Title:
Wastebasket Liner Holder and Liners
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A liner mounting system for receptacles such as wastebaskets allows a flexible liner to be supported within the receptacle without having a portion of the liner draped over the receptacle rim. A liner support is positioned on the inner sidewall of the receptacle near the rim and a support arm engages the liner. In one version the liner support is an integral part of the receptacle. In another version the liner support is attached to a rod which is adjustably supported within the receptacle. A selected number of rods can be sued to adapt the system to the size and configuration of the receptacle. A series of mounting apertures may be formed in the liner to allow the liner to be suspended from the support arm. In another version the liner support is a clamp which accepts a portion of the liner.



Inventors:
Nallakrishnan, Ravi (Westmont, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/542397
Publication Date:
02/25/2010
Filing Date:
08/17/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICES OF JERRY A. SCHULMAN (OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A support system for holding a liner in a receptacle, said receptacle of the type having a sidewall with inner and outer wall surfaces, said sidewall terminating at a rim, said support system comprising: means for releasably engaging said liner, said engaging means positioned along said inner sidewall surface proximate said rim, a portion of said liner being held by said engaging means when said liner is placed within said receptacle.

2. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein at least one of said engaging means is formed integrally with said receptacle and is positioned on said inner sidewall surface proximate said rim.

3. The apparatus as recited in claim 2 wherein said engagement means comprises at least one support arm oriented at an angle to said inner sidewall, said arm and said sidewall forming therebetween a bight, said liner portion held within said bight.

4. The apparatus as recited in claim 3 wherein at least a portion of said arm is roughened to increase the friction between said arm and said liner.

5. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein said system further comprises at least one support rod having first and second ends, said engaging means formed on said rod proximate said first end, said rod sized and dimensioned to position said engaging means proximate said rim when said second end of said rod is placed in said receptacle; means for positioning said rod in said receptacle, said positioning means having at least one socket sized and shaped to hold said second rod end.

6. The apparatus as recited in claim 5 wherein said positioning means further comprises a mounting strap, said at least one socket attached to said strap.

7. The apparatus as recited in claim 6 wherein said positioning means further comprises a second mounting strap, said second mounting strap attachable to said at least one rod proximate said attachment means.

8. The apparatus as recited in claim 6 wherein said mounting strap is adjustable in length.

9. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein said engaging means is a clamp.

10. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein said engagement means is cylindrical and has an inner wall and an outer wall, said inner and outer walls terminating at a first end of said engagement means at a first lip, and said inner and outer walls terminating at a second end of said engagement means at a second lip, said first and second lips defining first and second mouths, respectively, whereby a portion of said liner can be inserted into one said mouth and held by said engagement means.

11. A support system for holding a liner in a receptacle, said receptacle of the type having a sidewall with inner and outer wall surfaces, said sidewall terminating at a rim, said support system comprising: means for engaging said liner; at least one support rod having first and second ends, said engaging means formed on said rod proximate said first end, said engaging means comprising at least one support arm oriented at an angle relative to said inner sidewall, said arm and said support rod forming therebetween a bight, a portion of said liner being held by said engaging means when said liner is placed within said receptacle, said liner portion held within said bight.

12. The apparatus as recited in claim 11 wherein at least a portion of said arm is roughened to increase the friction between said arm and said liner.

13. The apparatus as recited in claim 11 wherein said system further comprises each said rod sized and dimensioned to position said engaging means proximate said rim when said second end of said rod is placed in said receptacle; means for positioning said rod in said receptacle, said positioning means having at least one socket sized and shaped to hold said second rod end.

14. The apparatus as recited in claim 13 wherein said positioning means further comprises a mounting strap, said at least one socket attachable to said strap.

15. The apparatus as recited in claim 14 wherein said positioning means further comprises a second mounting strap, said second mounting strap attachable to said at least one rod proximate said attachment means.

16. The apparatus as recited in claim 14 wherein said mounting strap is adjustable in length.

17. The apparatus as recited in claim 14 wherein said system further comprises a plurality of said sockets, each said socket attachable to said strap; a plurality of said rods, each said rod being insertable into one said socket, whereby a number of rods and sockets may be selected to fit said system into said receptacle.

18. A support system for holding a liner in a receptacle, said receptacle of the type having a sidewall with inner and outer wall surfaces, said sidewall terminating at a rim, said support system comprising: means for engaging said liner; said engaging means comprising at least one support arm oriented at an angle relative to said inner sidewall surface, said liner comprising a bag-like configuration having a liner body terminating at a liner lip, said liner lip defining a liner mouth; and a series of apertures formed on said liner body proximate said liner mouth, whereby said liner is engaged by said support arm when one said aperture is placed over and onto one said support arm.

19. The apparatus as recited in claim 18 wherein said apertures are formed on said liner at selected intervals.

20. The apparatus as recited in claim 19 wherein said liner further comprises a channel formed on said liner by folding a portion of said liner proximate said liner mouth onto said liner and securing said folded portion thereto, said series of apertures formed through said channel to communicate with the interior of said liner.

21. The apparatus as recited in claim 20 wherein a drawstring is positioned within said liner channel.

Description:

PRIORITY

This application claims priority from U.S. Patent application Ser. No. 61/090,580, filed Aug. 20, 2008, which is hereby incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to holders that retain a wastebasket liner within the wastebasket in a manner which supports the liner without requiring the liner to overlap the rim of the wastebasket.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is a common practice to use a wastebasket liner to keep the interior surface of the wastebasket clean. Typically, such liners are bags formed of thin flexible plastic that will accommodate variations in size and shape of the wastebasket. Such liners are commonly inserted inside the wastebasket with the open end of the liner draped across the rim of the wastebasket in order to retain the liner in position. A portion of the liner thus covers part of the exterior surface of the wastebasket, presenting an untidy appearance and covering any decorative design the surface may have.

Use of various devices to hold flexible trash liners are well represented in the prior art.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,676,092 (Tsai) teaches and describes a size adjustable trash bag holder which is used independently of a wastebasket or other trash container and which illustrates the insertion and holding of a trash bag or liner.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,662,238 (Sarno) teaches and describes a container liner holder assembly having frame sized and shaped to fit the rim of a trash container such that the liner can be placed within the frame and draped over the outer portions of the frame. A cap overlaps the frame when the frame is placed on the trash container and snaps into place to hold the frame and retain the liner within the trash container.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,671,861 (Hall et al) teaches and describes a holder for supporting plastic bags with the bags having loop-type handles. The handles are draped over an upstanding portion of the holder and a series of internally-formed clips grip the inner surface of the bags.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention, a wastebasket liner holder is provided as an integral part of the wastebasket having a plurality of liner retainers formed on the interior surface of the wastebasket proximate the wastebasket rim allowing a plastic liner to be placed within the wastebasket and supported without having the liner overlap or extend past the rim of the wastebasket to cover or obscure part of the wastebasket's decorative outer surface.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a wastebasket liner holder is provided in a kit form which can be adjusted to accommodate various sizes and shapes of wastebaskets and which provides liner retainers allowing the liner to be placed in the wastebasket and supported without overlapping the wastebasket rim or any part of the wastebasket.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, wastebasket liners are provided with mounting ports corresponding in shape and position to the liner retainers.

These and further aspects of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description which, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings show, for the purpose of illustration only, the foregoing and other aspects of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a prior art wastebasket;

FIG. 2 is wastebasket embodying certain aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a view along 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a lateral sectional view of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a lateral elevation of a bracket post;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of a first mounting strap;

FIG. 7 is a lateral view of a second mounting strap;

FIG. 8 is a top view of the strap of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a top view of a mounting socket;

FIG. 10 is atop plan view of the socket of FIG. 9 mounted to the strap of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a top view of the strap of FIG. 6 fitted to a round wastebasket;

FIG. 12 is a top view of the strap of FIG. 6 fitted to an oval wastebasket;

FIG. 13 is a top view of the strap of FIG. 6 fitted to a rectangular wastebasket;

FIG. 14 is a partial lateral elevation of a mounting post;

FIG. 15 is a sectional schematic view of a wastebasket with a selected embodiment of the present invention therein;

FIG. 16 is a partial sectional view of a liner mounted to the wastebasket of FIG. 2;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a wastebasket liner embodying certain principles of the present invention;

FIG. 18 is a variation of the wastebasket liner shown in FIG. 11;

FIG. 19 is a partial sectional detail of a custom liner mounted to the wastebasket of FIG. 2;

FIG. 20 is a partial sectional detail of an alternate manner to mount a custom liner to the wastebasket of FIG. 2;

FIG. 21 is a partial sectional detail of another alternate manner to mount a custom liner to the wastebasket of FIG. 2;

FIG. 22 is a partial lateral elevation of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 23 is a partial lateral elevation of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 24 is a partial lateral elevation of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 25 is a partial sectional lateral elevation of another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 26 is a partial sectional lateral elevation of another embodiment of the present invention.

While the following describes an example or examples of the present invention, it is to be understood that such description is made by way of example only and is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention. It is expected that alterations and further modifications, as well as other and further applications of the principles of the present invention will occur to others skilled in the art to which the invention relates and, while differing from the foregoing, remain within the spirit and scope of the present invention as herein described and claimed. Where means plus function clauses are used in the claims, such language is intended to cover the structures described herein as performing the recited functions and not only structural equivalents but equivalent structures as well. For the purposes of the present disclosure, two structures that perform the same function within an environment described above, may be equivalent structures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring now to FIG. 1, the numeral 10 identifies a prior art wastebasket of the type having a side wall 12 and a rim 14 defining a wastebasket opening 16. Wastebasket 10 has a solid bottom 18.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the numeral 20 identifies a combined wastebasket and liner support embodying certain aspects of the present invention. Wastebasket 20 has a side wall 22 having an outer surface 24 and an inner surface 26. Side wall 22 terminates at a rim 28 which defines a wastebasket opening 30. In the embodiment shown, wastebasket 20 has a solid bottom 32.

Basket 20 has at least one liner support arm 34 formed on inner surface 26. The embodiment shown in FIG. 2 has four such support arms 34. Support arms 34 are preferably formed to extend axially along inner surface 26 beginning proximate rim 28 and are preferably tapered to provide additional strength.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a portion of side wall 22 is shown with liner support arm 34 shown in section. In the embodiment shown, support arm 34 is formed integrally with side wall 22 and has an inwardly extending post 36 formed at an angle α to side wall 22. Arm 36 and inner surface 26 define therebetween a bight 38.

While FIG. 2 shows four support arms 34, it should be understood that any desired number of such support arms may be fashioned on the interior surface of wastebasket 20 and the number and positioning of such arms will be determined by, inter alia, the size and shape of wastebasket 20 as well as the configuration of the liner to be used with wastebasket 20.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the numeral 40 identifies a prior art wastebasket of conventional construction having a side wall 42. Side wall 42 has an outer surface 44 and an inner surface 46 and terminates at a rim 48. Wastebasket 40 also has a solid bottom 50. Rim 48 defines a wastebasket opening 52.

A liner support assembly 54 is shown positioned in wastebasket 40 having a lower web or strap 56 to which post sockets 58, 60, 62, 64 and 66 are attached. As seen in FIG. 4, each post socket is hollow having a post socket channel. For example, socket 58 has a socket channel 68.

A support rod 70 has a lower rod 72 telescopically fitted to an upper hollow tube 74. A liner support arm 76 is formed on upper tube 74 and preferably faces the interior of wastebasket 40.

Referring now to FIG. 5, support rod 70 is shown in a lateral elevation. In the embodiment shown, lower rod 72 has a series of lower rod ports 78 formed therealong, while upper tube 74 has a series of upper tube ports 80 corresponding in size to rod ports 78. A sufficient number of lower rod ports 78 and upper tube ports 80 are provided to make support rod 70 conveniently adjustable.

The length of support rod 70 is adjusted by sliding lower rod 72 into or out of upper tube 74 until rod 70 is at a height which will fit the interior of wastebasket 40. As seen in FIG. 4, a retaining pin 82 is passed through a lower rod port 76 aligned with an upper tube port 80 when said ports are aligned. This will hold support rod 70 in a selected length.

As seen in FIG. 5, support arm 76 has a post 84 which, in the embodiment shown, is attached to upper tube 74 and extends at an angle β to upper tube 74 forming thereby a bight 86.

Referring now to FIG. 6, a top plan view of lower strap 56 is shown with strap 56 having a strap peg 88 formed proximate one end thereof in the embodiment shown. Strap 56 has rod sockets 58, 60, 62, 64 and 66 attached thereto as well as rod socket 90. It is contemplated that any selected number of rod sockets may be attached to strap 56 as desired. A series of adjusting ports 92 are formed through strap 56 at selected intervals and are sized to allow strap peg 88 to be inserted therethrough in order to hold strap 56 in a closed or looped configuration.

Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8, the numeral 94 identifies another embodiment of a strap having a series of strap apertures 96 formed therealong and a strap peg 98 positioned proximate one end of strap 94 and sized to fit through apertures 96. As with lower strap 56, the length of strap 94 is adjusted by selecting an aperture 96 through which peg 98 is inserted.

Referring now to FIG. 9 the numeral 100 identifies a top plan view of another embodiment of a rod socket. Socket 100 has a socket channel 102 into which a support rod 70 can be inserted. Socket 100 has a mounting peg 104 formed thereon, sized to fit the strap apertures 96 of strap 94.

Referring now to FIG. 10, rod socket 100 is shown mounted to strap 94 by inserting peg 104 through strap aperture 96. It should be understood that any desired number of rod sockets 100 can be similarly attached to strap 94 as needed.

Referring now to FIG. 11, strap 56 is shown with strap peg 88 inserted therethrough to hold strap 56 in a circular configuration to fit within a circular wastebasket 106. This is accomplished by selecting a length for strap 56 that will force rod sockets 108 against inner surface 110 of wastebasket 106.

Referring now to FIG. 12, strap 56 is shown held in place by strap peg 88 in a length sufficient to mold or shape strap 56 to the interior of an oval wastebasket 112 in the same fashion as described above.

Referring now to FIG. 13, strap 56 is shown adjusted to a sufficient length to make it conform to the interior of a rectangular wastebasket 114. As seen in FIG. 9, strap 56 has four rod sockets 116 arranged to fit in the corners of wastebasket 114.

It should be understood that the descriptions of fitting strap 56 to the interiors of a variety of wastebaskets apply also to strap 94 and to rod sockets 100, with a length for strap 94 selected to allow strap 94 to be slightly compressed inside the selected wastebasket. To this end, straps 56 and 94 are preferably formed from a flexible and non-stretchable thermoplastic material. This is not intended to limit the choice of materials suitable for said straps. Any thin, flexible material, such as steel strapping, can also be used.

Where the straps are to be fitted to specific wastebaskets, the straps may be made of a rigid material sized and shaped to fit the selected basket.

Referring now to FIG. 14, an upper tube 118 is shown, upon which a tube peg 120 is formed on the outer surface thereof, preferably substantially diametrically opposite support arm 122. Tube peg 120 is sized and shaped to fit strap apertures 96 of strap 94.

Referring now to FIG. 15 an embodiment of the present invention is shown inserted into a wastebasket 124 having a bottom 126. A lower mounting strap 128 has a series of tube sockets 130 snap-fit thereon as described hereinabove with respect to mounting strap 94 and tube socket 100. As described hereinabove, the length of strap 128 is adjusted to force strap 128 and tube sockets 130 to conform to the interior shape of wastebasket 124.

Next, a selected number of support rods 132 are adjusted to a desired length for wastebasket 124 as described hereinabove with respect to support rods 70 and are then inserted into selected of tube sockets 130.

An upper mounting strap 134 is then snap-fit to each tube peg 136 through a strap aperture 138. When all such tube pegs 136 have been snap-fit to strap 134, strap 134 is then adjusted to length as described above to act as a spacer and reinforcement for support rods 132.

It is contemplated that straps 128 and 134 will preferably be identical in construction. This will allow the support system of the present invention to be supplied in kit form, with tube sockets individually placed on a mounting strap as dictated by the shape of the wastebasket and with support rods attached to one such strap at the top and inserted into sockets snapped onto the bottom strap to hold them in a selected configuration and position. Alternatively, support rods 132 may have mounting pegs formed thereon proximate the lower ends thereof and such pegs may be snapped directly into lower strap 128.

While straps such as 56, 94, 128 and 134 have been described as being adjustable by snapping a peg through a selected hole formed in the strap, it should be recognized that other methods for adjusting the effective length of the strap are also known and can be used. For example, it is known to fashion a series of serrations or teeth along a first end portion of a flexible thermoplastic strap and pass that portion of the strap through a receiver formed at the second end of the strap. The receiver allows the serrated portion of the strap to pass through in one direction but resists its passage in the opposite direction. Thus, the length of the strap is set by passing the serrated end through the receiver until the desired effective length is reached. It is common for such receivers to include a release to allow the strap to be moved in the opposite direction, allowing the length of the strap to be adjusted in that direction or to allow the serrated end of the strap to be completely withdrawn from the receiver.

Referring now to FIG. 16 a wastebasket liner 140 is shown held in place by a support arm 142 similar in construction to support arms 34 and 76. A portion of the upper periphery 144 of liner 140 is forced into and frictionally held in bight 146, with the remaining portion 148 of liner 140 extending down along inner surface 150 of wastebasket 152. As can be appreciated, no part of liner 140 drapes over rim 154 of wastebasket 152.

To aid in holding liner portion 144 the interior surface of support arm 142 can be roughened, as by sandblasting, etching, scoring, or other procedures to form an irregular, non-smooth surface to more securely engage liner 140. Alternatively, an adhesive band can be applied to the outer, upper periphery 144 of liner 140 to engage bight 146 as well as portions of inner surface 150 of the wastebasket.

Referring now to FIG. 17, numeral 156 identifies a wastebasket liner constructed in accordance with certain aspects of the present invention. Liner 156 has an enclosed liner body 158 terminating at a rim 160 which defines a liner opening 162 through which items placed in the wastebasket are held. Liner 156 has a series of mounting holes 164 formed through liner body 158 proximate rim 160. An added feature of liner 156 is a draw string 166 contained within a channel 168 formed proximate rim 160. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 17, mounting holes 164 are formed beneath channel 168.

Referring now to FIG. 18, another variation of a wastebasket liner is shown with liner 170 having a liner body 172 terminating in a rim 174 which defines a liner opening 176. A series of mounting holes 178 is formed on liner 170 proximate rim 174. A drawstring 180 is positioned within a channel 182 formed proximate rim 174. In this embodiment, channel 182 includes mounting holes 178. A portion of drawstring 180 may be pulled out from a selected mounting hole 178 to form handles 184, 186 which may be used to remove liner 170 and pulled to close liner 170.

Use of the liner support embodiment shown herein to support a wastebasket liner will now be described. Referring now to FIG. 19, a partial side sectional view of the embodiment described with respect to FIGS. 2 and 3 is shown with a wastebasket 188 having a side wall 190 with an inner surface 192 from which a liner support arm 194 extends. As described hereinabove, support arm 194 has a post 196 formed at an angle to side wall 190 to form bight 198.

Support post 196 terminates in a post tip 200. As seen in FIG. 19, liner 202 has a series of mounting holes 204 mounted thereon. One such mounting hole is aligned with and inserted onto a support arm 196 to hold liner 202 in place without overlapping rim 206 of wastebasket 188.

An alternate manner of mounting liner 202 is shown in FIG. 20. A portion of drawstring 206 is pulled through selected of mounting holes 208 forming loops 210 which are then placed over posts 196. Alternatively, post 196 is inserted into a mounting hole 208 such that drawstring 206 remains within hole 204 and post 196 is positioned beneath drawstring 206 and within hole 204 thus using both the material from the drawstring and the liner to support the liner.

Referring now to FIG. 21 an alternate liner construction is shown. Liner 212 has at least one loop 214 attached to liner outer surface 216 which, in turn, is looped over post 218.

Referring now to FIG. 22 an alternate construction of a support arm is shown.

Support 220 is a segment of a cylinder with a frustoconical sidewall 222, terminating at one end in a first lip 224 and at a second end in second lip 226. In the embodiment shown, lip 224 defines a first opening 228 and lip 226 defines a second opening 230, with the cross-sectional area of first opening 228 being larger than that of the second opening 230.

In the embodiment of FIG. 22, support 220 is attached to interior surface 232 of wastebasket 234 with first and second openings 228, 230 aligned substantially vertically.

Another version of support 220 is shown in FIG. 23, with support 220 attached to interior surface 232 in a substantially horizontal alignment. In this embodiment, first opening 228 faces toward the viewer and second opening 230 faces away from the viewer as FIG. 24 is viewed.

Mounting a liner to support 220 is shown in FIG. 24. A portion 236 of liner 238 is inserted into first opening 228 and pulled through second opening 230, with liner 238 held by the frictional engagement of portion 236 with inner surface 240 of support 220 and lip 242 of second opening 230. When mounting a liner in the support seen in FIG. 23, liner 238 is held in support 220 by pulling portion 238 through first and second openings 228, 230.

Other configurations of support 220 are also possible. For example, as seen in FIG. 24, a spring-loaded clamp 246 having a pivoting arm 248 clamped by a spring 250 can be attached to a sidewall 252 of a wastebasket 254 or, as described hereinabove, to a support rod 70. A preferred embodiment has arm 248 rotating about a pivot 256 positioned intermediate arm 248 and wastebasket rim 258. A liner 260 is placed in between arm 248 and sidewall 252 when arm 248 is rotated away from sidewall 252. When arm 248 is released, liner 258 is clamped between arm 248 and sidewall 252.

Referring now to FIG. 26 another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. A support bracket 262 has a grip 264 sized and shaped to overlap and grip a portion of rim 266 of wastebasket 268. Bracket 262 has a support arm 270 formed thereon and can be used to support a wastebasket liner in the manners described above. As many support brackets 262 as deemed expedient may be used with only a minimal portion of rim 266 being covered and leaving the sidewall of wastebasket 268 revealed.

It should be understood that the liners discussed hereinabove are preferably sized to rest on and be supported by the bottom of the wastebasket into which each liner is placed.

It should also be understood that while certain of the supports described herein are shown as manufactured integrally with certain of the wastebaskets, said supports can also be supplied separately and attached to the interior surface of a conventional wastebasket by, inter alia, screws, adhesive or the like. Other supports, hooks and the like can also be substituted for the supports shown herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

It should be understood that while liners with drawstrings have been shown the present invention will also accept and support liners without drawstrings.

Where a particular support is described as formed on the interior surface of a wastebasket it should be recognized that the same support can also be formed on a support rod, such as rod 70, and vice versa.

The foregoing invention thus may be manufactured as an integral part of a wastebasket or as a kit to be used with a standard wastebasket, with both versions accepting wastebasket liners with or without mounting holes or drawstrings, in a manner which allows the entire outer surface of the wastebasket to be viewed.

It should be understood that while liners with drawstrings have been shown the present invention will also accept and support liners without drawstrings.

The foregoing invention thus may be manufactured as an integral part of a wastebasket or as a kit to be used with a standard wastebasket, with both versions accepting wastebasket liners with or without mounting holes or drawstrings, in a manner which allows the outer surface of the wastebasket to be viewed.