Title:
Hanging Beverage Dispensing Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and an apparatus for attaching a beverage dispensing device to a vertical surface. One aspect of the invention includes a beverage dispensing device that may be mounted to a panel at a first position. The panel may be attached to a vertical surface. The panel may be secured to the vertical surface by at least one securing device operatively attached to the panel. Another aspect of the invention includes an apparatus comprising a panel having a top end terminating in a hook end, an insulated beverage dispensing device adjustably mounted to the panel at a first position, and at least one securing device operatively attached to the panel and configured to engage a vertical surface.



Inventors:
Swedberg, Todd (Barrington, IL, US)
Prestley Jr., Donald (Crystal Lake, IL, US)
Broeske, Dennis B. (Wonder Lake, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/059124
Publication Date:
10/01/2009
Filing Date:
03/31/2008
Assignee:
STOKELY-VAN CAMP, INC. (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/27
International Classes:
E04F19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KRYCINSKI, STANTON L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for attaching a beverage dispensing device to a vertical surface, the method comprising the steps of: hanging a panel on a vertical surface; securing the panel to a vertical surface by at least one securing device operatively attached to the panel; and mounting a beverage dispensing device to the panel at a first position.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein a top end of the panel terminates in a hook shaped end.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the hanging step includes engaging the hook shaped end with a top surface of the vertical surface.

4. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of removing the beverage dispensing device from the first position on the panel and remounting the beverage dispensing device at a second position on the panel.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one securing device is at least one suction cup operatively attached to the panel and adhering to a vertical surface.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the beverage dispensing device is insulated.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the beverage dispensing device is mounted to the panel by at least one mounting fastener operatively attached to the panel and at least one mounting bracket operatively attached to the beverage dispensing device, the at least one mounting bracket being configured to engage the at least one mounting fastener.

8. A method for attaching a beverage dispensing device to a vertical surface, the method comprising the steps of: hanging a panel on a vertical surface, the panel having a top end terminating in a hook shaped end, the hook shaped end engaging a top surface of a vertical surface; securing the panel to the vertical surface by at least one securing device operatively attached to the panel; and mounting a beverage dispensing device to the panel at a first position.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the at least one securing device is at least one suction cup operatively attached to the panel and adhering to a vertical surface.

10. The method of claim 8, further comprising the steps of removing the beverage dispensing device from the first position on the panel and remounting the beverage dispensing device at a second position on the panel.

11. The method of claim 8, wherein the beverage dispensing device is mounted to the panel by at least one mounting fastener operatively attached to the panel and at least one mounting bracket operatively attached to the beverage dispensing device, the at least one mounting bracket being configured to engage the at least one mounting fastener.

12. The method of claim 8, wherein the beverage dispensing device is insulated.

13. A method for attaching a beverage dispensing device to a vertical surface, the method comprising the steps of: hanging a panel on a vertical surface, the panel having a top end terminating in a hook shaped end, the hook shaped end engaging a top surface of a vertical surface; securing the panel to the vertical surface by at least one securing device; mounting a beverage dispensing device to the panel at a first position; removing the beverage dispensing device from the first position on the panel; and remounting the beverage dispensing device at second position on the panel.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the at least one securing device is at least one suction cup operatively attached to the panel and adhering to the vertical surface.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein the beverage dispensing device is mounted to the panel by at least one mounting fastener operatively attached to the panel and at least one mounting bracket operatively attached to the beverage dispensing device.

16. The method of claim 13, wherein the beverage dispensing device is insulated.

17. An apparatus for hanging an insulated beverage dispensing device and dispensing a beverage comprising: a panel having a top end terminating in a hook end; the insulated beverage dispensing device adjustably mounted to the panel at a first position; and at least one securing device operatively attached to the panel and configured to engage a vertical surface; wherein the hook end is configured to engage a top surface of a vertical surface.

18. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein the at least one securing device is a suction cup that adheres to a vertical surface.

19. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein the insulated beverage dispenser adjusted to a second position on the panel.

20. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein the insulated beverage dispenser is adjustably mounted to the panel by at least one mounting fastener operatively attached to the panel and at least one mounting bracket operatively attached to the insulated beverage dispensing device, the at least one mounting bracket being configured to engage the at least one mounting fastener.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to beverage dispensing devices, and more particularly to beverage dispensing devices attached to a fixed surface.

BACKGROUND

Insulated beverage dispensing devices, such as coolers, are well known in the beverage industry. Insulated beverage dispensing devices are used to maintain the temperature of beverages and dispense beverages at the maintained temperature. For example, beverages may be kept hot or cold within an insulated beverage dispensing device. Insulated beverage dispensing devices, or coolers, are commonly used at sporting events to keep beverages cold and dispense the cold beverages to athletes.

Insulated beverage dispensing devices may be used at many types of sporting events, including football, rugby, soccer, running, tennis, and hockey. For example, insulated beverage dispensing devices are used to hold sport drinks, such as Gatorade®, and ice at football games. Typically the insulated beverage dispensing device will sit on a flat surface, such as a table, so the beverage may be easily dispensed into a container such as a cup, and then consumed.

However, setting up a table, or other surface at a sporting event may not be the most advantageous or convenient way to provide beverages to athletes. For example, there may not be sufficient room to set up a table to set a beverage dispensing device, or the athletes may have difficulty accessing the beverage dispensing device set up on the table. Accordingly, there is a need for alternate methods of dispensing beverages at sporting events.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention addresses the above mentioned needs by providing a beverage dispensing device that may be attached to a vertical surface. An aspect of the present invention provides methods and apparatus for attaching a beverage dispensing device to a vertical surface. In one aspect, the invention may include hanging a panel on a vertical surface. The panel may be secured to the vertical surface by at least one securing device operatively attached to the panel. The beverage dispensing device may be adjustably mounted to the panel at a first position.

In another aspect, the invention includes an apparatus comprising a panel and an insulated beverage dispensing device. The panel may have a top end terminating in a hook shaped end. The insulated beverage dispensing device may be adjustably mounted to the panel at a first position. The apparatus may further include at least one securing device configured to engage a vertical surface. The hook shaped end may be configured to engage a top surface of a vertical surface.

Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the following detailed description, claims and drawings in which like numerals are used to designate like features.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an isometric exploded front view of exemplary embodiment of a beverage dispensing device attached to a panel and a vertical surface.

FIG. 2 illustrates an isometric front view of an alternative embodiment of the panel engaged with a vertical surface.

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of an embodiment of the panel terminating in a hook end engaged with a top surface of a vertical surface.

FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of an embodiment of the panel.

FIG. 5 illustrates a partial exploded view of an embodiment of the securing device.

FIG. 6 illustrates a method for attaching a beverage dispensing device to a vertical surface.

Before the embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or being carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including” and “comprising” and variations thereof is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items and equivalents thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The invention may be embodied in many forms. FIG. 1 illustrates an exploded view of an exemplary embodiment of a beverage dispensing device 10 attached to a panel 20 that is, in turn, mounted to a vertical surface or wall 30. The beverage dispensing device 10 may be adjustably mounted to the panel 20 in any suitable manner, allowing the beverage dispensing device 10 to be mounted and remounted at a plurality of positions on the panel.

For example, the beverage dispensing device 10 may be mounted to the panel 20 by adhesive, fasteners, Velcro, or the like. In one embodiment, the beverage dispensing device 10 is mounted to the panel 20 by at least one mounting fastener 21, such as fasteners 21a, 21b, operatively attached to the panel 20 and at least one mounting bracket 23 operatively attached to the beverage dispensing device 10. The at least one mounting bracket 23 may be configured to engage the at least one mounting fastener 21. In this embodiment, the at least one mounting fastener 21 may be a screw extending through at least one of a plurality of openings 29 defined in the panel 20 and engaged with a barrel head. The plurality of openings 29 may be spaced apart at any desired interval to provide adjustable mounting of the beverage dispensing device. The at least one mounting bracket 23 may be a keyhole bracket configured to engage the screw/barrel head fastener. In an alternative embodiment, the at least one mounting bracket 23 is a plurality of mounting brackets 23a, 23b, and the at least one mounting fastener 21 is a plurality of mounting fasteners 21a, 21b.

The beverage dispensing device 10 may be adjusted from a first position on the panel 20 to a second position. This may be accomplished by removing the beverage dispensing device 10 from the first position on the panel 20 and remounting the beverage dispensing device 10 at a second position on the panel 20, that is, at a different set of openings 29 on the panel 20. Other means of adjusting of the beverage dispensing device 10 between a first position and a second position on the panel 20 are within the scope of the present invention. The adjustment of the beverage dispensing device 10 from a first position to a second position on the panel 20 may be done to change the height of the beverage dispensing device 10 relative to the panel 20 or the vertical surface or wall 30.

The panel 20 may be configured to be removable mounted or attached to a vertical surface or wall 30. The panel 20 may mount or attach to the vertical surface 30 in any suitable manner. For example, the panel 20 may be hung on the vertical surface 30, as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. In one embodiment, the panel 20 may include a top end 24 terminating in a hook shaped end 25. The hook shaped end 25 may engage a top surface 31 of the vertical surface 30 when the top end 24 of the panel 20 is hung over the vertical surface 30. The panel 20 may be mounted to the vertical surface 30 through other techniques. The vertical surface 30 may be any suitable surface capable of engaging with a panel 20. For example, the vertical surface 30 may be a vertical wall or a door. In one embodiment of the invention, the vertical surface 30 may be Plexiglass surrounding an ice rink.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4, the panel 20 may include at least one securing device 22 to secure the panel 20 to the vertical surface 30. The at least one securing device 22 may be operatively attached to the panel 20. The at least one securing device 22 may be any securing device capable of securing the panel 20 to the vertical surface 30. For example, adhesive, fasteners, clamps, and the like may be used to secure the panel 20 to the vertical surface 30.

In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 5, the at least one securing device 22 may be a suction cup operatively attached to one of a plurality of apertures defined in the panel 20. In this embodiment, the suction cup adheres to the vertical surface 30 and is attachable to the panel 20 through the use of a pin 41, fastener or the like. The use of one or more suction cups provides a secure connection between the panel 20 and the vertical surface 30 and provides stability to the panel relative to the vertical surface. For example, in an application at an ice rink, if the vertical surface is Plexiglass that is hit by a hockey player, the suction cups will hold the panel 20 to the vertical surface 30 and therefore prevent the possible spillage of the contents within in the beverage dispensing device. In at least one embodiment, the at least one securing device 22 may be a plurality of securing devices 22a, 22b, 22c. Any number of securing devices 22 may be used in any number of configurations in accordance with aspects of the present invention.

The panel 20 may be any desirable configuration. For example, the panel 20 may be rectangular or circular. The panel 20 may have a substantially planar surface 27, as illustrated in FIG. 4. Alternatively, the panel 20 may have barriers 28 extending forward from the edges of the panel 20, as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3. The barriers 28 may aid in positioning the beverage dispensing device 10 on the panel 20. Additionally, the barriers 28 may aid in preventing the beverage dispensing device 10 from being moved horizontally or jarred while mounted to the panel 20. The panel 20 may be constructed from any suitable materials. For example, the panel 20 may be made of plastic, metal, glass, or Plexiglass.

The beverage dispensing device 10, as illustrated in FIG. 1, may be insulated to maintain the temperature of the liquids inside the beverage dispensing device 10. The beverage dispensing device 10 may further include a dispensing orifice. For example, the dispensing orifice may be a nozzle to dispense liquids from inside the beverage dispensing device 10. The beverage dispensing device 10 may be any suitable shape for containing beverages and yet suitable for mounting to the panel 20. For example, the beverage dispensing device 10 may be cylindrical, square, or rectangular. As shown in FIG. 1, the beverage dispensing device 10 may semi-cylindrical in shape. The beverage dispensing device 10 may be made of any suitable material for containing beverages. For example, the beverage dispensing device 10 may be plastic or Styrofoam.

A method 100 for attaching a beverage dispensing device 10 to a vertical surface 30 is generally depicted in FIG. 6. The method 100 may include hanging a panel 20 on a vertical surface 30, at step 110. The panel 20 may be hung on the vertical surface 30 in any suitable manner. For example, the panel 20 may be hung on the vertical surface 30 by engaging a hook shaped end 25 of the panel 20 with a top surface 31 of the vertical surface 30, as illustrated in FIG. 2. The panel 20 may be secured to a vertical surface 30 by at least one securing device 22, at step 120 in FIG. 6. The securing device 22 may be operatively attached to the panel 20. In one embodiment, the at least one securing device 22 is at least one suction cup operatively attached to the panel 20, as illustrated in FIG. 5.

Referring back to FIG. 6, the beverage dispensing device 10 may be mounted to the panel 20, at step 130. The beverage dispensing device 10 may be mounted to the panel 20 at a first position. The beverage dispensing device 10 may be insulated. The beverage dispensing device 10 may be mounted to the panel 20 in any suitable way. For example, the beverage dispensing device 10 may be mounted to the panel 20 by engaging at least one mounting fastener 21 operatively attached to the panel 20 with at least one mounting bracket 23 operatively attached to the beverage dispensing device 10, as illustrated in FIG. 1.

The beverage dispensing device 10 may be adjusted on the panel 20. This may be done by removing the beverage dispensing device 10 from the panel 20, at step 140. The beverage dispensing device 10 may then be repositioned on the panel 20 by remounting the beverage dispensing device 10 at a second position on the panel 20, at step 150. The remounting step 150 may occur in the same manner as the mounting step 130.

The method 100 for attaching a beverage dispensing device 10 to a vertical surface 30, as contemplated by the invention, may include any number or combination of the above described steps. Within the scope of the invention, the method steps may be performed in any desired sequence that attaches a beverage dispensing device 10 to a vertical surface 30.

Variations and modifications of the foregoing are within the scope of the present invention. It should be understood that the invention disclosed and defined herein extends to all alternative combinations of two or more of the individual features mentioned or evident from the text and/or drawings. All of these different combinations constitute various alternative aspects of the present invention. The embodiments described herein explain the best modes known for practicing the invention and will enable others skilled in the art to utilize the invention. The claims are to be construed to include alternative embodiments to the extent permitted by the prior art.

Various features of the invention are set forth in the following claims.