Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2234136 Summary

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(12) Patent Application: (11) CA 2234136
(54) English Title: IMPROVED APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR DISPENSING A LIQUID HAND TREATMENT
(54) French Title: DISPOSITIF ET PROCEDE AMELIORES DE DISTRIBUTION D'UN PRODUIT LIQUIDE POUR MAINS
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • A47K 5/12 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • BRANDENBURG, ALLEN E. (United States of America)
  • MALDONADO, JOHN E. (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. (United States of America)
(74) Agent: BORDEN LADNER GERVAIS LLP
(74) Associate agent: BORDEN LADNER GERVAIS LLP
(45) Issued:
(86) PCT Filing Date: 1996-10-22
(87) Open to Public Inspection: 1997-05-09
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
08/551,324 United States of America 1995-11-01

English Abstract




An apparatus (10) for dispensing a liquid hand treatment such as soap into a
consumer's hand in a public washroom includes first and second containers (20,
22) for storing liquid hand treatment, first and second nozzles (24, 26) and a
pumping mechanism (32) for extracting liquid hand treatment from the first and
second containers (20, 22) and expelling such liquid hand treatment,
respectively, through the first and second nozzles (24, 26). The pumping
mechanism (32) preferably includes a first actuator lever (36) for causing the
pumping mechanism (32) to pump liquid hand treatment through said first nozzle
(24), and a second actuator lever (38) for causing said pumping mechanism (32)
to pump liquid hand treatment through said second nozzle (26), said first and
second levers (36, 38) being independently operable, whereby liquid hand
treatment may be dispensed electively through either container (20, 22). In
addition, each actuator lever (36, 38) preferably includes indicia for
instructing a consumer how to orient his or her hand when actuating the lever
(36, 38), and the nozzle (24, 26) is oriented to deliver liquid hand treatment
into the consumer's palm when the lever (24, 26) is actuated and the user's
hand is so oriented. Accordingly, the liquid hand treatment will be deposited
in the most useful location with a minimum of wastage.


French Abstract

Un dispositif (10) destiné à des toilettes publiques et permettant de distribuer dans les mains d'un consommateur un produit liquide pour mains, tel qu'un savon, comprend un premier et un second réservoir (20, 22) pour stocker le produit liquide, un premier et un second embout (24, 26), et un mécanisme de pompage (32) pour extraire le produit du premier et du second réservoir (20, 22) et le faire passer à travers le premier et le second embout (24, 26). Le mécanisme de pompage (32) comporte de préférence un premier levier d'actionnement (36), grâce auquel le mécanisme de pompage (32) pousse le produit dans ledit premier embout (24), et un second levier d'actionnement (38), grâce auquel le mécanisme de pompage pousse le produit dans ledit second embout (26). Les deux leviers (36, 38) peuvent fonctionner indépendamment, et le produit peut être distribué au choix par l'un ou l'autre réservoir (20, 22). Chaque levier d'actionnement (36, 38) comporte de préférence des renseignements indiquant au consommateur comment il doit orienter sa main quand il actionne le levier (36, 38), et l'embout (24, 26) est orienté de façon à délivrer du produit dans la paume de la main du consommateur quand celui-ci actionne le levier (36, 38) et oriente sa main de la manière indiquée. Ainsi, le produit sera déposé à l'emplacement le plus judicieux avec un minimum de gaspillage.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. An apparatus for dispensing a liquid hand
treatment such as soap into a consumer's hand in a public
washroom, comprising:
a container for storing liquid hand treatment;
a nozzle;
a pumping mechanism for extracting liquid hand
treatment from said container and expelling it through said
nozzle, said pumping mechanism including an actuator lever;
wherein said actuator lever includes indicia for
instructing a consumer how to orient his or her hand when
actuating said lever, and said nozzle is oriented to deliver
liquid hand treatment into the consumer's palm when said
lever is actuated and the user's hand is so oriented,
whereby the liquid hand treatment will be deposited in the
most useful location with a minimum of wastage.

2. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
said nozzle is oriented substantially vertically, said lever
is also substantially vertical at the point it is designed
to contact the consumer's hand, and said indicia indicates
to the consumer that the consumer's thumb is to be used to
actuate the lever, whereby the consumer will actuate the
lever with his or her thumb, palm up, and the liquid hand
treatment will be deposited vertically downwardly from the
nozzle into the consumer's hand.

3. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
said indicia comprises a thumb-sized recess that is defined
in said actuator.

4. An apparatus according to claim 2, wherein
said indicia comprises a thumb-sized recess that is defined
in said actuator.



5. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
said lever is oriented so as to be substantially vertical at
the point it is designed to contact the consumer+w hand, and
said indicia indicates to the consumer that the consumer's
thumb is to be used to actuate the lever, whereby the
consumer will actuate the lever with his or her thumb, palm
up, and the liquid hand treatment will be deposited
vertically downwardly from the nozzle into the consumer's
hand.

6. An apparatus according to claim 5, wherein
said lever is further limited in width to the extent that
would discourage a user from actuating the lever with more
than one finger, whereby the user is more likely to actuate
the lever with a thumb.

7. An apparatus for dispensing a liquid hand
treatment such as soap into a consumer's hand in a public
washroom, comprising:
first and second containers for storing liquid
hand treatment;
first and second nozzles;
a pumping mechanism for extracting liquid hand
treatment from said first and second containers and
expelling such liquid hand treatment, respectively, through
said first and second nozzles, said pumping mechanism
including a first actuator lever for causing said pumping
mechanism to pump liquid hand treatment through said first
nozzle, and a second actuator lever for causing said pumping
mechanism to pump liquid hand treatment through said second
nozzle, said first and second levers being independently
operable, whereby liquid hand treatment may be dispensed
electively through either container.

8. An apparatus according to claim 7, wherein
said first and second levers are adjacent to each other and
mounted for rotation about a common axis.



9. An apparatus according to claim 7, wherein
said nozzles are oriented substantially vertically, and said
levers are also substantially vertical at the point it is
designed to contact the consumer's hand, and said levers are
provided with indicia that indicates to the consumer that
the consumer's thumb is to be used to actuate the lever,
whereby the consumer will actuate at least one of said
levers with his or her thumb, palm up, and the liquid hand
treatment will be deposited vertically downwardly from the
respective nozzle into the consumer's hand.

10. An apparatus according to claim 9, wherein
said indicia comprises a thumb-sized recess that is defined
in said actuator.

11. An apparatus according to claim 9, wherein
said lever is further limited in width to the extent that
would discourage a user from actuating the lever with more
than one finger, whereby the user is more likely to actuate
the lever with a thumb.

12. A method of dispensing a liquid hand
treatment such as liquid soap, comprising:
(a) inserting two containers of liquid hand
treatment into a dispenser that comprises first and second
nozzles; a pumping mechanism for extracting liquid hand
treatment from said first and second containers and
expelling such liquid hand treatment, respectively, through
said first and second nozzles, said pumping mechanism
including a first actuator lever for causing said pumping
mechanism to pump liquid hand treatment through said first
nozzle, and a second actuator lever for causing said pumping
mechanism to pump liquid hand treatment through said second
nozzle, said first and second levers being independently
operable;
(b) closing the dispenser; and




(c) actuating one of the levers, independently of
the other lever, to dispense liquid hand treatment through
the respective nozzle.

11

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

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I~DPRO~nED APPARi~TUS A~D MEI~HO~ FOR DISPENSING
A LIQUID HU~D T~ n~T

BACKGROUl~D OF TH~ I~V~N-L10N
1.Field of the In~ention
5 This invention relates to the field of public
health and sanitation, and particularly to dispensers for
liquld soap or other liquid lland treatments.
2. DescriPti~n o~ the Prior Art
Dispense.s fcr liqui~ soap are among the ~ost
common fi~tures in public toilets and washrooms, both in the
United States and throughout t:~e world. ~ther liquid hand
treatments, such as s~in condi~icners, different grades of
soap or the like are also dispensabl_ in such fixtures.
One type of dispenser that is presently being
marketed by the owner of this invention, Scott Paper
Company, is wall mounted and adapted to receive two
containers of liquid hand soap. Each container is connected
to a flexible hose that is mounted to be in contact with a
pumping mechanism. The pumping mechanism includes an
2~ actuation lever, and is manually shiftable by the consumer
or maintenance person between a first position for
clspensing from the first container, and a second position
for dispensing from the second container.
One problem with this t~pe of dispenser is that
shifting the pumping mechanism b~ck and forth between the

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two supply sources can be an annoyance. Another problem,
which is nearly endemic among liquid soap dispensers as a
class, is that poor registration between a user~s hand and
the position of the dispenser nozzle can result in a less
than optim-lm deposition of soap into the user's hand.
Ideally, the soap should be deposited into the user's palm,
but all too often this fails to occur, meaning that soap is
wasted and hand washina is inefficiently performed.
It i~ clear that a need exists for an improved
dispenser for liquid hand treatment that avoids the need for
manual shifting between supply sources, and that ensures
effective deposition of the hand treatment into the palm of
a user.

S~MP.RY OF I~HE INrVENrrION
Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to
provide an improved dispenser for liquid hand treatment that
a~roids the need fcr manual sh.fting between supply sources,
and that ensure~ effective deposition of the hand treatment
into the palm of a user.
In order to achieve the above and other aspects of
the inv~ntion, an apparatus for dispensing a liquid hand
treatment, such as soap, into a consumer's hand in a public
washroom includes a container ror storin~ liquid hand
treat.ment; a nozzle; a pumping mechanism for extracting
liqu d hanl treatment from the container and expelling it
through the no-zle, the pumping mechanism including an
actuator lever; wherein said actuator lever includes indicia
for instructir.g a consumer how to orient his or her hand
when actuating tne lever, and the nozzle is oriented to
deliver liquid hand treatment into the consumer's palm when
the lever is actuated and the user's hand is so oriented,
whereby the liquid hand treatment will be deposited in the
most useful location wi~h a minimum of wastage.
According to a second aspect of the invention, an
apparatus for dispensing a liquid hand treatment such as
soap into a consumer~s hand in a public washroom includes

CA 02234136 1998-04-29
WO97/16107 PCT~S96116915
first and second cont~iners for storing liquid hand
treat~ent; rirst and second nozzles; a pumping mechanism for
extracting li~lid hand treatment from the first and second
containers and expelliny such liquid hand treatment,
respectively, through the first and second nozzles, the
pumping mechanism including a first actuator lever for
c~using the pumping mechanism to pump liquid hand treatment
through the first nozzle, and a second actuator lever for
causing the pumping mechanism to pump liquid hand treatment
through the second nozzle, the first and second levers being
independently operable, whereby liquid hand treatment may be
dispensed electively through either container.
According to a third aspect of the invention, a
method of dispensing a liquid nand treatment such as liquid
soap includes steps of (a) inserting two containers of
liquid hand treatment into a dispenser that comprises first
and second nozzles; a pumping mechanism for ex~racting
liquid hand treatme~t from the first and second containers
and expelling such liquid hand treatment, respectively,
through the first and second nozzles, the pumping mechanism
including a first actuator lever for causing the pumping
mechanislll to pump liquid hand treatment through the first
noz~le, and a second actuator lever for causing the pumping
mechanism~to pump liquid hand treatment through the second
2', nozzle, the fi-st and second levers being independently
operable; (b) closing the dispenser; and (c) ac~uating one
of the levers, independently of the other lever, to dispense
liquid hand ~reatment through the respective nozzle.
These and various other advantages and features of
novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out
with particularit~ in the claims annexed hereto and forming
a part h~reof. However, for a better understanding of the
invention, its advantaqes, and the objects obtained b~ its
use, reference should be made to the drawings which form a
further part hereof, and to the accompanying descriptive
matter, in which there is illustrated and described a
preferred embodiment of the invention.

CA 02234136 1998-04-29
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BRIEF ~E~CRIPTI~N OF THE DRAWINGS
FIGURE l is a perspectiv2 view of an improved
apparatus for dispensing a liquid hand treatment that is
constructed accordin~ preferred embodiment of the invention;
F'IGURE 2 ig perspec-ive view of the apparatus
shown in FIGURE 1, in an open position;
FIGURE 3 i9 a side elevational view of the
apparatus that is shown in FIGURES 1 and 2; and
FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional side view of the
dispensers shown in FIGURES 1-3.

DETAILE~ DES~RIPTION OF THE PREFERRED ENBODIMENT(S~
Referr.ing nGw to ~he drawings, wherein like
reference numerals d~signate c~rresponding structure
throughout the views, and referring in particular to FIGURE
1, An apparatus 10 for dispensing a liquid hand treatment
such as liquid soap into a consumer's hand in a public
washroom or similar location includes housing 12 that has an
inner portion 14 that is secured to the wall of a washroom
or simil-~r surface, and an outer protecting portion 16, as
may be seen in FIGURE 2. A locking mechanism 18 is provided
for securing the inner and outer portions 14, 16 together in
the operative position that is shown in FIGURE 1.
Looking now to FIGURE 2, when made operative
apparatus 10 will have first and second containers 20, 22 of
liquid hand treatment, such as soap, mounted securely within
the inner portion 14 Gf the housing 12. A display window 34
is provided on th~ unit, as is t~p.ical in prior Scott Paper
Company dispensers. The containers 20, 22 have built in
first and second nozzles 24, 26 for directing the liquid
hand treatment from the first container 20 and second
container 22, respectively, into the palm of a user.
Conduits, which in the preferred embodiment comprise a first
rubber h~se 28 and a second rubber hose 30, connect the main
bodies of first and second containers 20, 22 with the
dispensing nozzles 24, 26, respectively, as is clearly shown
in FIGURE 2. Apparatu~ lo further includes a pumping

CA 02234136 1998-04-29
WO97/16107 PCT~S96/16915

mechanis~ 32 for extracting liquid hand treatment from the
containers 20, 22 and expelling it through the nozzle 24,
26. In the preferred embodiment, pumping mechanism 32 is a
peristaltic type pu~p that operates by kneading the liquid
hand treatment through the respective rubber hoses 28, 30.
According to one aspect of the invention, pumping mechanism
32 includes first and second se~arately actuatable levers
36, 38 which are constructed and arranged to cause pumping
mechanism 32 tG pump liquid hand treatment from the first
'0 container 20 or the second container 22, respectively. In
other words, when a user actuates the first actuator lever
36, hand treatment is caused to flow from the first
container 20 through first rubber hose 28 and out of first
nozzle 24 into the palm of a user, which is usually the left
hand palm, as may be readily be visualize in FIGURE l. When
second actuator lever 38 is actuated, typically by the right
hand of a user, liquid hand treatment is caused to flow from
second container 22 through second rubber hose 30 out of the
second nozzle 26 into the palm of the user, which, again, is
typically the right hand palm. Accordingly, pumping
mechanism 32 permits a user to pump selectively from either
the rirst contai.ner 20 or the second container 22, without
~h~ need for manually shifting between the two sources, as
was necesszry in prior ~enerations of dispensers.
2.5 According to another important aspect of the
in~ention, each of the first an-l second actuation levers 36,
3~ have indicia 40 thereon for instructing a consumer how to
orient his or her hand when actuating the respective lever
36, 38. l~ tne preferred embodiment, indicia 40 comprises a
recess 42 defined in the lever 36, 38 that is sized and
shaped to accommodate the thumb of a user. As may be seen
in FIGURES l and 3, the levers 36, 38 are substantially
vertical at the point theY are desiqned to contact the
consumers hand 44, and the nozzles 24, 26 are also oriented
substantially vertically. The indicia thus indicate to the
consumer tha~ the consumer~s thumb is to be used to actuate
the lever 36, 38, so that the consumer would actuate the


CA 02234136 1998-04-29
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iever with his or h~r thumb 4~, p~im 48 up, and the liquid
nand treatment will be deposited vertically downwardly from
the no~zle 34, 36 into the consum~r's hand 44, as is best
shown in FIGURE 3. To ~urth~r motivate the consumer to use
his or her thumb on the lever 36, 38, the levers 36, 38 are
constructed with a functional width W that is preferably not
much larger than the width of a single finger or thumb.
This will discourage the user from actuating the lever 36,
38 with more than one finger., encouraging use of the thumb.
Prefe-ably, width W is within the range of 0.5 inches to l
inch, with a pref~rred val-le of about 5/8 of an inch.
Referriny aaain to FIGURE 3, it will be seen that
the nozzles 24, 26 are spaced inwardl.y of the lever 36, 38 a
distance D by moun~ing structu.e on the unit, which roughly
corresponds to th~ distance between a user thumb 46 and his
or her palm 48.
In operatlon, a maintenance person would load the
containers 20, 22 into th~ a~paratus lO, as is shown in
FIGURE 2, and will connect tne rubber hoses 28, 30 to the
respective nozzles 24, 26. The maintenance person will then
close and lock the inner portion 14 of the housing 12 to the
outer porticn 16, thus placing 1:he apparatus lO in the
operative position shown in FIGURE l. A consumer will than
approach the apparatus lO, and, if deposition of hand soap
or other hand treatment into the right hand is desired, he
or she will present the right hand ~o the second actuato-
lev~r 38, palm up, and will press the lever 38 inwardly with
his or her right thumb, causing hand treatment to be pumped
frGm the second nozzle 2S into his or her palm 48. If
deposition of hand treatment into the left hand is desired,
he or she will approach the first actuator lever 36 with the
left hand, depressing the lever 36 with the left thumb and
causinq hand treatment to be deposited from the first nozzle
24 into his or her left palm.
Alternatively, apparatus lO could be operated by
placing different types of h~nd treatments in the first and
se~ond containers 20, 22. For example, th2 first container

CA 02234136 1998-04-29
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o could be used to dispense soap, while the second
container 22 could be used to dispense skin conditioner. In
this event, the consumer would be alerted to the chose of
products available by the present of labels 50 that are
inserted into respective recesses on the levers 36, 38, as
may be seen in FIGURE 1. The consumer would than select the
level- that corresponds to the desired hand treatment,
without regard for whether it is the left hand or right hand
in which deposition is desired.
It is to be understood, however, that even though
numerous characteristics and advantages of the present
invention have been set forth in the foregoing description,
together with details of the structure and function of the
invention, the disclosure is illustrative only, and changes
may be made in detail, especially in matters of shape, size
and arrangement of parts within the principles of the
lnJentiGn to the full extent indicated by the broad general
meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are
expressed.

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

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Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date Unavailable
(86) PCT Filing Date 1996-10-22
(87) PCT Publication Date 1997-05-09
(85) National Entry 1998-04-29
Dead Application 2002-10-22

Abandonment History

Abandonment Date Reason Reinstatement Date
2001-10-22 FAILURE TO REQUEST EXAMINATION
2001-10-22 FAILURE TO PAY APPLICATION MAINTENANCE FEE

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Registration of Documents $50.00 1998-04-29
Registration of Documents $50.00 1998-04-29
Registration of Documents $100.00 1998-04-29
Filing $300.00 1998-04-29
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 1998-10-22 $100.00 1998-09-21
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 1999-10-22 $100.00 1999-09-20
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2000-10-23 $100.00 2000-09-22
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC.
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
BRANDENBURG, ALLEN E.
KIMBERLY-CLARK TISSUE COMPANY
MALDONADO, JOHN E.
SCOTT PAPER COMPANY
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Abstract 1998-04-29 1 70
Description 1998-04-29 7 325
Representative Drawing 1998-07-20 1 13
Claims 1998-04-29 4 133
Drawings 1998-04-29 4 122
Cover Page 1998-07-20 2 86
Assignment 1998-04-29 8 348
PCT 1998-04-29 10 316
Correspondence 1998-06-18 1 15