Title:
Collectable objects
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates to a collectable container typically sold at sporting events. The container may be shaped like a baseball helmet, football helmet, soccer ball, basketball, or other sporting item. It has an image, preferably a lenticular image, of a team logo, picture or player, is typically filled with a beverage or a food, such as ice cream and sold at concession stands. These are designed so that fans may collect an entire set of images representing an entire team or league. During the excitement of the event, and due to the large crowds located in such tight spaces, it is common to have the container being roughly handled. The present invention employs either a recess which receives the image, or protective offsets which surround images on the container. The recess and/or offsets prevent scratching and physical contact with the image and protect the images from being placed in liquids, debris thereby damaging the image reducing the value of the collectable.



Inventors:
Meyer, David (Scranton, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/190533
Publication Date:
02/01/2007
Filing Date:
07/27/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ACKUN, JACOB K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lawrence P. Zale (Scott Township, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A collectable container for containing a food or beverage comprising; a. an inner curved surface; b. an outer curved surface; c. at least one protective recess in the outer surface for holding an image away from other objects; d. an image placed in the outer surface recess, wherein the recess is protected from coming in contact with objects, thereby protecting the image.

2. The collectable container of claim 1 wherein the image is a holographic image.

3. The collectable container of claim 1 wherein the image is an image of a logo.

4. The collectable container of claim 1 wherein the image is an image relating to a major league sports franchise.

5. The collectable container of claim 1 wherein the image is an image of a player.

6. The collectable container of claim 1 wherein the protective recess also protects the image from physical damage which may scratch, dislodge or destroy the image.

7. The collectable container of claim 1 wherein the container is designed to resemble a baseball helmet.

8. The collectable container of claim 1 wherein the container is designed to resemble a soccer ball.

9. The collectable container of claim 1 wherein the container is designed to resemble a basketball.

10. The collectable container of claim 1 wherein the container is designed to resemble a football.

11. A collectable container for containing a food or beverage comprising; a. an inner curved surface; b. an outer curved surface; c. at least one protective offset on the outer surface for holding an image away from other objects; d. an image placed between the protective offsets on the outer surface, wherein the protective offsets protect the image from coming in direct contact with objects, thereby preserving the image.

12. The collectable container of claim 11 wherein the protective offsets are several protrusions on the surface of the container.

13. The collectable container of claim 11 wherein the protective offsets are portions of a ridge encircling the image.

14. The collectable container of claim 11 wherein the protective offsets comprise: a surface of the container which surrounds at least a portion of a recess that receives the image.

15. A collectable object comprising; a. an inner curved surface; b. an outer curved surface; c. at least one protective recess in the outer surface for holding an image away from other objects; d. an image placed in the outer surface recess, wherein the recess is protected from coming in contact with objects, thereby protecting the image.

16. The collectable object of claim 1 wherein the image is a holographic image.

17. The collectable object of claim 1 wherein the image is an image of a logo.

18. The collectable object of claim 1 wherein the image is an image relating to a major league sports franchise.

19. The collectable object of claim 1 wherein the image is an image of a player.

20. The collectable object of claim 1 wherein the protective recess also protects the image from physical damage which may scratch, dislodge or destroy the image.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to collectable objects such as containers for foods and beverages, and more particularly, to collectable objects which include collectable images.

2. Description of Related Art

In major and minor league sporting events it is common for concessions to sell pictures and other memorabilia of the teams and their players. It is also common to sell items such as ice cream and beverages in collectable containers. Some of these items employ pictures or logos on them.

These items are by nature and intention collectable and are intended to have lasting value. As such, any change or enhancement to these items which increases their durability is beneficial to the consumer. In the chaotic environment of sporting events it is possible for these items to be thrown on the ground, kicked around and otherwise disturbed. These may ruin the images or dislodge them from their bases and make the collectables worthless.

Therefore, there is a current need for collectable objects which will be able to handle these adverse conditions while protecting the collectable image.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a collectable container for containing a food or beverage comprising:

    • a. an inner curved surface;
    • b. an outer curved surface;
    • c. at least one protective recess in the outer surface for holding an image away from other objects;
    • d. an image placed in the outer surface recess, wherein the recess is protected from coming in contact with objects, thereby protecting the image.

The present invention may also be embodied as a solid object which may or may not be a container. Together they may be referred to as collectable objects.

The collectable objects preferably employs a lenticular image (also commonly know as ‘3-D’ or ‘holographic’ images) which may be a logo relating to any sporting or entertainment event, or an image of players or other famous individuals.

The protective recess is sized and positioned to hold an image away from an adjacent surface which may have sharp protrusions, such that the protrusions do not come in contact with or catch on an edge of the lenticular image. Therefore, the protective recess protects the image from physical damage that may scratch, destroy or dislodge the image.

The container may be designed to resemble a miniature batting helmet, one half of a basketball, a soccer ball, or other object commonly recognized in sporting items.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features and advantages of the apparatus of the invention are highlighted by the following description of some preferred embodiments of same, illustrated by way of non-limiting examples in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1a is an illustrative perspective view of a container consistent with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1b is a front elevational view of the container of FIG. 1a.

FIG. 1c is a plan view of one embodiment of the container of FIGS. 1a and 1b.

FIG. 2 is a side, elevational view of a cross section of the container of FIGS. 1a-1c resting on its top side showing the protective inset of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side, elevational view of a cross section of the container of FIGS. 1a-1c resting on its top side showing how the image is protected.

FIG. 4 is a side, elevational view of a cross section of a second embodiment of the container of FIGS. 1a-1c according to the present invention, resting on its top side showing protective offsets.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a collectable object being a soccer ball embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a collectable object being a football embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention relates to collectable objects such as containers sold with foods and beverages at sporting or other entertainment events. The aspect of the container which makes it a collectable is the unique logo or picture attached to the object.

View dependent images which show two or more different pictures based upon the observer's viewing angle or show a 3-dimentional image are referred to as lenticular images. The lenticular images attached to these collectables make them even more desirable.

If the image is destroyed or significantly damaged, the collectable object has little collectable value.

As discussed above, many public events which collectable objects would be sold are crowded and have a large amount of activity, due to the excitement of the crowd. In these conditions, it is typical to have the image on the collectable jostled, kicked and damaged.

The present invention is a collectable object designed to be more resistant to contact damage of the images and is more resistant to having the adhesive-backed, lenticular image become pulled off and dislodged if the edge catches on the counters, tables and/or seats.

Referring now to the Figures, FIG. 1a is an illustrative perspective view of a container 1 consistent with one embodiment of the present invention. Container 1 is also shown in a front elevational view in FIG. 1b, and in a plan view in FIG. 1c.

Container 1 has walls 120 and a brim 110 shaped in the form of a baseball batting helmet. It is typically made of a plastic and may be used to hold ice cream or other foods.

In this embodiment, a picture 130 is attached to the surface 120 of helmet 1. Picture 130 is placed in a recess 133 with respect to a surrounding edge 131 which protrudes relative to recess 133. Recess 133 and its variations may be referred to as ‘protective inset’.

Dotted lines indicate other sites where images may be attached, such as sites 140, 150 and 160. These sites could be partially or fully recessed. Site 160 currently shows a New York Yankees logo.

Sites 140 and 150 and 160 are curved surfaces, whereas site 130 is a flat surface. In the case of curved surfaces, special view-dependent images may be employed in which an entire image is viewed from a given viewpoint.

Currently, view-dependent images are designed to be flat and all aspects of the image are viewed simultaneously from substantially the same incident angle.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial illustration of protective recess 133 of the present invention. Here, container 1 is shown resting upside down resting on a surface 3. A surface 120 holds container 1. The image 130 is held in recess 131 up away from surface 3. Image 130 does not physically touch, and is not scratched by surface 3.

FIG. 3 is a side, cross sectional view of container 1 positioned resting on its top side showing the original surface 131. Image 130 is placed in recess 133 of wall 120. In this illustration an object 337 is moving in the direction marked “A” toward image 130. Image 130 within recess 133 is protected from object 337 hitting and dislodging or destroying image 130.

FIG. 4 is a side, cross sectional view of another embodiment of the present invention showing container 1 positioned resting on its top side. In this embodiment, a lenticular image 130 is surrounded by raised lip or surface 131. Surface 131 acts as a protective barrier preventing objects from coming into contact with, and scratching or dislodging image 130.

FIG. 5 is a perspective illustration of another embodiment of the present invention. The present invention may be applied to other types of collectable objects. Solid objects may be used which are sold during events as souvenirs. These are intended to be displayed as a trophy or medal would be.

In this embodiment, a collectable object 1 is shaped like a soccer ball. Again, there is a recess 133 surrounded by an edge 131 in which image 130 is positioned. The collectable object may then be taken home and displayed showing the lenticular image 133.

FIG. 6 shows another embodiment of the present invention embodied as a collectable football 1 having a similar recess 133 surrounded by a raised edge 131 having a lenticular image 130. This, like toe soccer ball of FIG. 5, may have an opening to store items as a container.

Similarly, FIGS. 1-6 may resemble other hats, helmets, or objects associated with sporting or entertainment events, such as those for racing, football, etc. and still are within the scope of the present invention.

In an alternative embodiment, surface 133 may be built up to protrude outwardly in several areas surrounding image 130. These protrusions protect image 130 and may or may not be used with a recess. Therefore image 130 may be attached to a flush surface of the container 1 but be protected by the surrounding raised surfaces.

Please note that even though the figures were shown and described for protecting image 130, they may apply equally for other images, including images 140, 150, 160 of container 1.

Having thus described the invention, what is desired is to be protected by a Utility Patent is presented in the appended claims.