What is claimed is
1. A lid for a coffee cup or the like, comprising
2. A lid as defined in claim 1, and
3. A lid as defined in claim 2,
4. A lid as defined in claim 3,
5. A lid for a coffee cup or the like, having a groove-formed edge around its periphery fitting over the rim of said cup, and
6. A lid for a coffee cup or the like, comprising
7. A lid as defined in claim 7,
8. A lid for a coffee cup or the like, comprising
9. A lid for a coffee cup or the like, comprising
10. A container having a top of thin impervious material,
11. A container as defined in claim 10,
12. A container as defined in claim 11,
The prior art that was found to be closest to the present invention comprises U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,606,586, 2,689,664, 2,974,815 and 3,504,817, None of these, however, discloses the segmental flap opening at the edge of the lid, subtending an angle of approximately 90°, so as to provide ample space for the upper lip of a user to enter said opening without fully closing it off, and so that the flap when open inwardly provides a baffle to reduce the danger of spilling the contents through said opening. Neither does any of these references show a right angular sectorial opening in the lid broken open inside the rim of the lid, so as to keep the entire rim intact while breaking open either the sectorial portion or just the segmental flap portion.
Accordingly, the main object of this invention is to provide a disposable cover or lid for coffee cups and the like in which a convenient opening may be readily broken out of the lid for unrestricted drinking therefrom while the rest of the lid forms a restrictive shield against the danger of spilling when the cup is held in or on an unsteady support.
A further object is to provide a combination of penetratable and fold score lines in the lid for selective use in accordance with the type of access opening desired by the user.
A further object is to provide a lid with a segmental flap opening adjacent the rim of the cup.
A further object is to provide a sectorial break-off portion in the lid to form a convenient drinking opening therein without removing the lid from the cup.
A further object is to form the sectorial break-off portion inside the rim of the cup so as to keep the edge of the lid intact on said rim when the sectorial portion is broken out.
A further object is to extend the penetrating score lines across each other at the center of the lid to form a penetrable opening for a drinking straw .
Other and more specific objects will appear in the following detailed description of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cup with a lid made in accordance with the present invention,
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a cup with a lid as in FIG. 1 but having a sectorial portion removed to provide a convenient drinking opening,
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the lid shown in FIG. 1,
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the same lid with the segmental flap portion broken through and bent inwardly to provide a convenient drinking opening, and
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the same lid with the flap and the rest of the sectorial portion of the lid inside the rim of the cup removed to provide a convenient drinking opening without weakening the mounting of the entire rim portion of the lid on the cup.
In his travels on the Metro-Liner between Washington and New York as well as on other high speed transportation means on water and in the air, the inventor has observed many accidents, some quite serious, which could have been avoided by the use of the present invention, or at least minimized to a great extent.
Many accidents of this type have also been noticed in private transportation means, especially in connection with carry out food services which are becoming more and more popular.
Hot coffee and other drinks are now often served in moving vehicles in many environments where the cup is necessarily held in or on an unsteady support, human or otherwise.
In large crowds even on steady ground, it is almost impossible to avoid getting bumped in the arm holding your drink, and the danger of spilling hot or cold drinks is ever present, and many serious accidents can be avoided by using the non-spillable lids of the present invention.
Besides providing safety against spilling, this invention provides against the danger of dirt or insects entering the cup or other vessel using the present lid, because access to the contents of the vessel or container may be had through a selected reduced opening in the lid while keeping the major portion of the top of the vessel covered. Many food containers may thus be protected against dirt and insects at picnics or on camping trips, etc.
In homes such lids may be used as a training device for children in their early years of motion coordination and drinking.
The present structure of the lids does not limit the manufacturers thereof in the use of impressions of any kind of advertizing or marking of corporate names, etc.
The present type of improved lid could even be made integral with the container which it covers. The combinations of score marks that may be used will give the consumer different options that may be suitable for him under different environments. e.g., a consumer with large physical lips will want to select a larger opening.
Referring now to the drawing, the cup 10 is provided with a lid 12 having penetrable score lines 14 extending from the center of the lid at right angles to each other to the edge of the lid inside the rim of the cup, at which points they are joined by a straight fold score line 16. These points are also joined together by an arcuate penetrable score line 18 inside the rim of the cup, as may be seen in FIG. 3.
The lid 12 has a groove-formed edge 20 fitting closely over the rim of the cup. The penetrable score lines 14 may be extended slightly across each other at the center of the cup, to form a penetrable opening for a drinking straw.
Fold score lines 24 across the triangular flap portions having their apexes at the center of the lid, and defined by the extensions of the penetrable score lines 14 crossing each other at the center.
The penetrable score lines 14 may be extended across the groove-formed edge of the lid 12 at 26 to provide an option of breaking off the entire sectorial portion of the lid, when desired, as shown in FIG. 2.
As shown in FIG. 4, only the segmental flap portion may be broken away at the penetrable score line 18 and bent at the fold score line 16 by pushing it inwardly, to form the segmental drinking opening. Or, if desired, the entire sectorial portion of the lid inside the rim of the cup may be broken out easily by lifting it at the fold line 16 or at the corner between the score lines 14, leaving the sectorial opening , as shown in FIG. 5, without breaking through the groove-formed edge of the lid and weakening its mounting on the rim of the cup.
The operatively easy manipulation of the options in the selection of a suitable opening in the lid of the present invention lends itself toward aiding of the handicapped, epileptics, and other prone situations. The relatively simple construction should appeal to manufacturers, since it requires a minimum of retooling and a minimal increase in costs.
Consumer acceptance should be widespread, nationally as well as internationally.
Many obvious modifications in the form and arrangement of parts of this invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.