Title:
Disposable glove dispensing apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable glove dispensing apparatus includes an apparatus support and a disposable glove roll holder supported by the apparatus support. A disposable glove roll is retained on the disposable glove roll holder. The disposable glove roll includes a plurality of individual disposable gloves retained on a continuous glove carrier strip assembly. An electric motor is supported by the apparatus support for unrolling the glove carrier strip assembly and for positioning disposable gloves in a glove access region. A motor-actuator button is electrically connected to the electric motor for actuating the electric motor. With one embodiment of the invention, the disposable gloves can be in the form of five-fingered gloves. With another embodiment of the invention, the disposable gloves can be in the form of mitts.



Inventors:
Michel, David S. (Westminster, MD, US)
Michel, Laura A. (Westminster, MD, US)
Application Number:
11/129809
Publication Date:
01/19/2006
Filing Date:
05/16/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
RIVERA, WILLIAM ARAUZ
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVID SCOTT MICHEL (JARRETTSVILLE, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as being new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent of the United States is as follows:

1. A disposable glove dispensing apparatus, comprising: an apparatus support, a disposable glove roll holder supported by said apparatus support, a disposable glove roll retained on said disposable glove roll holder, wherein said disposable glove roll includes a plurality of individual disposable gloves, and an electric motor supported by said apparatus support for unrolling said disposable glove roll for permitting access to said individual disposable gloves.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said apparatus support is in a form of a counter top.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said disposable gloves can be in the form of five-fingered gloves.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said disposable gloves are in a form of disposable mitts.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said apparatus support is in a form of a housing.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, further including: a heating unit, housed in said housing, to prevent said disposable mitts from cracking in cold weather.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein: said plurality of individual disposable gloves are retained on a continuous glove carrier strip assembly, and said electric motor unrolls said glove carrier strip assembly and positions said disposable gloves in a glove access region.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, further including: a motor-actuator button electrically connected to said electric motor for actuating said electric motor.

9. The apparatus of claim 7, further including: a strip assembly guide, supported by said apparatus support, for receiving said glove carrier strip assembly and for guiding said glove carrier strip assembly to said glove access region.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein said strip assembly guide includes: a separator edge for separating said base carrier strip from said glove carrier strip assembly, and a guide edge for separating said glove retention strip from said apparatus support.

11. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein said glove carrier strip assembly includes: a base carrier strip, a glove retention strip supported by said base carrier strip, and glove connectors connected between said glove retention strip and said disposable gloves.

12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said glove connectors are perforated regions between said glove retention strip and said disposable gloves.

13. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein said continuous glove carrier strip assembly includes a plurality of disposable mitts linked together in head-to-tail fashion.

14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein said linked disposable mitts are linked by perforated regions between adjacent disposable mitts.

15. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein each of said disposable mitts includes a sealed region spaced apart from said perforated regions.

16. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein each of said disposable mitts includes a longitudinal perforated line.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority based upon my copending Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/574,254; filed May 26, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to article dispensers, and, more particularly, to dispensers especially adapted for dispensing disposable gloves.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Disposable gloves are employed for a variety of purposes in a variety of environments. A convenient way of storing and dispensing disposable gloves is to employ a roll of disposable gloves and to pull off from the roll the disposable gloves that are to be used.

Throughout the years, a number of innovations have been developed relating to dispensing articles, and the following U.S. patents are representative of some of those innovations: U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,583,557, 3,958,768, 5,096,089, 6,021,919, and 6,435,388.

More specifically, U.S. Pat. No. 5,096,089 discloses a disposable glove dispenser in which a plurality of gloves are arranged in closely spaced parallel relationship to one another for removal, one at time, from an exit opening in an enclosure. To mechanically place a plurality of disposable gloves in closely spaced parallel relationship to one another may require a complex reciprocating mechanical movement. Rather than require such a complex reciprocating mechanical movement, it would be desirable if a plurality of disposable gloves were placed on a roll. Mechanically placing a plurality of disposable gloves on a roll requires only a simply rotary movement.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,021,919 discloses a dispenser for sanitary gloves in which gloves are dispensed by hand from a roll of gloves. A user must grasp a glove by a free end and pull on the grasped glove to unroll the roll of gloves. Sometimes it is difficult for a user to manually locate a free end of the roll of disposable gloves. Also, sometimes it is difficult to manually grasp a located free end. In this respect, it would be desirable if a motorized movement device were employed to rotate a roll of disposable gloves to advance the free end of the roll to a location at which a user can easily grasp the desired disposable glove.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,435,388 discloses an apparatus for donning sterile gloves. The apparatus operates to employ a powered vacuum system to inflate a sterile glove, and a user places one's hand in the inflated glove and removes the hand and glove from the apparatus. The powered vacuum system employed with this device is complex and expensive. In this respect, it would be desirable if an apparatus for dispensing disposable gloves were provided in which no powered vacuum system is employed.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,958,768 discloses a package of gussetted bags on a roll. Bags that are dispensed from this apparatus must be dispensed by hand. A user must grasp a bag by a free end and pull on the grasped bag to unroll the roll of bags. As stated above with respect to the discussion of U.S. Pat. No. 6,021,919, it would be desirable if a motorized movement device were employed to rotate a roll of disposable gloves to advance the free end of the roll to a location at which a user can easily grasp the desired disposable glove.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,583,557 may be of interest for its disclosure of a plastic binding and apparatus for dispensing same.

Still other features would be desirable in a disposable glove dispensing apparatus. Disposable gloves are very flaccid and are not rectangularly shaped. As such, is may be difficult to efficiently and conveniently produce a neat roll of flaccid and non-rectangular disposable gloves. To overcome these problems, it would be desirable if each disposable glove were placed on a rectangular backing strip, that is somewhat stiffer than the disposable glove, such that the backing strip can be separated from the flaccid glove at the location at which a user grasps the glove.

If a roll of disposable gloves is placed in an outdoor environment in winter, such as near a gasoline pump, the disposable gloves may crack in the cold temperatures. In this respect, it would be desirable to provide a heating apparatus to assure that the disposable gloves to be dispensed are maintained at a suitable temperature to prevent the gloves from cracking.

Thus, while the foregoing body of prior art indicates it to be well known to use dispensers for dispensing disposable gloves from a roll of gloves, the prior art described above does not teach or suggest a disposable glove dispensing apparatus which has the following combination of desirable features: (1) provides a plurality of disposable gloves that are placed on a roll; (2) employs a motorized movement device to rotate a roll of disposable gloves to advance the free end of the roll to a location at which a user can easily grasp the desired disposable glove; (3) does not employ a powered vacuum system; (4) provides that each flaccid disposable glove is placed on a rectangular backing strip that is somewhat stiffer than the disposable glove, such that the backing strip is separated from the flaccid glove at the location at which a user grasps the glove; and (5) provides a heating device to assure that the disposable gloves to be dispensed are maintained at a suitable temperature to prevent the gloves from cracking at cold temperatures. The foregoing desired characteristics are provided by the unique disposable glove dispensing apparatus of the present invention as will be made apparent from the following description thereof. Other advantages of the present invention over the prior art also will be rendered evident.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To achieve the foregoing and other advantages, the present invention, briefly described, provides a disposable glove dispensing apparatus which includes an apparatus support and a disposable glove roll holder supported by the apparatus support. A disposable glove roll is retained on the disposable glove roll holder. The disposable glove roll includes a plurality of individual disposable gloves retained on a continuous glove carrier strip assembly. An electric motor is supported by the apparatus support for unrolling the glove carrier strip assembly and for positioning disposable gloves in a glove access region. A motor-actuator button is electrically connected to the electric motor for actuating the electric motor.

With one embodiment of the invention, the disposable gloves can be in the form of five-fingered gloves. A strip assembly guide, supported by the apparatus support, is provided for receiving the glove carrier strip assembly and for guiding the glove carrier strip assembly to the glove access region.

More specifically, the glove carrier strip assembly can include a base carrier strip. A glove retention strip is supported by the base carrier strip, and glove connectors are connected between the glove retention strip and the disposable gloves. Preferably, the glove connectors are perforated regions between the glove retention strip and the disposable gloves.

The strip assembly guide includes a separator edge for separating the base carrier strip from the glove carrier strip assembly and includes a guide edge for separating the glove retention strip from the apparatus support. The apparatus support can be in a form of a counter top. This embodiment is very useful in food preparation venues.

With another embodiment of the invention, the disposable gloves are in a form of disposable mitts. The continuous glove carrier strip assembly includes a plurality of disposable mitts linked together in head-to-tail fashion. The linked disposable mitts are linked by perforated regions between adjacent disposable mitts. This embodiment is very useful in gasoline stations to provide disposable mitts for people who pump gasoline.

In addition, each of the disposable mitts can include a sealed region spaced apart from the perforated regions. Also, each of the disposable mitts can include a longitudinal perforated line.

With this embodiment, the apparatus support is in a form of a housing. A heating unit, housed in the housing, can be provided to prevent the disposable mitts from cracking in cold weather.

The above brief description sets forth rather broadly the more important features of the present invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contributions to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will be for the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least two preferred embodiments of the invention in detail, it is understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood, that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for designing other structures, methods, and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved disposable glove dispensing apparatus which has all of the advantages of the prior art and none of the disadvantages.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved disposable glove dispensing apparatus which may be easily and efficiently manufactured and marketed.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a new and improved disposable glove dispensing apparatus which is of durable and reliable construction.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved disposable glove dispensing apparatus which is susceptible of a low cost of manufacture with regard to both materials and labor, and which accordingly is then susceptible of low prices of sale to the consuming public, thereby making such disposable glove dispensing apparatus available to the buying public.

Still yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved disposable glove dispensing apparatus which provides a plurality of disposable gloves that are placed on a roll.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved disposable glove dispensing apparatus that employs a motorized movement device to rotate a roll of disposable gloves to advance the free end of the roll to a location at which a user can easily grasp the desired disposable glove.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved disposable glove dispensing apparatus which does not employ a powered vacuum system.

Even another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved disposable glove dispensing apparatus that provides that each flaccid disposable glove is placed on a rectangular backing strip that is somewhat stiffer than the disposable glove, such that the backing strip is separated from the flaccid glove at the location at which a user grasps the glove.

Still a further object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved disposable glove dispensing apparatus which provides a heating device to assure that the disposable gloves to be dispensed are maintained at a suitable temperature to prevent the gloves from cracking at cold temperatures.

These together with still other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be better understood and the above objects as well as objects other than those set forth above will become more apparent after a study of the following detailed description thereof. Such description makes reference to the annexed drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view showing a first embodiment of the disposable glove dispensing apparatus of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the embodiment of the disposable glove dispensing apparatus shown in FIG. 1 taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of the disposable glove dispensing apparatus of FIG. 2 taken along line 3-3 thereof.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a roll of gloves removed from the dispenser unit.

FIG. 5 is side view of a second embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged front view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 5, taken along line 6-6 thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to the drawings, a new and improved disposable glove dispensing apparatus embodying the principles and concepts of the present invention will be described.

Turning to FIGS. 1-4, there is shown a first embodiment of the disposable glove dispensing apparatus of the invention generally designated by reference numeral 10. In the first embodiment, a disposable glove dispensing apparatus 10 includes an apparatus support 12 and a disposable glove roll holder 14 supported by the apparatus support 12. A disposable glove roll 16 is retained on the disposable glove roll holder 14. The disposable glove roll 16 includes a plurality of individual disposable gloves 18 retained on a continuous glove carrier strip assembly 20. An electric motor 22 is supported by the apparatus support 12 for unrolling the glove carrier strip assembly 20 and for positioning disposable gloves 18 in a glove access region 24. A motor-actuator button 26 is electrically connected to the electric motor 22 for actuating the electric motor 22. Suitably treated opposed longitudinal edges on the roll 16 bordering the strip assembly 20 facilitate positive driven movement of the carrier strip by electric motor 22.

With respect to the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-4, the disposable gloves 18 can be in the form of five-fingered gloves. A strip assembly guide 28, supported by the apparatus support 12, is provided for receiving the glove carrier strip assembly 20 and for guiding the glove carrier strip assembly 20 to the glove access region 24.

More specifically, the glove carrier strip assembly 20 can include a base carrier strip 30. A glove retention strip 32 is supported by the base carrier strip 30, and glove connectors 34 are connected between the glove retention strip 32 and the disposable gloves 18. Preferably, the glove connectors 34 are perforated regions between the glove retention strip 32 and the disposable gloves 18.

Alternatively, the glove connectors 34 could be quantities of a contact adhesive between the tops of the disposable gloves 18 and the glove retention strip 32.

The strip assembly guide 28 includes a separator edge 36 for separating the base carrier strip 30 from the glove carrier strip assembly 20 and includes a guide edge 38 for separating the glove retention strip 32 from the apparatus support 12. The apparatus support 12 can be in a form of a counter top 12. This embodiment of the invention is eminently adapted for use in food preparation venues, such as fast food restaurants. Such a disposable glove dispensing apparatus would provide improved sanitation and efficiency.

To operate the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-4, the disposable glove roll 16 is loaded onto the disposable glove roll holder 14, and a leading end of the glove carrier strip assembly 20 is threaded into the guide space between the strip assembly guide 28 and the apparatus support 12, as shown in FIG. 3. When the motor-actuator button 26 is pressed, the electric motor 22 moves the glove carrier strip assembly 20 past the separator edge 36 and to the glove access region 24. As the glove carrier strip assembly 20 passes the separator edge 36, the base carrier strip 30 is peeled off of the glove retention strip 32, as shown in FIG. 3. The peeled off base carrier strip 30 can be collected in a waste receptacle (not shown).

After passing the separator edge 36, the glove retention strip 32 is moved to the glove access region 24, as shown in FIGS. 1-3. The glove access region 24 can be an open window region in the apparatus support 12, that is counter top 12, as shown in FIGS. 1-3. The glove retention strip 32 is stopped in the glove access region 24, and a user can insert one's hands into the exposed disposable gloves 18. Then, the user can tighten one's fists with the disposable gloves 18 thereon and pull upward. When this is done, the disposable gloves 18 are separated from the glove retention strip 32 by tearing the gloves away from the glove connectors 34, i. e. glove perforations 34.

After the disposable gloves 18 have been detached from the glove retention strip 32, the glove-free portion of the glove retention strip 32 can be collected in a waste container (not shown).

Turning to FIGS. 5 and 6, a second embodiment 40 of the invention is shown. Reference numerals are shown that correspond to like reference numerals that designate like elements shown in the other figures. With this embodiment of the invention, the disposable gloves are in a form of disposable mitts 48. Each mitt has a thumb reception digit and another single region for receiving four fingers. The continuous glove carrier strip assembly includes a plurality of disposable mitts 48 linked together in head-to-tail fashion. The linked disposable mitts 48 are linked by perforated regions 42 between adjacent disposable mitts 48.

In addition, each of the disposable mitts 48 includes a sealed region 50 spaced apart from the perforated regions 42. Also, each of the disposable mitts 48 includes a longitudinal perforated line 52. The longitudinal perforated line 52 permits each disposable mitt 48 to be easily removed from a user's hand when the mitt is no longer needed. By tearing the longitudinal perforated line 52. A split 54 is formed, and the disposable mitt 48 can be easily removed from the user's hand.

Each of the disposable mitts 48 could also include a pull tab (not shown). If desired, gloves or mittens could come with scented fragrances. The apparatus support 12 is in a form of a housing 12. The housing 12 can be installed on a vertical structure 11 adjacent to a gasoline pump 13. In this respect, the second embodiment 40 of the invention can be employed in gasoline stations to facilitate persons that pump gasoline to protect their hands from fuel contamination by using disposable mitts 48. A heating unit 46 is housed in the housing 12 to prevent the disposable mitts 48 from cracking in cold weather.

More specifically, to use the second embodiment 40 of the invention, a person presses the motor-actuator button 26. Then, the electric motor 22 advances one or two disposable mitts 48 from the disposable glove roll 16 out from the bottom of the housing 12. Then, the user pulls the bottommost disposable mitt 48 off of the disposable glove roll 16 by tearing the perforated regions 42 between the bottommost disposable mitt 48 and the next to last mitt.

If desired, near the end of a disposable glove roll 16, the gloves or mitts can change color, thereby providing a warning that the supply of gloves or mitts is running low.

Aside from the venues of food service locations and gasoline stations, a disposable glove dispensing apparatus 10 of the invention could also be used hospital emergency rooms and doctors offices.

If desired, the disposable glove dispensing apparatus 10 could be provided as a self-contained unit on wheels or a cart so that a hole in a counter top would not have to be made.

The disposable glove dispensing apparatus 10 of the invention could be designated “E-Z Glove” or “EZEE Glove.”

The components of the disposable glove dispensing apparatus of the invention can be made from inexpensive and durable metal and plastic materials.

As to the manner of usage and operation of the instant invention, the same is apparent from the above disclosure, and accordingly, no further discussion relative to the manner of usage and operation need be provided.

It is apparent from the above that the present invention accomplishes all of the objects set forth by providing a new and improved disposable glove dispensing apparatus that is low in cost, relatively simple in design and operation, and which may advantageously be used to provide a plurality of disposable gloves that are placed on a roll. With the invention, a disposable glove dispensing apparatus is provided which employs a motorized movement device to rotate a roll of disposable gloves to advance the free end of the roll to a location at which a user can easily grasp the desired disposable glove. With the invention, a disposable glove dispensing apparatus is provided which does not employ a powered vacuum system. With the invention, a disposable glove dispensing apparatus provides that each flaccid disposable glove is placed on a rectangular backing strip that is somewhat stiffer than the disposable glove, such that the backing strip is separated from the flaccid glove at the location at which a user grasps the glove. With the invention, a disposable glove dispensing apparatus provides a heating device to assure that the disposable gloves to be dispensed are maintained at a suitable temperature to prevent the gloves from cracking at cold temperatures.

Thus, while the present invention has been shown in the drawings and fully described above with particularity and detail in connection with what is presently deemed to be the most practical and preferred embodiment(s) of the invention, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many modifications thereof may be made without departing from the principles and concepts set forth herein, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use.

Hence, the proper scope of the present invention should be determined only by the broadest interpretation of the appended claims so as to encompass all such modifications as well as all relationships equivalent to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification.

Finally, it will be appreciated that the purpose of the annexed Abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. Accordingly, the Abstract is neither intended to define the invention or the application, which only is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.