Patent application title: DEVICE FOR MAINTAINING BOTTLES IN AN INVERTED POSITION
Michael Paul Lynch (Cincinnati, OH, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47G2900FI
Class name: Spaced insulated wall refrigerator cabinet shelf or shelf-supporting structure
Publication date: 2012-12-06
Patent application number: 20120306339
Devices for maintaining bottles in an inverted position generally include
a platform having a substantially planar bottom side, and a top side
defining a plurality of cylindrical cavities that extend downwardly. The
cavities releaseably receive the mouth-end of bottles, so bottles can be
stored in the inverted position, thereby maximizing the volume of product
that one can extract from a bottle.
1. A device for releasably securing a plurality of bottles by the
mouth-ends, said device including body having a top side defining a
plurality of cylindrical cavities, and a substantially planar bottom
side, said cavities each having a clearance diameter of approximately 1''
to approximately 2.5''.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein each of said cavities has an approximate clearance diameter selected from the group consisting of 1'', 1.25'', 1.5'' and 2.5''.
3. The device of claim 1 further including interstitial space between proximal cavities, said interstitial space substantially planar.
4. The device of claim 1 wherein said body is approximately 1'' thick.
5. The device of claim 1 wherein said body is approximately 12'' long and 5.5'' wide.
6. A system for maximizing the volume of product that can be extracted from a bottle, said system including: a. A bottle having a base-end, a neck adjoining said base-end, and a mouth-end adjoining said neck, wherein the diameter of said mouth-end is narrower than the diameter of said base-end; and b. A device including at least one cavity for receiving the mouth-end of said bottle, said cavity having a clearance diameter of approximately 1'' to approximately 2.5''.
7. The system of claim 6 wherein said device further includes a substantially planar bottom side.
8. The system of claim 6 including a plurality of cylindrical cavities, the centerpoint of each of said cavities being spaced approximately 1 1/8'' to approximately 1 3/4'' one from another.
9. The system of claim 6 further including a refrigerator, said refrigerator enclosing said device.
10. The system of claim 6 further including a cabinet or bathing structure, said structures enclosing said device.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to storage and organization devices, and more specifically, to a device having a platform and a plurality of cavities for receiving and securing the mouth-end of a bottle, so as to maintain bottles in an inverted position.
 Bottles are a convenient and economical way for manufacturers to store and transport a wide variety of products. In particular, many liquid, semi-solid and suspended solid consumer products, such as food and cosmetics, come in bottles. Examples include shampoo, lotion and condiments such as catsup and salad dressing and relishes.
 Standard consumer bottles typically have a body portion which narrows into a neck portion, with the neck terminating into a mouth, through which the products exit the bottle. The body portion typically terminates in a substantially planar end, which is larger than the neck and mouth portion, and thus serves as a stable base for resting and storing the bottle. Accordingly, most bottles are stored with the mouth-end of the bottle pointing upward, and the base oriented downward, relative to the earth.
 During storage, the contents of a bottle tend to congregate in the base. This remains true even for semi-solid and suspended solid products as gravity is constantly acting on them. This is not problematic when the bottle is substantially full of product, since the product can be shaken or squeezed to the mouth for subsequent use. However, when a bottle has little remaining product, for example 20% or less, depending on the viscosity, shaking or squeezing product from the base to the mouth is ineffective because product often sticks to the walls of the bottle, so very little is actually delivered to the mouth for use. This problem is familiar to anyone who has tried to get the last bit of catsup out of a bottle.
 When there is little product left in a bottle, impatient or physically challenged people may simply throw the bottle away, thereby wasting usable product. Those who are capable and determined may vigorously shake and squeeze the bottle in order to coax out as much as possible, but this still usually results in product clinging to the interior sides.
 One of the most effective ways to maximize the volume of product that can be removed from a bottle is to store the bottle in an inverted position, with the mouth-end pointed downward, and the base oriented upward. However, since most bottles are not designed for mouth-end downward storage, the result of inverted storage is a top-heavy bottle that easily tips over. This can be messy and dangerous if bottles fall and break.
 As can be seen, there is a need for a device which maximizes the volume of product that can be removed from a bottle. It is desirable that this device is easy to use, simple, economical, does not require a power source, and can be used in a variety of conditions. It is also desirable that this device uses gravity to move product from the interior walls and interior base of a bottle, towards the mouth of a bottle. It is also desirable that this device can easily receive, securely hold, and easily release bottles.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 Devices for maintaining bottles in an inverted position according to embodiments of the present invention generally include a platform having a substantially planar bottom side, and a top side defining a plurality of cylindrical cavities that extend downwardly, but not through the substantially planar bottom side. The cylindrical cavities are preferably between about 1'' in diameter and about 2.5'' in diameter, with the centerpoint of adjacent cavities being spaced approximately 1 1/8'' to approximately 1 3/4'' apart. The cavities are preferably approximately 7/8'' deep. The device may be placed in a variety of locations and conditions, such as in refrigerators, showers and baths, for releaseably receiving the mouth-end of bottles.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention with the mouth-end of a bottle secured;
 FIG. 2 depicts perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention;
 FIG. 3 is a top view of an embodiment of the present invention; and
 FIG. 4 is a top view of an embodiment of the present invention, showing exemplary measurements.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out exemplary embodiments of the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.
 Referring to FIG. 1, device 10 generally includes platform 20 having a plurality of cylindrical cavities: extra large cavity 12 preferably has a clearance diameter of approximately 2.5''; large cavity 14 preferably has a clearance diameter of approximately 1.5''; medium cavity 16 preferably has a clearance diameter of approximately 1.25''; and small cavity 18 preferably has a clearance diameter of approximately 1''. These size cavities are most desirable as they can accommodate most conventional bottle mouth-ends. As used herein, "clearance diameter" means the space available for receiving an item. For example a clearance diameter of 2.5'' means the cavity could receive a cylindrical item having a diameter of 2.5''. As used herein "approximately" and the like means +/-10%. These sizes are based on the best product searches available.
 Cavities 12, 14, 16, 18 are preferably approximately 7/8'' deep, measured from top side (shown but not labeled in FIGS. 1-4) to bottom of cavity, with sides being curved to define cylindrical shape. Although not shown, bottom side of device 10 is substantially planar, that is, a smooth rectangular shape. Substantially planar sections of top side, between cavities, is interstices (not numbered).
 As shown in FIG. 1, conventional bottle 22 includes body 26, terminating at one end as a base (not numbered), and at the other end as mouth 24, through which product exits. As used herein, "base-end" generally refers to the "bottom" of a bottle, while "mouth-end" generally refers to the narrowed end through which the product exits. Neck (not numbered) is adjacent to mouth-end.
 To use device, a user simply positions mouth 24 into cavity 12, 14, 16 or 18 of suitable size, which is to say that bottle 22 is held securely, but is easily removed from device 10. Bottle 22 is stored in the inverted position (mouth-end below base-end), and used as normal. By storing in the inverted position, product will tend to gravitate towards the mouth-end, and therefore be easier to expel from bottle upon use.
 As shown in FIG. 2, it is desirable to have a variety of different sized cavities in device 10. This allows inverted storage of a variety of consumer products, whose cap sizes may vary. While the specific orientation set forth in FIGS. 2-4 may not be critical, the placement of cavities should maximize the number of bottles which can be held, and be positioned such that bottle bodies 26 have adequate space to remain in an upright position.
 As shown in FIG. 4, examples of adequate space between cavities can be established where the centerpoint of each adjacent cavity is between about 1 1/8'' and about 1 3/4'' apart. Moreover, the device is desirably approximately 5 1/2'' wide, approximately 12'' long, and approximately 1'' thick, and preferably has rounded corners.
 Device 10 is designed to be plastic; but, can be constructed of rubber or metal and combinations thereof. However, it is desirable that the device is not easily broken, and is washable, most preferably dishwasher safe.
 In use, one puts device 10 in a location where bottles are stored, for example the shelf or door of a refrigerator, in a bathroom cabinet or in a bath or shower, and stores bottles in an inverted position in device, with mouth 24 inserted into appropriately sized cavity 12, 14, 16 or 18.
 It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing relates to exemplary embodiments of the invention and that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims. Examples of such a modifications could include rubber feet on bottom for non-slip or holes in cavities to drain shower water. It should also be understood that, unless otherwise indicated, ranges of values set forth inherently include those values, as well as all increments between.
Patent applications in class Shelf or shelf-supporting structure
Patent applications in all subclasses Shelf or shelf-supporting structure