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Title:
SANITARY TOILET SEAT SHIELD MEMBER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2001/005289
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A sanitary toilet seat lifting surface is obtained by attaching to the front end of the undersurface of the seat a shield member which seals the gap between the toilet seat and the toilet bowl when the toilet seat is resting on the bowl and prevents soiling of the front area of the seat undersurface. The shield member is of such shape as to leave enough space at the front edge of the seat undersurface to enable the user to grasp such space with a finger or fingers to lift the seat from its horizontal to its vertical position, without contaminating the user's finger or fingers.

Inventors:
Paskal, Tom (2330 Paton Montreal, Quebec H4M 1C6, CA)
Application Number:
PCT/CA2000/000836
Publication Date:
January 25, 2001
Filing Date:
July 11, 2000
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Paskal, Tom (2330 Paton Montreal, Quebec H4M 1C6, CA)
International Classes:
A47K13/10; (IPC1-7): A47K13/10
Foreign References:
DE19609178A1
US1442270A
US3935601A
GB2285068A
US5749103A
US3935601A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Primak, George J. (Huntington Pierrefonds, Quebec H8Z 1G2, 13480, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A sanitary toilet seat shield member which is attachable to the front end undersurface of the toilet seat, so as to seal any gap existing between the toilet seat and toilet bowl when the toilet seat is in its horizontal position resting on the toilet bowl rim, while leaving enough space at the front edge of the toilet seat undersurface for user's finger or fingers to grasp said space and lift the toilet seat without soiling the finger or fingers.
2. A sanitary toilet seat shield member according to claim 1, formed of a strip of compressible material with a generally semicircular cross section and with a flat base which is attachable to the undersurface of the toilet seat so that when the toilet seat is in its horizontal position, resting on the toilet bowl rim, the shield member compresses against the rim of the toilet bowl and seals the gap between the toilet bowl and the seat at the front end.
3. A sanitary toilet seat shield member according to claim 1, having a flexible frontal projection which bends against the rim of the toilet bowl when the toilet seat is in its horizontal position, resting on the toilet bowl rim, to seal the gap between the toilet bowl and the seat at the front end.
4. A sanitary toilet seat shield member according to claims 1,2 or 3, which longitudinally has a general form of C with the open end pointing toward the front of the toilet seat undersurface and providing the grasping space for the user's finger or fingers.
5. A sanitary toilet seat shield member according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the attachment to the front end undersurface of the toilet seat is provided by an adhesive layer covered with a release sheet.
6. A sanitary toiled seat shield member according to any one of claims 1 to 5, which is also attachable to other desired locations of the undersurface of the toiled seat.
7. A generally circular sanitary toilet seat which comprises a shield member attached to or integral with the front end undersurface, so as to seal any gap existing between the toilet seat and toilet bowl when the toilet seat is in its horizontal position resting on the toilet bowl rim, said shield member being of a shape such as to leave enough space at the front edge of the toilet seat undersurface for user's finger or fingers to grasp said space and lift the toilet seat without soiling the finger or fingers.
8. A generally circular sanitary toilet seat according to claim 7, wherein the shield member is formed of a strip of compressible material with a generally semi circular crosssection and with a flat base which is attached to the undersurface of the toilet seat front end.
9. A generally circular sanitary toilet seat according to claim 7, wherein the shield member has a flexible frontal projection which bends when the seat is in its horizontal position, resting on the toilet bowl rim, said projection thereby providing the seal of the gap between the toilet bowl and the seat at the front end.
10. A generally circular sanitary toilet seat according to claims 7,8 or 9, wherein the shield member has a longitudinal shape generally in the form of C with the open end pointing toward the front of the toilet seat undersurface and providing the grasping space for the user's finger or fingers.
11. A generally circular sanitary toilet seat according to claim 7, wherein the shield member replaces front side bumpers that are usually provided in toilet seats.
12. A generally circular sanitary toilet seat according to any one of claims 7 to 10, wherein the shield member is also provided in other desired locations of the undersurface of the seat.
Description:
SANITARY TOILET SEAT SHIELD MEMBER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a sanitary toilet seat and more particularly to a shield member that may be bonded to or otherwise fitted to or integrated with the undersurface of the toilet seat to achieve a sanitary lifting of the seat.

2. Description of the Prior Art The problem of providing a sanitary lift for an annular or substantially annular toilet seat has been addressed in the past. U. S. Patent No. 5,749,103 provides a cavity within the outer perimeter wall of the toilet seat ring so that the user could place a finger in the cavity to lift the toilet seat without touching the potentially soiled undersurface of the seat, and thus without contaminating the finger. This arrangement has several disadvantages. First, the cavity must be incorporated into the toilet seat at the time of fabrication of the latter, which means that manufacturers must modify their procedure and equipment, which may be expensive. Second, the cavity is not visible from above and thus in public places, one would not readily know whether it exists or not. To obviate this, an embodiment of U. S. Patent No. 5,749,103 provides a protrusion on the seat where the cavity is provided. This, in itself, presents difficulties because such protrusion must be placed where it does not interfere with a person's seating, while providing easy access for lifting. In the U. S. Patent No. 5,749,103 this is shown to be on the side of the seat, however, this again requires a special manufacturing procedure and equipment and further the seat loses its symmetry, which may be aesthetically unsatisfactory.

U. S. Patent No. 3,935,601 provides a specially designed shield member attached to the undersurface of the seat and spanning the gap between said undersurface and the top of the bowl. The shield member is provided with a lift member extending outwardly from the toilet bowl, that one can use for lifting the toilet seat without touching the seat itself. Although this patent issued still in 1976, such devices have not become widely used, because members that protrude from the toilet seat or toilet bowl may become a danger to the user, and again they must not interfere with the user's seating ability; moreover they are aesthetically not readily acceptable and are relatively expensive.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to obviate the disadvantages of the prior art and to provide a simple and efficient sanitary toilet seat shielding.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description thereof.

The instinctive and normal way of lifting a toilet ring, i. e. a substantially annular toilet seat, is by placing a finger or fingers under the front end of the seat and moving them up to raise the same. It is also known that the undersurface at the front end of the toilet seat is an area that is easily soiled due to splashes and aerosols resulting from flushing the bowl and the like, since there is a gap between this undersurface and the rim of the toilet bowl. The fingers touching the undersurface in this area will, therefore, be contaminated.

To overcome this problem in a simple and efficient manner, the applicant has provided a shield member which can be attached to the undersurface of the toilet seat at the front end so as to seal the gap between said undersurface and the bowl rim

when the toilet seat is in the horizontal position resting on the bowl, while leaving enough space at the front edge of said undersurface to allow user's finger (s) to grasp the same and lift the seat to its substantially vertical position without contaminating the finger (s). The shield member has such shape and property as to provide an effective seal between the undersurface of the seat and the rim of the bowl while leaving sufficient space for placing the finger (s) at the front edge, namely in the area which is beyond soiling or contamination. For example, the shield member can be made of a compressible or flexible material, such as rubber or plastic, so that when such material is placed against the rim of the bowl, it flattens and provides a perfect seal. Such shield member can be in the form of a strip with a semi-circular or oval cross-section, attached to the undersurface of the toilet seat between the two front bumpers so as to leave sufficient space for the finger (s) to grasp the uncontaminated front end of the seat undersurface when lifting the seat. The shield member could be attached to the undersurface of the toilet seat, for example, by adhesion. Thus it could have an attachment surface provided with a layer of adhesive and covered with a release sheet that can be peeled-off from the adhesive layer prior to adhesion of the shield to the undersurface of the seat. The shield member could also be in the form of a strip whose longitudinal shape can be modified and thereby adapted to any type of toilet seat. It may also be attached to additional undersurface locations, if desired.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will further be described with reference to the appended drawings in which: Fig. 1 illustrates, in perspective, a general arrangement of a toilet bowl with the seat raised to its essentially vertical position and having the shield member of the

present inventions attached to its front end undersurface; Fig. 2 is a front view of the toilet bowl with the seat in its horizontal position and showing the shield sealing the gap between the bowl rim and the undersurface of the seat at the front end; Fig. 3 is a view of the front end of the undersurface of the toilet seat showing the positioning of the shield member thereon; Fig. 4 is a top view of the toilet bowl with the seat resting on the rim and showing the positioning of the shield member with reference to the bowl rim.

Fig. 5 is a section view of one embodiment of the shield member of the invention along line A-A of Fig. 3.

Fig. 6 is a section view of the embodiment of Fig. 5 with the seat in lowered position, along line B-B of Fig. 4; Fig. 7 is a section view of another embodiment of the shield member of the present invention along line A-A of Fig. 3; Fig. 8 is a section view of the embodiment of Fig. 7 with the seat in lowered position, along line B-B of Fig. 4; and Fig. 9 is a detailed view of the embodiment of the shield member shown in Fig. 5 prior to its attachment to the undersurface of the seat.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In all figures the same elements are identified by the same reference numbers.

In Fig. 1, toilet bowl 10, having an upper rim 12, is provided with an essentially annular toilet seat 14. It should be noted that the words"essentially annular"are intended to include any seat shape, such as oval, elongated or the like where the front end is not open. Behind the seat 14 there is a cover 16 the outline of

which is shown by broken line 18. The undersurface of the seat 14, which is visible when the seat is raised as shown in Fig. 1, is provided with bumpers 20 which cushion the seat 14 from the rim 12 of the bowl 10 when the seat is in the horizontal position, resting on the rim 12. Moreover, in accordance with the present invention the front end of the undersurface of the seat 14 is provided with a shield member 22 which seals the gap 24, as shown in Fig. 2, between the bowl 10 and the seat 14 at the front end of the bowl-seat combination when the seat 14 is in its horizontal position. This, in turn, prevents soiling and contamination of the space at the front end of bowl-seat combination, due to splashes and aerosols that result, for example, when the toilet is flushed.

Fig. 3 illustrates in larger view the preferred arrangement in accordance with the present invention by showing the undersurface of the front end of toilet seat 14 where the shield member 22 is attached between bumpers 20, so as to leave a space 26 at the front edge for placing user's finger (s) when lifting the seat 14 from its horizontal to its vertical position. The shield member 22 should have a smooth surface to minimize dirt accretion and facilitate cleaning. It has a semi-circular cross- section as shown in Fig. 5, with flat bottom which is stuck to the undersurface of the seat 14 for instance with adhesive. There are already a number of bathroom accessories on the market, such as shower curtain clips and the like, which adhere to bathroom walls after removing a release sheet covering the adhesive base surface and pressing such surface to the wall. A similar adhesive system can be adopted in this case, particularly if such shield members are added to existing toilet seats as retrofits.

On the other hand, they could also be permanently fixed to the undersurface in the same manner as bumpers 20 in addition to the front bumpers or in replacement

thereof or made integral with molded or formed seats. This can be readily done during manufacturing of such seats without substantially changing any procedures, since placing the bumpers and the shield member would be done in essentially the same manner.

When the toilet seat 14 is lowered so that the shield member 22 abuts the rim 12 of the toilet bowl 10 as shown in Fig. 6, the shield member 22 is thereby compressed and seals the gap between bowl 10 and seat 14.

A similar arrangement is illustrated in Fig. 7, except that here the shield member 22 has a lip or projection 28 which is flexible and bends as shown in Fig. 8 to provide the required seal between the bowl 10 and seat 14.

Finally, Fig. 9 shows a portion of the embodiment of the shield member 22 such as illustrated in Fig. 5, prior to its attachment to the undersurface at the front end of the toilet seat. It is formed of a semi-circular body 21, the flat base of which is coated with a layer of adhesive 23 which is protected by a release sheet 25 that can be peeled-off to expose the adhesive 23 which is then pressed against the undersurface of the toilet seat to produce the desired bond. As already mentioned, such attachment systems are already known although not for the purposes of the present invention. For instance, the SELF1X line of bathroom accessories produced by the SELFIX COMPANY, employs such an attachment system for shower curtain clips and the like.

It should be understood that the preferred embodiments described above are not limitative and that various modifications obvious to those skilled in the art can be made without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the following claims.