Title:
Holder for a child's beverage cup
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Provided is holder/insulator for carrying a child's nippled cup. The holder includes an insulative base and a top. The top includes an aperture for receiving a nipple of the nippled cup when the cup is in the base and the base and top are engaged. The aperture is surrounded by a sealing member, such as a grommet, for further securing the cup to the holder and helping to contain any fluids inside the holder. An engaging means, such as a zipper or a hook and loop fastener, is connected between the top and the base for selectively engaging a lower rim of the top to an upper rim of the base. A hinge is provided between the top and the base. The hinge allows the top to rotatingly separate from the base. A hook is also connected to the top for selectively engaging the holder to an external item.



Inventors:
Watson, Russell (Euless, TX, US)
Application Number:
09/781923
Publication Date:
08/15/2002
Filing Date:
02/12/2001
Assignee:
WATSON RUSSELL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D81/38; (IPC1-7): B65D25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOY, JOSEPH MAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAYNES AND BOONE, LLP (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A holder for carrying a nippled cup, comprising: an insulative base; a top including an aperture for receiving a nipple of the nippled cup when the cup is inserted in the base and when the base and the top are engaged; engaging means connected between the top and the base for selectively securing a lower rim of the top to an upper rim of the base; a hinging member between the top and the base and about which the top can rotate; and a hook connected to the top for selectively attaching the holder to an external item.

2. The holder of claim 1 further comprising: a strap connected to the insulative base for receiving and engaging with a child's hand.

3. The holder of claim 1 wherein the hook is connected to the top at a spaced distance from the lower rim of the top so that when the hook is attached to the external item and the lower rim of the top is not attached to the upper rim of the base, the lower rim of the top separates from the upper rim of the base.

4. The holder of claim 1 further comprising: a sleeve for receiving an identification marker.

5. The holder of claim 1 wherein the engaging means is a zipper.

6. The holder of claim 1 wherein the engaging means utilizes a hook and loop fastener system.

7. A holder for carrying a nippled cup, comprising: an insulative base having an opening capable of receiving a first portion of the nippled cup; an insulative top including an aperture; engaging means connected between the top and the base for selectively engaging a lower rim of the top to the opening of the base, wherein when the lower rim of the top is engaged with the opening of the base, a nipple of the nipple cup protrudes through the aperture of the top; the engaging means including a rotating portion about which the top and base can rotatingly separate from each other; and a hook connected to the top at a spaced distance from the lower rim of the top so that when the hook is attached to the external item and the lower rim of the top is not attached to the upper rim of the base, the lower rim of the top separates from the upper rim of the base.

8. A holder for carrying a nippled cup, comprising: an insulative base having an opening capable of receiving a first portion of the nippled cup; an insulative top including an aperture surrounded by a grommet; engaging means connected between the top and the base for selectively engaging a lower rim of the top to the opening of the base, wherein when the lower rim of the top is engaged with the opening of the base, a nipple of the nipple cup protrudes through the aperture of the top and is sealed by the grommet; and the engaging means including a rotating portion about which the top and base can rotatingly separate from each other.

9. The holder of claim 8 further comprising: a hook connected to the top at a spaced distance from the lower rim of the top so that when the hook is attached to the external item and the lower rim of the top is not attached to the upper rim of the base, the lower rim of the top separates from the upper rim of the base.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This invention relates generally to beverage containers, and more particularly to an insulative holder for a nippled beverage container.

BACKGROUND

[0002] There are various types of cups or containers for different situations and different individuals. Many cups are nippled, such as a spill-proof “sippy” cup often used by toddlers and children. A sippy cup typically has a lid of some type, be it screw-on or snap-on, and a nipple around which a child can place his or her mouth. One of the advantages of the sippy cup is that it is very clean, and spills very little, if any, when tipped over or held upside down. This advantage is especially important for toddlers and children, who are often prone to accidents and spills.

[0003] However, there has not yet been any type of insulator for the sippy cup. Furthermore, there is not a clear and easy way to identify the cup with a particular child. Still further, there has not been a convenient way to handle and store the sippy cup when it is not in use.

SUMMARY

[0004] A technical advance is provided by a new and improved holder for carrying a nippled cup. The holder includes an insulative base and a top. The top includes an aperture for receiving a nipple of the nippled cup when the cup is in the base and the base and top are engaged. In some embodiments, the aperture may be surrounded by a sealing member, such as a grommet, for further securing the cup to the holder and helping to contain any fluids inside the holder.

[0005] An engaging means, such as a zipper or a hook and loop fastener, is connected between the top and the base for selectively engaging a lower rim of the top to an upper rim of the base. A hinging member may be provided between the top and the base. The hinging member allows the top to rotatingly separate from the base.

[0006] In some embodiments, a hook is connected to the top for selectively attaching the holder to an external item. The hook may be connected to an upper portion of the top, at a spaced distance from the lower rim. Therefore, when the hook is attached to the external item and the lower rim of the top is not attached to the upper rim of the base, the lower rim of the top separates from the upper rim of the base. This facilitates easy insertion and removal of the cup from the base.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 provides a side, isometric view of a beverage holder according to one embodiment of the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 2 illustrates the beverage holder of FIG. 1 carrying a sippy cup and being held by a child.

[0009] FIG. 3 is a side view of the beverage holder of FIG. 1 carrying a sippy cup.

[0010] FIG. 4 is a top view of the beverage holder of FIG. 1.

[0011] FIG. 5 is a side, cross-sectional view of the beverage holder of FIG. 1.

[0012] FIG. 6 is a side, cross-sectional view of a beverage holder receiving a sippy cup according to another embodiment of the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 7 is a side, cross-sectional view of the beverage holder of FIG. 6.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

[0014] The present invention provides a new and unique holder for a nippled beverage container, such as a child's “sippy” cup. It is understood that the present disclosure provides many different embodiments, or examples, for implementing different features of the invention. Specific examples, features, and layout configurations are described below to clarify the present disclosure. These are, of course, merely examples and are not intended to limit the invention from that described in the claims.

[0015] Referring to FIGS. 1-5, the reference numeral 10 generally represents a holder according to one or more embodiments of the present invention. The holder 10 includes a base 12 that is constructed primarily out of a flexible, insulative material. The insulative material may be a rubber-foam type product with a waterproof nylon coating 12a. The nylon coating 12a may be of various colors (e.g., red, blue) to help identify one holder from other similar holders. The nylon coating 12a also helps to receive and attach other components of the holder 10. Other materials include canvas or hard plastic.

[0016] The holder 10 may also include a clear plastic sleeve 14. The sleeve 14 includes an opening for receiving a name plate, such as a piece of paper. The name plate can include a child's name for identification purposes, and the sleeve 14 will keep the name plate relatively dry and protected.

[0017] The holder 10 may also include one or more straps 16. The straps 16 are of sufficient size, shape, and flexibility to receive a child's hand (e.g. the hand 18 of FIG. 2). The straps 16 may also be made of nylon or canvas, and may either match the color of the shell 12a, or be of a neutral color (e.g., black).

[0018] The holder 10 also includes a lid or top 20. The top 20 may be constructed similarly to the insulative base 12. However, in some embodiments, the top 20 may be relatively thin, in comparison to the insulative base 12, to facilitate the use of a nipple on the sippy cup, as discussed in further detail below. For example, the top 20 can be constructed solely out of nylon material.

[0019] Referring specifically to FIG. 5, the holder 10, with the top 20, is sized appropriately to receive and frictionally engage with a container 22 (shown in phantom), such as a sippy cup, having a nipple 24. The top can rotate about a hinge 26 so that when it is open, the container 22 can be easily inserted and removed into the insulative base 12. The hinge 26 may be made of the same material as the base 12 and top 20 (e.g., in the case of the base 12 and top 20 being canvas), or may be a mechanical hinge (e.g., in the case of the base 12 and/or the top 20 being hard plastic). In some embodiments, the hinge may include a spring to secure and engage the top 20 to the base 12.

[0020] Referring to all the figures, the top 20 also includes an opening 28, so that when the top is closed, the nipple 24 can extend through the opening. It is desired to allow a child to access the container 22 through the nipple 24 while the top is closed.

[0021] Referring specifically to FIG. 4, in some embodiments, the opening 28 is surrounded by a grommet 28a. In the preferred embodiment, the grommet 28a is made of rubber or other flexible material. The grommet 28a operates as a sealing member between the holder 10 and the nipple 24 of the container 22. In this way, any condensation or leakage that occurs from liquid inside the container 22 will be contained inside the holder.

[0022] The top 20 may also include a hanger hook 30. In some embodiments (e.g., FIG. 3), the hanger hook 30 is connected to the hinge 26. In other embodiments (e.g., FIG. 5), the hanger hook 30 is connected to the top 20, above the hinge 26. Although not shown, the hanger hook 30 is selectively attachable to external items, such things as a stroller or a diaper bag.

[0023] In the embodiments of FIGS. 1-5, the top 20 and the insulative base 12 include mating portions of a zipper 32. The zipper 32 works with the hinge 26 to selectively secure the top 20 to the base 12.

[0024] Referring specifically to FIG. 5, when the hanger hook 30 is connected to the top 20, the hanger serves to help separate the base 12 from the top. For example, when the hanger hook 30 is connected to an external item (e.g. a stroller) and the zipper 32 is open, a center of gravity for the base 12 (with or without the container 22 inserted) causes the base to rotate about the hinge 26. As a result, the holder 10 is opened so that the container 22 can be easily inserted or removed. This operation is especially beneficial because an operator can insert or remove the container 22 by using just one hand.

[0025] Referring now to FIGS. 6-7, the reference numeral 40 designates another embodiment of a holder. The holder 40 includes a hook and loop fastener system 42, instead of or in addition to the zipper 32, for securing the top 20 to the base 12. The hook and loop fastener system 24 may also be used with the strap(s) 16 and/or the hanger hook 30.

[0026] While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to the preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing form the spirit and scope of the invention.