Title:
Liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing and method for manufacturing the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A liquid containing vessel has an aseptic straw housing. The vessel includes a beverage container having a liquid chamber and a separate, dry, straw housing chamber adapted for housing a straw enclosed in an aseptic environment. The arrangement of the internal chamber, the liquid and the straw housing chamber prevents contact between the aseptic straw and the liquid. An external outlet aperture in the aseptic straw housing chamber affords access to the aseptic straw from points outside of the container. The dual chamber construction provides a dry environment for housing the aseptic straw. Contemporaneous presentment of a straw with a beverage is accomplished in a convenient and reliable manner without compromising the integrity of the beverage or the straw.



Inventors:
Samman, John M. (Basking Ridge, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/293635
Publication Date:
06/07/2007
Filing Date:
12/02/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/710, 220/705
International Classes:
B65D83/00; A47G19/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCKINLEY, CHRISTOPHER BRIAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ERNEST D. BUFF;ERNEST D. BUFF AND ASSOCIATES, LLC. (231 SOMERVILLE ROAD, BEDMINSTER, NJ, 07921, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing, comprising: a. a beverage container body having an external surface, side walls, a bottom portion, and a top portion provided with a drinking aperture and being arranged to form an internal chamber adapted to house a liquid appointed for drinking by a consumer; b. a straw comprising a top end, an elongated body, and a bottom end, said straw being disposed in a straw wrapper to provide an aseptic straw; c. a straw housing chamber adapted to house said aseptic straw, said straw housing being located integrally within said beverage container body and being distinct from said internal chamber so that said aseptic straw does not come into contact with said liquid; d. said straw housing chamber having at least one chamber wall, a proximal end, and a distal end, said distal end further comprising an outlet aperture; e. said outlet aperture of said straw housing chamber being located on said external surface of said beverage container so that said aseptic straw is accessed on said external surface of said beverage container; whereby said aseptic straw does not come into contact with said liquid while housed within said straw housing chamber.

2. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, further comprising a tab member for accessing and removing said aseptic straw from said straw housing chamber.

3. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said straw comprises at least one accordion portion so that said straw is flexible and extendable in length.

4. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said beverage container body is constructed as a bottle.

5. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said beverage container body is a plastic bottle.

6. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said beverage container body is an aluminum can.

7. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said beverage container body is a cardboard beverage box.

8. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said straw housing chamber is centrally located within said internal chamber of said container body.

9. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 9, wherein said outlet aperture is centrally located through said bottom portion of said container body.

10. A liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 9, wherein said beverage container body is a plastic bottle.

11. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said straw housing chamber is located at an angled orientation within said internal chamber of said container body.

12. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 11, wherein said outlet aperture is located in said bottom portion of said container body.

13. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 11, wherein said outlet aperture is located in one of said side walls of said container body.

14. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 11, wherein said outlet aperture is located in said top portion of said container body.

15. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said chamber walls of said straw housing chamber comprise arcs arranged to form a cylindrical straw housing chamber.

16. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said straw housing chamber is located on at least one of said side walls of said container body and wherein said straw housing chamber further comprises a vertical side opening extending from said proximal and distal ends of said straw housing chamber and being arranged to form a groove.

17. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 17, wherein said proximal end of said straw housing chamber further comprises an upper outlet aperture.

18. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 18, wherein said distal end of said straw housing chamber further comprises an outlet aperture cap portion appointed to close said outlet aperture of said distal end of said straw housing chamber.

19. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 17, wherein said beverage container body is an aluminum can.

20. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 17, wherein said beverage container body is a cardboard beverage box.

21. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 17, wherein said beverage container body is a plastic bottle.

22. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 17, further comprising at least one securing member extending across a portion of said groove.

23. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 17, further comprising a sheet covering extending over said groove.

24. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said straw wrapper further comprises a wrapper surface appointed to receive indicia thereon.

25. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said elongated body of said straw comprises a surface appointed to receive indicia thereon and wherein said straw wrapper is composed of a transparent material.

26. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 1, wherein said beverage container body's top portion comprises a bulbous member.

27. A process for manufacture of a liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing, comprising the steps of: a. forming a beverage container body having an external surface, side walls, a bottom portion, and a top portion appointed with a drinking aperture and being arranged to form an internal chamber adapted to house a liquid appointed to be drank by a consumer; b. forming a straw housing chamber adapted to house said aseptic straw, a said straw housing chamber having at least one chamber wall, a proximal end, and a distal end, wherein said straw housing is located integrally within said beverage container body and being distinct from said internal chamber; c. forming an outlet aperture at said distal end of said straw housing chamber so that said outlet aperture provides entry into said straw housing chamber from said external surface of said beverage container; d. wrapping a straw in a straw wrapper to form an aseptic straw; and e. inserting said aseptic straw into said outlet aperture so that said aseptic straw traverses said chamber walls and is housed within said straw housing chamber.

28. A process for manufacture of a liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing as recited by claim 27, wherein said container body and straw housing chamber are composed of a plastic material and formed as a single article by way of extrusion means.

29. A method of using a liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing, comprising the steps of: a. removing an aseptic straw from a straw housing chamber, said aseptic straw comprises a straw enclosed in a straw wrapper, said straw housing chamber being integrally located within a beverage container body, said container body comprises an internal chamber and a drinking aperture having a cap, said internal chamber being appointed to house a liquid; b. removing said cap from said drinking aperture of said container body; c. removing said straw from said straw wrapper; and d. inserting said straw into said drinking aperture so that said straw traverses into said internal chamber of said container body and is presented for drinking said liquid housed within said internal chamber of said container body.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing; and more particularly, to a liquid containing vessel provided with a dual chamber construction that includes a liquid chamber and a separate, dry chamber adapted to house a straw in an aseptic environment.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Drinking straws are commonly utilized when consuming beverages or liquids from bottles, cans, or other containers. Many consumers prefer the convenience of a straw, which facilitates drinking and minimizes spillage. Although many consumers prefer to use a straw when drinking, the straws are generally obtained from a location that is separate and apart from the beverage container. As a result, the consumer must purchase and/or carry a separate straw, which many times is not of the proper length to accommodate the random beverage. This inconvenience is easily avoided by providing a straw contemporaneously housed with the beverage container so that the straw is readily available and specifically appointed to be utilized when the drink is to be consumed.

The contemporaneous presentment of the straw not only results in a more convenient, ready to drink beverage, but further provides health benefits by mitigating exposure to germs and contaminants. Germs and contaminants have a propensity to be carried on the exterior drinking surface of a beverage container having a can construction. During drinking, the exterior drinking surface, or drinking lip, comes into intimate contact with the consumer's mouth and lips, and the liquid passes over the contaminated area, thereby causing the consumer to ingest the germs and contaminants. Contaminants and germs may result from human handling, or the accumulation of dirt, dust, or debris on the exterior drinking surface of the can. Moreover, germs may result during shipping and storage, as rodents may pass over the cans, exposing the end use consumers to germs and/or viruses. There have been known cases of people becoming seriously ill from viruses passed from rodents, for example in particular, the Hanta Virus. Once a person is exposed to the contaminants, their likelihood of coming down with an illness is heightened.

Various types of beverage containers having straw devices therein are known in the art, but none of the known beverage containers provide a dual chamber configuration and an aseptic straw condition. That is to say, the beverage container straw assemblies heretofore disclosed and utilized do not provide an aseptic straw housed within a housing integrally constructed within the beverage container, so that the aseptic straw is accessed externally and is completely distinct from the liquid. In a majority of the beverage containers with straw assemblies heretofore disclosed and utilized, a beverage container is provided with a straw maintained in intimate contact with the liquid. As time goes by, the straw has a tendency to break down, especially in corrosive beverages (i.e. soda, juices), yielding soluble and/or insoluble byproducts. The soluble byproducts homogeneously mix with the liquid while the insoluble byproducts accumulate within the container, thereby contaminating the liquid, which is later consumed by the user.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,101,855 to Yat Chuen Yuen discloses a beverage bottle filled with liquid equipped with a drinking straw housed therein so that the drinking straw is compressed when the container is closed, and is elongated and ready for use when the container is opened. U.S. Pat. No. 4,226,356 to Lemelson discloses a container having a drinking straw disposed therein that automatically moves upwardly through the container's opening and becomes ready for use in drinking when the container is opened. U.S. Pat. No. 4,251,019 to Cone discloses a beverage container having a sanitized straw disposed in a minor and major cavity within the container so that the straw is housed in the liquid and is buoyantly forced upwardly to project from the top of the container when the container is opened. U.S. Pat. No. 4,709,829 to Johnson, et al. discloses a beverage container having a straw assembly device including a buoyant air chamber so that when the beverage container is opened, the straw simultaneously emerges from the container.

In addition, U.S. Pat. No. 4,728,001 to Serba discloses a beverage container with a drinking straw disposed therein. The straw and container are arranged so that the drinking straw floats on the beverage near the top of the container and projects upwardly to extend through the pour opening upon release of a sealing means. U.S. Pat. No. 5,172,827 to Chang, et al. discloses a flexible, resilient, tubular drinking straw disposed internally within the interior portion of a beverage container and being folded so that the upper portion of the drinking straw unfolds to allow a person to drink from the straw. U.S. Pat. No. 6,443,324 and U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2003/0116574, both to Buntain, disclose beverage cans with self-contained, compressible, drinking straws housed therein, wherein the straw is appointed to expand (via elongation of bellowed portions) to present itself for drinking when the beverage can is opened. U.S. Published Patent Application No. 2002/0079320 to McCarthy, et al. discloses a beverage container having a straw housed therein so that the straw simultaneously pops-up to facilitate consumption of the liquid when the top of the container is removed.

These aforementioned beverage containers with straw devices are specifically configured to house and carry the straw in intimate contact with the liquid appointed for consumption. This configuration provides a single chamber that houses both the beverage and the straw and is arranged so that the straw is simultaneously presented for drinking when the container is opened. The straw's exposure to the beverage, especially corrosive beverages, can result in degradation over a period of time, causing leaching of the straw's formulation into the liquid to be consumed.

Variations of these aforementioned devices provide beverage containers with a substantial portion of the straw housed in intimate contact with the liquid, while a top portion of the straw is housed externally so that the top portion is flipped-up when drinking is commenced. Like the aforementioned variety of beverage container—straw assemblies, these devices also provide the housing of the main body of the straw within the liquid by providing only a single chamber for housing both therein. This provides a condition wherein the composition of the straw is susceptible to degradation over time, leaching into the liquid appointed for consumption.

Specifically, U.S. Pat. No. 5,188,283 to Gu discloses a beverage container having a straw concealed therein. The lower portion of the straw is within the container in intimate contact with the beverage, while the upper portion is outside of the container so that the upper portion is flipped-up when drinking commences. U.S. Pat. No. 6,213,339 to Lee discloses a container and straw assembly wherein the straw is housed within the liquid appointed for consumption and a top portion is flipped up when drinking commences. U.S. Published Patent Application No. 2003/0001002 to Haughton, et al. discloses a beverage container with a straw housed therein, and arranged so that a portion of the straw is on the outside of the container while the majority of the straw is inside the container in intimate contact with the beverage. These aforementioned beverage containers with straw devices are specifically configured to house and carry the straw within the liquid appointed for consumption by way of a single chamber. The straws are presented for drinking when the top portions are flipped upwardly. The straw's substantial bottom portion is exposed to the beverage, which over time can cause degradation of the straw composition. This, in turn, causes leaching of the straw's formulation into the liquid to be consumed.

Other variations of these aforementioned devices provide beverage containers with the straw housed in various guides constructed within the internal body of the container, but the straw is still in intimate contact with the liquid as there is merely a single chamber provided. As a result, the straw has a tendency to break down, especially in corrosive beverages, yielding soluble and/or insoluble byproducts. The soluble byproducts homogeneously mix with the liquid, thereby contaminating the liquid which is later consumed by a customer.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,776,458 to Chunga, Sr. teaches a telescopic drinking straw disposed within a bottle by way of an elongated cylinder slide-ably disposed within another elongated cylinder, so that the straw is presented for drinking when a spring is engaged upon removal of the container's cap. U.S. Pat. No. 5,788,106 to Hotinski discloses a beverage container with an integral pop-up straw arranged within a guided channel so that when the container is opened, the straw will pop out of an opening in the container. U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,422 to Collier, et al. discloses a beverage dispenser comprising a container having a tubular sleeve with a drinking straw positioned therein so that the straw extends to the drinking position when the container is opened due to buoyancy. U.S. Pat. No. 6,036,048 to Fischman discloses a beverage container with a self-contained straw adapted so that the straw pops-up and is presented to the consumer for drinking.

In addition, U.S. Pat. No. 6,131,763 to Stanish, et al. teaches a beverage can having a tube-like straw guide that houses a drinking straw so that the straw pops-up and is presented to the consumer for drinking due to buoyancy forces. U.S. Pat. No. 6,264,057 to Kim discloses a drink instrument in the form of a beverage container having a prepackaged internal straw with a plurality of guides so that the straw pops-up and is presented to the consumer for drinking when the container is opened. U.S. Pat. No. 6,375,019 to Hirota, et al. discloses a straw broadly comprising a straw assembly housed within a plug, wherein the plug is mounted on a mouth of a beverage container so that the straw is presented for drinking when the container is opened. U.S. Published Patent Application No. 2004/0169043 to Neves teaches a packaging for liquids, wherein the packaging has a built-in telescoping tube for drinking.

Like their counterparts, these aforementioned beverage containers with straw devices are specifically configured to house and carry the straw within the liquid appointed for consumption via a single chamber construction. The straws are generally presented to the top openings of the containers due to buoyancy effects. The straws are exposed to the beverage through the guide-like members. As a result, the straw has a tendency to break down, especially in corrosive beverages, yielding soluble and/or insoluble byproducts. The soluble byproducts homogeneously mix with the liquid, thereby contaminating the liquid, which is later consumed by the user.

Even where the beverage containers with straw assemblies heretofore disclosed and utilized teach a straw maintained separate from the liquid, the straw is housed within a groove on the external surface of the can. The straw is not provided within a straw wrapper, and therefore fails to provide an optimal aseptic straw environment. That is to say, the straws are not provided in an enclosed wrapper housed within the groove. Thus any aseptic condition while housed in the groove is nullified when the film is removed and exposes the straw, which must then be removed from the groove. As a result, when the protective film is removed, the straw must be handled by the user to be removed from the groove, or readily pops out itself presenting a risk that the straw will fall to the ground or be otherwise contaminated. Handling of the straw can readily result in the deposit of germs thereon, especially if the user is a child. Moreover, after the straw is removed from the groove, the straw is immediately exposed to the environment and is therefore vulnerable to being contaminated if it is dropped or placed on a surface while the container is being opened.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,332,567 to W. A. Pugh, Sr. discloses a container with an exteriorly mounted straw wherein the container has an indented groove that extends transversely across the bottom of and upwardly in the peripheral wall of the container, the groove houses a straw retained by way of a removable sealing tape appointed with a tab. U.S. Patent No. Des. 310,326 to Carlsen discloses an ornamental design for a combined container and drinking straw, wherein the straw is housed within a groove within the external wall of the container and a tab is appointed near the top of the container, presumably for removal of the straw housed within the groove. U.S. Published Patent Application No. 2002/0092857 to Chang discloses a beverage container having an indented groove that extends on the side of the container for housing a straw, which is attached to groove by an adhesive, and is sealed in the recess by a film. These aforementioned beverage containers with straw devices fail to provide an aseptic straw environment, particularly when the straw is removed from the groove.

That is to say, none of these aforementioned beverage containers with straw devices provides for a straw that is externally housed and enclosed within a straw wrapper so that the straw is retained in an aseptic condition. When the tab or covering disclosed by way of the aforementioned devices is removed, the straw is immediately exposed to the environment, and further requires manipulation by the user's hand to be removed from the groove, which can present an unsanitary condition, especially where the user is a child. Moreover, the immediate exposure to the environment increases the risk of contamination, as the straw may be susceptible to falling out from the groove and landing on the floor or some other contaminated external surface.

Notwithstanding the efforts of prior art workers to construct a beverage container with straw assembly, there remains a need in the art for a liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing that provides a dual chamber construction by way of a liquid chamber and a separate, dry, straw housing chamber adapted for housing a straw enclosed in an aseptic environment. Specifically, there is a need in the art for a liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing wherein the straw housing is completely distinct from the liquid beverage, and is designed so that the straw does not come into intimate contact with the beverage until it is inserted into the container by the consumer at the time of drinking; thereby avoiding degradation of the straw and virtually eliminating the entry of stray byproducts into the beverage to be consumed by the user. Further, there remains a need in the art for a liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing that not only securely houses a straw distinct from the beverage, but further provides a separate straw wrapper so that an aseptic environment results and continues even after the straw is removed from the straw housing; thereby avoiding contamination while handling the straw during removal from the straw housing and opening of the container. Long needed in the art is a liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing that (i) provides a straw housing completely distinct from the liquid beverage, and (ii) is adapted to house a straw enclosed in a wrapper to provide an aseptic condition, even after the straw is removed from the housing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing and a method for manufacturing the same. A liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing comprises a beverage container having a dual chamber construction. A liquid chamber is associated with a separate, dry, straw housing chamber especially suited to house a straw enclosed in an aseptic environment. With this dual chamber construction there is provided a dry environment for housing the aseptic straw. Contemporaneous presentment of a straw with a beverage is accomplished in a convenient, reliable manner without compromising the integrity of the beverage or the straw. In one embodiment the straw housing chamber is located within the internal chamber of the container body. In another embodiment the straw housing chamber is located on at least one of the side walls of the container body and is appointed with a groove so that the aseptic straw is housed on the external surface of the container body.

The liquid containing vessel with aseptic straw housing includes a beverage container body having an external surface, side walls, a bottom portion, and a top portion equipped with a drinking aperture and arranged to form an internal chamber that houses a liquid appointed to be consumed by a consumer. The liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing further includes a straw having a top end, an elongated body, and a bottom end, wherein the straw is disposed in a straw wrapper to provide an aseptic straw. In addition, the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing includes a straw housing chamber adapted to house the aseptic straw. The straw housing is located integrally within the beverage container body and is distinct from the internal chamber so that the aseptic straw does not come into contact with the liquid.

The straw housing chamber has at least one chamber wall, a proximal end, and a distal end, wherein the distal end further includes an outlet aperture. The outlet aperture of the straw housing chamber is located on the external surface of the beverage container so that the aseptic straw is accessed on the external surface of the beverage container. The aseptic straw does not come into contact with the liquid while housed within the straw housing chamber.

The process for manufacture of a liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing includes the steps of: (i) forming a beverage container body having an external surface, side walls, a bottom portion, and a top portion equipped with a drinking aperture and being arranged to form an internal chamber adapted to house a liquid appointed for consumption by a user; (ii) forming a straw housing chamber adapted to house the aseptic straw, the straw housing chamber having at least one chamber wall, a proximal end, and a distal end, wherein the straw housing is located integrally within the beverage container body and is distinct from the internal chamber; (iii) forming an outlet aperture at the distal end of the straw housing chamber so that the outlet aperture provides for entry into the straw housing chamber from the external surface of the beverage container; (iv) wrapping a straw in a straw wrapper to form an aseptic straw; and (v) inserting the aseptic straw into the outlet aperture so that the aseptic straw traverses the chamber walls and is housed within the straw housing chamber.

The method of using a liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing includes the first step of removing an aseptic straw from a straw housing chamber. The aseptic straw comprises a straw enclosed in a straw wrapper and the straw housing chamber is integrally located within a beverage container body. The container body comprises an internal chamber and a drinking aperture having a cap. The internal chamber is designed to house a liquid. The next steps require removing the cap from the drinking aperture of the container body and removing the straw from the straw wrapper. The last step involves inserting the straw into the drinking aperture so that the straw traverses into the internal chamber of the container body and is presented for drinking the liquid housed within the internal chamber of the container body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The invention will be more fully understood and further advantages will become apparent when reference is had to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of the liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing, showing the straw housing chamber centrally located within the internal chamber of the container body configured as a bottle, and further showing a planer view of the outlet aperture centrally located through the bottom portion of the container body;

FIG. 2 illustrates a further embodiment of the liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing, showing the straw housing chamber at an angled orientation within the internal chamber of the container body configured as a bottle, and further showing a planer view of the outlet aperture located through the bottom portion of the container body;

FIG. 3 illustrates a further embodiment of the liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing, showing the straw housing chamber at an angled orientation within the internal chamber of the container body configured as a bottle, and wherein the outlet aperture is located through the top portion of the container body; and

FIG. 4 illustrates a different embodiment of the liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing, showing the straw housing chamber located on a side wall of the container body as a groove formation so that the aseptic straw is housed on the external surface of the container body, herein shown as an aluminum can, and further showing a planer view of the outlet aperture.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing, as well as a method for use and a method for manufacturing the same. A beverage container provided with a dual chamber construction includes an internal chamber for housing a liquid beverage and a separate, dry, straw housing chamber for housing a straw enclosed in an aseptic environment. Advantageously, this dual chamber construction provides a dry environment for housing the aseptic straw while providing contemporaneous presentment of a straw with a beverage in a highly convenient and reliable manner without compromising the integrity of the beverage or the straw. In one embodiment the straw housing chamber is located within the internal chamber of the container body; while in another embodiment the straw housing chamber is located on at least one of the side walls of the container body and is appointed with a groove so that the aseptic straw is housed on the external surface of the container body.

In FIG. 1 there is illustrated an embodiment of the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing. A straw housing chamber is centrally located within the internal chamber of the container body, configured as a bottle and shown generally at 10. In this embodiment, the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing 10 includes a beverage container body 11 having an external surface 12, side walls 13, a bottom portion 14, and a top portion 15 arranged to form an internal chamber 18 adapted to house a liquid appointed to be consumed by a customer. Top portion 15 is provided with a drinking aperture 16 over which a cap 17 is placed.

The liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing 10 further includes a straw 19 having a top end 20, an elongated body 21, and a bottom end 22. Straw 19 is disposed in a straw wrapper 23 to provide an aseptic straw 24. In addition, the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing 10 includes a straw housing chamber 25 adapted to house the aseptic straw 24. The straw housing chamber 25 is located integrally within the beverage container body 11 and is distinct from the internal chamber 18 so that the aseptic straw 24 does not come into contact with the liquid 26. The straw housing chamber 25 has at least one chamber wall 27, a proximal end 28, and a distal end 29. The distal end 29 further includes an outlet aperture 30. The outlet aperture 30 of the straw housing chamber 25 is located on the external surface 12 of the beverage container body 11 so that the aseptic straw 24 is accessed on the external surface 12 of the beverage container 11. The aseptic straw 24 does not come into contact with the liquid 26 while housed within the straw housing chamber 25.

Optionally, the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing further comprises a tab member 31 for accessing and removing the aseptic straw 24 from the straw housing chamber 25. The straw 19 may further comprise at least one accordion portion 32 so that the straw 19 is flexible and extendable in length. The beverage container body 11 may be constructed as a bottle, as is illustrated in FIG. 1. Preferably, the beverage container body 11 is a plastic bottle. Alternatively, the beverage container body 11 is an aluminum can or a cardboard beverage box.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the straw housing chamber 25 is centrally located within the internal chamber 18 of the container body 11 and the outlet aperture 30 is centrally located through the bottom portion 14 of the container body 11. Preferably, the beverage container body 11 is constructed as a bottle being composed of a plastic material. Preferably, the chamber walls 27 of the straw housing chamber 25 comprise arcs arranged to form a cylindrical straw housing chamber.

A planer view of the bottom portion 14 is shown, taken at plane line a, illustrating the outlet aperture 30 centrally located through the bottom portion 14 of the container body 11, shown generally at 40. At 40 the bottom portion 14 is shown with outlet aperture 30 of the distal end 29 of the straw housing chamber 25 centrally located therein. The aseptic straw 24 is housed therein and is removed from the straw housing chamber 25 by simply pulling on the straw wrapper 23 of the aseptic straw 24. When the aseptic straw 24 is removed from the straw housing chamber 25 the straw wrapper 23 still enclosed the straw 19 so that the straw 19 is still in the aseptic condition, or visa vie is still an aseptic straw 24. Tab 31 may be provided so that the consumer can readily pull the tab 31 and release and remove the aseptic straw 24 from the straw housing 25 of container 11. Tab member 31 is further shown generally at 40. The tab member 31 may include an attachment edge 41, a flap 42, a central portion 43 and a pull portion 44. These elements are arranged so that the attachment edge 41 is removably attached to the bottom portion 14 of the external surface 12 of the container body. The central portion 43 covers the outlet aperture 30. The flap 42 is attached to the straw wrapper 23, and the pull portion 44 externally extends from the central portion 43 so that when a consumer pulls on the pull portion 44 the attachment edge 41 and the central portion 43 release and the flap 42 engages in pulling the aseptic straw 24 from the straw housing chamber 25.

The straw 19 is appointed with straw wrapper 23 so that the straw is stored in an aseptic environment until the straw 19 is used. The straw 19 may have an accordion portion 32 so that the straw 19 can be readily extended and or flexed when inserted into the internal chamber 18 of container 11. When using the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing, the consumer removes the aseptic straw 24 from the straw housing chamber 25 through the outlet aperture 30. Straw wrapper 23 is then removed from the straw 19, and the straw 19 is placed in the drinking aperture 16 so that the straw 19 traverses into the liquid chamber 25 of the beverage container 11. Optionally, the top portion 15 of container 11 can have a bulbous configuration so that the straw 19 can be optimally accommodated within the container 11 as the beverage is consumed. The optional bulbous configuration provides increased surface area inside the beverage container body 11 to accommodate the volume of the internal chamber 18 so that a proper liquid amount can be held therein by providing greater head space in the container body 11. In addition, the bulbous element allows easy insertion of the straw 19 when drinking is commenced.

FIG. 2 illustrates a further embodiment of the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing, showing the straw housing chamber at an angled orientation within the internal chamber of the container body configured as a bottle, shown generally at 50. In this embodiment, the straw housing chamber 25 is located at an angled orientation from vertical center line 51 within the internal chamber 18 of the container body 11. Optionally, the outlet aperture 30 is located through the bottom portion 14 of container body 11, as illustrated by a plane view of the bottom portion 14 of the container body 11 taken along the line b, shown generally at 55. Alternatively, the outlet aperture 30 is located through one of the side walls 13 of the container body 11.

As shown in embodiment 50, the straw housing chamber 25 is located at an angled orientation from vertical centerline 51. This angled orientation of the straw housing is particularly advantageous when the internal chamber 18 is being filled with liquid. Specifically, the angled orientation of the straw housing chamber 25 increases the fill space accessible for entry of filling heads into the internal chamber 18. During filling of internal chamber 18 with a liquid beverage by high speed filling heads, this increased fill space will facilitate access of the filling head into the internal chamber 18. In such cases, the filling head is prevented from coming into contact with the straw housing chamber 25, thereby mitigating the risk of damage to the straw housing chamber 25 and/or the filling head itself. At the same time, the angled orientation of straw housing chamber 25 enables injection of liquid by the filling head to proceed from a greater entry depth within the internal chamber 18. Filling can be accomplished at greater pressure, so that filling times can be decreased. Damage to the filling heads and/or the straw housing chamber 25 is prevented, and interruption of the filling process is avoided. The increased fill space mitigates contact between the straw housing chamber 25 and the filling heads, facilitating liquid filling at increased speed in a highly reliable manner.

FIG. 3 illustrates a further embodiment of the liquid containing vessel having an aseptic straw housing, showing the straw housing chamber at an angled orientation within the internal chamber of the container body configured as a bottle, shown generally at 60. In this embodiment, the straw housing chamber 25 is located at the angled orientation from vertical center line 51 within the internal chamber 18 of the container body 11. However, herein the outlet aperture 30 is located through the top portion 15 of the container body 11. Herein the distal end 29 is rotated so that it is facing the top portion 15 of the container body 11, and visa vie, the proximal end 28 is facing the bottom portion 14 of the container body 11.

FIG. 4 illustrates a different embodiment of a liquid containing vessel with aseptic straw housing, shown generally at 70. The liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing 70 is shown herein with the container body 11 constructed as an aluminum can. Like the bottle construction illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing 70 in FIG. 4 illustrates the beverage container body 11. Container body 11 has external surface 12, side walls 13, a bottom portion 14, and a top portion 15 arranged to form an internal chamber 18 adapted to house a liquid 26 appointed to be drank by a consumer. Top portion 15 is appointed with a drinking aperture 16 and a cap 17, herein arranged as a basic snap cap of the type generally utilized for aluminum cans. Herein, in the can construction, the top portion 15 is further appointed with a snap 72 and a drinking lip 73, which without the use of a straw would come into intimate contact with the consumer's lips while drinking.

Continuing with FIG. 4, the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing 70 further includes a straw 19 having a top end 20, an elongated body 21, and a bottom end 22, wherein the straw 19 is disposed in a straw wrapper 23 to provide an aseptic straw 24. The straw housing chamber 25 is adapted to house the aseptic straw 24. The straw housing chamber 25 is located integrally within one of the side walls 13 of the container body 11 and is distinct from the internal chamber 18 so that the aseptic straw 24 does not come into contact with the liquid 26. The straw housing chamber 25 has at least one chamber wall 27, a proximal end 28, and a distal end 29. The distal end 29 further includes an outlet aperture 30. The aseptic straw 24 does not come into contact with the liquid 26 while housed within the straw housing chamber 25.

In this embodiment, the straw housing chamber 25 is located on a side wall 13 of the container body 11 as a groove 71 formation so that the aseptic straw 24 is housed on the external surface 12 of the container body 11. The straw housing chamber 25 is located on at least one of the side walls 13 of the container body 11. The straw housing chamber 25 further comprises a vertical side opening indicated by horizontal double arrow head extending from the proximal and distal ends, 28 and 29, respectively, of the straw housing chamber 25 and being arranged to form a groove 71.

Optionally, the proximal end 28 of the straw housing chamber 25 further comprises an upper outlet aperture 76 so that the aseptic straw 24 may be removed form the top portion 15 of the container body 11. The removal of the aseptic straw 24 from the upper outlet aperture 76 provides convenience in that the aseptic straw 24 can readily be removed from the container body 11 when the container is opened, without the risk of over-turning of the container body 11 and hence spillage of the liquid 26. The distal end 29 of the straw housing chamber 25 may further comprise an outlet aperture cap portion 77 (shown detached and as phantom lines) appointed to close the outlet aperture 30 of the distal end 29 of the straw housing chamber 25. The liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing 70 may further comprise at least one securing member 78 extending across a portion of groove 71. Alternatively, the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing 70 further comprises a sheet covering extending over the groove 71, so that the groove 71 is substantially covered and visa vie wherein the sheet covering may extend from the distal end 29 to the proximal end 28 of the straw housing chamber 25. The straw housing chamber 25 and groove 77 are arranged so that the aseptic straw 24 is flush with the exterior surface 13 and side walls 13 of the container body 11 so that the beverage container body 11 can be utilized in the typical beverage dispensing machine (i.e. vending machine) without damage to the aseptic straw 24 or container body 11. FIG. 4 further shows a planer view of the bottom portion 14 of the container body 11 taken along line c, generally shown at 80. The planer view at 80 illustrates the flush housing of the aseptic straw 24 in the groove 77, which is shown as a phantom line, and visa vie straw housing chamber 25.

In this embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the container body 11 is to be constructed as a cardboard beverage box; such as those typically found for juice boxes and the like. More preferably, the container body 11 is a constructed as a bottle being composed of plastic material. Most preferably, the container body 11 is constructed as a can being composed of aluminum.

Optionally, the straw wrapper 23 of the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing further comprises a wrapper surface appointed to receive indicia thereon. Alternatively, the elongated body 21 of the straw 19 comprises a surface appointed to receive indicia thereon and wherein the straw wrapper 23 is composed of a transparent material. The appointment of these indicia surfaces enables cross-branding or decorative pictures or indicia to be placed on the straw and/the straw wrapper.

The cross-branding capability enables use of promotional venues or motivational tools during marketing and sale of the product. The straw 19 and the straw wrapper 23 may include indicia concerning game pieces, jokes, little known facts, quotes, fortunes, coupons, or other forms of promotional themes. Cross-branding of advertisements is readily implemented for local or regional markets. Straw 19 or straw wrapper 23 can be provided with a the logo or trademark of a regional distributor, or local merchant, while the container body is differently marked with the logo or trademark of a national or international beverage corporation. This cross-branding capability enables a local distributor or merchant (i.e. store, restaurant, event) to flag available product offerings in local or regional markets. The utilization of the liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing as a cross-marketing mechanism affords a plethora of advantages through provision of multiple and diverse advertising surfaces and branding capabilities.

The invention further provides a process for manufacture of a liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing comprising the steps of: (i) forming a beverage container body having an external surface, side walls, a bottom portion, and a top portion appointed with a drinking aperture and being arranged to form an internal chamber adapted to house a liquid appointed to be drank by a consumer; (ii) forming a straw housing chamber adapted to house the aseptic straw, the straw housing chamber having at least one chamber wall, a proximal end, and a distal end, wherein the straw housing is located integrally within the beverage container body and is distinct from the internal chamber; (iii) forming an outlet aperture at the distal end of the straw housing chamber so that the outlet aperture provides entry into the straw housing chamber from the external surface of the beverage container; (iv) wrapping a straw in a straw wrapper to form an aseptic straw; and (v) inserting the aseptic straw into the outlet aperture so that the aseptic straw traverses the chamber walls and is housed within the straw housing chamber. The container body and straw housing chamber may be composed of a plastic material and formed as a single article by way of extrusion means.

Additionally, a method of using a liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing is disclosed, wherein the method includes the first step of removing an aseptic straw from a straw housing chamber. The aseptic straw comprises a straw enclosed in a straw wrapper and wherein the straw housing chamber is integrally located within a beverage container body. The container body comprises an internal chamber and a drinking aperture having a cap. The internal chamber is appointed to house a liquid. The next steps require removing the cap from the drinking aperture of the container body and removing the straw from the straw wrapper. The last step involves inserting the straw into the drinking aperture so that the straw traverses into the internal chamber of the container body and is presented for drinking the liquid housed within the internal chamber of the container body.

Advantageously, the a liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing provides a sanitary, conveniently stored straw that is contemporaneously housed within a separate chamber integrally associated with the beverage container body so that the straw can be readily inserted into the container when the beverage is to be consumed. Moreover, the a liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing holds significant advantages when consumers are drinking beverages from cans, as the top portion of the can has a tendency to be exposed to contaminants and viruses throughout the shipping and storage process by manufacturers, shipping industry, and distributors. The use of the a liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing mitigates the consumer's contact with such contaminants, viruses, and debris by providing an aseptic straw removably housed within the beverage vessel. While at the same time, the a liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing provides an aseptic straw that is separated from the beverage within housing, thereby avoiding leaching of soluble contaminants from the straw into the beverage. Further, the straw wrapper of the a liquid containing vessel having aseptic straw housing provides a surface on which advertising indicia can be displayed, as a result cross-branding can be readily achieved providing a valuable advertising tool.

Having thus described the invention in rather full detail, it will be understood that such detail need not be strictly adhered to, but that additional changes and modifications may suggest themselves to one skilled in the art, all falling within the scope of the invention as defined by the subjoined claims.