Title:
Ball-shaped container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ball-shaped container consists of a vessel (10) and a cap (20) mated with the vessel (10) to compose a ball. The vessel (10) has an opening (12) defined in the vessel (10) and a first circular neck (144) formed around the opening (12). The cap (20) has a second circular neck (22) formed on an inner face to engage with the first circular neck (144) by threads or other means.



Inventors:
Cheng, Chuan-chen (Miaoli Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
10/135967
Publication Date:
10/30/2003
Filing Date:
04/29/2002
Assignee:
CHENG CHUAN-CHEN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D8/00; B65D81/36; (IPC1-7): B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kolisch, Hartwell, Dickinson, (McCormack & Heuser Suite 200 520 S.W. Yamhill Street, Portland, OR, 97204-1378, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A ball-shaped container comprising: a vessel (10) having an opening (12) defined in the vessel (10) and a flat portion (14) formed on the vessel (10) around the opening (12); and a cap (20) with an inner concave surface and an outer convex surface mounted on the vessel (10) and abutting the flat portion (14); wherein the vessel (10) and the cap (20) compose a ball with an outer surface and have patterns on the outer surface similar to a real sports ball.

2. The ball-shaped container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the flat portion (14) further has a curved edge (142) formed at the junction between the flat portion (14) and the outer surface of the vessel (10); and the cap (20) further has a lip (26) formed around the cap (20) to smoothly connect with the curved edge (142) of the vessel (10), whereby the ball-shaped container has an excellent air-tight seal.

3. The ball-shaped container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the vessel (10) further has a first circular neck (144) formed on the flat portion (14) around the opening (12) with an inner surface, outer surface and a thread on the outer surface; and the cap (20) further has a second circular neck (22) with a thread to engage with the first circular neck (144).

4. The ball-shaped container as claimed in claim 2, wherein the vessel (10) further has a first circular neck (144) formed on the flat portion (14) around the opening (12) with an inner surface, outer surface and a thread on the outer surface; and the cap (20) further has a second circular neck (22) formed on the inner face of the cap (20) with an inner surface, outer surface and a thread on the outer surface to engage with the first circular neck (144).

5. The ball-shaped container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cap (20) is preferred to have a radial length about ⅓-⅔ of the radius of the ball-shaped container.

6. The ball-shaped container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the ball has multiple raised areas evenly formed on the outer surface and some of the raised areas each has a indent defined in the raised area for holding the ball or twisting the cap.

7. The ball-shaped container as claimed in claim 6, wherein the ball is a soccer ball and the outer surface of the ball is divided into multiple white hexagonal areas (16) and black pentagonal areas (18).

8. The ball-shaped container as claimed in claim 7, wherein the white hexagonal areas (16) are the raised areas.

9. The ball-shaped container as claimed in claim 8, wherein the black pentagonal areas (18) are formed with adhesive paper.

10. A ball-shaped container comprising: a vessel (10) having an opening (12) defined in the vessel (10), a flat portion (14) formed on the vessel (10) around the opening (12), and a first circular neck (144) projecting from the flat portion (14); a cap (20) with a concave inner surface and a convex outer surface mounted on the vessel (10) and having a second circular neck (22) formed on the inner surface; and a ring (30) mounted between the first circular neck (144) and the second circular neck (22); wherein the ring (30) has a first side with a thread and a second side with multiple teeth; one of the circular necks (144, 22) has a thread to engage the first side of the ring (30) and the other one of circular necks (144, 22) has multiple teeth to engage the second side of the ring (30).

11. The ball-shaped container as claimed in claim 10, wherein the ring (30) further has a rim (41) formed on a top of the ring (30) to prevent the cap (20) from separating from the ring (30).

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a ball-shaped container, and more particularly to a ball-shaped container having a novel appearance and used to hold things or as a real ball.

[0003] 2. Description of Related Art

[0004] Conventional rigid containers used to hold snacks such as cookies or candy are usually cuboid and made of plastic or metal. Such conventional containers are dull in appearance and do not stimulate the purchasing desire of young consumers to increase the sales volume of snack products. Moreover, the container is discarded as rubbish or is used to store other objects after the contents are used up. The only function of a container is to hold things and does not have any other function and is not versatile.

[0005] To obviate or mitigate the problems with the conventional container for holding snacks, the present invention provides a ball-shaped container that can be used as a real ball after the snacks are consumed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The main objective of the invention is to provide a ball-shaped container that holds snacks and also can be used as a real ball.

[0007] Other advantages and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a ball-shaped container in accordance with the present invention;

[0009] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the ball-shaped container in FIG. 1;

[0010] FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the ball-shaped container in FIG. 2;

[0011] FIG. 4 is a cross sectional side plan view of the ball-shaped container along line 4-4 in FIG. 3;

[0012] FIG. 5 is a cross sectional side plan view of another embodiment of the ball-shaped container in accordance with the present invention, wherein the ball-shaped container is assembled by wedging;

[0013] FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of the ball-shaped container in accordance with the present invention, wherein a ring is mounted between the cap and the vessel;

[0014] FIG. 7 is a cross sectional side plan view of the ball-shaped container in FIG. 6; and

[0015] FIG. 8 is a cross sectional top plan view the ball-shaped container along the line 8-8 in FIG. 7; and

[0016] FIG. 9 is an operational perspective view of the ball-shaped container in FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0017] With reference to FIGS. 1 to 4, a ball-shaped container preferably made of resilient materials consists of a vessel (10) and a curved cap (20). The cap (20) detachably engages the vessel (10) to form a ball. The container can be formed in any one of numerous ball shapes such as a football, a volleyball, a soccer ball, etc. A soccer ball is used in the figures for illustrative purposes only.

[0018] The vessel (10) is a hollow spherical object with a vivid outer surface and has an opening (12) defined in the vessel (10) for users to access the contents (30) held inside the ball-shaped container. A flat area (14) is formed on the vessel (10) around the opening (12) and extends to the outer surface. A curved edge (142) is formed at the junction of the flat area (14) and the outer surface of the vessel (10) to keep users from being injured and to make the combination of the vessel (10) and the cap (20) have an excellent air-tight seal. A first circular neck (144) with an inner and outer surface is formed on the flat area (14) around the opening (12). A thread is defined on the outer surface of the first circular neck (144).

[0019] The cap (20) is a circular plate with a concave inner surface, a convex outer surface, a center and an edge to mate with the vessel (10) and has a vivid pattern on the outer surface consistent with the outer surface of the vessel (10). A second circular neck (22) is formed on the inner surface of the cap (20), extends toward the center of the container and has a thread defined on the inner surface of the second circular neck (22) to engage the thread on the first circular neck (144). A lip (26) is formed around the edge of the cap (20) and tapers to cover the curved edge (142) of the vessel (10) so that the contacting area between the vessel (10) and the cap (20) is increased to enhance the air-tight seal of the ball-shaped container. The cap (20) is preferred to have a radial length (length of the maximum radius) about ⅓-⅔ that of the radius of the ball-shaped container.

[0020] The outer surfaces of the vessel (10) and the cap (20) are divided into multiple white hexagonal areas (16) and black pentagonal areas (18), which appear on a soccer ball. One of the black pentagonal areas (18) is positioned at the center of the outer surface of the cap (20) and surrounded by white hexagonal areas (16). The white hexagonal areas (16) are slightly raised areas formed on the outer surface, and a shallow indent (24) is defined on some of the white hexagonal areas (16) so the container or can be held or the cap (20) switched. Additionally, patterns on the ball-shaped container can be formed by bonding colorful material to the outer surface of the ball. For example, the black pentagonal areas (18) can be formed with adhesive paper.

[0021] With reference to FIG. 5, another embodiment of the ball-shaped container has a different means by which the cap (20) engages the vessel (10). The first circular neck (144) of the vessel (10) has multiple stubs (146) formed on the outer surface, and the second circular neck (22) has multiple recess (not numbered) corresponding to the stubs (146). Therefore, the cap (20) connects to the vessel (10) by the stubs (146) engaging the recesses. Because the stubs (146) are located in specific positions, the cap (20) has to be mounted on the vessel (10) at a precise orientation. This feature is used to ensure that the pattern of the cap (20) matches the pattern of the vessel (10).

[0022] With reference to FIGS. 6-8, a ring (40) is mounted between the vessel (10) and the cap (20). The ring (40) has an inner face, an outer face and a rim (41) formed on the top of the ring (40). A thread is defined on the inner face to engage with the thread of the first circular neck (144) and multiple teeth (43) are formed on the outer face of the ring (40). The second circular neck (22) of the cap (20) corresponding to the ring (40) has multiple teeth to engage with the teeth (43) of the ring (40). The ring (40) is screwed onto the first circular neck (144), and then the cap (20) is pressed down until the rim (41) locks inside the second circular neck (22) to prevent the cap (20) from inadvertently separating from the vessel (10). The teeth of the second circular neck (22) and the ring (40) engage with each other at a precise orientation to make the pattern match.

[0023] With reference to FIG. 9, the ball-shaped container with vivid appearance has a secondary use as a real ball when the cap (20) is firmly attached to the vessel (10) after the contents (30) have been depleted.

[0024] The ball-shaped container in accordance with the present invention has a simplified structure as described. Even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing description, together with details of the structure and function of the invention, the disclosure is illustrative only, and changes may be made in detail, especially in matters of shape, size, and arrangement of parts within the principles of the invention to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.