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Publication numberUS20100084362 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/245,464
Publication dateApr 8, 2010
Filing dateOct 3, 2008
Priority dateOct 3, 2008
Also published asUS20130026125
Publication number12245464, 245464, US 2010/0084362 A1, US 2010/084362 A1, US 20100084362 A1, US 20100084362A1, US 2010084362 A1, US 2010084362A1, US-A1-20100084362, US-A1-2010084362, US2010/0084362A1, US2010/084362A1, US20100084362 A1, US20100084362A1, US2010084362 A1, US2010084362A1
InventorsJohn S. Letchinger, Thomas J. Ring
Original AssigneeLetchinger John S, Ring Thomas J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Drinking bottle assembly
US 20100084362 A1
Abstract
A drinking container including a bottom, a sidewall and a neck which define an interior of the container, wherein the bottom defines an opening and the bottom comprises a panel adapted to cover the opening and be removable from the opening such that with the panel removed from the opening access to the interior of the container is provided; another including a separation of the sidewall defined by the sidewall and positioned between the neck and the bottom wherein the separation provides access to the interior of the container; another container wherein at least a portion of the sidewall and at least a portion of the bottom define an opening and wherein at least a portion of the sidewall and at least a portion of the bottom comprise a panel adapted to cover the opening and be removable from the opening such that with the panel removed from the opening access to the interior of the container is provided; and another wherein the bottom comprises a surface of the container upon which the container rests when positioned on a support surface in an upright position, wherein the surface comprises at least one of, at least two spaced apart bottom surface sections wherein a portion of the sidewall extends between the at least two spaced apart bottom surface sections and a continuous projection surface which forms an encircling configuration, wherein a portion of the sidewall extends between two spaced apart portions of the continuous bottom surface, wherein the portion of the sidewall defines an opening in the container.
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Claims(45)
1. A drinking container, comprising:
a bottom, a sidewall and a neck which define an interior of the container wherein the bottom defines an opening and the bottom comprises a panel adapted to cover the opening and be removable from the opening such that with the panel removed from the opening access to the interior of the container is provided.
2. The drinking container of claim 1 wherein a cross section through the sidewall defines at least one of a circle, oval, rectangle, square and triangle.
3. The drinking container of claim 1 wherein the neck defines another opening generally circular in shape wherein the other opening has a diameter in the range of about of an inch to 1 inch.
4. The drinking container of claim 1 wherein a dimension of an interior cross section of the neck is smaller than a dimension of an interior cross section at the sidewall.
5. The drinking container of claim 1 wherein the opening is dimensioned to be one of coextensive to a dimension of the bottom and smaller than any dimension of the bottom.
6. The drinking container of claim 1 wherein the opening comprises a circular shape.
7. The drinking container of claim 6 wherein the panel comprises a circular shape, wherein the bottom defines threads and the panel defines other threads and wherein the threads and other threads are sized and shaped to engage one another.
8. The drinking container of claim 1 further including one of an O-ring seal and gasket positioned around the opening.
9. The drinking container of claim 1 further including a locking assembly associated with the panel and with at least one of the sidewall and the bottom.
10. The drinking container of claim 9 wherein the locking assembly comprises at least one tab in association with the threads positioned in one of the panel and at least one of the bottom and sidewall; and a ramp associated with the other of the panel and at least one of the bottom and sidewall to which the tab is not associated and wherein the ramp is positioned in blocking relationship to the at least one tab with the threads of the panel and of at least one of the bottom and the sidewall are fully engaged.
11. The drinking container of claim 10 wherein the sidewall is deformable to provide separation of the tab and the ramp.
12. The drinking container of claim 1 wherein the container is constructed of a material which contains an antimicrobial material.
13. The drinking container of claim 1 wherein a wall thickness of the sidewall of the body portion comprises a thickness in the range of about 25 mils to about 35 mils.
14. A drinking container, comprising:
a bottom, a sidewall and a neck which define an interior of the container; and
a separation of the sidewall defined by the sidewall and positioned between the neck and the bottom wherein the separation provides access to the interior of the container.
15. The drinking container of claim 14 wherein a cross section of the sidewall defines at least one of a circle, oval, rectangle, square and triangle.
16. The drinking container of claim 14 wherein an end of the neck defines a generally circular shaped opening comprising a diameter in the range of about of an inch to 1 inch.
17. The drinking container of claim 14 wherein the container is constructed of a material which contains an antimicrobial material.
18. The drinking container of claim 14 wherein the sidewall comprises a thickness of about 25 mils to about 35 mils.
19. The drinking container of claim 14 wherein the separation of the sidewall extends in the sidewall generally in a plane transverse to a longitudinal axis of the container.
20. The drinking container of claim 19 wherein the separation is positioned one of closer to the bottom than to the neck and closer to the neck than to the bottom.
21. The drinking container of claim 14 further including threads are associated with the sidewall and positioned on an upper portion of the container and compatibly sized and shaped threads are associated with the sidewall and positioned on a lower portion of the container.
22. The drinking container of claim 21 wherein an outer surface of the sidewall positioned in the upper portion aligns with an outer surface of the sidewall positioned in the lower portion with the threads fully engaged.
23. The drinking container of claim 21 further including one of a gasket and an O-ring seal positioned between sidewall of the upper and lower portions.
24. The drinking container of claim 21 further including a locking assembly associated with the sidewall on an upper portion and with the sidewall on the lower portion.
25. The drinking container of claim 24 wherein the locking assembly comprises at least one tab in association with the threads positioned in one of the upper portion and lower portion and a ramp associated with the other of the upper and lower portion to which the tab is not associated, wherein the ramp is positioned in blocking relationship to the at least one tab with the threads of the upper and lower portions fully engaged.
26. The drinking container of claim 25 wherein sidewall is deformable to provide separation of the tab and the ramp.
27. A drinking container, comprising:
a bottom, a sidewall and a neck which define an interior of the container wherein at least a portion of the sidewall and at least a portion of the bottom define an opening and wherein at least a portion of the sidewall and at least a portion of the bottom comprise a panel adapted to cover the opening and be removable from the opening such that with the panel removed from the opening access to the interior of the container is provided.
28. The drinking container of claim 27 wherein a cross section through the sidewall defines at least one of a circle, oval, rectangle, square and triangle.
29. The drinking container of claim 27 wherein the neck defines another opening generally circular in shape wherein the other opening has a diameter in the range of about of an inch to 1 inch.
30. The drinking container of claim 27 wherein a dimension of an interior cross section the neck is smaller than a dimension of an interior cross section at the sidewall.
31. The drinking container of claim 27 wherein the opening is circular in shape.
32 The drinking container of claim 27 further including one of an O-ring seal and gasket positioned around the opening.
33. The drinking container of claim 27 wherein the panel comprises a circular shape, wherein the bottom and sidewall define threads, wherein the panel defines other threads and wherein the threads and other threads are sized and shaped to engage one another.
34. The drinking container of claim 33 further including a locking assembly associated with the panel and with the sidewall and the bottom.
35. The drinking container of claim 27 wherein the container is constructed of a material which contains an antimicrobial material.
36. The drinking container of claim 27 wherein a wall thickness of the sidewall of the body portion comprises a thickness in the range of about 25 mils to about 35 mils.
37. A drinking container, comprising:
a bottom, a sidewall and a neck which define an interior of the container wherein the bottom comprises a surface of the container upon which the container rests when positioned on a generally flat support surface in an upright position, wherein the surface comprises at least one of, at least two spaced apart bottom surface sections wherein a portion of the sidewall extends between the at least two spaced apart bottom surface sections and at least one continuous bottom surface which forms an encircling configuration, wherein a portion of the sidewall extends between two spaced apart portions of the at least one continuous bottom surface, wherein the portion of the sidewall defines an opening in the container.
38. The drinking container of claim 37 wherein a cross section through the sidewall defines at least one of a circle, oval, rectangle, square and triangle.
39. The drinking container of claim 37 wherein the neck defines another opening generally circular in shape wherein the other opening has a diameter in the range of about of an inch to 1 inch.
40. The drinking container of claim 37 wherein the opening is generally circular wherein the at least two spaced apart bottom surface sections are positioned outside of the generally circular opening.
41. The drinking container of claim 37 wherein the opening is generally circular and the continuous surface is positioned outside of the generally circular opening.
42. The drinking container of claim 37 further including a panel comprising dimensions of the opening such that the panel closes the opening.
43. The drinking container of claim 42 wherein the panel defines threads and the sidewall along the opening defines threads compatible in size and shape such that the panel is removably securable to the portion of the sidewall.
44. The drinking container of claim 42 further including a locking assembly associated with the panel and with the sidewall.
45. The drinking container of claim 37 further including one of an O-ring seal and gasket positioned around the opening.
Description
FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of drinking containers and more particularly, to drinking containers that are assembled and disassembled.

BACKGROUND

There is a need for a refillable and thereby reusable drinking container so as to reduce the negative environmental impact on disposing of containers after a single use.

There is also a need for a refillable drinking container for consuming water since some municipalities have decided to place a tax on bottles of water sold in their jurisdiction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A drinking container constructed of a bottom, a sidewall and a neck which define an interior of the container wherein the bottom defines an opening and the bottom comprises a panel adapted to cover the opening and be removable from the opening such that with the panel removed from the opening access to the interior is provided.

A drinking container constructed of a bottom, a sidewall and a neck which define an interior of the container; and a separation of the sidewall defined by the sidewall and positioned between the neck and the bottom wherein the separation provides access to the interior of the container.

A drinking container including a bottom, a sidewall and a neck which define an interior of the container, wherein at least a portion of the sidewall and at least a portion of the bottom define an opening and wherein at least a portion of the sidewall and at least a portion of the bottom comprise a panel adapted to cover the opening and be removable from the opening such that with the panel removed from the opening access to the interior of the container is provided.

A drinking container including a bottom, a sidewall and a neck which define an interior of the container, wherein the bottom comprises a surface of the container upon which the container rests when positioned on a support surface in an upright position, wherein the surface comprises at least one of, at least two spaced apart bottom surface sections wherein a portion of the sidewall extends between the at least two spaced apart bottom surface sections and at least one continuous bottom surface which forms an encircling configuration, wherein a portion of the sidewall extends between two spaced apart portions of the at least one continuous bottom surface, such that the portion of the sidewall defines an opening in the container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Certain examples of the present invention are illustrated by the accompanying figures. It should be understood that the figures are not necessarily to scale and that details that are not necessary for an understanding of the invention or that render other details difficult to perceive may be omitted. It should be understood of course, that the invention is not necessarily limited to the particular examples illustrated herein.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the drinking bottle assembly;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the drinking bottle assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is cross sectional view of the drinking bottle assembly as seen from line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the drinking bottle assembly as seen from line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of another embodiment of the drinking bottle assembly as seen from line 5-5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of the drinking bottle assembly;

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of the drinking bottle assembly;

FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of the drinking bottle assembly.

FIG. 9A is a partial side elevational view of a lower portion of another embodiment of the drinking bottle assembly;

FIG. 9B is a schematic representation of a lower portion of the drinking bottle assembly shown in FIG. 9A contacting a flat support surface and a circle indicating the location of the opening to the container;

FIG. 9C is a bottom perspective partially exploded view of the embodiment of the the drinking bottle assembly of FIG. 9A;

FIG. 10 is a schematic representation of the lower portion of another embodiment of the drinking bottle assembly contacting a flat surface and a circle indication the location of the opening to the drinking bottle assembly;

FIG. 11A is a partial bottom perspective view of another embodiment of the drinking bottle assembly wherein the surface on which the container will be supported includes a surface that projects from the container and encircles the lower portion of the container; and

FIG. 11B is an exploded view of the embodiment of the drinking bottle assembly of FIG. 11A.

DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, an embodiment of drinking container 10 is shown. In this embodiment, drinking container 10, generally resembles a bottle for containing a consumable fluid such as water or other common consumable liquids. As will be appreciated herein, drinking container 10 has a number of beneficial attributes, one of which includes the ease in refilling container 10.

Container 10 can be constructed of many commonly known materials or combination of materials such as plastic, polycarbonates, glass, metal etc. The thickness of sidewall 14, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, can take on various dimensions. However, in one example, container 10 is constructed of single relatively flexible plastic wall with a thickness that may vary between 25 and 35 mils. Such thickness provides a user with a desirable flexible feel while gripping container 10. Other wall thicknesses are contemplated depending on a number of variables such as durability of container 10 or even the temperature of the fluid intended to be carried or maintained by container 10. For example, for durability container 10 can have sidewall 14 constructed of a relatively thicker wall construction and/or the wall construction can be made of a more rigid material. In other examples, sidewall 14 can take on a double wall construction, as will be discussed further below, for providing insulation for the contents of container 10.

Since drinking container 10 will provide ease in refilling, as will be discussed below, container 10 will likely be refilled and reused a number of times before it is discarded. Because container 10 will often be in a non-sterile environment and come into contact with human hands during the process of refilling, it is desirable that the material used to construct container 10 have an antimicrobial material incorporated into the material. An antimicrobial material such as,_PolySept, a registered trademark of Poly Chem Alloy, Inc. described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,284,814, can be employed and will reduce the growth of undesirable bacteria and provide the user with a more sanitary container 10 during reuse.

Container 10 is contemplated to hold consumable fluids of various temperatures ranging from cold to hot or even room temperature. To maintain the desired temperature of the fluid held within container 10, container 10 will need thermal insulation capability. This thermal insulation capability can be carried out in a number of well known ways, such as for example, utilizing a high thermal resistant material for constructing the container, such as, thermal resistant plastic material with a thicker wall construction of at least 0.25 inches. Another thermal construction, for example, may include a double-walled construction of sidewall of container 10 wherein gas or air, is trapped between the double-walls. Other methods to insulate contents of container 10 may be employed, such as, placing a sleeve over at least a portion of the outside surface of sidewall of container 10. This sleeve may be constructed of a number of commonly known insulating materials, such as, an elastomeric foam-like material, paper, cardboard or the like.

In referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, drinking container 10 comprises a neck 12, sidewall 14 and bottom 16, defining an interior 17. Sidewall 14 defines a separation 18 in sidewall 14 which, in turn, defines an opening 19 in container 10, as seen in FIG. 2. In this example, separation 18 is positioned entirely around the perimeter of sidewall 14 thereby divides container 10 into two portions, lower portion 20 and upper portion 22. Separation 18 is positioned, in this example, in an orientation generally perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of container 10. However, separation 18 can be oriented in numerous other positions, locations and orientations, as well as, in various lengths in sidewall 14. For example, separation 18 may not extend completely around the circumference of container 10. In other examples, separation 18 may not be oriented in a generally perpendicular orientation relative to a longitudinal axis of container 10. As seen in FIG. 1, separation 18, in sidewall 14, is positioned closer to bottom 16 than to neck 12, however, separation may be positioned in a central portion of container 10 or even in a position closer to neck 12 than to bottom 16.

As can be appreciated in this embodiment, opening 19, is larger in dimension than opening 24 defined by neck 12. This enlarged opening 19 provides ease in refilling container 10 in contrast to opening 24 positioned in neck 12 which is smaller in dimension. One would typically fill container 10 through opening 19, with cap 28 secured to neck 12 and covering opening 24. The enlarged opening 19 will result in less spillage and therefore a less messy exercise in refilling container 10. In addition, larger opening 19 provides the user the ability and ease to refill container 10 with nonliquid items in addition to a consumable fluid. Such items may include ice, food materials, such as, fruits and/or vegetables or the like, or powders, tablets or concentrate fluid providing desirable flavors, nutrients, vitamins, medicines or the like. Positioning these items into interior 17 of container 10 will be made much easier in bringing them through enlarged opening 19 than attempting to bring them through opening 24 of neck 12. Additionally, this enlarged opening 19 also provides user easy access to interior 17 for also stirring the contents of a liquid and/or other items positioned therein.

Sidewall 14 of container 10, in the example shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, forms a circular cross section, as well as, a plurality of circular cross sections, positioned generally perpendicular to and along the length of container 10. It is contemplated that in other examples of container 10, such cross sections can take on different configurations or shapes that are regular formations such as oval, rectangular, square (as seen in FIG. 8) triangular, as well as, irregular formations. Moreover, other examples of container 10, contemplate utilizing different shapes or configurations of cross sections in the same container 10, so as to vary the shape of container 10 along its length. Similarly, the dimension of a cross section of container 10 may also vary along the length of container 10. Such varying dimension can be employed for cross sections of container 10 that incorporates generally of the same shape along the length of container 10, and also can be employed for container 10 that varies the configuration or shape of their cross sections along its length.

Another portion of container 10 comprises neck 12 which, in the example shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, neck 12 generally takes on a generally circular cross section along its length forming generally a cylindrical shape open at either end. Again, other examples of neck 12 may include various shapes of cross sections and various dimensions as similarly discussed above for sidewall 14. Neck 12, in this embodiment, is integrally formed with sidewall 14 as a result of container 10 being manufactured generally from a continuous extrusion or molding process. Neck 12 takes on an interior dimension, measured in a direction generally perpendicular to a length of container 10 which is smaller than that of a corresponding measured dimension of container 10 defined by sidewall 14.

Sidewall 14 extends from neck 12 to bottom 16 of container 10. As seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, neck 12 extends from opening 24 to and ends at a juncture or position 34 on container 10 where a change in interior dimension, taken generally perpendicular to a length of container 10, begins to increase in dimension compared to the interior dimension of neck 12. In the example shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the diameter of neck 12 is generally the same along a length of neck 12 and juncture 34 is positioned where the diameter formed by sidewall 14 ends and the diameter formed by sidewall 14 increases in size over that of the dimension of the diameter of neck 12. Sidewall 14 extends from juncture 34 to bottom 16, wherein bottom 16 begins at a position or juncture 36, as seen, for example, in FIG. 8.

Juncture 36 is positioned on container 10 where sidewall 14 ends and bottom 16 begins. Juncture 36 is determined or located by moving along sidewall 14 generally toward bottom 16. Where first contact is made by container 10 on a generally flat support surface with container 10 placed in an upright position, that is juncture 36. In some instances, juncture 36, as seen in FIG. 8, would form a continuous line such as a square or rectangle. In other embodiments, FIGS. 1 and 2, a circle. Thus, juncture 36, in these instances, is a continuous line forming a closed figure and the portion of container 10 positioned within that closed figure is bottom 16. Juncture 36 will be discussed further here-in-below for containers that will have different structural bottom portions.

Neck 12, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, defines opening 24 at end 26 of container 10. Opening 24, in this example, is configured and sized to accommodate a user engaging neck 12 at opening 24 with their mouth to drink fluid contained within container 10. Diameter of opening 24 will generally range between 0.75 to 1.5 inches for ease of user to drink from container 10. However, other dimensions may be employed.

Cap 28 is configured to close opening 24 of container 10. Cap 28 is positioned over opening 24 generally when user is not consuming contents from container 10 to secure fluid within container 10 and is removed from opening 24 to provide access to the drinking fluid contents contained in container 10. In this example, cap 28 defines threads 30, as seen in FIG. 8, and neck 12 define on its exterior surface compatibly sized and shaped threads 32, such that threads 30 and 32 can engage one another. Through use of threads 30 and 32, cap 28 can be tightened down onto neck 12 and cover opening 24 such that fluid contents of container 10 are sealed therein. Annular ring 38 is positioned around the exterior of container 10 and is positioned adjacent and below threads 32 of neck 12 such that cap 28 abuts annular ring 38 with threads 30 and 32 fully engaged to one another and cap 28 is tightened onto neck 12.

With respect to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, separation 18 of sidewall 14, may be positioned in various desired locations and in various orientations in sidewall 14. With separation 18 positioned, in this example, in a generally transverse or perpendicular plane to a longitudinal axis or length of container 10, it can be located at various locations along the longitudinal axis of container 10. As mentioned above, such positions may include separation 18 being positioned closer to bottom 16 than to neck 12, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2; being generally in a mid-portion of container 10; or even being positioned closer to neck 12 than to bottom 16, which is shown in FIG. 6.

In order to access interior 17 of container 10 to fill or refill container 10 with desired contents, separation 18 in sidewall 14 needs to be opened and subsequently closed before user begins to consume the contents of container 10 through opening 24. Many forms or securement may be employed to join sidewall 14 positioned on either side of separation 18 together. In a closed position, it is desired to have separation 18 secured closed to form a water tight closure to prevent leaking out of contents from interior 17 of container 10. In addition, it is also desirable to provide a locking capability of separation 18 in a closed position so as to resist separation 18 from unintentionally separating apart sidewalls 14 positioned on opposing sides of separation 18.

With regard to securing together sidewall 14 at separation 18, threads 40 and 42 are positioned on opposing sides of sidewall 14 as seen in the example shown in FIG. 2. As mentioned above, container 10 may, for example, be extruded or molded and therefore, threads 40 and 42 would, in that instance, can be integrally formed with sidewall 14. However, in other instances threads 40 and 42 may be separately constructed and conventionally secured to opposing sections of sidewall 14. Threads 40 and 42 are compatibly sized and shaped to engage one another and secure to one another, as seen in FIGS. 4 and 5. A user can apply a turning action to one or other of bottom and top sections 20,22 or opposing turning actions to portions 20, 22 of container 10, thereby screwing together two portions 20, 22 and closing container 10 between neck 12 and bottom 16 of the embodiment as shown seen in FIG. 1. With two portions 20 and 22 secured together, as also seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, outside surface of sidewall 14 is positioned on opposing sides of separation 18 to align with one another thereby providing a relatively smooth outside surface to container 10.

A water tight seal is provided as seen in FIGS. 4 and 5. In FIG. 4, gasket 44 is positioned around container 10 and is shown being compressed, by opposing sides of sidewall 14 that define separation 18. Gasket 44 is compressed with threads 40, 42 engaged. With gasket 44 compressed, a water tight seal is provided. Another example of sealing separation 18 defined by sidewall 14, is shown in FIG. 5. In this instance O-ring 46 is positioned in a closed channel 48 positioned around container 10 and defined by sidewall 14. O-ring 46 is dimensioned such that with it being positioned within channel 48 and threads 40,42 are fully engaged, O-ring 46 is compressed against juncture 41 between threads 40,42 providing a water tight seal.

A locking assembly 50, can be seen in FIGS. 2 and 3. Locking assembly 50 is provided to prevent unintentional loosening of the threaded engagement between portions lower and upper portions 20, 22 of container 10. Many conventional locking assemblies are contemplated, however, one example is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Locking assembly 50 comprises at least one tab 52 positioned in threads 40 of upper portion 22, as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3. Ramp 54 is provided in threads 42 of lower portion 20 such that, with threads 40,42 being screwed together, tabs 52 ride up incline 53 of ramp 54 as threads 40,42 are tightened together. Once threads 40, 42 have been tightened together, a tab 52 will have ridden up the incline 53 of ramp 54 and be positioned beyond ramp 54. Thus if a reverse force is applied to loosen threads 40,42, tab 52 positioned beyond ramp 54 will move toward ramp 54 and be blocked by ramp 54 as seen in FIG. 3. A loosening force, such as a counterclockwise movement applied to threads 40, will be blocked by tab 52 abutting ramp 54. When user desires to unlock threaded engagement of threads 40,42, the user, with this locking example, must first unblock ramp 54 from path of tab 52. A user applies a compression force to sidewall 14 in direction of arrows 56. The result, is sidewall 14 will begin to deform and bulge outwardly in direction indicated by arrows 58. This bulging movement outwardly by sidewall 14 will cause ramp 54 to move outwardly away from the path of tab 52, thereby unlocking the threaded engagement and allowing portions 20, 22 to be unscrewed apart and separated.

Another embodiment, is shown in FIG. 8. In this embodiment, opening 60 is defined in bottom 16 of container 10. Opening 60, as shown, may be dimensioned to be of lesser dimension than bottom 16. In other embodiments opening 60 can be the same size or coextensive to bottom 16. This coextensive sizing would be readily feasible, for example, as with the container 10 embodiment with a circular bottom 16, such as seen FIGS. 1 and 2. As is also seen in FIG. 8, panel 62 is provided and is properly dimensioned to cover opening 60.

In order to secure panel 62 to bottom 16, threads 64, 66 are defined in bottom 16 and panel 62, respectively. In an instance where panel 62 is coextensive with bottom 16, threads would be positioned in panel 16 and sidewall 14. Threads 64, 66 have a similar construction as described above for threads 40, 42 that are shown in the embodiment in FIG. 2. Thus with threads 64, 66 being compatibly sized and shaped, panel 62 can be releasably secured and tightened to container 10. Similarly, as described above, locking assembly 50 and water tight sealing constructions, may also be employed in this embodiment as well. Handle 68 is provided for user to apply a turning movement to panel 62 to assist the user in tightening or loosening panel 62 to bottom 16.

Another embodiment is shown in FIG. 7. In this embodiment, two separations 18 are defined in sidewall 14 and are positioned in container 10 generally where the separations are shown in both embodiments portrayed in FIG. 2 and FIG. 6. Threads 40, 42 are appropriately positioned in sidewall 14 positioned on either side of each separation 18. Thus in this embodiment, with two separations defined by sidewall 14, two positions to open and close container 10 in association with sidewall 14 are provided. It is contemplated that any number of sections 70 could be added to container 10, thus increasing the length of container 10. Also, sections of varying external shapes and/or colors may be provided to give a desired look to container 10 or a highly distinctive look. Likewise, as described above, locking assembly 50 and water tight constructions can be employed in this embodiment as well.

In other embodiments of container 10, where bottom portion of container 10 is not flat, juncture 36, as previously discussed above, may not be formed by a continuous line. Another approach is used to determine what will be bottom 16 of such containers 10. An example of a container 10 where the bottom portion is not flat can be seen in FIG. 9A, wherein legs 72 project from a bottom portion of container 10. A bottom surface of legs 72 of container 10 would make a foot print as shown in schematic FIG. 9B. Sections 36′ represent what a lower surface of legs 72 will contact on a flat surface that supports container 10 in an upright position. Sections 36′ represent generally, in size and shape, what will be considered bottom 16 on legs 72 of container 10. Any part of container 10 that does not contact a flat support surface in a lower portion of container 10 will be considered to be sidewall 14.

In further referring to FIG. 9B, schematic representation of opening 60 is shown for this embodiment of container 10. The schematic representation of opening 60 is a circle that passes through, sections 36′, which represents passing through bottoms 16 on container 10, and passes through sidewall 14. Thus opening 60 is defined by the combination of sections 36′, or what would be bottoms 16 on container 10, and sidewall 14 on container 10. The position of panel 76, used for closing opening 60, is also shown schematically in FIG. 9B.

FIG. 9C portrays the embodiment of container 10 that is portrayed in FIGS. 9A and 9B. Opening 60 cuts through legs 72, through bottoms 16 and through sidewall 14, as portrayed in schematic 9B. Sidewall 14 defines threads 66 and defines compatible threads 64. Thus, panel 76 is removably securable to container 10 through securement and unsecurement of threads 64 and 66. Panel 76 is dimensioned and sized to cover opening 60. As in other embodiments discussed herein, water tight sealing may be employed by gaskets 44 or O-rings 46 and locking assembly 50 may also be employed. Additionally, a handle as earlier shown and discussed can be provided to assist user in applying a turning force to panel 76.

As seen in FIG. 10, another schematic is shown that represents a footprint of another embodiment of container 10. This embodiment is similar to that shown in FIGS. 9A-9C except bottom surface 16 sections of legs 72 are now positioned so that they surround opening 60. Thus, in schematic in FIG. 10 opening 60 is now schematically positioned inside sections 36′. Again, sections 36′ are the schematic footprints of bottom 16 surface sections of legs 72 that contact a flat surface with container 10 being supported in an upright position.

Since all other surfaces in the lower portion of container 10 that surround bottom surfaces 16 sections, will be considered sidewall 14, opening 60 in this embodiment is defined by sidewall 14. Panel 76 is schematically shown in FIG. 10 and is represented to be properly sized to cover opening 60. Similar construction for this embodiment may be employed, as was described above for other embodiments, such as utilizing compatibly engaging threads such as 66 and 64 to secure panel 76 to container 10, as well as, water tight seals or gaskets and locking assembly 50.

As seen in FIGS. 11A and 11B, another embodiment is shown. In this embodiment, bottom 16 is now at least one continuous encircling configuration positioned projecting from container 10 and about the perimeter of container 10 wherein sidewall 14 is positioned in between portions of continuous bottom surface 16. In this embodiment, continuous bottom surface 16 can be constructed to encircle entirely around the bottom portion of container 10 or it may be positioned as segments to extend less than entirely encircling around. Panel 76 is positioned covering opening 60 positioned, as seen in FIGS. 11A and in 11B, in between portions of bottom surface 16. As discussed above threads 64 and 66 are provided to secure and unsecure panel 76 from container 10 thereby opening and closing the opening 60. Similarly, locking assembly 50 and water tight structures such as O-rings or gaskets may be utilized as well.

Thus, it is understood that a larger opening is being provided in container 10 to provide easier and less messier refilling of container 10. The opening allows ease in inserting a variety of items into the interior of container 10 and otherwise accessing the interior of container 10 for other processes such as mixing and removing of items. In addition, container 10 can be easily personalized by utilizing labeling, colorizing or merely utilizing sections of container 10 that has a certain size and shape that is distinctive. Colorizing can also be employed to represent colors of a favorite school or professional team. Similarly, colorizing can be used to designate contents intended to be contained by that container.

The foregoing description has been presented for purposes of illustration and description, and is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. The descriptions were selected to explain the principles of the invention and their practical application to enable others skilled in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments and various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. Although particular constructions of the present invention have been shown and described, other alternative constructions will be apparent to those skilled in the art and are within the intended scope of the present invention.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20110042374 *Jun 4, 2010Feb 24, 2011Jen Hao ChangDrink cup
US20130243909 *May 18, 2012Sep 19, 2013Dan JoyceInvertible Segmented Consumption Container
US20140018747 *Jul 10, 2013Jan 16, 2014Douglas HirtEnteral Feed Cup
EP2457838A1 *Nov 26, 2010May 30, 2012Egon FaissDrinks bottle with two openings
WO2012011089A2 *Aug 26, 2011Jan 26, 2012Bamboo Bottle CompanyDrinking apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/200
International ClassificationB65D51/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D11/04, B65D1/06
European ClassificationB65D1/06, B65D11/04