Title:
Pop-top can with easy-to-lift pull tab
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pop-top can with easy-to-lift tab having a can top with a score line and a tab having two ends. The first of such ends being the puncturing end, this end presses down to puncture the can when the tab is pulled. The second end is the lifting end. The can is opened by lifting and pulling the lifting end. The tab is pivoted to allow rotation. The can also has a ramp on the can top. When the tab is pushed to a position over the ramp, the ramp forces the lifting end of the tab to a lifted position, away from the can top thereby making the tab easy to lift.



Inventors:
Cho, Frederick Yi-tung (Mesa, AZ, US)
Application Number:
09/760335
Publication Date:
08/15/2002
Filing Date:
01/16/2001
Assignee:
CHO FREDERICK YI-TUNG
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D17/34; (IPC1-7): B65D17/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NEWHOUSE, NATHAN JEFFREY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Frederick, Yi-tung Cho (14441 S. Power Road, Mesa, AZ, 85212, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A pop-top can with easy-to-lift tab comprising a can top with a score line; a tab having two ends, the first of such ends being the puncturing end, this end presses down to puncture the can when the tab is pulled; the second end is the lifting end; the can is opened by lifting and pulling the lifting end; said tab is pivoted to allow rotation; a ramp on the can top to force the lifting end of the tab to a lifted position, away from the can top when the tab is pushed to a position over the ramp thereby making the tab easy to lift.

2. A pop-top can with easy-to-lift tab according to claim 1 wherein said ramp is located at an approximate position opposite to the score line on the can top.

3. A pop-top can with easy-to-lift tab according to claim 1 wherein the highest point of said ramp is elevated for at least one and one half millimeters from the surrounding areas on the top of the can.

4. A pop-top can with easy-to-lift tab according to claim 1 wherein the highest point of said ramp is elevated for at least two millimeters from the surrounding areas on the top of the can.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] Pop-top cans are popular containers for beverages such as soft drink, beer, etc. To open such a can, one pulls up one end of a tab, that causes the other end to press down and “pop” the can open.

[0002] The tabs on pop-top cans are usually laid flat against the top of the can to minimize the chance of getting snagged. If the tab gets snagged and moved unintentionally (as it could happen during transportation) the can might develop a leak. But a tab that is flat against the can top is difficult to lift unless one has strong fingernails of exactly the right length. The problem is, most people do not have the right fingernails, some people have fingernails that are too short and others have fingernails that are too long. Some of the long fingernails are even highly decorated, or artistically curved to the extend that they are easily damaged while trying to open a pop-top can.

[0003] One could open a pop-top can with the help of tools such as can-openers, screw-drivers, knives, spoons, coins, and keys. But tools are not always available. It is therefore highly desirable to have pop-top cans that are easy to open without tools. The present invention provides such a can, the tab is pivoted to allow rotation about the can top, it is normally laid flat against the can top for safety in transportation and storage. A ramp is provided to force the tab away from the can top. When the tab is pushed up the ramp, it becomes easy to slip in a finger to lift the tab and open the can without having to pry with one's fingernails.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] FIG. 1 shows a plan view of a pop-top can with easy-to-lift pull tab which is one preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0005] FIG. 2 shows a sectional view of the can of FIG. 1.

[0006] FIG. 3 shows a view of the ramp in the can of FIG. 1 across a cut along the arc AB

[0007] FIG. 4 shows a view of the ramp in the can of FIG. 1 across a cut along the line PQ

[0008] FIG. 5 shows a plan view of the can of FIG. 1 after the tab has been pushed up the ramp.

[0009] FIG. 6 shows a sectional view of the can of FIG. 3.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] One preferred embodiment of the invention provides a pop-top can with easy-to-lift tab. The can has a can top with a score line and a tab having two ends. The first of such ends being the puncturing end, this end presses down to puncture the can when the tab is pulled. The second end is the lifting end. The can is opened by lifting and pulling the lifting end. The tab is pivoted to allow rotation. The can also has a ramp on the can top. When the tab is pushed to a position over the ramp, the ramp forces the lifting end of the tab to a lifted position, away from the can top thereby making the tab easy to lift.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0011] FIG. 1 shows the top 10 of a pop-top can 11 which is a preferred embodiment of the present invention. The can top 10 is presecured along a score line 12 along which the can opens. Attached to the can top 10 by means of a pivot 13 is a tab 14. The tab 14 can be made to rotate around the pivot by pushing it with a thumb (or finger). However, the pivot 13 also provides sufficient friction to prevent unintentional rotation of the tab 14.

[0012] The can top 10 has a ramp 15. The center portion 16 of the ramp 15 is raised by approximately 2.5 mm above the rest of the can top, and the elevation is gradually reduced to zero at the ends 17 and 18. FIG. 3 illustrates the gradual change of elevation along the ramp 15 by showing a sectional view of the can top across a cut along the arc AB (shown in FIG. 1). FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the can top across a cut along the line PQ (shown in FIG. 1), it illustrates the elevation of the ramp at its highest point near the center 16. FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the straight line defined by the arrows marked “2” in FIG. 1.

[0013] To open the can 11 of FIG. 1, the tab 14 is first turned clockwise approximately ninety degrees to a position shown in FIG. 5. One end of the tab 14 is the puncturing end 19; FIG. 5 shows this end 19 positioned over the area 20 defined by the score line 12. The other end of the tab 14 is the lifting end 21; FIG. 5 shows this end 21 positioned over the ramp 15.

[0014] FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the can 11 taken along the line defined by the arrows marked “6” in FIG. 5. FIG. 6 shows the tab 14 in a lifted position. The lifting end 21 of the tab 14 is raised above (and away from) the can top 10 thus providing ample room under the lifting end 21 for a user to insert a finger to lift the tab 14. Ideally, the lifting end 21 should be raised as much as possible for easy opening of the can; however, there are practical limits to how high the lifting end can be lifted, for example, a ramp that is too high may cause the can top to be weakened; and if the ramp 15 is made too steep, then it would be difficult to push the tab 14 up the ramp. The ramp should have an elevation of at least one and one half millimeter to be effective. Preferably the highest point of the ramp would have an elevation from two to five millimeters.

[0015] Once the lifting end 21 of the tab 14 has been lifted, the can 11 is ready to be opened by pulling the tab 14 as one would open an ordinary pop-top can.

[0016] Pop-top cans with easy-to-lift tab according to the present invention are inexpensive to manufacture. It would most likely be constructed out of aluminum just like most ordinary pop-top cans, and the method of construction would also be very similar to that used for ordinary pop-top cans. The addition features—the ramp and a different initial position of the tab—do not require additional steps in construction. The ramp would be stamped onto the can top together with other details that need to be stamped on. For hardly any increase in cost, the present invention offers pop-top cans with a significant improvement on being easy to open.

[0017] While there have been described above the principles of this invention in connection with specific apparatus, it is to be clearly understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope of the invention.