Title:
Hands-free lid removal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container having a lid that opens when inverted by the weight and pressure of the contained liquid and if included the dissolving of liquid-soluble adhesive.



Inventors:
Trainello, Jerry (Sarasota, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/973844
Publication Date:
04/16/2009
Filing Date:
10/10/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D51/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
WALKER, NED ANDREW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JERRY TRAINELLO (SARASOTA, FL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. 1-16. (canceled)

17. A method of opening a lid on a container containing liquid, which comprises: inverting the container, and having said lid open by the weight and pressure of the contained liquid.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the material for said lid is a type of plastic.

19. The method of claim 17 further includes liquid-soluble adhesive on the underside of said lid.

20. The method of claim 19 may further include combined with said liquid-soluble adhesive an antibacterial agent.

21. An improved container lid, the improvement wherein comprising: (a) a hinge with means that connect said lid to the container top, (b) said lid having a rim with an upper and lower section horizontally attached to each other, (c) the lower rim section is also attached to the container top, (d) the lower rim section has a pull-tab to detach the lower rim section from the container top and said lid, with the lower rim section detached, the hinging means that connect said lid to the container top allows said lid to open.

22. The lid of claim 21 wherein the material for said lid is a type of plastic.

23. The lid of claim 21 further includes on the underside of said upper section a liquid-soluble adhesive.

24. The lid of claim 23 further includes combined with said liquid-soluble adhesive an antibacterial agent.

25. A container containing liquid, comprising: a lid with means to permit said lid to open when inverted by the weight and pressure of said liquid.

26. The lid of claim 25 wherein said lid is made of a flexible material.

27. The lid of claim 25 wherein said liquid is water.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to a method in which a lid on a container with liquid will open upon inverting the container.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The water cooler is a common fixture seen in offices, homes and most work environments.

They are free standing and are supplied from large containers filled with water. The containers must be up-ended so that the neck points downward then the container can be positioned in the water cooler reservoir.

Handling the containers and positioning them on the water cooler is no easy task. First, you remove the lid, then in most cases the trick is to place your hand over the mouth of the container and spill as little water as possible.

Placing a hand over the mouth of the container can create a hygiene problem, and also contributes to the awkwardness of lifting the large containers. Such containers may contain a large quantity of water in the region of about 5 gallons.

The present invention addresses these problems.

It would be desirable and beneficial health wise to be able to install a large container filled with liquid without having to touch the mouth of the container at all. This problem has been addressed and illustrated in many U.S. patents. Samples of these patents are listed on page 2.

Many of the patented solutions are mechanical and involve various inserts and lid piercing devises to allow the liquid to flow.

Prior Art References

Smith patent: U.S. Pat. No. 4,576,313 March 1986-Baker patent: U.S. Pat. No. 4,699,188 October 1987.-Deruntz patent: U.S. Pat. No. 4,846,236 July 1989 Harrison patent: U.S. Pat. No. 5,325,995 July 1994.-Adolf patent: U.S. Pat. No. 5,334,180 August 1994. Montgomery patent: U.S. Pat. No. 5,505,336 April 1996-Rundle patent: U.S. Pat. No. 5,567,322 Oct 1996 Battenhausen patent: U.S. Pat. No. 5,772,264 June 1998-Lown patent: U.S. Pat. No. 7,080,754 July 2006

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention in a novel arrangement and combination of parts addresses the troublesome method of removing the lid and placing a hand over the mouth of a container.

The present invention also addresses the problem of hygiene.

The invention answers these problems by having a lid on a container open when inverted, leaving both hands free to lift and position the container. This is accomplished by using the weight and pressure of liquid in the container to open the lid when the container is inverted.

One embodiment may have liquid-soluble adhesive on the underside of the lid.

Ideally in the adhesive is an antibacterial agent to help control bacteria that may lodge in the vessel. The antibacterial agent becomes active when the liquid in the container dissolves the adhesive. The embodiment does not need the liquid-soluble adhesive for the invention to work properly. When the container is inverted, the weight and pressure of the contained liquid is sufficient to open the lid. One preferred example is to combine liquid pressure and liquid soluble-adhesive with an antibacterial agent for hygiene reasons.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 enlarged perspective view of a container lid in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 enlarged perspective view of a container lid with the lower rim section being removed.

FIG. 3 enlarged orthogonal view showing the lid with the lower rim section removed.

FIG. 4 enlarged side view of a container with the lid opened.

FIG. 5 perspective view of a modified embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 perspective view with upper rim section being removed.

FIG. 7 perspective view of a modified embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8 perspective view of a modified embodiment of the invention inverted.

DRAWING—REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 4-container
  • 6-liquid or water
  • 8-lid or lid top
  • 10-hinge
  • 12-upper rim section
  • 14-lower rim section
  • 16 and 16b-pull-tab
  • 18-space or crevice
  • 20 and 20B-indentation
  • 22-anchor piece
  • 24-liquid-soluble adhesive
  • 26-container neck
  • 28-pins
  • 30-lower section
  • 32-stops

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An example of one preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 (both perspective views) show a complete lid with hinge 10 on a generic container 4.

The liquid 6 in container 4 shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 could be drinking water but is not limited to water, it could also be another type of liquid or beverage.

Lid or lid top 8 and hinge 10 consist of a material that can be repeatedly bent without fracturing (type of plastic, etc.). Hinge 10 would have means to permit lid top 8 to swing open. The means can be a simple scoring or indentation on the bottom or top of hinge 10, or other mechanical means such as a pin and holes for the pin to act as a pivot point that allow hinge 10 to open. One skilled in the art would realize that there are numerous ways to connect hinge 10 to lid top 8. The object being to have lid top 8 a slip fit on container 4 that when inverted the weight and pressure of the liquid will cause lid top 8 to open. In this embodiment the lid has upper section 12 and lower section 14 horizontally connected to each other and container 4. It is possible to eliminate lower section 14 and have pull-tab 16 part of upper section 12 and lid top 8 and not effect the outcome (illustrated in FIG. 5).

Either way the connection can be glue, adhesive or a type of heat seal. The stronger seal would be more suitable for the section with the pull-tab. The stronger seal can be any known seal used today on containers that have a pull-tab.

In FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 we can see a space or crevice 18 and an indentation 20. This space, crevice and indentation assures pull-tab 16 will remove lower section 14 and allow lid top 8 to open when container 4 is inverted.

The upper section or lip 12 is part of lid top 8 and opens in concert with lid top 8. Also part of lid top 8 is hinge 10 and piece 22 fixed to container 4. Piece 22 anchors lid top 8 in position when opened.

The lid shown in FIG. 3 on bottle 4 gives one skilled in the art one visual example of what the lid looks like after pull-tab 16 is pulled and lower section 14 is removed. In this state when container 4 is inverted liquid pressure will cause hinge 10 to open lid top 8.

The neck 26 of bottle 4 shows approximately where anchor piece 22 and hinge 10 would be if the container had a neck.

Piece 22 is not the only way to anchor lid top 8, to illustrate as an example of another embodiment, a ring around the container neck connected to the lid would serve the same purpose as piece 22.

Illustrated in FIG. 3 the rim or upper section 12 shows a liquid-soluble adhesive 24 on the underside of 12.

For hygiene reasons the liquid-soluble adhesive 24 can contain an antibacterial agent that becomes active when the liquid-soluble adhesive dissolves. The antibacterial agent can be either non-residue producing or residue-producing. The invention would work without the liquid-soluble adhesive 24 or the antibacterial agent, but having it would help the hygiene of the units or vessels that hold the bottles or containers.

In FIG. 4 the action of the inverted container 4 is illustrated showing hinge 10 and lid top 8 swung open and liquid or water 6 flowing out. Also shown is a side view of upper rim 12 and piece 22 fixed to container neck 26.

How the Hands-Free Lid Works.

In use the container 4 would be approximately filled with liquid 6.

Upon pulling pull-tab 16 and removing lower section 14. Then inverting container 4, the weight of liquid 6 would put pressure on lid top 8. The liquid pressure would overcome the easy fit of lid top 8 and dissolve the liquid-soluble or water-soluble adhesive 24 in a few seconds. As lid top 8 loosens the weight of liquid 6 causes lid top 8 to open.

With lid top 8 opened liquid 6 flows freely from the container.

The unsanitary method of placing a hand over the mouth of the container is no longer necessary and spillage is no longer a problem.

In handling and transport, the containers can receive rough treatment and there is a possibility that liquid-soluble adhesive 24 will loosen. However, lid top 8 will stay sealed and in place as long as pull-tab 16 is not removed.

The present invention and the hands-free lid opening make placing the container on the vessel much easier. With both hands free to lift the container it becomes a much safer and sanitary procedure.

An additional advantage is the invention only requires a redesign of the lid.

The containers may carry liquids other then water, including beverages. Carrying other liquids might mean the liquid-soluble adhesive would have to be changed to suit the type of liquid in the container.

There are many companies, both American and foreign, that manufacture adhesives and liquid-soluble adhesives. Companies like Kayaku of Japan and American companies like 3-M, Dupont and Elmer's glue.

Alternate Examples of the Present Invention.

An alternate example of a preferred embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 5 and FIG. 6. The lower section 14 is eliminated and pull-tab 16B is part of upper section 12. Upper section 12 is connected to lid top 8 and container 4. Crevice 18 and indentation 20B make it possible for pull-tab 16B to remove upper section 12.

In FIG. 6 upper section 12 is being removed and liquid-soluble adhesive 24 is shown on the underside of lid top 8.

With upper section 12 removed and container 4 inverted liquid pressure will cause lid top 8 to open.

An additional lid embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 7 and FIG. 8 shown connected to container 4.

Lid top 8 is part of upper section 12 that overlaps lower section 30 connected to container 4. Two pins 28 are fixed to lid top 8. The two pins 28 pass through lower section 30 and are a fit that enables the two pins 28 to move freely in lower section 30. The two pins 28 have a stop 32 on one end to limit the downward movement.

As illustrated in FIG. 8 when container 4 is inverted, liquid pressure 6 overcomes the easy overlap fit of upper section 12 on section 30. This causes the two pins 28 to slide downward into lower section 30 and open lid top 8 releasing liquid 6.

FIG. 7 would also include a horizontal section with a pull-tab that is connected to 12 and 30 (not shown).

Although the description above contains many specifics, these should not be interpreted as limiting the scope of the invention but merely as providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. For example, the lid top 8 can have other shapes such as oval, triangular, square, rectangular etc. depending on the container.

The liquid-soluble adhesive 24 can cover a whole range of glues and adhesives.

The hinge 10 on lid top 8 need not open as illustrated, it could be a double hinge or no hinge at all similar to FIGS. 7 and 8. It could be a plug that falls off or some other workable design, etc.

The essence of the invention is a container having a lid that opens when inverted by the weight and pressure of the contained liquid.

Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.