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Publication numberUS20060226160 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/384,165
Publication dateOct 12, 2006
Filing dateMar 17, 2006
Priority dateMar 18, 2005
Publication number11384165, 384165, US 2006/0226160 A1, US 2006/226160 A1, US 20060226160 A1, US 20060226160A1, US 2006226160 A1, US 2006226160A1, US-A1-20060226160, US-A1-2006226160, US2006/0226160A1, US2006/226160A1, US20060226160 A1, US20060226160A1, US2006226160 A1, US2006226160A1
InventorsSami Elsaden, Steven Pinelli, Mark Fastabend
Original AssigneeSami Elsaden, Pinelli Steven N, Fastabend Mark E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Insulated drinking container
US 20060226160 A1
Abstract
An insulated container is provided with a trigger mechanism that operates a sealing mechanism. The trigger is provided in a recess of the container body and has an outer surface that is generally a continuum of the container sidewall body. The trigger is hingeably connected to a portion of the container in the recess to actuate the sealing mechanism.
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Claims(20)
1. A drinking container comprising:
a cup body having an outer wall surrounding an interior liquid receptacle for storing liquid, a recess in the cup body extending inwardly from a perimeter of the outer wall toward the liquid receptacle, and a moveable trigger positioned in the recess.
2. The drinking container of claim 1, wherein the trigger has an outer surface that is generally a continuum of the outer wall of the cup body adjacent the recess.
3. The drinking container of claim 1, wherein the trigger is longitudinally extending about a longitudinal axis of the cup body.
4. The drinking container of claim 1, wherein the recess has a longitudinal rear wall and opposing side walls.
5. The drinking container of claim 1, further comprising a lid removably connected to the cup body, the lid having an orifice adapted to allow liquid to pass out of the liquid receptacle of the drinking container, and a shutter reclosably closing the orifice.
6. The drinking container of claim 5, wherein the trigger is mechanically connected to the shutter to open and close the orifice in the lid.
7. The drinking container of claim 1, further comprising a seal that selectively opens and closes an opening to the liquid receptacle, the trigger being mechanically connected to the seal to manipulate the seal.
8. The drinking container of claim 7, further comprising a seal that selectively opens and closes an aperture to a separate vent hole of the drinking container, the trigger being mechanically connected to the seal to manipulate the seal.
9. The drinking container of claim 1, wherein the trigger is pivotally secured in the recess of the cup body.
10. A drinking container comprising:
a cup body having a liquid receptacle and an aperture providing access to the liquid receptacle, a lid closing the opening to the liquid receptacle, and a trigger hingeably connected to a portion of the cup body, the trigger controlling opening and closing of the aperture to the liquid receptacle.
11. The drinking container of claim 10, wherein the trigger moves from a first normal position to a second actuated position.
12. The drinking container of claim 11, further comprising a spring operably connected to the trigger to bias the trigger toward the normal position.
13. The drinking container of claim 10, wherein a portion of trigger pivots toward the liquid receptacle in an actuated position to assist in opening the aperture to the liquid receptacle.
14. The drinking container of claim 10, wherein a portion of the trigger pivots away from the liquid receptacle to operate as a hook.
15. The drinking container of claim 10, further comprising a recess in the cup body extending inwardly toward the liquid receptacle, the trigger being hingeably connected to the cup body in the recess.
16. The drinking container of claim 15, wherein the trigger has an outer surface that is generally coplanar with an outer wall of the cup body.
17. The drinking container of claim 16, wherein a majority of the outer surface of the trigger is generally a continuum of a surface of the outer wall of the cup body.
18. A drinking container comprising:
a cup body having a liquid receptacle and an outer wall exterior of the liquid receptacle, the cup body further having an opening providing access to the liquid receptacle;
a seal selectively closing the opening to the liquid receptacle; and,
a trigger having an outer surface generally coplanar with the outer wall of the cup body, the trigger being adapted to control opening and closing of the seal.
19. The drinking container of claim 18, wherein a majority of the outer surface of the trigger is generally a continuum of the outer wall of the cup body.
20. The drinking container of claim 18, further comprising a recess in the cup body extending inwardly toward the liquid receptacle, the trigger being hingeably connected to the cup body in the recess thereof.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/663,280, filed on Mar. 18, 2005, which is expressly incorporated herein by reference.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to a drinking containers, and more particularly to sealing mechanisms and trigger mechanisms for opening and closing orifices of drinking containers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Drinking containers, including insulated travel mugs, are well known in the art. While such drinking containers according to the prior art provide a number of advantageous features, they nevertheless have certain limitations. The present invention seeks to overcome certain of these limitations and other drawbacks of the prior art, and to provide new features not heretofore available. A full discussion of the features and advantages of the present invention is deferred to the following detailed description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally provides a drinking container. According to one embodiment the drinking container has a cup body with a liquid receptacle and one or more openings to the liquid receptacle, a gasket or seal or other closing member selectively covering the opening to the liquid receptacle, and a trigger hingeably connected to a portion of the cup body.

According to another embodiment, the trigger can be moved from the normal or non-actuated position to the actuated or open position to control the opening and closing of the opening to the liquid receptacle. When the trigger is positioned in the normal position the seal assembly is generally positioned in the closed position, and when the trigger is manipulated to the actuated position the seal assembly is generally positioned in the open position. Thus, the drinking container is useful as a travel mug because of its ability to automatically seal and unseal the opening to the liquid receptacle for the user to drink therefrom upon depressing and releasing the trigger.

According to another embodiment, a spring is provided. The spring is preferably operably connected to the trigger to bias the trigger toward the normal, closed or non-actuated position. In one embodiment the spring is also operably connected to the seal assembly to assist in biasing the seal toward the closed position.

According to another embodiment, a lid is provided. The lid may be removably connected to the cup body to generally close the opening to the liquid receptacle. In one embodiment the lid has an orifice and a shutter reclosably closing the orifice. Thus, in this embodiment liquid can pass out of the liquid receptacle of the drinking container when the seal is in the open or actuated position, and through the orifice when the shutter is open and in the actuated position.

According to another embodiment, the outer wall of the cup body has a recess extending inwardly from a perimeter of the outer wall toward the liquid receptacle. A moveable trigger, which may be hingeably or pivotably connected therein in various embodiments, is preferably positioned in the recess. Additionally, in a preferred embodiment utilizing a recess, the recess has a longitudinal rear wall and opposing side walls to house the trigger.

According to another embodiment, the cup body has an opening providing access to the liquid receptacle, a seal selectively closing the opening to the liquid receptacle, and a trigger having an outer surface generally coplanar with the outer wall of the cup body. The trigger is generally adapted to control closing and opening of the seal from the normal position to the actuated position. In one embodiment the trigger is mechanically connected to the seal to control opening and closing of the aperture providing access to the liquid receptacle. In another embodiment the trigger is mechanically connected to the shutter to open and close the drinking orifice in the lid.

According to another embodiment, the trigger has an outer surface that is generally a continuum of the outer wall of the cup body adjacent the recess when the trigger is in the normal position. Additionally, the trigger may have an outer surface that is generally coplanar with an outer wall of the cup body. Preferably, the trigger may be longitudinally extending about a longitudinal axis of the cup body.

According to another embodiment, the trigger is hingeably connected to the cup body in the recess and a portion of trigger pivots toward the liquid receptacle to actuate opening of the drinking aperture.

According to another embodiment, a vent is provided in the lid. The vent provides fluid communication between the liquid receptacle and the outside environment to assist as a pressure relief for the container. In one embodiment, the seal is configured to also provide for closing and opening the fluid communication between the liquid receptacle and the outside environment through the vent. Accordingly, in such an embodiment the seal operates as a valve to selectively opening and closing the vent. Further, in a preferred embodiment, the trigger is mechanically connected to the seal to control opening and closing of the vent.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification taken in conjunction with the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To understand the present invention, it will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of one embodiment of an insulated drinking container;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of one embodiment of an insulated drinking container;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of one embodiment of a lid assembly for an insulated drinking container;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of one embodiment of a plunger assembly for an insulated drinking container;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the lid assembly of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the lid assembly of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view about line 7-7 of the insulated drinking container of FIG. 5, with the sealing mechanism in the normal position;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional side view about line 8-8 of the insulated drinking container of FIG. 5, with the sealing mechanism in the closed position;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged cross-sectional side view about line 7-7 of the insulated drinking container of FIG. 5, with the sealing mechanism in the actuated position;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional perspective view of the sealing mechanism for an insulated drinking container in the normal position;

FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional perspective view of the sealing mechanism for an insulated drinking container in the actuated position; and,

FIG. 12 is a top perspective view of a sealing mechanism for an insulated drinking container with the lid cover partially broken away.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiments in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

Referring now to the Figures, and specifically to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown an insulated drinking container 10. The container 10 is generally comprised of a container body 12 for holding liquid, and a lid assembly 14 that can be secured to the container body 12. As explained in detail herein, the lid assembly 14 generally covers an opening of the liquid receptacle 16 in the drinking container 10. Additionally, in one embodiment a seal assembly 18 is provided and is preferably removably connected to the lid assembly 14. Also, a trigger assembly 20 is utilized to actuate the seal assembly 18 to provide for opening and closing one or more openings for allowing liquid to be dispelled from the liquid receptacle 16 of the drinking container 10. Further, in a preferred embodiment, the trigger assembly 20 is at least partially provided in a recess 22 in the container body 12.

As best shown in the exploded view of FIG. 2 and the cross-sectional view of FIG. 7, in one embodiment the container body 12 is formed of a dual-walled construction utilizing an inner wall component 24 and an outer wall component 26, and having a cavity 28 therebetween. Such a dual-walled construction can be insulated with an insulating foam provided in the cavity 28 or with a vacuum sealed construction to increase the thermal efficiency of the container 10. As shown in FIG. 7, in one embodiment an insulating foam is inserted in the cavity 28 of the dual-walled container body 12 after the outer wall component 26 is connected to the inner wall component 24. Alternatively or additionally, a vacuum seal insulation technique may be employed utilizing traditional vacuum seal techniques to vacuum seal the cavity 28 of the container body 12. In a preferred embodiment, the inner wall component 24 and the outer wall component 26 are made of stainless steel material.

Referring to FIGS. 2, 7 and 8, it can be seen that in one embodiment the inner wall component 24 has a sidewall 30 joining a bottom wall 32 to define the liquid receptacle 16 of the container 10. An opening 31 into the liquid receptacle 16 is provided at the end of the sidewall 30 opposing the bottom wall 32. Further, in one embodiment wherein the trigger assembly 20 is provided in the recess 22 in the container body 12, the sidewall 30 of the inner wall component 24 has a recess or depression 34 extending inwardly toward the liquid receptacle 16 (FIG. 7). The recess or depression 34 in the sidewall 30 of the inner wall component 24 of the preferred embodiment is longitudinal in shape to accept the preferred trigger assembly 20. Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, it is shown that, except for the depression 34 in the sidewall 30, in one embodiment the sidewall 30 of the inner wall component 24 has a generally cylindrical shape.

As is explained herein, the outer wall component 26 also has a recess or depression 36 generally corresponding to the depression 34 in the inner wall component 24. It is understood that in such an embodiment it is not necessary that both the inner wall component 24 and outer wall component 26 have a depression 36 to create the recess 22 in the container body 12, however, to allow for preferred nesting of the depressions 34, 36 in the inner wall component 24 and outer wall component 26, which in at least one embodiment results in minimizing the thickness of the cavity 28 between the inner wall component 24 and outer wall component 26 and maximizing the volume of the liquid receptacle 16, such a configuration is preferred. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 7, the depression 34 in the inner wall component 24 in the preferred embodiment is longitudinal in shape, however it does not extend the entire length of the sidewall 30 of the inner wall component 24. Accordingly, the interior volume of the liquid receptacle 16 is maximized.

Referring again to FIGS. 2, 7 and 8, in one embodiment the outer wall component 26 is a generally cylindrical component, having a sidewall 38 and a hollow interior with openings at opposing ends of the sidewall. Further, in a preferred embodiment the outer wall component 26 has a cross-sectional geometry that changes from one end of the sidewall 38 to the opposing end of the sidewall 38 as the top portion of the outer wall component 26 has a flared aspect thereto. The outer wall component 26 has a first opening 42 provided at one end of the sidewall 38, and a second opening 44 provided at the other end of the sidewall 38. Additionally, in one embodiment wherein the trigger assembly 20 is provided in the recess 22 in the container body 12, the sidewall 38 of the outer wall component 26 has a recess or depression 36 extending radially inwardly from a perimeter of the sidewall 38 toward the hollow interior thereof. As explained above with respect to the inner wall component 24, the depression 36 in the outer wall component 26 of the preferred embodiment is longitudinal in shape to accept the preferred trigger assembly 20.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 7, in one embodiment the depression 36 in the outer wall component 26 also has a first portion 46 and a second portion 48. The first portion 46 of the depression 36 is that which corresponds to the recess 22 for retaining a portion of the trigger assembly 20, whereas the second portion 48 corresponds to the recess for housing the body panel 50. Generally, the first portion 46 of the depression 36 is deeper than the second portion 48 of the depression 36. Additionally, as shown in the drawings, the first portion 46 of the depression 36 generally extends from the first opening 42 of the outer wall component 26, however, the second portion 48 of the depression generally does not extend fully to the second opening 44 in the outer wall component 26.

In one embodiment the body panel 50 serves a plurality of purposes, including providing a stop for the trigger assembly 20, providing a filler to fill the second portion 48 of the outer depression 36 to decrease cost and increase the ease of manufacturability of the outer wall component 26, and providing improved aesthetics for the container. The body panel 50 is generally fixed to the outer wall component 26 via a panel weldment 52 (see FIG. 2) extending from the depression 36 in the outer wall component 26. Because the body panel 50 is connected to the outer wall component 26 of the container 10 and within the longitudinal recess 22 thereof, the outer surface of the body panel 50 generally continues the generally cylindrical outer circumference of the lower portion of the container 10.

Referring again to the inner wall component 24 of the container body 12, in a preferred embodiment first and second circumferential rings 54, 56 are provided in the sidewall 30 adjacent the opening 31 to the liquid receptacle 16 (See FIGS. 7 and 8). The first circumferential ring 54 is located proximal the opening 31 and extends generally radially outwardly and can be described as being formed as an outward annular deboss in the inner wall component 24. The second circumferential ring 56 is located adjacent the first circumferential ring 54 and distal the opening 31 with respect to the first circumferential ring 54. The second circumferential ring 56 extends generally radially inwardly and can be described as being formed as an inward annular emboss in the inner wall component 24. In a preferred embodiment the first and second circumferential rings 54, 56 are positioned immediately adjacent one another, and a portion of the second circumferential ring 56 is an inward extension of a lower leg 58 of the first circumferential ring 54. As is explained herein, in a preferred embodiment the combination of the first and second circumferential rings 54, 56 in the inner wall component 24 assist in retaining the body insert 60 for securing the lid assembly 14 to the container body 12. It is understood by those of ordinary skill in the art, however, that additional means for retaining the body insert to the container body are possible without departing from the scope or spirit of the present invention.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 7-8, the body insert 60 generally comprises a component that is fixed, typically permanently, to the inner wall component 24 of the container body 12 to assist in seating the inner wall component 24 with respect to the outer wall component 26, and to provide a connection point for securing the lid assembly 14 to the container body 12. In one embodiment the body insert 60 generally has an upper generally cylindrical portion 62, a lower generally cylindrical portion 64, and a flange 66 therebetween extending from a perimeter of the body insert 60. The lower generally cylindrical portion 64 has a shoulder 68 protruding radially outwardly from the generally cylindrical portion 64. The shoulder 68 is configured to mate with the first circumferential ring 54 in the inner wall component 24 of the container body 12 to assist in fixing the body insert 60 to the inner wall component 24.

In a preferred embodiment, the lower generally cylindrical portion 64 of the body insert 60 is preferably pressed through the opening 31 in the inner wall component 24 and partially into the liquid receptacle 16 of the inner wall component 24. As the body insert 60 is being pressed into its proper position the shoulder 68 on the lower generally cylindrical portion 64 will generally snap into place in the first circumferential ring 54. The second circumferential ring 56 engages a lower portion of the shoulder 68 to operate as stop, thereby assisting in properly seating the body insert 60 and preventing the body insert 60 from being inserted too far into the liquid receptacle 16. Further, an upper leg 70 of the first circumferential ring 54 engages an upper portion of the shoulder 68 to prevent the body insert 60 from being removed or disengaged from the inner wall component 24. Once connected to the container body 12, the body insert 60 is preferably permanently fixed in place.

Referring again to FIGS. 2 and 7-9, in one embodiment a gasket 72 is provided to assist in sealing the connection between the body insert 60 and the inner wall component 24. As is described additionally herein, the gasket 72 also assists in sealing an exit to the cavity 28 between the inner and outer wall components 24, 26. The gasket 72 has an outer geometry that generally mirrors the sidewall 38 configuration of the outer wall component 26, including having a recess that matches the recess 36 in the outer wall component 26. The gasket 72 also has an aperture 74 through which the lower generally cylindrical portion 64 is fitted. The gasket 72 is generally positioned against the lower surface 78 of the flange 66 of the body insert 60. Accordingly, as the lower generally cylindrical portion 64 of the body insert 60 is pressed into the opening 31 of the inner wall component 24, and as the shoulder 68 is positioned in the first circumferential ring 54, a radially inward portion of the gasket 72 is squeezed between the lower surface 78 of the flange 66 and the end of the sidewall 30 at the opening 31 of the inner wall component 24 to operate as a seal and prevent liquid from escaping between the body insert 60 and the inner wall component 24. Additionally, an outer portion of the gasket 72 has a wiper seal 76 that engages the inner surface of the sidewall 38 of the outer wall component 26. The outer portion of the gasket 72 generally operates as a seal or barrier at one end of the cavity 28 between the inner wall component 24 and the outer wall component 26.

As explained above, the flange 66 extends from a perimeter of the body insert 60 between the upper generally cylindrical portion 62 and the lower generally cylindrical portion 64. In one embodiment, the flange 66 has a first surface 78 that engages the gasket 72 between the body insert 60 and the inner wall component 24, and a second surface 80 that engages the lip of the outer wall component 26 adjacent the first opening 42 of the outer wall component 26, and is positioned between the container body 12 and the lid assembly 14 when the lid assembly 14 is fitted on the container body 12. As shown in FIG. 9, the second surface 80 of the flange 66 has a plurality of steps 82. One step is the portion of the flange 66 that engages the lip of the outer wall component 26, and other steps 82 assist in properly seating and retaining the gasket 72, which has a corresponding step that mates with the steps 82 in the flange 66.

The flange 66 has a perimeter that generally mirrors the perimeter of the lid assembly 14 of the container 10. Accordingly, as shown in FIG. 2, the flange 66 has a portion which extends above the recess 22 in the container body 12. This portion of the flange 66 has an aperture 87 therethrough which allows a portion of the trigger assembly 20 to extend through the flange 66 and to mate with the transfer bar 160 in the lid assembly 14. As shown in FIG. 2, the flange 66 also has a pair of pivot retainers 89 depending from the lower surface 78 of the flange 66 on opposing sides of the aperture 87 in the flange 66. As explained herein, the pivot retainers 89 engage ears 134 (see FIG. 2) extending from the trigger assembly 20 to allow the trigger assembly 20 to pivot thereabout for actuating the seal assembly 18 in the lid assembly 14.

After the body insert 60 is seated in the inner wall component 24 and the inner wall component 24 is fitted into the hollow interior of the outer wall component 26 such that the second surface 80 of the flange 66 engages the lip of the outer wall component 26, the inner wall component 24 can be fixed to the outer wall component 26.

To fixedly join the inner wall component 24 to the outer wall component 26 in a preferred embodiment, a variety of components and/or fasteners are utilized, such as a wall nut 88, a base 90 and a fastener 92. Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, the wall nut 88 is fixed to the bottom wall 32 of the inner wall component 24 within a depression 94 at the outside of the bottom wall 32. The base 90 is a generally planar circular metal component having a plurality of apertures therein. In one embodiment, the base 90 is welded to a lip at the second opening 44 of the outer wall component 26. Next the fastener 92, such as a screw, is inserted through the middle aperture 100 in the base 90 and is threaded into the wall nut 88. As the fastener 92 is turned, the outer wall component 26 is pulled tighter against the inner wall component 24 until the second surface 80 of the flange 66 engages the lip of the outer wall component 26. After the outer and inner wall components 24, 26 are adequately secured together, insulation is injected into the cavity 28 between the inner wall component 24 and the outer wall component 26. To accomplish this step, in a preferred embodiment the insulation foam is injected into the cavity 28 through one of the apertures, while the other aperture is used to allow air to escape from the cavity 28.

After the cavity 28 is filled with foam insulation the bottom member 102 of the container body 12 is connected to the outer wall component 26. In one embodiment, the bottom member 102 has a cup-like configuration. The bottom member 102 operates to conceal the base 90 and the affixing components that connect the inner and outer wall components 24, 26, as well as concealing the apertures in the base 90. The sidewall 104 of the bottom member 102 is secured, typically via ultrasonic welding, to the outer portion of the sidewall 38 of the outer wall component 26 to complete the container body 12.

Referring again to the body insert 60 as shown in FIGS. 7-11, an upper generally cylindrical portion 62 is provided above the flange 66 and on the opposite side of the flange 66 as the lower generally cylindrical portion 64 identified above. The upper generally cylindrical portion 62 has a first mating member 106, which in a preferred embodiment is an internal thread 106 on the inner surface of the upper generally cylindrical portion 62, that allows the body insert 60 to accept and retain the lid assembly 14 through the use of a corresponding mating member 190, which is preferably a mating external thread, on a portion of the lid assembly 14. Alternatively, the first mating member 106 may be a bayonet-style mating member that is adapted to mate with the lid assembly 14 to secure the lid assembly 14 to the body insert 60, or some other style mating member. In a preferred embodiment, the lid assembly 14 is connected to the body insert 60 in only a single final position, thereby allowing various components of the trigger mechanism 20 to mate with various components of the sealing assembly 18 in the lid assembly 14 as is explained herein. In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, the upper generally cylindrical portion 62 has a notch 108 which operates as a stop to ensure that the lid assembly 14 is not overtightened on the container body 12 and thus is properly seated on the body insert 60 such that the transfer bar 160 will appropriately engage the pusher lever 112 of the trigger assembly 20.

Further, while the body insert 60 is generally made of a plastic material, in one embodiment the body insert 60 is made of a thermoplastic material which changes color as the liquid in the liquid receptacle 16 of the container 10 changes temperature. Accordingly, the user will be alerted as to the approximate temperature category of the liquid contents of the container 10. For example, in one embodiment the body insert 60 is orange at room temperature, but changes to white as its temperature increases. In use the body insert 60 will change to white when the temperature of the liquid contents is approximately greater than 120° F. As the temperature of the liquid contents decreases the orange color of the body insert 60 will intensify until the body insert 60 becomes, as in one embodiment, an orange color. Thus, in such an embodiment when the body insert 60 is an orange color it is an indication to the user that the temperature of the liquid contents is approximately 90° F. or less.

As shown in FIGS. 2, 7, 9 and 10, the trigger assembly 20 generally comprises a trigger member 110 and a pusher lever 112. The trigger assembly 20 generally resides in the recess 22 in the container body 12. In one embodiment additional components, such as the trigger plate 114, the body panel 50 and the body panel plate 118 are also provided therewith.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 7, the body panel plate 118 is generally an aesthetic fixture mounted to the body panel 50, and similarly the trigger plate 114 is generally an aesthetic fixture mounted to the trigger member 110. In a preferred embodiment the body panel 50 and the trigger member 110 are made of a plastic material, such as ABS, and the body panel plate 118 and the trigger plate 114 are generally made of a textured fabric in a preferred embodiment, however, they may also be made of any acceptable material, including a stainless steel material. As explained above, the body panel 50 with the body panel plate 118 connected thereto is generally fixed in the second portion 48 of the recess 22. More specifically, as shown in FIG. 2, the body panel 50 is connected in the recess 22 of the container body 12 at the top and bottom ends of the body panel 50. To connect the bottom end of the body panel 50 in one embodiment, a lip 53 extends from the bottom of the body panel 50, and the lip 53 is seated between the outer surface of the sidewall 38 of the outer wall component 26 in the second portion 48 of the depression 36, and the inner surface of the sidewall 104 of the bottom member 102. After the lip 53 is properly seated the top end of the body panel 50 can be secured to the container body 12. To accomplish this the top end of the body panel 50 is snapped against a connector 52 extending from the outer surface of the sidewall 38 of the outer wall component 26 in the second portion 48 of the depression 36, and held in place by the connector 52. Because the body panel 50 is connected to the outer wall component 26 of the container 10 and within the depression 36 thereof, the outer surface of the body panel 50 (i.e., the body panel plate 118) generally continues the generally cylindrical outer circumference of the lower portion of the container 10.

After the body panel 50 is seated in place the trigger assembly 20 can be connected to the container 10. In one embodiment, however, a portion of the trigger assembly 20 is preassembled prior to connecting the trigger assembly 20 to the container 10. To accomplish the preassembly of this trigger assembly 20, the trigger plate 114 is first fixed to the trigger member 110. In a preferred embodiment the trigger member 110 is made of a plastic material, such as ABS, and the trigger plate 114 is made of stainless steel.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the trigger member 110 has a geometry that generally matches the geometry of the recess 22 of the container body 12. Accordingly, in one embodiment the trigger member 110 is longitudinal in shape. In such a configuration the trigger member 110 has a first end 120, a second end 122, a first sidewall, 124, a second sidewall 126, an outer surface 128 (generally comprising the outer surface of the trigger plate 114, if one is affixed thereto), an inner surface 130, and a receiver 132 for connecting with the pusher lever 112. The trigger member 110 also a pair of ears 134 extending from the trigger member 110 adjacent the first end 120 thereof, and a stop 136 adjacent the second end 122 of the trigger member 110. The ears 134 on the trigger member 110 engage the respective pivot retainers 89 depending from the lower surface of the flange 66 to connect the trigger assembly 14 to the container 10. Most preferably, the ears 134 on the trigger member 110 have a cylindrically shaped portion which is inserted into a mating aperture in each respective pivot retainer 89 to fix the trigger assembly 20 to the body insert 60, but also to allow the trigger member 110 to rotate about a pivot axis defined by a centerline through the pivot retainers 89. Further, the trigger member 110 has a protrusion 135 extending from the outer surface 128 at the second end 122 of the trigger member 110 that operates as an indicator to indicate to the user where to push the trigger member 110 to actuate the sealing mechanism 18 on the container 10 for allowing liquid to be dispelled from the container 10.

In one embodiment, the receiver 132 of the trigger member 110 comprises a mating portion of the trigger member 110 into which a portion of the pusher lever 112 is inserted to mate the pusher lever 112 with the trigger member 110. As shown in FIG. 2, in a preferred embodiment the receiver 132 comprises an opening adjacent the inner surface 130 and extending through a portion of both the first and second sidewalls 124, 126 of the trigger member 110. As is explained herein, pins 142 on the pusher lever 112 are inserted into the receivers 132 to retain the pusher lever 112 to the trigger member 110, but also to allow the pusher lever 112 to rotate with respect to the trigger member 110. Generally, the pusher lever 112 is connected to and pivots about the receiver 132 of the trigger member 110 at a position located generally a distance from the first end 120 of the trigger member 110. In one embodiment the pusher lever 112 pivots about the trigger member 110 at a location approximately ¼ of the length down from the first end 120 of the trigger 110.

As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 7, in one embodiment the pusher lever 112 comprises a body portion 140, a plurality of pins 142, a spring lever 144, and an engaging member 146. In this embodiment the spring lever 144 extends from a lower side of the body portion 140 and is generally elongated in shape with a central portion 148 and an end 150 positioned distal both the body portion 140 and the pivot pins 142 extending from the body portion 140. Accordingly, in this embodiment the spring lever 144 operates as a leaf spring. The engaging member 146 of the pusher lever 112 generally extends from an opposing upper side of the body portion 140. The engaging member 146 has a detent area 152 that assists in engaging and retaining the transfer bar 160 for manipulating the sealing assembly 18 following actuation of the trigger member 110.

As explained above, the pusher lever 112 is connected to the trigger member 110 by inserting the pins 142 of the pusher lever 112 into the receiver 132 on the trigger member 110. In this embodiment, however, the pusher lever 112 can still pivot about the axis of the pins 142 within the receiver 132 of the trigger member 110. After the pusher lever 112 is connected to the trigger member 110 the trigger assembly 20 can be connected to the container body 12. To connect the trigger assembly 20 to the container body 12 the stop 136 at the second end 122 of the trigger member 110 is fitted in a recessed slot 154 on the top of the body panel 50; the engaging member 146 of the pusher lever 112 is fitted through the aperture 87 in the flange 66 of the body insert 60; and the ears 134 on the trigger member 110 are connected in a pivotal relationship within the pivot retainers 89 extending from a lower surface of the flange 66 of the body insert 60. Accordingly, referring to FIG. 7, when the trigger assembly 20 is inserted in position on the container body 12, the end 150 of the spring lever 144 of the pusher lever 112 engages the sidewall 38 in the recess 36 of the outer wall component 26 of the container body 12, and the central portion 148 of the spring lever 144 engages the inner surface 130 of the trigger member 110, while the pivot pins 142 pivot in the receiver 132 of the trigger member 110.

FIG. 7 illustrates one embodiment of the container 10 in the normal position wherein the sealing mechanism 18 is closed. Conversely, FIGS. 9 and 11 illustrate one embodiment of the container 10 in the actuated position whereby the sealing mechanism 18 is open. To actuate the trigger assembly 20, the trigger 110 is pushed radially inward (generally at the protrusion 135 extending from the outer surface 128 at the second end 122 of the trigger member 110) toward the recess 22. As the second end 122 of the trigger 110 pivots radially inward about its ears 124 in the pivot retainers 89 and toward the sidewall 38 of the outer wall component 26, the inner surface 130 of the trigger member 110 pushes on the central portion 148 of the spring lever 144. Because the end 150 of the spring lever 144 is positioned against the sidewall 38 of the outer wall component 26, when the central portion 148 of the spring lever 144 is pushed inwardly, the pusher lever 112 pivots about the axis of the pivot pins 142 thereby moving the engaging member 146 at the top of the pusher lever 112 radially outward in the aperture 87 of the flange 66 of the body insert 60. Thus, as the user actuates the trigger 110 by pushing inward on the protrusion 135, the engaging member 146 of the pusher lever, 112 pivots away from the central axis of the container body 12. By connecting the pivots pins 142 to the trigger 110 down from the first end 120 of the trigger member 110, increased travel of the engaging member 146 portion of the pusher lever 112 radially outwardly is attained. As shown in the Figures, the outer surface of the trigger 110 is generally a continuum of the outer wall 38 of the cup body 12. Further, the outer surface of the trigger 110 is generally coplanar with the outer wall 38 of the cup body 12.

In an alternate embodiment, the first end 120 of the trigger 110 may be pushed radially inward toward the longitudinal recess 22 to pivot the second end 122 of the trigger 110 outward from the container body 12 and to thereby provide a hook for sliding a strap, belt or some other member between the container body 12 and trigger 110 for retaining the container 10 thereto.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 7-12, a plurality of components provided in the lid assembly 14 are utilized to interact between the trigger assembly 20 and the sealing assembly 18. Such components are actuated by components of the trigger mechanism 20 and, in one embodiment, may include a transfer bar 160, a pivot link 162, and a pivot seal 164. The transfer bar 160 and the pivot link 162 are generally provided between the upper lid 166 and the lower lid 168, and a majority of the pivot seal 164 is generally provided below the lower lid 168. As is explained in detail herein, after the appropriate components are assembled between the upper and lower lids, the lower lid 168 is permanently fixed, such as by ultrasonic welding, to the upper lid 166.

In a preferred embodiment as shown in FIGS. 3 and 9, the lower lid 168 comprises a base member 170 having an upper surface 171 and a lower surface 173, and a generally cylindrical extension 172 extending from the lower surface 173. The base member 170 has a plurality of apertures therein. For example, a first aperture 174 is provided to allow liquid to pass out of the liquid receptacle 16 and through the drink orifice 176 in the upper lid 166. A second aperture 178 is provided to allow the pivot link 162 to rotate against the pivot seal 164 to actuate the plunger 220. A third aperture 180 is provided as a vent opening to mate with the vent hole 182 in the upper lid 166 to allow built-up pressure to escape out of the drink receptacle 16. A fourth aperture or recess 184 is provided in the base member 170 to allow a portion of the transfer bar 160 to extend downward through the base member 170 to engage the trigger mechanism 20. Finally, a series of apertures 186 are provided to retain extensions 188 of the pivot seal 164 to connect the pivot seal 164 in place. In a preferred embodiment the surface of the base member 170 is polished around the first and third apertures 174, 180 to assist in allowing excess liquid that is not expelled out through the respective openings in the upper lid 166 to drain more easily back into the liquid cavity 16 of the container 10. Similarly, the top surface of the upper lid 166 adjacent the drinking orifice and the vent hole are also preferably polished to allow excess liquid to drain more easily back into the drink receptacle 16.

The generally cylindrical extension 172 protruding downwardly from the lower surface 173 of the base member 170 is utilized to mate the lid assembly 14 to the container body 12. A mating member 190, which in one embodiment is an external thread 190 on the outer surface of the cylindrical extension 172, is adapted to mate with the first mating member 106 of the upper generally cylindrical portion 62 of the body insert 60 to join the lid assembly 14 to the container body 60. The cylindrical extension 172 has a first end that is adjacent and joined to the base member 170, and a second end that extends away from and distal the base member 170. Preferably, the mating member 190 is provided toward the first end of the cylindrical extension 172. As shown in FIGS. 9-12, a lid seal 192 is joined to the second end of the cylindrical extension 172 about the outer circumference thereof to assist in sealing the lid assembly 14 to the container body 12. In one embodiment the lower lid 168 is made of a plastic material, such as an ABS material, and the lid seal 192 is made of silicon that is overmolded on the outer circumference of the cylindrical extension 172. Referring to FIG. 9, when the lid assembly 14 is fitted on the container body 12, the lid seal 192 engages the interior surface of the body insert 60 to prevent liquid from escaping between the body insert 60 and the lower lid 168.

Referring again to the components in the lid assembly 14, as best shown in FIGS. 3 and 12, in one embodiment the transfer bar 160 is generally L-shaped with a main body portion 194 generally resting on the upper surface 171 of the base member 170 of the lower lid 168, and a transverse component 196 extending downward through a recess or aperture 184 in the base member 170 of the lower lid 168. The transverse component 196 has a mating surface 198 which is utilized to engage a mating surface 152 on the engaging member 146 of the pusher lever 112. The main body portion 194 of the transfer bar 160 generally comprises first and second opposing walls 200, 202 with an opening 204 therebetween. A transverse portion 206 joins the first and second opposing walls 200, 202. The transverse portion 206 is also connected to the pivot link 162 to pivot or rotate the pivot link 162 that extends through the second aperture 178 in the base member 170 of the lower lid 168 and between the opposing walls 200, 202 and against the pivot seal 164 to actuate a portion of the sealing assembly 18. The transfer bar 160 also has a pair of arms 208 which are connected to a shutter 210 to actuate the shutter 210 as described in more detail herein. Accordingly, the shutter 210 is mechanically connected to the trigger 110.

As best shown in FIG. 3, the pivot link 162 has a shaft 212 portion at a first end of the pivot link 162 that connects in a receiver in the transverse portion 206 of the transfer bar 160. The second end 216 of the pivot link extends through the second aperture 178 in the lower lid 168 and contacts the upper surface 222 of the pivot seal 164. Accordingly, the pivot link 162 operates as a cam as the transfer bar 160 moves from its first or normal position (see FIGS. 7 and 10) to its second or actuated position (see FIGS. 9 and 11) to press on the pivot seal 164 and deform the pivot seal 164 downwardly against the plunger 220 of the seal assembly 18.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 9-11, in one embodiment the pivot seal 164 has an upper first surface 222 and a lower second surface 224. A perimeter of the upper surface 222 of the pivot seal 164 is connected, preferably in a fixed manner, to the lower surface 173 of the base member 170 of the lower lid 168 (see FIG. 11). A central portion of the pivot seal 164 is resilient and can be deformed by the pivot link 162. For example, when the trigger mechanism 20 is in the normal position the pivot link 162 merely rests on the upper surface 222 of the pivot seal 164, but generally does not deform the pivot seal 164 (see FIGS. 7 and 10). When the trigger mechanism 20 is actuated to open the seal assembly 18 so that liquid can be dispelled from the container 10, the pivot link 162 pushes downwardly on the upper surface 222 of the pivot seal 164 to deform the pivot seal 164 and press the lower surface 224 of the pivot seal 164 against the plunger 220 of the seal assembly 18 (see FIGS. 9 and 11).

In a preferred embodiment the shutter 210 operates as a closing member for the drinking orifice 176 in the upper lid 166. Because the shutter 210 is connected to the arms 208 of the transfer bar 160, as the trigger assembly 20 is actuated the shutter 210 is opened and closed. In one embodiment the shutter 210 has a panel 226 connected to a pair of arms 228. The shutter arms 228 are connected to the arms 208 of the transfer bar 160. In the normal or closed position the shutter 210 closes the drinking orifice 176 (see FIG. 10), but as the transfer bar 160 is moved by the trigger mechanism 20 the shutter 210 rotates backwards to open the drinking orifice 176 in the upper lid 166 (see FIGS. 9 and 11). A gasket or seal is preferably provided at the connection surfaces between the drinking orifice 176 and the panel 226 of the shutter 210. In one embodiment a silicon seal is overmolded on the upper surface of the panel 226 to seal the drinking orifice 176 when the shutter 210 is in the closed position, and in another embodiment a silicon seal is overmolded on the underside of the perimeter of the drinking orifice 176 to perform the same function.

Generally, the transfer bar 160, with pivot link 162 and shutter 210 connected thereto is placed in the appropriate location on the upper surface 171 of the base member 170 of the lower lid 168 prior to joining the upper lid 166 to the lower lid.

Referring to FIGS. 3, 5 and 9, the upper lid 168 generally comprises a top drinking surface 230, a sidewall 232 extending down from the drinking surface 230, and a plurality of internal ribs 234 extending down from the underside of the top drinking surface 230 to define a plurality of chambers, including a drinking chamber 236 and a vent chamber 238. The drink orifice 176 extends through the top drinking surface 230 and provides access to the drinking chamber 236, whereas the vent hole 182 extends through the top drinking surface 230 and provides access to the vent chamber 238. A slight depression or well 240 is provided in the top drinking surface 230 adjacent the drink orifice 176 to assist the flow of liquid to the user's mouth and to drain any remnant liquid back into the drinking chamber 236 for sealing by the shutter 210. Similarly, a slight depression or well 242 is provided in the top drinking surface 230 adjacent the vent hole 182.

The upper lid 166 is connected to the lower lid 168, typically via ultrasonic welding, in strategic locations to properly direct the flow of liquid out of the liquid receptacle 16 and through the drinking hole 176 to the user, as well as directing gaseous pressure out of the liquid receptacle 16 and through the vent hole 182. For example, in one embodiment the upper surface 171 of the base member 170 of the lower lid 168 is ultrasonically welded to the upper lid 166 at a shoulder in the sidewall and at various ribs 234 to ensure that liquid that flows out of the liquid receptacle 16, when the sealing assembly 18 is actuated and the plunger 220 pushed down, through the first aperture 174 and into the drinking chamber 236 for dispelling through the drink orifice 176 in the upper lid 166, without escaping elsewhere. Similarly, in one embodiment the upper surface 171 of the base member 170 of the lower lid 168 is ultrasonically welded to the upper lid 166 at the ribs 234, which defines the sidewalls of the vent chamber 238, to ensure that gas and/or liquid that is to vent out the vent hole 182 in the upper lid 166, for example when the sealing assembly 18 is actuated and the plunger is pushed down, flows through the third aperture 180 in the lower lid 168 and into the vent chamber 238 for dispelling through the vent hole 182 in the upper lid 166. Further, as shown in FIG. 9, the third aperture 180 in the lower lid 168 has a first cross-sectional area and first volume, and vent chamber 238 has a second cross-sectional area and a second volume. The cross-sectional area and volume of the vent chamber 238 being larger than that of the third aperture 180. Thus, the size of the vent chamber 238 is substantially larger than the size of the opening to the third aperture 180 such that as the sealing mechanism 18 is actuated and gas and/or liquid is released through the third aperture 180 in the lower lid 168, the pressure is dissipated in the vent chamber 238 and is not transferred out through the vent hole 182, which has generally the same area as the third aperture 180. This is to prevent a chimney effect through the vent holes.

The sealing assembly 18 is shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6-12. The sealing assembly 18 is connected to the lid assembly 14, and in one embodiment the sealing assembly 18 is removably connected to the lower lid 168. As best shown in FIG. 4, at least a portion of the sealing assembly 18 generally comprises a plunger 220, a plunger gasket 250, a spring 252, a plunger retainer 254 and an end cap 256. In different embodiments the shutter 210 is also part of the sealing assembly 18. In one embodiment the plunger 220 is made of a plastic material, and the plunger gasket 250 is a silicon component that operates as a seal and is connected to the plunger 220. The plunger gasket 250 is fixed to the plunger 210 to seal the plunger 220 against the lower surface 173 of the base member 170 of the lower lid 168 in the normal position of the trigger assembly 20 to simultaneously prevent liquid and/or gas from exiting the liquid receptacle 26 through any of the apertures 174, 180 in the lower lid 168. Accordingly, the seal operates as a valve for the container 10.

As best shown in FIG. 4, the plunger 220 has an integral post 258 extending from a bottom of the plunger 220. The post 258 of the plunger 220 is utilized to connect the plunger 220 to the plunger retainer 254 with the spring 252 therebetween. The plunger retainer 254 is a plastic component that has a plurality of spokes 260 and apertures 262, and a main bore 264 through which the plunger post 258 is inserted. Specifically, the spring 252 is placed around the plunger post 258, and the plunger post 258 is pushed downward into the main bore 264 of the plunger retainer 254. An end of the plunger post 258 is pushed beyond the lower surface of the plunger retainer 254 and is retained in place with the end cap 256 to secure the plunger 220 to the plunger retainer 254 with the spring 252 therebetween, thereby creating a plunger assembly. The spring 252, which is a preferably a stainless-steel compression spring in one embodiment, is positioned between the plunger 220 and the plunger retainer 254 to exert a separation force to push the plunger 220 away from the plunger retainer 254. Thus, through the geometry of the components of the seal assembly 18 described above, the sealing assembly 18 is stand-alone sub-assembly.

In on embodiment the sealing assembly 18 is removably connected to the lid assembly 14 to allow the sealing assembly 18 to be removed for cleaning of the container 10. Further, in a preferred embodiment the plunger retainer 254 has external threads 261 on an outer surface of the sidewall 263 of the plunger retainer 254. Similarly, mating internal threads 265 are provided on the inner surface of the cylindrical extension 172 of the lower lid 168. The combination of these mating members 261, 265 allow the sealing assembly 18 to be screwed to the mating threads on the underside of the lower lid 168 to secure the sealing assembly 18 in place (see FIG. 6), and subsequently unscrewed to be removed as a complete sub-assembly for cleaning.

In the closed or normal position, as shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 10, the plunger gasket 250 simultaneously closes both the first aperture 174 leading to the drinking chamber 236 and the drinking orifice 176, as well as the third aperture 180 leading to the vent chamber 238 and the vent hole 182. Similarly, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 11, in the actuated or open position the plunger gasket 250 simultaneously opens fluid flow through the first aperture 174 leading to the drinking chamber 236 and the drinking orifice 176, as well as the third aperture 180 leading to the vent chamber 238 and the vent hole 182.

Thus, when the user depresses or actuates the trigger 110 on the side of the container body 12, the trigger 110 actuates the pusher lever 112 to move its engaging member 146. The detent area 152 of the engaging member 146 is engaged with a mating surface 198 of the transverse component 196 of the transfer bar 160 in the lid assembly 14 of the container 10. As the pusher lever 112 moves radially outward the entire transfer bar 160 is moved horizontally away from the drinking aperture 176 of the container 10. By moving the transfer bar 160 horizontally away from the drinking aperture 176, the pivot link 162 pivotally connected to the transverse portion 206 of the transfer bar 160 pivots about the axis of its shaft portion 212 at its first end to allow its second end 216 to pivot or rotate downwardly through the second aperture 178 in the lower lid 168 and against the upper surface 218 of the pivot seal 164. The central portion of the pivot seal 164 is deformed downwardly by the force of the pivot link 162 to push the plunger 220 downwardly toward the plunger retainer 254.

Accordingly, as the pivot link 162 rotates downwardly toward the sealing assembly 18 through lateral movement of the transfer bar 160, the pivot link 162 and the pivot seal 164 are pushed downwardly on the plunger 220. The downward force of the pivot link 162 and pivot seal 164 on the plunger 220 causes the plunger 220 to move downward, overcoming the spring force of the spring 252 and breaking the seal between the plunger gasket 250 and the lower surface 173 of the base member 170 of the lower lid 168. Thus, referring to FIGS. 9 and 11, liquid can flow from the liquid receptacle 16 of the container body 12, through the apertures 262 in the plunger retainer 254 and/or around the sidewall of the plunger retainer 254, between the gap between the inner wall of the cylindrical extension of the lower lid 168 and the plunger 220, and up through the fluid aperture 174 in the lower lid 168. Vapor pressure can take a similar path up through the vent holes 180, 182 and vent chamber 238.

As shown in FIGS. 9 and 11, the horizontal motion of the transfer bar 160 also changes the angular orientation of the shutter 210 positioned in the drinking chamber 236 of the lid assembly 14 and at the exit of the drinking aperture 176 in the top of the lid upper 166 of the lid assembly 14. The shutter 210 is pivotally connected to the arms 208 of the transfer bar 160 such that as the transfer bar 160 moves horizontally the shutter 210 rotates about its pivot connection to the open the drinking aperture 176.

In sum, when the user depresses the trigger 110 (i.e., actuates the container 10) the pusher lever 112 engages the transfer bar 160 to move the transfer bar 160 horizontally away from the drinking aperture 176, thereby providing pivotal movement to both the pivot link 162 and the shutter 210. The pivotal movement of the pivot link 162 causes the pivot link 162 to push the pivot seal 164 downwardly to engage the plunger 220 and move the plunger 220 downward to break the seal between the plunger gasket 250 and the lower surface 173 of the lid lower 168. The shutter 210 is simultaneously rotated to open the drinking aperture 176. Thus, the liquid can then pass through the fluid aperture 174 in the lid base 168 and out the drinking aperture 176. As shown in FIG. 9, the fluid aperture 174 is offset from the drinking aperture 176. Further, FIGS. 6 and 7 shows that the vertical axis of the entire plunger assembly 18 is offset from the vertical axis of the liquid receptacle 16 of the container body 12.

When the user is done drinking, the user releases the trigger 110 and the sealing assembly 14, including the shutter 210, automatically closes and moves to the normal position. Specifically, the spring force of the spring 252 is no longer overcome and the spring 252 forces the plunger 220 upwards against the bottom 173 of the lid base 168 to close the fluid aperture 174 and the vent aperture 180. As this occurs, the pivot link 162 is rotated upward by the force of the spring 252 forcing the plunger 220 upward, thereby moving the transfer bar 110 to close the shutter 210 back to its normal, closed, non-actuated position. It is further understood that due to the vertical position of the pivot link 162 when the trigger 110 is depressed, the spring force of the spring 252 is substantially transferred into the lid upper 166, thereby making the trigger 110 generally easier to hold in the actuated position when the user drinks liquid flowing out of the container 10.

Several alternative embodiments and examples have been described and illustrated herein. A person of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate the features of the individual embodiments, and the possible combinations and variations of the components. A person of ordinary skill in the art would further appreciate that any of the embodiments could be provided in any combination with the other embodiments disclosed herein. Additionally, the terms “first,” “second,” “third,” and “fourth” as used herein are intended for illustrative purposes only and do not limit the embodiments in any way. Further, the term “plurality” as used herein indicates any number greater than one, either disjunctively or conjunctively, as necessary, up to an infinite number. Additionally, the term “having” as used herein in both the disclosure and claims, is utilized in an open-ended manner.

It will be understood that the invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or central characteristics thereof. The present examples and embodiments, therefore, are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, and the invention is not to be limited to the details given herein. Accordingly, while the specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of protection is only limited by the scope of the accompanying Claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7997442Jun 12, 2009Aug 16, 2011Ignite Usa, LlcTravel container having drinking orifice and vent aperture
US8272532Dec 21, 2007Sep 25, 2012Helen Of Troy LimitedBeverage container lid
US8360258 *Nov 15, 2010Jan 29, 2013Pacific Market International, LlcBeverage container closure
US8360267Aug 26, 2011Jan 29, 2013Ignite Usa, LlcDrinking container having locking drinking orifice and vent aperture
US8403173Jul 30, 2010Mar 26, 2013Pacific Market International, LlcBeverage container closure
US8464895 *Jun 27, 2011Jun 18, 2013Pacific Market International, LlcBeverage container with one-handed operation
US8573431Sep 7, 2011Nov 5, 2013Pacific Market International, LlcBeverage container closure with venting
US8746496Jan 24, 2013Jun 10, 2014Pacific Market International, LlcBeverage container closure
US8777040 *Aug 2, 2012Jul 15, 2014Pacific Market International, LlcFlask
US20080272134 *May 5, 2008Nov 6, 2008Rohe Jeffrey TButton actuated spill-proof lid for travel mug
US20120118890 *Nov 15, 2010May 17, 2012Gilbert Tyler SeanBeverage container closure
US20120325815 *Jun 27, 2011Dec 27, 2012Gilbert Tyler SeanBeverage container with one-handed operation
EP2540198A1 *Jun 26, 2012Jan 2, 2013Pacific Market International, LLCBeverage container with one-handed operation
WO2009082660A1 *Dec 18, 2008Jul 2, 2009Helen Of Troy LtdBeverage container lid
WO2010133654A1 *May 20, 2010Nov 25, 2010Nestec S.A.Dispensing cap
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/715
International ClassificationA47G19/22
Cooperative ClassificationA47G19/2272
European ClassificationA47G19/22B12G
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 9, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: IGNITE USA, LLC, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ELSADEN, SAMI;PINELLI, STEVEN N.;FASTABEND, MARK E.;REEL/FRAME:017752/0696
Effective date: 20060607