US 20090272659 A1
A cosmetic case is provided that includes a frame and a plurality of interleaved, vertically tiered compartments for the storage of cosmetics or other items. The compartments of the plurality are independent and can pivot laterally to an open position. The case is provided with a mirror which can occupy either a storage position or a viewing position. The mirror storage position can be located in the frame or in a compartment, preferably an uppermost compartment that is hinged on a horizontal axis. The case includes a pair of pivot shafts enabling selected compartments to pivot in an opposed lateral direction to an open position so that more than one compartment can be readily opened for concurrent display of their contents.
1. A case comprising:
a frame including a lower portion, an upper portion and a back portion extending therebetween;
a pair of spaced apart hinge pins extending between said lower portion and said upper portion;
a plurality of trays located between said lower portion and said upper portion, each said tray having a floor defining a perimeter and a continuously extending raised side edge about said perimeter, each said tray further defining an opening for receiving at least one article for storage;
said trays including a hinge socket for receiving one of said hinge pins for swingable mounting thereon and a latch for engaging either the other of said hinge pins or said frame;
said plurality of trays being arranged with different trays supported by different ones of said hinge pins; and
each of said trays being independently movable with respect to the other trays.
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17. A portable case comprising:
a frame having a lower portion, an upper portion, and a back portion, said lower portion and said upper portion each extending in spaced relationship relative to each other outwardly from said back portion;
said upper portion and said lower portion each having a similar perimeter;
a pair of spaced pivot shaft members extending between said lower portion and said upper portion adjacent to said back portion;
a plurality of compartments, each having a perimeter corresponding to that of said similar perimeter, said compartment plurality being arranged in a vertically tiered and aligned sequence and being located between said upper portion and said lower portion and adjacent to said back portion;
each said compartment comprising a bottom panel having said perimeter and a continuously extending, raised side edge about said perimeter of said bottom panel and cooperating with the bottom panel to define an upwardly opening cavity therein;
each said compartment having connection means for pivotably associating that compartment with an adjacent portion of one of said pivot shaft members, with each compartment independently pivotable between a closed position located generally in said tiered and aligned sequence and an open position pivoted away from said back portion;
a catch releasably engageable with either one of said pivot shaft members or said frame, for retaining each said compartment in said closed position; and
a transport member for suspending and transporting said frame in association with said plurality of compartments arranged in their respective closed positions.
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This application is based on a previously filed U.S. non-provisional patent application Ser. No. 11/131,102 filed May 17, 2005, which is based on previously filed U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/672,830 filed Apr. 19, 2005, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.
The present invention relates to a cosmetic case and, in particular, to a portable cosmetic case having a plurality of readily accessible storage compartments and a retractable mirror.
Handbags of various shapes and sizes have been used for many years. One disadvantage of many handbags is the inability to organize the materials stored in the bag in a manner that renders those materials readily accessible. Portable cases for cosmetics have been developed with a number of vertically tiered compartments which can be used to store various items for easy access. For example, the case could store cosmetic materials, keys, and even cell phones in an organized and readily accessible manner.
However, such cases do not contain a mirror which can be stored when not in use and which can be retrieved for use in applying cosmetics. There is a need for a portable case with a plurality of vertically tiered compartments which incorporates such a mirror.
In addition, cases are needed for cosmetics, jewelry as well as various hobbies that are able to organize and simultaneous display a number of items and which is able to quickly and easily adapt for transport of those items from one location to another. In particular, a need has arisen for accommodating a large number of items which does not require manipulation of the items themselves, when converting the case between a display position and a travel position, for example. Further, a need has arisen for providing economical cases of the type described above, which are light weight and readily adapted to be carried for personal use.
The present invention relates to a case such as a cosmetic case having a frame including a lower portion, an upper portion and a back portion extending therebetween, along with a pair of spaced apart hinge pins extending between the lower portion and the upper portion. A plurality of trays are located between the lower portion and the upper portion, each tray having a floor defining a perimeter and a continuously extending raised side edge about the perimeter, and defining an opening for receiving at least one article for storage. The trays include a hinge socket for receiving one of the hinge pins for swingable mounting thereon and a latch for engaging either the other hinge pin or the frame. The plurality of trays are arranged with different trays supported by different one of the hinge pins, and each of the trays are independently movable with respect to the other trays.
In other aspects, the present invention relates to a portable case having a frame having a lower portion, an upper portion and a back portion. The lower and upper portions each extend in spaced relationship relative to each other, outwardly from the back portion. The upper portion and the lower portion each have a similar perimeter. A pair of spaced pivot shaft members extend between the lower portion and the upper portion adjacent to the back portion. A plurality of compartments is provided. The compartments preferably have a common shape and size so as to present a common profile or perimeter. The compartments are arranged in a vertically tiered and aligned sequence. Preferably, the plurality of compartments is arranged between the upper and the lower portion and rear portions of the compartments are located adjacent to the back portion.
Each compartment has a bottom panel and a continuously extending, raised side edge cooperating with the bottom panel to define an upwardly opening cavity therein. Each compartment has connection means for pivotably associating that compartment with an adjacent portion of the pivot shaft members when the compartment plurality is in the vertically tiered and aligned sequence and is located between the upper portion and the lower portion. Each compartment is independently pivotable about the pivot shaft member, between a closed position located generally in said tiered and aligned sequence and an open position located generally laterally of said tiered and aligned sequence. A catch is releasably engageable with either one of the pivot shaft members or the frame, for retaining each compartment in its closed position. A transport member is provided for suspending and transporting the frame, with the plurality of compartments all maintained in their respective closed positions.
Other objects, aims, purposes, features, benefits, advantages, embodiments and the like will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the accompanying disclosure.
In the drawings which comprise a portion of this disclosure:
Preferably a case of the invention has a right angle relationship between the components, but, as those skilled in the art will appreciate, such a relationship is not required. Other configurations can be employed as when a particular artistic effect or appearance is desired, or when a case is to conform to a particular location, or the like. A back portion 18 may have a perimeter that is configured, for example, as a trapezoid, and the upper portion 16 and the lower portion 14 may be laterally offset, one relative to the other, etc. Similarly, and correspondingly, the plurality of trays or compartments 26, as described and explained below, that is situated in the frame 12, may, if desired, have a configuration that conforms to the general geometric configuration of the frame 12, or otherwise if desired.
As is characteristic of the frame 12 of all embodiments of this invention (including those embodiments shown in
The upper portion 16 and the lower portion 14 preferably have similar sizes and configurations and generally matching respective perimeters. This perimeter can be considered to define a forward region and a rear region. The respective opposite ends of each such region meet whereby an opposite end of the rear region meets an opposite end of the forward region and an acute angle is defined therebetween. Thus, the perimeter defines two opposed acute angles preferably located on respective opposing sides thereof, and preferably these acute angles are about equal in size. Preferably, regarding the perimeter, the rear region extends straight and the forward region extends outwardly relative to the rear region to define a desired geometric configuration. For example, the perimeter of the upper portion 16 and the lower portion 14 can define a triangle, a parallelogram, a hemi-circle (presently preferred) wherein the diameter corresponds to the rear region, or otherwise as desired.
The case 10 incorporates a hinge pin or pivot shaft member 24 that extends preferably perpendicularly between the lower portion 14 and the upper portion 16 adjacent to the back portion 18 and also adjacent to one of the acute angles. Thus, the pivot shaft member 24 can extend so as to be adjacent one of the two acute angles located at each rear corner 27 of each compartment 26. The pivot shaft member 24 can be comprised of heavy steel wire, extruded plastic or the like.
The case 10 includes a plurality (preferably in the range from about 4 to 8) of independent trays or compartments 26 for storing and transporting cosmetic and like materials. An inner surface of a compartment can include a magnetic portion or a clip (not shown) for holding a cosmetic brush or the like. Each compartment 26 has a perimeter that is preferably similar to that of the upper portion 16 and the lower portion 14 so that all such perimeters are similar and preferably about the same. The compartment 26 plurality is preferably arranged in a vertically layered and aligned sequence and the plurality is preferably positioned (located) between the lower portion 14 and the upper portion 16 and also adjacent to the back portion 18.
Each compartment 26 comprises preferably flat bottom panel 28 that preferably has the indicated perimeter that is common in size and configuration to the lower portion 14 and the upper portion 16. A continuously extending, raised side edge 30 that preferably is vertically upstanding (when viewed externally) is provided about the perimeter of the bottom panel 28. In each compartment 26, the height of the raised side edge 30 can be the same as in other compartments 26, or the edge 30 can vary in height from one compartment 26 to the next. An upwardly opening cavity 31 is thus defined by the panel 28 and the side edge 30 in each compartment 26. Compartments 26 of the same compartment plurality can have same or differing volumes can be provided as may be desired. In accord with the perimeter contour of the upper portion 16 and the lower portion 14, with which the perimeter of panel 28 of each compartment 26 is preferably similar, the spaced, opposed rear corner portions 27 of each compartment 26 each define an acute angle. Thus, a compartment 26 has two such acute angles which are preferably similar in size and configuration.
Those skilled in the art will appreciate that a compartment plurality is preferably configured to fit into a frame 12, as indicated. However, if desired, the individual compartments 26, though vertically tiered and adjacent to one another, may be inclined relative to a (hypothetical) vertical, and the side edges 30 may, if desired, be similarly inclined. Each compartment 26 can be formed of a material such as above indicated for the frame 12. In addition, the exterior surface of each compartment and the frame 12 can be decorated, for example, with crystals, sequins, faux fur and the like.
Each compartment 26 adjacent a corner portion 27 thereof is adapted to accommodate a laterally adjacent portion of the pivot shaft means 24 when the compartment 26 plurality is associated with the base 12 and is in its vertically layered and aligned tiered sequence with each compartment 26 cavity being upwardly oriented. Each compartment 26 has connection means for pivotably independently associating each compartment 26 with an adjacent portion of the pivot shaft means 24. Various connection means such as are known to art can be employed, as those skilled in the art will appreciate.
For simplicity, a present preference for the connection means is to define a hole or opening 32 in the bottom panel 28 in the area of a corner portion 27 thereof which opening 32 is adjacent to, or situated to accommodate therethrough the pivot shaft means 24. The opening 32 preferably can extend also through a preferably locally thickened area in raised side edge 30 which can provide an elongated opening 32 that is desirable for purposes of stabilizing the pivot movement of a compartment 26 relative to a pivot shaft means 24. Each of the openings 32 in the compartments 26 is such that, when the pivot shaft means 24 is extended therethrough, each compartment 26 is pivotable relative to the pivot shaft means 24. During assembly of the case 10, the pivot shaft means 24 can be, if desired, conveniently slidably extended progressively through the openings 32 defined in each of the members 26 of the compartment plurality. In the assembly, respective opposite ends of the pivot shaft means 24 are each conveniently engaged terminally with the upper portion 16 and the lower portion 14 by conventional means, including, for example, blind rivets, adhesively bonded clamps, self-threading nuts, or the like. Thus, each compartment 26 can swing independently laterally outwardly to one side away from the mid-portion 18 and the closed plurality of compartments 26 to an open position for access to a compartment 26. If desired, washers or spacer sleeves, not detailed, can be positioned on the pivot shaft means between adjacent compartments 26.
The compartments 26 of the compartment plurality when pivoted to their respective closed positions can also be individually disassociatively associated in their respective closed positions with the frame 12. For example, a snap-fit or friction-fit engagement can be provided between adjacent compartments or more preferably, between each compartment 26 and an adjacent portion of the frame 12. If desired, the compartments can be provided with inter-engaging detents and sockets located, for example, either on the side edge 30 or the panel 28. Preferably, the detents are made releasably engageable for ready opening and closing of the compartments.
To facilitate movement, carrying or transport of case 10, a handle, chain, or the like can be associated therewith. For example, each of the opposite ends of a chain or strap 42 can be secured to a different opposed upper side of the mid-portion 18 or of the upper portion 16. The chain or strap 42 can either be permanently or releasably secured to the case 10, as may be desired. Preferably, as shown in the embodiments illustrated, the extensions 34 are preferably offset relative to the strap 36 to avoid interference.
A case 10 is preferably provided with an internally storable mirror that can remain stored in the case until use thereof is desired. Various arrangements can be employed. For example, and as shown in
Alternatively, the slot 44 can be enclosed within the back portion 18 as shown in
In a further alternative, the compartment 52 can be provided with a lid member having a rear edge portion that is pivotably connected to a rearward portion of the compartment 52 by means of a horizontally oriented hinge 54. The inside surface of the lid member can be associated with a mirror 56, as shown in
When the mirror 56 is associated with the compartment 52 or the lid thereof, the compartments 26 of the underlying or lower compartment plurality can be maintained in their respective closed configurations, if desired, by a retaining means, such as the strap 36 and the snap buckle 38/tab 40 assembly as shown in
As in the embodiment of
Each bottom panel 28′ of a compartment 26′ defines an opening 32′ preferably in one side of the rear portion thereof for receiving either pivot shaft member 24 a or 24 b. In a preferred embodiment, compartments 26′ each include openings 32′ in opposed sides of their respective bottom panels 28′ relative to the location of the opening 32′ in an adjacent compartment 26′. In place of an opening 32′, a compartment 26′ can be provided with a notch-like indentation which permits a selected compartment 26′ to bypass a particular pivot shaft member 24 a or 24 b. The compartments 26′ can be assembled with respective ones of either shaft member 24 a or 24 b. As a result, compartments 26′ of the compartment plurality can be arranged so that each pivotably swings about one of the respective pivot members 24 a and 24 b with selected ones of each compartment 26′ pivoting in one lateral direction and others of the compartments pivoting in the opposed lateral direction as illustrated for example in
As indicated, each compartment 26′ preferably includes (in the end opposed to the end having the opening 32′) a cutaway segment 58 which allows a compartment 26′ to be closed without engaging the opposite pivot member 24 a or 24 b, as the case may be (see, for example,
A handle, strap 36′ or the like can be provided if desired. For example, strap 36′ can be in association with a snap buckle 38′/tab 40′ assembly, as described above, or otherwise as may be desired, to maintain the compartments 26′ each in a closed position. As an alternative, a friction-fit engagement can be provided to secure the compartments 26′ each in a closed position whereby the height of the raised side edge 30′ in the area of the cutaway segment 58 of each compartment 26′ is slightly increased so that the edges of the cutaway segment 58 of one compartment 26′ press against the bottom panel 28′ or raised edge 30′ of an adjacent compartment.
The embodiment of
In one embodiment, the plurality of trays 76 are arranged in two interleaved sets of trays, one set supported by hinge pin 80 and the other set supported by hinge pin 82. With reference to
In the preferred embodiment illustrated in the Figures, frame 72 includes a tray-like compartment 94 at its upper end, and a base or platform 96 at its lower end. Upper compartment 94 includes a floor 98 and an upstanding edge wall 102 extending above floor 98 and cooperating therewith so as to form an upwardly opening cavity. Upper compartment 94 includes a back wall 104 which blends with a housing portion 106 which receives the upper ends of hinge pins 80, 82. A lid 112 is hinged at 114 to frame 72. A panel, preferably comprising a framed mirror 120, is received in channels 122 formed at the rear of frame 72. As can be seen in
In the preferred embodiment, case 70 is provided with one or more releasable fastening means for releasably securing accessories to a back wall or bottom of the case. The releasable fastener means may comprise, for example, cooperating intersliding channels, snap fasteners, hook and loop fasteners, and the like. Complementary fastener members may be provided for cellular telephones, beepers, wireless transmitting devices, personal digital assistants, and the like items which can be conveniently carried along with the case. The accessories could include, for example, a releasable attachment to a dashboard of a car, or a mounting plug that would fit into a cup holder of a car. The dashboard attachment would preferably be fitted to the back wall of the case, while the cup holder attachment would be fitted to the bottom of the case.
Turning now to
If desired, other numbers of pan or storage segments 152 can be employed. For example, three storage segments 152 could be arranged within outer ring 158. It is not necessary that the outer ring be integrally formed with the storage segments. Instead, the various storage segments could either be separately formed or formed together as a subunit and located within an outer ring 158.
A plurality of latch tabs 146 extend upwardly above floor 130 and include a locking hook at their upper ends. An insert 150 is provided in the embodiments illustrated in the figures, such as
In one preferred embodiment, outer ring 158 has an upper edge which is generally flush with the upper edge of edge wall 132. The areas between outer ring 158 and storage segments 152 can be used as additional storage segments if desired. Referring to
As with the other embodiments described herein, case 70 can be formed from a wide variety of materials such as molded plastic (presently preferred), molded filled plastic, compositions of resin and molded wood or paper waste, covered cardboard or masonite, painted or padded sheet metal, and the like. Although it is generally preferred at all of the components of case 70 be formed from molded plastic, it may be desirable in certain instances, to form various components of case 70 from different materials. For example, the hinge pins 80,82 and their handles 84 could be formed from metal material.
Further, the cases described herein may be made to virtually any scale desired. For example, the cases can be made in a first larger size for home use, a second size to serve as a purse or to fit within a purse, and a mini-size to be worn as a necklace, or to be carried on a keychain or a belt loop.
It will be readily apparent from the foregoing description and the accompanying drawings that various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts of this invention.