Title:
BEVERAGE CAN PROTECTIVE COVER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rotational one-piece beverage can protective cover is disclosed. The beverage can protective cover is capable of being snapped on or off of a correspondingly sized beverage can top and of being rotated to open or close the drink hole of a beverage can.



Inventors:
Navare, Ravi Y. (Mableton, GA, US)
Powell, John Stephen (Villa Rica, GA, US)
Hicks, William Carl (Carrollton, GA, US)
Owensby, Christopher Maurice (Carrollton, GA, US)
Kight, Walter J. (Carrollton, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/833783
Publication Date:
02/05/2009
Filing Date:
08/03/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/256.1
International Classes:
B65D51/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLTON, ROBIN ANNETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GEORGE R. REARDON (LAWRENCVILLE, GA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A one-piece protective cover capable of rotatably engaging a beverage can top, comprising a base having a top surface and a bottom surface; an outside rim having a first left side, a first right side, an outer wall and an inner wall; an inside rim having a second left side and a second right side; a wall connecting the base to the outside rim between the first left side and the first right side; a left edge connecting the first left side to the second left side; a right edge connecting the first right side to the second right side; and a rotational grip, wherein the rotational grip is formed on the outside rim.

2. The protective cover according to claim 1, further comprising a semi-circular ramp formed on the top surface between the inside rim and the outside rim and having a left end, a mid-section and a right end.

3. The protective cover according to claim 2, wherein the mid-section is higher than the left end or the right end.

4. The protective cover according to claim 3, wherein the left end and the right end have the same height.

5. The protective cover according to claim 1, wherein the left edge is a feathered edge.

6. The protective cover according to claim 5, wherein the right edge is a feathered edge.

7. The protective cover according to claim 1, wherein the outside rim is a continuous rim.

8. The protective cover according to claim 1, wherein the outside rim is a non-continuous rim.

9. The protective cover according to claim 1, wherein the rotational grip is formed on the outer wall.

10. The protective cover according to claim 9, wherein the rotational grip is formed substantially equidistant from the first left side and the first right side.

11. The protective cover according to claim 1, wherein the rotational grip is form on the inner wall.

12. The protective cover according to claim 11, wherein the rotational grip is formed substantially equidistant from the first left side and the first right side.

13. A method of using the protective cover of claim 1, comprising: snapping into place the protective cover onto a correspondingly sized beverage can; rotating the beverage can cover using the rotational grip in order to partially lift a beverage can pull tab; pulling the beverage can pull tab to form a beverage can drink hole; rotating the beverage can protective cover to close the beverage can drink hole; rotating the beverage can protective cover to open the beverage can drink hole.

14. The method of claim 13, further comprising: removing the beverage can protective cover from the beverage can.

15. A one-piece protective cover capable of rotatably engaging a beverage can top, comprising a base having a top surface and a bottom surface; an outside rim having a first left side, a first right side, an outer wall and an inner wall; an inside rim having a second left side and a second right side; a wall connecting the base to the outside rim between the first left side and the first right side; a left edge connecting the first left side to the second left side; a right edge connecting the first right side to the second right side; a semi-circular ramp formed on the top surface between the inside rim and the outside rim and having a left end, a mid-section and a right end; and a rotational grip, wherein the rotational grip is formed on the outside rim, the mid-section is higher than the left end or the right end, the left end and the right end have the same height, the left edge is a feathered edge, the right edge is a feathered edge, the outside rim is a continuous rim, and the rotational grip is formed on the outer wall substantially equidistant from the first left side and the first right side.

16. The protective cover of claim 15, further comprising advertising information disposed on the top surface.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The technology described herein relates generally to protective covers for beverage containers, and more particularly to a snap-on rotary protective top cover or attachment for a conventional beverage can.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Beverage cans are well known in the art. Soft drinks, beer, fruit and vegetable juices are commonly packaged in such cans. However, none of them provide a protective cover from the manufacturer to protect the consumers from possible contamination. In fact, the conventional beverage can suffers several disadvantages.

One disadvantage is that a conventional beverage can lacks a closing mechanism once it is opened. Ants, flies, bees, and wasps seem especially attracted to open beverage containers, and can be a nuisance as well as a serious health hazard for persons allergic to insect stings. Wind-blown dust, dirt and debris may also contaminate the drink, especially when the user is outdoors.

Related art that addresses these and other problems includes the following patents.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,213,238, issued to Martin et al. on May 25, 1993, discloses a multi-functional, environmentally-oriented one-piece container closure panel has a peripheral rib adapted to removably engage the lip of a container end. The closure panel is slidably rotatable on the lip such that an opening in the closure panel may be variably positioned in alignment with a push-in opening in the container end to control the dispensing of container contents. When removed, the one-piece container closure may be disposed of separately, allowing recycling of reusable container materials or disposal of biodegradable container materials. Because disposed of separately, the container closure may be of any suitable material appropriate for the application, while different reusable or biodegradable materials may be used for the container.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,290,084, issued to Louie on Sep. 18, 2001, discloses a rotatable circular beverage can rim cover having an up-standing loop-shaped outer periphery configured to receive and snap over a raised circular edge of a beverage can. The protective cover serves two main purposes. It is intended to provide a sanitary covering means and to prevent contaminating objects from entering the can after opening. The cover has a circular depressed planar area that has a detachable pull-ring segment assembly covering the punch key portion of a beverage can. Upon the removal of the section by pulling and removing the pull-ring assembly, the protective cover creates an opening through which the contents of the beverage container can be consumed. The remaining section of the protective cover can be rotated between an opened or closed position to all consumption of the soft drink when in an opened position, and to cover the container's opening to prevent insects and other contaminants from penetrating the beverage can when in the closed position. The protective cover also provides an inclining hill-shaped projection to assist in lifting the underside of the punch key to an altitude that allows operator to safely lift the punch key in opening process.

While these patents and other previous methods have attempted to solve the problems that they addressed, none have utilized or disclosed an economical, easy to install, easy to use beverage can protective cover, as does embodiments of the technology described herein.

Therefore, a need exists for a beverage can protective cover with these attributes and functionalities. The beverage can protective cover according to embodiments of the invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art. It can be appreciated that there exists a continuing need for a new and improved beverage can protective cover which can be used commercially. In this regard, the technology described herein substantially fulfills these objectives.

The foregoing patent and other information reflect the state of the art of which the inventors are aware and are tendered with a view toward discharging the inventors' acknowledged duty of candor in disclosing information that may be pertinent to the patentability of the technology described herein. It is respectfully stipulated, however, that the foregoing patent and other information do not teach or render obvious, singly or when considered in combination, the inventors' claimed invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The technology described herein overcomes the limitations and difficulties mentioned above with respect to prior art devices by providing a protective cover for beverage cans which is more convenient, versatile, and more efficient than such prior art devices. The beverage can protective cover comprises a circular-segment plate designed to slide underneath the pull tab of a beverage can. The protective cover also provides a raised peripheral rim to be coupled with the up-standing ridge of a beverage can, in such a way that the semi-circular dish-shaped cover can be axially rotated along with the raised circular edge of a corresponding beverage can. By rotating along the up-standing peripheral rim of the can, the cover thus functions as a rotary door to provide opened and closed positions for the beverage can's opening. This rotation is aided by a rotational grip, e.g. a tab ear, disposed on substantially the middle of a continuous lip, i.e., the raised peripheral rim, which engages the raised circular edge of the can.

According to the technology described herein the rotary protective cover is generally manufactured of one-piece thermoplastic-formed plastic, which can be directly pressed onto the top of a beverage can by a consumer.

In one embodiment of the technology described herein a semi-circular ramp is formed on the top of the beverage can protective cover. This ramp facilitates pushing the beverage can pull tab upwards away from the can when the beverage can protective cover is rotated underneath the beverage can pull tab. This ramp extends from the left edge to the right edge of the beverage can protective cover. The height of the ramp is highest at the midpoint of the ramp and lowest at the left and right edge of the beverage can protector.

One aspect of the technology described herein is to provide a protective closure to cover the drinking area for sanitary means.

Another aspect of the technology described herein is to provide a protective closure that functions as a rotary door. In an opened position, the protective cover allows one to consume the contents inside the beverage can. In a closed position, the protective cover covers the opening of the beverage can to prevent insects or other forms of external contamination from entering the interior of the can.

Another aspect of the technology described herein is to provide a protective closure that facilitates the user engaging the beverage can pull tab.

Another aspect of the technology described herein is to provide a protective closure that can be easily rotated by hand.

Another aspect of the technology described herein is to provide a one-piece constructed protective cover of the beverage can that can be manufactured inexpensively.

Another aspect of the technology described herein is that it can be easily pressed or snapped onto the top of a conventional beverage by a user.

Still another aspect of the technology described herein is to create a novel and efficient location for display of advertising, where a message can be easily viewed.

Other aspects, objects, advantages and capabilities of the invention are apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings showing a preferred embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention, together with further advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description of the simplest form of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a top perspective view of a beverage can protective cover installed on the top of a beverage can and positioned away from the can tab, according to an embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 1A illustrates a top perspective view of a beverage can protective cover having a beverage can tab ramp, installed on the top of a beverage can and positioned away from the can tab, according to an embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 2 illustrates a top perspective view of a beverage can protective cover, according to an embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 2A illustrates a top perspective view of a beverage can protective cover having a beverage can tab ramp, according to an embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 3 illustrates a top perspective view of a beverage can protective cover, according to a second embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 4 illustrates a top perspective view of a beverage can protective cover installed on the top of a beverage can and positioned over the can opening, according to a second embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 5 illustrates a top perspective view of a beverage can protective cover partially engaging the pull tab, according to a third embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 6 illustrates a top perspective view of a beverage can protective cover, installed on the top of a beverage can and positioned over the can opening, according to a third embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 7 illustrates a top perspective view of a beverage can protective cover, according to a third embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 8 illustrates a top plan view of a beverage can protective cover, according to a third embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 9 illustrates a bottom plan view of a beverage can protective cover, according to a third embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 10 illustrates a front plan view of a beverage can protective cover, according to a third embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 11 illustrates a rear plan view of a beverage can protective cover, according to a third embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 12 illustrates a left rear perspective view of a beverage can protective cover, according to a fourth embodiment of the technology described herein.

FIG. 13 illustrates a right rear perspective view of a beverage can protective cover, according to a fourth embodiment of the technology described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The technology described herein will now be described in detail with reference to at least one preferred embodiment thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings. In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the technology described herein. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that the technology described herein may be practiced without some or all of these specific details. In other instances, well known operations have not been described in detail so not to unnecessarily obscure the technology described herein.

Referring to the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several figures, reference is made first to FIG. 1-4 that illustrates a beverage can protective cover 1 00. In one embodiment the beverage can protective cover 100 is comprised of a base 110 having a continuous rim 120 disposed at the outside perimeter of the beverage can protective cover 100. The rim 120 is further comprised of a wall 121 that is formed to join the base 110 to the rim 120. The rim 120 is further comprised of an arc 122 dimensioned to fit on the top of a beverage can. The rim 120 is further comprised of a lip 123 disposed at the bottom edge of the rim 120 to hold the beverage can protective cover 100 securely to the top of a beverage can once the beverage can protective cover 100 is snapped onto the top of a beverage can.

The base 110 is formed to have a left feathered edge 130 and a right feathered edge 140. The base 110 has a semi-circular inside perimeter 150 located between the inside end of the left feathered edge 130 and the inside end of the right feathered edge 140.

The beverage can protective cover 100 is further comprised of a tab ear 160 (rotational grip) formed on the outside of the continuous rim 120 and located substantially equidistant from each end of the continuous rim 120.

In an exemplary embodiment of the beverage can protective cover 100 a semi-circular ramp 170 is formed a short distance from the semi-circular inside perimeter 150 and substantially parallel to the semi-circular inside perimeter 150. The semi-circular ramp 170 is higher at its midpoint than at its distal end or its proximal end.

FIGS. 3-13 illustrate other embodiments of the technology described herein.

To use the technology described herein a beverage can protective cover is snapped into place onto a corresponding beverage can. The beverage can protective cover may then be rotated using an ear tab or similar structure to partially lift the beverage can pull tab. Once the beverage can pull tab is sufficiently pivoted to open the drink hole of the beverage can the beverage cab protective cover may then be rotated to alternately cover or uncover the beverage can drink hole as needed.

    • Another way of illustrating the technology described herein is as follows. A one-piece protective cover capable of rotatably engaging a beverage can top, comprising a base having a top surface and a bottom surface; an outside rim having a first left side, a first right side, an outer wall and an inner wall; an inside rim having a second left side and a second right side; a wall connecting the base to the outside rim between the first left side and the first right side; a left edge connecting the first left side to the second left side; a right edge connecting the first right side to the second right side; and a rotational grip, where the rotational grip is formed on the outside rim. The protective cover further comprises a semi-circular ramp formed on the top surface between the inside rim and the outside rim and having a left end, a mid-section and a right end, where the mid-section is higher than the left end or the right end and the left end and the right end have the same height, the left edge and the right edge are feathered edges. The outside rim may be a continuous, i.e. unbroken, or a non-continuous rim. The rotational grip, e.g. ear pull, may be formed on the inner wall, the outer wall or on top of the outside rim. The rotational grip may be located substantially equidistant from the left and right side of the outside rim.

The foregoing description and drawings comprise illustrative embodiments of the technology described herein. Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the technology described herein, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations and modifications may be made within the scope of the technology described herein. Merely listing or numbering the steps of a method in a certain order does not constitute any limitation on the order of the steps of that method. Many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which this invention pertains having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing description and the associated drawings. Although specific terms may be employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation. Accordingly, the technology described herein is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.