US 20050200169 A1
An apparatus (device), a child seat organizer, is disclosed comprising: at least one container of suitable size and shape, with or without at least one top, wherein when placed adjacent to a child seat in a vehicle, the container may contain in or on the container at least one item accessible to the child in the child seat. Additional optional elements include openings, slots, compartments, trays, hinged lids, drink holders and the like.
1. An apparatus (device), a child seat organizer, comprising:
at least one container of suitable size and shape, with or without at least one top, wherein when placed adjacent to a child seat in a vehicle, the container may contain in or on the container at least one item accessible to the child in the child seat.
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This Nonprovisional application for patent incorporates by reference and claims the benefit of pending Provisional Application having Ser. No. 60/552,705, filed Mar. 12, 2004 for “Child Seat Organizer,” commonly owned with the instant application.
A portion of the disclosure of this patent document, including Appendices, contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
This invention relates generally to an apparatus (an article of manufacture) and method of use. The present invention particularly relates to child safety seats and accessories used in conjunction therein. The present invention more particularly relates to a child seat organizer to prevent spills/staining of the vehicle seat in which the child seat and organizer are secured, while keeping necessary and desirable child supplies (a plurality of accessory items), food, drinks, diapers and the like in close proximity to the child seat.
Vehicular child safety seats (“child seat”), as they are known in the industry, have evolved over the years to protect children (usually age 5 and under, but could be older) while riding in vehicles (cars, trucks, trains, planes, boats or any other type vehicle in which a child may ride as a passenger). Since most above-referenced vehicles are designed for adults, the standard seat belts (safety restraining belts/straps) are likewise designed for adults and adult-sized torsos and bodies. This creates a danger when standard seat belts are used to secure and restrain children in case of a vehicle's sudden stop or crash. Since the child's torso and body members are smaller/shorter than adults, a real danger exists that the child will slip out of the seat belt or be restrained in an unnatural manner, causing injury to the child.
Accordingly, most (if not all) states in the United States (and in many other countries) by law require children under a certain age or smaller than a certain size to be placed in a child safety seat. This seat is placed on the vehicle seat and adapts to the smaller torso and body members of children and contains additional safety belts/straps properly sized to secure the child into the seat. The child seat is then secured to the vehicle seat via the normal and customary seat belts/straps used for adults. Children require attention and food, water, supplies, diapers, wipes for spills, toys, books, infant bottles, etc. and other accessories and items while traveling, especially for extended durations. These items commonly aren't within arm's reach of the child and the driver must often reach back to retrieve them.
No prior art is known to this inventor that discloses a child seat organizer to fulfill this need for an organizer to conveniently keep child accessories nearby the child, handy and help prevent spills/damage to the vehicle seat on which the child seat is placed. This new and useful invention solves the problems of securely containing child accessories nearby the child seat and helps prevent spills/damage to the vehicle seat on which the child seat is placed.
It is an object of this invention to securely contain child accessories nearby the child seat and accessible while used in a vehicle.
It is another object of this invention to help prevent spills/damage to the vehicle seat on which the child seat is placed.
The objects of this invention are achieved, in several embodiment, which provides for at least one container adjacent to the child seat with or without any or all of the following; openings, slots, compartments, trays, hinged lids, drink holders and the like for use for the intended purpose. This child seat organizer is lightweight, compact and of simple construction that is easy to make and use while reducing the likelihood of spills/damage to the vehicular seat on which it is placed.
The apparatus of the invention is conveniently fabricated in the preferred embodiment by conventional and standard methods of forming, molding, injecting, heating, pressurizing, releasing and finishing in the plastic fabrication and injection molding arts using conventional and standard materials.
For example, the child seat organizer and incorporated components may be fabricated from aluminum, steel or other like metals or any other suitable material (even cardboard or wood) as will be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art. The present invention (or components of) may also be fabricated in best mode from non-metallic materials for lighter weight, reduced cost and resistance to corrosion. These non-metallic materials include, among others, conventional polymers such as, for example, polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyurethane, polyethylene, phenol formaldehyde resins, polybutylene, Teflon and the like.
Plastics (any one of a large and varied group of materials consisting wholly or in part of combinations of carbon with hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and other organic and inorganic elements; while solid in the finished state, at some stage in its manufacture, it is made liquid, and thus capable of being formed into various shapes, usually through the application of heat and/or pressure), such as monomer (one unit—the building block for polymer molecules) or polymer (many monomer units strung together to make long molecules) used in polymerization (the process of combining short molecules to make long molecules) may be used.
Thermoplastics (plastics that can be repeatedly softened and hardened by heating and cooling) as well as Thermosets (plastics that are cross-linked during polymerization and cannot be softened without degrading some linkages) may also be used.
Thermoplastic resin types such as crystalline (thermoplastics containing areas of dense molecular alignments known as crystallinity), amorphous (thermoplastics with no crystallinity in the solid state), liquid crystal polymers (LCPs) (stiff, rod-like structures organized in large paralleled arrays in both melted and solid states) may also be used.
All components may be referenced in plural for convenience, as only at least one of all components are necessary, if desired, for proper operation and use in other embodiments. Ideally, all components (or some components) are injection molded from non-metallic materials (plastic) as previously mentioned above. Fillers and reinforcements, commonly known in the industry, may also be used. Fiberglass resins, materials and methods may be used to make the invention. All specifications, methods, industry standards, etc. as disclosed by Injection Molding Resources (a trade organization; Injection Molding Resources, 5732 Milentz Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63109 and their web site www.injection-molding-resources.org, incorporated by reference) and disclosed by other well-known-in-the-industry injection molding research and development organizations, commonly known in the industry, are hereby incorporated by reference.
Now, a description of and the method of making the invention will be described in detail. First, a two-plate mold (or three-plate mold or insulated runner mold or other type appropriate mold, with or without a living hinge design, all as disclosed and manufactured by RTP Company, 580 East Front Street, Winona, Minn. 55987 USA, and the company web site www.rtpcompany.com, for example, incorporated by reference) of the appropriate shape is configured for the container 1 (and all other components) to be made by plastic injection molding (as depicted in
Alternately, it is cube-shaped (or round shaped) with no top, a closed top (with or without openings 2, as shown in
The container 1 may also have a top 5 as shown in
Lastly, an optional child safety seat 10 (standard in the industry, many of which are disclosed and sold by BabyUniverse, Inc., 5601 NW 9 Avenue, Suite 104, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 33309 and at www.babyuniverse.com, incorporated by reference) may be integrated with at least one (or two, as shown in
To install and use the invention in the vehicle, if desired, the operator places the container 1, with or without any, some or all of the optional components, on the vehicle seat adjacent to the child seat location and the operator places, if desired, food, water, baby bottles, supplies, diapers, baby wipes, wipes for spills, napkins, drinks, cups, etc. on or in the container 1, or on or in any, some or all of the optional components. A vehicle seat belt may be threaded through the seat-belt-loop 12 if desired, either separately or together with the vehicle seat belts that secure the child safety seat 10. If two containers are used as shown in
If the optional vehicle-seat-protector 8 is used, the operator first places the container 1, with or without any, some or all of the optional components, on the vehicle seat and then places the child seat on the vehicle-seat-protector 8. The container 1 and child seat 10 are then secured by the operator with the standard vehicular seat belts in the normal and customary manner or as recommended by the child seat manufacturer or as recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 400 7th Street S.W., Washington, D.C., 20590 and disclosed on all or some of the NHTSA web site at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/nhtsa/, incorporated by reference.
To uninstall and remove the invention from the vehicle, if desired, the above-referenced installation procedure is reversed.
The above-referenced device is not limited to the enumeration of parts or exact details of construction disclosed herein, as these are merely examples and not meant to be limiting. The shape, number and sizes of each container, compartment, opening, cover and all other components may be varied so as to accommodate specific items and use thereof. The size, shape and materials of construction of the various components can be varied as desired.
As will be apparent to persons skilled in the art, such as a child seat or child seat accessory designer or fabricator, plastic injection molding designer or fabricator, various modifications and adaptations of the structure and method of use above-described will become readily apparent without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, the scope of which is defined in the claims. Although the foregoing invention has been described in detail by way of illustration and example, it will be understood that the present invention is not limited to the particular description and specific embodiments described but may comprise any combination of the above elements and variations thereof, many of which will be obvious to those skilled in the art. Additionally, the acts and actions of fabricating, assembling, using, and maintaining the preferred embodiment of this invention is well known by those skilled in the art. Instead, the invention is limited and defined solely by the following claims.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment is therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.