Title:
FASTENING CLIP FOR RELEASABLY FASTENING A DISPENSING DEVICE FOR DISPENSING ACTIVE SUBSTANCES INTO THE FLUSHING LIQUID ON A DOWNWARD POINTING EDGE ELEMENT OF A TOILET BOWL, AND DISPENSING DEVICE PROVIDED WITH A FASTENING CLIP OF THIS TYPE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a fastening clip (3) for releasably fastening a dispensing device (1) for the dispensing one or more active substances into the flushing liquid in a toilet bowl, and to a dispensing device provided with a corresponding fastening clip. The fastening clip (3) comprises and inner clamping limb (4) and an outer clamping limb (5), these clamping limbs (4, 5) being joined to one another at one end either directly or via a joining element (6). The clamping limbs (4, 5) are pretensioned toward one another and, with regard to shape and tensioning force, are designed in such a manner that when the fastening clip is in a fastening position inside a toilet bowl, the clamping limbs (4, 5) seize a downward pointing edge element of the toilet bowl in a clamping manner.



Inventors:
Graefe, Ingeborg (Hamburg, DE)
Danne, Markus (Pulheim, DE)
Wietzke, Andreas (Dusseldorf, DE)
Application Number:
11/675228
Publication Date:
09/06/2007
Filing Date:
02/15/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/02
View Patent Images:
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20100031438Shower Door Extension ApparatusFebruary, 2010Boonstra
20080066222Plungers HelperMarch, 2008Mooney
20070143917Drain BrushJune, 2007Cook
20080109951Anti-Bacterial Toilet SeatMay, 2008Datsko
20100083440Splash Guard for Washing BasinApril, 2010Spurlock
20040025249Spa fittingsFebruary, 2004Berry et al.
20060021128Waterfall waterjet with spa sidewall mountFebruary, 2006Li et al.
20090255046DISPOSABLE COLLAPSIBLE PORTABLE TOILETOctober, 2009Carter et al.
20090007329Waste FittingJanuary, 2009Hackett



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAUL & PAUL (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
1. Fastening clip for detachably fastening a dispensing device (1) for dispensing one or a plurality of active substances into the flushing liquid in a toilet bowl, with an inner gripping leg (4) and an external gripping leg (5), wherein the gripping legs (4, 5) are directly connected at one end or are connected together by a connecting element (6), wherein the gripping legs (4, 5) are pre-stressed towards one another and are dimensioned according to the shape and pre-stressing force, such that the gripping legs (4, 5) in the fastening position of the fastening clip (3) in a toilet bowl tightly clasp an essentially downwardly directed rim element (7) of the toilet bowl.

2. Fastening clip according to claim 1, comprising a fastening means (8), onto which a storage receptacle (2) or a holder (9) for a storage receptacle (2) can be fastened.

3. Fastening clip according to claim 2, wherein said fastening means (8) is arranged as a locking means, into which a storage receptacle (2) or a holder (9) for a storage receptacle (2) can be engaged.

4. Fastening clip according to claim 2, wherein said fastening means (8) is located on the connecting element (6) and sticks out from this.

5. Fastening clip according to claim 1, wherein the effective length of the gripping legs (4, 5) for gripping is essentially equal.

6. Fastening clip according to claim 1, wherein the fastening clip (3) possesses an installation aid (10), wherein said installation aid (10) is preferably located on one of the gripping legs (4, 5).

7. Fastening clip according to claim 6, wherein the installation aid (10) is located in the region of the free end of the inner gripping leg (4) and extends from there in a direction away from the connection point or the connecting element (6), or the installation aid (10) is located in the region of the connection point or the connecting element (6) and extends from there in a direction essentially opposite to one of the gripping legs (4, 5).

8. Fastening clip according to claim 6, wherein the installation aid (10) has an ear (11) for gripping and the ear (11) is designed such that the fastening clip (3) can be moved into its fastening position on the rim element (7) by pulling on the ear (11) from a fixed position on the rim element (7).

9. Fastening clip according to claim 1 wherein at least one of the gripping legs (4, 5) possess fins (12) and the fins (12) are bent against a pre-stressing force such that in the fastening position of the fastening clip (3) they reinforce the gripping action.

10. Fastening clip according to claim 9, wherein the gripping leg (4, 5) that is not in the fastening position with its gripping surface, and the fins 12, form an essentially level surface.

11. Fastening clip according to claim 1, wherein the fastening clip (3) is manufactured from plastic, particularly from polyoxymethylene.

12. Fastening clip according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the gripping legs (4, 5) possesses an anti-slip element (13) and said anti-slip element (13) in the fastening position becomes attached to the rim element (7).

13. Fastening clip according to claim 12, wherein the anti-slip element (13) consists of another material, in particular a different material from that of the fastening clip (3).

14. Fastening clip according to claim 12, wherein the anti-slip element (13) consists of a thermoplastic elastomer.

15. Fastening clip according to one of claims 12, wherein the anti-slip element (13) is bonded to the gripping legs (4, 5) or is jammed into a recess of the gripping leg (4, 5).

16. Fastening clip according to claim 1, wherein the fastening clip (3) is manufactured by an injection molding process, preferably a multi-component injection molding process.

17. Dispensing device for dispensing one or a plurality of active substances into the flushing liquid in a toilet bowl, with at least one storage receptacle (2) for an active substance and with a fastening clip (3) for fastening the storage receptacle (2) on the rim of the toilet bowl, wherein the fastening clip (3) is arranged according to one of claims 1 to 16 and can be fastened on the inner rim of the toilet bowl on an essentially downwardly directed rim element (7).

18. Dispensing device according to claim 17, wherein the dispensing device (1) has a holder (9) for at least one storage receptacle (2) and said holder (9) is permanently or removably connected to the storage receptacle (2).

19. Dispensing device according to claim 18, wherein at least the holder (9) is permanently connected with the fastening clip (3) or said holder (9) and fastening clip (3) are of a one-piece design.

20. Dispensing device according to claim 17, wherein the fastening clip (3) is designed according to one of claims 2 to 4 and the holder (9) is detachably connectable with said fastening clip (3).

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a continuation of PCT/EP 2005/009154 filed Aug. 25, 2005, which, in turn, is based upon the corresponding German application 20 2004 013 910,3 filed Sep. 3, 2004, from which priority is claimed.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The invention relates to a fastening clip for releasably fastening a dispensing device for dispensing one or a plurality of active substances into the flushing liquid in a toilet bowl, with connected-together internal and external gripping legs, and a dispensing device provided with a corresponding fastening clip with a storage receptacle.

The term “active substance” means in general terms flowable, i.e. liquid to viscous, gel-like, pasty, pourable and solid preparations of active substances having inter alia a cleansing, disinfecting, deodorizing, bleaching effect, In particular, it can also concern, when only one active substance is mentioned, combinations of active substances or a plurality of active substances that are unaffected by one another and stored beside one another in a storage receptacle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various embodiments of dispensing devices for dispensing active substances into the flushing liquid in a toilet bowl are known. Likewise, various fastening clips for these dispensing devices are known.

In a first known dispensing device (EP 0 960 984 A2), two storage receptacles are fastened together with a fastening clip on the rim of a toilet bowl. The fastening clip is designed in such a way that it extends over the rim of the toilet bowl and the storage receptacles in as much as it is attached to the rim of the toilet bowl. A gripping action is not required for this type of fastening. However it is a disadvantage that the fastening clip that extends over the rim of the toilet bowl is visible even when the toilet lid is down. Moreover, this fastening clip interferes with the cleaning of the toilet rim. For cleaning, the dispensing device must be either displaced or completely removed.

A further fastening clip (DE 24 50 197 A1), which is the starting point for the present invention, fastens a dispensing device for dispensing an active substance beneath the toilet rim. The fastening clip has two gripping legs that are connected together by means of a connecting element. The gripping legs are pre-stressed away from each other. The fastening clip is arranged on the top of the dispensing device in such a way that a storage receptacle for the active substance extends between the gripping legs. The dispensing device designed in this way can be clamped under the rim of the toilet bowl with the fastening clip. In this fastening position of the fastening clip, one gripping leg thus presses against the outer wall of the toilet bowl and the other gripping leg presses against the inner rim of the toilet bowl, such that the dispensing device is securely positioned there. However, this type of positioning is disadvantageous and unhygienic with regard to the installation, as the user has to reach below the rim of the toilet bowl for installation and removal.

Moreover, a fastening clip for a dispensing device is known (DE 202 12 936 U1), in which the dispensing device is also fastened under the rim of the toilet bowl. In this fastening clip there is only one gripping leg that has an appropriately bent shape for providing a pre-stressed force and thus can grip under the rim of the toilet bowl. With this fastening clip, there is the danger that the clamping action is insufficient to hold the dispensing device. In addition, the installation under the rim of the toilet bowl is also not user friendly.

THE PRESENT INVENTION

The present invention is based on the problem of providing a fastening clip for the removable fastening of a dispensing device for dispensing active substances in a toilet bowl, which is optimized with regard to installation, removal and holding force.

The above-identified problem is solved by the feature set forth above in The Summary Of The Invention.

The fundamental idea of the invention consists in a fastening clip formed in such a way that it is not tucked under the rim of the toilet bowl but rather fastened on the inner rim of the toilet bowl. For this, two gripping legs are provided that are not pre-stressed away from one another as known from the prior art, but instead towards one another. By this means, the fastening clip can be pushed on the rim element that essentially faces downwards on the inner rim of the toilet bowl such that the gripping legs tightly grasp this rim element. The gripping legs are suitably dimensioned in regard to their shape and pre-stressed force. This means that the gripping legs are coordinated with one another such that the outer shape, their dimensions, the materials used and in regard to the anticipated thickness of the rim element of typical toilet bowls, a sufficient retention force will be provided.

In the preferred embodiment, the fastening clip possesses a fastening device, onto which a storage receptacle or a holder for a storage receptacle can be fastened. This type of design permits a space-saving package of the dispensing device and fastening clip, as they do not have to be connected with one another. Likewise, it is possible to offer dispensing devices as refill sets, with the result that it is not always necessary to replace the fastening clip.

A further preferred development of the invention consists in the provision of an installation aid on the fastening clip, which, when the fastening clip is in the fastening position on the inner rim of the toilet bowl, extends as far as the underneath of the toilet seat. This type of installation aid simplifies the installation and removal of the fastening clip in so far as any contact of the user with the toilet bowl can be avoided during installation. In particular, one no longer needs to reach under the rim of the toilet bowl. The installation aid is arranged in such a way on the fastening clip that it cannot be seen when the toilet seat is down and consequently will not be felt incommoding.

An embodiment of the fastening clip with an additional anti-slip element on one of the gripping legs is particularly advantageous in regard to the fastening on the rim element of the toilet bowl. Such an element preferably consists of different material from the fastening clip itself, wherein this material has a coefficient of static friction that is as high as possible. The anti-slip element is arranged such that it rests against the rim element in the fastened position of the fastening clip and consequently prevents any slippage of the fastening clip.

The subject matter of the invention is also a dispensing device that can be fastened to the inner rim of a toilet bowl with a suitable fastening clip. The same constructive features and advantages apply for the fastening clip of the dispensing device as for the fastening clip itself.

Further details, features objectives and advantages of the present invention are exemplified below in more detail with the drawing of the preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a dispensing device for dispensing an active substance into the flushing liquid in a toilet bowl with an inventive fastening clip,

FIG. 2 shows the fastening clip of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 shows an alternative embodiment of the fastening clip of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The same reference numerals are used for the same or similar parts in the Figures of the drawing. It should be emphasized here that corresponding or comparable properties and advantages are achieved even when a repeated description of this part is omitted.

FIG. 1 shows an inventive dispensing device 1 for dispensing one or a plurality of active substances into the flushing liquid in a toilet bowl. The active substances can concern, as already previously mentioned, flowable, gel-like, pourable and solid active substance preparations that are suitable for use in toilet bowls.

The active substance is arranged in a storage receptacle 2 and is released from this into the flushing liquid. It can be dispensed into the flushing liquid in various ways. It can be intended that the active substance leaves the storage receptacle 2 independently. The storage receptacle 2 can be closed in such a way that the active substance only leaks from the storage receptacle 2 under certain conditions, for example on flushing from the flushing liquid. Alternatively, the active substance in the storage receptacle 2 is dissolved by incoming flushing liquid and is carried away with it as the flushing liquid escapes. Moreover, it is possible that not only one but rather a plurality of storage receptacles 2 are provided. The storage receptacles 2 can be connected individually or jointly connected with the dispensing device 1. In this regard, the dispensing device 1 is not subject to any limitation at all.

The dispensing device 1 has a fastening clip 35 with which it is fastened on the rim of a toilet bowl. The fastening clip 3 will now be described in more detail below.

The fastening clip 3 has an internal gripping leg 4 and an external gripping leg 5. The gripping leg that is facing the opening of the toilet bowl when the fastening clip 3 is in the fastened position, i.e. when the fastening clip 3 is attached on the rim of the toilet bowl, is designated as the internal gripping leg 4. The external gripping leg 5, on the other hand, is found under the rim of the toilet bowl.

The gripping legs 4, 5 are connected with one another at one end through a connecting element 6. However, it is also possible to connect the gripping legs 4, 5 directly with one another. Likewise, it is also possible that a handling means is attached to the gripping legs 4, 5 starting from the connection point or the connecting element 6. The connection of the gripping legs 4, 5 to one end only refers to the identified gripping legs 4, 5 as a result of their gripping action. For all intents and purposes these elements, seen from the connection point or the connecting element 6, can continue even further, but then in the area of their continuation are no longer designated as the gripping legs 4, 5.

The gripping legs 4, 5 are pre-stressed towards one another. The shape of the gripping legs 4, 5 and the pre-stressed force are determined in such a way that the gripping legs 4, 5 in the fastening position of the fastening clip 3 tightly clasp a rim element 7 of the toilet bowl, The rim element 7 is here the inner rim of the toilet bowl, which points essentially downwards. “Essentially” means here that the rim element 7 does not have to be pointing vertically downwards, but rather can be sloping downwards. The rim element 7 refers to the element of the toilet bowl, which normally serves as a splash protection and for directing the incoming flushing liquid into the toilet bowl.

The dimensioning of the gripping legs 4, 5 in regard to shape and pre-stressed force depends particularly on the external style, the dimensions of the fastening clip 3, the material used for the fastening clip 3, and the dimensions of the rim element 7 of the toilet bowl. The gripping action should be sufficient to safely maintain a dispensing device 1 on the rim element 7, bearing in mind the weight and the forces acting on it during operation. In the present case, the connection element 6 between the gripping legs 4, 5 is provided in order to conform to the dimensions of the rim element 7. This is not imperative, but advantageous, because in this way the pre-stressed force of the gripping legs 4, 5 is particularly easily adaptable for a specific thickness range of rim elements.

In addition, the fastening clip 3 has a fastening means 8 for the storage receptacle 2 or a holder 9 for the storage receptacle 2. In the present case (FIG. 1), the holder 9 of the storage receptacle 2 is fastened on the fastening means 8.

The fastening means 8 is designed here as a locking means, into which the holder 9 of the storage receptacle can be engaged. However, it is also possible for the storage receptacle 2 itself to be engaged into the locking means. Instead of a locking means, the fastening means 8 can also, for example be designed such that the storage receptacle 2 or a holder 9 of the storage receptacle 2 is suspended from the fastening means 8. A screw connection is also conceivable as the fastening means 8 for the storage receptacle 2 or the holder 9 for the storage receptacle 2.

Here, the fastening means 8 is arranged on the connecting element 6 such that it sticks out from it. Here, it sticks out from the connecting element 6 and preferably essentially in the opposite direction to the gripping legs 4, 5. This allows the storage receptacle 2 to be easily placed in the flushing liquid stream that is produced by actioning the flush.

The gripping legs 4, 5 are designed and placed such that the effective gripping length of the gripping legs 4, 5 is essentially equal. This is particularly advantageous for an effective grip with a high holding force. However, it is also possible that the effective length of the gripping legs 4, 5 is not equal. In this case, it is preferred that the effective length of the inner gripping leg 4 is greater than the effective length of the external gripping length 5, (see FIG. 1), because the main load of the dispensing device 1 falls on the inner gripping leg 4 and the gripping legs 4, 5 are not equally loaded. For this type of design, an effective force axis for the gripping legs 4, 5 that runs diagonally through the rim element 7 is advantageous, said axis being orientated according to each of the applied forces. The orientation of the effective force axis is possible through the determination of the effective length of the gripping legs 4, 5 and is based upon the weight, location and design of the dispensing device 1 as well as the forces arising during operation.

Here the fastening clip 3 has preferably an installation aid 10. The installation aid 10 is preferably located on the inner gripping leg 4, but can also be located on the external gripping leg 5, the connection element 6 or other additional elements. Here, the installation aid continues the inner gripping leg 4 in a direction away from the connection element 6. It would also be appropriate for the installation aid 10 to be located in the area of the free end of the inner gripping leg 4 and not be necessarily continuing it. However, the continuation of the inner gripping leg 4 by the installation aid 10 is advantageous, as it allows a discrete positioning to be easily realized underneath the toilet seat. Alternatively, the installation aid 10 can be placed in the region of the connection point or the connecting element 6 and extend from there in an essentially opposite direction to the gripping legs 4, 5, i.e. here, downwards. Accordingly, for this type of installation aid 10, the fastening clip 3 must be pressed into the fastening position, whereas in the presently shown installation aids 10 (FIG. 1 to 3) it is simply drawn into the fastening position.

Here, the fastening clip 10 has preferably an ear 11 that catches (FIGS. 2, 3). The ear 11 is designed such that the fastening clip 3 is movable by pulling on the ear 11 out of a fixed position on the rim element 7 into the fastening position on the rim element 7. The fixed position identified the position in which the fastening clip 3 is already placed on the rim element 7, but does not yet tightly clasp the rim element 7.

FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of the fastening clip 3, for which the inner gripping leg 4 has fins 12. Depending on the type of embodiment, the external gripping leg 5 can also have fins 12 or both gripping legs 4, 5 have fins 12. The fins 12 are bent against a pre-stressing force in such a way in the fastening position of the fastening clip 3 that they reinforce the gripping action of the gripping legs 4, 5. When fastening clip 3 is not in the fastening position, the inner gripping leg 4 with its gripping surface, i.e. the surface abutting the rim element 7 in the fastening position, and the fins 12, form an essentially level surface. When the gripping action should be reinforced even more, then the fins 12 can be further pre-stressed with fastening clip 3 not in the fastening position. Then they do not form a level surface with the gripping surfaces of the gripping legs 4, 5.

Here, the fastening clip 3 is preferably manufactured from plastic. In particular, polyoxymethylene is used as the plastic. In particular it is recommended to choose the plastic that provides a good retaining action on the rim element of the toilet bowl that normally consists of sanitary ceramic with a smooth surface.

In the fastening clip 3 shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the inner gripping leg 4 has an anti-slip element 13. The anti-slip element 13 is arranged in such a way on the inner gripping leg 4, or in another embodiment, on the external gripping leg 5, such that in the fastening position of the fastening clip 3 it comes into contact with the rim element 7 of the toilet bowl. The anti-slip element 13 serves to even better prevent any slippage of the fastening clip 3. This allows a wider choice of material for the fastening clip 3.

Here, the anti-slip element 13 is preferably manufactured from another material as that used for the fastening clip 3. The material has the highest possible coefficient of static friction. This is a different plastic than that for the fastening clip 3, here a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE).

The anti-slip element can be bonded to the gripping legs 4, 5 or be jammed into a suitable recess of the gripping leg 4, 5. In the present case, however, the anti-slip element is injected into the fastening clip 3. For this the fastening clip 3 is manufactured completely by an injection molding process, namely by a multi-component injection molding process.

The anti-slip element 13 can also be designed in the form of a large area or all-over anti-slip coating.

The invention also relates to a dispensing device 1 for dispensing one or a plurality of active substances into the flushing liquid in a toilet bowl, as shown in FIG. 1. As previously mentioned, this dispensing device 1 has one or a plurality of storage receptacles 2 for an active substance. The dispensing device 1 can be fastened on the inner rim 7 of the toilet bowl by a fastening clip 3, as previously described.

The dispensing device 1 has the holder 9 for the storage receptacle 2 or for a plurality of storage receptacles 2. The holder 9 is fixedly or removably connected with the storage receptacle 2. Moreover it is intended that at least the holder 9 is fixedly connected with the fastening clip 3 or that the holder 9 and the fastening clip 3 are arranged together in one-piece. An arrangement of this type means that the user does not have to subsequently assemble the dispensing device 1.

Alternatively, the fastening clip 3 can hold the fastening means 8 and the holder 9 can thereby be detachably connectable with the fastening clip 3. This is particularly advantageous in regard to a space-saving packaging, Accordingly, the dispensing device 1 can be offered as a set, in which the dispensing device 1 and the fastening clip 3 are separate from one another and first have to be assembled by the user. It is also possible to offer replacement sets that utilize the already existing fastening clip 3.