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Water cooler cover having adjustable and relocatable openings

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20120326584 patent thumbnailZoom

Water cooler cover having adjustable and relocatable openings


A cover for a fluid-containing reservoir. The cover comprises a front surface defining a plurality of adjustable openings to access one or more of a control and an outlet of the reservoir, wherein the front surface comprises a plurality of slats, and wherein a position of the slats is adjustable to relocate or resize the plurality of adjustable openings for alignment of the openings with the one or more of the control and the outlet.
Related Terms: Resize

Inventors: Michael E. Johnson, Diane L. Johnson
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120326584 - Class: 312237 (USPTO) - 12/27/12 - Class 312 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120326584, Water cooler cover having adjustable and relocatable openings.

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This application claims benefit of the 21 Jun. 2011 filing date of U.S. provisional patent application No. 61/499,179, which is incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to water cooler covers and more specifically to a water cooler cover having adjustable and customizable openings in the various surfaces of the water cooler cover.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Water coolers are used in both commercial and residential settings for providing instant filtered hot or cold water. Water coolers typically include an upright base and conventional electric refrigeration and heating systems. The water cooler further comprises a reservoir to receive the mouth of an inverted, three or five gallon water bottle, and a network of outlet pipes and valves that control dispensing of water from the water cooler. The water is heated or cooled, and thus either hot or cold water may be dispensed as preferred by a user.

Water coolers are often seen as eyesores due to their large, bulky and unaesthetic appearance. They are not customizable (as to size, shape, color, finish, etc.) and cannot be modified to blend with a particular style or motif of the setting in which they are placed (home, office, etc.).

Covers for water cooler bottles are known, but they cover only the water bottle. A standard water cooler cover includes at least three adjoining side panels surrounding a space for receiving a water cooler and its associated water bottle. At least one of the panels, typically the front panel, defines a hole through which the functional controls of the water cooler can be accessed and operated and through which water is dispensed.

However, the prior art water cooler covers are available only in a “one size fits all” configuration. The present invention addresses the disadvantages associated with these standard prior art water cooler covers. One disadvantage is that water cooler covers are of a standard shape and size. But water coolers are made in different sizes, with different dimensions and with different locations and configurations for the controls and dispensing outlet. A standard water cooler cover cannot fit all water coolers and as a result, certain water cooler controls are often inaccessible when using such a standard cover.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is explained in the following description in view of the drawings that show:

FIGS. 1 through 4 illustrate four different views depicting the adjustable features of the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates channel for receiving slats forming portions of a front surface of the water cooler cover of the present invention.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate a first retaining mechanism for retaining the slats of the present invention against vertical movement.

FIG. 8 illustrates an alternative slat for use with the water cooler cover of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the water cooler cover.

FIG. 10 illustrates alternative slats for use with the water cooler cover of the present invention.

FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate second and third retaining mechanism for retaining the slats of the present invention against vertical movement.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE INVENTION

Before describing in detail the particular method and apparatus related to a water cooler cover, it should be observed that the present invention resides primarily in a novel and non-obvious combination of elements and process steps. So as not to obscure the disclosure with details that will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, certain conventional elements and steps have been presented with lesser detail, while the drawings and the specification describe in greater detail other elements and steps pertinent to understanding the invention. The described embodiments are not intended to define limits as to the structure or method of the invention, but only to provide exemplary constructions. The embodiments are permissive rather than mandatory and illustrative rather than exhaustive.

The inventors have solved the problems of the prior art with a water cooler cover that covers the water cooler and the water bottle (with the exception of the water cooler back and bottom surfaces). A front panel of the water cooler cover defines adjustable/movable openings through which the user can access the cooler controls and the dispensing outlet. The front panel is formed with movable and removable horizontal slats, allowing the openings to be relocated and/or resized by simply moving the slats up or down and adding/deleting slats. The user can thus adjust the size and location of the openings to align them with the controls and the dispensing outlet. In effect, the front panel and the openings defined therein are adjustable.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120326584 A1
Publish Date
12/27/2012
Document #
13530035
File Date
06/21/2012
USPTO Class
312237
Other USPTO Classes
3122571
International Class
/
Drawings
5


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