US20130118937A1 - Toothbrush holder - Google Patents

Toothbrush holder Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130118937A1
US20130118937A1 US13/661,806 US201213661806A US2013118937A1 US 20130118937 A1 US20130118937 A1 US 20130118937A1 US 201213661806 A US201213661806 A US 201213661806A US 2013118937 A1 US2013118937 A1 US 2013118937A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
toothbrush holder
base
toothbrush
cylindrical core
receptacle
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US13/661,806
Inventor
Matt Gelfand
Rich Crimm
Joe Webster
Cary Smith
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
LIGHTBULB LLC
Original Assignee
LIGHTBULB LLC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201161553102P priority Critical
Priority to US201261606927P priority
Priority to US201261642624P priority
Application filed by LIGHTBULB LLC filed Critical LIGHTBULB LLC
Priority to US13/661,806 priority patent/US20130118937A1/en
Publication of US20130118937A1 publication Critical patent/US20130118937A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47KSANITARY EQUIPMENT NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; TOILET ACCESSORIES
    • A47K1/00Wash-stands; Appurtenances therefor
    • A47K1/08Accessories for toilet tables, e.g. glass plates, supports therefor
    • A47K1/09Holders for drinking glasses, tooth brushes, hair brushes, or the like

Abstract

An apparatus for receiving a plurality of toothbrushes includes a plurality of toothbrush holders and a toothbrush holder organizer. Each toothbrush holder includes a base and a cover. The base has a top and a bottom and includes a cylindrical core and an outer wall. The cylindrical core defines a cavity and includes a top end and a bottom end. The top end of the cylindrical core is open. The outer wall has a bottom end coincident with the bottom of the base and a top end attached to the cylindrical core. The cover has a hole and is operable to engage the top end of the base and retain bristles of a toothbrush in the cavity defined by the cylindrical core while allowing a handle of the toothbrush to pass through the hole. The toothbrush holder organizer includes a plurality of receptacles, each operable to receive a toothbrush holder.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims benefit of the following patent application which is hereby incorporated by reference: U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/553,102, filed Oct. 28, 2011; U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/606,927, filed Mar. 5, 2012; and U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/642,624, filed May 4, 2012.
  • A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the reproduction of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • Not Applicable
  • REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING OR COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING APPENDIX
  • Not Applicable
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to an apparatus which provides for improved protection of a toothbrush by providing a toothbrush holder that goes over the bristle portion of the toothbrush.
  • For many different users, a toothbrush holder may be useful especially when traveling to different locations. Often in travel to hotels and the like, the user would like a place to place a toothbrush so that the portion which enters the user's mouth is not set on or in contact with the hotel or countertop surface, generally for sanitary reasons. Additionally, while traveling, users may prefer to have some sort of cover over the bristle portion of the toothbrush so as to not bend the bristles and furthermore so as to preclude the bristles from becoming contaminated by other items which may be present in a user's toiletry bag. Often with leaky bottles and the like, soap or other toiletry products may leak out and would otherwise contact the bristles of a toothbrush without the holder.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In one aspect, an apparatus is operable to receive a plurality of toothbrushes. The apparatus includes a plurality of toothbrush holders and a toothbrush holder organizer. Each toothbrush holder of the plurality of toothbrush holders includes a base and a cover. The base has a top and a bottom and includes a cylindrical core and an outer wall. The cylindrical core defines a cavity and includes a top end coincident with the top of the base and a bottom end opposite the top end. The top end of the cylindrical core is open. The outer wall has a bottom end coincident with a bottom of the base and a top end attached to the cylindrical core. The cover has a hole therethrough and is operable to engage the top end of the base and retain bristles of a toothbrush in the cavity defined by the cylindrical core while allowing a handle of the toothbrush to pass through the hole in the cover. The toothbrush holder organizer includes a plurality of receptacles, each operable to receive the toothbrush holder.
  • In another aspect, a toothbrush holder includes a base and a cover. The base has a top and a bottom and includes a cylindrical core and an outer wall. The cylindrical core defines a cavity and includes a top end coincident with the top of the base and a bottom end opposite the top end. The top end of the cylindrical core is open. The outer wall has a bottom end coincident with a bottom of the base and a top end attached to the cylindrical core. The cover has a hole therethrough and is operable to engage the top end of the base and retain bristles of a toothbrush in the cavity defined by the cylindrical core while allowing a handle of the toothbrush to pass through the hole in the cover.
  • In another aspect, a toothbrush holder organizer includes a plurality of receptacles, each receptacle the plurality of receptacles operable to receive the toothbrush holder. Each toothbrush holder of the plurality of toothbrush holders includes a base and a cover. The base has a top and a bottom and includes a cylindrical core and an outer wall. The cylindrical core defines a cavity and includes a top end coincident with the top of the base and a bottom end opposite the top end. The top end of the cylindrical core is open. The outer wall has a bottom end coincident with a bottom of the base and a top end attached to the cylindrical core. The cover has a hole therethrough and is operable to engage the top end of the base and retain bristles of a toothbrush in the cavity defined by the cylindrical core while allowing a handle of the toothbrush to pass through the hole in the cover.
  • As space is often of the essence in travel nowadays with more users preferring to carry on their toiletry products, a combination of floss holder and toothbrush holder may be desirable so as to preclude the transport and carrying of multiple items where one may satisfy both purposes. In some embodiments, the toothbrush holder includes a spool of dental floss so that the toothbrush holder may also act as a dental floss dispenser. In such embodiments, a spool of dental floss may be added to a space contained within the toothbrush holder with a floss cutting blade on the exterior of the device. In yet further optional embodiments, the toothbrush holder is formed of molded plastic with the spool of floss located near the bottom portion of the toothbrush holder with a hole for the exit of the floss from the holder through the exterior surface of the holder.
  • In some embodiments, there is a flip top cover so that a user may insert the bristle portion of the toothbrush and close down the cover so that the toothbrush is held in place within the holder.
  • In yet further optional embodiments the base of the toothbrush holder is wider in the top or alternatively may just be of a wide enough footprint so that a person may set their toothbrush within the holder and the holder not topple over. In yet further uses of the toothbrush holder, a user may place a toothbrush handle side down within the holder so as to maintain an upright vertical position whereby only the holder contacts the sink surface or countertop of the room in which the toothbrush holder is positioned and the bristles of the toothbrush are exposed for drying after use.
  • In yet further optional embodiments, the toothbrush holder may have a generally conical shape with a wider bottom than top, and thus the spool of floss situated around an internal cavity or cylindrical core that may hold the portion of the toothbrush. Additionally an outer wall of the toothbrush holder may be rounded or slightly curved in a conical fashion with an internal area for a spool of floss to be wound around the cylindrical core of the toothbrush holder.
  • In yet further optional embodiments, a blade to cut floss (i.e., floss cutter) is located on the exterior area of the surface of the toothbrush holder and includes a metal piece having a bent metallic protrusion for the cutting of floss. In optional embodiments, an attachment portion of this floss cutter may be press fit, glued or otherwise affixed to the external surface of the toothbrush holder of the present invention.
  • In yet another optional embodiment, the cylindrical core forming the interior cavity for maintaining the toothbrush includes one or more holes in the bottom end which allows for the bristles to dry or otherwise provide for the draining of liquid from the internal cavity so that liquid does not substantially accumulate within the internal cavity.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a front cutaway view of a toothbrush holder.
  • FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the toothbrush holder of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view of the toothbrush holder of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 4 is a depressed perspective view of the toothbrush holder of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 5 is an elevated perspective view of a plurality of toothbrush holders in a slot organizer.
  • FIG. 6 is an elevated perspective view of a plurality of toothbrush holders in a ring organizer.
  • FIG. 7 is an elevated perspective view of a plurality of toothbrush holders in an expansible slot organizer.
  • FIG. 8 is an elevated perspective view of a plurality of toothbrush holders in an expansible ring organizer.
  • FIG. 9 is an elevated perspective view of a toothbrush holder without a spool of floss and floss cutter.
  • FIG. 10 is a depressed perspective view of a toothbrush holder without a spool of floss and floss cutter.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • While the making and using of various embodiments of the present invention are discussed in detail below, it should be appreciated that the present invention provides many applicable inventive concepts that can be embodied in a wide variety of specific contexts. The specific embodiments discussed herein are merely illustrative of specific ways to make and use the invention and do not delimit the scope of the invention.
  • To facilitate the understanding of the embodiments described herein, a number of terms are defined below. The terms defined herein have meanings as commonly understood by a person of ordinary skill in the areas relevant to the present invention. Terms such as “a,” “an,” and “the” are not intended to refer to only a singular entity, but rather include the general class of which a specific example may be used for illustration. The terminology herein is used to describe specific embodiments of the invention, but their usage does not delimit the invention, except as set forth in the claims.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 4, a toothbrush holder 100 is shown in various views. Corresponding reference characters refer to corresponding parts throughout the figures. The toothbrush holder 100 includes a base 120 and a cover 150. The base 120 has a top 122 and a bottom 102. The base 120 includes a cylindrical core 110 and an outer wall 140. The cylindrical core 110 defines an internal cavity 108. The cylindrical core 110 has a top end 122 coincident with the top of the base 120 and a bottom end 124 opposite the top end 122. In one embodiment, the bottom end 124 of the cylindrical core 110 is coincident the bottom 102 of the base 120. The top end 122 of the cylindrical core 110 is open. In one embodiment, bottom end 124 of the cylindrical core 110 has a bottom cap 128 with a plurality of holes therethrough to allow for air circulation and drainage. In one embodiment, the bottom cap 128 is integral with the cylindrical core 110. It is contemplated within the scope of the claims that the cylindrical core 110 may be other than strictly cylindrical. For example, a cross section of the cylindrical core 110 may be oblong, ovular, or elliptical to better conform to a toothbrush head (i.e., bristle portion).
  • The outer wall 140 has a bottom end 102 coincident with the bottom one or 2 of the base 120. A top end 142 of the outer wall 140 is attached to the cylindrical core 110. In one embodiment, the top end 142 of the outer wall 140 is integral with the cylindrical core 110. In one embodiment, the outer wall 140 is tapered in from the bottom end 102 of the outer wall 142 the top end 142 of the outer wall 140 such that the outer wall 140 is substantially conical. In one embodiment, the outer wall 140 is curved with respect to a longitudinal axis (i.e., vertical axis) of the toothbrush holder 100.
  • The cover 150 has a hole 152 therethrough. The cover 150 is operable to engage the top end 122 of the base 120 and retain bristles of a toothbrush in the cavity 108 defined by the cylindrical core 110 while allowing a handle of the toothbrush to pass through the hole 152 in the cover 150. In one embodiment, the cover 150 includes an insert 154 extending substantially perpendicularly from a top portion 156 of the cover 150. The insert 154 is operable to frictionally engage in inside surface of the cylindrical core 110 when the cover 150 is engaging the top end 122 of the base 120 and retain the cover 150 in engagement with the base 120.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, a hinge 400 attaches the cover 150 to the base 120. The hinge 400 includes a first mating portion 402, a second mating portion 404, and a hinge pin 406. The first mating portion 402 is integral with the cover 150, and the second mating portion 404 is integral with the base 120. The hinge pin 406 passes through holes in the first mating portion 402 and the second mating portion 404 to interlock the first mating portion 402 with the second mating portion 404. In one embodiment, the hinge pin 406 is integral with either the first mating portion 402 or the second mating portion 404 and the mating portion with which the hinge pin 406 is not integral snaps (i.e., clips or hooks) onto the hinge pin 406.
  • As is illustrated in the cutaway view of FIG. 1, the bottom 102 is wider than the top 122 of the base 120 so that the toothbrush holder may be set upon a surface with a toothbrush held in a generally vertical fashion with either the bristle portion down or the handle portion down partially within the holder 100. In one embodiment, the toothbrush holder 100 also includes a spool 106 of floss 104 located between the cylindrical core 110 and the outer wall 140. Floss 104, in optional embodiments, may be threaded about a spool 106 that circles the internal cavity 108 defined by the cylindrical core 110 for placement of the toothbrush and thus may rotate in allowing floss 104 to exit the holder 100. Alternatively, floss 104 may be wound directly around the cylindrical core 110 such that the spool 106 is integral with the cylindrical core 110. In additional optional embodiments, a variety of different spools 106 may be included within the holder 100. In further optional embodiments, the toothbrush holder 100 may include one or more protrusions or barbs 112 so that the spool 106 is fit within the holder 100 and thus is held (i.e., retained) within the toothbrush holder 100. The bottom of the spool may or may not be exposed on the bottom surface of the toothbrush holder 100. In other optional embodiments a cover (not shown) may be placed on the bottom 102 so that a spool 106 is maintained within the toothbrush holder 100.
  • In use, the spool 106 may rotate around the cylindrical core 110 of the toothbrush holder 100, and while rotating, a user may pull floss 104 from the spool 106. Otherwise stated, a user may pull floss 104 exposed to the outside of the toothbrush holder 100 by a hole 302 for the floss 104 and thus rotate the spool 106 with floss 104 to pull more floss 104 from the toothbrush holder 100.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates the bottom portion of the toothbrush holder 100 showing the bottom flange of a spool 106 of floss 104 with the optional holes in the bottom cap 128 of the cylindrical core 110 so that the toothbrush holder 100 may drain excess liquid residue from the toothbrush when the toothbrush is placed within the internal cavity 108 defined by the cylindrical core 110. In yet further optional embodiments, the flange as illustrated may not be exposed as an additional piece (i.e., a bottom cover, not shown) may be placed (e.g., glued or ultrasonically welded) on the bottom of the toothbrush holder 100 to hold the flange within the toothbrush holder 100. In yet further optional embodiments, there may be additional holes within the cylindrical core 110 instead of just the holes in the bottom cap 128. In yet further optional embodiments, a perimeter of the toothbrush holder 100 may include other sizes and shapes as opposed to just being round though in optional embodiments a round configuration might more easily work with a spool 106 of floss 104. Yet, however, in further optional embodiments a square, rectangular, octagonal or various other shaped exterior may be included.
  • Referring now to FIG. 3, a side perspective view of the toothbrush holder 100 shows the exterior surfaces of the toothbrush holder 100. From this view, one can see the hole 302 for the floss 104 which goes through the exterior wall 140 of the toothbrush holder 100 to be in an area for the spool 106 and provides for a piece of floss 104 to thread within the hole 302. The blade (i.e., a bent metallic protrusion 312) for a floss cutter may be positioned next to (see i.e., adjacent) the hole 302 for the floss so that a user may quickly cut floss after pulling it from the toothbrush holder 100. The toothbrush holder 100 includes a floss cutter having an attachment portion 310 and a protrusion 312. The floss cutter is attached to the outer wall 140 of the base 120. The attachment portion 310 substantially conforms to and is attached to the base 120 of the toothbrush holder 100, and the protrusion 312 extends therefrom (i.e., from the attachment portion 310). In one embodiment, the floss cutter is a metallic floss cutter, and the protrusion 312 is a bent metallic protrusion. The hole 302 through the outer wall 140 is adjacent the floss cutter.
  • In yet further optional embodiments, a blade 312 for the floss may be a molded piece of plastic. Alternatively, the base 120 may include a slight depression so that a metallic floss cutter can be inserted and thus does not jut out as far from the surface of the toothbrush holder 100. Other types of floss cutters may also be utilized.
  • In yet further optional embodiments, support ridges (e.g., second mating portion 404) may be included on the base 120 so as to hold the flip cap (i.e., cover 150) which covers a portion of the top end of the base 120. In optional embodiments, the support ridges may connect with the hinged portion (e.g., first mating portion 402) of the flip cap (i.e., cover 150) so that a user may open or close a flip cap 150 so as to retain a toothbrush head (i.e., the bristle portion of a toothbrush) within the internal cavity 108. In practice, a user may open the flip cap which hinges at the support ridges and thus can insert the toothbrush bristle side down into the internal cavity 108 of the toothbrush holder 100 and then close the flip cap. This maintains the toothbrush within the toothbrush holder 100 as the bristle portion of the toothbrush is wider than the opening (i.e., hole) in the top of the flip cap.
  • Thus one can maintain the toothbrush within the toothbrush holder 100 for transport and travel and not be concerned about the toothbrush falling out of the toothbrush holder 100 so long as the flip cap 150 of the toothbrush holder is positioned in the down or closed position. Optionally, when arriving at a destination, a user may set the toothbrush holder 100 on a counter, open the flip cap 150 and remove the toothbrush. The user may then set the toothbrush handle side down in the toothbrush holder 100 with the flip cap 150 open so that the toothbrush is held in a generally about vertical position. This allows a user the easy use of a toothbrush whereby the bristles do not contact anything but the open air.
  • In yet further optional embodiments, a variety of different cap (i.e., cover 150) styles may be utilized. A totally removable cap may be used whereby it is not hinged to the toothbrush holder 100 and thus snaps on or off the top portion of the toothbrush holder 100. In yet further optional embodiments the toothbrush holder 100 may be designed only for engaging the handle end of the tooth brush to hold the brush upright and thus may not include a flip cap 150 but rather be intended for use on a countertop primarily. In yet further optional embodiments, the cap 150 may be of a rubber type design which may conform to a harder material of the base 120 of the toothbrush holder 100 and thus fit in place with an improved seal. In yet further optional embodiments of the flip cap 150 of the toothbrush holder 100, the cover hole 152 may be designed specifically for a specific size of a toothbrush handle and thus include an opening tailored for one brand of toothbrushes. In yet further optional embodiments of the invention, the flip cap 150 of the toothbrush holder 100 may be of multiple pieces and may include one or more hinged elements for covering the top 122 of the base 120.
  • FIG. 4 provides a bottom perspective view of the toothbrush holder 100, illustrating the bottom flange of a floss spool 106 as well as openings for drainage and an exterior surface opening (i.e., hole 302) adjacent the blade for cutting floss 104. Optional embodiments of the toothbrush holder 100 may include a broad variety of different materials such as plastics, thermoplastics, and the like and further could optionally be made for disposable or non-disposable use.
  • In yet further optional embodiments, the toothbrush holder 100 may be branded with a logo for a hotel or optionally for different resorts or even for brands for toothbrushes or toothpaste manufacturers and thus can include a surface on which a logo name design or designation may be etched or adhered thereto. In yet further optional embodiments, the toothbrush holder 100 may be comprised of a variety of different colored materials and can be used for the display of one's trademark. This can include the display of a logo, word mark, or combination thereof on the exterior surface of the toothbrush holder 100. In yet further optional embodiments, the floss spool 106 may be designed so as to be replaceable so a user may replace a spool of floss 106 after using it and exhausting all the floss 104 on the previous spool 106. In yet further optional embodiments, the toothbrush holder 100 may be designed so spools of floss may be extracted from existing commercial floss dispensers, removed, and inserted into the toothbrush holder 100. This may include the option of having a bottom cover so that the spool 106 may be contained within the toothbrush holder 100. The floss may be of a variety of different flavors and can be provided and created for the desires of the customers.
  • In yet further optional embodiments, the toothbrush holder 100 may be packaged in a sterile wrapping so that a user may open the package and immediately use it for their toothbrush. In yet additional optional embodiments, the toothbrush holder 100 may be placed in plastic wrap, a clam shell packaging, or the like so that the toothbrush holder 100 is not subjected to additional environmental contaminants prior to being used by the user. Optionally, hotels may provide this as a free gift item prepackaged for a guest. This optional embodiment of a toothbrush holder 100 may include a logo or name of the hotel on the toothbrush holder and may function as to provide a source of advertising for the hotel especially if the user takes the toothbrush holder and uses it in subsequent travels or at home.
  • In yet further optional embodiments, the toothbrush holder 100 may be sized of a variety of dimensions to handle anything from children's toothbrushes to adult toothbrushes and various size toothbrushes in between. While the majority of optional embodiments are likely to be molded from plastic, other ways of forming and making a toothbrush holder may also exist. These may also include milling, bending or forming from various metallic substances and can even include glass or ceramic versions for more durable designs. While a user may consider the more popular embodiments of the toothbrush holder as a disposable item, the toothbrush holders can often be used more than once and can include floss of a variety of lengths ranging from enough for one day to a couple day of usage to the amount of floss in a standard floss spool.
  • As previously discussed, in additional optional embodiments the device may not incorporate floss containing capabilities and thus may not include floss.
  • Referring to FIGS. 5-8, a toothbrush holder organizer includes a plurality of receptacles. Each receptacle the plurality receptacles is operable to receive tooth brush holder 100.
  • Referring to FIG. 5, a toothbrush holder organizer hereinafter referred to as a slot organizer 500 is shown with 4 receptacles 502. Each receptacle 502 of the plurality of receptacles includes a base plate 504 and a rim 506. The base plate 504 is operable to support bottom 102 of a base 120 of a received toothbrush holder 100. The rim 506 extends upwardly from the base plate 504. The rim 506 is operable to surround approximately 270° of the received toothbrush holder 100. The rim 506 is open for the remaining 90° around the received toothbrush holder 100 to allow for installation and removal of the toothbrush holder 100 from the receptacle 502. A top edge 508 of the rim 506 extends inwardly over a portion of the outer wall 140 of the base 120 of the received toothbrush holder 100.
  • Referring to FIG. 7, an expansible version of the slot organizer 500 has one receptacle 502 of the plurality of 4 receptacles removed. The remove receptacle 502 includes the same base plate 504 and rim 506 as the non-expansible version. The rim 506 of the expansible receptacle 502 additionally includes a female interlock 508 and a male interlock 510 opposite the female interlock 508. The rim 506 of a first receptacle 502 a of the plurality receptacles is thus operable to interlock with a rim 506 of a second receptacle 502 b of the plurality of receptacles when the first receptacle 502 a is adjacent the second receptacle 502 b and the female interlock of the first receptacle 502 a is receiving the male interlock of the second receptacle 502 b.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, a toothbrush holder organizer hereinafter referred to as a ring organizer 600 is shown with 4 receptacles 602. Each receptacle 602 of the plurality of receptacles includes a band 604. The band has a hole 606 therethrough. A diameter of the hole 606 is less than a diameter of the bottom 102 of the base 120 of the received toothbrush holder 100 and greater than a diameter of the top of the base 120 of the received toothbrush holder 100. The hole 606 has an outcropping 608 operable to receive the hinge 400 of the toothbrush holder 100. In one embodiment, the hole 606 in the band 604 has a taper matching a corresponding taper of the base 120 of the received toothbrush holder 100.
  • Referring to FIG. 7, an expansible version of the ring organizer 600 is shown with a receptacle 602 removed. Each receptacle 602 includes a female interlock 610 and a male interlock 612 opposite the female interlock 610. A band 604 of a first receptacle 602 a of the plurality receptacles is thus operable to interlock with a band 604 of a second receptacle 602 b of the plurality receptacles when the first receptacle 602 a is adjacent the second receptacle 602 b and a female interlock 610 of the first receptacle is receiving the male interlock 612 of the second receptacle 602 b. Optionally, end receptacles may include only one of the female interconnect 610 or the male interconnect 612.
  • The toothbrush holder organizer (e.g., slot organizer 500 or ring organizer 600) may be formed of a variety of materials, some of which may include a polymer type material. Other materials can be used for this embodiment as well as the variety of other organizers that may be available as disclosed herein.
  • These toothbrush holder organizers illustrated within FIGS. 5-8 have receptacles that may include one or more receptacle sizes (e.g., for adult toothbrush holders and child size toothbrush holders) and be suitable for organizing a variety of holders for a family on vacation for example. The toothbrush holders 100 may also be of a variety of different colors shapes sizes and made of different materials ranging from various polymers and plastics to even metallic or ceramic designs.
  • In optional embodiments as illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 the toothbrush holder organizer may break apart and be expansible so that a user may connect a variety of different organizers together. This may allow a user the option of connecting various toothbrush holders 100 through use of the organizer for a family. For instance, if a family of four is traveling together, they may include four different receptacles attached together so that the four toothbrush holders are maintained together. This may better assist in organizing the toothbrushes for the family and thus does not require the user to travel with an extra holder and what is needed.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 the toothbrush holder organizers may connect through a series of grooves, interlocks, or specifically sized fittings so that the various receptacles attach together. In other further optional embodiments, other types of connections (i.e., male and female interlock pairs) may be included from magnet style connections to removable adhesive ends and as such the illustrations providing male and female interlocks including grooved ends with slots should not be taken as limiting.
  • In one embodiment, an apparatus is operable to receive a plurality of toothbrushes. The apparatus includes a plurality of toothbrush holders 100 and a toothbrush holder organizer. The toothbrush holder organizer includes a plurality of receptacles, each operable to receive a toothbrush holder 100 of the plurality of toothbrush holders.
  • Referring to FIG. 9, a toothbrush holder 100 has an exterior wall 140 free of protrusions. That is, the toothbrush holder 100 does not have a floss cutter 310 or a hole 302 through the exterior wall 140. Further, the toothbrush holder 100 is not provided with a spool 106 of floss 104.
  • Referring to FIG. 10, the smooth bodied toothbrush holder 100 of FIG. 9 has a bottom surface free of a spool 106 of floss 104.
  • This written description uses examples to disclose the invention, including the best mode, and also to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the invention, including making and using any devices or systems and performing any incorporated methods. The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal languages of the claims.
  • It will be understood that the particular embodiments described herein are shown by way of illustration and not as limitations of the invention. The principal features of this invention may be employed in various embodiments without departing from the scope of the invention. Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize numerous equivalents to the specific procedures described herein. Such equivalents are considered to be within the scope of this invention and are covered by the claims.
  • All of the compositions and/or methods disclosed and claimed herein may be made and/or executed without undue experimentation in light of the present disclosure. While the compositions and methods of this invention have been described in terms of the embodiments included herein, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that variations may be applied to the compositions and/or methods and in the steps or in the sequence of steps of the method described herein without departing from the concept, spirit, and scope of the invention. All such similar substitutes and modifications apparent to those skilled in the art are deemed to be within the spirit, scope, and concept of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
  • Thus, although there have been described particular embodiments of the present invention of a new and useful TOOTHBRUSH HOLDER, it is not intended that such references be construed as limitations upon the scope of this invention except as set forth in the following claims.

Claims (19)

What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus operable to receive a plurality of toothbrushes, said apparatus comprising:
a plurality of toothbrush holders, each toothbrush holder comprising:
a base having a top and a bottom, said base comprising:
a cylindrical core defining a cavity, said cylindrical core having a top end coincident with the top of the base and a bottom end opposite the top end, wherein the top end of the cylindrical core is open; and
an outer wall having a bottom end coincident with the bottom of the base and a top end attached to the cylindrical core; and
a cover having a hole therethrough, wherein the cover is operable to engage the top end of the base and retain bristles of a toothbrush in the cavity defined by the cylindrical core while allowing a handle of the toothbrush the pass through the hole in the cover; and
a toothbrush holder organizer comprising a plurality receptacles, each receptacle the plurality receptacles operable to receive a toothbrush holder.
2. A toothbrush holder comprising:
a base having a top and a bottom, said base comprising:
a cylindrical core defining a cavity, said cylindrical core having a top end coincident with the top of the base and a bottom end opposite the top end, wherein the top end of the cylindrical core is open; and
an outer wall having a bottom end coincident with the bottom of the base and a top end attached to the cylindrical core; and
a cover having a hole therethrough, wherein the cover is operable to engage the top end of the base and retain bristles of a toothbrush in the cavity defined by the cylindrical core while allowing a handle of the toothbrush the pass through the hole in the cover.
3. The toothbrush holder of claim 2, wherein the cover further comprises an insert extending substantially perpendicularly from a top portion of the cover, said insert operable to frictionally engage an inside surface of the cylindrical core when the cover is engaging the top end of the base and retain the cover in engagement with the base.
4. The toothbrush holder of claim 2, wherein the cover is attached to the base via a hinge comprising:
a first mating portion integral with the cover;
a second mating portion integral with the base; and
a hinge pin interlocking the first mating portion with the second mating portion.
5. The toothbrush holder of claim 2, wherein the bottom end of the cylindrical core is coincident with the bottom of the base.
6. The toothbrush holder of claim 2, wherein the bottom end of the cylindrical core has a bottom cap and the bottom cap has a plurality of holes therethrough.
7. The toothbrush holder of claim 2, wherein the outer wall is tapered in from the bottom end of the outer wall to the top end of the outer wall such that the outer wall is substantially conical.
8. The toothbrush holder of claim 2, wherein the outer wall is curved with respect to a longitudinal axis of the toothbrush holder.
9. The toothbrush holder of claim 2, wherein the toothbrush holder further comprises a spool of floss located between the cylindrical core and the outer wall.
10. The toothbrush holder of claim 2, wherein the toothbrush holder further comprises a floss cutter attached to the outer wall of the base, said floss cutter comprising an attachment portion that substantially conforms to and is attached to the base of the toothbrush holder and a protrusion extending therefrom.
11. The toothbrush holder of claim 2, wherein the toothbrush holder further comprises a metallic floss cutter attached to the outer wall of the base, said floss cutter comprising an attachment portion that substantially conforms to and is attached to the base of the toothbrush holder and a protrusion extending therefrom.
12. The toothbrush holder of claim 2, wherein the toothbrush holder further comprises a hole through the outer wall, wherein the hole is adjacent a floss cutter attached to the outer wall of the base.
13. The toothbrush holder of claim 2, wherein the bottom end of the cylindrical core comprises a barb operable to retain a spool of floss between the cylindrical core and the outer wall.
14. A toothbrush holder organizer comprising:
a plurality receptacles, each receptacle the plurality receptacles operable to receive a toothbrush holder, wherein each toothbrush holder comprises:
a base having a top and a bottom, said base comprising:
a cylindrical core defining a cavity, said cylindrical core having a top end coincident with the top of the base and a bottom end opposite the top end, wherein the top end of the cylindrical core is open; and
an outer wall having a bottom end coincident with the bottom of the base and a top end attached to the cylindrical core; and
a cover having a hole therethrough, wherein the cover is operable to engage the top end of the base and retain bristles of a toothbrush in the cavity defined by the cylindrical core while allowing a handle of the toothbrush the pass through the hole in the cover.
15. The toothbrush holder organizer of claim 14, wherein the toothbrush holder organizer is a slot organizer, and each receptacle of the plurality receptacles comprises:
a base plate operable to support a bottom of a base of a received toothbrush holder; and
a rim extending upwardly from the base plate, wherein the rim is operable to surround approximately 270° of the received toothbrush holder and a top edge of the rim extends inwardly over a portion of the outer wall of the base of the received toothbrush holder.
16. The toothbrush holder organizer of claim 15, wherein the slot organizer is expansible, and the rim of each receptacle comprises a female interlock and a male interlock opposite the female interlock such that a rim of a first receptacle of the plurality of receptacles is operable to interlock with a rim of a second receptacle of the plurality of receptacles when the first receptacle is adjacent the second receptacle and the female interlock of the first receptacle is receiving the male interlock of the second receptacle.
17. The toothbrush holder organizer of claim 14, wherein the toothbrush holder organizer is a ring organizer, and each receptacle the plurality receptacles comprises:
a band having a hole therethrough, wherein a diameter the hole is less than a diameter of the bottom the base of the received toothbrush holder and greater than a diameter of the top of the base of the received toothbrush holder, and the hole has an outcropping for receiving a hinge of the received toothbrush holder, said hinge attaching the cover to the base of the received toothbrush holder.
18. The toothbrush holder organizer of claim 17, wherein the ring organizer is expansible, and each receptacle further comprises a female interlock and a male interlock opposite the female interlock such that a band of a first receptacle of the plurality of receptacles is operable to interlock with a band of a second receptacle of the plurality of receptacles when the first receptacle is adjacent the second receptacle and the female interlock of the first receptacle is receiving the male interlock of the second receptacle.
19. The toothbrush hold organizer of claim 17, wherein the hole in the band has a taper matching a corresponding taper of the base of the received toothbrush holder.
US13/661,806 2011-10-28 2012-10-26 Toothbrush holder Abandoned US20130118937A1 (en)

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US201161553102P true 2011-10-28 2011-10-28
US201261606927P true 2012-03-05 2012-03-05
US201261642624P true 2012-05-04 2012-05-04
US13/661,806 US20130118937A1 (en) 2011-10-28 2012-10-26 Toothbrush holder

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