US 3915355 A
A controlled-pour container including a receptacle and a cover arranged for pressed fit interconnection with the receptacle, the cover being recessed at one or more positions to form conjointly with the receptacle one or more discharge openings for the container contents.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Young Oct. 28, 1975 CONTROLLED-POUR CONTAINER  Inventor: James A. Young, 4200 Opal Cliffs Drive, Santa Cruz, Calif. 95060  Filed: Jan. 8, 1973  Appl. No.: 321,684
Related US. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 70,023, Sept. 8, 1970,
 US. Cl. 222/478; 220/902; 220/356; 220/366; 220/367; 229/43', 206/459  Int. Cl B65d 51/16  Field of Search 220/902, 90.4, 90.6, 44 A, 220/352, 366, 367, 374, 356; 229/43; 222/562, 544, 566, 549, 556, 478; 206/459 2,529,114 11/1950 Teller 220/904 2,651,926 9/1953 Enslein 206/D1G. 29 2,761,301 9/1956 Teller 220/904 3,081,010 3/1963 Tupper 222/556 3,258,179 6/1966 Cherba 222/549 3,333,738 8/1967 Goss 206/47 B 3,362,565 l/l968 McCormick.... 229/43 3,362,590 l/1968 Martin A 220/42 B 3,749,277 7/1973 Kinney 229/43 Primary Examiner-William 1. Price Assistant ExaminerStephen Marcus Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Paul B. Fihe [5 7] ABSTRACT A controlled-pour container including a receptacle and a cover arranged for pressed fit interconnection with the receptacle, the cover being recessed at one or more positions to form conjointly with the receptacle one or more discharge openings for the container contents.
7 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 3,915,355
INVENTOR JAMES A. YOUNG PATENT AGENT CONTROLLED-POUR CONTAINER This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 70,023, filed Sept. 8, 1970, now abandoned.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to containers and more particularly, to a container for liquids allowing the controlled pouring of the contents therefrom.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There exist innumerable containers for liquids formed of various materials and in various shapes not only to contain the liquid contents but to enable the controlled pouring or discharge of such liquid contents. In order to avoid accidental spilling of the liquid, a container has, in many cases, included a cover for an open top receptacle which could be removed when pouring or dispensing was desired and replaced during intervening periods.
In certain instances, however, the removal of the cover is impractical or even impossible. By way of example, water pitchers with protective covers have been utilized in bedside locations in hospitals where in the case of certain patients one arm may be temporarily or permanently immobilized so as to preclude the removal of the cover which is normally a two-handed operation. In yet other instances, bandages over the eyes can render both the removal of the cover and the subsequent pouring of the contents from the container into a glass a difficult if not impossible task.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is the general objective of the present invention to provide a controlled-pour container consisting of a liquid receptacle and a releasablyconnected cover formed to provide a discharge opening to enable pouring of the contents without removal of the cover and in a precisely controlled fashion. Briefly, this objective is achieved by providing a receptacle which is open at its top but is formed to enable the releasable connection ther'eto of a cover which is recessed at one or more peripheral positions, thus to provide, when the cover is connected to the receptacle, a discharge opening or openings enabling the entire container to be lifted and upon appropriate tilting to permit the discharge of the liquid contents therefrom. Quite obviously, this can be a simple one-handed operation. The recess has a limited peripheral extent so that the pouring or discharging of the contents occurs at but this one position so as to control the pouring and enable accurate dispensing of the liquid into a glass or other receptacle for subsequent use. Furthermore the discharge opening is of relatively small dimensions so that if the contents of the container consist of liquid plus cooling ice, only the liquid will be dispensed and the ice will be retained within the container. Since the recess is formed in the cover, the receptacle can be of standard design with a uniform lipv portion yet the two elements, when assembled, will provide the described discharge opening.
Preferably, so that the user can distinguish, both visually and through the sense of touch, the precise position of the discharge opening, the cover is raised adjacent the recess or is otherwise distorted to enable the users sense of touch to determine the location of the discharge opening. In addition, a visual indicator, for example in the form of an arrow can be formed in the cover to facilitate the users location of the discharge opening.
Whereas any form of releasable connection between the cover and the receptacle can be utilized, it is preferred to form the cover from slightly resilient material which is dimensioned such that a pressed fit can be obtained with the receptacle, the frictional interengagement between the cover and receptacle being sufficient to preclude their separation when the liquid contents of the container are being poured but enabling a relatively easy manual separation of the cover from the receptacle when it is to be refilled. By way of example, the receptacle and the cover can both be formed from standard expanded plastic beads (polystyrene) which have the requisite resiliency and also adequate strength to enable continued use of the container over a substantial period. In addition this particular material is an excellent insulating material so that, for example, if the container is filled with water and ice cubes, the liquid contents will be maintained at a relatively low temperature for an extended period of time.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The stated objective of the invention and the manner in which it is achieved, as summarized hereinabove, will be more readily understood by a perusal of the following description of an exemplary structure embodying the invention as shown in the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a receptacle and cover embodying the invention,
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the undersurface of the cover,
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1 illustrating the initiation of releasable interconnection between the cover and receptacle, and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of that portion of the assembled cover and receptacle when tilted in a liquid pouring disposition.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION With initial reference to FIG. 1, the container embodying the present invention consists of but two elements, a receptacle 10 of generally tapered exterior configuration with an open top defined by a uniform lip portion 12 whose interior surface has a slight inward taper from its upper extremity of perhaps 3 enabling pressed insertion thereinto of the second element, a cover 14 as will be described hereinafter (see FIG. 3). As illustrated, the receptacle 10 is formed in a well known fashion from the expansion of polystyrene or other plastic beads that form a structure having slight resilience but adequate strength for containing liquids and which will maintain. the contents in a heated or cooled state because of the inherent insulation properties of the expanded plastic beads. While this manner of receptacle fabrication is preferred because of its insulating properties and the slight resilience mentioned, in view of the structural characteristics of the cover 14 to bedescribed hereinafter, it is to be expressly observed that the receptacle 10 can be formed of any material capable of holding a liquid and having a uniform lip configuration around its open top to enable pressed accommodation of the cover. For example, the receptacle can be formed of paper, plain or impregnated with wax, metal, wood, or any other material wherefore no limitations on its structural characteristics are to be implied except to enable connection thereto of the cover 14.
The cover 14, as mentioned, is arranged for pressed insertion into the uniform lip portion 12 of the described receptacle and accordingly in the present instance, takes the form of a single generally flat circular member preferably formed by expanded polystyrene beads which produce the desired degree of resilience to enable pressed interconnection of the cover with the lip portion of receptacle. More particularly, the cover 14 has a central generally circular section 16 which is surrounded by a rectangular flange 18 which rises upwardly from the central circular section 16 and then extends outwardly. With additional reference to FIG. 2, the outer surface of the vertical flange section indicated at 20 is dimensioned slightly in excess of the interior surface dimension of the receptacle lip portion 12 so that when the cover 14 is pressed downwardly from the FIG. 3 position, this surface 20 is arranged to achieve a pressed fit relationship with the slightly tapered interior surface of the lip portion of the receptacle thus to establish sufficient frictional interengagement to effectively maintain the releasable interconnection between two elements even when the liquid is being poured therefrom as will be described hereinafter. However, the frictional interconnection is limited so that the cover 14 can be manually removed quite easily from the receptacle to enable replenishment of the contents of the latter.
When the exterior surface of the cover flange section is pushed into the pressed fit engagement with the lip portion 12 of the receptacle 10, the outwardly extending section of the flange 18 is arranged to rest on the upper extremity of the lip portion 12 of the receptacle. Thus, through most of the perimetral frictional engagement between the cover and receptacle, no fluid will be permitted to pass.
To enable controlled pouring from the container when the two elements are assembled in the fashion described, the edge of the illustrated cover 14 is slightly recessed in both a radial and axial direction, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. More particularly, the upright flange has diametrically-opposed recessed portions 22 and, in turn, adjacent recesses 24 are formed in the undersurface of the outward extending flange section so that when the two elements are assembled, discharge passages indicated at P in FIG. 4 are formed at the opposite recessed portions of the cover which passages extend first upwardly, as viewed in FIG. 3 and thence outwardly. Typically the arcuate extent of the passages P, which form the discharge openings from the container, are each no more than 1 inch so that a controlled pouring from the container into a glass or other receiving receptacle is permitted when the entire container is laterally tipped towards a horizontal position, such disposition being indicated in FIG. 4 where the arrows A indicate the lateral and then downward flow of the liquid from the container to its exterior. The particular configuration of each discharge opening first extending in one direction and thence in another notonly allows the control of the pouring of the contents from the container but also provides for an immediate cessation of the pouring when the container is returned to its upright disposition, thus providing a no-drip arrangement.
Preferably, as shown in FIG. 1, the cover 14 also incorporates means for indicating the position of the two diametrically-opposed discharge openings P. In the first place, the plastic beads, during the molding process, are formed to provide a double-ended arrow 30 pointing towards the positions of the discharge openings and the word pour is also formed therein. In addition, immediately adjacent each of the discharge openings P on the outer edge of the cover flange, a raised circumferential ridge 32 is formed thus to enable a simple indication of the position of the discharge opening through mere touching with the fingers. Thus, for example, if a patient is not able to see, he can readily feel the position of the discharge opening and pour liquids into a glass without any attendant visual examination thereof.
As has been indicated throughout the foregoing description of one particular embodiment of the invention, many modifications and changes can be made without departing from the spirit of the invention and the foregoing description of one embodiment is accordingly to be considered as purely exemplary and not in a limiting sense and the actual scope of the invention is to be indicated only by reference to the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A controlled-pour container which comprises an open-top receptacle, and
a cover comprising a body section and a peripheral flange for removable connection with the open top of said receptacle,
said cover and receptacle being cooperatively arranged to form at least at one position a permanent lateral discharge opening permitting the fluid con tents of the container to be poured therefrom upon appropriate tilting thereof,
said receptacle having a uniform lip configuration surrounding the open top thereof, and
said cover having a peripheral recess in the undersurface of said flange and an adjacent recess in said body section, said peripheral recess extending outwardly from a point inwardly of the container lip to the outer edge of said flange at least at one position thus to form the lateral discharge opening when said cover and receptacle are connected.
2. A controlled-pour container according to claim 1 which comprises means formed on said cover to visually indicate the position of the discharge opening.
3. A controlled-pour container according to claim 1 which comprises means forming a distortion in the surface of said cover adjacent the discharge opening to enable ascertainment of its position through the use of the sense of touch.
4. A controlled-pour container according to claim 1 wherein said peripheral recess extends radially and said adjacent recess extends axially thus to form cooperatively with the lip portion of said receptacle a discharge opening having a radially-extending section and an axially-extending section.
5; A controlled-pour container according to claim 4 wherein said cover is removably connected interiorly of said receptacle by a pressed fit, and
the terminus of said discharge opening is formed by said radially-extending peripheral recess.
6 6. A controlled-pour container according to claim 5 peripheral flange, said body section being formed wherein to enable pressed frictional connection with the lip said receptacle has a slightly tapered lip portion, and portion of the receptacle, and said cover has a registering peripheral surface of a portion of the outer edge of said flange being reslightly greater dimension than that of said recepta- 5 cessed, an adjacent recess being formed in said cle lip portion to enable the pressed fit to be made body section, said two recesses cooperating to protherebetween. vide a permanent controlled lateral discharge 7. A cover for an open-top liquid receptacle having opening with the adjacent lip of the receptacle a uniform lip portion which cover comprises when the cover is connected thereto.
a generally flat member having a body section and a 10