Title:
Paper article dispenser
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a dispenser of paper articles, in particular interlocked table napkins, including a receptacle closed by a panel 7 forming the front surface and provided with an opening 71 for the distribution of articles with an edge 73. This dispenser is characterized by the fact that at least a portion of the edge of the opening is extended by a wall element 74 extending outward in relation to the plane of the panel.

Under this arrangement, the front end of the paper article rests on the wall element and is easier to grasp.




Inventors:
Guillemette, Philippe (Caen, FR)
Joulin, Olivier (Boulogne Billancourt, FR)
Neveu, Jean-louis (Colmar, FR)
Application Number:
10/312765
Publication Date:
02/05/2004
Filing Date:
05/28/2003
Assignee:
GUILLEMETTE PHILIPPE
JOULIN OLIVIER
NEVEU JEAN-LOUIS
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K10/42; (IPC1-7): B65H1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUTLER, MICHAEL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (SCA Americas) (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
1. Dispenser of paper articles, in particular interlocked table napkins, comprising a receptacle closed by a panel 7 forming a front surface and provided with an opening 71 for the distribution of articles with an edge 73, characterized by the fact that at least one part of the edge of the said opening is extended by a wall element 74 extending outward in relation to the said panel, more or less perpendicular to the plane of the said panel.

2. Dispenser as claimed in the preceding claim, wherein the opening 71 is in the form of a slot.

3. Dispenser as claimed in claim 2, with the slot presenting a lower edge 73, wherein the wall element 74 extends along at least one part of the lower edge 73.

4. Dispenser as claimed in claim 1, wherein the wall element 74 comprises a width “1” greater than 1 centimeter.

5. Dispenser as claimed in the preceding claim, wherein the width “1” is greater than 3 centimeters.

6. Dispenser as claimed in claim 2, wherein the slot 71 comprises a widened portion 72 giving manual access to an edge of the first article that is found inside.

7. Dispenser as claimed in claim 4, wherein the height of the slot is less than the width “1”.

Description:
[0001] The invention relates to a dispenser for absorbent paper articles, in particular table napkins, such as those found in institutional food service facilities, restaurants, or other similar establishments.

[0002] On the counters of cafeteria-style, fast-food restaurants, generally before the cashier where the consumer has rung up the food that he has taken and pays the price for it, there are one or several dispensers of table napkins. The napkins are for one-time use and most often are made of paper. A sheet of light and absorbent paper is involved here, such as a sheet of tissue paper. It may be folded simply into two or into four, but it may also be provided in numerous other forms.

[0003] The dispensers are often simply parallelelepipedic boxes with a front surface turned toward the consumer and provided with a distribution opening in the form of a slot. The consumer extracts the article that is presented to him through the opening. In the dispenser, the napkins form a packet or a stack that is supported against the front surface, optionally by means of a push spring at the opposite end of the stack when the dispenser is horizontal. If the dispenser is placed vertically or in an inclined position, the weight of the stack of sheets is sufficient to maintain the stack against the distribution wall. In such a case, a push spring is not then useful.

[0004] The napkins in the stack may be simply juxtaposed. They may also be interlocked. In this case, they present at least one folding line perpendicular to the axis of the stack with at least one front flap and one rear flap. In the case of two napkins that follow one another in the stack, the rear flap of the first napkin is placed behind the front flap of the next napkin. This arrangement is advantageous because when the first napkin is pulled out through the distribution slot, the front flap of the following napkin is drawn along with it. The latter is then in position to be easily grasped.

[0005] The distribution opening is generally a slot, positioned horizontally in the middle of the front surface. It is sufficiently long to permit the passage of the napkins. This slot is not too narrow because it must permit the consumer to grasp the first sheet inside the box when this sheet is not engaged in the opening. This is difficult when the pressure exerted on the stack against the front surface is strong, either because it is compressed or because the push spring is powerful. On the other hand, it must not be too wide, otherwise the sheets would fall outside of the box via the opening. Additionally, the grasping of just one sheet is not always easy, given that there is a tendency to take several napkins at one time.

[0006] An object of the invention is to furnish a dispenser whose distribution opening has an improved form in relation to those of the prior art, in that it permits the first sheet to be grasped more easily.

[0007] Another object of the invention is to provide a dispenser that can be used just as easily for sheets that have been interlocked as well for those sheets that have not been.

[0008] In accordance with the invention, there is provided a dispenser of paper articles, in particular table napkins, comprising a receptacle closed at one end by a panel forming the front side and provided with an opening for the distribution of articles with an edge, which dispenser is characterized by the fact that at least a portion of the edge of the opening is prolonged by a wall element extending outward in relation to the panel and the dispenser is in a horizontal position, it provides the advantage of serving as a support for the portion of the free sheet of the first article of the stack and making it easier to be grasped by the consumer because it is then turned in his direction. The hygienic conditions at the time of use are thereby improved, the user touching only one sheet at a time without coming into contact with the dispenser. When the dispenser is in a vertical position, one is able to avoid the sheet coming into contact with the wall.

[0009] In conformity with another feature of the invention, the opening is in a form of a slot and the wall element extends over at least a portion of the lower edge. In particular, its width is sufficient so that the wall element serves as a support for the free part of the first article of the stack and permits it to be grasped by the consumer.

[0010] Further features and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following description of a nonrestrictive example of an embodiment of the invention and the accompanying drawings wherein:

[0011] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of three-fourths of the front of the dispenser, with the loading trap being open;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a front view of the dispenser; and

[0013] FIG. 3 is a side view and a view in transparency of the front part.

[0014] As can be seen in FIG. 1, the dispenser 1 is composed of a receptacle with a base 2, two side walls 4 and 5, a bottom wall 6 and a wall 7 forming a front wherein a distribution opening 71 is made. The dispenser may be made of cloth, plastic, or a combination of these two materials. In the example shown, the receptacle comprises a cover with a trap 3 capable of creating an opening in the upper part which permits the loading of the dispenser. The sheets form a packet or a stack and are placed parallel to the front surface. A wedge forming or pushing device 8 is movable inside the receptacle and serves to compress the stack of paper articles against the internal surface of the panel. To this end, means for blocking the wedge along the receptacle may be provided or else a spring which expands between the rear of the wedge 8 and the bottom 6 can be provided.

[0015] The panel 7 comprises a distribution opening 71, whereby the sheet that is presented is extracted, i.e., the first sheet. The opening is in the form of an elongated slot running parallel to the plane of the base 2. At one of its ends, the slot widens. Here, this part 72 has a circular form that permits the passage of a finger into the inside of the box in order to grasp an edge of the first article in the stack inside when necessary.

[0016] In accordance with the invention, the lower edge 73 of the distribution opening 7 is extended by a wall element 74 which extends over the outside of the dispenser. This element is preferably perpendicular to the plane in which the napkins are presented. The drawings show this preferred embodiment. This plane corresponds to that of the panel. In order to define the plane of the panel, the optional camber of the front surface does not have to be taken into account. This element 74 extends over a substantial part of the opening 71. It is not necessary that it be as long as the former. This width <<l>>, measured from the plumb of the upper edge 76 up to its narrowest edge of the panel 7 must be sufficient so that the end part of a sheet or of a flap of the napkin which is found inside and which rests on the element, i.e., extends outward in relation to the plane of the panel 7 as can be seen in FIG. 3. In practice, the intrinsic suppleness of the absorbent paper is taken into account, the width <<1>>preferably being not less than 1 cm. In fact, if it is too narrow, there is the risk of tearing the sheet. In particular, this width <<l>>is at least 3 cm. The portion of the element 74 whose width is at a maximum <<1>>is preferably toward the central part of the opening, if this is not the middle.

[0017] The slot, aside from its part 72, is narrow. Its height, i.e., the distance separating the upper 76 and lower 73 edges, is in particular less than the <<1>> width. Additionally, the upper edge comprises a wall element parallel to the element 74 forming a passage through which the sheet is guided toward the user.

[0018] As can be seen in the example shown in FIG. 3, the napkins are interlocked. Each of them comprises one front flap and one rear flap. The front flap of the first napkin is engaged in the slot 71 and rests on the wall element 74, its end extending slightly over the edge. The consumer can thus easily grasp the flap. When he pulls on this front flap, the rear flap of the first napkin pulls with it by force of friction the front flap of the next napkin through the slot. This latter flap is then in position to be grasped.

[0019] By allowing the free end of the first napkin to serve as a support on surface 74, any undesired contact, for example with the support of the dispenser, is thereby avoided, and thus the hygiene of the product is best preserved.

[0020] The dispenser that has just been described is only one example of an embodiment of the invention. Numerous variants are available to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.

[0021] For example, the dispenser has been described in an horizontal position, but it applies to dispensers that are placed in an inclined position or that are vertical.

[0022] The form of the opening may vary. It may comprise in particular a widened part of different form or be differently arranged, in the center, for example. It may also not comprise these parts.

[0023] This description has focused a paper napkin dispenser. The invention may of course also apply to dispensers for all types of paper articles, such as hand towels, wiping rags, or all-purpose household wipes.

[0024] Finally, even though the problem solved by the invention may be particularly well adapted for interlocked paper articles, it is also suitable for packets of simply juxtaposed articles.