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Publication numberUS20080067173 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/899,104
Publication dateMar 20, 2008
Filing dateSep 4, 2007
Priority dateAug 20, 2005
Publication number11899104, 899104, US 2008/0067173 A1, US 2008/067173 A1, US 20080067173 A1, US 20080067173A1, US 2008067173 A1, US 2008067173A1, US-A1-20080067173, US-A1-2008067173, US2008/0067173A1, US2008/067173A1, US20080067173 A1, US20080067173A1, US2008067173 A1, US2008067173A1
InventorsDonald Booty
Original AssigneeBooty Donald J Sr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container lid removal facilitator
US 20080067173 A1
Abstract
A thin, deformable polymer sheet is configured to be placed between an opening in a container and the container lid, particularly when the lid is to be refastened to the container. The sheet creates a barrier between the container and the lid, and more particularly, between the lid and any residual contents of the container, such as paint, that may be on the lid engagement surfaces. The residual content, when it dries, will therefore not adhere the lid to the container and inhibit subsequent removal of the lid.
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Claims(17)
1. A device that facilitates removal of a container lid from a container that includes one or more lid engagement surfaces that surround, and define an outer boundary of, a container opening within the container, the container lid configured to be disposed on the container and seal the container opening by engaging the one or more container lid engagement surfaces, the device comprising:
a deformable polymer sheet that is dimensioned to extend entirely over the container opening, the sheet configured to be disposed between the container lid and the one or more lid engagement surfaces and having an inner surface, an outer surface, an outer peripheral edge between the inner and outer surfaces, and a thickness of 0.001-inches or less, the sheet dimensioned such that, when installed, (i) an entirety of the outer surface of the sheet within the outer boundary of the container opening is always disposed proximate the container lid and (ii) the outer peripheral surface is exposed when the container lid is disposed to seal the container opening.
2. The device of claim 1, further comprising:
placement indicia on the outer surface, the placement indicia supplying information representative of instructions as to positioning the deformable sheet over the container opening.
3. The device of claim 2, wherein the placement indicia supplies information representative of instructions as to positioning the deformable sheet over a plurality of different sized container openings.
4. The device of claim 1, further comprising:
data recording indicia on the outer surface, the data recording indicia defining a region in which data may be printed using a handwriting instrument.
5. The device of claim 4, wherein the region defined by the data recording indicia is disposed in an area of the outer surface that is exposed when the sheet is installed.
6. The device of claim 5, wherein the deformable polymer sheet comprises a material suitable for printing indicia thereon.
7. The device of claim 1, wherein the deformable polymer sheet is configured to have a non-circular in shape.
8. The device of claim 1, wherein the deformable polymer sheet is configured to have a circular shape.
9. The device of claim 1, wherein the deformable polymer sheet comprises a material having sufficient strength to resist tearing upon subsequent removal of the container lid from the container.
10. The device of claim 9, wherein the polymer sheet comprises polyethylene.
11. A device that facilitates removal of a container lid from a container that includes one or more lid engagement surfaces that surround a container opening within the container, the container lid configured to be disposed on the container and seal the container opening by engaging the one or more container lid engagement surfaces, the device comprising:
a deformable polymer sheet that is dimensioned to extend entirely over the opening in the container, the sheet configured to be disposed between the container lid and the one or more lid engagement surfaces and having an outer peripheral edge that is exposed when the container lid is disposed to seal the container opening; and
placement indicia on the outer surface, the placement indicia supplying information representative of instructions as to positioning the deformable sheet over the container opening.
12. The device of claim 11, wherein the placement indicia supplies information representative of instructions as to positioning the deformable sheet over a plurality of different sized container openings.
13. The device of claim 1, further comprising:
data recording indicia on the outer surface, the data recording indicia defining a region in which data may be printed using a handwriting instrument.
14. The device of claim 13, wherein the region defined by the data recording indicia is disposed in an area of the outer surface that is exposed when the sheet is installed.
15. A device that facilitates removal of a container lid from a container that includes one or more lid engagement surfaces that surround a container opening within the container, the container lid configured to be disposed on the container and seal the container opening by engaging the one or more container lid engagement surfaces, the device comprising:
a deformable polymer sheet that is dimensioned to extend entirely over the opening in the container, the sheet configured to be disposed between the container lid and the one or more lid engagement surfaces and having an outer peripheral edge that is exposed when the container lid is disposed to seal the container opening;
placement indicia on the outer surface, the placement indicia supplying information representative of instructions as to positioning the deformable sheet over the container opening; and
data recording indicia on the outer surface, the data recording indicia defining a region in which data may be printed using a handwriting instrument.
16. The device of claim 15, wherein the placement indicia supplies information representative of instructions as to positioning the deformable sheet over a plurality of different sized container openings.
17. The device of claim 15, wherein the region defined by the data recording indicia is disposed in an area of the outer surface that is exposed when the sheet is installed.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 11/208,466, filed Aug. 20, 2005.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to container removal devices and, more particularly, to a device that facilitates the removal of a lid from a container that includes matter that may inhibit repeated lid removal. The device also increases the sealing properties of the container lid.

BACKGROUND

Liquid coating materials such as paint, varnish, adhesives and the like are commonly distributed in resealable cans or other types of containers. Providing resealable containers enables end users to use only a portion of the container contents, and then reseal the container to prevent evaporation or drying of the remaining contents. In practice, the ability to reuse the container contents depends, at least in part, on the ability of the end user to effectively reopen the container.

Practically speaking, many end users dip a brush directly into the can, or else pour the can contents into another container, such as a sprayer or rolling pan. When a brush is used, many times it is first wiped against the sealing surfaces of the can lid to remove excess content from the brush. Similarly, when the content is poured from the container, a portion of content inevitably contacts the container seal surfaces. In both instances, upon completion of use, the content on the container seal surfaces may spread throughout the sealing surface when the container lid is replaced. When the content subsequently dries on the sealing surface, the lid may stick to the dried content, making it difficult or impossible to re-open the can for subsequent use.

Hence, there is a need for a device that will allow the lid of a container to be more readily removed following initial use of the container contents, and/or to effectively reseal the can after subsequent use. The present invention addresses at least this need.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The present invention provides a device that facilitates removal of a container lid following initial and subsequent use of the container contents.

In one embodiment, and by way of example only, a device is provided that facilitates removal of a container lid from a container that includes one or more lid engagement surfaces that surround, and define an outer boundary of, a container opening within the container, the container lid configured to be disposed on the container and seal the container opening by engaging the one or more container lid engagement surfaces. The device includes a deformable polymer sheet that is dimensioned to extend entirely over the container opening. The sheet is configured to be disposed between the container lid and the one or more lid engagement surfaces and has an inner surface, an outer surface, an outer peripheral edge between the inner and outer surfaces, and a thickness of 0.001-inches or less. The sheet is dimensioned such that, when installed, an entirety of the outer surface of the sheet within the outer boundary of the container opening is always disposed proximate the container lid and the outer peripheral surface is exposed when the container lid is disposed to seal the container opening.

In another exemplary embodiment, a device is provided that facilitates removal of a container lid from a container that includes one or more lid engagement surfaces that surround a container opening within the container, wherein the container lid is configured to be disposed on the container and seal the container opening by engaging the one or more container lid engagement surfaces. The device includes a deformable polymer sheet that is dimensioned to extend entirely over the opening in the container. The sheet is configured to be disposed between the container lid and the one or more lid engagement surfaces, and has an outer peripheral edge that is exposed when the container lid is disposed to seal the container opening. Placement indicia on the outer surface of device supply information representative of instructions as to positioning the deformable sheet over the container opening.

In still another exemplary embodiment, a device is provided that facilitates removal of a container lid from a container that includes one or more lid engagement surfaces that surround a container opening within the container, wherein the container lid is configured to be disposed on the container and seal the container opening by engaging the one or more container lid engagement surfaces. The device includes a deformable polymer sheet that is dimensioned to extend entirely over the opening in the container. The sheet is configured to be disposed between the container lid and the one or more lid engagement surfaces, and has an outer peripheral edge that is exposed when the container lid is disposed to seal the container opening. Placement indicia on the outer surface of device supply information representative of instructions as to positioning the deformable sheet over the container opening. Data recording indicia on the outer surface of the device define a region in which data may be printed using a handwriting instrument.

These and other features and advantages of the preferred container lid removal facilitator will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a container assembly that includes an embodiment of a lid removal facilitator according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows the container assembly of FIG. 1 in a fully-assembled state;

FIG. 3 shows a close-up cross section view of a portion of the container assembly of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 shows a close-up cross section view of an alternate container that includes an embodiment of the lid removal facilitator shown in FIGS. 1-3;

FIG. 5 shows an embodiment of the lid removal facilitator according to an alternate embodiment;

FIG. 6 shows an embodiment of an assembly of a plurality of the lid removal facilitator shown in FIG. 5 in a packaging environment;

FIG. 7 depicts an embodiment of the lid removal facilitator according to yet another alternate embodiment; and

FIGS. 8 and 9 depict usage of the lid removal facilitator of FIG. 7 with a container assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference first to FIGS. 1 and 2, exploded and assembled views, respectively, of a container assembly 100 are shown. The container assembly 100 includes a container 102, a lid 104, and a lid removal facilitator 106. In the depicted embodiment, the container 102 is a substantially cylindrical container that is configured similar to a conventional paint can. To this end, the container 102 has an inner peripheral surface 108 that defines an internal volume 112 for containing material, such as paint or other liquid material, therein. The container 102 additionally includes an opening 114 and lid engagement surfaces 116. The container opening 114 extends through container 102 and into the internal volume 112, which allows various devices, such as brushes or stirrers, to be dipped into the contained material, or for the contained material to be poured from the container 102. The lid engagement surfaces 116, as will be described more fully below, are coupled to the lid 104, via the lid removal facilitator 106, to sealingly enclose the contained material within the container 102 for subsequent use.

The removable container lid 104, as was just noted, is configured to seal the container opening 114 to prevent removal of the contained material, and to allow for its subsequent use. The lid 104 includes one or more container engagement surfaces 118 that, when the container assembly 100 is assembled, are coupled to the lid engagement surfaces 116 via the lid removal facilitator 106.

The lid removal facilitator 106 is dimensioned to extend entirely over the container opening 114, and when the container lid 104 is used to seal the container 102, to provide one or more exposed outer peripheral edges 122. The lid removal facilitator 106 is preferably formed of a deformable material that will not readily adhere to the container content, is substantially non-porous, and will function as a barrier between the container lid 104 and any residual container content that may remain on the lid engagement surfaces 116. In a particular preferred embodiment, the lid removal facilitator 106 comprises a polymer material that is formed into a deformable polymer sheet. It will be appreciated that any one of numerous polymer materials may be used for the lid removal facilitator 106, so long as it is sufficiently deformable, and chemically impervious to the contents of the container 102. For example, in a particular preferred embodiment, the polymer is polyethylene.

As was previously noted, and as is shown in FIG. 2, the lid removal facilitator 106 is disposed between the container lid 104 and the container 102 when the lid 104 seals the container opening 114. In this position, the lid facilitator 106 engages the lid engagement surfaces 116 on the container 102 and the container engagement surfaces 118 on the lid 104. Because the lid removal facilitator 106 is deformable and substantially non-porous, even though it forms a barrier between the container 102 and the lid 104, it also allows sufficient coupling between the lid engagement surfaces 116 and the container engagement surfaces 118 to seal the container content.

The above-described arrangement is shown most clearly in FIG. 3, in which the lid engagement surface 116 is configured as a groove 302 that extends around the circumference of the container opening 114, and the container engagement surface 118 is configured as a notch 304 that protrudes from a lower surface of the container lid 104. The groove 302 and notch 304 are configured such that the notch 304 will snugly fit within the groove 302 to form a tight seal. As is also shown, the lid removal facilitator 106 is disposed between the container 102 and lid 104, and is pressed into the groove 302 by the notch 304. The lid removal facilitator outer peripheral edge 122 extends beyond the container-lid interface, and is thus exposed. When the lid removal facilitator 106 is in place, standard devices such as a key or screwdriver may be used to easily pry the lid 104 off.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the container 102 and lid 104 were configured with groove-and-notch type engagement surfaces 116, 118. It will be appreciated that the lid removal facilitator 106 can also be used with containers configured with other types of engagement surfaces. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, the container 102 and lid 104 could be configured to include threaded lid engagement surfaces 402 and threaded container engagement surfaces 404, respectively.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4, the lid removal facilitator 106 was illustrated as having a non-circular shape. However, this is merely exemplary, and any one of numerous other shapes could be used. For example, as is shown in FIG. 5, the lid facilitator could have a circular shape. No matter the specific shape, the lid removal facilitator 106 is preferably provided in a packaged environment along with a plurality of other lid removal facilitators 106. An example of the this is shown in FIG. 6, in which an exemplary package assembly 600 is shown. The package assembly 600 includes a first cover 602, a second cover 604, and a plurality of lid removal facilitators 106. The first and second covers 602, 604 may be made of any one of numerous materials, but in the depicted embodiment are foldable cardboard-type devices. The plurality of lid removal facilitators 106 are disposed and fastened between the covers 602, 604 by, for example, a staple or other fastener that allows ready and easy removal of one or more facilitator 106.

In addition to being supplied in any one of numerous shapes, the lid removal facilitator 106 may also have a thickness of any one of numerous values. Preferably, the lid removal facilitator 106 has a thickness of 0.001-inches or less. A thickness of 0.001-inches or less permits proper resealing of the container 102, and prevents subsequent accidental spillage, should the container assembly 100 be unintentionally tipped. It will be appreciated that minor tearing of the lid removal facilitator 106 while the lid 104 is being placed on the container 102 will not inhibit the desired ease of lid removal.

Turning now to FIG. 7, in another embodiment the lid removal facilitator 106 has various indicia thereon. The specific type and amount of indicia may vary. In the depicted embodiment, the indicia includes placement indicia 702 and data recording indicia 704. As depicted in FIGS. 8 and 9, the placement indicia supplies information representative of instructions to an end-user regarding positioning of the lid removal facilitator 106 over the container opening 114. Preferably, the placement indicia 702 supplies information representative of instructions regarding the optimal positioning of the lid removal facilitator 106. Preferably, a plurality of placement indicia 702 are provide to facilitate optimal placement of the lid removal facilitator 106 on a plurality of different sized containers 102. For example, in the depicted embodiment the placement indicia 702 includes indicia for accurate, easy centering of the lid removal facilitator 106 over the opening 114 of a one gallon container 702-1 and a one quart container 702-2. Again, various placement indicia configurations and sizes are contemplated.

As may be appreciated, the container 102 and its contents may be stored over an extended period of time. Thus, the lid removal facilitator 106 also preferably includes the data recording indicia 704. The data recording indicia 704 defines a region 706 on the lid removal facilitator 106 in which data may be printed using a handwriting instrument, such as a pen. The region defined by the data recording indicia 704 is preferably disposed in an area of the lid removal facilitator 106 that is exposed when the lid removal facilitator 106 is disposed between a container 102 and lid 104. The region 706 defined by the data recording indicia 704 may be a surface of the lid removal facilitator 106 itself, or may be a separate material that is disposed on the lid removal facilitator 106.

The lid removal facilitator 106, when placed between a container 102 and lid 104 upon resealing the container 102, creates a barrier between any residual container material on the container 102 and the container engagement surfaces 118 on the lid, making subsequent removal of the lid 104 much easier.

While the invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt to a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.

Classifications
U.S. Classification220/270
International ClassificationB65D17/34
Cooperative ClassificationB65D43/022, B65D2543/00861
European ClassificationB65D43/02S5D