Title:
Cosmetic product packaging, typically a case with rear clasp
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A “one-handed” case that is very practical to use and easy to assemble (1) includes a lid (2) fitted with a first hinge portion (20), a concave bottom (3) forming a cavity (33) able to contain said cosmetic products, the bottom (3) being fitted with a second hinge portion (30), a hinge (4) formed by engagement of the first and second hinge portions, a clasp (5) including a push button, a means for the at least partial opening (14) of the lid, and possibly an applicator (8). The bottom (3) includes, at the rear (16) of the case, a rear channel (31), and the clasp is a so-called rear clasp (5) including a so-called rear push button (50), said clasp (5) being able to be partially housed in said rear channel (31), so as to give a so-called “one-handed” case (1).



Inventors:
Dieudonat, Fabrice (Fosses, FR)
Application Number:
11/079471
Publication Date:
11/03/2005
Filing Date:
03/15/2005
Assignee:
Techpack International
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/823
International Classes:
A45D40/22; B65D69/00; (IPC1-7): B65D69/00
View Patent Images:
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20020168300Automated system for storing or dispensing stackable goodsNovember, 2002Bramwell et al.
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20090057187METHOD OF SELLING DOSAGE FORMS WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTIONMarch, 2009Toth et al.
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20080308445Blister PackDecember, 2008Dolak



Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Arlington/LADAS & PARRY LLP (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. Case (1) intended for the packaging of at least one cosmetic product (7) including a lid (2) fitted with a first hinge portion (20), a concave bottom (3) possibly including an inner frame integral with said bottom, said bottom (3) or said inner frame forming a cavity (33) able to contain said cosmetic products, possibly by means of a pot (6), said bottom (3) or said inner frame typically being fitted with a second hinge portion (30), a hinge (4) of axis of rotation R (40) formed by engagement of said first (20) and second (30) hinge portions, a clasp (5) including a push button and a means of locking and unlocking said lid (2) relative to said bottom or said inner frame, a means of opening (14) said lid at least partially, as soon as said unlocking means is activated manually, and possibly an applicator (8) of said cosmetic product (7), and characterized in that: a) said bottom (3) and/or said inner frame includes, at the rear of said case, a rear channel (31), b) said clasp is a so-called rear clasp (5) including a so-called rear push button (50), said clasp (5) being able to be partially housed in said rear channel (31), so as to give a case (1) that is said to be “one-handed”, since it is able to be gripped in one hand typically between the thumb on the one hand and the middle finger and the ring finger on the other, with the index finger placed at the rear of the case against said rear push button (50) so as to exert manual pressure with one finger against said rear push button (50) with a view to opening said case (1), c) said means for locking/unlocking (13) said lid (2) relative to said bottom (3) or said inner frame includes the engagement of a so-called upper hook (130) integral with said lid and of a lower hook (131) integral with said clasp (5), in such a way that said upper hook (130) is released when said manual pressure is exerted on said clasp (5), d) said lid (2) includes, at the rear of said case, a hollowed out part (21), so as to increase the surface of said push button (50) and thus to facilitate said manual pressure on said push button (50).

2. Case according to claim 1, wherein: a) said hinge (4) includes a so-called right-hand half-hinge (4D) and a so-called left-hand half-hinge (4G), said right-hand (4D) and left-hand (4G) half-hinges being separated by a distance E at least equal to 10 mm, said right-hand (4D) half-hinge including an engagement of a first right-hand hinge component (20D) and a second right-hand hinge component (30D), said left-hand half-hinge (4G) including an engagement of a first left-hand hinge component (20G) and a second left-hand hinge component (30G), b) said push button (50) is housed between said right-hand (4D) and left-hand (4G) half-hinges and has a width along said axis of rotation R at least equal to E.

3. Case according to claim 1, wherein said clasp (5) engages with said bottom (3) or said inner frame by means of a fastening means (11), in such a way that said clasp (5), subsequent to said manual pressure, is able to undergo a translatory displacement relative to said bottom (3) or said inner frame, typically a translation in a horizontal plane (10) corresponding to the mean plane of said case (1), said displacement being over a distance D typically between 1 mm and 4 mm, and preferably between 2 mm and 3 mm.

4. Case according to claim 3, wherein said fastening means (11) includes the engagement of a male component (110), typically a rib or a plurality of raised pins, and of a female component (111), typically a groove, one of the two male (110) or female (111) components being carried by said clasp (5), the other component being carried by said bottom (3) or said inner frame.

5. Case according to claim 4, wherein said clasp (5) includes laterally two parallel ribs (51) in said horizontal plane forming said male component (110), said bottom (3) or said inner frame including two parallel grooves (32) forming said female component (111), in such a way that the two parallel ribs (51) are able to slide in said grooves (32) so as to give said translatory displacement.

6. Case according to claim 4, wherein said clasp (5) includes laterally two parallel grooves (51′) in said horizontal plane forming said female component (111), said bottom (3) or said inner frame including two parallel ribs (32′) forming said male component (110), in such a way that the two parallel ribs (32′) are able to slide in said grooves (51′) in order to give said translatory displacement.

7. Case according to claim 1, wherein said clasp (5) engages with said bottom (3) or said inner frame by means of a return means (12) ensuring the return of said push button (50) to its initial position when said manual pressure ceases.

8. Case according to claim 7, wherein said return means (12) includes or is formed by at least one spring (120).

9. Case according to claim 8, wherein said return means (120) is formed by at least one metal spring (121).

10. Case according to claim 7, wherein said return means (120) is formed by at least one tab (122) in a resiliently bending plastic material, said tab (122) typically forming a part cast in one piece with said clasp (5) or with said bottom (3) or said inner frame.

11. Case according to claim 1, wherein said upper (130) and lower (131) hooks are located at a distance d from said axis of rotation R (40), with d being between 7 mm and 25 mm, and preferably between 10 mm and 20 mm, said upper (130) and lower (131) hooks having an overlap over a width dR, in a plane perpendicular to said axis of rotation R (40), of at least 0.5 mm, and with dR<D.

12. Case according to claim 11, wherein said lower hook (131) is formed by a flange (131′) of a hollowed out part (52) of said clasp (5).

13. Case according to claim 1, wherein said hollowed out part (21) is placed between said right-hand and left-hand half-hinges and opposite said rear channel (31).

14. Case according to claim 13, wherein said hollowed out part (21) includes an upper hollowed out part (210) typically in the shape of a half circle the size of a fingertip, and wherein said rear channel (31) includes a lower rear channel (310), in such a way that said finger exerting said manual pressure, typically the index finger, does not inhibit said lid from fully opening.

15. Case according to claim 1, wherein said clasp (5) includes or forms an upper channel (53) able to conceal said rear channel (31), a part (530) of said upper panel (53) opposite said upper hollowed out part (21, 21′) having a shape selected in such a way that, when said case is closed, there is substantially a continuity of form between said part (530) visible from the outside, and said lid.

16. Case according to claim 15, wherein said upper panel (53) has an inner front edge (531) which is adjacent to said cavity (33), said front inner edge (531) projecting over said cavity (33) over said distance D when said push button is displaced at the end of travel over said distance D.

17. Case according to claim 15 wherein said clasp (5) includes, where necessary, a lower panel (54), said lower panel (54) forming a “U-shape” or a “V-shape” with said upper panel (53), the lower end of the “U-shape” or of the “V-shape” forming said push button (50), the lower panel (54) possibly including a part (540) that is visible externally opposite said lower rear channel (310), said part (540) having a form selected in such a way that there is externally a continuity of form between said part (540) of said panel (54), visible from the outside, and said bottom (2).

18. Case according to claim 1, wherein said first and second right-hand hinge components (20D, 30D) are right-hand hub components (20D′, 30D′) forming a right-hand hub (41D), anchored by a right-hand axle (42D), and/or wherein said first and second left-hand hinge components (20G, 30G) are left-hand hub components (20G′, 30G′) forming a left-hand hub (41G), anchored by a left-hand axle (42G).

19. Case according to claim 18, wherein said opening means is formed by said engagement between said hub, right-hand (41D) and/or left-hand (41G), and said axle, right-hand (42D) and/or left-hand (42G), at least one of said right-hand (42D) and/or left-hand (42G) axles forming or including a so-called “drive” spring, right-hand (42D′) and/or left-hand (42G′), one end (420) of which is integral with said first hub component, right-hand (20D′) and/or left-hand (20G′), and the other end (421) of which is integral with said second hub component, right-hand (30D′) and/or left-hand (30G′), so as to form said opening means (14).

20. Case according to claim 19, wherein one of the two hubs, right-hand (41D) or left-hand (41G), includes or forms said so-called “drive” spring, right-hand (42D′) or left-hand (42G′), and the other hub, left-hand (41G) or right-hand (41D) including or forming a braking component, typically a so-called “brake” spring, left-hand (42G″) or right-hand hand (42D″).

21. Case according to claim 15, wherein said upper panel (53) forms or includes a resilient part able to form said opening means (14) of said lid (2).

22. Case according to claim 1, wherein a flexible upper tab (55) typically integral with said clasp (5), but possibly with said bottom or said inner frame, forms said opening means (14) of said lid (2).

23. Case according to claim 1, wherein said bottom includes a lateral wall (34) with an upper end (340) surrounding an edge (22) of said lid (2), in such a way that manually gripping said case (1), with one hand, is not able to prevent or inhibit the opening of said lid (2).

24. Case according to claim 23, wherein, when said case (1) is closed, said edge (22) of said lid (2) is inside said upper end (340).

25. Case according to claim 1, wherein said second hinge portion (30), typically formed in said bottom (3) or said inner frame, is replaced by a second hinge portion (56) formed in said clasp (5), and wherein said means of locking/unlocking (13) said lid (2) relative to said bottom (3) or said inner frame includes the engagement of said so-called upper hook (130) integral with said lid (2) and of said lower hook (131) integral with said bottom (3) or said inner frame, said upper (130) and lower (131) hooks being located typically on a front part of said case (1), said upper and lower hooks having an overlap over a width dR, in a plane perpendicular to said axis of rotation R, of at least 0.5 mm, and with dR<D, in such a way that said upper hook (130) is released when said manual pressure is exerted on said clasp (5).

26. Case according to claim 1, wherein said bottom (3) includes a first cavity (330) intended to contain said product (7) and a second cavity (331) intended to contain said application means (8).

27. Case according to claim 1, that is rectangular in shape, said hinge forming the width 1 of said rectangle, the length L being such that L/1 is between 1.5 and 2.5, and is typically close to 2.

28. Process for the manufacture claim 1, wherein: a) said lid (2), said clasp (5) and said bottom (3) and possibly said inner frame are formed or supplied, b) said clasp (5) is assembled to said bottom (3) or possibly to said inner frame, c) said clasp (5) is compressed, typically from the rear towards the front in said horizontal plane (10), so as to displace it relative to said bottom (3) or to said inner frame by said distance D, and in this way to disengage the space between said second right-hand (30D) and left-hand (30G) hinge components, in order to be able to fasten said first right-hand (20D) and left-hand (20G) hinge components of said lid (2) and in this way to form said hinge (4), d) where necessary, said inner frame (3′) can be snapped into said bottom (3).

29. Process for the manufacture of a case according to claim 1, wherein: a) said lid (2), said clasp (5) said bottom (3) and possibly said inner frame are formed or supplied, b) said hinge (4) is formed by assembling said first right-hand (20D) and left-hand (20G) hinge components of said lid (2) and said second right-hand (30D) and left-hand (30G) hinge components of said bottom (3) or of said inner frame, c) said clasp (5) is then snapped onto the unit formed in b), after or before having, as the case may be, snapped said bottom (3) to said inner frame (3′).

30. Process according to claim 29, wherein, at step c), said clasp (5) is snapped on from the rear of said case, by a frontward movement from the rear in said horizontal plane (10), said lid (2) being in the closed position.

31. Process according to claim 29, wherein, at step c), said clasp (5) is snapped on from above, by a downward movement from above, said case (1) being open said lid (2) being in the open position with an opening angle typically of 180° relative to said bottom (3).

32. Process for the manufacture of a case (1) according to claim 25, wherein: a) said lid (2), said clasp (5) and said bottom (3) and possibly said inner frame (3′) are formed or supplied, b) said hinge (4) is formed by assembling said first (20) and second (56) hinge portions of said lid (2) and of said clasp (5), and the unit so formed is snapped onto said bottom (3) or said inner frame (3′).

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to the field of cosmetic product packaging, and typically that of cases of powders for facial care.

DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART

In a general way, cases typically include:

    • a concave lid fitted generally with an inner mirror,
    • a concave bottom, typically fitted with a inner frame or intermediate support for at least one pot intended to receive said cosmetic product,
    • a hinge, constituting the connection component between said lid and said bottom, allowing said lid to articulate and said case to open,
    • a clasp or any means of locking and unlocking said lid relative to said bottom, so as to open and close said case, a clasp typically being of the push button type. This clasp, located on the opposite side from the case hinge, is usually formed by the engagement of a clasp component of the lid with a clasp component of the bottom or of the inner frame integral with the bottom, so as to guarantee that the case will remain closed unless deliberately opened.

A very great number of case embodiments are known, embodiments which may relate to one or more of the constituent parts of the case, particularly to the clasp or to the opening of the case.

In this way, as far as patents in the name of the applicant are concerned, we may cite:

    • patent FR 2 661 080 which describes a make-up case with a compact clasp,
    • patent FR 2 725 958 which relates to a case with a combined assisted opening and closure,
    • patent FR 2 737 192 which describes a case with a pivoting lid provided with an articulation with flexible lugs,
    • patent FR 2 755 352 which describes a case with assisted opening,
    • patent FR 2 755 353 which describes a case with an unlocking and pre-opening push button,
    • and patent FR 2 794 723 which describes a case with improved pre-opening.

One problem is to offer cases to users that can be distinguished from prior art cases, and in particular to offer so-called “one-handed” cases which can be held and opened in one and the same hand.

These cases must include assisted opening means allowing the lid to rotate by a certain angle or to tip up automatically following manual pressure on the push button.

Another problem encountered in this type of case lies in the fact that the act of manually opening and/or that of manually gripping the case may hinder the assisted or automatic opening of the lid.

Another problem is to offer cases which can be distinguished from those in the prior art, particularly by their appearance, their “handiness” or their “feel”, in other words the tactile perception of the manual effort involved in opening the case.

Another problem is to obtain cases that are relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

Another problem is to have “one-handed” cases of different shapes, and of different types.

The applicant has therefore looked for a solution to these problems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, said case intended for the packaging of at least one cosmetic product includes a lid fitted with a first hinge portion, a concave bottom possibly including an inner frame integral with said bottom, said bottom or said inner frame forming a cavity able to contain said cosmetic products, possibly by means of a pot, said bottom or said inner frame typically being fitted with a second hinge portion, a hinge of axis of rotation R formed by engagement of said first and second hinge portions, a clasp including a push button and a means of locking and unlocking said lid relative to said bottom or said inner frame, a means of opening said lid at least partially, as soon as said unlocking means is activated manually, and possibly an applicator of said cosmetic product, and is characterized in that:

    • a) said bottom and/or said inner frame includes, at the rear of said case, a rear channel,
    • b) said clasp is a so-called rear clasp including a so-called rear push button, said clasp being able to be partially housed in said rear channel, so as to give a case that is said to be “one-handed”, since it is able to be gripped in one hand typically between the thumb on the one hand and the middle finger and the ring finger on the other, with the index finger placed at the rear of the case against said rear push button so as to exert manual pressure with one finger against said rear push button with a view to opening the case.

The case according to the invention resolves the problems posed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

All the figures relate to the invention

FIGS. 1a to 7h relate to one and the same embodiment of the case (1) according to the invention.

FIGS. 1a, 1c, 2a, and 3a are photographic reproductions of the case (1), reproductions which have been shown diagrammatically by the corresponding FIGS. 1b, 1d, 2b and 3b respectively.

FIGS. 1a and 1b are a view from above.

FIGS. 1c and 1d are a view from below.

FIGS. 2a and 2b are a view from above or from the inside of the case open 180°.

FIGS. 3a and 3b are a view from below or from the outside of the case open 180°.

FIGS. 4a to 4i relate to the case (1).

FIG. 4a is a perspective representation, in dotted lines, of the case (1) open 135°.

FIG. 4b is a perspective representation, in dotted lines, of the closed case (1).

FIG. 4c is a view from above of the closed case (1).

FIG. 4d is a side view of the closed case (1).

FIG. 4e is a cross-section along the vertical plane A-A in FIG. 4c.

FIG. 4f is a cross-section along the vertical plane B-B in FIG. 4c.

FIG. 4g is a cross-section along the vertical plane C-C in FIG. 4c.

FIG. 4h is a rear view of the closed case (1).

FIG. 4i is an enlarged view of the left-hand part of FIG. 4e surrounded by dots.

FIGS. 5a to 5k relate to the bottom (3) of the case (1).

FIG. 5a is a perspective view from above.

FIG. 5b is a perspective view from below.

FIG. 5c is a view from above.

FIG. 5d is a side view.

FIG. 5e is a cross-section along the vertical plane A-A in FIG. 5c.

FIG. 5f is a cross-section along the vertical plane B-B in FIG. 5c.

FIG. 5g is an enlarged view of the left-hand part of FIG. 5f surrounded by dots.

FIG. 5h is a cross-section along the vertical plane D-D in FIG. 5c.

FIG. 5i is a cross-section along the vertical plane C-C in FIG. 5c.

FIG. 5j is a rear view.

FIG. 5k is an enlarged view of the second right-hand hinge component (30D) of the right-hand part of FIG. 5b surrounded by dots.

FIGS. 6a to 6k relate to the lid (2) of the case (1).

FIG. 6a is a perspective view from below.

FIG. 6b is a perspective view from above.

FIG. 6c is a view from above.

FIG. 6d is a view from below.

FIG. 6e is a cross-section along the vertical plane B-B in FIG. 6c.

FIG. 6f is a cross-section along the vertical plane E-E in FIG. 6c.

FIG. 6g is a cross-section along the vertical plane A-A in FIG. 6c.

FIG. 6h is a side view.

FIG. 6i is an enlarged view of the left-hand part of FIG. 6g surrounded by dots.

FIG. 6j is a cross-section along the vertical plane C-C in FIG. 6c.

FIG. 6k is a rear view.

FIG. 6l is an enlarged view of the left-hand part of FIG. 6e surrounded by dots.

FIGS. 7a to 7h relate to the rear clasp (5).

FIG. 7a is a perspective view from above front

FIG. 7b is a perspective view from below rear.

FIG. 7c is a view from below.

FIG. 7d is a view from above.

FIG. 7e is a front view.

FIG. 7f is a side view.

FIG. 7g is a cross-section along the vertical plane A-A in FIG. 7d.

FIG. 7h is an enlarged view of FIG. 7g.

FIG. 8a is a rear view of a case (1) according to another embodiment, with the right hand (4D) and left-hand (4G) half-hinges being shown in dots. In this embodiment, the rear clasp (5) has a height close to that of the bottom and therefore less than that of the case (1).

FIG. 8b is a rear view of a case (1) according to an embodiment similar to the one in FIG. 8a, but in which said second hinge portion is a hinge portion (56) formed in the clasp (5) and not in the bottom (3) as in FIG. 8a.

FIGS. 8c and 8d, relating to this last embodiment, are partial cross-sections in a vertical plane perpendicular to said hinge (4), intended to show the case locking/unlocking means (13).

FIG. 8c relates to be the case when closed, by engagement of upper (130) and lower (131) hooks located in the front of the case, the upper hook being integral with the lid (2), the lower hook (131) being integral with the bottom (3) or the inner frame (3′).

FIG. 8d shows the manual pressure on the clasp (5) allowing the lid (2) to be unlocked for the purpose of opening it.

FIG. 9a shows diagrammatically, in cross-section along the axis of rotation R (40), an embodiment of the opening means (40), similar to that used in the case in FIGS. 1a to 7h. In this embodiment, an axle (42) forming a spring (42′) is common to two hubs (41), one forming a first hinge component (20D′, 20G′) integral with the lid (2), the other forming a second hinge component (30D′, 30G′). This spring (42′) includes one end (420) integral with said first hinge component (20D′, 20G′), the other end (421) being integral with said second hinge component (30D′, 30G′).

FIGS. 9b and 9c show another embodiment of the opening means (40) including a flexible tab (55) forming a part cast in one piece with the clasp (5).

FIG. 9b is a partial side view of the case open at an angle of 90°.

FIG. 9c is a view from above of this same case open 90°.

FIGS. 10a to 10d show in diagrammatic form the engagement between the bottom (3) and the rear clasp (5).

FIGS. 10a and 10b are partial cross-sections of the bottom (2) and the clasp (5) in a vertical plane C-C in FIG. 10c, a plane perpendicular to the case hinge, in order to show a return means (12) of the clasp using a resilient tab (122), and a fastening means (11) so as to limit the displacement of the clasp along its front-to-rear displacement direction (17).

FIG. 10a shows the situation where the push button (50) is in its rest position, while FIG. 10b shows the situation where manual pressure has been exerted on the push button and has moved it towards the right with a view to unlocking the upper hook (130) of the lid (2).

FIG. 10c is a cross-section along the plane A-A in FIG. 10a and shows a means of fastening (11) the clasp (5) to the bottom (3) in the vertical direction.

FIG. 10d is a partial view, similar to FIG. 10c, of another embodiment of the fastening means (11), by engagement of a male component (110) of the clasp with a female component (111) of the bottom (3).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the case (1) according to the invention, and as it appears particularly in FIGS. 1a to 1d:

    • a) said hinge (4) may include a so-called right-hand half-hinge (4D) and a so-called left-hand half-hinge (4G), said right-hand (4D) and left-hand (4G) half-hinges being separated by a distance E at least equal to 10 mm, said right-hand (4D) half-hinge including an engagement of a first right-hand hinge component (20D) and a second right-hand hinge component (30D), said left-hand half-hinge (4G) including an engagement of a first left-hand hinge component (20G) and a second left-hand hinge component (30G),
    • b) said push button (50) may be housed between said right-hand (4D) and left-hand (4G) half-hinges and has a width along said axis of rotation R at least equal to E.

According to the invention, said clasp (5) is able to engage with said bottom (3) or said inner frame by means of a fastening means (11), in such a way that said clasp (5), subsequent to said manual pressure, is able to undergo a translatory displacement relative to said bottom (3) or said inner frame, typically a translation in a horizontal plane (10) corresponding to the mean plane of said case (1), said displacement being over a distance D typically between 1 mm and 4 mm, and preferably between 2 mm and 3 mm.

Said distance D has been shown in FIGS. 1d, 8d and 10b.

In FIG. 1d, a double arrow shows the translatory displacement of the push button (50) in the horizontal plane (10) of the case (1) by manual pressure from the rear to the front of the case (1). The dotted line shows the position of the push button (50) after it has pushed in to the maximum.

Said fastening means (11) may include the engagement of a male component (110), typically a rib or a plurality of raised pins, and of a female component (111), typically a groove, one of the two male (110) or female (111) components being carried by said clasp (5), the other component being carried by said bottom (3) or said inner frame.

According to one embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIG. 10d, said clasp (5) may include laterally two parallel ribs (51) in said horizontal plane forming said male component (110), said bottom (3) or said inner frame including two parallel grooves (32) forming said female component (111), in such a way that the two parallel ribs (51) are able to slide in said grooves (32) so as to give said translatory displacement.

Parallel ribs of this kind (51) have been shown in FIGS. 7a, 7c and 7d relating to said clasp (5).

But, according to a converse embodiment, not shown in a figure, said clasp (5) is able to include laterally two parallel grooves (51′) in said horizontal plane forming said female component (111), said bottom (3) or said inner frame including two parallel ribs (32′) forming said male component (110), in such a way that the two parallel ribs (32′) are able to slide in said grooves (51′) in order to give said translatory displacement.

According to the invention, said clasp (5) is able to engage with said bottom (3) or said inner frame by means of a return means (12) ensuring the return of said push button (50) to its initial position when said manual pressure ceases.

Said return means (12) may include or be formed by at least one spring (120), as shown in FIGS. 8c and 8d.

Said return means (120) may be formed by at least one metal spring (121).

As shown in FIGS. 7a, 7b, 7c and in FIGS. 10a and 10b, said return means (120) may be formed by at least one tab (122) in a resiliently bending plastic material, said tab (122) typically forming a part cast in one piece with said clasp (5) or with said bottom (3) or said inner frame.

As shown particularly in FIG. 4i, said means for locking/unlocking (13) said lid (2) relative to said bottom (3) or said inner frame may include the engagement of a so-called upper hook (130) integral with said lid and of a lower hook (131) integral with said clasp (5), said upper (130) and lower (131) hooks being located at a distance d from said axis of rotation R (40), with d being between 7 mm and 25 mm, and preferably between 10 mm and 20 mm, said upper (130) and lower (131) hooks having an overlap over a width dR, in a plane perpendicular to said axis of rotation R (40), of at least 0.5 mm, and with dR<D, in such a way that said upper hook (130) is released when said manual pressure is exerted on said clasp (5).

As shown in FIG. 4i, said lower hook (131) may be formed by a flange (131′) of a hollowed out part (52) of said clasp (5).

As shown particularly in FIGS. 2b, 6a, 6b, 6c and 6d, said lid (2) may include, at the rear of said case (1), a hollowed out part (21) typically placed between said right-hand and left-hand half-hinges and opposite said rear channel (31), so as to increase the surface of said push button (50) and thus to facilitate said manual pressure on said push button (50).

As shown in these same figures, said hollowed out part (21) may include an upper hollowed out part (210) typically in the shape of a half circle the size of a fingertip, and wherein said rear channel (31) includes a lower rear channel (310), in such a way that said finger exerting said manual pressure, typically the index finger, does not inhibit said lid from fully opening.

As shown particularly in FIGS. 2b and 4a, said clasp (5) may include or form an upper channel (53) able to conceal said rear channel (31), a part (530) of said upper panel (53) opposite said upper hollowed out part (21, 21′) having a shape selected in such a way that, when said case is closed, there is substantially a continuity of form between said part (530) visible from the outside, and said lid.

As shown in FIGS. 2b, 4a, 7a, 7c, 7d, 10a and 10b, said upper panel (53) may have an inner front edge (531) which is adjacent to said cavity (33), said front inner edging (531) being able to project over said cavity (33) over said distance D when said push button is displaced at the end of travel over said distance D.

As shown in FIGS. 10a to 10c, said clasp (5) may include, where necessary, a lower panel (54), said lower panel (54) forming a “U-shape” or a “V-shape” with said upper panel (53), the lower end of the “U-shape” or of the “V-shape” forming said push button (50), the lower panel (54) possibly including a part (540) that is visible externally opposite said lower rear channel (310), said part (540) having a form selected in such a way that there is externally a continuity of form between said part (540) of said panel (54), visible from the outside, and said bottom (2).

As shown in FIGS. 5b and 5k, 6e and 61, 8a and 8b and 9a, said first and second right-hand hinge components (20D, 30D) may be right-hand hub components (20D′, 30D′) forming a right-hand hub (41D), anchored by a right-hand axle (42D), and/or said first and second left-hand hinge components (20G, 30G) may be left-hand hub components (20G′, 30G′) forming a left-hand hub (41G), anchored by a left-hand axle (42G).

Indeed, said opening means may be formed by said engagement between said hub, right-hand (41D) and/or left-hand (41G), and said axle, right-hand (42D) and/or left-hand (42G), at least one of said right-hand (42D) and/or left-hand (42G) axles forming or including a so-called “drive” spring, right-hand (42D′) and/or left-hand (42G′), one end (420) of which is integral with said first hub component, right-hand (20D′) and/or left-hand (20G′), and the other end (421) of which is integral with said second hub component, right-hand (30D′) and/or left-hand (30G′), so as to form said opening means (14).

However, one of the two hubs, right-hand (41D) or left-hand (41G), may include or form said so-called “drive” spring, right-hand (42D′) or left-hand (42G′), and the other hub, left-hand (41G) or right-hand (41D) including or forming a braking component, typically a so-called “brake” spring, left-hand (42G″) or right-hand hand (42D″), so as to give in particular a very smooth opening.

As shown in FIGS. 9b and 9c, said upper panel (53) may form or include a resilient part able to form said opening means (14) of said lid (2).

A flexible upper tab (55) typically integral with said clasp (5), but possibly with said bottom or said inner frame, may form said opening means (14) of said lid (2).

This flexible tab (55), which is folded over and compressed towards the front, as shown in dots, at the top on the right in FIG. 9b and in FIG. 9c, when the case (1) is closed, whereas it straightens up pressing on the lid (2) to allow it to open, as shown in the remainder of FIG. 9b and in FIG. 9c.

This flexible tab (55) may be in the shape of an inverted “U”, of dimensions selected so as not to conceal the hollowed out part (52) of the upper panel (53) or the mirror (23).

As shown in FIGS. 1a and 1b, said bottom may include a lateral wall (34) with an upper end (340) surrounding an edge (22) of said lid (2), in such a way that manually gripping said case (1), with one hand, is not able to prevent or inhibit the opening of said lid (2).

Thus, when said lid (1) is closed, and as shown in FIG. 4g, said edge (22) of said lid (2) is inside said upper end (340).

As shown in FIG. 8b, said second hinge portion (30), typically formed in said bottom (3) or said inner frame (3′), may be replaced by a second hinge portion (56) formed in said clasp (5), and in which said means of locking/unlocking (13) said lid (2) relative to said bottom (3) or said inner frame includes the engagement of said so-called upper hook (130) integral with said lid (2) and of said lower hook (131) integral with said bottom (3) or said inner frame, said upper (130) and lower (131) hooks being located typically on a front part of said case (1), said upper and lower hooks having an overlap over a width d, in a plane perpendicular to said axis of rotation R, of at least 0.5 mm, and with d<D, in such a way that said upper hook (130) is released when said manual pressure is exerted on said clasp (5).

As shown for example in FIG. 2b, said bottom (3) may include a first cavity (330) intended to contain said product (7) and a second cavity (331) intended to contain said application means (8).

The case (1) may be rectangular in shape, said hinge forming the width 1 of said rectangle, the length L being such that L/1 is between 1.5 and 2.5, and is typically close to 2.

Another purpose of the invention is constituted by a process for manufacturing a case according to the invention.

According to one embodiment of this process:

    • a) said lid (2), said clasp (5) and said bottom (3) and possibly said inner frame can be formed or supplied,
    • b) said clasp (5) can be assembled to said bottom (3) or possibly to said inner frame,
    • c) said clasp (5) can be compressed, typically from the rear towards the front in said horizontal plane (10), so as to displace it relative to said bottom (3) or to said inner frame by said distance D, and in this way to disengage the space between said second right-hand (30D) and left-hand (30G) hinge components, in order to be able to fasten said first right-hand (20D) and left-hand (20G) hinge components of said lid (2) and in this way to form said hinge (4),
    • d) where necessary, said inner frame (3′) can be snapped into said bottom (3).

According to another embodiment of the process:

    • a) said lid (2), said clasp (5) said bottom (3) and possibly said inner frame can be formed or supplied,
    • b) said hinge (4) can be formed by assembling said first right-hand (20D) and left-hand (20G) hinge components of said lid (2) and said second right-hand (30D) and left-hand (30G) hinge components of said bottom (3) or of said inner frame,
    • c) said clasp (5) can then be snapped onto the unit formed in b), after or before having, as the case may be, snapped said bottom (3) to said inner frame (3′).

According to one variant of this embodiment, at step c), said clasp (5) may be snapped on from the rear of said case, by a frontward movement from the rear in said horizontal plane (10), said lid (2) being in the closed position.

According to another variant of this embodiment, at step c), said clasp (5) can be snapped on from above, by a downward movement from above, said case (1) being opened said lid (2) being in the open position with an opening angle typically of 180° relative to said bottom (3).

According to another embodiment of the process:

    • a) said lid (2), said clasp (5) and said bottom (3) and possibly said inner frame (3′) can be formed or supplied,
    • b) said hinge (4) can be formed by assembling said first (20) and second (56) hinge portions of said lid (2) and of said clasp (5), and the unit so formed is snapped onto said bottom (3) or said inner frame (3′).

EXAMPLES

A) Cases (1) have been manufactured in accordance with FIGS. 1a to 7h by manufacturing by moulding each of its different constituent components in a thermoplastic material: lid (2), bottom (3) and clasp (5).

As can be seen in FIGS. 1a to 1d, and 4a to 4c, the clasp (5) has a rear push button (50) has a curve or concavity similar to that in the ungual phalanx of the index finger intended to exert said manual pressure (80).

Components forming an axle (42, 42′, 42″) were supplied including a right-hand axle (42D, 42D′, 42D″), and a left-hand axle (42G, 42G′, 42G″), the identifiers 42, 42D and 42G corresponding to a standard axle, the identifiers (42′, 42D′, 42G′) corresponding to a driving axle, and the identifiers (42″, 42D″, 42G″) corresponding to a brake axle, the torque generated by the brake axle being less than the driving torque of the driving axle.

These driving (42D′, 42G′) or brake (42D″, 42G″) axles include at each of their ends a notched part able to engage with an inner notched surface (410) of said hub (41). See FIGS. 5k and 6l.

This case (1) was assembled in the following manner:

    • first of all the lid (2) and the bottom (3) were assembled and the hinge (4) formed by forming the right-hand (4D) and left-hand (4G) half-hinges, the right-hand (4D) half-hinge being formed by engagement of the right-hand hub (41D) and a right-hand axle (42D, 42D′, 42D″), the left-hand (4G) half-hinge being formed by engagement of the left-hand hub (41G) and a left-hand axle (42G, 42G′, 42G″), the right-hand hub (41D) being formed by said first right-hand hub component (20D′) and by said second right-hand hub component (30D′) placed side-by-side as shown in FIG. 9a.
    • then the lid and the bottom were placed 180° apart in said horizontal plane (10) as shown in FIG. 2b, then the clasp (5) was snapped on by a downward displacement from above, the clasp (5) being placed initially opposite and above said rear channel (31) of the bottom (3).

Several variants of these cases were then manufactured as a function of the type of axle:

Case ARight-hand half-hingeLeft-hand half-hinge
A1Standard axle (42D)Standard axle (42G)
A2Standard axle (42D)Driving axle (42G′)
A3Driving axle (42D′)Driving axle (42G′)
A4Driving axle (42D′)Driving axle (42G″)

B) Cases (1) similar to the previous ones have also been manufactured, but with a rear clasp (5) as shown in FIG. 8a.

C) Cases (1) have also been manufactured in accordance with FIG. 8b.

In this case, the lid (2) and clasp (5) were assembled first forming the hinge (4), then the clasp (5) was snapped into the bottom (3).

D) Cases (1) have also been manufactured in accordance with FIGS. 8c and 8d. In these cases (1), the locking/unlocking hooks (130, 131) are located at the front (50) of the case (1), unlocking being obtained by manual pressure (18) on the clasp (5) at the rear (16) of the case (1).

E) Cases (1) have also been manufactured that include the components in FIGS. 9b and 9c, in which the opening means (14) of the lid (2) is formed by a flexible tab (55).

F) Cases (1) have also been manufactured that include the components in FIGS. 10a to 10c, by snapping the clasp (5) on axially as with the cases (1) in the previous series A.

Cases have also been manufactured in accordance with the variant in FIG. 10d.

Advantages of the Invention

The cases (1) according to the invention offer major advantages.

Indeed, on the one hand, they are “one-handed” cases that are extremely practical to use. On the other hand, these cases are very different from prior art cases, which is a great advantage in commercial terms.

Additionally, these cases are easy to manufacture and assemble.

Lastly, these cases may have a great variety of shapes. Indeed, these cases may be round, oval, square or of any traditional shape, and not only of a rectangular shape as shown in FIGS. 1a to 3b.

List of Elements

Case 1
Horizontal plane of 1 10
Means of fastening 3 and 5 11
Male component110
Female component111
Return means of 5 relative to 3 12
Spring120
Metal spring121
Resilient tab122
Locking/unlocking means 13
Upper hook of 2130
Lower hook of 3 or 5131
Flange of a hollowed out part 52131′
Means of opening 2 (42D′, 42G′) 14
Front of 1 15
Rear of 1 16
Front-to-rear direction 17
Manual pressure 18
Lid 2
First hinge portion 20
First right-hand hinge component 20D
First right-hand hub component 20D′
First left-hand hinge component 20G
First left-hand hub component 20G′
Hollowed out part 21
Upper hollowed out part210
Edge of 2 22
Mirror 23
Bottom 3
Inner frame 3′
Second hinge portion 30
Second right-hand hinge component 30D
Second right-hand hub component 30D′
Second left-hand hinge component 30G
Second left-hand hub component 30G′
Rear channel 31
Lower rear channel310
Parallel grooves (=111) 32
Parallel ribs (=110) 32′
Cavity 33
First cavity330
Second cavity331
Lateral wall 34
Upper end340
Hinge 4
Right-hand half-hinge of 4 4D
Left-hand half-hinge of 4 4G
Axis of rotation R 40
Hub 41
Right-hand hub = 20D′ + 30D′ 41D
Left-hand hub = 20G′ + 30G′ 41G
Notched anti-rotation surface410
Axle 42
Axle forming “drive” 42′
Axle forming “brake” 42″
Right-hand axle 42D
Right-hand drive spring (14) 42D′
Right-hand brake spring 42D″
Left-hand axle 42G
Left-hand drive spring (14) 42G′
Left-hand brake spring 42G″
End integral with 20D′, 20G′420
End integral with 30D′, 30G′421
Rear clasp 5
Rear push button 50
Parallel ribs (=110) 51
Parallel grooves (=111) 51′
Hollowed out part 52
Upper panel 53
Part of 53 opposite 210530
Front inner edge531
Lower panel 54
Part of 54 opposite 310540
Flexible tab (14) 55
Second hinge portion 56
Vertical projection 57, 57″
Pot 6
Cosmetic product 7
Applicator (powder puff) 8