Title:
Beverage container with integrated straw
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A beverage container is provided which comprising a body having proximal and distal ends, and a cap or tab for sealing the container. The container also includes a straw having a top section and a bottom section movable between a first, locked position in which the straw is locked entirely within the container and the container is sealed, and a second, open position in which the straw extends from the container. A leading-maintaining element may be provided for maintaining the straw in said locked position while the container is sealed, and releasing the straw from said locked position while the container is open, and further for leading the straw within the container.



Inventors:
Suissa, Jacob (Mevasseret Tzion, IL)
Danel, Yair (Tel Aviv, IL)
Application Number:
11/207255
Publication Date:
02/23/2006
Filing Date:
08/18/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G19/22; B65D77/28; B65D
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HICKS, ROBERT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP;INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DEPARTMENT (250 PARK AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY, 10177, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A beverage container comprising: a. body having proximal and distal ends; b. an element which is at least one of a cap or tab for sealing the container; c. a straw having a top section and a bottom section, and movable between (i) a first locked position in which the straw is locked entirely within the container and the container is sealed, and (ii) a second open position in which the straw extends from the container; and d. a leading-maintaining element for maintaining the straw in the locked position while the container is sealed, and releasing the straw from the locked position while the container is open, wherein the leading maintaining element is provided so as to lead the straw within the container.

2. The container according to claim 1, wherein the bottom section of the straw is situated close to the distal end of the container body.

3. The container according to claim 1, wherein the straw with the leading-maintaining element is removable from the beverage container.

4. The container according to claim 1, wherein the leading-maintaining element is a funnel-like element having upper and lower sections.

5. The container according to claim 4, wherein the funnel-like element is capable of being slanted relative to the container body, and wherein the lower section of the funnel-like element is capable of being located near the edge of the container, formed by intersection of distal end of the container body and each wall of the container body.

6. The container according to claim 4, wherein the upper section of the funnel-like element comprises a plurality of slots.

7. The container according to claim 1, wherein the straw has a circular frame situated at a straw bottom section.

8. The container according to claim 4, wherein the funnel-like element has a circular frame.

9. The container according to claim 8, wherein the funnel-like element has at least two teeth attached to the lower section of the funnel-like element.

10. The container according to claim 9, wherein an elastic element is locked between the circular frame of the straw and at least two teeth of the funnel-like element.

11. The container according to claim 4, wherein the funnel-like element has at least two legs at a lower section thereof.

12. The container according to claim 10, wherein the elastic element is situated in a proximity of the distal end of the container body.

13. The container according to claim 10, wherein the leading-maintaining element, the straw and the elastic element are removable from the beverage container.

14. The container according to claim 1, wherein the leading-maintaining element is a cylindrical caddy having a top edge and a bottom surface with a slot for fitting the straw.

15. The container according to claim 14, wherein the slot in the cylindrical caddy for fitting the straw is capable of having the diameter that is greater or equal to a diameter of the straw.

16. The container according to claim 14, wherein the cylindrical caddy has plurality of slots between a top edge and a bottom surface thereof.

17. The container according to claim 14, wherein the top edge of the cylindrical caddy has at least two teeth for maintaining the caddy on the proximal end of the container.

18. The container according to claim 14, wherein the top edge of the cylindrical caddy has a circular extension.

19. The container according to claim 1, wherein the straw has an intermediate extendable section.

20. The container according to claim 19, wherein the intermediate extendable section of the straw has a plurality of inwardly oriented pleats.

21. The container according to claim 19, wherein the intermediate extendable section includes a bend in the straw for orthogonally positioning a top section of the straw relative to a bottom section of the straw.

22. The container according to claim 19, wherein the straw is capable of being prevented from automatically extending from the container after the seal is removed, and is capable of being pulled out of the container while the intermediate extendable section of the straw is extended.

23. The container according to claim 1, further comprising an additional opening.

24. The container according to claim 23, wherein the additional opening is sealed by means of a cap or tab.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

The present application claims priority from Israeli Patent Application No. 163603 filed Aug. 18, 2004, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to beverage containers and more particularly, the invention relates to straw integration with a beverage container.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Every person who ever bought a bottle or a can with some kind of beverage, has felt a need for using a straw. Straws are well known devices and are well adapted to allow a person to drink a beverage from a can, bottle or any other beverage container. Straws are usually hollowed and cylindrical. In most cases the straws are manufactured from a plastic or other flexible material in order that a user will be able to change its form according to his need.

Generally, the use of a straw makes the drinking process more comfortable and convenient. However, the consumer must obtain a straw separately from the bottle, can or any other beverage container since the beverage container is not integrated with the straw during the manufacturing process.

In addition, usually, a consumer may not purchase only a single straw but a packet of straws. Moreover, the salesperson may not have a straw in his inventory, and therefore he will not be able to provide it to his consumer.

When a consumer opens a bottle, can or other container and does not use a straw, he must place his mouth directly in contact with the open portion of said container. This is not sanitary. Moreover, the use of the straw protects consumers' teeth since it prevents the beverage from coming into direct contact with the teeth of the consumer.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, there is a need for a combination or incorporation of a straw with a beverage container. The present invention fulfills this need and provides further related advantages, presenting a self-contained straw that is stored within the bottle, can or other beverage container until use, and readily presents itself to the user upon opening of a tab or cap.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a pop-up straw which can be used with cans, bottles and any other beverage containers.

It is still another object of the present invention to eliminate the need for buying or obtaining a straw separately from the beverage container.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a beverage container integrated with a straw during the manufacturing process.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a consumer with the convenience of readily having a straw within a bottle or can and eliminating the need of inserting the straw inside the container such as chocolate milk bag for example.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a consumer with a straw integrated inside a beverage container which can be opened and sealed an unlimited number of times.

It is still a further object of the present invention to improve hygiene by providing a straw with a bottle, can or other beverage container.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a sanitary method for drinking beverage from a bottle, can or other container.

It is still a further object of the present invention to protect the consumers' teeth since the use of the straw prevents the beverage from coming into direct contact with the front teeth of the consumer.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a beverage container with pop-up straw that is economical in cost for manufacturing.

It is still a further object of the present invention to reduce paper and plastic pollution associated with the packaging of individually wrapped straws.

Also, it is a further object of the present invention to provide a beverage container with pop-up straw that is simple and easy to use.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to straw incorporation with a beverage container.

The beverage container may comprise: (a) a body having proximal and distal ends; (b) a cap or tab for sealing said container; (c) a straw having a top section and a bottom section, movable between a first, locked position in which the straw is locked entirely within the container and the container is sealed, and a second, open position in which the straw extends from the container; and (d) a leading-maintaining element for maintaining the straw in said locked position while the container is sealed, and releasing the straw from said locked position while the container is open, and further for leading the straw within the container.

Preferably, the bottom section of the straw is situated close to the distal end of the container body.

Preferably, the straw with the leading-maintaining element may be removed from the beverage container.

Preferably, the leading-maintaining element is a funnel-like element having upper and lower sections.

Preferably, the upper section of the funnel-like element comprises a plurality of slots.

Preferably, the straw has a circular frame situated at straw bottom section.

Preferably, the funnel-like element has a circular frame.

Preferably, the funnel-like element has at least two teeth attached to the lower section of said funnel-like element.

Preferably, the funnel-like element has at least two legs at its lower section.

Preferably, the elastic element is situated close to the distal end of the container body.

Preferably, the leading-maintaining element together with the straw and the elastic element may be removed from the beverage container.

Preferably, the leading-maintaining element is a cylindrical caddy having a top edge and a bottom surface with a slot for fitting the straw.

Preferably, the slot in the cylindrical caddy for fitting the straw may have a diameter that is greater or equal to the diameter of the straw.

Preferably, the cylindrical caddy has plurality of slots between its top edge and bottom surface.

Preferably, the top edge of the cylindrical caddy has at least two teeth for holding said caddy on the container proximal end.

Preferably, the top edge of the cylindrical caddy has a circular extension.

Preferably, the straw has an intermediate extendable section.

Preferably, the intermediate extendable section of the straw has a plurality of inwardly oriented pleats.

Preferably, the straw does not have to pop up from the container after the seal is removed, but can be pulled out of said container while the intermediate extendable section of said straw is extended.

Optionally, the funnel-like element may be slanted relative to the container body and the lower section of said funnel-like element may be located near the edge of the container, formed by intersection of distal end of the container body and each wall of said container's body.

Optionally, the intermediate extendable section of the straw provides a bend in said straw for orthogonally positioning straw top section relative to straw bottom section.

Optionally, the container comprises an additional opening.

Optionally, the additional opening may be sealed by means of cap or tab.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description of embodiments of the invention, when taken in conjunction with the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present invention and its advantages, reference is now made to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1A is a perspective cross-sectional view according to one embodiment of the present invention illustrating a sealed can with an integrated straw;

FIG. 1B is a perspective cross-sectional view according to one embodiment of the present invention illustrating the can shown in FIG. 1A, wherein it has been opened and the straw has popped up;

FIG. 1C is a perspective illustration of a funnel-like element;

FIG. 1D is a perspective illustration of the straw;

FIG. 2A is a side cross-sectional view according to another embodiment of the present invention illustrating a sealed bottle with an integrated straw;

FIG. 2B is a side cross-sectional view according to another embodiment of the present invention illustrating the bottle shown in FIG. 2A, wherein it has been opened and the straw has popped up;

FIG. 2C is a side cross-sectional view of a caddy according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2D and FIG. 2E are perspective illustrations of the caddy according to different variants;

FIG. 2F is a perspective illustration of the straw according to one embodiment;

FIG. 2G is a perspective illustration of the caddy according to still another variant of the present invention; and

FIG. 2H is a side cross-sectional view according to still another embodiment of the present invention illustrating a bottle with an additional opening.

It will be appreciated that for simplicity and clarity of illustration, elements shown in the figures have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements may be exaggerated relative to other elements for clarity. Further, where considered appropriate, reference numerals may be repeated among the figures to indicate corresponding or analogous elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1A is a perspective cross-sectional view according to one exemplary embodiment of the present invention illustrating a sealed can having a body 200 with a proximal end 201 and a distal end 202, comprising an integrated straw 110, having a top section 260 and a bottom section 280. Said sealed can also comprises a funnel-like element 250 having an expanded upper section 230 and a lower section 240. The funnel-like element comprises a straw 110, an elastic element such as spring 130, two teeth 140 for holding said elastic element close to the distal end 202 of the can and a circular frame 151. The upper section 230 of the funnel-like element 250 also comprises plurality of slots 231 for air transfer from outside to the body 200 of the can. The funnel-like element 250 may be slanted relative to the can body 200, and the lower section 240 of the funnel-like element 250 may be located near the edge of the container, formed by intersection of distal end 202 of the can body and wall 203 or 204 of the body of the can. The straw is in contact with the elastic element 130, for example by means of a circular frame 150. While the can is sealed by means of conventional tab 220, the elastic element 130 is stretched, since the straw 110 pushes on it from the top. Moreover, until the tab 220 is opened the straw top section 260 is located entirely inside the body 200. The straw 110 also may have an intermediate extendable section 270 with plurality of inwardly oriented pleats. This section 270 may be extended according to the consumer need as is desirable for his or her convenience. Also this section may be flexible allowing the user to bend the top section 260 of the straw 110 positioning it orthogonally relative to straw's bottom section 280. The funnel-like element 250 together with the straw 110 and the elastic element 130 may be removed from the container 200 if the user decides not to use the straw.

It should be noted that the present invention in all embodiments may be employed for any beverage container such as can, bottle, beverage bag, carton etc. All components of the present invention may be manufactured from plastic, ribbon, aluminum or any other materials which do not cause corrosion while in touch with liquid such as water. Moreover, all components in all embodiments may not be separated from the container depending on manufacturing process.

FIG. 1B is a perspective cross-sectional view according to one embodiment of the present invention illustrating the can shown in FIG. 1A, wherein the can has been opened and the straw 110 has popped up. It can be seen that when a user opens the removable tab 220, the straw elevates by means of the extending of elastic element 130. Once the tab 220 is opened, the absence of pressure on the top of the elastic element causes the elastic element to relax and push the straw 110 upward. The top section 260 of the straw 110 pops-up outside the can allowing the user to drink the beverage from the can at his or her convenience. The circular frame 151, which is attached to the funnel-like element 250, prevents from the straw 110 and from the elastic element 130 to jump outside via the can opening 210 at the moment of the opening of tab 220. When the tab 220 is removed, the circular frame 151 comes in contact with the circular frame 150, which is attached to the straw 110, and prevents from the straw to move upward to the can opening 210. The length of the elastic element 130 and its expansion depends on the length desired for the straw 110 to protrude outside the container after the seal is opened. In order for the straw 110 to protrude more, the length of the elastic element 130 may be longer and the circular frame 151 of the funnel-like element 250 may be situated closer towards the opening 210.

FIG. 1C is a perspective illustration of the funnel-like element. The funnel-like element 250 has an expanded essentially conical top section 230 and a bottom section 240. Also a couple of teeth 140 are located near the bottom section of the funnel-like element for maintaining the straw with the elastic element such as spring as described in FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B. The bottom section 240 also comprises at least a couple of legs 141. The funnel-like element 250 stands on these legs 141 while located inside the beverage can. The funnel-like element further comprises the circular frame 151.

It should be noted that such arrangement can be applied with some adaptation to any type of beverage container, such as bottle, beverage bag, carton etc.

FIG. 1D is a perspective illustration of the straw, having a top section 260 and a bottom section 280. The straw may further comprise an intermediate extendable section 270. The bottom section 280 of the straw 110 comprises the circular frame 150.

Reference is now made to FIG. 2A; it is a side cross-sectional view according to another embodiment of the present invention illustrating a sealed bottle having a body 300 with a proximal end 301 and a distal end 302, comprising an integrated straw 310 having a top section 390, an intermediate extendable section 320 with plurality of inwardly oriented pleats, and a bottom section 395. The bottle is sealed by means of a cap 350. The bottle also comprises a cylindrical caddy 330 having a top edge 341 with at least two teeth 340 for holding the caddy at the bottle's proximal end 301, and a bottom surface 342 with a slot 370 for fitting the straw 310. The caddy 330 has a plurality of slots 343 for air transfer, which are located between the top edge 341 and the bottom surface 342. The caddy 330 provides a counter force while pushing the straw 310 inside the container 300 in order to seal it. The bottom section 395 of the straw 310 must be placed close to the distal end 302 of the bottle body 300 in order to allow the user to sip entire the beverage filling bottle body. The caddy 330 together with the straw 310 may be removed from the container 300 if the user decides not to use the straw.

FIG. 2B is a side cross-sectional view according to another embodiment of the present invention illustrating the bottle shown in FIG. 2A, wherein the cap 350 has been opened and the top section 390 of the straw 310 has popped up. The extendable section 320 with the plurality of inwardly oriented pleats behaves like an elastic element and therefore, in the absence of counter force from the sealed cap 350 at the top of the straw 310, this section 320 extends and allows the user to drink from the bottle by means of the straw 310.

FIG. 2C is a side cross-sectional view of the cylindrical caddy having a top edge 341 and a bottom surface 342 according to an embodiment of the invention. The caddy 330 is situated at the top of the bottle body 300, as illustrated in FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B, by means of at least two teeth 340 and has a slot 370 at it bottom surface 342 for fitting the straw 310. The caddy 330 comprises plurality of slots 343 for air transfer, which are located between the top edge 341 and the bottom surface 342.

FIG. 2D and FIG. 2E are perspective illustrations of the cylindrical caddy 330 according to two different variants of the invention. In FIG. 2D at least two teeth 340 exist at the top edge 341 of the caddy 330. In FIG. 2E the caddy 330 has a circular extension 380 at its top edge 341 for attachment of the caddy to the proximal end 301 of the bottle body 300.

FIG. 2F is a perspective illustration of the straw 310 according to an embodiment of the invention. The straw 310 has an intermediate extendable section 320 with a plurality of inwardly oriented pleats for the extension of the straw at the time when the sealing cap 350 is open.

FIG. 2G is a perspective illustration of the cylindrical caddy 330 according to still another variant of the invention comprising plurality of slots 343 between the top edge 341 and the bottom surface 342. The cylindrical caddy 330 maintains the straw 310, and the intermediate extendable section 320 of the straw, having plurality of inwardly oriented pleats, is located close to the bottom surface 342 of the caddy 330.

FIG. 2H is a side cross-sectional view according to still another embodiment of the present invention illustrating a bottle 400 with an additional opening 410. This embodiment may comprise, for example, the funnel-like element with the straw and with the elastic element as described in FIG. 1A.

Further it should be noted that all components in all embodiments may be manufactured and assembled at the factory and shipped to the distribution points later. Also in all embodiments the top section of the straw does not have to pop up from the container after the seal is taken off, but it can be pulled out from the container while the extendable section of the straw is extended.

While some embodiments of the invention have been described by way of illustration, it will be apparent that the invention can be carried into practice with many modifications, variations and adaptations, and with the use of numerous equivalents or alternative solutions that are within the scope of persons skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention or exceeding the scope of the claims.