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Publication numberUS20090272659 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/918,762
PCT numberPCT/US2006/014784
Publication dateNov 5, 2009
Filing dateApr 19, 2006
Priority dateApr 19, 2005
Publication number11918762, 918762, PCT/2006/14784, PCT/US/2006/014784, PCT/US/2006/14784, PCT/US/6/014784, PCT/US/6/14784, PCT/US2006/014784, PCT/US2006/14784, PCT/US2006014784, PCT/US200614784, PCT/US6/014784, PCT/US6/14784, PCT/US6014784, PCT/US614784, US 2009/0272659 A1, US 2009/272659 A1, US 20090272659 A1, US 20090272659A1, US 2009272659 A1, US 2009272659A1, US-A1-20090272659, US-A1-2009272659, US2009/0272659A1, US2009/272659A1, US20090272659 A1, US20090272659A1, US2009272659 A1, US2009272659A1
InventorsStephanie A Kaiser, Pamela M. Kaiser
Original AssigneeStephanie A Kaiser, Kaiser Pamela M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cosmetic case
US 20090272659 A1
Abstract
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.
Images(12)
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Claims(18)
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.
2. The case of claim 1 wherein said pivot members of said pair of pivot members are generally coextensive.
3. The case of claim 1 wherein said latch is releasable for releasably engaging the other of said hinge pins.
4. The case of claim 1 wherein said plurality of trays are serially arranged one on top of the other.
5. The case of claim 1 wherein said plurality of trays are arranged in a single continuous serial array.
6. The case of claim 1 wherein said plurality of trays are arranged in two serial arrays, each array being supported by a respective one of said hinge pins.
7. The case of claim 6 wherein the trays of the serial arrays are interleaved with one another.
8. The case of claim 6 wherein the plurality of trays are arranged in a single serial overall array, with a succession of trays taken from each of the serial arrays, alternately.
9. The case of claim 1 wherein the hinge pins are selectively removable.
10. The case of claim 1 further comprising a storage divider receivable in at least one of said trays.
11. The case of claim 10 wherein said storage divider comprises a plurality of storage segments disposed inside of an outer ring.
12. The case of claim 11 wherein the outer ring is releasable engageable with the floor of said at least one tray.
13. The case of claim 1 wherein said frame further comprises an upper compartment disposed above said plurality of trays.
14. The case of claim 13 wherein said case further comprises a lid covering said upper compartment.
15. The case of claim 1 wherein said frame further comprises a back wall carrying at least one releasable fastener for releasably securing an external object to said case.
16. The case of claim 3 wherein said latch comprises a collar defining a channel for receiving a portion of one of said hinge pins.
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.
18. The case of claim 17 further comprising a mirror positionable successively in each one of two positions, a first position being a non-viewable case-associated storage position, and a second position being a case-supported viewable position.
Description
RELATED APPLICATION

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.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

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.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

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.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

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.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings which comprise a portion of this disclosure:

FIG. 1 is an environmental perspective front view of a first embodiment of the cosmetic case of the present invention wherein the case is supported and suspended by a chain or strap;

FIG. 2 is a perspective front view similar to FIG. 1 but showing dashed lines for portions of certain components and showing a compartment of the cosmetic case in an opened position and the mirror in an extended position;

FIG. 3 is a perspective rear view of the cosmetic case of FIG. 1 showing dashed lines for portions of certain components and showing the mirror in a retracted, stored position;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the cosmetic case of FIG. 1 showing dashed lines for portions of certain components;

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the cosmetic case of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view similar to FIG. 4 but showing a compartment in an open position with dashed lines showing position of certain components when the compartment is closed;

FIG. 7 is a rear elevational view of the cosmetic case of FIG. 1 showing dashed lines for portions of certain components;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken radially and perpendicularly through the back wall and adjacent lateral portions of the cosmetic case of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 but showing the mirror in the extended position shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 10 is a perspective rear view of an alternative embodiment of the cosmetic case of the present invention showing an alternative construction for storing the mirror in a retracted, stored position and showing dashed lines for portions of certain components;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken radially and perpendicularly along the plane 11-11 through the back wall and adjacent lateral portions of the embodiment of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary front perspective view of the upper portion of an alternative embodiment of the cosmetic case of the present invention wherein the uppermost compartment is hingeably connected to an adjacent upper portion of the base frame and showing dashed and phantom lines for portions of certain components;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary rear perspective view of the upper portion of the embodiment of FIG. 12 showing the hinged uppermost compartment in a closed position and showing dashed lines for portions of certain components;

FIG. 14 a fragmentary front perspective view of the upper portion of another alternative embodiment of the cosmetic case of the present invention wherein a pair of adjacent compartments open in opposed directions relative to each other;

FIG. 15 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 14 showing dashed lines for portions of one component;

FIG. 16 is a horizontal sectional view taken below the top wall of the embodiment of FIG. 14 showing the pair of adjacent compartments in their respective closed positions;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of the case of the present invention;

FIG. 18 is a perspective view with the components thereof in an open position;

FIG. 19 is a top plan view thereof;

FIG. 20 is a side elevational view thereof;

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of a tray component thereof;

FIG. 22 is a bottom plan view of the tray of FIG. 21; and

FIG. 23 is a fragmentary perspective view of one rear corner of the case shown in FIG. 17.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1-9 show an embodiment 10 of a cosmetic case of the present invention. The cosmetic case 10 comprises a base frame 12 that includes a lower portion 14, an upper portion 16 and a mid- (or medial or back) portion 18. The back portion 18 extends between the respective opposed rear edges 20 and 22 of the lower portion 14 and the upper portion 16. The lower portion 14 and the upper portion 16 are each preferably flat and preferably have similar perimeters. Preferably they extend in vertically spaced, parallel relationship relative to each other although diagonal but parallel arrangements can be used if desired. The back portion 18 is preferably flat and preferably extends perpendicularly between the lower portion 14 and the upper portion 16 although the back portion can extend diagonally between the portions 14 and 16 if desired. Preferably the back portion 18 has a perimeter that defines a parallelogram with upper and lower edge portions that are in spaced, parallel relationship relative to each other. More preferably, the parallelogram is rectangular.

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 FIG. 17 and following), the frame 12 and its portions 14, 16 and 18 can be variously fabricated of, for example, molded plastic (presently preferred), molded filled plastic, compositions of resin and molded wood or recycled paper, covered cardboard or masonite, painted or padded sheet metal, and the like. Individually fabricated components of subassemblies may if necessary or desirable be fastened together with conventional fastening means (including suitable adhesives, weldments, joining screws, rivets, nut and bold assemblies, etc.). Fabrication materials of relatively high structural integrity and light weight are preferred.

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.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, each compartment 26 is seen to include on a side edge 30 an exteriorly located extension (or knob or fingerhold) 24 to facilitate opening and moving of each compartment 26. To hold or retain the plurality of compartments 26 each in a closed position for purposes of movement or transport of the case 10 various retainer means can be employed. For one preferred example applicable to the compartment plurality, a strap 36 or the like can be employed, if desired. For instance, the strap 36 can be secured at its upper end to the upper portion 16 by a rivet, screw or the like, and can have a snap buckle 38 or the like secured at its lower end that is adapted to engage a correspondingly mateable tab 40 that is itself located along the lower portion 14, thereby to maintain the compartment 26 plurality in a closed configuration.

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 FIGS. 1-4, the back 18 can define on a rear face thereof a recessed receiving slot 44 for receiving a mirror 46 from a slot end or side. The mirror 46, which can be either magnifying or non-magnifying, can be slidably positioned within the slot 44 so as to achieve a first or storage position for mirror 46. The mirror 46 can be slidably extended from the slot 44 to a second or viewable (or use) position, which can be vertical or angled. The slot 44 is preferably configured so that the mirror 46 can be slidably extended upwardly from storage position to the use position, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 9. Alternatively, the mirror and the slot 44 can be arranged so that the mirror can be moved slidably laterally outwardly to either side of the back portion 18 (not shown) before entering a use position. The slot 44 can include guide members or flanges 48 for retaining the mirror 46 as shown, for example, in FIGS. 3 and 7, if desired.

Alternatively, the slot 44 can be enclosed within the back portion 18 as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, for example. In either case, the mirror 46 can include an extension (or fingerhold) 34 to facilitate grasping the mirror 46. As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the mirror 46, extended from the slot 44, 46 can be angled back and received into a channel 50 defined in the back-portion 18 (see FIG. 9) for ease in viewing. Thus, the case 10 can hold the mirror 46 in a vertical slot (not shown) defined in the back portion 18. As a result, the case 10 has a second position defining a mirror holding position defined by an auxiliary, preferably angularly extending second slot defined in said frame adjacent to said first slot, this second slot being adapted for receiving a lower portion of the mirror 46 when mirror 45 is removed from a first or storage position, whereby said mirror is supported at an inclined angle for viewing.

FIGS. 12 and 13 show an alternative embodiment of the inventive case in which a rearward portion of an uppermost compartment 52 that preferably is similar to a compartment 26 of the compartment plurality is pivotably connected above and over a rearward portion of the upper portion 16 by means of a horizontally oriented hinge 54, such as a hinge of the so-called piano type. Alternatively, the rearward portion of the compartment 52 can be hinged to an upper end region of the back portion 18. The outside surface of the bottom panel 28 can be provided with a mirror 56 which when the compartment 52 is inclined can be viewed. The panel 28 can be provided with a flat arm which can be temporarily erected so that the lower end thereof abuts against the upper portion 16 when the compartment 52 is inclined to prop the compartment 52 in an open position.

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 FIG. 12. When the lid member is pivotably elevated, the mirror 56 is visible and usable. If desired the mirror can be made to be magnifying or can have a magnifying portion. Further a small magnifying mirror can be located on the lid member, adjacent mirror 56. The lid member can be provided with a flat arm which can be temporarily erected so that the lower end thereof abuts against the inside of the panel 28 when the lid member of compartment 52 is inclined thereby to prop the lid member up in an open position.

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 FIGS. 1-9, or otherwise as desired.

FIGS. 14-16 show an additional embodiment 10′ of a case 10′ of the invention. Components similar to case 10 are similarly numbered but with the addition of prime marks for identification purposes. The case 10′ includes a frame 12′ having a lower portion 14′, an upper portion 16′ and a back portion 18′ extending therebetween. In a preferred embodiment 10′, the back-portion 18′ extends between opposed rear edges 20′ and 22′ of the lower portion 14′ and the upper portion 16′, respectively, similarly to embodiment 10. In embodiment 10′, a pair of pivot shaft members 24 a and 24 b are provided that extend in parallel, opposed relationship relative to the back portion 18′ and adjacent to each rear corner 21 of each compartment 26′. A plurality of tiered compartments 26′ for storing cosmetic and like materials is provided and positioned in a stacked relationship between the lower portion 14′ and the upper portion 16′. The compartments 26′ are constructed conveniently and preferably similarly to the compartments 26 of FIGS. 1-9 and include a bottom panel 28′ defining a compartment perimeter and a continuously extending raised edge 30′ about the perimeter.

As in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-9, the height of the raised edge 30′ can be the same for each compartment 26′ or can vary from one compartment 26′ to another. For example, the height of the raised edge 30′ and thus the depth and volume of the cavity in a compartment 26′ can be increased, if desired, to accommodate a cell phone or similar item. In this example, fewer compartments could be used or the back portion 18′ could be lengthened, if desired.

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 FIGS. 14 and 15. Thus, this arrangement provides for convenient access to two or more adjacent compartments 26′ at the same time without one compartment blocking access to another compartment.

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, FIGS. 14 and 15).

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 FIGS. 14-16 can include any of the mirror constructions shown in FIGS. 1-13 as described above.

FIGS. 17-20 show an embodiment 70 of a case of the present invention, suitable for storing and displaying cosmetics, jewelry, or a plurality of virtually any type of small articles. The case 70 includes a frame 72 and a plurality of compartments or trays 76 which are supported one above the other, by frame 72. Included in case 70 are a pair of pivot shafts or hinge pins 80, 82 which preferably extend virtually the entire height of case 70. Hinge pins 80, 82 include rings or handles 84 for rotating the hinge pins between locked and unlocked positions. Handles 84 are used to grasp the hinge pins for their removal from frame 72.

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 FIG. 18, the trays 76 a are supported by hinge pin 80 for pivotal or swinging movement for opening in the clockwise direction of arrow 90. Trays 76 b are pivoted or swung about hinge pin 82 for opening in a counter-clockwise direction indicated by arrow 92 in FIG. 18. With swinging movement in directions opposite to arrows 90, 92, the trays 76 are swung from an open or display position to the closed or storage position shown in FIG. 17. If desired, the trays can contain a lighting device for illuminating the tray interior. This lighting feature can be applied to any of the cases described herein, and can be added to the lids, as well, if desired.

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 FIG. 19, a rear wall 124 encloses the rear surface of mirror 120. As can be seen for example in FIG. 17, mirror 120, when lowered to its storage position, has an upper surface flush with lid 112. In its raised or working position as shown in FIG. 18, mirror 120 is propped up along a slight incline from the vertical. An interior wall 126, visible in FIG. 18, cooperates with rear wall 124 (see FIG. 19) and channels 122 (see FIG. 17) to enclose mirror 120, when lowered to its stored position.

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 FIGS. 21 and 22, an exemplary embodiment of a tray 76 is shown. With reference to FIG. 18, tray 76 shown in FIG. 21 is one of the trays 76 b supported by hinge pin 82 at the right-hand side of case 70 (as viewed in FIGS. 17 and 18, for example). Tray 76 includes a floor 130 surrounded by an upstanding outer edge wall 132, cooperating with floor 130 to form an upwardly opening cavity. Tray 76 shown in FIG. 21 includes a generally cylindrical hinge socket 134, defining an inner bore 136, located at one rear corner of the tray. Located at the opposing rear corner of the tray, a generally semi-cylindrical latch 140 defines an interior channel 142. As will be seen herein, the hinge socket 134 can either be co-extensive, i.e. flush with edge wall 132, or can protrude above and below edge wall 132 to provide advantages as will be described herein.

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 FIG. 21. Insert 150 includes a plurality of storage segments 152 which, as can be seen in the preferred embodiment, have a generally circular or cylindrical configuration. Preferably, the storage segments 152 have a floor with a surrounding upstanding edge wall cooperating with the floor so as to define an upwardly opening cavity. Alternatively, storage segments 152 can comprise an upstanding wall which cooperates with floor 130 of the tray to form an upwardly opening cavity. An outer ring 158 surrounds the storage segments 152. In the preferred embodiment, outer ring 158 defines notches 160 for receiving the upper hooked ends of latch tabs 146 so as to maintain insert 150 in secure engagement with floor 130. Storage segments 152 and outer ring 158 are preferably molded to form a unitary monolithic insert which is joined to tray 76 with resilient engagement of latch tabs 146.

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 FIG. 22, floor 130 of tray 76 defines a plurality of apertures 166 for access to the floors of storage segments 152, and slots 168 for access to the bottom surface of outer ring 158, to aid in removal of insert 150 from tray 76. If desired, apertures 166 can be located beneath the edge walls of storage segments 152. Further, if desired, apertures 166 can be reduced in size or replaced by narrow slots in those embodiments where storage segments 152 do not have their own floor portions, but instead cooperate with floor 130 of the tray to form a storage cavity.

Referring to FIG. 23, a fragmentary view of the right-hand portion of case 70 is shown (as seen for example in FIGS. 17 and 18). It is generally preferred that the latches 140 of one set of trays cooperates with the hinge sockets 134 of the other set of trays to form a continuous part cylindrical external appearance at the rear corners of case 70. As can be seen in FIG. 23 and the other figures, it is generally preferred that the trays be interleaved one with another throughout the array of trays of case 70. As a consequence, a latch 140 of one tray will engage the hinge pin supporting the other array of trays, and is received between adjacent hinge sockets 134 of the other array of trays. As can be seen for example in FIG. 23, latches 140 and hinge sockets 134 are alternated one with the other at the rear corners of case 70. Tabs 172, as can be seen for example in FIGS. 22 and 23, are formed adjacent latches 140 and allow a convenient grasping of the free ends of the trays to initiate their pivotal or swinging movement to an open position, shown for example in FIG. 18. As can be seen for example in the lower right corner of FIG. 22, latches 172 are formed adjacent an indented portion 173 such that the free ends of the tabs do not protrude beyond the outer planar surface of the case formed by edge wall portions 175.

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.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8322354 *Jun 9, 2010Dec 4, 2012Toly Products (U.K.) Ltd.Make-up kit
US8646611 *Jun 23, 2010Feb 11, 2014Kraft Foods Global Brands LlcPivotal product packaging
US20100319723 *Jun 9, 2010Dec 23, 2010Toly Products (U.K.) Ltd.Make-up kit
US20110232675 *Mar 22, 2011Sep 29, 2011Sandra Loraine Watson RapleyMirrored cosmetic case
US20120160727 *Jun 23, 2010Jun 28, 2012Kraft Foods Global Brands LlcPivotal product packaging
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/235, 132/314, 132/316, 132/287
International ClassificationA45D33/20, A45D42/00, B65D69/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45D33/20, A45D33/008, A45F5/00
European ClassificationA45D33/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 10, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: ANNE MARIE K. ORIGINALS, LLC, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KAISER, STEPHANIE ANNE;KAISER, PAMELA MARIE;REEL/FRAME:023493/0520
Effective date: 20060901