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Mattress transporting roller box

Abstract
A roller box assembly includes a roller box and a bedding product contained in the roller box. The roller box includes a cardboard box portion, a pair of fixed-axis wheels, and a handle. The fixed-axis wheels are disposed along a corner edge of a bottom portion of the box portion. The handle portion is attached to the top portion of the box portion. In one embodiment, the bedding product is a mattress that has been compressed and rolled into a cylinder shape. A retail customer can purchase the bedding product at a retail store, and can then transport the purchased product out of the store by pulling the box from the handle such that the box rolls on its rollers.

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Inventors: Oh; Suk Kan; (Xiamen, CN)
Correspondence Name and Address: IMPERIUM PATENT WORKS
P.O. BOX 587
SUNOL
CA
94586
US

Assignee Name and Adress: Zinus Inc., a corporation of the State of California

Serial No.: 541368
Series Code: 11
Filed: September 30, 2006

U.S. Current Class: 206/326
U.S. Class at Publication: 206/326
Intern'l Class: B65D 85/00 20060101 B65D085/00

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Foreign Application Data

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Date Code Application Number
Feb 23, 2006 CN 200620055540.0

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Claims

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1. An assembly comprising: a roller box comprising: a box portion having a bottom portion, a plurality of sidewalls, and a top portion, wherein the bottom portion meets a first of the sidewalls to define a corner edge of the box portion; a first wheel disposed along the corner edge at a first location; and a second wheel disposed along the corner edge at a second location; and a bedding product contained in the box portion.

2. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the roller box further comprises a handle, wherein the handle is attached to the top portion.

3. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the bottom portion comprises: a bottom insert portion that has a bottom surface disposed in a first plane; a first bottom flap, wherein the first bottom flap is a flap that extends from a second of the sidewalls and is folded with respect to the second sidewall to lie in a second plane so that the first bottom flap contacts the bottom surface of the bottom insert portion, wherein the first plane is parallel to the second plane; and a second bottom flap, wherein the second bottom flap is a flap that extends from a third of the sidewalls and is folded with respect to the third sidewall to lie in the second plane so that the second bottom flap contacts the bottom surface of the bottom insert portion.

4. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the box portion comprises a cardboard box that is formed from a single piece of cardboard.

5. The assembly of claim 4, wherein the cardboard box has an inside bottom surface, and wherein the box portion further comprises a bottom insert portion, the bottom insert portion having a flat surface that contacts the inside bottom surface of the cardboard box.

6. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the first wheel has a first fixed axis, and wherein the second wheel has a second fixed axis.

7. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the roller box includes two and only two wheels.

8. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the top portion has an upper surface that extends in a first plane, wherein the bottom portion has a bottom surface that extends in a second plane, wherein the first wheel has a first fixed axis that extends in a line, wherein the second wheel has a second fixed axis that extends in the line, wherein the line is parallel to the first and second planes and does not intersect either the first or second plane, and wherein the line extends between the first and second planes.

9. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the bedding product is a rolled mattress.

10. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the bedding product is a rolled mattress, the rolled mattress being disposed in a cylindrical-shaped bag.

11. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the first sidewall has a rectangular shape and has two longer sides and two shorter sides, wherein each of the longer sides is at least three feet long.

12. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the roller box further comprises: a rigid strip member, wherein the rigid strip member extends lengthwise parallel to the corner edge, wherein the first wheel is coupled to the rigid strip member, and wherein the second wheel is coupled to the rigid strip member.

13. The assembly of claim 3, wherein the bottom insert portion is made of a cardboard material that is more rigid than the plurality of sidewalls of the box portion.

14. A method comprising: retaining a bedding product in a roller box, wherein the roller box has two fixed-axis wheels disposed along a corner edge of a bottom portion of the roller box, and wherein the roller box has a handle attached to a top portion of the roller box.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the roller box has a plurality of cardboard sidewalls.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the bedding product is a roll of material that is contained in a cylindrical-shaped bag.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein the bedding product is a compressed and rolled innerspring mattress, and wherein the compressed and rolled innerspring mattress is contained in a cylindrical-shaped bag.

18. The method of claim 14, further comprising: supplying the bedding product in the roller box to a retail customer.

19. The method of claim 14, further comprising: encouraging a retail customer to transport the bedding product out of a retail store by rolling the roller box on its two fixed-axis wheels.

20. An apparatus comprising: a cardboard box that is at least three feet high; a pull handle attached to a top portion of the cardboard box; and a pair of fixed-axis wheels disposed along a corner edge of a bottom portion of the cardboard box, wherein the top portion has an upper surface that extends in a first plane, wherein the bottom portion has a bottom surface that extends in a second plane, wherein each of the pair of fixed-axis wheels has an axis that extends in a line, wherein the line is parallel to the first and second planes and does not intersect either the first plane or the second plane, and wherein the line extends between the first and second planes.

21. The apparatus of claim 20, further comprising: means for distributing and transferring force from the pair of fixed-axis wheels to a sidewall of the cardboard box.
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Description

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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is based on and hereby claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. .sctn.119 from Chinese Patent Application No. 200620055540.0, filed on Feb. 23, 2006, in China, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference. This application is a continuation of Chinese

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The described embodiments relates to a roller box, and more particularly to a roller box assembly for retaining and transporting a bedding product.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

[0003] In the retail sale of mattresses, it can be difficult for the customer to purchase and take home a mattress due to the size and weight of the mattress. The difficulty and cost of scheduling a delivery to the customer's home can serve as an impediment to a sale. It is, however, now known to compress a mattress and to provide the mattress to the customer in a compressed state in a box at the retail store.

[0004] FIG. 1 (Prior Art) is a perspective view of the top 1 and the sides 2 and 3 of one such box 4. FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the bottom 5 and sides 2 and 3 of the box 4 of FIG. 1. Box 4 contains a compressed and rolled foam mattress. Box 4 has a substantially cubical shape that is about three feet on a side. The customer may extend his/her arms forward, and push on the top surface of the box, thereby causing the box to roll on four casters 6-9 in front of the customer. In this way, the customer who has purchased the mattress can roll the mattress in box 4 out of the store and to the customer's vehicle. Provided that the customer has an adequately large vehicle, the customer can transport the mattress home in its box without having to schedule a delivery and to wait for delivery of the mattress. Improvement in this shipping and delivery mechanism is desired.

SUMMARY

[0005] A roller box assembly includes a roller box and a bedding product contained in the roller box. The roller box includes a box portion, a pair of fixed-axis wheels, and a handle. In one embodiment, the box portion is made of cardboard. The fixed-axis wheels are disposed along a corner edge of a bottom portion of the box portion. The handle portion is attached to the top portion of the box portion. Each of the fixed-axis wheels has an axis that extends in a line. The line is disposed between the plane of the upper surface of the top portion and the plane of the bottom surface of the bottom portion. The line is parallel to the two planes, and does not intersect either plane. In one embodiment, the bedding product is a coil form innerspring mattress that has been compressed and placed in a first bag. The compressed and bagged mattress is then rolled into a cylindrical shape. The resulting rolled structure is taped to hold the cylindrical shape, and is placed in a cylindrical-shaped second bag to prevent the rolled mattress from unrolling and putting undue outward pressure on the box portion.

[0006] The roller box is used in a novel method whereby a retail customer purchases a mattress in a retail store, and then transports the mattress out of the retail store by pulling on the handle of the roller box assembly and thereby rolling the roller box out of the store on the two fixed-axis wheels of the roller box.

[0007] Further details and embodiments are described in the detailed description below. This summary does not purport to define the invention. The invention is defined by the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The accompanying drawings, where like numerals indicate like components, illustrate embodiments of the invention.

[0009] FIGS. 1-2 (Prior Art) are perspective views of a box that contains a compressed foam mattress.

[0010] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a top portion of a box portion of a roller box assembly in accordance with one novel aspect.

[0011] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a bottom portion of the box portion of the roller box assembly of FIG. 3.

[0012] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the bottom portion of the box portion of the roller box assembly of FIG. 3, showing the first and second bottom flaps opened to reveal the bottom insert portion.

[0013] FIG. 6 is a view the roller box of the roller box assembly of FIG. 3, when the roller box is partially disassembled to reveal how the bottom insert portion is attached to the first sidewall of the box portion.

[0014] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of one of the wheels of the roller box assembly.

[0015] FIG. 8 is a side view of the roller box assembly of FIG. 3.

[0016] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the bedding product that is contained in the box portion of the roller box assembly of FIG. 3.

[0017] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the compressed and rolled mattress of the bedding product of the roller box assembly of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0018] FIG. 3 is a top-down perspective diagram of a top portion 100 of a box portion of a roller box assembly in accordance with one novel aspect. FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a bottom portion 101 of the box portion of the roller box assembly of FIG. 3. The roller box assembly includes a roller box 102 and a bedding product (not shown, see FIGS. 9 and 10) that is disposed within the roller box. Roller box 102 includes the box portion, a first fixed-axis wheel 107, a second fixed-axis wheel 108, and a handle 109. The box portion includes the top portion 100, four sidewalls 103-106, and the bottom portion 101. A linearly-extending corner edge 110 is formed where the bottom portion 101 meets sidewall 103. Each of the fixed-axis wheels 107 and 108 is disposed along the corner edge 110 such that the axes of wheels 107 and 108 are substantially collinear and extend parallel to corner edge 110. Top portion 100 includes four flaps, where each of the flaps extends from one of the four sidewalls. The flaps are folded over the enclosed volume of the box to form top portion 100. In FIG. 3, a piece of tape 111 is illustrated holding top flaps 112 and 113 down and in place. The other two top flaps 114 and 115 are not illustrated because they are covered by top flaps 112 and 113 in the view of FIG. 3.

[0019] Bottom portion 101 includes a first bottom flap 116, a second bottom flap 117, and a bottom insert portion 118. First bottom flap 116 extends from sidewall 104. Second bottom flap 117 extends from sidewall 105. The first and second bottom flaps 116 and 117 are folded over and into the same plane so as to form a planar bottom surface of the box portion. Bottom insert portion 118 (also referred to as the "inner plate" of the bottom portion) may be made of a cardboard material that is more rigid than the plurality of sidewalls. In FIG. 4, a piece of tape 119 is illustrated holding first and second bottom flaps 116 and 117 folded over and in place.

[0020] FIG. 5 is a perspective diagram that shows the tape 119 removed and that shows the first and second bottom flaps 116 and 117 opened to reveal bottom insert portion 118. Bottom insert portion 118 has a bottom surface disposed in a first plane. This first plane is parallel to the planar bottom surface of the box formed by the first and second flaps 116 and 117 when flaps 116 and 117 are folded down. Notches 120 and 121 are provided in flaps 117 and 116, respectively, to accommodate and fit around wheels 107 and 108, respectively. Tab extension portions 122 and 123 of sidewall 106 fit into accommodating receiving slits 124 and 125 in bottom insert portion 118. A top surface (not shown) of bottom insert portion 118 forms the actual inside bottom surface of the roller box.

[0021] FIG. 6 is a view of roller box 102 when it is partially disassembled. In the view of FIG. 6, the flaps of the top and bottom portions are opened, and a glued joint between sidewalls 104 and 106 is broken such that the various panels (103-106, 112-117) can be unfolded. In the presently described embodiment, the panels 103-106 and 112-117 are different parts of a single piece of cardboard as illustrated in FIG. 6. A lip extension 126 is provided along the edge of sidewall 106 for attaching sidewall 106 to sidewall 104.

[0022] In the view of FIG. 6, the bottom insert portion 118 is shown attached to sidewall 103. FIG. 7 is a perspective view of wheel 107. Wheel 108 is identical to wheel 107. Wheel 107 is made of hardened plastic and includes a wheel 127, a wheel housing 128, and an axle 129. Wheel housing 128 includes two attachment extensions 130 and 131, each of which is provided with a hole for receiving a retaining bolt. Attachment extension 130 forms a flat surface that extends in a first plane, and attachment extension 131 forms a flat surface that extends in a second plane, where the two planes are perpendicular to each other. Bottom insert portion 118 includes folded up edge portions 132 and 133 for engaging sidewalls 103 and 106, respectively. Bottom insert portion 118 is attached to sidewall 103 by placing the attachment extension 130 of wheel 107 on the underside side (in the position illustrated) of panel 103. The threaded shaft of a bolt is extended up through the hole in attachment portion 130, through a hole in sidewall 103, through a hole in edge portion 132, and up through a hole in a rigid strip member 134. A nut 135 engages threads on the shaft of the bolt such that a washer on the top side (as illustrated) of rigid strip member 134 sandwiches rigid strip member 134, edge portion 132, and sidewall 103 between the washer and attachment extension 130. The combination of edge portion 132 and rigid strip member 134 serve to distribute the force due to the weight of the box and its contents from wheels 107 and 108 into sidewall 103. A second rigid strip member 136 and sets of nuts and bolts attach the wheels 107 and 108 to the base portion 137 of bottom insert portion 118 as illustrated. A third rigid strip 138 and sets of nuts and bolts attach the handle 109 to top flap 112 as illustrated.

[0023] FIG. 8 is a side view of the roller box assembly of FIG. 3. Distance A between the plane 139 of the upper surface of top portion 100 and the plane 140 of the bottom surface of bottom portion 101 is at least three feet in this embodiment. The axis 141 of wheels 107 and 108 extends in a line parallel to plane 139 and parallel to plane 140 such that the line is located between the two planes but does not intersect either plane. In the embodiment of FIG. 8, the line of axis 141 is also located between the vertically-extending plane of sidewall 103 and the vertically-extending plane of sidewall 106.

[0024] FIG. 9 is a diagram of bedding product 142 that is contained in roller box 102 of the roller box assembly of FIG. 3. Bedding product 142 in this example includes a compressed and rolled up pocket coil innerspring mattress 143 and a cylindrical-shaped bag 144. In one example, the mattress is placed in a first bag 145, and the mattress is compressed between two surfaces so that it appears as a flattened mattress disposed in the first bag. Air is prevented from reentering the first bag, thereby facilitating keeping the mattress in its flattened compressed state. The flattened compressed mattress in first bag 145 is rolled into a cylinder form. Pieces 146 and 147 of tape are applied to prevent the roll from unrolling. The result appears as illustrated in FIG. 10. The roll of FIG. 10 is then placed in second bag 144. Second bag 144 has a cylindrical-shape that has a diameter substantially equal to the width of the panels 103-106. Second bag 144 has a drawstring (not shown) for pulling the upper end of the bag closed. The resulting bedding product 142 is illustrated in FIG. 9. Bedding product 142 is slid into the open top of the roller box, and the flaps 112-115 are folded down and taped in place so that the roller box assembly appears as illustrated in FIG. 3. For additional information on one example of bedding product 142, see: U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/458,359, filed Jul. 18, 2006, entitled "Method Of Packaging An Innerspring Mattress", by Youn Jae Lee (the subject matter of which is incorporated herein by reference).

[0025] Although certain specific embodiments are described above for instructional purposes, the teachings of this patent document have general applicability and are not limited to the specific embodiments described above. Accordingly, various modifications, adaptations, and combinations of various features of the described embodiments can be practiced without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the claims.

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