US 20080011914 A1
The invention provides a device and methods for holding a container, such as a bottle, for example, a nail polish bottle, in a vertical or non-vertical position on an irregular or unstable surface.
1. A holder comprising a flexible casing at least partially filled with a stabilizing material, wherein the holder is weighted such that the holder is stationary when placed on an uneven, irregular or unstable surface, said flexible casing having a configurable well that is flexible and shaped and sized such that the casing well can be molded to the exterior shape of an object placed therein and to receive and to accommodate a small handheld container allowing the positioning of the container in any stationary position from horizontal to vertical wherein the container remains stationary when placed in the casing well in any position if the holder is placed on an irregular or unstable surface.
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11. A method of securely stabilizing a small handheld object in a non-vertical position in a holder comprising the steps of:
a. providing a holder having a flexible casing at least partially filled with a stabilizing material;
b. providing a flexible casing well in said casing holder, said casing well being flexible and sized and shaped such that the casing well can be molded to the exterior shape of an object placed therein and to receive a small handheld object;
c1. positioning said object within said flexible casing well in a desired angular position that is non-vertical; and
c2. securing said object in a stationary position.
12. A method as in
d1. placing an object comprising a container of a small bottle of nail polish in said casing well; and
d2. positioning said container to a desired angular position in said casing flexible well to allow access to contents in a non-vertical position within said container without spilling the contents of the container.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to devices and methods for holding a container, such as, for example, a bottle. The invention is particularly suitable for holding a nail polish bottle or cellular telephone on an irregular or unstable surface.
2. Description of Related Art
Open containers containing a fluid or solid material are subject to spillage if they are not properly secured. Conventional bottle holders, for example, that are used to avoid spillage are designed to secure a bottle in a vertical position, such as that described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,755,380 or D441,914. However, under some circumstances, it is advantageous to secure a bottle in a non-vertical position. Nail polish bottles, for example, consist of a flat bottomed bottle filled with nail polish and an elongated cap attached to a brush that is inserted into the nail polish. When a portion of the nail polish is used, the bottle must be positioned non-vertically in order to capture nail polish on the brush. For example, the bottle must be tilted at an increasingly diagonal angle as the quantity of nail polish in the bottle decreases, until the bottle is tilted to an almost horizontal position when there is very little nail polish remaining in the bottle. Some nail polish bottle holders hold the bottle in a pivoted position relative to a scaffold base, such as that described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,685,147 or D496,757. However, these holders are not stable when placed on irregular or unstable surfaces.
The unstable nature of a nail polish bottle requires that it be placed on a flat, non-moving, horizontal surface so that the bottle does not over-turn. Even if placed on a flat surface, such as a table, nail polish bottles are easily over-turned during use, resulting spillage that is damaging to surfaces and difficult or impossible to remove. There are also numerous circumstances in which a user polishes their nails on an uneven or moving surface, such as a bed, sofa, carpet or in a moving vehicle, in which case, the nail polish bottle must be placed on a surface that is unstable, either because it is uneven, soft or is subject to jolting motion.
There are other objects other than small handheld bottles that can use a holder that can be stable on uneven surfaces such as a cellular telephone. The present invention, because of its flexible pocket and wall, can easily support a cellular telephone in a variety of positions for easy access or even talking by the user in areas such as on a cell phone or irregular surface. This would allow the cellular telephone to be readily accessible and available to a user sitting in a chair or other article of furniture. The cellular telephone can be positioned in the holder well at any desired angle that permits cellular communication and access audible with the speaker and microphone.
There is, therefore, a need for a holder that is stable on an uneven or unstable surface and that can hold a container, such as a bottle, in any desired position, such as a vertical or non-vertical position.
In one aspect, the invention provides a holder that is made of a casing that is at least partially filled with a stabilizing material. The holder is shaped and weighted so that it is stationary when placed on an uneven, irregular or unstable surface. The holder contains a flexible well that is shaped to accommodate a container in any position, for example, vertical, diagonal, or horizontal. In an embodiment, the container placed in the holder is a bottle. In a preferred embodiment, the bottle is a nail polish bottle. Other small handheld items such as containers or cell phones can be supported at various angles and positions within the holder.
In another aspect, the invention provides a method for holding and stabilizing a bottle or other small object in a non-vertical position by placing a bottle in the flexible well of the holder of the invention and positioning the bottle in a non-vertical position. The holder may be placed on an uneven, irregular or unstable surface with a minimal risk that the bottle or container will over-turn and spill its contents.
In accordance with these and other objects which will become apparent hereinafter, the instant invention will now be described with particular reference to the accompanying drawings.
An embodiment of the holder of the invention is illustrated, for example, in
Referring now to
The holder in accordance with the present invention can also be used to secure other small handheld objects that may be employed in a particular environment having uneven surfaces, irregular or unstable surfaces and surfaces that are not level based on gravity. This allows the user the ability to position any small handheld object into a stable holder that allows positioning of the object being held in the well by either a horizontal angle, small angle between the horizon and vertical and at various individual angles because of the three-dimensional nature of the flexible well that can be positioned around an object in three different dimensions.
The stabilizing material 3 can be any solid or fluid material that at least partially fills the casing 4. The stabilizing material 3 should be of sufficient weighted so as to create enough friction between the holder 1 and the surface on which it is placed for the holder 1 to remain stationary and stable. In an embodiment, the stabilizing material 3 consists of beads or other particulate matter. In an embodiment, the stabilizing material 3 is made of plastic (such as, for example, polystyrene), metal (such as, for example, stainless steel), wood, gel, paper, Stryofoam, or a combination thereof.
The casing 4 is made of any natural or synthetic material, such as, for example, cloth, plastic, vinyl, leather, or a combination thereof. In an embodiment, the casing 4 is made of cotton, wool, silk, polyester, nylon, or a combination thereof. In an embodiment, the casing 4 is decorative. For example, the casing 4 may have a decorative color, print, or texture, or a combination thereof.
The holder 1 of the invention may be used on any surface or in any situation but is of particular use on irregular surfaces, such as a non-horizontal surface, or an unstable surface, such as a bed, couch, carpet, or a surface in a moving vehicle, for example. In an embodiment, a container 6, such as a bottle, may be placed in the holder 1 in a vertical or non-vertical position, such as a diagonal or horizontal position and remain stable there such that its contents do not spill out.
In another aspect, the invention provides a method for holding and stabilizing a container 6 in a non-vertical position by positioning a container 6 in the holder 1 of the invention in a non-vertical position. The holder 1 is placed on an irregular or unstable surface and stabilizes the container 6.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The foregoing embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects illustrative rather than limiting of the invention described herein. The scope of the invention is thus indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description and all changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced herein.
The instant invention has been shown and described herein in what is considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment. It is recognized, however, that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention and that obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art.