Title:
Case for holding an eyeglasses care kit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a case for holding an eyeglasses care kit of the type comprising a shell for holding an object or objects, such as a cloth and/or a pair of eyeglasses, and a bottle containing a care product. The present invention also provides for a care kit comprising a case such as the one provided for by the present invention, a cloth and a bottle containing a care product, such as a lens cleansing solution.



Inventors:
Gagnon, Mario (Montreal, CA)
Application Number:
10/615722
Publication Date:
03/11/2004
Filing Date:
07/08/2003
Assignee:
ITOCHU CANADA LTD. (Montreal, CA)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C11/04; A45C11/24; A45D34/06; B60R7/08; (IPC1-7): A45C11/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LUONG, SHIAN TINH NHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DARBY & DARBY P.C. (New York, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A case for holding a care kit of the type comprising a bottle containing a care product, the case comprising: a shell member with an open end for allowing insertion of an object within the shell; and releasable mounting means for releasably mounting a bottle across the open end and thereby allowing the bottle to obstruct the open end to keep the object within the shell.

2. A case according to claim 1, comprising a holder connected to a wall of the shell member for holding the shell to an external element.

3. A case according to claim 2, wherein the holder comprises an extension integrally projecting from said wall and forming a clip therewith for clipping the shell member to a plate shaped element.

4. A case according to claim 1, wherein the releasable mounting means comprises a rim bordering said open end, the rim being sized and shaped for snugly fitting said bottle therein.

5. A case according to claim 4, wherein the rim comprises a top, a bottom and two opposite side walls and the releasable mounting means comprises ridges projecting from at least one of said bottom and top wall of the rim.

6. A case according to claim 5, comprising a shoulder formed on each of said side walls of the rim to receive the bottle in abutment within the open end.

7. A case according to claim 6, wherein said side walls of the rim have a semicircular cut out for seizing the bottle.

8. A case according to claim 1, wherein the case is made of a molded plastic material.

9. A care kit comprising: a cloth; a case for holding the cloth, the case comprising: a shell member with an open end for allowing insertion of the cloth within the shell; and a bottle containing a care product, the bottle being releasably mounted to the case across the open end, thereby allowing the bottle to obstruct the open end to keep the cloth within the shell.

10. A care kit according to claim 9, wherein the case comprises a holder connected to a wall of the shell member for holding the shell to an element.

11. A care kit according to claim 10, wherein the holder comprises an extension integrally projecting from said wall and forming a clip therewith for clipping the shell member to a plate shape element.

12. A care kit according to claim 11, wherein the releasable mounting means comprises a rim bordering said open end, the rim being sized and shaped for snugly fitting said bottle therein.

13. A care kit according to claim 12, wherein the rim comprises a top, a bottom and two opposite side walls and the releasable mounting means comprises ridges projecting from at least one of said bottom and top wall of the rim.

14. A care kit according to claim 13, wherein the case comprises a shoulder formed on each of said side walls of the rim to receive the bottle in abutment within the open end.

15. A care kit according to claim 13, wherein said side walls of the rim have a semicircular cut out for seizing the bottle.

16. A care kit according to claim 9, wherein the case is made of a molded plastic material.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to the field of eyeglasses care kits. More specifically, it concerns a case for holding an eyeglasses care kit.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Already known in the prior art, there are many models of soft and hard multi-purpose cases used for storing care kits and/or protecting eyeglasses (U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,921,383, 6,439,379, 6,003,663, 5,803,244, 4,960,208 and 6,170,651). Some of these models are provided with a clip-like holder commonly used for mounting the case to the interior pocket of a jacket, or a belt (U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,003,663, 4,960,208).

[0003] Very often, eyeglasses are cleaned with a cleaning product contained in a spray bottle. Since eyeglasses often need to be cleaned, a user has to have easy access to the spray bottle and a soft cleaning cloth. Consequently, for cleaning his/her eyeglasses, the user has to find the spray bottle and then the soft cleaning cloth. Sometimes, the user can lose precious time looking for them. For that reason, it would be advantageous to have an eyeglasses care kit that would be readily available to the user.

[0004] Among the prior art cases, many include internal receptacles for storage of miscellaneous accessory items such as nose pads, spare screws, a small screwdriver, a bottle with lens cleaning solution, and a lens wiping cloth (U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,439,379, 6,003,663 and 6,170,651). However, all of the paraphernalia and miscellaneous accessories that are incorporated into the prior art casings are, in fact, useless for a day to day care kit. A user does not have to replace the nose pads and or screws of his or her eyeglasses on a day to day basis. The day to day needs of a user require a rather simple, but well thought out, care kit and casing therefor. In order for an everyday care kit to be adequate, it basically requires a bottle of care product for cleaning eyeglasses, a cloth for removing the product from the eyeglasses and a case adapted and designed specifically for holding both of the foregoing.

[0005] Another important drawback associated with these prior art casings stems from the fact that they are also often quite bulky. This makes them difficult to conveniently store out of sight. These separate problems are compounded by the fact that most of the prior art casings and care kits are complicated to manufacture and therefore often quite expensive.

[0006] In view of the above, the prior art does not provide a common solution to the separate problems of handling, bulkiness, storage, manufacturing and costs.

[0007] Thus, there exists a definitive need for both a care kit and a case for holding a care kit which are all at once user friendly, easy to handle, compact, easy to manufacture and inexpensive.

[0008] There is therefore also a need for both a care kit and a case for encasing a cloth and a bottle of care product which are designed for everyday needs, user friendly, easy to handle, compact, easy to manufacture and inexpensive.

[0009] The present invention fulfills these needs and also other needs, which will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading the following specification.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] An object of the present invention is to provide a case for holding an eyeglasses care kit that satisfies the above-mentioned need.

[0011] In accordance with one aspect of the invention, that object is achieved with a case for holding a care kit of the type comprising a bottle containing a care product. The case comprises a shell member with an open end for allowing insertion of an object, as for example, a cloth or even a pair of eyeglasses within the shell. Releasable mounting means are provided for releasably mounting the bottle across the open end and thereby allowing the bottle to obstruct the open end to keep the object within the shell. The case is preferably made of a molded plastic material.

[0012] As can be appreciated, since the bottle acts as the cover of the case, a user can hardly lose the bottle by inadvertence since the chances are that the bottle will be automatically replaced across the open end after being used. Another advantage is that since the case can come in a single piece, it is easy and inexpensive to manufacture.

[0013] In accordance with a preferred aspect of the invention, the case comprises a holder connected to a wall of the shell member for holding the shell to an element, as for example a car visor, a wall, a desk top, a shelf, etc.

[0014] The holder preferably comprises an extension integrally projecting from the wall and forming a clip therewith for clipping the shell member to a plate shaped element, such as a car visor.

[0015] The releasable mounting means preferably comprises a rim bordering the open end of the shell, the rim being sized and shaped for snugly fitting the bottle therein.

[0016] More preferably, the rim comprises a top, a bottom and two opposite side walls and the releasable mounting means comprises ridges projecting from at least one of the bottom and top walls of the rim.

[0017] The case preferably comprises a shoulder formed on each of said side walls of the rim to receive the bottle in abutment within the open end.

[0018] More preferably, the side walls of the rim may have a semi-circular cut out for facilitating a seizing of the bottle.

[0019] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, it is provided a care kit comprising a bottle containing a care product, a cloth and a case, as provided by the present invention hereinabove summarized.

[0020] Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent upon reading the following non-restrictive description of a preferred embodiment made with reference to the accompanying examples.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an eyeglasses care kit according to a preferred embodiment of the invention showing a case for holding a care kit comprising a cleaning cloth inserted therein and a spray bottle ready to be mounted to the case.

[0022] FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the case of FIG. 1 showing the spray bottle mounted thereto.

[0023] FIG. 3 is a perspective top view of the case shown in FIG. 1.

[0024] FIG. 4 is a perspective bottom view of the case shown in FIG. 1.

[0025] FIG. 5 is a front view of the case shown in FIG. 1.

[0026] FIG. 6 is a side view of the case shown in FIG. 1.

[0027] While the invention will be described in conjunction with an example embodiment, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to such an embodiment. On the contrary, it is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included as defined by the appended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

[0028] Referring to FIG. 1, the care kit (1) minimally includes a case (10) for holding a bottle (12) containing a care product, and a cloth (14). The bottle (12) may be a spray bottle or a spray pump bottle or the like, and it can take a variety of shapes such as cylindrical, as illustrated, or it can have a rectangular or triangular cross section or any other shape, as apparent to any person skilled in the art. The care product may be a cleaning solution, an anti-fog solution, or the like. The cloth (14) may be a re-usable washable type cloth made of fabric or the like, or a disposable type cloth, tissue, wipe or the like.

[0029] Referring to FIGS. 3 to 5, the case (10) is made of a shell member (16) with a top wall (18), a bottom wall (20), two opposite side walls (22) and an open end (24) for allowing the insertion of an object, such as a cloth (14), within the shell member (16). Advantageously, in another embodiment (not illustrated), the shell member (16) may preferably be sized to encase both a cloth (14) and a pair of eyeglasses.

[0030] As can be appreciated by viewing FIGS. 1 and 2, the bottle (12) is releasably mounted across the open end (24) of the shell member (16). This allows for the bottle (12) to obstruct the open end (24) of the shell member (16) in order to keep the object securely within the same.

[0031] Turning now more particularly to FIGS. 3 to 6, the bottle (12) is releasably mountable to the case by means of a rim (30), bordering the open end (24) of the shell member (16), the rim (30) being sized and shaped for snugly fitting the bottle (12) therein. In order to more tightly hold the bottle (12) to the case (10), the shell member (16) preferably comprises ridges (40) projecting from at least one of the bottom (32) or top (34) walls of the rim (30).

[0032] As best shown in FIG. 5, the embodiment illustrated preferably comprises two ridges (40) projecting from the bottom wall (32) of the rim (30) and two ridges (40) projecting from the top wall (34) of the rim (30), each of the ridges (40) of the bottom wall (32) opposing a ridge (40) of the top wall (34). As apparent to anyone skilled in the art, the ridges (40) could be located anywhere on the rim (30) without departing from the scope of the invention as long as they help holding more tightly the bottle (12) to the case (10).

[0033] Referring to FIGS. 3, 4 and 6, a shoulder (42) is formed on each of the side walls (36) of the rim (30). These shoulders (42) are adapted to receive the bottle (12) in abutment within the open end (24). In the case where the bottle (12) is cylindrical as in the present case, the shoulders (42) have a semi-circular shape. However, it is worth mentioning that in the case where the bottle (12) has a rectangular or triangular cross section, or any other shape, the shoulders (42) would have a shape conforming to the cross section of the bottle (12) as apparent to anyone skilled in the art.

[0034] Also preferably, the side walls (36) of the rim are provided with a cut out (38) for facilitating the seizing of the bottle (12). The cut outs (38) are preferably semi-circular for holding a cylindrical bottle (12). A semi-circular shape of the cut out (38) also has the advantage of being complementary to the tip of a human finger.

[0035] Therefore, thanks to the semi-circular cut out (38), the user may easily seize the bottle using only two fingers, while the case is securely clipped or fixed to a plate-like object such as a car visor or while the case is held in the other user's hand.

[0036] This semi-circular cut out (38) feature renders the kit and case of the present invention quite user friendly.

[0037] The releasable mounting means of this preferred embodiment of the invention is, as previously mentioned hereinabove, quite user friendly. The user may rapidly, conveniently and virtually effortlessly, remove or replace the bottle (12) therein. This is so because the bottle (12) easily snaps out off the case upon removal, and easily snaps back on upon replacement. While this is important for ordinary users with normal dexterity, it is easily understood that it is even more so for users with dexterity challenges due to motor skill problems or conditions like arthritis and so on.

[0038] Alternative releasable mounting means include Velcro tabs, elastic thongs, straps or the like, or even a cloth of the like.

[0039] Now referring to FIGS. 1, 3, 5 or 6, the case (10) preferably comprises a holder (50) connected to a wall of the shell member (16) for holding the same to a plate-shaped object that is external to the invention, such as a car visor. In the embodiment illustrated, the holder (50) is connected to the top wall (18) of the shell member (16). Obviously, in another embodiment of the invention (not illustrated), the holder (50) may be connected to any other wall of the shell member (16).

[0040] The holder (50) preferably consists of a generally S-shaped clip formed by means of an extension which integrally projects from the top wall (18) and forms a clip therewith to enable handy clipping of the shell member (16) to a plate-shaped element such as a car visor, the edge of a table or desk top, the edge of a shelf, or the like. The holder provides the advantage of allowing for convenient storage out of sight of the case or care kit.

[0041] The holder (50) also provides the advantage of allowing a user to be able to seize the bottle of care product and/or the cloth without having to handle the case with the other hand since the case may already be held secure onto a car visor. The holder (50) therefore presents the advantages of allowing the user to secure the case (10) to a plate-shaped element, easily seize the bottle (12) from the case (10), free up his or her other hand, and avoid the inadvertent misplacement of the case and or cloth. It is worth mentioning that in another embodiment of the invention (not illustrated), the holder may be simply made of Velcro and such.

[0042] The case (10) is preferably made of a molded plastic material, but may also be made of a light metal, or any other sturdy yet light material.

[0043] The case (10) which is a one-piece case can be easily manufactured by means of a typical molding process or any other process known in the art.

[0044] Although a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been described in detail herein and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to this precise embodiment and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein without departing from the scope or spirit of the present invention.