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Publication numberUS20030102312 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/005,022
Publication dateJun 5, 2003
Filing dateDec 3, 2001
Priority dateDec 3, 2001
Publication number005022, 10005022, US 2003/0102312 A1, US 2003/102312 A1, US 20030102312 A1, US 20030102312A1, US 2003102312 A1, US 2003102312A1, US-A1-20030102312, US-A1-2003102312, US2003/0102312A1, US2003/102312A1, US20030102312 A1, US20030102312A1, US2003102312 A1, US2003102312A1
InventorsTom Horner
Original AssigneeTom Horner
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Disposable lid with cream and sugar port
US 20030102312 A1
Abstract
A drink-through lid for a disposable cup that contains a condiment port for the convenient addition of condiments to the beverage without having to remove the lid from the cup. The condiment port is on the opposite side of the lid from the drinking port to insure that the beverage does not contact the condiment port while the user is drinking out of the drinking port. When not in use, the condiment port is substantially blocked by a resilient cap that is integral with the cover. This cap can be selectively deformed to open the condiment port and introduce condiments into the beverage. The cap is biased to return to its original closed position when the deforming pressure is removed. The cap preferably forms a trough when deformed to help funnel the condiments into the condiment port and help prevent spilling.
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Claims(16)
What is claimed is:
1. A lid for a cup comprising:
a. a rim attachable to the cup which prevents leakage of the cup's contents;
b. a cover portion extending contiguously inward of such rim;
c. a drinking port in the cover portion;
d. a condiment port in the cover portion opposite the drinking port that allows the user to add condiments to the beverage without removing the lid, such condiment port being substantially blocked when not in use by a resilient cap that is integral with the cover portion, the cap being selectively deformable by a user to open the condiment port sufficiently to introduce condiments into the cup.
2. A lid according to claim 1 where the cap is defined by a slit in the cover portion that creates an opening in the cover portion when the cap is deformed by a user, said slit closing again when the resilient cap is permitted to return to its original closed position.
3. A lid according to claim 1 where there is a projection attached to the cap such that pressure can be digitally applied to the projection to deform the cap without obstructing condiments from being introduced through the condiment port.
4. A lid according to claim 1 where the cap forms a trough when deformed, said trough being angled toward the condiment port and funnels the condiments through the condiment port.
5. A lid according to claim 1 that further comprises a recessed well in the cover portion that contains the condiment port and the cap such that no portion of the cap is above the cover portion.
6. A lid according to claim 1 where the cap comprises:
a. Two triangular sides that have a top edge in common;
b. An end which is triangular and shares a common edge with each of the two sides;
c. A slit shaped like an inverted V that cuts through the two triangular sides and is proximate to the end, such that the slit creates an opening in the cover when the cap is deformed and closes again when the resilient cap is permitted to return to its original position.
7. A lid according to claim 2 wherein the beverage inside the cup forms a surface and where tilting the cup to drink out of the drinking port increases the distance between the surface and the slit.
8. A lid for a cup comprising:
a. a rim attachable to the cup which prevents leakage of the cup's contents;
b. a cover portion extending contiguously inward of such rim;
c. a drinking port in the cover portion;
d. a condiment port in the cover portion opposite the drinking port that allows the user to add condiments to the beverage without removing the lid;
e. a resilient cap that is integral with the cover portion and substantially blocks the condiment port when not in use, the cap being selectively deformable by a user to open the condiment port and to form a trough that is angled toward the condiment port and funnels condiments through the condiment port.
9. A lid according to claim 8 where the cap is defined by a slit in the cover portion that creates an opening in the cover portion when the cap is deformed by the user, said slit closing again when the resilient cap is permitted to return to its original closed position.
10. A lid according to claim 8 that further comprises a recessed well in the cover portion that contains the condiment port and the cap such that no portion of the cap is above the cover portion.
11. A lid according to claim 8 where there is a projection attached to the cap such that pressure can be digitally applied to the projection to deform the cap without obstructing condiments from being introduced through the condiment port.
12. A lid for a cup comprising:
a. a rim attachable to the cup which prevents leakage of the cup's contents;
b. a cover portion extending contiguously inward of such rim;
c. a drinking port in the cover portion;
d. a condiment port in the cover portion opposite the drinking port that allows the user to add condiments to the beverage without removing the lid;
e. a resilient cap that is integral with the cover portion and that substantially blocks the condiment port when not in use, the cap being selectively deformable by a user to open the condiment port, such cap comprising:
i. two triangular sides that have a top edge in common;
ii. an end which is triangular and shares a common edge with each of the two sides;
iii. a slit in the shape of an inverted V that cuts through the two triangular sides and is proximate to the end, such that the slit creates an opening in the cover when the cap is deformed, said slit closing again when the resilient cap is permitted to return to its closed position.
13. A lid according to claim 12 where the sides of the cap are biased to return the cap to its original closed position when the deforming pressure is removed.
14. A lid according to claim 12 where the deformed cap creates a trough that is angled toward the condiment port and funnels the condiments through the condiment port.
15. A lid according to claim 12 wherein the beverage inside the cup forms a surface and where tilting the cup to drink out of the drinking port increases the distance between the surface and the slit.
16. A lid for a cup comprising:
a. a rim attachable to the cup which prevents leakage of the cup's contents;
b. a cover portion extending contiguously inward of such rim;
c. a drinking port in the cover portion;
d. a condiment port in the cover portion opposite the drinking port that allows the user to add condiments to the beverage without removing the lid, such condiment port being substantially blocked when not in use by a resilient cap that is integral with the cover, the cap being selectively deformable by a user to open the condiment port sufficiently to introduce condiments into the cup;
e. a recessed well in the cover portion that contains the condiment port and cap such that no portion of the cap is above the cover portion.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    This invention relates generally to disposable lids for hot beverage cups and, more particularly, to a disposable lid with a condiment port allowing a user to add condiments to a beverage in the cup without removing the lid and without increasing the risk of liquid spillage.
  • [0003]
    2. Description of Related Art
  • [0004]
    Many lids have been proposed for disposable cups such as those used at fast food restaurants. The cups are to a great extent standardized and are of an inverted frustoconical shape. The lids generally contain a channel that fits over the top rim of the cup and provides a spill-proof seal as well as a horizontal cover that extends over the opening of the cup. Such lids are typically made of vacuum molded plastic and ideally can be nested for easy transportation and storage prior to use.
  • [0005]
    Many variations to the lids are known to those in the field. In some cases there is a side wall that raises the horizontal cover above the height of the cup's rim. In other cases there are slits to push a straw through the cover or bubbles in the cover that can be depressed to signify the contents of the beverage. A common variation is the presence of a drinking port that enables the user to drink a hot beverage without having to remove the lid from the cup. This prevents any spilling of the beverage even after consumption has begun, and is especially beneficial in an unstable situation such as while walking, driving or riding in a moving vehicle.
  • [0006]
    Condiments are sometimes added to a beverage after the beverage has been purchased and the lid put on. This is especially true with hot beverages such as coffee, where cream and sugar are often added by the consumer after its purchase. Having to remove the lid in order to add the condiments minimizes some of the benefits of the drink-through lid design. However, none of the prior lids allows a user to conveniently add condiments to the beverage without removing the lid.
  • [0007]
    Some prior lids, such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,186,842, have two ports on opposite sides of the lid. One port is designed as a drink through port and the other as a relief valve to allow excess gas and steam to escape and to break the vacuum. This second port is not large enough to introduce condiments into the cup and cannot be opened independently of the drinking port. Therefore, the disclosed lid is ill equipped to solve the problem of adding condiments to a beverage without removing the lid.
  • [0008]
    Some other prior lids have a single port that is unsuitable for the introduction of condiments into the cup. For example, the lid disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,898,299, contains a well with a raised multisided structure in the middle that contains eye-shaped slits at the frangible corner edges of the raised structure. These slits provided openings for the beverage to pass through the lid but are not large enough to add condiments into the cup.
  • [0009]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,065,880, discloses a drink-through lid comprising a raised canopy that can be deformed to create a vertical opening. This opening allows liquid through only when it has horizontal as opposed to vertical motion. Having the opening in a vertical plane, while being tremendously useful to prevent spilling, also makes it very difficult to add condiments through the port while the lid is on the cup.
  • [0010]
    Other previous lids, while providing a structure that allows any excess beverage to reenter the cup, cannot handle sufficient material for use in introducing condiments into the cup. U.S. Pat. No. 4,582,214 discloses a lid that contains a well around the flap in the lid that traps excess fluid close to the flap where it can slowly drain back into the cup through the small opening left by the closed slit. This is sufficient for a small amount of excess fluid but is impractical for larger quantities of condiments, viscous liquids or non-liquid condiments such as sugar.
  • [0011]
    Still other lids such as those disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos.: 5,799,814; 3,927,794; 4,210,256; 4,441,623; and 4,359,170, involve the use of a flap that is either opened by applying pressure to the lid or that can be placed into a static open position by the user. While these patents have varying structures and do not place size restrictions on the size of the tab, they still are unsuited to condiment addition. If the flaps are made large enough to add condiments through the lid conveniently, then they are too large for allowing a user to easily drink out of the cup without creating an unnecessary risk of spilling the beverage.
  • [0012]
    Another lid, disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,398,843, comprises a raised structure that can be inverted and partially separated in order to provide a drinking port. This structure was alas designed to minimize spilling while opening and drinking out of a cup. If the structure is made large enough to add condiments into the cup, then it becomes so large as to negate any advantage in preventing the spillage of the beverage.
  • [0013]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,245,752 discloses a drink-through lid that allows the addition of condiments to the beverage through the drinking port. However it does not allow the addition in such a manner as to minimize the chance that the condiments will be spilled. While the valve in the mouthpiece is disclosed as being capable of opening sufficiently to introduce condiments into the cup, it is primarily adapted to facilitate drinking out of the cup without spilling. As a result, the user is required to add condiments through a spout-like protrusion, with any condiment that is not perfectly aimed landing on the lid of the cup and making a mess.
  • [0014]
    In summary, the prior art lids still effectively require the user to remove the lid in order to conveniently add condiments to the beverage prior to its consumption. Having to remove and replace these lids, especially while in a moving car or similarly less stable situation, greatly increases the probability of spilling the beverage, with associated risk of personal injury. A drink-through lid is therefore needed that can allow a user to add condiments easily to the beverage without having to remove the lid from the cup and without increasing the risk of spilling the beverage in the process. More specifically, a disposable drink-through cup lid is needed that has a second port optimized for the introduction of condiments into the cup through the lid and yet does not detract from the spill resistant quality of the drink through lid design.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0015]
    The present invention comprises a drink-through disposable cup lid that contains a condiment port optimized for the introduction of condiments into a beverage. The subject lid allows the user to conveniently add condiments without removing the lid, which helps prevent spillage of the beverage. The condiment port is on the opposite side of the lid from the drinking port. The drinking port can be of any conventional design.
  • [0016]
    When it is not in use, the condiment port is substantially blocked by a resilient cap that is unitarily formed as part of the cover. The cap can be selectively deformed by the user to create an opening sufficient to allow the introduction of condiments into the cup. The cap is biased to return to its original closed position when the deforming pressure is removed. This can be accomplished by the shape of the cap, the use of stiffeners added between the edge of the cap and the remainder of the lid, or the use of a rounded joint where the cap meets the rest of the lid or other similarly effective methods.
  • [0017]
    In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, when the cap is deformed it forms a trough that is angled downwardly toward the condiment port. This allows the cap to act as a funnel into the condiment port and ensure that all the condiment that is added gets directed through the condiment port. This trough allows the condiment port to be smaller, which helps prevent spilling of the beverage while still allowing convenient addition of condiments without removing the cover.
  • [0018]
    Also, it is advantageous that the slit defining the condiment port is oriented in such a way so that when the cup is tipped to drink out of the drinking port, the distance between the surface of the beverage and the slit increases. This can be done by cutting the slit perpendicular to an imaginary line that runs through the center of the lid between the drinking port and the condiment port. This insures that the surface of the beverage never contacts the slit during the normal tipping of the cup that is associated with drinking the beverage out of the drinking port. Therefore, it is much less likely that the beverage will spill out of the condiment port during normal usage.
  • [0019]
    In accordance with the present invention, the subject lid is easily formable using a single piece of vacuum molded plastic as is common for disposable cup lids. Alternatively, the lids can be made of injection molded plastic, or styrofoam, according to procedures that are known in the art. In addition, lids containing the present invention can be easily manufactured so that they can be nested together for simplified transportation and storage prior to their use on cups.
  • [0020]
    Some of the advantages of using a lid that has the current invention are:
  • [0021]
    condiments can be conveniently added to a beverage without having to remove the lid;
  • [0022]
    the resilient cap substantially blocks the condiment port when not in use and thereby maintains the spill resistant character of the drink through lid design;
  • [0023]
    the condiment port can be easily opened with one finger leaving the other fingers and the remaining hand free to hold the cup and add condiments;
  • [0024]
    the resilient cap is biased to return to its original closed position, thereby making the condiment port self-closing;
  • [0025]
    the condiment port will snap shut if the cup is dropped while in use, thereby preventing the contents from spilling;
  • [0026]
    the deformed cap can funnel the condiments through the condiment port so that there is less of a chance of spilling the condiments when trying to add them to the beverage; and
  • [0027]
    when the condiment port is recessed, another full cup can be placed on the lid in order to make it easier to carry multiple full cups at the same time.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0028]
    The invention is further described and explained in relation to the following figures of the drawing wherein:
  • [0029]
    [0029]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention on top of a disposable cup.
  • [0030]
    [0030]FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the lid depicted in FIG. 1.
  • [0031]
    [0031]FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
  • [0032]
    [0032]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a second preferred embodiment of the invention in place on top of a disposable cup, where the cap covering the condiment port is partially recessed below the level of the lid.
  • [0033]
    [0033]FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the second preferred embodiment depicted in FIG. 4.
  • [0034]
    [0034]FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5.
  • [0035]
    [0035]FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a third preferred embodiment of the invention in place on top of a disposable cup, where the cap covering the condiment port is completely recessed below the level of the lid.
  • [0036]
    [0036]FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the third preferred embodiment depicted in FIG. 7.
  • [0037]
    [0037]FIG. 9 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the third preferred embodiment taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 8.
  • [0038]
    [0038]FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a fourth preferred embodiment of the invention in place on top of a disposable cup, where the cap is totally recessed below the level of the lid and has a projection on it.
  • [0039]
    [0039]FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the fourth preferred embodiment depicted in FIG. 10.
  • [0040]
    [0040]FIG. 12 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the fourth preferred embodiment taken along line 12-12 of FIG. 11.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0041]
    Referring to FIGS. 1-3, lid 20 comprises rim 22, cover portion 24, drinking port 26, condiment port 28, resilient cap 30, and stir stick slit 38. Lid 20 is preferably formed from a single sheet of vacuum molded plastic, injection molded plastic or styrofoam. Rim 22 is capable of securing lid 20 onto a disposable cup 21 and providing a splash proof seal thereto. Drinking port 26 is designed to allow the user to drink the contents of disposable cup 21 without having to remove lid 20, while at the same time minimizing the chance that the contents of disposable cup 21 will spill out drinking port 26 when it is not being used. Stir stick slit 38 allows a stirring stick to pass through the lid so that the contents of disposable cup 21 can be stirred together without removing lid 20.
  • [0042]
    A resilient cap 30 covers condiment port 28. When external pressure 34 is applied to resilient cap 30, the resilient cap is deformed to form trough 32. This deformation opens up condiment port 28 and allows the user to add condiments to disposable cup 21 without having to remove lid 20. Resilient cap 30 is biased so that when external pressure 34 is removed, it will return to its original position and block condiment port 28.
  • [0043]
    Resilient cap 30 is preferably comprised of two triangular sides 42, which share a common edge with each other, and triangular end 44, which shares a common edge with each of triangular sides 42. This forms a three-sided pyramidal structure with two of the sides substantially longer than the other. There is a slit 36, in the shape of an inverted V, along triangular sides 42 proximate to where they meet triangular end 44. Slit 36 may alternately be formed by the use of a score or embossed line on the cap or a similarly effective method that is capable of creating a slit in the cap when the condiment port is to be used. Slit 36 is substantially closed when no pressure is being applied to resilient cap 30. When external pressure 34 deforms resilient cap 30, triangular sides 42 invert to form a V shaped trough 32 that is angled down underneath triangular end 44 and the small pieces of triangular sides 42 that are separated from the majority of triangular sides 42 by slit 36. External pressure 34 also widens slit 36 to form condiment port 28. In this condition, triangular end 44, along with the small sections of triangular sides 42, is in a position to prevent condiments from splashing up over the condiment port as they flow down trough 32.
  • [0044]
    FIGS. 4-6 refer to a second preferred embodiment of the current invention that comprises a rim, cover portion, stir stick slit, and drinking port that is the same as the corresponding elements described in relation to FIGS. 1-3. In addition, resilient cap 52 is formed of two triangular sides and a triangular end, with slit 60 forming an inverted V along the triangular sides in the same manner as the corresponding elements described in relation to FIGS. 1-3. In the second preferred embodiment resilient cap 52 is partially recessed into recessed well 54. The recessed well aids in the formation of trough 56 and condiment port 62 when external pressure 58 is applied to resilient cap 52. Recessed well 54 also helps to assure that the condiments that are being added stay contained in trough 56 which helps prevent spillage.
  • [0045]
    FIGS. 7-9 refer to a third preferred embodiment of the current invention that comprises a rim, slit, condiment port, stir stick slit, and drinking port that are the same as the corresponding elements described in relation to FIGS. 1-3. In addition, resilient cap 74 comprises two triangular sides and a triangular end with an inverted V slit which are the same as the corresponding elements described in relation to FIGS. 1-3. In the third preferred embodiment a recessed well 72 is deep enough that the top of resilient cap 74 is even with or below the level of cover portion 76. This allows recessed well 72 to more effectively aid in the formation of trough 78 upon the application of external pressure 80 and to help prevent spillage of the condiments as they are being added through the condiment port. In addition, since no part of resilient cap 74 is above the level of cover portion 76, another full cup can be placed on top of the lid. This will facilitate carrying of multiple cups at the same time.
  • [0046]
    FIGS. 10-12 refer to a fourth preferred embodiment of the current invention that comprises a rim and stir stick slit that are the same as the ones described in relation to FIGS. 1-3. In this embodiment, resilient cap 92 is entirely recessed within recessed well 94 and is formed integrally with the wall of recessed well 94. There is also a second well 104 in cover portion 106 that is the same size as the diameter of the bottom of the disposable cup. Well 104 contains drinking port 108, resilient cap 92, and recessed well 94. The purpose of well 104 is to provide additional stiffness to the lid and to aid in the stacking of a full cup on top of the lid.
  • [0047]
    In addition, there is a sidewall 114 that raises cover portion 106 so that the bottom of recessed well 94 is still above the level of the contents of the cup. Further, there is a projection 96 located on resilient cap 92. Projection 96 is located so that external pressure 98 can be digitally applied to the projection in order to deform resilient cap 92 into trough 100 without obstructing the addition of condiments through condiment port 102. Projection 96 is preferably formed so that it is flat or otherwise comfortable for the user to apply pressure to it. Finally, drinking port 108 is shown as the drink through port disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,065,880, issued to Homer. Drinking port 108 is opened by applying external force 116.
  • [0048]
    In this embodiment there are still two triangular sides 110 that make up resilient cap 92. However, each triangular side 110 has an edge that adjoins the wall of recessed well 94, instead of a triangular end such as triangular end 44 described in relation to FIGS. 1-3. Slit 112 is still in the shape of an inverted V along triangular sides 110 proximate to where they meet the wall of recessed well 94. However, the space where the triangular end would be if resilient cap 92 were a raised pyramidal structure as in the previous embodiments now forms condiment port 102 when external pressure 98 is applied to deform resilient cap 92 into trough 100.
  • [0049]
    Other alterations and modifications of the preferred embodiment described above will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading this disclosure, and it is intended that the scope of the invention disclosed herein be limited only by the broadest interpretation of the appended claims to which the inventor is legally entitled.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7175042Oct 29, 2003Feb 13, 2007Amhill EnterprisesDisposable cup lid with reclosable and resealable condiment tab
US7246716Oct 29, 2003Jul 24, 2007Amhil EnterprisesDisposable cup lid with condiment tab
US7691302May 9, 2006Apr 6, 2010Prairie Packaging, Inc.Disposable cup lid
US7789260May 9, 2006Sep 7, 2010Prairie Packaging, Inc.Disposable cup lid
US7819271Nov 13, 2006Oct 26, 2010Prairie Packaging, Inc.Disposable cup lid
US8056752Sep 12, 2007Nov 15, 2011Carnevali Jeffrey DDripless lid for beverage container
US8317050Sep 23, 2010Nov 27, 2012Pactiv LLCDisposable cup lid
US8733583Dec 22, 2011May 27, 2014Foam AromaCup lid for beverages with foam
US8939312Jun 24, 2014Jan 27, 2015Top-That! LlcContainer lid system with a lid portion and food container portion
US9038845May 2, 2014May 26, 2015Top-That! LlcContainer lid with one or more cavities
US9078535May 9, 2014Jul 14, 2015Top-That! LlcContainer lid with a food compartment and a sip-hole
US9604764Jul 17, 2015Mar 28, 2017Foamaroma LlcCup lid for beverages with foam
US20050092748 *Oct 29, 2003May 5, 2005Durdon Terrance N.Disposable cup lid with reclosable and resealable condiment tab
US20050092749 *Oct 29, 2003May 5, 2005Durdon Terrance N.Disposable cup lid with condiment tab
US20090065518 *Sep 12, 2007Mar 12, 2009Carnevali Jeffrey DDripless lid for beverage container
US20110114655 *Nov 16, 2009May 19, 2011Bailey Craig DDisposable drink cup lid
US20110284564 *Dec 1, 2010Nov 24, 2011Ming-Chao HsiehDisposable cup lid
WO2009133211A1 *Apr 29, 2008Nov 5, 2009Spooncup, S.L.Disposable cup with a small rotary spoon
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/254.3, 220/268, 220/713
International ClassificationB65D17/32, B65D47/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65D47/06, B65D2543/00046
European ClassificationB65D47/06