Title:
Unitary beverage insulating jacket with contouring for placement in a vehicle's cup holder or the like
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A beverage insulating jacket comprising a top insulating receptacle having a bore dimensioned to receive a beverage container or can. The jacket further includes a lower portion unitarily and integrally formed with the top insulating receptacle having a perimeter circumference dimensioned for direct insertion into a beverage holding receptacle of a vehicle, a chair, etc.



Inventors:
Lane, Walter E. (Lakeland, FL, US)
Application Number:
09/783907
Publication Date:
08/22/2002
Filing Date:
02/16/2001
Assignee:
LANE WALTER E.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D81/38; (IPC1-7): B65D25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
George A Bode (New Orleans, LA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed as invention is:



1. A beverage insulating jacket comprising: a unitary and homogenous insulating structure having a top portion and a lower portion made of an insulating material, said top portion has formed therein a bore forming an insulating receptacle dimensioned to receive therein a beverage container and said lower portion has a height and a perimeter circumference dimensioned for insertion directly into a beverage or cup holding receptacle.

2. The jacket of claim 1, wherein said lower portion is solid and has a tapering perimeter wall having a top end and a bottom end wherein the top end has a larger circumference than said bottom end.

3. The jacket of claim 2, wherein the top portion comprises: a top section having a perimeter wall, which has a constant circumference; and, a bottom section having a tapering perimeter wall.

4. The jacket of claim 3, wherein said height of said lower portion is at least a depth of said beverage or cup holding receptacle; and, said lower portion begins at an end of said bore.

5. The jacket of claim 1, wherein the bore is dimensioned to support therein a 12-ounce beverage can, a bottle, or a paper cup.

6. The jacket of claim 1, wherein said insulating material is made of a lightweight, foamed material.

7. The jacket of claim 6, wherein said lightweight, foamed material is Styrofoam.

8. The jacket of claim 6, wherein said lightweight, foamed material comprises polyethylene foamed plastic.

9. A beverage insulating jacket comprising: a top insulating receptacle having a central cylindrical bore dimensioned to receive therein a beverage container; and, a lower portion unitarily and integrally formed with said top insulating receptacle having a height and a perimeter circumference dimensioned for direct insertion into a beverage holding receptacle.

10. The jacket of claim 9, wherein said lower portion is solid and has a tapering perimeter wall having a top end and a bottom end wherein the top end has a larger circumference than said bottom end.

11. The jacket of claim 10, wherein the top insulating receptacle comprises: a top section having a perimeter wall which has a constant circumference; and, a bottom section having a tapering perimeter wall wherein the smallest outer perimeter circumference of said top insulating receptacle is larger than the largest outer perimeter circumference of said lower portion.

12. The jacket of claim 9, wherein said height of said lower portion is at least a depth of said beverage holding receptacle.

13. The jacket of claim 9, wherein the cylindrical bore is dimensioned to support therein a 12-ounce beverage can, a bottle, or a paper cup.

14. The jacket of claim 9, wherein said insulating material is made of a lightweight, foamed material.

15. The jacket of claim 14, wherein said lightweight, foamed material is Styrofoam.

16. The jacket of claim 14, wherein said lightweight, foamed material comprises polyethylene foamed plastic.

17. A beverage insulating jacket comprising: means for insulating a beverage container; and, means, unitarily and integrally formed with and below said insulating means, for securing said insulating means directly in a beverage holding receptacle wherein said insulating means and said securing means are made of a homogenous insulating material which is a lightweight, foamed material.

18. The jacket of claim 17, wherein said securing means is solid and has a tapering perimeter wall having a top end and a bottom end wherein the top end has a larger circumference than said bottom end.

19. The jacket of claim 18, wherein the insulating means comprises: a top section having a perimeter wall which has a constant circumference; and, a bottom section having a tapering perimeter wall wherein the smallest outer perimeter circumference of said insulating means is larger than the largest outer perimeter circumference of said securing means.

20. The jacket of claim 19, wherein said lightweight, foamed material is Styrofoam or polyethylene foamed plastic.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to insulating beverage holders and, more particularly, to a unitary beverage insulating jacket having a lower end contoured for placement in a vehicle's cup holder.

[0003] 2. General Background

[0004] Beverage insulating jackets or “Huggies“ are popular for keeping cold canned beverages colder longer. The beverage insulating jackets are made of a soft or resilient foamed rubber or foamed plastic which is lightweight and inexpensive. Since these beverage insulating jackets fully encircle the beverage can, the perimeter circumference is much greater than the perimeter circumference of the can itself. For example, some insulating jackets have a diameter which is 3½ to 4 inches and a 12-ounce can may have a diameter of 2½ to 2¾ inches.

[0005] While cup holders or receptacles installed in vehicles accommodate a variety of can or cup sizes these cup holders or receptacles typically have an interior perimeter circumference which is smaller than the perimeter circumference of the beverage insulating jackets.

[0006] Several devices have been patented which are directed to beverage holder adaptors.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 5,669,538 issued to W. M. Ward, entitled “BOTTOM CLOSURE WITH AUTOMOBILE DRINK-HOLDER ADAPTOR FOR A SLEEVE-TYPE BEVERAGE INSULATOR,” discloses a sleeve-type tubular beverage insulator and holder in combination with a disk-shaped bottom closure and an adaptor. The adaptor has a hollow frustum with a circular open top and a base which is slightly smaller than the diameter of an automobile drink holder.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 5,052,649 issued to C. D. Hunnicutt, entitled “DRINK HOLDER ADAPTER,” discloses a beverage holder adapter for placement into a beverage receptacle, such as in a chair's arm, and for receiving a beverage container, such as a can, held within a tubular insulating beverage holder. The adapter is made of a low density polyethylene and has cylindrical upper and lower portions which include deformable rib members. Such lower portion is sized to fit in the receptacle.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 5,743,504 issued to J. A. Miller, entitled “VESSEL HOLDING ADAPTER,” discloses a beverage holder adapter for retaining a beverage container, which is in an insulated holder, in a receptacle. The receptacle is one which is commonly found in golf carts and automobiles, of which the holding cavity is of a different size than the container. The adapter has sets of opposed vertical arms between which the holder holding the container can be placed. The adapter further includes transversely arranged lower portions sized for placement into the cavity of the receptacle.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 5,745,565 issued to Ericsson, Inc., on the application of I. N. Wakefield, entitled “COMBINATION CUP AND CELLULAR PHONE HOLDER,” discloses a combination beverage and cellular phone holder which is adapted for insertion into an existing vehicle beverage holder. The beverage and cellular phone holder includes a beverage holder and a phone holder and an integral bridging member which is secures the phone holder from a sidewall of the beverage holder. The beverage holder has sidewalls which are generally tapered to fit in the vehicles' beverage holder.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 5,088,673 issued to C. Chandler, entitled “CUP ADAPTER FOR USE IN CYLINDRICAL SOCKETS”; and, U.S. Pat. No. 5,676,340 issued to W. Ruhnau, entitled “ADAPTOR WITH OFFSET BASE FOR VEHICLE BEVERAGE RECEPTACLES” both disclose adapters with enlarged upper diameters and smaller, lower diameters for use in cylindrical vehicle beverage receptacles.

[0012] Other adapters include U.S. Pat. No. 5,180,088, issued to V. de Angeli, entitled “ADAPTER FOR RECEIVING RECTANGULAR BEVERAGE CONTAINERS”; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,099,062, issued to Siegel, entitled “SQUARE/ROUND BEVERAGE CONTAINER RECEPTACLE FOR AUTOMOTIVE VEHICLE CUP HOLDERS” none of which meet the needs of the present invention.

[0013] As can be appreciated, there is a continuing need for a unitary beverage insulating jacket which has an end contoured for direct placement into a conventional beverage or cup holder.

[0014] As will be seen more fully below, the present invention is substantially different in structure, methodology and approach from that of the prior adapters for use with beverage insulating jackets.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0015] The preferred embodiment of the unitary beverage insulating jacket of the present invention solves the aforementioned problems in a straight forward and simple manner.

[0016] Broadly, what is provided is a beverage insulating jacket comprising a unitary and homogenous insulating structure having a top portion and a lower portion made of an insulating material. The top portion has formed therein a bore forming an insulating receptacle dimensioned to receive therein a beverage container. The lower portion has a height and a perimeter circumference dimensioned for insertion directly into a beverage or cup holding receptacle.

[0017] In view of the above, an object of the present invention is to provide beverage insulating jacket having a lower portion which is solid and has a tapering perimeter wall having a top end and a bottom end wherein the top end has a larger circumference than the bottom end.

[0018] Another object of the present invention is to provide a beverage insulating jacket having a top portion which includes a top section having a perimeter wall which has a constant circumference and a bottom section having a tapering perimeter wall.

[0019] A further object of the present invention is to provide a beverage insulating jacket having a central bore which is dimensioned to support therein a 12-ounce beverage can, a bottle, or a paper cup.

[0020] A still further object of the present invention is to provide a beverage insulating jacket which is made of a lightweight, foamed material such as Styrofoam. polyethylene foamed plastic or a foam rubber.

[0021] The present invention further contemplates a beverage insulating jacket comprising a top insulating receptacle having a central cylindrical bore dimensioned to receive therein a beverage container; and a lower portion unitarily and integrally formed with the top insulating receptacle having a height and a perimeter circumference dimensioned for direct insertion into a beverage holding receptacle.

[0022] In view of the above, a feature of the present invention is to provide a unitary beverage insulating jacket which is easy to use.

[0023] Another feature of the present invention is to provide a unitary beverage insulating jacket which is relatively simple structurally and thus simple to manufacture.

[0024] A still further feature of the present invention is to provide a unitary beverage insulating jacket which eliminates the need for adaptors while providing insulating capabilities for keeping a cold beverage colder longer or a hot beverage hot longer.

[0025] The above and other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the drawings, the description given herein, and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0026] For a further understanding of the nature and objects of the present invention, reference should be had to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like parts are given like reference numerals and, wherein:

[0027] FIG. 1 illustrates an exploded view of the unitary beverage insulating jacket in line with a beverage container or can and a cup holder;

[0028] FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the unitary beverage insulating jacket of the present invention with the beverage container inserted;

[0029] FIG. 3 illustrates a partial view of the unitary beverage insulating jacket with advertising incorporated therewith;

[0030] FIG. 4 illustrates a top view of the unitary beverage insulating jacket;

[0031] FIG. 5 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the unitary beverage insulating jacket; and

[0032] FIG. 6 illustrates a side view unitary beverage insulating jacket.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0033] Referring now to the drawings and in particular FIGS. 1-5, the insulating jacket of the present invention of the present invention is generally referenced by the numeral 10. The unitary beverage insulating jacket 10 of the present invention is best shown in FIG. 2 and functions to (1) insulate a beverage container or can 5 so that the beverage remains colder longer; and (2) directly fit into or be directly supported in a vehicle's beverage holding receptacle 7 or other beverage holder, such as found in chairs.

[0034] The unitary beverage insulating jacket 10 comprises, in general, a unitary and homogeneous insulating body or structure 20 having a top portion 30 and a lower portion 40 made of an insulating material. The insulating material is made of a lightweight, foamed material such as Styrofoam, polyethylene foamed plastic or other lightweight foamed rubber.

[0035] The top portion 30 has formed therein a cylindrical bore 32 forming an insulating receptacle dimensioned to receive therein a beverage container or can 5. For example, the cylindrical bore 32 is dimensioned to support therein a 12-ounce beverage can 5, a bottle, or a paper cup. The top portion 30 comprises a top section 36 having a perimeter wall 37 which has a constant circumference the length thereof and a bottom section 38 having a slightly tapering perimeter wall 39.

[0036] The lower portion 40 has a height H and a perimeter circumference dimensioned for insertion into a beverage holding receptacle 7, as best seen in FIG. 1. As best seen in FIG. 5, the lower portion 40 is solid and has a tapering outer perimeter wall 42 having a top end 44 and a bottom end 45 wherein the top end 44 has a larger circumference than the bottom end 45. In the exemplary embodiment, the lower portion 40 begins substantially at the end of the cylindrical bore 32. As can be appreciated, maintaining a certain thickness of the insulating material around the cylindrical bore 32 assists in insulating the beverage container or can 5.

[0037] In the preferred embodiment, the height H of the lower portion 30 is at least a depth of the beverage holding receptacle 7.

[0038] In operation, the user places the beverage container or can 5 of a cold beverage in bore 32 or insulating receptacle of the top portion 30 of the jacket 10. When not drinking, the user places lower portion 40 into the conventional beverage holding receptacle 7 which is mounted in the vehicle in which he is driving or riding or mounted in a chair. Jacket 10, therefore, allows the user to enjoy a cold beverage with the beverage remaining colder longer when in a moving vehicle or sitting in a chair and allows the user's hands to be freed-up by placing the jacket 10 in the beverage holding receptacle 7 when not drinking.

[0039] The unitary insulating jacket 10 may also be used with hot beverages such as those sold in paper cups, etc.

[0040] Because many varying and differing embodiments may be made within the scope of the inventive concept herein taught and because many modifications may be made in the embodiment herein detailed in accordance with the descriptive requirement of the law, it is to be understood that the details herein are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense: