Title:
Temporary paint can rim cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is a temporary cover for a paint can's rim, for protecting the rim from paint or liquid while pouring. The invention is substantially similar lengthwise/an extruded part. An embodiment's cross-section (FIG. 15) can be a substantially C-shaped portion (27) plus a substantially narrow-tipped elongated flat portion (from 24 to 26), for a total shape like a “b”, with the b's circular section being open on the front like a “c”. When the cup portion is pressed/secured on to a paint can rim: the cup's open side faces substantially peripherally and/or downward and the tip of the elongated portion faces substantially upwardly (FIG. 23). The invention can be made a size and shape to also be stored on a can's metal wire paint can handle (handle positioned inside of the C-shaped cup). Placed on the can handle, the cover can add handle cushioning for carrying the paint can.



Inventors:
Rattmann, Jean Victoria (Everett, WA, US)
Application Number:
12/005261
Publication Date:
07/17/2008
Filing Date:
12/27/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D1/40
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ALLEN, JEFFREY R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jean V. Rittmann (Everett, WA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A rim cover, for protecting a prior art paint can's rim from a can's liquid contents while pouring liquid from that can; and for storing on and padding a can handle; said cover being a size and shape to substantially be manufactured by extrusion.

2. The rim cover, according to claim 1, wherein said cover having a length; said cover having a substantially fixed cross-sectional profile; said profile having a cup portion; and said profile having a substantially elongated portion having a bottom portion, said elongated portion having a top portion; said bottom end fixedly attached to said cup portion; said profile cup portion being of a size and shape to be secured on to a cross-sectional portion of a prior art paint can rim; and said length being of a size, shape, and flexibility to curve least 90° around a portion of a paint can rim; such that, when said cover attached to a prior art paint can and liquid contents are poured from that can, said elongated portion being of a size and shape to keep a substantial portion of poured liquid off the exterior side of the can.

3. The rim cover, according to claim 2, wherein said prior art can rim having an interior lip; said cup portion being of a size and shape to be secured onto a paint can interior lip; and said elongated portion being of a size and shape to keep a substantial portion of liquid contents, during and after being poured from that can, off the rim of that can.

4. The rim cover, according to claim 3, further including said cup portion being closed to an O shape by a tear portion; closed said tear portion for securing said cover on a can handle prior to said cover use as a rim cover; and said tear portion being tearable along its length if a user pulls said cover from a handle on a can.

5. The rim cover, according to claim 3, wherein said profile being substantially b-shaped, wherein said b shape's front circular portion being slit open on the front side forming said cup portion.

6. The rim cover, according to claim 3, wherein said elongated portion being substantially 0.5″ to 4″ tall.

7. The rim cover, according to claim 3, wherein said cup portion having an interior diameter substantially 0.04″ to 0.3″.

8. The rim cover, according to claim 3, wherein, in use, said cover being 3″ to 18″ long.

9. The rim cover, according to claim 3, wherein said top portion further including a bent portion; said bent portion for guiding liquid medially and and for helping break surface tension when viscous liquid is poured from a paint can.

10. The rim cover, according to claim 1, wherein said length being flexible enough to substantially conform circumferentially around a paint can rim.

11. The rim cover, according to claim 1, wherein liquid contents being paint.

13. A method of keeping liquid off of the metal rim of a paint can, comprising the steps of pressing a length of a flexible extrusion onto a paint can rim; such that, said extrusion is of a size and shape to secure onto a rim enough to allow liquid contents to pour from that can without said extrusion detaching from that can rim and substantially without getting liquid on that can rim or that can's exterior wall.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein poured liquid substantially having the viscosity of paint.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Application No. 60/880,471 filed Jan. 16, 2007

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

This invention relates to dispensing, drip leakage or waste catching or disposal. This invention also relates to miscellaneous hardware—handle, handle component, or handle adjunct, detachable handle for container. This invention may also relate to receptacles—container attachment or adjunct—container holder—spaced upper and lower elements connected by a handle structure. More specifically, this invention relates to a means to keep paint from getting in the (currently metal) sealing groove of a (one gallon) paint can, like when paint or liquid is poured from that can. When not in use on a can rim, the invention relates to objects attached to a can handle, and the invention relates to handle covers.

PRIOR ART FIG. 1A is a cross sectional view of a one gallon paint can rim. Prior art can rims, like rim 8, are metal. Prior art can walls, like upper exterior wall 11 are often metal or plastic. Rim 8 is fixedly attached to substantially the top edge of upper exterior wall 11. Portions of the rim are identified for this text as follows: notation 18 is the substantially round interior lip of a can rim, 19 is the deep channel of a can rim (and 19 is a substantial portion of the sealing groove that mates with the can lid), 20 is the exterior lip of a can rim. PRIOR ART FIG. 1B is a measurement-noted view of FIG. 1A. Approximate dimensions are as follows: (vertical dimensions) notation 1≈1.1 mm, notation 2≈3 mm, notation 3≈9.5 mm, and (horizontal dimensions) notation 4≈3 mm, notation 5≈2 mm, notation 6≈7 mm, and notation 7≈7 mm. The dimension shown by notation 4 varies considerably between manufacturers: from 1 mm to 3.5 mm. The interior lip can be described as having an interior portion and an exterior portion. The interior portion can be considered to be the curved area interior from the vertical point 22 shown in PRIOR ART FIG. 1A. The exterior portion of the interior lip can be considered to be the curved area exterior to point 22 (right of point 22).

Prior art one gallon cans for paint, stains, varnishes, and other liquids, have about an exterior rim diameter [I.D.≈5.5″ (14 cm.), O.D.≈6.56″ (16.7 cm.)]. A wire handle attached to such a can is often about 10 gauge wire and shaped as an ≈6.5″ (16.5 cm.) diameter curve.

There are many paint can pouring lid/covers for this standard rim. They are for the purpose of keeping paint from drying in the can after initial opening. They all substantially attach to a metal can rim like that of FIG. 1A. Pouring paint is a job of only a few seconds. Paint is poured from the can because paint in a can is difficult to access with many brushes and rollers, and because debris that collects on a paint implement while used is deposited in the can, which can increase debris on the surface painted.

To compensate for the high cost and time consuming application time of a lid/cover, most provide a ‘second benefit’. Some provide a brush scraping means (see Hayduchok's patent cited below). Some are designed to be a permanent replacement lid.

Many prior art covers are designed to provide a secure seal around the entire rim of a can to keep paint off the rim of the paint can. For pouring lids, here are disadvantages in having a continuous/complete circular seal: In order to keep paint off the paint can rim, the pouring lid must hold tight against the interior lip of the can. This basically requires extending the rim cover UNDER the inside rim of the can. The more secure/deep this ‘undercut’ is, the better the lid keeps paint off the can rim. BUT, the more secure/deep this undercut is, the extremely more difficult it is to pull the pouring lid off. This is mostly a problem because the metal rim is rigid (unlike plastic food containers) and does not bend to help release or attach. It is the same type effect as placing one's hand in a narrow-necked jar, making a fist, and trying to pull one's hand out while still making the fist. Also, the more the ‘undercut’, the harder it is to apply the lid or cover. D.A.L.E.S. Corporation manufactures POURit® lid: it has ‘undercut’ TABS, which allows a user to more easily snap the lid on a can. The POURit® lid has locking tabs ≈0.5″ wide, spaced ≈0.4″ apart. When placed on a paint can these tabs lock perhaps 1 mm under interior lip 18. The lid must be snapped on securely all around. One disadvantage of these tabs is that the lid is very difficult to to pull off. Another disadvantage is that the spaces between the tabs allows extensive liquid (paint) to flow into the rim channel, which one may believe the moulded lid is purchased to prevent. Therein, this lid cannot be taken off and used on another can of paint till after the can it is on is empty (because the can rim is contaminated with paint). Re-using the lid requires extensive washing of the groove. Over all, moulding a circular lid with plastic causes a trade-off between being flexible enough to be snapped on a can rim, and rigid enough to not let paint flow in structured areas. Pourit® is injection moulded, 2 pieces (includes screw-on pouring cap), and therein expensive to manufacture. The POURit® lid costs about $3 at Lowe's in 2006, where a new clean metal 1 gallon can with lid costs only about a dollar more.

Plastic pouring lids (or even half-lids, like Hayduchok-cited below) require the user to work at being sure it is completely secure on the can, or else the cover/lid will either come off the can or allow paint to get into the can rim. Prior art plastic lids do not provide the long-term great seal that a metal-rimmed can lid provides. When preparing to paint, a user often just wants to be able to stir the paint and pour, not go through the hassle of securing a pouring lid. On top of that, the pouring lid must be cleaned thoroughly for reuse, which is only a bit less distasteful than cleaning the actual paint can rim. It can be said that injection moulded covers are expensive for the benefit they provide.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,009,802 by Leon Hayduchok, granted Mar. 1, 1977, entitled PAINT CAN ATTACHMENT and U.S. Pat. No. 5,195,662 by Ted Neff, granted Mar. 23, 1993, entitled PAINT CAN SPOUT ATTACHMENT show semi-circular injection moulded paint can attachments. They both slightly grab beneath the can's interior rim. Because they don't encircle the can's entire rim they would be easier to remove than an encircling lid. Because they cover nearly half the can, it makes brush dipping from the can more difficult because it increases the height or distance out from which one must reach over to dip paint. (Yet brush dipping/wiping is described as a second benefit). Their brush wipe with pouring spout make for an odd combination, as one usually pours paint out to be used in another container, and therein the paint brush wipe would not be needed on the paint can, except to get the last of the paint. And the last of the paint is now harder to reach, and once the can is near empty, a clean rim has no residual value.

Full circular and semi-circular lids often try mating with the rim's deep channel. Because prior art rim covers cannot grip deeply under a can rim's interior lip, they often try mating with the exterior portion of the rim's deep channel (exterior side). Hayduchok's semiannular flange 4 (his FIG. 1) mates to the rim as such. Like all flexible plastic covers that depend on mating with the deep channel, if the cover is not secured tightly over a CLEAN channel, the seal is compromised, especially when there is the pressure from within (at the rim lip) of the pouring paint. The problem is that this flange cannot grip the channel (in undercut fashion), so when the can is tilted, mostly only suction pressure keeps it in place. And there is much less suction available with a half-circle lid.

That is why lids, like Neff's half-circle cover (rib section 48 in his FIG. 6) catch under the rim's interior lip. There are ways to make such deep undercuts, but that requires expensive secondary release mechanisms (see FoamPro's pour spout below).

A prior art paint can rim extends proximally into the can a substantial distance (≈14 mm). This provides an extensive area for a rim cover to secure underneath. Locking a cover under the can's interior rim lip, or even deeper rim channel, would provide the most secure seal against paint getting in the rim channel, but there has not been a technically workable way to benefit from this deep channel. What has been unrecognized in prior art is the combination of what a user desires: A quick inexpensive, no clean-up way to pour paint without getting paint on the can rim, so the original metal lid will reseal the paint can.

Paint is currently being sold in cans with metal rims, in plastic jugs, and in large (5 gal) plastic buckets. The plastic containers have pouring rims or spouts with narrow-tipped edges sharp enough so the paint will pour without dripping much back against the container. 5 gallon buckets have ≈4 mm diameter rounded rim edges (for locking to the gasketed bucket lid). 5 gallon bucket lids have a pouring spout. Though paint can be poured from these buckets without the lid, the slightly rounded rim edge can catch paint enough to drip down or outside/exterior to the bucket.

Prior art tubing with a continuous slit is prior art. Accordion-ribbed slit molded? rigid plastic tubing is prior-art used as a cord keeper accessory. Two examples are CABLE TAMER and an unnamed version sold at Ikea by Montera, part number 002.433.10, made in Greece. The ribbing allows the tubing to bend around curves, which is useful for holding many appliance cords together. Such coverings are cross-sectionally round. If placed over paint can rim (like shown in FIG. 13), surface-tension would hold paint to the circular surface, and between the ribbing causing remaining paint to drip exterior to the can and making a big mess.

Wikipedia defines extrusion as “a manufacturing process used to create long objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile”. Prior art extrusions have been made in many shapes and made of many materials. Such strips of extruded material that are of a size and shape range similar to the invention have been called wear strips and weatherstrip. Instead of substantially straight segments, some can be slightly curved by proprietary means.

Weather strip is a prior art extrusion. One such extrusion is part #78394 by M-D Building Products, Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla. 73118. That Vinyl Gasket weatherstrip (cross-sectional view) is redrawn in Prior Art FIG. 2. The part is 0.5″ (13 mm) W×0.25″ (6.4 mm) H (circle-part) and a ≈0.05″ (1.3 mm) wall thickness. Most extruders extrude a minimum wall thickness of 1 mm.

A prior art extruded shape is the wear strip by The Spiratec Company, made of ULTREX UHMW/PE (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) HR-1224 for ¾″ half bar. Spiratec discloses curved wear strips and extrusions, as seen at www.spiratex.com/mistrip.htm How they curve such sections is proprietary. For an embodiment like a slit version of M-D weatherstrip to be curved, the curve would be substantially formed as a 20″ diameter. A tighter diameter curve of 5.5″ or 6″ (like what would fit on a 1 gallon can rim) is currently not known to be possible. The request for curved sections is low.

A prior art paint can has a circumferential/cylindrical wall (P.A. FIG. 1a, wall 9), substantially vertical and positioned beneath and fixedly attached to the can rim. Of course, a paint can has a substantially circular bottom, fixedly attached to the bottom edge/s of the circumferential/cylindrical wall. FOAMPRO MFG. CO. P.O. Box 18888, Irvine, Calif. 92623-8888 has a new product. Foam Pro makes the injection molded Fits-All Paint Can Spout (FAPCS). It has undercut grooves that snap it tightly onto the gallon size can rim. It is injection molded, which is more expensive than extrusion. Its cross-section shows a deep, sharp undercut continuous throughout its curved length, which requires inventive pry tooling. Though it says it fits both quart and gallon paint cans, Applicant was unable to bend it onto a quart can. This is because its flange lays/extends at about 45 degrees from the paint can rim, so a thick cross-section of it must bend to conform. At 45°, it extends peripherally/horizontally over/above the entire can rim. After pouring paint and setting paint can down, some paint will drip on the exterior surface of the spout. Having the exterior surface extend over the can rim is to keep those few drops from easily making their way down into the exposed rim sealing groove. As it can not be easily stored with the can of paint, (like attached to a can handle) it can be easily misplaced.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a temporary cover for a paint can's rim, for protecting the rim from paint or liquid while pouring. The invention is substantially similar lengthwise/an extruded part. An embodiment's cross-section can be a substantially C-shaped portion plus a substantially narrow-tipped elongated, flat portion, for a total shape like a “b”, with the b's circular section being open on the front like a “c”. When the c-shaped cup is pressed/secured on to a paint can rim: the C-shape's open side faces substantially peripherally and/or downward and the tip of the elongated portion faces substantially upwardly. The invention can be made a size and shape to also be stored on a can's metal wire paint can handle (handle positioned inside of the C-shaped cup). Placed on the can handle, the cover can add handle cushioning for carrying the paint can.

ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION

The cover invention wraps securely under the can rim's interior lip to keep paint off the rim while pouring. It very easy to apply and to remove. It can be inexpensively made by extrusion. It can be sold in a continuous perforated strip for many applications, as a packet of 8″ long pieces, or sold with each can of paint by storing it on the can handle. If sold with the paint can, it can be temporarily attached to a paint can handle like a sleeve (and torn off [perf-to-tear]), which will also provide a wider handle grip around the can's thin metal handle. This is of best advantage when a paint can is full, as that is when it is heaviest and a thin metal handle is most uncomfortable. It is inexpensive enough to be thrown away after a single use. It can also be easily washed: This is because it is flexible plastic, because it needs no intricate grooves to mate precisely with the can's rim to keep the paint out; and because it is placed on the can for only a minute (while pouring), meaning any paint on it can be easily rinsed off immediately. It can be reused, and will not get lost because it can be re-attached to the paint can's handle.

An extruded length can be made long enough to cover the entire diameter of a can's rim, allowing stirring of a full can of paint while keeping the rim clean. But less than a half-circle cover (like 8″) is mostly all that is needed, as completely full cans of paint are often just-purchased-items that have been professionally stirred before leaving the store.

The curvature of the can helps support the extruded cover from pivoting. Though the diameter of the rim portion of cans varies between manufacturers from close to 1 mm to 3.5 mm, the invention's C shape can be quite oversized, and even smaller in diameter than the rim portion, and still stay securely in place. Unlike Foam Pro's Can Spout (FPCS), the invention actually fits on a quart can easily. And since curving a straight extrusion around a can rim improves the hold where it is most needed (in the center where poured paint narrows to a stream when poured), the invention requires less force, therein less plastic to make to function as well as the heavy-duty FPCS.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

PRIOR ART FIG. 1A is a cross sectional view of a paint can rim

PRIOR ART FIG. 1B is a notated cross sectional view of FIG. 1A

PRIOR ART FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of P.A. vinyl weatherstrip

FIG. 3A is embodiment V of the invention, cross sectional view

FIG. 3B is embod. V on the P.A. rim of FIG. 1, center cross-sectional view

FIG. 3C is embod. V on the P.A. rim of FIG. 1, near-end cross sectional view

FIG. 4A is embodiment R, cross sectional view

FIG. 4B is embodiment R on a P.A. paint can rim, cross sectional view

FIG. 5 is embodiment RX on a P.A. paint can rim, cross sectional view

FIG. 6 is embodiment R on a P.A. paint can rim, top view

FIG. 7A is embodiment R on a P.A. paint can handle, handle side view

FIG. 7B is embodiment R on a P.A. paint can handle, cross-sectional view

FIG. 8A is pouring paint w/embod. R on a P.A. paint can, cross-sectional view

FIG. 8B is ending pouring paint w/emb. R on paint can, cross-sectional view

FIG. 9 is an alternative emb. X on a P.A. paint can, cross-sectional view

FIG. 10 is embodiment V with a V-cut end, end-right side perspective view

FIG. 11 is like embodiment V but with a tear section, cross-sectional view

FIG. 12A is an ineffective emb. Y on a P.A. paint can, cross-sectional view

FIG. 12B is embod. Y on a P. A. paint can pouring paint, cross-sectional view

FIG. 13 is embod. Z on a P. A. paint can pouring paint, cross-sectional view

FIG. 14 is embodiment P, cross sectional view

FIG. 15 is embod. Q, having bent end, cross sectional view

FIG. 16A is embod. QA, having a LHS point, cross sectional view

FIG. 16B is embod. QB, having an alternative cup shape, cross sectional view

FIG. 17 is a right-side perspective view of embodiment Q

FIG. 18 is embod. Q, on a full can, pouring paint, cross-sectional view

FIG. 19 is embod. Q, on a half-empty can, pouring paint, cross-sectional view

FIG. 20 is embod. Q, cross sectional view

FIG. 21 is embod. Q, being applied to a paint can rim by a user, top view

FIG. 22 is embod. Q, being secured to a paint can rim by a user, top view

FIG. 23 is embod. Q, on can rim and can handle, side perspective view

FIG. 24 is embod. Q, on a can rim pouring paint, can side perspective view

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE NOTATIONS

  • 1 a vertical dimension on a prior art paint can rim.
  • 2 a vertical dimension on a prior art paint can rim.
  • 3 a vertical dimension on a prior art paint can rim.
  • 4 a horizontal dimension on a prior art paint can rim.
  • 5 a horizontal dimension on a prior art paint can rim.
  • 6 a horizontal dimension on a prior art paint can rim.
  • 7 a horizontal dimension on a prior art paint can rim.
  • 8 a prior art paint can rim
  • 9A semi-circular lip cup
  • 9B semi-circular lip cup
  • 10A a wiping edge/tip
  • 10B a wiping edge/tip
  • 10C a wiping edge/tip
  • 11 a prior art paint can upper exterior wall
  • 14 paint/liquid•
  • 15 thin tear area
  • 16 prior art paint can handle
  • 17 an embodiment of the invention
  • 18 interior lip of a can rim
  • 19 deep channel of a can rim
  • 20 exterior lip of a can rim
  • 21 prior art slit ribbed tubing
  • 22 a vertical point of a prior art interior lip
  • 23 a handle catch
  • 24 a bottom portion
  • 25 a top portion
  • 26 a tip
  • 27 a cup portion
  • 31 a pre-edge/bend
  • T wall thickness
  • W a width
  • H height
  • CR a prior art can radius
  • C bent end angle

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Description of One Embodiment of the Invention

FIG. 3A is embodiment V of the invention, cross sectional right side perspective view of a length of the extrusion. Embodiment V is easily made as an extruded part; that is, substantially identical in one dimension. This embodiment is substantially “b” shaped. The first b embodiment of this invention was made from the Prior Art weatherstrip from M-D described in Background. The M-D weatherstrip (≈0.05″ wall thickness, 0.25″ diameter c-shape, 0.5″ straight heighth) was hand-slit along the length. Slitting the weatherstrip takes away usefulness for it's intended weatherstrip purpose. [A door closes against the circle portion of the weather strip, forming an ≈0.2″ variable seal against the door frame.] This embodiment shows wiping edge 10A and C-shaped semi-circular lip cup 9A.

FIG. 3B is embodiment V on the Prior Art rim of FIG. 1A (or FIG. 1B), center cross sectional perspective view. FIG. 3C is embodiment V on the Prior Art rim of FIG. 1A, near-end cross sectional view. This embodiment's c-portion (lip cup) is larger than the can's interior lip rim 18. This does not effect the security of the embodiment on the can while pouring, because liquid paint force against the embodiment is from the inside of the can out (as indicated by the arrows). The C-shape's grip on the interior lip varies because the can rim is curved, tightening most near the center section of the strip's overall length. Because this embodiment is substantially straight (being a normal extrusion) its interior lip cup curve pushes against the bottom inside part of the can's interior rim, especially near the center of the embodiment's length, helping hold the embodiment on securely. The opposing surface grip is depicted in this FIG. 3C with a phantom line. That is, the embodiment's c shape cup surrounds a substantial portion of the interior lip rim.

FIG. 4A is embodiment R, right-side cross sectional right side perspective view. This embodiment shows wiping edge 10B and C-shaped semi-circular lip cup 9B. The straight portion of this b-shaped extruded part is about 0.8″ high. The location of the slit (forming the C-shape) is lower than the slit in FIG. 3A. This change of the slit's position can change the angle at which the invention sits on a can rim, especially near the peripheral ends of an embodiment. FIG. 4B is embodiment R on a P.A. paint can rim, cross sectional view. The actual angle at which an embodiment sits varies with how wide the slit is, how thick the part is, and how big the interior can rim (like 18) is. FIG. 5 is embodiment RX on a P.A. paint can rim, cross sectional view. It merely has the location of the C-shape slightly different than embodiment R.

FIG. 6 is substantially the embodiment V or R or RX (n 17) on a Prior Art paint can rim 8, like that of FIG. 1A, top view. The wiping point tip faces substantially upward, but is not detailed in the drawing. An embodiment 17 is shown as about 6″ long. To apply on a can rim, (whose can rim is radius CR) the user can spread a starting end of the embodiment with a finger inside the C-shape. If the plastic used to make an embodiment is a more rigid slippery plastic, or the c-shape is more open, spreading the end may not be necessary to apply it to the can rim. Cutting an embodiment's ends at an angle, (like seen in FIG. 10) can also let the embodiment be pressed on without spreading open the C-shape.

As the embodiment is for temporary use (pouring), it is of benefit to store the strip before, and perhaps after use. This embodiment may be stored on the paint can's handle. FIG. 7A substantially shows an embodiment (notation 17) on a Prior Art paint can handle, side view, showing can handle 16 inside the embodiment's C-shaped cup. FIG. 7B is embodiment R on a P.A. paint can handle, cross-sectional view. Stored on the handle softens the grip of holding the handle 16 by making it substantially wider (handle is grabbed from underneath).

FIG. 8A is pouring paint (paint 14) with embodiment R on a Prior Art paint can, cross-sectional view. What is so unexpected is that, though the embodiment only covers the can's interior rim and does not cover most of the can's rim in the cross-section, paint does not get on the rest of the rim. What is also unexpected is that a substantially straight, extruded part can cover a curved rim. The straight extruded length of the strip does not perfectly form around the can rim, but it doesn't need to to hold on. And actually, curving a straight extrusion such can IMPROVE the hold where it is most needed: in the center where poured paint narrows to a stream when poured. So even a flimsy material like vinyl will hold the strip on. Or, a thinner part (like one made of LDPE) maybe used, reducing the material price per part.

A strip embodiment is easily pulled off by drawing it towards the inside of the can. As the ends don't have paint on them (pouring is from the center of the strip), removal is also clean. The strip may be thrown away or washed (washing is easy, as paint is still wet).

FIG. 8B is ending pouring paint (paint 14) with embodiment R on paint can, cross-sectional view. The taller the elongated portion (straight area) is, the less chance a few drops of paint that adhere to the tip of the embodiment can drip back on the rim. FIGS. 16 to 19 show embodiments that reduce the amount of drops of paint further.

FIG. 9 is an alternative embodiment X on a Prior Art paint can, cross-sectional view. The embodiment locks under the interior portion of deep channel 19, and has handle catch 23 for placing on a prior art can handle for storage. This embodiment is potentially too wide (from the interior lip section to the exterior lip section) to be bent around a can's rim without being extruded in curved fashion to match the 6.5″ diameter of the can, or being made of a rubbery substance. Technology to produce this part in the required curve is not known to be currently available.

FIG. 10 is embodiment V with a V-cut end, end perspective view. The end simply has the end corner of the C-shape trimmed to ease application onto a can rim.

Embodiments V, R, and RX are of shapes that are easily extruded, but would require an involved (expensive) tool if injection moulded. That is because they have extreme undercut areas.

A Prior Art 1 gallon paint can is what is shown in the drawings. However, the strip invention may be used on many containers, like quart-sized round metal cans and any container with an interior lip interior portion to grab on to.

The extruded strip may be formed as a closed b-shape with a thin section, like shown in FIG. 11 which is like embodiment V but with a tear section 15, cross-sectional view. Many paint can handles have plastic covers on them, likely placed on before the wire is formed into a handle. The invention might be be placed on similarly. Then the paint can user can tear the invention off to use it as a pouring strip. A tear section can also be made by perforating the length of the cover in a similar location. Both a thin section and a perforated section can be considered perf-to-tear.

As there are so many extruded shapes, Applicant looked for possible prior art usable shapes. FIG. 12A is an ineffective embodiment Y on a Prior Art paint can, cross-sectional view. The cross-sectional shape is that of prior art HR-1224 in a size made to grip onto a paint can rim. Though HR-1224 (described in Background) is made of rigid UHMW/PE and is extruded straight, like the embodiment in FIG. 9, lets conjecture this shape were made of a more flexible material like rubber. And let's say this shape could be extruded or milled in the extremely tight 6.5″ diameter curve. An extruded rim cover of this shape would have the following disadvantages: Paint is thick, and the 90° bend vs. sharp point would hold to the shape and produce double-dripping, as seen in FIG. 12B, which is embodiment Y on a Prior Art paint can pouring paint, cross-sectional view. This double-dripping would also leave the Y unit coated on both sides with paint, which makes removing it messy. The bent-in ends of Y do not shape around the interior lip, so it is easier for paint to transcend the single barrier. The bent ends of Y also make the embodiment harder to pull off after use. And there is little to keep it from shifting up or down on the rim a bit.

Ribbed slit tubing for cord keeping, described in Background, can be forced around a paint can rim, as shown in FIG. 13. FIG. 13 is embodiment Z on a Prior Art paint can pouring paint, cross-sectional view. This was a first-version attempt for the invention. The flexibility of the tubing length, due to the ribbing, does allow it to be curved around the circular rim of a can. But the roundness (cross-sectional C-shape), of the tubing holds on to the paint because it has no wiping point. That is, after pouring, the paint continues to drip from the tubing both onto a table on which the paint can is set, and onto the exterior wall of the paint can. And the ribbing, which allows it to curve around the can, PROMOTES this dripping. Both FIGS. 12B and 13 show just how important a narrow-tipped release point is to the usefulness of a rim cover. Future extrusion techniques, materials, and shapes may be discovered that provide a more useable extruded pour strip/rim cover, but this invention's discovery of an extrusion as a rim cover is unexpected.

FIG. 14 is embodiment P, cross sectional view. Narrow tip wiping point 10C is noted. Wall thickness is T substantially 0.06″ (1.5 mm), height H is substantially 1″ (2.5 cm), width W is substantially 0.13″ (3.3 mm), and angle A is substantially 80°. Minimum T for an embodiment is based on extruder's capabilities and material type. Minimum T is often near 1 mm. The greater height H is, the less likely drips of paint that adhere to the tip will dribble down the right side of the embodiment far enough to reach the can rim. Width W is the inside dimension of an embodiment's c shape, and is what attaches to the can rim. This W is much greater than any can rim, but works in part because, when the embodiment bends around a can, the bottom side of the c shape tightens under the rim, especially in the middle where the pressure of the paint is. W can also be smaller than the can rim lip, so long as it provides opposite side grip of a type shown by the phantom line in FIG. 3C.

Embodiments V, P, and R are substantially b shaped, with the top narrow tip forcing poured paint to break from flowing under it and onto the can rim. But because paint tends to adhere to a surface, a few drops of paint might travel down the right side of these embodiments, possibly leading to a few paint drops in the rim groove. So an embodiment can include a pre-edge bend (shaped like the top of Apple Chancery font , versus Palantino b) to help break paint surface tension. This helps in two ways: Initially a can of paint is full, and the pouring angle is much more vertical, like in FIG. 18, than it is when the can is half empty, like FIG. 19. Though the bend at the tip actually straightens out in the center of the strip (due to curving around the can), the pre-edge moves the mass of paint on the sides of the center pour TOWARDS the center. This can be best understood looking at FIG. 24. The sharp bend substantially reduces the width of the pour stream from which a few drops of paint catch on the tip and drip on the external side of the strip once the can is set down. An embodiment can include a point, substantially to the left of the bend of the pre-edge, to also help break paint surface tension.

FIGS. 15, 17, and 18 show a pour strip designed for a can containing paint. FIG. 15 is embodiment Q, having bent end, cross sectional view, and pre-edge 31. The embodiment's elongated portion has a bottom portion 24, top portion 25, tip 26, and cup portion 27.

The pre-edge bend straightens towards the center when the strip is curved around a can, but it still tips out at the center. The angle of the bend C is less than 90° so, as curved around the can rim, the tip does not bend underneath/fold against the straight portion at the center. Let's say a cover strip was placed around 180° of a can rim strip being about an 8″ length), and the paint is poured out at the medial center of that 180°, like at 90°. The strip's bent end (at the pre-edge) pushes the paint medially towards the center/90° place, creating a narrower stream of paint. Then the slight tip-out at the elongated portion's tip reduces surface adhesion of paint to the strip. So the bent end is for guiding liquid medially and breaking surface tension when the liquid is viscous like paint is. FIG. 16A is embodiment QA, cross sectional view. FIG. 16A includes tabs at the end point of the open c shape, which eases application of the embodiment, like when the wall thickness is thin or the user does not line up the c opening exactly with the can lip rim. The straight elongated portion sits more to the upper center of the c-shaped lip cup (which provides no known advantage). FIG. 16B is embodiment QB, having an alternative cup shape, cross sectional view. Its bent end has a curved exterior “elbow”. This elbow (versus a sharper pre-edge) is often sufficient to guide poured paint medially, and may let the paint near the tip flow back in the can more easily. FIG. 17 is a right-side perspective view of embodiment Q. FIG. 18 is embodiment Q, on a full can, pouring paint, cross-sectional view. FIG. 19 is embodiment Q, on a half-empty can, pouring paint, cross-sectional view.

FIGS. 20-23 depict application of a pour strip embodiment. FIG. 20 is embodiment Q, cross sectional view, arrow pointing to c-shaped opening. FIG. 21 is embodiment Q being applied to a paint can rim by a user, top view. FIG. 22 is embodiment Q, being secured to a paint can rim by a user, top view. FIG. 23 is embodiment Q, on a paint can rim and on same paint can handle, side perspective view. FIG. 24 is embodiment Q, on a can rim pouring paint, can side perspective view.

An embodiment can be made of plastic, including but not limited to rubber, vinyl, polypropylene, PVC, polyurethane, and polyethylene.

Dimensions and Description

The invention is a rim cover, for protecting a prior art paint can's metal rim from paint while pouring. Prior art rims have an interior lip. The cover has a substantially fixed cross-sectional profile and could substantially be made by extrusion. “Substantially” would include any end-cut variations making it easier to apply, like described with FIG. 10. The profile has a substantially C-shaped portion. The profile has a substantially narrow-tipped elongated portion. The C-shaped portion is of a size and shape to be secured on to a portion of the prior art rim. A portion of the C-shape can secure against the interior underside of a can's interior lip, and an opposite side portion of said C-shape securing against the exterior side of said interior lip. That is, the C-shape forms around the can rim's interior lip. As paint pours out from the can, the pressure against the cover's C-shape is mostly outward. The points where the C-shape grips around the lip can vary as the straight cover bends around the ≈6″ diameter curved rim's interior lip. But basically, a portion of the C-shape grabs around/substantially surrounds the surface of the can's interior lip (for the b-shape embodiment).

The rim cover can further include the C-shaped portion having the C closed to an O shape by a tear portion. The C-shaped portion can be further described as having a wall thickness, The tear portion can be described as having a wall thickness. The tear portion wall thickness is substantially thinner than the C-shaped portion. When a part of the embodiment, the tear portion substantially closes the C-shape to form an O shape, wherein, a user can tear open the tear portion (like off of a metal paint can handle) to use the cover on the paint can rim.

The rim cover can have a profile substantially b-shaped, the b-shape can have a front circular portion such that the front circular portion is slit open on the front side forming a C-shape. The rim cover can be further described as having an elongated (often straight) portion substantially 0.5″ to 4″ tall. (Shorter than 0.5″ might allow paint to drip off onto the can rim. Taller than about 2″, and the cover looks obstructive when stored on a can handle, and longer than 4″ and the amount of plastic simply becomes wasteful.) The C-shaped cup portion can be substantially 0.04″ (1 mm) to 0.3″ (7.6 mm) interior diameter. The 1 mm size is big enough to grip onto a can's interior lip when that lip is closer to the 1 mm diameter than to the 3.5 mm diameter size, as it would squeeze-hold on the interior lip. A 0.3″ diameter c-shaped lip cup is small enough to grip because the lower portion of the c locks inside/under the interior lip, drawing a portion of the top of the c shape against the top of the interior lip. Of course, if the embodiment covered the can rim from interior to exterior lip, the C-shape would be larger.

The cover can be 3″ to 18″ long. Anything shorter than 3 or 4″ (used on a quart can) and a user might pour too fast and get a width of paint wider than the strip, therein get paint on the rim. An ≈17″ piece would circle around the entire rim of a gallon can, which might be useful for stirring paint. 18″ is about 1″ longer than that, so allows for overlap, like if the ends of the elongated portion were trimmed off or the embodiment were made of compressible rubber.

The rim cover invention can be described as a method of keeping paint off of a prior art metal paint can rim. The method comprises the steps of pressing a length of a flexible extrusion onto a can rim. Such that, a 6″ length of the extrusion is of a size and shape to secure onto a can rim enough to allow paint to pour from the can without detaching from the rim. [A 6″ length is a size that allows a user to cover about ⅓ of an ≈6″ diameter 1-gallon paint can]. And the 6″ extrusion piece is of a size and shape to allow a user to pour paint substantially without getting paint on the can rim or exterior wall of the can.

The invention is described as b shaped for simplicity. The opposite end of the invention is substantially a reflection of that shape, that is, d shaped. As the invention is substantially identical cross-sectionally, describing the extrusion as b shaped is identical to describing the item as d-shaped, or b shaped reflection.

Pressed onto that rim, the extrusion, cross-sectionally, is of a size and shape such that the C-shape's open side faces substantially peripherally/outward, a portion of one end of the C extends beneath the can rim's interior lip, or further into the can beneath or against the rim's deep channel interior side. The C's other end presses against the exterior surface of the interior lip of the prior art paint can, or the exterior surface of the exterior lip of the prior art paint can. And the point of the elongated portion faces substantially upward.

Cans with the metal rim and sealing groove detailed in Prior art specifications are named as “paint can” in claims to define the TYPE of can, not its contents. For claims, paint, stains, varnishes, and other liquids are all considered liquid contents. The less viscous liquids (like stains) may not clog the paint can rim groove, but without a rim cover, liquid will settle in rim groove after pouring, causing splatter when the lid is hammered back on.

Conclusion

The invention is a cover for pressing on to a paint can's metal rim to keep paint off the rim (and therein out of the rim's sealing groove) and exterior of a can. It is substantially similar lengthwise in that it can substantially be made by extrusion. It can be of a length to cover 90° to 360° around a prior art can rim. One embodiment's cross-section can be described as substantially b-shaped with an open slit or tear portion in the front circular section, resulting in a C-shape. When the invention is pressed on to a paint can rim, the C-shape's open side faces substantially distally and/or downward, a portion of the bottom end of the C extends beneath or against the can rim's interior lip; and the b's upper end (wiping point), extends upwardly from the can. The invention may be, of a size and shape to partially enclose around a metal wire paint can handle, if so attached for storing the part while not in use on the can rim.

The cover, in use, has opposite side ends. Positioned/pressed properly on a paint can, the lower portion of one end of the C extends inside of and beneath the can rim's interior lip, the upper portion of the C extends outside of the can's interior lip, and the elongated flat section extends upwardly and/or distally from the can rim.

The invention is a rim cover, for protecting a prior art paint can's rim from a can's liquid contents while pouring liquid from that can. “While pouring” can include the steps of tilting the paint can and ending the pour by setting the paint can down. The invention is also for storing on and padding a can handle. The cover is a size and shape to substantially be manufactured by extrusion. The cover can be more specifically defined as follows:

The rim cover has a length. The cover has a substantially fixed cross-sectional profile. The profile has a cup portion. The profile has a substantially elongated portion having a bottom portion and a top portion, and that bottom portion is fixedly attached to the cup portion. The profile cup portion is of a size and shape to be secured on to a cross-sectional portion of a prior art paint can rim. The cover's length is of a size, shape, and flexibility to curve least 90° around a portion of a paint can rim. [That is, it could be curve extruded, or straight and flexible enough to curve around the can rim]. When the cover is attached to a prior art paint can and liquid contents are poured from that can, the elongated portion is of a size and shape to keep a substantial portion of poured liquid off the exterior side of the can. [This would include a cup portion that covers the entire cross-section of a can rim.]

The cover can be more specifically defined as follows:

A prior art paint can rim has an interior lip. The cover's cup portion is of a size and shape to be secured onto such a paint can interior lip. The cover's elongated portion is of a size and shape to keep a substantial portion of liquid contents, during and after being poured from that can, off the rim of that can.

The cover can be more specifically defined as follows:

The rim cover can further include the cup portion being closed to an O shape by a tear portion. The closed tear portion is for securing the cover on a can handle prior to the cover used as a rim cover. The tear portion is tearable along its length if a user pulls the cover from a handle on a can.

The cover can be more specifically defined as follows:

The rim cover's profile is substantially b-shaped. The b shape's front circular portion is slit open on the front side forming said C-shape cup portion.

The cover can be more specifically defined as follows:

The rim cover where the elongated portion is substantially 0.5″ to 4″ tall [distance from its bottom-most portion to its top-most portion].

The rim cover where the cup portion has an interior diameter substantially 0.04″ to 0.3″. The rim cover where, in use, the cover is 3″ to 18″ long. [It can be sold in much longer lengths, and cut or torn to such length for use.] The rim cover where the elongated portion has a tip.

The cover can be more specifically defined as follows:

The rim cover, where the top portion further includes a bent portion. The bent portion (more specifically the exterior elbow or pre-edge) is bent for guiding liquid medially, and for helping break surface tension when viscous liquid is poured from a paint can.

The strip's bent end (at the elbow or pre-edge) pushes the paint medially, towards the center of a pour stream, creating a narrower stream of paint. Then the slight tip-out at the elongated portion's tip reduces surface adhesion of paint to the strip.

The invention can also be described as follows:

A method of keeping liquid off of the metal rim of a paint can, comprising the steps of pressing a length of a flexible extrusion onto a paint can rim. Such that the extrusion is of a size and shape to secure onto a rim enough to allow liquid contents to pour from that can without the extrusion detaching from that can rim and substantially without getting liquid on that can rim or that can's exterior wall. More specifically, the liquid poured can have the viscosity of paint.