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Publication numberUS3301459 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 31, 1967
Filing dateApr 16, 1965
Priority dateApr 16, 1965
Publication numberUS 3301459 A, US 3301459A, US-A-3301459, US3301459 A, US3301459A
InventorsGardner Timothy F
Original AssigneeGardner Timothy F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Closure for drinking containers
US 3301459 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 31, 1967 T. F. GARDNER 3,301,459 v CLOSURE FOR DRINKING CONTAINERS Filed April 16, 1965 I United States Patent This invention has to do with drinking cups or glasses and is particularly concerned with a closure that prevents spillage and that simultaneously permits drinking from the cup or glass, all without the removal of the said closure.

Refreshments and particularly beverages are sold in cups or glasses of varied shapes and sizes, and quite often in paper cups. Said cups are filled by hand and are also dispensed by machine, and in either case spillage is a problem the moment said cups are filled. Although care can be exercised in avoiding spillage, nevertheless there are circumstances where care and prudence does not avoid spillage. For the most part, these circumstances prevail when transportation is concerned, either in carrying the filled cup or in the handling of the filled cup when travelling aboard a vehicle, or the like. In any event, there are circumstances such as those mentioned where a person is jostled while carrying or drinking from a container and in which-case a non-spilling container is most desirable.

An object of this invention is to provide a closure for drinking containers, a closure that prevents spillage and that also permits drinking therefrom, all without removal of said closure.

It is an object of this invention to provide a closure for a drinking container that is convertible from a sealed condition to an openable condition. With the structure of the present invention the closure can be applied as an absolute seal but preferably with a vent, or the closure can be altered so as to permit drinking of liquid from a container in which latter case the closure is at least substantially spillproof.

It is another object of this invention to provide a closure of the character referred to and which is adapted to be made of one piece of material, and which is such as to seek a normally closed condition, and which is easily operated to be opened for access to the interior of the container for drinking purposes.

It is still another object of this invention to provide a closure of the character referred to and which includes a valve action that operates to open for drinking and to close with sealed engagement when released from said drinking condition.

The various objects and features of this invention will be fully understood from the following detailed description of the typical preferred forms and applications thereof, throughout which description reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a container and the closure provided by the present invention. FIG. 2 is a plan section taken as indicated by line 2-2 on FIG. 1, and FIG. 3 is an enlarged detailed section taken as indicated by line 33 on FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a view showing the second form of the invention, similar to FIG. 2, and FIG. 5 is an enlarged detailed section taken as indicated by line 5-5 on FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a view showing the third form of the invention, similar to FIGS. 2 and 4, and FIG. 7 is an enlarged detailed section taken as indicated by line 77 on FIG. 6.

The container A to which the closure B is applicable can vary and is shown as a typical drinking cup as they are constructed of waxed paper and the like. The container has a bottom 10 and a side wall 11, being sub stantially cylindrical in form with a slightly tapered configuration. The rim 12 is rolled into a head or slight peripheral enlargement, the container structure as a whole being expendable after once used.

The closure B is a cap-like structure that is applicable to the drinking container above described, or any like container, being formed of sheet material having flexibility and resilience. In practice, a pliable plastic sheet material is employed in forming the closure B, preferably polyethylene which can be effectively thermal-1y formed. Thus, the closure B is essentially a disc-shaped element having a flat top 15 and a cir-cumferentially and axially disposed channel 16 for reception of and engagement with the rim 12 of the container. As is common practice, the channel 16 has an internal lip 17 that snaps over the rim 12, the memory of the material forming the closure causing the channel to fit snugly onto the rim of the container.

In accordance with the invention the closure B has incorporated therein at least one line of weakening 20 and which line extends to or along the edge portion of the closure. In the first form of the invention (FIGS. 1, 2 and 3) I have shown an arcuate line of weakening 20 that is concentric with the diameter of the closure and which is uniformly spaced from the channel 16 along one side of the closure. The said line of weakening 20 can vary accordingly to the desired facility with which opening thereof is to be made, the top 15 remaining closed and sealed prior to the said opening. Therefore, a typical line of weakening 20 is established by pressing a knife into engagement with at least one side of the top 15, thereby reducing the material thickness to a mini mum as best illustrated in FIG. 3. However, in the event that a vent is required then one or more perforations 21 can be provided along the line of weakening, or if desired the line of weakening 20 can comprise a series of perforations 20'.

In the second form of the invention (FIGS. 4 and 5), the said line of weakening 20' is recessed for the containment of liquid, as by means of capillary attraction. As is shown, there is an elongate recess or well 22 extending diametrically of the top 15', said well presenting rounded edges for engagement with a persons lips and having a collecting function for the liquid being handled.

In the third form of the invention (FIGS. 6 and 7) the said line of weakening 20" and recess or well 22" are as above described but related so as to provide re-sealin g of the opening that is formed by separating or breaking apart of the top along said line of weakening. In the form now under consideration the recess or well 22" is of such depth as to present a wall '23 disposed in a plane substantially normal to the plane of the top 15", and said line 'of weakening 20", well 22" and wall 23 are straight and are disposed transversely of the top as a chord line. In accordance with this form of the invention the said wall 23 is impressed with said line of weakening 20" and to the end that the broken apart edges of the top 15" can come together into sealing engagement.

From the foregoing, the closure B is disclosed as a single element structure wherein the plane of the top is interrupted by a line of weakening which in each instance can be entirely imperforate or vented as desired, and which in each instance can be broken so as to permit the adjacent portions of the top to deflect together or oppositely and in which each case results in separation of said portions for the passage of liquid. Further, in each instance the resilience of the material forming the top brings the adjacent broken apart portions back into alignment so as to touch or at least to be closely opposed, in which case wetting by means of the presence of the liquid involved causes a seal to be established as caused by capillary attraction :or surface tension of liquid to occupy the interstice between the opposed top portions, and particularly in the form shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 where internal pressures act to force the sealing edges into engagement.

Having described only a typical preferred form and application of my invention, I do not wish '00 be limited or restricted to the specific details herein 'set fo rth,"but Wish to reserve to myself any modifications or variations that may appears to those skilled in the art and fall within the scope of the following claims.

Having described my invention, I claim:

1. A closure for drinking containers of the character desoribed and comprising:

(a) a top of flexible and resilient material;

(b) means securing said top to the container to close the same;

(c) and a line of weakening with at least one open vent perfioration and dividing the top into separable and adjacently opposed relatively movable portions, said portions being movable apart for drinking purposes and normally movable together to prevent spillage.

2. A closure for drinking containers of the character described and oomprising:

(a) a'top of flexible and resilient material, With an elongate recess therein having a wall substantially normal to the plane of said top;

(b) means scouring said top to the container to close the same;

(0) and a line of separation disposed parallel with the plane ofv the said top and at the said normal wall thereof, and dividing the top into opposed adjacently and separably releasable movable portions, said portions being movable apart for drinking purposes and normally movable together to prevent spillage.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,956,721 10/1960 Bennett 229-43 3,048,317 8/ 1962 Cochrane et al 2297 FOREIGN PATENTS 9,743/ 27 1/ 1929 Australia. 833,719 lO/l938 France. 1,250,853 12/1960 France.

GEORGE O. RALSTON, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2956721 *May 31, 1957Oct 18, 1960American Can CoMolded plastic container lid
US3048317 *Dec 27, 1961Aug 7, 1962Hugh M CochraneClosure cap for cups and like containers
AU974327A * Title not available
FR833719A * Title not available
FR1250853A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3777968 *Dec 27, 1971Dec 11, 1973Law WBeverage container having a frangible closure
US3860162 *Oct 10, 1972Jan 14, 1975Nospil LimitedNon-spill drinking cup top
US3952910 *Sep 4, 1975Apr 27, 1976Wheeler Richard ASelf-sealing container closure
US3977559 *Oct 30, 1972Aug 31, 1976Jerome KreegerLid for food container
US4056210 *Sep 13, 1976Nov 1, 1977Maryland Cup CorporationSplash proof drink through beverage container lid
US4113135 *Jun 6, 1977Sep 12, 1978Takamitsu YamazakiDrinking cup cover
US4210272 *Jun 27, 1978Jul 1, 1980Michael M. SakovichContainer lid
US4518096 *May 12, 1983May 21, 1985Maryland Cup CorporationDrink-through container lid with removable drink-through section
US4586625 *Jan 11, 1984May 6, 1986Top Notcher Enterprises, Inc.Single use beverage container top
US4721210 *Nov 18, 1986Jan 26, 1988Lawrence Richard RTamper-evident package
US4756440 *Sep 14, 1987Jul 12, 1988Gartner William JAnti-spill lid for beverage container
US4867332 *Oct 17, 1988Sep 19, 1989Mains Gregory TTool holder
US4901877 *Jul 7, 1989Feb 20, 1990Hall John RBee proof beverage container
US4901881 *Sep 12, 1988Feb 20, 1990Mcelroy Steven GMethod and apparatus for closing containers
US5226586 *Apr 24, 1991Jul 13, 1993Lin Tec Verpackungstechnik GmbhContainer, especially drinking cup
US5820016 *May 13, 1996Oct 13, 1998Dunkin' Donuts IncorporatedCup and lid
US8074831 *Jul 25, 2007Dec 13, 2011Berry Plastics CorporationDrink cup and lid
US8286826Mar 6, 2007Oct 16, 2012Learning Curve Brands, Inc.Drinking containers
US8540112Sep 7, 2012Sep 24, 2013Learning Curve Brands, Inc.Drinking containers
US8608017Mar 6, 2007Dec 17, 2013Learning Curve Brands, Inc.Drinking containers
US8794479 *Sep 23, 2011Aug 5, 2014Jer Hong LinDrinking container with cooling reservoir
US8807388Sep 6, 2013Aug 19, 2014Tomy International, Inc.Drinking containers
US20070145058 *Mar 6, 2007Jun 28, 2007The First Years Inc.Drinking containers
US20080017651 *Jul 25, 2007Jan 24, 2008Berry Plastics CorporationDrink cup and lid
US20120048856 *Nov 7, 2011Mar 1, 2012Berry Plastics CorporationDrink cup and lid
US20120080441 *Sep 23, 2011Apr 5, 2012Jer Hong LinDrinking contaier with cooling reservoir
USD623474Sep 18, 2009Sep 14, 2010Wilton Industries Inc.Mug
USD623476Apr 29, 2010Sep 14, 2010Wilton Industries Inc.Mug
USD658443Nov 4, 2010May 1, 2012Wilton Industries Inc.Cup
USD720613 *Sep 9, 2013Jan 6, 2015Kraft Foods Group Brands LlcContainer
USD729565Jan 24, 2014May 19, 2015Wilton Industries Inc.Dispenser
USRE29898 *Jan 24, 1977Feb 6, 1979Ball CorporationSelf-sealing container closure
USRE31650 *Nov 16, 1979Aug 21, 1984 Non-spillable cup lid
EP0398122A1 *May 7, 1990Nov 22, 1990Paul AdamCover for drinking cup
U.S. Classification220/266, 220/711, 229/906.1, 229/123.2
International ClassificationB65D47/10, B65D43/02, B65D47/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65D47/10, B65D2543/00296, B65D2543/00527, B65D2543/00796, B65D2543/00731, B65D2543/00092, B65D2101/0023, B65D2543/00046, B65D2543/00685, B65D2543/00537, B65D2543/00638, B65D43/0256
European ClassificationB65D43/02T3E, B65D47/10