Title:
Tower stacker
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
My invention provides for a new and an improved method of storing (5) gallons of bottled water, as well as providing flat surface storage, all in the same storage unit. It can be used to store 12 and 16 oz. of bottled water, soda, coffee pots, office manuals, sugar dispensers etc. while also storing 5 gallons of bottled water. It also affords a safer, stronger and more stable method of connecting multiple stacks and shelves together by use of a specially designed sleeve. The sleeves allow consumers to combine as many rows/stacks together as needed. Other devices are neither safe nor are they stable and none of them have the ability to provide for flat storage. My invention also incorporates a slight semi-vertical pitch which helps to eliminate or reduce an age old problem that 5 gallon bottles have, leaking from the bottle caps.



Inventors:
Palmisano, Paul P. (Lake Mary, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/917075
Publication Date:
02/23/2006
Filing Date:
08/13/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAVCHAVADZE, COLLEEN MARGARET
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAUL P. PALMISANO (LAKE MARY, FL, US)
Claims:
What I claim is:

1. A storage device comprising of: a) A flat shelf designed especially to hold and support 5 gallons of bottled water. b) A flat shelf which can be used for multiple types of storage. These shelves can be connected to the flat shelves especially designed to provide storage for 5 gallons of bottled water in numerous combinations.

2. A storage system which offers tremendous versatility. These two different types of shelves can be combined in various combinations and depending on the end users needs the combinations will be varied. Since each row, also known as stacks can be modified to meet each consumer's exact needs. The following are examples: a) A stack of three flat storage shelves designed to hold (five gallon bottles) of water with a flat shelf on top of this stack. The top shelf could be used to store stationary, or a coffee pot, or creamer and sugar. b) A double stack of (4 each) of storage shelves holding (8) (five gallon bottles) of water held together by sleeves with two flat shelves on top of each stack. The top flat shelves also connected by sleeves could be used to display 8 packs and 6 packs of drinking water for retailing in a grocery store or for other flat storage needs. c) A triple stack of flat shelves for storing (five gallons of bottled water) with two flat shelves on top of these shelves. The flat shelves could be used by a consumer in their home to store tools, toys, footballs or other household items.

3. A sleeve will connect multiple rows together also known as stacks. a) These sleeves will provide support, connectivity and extra strength. b) These sleeves can be designed with as much strength, as is necessary, to make multiple rows virtually immoveable and very stable. This will protect the general public from wobbly bottle racks and other storage racks presently on the market. They can be used in homes, offices and stores as the bottles will be less likely to tip or fall.

4. A semi-vertical pitch will exist only on the flat shelves that are used to hold and store 5 gallons of bottled water. This is an important part of my invention as it makes the bottles more stable and it helps by reducing the pressure on the bottle caps which will result in fewer leaks. Leaks are a common problem in 5 gallon bottles of water when they are laid in a perfectly level, horizontal position.

5. A method of additional support is provided by the legs which by design hold the 5 gallon bottles in a very secure position. They offer additional support on each side of the bottles as they touch the outer rims of each bottle.

Description:

My invention will be made out of polystyrene and polypropylene, two very strong plastics. The supporting sides, the angled tray, the flat bottom of the shelf and the back support on the rear of the shelf will give outstanding support in (6) six areas. The shelves will have an incline towards the rear at which the back support area will be located. This back support will be used to prevent them from falling off of the shelf and is the (6th) sixth area of support. The number of shelves per stack will be determined by the purchaser as the modular construction will allow rows to be configured in differing heights, and various combinations. How many round storage shelves will be combined with flat shelves is up to the buyers discretion. I suggest a height of no more than five round and flat shelves combined. (see informal drawings page 4) The incline towards the rear is a very important part of this invention as it will make all the round shaped objects placed on these shelves lean towards the rear rather than just lay there horizontally with a tendency to fall out wobble. The legs will be rectangular and provide tremendous support, and they will fit into the storage shelves. Since the product is a modular one, it can be assembled and taken apart at will. Being able to ship this item in a broken down state, results in lower shipping charges for the buyer and the seller. The flat shelves will have ridges along the front and back to make items placed on it more secure. (see informal drawings page 6)

My double flat shelf will combine two rows or stacks together providing additional strength and another area of support, for those who need multiple stacks. This is the 7th area of support. (see informal drawings page 4) The legs are a crucial part of this invention,: and I have given them the following names.: Female Legs, Male Legs and Combo Legs

a) Female Legs: This type of leg is shown on the Leg detail sheet. Female Legs are rectangular and have holes in them into which a connecting appendage fits in. Single, free standing stacks, aka as a Tower Stack can be assembled by using this type of leg.

b) Male Legs: Another type of leg is shown in the Leg detail sheet. Male legs are rectangular and have an appendage that fits snugly into the holes in a female leg and are only used in conjunction with Female Legs.They are not used on single free standing Tower Stacks.

c) Combo Legs: The third type of leg is actually a combination of one Female Leg with a Male Leg, and we will refer to them as:Combo Legs. Combo Legs are still rectangular when assembled and can be easily taken apart. By proper use of combo legs, the invention can have multiple stacks of round and flat connecting shelves that will not wobble or tip and that will provide flat, level storage in a uninterrupted manner. (see informal drawings page 3)

UNIQUE FEATURES OF MY INVENTION

My invention provides 6 areas of support, The rear area of support can not be seen from the front view but you can get the idea by looking at the side view of the Tower Stacker. A seventh (7th) area of support is achieved for multiple stacks by adding what I call a double shelf that connects two or more stacks together. The shelf fits over two rows with legs from each row fitting into that shelf and by design makes the stacks even stronger. (see informal drawings pages 4 and 5)

The versatility of my invention is unique. My invention provides a safe, secure form of storage for round objects as well as flat objects at the same time. By design, my invention provides a level flat shelf not found on any type of bottled storage unit on the market.

The incline towards the rear is important as it helps prevent leaking and adds additional support.

My invention provides a unique method to combine multiple stacks of shelves by use of interlocking legs that give more support and strength for supporting bottled water and round objects than anything on the market today.

My invention can be modified to different heights, different numbers of rows and combinations of multiples of flat and round shelves in as many combinations as a user of my product deems necessary. (see informal drawings page 4)

PROBLEMS MY INVENTION WILL SOLVE

My invention is stronger and sturdier than other versions of storage racks presently available and wobbling will be substantially less or non existent.

My invention provides a safer method for the consumer to store (5) five gallons of bottled water. Bottled water weighs over 40 lbs. per bottle. Taking or removing bottled water from a storage device that wobbles, especially at greater heights, can be dangerous.

When placed together, The Tower Stacker will always be level so multiple rows will not be crooked or uneven. Many of the storage devices on the market today are neither level nor are they any stronger when they are combined together. This does not make them a safe way to store bottled water.

I have not seen a storage device which can offer the versatility of flat shelf storage with round shelf storage at the same time. This versatility is something everyone who needs this type of storage will appreciate. Example: Imagine a small office now being able to store its bottled water and at the same time have a place to store its coffee pot, cups, sugar container and creamer all on the same invention.

The flexibility offered by my invention is unlimited. Two stacks can be combined with strength, levelness, and stability with as many as 3, 4, 10, 20, 100, stacks. You name it. The number of stacks that can be combined is limitless.

PEOPLE OR BUSINESSES THAT WILL USE MY IDEA

Retail stores, home owners, grocery stores, offices, bottlers, medical clinics, hospitals, schools, gyms, building supply yards and countless others looking for round and or flat storage capabilities.

OTHER KNOWN PATENTS THAT MAY BE OF SIMILAR USE

The closest US Patents I have found are the following:

a) James Tersch U.S. Pat. No. 5,370,245, The Bottle Buddy Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla. I have found a product the inventor calls the bottle buddy. This item is also modular and can stack bottles in multiple heights. It only offers two areas of support per bottle : two separate curved portions which fit the shape of the 5 gallon bottle. The Item is rather wobbly as I have seen them in person. They have no real way to combine multiple rows or stacks as I call them and the tray is horizontal with no vertical pitch at all.

The semi-vertical pitch to the rear is important for storing 5 gallons of bottled water as they often leak.and a semi vertical pitch will reduce leakage. It offers no flat shelf storage capabilities which can also be used to connect multiple stacks nor does it offer any method to connect adjoining stacks or rows. b) Flum U.S. Pat. No. 4,930,643 , Paul Flum Ideas, Inc. St. Louis, Mo. I have found this to be basically a method to store items on flat shelves and even though their flat shelves do connect, they offer even less stability and can only provide flat storage for the bottoms of the bottles and no other area of support.

It lacks many of the areas of support offered by my invention and its method of connecting multiple stacks does not appear very sturdy. I have seen this item in person and the legs do not offer much support and it can also become wobbly.

c) Kelly U.S. Pat. No. 6,142,300 . This is a commercial form of bottled water storage with room for four bottles on a horizontal plain, and due to its size its main use would be for shipping on trucks or storing in bottlers' warehouses, not point of sale or for residential use as my invention is suited for. d) Newton U.S. Pat. No. 4,093,076 . This is for storing wine bottles on a horizontal plane.

e) Gonzalez U.S. Pat. No. 4,270,662 . This is another type of wine rack but it does have modular support.

f) Bergstrom U.S. Pat. No. 4,431,107 . This is a horizontal method of storage for wine barrels with the storage rack leaning towards the front.

g) Levens U.S. Pat. No. 4,442,991 . This is an invention which provides elastic cradle type storage for tanks.

h) Thompson U.S. Pat. No. 4,506,796 . This is an invention which is used for stacking drums.

i) Hawkinson U.S. Pat. No. 4,898,282 . This is a merchandise display which is used to move products forward as they are removed.

j) Spengler U.S. Pat. No. 4,940,150 . This is a device to store different types of acids.

k) Kitts U.S. Pat. No. 4,940,150 . This is a utility cart used to move different manufacturing items around.

l) Maloney U.S. Pat. No. 5,048,702 . This is a rack designed for use in bakeries.

There are many other forms of storage for round items such as wine racks, soda pop, wine barrels etc. but none of them are designed with the ability to provide flat and round storage together. None of them are pitched to the rear for they are only pitched to the front. My invention will provide the bottled water industry with a strong, unique and versatile way to provide round and flat storage. This is my main goal. I believe that people in the coffee industry, who also supply water to their customers, and the water bottling industry will see an immediate need for my invention. It will provide a safe way to store their customers bottled water and will give their customers the extra storage space that they may urgently need. Residential bottled water users will appreciate this item as well, especially in homes without basements or those without garages where storage space is very dear to them.