Title:
Polyethylene ring drink float
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for supporting a drink comprising: a ring constructed from a polymerical material for surrounding and holding the drink; a mechanism to support a drink straw.



Inventors:
Oakes, Travis (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/254997
Publication Date:
05/11/2006
Filing Date:
10/20/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/560
International Classes:
B65D77/00; B65D25/00; B65D88/78
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
POOS, MADISON LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAUL AND PAUL (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A device for supporting a drink receptacle in the water comprising: an expandable ring constructed from a buoyant polymerical material for surrounding and holding the drink receptacle.

2. The device for supporting a drink further comprising a rubber-like material on the inside of the ring to produce friction on the outside of the drink receptacle.

3. A device for holding and supporting a drink receptacle in water comprising: an open buoyant polymeric loop connectable by connection members located at respective loop ends; and a rubber-like material on the inside of the loop to create friction;

4. The device of claim 3 wherein the receptacle is a glass.

5. The device of claim 3 wherein the receptacle is a can.

6. The device of claim 3 wherein the receptacle is a bottle.

7. The device of claim 3 wherein the connection members are respective male and female members.

8. A device for supporting a drink receptacle comprising: a ring constructed from a polymerical material for surrounding and holding the drink receptacle; and a mechanism to support a drinking straw.

9. A device for supporting a drink receptacle in water comprising: an expandable buoyant sleeve for supporting the receptacle; and at least two buoyant pontoon members affixed to opposing sides of the sleeve to assist in maintaining the buoyancy of the drink.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit to provisional application 60/620,556, filed on Oct. 20, 2004, entitled “Polyethylene Ring Drink Float,” which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to the field of floating drink trays and coolers. In particular, the present invention is a buoyant ring which holds, floats and supports a drink in a pool, lake or pond.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Millions of people in North America wade and swim in pools, lakes and ponds. It is often difficult for people to drink in pools and the like simply because it is difficult to hold and support the drinks on the water. There have been a number of patents issued in the area of floating drink trays, coolers and drink holders. Many of these apparatuses include floating chairs and the like.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,016,933 discloses a floating beverage cooler including a floatable base and a cooler removably coupled to the base. The base has at least one recess formed therein for releasably receiving a beverage therein. The cooler and base further have a coupling mechanism for precluding the separation thereof.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,491,179 discloses an anchored, floating drink tray having an annular floating member which maintains a main body above the surface of the water, the main body having a plural number of drinking glass recesses which receive lidded glasses in a secure manner, such that the tray may be temporarily inverted or submerged without harm to the contents in the glasses.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,927,041 discloses a self-stabilizing floating cooler. The cooler includes a pair of upstanding, opposed end panels and elongated side panels extending there between to form a contiguous wall. A lid and a bottom panel are provided, and a floor panel is disposed between the lid and the bottom panel to define upper and lower compartments. The upper compartment is thermally insulated, and float members are detachably affixed to the side panels adjacent the floor panel exteriorly thereof. Perforations are provided in the lower compartment for filling the lower compartment with water to buoyantly stabilize the cooler in an upright position when the cooler is placed on water. Perforations also permit draining the water from the lower compartment when the cooler is removed from water.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,871,079 discloses an integral floating cooler structure including a barge member having a barge bottom and barge sides with a storage chest having a chest bottom formed in common with the barge bottom, and chest sides of less thickness that the barge sides and having lower portions formed in common with the barge sides. The chest bottom and said chest sides are of thickness sufficient to provide thermal insulation. The barge bottom and the barge sides are displacement volume sufficient to provide buoyancy for the cooler structure. The exterior surfaces of the chest sides; the barge sides and the barge bottom forms a common exterior surface for the cooler structure. The interior surface of the chest bottom and the chest sides forms a common interior surface for the cooler structure.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,628,658 discloses a flotation device that converts an existing flexible round foam flotation piece into a floating seat for recreational and/or exercise purposes. The flotation device is water resistant, lightweight, flexible and easy to carry and store. The round flotation piece, commonly known as a noodle, is inserted through a sleeve in the flotation device wherein the floating seat then takes shape. Due to the flexible characteristics of the invention, a wide range of body shapes and sizes provide a comfortable and stable flotation aid that allows the user to remain mostly submerged in the water with unrestricted movement of the arms and legs. In addition to the floating chair concept, other configurations utilizing the round flotation piece are possible by utilizing a reconfigured attachment device. For example, a flotation device can be made to form a floating raft by using a plurality of sleeves to mate with three round flotation pieces.

U.S. Patent Application No. 2002/0027141 discloses an anchored, floating drink tray having an annular floating member which maintains a main body above the surface of the water, the main body having a plural number of drinking glass recesses which receive lidded glasses in a secure manner, such that the tray may be temporarily inverted or submerged without harm to the contents in the glasses.

Many of these devices are cumbersome (e.g., include complete or large coolers) or include other apparatus such as trays or seats which are unnecessary for the act of drinking. Others have cumbersome catches or lock mechanisms.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a portable device whereby drinks can be easily floated in a pool.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a system in which a drink can be floated without the need for additional apparatus such as chairs or trays.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a floating drink support which also includes a holder for a straw.

These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent from the summary and detailed description which follows.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a polyethylene or foam flotation system for holding a drink in a pool. The invention in a most preferred embodiment comprises an expandable floating ring which holds or supports a drink such as a glass, bottle or can.

In a further embodiment, the invention is a device for supporting a drink receptacle in the water comprising an expandable ring constructed from a buoyant polymerical material for surrounding and holding the drink receptacle.

In a still further embodiment, the invention is a device for supporting a drink further comprising a rubber-like material on the inside of the ring to produce friction on the outside of the drink receptacle.

In an additional embodiment, the invention is a device for holding and supporting a drink receptacle in water comprising an open buoyant polymeric loop connectable by male and female members located at respective loop ends; and a rubber-like material on the inside of the loop to create friction.

In yet a further embodiment, the invention is a device for supporting a drink receptacle comprising a ring constructed from a polymerical material for surrounding and holding the drink receptacle and a mechanism to support a drinking straw.

In a still further embodiment, the invention is a device for supporting a drink receptacle in water comprising an expandable buoyant sleeve for supporting the receptacle and at least two buoyant pontoon members affixed to opposing sides of the sleeve to assist in maintaining the buoyancy of the drink.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1a to 1c are elevational views of the flotation device of the present invention with different drink receptacles.

FIG. 2 is a cross-section view of the present invention.

FIGS. 3a to 3d are perspective views of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 4a to 4d are a perspective view of a further embodiment of the invention in which the invention has a flared surface to provide greater stability in the water.

FIG. 5a to 5f is a further embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention is described with reference to the enclosed Figures wherein the same numbers are used where applicable. Referring to FIGS. 1a to 1d, in a simplest, most preferred embodiment, the invention comprises a polymeric tube 10 which is buoyant and which is configured to hold a drink such as a glass, bottle, cup or can 12. While the invention is described in the context of a tube, it is to be appreciated that the outside shape of the tube is irrelevant to the invention. The tube 10 may comprise a foam rubber, preferably expandable, to hold and support a wide variety of drink sizes. As noted, the tube can comprise a polyethylene foam rubber material which can expand and contract. The drink may be retained in a number of receptacles, including a glass, bottle, or can as shown in FIGS. 1a to 1c.

As shown in FIG. 2, the tube 10 preferably includes a rubber or polymeric interior surface 14 for providing friction to hold the drink receptacle while in the water. The interior surface 14 provides friction which supports the drink and prevents it from slipping out of the tube and into the water. FIGS. 3a to 3d are an embodiment in which the tube 10 opens and can be snapped around the receptacle 11. In this embodiment, the tube ends comprise respective male 27 and female 29 members which can be selectively opened and closed and which accommodates receptacles 11 having varying sizes. Other connection systems such as snaps and velcro® may be used.

FIGS. 4a to 4d illustrates an alternative embodiment of the invention wherein the invention has a flared lip 16 for providing greater balance and for assisting in the flotation of the device to prevent spillage and tipping. As shown in FIG. 1c, the invention may include a mechanism for holding and supporting a drinking straw 30 in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 5a to 5f illustrate a larger, more stable system. In this embodiment, the invention the system comprises an expanding sleeve 18, which is supported by two pontoon members 20 and two cross-braces 21 which surround the sleeve. The expandable sleeve 18 holds and supports a number of drink sizes. The pontoon members provide support and prevent the drink receptacle from slipping.

The present invention thus provides devices for easily holding and supporting a drink in a pool and the like and which further provides balancing support. The present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiment of the invention. It is to be appreciated that the true nature and scope of the invention is to be determined with reference to the claims appended hereto.