Title:
Cup Lid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lid for removable attachment to a cup having an upper rim defining an opening includes a generally horizontal portion configured to cover the opening. The horizontal portion includes upper and lower faces and is generally circular. The horizontal portion includes a pour opening and a secondary opening to equalize internal air pressure. The lid further includes a connection portion extending downwardly from the generally horizontal portion, the connection portion having a circumference with a configuration complementary to a configuration of the upper rim so as to selectively couple the generally horizontal portion to the upper rim. The includes an enclosed compartment configured to house a breath freshening device, the compartment being accessible when the connection portion couples the generally horizontal portion to the upper rim. The enclosed compartment includes a removable flap.



Inventors:
Mueller, Christopher Michael (Omaha, NE, US)
Application Number:
12/032422
Publication Date:
08/20/2009
Filing Date:
02/15/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/217
International Classes:
B65D1/24; B65D69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KIRSCH, ANDREW THOMAS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. (OTTAWA, KS, US)
Claims:
1. A lid for removable attachment to a cup having an upper rim defining an opening, said lid comprising: a generally horizontal portion configured to cover said opening, said generally horizontal portion having upper and lower faces; a connection portion extending from said generally horizontal portion, said connection portion having a circumference with a configuration complementary to a configuration of said upper rim to selectively couple said generally horizontal portion to said upper rim; wherein said generally horizontal portion includes a compartment configured to house a breath freshening device, said compartment being accessible when said connection portion couples said generally horizontal portion to said upper rim; and wherein a removable flap selectively encloses said compartment.

2. The cup lid of claim 1, wherein: said compartment is recessed in said generally horizontal portion; and a food-safe adhesive couples said flap to said generally horizontal portion upper face to enclose said compartment.

3. The cup lid of claim 1, wherein: said generally horizontal portion includes a pour opening; and said generally horizontal portion includes a secondary opening to equalize air pressure inside said cup with ambient air pressure when contents of said cup are poured through said pour opening to avoid creating a vacuum inside said cup.

4. The cup lid of claim 3, wherein: said pour opening and said secondary opening are at generally opposite sides of said generally horizontal portion; said compartment is recessed in said generally horizontal portion relatively adjacent to said secondary opening and relatively distant to said pour opening; and a food-safe adhesive couples said flap to said generally horizontal portion upper face to enclose said compartment.

5. The cup lid of claim 4, further comprising a breath freshening device housed in said compartment.

6. The cup lid of claim 5, wherein: said flap is constructed of at least one of plastic, cellophane, and aluminum foil; and said flap is removable by at least one of puncturing said flap and peeling said flap from said generally horizontal portion upper face.

7. The cup lid of claim 4, wherein: a plurality of breath freshening devices are housed in said compartment; said flap is removable by peeling said flap from said generally horizontal portion upper face; and said food-safe adhesive is a reusable adhesive to allow said flap to be peeled from and reattached to said generally horizontal portion upper face.

8. The cup lid of claim 1, further comprising a breath freshening device housed in said compartment, and wherein: said generally horizontal portion includes a pour opening; said generally horizontal portion includes a secondary opening to equalize air pressure inside said cup with ambient air pressure when contents of said cup are poured through said pour opening to avoid creating a vacuum inside said cup; said pour opening and said secondary opening are at generally opposite sides of said generally horizontal portion; and said compartment is relatively adjacent to said secondary opening and relatively distant to said pour opening.

9. The cup lid of claim 8, wherein: said flap is constructed of at least one of plastic, cellophane, and aluminum foil; and said generally horizontal portion and said connection portion are of unitary construction.

10. A lid for removable attachment to a cup having an upper rim defining an opening, said lid comprising: a generally horizontal portion configured to cover said opening, said generally horizontal portion having upper and lower faces and being generally circular; a connection portion extending downwardly from said generally horizontal portion, said connection portion having a circumference with a configuration complementary to a configuration of said upper rim to selectively couple said generally horizontal portion to said upper rim; and an enclosed compartment configured to house a breath freshening device, said compartment being accessible when said connection portion couples said generally horizontal portion to said upper rim.

11. The cup lid of claim 10, wherein said generally horizontal portion and a removable flap collectively define said enclosed compartment or said enclosed compartment is coupled to said generally horizontal portion.

12. The cup lid of claim 10, wherein: said generally horizontal portion includes a pour opening; said generally horizontal portion includes a secondary opening to equalize air pressure inside said cup with ambient air pressure when contents of said cup are poured through said pour opening to avoid creating a vacuum inside said cup; said pour opening and said secondary opening are at generally opposite sides of said generally horizontal portion; and said enclosed compartment is relatively adjacent to said secondary opening and relatively distant to said pour opening.

13. The cup lid of claim 12, further comprising a breath freshening device housed in said enclosed compartment.

14. The cup lid of claim 13, wherein said breath freshening device is a breath mint.

15. A lid for removable attachment to a cup having an upper rim defining an opening, said lid comprising: an upper portion configured to cover said opening, said upper portion including a compartment configured to house a breath freshening device; a connection portion extending from said upper portion, said connection portion having a circumference with a configuration complementary to a configuration of said upper rim to selectively couple said generally horizontal portion to said upper rim; a cover selectively enclosing said compartment; and wherein said compartment is accessible when said connection portion couples said upper portion to said upper rim.

16. The cup lid of claim 15, wherein: said upper portion includes a top surface; and said compartment is recessed below and accessible from said top surface.

17. The cup lid of claim 16, wherein: said upper portion includes a pour opening; said upper portion includes a secondary opening to equalize air pressure inside said cup with ambient air pressure when contents of said cup are poured through said pour opening to avoid creating a vacuum inside said cup; said pour opening and said secondary opening are at generally opposite sides of said upper portion; and said compartment is relatively adjacent to said secondary opening and relatively distant to said pour opening.

18. The cup lid of claim 17, further comprising a breath freshening device housed in said compartment.

19. The cup lid of claim 18, wherein said upper portion and said connection portion are of unitary construction.

20. The cup lid of claim 16, further comprising a breath freshening device housed in said compartment, and wherein said upper portion and said connection portion are of unitary construction.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This application relates generally to cup lids and, more particularly, to a lid for use with a disposable coffee cup having a compartment for storing one or more breath fresheners for consumption following drinking the coffee. Having convenient access to breath enhancers after drinking coffee helps a coffee drinker eliminate an undesirable breath.

Drinking coffee is a routine for many people, whether drinking it in their car while commuting to work or drinking during the day at work, home, or school. A noticeable and undesirable side effect of drinking coffee is an undesirable odor to the drinker's breath. Some coffee drinkers may drink cup after cup of coffee throughout the day with every cup full only enhancing the severity of the “coffee breath” problem. To counteract the malodorous breath, a user may seek to obtain a breath mint, piece of gum, or some other masking agent. Obtaining such a breath enhancer, of course, may be inconvenient, impractical, or, in some cases, impossible.

Various devices have been proposed in the art for providing condiments along with a disposable coffee cup or even breath enhancers. Although assumably effective for their intended purposes, the existing devices do not provide a cup lid having a sealed compartment for storing one or more breath freshening devices for use by a user after drinking the coffee within the cup.

Therefore, it would be desirable to have a cup lid for use with a disposable coffee cup having a compartment configured to house a breath freshening device for use following consumption of coffee from the coffee cup.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A lid for removable attachment to a cup having an upper rim defining an opening includes a generally horizontal portion configured to cover the opening. The horizontal portion includes upper and lower faces and is generally circular. The horizontal portion includes a pour opening and a secondary opening to equalize internal air pressure. The lid further includes a connection portion extending downwardly from the generally horizontal portion, the connection portion having a circumference with a configuration complementary to a configuration of the upper rim so as to selectively couple the generally horizontal portion to the upper rim. The includes an enclosed compartment configured to house a breath freshening device, the compartment being accessible when the connection portion couples the generally horizontal portion to the upper rim. The enclosed compartment includes a removable flap.

Therefore, a general object of this invention is to provide a cup lid for use with a coffee cup that houses a breath freshener such that a user may counteract undesirable odor caused by drinking coffee.

Another object of this invention is to provide a cup lid, as aforesaid, that protects the breath freshener until a user proactively removes it from an enclosed compartment.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a cup lid, as aforesaid, having a connection portion complementary to a rim of a coffee cup.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a cup lid, as aforesaid, is economical to produce and easy to use.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, embodiments of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1a is a perspective view of a cup lid according to the present invention with a closure flap in a closed configuration;

FIG. 1b is another perspective view of the cup lid as in FIG. 1 with the closure flap in an open configuration;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the cup lid as in FIG. 1b on an enlarged scale with a pair of breath fresheners situated in the compartment;

FIG. 3a is a perspective view of the cup lid as in FIG. 1a in use with a coffee cup; and

FIG. 3b is a perspective view of the cup lids in FIG. 2 in use with a coffee cup.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A cup lid for use with a cup having an upper rim that defines an opening will now be described in detail with reference to FIG. 1a through FIG. 3b of the accompanying drawings. More particularly, the cup lid 100 includes an upper portion 110 and a connection portion 120.

As shown in FIGS. 3a and 3b, the upper portion 110 (also referred to herein as a generally horizontal portion) is configured to cover the opening 12 of the cup 10. The generally horizontal portion 110 has an upper face 112 (also referred to herein as a top surface) and a lower face (not shown) and may be generally circular as shown throughout the drawings. The generally horizontal portion may include a pour opening 114 and a secondary opening 115 (FIG. 1a). The pour opening 114 and the secondary opening 115 may be at generally opposite sides of the generally horizontal portion 110 (FIG. 1a), and the secondary opening 115 may allow air pressure inside the cup 10 to equalize with ambient air pressure when contents of the cup 10 are poured through the pour opening 114. Equalizing air pressures in this way may avoid creating a vacuum inside the cup 10.

The connection portion 120 extends (e.g., downwardly) from the generally horizontal portion 110 and has a circumference 122 with a configuration complementary to a configuration of the upper rim 14 of the cup 10 to selectively couple the generally horizontal portion 110 to the upper rim 14 (FIGS. 3a and 3b). The generally horizontal portion 110 and the connection portion 120 may be of unitary construction, such as through a thermoforming process. The cup 10 may, for example, be a disposable coffee cup, and different lids 100 may have different circumferences 122 to correspond to different sizes of cup rims 14.

A compartment 130 configured to house a breath freshening device (e.g., a breath mint, gum, etc.) may be coupled to or defined by the generally horizontal portion 110, and a cover 140 selectively encloses the compartment 130. The compartment 130 is accessible when the connection portion 120 couples the generally horizontal portion 110 to the upper rim 14, or in other words, the compartment 130 is accessible without removing the lid 100 from the cup 10. In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1b for example, the compartment 130 is recessed in the generally horizontal portion 110 (i.e., recessed below the upper face 112) and accessible from the upper face 112. The cover 140 may be a removable flap, as shown in FIG. 1b, and a food-safe adhesive may couple the flap 140 to the upper face 112 of the generally horizontal portion 110 to enclose the compartment 130. The compartment 130 may be relatively adjacent to the secondary opening 115 and relatively distant to the pour opening 114, or in other words, the compartment 130 may be closer to the secondary opening 115 than the pour opening 114 (FIG. 2).

The flap 140 may be removable by puncturing or by peeling the flap 140 from the upper face 112 of the generally horizontal portion 110 (FIG. 1b), for example. It may be desirable to include a plurality of breath freshening devices 150 in the compartment 130 (FIG. 2), in which case it may be particularly desirable to use a food-safe adhesive that is a reusable adhesive to allow the flap 140 to be peeled from and reattached to the upper face 112. The flap 140 may be constructed of plastic, cellophane, aluminum foil, and/or any other appropriate material.

In use, the circumference 122 of the connection portion 120 is coupled to the upper rim 14 of the cup 10 after the cup 10 has been filled with a liquid (e.g., coffee). Once the connection portion 120 is coupled to the cup 10, the generally horizontal portion 110 may generally keep the contents of the cup 10 from spilling out the cup opening 12. The user may drink the contents by pouring the contents through the pour opening 114, and the secondary opening 115 may allow the contents to easily pour through the pour opening 114 as discussed above. Once the user has emptied the contents of the cup 10 or is otherwise ready to use a breath freshening device 150 (e.g., breath mint, gum, etc.), the compartment 130 may be accessed by puncturing or peeling the flap 140 and the breath freshening device 150 may be removed from the compartment 130. If the compartment 130 includes a plurality of breath freshening devices 150 and reusable adhesive is used to adhere the flap 140 (as discussed above), the flap 140 may be re-sealed over the compartment 130 and the remaining breath freshening device(s) 150 may be similarly accessed at a later time. Locating the compartment 130 away from the pour opening 114 may facilitate drinking from the pour opening 114. The lid 100 may be disposed of once the breath freshening device 150 is removed from the compartment 130.

It is understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.