Patent application title: ORGANIZER
Heather Curtin (Duarte, CA, US)
Heather Curtin (Duarte, CA, US)
PROGRESSIVE INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
IPC8 Class: AA47B2300FI
Class name: Tray serially supported nested
Publication date: 2011-04-14
Patent application number: 20110084040
Patent application title: ORGANIZER
IPC8 Class: AA47B2300FI
Publication date: 04/14/2011
Patent application number: 20110084040
An organizer includes a removable charger caddy, a main compartment with
configurable dividers, and a tray. One or more cord-wrapping dividers are
provided for receiving electrical cords of electronic devices. The
cord-wrapping dividers are removably secured to the caddy.
1. An organizer, comprising: a floor and a plurality of sidewalls
defining an interior space; and a cord-winding divider supported by the
organizer, the cord-winding divider having a lower foundation, a pair of
upper arms, and a central winding region between the lower foundation and
the upper arms.
2. The organizer of claim 1, wherein the cord-winding divider further comprises a slot for receiving a loose end of an electrical cord.
3. The organizer of claim 2, further comprising: a removable caddy sized to be received within the organizer, the removable caddy having a base and a bar formed in the base; the lower foundation of the cord-winding divider further having a channel sized and configured to snugly receive the bar; whereby when the bar is received within the lower foundation the cord-winding divider is retained within the caddy substantially perpendicularly to the base of the caddy.
4. The organizer of claim 3, wherein the slot is formed along a top edge of the cord-winding divider substantially between the pair of upper arms.
5. The organizer of claim 4, wherein the slot further comprises a bore extending through the cord-retaining divider and a channel extending from an edge of the cord-retaining divider to the bore, the channel having a width that is less than a diameter of the bore.
6. The organizer of claim 5, wherein the cord-retaining divider includes a width defined along the foundation and a height defined from the foundation to the arms, the width being greater than the height.
7. The organizer of claim 6, wherein the caddy further comprises a first pair of opposing caddy sidewalk and the bar extends substantially along the entire base between the first pair of opposing caddy sidewalls.
8. The organizer of claim 7, wherein the caddy further comprises a second pair of opposing caddy sidewalk and a first concavity formed on one of either the first pair of opposing caddy sidewalls or the second pair of opposing caddy sidewalls.
9. The organizer of claim 8, wherein the caddy further comprises a second concavity formed on a second one of either the first pair of opposing caddy sidewalls or the second pair of opposing caddy sidewalls, wherein the first concavity and the second concavity are substantially opposite one another on opposing caddy sidewalls.
10. The organizer of claim 7, wherein the caddy further comprises a raised region formed on one of the first pair of opposing caddy sidewalls.
11. The organizer of claim 7, wherein the organizer further comprises a plurality of interior compartments.
12. The organizer of claim 11, further comprising a plurality of positionable dividers and a means for attaching the plurality of positionable dividers to the organizer.
13. The organizer of claim 1, further comprising: a removable caddy sized to be received within the organizer, the removable caddy having a base and a bar formed in the base; and a means for securing the cord-winding divider to the caddy in a position substantially perpendicular to the base of the caddy.
14. The organizer of claim 13, wherein the cord-winding divider further comprises a means for receiving a loose end of an electrical cord.
15. The organizer of claim 14, wherein the means for securing comprises: a U-shaped channel formed in the lower foundation of the cord-winding divider; and a complementary surface formed on the caddy, the complementary surface configured to be snugly received within the U-shaped channel.
16. The organizer of claim 15, wherein the U-shaped channel extends along the entire length of the lower foundation.
 This application claims the benefit of prior U.S. application Ser. No. 61/250,265 filed on Oct. 9, 2009, the contents of which are incorporated by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 There are many desk organizers having a variety of compartments for pens, paper clips, and other desk supplies. In most cases, the organizers are formed from plastic and are molded into a fixed arrangement of compartments for containing various items. Current desk organizers are in a "one size fits all" configuration, but the users items may or may not actually fit in the pre-formed compartments.
 Even where current desk organizers work well for most loose items, they are generally unsuitable for neatly holding electronic devices such as cell phones and the electrical cords for use with those items.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 A preferred organizer includes a peripheral sidewall, a floor, and several interior compartments. The various compartments may be configured as desired, including larger or smaller compartments, reconfigurable or positionable dividers, sliding trays, and other options.
 In the exemplary version as shown, the organizer includes a removable charger caddy, a larger main compartment with dividers, and a tray. As desired, the main compartment may have repositionable dividers or may be formed with several interior compartments that are fixed at the time of manufacture. Likewise, the tray may be a removable tray that can also slide laterally within a larger tray slot, or may be fixed in position.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The detailed description of the invention is provided with reference to the following drawings.
 FIG. 1 is a perspective partially exploded view of a preferred organizer.
 FIG. 2 is a front plan view of a plurality of positionable cord-wrapping dividers.
 FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a removable charger caddy, shown with a plurality of cord-wrapping dividers.
 FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a preferred organizer, shown with dividers positioned in an exemplary configuration.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
 A preferred organizer 10 includes a peripheral sidewall 11, a floor 12, and several interior compartments. In the version as shown in FIG. 1, the organizer is integrally formed from plastic in a configuration in which three compartments are permanently formed. In this case, the three compartments include a large generally rectangular compartment 13 extending along the entire length of the organizer and occupying approximately half of the organizer; a medium-sized compartment 14; and a small compartment 15. The small and medium sized compartment are adjacent one another and next to the large compartment, which the small and medium sized compartments combined are the same size as the large compartment by itself. The organizer may be formed with a greater or smaller number of pre-formed compartments, including a single large interior compartment.
 The various compartments may be configured as desired, including larger or smaller compartments, reconfigurable or positionable dividers, sliding trays, and other options. In the exemplary version as shown, the organizer includes a removable charger caddy 20, a number of internal dividers, and a removable tray 40. As desired, the main compartment may have repositionable dividers or may be formed with several interior compartments that are fixed at the time of manufacture. Likewise, the tray 40 may be a removable tray that can also slide laterally within a larger tray slot, or may be fixed in position.
 The removable charger caddy 20 preferably includes a base or floor 21 and a peripheral sidewall 25 that combine to form a compartment defining an interior space. The sidewalls optionally include a means for grasping the tray for removal from the organizer, and in the version as shown this is implemented in the form of a pair of curved indentations 22, 23 along opposing sides of the caddy sidewalls. The indentions ideally are sized and arranged to accommodate a finger of a user between the indentation and an adjacent sidewall of the organizer when the caddy is positioned within one of the compartments of the organizer so that a user can readily grasp the caddy and remove it from the organizer. Optionally, a portion of the sidewalls of the caddy (such as in the region of the indentation) may be higher than the rest of the sidewall of the caddy. In this manner, the higher or raised portion of the sidewall is dimensioned to extend above the sidewalls of the organizer in order to further aid in grasping the caddy for removal.
 The charger caddy further includes one or more removable cord-wrapping dividers 50. In the exemplary version as shown, three such dividers are provided. The dividers 50 are configured to allow them to be removed from the caddy to make cord winding and unwinding easier. The cord-wrapping dividers 50 and the caddy cooperate to include a means for securing the dividers to the caddy. In the version as shown, the cord-wrapping dividers are formed with a foundation 52 having a raised channel 51 that is shaped. to receive a central bar 24 formed longitudinally in the floor of the caddy. Thus, the cord wrapping dividers 50 are formed with a foundation generally in the shape of an inverted U, with the central bar being formed with a complementary size and shape in which it can be snugly received within the interior portion of the inverted U shape. Each of the cord-wrapping dividers can be frictionally and removably held in place by positioning the channel of the divider such that it substantially surrounds the bar to hold the cord-wrapping divider in place. The foundation of the cord-wrapping divider is preferably long and extends along the entire length of the cord-wrapping divider. In the preferred version, the foundation is wider than the height of the cord-wrapping divider.
 Although the configuration as shown and described above is preferred and provides advantages, the foundation of the cord-wrapping dividers 50 may be configured differently in order to accomplish the central purpose of allowing the cord-wrapping dividers to be removably secured to the caddy. Thus, for example, the floor of the caddy may include a central slot for receiving one or more tabs formed in the cord-wrapping dividers. Alternatively, either of the caddy and the dividers may be formed with any of a variety of complementary projections and depressions to allow either of them to receive and retain the other. Likewise, in other configurations the dividers can be permanently secured within the caddy.
 The cord-wrapping dividers 50 further include a central winding region 54 and a pair of upper arms 55, 56. In combination, the foundation, central winding region, and upper arms combine to form a shape that generally resembles a capital I when viewed from the front as illustrated in FIG. 2. In the preferred version, however, the main winding region 54 is relatively wide, as is the foundation, such that the width of each is greater than the height of the divider.
 In the exemplary version, the main winding region and arms are essentially formed as a plate having enough thickness to provide durability as desired. In other versions, however, the main winding region may be thickened and may include a hollow interior to increase the overall thickness. Preferably, the length of the arms 55, 56 and the length of the base of the cord-wrapping dividers are sufficiently greater than the width of the central winding region such that a cord may be wrapped around the central winding region several times and the arms and base will retain the cord and keep it from sliding off either end of the cord-wrapping divider.
 The cord-wrapping dividers also include a cord retaining slot 58 for receiving a loose terminal end of a cord and preventing the cord from unwinding itself from the cord-wrapping divider. In the version as shown, the cord retaining slot is formed as a circular bore adjacent the top of the main body, with a channel in an upper edge of the main body providing a passageway so that the cord can travel through the passageway and into the bore. The channel is sized to allow for a snug passage of a typically shaped electrical cord for a standard device such as a cell phone, pager, razor, or other such small electrical item. The bore is enlarged to allow the cord to be held within the bore, though somewhat more loosely than the channel. The bore and channel need not be shaped in the form as depicted, but they are preferably sized as described to allow for the most efficient passage and retention of the cords.
 In alternate versions, the bore and channel may be located in different positions other than at the top of the main body. For example, they may be located on the foundation or on one or both of the arms. Similarly, the channel need not be a separately formed feature, but rather may be simply a part of the bore itself, located tangentially along an edge of the divider.
 As shown in FIG. 3, the preferred caddy 20 is sized and shaped to receive three cord-wrapping dividers. Each is illustrated in place, supported by the central bar formed in the base of the caddy. In other versions of the invention, the central bar may be formed in a different position or may be replaced with one or more bars extending across the width of the caddy rather than the single central bar extending along the length of the caddy as shown. The caddy includes a sufficient space on either side of the cord-wrapping dividers such that an electronic device such as a cell phone may be stored within the caddy and on one side or the other of the cord-wrapping divider.
 In use, a cord-wrapping divider 50 can be removed from the caddy, separating the foundation from the bar or other fastening device formed in the caddy. Then a cord for a cell phone or other electronic device is wound around the divider, winding the cord laterally about the main winding region 54. As the thickness of the winding increases with additional wrappings of the cord, the foundation and the aims prevent the cord from slipping of from the main body. As described above, each of the foundation and the arms extends laterally beyond the main body to provide a greater cord-retaining surface for this purpose. When the cord reaches the end of its length during the winding process, the terminal end of the cord is inserted through the channel and into the bore to hold the cord securely to the divider. Then the divider can be attached to the caddy by securing the foundation to the bar or other securement device. The removability of the caddy 20 allows the caddy to also be removed and taken to a more convenient place and then returned to the organizer.
 As shown in FIG. 4, the organizer may optionally include additional features, including a removable tray 40. The tray 40 is formed with one or more internal tray dividers to separate the tray into multiple compartments. The tray may include a peripheral flange in order to support the tray atop a rim of the smaller compartment 15. In addition, the smaller compartment may include several interior walls 16 to support the tray. As best seen in FIG. 1, the interior walls 16 are configured to bifurcate the smaller compartment 15 across its width and its length. The interior walls are formed with a height that is approximately half the height of the sidewalk of the small compartment, with the height of the tray 40 being equal to the height of the sidewalk of the organizer less the height of the interior walls. Thus, the interior walls provide support for the bottom of the tray. Preferably, the tray is smaller in length and width than that of the smaller compartment and can slide laterally atop the interior sidewalls for access to one or more of the compartments formed by the interior sidewalk.
 The larger compartment 13 may further include slots or channels 60 formed along the sidewalk and additional grooves or vertical supports 62 providing locations for receiving and retaining additional dividers 32. A lower portion of the dividers 32 are similarly received between vertical supports 62 in order to hold the dividers in a vertical position.
 The dividers 32 are substantially rectangular and include lateral ears that are shaped to be received within the channels. The lateral ears include an upper ear and a lower ear that are preferably offset from one another, with a complementary offset configuration on each side of the divider. A lateral ear on one side of the divider includes a peg or bump while a lateral ear on the opposite side includes a hole or cavity for receiving the peg or bump. Thus, a pair of dividers may be interconnected to one another by engaging the lateral ears of adjacent dividers.
 Each divider includes a central slot extending approximately half way downward from the top of the divider. The dividers can therefore be positioned perpendicularly to one another by receiving the ears from a first divider (or pair of connected dividers) within the central slot of a second divider. As best seen in FIG. 4, the large compartment 13 can be subdivided as desired by interlocking and inserting dividers.
 While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, as noted above, many changes can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is not limited by the disclosure of the preferred embodiment. Instead, the invention should be determined entirely by reference to the claims that follow.
Patent applications by Heather Curtin, Duarte, CA US
Patent applications by PROGRESSIVE INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION