Title:
TRAVEL CASE AND CADDY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is provided a travel shower case including a tray. The tray includes a lip on one side of the tray. A cover is pivotally coupled to the tray. A lock member is slidingly coupled to the cover. The lock member is movable from a first position to a second position. The lock member includes a catch portion configured to engage the lip of the tray when the lock member is in the first position. The lock member includes a hook portion operative when the lock member is in the second position, wherein the hook portion will support the tray.



Inventors:
Hofman, James A. (Shorewood, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/858825
Publication Date:
03/26/2009
Filing Date:
09/20/2007
Assignee:
Silk Road Gifts, Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
132/315, 206/1.5, 206/564, 206/565, 211/113
International Classes:
A47K5/00; A45C13/10; A45D27/22; A47F5/08; B65D1/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FIDEI, DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FOLEY & LARDNER LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A travel shower case comprising: a tray, including a lip on one side of the tray; a cover pivotably coupled to the tray; and a lock member slidingly coupled to the cover, the lock member movable from a first position to a second position, the lock member including a catch portion configured to engage the lip of the tray when the lock member is in the first position.

2. The travel shower case of claim 1, wherein the lock member includes a hook portion operative when the lock member is in a third position, wherein the hook portion will support the tray.

3. The travel shower case of claim 2, wherein the hook portion includes a flexible portion configured to inhibit slippage of the hook portion when the lock member is in the third position.

4. The travel shower case of claim 1, including a pivot member coupled to the tray and the cover and configured to allow the cover to rotate about the pivot member when the lock member is in one of the second and third position.

5. The travel shower case of claim 4, wherein the pivot member is located at a location on the tray opposite the lip engaged by the lock member.

6. The travel shower case of claim 4, wherein the cover is rotatable about the pivot member to a position exposing the tray interior.

7. The travel shower case of claim 6, wherein the cover is aligned longitudinally with the tray and configured to engage a receiving member.

8. The travel shower case of claim 7, wherein the cover includes a protrusion proximate an edge of the cover, the protrusion configured to couple with a locating feature defined in the tray and locks the cover in one of a closed position and an open position.

9. The travel shower case of claim 8, wherein the locating feature is defined proximate the pivot member.

10. The travel shower case of claim 1, including a partition in the tray configured to engage a container.

11. A method for exposing a travel shower case interior, the case including a tray defining an interior, a cover including a lock member including a hook member slidingly coupled to the cover, with the cover pivotally coupled to the tray, the method comprising: moving the lock member from a first position substantially within the perimeter of the cover to a second position, wherein the lock member unlocks the cover from the tray; and rotating the cover about a pivot member coupled to the cover and the tray to a position longitudinally parallel to the tray, wherein the interior of the tray is exposed.

12. The method of claim 11, including the steps of aligning a protrusion defined on the cover with a locating feature defined in the tray and coupling the protraction with the locating feature to lock the cover in the open position.

13. The method of claim 11, including the steps of moving the lock member to a third position, wherein the hook portion is fully exposed and coupling the hook portion to a receiving member.

Description:

BACKGROUND

This disclosure relates generally to the field of travel accessories, and in particular to bath utility accessories, including a case for containers, with the case including a lock and a hook feature.

A traveler typically will take personal hygiene supplies along for use, usually, in hotel or motel rooms. Certain limitations by governmental authorities prohibit fluids exceeding certain volumes. Transporting fluids must be in secured containers. At the destination of the traveler, the use of the personal hygiene supplies should be conveniently available, especially in a shower stall.

SUMMARY

One embodiment relates to a travel shower case. The travel shower case includes a tray. The tray includes a lip on one side of the tray. A cover is pivotably coupled to the tray. A lock member is slidingly coupled to the cover. The lock member is movable from a first position to a second position. The lock member includes a catch portion configured to engage the lip of the tray when the lock member is in the first position. The lock member includes a hook portion operative when the lock member is in the second position, wherein the hook portion will support the tray.

Another embodiment relates to a method for exposing a travel shower case interior. The case includes a tray defining an interior, a cover including a lock member having a hook member slidingly coupled to the cover, with the cover pivotally coupled to the tray. The method includes moving the lock member from a first position substantially within the perimeter of the cover to a second position, wherein the lock member unlocks the cover from the tray; and rotating the cover about a pivot member coupled to the cover and the tray to a position longitudinally parallel to the tray, wherein the interior of the tray is exposed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a travel shower case according to an exemplary embodiment in an open position with a hook member coupled to a receiving member.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the travel shower case of FIG. 1 with the lock member shown in a first position according to an exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the travel shower case of FIG. 1 with the lock member shown in a second position according to an exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the travel shower case of FIG. 1 showing the cover being rotated from a closed position to an open position according to an exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the travel shower case of FIG. 1 with the lock member shown in a third position and configured to engage a receiving member according to an exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 6 is a cross section of the travel shower case of FIG. 2 taken along line 6-6 showing the engagement of a protrusion in the cover with a corresponding locating feature defined in the tray according to an exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring in general to the FIGURES and especially to FIG. 1, a travel shower case 10 is shown according to an exemplary embodiment. Travel shower case 10 holds one or more containers 12 and includes a tray 20, a cover 30, and a lock member 40. Travel shower case 10 is configured to be manipulated between a closed or travel position and an open or use position. According to an exemplary embodiment, the components of case 10 are substantially formed from a molded (e.g., injection molded, vacuum molded, etc.) polymer such as a plastic or any other material that is resilient to water.

Tray 20 (e.g., container, receptacle, main body, etc.) is a generally thin-walled structure with an open side 22 exposing the interior of tray 20. Tray 20 is configured to receive one or more containers 12 for various fluids used in the bathroom (e.g., shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, aftershave, etc.). While FIG. 1 shows four containers 12 arranged side to side in one row, it should be understood that many variations are possible. For example, tray 20 may be configured to receive more or fewer than four containers 12 or containers may be arranged differently in the interior of tray 20. Tray 20 includes a lip 24 that extends outward from the open side 22. Lip 24 increases the strength and stiffness of tray 20 and provides several other functional roles as will be described in more detail below.

Cover 30 (e.g. lid, closure, top, etc.) is coupled to tray 20 and is moveable between a closed position and an open position as shown best in FIGS. 3-5. According to an exemplary embodiment, cover 30 rotates about a pivot member 32 coupled to lip 24 of tray 20. According to various exemplary embodiments, pivot member may be a rivet, threaded connector, snap-fit, or any other feature or member that couples cover 30 to tray 20 and allows cover 30 to rotate relative to tray 20. In the closed position, cover 30 is positioned over tray 20 to form a generally closed structure and cover 30 held in place with lock member 40. When cover 30 is in the closed position, containers 12 are trapped within tray 20 (e.g., during transportation of case 10, etc). Cover 30 may be formed from a transparent polymer to allow containers 12 to be visible when travel shower case 10 is closed. According to other exemplary embodiments, cover 30 may be substantially opaque or may include one or more windows or other indicia to allow a person to see containers 12 when cover 30 is in the closed position.

Cover 30 is rotated about pivot member 32 to the open position and aligned longitudinally with tray 20 (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5) to expose containers 12 and allow containers 12 to be removed from tray 20. Cover 30 includes one or more indexing feature, shown as protrusions 34. Protrusions 34 (e.g., nubs, bumps, stops, etc.) extend downward from the face of cover 30 proximate to an edge of cover 30. Two protrusions 34 are provided symmetrically about pivot member 32. As shown best in FIG. 6, protrusions 34 engage corresponding locating features 26 (e.g., hollows, depressions, recessed areas, etc.) defined in lip 24 to substantially lock cover into place in the open and closed positions. Sufficient sideways force (e.g., in the direction of rotation about pivot member 32) applied to cover 30 disengages protrusions 34 from locating features 26 and allows cover to rotate about pivot member 32. Protrusions 34 may further include features shown as ramps 36 to aid in disengaging protrusions 34 from locating features 26.

Lock member 40 is slidably coupled to cover 30 generally opposite of pivot member 32. According to one exemplary embodiment, lock member 40 is coupled to cover 30 with a sliding member shown as a rivet 42 that slides along a corresponding slot 38 in cover 30. According to other exemplary embodiments, lock member 40 may coupled to the cover in another way such as with a longitudinal channel or overhang such that lock member 40 is allowed to slide relative to cover 30. As shown best in FIG. 3, lock member 40 includes an end with a J-shaped cross section that forms a catch portion 44. As shown in FIG. 2, in the first position, lock member 40 is slid along cover 30 such that catch portion 44 engages lip 24. Catch portion 44 prevents cover 30 from rotating about pivot member 32 and prevents cover 30 from being lifted away from tray 20. Referring to FIG. 3, when lock member 40 is slid away from tray 20 to the second position, catch portion 44 disengages lip 24.

Lock member 40 further includes a hook portion 46. Hook portion 46 is aligned with cover 30 and is located within the perimeter of cover 30. Hook portion 46 is pulled away from cover 30 and brought into an operable position when lock member 40 is slid away from cover 30 to the third position. In the third position, hook portion 46 provides a hanger that supports shower case 10 and allows shower case 10 to be suspended from the shower head pipe (as illustrated in FIG. 1), a towel rack, a soap dish, the curtain rod, a hook, or any other suitable receiving member or feature in the bathroom. Hook portion 46 includes a flexible portion 48 formed from rubber or other suitable material. Flexible portion 48 helps reduce the tendency of shower case to slide along a tilted and/or water-slicked object such as a shower head pipe.

In the open position, containers 12 are exposed to a user and are held within tray 20 by partitions 28 provided in the interior of tray 20. Containers 12 may be removed from tray 20 to dispense the fluid held within containers 12.

For purposes of this disclosure, the term “coupled” means the joining of two members directly or indirectly to one another. Such joining may be stationary in nature or moveable in nature and/or such joining may allow for the flow of fluids, electricity, electrical signals, or other types of signals or communication between the two members. Such joining may be achieved with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being integrally formed as a single unitary body with one another or with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being attached to one another. Such joining may be permanent in nature or alternatively may be removable or releasable in nature.

The construction and arrangement of the elements of the travel shower case shown in the various exemplary embodiments is illustrative only. Although only a few embodiments have been described in detail in this disclosure, those skilled in the art who review this disclosure will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter recited herein. For example, elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements, the position of elements may be reversed or otherwise varied, and the nature or number of discrete elements or positions may be altered or varied. It should be noted that the elements and/or assemblies of the system may be constructed from any of a wide variety of materials that provide sufficient strength or durability, including any of a wide variety of moldable plastic materials in any of a wide variety of colors, textures and combinations. Other substitutions, modifications, changes and omissions may be made in the design, operating conditions and arrangement of the exemplary embodiments.