Title:
Convertible Medicament Bottle Holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A carrier, advantageous for carrying pill bottles and the like. The carrier comprises a web bearing a plurality of upwardly open, generally parallel pockets. A strap engages the web at two spaced apart locations. A fastener such as hook and loop material selectively holds the web in a coiled configuration. The pockets all face upwardly and optionally have windows and individual closures.



Inventors:
Vegas, Katie (Harvey, LA, US)
Application Number:
12/020600
Publication Date:
07/30/2009
Filing Date:
01/28/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/457, 220/500, 220/752
International Classes:
B65D25/28; B65D1/24; B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WAGGENSPACK, ADAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MEREK, BLACKMON & VOORHEES, LLC (Ventura, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A carrier for carrying objects and presenting the objects for inspection, comprising an elongated flexible web bearing a plurality of pockets oriented such that the objects placed in said pockets are held thereby in consistent orientation relative to one another, a fastening element which is configured and dimensioned selectively to maintain said elongated flexible web in a compact configuration and to release said elongated flexible web from the compact configuration, and a unitary carrying handle enabling said elongated flexible web to depend from said carrying handle.

2. The carrier according to claim 1, wherein said handle connects to said elongated flexible web at two spaced apart locations.

3. The carrier according to claim 1, wherein the compact condition is a coiled configuration.

4. The carrier according to claim 1, wherein each one of said pockets is open at that side facing the handle.

5. The carrier according to claim 1, wherein at least one said pocket has an individual closure.

6. The carrier according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the pockets has a window enabling an observer to view contents of the pocket without opening the closure.

7. The carrier according to claim 1, wherein the handle is a strap.

8. The carrier according to claim 1, further comprising ornamentation disposed on said elongated flexible web.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to holders for medicament bottles, and more particularly to holders which are reconfigurable.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Medicaments are frequently dispensed to consumers as pills or tablets contained typically in plastic bottles or jars. It is not an infrequent occurrence that one person must take more than one medicament as a number of medical conditions requiring medication be present. In fact patients may have to maintain five to ten jars or bottles of medicaments at any one time.

It is possible to transport a number of bottles of medication in a bag, pocketbook, or the like. However, it is greatly preferable to keep medication bottles organized. This provides convenience not only to a patient who must take various medications at various time intervals, but also medical personnel charged with identifying what medications are being taken at the time of visits to doctors' offices, hospitals, and the like. Additionally, keeping the dispensers in order decreases the likelihood that the wrong container and/or wrong medication will be retrieved by the user. This could be especially important in a medical emergency.

Each bottle must be inspected to identify the nature of the medication and how much of the original dosage has been used or alternatively, how much remains. It is annoyingly inconvenient to have to sort through a number of disorganized bottles, holding each up to reveal the label, in order to gather this information.

There exists a need for a device to hold five to ten bottles in an organized fashion permitting medical personnel and others to inventory and identify these bottles quickly and easily.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a practical way to carry a plurality bottles in an organized array enabling the bottles and their labels to be viewed, while keeping the array compact and aesthetically presented when the bottles are not being inspected.

A novel carrier comprises an elongated web such as a belt for example, bearing a number of adjacent pockets. The belt has a fastener such as hook and loop material to keep the belt coiled when desired. When it is desired to view carried bottles, the belt is uncoiled to reveal a neat row of bottles. The pockets are arranged to have viewing windows for revealing the labels. The bottles, their contents, and their labels may thereby be quickly and easily inspected and the contents verified.

The pockets are arranged such that the tops of the bottles all face one direction. In this way, any bottle may be opened to retrieve medicaments without having to manipulate the bottle to assure that the opening is conveniently accessible.

At the same time, it is desired to provide an aesthetic appearance rather than a strictly utilitarian appearance to the collection of bottles. This is accomplished by forming at least part of the exterior or exposed portion of the belt from materials such as leather or an attractive fabric. The aesthetic appearance may be enhanced by trim attached to the belt, such as lace, borders, and the like. Alternatively or in addition to trim, exposed surfaces of the belt may be embroidered or otherwise rendered attractive.

It is an object of the invention to carry a plurality of bottles in a neat array enabling ready display and viewing.

It is another object of the invention to enable the array of bottles to be made compact when the bottles are not being viewed.

It is still another object of the invention to secure the bottles in a manner such that each bottle can be grasped and opened from the same orientation.

An additional object of the invention is to render a bottle carrier aesthetically pleasing.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof by apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable, and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various objects, features, and attendant advantages of the present invention will become more fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a carrier according to at least one aspect of the invention, shown in a coiled configuration.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the carrier of FIG. 1, shown uncoiled.

FIG. 3 is a perspective detail view of a carrier according to another aspect of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings show a carrier 10 for carrying objects such as medication bottles (e.g., such as a medication bottle 2, as depicted in FIG. 2), and presenting these objects in an orderly array for inspection and retrieval if desired. Carrier 10 comprises an elongated flexible web 12 bearing a plurality of pockets 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 oriented such that the objects placed in the pockets 14 . . . 26 are held thereby in consistent orientation relative to one another. Alternatively stated, each pocket 14 . . . 24 has a respective axis 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38 generally defining a center line of the receptacle of each pocket 14 . . . 24. When the elongated flexible web 12 is held from a handle, such as the strap 40, and allowed to depend therefrom by gravity, or if the flexible elongated web 12 is held uncoiled with its length oriented horizontally, i.e., as depicted in FIG. 2, the exes 28 . . . 38 will generally be parallel to one another. In the coiled condition depicted in FIG. 1, the pockets 14 . . . 24 and their respective axes 28 . . . 38 are still generally parallel, but not arrayed mostly in a straight line as seen in FIG. 2.

Pockets 14 . . . 24 may be formed for example by stitching a single second web 42 of material at spaced apart intervals to the elongated flexible web 12. Stitching is indicated as broken lines located between adjacent pockets 14 . . . 24 in FIG. 2. Alternatively, pockets 14 . . . 24 may be formed and attached to the elongated flexible web individually or in groups of two or more. Preferably, each one of the pockets 14 . . . 24 has a window such as the window 26 for viewing an object placed therein.

It will be appreciated that containers such as medication bottle 2 come in standard sizes. Preferably, pockets 14 . . . 24 match standard sizes in that each pocket 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, or 24 will accept and close over a standard size in close cooperation therewith. This signifies that an object such as medication bottle 2 is retained tightly enough to be constrained against casual or unintended or spontaneous loss, for example should the carrier 10 be held upside down. However, the pockets 14 . . . 24 will be loose enough so that contained objects may be manually inserted into the pockets 14 . . . 24 and readily retrieved therefrom.

If desired, the pockets 14 . . . 24, and pockets of other carriers according to the invention can be rendered distinguishable from one another in any suitable way by color coding, suitable indicia, or the like. This could be used for example to enable a person to retrieve a bottle of medication, such as the bottle of medication 2 from a particular pocket (e.g., any of the pockets 14 . . . 24) without having to read the label of that bottle or otherwise be obliged to scrutinize very closely a pocket (e.g., any of the pockets 14 . . . 24) or a bottle.

The carrier 10 has a handle which as depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 takes the form of a strap 40. The strap 40 attaches to the elongated flexible web 12 at two spaced apart points or locations 44, 46. When the elongated flexible web 12 is tightly coiled, as seen in FIG. 1, the carrier 10 may be carried in the manner of a pocketbook (not shown). That is, the elongated flexible web 12, the second web 42, and any contents held within the carrier 10 depend from the strap 40 and remain in the upright configuration depicted in FIG. 1. In this orientation, the pockets 14 . . . 24 are open at the upper side of the elongated flexible web 12, that being the side facing the strap 40, as depicted.

The handle may comprise a chain of links or interlocking beads, a strap of leather, a fabric, or any other suitable generally flaccid material capable of being grasped by and supporting the elongated flexible web 12, second web 42, and any contents held within the carrier 10. The handle is preferably a single unitized member as exemplified by the strap 40, although it may comprise separate loops or connectable separate members if desired. The handle is unitary in the sense of comprising a single member, as opposed to for example tie strings (not shown) which are usually provided as two separate members which are joined together when tied and which remain apart at other times.

The elongated flexible web 12 is maintained in a suitable compact configuration and released therefrom by a fastening element such as complementing patches 48, 50, 52, 54 of hook and loop fastener. The coiled configuration shown in FIG. 1 is one exemplary compact configuration. Other compact configurations (not shown), include Z-folding and U-folding, among others. Any desired compact gathering of the elongated flexible web 12 may be implemented as desired, provided that when the carrier (e.g., the carrier 10) is supported from the handle (e.g., the strap 40), individual pockets (e.g., the pockets 14 . . . 24) are generally maintained adjacent to other pockets (e.g. the pockets 14 . . . 24) in an upright orientation without requiring the user to exert conscious effort to maintain the array thereby achieved. The fastening element is appropriately located, configured, and dimensioned to maintain the elongated flexible web in the selected compact configuration and to release the elongated flexible web 12 from the compact configuration for example to permit the elongated flexible web 12 to be held generally straight as seen in FIG. 2.

FIG. 3 shows a carrier 110 which is generally similar to the carrier 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2, except for a pocket closure feature. The carrier 110 has a flexible tab 160 attached to an elongated flexible web 112, the latter being a structural and functional counterpart of the elongated flexible web 12 of FIGS. 1 and 2. The flexible tab 160 has a fastener such as a patch 162 of hook and loop fastener material. The patch 162 engages a matingly compatible patch 164 of hook and loop fastener material disposed on a second web 142, the latter being a structural and functional counterpart of the second web 42 of FIGS. 1 and 2. The flexible tab 160 is long enough to enable the fastener patches 162 and 164 to mate when an object such as 2 is placed within the pocket 114 which is formed collectively by the elongated flexible web 112 and the second web 142. The tab 160 is fastened to the elongated flexible web 112 in any suitable way, such as by stitching. Stitching is indicated in FIG. 3 in a broken line near the upper portion of the tab 160, as depicted in FIG. 3. A window 126 formed in the second web 142 enables an observer to view contents of the pocket 114 without opening the closure provided by the tab 160.

The carrier 10 or 110 may be carried about during a day's activities in the manner of a pocketbook. Rather than being purely utilitarian, the carrier 10 or 110 may bear ornamentation disposed on the elongated flexible web 12, as well as on the strap 40 or any other exposed part of the carrier 10 or 110. Illustratively, ornamentation may take the form of sequins 70, as seen in FIG. 1. Of course, ornamentation may comprise any decorative elements such as e.g. precious or semi-precious gems, so-called costume jewelry or alternatively stated, simulated precious or semi-precious jewelry, seashells, beads, embroidery, appliques, fringe, tassels, or any elements placed on the carrier 10 for aesthetic rather than structural effect. Accordingly, ornamentation may comprise coloring, surface texturing, or any other treatment which provides a visual effect to the carrier 10 or 110.

It will be appreciated that while the present invention has been set forth in terms of having sufficient pockets (e.g. the pockets 14 . . . 24) to provide holding capacity of five to ten bottles, the actual number which can be accommodated can be reduced or increased as desired. Any number of objects may be carried and displayed by a carrier according to the present invention (e.g., the carrier 10 or 110).