Title:
Wine glass insulator
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for enveloping the exterior of drinking containers. The device includes a flexible wrap placed on the exterior of a drinking container, the flexible wrap shaped to accommodate stemware, glassware, wine glasses, and the like. The device secures to the drinking container, and provides insulation and handling grip for the user.



Inventors:
Stack, Lillie (Virginia Beach, VA, US)
Application Number:
12/129166
Publication Date:
12/03/2009
Filing Date:
05/29/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D81/38
View Patent Images:
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20040112902Paint tray liner system and methodJune, 2004Campbell
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20070272092Modular cold storage system and methodNovember, 2007Ehrenreich
20070017915Collapsible and/or erectable substantially egg-shaped containerJanuary, 2007Weder et al.



Primary Examiner:
POOS, MADISON LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATTEN, WORNOM, HATTEN & DIAMONSTEIN, L.C. (Newport News, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A device for enveloping the exterior of a irregular shaped container comprising: a. flexible material and; b. a means for securing the flexible material around a container.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the flexible material is an insulating material.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein the flexible material is impervious to liquid.

4. The device of claim 1, wherein the flexible material comprises gripping characteristics.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein the flexible material is constructed of fabric.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein the flexible material is constructed of a synthetic rubber.

7. The device of claim 6, wherein the synthetic rubber is chosen from the group consisting of Neoprene, Spandex, Polystyrene, and Polyurethane.

8. The device of claim 1, wherein the means for securing attachment is longitudinally incorporated into surface of the insulating material.

9. The device of claim 1, wherein the means for securing attachment of flexible material around a container is the flexible material.

10. The device of claim 1, wherein the means of securing attachment of flexible material comprises a zipper.

11. The device of claim 1, wherein the means of securing attachment of flexible material comprises a hook-and-loop attachment means.

12. The device of claim 1, wherein the means of securing attachment of flexible material comprises a shoe lace configuration.

13. The device of claim 1, wherein the flexible material comprises one or more outer walls connected together whereby creating a three dimensional bell shape, the one or more outer walls configured such that the device comprises a generally cylindrically-shaped container with two or more openings, two of the openings being distal to one another, one opening larger than the other, and the device narrowing in circumference over the length of the device.

14. The device of claim 13, wherein the one or more outer walls are fastened together by fastening means chosen from the group comprising stitching and adhesive.

15. The device of claim 1, wherein the flexible material conforms to the shape of the bell of a stemmed glass.

16. A device for enveloping the bell of a stemmed glass comprising: a. a flexible material, the flexible material having insulating and gripping characteristics, and; b. a securing means for attaching said device to the bell of a stemmed glass.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to devices intended to make beverage drinking a more enjoyable experience. In particular, the present invention relates to devices intended to supplement the insulation and handling characteristics of existing beverage containers.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Beverage containers, whether they contain hot or cold drinks, have a common flaw; materials generally used for beverage containers (metals, glass, plastics and the like) have little or no insulating properties. Therefore, unless the container is designed with integral insulation, heat transfers through the container. The lack of insulation results in the beverage losing its optimal temperature (either heating up or cooling down), as well as making handling an uninsulated beverage container uncomfortable for the user. Further, the heat transfer that occurs through a beverage container can cause condensation on the surface of the container (“sweating”), which not only affects a person's ability to handle the container but may also cause water damage to furniture and the like.

These problems with heat transfer are inherent in all beverage containers, whether shipping, storage and delivery containers or containers used for consumption of beverages. There are, however, significant differences between the different classes of containers. Glass and stem ware is designed and intended to enhance the enjoyment of a beverage. For example, specific stem ware is designed to allow wines and beers to “breathe,” enhancing the bouquet and flavor of the beverage. Glass and stem ware is also generally intended to enhance the visual presentation of a beverage.

Over the past years, numerous solutions to the problems associated with the heat transfer through the walls of a beverage container have been proposed, and a portion of those solutions provide for insulating wraps or jackets only for beverage containers. However, the current art provides insulating wraps and jackets for bottles and other containers used for shipping, storage and delivery of beverages (such as beer or soda bottles and cans). Existing wraps and jackets cannot be utilized for other containers, such as stem ware. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,655,543 issued to Beuke discloses an adaptable beverage container insulator. However, the Bueke invention is designed for the shipping, storage and delivery containers discussed above, and cannot be adapted for use on beverage containers such as open-mouth glass wear, stem ware, and the like.

What is needed, therefore, is a device that will insulate beverage drinking containers. In particular, what is needed is a device that is adapted to provide insulation and grip enhancement to stem ware and other glass wear, such as wine glasses, martini glasses, beer glasses and the like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a flexible device for enveloping the exterior of an irregular shaped container. The flexible device supplements the insulation and handling characteristics of existing beverage containers.

It is an object of the invention to provide a means for securely attaching or detaching the flexible material to or from the irregular shaped container. When the means for attachment is disengaged the flexible device expands whereby allowing it to slide over the shape of the irregular container. When the means for attachment is engaged, the device tightens about the shape of the irregular glass whereby enveloping securely about the shape of the container.

The means for secure attachment may utilize various different types of fasteners such as but not limited to zippers, velcro, snap on buttons or a shoe lace configuration or any combination thereof. The means for attachment is preferably incorporated longitudinally within the outer walls of the device.

The means for attachment can also be the flexible nature of the material itself whereby the device stretches when pulled over container, once the material is in the engaged position, the elastic nature of the material itself constricts and conforms around the container.

It is a further embodiment of the present invention to provide a flexible device that comprises one or more walls stitched together in the shape that conforms to the bell of a stemmed glass. The stitching connecting the one or more walls may also be expandable allowing for further expansion and flexibility of the flexible device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a front view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows a front view of an embodiment of the present invention in use.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device for enveloping a beverage container, the device providing insulation for the beverage container.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide an insulating device for drinking glasses, the device shaped to fit stemware such as wine glasses and having means to close the insulating device around the stemware.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, the device for enveloping the exterior of an irregular shaped container comprises a first half 100 and a second half 101. The first half 100 and the second half 101 are preferentially comprised of a flexible material. The flexible material is preferentially chosen from the group of materials that are insulating and improve friction, such as pliable foam rubber. Pliable foam rubber not only insulates as a result of dead air spaces incorporated into the structure of the foam rubber, but the resulting material is also flexible and expandable. The first half 100 and second half 101 are connected by one or more seams 104. The one or more seams 104 is preferentially comprised of connecting materials such as stitching, adhesives, or expandable materials such as elastics and the like.

The first half 100 and the second half 101 are generally shaped such that when connected together by the one or more seams 104 they form a hollow symmetrical cylindrical shape with a larger cylindrical end that becomes narrower towards the other end of the open cylindrical shape. This results in a narrow opening 106 and a wide opening 107.

The first half 100 may further comprise an opening 102. In order to allow the device to accommodate various sizes and designs of containers, the device separates for a portion of the first half 100 at the opening 102, allowing the first half 100 to spread wider than the material that the device is constructed from would normally allow. This allows additional expansion of the narrow opening 106, thus allowing the device to be placed over a wide range of containers. The device may further comprise closing means 103, securing the two sides of the opening 102. The closing means may comprise a zipper, hook-and-loop fastener, or shoe lace type fastening configuration attached to the device at 105 by stitching means, adhesive, and the like. However, one skilled in the art would recognize that many other securing means may be available to perform substantially the same function as that provided by a zipper, hook-and-loop fastener, or shoe lace fastener. It will also be understood that the closing means 103 can be comprised of a material, attached to the sides of the opening 102, that has a large elasticity such that the material may expand to allow expansion of the opening 102, and the material would then retract once the device is in place around a container, effecting closure of the opening 102. The device may further comprise material with sufficient elasticity such that the opening 102 and closing means 103 are comprised solely of the material of which the remainder of the device is comprised.

The closing means 103 may be attached at a seam 105 or the like, either through stitching, adhesive, or the like.

Referring to FIG. 2, the opening 102 is placed such that when it is in an unfastened position it allows the first half 100 to separate longitudinally along the line of the opening 102 extending from the narrow opening 106 and ending in the proximity of the wide opening 107 whereby allowing the flexible device to expand and disengage from an irregular container. Referring to FIG. 3, the flexible device is engaged around an irregular shaped container, a stemmed glass. When the opening 102 is in the closed position, the flexible material is restricted allowing the first half 100 and the second half 101 to conform to the contour of the outer surface of the container 108.

It will be understood that the description provided herein is merely illustrative, and should not be considered limiting. It will be further understood that the present invention may utilize various flexible materials for the construction of the flexible device such as fabric, rubber, synthetics and the like. It will also be understood that the present invention may utilize one or more walls in various configurations to obtain the required objective shape.