Title:
Ready serve distribution bottle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The ready serve distribution bottle is a plastic squeeze bottle for containing and dispensing a viscous food condiment. An enlarged plastic dispensing cap is located on the bottom of the container, whereby the container stands upright on the plastic cap. Because the bottle stands upright on the dispensing cap, gravity urges the food condiment toward the dispensing cap so that the food condiment is always ready for distribution. The dispensing cap is enlarged relative to the bottle to provide increased stability while the bottle stands upright on the dispensing cap.



Inventors:
Berard, Paul W. (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/773282
Publication Date:
08/11/2005
Filing Date:
02/09/2004
Assignee:
BERARD PAUL W.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D1/32; B65D47/08; (IPC1-7): B65D37/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KAUFMAN, JOSEPH A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (LITMAN LAW OFFICES, LTD. P.O. Box 15035, Arlington, VA, 22215, US)
Claims:
1. A ready serve distribution bottle, comprising: a flexible squeezable plastic bottle having a closed top end and a bottom end, a container portion having a hollow interior, and a neck portion disposed on said bottom end, the neck portion tapering from said container portion to a circular collar; and a circular two-piece plastic cap disposed on said circular collar, the cap having a lower peripheral ribbed surface component and a hinged upper component having a concave surface; whereby the bottle is stored and maintained in an upright position on its cap without any further support.

2. The ready serve distribution bottle according to claim 1, wherein said cap has an outside diameter, and wherein said flexible squeezable plastic bottle has a height equal to less than four times said outside diameter.

3. The ready serve distribution bottle according to claim 2, wherein said flexible squeezable plastic bottle has a first width equal to less than twice said outside diameter.

4. The ready serve distribution bottle according to claim 3, wherein said flexible squeezable plastic bottle has a second width equal to said outside diameter.

5. The ready serve distribution bottle according to claim 1, wherein said circular collar is externally threaded.

6. The ready serve distribution bottle according to claim 1, wherein said cap is internally threaded.

7. The ready serve distribution bottle according to claim 1, wherein said cap has a concave surface.

8. The ready serve distribution bottle according to claim 1, wherein said cap is a two-piece cap.

9. The ready serve distribution bottle according to claim 8, wherein said two-piece cap comprises a base cover, a flip-open cover, and a hinge strap joining said flip-open cover to said base cover.

10. The ready serve distribution bottle according to claim 9, wherein said base cover is internally threaded.

11. The ready serve distribution bottle according to claim 9, wherein said flip-open cover ahs a concave surface.

12. The ready serve distribution bottle according to claim 1, further comprising a viscous food condiment contained within said flexible squeezable plastic bottle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to viscous liquid dispensing containers. More specifically, the invention is a condiment (e.g., catsup) bottle having an enlarged concave-topped dispensing cap located forming the base of the container. The bottle stands upright on the dispensing cap, whereby gravity ensures that the contents of the bottle remain proximate to the dispensing cap for ready delivery.

2. Description of the Related Art

The related art of interest describes various viscous liquids, but none discloses the present invention. There is a need for a viscous liquid composition-distributing container that readily and effectively distributes its contents. The related art will be discussed initially in the order of perceived relevance to the present invention.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,957,336 issued on Sep. 28, 1999, to Dan Radassao et al. describes an inverted flexible frusto-conical viscous fluid dispenser bottle having three parallel angled indentations in the upper extent for gripping purposes. A rigid lower extent or cap has a hinged lid and two bores of unequal diameters. Another embodiment has two equal diameter bores. The lid assembly has separable lids with snap-type bore covers. The bottles are distinguishable for requiring angled indentations in the bottle and a lid with two bores of different diameters.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,402,844 issued on Sep. 24, 1968, to Wesley S. C. Chin describes a conventional modified catsup bottle with a cap-stand comprising a bottle having a central bottom well opening to affix to a cap-stand to support the inverted bottle after the contents have been partially used. The cap-stand has annular wall frictionally fitted on the bottle bottom and a concentric cap wall fitted into the bottle well and dimensioned internally to grip the exterior surface of the bottle neck for supporting the bottle in an inverted position. The device is distinguishable for requiring a catsup bottle with a central bottom well opening.

U.S. Patent Application Publication No. US 2002/0074367 A1 published on Jun. 20, 2002, for Kevin Kawakita describes a gravity-fed ketchup dispenser bottle comprising a glass or squeezable plastic bottle shaped like a prior art ketchup bottle having a twist ventilation only cap, a one-way trapdoor diaphragm, a bottle top with a ventilation hole, and a flip-off, flip-on nozzle bottom cap which fits on a false bottle bottom or stand. The device is distinguishable for requiring a twist ventilation only cap, a one-way trapdoor diaphragm, a bottle top with a ventilation hole, and a flip-off, flip-on nozzle bottom cap.

U.S. Reissued Pat. No. RE37,566 E issued on Mar. 5, 2002, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,950,698 issued on Sep. 14, 1999, to Denise M. Cristea et al. describes a holding device for collecting residual contents in a container bottle comprising a hollow rigid base portion, a flexible conical-shaped hollow upper portion, and the smaller first end aperture at the apex of the flexible conical-shaped upper portion being inserted into the upper end aperture of the rigid base portion and concentrically engaged with the upper edge of the base portion. The device includes a plurality of concavities at radially spaced apart relationship along a bottom edge of the base portion. The upper portion is made from foam rubber, and the rigid base portion is made from various materials. The device is distinguishable for requiring a hollow rigid base portion and a flexible conical-shaped hollow upper portion.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,076,826 issued on Apr. 13, 1937, to Philip Reinsberg describes a collapsible tube closure comprising a pedestal for an inverted paste dispensing tube. The device is distinguishable for requiring a pedestal for an inverted paste dispensing tube.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,078,149 issued on Apr. 20, 1937 , to Clay B. Lutz describes a pedestal cap for inverted toothpaste tubes held in an inclined position. The cap is distinguishable for requiring a pedestal for an inverted toothpaste tube.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,271,878 issued on Jun. 9, 1981, to Elvis Bologa describes a device for draining ketchup from a bottle comprising a stand having tripod legs and inwardly projecting finger elements at the top. A dish is placed inside the legs to catch the draining ketchup. The device is distinguishable for requiring an upstanding tripod.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,037,005 issued on Aug. 6, 1991, to Paul Appleby et al. and P.C.T. Patent Application No. WO 92/21569 published on Dec. 10, 1992, for Paul Appleby et al. describe an inverted dispenser for ketchup comprising a free standing triangularly shaped polygonal and flexible dispenser having a valved dispensing nozzle proximate the bottom. The dispenser is distinguishable for requiring a differently shaped dispenser.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,105,860 issued on Apr. 21, 1992, to Annette B. Connor describes a liquid draining apparatus comprising a rectangular box having three openings (one on the bottom) and two catch drawers. The apparatus is distinguishable for requiring a box with three openings.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,146,957 issued on Sep. 15, 1992, to Paul Belokin, Jr. et al. describes a nestable container stand comprising a container having a tapered side wall, a large bottom end, and a small top dispensing end. The device is distinguishable for requiring a stand with a collection chamber.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,263,787 issued on Nov. 23, 1993, to Reed N. Wilcox et al. describes an inverted cap for craft paint applicators comprising a base holder having a cavity with the upper portion threaded to engage the applicator. The device is distinguishable for requiring a threaded cavity.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,460,298 issued on Oct. 24, 1995, to Anthony E. DiBiase et al. describes a stand for container inversion comprising a cup-shaped stand is interposed between a bottle and its cap. The device is distinguishable for requiring a stand.

U.S. Pat. No. US 6,345,723 B1 issued on Feb. 12, 2002, to Vance G. Blake et al. describes six embodiments of an upright and inverted bottle and container holder for availability of the liquid contents comprising an S-shaped holder (side view) with a large aperture on the top planar surface and a circular aperture in the middle planar surface as a first embodiment. A second embodiment has a U-shaped clip stand with an aperture in its bottom. These devices are distinguishable for requiring bottle holding devices.

France Patent Publication No. 2 690 423 A1 published on Oct. 29, 1993, for Joel Touvron describes a toothpaste tube dispensing device having an inner membrane and a dispensing membrane. The device has a cap base in which the tube is inverted to depress the tube to press the paste continuously towards the dispensing mechanism. The cap provides stability for the inverted dispenser and protection for the dispensing mechanism. The device is distinguishable for requiring a pressing mechanism.

None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus, a ready serve liquid distribution bottle solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The ready serve distribution bottle for dispensing condiments such as catsup comprises a flexible plastic container having a closed top, and a neck tapering to a dispensing cap at the bottom. The bottle stands upright on the dispensing cap when not in use. A threaded neck portion has a circular cross-section. The circular flip-open cap has a concave bottom surface, a vertically ribbed external surface and an internally threaded surface. An advantage of this arrangement, with the dispensing cap located at the bottom of the container, is that, with the bottle standing upright on the dispensing cap, a condiment contained within is urged by gravity into proximity of the dispensing cap to be readily available for dispensing.

Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a ready serve distribution bottle according to the present invention.

It is another object of the invention to provide a ready serve distribution bottle for dispensing viscous liquids such as condiments according to the present invention.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a ready serve distribution bottle having a dispensing cap. located on the bottom of the bottle according to the present invention.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a ready serve distribution bottle having a flip-open dispensing cap with a concave bottom surface located on the bottom of the bottle according to the present invention.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevational front view of a ready serve distribution bottle according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the ready serve distribution bottle illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an elevational side view of a ready serve distribution bottle according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a ready serve distribution bottle according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectioned side elevational view of a dispensing cap according to the present invention.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention, illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 5, is directed to a ready serve distribution bottle 10 for containing a viscous food condiment 12 such as catsup. The ready serve distribution bottle 10 is essentially an “upside-down” version of a conventional plastic bottle, adapted to maintain its balance while stood upright on its cap 14. As the ready serve distribution bottle 10 stands upright on its cap 14, gravity urges the food condiment 12 toward the cap 14 so that the food condiment 12 is always ready for distribution.

The ready serve distribution bottle 10 comprises a container portion 11 having a closed top 16. The closed top generally resembles the bottom of a conventional plastic bottle or “squeeze bottle”. At the bottom of the container portion 11, a tapered neck 18 tapers to a circular, externally threaded collar 19 to accommodate an internally threaded two-piece hinged cap 14. The container portion 11 is hollow container having a generally oval or rectangular cross section, as seen in FIG. 4. The length of the rectangular cross section (“first container width”) is somewhat greater than the diameter of the cap 14, while the width of the rectangular cross section (“second container width”) is equal to the diameter of the cap 14.

The two-piece circular cap 14 illustrated in FIG. 4 has a base cover 22 and a flip-open cover 24 having a concave surface. The base cover 22 and the flip-open cover 24 are joined together by a strap hinge 26. The base cover 22 has an inner threaded cover element 29 to thread onto the externally threaded collar 19 and an orifice portion 28 that fits tightly inside the orifice cover portion 30 of the concave surfaced flip-open cover 24 to prevent any leakage of the contained catsup. The two-piece circular cap 14 can be made of durable rigid plastic. Because the ready serve distribution bottle 10 stands upright on the concave surface of the flip-open cover 24, an advantage of the concave surface of the flip-open cover 24 is to prevent the cover from distorting to a convex shape and causing a loss of stability of the ready serve distribution bottle 10. The ready serve distribution bottle 10 can be made in various sizes.

Because the ready serve distribution bottle 10 is intended to stand upright on its cap 14, it is desirable that the cap 14 and container 11 portions are fashioned in relative proportions and dimensions to increase stability, so the ready serve distribution bottle 10 will be resistant to toppling over, for instance, when jostled on a refrigerator shelf. Of primary concern is the relationship between the diameter of the cap 14 and the overall height of the ready serve distribution bottle 10, assuming that at least initially the ready serve distribution bottle 10 will be essentially completely filled with a condiment. The diameter of the cap 14 is equal to least 25% of the height of the ready serve distribution bottle 10. Additionally, the diameter of the cap 14 is equal to least 51% of the first container width of the ready serve distribution bottle 10.

Thus, an innovative ready serve distribution bottle 10 for storing food condiments ready for distribution without waiting for the viscous liquid to flow to the outlet has been shown.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.