US 3434589 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent US. Cl. 206-46 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A capped resilient plastic cup containing medical tablets, powder, or other water-soluble ingredients is packaged in cup-compressed form for convenient carry, as in a womans handbag. When the package is opened, the resilient compressed cup is released and expands to a useful height, ready to receive the water (or other fluid) into which the tablets or powder contained therein are to be dissolved. In the preferred form, the tablets are contained in the bottom of the cap or cover, preferably in individual wells or compartments. In another form, the tab lets are contained in wells in the bottom of the cup.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to collapsible cups or containers having therein tablets, powders, or other ingredients which are to be dissolved in water (or other fluid) before consumption.
Description of the prior art The following prior art patents were uncovered during a search:
US. Patents: 927,826, Breitmeyer, July 13, 1909; 1,033,744, Smith, July 23, 1912; 1,592,395, Hulzberger, July 13 1926; 1,770,118, Williams, July 8, 1930; 2,438,434, Friedman, Mar. 23, 1948; 2,967,609, Gabbard, Jan. 1961.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a personal article in the form of a capped resilient plastic cup which is packaged in compressed form for convenient carry, as in a ladys handbag. One or more medical tablets, such as aspirin, or effervescent tablets, such as Alka-Seltzer, or powders, and the like, are carried in the package, preferably in individual wells in the base of the cap. When the tablets (or powders) are to be taken, the package is opened, releasing the compressed resilient plastic cup which expands to a sufficient height and volume to receive a sufficient quantity of potable water, as from a nearby fountain or spigot. The opening of the package uncovers the tablets (or powders) so that they are available for dropping into the cup.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing in compressed form the preferred form of capped expandable cup in which the tablets are held in wells in the bottom of the cap or cover;
FIG. 2 shows an alternate form of capped cup in expanded form, with a portion broken away showing two medical tablets in individual wellsin the bottom of the p;
FIG. 3 is a view in section of the expanded cup of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view showing how the cup of FIG. 2 looks when compressed and held down by holddown tabs;
FIG. 5 is a view, in section, showing in compressed form the preferred form of capped cup (shown in FIG. 1) in which the tablets are held in wells in the cap or cover;
FIG. 6 is a view in section showing a modified form of packa gm g in which a tear string is used.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIGS. 16 show several embodiments. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 3, the pockets or wells for the tablets or powder are located in the bottom of the cap or cover, and the hold-down band is spread across and covers the open tops of the wells or pockets. In the embodiment of FIGS. 2, 4 and 5, the pockets or wells are in the bottom of the cup, and the hold-down strips are merely short tabs disposed at opposite sides of the cup. In FIG. 6, neither the cup nor the cap include wells or pockets, and the tablets or powder are presumed to be carried separately.
The foregoing describes briefl-y the important differences among the embodiments illustrated. These distinguishing features will be discussed in detail later. First, the features which are common to all the embodiments will be described.
The cup and cover are preferably made of polystyrene film or sheet. Other suitable materials include polyurethane, polyethylene, and polypropylene film or sheet. The cup and cap are preferably formed by blow molding, but may be formed by vacuum forming or by the split mold process. If the material used is either polypropylene or polyethylene, the cup may be formed by injection molding.
The cup is circular in cross-section having an annular side wall 12 which is foldable in a series of overlapping folds. This is accomplished by molding the cup to have, even when in normal fully erect condition, an interior diameter which alternately decreases and. increases. When the cup is in its normal erect condition, the side wall 12 is a series of almost open folds, as seen in FIGS. 2 and 4. When the cup is fully depressed, as in FIGS. 1, 4 and 5, the side wall 12 is a series of closed folds. The cup is so molded and shaped that the fold corners, both interior and exterior, are rounded, rather than sharp.
The cup preferably tapers moderately from top to bottom. Thus, the major interior diameters, (a, b, c, d, and e in FIG. 3) are of decreasing dimension in that order, and so are the minor interior diameters (j, k, l, m, and n in FIG. 3). While the cup may take a variety of sizes, a preferred size (in terms of major diameters) is of the order of 3" at the top decreasing at the rate of A per inch to the bottom, with the cup having a height of the order of 3" to 4". The side wall of the cup may have a thickness of the order of .003" to .008.
As has already been indicated, the presently preferred embodiment is shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, but it will be helpful to described first the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, the base of the cup 10 is thickened at its central portion in the interior direction, forming an island 20 having therein a pair of wells 21 and 22 into which aspirin or other soluble tablets 23 may be inserted. When the cup is in its compressed or packaged condition, shown in cross-section in FIG. 4, the tablets 23 are retained in their respective Wells 21 and 22 by a plain form of snap-on plastic cover 30. In FIG. 2, the island 20 is illustrated as oval, but it may be circular, or square, or any other suitable shape.
In FIG. 4, the cup is shown to be held in compressed form, restrained against expanding, by a pair of pressuresensitive tabs 31 and 32 which embrace the edges of the compressed cup at opposite sides. When the tabs 31 and 32 are removed, the resilient plastic cup springs upwardly to its expanded condition, illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3.
In a modified form shown in FIG. 6, the island 20 and wells 21 and 22 are omitted from the base of the cup which in other respects is similar to that shown in FIGS.
24. In the form shown in FIG. 6, no tablets or powders are contained in the packaged cup. Also, an alternate form of hold-clown is illustrated in that the compressed cup is completely encased in a heat-sealed plastic film 35, such as polyethylene, with a tear strip 36 of string, paper or plastic. To open the package, the tear strip 36 is pulled off and the film casing 35 is removed, whereupon the cup springs up to its uncompressed height.
In the preferred embodiment, shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, provision is made for carrying the tablets or powders within the sealed package but the wells or pockets are in the base of the cover or cap rather than in the base of the cup.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 5, the snap-on cover or cap 130 is provided with a thickened central portion 120 which extends downwardly from the level surface of the cap. Two pockets or wells 121 and 122 are formed in the thickened portion 120. If desired, the thickened portion 120 may be omitted and depressions merely formed in the cap 130 to form the wells 121 and 122. To retain the tablets 23 in the wells 121 and 122, a combination retaining and hold-down strip 131 may be employed. This strip extends from the underside of the cup bottom at one edge of the cup 110, up and over the cap, and down and under, terminating on the underside of the cup bottom at the opposite edge of the cup. The center portion 132 of strip 131 is sufiiciently enlarged to cover the pockets or wells 121 and 122 in the cup cap, thereby enabling strip 131 to function as a retaining strip as well as a hold-down strip. In addition, strip 131 may also function as a label, since the name or trade name of the tablet or powder contained therein, and also other information, may readily be carried on the enlarged portion 132.
In the preferred form shown in FIG. 5, the portion 120 of the cap 130 may preferably have such thickness that when the cup is fully compressed into its package form, the bottom of the thickened portion 120 abuts against the bottom of the cup. This arrangement tends to give compactness and stability to the entire package, and particularly to that portion which carries the tablets.
What is claimed is:
1. A throw-away personal-use container of resilient plastic material comprising:
(a) a compressible-expandable cup; (b) said cup having a bottom, an annular wall, and
a removable cap;
(c) said annular wall alternatel decreasing and increasing diametrically, forming accordion-like folds;
(d) said bottom being provided with a pair of individual wells each of a size and shape adapted for receiving with clearance an individual tablet or pellet;
(e) said cap, when said cup is fully compressed, clos ing each well to retain the tablet therein; and
(1) means retaining said cup in fully compressed condition pending use of said tablets.
2. A container according to claim 1 characterized in that said cup bottom is provided with an elevated center island, and in that said wells are in said island.
3. A throw-away personal-use container of resilient plastic material comprising:
(a) a compressible-expandable cup;
(b) said cup having a bottom, an annular wall, and
a removable cap;
(c) said annular wall alternately decreasing and increasing diametrically, forming accordion-like folds;
(d) said cap being provided with a pair of individual wells each of a size and shape adapted for receiving with clearance an individual tablet or pellet; and
(e) means for retaining said cup in fully compressed condition pending use of said tablets;
(f) said retaining means also closing said wells and retaining the tablets therein.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,883,323 10/1932 Andrews. 2,766,796 10/1956 Tupper 220-23 2,878,929 3/ 1959 Leupold. 3,143,429 8/1964 Swanson et al. 3,220,544 11/1965 Lovell 0.5
WILLIAM T. DIXSON, JR., Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 1505