Title:
Nail Grooming Appartus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a nail grooming apparatus adapted to store a plurality of nail grooming articles and enable a user to perform nail grooming operations therewith. The nail grooming apparatus includes an upper member and a lower member coupled to the upper member. The upper member includes an upper surface having a plurality of slots configured to receive and secure therein the plurality of nail grooming articles in a utilization state thereof. The lower member includes a hollow chamber configured therewithin, and a slit configured on an outer surface of the lower member. The slit extends inwardly from the outer surface of the lower member to the hollow chamber to enable accessibility to the hollow chamber. The hollow chamber is adapted to store the plurality of nail grooming articles in a storage state thereof. Moreover, a fastening mechanism is configured on the slit for openably closing the slit.



Inventors:
Fricker, Raymond (Cary, NC, US)
Baureis, Diane (Cary, NC, US)
Gornez, Melanie (Cary, NC, US)
Gomez, Samantha (Cary, NC, US)
Application Number:
12/047463
Publication Date:
09/17/2009
Filing Date:
03/13/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
132/73.5
International Classes:
A45D29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ELGART, VANITHA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL RIES (Peshtigo, WI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A nail grooming apparatus, comprising: an upper member having an upper surface and a lower surface, the upper surface comprising a plurality of slots configured thereon, wherein the plurality of slots is adapted to receive and secure therein a plurality of nail grooming articles in an utilization state of the plurality of nail grooming articles; and a lower member coupled to the lower surface of the upper member and adapted to support the upper member, the lower member comprising a hollow chamber configured within the lower member, wherein the hollow chamber is adapted to store the plurality of nail grooming articles in a storage state of the plurality of nail grooming articles, and a slit configured on an outer surface of the lower member, wherein the slit extends from the outer surface of the lower member to the hollow chamber within the lower member for enabling accessibility to the hollow chamber.

2. The nail grooming apparatus of claim 1, wherein the upper member further comprises a horizontal lip portion extending peripherally from the lower surface of the upper member.

3. The nail grooming apparatus of claim 1, wherein the upper surface of the upper member further comprises a working region adapted to receive hands of a user for enabling the user to perform nail grooming operations thereon.

4. The nail grooming apparatus of claim 1, wherein the lower member further comprises a fastening mechanism configured on the slit and adapted to openably close the slit.

5. The nail grooming apparatus of claim 4, wherein the fastening mechanism comprises a zipper mechanism.

6. The nail grooming apparatus of claim 4, wherein the fastening mechanism comprises a hook and a loop fastener.

7. The nail grooming apparatus of claim 1, wherein the lower member comprises a cushioning material.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a beauty care apparatus, and, more particularly, to a nail grooming apparatus for storing a plurality of nail grooming articles therein and for enabling a user to conveniently perform nail grooming operations.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

For ages, a desire to look good has driven people to carry cosmetic bags or cases. The cosmetic bags are generally used for carrying a variety of grooming articles, such as nail grooming products and equipment. The use of cosmetic bags enables an easy storage of such nail grooming articles. However, the nail grooming articles are often placed loosely and haphazardly in the cosmetic bag. This causes the nail grooming articles to be disorganized within the cosmetic bag, thereby making it difficult for a user to find a particular nail grooming article easily. Further, the disorganized nail grooming articles, such as nail polish, may accidentally open or may often brush against other grooming articles in the cosmetic bag, thereby breaking and spilling the contents thereof within the cosmetic bag.

Moreover, the conventional cosmetic bags have limited use, such as to only carry and store the nail grooming articles. Such cosmetic bags do not assist a user in actually utilizing the nail grooming articles stored therewithin for performing nail grooming operations. For example, while applying nail polish to his/her nails, often the user may place his/her hand on a piece of furniture or clothing to balance or steady the hand, which clothing or furniture may become dirty through spillage of the nail polish while being applied to the nails of the hand that has been placed on the furniture or clothing. Moreover, the user may place nail grooming articles, such as nail polish bottles and nail polish remover bottles, on the piece of furniture or the clothing. Accordingly, upon mishandling by the user the bottles may often topple since they are placed in an unstable manner and not secured firmly to the piece of furniture or the clothing, thereby causing spillage of contents of the bottles.

Accordingly, there exists a need for a nail grooming apparatus that is capable of storing a plurality of nail grooming articles in an organized manner and which is easily portable. Additionally, there exists a need for a nail grooming apparatus that can securely hold nail grooming articles while they are being utilized for carrying out nail grooming operations.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of foregoing disadvantage inherent in the prior art, the general purpose of the present invention is to provide a nail grooming apparatus, to include all the advantages of the prior art, and overcome the drawbacks inherent therein.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a nail grooming apparatus capable of storing a plurality of nail grooming articles in an organized manner.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a portable nail grooming apparatus.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a nail grooming apparatus capable of securely holding the nail grooming articles in a utilization state of the nail grooming articles for enabling a user to perform nail grooming operations.

In light of the above objects, in one aspect of the present invention, a nail grooming apparatus is disclosed. The nail grooming apparatus includes an upper member having an upper surface and a lower surface, and a lower member coupled to the lower surface of the upper member. The upper surface includes a plurality of slots configured thereon. The plurality of slots is adapted to receive and secure therein a plurality of nail grooming articles in a utilization state of the plurality of nail grooming articles. Moreover, the lower member is adapted to support the upper member. The lower member includes a hollow chamber and a slit configured on an outer surface of the lower member. The hollow chamber is configured within the lower member and is adapted to store the plurality of nail grooming articles in a storage state of the plurality of nail grooming articles. Accessibility to the hollow chamber is enabled by the slit that extends from the outer surface of the lower member to the hollow chamber.

In another aspect of the present invention, the upper member includes a working region, which is adapted to receive hands of a user for enabling the user to perform nail grooming operations thereon.

These together with other aspects of the present invention, along with the various features of novelty that characterize the present invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and form a part of this present invention. For a better understanding of the present invention, its operating advantages, and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The advantages and features of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following detailed description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like elements are identified with like symbols, and in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a nail grooming apparatus, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a cross sectional view of the nail grooming apparatus of FIG. 1 along a sectional line A-A′, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the nail grooming apparatus along with nail grooming articles secured thereon, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the description of several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The exemplary embodiments described herein detail for illustrative purposes and are subject to many variations in structure and design. It should be emphasized, however, that the present invention is not limited to a particular nail grooming apparatus, as shown and described. It is understood that various omissions and substitutions of equivalents are contemplated as circumstances may suggest or render expedient, but these are intended to cover the application or implementation without departing from the spirit or scope of the claims of the present invention. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

The terms “a” and “an” herein do not denote a limitation of quantity, but rather denote the presence of at least one of the referenced item.

The term “utilization state of nail grooming articles”, as used herein, refers to a state of use of the nail grooming articles by a user for performing nail grooming operations on his/her nails. More specifically, in the utilization state, the nail grooming articles are received and secured in the plurality of slots configured in the upper member of the nail grooming apparatus, as described herein. Moreover, the term “storage state of nail grooming articles”, as used herein, refers to a state of the nail grooming articles in which they are stored in the hollow chamber configured in the lower member of the nail grooming apparatus, as disclosed herein, after the nail grooming articles have been utilized by the user.

Accordingly, the present invention provides a nail grooming apparatus which is adapted to store a plurality of nail grooming articles, such as a nail polish, a nail polish remover, a nail cutter, a nail filer, cotton and the like. The nail grooming apparatus is further adapted to enable a user to conveniently utilize the plurality of nail grooming articles to perform nail grooming operations in a comfortable and an efficient manner. More specifically, the nail grooming apparatus acts as a portable desk to receive hands of the user, thereby enabling the user to perform the nail grooming operations thereon.

Referring to FIG. 1, illustrated is a perspective view of a nail grooming apparatus 100, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The nail grooming apparatus 100 include an upper member 110 and a lower member 150 coupled to the upper member 110. The upper member 110 includes an upper surface 112 and a lower surface (not shown).

In an embodiment of the present invention, the upper member 110 is configured as a cuboid structure. Accordingly, the upper member 110 includes a rectangular upper surface, such as the upper surface 112, a rectangular lower surface, and four walls 114 extending in-between the upper surface 112 and the lower surface. However, it will be apparent to a person skilled in the art that the upper member 110 may be configured to have other shapes apart from the cuboid structure, such as a circular structure, an elliptical shape, a polygonal structure, and the like.

The upper member 110 includes a plurality of slots, such a slot 116a, a slot 116b and a slot 116c configured on the upper surface 112 of the upper member 110. The plurality of slots will be hereinafter collectively referred to as “slots 116”. The slots 116 are adapted to receive and secure therein the plurality of nail grooming articles, (hereinafter referred to as “grooming articles”), in a utilization state thereof for enabling a user to conveniently utilize the grooming articles to perform the nail grooming operations on the user's hands. More specifically, the grooming articles, such as bottles of nail polish and nail polish remover, may be firmly secured within the slots 116 in an upright position, thereby preventing a toppling of the bottles and avoiding a spillage of the contents thereof.

As depicted in FIG. 1, the slot 116a and slot 116b are configured to as an open top hollow cylindrical structure, and the slot 116c is configured to have an open top hollow cuboidal structure. However, it will be apparent to a person skilled in the art that the slots 116 may be configured to have any other structure apart from those described herein. Moreover, any number of slots, such as slots 116 may be configured on the upper surface 112 of the upper member 110.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the upper surface 112 may further include a working region 118, which is a substantially planar area. The working region 118 is adapted to receive thereon, hands of the user thereby enabling the user to perform the nail grooming operations on the user's hands comfortably. More specifically, the user may conveniently place his/her hands on the working region 118 for performing the nail grooming operations thereon. Moreover, the upper member 110 may further include a horizontal lip portion 120 that extends peripherally from the lower surface of the upper member 110. The horizontal lip portion 120 enables the user to comfortably hold and lift the nail grooming apparatus 100 for moving the nail grooming apparatus 100 from one place to another.

The upper member 110, and more specifically, the upper surface 112, the four walls 114 and the lower surface is made from a material that is smooth and that resists decoloration caused by spillage of the contents of the grooming articles, such as nail polish and nail polish remover. Further, the upper member 110 may be constructed as a single integral unit by an injection molding method.

Moreover, as shown in FIG. 1, the lower member 150 is coupled to the upper member 110. More specifically, the lower member 150 is coupled to the lower surface of the upper member 110 by any conventional attachment method. For example, the lower member 150 may be glued to the lower surface of the upper member 110 for coupling the lower member 150 thereto. The lower member 150 includes a hollow chamber (not shown), a slit 152 configured on an outer surface 154 of the lower member 150 and a fastening mechanism 156. The lower member 150 is adapted to support the upper member 110 and is adapted to store the grooming articles in a storage state of the grooming articles. More specifically, the lower member 150 includes a hollow chamber adapted to store the grooming articles, which will be explained in conjunction with FIG. 2.

FIG. 2 illustrates a cross sectional view of the nail grooming apparatus 100 along a sectional line A-A′ shown in FIG. 1, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 2, the hollow chamber, such as a hollow chamber 158, is configured within the lower member 150. The slit 152, configured on the outer surface 154 of the lower member 150, extends inwardly from the outer surface 154 to the hollow chamber 158. More specifically, the slit 152 is configured to enable accessibility of the hollow chamber 158 for storing the grooming articles therein. Moreover, the fastening mechanism 156 is configured over the slit 152, such that the fastening mechanism 156 is capable of openably closing the slit 152 for enabling accessibility of the hollow chamber 158 through the slit 152. More particularly, the slit 152 attains an opened position and a closed position with the help of the fastening mechanism 156 for enabling access and restricting access, respectively, to the hollow chamber 158. Accordingly, the slit 152, the fastening mechanism 156 and the hollow chamber 158 enable a user to securely store the grooming articles within the lower member 150 in the storage state of the grooming articles.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the fastening mechanism 156 may include a zipper mechanism. However, the fastening mechanism 156 may be any other suitable fastening arrangement, such a hook and a loop fastener made from Velcro material, for openably closing the slit 152.

Moreover, the lower member 150 is composed of a cushioning material having the hollow chamber 158 configured therewithin. The cushioning material enables the user to comfortably place the nail grooming apparatus 100 over his/her lap while he/she is utilizing the nail grooming apparatus 100 for performing the nail grooming operations. In an embodiment of the present invention, the lower member 150 may include a bean bag.

The lower member 150 may further include a plastic pouch (not shown) adapted to be disposed in the hollow chamber 158. More specifically, the plastic pouch may be utilized to store the grooming articles in the storage state of the grooming articles. In an embodiment of the present invention, the pouch may be about 15 centimeters (cm) in length and about 20 cm in length.

In use, the user may store the grooming articles within the hollow chamber 158 of the lower member 150 by inserting the grooming articles through the slit 152. For utilizing the grooming articles to perform the nail grooming operations, the user may retrieve the grooming articles from within the hollow chamber 158 and thereafter secure the grooming articles in a utilization state within the slots 116 of the upper surface 112. The usage of the grooming articles in the utilization state thereof is illustrated in FIG. 3.

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the nail grooming apparatus 100 along with the grooming articles secured thereon, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The nail grooming apparatus 100 may be placed comfortably over a lap of the user with the help of the lower member 150 while the user is performing the nail grooming operations. More specifically, the cushioning material of the lower member 150 conforms to the lap of the user, regardless of sitting positions of the user, thereby enabling the user to use the nail grooming apparatus 100 while sitting on a chair, on a bed, on a floor or while traveling.

As shown in FIG. 3, the grooming articles, such as a nail polish 160, a nail polish remover 162, a nail filer 164 and cotton 166, are secured within the slots 116 of the upper member 110. In an embodiment of the present invention, a slot 116a is adapted to receive the nail polish 160 and another slot 116a is adapted to receive cotton 166, the slot 116b is adapted to receive the nail polish remover 162, and the slot 116c is adapted to receive the nail filer 164. It will be apparent to a person skilled in the art that the grooming articles, as illustrated and disclosed herein, are for the purpose of illustration only. Further, the grooming articles may include other grooming articles also, apart from those described and illustrated, which are capable of performing nail grooming operations.

Moreover, the working region 118 of the upper member 110 is capable of receiving a hand 200 of the user. The working region 118 provides a comfortable platform for positioning the hand 200 of the user thereon, such that the user may easily and comfortably perform the nail grooming operations, such as nail polishing and nail filing.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the upper member 110 is composed of a lightweight material, such as a plastic material and aluminum. This enables the nail grooming apparatus 100 to be lightweight and easily portable. The nail grooming apparatus 100 may be configured in a variety of colors, such that the nail grooming apparatus 100 is attractive and pleasing to the user. Moreover, the nail grooming apparatus 100 may be packed with a transparent plastic sheet for enabling a buyer to feel and see the nail grooming apparatus 100 before buying.

Moreover, in an exemplary embodiment of the nail grooming apparatus, as described herein, the upper member 110 may have a length of about 35 cm, a width of about 45 cm and a thickness of about 4.5 cm. Furthermore, the lip portion 120 may have a width of about 0.5 cm. Additionally, the slot 116a may have a diameter of about 5.5 cm and a depth of about 2.5 cm, and the slot 116b may have a diameter of about 10 cm and a depth of about 3.5 cm. Moreover, the slot 116c may have a length of about 14 cm, a width of about 5.5 cm and a depth of about 3.5 cm. The lower member 150 may have a length and a width which substantially covers the lower surface of the upper member 110. Additionally, the thickness of the lower member 150 may be about 3.5 cm.

The foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the present invention to the precise forms disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the present invention and its practical application, and to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the present invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is understood that various omissions and substitutions of equivalents are contemplated as circumstances may suggest or render expedient, but these are intended to cover the application or implementation without departing from the spirit or scope of the claims of the present invention.





 
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