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Publication numberUS20030173877 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/097,163
Publication dateSep 18, 2003
Filing dateMar 13, 2002
Priority dateMar 13, 2002
Also published asCA2422070A1
Publication number097163, 10097163, US 2003/0173877 A1, US 2003/173877 A1, US 20030173877 A1, US 20030173877A1, US 2003173877 A1, US 2003173877A1, US-A1-20030173877, US-A1-2003173877, US2003/0173877A1, US2003/173877A1, US20030173877 A1, US20030173877A1, US2003173877 A1, US2003173877A1
InventorsBrian Pleiman, Matthew Brewer, Christopher Robinson
Original AssigneePleiman Brian Ralph, Brewer Matthew Joshua, Robinson Christopher L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Corner storage container
US 20030173877 A1
Abstract
A corner storage unit having a generally elongate triangular plastic housing, including a base, a middle portion, and a cover is disclosed. The middle portion of the housing may include a first panel, a front panel, and a second panel, wherein the first panel and the second panel each include a forward and rearward edge. The first panel and the second panel of the housing may be connectively attached at their respective rearward edges, while the first panel may be disposed between the forward edges of the first panel and the second panel. The base and the cover may be disposed on opposite ends of the housing.
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Claims(38)
What is claimed is:
1. A corner storage container comprising:
a generally elongate triangular plastic housing having a base, a middle portion, and a cover,
the middle portion including a first panel, a front panel, and a second panel, wherein the first panel and the second panel each include a forward and rearward edge,
the first panel and the second panel being connectively attached at their respective rearward edges, the first panel being disposed between the forward edges of the first panel and the second panel,
the base and the cover being disposed on opposite ends of the housing; and
the housing being adapted to function when placed in either one of a vertical or a horizontal position.
2. The corner container of claim 1, wherein the cover is removable.
3. The corner container of claim 1, wherein the cover is adapted to engage with a second corner storage container.
4. The corner container of claim 1, wherein the base is adapted to engage with a second corner storage container.
5. The corner container of claim 1, wherein at least one intersection created by any of the front panel, the first panel, and the second panel, is chamfered.
6. The corner container of claim 1, wherein at least one intersection created by any of the front panel, the first panel, and the second panel, is rounded.
7. The corner container of claim 1, wherein at least one panel is rounded.
8. The corner container of claim 1, wherein at least one of the first panel, the rear panel, and the second panel are adapted to receive a shelf.
9. The corner container of claim 1, wherein at least one of the cover and the base are adapted to receive a shelf.
10. The corner container of claim 1, wherein the cover is openable.
11. The corner container of claim 1, wherein the front panel is openable.
12. The corner container of claim 10, wherein the openable cover is weather-proof.
13. The corner container of claim 1, wherein the cover can be interchanged between being a solid piece and a cover being openable.
14. An corner storage container comprising:
a generally elongate triangular plastic housing having a base, a middle portion, and a cover,
the middle portion including a first panel, a front panel, and a second panel, wherein the first panel and the second panel each include a forward and rearward edge,
the first panel and the second panel being connectively attached at their respective rearward edges, the first panel being disposed between the forward edges of the first panel and the second panel,
the base and the cover being disposed on opposite ends of the housing; and
the housing having a modular aspect, wherein the cover can be interchanged between being a solid piece and having a lid.
15. The corner container of claim 14, wherein the cover is removable.
16. The corner container of claim 14, wherein the cover is adapted to engage with a second corner storage container.
17. The corner container of claim 14, wherein the base is adapted to engage with a second corner storage container.
18. The corner container of claim 14, wherein at least one intersection created by any of the front panel, the first panel, and the second panel is chamfered.
19. The corner container of claim 14, wherein at least one intersection created by any of the front panel, the first panel, and the second panel is rounded.
20. The corner container of claim 14, wherein at least one panel is rounded.
21. The corner container of claim 14, wherein one of the first panel, the rear panel, and the second panel are adapted to receive a shelf.
22. The corner container of claim 14, wherein at least one of the cover and the base are adapted to receive a shelf.
23. The corner container of claim 14, wherein the cover is openable.
24. The corner container of claim 14, wherein the front panel is openable.
25. The corner container of claim 23, wherein the openable cover is weather-proof.
26. The corner container of claim 14, wherein the housing is adapted to function when placed in either one of a vertical or a horizontal position.
27. A corner storage container comprising:
a generally elongate triangular plastic housing having a base, a middle portion, and a cover,
the middle portion including a first panel, a front panel, and a second panel, wherein the first panel and the second panel each include a forward and rearward edge,
the first panel and the second panel being connectively attached at their respective rearward edges, the first panel being disposed between the forward edges of the first panel and the second panel,
the base and the cover being disposed on opposite ends of the housing; and
the housing, having an interior area, wherein part of the interior area is accessible through both the cover and at least one panel.
28. The corner container of claim 27, wherein the cover is removable.
29. The corner container of claim 27, wherein the cover is adapted to engage with a second corner storage container.
30. The corner container of claim 27, wherein the base is adapted to engage with a second corner storage container.
31. The corner container of claim 27, wherein at least one intersection created by any of the front panel, the first panel, and the second panel is chamfered.
32. The corner container of claim 28, wherein at least one at least one intersection created by any of the front panel, the first panel, and the second panel is rounded.
33. The corner container of claim 28, wherein at least one panel is rounded.
34. The corner container of claim 27, wherein one of the first panel, the rear panel, and the second panel are adapted to receive a shelf.
35. The corner container of claim 27, wherein at least one of the cover and the base are adapted to receive a shelf.
36. The corner container of claim 27, wherein the front panel is openable.
37. The corner container of claim 27, wherein the cover is weather-proof.
38. The corner container of claim 27, wherein the housing is adapted to function when placed in either one of a vertical or a horizontal position.
Description
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0001] The invention is generally related to storage containers, and more specifically to multipurpose plastic storage containers that may be utilized in corners.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0002] Many rooms within a home and areas around a home lack sufficient storage space. The lack of such storage space results in many unpleasantries, ranging from unsightly clutter and messes, to tripping over objects and incurring physically injury. Such scenarios stand true in children rooms, where toys are scattered all over the floor due to the lack of toy boxes, and also in garages and utility rooms, where tools and other objects may be laying on the floor and tables, once again due to insufficient storage space. These problems, however, do not only occur in the types of rooms identified above and not only in other rooms inside the house. The lack of storage space is especially noticeable in areas outside the home, such as decks and patios.

[0003] The areas around the home, such as the decks and patios mentioned above, inherently lack storage space, mostly due to the lack of solid walls and for lack of storage containers able to withstand the weather. By their very nature, outside areas lack the capability to support shelving units and hanging cabinets, similarly the different types of weather conditions, ranging from freezing rain and snowy winters, to hot humid summers, prevent home furniture or ordinary storage units from being used outdoors.

[0004] Further exacerbating the usual lack of storage space is the intrusive and awkward manner in which ordinary storage units are positioned within the room or outdoor area. The ordinary storage units are typically placed against a wall on the side of a room, or in the outdoor scenario, against the middle of a railing on the deck or the back of the home. These above mentioned units are sometimes difficult to place, and limit the amount of useful space available in any given area or room. In a garage or room, for instance, the walls are already being utilized with shelving, pictures and perhaps tools, leaving very limited space for additional needed storage units. Similarly, in the outdoor areas where space is already very limited due to the usual small deck and patio sizes, the addition of storage units would further limit the usable space and hinder the areas effective use. Therefore, there still remains a need for a versatile storage unit, able to be used both indoors and outdoors, that uses previously unused space and that does not minimize or limit the usable space in a room or confined outdoor area.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0005] In accordance with one aspect of the disclosure, a generally elongate triangular plastic housing is provided having a base, a middle portion and a cover. The middle portion includes a first panel, a front panel and a second panel wherein the first panel and the second panel each include a forward and rearward edge. The first panel and the second panel may be connectively attached at their respective rearward edges, the first panel being disposed between the forward edges of the first panel and the second panel. The base and the cover may be disposed on the opposite ends of the housing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006]FIG. 1 is an exploded isometric view of a free-standing modular corner storage container constructed in accordance with the teachings of the disclosure;

[0007]FIG. 2 is an isometric view of another example of a free-standing modular corner storage container;

[0008]FIG. 3 is a detailed view of an openable cover taken along lines 3-3 of the free-standing modular corner storage container of FIG. 2;

[0009]FIG. 4 is a partial isometric view of another example of a cover of a free-standing modular corner storage container;

[0010]FIG. 5 is an isometric view of another example of the free-standing modular corner storage container;

[0011]FIG. 6 is an isometric view of another example of the free-standing modular corner storage container;

[0012]FIG. 7 is an isometric view of two corner storage containers stacked one on top of the other; and

[0013]FIG. 8 is an isometric view of a free-standing modular corner storage container positioned horizontally.

[0014] While the disclosure is susceptible to various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrative embodiments thereof have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the disclosure to the specific forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the disclosure and the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0015] Referring now to the drawings, and with specific reference to FIG. 1, a storage container in accordance with the teachings of the disclosure is generally depicted by reference numeral 20. As shown therein, the storage container 20 includes a housing having a cover 30, a base 40, a front panel 50, a rear panel 60, a first panel 70, and a second panel 80.

[0016] The housing, having substantially five sides, defines a generally elongate triangular exterior of the storage container 20. A generally elongate triangular housing may be a housing having three, directly or indirectly interconnected, primary elongate sides. When the elongate sides are not directly interconnected, additional sides may connect the primary sides, as long as the additional sides are diminutive to the three primary sides. The housing, as oriented in FIG. 1, may include at the bottom the base 40. The base 40, as with the remainder of the storage container 20, may be made from a plastic material, and more specifically, may be made from a plastic material utilizing a suitable molding process. The storage container 20 could, however, be made from other materials, or a combination of other materials, including, but not limited to, wood, metal and foam, or any other suitable material. Similarly, many other processes could be utilized in the manufacturing of the container 20, including, but not limited to, blow molding, injection molding, continues blow molding, rotational molding, stamped metal, casting or machining.

[0017] Again, referring to the storage container 20 as oriented in FIG. 1. The base 40 may be of a substantially triangular shape having a top 42, a bottom 43, a front 44, a rear 45, a first side 46, and a second side 47. The top 42 and the bottom 43 of the base 40 may be substantially parallel to each other, and are preferably flat. The top 42 of the base 40 may be adapted to receive the first panel 70 and the second panel 80, but may also be adapted to receive the front panel 50. Preferably, however, the base 40 may also be adapted to receive the rear panel 60, disposed between the first panel 70 and the second panel 80. More specifically, the top 42 of the base 40 may include a recessed ridge 48 around the perimeter of the base 40 adapted to receive the bottom of the rear panel 60, the front panel 50, the first panel 70 and the second panel 80. Extending from a bottom edge 63 of the rear panel 60, a bottom edge 73 of the first panel 70, and a bottom edge 83 of the second panel 80 may be tabs 90, adapted to engage with notches 92 that may be disposed on the ridge 48. The first panel 70 and the second panel 80 may include two tabs 90 each, and the rear panel 60 may include one tab 90, all five of which, may connectively engage with the respective notches 92. The number of tabs 90 and notches 92, however, may be greater or fewer in number, and may also vary in shape and size, depending on the use and requirements of the storage container 20. The bottom 43 of the base 40 may also be adapted to receive a cover of another storage unit, such that one corner storage unit may be placed on another corner storage unit. More specifically, the bottom 43 of the base 40 may include a recessed cavity 41, surrounded by a protruding perimeter wall 49, such that the cavity 41 may be adapted to receive a cover of another corner storage unit.

[0018] The middle of the container, as mentioned earlier, may include the first panel 70, the second panel 80, the front panel 50, and the rear panel 60. The first panel 70 and the second panel 80 may both include a forward edge 74 and 84, a rearward edge 75 and 85, a top edge 72 and 82, and the bottom edge 73 and 83, respectively. The rear panel 60 may include a first edge 64, a second edge 65, a top edge 62, and the bottom edge 63. Located substantial perpendicular to the base 40, is the first panel 70, such that the bottom edge 73 of the first panel 70 abuts the ridge 48 near the first side 46 of the base 40. Also located substantially perpendicular to the base 40 is the second panel 80, such that the bottom edge 83 of the second panel 80 abuts the ridge 48 near the second side 47 of the base 40. Disposed between the first panel 70 and the second panel 80 may be the front panel 50, abutting the first panel 70 and the second panel 80 at their respective forward edges 74 and 84. Similarly, disposed between the first panel 70 and the second panel 80 may be the rear panel 60, abutting the first panel 70 and the second panel 80 at their respective rearward edges 75 and 85.

[0019] In one example, the first panel 70, the second panel 80, and the rear panel 60 may all be constructed from one contiguous piece, that may or may not include any of the other components, including the cover 30 and base 40. In another example, the first panel 70, the second panel 80, and the rear panel 60, may however, be connected via a tongue and groove system. The second panel 80, for example, may have disposed on the entire length of the rearward edge 85 a protrusion 102 adapted to slidingly engage with a complimentary groove 104 disposed on the entire length of the second side 65 of the rear panel 60. Likewise, the first panel 70 may have disposed at the entire length of the rearward edge 75 a protrusion 106 adapted to slidingly engage with a complimentary groove 108 disposed on the entire length of the first side 64 of the rear panel 60

[0020] The front panel 50 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, may include a set of doors 110 and 120 that may be equal in size and may be generally rectangular in shape. The set of doors may include a first door 110 and a second door 120, and the doors 110 and 120 may each include an inside edge 112 and 122, an outside edge 114 and 124, a top edge 116 and 126, and the bottom edge 118 and 128, respectively. The first door 110 and the second door 120 may be pivotally attached by their respective outside edges 114 and 124 to the forward edges 74 and 84 of the first panel 70 and the second panel 80, respectively. More specifically, the forward edges 74 and 84 of the first panel 70 and the second panel 80, may include a first part of a hinge 130, and the outward edges 114 and 124 of the first door 110 and the second door 120, may include a second part of the hinge 132. The first part of the hinge 132 may include, for example, a pair of pivot knobs located near the top and bottom of the forward edges 74 and 84 of the first panel 70 and the second panel 80. The knobs may be in line and facing away from each other, and may be adapted to receive the second part of the hinge 132, which may be a set of bores disposed on the top and bottom of the outward edges 114 and 124 of the first door 110 and the second door 120, respectively. The doors 110 and 120, when in use, may open to the outside such that the respective outward edges 114 and 124 of the doors are pivotally attached to the corresponding forward edges 74 and 84 of the first panel 70 and second panel 80, with the inward edges 112 and 122 of the doors being separable to create the opening to the interior of the storage container 20. Conversely, when in the closed position, the inward edges 112 and 122 of the doors may abut, or substantially abut, thereby preventing the interior of the storage container 20 from being exposed.

[0021] In another example, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the front panel 50 may include a single door 130 having a top 132, a bottom 134, a first side 136, and a second side 138. The first side 136 or the second side 138 of the door 130 may be pivotally attached to the respective forward edges 74 and 84 of either the first panel 70 or the second panel 80. For example, the door 130 may incorporate a hinge mechanism, thereby pivotally attaching the door to either the first panel 70 or the second panel 80. Similarly, the front panel 50 may include a door 137, wherein the door 137 is disposed somewhere within, or is part of the upper, middle, or lower part of the front panel 50. The front panel 50, for instance, may include a stationary portion 138 affixed to either or both of the first and second panels 70 and 80 such that the door 137 encapsulates the remainder of the front panel 50. The front panel 50, whether including one or more doors, may also include one or more cavities 140, adapted to be used as a opening mechanism or handle for a user to operate the door or doors.

[0022] At the top of the housing is the cover 30. The cover 30, as shown in FIG. 1, like the base 40, is of a substantially triangular shape having a top 32, a bottom 33, a front 34, a rear 35, a first side 36, and a second side 37. The top 32 and the bottom 34 of the cover 30 may be substantially parallel to each other, and may be flat. In another example, the cover 30 may, however, tilt or slant, thereby preventing debris such as water, dirt, and the like, from accumulating on the cover 30. The bottom 33 of the cover 30 may be adapted to engage with the first panel 70 and the second panel 80, but may also be adapted to engage with the front panel 50 and the rear panel 60. More specifically, attached to the top edges 72 and 82 of the first panel 70 and the second panel 80, may be a male end 142 of a set of hinges, adapted to engage with the bottom 33 of the cover 30. The bottom 33 of the cover 30, may for instance, include a female end 144 of a set of hinges located near the first side 36 and the second side 37 of the cover 30, that may be adapted to engage, and more specifically snap into, the male end 142 of the hinges. The cover 30, in this example, being constructed as one solid piece, may therefore be fixedly attached to the first panel 70 and the second panel 80, but once again, may also be attached to the front panel 50 and the rear panel 60.

[0023] In another example (FIGS. 2 and 5), the cover 30 may include of a set of lids, such as butterfly lids, that may be equal in size and also substantially triangular in shape. The set of lids may include a first lid 150 and a second lid 160, and the lids may include a top 152 and 162, a bottom 153 and 163, an outside edge 157 and 167, an inward edge 156 and 166, and a forward edge 154 and 164, respectively. The set of lids may also be pivotally attached to the first panel 70 and the second panel 80, and more specifically, the first lid 156 and the second lid 160 may include at their respective bottom outside edges female ends 144 of hinges adapted to pivotally engage with the male ends 142 of a set of hinges, located at the top edges 72 and 82 of the first panel 70 and second panel 80. Located at the inward edges 156 and 166 of the first lid 150 and the second lid 160, may be a set of complimentary ledges 170 and 172, adapted to engage with each other when the lids are in the closed position (FIG. 3), thereby weather proofing the container by preventing water and debris from entering through the cover. More specifically, the first lid may include a first ledge 170 that is disposed on the lower portion of the inward edge of the first lid 150, and that increases from a first thickness at the inward edge to a second thickness at the end of the ledge. Similarly, the second lid 160 may include a second complementary ledge 172 that is disposed on the upper portion of the inward edge of the second lid 160, and that increases from a first thickness at the inward edge to a second thickness at the end of the ledge. The lids 150 and 160 may, however, be pivotally attached at the front or rear panels 50 and 60, depending on the needs and placement of the hinges and the storage container 20.

[0024] In another example (FIGS. 4 and 6), the cover 30 may include a single lid 174 pivotally attached to either the front panel 50, the rear panel 60, the first panel 70, or the second panel 80. Similarly, the cover 30 may include a single lid 184 that can be disposed somewhere within, or is part of the cover 30. The cover 30, for instance, may include a stationary portion 186 affixed to another component, such as the first panel 70, the front panel 50, the rear panel 60, or second panel 80, such that the lid 174 forms the remainder of the cover 30.

[0025] Located within the storage container 20, may be a shelving system to allow for additional storage area or to create separate areas within the storage container 20. The shelving system may, for example, be a modular shelving system, including a shelf 176, wherein the shelf 176 is adapted to engage with one or more of the storage container components. More specifically, the shelf 176 may include tabs 140 that may be adapted to engage with apertures 182 in the first panel 70, and apertures 182 in the second panel 80. In another example, the shelf 176 may slide into grooves located on the first panel 70 and the second panel 80, thereby supporting the shelve. It is conceivable, however, that multiple shelves may be used, and that there may be multiple apertures 182 to allow for the adjustment or the addition of shelves. It is similarly conceivable that a shelf may be adapted to fit into the corner storage unit, such that the self lay horizontal as opposed to vertical, when the corner storage unit itself is oriented in the horizontal position. A shelf may, therefore, also be adapted to engage with the cover 30 and/or the base 40.

[0026] It should be noted at this point, that even though the base 40 and the cover 30, and therefore the housing, of the storage container 20 are substantially triangular in shape, any of the edges and corners may be chamfered and/or rounded, and any of the sides may be a bowed or convex. For example, the first panel 70 and second panel 80 may converge at their respective rearward edges. The corner created by the convergence of the rearward edges may be altered by curving the rearward edges of the first panel 70 and second panel 80 together, or by cutting the corner short, essentially rounding or chamfering the corner, thereby creating the rear panel 60. Similarly, the front panel 50, whether consisting of a solid panel or a set of doors, may be shaped in a convex fashion to give the front of the storage container a rounded appearance or to perhaps create additional interior storage space.

[0027] In operation, the storage container 20 may be utilized in many different ways and in various configurations. For example, the storage container 20 may be utilized as a single stand-alone unit orientated in the vertical position, such as when placed in the corner of a room, or in the corner of a deck. Similarly, the storage container 20, as depicted in FIG. 8, may be utilized as a single stand-alone unit orientated in the horizontal position, such as when placed in the corner created by a floor and a wall, whether in an interior room, or outdoors on a deck. When using two or more storage containers, without stacking them, the storage containers may also be combined to create containers with different configurations. For example, when placing two storage containers next to each other, so that the second panel 80 of the first storage container abuts the first panel 70 of a second storage container, the combination of the two storage containers may create a semi-circle that may be placed against a wall or railing. Similarly, when placing four storage containers side to side, the combination creates a round storage unit that could be placed free-standing in any outdoor or indoor location.

[0028] In another example, the storage container may be stackable in both the vertical and horizontal orientations (FIG. 7). A lower container may, for example, be positioned on the floor in the corner of a room, garage, or deck, and have placed upon it a second and perhaps additional storage units.

[0029] As discussed above, the storage container may be utilized in many different ways, and in various configurations, but will only be herein described for clarity reasons, as being in utilized in the vertical position, having a first door 110 and second door 120, and first lid 150 and second lid 160.

[0030] When utilizing the storage container 20 as a single stand-alone unit, the storage container 20 is preferably located in the corner of a room or deck, such that the corner is created by a pair of walls or railings. As such, the first panel 70 and the second panel 80 are each parallel to the respective walls they abut, while the base 40 abuts the ground. The storage container 20 in this location allows for uninterrupted entertaining and living area and optimizes previously unutilized space. To make use of the storage area located within the storage container 20, a user may simply open either a lid 150 and 160, or door 110 and 120, respectively located at the top or front of the storage container. The user may then place or remove an object to or from the corner storage container, using either or both openings.

[0031] The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7579957 *Oct 24, 2006Aug 25, 2009International Business Machines CorporationMethod and apparatus for achieving bi-axial tilt monitoring using a single-axis tilt monitoring device
US20130264360 *Apr 5, 2012Oct 10, 2013Brewing Tools LlcReusable Vessel for Dispensing Beverages and Method of Storing and Dispensing Beverages
CN100591586COct 22, 2007Feb 24, 2010国际商业机器公司Method and apparatus for achieving bi-axial tilt monitoring using a single-axis tilt monitoring device
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/238
International ClassificationA47B81/00, A47B87/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47B81/002, A47B87/0207
European ClassificationA47B81/00B, A47B87/02B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 13, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: RUBBERMAID INCORPORATED, A DELAWARE CORPORATION, O
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PLEIMAN, BRIAN RALPH;BREWER, MATTHEW J.;ROBINSON, CHRISTOPHER L.;REEL/FRAME:012701/0102
Effective date: 20020306