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Publication numberUS20080061069 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/531,527
Publication dateMar 13, 2008
Filing dateSep 13, 2006
Priority dateSep 13, 2006
Publication number11531527, 531527, US 2008/0061069 A1, US 2008/061069 A1, US 20080061069 A1, US 20080061069A1, US 2008061069 A1, US 2008061069A1, US-A1-20080061069, US-A1-2008061069, US2008/0061069A1, US2008/061069A1, US20080061069 A1, US20080061069A1, US2008061069 A1, US2008061069A1
InventorsFredric Edelstein, Emory Krall
Original AssigneeCdi International, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Drink cup lid
US 20080061069 A1
Abstract
A drink cup lid is provided for mounting over the open mouth of a beverage container. A rim of the lid preferably includes an outer mounting skirt, a distal end, and a proximal end. The lid also includes a central hub spaced inwardly of the rim and separated therefrom by a lower channel. The channel is generally inclined downwardly from the distal end to the proximal end, except for a drainage wall portion thereof adjacent to the proximal end of the rim. The drainage wall is inclined upwardly from the drink aperture to the proximal end of the rim. The opposing inclinations of the drainage wall and the remainder of the channel cooperate to create a “funnel” effect that improves drainage of spilled beverage from the channel, through the drink aperture, and back into the container.
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Claims(20)
1. A drink cup lid comprising:
a generally annular rim including an outer mounting skirt, a distal end, and a proximal end;
a central hub spaced inwardly from the rim;
a lower channel separating the rim and the hub, wherein said channel is generally inclined downwardly from the distal end to the proximal end;
a drink aperture through a sidewall of the central hub, in facing relationship with the proximal end of the rim; and
a drainage wall defining a portion of the channel and inclined upwardly from the drink aperture to the proximal end of the rim.
2. The drink cup lid of claim 1, wherein said hub is generally cylindrical and said channel is generally annular.
3. The drink cup lid of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the proximal end of the rim is inclined inwardly toward the channel.
4. The drink cup lid of claim 3, wherein said proximal end of the rim and said drainage wall have different inclination angles.
5. The drink cup lid of claim 4, wherein the inclination angle of the drainage wall is less than the inclination angle of the proximal end of the rim.
6. The drink cup lid of claim 1, wherein said drainage wall is angularly centered about the drink aperture and is at least coterminous with the drink aperture.
7. The drink cup lid of claim 1, wherein said drainage wall is angularly centered about the drink aperture and is less than coterminous with the drink aperture.
8. The drink cup lid of claim 1, wherein the proximal end of the rim extends vertically to a greater degree than the distal end to define a drinking spout.
9. The drink cup lid of claim 1 further comprising a lip on proximal end of said rim.
10. The drink cup lid of claim 1 wherein said lid is a disposable lid.
11. A drink cup lid comprising:
a generally annular rim including an outer mounting skirt, a distal end, and a proximal end;
a central hub spaced inwardly from the rim;
an inclined lower channel separating the rim and the hub;
a drink aperture through a sidewall of the central hub, in facing relationship with the proximal end of the rim; and
an inclined drainage wall defining a portion of the channel and extending from the proximal end of the rim to the drink aperture, wherein the drainage wall has a different inclination attitude than the remainder of the channel.
12. The drink cup lid of claim 11, wherein said hub is generally cylindrical and said channel is generally annular.
13. The drink cup lid of claim 11, wherein at least a portion of the proximal end of the rim is inclined inwardly toward the channel.
14. The drink cup lid of claim 13, wherein said proximal end of the rim and said drainage wall have different inclination angles.
15. The drink cup lid of claim 14, wherein the inclination angle of the drainage wall is less the inclination angle of the proximal end of the rim.
16. The drink cup lid of claim 11, wherein said drainage wall is angularly centered about the drink aperture and is at least coterminous with the drink apertures.
17. The drink cup lid of claim 11, wherein said drainage wall is angularly centered about the drink aperture and is less than coterminous with the drink aperture.
18. The drink cup lid of claim 11, wherein the proximal end of the rim extends vertically to a greater degree than the distal end to define a drinking spout.
19. The drink cup lid of claim 11, wherein said lid is a disposable lid.
20. A drink cup lid comprising:
a generally annular rim including a distal end, and a proximal end;
a central hub spaced inwardly from the rim;
a lower channel separating the rim and the hub, wherein said channel is generally inclined downwardly from the distal end to the proximal end;
a drink aperture through a sidewall of the central hub, in facing relationship with the proximal end of the rim; and
a drainage wall defining a portion of the channel and inclined upwardly from the drink aperture to the proximal end of the rim.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is directed to lids for drink containers. In particular, the present invention is directed to a lid having improved surface drainage.

2. Description of Related Art

Disposable lids for carry-out beverage containers are well known. The nature of the lid typically varies according to the beverage, with some lids having a perforation for receiving a straw and others having a drink aperture for pouring the beverage directly into a user's mouth. The latter, often called “drink-through” lids, are most often used with hot beverages, such as coffee A typical drink-through lid is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,589,569 to Clements, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

When a drink-through container is jostled or the user is careless in drinking, the beverage may spill out of the drink aperture and onto the user or elsewhere. Such spillage may be referred to as “primary spillage.” However, it is possible for the spilled beverage to spill or flow back onto the top of the lid, instead of separating or flowing completely out from the container. If the beverage is not adequate drained back into the container, it remains on the lid, and there is the risk that it may spill onto or otherwise unexpectedly contact the user. Such spillage may be referred to as “secondary spillage.” Many advances have been made to reduce the incidence of primary spillage, but there is still the need for improvement with respect to the problem of secondary spillage.

Accordingly, an object or aspect of the present invention is to provide a container lid having improved drainage to prevent the risk of secondary spillage

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, a drink cup lid is provided with a generally annular rim including an outer mounting skirt, a distal end, and a proximal end. The lid also includes a central hub spaced inwardly of the rim and separated therefrom by a lower channel. The channel is generally inclined downwardly from the distal end to the proximal end, except for a drainage wall portion thereof adjacent to the proximal end of the rim. The drainage wall separates the proximal end of the rim from a drink aperture through a sidewall of the hub and is inclined upwardly from the drink aperture to the proximal end of the rim.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a drink cup lid is provided with a generally annular rim including an outer mounting skirt, a distal end, and a proximal end. The lid also includes a central hub spaced inwardly of the rim and separated therefrom by an inclined lower channel. A drainage wall defines a portion of the channel adjacent to the proximal end of the rim. The drainage wall extends between the proximal end of the rim and a drink aperture through a sidewall of the hub and has a different inclination attitude than the remainder of the channel

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a lid according to an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the lid of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the lid of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the lid of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the lid of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the lid of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the lid of FIG. 5, taken through the line 7-7 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of a lid according to another aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of the lid of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a front elevational view of the lid of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a rear elevational view of the lid of FIG. 8;

FIG. 12 is a top plan view of the lid of FIG. 8;

FIG. 13 is a bottom plan view of the lid of FIG. 8; and

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of the lid of FIG. 12, taken through the line 14-14 of FIG. 12.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1-14 illustrate embodiments of a lid 10 according to the present invention. The lid 10 includes a generally annular rim 12 having an outer mounting skirt 14, a distal end 16, and a proximal end 18. The illustrated mounting skirt 14 is of the type typically incorporated into disposable drink-through lids, and is adapted to be press-fit onto the open mouth of a cup or container (not illustrated). Alternatively, the lid could be made without the mounting skirt (not illustrated). The structure of the mounting skirt may take any form without departing from the scope of the present invention, provided that it is suitable for securing the lid 10 to a durable or disposable container. The lid 10 itself may also be either durable or disposable and manufactured according to known methods with the materials well known in the art for lids.

The distal end 16 of the lid 10 refers to the portion farthest away from the user during use, whereas the proximal end 18 refers to the portion of the rim 12 facing the user during use, generally adjacent to a drink aperture 20. The proximal end 18, or a portion thereof may be shaped to form a pronounced drinking spout or lip 22, for example by extending vertically to a greater degree than the distal end 16 (FIGS. 1-7). Alternatively, as illustrated in the embodiment of FIGS. 8-14, the proximal end 18 may be substantially identical to the distal end 16, thereby defining a level top for the rim 12. The present invention, however, is not limited to the particular design or shape of the spout shown in FIGS. 1-7, as other types and sizes of spouts could also be incorporated thereon (or as shown in FIGS. 8-14, no spout or lip).

The lid 10 further includes a central hub 24 spaced inwardly from the rim 12, separated therefrom by a lower channel 26. In the illustrated embodiments, the hub 24 is generally cylindrical and the channel 26 is generally annular, but virtually any other shape is contemplated by and within the scope of the present invention. However, the channel is used for drainage, as will be described in greater detail herein, so the illustrated hub 24 and channel 26 may be preferred to provide enhanced drainage.

The hub 24 is defined by a top wall 28 and a sidewall 30 extending downwardly from the perimeter of the top wall 28 to form a generally closed inner border of the channel 26. A drink aperture 20 extends through the sidewall 30 in facing relationship with a portion of the proximal end 18 of the rim 12. The sidewall 30 may include an open steam vent 32 (FIGS. 7 and 14), especially if the lid 10 is intended for use with a hot beverage, to for example, allow steam to escape from the container and gradually lower the temperature of the beverage. In a preferred embodiment, the steam vent 32 is diametrically spaced from the drink aperture 20, facing the distal end 16 of the rim 12.

The channel 26 is generally inclined or sloped downwardly from the distal end 16 of the rim 12 to the proximal end 18, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 14. The downwardly inclined portion of the channel 26 which is obscured by the hub 24 is shown in broken lines. As shown in FIGS. 7 and 14, this portion of the channel 26 may be generally parallel to the top wall 28 of the central hub 24, but the top wall 28 may be substantially horizontal or otherwise non-parallel to the downwardly inclined portion of the channel 26 without departing from the scope of the present invention. In one embodiment, the channel 26 has a relatively constant declination angle α as shown, for example, in FIG. 7. The declination angle α need not be constant, but the slope of the channel 26 may vary, for example being relatively steep closer to the distal end 16 of the rim 12 and relatively shallow closer to the proximal end 18 of the rim 12 (not illustrated).

A arcuate portion of the channel adjacent to the drink aperture 20 is defined by a drainage wall 34 extending between the drink aperture 20 and a lower end of the rim proximal end 18 (FIG. 7) or drinking spout 22 (FIG. 14). The drainage wall 34 is preferably angularly centered about the drink aperture 20 and has an arcuate extent ω (FIG. 5), which is the angle or portion of the channel 26 defined by the drainage wall 34. The arcuate extent ω may vary from relatively large so as to be at least coterminous with the drink aperture 20 (FIGS. 6 and 13), to relatively small so as to be narrower than the drink aperture 20 (not illustrated). The drainage wall 34 is shown in FIGS. 5 and 12 in solid lines to clarify its position, but typically the transition from the downwardly inclined portion of the channel 26 to the upwardly inclined drainage wall 34 is more subtle and is not necessarily defined by a visible line.

In the orientation of FIGS. 7 and 14, the drainage wall 34 is inclined upwardly from left to right, which may be referred to as a positive inclination attitude, whereas the remainder of the channel 26 is inclined downwardly from left to right, which may be referred to as a negative inclination attitude. Hence, the drainage well 34 and the remainder of the channel 26 have different inclination attitudes, which configuration improves the drainage characteristics of the lid 10, as will be described in greater detail herein. In one embodiment, the drainage wall 34 has an inclination angle β (FIG. 7). Preferably, the drainage wall 34 has a relatively constant inclination angle β. The inclination angle β need not be constant, but the slope of the drainage wall 34 may vary, for example being relatively shallow immediately adjacent to the drink aperture 20 and relatively steep adjacent to the proximal end 18 or drinking spout 22 (not illustrated).

The proximal end 18 of the rim 12 (FIG. 14) or the drinking spout or lip 22 (FIG. 7) may have a positive inclination attitude, similar to the drainage wall 34. In FIGS. 7 and 14, the proximal end 18 or drinking spout 22 has an inclination angle θ. The inclination angle θ may be different from the drainage wall inclination angle β. Preferably, the proximal end 18 or drinking spout 22 has a relatively constant inclination angle θ. The inclination angle θ need not be constant, but the slope may vary or the proximal end 18 or drinking spout 22 may be substantially vertical (not illustrated).

In use, the user grips a container (not illustrated) covered by the lid 10, puts his/her lips on or adjacent to the proximal end 18 (or drinking spout 22 if provided) of the rim 12, and tips the lid 10 and container towards himself/herself, A beverage in the container pours out of the drink aperture 20, moves over the drainage wall 34 and the proximal end 18 (and drinking spout 22 if provided) and into the user's mouth. The user then tips the lid 10 maid container away from himself/herself to halt the flow of beverage. Much of the liquid positioned at that time between the drink aperture 20 and the user's mouth flows back into the drink aperture 20, but some may remain in the channel 26. The differently inclined portions of the channel 26 and drainage wall 34 cooperatively create a “funnel” effect that efficiently directs and drains all of the beverage through the drink aperture 20 and into the container. It will be appreciated that an inclined channel without a drainage wall may tend to cause beverage to congregate at a portion of the lid between the drink aperture and the proximal end of the rim, thereby increasing the risk of secondary spillage.

It will be understood that the embodiments of the present invention which have been described are illustrative of some of the applications of the principles of the present invention. Numerous modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, including those combinations of features that are individually disclosed or claimed herein. For these reasons, the scope of the invention is not limited to the above description, but is as set forth in the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8950623Mar 12, 2013Feb 10, 2015Vaporpath, Inc.Beverage container lid that provides natural drinking experience
USD736623Mar 17, 2014Aug 18, 2015Harl-Bella Holdings, LlcLid with egg shaped basin
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/713
International ClassificationA47G19/22
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2543/00731, B65D2543/00796, B65D2543/00046, B65D2543/00296, B65D43/0212, B65D2543/00537, B65D2543/00527, B65D2543/00092
European ClassificationB65D43/02S3E
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 8, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: CDI INTERNATIONAL, INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:EDELSTEIN, FREDERIC;KRALL, EMORY;REEL/FRAME:018778/0860;SIGNING DATES FROM 20061229 TO 20070102