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Publication numberUS20060278650 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/260,041
Publication dateDec 14, 2006
Filing dateOct 26, 2005
Priority dateJun 9, 2005
Publication number11260041, 260041, US 2006/0278650 A1, US 2006/278650 A1, US 20060278650 A1, US 20060278650A1, US 2006278650 A1, US 2006278650A1, US-A1-20060278650, US-A1-2006278650, US2006/0278650A1, US2006/278650A1, US20060278650 A1, US20060278650A1, US2006278650 A1, US2006278650A1
InventorsJames Randall
Original AssigneeAlvimar Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Inflatable ornamental jacket for single service beverage dispenser
US 20060278650 A1
Abstract
An inflatable ornamental torroidal shaped jacket adapted to be situated and secured onto an open topped, cylindrical cold beverage dispenser which contains a plurality of canned and/or bottled beverages in an ice water bath in said dispenser.
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Claims(17)
1. An inflatable ornamental jacket for combination with a round, open-top cylindrical cold beverage dispenser having sidewalls and a bottom and adapted to contain a plurality of canned and/or bottled beverages in an ice or ice water bath, said jacket having a generally torroidal shape defined outer walls and inner walls surrounding a central aperture, said inner walls adapted to overlie said sidewalls of said jacket, said jacket adapted to be slideable onto and surround said sidewalls of said dispenser and to be secured thereto when inflated to have its inner wall distend inwardly to said dispenser and its outer walls distend outwardly to a predetermined three dimensional shape.
2. An inflatable ornamental jacket according to claim 1, wherein said jacket's inner and outer walls comprise thin flexible plastic sheet material.
3. An inflatable ornamental jacket according to claim 2, where said inner wall when said jacket is inflated, expand radially inwardly against and tightly engage said sidewalls of said dispenser, this engagement restraining said jacket from descending downward on said dispenser.
4. An inflatable ornamental jacket according to claim 3, wherein said jacket has an outer surface which defines a generally spherical shape truncated at the top and bottom.
5. An inflatable ornamental jacket according to claim 2, wherein said predetermined shape is selected from the group of shapes simulating a cauldron, a basketball, a football, a football helmet and a race car.
6. An inflatable ornamental jacket according to claim 1, further comprising coupling means extending from said jacket for engaging said sidewalls of said dispenser and securing said jacket to said dispenser.
7. An inflatable ornamental jacket according to claim 6, wherein said coupling means comprises a set of spaced apart straps extending from the bottom of said jacket, said straps adapted to be pulled toward each other and joined thereby urging parts of said inner wall of said jacket tightly against said dispenser.
8. An inflatable ornamental jacket according to claim 6, wherein said coupling means comprise a lip extending radially inward at the top of said jacket and adapted to overlie the top edge of said dispenser.
9. An inflatable ornamental jacket for combination with an open-top cylindrical cold beverage dispenser having sidewalls and a bottom and adapted to contain a plurality of canned and/or bottled beverages in an ice or ice water bath, said jacket having a generally torroidal or donut-like shape with a central bore of diameter adapted to overlie said sidewalls of said jacket, said jacket adapted to be slideable onto and surround said sidewalls of said dispenser and to be secured thereto.
10. In combination, an open-top cylindrical cold beverage dispenser having sidewalls and a bottom and adapted to contain a plurality of canned and/or bottled beverages in an ice or ice water bath, and an inflatable ornamental jacket having a generally torroidal or donut-like shape with a central bore of diameter adapted to overlie said sidewalls of said jacket, said jacket adapted to be slideable onto and surround said sidewalls of said dispenser and to be secured thereto.
11. An inflatable ornamental jacket for combination with an open-top product dispenser having sidewalls and a bottom and adapted to contain a plurality of commercial products for retail sale, said jacket having a generally torroidal or donut-like shape with a central bore of diameter adapted to overlie said sidewalls of said jacket, said jacket adapted to be slideable onto and surround said sidewalls of said dispenser and to be secured thereto.
12. An inflatable ornamental jacket for combination with an open-top beverage commercial product dispenser having sidewalls and a bottom and adapted to contain a plurality of commercial products for retail sale, said jacket having outer walls and inner walls, said inner walls adapted to be slideable onto and surround said sidewalls of said dispenser and to be secured thereto when said jacket is inflated and said inner wall distend inwardly to engage said dispenser, and said outer walls distend outwardly to a predetermined three dimensional shape.
13. An inflatable ornamental jacket for combination with a container having sidewalls and a bottom and adapted to contain a plurality of products, said jacket having outer walls and inner walls, said inner walls adapted to be slideable onto and surround said sidewalls of said container of said jacket and to be secured thereto when said jacket is inflated and said inner walls distend inwardly to engage said container, and said outer walls of said jacket distend outwardly to a predetermined three dimensional shape.
14. An inflatable ornamental jacket according to claim 13, wherein said container comprises a cylinder with a closed bottom and an open generally circular top.
15. An inflatable ornamental jacket according to claim 13, wherein said container comprises a generally rectangular box having four sides, a closed generally rectangular bottom and an open generally rectangular top.
16. An inflatable ornamental jacket according to claim 13, wherein said container is a cylindrical body comprising contiguous side walls enclosing a space.
17. An inflatable ornamental jacket according to claim 13, wherein said inner wall of said jacket distends, when inflated, to overlie and generally conform to said side walls of said container.
Description
    A. PRIORITY CLAIM
  • [0001]
    This utility application claims priority based upon U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/689,428 filed Jun. 9, 2005.
  • I. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    B. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    This invention is in the field of bins, dispensers and servers of cold beverage cans and bottles and in the field of graphic displays for promoting sales of products such as these beverages.
  • [0004]
    C. Prior Art Patents and Displays
  • [0005]
    A common beverage dispenser is simply an open-top round or rectangular bin or chest filled with ice, water and a collection of cans and/or bottles of popular beverages such as soda and beer. Such dispensers have height and breadth suitable for placement on the floor in a retail store, and suitable and convenient for viewing and access by customers. These dispensers are simple, inexpensive and are used in retail food and beverage stores all over the country.
  • [0006]
    Notwithstanding their practical functionality, it has been observed that these ubiquitous open top dispensers are somewhat boring and do little to encourage or influence customers to purchase more beverages or to purchase specific beverages. While these conventional dispensers may have advertisements, trademarks or other graphics on their outer wall surfaces, these surfaces are simple, round or rectangular cylindrical walls extending from top to bottom, with only a relatively small percentage of the outer wall surface visible at any given moment to a customer's view. This results in ineffective advertising and promotion.
  • [0007]
    The present invention seeks to dramatically improve the beverage dispenser appearance, to the extent that it is not only more attractive, but can effectively: (a) encourage general sales, (b) promote special sales featuring themes, events or holidays, and (c) promote sales where products are not so well known or not so popular as to sell themselves. Specific objects and a summary of the new invention follows below.
  • II. OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE NEW INVENTION
  • [0008]
    A first object of this invention is to provide a three-dimensional, inflatable, ornamental jacket structure for combination with a cold beverage dispenser of the type which is a large open top, cylindrical can or chest filled with ice and/or ice water and cans and/or bottles of beverages.
  • [0009]
    It is a further object of this invention to provide such an inflatable, ornamental jacket structure which is inexpensive, lightweight, easily stored, transported, inflated and installed, and has shape which inherently conveys a promotional theme or message. For example, during the week preceding an important basketball game, the jacket could have the shape of a large basketball and the graphics of the popular team, to encourage greater beer purchases by customers who are interested in that game. Notwithstanding the clear utility of this invention with cold beverage cans and bottles, these new inflatable jackets are similarly useful with bins and containers of other products.
  • [0010]
    Another object of this invention is to provide such an inflatable, ornamental jacket structure which has surface areas for advertising and promotional material that are extensive and more interesting than the straight, round walls of a cylindrical can. Such jacket structure may be in the form of an oversized basketball, football, soccer ball, golf ball, etc. that fits on and around the dispenser container. Often, the ornamental shape is symmetrical like a ball; however, the inflatable, ornamental structure could be non-symmetrical or partially-symmetrical like a football helmet or an inflatable replica of a Nascar race car. Thus, this ornamental inflatable jacket is particularly useful for promoting various sports themes and sports events.
  • [0011]
    The general sports theme of directing a ball to a target is employed where the jacket is an oversized ball, such as a basketball or a football, having a large central hole to surround the dispenses can and to allow customer access through the hole into the can.
  • [0012]
    A still additional object of this invention is to form the above-described type of inflatable, ornamental jacket structure using plastic sheets as the inner and outer walls, where the outer wall distends outwardly and establishes the desired outer shape and the inner wall distends inwardly and engages and conforms to the outer walls of the dispenser container.
  • [0013]
    Since the inner wall defines a hole, the ornamental jacket can be slid onto the top of the beverage server, and then inflated until the inner wall distends inwardly to securely engage the outer wall of the dispenser. The jacket will then be stabilized from sliding down or tipping.
  • [0014]
    Various other means are possible for restraining the jacket to stay near the top of the dispenser, such as (a) a lip or shoulder extending radially inwardly from the top of the jacket to engage the top of the can, (b) adhesive strips extending from the bottom of the jacket to the outside wall surface of the dispenser, or (c) belt like elements extending from lower parts of the jacket, which belts can be pulled toward each other until the jacket snugly engages the outer surface of the dispenser.
  • [0015]
    While the new ornamental inflatable jacket may have a theme-inspired outer shape, the inner wall shape is preferably a simple round cylinder. Since both the outer and inner walls extend completely around 360 degrees, the entire structure may be considered as having a generally torroidal or inner-tube shape with inner and outer walls, a central opening and top and bottom ends open. As noted above, the outer wall of the jacket will have the shape related to a sport theme, holiday or event, and the inner wall will preferably be round, but square and other shapes are possible as explained below. Where the dispenser bin has a round outer wall, and the jacket has a corresponding round inner wall of slightly greater diameter, the jacket in uninflated state will easily slide over the top of the bin. After positioning the jacket about the dispenser, the jacket can be inflated and the inner walls of the jacket will expand radially inward and tightly engage the dispenser's outer walls, thereby securing the jacket from sliding down the dispenser. A jacket with circular inner walls can tightly engage a square or rectangular bin by distending inwardly to the corners of the bin or distending inwardly to engage all or a substantial part of the straight rectangular walls.
  • [0016]
    The objects described above and others will be demonstrated more clearly by the drawings presented below and by the detailed descriptions of these drawings.
  • III. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0017]
    FIG. 1 is a top front perspective view of the ornamental inflatable beverage dispenser jacket shaped as a witch's cauldron for the Halloween theme.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 2 is a top plan view thereof.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 4 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 3 showing a second embodiment of the inflatable jacket in the form of a basketball.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 5 is an elevation view in section of a third embodiment having a football shape.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 6 is an elevation view in section of a fourth embodiment having a football helmet.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 7 is an elevation view in section of a fifth embodiment having a race car.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 8 is an elevation view in section of a sixth embodiment having a Velcro strap fastening means for securing the jacket to the beverage dispenser.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 9 is an elevation view in section of a seventh embodiment having a top lip for positioning the jacket on the beverage dispenser.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 10 shows the eight-panel construction forming a basketball shape of the jacket of FIG. 4.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 11 is a plan view of a single panel of the type seen in FIG. 10.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 12 is a top plan view of an eighth embodiment of the new inflatable ornamental jacket.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 13 is a front elevation view of the embodiment of FIG. 12.
  • IV. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0030]
    For convenience and clarity in describing these embodiments, similar elements or components appearing in different figures will have the same reference numbers.
  • [0031]
    The present invention concept involves use of an inflatable ornamental jacket whose outer wall defines a shape depending on a selected theme and whose inner wall distends to conform to and securely engage the outer surface of an encompassed beverage dispenser container. The drawings attached hereto illustrate a variety of embodiments of the present invention specifically, inflatable ornamental jackets having outer shapes corresponding to various specific themes, as follows.
  • [0032]
    FIGS. 1-3 show an inflatable jacket in the shape of a witch's cauldron for the Halloween theme, and FIGS. 4-7 represent the sports themes of basketball, football and auto racing.
  • [0033]
    FIGS. 8 and 9 show various connection means for securing a jacket to a dispenser, and FIGS. 10 and 11 show certain construction elements for the spherical or basketball shaped jacket of FIG. 4.
  • [0034]
    The first inflatable jacket embodiment formed as a witch's cauldron 10 will now be described with respect to FIGS. 1-3. This jacket is shown in combination with a conventional open-top, square beverage dispenser container or bin 12 which in use is loaded with a plurality of beverage cans 14 and beverage bottles (not shown) situated in a pool of ice and ice water 18. Container 12 has height of about 30 inches and breadth of about 24 inches, but size may vary considerably. The container illustrated in FIG. 1-3 is square in cross-section; however, round or other shaped containers will be easily combinable with the new inflatable jacket. A round container would comprise a circular cylinder about a central vertical axis. The container will be constructed preferably as a one-piece molded plastic article or a fiber glass or metal article, and may have legs and wheels as seen in FIG. 5.
  • [0035]
    As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, this cauldron representation has outer diameter and height which are selected so that the jacket can easily slide down over the top of container 12. The jacket's outer wall is shaped as a cauldron; however, the bottom central area is wide open so that the jacket can slide down over the top of the beverage dispenser. Thus, in a general sense, this cauldron-shaped jacket has a torroidal or inner-tube shape that encircles a central space, and is open at both ends with a central vertical axis X-X extending through the top and bottom ends, as seen in FIG. 3. The generally spherical outer wall of jacket 10 has collar 20 at the top connected by neck 21. The bottom 22 is generally flat. This jacket is formed of outer wall 24 inflatable to the cauldron shape and inner wall 26 that distends inwardly until it conforms to and snugly grips the outer walls or corners of dispenser 12.
  • [0036]
    The outer walls 24 and inner walls 26 are joined at the top and bottom of the cauldron, and conventional I-beams (not shown) may be used between these walls to insure the desired outer and inner shape. A valve 30 is provided for inflation and deflation of this article.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 4 shows a generally spherical jacket 31 which may have outer surface graphics to represent a basketball, a baseball, a soccer ball or a golf ball.
  • [0038]
    Various means are available to ensure that the jacket will not slide down to the bottom of the dispenser, since it is preferred that the jacket reside at or near the top for best visibility and attractiveness. FIG. 9 shows one embodiment wherein a lip or shoulder 32 is formed by walls of inflatable jacket 10, and upon inflation of the jacket, the lip 32 will overlie the top edge 34 of the dispenser 12 and restrain jacket 10 from sliding down.
  • [0039]
    FIG. 8 shows an alternative method of securing the jacket 10 from sliding down dispenser 12. Here, straps 36 and 38 are provided near the bottom 22 of jacket 10, and the ends of these straps are provided with Velcro parts 40 and 41, respectively.
  • [0040]
    After the jacket is situated onto the dispenser bin at the desired elevation, the straps are pulled tightly toward each other and engaged together by the Velcro tabs 40, 41. This pulling force causes portions of the inside walls 26 of the jacket to press against the outer walls 13 of the dispenser, as indicated by arrow 15, leading to frictional engagement that restrains jacket 10 from sliding down.
  • [0041]
    The preferred jacket has inside diameter D-1 which is slightly greater than the outside breadth or diameter D-2 of the dispenser, so that jacket 10, in an uninflated state, can easily slide onto the bin to the desired elevation. Thereafter, the jacket is inflated, and the inside walls of the jacket will distend radially inward until they engage and tightly grasp the outer walls of the bin, where sufficient friction will be established to prevent the jacket from sliding down.
  • [0042]
    The various jacket shapes for sports and other themes can be made with heat sealable plastic sheet materials and manufacturing techniques, including internal I-beams between inner and outer sheets defining the inflatables, well known in the inflatable products industry. A few prior art patents which further illustrate these shapes and techniques can be seen in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,823,801, D419,207, 6,659,837, 6,322,107, 6,161,902, 5,662,509 and 5,512,002 which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • [0043]
    FIG. 10 illustrates a torroidal shape 50 simulating a basketball or a pumpkin formed of eight similar panels 52 heat sealed along their mutual edges 53. FIG. 11 shows a single one of panels 52 in its flat precut shape before connection with adjacent panels. The sheet material used for all the embodiments shown can be selected from a variety of soft, thin, flexible thermoplastic sheet materials that are substantially air impermeable and preferably thermoplastic, such as polyvinylchlorides, polyolefins and polyesters having thickness in the range of about 0.20 mm to 0.40 mm. These panels would be sealed together by the typical heat or ultrasonic sealing or other common techniques. The valves used are typical of those used in the inflatable products industry.
  • [0044]
    In most of the embodiments described above, the jacket will be inflated after installation on the bin; however, where the jacket's inside diameter opening is large enough, the jacket may be installed in the inflated state.
  • [0045]
    As described earlier, a preferred shape would be generally torroidal or spherical with an open top and an open bottom, simulating a basketball, volleyball, tennis ball or golf ball, to represent those particular sports in connection with a sporting event taking place during a particular time period when retailers wish to promote beverage sales. With this kind of easily installable inflatable ornamental jacket, storekeepers can alternate the jackets to relate to particular sporting events of the week, as they seek to sell a maximum number of beverages to customers who would be spectators watching these events at home on television.
  • [0046]
    Shapes other than truncated spheres are possible, such as the football 40 as seen in FIG. 5 or the football helmet 42 as seen in FIG. 6, or the race car 44 as seen in FIG. 7, etc. which still utilize the novel features of this invention.
  • [0047]
    A still further embodiment of the present invention is an inflatable jacket generally as discussed above, whose outer wall defines a predetermined shape and whose inner wall distends inwardly to engage the dispenser bin but does not completely encircle said bin. As seen in FIGS. 12 and 13, an inflatable jacket 60 formed as a simulated football will partially encompass the dispenser bin 61 with the jacket's inner wall 62 distended to generally or at least partially conform to the outer wall surface 63 of the dispenser bin. An optional strap 64 (shown by dashed lines) or other means may be employed to enhance the engagement of the jacket of the dispenser.
  • [0048]
    While the invention has been described in conjunction with several embodiments, it is to be understood that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description. Accordingly, this invention is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications, and variations which fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7931402 *Aug 22, 2007Apr 26, 2011Calibre International, LlcInflatable gift wrap in the shape of a cake
US9189979 *Jun 11, 2014Nov 17, 2015Branden Rodolfo GASTELUMDisplay shield having a collapsible holder for a beverage
US20140361025 *Jun 11, 2014Dec 11, 2014Branden Rodolfo GASTELUMDisplay shield having a collapsible holder for a beverage
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/737
International ClassificationB65D25/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D81/3881
European ClassificationB65D81/38K2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 26, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: ALVIMAR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RANDALL, JAMES W.;REEL/FRAME:017156/0935
Effective date: 20050603