Title:
Pumpkin-shaped container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pumpkin-shaped container for space-saving shipping and storage includes a first half and a second half, a fastener to attach or detach the first and second half, and decorative portions resembling the facial features of a Jack-O-Lantern. The first and second half are divided either parallel or perpendicular to the top opening of the pumpkin-shaped container. The first half has a plurality of fixing projections and the second half has a plurality of fixing recesses along the respective mating edges that are fitted together to assemble the pumpkin-shaped container. The fastener further secures the first half and second half to each other. The fastener encompasses various forms such as a lever having a hook engaging with a pin, Velcro pads, or a hinge. The second half may attach to the first half by a pivot access to allow the second half to rotate over the first half. Various combinations of above allow the pumpkin-shaped container to take up no more than one-fifth of the space needed when it is in the unassembled state compared to the assembled state.



Inventors:
Won, Charles (Vernon, CA, US)
Kang, Manwoong (Vernon, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/651447
Publication Date:
03/03/2005
Filing Date:
08/29/2003
Assignee:
C.M. Sales, INC.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H3/00; B65D43/16; B65D81/36; (IPC1-7): B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PARK LAW FIRM (LOS ANGELES, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A pumpkin-shaped container comprising a) a first half; b) a second half; and c) a fastener to detachably attach the first half and the second half together; wherein the first half and the second half forms a hollow main body when the first half and the second half are assembled by engaging the fastener, wherein the hollow main body comprises a top opening for access into the main body, and a decorative portion.

2. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 1 wherein the a mating line between the first half and the second half is perpendicular to the top opening, wherein the first half comprises a first top opening half, and the second half comprises a second top opening half, and wherein the first top opening half and the second top opening half forms the top opening when the first half and the second half are assembled.

3. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 2 wherein the fastener comprises a plurality of fixing projections provided on the first half along the mating line between the first half and the second half, and a plurality of fixing recesses provided on the second half along the mating line between the first half and the second half, wherein the fixing projections are inserted into the fixing recesses and fit tight with each other when the first half and the second half are assembled.

4. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 3 wherein the fastener further comprises a flexible hinge positioned between the first half and the second half and opposite to the top opening, and integrated with the first half and the second half.

5. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 4 wherein the decorative portion comprises depressions that represent facial features of a Jack-O Lantern.

6. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 5 wherein the depressions are painted with dark color.

7. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 4 wherein the decorative portions are cut-outs that represent facial features of a Jack-O Lantern.

8. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 2 wherein the fastener comprises an upper fastener that is positioned near the top opening, and a lower fastener that is positioned opposite to the top opening, wherein the lower fastener comprises a hinge positioned on the mating line between the first half and the second half.

9. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 8 wherein the upper fastener comprises a first Velcro pad provided on the first half and a second Velcro pad provided on the second half, wherein the first Velcro pad engages with the second Velcro pad when the first half and the second half are assembled.

10. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 8 wherein the upper fastener comprises a lever pivotally attached on the first half, a pin fixed to the second half, wherein the lever comprises a hook that is engaged with the pin when the first half and the second half are assembled.

11. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 8 wherein the hinge comprises an L shaped projection provided on the first half, and a U shaped projection provided on the second half, wherein the U shaped projection engages with the L shaped projection when the first half and the second half are assembled so that the first half and the second half are not separated.

12. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 8 wherein the hinge comprises a flexible hinge positioned between the first half and the second half and opposite to the top opening, and integrated with the first half and the second half.

13. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 8 wherein the fastener further comprises a plurality of fixing projections provided on the first half along the mating line between the first half and the second half, and a plurality of fixing recesses provided on the second half along the mating line between the first half and the second half, wherein the fixing projections are inserted into the fixing recesses and fit tight with each other when the first half and the second half are assembled.

14. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 13 wherein the decorative portion comprises depressions that represent facial features of a Jack-O Lantern, and the depressions are painted with dark color.

15. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 2 wherein the second half is rotatably attached to the first half to allow the second half to rotate over the first half.

16. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 1 wherein a mating line between the first half and the second half is parallel with the top opening, and wherein the top opening is provided on the first half.

17. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 16 wherein the fastener comprises a plurality of fixing projections provided on the first half along the mating line between the first half and the second half, and a plurality of fixing recesses provided on the second half along the mating line between the first half and the second half, wherein the fixing projections are inserted into the fixing recesses and fit tight with each other when the first half and the second half are assembled.

18. The pumpkin-shaped container of claim 17 wherein the decorative portion comprises depressions that represent facial features of a Jack-O Lantern and the depressions are painted with dark color.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a container for carrying and collecting items. More particularly, this invention relates a pumpkin-shaped container for carrying and collecting items as children go door-to-door during Halloween.

During Halloween, children traditionally enjoy dressing up in costumes and going door-to-door to collect candy and other items. In addition to the costumes, children carry a bag or a container to hold candy that has been collected. One such collection device includes a plastic pumpkin with facial features, commonly known as a Jack-O-Lantern.

This tradition of children going door-to-door to collect candy has become increasingly popular overseas. Although plastic pumpkins are not expensive to ship due to each pumpkin weighing less than one pound, they are very bulky and require large boxes and thus are difficult to transport and expensive to ship, especially overseas.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention contrives to solve the disadvantage of the prior art.

An objective of the invention is to provide a pumpkin shaped container that increases the ability of a shipper of these items to ship them in a compact manner that reduces the space required by as much as five times the space required to send one pumpkin-shaped container. This reduction in necessary space effectively will reduce the cost and energy required to ship the pumpkin-shaped container.

Another objective of the invention is to provide a pumpkin-shaped container for ease of storage when the item is not being used, as it is commonly a seasonal item.

To achieve the above objectives, a pumpkin-shaped container includes a first half, a second half, and a fastener to detachably attach the first half and the second half together. The first half and the second half form a hollow main body when the first half and the second half are assembled by engaging the fastener. The hollow main body has a top opening for access into the main body and a decorative portion.

In a first embodiment of the pumpkin-shaped container, a mating line between the first half and the second half is perpendicular to the top opening. The first half has a first top opening half, and the second half comprises a second top opening half. The first top opening half and the second top opening half form the top opening when the first half and the second half are assembled.

The decorative portion of the pumpkin-shaped container has depressions that represent facial features of a Jack-O Lantern. The depressions are painted with one or more dark colors. In the alternative to depressions, the decorative portions are cut-outs that represent facial features of a Jack-O Lantern.

The fastener includes a plurality of fixing projections provides on the first half along the mating line between the first half and the second half, and the second half has a plurality of fixing recesses provided on the second half along the mating line between the first half and the second half. The fixing projections are inserted into the fixing recesses and fit tight with each other when the first half and the second half are assembled. The fastener further includes a flexible hinge positioned between the first half and the second half and opposite to the top opening, and integrated with the first half and the second half.

The fastener further has an upper fastener that is positioned near the top opening, and a lower fastener that is positioned opposite to the top opening. The lower fastener has a hinge positioned on the mating line between the first half and the second half. The hinge has an L-shaped projection on the first half, and an U-shaped projection on the second half. The U-shaped projection engages with the L-shaped projection when the first half and the second half are assembled so that the first half and the second half are not separated.

The upper fastener has a first Velcro pad on the first half and a second Velcro pad on the second half. The first Velcro pad engages with the second Velcro pad when the first half and the second half are assembled.

Alternatively, the upper fastener includes a lever pivotally attached on the first half and a pin fixed to the second half. The lever has a hook that is engaged with the pin when the first half and the second half are assembled.

As an alternative to fixing projections and fixing recesses, the second half of the pumpkin-shaped container is rotatably attached to the first half to allow the second half to rotate over the first half.

In a second embodiment of the pumpkin-shaped container, the mating line between the first half and the second half is parallel with the top opening, and the top opening is provided on the first half. The fastener has a similar construction as in first embodiment.

The advantages of the present invention are: (1) a pumpkin-shaped container that that consists of halves so the halves are foldable on each other for space efficiency; (2) a pumpkin-shaped container that when the halves are folded on each other take up no more than one-fifth the space of an one-piece pumpkin-shaped container; (3) a pumpkin-shaped container that consists of halves that when the halves are attached together provide the same use as an one-piece pumpkin-shaped container; (4) a pumpkin-shaped container that is convenient and inexpensive to ship because the halves are foldable over each other; and (5) a pumpkin-shaped container that saves space and is easy to store in relation to an one-piece pumpkin.

Although the present invention is briefly summarized, the fuller understanding of the invention can be obtained by the following drawings, detailed description and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGSS

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pumpkin shaped container with a lever, hook and pin fastener according to the first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a pumpkin shaped container with according to the second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the pumpkin shaped container;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a portion of the pumpkin shaped container with a Velcro fastener;

FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of a first half of the pumpkin-shaped container;

FIG. 6 is a front elevation view of a second half of the pumpkin-shaped container;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the pumpkin-shaped container taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the pumpkin-shaped container with a hinge fastener taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is an elevation view of the pumpkin-shaped container with the second half rotatable over the first half;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the pumpkin-shaped container taken along line 10-10 of FIG. 9, with the second half rotatable over the first half;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the pumpkin-shaped container where the second half is rotated over the first half;

FIG. 12 an elevation view of the pumpkin-shaped container showing that the first half and the second half are connected by a flexible hinge so that the halves together with the hinge may be injection molded as a single piece; and

FIG. 13 is a partial cross-sectional view of circle A in FIG. 12 showing the flexible hinge connecting the first half and the second half.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a pumpkin-shaped container 10 according to the first embodiment of the present invention. The pumpkin-shaped container 10 includes a first half 12, a second half 14, and a fastener 16 which attaches the first half 12 and the second half 14 together. The pumpkin-shaped container 10 also has decorative portions 18. The decorative portions 18 can either be depressions on the surface of the pumpkin-shaped container 10 or cut-outs. The decorative portions 18 are comprised of the facial features of a Jack-O-Lantern such as the eyes, nose, and mouth. In this embodiment, the pumpkin-shaped container 10 is divided vertically into halves; the first half 12 and the second half 14, so that a mating line 24 between the first half 12 and the second half 14 is formed perpendicular to the top opening 22. The first half 12 and the second half 14 form a hollow main body 20 when the first half 12 and the second half 14 are assembled by engaging the fastener 16. The first half 12 and the second half 14 also form the top opening 22. The fastener 16 includes a lever 26 having a hook 28 engaging with a pin 30. The lever 26 is pivotally attached to the first half 12 and the pin 30 is fixed to the second half 14. The hook 28 of the lever 26 is engaged with the pin 30 to secure the first half 12 to the second half 14 when the halves are assembled.

FIG. 2 shows a second embodiment of the pumpkin-shaped container 11 in which the first half 13 and the second half 15 are divided horizontally. The first half 13 provides a top opening 23 of the pumpkin-shaped container 11. The second half 15 provides the base of the pumpkin-shaped container 11. A mating line 25 between the first half 13 and the second half 15 is parallel to the top opening 23.

FIG. 3 shows the pumpkin-shaped container 10 in elevation view.

FIG. 4 shows another embodiment of the fastener 16. The fastener 16 in this embodiment are Velcro pads 32. The first Velcro pad 34 on the first half 12 faces downward so it can attach itself to an upward facing second Velcro pad 36 of the second half 14. When the two Velcro pads 32 are put together, the first half 12 and the second half 14 are assembled together.

FIG. 5 shows still another embodiment of the fastener 16. The fastener 16 includes a plurality of fixing projections 38 around the circumference of the mating edge of the first half 12. The fixing projections 38 are inserted into a plurality of fixing recesses 40 around the circumference of the mating edge of the second half 14 as shown in FIG. 6 so that the first half 12 and the second half 14 can be tightly fit together to form the pumpkin-shaped container 10. In the assembled state, the fixing projections 38 and the fixing recesses 40 are fit together tightly and are thus not visible from the outside.

FIG. 7 shows the first half 12 and the second half 14 with a mating line 24 that is perpendicular to the top opening 22 in an assembled state of the pumpkin-shaped container 10. In this embodiment, the fastener 16 is a hinge 42. The hinge 42 has an L-shaped projection 44 on the base of the first half 12 and an U-shaped projection 46 on the base of the second half 14. The U-shaped projection 46 is hooked onto the L-shaped projection 44 so that the first half 12 and the second half 14 are assembled together and will further secure the first half 12 and the second half 14 to each other. FIG. 8 shows the hinge 42 in plan view.

FIGS. 9-11 show yet another embodiment of the fastener 16 where the mating line 24 between the first half 12 and the second half 14 is perpendicular to the top opening 22. The second half 14 is attached at the base of the pumpkin-shaped container 10 by a pivot access 48. The pivot access 48 allows the second half 14 to rotate over the first half 12. Specifically, FIG. 11 shows the pumpkin-shaped container 10 in a state where the second half 14 is either rotated or folded over the first half 12. It is in this state that the pumpkin-shaped container 10 is most compact and convenient to store or ship as it takes up about one-fifth of the space the pumpkin-shaped container 10 takes when it is in the assembled state.

FIGS. 12 and 13 show that a flexible hinge 50 is provided between the first half 12 and the second half 14 and opposite to the top opening 22. The flexible hinge 50 is integrated with the first half 12 and the second half 14 so that the halves 12, 14 and the flexible hinge 50 can be injection molded as a single piece in a state shown in FIG. 12. As shown in FIG. 13, the flexible hinge 50 is round when the container 10 is in a shipping state. When the halves 12, 14 are assembled as shown in FIG. 3, the flexible hinge 50 is flattened.

While the invention has been shown and described with reference to different embodiments thereof, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that variations in form, detail, compositions and operation may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the accompanying claims.