Title:
Combination disposable towel and utensil holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention broadly comprises a combination disposable towel and utensil holder comprising a base with a post attached to the base at one end of the post, and a receptacle attached to the base. The receptacle is positioned proximate the post and shaped to complement the base. The receptacle can have an open end and walls. A receptacle can be attached to the base. The base can also comprise a primary and a secondary base segment, and the receptacle can be attached to the secondary base and the post can be attached to the primary base. In some aspects, an arm is attached to the upper portion of the receptacle and the arm is operatively arranged to hold a disposable towel roll on the holder and cooperate with a dome on the base. A knob can be operatively arranged on the arm to cooperate with the dome on the base.



Inventors:
Nip, Jason (Toronto, CA)
Lorenzatti, Luciano (Markham, CA)
Application Number:
11/517057
Publication Date:
03/13/2008
Filing Date:
09/07/2006
Assignee:
Umbra Inc. (Buffalo, NY, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H16/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CUOMO, PETER M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SIMPSON & SIMPSON, PLLC (BUFFALO, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A combination disposable towel and utensil holder, comprising: a base; a post attached to said base at one end of said post; and, a receptacle attached to said base, wherein said receptacle is positioned proximate said base and shaped to complement said base.

2. The holder of claim 1, wherein said base is comprised of a primary and a secondary base segment.

3. The holder of claim 2, wherein said receptacle is attached to said secondary base segment, and said post is attached to said primary base segment.

4. The holder of claim 1, wherein said receptacle has an open end and walls.

5. The holder of claim 1, wherein said base is circular.

6. The holder of claim 1, wherein said base has a rim at an outer perimeter of said base, said rim extending vertically from an upper surface of said base.

7. The holder of claim 1, wherein said receptacle is fixedly attached to an outer perimeter of said base.

8. The holder of claim 7, further comprising an arm attached to said receptacle, wherein said arm is positioned to hold a disposable towel roll on said holder.

9. The holder of claim 8, wherein said arm further comprises a flexible attachment that is operatively arranged to interact with the interior of a disposable towel roll.

10. The holder of claim 1, wherein said receptacle is attached to an upper surface of said base.

11. The holder of claim 1, further comprising a receptacle base attached to said base, wherein said receptacle is attached to an upper surface of said receptacle base.

12. The holder of claim 1, further comprising a head removably attached to a top of said post.

13. The holder of claim 1, wherein said post is threaded on one end, said post is attached to said base using said threaded end.

14. The holder of claim 1, wherein said receptacle is vertically aligned and oriented to hold cooking utensils.

15. A combination disposable towel and utensil holder, comprising: a base; a dome attached to said base at a position roughly proximate the center of said base; a receptacle attached to said base; and, an arm attached to said receptacle, wherein said arm is operatively arranged to hold a disposable towel roll on said holder and cooperates with said dome.

16. The holder of claim 15, wherein said arm further comprises a knob that is operatively arranged to interact with the interior of a disposable towel roll.

17. The holder of claim 16, wherein said dome is operatively arranged to cooperate with said knob to hold a disposable towel roll.

18. The holder of claim 17, wherein said knob is flexible.

19. The holder of claim 15, wherein said base has a rim at an outer perimeter of said base, said rim extending vertically from an upper surface of said base.

20. The holder of claim 15, wherein said receptacle is vertically aligned and oriented to hold cooking utensils.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to household items, and, more particularly, to a combination disposable towel holder and utensil holder.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Disposable towel holders and different means to hold kitchen utensils are known in the art. A variety of disposable towel holding and dispensing means have been provided. Typically, disposable towel holder and dispensing devices have a structure to retain the towel roll and a structure that act as a base to secure the retention means. Additional features could include resistance means to prevent or hinder undesired rotation. Similarity in the basic function of the components of towel holders by no means should be considered structural similarity between the different disposable towel holders. Some towel holders have retention means to prevent uncontrolled rotation of a disposable towel roll, some have retaining means used to hold the towel rolls securely on the holder, and some have holding structures for vertical or horizontal holding and dispensing. Despite these variations on the general towel holder theme, most towel holder are one dimensional, in that they only serve one purpose, holding paper towels.

Utensil holders of various kinds have also been known. Most utensil holders are a simple receptacle designed for one purpose, holding utensils. Missing from the art is article of manufacture that can combine the useful attributes of both a towel holder and a utensil holder in a single appliance. Often counter tops of kitchens are crowded by a disposable towel holder and a utensil holder. The space normally dedicated to these two separate common household items can deprive a kitchen of precious counter space and can disorganize a kitchen.

Thus, there is a need for a an article of manufacture capable of holding and dispensing towels and holding utensils in a manner that maximizes the use of counter space and better organizes utensils.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention broadly comprises a combination disposable towel and utensil holder comprising a base with a post attached to the base at one end of the post, and a receptacle attached to the base. The receptacle is positioned proximate the base and shaped to complement the base. The receptacle can have an open end and walls. The base can be comprised of a primary and a secondary base segment. The receptacle can be attached to the secondary base segment and the post can be attached to primary base segment.

In some aspects, the base is circular. The base can also include a rim at an outer perimeter of the base. The rim extends vertically from an upper surface of the base. In some aspects, the receptacle is fixedly attached to an outer perimeter of the base. In some aspects an arm is attached to the receptacle in a manner that the arm is positioned to hold a disposable towel roll on the holder. A flexible attachment can be attached to the arm such that it is operatively arranged to interact with the interior of a disposable towel roll as the arm holds the roll.

In some embodiments, the receptacle is attached to an upper surface of the base, or a receptacle base is attached to the base and the receptacle is attached to an upper surface of the receptacle base. A head can be removably attached to the top of the post and the head can be removably attached with a compression or friction fitting. In some embodiments, the post is threaded on one end, said post is attached to said base with the threaded end. In some aspects, the receptacle is vertically aligned and oriented to hold cooking utensils.

The invention further broadly comprises a combination disposable towel and utensil holder with a base with a dome attached to the base at a position roughly proximate the center of the base. The dome can be flexible. A receptacle is attached to the base. The receptacle can have an open end and walls. In some aspects, an arm is attached to the upper portion of the receptacle and the arm is operatively arranged to hold a disposable towel roll on the holder and cooperate with the dome.

In some aspects, the arm further comprises a knob that is operatively arranged to interact with the interior of a disposable towel roll and cooperate with the dome. The knob can be flexible and can be arranged to hinder rotation of disposable towel rolls. In some aspects, an arm is positioned to cooperate with the dome to hold a disposable towel roll. The receptacle can be vertically aligned and oriented to hold cooking utensils.

It is a general object of the present invention to provide a single device that can hold a disposable towel roll and utensils.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a single device that can hold a disposable towel roll and utensils in a manner that uses a minimal amount of counter space.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciable from the following description of preferred embodiments of the invention and from the accompanying drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The nature and mode of operation of the present invention will now be more fully described in the following detailed description of the invention taken with the accompanying drawing figures, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a holder of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the holder shown in FIG. 1 with a disposable towel roll on the holder;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the holder shown in FIG. 1 with a disposable towel roll on the holder, taken generally along line 3-3 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the holder in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the holder shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a holder of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the holder shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the holder shown in FIG. 6, taken generally along line 8-8 in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of the holder shown in FIG. 6; and,

FIG. 10 is bottom plan view of the holder shown in FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

At the outset, it should be appreciated that like drawing numbers on different drawing views identify identical structural elements of the invention. While the present invention is described with respect to what is presently considered to be the preferred embodiments, it is understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments. In the description below, the terms “top”, “bottom”, “upper”, “lower”, “front”, “back”, “rear”, “left”, “right”, and their derivatives, should be interpreted from the perspective of one viewing the invention shown in FIG. 1.

Furthermore, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the particular methodology, materials and modifications described and as such may, of course, vary. It is also understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention.

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood to one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although any methods, devices or materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the invention, the preferred methods, devices, and materials are now described.

In accordance with the present invention, FIG. 1 is a perspective view of holder 10. Base 12, which supports holder 10, is shown having two portions, a primary base segment 14 that is circular and a secondary base segment 16 that is generally a half circle attached to main base portion 14. It should be understood that primary base segment 14 can be various other shapes, which can include but is not limited to oval, square, triangular, asymmetric shapes, or some variation on those general shapes. Secondary base segment 16 can also vary from the shape shown and described. Possible alternatives are similar to those described for base segment 14. In some aspects, base 12 is a single element without a primary and secondary segment.

In some aspects, attached to base 12 is rim 18 that can extend vertically from the upper surface of base 12. Rim 18 can be constructed of a substance that is pliable such as rubber or latex; however, other alternatives are viable alternatives as well. For example, rim 18 can be part of a base cover that is formed of stamped steel or another metal that covers the entire base 12. Extension of rim 18 vertically from the upper surface of base 12 can vary in height from a slight ridge to a height that lends itself for supporting the lower edge of a disposable towel roll. Rim 18 can also vary in height around base 12 so as to have some portions higher than others. Attachment of rim 18 to base 12 can be accomplished with a compression fit in which rim 18 is a single molded unit that is stretched over base 12. In some embodiments, rim 18 is attached to base 12 with an adhesive or similar attachment means. In the case of a solid metallic rim 18, the rim is integral or attached to base 12.

Attached to base 12, proximate the center of base portion 14, is post 20. In embodiments that have base 12 formed from a single segment, post 20 would be generally centered on base 12. Various materials can be used to construct post 20, which includes but is not limited to wood, metal, abs, plastics, acrylic, or substances similar to those materials. Other structures that form holder 10 can be formed from similar substances. A detachable connection can be used to attach post 20 to base 12, such as the threaded means shown in FIG. 4, or various other detachable attachment means known in the art. Conversely, post 20 can be fixedly attached to base 12 using another means known to one skilled in the art. Disposed atop post 20 is head 24, which is held upon post 20 as described infra.

Holder 10 also includes receptacle 22 attached to secondary base segment 16. Receptacle 22 is shown positioned on secondary base 16, but other embodiments could also attach receptacle 22 to the perimeter of primary or main base portion 14, with secondary base segment 16 eliminated. Receptacle 22 is shaped in a manner that enables the outer wall of the receptacle that faces post 20 to be disposed proximate the perimeter of base portion 14. The curved exterior of receptacle 22 can aid in the maximization of the space used by holder 10 and decrease the footprint of holder 10. Receptacle 22 is not limited to only curved structures and other shaped and sized receptacles can be used. Receptacle 22 has walls that provide an open mouth to insert utensils or other items, but receptacle 22 could take other forms that do not have walls, such as a mesh or a lattice structure (not shown).

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of holder 10 with disposable towel roll 26 on the holder. From this vantage point, one can notice the placement of receptacle 22 in close proximity to base 12 and paper towel roll 26. Receptacle 22 is depicted curved along the outer circumference of towel roll 26. This close relationship of receptacle 22 to towel roll 26 can enable holder 10 to use less counter space. Receptacle 22 is depicted as straddling one side of holder 10 with a curved exterior. However, receptacle 22 could also be rectangular, circular, or some other shape. In some aspects, receptacle 22 can encircle more of base 12 leaving only a portion of the base open for the exit of disposable towel sheets.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of holder 10 shown with a disposable towel roll 26 on holder 10, taken generally along line 3-3 in FIG. 2. Post 20 is shown inserted through tube 27 of towel roll 26 with head 24 inserted in the top of post 20. The interior of tube 27 can have a space between it and the exterior of post 20 or post 20 can be a thick enough to abut the interior of tube 27. Post 20 can also be any thickness between those two extremes as well.

Head 24 serves as an element that holds paper towel rolls 26 on holder 10. Head 24 can be held upon post 20 with a compression fitting 28 that uses friction to hold the head upon the post. Head 24 can be held atop post 20 using various other attachment elements which can include, but is not limited to threading head 24 into post 20, or another similar detachable attachment method. Head 24 is shown positioned above the upper edge of tube 27, but it should be appreciated that the height of post 20 can vary and bring the edges of head 24 in contact with tube 27 to restrict rotation of roll 26. Head 24 can be positioned and designed to offer varying degrees of resistance to rotation towel roll 26.

Post 20 is shown as a hollow tube with a threaded end 30, but portions, or the entirety, of post 20 can also be solid or semi-solid. A threaded nut 36 fastens post 20 to base 12 by threading upon threaded end 30. In some aspects, a washer 38 can be implemented to ensure that post 20 remains securely fastened to base 12. To aid in the assembly and sturdiness of the attachment of post 20 to base 12, ring 32 can be secured to the base of post 20. Alternatively, post 20 can be secured to base 12 using a means that is not detachable, including, but not limited to welding, adhesive, or a friction fitting.

In some aspects, base 12 can be weighted with multiple weighted portions 13 and 17 for weighting primary base 14 and secondary base 16, respectively. Weighted portions 13 and 17 can be encased within a covering or veneer that forms part of base 12. In embodiments with a single base segment forming base 12, a single weight portion would suffice.

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of holder 10. This view better demonstrates the rim 18 that can cover the entire edge of base 12. In some aspects, rim 18 can be an elastomeric material that can deter the slipping of holder 10 on counter surfaces. Rim 18 can extend around the edge of base 12 to the underside of the base or just cover the edge of base 12. In the case of a stamped metallic cover on base 12, rim 18 can also have an edge that is rolled under the base. Post 20 inserts through hole 34 in base 12 and can then be secured by nut 36 and washer 38. A friction or compression fitting 28 can attach head 24 to post 20. The exterior of fitting 28 presses against the interior of post 20 to generate a friction fitting. Other attachment elements could also be used to attach head 24 to post 20, which can include, but is not limited to a threaded attached (not shown).

Receptacle 22 can be attached to secondary base 16 using posts (not shown) extending from the base of the receptacle and aligning with holes 40 in secondary base 16. The posts can use a threaded nut, or another securing element to attach receptacle 22 to secondary base 16. Alternatively receptacle 22 can attached to secondary base 16 with an adhesive or various other attachment means known in the art. In some aspects, secondary base 16 is not used and receptacle 22 is attached to the perimeter of base 12 (not shown).

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the holder 10 showing bottom 42 of primary base 14 and bottom 44 of secondary base 16. Bottom 42 shows one location for the attachment of post 20. Nut 36 and washer 38 are shown proximate the center of bottom 42 recessed with an indentation in base 12.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of holder 110. At the bottom of holder 110 is base 112 having dome 116 positioned proximate the center of base 112, and ridge 118 positioned around the perimeter of base 112. Base 112 can have weighted portion 113 secured to the interior of the base. Receptacle 122 is shown attached proximate the perimeter of base 112. Receptacle 112 is shown to be roughly a trapezoidal shaped container having rounded edges with a wider upper portion than its base. The shape of receptacle 122 is not limited to trapezoidal shapes and can 122 be various other shapes which include, but are not limited to, those described for receptacle 22. Attached proximate the upper portion of receptacle 122 is arm 124.

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of holder 110. From this perspective, the positioning of arm 124 relative to base 112 and receptacle 122 is possible. In some aspects, arm 124 is constructed of a flexible material to allow the arm to be flexed and manipulated.

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of holder 110 with paper towel roll 128 disposed on the holder, taken generally along line 8-8 in FIG. 7. In some aspects, attached to the bottom of arm 124 is knob 126. Knob 126 is positioned to coordinate with dome 116 positioned proximate the center of base 112. Depending on the length of arm 124 and positioning of dome 116, knob 126 can be near the end of arm 124 of at some intermediate position on the arm. Disposable towel rolls can be loaded upon holder 110 by lifting arm 124 slightly to enable knob 126 to clear roll 128 and tube 129. The interior of tube 129 is placed over dome 116 on base 112 and knob 126 is inserted into the interior of tube 129. Thus, roll 128 is held in place on holder 110 by the interaction of dome 116 and knob 126 on opposite ends of the interior of tube 129. Rim 118 can aid in the positioning of roll 128 on holder 110 and can hinder unintentional unrolling of the roll.

Knob 126 can be permanently molded into or secured to arm 124. Alternatively, knob 126 can be attached to arm 124 using various securing means known in the art. Similarly, dome 116 can be molded into base 112 or attached using an attachment element known to those skilled in the art. Other attachment elements that could be used to attach dome 116 or knob 126 can include a snap fit, rivet, screw, or similar attachment element.

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of the holder 110. Receptacle 122 is shown attached to base 112 on prongs 121 of stanchion 120. Snap fittings 123 inserted through prongs 121 can be used to secure receptacle 122 to stanchion 120. It should be understood that the attachment of receptacle 122 to holder 110 can be accomplished with various other undisclosed means that would be known to one skilled in the art. One such alternative is an adhesive. Prongs 121 can also be replaced with another structure or removed completely and still be within the spirit and scope of the invention. This exploded view also depicts securing element 114 and washer 30 being used to secure weighted portion 113 of base 112. Securing element 114 can be various attachment means, or it can be substituted by an epoxy or adhesive.

FIG. 10 is bottom plan view of holder 110 with base covering 132. Base 112 can have base covering 132 attached with an adhesive. Base covering 132 can be made from various materials such as foam, rubber, or another elastomeric material.

Thus, it is seen that the objects of the invention are efficiently obtained, although changes and modifications to the invention should be readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art, without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as claimed. Although the invention is described by reference to a specific preferred embodiment, it is clear that variations can be made without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention as claimed.