US 3623641 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 72] Inventors Douglas R. Hansen P.O. Box 1041; Donald L. Cook, P.0. Box 382, both of Santa Monica, Calif. 90406  Appl. No. 846,020  Filed July 30, 1969  Patented Nov. 30, 1971  CONTAINER WITH SUCTION-CUP HANGER 7 Claims, 9 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 222/105, 222/181, 248/108, 248/206  Int. Cl 865d 35/56  Field of Search 239/282; 222/105, 181; 248/108, 206, 362, 363
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,772,439 8/1930 Garbs 248/206 1,899,242 2/1933 McNab... 248/206X 1,984,610 12/1934 Warren 4 222/105 2,051,847 8/1936 Halstead.. 243/206 R 2,093,942 9/1937 Stuff 222/181 2,600,553 6/1952 Lord 248/108 UX 2,736,468 2/1956 Hills i i i i 222/180 3,078,017 2/1963 Waskonig et a1. 248/108 3,368,691 2/1968 Blake 4. 248/108 X Primary Examiner Lloyd L King Attorney-Flehr, Hohbach, Test, Albritton & Herbert ABSTRACT: A squeeze-tube container having a tubular body with a suction cup secured thereto for suspending the container from a surface such as a shower-bath wall. Preferably, a pair of suction cups are flexibly but permanently attached to a sealing lip at one end of the tube. The inverted container is thereby easily attached to a wall surface, and can be hinged away from the wall when a closure cap is removed to dispense a product such as shampoo in the tube.
- PATENTEBHUV 30 I97! SHEET 1 BF 2 PATENTEUunv 30 197i 3,623 5541 saw 2 [IF 2 CONTAINER WITI-I SUCTION-CUP HANGER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION size to position on a soap dish (which is usually already occul 0 pied by a soap bar), and the container is usually left on the shower floor or some equally inconvenient place when it is not being handled during dispensing ofliquid or paste shampoo.
The problem of conveniently mounting a productdispensing squeeze tube has been considered in the past, but no really satisfactory solution has been developed. For example, the use of a hook secured to a wall and adapted to pass through a mounting hole in the tube has been suggested, but is not an ideal solution because the tube must be carefully positioned over the hook while the user may have shampoo suds streaming over his face. Other proposed solutions have involved complex or bulky magnetic fasteners or other types of attachments which are permanently secured to the wall.
These known proposed solutions are characterized by components which are separate from the tube, or may involve an unacceptable increase in the cost of the container which is typically a throwaway item. The earlier suggestions also fail to provide for supporting a squeeze tube in inverted position whereby the usual threaded closure cap can be removed and easily replaced after dispensing the desired amount of product by squeezing the tube or simply from gravity flow.
The container of this invention solves these problems and provides an inexpensive and very convenient way of hanging a squeeze-tube container on a shower wall or similar surface. A suction cup is secured to the container so the tube and cap can be supported as a unit from the suction cup which is in turn releasably fastened by suction to the wall. Preferably, several small cups are flexibly secured by a heat seal or similar attachment to a line-sealed lip at the bottom of the tube. The cups are simply pressed against the wall with the tube in an inverted position. and the cap is removed when product is to be dispensed. The tube is readily hinged away from the wall to regulate delivery rate during gravity flow, and the entire container is easily stripped from the wall if desired when bathing is complete.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly stated, the invention contemplates a container having a hollow body portion and a closure cap fitted on the body portion. Preferably, the container is a flexible plastic squeeze tube having a flattened sealed end, and an opening covered by the closure cap at a second end opposite the sealed end. A suction cup is secured to the body portion and is adapted for attachment to a surface for suspending the container and cap from the surface.
In one form, the suction cup is secured at the sealed end of the body portion so the container can be suspended from the suction cup in an inverted position. Preferably, a pair of suction cups are used, the cups being joined by a flexible attachment member having a center portion permanently secured to the sealed end of the body portion, and having ends separated from the sealed end to provide flexible hanging of the tube with respect to the suction cups. In another form, a plurality of suction cups are integrally formed intermediate the ends of the tube body portion ofa plastic squeeze tube. Alternatively, the suction cups are secured on a tab or elastic band adapted for attachment to the tube body portion.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS squeeze tube incorporating FIG. 4 is a side elevation of an alternative form of the invention using a pair of suction cups integrally formed on the body portion;
FIG. Sis a sectional view on line 55 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a front elevation of an elastic band carrying suction cups and fitted on a squeeze tube;
FIG. 7 is a side elevation of a suction-cup tab fitted over the neck ofa squeeze tube;
FIG. 8 is a front elevation of the suction-cup tab; and
FIG. 9 is a side elevation of the tab.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIGS. 1-3 a flexible plastic squeeze tube 10 includes a generally tubular hollow body portion 11 having a conventional sealed end 12. The sealed end is usually formed by flattening and heat sealing together the walls of the tubular body portion. A closure cap 13 is threaded on a second end of the body portion opposite the sealed end, and covers a productdispensing opening (not shown) formed through the second end.
A pair of suction cups 15 are joined by a flexible attachment member 16 which is permanently secured to a flange or lip 17 formed when the closed end of the tube body portion is sealed. Only a center portion of the attachment member is secured to lip 17, and the ends of the member which carry suction cups 15 are free to flex slightly away from lip 17.
The suction cups and attachment members are preferably integrally formed from synthetic rubber or a similar resilient synthetic material such as polyethylene plastic. The center portion of the attachment member is secured by sonic welding or heat sealing to lip 17 of the plastic squeeze tube. Alternatively, the attachment member can be cemented to the lip, or a heat-formed plastic rivet (not shown) can be used to secure these components together.
FIG. 2 shows the suction cups engaged with a wall surface 19 to hang or suspend tube 10 in an inverted position. These suction cups are readily engaged with the wall surface by finger pressure against lip 17 to flatten the cups against the surface. The flexible attachment of the cups to the tube provided by member permits the cups to adapt to an irregular surface. The several small cups are less obtrusive than a single large cup, and provide a safety measure in the event one cup loses its grip on the wall surface.
The suctioncup squeeze tube is ideally suited for packaging of products such as shampoo which are used in bathing. For example, tube 10 can be secured to a shower wall as shown in FIG. 2, and closure cap 13 removed to permit gravity flow of liquid shampoo from the tube. If a thin liquid product is being dispensed, the lower end of the tube can be hinged upwardly away from the wall to regulate product flow from the tube. When the desired amount of shampoo or other product has been dispensed, the cap is replaced and the tube remains suspended on the wall ready to dispense additional product. Paste products can also be packaged in the suction-cup squeeze tube, and are dispensed simply by squeezing the tube when the closure cap is removed.
FIGS. 4 and 5 show an alternative version of the invention in which a plastic squeeze tube 25 has a sealed end 26 and a closure cap 27. A pair of suction cups 28 are integrally formed in a body-portion wall 29 of the tube between sealed end 26 and the closure cap. The suction cups are molded in the bodyportion wall when the squeeze tube is manufactured, and are used in generally the same fashion as described above with reference to tube 10.
Another alternative form of the invention is shown in FIG. 6 I
in which a squeeze tube 35 has an elastic band 36 fitted snugly therearound. Secured to the outer surface of band 36 are a plurality of suction cups 37 which are engageable with a wall (not shown) on which the squeeze tube is to be supported. Band 36 can be removed from the squeeze tube when the contents of the tube are exhausted, and the band reused on another tube.
FIGS. 7-9 show yet another embodiment of the invention in which a squeeze tube 40 has a flexible and elongated tab member 41 fitted under a threaded closure cap 42. As shown in FIG. 8, tab member 41 has a circular opening 43 at one end thereof through which the neck of the squeeze tube is passed. Preferably, the tab member is formed of a resilient plastic material, and hole 43 is somewhat smaller than the tube neck so the member is retained on the neck even when closure cap 42 is removed. A plurality of suction cups 44 are formed on both sides of the tab member remote from opening 43. As suggested in FIG. 7, the suction cups on one side of the member engage'a wall 45 from which the tube is to be supported, and the cups on the opposite side of the member engage the tube itself to stabilize the position of the tube.
The suction cups described above are an inexpensive addition which provides an attractive and useful sales feature for products such as liquid or paste shampoo. The user is not troubled with auxiliary attachments or fittings which must be permanently fastened to a wall, and the cups are small and unobstrusive so the squeeze tube can be stored on a shelf or in a drawer when not in use. A particular advantage of our design is that the tube is flexibly supported by the suction cups so it can be hinged away from the wall to regulate product flow, and can be quickly and securely attached to irregular surfaces.
1. A flexible plastic, collapsible container comprising a generally tubular, hollow body portion having collapsible sidewalls, a closed, flat end seam at one end of said body and a dispensing opening at the other end, a closure cap removably secured with respect to the dispensing opening, a plurality of suction cups for supporting the container with respect to a surface, said suction cups being flexibly and yieldably interconnected with respect to one another and oriented such that the cup portions project in a direction generally normal to the sidewalls of the container.
2. The improvement defined in claim [0 in which the body portion is a flexible plastic material and the suction cup is integrally formed with the body portion.
3. The improvement defined in claim 2 in which a plurality of suction cups are integrally formed in the body portion.
4. The improvement defined in claim 10 and further comprising an elastic band fitted around the body portion and carrying the suction cupv 5. The improvement defined in claim 10 and further comprising a tab member having an opening whereby the member can be fitted over a neck of the tube body portion beneath the closure cap, the suction cup being secured to the member.
6. The improvement defined in claim 5 in which a plurality of suction cups are secured on opposite sides of the tab member.
7. A flexible, collapsible container comprising a generally tubular, hollow body portion having collapsible sidewalls, a closed, flat end seam at one end of said body and an opening at the end thereof opposite from the sealed end, a closure cap removably secured with respect to the opening, a plurality of suction cups for supporting the container with respect to a surface, a flexible member interconnecting the suction cups, attachment means intermediate the suction cups securing said flexible member to the flat end seam of the body portion, the flexible member being formed so as to permit flexing of the portions thereof on either side of the attachment means affording flexible mounting of the container with respect to the suction cups.