Title:
Disposable Toilet Seat Cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable toilet seat cover designed to provide sanitary protection and support for smaller children when using public toilet seats of divided construction. The cover includes two sheets of thin flexible moisture resistant material laminated together to form an internal envelope inside the seat cover and that allows the cover to be easily slipped over a toilet seat thereby encapsulating the seat while providing a sanitary barrier that prevents human contact with unsanitary toilet surfaces. The cover further forms a seating area that when installed over a toilet seat maintains sufficient tension between the two curved side parts of the toilet seat to provide the support needed to prevent smaller children from falling through the larger opening in public toilet seats. A removal tab is provided in the front of the disposable toilet seat cover allowing for easy removal and discarding into the trash.



Inventors:
Martin, Jim (Redwood City, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/696287
Publication Date:
10/09/2008
Filing Date:
04/04/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K13/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LE, HUYEN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP (Glendale, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A disposable toilet seat cover comprising: two layers of moisture resistant material laminated together to form an internal envelope, the internal envelope corresponding to the shape of a divided toilet seat that includes two curved side arms connected at the rear of the toilet seat and separately spaced at the front of the toilet seat, wherein the internal envelope is configured to encapsulate the two curved side arms of the toilet seat; two openings located at the rear of the cover, the two openings allowing for concurrent insertion of the curved side arms of the toilet seat into the internal envelope; and a flat center section forming a seating surface that supports a user of the toilet seat cover when the internal envelope encapsulates the two curved side arms of the toilet seat, wherein the center section includes an elongated opening to allow for use of a toilet coupled to the toilet seat and wherein the outer portion of the cover includes a flange that extends from each side and the front of the cover the flanges configured to cover exposed front and side surfaces of the toilet.

2. 2-5. (canceled)

6. The disposable toilet seat cover of claim 1, wherein the outer portion of the cover includes two cutouts at the front of the cover, the cutouts configured to allow for the placement of the user's legs.

7. The disposable toilet seat cover of claim 6, further comprising a removal tab at the front of the cover and located between the cutouts, the tab allowing for removal of the cover from the two curved site arms of the toilet seat by pulling the tab in a direction opposite from the back of the toilet seat.

8. The disposable toilet seat cover of claim 7, further comprising two pull tabs at the rear portion of the cover, the pull tabs configured to provide a gripping surface for the cover as the curved side arms of the toilet seat are encapsulated by the interior envelope.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates, generally, to disposable toilet seat covers. More specifically, the present invention relates to children's disposable toilet seat covers that may be used on toilet seats of divided construction; that is, toilet seats that are made up of two curved side parts that are connected at the rear but spaced apart at the front.

2. Description of Related Art

There are many disposable toilet seat covers on the market. Many of these covers are for use by children on toilet seats in public rest rooms. One well known disposable toilet seat cover is a thin tissue-type material that is laid on top of a toilet seat.

Another available design for a toilet seat cover is a flat sheet of plastic material that requires the addition of adhesive strips. The adhesive strips are affixed to the toilet seat prior to use of the toilet and the now affixed cover.

Still another design for a toilet seat cover comprises folding sections that, when unfolded, form a circular disc shaped device that can be placed on top of a toilet seat.

The aforementioned toilet seat covers are awkward and cumbersome to use. Further, these presently existing toilet seat covers provide very little sanitary protection from the undersides of toilet seat surfaces. More importantly, none of the aforementioned toilet seat covers provide small children any means for support while sitting on the toilet or means for prevention from falling through the center of the toilet seat.

There is a need in the art for a toilet seat cover that is simple with respect to application to a toilet seat. There is a further need for a toilet seat cover that offers sanitary protection from toilet seat surfaces. There is still a further need for a toilet seat cover that provides some semblance of support for the person using the toilet and the applied toilet seat cover. All of these needs are in the context of a toilet seat cover that is also disposable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a disposable toilet seat cover designed for use on public toilet seats of divided construction. Divided toilet seats are those that are made up of two curved side parts that are connected at the rear but spaced apart at the front.

An embodiment of the present invention is a children's disposable toilet seat cover, which in one embodiment includes of two separate sheets of moisture resistant disposable material representing a top and bottom layer. These top and bottom layers of material are laminated together to form a single sheet with a predetermined non-laminated area inside. This non-laminated area inside the disposable toilet seat cover conforms to the predetermined shape of a toilet seat and creates an internal envelope for a toilet seat to be inserted. An opening is provided at the back section of the disposable toilet seat cover allowing access to this envelope. Pull tabs are provided at opposite sides of the opening allowing the user to slip the disposable seat cover over a toilet seat completely encapsulating it while providing a sanitary barrier that prevents human contact from toilet surfaces.

The interior section of the disposable seat cover in between the insides of the two curved side parts of the envelope is laminated together forming one single sheet of material, which creates a flat area that spans the width and circumference of this interior section. In the center of the flat area a smaller elongated opening is provided were a child would sit for toilet use. With the seat cover installed over a toilet seat, this flat area around the center opening creates a seating area in between the two curved side parts of the toilet seat that maintains sufficient tension to provide the support needed to prevent smaller children from falling through the larger opening in the toilet seat.

The overall shape of the disposable seat cover follows the contours of a toilet seat. The outer circumference of the disposable seat cover as it follows these contours extends beyond the outer circumference of the toilet seat. This extension creates a flange that is draped downward providing additional sanitary protection by covering any exposed surfaces underneath the toilet seat where children tend to reach for support. The front section of this flange as it extends out beyond the front of the toilet seat has two cutout sections that recess inward to allow room for the placement of children's legs.

A removal tab is also provided in the center section of the flange in between the two recessed cutouts. By pulling on the removal tab the disposable seat cover can be easily removed and discarded into a trash receptacle. Children's disposable toilet seat covers are thin enough to be folded flat and package to fit in a purse, pocket or diaper bag.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention may be better understood, and its numerous features and advantages made apparent to those skilled in the art by referencing the accompanying drawings. For ease of understanding and simplicity, common numbering of elements within the illustrations is employed where an element is the same in different drawings.

FIG. 1 is a top plain view of the children's disposable toilet seat cover incorporating the principles of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the children's disposable toilet seat cover in an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a back view of the presently disclosed toilet seat cover.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following is a detailed description of illustrative embodiments of the present invention. As these embodiments of the present invention are described with reference to the aforementioned drawings, various modifications or adaptations of the methods and or specific structures described may become apparent to those skilled in the art. All such modifications, adaptations, or variations that rely upon the teachings of the present invention, and through which these teachings have advanced the art, are considered to be within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

For example, the device set forth herein has been characterized as a children's disposable toilet seat cover. Adult uses may also be found for this device. Hence, these descriptions and drawings are not to be considered in a limiting sense. It is understood that the present invention is in no way limited to the embodiments illustrated.

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of children's disposable toilet seat cover 100. The overall shape of disposable toilet seat cover 100 is slightly oval. An exemplary embodiment of the presently disclosed toilet seat cover 100 measures 22 inches in length and about 21 inches in width. Flange 110, in the presently disclosed embodiment, encompasses the outer perimeter of both sides and front of cover 100 and extends outward (approximately) 2.5 inches beyond the outer circumference of a toilet seat (not shown). This extended material may be draped downward from the toilet seat. By draping the extended material over the toilet seat, the presently disclosed toilet seat cover 100 may provide additional sanitary protection by covering exposed surfaces underneath the toilet seat where children tend to reach for support.

FIG. 1 shows cutouts 120 in the front of cover 100 that are recessed inward thereby creating an area that accommodates the placement of children's legs. In between cutouts 120 is a removal tab 130 that is provided for easy removal of the cover 100 from a toilet seat after usage. Interior sections 140 of disposable seat cover 100 are laminated together forming a single sheet of material that creates a flat area spanning the width and circumference of interior sections 140.

With seat cover 100 installed over a toilet seat, interior sections 140 maintain sufficient tension in between the two curved side sections of the toilet seat that would be placed through openings 160a and 160b. The aforementioned tension provides the support needed to prevent smaller children from falling through the larger opening in public toilet seats.

Opening 150 is positioned slightly forward in the center of toilet seat cover 100. This slightly forward position is determined to provide the optimum seating area for a small child. Opening 150 is also elongated to provide extra room for both male and female uses. In one exemplary embodiment of the presently disclosed seat cover 100, the opening 150 measures about 4 inches in width and 8 inches in length.

FIG. 1 also shows cutouts 170 on each side of cover 100 that are recessed inward to allow for the placement of a user's hands when gripping pull tabs 180 located at the back section of flange 110.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the children's disposable toilet seat cover 100. Surfaces 210 and 220 of cover 100 may be laminated together in a predetermined shape forming an internal envelope from moisture resistant materials for example flexible polypropylene plastic or an equivalent. The “top” surface 210 and “bottom” surface 220 of cover 100 are symmetrical allowing the cover to be used indifferently with either surface 210 or 220 up or down; thus there is no true top or bottom per se. FIG. 2 also shows a side view of flange 110 protruding out beyond the circumference of disposable seat cover 100 that when in use (i.e., affixed over a toilet seat) would drape downward.

FIG. 3 shows a cross section taken from the back of disposable toilet seat cover 100 showing it to be very flat with a large width to height ratio. In one exemplary embodiment, the overall internal diameter of the opening between surfaces 210 and 220 is approximately 1.0 inch in diameter. This opening (opening 160a and 160b) is shown and provides access to the internal envelope where a toilet seat would be inserted.

In applying the cover 100 to a toilet seat, the parent of a child would grip the disposable toilet seat cover 100 with both hands by placing each hand on the two pull tabs 180 provided at the back of cover 100. Using the thumb of his or her hand on the upper surface of the tab while placing the fingers on the lower surface of the tab, the user would slip the back of cover 100 over the front of a toilet seat in one front to back motion via openings 160a and 160b. This allows the upper layer of cover 100 to slide over the top of the toilet seat while the bottom layer slides underneath. The user would slide the cover 100 from the front toward the back of the seat until both top and bottom layers reach the back of the toilet seat and completely cover the same.

With disposable seat cover 100 now installed over a toilet seat, a child may be seated on top of the center section 150 while being fully supported. After use, the cover 100 may be removed from the toilet seat by using the removal tab 130 located in the front center section of the seat cover 100. The user would grip the tab 130 using the fingers and thumb of one hand and pulling away from the toilet seat in one single motion allowing cover 100 to slide off to be discarded into the trash.

While the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. In addition, modifications may be made without departing from the essential teachings of the invention. For example, cover 100 may be designed for child or adult use.





 
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