setFebruary, 2004Reed
20070295629Array of feminine hygiene products with color codingDecember, 2007Adriaanse et al.
20090145912Temperature-stabilized storage containersJune, 2009Hyde et al.
20060186018Presentation folder for color samplesAugust, 2006Nash
20090283438COVER SHEET MEMBER FOR PILL RECEPTACLES AND METHOD OF SEALING A PILL RECEPTACLE WITH A COVER SHEET MEMBERNovember, 2009Bourque



Primary Examiner:
WAY, JAMES R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEVEN A. NIELSEN (www.NielsenPatents.com 100 Larkspur Landing Circle Suite 216, LARKSPUR, CA, 94939, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A convertible container system comprising: a) a back side, a top side, a pair of longitudinal side sections, a pair of lateral side sections; b) the top side comprising a set of perforations, the perforations defining a pair of soap holding assemblies, the soap holding assemblies each comprising: i. a moveable back slide piece, attached to a living hinge, the living hinge further attached to an inside lateral support assembly, the inside lateral support assembly comprising a horizontal bar section, a lateral support section; c) each soap holding assembly further comprising a soap support leg attached via a living hinge to the inside lateral support assembly; and d) a soap support leg void defined within the edges of the horizontal bar section, lateral support section and living hinge of the soap support leg.

2. The system of claim 1 further comprising a pair of lateral voids, the lateral voids defined within an top lateral edge of the top side, lateral edges of the soap holding assembly and the living hinge of the soap support leg and the living hinge of the lateral support section.

3. The system of claim 2 further comprising a set of lateral distal support sections, the lateral distal support sections found between the top longitudinal edges of the top side, the lateral edges of the soap holding assembly and the plane between the living hinge of the lateral support section and the top longitudinal edges.

4. A method of using a container convertible into a soap holder, the method comprising the steps of using a box structure having: a) back side, a top side, a pair of longitudinal side sections , a pair of lateral side sections; b) using two sets of perforations upon the top side of the box structure to define a pair of soap holding assemblies; c) using a pair of soap holding assemblies to define a soap support leg, the soap support leg having a distal edge and the soap support leg attached via a living hinge to an inside lateral support assembly; d) using an inside lateral support assembly comprising a pair of lateral support sections attached to a horizontal bar section; and e) using a living hinge to attach the inside lateral support assembly to a moveable back slide piece, the moveable back slide piece comprising an outside surface.

Description:

COPYRIGHT AND TRADEMARK NOTICE

This application includes material which is subject or may be subject to copyright and/or trademark protection. The copyright and trademark owner(s) has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by any of the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office files or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright and trademark rights whatsoever.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(1) Field of the Invention

The invention generally relates to soap container and soap holder systems. More particularly, the invention relates to the fabrication and use of a soap box containers convertible into soap holders.

(2) Description of the Related Art

U.S. Pat. No. 3,405,858 issued on Oct. 15, 1968 to Collie discloses a package convertible to a container, but the container opens at the bottom and thus drips soap and other material upon a bathroom counter or other surface. U.S. Pat. No. 3,351,227 issued to Collie on Nov. 7, 1967 has similar shortfalls.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,688,895 issued on Sep. 5, 1972 to Wilson discloses a two part soap container and soap holder, but the container is not suitable for use as presale packaging. The Wilson system is more akin to a separate item purchased after a bar of soap has been unwrapped. The Wilson system does not make use of the original soap packaging or wrapping and is thus inefficient.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,406,364 issued on Sep. 27, 1983 to Bronander discloses a a wrapper wrapped over a separate soap tray. The Bronander system lacks efficiency and requires a user to punch out voids and to flip over a top member. Bronander lacks efficiency in use and efficiency in manufacture. Moreover, the wrapper of Bronander is not reused and merely wraps the separate soap tray.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,858,757 issued on Aug. 22, 1989 to Liggett discloses a combination package and dish structure. But, Liggett is inefficient and costly due to the use of dowels. Moreover, the Liggett dowels do not allow for a sealed container which could result in contamination prior to use.

U.S. published patent application 2004/0055904 published on Mar. 25, 2004, by Cummings discloses a two package system used to facilitate the orientation of a soap bar upon a display shelf. Cumming fails to provide any means of a soap dish or soap holder used after the soap is unwrapped. Thus, there is room in the art for the disclosed embodiments herein.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention overcomes shortfalls in the related art by presenting an unobvious and unique combination, configuration and use of structures integrated into a soap container such that the soap container may be used for retail packaging and as a soap holder with minimal user effort and minimal manufacturing costs. Disclosed embodiments are helpful to the environment as soap may be sold and used within one packaging system. The present invention overcomes shortfalls in the related art by providing soap support legs having little contact with the soap and thus allowing the resting soap to have maximum air contact to breathe and dry out. The present invention overcomes shortfalls in the art by providing a sealed container resistant to contamination.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a disclosed embodiment in an expanded condition

FIG. 2 is an alternative perspective view showing a disclosed embodiment in an expanded condition

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a disclosed embodiment in a collapsed position

FIG. 4 is a side view of a disclosed embodiment in an expanded position

FIG. 5 is a front view of a disclosed embodiment in an expanded position

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of a disclosed embodiment in an expanded position

FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of a disclosed embodiment

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a disclosed embodiment in an expanded position

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of a disclosed embodiment in an expanded condition

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a disclosed embodiment in an expanded condition

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a disclosed embodiment in an expanded condition.

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN THE DRAWINGS

100 a disclosed embodiment in an expanded or open position

200 a soap holding assembly

210 a moveable back slide piece

215 an outside surface of a moveable back slide piece 210

220 a living hinge found upon the top side of a moveable back slide piece 210

229 inside lateral support assembly comprising a horizontal bar section 232 and a lateral support section 230

230 a lateral support section attached to the living hinge 220 and living hinge 251

232 horizontal bar section of inside lateral support assembly 229

235 void defined within lateral support assembly 229, the void 235 sometimes referred to as a soap support leg void

240 soap support leg

245 distal edge of soap support leg

250 living hinge of soap support leg 240

251 living hinge of lateral support section 230

300 optional lateral section between top lateral edge 361 and moveable backside piece 210

360 top longitudinal edges of top side 500

361 top lateral edges of top side 500

362 longitudinal side sections

363 lateral edges of soap holding assembly 200

364 lateral distal support sections found between longitudinal edges 360, lateral edges 363 of soap assembly and top lateral edges 361

365 a boundary line, sometimes dashed, of a lateral distal support section

367 lateral voids defined within lateral edges 363, top lateral edges 361 and living hinges 250 and 251

369 distal edge of moveable backside piece 210

400 perforations upon top side 500 of soap box container

500 topside of soap container

544 longitudinal crease of bottom side of container

550 bottom side of container

552 diagonal creases sometimes found upon the bottom side of container

560 lateral side section of container

600 soap or other object

These and other aspects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description in conjunction with the associated drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description is directed to certain specific embodiments of the invention. However, the invention can be embodied in a multitude of different ways as defined and covered by the claims and their equivalents. In this description, reference is made to the drawings wherein like parts are designated with like numerals throughout.

Unless otherwise noted in this specification or in the claims, all of the terms used in the specification and the claims will have the meanings normally ascribed to these terms by workers in the art.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, throughout the description and the claims, the words “comprise,” “comprising” and the like are to be construed in an inclusive sense as opposed to an exclusive or exhaustive sense; that is to say, in a sense of “including, but not limited to.” Words using the singular or plural number also include the plural or singular number, respectively. Additionally, the words “herein,” “above,” “below,” and words of similar import, when used in this application, shall refer to this application as a whole and not to any particular portions of this application.

The above detailed description of embodiments of the invention is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed above. While specific embodiments of, and examples for, the invention are described above for illustrative purposes, various equivalent modifications are possible within the scope of the invention, as those skilled in the relevant art will recognize. For example, while steps are presented in a given order, alternative embodiments may perform routines having steps in a different order. The teachings of the invention provided herein can be applied to other systems, not only the systems described herein. The various embodiments described herein can be combined to provide further embodiments. These and other changes can be made to the invention in light of the detailed description.

All the above references and U.S. patents and applications are incorporated herein by reference. Aspects of the invention can be modified, if necessary, to employ the systems, functions and concepts of the various patents and applications described above to provide yet further embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 1 depicts a disclosed embodiment supporting a bar of soap 600 or other item. In the foreground, a moveable back slide piece 210 comprises an outer surface 215 and a living hinge 200. On the opposite side of the back slide piece living hinge 200, attached is an inside lateral support assembly 229, shown on FIG. 10. Referring back to FIG. 1, a soap support leg 240 has a living hinge 250 attached to the upper surface of the container. The lateral support assembly comprises a lateral support section 230 and a horizontal bar section 232. The lateral support assembly defines a void 235, used to create a soap support leg 240.

FIG. 2 depicts a cut-a-way or sectional view shown supporting a bar of soap 600 or other object.

FIG. 3 depicts a side perspective view of a disclosed embodiment comprising a pair of longitudinal side sections and a pair of perforations 400 upon the top side 500 of the container. A lateral side section 560 is shown in the foreground

FIG. 4 depicts a side view comprising a moveable back slide piece 210, the moveable back slide piece comprising an outside surface 215 attached to a living hinge 220.

FIG. 5 depicts a side view comprising a soap holding assembly 200, the soap holding assembly sometimes comprising a moveable back slide piece 210 connected to a living hinge 220, the living hinge 220 connected to an inside lateral support assembly 229. A soap support leg 240 may be connected via a living hinge 250 to the lateral support assembly. A support leg 240 may comprise a distal edge 245. An optional lateral section 300 may be found between the top lateral edges 361 and the distal edge 369 of the moveable back slide piece 210.

FIG. 6 depicts a top plan view of a disclosed embodiment. A void 235 is defined within an inside lateral support assembly 229. The embodiment comprises top longitudinal edges 260 of the top side 500 and lateral edges 363 of the soap holder assembly. 364 lateral distal support sections may be found between lateral edges 363 and top longitudinal edges 260. The lateral distal support sections 364 add stability to the container and help to prevent side flex during use.

FIG. 7 depicts a bottom plan view of a disclosed embodiment having a bottom side 550 and sometimes comprising a longitudinal crease 544 and a plurality of diagonal creases 552. The combination of the longitudinal crease 544 and diagonal creases 552 add stability during use and help to fold the system during periods of nonuse.

FIG. 8 depicts a perspective view of a disclosed embodiment comprising longitudinal side sections 362, an outside surface 215 of a moveable back slide piece, lateral voids 367 defined within lateral edges 363, top lateral edges 361 and living hinges 250 and 251.

FIG. 9 depicts a top plan view comprising a top side 500, top lateral edges 361 and four lateral distal support sections 364. The dashed lines 365 represent boundary lines of the distal support sections.

FIG. 10 depicts a perspective view of a disclosed embodiment sometimes comprising various features such as a top side 500, top longitudinal edges 360, top lateral edges 361, an outside surface 215 of a moveable back side piece, a living hinge 220 found upon the top side of the moveable back side piece, lateral voids 367, soap support legs 240 and distal edges 240 of the soap support legs. The soap support leg void 235 is sometimes formed when the soap support leg is folded out from the inside lateral support assembly 229.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a disclosed embodiment and sometimes includes a lateral support assembly 229 sometimes comprising a horizontal bar section and lateral support section.

These and other changes can be made to the invention in light of the above detailed description. In general, the terms used in the following claims, should not be construed to limit the invention to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification, unless the above detailed description explicitly defines such terms. Accordingly, the actual scope of the invention encompasses the disclosed embodiments and all equivalent ways of practicing or implementing the invention under the claims.

While certain aspects of the invention are presented below in certain claim forms, the inventors contemplate the various aspects of the invention in any number of claim forms.

Items

Item 1. A convertible container system comprising:

a) a back side 550, a top side 500, a pair of longitudinal side sections 362, a pair of lateral side sections 560;

b) the top side comprising a set of perforations 400, the perforations defining a pair of soap holding assemblies 200, the soap holding assemblies each comprising:

i. a moveable back slide piece 210, attached to a living hinge 220, the living hinge further attached to an inside lateral support assembly 229, the inside lateral support assembly comprising a horizontal bar section, a lateral support section 230;

c) each soap holding assembly further comprising a soap support leg 240 attached via a living hinge to the inside lateral support assembly; and

d) a soap support leg void 235 defined within the edges of the horizontal bar section, lateral support section and living hinge 250 of the soap support leg.

Item 2. The system of item 1 further comprising a pair of lateral voids 367, the lateral voids defined within an top lateral edge 361 of the top side, lateral edges 363 of the soap holding assembly and the living hinge of the soap support leg and the living hinge 251 of the lateral support section.

Item 3. The system of item 2 further comprising a set of lateral distal support sections 364, the lateral distal support sections found between the top longitudinal edges 360 of the top side, the lateral edges 363 of the soap holding assembly and the plane 365 between the living hinge of the lateral support section and the top longitudinal edges.

Item 4. A method of using a container convertible into a soap holder, the method comprising the steps of:

a) using a box structure having:

a) back side 550, a top side 500, a pair of longitudinal side sections 362, a pair of lateral side sections 560;

b) using two sets of perforations 400 upon the top side of the box structure to define a pair of soap holding assemblies 200;

c) using a pair of soap holding assemblies to define a soap support leg 240, the soap support leg having a distal edge 245 and the soap support leg attached via a living hinge 250 to a inside lateral support assembly 229;

d) using an inside lateral support assembly comprising a pair of lateral support sections attached to a horizontal bar section 232; and

e) using a living hinge 220 to attach the inside lateral support assembly to a moveable back slide piece 210, the moveable back slide piece comprising an outside surface.