Title:
Personalized bottle and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of personalizing a beverage bottle comprises providing a bottle assembly with a side wall having an exterior surface. An array of selectable sleeve wraps are provided, each configured to fit on the side wall of the bottle assembly. Each sleeve wrap has at least one characteristic that is visibly different from the other sleeve wraps of the array. One of the sleeve wraps is selected from the array and attached on the side wall of the bottle assembly.



Inventors:
Mckinney, Larry T. (Huntersville, NC, US)
Hull, Kenneth W. (Huntersville, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/395996
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
03/31/2006
Assignee:
Rubbermaid Incorporated (Huntersville, NC, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D51/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WEAVER, SUE A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lempia Summerfield Katz LLC (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bottle assembly comprising: a bottle having a bottom, a side wall extending upward from the bottom, a neck near a top end of the side wall, and a top opening in the neck; a cap removably attached to the neck and covering the top opening; a drinking spout; a shroud covering a portion of the cap, at least part of the shroud having a transparent or semi-transparent window region, the shroud being selectively removable both from the bottle and from the cap; and an area at the window region between the shroud and the cap that is alterable by a user to display personalized visual imagery.

2. A bottle assembly according to claim 1, wherein the side wall has a tapered waist section between the bottom and the neck that is smaller in circumference than adjacent parts of the bottle above and below the tapered waist.

3. A bottle assembly according to claim 2, further comprising: a decorative sleeve wrap received over an exterior surface of the side wall, wherein the sleeve wrap has a contoured waist that snugly follows the contour of the tapered waist section of the bottle to assist in retaining the sleeve wrap on the bottle.

4. A bottle assembly according to claim 2, further comprising: a decorative sleeve wrap received over an exterior surface of the side wall, the wrap formed as a flat panel with opposed side edges that lie closely adjacent one another or overlap one another; and a fastening mechanism near the sides edges of the sleeve wrap securing the sleeve wrap to the bottle assembly.

5. A bottle assembly according to claim 4, wherein the fastening mechanism comprises: a material loop near one of the side edges; and an elongate tab near the other of the side edges threaded through the material loop, the tab carrying fastener parts secured to one another.

6. A bottle assembly according to claim 1, further comprising: a shoulder surface extending radially inward between and connecting the top end of the side wall and the neck; and a decorative ring received around the neck of the bottle and resting on the shoulder, the ring captured between the shoulder and a part of the shroud.

7. A bottle assembly according to claim 1, further comprising: a plurality of decorative sleeve wraps selectable by a user, each of the plurality of sleeve wraps being attachable to an exterior surface of the side wall, and each of the plurality of sleeve wraps having a visual characteristic different from the other of the plurality of sleeve wraps.

8. A bottle assembly according to claim 1, further comprising: a hole in a top surface of the shroud, wherein the drinking spout is on the cap and extends upward and is user accessible through the hole in the shroud.

9. A bottle assembly according to claim 1, further comprising: an upward projecting cylinder surrounding the drinking spout on the cap, the cylinder having a perimeter surface that faces outward relative to the spout and that has a non-circular contour; and a hole in a top surface of the shroud, wherein the drinking spout extends upward and is user accessible through the hole in the shroud, the hole having a non-circular perimeter shape that nests around the contour of the perimeter surface of the cylinder and rotationally interlocks the shroud with the cylinder region of the cap.

10. A bottle assembly according to claim 1, further comprising: male threads on an exterior circumferential surface of the neck; female threads on an interior circumferential surface of the cap that engage the male threads to retain the cap on the neck of the bottle; and a rotational mechanical interlock between the shroud and the cap.

11. A bottle assembly according to claim 1, wherein the cap has a depending cap skirt with a circumferential annular surface and a bottom edge, wherein the shroud has a depending shroud skirt with an interior surface that faces and closely surrounds the annular surface of the cap skirt, and wherein the alterable area is between the cap skirt and shroud skirt.

12. A bottle assembly according to claim 11, further comprising: one or more annular projections extending radially inward from the interior surface of the shroud skirt, the one or more annular projections sized to interferingly fit around the annular surface of the cap skirt and to snap under the bottom edge of the cap skirt to retain the shroud on the cap.

13. A bottle assembly according to claim 12, further comprising: a strip of material captured between the cap skirt and the shroud skirt within the window region, the strip of material being vertically retained between the cap skirt and shroud skirt by the one or more annular projections, and the strip of material capable of displaying user specified visual imagery and being removable and replaceable with another strip of material.

14. A bottle assembly according to claim 1, wherein the window region extends around an entire periphery of the cap and the shroud.

15. A beverage bottle system having user alterable appearance characteristics, the bottle system comprising: a bottle having a bottom, a side wall, a neck near a top end of the side wall, and a top opening in the neck; a cap assembly attached to the neck and covering the top opening, the cap assembly having a drinking spout; and a plurality of sleeve wraps selectable by a user to personalize the bottle, each sleeve wrap having a visible characteristic that is different from the other of the plurality of sleeve wraps, wherein each sleeve wrap is configured to be installed around and cover a portion of the side wall and to be retained on the side wall when installed.

16. A bottle system according to claim 15, wherein the cap assembly further comprises: a cap part removably attached to the neck of the bottle; and a shroud part at least partly covering a portion of the cap part, the shroud part being selectively removable from and replaceable on the cap part.

17. A bottle system according to claim 16, wherein the cap part and the shroud part are configured to capture a strip of material between them, the strip of material being visible through the shroud part and being personalizable with visual imagery determined by a user.

18. A bottle system according to claim 15, wherein at least one of the plurality of sleeve wraps has a mirror.

19. A bottle system according to claim 18, wherein the mirror is covered by a part of the sleeve wrap and can be exposed by moving the part.

20. A bottle system according to claim 15, wherein at least one of the plurality of sleeve wraps is configured to resemble an article of clothing.

21. A bottle system according to claim 15, further comprising: an array of accessory items each selectable by a user, useable with the bottle system, and capable of further adding a desired visual characteristic or a functional characteristic to the user's bottle.

22. A bottle system according to claim 15, wherein the bottle has a first physical feature and each of the plurality of sleeve wraps has a second physical feature, wherein the first and second physical features cooperate to mechanically retain a selected one of the sleeve wraps on the side wall of the bottle.

23. A bottle system according to claim 22, wherein the first physical feature is a waist region that is smaller in size than upper and lower regions of the bottle above and below the waist region, and wherein the second physical feature is a smaller sized mid-region of the plurality of sleeve wraps than regions near a top and a bottom edge of the plurality of sleeve wraps.

24. A bottle system according to claim 15, wherein the bottle side wall has a waist region that is smaller in size than adjacent upper and lower parts above and below the waist region, and wherein the side wall in the waist region can be readily squeezed to dispense liquid from the bottle and the side wall in the upper and lower parts is stiffer and can not be squeezed using the same force needed to squeeze the waist region.

25. A method of personalizing a beverage bottle, the method comprising the steps of: providing a bottle assembly with a side wall having an exterior surface; providing an array of selectable sleeve wraps, each configured to fit on the side wall of the bottle assembly, each configured to resemble an article of clothing, and each having at least one characteristic that is visibly different from the other sleeve wraps of the array; selecting one of the sleeve wraps from the array; and attaching the selected sleeve wrap on the side wall of the bottle assembly.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION DATA

This patent claims priority benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/715,213, which was filed on Sep. 8, 2005, and the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Disclosure

The present disclosure is generally directed to beverage bottles, and more particularly to a personalized bottle and wrap, a bottle assembly, a bottle and wrap system, and a method for personalizing bottles in a manner tailored to a user's taste.

2. Description of Related Art

Reusable drinking bottles or beverage containers are well-known. Consumers are known to carry a re-usable beverage bottle or container that holds a quantity of a desired beverage, such as water. A typical reusable container of this type has a relatively generic look, may not be easily identifiable by a consumer as their own container, and does not offer a particularly distinctive appearance.

There are a number of prior art products and methods that are known for use as a means of identifying a particular container as the user's own. Additionally, there are a number of known techniques by which a consumer can keep their beverage cool and at the same time add a desired aesthetic appearance or quality to their container. In one example, users have been known to attach stickers to a drinking bottle that indicate a personal style and add a look of individuality to the bottle. In another example, can or bottle “koozies” are known for keeping the contents of the container cool. Such “koozies” are known to come with various artworks, logos, designs, or other indicia on their exterior surfaces.

In another example, U.S. Published Patent Application No. 2004/0195254 discloses thin elastic identification bands provided in different colors. The bands are selectable by different users at a group gathering. Each user can add their selected band to their particular container so that they can identify that container as their own for the duration of the gathering.

A number of U.S. design patents disclose covers for beverage bottles or containers in the form of clothing articles. U.S. Design Pat. No. D504,800 discloses a wine bottle cover in the form of a monk's robe. U.S. Published Application No. 2004/0104237 discloses a container cover in the form of a jacket with sleeves and a collar. U.S. Design Pat. Nos. D499,309, D504,838, and D494,423 each disclose a container sleeve that is formed to resemble a shirt. U.S. Pat. No. 6,866,159 discloses a cover for a bottle that resembles a jacket with sleeves that can be reconfigured and connected into a loop to form a carrying handle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following description in conjunction with the drawing figures, in which:

FIG.1 is an exploded perspective view of one example of a personalized bottle system constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a top half of only the assembled bottle and cap parts of the bottle system shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3A is a front view of the entire assembled bottle system shown in FIG. 1.

FIGS. 3B and 3C are front and rear views of one example of a bottle wrap as depicted in FIGS. 1 and 3A and shown in an open, detached configuration.

FIG. 4A is a front view of an assembled bottle system constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and employing a different bottle wrap example.

FIG. 4B is a front view of the bottle wrap of FIG. 4A and shown in an open, detached configuration.

FIG. 5A is a front view of an assembled bottle system constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and employing another different bottle wrap example.

FIG. 5B is a front view of the bottle wrap of FIG. 5A and shown in an open, detached configuration.

FIG. 5C is an enlarged view of a flap portion of the bottle wrap shown in FIG. 5B.

FIG. 6A is a front view of an assembled bottle system constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and employing still another different bottle wrap example.

FIGS. 6B and 6C are front and rear views of the bottle wrap of FIG. 6A and shown in an open, detached configuration.

FIG. 7 is a front view of another example of a bottle wrap constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and shown on a bottle.

FIG. 8 is a front view of an additional example of a bottle wrap constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and shown on a bottle.

FIG. 9 is a front view of yet another example of a bottle wrap constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and shown on a bottle.

FIG. 10 is a front view of still another example of a bottle wrap constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and shown on a bottle.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a stretchable band for use in one example of retaining a bottle wrap on a bottle in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of another example of a strap for retaining a bottle wrap on a bottle in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is another example of a bottle system constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and including a carrying strap.

FIG. 14 is a cross section taken along line XIV-XIV of the bottle shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 15 is a cross section taken along line XV-XV of the bottle shown in FIG. 1.

Detailed Description of the Disclosure

The present invention is for a personalized bottle system and method of personalizing a bottle to an individual user's taste. The system can incorporate a bottle assembly and a sleeve or wrap, either or both of which can be selected and/or modified by a user to personalize the selected bottle to their particular taste. In one example, a plurality of wraps is provided in different configurations and each wrap is individually selectable by a user. The wraps can be added to a bottle assembly that is configured to receive any one of the plurality of wraps so that the bottle is personalized to that user's taste. The wraps can be manufactured, packaged, and/or sold in a manner that permits a user to further modify their own bottle and wrap. The wraps can be packaged and/or sold with additional personalization features and accessories that permit a user to selectively modify the wrap or the bottle using any one or more of the features or accessories.

In one example, the disclosed bottle system can include a bottle and a plurality of different selectable wraps to be sold as a kit that includes the bottle and one or more of the selected wrap. In another example, the system can include additional features and accessories for modifying the selected bottle and/or wrap, and sold either as part of the kit or as separately offered item. In another example, an array of different bottles having different colors and/or other features can be offered in conjunction with an array of different selectable wraps. In such an example, the user can select both a particular bottle with desired features from the bottle array and a particular wrap with desired features from the wrap array so that they can further personalize their bottle. Variations and combinations of these examples can also be employed within the spirit and scope of the invention.

Turning now to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows an exploded view of just one of many possible examples of a bottle assembly or system 20 that is constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and that can be personalized by a user. In this example, the system generally incorporates a bottle 22 with a cap 24 that has a drinking spout 26. In this example, the spout 26 is a conventional push-pull spout that can be pushed in when closed and pulled out when open for drinking from the bottle. The assembly also has a shroud or overcap 28 received over the cap and has an exterior sleeve or wrap 30 received over an exterior of the bottle. In this particular example, the system also includes a decorative beaded band 32 and a removable information tag 34. Details of and various constructions for these and other optional features and accessories of the system 20 are described throughout this document. As will become evident upon reading this detailed description, many of the features and accessories of the disclosed systems can either be used separately or in various combinations to personalize a particular bottle.

The bottle and cap construction is shown and described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2. In this example, the bottle 22 has a bottom 36 and a generally cylindrical side wall 38 that extends up from the bottom. The bottom and side wall together form a drinking container space of the bottle. In this example, an exterior surface 40 of the bottle 22 includes surface contours that give the bottle a unique appearance. However, the exterior surface can also be smooth or have contours and features as desired, other than those shown, for a particular aesthetic appearance.

The bottle 22 in this example has a conventional mouth or opening 42 at an upper end of a bottle neck 44. The bottle neck 44 has a plurality of mechanical threads 46 on its exterior surface. A base 48 of the neck 44 below the threads tapers to a shoulder 50 that extends radially outward from the neck. The shoulder 50 transitions into a top end 51 of the side wall 38. The cap 24 has a top surface 52 with an annular cap skirt 54 that depends from a perimeter 56 of the top surface. An interior surface (not shown) of the cap skirt 54 has interior threads that engage the neck threads to create a conventional screw-on connection between cap and neck.

In this example, the bottle also has an inwardly tapered waist 60 that is positioned generally between the bottom 36 and the top end 51 of the side wall. The waist 60 has a diameter or circumference in this example that is smaller than the size of the upper and lower parts 62 and 62, respectively, of the bottle. The various features of the bottle and cap described above can vary considerably and yet fall within the spirit and scope of the present invention. An array of different bottles with different features can also be provided, each bottle being individually selectable by a user for adding a distinctive, personalized look to their particular bottle. The bottles and caps can be provided in different colors, from various different materials, and/or with different surface configurations, contours, and shapes or formations. The waist can be positioned anywhere along the height of the side wall and more than one tapered region can optionally be provided on the bottle side wall, as desired. Thus, just the bottle and cap alone can provide a degree of personalization for a user.

The bottle system shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 embodies additional personalization features in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and that are incorporated as part of the cap assembly for the bottle. In this example, the cap 24 and shroud 28 together form a cap assembly that can be personalized by a user. The shroud 28 fits over the cap 24. The shroud 28 also has a depending skirt 66 extending from a perimeter 68 of a top surface 70. The top surface 70 in this example has an opening 72 that permits the spout to pass upward through the shroud. The shroud skirt 66 depends from the top surface similar to the under-cap, but is sized to permit the shroud 28 to nest over the cap 24 when installed.

The cap assembly can incorporate a snap feature or other connection or detent arrangement so that the two cap parts are separable but secured together. In this example, the shroud interior surface has one or more inwardly raised ribs 74 that are positioned and sized to project radially inward sufficient to snap over a bottom edge 76 of the cap skirt 54. Thus, the shroud 28 can be snapped onto and removed from the cap as desired. Other structures are certainly possible for removably securing the shroud onto the cap. For example, complimentary detents, ribs, ridges, notches, bumps, dimples, and the like can be placed on facing surfaces of the skirts to accomplish this purpose.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the shroud 28 and cap 24 can be rotationally locked relative to one another. In this example, a cylinder 80 is positioned around the spout 26 and projects upward from the top surface 52 of the cap 24. The cylinder 80 has a perimeter surface 82 that faces radially outward and that has a non-circular circumferential contour. The spout opening 72 in the shroud 28 has an inward facing perimeter edge that is configured to seat close to and surround the cylinder 80. In this example, the opening 72 has the same contour as the perimeter surface 82 and is sized to closely interlock with the cylinder. Thus, when the shroud 28 is installed on the cap 24, the two parts can not rotate relative to one another. If a user wishes to remove the threaded cap, they can readily rotate the shroud, which will rotate the cap because they are rotationally locked with one another. The shroud material, color, shape, and configuration can be varied to provide a stand-alone personalization feature, if utilized as part of the bottle system.

In this example, the shroud skirt 66 is spaced radially outward from the cap skirt 54 to create an annular space or gap between the skirts. The shroud 28, or at least a portion of the skirt 66, can be formed having an opening, or can be formed in part or entirely of transparent, semi-transparent, or translucent material to create a window region in the skirt. A label, tag, or other thin object 90 can be sandwiched between these two cap parts as depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 and aligned with the window region. The label or tag 34 can be pre-printed or can be blank so that a user can write any desired information, such as their name, on a label surface. In this example, the label 90 is visible through the window region of the shroud 28 in the skirt 66. A user can also write on their own paper strip, adhesive label or other material and place it between the cap and shroud skirts to further personalize their own bottle.

In one example, the entire shroud 28, or at least the entire shroud skirt 66, can optionally be formed of a translucent or at least semi-transparent material to render its entire circumference as a window region to permit displaying visual imagery or other user defined and selected information. A user can place writing or paper between the two surfaces of the cap and shroud to display upward facing personalized information if desired. In another example, the exterior of the shroud or the outward facing surfaces of the cap can be made from a dry erase material to permit a user to write, erase, and rewrite information on their cap assembly for display. The selected materials for the shroud and, if visible, the cap, can be varied in color and degree of clarity or transparency in order to achieve a desired look or appearance. Additionally, the opening 72 in the shroud 28 and the shape of the cylinder surface 82 can have various configurations in order to create a desired look, and yet still function as a rotational lock between cap and shroud.

The shroud feature can be employed as a stand-alone feature for personalizing a bottle, or can be employed with one or more other personalization features disclosed and described herein. The tag feature and the display window feature can also be employed as stand-alone personalization features, or can be used with one or more of the other features disclosed and described herein for personalizing one's bottle. Surfaces of the cap and/or shroud can also be of a type that will permit one to write directly on the part to personalize their bottle. In another example, these surfaces can be of a dry-erase type material or the products can be provided with appropriate writing utensils that will permit a user to write on, erase or remove, and re-write on the same cap parts.

Another personalization feature option is depicted in FIGS. 1 and 3A, for example. In this example, the ring 32 or band of beads 94 is depicted as being received over the neck 44 of the bottle 22. The ring 32 can employ any type or shape of bead in one or more different sizes, colors, and shapes to further personalize their bottle. In another example, a ring or bracelet without beads could also be used. The ring 32 in this example is received over and around the bottle neck 44 and can be installed either prior to or after installation of the cap. The ring can be of a particular size and the bottle neck and cap of a particular size and shape so that, when either the cap 24 or the shroud 28 is installed, the ring is captured beneath the appropriately sized skirt 54 or 66. As shown, the ring 32 is positioned at the base 48 of the bottle neck 44 on the shoulder 50. A flared annular flange 96 on the bottom surface of the shroud skirt 66 captures the ring 32 in this example and creates a barrier to removing the ring when the shroud 28 is installed.

As will be evident to those having ordinary skill in the art upon reviewing this disclosure, the ring and beads can take on myriad different configurations and constructions if this feature is provided. Additionally, the disclosed label or tag 34 is shown as only partially circumventing the circumference of the bottle cap assembly. The label can be of different sizes, including height and length, and again can be pre-printed or user modified with virtually any color, image, information, or the like to achieve a desired effect chosen by the user.

In one example, a personalizable bottle system 20 can be offered to consumers and include a bottle 22, a cap 24, a shroud 28, an optional ring 32, and/or an optional tag or label 34. To enhance the kit or system, an array of bottles, caps, shrouds, rings, and/or tags or labels can be offered for ready selection by a user. Additional products and accessories can also be offered with such a system or in kits. A kit can be sold in conjunction with other selectable kits to provide one or more of these and other features capable of permitting bottle personalization for the consumer.

In another aspect of the present invention, the bottle system 20 can be offered with a wrap or sleeve 30, such as in the example shown in FIG. 1 and 3A-3C. In this example, the wrap 30 is formed from sewn fabric materials and has a generally rectangular shape when opened or unwrapped and detached from the bottle 22. The wrap 30 in this example has layers of fabric including at least a front layer 100, a back layer 102, and a perimeter welting 104 sewn around the edges of the wrap. The wrap has a bottom edge, 106, a top edge 108, and first and second side edges 110 and 112.

The wrap 30 in this example is cut and sewn in a manner so that a lateral mid-region 114 or waist is created when the wrap is reconfigured into a tube-like shape as shown in FIG. 1 and 3A. In this example, vertical sew lines are added between the top and bottom edges 108, 106 in order to appropriately bunch the fabric layers to create the region 114 across the wrap. When wrapped around the bottle 22, the region 114 has a smaller diameter or circumference to match the waist 60 on the bottle. This assists in retaining the wrap 30 on the bottle 22 when the wrap is secured in place.

One example of a mechanical fastener for securing the wrap 30 in place is shown in FIG. 3B. A loop 116 is sewn to the front layer 100 near the first edge 110 in this example. A tab is sewn to the outer layer 100 near the opposite edge 112 and carries both parts of a hook and loop or VELCRO fastener 120. When the wrap 30 is installed to the exterior surface 40 of the bottle 22, the free end 122 of the tab is slipped through the loop and the fastener 120 is engaged to snugly hold the wrap 30 in place on the bottle.

Another example of a mechanical fastener is also shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B. In this example, first parts 124 of hook and loop fasteners are sewn to the upper and lower comers on the back layer 102 of the wrap 30 above and below the loop 116 adjacent the edge 110. Second parts 126 of hook and loop fasteners are sewn above and below the tab 118 to the upper and lower comers of the front layer 100 adjacent the opposite edge 112. When wrapped around the bottle, the first and second edges overlap one another in this example. The first parts 124 engage the second parts 126 and assist in securing the wrap on the bottle.

As will be evident to those having ordinary skill in the art, the fasteners noted above need not be hook and loop fasteners. Instead, snaps, a zipper, an elongate VELCRO strip along the wrap edges, or other suitable fasteners or securing means can be used. Also, either the comer parts 124 and 126 or the centrally positioned tab 118 and loop 116 can be utilized without the other, if desired. The location of the “waist” region or regions 114 can vary vertically in order to align with the position of the waist 60 on the bottle.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3A-3C, the wrap 30 can be provided with one or more personalization features and functions. In this example, a small zippered storage pouch 130 is sewn to the front layer 100 for use as a personal storage space by the user. A plurality of elastic loops 132 is also sewn to the front layer 100. A pair of these loops 132 is vertically aligned to define a writing utensil holder. An open topped pocket 134 is also sewn to the front layer 100 in this example. The pocket can be used to store any thin object such as a library card, driver's license, ID badge, pictures, or the like. In the example shown, the pocket 134 has a clear plastic front panel or window 136. Thus, the pocket can be used to protect but visually display an item of the user to further personalize their wrap 30 and bottle 22. The interior surface of the pocket exposed through the clear plastic window 136 can be white or light colored in one example and the plastic material of the window 136 can be of a dry erase material. In such an example, a user can use the pocket to display a picture or leave the pocket empty. The user can also mark the window surface 136 with a dry erase marker. If the pocket is empty, the information will be visible because of the white or light colored background of the pocket interior. If the pocket has an object for display, such as a picture, a user can mark on the window surface 136 with a dry erase marker to alter the look of the picture.

An additional strap 138 is also sewn at one end 140 near the top edge 108 to the front layer 100 of the wrap 30. The other end of the strap carries both parts of a snap, clasp, or other fastener 142. Another loop 144 of material is sewn along the bottom edge 106 opposite the sewn end 140. The strap can be removably threaded through the loop 144 and snapped or fastened around the loop to secure and close the strap. The strap can be used to connect the wrap 30 and a bottle 22 to another object such as a backpack, a person's belt, or the like. An additional accessory loop 146 is also sewn along the top edge 108 of the wrap 30 in this example. The loop 146 can be used to attach other accessories to the wrap, or to connect the wrap 30 to another object such as a clip, belt, or the like. The various loops and straps can be provided to give a user versatility in how they use their wrap and can be employed based on a user's preference.

FIGS. 4A and 4B show another example of a wrap 150 constructed in a similar manner to the wrap 30. However, in this example the wrap shows several of myriad different accessory options that can be added to the wraps disclosed herein to further personalize a bottle. In this example, a small mirror or reflective surface 152 is sewn into an opening on the front layer 100. The mirror can be of significant usefulness to a user to check their appearance, if desired. A plurality of decorative eyelets 154 is also provided through the layers 100 and 102 to enhance the appearance of the wrap 150 in this example. A patch 156 with an area for the user to write information is also sewn to the front layer 100. The user can write on the patch 156 and convey virtually any information they wish, such as their own name or a favorite word.

FIGS. 5A-5C show yet another example of a wrap 160, also similarly constructed to the pocket 30, but again with optional accessory features and functions. In this example, a pocket 162 is again sewn to the front layer 100 and has an open top. The bottom 164 of the pocket 162 is not sewn to the front layer 100, and instead can be lifted like a flap to expose a hidden mirror 166 beneath the pocket. The pocket 134 of the wrap 30 can be similarly constructed if desired. The wrap 160 also has a storage pouch 168, but with a closure flap 170 that has a snap 172 to secure the flap to the pouch. The wrap 160 also includes a key ring 174 carried on a sewn loop 176 along the top edge 108. A vertically elongate, clear pouch 178 is sewn along one portion of the wrap 160. The pouch 178 has a cover or flap 179 that cover an open top of the pouch and can be secured closed by a snap 177. In this example, the pouch 178 is sized to hold a writing utensil.

FIGS. 6A-6C show another example of a wrap 180 that is constructed slightly differently than the previously described wraps 30, 150, and 160. In this example, the wrap 180 has a distinctive fringe 182 along its bottom edge 106 and a clothing-like waistband along its top edge 108 in order to resemble an article of clothing, such as a denim skirt. In order to secure the wrap 180 to a bottle, one part 184 of a VELCRO strip is sewn to the front layer 100 along one edge 110, and the other part 186 of the VELCRO strip is sewn to the back layer 102 along the other edge 112. Mating snap parts 188 and 190 are also provide in the upper comers, one on the back layer 102 and one of the front layer 100 to further secure the top edge 108 to the bottle. Belt loops 192 are also sewn spaced apart along the width of the wrap near the top edge 108 and a belt 194 is threaded through the loops to further add distinctiveness to the wrap 180. The belt can also be employed as part of the mechanism to assist in retaining the wrap 180 on a bottle.

The wrap 180 also has a plurality of additional accessories that can further personalize a bottle. An open topped pocket 195 is sewn to the front layer 100, and a zippered pocket 196 is provided integral with the front layer 100 of material. A patch 198 with an area for the user to write information is also sewn to the front layer, similar to the patch 156 on the wrap 150.

As will be evident to those having ordinary skill in the art, the wraps disclosed herein can be provided in many different fabrics, in many different forms, and having many different features and accessories. FIGS. 7-10 illustrate a number of different examples of wraps, wrap attachment mechanisms, and additional, optional personalization features and products that can be offered to consumers as a part of a personalized bottle product, kit, or system.

FIG. 7 shows an example of a wrap 200 for a bottle 22 wherein the wrap is formed of a faux or fake fur material and has a unique pattern of either permanent or removable patches 202 of different color. A small pocket 204 for storing objects is also shown as part of the wrap 200. Additional personalization features depicted in FIG. 7 are provided on a pair of wrist bands. One wrist band 206 is shown as being attachable to an upper part of the bottle, similar to the bracelet or beaded ring 92 shown in FIGS. 1 and 3A. A writing implement or marker 208 is depicted in this example as being carried on the upper wrist band 206. A user can either separately remove the marker from the wrist band, or remove the wrist band as desired, place it on their wrist, and carry the marker with them separate from the bottle. Alternatively, the upper wrist band 206 and marker 208 can be secured to the top of the bottle 22 for later use as shown.

A second wrist band 210 is also shown as part of the wrap at its lower end. In this example, the second wrist band 210 is secured to the bottom edge 106 of the wrap 200 along a zippered joint 212. The wrist band 210 can be unzipped and separated from the wrap, removed from the bottle, and placed on a user's wrist. The wrist band 210 in this example is depicted as carrying a watch component 214 on one side. The band 210 can have a user-markable label or patch (not shown) on the opposite side to identify the owner of the wrap 200 and the watch 214. A user can write on the label space as desired, such as print their name to identify the wrap and bottle as their own. As will be evident to those having ordinary skill in the art upon reviewing this disclosure, the wrist band 210 depicted at the lower end of the wrap 200 in this example need not carry a watch, but instead can carry either no additional feature, only a markable label, or other objects or features not depicted for further personalization of the bottle and wrap.

FIG. 8 shows a wrap 220 that is configured to resemble another article of clothing in the form of a shirt. In this example, the wrap 220 includes a front zipper 222 along its opposite side edges 110 and 112. The zipper 222 is placed to resemble a front of the shirt. The wrap is contoured to follows the contour of the bottle, and an upper part resembles cut-off sleeves 224 of the shirt. As with any of the previous wrap examples, the shirt wrap can be formed of virtually any material, color, fabric, and/or texture, and formed in myriad configurations to resemble different types of shirts, vest, coats, or the like. The wrap 220 can have words, pictures, patterns, and the like on its surfaces to enhance the personalized nature of the wrap and the bottle 22. The wrap 220 depicted in FIG. 8 also has a complimentary removable elastic band 226 adjacent its bottom edge 106 and has optional personalization features such as rhinestones or jewels 228 and a personalizable patch 230. The wrap 220 is also shown with a complimentary ring or band 231 of beads around the bottle neck 44 to further accessorize the look of the bottle system in FIG. 8.

FIG. 9 shows a wrap 232 in the form of a dress. In this example, the wrap again has a zipper 234 provided along its side edges 110 and 112 and has an integral open pocket 236 on one side. The wrap 232 has a complimentary band of material around its neck that resembles a scarf 238, which can also be incorporated to further personalize the bottle and wrap. A larger sized patch 239 is provided on one side of the wrap 232 in this example so that a user can write desired information on the wrap.

FIG. 10 shows a wrap 240 configured to resemble a denim pair of pants or shorts. The wrap 240 has a front VELCRO or hook and loop fastener “fly” 242 and has a snap closure 244 at the top of the fly. The wrap 240 also has a zippered storage pocket 246 on one side of the fly and an open top pocket 248 on the other side. In this example, the top end of the wrap has conventional belt loops 250 and the bottom edge 106 of the wrap has a frayed or fringed stylized edge finish 252. The open pocket 248 can be configured and used to hold and store objects such as a writing implement 254. The material of the wrap can be distressed to look like a used pair of jeans to provide a personalized look and sewn-on or iron-on patches 256 of decorative fabric can be applied to further accessorize the wraps such as that shown in FIG. 10. Jewelry items such as a small charm 258 can also be attached to the wraps to further personalize an individual's wrap.

The wraps as shown and described herein can embody many of the above-identified options as well as other options that further distinguish the particular wrap from other wraps. For example, surfaces of the wraps can include trade marks or trade names of other companies such as denim clothing manufacturers or other well known or popular marks. The wraps and/or bottles can be sold and marketed in conjunction with products associated with such marks if desired, such as SHARPIE markers and the like.

Also, additional elements and features can be added to the wrap for further personalization. The wraps include rhinestones, sewn-on decorative patches, patches that can be marked using a marker, self-adhesive patches selectable and attachable by the user, iron-on patches also selectable and attachable by a user, key chains, charm retaining bracelets, and the like. As will be evident to those having ordinary skill in the art upon reading this disclosure, the material, color, and features of the wrap as shown can be varied considerably and yet fall within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

The wrap, the bottle, or both can be provided with alternative structural and/or functional features to assist in locating and holding the wrap in a desired position and/or orientation on the bottle. In one example, an elastic material liner can be provided on an interior of the wrap between the layers 100 and 102 that retains the wrap on the bottle by applying elastic pressure to the exterior of the bottle. As another example, an inner surface of the wrap and/or the elastic material can be provided with one or more non-slip surface regions and/or textured areas. In such an example, these surfaces or textures can help to retain the wrap on the bottle by surface friction. In yet another example as shown in FIG. 11, an elastomeric ring or band 260 can be applied around an exterior of a wrap and bottle to hold the wrap in place.

In another example shown in FIG. 12, an adjustable strap 270 with clips 272 can be tightened around and secured to the waist of a bottle to hold a wrap on the bottle. The strap 270 depicted in FIG. 12 also has a carabineer clip 274 that can be used to attach the bottle and wrap to another object, or that can be removed for separate utility by the user. The clip 274 can be used to clip the bottle to a belt, a belt loop, a portion of a backpack, or the like so that the user need not hand carry the bottle. In another example, the strap 270 can be used to secure the bottle 22 to an object such as a backpack or can be removed from the bottle and used for other purposes.

The wraps disclosed herein can also be made from alternative materials that can stretch over the bottle exterior and remain secured by friction. In one example, a neoprene material wrap could be used. The wraps and bottles can be provided in kits with a plurality of markers, stamps, patches, and the like that can be used to mark up the resilient material wraps to further personalize the wrap material.

FIG. 13 shows a simplified version of a combination bottle 22 and a wrap 280. In this example, the wrap 280 is in the form of a neoprene wrap and has a waist strap 282 and a handle or carrying strap 284. The strap 282 can be removably attachable or can be permanently secured to the wrap/sling as desired. The handle 284 can be of a relatively short length and configured so that a user can carry the bottle by hand. Alternatively, the strap 284 can be much longer so that the bottle can be carried over a shoulder of the user, or can be adjustable in length.

The bottle 22 disclosed herein can vary from the example shown, and can include shape features that assist in holding a wrap on its exterior that are different from the smaller waist configuration shown and described in the disclosed examples. The bottle 22 can also have features that function to assist in dispensing liquid contents from the spout 26 of the cap 24. The disclosed bottle 22 has one such example.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 14, and 15, the side wall 38 in this example has a non-circular cylindrical shape. The side wall 38 has vertically oriented, alternating bulging regions or peaks 300 and recessed regions or valleys 302 that are spaced circumferentially around the bottle 22. These peaks and valleys form what might be termed a ribbed exterior bottle surface 40. The width and the depth of the peaks 300 and valleys 302 vary over the height of the bottle 22. In the waist area 60 as shown in FIG. 14, the valleys 302 are essentially very wide and shallow, and form part of a generally circular circumferential contour. The outward projection height and the width of the peaks 300 in the region of the waist 60 are both small. Thus, near the waist 60 of the bottle 22 the peaks and valleys are small and less pronounced.

In the upper part 62 and the lower part 64, the bottle 22 is larger in size, i.e., in the circumference around the bottle. Also, the peaks 300 are much more pronounced in that they are wider across and have a greater radial projecting height in the regions of the upper and lower parts 62, 64 of the bottle. The valleys 302 between the wide peaks are deeper and sharper, but much narrower and more pronounced in the upper and lower parts than in the waist region. The upper and lower parts 62, 64 thus have a significantly non-circular circumferential shape as shown in FIG. 15. As a result of this bottle shape, the upper and lower parts 62, 64 are relatively rigid or inflexible. The ribs or peaks 300 and valleys 302 create structural rigidity in the side wall 38 of the bottle 22 above and below the waist. In contrast, the waist 60 has little or no rib structure, as the peaks 300 are small and very narrow and spaced far apart. The valleys 302 between the ribs 300 in the waist form a substantially circular shape. The side wall 38 in the waist 60 of the bottle 22 in this example can be easily squeezed to assist in dispensing liquid from the bottle. As will be evident to those having ordinary skill in the art, the contour of the side wall 38 can vary considerably and yet provide a combination of the squeeze function and a relatively rigid bottle structure. The bottle

Many other different types of optional personalization features, other than those shown and described herein, can be incorporated on an attachable wrap. In one example, a bottle can be provided with a small fan can be carried on a wrap and attached to a portion of the bottle. In another example, a fan can be configured to removably attach directly to the bottle, such as on a bottom of the bottle. The fans can be used to draw ambient air over a surface of the bottle, particularly one holding a cold liquid, and blowing the air away from the bottle to cool a user. The fan can also be used to move air over an exterior surface of the bottle. In this example, the fan may be used to create condensation on the exterior bottle surface, which users can use to help cool themselves if needed or desired, and which can also assist in keeping the bottle contents cool.

In other examples, a bottle kit or system can be provided with a combination of one or more personalization features including a small radio, a timer or stop watch, a clock, thermo-chromatic ink or paint that can identify temperature, or the like. In one example, a thermometer could be provided on an exterior surface of the bottle or an interior of the bottle to provide a temperature reading of either the ambient air surrounding the bottle, the surface of the bottle, or contents held within the bottle as desired.

The drawings attached to this disclosure illustrate a broad range, but not nearly every possible variation, of personalization wraps, features, and options that can be provided with a bottle. There are certainly many other options, features, and wrap configurations that can be utilized and yet fall within the spirit and scope of the present invention. Examples are briefly discussed below.

In one example, an array of different wraps can be offered for selection and purchase by a user. The wraps can be provided and coordinated to a particular subject matter, such as a fashion genre, a hobby, a profession, an activity, a product line, a school or club affiliation, or the like. As an example, an array of wraps can be configured in the form of sports jerseys such as college football team jerseys, professional football team jerseys, professional hockey team jerseys, professional baseball team jerseys, or the like. The selectable jerseys can be configured to include team names, team logos, player numbers, player names, and the like. A user can select their favorite team, number, player, or the like to personalize their particular bottle.

In another example, an array of wraps can be configured to represent clothing from different lines of work. A user can select a wrap configured to resemble a line of work that will express their individuality. Examples of such clothing configurations are nurse's uniforms, construction worker apparel, suits, shirts and ties, dance uniforms, law enforcement uniforms, firefighter gear, and the like. The possibilities are simply too numerous to name them all.

In another example, the wraps can be configured to represent apparel from different eras, to represent different military histories, or other such configurations. Again, the possibilities are virtually endless and too numerous to mention.

Personalization options that can be incorporated into kits selectable by a user can include paints, pens and markers, stickers, iron-on patches, stickers, sew-on patches, and the like. The accessory features can also be configured to embody virtually any desired recognizable objects or products. Sports themed objects can be provided. Pop cultural themes, music, movie, famous person, or other such themed objects can be provided for selection and attachment by a user to their wrap and/or bottle. Letters and numbers can be provided so a user can further personalize their bottle and/or wrap. Animal, automotive, air craft, astrology, environmental, political, and other themed objects and the like can be addressed as well.

A wrap constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention can include one or more pockets or storage spaces for receiving re-freezable packets of materials such as blue ice for use in keeping the contents of a bottle cool. One or more dry-erase surfaces on a wrap can be provided for use with dry-erase markers so that a user can continually change the information written on their wrap. One or more clear pockets can be provided so that a user can display photographs or images in the transparent pockets while protecting same. Multiple hooks, charm bracelets, and/or a combination can be added for attaching charms to the wrap. The materials of the wraps can change considerably to provide different looks, textures, feels, and colors so that a user can further personalize their bottle. The wraps can be provided with insulating properties and yet still provide the personalization characteristics of the invention.

The wraps disclosed herein can be fabricated to incorporate well-known trademarks and trade names of companies, with their approval, and marketed for specific purposes as desired. The bottles can be configured different from those shown. The bottles can be provided with unique shapes to further personalize the bottle for the consumer. The bottle materials can be selected to achieve desired looks, colors, feels, textures, and the like as well.

The personalization concept disclosed herein can be suited and adapted for many different consumer groups, markets, and the like as well. For example, though eluded to herein previously, the wraps and/or bottle can be configured according to fashion, fad, activity, sport, group affiliation, hobby, music, movie, video game, book, cultural, political, and other characteristics reflecting a user's individuality. The wrap concept can be adapted to specific markets and market segments using well-known product identification as well as popular cultural themes.

A number of means are disclosed herein for positioning and securing the wrap to a bottle. As disclosed herein, the bottle and wrap can be contoured in a complimentary manner so that the wrap snugly form-fits to the exterior surface of the bottle. However, the bottle and wrap can be provided with other different structural or material features and configurations to accomplish the same purpose. For example, the bottles can be provided with a unique step or other configuration that is matched by the wrap so that when the wrap is installed, it drops to a desired position and then can drop no further. The wrap can be configured so that it is secured in place by a portion of the bottle cap when installed. As noted above, the interior surface of the wrap can include surface features that assist in retaining the wrap to the bottle by friction and/or elasticity.

The various personalization accessories can be adapted to attach to or modify a wrap or bottle in many different ways. The accessories can be adapted to mechanically click on, snap on, clamp to, thread on, stretch over, tie on, lace on, VELCRO on, buckle to, sew on, and/or slide in to a part of the combination wrap and bottle. Magnets can also attach accessories to the wrap. The accessories can also chemically modify the bottle or wrap in the form of ink written, ink stamped, painted, embossed, tattooed, stenciled, screened, or other such application. Adhesives and glues can also be used to attach stickers, labels, letters, numbers, post-its, and the like to the user's product.

The bottle shape of the examples disclosed herein provides a number of advantages to the user. The middle, smaller waist section can be a flexible section permitting a user to squeeze the bottle for dispensing liquid. The larger diameter upper and lower bottle body sections can be more rigid for structural stability. Additionally, the bottle shape can accommodate different hand sizes and users of different age. The bottle body has regions of smaller and larger diameter, which can fit different hand sizes for holding and carrying the bottle.

The disclosed personalization methods and product configurations disclosed herein provide a mechanism for a user to dress-up, adorn, customize, or otherwise personalize their own drinking bottle. The products that individuals use often say a lot about them, which is important to many individuals.

The disclosed bottles can be manufactured using any known, suitable process. In one example, the bottles can be blow molded and the cap parts can be injection molded. In another example, higher end bottles can also be injection molded. The wraps can also be fabricated using any process suitable for a given wrap material. Many of the disclosed wraps can be readily cut and sewn in a conventional manner. The various accessories and personalization features and objects can be fabricated also using processes suitable for a given product.

The disclosed products and combinations can be marketed as individually selectable finished goods. Alternatively, the kits can be offered permitting a user to finish and customize their own bottle and wrap. In another alternative, and array of bottles, wraps, and/or personalization accessories can be offered, each individually selectable by a user to offer broad customization capability to a user. Bottles, wraps, and/or personalization products can be offered with brand affiliation so that a user can adapt their bottle or wrap to display their own personal brand loyalty. The wraps and bottles can also be adapted to carry or hold technological items such a cell phones, MP3 players, digital recorders, electronic data storage devices, and the like.

Although certain bottle wraps, bottle and sleeve combinations, and bottle personalization methods have been described herein in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure, the scope of coverage of this patent is not limited thereto. On the contrary, this patent covers all embodiments of the teachings of the disclosure that fairly fall within the scope of permissible equivalents.