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Publication numberUS20060032860 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/917,316
Publication dateFeb 16, 2006
Filing dateAug 13, 2004
Priority dateAug 13, 2004
Also published asWO2006020781A2, WO2006020781A3, WO2006020781B1
Publication number10917316, 917316, US 2006/0032860 A1, US 2006/032860 A1, US 20060032860 A1, US 20060032860A1, US 2006032860 A1, US 2006032860A1, US-A1-20060032860, US-A1-2006032860, US2006/0032860A1, US2006/032860A1, US20060032860 A1, US20060032860A1, US2006032860 A1, US2006032860A1
InventorsGary Hase
Original AssigneeHase Gary M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container with lid prop and/or lid latch
US 20060032860 A1
Abstract
A container having a base includes a bottom and four walls that are connected to the bottom and define a storage space having an opening. A lid is pivotally mounted on the base and covers at least a portion of the opening when in a closed position. A prop is arranged so that a first end of the lid prop is pivotally engaged to the lid and a second end of the lid prop is engaged in a slot in a plate that does not allow lid to travel beyond a certain limit and does not allow to close accidentally as an optional feature. The prop fits substantially inside a recess when the lid is in the closed position.
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Claims(28)
1. A container, comprising;
a body defining a storage space having an opening;
a lid that is pivotally mounted to the body, the lid having a closed position wherein the lid prevents access to the storage space, and the lid having an open position wherein the lid provides access to the storage space;
a recess arranged in a wall of the body;
a plate partially covering the recess, the plate including a slot extending longitudinally through the plate;
a lid prop comprising a longitudinally extending member, the lid prop being arranged so that a first end of the lid prop is pivotally engaged to the lid and a second end of the lid prop is engaged in the slot in the plate;
wherein when the lid is in the open position the prop may be positioned against an end of the slot thereby preventing the lid from opening beyond a certain limit.
2. The container according to claim 1, wherein the slot includes an extension that is adapted to engage the second end of the lid prop to prevent the lid from closing when the second end of the lid prop is in the extension.
3. The container of claim 1, wherein the lid prop includes a main body between the first end and the second end, the second end of the prop being non-collinear with the main body.
4. The container of claim 1, further comprising hinges for pivotally mounting the lid to the base.
5. The container of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the container is rotationally molded.
6. A container, comprising:
a base comprising a bottom and four walls connected to the bottom defining a storage space having an opening to provide a user access to the storage space, the opening being defined by a rim;
a first recess having a first depth is formed in the rim and a second recess having a second depth less than the first depth is formed in the rim adjacent the first recess, the first and second recesses define a step between the two recesses;
a lid pivotally mounted to one of the walls, the lid is adapted to fit onto the rim to close at least a portion of the opening; and
a prop having a first end and a second end;
the prop being arranged so that the first end is pivotally secured to the lid and the second end is capable of fitting in the first recess and to abut against the step between the first and the second recesses when the lid is in the open position, thereby preventing the lid from closing;
the prop being adapted to fit substantially within the second recess when the lid is in the closed position.
7. The container of claim 6, further comprising a clip located in the first recess for catching the second end of the prop to prevent the lid from opening beyond a predetermined position.
8. The container of claim 6, wherein the prop includes a main body between the first end and the second end, the second end of the prop being non-collinear with the main body.
9. The container of claim 6, wherein the first recess and the second recess extend along the rim, the second recess being longer than the first recess.
10. The container of claim 6, further comprising a washer attached to the first end of the prop to maintain the first and of the prop inside a hole in the lid.
11. The container of claim 6, further comprising hinges for pivotally mounting the lid to the base.
12. The container of claim 6, wherein at least a portion of the container is rotationally molded.
13. The container of claim 6, further comprising a lid flange extending downward from the lid for accommodating the rim.
14. The container of claim 6, further comprising a wall flange extending upward from the rim for accommodating the lid.
15. A container, comprising;
a body defining a storage space having an opening;
a lid that is pivotally mounted to the body, the lid having a closed position wherein the lid prevents access to the storage space, and the lid having an open position wherein the lid provides access to the storage space;
a first recess arranged in the body;
a stop formed in the recess;
a lid prop comprising a longitudinally extending member, the lid prop being arranged so that when the lid is in the closed position the lid prop may be positioned substantially within the recess, and when the lid is in the open position the prop may be positioned against the stop thereby preventing the lid from closing.
16. The container of claim 15, further comprising a rim defining the opening and the recess.
17. The container of claim 15, wherein the recess comprises a first region and a second region;
the first region having a depth that is greater than the depth of the second region; the first and second region being adjacent each other, thereby defining a step between the first and second regions, the stop comprising the step.
18. The container of claim 15, wherein a first end of the prop is non-collinear with the body of the prop, wherein the lid includes a hole therein, and the first end of the prop rotatably fits inside the hole.
19. The container of claim 18, further comprising a washer attached to the first end of the prop to maintain the prop inside the hole.
20. The container of claim 15, wherein at least a portion of the container is rotationally molded.
21. The container of claim 17, wherein the stop is formed by a side of the first region.
22. The container of claim 16, further comprising a groove formed in a peripheral edge of the lid, a first end of the groove forming a socket;
a first end of an elastic is attached to the base and a second end of the elastic is attached to an object;
the smallest diameter of the object is larger than the largest diameter of the groove so that the object cannot fit through the groove;
the smallest diameter of the elastic is such that the elastic fits within the groove;
the elastic being arranged so that when the elastic extends through the groove, tension exerted by the elastic maintains the object against the socket whereby the elastic force is exerted upon the lid thereby maintaining the lid in the closed position.
23. The container of claim 22, wherein the object has a spherical shape.
24. A container comprising;
a body;
a lid pivotally mounted to the body and having an open position and a closed position;
a groove being formed in the container, the groove having a socket formed at a first end of the groove;
an elastic having a first end and a second end;
an object fastened to the first end of the elastic and the second end of the elastic being fastened to the container;
the elastic arranged so that during latching the elastic may be positioned inside the groove and the object positioned in the socket so that elastic tension applies force to the object and the lid thereby maintaining the lid in the closed position.
25. The container of claim 24, wherein the second end of the elastic is attached to the body and the groove is formed in the lid.
26. The container of claim 24, wherein the second end of the elastic is attached to the lid and the groove is formed in the body.
27. The container of claim 24, wherein the object is spherical.
28. The container of claim 27, wherein the object has an outer diameter that is larger than the inner diameter of the groove, thereby preventing the object from fitting through the groove. 1.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a container, and more particularly, to an insulated container having a lid prop and/or a latch for the lid.

2. Discussion of Related Art

It is known in the art to provide insulated containers for shipping goods in a controlled thermal environment. Such a container is frequently a substantially parallelepiped structure made from rotationally molded, insulated walls. In one such structure, each of the dimensions is approximately between three and four feet, thus providing a structure having a cubic volume of between about twenty-seven cubic feet and sixty-four cubic feet. In such a container, the bottom, four legs, and four walls are typically either formed in one piece or permanently connected to form a unitary structure. The lid or top of the container is a separate piece and either fits securely against the top of the walls, or is hingeably connected to the walls. See, e.g., U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/778,210, the entire contents of which is incorporated herein by reference.

One known use for such a described container is the shipping and/or storage of a variety of temperature controlled products. When using such a container, particularly a container having a dimension of at least four feet in height, it is not difficult to remove products from the container when the container is full and the products are near the top of the container. However, as the container is emptied, the user must lean over into the container to remove the products from the bottom of the container. Having to lean over to remove products from the bottom of the container places the user in an awkward position. As the user's hands are generally used to grasp the item being placed into or removed from the container, should the lid accidentally close, the user will be unable to use his or her hands to defend against a closing lid without releasing or dropping and possibly damaging the products. The alternative to releasing and dropping the gripped products is to accept the force from the lid on the upper part of the user's torso or head area.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY

Accordingly, it is an object of one aspect of the present invention to provide an insulated container which includes a lid prop which is convenient to use and cheap to install and manufacture and lessens the chances of accidental closure of the lid.

It is another object of another aspect of the present invention to provide an insulated container with a latch for securing the lid in a closed position.

According to one embodiment of the invention, a container includes a body defining a storage space having an opening; a lid that is pivotally mounted to the body, the lid having a closed position wherein the lid prevents access to the storage space, and the lid having an open position wherein the lid provides access to the storage space; a recess arranged in a wall of the body; a plate partially covering the recess, the plate including a slot extending longitudinally through the plate; a lid prop comprising a longitudinally extending member, the lid prop being arranged so that a first end of the lid prop is pivotally engaged to the lid and a second end of the lid prop is engaged in the slot in the plate; wherein when the lid is in the open position the prop may be positioned against an end of the slot thereby preventing the lid from opening beyond a certain limit.

According to another embodiment of the invention, a container includes a base having a bottom and four walls connected to the bottom defining a storage space having an opening at the top to provide a user access to the storage space, the opening being defined by a rim. A first recess having a first depth is formed in the rim and a second recess having a second depth less than the first depth is formed in the rim adjacent the first recess, the first and second recesses define a step between the two recesses. A lid is pivotally mounted to one of the walls and is adapted to fit onto the rim to close at least a portion of the opening. A prop has a first end and a second end and is arranged so that the first end is pivotally secured to the lid and the second end is capable of fitting slidably in the first recess and the second recess and to abut against the step between the first and the second recesses when the lid is in the open position, thereby preventing the lid from closing. The prop is adapted to fit substantially within the second recess when the lid is in the closed position.

According to another embodiment of the invention, a container comprises a body defining a storage space having an opening, a lid that is pivotally mounted to the body and has a closed position wherein the lid prevents access to the storage space and an open position wherein the lid provides access to the storage space, a recess, and a stopper. A lid prop comprises a longitudinally extending member and is arranged so that when the lid is in the closed position the lid prop may be positioned substantially within the recessed area, and when the lid is in the open position the lid prop may be positioned against the stopper thereby discouraging the lid from closing.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a container comprises a body, a lid being pivotally mounted to the body and having an open position and a closed position, a groove being formed in the container and having a socket formed at a first end of the groove, an elastic having a first end and a second end, the second end of the elastic being fastened to the container, and an object fastened to the first end of the elastic and. The elastic is arranged so that during latching the elastic may be positioned inside the groove and the object positioned in the socket so that elastic tension applies force to the object and the lid thereby maintaining the lid in the closed position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first preferred embodiment of a container according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the container of FIG. 1 in an open configuration.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate alternative designs for the lid stop of the first preferred embodiment.

FIG. 5 illustrates the lid stop of the first preferred embodiment in operation.

FIG. 6 illustrates the lid stop of the first preferred embodiment in the closed position.

FIG. 7 illustrates the lid of the first preferred embodiment.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a second preferred embodiment of a container according to the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the container of FIG. 8 in an open configuration.

FIG. 10 is a side view of the container of FIG. 8 in an open position.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an enlarged portion of the container of FIG. 8 in an open position identifying a lid prop used in a preferred embodiment of the container.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the lid prop.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the portion of the container of FIG. 12, in a closed position.

FIG. 14 is a front view of the container of FIG. 8.

FIG. 15 is a side view of the container of FIG. 8.

FIGS. 16A and 16B are perspective views of a latching mechanism of a preferred embodiment of a container in a closed position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1-16 illustrate preferred embodiments of containers according to the present invention. In the illustrated preferred embodiments, the container is insulated and made from rotationally molded polyethylene plastic, with foamed urethane in the center of the walls to enhance the insulation thereof. However, the present invention is not limited to such construction, and insulated containers according to the present invention could be made from any suitable construction.

A first preferred embodiment is illustrated in FIGS. 1-7.

The container 100 includes a bottom 120 and four walls 114, 115, 116, 118 having a substantially continuous rim 130. The rim includes a flange 131 extending upward therefrom designed to accommodate a lid 123. The lid 123 fits against the rim 130 and flange 131 defined by the four walls 114, 115, 116, 118.

Preferably, the container 100 has four legs secured to the bottom 120 thereof, three of which (134, 136, 137) are visible in FIG. 1. The lid 123 includes four recesses 150 which are designed and arranged to accommodate the pads 134, 136, 137 of a similar container so that the similar container can be stacked on top of the container 100.

The lid 123 includes a flange 132 extending downwardly therefrom which is designed to accommodate the rim 130 and the flange 131. Preferably, the lid flange 132 fits around the outside of the wall flange 131 when the lid is in the closed position, but alternatively, wall flange 131 can be on the outer edge of the rim 130 and the lid flange 132 can fit within the inside of the wall flange 131. The walls 114, 115, 116, 118 and the lid 123 are designed such that the rim 130 and the lid flange 132 fit together in a matting configuration to enhance the insulation and stability of the container 100.

As best seen in FIGS. 3A and 3B, a recessed portion 121 is formed in the wall 114, behind a plate 111, in order to provide an operating space for the a lid prop 160.

A first end 162 of the lid prop 160 is preferably located through a hole 125 in the lid 123 and is secured within the hole 125 with a push cap that is attached to the first end 162 of the lid prop 160. Preferably, the hole 125 is located in the lid flange 132 which extends from the peripheral edge of the lid 123.

A second end 166 of the lid prop 160 is slidably secured within the slot 112 of the plate 111 to enable movement of the second end 166 from one end of the slot 112 to the other end.

The plate 111 includes a slot extension 115. Depending upon the particular desires of a customer, the plate 111 can be mounted in the position shown in FIG. 3A, wherein the extension 115 is not utilized, or it can be mounted in the position shown in FIG. 3B, wherein the extension 115 is at the rear end of the container. When the extension 115 is in the forward position, the second end 166 of the lid prop does not reach the extension 115. See FIG. 4. However, when the extension 115 is mounted in the position illustrated in FIG. 3B, the extension 1 1 5 can engage the second end 166 of the prop 160 thus locking the lid 123 in the open position. The lid 123 can be easily unlocked merely by lifting the lid prop 160 with one's hand prior to closing the container 100. In either arrangement, the lid prop 160 can slide freely through the slot 112

FIG. 5 illustrates the preferred embodiment in the process of opening the lid 123, wherein the second end 166 of the lid prop is moving through the slot 112.

As can be seen in FIG. 6, when the lid 123 is in the closed position, the lid prop 160 is substantially hidden from view, except for the ends 162, 166.

Another feature of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 7 is that the lid 123 can have a primary step 134 which engages with and seals on the top of the walls of the container 100. In addition, the lid includes a recessed area 135, wherein a gasket can be inserted for improving the seal of the lid 123 against the walls of the container 100.

A second preferred embodiment of the container is illustrated in FIGS. 8-16. The second embodiment is substantially the same as the first embodiment, except as described herein and in the drawings. The second embodiment includes a container 10 with a lid prop 60. A first end 62 of the lid prop 60 is preferably located through a hole 25 in the lid 23 and is secured within the hole 25 with a washer 64 and a cotter pin 63 that is attached to the first end 62 of the lid prop 60. Preferably, the hole 25 is located in the lid flange 32 which extends from the peripheral edge of the lid 23.

A first recess 70 is formed in the wall 14, thereby forming a step 74. See FIGS. 11 and 12. Preferably, a second recess 72 is also formed in the wall 14 and both preferably are located in the rim 30. The first recess 70 has a first depth that is greater than the depth of the second recess 72. Preferably the step 74 extends vertically as shown in FIG. 1. In the open position, the lid 23 and the lid prop 60 can be positioned so that the second end 66 of the prop 60 abuts the vertical step 74, thereby preventing the lid 23 from closing.

As seen in FIGS. 11,12 and 13, in the closed position, the lid 23 fits against the rim 30 thereby covering the opening 17 of the container 10, and the prop 60 is positioned inside the second recess 72. As seen in FIG. 12, the prop 60 fits slidingly within the first recess 72 thereby allowing movement of the lid 23.

It should be appreciated that, in an alternative embodiment, the first recess 70 could be formed in the wall 14 (as illustrated), and the second recess could be formed in the lid flange 32, or that the container could function with only the first recess 70.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 11, a clip 68 is provided to engage the second end 66 of the lid prop 60 when the lid 23 is in the open position. The clip 68 is positioned such that there is sufficient space between the clip 68 and the step 74 to enable the second end 66 of the lid prop 60 to be released from the clip 68 by manually pulling the prop 60 out from under the clip 68. The clip 68 functions so as to limit the extent to which the lid 23 can be opened, i.e., to prevent the lid 23 from being opened any further than illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 11 (about 95 degrees).

As seen in FIGS. 8, 9, 14 and 16, a preferred embodiment of the container includes a latching mechanism. An elastic cord 80 has a first end 86 which is attached to the front wall 12 of the container 10. A clip 81 is used to form a loop 83 at the first end 86 of the cord 80, and the loop is held to the front wall by a permanent clasp 11. The cord 80 may be reinforced in the region held by the clasp 11 to minimize wear. A spherical object 82 is attached to a second end 84 of the elastic 80, as best illustrated in FIG. 16A. To latch the lid 23 in the closed position, the elastic cord 80 is stretched and located inside a groove 13 in the so that the object 82 is retained in a socket 14 at the end of the groove 13 farthest from the clasp 11. As the smallest diameter of the spherical object 82 is larger than the largest diameter of the groove 13, the spherical object 82 cannot fit through the groove 13 and the elastic force produced by the stretched elastic cord 80 maintains the lid 23 in the closed position.

It should be appreciated that in alternate embodiments the groove 13 can be formed in the body of the container and the elastic 80 can be held to the lid by a clasp or other device.

When filling the container 10, the lid 23 is opened. In one embodiment, the container 10 is well suited for storing and shipping a variety of temperature controlled products. After the container 10 is filled, the lid 23 can be closed and latched as described herein and the container is ready for shipment.

When unloading the contents of the container 10, the lid 23 is moved to an open position. In the open position, the second end 66 of the lid prop 60 slides within the second recess 72 and passes the vertical step 74 into the first recess 70. When the lid 23 is in the opened position, the second end of the prop 66 abuts against the vertical step 74 thereby preventing movement of the lid 23 toward the closed position. In a preferred embodiment of the container, hinges 52 are formed so as to prevent the lid 23 from opening more than approximately 95 degrees with respect to a plane defined by the opening 17.

In the illustrated embodiments, the lid prop 60 is pivotally mounted to the lid 23 and the rim 30 has the recesses 70, 72. However, in an alternative embodiment, the lid prop 60 can be pivotally mounted to the rim 30 and recesses can be located in the lid 23.

In both embodiments, the lid prop can be arranged so that it neither protrudes into the interior of the container nor extends outwardly from the container walls. Such a design reduces the likelihood of damage to the lid prop and minimizes the influence of outside temperatures on the inside of the container.

Although only preferred embodiments are specifically illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated that many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings and within the purview of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and intended scope of the invention.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7748558 *Apr 13, 2006Jul 6, 2010Bart RounsBear-proof latch for a refuse container
US7753604 *Mar 17, 2006Jul 13, 2010Funai Electric Co., Ltd.Ink sheet cartridge
US7866505 *Feb 9, 2007Jan 11, 2011Blue Chip Group, LlcPortable and lockable storage container
US8079467 *Dec 1, 2006Dec 20, 2011Atlas Agi Holdings, LlcMedia storage container with storable latch
US20050104867 *Dec 17, 2004May 19, 2005University Of DelawareMethod and apparatus for integrating manual input
US20120104013 *May 3, 2012Charles Henry CowieContainer with Detent Mechanism
US20130043249 *Aug 15, 2011Feb 21, 2013Fallon Sheakia BrownRip rah garbage can
US20150130165 *Nov 14, 2013May 14, 2015William EckertTowing Apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/831, 220/324, 220/835
International ClassificationB65D43/24, B65D45/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D43/24, B65D43/22, B65D21/0223, B65D81/3818
European ClassificationB65D43/22, B65D21/02E7D, B65D43/24
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 9, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: SCA PACKAGING NORTH AMERICA, INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HASE, GARY M;REEL/FRAME:015241/0134
Effective date: 20040924
May 15, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT
Free format text: GRANT OF FIRST LIEN SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENT RIGHTS;ASSIGNOR:SCA PACKAGING NORTH AMERICA, INC.;REEL/FRAME:019297/0065
Effective date: 20070308
Owner name: JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT
Free format text: GRANT OF SECOND LIEN SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENT RIGHTS;ASSIGNOR:SCA PACKAGING NORTH AMERICA, INC.;REEL/FRAME:019297/0074
Effective date: 20070308
Jul 22, 2014ASAssignment
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:SCA PACKAGING NORTH AMERICA, INC.;REEL/FRAME:033380/0240
Owner name: TEGRANT DIVERSIFIED BRANDS, INC., ILLINOIS
Effective date: 20070418
Jul 30, 2014ASAssignment
Effective date: 20140730
Owner name: SONOCO DEVELOPMENT, INC., SOUTH CAROLINA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TEGRANT DIVERSIFIED BRANDS INC.;REEL/FRAME:033420/0007