Title:
CONTAINER FOR AT LEAST ONE ELONGATED OBJECT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container for at least one elongate object, in particular a pen, comprising a case having an opening for introducing and removing the object, and a closure device which is pivotably coupled to the case and which can assume at least three pivotal positions, namely a first pivotal position in which it at least partially closes the opening, a second pivotal position in which it at least partially opens the opening for introducing or removing the object and a third pivotal position which is between the first and second pivotal positions. The closure device is biased in the third pivotal position towards the second pivotal position.



Inventors:
Kämpf, Karl-peter (Röttenbach, DE)
Rahn, Jörg (Heroldsberg, DE)
Application Number:
11/721692
Publication Date:
09/24/2009
Filing Date:
12/15/2005
Assignee:
SCHWAN-STABILO SCHWANHÄUSSER GMBH & CO. KG (Heroldsberg, DE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/371
International Classes:
B65D85/28; B65D5/52
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ACKUN, JACOB K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACHMAN & LAPOINTE, P.C. (NEW HAVEN, CT, US)
Claims:
1. 1-12. (canceled)

13. A container for at least one elongate object comprising: a case having an opening for introducing and removing the object, and a closure device which is pivotably coupled to the case and which can assume at least three pivotal positions, comprising (1) a first pivotal position in which it at least partially closes the opening, (2) a second pivotal position in which at least partially opens the opening for introducing or removing the object, and (3) a third pivotal position between the first and second pivotal positions, wherein the closure device is biased in the third pivotal position towards the second pivotal position.

14. A container as set forth in claim 13, wherein the closure device can assume a fourth pivotal position which is between the first pivotal position and the third pivotal position wherein the closure device is biased towards the first pivotal position.

15. A container as set forth in claim 13 or claim 14, wherein a pivotal angle (α) between the first and second pivotal positions is 45° to 180°.

16. A container as set forth in claim 13 or claim 14, wherein a pivotal angle (α) between the first and second pivotal positions 80° to 120°.

17. A container as set forth in claim 13 or claim 14, wherein a pivotal angle (α) between the first and second pivotal positions is 90° to 110°.

18. A container as set forth in claim 13, further including an elastic device for producing biasing.

19. A container as set forth in claim 18, wherein the elastic device is a spring.

20. A container as set forth in claim 18, wherein the elastic device is a polymer spring.

21. A container as set forth in claim 18, wherein the elastic device in a pivotal movement of the closure device in a direction from the second pivotal position to the first pivotal position is increasingly stressed in a front pivotal portion delimited at the beginning by the second pivotal position.

22. A container as set forth in claim 21, wherein the elastic device in a pivotal movement of the closure device in a direction from the first pivotal position to the second pivotal position is increasingly stressed in a pivotal portion delimited at the beginning by the first pivotal position.

23. A container as set forth in claim 18, wherein the elastic device has a first end coupled to the case and a second end coupled to the closure device and the second end is further away from the first end in the third pivotal position than in the second pivotal position.

24. A container as set forth in claim 23, wherein the second end is further away from the first end in the fourth pivotal position than in the first pivotal position.

25. A container as set forth in claim 18, wherein the elastic device has a first end coupled to the case and a second end coupled to the closure device and the second end both in the first pivotal position and also in the second pivotal position is on a notional circular arc about the first end but in the third pivotal position and/or in the fourth pivotal position it is outside the notional circular arc about the first end.

26. A container as set forth in claim 18, further including a device for releasably fixing the elastic device in a position which the closure device adopts when the closure device is in the second pivotal position.

27. A container as set forth in claim 26, further including an undercut configuration at the fixing device.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention concerns a container for at least one elongate object, in particular a pen, comprising

a case having an opening for introducing and removing the object, and

a closure device which is pivotably coupled to the case and which can assume at least three pivotal positions, namely

    • a first pivotal position in which it at least partially closes the opening,
    • a second pivotal position in which it at least partially opens the opening for introducing or removing the object, and
    • a third pivotal position which is between the first and second pivotal positions.

Containers of the above-indicated are known for example from DE 199 34 428 C1 and parallel EP 1 072 211 A2. In the case of the known containers the closure device serves in the second pivotal position as an erection aid. As a result the container can be set up in a position in which the pens can be easily and conveniently removed from or inserted into the container.

It will be noted however that in the erected position the closure device bears with an edge against the pens. When the pens are removed or when previously removed pens are inserted again they rub along the edge, which can lead to damage. Furthermore the closure device can no longer serve as an erection aid when, when there is only one pen, that pen is removed or, when there are a plurality of pens, all pens are removed. In such a situation the container pivots shut, that is to say the closure device is pivoted into the first pivotal position.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,939,824 discloses a container in which a closure device also serves as an erection aid. In the erect position the closure device bears against a support strip specifically provided for that purpose with an abutment edge 24. The provision of such a support strip with abutment edge makes the overall structure of the container complicated.

In the case of the container in accordance with DE 39 21 781 A1 a guide projection 4 is provided in a guide groove 3 for guiding the closure device upon being moved from the first pivotal position in the second pivotal position. Such a projection-groove solution is complicated and susceptible to trouble.

The object of the invention is to develop the container of the kind set forth in the opening part of this specification, in such a way that, while involving a simple structure, the closure device can serve as an erection aid without a fear of damage to the closure device upon removing/inserting relevant objects, wherein erection of the container is to be possible even in the empty condition.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention the specified object is attained in that the closure device is biased in the third pivotal position towards the second pivotal position. Therefore in accordance with the invention a biasing force is used to hold the closure device in the second pivotal position. That means that there is no need for the closure device to be supported against the pens, whereby the above-described disadvantages linked thereto (risk of damage, absence of support when the container is empty) are eliminated. Furthermore the structure of the container according to the invention is particularly simple.

For the purposes of moving the container into the erect position the closure device only has to be pivoted into the third pivotal position whereupon because of the biasing force it automatically pivots into the second pivotal position, that is to say into the open position. In that position the closure device can then serve as an erection aid. In the second pivotal position the biasing force prevents the closure device pivoting back of its own accord into the third pivotal position or indeed into the first pivotal position, which would be equivalent to it pivoting completely shut.

Preferably in accordance with the invention it is provided that the closure device can assume a fourth pivotal position which is between the first pivotal position and the third pivotal position and in which it is biased towards the first pivotal position. In other words in accordance with that configuration of the invention it is provided that the closure device does not just automatically pivot out of the third pivotal position into the second pivotal position, but in a given operating condition, namely in the fourth pivotal position, it pivots automatically into the first pivotal position (container closed). That ensures that basically the container is always opened or always closed whereas other operating conditions (half-open or the like) are excluded. That means that the container is aesthetically attractive in any operating condition.

According to the invention a pivotal angle between the first and second pivotal positions can be 45° to 180°, preferably 80° to 120°, further preferably 90° to 110°. More specifically it has been found that, with the specified pivotal angles, the closure device can serve as an erection aid in a particularly advantageous fashion.

Preferably in accordance with the invention there is provided an elastic device for producing biasing. The overall structure is made particularly simple by virtue of the use of an elastic device.

In accordance with the invention the elastic device is preferably a spring, further preferably a polymer spring. More specifically polymer springs have been found to be particularly advantageous for the purposes according to the invention.

Further preferably in accordance with the invention it is provided that the elastic device in a pivotal movement of the closure device in a direction from the second pivotal position to the first pivotal position is increasingly stressed in a front pivotal portion delimited at the beginning by the second pivotal position.

That provides that the biasing force provided in accordance with the invention holds the closure device in a stable condition in the second pivotal position (container open, closure device serves as an erection aid).

In accordance with a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention it is provided that the elastic device in a pivotal movement of the closure device in a direction from the first pivotal position to the second pivotal position is increasingly stressed in a pivotal portion delimited at the beginning by the first pivotal position.

With that configuration it is ensured that the closure device is held in a stable condition in the first pivotal position (container closed).

Preferably in accordance with the invention it is provided that the elastic device has a first end coupled to the case and a second end coupled to the closure device and the second end is further away from the first end in the third pivotal position than in the second pivotal position.

With that configuration the elastic device is subjected to tensile stress in the third pivotal position.

In addition it can be provided in accordance with the invention that the second end is further away from the first end in the fourth pivotal position than in the first pivotal position.

In other words with that configuration the elastic device is subjected to a tensile loading in the fourth pivotal position.

It can be provided in accordance with the invention that the elastic device has a first end coupled to the case and a second end coupled to the closure device and the second end both in the first pivotal position and also in the second pivotal position is on a notional circular arc about the first end but in the third pivotal position and/or in the fourth pivotal position it is outside the notional circular arc about the first end.

That configuration is “symmetrical” insofar as the stressing condition of the elastic device is the same in the first and in the second pivotal positions.

Preferably there is provided a device for releasably fixing the elastic device in that position which it adopts when the closure device is in the second pivotal position. That configuration increases the level of safeguard against unintentional pivotal movement of the closure device out of the second pivotal position.

Finally in accordance with the invention it is provided that the fixing device has an undercut configuration. Such an undercut configuration makes it possible to provide a latching engagement, thereby in particular ensuring that the fixing device does in fact hold the elastic device reliably but nonetheless releasably.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is described more fully with further details hereinafter by means of a preferred embodiment by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 shows a diagrammatic view in longitudinal section of a preferred embodiment of the invention,

FIG. 2 shows a diagrammatic view in cross-section from the right along line A-A in FIG. 1, and

FIG. 3 diagrammatically shows a fixing device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The embodiment of the invention as illustrated in the drawing is a holder case for two pens or pencils. The holder case comprises a case 10 and a cover 12 serving as a closure device. The cover 12 is connected to the case 10 by way of a film hinge 14. The film hinge 14 represents a pivot axis about which the cover 12 can be pivoted relative to the case 10. FIG. 1 shows the cover 12 in two different pivotal positions. In that respect the cover is shown by reference 12a in a first pivotal position and by reference 12b in a second pivotal position. In the first pivotal position the cover closes the case. It the second pivotal position the cover 12b opens an opening 16 of the case 10. Pens can be inserted into or removed from the case 10 by way of the opening 16. FIG. 2 diagrammatically shows two such pens 18, 20. The dimensions of the case 10 on the one hand and the pens 18, 20 on the other hand are such that in the inserted condition the pens project beyond the opening 16 so that, when the cover 12b is in the second pivotal position, they can be easily and conveniently removed from the case 10.

The case 10 and the cover 12 are each provided with a respective limb 22 and 24. The limb on the cover 12 is again identified by reference 24a in the first pivotal position and reference 24b in the second pivotal position.

The limbs 22 and 24 serve on the one hand for orienting the pens 18, 20 in the case 10, see FIG. 2. In addition however they also serve to hold a polymer spring 26. The polymer spring is identified by reference 26a in the first pivotal position and reference 26b in the second pivotal position. It serves to bias the cover 12 both in the first pivotal position and also in the second pivotal position.

In FIG. 1 reference 34 denotes a notional circular arc about the end 30 of the polymer spring 26, being the end which is fixed to the limb 22. The end of the polymer spring 26, which is fixed to the limb 24, is identified by reference 32a in the first pivotal position and reference 32b in the second pivotal position.

The circular path of the end 32 in the pivotal movement about the pivot axis formed by the film hinge 14 is identified by reference 36.

In the embodiment of the invention shown in the drawing the polymer spring 26 is relieved of stress in the first pivotal position, that is to say when the cover 12 is closing the case 10. The same applies for the second pivotal position, that is to say for that pivotal position in which the cover 12 opens the opening 16. In that pivotal position the cover 12b forms an angle α of about 95° with the case 10.

As the path 36 of the end 32 is outside the notional circular arc 34 the polymer spring 26, in the pivotal movement of the cover 12 from the first pivotal position into the second pivotal position, is firstly increasingly stressed and then progressively relieved of stress again as the movement proceeds. Thus for example in a third pivotal position in which the angle α is 60° the cover 12 is biased towards the second pivotal position (open position). In contrast in a fourth pivotal position in which the angle α is 15° it is biased towards the first pivotal position (closed position).

The cover 12 cannot be pivoted beyond the second pivotal position (α=95°) because in that pivotal position the polymer spring 26b abuts in the region of the film hinge 14 against the case 10 and the cover 12b.

In the second pivotal position (α=95°) the cover 12b represents an erection aid for the case 10 in which the pens 18, can be easily and conveniently introduced into and removed from the case 10.

FIG. 3 diagrammatically shows a fixing device having two arms 34 and 36 which are fixed to the case 10. The arm 36 is also shown in FIG. 1. In that respect FIG. 3 shows a diagrammatic view in section perpendicularly to the plane A-A, approximately at the level of the opening 16.

When the cover 12 is in the second pivotal position (12b) the polymer spring 26b is fixed by the arms 34, 36 on account of the undercut configurations 38 and 40, thereby providing an additional safeguard against unintentional pivotal movement of the cover 12 out of the second pivotal position.

So that the polymer spring 26 can latch into the undercut configurations 38, 40 two measures can be provided alternatively or cumulatively. On the one hand the polymer spring 26 can be elastically yielding in the radial direction. On the other hand one of the two arms 34, 36 or both arms 34, 36 can be pivotable against an elastic return force so that they can be temporarily urged away from each other in order to move the polymer spring 26 into or out of the undercut configurations 38, 40.

The features of the invention disclosed in the foregoing description, the claims and the drawing can be essential both individually and also in any combinations for implementing the invention in its various embodiments.