Title:
Double rimmed beverage cup and holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A double rimmed beverage cup and holder is disclosed. A second rim encircles the outer surface of the cup a spaced distance below the rim encircling the cup opening. In use, the cup is secured within a holder having a handle for convenient hand grasping, and an annular groove matching the projecting second rim on the cup. The user manually snap fits the groove within the holder over the cup's second rim, thereby permitting reliable cup lid securing and removal while providing the user a more normally pleasant drinking or eating experience.



Inventors:
Hussain, Arshad (Monsey, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/811986
Publication Date:
12/27/2007
Filing Date:
06/13/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Martin Parkinson (Nyack, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A beverage cup and holder, comprising: (a) a cup having a first frustoconical side-wall defining an enlarged opening at one end and a radially disposed sealed base at its other end; (b) said enlarged opening of said first side-wall having a first curled, generally semicircular rim extending a full 360° about a circumference of said opening; (c) said first side-wall having a second rim substantially identical in shape to said first rim affixed a spaced distance below said first rim, said second rim completely encircling an external surface of said first side-wall in a substantially parallel plane to said first rim; and (d) a holder for securing said cup, said holder being secured to said cup by means for cooperating with said second rim on said cup affixed within a main body of said holder, said holder further comprising a handle confluent with said main body and positioned a spaced distance away from said main body, said handle designed for convenient grasping with the finger's of a user's hand, so that when said holder is secured to said cup utilizing said means for cooperating with said second rim on said cup, said handle may now be grasped by said hand of said user and any contents of said cup consumed in comfort, said opening of said cup being conveniently covered with a lid or said lid easily removed from said opening at said user's discretion.

2. The beverage cup and holder according to claim 1, further comprising said lid in addition to said cup and said holder.

3. The beverage cup and holder according to claim 1 wherein said cup is fabricated in paperboard.

4. The beverage cup and holder according to claim 1 wherein said holder is fabricated in paperboard.

5. The beverage cup and holder according to claim 1 wherein said main body of said holder is comprised of a second frustoconical side-wall being similar is shape but substantially shorter in length to that of said cup, said main body having a top edge circular opening tapering to a slightly narrower in diameter circular opening at a bottom edge of said main body, said main body dimensioned so as to enable a user to grasp said handle on said holder and to slip said top edge of said main body over said sealed base of said cup and position said main body of said holder in cooperative engagement with said second rim of said cup.

6. The beverage cup and holder according to claim 1 wherein said means for cooperating with said second rim on said cup affixed within said main body of said holder is a laterally positioned annular depression matching in opposed configuration said generally semicircular projection of said second rim on said cup.

7. The beverage cup and holder according to claim 1 wherein said means for cooperating with said second rim of said cup affixed within said main body of said holder is a plurality of finger like projections extending upward from said top edge opening of said main body, each one of said finger like projections containing a laterally positioned annular depression matching in opposed configuration said generally semicircular projection of said second rim on said cup.

8. The beverage cup and holder according to claim 1 wherein said cup is fabricated in plastic.

9. The beverage cup and holder according to claim 1 wherein said holder is fabricated in plastic.

10. A method for secure utilization of a beverage cup, comprising the steps of: (a) forming a cup, said cup comprising a first frustoconical side-wall defining an enlarged opening at one end and a radially disposed sealed base at its other end, said enlarged opening of said cup having a first curled, generally semicircular rim extending a full 360° about a circumference of said enlarged opening of said cup; (b) affixing a second rim substantially identical in shape to said first rim a spaced distance below said first rim, said second rim similarly completely encircling an external surface of said first side-wall in a substantially parallel plane to said first rim; (c) creating a holder for said cup, said holder having a main body and a confluent handle dependent from and with a hand grasping portion affixed a spaced distance apart from said main body, said main body comprising a second frustoconical side-wall similar to that of said cup, said main body having a top edge circular opening, said main body tapering to a slightly smaller circular opening at a bottom edge of said main body; (d) having a user grasp said handle and slide said main body of said holder over said cup from said sealed base of said cup to a position along said external surface of said first side-wall enabling matching cooperative engagement of said main body with said second rim; thereby (e) permitting said user to comfortably consume any contents of said cup, and conveniently cover or uncover said cup opening with a lid while said user is holding said cup with one hand.

11. The method for secure utilization of a beverage cup according to claim 10 wherein said step of enabling matching cooperative engagement of said main body of said holder with said second rim of said cup comprises forming a laterally positioned annular depression matching in opposed configuration to said generally semicircular projection of said second rim on said cup within said main body of said holder, and snapping said laterally positioned annular depression over said second rim.

12. The method for secure utilization of a beverage cup according to claim 10, wherein said step of enabling matching cooperative engagement of said main body of said holder with said second rim on said cup comprises forming a plurality of finger like projections extending upwards from said top edge circular opening of said main body, each one of said finger like projections containing a laterally positioned annular depression matching in opposed configuration said generally semicircular projection of said second rim on said cup, and snapping said depressions within said finger like projections over said second rim.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/816,018, filed on Jun. 23, 2006. This invention relates to containers, and more particularly to beverage cups and devices and methods for comfortably hand holding these cups.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Throwaway containers for hot and cold beverages are, of course, a ubiquitous part of our everyday life. The criteria for these containers are that they be inexpensive to fabricate and simple to use. Fast food outlets rush to provide us with a myriad of types of cups, often overlooking customer convenience. Cups may be uncomfortable when holding hot or cold beverages, and are frequently inconvenient while attempting to hand hold a cup while removing or re-securing a beverage cup lid.

Devices and methods too numerous to list have been suggested in the past to overcome container deficiencies. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 3,128,029, issued Apr. 7, 1964, a beverage cup (10—FIG. 1) made out of foamed polystyrene is disclosed. The cup has the advantage of comfortably holding hot or cold drinks, and also features a shoulder (12—FIG. 2) which can form a support for a cup holder.

Again, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,385,260, issued Jan. 31, 1995, a disposable paper cup (12—FIG. 2) for serving cold food products and beverages is disclosed. Utilizing built-in adhesives, the cold cup is converted into a hot cup by the addition of a fluted, insulating sleeve (14—FIG. 1).

Additionally, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,382,449 B1, issued May 7, 2003, a two stage beverage cup (10—FIG. 1) is disclosed. An flanged upper portion (12—FIG. 1) is secured to a smaller lower portion (14—FIG. 1), the purpose being to secure the smaller base within standard vehicle cup holders while enlarging cup beverage capacity by means of the added upper portion. Additionally the juncture of the upper and lower sections serves the dual purpose of providing a shoulder for connection to the vehicle cup holder, and also provides an air gap insulated area for comfortably holding hot or cold beverages.

Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 5,860,557, issued Jan. 19, 1999, discloses a dual sized container (10—FIG. 2) having an enlarged upper body portion (18—FIG. 2) and a smaller lower body portion (14—FIG. 2). A shoulder (16—FIG. 1) at the junction of the upper and lower portions secured the container 10 to a vehicle cup holder when the lower portion is placed within a cup holder. Additionally, fluted sides (15—FIG. 1) provide lateral support to the lower body portion 14 of the cup 10.

In U.S. Pat. No. 6,505,802 B2, issued Jan. 14, 2003, a beverage cup holder (10—FIG. 1) with an adjustable mounting system is disclosed. A clamp assembly (12—FIG. 1), integral with the cup member (11—FIG. 1) permits attaching the beverage holder 10 to a variety of vehicles, such as golf carts and bicycles.

While the above noted devices and methods provide useful solutions for a variety of beverage cup deficiencies, they do not envision the economy in fabrication, and the significant added customer conveniences inherent in the present invention.

It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide for comfortable and secure hand holding of a beverage cup.

Still another object is to provide for comfortable and secure hand holding of beverage cups with either hot or cold contents.

An additional object is to provide fast and reliable beverage cup lid securing and removal while the cup is held in one hand.

Yet another object is to provide for greater ease in holding a large size beverage cup in the small hands of children.

A further object of the invention is to provide increased customer security and comfort while consuming the beverage cup contents.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These and other objects are obtained with the double rimmed beverage cup and holder of the present invention.

As noted above, fast food restaurants in their rush to supply customers with a simple, inexpensive throwaway beverage cup, tend to burden users with less than convenient procedures. For example, it is often necessary to remove a beverage cup lid while the cup is being held in one hand, or to re-secure the cup lid, a procedure difficult at best, and often extremely so when attempting to avoid a rim of a typical cup holder. Further, consuming the contents of a hand held beverage cup is an inelegant effort, acceptable only under the most casual of eating experiences. And the small hands of children often experience difficulty holding a large size cup.

It occurred that these minor but troubling inconveniences associated with throwaway cups could be simply and economically overcome. To this end a paper cup, comprising the first part of this invention, and holder, comprising the second part of this invention, has been devised to eliminate these difficulties.

The beverage cup can be fabricated in paper such as paperboard, or in plastic, with influences including economic considerations deciding the choice. Fabricating methods for disposable cups of this type are, of course, well known to the art. Typical cup dimensions can be, for example, 5½″ in height, with a 3¼″ top opening, and a 2⅜″ closed bottom. The sides of the cup are frustoconical in shape with a curled, generally semicircular rim at the top opening of the cup extending a full 360° of the top circumference of the cup opening, and the cup having a sealed base portion. The significant difference between the cup of the present invention and prior beverage cups is the existence of a second curled, generally semicircular rim a spaced distance below the first rim encircling the top opening of the cup. This second rim similarly completely encircles the external surface of the cup in a generally parallel plane to the first rim. The cup of the present invention, for the purpose of clarity of description, can be envisioned as being fabricated from two relatively typical paperboard cups by cutting an approximate 1″ top section off the top of a second cup, this second cup having a slightly smaller diameter opening in comparison to the first cup, then sliding the top opening of this cut section of the second cup over the solid base of the first cup until it is secured a short distance from the rim of the first cup. This cut section of the second cup can be constructed to be adhesively connected or otherwise affixed to the outer surface of the first cup immediately adjacent the rim of the first cup.

The second part of this invention comprises a suitable holder for the above described double rimmed cup. The holder is separate from the cup and is comprised of a section having matching tapered sides to that of the cup of the invention for sliding over the base of the cup and then being manually positioned at a selected point along the outer surface of the cup. A series of upwardly extending finger like projections extend from the top edge of this section. Each of these projections contains a laterally positioned generally semicircular annular depression matching in opposed position the outwardly projecting generally semicircular second rim on the cup. The holder further comprises a handle depending from this section and extending a spaced distance away from the section for convenient positioning of the fingers of a hand around this handle. In a similar alternative holder, an annular groove comprising a semicircular annular depression matching in opposed position the second rim of the cup can be fabricated within the main body of the holder, a spaced distance below the rim of the holder. The complete holder assembly can be fabricated in a variety of materials, including plastic and metal, but paper such as paperboard would be preferred for economy.

To use the double rimmed beverage cup and holder of the present invention, the holder is simply slipped over the solid base of the cup and raised upwards over the outer surface of the cup until the annular depressions in each of the projecting fingers on the holder (or the annular groove of the above noted alternative holder) snap into place over the extending second rim on the cup. The cup is now firmly secured for virtually any use the individual handling the cup desires. The contents of the cup may now be consumed in a normal, comfortable manner. And the previously difficult procedure of removing or securing a cup lid is now performed with confident ease.

While paperboard is recommended for economy in fabricating both the cup and holder of the present invention, more durable materials can also be employed. In this case the holder can be repeatedly re-used, and the cups can be cleaned for additional service. Further, it is envisioned that the holder may be found useful for securing a number of different but similar sized cups.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one version of the double rimmed beverage cup and holder of the present invention, shown with the holder secured in place on the second rim of the cup.

FIG. 2 is a cross section of the double rimmed beverage cup as depicted in FIG. 1, without the holder in place.

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the double rimmed beverage cup and holder of FIG. 1, illustrating the three basic components of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a side elevational, schematic view of the double rimmed beverage cup and holder of FIG. 1, illustrating the holder being secured over the full circumference of the second rim.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the cup and holder depicted in FIG. 1, illustrating a beverage cup lid in place on the first rim.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of two cups similar to FIG. 2 being nested together.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view similar to that of FIG. 1, illustrating an alternative holder shown partially broken away to depict the placement of the snap on annular groove within the holder.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Turning now to the drawings wherein similar structures having the same function are depicted with the same numerals, in FIG. 1 a version of the double rimmed beverage cup 10 and holder 40 of the invention is depicted. As best seen in FIG. 2 the cup itself has a first rim 14 encircling an opening 23 to the cup, with a second rim 16 integral with and encircling the outer surface of the cup positioned a spaced distance below the first rim. Typical dimensions for the cup can be, for example, 5½″ in height, with a 3¼″ top opening, and a 2⅜″ closed base. The cup has frustoconical side walls, with a first curled, outwardly projecting rim radially disposed around the circumference of the opening, and a similar outwardly projecting second rim encircling the outer surface of the cup positioned parallel to and a spaced distance, as, for example, 1″, below the first rim.

In FIGS. 2 and 3 one method for fabricating the beverage cup and holder of the invention is illustrated. The cup 10 can be fabricated in a variety of materials including plastic or metal, with paperboard an obvious choice for economy. The paperboard used can be coated with a thermoplastic material such as polyethylene to permit heat sealing of components. In this method the cup can be fabricated from a first section 20 and a second section 30 affixed together via, for example, heat sealing to form a complete cup. The first section is in the shape of a typical disposable beverage cup, having frustoconical side walls 12, with an opening 23 defined by an outwardly curled rim 14 encompassing the circumference of the opening. The cup opening can measure approximately 3¼″ in diameter. The tapered sides 12 of the first section can extend approximately 5½″ from its rim to a radially disposed sealed bottom 26. The sealed bottom 26 can have a portion of its outer rim bent perpendicular to form a wall 28 for facilitating heat sealing to the inner surface of the bottom edge of the first section's side wall so as to form a leak proof base for the cup. This sealed bottom can measure approximately 2¼″ in diameter.

The second section 30 has a similar opening with a circumference encompassing outwardly curled rim 16, and an open base. The top opening can measure approximately 3⅛″ in diameter. The tapered sides 13 of the second section 30 can depend, for example, approximately 1″ for the top edge 17 to a bottom edge 15 of the second section, defining an approximate 2⅞″ diameter base opening.

In this method, the beverage cup 10 of the invention is fabricated by sliding the top opening of the second section 30 over the sealed base 26 of the first section 20 to a predetermined position along the side walls 12 of the first section. The first and second cup section are designed so that the inner surface of the second section's side walls 13 and the outer surface of the first section's side walls 12 are in contact, with the second section's rim 16 positioned a spaced distance below and substantially parallel to the rim 14 of the first section. Heat sealing or other appropriate means can then be employed to affix the two sections together to form the complete cup 10.

Also depicted in FIG. 3 is a version of the beverage cup holder 40 of the invention. As noted above, paperboard would be an obvious choice for fabricating this throwaway item. The beverage cup holder 40 is comprised of a main body 18 with a confluent handle 24 for convenient grasping with the fingers of a user's hand, and a series of upwardly extending finger like projections 22. The main body 18 of the holder has similar frustoconical side walls to that of the cup 10, with a circular opening 42 at the top edge of the main body, with the side wall 34 tapering to a slightly smaller diameter circular opening 44 at the bottom edge of the main body. The main body can measure approximately 1½″ in width, with a 3″ top edge opening 42, and a 2¾″ bottom edge opening. The integral handle 24 can be positioned to extend about 1″ away from and perpendicular to the main body, and extend 2″ below and parallel to the bottom edge 44 of the main body. Each one of the series (as, for example, 4) of the finger like projections 22, which extend approximately ¾″ above the top edge of the main body, contain a laterally positioned annular depression matching in opposite configuration the curled, generally semicircular projection of the second rim 16 on the cup.

As best seen in FIG. 4, a user simply slips the holder 40 over the base of the cup 10, manually guiding the main body 18 until the annular depressions 32 in the finger like projections 22 snap over the projecting second rim 16 on the cup, firmly securing the holder to the cup.

It should be noted that the above description of the cup 10 and holder 40 is but one possible structure for obtaining a secure snap fit between holder and cup. For example, in FIG. 7 an alternative holder 46 for the beverage cup is shown. This holder is fabricated similarly to holder 40, being comprised of a main body 48 with a confluent handle 24. In place of the above mentioned finger like extensions, a circular groove 50 is formed within the main body 48 a spaced distance below the opening rim of the holder 46, the circular groove mimicking in opposed position the curled, semicircular projection of the second rim on the cup. Again, this holder is simply slipped over the base of the cup and manually raised upwards until the annular groove 50 and second rim 16 snap cooperatively into place. And as for the cup 10, a slightly larger second section (not shown) can be affixed adjacent to and positioned above the first rim of the cup to provide the double rim necessary to enable said secure snap fit. Or alternatively, a second rim can be impressed within the body of the cup itself during initial fabrication.

In FIG. 5 the beverage cup 10 and holder 40 are shown secured together, with the cup opening 23 closed with a typical beverage cup lid 36. The lid encloses the cup opening in typical fashion by having a generally semicircular annular depression 38 at its periphery designed to snap fit over the generally semicircular projecting first rim 14 of the cup. With the holder firmly securing the cup, the often bothersome procedure of securing the lid to the cup, or alternatively removing the lid from the cup, is now performed with confident ease.

FIG. 6 illustrates an important consideration for commercial use of the cup 10 and holder 40. The cups can be fabricated for convenient nesting to facilitate storage of quantities of the cups.

Thus it can be seen that the beverage cup and holder of the present invention offers new and significant improvements for commercial or home use. Lid removal or securing is now a snap on-snap off comfortable procedure. And user ambience is restored to a virtual quality restaurant experience.

While the present invention has been disclosed in connection with shown in detail, various modifications and improvements will become apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the spirit an scope of the invention is to be limited only by the following claims.