Title:
Container coaxial engagement system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container which provides coaxial engagement means which can be disposed in coaxial relation to a vertical elongate member to fix the location of the container.



Inventors:
Jordan, Linda S. (Dawson Springs, KY, US)
Application Number:
12/384422
Publication Date:
10/08/2009
Filing Date:
04/03/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GROSSO, HARRY A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CR MILES, P.C. (FORT COLLINS, CO, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A method of using a container, comprising the steps of: a) providing an elongate member having a length disposed between a first end and a second end; b) engaging said first end of said elongate member with an elongate member support surface; c) providing a container having a coaxial engagement means; d) slidly engaging said coaxial engagement means of said container with said elongate member; e) sliding said coaxial engagement means a distance along said length of said elongate member; f) locating said container at a location between said first end and said second end of said elongate member; and g) disposing said elongate member in generally vertical relation to said elongate member support surface to locate said container at a height above said elongate member support surface.

2. The method of using a container as described in claim 1, further comprising the step of providing height adjustable surface having an aperture element of sufficient size to receive said first end of said elongate member.

3. The method of using a container as described in claim 2, further comprising the step of slidly inserting said first end of said elongate member into said aperture element of said height adjustable surface.

4. The method of using a container as described in claim 3, further comprising the step of sliding said coaxial engagement means of said container along said length of said elongate member to engage said container with said height adjustable surface.

5. The method of using a container as described in claim 4, further comprising the step of containing an object within said container.

Description:

BACKGROUND

A container which provides coaxial engagement means which can be disposed in coaxial relation to a vertical elongate member to fix the location of the container.

Conventional containers are configured to contain, store or transport materials. A substantial problem with conventional containers may be that the conventional container does not provide a means to fixedly locate the conventional container in relation to a support surface. This problem has been primarily addressed by the provision of container holders such as cup holders which provide a recess element into which a portion of the container inserts. However, container holders are not included as part of many types of devices and as to those devices which include container holders, the container holders are typically configured to receive beverage cups or glasses and not to hold other configurations of containers.

The lack of a means to fixedly locate containers on support surfaces especially support surfaces such as outdoor table surfaces from which containers can be dislocated by the wind or the activity of people or animals presents a substantial unresolved problem. In particular, tables adapted to receive the vertical support member for an umbrella (see for example the table shown in FIG. 1) or other devices typically do not provide container holders.

Another substantial problem with conventional containers may be that conventional containers are not configured to slidly engage the vertical support member fixedly locate the container on the surface of tables adapted to receive such vertical support members.

The inventive container described herein addresses each of these problems with a practical solution.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, a broad object of the invention can be to provide an inventive container which can be slidly coaxially engaged with a numerous and wide variety of vertical elongate members to fix the location of the container in relation the vertical elongate member.

A second broad object of the invention can be to provide an inventive container which can be slidly engaged with a vertical elongate member which supports an umbrella or other device to fixedly locate the container on the surface of tables adapted to receive such vertical support members.

A third broad object of the invention can be to provide an inventive container which further provides a coaxial engagement means configured to slidely engage a vertical elongate member such as the support member of an umbrella.

A fourth broad object of the invention can be to provide a method of coupling a coaxial engagement means to a container means to generate an inventive container which can slidly engage a vertical elongate member such as the support member of an umbrella.

A fifth broad object of the invention can be to provide a method of slidly engaging the coaxial engagement means of a container with an elongate member which can be received by a support surface such as a table surface to fixed locate the inventive container on the support surface.

Naturally, further objects of the invention are disclosed throughout other areas of the specification, drawings, photographs, and claims.

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 provides a diagram which shows a particular method using an embodiment of the inventive container.

FIG. 2 is side view of a particular embodiment of the inventive container.

FIG. 3 is top view of a particular embodiment of the inventive container.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of a particular embodiment of the inventive container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A container which provides coaxial engagement means which can be disposed in coaxial relation to a vertical elongate member to fix the location of the container.

Now referring primarily to FIG. 1, a non-limiting method of using a particular embodiment of the inventive container (1) can be practiced by disposing an elongate member (2) in generally vertical relation to an elongate member support surface (3). The elongate member (2) while shown in FIG. 1 as a cylindrical elongate member is not intended to be limiting with respect to the configuration of the elongate member (2) which can be provided any manner cross sectional geometry including for example hexagonal, pentagonal, quadrangular, triangular, rectangular, square, circular, oval, or the like. Additionally, while the elongate member (2) shown in FIG. 1 functions as a support element for an umbrella, the invention is not so limited and the elongate member (2) can be useful as a support element for any of a numerous and wide variety of devices such as gas or electric heaters, light fixtures, receptacles, flags or pennants, or the like, or as to other particular embodiments of the invention the elongate member (2) can be useful as a post or a pole which supports cloth, plastic or metal materials or wire. As to other embodiments of the invention the elongate member (2) can comprise a plurality of elongate members each disposed in generally vertical relation to the elongate member support surface (3) whether engaged, joined or connected (for example as twisted pairs or triplets) or disposed in discrete proximity in one of a wide variety of patterns. Typically, the elongate member (2)(or the plurality of elongate members will define a diameter of between about one inch and about six inches; however this is not intended to be limiting with respect to the use of the inventive container (1) with elongate members (2) of lesser or greater diameter. Regardless of the constructional form of the elongate member (2), the elongate member (2) can define a longitudinal axis (4) which for the purposes of the invention can mean the strict geometrical definition of an axis of rotation, an axis of symmetry, or the axis which passes through the centroid of the geometrical pattern defined by a plurality of elongate members (3). The term “coaxial” for the purposes of this invention means that the coaxial engagement means (5) of the inventive container (1) engaged with the elongate member (2) share an axis in common.

The elongate member support surface (3) can engage a first elongate member end (8). The elongate member support surface (3) can be one of a numerous and varied support surfaces including for example, the earth; a paved surface such as concrete, asphalt, brick, tile, or the like; a particulate surface such as gravel, sand, or the like. Engagement of the elongate member support surface (3) with the first elongate member end (8) can include buried engagement, supported engagement by way of a pedestal or stand (see for example FIG. 1), or other type of engagement which allows the elongate member (2) to be disposed in generally vertical relation to an elongate member support surface (3).

Again referring to FIG. 1, the method of using a particular embodiment of the inventive container (1) can further include the step of slidly engaging (20) a coaxial engagement means (5) coupled to a container means (6) about the elongate member (2). Establishing the coaxial engagement means (5) at a location along the longitudinal axis (4) of the elongate member (2) can establish the container means (6) at a height (21) above the elongate member support surface (3). Certain embodiments of the method can further include the step of providing a height adjustable surface (9) such as a table surface as shown in FIG. 1 although this is not intended to be limiting with respect to the numerous and varied height adjustable surfaces (9) which can be utilized with the inventive container (1). By passing the elongate member (2) through an aperture in the height adjustable surface (9) the inventive container (1) can slidly engage the elongate member (2) to join the height adjustable surface (9) as shown in FIG. 1. Slidly engaging the coaxial engagement means (5) with the elongate member (2), can as to particular embodiments of the inventive container (1) dispose the inventive container (1) in fixed relation with the elongate member (2), or the elongate member support surface (3), or the height adjustable surface (9), or in fixed relation to each. The inventive container (1) can further be used to contain an object(s) (11) such as flower arrangements, cut live flower arrangements, or artificial flower arrangements such as silk flower arrangements; particulate materials; condiments; liquids, or the like. Certain embodiments of the method of using inventive container (1) can further include the step of fixedly coupling the object (11), such as a silk flower arrangement, in or to the inventive container (1). The object (11), such as a silk flower arrangement, can then travel with the inventive container (1) when slidly engaged with the elongate member (2) to locate the silk flower arrangement or other object (11) fixedly coupled to the inventive container (1) at a height (21 ) along the longitudinal axis (4) of the elongate member (2).

Now referring primarily to FIGS. 2-4, a particular embodiment of the inventive container (1) can provide a container means (6). The container means (6) can be any configuration which provides an outer container wall (12) (see FIG. 2) which terminates in a container lip (13). The container wall (12) joins to a container bottom (14) defining an inside space (15) within the container means (6). While the container wall (12) as shown in FIGS. 2-4 terminates in a container lip (13) have a circular configuration, the invention is not so limited, and the container means (6) can provide any of numerous and varied configurations including as non-limiting examples: circular, oval, diamond, rectangular, square, triangle, or the like, without a dimensional limitation as to any particular size or height.

Again referring primarily to FIGS. 2-4, the inventive container (1) can further include a coaxial engagement means (5). Generally, the coaxial engagement means (5) provides a wall element (16) disposed between a pair of opposed coaxial engagement means ends (17)(18). The wall element (16) has a configuration which provides a passage (19) between the pair of opposed coaxial engagement means ends (17)(18) adapted to coaxially slidly engage the elongate member (2). The first of the pair of opposed coaxial engagement means ends (17) can be joined to the container bottom (13) to provide embodiments of the inventive container (1). While the embodiment of the inventive container (1) shown in FIGS. 2-4, provides a coaxial engagement means (5) substantially cylindrical in configuration joined at the center of a container means (6) of generally cylindrical configuration, the invention is not so limited and the coaxial engagement means (5) can provide any of a numerous and wide variety of wall element (16) configurations which define a correspondingly numerous and wide variety of passage (19) configurations which allow the inventive container (1) to slidly engage any of one of the wide variety of configurations of the elongate member (2) above-described. Additionally, while the coaxial engagement means (5) is shown in FIGS. 2-4 as joined to the container bottom (13) in the center of the container means (6), the invention is not so limited and the coaxial engagement means (5) can be joined to the container bottom (13) at any location within the inside space (15) of the container means (6) to provide the passage (19) through the elongate member (2) can pass. As to certain embodiments of the inventive container (1), the coaxial engagement means (5) can be joined to the external surface of the outer container wall (12), or joined to the external surface of the outer container by and container wall extension element.

As can be easily understood from the foregoing, the basic concepts of the present invention may be embodied in a variety of ways. The invention involves numerous and varied embodiments of an inventive container and methods of using such embodiments of the inventive container.

As such, the particular embodiments or elements of the invention disclosed by the description or shown in the figures or tables accompanying this application are not intended to be limiting, but rather exemplary of the numerous and varied embodiments generically encompassed by the invention or equivalents encompassed with respect to any particular element thereof. In addition, the specific description of a single embodiment or element of the invention may not explicitly describe all embodiments or elements possible; many alternatives are implicitly disclosed by the description and figures.

It should be understood that each element of an apparatus or each step of a method may be described by an apparatus term or method term. Such terms can be substituted where desired to make explicit the implicitly broad coverage to which this invention is entitled. As but one example, it should be understood that all steps of a method may be disclosed as an action, a means for taking that action, or as an element which causes that action. Similarly, each element of an apparatus may be disclosed as the physical element or the action which that physical element facilitates. As but one example, the disclosure of a “container” should be understood to encompass disclosure of the act of “containing”—whether explicitly discussed or not—and, conversely, were there effectively disclosure of the act of “containing”, such a disclosure should be understood to encompass disclosure of an “assay” and even a “means for containing.” Such alternative terms for each element or step are to be understood to be explicitly included in the description.

In addition, as to each term used it should be understood that unless its utilization in this application is inconsistent with such interpretation, common dictionary definitions should be understood to included in the description for each term as contained in the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, second edition, each definition hereby incorporated by reference.

Thus, the applicant(s) should be understood to claim at least: i) each of the container devices or systems herein disclosed and described, ii) the related methods disclosed and described, iii) similar, equivalent, and even implicit variations of each of these devices and methods, iv) those alternative embodiments which accomplish each of the functions shown, disclosed, or described, v) those alternative designs and methods which accomplish each of the functions shown as are implicit to accomplish that which is disclosed and described, vi) each feature, component, and step shown as separate and independent inventions, vii) the applications enhanced by the various systems or components disclosed, viii) the resulting products produced by such systems or components, ix) methods and apparatuses substantially as described hereinbefore and with reference to any of the accompanying examples, x) the various combinations and permutations of each of the previous elements disclosed.

The background section of this patent application provides a statement of the field of endeavor to which the invention pertains. This section may also incorporate or contain paraphrasing of certain United States patents, patent applications, publications, or subject matter of the claimed invention useful in relating information, problems, or concerns about the state of technology to which the invention is drawn toward. It is not intended that any United States patent, patent application, publication, statement or other information cited or incorporated herein be interpreted, construed or deemed to be admitted as prior art with respect to the invention.

The claims set forth in this specification, if any, are hereby incorporated by reference as part of this description of the invention, and the applicant expressly reserves the right to use all of or a portion of such incorporated content of such claims as additional description to support any of or all of the claims or any element or component thereof, and the applicant further expressly reserves the right to move any portion of or all of the incorporated content of such claims or any element or component thereof from the description into the claims or vice-versa as necessary to define the matter for which protection is sought by this application or by any subsequent application or continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof, or to obtain any benefit of, reduction in fees pursuant to, or to comply with the patent laws, rules, or regulations of any country or treaty, and such content incorporated by reference shall survive during the entire pendency of this application including any subsequent continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof or any reissue or extension thereon.

The claims set forth in this specification, if any, are further intended to describe the metes and bounds of a limited number of the preferred embodiments of the invention and are not to be construed as the broadest embodiment of the invention or a complete listing of embodiments of the invention that may be claimed. The applicant does not waive any right to develop further claims based upon the description set forth above as a part of any continuation, division, or continuation-in-part, or similar application.