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Publication numberUS20060261023 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/130,497
Publication date23 Nov 2006
Filing date17 May 2005
Priority date17 May 2005
Publication number11130497, 130497, US 2006/0261023 A1, US 2006/261023 A1, US 20060261023 A1, US 20060261023A1, US 2006261023 A1, US 2006261023A1, US-A1-20060261023, US-A1-2006261023, US2006/0261023A1, US2006/261023A1, US20060261023 A1, US20060261023A1, US2006261023 A1, US2006261023A1
InventorsThomas Goth
Original AssigneeGoth Thomas P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Display and storage apparatus
US 20060261023 A1
Abstract
A display and storage apparatus includes a backboard having opposed upper and lower extremities, opposed sides, and a plurality of tiered steps between the opposed upper end lower extremities and the opposed sides and defining opposed front and rear faces of the backboard. The steps each have a generally vertical wall, and a generally horizontal wall extending forwardly of the generally vertical wall. Opposed, substantially coextensive, upstanding sidewalls are attached to the opposed upper and lower extremities of the backboard and the opposed sides of the backboard. The rear face of the backboard and inner faces of the sidewalls form a cavity. Backsplash receiving recesses are formed into lower portions of the sidewalls.
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Claims(21)
1. Display and storage apparatus, comprising:
a backboard including opposed upper and lower extremities, opposed sides, and a plurality of tiered steps between the opposed upper end lower extremities and the opposed sides and defining opposed front and rear faces of the backboard, the steps each having:
a generally vertical wall, and
a generally horizontal wall extending forwardly of the generally vertical wall;
opposed, substantially coextensive, upstanding sidewalls attached to the opposed upper and lower extremities of the backboard and the opposed sides of the backboard;
the sidewalls each having opposed outer and inner faces, a lower end opposing the upper extremity of the backboard, and a rearward extremity having an upper portion adjacent the upper extremity of the backboard and a lower portion adjacent the lower end;
the rear face of the backboard and the inner faces of the sidewalls forming a cavity;
first and second substantially coextensive backsplash receiving recesses formed into the lower portions of the sidewalls, respectively; and
the lower ends of the sidewalls and the lower extremity of the backboard residing in a common substantially horizontal plane.
2. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
an elongate support having opposing inner and outer ends;
a first engagement assembly including a first element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a first complemental element thereof carried by the inner end of the elongate support;
the first engagement element engaged to the first complemental engagement element detachably coupling the inner end of the elongate support to the rear face of the backboard;
the elongate support projecting downwardly from the rear face terminating with the outer end; and
the outer end residing in the substantially horizontal plane.
3. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the first engagement element is one of a first male engagement element and a first female engagement element, and the first complemental engagement element is the other of the first male engagement element and the first female engagement element.
4. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 2, further comprising:
the backboard fashioned of light transmissive material; and
a light source attached to the rear face of the backboard.
5. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the light source comprises:
a base;
a switch;
at least one light attached to the base that is capable of being actuated to generate light at the rear face of the backboard illuminating the backboard in response to actuation of the switch;
a second engagement assembly including a second element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a second complemental element thereof carried by the base; and
the second engagement element engaged to the second complemental engagement element detachably coupling the base to the rear face of the backboard.
6. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the second engagement element is one of a second male engagement element and a second female engagement element, and the second complemental engagement element is the other of the second male engagement element and the second female engagement element.
7. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 6, wherein the first engagement assembly is different from the second engagement assembly.
8. Display and storage apparatus, comprising:
a backboard including opposed upper and lower extremities, opposed sides, and a plurality of tiered steps between the opposed upper end lower extremities and the opposed sides and defining opposed front and rear faces of the backboard, the steps each having:
a generally vertical wall, and
a generally horizontal wall extending forwardly of the generally vertical wall;
opposed, substantially coextensive, upstanding sidewalls attached to the opposed upper and lower extremities of the backboard and the opposed sides of the backboard;
the sidewalls each having opposed outer and inner faces, a lower end opposing the upper extremity of the backboard, and a rearward extremity;
the rear face of the backboard and the inner faces of the sidewalls forming a cavity;
the lower ends of the sidewalls and the lower extremity of the backboard residing in a common substantially horizontal plane;
an elongate support having opposing inner and outer ends;
a first engagement assembly including a first element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a first complemental element thereof carried by the inner end of the elongate support;
the first engagement element engaged to the first complemental engagement element detachably coupling the inner end of the elongate support to the rear face of the backboard;
the elongate support projecting downwardly from the rear face terminating with the outer end; and
the outer end residing in the substantially horizontal plane.
9. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 8, further comprising:
the rearward extremity of each of the sidewalls having an upper portion adjacent the upper extremity of the backboard and a lower portion adjacent the lower end;
first and second substantially coextensive backsplash receiving recesses formed into the lower portions of the sidewalls, respectively.
10. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the first engagement element is one of a first male engagement element and a first female engagement element, and the first complemental engagement element is the other of the first male engagement element and the first female engagement element.
11. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 8, further comprising:
the backboard fashioned of light transmissive material; and
a light source attached to the rear face of the backboard.
12. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the light source comprises:
a base;
a switch;
at least one light attached to the base that is capable of being actuated to generate light at the rear face of the backboard illuminating the backboard in response to actuation of the switch;
a second engagement assembly including a second element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a second complemental element thereof carried by the base; and
the second engagement element engaged to the second complemental engagement element detachably coupling the base to the rear face of the backboard.
13. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the second engagement element is one of a second male engagement element and a second female engagement element, and the second complemental engagement element is the other of the second male engagement element and the second female engagement element.
14. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 13, wherein the first engagement assembly is different from the second engagement assembly.
15. Display and storage apparatus, comprising:
a backboard including opposed upper and lower extremities, opposed sides, and a plurality of tiered steps between the opposed upper end lower extremities and the opposed sides and defining opposed front and rear faces of the backboard, the steps each having:
a generally vertical wall, and
a generally horizontal wall extending forwardly of the generally vertical wall;
opposed, substantially coextensive, upstanding sidewalls attached to the opposed upper and lower extremities of the backboard and the opposed sides of the backboard;
the sidewalls each having opposed outer and inner faces, a lower end opposing the upper extremity of the backboard, and a rearward extremity;
the rear face of the backboard and the inner faces of the sidewalls forming a cavity;
the lower ends of the sidewalls and the lower extremity of the backboard residing in a common substantially horizontal plane;
the backboard fashioned of light transmissive material; and
an elongate base attached to the rear face of the backboard, the elongate base having opposing ends;
a switch; and
lights attached to the base at spaced intervals between the opposing ends thereof, and which are capable of being actuated to generate light at the rear face of the backboard illuminating the backboard in response to actuation of the switch.
16. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 15, further comprising:
a first engagement assembly including a first element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a first complemental element thereof carried by the base; and
the first engagement element engaged to the first complemental engagement element detachably coupling the base to the rear face of the backboard.
17. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 15, further comprising:
the rearward extremity of each of the sidewalls having an upper portion adjacent the upper extremity of the backboard and a lower portion adjacent the lower end;
first and second substantially coextensive backsplash receiving recesses formed into the lower portions of the sidewalls, respectively.
18. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the first engagement element is one of a first male engagement element and a first female engagement element, and the first complemental engagement element is the other of the first male engagement element and the first female engagement element.
19. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 18, further comprising:
an elongate support having an inner end and an opposed outer end;
the inner end attached to the rear face of the backboard;
the elongate support projecting downwardly from the rear face terminating with the outer end; and
the outer end residing in the substantially horizontal plane.
20. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 19, further comprising:
a second engagement assembly including a second element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a second complemental element thereof carried by the inner end of the elongate support; and
the second engagement element engaged to the second complemental engagement element detachably coupling the inner end of the elongate support to the rear face of the backboard;
wherein the second engagement assembly is different from the first engagement assembly.
21. The display and storage apparatus according to claim 20, wherein the second engagement element is one of a second male engagement element and a second female engagement element, and the second complemental engagement element is the other of the second male engagement element and the second female engagement element.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to devices for displaying and storing selected objects.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Vitamins, medications, and spices are but a few of the categories of consumer products that most people use on a daily basis. Such products, among others, are typically packed in relatively small, lidded containers, which are usually stored in cabinets, such as medicine cabinets, bathroom cabinets, and kitchen cabinets. It has been noticed that storing packaged products in such cabinets is undesirable because the products are stored out of sight and forgotten only to become unused. Furthermore, it has also been noticed that simply placing products in cabinets does not represent a particularly efficient means of storage.

Storing packaged products, including bottled products, so that they may be easily and conveniently accessed has, therefore, long been a problem in the art of storage and containing. Accordingly, skilled artisans have devoted considerable time and effort toward storage solutions designed to efficiently and economically store bottled products and other packaged products in way that also provide easy and convenient access to such items. However, current storage solution efforts have yielded shelving and other storage devices that while adequate are difficult to make, expensive, difficult to construct, and inefficient, thus necessitating the continuing and ongoing improvement in the art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, there is provided a display and storage apparatus consisting of a backboard including opposed upper and lower extremities, opposed sides, and a plurality of tiered steps between the opposed upper end lower extremities and the opposed sides and defining opposed front and rear faces of the backboard. The steps, upon which items are to be placed for display and storage, each have a generally vertical wall, and a generally horizontal wall extending forwardly of the generally vertical wall. Opposed, substantially coextensive, upstanding sidewalls attached to the opposed upper and lower extremities of the backboard and the opposed sides of the backboard. The sidewalls each have opposed outer and inner faces, a lower end opposing the upper extremity of the backboard, and a rearward extremity having an upper portion adjacent the upper extremity of the backboard and a lower portion adjacent the lower end. The rear face of the backboard and the inner faces of the sidewalls form a cavity. First and second substantially coextensive backsplash receiving recesses are formed into the lower portions of the sidewalls, respectively. The lower ends of the sidewalls and the lower extremity of the backboard reside in a common substantially horizontal plane. According to this embodiment, there is also provided an elongate support having opposing inner and outer ends, and a first engagement assembly, which includes a first element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a first complemental element thereof carried by the inner end of the elongate support. The first engagement element is engaged to the first complemental engagement element detachably coupling the inner end of the elongate support to the rear face of the backboard, in which the elongate support projects downwardly from the rear face terminating with the outer end, and the outer end resides in the substantially horizontal plane. The backboard is fashioned of light transmissive material, and a light source is attached to the rear face of the backboard. The light source includes a base, a switch, and at least one light attached to the base that is capable of being actuated to generate light at the rear face of the backboard illuminating the backboard in response to actuation of the switch. A second engagement assembly, which is different from the first engagement assembly, includes a second element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a second complemental element thereof carried by the base. The second engagement element is engaged to the second complemental engagement element detachably coupling the base to the rear face of the backboard.

According to the invention, a display and storage apparatus consists of a backboard including opposed upper and lower extremities, opposed sides, and a plurality of tiered steps between the opposed upper end lower extremities and the opposed sides and defining opposed front and rear faces of the backboard. The steps each have a generally vertical wall, and a generally horizontal wall extending forwardly of the generally vertical wall. Opposed, substantially coextensive, upstanding sidewalls are attached to the opposed upper and lower extremities of the backboard and the opposed sides of the backboard. The sidewalls each have opposed outer and inner faces, a lower end opposing the upper extremity of the backboard, and a rearward extremity. The rear face of the backboard and the inner faces of the sidewalls form a cavity. The lower ends of the sidewalls and the lower extremity of the backboard reside in a common substantially horizontal plane. Also provided is an elongate support having opposing inner and outer ends, and a first engagement assembly including a first element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a first complemental element thereof carried by the inner end of the elongate support. The first engagement element is engaged to the first complemental engagement element detachably coupling the inner end of the elongate support to the rear face of the backboard. The elongate support projects downwardly from the rear face terminating with the outer end, which resides in the substantially horizontal plane. The rearward extremity of each of the sidewalls has an upper portion adjacent the upper extremity of the backboard and a lower portion adjacent the lower end. First and second substantially coextensive backsplash receiving recesses are formed into the lower portions of the sidewalls, respectively. Preferably, the backboard is fashioned of light transmissive material, and a light source is attached to the rear face of the backboard. The light source includes a base, a switch, and at least one light attached to the base that is capable of being actuated to generate light at the rear face of the backboard illuminating the backboard in response to actuation of the switch. A second engagement assembly is also provided, which is different from the first engagement assembly and which includes a second element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a second complemental element thereof carried by the bas. The second engagement element is engaged to the second complemental engagement element detachably coupling the base to the rear face of the backboard.

According to the invention, a display and storage apparatus consists of a backboard including opposed upper and lower extremities, opposed sides, and a plurality of tiered steps between the opposed upper end lower extremities and the opposed sides and defining opposed front and rear faces of the backboard. The steps each have a generally vertical wall, and a generally horizontal wall extending forwardly of the generally vertical wall. Opposed, substantially coextensive, upstanding sidewalls are attached to the opposed upper and lower extremities of the backboard and the opposed sides of the backboard. The sidewalls each have opposed outer and inner faces, a lower end opposing the upper extremity of the backboard, and a rearward extremity. The rear face of the backboard and the inner faces of the sidewalls form a cavity. The lower ends of the sidewalls and the lower extremity of the backboard reside in a common substantially horizontal plane. The backboard is fashioned of light transmissive material, and an elongate base is attached to the rear face of the backboard. Further provided are a switch, and lights, which are attached to the base at spaced intervals between opposing ends thereof, and which are capable of being actuated to generate light at the rear face of the backboard illuminating the backboard in response to actuation of the switch. A first engagement assembly includes a first element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a first complemental element thereof carried by the base. The first engagement element is engaged to the first complemental engagement element detachably coupling the base to the rear face of the backboard. According to this embodiment, the rearward extremity of each of the sidewalls has an upper portion adjacent the upper extremity of the backboard and a lower portion adjacent the lower end. First and second substantially coextensive backsplash receiving recesses are formed into the lower portions of the sidewalls, respectively. Further to this embodiment is an elongate support having an inner end and an opposed outer end. The inner end is attached to the rear face of the backboard, the elongate support projects downwardly from the rear face terminating with the outer end, and the outer end resides in the substantially horizontal plane. Still further provided is a second engagement assembly, which is different from the first engagement assembly and which includes a second element thereof carried by the rear face of the backboard and a second complemental element thereof carried by the inner end of the elongate support. The second engagement element is engaged to the second complemental engagement element detachably coupling the inner end of the elongate support to the rear face of the backboard.

Consistent with the foregoing summary of preferred embodiments, and the ensuing detailed description, which are to be taken together, the invention also contemplates associated apparatus and method embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring to the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a display and storage apparatus constructed and arranged in accordance with the principle of the invention, which is shown as it would appear positioned on a counter top and against a vertical wall fashioned with a backsplash;

FIG. 2 is a view of the display and storage apparatus very similar to that of FIG. 1 with containers shown disposed thereon;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the display and storage apparatus of FIG. 1 with containers shown disposed thereon;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the display and storage apparatus of FIG. 1 with containers shown disposed thereon, in which the vertical wall and the backsplash are shown in vertical cross section;

FIG. 5 is a rear perspective view of the display and storage apparatus of FIG. 1 with containers shown disposed thereon;

FIG. 6 is an exploded rear elevational view of the display and storage apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a vertical, side sectional view of the display and storage apparatus of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a display and storage apparatus constructed and arranged in accordance with the principle of the invention, which is shown as it would appear positioned on a support surface and against intersecting vertical walls each fashioned with a backsplash.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Turning now to the drawings, in which like reference characters indicate corresponding elements throughout the several views, attention is first directed to FIG. 1 in which there is seen a perspective view of a display and storage apparatus 20 constructed and arranged in accordance with the principle of the invention, which is shown as it would appear positioned on a counter top 21 and against a vertical wall 22 fashioned with a backsplash 23, which extends upward from countertop 21 being exemplary of a wall and countertop arrangement commonly found in kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, vanity countertops, etc. Apparatus 20 includes a backboard 30 having opposed upper and lower extremities 31 and 32, opposed sides 33 and 34, and a plurality of tiered steps 35 between upper end lower extremities 31 and 32, and between sides 33 and 34. Steps 35 define opposed front and rear faces 36 and 37 of backboard 30, which is best depicted in FIG. 7, which is a vertical, side sectional view of apparatus 20. With the exception of the uppermost step 35, steps 35 are identical to one another in structure, each having a generally vertical wall 40, and a generally horizontal wall 41 extending forwardly thereof. The uppermost step 35 has no generally vertical wall, having only generally horizontal wall 41. The uppermost step 35 can be furnished with a generally vertical wall as with the remaining steps of apparatus 20, if desired. Backboard 30 is constructed with four steps in this embodiment (inclusive of the uppermost step 35), onto each of which selected items can be set for display and storage, such as containers 45 as shown in FIGS. 2-5. Those having regard for the art will readily appreciate backboard 30 can be fashioned with less than four steps, or more than four steps, and this will depend on specific needs and on specific display and storage specifications.

Referring now to FIG. 5, which is a rear perspective view of apparatus 20, opposed upstanding sidewalls 50 and 51 are disposed at either side of backboard 30. Sidewalls 50 and 51 are substantially coextensive and substantially identical in structure. Sidewall 50 is attached to upper and lower extremities 31 and 32, and to side 33. Sidewall 51 is attached to upper and lower extremities 31 and 32, and to side 34. Sidewall 50 depends from, and projects downwardly from, upper extremity 31 and side 33, terminating with a lower end 53, which is characterized by a substantially horizontal edge 54. Sidewall 51 depends from, and projects downwardly from, upper extremity 31 and side 33, terminating with a lower end 55, which is, like lower end 53, characterized by a substantially horizontal edge 56.

Like lower ends 53 and 55 of sidewalls 50 and 51, respectively, lower extremity 32 of backboard 30 also terminates downwardly with a substantially horizontal edge 57 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 7). Edges 54, 56, and 57 reside in a common substantially horizontal plane, and together represent the bottom of apparatus 20.

With continuing reference to FIG. 5, sidewall 50 has opposed inner and outer faces 60 and 61, and a rearward extremity 62 having an upper portion 62A being directed toward and adjacent upper extremity 31 of backboard 30, and a lower portion 62B being directed toward and adjacent lower end 53 of sidewall 50. Sidewall 51 has opposed inner and outer faces 65 and 66, and a rearward extremity 67 having an upper portion 67A being directed toward and adjacent upper extremity 31 of backboard 30, and a lower portion 67B being directed toward and adjacent lower end 55 of sidewall 51. Outer faces 61 and 63 project outwardly away from one another, inner faces 60 and 61 face inwardly and one another, and rearward extremities 62 and 67 project rearwardly constituting the back of apparatus 20, in which backboard 30 constitutes the front of apparatus 20. Rear face 37 of backboard 30 and inner faces 60 and 65 of sidewalls 50 and 51 form a cavity 75, in which the rearward edges of sidewalls 50 and 51 and upper extremity 31 bound an opening 76 into cavity 70 thus characterizing the back of apparatus as “backless.”

Backsplash receiving recesses 70 and 71 are formed into lower portions 62B and 67B of sidewalls 50 and 51, respectively. Backsplash receiving recess 70 projects upwardly from lower end 53 of sidewall 50 and terminates at an endwall 70A, which is located at a generally intermediate location between lower end 53 of sidewall 50 and upper extremity 31 of backboard 30. Backsplash receiving recess 71 projects upwardly from lower end 55 of sidewall 51 and terminates at an endwall 71A, which is located at a generally intermediate location between lower end 55 of sidewall 51 and upper extremity 31 of backboard 30.

Backboard 30 and sidewalls 50 and 51 together constitute the main structural component of apparatus, each being formed of relatively thin material being preferably made of a light transmissive material or combination of materials, such as light transmissive thermoplastic material, such as polycarbonate, polyactide, polystyrene, polyester, acrylic, or the like, which allows light to pass therethrough. In a preferred embodiment, backboard 30 and sidewalls 50 and 51 are integrally formed, such as by injection molding, machining, or other suitable technique. It is to be understood that backboard 30 and sidewalls 50 and 51 can be fashioned separately and then attached, such as by welding, gluing, etc.

According to the invention, and with specific reference to FIGS. 6 and 7, apparatus 20 further includes an elongate support 80 having an inner end 81 and an opposing outer end 82. Elongate support 80 is fashioned of a substantially rigid material or combination of materials, such as plastic, wood, aluminum, or other similarly rigid material or combination of materials. Also included is an engagement assembly 90 for detachably engaging elongate support 80 to inner face 37 of backboard 30. Engagement assembly 90 consists of an element 91 carried by rear face 37 of backboard 30 and a complemental element 92 carried by inner end 81 of elongate support 80. Engagement element 91 is detachably engagable to complemental engagement element 92. In a preferred embodiment, engagement element 91 is engaged to complemental engagement element 92 as shown in FIG. 7 detachably coupling inner end 81 of elongate support 80 to rear face 37 of backboard 30, in which elongate support projects downwardly from rear face 37 terminating with outer end 82, which resides in the substantially horizontal plane in which edges 54, 56, and 57 reside. FIG. 5 is instructive showing elongate support 80 as it would appear attached to rear face 37 of backboard 30 in the manner herein prescribed. In this regard, it is to be understood that when elongate support 80 is secured in place in the manner herein prescribed with outer end 82 residing in the substantially horizontal plane in which edges 54, 56, and 57 reside, that outer end 82 is considered part of the bottom of apparatus 20.

In this particular embodiment, engagement element 91 is a socket 91′ affixed to rear face 37 of backboard, and complemental engagement element 92 is simply inner end 81 of elongate element 80 received in socket 91′, in which socket 91′ and inner end 81 of elongate support 80 are exemplary of a female and male engagement assembly. Socket 91′ is formed by and in a body or enlargement 91″ affixed to rear face 37 of backboard 30. Preferably, enlargement 91″ is formed integrally with rear face 37, although it can be manufactured as a separate part attached to rear face 37 with welding, glue, etc. It is to be understood that the positioning of elements 91 and 92 can be reversed providing backboard 30 with the male element of the engagement pair and providing inner end 81 of elongate support 80 with the female element of the engagement pair. The fit of inner end 81 of elongate support 80 in socket 91′ as shown in FIG. 7 is close, being a press fit. Those having regard for the art will readily appreciate that other suitable male and female engagement assemblies can be used for detachably securing elongate support 80 to rear face 37 of backboard 30, not the least of which include a tongue and groove engagement pair, a threaded engagement pair, a keyed engagement pair, etc. Moreover, any suitable engagement pair may be used for detachably securing inner end 81 of elongate support 80 to rear face 37 of backboard 30 without departing from the invention. Moreover, elongate support 80 can be integrally formed with rear face 37, if desired, or perhaps attached with glue, welding, etc.

In use, apparatus 20 is taken up, such as by hand, and, as seen in FIG. 1, and its bottom is set upon countertop 21. Being that the bottom of apparatus 20 is set upon counter top 21, edges 54, 56, 57 (edge 57 not shown in FIG. 1) and also outer end 82 (not shown in FIG. 1) present against countertop 21 together supporting apparatus in an upright position as shown, in which shelves 35 are available to take on selected items for storage and display, such as containers 45. The provision of elongate support 80 is to provide structural support for backboard 30 between sidewalls 50 and 51 and between upper and lower extremities 31 and 32. Because backboard 30 and sidewalls 50 and 51 are fashioned of relatively thin material, backboard 30 may tend to bend when under load, which may also cause sidewalls 50 and 51 to splay outwardly. However, elongate support 80 takes up load applied to backboard 30 preventing backboard 30 from bowing under load and sidewalls 50 and 51 from splaying outwardly.

In this embodiment, engagement element 91 is located at a generally intermediate position between inner surfaces 60 and 65 of sidewalls 50 and 51, and also at a generally intermediate location between upper extremity 31 and lower extremity 32 of backboard 30 as shown in FIG. 7. When elongate support 80 is installed in place, it is therefore located at a generally intermediate location between inner surfaces 60 and 65 of sidewalls 50 and 51, and also at a generally intermediate location between upper extremity 31 and lower extremity 32 of backboard 30, thus providing structural support for backboard 30 at a generally central location thereof for maximum support. Engagement element 91 can be located at any suitable location for providing structural support for backboard 30 in the manner herein generally described. Furthermore, although the instant embodiment incorporates one elongate support 30, it can incorporate more, if desired, for provided added structural support for backboard 30.

Considering FIGS. 1 and 4 in relevant part, according to the invention the back of apparatus is presented up against vertical wall 22, in which recesses 70 and 71 accept and accommodate backsplash 23 and upper portions 62A and 67A of rearward extremities 62 and 67 present up against vertical wall 22 projecting upwardly from backsplash 23. Recesses 70 and 71 are appropriately sized and shaped to accept and accommodate backsplash 23 allowing upper portions 62A and 67A of rearward extremities 62 and 67 to present up against vertical wall 22, according to the principle of the invention. It is to be understood that recesses 70 and 71 may be sized and shaped to accept the backsplash of the countertop/backsplash/wall arrangement for which it is to be used. Furthermore, when apparatus 20 is installed with a countertop/backsplash/wall arrangement as in FIG. 1, that the entire installation represents an embodiment of the invention.

Containers 45 are lidded bottles, each consisting of a lid 100 secured to the upper end of a receptacle 101. On the outer face of each receptacle 101 is a label 102, which is used to provide information identifying the contents thereof. Labels 102 are simple adhesive labels, although labeling may be applied to receptacles 101 in other ways in accordance with known labeling techniques, including direct printing on receptacles 101 and selected specifications. As best seen in FIG. 4, each lid 100 has an upper surface 110 and each label 102 has an upper edge 111 and an opposing lower edge 112. Containers 45 are to be placed onto shelves 35 in an upright condition, with lids 100 being directed upwardly as shown. Containers 45 are specifically sized and shaped, as are labels 102, such that when containers 45 are positioned on shelves 35 that the upper surfaces 110 of the lids 100 of the containers 45 on one shelf 35 extend no higher than the lower edges 112 of the labels 102 of the containers 45 on the shelf 35 immediately thereabove. This arrangement prevents the containers positioned on one shelf from obstructing the view of the labels of the containers on the other shelves. Consistent with this disclosure, containers 45 can be approximately the same size, or different sizes. Containers 45 from one shelf to another may be the same size or differently sized, consistent with the teachings set forth herein. This sizing discussion of containers 45 also applies to labels 102.

Shelves 35 are substantially equal in depth and height, but are increasingly longer from the lowermost shelf to the uppermost shelf 35 in the preferred embodiment set forth herein. Containers 45 are also generally equal in size and shape. Consistent with the teachings set forth herein, it is to be understood that shelves 35 can be provided in various sizes (various depths, heights, and/or lengths), and also in different sizes (different depths, heights, and/or lengths. The same holds true for containers 45, and also labels 102, so long as the upper surfaces of the lids of the containers on one shelf extend no higher than the lower edges of the labels of the lids of the containers on the shelf immediately thereabove. Containers 45 are used to hold whatever is placed into them, such as vitamins, medicine, spices, etc.

As previously mentioned, backboard 30, like sidewalls 50 and 51, is fashioned of a light transmissive material or combination of light transmissive materials. Referring in relevant part to FIGS. 5-7, a light source 120 is attached to rear face 37 of backboard 30 for illuminating backboard 30 and also any items placed on shelves 35. As best seen in FIG. 6, light source 120 includes an elongate base 121 having opposing ends 121A and 121B, a switch 122, and a plurality of lights 123 attached to base 120 at spaced intervals between ends 120A and 120B, and which are capable of being actuated to generate light at rear face 37 of backboard 30 illuminating backboard 30 in response to actuation of switch 122. Because of the light transmissive character of backboard 30, the illumination provided by lights 123 not only illuminates backboard 30 to provide a pleasing illuminated affect and also providing illumination around apparatus 20 on the countertop upon which apparatus 20 is set, but also serves to illuminate the items placed onto shelves 35, such as containers 45.

Here, switch 122 is a conventional and well known toggle switch movable between ON and OFF positions which is associated with a conventional power cord 124 that is to be plugged into an electrical outlet in a conventional manner providing the required electrical power to light 123 in response to actuation of switch 122. Power cord 124 is coupled to base 121 and to lights 123 in electrical communication in a conventional and well known manner, the details of which will readily occur to the skilled artisans as being already employed with a vast array of electrical devices and appliances. Furthermore, any suitable toggle switch form may be used for turning lights 123 ON and OFF. Although it is preferred that a power cord be employed and plugged into a conventional wall outlet for providing the required electrical power to light 123, apparatus 20 may be provided with its own, discrete power source if desired, such as one or more batteries.

Lights 123 are each a light-emitting-diode as a matter of preference and simplicity, and because they are efficient, yield a high degree of light, and use a relatively small amount of electrical power. Lights 123 can each be provided in other conventional forms, if desired. As seen in FIG. 6, base 121 incorporates six lights 123, which are coupled together with conventional electrical interconnections supported by base 121, which are not shown. It will be understood that base 121 can incorporate less than six lights 123, more than six lights 123, and even just one light 123, without departing from the invention.

FIGS. 5 and 7 illustrate base 121 as it would appear attached to rear face 37 of backboard 30. In this embodiment, the attachment point of base 121 to rear face 37 of backboard 30 is proximate the attachment point of elongate support 80 to backboard 30. Here, an engagement assembly 130 is provided for detachably engaging base 121 to inner face 37 of backboard 30. Engagement assembly 130 consists of an element 131 carried by rear face 37 of backboard 30 and a complemental element 132 carried by base 121. Engagement element 131 is detachably engagable to complemental engagement element 132. In a preferred embodiment, engagement element 131 is engaged to complemental engagement element 132 as best shown in FIG. 7 detachably coupling base 121, and thus lights 123, to rear face 37 of backboard 30, in which base 121 is maintained in a generally horizontal state as shown in FIG. 5.

In this particular embodiment, engagement element 131 is a socket 131′ affixed to rear face 37 of backboard, and complemental engagement element 132 is simply an edge 133 of base 121 received in socket 131′, in which socket 131′ and edge 133 of base 130 are exemplary of a female and male engagement assembly. Socket 131′ is formed by and in body or enlargement 91″ affixed to rear face .37 of backboard 30, although it can be formed separately of enlargement 91″. It is to be understood that the positioning of elements 131 and 132 can be reversed providing backboard 30 with the male element of the engagement pair and providing base 121 with the female element of the engagement pair. Edge 133 to be received by socket 131′ is disposed at an intermediate location of base 121 between ends 121A and 121B, and the fit of edge 133 of base 121 in socket 131′ as shown in FIG. 7 is close, being a press fit. Those having regard for the art will readily appreciate that other suitable male and female engagement assemblies can be used for detachably securing base 121 to rear face 37 of backboard 30, not the least of which include a tongue and groove engagement pair, a threaded engagement pair, a keyed engagement pair, etc. Moreover, any suitable engagement pair may be used for detachably securing base 121 to rear face 37 of backboard 30 without departing from the invention. Moreover, base 121 can be integrally formed with rear face 37, if desired, or perhaps attached with glue, welding, etc.

The invention has been described above with reference to a preferred embodiment. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that changes and modifications may be made to the embodiment without departing from the nature and scope of the invention. For instance, an apparatus constructed and arranged in accordance with the principle of the invention can be made to take on a potentially vast number of shapes, and may be provided in a potentially vast number of sizes. Apparatus 20 set forth herein is particularly suited to be fitted onto a countertop and against a vertical wall fashioned with a backsplash. An apparatus constructed and arranged in accordance with the principles of the invention can, if desired, be made to fit on a counter top at a corner defined by the intersection of two opposing vertical walls each fashioned with a backsplash, and FIG. 8 is representative of just such an apparatus, which is designated generally at 150. As seen in FIG. 8, apparatus 150 is shaped to be received onto a countertop 151 and into a corner 160 defined by the intersection of two vertical walls 152 and 153 each having a backsplash 154 and 155, respectively. In all other respects, it will be understood that the discussion of apparatus 20 set forth herein applies to apparatus 150. It will be further understood that an apparatus constructed and arranged in accordance with the principles of the invention can be made in any suitable shape and form so as to fit on a countertop/wall/backsplash arrangement having any desired physical layout.

Various further changes and modifications to the embodiment herein chosen for purposes of illustration will readily occur to those skilled in the art. To the extent that such modifications and variations do not depart from the spirit of the invention, they are intended to be included within the scope thereof.

Having fully described the invention in such clear and concise terms as to enable those skilled in the art to understand and practice the same, the invention claimed is:

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US759744821 Jul 20066 Oct 2009Zarian James RProduct display system
US8490810 *20 Oct 200623 Jul 2013Snapware CorporationMethod of merchandising modular home storage containers to allow consumers to maximize storage space
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/128.1
International ClassificationA47F3/14
Cooperative ClassificationA47F7/145, A47F11/10
European ClassificationA47F7/14D1, A47F11/10