Title:
SELF LOADING TOILET PAPER HOLDER AND DISPENSER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dispenser for the storage and distribution of roll material such as toilet paper is provided. The dispenser includes one or more mounting arms that are fixedly attached to a mounting surface. Rotatably attached to the mounting arms is a roll spindle that receives roll material for its distribution to a user. Positioned near the roll spindle is an access door that when opened reveals the interior of a chute that houses stored roll material such that a user is readily able to access this stored roll material to replace a previously finished roll.



Inventors:
Merchant, Scott T. (Ithaca, MI, US)
Application Number:
12/059349
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
03/31/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F1/00
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Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
RANDALL, JR., KELVIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DINSMORE & SHOHL LLP (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A dispenser for roll material comprising: a roll spindle with a first end and a second end, said spindle capable of receiving roll material, one or more mounting arms, said mounting arm fixedly attached to a mounting surface, an access door, a chute wherein roll material is capable of being stored.

2. The dispenser of claim 1 further comprising a second mounting arm with capability of rotatably receiving said roll spindle at opposite end as said first mounting arm, said second mounting arm fixedly attached to a mounting surface so as to create a space for rotatable attachment of said roll spindle between said first mounting arm and said second mounting arm.

3. The dispenser of claim 2 wherein said roll spindle is weighted with a center of gravity distant from an axis of said roll spindle defined by a line between said mounting arms.

4. The dispenser of claim 2 further comprising a decorative frame fixedly attached to said first mounting arm and said second mounting arm, said frame further fixedly attached to a mounting surface.

5. The dispenser of claim 1 further comprising an access port, said access port positioned in said chute opposite said access door.

6. The dispenser of claim 1 further comprising a handle fixedly mounted on said access door.

7. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said roll spindle further comprises scenting material.

8. The dispenser of claim 1 further comprising a regulating mechanism for limiting the amount of roll material dispensed.

9. The dispenser of claim 8 wherein said regulating mechanism is mounted on said first mounting arm.

10. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said access door is configured to hold one or more stored roll material.

11. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said access door is positioned in between said first mounting arm and said second mounting arm such that it is hidden by roll material when said roll material is positioned on said roll spindle.

12. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said chute further comprises a pressure apparatus, said pressure apparatus suitable for moving roll material toward said access door.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a non-provisional utility application that claims priority benefit to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/908,754 filed Mar. 29, 2007, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a dispenser for one or more rolls of roll material such as toilet paper.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In household or commercial use it is a common problem to come to the end of a roll of toilet paper placing a user in immediate need for more. Often the supply of additional toilet paper is well out of reach or not present in the same room as the user. Even if the additional supply of toilet paper is within reach, obtaining a replacement roll commonly requires movement from a comfortable seated position making the replacement of a finished roll uncomfortable or impossible.

Previous attempts to address this issue have resulted in large, bulky dispensing units that hold a gigantic roll of toilet paper, display numerous rolls of paper simultaneously, or otherwise make access to additional rolls difficult for the user due to additional rolls being accessible only by key. Further, it is common for previously existing dispensers to inadequately allow a user to remove individual sheets from the toilet paper roll without the new roll binding on the surface of the dispenser, the finished roll, or other material in the dispensing area. Thus, there exists a need for a toilet paper dispensing unit that is capable of storing additional rolls of toilet paper that is clean, space saving, and visually pleasing to the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A dispenser for the storage and distribution of roll material such as toilet paper is provided. The dispenser includes one or more mounting arms that are fixedly attached to a mounting surface. Rotatably attached to the mounting arms is a roll spindle that receives roll material for its distribution to a user. Positioned near the roll spindle is an access door that when opened reveals the interior of a chute that houses stored roll material such that a user is readily able to access this stored roll material to replace a previously finished roll.

The instant invention preferably provides two mounting arms that define a space suitable for attachment of a roll spindle. The mounting arms are optionally fixedly attached to a mounting surface or a decorative frame that itself is attached to a mounting surface.

The roll spindle is optionally scented such that a pleasing scent is emitted into the room in which the roll spindle is used. The roll spindle is further optionally weighted with a center of gravity distant from an axis defined by a line between the two mounting arms.

The dispenser is comprised of an access door that reveals the interior of a chute suitable for housing stored roll material. This access door optionally has an attached handle for easy operation. The access door optionally defines a container that holds one or more stored roll material. The access door is optionally positioned between the two mounting arms such that it is hidden by roll material when the roll material is positioned on the roll spindle. One or more roll materials are capable of being housed by the access door.

The dispenser further provides a chute capable of storing additional roll material. The chute optionally terminates at two ends with one end housing an access door and the other end housing an access port. The chute optionally contains a pressure apparatus such as a spring or spring arm that forcibly moves stored roll material toward the access door.

The dispenser is optionally equipped with a regulating mechanism such as a mechanical arm that limits the amount of roll material distributed with a single effort. The regulating mechanism is optionally positioned on one or more mounting arms, the mounting surface, or the roll spindle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 represents an outer view of a complete standard roll holder with the roll spindle and roll material in place positioned in front of an access door;

FIG. 2 represents an outer view of a roll holder with the roll spindle removed such that the access door is rotatably opened revealing stored roll material for ready installation into the roll holder;

FIG. 3 represents a side-on schematic of the roll holder positioned at the lower end of the chute which contains additional roll material, whereby the opening of the access door reveals additional stored roll material that is removed for use followed by closing of the empty access door and a gravity fed dropping of another stored roll material into the access door.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention has utility as a toilet paper or other roll material dispensing unit capable of storing and dispensing roll material that is clean, space saving, and visually pleasing to the user. Referring to FIGS. 1-3, one more mounting arms 2 are fixedly attached to a mounting surface 8. These mounting arms 2 are positioned such that a roll spindle 3 is rotatably positioned between these arms. The arms are further of sufficient distance that when the desired roll material 1 is positioned on the roll spindle 3 it does not come into regular contact with either mounting arm 2 such that the roll material 1 is easily dispensed without substantial binding. These mounting arms 2 are optionally hingedly attached to the mounting surface 8 such that when a rigid roll spindle is placed between the arms a force is created that holds the roll spindle and associated roll material 1 in place. These mounting arms are illustratively manufactured of material such as wood, metal, plastic, glass, stone, concrete, ceramic, or other suitable material known in the art. Numerous shape configurations are suitable for the mounting arms, illustratively including rectangular, spherical, octagonal or other desired shape that is pleasing to the user and functional. A complete roll holder is illustrated by two mounting arms 2 rotatably connected to a roll spindle 3.

Positioned between the mounting alms 2 is a roll spindle 3 that inserts into a central shaft intrinsic to common roll material 1 such that when the roll spindle 3 is positioned between two mounting arms 2 the roll material 1 is rotatable about the roll spindle 3. The roll spindle 3 optionally rotates with the roll material 1. Optionally, the roll spindle is integrated into one mounting arm and is left open on the opposite end such that the roll material is inserted onto the roll spindle by an open end. The open end is optionally equipped with a retaining device such that roll material 1 does not fall off the roll spindle. Optionally, the roll spindle is of suitable circumference that it occupies the entire central shaft of the roll material. The roll material is maintained in position on the roll spindle by frictional forces.

In a preferred embodiment, two mounting arms 2 are positioned at each end of the roll spindle 3. The roll spindle is optionally removable from the mounting arms by a means suitable in the art. Removable means are illustratively a spring rod that allows the roll spindle to collapse upon itself such that its shortening allows removal from the mounting arms 2. The roll spindle optionally contains a flexible joint for shortening the overall length of the spindle also allowing removal from the mounting arms. It is appreciated that other means known in the art are similarly operative.

The roll spindle is optionally made of wood, metal, plastic, glass or other suitable material known in the art or a combination of materials. The roll spindle is preferably cylindrical in shape. Other suitable shapes for the roll spindle are illustratively, square, rectangular, octagonal, hexagonal, triangular, or other shape. Optionally, the roll spindle 3 is weighted with the center of gravity falling outside the axis of attachment between the mounting arms. This orientation allows for regulation of the amount of roll material 1 dispensed such that only one rotation of the roll material 1 is easily obtained reducing the amount of roll material commonly dispensed by the instant invention. Other mechanical means are optionally employed to regulate the amount of roll material 1 dispensed. Other means are illustratively a mechanical motor driven means, and electronic motor driven means, or other means suitable for regulating the amount of roll material 1 dispensed in a single effort by the user. Additional means are illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 7,101,441.

The roll spindle 3 is optionally a scented device that emits a scent into the room in which it is used.

The roll material 1 suitable for use in the instant invention is preferably toilet paper. Other roll material is similarly suitable illustratively including paper towels, cloth, or other material capable of being dispensed in roll form.

Referring to FIG. 3, the instant invention provides a chute 11 that is suitable for housing and storing additional roll material. The chute 11 is preferably contained in a mounting surface 8 illustratively including a wall or other mounting surface such that the roll material 1 occupies a space between two external chute or wall surfaces. The chute 11 is preferably positioned in a vertical orientation with its lower end near the mounting arms 2, preferably located between two mounting arms. This vertical orientation provides for gravity fed dispensing of stored roll material 6 such that when a lower roll is removed from the chute for use its position is subsequently occupied by an additional roll from above. This chute is optionally oriented vertically but placed below the chute whereby the stored roll material 6 is moved toward the access door 4 by a mechanical means such as a spring arm. The chute is optionally horizontally oriented and additional stored roll material is movably positioned for use by mechanical means such as by a spring.

The chute 11 is of suitable size to house the desired roll material 6 or multiple roll material. Preferably, the chute 11 is housed in a 2×6 wall that provides ample space for standard size rolls of toilet paper, paper towel, or other roll material. It is appreciated in the art that other wall or chute dimensions are similarly operative illustratively including 4″ depth, 8″ depth, 10″ depth, or other suitable size. The chute is optionally defined by the composition of the wall itself or is constructed out of material foreign to the wall structure. An illustrative example defines the dimensions of the chute by 2×6 studs that makeup the wall structure. The lower end of the chute is optionally decorative material, may also be structural material of the wall, or may be formed of the access door itself. An optional upper surface is provided in the chute. Optionally, the chute is made of material extrinsic to the structure of the wall. This material is illustratively metal, wood, plastic, glass, stone, brick, concrete, ceramic, or other suitable material known in the art. Extrinsic material is optionally used to define the sides, top, or bottom of the chute such that the chute is optionally enclosed on all sides or is left open on one or more sides depending on the desired method of operation. The chute is optionally made of transparent material such that the amount of replacement stored roll material 6 is readily viewed from a desired location. One or more sides of the chute are optionally transparent, or the transparent region is restricted to a portion of one or more sides depending on the desired means of use.

The dimensions of the chute 11 are such that a desired amount of stored roll material 6 is housed within the chute. This is optionally one toilet paper roll, or as many as 20 or more toilet paper rolls. The number of rolls is limited by the length of the chute and the orientation of the roll material. The chute is optionally designed to house roll material in an end-to-end fashion, a side-to-side fashion as depicted in FIG. 3, an angled fashion, or any other suitable orientation. Optionally, the chute is of sufficient dimension that more than one roll material is accessed simultaneously.

The chute 11 is optionally accessible from more than one end. FIG. 3 depicts a preferred embodiment such that the chute 11 terminates at the lower dispensing end between two mounting arms 2 and the other end houses an access port 7 that remains open and accessible for placement of additional roll material 6. This configuration allows the chute 11 to be loaded without the need for forcing previously positioned roll material against a distributing force. The access port 7 is optionally positioned in the same room as the mounting arms or in a room bordering the room with the mounting arms. Thus, the chute may be loaded, for example, from a storage room maintaining the aesthetic attributes of the room in which the roll material is used.

A securing means, illustratively including a spring arm or other movable mechanical means, is optionally located within the chute to regulate dispensing of stored roll material 6. A spring arm holds back a stack of stored roll material 6 such that removal of the lower roll material is not hampered or jammed by other stored roll material preventing removal of the desired roll material by physical blocking or other jamming. The spring arm is optionally operated by the opening of the access door 4 such that it is only engaged when the access door is in the open position allowing stored roll material 6 to drop into the access door 4 upon its closing providing ready access to additional roll material.

The access port 7 is optionally covered with an access port cover. This cover is optionally a door or other means for accessing the chute. The access port door is optionally operated by hinges, a sliding mechanism, or is fully removable from the access port 7. The access port door is optionally decorative. Materials suitable for the access port door are illustratively wood, metal, plastic, stone, concrete, ceramic, or other suitable material. This access port door is optionally a screen material that provides ventilation and ready access to the roll material.

The instant invention preferably employs an access door 4 at the lower end of the chute. This access door 4 is preferably located between two mounting arms 2 or behind the roller spindle 3. However, it is appreciated that the location of the access door is optionally, above, below, or to either side of the mounting arms. If an access port 7 is present, the access door 4 is optionally positioned at the opposite end of the chute from the access port. The access door 4 preferably forms a hidden container comprised of an outer decorative surface, a lower end, sides, and a back surface such that most of the container is hidden in the mounting surface 8 and is suitable for housing one or more rolls of stored roll material 6. The access door 4 is preferably hingedly attached to the mounting surface 8 or the chute 11 such that an operator is able to open the access door to access stored roll material 6. A side of the access door 4 opposite the exterior decorative surface that also comprises a side of the hidden container pushes roll material toward the operator when the access door is opened. This surface or other means known in the art retains additionally stored roll material 6 in the chute 11 such that the desired roll is easily removed from the access door 4. The hinges 9 are optionally present in the chute 11 such that the door 4 operates rotatably about the hinges 9. Hinges are optionally placed on the access door 4 at one or more of many locations including the bottom, top, either side, in a hidden position, or other suitable location.

The access door 4 is optionally operated by hinges 9, a sliding mechanism, or is fully removable from the chute. Other hinging or affixing mechanisms known in the art are similarly operative. These are illustratively a sliding mechanism whereby the access door is repositioned allowing access to additional roll material, a screw mechanism, or a simple slotting mechanism whereby the access door is completely removed. It is appreciated that other mechanisms known in the art are similarly operative.

The access door is optionally decorative. Materials suitable for the access door are illustratively wood, metal, plastic, stone, concrete, ceramic, or other suitable material. The access door is optionally a screen material that provides ventilation and ready access to the roll material.

The access door is optionally secured by a locking mechanism such that only authorized users may access additionally stored roll material. This locking mechanism is optionally opened by a key, a screwdriver, a known alphanumeric combination, or other suitable locking and accessing means known in the art.

The instant invention optionally includes a decorative frame 5 whereby the mounting arms 2 are optionally fixedly attached. This frame is illustratively wood, metal, plastic, stone, brick, concrete, ceramic, or other suitable material known in the art.

Patent documents and publications mentioned in the specification are indicative of the levels of those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains. These documents and publications are incorporated herein by reference to the same extent as if each individual document or publication was specifically and individually incorporated herein by reference.

The foregoing description is illustrative of particular embodiments of the invention, but is not meant to be a limitation upon the practice thereof. The following claims, including all equivalents thereof, are intended to define the scope of the invention.