Title:
Medicine container organizer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A medicine container organizer. An illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer includes an organizer receptacle, an organizer insert provided in the organizer receptacle, a plurality of medicine container openings provided in the organizer insert and an organizer lid provided on the organizer receptacle.



Inventors:
Hall, Renee G. (Benton, LA, US)
Application Number:
11/810178
Publication Date:
10/23/2008
Filing Date:
06/05/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D83/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
R. Keith Harrison (Shreveport, LA, US)
Claims:
Having described my invention with the particularity set forth above, I claim:

1. A medicine container organizer, comprising: an organizer receptacle; an organizer insert provided in said organizer receptacle and having a generally solid and continuous bottom insert panel, a pair of side insert panels extending from said bottom insert panel, a top insert panel provided on said pair of side insert panels and a plurality of medicine container openings extending through said top insert panel; and an organizer lid provided on said organizer receptacle.

2. The medicine container organizer of claim 1 further comprising a receptacle lip provided on said organizer receptacle.

3. The medicine container organizer of claim 2 wherein said receptacle lip comprises a generally curved lip flange and a lip rim extending from said lip flange.

4. The medicine container organizer of claim 2 further comprising a lid lip extending from said organizer lid.

5. The medicine container organizer of claim 1 further comprising a receptacle tab provided on said organizer receptacle.

6. The medicine container organizer of claim 1 further comprising a lid tab provided on said organizer lid.

7. The medicine container organizer of claim 1 wherein said plurality of medicine container openings are of generally equal diameter.

8. The medicine container organizer of claim 1 wherein said plurality of medicine container openings are of generally unequal diameter.

9. A medicine container organizer, comprising: an organizer receptacle having a pair of spaced-apart receptacle side panels, a pair of spaced-apart receptacle end panels extending between said receptacle side panels and a receptacle bottom panel provided on said receptacle side panels and said receptacle end panels; an organizer insert provided in said organizer receptacle and having a generally solid and continuous bottom insert panel generally adjacent to said receptacle bottom panel, a pair of side insert panels extending from said bottom insert panel, a top insert panel provided on said pair of side insert panels and a plurality of medicine container openings extending through said top insert panel; and an organizer lid provided on said organizer receptacle.

10. The medicine container organizer of claim 9 further comprising a receptacle lip extending from said receptacle side panels and said receptacle end panels of said organizer receptacle.

11. The medicine container organizer of claim 10 wherein said receptacle lip comprises a generally curved lip flange and a lip rim extending from said lip flange.

12. The medicine container organizer of claim 10 further comprising a lid lip extending from said organizer lid.

13. The medicine container organizer of claim 9 further comprising a receptacle tab provided on said organizer receptacle and a lid tab provided on said organizer lid.

14. The medicine container organizer of claim 9 further comprising a plurality of medicine containers inserted through said plurality of medicine container openings, respectively.

15. The medicine container organizer of claim 14 further comprising a plurality of container caps provided on said plurality of medicine containers, respectively.

16. The medicine container organizer of claim 15 further comprising a plurality of medicine labels provided on said plurality of container caps, respectively.

17. A medicine container organizer, comprising: an organizer receptacle having a pair of spaced-apart receptacle side panels, a pair of spaced-apart receptacle end panels extending between said receptacle side panels and a receptacle bottom panel provided on said receptacle side panels and said receptacle end panels; a continuous panel groove provided in said receptacle side panels and said receptacle end panels of said organizer receptacle; an organizer insert having an insert panel inserted in said panel groove and a plurality of medicine container openings extending through said insert panel; and an organizer lid provided on said organizer receptacle.

18. The medicine container organizer of claim 17 further comprising a receptacle lip having a generally curved lip flange extending from said receptacle side panels and said receptacle end panel and a lip rim extending from said lip flange.

19. The medicine container organizer of claim 18 wherein said organizer lid comprises a pair of spaced-apart lid side panels, a pair of spaced-apart lid end panels extending between said lid side panels and a lid top panel provided on said lid side panels and said lid end panels, and further comprising a lid lip extending from said lid side panels and said lid end panels.

20. The medicine container organizer of claim 19 further comprising a receptacle tab extending from said receptacle lip and a lid tab extending from said lid lip in generally adjacent relationship with respect to said receptacle tab.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/913,244, filed Apr. 20, 2007 and entitled, “Medicine Box Organizer”.

FIELD

The present invention relates to medicine containers. More particularly, the present invention relates to a medicine container organizer which facilitates organized storage of medicine containers.

BACKGROUND

Medicine containers are common receptacles for medications such as pills, tablets, capsules and the like. A typical medicine container has a generally elongated, cylindrical shape. A detachable circular cap is typically provided on the medicine container. Multiple pills, tablets, capsules or other medication are contained in the medicine container. A label is typically provided on the medicine container to identify the medicine contained therein and typically includes dosage and expiration information. When it is necessary to store and/or transport multiple medicine containers, lack of a suitable storage facility or carrier for the containers frequently results in disorganization, loss and/or misplacement of the containers.

SUMMARY

The present invention is generally directed to a medicine container organizer. An illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer includes an organizer receptacle, an organizer insert provided in the organizer receptacle, a plurality of medicine container openings provided in the organizer insert and an organizer lid provided on the organizer receptacle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of an organizer receptacle element of an illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer, with an organizer insert having multiple medicine container openings of generally the same size provided in the organizer receptacle;

FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of the organizer receptacle element of the illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer illustrated in FIG. 1, with the organizer insert provided in the organizer receptacle and multiple medicine containers inserted in the respective medicine container openings provided in the organizer insert;

FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of an organizer receptacle element of an illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer, with the organizer insert (not shown in FIG. 3) inserted in the organizer receptacle and multiple medicine containers of various sizes inserted in the organizer insert and extending from the organizer receptacle;

FIG. 4 is a side perspective view of an illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer, with an organizer lid provided on the organizer receptacle;

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of an organizer receptacle element of an alternative illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer, with an organizer insert having multiple medicine container openings of various sizes provided in the organizer receptacle;

FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of the organizer receptacle element of the illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer illustrated in FIG. 5, with multiple medicine containers of various sizes inserted in the medicine container openings, respectively;

FIG. 7 is an exploded side view of an illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer, more particularly illustrating insertion of an organizer insert into the organizer receptacle and placement of the organizer lid on the organizer receptacle;

FIG. 8 is a side view of the illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer illustrated in FIG. 7, with the organizer insert (shown in phantom) inserted in the organizer receptacle, the organizer lid placed on the organizer receptacle and multiple medicine containers (shown in phantom) inserted into respective medicine container openings provided in the organizer insert;

FIG. 9 is an exploded side view of an alternative illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer, more particularly illustrating insertion of an organizer insert of alternative design into the organizer receptacle and placement of the organizer lid on the organizer receptacle;

FIG. 10 is a side view of the illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer illustrated in FIG. 9, with the organizer insert (shown in phantom) inserted in the organizer receptacle, the organizer lid placed on the organizer receptacle and multiple medicine containers (shown in phantom) inserted into respective medicine container openings provided in the organizer insert;

FIG. 11 is a top perspective view of an organizer receptacle element of an illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer, with an organizer insert having a pair of medicine container openings of generally the same size and a large medicine container opening provided in the organizer receptacle; and

FIG. 12 is a top perspective view of an organizer receptacle element of an illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer, with an organizer insert having four medicine container openings of generally the same size provided in the organizer receptacle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring initially to FIGS. 1-4, 7 and 8 of the drawings, an illustrative embodiment of the medicine container organizer, hereinafter organizer, is generally indicated by reference numeral 1 in FIGS. 4, 7 and 8. The organizer 1 includes an organizer container 2 which may have a generally square or rectangular shape, as illustrated. In other embodiments, the organizer container 2 has a generally circular, triangular or other polygonal shape. The organizer container 2 may be any type of rigid or semi-rigid material. Examples of materials which are suitable for the organizer container 2 include any of various types of plastic, PLEXIGLASS®, wood, metal or straw. In some embodiments, the interior surfaces of the organizer container 2 are overlaid or covered with a material such as satin, velvet, leather or silk (not illustrated), for example.

The organizer container 2 of the organizer 1 includes an organizer receptacle 3. As illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, in embodiments in which the organizer container 2 has a generally square or rectangular shape, the organizer receptacle 3 has a pair of generally parallel, spaced-apart receptacle side panels 4; a pair of generally parallel, spaced-apart receptacle end panels 5 extending between the receptacle side panels 4; and a generally square or rectangular receptacle bottom panel 6 provided on bottom edges (not labeled) of the receptacle side panels 4 and the receptacle end panels 5. The receptacle side panels 4, receptacle end panels 5 and receptacle bottom panel 6 of the organizer receptacle 3 define a receptacle interior 7.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, in some embodiments of the organizer 1, a receptacle lip 10 extends outwardly from upper edges (not labeled) of the receptacle side panels 4 and the receptacle end panels 5. The receptacle lip 10 typically includes a generally curved lip flange 11 which extends outwardly from the receptacle side panels 4 and receptacle end panels 5. A lip rim 12 extends outwardly from the lip flange 11. In some embodiments, a receptacle tab 14 extends outwardly from the lip rim 12 of the receptacle lip 10.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, the organizer container 2 further includes an organizer lid 16 which is detachably fitted on the organizer receptacle 3. In some embodiments, the organizer lid 16 is pivotally attached to the organizer receptacle 3 according to the knowledge of those skilled in the art. In embodiments in which the organizer container 2 has a generally square or rectangular shape, the organizer lid 16 includes a pair of generally parallel, spaced-apart lid side panels 17; a pair of generally parallel, spaced-apart lid end panels 18 which extend between the lid side panels 17; and a lid top panel 19 which is provided on top edges (not labeled) of the lid side panels 17 and the lid end panels 18. As illustrated in FIG. 7, the lid side panels 17, lid end panels 18 (one of which is illustrated) and the lid top panel 19 of the organizer lid 16 define a lid interior 20. In some embodiments, a lid lip 21 extends from bottom edges (not labeled) of the lid side panels 17 and the lid end panels 18. The lid lip 21 is typically complementary in shape to that of the receptacle lip 10 of the organizer receptacle 3 and engages the receptacle lip 10 in a snap-fit to detachably attach the organizer lid 16 to the organizer receptacle 3. As illustrated in FIG. 4, in some embodiments, a lid tab 22 extends outwardly from the lid lip 21 of the organizer lid 16. As further illustrated in FIG. 4, when the organizer lid 16 is fitted on the organizer receptacle 3, the lid tab 22 on the organizer lid 16 is typically generally adjacent to or overlaps the receptacle tab 14 on the organizer receptacle 3.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, 7 and 8, an organizer insert 26 is provided in the receptacle interior 7 of the organizer receptacle 3. In some embodiments, the organizer insert 26 is detachable with respect to the receptacle interior 7. The organizer insert 26 may be any suitable rigid or semi-rigid material including but not limited to any of various types of plastic, PLEXIGLASS®, wood and metal. As illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8, in some embodiments the organizer insert 26 includes a generally planar, solid or continuous bottom insert panel 27; a pair of generally spaced-apart, parallel side insert panels 28 which extend from the bottom insert panel 27; and a generally planar top insert panel 29 which is provided on the side insert panels 28. The top insert panel 29 is disposed in generally parallel, spaced-apart relationship with respect to the bottom insert panel 27. An insert space 30 is defined between the bottom insert panel 27 and the top insert panel 29. As illustrated in FIG. 8, when the organizer insert 26 is inserted in the receptacle interior 7 of the organizer receptacle 3, the bottom insert panel 27 of the organizer insert 26 rests on or generally adjacent to the receptacle bottom panel 6 of the organizer receptacle 3. The top insert panel 29 of the organizer insert 26 is disposed generally midway between the receptacle bottom panel 6 and the receptacle lip 10 of the organizer receptacle 3.

Multiple medicine container openings 31 extend through the top insert panel 29 of the organizer insert 26 in a selected pattern or arrangement. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, in some embodiments the medicine container openings 31 include multiple medicine container openings 31a having generally the same diameter. The medicine container openings 31a may be arranged in a grid-type matrix pattern having multiple intersecting rows and columns, as illustrated, or may be arranged in any suitable alternative pattern.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2-4, 7 and 8, in typical application, the organizer 1 contains multiple medicine containers 34 in an organized and accessible manner. Each medicine container 34 may be the conventional type which is typically plastic and has a generally elongated, cylindrical configuration. A detachable container cap 35 is provided on each medicine container 34. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, in some embodiments, a medicine label 36 is provided on the container cap 35 of each medicine container 34. On the medicine label 36 is printed such information as identifying, dosage and/or expiration date information of the pills, tablets, capsules or other medication (not illustrated) contained in the medicine container 34.

The organizer lid 16 is initially detached and removed from the organizer receptacle 3. This can be accomplished by, for example, grasping and pulling the receptacle tab 14 and the lid tab 22 away from each other. With the organizer insert 26 inserted in the receptacle interior 7 of the organizer receptacle 3, the multiple medicine containers 34 are inserted through the respective medicine container openings 31 provided in the top insert panel 29 of the organizer insert 26. As illustrated in FIG. 8, the bottom portion of each medicine container 34 extends through the insert space 30 and the medicine container 34 rests on and is supported by the bottom insert panel 27 of the organizer insert 26. In the example illustrated in FIGS. 2-8, medicine containers 34a having generally the same or similar diameters are inserted through the respective medicine container openings 31a provided in the organizer insert 26, although the medicine containers 34a may vary in height, as illustrated in FIG. 8. The medicine containers 31 may be organized in the organizer insert 26 in any desired placement or arrangement, such as in alphabetical order according to the medication or the time at which the medication is to be taken throughout the day, for example. In some embodiments, the identifying information provided on each of the cap labels 36 enables a user to readily identify the medication which is contained in each of the medicine containers 34.

Under circumstances in which the organizer 1 is to be used in a home setting, the organizer lid 16 can remain detached from the organizer receptacle 3. Therefore, the medicine containers 34 can be readily accessed from the organizer insert 26 without the need to first detach and remove the organizer lid 16 from the organizer receptacle 3 each time. Under circumstances in which the organizer 1 is to be used during travel, or in the event that it becomes necessary to transport the organizer I to a hospital emergency room with the user's medications organized in the organizer insert 26, the organizer lid 16 is typically closed on the organizer receptacle 3 to prevent the medicine containers 34 from inadvertently falling from the organizer insert 26 during transport.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the organizer 1 facilitates organization of multiple medicine containers 34 of a user in any arrangement or format which facilitates expeditious identification and selection of the medication contained in each of the medicine containers 34. Furthermore, in emergency medical situations the organizer 1 can be transported to a hospital emergency room or other location for medical emergency services to inform physicians which medications are being taken by the user prior to formulation of a medical diagnosis and treatment. Hospitals can use the organizer 1 to store the user's medications during hospitalization of the user, who can subsequently use the organizer 1 at home after discharge from the hospital. The typical size and configuration of the organizer 1 renders the organizer 1 suitable for storage in a home or office drawer (not illustrated) or on a countertop or cabinet (not illustrated), for example. The organizer 1 can be used by physicians to store and display medication samples. Families can use the organizer 1 to differentiate between medications of family members and easily separate medications of family members on vacations, for example.

Referring next to FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings, in an alternative illustrative embodiment of the organizer 1, an organizer insert 26a is provided in the receptacle interior 7 of the organizer receptacle 3. The organizer insert 26a typically has the same construction as the organizer insert 26 which was heretofore described with respect to FIGS. 7 and 8, having a bottom insert panel 27; a pair of spaced-apart side insert panels 28 extending from the bottom insert panel 27; and a top insert panel 29 provided on the side insert panels 28. Multiple medicine container openings 31 extend through the top insert panel 29 in a selected pattern. The medicine container openings 31 of the organizer insert 26a include multiple small-sized or regular-sized medicine container openings 31b each having a first diameter and multiple large-sized medicine container openings 31b each having a second diameter which is greater than the first diameter of each of the small or regular medicine container openings 31a. In some embodiments, six small or regular medicine container openings 31b and two large medicine container openings 31c extend through the top insert panel 29, as illustrated, although those numbers may vary. Accordingly, as illustrated in FIG. 6, multiple small-sized or regular-sized medicine containers 34b can be inserted through the respective small medicine container openings 31b, whereas multiple large-sized medicine containers 34c can be inserted through the respective large-sized medicine container openings 31c.

Referring next to FIGS. 11 and 12 of the drawings, additional illustrative configurations for the medicine container openings 31 are illustrated. In FIG. 11, an organizer insert 26b having a pair of small- or regular-sized medicine container openings 31b and one large-sized medicine container opening 31c is illustrated. In FIG. 12, an organizer insert 26c having four medicine container openings 31a of selected and typically similar diameter is illustrated.

Referring next to FIGS. 9 and 10 of the drawings, an alternative illustrative embodiment of the organizer 1a includes an organizer insert 40 having a generally flat or planar insert panel 41. Multiple medicine container openings 31 of selected diameter extend through the insert panel 41 in a selected pattern. In some embodiments of the organizer 1a, multiple medicine container openings 31a of generally equal diameter extend through the insert panel 41, as was heretofore described with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2. In other embodiments, multiple small-sized or regular-sized medicine container openings 31b and multiple large-sized medicine container openings 31c extend through the insert panel 41, as was heretofore described with respect to the organizer insert 26a of FIGS. 5 and 6. In still other embodiments, the diameters and arrangements of the medicine container openings 31 provided in the insert panel 41 of the organizer insert 40 approximate the diameters and arrangements of the medicine container openings 31 which were heretofore described with respect to FIGS. 11 and 12.

A continuous panel groove 8 (illustrated in phantom) is provided in the interior surfaces of the receptacle side panels 4 and the receptacle end panels 5 of the organizer receptacle 3a of the organizer 1a. In some embodiments, the panel groove 8 is provided generally midway between the receptacle bottom panel 6 and the receptacle lip 10. The insert panel 41 of the organizer insert 40 is detachably inserted or snap-fitted into the panel groove 8. Typical use of the organizer 1a is as was heretofore described with respect to the organizer 1 illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, 7 and 8. Accordingly, as illustrated in FIG. 10, multiple medicine containers 34a can be inserted through the respective medicine container openings 31a provided in the insert panel 41 of the organizer insert 40 in a selected order or arrangement.

While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been described above, it will be recognized and understood that various modifications can be made in the invention and the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications which may fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.