Title:
Container kit with graspable lid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container assembly outfits a wide mouth container and thereby enables a user to single-handedly grasp and transfer the container. The container assembly comprises a lid portion and a content cover. The lid portion comprises at least one rim-locking portion and at least one hand-grippable flange. The rim-locking portion(s) are inwardly adjacent to the hand-grippable flange(s). A spillage basin may be formed inwardly adjacent to the rim-locking portion(s). The content cover contacts and covers container contents. The content cover also comprises a spillage basin and is displaceable intermediate a rim portion and a bottom portion of the container, and thus be said to ride upon the container contents as the volume of container contents changes. The spillage basins collect and retain spillage for easing spillage cleanup. The content cover is outfitted with certain structure for easing removal of the content cover and the container contents.



Inventors:
Svitak, Steven J. (Lisle, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/128451
Publication Date:
11/16/2006
Filing Date:
05/13/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D41/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WALKER, NED ANDREW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Christopher J. Scott (W Dundee, IL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A coffee container assembly for enabling a user to manually and single-handedly grasp a coffee container containing contact covered coffee, the coffee container assembly comprising, in combination: a coffee container, the coffee container comprising a rim portion, a bottom portion, and a wall portion, the wall portion extending intermediate the rim portion and the bottom portion, the wall portion comprising an inner wall surface and an outer wall surface, the wall portion being cylindrical in form, the inner wall surface having a substantially uniform inner wall diameter and the outer wall surface having a substantially uniform outer wall diameter, the outer wall diameter being greater in magnitude than the inner wall diameter, the rim portion comprising a superior rim end, an inferior rim end, an inner rim surface, and an outer rim surface, the inner rim surface having a substantially uniform inner rim diameter and the outer rim surface having a substantially uniform outer rim diameter, the inner rim diameter being lesser in magnitude than the inner wall diameter and the outer rim diameter being greater in magnitude than the outer wall diameter; a container lid portion for removably covering the coffee container and for enabling a user to manually and single-handedly grasp the coffee container, the container lid portion comprising an inner lid portion, an outer lid portion, two rim-locking portions, two radially opposite, radially-extending hand-grippable flanges, and an outer spillage basin, the rim-locking portions being radially inwardly adjacent to the hand-grippable flanges, the rim-locking portions comprising an outer lock diameter, the outer lock diameter being greater in magnitude than the outer rim diameter, the outer spillage basin being formed at the outer lid portion radially inwardly adjacent to the rim-locking portions for pooling spillage; and a coffee lid portion, the coffee lid portion for covering coffee contained in the coffee container, the coffee lid portion comprising an inferior lid surface, a superior lid surface, an inner spillage basin, and a cover periphery, the cover periphery having an inner lid diameter, the inner lid diameter being lesser in magnitude than the inner rim diameter, the coffee lid portion thus being movable intermediate the rim portion and bottom portion adjacent the wall portion, the inferior lid surface for contacting and covering the coffee, the inner spillage basin being formed at the superior lid surface radially inwardly adjacent to the cover periphery for pooling spillage, the superior lid surface comprising inner lid removal means, the inner lid removal means for enabling a user to remove the coffee lid portion from contacting and covering the coffee thus enabling coffee removal from the coffee container.

2. The container assembly of claim 1 wherein each rim-locking portion comprises an axially extending inner rim flange, an axially extending outer rim flange, and a flex portion, the inner rim flange comprising a radially outwardly extending lock tab, the outer rim flange comprising a radially inwardly extending lock tab, the flex portion for flexing in superior adjacency to the superior rim end, the inner rim flange extendable adjacent the inner rim surface, the outwardly extending lock tab for engaging the inferior rim end adjacent the inner rim surface, the outer rim flange extendable adjacent the outer rim surface, the inwardly extending lock tab for engaging the inferior rim end adjacent the outer rim surface, the flex portion enabling the user to disengage the lock tabs from the inferior rim end for removing the container lid portion from the coffee container.

3. The container assembly of claim 2 wherein the coffee lid portion comprises an air gap structure, the air gap structure being radially outwardly adjacent to the inner spillage basin adjacent the inferior lid suface.

4. The container assembly of claim 3 wherein the coffee lid portion comprises coffee removal means for enabling the user to remove coffee from the coffee container.

5. The container assembly of claim 4 wherein the coffee removal means is defined by a coffee scoop cooperatively associated with the lid removal means, the lid removal means for positioning the coffee scoop when not removing coffee from the coffee container.

6. A container assembly for enabling a user to manually grasp a container containing contact-covered container contents, the container assembly comprising, in combination: a container, the container comprising a rim portion, a bottom portion, and a wall portion, the wall portion extending intermediate the rim portion and the bottom portion, the wall portion comprising an inner wall surface and an outer wall surface, the rim portion comprising a superior rim end, an inferior rim end, an inner rim surface, and an outer rim surface; and a container lid, the container lid being removably attachable to the container for selectively covering container contents, the container lid comprising an inner lid portion, an outer lid portion, at least one rim-locking portion, and at least one hand-grippable flange, the rim-locking portion being inwardly adjacent to the hand-grippable flange, the rim-locking portion for removably locking the container lid to the rim portion, the hand-grippable flange for enhancing a user's ability to manually grasp the container.

7. The container assembly of claim 6 wherein the rim-locking portion comprises an inner rim flange, an outer rim flange, and a flex portion, the inner rim flange comprising an outwardly extending lock tab, the outer rim flange comprising a inwardly extending lock tab, the flex portion for flexing in superior adjacency to the superior rim end, the inner rim flange extendable adjacent the inner rim surface, the outwardly extending lock tab for engaging the inferior rim end adjacent the inner rim surface, the outer rim flange extendable adjacent the outer rim surface, the inwardly extending lock tab for engaging the inferior rim end adjacent the outer rim surface, the flex portion enabling the user to disengage the lock tabs from the inferior rim end for removing the container lid.

8. The container assembly of claim 7 comprising a content cover, the content cover for contact-covering container contents, the content cover comprising an inferior cover surface, a superior cover surface, and a cover periphery, the cover periphery being movable intermediate the rim portion and bottom portion adjacent the wall portion.

9. The container assembly of claim 8 wherein the container lid comprises an outer spillage basin and the content cover comprises an inner spillage basin, the outer spillage basin being formed at the outer lid portion inwardly adjacent to the rim-locking portion, the inner spillage basin being formed at the superior cover surface inwardly adjacent to the inner cover periphery, the outer and inner spillage basins for pooling spillage.

10. The container assembly of claim 9 wherein the content cover comprises an air gap structure, the air gap structure being outwardly adjacent to the inner spillage basin adjacent the inferior cover surface.

11. The container assembly of claim 10 wherein the superior cover surface comprises cover removal means, the cover removal means for enabling removal of the content cover from contact-covering container contents for enabling container contents removal from the container.

12. The container assembly of claim 11 wherein the content cover comprises content removal means for enabling the user to remove container contents from the container.

13. The container assembly of claim 12 wherein the content removal means is defined by a content removal tool cooperatively associated with the cover removal means, the cover removal means for positioning the content removal tool when not removing container contents from the container.

14. A container kit for outfitting a container, the container comprising a rim portion, a bottom portion, and a wall portion, the rim portion comprising an inner rim surface and an outer rim surface, the container kit comprising: a container lid for removably covering the container, the container lid comprising an inferior lid portion, a superior lid portion, at least one rim-locking portion, and at least one hand-grippable flange, the rim-locking portion being inwardly adjacent to the hand-grippable flange, the rim-locking portion for removably locking the container lid to the rim portion, the hand-grippable flange for enhancing a user's ability to manually grasp the container.

15. The container kit of claim 14 wherein the rim-locking portion comprises an inner rim flange, an outer rim flange, and a flex portion, the inner rim flange comprising an outwardly extending lock tab, the outer rim flange comprising a inwardly extending lock tab, the flex portion for flexing in superior adjacency to a superior rim end of the rim portion, the inner rim flange extending perpendicular to the inferior lid surface, the outwardly extending lock tab for engaging an inferior rim end of the rim portion adjacent the inner rim surface, the outer rim flange extending perpendicular to the inferior lid surface, the inwardly extending lock tab for engaging the inferior rim end adjacent the outer rim surface, the flex portion enabling the user to disengage the lock tabs from the inferior rim end for removing the container lid from the container.

16. The container kit of claim 14 comprising a content cover, the content cover for contact-covering container contents, the content cover comprising an inferior cover surface, a superior cover surface, and a cover periphery, the cover periphery being movable intermediate the rim portion and bottom portion adjacent the wall portion.

17. The container kit of claim 16 wherein the container lid comprises an outer spillage basin and the content cover comprises an inner spillage basin, the outer spillage basin being formed at the superior lid portion inwardly adjacent to the rim-locking portion, the inner spillage basin being formed at the superior cover surface inwardly adjacent to the cover periphery, the outer and inner spillage basins for pooling spillage.

18. The container kit of claim 17 wherein the content cover comprises an air gap structure, the air gap structure being outwardly adjacent to the inner spillage basin adjacent the inferior cover surface.

19. The container kit of claim 16 wherein the superior cover surface comprises cover removal means, the cover removal means for enabling the user to remove the content cover from contact-covering the container contents thus enabling container contents removal from the container.

20. The container kit of claim 19 comprising content removal means, the content removal means for enabling the user to remove container contents from the container.

21. The container kit of claim 20 wherein the content removal means is defined by a content removal tool cooperatively associated with the cover removal means, the cover removal means for retaining the content removal tool when not removing container contents from the container.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to a container assembly and kit. More particularly, the present invention relates to a container assembly and kit for outfitting difficult-to-grasp containers for enabling users to more easily manually grasp and handle the containers and further for hindering molecular interactions between various container contents.

2. Description of the Prior Art

At the turn of the twentieth century, roasted coffee began to be packaged in vacuum tins or cans. Since that time, coffee tins or cans continue to be widely used for storage of coffee as well as other contents. Coffee consumers often store the canned coffee in refrigerated storage means and the like in an effort to maintain the freshness of the coffee grounds. The coffee cans or containers, having large diameters or wide mouths, are often difficult to grasp and/or transfer from place to place single handedly. Further, repeated exposure of the canned coffee to air results in a quickened rate of coffee oxidation, thereby increasing the staleness of the coffee and the general displeasure of the coffee consumer. Despite the noted drawbacks of the traditional vacuum packed coffee can system, vacuum tinned coffee cans continue to be a popular means of storing and shipping coffee to consumers for consumption.

Container assemblies, whether for storing coffee or other contents, are well developed and continue to be the focus of ongoing development. Among the myriad prior art container assembly teachings, several appear to be notable in terms of their respective pertinence to the disclosures presented in this specificiation. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,083,671 ('671 Patent), which issued to Hayes, discloses a Closure for a Wide Mouth Container. The '671 Patent teaches a snap-on closure for wide mouth containers having an integral hinged lid, which can be lifted, as by the thumb, to provide access for spooning contents out of the mouth. The lid closes on a top flange, which is presented by either the closure or the container. The closure has a skirt and snaps onto the container below the top flange or to an attachment bead on the container.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,295,603 ('603 Patent), which issued to Schormair et al., discloses a Pressure Lid Container. The '603 Patent teaches a pressure lid can or container with at least one part body member and a lid member, which together with the closure side end of the body member forms a tight closure, in which a lever gap is left free between the body member and the lid member to be levered up and in which the lid member has an all-round resilient engagement lip, which engages from the inside under pretension in a closure crease of the body member adapted to the engagement lip shape in which instead of the engagement lip of the lid member engaging in a separately produced closure crease, it resiliently engages below an inwardly rolled, upper circumferential edge bead of the body element.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,683,009 ('009 Patent), which issued to King, discloses Accessories to Enhance the Recyclability of Metal Cans. The '009 Patent teaches a coffee can accessory comprising a handle having an upper and lower end and a grippable portion disposed between them. A lid is hingedly attached to the upper end of the handle, the lid having an upper and lower surface, the lower surface having at least one continuous lip suitable to engage the an upper apex bead of the coffee can (or the like). Additionally, the lid has a cutout through which a paint brush may pas which is particularly configured so as to enable a paint brush to hang suspended in the can from the lid. The can may be secured to the handle by a variety of mechanisms.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,688,544 ('544 Patent), which issued to Bolton et al., discloses an Easy Open Ventable Closure for Sealed Particulate Package. The '544 Patent teaches a container for packaging a particular product under pressure or vacuum conditions with an easy opening closure structure which allows venting prior to uncovering of the product opening. In one form, an easy peel flexible lid covers a shelf area and a product opening in the top of the can. Peeling back the lid first uncovers the vent opening, permitting the flow of gases but preventing the flow of particulate product, and then uncovers the product opening.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,706,974 ('974 Patent), which issued to Murdick et al., discloses a Can for Powder Products having Scoop Retaining Means. The '974 Patent teaches a lid for a container designed to contain powder or granular materials. The lid comprises a lip on an interior or bottom surface of the lid for selectively attaching a scoop. The lip is resiliently deformable when an edge of the scoop is pressed against it. This deforming creates an interference fit, thereby securing the scoop to the undersurface of the lid. When the scoop is to be used, it can be easily removed from the lid without the need for rooting and searching within the container for the lid.

It will thus be seen from an inspection of the foregoing as well as other teachings commonly known in the art that the prior art does not teach an coffee can assembly or container assembly or kit that outfits a wide mouth or large diameter coffee can or container for easing transferability of the container and further for slowing oxidation of container contents. The prior art thus perceives a need for a coffee can assembly or container assembly or kit that outfits a wide mouth or large diameter coffee can or container for easing transferability of the container and further for slowing oxidation of container contents.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a means for outfitting wide mouth coffee containers and the like so that users thereof may more easily grasp the containers for transferability. It is noted in this regard, that users must often utilize two hands to transfer a wide mouth coffee container. It is thus contemplated that a simple kit for outfitting the coffee container or similar other container for enabling a user to single-handedly transfer the outfitted container would be beneficial to the state of the art.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a means for slowing the oxidation of container contents and thereby prolong the shelf life of the container contents. It is noted in this regard, that coffee consumers are often desirous of prolonging the shelf life or maintaining the freshness of coffee bought in relatively large, wide mouth coffee containers. It is thus contemplated that reducing the surface contact area of container contents (for example, coffee) with air surrounding the container contents provides a simple means for hindering the oxidation process and thus may effect a longer shelf life of container contents.

To achieve these and other readily apparent objectives, the present invention provides a container assembly and/or kit for enabling a user to manually and single-handedly grasp a relatively large diameter or wide mouth container. The container assembly essentially comprises, in combination a container, a lid portion, and a content cover. It is contemplated that the container is a typical off-the-shelf coffee container or coffee can of the type commonly used to store pre-ground coffee grounds. In any event, it is contemplated that the assembly of the present invention is designed for outfitting a container comprising a rim portion, a bottom portion, and a wall portion.

The lid portion is designed for removably covering the container and also for simultaneously enabling a user to manually and single-handedly grasp the. The lid portion comprises an inner lid portion, an outer lid portion, at least one rim-locking portion, and at least one hand-grippable flange. Additionally, the lid portion may comprise a spillage basin. The rim-locking portion(s) are inwardly adjacent to the hand-grippable flange(s). The spillage basin is formed at the outer lid portion inwardly adjacent to the rim-locking portion(s) for pooling spillage.

The content cover is designed for contacting and covering container contents (for example, coffee). In this regard, it is contemplated that coffee and/or other foodstuffs contained in containers often become stale through chemical interactions between the coffee and/or other foodstuffs and the air at the surface of the contained container contents (e.g. coffee and/or other foodstuffs). The content cover thus comes into contact with the container contents as a means to slow chemical exchanges at the interface between the container contents and the air above the container contents.

The content cover comprises an inferior lid surface, a superior lid surface, a spillage basin, and a cover periphery. The content cover is movable or displaceable intermediate the rim portion and the bottom portion adjacent the wall portion 13. In other words, as container contents are removed from the container, the volume thereof decreases and the content cover, being in contact-cover with the container contents becomes otherwise displaced from its original state. The content cover may thus be said to travel or ride upon the container contents.

Other objects of the present invention, as well as particular features, elements, and advantages thereof, will be elucidated or become apparent from, the following description and the accompanying drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features of my invention will become more evident from a consideration of the following brief description of my patent drawings, as follows:

FIG. 1 exploded perspective view of the container assembly with a wall portion of the container shown in phantom to show the coffee lid portion.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross-sectional side view of the container lid portion as sectioned from FIG. 1 showing a user's hand grasping a hand-grippable flange of the container lid portion.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional side view of the coffee lid portion as sectioned from FIG. 1 showing the inferior cover surface contact-covering the container contents.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Referring now to the drawings, the preferred embodiment of the present invention concerns a coffee container assembly and/or kit for enabling a user to manually and single-handedly grasp a relatively large diameter, wide mouth cylindrical coffee container. The coffee container assembly thus preferably comprises, in combination, a coffee container 10 as illustrated and referenced in FIG. 1; a container lid portion 30 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1 and 2; and a coffee lid portion 50 or content cover as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1 and 3. It is contemplated that coffee container 10 is a typical off-the-shelf coffee container or coffee can of the type commonly used to vacuum pack and store pre-ground coffee grounds. In this regard, it will be noted that a coffee container of this type typically comprises a rim portion 11 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1 and 2; a bottom portion 12 as illustrated and referenced in FIG. 1; and a wall portion 13 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1-3.

It will be understood from a consideration of the noted figures that wall portion 13 extends intermediate rim portion 11 and bottom portion 12 and comprises an inner wall surface 14 and an outer wall surface 15 as referenced in FIGS. 2 and 3. From a general inspection of FIG. 1, it will be seen that wall portion 13 is preferably of a cylindrical form and thus inner wall surface 14 inherently has a substantially uniform inner wall diameter (not specifically referenced) and outer wall surface 15 inherently has a substantially uniform outer wall diameter (not specifically referenced). In this regard, it will be understood that wall portion 13 has a given thickness and thus the difference between the outer wall diameter and the inner wall diameter is roughly twice the thickness of wall portion 13. It will thus be readily understood that the outer wall diameter is greater in magnitude than the inner wall diameter.

Rim portion 11 preferably comprises a superior rim end 16, an inferior rim end 17, an inner rim surface 18, and an outer rim surface 19 all as referenced in FIG. 2. Being integrally formed to cylindrical wall portion 13, rim portion 11 is generally circular in transverse cross section or also cylindrical in form. In this regard, it will be noted that inner rim surface 18 inherently has a substantially uniform inner rim diameter (not specifically referenced) and outer rim surface 19 inherently has a substantially uniform outer rim diameter (not specifically referenced). It will be further understood that rim portion 11 has a given thickness and thus the difference between the outer rim diameter and the inner rim diameter is roughly twice the thickness of rim portion 11. It will thus be readily understood that the outer rim diameter is greater in magnitude than the inner rim diameter. Further, it will be noted that the inner rim diameter is lesser in magnitude than the inner wall diameter and the outer rim diameter is greater in magnitude than the outer wall diameter.

Container lid portion 30 is designed for removably covering coffee container 10 and further for enabling a user to manually and single-handedly grasp coffee container 10 as generally depicted in FIG. 2. In this regard, it will be noted that container lid portion 30 preferably comprises an inner or inferior lid portion 31 as referenced in FIG. 2; an outer or superior lid portion 32 as referenced in FIG. 2; two rim-locking portions 33, one of which is illustrated and referenced in FIG. 2; and two radially opposite, radially-extending hand-grippable flanges 34, both of which are illustrated and referenced in FIG. 1, and one of which is illustrated and referenced in FIG. 2. Additionally, container lid portion 30 may preferably comprise an outer spillage basin 35 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1 and 2. It will be seen from a general inspection of FIG. 2 that rim-locking portions 33 are preferably radially inwardly adjacent to hand-grippable flanges 34, but further preferably comprise an outer lock diameter (the diameter or dimension that terminates at the hand-grippable flange(s) 34), the outer lock diameter being greater in magnitude than the outer rim diameter.

Outer spillage basin 35 is preferably formed at outer lid portion 32 radially inwardly adjacent to rim-locking portions 33 for pooling spillage. In other words, it is contemplated that the coffee container assembly or kit of the present invention is primarily intended for storage of coffee or other container contents. During periods of storage, other foodstuffs and the like may also be stored in adjacency to the coffee container assembly and/or kit. Should other foodstuffs and the like be spilled, it is contemplated that outer spillage basin 35 is designed to collect and pool the spillage for easing clean-up of the spillage. Outer spillage basin 35 is thus essentially a depression formed in container lid portion 30 inwardly adjacent to the outer edges of container lid portion 30 and thus functions to pool spillage centrally relative to the outer edges of container lid portion 30.

Each rim-locking portion 33 preferably comprises an axially extending inner rim flange 36, an axially extending outer rim flange 37, and a flex portion 38 all as illustrated and referenced in FIG. 2. Inner rim flange 36 preferably comprises a radially outwardly extending lock tab 39 and outer rim flange 37 preferably comprises a radially inwardly extending lock tab 40 both of which are further illustrated and referenced in FIG. 2. Flex portion 38 is designed so as to be spatially located in superior adjacency to superior rim end 16 as generally depicted in FIG. 2. Inner rim flange 36 extends adjacent inner rim surface 18, the outwardly extending lock tab 39 for engaging inferior rim end 17 adjacent inner rim surface 18. Outer rim flange 37 extends adjacent outer rim surface 19, the inwardly extending lock tab 40 for engaging inferior rim end 17 adjacent outer rim surface 19. Flex portion 38 is flexible and thus enables the user to disengage lock tabs 39 and 40 from inferior rim end 17 for removing container lid portion 30 from coffee container 10.

Coffee lid portion 50 or the content cover is designed for covering coffee or container contents contained in coffee container 10. In this regard, it is contemplated that coffee and/or other foodstuffs contained in containers often become stale through chemical interactions between the coffee and/or other foodstuffs and the air at the surface of the container contents (e.g. coffee and/or other foodstuffs). Anything left out in the air for an extended period will (unless it is sealed up in some way) exchange moisture and other volatiles with the air. Many foodstuff flavors come from volatile organic compounds. Thus, if freely exposed to air, the volatility of the organic compounds will cause the organic compounds to evaporate into the air, thereby leaving or passing from the substrate in which they were originally situated. This alters the taste of foodstuffs and often leaves the foodstuffs stale.

Coffee lid portion 50 thus comes into contact with the coffee 70 or other foodstuffs or container contents contained in coffee container 10 as a means to slow chemical exchanges at the interface between the container contents and the air above the container contents. In this regard, it is contemplated that coffee lid portion 50 contacts and covers the coffee 70 or container contents and thus may be said to “contact-cover” the coffee 70 or container contents.

The coffee lid portion 50 or content cover is thus designed for “contact-covering” container contents and preferably comprises an inferior lid surface 51 (or inferior cover surface) as referenced in FIG. 3; a superior lid surface 52 (or superior cover surface) as referenced in FIG. 3; an inner spillage basin 53 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1 and 3; and a continuous circular inner lid edge or cover periphery 54 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1 and 3. The diameter from radially opposite portions of cover periphery 54 (i.e. the inner lid diameter) is lesser in magnitude than the inner rim diameter. Thus, coffee lid portion 50 is movable or displaceable intermediate rim portion 11 and bottom portion 12 adjacent wall portion 13.

In other words, as coffee 70 or container contents are removed from coffee container 10, the volume thereof decreases and coffee lid portion 50, being in contact-cover with the coffee 70 or container contents becomes otherwise displaced from its original pre-content-removal state. Coffee lid portion 50 may thus be said to travel, ride or float upon the coffee 70 or container contents. From an inspection of FIG. 3, it will be seen that inferior lid surface 51 specifically contacts and covers the coffee 70 or container contents.

Inner spillage basin 53 is preferably formed at the superior lid surface 52 radially inwardly adjacent to cover periphery 54 for pooling spillage substantially as earlier specified. Notably, superior lid surface 52 further preferably comprises inner lid removal means for enabling a user to remove coffee lid portion 50 from contacting and covering the coffee 70 thus enabling coffee removal from coffee container 10. It is contemplated that the lid removal means may preferably be defined by an upwardly extending knob or projection 55 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1 and 3. Projection 55 is preferably integrally formed to superior lid surface 52 of coffee lid portion 50 as may be seen from a general inspection of FIG. 3.

Coffee lid portion 50 may further preferably comprise coffee or content removal means for enabling the user to more easily remove coffee 70 or other container contents from coffee container 10. In this regard, it is contemplated that the coffee removal means may be defined by a coffee scoop 57 or similar other content removal tool as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1 and 3. It will be seen from an inspection of the noted figures that coffee scoop 57 or coffee removal means is cooperatively associated with the lid removal means or projection 55. It is contemplated in this last regard, that the lid removal means are designed to position coffee scoop 57 when not removing coffee 70 from coffee container 10. In other words, the lid removal means may comprise means for selectively retaining the coffee removal means.

For example, if coffee lid portion 50 were injection molded as a single unit (container lid portion 30 and coffee lid portion 50 each being preferably constructed from injection molded plastic), it is contemplated that the coffee removal means could also be injection molded and integrally formed to projection 55 at a breakaway or cutaway tab 58 as illustrated and referenced in FIG. 3. FIG. 3 comprises reference numeral 57(a), which numeral otherwise references coffee scoop 57 in broken lines as having been broken away from tab 58. Further, it is contemplated that coffee scoop 57 could be structurally outfitted with projection-receiving means for locating coffee scoop adjacent projection 55 when coffee scoop 57 is not being utilized for coffee removal.

Coffee lid portion 50 further preferably comprises an air gap structure 56 as generally depicted in FIG. 3. Air gap structure 56 is spatially located radially outwardly adjacent to inner spillage basin 53 adjacent inferior lid surface 51. In other words, if an otherwise planar coffee lid portion is altered to include inner spillage basin 53, a depression is formed for pooling spillage (as earlier specified). Inferior lid surface 51 contact-covers the coffee 70 or other container contents and air gap structure 56 is formed in superior adjacency to the coffee 70 or other container contents. Air gap structure 56 functions to remove or eliminate or weaken a vacuum-type seal otherwise present if a planar coffee lid portion were to be exchanged with coffee lid portion 50. In other words, without air gap structure 56, the coffee lid portion 50 is more difficult (i.e. requires more force) to remove. The gap intermediate cover periphery 54 and wall portion 13 functions to allow air to pass intermediate cover periphery 54 and wall portion 13 to further enable the user to more easily (i.e. less forcefully) remove coffee lid portion 50 from contact-cover of the coffee 70 or other container contents.

It is further contemplated that the present invention teaches a container kit for outfitting an otherwise difficult-to-grasp container, the container (e.g. coffee container 10) essentially comprising rim portion 11, bottom portion 12, and wall portion 13. Rim portion 11 essentially comprises inner rim surface 18 and outer rim surface 19. The container kit comprises a container lid (for example, container lid portion 30) for removably covering the container, the container lid comprising an inferior lid portion (for example, inner lid portion 31), a superior lid portion (for example, outer lid portion 32), at least one rim-locking portion 33, and at least one hand-grippable flange 34. The rim-locking portion 33 is preferably inwardly adjacent to the hand-grippable flange 34. Hand grippable flange 34 enables the user to provide a bending moment and flex portion 38 enables lock tabs 39 and 40 to release rim portion 11 thereby facilitating removal of the container lid or container lid portion 30 from the container or coffee container 10. In this last regard, it will be recalled that rim-locking portion 33 is designed for removably locking the container lid to rim portion 11 and hand-grippable flange 34 is designed for enhancing a user's ability to manually grasp the otherwise difficult-to-grasp container.

Rim-locking portion 33 preferably comprises inner rim flange 36, outer rim flange 37, and flex portion 38. Inner rim flange 36 comprises outwardly extending lock tab 39 and outer rim flange 37 comprises inwardly extending lock tab 40. Flex portion 38 is spatially located in superior adjacency to the superior rim end of rim portion 11, inner rim flange 36 extending perpendicular to the inferior lid surface or inner lid portion 31. The outwardly extending lock tab 39 engages an inferior rim end of rim portion 11 adjacent inner rim surface 18. The outer rim flange 37 extends perpendicular to the inferior lid surface or inner lid portion 31 and the inwardly extending lock tab 40 is designed for engaging the inferior rim end adjacent outer rim surface 19. Again, flex portion 38 enables the user to disengage lock tabs 39 and 40 from the inferior rim end for removing the container lid from the container.

While the above description contains much specificity, this specificity should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of the invention. For example, as is described hereinabove the present invention contemplates a container assembly for enabling a user to manually grasp a container containing contact-covered container contents, the container assembly comprising, in combination, a container, a container lid, and a content cover. The container comprises a rim portion, a bottom portion, and a wall portion. The wall portion extends intermediate the rim portion and the bottom portion and itself comprising an inner wall surface and an outer wall surface. The rim portion comprises a superior rim end, an inferior rim end, an inner rim surface, and an outer rim surface.

The container lid is removably attachable to the container for selectively covering the contact-covered container contents (for example, coffee). The container lid comprises an inner lid portion, an outer lid portion, at least one rim-locking portion, and at least one hand-grippable flange. In this regard, it is contemplated that the preferred embodiment incorporates two radially opposite flanges. However, it is conceivable that a single continuous peripheral flange could enable the user to grasp the container no matter how the container is positioned in its storage location. In this event, it is further contemplated that the rim-locking portion would be structurally located inwardly adjacent to the hand-grippable flange and thus also be a continuous peripheral rim-locking portion for removably locking the container lid to the rim portion.

The content cover is designed for contact-covering the container contents, such as coffee and comprises an inferior cover surface, a superior cover surface, and an inner cover periphery. The inner cover periphery is movable or displaceable intermediate the rim portion and bottom portion adjacent the wall portion. The superior cover surface may comprise cover removal means, such as projection 55 or a finger- or digit-receiving aperture (not specifically illustrated). In any event, the cover removal means are designed for enabling a user to remove the content cover from contact-covering the container contents for further enabling container contents removal from the container.

The content cover may further comprise content removal means for enabling the user to remove container contents from the container. The content removal means may be defined by a content removal tool (for example, a scoop) cooperatively associated with the cover removal means, the cover removal means for positioning the content removal tool when not removing container contents from the container.

Accordingly, although the invention has been described by reference to a preferred embodiment and at least one alternative embodiment, it is not intended that the novel assembly be limited thereby, but that modifications thereof are intended to be included as falling within the broad scope and spirit of the foregoing disclosure, the following claims and the appended drawings.