|20080116212||Metal Can Body||May, 2008||Jonker|
|20050167438||Secure spill-proof configuration for child training cup||August, 2005||Minyayev|
|20090145791||Drill and driver bit organizer and storage case||June, 2009||Panosian et al.|
|20050199633||Trash can with pull thruough bags||September, 2005||Stanley|
|20090145899||CAPLESS REFUELING SYSTEM COVER WITH LOCKING MECHANISM||June, 2009||Benjey et al.|
|20080275385||System for Collecting Breast Milk From a Human Breast||November, 2008||Myers et al.|
|20080000922||WATER STORAGE DEVICE||January, 2008||Nevils et al.|
|20020074331||Collapsible and reusable container||June, 2002||Liu et al.|
|20070051736||Insulator for a Beverage Container||March, 2007||Tavares|
|20050035125||Fastening structure of airtight container||February, 2005||Bae|
|20070228061||Twist and Lift Closure for Containers||October, 2007||Giraud|
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/737,687 to Wilson, filed on Nov. 16, 2005.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a beverage holder, such as a cup or glass, having internal baffles to reduce spillage.
2. Description of Related Art
Common beverage holders include cups and glasses that can have different shapes and sizes and can be made of many different materials, including paper, plastic or glass. Specialty shaped cups and glasses have been developed for different types of beverages, particularly as applied to alcoholic beverages. For example martini glasses have been developed that have a base, a long stem and a shallow reservoir for holding the liquid. Martini glasses have become popular for many other drinks beyond martinis, and their use has increased over the years, particularly in bars and restaurants. Other popular glasses that also have a stem with a reservoir include margarita styled glasses, wine glasses and brandy glasses. The increased popularity of these drinks has resulted in an increased use of these glasses as well.
One problem with all cups and glasses, but particularly martini, margarita, wine and brandy type glasses (“stemmed glasses”) is that the liquid in the reservoir can easily spill. This is an increased concern with the growing popularity of expensive premium alcoholic beverages that can be wasted when spilled these stemmed glasses. The spilling can also result in the liquid landing on patrons in the bar and restaurant which can stain clothing and also annoy the patron or those surrounding him/her. The spilling can also result in the liquid landing on the floor, which can present a safety hazard.
Briefly, and in general terms, the present invention provides a beverage holder having features that reduce spillage of the liquid held in the beverage holder. In one embodiment of a beverage holder according to the present invention comprises reservoir for holding a liquid and baffles within the reservoir dividing the reservoir into compartments. The baffles regulate the flow of liquid within the reservoir to reduce spillage of liquid from the reservoir when the reservoir is moved.
One embodiment of a glass according to the present invention for holding a liquid comprises a base at the bottom of a stem and a reservoir at the top of the stem for holding a liquid. The stem runs between the base and reservoir. Vertical baffles are within the reservoir, each of the baffles extending from an inside surface of said reservoir and intersecting with the others of said baffles within the reservior. The baffles reduce spillage of liquid from the reservoir when the reservoir is moved.
These and other aspects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings which illustrate by way of example the features of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a beverage holder according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the beverage holder in FIG. 1 taken along section lines 2-2; and
FIG. 3 is a top view of the beverage holder in FIG. 1.
The present invention provides a beverage holder or glass having features to reduce spilling of the liquid when the glass is moved. The invention can be used with many different beverage holders having different shapes and sizes and made from many different materials. The present invention is particularly applicable to beverage holders to stemmed glasses having a shallow liquid holding reservoir wherein the liquid is more easily spilled.
The present invention is also particularly applicable to martini and margarita type glasses that typically have a shallow liquid reservoir at the top of a stem. The reservoir has one or more internal baffles that partially compartmentalize the reservoir to regulate and dampen the flow of liquid within the reservoir. This helps reduce spillage when the reservoir is moved. The baffles are also arranged as to not interfere with consuming the liquid within the reservoir, while at the same time being visually appealing.
The present invention is described herein with reference to certain embodiments but it is understood that the invention can be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. It is also understood that when an element or component is referred to as being “on”, “integral to” or another element or component, it can be directly on or integral to the other element or component, or intervening elements may also be present. Furthermore, relative terms such as “inner”, “outer”, “above”, “beneath”, and “below”, and similar terms, may be used herein to describe a relationship of one component or element to another. It is understood that these terms are intended to encompass different orientations of the device in addition to the orientation depicted in the figures.
FIG. 1-3 show one embodiment of a beverage holder 10 according to the present invention having the shape of a martini glass. The beverage holder 10 comprises a base 12, a stem 14, and a reservoir 16. The base 12 as shown in circular and is large enough keep the holder 10 upright when placed on a horizontal or nearly horizontal surface. In other embodiments, the base 12 can be other shapes and other sizes or can be removable from the stem. In the embodiment shown, the base 12 is integral with a stem 14 that runs between the base 12 and a liquid reservoir 16. The reservoir 16 can have many different shapes and sizes but as shown is a conventional martini glass. The glass has a generally V-shaped cross-section that is common in martini type glasses. This reservoir is relatively shallow and its angled surfaces make it susceptible to spilling when the beverage holder 10 is moved.
Pursuant to the invention, the reservoir 16 has internal baffles 18, and as shown four baffles 18 are included that meet in the middle of the reservoir 16, essentially dividing the reservoir into quarter sections or compartments of equal size. It is understood that the baffles can be arranged on angle and can be positioned such that the reservoir is divided into compartments having different sizes. The reservoir 16 can have fewer or more baffles that can meet or cooperate in many different ways according to the present invention. The baffles 18 provide vertical surfaces within the reservoir that regulate the flow between the different sections of the glass. When the beverage holder 10 is moved, the liquid within the reservoir 16 also moves. At least some of the moving reservoir liquid interacts with the vertical surfaces of the baffles 18, which helps prevent at least some of the liquid from moving against one of the angled sides of the reservoir 18 and out of the reservoir.
The top of each of the baffles 18 is curved in a U-shape, which allows some of the liquid within the reservoir 16 to pass between the reservoir sections over the top of the baffles. The U-shape also provides an appealing appearance to the baffle arrangement in the reservoir 16. It is understood that the top of the baffles can have many different curves shapes or surfaces according to the present invention to give different visual appearances while still allowing liquid to move between compartments or sections.
A channel or opening 20 (shown in FIG. 2) is also included at the base of the baffles 18 to allow liquid to run between the quarter sections of the reservoir 16. This allows for liquid within the reservoir 16 to pass from one quarter section to another as the reservoir 16 is filled with the liquid and as the liquid is being consumed. The opening 20 can be arranged in many different locations on the baffles 18 and the baffles 18 can have more than one opening 20. For example, each of the baffles 18 can have a number of openings through the baffles 18 or at the base of the baffles 18.
The baffles 18 are also sized so that sufficient room is provided around the edge of the reservoir 16. The room around the edges allows for the liquid within the reservoir to be consumed without interference by the baffles 18. Sufficient room is provided so that the lips of a person consuming the beverage generally do not encounter the baffles 18 and if they do. This U-shape of the top of the baffles further helps minimize the interference between the user's lips and the baffles.
It will be apparent from the foregoing that while particular forms of the invention have been illustrated and described, various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is not intended that the invention be limited by the embodiment described herein.