Title:
Stackable plastic container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A blow molded plastic container including a top and bottom portion and side portions which interconnect the top and bottom portions. A pouring spout on one side of the top portion in the form of a first upward projection, and a second upward projection on the opposed side of the top portion. A handle on the side portion opposed to the pouring spout, and spaced depressions in the bottom portion which nest into the upward projections to form a nested assembly of containers.



Inventors:
Voss, Gary I. (Medina, OH, US)
Miller, James J. (Barberton, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/369684
Publication Date:
03/01/2007
Filing Date:
03/07/2006
Assignee:
PLASTIPAK PACKAGING, INC.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/504, 206/507, 206/511
International Classes:
B65D21/00; B65D85/62
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080156765PLASTIC COFFEE CONTAINER WITH TOP LOAD SUPPORT BY PARTICULATE PRODUCTJuly, 2008Scarola et al.
20080290063INTEGRAL LABEL HANDLENovember, 2008Marco
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20080116086Bottle cap type additive containerMay, 2008Hung



Primary Examiner:
HICKS, ROBERT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DYKEMA GOSSETT PLLC (39577 WOODWARD AVENUE, SUITE 300, BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI, 48304-5086, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A plastic container, which comprises: a blow molded plastic container having side portions thereof, a bottom portion thereof connected to said side portions, and a top portion thereof connected to said side portions, wherein said side portions extend downwardly from said top portion and interconnect the top portion to the bottom portion; a pouring spout on one side of the top portion which projects upwardly from the top portion in the form of a first projection; a handle on the side portion opposed to the pouring spout; a projection on the top portion on a side thereof opposed to the pouring spout which projects upwardly from the top portion in the form of a second projection; and spaced depressions on the bottom portion, one of which nests with one of the upward projections from the top portion of a second of said containers and a second of which nests with one of the upward projections from the top portion of a third of said containers, to form a stable, nested assembly of said containers.

2. A container according to claim 1, wherein the second projection is in the shape of a pouring spout.

3. A container according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of said containers form a nested stack of containers with upper and lower layers, with adjacent containers in adjacent layers of the nested stack running perpendicular to each other.

4. A container according to claim 1, including an open space beneath the handle.

5. A container according to claim 1, including four of said side portions which provide an essentially rectangular container with two relatively shorter side portions which alternate with two relatively longer side portions.

6. A container according to claim 1, wherein said handle runs parallel to the side portion opposed to said pouring spout.

7. A container according to claim 1, wherein said pouring spout has an opening to the inside of the container, and wherein said pouring spout is the sole pouring spout of said container.

8. A container according to claim 5, wherein the relatively shorter side portions include a front and a rear side portion, with the pouring spout adjacent the front side portion, and the second upward projection adjacent the rear side portion, and the handle located on the rear side portion.

9. A container according to claim 1, having a capacity of from 2 to 8 quarts.

10. A container according to claim 5, wherein the relatively longer side portions are label panels.

11. A container according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of said containers form a nested stack of containers with upper and lower layers, with adjacent containers in adjacent layers of the nested stack having a criss-cross relationship.

12. A container according to claim 5, wherein two of said spaced depressions are adjacent a first of said relatively longer side portions and are spaced from each other, and two other spaced depressions are adjacent a second of said relatively longer side portions and are spaced from each other.

13. A container according to claim 12, wherein one of said upward projections on a second of said containers nests in one of said spaced depressions on a first of said longer side portions, and one of said upward projections on a third of said containers nests in the other of said spaced depressions on a first of said longer side portion.

14. A container according to claim 1, wherein said top portion includes a central upward projection between the first and second projection.

15. A container according to claim 14, wherein said central upward projection includes elongated side portions separated by curved end portions.

16. A container according to claim 15, wherein said central upward projection nests with the spaced depressions on the bottom portion of two separate containers.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of copending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 29/236,327, filed Aug. 15, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Plastic containers are widely used commercially for a variety of products. These include plastic containers of widely varying sizes depending on the particular product and the commercial needs. For example, it is not uncommon to have plastic containers having a capacity of one gallon, two gallons, or more.

It is highly desirable to provide a plastic container which is stackable while at the same time providing desirable commercial characteristics, such as convenience in use and handling, reusability and desirable aesthetic characteristics. Also, the container must be able to be securely stacked as on a pallet in multiple tiers without requiring intermediate stacking pallets. Secure stackability is particularly important for hazardous liquids. Moreover, bulky or large size plastic containers present a particularly difficult problem for stackability in view of their often flexible walls.

It is also desirable to provide a plastic container as aforesaid which is resistant to vacuum and yet provides a simple, aesthetically pleasing structure which is suitable for a secure nesting arrangement with other like containers. It is particularly desirable to provide a plastic container as aforesaid which is convenient to handle and convenient to pour from in large size containers, as for example in 2 to 6 quart containers.

Accordingly, it is a principal objective of the present invention to provide a plastic container which is stackable.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a stackable plastic container as aforesaid which has desirable commercial characteristics, such as reusability and pleasing aesthetic features.

It is a still further objective of the present invention to provide a stackable container as aforesaid which can readily be stacked in multiple tiers and which can be prepared in a variety of container sizes.

It is an additional objective of the present invention to provide a plastic container as aforesaid which is resistant to vacuum and which is easy to use, easy to handle and easy to pour from, especially in large size containers.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will appear hereinbelow.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention the foregoing objects and advantages are readily obtained.

The plastic container of the present invention comprises:

a blow molded plastic container having side portions thereof, a bottom portion thereof connected to said side portions, and a top portion thereof connected to said side portions, wherein said side portions extend downwardly from said top portion and interconnect the top portion to the bottom portion;

a pouring spout on one side of the top portion which projects upwardly from the top portion in the form of a first upward projection;

a handle on the side portion opposed to said pouring spout, preferably with an open space beneath the handle;

a projection on the top portion on a side thereof opposed to the pouring spout which projects upwardly from the top portion in the form of a second projection; and

spaced depressions on the bottom portion, one of which nests with one of the upward projections from the top portion of a second of said containers and a second of which nests with one of the upward projections from the top of a third of said containers, to form a stable nesting assembly of said containers.

The second upward projection is desirably in the shape of a closed pouring spout with no opening to the inside of the container. Therefore, preferably the first upward projection is a single pouring spout with an opening to the inside of the container.

The containers form a secure nested stack of plastic containers, wherein the containers in adjacent layers of the nested stack desirably run perpendicular to each other.

Preferably, an open space is provided beneath the handle for convenient handling and pouring from the container. Thus, the handle desirably runs parallel to the side portion opposed to the single pouring spout. The container preferably has four side portions to provide an essentially rectangular container, with two relatively shorter side portions which alternate with two relatively longer side portions.

Further features of the present invention will appear hereinbelow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be more readily understandable from a consideration of the following illustrative drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a plastic container of the present invention showing the rear, top and left side thereof;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view thereof showing the right side;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view thereof showing the rear side;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view thereof showing the front side;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view thereof;

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view thereof;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing a plurality of the aforesaid plastic containers stacked together;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a plastic container of the present invention showing the rear, top and left side thereof;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view thereof showing the right side;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view showing a plurality of the aforesaid containers stacked together; and

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of two of said containers side-by-side showing the front, bottom and left sides thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the drawings, FIGS. 1-6 show one embodiment of the container of the present invention. FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the container of FIGS. 1-6. As shown in these figures, container 10 is a blow molded plastic container having a bottom or base portion 12, a top or finish portion 14 opposite the bottom portion, and four side wall portions extending therebetween, namely front side portion 16 (see FIG. 4), right side portion 18 (see FIG. 2), left side portion 20 (see FIG. 1), and rear side portion 22 (see FIG. 3). The side portions extend downwardly from the top or finish portion 14 and interconnect the top portion to the base or bottom portion 12 to provide a container 10 with an essentially rectangular configuration which is preferred. That is, the container 10 has two longer sidewall portions, right side portion 18 and left side portion 20, which alternate with two shorter sidewall portions, front side portion 16 and rear side portion 22. However, while this is the preferred configuration, the particular shape can be varied, as for an essentially square or essentially round configuration.

Top or finish portion 14 is provided with a first upward projection, namely pouring spout 24 which is provided with an opening 26 to the inside of the container and screw threads 28 for a threaded closure (not shown), although one can if desired use a snap-on closure. The pouring spout has a generally round shape and is located on one side of top portion 14, preferably adjacent front side portion. The pouring spout 24 projects upwardly from top portion 14 in the form of a first upward projection.

A second upward projection 30 is provided on top portion or finish portion 14 spaced from the first projection on the side thereof opposed to pouring spout 24 and preferably adjacent rear side portion 22. The second upward projection 30 desirably has a configuration similar to the pouring spout 24, but has a closed top 32 with no access to the inside of the container.

Rear side portion 22 is provided with a handle 34, preferably an integral handle. The handle is located on the side portion opposed to pouring spout 24 which facilitates the pouring operation. The handle desirably runs parallel to the rear side portion, and preferably an opening 36 is provided under the handle for convenience in holding. If desired, however, the handle may simply be provided with a depression beneath the handle, or any suitable handle configuration.

The base or bottom portion 12 preferably has two relatively longer sides 38, 40 which alternate with two relatively shorter sides 42, 44. Base-12 is also provided with spaced depressions, namely preferably first depression 46 and second depression 48 both adjacent one longer side 38, and third depression 50 and fourth depression 52 both adjacent the other longer side 40. The first and second depressions 46, 48 are on opposed sides of the base than the third and fourth depressions 50, 52, and said depressions all preferably have a curved shape which generally corresponds to the shape of the first and second upward projections 24, 30.

Thus, as can be clearly seen in FIG. 7, the spaced depressions on one side of base 12, as on side 38, nest with the upward projections on two separate containers. As can be seen in FIG. 7, first depression 46 nests with one of the upward projections 30 from the top of a second container and second depression 48 nests with one of the upward projections 30 from the top of a third container. A firm and secure nested stack of containers is formed thereby wherein adjacent layers of the nested stack run perpendicular to each other, as shown in FIG. 7. This forms a firm and secure stack of containers wherein adjacent layers have a criss-cross relationship.

The present invention contemplates that various sizes can be used for the containers, preferably from 2 to 8 quarts in capacity and optimally from 4 to 5 quarts in capacity. Also, desirably the larger side portions 18 and 20 are preferably used as label panels.

Also, multiple layers of containers can readily be formed, with each layer containing multiple containers in a criss-cross relationship as shown in FIG. 7. A secure stacked relationship can thereby be readily obtained.

FIGS. 8-11 show a second embodiment of the plastic container of the present invention. Container 100 of the second embodiment is essentially the same as container 10 of the first embodiment so that like parts have the same identification numbers. However, top portion 14 of container 100 includes a central upward projection 102 between the first 24 and second 30 upward projections which may include two elongated side portions, 104, 106 separated by end portions 108, 110, wherein the end portions may have a curved configuration and are generally shorter than the elongated side portions. The upward projections 100 provide increased stability in a multi-layer nesting arrangement as clearly shown in FIG. 10 wherein a lower level container 100 has a first upward projection 24 in the form of a pouring spout which nests with third depression 50 in the base of a second upper container, and a second upward projection 30 which nests into a second depression 48 in the base of a third upper container. The central upward projection 102 provides added stability by nesting with two depressions in the base of the second and third upper containers as follows: the shorter end portion 108 of the central upward projection 102 of a base container 100 engages fourth base depression 52 in the base of the second upper container, and shorter end portion 110 of said central upward projection 102 of said base container 100 engages the third base depression 50 in the base of the third upper container. The same engagement relationships are provided for the other nested containers to provide increased stability for the nested relationship.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the illustrations described and shown herein, which are deemed to be merely illustrative of the best modes of carrying out the invention, and which are susceptible of modification of form, size, arrangement of parts and details of operation. The invention rather is intended to encompass all such modifications which are within its spirit and scope as defined by the claims.