Title:
Spherical container with lid insert
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A spherical container has a hemispherical base, a hemispherical lid and a lid insert. The base includes a collar with an upper rim that seals against the lid insert when the base and lid are secured together to help prevent the contents of the container from leaking out or flowing into the interior cavity of the lid.



Inventors:
Green, Dennis E. (Englewood, CO, US)
Green, Mary Lou (Englewood, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/178645
Publication Date:
11/16/2006
Filing Date:
07/11/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060226038MULTIPURPOSE ATHLETIC UTILITY BAGOctober, 2006Lampley
20080121548COATING FOR COMPONENTS REQUIRING HYDROGEN PEROXIDE COMPATIBILITYMay, 2008Yousefiani
20080149665Vapor-dispersing device with pressure-responsive valveJune, 2008Hafer et al.
20070103892Toolbox with lighted handleMay, 2007Mcdaniel et al.
20090301921Confidentiality Packaging SystemDecember, 2009Kidwell
20030141207Bicycle packing deviceJuly, 2003Pai
20090045079Optical casing with skylight arrangementFebruary, 2009Au
20040222121System and method for packaging and transporting foodNovember, 2004Horton
20060260972Expandable crateNovember, 2006Ayres
20070021068User applied template cover for hand-held music playerJanuary, 2007Dewhurst
20070170202Emergency medical pill dispenserJuly, 2007Chen et al.



Primary Examiner:
FIDEI, DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dorr, Carson & Birney, P.C. (Greenwood Village, CO, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A container comprising: a generally hemispherical base having an interior cavity for containing a substance and a collar with an upper rim; a generally hemispherical lid having an interior cavity and a circular opening to removably receive and secure the collar of the base to the lid and thereby form a generally spherical container; and a lid insert covering the interior cavity of the lid and removably sealing against the upper rim of the collar of the base when the base and lid are secured together.

2. The container of claim 1 wherein the collar of the base and the circular opening of the lid are threaded to engage one another.

3. The container of claim 1 wherein the lid insert further comprises a substantially planar surface extending across the interior cavity of the lid and sealing against the upper rim of the collar of the base.

4. The container of claim 3 wherein the lid insert displays printed information.

5. The container of claim 1 wherein the lid insert comprises a circular disk.

6. The container of claim 5 wherein of the lid insert is attached about its periphery to the interior cavity of the lid.

7. A container comprising: a generally hemispherical base having an interior cavity for containing a substance and a collar with an upper rim; a generally hemispherical lid having an interior cavity and a circular opening to removably receive and secure the collar of the base to the lid and thereby form a generally spherical container; and a substantially circular lid insert having a lower face removably sealing against the upper rim of the collar of the base when the base and lid are secured together, and said lid insert having a peripheral edge attached to the interior cavity of the lid.

8. The container of claim 7 wherein the lid insert comprises a circular disk.

9. The container of claim 7 wherein the lid insert displays printed information.

10. The container of claim 7 wherein the collar of the base and the circular opening of the lid are threaded to engage one another.

11. The container of claim 7 wherein the lid insert further comprises a substantially continuous lower surface extending across the interior cavity of the lid and sealing against the upper rim of the collar of the base.

12. A container comprising: a generally hemispherical base having an interior cavity for containing a substance and a threaded collar with an upper rim; a generally hemispherical lid having an interior cavity and a threaded circular opening to removably engage the collar of the base to the lid and thereby form a generally spherical container; and a lid insert covering the interior cavity of the lid and having a substantially planar lower surface sealing against the upper rim of the collar of the base when the base and lid are secured together.

13. The container of claim 12 wherein the lid insert comprises a circular disk having a peripheral edge attached to the interior cavity of the lid.

14. The container of claim 12 wherein the lid insert displays printed information.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

The present application is a continuation-in-part of the Applicants' co-pending U.S. Design Pat. Application Ser. No. 29/229,003, entitled “Hemispherical Cap With Insert,” filed on May 2, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to the field of containers for lip balm, sunblock and the like. More specifically, the present invention discloses a spherical container having a lid insert.

2. Statement of the Problem

A variety of spherical containers have been used for many years. For example, the present applicants have marketed spherical air fresheners under the SNEAKER BALLS® and SPEEDBALL® trademarks for many years. These air fresheners include two hemispherical plastic shells that are joined by a ring assembly with a number of openings that can be manually opened or closed to control the release of fragrance from within the air freshener.

Spherical containers have an aesthetic or stylistic appeal due in part to the elegant simplicity of their external shape. However, the spherical shape has a significant drawback in that the container can roll freely and thereby creates an increased risk that the contents of the container will leak. Therefore, a need exists for a means of addressing this problem in spherical containers.

3. Solution to the Problem

None of the prior art references discussed above show a spherical container having a lid insert to prevent leakage of the contents of the container. In addition, the lid insert can be used to display printed information for advertising or labeling.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention provides a spherical container having a hemispherical base, a hemispherical lid and a lid insert. The base includes a collar with an upper rim that seals against the lid insert when the base and lid are secured together to help prevent the contents of the container from leaking out or flowing into the interior cavity of the lid.

These and other advantages, features, and objects of the present invention will be more readily understood in view of the following detailed description and the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention can be more readily understood in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the container with the lid 20 separated from the base 10.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the container with the lid 20 separated from the base 10.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the assembled container.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the lid 20 and lid insert 30.

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the assembled container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Turning to FIG. 1, an perspective view is provided of the container with the lid 20 separated from the base 10. Both the base 10 and lid 20 are generally hemispherical in shape, so that the assembled container is generally spherical. For example, the base 10 and lid 20 can be molded plastic shells.

The base 10 has an internal recess for holding sunblock, lip balm, insect repellent, cosmetics or the like 15. A collar 12 extends upward around the perimeter of the opening to the internal recess. In the embodiment depicted in the drawings, the collar 12 is threaded and has an outside diameter that is slightly less than the outside diameter of the base 10.

The lid 20 also has an interior cavity 22, as shown in the cross-sectional view in FIG. 2, The interior cavity 22 has a generally circular opening 24 to removably receive and secure the collar 12 of the base 10 to the lid 10. In the preferred embodiment, the circular opening 24 is threaded to engage the corresponding threads on the outside of the collar 12 of the base 10. However, other means for attaching the lid 20 to the base 10 could be substituted, such as a pin-and-slot mechanism or a frictional fit between the base 10 and lid 20.

Under normal use, the weight of the sunblock or lip balm in the base 10 tends to keep the container in a generally upright position. However, the container does not always remain in a completely upright position, particularly if the container is stored in a handbag, purse or drawer with a multitude of other objects that can tilt the container. This creates a risk that the contents of the container can leak out through the seam between the lid and base.

The present invention addresses this problem by including a lid insert 30, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. For example, the lid insert 30 can be a circular disk (e.g., a thin sheet of plastic or paper) that is placed in the circular opening 24 of the lid 20 and seals the interior cavity 22. The circular peripheral edge of the lid insert 30 can be bonded or otherwise permanently attached to the surface of the interior cavity 22 of the lid 20. The specific embodiment of the lid 20 shown in FIG. 2 includes a flat annular lip above the threaded circular opening that serves as a seat for the peripheral edge of the lid insert 30. However, other means could be used to attach the lid insert 30 within the interior cavity 22 of the lid 20.

The upper rim of the collar 12 of the base 10 comes into contact with the lower surface of the lid insert 30 as the base 10 and lid 20 are secured together. Thus, the lower surface of the lid insert 30 creates a seal against the upper rim of the collar 12 of the base 10 when the base 10 and lid 20 are threaded together, as illustrated in the cross-sectional view of the assembled container shown in FIG. 3. First, the lid insert 30 helps to prevent leakage of the contents from the container through the seam between the lid 20 and base 10. Second, the lid insert 30 covers the interior cavity 22 of the lid 20 and thereby prevents the contents of the base 10 from migrating into the lid 20, which can be unsightly and create a mess when the container is opened. For example, many types of lip gloss and sun block melt easily and could either leak out of the container or run into the interior cavity 22 of the lid 20.

The embodiment of the lid insert 30 shown in the drawings has a substantially planar lower surface. This facilitates printing information or other graphic material on the lower surface of the lid insert 30, as shown for example in the bottom view depicted in FIG. 4. The lid insert 30 can serve as a place for labeling (e.g., required information about ingredients, or the sun-protection factor for sunblock), advertising, or the manufacturer's lot codes, etc.

It should be noted that the lid insert 30 could have any of a variety of alternative shapes and configurations. For example, the lid insert 30 could be shaped to partially or completely fill the interior cavity of the lid 20 (e.g., a curved lens shape). The lid insert 30 can be equipped with a peripheral flange to strengthen bonding to the interior surface of the lid 20. In addition, lower surface of the lid insert could be curved, textured, or have any desired shape or contour.

The exterior of the container can also be decorated as shown in FIG. 5. The printed material on the lid insert 30 is not visible while the container is closed, and thus does not detract from the desired aesthetic appearance of the container.

The above disclosure sets forth a number of embodiments of the present invention described in detail with respect to the accompanying drawings. Those skilled in this art will appreciate that various changes, modifications, other structural arrangements, and other embodiments could be practiced under the teachings of the present invention without departing from the scope of this invention as set forth in the following claims.