Patent application title: MULTIFUNCTIONAL BOTTLE-HOLDER CASE
Enrico Accettola (Udine, IT)
Nevio Capuzzo (Udine, IT)
Michele Grion (Pavia Di Udine, IT)
IPC8 Class: AB65D8530FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package portable segregating carrier for plural cylindrical beverage-type receptacles (e.g., beer cans, pop bottles)
Publication date: 2014-10-09
Patent application number: 20140299489
Multifunctional bottle-holder case, comprising a lid (11) provided with
edges (14) and a containing frame (12) provided with walls (16) suitable
to define a containing compartment (20) suitable to contain at least one
bottle (21). At least one of said walls (16) and/or edges (14) is
provided with at least one removable portion (25) associated with the
corresponding wall (16) and/or the edge (14) by means of a connection
zone with facilitated breakage (28).
1. Multifunctional bottle-holder case, suitable to be used to store and
transport bottles, comprising a closing element and a containing frame,
said closing element including a flat part and having an edge, said
containing frame including a bottom and one or more walls, said bottom
and said walls defining a containing compartment, selectively closable,
characterized in that at least one of the walls and/or edge of the case
is provided with at least one removable portion having a size equal at
least to the largest section of a bottle contained in the case and in
that said removable portion is connected to the corresponding wall or
edge by means of a connection zone with facilitated breakage.
2. Case as in claim 1, characterized in that said removable portion is removed during the production step and covered at least provisionally by a covering element temporarily associated with an inner or outer wall of the case.
3. Case as in claim 1, characterized in that the removable portion has a shape and size correlated to the insertion of at least two bottles.
4. Case as in claim 1, characterized in that the removable portion is removable from the corresponding wall by manual pressure.
5. Case as in any claim 1, further comprising a plurality of separator elements, disposed during use in the containing compartment of the case, said separator elements including apertures which, when the case is in use as a display device, are aligned with the apertures obtained by removing the removable portion.
6. Case as in claim 1, characterized in that on the containing frame and/or on the closing element and/or on at least part of the walls there are attachment means which allow the reciprocal and selective attachment of other cases of the same type.
7. Case as in claim 1, characterized in that said attachment means comprise holes able to receive screws, pins or other suitable attachment elements.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention concerns a multifunctional bottle-holder case, in particular a case which can be used both for storing, preserving and transporting one or more bottles substantially closed inside the case itself, and also to display them, for example in a domestic environment or public premises, so that they are at least partly visible from the outside.
 Thanks to its conformation and geometry, and to the characteristics it has, the bottle-holder case according to the present invention also allows to configure a modular display case in which a plurality of cases can be coupled together to make compositions of various shapes and sizes so as to create a sort of personalized cellar.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The use of cases is known, generally made of wood or materials similar to wood, but also of other materials such as glass, plastic, metal or suitable alloys, such as aluminum or other, used to preserve and transport bottles of various type, in particular those used for delivery to commercial businesses or as gift packs.
 Such cases are of various sizes, depending on the size and number of bottles they have to contain.
 One disadvantage of the cases conventionally used for bottles is that, once they have carried out their transport function and have reached their final destination, they are waste material to be eliminated and are not usually reused.
 Moreover, at the destination site, whether this be a domestic environment or public premises, the use of a suitable display case to store the bottles and at the same time display them is often required, thus creating a sort of cellar which can be configured as desired.
 Document DE 71 14 663 U describes a bottle-holder with a wall which is completely removable in order to access the inside. Also U.S. Pat. No. 5,285,900 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,109,059 describe containers for bottles or cans which have removable parts of the lateral walls. In such solutions, the fact that the walls are removable is in no way connected with a possible function of the case as a display case.
 One purpose of the present invention is therefore to overcome the disadvantages of the state of the art, making a multifunctional bottle-holder case, for example, but not only, of wood, which, after it has carried out its primary function of transport, can be transformed into a display module to display the bottles therein.
 Another purpose is to make a display case which is adaptable to any shape of bottle, and which can be put next to and stacked with other modules of the same type, to create a stable and robust modular display case of various shapes and sizes.
 Another purpose is to obtain said characteristics of multifunctionality with an economical solution, simple to make, which needs minimum modifications to the production cycle and production apparatus.
 Another purpose is to reduce the quantity of waste, obtaining a considerable ecological advantage for the environment.
 The Applicant has devised, tested and embodied the present invention to overcome the shortcomings of the state of the art and to obtain these and other purposes and advantages.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention is set forth and characterized in the independent claim, while the dependent claims describe other characteristics of the invention or variants to the main inventive idea.
 In accordance with the above purposes, a case according to the present invention is suitable to be used to store and transport one or more bottles, keeping them completely closed, and can be made in any shape or size, and of any suitable material, for a variable number of bottles to be contained.
 Even though the following description deals mainly with parallelepiped shapes with a square or rectangular base, it is not excluded, even if rarer, that the case may have a different shape, for example cylindrical, oval, with a rhombus base, hexagonal etc.
 In one embodiment of the invention, the case has a conventional shape and structure, and comprises a closing element, for example a lid, and a containing frame, in which the closing element can be hinged on one side of the frame and can have one or more closing elements cooperating with the opposite side of the frame.
 The closing element, which can be either an upper lid or a lateral closing, or even removable from below, consists of a flat part and has a more or less accentuated edge which extends toward the containing frame. The edge can be very thin, and may possibly only consist of the thickness of the covering element in the case where it consists of a simple covering panel.
 The containing frame consists of a bottom and one or more walls, depending on the shape of the case.
 Hereafter, based on the preferential shape with a parallelepiped shape, we shall speak of walls, but it is understood that also the cylindrical shape in which there is only one wall is comprised in the field of protection of the present application.
 The bottom and the walls define a containing compartment, selectively closable with the covering element, inside which at least one bottle can be stored, advantageously two or more, separated from each other by at least a possible separator element, so that when the case is used in the transport step the bottles are prevented from knocking against each other.
 As will be seen hereafter, and according to a characteristic feature of the invention, the separator elements, when present, have a double function, respectively a separating function adopted during transport and a containing and support function adopted during the use of the case as a display case.
 According to one characteristic of the present invention, at least one of the walls of the case is provided with at least a removable portion, suitable to create an aperture for the through insertion of the bottle or bottles, after they have been removed from the case.
 In one embodiment of the invention, the removable portion is connected to the corresponding wall by means of a connection zone with facilitated breakage.
 The removable portion can be removed, by the final user, for example by means of simple pressure, once the case has reached its final destination, so as to create an aperture on the wall itself.
 In another embodiment of the invention, the removable portion is removed directly during the production step, and covered, when the case is used for transport, by a removable covering element, disposed inside or outside the case itself and rendered temporarily solid to a corresponding wall of the case.
 Since the removable portion, and therefore the aperture which derives from it, has a size equal to at least the larger section of a bottle contained in the case, the aperture can be used to insert the bottle partly in the case, thus defining its function as display case.
 In a possible and advantageous embodiment of the invention, the removable portion has a shape and size correlated to the insertion of at least two bottles.
 The separator elements present inside the case also comprise apertures which, during use of the case as a display case, are aligned to the apertures obtained by removing the removable portion. In this way, the bottle or bottles can be inserted for the whole extension of the case through the apertures of the separator elements, which thus perform the function of housing and supporting the bottles in the display condition of the case.
 According to a further characteristic of the present invention, there are attachment means on the frame and/or on the closing element and/or on at least part of the walls, which allow the reciprocal and selective attachment to other cases of the same type, so that each case assumes the function of a display module for the creation of a sort of cellar having the desired shape and size.
 Thanks to the attachment means, the cases can be put alongside, stacked and attached to each other, thus achieving a stable and robust modular display case.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 These and other characteristics of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferential form of embodiment, given as a non-restrictive example with reference to the attached drawings wherein:
 FIG. 1 is a three-dimensional front view of a first preferential form of embodiment of the bottle-holder case according to the present invention;
 FIG. 2 is a three-dimensional back view of FIG. 1 in which the removable portion has been removed;
 FIG. 3 is a three-dimensional front view of a second preferential form of embodiment of the bottle-holder case according to the present invention, double in size with respect to FIG. 1;
 FIG. 4 is a three-dimensional back view of FIG. 3 with removable portions still applied on the case;
 FIG. 5 is a back view of the bottle-holder case of FIG. 1;
 FIGS. 6 and 7 show variants of FIG. 5;
 FIG. 8 is a three-dimensional view of a group of cases.
DESCRIPTION OF TWO PREFERENTIAL FORMS OF EMBODIMENT
 With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, a case 10 according to the present invention comprises a closing element, which in the case shown consists of a lid 11, and a containing frame 12. In the example shown, the lid 11 consists of a flat part 13 and four edges 14, respectively front edge 14a, back edge 14b and side edges 14c which extend toward the containing frame 12.
 The containing frame 12 consists of a bottom 15 and walls 16, respectively front wall 16a, back wall 16b and side walls 16c. The walls 16, with the bottom 15, define a containing compartment 20 into which, in this case, three bottles 21 are disposed, separated from each other, in the case shown here as an example, by two separator elements 22. The latter have the function of keeping the bottles 21 separate during the transport step, preventing the bottles 21 from reciprocally knocking against each other and breaking (separating function). The separator elements 22 are disposed, in the transport condition, substantially parallel to the back wall 16b, and have a length substantially equal to the latter in order to allow them to be stably positioned in suitable seatings made in the side walls 16c of the containing compartment 20.
 In the specific case shown, a removable portion 25, made in two parts, the first on the back wall 16b and the other on the back edge 14b of the case 10, is attached to the corresponding wall and the corresponding edge by means of a connection zone with facilitated breakage 28, which, when the final user exerts a certain pressure on it, and once the case 10 has reached its destination, allows to remove the removable portion.
 The aperture 30 defined by the removal of the removable portion 25 is at least slightly bigger than the largest diameter of the bottles 21, and may have different shapes, for example of the type shown in FIGS. 5, 6, 7, for the insertion, from one side of the case, of one or more bottles 21.
 In the form of embodiment in FIG. 5, the removable portion 25 has an ellipsoidal shape with intermediate narrower sections. It is however possible to provide a removable portion 25 of a substantial ellipsoidal shape (FIG. 6), or several removable portions 25, for example of a circular shape (FIG. 7), through each of which a bottle 21 can be introduced, as will be described hereafter.
 Each of the separator elements 22 is provided with three apertures 23, substantially circular, through which the bottles 21 can be inserted in order to house and support them (containing function), during the display step.
 The lid 11 and the containing frame 12 have attachment means for the reciprocal attachment to other cases 10 of the same type.
 In a non-restrictive solution of the invention, the attachment means consist of holes 32, disposed in respectively mating positions in the cases 10, 110, which allow the insertion of screws, pins or other auxiliary elements by means of which a plurality of cases 10, 110 can be stacked and made solid with each other so as to make a modular composition to function as a display case 40 or small cellar of various shapes and sizes, as shown in FIG. 8 for example.
 In the variant shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the case, indicated by the reference number 110, is suitable to contain and display six bottles 21. The back wall 16b of the case 110 has removable portions 25 and the two separator elements 22 are provided with six apertures 23.
 The case 10 can assume a first condition (transport step) in which the bottles 21 are disposed in the containing compartment 20 separated from each other by the separator elements 22.
 When the transport step is finished, the case 10 can assume a second condition (display step), in which the bottles 21 are removed from the containing compartment 20 and it is provided to remove the removable portion or portions 25.
 Afterwards the bottles 21 are reinserted into the containing compartment 20, first through the aperture 30, defined by the removal of the removable portion 25, and finally through the apertures 23, in order to be housed and supported by the separator elements 22.
 It is clear that modifications and/or additions of parts may be made to the case 10, 110 as described heretofore, without departing from the field and scope of the present invention.
 For example, in a solution not shown, the removable portions 25 are already removed in the production step of the cases, and covered, when the case is used for transporting and preserving the bottles, by covering elements, such as sheets of cardboard, plastic, wood or other suitable material, provisionally made solid to a corresponding wall and easily removable to make the case suitable for its function as a display case as described before.
Patent applications in class PORTABLE SEGREGATING CARRIER FOR PLURAL CYLINDRICAL BEVERAGE-TYPE RECEPTACLES (E.G., BEER CANS, POP BOTTLES)
Patent applications in all subclasses PORTABLE SEGREGATING CARRIER FOR PLURAL CYLINDRICAL BEVERAGE-TYPE RECEPTACLES (E.G., BEER CANS, POP BOTTLES)