Title:
Disposable pager pouch
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable pager pouch formed of lightweight and pliable material which is impervious to germs and other vegetative organisms, for containing a pager and for protecting a user from exposure to the germs and vegetative organisms, which may be transferred by handling of the pager directly. The pouch is provided with an exterior surface suitable for printing of advertising messages and other indicia.



Inventors:
Vuicich, Eli R. (Timonium, MD, US)
Application Number:
11/342068
Publication Date:
04/05/2007
Filing Date:
01/30/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D33/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ORTIZ, RAFAEL ALFREDO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOHN E. SIMMS JR. (BALTIMORE, MD, US)
Claims:
The applicant claims:

1. A disposable pager pouch comprising: a sheet of sanitary, and pliable material, folded and joined to form an elongate body having an interior surface and an exterior surface; said interior surface defining an interior space; said body having an open end, communicating with said interior space, for receiving an electronic pager; said body being sized for completely enclosing said pager within said interior space.

2. The disposable pager pouch of claim 1, wherein said sheet is sterilized.

3. The disposable pager pouch of claim 1, wherein said sheet is formed of polypropylene fabric, paper, cloth, or combinations thereof.

4. The disposable pager pouch of claim 1, wherein said sheet is imprinted with indicia for conveying a message.

5. A method for limiting the transmission of harmful germs and vegetative organisms on a pager, comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of disposable pager pouches, each comprising: a sheet of sanitary, and pliable material, folded and joined to form an elongate body, having an interior surface and an exterior surface; said interior surface defining an interior space; said body having an open end, communicating with said interior space; said body being sized for completely enclosing said pager within said interior space; disposing said pager within a one of said disposable pager pouches; delivering said pager to a first individual for a first period of use; receiving said pager from said first individual after said first period of use; removing and discarding said disposable pager pouch; replacing said disposable pager pouch with another disposable pager pouch; delivering said pager to a second individual for a second period of use; delivering said pager to other successive individuals for successive periods of use, removing, discarding, and replacing the disposable pager pouch between each successive period of use; whereby said pager may be used and handled by said first individual, said second individual and said successive individuals without exposure to germs and vegetative organisms on the pager.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein said sheet of sanitary, and pliable material is sterilized.

7. The method of claim 5, wherein said sheet is formed of polypropylene fabric, paper, cloth, or combinations thereof.

8. The method of claim 5, wherein said sheet is imprinted with indicia for conveying a message.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The applicant claims priority of this application based on the provisional application No. 60/723,574, for Disposable Pager Pouch, filed 4 Oct. 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to disposable pouches for containing pagers and particularly to sanitary disposable and replaceable pouches for containing pagers which are to be handled by multiple persons in succession.

Restaurants typically receive a majority of their patrons during customary meal times, when most people wish to eat. During these periods it is not uncommon for the flow of customers to exceed the seating capacity of the restaurant. It is common practice for restaurant personnel to take the name of a party and the number of persons included so that the party may be called when a table is available for seating. Restaurants often provide a waiting area for patrons and frequently, patrons are invited to visit a bar area inside the restaurant, while they are waiting. When a table becomes available, restaurant personnel must locate the party to announce that the table is ready. This process often requires that the restaurant personnel call out the name of the party in a crowded and noisy waiting area. Some restaurants employ a public address system to call the names of parties of patrons. In any case, it is disturbing to the other patrons and inconvenient to loudly call the names of the parties.

In order to better address the problem, some restaurants provide pagers to the patrons, for giving notice when seating is available. If patrons cannot be seated when they arrive, restaurant personnel provide a pager, having a dedicated address for signaling, to be carried by a member of the party of patrons. The patrons may visit the bar or remain in a waiting area. Many restaurants are situated on attractive grounds, and the use of a pager allows the patrons to leave the restaurant and visit the grounds out of doors, while they are waiting. When a table becomes available, the restaurant personnel signal the dedicated pager to notify the patrons that their table is ready. Typically, the pager will respond to the signal with a audible tone or a mechanical vibration. Upon perceiving the response of the pager, the patrons report to the restaurant personnel, return the pager and are seated.

Restaurants maintain a supply of pagers sufficient to cover the projected maximum number of parties who may be waiting for a table, at any given time. When a party is called for their table, their pager is returned and placed with the supply of pagers to be given to patrons who may arrive subsequently. In this manner, a particular pager may be used and handled by numerous patrons during each busy mealtime, at the restaurant. It is well known that germs and like vegetative organisms may be passed by hand contact among persons. Likewise, numerous persons successively handling the same pager, may pass unwanted germs and vegetative organisms from one person to another. The exposure to germs acquired by handling a pager having germs on its surface is particularly troublesome immediately before meal time, as is the case with restaurant patrons, as discussed above.

There is a need for a means to protect restaurant patrons from exposure to germs and vegetative organisms present on the pager being used to notify their party of available seating in the restaurant.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a disposable pouch for containing the pager, during use and eliminating direct contact between the hands of the user and the pager. The pouch is formed of a sanitary sheet of thin pliable material, which is folded and joined to form a body having an interior surface and an exterior surface. The interior surface defines an interior space. The body has an open end for receiving an electronic pager and the body is sized for completely enclosing the pager within the interior space. The pouch may be sterilized to enhance the prevention of germ transfer. The material, which forms the pouch, may be selected to be appropriate for permanent printed indicia. It is intended that the pouch holding the pager, which is given to restaurant patrons while they wait for a table, is a highly visible location for advertising messages. It is also intended that the pager would be placed inside the pouch when it is given to a restaurant patron and that the pouch would be removed and discarded when the restaurant patron returns the pager. A fresh pouch would be used when the pager is provided to another restaurant patron.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a sanitary and disposable pouch for containing an electronic pager, during a period of use by a person, to prevent contact between the hands of the person and the pager, such that the transfer of germs between the person and the pager is prevented.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a highly visible location for presentation of printed indicia, such as an advertising message, to persons handling a pager during a waiting period.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be further understood, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the pouch of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the pouch of the present invention showing an electronic pager partially inserted through the open end and having an arrow indicating the direction of insertion.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the pouch of the present invention showing a representative advertising message on the exterior surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Shown throughout the drawings, the present invention is generally directed toward a pouch for containing an electronic pager and particularly a pouch constructed to be effective in preventing the transfer of germs and other vegetative organisms from the pager to the hands of a user. As shown in FIG. 1, the pouch, of the present invention, is formed of a sheet of sanitary, thin and pliable material, which is folded and joined to form an elongate body 10, having an interior surface 12 and an exterior surface 14. Polypropylene fabric, paper, and cloth are suitable materials for forming the pouch. The material is to be folded and joined such that the interior surface 12 defines an interior space within the pouch which is appropriately sized to completely enclose a pager of the type normally used by restaurants, for paging patrons. A representative restaurant pager is that sold by Easylink, U.K., in Northants, U.K., which measures 80 mm.×53 mm.×30 mm. The material may be joined by gluing, sewing or heat sealing, as well as other known methods. The pouch is provided with an open end 16, for receiving the pager therethrough and into the interior space, as shown in FIG. 2. It is to be readily apprecited that the dimensions of the pouch may be altered to accommodate any size of pager.

It is intended that the pager would be placed inside the pouch and carried by hand or in a pocket of a user's clothing while in use. It is an advantage to minimize the weight and bulk of the pouch but to provide sufficient strength to bear the weight of the pager without tearing. A sheet of material having a thickness of approximately 10 mils is suitable. In addition, it is intended that the signal of the pager, which is typically an audible tone or a mechanical vibration should be readily perceived by the user, when the pager is being carried inside the pouch. The material selected should have favorable characteristics for the transmission of sound and vibration.

In use, it is intended that the pouch would be used with pagers which are provided to restaurant patrons who wish to leave the immediate area of the restaurant entrance, while they are waiting for a table to become available for seating. Restaurant personnel make note of the pager address and associate it with a party of patrons. The pager is deposited inside a pouch of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 2, and provided to a user who is a member of the party of patrons. The user carries the pager without removing it from the pouch. The user does not handle the pager directly and avoids contact with the pager which may have germs present. When a table is ready, the restaurant personnel summon the party by signaling the pager. The party reports back to the restaurant entrance and the user returns the pager. Restaurant personnel remove and discard the pouch of the present invention. When the pager is reused for a subsequent party of patrons, a fresh pouch is used to contain the pager. The subsequent party of patrons avoids handling the pager directly and also avoids handling the exterior surface 14 of the pouch which was handled by a member of the previous party of patrons. In order to protect against the transfer of germs, the sheet of material should be selected to be impervious to the passage of germs and other vegetative organisms. In order to enhance the protection against germs and other vegetative organisms, the sheet of material may be sterilized. Sterilization may be accomplished by treatment of the material with ethylene oxide or other decontaminates, according to conventional methods.

In addition to the function of preventing the transfer of germs to the hands of a restaurant patron immediately before he or she takes a meal, the pouch of the present invention also provides a highly visible location for advertising material or messages. In order to serve this function, the sheet of material should be appropriate for printed indicia 18, as shown in FIG. 3. It may be appreciated that restaurant patrons would view the exterior surface 14 while carrying the pager. Printed indicia 18, such as restaurant specials or advertising for other businesses would be visible to the restaurant patrons while they are waiting. Application of the printed indicia 18 may be accomplished by heat transfer, screen printing or other known methods.

A suitable material for forming the pouch of the present invention is Wax-Seal Light Paper, available from Brown Paper Goods Company, Waukegan, Ill. This product may be folded and joined to form a body having an interior surface 12 and an exterior surface 14. It is sufficiently strong to contain a standard pager without tearing and readily transmits sound and vibration. It is relatively impervious to the passage of germs and holds permanent printed indicia 18.

While the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described above, it will be recognized and understood that various modifications can be made in the invention and the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications which may fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.