Hot beverage container and cover for the visually impaired
Kind Code:

A design for a grip-able hot beverage container and a cover for said hot beverage container for the visually impaired or for the person who cannot look at said container such as some one engaged in driving a motor vehicle. Printed cautions pertaining to the hot temperature of the liquid filled inside said beverage container will be printed in Braille on both the container and said cover. This feature provides a helpful warning specifically for the visually impaired user. The container made of insulating material has a depression on the sidewall that allows the person to grip the container in a certain way. The indents on the hot beverage container cover and container ring allow the said cover and its opening to be oriented in a specific way so that the person will know where the said cover's opening is by feel so as not to require sight or to avert one's attention from what the person is doing. Cautions of “Hot” will be printed in Braille as well as in non-Braille lettering or in traditional languages; i.e.: English, Spanish, etc. on the hot beverage container and on the sidewall of the container. This feature will serve as additional warnings to the user that hot liquids are present. Additionally, both the Braille and non-Braille warnings may be in several different languages. The design of said container is such to allow it to be stackable.

Topalian, Virginia R. (Narragansett, RI, US)
Topalian, Kerri A. (Warwick, RI, US)
Topalian, Joan A. (North Providence, RI, US)
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International Classes:
B65D90/02; B65D6/08
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
1. We claim a hot beverage container comprising of: a. a bottom wall and an upwardly extending, continuous sidewall connected to the bottom wall for cooperatively presenting a liquid-holding cavity; said sidewall including structure which defines, on the exterior face thereof, b. Said sidewall flares out from the bottom wall at an angle from 5 to 45 degrees c. An indent portion in the sidewall extending into the flared angle to allow a thumb or fingers to grip the conical side of the container, d. A rim portion at the top of the liquid-holding cavity with four indents each separated on the center by ninety degrees from each other on the circumference of said rim, e. A rounded portion to fit over the rim of the container portion with four indents each separated on the center by ninety degrees from each other, at the bottom of the portion where it meets the rim portion, these indents mate with the indents on the indents of the rim portion, f. The top portion has raised Braille lettering at the uttermost part denoting the word “hot.”

2. We claim a beverage container as described in 1 with: a. The indent portion consisting of an oval or ovoid shape that extends ¼ to 1½ into the interior of the container. The indent is positioned from one quarter of the distance from the bottom of the sidewall to three quarters the distance from the bottom of the sidewall. b The depth of the indent from the sidewall can extend from one quarter inch to two inches at the deepest penetration into the interior of the container.

3. We claim a beverage container as described in claim one, the indent portion of which does not protrude into the well of the container beyond a depth that does not cross an imaginary line from where said line is perpendicular to the base and extends from the point from where the base meets the wall. This allows for stacking multiple containers.



1. Field of the Invention

The present invention concerns an improved, insulated hot beverage container and cover for those who are visually impaired or who are engaged in activities such as driving where they cannot look at the container and cover. The indentation on the sidewall allows the user the ability to better grip the container which is useful for today's larger beverage containers. The indents on the rim and allow for specific spout placement permitting the user to orient him/herself to the cover's opening. There is a need for this product for visually impaired people because it provides them with additional, useful guidance. Likewise, this product will prove helpful to those persons without visual impairments, particularly while they are driving a vehicle because it will enable them to maintain their focus on driving.

2. Background of the Invention

There are many drinking mugs and beverage containers that have been adapted for use to facilitate beverage consumption during travel activities. Many travelers use these containers to consume coffee, tea or other beverages on their daily commutes. These containers generally include a container member or body and a cover to minimize spillage.

Prior art beverage containers allow the cover member to be placed on the body member so that the drinking aperture may be oriented in a different position relative to the container member each time the cover is removed and replaced on the container member. This requires the user to remove his/her attention from his/her activity to locate the drinking aperture prior to drinking from the container. In the case of containers having handles, the user must correctly orient the cover each time so that the aperture is in the desired location with regards to the handle. In most events, the containers are in use by operators of motor vehicles whose attention must be focused on the highway rather than looking for a drinking aperture.

Thus, there is a need for a beverage container that a user can easily locate the drinking aperture without making eye contact with the aperture. See U.S. Pat. No. 6,562,376 to Price et al.

Prior art beverage containers also have had grips on the body to allow the consumer to more easily handle the container. Please refer to patent numbers: D292,442; D370,153; D398,479; U.S. Pat. No. 5,868,272; D473,132; D474,367; D486,996, and D490,651. None of these patents are able to be stacked for use in the disposable beverage container market.


The preferred embodiment of the present invention is a beverage container comprising of a body member and a cover member, the body member having a base, a side surface with a depression, an upper end, and an interior volume formed from the base and side surface. The base and the upper portion of the body are circular in shape. The side wall flares out from the base to the upper portion and is uniform except for the indent in the side for gripping and guiding purposes. The upper portion also has indents aligned 90 degrees of arc from each other to match up with indents in the cover to help align the drinking aperture of the cover with the indent on the side wall. This allows for the consumer to be able to drink from the container without looking for the aperture as well as having the aperture to a consumer preferred orientation to the grip. This embodiment also requires that the indent not protrude into the inner volume beyond a perpendicular line extending from the base where it meets the side wall to the top of the container body. This allows for the containers to be “stacked” for use in “quick service” restaurants. This embodiment also has warning labels for hot beverages in Braille, English, Spanish, French, German, etc.

In another preferred embodiment, the beverage container consists of a base, side wall with indent, upper body and an interior liner to insulate the beverage from external temperatures and a cover. The indents on the container ring and the container cover align in the same manner as in the previous mentioned embodiment.

In a third preferred embodiment, the beverage container consists of a circular base, a circular upper portion and a side wall with two indents spaced 60 to 180 degrees apart. This cover can be a typical circular cover with a center opening for a straw. The indents in this embodiment do not protrude into the cavity of the container beyond a perpendicular extending from where the base meets the side wall. The advantage of this embodiment is that it allows for another gripping point on large beverage containers while allowing for the stacking of disposable beverage containers for use in the food service industry.


FIG. 1 depicts a side view of the beverage container directly viewing the indent and visual warning.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the beverage container with visual and Braille warnings.

FIG. 3 is a view looking down on the top of the cover with visual and Braille warnings.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the cover.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the beverage container and cover showing the attachment points and a side view of the indent.

FIG. 6 is an oblique view of the beverage container and cover.

FIG. 7 is a view with a perpendicular to show the container may be stacked.


FIG. 1 depicts the side view of the container with the bottom 1, the sidewall 2, the upper rim 3, of the container, the four posts 4, to orient the top and a frontal view of the indent 5.

FIG. 2 depicts another side view of the container with the cover 6, and the Braille 9 and lettering 10, for hot.

FIG. 3 is a view of the cover 6, from above depicting the Braille 9 and lettering 10 for hot, the post indents 7, to mate with those on the rim of the container.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the cover 6, depicting the post indents 7, and the top of the Braille lettering 9.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the container depicting the indent 5 on the opposite of sidewall 2, from the Braille lettering 9, the bottom 1, the rim 3 the positioning posts 4, and the positioning of the cover 6 with the post indents and the raised Braille lettering 9.

FIG. 6 is an oblique view of FIG. 5 giving more definition to the components.

FIG. 7 is another rendering of FIG. 5 but showing a perpendicular, 15, to the bottom at the point where the perpendicular meets the sidewall.