US 20040221866 A1
A compact for cosmetics has a base, a cover hingedly attached to the base, a drawer slidably supported on the base, and a platform intermediate the base and the cover. The cover and drawer have an open position and a closed position, the cover and the drawer being interoperable such that, in a first embodiment, when the drawer is urged inward from its closed position, the cover can be released or unlatched from its closed position. The cover then can be rotated, manually or automatically, to its open position. A spring-loaded drawer embodiment is also provided. A mirror can, optionally, be mounted in the drawer. A skirt depending downward from the cover optionally mates with a wall extending upward from the platform so that an airtight chamber is formed when the compact is in its closed position.
1. A compact for cosmetics, comprising: a base, a cover hingedly attached to the base, a drawer slidably supported on the base, and a platform intermediate said base and said cover, the cover and drawer having an open position and a closed position, wherein said cover is released to rotate to at least an unlatched position when said drawer is moved inward from its closed position.
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7. A compact for cosmetics, comprising a base, a cover hingedly attached to said base, a platform intermediate the cover and the base, said platform having a floor and a continuous side wall, and an upstanding wall, said cover having a downward depending skirt, said compact having an open position and a closed position, a lower portion of said cover and an upper portion of said platform being so configured and located that, when said compact is in said closed position, said lower portion of said cover and said upper portion of said platform engage to form a closed chamber.
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12. A method of using a compact comprising:
providing a compact including a base, a cover hingedly attached to the base, a drawer slidably supported on the base, and a platform intermediate the base and said lid, said cover being interoperable with said drawer;
urging said drawer inward from a first position to a second position, whereby said cover is released from its closed position and rotates to at least an unlatched position.
13. A compact for storing a medium comprising: a base, a cover hingedly attached to the base, a drawer slidably supported on the base, and a platform intermediate the base and the cover, said cover being interoperable with said drawer, whereby the operation of the cover assists in operating the drawer, the operation of the drawer assists in operating the cover, or both.
14. The compact of
15. A compact for storing a medium comprising: a base, a cover hingedly attached to the base, a drawer slidably supported on the base, and a platform intermediate the base and the cover, whereby the drawer is spring-loaded to release open when depressed.
 This invention is in the field of containers for storing cosmetics, and particularly in the field of compacts.
 Compacts are hinged cases used primarily by women to store cosmetics and to provide a convenient location for mirrors for use in checking and applying makeup and the like. These compacts generally have a cover and a base that are hingedly attached in a clamshell configuration. The cover typically has a mirror on its inner surface. The interior of the base constitutes a receptacle for cosmetics. For example, face powder may be placed in the base. A catch may be provided to hold the cover and base together when the compact is not in use.
 Conventional compacts, such as described above, suffer from a number of disadvantages. Many cosmetics contain volatile compounds. Over time, the volatile compounds in cosmetics in compacts evaporate, resulting in the drying of the cosmetics. Once the cosmetics dry excessively, they become difficult to apply and may provide a disappointing appearance. After the cosmetics in the compact dry excessively, they must be replaced, resulting in dissatisfaction of the user.
 Conventional compacts are often difficult to open. The most intuitive way to open a compact is often to engage a catch with a fingernail and move the catch upward or downward. This motion results in forward or rearward forces on the nail, which can readily result in breaking of the fingernail.
 Conventional compacts have opaque covers and bases. As the user cannot see the cosmetics contained within the compact, the user must open the compact to see the contents. For example, a user will want to select an appropriate shade of face powder or determine if there is still an appreciable amount of cosmetics in the compact.
 It is an object of the invention to overcome the foregoing disadvantages of cosmetics compacts of the prior art.
 It is an advantage of the invention that the foregoing disadvantages of cosmetics compacts of the prior art are overcome.
 Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become evident from the detailed description which follows.
 A compact for cosmetics is provided which has a base, a cover hingedly attached to the base, a drawer slidably supported on the base, and a platform intermediate the base and the cover. The drawer and cover have an open position and a closed position. In a first embodiment, when the drawer is urged inward from its closed position, the cover is released from its closed position. The cover can then be rotated, either manually or automatically, in one or more continuous motions, to its open position.
 In a second embodiment, a compact for cosmetics having a base, a cover hingedly attached to the base, and a platform intermediate the base and the cover, the platform having a floor, a side wall, and a continuous upstanding wall, is provided. The cover has a downward depending skirt. The compact has an open position and a closed position, wherein, when the compact is in its closed position, the upstanding wall of the platform and the skirt of said cover become engaged, forming a closed chamber.
 In a third embodiment, a compact is provided for storing a medium has a base, a cover hingedly attached to the base, a drawer slidably supported on the base, and a platform intermediate the base and the cover, the cover being interoperable with the drawer, whereby the operation of the cover assists in operating the drawer, the operation of the drawer assists in operating the cover, or both.
 In a fourth embodiment, a compact for storing a medium is provided comprising: a base, a cover hingedly attached to the base, a drawer slidably supported on the base, and a platform intermediate the base and the cover, whereby the drawer is spring-loaded to release open when depressed.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a compact of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the compact of FIG. 1 in an alternate position.
FIG. 3 is a cross-section along line 3-3 of the compact of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a detail from FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a cross-section along line 5-5 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the compact of FIG. 1.
FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a base of an article of the invention.
 Referring now to FIG. 1, there is depicted a compact 100 in accordance with the invention. Compact 100 is shown in FIG. 1 in a closed position. In the closed position, a base 150 and a cover 200 define a closed platform having a continuous outer wall, within which the contents are protected. A portion of the continuous outer wall is defined by an outer surface of drawer 350, when drawer 350 is in its closed position shown in FIG. 1. Base 150 and cover 200 preferably are hingedly attached at the rear of compact 100. Cover 200 may rotate, either manually or automatically, by springs, cams or the like, about its attachment point to base 150 when not latched in its closed position. Cover 200, shown in FIG. 1, is latched into its closed position. As shown, cover 200 includes a central window, such as lens 250, but this feature could, optionally, be an ornamental design or opaque portion of the cover 200.
 Compact 100 of the invention also features an open position, shown in FIG. 2. In FIG. 2, cover 200 is in its open position, which is rotated upward past its unlatched position about a hinged attachment point to base 150. Platform 300 is rigidly mounted interior to compact 100, intermediate base 150 and cover 200. Platform 300 is adapted to retain product, such as make-up or face powder. In the open position, drawer 350, which is slidably mounted below platform 300, is in its forward position. Drawer 350 may have a reflective surface, such as mirror 400, or can contain a storage area for an applicator, for example, on an upper surface thereof. Drawer 350 is securely held in base 150, so that cover 200 may be held in its closed position by a catch that preferably engages a mating catch on drawer 350.
 In the closed position, platform 300 is preferably visible through lens 250, which can have 1-10× magnification, for example, so that any product in platform 300 can be visible through lens 250 when compact 100 is in its closed position.
 Although the cover 200 and drawer 350 can be operated independently, and may or may not be spring loaded, in a first embodiment of this invention, compact 100 can be moved from its open position to its closed position by urging of its drawer 350 inward to engage a latch that holds cover 200 in its closed position. The user urges drawer 350 inward by pushing on front panel 360 of drawer 350. When drawer 350 has been moved inward a sufficient length, cover 200 is released to rotate about its hinged connection to base 150 until cover 200 reaches a preferred unlatched, or alternatively, a fully open position. In the most preferred embodiment, the only action of the user required to initiate unlatching the cover 200 to rotate is the urging of drawer 350 inward, much like a button can be pressed. The user can, but need not, directly urge cover 200 upward or release a catch, for example. Cover 200 is rotated and lifted manually by the user after release, but this is not required.
 Drawer 350 is also preferably spring-loaded so that, after drawer 350 is moved inward by application of pressure on front panel 360, upon release of the pressure, drawer 350 is moved outward. Drawer 350 preferably moves outward beyond its position when compact 100 is in its open position, as shown in FIG. 2. Mirror 400 is immediately visible and accessible when drawer 350 moves outward.
 Compact 100 is also configured to provide a preferred generally air-tight interior chamber for product. When compact 100 is in its closed position, a lower portion of cover 200 engages with an upper portion of platform 300, thereby creating a substantially air-tight chamber. Volatile compounds in product in platform 300 will accordingly not tend to dry while compact 100 is in its closed position. The opening of compact 100 by urging drawer 350 inward also removes the cover from engagement with the platform 300, rendering the contents of platform 300 available for use.
 Referring more specifically to the figures, an exemplary embodiment of a compact in accordance with the invention will now be described. The components may best be understood with reference to FIG. 6.
 Referring to both FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, base 150 preferably has a substantially planar and generally circular floor 155. Base 150, also preferably, has an upright partially circumferential wall 180. A gap 167 is defined in wall 180 at the forward portion of base 150. Wall 180 has a section of lesser height 168 near the rear thereof. Parallel raised rails 156 provide a guide for drawer 350, and for spring 158. In this embodiment, the central two rails 156 rise into stops 165 near the rear of base 150. Upright post 170 is at the rear center of the base 150. Spring 158 is attached at a rear end to post 170. A hinge area 172 at the rear of base 150 includes symmetrical upright bosses 175 standing free of wall 180 and two upright bosses 177 along an interior surface of wall 180.
 Drawer 350 has a generally planar and rectangular main portion 355. Along a forward portion is defined a generally upright wall 360 with an outer bearing surface 365. A catch 370 is defined on the top of wall 360. The width of wall 360 and main portion 355 is narrow enough to fit in the gap 167 defined in base wall 180, except at the rear of main portion 355. At the rear of main portion 355, drawer 350 is preferably widened, as shown at 370. Thus, drawer 350 desirably cannot be moved farther outward than its open position shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 5. Referring again to FIG. 6, on the lower surface of main portion 355 are preferably provided rails or grooves (not shown) that cooperate with rails 156 in base 150 to assist in guiding drawer 350 and preventing lateral motion of drawer 350. In this embodiment, drawer 350 is designed to receive and support a mirror 400. On an upper surface of main portion 355, an upright wall 380 is provided to define a location for insertion of a mirror. A recess 385 is provided to receive adhesive to secure mirror 400 to drawer 350. Alternatively, the drawer 350 may contain an applicator or another cosmetic, for example.
 Platform 300 is placed over drawer 350. Platform 300 preferably has a central generally planar floor 305 and a continuous upright, cylindrical, side wall 310 of uniform height. Floor 305 and side wall 310 form the bottom and side of the preferred airtight chamber formed, as discussed above, when compact 100 is in its closed position. Shelf 315 extends radially outward from the upper edge of side wall 310. Upstanding wall 320 protrudes upward from and extends circumferentially around shelf 315. As will be explained below, upstanding wall 320 is of a height and shape to match a downward depending ring or skirt on cover 200. Upstanding wall 320 is thus the upper portion of platform 300 that engages with cover 200. Skirt 325 depends downward from an outer edge of shelf 315. Skirt 325 has a cylindrical shape with gaps in the forward and rearward portions. Skirt 325 can have a gap in its forward portion sized to accommodate movement of drawer 350. Skirt 325 preferably has a gap in its rearward portion to accommodate the hinge portions of the cover and base. Snaps 330 extend outward from an outer surface of skirt 325. Snaps 330 engage with openings 181 in base wall 180.
 Cover 200 preferably has a two-part construction in this exemplary embodiment. Lens portion 240 incorporates lens 250 in the center thereof. A skirt 252 depends downward from the periphery of lens 250, and a generally beveled portion 255 extends outward and downward therefrom. A downward-depending continuous skirt 260 is provided around the outer edge of portion 255. Referring to FIG. 5, skirt 260 preferably has a notch or tab 330. Referring now to FIG. 3, skirt 260 has a complementary shape to wall 320, so that, when compact 100 is in its closed position, skirt 260 and bead 320 fully engage one another. Skirt 260 is thus the lower portion of cover 200 that engages with platform 300. Platform 300 and cover 200, and specifically skirt 260 and the upper portion of lens portion 240 provide a substantially airtight chamber when the compact is in its closed position. This is a desired option for volatile product. Optionally or additionally, an elastomeric o-ring or seal can be employed for helping to seal volatile product.
 Cover 200 also has a preferred peripheral portion 210 which engages with lens portion 240. Peripheral portion 210 has a radial portion with a central aperture sized to receive lens 250. A hinge portion 215 depends downward from the rear of peripheral portion 200. Cover 200 is hingedly mounted on and movable relative to base 150. Hinge portion 215 has apertures to receive coil pins, such as 217 which are flexible for easier insertion into retaining holes on the cover 200 and platform 150. The cover 200 can rotate to its open position which is merely unlatched and slightly open, but can be opened wider, if desirable. The opening of the cover 200 can be coordinated to be interoperative with the drawer 350, so that the drawer acts as a “latch button” to unlatch the cover 200, or cause its rotation into an open position, or both. It will be understood that alternative structures may be employed to provide cover 200 with a hinged attachment to base 150, and to provide that the cover 200 is urged upward to its unlatched or open position. For example, the cover 200 can have a separate spring loaded latch. Optionally, the drawer and cover 200 can be made interoperable with internal cams or levers, for example.
 A front catch 220 is formed on an inner surface of peripheral portion 210. The front catch is preferably sized, shaped and located to cooperate with catch 370 on the front wall of drawer 350. When compact 100 is in the closed position, the connection between catch 220 and catch 370 maintains cover 200 in its closed position. That connection also prevents spring 158 from pushing drawer 350 beyond its closed position. When drawer 350 is pushed inward, catch 220 and catch 370 are no longer in contact, and cover 200 is moved to its open position. Drawer 350 also moves outward as a result of the urging of spring 158.
 Suitable plastic material, such as ABS, polystyrene, polypropylene, acrylic, or other plastics, may be employed for the various components, and a variety of suitable materials may be selected by those of skill in the art. The preferred polymeric components are injection molded.
 Although the invention has been described in terms of exemplary embodiments, it is not limited thereto. Rather, the appended claims should be construed broadly, to include other variants and embodiments of the invention, which may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and range of equivalents of the invention.