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Publication numberUS3841528 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 15, 1974
Filing dateSep 29, 1971
Priority dateSep 29, 1971
Publication numberUS 3841528 A, US 3841528A, US-A-3841528, US3841528 A, US3841528A
InventorsH Eisenberg
Original AssigneeH Eisenberg
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container for liquids having hinged lid allowing easy stacking
US 3841528 A
Abstract
A container for liquids, such as a carafe, and comprising a body having a tapered inner wall and a pouring lip, and a lid secured to the body by a hinge member, said lid having a portion engaging and overhanging the pouring lip when the lid is in the closed position.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ilnited States Patent Eisenberg Oct. 15, 1974 CONTAINER FOR LIQUIDS HAVING HINGE!) LID ALLOWING EASY STACKHNG [76] Inventor: Harvey Eisenberg, 7 Demarest Rd.,

Livingston, NJ. 07039 [22] Filed: Sept. 29, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 184,693

[52] U.S. Cl. 222/143, 16/D1G. 13, 220/31 S,

220/34, 220/97 C, D44/21 R [51] llnt. Cl B67111 5/60 [58] Field of Search 222/143, 538, 546, 572,

222/574, 465; 220/31 S, 34, 97 C; D44/21 R; 16/D1G. 13, 128 A, 150

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,100,580 8/1963 Smith 220/34 STACK HEIGHT 3,381,916 5/1968 Edgell 220/31 S 3,629,901 12/1971 Wolf et a1 220/31 S D200,018 1/1965 Brocken D44/2l R D206,345 11/1966 Kelly v D44/21 R D217,178 4/1970 Crider D44/21 R D425,577 6/1912 Haviland .7 D44/21 R Primary Examiner-R0bert B. Reeves Assistant ExaminerDavid A. Scherbel Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Rudolph J. Jurick [57] ABSTRACT A container for liquids, such as a carafe, and comprising a body having a tapered inner wall and a pouring lip, and a lid secured to the body by a hinge member, said lid having a portion engaging and overhanging the pouring lip when the lid is in the closed position.

5 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures mamennw I 3.8419528 sum 1 w 4 HARVEY E/SE/VBERG INVENTOR.

BY W

A TOR/VB) PAIENIEBHBI 1 5x914 SHEET 2 OF 4' HA RVE) E/SE/VBERG INVENTOR.

PAIENTEU rm 1 51914 SHEET 3 BF 4 PAIENIEnum 1 51924 snmwd HARVEY E/SE/VBERG INVENTOR.

OR/VEY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Although the invention relates broadly to containers for liquids, it will be described specifically with reference to carafes of the class generally used in nursing homes, hospitals and the like institutions.

Various disposable type carafes are currently available, some being made of hard plastic material, such as polyethylene or polypropylene, and others being made of a molded cellular plastic, such as foam polystyrene. The latter carafes are significant in their ability to maintain liquids and/or ice water at a reasonably constant temperature over a number of hours without requiring refilling. However, tthe prior foam carafes suffer from various shortcomings.

In a hospital, for example, cool water is normally required by a patient, for patient comfort as well as assisting the ingestion of pills, medication, etc. A carafe, kept at the patients bedside, is intended to be used only by a single patient and is either discarded or given to the patient upon his discharge from the hospital. In addition to saving the hospital the cost of re-sterilizing permanent carafes, the disposable, or single-patient use carafe helps to control the spread of hospital-related cross-infections. Such cross-infections can be transmitted from one sick patient to another by the use of imcompletely sterilized utensils, through physical contact, through the air and through intermediaries such as nurses, aides or doctors. In addition, the personal items which an infected patient uses, even a mildly infected patient with a simple respiratory ailment like a cold, should be kept isolated and used solely by that patient in order to control cross-infection. Great care must be exercised to prevent mixing of items the patient touches daily, such as utensils, carafes, glassware, etc. In this regard, even currently available disposable, or singIe-patient-use, hospital carafes, by their very design and construction, are potential hazards relating to the spread of cross-infections since they generally are of two-piece construction, that is, a separate body (container) and lid. Consequently, a mixup can occur when the carafes are taken from the patients bedside to a central pantry or to a rolling ice cart for filling, as generally is done once or twice each day. These mixups result in the lids and bodies being interchanged between the carafes belonging to various patients, thus defeating the purpose of having each patient use only one set of his own personal utensils. Since most hospitals use utensils of standardized design for all patients, it is easy to see how mixups of carafe lids and bodies can occur, even when the lid usually is marked with the name of the patient. Furthermore, patients with respiratory ailments can readily spread through the air, as by coughing, large amounts of bacteria onto the items in their vicinity. In this regard, many of the currently available carafes, particularly the popular cellular insulating type, are constructed with an exposed pouring lip. Generally, the pouring lip is exposed by turning or sliding the lid in a prescribed manner, whereby the contained liquid can be poured into a glass. After use, the lid should be returned to its original position of closure but, often, the patient or the nurse leaves the lid in the pouring position for convenience, or because, in the case of elderly patients affected with weaknesses such as arthritic hands, it is too difficult to constantly reclose the lid on the carafe body. Thus, airborne germs and bacteria in the hospital atmosphere can deposit themselves on the exposed pouring lip and later be ingested by the patient using water from such an infected carafe.

A carafe made in accordance with this invention incorporates features which minimize the possibility of cross-infections through airborne bacteria or mixups during refilling of the carafe. Also, the carafe is easily and readily used by elderly or infirm patients. The lid of the carafe is securely attached to a tapered body by a hinge membrane so that these parts cannot become separated, yet the lid is easily opened for refilling, as well as for cleaning and inspection. The carafe is always ready for pouring but the closed lid covers the pouring lip leaving only a small channel for the flow of liquid therethrough, thereby preventing the fallout of airborne bacteria on the pouring lip, as in the case of carafes of conventional construction. Furthermore, the lid folds down to a position adjacent the body of the carafe, whereby nested carafes may be shipped or stored in a shipping carton of minimum size. Because the lid is at all times attached to the body, there is no danger of miscount in the shipping carton and inventory taking at the hospital is simplified.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with one embodiment of this invention, a carafe is made of a cellular plastic and comprises a body having a tapered inside wall and having a lid secured thereto by a hinge member. A pouring lip, formed integrally with the body, includes a discharge channel intersecting a flat surface portion. The lid includes a portion which engages and overhangs the said flat surface portion when the lid is in the fully closed position, thereby to prevent the fallout of airborne bacteria on the pouring lid surface while, at the same time permitting liquid to be poured from the carafe with the lid in the fully closed position. The carafe has an elongated cross-sectional configuration and the hinge member is positioned to minimize the carafe stack height. In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, the carafe is formed with a pair of diametrically opposed pouring lips and an integral handle positioned between the two lips, thereby affording a maximum facility of use of the carafe.

An object of this invention is the provision of a carafe constructed and arranged to minimize the crossinfection of hospital patients through airborne bacteria and to reduce the possibility of mixups when the carafe is removed from the patients room for refilling.

An object of this invention is the provision of a carafe having a lid secured to a body by a novel hinge member and having a covered pouring lip constructed so that liquid may be poured from the carafe with the lid in the fully closed position.

An object of this invention is the provision of a disposable carafe having a body and lid made of cellular plastic and secured together by a hinge member, said body having a pouring lip formed integrally therewith and said lid having an integral projecting portion which overhangs the pouring lip when the lid is in the closed position, thereby to prevent the fallout of airborne bacteria on the pouring lip surface.

The above-stated and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description when taken with the accompanying drawings. It will be understood, however, that the drawings are for purposes of illustration and are not to be construed as defining the scope or limits of the invention, reference being had for the latter purpose to the claims appended thereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings wherein like reference characters denote like parts in the several views:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a closed carafe made in accordance with one embodiment of this invention;

open position;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevational view similar to FIG. l and showing a handle formed integrally with the carafe body;

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view showing a closed carafe made in accordance with another embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 9 is a corresponding top plan view showing the lid in the open position;

FIG. 10 is a corresponding end elevational view;

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view illustrating how carafes made in accordance with this invention can be nested for shipment and storage;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the line 12-12 of FIG. 6 and drawn to an enlarged scale;

FIG. 13 is a similar view but showing the lid in the closed position; and

FIG. 14 is similar view but showing the lid in the folded-down position.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Reference now is made to FIGS. I-b showing a carafe made in accordance with one embodiment of this invention. The carafe comprises a generally oblong lid 10 secured to a body 11 by a hinge member 12. The body has tapered sidewalls diverging from the closed bottom and the hinge member comprises a flexible material affixed to a separate lid and body by means of heat, a solvent or an adhesive. Preferably, the hinge member is formed integrally with the lid and the body as will be described hereinbelow with specific reference to FIGS. 12-14. The lid and body are formed of a suitable plastic such as, for example, molded foam styrene, and the front end portion 13, of the lid, has a more pointed contour than the rear end 14 and is indicative of the location of the pouring lip 15. As shown in FIG. 4 the lid is in the fully open position. However, the lid also is rotatable approximately 270 to the folddown position, whereby the carafes can be nested for shipment and storage, as will be described in more detail hereinbelow. As the lid is at all times attached to the body, there is no danger of miscounts in the shipping carton, as might otherwise be the case when the lid and the body are separate units.

The pouring lip 15, of the carafe, is formed integrally with the body 11 and includes a channel l6constituting a discharge opening for the contained liquid. The pouring lip has a fiat upper surface which lies in the horizontal plane containing the upper end wall of the body 11 (see FIGS. 3 and 4), and the front portion 13, of the lid projects beyond the pouring lip (see FIGS. 1 and 5). Thus, the pouring lip is covered by the end portion 13 of the lid, said end portion being in flush contact with and overhanging the lip 15 when the lid is in the closed position, thereby minimizing the possibility of bacteria being depositied on the pouring lip and particularly on the discharge opening. Since it is not necessary to displace the lid relative to the body for pouring, the carafe is always in a ready to use condition. Yet the carafe is closed at all times except, of course, when the lid is opened to refill the carafe. Hence, older people, or infirm patients, who have difficulty handling objects can easily use the carafe without concern about the position of the lid. The area opposite the hinge member 12 may be indented, as indicated by the numeral 17 in FIG. 6, to facilitate the opening of the lid when desired, as for cleaning or refilling.

The open end of the body 11 conforms generally to the shape of the lid 10. The front portion of the body 11 has a tapered, projecting portion forming the pouring lip 15, whereas, the rear portion of the body, that is, the portion 18 opposite the pouring lip, includes a recessed, generally semi-circular portion provided with vertically extending flutes 19 (see FIG. 1). This portion 18 conforms to the shape of the palm and fingers of a persons hand, thereby constituting a firm gripping area to facilitate the pouring of liquid from the carafe. The sloping upper surface of the rear portion 14, of the lid, (FIGS. 1 and 5) provides a convenient rest for the thumb when the fingers grip the body. Also, a handle 20 may be formed integrally with the body as shown in the fragmentary side elevational view of FIG. 7. Still further, and particularly for use by patients who are unable to lift a carafe substantially filled with liquid, the body 11 may be provided with opposed detents 22, 23, (FIGS. 1 and 3). Thus, the carafe can be mounted on a conventional pivota stand disposed on a bedside table, whereby the carafe can be tilted with a minimum effort for pouring.

The lid 10 preferably has an integral, ribbing 25, (FIGS. 5 and 6) projecting from the lower surface thereof. This ribbing has a configuration corresponding to that of the inner wall of the body at the top end thereof and the ribbing is press-fitted into the open, upper end of the body when the lid is in the fully closed position, thereby substantially sealing the contained liquid from the atmosphere. The ribbing may have a gap 26 at the front end of the carafe. Alternatively, the ribbing may be continuous but that portion of the ribbing which is at the front of the lid would be of reversed curvature and spaced from the inner wall of the body when the lid is in the closed position. In either case, the discharge opening 16 communicates with the interior of the carafe when the lid is in the fully closed position.

Reference now is made to FIGS. 8-10, showing a carafe provided with two pouring lips and a handle. Specifically, the body 30 includes two integral, diametrically opposed projecting portions 31 and 32, said portions being provided with discharge channels, or openings, 33 and 34, respectively. The lid 35, secured to the body by an integral hinge member 44, has opposed, tapered end portions 36 and 37 which come into flush engagement with and overly the corresponding pouring lips when the lid is in the fully closed position. The lid also includes an integral ribbing 38 which is press-fitted into the open end of the body when the carafe is closed. The ribbing may have two gaps so as not to block the discharge channels 33 and 34. In this embodiment of the invention, a handle 39 is formed integrally with the body, which handle extends from a side of the carafe midwaybetween the two pouring lips.

In a carafe made from a cellular plastic, the wall thickness generally is prescribed by the insulating efficiency desired, a thick wall section being chosen if a long-term constant temperature is desired. For foam polystyrene, for example, a wall thickness of 5/16 inch will maintain ice water for 8-10 hours. Even with a tapered wall design, thick wall containers do not nest as close together as, for example, thin paper or plastic cups of conventional design. Thus, there is a vertical spacing between rims of adjacent, nested containers, which spacing commonly is known as the stack-height.

Because of the relatively thick wall, foamed plastic carafes have a relatively large stack height. Carafes made in accordance with this invention have an elongated cross-sectional configuration and the overall size and shape is chosen so that the carafes will have a desired volumetric capacity as well as a maximum stability and ease of use. The hinge member is positioned at the side of the carafe and the taper of the inner wall of the carafe body is so chosen that the maximum width of the lid is less than the carafe stack height. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be noted that the vertical plane containing the major axis of the carafe passes through the pouring lip whereas the vertical plane containing the minor axis of the carafe passes through the hinge member 12. In the case of a carafe having a handle 20, as shown in FIG. 7, the vertical plane containing the major axis of the carafe passes through the pouring lip and the handle. With reference to construction shown in FIGS. 8-10, the vertical plane containing the major axis of the carafe passes through both of the pouring lips 31 and 32, whereas the vertical plane containing the minor axis of the carafe passes through the hinge member 36 and the handle 39. The dimensional relationship between the width of the lid and the carafe stack height is illustrated in the front elevational view of FIG. 11. Here the carafe 41 having a handle 42 and a lid 43, is shown nested within a similar carafe 41 having a handle 42 and a lid 43'. The maximum width (W) of the lids, (taken along the minor axis of the lids) each is equal to or less than the stack height of the carafes. The length of the handles is also equal to or less than the stack height. Thus, the integral handles and the hinged lids do not result in an increased stack height, that is, the stack height is no greater than that normally required for particular carafes having a given wall thickness and inside taper. For example, carafes having a wall thickness of 5/16 inch, a taper of 5 on the side and rear walls, and a taper of 10 on the front wall, will have a stack height approximately equal to one-half the length of the carafe body.

The construction of the integral hinge member for a 6 foamed carafe will now be described with reference to FIGS. 12-14, which are fragmentary enlarged crosssectional views as taken along the line 12-12 of FIG.

6. In FIG. 12, the lid 10, body 11 and hinge member 12 are shown in the as-molded position. During the heating portion of the molding cycle when the partially foamed particles are fused, the hinge member 12 has an initial thickness somewhat less than that of the lid but greater than its final thickness by a factor of at least two times. While still heated, the partially foamed material in the area constituting the hinge member is compressed to substantially rigid web. The hinge member is substantially co-planar with the upper end wall of the body 11 and the inner surface of the lid 10 and the lines along which the hinge member is integrally connected to the body and to the lid are of reduced thickness, as indicated by the arrows a and b, respectively. Also, the effective width of the hinge member, taken between the lines a and b, is substantially equal to the'thickness of the wall of the body 11, whereas the length (L) of the hinge member, as shown in FIG. 6,.preferably is somewhat longer than its width. Although the main portion of the hinge member is a compressed, rigid member, the reduced-thickness portions a and b thereof may be considered as score lines, whereby these portions function like a flexible joint. Thus, when the lid is rotated to the closed position as shown in FIG. 13, it pivots about the joint generally defined by the reduced thickness portion a, it being apparent that the lid also pivots aboutthis joint when the lid is returned to the fully open position shown in FIG. 12. The described hinge member construction also permits rotation of the lid to the folded-down, or shipping position along the body 11 as shown in FIG. 14. This is desirable to nest the carafes for shipment, see FIG. 11. As the lid is rotated from the fully open position (FIG. 12) to the folded-down position (FIG. 14), it pivots somewhat along the joint a but more along the joint b. Since the rotation radius (r, between the joint b and the curved, noncompressed surface of the lid 10, is somewhat greater than the width of the hinge member between the joints 0 and b there will be an interference between the lid and the proximate edge of the body 11 at some point before the lid has been rotated to the illustrated foldeddown position. However, foamed cellular plastic material has an inherent resiliency sufficient to permit a slight temporary compressive deformation thereof without permanently changing its original shape. Thus, the mutual surface areas of contact between the lid and the wall of the body are compressed slightly as the lid is forcefully rotated through the interference area. Then, when the interference area has been passed, the material returns substantially to its original shape and thickness. Therefore, once the lid has been rotated to the folded-down position shown in FIG. 14, it effectively is locked in such position. The carafes are multipacked and nested in a shipping carton with the lids locked in the folded-down positions. The described temporary material compression action takes place when the lid is rotated in the reverse direction to place the carafe in condition for normal use.

Having now described the invention what I desire to protect by Letters Patent is set forth in the following claims.

I claim:

1. A carafe comprising,

a. a body formed of foamed plastic and having an elongated cross-sectional configuration, said body having a closed bottom and tapered sidewalls,

7 b. a pouring lip formed integrally with said body and including a flat surface portion lying in a plane substantially parallel to the plane containing the top end wall of the body, said flat surface portion being intersected by a channel communicating with the interior of the body, an elongated lid formed of foamed plastic and including a flat portion which engages and overhangs the said flat surface portion of the pouring lip when the lid is in the closed position, said lid having a maximum width less than the stack height of the carafe and d. a hinge member formed integrally with the body and the lid, said hinge member comprising a relatively thin, substantially rigid web portion which is connected to the body by a first section of reduced thickness and to the lid by a second section of reduced thickness, said lid including circular edge portions located at opposite ends of the web and concentric with the said second section of reduced thickness, the-radium of the said edge portions being greater than the width of the web.

2. The invention as recited in claim 1, including a handle formed integrally with the said body; wherein the vertical plane containing the major axis of the carafe passes through the handle and the pouring lip, and wherein the minor axis of the body passes through the said hinge member.

3. The invention as recited in claim 1, including a second similar pouring lip formed integrally with the body, a second flat surface on the said lid, which portion engages and overhangs the flat surface portion of the second pouring lip when the lid is in the closed position, a handle formed integrally with the body and positioned substantially midway between the two pouring lips, said handle having a length less than the stack height of the carafe; and wherein the vertical plane containing the major axis of the carafe also passes through the second pouring lip.

4. An integral hinge member joining together a container and a lid made of foamed plastic, said hinge member comprising a relatively thin, substantially rigid web portion which is connected to the said body and lid by sections of reduced thickness constituting flexible joints, said lid including circular edge portions located at opposite ends of the web portion and being substantially concentric with the flexible joint connecting the lid to the web portion, the radius of the said edge portions being greater than the width of the web portion.

web portion.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/143, 220/832, 206/519, D07/317, 206/515, 220/839, 16/DIG.130, 220/817
International ClassificationA47G19/12
Cooperative ClassificationY10S16/13, A47G19/12
European ClassificationA47G19/12