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Publication numberUS20080011914 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/780,836
Publication dateJan 17, 2008
Filing dateJul 20, 2007
Priority dateJan 4, 2005
Also published asUS20060145033, WO2006074136A2, WO2006074136A3
Publication number11780836, 780836, US 2008/0011914 A1, US 2008/011914 A1, US 20080011914 A1, US 20080011914A1, US 2008011914 A1, US 2008011914A1, US-A1-20080011914, US-A1-2008011914, US2008/0011914A1, US2008/011914A1, US20080011914 A1, US20080011914A1, US2008011914 A1, US2008011914A1
InventorsCarolyn McCombs
Original AssigneeMccombs Carolyn
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bottle Holder
US 20080011914 A1
Abstract
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.
Images(8)
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Claims(12)
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.
2. The holder according to claim 1, wherein the container is a nail polish bottle.
3. The holder according to claim 1, wherein the stabilizing material comprises particulate matter.
4. The holder according to claim 3, wherein the stabilizing material comprises beads.
5. The holder according to claim 3, wherein the particulate matter comprises at least one material selected from the group consisting of gel, paper, plastic, Styrofoam, metal, and wood.
6. The holder according to claim 3, wherein the particulate matter comprises polystyrene.
7. The holder according to claim 3, wherein the particulate matter comprises stainless steel.
8. The holder according to claim 1, wherein the casing comprises at least one material selected from the group consisting of cotton, wool, silk, polyester, nylon, vinyl, and leather.
9. The holder according to claim 1, wherein the casing well is sized and shaped to receive and accommodate a cellular telephone for positioning the cellular telephone in any stationary position in said casing well.
10. The holder according to claim 1, farther in combination with a nail polish bottle positioned in a vertical or non-vertical position.
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 claim 11 including the steps of:
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.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

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.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

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.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of an embodiment of the holder in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 1B is a side elevational cross section view of the embodiment of the holder illustrated in FIG. 1A.

FIG. 2 a is a top view of an embodiment of a casing in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 3A is a side view of an embodiment of the holder inside-out in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 3B is another side view of an embodiment of the holder inside-out in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of an embodiment of the holder containing a bottle in a vertical position in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 4B is a cross section of the embodiment of the holder illustrated in FIG. 4A.

FIG. 5A is a perspective view of an embodiment of the holder containing a bottle in a diagonal position in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 5B is a cross section of the embodiment of the holder illustrated in FIG. 5A.

FIG. 6A is a perspective view of an embodiment of the holder containing a bottle in a horizontal position in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 6B is a cross section of the embodiment of the holder illustrated in FIG. 6A.

FIG. 7 is a cross section of the holder containing a cellular telephone.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

An embodiment of the holder of the invention is illustrated, for example, in FIG. 1A and designated generally at 1. The base of the holder 1 is pictured as having a substantially square shape but may have any other suitable or desired shape, such as, for example, a circular, oval, rectangular, or star shape. Referring to FIG. 1B, the holder 1 has a well 2 into which a container may be placed. The inside of the holder 1 contains a weighted stabilizing material 3 that is surrounded by a casing 4. The well 2 is flexible in that it is shaped to hold a container when placed therein or can mold to the shape of a container that is placed therein. For example, at least part of the casing 4 (e.g., the portion of the casing 4 within the well 2) may be made of a stretchable material, for example, a polyester and nylon blend or spandex.

FIGS. 2 a and 2 b illustrate exemplary designs for a casing that can be sewn to make the holder 1 of the invention.

Referring now to FIG. 2 a and FIG. 2 b, two different plan configurations or shapes are shown of the flexible casing used in the present invention. The embodiment shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B is shown in FIG. 2 a. The shape shown in FIG. 2 a has a curved center section spreading outwardly that end in rectangular end sections. When the casing sides are sewn together, the weighted material added and the casing well is sewn together. With respect to the configuration shown in FIG. 2 b, when the casing is sewn together with the partially filled weighted material inside, it can be seen that the inner portions of the casing are not curved but are straight lines that taper and result in four rectangles which are sewed together to form the well. The result is that the holder base configuration shown in FIG. 2 b will have a rectangular or square base after it has been filled with the weighted material. Regardless of the configuration (whether it is shown in FIG. 2 a or FIG. 2 b), the operation of the device and the ability to position a small object within the well of the holder and any angular position will still be maintained.

FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate an embodiment of the holder 1 of the invention in which the material that comprises the well 2 of the casing 4 is withdrawn from the center of the holder 1.

FIG. 4A illustrates an embodiment of the invention in which a nail polish bottle 6 is placed in the holder 1 in a vertical position. Although a nail polish bottle 6 is pictured, it is anticipated that any bottle or other container that requires stabilization may be placed in the holder 1. FIG. 4B illustrates that the nail polish bottle 6 is able to fit securely into the flexible well 2 such that the weighted stabilizing material 3 at least partially surrounds the bottle 6.

FIG. 5A illustrates an embodiment of the invention in which a nail polish bottle 6 is placed in the holder 1 in a diagonal position. FIG. 5B illustrates that the nail polish bottle 6 is able to fit securely into the well 2 when placed at an angle and that the well 2 is flexible in that it can shift position relative to the remainder of the holder 1.

FIG. 6A illustrates an embodiment of the invention in which a nail polish bottle 6 is placed in the holder 1 in a horizontal position. FIG. 6B illustrates that the nail polish bottle 6 is able to fit securely into the well 2 when placed in a horizontal position and that the well 2 is flexible in that it can shift position relative to the holder 1.

Referring to FIG. 7, an alternate embodiment of the present invention is shown which includes a holder 10 that has a flexible casing 10 a and a well 10 b that is sized and shaped to receive a cell phone 12 that may include a cell phone speaker or display 14. The holder well 10 b can conform to the lower configuration of the cell phone so that the cell phone is safely and stably positioned regardless of the attitude or position of the holder 10 on an uneven surface. Thus, the holder 10 could be used on furniture such as a chair or sofa that may not have an even or level surface for securely supporting the cell phone in a position that either allows the cell phone to be readily accessible to a user in the area or for even using speaker phone calls on the cell phone itself while it is securely positioned near the user. The user can see the face of the phone without picking the phone up and putting it down.

FIG. 7 shows a pair of cloth tabs 16 and 18 that have hook and pile fasteners 20 attached at one end to the casing base. The purpose of the cloth tabs 16 and 18 is to hold in place battery charger wires that connect to the cell phone in order to charge the cell phone during charging. The charger that plugs into a wall receptacle and the wires are not shown in FIG. 7. The charger wires are placed through and between tabs 16 and 18 and are held together by fasteners 20.

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.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7988106 *Feb 23, 2007Aug 2, 2011Carnevali Jeffrey DAdaptive mounting structure
US20130087572 *Oct 6, 2011Apr 11, 2013Michael S. DingesBeverage container holder having a three-dimensional figure
Classifications
U.S. Classification248/146
International ClassificationA47G23/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47G23/0241, A45D29/00, A45D34/00, A45D2034/002, A47G2400/083
European ClassificationA47G23/02B, A45D34/00