Title:
Pre-filled cocktail glass and packaging
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Arrangement and packaging for pre-filled cocktail glasses of the type which includes a stem base, a stem connected at a first end to the stem base, and a bowl portion connected to a second end of the stem and being constructed to hold a cocktail. The bowl portion has an open mouth defined by a rim from which a person drinks the cocktail. The pre-filled cocktail glass further includes a removable seal member that extends across the bowl portion and is attached to the rim to sealingly contain the liquid within the bowl portion, and a cover that is removably coupled to the rim. The cover has a recessed platform for receiving a stem base of another cocktail glass to permit stacking of two cocktail glasses. The recessed platform has a floor that can be spaced from the seal member, and the cover can be constructed such that the floor remains spaced from the seal member when a load equal to the weight of another pre-filled cocktail glass is received in the recessed platform and supported by the floor thereof.



Inventors:
Wahl, Andrew (New York, NY, US)
Herzog, Mordechai (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/495158
Publication Date:
01/31/2008
Filing Date:
07/28/2006
Assignee:
Mystique Brands, LLC (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D77/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHU, KING M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DARBY & DARBY P.C. (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A pre-filled cocktail glass comprising: a stem base; a stem connected at a first end to the stem base; a bowl portion connected to a second end of the stem and being constructed to hold a liquid, the bowl portion having an open mouth defined by a rim; a removable seal member that extends across the bowl portion and is attached to the rim to sealingly contain the liquid within the bowl portion, and a cover that is removably coupled to the rim above the seal member, the cover having a recessed platform for receiving a stem base of another cocktail glass to permit stacking of two cocktail glasses, the recessed platform having a floor that is spaced from the seal member, the cover being constructed such that the floor remains spaced from the seal member when a load equal to the weight of another pre-filled cocktail glass is received in the recessed platform and supported by the floor thereof.

2. The cocktail glass of claim 1, wherein the bowl portion comprises an inverted cone shaped body and the stem base has a convex upper surface.

3. The cocktail glass of claim 1, wherein the stem and stem base are one structure and the bowl portion is a separate component that is securely attached to the stem at a frustum joint.

4. The cocktail glass of claim 1, wherein the stem base, stem and bowl portion comprise a plastic material and are formed as a single structure in situ in a common mold.

5. The cocktail glass of claim 1, wherein the seal member is a thin foil layer.

6. The cocktail glass of claim 1, wherein the seal member is a thin foil layer made of PVC material and is bonded to the rim by a heat-seal.

7. The cocktail glass of claim 1, wherein the rim includes a raised annular planar track on which the seal member seats, the attachment between the seal member and the rim being a heat-seal bond in which a surface of the annular planar track is thermally modified resulting in the seal member being bonded to the rim.

8. The cocktail glass of claim 7, wherein the attachment between the seal member and the rim is glue free.

9. The cocktail glass of claim 1, wherein the cover includes a peripheral flange that engages the rim for coupling the cover to the rim and a planar section for seating against a peripheral edge of the seal member so that the peripheral edge is captured between the planar section and the rim.

10. The cocktail glass of claim 9, wherein the cover has a convex section extending radially inward from the planar section, with the recessed platform being formed in the convex section.

11. The cocktail glass of claim 1, wherein the floor of the recessed platform supports at least 100 ml of liquid while still spaced from the underlying seal member.

12. An arrangement of stacked pre-filled cocktail glasses comprising: a container with a removable cover; and first and second pre-filled cocktails glasses disposed in the container in a stacked relationship, each cocktail glass including: a stem base; a stem connected at a first end to the stem base; a bowl portion connected to a second end of the stem and being constructed to hold a liquid, the bowl portion having an open mouth defined by a rim; a removable seal member that extends across the bowl portion and is attached to the rim to sealingly contain the liquid within the bowl portion, and a cover that is removably coupled to the rim, the cover having a recessed platform including a floor that is spaced from the seal member; wherein the stem base of the first cocktail glass is received in the recessed platform of the second cocktail glass and supported by the floor thereof, the cover being constructed such that the floor of the recessed platform of the second cocktail glass remains spaced from the seal member thereof when the first pre-filled cocktail glass is supported by the floor of the recessed platform of the cover of the second cocktail glass.

13. The arrangement of claim 12, wherein the removable cover of the container includes an inner surface that contains a protrusion that extends outwardly therefrom and is shaped and dimensioned to form a frictional fit with the cover of the first cocktail glass when the protrusion is received within the recessed platform of the container cover to increase the lateral stability of the stacked first and second cocktail glasses.

14. The arrangement of claim 12, wherein the floor of the recessed platform supports at least 100 ml of liquid while still being spaced from the underlying seal member.

15. The arrangement of claim 12, wherein the rim includes a raised annular planar track on which the seal member seats, the attachment between the seal member and the rim being a heat-seal bond in which a surface of the annular planar track is thermally modified resulting in the seal member being bonded to the rim.

16. The arrangement of claim 12, wherein a depth of the recessed platform is greater than a height of the base stem so that the base stem is completely contained in the recessed platform.

17. An arrangement of stacked pre-filled cocktail glasses comprising: first and second pre-filled cocktails glasses, each cocktail glass including: a stem base having a peripheral edge that has a height H1; a stem connected at a first end to the stem base; a bowl portion connected to a second end of the stem and being constructed to hold a liquid, the bowl portion having an open mouth defined by a rim; a removable seal member that extends across the bowl portion and is attached to the rim to sealingly contain the liquid within the bowl portion, and a cover that is removably coupled to the rim, the cover having a recessed platform including a floor and a side wall that has a height H2; wherein the height H1 is less than the height H2 to promote lateral stability of the first cocktail glass when the first cocktail glass is disposed in the recessed platform and supported by the floor of the cover of the second cocktail glass in the stacked pre-filled cocktail glasses arrangement.

18. The arrangement of claim 17, wherein the height H2 is at least twice as great as the height H1.

19. The arrangement of claim 17, wherein the floor of the recessed platform is spaced from the seal member, the stem base of the first cocktail glass being received in the recessed platform of the second cocktail glass and supported by the floor thereof, the cover being constructed such that the floor of the second cocktail glass remains spaced from the seal member thereof when the first pre-filled cocktail glass is supported by the floor of the recessed platform of the cover of the second cocktail glass.

20. The arrangement of claim 17, wherein the seal member is a thin foil layer made of PVC material and is bonded to the rim by a heat-seal.

21. The arrangement of claim 17, wherein the rim includes a raised annular planar track on which the seal member seats, the attachment between the seal member and the rim being a heat-seal bond in which a surface of the annular planar track is thermally modified resulting in the seal member being bonded to the rim.

22. A package for two or more pre-filled cocktail glasses, each having a mouth at one end and a stem at an opposite end, comprising: a hollow container having a length sufficient to receive the two or more pre-filled cocktail glasses therein, the container defining an interior wall; and a cover having first and second sides and a peripheral edge; wherein one of the first and second sides of the cover is removably secured about the mouth of one of the two or more pre-filled cocktail glasses, the other of the first and second sides of the cover has a region interior of the peripheral edge which is shaped to seat the stem of another of the two or more pre-filled cocktail glasses, and the peripheral edge is sized so as to be positionable within the hollow container with an insubstantial gap therebetween at at least two opposing margins.

23. The package of claim 22, wherein the cocktail glass is a martini glass with a conically shaped bowl portion that defines the mouth and an elongated stem that extends between the bowl portion and a stem base.

24. The package of claim 22, wherein the hollow container comprises a cylindrical tube and wherein the insubstantial gap between the peripheral edge of the cover and the interior wall of the hollow container is circumferentially uniform.

25. The package of claim 22, wherein the insubstantial gap permits air to flow between the peripheral edge of the cover and the interior wall of the hollow container.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to beverages and more particularly, to a pre-filled cocktail glass (a “martini glass”) and a package containing a plurality of arranged pre-filled cocktail glasses.

BACKGROUND

There is an ever growing number of different types of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine and spirits, that are enjoyed by millions throughout the world. However, one classic alcoholic beverage is the martini. The martini is a cocktail that is made with gin and dry white vermouth. The martini has been popular for many years and has often been referred to as the “King of Cocktails” due to its long lasting popularity and its numerous references in popular society, such as in motion pictures, advertisements, etc., and it is also the proverbial drink of the old “three-martini lunch” of business executives and other socialites.

While there are a number of different variations, a standard modern martini is made by combining approximately two and a half ounces of gin and one half once of dry vermouth with ice in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass and then the ingredients are mixed, either by stirring or shaking, before straining and serving the martini. The martini can be served “straight-up” (without ice) in a chilled cocktail glass, and garnished with either an olive or a twist (lemon peel). In addition, other garnishes that can be substituted include capers or cocktail onions.

Another common martini is the vodka martini, which is prepared in exactly the same way as a standard martini, with vodka being substituted for gin as the base spirit. Some times this type of martini is also referred to as a “vodkatini”.

Conventionally, a cocktail drink is poured into and served in a cocktail glass which is a special type of stemwear as opposed to other types of stemwear, such as a wine or champagne flute glass. A cocktail glass is a narrow drinking glass having a stem and a wide, shallow, inverted cone body fixed above it to hold the liquid cocktail. The base of the stem is wide enough to maintain balance. A cocktail glass is often called a “martini glass” due to the popularity of that drink, which is served in a cocktail glass.

There is an increasing need and demand for pre-mixed or prepared alcoholic beverages that can easily be dispensed to consumers without the need for timely preparation of the beverage and there is also a need for a beverage that can be distributed in smaller volumes. This has led to a surgence in the sheer quantity and variety of prepared alcoholic beverages that are marketed in single drink containers. For example, there are a number of wine based bottled drinks commonly known as “wine coolers” that come in a 12 ounce bottle and are available in a wide variety of flavors, such as mixed berry, pina colada, strawberry daquiri, to name a few. These products are usually distributed in a four pack. In addition, small 187 ml bottles of wine are available in four packs and are perfect for occasions when you would like to enjoy a glass of wine but it's just not practical to bring a standard, larger size bottle along. All different types of wine, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, etc. are available in this size. These easy-to-tote, portable bottles hold approximately a glass and a half of wine and thus are perfect for a number of different settings, including picnics.

These smaller, single drink beverages are not limited to wine since there are a number of different spirit based mixed bottled drinks that are available. Once again, these drinks typically come pre-mixed in a 187 ml glass bottle that can be enjoyed by the consumer. There is a popular line of flavored whiskey drinks, including whiskey blended with punch, lemonade, berry drinks, citrus and watermellon; and in addition, some other popular drinks including, Kahlua mudslide, margeritas, etc. However, most, if not all, of these drinks come in standard small sized glass bottles that are not that aesthetically pleasing.

Because the martini cocktail is linked so strongly to a cocktail shaped glass that is referred to by the cocktail's name, as mentioned above, people would not find it particularly desirable to drink a pre-mixed martini from a small glass bottle that it no way has the classic martini glass shape and appearance.

It would therefore be desirable to provide a pre-mixed martini drink that can be distributed to consumers in a single drink size and presented and packaged to the consumer in an attractive manner and so that it pleases the traditionalists who require their martini cocktails to be presented in a classic cocktail (martini) glass. The present invention addresses this and other needs in the art.

SUMMARY

According to one aspect of the present invention, a pre-filled cocktail glass includes a stem base, a stem connected at a first end to the stem base, and a bowl portion connected to a second end of the stem and being constructed to hold a cocktail. The bowl portion has an open mouth defined by a rim from which a person drinks the cocktail.

The pre-filled cocktail glass further includes a removable seal member that extends across the bowl portion and is attached to the rim to sealingly contain the liquid within the bowl portion and a cover that is removably coupled to the rim. The cover has a recessed platform for receiving a stem base of another cocktail glass to permit stacking of two cocktail glasses. The recessed platform has a floor that is spaced from the seal member, and the cover is constructed such that the floor remains spaced from the seal member when a load equal to the weight of another pre-filled cocktail glass is received in the recessed platform and supported by the floor thereof.

In another aspect, an arrangement of stacked pre-filled cocktail glasses includes a container with a removable cover and first and second pre-filled cocktails glasses disposed in the container in stacked relationship. Each cocktail glass includes a stem base, a stem connected at a first end to the stem base, and a bowl portion connected to a second end of the stem and being constructed to hold a cocktail. The bowl portion has an open mouth defined by a rim from which a person drinks.

Each cocktail glass includes a removable seal member that extends across the bowl portion and is attached to the rim to sealingly contain the liquid within the bowl portion, and a cover that is removably coupled to the rim. The cover has a recessed platform having a floor that is spaced from the seal member. The stem base of the first cocktail glass is received in the recessed platform of the cover of the second cocktail glass and supported by the floor thereof and the cover is constructed such that the floor of the second cocktail glass remains spaced from the seal member thereof when the first pre-filled cocktail glass is supported by the floor of the recessed platform of the cover of the second cocktail glass.

In another aspect, a peripheral edge of the stem base has a height H1 and the recessed platform is defined in part by a side wall that has a height H2. The height H1 is less than the height H2 to promote lateral stability of the first cocktail glass when the first cocktail glass is disposed in the recessed platform and supported by the floor of the cover of the second cocktail glass.

In addition, the removable cover of the package can include a stabilizing feature to laterally stabilize the stacked glasses that are contained in the package.

In another aspect, a package for two or more pre-filled cocktail glasses is provided. Each of the glasses has a mouth at one end and a stem at an opposite end. The package includes a hollow container having a length sufficient to receive the two or more pre-filled cocktail glasses therein. The container defines an interior wall. The package also includes a cover having first and second sides and a peripheral edge. One of the first and second sides of the cover is removably secured about the mouth of one of the two or more pre-filled cocktail glasses, while the other of the first and second sides of the cover has a region interior of the peripheral edge which is shaped to seat the stem of another of the two or more pre-filled cocktail glasses. The peripheral edge is sized so as to be positionable within the hollow container with an insubstantial gap therebetween at at least two opposing margins.

Further aspects and features of exemplary cocktail glasses, packaging for same, and arrangement thereof disclosed herein can be appreciated from the appended Figures and accompanying written description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a partially exploded side perspective view of a pair of pre-filled cocktail glasses that are presented in a stacked manner in a package for purchase by a consumer;

FIG. 1A is a cross-sectional view of a package containing a cover according to another embodiment with a stabilizing feature that engages a cover of the top pre-filled cocktail glass for laterally stabilizing the stack of cocktail glasses;

FIG. 2 is a local cross-sectional view of the stacked pre-filled cocktail glasses at a location where one is stacked on top of a cover of the bottom cocktail glass;

FIG. 2A is a local cross-sectional view taken from FIG. 2 illustrating the spaced relationship between a seal member and a cover of the cocktail glass;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of one pre-filled cocktail glass with the cover removed and the seal member being removed to open and expose the liquid beverage;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view showing a joint formed between a stem and a bowl portion of the cocktail glass according to one embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a section of an upper rim of the cocktail glass;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a graph that charts the relationship between an applied force needed to release the bonded seal member from the rim and a percentage of lid release.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 illustrates a pair of pre-filled cocktail (martini) glasses 100 that are arranged in stacked relationship and are contained within a package 10. The package 10 is formed of a hollow container or body 12, such as a cylindrical tube-like structure, that has an interior wall or surface 14 that partially defines an interior compartment 16. The stacked cocktail glasses 100 are received and stored within the interior compartment 16. The terms “cocktail glass” and “martini glass” are used herein in an interchangeable manner since the two describe the same type of drinking glass configuration.

The package 10 also includes a floor structure 20 which supports the stacked cocktail glasses 100 and includes a removable container cover 30 or the like that serves to close off the interior compartment 16 after placement of the glasses 100 therein. The cover 30 is designed to form a frictional fit with the interior wall 14 when the cover 30 is received within the container 12. The illustrated cover 30 includes a floor 32 and an upstanding annular flange 34 that seats against the interior wall 14. Cover 30 can also be constructed to seal about the exterior wall of the container 10, if desired. As described in greater detail below, the container 10 and glasses 100 are constructed so that glasses 100 are securely held in place for storage, display and transportation of the pre-filled glasses 100.

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2-6, each pre-filled cocktail glass 100 is formed to have the classical martini or cocktail glass shape and in particular, is formed of a stem portion 110 and a bowl portion 130 that holds the liquid beverage. The stem portion 110 includes a stem base 120 that is constructed and dimensioned to maintain the balance of the glass 100 both when it is filled and when it is empty. The stem portion 110 also includes a stem or stalk 112 that is an elongated structure that extends upwardly from the stem base 120 at a lower end 114 and intersects the bowl portion 130 at an opposite upper end 116.

The stem base 120 has an upper surface 122 from which the stem 112 extends and an opposing lower surface 124, as well as a peripheral edge 126 that extends around the entire outer edge of the stem base 120 and is formed between the upper surface 122 and the lower surface 124. Since the illustrated stem base 120 has a circular shape, the peripheral edge 126 is a circumferential edge. Other shapes, such as a square shape, can be used for the stem base 120. In the illustrated embodiment, the peripheral edge 126 is a generally vertical edge that has a height H as illustrated in FIG. 2A. However, it will be understood that the edge 126 can have a slight taper as opposed to being formed perpendicular to both the upper surface 122 and the lower surface 124.

The stem base 120 itself has a bowl-like shape in that the upper surface 122 has a convex shape and the lower surface 124 has a concave shape. This type of construction is desirable because it permits the glass to maintain its balance and stability and support the bowl portion 130 when filled with a liquid (cocktail).

Preferably, the stem 112 is integrally formed with the stem base 120 as a single member and therefore, the stem 112 seamlessly flows and is formed with the stem base 120. When the stem 112 and stem base 120 are formed as a single, seamless structure, the glass 100 can be formed in-situ in a common mold resulting in the integral seamless transition from one portion to the other portions of the glass 100.

The stem 112 is preferably a hollow member that extends from the stem base 120 to the bowl portion 130. Typically, both the stem 112 and the stem base 120 have a circular shape and in the case of the illustrated stem 112, it has an annular cross-section with the center being hollow.

Similar to the formation of the stem 112 and stem base 120 as a single member, the stem 112 can according to one embodiment be integrally formed with the bowl portion 130 as a single structure. In this case, the stem 112 and bowl portion 130 can be formed in-situ in a common mold with a seamless transition between the two. Even in this embodiment, a region A results (see FIG. 2) and is in the form of a joint or juncture between the upper end 116 of the stem 112 and the bottom of the bowl portion 130.

The bowl portion 130 of the cocktail glass 100 is constructed to hold the liquid, which in this case is the alcoholic beverage (e.g., a martini) and as with classical cocktail glasses, the bowl portion 130 is in the form of a wide, shallow, inverted cone body 132 that is fixed above the stem 112 to hold the liquid. The body 132 is generally frustoconical in nature and includes a tapered side wall 134 that terminates in a top rim 136 from which the person drinks and a bottom 138 that contains the liquid. Since the body 132 is conical in nature and tapers outwardly from the bottom 138 toward the top rim 136, the body 132 is widest at the top rim 136 and is narrowest at the bottom 138 of the body 132 The bowl could alternatively have an inverted pyramid shape, if desired.

In the embodiment, where the stem 112 and the bowl portion 130 are formed as one seamless structure, the bottom 138 of the bowl portion 130 is defined by a transverse wall or floor that closes off the bottom of the bowl portion 130 and contains the liquid.

Traditionally, the top rim of a cocktail glass is rounded so as to present a nice smooth rim for the user to contact with his or her lips when drinking from the glass; however, in the case of the cocktail glass 100, the top rim 136 is not a smooth rounded structure as one would expect. Instead, the top rim 136 includes an elevated planar platform or protrusion (a land) 139 that is raised (elevated) relative to the outer edge and the inner edge of the top rim 136 as shown most clearly in FIG. 6. The platform 139 provides an interface or bonding surface to permit a member to be attached (e.g., bonded) to the body 132 across the top rim 136.

In another embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the stem 112 and the bowl portion 130 are separate parts or members that are securely attached to one another. In this design, the upper end 116 of the stem 112 includes an upper transverse wall 117 that extends across the stem 112 so as to close off one end the stem 112 and in the illustrated embodiment where the stem 112 has a circular construction, the transverse wall 117 is likewise circular in shape. However, it will be appreciated that any number of other constructions are possible. The upper transverse wall 117 has a protrusion 140 that extends outwardly therefrom in a direction away from the stem 112 and the stem base 120.

The protrusion 140 is formed generally in the central portion of the transverse wall 117 so as to define a shoulder 142 (e.g., a right angle shoulder) with a surrounding portion 144 of the transverse wall 117. The surrounding portion 144 has an annular shape and has a lesser height than the protrusion which defines a raised platform that functions as a locating and locking feature as described below.

In this embodiment, the bottom 138 of the bowl portion 130 has a complementary feature 160 for mating with the protrusion 140 so as to couple the bowl portion 130 to the stem 112. More specifically, the feature 160 can be in the form of a recess that is defined by a shoulder 162 (e.g., a right angled shoulder) that is defined an inner surface of a wall structure 164.

The protrusion 140 and the recess 160 have complementary dimensions and shapes to permit reception of the protrusion 140 into the recess 160. For example, the height of the protrusion 140 and the depth of the recess 160 are complementary to one another to permit reception of the protrusion 140 into the recess 160. A frictional fit thus results between the protrusion 140 and the recess 160 since the diameter of the protrusion 140 and the diameter of the recess 160 is about the same. In addition, the two components, namely, the stem 112 and the bowl portion 130, are securely attached to one another at this interface using any number of different types of bonding techniques, including but not limited to using adhesives or a heat bond by applying heat to this localized area.

It will be appreciated that while FIG. 4 shows the stem 112 having the male locating and locking feature and the bowl portion 130 having the complementary female locating and locking feature, the opposite can be true in that the stem 112 can have the female feature and the bowl portion 130 can have the male feature.

The frustum joint between the stem 112 and the bowl portion 130 represents a weakened point of the glass 100 in both the embodiment where the stem 112 and the bowl portion 130 are separate members and a robust bond is formed therebetween and the embodiment where the stem 112 and the bowl portion 130 are formed as a unitary structure, e.g., when formed in a common mold. This joint area is capable of fracturing as described below since it is a region where the wider, conical bowl portion 130 is joined to a much smaller diameter stem 112.

In order to permit the cocktail glass 100 to be a pre-filled glass that can be stored, transported and distributed in a number of different channels of commerce, the cocktail glass 100 includes a seal member 200 or means for sealing the pre-filled liquid (e.g., a martini cocktail) in the bowl portion 130. The seal member 200 is of the type that seals the liquid within the bowl portion 130 but is easily removable as when the consumer wishes to drink the liquid contents of the glass 100. The seal member 200 extends across the open mouth of the bowl portion 130 and more specifically, the seal member 200 extends across and is sealed to the top rim 136 in a manner that seals the liquid contents within the bowl portion 130.

One exemplary type of the seal member 200 is a thin foil member that extends across the top rim 136 and seats against the elevated platform 139. This platform 139 serves not only as a planar support surface for the seal member 200 but it also assists in the process of sealing the seal member 200 to the rim 136, as described below, due to its planar nature which permits a force to be applied orthogonally to the seal member 200 for securing the seal member 200 to the rim 136. The foil seal member 200 can be made from a metal material, from a synthetic material, such as PVC, or from a multilayer construction combining several material layers. The foil seal member 200 is relatively thin and has a complementary circular shape and includes a pull tab 210 that is used by the consumer to peel the seal member 200 from the rim 136 when it is desired to drink the beverage. The pull tab 210 extends beyond the rim 136 of the bowl portion 130 and can be bent down to better conceal the pull tab 210. Indicia and other markings can be included on the top face of the foil seal member 200.

Any number of different techniques can be used to seal the seal member 200 to the upper rim 136 such that the liquid contents are sealed in the bowl portion 130. For example, a heat-seal process can be used where the seal member 200 is placed in the desired, proper location such that it extends across the rim 136 and in particular, the seal member 200 seats against the platform 139 with an outer peripheral edge 202 of the seal member 200 extending just beyond the platform 139. After the seal member 200 is placed in this position on the platform 139, heat and pressure are applied to the seal member 200 using appropriate heat-sealing equipment to cause a bonding between the seal member 200 and the rim 136. More specifically, in a preferred embodiment, heat and pressure are applied to the seal member 200 at a location directly above the planar platform 139 to cause a slight melting of the platform 139 to the underside of the seal member 200. This localized melting creates a bond between the seal member 200 and the platform 139 of the rim 136.

The cocktail glass 100 of the present invention can includes a cover 300 that is securely mated to and attached to the bowl portion 130 of the glass 100 to promote stability of packaged pre-filled glasses during transport and for re-sealing an opened glass. As shown in the drawings, the cover 300 is a flexible member that includes an inner surface 302 that faces the seal member 200 when the cover 300 is attached to the bowl portion 130 and an opposing outer surface 304 that faces away from the seal member 200. The cover 300 has a circular shape and has an outer peripheral edge 310 that extends therearound. The peripheral edge 310 is generally a vertical edge; however, a lowermost portion 312 thereof has an outward flare 314 such that a maximum diameter of the cover 300 is at a bottom 316 of the peripheral edge 310. As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the peripheral edge has a central concave section 320 between a top 318 of the edge 310 and the bottom 316.

The cover 300 can also include a convex annular section 330 and a planar annular section 340 that is formed between the convex annular section 330 and the top 318 of the edge 310. On an underside of the cover 300, the planar annular section 340 defines with the peripheral edge 310 a shoulder 342 and an annular shaped inner surface 344.

One feature of the cover 300 is that the cover 300 can include a recessed platform 350 that is formed in the middle portion of the cover 300 and defines a planar floor 352 that is recessed relative to the surrounding convex annular section 330. In one embodiment, the recessed platform 350 is defined by an upstanding wall 354 that extends circumferentially about the floor 352 so as to form a right angled shoulder with the floor 352. As can be appreciated, the floor can be a continuous surface or an annular ring sized to at least engage the lower surface 124 of the stem base 120.

The planar floor 352 is a load bearing surface since the recessed platform 350 is intended to receive one stem base 120 of another cocktail glass 100 to permit stacking of one cocktail glass 100 on top of another cocktail glass 100 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Accordingly, the diameter of the stem base 120 is slightly less than a diameter of the platform 350 (planar floor 352) so that the stem base 120 can be received within the recessed platform 350 and the lateral movement of the stem base 120 within the recessed platform 350 is prevented or at least substantially restricted. In this manner, the recessed platform 350 acts as guide and retaining feature for locating and maintaining the top cocktail glass 100 in a stacked relationship. In particular, by restricting the lateral movement of the top cocktail glass 100 in the recessed platform 350, the likelihood is reduced that the top glass 100 will slide along the floor 352 and gain momentum and then strike the vertical wall 354 resulting in the top glass 100 tipping over due to the fact that most of the weight of the glass 100 is attributable to the liquid in the bowl portion 130 which is spaced well above the cover 300. In other words, the shape of the cocktail glass 100 and the location of the liquid and the smaller stem base 120 result in the glass 100 being “top heavy” and somewhat prone to tipping if a sufficient force is directed in the right direction.

In yet another aspect, the recessed platform 350 is constructed so as to minimize or substantially reduce or eliminate the chance that the top glass 100 becomes dislodged from the recessed platform 350 and tips over when one glass 110 is stacked on top of another glass 100. Since the height H of the peripheral edge 126 is less than the depth D of the recessed platform 350 (i.e., the height of the vertical wall 354), the degree of contact between the entire peripheral edge 126 and the vertical wall 354 during a pivoting or rocking of the glass 100 is greater than is the case when the height H of the peripheral edge 126 is greater than the depth D of the recessed platform 350. This increased degree of contact between the entire peripheral edge 126 and the vertical wall 354 over a greater vertical wall distance assists in maintaining the glass 100 within the recessed platform 350.

This arrangement can present a pleasing side appearance since the stem base 120 can sit within the recessed platform 350 and from the side, the convex annular section 330 of the cover 300 can smoothly flow into the convex upper surface 122 of the stem base 120 without the vertical, peripheral edge 126 being seen.

When the cover 300 is placed on and secured to the bowl portion 130, the annular section 340 seats against the rim 136 and more particularly, against the planar platform 139. As the cover 300 is placed on the bowl portion 130, the peripheral edge 310 can flex to receive the rim 136 and then once the edge 310 clears the rim 136, the resilient nature of the edge 310 causes the edge 310 to “lock” into place and be securely attached to the bowl portion 130. As shown in FIG. 1, the inner surface 302 of the cover 300 can include a number of interference elements 303 that serve to engage the top rim 136 and hold the cover 300 in place on top of the bowl portion 130. FIG. 1 only shows a pair of interference elements 303; however, it will be understood that this is merely for convenience and illustration and that more elements 303 extend circumferentially around the entire cover 300, regardless of whether the bowl portion is round or has some other shape.

For example, the inner surface 302 of the vertical edge or flange 310 can include a plurality of protrusions 303 that are spaced apart and extend circumferentially around the inner surface 302 of the cover 300. In the illustrated embodiment, the protrusions 303 have an arcuate surface in that the protrusions 303 crest (have a greater thickness) in a center region thereof. When the cover 300 is placed on the rim 136 and a closing force is applied to the cover, the flange 310 flexes outwardly to permit the protrusions 303 to clear the rim 136 (the rounded nature of the protrusion 303 allows the protrusions 303 to ride over the rim 136) and then the rim 136 is captured between the top edge of the protrusions 303 and the shoulder 342. To remove the cover 330, the cover 330 is simply lifted causing the protrusions 303 to ride over the rim 136 until the cover 330 becomes disengaged and loose from the rim 136.

According to one aspect of the present invention, an underside (inner surface) of the planar floor 352 is spaced from the seal member 200 a distance D1 to maintain and ensure the integrity of the seal member 200 during the intended use and storage of the product. In other words, when the cover 300 is placed on the bowl portion 130, a substantial portion of the cover 300 is elevated above the seal member 200, with the planar annular section 340 being the primary section that engages the outer edge of the seal member 200.

This distance D1 is a sufficient distance such that even when a load in the form of another pre-filled cocktail glass 100 is placed upright in the recessed platform 350, the weight of the pre-filled glass 100 and the flexing nature of floor 352 does not result in the underside of the floor 352 making contact with the seal member 200. Typically, the bowl portion 130 of the preferred embodiment is filled with 200 ml of liquid to form a single cocktail. If this type of load were allowed to cause the floor 352 to deform, then a force (load) would be applied to the seal member 200 and this can cause a rupture of the seal member 200 since the seal member 200 is a thin foil structure. This is obviously undesirable and to be avoided since once the seal member 200 is ruptured, the liquid contents can freely flow from the bowl portion 130.

It is desirable to stack the glasses 100 one on top of one another since this offers a more visually appealing arrangement and therefore, when each of the glasses 100 is sealed with seal member 200, some type of support (load bearing) structure (e.g., cover 330) is needed since the placement of one stem base 120 on the foil member 200 of another glass 100 will result in the rupture of the foil member 200 and the collapse of the stacked structure. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that traditional cocktail glasses have a rim of a greater diameter than the periphery 126 of the stem base 120, causing the stem base to have its weight focused inward of the planar support 139 for the seal member 200. Another arrangement would be for the top glass 100 to be inverted relative to the bottom glass 100; however, this arrangement would result in the two foil members 200 being placed next to one another. In other words and as with the above arrangement, this arrangement results potentially in the foil member 200 of the bottom glass 100 bearing a load which could result in rupture of the bottom seal member 200. In addition, the top glass 100 is upside down and therefore, the seal member 200 of the top glass must bear the entire weight of the liquid that is contained in the bowl portion 130. The seal member 200 is typically not designed to bear such a load over a period of time and this can lead to failure of the bond/seal between the seal member 200 and the rim 136, thereby resulting in leakage of the liquid. Thus, stacking the glasses 100 with the top one inverted is not a desirable way to stack the glasses 100.

Since the preferred way to stack two or more cocktail glasses 100 is to stack one glass 100 on top of the other glass 100, with the stem base 120 of the top glass supported by the bowl portion 130 of the bottom glass, the cover 330 provides a load bearing structure that is configured to flex and accommodate the weight of the top glass 100 but at the same type keep the top glass 100 supported in a spaced, elevated manner relative to the bottom glass 100 and in particular, the seal member 200 of the bottom glass 100.

In another aspect of the present invention, the strength of the attachment between the seal member 200 and the rim 136 is sufficient to ensure that the liquid remains sealed within the bowl portion 130 during normal use and storage of the glass 100 but the bond strength is insufficient to cause a fracturing of the glass 100 at the weakened frustum region between the stem 112 and the bowl portion 130 when the seal member 200 is removed from the rim 136 to expose the beverage (martini) for drinking.

FIG. 7 is a graph of predicted characteristics for an exemplary construction for glass 100 that illustrates the relationship between a force to release the bonded seal member 200 from the rim 136 and a percentage of lid release or stated in other terms, the progressive state of disengagement of the seal member 200 from the rim 136. The resulting curve is illustrated in FIG. 7 and begins with a point A where the seal member 200 is securely bonded and attached to the rim 136 and a force (peel force) is initially applied to the seal member 200 for release and removal thereof. To remove the seal member 200, the consumer initially holds (pinches) the release tab 210 and then lifts up on the release tab 210. As the consumer lifts up on the release tab 210, the force curve shows an increasing force region A-B (increasing slope) that represents the initial increased force that is needed to break the bond (optionally a vacuum) between the seal member 200 and the rim 136. Once the bond is broken between the seal member 200 and the rim 136 at regions surrounding the release tab 210, the curve has a decreasing slope region B-C since the force needed to peel the seal member 200 from the rim 136 becomes less and less as less of the seal member 200 remains bonded to the rim 136 and as the lever arm increases across the mouth of the bowl portion. In other words, as the consumer increasingly lifts the seal member 200 off of the rim 136, less of the seal member 200 remains bonded to the rim 136 and therefore, it takes less peel force to remove the seal member 200 from the rim 136. However, the final region of the curve is marked by an increasing force region C-D that represents the final separation of the seal member 200 from the rim 136 which occurs at point D. This final separation requires moving the seal member 200 away from a tangent point on the rim 136 with no lever arm and hence a greater force (peel force) is required to remove the final bonded segment of the seal member 200 from the rim 136. Point E is a point where the seal member 200 is totally removed (100% release) from the rim 136 and thus no peel force is registered.

Thus, removal of the attached seal member 200 from the rim 136 is characterized by a variable peel force depending upon the stage of removal of the seal member 200 from the rim 136. In particular, the required force is greatest at the beginning and end of the removal of the seal member 200 from the rim 136, which locations are also the farthest from the frustum of the bowl portion 130.

When an individual holds the stem 112 during the removal of the seal member 200, the individual dampens forces from that point downward, thereby causing a concentration of the forces above the point of holding the stem 112. Since the individual most likely holds the stem 112 at a location below the frustum, forces are concentrated at the frustum which as previously mentioned represents a weakened region of the glass 100.

In view of the foregoing, the bond strength between the seal member 200 and the rim 136 is selected so that the liquid remains sealed within the bowl portion during normal use and storage of the cocktail glass 100, but at the same time, the force is not so great as to cause a fracturing of the glass 100 at a weakened region thereof, such as the frustum between the stem 112 and the bowl portion 130. In other words, if the peel force required to remove the seal member 200 is too great due to the characteristics of the attachment between the seal member 200 and the rim 136, then increased tensile stresses are realized on the frustum (joint between the stem 112 and the bowl portion 130) which weaken and can result in a fracturing of the glass 100 at the frustum joint as the seal member 200 is removed from the rim 136. In FIG. 3, the tensile stress forces are generally shown by arrow T on one side of the glass 100 and there is a corresponding compression of the glass 100 at the frustum, as shown by arrow C, on the opposite side of the glass 100 as the seal member 200 is removed from the rim 136.

Accordingly, the characteristics of the attachment, including the material used for the seal members 200, the thickness of the seal member 200 and the construction and material of the rim 136, as well as the bonding conditions, are controlled so that the resulting bond strength is as described above, namely one that results in a strong, leak-proof seal but does not result in the formation of a fracture in the glass 100 when the seal member 200 is removed.

The cocktail (martini) glass 100 is disposable in nature and therefore is preferably formed of a light-weight, disposable material, such as a plastic. In particular, one suitable material for forming the martini glass 100 is a methyl methacrylate-styrene copolymer, e.g., a plastic commercially available under the product name ACRYSTEX® PM-600 from Chi Mei Corporation located in Taiwan, which forms a clear, transparent glass.

As mentioned with respect to FIG. 1, the package 10 is constructed so that glasses 100 fit snugly therein. More specifically, the peripheral edge 310 (outward flare 314 thereof) is sized so as to be positionable within the interior compartment or space 16 of the container 12 with an insubstantial gaps between the peripheral edge 310 of the cover 300 and the interior wall 14 of the container 12 at at least two opposing margins. When the container 12 is in the form of a cylindrical tube, the insubstantial gap between the peripheral edge 310 of the cover 300 and the interior wall 14 of the container 12 is circumferentially uniform. In another aspect, this insubstantial gap permits air to flow between the peripheral edge 310 of the cover 300 and the interior wall 14 of the container 12.

In addition, FIG. 1A illustrates another embodiment where the cover 30 that mates with and closes off the hollow container 12 includes a stabilizing feature 40 for providing additional stability to the stacked glasses 100 within the interior compartment 16. More specifically, an underside of the floor 32 of the cover 30 includes a protrusion 40 that has a complimentary shape and complimentary dimensions to the recessed platform 350 of the cover 300 attached to the top glass 100. In the illustrated embodiment, the protrusion 40 thus has a circular shape and is received in the recessed platform 350 to preferably form a frictional fit between the cover 30 and the cover 300. This type of engagement between the cover 30 and the cover 300 acts to stabilize the stacked glasses 100 and limits lateral movement of the stacked glasses 100 since the top glass 100 is effectively laterally stabilized by the protrusion 40 of the cover 30.

It will also be appreciated that the cover 300 can act as a coaster to support one glass 100.

It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described thus far with reference to the accompanying drawings; rather the present invention is limited only by the following claims.