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Publication numberUS20060027588 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/196,924
Publication dateFeb 9, 2006
Filing dateAug 4, 2005
Priority dateAug 4, 2004
Publication number11196924, 196924, US 2006/0027588 A1, US 2006/027588 A1, US 20060027588 A1, US 20060027588A1, US 2006027588 A1, US 2006027588A1, US-A1-20060027588, US-A1-2006027588, US2006/0027588A1, US2006/027588A1, US20060027588 A1, US20060027588A1, US2006027588 A1, US2006027588A1
InventorsMiriam Mackovic-Basic, Kevin Dixon, Faranak Sarbaz, Howard Mellin
Original AssigneeMiriam Mackovic-Basic, Kevin Dixon, Faranak Sarbaz, Mellin Howard S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Removable clip for beverage lid
US 20060027588 A1
Abstract
A clip can be slidably attached to a disposable cup lid. The clip can easily attach to a commercially available lid or a customized lid and cover an aperture in the lid. The spill clip can be made separately from the lid and attach to any lid, or the lid can be built with a pre-attached clip.
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Claims(21)
1. A clip configured to reduce the likelihood of spillage from a beverage lid, the clip comprising:
an elongated portion extending between a first portion and a second portion, the first portion being configured to slidably engage a first perimeter of a lid, and the second portion being configured to slidably engage a second perimeter of the lid;
wherein the spill clip is configured to permit multiple uses on different lids.
2. The clip of claim 1, wherein the second perimeter is an elevated ridge.
3. The clip of claim 1, wherein the first perimeter is an edge of the lid.
4. The clip of claim 1, further comprising a sealing portion disposed on the clip to seal an opening in the lid when the clip is in a closed position.
5. The clip of claim 1, further comprising a gripping portion disposed on a top surface of the clip.
6. The clip of claim 1, wherein the second portion of the clip comprises a hook.
7. The clip of claim 6, wherein the hook is deformable.
8. The clip of claim 7, wherein the hook comprises a shape memory material.
9. The clip of claim 1, further comprising a protrusion on either the first portion or second portion configured to be slidably received within a corresponding detent on the lid.
10. The clip of claim 1, further comprising a surface used for advertisement purposes.
11. The clip of claim 1, wherein the clip comprises one material.
12. The clip of claim 1, wherein the clip comprises plastic.
13. The clip of claim 1, wherein the first or second perimeter comprises only a portion of the periphery of the lid.
14. The clip of claim 1, wherein the clip is configured to snap fit to a lid.
15. A reusable lid kit configured to reduce the likelihood of spillage from a beverage container, the kit comprising:
a clip comprising
an elongated portion extending between a first portion and a second portion, the first portion being configured to slidably engage a first perimeter of a lid, and the second portion being configured to slidably engage a second perimeter of the lid;
a lid having a first perimeter configured to permit slidable engagement thereof by a first portion of a clip and a second perimeter configured to permit slidable engagement thereof by a second portion of a clip.
16. The reusable lid kit of claim 15, wherein the lid is configured with an elevated ridge to permit engagement thereof by the clip.
17. The reusable lid kit of claim 15, wherein the lid is configured with a lid edge for permitting engagement thereof by the clip.
18. The reusable lid kit of claim 15, wherein the lid comprises a detent for slidably receiving a protrusion on the clip therein.
19. The reusable lid kit of claim 15, wherein the clip is configured to permit multiple uses on different lids.
20. The reusable lid kit of claim 15, wherein the lid comprises portion of increased thickness for providing reinforcement to the clip when the clip is coupled to the lid.
21. The reusable lid kit of claim 15, wherein the clip is configured to snap fit to the lid.
Description
RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/598,901, filed Aug. 4, 2004, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTIONS

1. Field of the Inventions

This invention relates generally to cup lids configured to reduce the likelihood of spillage and particularly to a reusable clip that may attach to beverage lids to reduce the likelihood of spillage.

2. Description of Related Art

Beverage containers are widely used in the food industry to provide hot and cold drinks to customers. These containers are often disposable cups that have a lid secured to the top of the cup. Disposable cups permit the customer to take the drink with them when they leave the food establishment in which they purchased the cup. These containers are frequently used during transit, such as in automobiles, boats, golf carts, or walking, and the possibility of spilling the contents of the container during such activities is increased. This may result in spillage on a shirt, trousers, or carpet. Additionally, these containers are often used in settings involving large crowds, such as ball games, where the possibility of spillage may be increased, posing an inconvenience to the customer and those within the vicinity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTIONS

Disclosed herein are different embodiments related to a clip that is designed to connect to a beverage lid containing an aperture. The clip preferably is designed to cover the aperture to reduce the likelihood of spillage. The clip may slidably engage a perimeter, or other edge, of the lid, allowing a user to slide the clip over the aperture to reduce the likelihood of spillage. In order to drink or pour the beverage, the user may slide the clip to expose the aperture.

The clip can be attached to any commercially available, disposable cup lid. The clip can be easily attached to a pre-existing commercially available lid or a customized lid to cover the aperture of the lid. The clip can be made separately from the lid and can snap-on, or otherwise attach, to any lid, or the lid can be manufactured with a pre-attached clip.

The clip can be attached on a disposable lid, and may be plastic and disposable or reusable. The clip may be a clip-on flap that covers the aperture for any hot or cold beverage. The curve of the clip may fit to all standard cup lids and therefore is very cost effective. The clip can have vertical ridges to provide grip for easy sliding of the clip. The clip can be moved along the edge of the lid, so it can cover the aperture of the lid or it can be slid away from it.

The clip can also be attached to a lid that has an elevated edge and a small dome on the opposite side from the aperture. The aperture may consist of either several holes or one single hole for drinking or pouring liquid therethrough. Part of the dome of the lid can be used for any promotional ad or the logo of the corresponding company.

In one embodiment, a clip is provided that may be configured to reduce the likelihood of spillage from a beverage lid. The clip may include an elongated portion extending between a first portion and a second portion. The first portion may be configured to slidably engage a first perimeter of a lid, and the second portion may be configured to slidably engage a second perimeter of the lid. The clip may also be configured to permit multiple uses on different lids.

For purposes of summarizing the invention, certain embodiments, advantages, and novel features of the invention have been described herein. Of course, it is to be understood that not necessarily all such embodiments, advantages, or features are required in any particular embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features herein disclosed are believed to be novel and are set forth with particularity in the claims. The invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by making reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in the figures of which like referenced numerals identify the like elements, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a lid with a spill clip attached thereto;

FIG. 2 is a side cross-sectional view of a cup with the lid and an embodiment of the spill clip also shown;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the spill clip; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the spill clip.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the figures, certain embodiments will be described, which embodiments provide spill clips for reducing the likelihood of spillage from a beverage container. The spill clips contemplated herein are adapted to be assembled to a conventional or custom lid and slidably engage the lid to cover and expose an opening through which fluid may be poured. The spill clips may be removed when the beverage container is disposed, thereby permitting a user to reuse the clip.

FIG. 1 shows a view of a spill clip 50 attached to a lid 10. Both the spill clip 50 and the lid 10 can be made of plastic, although it is contemplated that they may be formed of other materials. For example, the spill clip 50 may also be constructed of metals, ceramics, etc.

As schematically illustrated in FIG. 1, the spill clip 50 is configured to engage features of the lid 10 to secure the clip 50 on the lid 10, but to permit slidable movement of the clip 50 along at least a portion of the lid 10. The spill clip 50 may have a right edge 60 and a left edge 70 and may accommodate slidable movement to either side of an opening 40 in the top of the lid 10. The lid 10 preferably has a recess 100 that provides sufficient room for accommodating a portion of the spill clip 50, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The lid 100 also preferably includes a vent hole 20 and a drain hole 30.

The lid 10 can have any of a number of shapes and may be manufactured in standard sizes to fit snugly over an upper rim of a cup 150. A lower rim 90 of the lid 10 can be slightly thicker to allow better fitting of the spill clip 50. A thicker lower rim 90 of the lid 10 may increase the durability of the lid 10 during operation of the spill clip 50 or reduce the likelihood of the spill clip slipping off the lid 10. The lower rim 90 engages the upper rim of the cup 150 to secure the lid 10 on top of the cup 150. When the lid 10 is secured on the cup 150, the lower rim 90 of the lid 10 extends from below the upper rim of the cup 150 and provides a circumferential rim that can be engaged by a portion of the spill clip 50, as illustrated in FIG. 2.

The upper rim 95 of the lid 10 can be slightly thicker in the horizontal plane and encircles a major portion of the cup 150. The horizontal thickness of the upper rim 95 allows the clip 50 to be further reinforced on its upper side. The remaining part of the horizontal plane of the top of the cup 150 may be covered by a dome-portion of the lid 10 and may provide space for any promotional sign or imprinted logo of the company.

As shown in the figures, the clip 50 may be a parabolic-shaped, thin, plastic piece that may tightly fit on the top horizontal 95 and lower bottom ridge 90 of the lid. As used herein, parabolic-shaped is not intended to limit the clip 50 profile to that of a mathematically-defined parabola, but it is used in the broadest sense of the term meaning any shape, irregular or otherwise, with an open end or with an end capable of opening.

The top, inner surface of the clip can be reinforced with an additional layer of material 80 that can increase friction and decrease the chances of spillage of the beverage. The material 80 may be made of plastic or other material that can assist in sealing the opening 40 of the lid 10 when the spill clip 50 is in the closed position. For example, the material 80 may be a rubber or semi-pliable material that will conform to the opening 40. The material 80 may be adhesively connected to the spill clip 50, or the material 80 may be integrally formed with the spill clip 50. The outer surface of the clip wall may contain ridges 55 to improve the grip and ease the sliding of the clip along the edge of the lid, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. The ridges 55 may be formed of a separate material and adhesively coupled to the top of the spill clip 50, or the ridges 55 may be formed integrally with the spill clip 50. In some embodiments, the ridges 55 are made with a different material than that of the spill clip 50.

In some embodiments, the right edge 60 and left edge 70 of the clip may extend beyond the surface of the clip, as illustrated in FIG. 3. For example, the right edge 60 or left edge 70 may have a greater width than the portions of the clip therebetween. The increased width can operate as a ridge, against which a user can press to slide the clip between the open and closed positions.

In one embodiment, the clip may include a hook 65 along its bottom edge. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the hook 65 may extend from the outer surface wall of the spill clip 50 inward, enabling the hook 65 to engage a perimeter of the cup lid 10, for example, the lower rim of the lid 10. The outer surface wall may extend along and over a first portion and top of an elevated ridge, or upper rim 95, upon which the aperture or opening 40 is preferably located. The outer surface wall of the spill clip 50 may then extend along a second portion of the elevated ridge to secure the clip on the lid. Thus, the first portion engages the front of the upper rim 95 and lid 10 while the second portion engages the back of the upper rim 95. The clip may be manufactured of a material having shape memory properties. Such a material may permit the clip to be deformed during attachment to the lid. Substantially non-deformable materials may also be used for the clip 50.

In one embodiment, a shape memory material may be used for the hook 65. In such embodiments, the hook 65 may be able to vary in length and accommodate different lids 10 with varying heights. For example, the hook 65 may have a preset U-shape. When the hook 65 is applied to a lid 10 having a short height between the lower rim 90 and upper rim 95, the hook 65 will substantially keep the U-shape. However, when the lid 10 has a significant height between the lower rim 90 and the upper rim 95, the hook 65 will expand to assume a C-shape in order to traverse the distance between the lower rim 90 and the upper rim 95. Thus, the spill clip 50 may accommodate lids 10 of different shape and size.

In another embodiment, the clip 50 may be configured to assume the cross-sectional profile of the lid 10, similar to the clip shown in FIG. 1. In other embodiments, the clip 50 may be configured to engage opposite sides of the upper-rim of the lid. The clip 50 may do this in a number of ways. For example, the clip 50 may include a protrusion 75 configured to engage opposite sides of the upper-rim when placed thereon. The lid 10 may be configured with elongated detents along the upper-rim configured to accommodate the clip 50 protrusion. Accordingly, when the clip 50 is placed on the lid 10, the protrusion may slidably engage the detents of the lid 10. In other embodiments, the clip 50 may include one portion that has a protrusion 75 for slidably engaging a detent in the lid 10 and a hook for engaging the lower rim 90 of the lid 10, as shown in FIG. 3.

The clip 50 may be extruded or injection molded plastic, although other manufacturing methods and materials may be used. For example, the clip 50 may be formed of extruded metal. The color of the clip and lid can be in white or other colors. For instance, the color could be green to convey environmental consciousness.

In some embodiments, the clip may have a flat outer surface, as illustrated in FIG. 4, while still having a contoured inner surface for engaging the lid 10. The flat outer surface may include a gripping portion disposed thereon. Alternatively or additionally, the flat surface of the spill clip 50 may include a brand name logo or other marketing indication thereon for advertisement purposes.

The particular convenience of the clip is that it can be easily slid along the edge of the lid, so that the aperture can be covered or opened, depending on the need. This newly designed clip can be used to reduce the likelihood of beverage spillage. The possibility of mass-production, simplicity, and low-cost make the clip very cost-efficient.

In accordance with certain features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention, the clip 50 described above can be removably attached to the cup lid 10. In some embodiments, the combination can be provided to a customer in an assembled state while, in others, the components can be supplied separately. Thus, a customer desiring to use the clip could be provided with a cup lid and a separate clip. Thereafter, the customer can apply the clip to the cup lid in any suitable fashion. For instance, in accordance with the arrangement illustrated in FIG. 2, the customer could engage the hook that is formed along the bottom edge of the clip 50 over a lower edge 90 of the lid 10. With the hook engaged on the lower edge of the lid 10, the upper portion of the clip 50 can be slid over the upstanding portion of the lid in which the aperture for drinking the beverage is contained. In some configurations, the clip 50 can be disposed over the upstanding ridge and the hook portion can be forced over the lower edge of the lid. Once assembled to the lid, the clip 50 can be slid around the circumference of the lid to cover and/or expose the aperture to respectively reduce the likelihood of spillage or to facilitate consumption of the beverage through the aperture. The clip can be removed simply by reversing the steps taken to assemble the clip to the lid. The clip is made of a material suitable for washing and reuse in certain embodiments of the present invention. As such, the clip provides for use and continuous reuse of a simple to manufacture and easy to install member that can reduce the likelihood of spillage during transport of a container of liquid.

Although this spill clip 50 has been disclosed in the context of certain preferred embodiments and examples, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the clip 50 extends beyond the specifically disclosed embodiments to other alternative embodiments and/or uses of the clip 50 and obvious modifications and equivalents thereof. In addition, while a number of variations of the clip 50 have been shown and described in detail, other modifications, which are within the scope of the present invention, will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art based upon this disclosure. It is also contemplated that various combinations or subcombinations of the specific features and aspects of the embodiments may be made and still fall within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, it should be understood that various features and aspects of the disclosed embodiments can be combined with or substituted for one another in order to form varying modes of the disclosed present invention. Thus, it is intended that the scope of the spill clip 50 herein disclosed should not be limited by the particular disclosed embodiments described above, but should be determined only by a fair reading of the claims that follow.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7594584Jul 18, 2006Sep 29, 2009Amhil EnterprisesCup lid having a rotatable stopper
US7731047 *Sep 30, 2004Jun 8, 2010Solo Cup Operating CorporationReclosable container lid with sliding element
US8678230Jul 28, 2011Mar 25, 2014Snapware CorporationVessels with air-tight lid systems
EP1746042A1Jul 19, 2006Jan 24, 2007Amhil EnterprisesCup lid having a rotatable stopper
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/795, 40/311, 220/806, 220/254.9
International ClassificationB65D41/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D47/265
European ClassificationB65D47/26D4