Title:
Cup lid with hook for hanging lid on upper rim of cup
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lid for a beverage container is provided with a “hanger member”, joined to the lower edge an annular retaining rim of the lid, which forms a U-shaped hook allowing the lid to be hung from the upper lip of the container. In use, the lid may be removed and hang from the top of container while adding a substance, such as a whitener and/or sweetener, to a beverage, such as coffee, in the container.



Inventors:
Slayton, Douglas (Bridgehampton, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/209368
Publication Date:
03/08/2007
Filing Date:
08/23/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/744, 220/751, 229/404, 229/906.1, 220/713
International Classes:
B65D41/18; A47G19/22; B65D25/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SMALLEY, JAMES N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ECKERT SEAMANS CHERIN & MELLOTT, LLC (PITTSBURGH, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A removable lid for a beverage container having an upper rim surrounding an open top, said lid comprising, in combination: (a) a top cover for covering the open top of the container with an upper surface facing outward away from the container, an opposite lower surface facing the container and the beverage in the container, the upper and lower surfaces have a circular periphery, said top cover including means providing an opening therein permitting a beverage in the container to be accessed through the cover by a user; (b) an annular retaining rim extending downward from the periphery of the top cover and integral therewith for circumscribing the upper rim of the container and retaining the cover when in a covering position on the top of the container; and (c) a hanger member, joined to a lower edge of the retaining rim, forming a U-shaped hook, said hook being configured to extend over the upper rim of the container to hang and hold the lid from said upper rim in a position with the lower surface of the cover facing the container; whereby the lid may be hung from the upper rim of the container by means of said hanger member to allow the user to add ingredients to the beverage in the container prior to applying the lid to the open top thereof.

2. The beverage container lid defined in claim 1, wherein said hanger member is a separate member attached to the annular retaining rim.

3. The beverage container lid defined in claim 2, wherein said hanger member is attached to the annular retaining rim by an adhesive.

4. The beverage container lid defined in claim 2, wherein said hanger member is attached to the annular retaining rim by a weld.

5. The beverage container lid defined in claim 1, wherein said hanger member is made of the same material as the annular retaining rim and forms an integral extension thereto.

6. The beverage container lid defined in claim 1, wherein the hanger member is in the range of ¼ inch to ½ inch in width.

7. The beverage container lid defined in claim 1, wherein said hanger member is perforated along a line adjacent and parallel to the retaining rim, to facilitate its removal by tearing along the perforation.

8. The beverage container lid defined in claim 1, wherein said hanger member is so configured that the container lid, including the top cover, the annular retaining rim and the hanger member, is stackable with other like container lids, with one inside the other.

9. A method of adding a substance to a beverage in a beverage container having an upper rim surrounding an open top, said container having a removable lid disposed on, and supported by, said upper rim to close said top, said method comprising the steps of: (a) removing said lid from said container; (b) hanging said lid on said rim of said container by means of a hanger member joined to an edge of said lid; (c) inserting said substance in said beverage through said open top; and (d) replacing said lid on said top of said container.

10. The method defined in claim 9, wherein said beverage is coffee and said substance is selected from the group consisting of a whitener and a sweetener.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a removable lid for a beverage container or “cup” of the type used for holding hot or cold beverages such as coffee, cocoa, soda and the like.

More particularly, the invention relates to a removable lid for a beverage container having a circular upper rim surrounding an open top.

It is well known to provide a cover or lid for beverage containers to prevent spillage of the liquid beverage in the container. Most such lids incorporate a small opening therein in order to allow drinking of the beverage, either in the normal drinking fashion or by the insertion of a straw. Some lids have an opening which is sealed by a depressible tap or a hinged flap, whereas others have a permanently open small hole. Such lids, which are normally made of plastic material, may be used with cups of various types, but are particularly suitable for use with disposable cups of the type commonly used as carryout containers for beverages. Such cups are commonly made of Styrofoam or paper. The drinking cup has a generally circular upper lip or rim, often with a bead formed on it for receiving and securing the lid.

Typical of the U.S. Patent literature relating to drinking cup lids are the U.S. Pat. No. 4,183,444 and the following U.S. Patent Publications:

US2003/0178426A1
US2004/0031797A1
US2005/0072787A1

Certain beverages, such as coffee, often need to be modified by adding a liquid such as milk, cream, liquid flavor extract, liqueur, or syrup, or a powder such as sugar, a sugar substitute, salt and/or some other powered spice. In such a case, it is necessary to remove the lid and either hold it in one hand, while filling the cup with the additive using the other hand, or to place the lid on a counter which may be dirty or, as a minimum, is not germ free. Such action is not only inconvenient for the user, but also has the possibility of being unsanitary.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A principal object of the present invention is to solve the aforesaid problem of holding an open lid of a beverage container (cup) while adding a liquid or solid taste enhancer to the beverage in the cup.

This object, as well as other objects which will become apparent from the discussion that follows, are achieved, in accordance with the present invention, by providing a “hanger member”, joined to the lower edge an annular retaining rim of the lid, which forms a U-shaped hook allowing the lid to be hung from the upper lips or rim of the container.

More particularly, and in accordance with the teaching of the present invention, the U-shaped hook is configured to extend over the upper rim of the container to hang and hold the lid from the upper rim in a position such that the upper surface of the lid faces outward from the container.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, the hanger member is made of the same material as the remainder of the lid and forms an integral extension thereto. Alternatively, the hanger member may be an altogether separate member which is attached to the edge of the lid, for example by means of an adhesive or by a plastic-to-plastic weld.

For an-average size cup, such as a coffee cup, the hanger member need not be very large. Preferably it is in the range of ⅛ inch to ½ inch in width and sufficiently long with its U-shaped hook to securely hang the lid along side the cup from the cup's upper rim.

According to a preferred feature of the present invention, the hanger member is perforated along a line adjacent and parallel to the retaining rim of the lid, facilitating its removal from the lid by tearing along the perforation.

According to another preferred feature of the present invention, the hanger member is so configured that the container lid, together with the hanger member, is stackable with other like container lids, one inside the other.

The present invention solves the problem of holding an open lid of a beverage container (cup) while adding a substance, such as a whitener or sweetener, to a beverage in the container, such as coffee. The aforesaid hanger member makes it possible to apply the following method steps to a beverage-filled container having a lid:

(a) removing the lid from a container which holds the beverage;

(b) hanging the lid on the rim of the container by means of the hanger member joined to the edge of the lid;

(c) adding the substance to the beverage through the open top of the container; and

(d) replacing the lid on the top of the container.

For a full understanding of the present invention, reference should now be made to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a beverage container (cup) having a removable lid with an associated hanger member, hanging to one side thereof, in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a vertical, cross-sectional view through the cup and cup lid shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a vertical, cross-sectional view of the cup and cup lid of FIGS. 1 and 2 showing the lid in place on top of the cup.

FIG. 4 is a bottom face view of the cup lid with hanger member according to the invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a plurality of cup lids according to the invention, in stacked configuration.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1-5 of the drawings. Identical elements in the various figures are designated with the same reference numerals.

The present invention is generally embodied in a lid 10 for a beverage container or drinking cup 12. The lid 10 may be used with cups of various types, and is particularly suitable for use with disposable cups of the type commonly used as carryout containers for hot beverages such as coffee and cocoa. Such cups are commonly made of Styrofoam or paper. The drinking cup 12 has a generally circular, normally thickened, upper lip or rim 14 surrounding its open top 16 for receiving and securing the lid 10 thereon.

FIGS. 1-5 illustrate a preferred embodiment of the lid 10 according to the invention. The lid 10 provides a cover for the cup 12 which inhibits spillage and reduces heat transfer between the beverage and the environment. The lid 10 is secured in place on the cup 12 by an annular retaining rim 18 which engages the rim or lip 14 of the cup 12. As shown particularly in FIG. 3, the annular retaining rim 18 extends downward from the periphery of the top cover 20 of the lid, while integral therewith, for circumscribing the upper rim of the container and retaining the cover when the lid is in position on the top of the container.

As is best illustrated in FIG. 4, the lid 10 has an opening 11 for sipping or drinking the beverage as well as a small opening 13, allowing air to enter the cup and fill the space left vacant as its contents are removed.

All of the details and features of the lid 10 described above are conventional and well known in the art.

According to the invention, the cup lid is provided with a hanger member 22: A strip of material in the range of ⅛ inch to ½ inch wide, and preferably about ¼ inch wide, which is formed integrally with, or attached to, the annular retaining rim 18 of the lid. If formed integrally, the hanger member 22 is necessarily made of the same material as the annular retaining rim of the lid. If separately attached, the hanger member 22 may be made of the same or of different material. Attachment may be by means of an adhesive, a weld, or by some other known means.

Advantageously, the strip 22 may be perforated along a line 24 adjacent and parallel to the retaining rim of the lid, as shown in FIG. 4. Such a perforation facilitates the removal of the hanger member by tearing it along the perforation.

As is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the hanger member 22 allows the user to hang the cup lid 10 on the upper rim 14 of the container 12. This arrangement makes possible the following simple method of adding a substance to a beverage in the cup, starting with the lid in place on top of the cup:

(a) removing the lid from the cup;

(b) hanging the lid on the rim of the cup by means of the hanging member;

(c) inserting the substance, such as a whitener and/or a sweetener into the beverage, such as coffee, through the open top of the cup; and

(d) replacing the lid on the top of the cup.

As is best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the hanger member 22 is provided with a U-shaped hook 26 of an appropriate size to permit the lid to be hung on the rim 14 of the cup 12. The U-shaped hook 26 is open in a direction toward, rather than away from the lid 10 so that when the hook is placed over the rim of the cup, the lower surface of the cover 20 faces toward the cup or, stated another way, the upper surface of the cover 20, when the lid is in its upright position, is facing away from the cup.

Finally, as is also best illustrated in FIG. 3, the hanging member 22 has an integral “hinge” 28 which allows the hanging member to be bent upward so that the container lid 10, including its top cover 20, its annular retaining rim 18 and the hanger member 22, is stackable with other like container lids, one inside the other, in the manner showing in FIG. 5.

There has thus been shown and described a novel cup lid with a hook for hanging the lid on the upper rim of a cup, which fulfills all the objects and advantages sought therefor.

Many changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications of the subject invention will, however, become apparent to those skilled in the art after considering this specification and the accompanying drawings which disclose the preferred embodiments thereof. All such changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention are deemed to be covered by the invention, which is to be limited only by the claims which follow.