Title:
Container top lock
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cover or top or lid for a garbage or trash can wherein the cover or lid can be locked to the trash container such that the cover can not become dislodged either by a person or animal knocking the can over or by lifting the cover off the container unless a handle of any convenient form is rotated which causes a cam operated device to retract a plurality of rods which, in their extended or non-retracted position, engage under a rim which is disposed around the top opening of the container. When this handle is rotated in the opposite direction, the cam operated device causes the plurality of rods to extend under the rim thereby causing the top to become “locked” to the container.



Inventors:
Perruccio, Dom (Oak Ridge, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/373675
Publication Date:
10/04/2007
Filing Date:
03/13/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D45/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VOLZ, ELIZABETH J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICES OF MITCHELL P. NOVICK (WEST ORANGE, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cover for a refuse container to prevent its accidental removal comprising: (a) A vertical refuse receptacle having an upper open circular end having a circular lip formed around the outer circumference thereof; (b) A circular flange attached to said lip on top of said receptacle; ( c) An annular rim of said cover which snaps or fits over said circular flange and lip for holding said cover in place; (d) A handle extending through the top of said cover; and (e) A plurality of horizontally extending rods disposed on the inside of said cover and operatively associated with said handle on the inside of said cover whereby when said handle is rotated in one direction the said rods are retracted and when turned in the opposite direction said rods are extended under said lip for locking said cover to said refuse receptacle;

2. A cover for a refuse container as claimed in claim 1 wherein a plurality of garbage receptacle cover handles are formed on the outer circumference of said cover for a refuse container.

3. A cover for a refuse container as claimed in claim 2 wherein the plurality of horizontally extending rods are held in place on an underside of said cover by a plurality of rod holders which are also attached to the underside of said cover near the outermost ends of said rods whereby said horizontally extending rods may slide into and out of engagement under said lip for locking said cover to said refuse receptacle when said handle is rotated.

4. A cover for a refuse container as claimed in claim 3wherein said handle extending through the top of said cover is held in a recess to protect said handle from damage should said cover accidentally be impacted.

5. A cover for a refuse container as claimed in claim 4 wherein said handle extending through the top of said cover is of a “T” shape.

6. A cover for a refuse container as claimed in claim 5 wherein the ends of said rods distant from said rod holders are connected to said handle by means of a cam mechanism such that when said handle is rotated in one direction the plurality of rods are in an extended position and when rotated in the opposite direction are retracted.

7. A cover for a refuse container as claimed in claim 6 wherein said rods in their extended position slide under said circular flange attached to said lip which therefore secures said cover to said container even if the container is knocked over.

8. The cover for a refuse container as claimed in claim 7 whereby when said handle is rotated in an opposite direction said plurality of rods are retracted radially toward the center of said cover thereby allowing said cover to be removed from said receptacle by lifting up on said handles.

9. The cover for a refuse container as claimed in claim 8 wherein said handle extending through an opening in said cover is held in place by a combination of the disk on the underside or inside of said cover with a nut threadably engaging a shaft of said handle.

10. A cover for a refuse container as claimed in claim 9 wherein the ends of said rods distant from said rod holders are flattened and openings extend through this end of each rod for receiving a fastener which fastener also extends through said cam disk and are held in place by means of wire fasteners thereby causing the entire mechanism to rotate as one cam mechanism when said handle is rotated.

11. A cover for a refuse container as claimed in claim 10 wherein the turning of said handle and rotation of said cam mechanism provides for the extension and retraction of said rods through said rod holders and for engaging and disengaging from said rim.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally involves the field of technology pertaining to an outdoor storage container and, more specifically, an outdoor garbage can and a novel locking mechanism for attaching a cover to the container itself in order to prevent the cover from being removed by animals, in particular. A plurality, three (3) in the preferred illustrated embodiment, of rods operatively associated with the garbage can cover are provided such that when rotated by any convenient handle also associated with the garbage can cover are alternately in an extended and retracted position.

The handle shown in the preferred embodiment is a “T” shaped handle.

When the rods are in a retracted position the cover can be removed. When they are in an extended position these rods fit under an internal rim affixed to the container. In this extended position the cover can not be removed.

The three (3) rods hereinafter called “locking bolts” are actuated by means of a cam operatively associated to a shaft of the “T” shaft.

When these rods or locking bolts are in their extended position they slide under a 360° internal rim affixed to the container itself.

A protective mechanism such as a round cover plate is disposed over the locking bolts to prevent any foreign objects from interfering with the mechanism especially when the handle is rotated to extend and retract the rods.

In one preferred embodiment of the invention the “T” handle is recessed into a pocket in the cover which also protects the handle from any damage if it makes contact with the ground.

In summary, the subject matter of this invention relates to a “T” or knob handle rotatable in a protected rim on a garbage can lid and the “T” or knob handle can be rotated whereby internal radial rods can be extended or retracted to close or open the lid with the rods engaging and disengaging an internal rim of the garbage can itself.

2. Description of the Prior Art

A search of the prior art uncovered patents to Shaw, U.S. Pat. No. 622,546; Tiffany, U.S. Pat. No. 2,238,379; Biddlecomb, U.S. Pat. No. 2,632,580; Dayley, U.S. Pat. No. 2,694,589; McQuiston et al, U.S. Pat. No. 4,384,656; Boggs et al, U.S. Pat. No. 4,534,488; and Morgan, Jr., U.S. Pat. No. 5,148,938.

None of the references cited above disclose either singularly, or in combination, the outdoor garbage can and novel locking mechanism for attaching a novel cover to such container in order to prevent the novel cover from being removed either accidentally or intentionally. The novel concept of this invention and not disclosed in the references uncovered is a plurality of radially extending rods operatively associated with the can cover such that when the rods are rotated outwardly by any convenient means are alternately in an extended and retracted or locked and unlocked position.

The Biddlecomb patent, U.S. Pat. No. 2,632,580, is of some interest in that it shows a locking handle for receptacle covers wherein the rods (15 and 16) are slideable in guides 17 attached to the top of the cover. These rods in turn have hooks at one end of each (18) which engage under a beading 8 to lock the cover to the receptacle. This is substantially different from the instant invention in that in the instant invention there are no slideable guides attached to the top of the cover nor do the rods of the invention have hooks engaging the beading.

The Morgan, Jr. U.S. Pat. No. 5,148,938 discloses a T handle 16 extending into a flange 12 which in turn is operatively associated with a pressure vessel lid 10 wherein flange 12 is rotatably connected to a coverplate 18 by means of a threaded fastener 20. In this case, locking fingers are of a rectangular bar shape having rounded pivoting ends 36. Each of these locking fingers have alignment in slots 40. This arrangement allows for a shiftable movement of fingers 32 between an extended position in FIG. 2 and a retracted position in FIG. 3. Unfortunately, the numbering on the drawings of this patent do not match the numbers shown in the written description which makes the patent extremely difficult to understand.

Also showing a locking device for a garbage can lid is the Boggs et al patent, 4,534,488. The locking device itself is shown generally at number 10 and comprises a vertical operating rod 20 projecting through an opening or hole 21 in the middle of wall 14 as best seen in FIG. 2. This permits “free vertical reciprocal movement of the operating rod 20″. The operation of this locking device necessarily depends upon operating rod 20″, coil spring 25, handle bar (moveable) 23 and a fixed handle bar 18. This invention requires a dish shaped support plate 24 which in turn causes the rods 27 to extend radially upward at a slight angle A as seen in FIG. 2. Rods 27 are flexible and do not rotate in and out of position by means of a handle. They rotate into and out of the locked position by means of the combination of 18, 22, 21, 25 and 24.

The C. C. Dayley patent, U.S. Pat. No. 2,694,589, also relates to a garbage can lid lock. To be noted are items 45 and 47 in FIG. 5. The outwardly extending hooks 45 are each provided with an eye 46 and each extends through an opening 47 adjacent to the outer edge of lid 12. The garbage can in this case must have an outwardly extending lip and the lip must have an upper latch plate mounted atop the lid and a lower latch plate mounted below the lid. The claims of this patent are directed specifically toward the structure.

E. J. Tiffany patent, U.S. Pat. No. 2,238,379, relates to a lock for container lids. This handle serves not only as the handle for the lid but also as the operating means for the locking device. The locking device itself essentially comprises items 26, 27, 28 and 31 wherein 31 projects through apertures 32 and of flange 15. When the handle rotates, the disk rotates and therefore, terminal portion 27, arms 28 and hook 30 and 31 are moved outward and inward. This method by which hooks extend under a rim or flange is also shown in many of the other patents. There are substantial structural differences between applicant's proposed invention and the Tiffany patent.

The McQuiston et al patent, U.S. Pat. No. 4,384,656, relates to a trash receptacle having lid fastening means. FIGS. 1-5 show a pivotable handle H which engages/disengages bolts B in rim top surface 22 as discussed in column 7, lines 47-59. While the basic overall concept between the instant invention and the McQuiston patent are similar there are substantial structural differences as claimed.

The final patent in the prior art of note is the Shaw patent, 622,546, relating to a pressure door. It discloses a plurality of bolts 16 and as indicated in column 2, lines 60-65, the bolts 16 are arranged tangentially to the circumference of the disk 15 so that as the disk is turned or rocked back and forth the bolts are susceptible of being withdrawn or removed from the apertures I1 a in the lugs I lb.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention there is provided a unique garbage, rubbish, or other container whose contents are to be protected from spillage by means of a cover that fits over the top opening in combination with a lid preferably of the T or knob handle type which is recessed or disposed in a recess of the container lid. This T or knob or other shape handle is rotatable in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction and radially extending rods may therefore be extended or retracted to lock or unlock the lid from the container. These radially extending rods are associated with a cam which in turn is associated with the handle to be turned. The rods then extend under an internal rim associated with the upper portion of the container for locking it in place and when the knob or T handle is rotated in the opposite direction the rods are caused to be retracted from under the internal rim therefore allowing the cover to be removed.

With the cam operating mechanism and the T or knob handle and the extending and retracting rods in place a protective mechanism, preferably of disk shape, is placed over all of this hardware to prevent foreign objects from contacting the hardware and perhaps doing damage to it.

The handle of whatever shape, although preferably shown as a T shape handle, is recessed into a pocket formed in the top of the cover or lid in order to protect the handle from contact with the ground or other object that may cause it damage.

A plurality of radially extending rods, preferably three (3), extend from the rotatable cam which in turn is rotatably associated with the handle, and therefore these rods extend radially inwardly or outwardly thereby engaging and disengaging from the 360° circular rim which is attached to the top of the receptacle, garbage can, etc. Therefore, if the can is tipped over or purposely thrown to the ground by an animal or a person the lid or cover can not separate from the receptacle unless the combination of the handle, cam and rods are rotated.

It should be obvious that the radially extending rods may be of a shape other than round and therefore the slots for receiving the rods in their extended position may be of a shape other than round. Further, a device or mechanism other than the rotating cam may be employed to radially extend and retract these rods. As previously indicated, the handle which is turned to operate the mechanism to extend or retract the rods may be of a shape other than a “T” such as a ball etc. and is preferably disposed in a recess formed in the upper surface of the cover to prevent it from being damaged upon impact with the ground.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a cover for a receptacle which can not be accidentally removed.

It is another object of the invention to provide such a receptacle cover which fits over a receptacle having a rim affixed to the opening of the container.

It is yet a further object of the invention to provide such a container cover having a plurality of radially extending and retractable rods associated therewith for alternately locking and unlocking the cover to the container.

It is still a further object of the invention to provide a receptacle cover further having a handle of any convenient shape for rotating in one circular direction or another the cam and therefore the rods.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention shall become apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof when taken in conjunction with the drawings wherein like reference characters refer to corresponding parts in the several views.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the cam locking mechanism.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the locking mechanism underneath the lid in an unlocked position.

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 after rotation of a handle which extends the rods outwardly.

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIGS. 2 and 3 after further rotation of the handle and showing the rods in their fully extended and therefore locking position.

FIG. 5 is a perspective and partially cut away view showing the locking mechanism and lid with the locking feature engaged with some of the features of the invention in phantom, dashed lines.

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 but showing the locking feature disengaged.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternative lid embodiment.

FIG. 8 is a cross section of FIG. 7 taken along line 8-8.

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of a mechanism or plate covering the operating mechanism on the underside of the cover.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A container, preferably a vertical container, for outdoor use, especially for holding garbage and the like and wherein the container has a round, circular opening at the top for receiving such garbage or trash and which is equipped to receive a cover which fits over the large circular opening, and which cover can be positioned anyplace around the 360° circular opening, will now be described with reference to the various drawings.

The purpose of the cover or lid of this invention is such that it can not become disengaged from the container if it is knocked over or tilted by an animal or for any other reason.

As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, there is shown at 10 a garbage receptacle 10 which can be a vertical, circular container used for any other purpose. A garbage receptacle cover is shown at 11 and has garbage receptacle cover handles such as shown at 12. A circular flange 13 of any suitable material fits over and is attached to lip 14 which forms part of receptacle 10. This circular flange may be attached to lip 14 by any convenient means and in the drawings is shown as being attached by a plurality of screws.

Cover 11 has an annular rim 15 which snaps or fits over circular flange 13 and lip 14 to hold or secure cover 11 to the receptacle 10 as in normal use.

A plurality of horizontally extending rods 16 are held in place on the underside of cover 1 1 by means of rod holders 17 which are also attached to the underside of cover 1 1 near the outermost ends of rods 16.

The other ends of these rods 16 are attached to a handle such as a “T” handle shown as 18. It should be obvious and made clear that it is not necessary that this essential operating handle 18 be of a “T” shape but may be of any convenient shape such as a ball, etc. This handle 18 shown as a “T” for convenience may be of any other shape to suit its purpose and may be held in a recess (see FIGS. 7 and 8) such as shown generally as 19 in FIGS. 7 and 8 to protect it from damage should the cover accidentally be impacted.

The ends of the rods 16 distant from rod holders 17 are connected to handle 18 by means of the mechanism shown in FIG. 1 such that when the handle is rotated in one direction the plurality of rods are in an extended position such as seen in FIG. 4 and when rotated in the opposite direction are retracted as seen in FIG. 3.

With the rods in their extended position they slide under circular flange 13 attached to lip 14 which therefore secures cover 11 to container 10 even if the container is knocked over. When the handle is rotated in the opposite direction the plurality of rods 16 are retracted radially toward the center of cover 11 thereby allowing the cover to be removed from receptacle 10 by merely lifting up on handles 12.

The “T” handle 18 extends through an opening in cover 11 and is held in place by a combination of disk 20 which is on the underside or inside of cover 11 with nut 21 threadably engaging a shaft of 18. At the other threaded end of “T” handle 18 is a second nut 22 which secures in place second disk 23 to cam disk 24.

The ends of the rods 16 distant from rod holders 17 are flattened such as shown at 25 in FIG. 1. Openings 26 extend through this end of each rod for receiving a fastener 27 which fasteners also extend through cam disk 24 and are held in place by means of wire fastener 28 thereby causing the entire mechanism shown in FIG. 1 to rotate as one cam mechanism 29 when “T” handle 18 is rotated. It is this turning of the handle and rotation of the cam mechanism which provides for the extension and retraction of the rods through rod holders 17 and engaging and disengaging from rim 13.

In order to protect this internal cam operated mechanism and the rods themselves from damage from any elements a disk 30 such as shown in FIG. 9 is placed over the entire mechanism and inside cover 11.

Operation of the Invention

In operation, the cover or lid is placed over or snapped over the circular flange on top of the receptacle as one might do with known garbage cans such as RubberMaid®. At this time, the plurality of rods are in their retracted position with the circular protective plate or disk in place over the rod operating mechanism. Once firmly in place, the cover is fully secured to the container by means of rotating the “T” shaped or any other shaped handle which protrudes through the top of the cover. This action allows the cam operating mechanism to extend the rods under the lip. To remove the cover from the can you simply rotate the handle in the opposite direction which then, again, through the cam operating mechanism, retracts the plurality of rods and allows the cover to be removed by merely pulling on the garbage receptacle cover handles.

Though the invention has been described and illustrated with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various changes, modifications in shape, size, composition and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the subjoined claims.