Title:
Hygiene cup barrier
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cup accessory (“A Hygiene Cup Barrier”) (FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) that is placed between the rim of a cup and the mouth. This device blocks the direct contact between the cup and the mouth to prevent cup-to-mouth transfer of potential contaminants, thus providing better hygiene for an individual and the public. The cup barrier has various kinds of size, shape, design, materials, and consistency. It can be colorless transparent or colored. It can be disposable or reusable. It is packed in a clean or sterile manner so that the user can place the cup barrier over the cup without contaminating it before using.



Inventors:
Kim, Stanley (Upland, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/642080
Publication Date:
06/26/2008
Filing Date:
12/20/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G19/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
POOS, MADISON LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stanley Kim (Upland, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A cup barrier device that is placed over an area of a container, such as the rim of a cup, that can block the direct contact between said container and the lip or mouth, thus improving hygiene of an individual person and the public.

2. A cup barrier device of claim 1, wherein said device is made of various size, shape, design, and materials with various consistency. It can be colorless transparent, or colorful. It can be disposable or reusable. The shape and design of the barrier has ability to be securely placed on the rim of a cup, and to prevent chocking when accidentally swallowed. The shape can be designed to mimic the human lip so that the person feels like kissing someone when he or she uses the barrier. It may provide psychological benefit. The materials of the barrier can be various kinds of various consistency, such as soft silicone, rubber, plastic, or other non-toxic safe materials. An elastic material can adjust and fit the container more easily.

3. A cup barrier device of claim 1, further including means for packaging said cup barrier in a clean or sterile manner that allows the user to place said cup barrier over the rim of the cup without contaminating said cup barrier before using said cup barrier.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

None.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

None.

SEQUENCE LISTING

None.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to a cup accessory device to improve people's hygiene by being placed between the cup and the mouth.

2. Prior Art

As more people dine out nowadays, assurance of cleanness of a cup free of contamination becomes important public issue.

At a restaurant, people use the cups for drinking that have been used many times by many different people. Some of the restaurant customers may harbor a communicable disease. Although the restaurants use the dishwashers or other cleaning methods, a customer often discovers a cup not well cleaned or even stained with the lipstick marks.

Therefore, repetitive usage of the cups that are not properly cleaned in a public restaurant can be hazardous for the public health. In addition, patients in a hospital or inmates in a correction facility are more vulnerable to this problem.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION—OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

By placing a barrier on the rim of a cup where the lip is in contact with, the direct exposure to human mouth by potential contaminants on the cup can be avoided. The size of the barrier needs to be large enough to block the direct contact between the rim of the cup and the lip.

The barrier can be shaped and designed in various ways to be securely placed on the rim of the cup, and to prevent chocking when accidentally swallowed. By designing the barrier mimicking human lip, the user feels like he or she kisses the loved one when drinking, thus providing potential psychological benefit.

The material of the barrier can be made from many different kinds, such as silicone rubber, plastic, or other non-toxic materials. Elastic materials are more useful because those are better adjusted and fit in a different shapes and size of cups.

The barrier can be disposable after single use in order to maximize person's hygiene. By wrapping the barrier with paper, vinyl or plastic, the cleanness and sterility can be further ensured.

In addition, the barrier can be covered by a piece of clean paper or vinyl that is removable after having been placed by the hand, but before placing the lip for drinking. The barrier can be re-usable as a personal possession if it is made of more durable materials and it can be cleaned repeatedly.

SUMMARY

A barrier placed on the rim of a cup that is used repetitively in a restaurant, hospital, or other public places by many different people can prevent direct contact of the mouth with the potential contaminants on the rim of the cup, thus improving hygiene of an individual person and the public.

The barrier has a size to completely block the contact between the cup and the lip of the mouth.

The shape and design of the barrier have an ability to be securely placed on the rim of a cup, and to prevent chocking when accidentally swallowed. The shape can be designed to mimic the human lip so that the person feels like kissing someone when he or she uses the barrier when drinking. It may provide psychological benefit.

The materials of the barrier can be various kinds, such as soft silicone, rubber, plastic, or others that can be safely contacted with the mouth. Materials having elasticity may be more useful to be adjusted and fit in the various shapes and sizes of the cups.

DRAWINGS—FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective anterior view of a cup barrier placed on the rim of a cup.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a cup barrier placed on the rim of a cup.

FIG. 3 is a perspective close-up view of a cup barrier placed on the rim of a cup.

FIG. 4 is a perspective anterior view of a cup barrier.

FIG. 5 is a perspective posterior view of a cup barrier.

FIG. 6 is a perspective lateral view of a cup barrier.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a cup barrier designed to mimic human lip.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a cup barrier designed to mimic human lip placed on the rim of a cup.

DRAWINGS—REFERENCE NUMERALS

9. A cup barrier.

10. A cup.

11. The rim of a cup.

12. The upper part of a cup barrier having a shape of a circle to be placed securely on the rim of a cup.

13. Anterior part of a cup barrier.

14. A cup barrier designed to mimic human lip.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective anterior view of a cup barrier (9) placed on the rim of a cup (11).

The cup barrier of this embodiment has a rectangular shape that is folded to be placed over the rim of a cup.

FIG. 2 is a perspective posterior view of a cup barrier placed on the rim of a cup (11).

FIG. 3 is a close-up view of a cup barrier placed on the rim of a cup (11).

FIG. 4 is a perspective anterior view of a cup barrier.

FIG. 5 is a perspective posterior view of a cup barrier.

FIG. 6 is a perspective lateral view of a cup barrier. The upper part (12) of the cup barrier has circular shape so that it can grip the rim of the cup (11) securely. By tightly holding the rim of the cup, the liquids filled in the cup will flow toward the mouth easily. The anterior part (13) of the cup barrier has a shape of apron that covers the surface area of the mouth in contact with the cup.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a cup barrier to be designed mimicking human lip. The user feels like kissing someone when drinking. This design may provide psychological benefit when using this cup barrier.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a barrier mimicking human lip that is placed on the cup.

Although the description above contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. The scope of this invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.

OPERATION

The cup barrier is packed in a concealed plastic bag in a clean and sterile condition. The user open the pack and take out the cup barrier carefully not to touch the barrier itself by the hand to avoid contamination. The package can be designed such that the apron-shaped anterior part of the cup barrier (13) is taken out first and placed over the rim of a cup without being touched by the fingers while the upper part of the cup barrier (12) inside the package is held by the fingers. The user can adjust the cup barrier to fit on the rim of the cup and to place it in a desirable area. Once the anterior part (13) has been placed, the rest of package is removed completely. Then whole part of the cup barrier can be placed over the rim without being directly touched by the fingers. Another method is to cover the exposed area of the cup barrier with a piece of a sterile paper, vinyl, or plastic. Once the barrier is placed on the desirable area of the rim of the cup, the cover is removed.

Then the user places his or her lip on the cup barrier to drink.

In a restaurant setting, a waiter or waitress can place the cup barrier over the rim of a cup before filling the cup with liquids.