REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application claims the priority of U.S. Provisional application Ser. No. 60/627,877 filed on Nov. 15, 2004 entitled COAXIAL DUAL CAVITY BOTTLE AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING SAME. This application is co-pending with U.S. Utility patent application Ser. No. 10/942,332 filed on Sep. 15, 2004 entitled MULTIPLE CAVITY BOTTLE AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING SAME and U.S. Design patent application serial no. 29/229152 filed on May 4, 2005 entitled A NECK AND CAP ARRANGEMENT AND ASSOCIATED NESTED BOTTLE BOTTOM FOR A BOTTLE IN A BOTTLE and having a common inventor with the present application.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention generally relates to liquids containers, and more specifically to a bottle having multiple separated elements for containing different commodities.
DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART
Liquid storage containers have been provided in numerous sizes and shapes for various liquid commodities. The most ubiquitous containers are presently plastic and provide multiple sizes and shapes with mass production capability and recyclable materials.
In many endeavors, individuals use multiple commodities in combination. Sports enthusiasts are typically becoming aware of the benefits of combining the use of electrolyte replacing sports drinks with water for ultimate performance enhancement and refreshment. Children often desire to purchase more than a single flavor of soft drink or juices or combine a soft drink or juice with other liquid refreshment such as water or milk. Those who consume caffeinated energy drinks frequently purchase bottled water to compliment the energy drink in order to quench their thirst. Scientists are generally aware that one side effect of caffeine and sugar consumption is thirstiness and such consumers are predisposed to purchase an energy drink that is co-packaged with water.
Beverage companies frequently launch new product flavors and have the need to inform customers that the new flavors are associated with their existing well-known brand and comprise part of their product portfolio. Currently, these companies are limited to arranging single-cavity bottles containing the new flavors in close proximity to other single-cavity bottles containing the well-known brand at the point of purchase.
Connected bottles for containing common use or multipart commodities such as shampoo and conditioner, glue and hardener and similar products have been available. However, such connected bottles are not appropriate for consumable commodities and typically do not provide an integrated, visually pleasing container, which minimizes manufacturing complexity.
It is therefore desirable to provide a single container having multiple elements for storage of different commodities and a means for selecting between them during consumption. It is further desirable that such a container be easily manufactured, filled and assembled.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
A multiple chamber bottle embodying the present invention has an outer bottle having a body and a mouth and at least one inner bottle having a body contained within the body of the outer bottle with a mouth accessible within the circumference of the mouth of the outer bottle. The invention further provides means for sealing the inner and outer bottle mouths including means for selectively accessing the contents of the inner bottle and outer bottle through the associated mouth.
In one exemplary embodiment, a coaxial dual chamber bottle is created using an inner bottle element with a cavity having a generally round neck and outer dimension of any shape and an outer bottle element with a cavity having a generally round neck of a sufficiently large inside dimension that allows the outside dimension of the inner bottle element to pass through the neck to create a coaxial “bottle inside a bottle” assembly. Further, the outer bottle element can have an outer dimension of any shape. For an exemplary embodiment, the present invention is advantageous when compared to other modalities of dual cavity bottles in that both inner and outer bottle elements can be easily formed using injection molding and blow molding techniques that are well known to those skilled in the art of manufacturing bottles such as beverage bottles from the injection-stretch blow molding process. More precisely, there are no special requirements imposed on either the inner or outer bottle elements of the present invention other than the outside dimension of the inner bottle must fit through the inside dimension of the outer bottle's neck. The cap arrangement has the unique function of fastenably arranging both bottles in the correct relationship to each other while sealably containing both beverage commodities and simultaneously allowing a user to select between either bottle cavity or an “off” position by adjusting the cap.
In one embodiment, inner and outer bottle elements have round outer shapes and round necks. A bottle cap seals the necks of both inner and outer bottle elements. In one embodiment, the bottle cap is comprised of two portions, an intermediate cap portion that has two sets of female screw threads for receiving the male screw threads of the inner and outer bottle elements and an additional feature designed to receive a second portion such as a rotatable plug that allows one practicing the invention to switch between the contents of the inner or outer bottle elements or to select a closed “off” position.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side section view of a first embodiment of the invention demonstrating the general relationship of the outer and inner bottles;
FIG. 2 is a side section exploded view of an embodiment of the invention providing a supplemental engagement means for the inner and outer bottles and details of an exemplary cap assembly;
FIG. 3 is a side section partially exploded view of the embodiment of FIG. 2 showing the initial filling of the inner bottle and the assembled cap;
FIG. 4 is a is a side section partially exploded view of the embodiment of FIG. 2 showing the initial filling of the outer bottle;
FIG. 5 is a side section view of a partially assembled inner and outer bottle combination with the cap mounted on and sealing the inner bottle;
FIG. 6 a is a side section view of the fully assembled bottle of the embodiment of FIG. 2 with the installed cap in positioned for selection of flow of product from the inner bottle;
FIG. 6 b is a side section view of the fully assembled bottle of the embodiment of FIG. 2 with the installed cap in positioned for selection of flow of product from the outer bottle;
FIG. 6 c is a side section view of the fully assembled bottle of the embodiment of FIG. 2 with the installed cap positioned in the off or closed position;
FIG. 6 d is a side section view of an alternative embodiment of the bottle with individual caps and supplemental engagement means for the inner and outer bottles;
FIGS. 7 a-7 d are top, first side section, first side and second side views of the rotatable upper cap portion;
FIGS. 8 a and 8 b are top and side section views of the fixed intermediate cap portion;
FIG. 9 is a side section view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in a horizontal position;
FIG. 10 a is a side section view of the embodiment of FIG. 2 showing details of the indexing feature for support and alignment of the bottle;
FIG. 10 b is a partial side section view of a second embodiment of the assembled bottle with an alternative indexing feature;
FIGS. 11 a and 11 b. are a side section view and top section view of an alternative embodiment showing indented undulations in the outer bottle for support and alignment of the inner bottle;
FIGS. 12 a and 12 b are partial side section views of alternative embodiments demonstrating neck support and alignment elements intermediate the inner and outer bottle;
FIG. 13 demonstrates an embodiment of the invention as disclosed in FIG. 1 wherein
- the necks of the inner and outer bottles terminate in a common plane;
FIGS. 14 a and 14 b demonstrate alternative embodiments of the invention wherein the neck of the inner bottle terminates within or exterior to the neck of the outer bottle;
FIG. 15 is a side section view of an additional alternative embodiment showing the inner bottle with a reduced volume;
FIG. 16 is a top view of a neck support flange applicable to the embodiments of FIGS. 12 a, 12 b, and 15;
FIG. 17 is a side section view of an alternative embodiment of the invention with multiple inner bottles supported within the outer bottle; and,
FIGS. 18 a and 18 b are side section and a top view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention with a simplified pierceable cap arrangement;
FIGS. 18 c and 18 d are side section and top view of a modified embodiment wherein a foil seal with pierceable targets is employed under a blank cap arrangement; and
FIG. 19 is a side view of an additional alternative embodiment of the invention with inner bottles having alternative non-coaxial configurations.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 is a side section view of a bottle assembly 10 incorporating the present invention. The assembly includes an outer bottle 12, at least one inner bottle 14 providing multiple fluid containment chambers and a cap assembly 15. The inner bottle may be employed for a sports or energy drink while the outer bottle is provided for a base beverage such as water. The bottle assembly may comprise more or fewer components than those of the embodiment of FIG. 1, which illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the present invention the individual components of which are shown and described with greater particularity in subsequent figures. For the embodiment shown, the cap incorporates an intermediate cap 16 and an upper cap 18 allowing a user to select between the contents of the inner bottle, the contents of the outer bottle, and an “off” position, as may be desired. In alternative embodiments additional positions for mixing of the contents of the inner and outer bottle for simultaneous consumption from the inner and outer bottle are provided.
FIG. 2 is an exploded side section view of one embodiment of the bottle assembly. A phantom assembly line 106 illustrates how the inner bottle 14 and outer bottle 12 are assembled coaxially with one another and held in place by a cap, and in certain embodiments by other locating features described hereinafter. An upper cap 18, shown with more particularity in FIGS. 7 a-7 d, has an attachment feature such as a female groove 48, which runs radially around the upper cap 18 and, which receives a corresponding feature such as a male bead 46, which is formed as part of an intermediate cap 16. In one embodiment, upper cap 18 is generally round in its outer shape and has provisions for being rotated by the user in order to select between bottle contents and an “off” position. Intermediate cap 16, shown with more particularity in FIGS. 8 a and 8 b, has two sets of female screw threads or snap features to receive, connect and seal the contents of outer bottle 12 and inner bottle 14. In the embodiment shown in the drawings, an inner bottle seal 42 incorporates a smaller diameter female screw thread and an outer bottle seal 44 is comprised of a larger diameter female screw thread.
Inner bottle 14 has a top aperture 30, which is open for receiving contents such as a beverage, and a bottom 32, which is closed in order to contain the beverage and can be formed in a variety of shapes. Inner bottle 14 can be formed in a variety of shapes and sizes and the shape shown in FIG. 2 is cylindrical, having an outside diameter 28. Inner bottle 14 also has a neck portion 38, which contains provisions such as a snap or a thread for sealing the contents contained therein. For the embodiment shown in the drawings, the neck portion 38 is formed with screw threads 34.
Outer bottle 12 has a top aperture 20, which is open for receiving contents such as a beverage, and a bottom 22, which is closed in order to contain the beverage. The outer bottle bottom provides a base for standing the bottle assembly 10 upright, and can be formed in a variety of shapes to serve these purposes. Mating indexing features 84 a and 84 b which will be described in greater detail with respect to FIGS. 10 a and 10 b are provided in the inner and outer bottle. While the shape shown in FIG. 2 is cylindrical, outer bottle 12 can be formed in a variety of shapes and sizes. Outer bottle 12 also has a neck portion 36, which contains provisions such as a snap or a thread for sealing the contents contained therein. For the embodiment in the drawings, the neck portion 36 is formed with screw threads 24. The neck portion 36 has an inside diameter 26. For the embodiments disclosed herein, inside diameter 26 is formed with a sufficient dimension to allow outside diameter 28 of inner bottle 14 to pass through during assembly.
FIG. 3 is an exploded side section view of the bottle assembly shown in FIG. 2. Upper cap 18 has been snapped or screwed into place within intermediate cap 16, forming cap assembly 15. The position of upper cap 18 relative in its rotation to intermediate cap 16 determines which beverage, if any, is dispensed through a drinking outlet 66. In FIG. 3, the position of upper cap 18 is aligned to allow a beverage contained in inner bottle 14 to be dispensed via drinking outlet 66. Prior to filling the inner bottle 14, cap assembly 15 is desirably set in a closed position by rotating upper cap 18 relative to intermediate cap 16 such that no beverage from inner bottle 14 or outer bottle 12 can be dispensed via drinking outlet 66.
In an exemplary method for practicing the present invention inner bottle 14 is filled with a desired liquid to a desired level such as liquid fill line 58 and then cap assembly is fastened to inner bottle 14 by aligning and rotating the screw threads of inner bottle seal 42 to engage threads 34 until an inner sealing surface 52 becomes engaged with neck sealing surface 54 to a tightness sufficient to resist leakage of the contents of inner bottle 14.
Continuing with an exemplary method of filling the embodiment of the invention, FIG. 4 shows an additional exploded side section view of bottle assembly. An inner bottle assembly 56 is shown, which includes inner bottle 14, intermediate cap 16, and upper cap 18. At this level of assembly, outer bottle 12 is filled with a desired beverage to a predetermined level shown as liquid partial fill line 60. The predetermined fill level of the outer bottle is based on anticipation of the liquid displacement that will occur when inner bottle assembly 56 is inserted into outer bottle 12. Inner bottle assembly 56 is next inserted through top end 20 of outer bottle 12, with outside diameter 28 passing with clearance through inside diameter 26 of the outer bottle 12.
FIG. 5 shows inner bottle assembly 56 partially inserted through the top end 20 of outer bottle 12. It is apparent that the submersion of inner bottle assembly 56 has caused the liquid level of outer bottle 12 to rise to a liquid fill line 60. To complete the assembly, one practicing the present invention would completely insert inner bottle assembly 56 into outer bottle 12 and then fasten the threads of intermediate cap 16 to outer bottle 12 by aligning and rotating the entire inner bottle assembly 56, and thereby causing the screw threads of outer bottle seal 44 to engage threads 24 until an outer sealing surface 62 engages neck sealing surface 64 to a tightness sufficient to resist leakage of the contents of outer bottle 12.
FIGS. 6 a through 6 c are a series of side section views of the bottle assembly 10 following the filling of both inner bottle 14 and outer bottle 12 with desired beverages and following the assembly steps described and shown in FIGS. 2-5. The final beverage liquid fill lines are shown by 58 and 60 and may vary based on application, carbonation and other factors in the filling process.
The shape and features of upper cap 18 and intermediate cap 16 as discussed in detail subsequently with respect to FIGS. 7 a-7 d and 8 a and 8 b incorporate the operational elements of cap assembly 15. In the embodiment shown, upper cap 18 has two cylindrical passageways providing a means of fluid communication from the bottom of the upper cap, through the interior of the upper cap and out the top of the upper cap at drinking outlet 66. Outer passageway 66(a), when rotatably aligned with outer orifice 74 of intermediate cap 16, allows a means of fluid communication between outer bottle 12 and drinking outlet 66. In the bottle assembly 10 of FIG. 6 a, such outer passageway 66(a) is shown as being blocked, and in the bottle assembly shown in FIG. 6 b, such outer passageway 66(a) is shown as being open, due to the 180° rotation of upper cap 18 relative to intermediate cap 16, and accordingly, an outer flow arrow 70 indicates that the beverage contained in the outer bottle 12 is free to flow through the orifice 74 of intermediate cap 16, through outer passageway 66(a) of upper cap 18 and exiting bottle assembly 10 via drinking outlet 66.
Similarly, inner passageway 66(b), when rotatably aligned with inner orifice 72 of intermediate cap 16, allows a means of fluid communication between inner bottle 14 and drinking outlet 66 illustrated by inner flow arrow 68. In the bottle assembly shown in FIG. 6 a, such inner passageway 66(b) is shown as being open, and in the bottle assembly 10 of FIG. 6 b, such inner passageway 66(b) is shown as being blocked due to the 180° rotation of upper cap 18 relative to intermediate cap 16.
FIG. 6 c shows inner passageway 66(b) blocked when the upper cap 18 is rotated 90° relative to intermediate cap 16 when measured from a 0° starting point of the upper cap's position shown in either FIG. 6 a or FIG. 6 b. The outer passageway 66(a) is also blocked in this position but not shown in the drawing. In practicing the present invention if the upper cap is aligned in such a way as to be able to drink from either inner bottle 14 or outer bottle 12, and then rotated through 90° in either direction, both inner bottle 14 and outer bottle 12 is re-sealed and the cap is considered to be in an “off” position. Those skilled in the art will recognize alternative configurations of selectable cap assemblies allowing such selectable means of beverage dispensing, of which the rotatable design shown is but one embodiment.
FIGS. 7 a-7 d show upper cap 18 in more detail. To facilitate the rotation of upper cap 18, two parallel flat sides 76 are formed into the generally conically-shaped upper cap for the embodiment shown. The flat sides of the upper cap are grasped using the fingers in order to more easily rotate the cap between the three desired positions of: 1) off position, 2) drinking the beverage in the outer bottle and 3) drinking the beverage in the inner bottle. Printed or molded—in lettering and directional indicia 73(a), 73(b) and 73(c) may be used on upper cap 18 to align with a corresponding mark 73(d) on intermediate cap 16 to indicate to the user which position the cap is in. An outlet 66 provides the selected contents to the user being provided by channel 66 a from the outer bottle when appropriately aligned for communication with the outer bottle and through channel 66 b from the inner bottle when properly aligned.
FIGS. 8 a and 8 b are top view and side section view taken through plane 8 b-8 b that show intermediate cap 16 in more detail. It is apparent from the top view that the embodiment shown features cylindrically-shaped orifices, inner orifice 72 and outer orifice 74. The orifices may be any shape a person practicing the invention desires. The orifices are positioned for access to the inner and outer bottles as previously discussed with respect to FIGS. 6 a-6 c with orifice 72 accessing contents of the inner bottle and orifice 74 accessing the contents of the outer bottle. Outer passageway 66(a) and inner passageway 66(b) of upper cap 18 align with orifices 72 and 74 respectively when the upper cap is rotated to the respective alignment position. When neither orifice is aligned, the cap seals both the inner and outer bottle. Referring to FIGS. 7 a and 8 a, an arrow 73(d) or other position indicating mark can be used on intermediate cap 16 to align with a corresponding mark 73(b), 73(c) or 73(d) on upper cap 18 to indicate to the user which position the cap is in. In the example shown in the drawings, a high energy drink is contained in the inner bottle with the appropriate arrow 73(b) labeled “ENERGY”. The outer bottle contains water and label 73(a) provides the appropriate reference. The “off” position is identified by label 73(c). In an alternate embodiment, a detent feature is used to allow upper cap 18 to “click” into place as it is rotated relative to intermediate cap 16 into positions such as 1) off, 2) inner bottle contents, and 3) outer bottle contents. For the embodiment shown in FIGS. 7 a-7 d and 8 a and 8 b, the rotatable engagement between the upper and intermediate cap is accomplished by ridge 46 on the inner diameter of the intermediate cap engaging groove 48 in the circumference of the upper cap. The intermediate cap is secured to the neck of the inner bottle by threads 42 and secured to the outer bottle with threads 44. In alternative embodiments, a snap fit or alternative engagement mechanism is employed.
FIG. 6 d is a side section view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention wherein the outer bottle incorporates a cap 15 a and the inner bottle incorporates a separate cap 15 b. The separate cap on the inner bottle in the embodiment shown is received within an optional concentric recess 17 when the cap on the outer bottle is secured to seal to the outer bottle. An alternative indexing element is also shown in this embodiment wherein the inner bottle requires no separate indexing element while the outer bottle incorporates a circular pyramidal shaped ridge 84(e). Configurations such as this embodiment are particularly desirable if the commodity contained by the inner bottle may be a granular or solid material
FIG. 9 is a side section view of the bottle assembly of FIG. 1 shown lying on its side. For the embodiment shown, inner bottle 14 is restrained adjacent the top aperture by the engagement of threaded sealing moiety 42. In certain applications, inner bottle 14 is not restrained at its bottom end 32 and in this horizontal position, the forces of gravity will pull the bottom end 32 of inner bottle 14 downward in the direction indicated by droop arrow 78. This drooping condition may cause the threaded seal to flex, possibly allowing leakage of the beverages between the moieties of seal marked as a potential leak path 80 and contained in either bottle through the seal between the intermediate cap 16 and upper cap 18, which is marked as potential leak area 82. Alternative embodiments of the present invention provide restraint of the bottom end 32 of inner bottle 14 relative to the axial position of outer bottle 12 in order to prevent such a droop condition and thereby eliminate the attendant risk of beverage leakage during shipping, handling, storage or use.
FIG. 10 a is a side section view of inner bottle 14 and outer bottle 12 in a semi-assembled state (i.e. shown with no cap). Inner bottle 14 has been formed with a first indexing feature 84(a), and outer bottle 12 has been formed with a corresponding second indexing feature 84(b). In one embodiment, the first indexing feature 84(a) is a conically-shaped female feature and second indexing feature 84(b) is a conically-shaped male feature. FIG. 10 b shows in partial side section an alternative geometry of the indexing features employing male and female hemispherical shapes, 84(c) and 84(d). A relief 85 is shown in the female shape to accommodate flexing and to receive mold flashing that may be present at the apex of the male or female shapes. Other shapes and geometries may be employed in practicing the present invention to effect the same indexing result. This indexing feature axially restrains the bottom end 32 of inner bottle 14 thereby preventing the droop condition described previously. Additionally, the indexing features provide alignment for the inner and outer bottles during filling and assembly operations as will be described in greater detail subsequently.
FIGS. 11 a and 11 b are a side section view and a top section view taken through plane 11 b-11 b of a bottle assembly in a semi-assembled state. In this embodiment, outer bottle 12 is formed with a series of inward undulations 86, which serve the purpose of restraining inner bottle 14 in a coaxial position with outer bottle 12 for the purpose of preventing a droop condition and potential leakage of the beverage contained in either bottle. Additionally the centering of the inner bottle provided by the undulations provides alignment for filling and assembly operations. Inward undulations 86 may be formed in any configuration desired and are also advantageous in “hot-filling” applications such as for filling juice or tea because they provide additional rigidity to the bottle during the elevated temperatures commonly employed in “hot-filling” that can cause normal bottles without such inward undulations 86 to distort or collapse. In an exemplary embodiment, three radially located inward undulations capture inner bottle 14 and prevent axial movement. The top section view of FIG. 11 b shows four inward undulations 86. A beverage contained in outer bottle 12 is free to flow around and through the inward undulations 86 via clear areas 104.
FIGS. 12 a and 12 b are two side section views of inner bottle 14 and outer bottle 12 in a semi-assembled state. Inner bottle 14 incorporates a flange 88 formed as an integral part of the neck of inner bottle 14 for the purpose of providing coaxial support to restrain inner bottle 14 relative to outer bottle 12 in order to prevent a droop condition. The geometry of flange 88 allows a beverage contained in outer bottle 12 to pass through as shown for an exemplary embodiment in FIG. 16. As shown for an alternative embodiment in FIG. 12 b, the inside of the neck of outer bottle 12 is formed with complimentary features to locate and capture the flange 88 of inner bottle 14. An inwardly protruding radial boss 90 is formed as part of outer bottle 12, which is complimented in certain embodiments by a inwardly protruding radial snap 92. Snap 92 is shaped such that flange 88 may pass over and then be permanently fixed into place between snap 92 and boss 90.
In one embodiment shown in FIG. 13, inner bottle 14 and outer bottle 12 are designed and proportioned such that their respective necks are both flush at the same plane indicated by 94. Other arrangements of varying neck elevations in relation to each other are possible in alternate embodiments.
FIGS. 14 a-14 b are side section views of inner bottle 14 and outer bottle 12 in a semi-assembled state. In FIG. 14 a, inner bottle 14 is formed at a shorter overall length than inner bottle 14 in FIG. 13 and a recessed neck dimension 96 is created. This recessed neck dimension 96 is advantageous in certain embodiments to accommodate a more complicated and/or space consuming cap assembly than has been previously disclosed in herein. FIG. 14 b shows inner bottle 14 formed at a longer length than the inner bottle in FIG. 13 and accordingly, a protruding neck dimension 98 is created. This arrangement may be advantageous to increase the volume of the inner bottle 14 and/or allow for a more complicated cap assembly than has been previously disclosed herein. In both embodiments, the mouth of the inner bottle is within the circumference of the mouth of the outer bottle including the cylindrical extension above and below the plane of the mouth.
FIG. 15 shows an embodiment of the invention wherein inner bottle 14 is formed at a much shorter length than in previous figures and in this embodiment the closed bottom end is formed in a hemispherically rounded bottom 100.
FIG. 16, shows an integral flange 88, which has alternating inward undulations that form open areas 102 to be employed with the various embodiments of inner bottle 14. These open areas 102 allow for the beverage contained in outer bottle 12 to pass through the flange 88 and out through the cap assembly. Flange 88 also has an outer dimension sufficient to engage an optional protruding boss 90 and be captured into place by an optional protruding snap 92. In alternative embodiments, a smaller inner bottle 14 such as that shown in FIG. 15 is used without a flange 88, boss 90, or snap 92 and is held in place only by the cap assembly as previously described for other embodiments, which would keep it sealed and correctly located relative to outer bottle 12.
The present invention also is embodied with multiple inner bottles as shown in FIG. 17. This configuration allows the consumer to choose between multiple beverages within the same container or provides multiple servings of a single beverage in the inner bottles while providing water or other base beverage in the outer bottle. For the embodiment shown, filling of the inner bottles is accomplished as described for the prior embodiments and sealing of the inner bottles with cap 108, as subsequently described with respect to FIGS. 18 a and 18 b, is accomplished using rotational attachment of each of the bottles to a respective threaded moiety 114 in the cap or a snap fit boss receiving the neck of each inner bottle. Engagement of the cap with the outer bottle is also accomplished in alternative embodiments with a threaded engagement 116 as previously described or a snap fit over the neck portion of the outer bottle. For the snap fit embodiment of the outer bottle, individual indexes for the inner bottle bottoms may be employed as previously described with respect to FIGS. 10 a and 10 b while in the threaded engagement, a circular pyramidal ridge 118 or groove in the outer bottle bottom is employed to receive a mating moiety on the bottom of each inner bottle. A rotating cap as described with respect to FIGS. 7 a, 7 b, 8 a and 8 b is employed in certain embodiments of bottles as shown in FIG. 18 a with rotation of the outer channel 66(a) to two orifices for communication with the inner bottles and a third orifice for communication with the outer bottle.
An embodiment with a simplified cap 108 is shown in FIGS. 18 a and 18 b which provides sealing engagement of the inner and outer bottles of the assembly. A piercable foil or plastic orifice 110 centered over the neck and mouth of each inner bottle and a central orifice 112 for access to the outer bottle are provided for use with conventional piercing straws or other drinking devices. The orifices can be pierced individually for access to the separate bottles or simultaneously for combined or consecutive access to contents of different bottles.
An alternative embodiment of the simplified cap arrangement is shown in FIGS. 18 c and 18 d. A securing flange 114 similar to that described with respect to FIG. 16 is employed to index and secure the inner bottles within the mouth of the outer bottle. A foil closure 116 is employed to seal the mouths of the individual inner bottles and the outer bottle. A closed cap 118 is then employed to cover and secure the outer bottle. FIG. 18 d shows foil closure 116 with three targets 120 located at predetermined points over the mouths of the inner and outer bottle to allow piercing with a straw by the user to access the contents of the various bottles. A single straw may be employed for sequential access to the bottles or multiple straws for mixed consumption of the contents of the bottles.
While shown in FIGS. 1 and 17 with substantially vertical orientation of the inner bottle or bottles with axes parallel to the outer bottle, alternative embodiments of the present invention employ off-set or angular shaped inner bottles which provide added novelty in appearance for the combined bottle. One exemplary embodiment in shown in FIG. 19.
Having now described the invention in detail as required by the patent statutes, those skilled in the art will recognize modifications and substitutions to the specific embodiments disclosed herein. Such modifications are within the scope and intent of the present invention as defined in the following claims.