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Publication numberUS20060086745 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/966,592
Publication dateApr 27, 2006
Filing dateOct 15, 2004
Priority dateOct 15, 2004
Also published asWO2006044807A2, WO2006044807A3
Publication number10966592, 966592, US 2006/0086745 A1, US 2006/086745 A1, US 20060086745 A1, US 20060086745A1, US 2006086745 A1, US 2006086745A1, US-A1-20060086745, US-A1-2006086745, US2006/0086745A1, US2006/086745A1, US20060086745 A1, US20060086745A1, US2006086745 A1, US2006086745A1
InventorsBrian Morrison
Original AssigneeBritevision Media Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System for providing visual information on beverage sleeves
US 20060086745 A1
Abstract
A beverage sleeve is configured to provide insulation for a user of a beverage container holding warm or cold beverages. The beverage sleeve encircles a beverage container and provides insulation against heat transferred through the surface of the container. In some embodiments, the sleeve is coated with a layer of thermochromatic ink. When heat is absorbed through the surface of a beverage container, it causes the thermochromatic ink to change its light response, thus causing an advertisement to be displayed on the surface of the sleeve. The designs for these advertisements can be received from a vendor of the product or service advertised. The sleeves are then shipped to venues in which beverages are sold for use with said beverages.
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Claims(22)
1. A sleeve for holding a beverage container, the sleeve comprising:
a body having a top edge adapted to form a top opening and a bottom edge adapted to form a bottom opening, wherein the top and bottom openings are adapted to accept the beverage container;
an inner surface configured to sit in proximate contact with an outer surface of the beverage container and to receive heat transmitted through the outer surface of the beverage container; and
an outer surface comprising a layer of thermochromatic ink, the layer of thermochromatic ink configured to modify its visual characteristics in response to the heat transmitted through the outer surface of the beverage container.
2. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein the layer of thermochromatic ink modifies its visual characteristics to display an advertisement.
3. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein the layer of thermochromatic ink modifies its visual characteristics when heat received through the outer surface of the beverage container causes it to reach an activation temperature.
4. The sleeve of claim 3, wherein the activation temperature is less than approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. The sleeve of claim 3, wherein the activation temperature is greater than approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. The sleeve of claim 3, wherein the activation temperature is greater than approximately 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein the layer of thermochromatic ink has a thickness greater than 0.001 inches.
8. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein a high contrast between colors of the thermochromatic ink enables the thermochromatic ink to remain opaque with less thickness than would otherwise be needed.
9. A method for manufacturing a sleeve for holding a beverage container, the method comprising:
providing a flat body, the flat body comprising a left edge and right edge;
printing an advertisement on the flat body using one or more thermochromatic inks;
refrigerating the flat body so as to enable the one or more thermochromatic inks to stabilize on the flat body;
embossing one or more indentations on the body so as to enable the body to more easily provide thermal insulation; and
securing the left edge to the right edge so as to form a sleeve capable of encircling the beverage container.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the one or more thermochromatic inks are configured to display the advertisement in response to heat absorbed through a beverage container.
11. The method of claim 9, wherein the one or more thermochromatic inks are configured to modify their visual characteristics when heat received through an outer surface of a beverage container causes the inks to reach an activation temperature.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the activation temperature is less than approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
13. The method of claim 11, wherein the activation temperature is greater than approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
14. The method of claim 11, wherein the activation temperature is greater than approximately 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
15. The method of claim 9, wherein the one or more thermochromatic inks form a layer of greater thickness than 0.001 inches.
16. The method of claim 9, wherein refrigerating the flat body comprises refrigerating the body at a temperature of less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
17. The method of claim 9, wherein the left edge and right edge are secured together through the use of an adhesive.
18. A method for providing advertising content for a vendor, the method comprising:
accepting from the vendor a request to provide advertising for a product or service the vendor;
preparing sleeves for encircling a beverage container, the sleeves comprising an outer layer of thermochromatic ink that, responsive to heat received from a beverage container, is configured to display an advertisement for the product or service; and
providing the sleeves to a beverage vendor for use with beverage containers provided by the beverage vendor to consumers.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein the request for advertising includes a preferred design for the advertisement.
20. The method of claim 18, wherein preparing the sleeves comprises determining a design for the advertisement.
21. The method of claim 18, wherein the beverage vendors comprise coffee shops.
22. The method of claim 18, wherein the request is received in concert with an advertising campaign for the product or service.
Description

The present invention relates generally to methods and products for providing advertising content on beverage insulating sleeves.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Historically, coffee and other hot beverages have been sold in restaurants, cafes, diners, and other general food service venues. These venues usually served the hot beverages in reusable glass or ceramic containers made of thermally insulative materials. However, over the past twenty years, specialty beverage shops, such as Starbucks have insinuated themselves into most American cities. As these specialty beverage shops also sell cold beverages, the practice has developed of using general purpose disposable cups and providing insulating coffee sleeves for hot beverages.

At the same time, there has been a shift in how products are advertised. Diminished viewer interest and the advent of digital video recording technologies that enable viewers to skip commercials have caused media companies to seek alternative channels for advertising. Media companies such as Britevision Media of San Francisco, Calif. have distributed advertising content printed on coffee sleeves. However, current implementations are limited in their capacity to present visual content. What is needed is an improved mechanism for displaying content on beverage sleeves.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a beverage sleeve in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates an overhead view of a beverage sleeve attached to a beverage container in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of a beverage sleeve attached to a beverage container in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate a front view of a beverage sleeve before and after an activation temperature has been reached in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of the interaction between an ink layer, a sleeve surface, and a beverage.

FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating a process for preparing a beverage sleeve in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a flow chart illustrating a process for providing advertisements in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A beverage sleeve is configured to provide insulation for a user of a beverage container holding warm or cold beverages. The beverage sleeve encircles a beverage container and provides insulation against heat transferred through the surface of the container. In some embodiments, the sleeve is coated with a layer of thermochromatic ink. When heat is absorbed through the surface of a beverage container, it causes the thermochromatic ink to change its light response, thus causing an advertisement to be displayed on the surface of the sleeve. The designs for these advertisements can be received from a vendor of the product or service advertised. The sleeves are then shipped to venues in which beverages are sold for use with said beverages.

FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a beverage sleeve 100 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The beverage sleeve includes a flat band 120, that may also be referred to as a body and can be composed of paper. The flat band 120 can be an inner or outer surface of the beverage sleeve. The beverage sleeve 100 includes one or more pleats 122, 123, 124, 125 about which the beverage sleeve bends. While only four pleats are illustrated herein, in alternate embodiments, a larger number of pleats might be used. The sleeve includes a top edge 115 and bottom edge 118 that can be arc-shaped and concentric. In the present embodiment, the two edges 115 and 118 are parallel, but in other embodiments, they may not be. The body 120 includes a central portion 121, which in some embodiments, can be broken into several sections, divided by pleats 123, 125.

The sleeve 100 additionally includes two coupling portions 126 and 128 that can be coupled together to form an encircling sleeve for holding a cup. In one embodiment, the coupling portions 124 and 126 are secured through an adhesive. The beverage sleeve 100 can be folded flat for easy storage and restored to a closed shape by applying pressure to the pleats 122, 123, 124, 125.

While in the present embodiment the above sleeve is used for illustrative purposes, any other type of sleeve construction can be used. For example, the sleeve can have multiple layers, corrugated surfaces, different fastening methods, a different material composition, and any number of other variations.

FIG. 2 illustrates an overhead view of a beverage sleeve attached to a beverage container 205 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The coupling portions 126, 128 of the band, attach to each other to form the joined beverage sleeve 100. Each of the pleats 122, 123, 124, 125 is bent at an angle relative to its neighboring position among the pleats. In some embodiments, the beverage sleeve 100 includes one or more air passageways that are configured to divert hot air upwards, so as to provide better insulation for a user of the sleeve.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of a beverage sleeve 100 attached to a beverage container in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The beverage sleeve 100 is secured in a closed shape around the beverage container 205. While in the present embodiment, the beverage container 205 is a tall, cylindrically shaped container such as might be used in a coffee-specialty shop such as Starbucks, in other embodiments, any number of sizes and configurations can be used.

In the present embodiment the sleeve 100 includes a graphical advertisements, but in alternate embodiments, text advertisement can be used as well. The advertisement 310 is displayed when a layer of thermochromatic ink on the beverage sleeve 100 is heated to an activation temperature by heat received through the surface of the beverage container. When the activation temperature is reached, the absorption/reflection characteristics of the ink are changed, thus causing the advertisement 310 to be displayed

FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate a front view of a beverage sleeve before and after an activation temperature has been reached in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 4A, a display section 405A of the sleeve 100 is in a cold or nondisplay state. When in this state, the thermochromatic ink assumes an opaque black color. Alternately, the ink can be transparent in the cold state. In alternate embodiments, the ink can have two colors, one in its warm state and one in its cold state. This is the condition of the sleeve during shipping and storage, before the sleeve is attached to a beverage container.

In FIG. 4B, the display section of the sleeve is in a “warm” or display state. In this state the thermochromatic ink has been brought to an activation temperature, which in the present embodiment is between 95 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit, but in alternate embodiments can cover any range of temperatures. When the thermochromatic inks reaches the activation temperature, the absorption/reflection profile of the the inks change, causing the inks to transition to the display colors. In some embodiments, the inks are encapsulated leuco dyes. When the inks transition to their display colors, an advertisement 405B becomes visible. While in the present embodiment, the advertisement is graphical, in alternate embodiments, text can be used. Also, while the present embodiment, the process is directed towards the display of advertisements, it should be clear to those of ordinary skill in the art, that any other type of graphic or message can be displayed.

Additionally, while in the present embodiment, the thermochromatic ink layer has an activation temperature that is above room temperature, in alternate embodiments, the thermochromatic ink can transition at cold temperatures. For example, in one embodiment, the thermochromatic ink can be in its “nondisplay” state when warm and then transition below the activation temperature when a cold beverage is accepted, causing it to enter its “display” state and show an advertisement.

Furthermore, while in the present embodiment the advertisement is revealed by the color change, in alternate embodiments the transition can cause an already-visible advertisement to change color or to create a motion effect.

FIG. 5 illustrate a top view of the interaction between an ink layer, a sleeve surface, and a beverage. Illustrated is a rotated view of the contact points between a beverage 505, a surface 510 of the beverage container 205, and a layer of thermochromatic ink 515. The beverage 505 is a warm beverage such as coffee or tea that is served in the beverage container 205. Alternately, the beverage can be a cold beverage such as soda or juice. When the beverage 505 is placed in the container 205, heat from the beverage 505 passes through a border 512 to the surface 510 of the beverage container 205. This heat warms the layer of thermochromatic ink 515 until it reaches its activation temperature, causing a graphic to appear. For the case of the cold beverage, heat transitions in the opposite direction, cooling the ink 515.

The layer of thermochromatic ink comprises one or more thermochromatic inks that have been arranged to display graphics or text when the ink is heated to an activation temperature. The inks can comprise any substance that can be configured to modify its light responsiveness when the appropriate activation temperature is reached. In one embodiment, the ink comprises an encapsulated leuco dye and is manufactured by Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI) of Colorado Springs, Colo. Characteristics of some thermochromatic inks are discussed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,591,255 and 5,997,849, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

In some embodiments, the layer of ink is thicker than 0.001-0.0015 inches so as to insure opacity. In some embodiments, a lower contrast between colors of the inks that comprise the layer 515 can make necessary a higher thickness for the layer 515.

FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating a process for preparing a beverage sleeve in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. In step 605 the thermochromatic inks are printed onto a flat body that once completed will form the beverage sleeve. The inks during this step are in their warm state. In some embodiments, the inks are printed using a conventional mechanism. In alternate embodiments, the inks are printed using a printing mechanism specially configured for thermochromatic inks. In some embodiments, a “regular” or non thermochromatic ink is first applied to the sleeve and then thermochromatic ink is applied afterwards. The “regular” ink can be litho ink or any other type of non-thermochromatic ink.

In step 610 the sleeves are cut. This step entails separating the sleeves from a larger body of paper or other sleeve material. In step 612, the sleeves are embossed. This step installs a pattern of bumps or grooves on the surface of the body. In one embodiment, the embossing is ornamental. In an alternate embodiment, the embossing is configured to allow for better heat dispersal, thus allowing sleeves to better insulate against heat from the beverage container. In one embodiment, the embossing is performed by a rotary embossing device so as the reduce a potential for damage to the ink layer.

In the present embodiment, the sleeves are embossed and cut consecutively using a rotary embossing die cutter, but in alternate embodiments, the sleeves can be embossed and cut at different times and by different devices.

In step 615 the flat bodies are refrigerated. The refrigeration periods can vary, but in one embodiment last 3-5 hours. The refrigeration temperatures can also vary, but in one embodiment are approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The refrigeration process causes the thermochromatic inks to shift to their nondisplay state and remain in that state until heated to an activation temperature.

In step 620 the sleeves are glued. This step entails adhering the two connective ends of the body to form a sleeve. The sleeves can then be stored flat and shipped or distributed. While in the present embodiment, the embossing, cutting, printing, refrigerating, and gluing steps are performed in the order disclosed above, in alternate embodiments, the process can be performed in a different order.

FIG. 7 is a flow chart illustrating a process for providing advertisements in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. In step 705 a sleeve design is accepted from a product vendor. The sleeve design includes graphics, text, or some combination thereof that should appear on a sleeve. In one embodiment, the sleeve design is an advertisement for a product or service and can be used as part of a larger advertising campaign for the product or service.

In step 710 the design for the sleeve is printed on the sleeves. In step 715 the sleeves are manufactured. Steps 710 and 715 are preferably performed in the manner described with respect to FIG. 6. The number of sleeves printed and produced can be determined according to the needs of the product vendor. In step 720 the sleeves are provided to a beverage vendor, where they can be sold or provided for customers of the beverage. The vendors can include coffee shops, restaurants, sports venues, supermarkets, or any other location where beverages are served.

Other features, aspects and objects of the invention can be obtained from a review of the figures and the claims. It is to be understood that other embodiments of the invention can be developed and fall within the spirit and scope of the invention and claims.

The foregoing description of preferred embodiments of the present invention has been provided for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed. Obviously, many modifications and variations will be apparent to the practitioner skilled in the art. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application, thereby enabling others skilled in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments and with various modifications that are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the following claims and their equivalence.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8096035Oct 14, 2008Jan 17, 2012Millercoors, LlcInserted thermal barrier liner for containers
US8276776Nov 24, 2010Oct 2, 2012Cool Gear International, LlcLids and containers
US8297072Oct 10, 2008Oct 30, 2012Millercoors, LlcContainer incorporating integral cooling element
US8336729Oct 10, 2008Dec 25, 2012Millercoors, LlcThermal barrier liner for containers
US8448809Mar 7, 2011May 28, 2013Millercoors, LlcThermal barrier liner for containers
US8522514 *Jun 24, 2010Sep 3, 2013Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.Beverage containers having coated labels with modified gas barrier properties and related methods
US8734009Dec 6, 2011May 27, 2014Millercoors, LlcSystem and method for determining the state of a beverage
US20110314772 *Jun 24, 2010Dec 29, 2011Patrick GeorgeBeverage containers having coated labels with modified gas barrier properties and related methods
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/737, 53/411, 53/397
International ClassificationB65B15/00, B65D25/00, B65B61/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2203/12, B65D2201/00, B65D81/3876, A47G2200/163, A47G23/0216
European ClassificationA47G23/02A2, B65D81/38K
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 19, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: BRITEVISION MEDIA LLC, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MORRISON, BRIAN;REEL/FRAME:015613/0239
Effective date: 20041210