Title:
PORTABLE BEVERAGE CONTAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable beverage container comprises a base portion having a seat adapted to support the beverage container on a surface and/or in a holder, the base portion being fabricated from a first material such as plastics, rubbers, metals, and/or silicone. The portable beverage container further comprises a lip, which a user contacts when consuming a beverage, sealingly and rigidly attached to the base and fabricated from a second material, different from the first, the second material being adapted to enhance a drinking sensation of the user. The second material can for example comprise ceramic, bone china, stones, and/or glass. In other embodiments, the beverage container may include a bone china handle with a silicone over-mold.



Inventors:
Holcomb, David A. (Seattle, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/467482
Publication Date:
03/15/2007
Filing Date:
08/25/2006
Assignee:
CHEF'N CORPORATION (1520 4th Avenue, 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D6/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SEED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW GROUP LLP (701 FIFTH AVE SUITE 5400, SEATTLE, WA, 98104, US)
Claims:
1. A portable beverage container from which a user can consume a beverage, the portable beverage container comprising: a base having a seat adapted to support the beverage container, the base being fabricated from a first material comprising at least one of a metal, rubber, plastic, silicone, foam, and wood, to promote at least one of portability and durability of the portable beverage container; and a lip which the user contacts when consuming the beverage, the lip sealingly and rigidly coupled to the base and fabricated from a second material comprising at least one of ceramic, bone china, stone, and glass, to enhance a drinking sensation of the user.

2. The portable beverage container of claim 1, further comprising: a coupling ring positioned between the base and the lip, the coupling ring rigidly attaching the body to the lip, and being adapted to prevent liquid from escaping therebetween.

3. The portable beverage container of claim 1 wherein the seat of the base and a remainder of the base are fabricated from a unitary body of material.

4. The portable beverage container of claim 1 wherein the base further comprises a plurality of protrusions to prevent slippage.

5. The portable beverage container of claim 1, further comprising: a handle adapted to allow the user to manually manipulate the beverage container.

6. The portable beverage container of claim 5 wherein the handle further comprises a plurality of at least one of protrusions and recesses to prevent slippage.

7. The portable beverage container of claim 5 wherein the handle comprises a core of a first material at least partially over-molded with a second material.

8. The portable beverage container of claim 7 wherein the second material comprises silicone.

9. The portable beverage container of claim 5 wherein the handle and the base are formed from a unitary body of material.

10. The portable beverage container of claim 9 wherein the unitary body of material comprises at least one of a die cast alloy and stainless steel.

11. The portable beverage container of claim 1, further comprising: a sleeve portion circumscribing at least a portion of the base, the sleeve portion comprising a non-slip material.

12. The portable beverage container of claim 11 wherein the sleeve portion comprises material having thermal insulation properties.

13. The portable beverage container of claim 1 wherein at least one of the base and the lip form a body having a cylindrical shape.

14. The portable beverage container of claim 13 wherein at least a portion of the body comprises a circular shape.

15. The portable beverage container of claim 13 wherein the body comprises at least one angled side.

16. A portable beverage container from which a user can consume a beverage, the portable beverage container comprising: a base having a substantially cylindrical portion and a seat adapted to support the beverage container, the substantially cylindrical portion being fabricated from a first material comprising at least one of a metal, rubber, plastic, silicone, foam, and wood, and the seat being fabricated from a material selected to promote at least one of portability and durability of the portable beverage container; a lip which the user contacts when consuming the beverage, the lip being fabricated from ceramic or bone china, to enhance a drinking sensation of the user; and a coupling ring positioned between the base and the lip, sealingly and rigidly coupling the base to the lip to prevent liquid from escaping therebetween.

17. The portable beverage container of claim 16, further comprising: a first seal ring fabricated from at least one of rubber, plastic, and silicone, and positioned between the coupling ring and the base to further prevent liquid from escaping therebetween; and a second seal ring fabricated from at least one of rubber, plastic, and silicone, and positioned between the coupling ring and the lip to further prevent liquid from escaping therebetween.

18. The portable beverage container of claim 17, further comprising: a handle rigidly coupled to at least a portion of at least one of the base and the lip, the handle having a bone china core at least partially encased in a silicone over-mold.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. ยง 119(e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/711,797 filed Aug. 26, 2005, where this provisional application is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to beverage containers, and more particularly, to a portable beverage container.

2. Description of the Related Art

Modern-day lifestyles are increasingly mobile, especially in urban communities. Individuals are often on the go regardless of financial status, marital status, sex, and parental status. Since such individuals are typically stretched for time, they tend to accomplish certain tasks while they are in route between activities, errands and avocations and/or while they are attending to their activities, errands and/or avocations. This trend has led to products designed to suit such lifestyles.

One example of a category of tasks that contemporary individuals accomplish while in route or during their activities is mobile communications. Another category is replenishments and consumables, for example, drinking beverages and eating foods in portable containers in the car, at work, during sports activities or other activities. In particular, beverages, such as coffee, tea and sports drinks are often consumed on the go. For example, often individuals either buy or make their beverages to take with them so they can consume their beverage wherever, for example, in a vehicle, in a meeting, during sports activities, or any other place where traditional beverage containers such as ceramic mugs or glass cups are not suitable.

Portable beverage containers are typically made from material that is light and resilient to impact because portable beverage containers often face demanding conditions such as being placed on slippery surfaces, dropped, and/or aggressively manipulated, for example while the user is driving. Such material may include plastics, rubbers, silicone, or other material that is light and not easily breakable. However, such material typically adversely affect a taste of the beverage and/or take away from a drinking sensation typically associated with non-portable beverage containers such as cups and mugs made from ceramic, bone china, stones, and/or glass.

Accordingly, there is a need for a beverage container that is portable and enhances the user's drinking sensation while being adapted to withstand demanding conditions of mobile use of the container.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one embodiment, a portable beverage container from which a user can consume a beverage, comprises a base having a seat adapted to support the beverage container, the base being fabricated from a first material comprising a metal, rubber, plastic, silicone, foam, and/or wood, to promote at least one of portability and durability of the portable beverage container, and a lip which the user contacts when consuming the beverage, the lip sealingly and rigidly coupled to the base and fabricated from a second material comprising ceramic, bone china, stone, and/or glass, to enhance a drinking sensation of the user.

According to an aspect of the foregoing embodiment, the portable beverage container may further comprise a coupling ring positioned between the base and the lip, the coupling ring rigidly attaching the body to the lip, and being adapted to prevent liquid from escaping therebetween.

According to another aspect of the above embodiment, the portable beverage container may further comprise a handle having a core at least partially encased in an over-mold, such as a silicone over-mold.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

FIG. 1 is a partial isometric cutaway view of a portion of a portable beverage container according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of a portable beverage container according to another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of a portable beverage container according to yet another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a rear view of a portable beverage container according to still another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a portable beverage container according to a further embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of the present invention in which a portable beverage container 100 comprises a drinking portion having a lip 102 which a user contacts when consuming a beverage. The portable beverage container 100 may further comprise a base portion 108 that may form at least a dominant portion of a body 106 of the portable beverage container 100. The base portion 108 can be sealingly and rigidly attached and/or coupled to the lip 102, for example through a coupling device 110. The coupling device 110 can for example comprise a fitting or a coupling ring having protrusions 117, 119 that lock into complementary recesses in the lip and base portions 102, 108, or vice versa. Additionally, or alternatively, the coupling device 110 can incorporate liquid-tight first and second seals 121, 123, or can be silicone over-molded onto the lip 102 and/or the base portion 108. Additionally, or alternatively, the lip and base portions 102, 108 can be attached via adhesives and/or bonding material, or by any other suitable means that can sealingly and rigidly attach and/or couple the lip 102 to the base portion 108 and withstand temperatures and/or conditions typically encountered by portable beverage containers.

The user's lips and tongue typically contact the lip 102 and a terminating surface 104 of the lip 102 of the portable beverage container 100. Therefore, a material of the lip 102 can affect a taste of the beverage or a drinking sensation of the user. The lip of conventional portable beverage containers incorporate material such as plastics or foam, which adversely affect the taste of the beverage and take away from the drinking sensation. However, since the lip 102 and the base portion 108 of the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 1 are distinct, they can be fabricated from distinct materials, materials that best suit the lip and base portion 102, 108 of the portable beverage container 100, respectively. For example, the lip 102 can be fabricated from a first material adapted to enhance the drinking sensation of the user, such as ceramic, bone china, different types of stones, and/or glass or any other material typically known to enhance the drinking sensation of the user. Furthermore, the base portion 108 can be fabricated from a material that promotes portability and/or durability of the beverage container 100. For example, the base portion 108 can be fabricated from material comprising plastics, natural and/or synthetic rubbers, silicone, composites, metals, foams, woods and/or any other material that may include qualities promoting portability and/or durability, such as being light, non-slip, non-stick, resilient, and/or durable.

In some embodiments, the base portion 108 may comprise more of the body 106 than the lip 102, the lip 102 comprising a minimum size to conform to lips of the user to create the drinking sensation typically associated with material such as ceramic, bone china, stones, and/or glass. The beverage container 100 can be a cup, a mug, a sport bottle, or any other type of beverage container used in different applications. Furthermore, the beverage container 100 can be of any size, such as small, medium, large, extra large and/or short, tall, grande, and/or any other size. At least one of the lip 102 and base portion 108 can form a body 106 of the beverage container 100, the body 106 having a cylindrical shape including parallel and/or non-parallel sides.

FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment, in which a portable beverage container 200 comprises a base portion 208 having a seat 212, adapted to support the beverage container 200 on a surface and/or in a holder. The seat 212 can also be fabricated from material comprising plastics, natural and/or synthetic rubbers, silicone, composites, metals, foams, woods and/or any other material that may be light, non-slip, non-stick, resilient, and/or durable. The seat 212 may comprise an upper portion 213 that supports the beverage container 200 and a lower portion 215 adapted to rest on a surface and/or in a holder. In some embodiments, the upper portion 213 can be fabricated from a first material and the lower portion 215, from a second material, different from the first material. For example, the upper portion 213 can be fabricated from metals, such as stainless steel, to better support the beverage container 200, and the lower portion 215 from plastics, rubbers, silicone, or foams or any combination thereof, or any other material that may be non-stick, non-slip, and/or resilient to better support the beverage container 200 on a surface and/or in a holder.

Accordingly, the user may rest the beverage container 200 on a surface such as, a surface of a dashboard of a vehicle or a surface of an exercise machine, a friction between the seat 212 and the surface substantially preventing the beverage container 200 from slipping under typical conditions.

Furthermore, the beverage container 200 may comprise an optional sleeve portion 214 circumscribing at least a portion of the body 206 and/or the base portion 208 of the beverage container 200. The sleeve portion 214 may be fabricated from a material having thermal insulation and/or non-slip qualities. Furthermore, the sleeve portion 214 may be fabricated from a resilient material to absorb impact to the beverage container. For example, the sleeve portion 214 can be fabricated from material comprising plastics, natural and/or synthetic rubbers, silicone, composites, metals, foams, and/or any other material that may be light, non-slip, non-stick, resilient, and/or durable. Furthermore, the sleeve portion 214 may comprise at least one feature 216, such as protrusions, recesses, coarse portions, or any other feature 216 that may aid in preventing the beverage container 200 from slipping from the user's grip or from a holder or receptacle.

Additionally, or alternatively, the feature 216 can include a decorative feature, such as artwork or a logo that includes patterns that are brushed, polished, etched, or stamped.

The base portion 208 and sleeve 214 respectively contribute to the portability of the beverage container 200 while the lip 202, which is sealingly and rigidly attached to the base, is fabricated from a material such as ceramic, bone china, stones, and/or glass, to enhance the user's drinking sensation. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the body 206 and/or base portion 208 of some embodiments may include non-parallel sides or other shapes that are aesthetic and/or ergonomic.

FIG. 3 illustrates yet another embodiment, in which a portable beverage container 300 comprises a lip 302 and a base portion 308. The base portion 308, including the seat 312, may include at least one feature 318, such as protrusions, recesses, coarse portions, or any other feature 318 that may aid in preventing the beverage container 300 from slipping from a surface or holder. Additionally, or alternatively, the feature 318 can include a decorative feature, such as artwork or a logo that includes patterns that are brushed, polished, etched, or stamped. Furthermore, the beverage container 300 may comprise a handle 320 attached to at least a portion of the body 306, and in some embodiments only to the base portion 308, the handle 320 adapted to allow the user to manually manipulate the beverage container 300.

FIG. 4 illustrates still another embodiment, in which a portable beverage container 400 comprises a handle 420 that may be integrated with at least a portion of the base portion 408, such as an upper portion of the seat 412. The handle 420 and at least the portion of the base 408, which is integrated with the handle 420, may be fabricated from a durable material, such as a die cast alloy or stainless steel, bearing at least one feature 418, such as a non-slip and/or non-stick coating. Furthermore, the feature 418 may include protrusions, recesses, coarse portions, or any other feature 418 that may aid in preventing the beverage container 400 from slipping from a surface or holder, or from the user's grip. In some embodiments, the feature 418 may include indentations conforming to the user's fingers for a better grip of the beverage container 400 or the handle 420 thereof. The handle 420 may also attach to the lip 402. The lip 402 may be fabricated from a material adapted to enhance the user's drinking sensation, such as material comprising ceramic, bone china, different types of stones, and/or glass or any other material typically known to enhance the drinking sensation of the user.

FIG. 5 illustrates a further embodiment, in which a portable beverage container 500 includes a lip 502, a base portion 508, and a handle 520 comprising an over-mold 522, the over-mold 522 including a material such as plastics, natural and/or synthetic rubbers, silicone, composites, and/or any other material that may be light, non-slip, non-stick, resilient, and/or durable. In such embodiments, the handle 520 may comprise a core 524 fabricated from a strong and/or durable material such as bone china, woods, metals, composites, hard plastics, or any other strong and/or durable material. The handle may further comprise the over-mold 522, such as a silicone over-mold, at least partially encasing the core 524.

Furthermore, the beverage container 500 may comprise a base portion 508 that includes at least one feature 518 that promotes securing the beverage container in a receptacle or a holder. For example, the feature 518 can include elongated recesses and/or protrusions adapted to tightly engage an inner perimeter of a receptacle or a holder.

In any of the embodiments, the beverage container 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 can be dishwasher and/or microwave safe by being fabricated from material that does not melt and/or spark in the dishwasher and/or the microwave. Furthermore, the beverage container 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 can comprise any shape or combination of shapes, for example circular, elliptical, irregular, parallelogram, frustoconical, or any other right-angled or curved shape, depending on the application and/or the design of the beverage container 100, 200, 300, 400, 500.

All of the above U.S. patents, U.S. patent application publications, U.S. patent applications, foreign patents, foreign patent applications and non-patent publications referred to in this specification and/or listed in the Application Data Sheet, are incorporated herein by reference, in their entirety.

From the foregoing it will be appreciated that, although specific embodiments of the invention have been described herein for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without deviating from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not limited except as by the appended claims and equivalents thereof.