Title:
Roll product dispenser
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is provided a portable roll product dispenser having a housing with a chamber for rotatably accommodating a roll product, such as a roll of radiographic imaging markers, a dispensing outlet, a dispensing guide, a first connector, and a second connector. The first and second connectors in cooperation with respective surface mounts enable the dispenser to be fixedly positioned on a surface in different orientations with respect to the surface.



Inventors:
Kasper, Hermann (Plantsville, CT, US)
Application Number:
10/863536
Publication Date:
12/29/2005
Filing Date:
06/08/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61B19/00; B65H16/02; (IPC1-7): B65H16/02
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, JOHN QUOC
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCCARTER & ENGLISH, LLP (HARTFORD, CT, US)
Claims:
1. A dispenser for dispensing a roll product comprising: a housing having at least one chamber for rotatably accommodating a roll product; a dispensing outlet for at least one of accessing and dispensing said roll product; a first connector operatively connectable to a first surface mount; and a second connector operatively connectable to a second surface mount.

2. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said outlet has an outlet guide for guiding said roll product during dispensing.

3. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said first connector has at least two connecting elements.

4. The dispenser of claim 3, wherein each of said at least two connecting elements define a groove.

5. The dispenser of claim 4, wherein said at least two connecting elements are angled relative to each other.

6. The dispenser of claim 5, further comprising a first surface mount including at least two mounting elements.

7. The dispenser of claim 6, wherein each of said at least two mounting elements define a tongue.

8. The dispenser of claim 7, wherein said at least two mounting elements are angled relative to each other so as to enable said tongue of each mounting element to engage said groove of each connecting element when said first connecting element is operatively connected to said first surface mount.

9. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said second connector has at least two engaging portions.

10. The dispenser of claim 9, further comprising a second surface mount including at least two channels.

11. The dispenser of claim 10, wherein said at least two engaging portions of said second connector respectively engage said at least two channels of said second surface mount when said second connecting element is operatively connected to said second surface mount.

12. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said first surface mount defines a first recess and said first connector defines a first mounting face that is receivable within said first mounting recess for connecting said first connector to said first surface mount, and said second surface mount defines a second recess and said second connector defines a second mounting face that is receivable within the second mounting recess for connecting said second connector to said second surface mount.

13. The dispenser of claim 12, wherein said first mounting recess and said first mounting face are axially elongated and said first mounting face is slidably receivable within the first mounting recess to releasably connect said first connector to said first surface mount.

14. The dispenser of claim 13, wherein said first mounting recess has at least two recess elements angled relative to each other and said mounting face has at least two face elements angled relative to each other and complementary with said at least two angled recess elements.

15. The dispenser of claim 12, wherein said second mounting recess and said second mounting face are axially elongated and said second mounting face is slidably receivable within the second mounting recess to releasably connect said second connector to said second surface mount.

16. The dispenser of claim 12, wherein said second mounting recess and said second mounting face are brought into engagement by inserting a first engaging portion into the mounting recess followed by inserting a second engaging portion into the mounting recess.

17. A roll product dispensing system comprising: a dispenser including a first connector for orienting said dispenser in a first position and a second connector for orienting said dispenser in a second position; at least one surface mount connectable to the first and/or second connectors; and at least one roll product suitable for being rotatably accommodated by said dispenser and selectively dispensed therefrom.

18. The dispensing system of claim 17, wherein said dispenser has a housing with at least one chamber for rotatably accommodating said at least one roll product.

19. The dispenser system of claim 18, wherein said housing has at least one dispensing outlet with at least one dispensing guide.

20. The dispenser system of claim 18, wherein one of said at least two differently oriented connectors is on a first side of said housing.

21. The dispenser system of claim 20, wherein another of said at least two differently oriented connectors is on a second side, adjacent said first side, of said housing.

22. The dispenser system of claim 17, further comprising means for fastening said one or more surface mounts to a surface.

23. The dispenser system of claim 22, wherein said means for fastening is one of a bolt, a screw, a nail, a spike, a tack, an adhesive, and a fabric hook/loop arrangement.

24. The dispenser system of claim 17, wherein said roll product is a strip of radiographic imaging markers.

25. The dispenser system of claim 17, wherein said dispenser is operatively connectable to any of said one or more surface mounts.

26. A roll product dispenser comprising: a housing having at least one chamber for rotatably accommodating a roll product; a removable cover for accessing said at least one chamber; a dispensing outlet for dispensing said roll product; a first connector operatively connectable to a first surface mount; and a second connector operatively connectable to a second surface mount.

27. The roll product dispenser of claim 26, wherein said removable cover has one or more fastening elements.

28. The roll product dispenser of claim 17, wherein said one or more fastening elements operatively engage said housing so that said removable cover and said housing are securely connected.

29. The roll product dispenser of claim 26, wherein said removable cover has at least one guide structure to aid in properly connecting said removable cover to said housing.

30. The roll product dispenser of claim 26, wherein said removable cover has a third connector for retaining a tool.

31. The roll product dispenser of claim 30, wherein said tool is a cutting tool.

32. The roll product dispenser of claim 30, wherein said tool is tethered to said removable cover to allow effective use and to prevent loss.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to roll product dispensers. More particularly, the present invention relates to a portable roll product dispenser suitable to be mounted to a surface in different orientations.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Roll product dispensers are generally well known and are utilized in a wide variety of applications. For example, there are roll product dispensers for dispensing various types of adhesive tapes, stickers, printed novelties, static clings, labels, stamps or the like. One particular application in which a roll product dispenser may be effectively utilized is found in the area of radiology. When imaging various parts of the human body, it is often the practice of physicians or technicians to mark or identify, via a marker, portions of the body in order to direct the physician to the portion of the radiographic image reflecting/representing the body part of interest and in order to prevent such physician from being misled by certain body tissues of varying radiographic density. The markers also may be utilized to facilitate in targeting radiation, such as, for example, in radiation therapy. Typically, the markers, one or more of which may be provided on a strip or in roll product form, are applied by the physician or the technician in an office or laboratory environment, thus dictating the need for an easily manipulated, light weight and portable roll product dispenser. As marker types vary, it is desirable for a roll product dispenser to be suitable for operatively accommodating different products.

Additional characteristics or features desirable in a roll product dispenser include the ability of the dispenser to present an end of the roll product to the user for easy withdrawal, the ability of the dispenser to facilitate easy and accurate separation of one or more components of the roll product, and the ability to selectively mount the dispenser to different surfaces in different orientations.

Current roll product dispensers fail to address one or more of the above-identified desirable characteristics. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention is to provide an improved roll product dispenser that overcomes one or more of the above-described drawbacks and disadvantages associated with the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a roll product dispenser having a housing with a chamber for rotatably accommodating a roll product. The housing also has a dispensing outlet, a dispensing guide, a first connector, and a second connector. The first and second connectors cooperate with respective surface mounts to enable the dispenser to be fixedly positioned on a surface in different orientations with respect to the surface.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the first connector has at least two connecting elements with a proximal end, a distal end, and at least one groove therein. The two connecting elements of the first connector may be angled relative to each other so that the distance between respective proximal ends is at least somewhat less than the distance between respective distal ends. The angled connecting elements effectively cooperate with a first surface mount having corresponding and/or complementary mounting elements to effectively secure the dispenser to a surface in a particular orientation. The first surface mount may be affixed to a surface in any of a variety of ways.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the second connector has at least two engaging portions for operatively engaging corresponding and/or complementary channels associated with a second surface mount. The second surface mount may be affixed to a surface in any of a variety of ways.

One advantage of the present invention is that it enables a roll product to be selectively mounted or affixed to a surface in different orientations relative to the surface. Another advantage of the currently preferred embodiments of the present invention is that they can easily be manipulated, light weight and portable. Still other advantages of the currently preferred embodiments of the present invention are found in the ability of the dispensers to present an end of the roll product for easy and effective withdrawal, and the ability of the dispensers to facilitate easy and accurate separation of components of the roll product as desired. Still a further advantage of the currently preferred embodiments of the present invention is the ability of the dispensers to effectively accommodate and dispense a variety of different types of roll products.

These and other aspects and advantages of the currently preferred embodiments of the present invention will become more readily apparent in view of the following detailed description of the currently preferred embodiments of the present invention and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a dispenser in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of a surface mount in accordance with an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the surface mount of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a side perspective view of a surface mount in accordance with another aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the surface mount of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a side perspective view of a surface mount in accordance with still another aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of the surface mount of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is an end view of the surface mount of FIG. 6, showing an alternative fastening means associated therewith;

FIG. 9 is a side view of the surface mount of FIG. 6 and the dispenser of FIG. 1 showing an engaging step in accordance with one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a side view of the surface mount of FIG. 6 and the dispenser of FIG. 1 showing another engaging step in accordance with one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a side view of the surface mount of FIG. 6 and the dispenser of FIG. 1 showing a final engaging step in accordance with one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the dispenser of FIG. 1 in accordance with an alternative aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a first side view of a cover in accordance with an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a second side view of the cover of FIG. 13;

FIGS. 15a-15d are perspective views of an exemplary tool associated with the dispenser of the present invention;

FIG. 16 is an illustrative view of a dispenser in accordance with one aspect of the present invention, showing a dispenser mounted to a surface in a first exemplary orientation with respect to the surface to which the dispenser is mounted; and

FIG. 17 is an illustrative view a number of dispensers in accordance with another aspect of the present invention, showing the dispensers mounted to a surface in a second exemplary orientation with respect to the surface to which the dispensers are mounted.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings and, in particular, FIG. 1, a dispenser 1 in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention is shown and generally represented by reference numeral 1. Dispenser 1 has a housing 2 for accommodating a roll product, at least one dispensing outlet 4, at least one dispensing guide 6, at least one first connector 8, and at least one second connector 10.

As shown in FIGS. 16 and 17, the housing 2 has at least one chamber 12 for rotatably retaining a roll product 14. The housing 2 and/or one chamber 12 may have any of a variety of shapes, sizes or configurations. However, as shown, it is preferable that the housing 2 and/or the chamber 12 (shown best in FIGS. 16 and 17) have an overall curvilinear configuration in order to facilitate effective dispensing of a rolled product or strip. The housing 2 and/or chamber 12 may be clear or transparent, or at least have some transparent portions associated therewith, in order to facilitate effective observation of the quantity, type and/or condition of the roll product contained therein. As shown in FIG. 1, the housing 2 and/or chamber 12 may be selectively accessed or opened by, for example, one or more sidewalls 16.

The dispensing outlet 4 may have any of a variety of shapes, sizes and/or configurations necessary to allow different types of rolled product to be effectively accessed and/or dispensed as desired. As shown, the at least one dispensing outlet 4 is preferably located in at least one of the side walls 16 of the housing 2. The dispensing outlet 4 preferably is in direct communication with the chamber 12 as best shown in FIGS. 16 and 17. Alternatively, the dispensing outlet 4 may be in indirect communication with the chamber 12, such as, via an inner guide channel (not shown). The dispensing outlet 4 is preferably operatively connected to the dispensing guide 6 so that the roll product is received by the dispensing guide 6 upon passing through the dispensing outlet 4.

The dispensing guide 6 preferably has one or more supports 18, such as, a lower support 18a with one or more adjacent side or lateral supports 18b associated therewith. The one or more supports 18 provide a means for effectively directing and/or controlling an exposed free end of the roll product. The dispensing guide 6 preferably has a first end 20 at least proximate, and preferably defining in part the dispensing outlet 4. The dispensing guide 6 preferably also has a second end 22 spaced a predefined distance from the dispensing outlet 4. At the second end 22 of the dispensing guide 6 there may be provided an edge 24 suitable to effectively sever or separate discrete sections of the dispensable roll product as desired. In addition, or alternatively, the dispensing guide 6 may have a structure (e.g., a flap—not shown) so that as the roll product is pulled through the dispensing outlet 4, a component 26 (e.g., a marker-best shown in FIGS. 16 and 17) of the roll product 14 may be effectively peeled away from or otherwise separated from the roll product 14 as desired.

The first connector 8 may have any of a variety of shapes, sizes and/or configurations. As shown, however, in a preferred aspect of the present invention, the first connector 8 preferably has at least two connecting elements 28, 30. Each connecting element 28, 30 is provided with a groove 32, 34 that extends along at least a portion of the connecting element 28, 30. Each connecting element 28, 30 preferably has a first end 36, 38 and a second end 40, 42. The two connecting elements 28, 30 are preferably angled relative to each other so that the distance between respective proximal ends 36, 38 is at least somewhat less than the distance between respective distal ends 40, 42. The connecting elements 28, 30 preferably effectively cooperates with one or more surface mounts, discussed in more detail hereafter, having corresponding and/or complementary mounting elements.

The first connector 8 may be located and/or oriented on any portion of the housing 2, but as shown, is preferably operatively connected to a primary side 44 thereof. The primary side 44 is preferably adjacent or contiguous to a secondary side 46 in which the dispensing outlet 4 is preferably located. The primary side 44 is preferably at least somewhat planar and the secondary side 46 is preferably at least somewhat curvilinear. The first connector 8 and/or the preferred angled connecting elements 28, 30 thereof may be positioned and/or oriented in any of a variety of directions relative to the at least one dispensing outlet 4.

The second connector 10, like the first connector 8, may have any of a variety of shapes, sizes and/or configurations. Preferably, however, the second connector 10 has at least a somewhat planar base 48 with at least two engaging portions 50. The second connector 10, like the first connector 8, may be located and/or oriented on any portion of the housing 2. However, as shown, the second connector 10 is preferably operatively connected to the secondary side 46 of the housing 2. The secondary side 46, as previously suggested, is preferably adjacent or contiguous to the primary side 44 with which the first connector 8 is associated. In the illustrated embodiments, the secondary side 46 and the primary side 44 are substantially perpendicular with respect to each other. The second connector 10 and/or the at least somewhat planar base 48 thereof may be positioned and/or oriented in any of a variety of directions relative to the dispensing outlet 4. The planar base 48 may, in one aspect of the present invention, be suitably wide to enable the dispenser 1 to independently stand on a horizontal surface such as a desk.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, in accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the first connector 8 is operatively connected to at least one first surface mount 52. The first surface mount 52 may have any of a variety of shapes, sizes and/or configurations that is/are preferably complementary to that of the first connector 8. However, as shown, the first surface mount 52 preferably has a base plate 54 and at least two mounting elements 56, 58. Each mounting element 56, 58 is provided with a tongue 60, 62 that is suitable to engage the respective groove 32, 34 associated with the two connecting elements 28, 30 of the first connector 8. Each mounting element 56, 58 has a first end 64, 66 and a second end 68, 70. The two mounting elements 56, 58 are preferably angled relative each other so that the distance between respective first ends 64, 66 is at least somewhat less than the distance between respective second ends 68, 70. The two mounting elements 56, 58 are preferably suitably complementary to the two connecting elements 28, 30 of the first connector 8 so that the respective angled tongues 60, 62 of respective mounting elements 56, 58 may selectively engage and/or be retained by the respective angled grooves 32, 34 of respective connecting elements 28, 30.

Referring to FIGS. 2 through 5, the first surface mount 52 may be securely connected to a surface (e.g., a wall or the like) by any of a variety of techniques for accomplishing such a task. For example, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the first surface mount 52 may have one or more apertures 72 allowing one or more fasteners 74 (e.g., bolts, screws, nails, tacks, etc.) to traverse the first surface mount 52 so as to fasten or secure the first surface mount 52 to a surface. In other aspects of the present invention, the first surface mount 52 may be provided with alternative fastening or securing means. For example, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the base plate 54 may have an adhering surface 76 (e.g., a glue, a pressure-sensitive adhesive or other adhesive, or a fabric hook/loop arrangement) suitable to securely fasten the first surface mount 52 to a surface. The connecting elements 28, 30 may be slidably engaged with or mounted onto the mounting elements 56, 58 (i.e., tongues 60, 62 are slidably received into grooves 32, 34 in the orientation shown in FIG. 9).

Referring to FIGS. 6 to 8, in accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the second connector 10 may be operatively connected to at least one second surface mount 78. The one second surface mount 78 may, like the first surface mount 52, preferably have any of a variety of shapes, sizes and/or configurations that are preferably complementary to that of the first connector 8. However, as shown, the second surface mount 78 preferably has at least one relatively elongate plate 80 with at least two edges 82, 84 at least somewhat folded over the elongate plate 80 to form at least two mounting channels 86, 88. Each mounting channel 86, 88 is preferably suitable to receive and/or accommodate a respective engaging portion 50 of the second connector 10. Each mounting channel 86, 88 has a first end 90 and a second end 92. Either the first end 90, or the second end 92, or both may be open to allow access to each mounting channel 86, 88. The mounting channels 86, 88 are preferably uniformly spaced or equidistant along the extent of second surface mount 78.

The second surface mount 78 may be securely connected to a surface (e.g., a wall or the like) in any of a variety of ways for accomplishing such a task. For example, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the second surface mount 78 may have one or more apertures 72 allowing one or more fasteners 74 (e.g., bolts, screws, nails, tacks, etc.) to traverse the second surface mount 78 so as to fasten or secure the second surface mount 78 to a surface. In other aspects of the present invention, the second surface mount 78 may be provided with alternative fastening or securing means. For example, as shown in FIG. 8, the elongate plate 80 may have an adhering surface 76 (e.g., a glue, a pressure-sensitive adhesive or other adhesive, or a fabric hook/loop arrangement) suitable to securely fasten the second surface mount 78 to a surface.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, one of the mounting channels 86, 88 is a primary channel 86 and another is a secondary channel 88. As can be seen, the first edge 82 extends laterally inwardly a greater extent than the second edge 84, such that the first channel 86 is deeper than the second channel 88. In this aspect, the primary channel 86 is well suited for a vertical mounting of the second surface mount 78. That is, the primary channel 86, when the second surface mount 78 is secured to a vertical surface, may preferably be oriented or located above the secondary channel 88 so as to better ensure that one or more dispensers 1 engaged with the second surface mount 78 will not be undesirably pulled free therefrom upon application of a downward dispensing force.

In addition, as illustrated in FIGS. 9 to 11, the configuration of channels 86 and 88 enable one or more dispensers 1 to effectively engage the second surface mount 78 in at least two ways. First, one or more dispensers 1 may engage the second surface mount 78 via either the first end 90 or the second end 92, which engagement is accomplished by a sliding action. Alternatively, one or more dispensers 1 may engage the second surface mount 78 at any point along the extent thereof by (1) inserting a first engaging portion 50a of the second connector 10 into the primary channel 86 as shown in FIG. 9, (2) bringing the planar base 48 of the second connector 10 into a substantially parallel relationship with the elongate plate portion 80 of the second surface mount 78 as shown in FIG. 10, and (3) allowing a second engaging portion 50b of the second connector 10 to engage the secondary channel 88 as shown in FIG. 11.

Referring to FIGS. 12 to 14, in another aspect of the present invention, the housing 2 can cooperate with a removable cover 3 so as to allow effective and efficient access to the chamber 12 and/or the roll product 14 contained therein. The removable cover 3 can have any of a variety of configurations. For instance, the cover 3 can have one or more fastening elements 5 suitable to operatively engage or connect with the housing 2 so that the cover 3 and the housing 2 are securely coupled as desired. In addition, the cover 3 may be provided with at least one guide structure, such as a guide pin 7 shown in FIG. 14. Preferably the guide structure is suitable to aid in properly coupling the cover 3 to the housing 2. Still further, the cover 3 can have a third connector 9. The third connector 9 can provide further mounting options. However, in a preferred aspect of the present invention, the third connector 9 is well suited for retaining or accommodating a tool. For example, the third connector 9 may accommodate, hold or retain a cutting tool 11 like that shown in FIGS. 15a-15c. The cutting tool 11, in one aspect of the present invention, can be entirely separable from the cover 3 and/or the housing 2, or, in other aspects, may be connected to the cover 3 and/or housing 2, via a tether, for example, so as to allow for effective use while preventing inadvertent separation and/or loss.

Referring to FIGS. 16 and 17, having identified and described some of the features/aspects of the present invention, it is apparent that the present invention provides for an improved roll product dispenser system that advantageously allows for one or more portable dispensers to be mounted or affixed to a surface in different orientations. For example, as shown in FIG. 16, a dispenser may be affixed or mounted to a surface so that the dispensing outlet thereof may be proximate to the surface and the roll product dispensed laterally with respect to the surface. Also, as illustratively shown in FIG. 17, one or more dispensers may be simultaneously mounted or affixed to a surface. Multiple dispensers may utilize a common surface mount (i.e., as shown, second surface mount 78 may be of a suitable extent to accommodate multiple individual dispensers 1). Further, each dispenser may be oriented so that the dispensing outlet thereof is separated from the surface by the housing of the dispenser and the roll product dispensed vertically with respect to the surface in either an upward direction or a downward direction.

Thus, the first surface mount 52 preferably defines a first mounting recess and the first connector 8 defines a first mounting face that is receivable within the first mounting recess for connecting the first connector 8 to the first surface mount 52. The first mounting recess and the first mounting face are each axially elongated and the first mounting face is slidably receivable within the first mounting recess to releasably connect the first connector 8 to the first surface mount 52. The first mounting recess may have two or more first recess elements angled relative to each other and the mounting face may have two or more first face elements angled relative to each other and complementary with the two or more first angled recess elements.

Likewise, the second surface mount 78 preferably defines a second mounting recess and the second connector defines a second mounting face that is receivable within the second mounting recess for connecting the second connector 10 to the second surface mount 78. The second mounting recess and the second mounting face are each axially elongated and the first mounting face is slidably receivable within the second mounting recess to releasably connect the second connector 10 to the second surface mount 78. The second mounting recess may have two or more second recess elements angled relative to each other and the mounting face may have two or more second face elements angled relative to each other and complementary with the two or more second angled recess elements.

As previously noted, other advantages of the illustrated embodiments of the present invention include the easily manipulated, light weight and portable dispenser, and the effectiveness of the dispenser system in presenting an end of the roll product for easy and effective withdrawal, in facilitating easy and accurate separation of segments of the roll product as desired, as well as the dispensers' ability to effectively accommodate and dispense a variety of different roll products.

The present invention having been thus described with particular reference to the preferred forms thereof, it will be obvious that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the present invention as defined herein. For example, the dispenser of the present invention may operatively cooperate with a surface mount suitable to engage or mountably receive the dispenser via the first connector or the second connector alternatively.