Title:
ROTATABLE HOLDER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rotatable holder having first and second sections is provided. The first section has a plurality of first peripheral sides connected to each other and first and second end sides, each end side formed in a plane which is generally perpendicular to the plurality of first peripheral sides. The second section has a plurality of second peripheral sides connected to each other and third and fourth end sides, each end side formed in a plane which is generally perpendicular to the plurality of second peripheral sides. The first and second sections are rotatably coupled with each other along respective end sides of each section. At least one of the peripheral sides forms an orifice for receiving an object.



Inventors:
Smokowicz, Nicole M. (Des Plaines, IL, US)
Stvartak, Christopher J. (Skokie, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/615269
Publication Date:
07/19/2007
Filing Date:
12/22/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/78
International Classes:
A47F7/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090179531WORK STATIONS FOR MANICURISTSJuly, 2009Ton
20080121542Toolbox frameMay, 2008Chang
20060032828Holder for organization and storageFebruary, 2006Chiu
20070272637Versatile telescopic door hinge hangerNovember, 2007Rigas
20070272634Well MerchandiserNovember, 2007Richter et al.
20080314847VENDING SHELFDecember, 2008Colelli
20100012600DISPLAY OF VIDEO AND OTHER CONTENT IN RETAIL STORESJanuary, 2010Clontz et al.
20070256993Cane holderNovember, 2007Boddice et al.
20090057247Space-saver pot lid hanging storage pouchesMarch, 2009Kraft
20070205168PANTRY SNACK RACK AND A BAG CLIP THEREFORSeptember, 2007Helvey
20070272636DISPLAY STRIPNovember, 2007Hale



Primary Examiner:
KRYCINSKI, STANTON L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLP (Chi) (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A rotatable holder comprising: a plurality of sections rotatably coupled with each other, each section having a plurality of peripheral sides, wherein at least one of the peripheral sides forms an orifice for receiving an object.

2. The holder of claim 1, wherein each peripheral side forms a plurality of orifices.

3. The holder of claim 1, wherein at least one section is generally hollow.

4. The holder of claim 1 further comprising at least one end side.

5. The holder of claim 1, wherein each section includes at least one alignment member formed on an end side.

6. The holder of claim 5, wherein the alignment member includes one of an alignment protrusion and an alignment indentation.

7. The holder of claim 5, wherein the holder further comprises: a first section having first and second end sides; a second section having third and fourth end sides; an alignment protrusion formed on the second end side; and an alignment indentation is formed on the third end side, wherein the alignment protrusion couples with the alignment indentation when the first and second sections achieve a desired rotational relationship.

8. A rotatable holder comprising: a first section having a plurality of first peripheral sides connected to each other and first and second end sides, each end side formed in a plane which is generally perpendicular to the plurality of first peripheral sides; and a second section having a plurality of second peripheral sides connected to each other and third and fourth end sides, each end side formed in a plane which is generally perpendicular to the plurality of second peripheral sides, wherein the first and second sections are rotatably coupled with each other and at least one of the peripheral sides forms an orifice for receiving an object.

9. The holder of claim 8, wherein each section has an orifice for receiving an object.

10. The holder of claim 9, wherein the orifice of the first section is of a different size than the orifice of the second section.

11. The holder of claim 9, wherein the orifice of the first section is of a different shape than the orifice of the second section.

12. The holder of claim 8 further comprising an alignment member on one of the first and second sections.

13. The holder of claim 12, wherein a first alignment member is formed on the second end side and a second alignment member is formed on the third end side, and wherein the alignment members engage the first and second sections.

14. A rotatable holder comprising: a first section having at least four first peripheral sides connected to each other, each peripheral side formed in its own plane which is generally perpendicular to the planes of adjoining peripheral sides, the first section also having first and second end sides, each end side formed in a plane which is generally perpendicular to the plurality of first peripheral sides; a second section having at least four second peripheral sides connected to each other, each peripheral side formed in its own plane which is generally perpendicular to the planes of adjoining peripheral sides, the second section also having third and fourth end sides, each end side formed in a plane which is generally perpendicular to the plurality of second peripheral sides; the first section further includes a reinforcement wall extending between opposite first peripheral sides of the first section and spaced from the other first peripheral sides, and a first coupling member on the reinforcement wall; and wherein at least one of the peripheral sides forms an orifice for receiving an object.

15. The holder of claim 14, wherein the second section further includes a second coupling member engaging the first coupling member.

16. The holder of claim 14, wherein each section has an orifice for receiving an object.

17. The holder of claim 16, wherein the orifice of the first section is of a different size than the orifice of the second section.

18. The holder of claim 16, wherein the orifice of the first section is of a different shape than the orifice of the second section.

19. The holder of claim 8 further comprising an alignment member on one of the first and second sections.

20. The holder of claim 19, wherein a first alignment member is formed on the second end side and a second alignment member is formed on the third end side, and wherein the alignment members engage the first and second sections.

21. The holder of claim 14, wherein each peripheral side forms at least one orifice for receiving an object, and wherein an orifice formed in one respective peripheral side is sized differently from an orifice formed in another respective peripheral side.

22. The holder of claim 14, wherein each peripheral side forms at least one orifice for receiving an object, and wherein an orifice formed in one respective peripheral side is shaped differently from an orifice formed in another respective peripheral side.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/753,882, filed Dec. 23, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a holder, and more specifically to a rotatable holder which includes orifices in a variety of sizes that may be used to support one or more objects having a variety of sizes.

Currently, some holders are sized to hold one type of item, such as writing utensils, test tubes, and other such devices. This is problematic, since sometimes a user would desire that the holder be sized to hold a variety of items having various sizes. Additionally, other times a user would like to hold more items of a first size and fewer items of a second size than the holder is typically configured to hold.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention, a rotatable holder includes a plurality of sections rotatably coupled with each other along respective end sides of each section. According to this aspect, each section has a plurality of peripheral sides. Additionally, at least one of the peripheral sides forms an orifice for receiving an object.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a rotatable holder has first and second sections. The first section has a plurality of first peripheral sides connected to each other and first and second end sides, each end side formed in a plane which is generally perpendicular to the plurality of first peripheral sides. The second section has a plurality of second peripheral sides connected to each other and third and fourth end sides, each end side formed in a plane which is generally perpendicular to the plurality of second peripheral sides. The first and second sections are rotatably coupled with each other along respective end sides of each section. At least one of the peripheral sides forms an orifice for receiving an object.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a rotatable holder including a first section has at least four first peripheral sides connected to each other, each peripheral side formed in its own plane which is generally perpendicular to the planes of adjoining sides. The first section has first and second end sides which are generally square in shape, each end side formed in a plane which is generally perpendicular to the plurality of first peripheral sides. The rotatable holder also includes a second section having at least four first peripheral sides connected to each other, each peripheral side formed in its own plane which is generally perpendicular to the planes of adjoining sides. The second section has third and fourth end sides which are generally square in shape, each end side formed in a plane which is generally perpendicular to the plurality of second peripheral sides. The first section includes a reinforcement wall extending between opposite first peripheral sides of the first section and spaced from the other first peripheral sides. A rotational protrusion is connected along an approximate center of an edge of the reinforcement wall. The rotational protrusion couples with a cavity formed in one end side of the first section. At least one of the peripheral sides forms an orifice for receiving an object.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The components in the following figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the general principles. Moreover, in the figures, the same reference symbols designate the same components with the same significance unless otherwise indicated.

FIG. 1 is a right-front isometric view of a rotatable holder.

FIG. 1A is an isometric view of a section of FIG. 1.

FIG. 2 is a left-front isometric view of the rotatable holder of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an exploded isometric view of two of the sections of the rotatable holder of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an isometric cross-sectional view of the rotatable holder of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference to the figures, an example of a rotatable holder is described. The holder includes orifices in a variety of sizes that may be used to support one or more objects having a variety of sizes. For example, the orifices may hold pencils, pens and other writing instruments. In addition, the orifices may support vials of different sizes. These vials may include test tubes and other vessels capable of holding liquids. For example, the vials may hold water so that fresh flowers may be supported and displayed. The sections of the holder rotate to provide access to orifices of different sizes, provide the holder with greater stability, and arrange the manner and orientation with which the holder may display and/or hold items.

In FIGS. 1-4, an example of a rotatable holder 100 is shown. Although the rotatable holder 100 is shown in a horizontal orientation, it may be arranged in a vertical orientation as well. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 1A, the rotatable holder 100 includes a plurality of sections 110, 130, 150, 170. Although only four sections 110, 130, 150, 170 are shown in FIG. 1, the rotatable holder 100 may include any number of sections. For example, FIG. 1 shows two of the peripheral sides 112, 114 of section 110. FIG. 1A illustrates section 110 after it has been rotated clockwise 180° so that peripheral sides 116 and 118 are visible. Referring to FIG. 1, each of the sections 110, 130, 150, 170 may include peripheral sides. As shown, section 110 has a generally square shape, and four sides 112, 114, 116, 118 each with a generally slightly concave shape.

In addition, section 110 includes a set of orifices on each of its peripheral sides 112, 114, 116 and 118, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 1A. In this example, peripheral side 112 includes two orifices 113, side 114 includes 10 orifices 115, side 116 includes 8 orifices 117, and side 118 includes 6 orifices 119. Although the orifices 113, 115, 117 and 119 shown in FIG. 1 have a circular shape, they may have an elliptical, square, hexagonal or other shape. The orifices on each side are of different sizes and are evenly spaced and arranged in one or more rows. Orifices 113 are the largest, with the remaining orifices descending in size in the following order: 119, 117, and 115. In addition, any individual or combination of orifices may include threads to accommodate rings or other structures with corresponding and opposite threads. Although the shape, number, size and arrangement of the orifices on each side of each section 110, 130, 150, 170 are the same, the shape, number, size, and arrangement of the orifices may vary on a single side, or from side to side, or from section to section. Sections 130, 150 and 170 are virtually identical in shape to section 110, and number, size, shape and arrangement of the orifices are also identical to section 110. However, the sections 110, 130, 150, 170 may be of different shapes and have differing numbers of sides, individually or in any combination.

Referring to FIG. 2, the entire rotatable holder 100 has been rotated from its position in FIG. 1 so that the end side 180 of section 170 is shown. As mentioned above, the sections 110, 130, 150 and 170 are individually rotatable. In the example shown in FIG. 2, sections 110, 130, and 150 have been rotated individually from their positions in FIG. 1 around the horizontal axis A (or vertical axis if the rotatable holder 100 is in a vertical orientation) that extends longitudinally through the rotatable holder 100 in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, sections 150 and 130 have been rotated around horizontal axis A in a counterclockwise direction as indicated by arrows D and E, respectively. Further, section 110 has been rotated in a clockwise direction around the horizontal axis A as indicated by arrow F. However, any of the sections 110, 130, 150 and 170 may be rotated individually, in any combination and in either direction.

Sections 110, 130, 150, 170 may be separate pieces that are coupled together using a coupling member to form the rotatable holder 100. In order to couple two adjoining sections 110, 130, 150, 170 to each other, at least one of the adjoining sections 110, 130, 150, 170 includes a coupling member. The coupling member may be any device used to couple two adjoining sections 110, 130, 150, 170 to each other, and includes devices such as, snap-fit members, VELCRO™, nails, glue, magnets, clamps, and screws. In one embodiment, the coupling member rotationally couples two adjoining sections 110, 130, 150, 170 to each other, and includes devices such as a rotational protrusion 147 and a cavity 162 which is coupled with the rotational protrusion 147, as discussed below.

The sections 110, 130, 150, 170 may be distinguished from each other via a feature such as color. This may allow the contents of the rotatable holder 100 to be more easily distinguished. Sections 130 and 150 are shown as separate pieces in FIG. 3. Section 130 may be a generally hollow structure. Section 130 may also include a reinforcement wall 136 extending between opposite sides of section 130 and spaced from the other sides, to provide section 130 with additional strength.

In addition, the reinforcement wall 136 may support a coupling member, such as a rotational protrusion 147, in the approximate center of section 130. To enable sections 130 and 150 to rotate with respect to each other, the rotational protrusion 147 couples with a cavity 162 in the end side 160 of section 150 for example, in a snap-fit or frictional engagement. Although the rotational protrusion 147 of section 130 and the cavity 162 of section 150 are each shown in FIG. 3 as having a generally cylindrical shape, the rotational protrusion 147 and the cavity 162 may include any shape that allows sections 130 and 150 to be fixedly or removably and rotatably coupled together. Alternatively, rotational protrusion 147 of section 130 and the cavity 162 of section 150 may be replaced with a pair of magnets.

In addition, section 130 may include one or more alignment members, which in a preferred embodiment are alignment protrusions 145. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, section 130 includes four alignment protrusions 145 in the comers of section 130. When sections 130 and 150 are coupled with each other via rotational protrusion 147, the alignment protrusions 145 on section 130 couple with alignment indentations 164 on section 150. In general, the number of alignment indentations equal the number of alignment protrusions. Therefore, section 150 includes 4 alignment indentations 164. The alignment indentations have a size and shape suitable for receiving and releasing the alignment protrusions 145 as sections 130 and 150 rotate with respect to each other. The alignment indentations 164 and the alignment protrusions 145 are located on sections 150 and 130, respectively, so that when coupled, sections 150 and 130 achieve a desired rotational relationship with each other and remain fixed that way until the rotational relationship is deliberately changed. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, the alignment indentations 164 and the alignment protrusions 145 are located on the comers of sections 150 and 130, respectively. Thus, when sections 130 and 150 are rotated so that the alignment indentations 164 and the alignment protrusions 145 couple with each other, each of the peripheral sides 132, 134, 136 and 138 of section 130 will rotate about 90 degrees, and be about parallel with one of the peripheral sides 152, 154, 156 and 158 of section 150. In addition, section 130 includes a cavity 142 (the backside of which is shown) in end side 140 and one or more alignment impressions (not shown), which enable section 130 to receive a rotational protrusion and one or more alignment protrusions, respectively, of another section. Likewise, section 150 may include a rotational protrusion supported by a reinforcement wall (not shown), and one or more alignment protrusions (not shown) for coupling with an aperture and one or more alignment impressions of another section. Alignment members may include other devices which can be used to achieve a desired rotational relationship with each other and remain fixed that way until the rotational relationship is deliberately changed, such as snap-fit members, VELCRO™, nails, glue, magnets, clamps, and screws.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the rotational holder 100 taken along a plane through the center of the rotational holder 100. FIG. 4 further illustrates the coupling of sections 110, 130, 150 and 170. Sections 150 and 130 are coupled with each other as described in connection with FIG. 3. The rotational protrusion 147 supported by the reinforcement wall 146 of section 130 is coupled with the cavity 162 in the end side 160 (see FIG. 3) of section 150. The end sides 140, 160 of sections 150, 130, respectively, are generally located proximate to the cavities 162, 142, respectively, and perpendicular to reinforcement walls 166, 146, respectively. Section 110 is structured approximately identically to sections 150 and 130. Section 110 includes an end side 120 and a cavity 122 and alignment indentations 124 (shown in FIG. 1) in the end side 120. In addition, the reinforcement wall 126 of section 110 supports a rotational protrusion 125 that couples with the cavity 142 in section 130. Further, section 110 includes alignment protrusions (not shown) that couple with alignment impressions of section 130 (not shown).

Section 170 includes an end side 180, a reinforcement wall 186 approximately perpendicular to the end side 180, an aperture 182, and alignment impressions (not shown). The cavity 182 and the alignment impressions of section 170 couple with the protrusion 165 and the alignment protrusions (not shown), respectively, of section 150. Thus, section 170 is similar to sections 150, 130 and 110. However, end side 180 of section 170 is distally located from the cavity 182 so that the cavity 182 is not in contact with the end side 180. Further, section 170 does not include rotational or alignment protrusions.

While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many more embodiments and implementations are possible within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be restricted except in light of the attached claims and their equivalents.