Title:
STACKABLE STORAGE CONTAINER WITH INSULATING SLEEVE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed to a stackable storage container with an insulating sleeve including a receptacle having a circumferential sidewall, a sleeve having a circumferential sidewall with a top edge and a bottom edge wherein an outer surface of the sleeve sidewall includes a shoulder subjacent the top edge, and wherein the receptacle sidewall and the sleeve sidewall define an insulating gap therebetween.



Inventors:
Robertson, Ronald D. (Kansas City, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/566715
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
12/05/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D3/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ELKINS, GARY E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HUSCH BLACKWELL LLP (4801 Main Street, Suite 1000, KANSAS CITY, MO, 64112, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A storage container comprising: a receptacle having a circumferential sidewall; and a sleeve having a circumferential sidewall with a top edge and a bottom edge, an outer surface of said sidewall including a shoulder subjacent said top edge; wherein said receptacle sidewall and said sleeve sidewall define an insulating gap therebetween.

2. The container of claim 1 wherein said receptacle further comprises a circular bottom portion.

3. The container of claim 1 wherein said receptacle sidewall further comprises a top edge having an outwardly projecting marginal flange.

4. The container of claim 1 wherein said receptacle sidewall further comprises a bottom edge having an outwardly projecting rounded step.

5. The container of claim 1 wherein said receptacle has a circular cross-section, and a first diameter of sidewall bottom edge is less than a second diameter of sidewall top edge.

6. The container of claim 1 wherein said sleeve top edge comprises an inturned roll.

7. The container of claim 1 wherein said sleeve bottom edge comprises an inturned roll.

8. The container of claim 1 wherein said sleeve sidewall further comprises a circumferential groove.

9. A storage container comprising: a receptacle having a circumferential sidewall and a circular bottom portion, said receptacle sidewall including a top edge having an outwardly projecting marginal flange and further including a bottom edge having an outwardly projecting rounded step; and a sleeve having a circumferential sidewall with a top edge and a bottom edge, an outer surface of said sidewall including a shoulder subjacent said top edge; wherein said receptacle has a circular cross-section, and a first diameter of sidewall bottom edge is less than a second diameter of sidewall top edge; wherein said sleeve top edge and bottom edge each include an inturned roll; and wherein said receptacle sidewall and said sleeve sidewall define an insulating gap therebetween.

10. A storage container comprising: a receptacle having a circumferential sidewall and a circular bottom portion, said receptacle sidewall including a top edge having an outwardly projecting marginal flange and further including a bottom edge having an outwardly projecting rounded step; and a sleeve having a circumferential sidewall with a top edge and a bottom edge, an outer surface of said sidewall including a shoulder subjacent said top edge and a circumferential groove subjacent said shoulder; wherein said receptacle has a circular cross-section, and a first diameter of sidewall bottom edge is less than a second diameter of sidewall top edge; wherein said sleeve top edge and bottom edge each include an inturned roll; and wherein said receptacle sidewall and said sleeve sidewall define an insulating gap therebetween.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The storage container of the present invention is suitable to store a variety of items from dry goods to dairy products. Generally, a storage container must be capable of withstanding the stress of loading, transportation, and use while being simple and inexpensive to manufacture and assemble. One manner of accomplishing these goals is to provide a receptacle surrounded by a positively closely positioned sleeve. There are several advantages to this type of storage container. First, the sleeve provides an area for a label or an advertisement that may be applied to the sleeve before it is positioned on the receptacle. Printing in this manner is often less complicated than printing on the receptacle itself.

Furthermore, a typical high-volume fast-food restaurant, coffee shop or the like requires thousands of storage containers or cups. The cups are typically packaged and stored in nested stacks that are easily compacted even when properly stored and handled. Thus, one or more cups in each stack can bind to adjacent cups and become difficult to separate. Sometimes a stack of cups becomes so severely compacted that the cups are dented, scratched, or completely smashed. A stack of bound cups is usually provided to a beverage server for use. When the stack is exhausted it is replaced by another stack of cups. The beverage server not uncommonly has to use two hands to remove a cup from the stack. Frequently, more than one cup is removed from the stack and must be replaced. This is not only inconvenient, but it can also severely slow down service thereby patrons waiting to be served. Thus, there is a need in the art for a cup that protect against stacking-related damage and assist in the easy and sure removal of a single cup from a stack.

A disadvantage in prior art cups are obvious when hot beverages, such as coffee, are being served. For example, most disposable coffee cups are very difficult to handle for several minutes after being filled. However, it can take a person grasping the hot cup several moments to realize that it will be uncomfortable to hold the cup until it cools, and the cup is placed on a table. This situation is problematic with regard to “drive-thru” service since vehicle occupants are often under way again before discomfort is perceived and the options for setting the cup aside are limited.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a storage container including a receptacle having a circumferential sidewall, a sleeve having a circumferential sidewall with a top edge and a bottom edge wherein an outer surface of the sleeve sidewall includes a shoulder subjacent the top edge, and wherein the receptacle sidewall and the sleeve sidewall define an insulating gap therebetween.

In another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a storage container including a receptacle having a circumferential sidewall and a circular bottom portion. The receptacle sidewall includes a top edge having an outwardly projecting marginal flange and further includes a bottom edge having an outwardly projecting rounded step. A sleeve is provided having a circumferential sidewall with a top edge and a bottom edge, and an outer surface of said sidewall includes a shoulder subjacent the top edge. The receptacle further has a circular cross-section, and a first diameter of the sidewall bottom edge is less than a second diameter of the sidewall top edge. The sleeve top edge and bottom edge each include an inturned roll and the receptacle sidewall and the sleeve sidewall define an insulating gap therebetween.

In another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a storage container including a receptacle having a circumferential sidewall and a circular bottom portion. The receptacle sidewall includes a top edge having an outwardly projecting marginal flange and further includes a bottom edge having an outwardly projecting rounded step. A sleeve is provided having a circumferential sidewall with a top edge and a bottom edge, and an outer surface of said sidewall includes a shoulder subjacent the top edge and a circumferential groove subjacent the shoulder. The receptacle further has a circular cross-section, and a first diameter of the sidewall bottom edge is less than a second diameter of the sidewall top edge. The sleeve top edge and bottom edge each include an inturned roll and the receptacle sidewall and the sleeve sidewall define an insulating gap therebetween.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

In the accompanying drawings that form a part of the specification and that are to be read in conjunction therewith and in which like reference numerals are used to indicate like parts in the various views:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of one embodiment of the storage container of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational sectional view of the storage container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front elevational sectional view of two storage containers stacked together;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a portion of the sidewalls of the storage containers of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the sidewalls of a second embodiment of the storage container of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the sidewalls of a third embodiment of the storage container of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A storage container 10 embodying various features of the present invention is shown in the drawings. In a first embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 1-3, storage container 10 includes a receptacle 12 and a removable sleeve 14.

Receptacle 12 has a circular bottom portion 16 and a circumferential sidewall 18.

At the top edge 20 of sidewall 18 is an outwardly projecting marginal flange 22. At the bottom edge 24 of sidewall 18 is an outwardly projecting rounded step 26. Receptacle 12 preferably has a frusto-conical shape; that is, receptacle 12 has a circular cross-section, and the diameter of bottom portion 16 is less than the diameter of the top edge 20 of sidewall 18. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that different shapes may serve equally as well and may actually be required by a desired application. For example, a receptacle in the shape of a cube may provide better stacking or space utilization characteristics. Receptacle 12 is preferably constructed of paperboard, cardboard, laminated paperboard, or thermoplastic materials.

Sleeve 14, which is positively closely positioned around sidewall 18 of receptacle 12 between flange 22 and step 26, provides structural support to receptacle 12 and also provides an area for printing or advertising. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, sleeve 14 is preferably constructed of paperboard, cardboard, laminated paperboard, or thermoplastic materials. Sleeve 14 is defined by a sidewall 28 having a top edge 30 and a bottom edge 32. Top edge 30 and bottom edge 32 each include an inturned roll or bead 34 and 36. Sleeve 12 further includes a stacking shoulder 18 subjacent top edge 30 which provides a localized increase in the diameter of sleeve 14. Although stacking shoulder 38 is shown in FIG. 4 as a single, uninterrupted projection, stacking shoulder 38 may include several similar shoulders in the same plane around the sleeve 12. In this embodiment of the present invention, upper portion 40 of sleeve 14 may be joined at 42 by means of an adhesive agent with the outer periphery of sidewall 18 of receptacle 12 adjacent to the top edge 20. The inner surface of the bottom edge 32 may also be joined to receptacle 12 at 44 by means of the adhesive agent with the outer periphery of sidewall 18 adjacent bottom portion 16. In this way, receptacle 12 and sleeve 14 are integrally combined with each other to define an insulating gap 46 therebetween. In another embodiment shown in FIG. 5, top edge 30 of sleeve 14 and bottom edge 32 of sleeve 14 act to define insulating gap 46. In a third embodiment shown in FIG. 6, in addition to shoulder 38, sleeve 14 further includes a circumferential groove or recess 48 subjacent shoulder 38 thereby providing a localized decrease in the diameter of storage container 10.

In use, multiple receptacles 12 having sleeves 14 thereon may be stacked or nested together such that a top edge 20 of a lower receptacle 12 engages shoulder 38 of sleeve 14 on an upper receptacle 12 thereby preventing receptacles 12 from compressing and allowing ease of removal of the upper receptacle 12 from the stack. Further, when container 10 is filled with a hot beverage or liquid, insulating gap 46 between sleeve 14 and receptacle 12 acts to protect the user's fingers from the discomfort usually associated with holding a hot beverage.

From the foregoing, it may be seen that the storage container of the present invention is particularly well suited for the proposed usages thereof. Furthermore, since certain changes may be made in the above invention without departing from the scope hereof, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. It is also to be understood that the following claims are to cover certain generic and specific features described herein.