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Publication numberUS3171580 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 2, 1965
Filing dateMar 19, 1963
Priority dateMar 19, 1963
Publication numberUS 3171580 A, US 3171580A, US-A-3171580, US3171580 A, US3171580A
InventorsMcallister Jr Lloyd G, Paul Davis
Original AssigneeSweetheart Plastics
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lid
US 3171580 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 2, 1965 P. DAVIS ETAL 3,171,580

Filed March 19, 1965 FIC-3.7

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ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,171,580 LID Paul Davis, Beverly, Mass., and Lloyd G. McAllister, Jr., Baltimore, Md., assignors to Sweetheart Plastics, Inc., Wilmington, Mass., a corporation of Maryland Filed Mar. 19, 1963, Ser. No. 266,241 1t) Claims. (Cl. 229-7) This invention relates to lids for containers and more particularly comprises a new and improved disposable plastic lid having means provided therein for the formation of one or more openings such as may receive a straw.

Many different arrangements have been devised for providing openings in drinking cup lids to enable the contents of the cups to be drained with a straw without removing the lids. Such means are desirable as they reduce the likelihood of the contents spilling, particularly in automobiles and other places where soft drinks are often consurned and where tables are not available.

W'hile openings for receiving straws are desirable for the purpose described, such openings unless provided with their own closures markedly impair the usefulness of the lids in the performance of their primary function. Therefore, substantially all straw openings now available are provided with some form of closure. However all such closures known to us are at least partially severed from the lid proper so that while the openings do not constitute a large hole through which the contents can spill, they nevertheless do allow some leakage. The straw opening closures are also often diicult to sever from the lid proper and have a tendency to fall into the cups when any pressure is applied to them. This is unsanitary, and when a closure drops into the cup it makes the drink somewhat less appealing.

One important object of this invention is to provide a disposable lid for drinking cups having a wholly imperiorate surface but which is provided with means which enables the user to quickly form a straw opening therein without the use of special tools of any kind.

Another important object of this invention is to provide a straw opening closure for cup lids, which will not readily pass through the straw opening and fall into the container covered by the lid.

Yet another important object of this invention is to provide an area in a container lid which may readily be removed from the lid with thumbnail pressure so as to form an opening in the lid for the insertion of a straw.

Still another important object of this invention is to provide a very inexpensive and convenient method for forming a straw opening in a lid.

Another important object of this invention is to provide a container cover having a wholly imperforate surface but which is provided with a plurality of partially formed shaker openings which may be completed with thumbnail pressure to allow the container contents to be discharged.

To accomplish these and other objects of this invention the lid comprises a main closure disc for covering a container, which disc has provided therein one or more wells that extend from the plane of the disc to one side thereof. Each well has a side wall which is appreciably weaker structurally than the end wall of the well and the disc of the lid, and a groove is provided in the side wall into which a fingernail or other relatively sharp instrument may be inserted to sever the wall and thereby form the opening.

To provide the lid with this capability the well is first formed in the closure disc of the lid and then the side wall of the well is permanently deformed to structurally weaken it. When so weakened pressure applied to the side wall of the well will readily tear it and thus provide an opening in the disc.

Ice

These and other objects and features of this invention will be better understood and appreciated from the follow ing detailed description of several embodiments thereof, selected tor purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a lid constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the lid shown in FIG. 1, positioned on the rim of a cup;

FIGS. 3 and 4 are fragmentary cross sectional views suggesting the manner in which the straw opening of FIG. 2 is formed;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross sectional view showing the manner in which the straw opening cover may be torn;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary plan view of a lid having a partially formed straw opening in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along the corresponding section line in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view showing the straw opening of FIGS. 6 and 7 fully formed;

FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view of the lid shown in FIG. 8 severed around a portion thereof to enable a straw to be inserted through it;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary plan view of a lid having another embodiment of a straw opening partially formed therein in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 11 is a cross sectional view taken along the corresponding section line in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a cross sectional view showing the lid of FIGS. 10 and 1l with the straw opening fully formed;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of yet another embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 14 is a plan view of still another lid or cover constructed in accordance with this invention.

In FIGS. 1 and 2 a lid 20 is shown which serves as a closure on a drinking cup 22. The lid includes a main disc or horizontal wall 24, a side wall 26 and a downturned skirt 28, the side wall 2o and the downturned skirt 2S being designed to engage and form a seal about the rim 30 of the cup 22.. The lid shown also includes an annular rib 32 extending upwardly from the disc 24, which may cooperate with the bottom of a cup stacked upon it to prevent the cups from shifting laterally when a number of closed cups are stacked one upon the other. The particular configuration of the disc 24, side wall 25, skirt 28 and rib 32 form no part of the invention but rather are described merely to provide a setting for the straw opening 34 formed in the disc 24, which is the subject matter of the present invention.

The straw opening 34 is formed as a Well in the disc 24 of the lid and includes an end wall 36 and side wall 38. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 5 the opening is circular and therefore the end wall 34!- is round and the side wall 38 is cylindrical. FlGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the manner in which the opening 34 is formed. When the lid 2t) is formed the well composed of the side wall 38 and end wall 36 may simultaneously be formed in the disc 24. The lid 2t! made of a plastic material may readily be drawn or vacuum formed or pressure formed with the side wall 26, skirt 28, rib 32 and well composed of the end wall 36 and side wall 38. When the well is formed the end wall 36 will normally be thicker than the side wall 3S as the plastic sheet is stretched at that region during drawing to form the well. In FIG. 3 the side wall is shown to be thinner than both the end wall 36 and the wall or disc 24 of the lid.

After the well is drawn in the disc 24 pressure is applied to the end wall 36 which causes the side wall 33 to collapse against the disc 24. The end wall 36 remains virtually unaltered but the collapsed side wall places the end wall 36 immediately adjacent the plane of the wall or disc 24. Because the side wall 38 is substantially thinner than the end Wall it will readily buckle as sho-wn in FIG. 4 withont deforming either the wall 24 or the end wall 36 of the well. When the well is collapsed as shown in FIG. 4 the wall 38 is permanently deformed `and :the plastic material may craze during deforma-tion so that it is appreciably weakened structurally. Whether the wall crazes or not, it is nevertheless considerably weaker than' either the end wall 36 or the disc 24.

In FIG. the manner -in which the end wall 36 may be severed from the disc 24 is suggested. Note in FIG. 5 that a fingernail 40 is shown inserted under the pleat 46 of the well and above the upper surface 44 of the wall 24. The permanently collapsed side wall 38 is ple-ated with a fold 46 in which the fingernail 40 may be inserted. By inserting the'iingernafil in the pleat o-r `fold 46 and applying yan upwardly directed force in the direction of the inner surf-ace 48 of theend wall, the side Wall 38 will tear as shown at 49. If the user tears the end wall 38 albout the full circumference of the well, the opening 50 is entirely exposed. It is possible for the user to tear only a portion of the wall 38 `so that the end wall 36 remains effectively hinged to the disc 24 permitting it to be moved back into place to form a closure for the opening 50.

As shown in FIG. 5, if the side wall 38 tears at its base the opening 50 so formed is smaller than the diameter of the severed portion, .and therefore the severed portion ciannot fall through the opening into the cup.

In FIGS. 6-9 another embodiment of the invention is shown. In that embodiment the disc 52 of the lid is drawn with a lwell 54 defined yby an end wall 56 and a side wall 58. The end wall 56 is bent substantially across its diameter as suggested at 60 with the portion 56 lying parallel to Ithe disc 52 and the portion 56" sloping from the fold 60 and merging smoothly with the plane of the disc 52. Thus, the side wall 58 is of uniform height about approximately 180 of the well, and the wall about the remaining 180 of the well diminishes from the fold 60 effectively to nothing at region 62. Drawn in this manne-r, the side wall S8 of the well is thinner about that portion of uniform height than in the portion where the yheight of the wall diminishes.

After the well is formed a load is applied to the end wall 56 causing the ywall 58 to collapse and permanently deform. When so loaded a pleat 64 is formed in the collapsed side wall 58, of uniform depth about the 180 of the well in which the Aside wall S8 was of uniform height, `and the depth of the pleat 56 diminishes to the right as viewed in FIG. 8 until it is virtually nonexistent at the region 62. Therefore, when the tingernail or some other sharp implement is inserted in the ple-at 64 and a tearing force is applied upwardly `on the wall 56, the side wall 58 will readily tear through at least 180 and then `the resistance to tearing will increase somewhat to the region 62 where the'tearing resistance is maximum. Therefore, unless the user particularly desires to completely sever the end wall 56 from the lid, the side wall 58 will tear but leave a hinge-type of connection alt the region 62. As suggested in FIG. 9, the wall 56 remains hinged to the disc 52 and vto insert the straw 66 through the opening the cover 56 is folded back about the hinge. Thus this configuration performs 'better for preventing the open piece from falling into the cup. When the straw is removed the end wall 56 may be repositioned as shown in FIG. 8 to close the opening.

In FIGS. -12 yet another embodiment of the invention is shown. In this embodiment the disc 70 of the lid is provided with a well which is generally rectangular in plan view and has an inclined end wall 72 which me-rges smoothly into .the disc 70 atv the Iline 74. Thus, the well is defined by an inclined end wall 72, one side wall 76 of uniform height, and two opposite side walls 78 which are triangular Yin shape and extend from the line 74 to the side wall 76. The well formed as shown in FIGS. 10

. i and 11 is swbjected to a load which collapses the side walls 76 and 78 yas suggested in FIG. 12. When so collapsed, the side Wall 76 forms a relatively deep fold or pleat 80, and the `side walls 78 are each provided with a fold or pleat which Igradually diminishes in depth from the wall 76 to the line 74. The thickness of 4wall 76 is appreciably less than the thicknessy of walls 70 and 72, and walls 78 gradually increase in thickness from the edge adjacent wall 76 to the line 74'. To open the straw opening the lingernail may be inserted in the pleat 80 and the side walls 76 and 78 may be torri toward the line 74. As no appreciably weakened section isformed along line 74, the lid will not readily tear along that line and therefore a hinged cover portion 82 is provided which is similar to the hinged cover Iportion 56 of the embodiment of FIGS. 69.

In FIG. 13 ,an opening is provided virtually identical to that `shown in FIG. 12 ibut rather than lying on the upper surface of the disc 70', the cover 72 lies on the bottom surface so that when the side walls 76 and 78 are torn the end wall or cover 72 folds downwardly into t-he container. However, because it remains hinged to the wall 70' of the lid it will no-t drop into the container content-s.

In the embodiment of FIG. 14 the principles employed in the straw openings are Iused in a shaker cover of the type found on cans of powdered soaps and detergents. The cover in FIG. 14 is provided with a plurality (six shown) of wells 92 iden-tical to those in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-5. The user may form one `or more openings in the cover `by stripping the wells as suggested in FIG. 5, the numlber formed of course determining how fast the can contents may be discharged. As in the previo-us ern- 'bodiments the wells may be wholly or partially severable depending upon the shape of Iwells formed in t-he cover.

From the `foregoing description it will be recognized that the straw opening may take any one of a number of shapes; for example, it may be round, oval, square, rectangular, etc. Moreover, the side wall of the well may either be weakened entirely about the Well or may be weakened only about a portion thereof so that when the Wall is torn the end wall will remain hinged to the remaining portion of the lid. Furthermore, the pleats may fold in Irather than out as shown in the several ernbodiments. Of primary importance of course is that the side walls of .the well be weakened so that they can readily `be torn. Because numerous modilicaitions may be made of this invention it is not intended that its breadth be limited to only those Vembodiments illustrated and described. Rather, it is intended that the breadth of this invention be determined by the appended claims and their equivalents.

What is claimed is:

1. A lid comprising a main closure disc for covering the container opening with which the lid is to be used,

a Well extending from the plane of the disc to one side thereof and having a side Wall which is appreciably weaker structurally than the disc and the end wall of the well, Y

and an outwardly concave pleat formed in the side wall of the well for receiving a fingernail to facilitate tearing the side wall of the well.

2. A lid as defined in claim 1 further characterized by said side wall being shorter in one portion of the perimeter of the well than in the remaining portion of the perimeter.

3. A lid as defined in claim 1 further characterized by said `side wall extending about only a portion of the perimeter of the well.

4. A lid as deiined in claim 1 further characterized by said well being rectangular in plan view and said side wall extending about three of the four sides of the well. Y

5. A lid as defined in claim l further characterized by said side wall being thinner than the end wall of the well.

6. A cover comprising,

a main closure disc,

and .a plurality of wells extending to one side thereof,

each of the wells having side and end walls with the side walls .being structurally weaker than the closure disc and the end Wall and tearable thumbnail pressure.

7. A cover comprising a main closure wall,

and at least one well extending to one side thereof, said well having side and end walls with the side wall being structurally weaker than the main closure Wall and the end Wall and tearable with thumbnail pres sure.

8. A cover as defined in claim 7 further characterized said side Wall bowing outwardly between the end wall and the main closure wall so as to overlap a portion of the main closure Wall adjacent the well.

9. A cover comprising a main closure wall,

and at least one Well extending to one side thereof, said well having side and end walls with at least a portion of ysaid side wall being structurally weaker than the closure Wall and the end Wall and tearable with thumbnail pressure.

10. A cover comprising a main closure wall,

and at least one well extending to one side thereof, said Well having side and end walls With a portion of said side Wall being structurally weaker than the closure Wall and the end Wall and tearable with thumbnail pressure and with the Iremaining portion of the side wall forming a hinge for the end Wall when the Weaker portion of the side Wall is torn.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,073,941 Lowen Mar. 16, 1937 2,157,646 Barkes May 9, 1939 2,312,358 Punte Mar. 2, 1943 2,761,598 Darlington 1 Sept. 4, 1956 3,048,317 Cochrane et al. Aug. 7, 1962 3,076,584 Sherlock Feb. 5, 1963

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2073941 *Nov 7, 1935Mar 16, 1937Patent Tube CorpContainer closure
US2157646 *Oct 1, 1938May 9, 1939A H Wirz IncSingle use tube
US2312358 *Feb 25, 1941Mar 2, 1943Continental Can CoMetal container for beverages
US2761598 *Nov 25, 1952Sep 4, 1956A H Wirz IncSpout closure
US3048317 *Dec 27, 1961Aug 7, 1962Hugh M CochraneClosure cap for cups and like containers
US3076584 *Nov 18, 1959Feb 5, 1963Plastic Packaging LtdFluid containers or cartons
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3295706 *Jun 10, 1964Jan 3, 1967Hipwell Mfg CompanyMultipurpose plastic container
US3302813 *Feb 3, 1964Feb 7, 1967Owens Illinois IncMulti-piece containers
US3822030 *Aug 26, 1971Jul 2, 1974Tanzer JLid with straw positioning means
US3912118 *Mar 22, 1973Oct 14, 1975Bird Stanford WContainer lid
US4085861 *Dec 31, 1975Apr 25, 1978Ruff Stanley LInsulating drink-through closure lids for potable open-top containers
US4187954 *Jan 19, 1979Feb 12, 1980Striggow Lewis JBeverage container lid
US4333583 *May 1, 1980Jun 8, 1982Joseph MontemaranoDrinking spout cover
US4462544 *Jul 1, 1982Jul 31, 1984Rutzel Alois EBeverage sipper
US4753365 *Jul 2, 1987Jun 28, 1988Solo Cup CompanyLid with removable tab
US4909407 *Apr 18, 1989Mar 20, 1990Lambert G StevenCan lid with easy-open tab
US5025947 *Oct 27, 1989Jun 25, 1991Marcello LeoneSingle-dose beverage cup and rectangular cross-section straw assembly
US5335812 *Oct 29, 1993Aug 9, 1994Lily Cups Inc.Drinking vessel lid having a defined straw puncturable area
US5377860 *Sep 14, 1993Jan 3, 1995James River Corporation Of VirginiaDouble seal food container
US5992658 *Jun 5, 1997Nov 30, 1999Berger; Joel PaulSealed bottle closure with opening for straw
US6604647 *Jun 23, 1997Aug 12, 2003Ropak CorporationMolded container and lid having strategically positioned drainage opening
US6948633 *Jan 14, 2003Sep 27, 2005Fort James CorporationCup lid having combined straw slot depression and tear back lid retainer
US7134569 *Mar 8, 2005Nov 14, 2006Fort James CorporationCup lid having frangible straw slot depression
US7374061 *Jul 20, 2004May 20, 2008Smart Seal AsSealing device for a drinking container
US7641070 *Sep 15, 2007Jan 5, 2010Edison Nation, LlcLow cost spill-resistant cup for liquids
US7757886Feb 28, 2006Jul 20, 2010Edison Nation, LlcLow cost spill-and-glug-resistant cup and container
US7854337 *Mar 31, 2007Dec 21, 2010Sioux Chief Mfg. Co., Inc.Breakaway closure member with offset nipple
US20030178426 *Jan 14, 2003Sep 25, 2003James River Corporation Of VirginiaCup lid having combined straw slot depression and tear back lid retainer
US20040195239 *Mar 18, 2004Oct 7, 2004Fort James CorporationTear-back drink-through lid for a beverage container
US20050011902 *Jul 20, 2004Jan 20, 2005Kolbjorn NaesjeSealing device for a drinking container and a method of making the sealing device
US20050145626 *Mar 8, 2005Jul 7, 2005Fort James CorporationCup lid having combined straw slot depression and tear back lid retainer
US20060027588 *Aug 4, 2005Feb 9, 2006Miriam Mackovic-BasicRemovable clip for beverage lid
US20070199945 *Jul 5, 2006Aug 30, 2007I-Chung HoLow cost spill-resistant cup
US20080000920 *Sep 15, 2007Jan 3, 2008I-Chung HoLow Cost Spill-Resistant Cup For Liquids
US20100200601 *Apr 26, 2010Aug 12, 2010Edison Nation, LlcLow cost spill-resistant cup
Classifications
U.S. Classification229/404, 220/268, 215/388, 229/906.1, 220/266, 222/541.6
International ClassificationB65D85/72
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2231/02, B65D2231/022, B65D17/161
European ClassificationB65D17/16B