US 3827620 A
A nestable two-piece cup or container the sidewall portion of which is formed from a double-ended, crescent-shaped blank of paperboard or other sheet-like material by rolling it into a frusto-conical configuration with the edges of the blank over-lapping one another in face to face contact and being glued to one another to form a side seam of double thickness, one of the edges of the blank being scored or perforated or otherwise deformed to form a tab which is manually removable from, or foldable out of, face to face contact with the other edge of the blank by the user of the cup to give a visible indication that the cup has been used and to thereby discourage the vendor from attempting to refill a previously used cup. The first user of the cup may be motivated to so deform the cup by placing a number, symbol or other graphic message on the underside of the tab or on the sidewall of the blank in the region normally covered by the tab, of a portion of such cups, and by advising the users of such cups that prizes will be awarded to those whose cups bear such graphic message.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Ludder Y NON-REUSABLE NESTABLE CUP OR CONTAINER  Inventor: Rodney E. Ludder, 19 Hamilton Sq.,
Glen Head, NY. 11545  Filed: Nov. 17, 1972  App]. No.1 307,452
 U.S. Cl. 229/1.5 B, 40/306, 206/459  Int. Cl. B65d 3/06, B65d 3/28  Field of Search 229/l.5 B, 1.5 C;
206/DIG. 10, DIG. 29, DIG. 22; 116/121; 40/306, 310, 21 R; 220/97 C [111 3,827,620 Aug,6, 1974 Primary Examiner-George E. Lowrance Attorney, Agent, or FirmThomas A. Meehan; Edward J. Holler  ABSTRACT A nestable two-piece cup or container the sidewall portion of which is formed from a double-ended, cres cent-shaped blank of paperboard or other sheet-like material by rolling it into a frusto-conical configuration with the edges of the blank over-lapping one another in face to face contact and being glued to one another to form a side seam of double thickness, one of the edges of the blank being scored or perforated or otherwise deformed to form a tab which is manually removable from, or foldable out of, face to face contact with the other edge of the blank by the user of the cup to give a visible indication that the cup has been used and to thereby discourage the vendor from attempting to refill a previously used cup. The first user of the cup may be motivated to so deform the cup by placing a number, symbol or other graphic message on the underside of the tab or on the sidewall of the blank in the region normally covered by the tab, of a portion of such cups, and by advising the users of such cups that prizes will be awarded to those whose cups bear such graphic message.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTED MIG M974 saw 1 or 2 PAIENTEnwu 61974 sum a nr 2 FIG. 3
Nestable paper cups or cup-like containers have long been popular as the containers used for the sale of soft drinks, popcorn and other comestible products in theatres, at sporting events and in fast food service outlets. Frequently, the proprietor or manager of such a food or beverage service operation will have many vendors or salesmen working for him, and in these cases it is quite customary to meter the volume of the food or beverage sold by each such vendor, and therefore the amount of sales revenue for which such vendor must account, as a direct function of the number of cups that are turned over to such vendor. This accounting practice, while quite simple and easy to administer, has heretofore had a serious drawback, in that it permitted unscrupulous vendors to pick up used cups from the floors or trash barrels of the theatre or athletic stadium and to re-fill and re-use the same, thereby permitting the vendor to withhold funds from the proprietor and recklessly exposing the second user to the dangers of an unsanitary cup.
Prior artisans have recognized the aforesaid problem and have attempted to solve it by devising schemes involving the use of a separate patch or tab attached to and removable from the cup to give a visual indication, by its removal, that such a cup had previously been used. The use of such a separate item, however, complicates the cup manufacturing operation and adds appreciably to the cost of the cups, and even when such items were used, it was found that unscrupulous vendors would and readily could repair a used cup by reattaching such a removable item to it.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, however, there is provided a nestable two-piece cup or container which has a tab, comprising an integral portion of the sidewall of the container, which lies within the double thickness lapped side seam of the cup, and which may be removed from the container, or folded out of its original position, by the first user of the cup to give a visual indication of such use, and to thereby discourage vendors from attempting to re-fill and re-use such cups. The users of such cups may be motivated to remove such tab, or to fold it out of its original position, by manufacturing a portion of such cups with a printed indication on the underside of the tab or on the opposite edge of a portion of the sidewall blanks for such cup in the region normally concealed by the tab portion of the opposite edge, and by awarding prizes to the consumers whose cups bear such printed indication.
The sidewall of a two-piece cup with an integrally formed tab, as heretofore described, may conveniently be formed by deforming the sidewall blank of the cup along an irregular line extending from one point on or near the edge of the blank into the blank and back toward another point on the edge of the blank, and this may readily be done, at little added expense, at the time the blank is printed or at the time it is being fed to the winding station on a cup-forming machine. To prevent leakage in cups intended for the serving of liquids, such tab must lie wholly within the portion of the edge of the blank that will be overlapped by the opposite edge in the wound cup so that an imperforate, leak-proof surface will be exposed to the contained beverage. While it is normally desirable to maintain a continuous layer of adhesive between the overlapping edges of the sidewall in a two piece cup, in the present instance it is desirable to apply the adhesive to one or the other of the contacting surface portions of the overlapping edges in a pattern-so that no adhesive underlies the removable or bendable tab, to thereby facilitate its separation from the other edge of the sidewall in the lapped seam.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved two-piece cup.
More particularly, the ofiect of the present invention is to provide a two-piece cup that may be so damaged or defaced by the first user thereof that it will be readily apparent to a subsequent user that the cup has previously been used.
Even more particularly, it is the object of the present invention to provide a two-piece cup in which the sidewall element has, in one layer of the overlapped side seam region, a tab formed integrally therewith which may be removed or bent by the first user of such cup so that it will be readily apparent to a subsequent user that the cup has previously been used. It is a further object of the present invention to provide such a twopiece cup with the ability to retain a liquid without substantial leakage by locating such tab entirely within an edge portion of the sidewall blank that is overlapped by the other edge portion of the blank in the side seam area of the finished cup.
For a further understanding of the present invention and the objects thereof, attention is directed to the drawing, to the following description thereof, to the detailed description of the invention and to the appended claims.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is an elevational perspective view, partly in section, of a preferredembodiment of a two-piece cup in accordance with the present invention, the view showing the condition of such a cup when it is ready to be used for the first time;
FIG. 2 is an elevational perspective view of the M01, piece cup of FIG. 1, the view showing the condition into which such a cup may be put by the first user of the cup;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a blank of a foldable, sheetlike material from which the sidewall portion of the cup of FIGS. 1 and 2 may be formed; and
FIG. 4 is an elevational perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a cup in accordance with the present invention, the view showing the condition of the cup when it is ready to be used for the first time.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION FIG. 1 illustrates a nestable cup or container according to the present invention such cup being generally indentified by reference numeral 11 and being comprised of a sidewall element 12 and a bottom closure element 13. Sidewall element 12 is of tubular construction with a generally frustoconical outer configuration to permit like cups to be nested within one another to reduce the space occupied by cups in shipment and storage. Such a sidewall element can, as is well understood in the art, be formed by convolutely winding a generally crescent-shaped blank of paperboard, or other foldable, sheet-like material, around a frustoconical mandrel (not shown) such a blank being identified by reference character B in FIG. 3. Such a blank will normally bear printing or other decorative material (not shown) on the side intended to be the radially outward side of the finished container. Blank B may be considered to have opposed edge portions B1 and B2 defined on one side, respectively, by outer edges B3 and B4 of the blank, which edges are normally straight and lie on lines that extend radially from a common point, and, on the other side, such edge portions are defined, respectively, by immaginary lines B5 and B6. Lines B5 and B6 preferably extend, respectively, parallel to lines B3 and B5. Blank B is further defined as is known in the art, by concentric arcuate upper and lower edges B7 and B8 which extend from the ends of edge B3 to the ends of edge B4.
As heretofore described, in the winding of sidewall element 12 from blank B the edge portions B1 and B2 of the blank are brought into opposed, face to face relationship and are secured to one another by an adhesive which is applied to the contacting face of one or the other of such edge portions before the edge portions are brought into contact with one another. For purposes of illustration, glue can be applied to the shaded portions of edge portion B2 at the time the blank is wound into the cup side-wall. After the Blank B is wound into the sidewall element 12, the bottom closure element is affixed thereto, again as is well understood in the art. As is also well understood in the art, the uppermost portion of the sidewall element 12 may be rolled back upon itself to form a head or a rim 14 to reinforce the upper open end of the container and, in the case of drinking cups to provide a smooth surface for the user.
To safeguard against the re-use of cup 11, the sidewall element 12 is provided with a tab portion 15 formed integrally therewith, in an edge portion of the blank from which such sidewall element is formed, tab 15 thereby lying in the double layer side seam portion of sidewall element 12, which is indicated generally by reference character 16 in FIGS. 1 and 2. In a fresh cup, as is shown in FIG. 1, tab 15 will lie in the plane of the immediately surrounding portions of the side-wall element in which it is located. However, the tab is readily manually removable from such position because it is separated from such surrounding portions by scoring or perforating the original blank along a weakening line 17, which extends from a point 18 adjacent the edge of the blank into the blank. As is shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, weaking line 18 is an irregular line extending from point 18 into the blank and then downwardly and outwardly toward a point 19 somewhat remote from the edge.
By tearing the tab along line 17, it may be removed from its position shown in FIG. 1 and put into the position shown in FIG. 2, it being noted that no adhesive is used in the sideseam in the region occupied by tab 15, as is indicated by the irregular configuration of the shaded portions of edge portion 2 of blank B. When the end point 19 of the perforated tearing line 17 is disposed away from the edge of the blank, as is shown in FIGS. 1-3, the lifting of the tab will normally leave the tab attached to the sidewall of the cup, as is shown in FIG. 2. However, due to the creasing of the paperboard by the lifting of the tab, the so-lifted tab can not readily be restored to its original position, thereby remaining in place to serve as a readily visible indicator that the cup has previously been used. To induce the first users of such cup to so lift the tabs, a certain percentage of a multitude of like cups can be imprinted with a visible indication 21 on the underside of the tab 15, and prizes, e.g., free passes to future events in the case of cups designed for use in theatres or stadiums, can be awarded to the consumers who receive the so-imprinted cups.
It is noted that tab 15 lies wholly within the doublethickness sideseam region of the sidewall 12 of cup 11,
thereby maintaining the imperforate character of the product-contacting inner surface of the cup wall. This is especially important in cups intended to contain a beverage, as the purchaser may remove the tab from its original position while the upper level of the product in the cup is above the level of the tab. Such a feature is not as critical, however, in cups intended to contain a solid food product such as popcorn.
The invention, as heretofore described, has been successfully practiced in the manufacture of 46 oz. capacity popcorn cups made from unwaxed paperboard and in the manufacture of several sizes of cold drink cups made from waxed paperboard.
FIG. 4 illustrates an alternative embodiment of a cup according to the present invention. Such cup, which is generally indicated by reference character 111, has a tubular sidewall component 112, of frusto-conical outer configuration, and may be formed by convolutely winding a crescent-shaped blank, not shown, as in the manner of the cup of FIGS. 1 and 2 as heretofore described. Such a cup has, in the outermost of the doublelayered side seam region 116 thereof, a generally rectangularly-shaped tab 115, which is integrally formed in the sidewall and which is defined by a line of perforations 117 which extends, from a point 118 on the edge of the blank from which the sidewall is formed, horizontally into the blank, then vertically downwardly, and then horizontally back to a second point 119 on the edge of the blank. Such a tab may then be readily completely removable from the cup by the first user of the cup, and such an arrangement is preferred to the partially removable tab arrangement of FIGS. 1 and 2 by some firms that purchase such cups.
The invention has been described in reference to a two-piece cup that has a single thickness sidewall, i.e., a sidewall formed by winding a blank through an arc of slightly more than 360. It is to be understood, however, that the invention can also be utilized in a twopiece cup or container that has a double-thickness sidewall, i.e., a sidewall formed by winding a blank through an arc of slightly more than 720. Such products, as will be recognized by those skilled in the art, have greater durability than single thickness sidewall cups and, as a result, have proven to be popular for applications where the cup or container must hold up for prolonged periods of time, as in certain packaging applications.
The best mode known to me to carry out this invention has been described above in terms sufficiently full,
clear, concise and exact as to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the same. It is to be understood, however, that it is within my contemplation that certain modifications of the above-described mode of practicing the invention can be made by a skilled artisan without departing from the scope of the invention and it is, therefore, desired to limit the invention only in accordance with the appended claims.
folded to form such member and having opposed r straight edge portions of the blank overlapping one another and secured to one another in face to face relationship; the upper open end of said sidewall member being rolled back upon itself to form a rim; and
a bottom member secured to the bottom of the sidewall member and adapted to close the bottom of such container,
said sidewall member having a tab formed integrally therewith in an edge portion of the blank from which said sidewall member is formed,
said tab being defined by deforming said blank along an irregular line extending from a first point adjacent said edge and spaced below said rim into said blank and back to a second point which is adjacent 6 said edge and between said first point and said bottom member, said tab being manually removable from face to face relationship with the adjacent portion of the other v edge portion.
2. A nestable container according to claim 1 in which said sidewall is provided with a visible legend that is obscured from sight by the tab when the tab is in face to face relationship with the underlying portion of the edge portion of the blank and being exposed to sight after the tab has been removed from such face to face relationship.
3. A nestable container according to claim 2 wherein said legend is on the radially innermost side of the tab itself.
4 A nestable liquid container according to claim 1 wherein said blank is formed of a liquid impervious material and wherein said tab lies wholly within the portion of the edge portion that is in face to face relationship with the other edge portion.