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Publication numberUS20060131317 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/016,162
Publication dateJun 22, 2006
Filing dateDec 17, 2004
Priority dateDec 17, 2004
Also published asWO2006066036A1
Publication number016162, 11016162, US 2006/0131317 A1, US 2006/131317 A1, US 20060131317 A1, US 20060131317A1, US 2006131317 A1, US 2006131317A1, US-A1-20060131317, US-A1-2006131317, US2006/0131317A1, US2006/131317A1, US20060131317 A1, US20060131317A1, US2006131317 A1, US2006131317A1
InventorsLewis Bresler
Original AssigneeLewis Bresler
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Paper-wrapped polymer beverage container
US 20060131317 A1
Abstract
A beverage container having a polymer cup body wrapped in a paper covering is disclosed. The paper-wrapped polymer beverage container may provide thermal insulation while simultaneously providing a means to display high quality printed matter to the user. Such a container may include a polymer cup body having a bottom and a side wall extending from the bottom. The cup body may have a plurality of annular ribs disposed adjacent to one another circumferentially around the side wall parallel to a plane defined by the bottom of the cup body. A paper wrap may be disposed circumferentially around an exterior of the cup body. A promotional item may be attached to the paper wrap.
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Claims(34)
1. A beverage container, comprising:
a polymer cup body having a bottom and a side wall extending from the bottom, the bottom defining a plane, the side wall forming an open end opposite the bottom, the cup body having a plurality of annular ribs disposed adjacent to one another circumferentially around the side wall parallel to the plane defined by the bottom of the cup body; and
a paper wrap disposed circumferentially around an exterior of the cup body.
2. The beverage container of claim 1, wherein the side wall has a length and the paper wrap extends the length of the side wall.
3. The beverage container of claim 1, wherein the cup body comprises a lip disposed on the open end thereof.
4. The beverage container of claim 3, wherein the paper wrap extends from an underside of the lip toward the bottom of the cup body.
5. The beverage container of claim 4, wherein the paper wrap extends to the bottom of the cup body.
6. The beverage container of claim 5, wherein the paper wrap has an external surface that is suitable for displaying printed material.
7. The beverage container of claim 6, wherein the paper wrap has a smooth external surface.
8. The beverage container of claim 1, wherein the paper wrap comprises a solid bleached sulfate (SBS) paper.
9. The beverage container of claim 8, wherein the SBS paper is clay coated.
10. The beverage container of claim 9, wherein the SBS paper has a thickness of between about eight and about fourteen mils.
11. The beverage container of claim 1, further comprising a promotional item affixed to an exterior surface of the paper wrap.
12. The beverage container of claim 11, wherein the promotional item is removable from the paper wrap.
13. The beverage container of claim 1, wherein the paper wrap is affixed to the exterior of the cup body via an adhesive.
14. The beverage container of claim 13, wherein edges of the paper wrap are at least one of adhesively overlapped and adhesively edge joined.
15. The beverage container of claim 13, wherein the adhesive is applied to an inside face of the paper wrap.
16. The beverage container of claim 1, wherein edges of the paper wrap are crimped together.
17. The beverage container of claim 1, wherein the polymer is polypropylene.
18. The beverage container of claim 1, wherein the paper wrap abuts at least one of the ribs such that a thermally insulating gap is formed between the cup body and the paper wrap.
19. The beverage container of claim 18, wherein the gap is an air gap.
20. The container of claim 1, wherein each of the ribs has a respective rib width, and the rib widths are the same for each of the plurality of ribs.
21. The container of claim 1, wherein the ribs are disposed along an entire length of the side wall that extends from the bottom of the cup body.
22. The container of claim 1, further comprising a paper base disposed on the bottom of the cup body.
23. A beverage container, comprising:
a polymer cup body having a bottom and a side wall extending from the bottom, the bottom defining a plane, the side wall forming an open end opposite the bottom, and a lip disposed on the open end, the cup body having a plurality of annular ribs disposed adjacent to one another circumferentially around the side wall parallel to the plane defined by the bottom of the cup body; and
a paper wrap disposed around an exterior surface of the side wall, the paper wrap extending from an underside of the lip to the bottom of the cup body and having an external surface that is suitable for displaying printed material.
24. The beverage container of claim 23, wherein the paper wrap comprises a clay-coated, solid bleached sulfate (SBS) paper.
25. The beverage container of claim 23, further comprising a promotional item affixed to an exterior surface of the paper wrap.
26. A method of manufacturing a beverage container, the method comprising:
providing a polymer cup body having a bottom and a side wall extending from the bottom, the bottom defining a plane, the side wall forming an open end opposite the bottom, the cup body having a plurality of annular ribs disposed adjacent to one another circumferentially around the side wall parallel to the plane defined by the bottom of the cup body; and
affixing a paper wrap around the cup body such that the paper wrap abuts at least one of the ribs such that a thermally insulating gap is formed between the cup body and the paper wrap.
27. The method of claim 26, wherein affixing the paper wrap around the cup body comprises extending the paper wrap along a length of the side wall.
28. The method of claim 26, wherein affixing the paper wrap around the cup body comprises affixing the paper wrap around the cup body via an adhesive.
29. The method of claim 28, wherein the adhesive is applied to the paper wrap such that edges of the paper wrap become at least one of adhesively overlapped and adhesively edge joined.
30. The method of claim 28, wherein the adhesive is applied to an inside face of the paper wrap.
31. The method of claim 26, wherein affixing the paper wrap around the cup body comprises affixing the paper wrap by crimping edges of the paper wrap together.
32. The method of claim 26, wherein the paper wrap comprises a solid bleached sulfate (SBS) paper.
33. The method of claim 26, wherein affixing a paper wrap around cup body comprises affixing a paper wrap having at least one detachable promotional item.
34. The method of claim 26, further comprising affixing a detachable promotional item to the paper wrap.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The subject matter disclosed and claimed herein is related to the subject matter disclosed and claimed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. [attorney docket RHC-0011], filed Dec. 17, 2004, entitled “Paper-Wrapped Polystyrene Foam Beverage Container.” The disclosure of the above-referenced U.S. patent application is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to the field of beverage containers. More specifically, the invention relates to thermally-insulating, disposable containers having a body wrapped by a paper wrap.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Disposable hot-beverage containers, such as coffee cups, for example, are typically made of paperboard or polystyrene foam. Paperboard cups may be desirable for a number of reasons. For example, a paperboard cup may provide a high-quality printable surface from the lip of the cup to its base. Also, paperboard cups tend to be suitable for the attachment of promotional items, such as detachable coupons, labels, stickers, or game pieces, for example, that vendors frequently use for marketing purposes.

Paperboard cups, however, tend to be poor insulators of heat. A paperboard cup containing a hot beverage, therefore, may be difficult to hold. To compensate for the lack of insulation provided by a single paperboard cup, a plurality of such cups may be nested together. A separate cardboard wrap may be used to provide insulation, or the cup may include handles.

Polystyrene foam cups typically provide better thermal insulation than do paperboard cups. Accordingly, polystyrene foam cups tend to be more suitable than paperboard cups for containing hot beverages - at least in terms of thermal insulation. The exterior surface of a polystyrene foam cup, however, typically does not provide for high-quality printing. Also, polystyrene foam cups are typically not as suitable for the attachment of promotional items as are paperboard cups.

Disposable cups made of polymers such as polypropylene, for example, provide an alternative to paper cups. Polypropylene cups may be more durable, less susceptible to leaks and punctures, and more economical than paper cups. Polypropylene, however, is a poor thermal insulator. Also, the exterior surface of a polystyrene foam cup typically does not provide for high-quality printing. Further, it is well-known that consumers of high-end hot beverages have come to expect that the beverage will be served in a paperboard cup.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,716,512 (“Barrett”) discloses a paper-covered polypropylene cup. The cup disclosed by Barrett includes a plurality of vertical ribs projecting radially outward from the outer surface of a side wall of a cup. Each of the ribs has an outer face against which a wrap is disposed. The regions encompassed by adjacent, vertical ribs, the interior surface of the wrap, and the outer surface of the side wall may provide for thermally insulating gaps. The cup disclosed by Barrett, however, may not provide adequate side wall integrity to prevent side wall deflection when being handled. For example, the side wall may be easily deflected inward, constricting the volume of the container and forcing out the contents of the cup.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,554,154 (“Chauhan”) discloses a thermoplastic container having a first set of horizontal annular rings disposed adjacent to a top portion of a side wall of the container and a second set of annular rings disposed in a middle portion of the container. The annular rings (or “ribs”) increase side wall integrity and improve deflection characteristics over prior art designs. The thermoplastic container disclosed by Chauhan, however, may not provide sufficient thermal insulation to serve as a hot-beverage container. Additionally, the container disclosed by Chauhan does not have the desired look and feel of a paper cup, and its exterior surface is not suitable for high-quality printing.

It would be advantageous, therefore, if there were available a disposable beverage container having sufficient thermal insulation properties to contain hot beverages, as well as an exterior surface that is suitable for the attachment of promotional items and for high-quality printing from the lip of the cup to its base.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A beverage container according to the invention may include a polypropylene cup body covered with a paperboard wrapping. The cup body may have a bottom and a side wall extending from the bottom. The side wall may form an open end opposite the bottom. The cup body may have a plurality of annular ribs disposed adjacent to one another circumferentially around the side wall parallel to a plane defined by the bottom of the cup body.

The paperboard wrapping may be disposed circumferentially around an exterior of the cup body, and may abut at least one of the ribs such that a thermally insulating gap is formed between the cup body and the paper wrap. The paperboard wrapping may provide for high quality printing on the entire exterior of the cup. Additionally, the paperboard wrapping may permit the use of attachments such as those a beverage vendor may use as promotional items. Examples of such promotional items include detachable coupons, tear-off labels or stickers, or playing pieces for a game.

Methods for manufacturing such a beverage container are also disclosed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1 and 2 are isometric views of an example embodiment of a beverage container according to the invention.

FIG. 3 depicts a method of making a beverage container in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view of an example embodiment of a beverage container according to the invention.

FIG.5 is a partial cutaway side view of an example embodiment of a beverage container according to the invention.

FIG.6 is a detailed cutaway side view depicting a bottom portion of an example embodiment of a beverage container according to the invention.

FIG.7 is a detailed cutaway side view depicting a top portion of an example embodiment of a beverage container according to the invention.

FIGS. 8 and 9 are top and bottom views, respectively, of an example embodiment of a beverage container according to the invention.

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of another example embodiment of a beverage container according to the invention.

FIG. 11 is a partial cutaway side view of the example embodiment depicted in FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is a detailed cutaway side view depicting a bottom portion of the example embodiment depicted in FIG. 10.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an example beverage container 100 according to the invention. The beverage container 100 may include a cup body 110 and a paper wrap 115. The cup body 110 may be constructed of a polymer, such as polypropylene, for example. The paper wrap 115 may be made of paperboard, such as solid bleached sulfate (SBS) paperboard, for example. The SBS paperboard may have a clay coating that provides a smooth finish onto which high quality printing may be presented on the finished cup 100. The paper wrap 115 may have a thickness of between about eight and about fourteen mils. The paper wrap may have a smooth surface for the display of printed material. Alternatively, the paper wrap may be scored or ridged to provide additional slip resistance for a user holding a cup, for example, or for decorative or other purposes.

The cup body 110 may have a bottom 140 and a side wall 120. The side wall 120 may extend from the bottom 140 and form an open end opposite the bottom 140. The side wall 120 may include a lip 135, a top portion 130, and a plurality of ribs 125.

The ribs 125 may be integral to the side wall 120 of the beverage container 100 such that the ribs 125 are visible on the interior of the beverage container 100. The ribs 125 may be annular, that is, circumferentially disposed around the beverage container 100 in a direction parallel to a plane defined by the bottom 140. The ribs 125 may be uniformly distributed along the side wall 120, preferably from the bottom 140 to the top portion 130. The ribs 125 may offer resistance against, for example, the inward squeezing of the cup when it is being held by a consumer.

The paper wrap 115 may be disposed on the side wall 120 such that the polypropylene cup body is masked from the consumer. The paper wrap may be of a smooth material and may be suitable for displaying printing material. The paper wrap 115 may be disposed on the side wall 120 with an adhesive or by any suitable method. An adhesive may be used to adhere the wrap 115 to the ribs 125, the top portion of the side wall 120, or to the bottom 140.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the cup body 110 of the beverage container 100. The cup body may be constructed of polypropylene or other suitably durable material and may be formed by any technique known to those skilled in the art. The cup body 110 may include the lip 135, the top portion 130, the ribs 125, and the bottom 140. The ribs 125 may be visible on the exterior of the cup body 110 and may partner with the paper wrap 115 to create gaps for insulation. The bottom 140 is shown with an interior base portion 141, a transition portion 142 and an exterior base portion 143.

FIG. 3 shows one method of making the beverage container 100 comprising a paper wrap 115 and a cup body 110. In step 1, a first edge 116 of a pre-cut paper wrap 115 may be adhered to the side wall 120 of a cup body 110. The first edge may be adhered to the side wall 120 through use of an adhesive. The first edge 116 may extend from the bottom 140 in a substantially vertical direction to the lip 135 of the cup body 110. The adhesive may be applied on the paper wrap 115 on a side 117 that will be disposed against the cup body 110. Alternatively, the adhesive may be applied to the side wall 120 such that the wrap 115 may be adhered to the side wall 120 when wrapping.

At step 2, the paper wrap 115 may be wrapped around the side wall 120, and pressed to adhere evenly and smoothly. Again, the lip 135 may be used as a stop to abut the wrap 115 against to help ensure uniform cover. The wrap 115 may extend from the lip 135 to the bottom 140. At step 3, wrapping of the paper wrap 115 to the side wall 120 may be completed by pressing a second edge 118 of the wrap 115 against the side wall 120 such that a seam 119 is formed. The paper wrap 115 may be adhered to the side wall 120 and may overlap the first edge 116 such that the seam 119 is formed between the second edge 118 and the underlying paper wrap 115.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the beverage container 100 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. As shown, the beverage container 100 may include a smooth paper wrap 115 that extends from the bottom 140 of the beverage container 100 to the lip 130.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the beverage container 100 with the paper wrap 115 and the cup body 110 partially cut-away to expose the interior of the beverage container 100. The bottom 140 may comprise the interior base portion 141, the transition portion 142, and the exterior base portion 143. The side wall 120 may comprise the plurality of ribs 125 and the top portion 130. The ribs 125 may be uniformly distributed along the side wall 120, preferably from the bottom 140 to the top portion 130. The ribs 125 may be “stepped” or in any other suitable arrangement such that a gap 118 is formed between the paper wrap 115 and the side wall 120.

FIG. 6 is a cut-away side view exposing the interior of the beverage container 100 in the vicinity of the bottom 140. The interior base portion 141, the transition portion 142, and the exterior base portion 143 may be molded as one integral body. Additionally, the bottom 140 may be molded such that it is integral with the side wall 120, forming an integral cup body 110. Alternatively, the bottom 140 may be attached to the side wall 120 such that a beverage contained in the beverage container 100 does not leak or spill out of the beverage container 100 in a vicinity of a seam between the side wall 120 and the bottom 140.

The exterior base portion 143 may serve as a resting base for the beverage container 100 when the beverage container 100 is placed, for example, on a flat surface such as a table. The interior base portion 141 may be inset from the lowermost edge 121 of the side wall 120 by a distance D. The transition portion 142 may have a rise and a run that defines the distance D.

The paper wrap 115 may extend to the lower most edge 121 of the side wall 120. The ribs 125 may be shaped such that gaps 118 are formed between the paper wrap 115 and the side wall 120 of the beverage container 100. That is, the ribs 125 may each be generally vertical, however, the ribs 125 may be “stepped” such that a rib 125A is further from a center of the beverage container than a rib 125B that is adjacent and below the rib 125A. In this way, the beverage container 100 may form a generally tapered shape. Of course, other arrangements consistent with alternative embodiments of the invention may be used to form gaps 118 between the ribs 125 and the paper wrap 115.

The gaps 118 may be an insulating air gaps, helping to protect the consumer's fingers from the heat or cold of a beverage that may be contained in the beverage container 100. Additionally, insulating air gaps such as the gaps 118 may help insulate the contents of the beverage from the ambient temperature and retard the cooling of a hot beverage or the warming of a cold beverage. The insulating characteristics of the beverage container 100 may also be adjusted by varying a thickness of the paper wrap 115 or of the side wall 120.

FIG. 7 is a cut-away side view exposing the interior of the beverage container 100 in the vicinity of the top portion 130. The lip 135 may be formed by rounding the top portion 130 of the side wall 120 or by any technique known to those skilled in the art. Additionally, the lip 135 may provide a stop 139 against which the paper wrap 115 may abut.

FIG. 8 is a top view and FIG. 9 is a bottom view of the beverage container 100. The lip 135 is of substantially the same round shape as the bottom 140 but has a larger diameter than the bottom 140. In this way, the beverage container 100 has a tapered shape. The ribs 125 are shown on the interior of the beverage container 100, as are the interior base portion 141, the transition portion 142 and the exterior base portion 143. The smooth paper wrap 115 is shown on the exterior of the beverage container 100, as are the interior base portion 141, the transition portion 142 and the exterior base portion 143.

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of an alternative paper exterior 215 for a beverage container in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the invention. The paper exterior 215 differs from the paper wrap 115 in that the paper exterior 215 includes a paper side wall 216 and a paper base 245.

FIG. 11 is a cut away side view of a beverage container 200 comprising a paper exterior 215 and a cup body 110. The cup body 110 may be the cup body 110 described with regard to FIG. 2. The paper exterior 215 may cover both the side walls 120 and the bottom 140 of the cup body 110. The paper exterior 215 may include a base 245 that is closed such that the bottom 140 of the cup body 110 is concealed. The base 245 may be adhered to the bottom 140 of the cup body 110. Alternatively, the base 245 may be attached to the paper side wall 216 such that the cup body 110 may be inserted into the paper exterior 215. The ribs 125 and the paper side wall 216 may form insulating air gaps 118. The paper exterior 215 and the side wall 120 of the cup body 110 may be adhered to each other using an adhesive or other suitable method. Additionally, the bottom 140 may also be adhered to the paper base 245 by any suitable method.

FIG. 12 is a cutaway side view of a beverage container 200 in the vicinity of the base 245. The side wall 216 of the paper exterior 215 may be folded at the lowermost edge 217 to form a receiving portion 218. The paper base 245 may be inserted in the receiving portion 218 and attached to a side wall 219 of the receiving portion 218 using adhesive or by any suitable method. In this way, the paper base 245 may be interconnected with the paper side wall 216.

Thus, there have been described an insulated beverage container with improved deflection characteristics and a method for making such a container. It will be appreciated that numerous modifications may be made to the example embodiments described herein, and that such modifications do not depart from the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8371471Feb 27, 2009Feb 12, 2013Alex I. KhowayloThermally broken beverage container and method of fabrication
DE102011078479A1 *Jun 30, 2011Jan 3, 2013Ptm Packaging Tools Machinery Pte. Ltd.Becher aus einem Papiermaterial und Verfahren zum Herstellen eines Bechers aus Papiermaterial
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/737
International ClassificationB65D25/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D81/3874
European ClassificationB65D81/38H4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 18, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: OBSIDIAN, LLC, AS COLLATERAL AGENT, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MORGAN STANLEY & CO. INCORPORATED, AS COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:022440/0261
Effective date: 20090107
Mar 13, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: WELLS FARGO FOOTHILL, LLC, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:NEW WINCUP HOLDINGS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:020645/0424
Effective date: 20080229
Mar 12, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: NEW RADNOR CHEMICAL CORPORATION, GEORGIA
Owner name: NEW RADNOR MANAGEMENT, INC., GEORGIA
Owner name: NEW STYROCHEM EUROPE DELAWARE, INC., GEORGIA
Owner name: NEW STYROCHEM U.S., LTD., GEORGIA
Owner name: NEW WINCUP EUROPE DELAWARE, INC., GEORGIA
Owner name: NEW WINCUP HOLDINGS, INC., GEORGIA
Owner name: TR INTERMEDIATE HOLDINGS, LLC, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: RELEASE AND REASSIGNMENT OF PATENTS AND PATENT APPLICATIONS;ASSIGNOR:GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:020638/0107
Effective date: 20080312
Owner name: WINCUP, INC., GEORGIA
Dec 5, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS AGENT, CO
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:TR INTERMEDIATE HOLDINGS, LLC;WINCUP, INC.;NEW RADNOR MANAGEMENT, INC.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:018584/0209
Effective date: 20061129
Owner name: MORGAN STANLEY & CO. INCORPORATED, AS COLLATERAL A
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:TR INTERMEDIATE HOLDINGS, LLC;NEW RADNOR MANAGEMENT, INC.;NEW WINCUP HOLDINGS, INC.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:018584/0192
Effective date: 20061129
Owner name: NEW WINCUP HOLDINGS, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WINCUP HOLDINGS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:018573/0917
Dec 4, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: RADNOR HOLDINGS CORPORATION, PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:NATIONAL CITY BUSINESS CREDIT, INC., AS AGENT;REEL/FRAME:018573/0668
Effective date: 20061129
Owner name: RADNOR HOLDINGS CORPORATION, PENNSYLVANIA
Owner name: STYROCHEM DELAWARE, INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Owner name: STYROCHEM U.S., LTD., PENNSYLVANIA
Owner name: STYROCHEM U.S., LTD., PENNSYLVANIA
Owner name: WINCUP HOLDINGS, INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:SILVER POINT FINANCE, L.L.C., AS AGENT;REEL/FRAME:018573/0515
Owner name: WINCUP HOLDINGS, INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Sep 1, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: SILVER POINT FINANCE L.L.C., AS AGENT, CONNECTICUT
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:RADNOR HOLDINGS CORPORATION;STYROCHEM U.S., LTD.;WINCUP HOLDINGS, INC.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:018194/0483
Effective date: 20060823
Jan 17, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: NATIONAL CITY BUSINESS CREDIT, INC., OHIO
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:WINCUP HOLDINGS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:017198/0403
Effective date: 20051229
Jan 20, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: WINCUP HOLDINGS, INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BRESLER, LEWIS;REEL/FRAME:015588/0586
Effective date: 20041216