Title:
Splash-proof cup lid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A splash-proof cup lid that includes plural barriers disposed on the undersurface of the cup lid. The barriers are strategically positioned and uniquely configured to prevent liquid from sloshing through the drink opening when the cup is in an upright or slightly tilted position and is bumped or jarred. The barriers however, do not prevent the liquid from flowing through the drink opening when the cup is tilted to a drinking position.



Inventors:
Boone, Rick H. (Santa Ana, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/818054
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
06/13/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D47/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLTON, ROBIN ANNETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PHILIP H. HAYMOND (IRVINE, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A splash-proof cup lid, comprising: a hollow frusto-conical body having a frusto-conical shaped wall with an upper end and a lower end, a top surface extending across the upper end and a circumferential flange extending downward from the lower end, the circumferential flange being adapted for engaging a lip of a beverage container to form a leakproof snap fit, the top surface having an opening defined therein adapted for drinking beverage from the container; a first center barrier member disposed adjacent the lower end and positioned directly beneath the opening; and second and third barrier members below the top surface and positioned, respectively, on either side of the opening and the first barrier.

2. The splash-proof cup lid according to claim 1 where the top surface forms a ramp extending downwardly from the area on the top surface opposite the opening, terminating in a substantially vertical wall adjacent the opening.

3. The splash-proof cup lid according to claim 1 where the first center barrier defines a slightly angled, planar surface positioned directly under opening that extends in a radial direction from the frusto-conical wall surface of the lid.

4. The splash-proof cup lid according to claim 3 where the first center barrier forms a broad or relatively flat V-shape formed from two planar surfaces joined at a dihedral angle, with the vertex of the Vee sloping radially downward towards the lower end of the frusto-conical wall.

5. The splash-proof cup lid according to claim 1 where the second and third barriers extend in a radial direction from the frusto-conical wall and each presents a generally vertical, planar surface positioned on either side of the opening.

6. The splash-proof cup lid according to claim 5 where the second and third barriers are slightly tilted towards the opening.

7. The splash-proof cup lid according to claim 1, wherein said lid is fabricated from a plastic material.

8. The splash-proof cup lid according to claim 1 where the circumferential flange adapted to form the leakproof snap fit includes indentations adapted to secure the lid to the lip of a cup.

9. A method for preventing the splashing of a beverage from a cup comprising the steps of: providing a splash-proof lid for a cup comprising a hollow frusto-conical body having a frusto-conical shaped wall with an upper end and a lower end, a top surface extending across the upper end and a circumferential flange extending downward from the lower end, the circumferential flange being adapted for engaging a lip of a beverage container to form a leakproof snap fit, the top surface having an opening defined therein adapted for drinking beverage from the container; a first center barrier member disposed adjacent the lower end and positioned directly beneath the opening; second and third barrier members below the top surface and positioned, respectively, on either side of the opening and the first barrier; and affixing the lid to a cup containing a beverage.

10. The method for preventing the splashing of a beverage from a cup of claim 9 where the top surface forms a ramp extending downwardly from the area on the top surface opposite the opening, terminating in a substantially vertical wall adjacent the opening.

11. The method for preventing the splashing of a beverage from a cup of claim 9 where the first center barrier defines a slightly angled, planar surface positioned directly under opening that extends in a radial direction from the frusto-conical wall surface of the lid.

12. The method for preventing the splashing of a beverage from a cup of claim 11 where the first center barrier forms a broad or relatively flat V-shape formed from two planar surfaces joined at a dihedral angle, with the vertex of the Vee sloping radially downward towards the lower end of the frusto-conical wall.

13. The method for preventing the splashing of a beverage from a cup of claim 9, where the second and third barriers extend in a radial direction from the frusto-conical wall and each presents a generally vertical, planar surface positioned on either side of the opening.

14. The method for preventing the splashing of a beverage from a cup of claim 13 where the second and third barriers are slightly tilted towards the opening.

15. The method for preventing the splashing of a beverage from a cup of claim 9, where the lid is fabricated from a plastic material.

16. The method for preventing the splashing of a beverage from a cup of claim 9 where the circumferential flange adapted to form the leakproof snap fit includes indentations adapted to secure the lid to the lip of a cup.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent application hereby incorporates by reference and claims the priority of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/812,980, filed Jun. 13, 2006, Rick H. Boone inventor and entitled Splash-Proof Cup Lid.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to covers for beverage containers. More specifically, the present invention is drawn to a cup lid equipped with a barrier structure that prevents liquids from splashing out of the drink opening.

2. Description of the Related Art

In recent years the “to-go” or “take-out” food industry has flourished to blend with the modern “hurry-up” lifestyle. Food and beverages are constantly being transported from the point of purchase to a place where they are consumed. Often transportation is in a vehicle of some sort (car, bus, plane, etc.). Although “take-out” is convenient to the above-mentioned lifestyle, there is always the nagging concern of spillage. This is especially true of beverages wherein the splashing and sloshing of liquids (hot or cold) from the drink opening in the cup lid is a frequent and annoying hazard. To remedy this hazard, there have been many attempts to design anti-spill devices for cups and glasses, but none have proven entirely satisfactory. Thus a splash-proof lid as presented herein is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The splash-proof cup lid has a plurality of barriers or baffles disposed on the undersurface of a disposable cup lid. The barriers are strategically positioned and uniquely configured to prevent liquid from sloshing through the drink opening when the cup is in an upright or slightly tilted position and is bumped or jarred. The barriers however, do not prevent the liquid from flowing through the drink opening when the cup is tilted to a drinking position.

The method of the present invention is to employ the splash-proof cup lid of the present invention. The splash-proof cup lid is a hollow generally frusto-conical body having a frusto-conical shaped wall with an upper end and a lower end, a top surface extending across the upper end and a circumferential flange extending downward from the lower end, the circumferential flange being adapted for engaging a lip of a beverage container to form a leakproof snap fit, and the top surface has an opening defined therein that is adapted for drinking a liquid beverage from the container. In one embodiment the circumferential flange of the lid may be secured to a cup by including indentations adapted to elastically interfere with the lip of a cup.

In the preferred embodiment the top surface forms a ramp extending downwardly from the area on the top surface opposite the opening, terminating in a substantially vertical wall adjacent the opening.

A first center barrier member is disposed adjacent the lower end and positioned directly beneath the beverage opening. Second and third barrier members are positioned below the top surface on either side of the opening and the first barrier.

The first center barrier defines a slightly angled, planar surface positioned directly under opening that extends in a radial direction from the frusto-conical wall surface of the lid and may include be formed to describe a broad or relatively flat V-shape formed from two planar surfaces joined at a dihedral angle, with the vertex of the Vee sloping radially downward towards the lower end of the frusto-conical wall.

The second and third barriers extend in a radial direction from the frusto-conical wall and each presents a generally vertical, planar surface positioned on either side of the opening. In the preferred embodiment the second and third barriers are slightly tilted towards the opening.

Accordingly the splash-proof cup lid presents a cup lid having no moving parts that can be adapted for conventional, disposable cups of any size.

These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a splash-proof cup lid according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom, perspective view of a splash-proof cup lid according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a top, perspective view of a splash-proof cup lid according to the present invention.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to FIG. 1 the splash-proof lid of the present invention is generally indicated at 10. The lid 10 is mounted on a cup 12 (shown in dotted lines), which is adapted to contain a beverage of some kind. As presently disclosed, the lid 10 will be fabricated from disposable plastic or suitable heavy, biodegradable, cardboard material adapted for use with disposable beverage containers, or other materials that are apparent to those of skill in the art. However, it is contemplated that the lid may be fabricated from other suitable materials and adapted for use with permanent glass, metal or plastic containers

Further referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, lid 10 comprises a circular flange 14, a bottom surface 16 and a top surface 18. Indentations 20 are evenly spaced around the circumference of the flange 14. Indentations 20 ensure a secure and sealed fit with the lip of a cup 12. The lid 10 has a central, raised frusto-conical area defined by frusto-conical wall surface 24 and top surface 18. The frusto-conical body of the lid 10 generally extends from a lower end 25 to an upper end 23 of the wall surface 24 with top surface 18 extending across the upper end 23. The top surface 18 has an inclined plane or ramp forming a depression in the frusto-conical area that deepens approaching the circumference of the lid 10, the ramp terminating in a substantially vertical wall 19. An opening 22 is disposed in an area of the lid 10 behind the ramp so that a user can drink the beverage therethrough, the coffee exiting the lid 10 between the ramp and the peripheral flange 14.

An array of baffles or barriers 30, 32 and 34 are positioned on or adjacent the bottom surface 16 of the lid 10, the baffles may be added to or formed as part of the lid. A first center barrier 30 defines a slightly angled, planar surface positioned directly under opening 22. Barrier 30 extends in a radial direction from the frusto-conical wall surface 24 of the lid. Center barrier 30 forms a broad or relatively flat V-shape, being formed from two planar surfaces joined at a dihedral angle, with the vertex of the Vee sloping radially downward towards the bottom surface 16 of the frusto-conical area as the barrier 30 approaches the periphery of the lid 10. Second and third barriers 32 and 34 also extend in a radial direction from wall 24 and they present generally vertical, planar surfaces positioned on either side of opening 22, which are slightly tilted towards the opening 22. The described barrier arrangement effectively helps to prevent any liquid from sloshing upwardly through opening 22 when the cup is slightly tilted or jarred. When the cup is tilted to a drinking position however, liquid flows freely around the barriers and through opening 22.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.