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Publication numberUS20080023423 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/461,053
Publication dateJan 31, 2008
Filing dateJul 31, 2006
Priority dateJul 31, 2006
Publication number11461053, 461053, US 2008/0023423 A1, US 2008/023423 A1, US 20080023423 A1, US 20080023423A1, US 2008023423 A1, US 2008023423A1, US-A1-20080023423, US-A1-2008023423, US2008/0023423A1, US2008/023423A1, US20080023423 A1, US20080023423A1, US2008023423 A1, US2008023423A1
InventorsJames Francis Duffy
Original AssigneeJames Francis Duffy
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for Holding and Displaying Vial-shaped Beverage Containers
US 20080023423 A1
Abstract
The present invention is a device that holds and displays vial-shaped containers in commercial refrigerators and other locations. The device of the present invention can be positioned in locations currently occupied by other beverage holders, such as attached to the inside of a glass door. The device can also be configured to occupy locations not currently occupied by other devices, such as suspended from the top-inside of a refrigerator, between the glass door and the horizontal shelving, and made of either a flexible or rigid material. The hardware used to attach the horizontal configuration differs from the hardware used to attach the vertical configuration. The holes in each configuration will also differ.
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Claims(14)
1. A device for holding and displaying vial-shaped containers comprising:
a vertical rectangular surface region;
said rectangular surface region has a depth with a minimum thickness of 1 mm and is further comprised of four sides equal to said depth; and
said rectangular surface region is further comprised of a plurality of holes.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein the length and width of the rectangular surface region is dependent upon the diameter and quantity of the vials required to be held.
3. The device of claim 2 wherein the holes are circular, non-joining, and are spaced along a linear path on the rectangular surface region.
4. The device of claim 1 wherein the depth is not less than 1 mm.
5. The device of claim 1 further comprising:
a back-forming portion which is rectangular and vertical with respect to the a rectangular surface region with a minimum wall thickness of 1 mm; and
mounting hardware means attached to said back-forming portion.
6. The device of claim 5 wherein the back edge of the bottom forming portion joins with the bottom edge of the back-forming portion to create a flange for attaching the device to a commercial freezer.
7. The device of claim 3 wherein a hook is attached to one end of the rectangular surface region in such a manner so that the rectangular surface region is supported on one end by the hook and suspended in a vertical position.
8. The device of claim 7 wherein the holes are elliptical-shaped.
9. The device of claim 8 wherein the eccentricity of the elliptical-shaped holes 2 can vary between 0 and 1.
10. The device of claim 5 wherein a plurality of hooks are attached to the back-forming portion in such a manner so that the rectangular surface region is supported and suspended in a horizontal position.
11. The device of claim 10 wherein the distance between each hole 2 is dependent upon the diameter of the closure area of the vial-shaped containers.
12. The device of claim 5 wherein a plurality of suction cups are attached to the back-forming portion in such a manner so that the rectangular surface region is supported and suspended in a horizontal position.
13. The device of claim 5 wherein a plurality of hooks are attached to the back-forming portion and such hooks are attached to suction cups in such a manner so that the rectangular surface region is supported and suspended in a horizontal position.
14. The device of claim 14 wherein said holes are only large enough to accommodate the diameter of vial-shaped containers but small enough such that the cap area of the vial-shaped containers does not pass through said holes.
Description
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not Applicable

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to container holders. More specifically the present invention relates to a beverage container holder for use inside a commercial refrigerator.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The width of the closure area on conventional beverage containers, whether plastic or metal, is either the same or smaller than the body of the container. In order to suspend these containers from a holder inside a commercial refrigerator, the holder must have a bottom to support the containers. In contrast, the width of the closure area on a vial-shaped beverage container is wider than the body, which allows for the creation of novel container holders.

Those of ordinary skill in the art in the industry will recognize that there are devices for holding and displaying conventional containers in commercial refrigerators. These devices may rest on the refrigerator shelves, or they may attach via suction cups to the glass doors. The shortcoming of these devices is that they are made of two or more pieces of material, not including any mounting hardware, which increases the production cost and decreases the structural integrity.

The present invention accommodates vial-shaped containers and can be used in similar locations as the aforementioned prior art devices, but it may also be used in spaces not currently occupied by the devices known in the prior art. Additionally, the present invention is made of one piece of material, not including any mounting hardware, which provides a manufacturing and cost advantage over the prior art devices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The purpose of the device for holding and displaying vial-shaped beverage containers of the present invention is to provide a device that holds and displays vial-shaped containers in commercial refrigerators and other locations. The device of the present invention can be positioned in locations currently occupied by other beverage holders, such as attached to the inside of a glass door. In this location and position, the device would be positioned horizontally and made of a rigid material.

The invention can also be configured to occupy locations not currently occupied by other devices, such as suspended from the top-inside of a refrigerator, between the glass door and the horizontal shelving, and made of either a flexible or rigid material. The hardware used to attach the horizontal configuration differs from the hardware used to attach the vertical configuration. The holes in each configuration will also differ.

This invention can be made from many different types of plastics or other materials, and there are many different types of hardware and apparatus that can be used to attach the invention. Further, this invention is not dependent upon the process by which the materials are formed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and form a part of the specification, illustrate the present invention and, together with the description, further serve to explain the principles of the invention and to enable a person skilled in the pertinent art to make and use the invention.

FIG. 1 is a front view of the present invention as it is used in a vertical configuration;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the present invention as it is used in a vertical configuration;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the present invention as it is used in a vertical configuration;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the present invention as it is used in a vertical configuration illustrating the vial-shaped containers positioned in the invention, as well as a hook for attaching the invention;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the present invention as it is used in a horizontal configuration;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the present invention as it is used in a horizontal configuration;

FIG. 7 is a top view of the present invention as it is used in a horizontal configuration;

FIG. 8 is a side view of the present invention as it is used in a horizontal configuration illustrating the vial-shaped containers positioned in the device of the present invention and one possible mounting option using suction cups and a hook;

FIG. 9 is a side view of the present invention as it is used in a horizontal configuration illustrating the vial-shaped containers positioned in the device of the present invention and a second possible mounting option using suction cups; and

FIG. 10 is a front view of the present invention as it is used in a horizontal configuration illustrating the vial-shaped containers positioned in the device of the present invention and the mounting option depicted in FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following detailed description of the invention of exemplary embodiments of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings (where like numbers represent like elements), which form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration specific exemplary embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, but other embodiments may be utilized and logical, mechanical, electrical, and other changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. The following detailed description is therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims.

In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. However, it is understood that the invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures and techniques known to one of ordinary skill in the art have not been shown in detail in order not to obscure the invention.

Referring to the figures, it is possible to see the various major elements constituting the device of the present invention. The device consists of a flat, rectangular surface having holes large enough to accommodate the diameter of vial-shaped containers, and small enough such that the closure area of the containers does not pass through said holes. The device is further comprised of a plurality of holes that are either circular or elliptical, depending upon whether the device is suspended horizontally or vertically, respectively. The eccentricity of the holes can vary between 0 and 1. The number of holes and spacing between the holes is dependent upon the size of the vial and the height or width of the area in which the invention will be mounted.

Now referring to FIG. 1, device for holding and displaying vial-shaped beverage containers of the present invention is illustrated. The device consists of a rectangular surface region 1 with a plurality of elliptical-shaped holes 2. The length and width of the rectangular surface region 1 invention as shown in FIG. 1 is dependent upon the diameter and quantity of the vials the device is required to hold, which can vary for a number of reasons such as the size of the commercial refrigerator or the number of vials wishing to be displayed or offered for sale. The eccentricity of the elliptical-shaped holes 2 can vary between 0 and 1.

Now referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the rectangular surface region 1 further consists of four sides each of which has a depth with a minimum thickness of 1 mm. The thickness may be increased as necessary to support increased weight due to the number of size of the vials, but can not be less than 1 mm for the device to properly function.

The material of the rectangular surface region 1 and can be any plastic or other material suitable of supporting a gross weight of at least one kilogram, including but not limited to polypropylene, polyethylene and PVC. The material can be clear, translucent or opaque.

Back-forming portion 4 of the present invention as shown in FIG. 5 is rectangular and vertical with respect to the rectangular surface region 1 of the bottom forming portion 5 with a minimum wall thickness of 1 mm. Mounting hardware attaches to the back-forming portion 4. The bottom forming portion 5 of the present invention shown in FIG. 5 is rectangular and horizontal with respect to back-forming portion 4 and also has a minimum wall thickness of 1 mm.

Now referring to FIG. 4, a hook 6 is attached to one end of the rectangular surface region 1 in such a manner so that the rectangular surface region 1 is supported on one end by the hook 2 and suspended. In this vertical position, the device of the present invention can hold a plurality of vials 7.

As illustrated in FIG. 6, the back edge of the bottom forming portion 5 joins with the bottom edge of the back-forming portion 4 to create a flange for attaching the device to a commercial freezer.

Now referring to FIG. 7, circular, non-joining holes 2 are spaced along a linear path on the rectangular surface region 1. The distance between each hole 2 is dependent upon the diameter of the closure area of the vial-shaped containers.

FIG. 8 is a side view of the present invention as it is used in a horizontal configuration illustrating the vial-shaped containers 7 positioned in the device of the present invention and one possible mounting option using suction cups 8 and a hook 6.

FIG. 9 is a side view of the present invention as it is used in a horizontal configuration illustrating the vial-shaped containers 7 positioned in the device of the present invention and a second possible mounting option using suction cups 8 integrated into the back-forming portion 4.

Now referring to FIG. 10 a front view of the present invention as it is used in a horizontal configuration illustrating the vial-shaped containers 7 positioned in the device of the present invention and the mounting option mounting option using a plurality of suction cups 8 and hooks 6.

It is appreciated that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variation in size, materials, shape, form, function, and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the above description are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Furthermore, other areas of art may benefit from this method and adjustments to the design are anticipated. Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8016779 *Apr 9, 2007Sep 13, 2011Tyco Healthcare Group LpCompression device having cooling capability
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/85.18, 211/88.01
International ClassificationA47G29/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47F7/283, B01L9/06, F25D2331/809, A47B73/004, F25D25/005
European ClassificationA47F7/28C, F25D25/00A, A47B73/00C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 21, 2011ASAssignment
Effective date: 20110119
Owner name: PROTICA, INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DUFFY HOLDINGS, LLC;REEL/FRAME:025675/0608
May 20, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: DUFFY HOLDINGS, LLC, PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DUFFY, JAMES FRANCIS, MR.;REEL/FRAME:022712/0871
Effective date: 20090430