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5816631 Oct., 1998 Kochan 294/33 4552396 Nov., 1985 Rais 294/27 4486043 Dec., 1984 Rais 294/27 1825897 Oct., 1931 Brooke 294/31 6279794 Jul., 1999 Miyazaki 224/148 4842158 Jun., 1989 Reyes 224/470 5921431 Jul., 1999 Pych 220/742 4943017 Jul., 1990 Ennis 248/102 5975285 Nov., 1999 Krantz 206/139 4782955 Nov., 1988 Weaver 206/161 4866813 Sept., 1989 Dupont 16/425
 Not Applicable
 Not Applicable
 This invention pertains to the field of handles for fluid containers and more specifically to an integrated handle secured to the body of a typical soft-drink bottle.
 Deformable containers, particularly large soft-drink bottles, are difficult to use for two reasons: first, they are difficult to hold with one single hand because of their size and deformability and, second, the center of mass shifts during pouring of the contents. This makes them difficult to hold, particularly for people with smaller or fragile hands, typically women, elderly or handicapped people, or children, and the recent appearance of 3-liter bottles on the market only exacerbates the problem. Because of the constraints of manufacturing, shipping, and storing of such containers, no handle attachment has yet been provided as an integral part of the bottle.
 Still, a number of external handles have been proposed to facilitate the handling of such containers. Examples include U.S. Pat. No. 5,816,631 to Kochan providing a “Removable Bottle Handle” that is fitted or removed from the bottle by the user and that is held in place by friction. U.S. Pat. No. 4,842,158 to Reyes describes another elongated handle secured by a buckle and Velcro. Yet another model is that of U.S. Pat. No. 4,486,043 to Rais, showing a reusable plastic handle.
 Such prior art presents two major inconveniences. First, the handles in question are all independent from the container, thereby requiring the manufacturing of a separate item that may or may not be sold independently from the container and its product. Secondly, these handles cannot be integrated in the existing storage and distribution channels of the product manufacturers and distributors.
 The present invention has in one of its aspects a handle that consists of a thin flexible strap, semi-permanently attached at its extremities lengthwise to the body of a deformable container, for example a typical 2-liter soft-drink bottle, such that the user may slip his or her fingers underneath the strap, thus carrying the weight on the outside of his or her hand and gaining complete control of the bottle. Other key aspects of this invention are that it can be easily integrated in the existing manufacturing and labeling processes, that it does not interfere with the packaging, transportation, or stocking of such containers, that it does not change the appearance of the bottle, and that its use is completely optional to the end-user.
 Three pages of illustrations are presented, comprising drawings and computer-generated illustrations of a typical soft-drink bottle and some possible methods of assembling and handling the handle, subject of this application.
 The cross-section of a typical cylindrical bottle in
 The bottom figure on page
 The illustrations on page
 Finally, Photo
 The invention provides a handle for mounting on a deformable hand-held container, which comprises primarily a flexible strap affixed to the body of the container, said strap forming a passage of size sufficient to insert the extended fingers of the user between itself and the container body, and means to secure said strap to the container in such fashion that it is easily integrated in the existing manufacturing process, that it is unobtrusive for shipping and storing of the containers, and its use is optional to the end-user.
 When holding such a container, as for the purpose of pouring a glass of soda, the drop in internal pressure causes such deformation that the container becomes difficult to hold with the fingers, more so when the bottle is dripping with condensation. The handling is made even more difficult when the bottle is partially empty because of the shifting in position of the center of mass.
 The solution that we all commonly use is, of course, to hold the bottle with two hands. Another is the use of baskets such as those used for serving wines but made of cheaper materials; however this involves the fabrication of a completely separate item. Yet another possibility is that of completely redesigning the typical PET bottles.
 The utility model that we present, namely the “Integrated and Unobtrusive Handle for Deformable Hand-Held Containers”, solves the above problems by facilitating the use of such containers without requiring any major change in the existing design or fabrication process of bottlers or distributors. The proposed handle consists of a simple strap of thin, flexible, and resilient material, that does not need to affect the appearance of the bottle, nor its stocking or transport, and that would preferably be made of a material easily integrated in the standard recycling process. Said strap can be made of any material that can be easily integrated in all phases of the existing manufacturing and bottling process, including the labeling, according to the specific requirements of individual manufacturers of such containers or other participants in the manufacturing and distribution of the end product. Said strap is positioned about the center of mass of the bottle and its use is optional to consumers, as containers so-equipped can still be held in the ordinary manner.
 Imagine the handle as a simple strap as mentioned above, long enough to allow passing the fingers of an adult hand between it and the container, and fastened to the bottle at its ends with sufficient strength to withstand the force of handling the filled container. Such fastening could consist of, although not exclusively, heat-welding or adhesives holding both extremities directly onto the body of the bottle (
 Whilst the size of the handle should allow slipping the fingers underneath it, thus allowing the user to hold the container in the customary fashion (
 When the consumer uses the handle for the first time, he/she slips the fingers underneath it so as to release the handle to its expanded position (
 This description is not exhaustive, either in the methods suggested for making such a handle, or in the described methods of use. For instance, consumers may find alternative ways in which to use the handle, such as by holding the handle in their hand (Photo