Title:
Sports container projectile
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sports container has a top and a bottom container portions, the two portions of approximately equal size and joined at a midline of the container forming abutting cutting plain surfaces. Each of the portions provides a cavity, the cavities formed in mirror image relationship. One of the cavities provides a peripheral lip extending from the cutting plane surface and has an outwardly convergent cross-section. The other of the cavities provides a peripheral groove extending into the cutting plain surface and has an inwardly convergent cross-section. The container is made of a pliable and resilient foam material having a skin. The lip has a girth exceeding that of the groove, wherein the lip is compressed upon entry into the groove when the portions are mated. The portions are secured together by the gripping of the lip by the groove.



Inventors:
Deitz, Greg (Calgary, CA)
Application Number:
10/266560
Publication Date:
04/08/2004
Filing Date:
10/07/2002
Assignee:
DEITZ GREG
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/579
International Classes:
B65D43/02; B65D81/36; (IPC1-7): B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PICKETT, JOHN G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENT LAW & VENTURE GROUP (1668 E. Verde Blvd., San Tan Valley, AZ, 85140, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A sports container apparatus comprising: a top and a bottom container portions, at least one of the portions providing a cavity; one of the portions providing a peripheral lip having an outwardly convergent cross-section; the other of the portions providing a peripheral groove extending inwardly with an inwardly convergent cross-section; the container made of a pliable and resilient foam material having a relatively less pliable and resilient skin, the lip providing a lip girth exceeding a lip girth of the groove, wherein the lip is compressed upon entry into the groove when the portions are mated, whereby the portions are secured together by gripping of the lip by the groove.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the container has the shape and dimensional ratios of an item used in a stadium sport.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the container has the shape and dimensional ratios of a hockey puck.

4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the container has the shape and dimensional ratios of a football.

5. A apparatus comprising in combination: (i) a container having a top and a bottom container portions, at least one of the portions providing a cavity; one of the portions providing a peripheral lip having an outwardly convergent cross-section; the other of the portions providing a peripheral groove extending inwardly with an inwardly convergent cross-section; the container made of a pliable and resilient foam material having a relatively less pliable and resilient skin, the lip providing a lip girth exceeding a lip girth of the groove, wherein the lip is compressed upon entry into the groove when the portions are mated in closing the cavity, whereby the portions are secured together by gripping of the lip by the groove; and (ii) a novelty item gift for a sports fan enclosed within the cavity.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the container has the shape and dimensional ratios of a common sport apparatus.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the container has the shape and dimensional ratios of a hockey puck.

8. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the container has the shape and dimensional ratios of a football.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

[0001] Applicant(s) hereby incorporate herein by reference, any and all U.S. patents, U.S. patent applications, and other documents and printed matter cited or referred to in this application.

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] This invention relates generally to containers, and more particularly to a container having a peripheral sealing enclosure with male and female interactive lips.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Art

[0005] The following art defines the present state of this field:

[0006] Karoff, U.S. Des. 125,473 describes perfume container design or similar article.

[0007] Whittle, U.S. Des. 187,401 describes a decanter design.

[0008] Witt, Jr., U.S. Des. 267,854 describes a flask design or similar article.

[0009] Mays, U.S. Des. 304,262 describes a toiletry kit design.

[0010] Mays, U.S. Des. 310,137 describes a toiletry kit design.

[0011] Turner, U.S. Des. 327,775 describes a design for a container for storing small objects.

[0012] Packard, U.S. Des. 387,660 describes a bag design.

[0013] Drew, U.S. Des. 390,102 describes a candy dispenser design.

[0014] Lee, U.S. Des. 390,778 describes a watch case design.

[0015] Beals, U.S. Des. 404,195 describes an imitation golf ball shaped continer with attachment for key chain design.

[0016] Shirley et al., U.S. Des. 421,033 describes a ball shaped transparency viewer design.

[0017] Shirley et al., U.S. Des. 421,034 describes a football shaped transparency viewer design.

[0018] Shirley et al., U.S. Des. 421,762 describes a puck shaped tranparency viewer design.

[0019] Van Oldenborgh, U.S. Des. 422,491 describes a pin shaped bottle design.

[0020] Blair, U.S. Pat. No. 1,748,406 describes a soap retaining rubber sponge formed with a center cavity having a pocket for retaining a cake of soap so that it will be completely enclosed within the body of the sponge, and one of the surfaces of the sponge having a crescent shaped incision extending to the cavity and adjacent one end thereof and providing a selfclosing flap to be lifted to insert a cake of soap, the extent of the incision being less than any diameter of the cavity.

[0021] Rothgart, U.S. Pat. No. 3,080,963 describes a coin holder comprising, a block of resilient foam material having spaced opposed faces and intersecting faces forming edges, said block being, formed with a plurality of elongated, thin, normally closed perforate slits to grip and totally enclose an object inserted into the slits to be held, therewithing, said slits terminating short of the edges of the block.

[0022] Gambel, U.S. Pat. No. 3,880,279 describes a generally spherical shaped encasement having a central cavity and a slot for access thereto such that a small coin or doubloon can be inserted within the cavity of this sphere and maintained therein when the trinket is thrown. The sphere can be constructed of material, which is not frangible on impact with the ground or may be an inflatable balloon-like encasement. The encasement is of such dimensions that it can be easily retrieved by hand or easily picked up from the ground by a small child.

[0023] Stanko, U.S. Pat. No. 4,173,286 describes a reusable resilient package particularly for the shipment of beverage cans having at least two mating half sections, each containing at least one pair of mating recesses, one recess of each pair receiving half of a lengthwise section of a beverage can of one size and the other recess of each pair receiving half of the lengthwise section of a beverage can of different size having a like diameter but shorter length, said two half sections in one position receiving in each pair of recesses a can of one size and a can of different size and, in a second position, receiving in each pair of recesses two cans of said different size.

[0024] Lewis et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,599,517 describes a disposable rabbit for transferring radioactive samples in a pneumatic transfer system comprising aerated plastic shaped in such a manner as to hold a radioactive sample and aerated such that dissolution of the rabbit in a solvent followed by evaporation of the solid yields solid waste material having a volume significantly smaller than the original volume of the rabbit.

[0025] The prior art teaches the designs for container of various types including sports related objects, a sponge for accepting a soap bar, or a coin. Clearly, foam rubber and other such materials are known in the packaging industry. Gambrel teaches a throw trinket encasement, but does not teach the particular material and sealing structure of the present invention. The present invention fuilfills the need for a very lost cost and easily sealed package for throwing into a crowd without injury and which is easily opened by a fan and which provides further related advantages as described in the following summary.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0026] The present invention teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.

[0027] In contemporary stadium sports such as baseball, soccer and football, objects are typically thrown or projected into the crowd by members of the stadium staff. Such objects include T-shirts, foam rubber balls and other soft objects that cannot injure a fan. Many other objects could be advantageously projected into the crowd except for the fact that some are too light to be projected, such as gift certificates, and some are too small, heavy or sharp to be projected into a crowd. The present invention provides an elegant solution to this problem by providing a foam rubber sports related container that has a cavity for storing objects of interest to sports fans. Such a container is soft and yet has the mass to enable being projected a great distance into a stadium crowd without the possibility of inflicting injury to an unwary fan. Such a container would need to be closed during projection, but easily opened by a receiving fan. Closures may be fasteners, adhesives and other well-known solutions. The present invention provides a low cost solution which includes a sports container having a top and a bottom container portions, the two portions of approximately equal size and joined at a midline of the container forming abutting cutting plain surfaces. Each of the portions provides one half of a cavity, formed in mirror image relationship. One of the cavities provides a peripheral lip extending from the cutting plane surface and has an outwardly convergent cross-section. The other of the cavities provides a peripheral groove extending into the cutting plain surface and has an inwardly convergent cross-section. The container is made of a pliable and resilient foam material having a skin. The lip has a girth exceeding that of the groove, wherein the lip is compressed upon entry into the groove when the portions are mated. The portions are secured together by the gripping of the lip by the groove. Such gripping may be made as secure as necessary to assure that the container will not open upon impact, yet is easily opened by a fan upon arrival.

[0028] A primary objective of the present invention is to provide an apparatus and method of use of such apparatus that provides advantages not taught by the prior art.

[0029] Another objective is to provide such an invention having separable container portions defining a cavity within.

[0030] Another objective is to provide such an invention wherein the cavity contains a sport novelty item.

[0031] A further objective is to provide such an invention wherein the container portions are not easily separated.

[0032] A still further objective is to provide such an invention having the outward appearance of a sports related object such as a ball or puck, etc.

[0033] Generally, the invention solves the problem of how to provide a super-soft object carrier that is strongly sealed without the expense of fastening solutions, yet is able to be opened manually.

[0034] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0035] The accompanying drawings illustrate the present invention. In such drawings:

[0036] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one preferred embodiment of the invention shown separated into two portions;

[0037] FIG. 2 is a perspective view thereof with the portions shown mated; and

[0038] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another preferred embodiment of the invention shown separated into two portions and cut away to reveal interior features.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0039] The above described drawing figures illustrate the invention in at least one of its preferred embodiments, which is further defined in detail in the following description.

[0040] The invention is a sports container 10 having a top 20 and a bottom 30 container portions, the two portions of approximately equal size and joined at a midline 12 of the container 10 forming abutting cutting plain surfaces 22 and 32. Each of the portions 20, 30 provides a cavity 24, 34, the cavities formed in mirror image relationship. One of the portions 30 provides a peripheral lip 36 extending from the cutting plane surface 32 and has an outwardly convergent cross-section, shown in FIG. 3. The other of the portions 20 provides a peripheral groove 26 extending into the cutting plain surface 22 and it has an inwardly convergent cross-section, also shown in FIG. 3. The container 10 is made of a pliable and resilient foam material 14 such as polyurethane, having a skin 16, as is well known in the art. The skin provides a compliant surface ideal for V-groove engagement, while the very soft interior foam provides a shock absorbing mass. These two characteristics, when used in concert and mutual cooperation provide a novel solution to the present problem defined above in the summary, and is considered critical to the solution. The lip 36 has a girth ā€œGā€ exceeding the girth ā€œgā€ of the groove 26, wherein the lip 36 is compressed upon entry into the groove 26 when the portions 20, 30 are mated. The portions are secured together by the gripping action of the lip 36 by the groove 26. Preferably, the container 10 is combined with a novelty sports fan gift 40 of the type that is typically thrown into a stadium crowd at a ball or hockey game. Therefore, the gift 40 may be a small flag or pendent, a figurine, a gift certificate, etc.

[0041] Preferably, the container 10 has the shape and dimensional ratios of an item used in a stadium sport, such as a baseball, football (FIG. 3), hockey puck (FIGS. 1 and 2), soccer ball, golf ball, etc.

[0042] While the invention has been described with reference to at least one preferred embodiment, it is to be clearly understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited thereto. Rather, the scope of the invention is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims.