Title:
Children's disposable drinking cap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable cap is removably attachable to a prefabricated conventional beverage container. One embodiment of the cap can be fabricated from various materials. Male or female threads (connection means) can be used to connect the cap to the desired liquid beverage container—standard or non standard. A check valve within the cap allows liquid to communicate with a mouth piece defined within the cap, which also can be made from various materials.



Inventors:
Ellenbecker, Jeffrey Dale (Waukesha, WI, US)
Application Number:
12/220980
Publication Date:
03/04/2010
Filing Date:
09/04/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/387, 220/711, 220/714
International Classes:
A47G19/22; B65D83/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VOLZ, ELIZABETH J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jeffrey Dale Ellenbecker (Waukesha, WI, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A drinking cap for attachment to a prefabricated beverage container which comprises: a) A cover means; b) A drinking means defined within the cover means; c) A valve means defined within the drinking means, said valve means alternatively allowing and preventing the flow of liquid through the drinking means; and d) Means for removably connecting the cover means to the prefabricated beverage container; e) Wherein the drinking cap is sealingly connectable to the prefabricated beverage container as well as removable therefrom and is disposable.

2. The drinking cap of claim 1 wherein the connecting means is selected from the group consisting of snap in place means, frictional means, pressure means, clamping means, or any combination thereof.

3. The drinking cap of claim 1 wherein the connecting means comprises male or female threads.

4. The drinking cap of claim 1 wherein the drinking means comprises a mouth piece taken from the group consisting of nipples, pacifiers, Sippy cup construction, flip tops, turn and screw construction, tubular or any combination thereof.

5. The drinking cap of claim 1 wherein the cap is constructed from the group consisting of glasses, plastics, acrylics, metals, rubbers or any combination thereof.

6. The drinking cap of claim 3 further comprising an adapter configuration such that the cap can be used alternatively with a container having a male or female thread attachment configuration.

7. The drinking cap of claim 3 further comprising a connection means for both standard and non-standard beverage containers.

Description:

FEDERALLY SPONSORE RESEARCH

Not Applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to children's drinking devices. More particularly, it relates to a spill proof, convenient and disposable drinking cap.

2. Prior Art

Any discussion of the prior art through-out the specification should in no way be considered as an admission that such prior art is widely known or forms part of common general knowledge in the field.

The many caps and “Sippy cups” on the market today pose difficulties for use. In the view of this inventor, they are inconvenient, unsanitary, undesirable and costly. With all such devices, a large segment of the population is currently unable to take advantages of a convenient, low cost, disposable cap because a suitably convenient and disposable drinking cap is not currently available.

While “Sippy cups” have become widely popular, they suffer from several disadvantages. First, they require advance planning and preparation on the part of parents, since “Sippy cups” or other universal caps are not conveniently disposable. Since “Sippy cups” are not generally disposable, they are not sanitary, and need to be washed after each use. Also, replacing lost or worn out caps and “Sippy cups” can be costly. With the majority of devices having a multiplicity of parts, it can be difficult to completely and thoroughly clean them each time. Less complicated devices still pose a problem with convenience, and cleanliness.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,877,626 to Sherrod describes and claims a device having multiple geometries such that connection can be made with a variety of bottle openings. Although this device allows a user to use multiple geometric connections, it is not disposable and limits the user to more convenience problems. It has to be washed thoroughly because of the multiple bottles of fluids that could be desired, the valves get dirty and undesirable, and with the multiple threads that could harbor bacteria if not washed properly. Sherrod states that a cap with a mouth piece taken from the group consisting of nipples, pacifiers, Sippy cup construction, flip tops, turn and screw construction, tubular or any combination thereof only makes it less convenient and desirable because it has to be washed more thoroughly.

The devices disclosed and claimed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,880,713 to Holley Jr, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,783,020 to Featherston et al, also pose problems with convenience and cleanliness because they are not disposable.

Several types of disposable drinking devices have been proposed. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,883,677 to Goeking et al, and U.S. Pat. No. 7,185,784 to Connors, Jr. et al., each discloses and claims a device that, though disposable, suffers from a number of other disadvantages such as:

    • (a) A limited age group of users, due to spout or mouth piece choice, and is not universal;
    • (b) Constantly having to put the desired liquid in the container, or if liquid is purchased, the user has to transfer it from one container to another, then wash and refill for another desired liquid.
    • (c) Cup brim or rim can be destroyed or worn out due to use, or if a child plays with it, it could leak.

In U.S. Patent Publication No. 2003/0085232 by Leinenweber, a prefilled single use beverage container is disclosed, but also poses some problems. First, if not refrigerated, the contents will only be as cold as the container's surroundings. Being prefilled, how long will it be desirable since the flavor is already chosen? Dairy and other healthy liquids are needed for a nutrient, which can't be prefilled. Also, it is stated that this was intended for the use by a toddler learning to drink from a cup. It is not universal for smaller children to infants who require different mouth pieces.

On the market today, there are several sized bottle threads and opening geometries. A device that is made for each desired liquid is not only appealing, but desired as well. The manufacturing cost will be minimal, as well as the consumers cost by it being convenient, disposable, and clean. To walk in the store, pick out a child's drink and buy a cap. When the child is done, dispose of it or if desired it will be sturdy enough to reuse. To be efficient, convenient, and provide the necessary advantages is the purpose of this invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The children's convenient and disposable drinking cap of the present invention overcomes the problems associated with prior art.

The present invention, in some of its embodiments, provides a device having a screw cap with conventional geometry sealing threads and a valve to inhibit spillage through the cap.

Another embodiment will have a cap with a mouth piece taken from a group consisting of: nipples, pacifiers, Sippy cups construction, flip tops, turn and screw construction tubular or any combination thereof.

Another embodiment has a construction selected from the group consisting of glasses, plastics, acrylics, metals, rubbers, or any combination thereof.

Another embodiment has an adapter configuration such that the screw on cap can be used with a container with a male or female configuration.

According to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, pre-sized beverage caps or lids will be available for the both standard and non standard preferred beverage containers that are preferred by children. The disposable caps will be manufactured for those desired beverage container threads. The cap will have liquid flow valves, as well the choice to have different mouth pieces that best fits their children which were mentioned above.

In another embodiment the connection means is selected from the group comprising snap in place means, frictional means, pressure means, clamping means, or any combination thereof.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements there of for the purpose described which is inexpensive, convenient, clean, and desirable.

These and other embodiments which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and forming a part hereof. However, for a better understanding of the invention, its advantages and objectives obtained by its use, reference should be made to the drawings which form a further part.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of one preferred embodiment of a cap constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the cap shown in FIG. 1 but illustrating internal structure in phantom view.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged top plan view of the cap.

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the cap.

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the cap.

FIG. 6 is a bottom perspective view of the cap.

FIG. 7 is another top perspective view of the cap and showing the cap encased within a safety sealed package.

DRAWINGS-REFERENCE NUMERALS

10. Present Invention12. Male or Female threads
  (connection means)
14. Outlet passage16. Mouth piece
18. Check valve20. Grip
22. Sealant Rim24. Cap
26. Safety sealed package28. Liquid recovery chamber

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

While this invention may be embodiment in many different forms, there are described in detail herein specific embodiments of the invention. This description is an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the particular embodiments illustrated.

For the purposes of this disclosure, like reference numerals in the figures shall refer to like features throughout, unless otherwise indicated.

The device of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1 through FIG. 7. The children's convenient and disposable drinking cap is designated generally as 10. As shown in FIG. 1, a perspective view of the cap 10 illustrates that the cap 10 comprises a cover means in the form of an upper portion 24 and an upwardly extending drinking means in the form of a mouth piece 16, the mouth piece 16 having at least one outlet passage 14. As shown in FIG. 6, it will be seen that a grip 20 can be added to help secure the cap 10 to a desired beverage container (not shown), the container being of the type that is prefabricated of any beverage-containing material. It is intended that the cap 10 of the present invention be capable of fabrication to accommodate any beverage container of present manufacture.

In FIG. 2 a second perspective view of the cap 10 is shown with its internal structure illustrated in phantom view. Male or female connection means 12 is provided. All connection means in this application are to be understood to include those connection means 12, as well as, without limitation, sealing threads, snap-on (any variety in which one portion slides over a lip on one member and reaches a smaller diameter portion), solely frictional methods, and the like. Here, sealing threads 12 are shown as most drinking containers use like threads. The liquid recovery chamber 28 is that portion of the cap 10 lying underneath the upper portion 24 such that the liquid within the container (also not shown) must pass before passing through a valve means in the form of a check value 18 or other type of known fluid control valve. The check valve 18 is designed to prevent flow through the mouth piece 16 in the absence of a vacuum condition that is created by the user by sucking on the mouth piece 16.

In FIG. 3, one mouth piece 16 design is shown, although other mouth piece designs could be used with this invention including, without limitation, nipples, pacifiers, Sippy cup construction, flip tops, turn and screw construction, tubular, or the like. Within the mouth piece 16, there is at least one outlet passage 14. The number and geometry of each outlet passage 14 would change with each different embodiment of the mouth piece 16.

While FIGS. 1-7 show a particular design, it is to be noted that any variety of shapes may be employed. The exact shape of the device will purely be a choice of the particular manufacturer to match the desired beverage container.

FIG. 4 is a view of the cap 10 from another angle to show the extension of the mouth piece 16 upwardly and away from the upper portion 24 of the cap 10.

In FIGS. 5 and 6, the male or female threads (connection means) 12 are shown. The connection means 12 will be sized to fit each desired beverage container by children and above. Upwardly from the connection means 12 there is disposed a sealant rim 22 which helps secure the beverage rim (not shown) to the cap 10 to prevent leakage.

The liquid recovery chamber 28 is that portion of the cap 10 wherein the liquid must pass before passing through the check valve 18, and into the mouthpiece outlet 16.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the cap 10 from yet another angle and showing how the device of the present invention will be contained within a safety sealed package 26. The exact shape of the safety sealed packaging 26 will purely be a choice of the particular manufacturer or distributer.

The above examples and disclosure are intended to be illustrative and not exhaustive. These examples and description will suggest many variations and alternative to one of ordinary skill in this art and it will be understood by those skilled in the are that various changes may be made and equivalents may substituted without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adopt a particular situation or material to the teaching of the invention without departing from its shape. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but that the invention will included all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims attached hereto.

CONCLUSIONS, RAMIFICATIONS AND SCOPE

Accordingly, the reader will see that the present invention can be used effectively, conveniently, and universally for various desired beverages. Furthermore, the present invention has the additional advantages in that

    • It permits convenience wherever the user goes
    • It provides clean and sanitary drinking aids for growing, healthy children
    • It permits parents to buy smaller beverages for their children, and less wasted fluids
    • It can be manufactured in high volumes with relatively low cost such that it can be disposable
    • With each cap being made for each desired beverage, the present invention is not limited to only one beverage container, but is universal.

Although the description above contains many specifics, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the embodiment but as merely providing illustration of some of the presently preferred embodiment. For example, the mouth piece 16 can be taken from a group consisting of nipple, pacifier, Sippy cup construction, flip tops, turn and screw construction, tubular, or any combination thereof. The device of the present invention can be constructed from a group consisting of glass, plastic, acrylic, metal, rubber, or any combination thereof. Depending on each individual and their level of desired convenience, the device of the present invention can be disposable, or it can be washed and reusable to be universal.

Thus, the scope of the embodiment should be determined by the appended claim and their legal equivalent, rather by the examples given.





 
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