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Publication numberUS20060163251 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/043,202
Publication dateJul 27, 2006
Filing dateJan 26, 2005
Priority dateJan 26, 2005
Publication number043202, 11043202, US 2006/0163251 A1, US 2006/163251 A1, US 20060163251 A1, US 20060163251A1, US 2006163251 A1, US 2006163251A1, US-A1-20060163251, US-A1-2006163251, US2006/0163251A1, US2006/163251A1, US20060163251 A1, US20060163251A1, US2006163251 A1, US2006163251A1
InventorsJeremy Kelstrom, Eric Price
Original AssigneeJeremy Kelstrom, Eric Price
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Universal lid
US 20060163251 A1
Abstract
A lid apparatus includes a multicomponent barrier configured to be detachably secured to a container. The multicomponent barrier includes an inner layer and an outer layer that are interfitted such that the outer layer can be repositioned in relation to the inner layer to select one of multiple different barrier types.
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Claims(29)
1. A lid apparatus comprising:
a multicomponent barrier configured to be detachably secured to a container, the multicomponent barrier including an inner layer and an outer layer that are interfilted such that the outer layer can be repositioned in relation to the inner layer to select one of a plurality of different barrier types.
2. The lid apparatus of claim 1, wherein the inner and outer layers are interfitted with a track mechanism.
3. The lid apparatus of claim 2, wherein the track mechanism includes two substantially parallel tracks.
4. The lid apparatus of claim 3, wherein the two substantially parallel tracks are formed in the inner layer.
5. The lid apparatus of claim 1, wherein the inner and outer layers include complementary interlocking surfaces.
6. The lid apparatus of claim 1, wherein the multicomponent barrier includes a filter positioned between the inner and outer layers.
7. The lid apparatus of claim 6, wherein the filter is secured to the inner layer.
8. The lid apparatus of claim 6, wherein the outer layer includes an opening, and the filter is sufficiently large to cover the opening when the outer layer is positioned to align the opening with the filter.
9. The lid apparatus of claim 1, wherein the inner and outer layers are configured for providing a straw hole through the multicomponent barrier.
10. The lid apparatus of claim 1, wherein the outer layer includes a recessed area.
11. The lid apparatus of claim 1, wherein the plurality of different barrier types include a closed barrier and a filtered barrier.
12. The lid apparatus of claim 1, wherein the multicomponent barrier includes visible indicia for guiding a user of the lid apparatus in repositioned the outer layer to select one of the different barrier types.
13. A lid apparatus comprising:
a lower lid member, an upper lid member and a filter configured to provide a multifunctional barrier mechanism that is detachably securable to a container, the lower and upper lid members each include an opening and are mechanically coupled together such that a user of the lid apparatus can selectively reposition the upper lid member in relation to the lower lid member to one of
an open position where the openings are substantially aligned,
a filtered position where the filter is substantially aligned with the opening of the upper lid member, and
a closed position where the openings are not aligned.
14. The lid apparatus of claim 13, wherein the lower and upper lid members are configured such that the upper lid member is repositioned by rotating the upper lid member in relation to the lower lid member.
15. The lid apparatus of claim 13, wherein the lower and upper lid members include complementary interlocking surfaces for securing the upper lid member into one of the open, filtered and closed positions.
16. The lid apparatus of claim 13, wherein the filter is positioned between the lower and upper lid members.
17. The lid apparatus of claim 13, wherein the filter is secured to the lower lid member.
18. The lid apparatus of claim 13, wherein the filter covers the opening of the upper lid member when the upper lid member is in the filtered position.
19. The lid apparatus of claim 13, wherein the lower and upper lid members are configured for providing a straw hole therethrough.
20. The lid apparatus of claim 13, wherein the upper lid member includes a recessed area.
21. The lid apparatus of claim 13, wherein the lower and upper lid members include visible indicia for guiding a user of the lid apparatus in repositioned the upper lid member.
22. A lid apparatus comprising:
a barrier assembly that is detachably securable to a container, the barrier assembly including components that are repositionable in relation to each other to provide different barrier functions, the barrier assembly including visible indicia for guiding a user of the lid apparatus in repositioning one or more of the components.
23. The lid apparatus of claim 22, wherein the different barrier functions include a filtered barrier function and a closed barrier function.
24. The lid apparatus of claim 22, wherein the components include layers that are interfitted with a track mechanism.
25. The lid apparatus of claim 24, wherein the track mechanism includes multiple tracks.
26. The lid apparatus of claim 24, wherein the layers include complementary interlocking surfaces.
27. The lid apparatus of claim 24, wherein the components include a filter positioned between the layers.
28. The lid apparatus of claim 24, wherein the layers are configured for providing a straw hole through the barrier assembly.
29. The lid apparatus of claim 24, wherein the layers include a top layer with a centrally disposed reservoir.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates generally to lids for containers and, in particular, to multi-functional lids for containers.

BACKGROUND ART

Lids for containers exist in many different forms. Lids for containers that are designed to hold beverages, soups, shakes, whipped ice drinks, or other dispensable substances often have functional drawbacks that are sometimes related to the purpose for which the lids are designed. For example, some beverage lids for fast-food cups are functionally limited because they only include a straw hole for dispensing a beverage. Moreover, such cups often depend upon the lid (being well secured to the top of the cup) for structural stability. If a person were to remove such a lid and attempt to drink directly from the cup, the sides of the cup may collapse inward creating a situation where the cup slips out of the person's hand and/or the beverage within the cup is spilled. Other lids require that a person pull or peel away a portion of the lid to create an opening which unfortunately compromises the structural integrity and/or seal between the lid and container. Other container/lid combinations are generally susceptible to spillage, particularly when jostled about (e.g., when a person is walking with the container, or when a cup is secured to an accelerating or decelerating motorized vehicle). Still other lids fail to prevent a solid (e.g., a piece of ice) and/or semi-solid (e.g., juice pulp) material from exiting the container. It would be useful to be able to provide a lid for a container that addresses one or more of these deficiencies.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an example embodiment of a lid apparatus and a container to which it can be secured;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the lid apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3A shows an upper lid member of the lid apparatus of FIG. 1 from a top-side perspective view;

FIG. 3B shows the upper lid member of FIG. 3A from a bottom-side perspective view;

FIG. 4A shows a lower lid member of the lid apparatus of FIG. 1 from a top-side perspective view;

FIG. 4B shows a partial cross-sectional view of the lower lid member of FIG. 4A attached to a container;

FIG. 5A shows the lid apparatus of FIG. 1 in a closed position;

FIG. 5B shows the lid apparatus of FIG. 1 in a filtered position;

FIG. 5C shows the lid apparatus of FIG. 1 in an open position;

FIGS. 6A-6C illustrate how complementary portions of the upper and lower lid members of FIG. 1 interface when the upper and lower lid members are rotated in relation to each other; and

FIG. 7 illustrates example modifications that can be made to the lid apparatus of FIG. 1 to provide other lid apparatus embodiments.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention pertain to a “universal” lid apparatus that can be used in various configurations. In an example embodiment, a lid apparatus offers multiple drink options that are provided via a free-flow opening, a filter opening, and a straw opening. FIG. 1 shows an example embodiment of a lid apparatus 100 and a container 102 to which the lid apparatus 100 can be secured. The container 102 can be a cold beverage cup, a hot beverage cup, a soup cup, a whipped ice drink cup, or any other type of container.

In this example embodiment, the lid apparatus 100 includes an upper lid member 104 and a lower lid member 106 which are interfitted together such that they provide a multicomponent barrier wherein the upper lid member 104 and the lower lid member 106 serve as an “outer layer” and an “inner layer” of the multicomponent barrier, respectively. By way of example, the upper lid member 104 and the lower lid member 106 are made from a plastic such as polystyrene. Referring to FIG. 2 which shows an exploded view of the lid apparatus 100 of FIG. 1, in this example embodiment, the lid apparatus 100 also includes a filter 108 positioned between the upper lid member 104 and the lower lid member 106. By way of example, the filter 108 is made out of a plastic mesh with holes that are sufficiently small in size to prevent contaminants or other foreign objects, small bits of ice, and/or other particles from being dispensed from the container 102. It should be appreciated however that the filter can be made from other materials and/or the size of the holes provided by the filter can be varied. In this example embodiment, the filter 108 is sufficiently large to cover an opening 110 in the upper lid member 104. In this example embodiment, the filter 108 is generally shaped like a “cheese wedge” and includes an indented side surface 112 shaped as shown to permit a straw to pass through the lid apparatus 100. The lower lid member 106 includes a top surface 114 which spans across approximately one-half of the top of the lower lid member 106 as shown. In this example embodiment, the top surface 114 also includes an indented edge 116 shaped as shown to permit a straw to pass through the lid apparatus 100. In this example embodiment, the filter 108 is secured (e.g., with an adhesive) to the lower lid member 106 such that a bottom surface 118 of the filter 108 is below the top surface 114 of the lower lid member 106. In this example embodiment, the bottom surface 118 of the filter 108 is bound by side surfaces 119 a, 119 b and 119 c and by the indented side surface 112 as shown resulting in a recessed filter mechanism that filters beverage container contents dispensed through the bottom as well as the sides of the filter, while permitting the upper lip of a drinker to enter into the recess defined by the indented side surface 112, the bottom surface 118, and the side surfaces 119 a, 119 b and 119 c. In this example embodiment, the filter 108 is positioned adjacent to the top surface 114 and spans across approximately one-fourth of the top of the lower lid member 106 as shown which results in an opening 120 that spans across approximately one-fourth of the top of the lower lid member 106 as shown. In this example embodiment, boundaries of the opening 120 include edges of the top surface 114 and the filter 108 and a side portion 122 of the lower lid member 106. In addition to the opening 110, the upper lid member 104 includes a straw hole 124 which is centrally disposed in the upper lid member 104 to permit a straw to pass through the lid apparatus 100. In this example embodiment, the straw hole 124 is formed in a top surface 126 of the upper lid member 104 inside a recessed area 128 of the top surface 126. The recessed area 128 functions as a reservoir for fluid that may escape through the straw hole 124 and accumulate on the top surface 126 of the lid apparatus 100.

In an example embodiment, a lid apparatus includes a multicomponent barrier configured to be detachably secured to a container, the multicomponent barrier including an inner layer and an outer layer that are interfitted such that the outer layer can be repositioned in relation to the inner layer to select one of a multiple different barrier types. In this example, the barrier types include a closed barrier and a filtered barrier.

In an example embodiment, the upper lid member 104 is mechanically coupled to the lower lid member 106 to permit a person to rotate the upper lid member 104 to different positions: an open position where the openings 110 and 120 are aligned to permit the free flow of beverage container contents, a filtered position which aligns the opening 110 of the upper lid member 104 with the filter 108 to catch ice, strain pulp, filter possible contaminants, etc., and a closed position where the openings 110 and 120 are not aligned (and do not overlap). Thus, in an example embodiment, the upper lid member 104 and the lower lid member 106 are configured such that the upper lid member 104 is repositioned by rotating the upper lid member 104 in relation to the lower lid member 106.

In an example embodiment, a barrier assembly includes components (e.g., layers) that are interfitted with a track mechanism. In an example embodiment, the track mechanism includes multiple tracks. In an example embodiment, the side portion 122 of the lower lid member 106 (FIGS. 4A and 4B) includes two substantially parallel tracks 130 and 132 formed therein as shown, and an inside portion 134 (FIG. 3B) of the upper lid member 104 includes piping elements 136 and 138 formed thereon as shown. The upper lid member 104 is snapped onto the lower lid member 106 and, as discussed above, the filter 108 is positioned between the upper lid member 104 and the lower lid member 106. In this example embodiment, the piping elements 136 and 138 are snapped into the tracks 130 and 132, respectively. When assembled, a piping/track junction 140 (FIG. 1) results. The bottom lid member 106 is configured to be secured to the lip of the container 102. Because of the track mechanism, this allows the upper lid member 104 to rotate atop the bottom lid member 106. The track 132 also serves to prevent spillage out of the side of the container 102.

In an example embodiment, a barrier assembly includes components (e.g., layers) that include complementary interlocking surfaces. In an example embodiment, the side portion 122 of the lower lid member 106 (FIG. 4A) includes concavities (or divots) 142, and the upper lid member 104 includes complementary protrusions 144. In an example embodiment, these complementary interlocking surfaces are configured for securing the upper lid member 104 into one of the open, filtered and closed positions. FIGS. 6A-6C illustrate how the complementary portions of the upper and lower lid members interface when the upper and lower lid members are rotated in relation to each other. As the upper lid member 104 rotates atop the lower lid member 106, it arrives at each of the three positions when the protrusions 144 from the piping 136 line up with the concavities 142 of the bottom track 130 and snap into place. The structural design of the piping elements 136 and 138 creates a natural tension when the upper lid member 104 is rotated from one position to another. In an example embodiment, the bottom track 130 does not allow for much give. Consequently, when the protrusion is displaced from a concavity (divot) during rotation, pressure is exerted between the upper and lower portions of the lid, and the protrusion is naturally inclined to snap into a concavity in order to release the tension.

In an example embodiment, a lid apparatus includes a lower lid member, an upper lid member and a filter configured to provide a multifunctional barrier mechanism that is detachably securable to a container, the lower and upper lid members each include an opening and are mechanically coupled together such that a user of the lid apparatus can selectively reposition the upper lid member in relation to the lower lid member to one of: an open position where the openings are substantially aligned, a filtered position where the filter is substantially aligned with the opening of the upper lid member, and a closed position where the openings are not aligned. In an example embodiment, the filter covers the opening of the upper lid member when the upper lid member is in the filtered position.

Referring to FIGS. 5A-5C, in an example embodiment, the upper lid member 104 and the lower lid member 106 include visible indicia for guiding a user of the lid apparatus 100 in repositioned the upper lid member 104. As shown in this example, a side portion 146 of the upper lid member 104 includes symbol and text indicia 148, and the bottom lid member 106 includes alignment indicia 150. FIG. 5A shows the lid apparatus 100 in a closed position with symbol and text indicia 148 (denoted “CLOSED”) aligned with the alignment indicia 150. In this example, both of the symbol and text indicia 148 and the alignment indicia 150 include “dots” to assist a person in properly positioning the upper lid member 104 in relation to the lower lid member 106. In this example, the symbol and text indicia 148 also include “icons” indicative of the position that results when that particular indicia 148 is aligned with the indicia 150 to assist those who cannot read the text. FIG. 5B shows the lid apparatus 100 in a filtered position with symbol and text indicia 148 (denoted “FILTERED”) aligned with the alignment indicia 150. FIG. 5C shows the lid apparatus 100 in an open position with symbol and text indicia 148 (denoted “OPEN”) aligned with the alignment indicia 150. Thus, in an example embodiment, a multicomponent barrier includes visible indicia for guiding a user in repositioned a component of the multicomponent barrier to select one of multiple different barrier types.

In an example embodiment, a lid apparatus includes a barrier assembly that is detachably securable to a container, the barrier assembly including components that are repositionable in relation to each other to provide different barrier functions, the barrier assembly including visible indicia for guiding a user of the lid apparatus in repositioning one or more of the components. In an example embodiment, the different barrier functions include a filtered barrier function and a closed barrier function.

FIG. 7 illustrates example modifications that can be made to the lid apparatus 100. The size, shape and/or positioning of the opening 110 and/or the recessed area 128 can be changed. In this example, arrows 150 show how the recessed area 128 can be increased as indicated by dashed line 152 to provide a larger reservoir. In this example, arrows 154 show how the opening 110 can be decreased in size as indicated by dashed lines 156 to provide a smaller area from which the contents of the container can be dispensed. In this example, the side portion 146 can be provided with a griping surface 158 to assist a person with manipulating the lid apparatus 100.

Although the present invention has been described in terms of the example embodiments above, numerous modifications and/or additions to the above-described embodiments would be readily apparent to one skilled in the art. It is intended that the scope of the present invention extend to all such modifications and/or additions.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20110278314 *Oct 5, 2009Nov 17, 2011Lars BendixSealing means for beverage container
US20120080441 *Sep 23, 2011Apr 5, 2012Jer Hong LinDrinking contaier with cooling reservoir
US20130032592 *Oct 11, 2012Feb 7, 2013Nova LeeLeak proof collapsible cup
WO2008154496A2 *Jun 9, 2008Dec 18, 2008Filter Lid L L CDisposable cup lid
WO2013054083A1 *Mar 27, 2012Apr 18, 2013Carl WilliamsCover
WO2013163461A1 *Apr 25, 2013Oct 31, 2013Son-Cliff Inc. (D/B/A Gojito)Device for use in beverage containers