Title:
Tubular dispenser for cleansing wipes
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tubular dispenser comprises a long slender tubular outer body having an inner surface defining a spiral groove, a long slender tubular inner body accommodated within the outer body, the inner body defining a longitudinal slit, a bottom seat accommodated within the inner body and having a knob accommodated in the longitudinal slit and spiral groove, a dispensing lid having a plurality of cross-wise slits disposed proximate to a first end of the tubular body, a rotatable base operable to rotate the inner body with respect to the outer body and thereby urging the bottom seat toward the dispensing lid, and a self-hinged lid covering the dispensing lid at the first end of the tubular body.



Inventors:
Rhea, Akemi (Dallas, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/402454
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
04/11/2006
Assignee:
Imeka Enterprises, Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
221/208
International Classes:
B65H1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KUMAR, RAKESH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAYNES AND BOONE, LLP (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A tubular moistened wipe dispenser comprising: a long slender tubular body having a diameter between about one to about two inches; a dispensing lid having a plurality of cross-wise slits disposed proximate a first end of the tubular body; and a self-hinged lid covering the dispensing lid at the first end of the tubular body.

2. The dispenser of claim 1, further comprising means for urging moistened wipes disposed in the long slender tubular body toward the dispensing lid.

3. The dispenser of claim 2, further comprising a rotatable base operable to actuate the urging means.

4. The dispenser of claim 2, wherein urging means comprises: a spiral groove defined on an inner surface of the outer body; a long slender tubular inner body accommodated within the outer body, the inner body defining a longitudinal slit; and a bottom seat accommodated within the inner body and having a knob accommodated in the longitudinal slit and spiral groove.

5. The dispenser of claim 4, further comprising a rotatable base operable to rotate the inner body with respect to the outer body and thereby urging the bottom seat toward the dispensing lid.

6. The dispenser of claim 4, wherein the long slender tubular body is adapted to accept moistened wipes refills.

7. The dispenser of claim 1, further comprising a refill tube having the dispensing lid with a plurality of cross-wise slits.

8. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein the self-hinged lid defines a small opening for coupling to a hook.

9. The dispenser of claim 1, further comprising a hook coupled to the self-hinged lid.

10. A tubular moistened wipe dispenser comprising: a long slender tubular body; a dispensing lid having an opening disposed at a first end of the tubular body; and a bottom seat accommodated within the tubular body; means for urging moistened wipes disposed on the bottom seat toward the dispensing lid; and a lid covering the dispensing lid at the first end of the tubular body.

11. The dispenser of claim 10, further comprising: a long slender tubular inner body accommodated within the tubular body, the inner body defining a longitudinal slit; the bottom seat accommodated within the inner body and having a knob accommodated in the longitudinal slit and spiral groove; and a rotatable base operable to rotate the inner body with respect to the outer body and thereby urging the bottom seat toward the dispensing lid.

12. The dispenser of claim 11, wherein the long slender tubular inner body is a refill tube operable to contain a plurality of moistened wipes.

13. The dispenser of claim 11, wherein the dispensing lid is formed integral with the long slender tubular inner body, the dispensing lid opening comprises a plurality of cross-wise slits.

14. The dispenser of claim 10, wherein the dispensing lid opening comprises a plurality of cross-wise slits.

15. A tubular dispenser comprising: a long slender tubular outer body having an inner surface defining a spiral groove; a long slender tubular inner body accommodated within the outer body, the inner body defining a longitudinal slit; a bottom seat accommodated within the inner body and having a knob accommodated in the longitudinal slit and spiral groove; a dispensing lid having a plurality of cross-wise slits disposed at a first end of the tubular inner body; a rotatable base operable to rotate the inner body with respect to the outer body and thereby urging the bottom seat toward the dispensing lid; and a self-hinged lid covering the dispensing lid at the first end of the tubular body.

16. The tubular dispenser of claim 15, wherein the long slender tubular outer body has a diameter of about one to about two inches, and a length of no more than nine inches.

17. The dispenser of claim 15, wherein the self-hinged lid defines a small opening for coupling to a hook.

18. The dispenser of claim 15, further comprising a hook coupled to the self-hinged lid.

Description:

RELATED PATENT APPLICATION

This patent application claims the benefit of provisional patent application No. 60/670,180 filed on Apr. 11, 2005, and entitled Portable Feminine Accessory Storage and Carrying System, incorporated herein by reference.

This patent application is related to co-pending patent application (Attorney Docket No. 34863.3) filed on Apr. 11, 2006, and entitled Carrier for Feminine Hygiene Products, incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

Moistened cleansing wipe products have become an important product category that has found a wide variety of applications for adults, children, and babies. These products are typically manufactured by impregnating sheets made of non-woven fabric with a suitable solution. Examples include hand wipes, face or body cleansing wipes, wipes for skin treatment, and skin conditioning wipes. Many women also prefer to use wipes impregnated with appropriate non-stinging cleansing liquid for hygienic cleaning of the vaginal area.

Feminine hygienic cleansing wipes are typically packaged in individual pouches. Other moistened wipe products have been packaged in rectangular box-like containers and cylindrical containers. These bulky containers typically hold hundreds of the moistened wipes and are not meant to be portable or carried in a purse.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Aspects of the present disclosure are best understood from the following detailed description when read with the accompanying figures. It is emphasized that, in accordance with the standard practice in the industry, various features are not drawn to scale. In fact, the dimensions of the various features may be arbitrarily increased or reduced for clarity of discussion.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a tubular dispenser for hygienic wipes;

FIG. 2 is a perspective exploded view of an embodiment of a tubular dispenser for hygienic wipes; and

FIGS. 3A and 3B are perspective views showing the advancement of a seat bottom operable to urge moistened wipes upward toward the dispensing end.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

It is desirable to provide a more streamlined container and dispenser for moistened hygienic wipes that enable a woman to discreetly carry it in her hand or her purse. Although pre-existing individually-wrapped wipes are small discreet packages, it is undesirable to carry several such packages loose and disorganized in a purse. Other wipe containers are too large and unwieldy for portable applications. Existing refillable baby wipe clam-shell type containers are still too bulky to be carried in many women's purses.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a tubular dispenser 10 for hygienic wipes 12. Tubular dispenser 10 includes a top lid 14 and a slender tubular outer body 16. Preferably, top lid 14 is self-hinged 15 to outer body 16. A dispensing lid 18 has a number of cross-wise slits 20 to enable the moistened wipes to be dispensed one-by-one. Dispensing lid 18 may be integral with a refill tube inserted into slender tubular outer body 16. The refill tube contains wipe refills and may be sold separately from tubular dispenser 10. Top lid 14 preferably incorporates a small opening 22 to facilitate attachment to a lanyard hook or swivel hook 23, for example. Top lid 14 may also include a tab 24 operable to meet and grab a catch 26 suitably disposed on outer body 16 near the dispensing opening. Tubular outer body 16 further includes a rotatable base 28 with a plurality of parallel longitudinal grooves.

Preferably, the slender outline of tubular dispenser 10 makes it easy to carry and conceal in the user's hand or purse. Tubular dispenser 10 may be similarly dimensioned as a feminine tampon, for example. Therefore, the slender body of the tubular dispenser may have a diameter of about one to two inches, for example. Preferably, the tubular dispenser has a diameter of no more than two inches. The length of the tubular dispenser is preferably no more than nine inches, for example.

FIG. 2 is a perspective exploded view of an embodiment of a tubular dispenser 10 for hygienic wipes. Tubular outer body 16 of dispenser 10 comprises a spiral groove 30 disposed on an inner surface of outer body 16. Outer body 16 is operable to accommodate an inner tubular body 32 with a longitudinal slit 34. Inner tubular body 32 houses a bottom seat 36 with a substantially horizontally-extending knob 38. Knob 38 can be accommodated in longitudinal slit 34 of inner body 32 and spiral groove 30 of outer body 16. Longitudinal slit 34 further comprises short upper and lower extensions 40 and 42, respectively, thus having a generally Z-shaped configuration. The dispensing lid may be integral with inner tubular body 32 that functions as a refill tube inserted into slender tubular outer body 16.

FIGS. 3A and 3B are perspective views showing the advancement of a bottom seat 36 operable to urge moistened wipes upward toward the dispensing end of tubular dispenser 10. As rotatable base 28 is rotated by the user, the inner body rotates with respect to the outer body, and bottom seat 36 and the moistened wipes folded and disposed thereon, are urged upward by the action of knob 38 of the bottom seat 36 traversing along spiral groove 30 (represented by dashed lines) and longitudinal slit 34. The moistened wipes are urged against the cross-wise slits of dispensing lid 18, and thus facilitating the removal of wipes on-by-one by the user.

Tubular dispenser 10 may be constructed of rigid cardboard, plastic, and other like materials. Inner body 32, bottom seat 36 and dispensing lid 18 are preferably constructed of plastic and other like materials because these parts interface directly with moistened wipes. The entire tubular dispenser may be disposed of when all the moistened wipes contained therein have been exhausted. Alternatively, the refill tube may be discarded and the tubular dispenser 10 recharged with fresh moistened wipes contained in a refill tube.

Tubular dispenser 10 is small, compact, and easy to carry in the user's hand or purse. The tubular dispenser can also be hooked onto a purse or backpack strap for easy portability. The moistened wipes are easily accessible by the users and easy to remove from the dispenser. In addition to moistened wipes, dispenser 10 may be used to house and carry other items such as dry tissues or towelettes impregnated with a cleansing solution, for example.

Although a specific mechanism for advancing the bottom seat of the dispenser is described and claimed herein, the invention does not preclude other conventional means of urging the bottom seat toward the dispensing opening of the dispenser. Alternatively, tubular dispenser 10 may be implemented without a bottom seat or advancement mechanism. The cleansing wipes may be arranged or organized in such a way that the withdrawal of one sheet brings up a next sheet through the cross-wise slit opening so that an advancement mechanism is not required.

Although embodiments of the present disclosure have been described in detail, those skilled in the art should understand that they may make various changes, substitutions and alterations herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure. Accordingly, all such changes, substitutions and alterations are intended to be included within the scope of the present disclosure as defined in the following claims. In the claims, means-plus-function clauses are intended to cover the structures described herein as performing the recited function and not only structural equivalents, but also equivalent structures.