Title:
Flushable urination assisting device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides for sanitary use of public toilets. By using this device, women, children and disabled persons will no longer subject themselves to using unsanitary public toilets. The user holds the urination opening under the urine stream. The urine is collected in the device and flows through the neck of the device and out the exit port. This device, which is preferably funnel shaped, consists of a semi-rigid biodegradable layer sandwiched between a tissue layer and a semi-permanent water barrier layer, can be flushed down the toilet immediately after use. After use and prior to flushing the user can use the tissue layer to clean the user's genitalia. The device can also be used in the collection of urine samples without exposing the user hands to the urine stream or spray.



Inventors:
Hall, William John (Lakewood, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/363749
Publication Date:
03/01/2007
Filing Date:
02/28/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRASER TREBILCOCK DAVIS & DUNLAP, P.C. (LANSING, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A flushable urination assisting device comprising: a substantially funnel shaped elongated neck having an essentially closed first end, a second end and an urination opening disposed near the first end of the funnel shaped elongated neck; and an exit port located at the second end of the funnel shaped elongated neck; wherein the funnel shaped elongated neck is constructed of a biodegradable material having an inner and an outer surface.

2. The invention of claim 1 further comprising: a tissue paper layer, wherein the tissue paper layer is disposed on the outer surface of the biodegradable material.

3. The invention of claim 2 further comprising: a water barrier layer, wherein the water barrier layer is disposed on the inner surface of the biodegradable material.

4. The invention of claim 3 wherein the device is foldable

5. The invention of claim 4 wherein the biodegradable material is a semi-rigid biodegradable material.

6. A method of using a flushable urination device comprising: placing the flushable urination device under the user's urination opening; directing an exit port in the direction where urine is to flow; urinating into the device.

7. The method of claim 6 further comprising the step of: removing the flushable urination device from a bag.

8. The method of claim 7 further comprising the step of: wiping genitalia with the device.

9. The method of claim 8 further comprising the step of: throwing the device into a toilet.

10. The method of claim 9 further comprising the step of: flushing the toilet.

11. The method of claim 10 further comprising the step of: unfolding the flushable urination device upon removal from the bag.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of earlier priority based upon the filing of a provisional application on Aug. 23, 2005. This earlier provisional application was issued Ser. No. 60/596,004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to a flushable urination device that assists the user in urinating from the standing position.

2. Background

Public toilets are a source of many commutable diseases and infections. Many individuals attempt, with varying degrees of success, to use public toilets without actually allowing any portion of their bodies to touch the toilet seat itself. This is particularly problematic for women and small children. Some individuals will attempt to use toilet paper to cover the seat, others will use toilet seat covers when they are available. Such attempts to insulate the user from coming into contact with a toilet seat are clumsy, awkward and inadequate.

In the past there have been several attempts to provide a device capable of assisting users to urinate from a standing position. These previous devices suffer from a number of inadequacies, including that they are not flushable, they are bulky and their short lengths result in back splash out of the toilet and onto the user or the user's clothing. Therefore, what is needed is a flushable urination assisting device that does not suffer from the aforementioned problems, and which assists users in urinating from a standing position.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention advantageously fills the aforementioned deficiencies by providing a flushable urination assisting device that assists users in urinating from a standing position.

The present invention is flushable, compact and biodegradable. The present invention can fit into the users pocket or purse, and due to its length it also reduces backsplash from toilet water when used. Once the user is finished, the device can be thrown directly into the toilet bowl. The device will loose its rigidity, normally but not necessarily within 30 seconds, allowing it to be flushed without fear of plugging up the toilet or plumbing pipes.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a device that assists users in urinating while standing so as to no have to sit on a public toilet to urinate. By using this device, women, in particular, will no longer subject themselves to using unsanitary public toilets. The device can also be used by children (both male and female), who when very small and learning to use a toilet often come into physical contact with the toilet bowl. Additionally, device can also be used by people with physical disabilities that may have difficulties urinating from a sitting or standing position.

The present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, which are intended to be read in conjunction with both this summary, the detailed description and any preferred and/or particular embodiments specifically discussed or otherwise disclosed. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided by way of illustration only and so that this disclosure will be thorough, complete and will fully convey the full scope of the invention to those skilled in the art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts the invention in an opened position ready for use.

FIG. 2 depicts a side view of the invention.

FIG. 3 depicts the invention in a partially folded position.

FIG. 4 depicts the invention folded.

FIG. 5 depicts a cross sectional view of the invention.

FIG. 6 depicts the invention folded and being taken out of a bag.

FIG. 7 depicts the invention being disposed after use.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention 10 is directed to a flushable urination assisting device, which can be more fully understood by reference to the below detailed description.

FIG. 1 depicts the present invention 10 in an opened position ready for use. The overall invention provides a funnel shaped, one time use, flushable urination device 12. The device 12 need not always be funnel shaped, but a funnel shape is preferred. The device 12 allows women and/or small child (male or female) to urinate from a standing position. The device 12 allows the user to urinate without coming in physical contact with a toilet bowl. The user places the urination opening 20 directly in the path of the urine as it leaves the body. The urine is collected in the device 12 and funneled through the neck, which is elongated and narrowing in the preferred embodiment. After passing through the neck the urine ultimately exists the device 12 through exit port 22. The device 12 allows the user to direct the urine flow into a toilet bowl, or into other collection receptacles, such as a cup that might be given to a user by a medical professional for the purposes of collecting a urine sample.

The device 12 is biodegradable (preferably 100% biodegradable). The device is preferably but not necessarily foldable; for example the device 12 may be folded along fold lines 24, which are preferably but not necessarily embedded into the device 12. Folding the device allows for easier portability and to make the device compact (i.e., so that it can fit into a pocket or purse).

The device 12 is constructed of a semi-rigid biodegradable material, which will decay once thrown into a toilet. The device 12 has three bonded layers consisting of tissue paper layer 14 located on the outside surface, which can be used, among other things, as a sanitary wipe to clean the users genitalia; a water barrier layer 18 (preferably a semi-permanent water barrier layer) located on the inside surface, and which is a starch-based foam, preferably a poly lactate acid (PLA) film; and a biodegradable layer 16 (preferably a semi-rigid biodegradable layer, such as Green Cell Biodegradable foam), located between the tissue paper layer 14 and water barrier layer 18, and which provides middle structural integrity.

In the preferred embodiment the device 12 will not begin to decay during use. This is accomplished by the presence of a semi-waterproof barrier 16 on the inside surface. The water barrier layer 18 will eventually breakdown, thereby allowing the entire device to biodegrade, but the water barrier layer 18 ensures that the biodegrading process does not start during routine usage.

FIG. 2 depicts a side view of the invention 10 and includes reference to the device 12 being 12 inches in length. The preferred embodiment of the device 12 is indeed 12 inches, but it should be appreciated by those of skill in the art that the device 12 need not be 12 inches in length. Indeed, it can be longer or shorter.

FIG. 3 depicts the device 12 in a partially folded position, folded along fold lines 24, which are optional.

FIG. 4 depicts the device 12 folded and being held by a user 30. The users hand is shown in this figure only for the purpose of providing some perspective of the compact nature of the device 12 upon folding.

FIG. 5 depicts a cross sectional view of the neck of the device 12, and more clearly shows the three-ply nature of the construction, whereby the tissue layer 14 is on the outside, the semi-permanent water barrier layer 18 is on the inside and the biodegradable layer 16 is disposed in between.

FIG. 6 depicts the device 12 folded and being taken out of a bag 26. The bag. In this particular embodiment of the present invention 10 the device 12 collapses into a flat 4 inch by 3⅓ inch bag 26, thereby easily fitting into a pocket or purse. This bag 26 is preferably also biodegradable (preferably being made of a PLA film) and flushable, but biodegradability is not a necessary requirement of the bag. Furthermore, the bag is not a necessary requirement of the invention 10, but may be present and indeed is present in the preferred embodiment.

When removed from the bag 26 and opened the device 12 expands to a 12 inch funnel. Although this particular embodiment is discussed in terms of specific measurements, the device 12 could certainly be made in different sizes, which among other things could make it more appropriate or even customized for users of different heights and/or body shapes. Additionally, the device 12 can also come with different funnel shapes. The device 12 could also certainly be rolled instead of folded.

FIG. 7 depicts the invention being disposed after use. The user 30 has discarded the device 12 into a toilet 28.

While the present invention has been described above in terms of specific embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these disclosed embodiments. Many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind of those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains, and which are intended to be and are covered by both this disclosure and the appended claims. It is indeed intended that the scope of the invention should be determined by proper interpretation and construction of the appended claims and their legal equivalents, as understood by those of skill in the art relying upon the disclosure in this specification and the attached drawings.





 
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