US 3847311 A
The present invention is an apparatus for a container having a controllable aperture for selectively dispensing the contents from such container. The apparatus includes a handle, a thumb actuator and a cover having an aperture which is sealed by a lid pivotally mounted within the cover. The thumb actuator may be spring coupled to the handle and is attached to the lid by an elongated member disposed such that by pressing the thumb actuator the elongated member is rotated and the lid is opened.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
States Patent [1 1 Flores et al 1 Nov l2 llWd PIVOTED CLOSURE FOR A BEVERAGE CUP Inventors: Edward Flores, 23690 Summit Dr.,
Calabasas; Thomas W. Holmes, 4005 S. Bronson Ave, Los Angeles, both of Calif.
Assignees: Edward Flores; Thomas H.
Holmes, part interest to each Filed: Sept. 13, 1973 Appl. No: 396,834
US. Cl. 222/473, 222/556 int. Cl Ad'7g 19/22 Field of Search 222/469, 470, 472, 473,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS ll/l950 Dick 220/36 X 3.130.88l 4/l964 Jepson H 222/470 Primary E.\aminer-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Iiraminer-Larry H. Martin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Spensley, Horn & Lubitz  ABSTRACT 7 Claims, 7 Drawing ll igures l. Field of the Invention The invention relates to an apparatus coupled to a container or made an integral part of the container for selectivity dispensing the contents thereof. 2. Prior Art 7 The prior art discloses containers having controllable apertures for selectively dispensing from the containers the contents therefrom. A typical apparatus of the prior art is described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,102,309 entitled Closure for Receptacles which issued to Charles S. Baron. Barons apparatus included'a'cover and flap structure for syrup pitchers and sugar jars thatis still in common use. The flap covers an opening within the cover and a thumb actuated mechanism pulls the flat away from the opening in an upward direction allowing the contents of the container to be dispensed therefrom.
Barons device is designed forpouring and is not readily adaptable for use as a drinking cup. First of all the flap movesupwardly which-makes it awkward for the user to put his lips around the opening. Further, the thumb mechanism must be disposed on the cover directly opposite the opening.
A-non-spillable drinking cup was the subject of US.
Pat. No, 2,093,133 entitled Drinking Cup, which issued to James A. Low.'Lows non-spillable drinking cup includes a cup portion and a pivotally mounted lid on the inside surface of the drinking cup. Lows apparatus has no mechanism for selectively dispensing the contents from the container, but was designed to provide a non-spillable drinking cup for invalids and young children. This cup is designed to operate so that the lid will close under impulse from the liquid contents therein when the cup body is tilted from the vertical. Further the lid is designed to engage the nose of the drinker to. allow the hinged lid to remain in a sufficiently open position to facilitate drinking.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a conveniently operated non-spillable beverage cup hav-' ing a controllable aperture for selectively dispensing from the cup the contents thereof.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a non-spillable beverage cup which can be manufactured simply and inexpensively.
It is further object of the present invention to provide a non-spillable drinking cup which can be used during travel, e.g., in an airplane or an automobile.
SUMMARYOF THE INVENTION The present invention is an app'ratus adopted to be coupled to or made an integral apparatus of a container to form a scalable container which can be actuated when desired to allow the contents from the container to be dispensed therefrom. The apparaatus typically includes a handle, a thumb actuator, a lid which is pivotally mounted to be operated by the thumb actuator,
. =2 rotation of the pivot. Typically the pivot mount is an integral part of the lid.
The thumb actuator is typically disposed in the han-' dle for convenience and is operatively connected to the pivot member to cause theilid to be opened and closed. A spring member is disposed around the pivot to bias the lid in the sealed position when the thumb actuator is not depressed. v
When the thumb actuator is depressed the pivot member is rotated thereby causing the lid to disengage from the aperture therebyallowing the contents to be dispensed out of the container by tipping the container in the usual manner for drinking or pouring.
' The novel features wh'ichare believed to be characteristic of. the invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawing is for the purpose of illustration and description only, and is not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention. I
DESCRIPTION OF rue DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of the present invention disposed in a cover which is coupled to a container to FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional side view of the nonspillable container shown in FIG. I and taken along section lines 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view'of the non-spillable container shown in FIG. I and taken along section lines 55 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional side view of showing an alternate embodiment of a lid and aperture configurations which can be utilized in the invented structur'e.
FIG. 7 is a partial cross-sectional side view showing another alternate embodiments of a lid and aperture configurations which can be utilized in the invented structure.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The preferred embodiment of the present invention can best be understood by reference to the drawing. FIG. I shows the apparatus of the present invention as it is embodied in a cover which is coupled to a container to form a non-spillable beverage cup. The apparatus generally consists of a cover I2, alid 14, a handle I6 and a thumb actuator or lever means 18. The cover 12 is shown as being cylindrical and having a top end 21 and'a bottom end 22. The cover has a flat upper surface 24 covering the first end 21 and a generally circular aperture 25 disposed therein. Theaperture 25 is slightly tapered and configured to receive an appropriate lid member as shown in FIGS. Typically the diam: eter of the aperture is smaller than. one-half the diameter of the cover I2 and is disposed off center. However,
the size and position of the aperture may be varied without departing from the present invention.
A recess or notch 26 is located adjacent the aperture 25 and at about the center of and on the upper cover surface 24. The bottom end 22 of the cover 12 is adapted to sealingly engage the container by threading or the like.
In the embodiment shown, the bottom end 22 of the I cover 12 is coupled or threaded to the container 10.
However, it should be understood that the invention contemplates that the container 10 and the cover 12 could comprise a single integral structure.
A pivot mount 28 is cooperatively received within the notch 26. The pivot mount 28 is rigidly coupled to an elongated member 41 which acts as a pivot and is coupled to or can be made integral with the lid 14. The pivot mount 28 has a bore 34 disposed thereon. The lid 14 is disc shaped and tapered to sealingly engage the aperture of the cover 12. Ribs members serve to provide support between the pivot mount 28 and the lid 14. The elongated pivot member 41 is disposed in a bore 37 which is disposed centrally through the upper portion of the cover 12. The placement of the pivot 41 with respect to the aperture allows the lid 14 to be engaged or disengaged from the aperture upon rotation of the pivot 41. In order to make the container or cup assembly easy to manipulate, a handle 16 is provided as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3.
The handle 16 is generally L-shaped with the lower part of the L jointed to the cover 12. It should be understoodthat other handle configurations may also be used in conjunction with the cover 12 and lid 14 to form other embodiments. Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, handle 16 has a generally'flat top surface 47 and a recess 48 having a flat side surface 49 disposed generally perpendicular to the axis of the pivot bore 37. The
thumb actuator 18 preferably has a fiat top surface 58 so that a non-protruding surface is formed with the rest of the top handle surface 47 when the actuator 18 is in the normal or closed lid position. The thumb actuator is configured to be received and rotated within the recess 48 to provide a convenient and easy to operate means for opening and closing the container while gripping the handle. The thumb actuator 18 has a bore 54 The lid and aperture arrangement shown in FIGS. 1 -5 are of a tightly fitting lid 14 engaging the aperture 15. It is preferable that the lid be made of a rigid but slightly compressible material (e.g., a suitable plastic, rubber, etc.) to insure a tight fit that will prevent leaking even after prolongeduse.
Alternate configurations of apertures and lids are shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 in which the aperture contains a plurality of grooves and the lid contains a plurality of projections to engage the respective grooves thereby allowing the lid to seal the cover. Referring first to FIG. 6, aperture 60 consists of a first circular portion or groove 61, a second circular portion or groove 62 of smaller diameter than that of the first circular portion 61 and a third circular portion or groove 63 of smaller than that of the second circular portion 62. The circular portions 61, 62 and 63 are located on the same cendisposed therein through which one end 42 of the pivot member 41 is rigidly connected.
Thumb actuator 18 has a cavity 56 disposed thereon as best shown in FIG. 3. As shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, spring 44 is disposed within the cavity 56 of the thumb actuator 18 and has its first end 45 connected to the thumb actuator 18. Its second end 46 is connected to is located. The elongated pivot member 41 is shown as a cylindrical rod having a first end 42 received in the thumb actuator and a second end 43 received with the cover as shown in FIG. 2. The pivot member 41 is slideably received within the pivot bore 37 in the cover and is connected to the pivot mount 28 through the bore 34 'thereof. The spatial and operative relationship of the lid 14, the pivot mount 28, the pivot member 41 and the thumb actuator 18 are clearly shown in FIG. 2.
tral axis. The third circular portion 63 is disposed nearest the upper surface 24 of the cover 12. The second circular portion 62 is contiguous to the third circular portion 63 and the first circular portion 61 is contiguous to the second circular portion 62.
Lid 64 may consist of a first disc 65 of a diameter such that it sealingly engages the first circular portion 61 of the aperture 60. Similarly, a second disc 66 and a third disc 67 are of such diameters such that they sealingly engage the second and third circular portions 62 and 63, respectively. The discs 65, 66 and 67 form a unitary lid 64. If desired the lid 64 could also be formed from a single member with the edges formed to the profile shown in FIG. 6.
FIG. 7 illustrates another embodiment of the lid and apertureconfiguration. An aperture is shown which consists of .a first circular portion 81 which is tapered and a second circular portionor groove 82 of a slightly larger diameter than the first portion 81. The lid 83 consists of a first tapered disc 84 adapted to sealingly engage the first circular portion 81 of the aperture 80 and a second circular disc 85 adopted to sealingly engage the second circular portion 82 of the aperture 80. The discs 84 and 85 form a unitary lid 83. The disc portion 85 serves as a stop member when it engages the groove 82. The lid 83 may be made of a single member having the configuration and profile shown in FIG. 7.
In operation, the lever means or thumb actuator 18 is biased in a normally closed position by spring 44.
When the thumb actuator 18 is depressed, it rotates about the axis defined by the bore 37, thereby rotating pivot member 41. Since the pivot mount 28 is rigidly connected to the pivot member 41, the pivot mount 28 also is rotated thereby causing the lid 14 to open downwardly into the container as shown in FIG. 5. The contents L in the container may be dispensed by tilting the container while the thumb actuator 18 is depressed. Upon being released the thumb actuator 18 is returned to its normally closed position by the action of the spring 44. The closed position is best shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and.3.
The present invention is designed primarily to be used while traveling in an airplane, automobile, or the like. However, the container may also be used in the home or in restaurants for both drinking and storage purposes. Such things as syrup, sugar, honey, etc. may be conveniently stored and dispensed from a container of the invented type. Sincethe present invention is selfsealing, the container will only dispense the contents when the thumb actuator is depressed and the containeris tilted. The cover, handle and container portions may be made of any suitable materials. While use of plastic is believed to be the most economical material, other materials such as metals, wood and ceramic, are also contemplated. Other shapes of the container, aperture, lid and cover could also be made within the teachings of the present invention.
It should be understood that various other minor modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
1. An apparatus for a container having a controllable aperture for selectively dispensing the contents from said container comprising:
a. a cover having an aperture which is disposed on the upper surface of said cover and displaced from the center of said cover, said cover having a pivot bore therein extending through the approximate center of said cover and said cover containing a notch portion disposed on the upper surface of said cover adjacent to said aperture;
b. a pivot member disposed within said pivot bore;
c. a pivot mount coupled to said pivot member, said pivot mount being cooperatively engaged within said notch portion;
d. a lid coupled to said pivot mount and adapted to sealingly engage said aperture, and
e. a lever means coupled to said pivot member for 6 opening and closing said lid within said aperture, said lever means including a spring member biased so as to cause said lid to pivot downwardly about the axis of said pivot member when said lever means is actuated, thereby disengaging said lid from said aperture.
2. The apparatus of claim i, wherein said aperture is a tapered opening disposed within the upper surface of said cover and said lid is a tapered disc adapted to sealingly engage said tapered opening.
3. The apparatus of claim ii in which said lid comprises a slightly compressible material so that said lid will sealingly engage said aperture.
4. The apparatus of claim )1 in which said aperture contains a plurality of adjacent grooves and said lid contains a plurality of projections adapted to engage said grooves to seal said lid in said cover.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 in which a handle is coupled to said cover and said lever means is disposed within said handle.
6. The apparatus of claim 5 in which said lever means comprises a thumb actuated member having disposed therein said spring member which is disposed around said pivot member, said spring member being attached at one end to said thumb actuated member and attached at the other end to said handle.
7. The apparatus of claim ii in which said pivot member is a cylindrical rod.