Title:
Scalp massaging container cap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container cap has a closed end and a peripheral side wall extending from the closed end to form a cap interior. The peripheral side wall terminates with a plurality of comb-like teeth at an open end. The cap further includes structure on an interior portion for releasably engaging a container. In use, a hair or scalp treatment can be measured into the cap and the applied and worked into the hair or scalp using the comb-like teeth.



Inventors:
Felton, Roger D. (Virginia Beach, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/586801
Publication Date:
05/03/2007
Filing Date:
10/26/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
132/107, 215/305, 220/212.5
International Classes:
A45D24/30; B65D25/28; B65D39/00; B65D41/00
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
DE263933C
DE139492C
Primary Examiner:
HYLTON, ROBIN ANNETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE MARBURY LAW GROUP, PLLC (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A container cap, comprising a closed end; a peripheral side wall extending from the closed end to form a cap interior and terminating with a plurality of comb-like teeth; and means for releasably engaging a container on an interior portion of the closed end or the peripheral side wall.

2. The container cap of claim 1, wherein the means for releasably engaging a container is substantially a cylinder extending from the closed end, the cylinder being sized to frictionally engage a cylindrical cap on the container.

3. The container cap of claim 2, wherein the cylinder is split into a plurality of separate segments.

4. The container cap of claim 1, wherein the means for releasably engaging a container is a ridge on an interior of the peripheral side wall, the ridge being sized to frictionally engage a peripheral wall on an upper portion of the container.

5. The container cap of claim 1, wherein the means for releasably engaging a container is a threaded cap extending from the closed end, the threaded cap being sized to mate with a threaded neck on the container.

6. The container cap of claim 1, further comprising indicia corresponding to fluid volume on an interior of the peripheral side wall.

7. The container cap of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of finger grips formed in an exterior of the peripheral side wall.

8. The container cap of claim 1, further comprising a looped handle extending from the closed end in a direction opposite the peripheral side wall.

9. The container cap of claim 1, further comprising a pouring spout formed in the peripheral side wall.

10. The container cap of claim 1, further comprising the peripheral side wall having an axial cross-section that substantially matches an axial cross-section of the container.

11. The container cap of claim 1, further comprising a dividing wall to form a plurality of measuring volumes.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/732,554 filed Nov. 3, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a cap or cover for a container that includes an integral scalp-massaging portion. In certain embodiments, the cap or cover is adapted for use on a standard bottle or container of a hair or scalp treatment product.

As used herein, the term container refers to bottles and other similar containers that have an opening at one end and dispense a product. The term liquid refers to liquids and other flowable substances, including gels, creams, and the like. The term cap refers to caps, lids, and dispensers and substantially concave covers that attach to existing caps, lids, and dispensers.

The use of shampoo, conditioner, hair-restoration medication or other hair and scalp products is a regular part of the daily routine for many individuals. However, for many individuals, this routine can present difficulties.

Some people, especially young children, have difficulty shampooing their own hair because they are unsure of how much shampoo to use and/or they do not understand the need to work the shampoo into their hair. Because of this, they tend to use too much or too little shampoo and/or only rub the shampoo on the top of their head, thus failing to adequately shampoo the hair on the sides and back of their heads. Even when a child has an understanding of how much shampoo to use and the need to work it into all of their hair, the child can have difficulty due to the texture of their hair (i.e., extremely curly or kinky hair).

Many women have difficulty applying hair and scalp products due to their fingernails. Often, women will grow or apply long fingernails and/or apply ornate fingernail polish that they do not wish to damage during the application of hair and scalp products.

Some people have difficulty applying hair and scalp products due to damaged or diseased fingertips and/or fingernails that can make it painful to manually apply the product. Similarly, those suffering from disabilities or arthritis can find it difficult and painful to manually apply hair and scalp products.

Furthermore, those with excessively curly or coarse-textured hair can find that their fingers and/or fingernails cannot adequately penetrate their hair in order to properly work in the hair or scalp treatment products. This is also a problem with applying treatments to some pets.

What would be useful is a means to avoid the need for an individual to use their fingers and/or fingernails to massage their scalp and/or apply and work in hair and scalp treatment products and/or apply and work in pet hair treatments. What would also be useful is a means that more effectively penetrates curly or coarse-textured hair for the application of these products. It would be further useful to have a means for measuring these hair and scalp treatment products prior to their application.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides various embodiments of a container cap or cover that includes a plurality of comb-like teeth at a bottom edge that are effective to massage the scalp and work in hair and scalp treatment products.

The cap has walls that form a substantially concave interior region into which shampoo, conditioner, detangler, relaxer, dye, medication, or other such hair or scalp treatment liquids can be poured into and, optionally, measured. Structure is provided in the interior of the cap for retention of the cap on a bottle or other similar container.

In various embodiments, the cap can optionally include features such as measuring indicia, dividing walls, molded finger grips, and a pouring spout

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a cross-section of an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-section of another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates an axial view of an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates an elevation view of an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5A illustrates an axial view of another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5B illustrates a cross-section of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 5A;

FIG. 6A illustrates an elevation view of an embodiment of the invention that incorporates a spout;

FIG. 6B illustrates an axial view of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 6A;

FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C, and 7D illustrate some possible tooth configurations useful with embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 8 illustrates an elevation of an embodiment of the invention that incorporates a looped handle;

FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment of the invention in combination with a container;

FIG. 10 illustrates a basic embodiment of the invention; and

FIGS. 11A, 11B, and 11C illustrate various views of yet another embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A cap or cover for a container is disclosed. The cap includes an integral scalp-massaging portion in the form of a plurality of comb-like teeth extending at an open end.

In certain embodiments, the cap or cover is adapted for use on a standard container of a hair or scalp treatment product. As illustrated in a cross-section of a cap in FIG. 1, a basic embodiment of the cap 10 includes a closed end 15 and a peripheral side wall 11 extending from the closed end 15. Although shown as an end wall, the closed end 15 is not limited to being a separate wall and may take other forms, such as any closed terminus of the peripheral side wall.

At an edge of the peripheral side wall 11 opposite the closed end 15, the peripheral side wall 11 terminates with a plurality of comb-like teeth 12. The comb-like teeth 12 can take any form suitable for manipulating hair and/or massaging a scalp. From a practical standpoint, the cap is preferably formed from a suitable plastic and the comb-like teeth 12 are preferably formed integral with the cap in order to reduce the cost and complexity of the cap. However, any suitable material may be used for the cap and/or the comb-like teeth and the comb-like teeth can be manufactured separately and attached to the edge of the cap in any known manner. The length, shape, and flexibility of the comb-like teeth 12 can be varied depending on the intended end use. In this manner, flexible, gently-shaped teeth can be provided for use with baby shampoo for fine, straight hair, whereas stiffer, sharper (i.e., shaped for better penetration) teeth can be used with a hair relaxer for course, kinky hair. In FIG. 1, the comb-like teeth 12 are substantially triangular in shape.

FIG. 1 depicts a cap 10 in an orientation in which it can hold a liquid. Indicia line 16 can be provided inside the cap 10 to indicate the amount of liquid that is recommended for the particular hair or scalp treatment. The cap 10 further includes a structure 14 for releasably securing the cap to a container of hair or scalp treatment liquid. In FIG. 1, the structure 14 is a sleeve extending from the closed end 15 which is sized to engage the top portion of a container by sliding on and being retained by friction and/or gravity. When mounted on a container, the cap 10 with typically have its teeth 12 pointed downward since the cap 10 will usually engage a cap of a container located at the upper end thereof.

However, since some containers have bottom outlets, the “cap” in this situation will mount at a lower end and should have a closed end 15 suitable for supporting the container.

FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment of a cap 20 in accordance with the present invention. Cap 20 has a rounded transition from the closed end to the peripheral side wall and includes comb-like teeth 22 that are rounded. In this embodiment, the structure 24 for releasably securing the cap 20 to a container is a raised ridge 24 that engages a mating portion on a container in a friction or press fit. A plurality of indicia marks 26 are optionally provided so as to allow a user to measure a desired amount of liquid.

FIG. 3 illustrates one possible axial view of a cap 10 from FIG. 1. The outer shape of the cap 10 can take many forms and one example is illustrated as elliptical in FIG. 3 since many hair treatment products come in containers having substantially elliptical outer walls. While not a requirement that the cap 10 match the container shape, for aesthetic and practical reasons, a substantial matching of the shapes is preferred so that the overall package has a pleasing look and so that the comb-like teeth will not snag on objects.

FIG. 4 illustrates an elevational view of another possible embodiment of the invention, in which cap 40 has rounded comb-like teeth 42 and further includes a plurality of finger grips or detents 48 spaced about the periphery of the cap 40. Such spaced grips 48 can provide the user with improved grip of the cap 40, which will often be used in wet, soapy environments that can cause slipperiness. The grips 48 can be molded detents, patches of textured surface, or any other suitable grip improvement means.

FIGS. 5A and 5B illustrate an embodiment in which the cap 50 replaces a conventional screw-on cap of a container. Such an embodiment can be included with a product as the OEM cap or can be sold as an aftermarket cap for use with the product. In this configuration, the cap 50 includes suitable comb-like teeth 52 and integrates a threaded cap portion 54 to both secure the inventive cap to the container and cap (i.e., close) the container. In this embodiment, FIG. 5A illustrates a cap 50 that is preferably used with a container having a round outer wall section.

FIGS. 6A and 6B illustrate an elevation and axial view of another embodiment of the present invention. In this form, the cap 60 includes comb-like teeth 62 on the open edge of the peripheral side wall, which also includes a pouring spout 65. The peripheral side wall further includes four finger detents 68 on one side of the spout 65 and a thumb detent 68 on the other side of the spout 65. In this form, caps can be customized for individuals that are right-handed or left-handed when pouring liquid from the cap.

The comb-like teeth of the invention can be any suitable shape. Tooth profiles that are tapered or rounded at the tip allow the tip to penetrate hair yet be sufficiently soft and/or flexible so as not to scratch the scalp. FIG. 7A illustrates a tooth with a triangular profile. FIG. 7B illustrates a tooth with a rounded profile. FIG. 7C illustrates a tooth with a triangularly-tapered profile. FIG. 7D illustrates a tooth with a parabolic profile. Of course, numerous other tooth profiles are also usable with the invention.

FIG. 8 illustrates a cap 80 with comb-like teeth 82, and which further includes a looped handle 88 extending from the closed end of the cap 80. Such a handle can have multiple functions. If the cap 80 is attached to a container in a sufficiently secure manner, the looped handle 88 can be used to carry and hang the container. The looped handle 88 can also assist those without sufficient grip strength in handling the cap 80 so as to remove the cap 80 from a container, use the cap 80 to apply and work in a hair or scalp treatment, and replace the cap 80 back on the container. To accomplish this, a user slips one or more fingers through the looped handle 88 (preferably with the palm facing the same direction as the comb-like teeth) in order to handle the cap 80.

FIG. 9 illustrates a typical deployment of a cap 90 on a container 91 which has an opening at a top potion thereof. As can be seen, the teeth of cap 90 are unobtrusive and do not adversely impact the overall packaging of the product.

As illustrated in a cross-section of a cap in FIG. 10, another basic embodiment of the cap 100 includes a closed end 105 and a peripheral side wall 101 extending from the closed end 105. At an edge of the peripheral side wall 101 opposite the closed end 105, the peripheral side wall 101 terminates with a plurality of comb-like teeth 102. In FIG. 10, the comb-like teeth 105 are substantially rounded in shape. The cap 100 further includes a structure 104 for releasably securing the cap to a container of hair or scalp treatment liquid. In FIG. 10, the structure 104 is comprised of one or more tabs extending from either the inner side of side wall 101 or the closed end 105 and which is sized to engage a mating portion of a container by friction or press-fit. Indeed, numerous cap attachment elements are known in the art and any suitable attachments can be used with the present invention.

FIGS. 11A, 11B, and 11C disclose yet another embodiment of the invention. As seen in the cross section of cap 110 in FIG. 11A, the peripheral side walls of cap 110 are diverging. The comb-like teeth 112 are formed in a manner found in conventional combs and brushes, comprised of a long narrow body with a ball element at the end. As more clearly seen in FIGS. 11A and 11B, the retention structure 114 is a comprised of portions of a split cylinder. Each of these portions flex somewhat and allow the cap to grip an associated container. The cap 110 can optionally include a dividing wall 118 so as to form smaller measuring volumes.

FIG. 11C illustrates an elevational view of the cap 110. As an alternative to individual finger grips, FIG. 11C shows optional detents 116 that are placed on opposite sides of the cap 110. In use, the thumb is located in one detent 116, and one or more fingers are located in the opposing detent 116.

A container cap with integral comb-like teeth has been described. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the scope of the invention disclosed and that the examples and embodiments described herein are in all respects illustrative and not restrictive. Those skilled in the art of the present invention will recognize that other embodiments using the concepts described herein are also possible. Further, any reference to claim elements in the singular, for example, using the articles “a,” “an,” or “the” is not to be construed as limiting the element to the singular.