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Publication numberUS20030062367 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/967,754
Publication dateApr 3, 2003
Filing dateSep 29, 2001
Priority dateSep 29, 2001
Publication number09967754, 967754, US 2003/0062367 A1, US 2003/062367 A1, US 20030062367 A1, US 20030062367A1, US 2003062367 A1, US 2003062367A1, US-A1-20030062367, US-A1-2003062367, US2003/0062367A1, US2003/062367A1, US20030062367 A1, US20030062367A1, US2003062367 A1, US2003062367A1
InventorsMeredith Robinson, Wang Chen
Original AssigneeMeredith Robinson, Chen Wang Ching
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Beverage container lids and beverage containers
US 20030062367 A1
Abstract
A beverage container lid includes a first body configured as a cover for removable securement over an opening of a beverage container. The first body has a first side surface opposite a second side surface. A second body is secured in the first body for pivotal movement about a pivot point. The second body defines a bore to provide fluid communication between an environment proximate the first side surface of the first body and an environment proximate the second side surface of the first body.
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Claims(20)
1. A beverage container lid comprising:
a first body comprising a cover configured for removable securement over an opening of a beverage container, the first body comprising a first side surface opposite a second side surface; and
a second body secured in the first body for pivotal movement about a pivot point, the second body defining a bore providing fluid communication between an environment proximate the first side surface of the first body and an environment proximate the second side surface of the first body.
2. The beverage container lid of claim 1 wherein the second body is configured to receive a straw in the bore.
3. The beverage container lid of claim 1 wherein the second body comprises a unitary structure.
4. The beverage container lid of claim 1 wherein the second body comprises a spherical portion received in the first body to provide the pivotal movement.
5. The beverage container lid of claim 1 wherein the second body comprises a pair of oppositely extending tubular portions defining at least a portion of the bore.
6. The beverage container lid of claim 1 wherein at least one of the first and second bodies comprise a translucent material.
7. The beverage container lid of claim 1 wherein at least one of the first and second bodies comprise an opaque material.
8. The beverage container lid of claim 1 wherein at least one of the first and second bodies comprise a transparent material.
9. The beverage container lid of claim 1 wherein the first body comprises a generally parabolic shape.
10. The beverage container lid of claim 1 wherein the first body comprises a generally parabolic shape defining a open bottom end, wherein the first body comprises an apex of the generally parabolic shape generally opposite the open bottom end, and wherein the second body is received in the apex of the first body.
11. A beverage container lid comprising:
a dome-shaped cover defining generally a partially enclosed region and having an open end configured for removable securement over an opening of a beverage container; and
a body comprising a spherical portion pivotally secured in the cover and at least two tubular portions extending from the spherical portion, a first tubular portion extending into the partially enclosed region and a second tubular portion extending outward of the cover generally opposite the partially enclosed region, the spherical portion and first and second tubular portions defining a bore extending throughout to provide fluid communication between the partially enclosed region and outward of the cover.
12. A beverage container lid comprising:
a first body for removable securement over an open end of a beverage container, the first body comprising a first portion of a ball socket and a first side generally opposite a second side;
a second body comprising a second portion of the ball socket, the second body secured to the first body with the first portion of the ball socket aligned with the second portion of the ball socket to establish the ball socket; and
a third body comprising a ball bearing pivotally secured in the ball socket, the third body defining a bore providing fluid communication between the first and second sides of the first body.
13. A beverage container comprising:
a hollow body comprising an upper open end;
a lid body removably secured over the upper open end of the hollow body; and
a straw retention member secured in the lid body for pivotal movement about a pivot point, the straw retention member defining a bore to provide fluid communication between inside the hollow body and outside the hollow body.
14. The beverage container of claim 13 wherein the lid body comprises a bowl shape.
15. The beverage container of claim 13 wherein the lid body comprises a bowl shape defining an apex opposite an open end, and wherein the straw retention member is secured in the apex of lid body.
16. The beverage container of claim 13 wherein the straw retention member defines the bore as a cylindrical linear opening.
17. The beverage container of claim 13 wherein the straw retention member comprises a unitary structure.
18. The beverage container of claim 13 further comprising a member to pivotally secure the straw retention member to the lid body.
19. The beverage container of claim 13 wherein the straw retention member is configured to receive a straw in the bore.
20. The beverage container of claim 13 wherein the straw retention member comprises a pair of oppositely extending tubular portions defining at least a portion of the bore.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The invention pertains to beverage container lids and beverage containers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Drinking straws are commonly used to facilitate drinking from a glass, beverage cup, tumbler or similar beverage container. Conventional straws are disposable, and therefore, are designed with cheap, flimsy materials. Various straw retention apparatuses have been developed to secure a straw for use in conjunction with the beverage container. An exemplary design includes a beverage cup with a lid fitted over an opening in the cup. The lid defines an aperture to receive the straw for withdrawing a fluid in the cup. However, such designs are prone to spillage or leakage through the aperture. Additionally, the straw is routinely pivoted about the aperture to access all the fluid in the cup, and such pivoting of the flimsy straw routinely results in the straw deforming to constrict the passageway of the straw. Furthermore, such designs include generally planar lids which will not accommodate dessert topping floating on a fluid, for example, whipped cream over coffee.

[0003] Other exemplary designs for straw retention apparatuses include discrete members separate from the beverage container and have a first portion which is used to mount the straw retention apparatus to the container and a second portion which secures the straw. If not adequately secured to the container, the apparatus may be lost. Moreover, the society of today desires items to be convenient, simple and easy to use. Such a society may not have the patience to locate the separate straw retention apparatus each time a beverage is prepared for consumption, much less have the patience to assemble the straw retention apparatus to the beverage container.

[0004] Alternatively, straw retention apparatuses are designed with straws integral with the beverage container. However, the majority of such designs utilize multiple parts or otherwise have a complicated design configuration which drives the cost of manufacture to prohibitive levels.

[0005] Accordingly, it would be desirable to develop beverage container lids and beverage containers that overcome the previously discussed problems and shortcomings of present designs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] Preferred embodiments of the invention are described below with reference to the following accompanying drawings.

[0007]FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a beverage container lid in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0008]FIG. 2 is a partial cut-away, side elevational view of a first body of the beverage container lid illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0009]FIG. 3 is a sectional, side elevational view of a second body of the beverage container lid illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0010]FIG. 4 is a sectional, side elevational view of a third body of the beverage container lid illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0011]FIG. 5 is the FIG. 3 second body and the FIG. 4 third body illustrated in cooperation in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0012]FIG. 6 is a partial cut-away view of a beverage container lid illustrated with a fragmented view of a beverage cup in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0013]FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a beverage container in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0014] In one aspect, the invention includes a beverage container lid that includes a first body configured as a cover for removable securement over an opening of a beverage container. The first body has a first side surface opposite a second side surface. A second body is secured in the first body for pivotal movement about a pivot point. The second body defines a bore to provide fluid communication between an environment proximate the first side surface of the first body and an environment proximate the second side surface of the first body.

[0015] In another aspect, the invention includes a beverage container. The beverage container includes a hollow body with an upper open end. A lid body is removably secured over the upper open end of the hollow body. A straw retention member is secured in the lid body for pivotal movement about a pivot point. The straw retention member defines a bore to provide fluid communication between inside the hollow body and outside the hollow body.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] This disclosure of the invention is submitted in furtherance of the constitutional purposes of the U.S. Patent Laws “to promote the progress of science and useful arts” (Article 1, Section 8).

[0017]FIG. 1 illustrates a beverage container lid 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention and includes three discrete and separate components or bodies: a first body 20, a second body 60 and a third body 80. The bodies 20, 60 and 80 are illustrated aligned along an axis 12. For this document, axis 12 is defined as a vertical axis perpendicular to a horizontal surface on which a beverage container or cup may rest. It should be understood that axis 12 is only presented for referencing orientation of components of the present invention.

[0018] Materials to form first, second and third bodies 20, 60 and 80 include polymers that can be molded or extruded, for example, fiber glass or plastics. Other materials may be used to form the bodies, for example metals or metal alloys, without departing from the principles and scope of the invention. Furthermore, the materials used to form first, second and third bodies 20, 60 and 80 may be opaque, translucent or transparent, or any combination thereof.

[0019] First body 20 has an outer or exterior surface 22 generally bowl shaped or parabolically shaped and is oriented to be centered about axis 12. First body 20 acts as a cover configured for removable securement over an opening of the beverage container or cup. An upper portion of first body 20 forms an apex of the parabolic shape with the exterior surface 22 defining a planar portion 23 generally perpendicular to axis 12. Planar portion 23 includes a first circular edge 24 which defines a first diametric dimension. An arcuate surface wall 33 extends from first circular edge 24 downward relative planar portion 23 and outward relative axis 12. Exterior surface 22 extends from planar portion 23 in a curved fashion to curve inwardly toward axis 12 and terminating to form a finger engagement portion 26 generally extending parallel with axis 12 and circumferentially surrounding axis 12. Finger engagement portion 26 includes ridges or edges 27 generally extending parallel with axis 12 and circumferentially spaced generally equidistant around first body 20. Finger engagement portion 26 further includes concave indentations 28 between any two adjacent edges 27. Finger engagement portion 26 is designed to facilitate finger manipulation of first body 20 for rotation generally about axis 12 for removable securement to the beverage container described subsequently. Any number of finger engagement portion configurations may be formed, for example notches extending substantially from exterior surface 22, without departing from the principles and scope of the invention. First body 20 may be characterized as a beverage cover, beverage top or beverage container lid to be removably secured to the beverage container or cup. First body 20 may have any number of configurations, for example generally planar, rectangular, or shaped in images such as animals, automobiles, etc., without departing from the principles and scope of the invention. The exemplary bowl shaped configuration shown facilitates the use of housing a beverage such as coffee with a dessert topping such as whipped cream floating on top of the coffee.

[0020] Still referring to FIG. 1, beverage container lid 10 further includes a second body 60, or straw retention member, configured to hold or secure a conventional straw therein. Second body 60 comprises a central spherical member 62 and a pair of tubular portions 64 and 66 extending outward from opposite sides of central spherical member 62 wherein the tubular portions 64 and 66 are collinear. Central spherical member 62 defines a second diametric dimension. Central spherical member 62 and tubular portion 64 and 66 define a bore 68 throughout the second body to receive a conventional straw. An exemplary bore 68 is linearly configured.

[0021] Still referring to FIG. 1, beverage container lid 10 further includes a third body 80 which may be generally referred to as a securement member for securing second body 60 to first body 20 for pivotal motion therein and described more thoroughly subsequently. Retention member 80 includes an upper cylindrical ring 82 and a lower retainment ring 84 which extends downwardly from cylindrical ring 82. Retainment ring 84 includes an annular ledge 94 which extends generally perpendicularly inwardly from cylindrical ring 82 and generally perpendicular to axis 12. Annular ledge 94 terminates to form an edge 95 which defines an opening with diametric dimensions only slightly greater than the diameter of central spherical member 62 of second body 60. From edge 95, a curved wall 88 extends downwardly relative the annular ledge 94 and inwardly towards axis 12 and terminates to define opening 86 defining a diameter smaller than the diameter of central spherical member 62. The curvature of curved wall 88 is configured to complementarily conform to the curvature of the surface of central spherical member 62 from the diametric circumference downward therefrom such that a portion of central spherical member 62 is complementarily received in retainment ring 84 for pivotal securement therein by curved wall 88 and retained in retainment ring 84 by the smaller diameter of opening 86.

[0022] Referring to FIG. 2, first body 20 is illustrated partially broken away to show an inside contour of first body 20 defined by inner or interior surface 30. Interior surface 30 defines a generally parabolic shape and generally parallel with exterior surface 22. An upper portion of interior surface 30 defines an apex of the parabolic shape with the apex formed by a generally planar surface 32 generally parallel to planar portion 23 of exterior surface 22. Arcuate surface wall 33 extends between planar portion 23 and planar surface 32. Arcuate surface wall 33 and planar surface 32 intersect to form a second circular edge 40 which defines a third diametric dimension only slightly greater than the diameter of the central spherical member 62. The curvature of curved wall 33 is configured to complementarily conform to the curvature of the surface of central spherical member 62 from the diametric circumference upward therefrom such that a portion of central spherical member 62 is complementarily received in first body 20 with curved wall 33 pivotally securing central spherical member 62 therein. The diametric dimension of second circular edge 40 is less than the diameter of central spherical member 62, and therefore, central spherical member 62 is retained from exiting the apex of the first body 20. Planar surface 32 defines an angular groove 35 encircling second circular edge 40 and a portion of arcuate surface wall 33. Angular groove 35 is configured to complementarily receive cylindrical ring 82 of retention member 80. Arcuate surface wall 33 and annular groove 35 form an annular projection 42 therebetween. A plurality of threaded members 34 extend from interior surface 30 of first body 20 toward axis 12 and are circumferentially spaced intermittently around first body 20 generally opposite the finger engagement portion 26 formed by the exterior surface 22. Such threaded members 34 serve to secure first body 20 to the beverage container or cup, described hereinafter.

[0023] Referring to FIG. 3, second body 60 includes sloped corners 70 (only two referenced) and has bore 68 generally formed as a linear cylindrical bore configured to receive a conventional straw for sliding engagement therein.

[0024] Referring to FIG. 4, third body 80 includes the upper cylindrical ring 82 defined by an inner cylindrical wall 92 which extends generally perpendicularly upward from annular ledge 94, an outer cylindrical wall 96 spaced outward from the inner cylindrical wall 92, and an upper ridge 90 connecting the inner and outer cylindrical walls 92 and 96.

[0025] Referring to FIG. 5, second body 60 is pivotally received in the retainment ring 84 of third body 80. The positioning of second body 60 is such that if annular ledge 94 defined a plane that extends through second body 60, the plane would be co-planar with or define a diametric plane through the central spherical member 62 wherein the diametric plane would be generally horizontal and extend perpendicularly from the page. Curved wall 88 receives a portion of the curvature of central spherical member 62 from the diametric plane downward and conforming to the inward taper of the curvature. With second body 60 oriented generally vertically as shown in FIG. 5, curvature portions 63 of the central spherical member 62 extends past the opening 86 of third body 80 and both tubular portions 64 and 66 are outward of third body 80. Curvature portions 65 extend outward above third body 80, and if second body 60 is left in this orientation relative the third body 80, curvature portions 65 will be received in first body 20 proximate arcuate surface wall 33, described subsequently. It should be understood that second body 60 can be pivoted about a point pivot referenced as 122 (described more thoroughly hereinafter) such that diametrically opposed curvature portions 63 and 65 could rest proximate curved wall 88 of the third body 80. The inner cylindrical wall 92, annular ledge 94 and central spherical member 62 adjacent thereto, all combine to form a recess 98 between central spherical member 62 and upper cylindrical ring 82. Recess 98 is configured to complementarily receive annular projection 42 of first body 20.

[0026] Referring to FIG. 6, first body 20 is shown with third body 80 secured thereto and second body 60 pivotally secured between first and second bodies 20 and 80 to establish the beverage container lid 10. Upper cylindrical ring 82 of the third body 80 is complementarily received in annular groove 35 (see FIG. 2) of first body 20. Annular projection 42 of first body 20 is complementarily received in recess 98 (see FIG. 5) defined by third body 80. An adhesive is used to secure third body 80 to first body 20.

[0027] The curvature of arcuate surface wall 33 of first body 20 is aligned with the curvature of curved wall 88 of third body 80 to form the contour of a partial sphere for pivotally securing the central spherical portion 62 of second body 60 therein. The alignment of arcuate surface wall 33 and curved wall 88 may be characterized in one embodiment as a ball socket to receive the central spherical portion 62 which may be characterized in one embodiment as a ball bearing allowing second body 60 to pivot in three dimensional space about a pivot point 122. Accordingly, the cooperation between arcuate surface wall 33, curved wall 88 and central spherical portion 62 may be characterized in one embodiment as a ball joint. Planar surface 32 of first body 20 mates with annular ledge 94 to form a plane generally coplanar with the horizontal diametric plane through second body 60. The horizontal diametric plane includes pivot point 122. Second body 60 can be pivoted about pivot point 122 to any position in three-dimensional space limited only by tubular portions 64 and 66 contacting first body 20 and third body 80, respectively. It should be understood that second body 60 may be rotated about an axis defined by bore 68 and shown generally by direction arrow 121, and such rotation may be performed as second body 60 is oriented in the any pivoted position about pivot point 122.

[0028] Still referring to FIG. 6, beverage container lid 10 is illustrated over a fragmented view of an upper portion of a beverage cup 102 to facilitate description of a securement method of the beverage container lid 10 to the beverage cup 102. Beverage cup 102 has an annular receiving surface 106 offset inwardly from a main body 108. A resting edge 109 connects annular receiving surface 106 and main body 108. Annular receiving surface 106 defines an opening (not shown) for receiving a fluid, for example, coffee. Annular receiving surface 106 includes linear ridges 110 which extend outwardly from the annular receiving surface 106 and are circumferentially spaced intermittently around the beverage cup 102. Linear ridges 110 have an upper surface 114 opposite a lower surface 112. The first body 20 terminates to define a downwardly-facing circular abutment edge 39 which connects finger engagement portion 26 with the interior surface 30. Circular abutment edge 39 defines an opening of beverage container lid 10 to be received over beverage cup 102. The opening of beverage container lid 10 has diametric dimensions greater than the diametric dimensions of annular receiving surface 106 for receipt thereover. Before placement, beverage container lid 10 is oriented so that threaded members 34 are positioned to slide along the annular receiving surface 106 between the linear ridges 1 10. Once placed over the beverage cup 102, the beverage container lid 10 slides along the annular receiving surface 106 until circular abutment edge 39 engages resting edge 109 and further movement of beverage container lid 10 is prevented. In this position, threaded members 34 and linear ridges 110 are configured such that threaded members 34 are slightly below the linear ridges 110 wherein rotation of beverage container lid 10 (or beverage cup 102 or both) about axis 12 allows the linear ridges 110 to engage the angled portion 37 of threaded members 34. Continued rotation of beverage container lid 10 allows the lower surfaces 112 of linear ridges 110 to ride up the angled portion 37 and biases the circular abutment edge 39 against resting edge 109. Such biasing corresponds to biasing the beverage container lid 10 onto the beverage cup 102 for sealment of the beverage cup 102. The rotation of beverage container lid 10 continues until linear ridges 110 abut against the horizontal portion 36 of threaded members 34. The beverage container lid 10 and beverage cup 102 may have any number of configurations for securing one to the other, for example, complementarily formed helical threads, without departing from the principles and scope of the invention.

[0029] Referring to FIG. 7, beverage container lid 10 is sealed to beverage cup 102 to form beverage container 100. A straw 104 is received in bore 68. It should be understood that pivoting the second body 60 about pivot point 122 corresponds to the same pivot action of straw 104. Accordingly, straw 104 is capable of substantially reaching all areas inside beverage cup 102 without deformation and constriction of the passageway of straw 104.

[0030] In compliance with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific as to structural and methodical features. It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown and described, since the means herein disclosed comprise preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the proper scope of the appended claims appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8409152Dec 16, 2010Apr 2, 2013Water Pik, Inc.Faceted nasal seal
US8486029Dec 16, 2010Jul 16, 2013Water Pik, Inc.Pot for sinus cavity rinse
US8734407Mar 20, 2012May 27, 2014Water Pik, Inc.Faceted nasal seal
US8888752Dec 16, 2010Nov 18, 2014Water Pik, Inc.Bottle for sinus cavity rinse
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/254.1, 220/705
International ClassificationA47G19/22
Cooperative ClassificationA47G2019/2238, A47G19/2227
European ClassificationA47G19/22B6
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 14, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: ZAK DESIGNS, INC., WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ROBINSON, MEREDITH;CHEN, WANG CHING;REEL/FRAME:012491/0568
Effective date: 20011204