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Publication numberUS20060096942 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/981,719
Publication dateMay 11, 2006
Filing dateNov 5, 2004
Priority dateNov 5, 2004
Also published asWO2006047873A1
Publication number10981719, 981719, US 2006/0096942 A1, US 2006/096942 A1, US 20060096942 A1, US 20060096942A1, US 2006096942 A1, US 2006096942A1, US-A1-20060096942, US-A1-2006096942, US2006/0096942A1, US2006/096942A1, US20060096942 A1, US20060096942A1, US2006096942 A1, US2006096942A1
InventorsDean Lane
Original AssigneeLane Dean V
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stackable bottle system
US 20060096942 A1
Abstract
A stackable bottle for use with liquids or other consumable materials and a system of such stackable bottles features nesting bottles having interlocking upper and lower surfaces, interlocking side walls and integral handles. Each bottle has generally planar side walls to permit optimization of stack volume. Bottles are designed to be stacked in an upright position to reduce spillage from the neck of each bottle. Interlocks provide a locational transition fit engagement for ease of connection and disconnection.
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Claims(22)
1. A system of interlocking storage bottles comprising:
a plurality of storage bottles, each bottle having a storage chamber with an upper surface, a lower surface and at least four generally planar side walls;
a central conical ceiling extending upwardly from the upper surface;
a cylindrical neck extending from the center of the ceiling and having an opening at its top end;
a conical recess in the lower surface of a size sufficient to envelop the ceiling and neck of another storage bottle insertable therein;
vertical interlocking means for releasably connecting each side wall to the side wall of another storage bottle stackable adjacent thereto;
horizontal interlocking means for releasably connecting the upper surface to the lower surface of another storage bottle disposable thereabove.
2. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, wherein each storage bottle may be stacked in an upright position above, below or beside another upright storage bottle to form a stable bottle stack.
3. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, further comprising at least one aperture between adjacent side walls to form a handle.
4. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, further comprising a recess in at least one side wall for application thereto of a label.
5. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, wherein each of the storage bottles is a liquid storage bottle.
6. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, wherein each of the storage bottles is blow-molded.
7. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, wherein each of the storage bottles is manufactured of a polyethylene material.
8. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, wherein the size of the storage bottles is selected for use with industry standard drinking water dispensers.
9. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, wherein the vertical interlocking means comprises at least one recess on the side wall for engaging a corresponding protrusion on the side wall of another storage bottle.
10. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, wherein the horizontal interlocking means comprises at least one recess in the lower surface of the housing for engaging a corresponding protrusion on the upper surface of another storage bottle.
11. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, wherein the neck of each bottle further comprises an external thread for attachment thereto of a screw cap.
12. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, wherein the bottles in the stack of bottles are fillable with a consumable material.
13. The system of interlocking storage bottles of claim 1, further comprising a locational transitional fit between the neck of each storage bottle and the conical recess of another storage bottle into which the neck is nested.
14. A blow molded liquid storage bottle having a storage chamber, a conical ceiling in an upper surface, a lower surface, and at least four generally planar side walls;
a cylindrical neck extending upwardly from the center of the conical ceiling and having an opening at its top end;
a conical recess extending upwardly from the lower surface of a size sufficient to envelop the ceiling and neck of another storage bottle insertable therein;
vertical interlocking means for releasably connecting each side wall to the side wall of another storage bottle stackable adjacent thereto;
horizontal interlocking means for releasably connecting the upper surface to the lower surface of another storage bottle disposable thereabove.
15. The storage bottle of claim 14, further comprising at least one aperture between adjacent side walls to form a handle.
16. The storage bottle of claim 14, further comprising a recess in at least one side wall for application thereto of a label.
17. The storage bottle of claim 14, wherein the size of the storage bottle is selected for use with an industry standard drinking water dispenser.
18. The storage bottle of claim 14, wherein the vertical interlocking means comprises at least one recess on the side wall for engaging a corresponding protrusion on the side wall of another storage bottle.
19. The storage bottle of claim 14, wherein the horizontal interlocking means comprises at least one recess in the lower surface for engaging a corresponding protrusion on the upper surface of another storage bottle.
20. The storage bottle of claim 14, wherein the neck further comprises an external thread for attachment thereto of a screw cap.
21. The storage bottle of claim 14, further comprising means for identifying the contents to be stored in the storage bottle.
22. The storage bottle of claim 14, further comprising a locational transitional fit between the neck of the storage bottle and the conical recess of another storage bottle into which the neck is nested.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to containers, and more particularly to a system of stackable bottles.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known to provide a storage bottle which permits stacking of bottles on the bottles' sides. Examples of such bottles include U.S. Pat. No. 4,892,207 to Cullis entitled: “Bottled Water Container”, U.S. Pat. No. 5,002,199 to Frahm entitled: “Stackable Bottle”, U.S. Pat. No. 4,308,955 to Schieser et al. entitled: “Interfitting, Stackable Bottles”; and U.S. Pat. No. 3,889,834 to Harris entitled: “Container Construction”. Such stackable bottles are not ideal as the sideways stacking of bottles may increase the likelihood that the contents of the bottles will leak out of the bottles, particularly where the bottle contents are liquid.

It is also known to provide stackable bottles which permit the nesting of the neck of one bottle into a recess in the bottom of another bottle. Examples of such bottles include those described in U.S. Pat. No. 1,042,998 to Climalene entitled: “Improvements in Stackable Containers”, U.S. Pat. No. 5,133,469 to Mehta et al. entitled: “Stackable Bottle”, U.S. Pat. No. 4,805,793 to Brandt et al. entitled: “Stackable Bottle”, U.S. Design Patent No. D466,413 to Justice entitled: “Stackable, Nesting Beverage Container” and PCT Patent Application No. PCT/AU93/00380 to Preston entitled: “Stackable Water Bottles”. These nesting, stackable bottles do not include means for interlocking the sides or tops and bottoms of the bottles to provide stability to a stack of such bottles.

In addition, stackable bottles are known which incorporate a nesting neck and interlocking means to connect their top and bottom surfaces. Examples of such bottles include U.S. Pat. No. 3,474,843 to Maris entitled: “Blow-Molded Containers” and U.S. Pat. No. 2,641,374 to Der Yuen entitled: “Container”. Such bottles, however, do not include means for interlocking their side walls.

Other bottles are known which incorporate a nesting neck and interlocking means to connect the sides of the bottles, including U.S. Pat. No. 6,588,612 to Dorn et al. entitled: “Plastic Container with Stacking Recesses” and U.S. Pat. No. 3,369,658 to Hasselmann entitled: “Portable Container Transport Unit”. These bottles, however, do not include means for interlocking their top and bottom surfaces.

In the bottle described in U.S. Design Patent No. D407,020 to Doty entitled: “Stackable Polymeric Container for Liquids”, a stackable bottle is described in which the handles of the bottle are components of the horizontal interlocking means. Such a structure is less than ideal in that the handles of the bottle will not be accessible when the bottle is in a stack.

In PCT Patent Publication No. WO/03055756 to Clark entitled: “Modular Bottle”, a bottle is described which permits snug nesting of the neck of one bottle into a recess in the bottom of another, as well as side interlocking means. The bottle is intended for use as a construction toy after consumption of the beverage contained therein. The bottle does not provide a planar top and bottom support surface for stable vertical stacking of bottles containing consumables.

Ideally, a stackable bottle for use in a system of stackable bottles should have a neck and floor recess which generally are of a size to fit with corresponding necks and recesses in other stackable bottles of the system. Such bottles should provide interlocking means for connecting the sides of adjacent bottles, interlocking means for connecting the top of one bottle to the bottom of another and interlocking means for connecting the neck of one bottle into the floor recess of another bottle. The overall geometry of the bottles should be planar and ideally cubical to optimize stacking volume. Each such bottle should include at least one handle which is accessible when the bottle is incorporated into a stack of such bottles.

While the prior art contains some of these elements, none of the prior art bottles incorporate all of the desired characteristics of a stackable bottle and system of stackable bottles according to the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one of its aspects, the invention comprises a stackable storage bottle and a system of interlocking stackable storage bottles, each bottle having a storage chamber with an upper surface, a conical ceiling extending upwardly from the upper surface, a lower surface, and at least four generally planar side walls; a cylindrical neck extending from the center of the conical ceiling and having an opening at its top end; a conical recess in the lower surface of a size sufficient to envelop the ceiling and neck of another storage bottle insertable therein; vertical interlocking means for releasably connecting each side wall to the side wall of another storage bottle stackable adjacent thereto; and horizontal interlocking means for releasably connecting the upper surface to the lower surface of another storage bottle stacked thereabove.

In another aspect, each storage bottle may be stacked in an upright position above, below or beside another upright storage bottle to form a stable bottle stack.

In still another aspect, the neck of each storage bottle may be comprise interlocking means for locational friction fit engagement with the floor recess of another storage bottle.

In a further aspect, each bottle may have at least one aperture between adjacent side walls, each aperture forming a handle. There may be a recess in at least one of the side walls for application thereto of a label.

In yet another aspect, each of the storage bottles may be blow-molded and may be a liquid storage bottle. The storage bottles may be manufactured of a polyethylene material.

In still another of its aspects, the size of each storage bottle may be selected for use with industry standard drinking water dispensers.

In still a further aspect, the vertical interlocking means may comprise at least one recess on the side wall for engaging a corresponding protrusion on the side wall of another storage bottle and the horizontal interlocking means may comprise at least one recess in the lower surface for engaging a corresponding protrusion on the upper surface of another storage bottle.

In yet a further aspect, the neck of each bottle may further comprise an external thread for attachment thereto of a screw cap.

Other aspects of the invention will be appreciated by reference to the description of the preferred embodiment which follows and the drawings thereof, and to the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be described by reference to the preferred embodiment and the drawings thereof in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a stackable bottle, according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective bottom view of a stackable bottle, according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is an isometric cut-away view of a stackable bottle, according to the invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective front view of a stackable bottle, according to the invention;

FIG. 5 is a cross-section of two stackable bottles, demonstrating the nesting of the neck portion of one bottle with the floor recess of the other bottle; and

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of a stack of stackable bottles according to the system of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE BEST MODE AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Referring first to FIG. 1, a stackable bottle 2 according to the present invention comprises a storage compartment having an upper surface 4 with a conical ceiling 6, a centrally disposed neck 8 extending from the conical ceiling with an opening 10 therein, and a lower surface (not shown). The bottle has four side walls 12, 14, 16, 18, vertical interlocking means comprising side wall protrusions 20, 22 corresponding to side wall recesses 24, 26, and horizontal interlocking means comprising at least one upper surface protrusion 28 corresponding to at least one lower surface recess (not shown).

The side wall protrusions are of a size, relative to the size of the side wall recesses, which permits a releasable locational transition fit engagement of the protrusions into the recesses. Similarly, the upper surface protrusions are of a size, relative to the size of the lower surface recesses, which permits a releasable locational transition fit engagement of the protrusions into the recesses.

The neck 8 may have an external thread 30 for attachment of a screw cap (not shown).

One or more apertures 32 between adjacent side walls 12, 18 may form a handle 34 at the side edge of the bottle. A second handle 36 may be formed between the remaining side walls 14, 16. The bottle may include one or more shallow recesses 38, 40 in the side wall surfaces for application of labels or other marking devices.

As shown in FIG. 2, the lower surface 42 of the bottle incorporates a centrally disposed conical recess 44 and at least one peripheral recess 46 for engagement with an upper surface protrusion (not shown).

As best seen in FIG. 3, the storage compartment 48 of the bottle is intersected by the aperture 32 forming the handle 34.

FIG. 4 shows one face 12 of a stackable bottle of the present invention, demonstrating the planar construction optimal for stable stacking which optimizes stack volume.

In FIG. 5, two bottles are shown in stacked configuration. The neck 8 and conical ceiling 6 of the upper surface of the lower bottle 50 are dimensioned to fit within the recess 44 in the lower surface of the upper bottle 52. The fit permits stacking of bottles without causing damage to labels or seals disposed over the mouth of the bottle. In one embodiment, as show-n in FIG. 5, the clearance between the neck and the recess in which the neck is nested is minimal to provide a close fit between the neck and the recess. The side walls of the upper bottle 52 are fully supported by the side walls of the lower bottle 50 aligned below. As well as providing a stability function, the horizontal interlocking means provides an alignment function to ensure stack stability.

FIG. 6 demonstrates the system of the invention, showing a stack 54 of stackable bottles 2. Bottles are aligned and interlocked vertically as well as horizontally. The system of the invention permits stacking of bottles in an upright position to discourage leakage and spillage during storage and transport. Even where a seal fails, spillage will be much less than would be the case were the bottles stacked with the neck in a horizontal position. One of the handles 34, 36 of each bottle on the periphery of the stack is accessible to a handler. No rack is necessary to hold the bottles, as the vertical and horizontal interlocking means provide stability to the stack.

The bottles of the invention may be stacked in both empty and filled conditions. Bottles may be stacked during filling, transportation, storage prior to use, storage after use, cleaning and during consumption of the consumable materials in the life cycle of the bottles.

The bottles of the invention may also incorporate means for identifying the contents of the storage bottles. Such identification means may include colour coding, distinguishing structural features, or other identifying features for content identification purposes.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that other variations of the preferred embodiment may also be practiced without departing from the scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7989832 *Sep 17, 2007Aug 2, 2011Lg Innotek Co., LtdLight emitting device and manufacturing method thereof
US8047392 *Jul 19, 2007Nov 1, 2011Dean Intellectual Property Services Ii, Inc.Stackable liquid container
US8069986Aug 10, 2007Dec 6, 2011Plastipak Packaging, Inc.Stackable container with angled neck finish
US8535599Oct 8, 2012Sep 17, 2013Mid-America Machining, Inc.Method and apparatus for making a light weight container
US8544649 *Sep 14, 2010Oct 1, 2013Consolidated Container Company LpStackable containers and methods of manufacturing, stacking, and shipping the same
US8668101Feb 27, 2012Mar 11, 2014Mid-America Machining, Inc.Method and apparatus for making a light weight container
US20100326872 *Sep 14, 2010Dec 30, 2010Rivera Benedict RStackable containers and methods of manufacturing, stacking, and shipping the same
US20110017625 *Jul 22, 2010Jan 27, 2011Simplicity Products International, Inc.Cubic eco-package for liquid products with finger engageable pull
US20120118848 *Oct 1, 2011May 17, 2012Hendrickson B EverettModular interlocking containers with enhanced lateral connectivity features
WO2009023508A1 *Aug 7, 2008Feb 19, 2009Richard C DarrStackable container with angled neck finish
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/10
International ClassificationB65D21/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D21/0231, B65D21/0202
European ClassificationB65D21/02B1, B65D21/02E12B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 5, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: ADD-VANCED CREATIONS INC., BRITISH COLUMBIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LANE, MR. DEAN V.;REEL/FRAME:016620/0708
Effective date: 20050715