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Publication numberUS3822030 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 2, 1974
Filing dateAug 26, 1971
Priority dateAug 26, 1971
Publication numberUS 3822030 A, US 3822030A, US-A-3822030, US3822030 A, US3822030A
InventorsTanzer J
Original AssigneeTanzer J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lid with straw positioning means
US 3822030 A
Abstract
A lid having a pair of flexible wing elements which are configured, arranged and dimensioned to flexibly engage and automatically incline a straw positioned therebetween.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Tanzer Jul 2, 1974 [54] LID WITH STRAW POSITIONING MEANS 3,184,134 5/1965 Coh n et al. 229/7 5 6] Inventor: J n Tanzer 411 N. 7th Brookfielmwia 6310] FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [22] 1971 9,743 10/1927 Australia. 229/7 s [21] Appl. No.: 175,250 566,676 12/1932 Germany 215/1 A Primary Examiner-William 1. Price if gi Assistant Examiner-Stephen Marcus issi F i eld 0 1 sLlii ii111111111 229/175 13 7 s 43- 220/902; 215/1 A, 56 [57] ABSTRACT 5 References Cited A lid having a pair of flexible wing elements wl iich are UNITED STATES PATENTS configured, arranged and dlmensloned to flex1bly en- 2 956 72] 10/1960 B n n 229/43 gage and automatically incline a straw positioned en e 3,048,317 8/1962 Cochrane ct al. 229/7 s therebetwegn' 3,171,580 3/1965 Davis et al 229/7 S 1 Claim, 5 Drawing Figures Pmtsmim 2 m4 INVENTOR JOHN TANZER ATTORNEY SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Where soft drink beverages and the like are sold over the counter in disposable paper and plastic cups and containers, snap-in paper and over-cap plastic lids are utilized to prevent spillage. At the same time, it is desired that the user be able to drink the contents of the container without removal of the lid. For this purpose, a straw is conveniently inserted through an access opening provided in the lid.

The prior art is replete with many different kinds of straw access openings that can be provided in a lid. Typical examples of this are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,048,317 and 3,387,765 which represent two types of straw access openings which have been used commercially. These patents suggest that a number of features are desirable in a commercially useful straw access opening. In general, it has been found that the straw access opening is preferably designed to prevent any appreciable spillage of liquid while allowing any pressure built up within he container to be vented and, at the same time, permit the straw to be easily inserted, without deformation, into a container. Additionally, it is also desirable that the straw access opening provide automatic inclination of the straw when inserted through the lid as well as be simple in design to require minimum tooling and fabrication costs. However, the straw access opening designs which are capable of providing the features as are disclosed by the above patents are not also suitable for automatic straw inclination as well as low tooling and fabrication costs.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a lid with a straw access opening which has advantages heretofore unobtainable by prior art designs.

More specifically, it is an object of the present invention to provide a straw access opening for a lid which permits automatic inclination of the straw while being simple in design to require minimum tooling and fabrication expense.

Another object of the present inention is to provide a straw access opening for a lid which, inaddition to the aforementioned object, prevents appreciable spillage of the liquid, allows any pressure built up in the container to be vented and permits a straw to be easily inserted through the lid into the container.

The above and other objects and advantages of the present invention are obtained by the provision ofa lid which includes a pair of flexible wing elements which are configured, arranged and dimensioned to flexibly engage and automatically incline a straw positioned therebetween.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a top plan view of disposable over-cap plastic lid which incorporates a straw access opening which is constructred in accordance with the teachings of the present invention; FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of a portion of the lid shown in FIG. 1 including the straw access opening thereof;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary top plan view of the plastic lid illustrated in FIG. 1 and depicting a straw just prior to being inserted through the straw access opening;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary top plan view of the lid similar to FIG. 3 and illustrating a straw inserted through the straw access opening of th lid; and

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of a container with a lid wherein the lid includes a straw access opening as disclosed herein in order to permit the straw to be moved from the dotted vertical position when inserted through the straw access opening of the lid to the inclined position to facilitate sipping from the straw.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS While the lid shown in the drawing is of the plastic 2 over-cap type, it will be apparent that snap-in paper lids, if sufficiently flexible, may be utilzed with equal facility.

The plastic over-cap lid 10 illustrated in FIGS. 15 of the drawing includes a diaphragm-like closure or top covering wall 12 which may be provided with a circular reinforcing rib 14, if desired. At the periphery of the lid 10, a rim engaging area 16 is provided with inner, top and outer wall sections 18, 20 and 22 respectively which are suitably configured relative to the rim of the container with which the lid 10 is assocated in order to provide a snap-fit relative thereto. In the case of a paper disc-type lid, whic is adapted to be snapped into a groove formed in the container side wall, the rim engaging area 16 is not required.

Attention is now directed to the straw access opening 24 of the present invention. As is clearly depicted in the drawings, the straw access opening 24 comprises a generally T-shaped slit having a cross-bar section 26. and a leg section 28. Preferably, the T-shaped slit is formed in the diaphragm-like wall 12 of the closure 10 in an off-center position in order to permit a straw inserted through the T-shaped slit to be disposed, for example, in the full-line position illustrated in FIG. 5 as will become apparent.

The use of a T-shaped 24 in an off-center position with the leg section 28 of the T-shaped slit closer to the periphery of the lid 10 than the cross-bar section 26 provides a number of advantages.

Referring first to FIGS. 3-5 of the drawing, it will be seen that when a straw 30 is positioned above the leg section 28 of the T-sh'aped slit and then pressure is applied to insert the straw 30, the T-shaped slit 24 will open up as is seen in FIG. 4 of the drawing to permit the straw 30 to be inserted. As this is done, portions of the diaphragm-like wall 12 on opposite sides of the leg section 28 below the cross-bar section 26 form a pair of flexible wing elements 32, 34 respectively which flexibly engage and automatically incline the straw 30 from the inserted dotted line position illustrated in FIG. 5 to the full line inclined position to facilitate sipping from the straw 30.

In order to facilitate bending or flexing of the flexible wing elements 32, 34, hinge or fold lines 36, 38 may be formed between the free ends of the crossbar section 26 and the free end of the leg section 28 as is illustrated in FIG. 3 of the drawing.

In order to provide the automatic inclination of the straw 30 when inserted through the T-shaped slit, the flexible wing elements 32, 34 must be appropriately configured, arranged and dimensioned in order to achieve this. More specifically, the flexible wing elements 32, 34 are designed to flexibly engage the straw 30, when inserted therebetween, and at the same time,

force the straw 30 against the inner edge 40 which is formed by the cross-bar section 26 of the T-shaped slit 24. As the wing elements 32, 34 flexibly engage the straw 30 and force it against the inner edge 40, the effect will be to incline the straw 30 from the dotted to the full line position illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawings'when the user releases the straw 30 after inserting the same. The action that is produced on the straw 30 by the flexible wing elements 32, 34 may be referred to as a snubbing action in that the straw 30 is suddenly checked or brought from a vertical to an inclined position as has been described. The snubbing action that is produced is dependent upon a number of factors such as the size and shape of the wind elements, the flexibility of the wing elements, the location of the wing elements relative to the periphery of the lid, etc. It will suffice for the purposes of the present discussion to indicate that the wing element 32, 34 must be appropriately configured, arranged and dimensioned in order to flexibly engage and automatically incline the straw 30 which is positioned therebetween.

In addition to the automatic inclination of the straw 30, the T-shaped slit of the present invention affords a number of other advantages. It will be apparent that minimum tooling and fabrication costs will be required in order to produce the T-shaped slit 24 in order to achieve the automatic inclination of the straw 30. Further, the T-shaped slit 24 provides limited egress of liquids from within the container with which the lid is associated while providing a limited vent space in the cross-bar and leg sections 26, 28 of the T-shaped slit to permit the venting of any air or gas pressure built up within the container when the lid is assembled thereto. Where an additional vent opening is required, a small hole may be provided in a number of areas of the T- shaped slit such as, for example, the area in the vicinity of the juncture of the cross-bar and leg sections 26, 28 of the T-shaped slit 24. It will further be appreciated that the T-shaped slit 24 literally enables the straw 30 to be inserted therethrough without any deformation of the straw.

The straw access opening of the present invention thus provides multifold advantages which heretofore have been unavailable. The shape or configuration of the straw access opening is limited only insofar as there must be provided a pair of flexible wing elements which are adapted to flexibly engage and automatically incline a straw positioned therebetween. Thus, while the T-shaped slit 24 is the preferred form of the invention since it achieves a number of advantages, the shape or configuration of the straw access opening may be modified within the above parameters. For example, the cross-bar section 26 can be bent into either an upright or inverted V-shape which, together with the leg section 28, will provide the desired features of the present invention.

From the foregoing, it will now be appreciated that the present invention provides a unique straw access opening in a lid which gives many advantages which heretofore were unavailable.

1 claim:

1. A plastic lid including a T-shaped slit formed in the top of the plastic lid adjacent the periphery thereof and having a cross-bar section and a leg section, said T- shaped slit defining a single pair of flexible wing elements on each side of the leg section which are hingedly connected to said lid in acute angular relationship to each other, said T-shaped slit being arranged such that the leg section of the T-shaped slit is closer to the periphery of the lid than the cross-bar section of the T-shaped slit, and a straw inserted into the flexible wing elements of the T-shaped slit in the plastic lid, said straw being engaged by the pair of acute angular flexible wing elements to cause said straw to be forced against the marginal portion of the lid adjacent the cross-bar section of the T'shaped slit while being inclined relative to a container with which the lid is associated.

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
US3171580 *Mar 19, 1963Mar 2, 1965Sweetheart PlasticsLid
US3184134 *Jun 26, 1963May 18, 1965Insco Entpr IncContainer with straw
US3387765 *Mar 23, 1967Jun 11, 1968Sweetheart PlasticsVent opening
US3524566 *Aug 12, 1968Aug 18, 1970American Can CoStraw slot for container closure
AU9743A * Title not available
DE566676C *Mar 16, 1930Dec 22, 1932Reinhold LeibfarthFlasche aus Papier
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3994411 *Apr 21, 1975Nov 30, 1976Anna J. ElfeltContainer lid with foldback drink opening
US4007936 *Apr 9, 1975Feb 15, 1977Funstuf, Inc.Novelty closure
US4074827 *Aug 31, 1976Feb 21, 1978Labe Iii JacobMulti-purpose closure for containers
US4090660 *Dec 16, 1976May 23, 1978Schram Robert ADisposable drinking cup lid
US4627537 *Jul 12, 1985Dec 9, 1986Amhil Enterprises Ltd.Lid for drinks container
US4948009 *Dec 28, 1989Aug 14, 1990Takashi SawataniStraw-insertable lid for paper cup
US5018635 *Jul 24, 1990May 28, 1991Whittaker Michael TFluid containment and access device for a beverage container
US5025947 *Oct 27, 1989Jun 25, 1991Marcello LeoneSingle-dose beverage cup and rectangular cross-section straw assembly
US5052614 *Oct 9, 1990Oct 1, 1991Jialuo XuanStraw and straw hole structure
US5054684 *Apr 27, 1990Oct 8, 1991Pkl Verpackungssysteme GmbhPackage for liquid
US5147065 *Nov 4, 1991Sep 15, 1992James River Corporation Of VirginiaDisposable cup lid having a tear-resistant straw slot
US5201459 *Nov 14, 1991Apr 13, 1993Tropicana Products, Inc.Beverage container with novel dispensing means
US5348217 *Oct 26, 1992Sep 20, 1994Tropicana Products, Inc.Beverage container with novel dispensing means
US5947323 *Aug 27, 1996Sep 7, 1999Fort James CorporationCup lid having combined straw slot depression and tear back lid retainer
US6311860 *Sep 21, 1999Nov 6, 2001Taco Bell Corp.Container closure containing game piece
US6460725Mar 15, 2000Oct 8, 2002Mighty Leaf TeaContainer lid and methods for beverage preparation and bag retention through lid side wall
US6464099 *Nov 22, 2000Oct 15, 2002Mighty Leaf TeaRaised container lid for beverage bag retention and related preparation methods
US6505753Mar 30, 1999Jan 14, 2003Fort James CorporationCup lid having combined straw slot depression and tear back lid retainer
US6729494Oct 7, 2002May 4, 2004Mighty Leaf TeaContainer lid and methods for beverage preparation and bag retention through side wall
US6948633Jan 14, 2003Sep 27, 2005Fort James CorporationCup lid having combined straw slot depression and tear back lid retainer
US7134569Mar 8, 2005Nov 14, 2006Fort James CorporationCup lid having frangible straw slot depression
US7140510May 27, 2004Nov 28, 2006Jill PortmanReduced profile lid for beverage preparation
US7299940 *Aug 16, 2006Nov 27, 2007Mighty Leaf TeaAlterable profile lid for beverage preparation
US8100287Jan 31, 2008Jan 24, 2012Veronica MilnarkCaps for drinking vessels
US8181817Oct 11, 2002May 22, 2012Mighty Leaf TeaRaised container lid or beverage preparation and beverage bag retention
US8196763Sep 7, 2007Jun 12, 2012Greenberg Surgical Technologies, LlcStraw holder integrated with a beverage container
US8613375Nov 16, 2007Dec 24, 2013Mighty Leaf TeaFull profile lid for beverage preparation
US8646647 *Sep 28, 2012Feb 11, 2014Li-Ho YaoStraw-loosening-prevention lid
US8651316Apr 24, 2012Feb 18, 2014Mighty Leaf TeaContainer lid configured to prevent tea bag from blocking a drinking aperture related methods
US20130087571 *Sep 28, 2012Apr 11, 2013Li-Ho YaoStraw-Loosening-Prevention Lid
EP0366629A1 *Oct 27, 1989May 2, 1990Marcello LeoneSingle-dose beverage cup and rectangular cross-section straw assembly
WO2008100716A1 *Jan 31, 2008Aug 21, 2008Veronica MilnarkCaps for drinking vessels
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/709, 229/103.1, 229/906.1, D07/396.2
International ClassificationB65D47/36, A47G19/22, B65D47/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2231/022, B65D2231/02, B65D47/36, A47G19/2222
European ClassificationA47G19/22B4, B65D47/36