Title:
Tissue-dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tissue-dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle comprising a first housing unit having an aperture formed therein for dispensing unused facial tissue hingably connected to a second housing unit designed for receiving used tissues through an aperture formed therein.



Inventors:
Subramanian, Narayanan (Marietta, GA, US)
Subramanian, Giridhar (Marietta, GA, US)
Application Number:
09/799410
Publication Date:
09/05/2002
Filing Date:
03/05/2001
Assignee:
SUBRAMANIAN NARAYANAN
SUBRAMANIAN GIRIDHAR
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
221/45, 221/97
International Classes:
B65D83/08; (IPC1-7): B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LUONG, SHIAN TINH NHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BakerHostetler (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A tissue-dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle, comprising: a first housing unit; a second housing unit; and means for attaching said first housing unit to said second housing unit, wherein said first housing unit dispenses the tissue and said second housing unit holds discarded tissue.

2. The combination device of claim 1, wherein said attaching means is a hinging means.

3. The combination device of claim 2, wherein said hinging means is a flexible strip of material having an adhesive side, wherein said adhesive side is at least partially in contact with said first housing unit and said second housing unit.

4. The combination device of claim 2, wherein said hinging means is at least a two-member hinge.

5. The combination device of claim 1, wherein said first housing unit has a slot formed therein for dispensing unused tissue.

6. The combination device of claim 1, wherein said second housing unit has an aperture formed therein for receiving discarded used tissues.

7. The combination device of claim 1, wherein said first housing unit and said second housing unit are approximately rectangular in shape.

8. The combination device of claim 1, wherein said first housing unit and said second housing unit are approximately cylindrical in shape.

9. The combination device of claim 1, wherein said first housing unit and said second housing unit are approximately diamond shaped.

10. A tissue-dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle, comprising: a first housing unit having an aperture formed therein; a second housing unit having an aperture formed therein; and means for hinging said first housing unit to said second housing unit, wherein said first housing unit dispenses the tissue and said second housing unit holds discarded tissue.

11. The combination device of claim 10, wherein said hinging means is a flexible strip of material having an adhesive side, wherein said adhesive side is at least partially in contact with said first housing unit and said second housing unit.

12. The combination device of claim 10, wherein said hinging means is at least a two-member hinge.

13. The combination device of claim 11, wherein said first housing unit having a top portion and a bottom portion, said second housing unit having a top portion and a bottom portion, and wherein said adhesive side of said hinge portion adheres to said top portion of said first housing unit and said top portion of said second housing unit such that said first housing unit and said second housing unit are juxtaposed.

14. The combination device of claim 10, wherein said aperture of said second housing unit is removably covered by said first housing unit, and wherein said aperture of said second housing unit can be exposed by rotating said first housing unit or said second housing unit about said hinging means.

15. A tissue-dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle, comprising: a first housing unit having an aperture formed therein; a second housing unit having an aperture formed therein; and at least one flexible strip of material for hinging said first housing unit with said second housing unit, said at least one flexible strip of material having an adhesive side, said adhesive side being at least partially in contact with said first housing unit and said second housing unit, wherein said first housing unit dispenses the tissue and said second housing unit holds discarded tissue.

16. The combination device of claim 15, wherein said aperture of said second housing unit is removably covered by said first housing unit, and wherein said aperture of said second housing unit can be exposed by rotating said first housing unit or said second housing unit about said at least one flexible strip of material.

17. The combination device of claim 15, further comprising a flap for covering said aperture of said second housing unit.

18. The combination device of claim 17, wherein said flap comprises a means for removably sealing.

19. The combination device of claim 18, wherein said removable sealing means is hook-and-loop fastener.

20. The combination device of claim 18, wherein said removable sealing means is a tongue-and-groove fastener.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This present invention relates generally to tissue dispensers and more specifically, to a tissue-dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] When in a sickened condition and the body in a weakened state, many of us are seemingly immobilized, making even the most effortless task of discarding used tissues in the proper receptacle far too strenuous. If bedridden by the common cold, most of us will resort to tossing used facial tissue down by our bedside or throwing them on a nearby nightstand. As convenient as these options may be, they are disadvantageous, promoting the spread of germs and exposing family and friends to these infectious agents.

[0003] Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for a facial tissue dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle, wherein quick and safe disposal of used facial tissue is provided, thus reducing the spread of germs and the number of inconvenient trips made to a distant trash receptacle.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and meets the recognized need for such a device, by providing a tissue dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle, wherein convenient and safe disposal of used facial tissue or the like is provided, thus reducing both the spread of germs and ultimately the number of trips made to a trash receptacle.

[0005] According to its major aspects and broadly stated, the present invention in its preferred form is a facial tissue dispensing device with a discarding receptacle having a first housing unit and a second housing unit hingably connected thereto.

[0006] More specifically, the present invention is a facial tissue dispensing device with a discarding receptacle having a first housing unit for holding and dispensing unused facial tissue and a second housing unit for temporarily holding used facial tissue. The top portion of the first housing unit has a slot for dispensing unused facial tissue, and the top portion of the second housing unit has an aperture for receiving used facial tissue. First housing unit is situated on top of second housing unit and is hingably connected thereto so that when first housing unit and second housing unit are rotated about the axis of the hinge, second housing unit is inverted and used facial tissue gravitationally exits the aperture on the top portion of the second housing unit.

[0007] In another embodiment of the invention, first housing unit has a slot for dispensing the facial tissue and the second housing unit has a slot for receiving facial tissue as well as an aperture in which the used facial tissue exits upon disposal. First housing unit and second housing unit are hingably connected so that when first housing unit and second housing unit are rotated about the axis of the hinge, used facial tissue exits the aperture of the second housing unit.

[0008] In another embodiment of the invention, first housing unit and second housing unit are travel size, suitable for holding limited amounts of used and unused facial tissues. First housing unit has a slot for dispensing unused facial tissue and second housing unit has an aperture for receiving used facial tissue. Second housing unit has a flap to cover the aperture so that the used facial tissue is not exposed. First housing unit and second housing unit are connected back-to-back so that the slot on first housing unit and the aperture on second housing unit face outward or in the opposite directions.

[0009] A feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to provide quick and convenient disposal of used facial tissue.

[0010] A feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to guard against germ transmission by safely housing used facial tissue.

[0011] A feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to reduce the number of inconvenient trips made to a trash receptacle to dispose of used facial tissue.

[0012] A feature and advantage of the invention is its hinged connection, allowing the used tissues to be quickly accessed and discarded.

[0013] These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following descriptions and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] The present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer like elements throughout, and in which:

[0015] FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a facial tissue dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention showing a first housing unit situated on top of and hingably connected to a second housing unit.

[0016] FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of the second housing unit of FIG. 1 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention showing a hinging member.

[0017] FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of a facial tissue-dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention showing a first housing unit and a second housing unit.

[0018] FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of a facial tissue-dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention showing the first housing unit for dispensing tissue rotated about the axis of the hinge, thus exposing the aperture of the connected second housing unit.

[0019] FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of the second housing unit of FIG. 4 according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention showing a hinging member.

[0020] FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of a facial tissue-dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention showing a first housing unit, a second housing unit and a flap to cover an aperture on the second housing unit.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS

[0021] In describing the preferred and alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-6, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

[0022] Referring now to FIGS. 1-2, the present invention in its preferred embodiment is an apparatus 10, wherein apparatus 10 is a facial tissue-dispensing device in combination with a discarding receptacle. Apparatus 10 generally comprises a first housing unit 20 having a top portion 30, a bottom portion 40, a first side portion 50, a second side portion 60, a third side portion 70 and a fourth side portion 80; a second housing unit 90 having a top portion 100, a bottom portion 110, a first side portion 120, a second side portion 130, a third side portion 140 and a fourth side portion 150; and a hinge portion 160.

[0023] Specifically, top portion 30 and bottom portion 40 of first housing unit 20, and top portion 100 and bottom portion 110 of second housing unit 90 are preferably rectangular in shape. Side portions 50, 60, 70 and 80 join with top portion 30 and bottom portion 40 to form first housing unit 20. Side portions 120, 130, 140 and 150 join with top portion 100 and bottom portion 110 to form second housing unit 90.

[0024] Edge 52 of first housing unit 20 is hingably connected to edge 122 via hinge portion 160 so that first housing unit 20 sits directly on top of second housing unit 90 allowing bottom portion 40 of first housing unit 20 to abut top portion 100 of second housing unit 90 and allowing first housing portion 20 and second housing portion 90 to be folded or rotated about hinge axis 162. In an alternate embodiment, edge 62, 72 or 82 of first housing unit 20 could be hingably connected to edge 132, 142 or 152, respectively, of second housing unit 90. Hinge portion 160 is a flexible strip of material such as, for exemplary purposes only, tape or any other suitable flexible material known in the art. Hinge portion 160 preferably has an adhesive side for attaching to first housing unit 20 and second housing unit 90.

[0025] Top portion 30 of first housing unit 20 has a slot 32 for dispensing unused facial tissue. Top portion 100 of second housing unit 90 has an aperture 102 for receiving used facial tissue. Aperture 102 also allows, upon tilting or inverting second housing unit 90, for the used facial tissue to exit second housing unit 90.

[0026] In use, apparatus 10 allows first housing unit 20 to dispense facial tissue through slot 32. Once the facial tissue is used, first housing unit 20 is folded or rotated upward about hinge axis 162 and the used tissue placed through aperture 102 of second housing unit 90. Once second housing unit 90 is full of used facial tissue, apparatus 10 may be taken to a trash receptacle and second housing unit 90 folded or rotated about hinge axis 162, allowing used tissue to fall through or exit aperture 102. Once emptied, second housing unit 90 can be returned to its position so that top portion 100 of second housing unit 90 once again abuts bottom portion 40 of first housing unit 20 forming apparatus 10 as shown in FIG. 1.

[0027] Referring now to FIGS. 3-5, in an alternate embodiment, apparatus 10 has a first housing unit 20 having a top portion 30, a bottom portion 40, a first side portion 50, a second side portion 60, a third side portion 70 and a fourth side portion 80; a second housing unit 190 having a top portion 1100, a bottom portion 1110, a first side portion 1120, a second side portion 1130 and a third side portion 1140; and a hinge portion 160.

[0028] Top portion 30, bottom portion 40, top portion 1100 and bottom portion 1110 are preferably rectangular in shape. Side portions 50, 60, 70 and 80 join with top portion 30 and bottom portion 40 to form first housing unit 20. Side portions 1120, 1130 and 1140 join with top portion 1100 and bottom portion 1110 to form second housing unit 190.

[0029] Edge 74 of first housing unit 20 is hingably connected to edge 1104 of top portion 1100 of second housing unit 190 via hinge portion 160 so that first housing unit 20 is adjacent to second housing unit 190 allowing first housing portion 20 and second housing portion 190 to be folded or rotated about hinge axis 162. Hinge portion 160 is a flexible strip of material such as, for exemplary purposes only, tape or any other suitable flexible material known in the art. Hinge portion 160 preferably has an adhesive side for attaching to first housing unit 20 and second housing unit 190.

[0030] Top portion 30 of first housing unit 20 has a slot 32 for dispensing unused facial tissue. Top portion 1100 of second housing unit 190 has a slot 1106 for receiving used facial tissue. Second housing unit 190 has an aperture 192 that abuts side portion 70 of first housing unit 20. Aperture 192 allows for the exit of used tissues when second housing unit 190 is folded or rotated about hinge axis 162, allowing the used tissues to simply fall out of or through aperture 192.

[0031] Referring now to FIG. 6, in another alternate embodiment, first housing unit 220 and second housing unit 290 could be travel size, preferably of the size and shape of small plastic sandwich bags. First housing unit 220 and second housing unit 290 would be connected back-to-back so that a slot 222 on first housing unit 220 and an aperture 292 on second housing unit 290 would face outwardly or in opposite directions. First housing unit 220 would still dispense unused facial tissue through its respective slot 222, and the aperture 292 on second housing unit 290 would receive used facial tissue. Second housing unit 290 would also have a flap 294 to cover the aperture 292 on second housing unit 290 to avoid exposure of the used facial tissue. It should be noted that other sealable means are contemplated such as, for exemplary purposes only, a tongue and groove resealable bag. When all unused facial tissue has been dispensed from first housing unit 220, apparatus 10 may be discarded as a whole. Replacement packs of unused tissues, however, can also be placed back into first housing unit 220 and likewise, second housing unit 290 can be emptied, yielding a renewed apparatus 10.

[0032] In yet another alternate embodiment, slot 32, aperture 102 and slot 1106 could be any desired shape such as, for exemplary purposes only, oval, square or circular.

[0033] In still another alternate embodiment, apparatus 10 can be any desired shape such as, for exemplary purposes only, a square or diamond.

[0034] Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.