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Publication numberUS20040036385 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/225,721
Publication dateFeb 26, 2004
Filing dateAug 22, 2002
Priority dateAug 22, 2002
Publication number10225721, 225721, US 2004/0036385 A1, US 2004/036385 A1, US 20040036385 A1, US 20040036385A1, US 2004036385 A1, US 2004036385A1, US-A1-20040036385, US-A1-2004036385, US2004/0036385A1, US2004/036385A1, US20040036385 A1, US20040036385A1, US2004036385 A1, US2004036385A1
InventorsThomas Connerton
Original AssigneeConnerton Thomas J.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cabinet assembly for toilet articles
US 20040036385 A1
Abstract
The present invention broadly comprises, in combination, a cabinet assembly to include an outer case, the outer case having a base, at least one wall extending from the base and a cap enclosing the outer case, and an inner liner, the inner liner having a base and at least one liner wall. The invention also includes, in combination, a cabinet assembly having an outer case having a base, at least one longitudinal wall extending from said base and a cap enclosing said outer case and an inner liner, the inner liner having a base and at least one inner liner wall with at least one handle attached to or integral with the inner liner.
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Claims(28)
What is claimed is:
1. A cabinet assembly comprising:
an outer case, said outer case having a base, at least one longitudinal wall extending from said base and a cap enclosing said outer case; and,
an inner liner, said inner liner having a bottom and at least one inner liner wall joined to said bottom.
2. The cabinet assembly according to claim 1 wherein said cap is pivotably secured to said outer case.
3. The cabinet assembly according to claim 1 wherein said cap is removably secured to said outer case.
4. The cabinet assembly according to claim 1 wherein said at least one longitudinal wall forms a cylinder.
5. The cabinet assembly according to claim 1 wherein said at least one longitudinal wall comprises a plurality of longitudinal walls.
6. The cabinet assembly according to claim 1 wherein said at least one inner liner wall comprises a plurality of inner liner walls.
7. The cabinet assembly according to claim 1 wherein said inner liner is fabricated from metal.
8. The cabinet assembly according to claim 1, wherein said inner liner is fabricated from plastic.
9. The cabinet assembly according to claim 8 wherein said plastic contains antimicrobial compounds.
10. The cabinet assembly according to claim 1 wherein said outer case is fabricated from metal.
11. The cabinet assembly according to claim 1 wherein said outer case is fabricated from wood.
12. The cabinet assembly according to claim 1 wherein said outer case is fabricated from plastic.
13. The cabinet assembly according to claim 12 wherein said plastic contains antimicrobial compounds.
14. A cabinet assembly comprising:
an outer case having a base, at least one longitudinal wall extending from said base, and a cap enclosing said outer case;
an inner liner having a bottom and at least one inner liner wall joined to said bottom; and,
at least one handle attached to said at least one inner liner wall.
15. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14, wherein said at least one handle is integral with said at least one inner liner wall.
16. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14 wherein said at least one longitudinal wall further comprises at least one cut-out.
17. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14 wherein said cap is pivotably secured to said outer case.
18. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14 wherein said cap is removably secured to said outer case.
19. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14 wherein said at least one longitudinal wall forms a cylinder.
20. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14, wherein said at least one longitudinal wall comprises a plurality of longitudinal walls.
21. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14 wherein said at least one inner liner wall comprises a plurality of liner walls.
22. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14 wherein said liner is fabricated from metal.
23. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14, wherein said inner liner is fabricated from plastic.
24. The cabinet assembly according to claim 23, wherein said plastic contains antimicrobial compounds.
25. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14 wherein said outer case is fabricated from metal.
26. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14 wherein said outer case is fabricated from wood.
27. The cabinet assembly according to claim 14 wherein said outer case is fabricated from plastic.
28. The cabinet assembly according to claim 27 wherein said plastic contains antimicrobial compounds.
Description
FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to storage devices, more particularly to storage devices which concealed the articles being stored, and, even more particularly, to storage devices for the concealed storage of toilet items such as toilet plungers and brushes.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Among the items found to be necessary and useful in most residential and commercial environments are items used to repair and clean plumbing and plumbing fixtures. More specifically, toilet plungers are often needed within a short time span after the discovery of a problem and are therefore most conveniently stored in bathrooms and washrooms, places where a toilet plunger is most likely to be needed. Similarly, toilet brushes are most conveniently stored proximate a toilet to be cleaned.

[0003] A drawback to storing a toilet plunger or toilet cleaning brush in a bathroom is that the use of the plunger or brush necessarily results in an unsanitary residue being deposited on the plunger. In addition, the configuration of a typical toilet plunger, namely, an elongated handle and rubber or rubber-like components that compose the operative end of the plunger, make it awkward to store the typical toilet plunger in a concealed manner in the cupboards and drawers customarily found in a bathroom or washroom. Together, this unsanitary residue and awkward configuration make it difficult to store a toilet plunger in its most convenient location. The problem of concealed storage is compounded by the increasing use of decorative furnishings in contemporary bathrooms and washrooms. The open storage of a toilet plunger or brush can offset an otherwise stylish and attractive bathroom decor.

[0004] There are numerous examples in the prior art of toilet plunger storage devices in which the inventors attempt to combine both convenient storage and an attractive decor. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,984,100 to Ramsey, et al. discloses a decorative pedestal for storing bathroom accessories that includes a cylinder shaped pedestal with a longitudinal door that opens to a storage compartment for bathroom cleaning materials. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 4,008,933 to Wanek; U.S. Pat. No. 5,114,006 to Wilk; U.S. Pat. No. 6,050,401 to Michaelson and Des. 374,584 to Freeman disclose toilet plunger storage devices that completely enclose a toilet plunger including the elongated handle of the toilet plunger. However, none of these patents comprise a separate component that enables the convenient transport of a toilet plunger from its storage location to a separate work location and its return in a sanitary manner.

[0005] In addition, the prior art contains several examples of storage containers in which the extended handle is exposed thereby revealing the cabinet contents and detracting from the décor and ornamental features of the cabinet. U.S. Pat. No. 5,924,566 to Gibbs discloses a plunger caddy with a cone or pyramid shaped lid through which a plunger handle extends while the operative end of the plunger rests on a base. The user is able to lift and carry the plunger caddy by holding the exposed handle of the toilet plunger. U.S. Pat. No. 6,109,429 to Cunningham, et al. discloses a storage case able to hold a number of toilet related items with a top through which the plunger handle extends. U.S. Pat. No. 4,211,750 to Gillespie reveals a toilet brush and deodorant holder comprising a base and a chamber atop the base which holds a toilet brush. Finally, U.S. Pat. No. 6,038,709 to Kent discloses a toilet plunger holder and cover in which the cover of the device is in the shape of an extended toilet plunger handle that encases the elongated handle. All of the above cited prior art either fails to cover the extended plunger handle at all or the handle is covered in such a way as the presence and shape of the handle is still evident.

[0006] There is a longfelt need, and then, for a storage device that eliminates the problem of open and unsanitary storage of a toilet plunger or brush in a sanitary, closed and decorative manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention broadly comprises a cabinet assembly comprising an outer case, the outer case having a base, at least one wall extending from the base and a cap enclosing the outer case, and an inner liner having a bottom and at least one liner wall extending from the bottom. In another embodiment, the invention also includes a cabinet assembly having an outer case having a base, at least one longitudinal wall extending from said base and a cap enclosing said outer case and an inner liner, the inner liner having a bottom and at least one inner liner wall with at least one handle attached to or integral with the inner liner.

[0008] An object of the invention is to provide a device for concealing a toilet plunger or other items while at the same time allowing the concealed article to be easily accessible.

[0009] A second object of the invention is to allow easy transport of the concealed item from its storage site to another location.

[0010] A third object of the invention is to provide a device to enable the movement of the concealed item in a sanitary and efficient manner.

[0011] It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a decorative storage cabinet for a concealed item.

[0012] These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description of the invention in view of the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] The nature and mode of the operation of the present invention will now be more fully described in the following detailed description of the invention taken with the accompanying drawing Figures, in which:

[0014]FIG. 1 depicts a front view of the inner liner and outer case of the present invention;

[0015]FIG. 1A is a front perspective view of the closed outer case of the present invention;

[0016]FIG. 2 is a front prospective view of the present invention depicting the storage of the inner liner with a plunger inside the outer case of the present invention;

[0017]FIG. 3 is a front prospective view of the inner liner of the present invention; and,

[0018]FIG. 4 is an exploded view of one embodiment of the storage of a plunger inside the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] At the outset, it should be appreciated that like drawing numbers on different drawing views identify identical structural elements of the invention.

[0020] While the present invention is described with respect to what is presently considered to be the preferred embodiments, it is understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments. The present invention is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

[0021] Adverting to the drawings, FIG. 1 depicts a front view of the inner liner 16 and outer case 11 of the cabinet assembly 10. At least one wall 14 of outer case 11 extends from base 13 and has a suitable length to contain and enclose inner liner 16 and article(s) within inner liner 16. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, handle 18 is seen attached to inner liner 16.

[0022]FIG. 1A is a front perspective view of the closed outer case of the cabinet assembly 10 enclosing inner liner 16 (not shown). Cap 12 fits over wall 14 and acts to form an enclosed volume bounded by cap 12, wall 14 and base 13. In one embodiment, wall 14 fits into separate base 13 and is removable there from. In an alternative embodiment, wall 14 and base 13 are fabricated into one integrated unit. Persons of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that outer case 11 may have many shapes to include a four-sided shape as depicted in FIG. 1A, a one-wall cylinder, triangles and various shapes familiar to those having skill in the art. It will also be recognized that the base 13 and cap 12 of the invention may have the same shape or a different shape as wall 14 provided that both base 13 and cap 12 fit with wall 14 so as to form a stable enclosed structure. As seen in FIG. 1A, in a preferred embodiment, base 13 encompasses an area greater than the area enclosed by at least one wall 14 to impart greater stability to outer case 11. Outer case 11 may be formed from a variety of materials such as wood, metals or plastics. Persons of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that wall 14, cap 12 and base 13 may all be fabricated from the same or different materials. In a preferred embodiment, outer case 11 may be produced from plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and other that are well known to those skilled in the art. In a more preferred embodiment, plastics used to fabricate outer case 11 may be embedded with antimicrobial agents, compounds, or chemicals. Such antimicrobial materials and embedding methods are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,919,554 to Watterson, et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 6,108,847 to Cueman, et al. which patents are hereby incorporated by reference.

[0023]FIG. 2 is a front prospective view of the present invention depicting the storage of inner liner 16 inside outer case 11 of the cabinet assembly 10. Inner liner 16 is enclosed within outer case 11 while plunger 20 is contained inside inner liner 16. Cap 12 is shown in an open position. In one embodiment, cap 12 is attached to wall 14 by hinges (not shown) so as to pivot on the hinges to the open position. In an alternative embodiment, cap 12 may be removed completely from outer case 11 to allow the removal of inner liner 16 from outer case 11. In a preferred embodiment, as seen in FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, handle 18 is attached to inner liner 16 to facilitate removing inner liner 16 from outer case 11. In an alternative preferred embodiment, inner liner 16 may have more than one handle 18. In a preferred embodiment, cut-out 22 in outer case 11 is shaped to allow handle 18 to fit within cutout 22 to enable inner liner 16 to fit securely within outer case 11. Cut-out 22 also enables convenient access to handle 18 when inner liner 16 is inside outer case 11. Persons having skill in the art will recognize that handle 18 may have different shapes and may be attached to inner liner 16 in various configurations and positions. It will also be recognized that cutout 22 can be shaped to any desired configuration to allow handle 18 to fit securely within outer case 11 and to provide convenient access to handle 18. It is also evident that more than one handle 18 and/or cutout 22 may be used in cabinet assembly 10.

[0024] Handle 18 is attached to inner liner 16 by welding, plastic heat welding, rivets, screws or other attachment methods well known to those skilled in the art. Alternatively, handle 18 may be formed with inner liner 16 to create a single one-piece or integral unit. Such integral units may be fabricated using injection molding or blow molding or other similar methods known in the art.

[0025] Inner liner 16 can be fabricated into a variety shapes such as the cylindrical shape shown in FIG. 3. Other shapes include ovals, triangles, and other multisided configurations. Alternatively, inner liner 16 can be configured in the same shape as the walls 14 of outer case 11 so as to fit snugly within outer case 11. Inner liner 16 can be manufactured from materials that are corrosion-resistant and capable of retaining moisture without leaking. Suitable materials of manufacture include metals such as aluminum, stainless steel, and other corrosion-resistant metals. In a preferred embodiment, inner liner 16 may be produced from plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and other moisture-containing plastics that are well known to those skilled in the art. In a more preferred embodiment, plastics used to fabricate inner liner 16 may be embedded with antimicrobial agents, compounds, or chemicals.

[0026]FIG. 4 demonstrates one embodiment of the storage of a plunger inside the present invention depicting both the removal of inner liner 16 from outer case 11 and the removal of plunger 20 from inner liner 16. FIG. 4 also demonstrates the placement of both plunger 20 back into inner liner 16 and inner liner 16 into outer case 11.

[0027] Thus it is seen that the objects of the invention are efficiently obtained, although changes and modifications to the invention should be readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art, which changes would not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7861859Oct 10, 2008Jan 4, 2011Rob ReynoldsPlunger storage and transportation device
US8209790 *Oct 9, 2007Jul 3, 2012Steven GarryCombination bathroom plunging and cleaning tool
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/206
International ClassificationA47K17/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47K17/00
European ClassificationA47K17/00