Title:
Convertible Bottle for Children
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A convertible bottle for children has a lid which can be manipulated to provide alternative liquid outlets, for example, a nipple, a foldable sippy spout, and a pop-up sports-type valved outlet. The cap, or a portion of the cap, may be inverted to expose different outlets, and each of the outlets forms or contains a valve for controlling liquid flow to prevent spillage.



Inventors:
Viggiano, Gregory R. (Alexandria, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/875015
Publication Date:
04/23/2009
Filing Date:
10/19/2007
Assignee:
TRIO CHILD, LLC (Alexandria, VA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/200
International Classes:
B65D43/00; B65B7/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WEAVER, SUE A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHOEMAKER AND MATTARE, LTD (CONCORD, NH, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A convertible bottle for children comprising a container for holding a liquid, said container having a mouth with structure for retaining a lid thereon, a lid for mounting on the container, said lid having structure adapted to engage the retaining structure on the container, and means for establishing a liquid seal at the container-lid interface when the lid is installed on the container, said lid having at least two liquid outlets of different types through which liquid in the container may flow or be sucked out, said outlets being alternatively active.

2. The invention of claim 1, wherein one liquid outlet is a barbed fitting on which a detachable flexible baby nipple may be mounted.

3. The invention of claim 1, wherein one liquid outlet is a substantially rigid sippy spout.

4. The invention of claim 1, wherein one liquid outlet is a sports-type valved outlet.

5. The invention of claim 1, wherein at least one of the outlets is movably supported on the lid in such a way that it can be pivoted from an active position permitting liquid flow to an inactive position prohibiting liquid flow.

6. The invention of claim 1, wherein some of the outlets are mounted on opposite sides of the lid, and the lid be can inverted to select between outlets.

7. The invention of claim 1, wherein at least one of said outlets is mounted on a hinge in such a manner that it can be moved between its active and inactive positions.

8. The invention of claim 1, wherein the lid has a movable portion which can be turned, folded, or pivoted so as to activate a selected one of the outlets.

9. The invention of claim 1, wherein the movable portion is a panel which can be inverted with respect to the lid, the lid having at least one of the outlets on each of its opposite sides.

10. The invention of claim 1, wherein the lid has structure defining a vent for admitting air into the container as liquid is withdrawn to prevent vacuum buildup.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a convertible bottle for children.

The well-known “sippy cup” is a container having a lid provided with a substantially rigid spout from which a young child can drink. Some sippy cups have vents and/or valves to prevent spillage; others do not.

Sippy cups are used by many parents during their child's transition from feeding from a baby bottle to drinking from a glass. During this transition, the child may sometimes prefer to revert to the nipple, and so it would be useful to have a device which could be quickly transformed from a baby bottle to a sippy cup, and back.

Similarly, a maturing child may progress from a sippy spout to a sports-type valved spout over time.

A bottle lid which had all three types of liquid outlet, any one of which could be easily deployed or activated, would be a benefit to many people.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the invention is to provide a bottle which is easily transformed between a nipple-type bottle and a “sippy cup”, and from a “sippy cup” to a sports-type valved bottle.

These and other objects are attained by a convertible bottle for children, as described below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings,

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a convertible bottle embodying the invention, with a folding sippy spout deployed from a top side of a removable lid;

FIG. 2 shows the folding sippy spout in a stowed position, and an alternative sports-type valved tip deployed;

FIG. 3 shows the lid inverted, with a nipple about to be installed on the lid;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of FIG. 1 on a plane bisecting the lid;

FIG. 5 is a view like FIG. 4, showing an first alternative lid retaining structure;

FIG. 6 is a view like FIG. 5, showing a second alternative lid retaining structure;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the invention, having a folding sports-type valved tip;

FIG. 8 is a sectional side elevation thereof,

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of the invention, showing a sippy spout formed on one side of an invertible panel;

FIG. 10 is a view like FIG. 9, showing the panel inverted, with a nipple mounted thereon; and

FIG. 11 is a side elevation of a nipple and stopper combination for use with a narrow-mouth bottle.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A convertible child's bottle embodying the invention comprises a container 10, such as the wide-mouthed plastic bottle shown in FIG. 1. The bottle geometry (shape, size, and proportion) may be selected for aesthetic and utilitarian reasons, and is not part of this invention.

The bottle has a wide mouth 12 with a cylindrical inside wall 14 into or onto which the lid is installed. The bottle is closed by a removable lid 20. The lid has a sealing/retaining structure which, depending on the design selected, may engage the inside surface of the bottle mouth, the outside surface thereof, or the top surface thereof. In FIG. 1, the mouth originates at a shoulder 16 and circumferential groove 18 is formed in the inside surface of the mouth midway between the shoulder and the mouth opening.

The removable lid 20 is reversible. Its diameter is about the same as that of the mouth, and it has a projecting sealing surface such as a rib 22 (illustrated) or an O-ring (not shown) on its outer circumference. The rib 22 snaps into the circumferential groove 18 when the lid is installed in the mouth, providing both a liquid seal and mechanical retention sufficient to prevent the lid from being pulled off by an infant.

The lid 20 has alternative liquid outlet types, most preferably, a retractable valved sports-type valved outlet 24, a foldable sippy spout outlet 26, and a fixed barbed outlet 28 (FIG. 3) having the appearance of a water bottle sports tip. The outlets 24 and 26 are disposed on one side of the lid, shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 4, while the outlet 28 is disposed on the opposite side of the lid, which is shown inverted in FIG. 3.

The details of the sippy spout 26 may vary within the present invention. The drawings illustrate a simple spout which is hinged to the lid. Liquid passes through the spout when it is raised. The sippy spout 26 is shown deployed in FIG. 1, but can be moved (i.e., folded) to a hidden or non-functional position, as shown in FIG. 2. In this position, a liquid passage at the bottom of the spout is closed to prevent leakage.

FIG. 4 shows the lid (in the same orientation as in FIG. 1) in a sectional view. Here, the outlet 24 is shown in its retracted position. Biasing means such the leaf spring 29 illustrated urges the outlet upward. The outlet may be associated with a toggling catch so that a first push latches it in its downward position and the next push releases it.

The preferred nipple assembly 30, shown in detail in FIG. 3, may be of the “gobaby” type shown in U.S. Pat. No. 7,032,764, the entirety of which is incorporated into this document by reference. “gobaby” is a trademark of Trio Child, LLC, Alexandria, Va. The nipple includes a flexible nipple 32 per se, a base 34, and a shield 36. The base 34 is sufficiently flexible that it can be pushed over the barbed outlet 28 when desired. The nipple base may include a rotary valve with indexing marks, as described in the patent, indicating open and closed positions of the valve. Alternatively, the valve could have a color-changing indicator identifying open and closed positions.

The container lid preferably includes a venting system comprising a sphincter-type valve. The vent hole 40 shown in the drawings may contain such a valve.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show alternative securing arrangements for the bottle closure. Whereas in FIG. 1, the lid seals inside the bottle mouth, it is could also seal on the outside of the bottle mouth, as in FIG. 5, or it could seal against the top surface of the mouth, as in FIG. 6.

In FIG. 5, the lid 20′ has an integral rim spaced 23 outward of the outside diameter of the body of the lid, defining grooves 25 above and below the bridge 27 connecting the rim to the body. Sealing grooves 29 are formed on the inside of the rim, for engaging corresponding ribs 31 on the outside surface of the bottle mouth.

In FIG. 6, the lid 20″ has a circumferential flange 27′ at the middle of the body, and the lid is retained to the bottle by a separate internally threaded ring 23′, something like the ring of a mason jar. The bottle mouth has exterior helical threads, and when the ring 23′ is screwed tight onto the mouth, it forces the lid 20″ into sealing engagement with the top surface of the bottle mouth.

FIGS. 7 and 8 show another alternative form of the invention, in which the sippy spout and the sports-type valved outlet are mounted on one side of the lid, and both the sippy spout and the sports-type valved outlet are designed so as to pivot on the lid between active and inactive positions.

Another embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. Here, the bottle lid 120 itself is not invertible; instead, it has a part or panel 121 which can be rotated 180° to activate alternative liquid outlets. This lid may have a conventional internally threaded rim so that it can be screwed onto a conventional bottle. One side 122 (FIG. 9) of the panel 121 has a sippy spout 126 formed thereon; the other side 123 (FIG. 10) has a nipple 130 attached (or removably attached) to it, so that either the sippy spout or the nipple may be selected. Suitable sealing means (not shown) must be provided between the panel 121 and the lid aperture 128 in which is seated. The panel rotates on hinge pins—hidden from view in the drawings—formed at the midpoint of the panel or the aperture.

FIG. 11 shows an alternative nipple 230, which is designed for insertion into a narrow-mouthed water bottle container, rather than a wide-mouth bottle. In this embodiment, the nipple is integrated with a shield 233 and with a flexible plug 235 having ridges 237 for sealing within the bottle mouth, and an integral duckbill-type valve 239 for preventing accidental liquid loss. The nipple base 241 may have a vent to prevent vacuum buildup in the container, and may also include a valve, for example, a rotary valve which can be opened for use, and closed for storage by a simple twist of the nipple.

Other embodiments, not illustrated, are contemplated. For example, a portion of the lid, rather than being invertible, could be made rotatable about the longitudinal axis of the bottle, or about an axis offset from, or at some acute angle to the longitudinal axis; the rotation would serve to activate one of two or more different outlets. It may be also possible to have a portion of the lid slide from one position to another to select between outlets. The general idea of the invention is to provide alternative types of liquid outlets (e.g., sippy spout, nipple, sports-type valved outlet).

Since the invention is subject to manufacturing modifications and variations, it is intended that the foregoing description and the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as only illustrative of the invention defined by the following claims.