Title:
Paper towel, tissue and film-product hanging disposable dispenser
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is a concept for disposable containers for dispensing tissues, paper towels and film products. The containers are equipped with means to hang or attach them to hanging bars, hooks and/or nails protruding from a surface, for access to the contained product at a location of the user's greatest convenience. The invention design allows for the container to be easily replaced upon exhaustion of product. The invention design provides for the possibility of decorative design of the visible container, whereas some of the current products (such as toilet paper and paper towels) are greatly limited in potential design. The invention also limits the amount of rolled product that would be wasted, since (in reference to the toilet and facial tissues and paper towels, and even the rolled products where the product has been pre-portioned) the product will not naturally unroll.



Inventors:
Sucher, Adam J. (Roslindale, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/088632
Publication Date:
09/28/2006
Filing Date:
03/24/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
221/45
International Classes:
A47K10/24; B65H16/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RIVERA, WILLIAM ARAUZ
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Adam John Sucher (Roslindale, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. An alternative method of dispensing tissues, paper towels and film products in the domestic environment which provides all the advantages of current methods.

2. A method according to claim 1 wherein the dispenser/container can be secured in many convenient and heretofore unexploited locations.

3. A method according to claim 1 wherein the dispenser/container, when emptied and exhausted of product, is more convenient to change than currently utilized dispenser methods.

4. A method according to claim 1 wherein the dispenser/container can be decorated and is potentially more aesthetic than current dispensers.

5. A method according to claim 1 wherein product dispensing can be made more efficient and less wasteful than current methods.

Description:

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Members of households commonly use paper and film products daily for a variety of purposes. Sometimes these products are not conveniently located. Paper towels and toilet tissue rolls often are used wastefully, sometimes unraveling accidentally at the hands of a child, pet, or even harried adult. Also, these rolls (particularly toilet tissue, in which case the awkward, spring-loaded rolling bar must be removed) are often not replaced promptly with resulting frustration of the users. Sometimes disagreement arises as to the preferred configuration of the roll, either dispensing over the roll or under the roll. Finally, the rolls of product (even when decorated as are some paper towels) are not attractive.

This invention allows products such as aluminum foil, paper towels and plastic film to be hung in convenient locations, rather than stuck in drawers.

For several decades, no truly new innovations have been made to the domestic toilet tissue, paper towel, and film product industry.

The instant invention provides all the beneficial properties of the current available products intended to effect the same purpose, but is a new, convenient and potentially attractive product. Specifically, the invention allows for product to be meted out in increments sufficient to accomplish the products intended purpose, while not unraveling wastefully. Furthermore, since the product can be meted out in specific increments, product users will be less likely to waste product, as that would require repeated dispensing. (Example: With the invention, toilet tissue is dispensed one sheet at a time. While a user of a roll may dispense a long and wasteful sheet of toilet tissue for use, users of the invention will dispense a single sheet sufficient to affect the same purpose.)

The instant invention can be replaced without removing a hanging bar from its location. Thus, replacement of an exhausted product will not require users to fumble with any hanging bar, but allow them to conveniently unhook the exhausted product container and hook the new product onto the bar using the invention's hooks.

As the product conveniently dispenses from below, multiple users will have no disagreement as to the configuration of the product.

The disposable container allows for attractive decoration. Whereas now, paper towels and toilet tissue are limited in decoration, the invention provides the potential for almost endless and attractive decoration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

CONTAINER—The basic design of the dispenser consists of a container, possibly but not limited to a six-sided box (manufactured using any material known to man, possibly, but not limited to paper, cardboard, plastic, metal or plastic wrap), which includes a top and bottom, front and back, and two sides. It may be, but not necessarily, either almost cubicle in the case of toilet paper, or elongated in width in the case of paper towels, or narrow front to back for convenience in automobiles. In any case, the container may be elongated top to bottom to allow for more tissue/product, and positioned such that it is sufficiently tall to keep the weight below the hook attachments, if this is determined to be necessary. Also, the depth of the container could be reduced front to back, allowing it to rest in a position closer to the wall for wall-mounted rollers or hooks and automobile use, thus making the container less conspicuous. SEE FIGS. #1 & #2.

    • Note that the container could be made of any material known to man, including paper, cardboard, plastic, metal or plastic wrap in the same roughly six-sided design. In the case of a flexible material such as paper or plastic wrap, the shape of the container is only roughly box-shaped or six-sided, and may lack rigidity.

The container has an aperture or hole, possibly but not limited to an oblong oval shape but possibly circular or even square or rectangular. Any shape aperture known to man that allows for the removal of paper products, tissues or other thin, flexible could be used. The aperture is located in the bottom or the front of the container (when the container is hanging in its intended dispensing orientation), which allows for the dispensing of paper/tissue/film-like products. SEE FIGS. #1, #2, #13, etc. The aperture may be large and covering portions of two sides of the container, possibly but not limited to the bottom and the front of the container, allowing for easier access to and removal of the tissue/paper towel/film product, if this is necessary. SEE FIG. #7.

    • Note that the proper tissue configuration may allow the aperture to be located on the bottom, the side, the front or even the top of the container, or any combination thereof which provides the removal of tissues/paper towels/film product from the aperture while the container is suspended.

HANGING CONTAINER—The container itself is equipped with a means by which it is secured to an existing or new hanging bar, as in the case of toilet tissue and paper towels [SEE FIGS. #1, #2, #14, #15 & #16], or a hook, knob or handle in the case of an automobile, garage or any other domestic use (kitchen, bathroom, closet etc.) [SEE FIGS. #5, #6, #10, #11 & #12]. For existing hanging bars such as toilet tissue rollers and paper towel bars, two fastening devices, possibly hooks (made of any material known to man, but possibly made of fairly sturdy cardboard, metal, rigid plastic or a similarly performing material) are attached one each to opposite sides of the container. It may be advantageous but may not be necessary that the hooks be located closer to the top of the container, and away from the bottom, dispensing end, to allow gravity to keep the container in the proper “bottom end down” orientation. Also, the hooks, if this device is determined to be the most advantageous means of securing the container to a hanging bar, knob, or wall hook, may be either forward or rear facing, whichever is most advantageous. SEE FIGS. #1, #2, #3, #14, #15 & #16.

These hooks and the width of the container may be, but are not limited to, roughly the approximate width of a roll of toilet tissue (in the case of the toilet tissue dispenser) or roll of paper towels (in the case of the paper towel dispenser). The height and depth of the container may vary. The hooks can be attached to the container using any device known to man. Possibly, but not necessarily, rivets, buttons or snaps (of any material known to man) or VELCRO could fasten the hooks to the sides of the container, allowing for the hooks to rotate or be rotated forwards and backwards. The hooks extend up beyond the top surface of the container at any useful distance, possibly but not limited to approximately 1-4 inches, and can rotate to the front and back of the container as well. The hooks may be adjustable allowing them to be extended, if necessary, possibly but not necessarily having multiple snaps on the sides of the hooks or container, or by having rivets attached directly to the container and the hooks having multiple holes, each with a slot within which the hooks can slide down and secure to the container. This combination of rotating hooks extended beyond the surface of the container and hooks of adjustable length allows the container to hang from virtually any roller bar. Even if the roller bar is recessed into the wall (in toilet tissue use), despite the container not being able to hang directly and straight down from the roller bar, the hooks will rotate to the back of the container and extend, if necessary, to allow the container to be hooked to the roller bar and hang down, either with the aperture facing down or outward (away from the wall). SEE FIGS. #14 & #15.

    • Most horizontal paper towel rollers hang free from the wall. The deepest I've ever seen toilet tissue recessed into the wall in a residential bathroom is 50%, meaning the roller bar is flush with the surface of the bathroom wall. In this circumstance, the aforementioned container configuration will still function because the hooks will rotate to the back of the container and into the wall to the recessed roller bar. SEE FIG. #14.

The container may, also or in the alternative, have a single hook or loop (or two or more equidistant hooks or loops) positioned on the back, side or top of the container, or a hole (or two or more equidistant holes) in the back of the container, by which the container may be hung from a single (or multiple) wall-mounted hook, nail, knob or other device or object protruding from the wall surface or wherever the container is hung. SEE FIGS. #5, #6, #10, #11 & #12. This loop(s) may consist of but is not limited to, a perforated portion of the container itself, which can be partially punched out and flipped up, exposing a loop of the container material while leaving an attachment secure to the container. SEE FIG. #11.

In packaging, prior to use, the hooks and or lop may be manufactured such that they are able to fold over against the top or side of the container, or rotate to point toward the bottom of the container to compensate for the distance that they extend beyond the top or side of the container. The hooks may come unattached to the container to be easily applied to the container by the purchaser. This allows for a compact product and efficient marketing. Any currently known or later developed packaging design that provides for convenient and efficient marketing may be used.

In the case of a container to be used in an automobile or for in-home use where the dual adjustable side hook system is not useful, one possible adaptation but not the only one, may be an alternative single or double hook configuration. The hook/loop(s), also made from any material known to man, could be located on the top, back or one side, possibly but not limited to the back-center of the container, in the case of a single loop. The hook/loop(s) could then be hung over any protruding device, including but not limited to a wall hook(s), a knob, a protruding nail, a window crank, a glove compartment knob, etc. SEE FIGS. #5, #6, #10, #11 & #12.

The container has an aperture of any sufficient size and shape, and in any one of the six sides of the box-shaped dispenser to allow for the removal of the product contained therein. The aperture may also be of the size and location that it covers portions of two or more sides of the container, possibly but not limited to an aperture covering a corner of the front and bottom of the container. SEE FIG. #7.

TISSUE/PAPER CONFIGURATION—Issues for consideration in the event of difficulty with dispensing of tissue/paper/film products. Note that if the aperture is located at the top of the container, any standard and/or currently used or utilized configuration for boxed tissues, paper towels and film products may be used.

Since the container is filled with tissue/paper/film product that possibly, but not necessarily, dispenses from the bottom of the container, problems may arise with tissue/paper/film product orientation within the container. Gravity can force down on the tissues/paper making dispensing difficult. To allow for the dispensing of the tissues/paper/film product, they may, but not necessarily must, first be arranged flat against one another in a slightly overlapping and interweaving manner (as the current configuration of many facial tissues dispensed from a box container). Then the entire stack of tissues may be folded over (in a very loose fold) once as a stack (hereinafter referred to as the “stack-fold”), either lengthwise or laterally. SEE FIG. #4A. The stack-fold is then placed within the container with the large crease or fold of the stack-fold located at the top of the container, and both ends of the stack-fold meeting and pointing towards the bottom of the container. SEE FIGS. #4B & #4C. This allows for individual tissues/towels/film to be withdrawn from the bottom of the container, starting from the inside of the stack-fold and working progressively outwards. This configuration of the stack-fold holds the bulk of tissues/towels up, preventing them from exerting pressure on the bottom tissues/towels on the inside of the stack-fold, those bottom tissues being the products that are next available for extraction from the container.

Tissues/towels can then be extracted through the aperture one at a time, with each removal leaving the next tissue/towel conveniently and only partially exposed from the aperture of the container, yet still secure within the container and available for use. This tissue/towel configuration may only be necessary if there is difficulty removing tissue/towels from the aperture of the container, and may not be necessary for effective use of this invention.

ALTERNATIVE USES—Note that this hanging container could be manufactured as a self-contained roller for products such as aluminum foil and plastic wrap, or be used for dog and cat waste tissues, plastic bags, food storage bags, garbage bags, and any relatively thin, film-like product known to man.

In the case of rolled products (such as but not limited to foil or plastic wrap), the roll of film product could be rolled around a roller, just as it is currently marketed, only the roll of film would be secured within the container from falling out of the opening end while allowing the roll of product to unwind. The container holding the roll could then be suspended from any hook or hanging bar just as the tissue/paper towel container, either by the dual hooking configuration or by any of the aforementioned hooking or looping configurations. It may be necessary to provide hooks that either extend further than in the tissue/paper towel container, depending on the circumstances. Longer hooks would allow the film-product container to hang from a hanging bar that is shorter in width than the container itself. Also, in the case of rolled film products, it may be advantageous to position the aperture (said aperture possibly consisting of a long narrow slit running the width of the container) on the front side of the container, with serrated teeth along the bottom of the aperture. This configuration would allow the product to be drawn forward to unroll the product, and then pulled sharply down along the serrated edge to sever the wanted quantity of product. SEE FIGS. #8, #9 & #10.

    • Note that the roll of film product could contain film product that has been previously portioned in specific increments. This would allow the user to pull a proportioned section of film product from the container, with the last edge of the removed piece of film product pulling the following piece to be slightly exposed from the container and readily available for use.

In the case of other film products, including but not limited to garbage bags, food storage bags, pet waste tissues and plastic bags, the container may be of any size convenient for the intended use. The means by which the container is hung may include any of the aforementioned hooking or looping configurations. The aperture may be of any size and orientation that securely holds the product in place, while allowing for the easy removal of individual pieces of product.

DISPOSAL—When the tissue/paper towel/film product is fully exhausted of product and the container is empty, the container is removed from the hanging apparatus and disposed of. This design is intended to provide for a product that can be easily used and discarded. The product requires no altering of hanging bars, special mounts or any special equipment to use or install. Upon consumption of the product originally contained within the container, the old container is discarded and a new one is used to replace the old, quickly and easily.

    • All of these containers can be decorated to be more aesthetic and attractive than the current available products.