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United States Patent Application 20160316976
Kind Code A1
Schulze; Gaby November 3, 2016

CONTAINER

Abstract

A container for receiving handkerchiefs including a housing which defines an interior in a closed condition of the container; and at least one insert container that is positionable in the interior, wherein the housing is formed by at least two housing elements which are movable relative to each other so that the container is transferable between a closed condition and an open condition, wherein the interior is accessible from an outside in the open condition of the container so that at least the insert container is insertable into the interior or removable from the interior, wherein the interior of the housing is divided by at least one divider element into at least two partial interior spaces, and wherein the housing includes at least one housing opening through which an object is movable from the outside into the interior space or vice versa when the container is in the closed condition.


Inventors: Schulze; Gaby; (Aachen, DE)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Schulze; Gaby

Aachen

DE
Family ID: 1000001912783
Appl. No.: 15/138319
Filed: April 26, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A47K 10/32 20130101; A47K 2010/3233 20130101; B65D 43/14 20130101; B65D 25/04 20130101
International Class: A47K 10/32 20060101 A47K010/32; B65D 43/14 20060101 B65D043/14; B65D 25/04 20060101 B65D025/04

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Apr 29, 2015DEDE202015102159.3

Claims



1. A container for receiving handkerchiefs, the container comprising: at least one housing which defines an interior space of the container at least in a closed condition of the container; and at least one insert container that is arrangeable in the interior space of the container; wherein the housing is formed by at least two housing elements which are movable relative to each other so that the container is transferable between a closed condition and an open condition, wherein the interior space is accessible from an outside in the open condition of the container so that at least the insert container is insertable into the interior space or removable from the interior space, wherein the interior space of the container is divided by at least one divider element into at least two partial interior spaces, and wherein the housing includes at least one housing opening through which an object is movable from the outside into the interior space or vice versa even when the container is in the closed condition.

2. The container according to claim 1, wherein the at least two partial interior spaces are at least essentially identical in size.

3. The container according to claim 1, wherein the at least one insert container is arranged in one of the at least two partial spaces at least in the closed condition of the container.

4. The container according to claims 1, wherein the divider element is formed by a wall element which facilitates closing a connecting cross section of adjacent partial interior spaces essentially completely.

5. The container according to claim 1, wherein the at least one divider element is formed by a portion of the at least one insert container.

6. The container according to claim 1, wherein the housing includes at least two housing openings, wherein a respective housing opening advantageously corresponds with a partial interior space of the interior space.

7. The container according to claim 6, wherein all housing openings are configured at an identical housing element.

8. The container according to claim 1, further comprising: at least one cover element which facilitates covering the at least one housing opening so that moving an object through the at least one housing opening is blocked, wherein the cover element is movable at least between a release position and a blocking position, wherein the cover element releases the housing opening in the release position and blocks the housing opening in the blocking position.

9. The container according to claim 8, wherein the at least one cover element is arranged at an identical housing element as the at least one housing opening, and wherein the cover element is advantageously movably supported at the identical housing element.

10. The container according to claim 9, wherein the at least one cover element is supported at the identical housing element by one support groove or by two opposite support grooves, wherein the one support groove or the two support grooves is/are advantageously configured cambered so that the cover element performs a linear movement as well as a rotation during a transition between the release position and the blocking position.

11. The container according to claim 1, wherein the at least two housing elements are completely disengageable from each other.

12. The container according to claim 1, wherein the at least two housing elements are connectable with each other or are connected with each other by a rotating closure in a form locking manner.

13. The container according to claim 1, wherein the housing includes two housing elements, wherein one of the at least two housing elements is configured as a housing base and another housing element is configured as a housing top, and wherein the housing base includes a contact surface on which the container rests on a base surface.

14. The container according to claim 1, wherein at least one separation gap is provided where adjacent housing elements adjoin at least in the closed condition of the container, and wherein the at least one separation gap is arranged in a horizontal plane.

15. The container according to one of the claims 1, further comprising: at least one fixation element which is arranged at the at least one housing opening, wherein at least one object is fixable in or at the at least one housing opening by the fixation element, and wherein the at least one fixation element is formed from an elastic material.
Description



RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority from and incorporates by reference German Utility Model Application 20 2015 102 159.3 filed on Apr. 29, 2015.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention relates to a container, in particular a container for receiving handkerchiefs. The container includes an interior space in which the handkerchiefs are storable. A container of this type is configured in particular to dispense handkerchiefs and to receive used handkerchiefs.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Containers of the general type described supra are already known in the art. Containers are particularly advantageous where individual handkerchiefs are removable using only one single hand of the user of the handkerchief. This option can be provided for example in that individual handkerchiefs are fixated by a fixation element so that they protrude from the container at least partially. The user then only has to grab one handkerchief wherein a mass of the container suffices as a counterweight so that the handkerchief can be retrieved from the container without the container being moved.

[0004] Furthermore containers are known in the art which are used as trash cans, this means they are configured to receive used handkerchiefs.

[0005] In practical applications it has proven complicated to stock individual containers for fresh handkerchiefs and for used handkerchiefs.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Thus, it is an object of the invention to provide an alternative container which is configured space saving compared to a solution that is known in the art and which uses two separate containers.

[0007] The object is achieved by a container which includes at least one housing and at least one insert container. At least in a closed condition of the container the housing encloses an interior of the container. The recited insert container is positionable or positioned in the interior of the housing. The latter applies in particular when the container is in a closed condition.

[0008] The housing of the container according to the invention is formed by at least three housing elements that are moveable relative to each other. This movability of the housing elements facilitates transferring the container between its closed condition and its open condition, wherein the interior is accessible from an outside in an open condition of the container. In particular at least the insert container is insertable into the interior space or removable from the interior space when the container is in an open condition. The interior space of the housing is divided into at least two partial spaces by at least one divider element. The housing includes at least one housing opening through which an object is moveable from the outside into the interior space or vice versa from the interior space to the outside even when the container is in the closed condition.

[0009] The "insert container" is so to speak a "container" in the container which is positionable within the (main-) container. The insert container is thus basically comparable with the actual container configured to receive at least one object, wherein the insert container includes a container cavity for this purpose which is at least enveloped in some manner. It is conceivable in particular that the insert container includes wall elements at least at five sides wherein the wall elements jointly define an interior of the insert container.

[0010] The element designated as "divider element" is used for dividing the interior of the housing into the recited partial spaces. In order to do this the divider element has to be configured to subdivide the interior space of the housing. It is not necessary for the individual partial spaces of the housing to be separated from one another by the divider element in a fluid tight manner. Instead it can be sufficient when the divider element is only configured to prevent a transfer of an object stored in the container from one of the partial spaces to an adjacent partial space.

[0011] A "housing opening" according to the instant application is at least an opening through which a respective object stored in the container is removable from the housing. Therefore a housing opening of this type shall be configured in particular to remove an ob cot from the container though the container is in a closed condition. Vice versa it is also conceivable that either the same housing opening or possibly another housing opening is used for inserting an object into the container though the latter is in a closed condition.

[0012] The instant invention has many advantages, in particular the container is configured by the same token as a dispenser and a disposal station for the respective objects, in particular for handkerchiefs. This is based on the idea that the interior of the housing is divided into the described partial spaces by the at least one divider element. In these partial spaces various types of objects can be stored that are spatially separated from each other. From this context it is evident that a simultaneous storage of fresh handkerchiefs and used handkerchiefs is possible in a single container according to the instant invention. The divider element thus prevents that fresh handkerchiefs and used handkerchiefs are mixed.

[0013] The described insert container is thus particularly well suited to remove the objects stored in one of the partial spaces jointly from the container. Put differently using the insert container it is not necessary to remove the objects that are arranged in the respectively associated partial space individually. The insert container is removable from the housing in particular when the container is in an open condition. The insert container can be configured in particular as a small trash can in view of the suitability of the container according to the invention for trash cans, wherein the small trash can is arranged in one of the partial spaces of the interior space.

[0014] Storing the insert container within an interior or the housing has the advantage that the insert container is not visible from outside in a closed condition of the container. Accordingly the container according to the invention provides a particularly aesthetic and hygienic option for disposing of objects, in particular handkerchiefs.

[0015] In an advantageous embodiment of the container according to the invention the partial spaces essentially have the same size. The limitation "essentially" in this context is to be interpreted so that minimal deviations or insignificant deviations in the volumes of the partial spaces are insignificant. In this context it is further apparent that a size of the partial spaces is classified according to their volumes. Configuring the partial spaces with identical size has the advantage that the partial spaces approximately provide identical storage capacities so that opening the container, this means transferring it from a closed condition into an open condition is necessary as infrequently as possible. In particular when using the container for handkerchiefs this means that typically a number of retrieved handkerchiefs corresponds to the number of handkerchiefs which have to be disposed of.

[0016] In a configuration of the container according to the invention the at least one insert container is advantageously arranged in one of the partial spaces at least in the closed condition of the container. The resultant advantage is already evident from the preceding description, the insert container is then suitable for receiving objects which are introduced into the respective partial space.

[0017] Advantageously the divider element by which the interior of the housing is divided into the partial spaces is formed by a wall element. The wall element facilitates closing a connection cross section of adjacent partial spaces essentially completely. A wall element of this type is particularly well suited in that it only requires a small space within the interior space so that it reduces the useable volume of the container only insignificantly.

[0018] In a particularly advantageous embodiment of the container according to the invention the at least one divider element is at least formed by a portion of the at least one insert container. In particular it is conceivable that a wall of the insert container is simultaneously used as a divider element according to the instant invention. In so far it is appreciated that the described divider element and the insert container do not necessarily have to be separate components of the container according to the invention. The embodiment of the insert container or at least a portion thereof in a double function, namely in a function as a portion of the insert container and in a function of the divider element has the particular advantage that the container according to the invention requires few separate components this way while still being able to achieve the advantages according to the invention.

[0019] In another embodiment of the invention it can be particularly advantageous when the housing includes at least two housing openings. It is appreciated that this is useful in particular when at least one housing opening corresponds with at least one of the partial spaces so that it is possible to access the individual partial spaces from an outside, even when the container is in its closed condition. In the embodiment of the container for handkerchiefs one housing opening can be used for retrieving a fresh handkerchief and the other housing opening can be used disposing of a used handkerchief.

[0020] Thus, it can be particularly advantageous when all housing openings of the container according to the invention are arranged at the same housing component. This configuration is particularly advantageous when the housing component which envelops the housing opening is an upper housing component. In this case namely all housing openings are accessible from a top side of the container which facilitates handling the container.

[0021] In another embodiment of the container according to the invention the container includes at least one cover element by which the at least one housing opening is coverable. A cover according to the instant invention means that an object is not moveable through the respective covered housing opening any more. Put differently the respective housing opening is blocked by the cover element. Thus, the cover element is movable between a release position and a blocking position wherein the cover element releases the housing opening in its release position and blocks the housing opening in its blocking position.

[0022] A cover element of this type can be advantageous in that it prevents a view through the respectively covered housing opening into an interior of the housing. It is appreciated that this can be useful in particular for a housing opening which connects the outside with a partial space of the container in which trash is collected or shall be collected. The cover element can advantageously interact with at least one seal element so that the respective housing opening is even closeable in a sealing manner. Thus, an exit of unpleasant odors from the interior can be prevented.

[0023] Advantageously the at least one cover element is arranged at the same housing component as the respectively associated housing opening which shall be coverable by the cover element. This has the advantage that the respective housing element is moveable independently from the remaining housing elements so that the container is transferrable easily between its open condition and its closed condition.

[0024] Advantageously the cover element is movably supported at the housing component. This facilitates that the cover element can be moved back and forth between its release position and its blocking position without the cover element having to be removed from the container Alternatively it is also conceivable that the cover element is completely removable from the container, wherein the described release position is reached in this case in that the cover element is not arranged at the remaining container any longer. In order to prevent this it is advantageous to provide the described movability of the cover element at the respective housing element.

[0025] Advantageously the container according to the invention includes at least one support groove for this purpose, advantageously two opposite support grooves, which support the at least one cover element at the respective associated housing element. The cover element advantageously includes respective support pins for this purpose which respectively engage an associated support groove in a form locking manner.

[0026] Advantageously the support groove or the support grooves are configured cambered. A camber of this type has the effect that the cover element performs a rotation during its transfer movement along the support grooves. This has the effect that the cover element, for example starting from its release position is pivoted into its blocking position. Thus, it is appreciated that the cover element also performs a translatoric movement during its movement along the support grooves in any case.

[0027] Furthermore it can be particularly advantageous when the two housing elements of the container according to the invention are configured completely disengageable from each other. As a matter of principle it is conceivable that the housing elements are permanently connected with each other for example by hinges. The hinges are configured to cause a relative movement between the housing elements so that the container can be transferred between a closed condition and an open condition. On the other hand side being able to completely disengage the housing components from each other has the advantage that on the one hand side a separate cleaning of the housing components is simplified. On the other hand side depending on the configuration of the geometry of the container an access to the interior of the housing can be facilitated when the housing components are completely detachable from each other.

[0028] A rotating closure is particularly suitable for a connection of the housing components, advantageously a rotating closure which makes the housing components engage each other in a form locking manner. A rotating closure has the advantage that it can be implemented essentially invisible. This means that associated closure elements are not visible from the outside in the closed condition of the container according to the invention when a rotating closure is being used.

[0029] In another advantageous embodiment of the container according to the invention the container has two housing elements wherein one housing element is configured as a housing base and another housing element is configured as a housing top. The housing base has a contact surface by which the entire container can be positioned on a base surface. In this embodiment of the container the container can be transferred into its open condition in a particularly simple manner since the housing base can be left on the base surface unchanged while the housing top is removed or moved relative to the housing base in another manner.

[0030] Thus, it is particularly advantageous when a separation gap where adjacent housing elements adjoin at least in the closed condition of the container are arranged in a horizontal plane. A horizontal separation gap of this type has the effect that the housing elements themselves remain in engagement with each other in a non closed condition solely by gravity. Put differently, it is conceivable to place a housing top onto a housing base without the housing top sliding along a slanted gap at the housing base.

[0031] In a particularly advantageous embodiment at least one housing opening includes at least one fixation element which is advantageously formed by an elastic material. This fixation element facilitates fixating at least one object so that it remains at least partially in the housing opening or in an opening cross section of the housing opening without external force impact. This means that the object does not fall through the housing opening back into the interior space solely due to the effect of gravity.

[0032] In particular in view of using the container according to the invention for handkerchiefs, a fixation element of this type is configured, to fixate a handkerchief so that it is grippable from the outside without the user having to reach into the interior of the housing with his hand. Thus, the fixation element advantageous has a star shape, wherein a plurality of elastic tongues extends from an edge of the housing opening towards a center of the housing opening. When extracting a handkerchief the tongues are deformed in an elastic manner by the introduced force so that the handkerchief is released.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0033] The container according to the invention is subsequently described in more detail based on an embodiment with reference to drawing figures, wherein:

[0034] FIG. 1 illustrates an isometric view of the container according to the invention in an open condition;

[0035] FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of the container according to the invention according to FIG. 1;

[0036] FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of the container according to the invention in closed condition; and

[0037] FIG. 4 illustrates a top view of the container according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0038] The embodiment that is illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 includes a container 1 according to the invention which includes a housing 2. The housing 2 is subdivided into an upper housing element 5 and a lower housing element 6. The two housing elements 5, 6 are respectively configured semi spherical so that the container 1 is overall shaped spherical. It is appreciated that the container 1 has a fiat contact surface 12 at its bottom side wherein the container rests on a base surface with its contact surface.

[0039] The two housing elements 5, 6 jointly enclose an inner cavity 3. An insertion container 4 is arranged within the inner cavity 3. The insertion container includes a base element that is not illustrated in the figures and two wall elements 20, 21. The wall element 20 is formed by a flat wall element, whereas the other wall element 21 has a semi cylindrical shape The flat wall element 20 is directly adjacent to a divider element 7 which is configured as a divider wall. The divider element 7 divides the interior cavity 3 of the housing 2 into two partial spaces. The insert container 4 is arranged in one of the two partial spaces, wherein the insert container fills the associated partial space essentially completely. The insert container 4 is configured herein as a trash can.

[0040] The housing element 5 includes a total of two housing openings 8, 9. The housing openings are positioned at the housing element 5 so that an access is provided to the partial spaces in the interior cavity 3 in a closed condition of the container 1 wherein the closed condition is illustrated in particular in FIG. 3 wherein the access is provided through the housing openings 8, 9 from an outside of the container 1. Furthermore the upper housing element 5 includes a cover element 10. The cover element 10 is configured movable, wherein opposite support pins 19 of the cover element 10 are supported in corresponding support grooves 11 of the housing element 5. The support grooves 11 have a curvature. The curvature has the effect that the cover element 10 during its transfer from its release position which is illustrated in FIG. 1 into its blocking position is moved in a translatoric manner and also rotated. This type of support is particularly advantageous for the illustrated embodiment of the container 1 according to the invention as a sphere since the cover element 10 can be run along a surface of the housing element 5 without a bearing axis of the cover element 10 having to coincide precisely with a center axis of the container 1. The housing opening 9 is blocked in the blocking position of the cover element 10.

[0041] The two housing elements 5, 6 jointly form a separation gap 13 which is horizontally oriented. This means that the separation gap 13 is arranged in a horizontal plane. In the closed configuration of the container 1 the two housing elements 5, 6 are connected with each other in a form locking manner through a rotating closure. The rotating closure is produced by corresponding form locking elements 15, 16 which are arranged at the housing elements 5, 6. Furthermore the upper housing element 5 includes a recess 18 which is arranged in a closed condition of the container 1 in an intermediary space which extends between an outer wall of the lower housing element 6 and an inner wall 17. The recess 18 is supported in this intermediary space during a rotating movement of the two housing elements 5, 6 relative to each other.

[0042] The housing opening 8 of the upper housing element 5 includes a fixation element 14. The fixation element 14 which can be derived in particular from FIG. 4 includes a total of eight elastic tongues 23 which extend from an edge 22 of the housing opening 8 in a direction towards a center of the housing opening 8. The elastic tongues 23 are configured triangular. Individual free spaces between adjacent tongues 23 have the effect that at stiffness of the entire fixation element 14 is particularly low. This has the effect that a handkerchief can be supported by the fixation element 14 but supported with little resistance so that the handkerchief can be pulled in upward direction out of the housing opening 8 without the handkerchief being destroyed.

[0043] The insertion container 4 of the container 1 according to the invention is essentially loosely arranged within the housing 2. It is not provided in particular that the insertion container is fixated within the housing using a particular fixation device or similar. This certainly does not exclude that a fixation of this type is possible. In an open condition of the container 1 the insert container 4 is easily removable from the interior 3 of the housing 2. This is advantageous in that objects positioned within the insert container 4, thus in particular used handkerchief can be transferred into a trash can particularly easily.

REFERENCE NUMERALS AND DESIGNATIONS

[0044] 1 container

[0045] 2 housing

[0046] 3 interior space

[0047] 4 insert container

[0048] 5 housing element

[0049] 6 housing element

[0050] 7 divider element

[0051] 8 housing opening

[0052] 9 housing opening

[0053] 10 cover element

[0054] 11 support groove

[0055] 12 contact surface

[0056] 13 separation gap

[0057] 14 fixation element

[0058] 15 form locking element

[0059] 16 form locking element

[0060] 17 inner wall

[0061] 18 recess

[0062] 19 support pin

[0063] 20 wall element

[0064] 21 wall element

[0065] 22 edge

[0066] 23 elastic tongue

* * * * *

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