Title:
CAN FOR MAKING QUIET PACK OF SMOKELESS TOBACCO
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A can for holding and compacting smokeless tobacco has a bottom member and a lid. The bottom member has a closed bottom, an open top, and a first compacting vane located within the bottom member. The lid is adapted to slidably fit on the bottom member and has a second compacting vane located within the lid. The first compacting vane extends partially across the bottom member, and the second compacting vane extends partially across the lid. The vanes are positioned to contact each other when the can is closed and either the lid or the bottom member is rotated. The lid and/or bottom member are adapted to receive graphics. With smokeless tobacco in the closed can, tobacco located between the first and second vanes in the can is compacted into a tight wad by simply rotating the lid, either clockwise or counter-clockwise, relative to the bottom member.



Inventors:
Yount, Benjamin James (Beaufort, SC, US)
Application Number:
12/470681
Publication Date:
02/25/2010
Filing Date:
05/22/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A24F23/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, PHU HOANG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL RIES (P. O. Box 42, Peshtigo, WI, 54157, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A can for smokeless tobacco comprising: a bottom member having a closed bottom, an open top and a wall; a first compacting vane located in said bottom member and having a first dimension which extends to said wall and a second dimension which extends from said closed bottom to said open top; a lid for covering the open top of said bottom member and having a closed top and a wall substantially perpendicular to said closed top; and a second compacting vane located in said lid and having a first dimension which extends to said wall, and a second dimension which extends from said closed top; wherein a side of said first compacting vane is positioned to contact a side of said second compacting vane when said lid is on said bottom member and said lid is rotated relative to said bottom member.

2. The can of claim 1 wherein the lid of the can is adapted to receive a metal disk having engraving or graphics.

3. The can of claim 1 wherein the lid of the can is covered with graphics.

4. The can of claim 3 wherein said graphics are either painted on the lid or are on a wrap which is on the lid.

5. The can of claim 4 wherein graphics are on the side of the can.

6. The can of claim 1 wherein said first compacting vane extends along said first dimension from a side of said bottom member to a center of said bottom member.

7. The can of claim 6 wherein said first compacting vane extends from the closed bottom to the open top along said second dimension.

8. The can of claim 7 wherein said first compacting vane is less than the depth of the bottom member along said second dimension.

9. The can of claim 8 wherein said first compacting vane, along said first dimension, does not contact the side of said bottom member.

10. The can of claim 1 wherein said first compacting vane, in said first dimension, extends from the closed bottom to the open top.

11. The can of claim 1 wherein said second compacting vane located in said lid extends along the second dimension for a distance greater than said wall.

12. The can of claim 1 wherein the inside surface of the lid slidably fits on the outside surface of the bottom member.

13. A method of providing a can for smokeless tobacco comprising the steps of: providing a bottom member having a closed bottom, an open top and a wall; locating a first compacting vane in said bottom member, said vane having a first dimension which extends to said wall and a second dimension which extends from said closed bottom to said open top; and providing a lid for covering the open top of said bottom member and having a closed top and a wall substantially perpendicular to said closed top; locating a second compacting vane in said lid, said vane having a first dimension which extends to said wall, and a second dimension which extends from said closed top; wherein a side of said first compacting vane is positioned to contact a side of said second compacting vane when said lid is on said bottom member and is rotated relative to said bottom member.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein said first compacting vane extends along said first dimension from a side of said bottom member to a center of said bottom member.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein said first compacting vane extends from the closed bottom to the open top along said second dimension.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein said first compacting vane is less than the depth of the bottom member along said second dimension.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein said first compacting vane, along said first dimension, does not contact the side of said bottom member.

18. The method of claim 13 wherein said first compacting vane, along said first dimension, extends from the closed bottom to the open top.

19. The method of claim 13 wherein said second compacting vane located in said lid extends along the second dimension for a distance greater than the height of said wall.

20. The method of claim 13 wherein the inside surface of the lid slidably fits on the outside surface of the bottom member.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/090,899, filed on 22 Aug. 2008, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to smokeless tobacco containers and more particularly to a can for smokeless tobacco having internal members for compacting the smokeless tobacco while the can is closed.

2. Description of the Related Art

At the present time most smokeless tobacco products are sold in relatively thin cylindrical containers which are made of cardboard, metal or plastic. The tobacco containers are used for holding the tobacco and have a removable top for covering the tobacco within the container.

When a user desires to use smokeless tobacco, the top or lid of the container is removed and, using his/her thumb and index fingers, removes a pinch or dip of the smokeless tobacco from the container, squeezes the pinch or dip of tobacco removed from the container between his/her fingers to compact it into a small tight wad, and then inserts the wad into his/her mouth. The lid is then placed back onto the container.

Almost all commercially available smokeless tobacco containers are, at best, not easy or convenient to use. The two-piece construction of almost all containers in use today require a user to first open the lid, insert his/her fingers into the container to remove a pinch of tobacco, squeeze the removed pinch of tobacco to compact it while still holding the lid and container, and then replace the lid on to the container to reclose it. Most times this procedure can be both awkward and cumbersome to do.

What is needed is a new improved can for smokeless tobacco that is easier to use and helps to retain the flavor of the smokeless tobacco by limiting its exposure to air.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A can for holding and compacting smokeless tobacco has a bottom member and a lid. The bottom member has a closed bottom, an open top, and a first compacting vane located within the bottom member. The lid is adapted to slidably fit on the bottom member and has a second compacting vane located within the lid. The first compacting vane extends partially across the bottom member, and the second compacting vane extends partially across the lid. The vanes are positioned to contact each other when the can is closed and either the lid or the bottom member is rotated. With smokeless tobacco in the closed can, tobacco located between the first and second vanes in the can is compacted into a tight wad by simply rotating the lid, either clockwise or counter-clockwise, relative to the bottom member.

The top surface of the lid can include a circular depression of about 1/32 of an inch for receiving a disk insert, which can be replaced and has a design, graphics, a picture, etc. to allow a user to customize the can with graphics of choice. The can is made of a material that can be painted and/or is adapted to receive a stick-on covering or wrap of plastic or paper which has custom graphics of the user's choice. Thus, the user has the ability to initially select and subsequently change the look of the top of the can or, if desired, the complete outside of the can at any time.

The foregoing has outlined, rather broadly, the preferred feature of the present invention so that those skilled in the art may better understand the detailed description of the invention that follows. Additional features of the invention will be described hereinafter that form the subject of the claims of the invention. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that they can readily use the disclosed conception and specific embodiment as a basis for designing or modifying other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention and that such other structures do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention in its broadest form.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other aspects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description, the appended claim, and the accompanying drawings in which similar elements are given similar reference numerals.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view looking down into the bottom member of an open can for holding smokeless tobacco positioned next to the lid of said open can;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view looking up into the lid of an open can positioned next to said open can for holding smokeless tobacco;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the top and bottom of the lid of the can;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the top of the lid and bottom of the can where graphics are on the lid;

FIG. 5 is a top view of five cans having graphics thereon; and

FIG. 6 shows five cans with graphics which are on the sides of the cans and cover a portion of the bottom surface.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a can 10 for holding and compacting smokeless tobacco into a tight wad with a minimum of motion and noise without requiring a user to touch the tobacco in accordance with the principles of the invention. The smokeless tobacco can 10 is used to compact smokeless tobacco into a tight wad while in the container by simply turning the lid 12 either clockwise and/or counter-clockwise relative to the bottom member 14. In this embodiment the lid has a continuous smooth side wall 16 and the side wall 18 of the bottom member 14 of the can is smooth and allows a user to grip the bottom member of the can when turning the bottom member relative to the lid.

Continuing with FIG. 1, the bottom of the can is closed with a substantially smooth straight surface 24 and has an open top. The side wall of the can bottom is substantially circular and perpendicular to the bottom surface, and the can, when closed, has a size and shape which can be easily carried by a user and which can receive the contents of a package of smokeless tobacco normally sold for daily use.

The circular side wall 18 of the can bottom 14 can have a height of substantially ⅞ of an inch from the inside surface of the bottom of the can and an inside diameter of substantially 2½ inches. Compacting vane 26 located in the can bottom is securely attached to the bottom surface 24 and wall 18 of the can and has a height of substantially ¾ of an inch. In this embodiment compacting vane is substantially ⅛ of an inch below the top of side wall 18. Compacting vane 26 can have a length of substantially 1 3/16 of an inch to locate the end of the compacting vane substantially 1/16 of an inch back from the center of the can. The width of the vane can be, more or less, substantially 1/16 of an inch thick.

Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown a perspective view looking up into the lid of an open can positioned next to said open can for holding smokeless tobacco where the lid has a compacting vane 22 which extends down from the inside surface of the lid 12 for a distance which is slightly less than the depth of the bottom member to allow lid 12 to be placed onto bottom member 14 of the can so as to sit on the top open portion of 14 can formed by side 18.

FIG. 2 shows a bottom view of the can 10. The bottom surface 24 on the can has a circular indentation.

Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown a perspective view of the top and bottom of the lid of the can. The circular wall 16 of the lid has a height of substantially ¼ of an inch and an inside diameter of substantially 2½ inches plus twice the thickness of the wall 18 of the can. The inside diameter of the wall of the lid is such that it can be received by the outside surface of the wall of the can bottom with a snug sliding fit, and can be easily rotated while on the can bottom in a clockwise and/or a counter-clockwise direction. Compacting vane 22 is securely attached to the inside surface of the top of the lid, has a length of substantially 1⅛ inches, and a depth which is slightly less than the depth of the bottom member to allow the lid to be placed on the bottom member

The outer most end of compacting vane 22 which is close to wall 16 is positioned to provide a gap of substantially 1/16 of an inch between the inside surface of wall 16 and the end 28 of compacting vane 22. The other end 30 of vane 22 is located substantially 1/16 of an inch back from the center of the lid to provide clearance between the ends of the compacting vanes 22 and 26 (visible in FIG. 1) as they move past each other. The height of compacting vane 22 is substantially ¾ of an inch to provide a clearance of substantially ⅛ of an inch between the bottom end of vane 22 and the bottom surface of the can bottom when the lid is slideably connected to the can bottom.

Referring to FIG. 4, the top of the lid can have a circular depressed area 21 which is adapted to receive a disk having graphics or a picture. The disk can be of metal or plastic and can be either removed or replaced by a user as desired. In some instances the picture may be of a significant other.

The smokeless tobacco can 10, including the compacting vanes, can be made of a durable plastic material or of a metal.

In operation a user purchases a packet of smokeless tobacco and transfers the contents of the purchased packet to the bottom member of the can here disclosed. The user then places the lid 12 on the top of bottom member of the can with the compacting vane in the cap positioned about 90 degrees to either the left or right of the compacting vane in the bottom member of the can.

The location of the two compacting vanes relative to each other is determined by the user.

In another method of use, the vanes can be located 180 degrees apart to form a straight line.

At this time the smokeless tobacco in the can is in an enclosed area not exposed to the air and is not compacted.

When the user decides to enjoy the use of smokeless tobacco, with the lid still on the bottom member and with the vanes about 90 degrees apart, he/she turns the lid relative to the bottom member back and forth a number of times to urge the two compacting vanes to move toward and away from each other to compact the smokeless tobacco located between the two compacting vanes into a tight wad. After a few back and forth turns the user removes the lid from the bottom member, removes a desired portion of the compacted smokeless tobacco from the bottom member of the can for use, and then replaces the lid onto the bottom member.

In the method of use where the vanes are 180 degrees apart, the user turns the lid relative to the bottom member clockwise until a desired resistance is felt, and then repeats the turning process but now in a counter-clockwise direction until a desired resistance is felt. This is repeated a number of time until the user feels that the pack is sufficiently tight. The user now removes the lid and takes the tightly compacted pack out of the bottom member for enjoyment.

With the can here disclosed, a user can obtain a very tightly compacted pack of smokeless tobacco without squeezing loose particles between his/her fingers, without making any noise, and all with a minimum of noticeable hand movements.

Looking at FIG. 5, there is shown the tops of five cans to which graphics have been have be added. The cans are made of metal or plastic and can be painted or covered with a wrap of paper or plastic which shows a picture or graphics selected by a user. The top surface of the lid can include a depressed area for accepting a metal insert such as aluminum or a plastic insert which has a picture or graphics. The graphics or a picture may be provided by the user. The insert can be of metal with engravings or of plastic with graphics printed on it. The use of graphics is not limited to the lid and can also cover the side and at least a portion of the bottom of the can.

Looking at FIG. 6, there is shown the bottoms of five cans where graphics are on the side and part of the bottoms of the cans.

With this invention a user has the ability to place a picture of graphics on a part of the can or wrap the entire can with custom graphics of his/her choice. In addition, a user has the ability to change the insert on the top of the can or completely change the look of the can on any given day.

A group of users who may find the disclosed can for smokeless tobacco particularly useful are Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen in combat situations that want to dip, and do so without making any noise or movements that may reveal their position to an enemy.

Another group of users of the invention may be hunters who do not want to be spotted by the animals they are hunting.

While there have been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to the preferred embodiments, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes of the form and details of the apparatus illustrated and in the operation may be done by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention.