Title:
Bottle assembly with removable container assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A plastic bottle assembly includes a bottle having a bottom, a generally cylindrical body extending from the bottom, and a top opening opposite the bottom. A multi-compartment container assembly is removably secured to a lower portion of the bottle.



Inventors:
Paslawski, Ray N. (St. Louis, MO, US)
Shevin-sandy, Bonni (Morton Grove, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/894571
Publication Date:
01/26/2006
Filing Date:
07/20/2004
Assignee:
DARD PRODUCTS, INC.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/381, 215/900, 215/DIG.3, 215/6
International Classes:
B65D1/04; B65D6/08; B65D6/10; B65D90/02
View Patent Images:
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20100032437Container with TransponderFebruary, 2010Lossau
20080283420Distributed Gas StorageNovember, 2008Stenmark
20030141300Crate locking deviceJuly, 2003French
20090194551MULTI-POSITIONABLE STORAGE-DISPLAY BOXAugust, 2009Bussiere



Primary Examiner:
WALKER, NED ANDREW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREER, BURNS & CRAIN, LTD (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A plastic bottle assembly comprising: a bottle having a bottom, a generally cylindrical body extending from said bottom, and a top opening opposite said bottom; and a multi-compartment container assembly removably secured to a lower portion of said bottle.

2. The assembly of claim 1 further including an upper shell secured over an upper portion of said body, said shell comprising a neck with a threaded top opening configured to surround said bottle top opening.

3. The assembly of claim 2 further including a cap threadably secured to said top opening of said shell.

4. The assembly of claim 3 further including a tether secured to said cap, the tether secured to and extending transversely from an upper perimeter of said cap.

5. The assembly of claim 1 further including a ring secured to said bottle adjacent said bottom and wherein said multi-compartment container assembly is removably secured to a lower perimeter edge of said ring.

6. The assembly of claim 5 wherein said ring is secured to a lower perimeter edge of said bottle bottom either by at least one of a chemical adhesive and sonic welding.

7. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said body is configured to be collapsible by axial compression when said bottle is empty of liquid.

8. The assembly of claim 7 wherein said collapsible body is provided with a plurality of transverse fluting grooves.

9. The assembly of claim 8 wherein each of said plurality of transverse fluting grooves is substantially V-shaped.

10. The assembly of claim 8 further including a plurality of outwardly projecting radiused edges formed at a bottom perimeter of each said fluting groove, said edges configured for obscuring said fluting grooves when said bottle is axially compressed.

11. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said container assembly further includes a cup with a bottom and a perimeter side wall extending from an upper perimeter edge of said bottom, defining an upper opening.

12. The assembly of claim 11 further including a ring secured to said bottle adjacent said bottom wherein an inner perimeter of said ring includes at least one of a complementary lug and groove attachment configured for being secured to said cup.

13. The assembly of claim 12 wherein said container assembly comprises a container including a plurality of compartments and being configured for insertion in said cup.

14. The assembly of claim 13 wherein each of said plurality of container compartments is radially displaced from a central portion of said container.

15. The assembly of claim 13 wherein said assembly further includes a container lid removably secured to cover said container, said container lid having a plurality of individually openable covers configured to correspond to the plurality of compartments in the container.

16. The assembly of claim 15 wherein said pill container is provided with a hole in a center of said container configured for receiving a cylindrical protrusion extending from a bottom of said container lid.

17. The assembly of claim 15 wherein an interior of each of the plurality of pill container compartments includes at least one of a complementary lug and groove attachment configured for being secured to said container lid.

18. The assembly of claim 15 wherein each of said container lid covers includes at least one of a complementary lug and groove attachment configured for being secured to said container.

19. A pill container assembly configured for engaging a bottle, comprising: a cup with a bottom and a perimeter side wall extending from an upper perimeter edge of said bottom, defining an upper opening, said cup being configured for attachment to a bottle bottom; a container configured for insertion into said cup, and including a plurality of compartments; and a container lid configured to fit over said container, said container lid including a plurality of covers, each of said covers being configured to correspond with each of said compartments.

20. A collapsible bottle assembly configured for receiving a multi-compartment container assembly, comprising: a bottle having a bottom, a generally cylindrical collapsible body extending from said bottom, said collapsible body comprising a plurality of transverse substantially V-shaped fluting grooves and a plurality of outwardly projecting radiused edges formed at a bottom perimeter of each said fluting groove, said edges configured for obscuring said fluting grooves when said bottle is axially compressed, and a top opening opposite said bottom; and a multi-compartment container assembly removably secured to a lower portion of said bottle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to plastic water bottles, and specifically to a water bottle assembly having a container removeably connected to a lower portion of the water bottle.

The use of plastic water bottles for drinking is well known in the art, and various structural configurations are known, the main purpose of which is to provide a receptacle for containing water or other beverages. It is also known in the art that these bottles can either be collapsible or non-collapsible. Typically, the former are collapsible by axial compression when the bottle is empty of liquid. U.S. Pat. No. 5,746,339 discloses such a collapsible bottle.

Many people take medication or vitamins to preserve weight, beauty and/or health, among other reasons. Such pills must sometimes be ingested at inconvenient times or when one is away from a sink, drinking fountain, or other fixed source of drinking water. Thus, many people travel with their pills and a water bottle so that the medication can be taken at their leisure. However, because the pills and bottle are typically located separately from each other, it is sometimes difficult to handle both at once, or in some cases, it is easy to misplace one or the other. It is easy to imagine one dropping his or her medication while attempting to unscrew the top of the water bottle, or leaving the medication at home on the counter but remembering to pack a water bottle.

Thus, there is a need for a bottle assembly that includes a container assembly that can be easily secured to and removed from the bottle, especially where the container assembly is used for storage purposes.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above-identified needs are addressed by the present bottle assembly. One feature of the present bottle assembly is a bottle that is both suitable for retaining drinking water or other beverage and is configured for removably engaging a preferably multi-compartment container assembly. The present container assembly includes a plurality of container compartments and corresponding container compartment lids or covers. The container compartments are configured for receiving items such as pills or other medications that are taken with water or other beverage found in the bottle. An optional feature of the present bottle assembly is that the body of the bottle can be manufactured to be either collapsible or non-collapsible, depending on the preference or needs of the user.

More specifically, the present assembly provides a plastic bottle assembly having a bottle and a multi-compartment container assembly. The bottle has a bottom, a generally cylindrical body that extends from the bottom, and a top opening that is located opposite from the bottom. It is preferred that the container assembly is removably secured to a lower portion of the bottle.

In a second embodiment, a pill container assembly is configured for engaging a bottle. Included with the pill container assembly are a cup, a container and a container lid. The cup has a bottom and a perimeter side wall extending from an upper perimeter edge of the bottom, defining an upper opening. It is contemplated that the cup is configured for attachment to a bottle bottom. A plurality of compartments are provided within the container, which is configured for insertion into the cup. Finally, the container lid is configured to fit over the container, and has a plurality of covers. Each of the covers in the container lid is configured to correspond with one of the compartments within the container.

The present bottle may also be collapsible and configured for receiving a multi-compartment container assembly. It is preferred that the container assembly is removably secured to a lower portion of the bottle. The bottle has a bottom, a generally cylindrical collapsible body extending from the bottom, and a top opening that is opposite the bottom. The collapsible body includes a plurality of transverse, substantially “V”-shaped fluting grooves. A plurality of outwardly projecting radiused edges are formed at the bottom of each of the fluting grooves and is configured for obscuring the fluting grooves when the bottle is axially compressed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is an exploded perspective view of the upper portion of the present bottle assembly;

FIG. 1B is an exploded perspective view of the present bottle body and ring;

FIG. 1C is an exploded perspective view of the present container assembly;

FIG. 2 is an assembled perspective of the assembly of FIG. 1 in a collapsed position; and

FIG. 3 is an enlarged inside view of the present container assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1A-1C, a plastic bottle assembly is generally designated as 10. Included in the assembly 10 is a bottle generally designated 12 suitable for retaining drinking water or other beverage having a bottom 14. Extending from the bottom 14 is a generally cylindrical body 16. Opposite the bottom 14 is a top opening 18. The bottle assembly 10 further includes a multi-compartment container assembly generally designated 20 that is removably secured to a lower portion of the bottle 12. It is contemplated that the bottle 12 is manufactured from a durable and flexible thermoplastic, although it is contemplated that other materials may be used, as are known in the art. Many suitable techniques for making the bottle 12 are contemplated, including but not limited to blow molding or injection molding. It is further contemplated that the multi-compartment container assembly 20 is manufactured from a rigid thermoplastic that will retain its shape, as is known by those skilled in the art. The multi-compartment container assembly 20 and its components can be manufactured through a process such as injection molding, although other similar conventional fabrication or production techniques are contemplated.

An upper shell generally designated 22 is secured over an upper portion of the body 16, and includes a threaded neck 24 with a top opening 26 that is configured to surround the bottle top opening 18. It is contemplated that the upper shell 22 can be manufactured in a collapsible form if the bottle 12 is configured to be axially compressed. If the upper shell 22 is manufactured in this manner, it is contemplated that an upper portion 23a of the upper shell 22 will collapse into the upper shell, as shown in FIG. 2. A lower portion 23b of the upper shell 22 retains its shape when the upper shell is collapsed. The bottle assembly 10 further includes a cap 28 that is preferably threadably secured to the top opening 26 of the shell 22. Although the present bottle assembly 10 discloses a threaded top opening and cap, it is contemplated that the cap 28 can be secured to the top opening 26 by a snap-fit or other means of attachment as are known by those skilled in the art. In addition, it is contemplated that the cap 28 optionally includes a pop-up drinking spout or a pivoting spout (not shown). However, the present assembly 10 is not limited to these types of caps or spouts.

The present bottle assembly 10 further includes a tether 30 that has a first end 30a that is secured to and extends transversely from a snap-fit tab 31 engageable on the cap 28. A second end 30b of the tether 30 can be secured to the neck 24 of the upper shell 22, underneath the cap 28, thus maintaining a connection between the tether 30 and the bottle assembly 10. As is known in the art, the purpose of the tether 30 is to maintain a connection between the cap 28 and the bottle 12 when the cap 28 is unfastened from the neck 24, as occurs when the user is drinking from, or refilling the bottle 12. Because the cap is normally a small component of a bottle assembly 10, it can easily be misplaced or dropped when unfastening the cap from the bottle 12. Thus, the tether 30 prevents the cap 28 from being entirely separated from the bottle 12.

Referring to FIG. 1B, the present bottle assembly 10 also includes a ring 32 that is secured to the bottle 12 adjacent to the bottom 14. The ring 32 is preferably secured to the bottle 12 by means of either a chemical adhesive or sonic welding. However, it is contemplated that other means of attachment are possible, as are known in the art, and the present assembly is not limited to the means disclosed. The multi-compartment container assembly 20 is removably secured to a lower perimeter edge 34 of the ring 32.

As previously mentioned, the present bottle assembly 10 preferably includes either a non-collapsible or a collapsible body. Referring now to FIG. 2, the collapsible body 36 is shown in its fully collapsed form. The body 36 is configured to be collapsible by axial compression when the bottle 12 is empty of liquid, or at least is less than full. The collapsible body 36 is provided with a plurality of transverse fluting grooves 38, best seen in FIG. 1B. Each of the transverse fluting grooves 38 is substantially “V”-shaped when viewed from the side. The collapsible body 36 further includes a plurality of outwardly projecting radiused edges 40 that are formed at a bottom perimeter of each fluting groove 38. The radiused edges 40 facilitate manufacturing of the bottle 12 and are configured for obscuring the fluting grooves 38 when the bottle 12 is axially compressed. It is contemplated that because the “V”-shaped fluting grooves and the radiused edges 40 are in the immediate vicinity of each other, the rigidity of the rounded edges of the empty bottle is reduced. Therefore, the bottle can be collapsed by applying a relatively small axial compression. It is submitted that the collapsible bottle assembly 10 is more compact and easily transportable compared to the embodiment where the bottle 12 is non-collapsible.

Referring now to FIG. 1C, an enlarged exploded perspective view of the container assembly 20 is depicted. The generally annular container assembly 20 includes a cup 42 with a bottom 43 and a perimeter side wall 44. The perimeter side wall 44 extends from an upper perimeter edge of the cup bottom 43 and defines an upper opening 46. The cup 42 is configured for being secured to the bottle 12 by attaching to an inner perimeter of the ring 32. As shown in FIG. 1B, the ring 32 is secured to the bottle 12 adjacent to the bottom 14. An inner perimeter of the ring 32 includes at least one of a complementary bayonet-style, “push-and-twist” lug and groove attachment mechanism 47 that is configured for being secured to the cup 42.

The lug and groove attachment mechanism 47 can best be seen in FIGS. 1B-1C. It is contemplated that the lugs 47a are located on either the ring 32 or the cup 42, and the complementary grooves 47b are located on the corresponding cup 42 or the ring 32. It is submitted that this system for attachment of the cup 42 to the bottle 12 allows the cup 42 to be easily removed from and inserted into the ring 32, while at the same time maintaining a secure connection between the two components. Although a lug and groove attachment method is disclosed in the present bottle assembly, it is contemplated that the cup 42 can be secured to the ring 32 by other means, as are known by those skilled in the art.

The container assembly 20 further includes a container 48 that is configured for removable insertion in the cup 42. The container 48 includes a plurality of preferably equally sized compartments 50, each of which is radially displaced from a central portion of the container 48. It is contemplated that the number, size and configuration of the compartments 50 may vary to suit the application. Included on the container assembly 20 is a container lid 52 that is removably secured to the container 48. A prime function of the lid 52 is to cover each of the compartments 50. As such, the container lid 52 has a plurality of individually openable covers 54 that are configured to correspond to the plurality of compartments 50 within the container 48. It is preferred that each of the covers 54 is equal in shape, and that the size, shape and number of each of the covers is configured to correspond to each of the respective compartments 50. Each of the covers 54 has a hinge 55 that allows the covers 54 to be independently opened or closed. The hinge 55 is preferably the “living hinge” type and integrally manufactured from the same rigid thermoplastic as the rest of the container lid 52. However, the living hinge 55 is of a lesser thickness than the rest of the container lid 52 so that the hinge is flexible enough to facilitate opening and closing of the covers 54.

Also provided on the container 48 is at least one locating hole 56 preferably disposed within its center. The hole 56 is configured for receiving a depending cylindrical lug portion 58 that extends from a bottom 60 of the container lid 52. As seen in FIG. 3, the container lid 52 is attached to the container 48 by pressing the cylindrical portion 58 into the hole 56. It is contemplated that this connection can be made by means of a snap-fit, friction fit or other type of attachment as is known by those skilled in the art.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the interior of each of the plurality of compartments 50 includes at least one of a complementary lug and groove attachment 62 that is configured for being secured to the container lid 52. While seven compartments 50 are preferred, the number may vary to suit the application. It is contemplated that lugs 64 are located on either each of the compartments 50 or the lid 52, and that complementary grooves 66 are located on the corresponding compartment 50 or the lid 52. These individual lug and groove attachments 62 secure the lid covers 54 to the compartments 50 and allow the container lid covers 54 to be opened independently of the others, enabling access to one of the plurality of container compartments 50 at a time. Also, the container lid 52 remains securely attached to the container 48 when one or more of the container lid covers 54 are opened because of the insertion of the extending cylindrical portion 58 into the hole 56. The two separate connection means between the container lid 52 and the container 48 prevent the container lid covers 54 from opening inadvertently when the container assembly 20 is removed from the bottle 12. Although specific methods of attachment are disclosed in the present bottle assembly 10, it is contemplated that other means of attachment are possible, as are known by those in the art.

While particular embodiments of the present bottle assembly have been described herein, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the invention in its broader aspects and as set forth in the following claims.





 
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