Title:
Replaceable tactile bucket wrap and system for same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wrap system for a bucket or other vessel that is comprised of a pliant sheet of material that encases all or part of the outer surface of said bucket or vessel and is textured to resemble a desired article. The wrap can be removed but is fitted tight enough as not to fall off during normal use. The textures can include but not be limited to sports balls, (i.e. basketballs, footballs, or baseballs) or company logos, insignias, or a combination of the two.



Inventors:
Spencer, Patrick (St. Louis, MO, US)
Moeller, Amy (St. Louis, MO, US)
Tobias, Eric (St. Louis, MO, US)
Application Number:
12/807563
Publication Date:
03/10/2011
Filing Date:
09/08/2010
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
53/397, 206/457
International Classes:
B65D65/22; B65B11/00; B65D79/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Patrick Spencer (St. Louis, MO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A wrap for a bucket, the bucket having an outer surface, the wrap comprising a pliant sheet of material sized and shaped to encase at least in part the outer surface of the bucket, the wrap having an outer surface and an inner surface, wherein the outer surface of the wrap defines a structure that simulates the appearance of a desired article when the wrap is positioned on the bucket.

2. The wrap of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the wrap is textured in a manner to further simulate the appearance of the desired article.

3. The wrap of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the wrap is colored in a manner to further simulate the appearance of the desired article.

4. The wrap of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the wrap defines a formation that replicates a specific feature of the article.

5. The wrap of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the wrap simulates the appearance of a sporting goods article.

6. The wrap of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the wrap defines a contact surface, the contact surface being capable of accepting a patch.

7. The wrap of claim 6, further comprising a patch.

8. The wrap of claim 7, wherein the patch is removable from the contact surface.

9. The wrap of claim 1, wherein the material comprises one or more of the following: rubber; plastic; and vinyl.

10. The wrap of claim 1, wherein the wrap is removable from the bucket.

11. The wrap of claim 1, wherein the wrap comprises a thermal insulating material.

12. The wrap of claim 1, wherein the wrap comprises an elastic material.

13. The wrap of claim 1, wherein the wrap is penannular.

14. The wrap of claim 1, wherein the wrap comprises a sleeve.

15. A wrap for a bucket, the bucket having an outer surface, the wrap comprising a pliant sheet of material sized and shaped to encase at least in part the outer surface of the bucket, the wrap having an outer surface and an inner surface, wherein the outer surface of the wrap defines a structure that simulates the appearance of a desired theme when the wrap is positioned on the bucket.

16. The wrap of claim 15, wherein the theme comprises a specific event.

17. The wrap of claim 15, wherein the theme comprises a specific marketing promotion.

18. A wrap for a bucket in combination with a marketing promotion activity, the bucket having an outer surface, the wrap comprising a pliant sheet of material sized and shaped to encase at least in part the outer surface of the bucket, the wrap having an outer surface and an inner surface, wherein the outer surface of the wrap defines a structure that simulates the appearance of a desired theme when the wrap is positioned on the bucket.

19. A method of serving beverages, the method comprising the steps of: a. selecting a bucket of sufficient size to hold one or more containers of beverages, the bucket having an outer surface; b. constructing a wrap, the wrap comprising a sheet of material sized and shaped to encase at least in part the outer surface of the bucket, the wrap having an outer surface and an inner surface, wherein the outer surface of the wrap defines a structure that simulates the appearance of a desired article when the wrap is positioned on the bucket; c. positioning the wrap on the bucket; d. selecting one or more containers of beverages; e. placing said one or more containers of beverages into the bucket; and f. serving the beverages in the bucket to one or more persons.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising the step of adhering the wrap to the bucket.

21. The method of claim 19, further comprising the step of designing the outer surface of the wrap to be associated with a desired marketing promotion.

22. The method of claim 19, wherein the article comprises a sporting goods product.

23. A system of interchangeable wraps for decoration of buckets comprising: a plurality of buckets of similar size and shape; a plurality of bucket wraps, each of said plurality of bucket wraps sized and shaped to encase at least in part the outer surface of all of said plurality of buckets; wherein the outer surface of the wrap is configured/structured to simulate the appearance of a desired theme when the wrap is positioned on the bucket.

Description:

This application claims priority of provisional patent application 61/240,534 filed on Sep. 8th, 2009. The present disclosure generally relates to decorative buckets for holding, for example, beverage bottles as may be sold at a bar or restaurant, and more particularly to a novel tactile replaceable bucket wrap and associated system.

FIELD

Background

The statements in this section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure and may not constitute prior art.

As a throwback to older eateries and pubs, it has become increasingly popular for consumer food providers, such as for example restaurants and bars, to serve patrons bottled and canned beverages of limited quantities in small buckets. These buckets are typically filled with ice to keep the beverages cold, and are placed directly upon the patron's table or in front of the patron at a bar. Often the beverages are sold in this manner at a slight quantity discount.

Historically, such buckets were traditional in shape and had little or no ornamentation. However, it has been recognized that such buckets of beverages can be used as a marketing vehicle. That is, the buckets can be ornamented with colors, insignia, logos, trademarks, or other such ornamentation to promote for example specific events, venues and establishments. This ornamentation has traditionally been limited to generally flat images adhered to the bucket, such as painted decorations or stickers.

SUMMARY

The present teachings disclose in part a wrap for a bucket. The wrap comprises a pliant sheet of material that is sized and shaped to encase at least part of the outer surface of the bucket. The outer surface of the wrap is configured to simulate the appearance of a desired article when the wrap is positioned on the bucket. The wrap can be removable from the bucket.

Further areas of applicability of the present teachings will become apparent from the description provided herein. It should be understood that the description and specific examples are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present teachings.

DRAWINGS

The drawings described herein are for illustration purposes only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present teachings in any way.

FIG. 1 is a plan view of an unassembled bucket wrap having the appearance of a baseball and a plurality of contact surfaces, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a bucket and the bucket wrap shown in FIG. 1, assembled and positioned for placement upon the bucket, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 3 is an overhead view of the bucket and bucket wrap shown in FIG. 2, the bucket wrap positioned about the outer surface of the bucket, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the bucket and bucket wrap shown in FIG. 3, and a custom patch sized and shaped for placement upon one of the contact surfaces of the bucket wrap, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the bucket and bucket wrap shown in FIG. 3, with the custom patch shown in FIG. 4 positioned upon the contact surface shown in FIG. 4, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of an unassembled alternate bucket wrap having the appearance of a baseball and a plurality of contact surfaces, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 7 is an isometric view of a bucket and the alternate bucket wrap shown in FIG. 6, the alternate bucket wrap assembled and positioned for placement upon the bucket, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 8 is an overhead view of the bucket and alternate bucket wrap shown in FIG. 7, the alternate bucket wrap positioned about the outer surface of the bucket, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of the bucket and alternate bucket wrap shown in FIG. 7, and a custom patch sized and shaped for placement upon one of the contact surfaces of the alternate bucket wrap, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of the bucket and alternate bucket wrap shown in FIG. 7, with the custom patch shown in FIG. 9 positioned upon the contact surface shown in FIG. 9, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 11 is a plan view of an unassembled second alternate bucket wrap having the appearance of a football and a plurality of contact surfaces, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 12 is an isometric view of a bucket and the second alternate bucket wrap shown in FIG. 11, the second alternate bucket wrap assembled and positioned for placement upon the bucket, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 13 is an overhead view of the bucket and second alternate bucket wrap shown in FIG. 12, the second alternate bucket wrap positioned about the outer surface of the bucket, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 14 is an isometric view of the bucket and second alternate bucket wrap shown in FIG. 12, and a custom patch sized and shaped for placement upon one of the contact surfaces of the second alternate bucket wrap, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 15 is an isometric view of the bucket and second alternate bucket wrap shown in FIG. 12, with the custom patch shown in FIG. 14 positioned upon the contact surface shown in FIG. 14, in accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure.

Corresponding reference numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the present teachings, application, or uses. Throughout this specification, like reference numerals will be used to refer to like elements.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the present disclosure provides a bucket wrap 10 that is configured, structured and operable to provide a cover or sleeve for a bucket 12 having an outer surface 13, such that when the wrap 10 is positioned about the outer surface 13 of the bucket 12, the bucket 12 has the general appearance of a specific sporting goods product, such as for example a baseball (see, e.g., FIG. 4), a basketball (see, e.g., FIG. 9) or a football (see, e.g., FIG. 14). In one embodiment, the wrap 10 is constructed of a generally flat and pliant sheet of material 5, preferably poly vinyl chloride or some other similarly durable and pliant plastic material. (FIG. 1).

The sheet 5 is shaped with a curved top edge 14 and a generally parallel curved bottom edge 16. Generally straight edges 18 and 20 extend between the curved edges 14 and 16. The curved edges 14 and 16 are shaped such that when the edges 18 and 20 are joined in assembly to form a seam 22 (FIG. 2), the sheet 5 assumes the shape of a truncated cone (see FIG. 2). The outer edges 14, 16, 18 and 20 of the sheet 5 are configured such that the assembled truncated cone shape of the wrap 10 fits like a skin over the outer surface 13 of the bucket 12.

Preferably, the sheet 5 with a thickness of approximately one eighth inch for strength and durability, and to allow sufficient depth for incorporation of topography and structural features on the sheet. Of course, the thickness of the sheet 5 can vary across the sheet 5, and the overall thickness of the sheet 5 can vary to suit specific applications, so long as the sheet 5 is capable of adopting a surface topography as outlined in the present disclosure.

The sheet 5 has an outer surface 30 (FIGS. 1-5) and an inner surface 32 (FIG. 2). In the first disclosed embodiment of FIGS. 1-5, the outer surface 30 of the wrap 10 is textured and colored to simulate or resemble the surface of a baseball. In particular, the surface is slightly course, to simulate a baseball-styled leather feel, and is a shade of white. Further, the outer surface 30 is formed with structural features to enhance the simulation of a baseball. Specifically, colored depressions 34 and colored ridges 36 are formed on the outer surface 30 to mimic the seams and exposed threads of the outer surface of a baseball.

In the second disclosed embodiment of FIGS. 6-10, the outer surface 30′ of the wrap 10′ is textured and colored to simulate or resemble the surface of a basketball. In particular, the surface is dimpled, to simulate a basketball-styled leather feel, and is a shade of orange. Further, the outer surface 30′ of the sheet 5′ is formed with structural features to enhance the simulation of a basketball. Specifically, black-colored seams 38 are formed on the outer surface 30′ to mimic the seams of the outer surface of a basketball.

In the third disclosed embodiment of FIGS. 11-15, the outer surface 30″ of the wrap 10″ is textured and colored to simulate or resemble the surface of a football. In particular, the surface is dimpled, to simulate a football-styled leather feel, and is a shade of brown. Further, the outer surface 30″ of the sheet 5″ is formed with structural features to enhance the simulation of a football. Specifically, a pair of white colored formations 40 are formed along each of the edges 18″ and 20″ of the outer surface 30″ to mimic the exposed threads along the seam of the outer surface of a football.

Other features may be incorporated into the outer surface 30 of the sheet 5, including for example, names, images and logos. For example, the outer surface of the sheet 5 may incorporate an embossed label of multiple colors that constitutes the logo or brand name of a beverage, such as a particular brand of beer, such that when the wrap 10 is positioned about a bucket 12, the brand is prominently displayed to the consumer. In this way, the bucket 12 with the wrap 10 having a particular beer brand designation can be used as a marketing tool to market and sell that particular brand of beer.

Preferably, the wrap 10 is shaped and contoured such that when the edges 18 and 20 are joined, a substantial portion of the wrap 10 will require a slight amount of stretching to fit over the outer surface 13 of the bucket 12, thereby providing a snug fit between the wrap 10 and the bucket 12. Generally, to achieve a consistent snug fit, the mean diameter at any given height of the inner surface 32 of the wrap 10 will be less than the mean diameter of the outer surface 13 of the bucket 12 at the same height. Thus, the elastic nature of the sheet 5 that forms the wrap 10 will provide secure attachment of the wrap 10 to the outer surface 13 of the bucket 12 without bulges or bubbles forming in the wrap 10 or between the wrap 10 and the outer surface 13 of the bucket 12 (see FIG. 3), and without the need for adhesives or any other form of attachment. Of course, adhesives and other forms of attachment may alternatively be used to secure the wrap 10 to the bucket 12 in other embodiments of the present disclosure.

In addition to its unique structural features and resulting appearance, the sheet 5 further defines two generally flat and circular contact surfaces 50, 52. Unlike the otherwise textured surface of the wrap 10, the contact surfaces 50, 52 are smooth and generally flat when the sheet 5 is laying flat as depicted in FIG. 1. Raised rims 54, 56 encircle the perimeter of each of the contact surfaces 50, 52, thereby establishing a structural border between the smooth contact surfaces 50, 52 and the textured surface of the wrap 10. The contact surfaces 50, 52 are shaped and sized to accept one or more patches or inserts 58. The patch 58 is preferably configured to be positioned on the contact surface 50 within the rim 54 or on the contact surface 52 within the rim 56. Like the wrap 10, the patch 58 is constructed of a pliant sheet of material that can readily be shaped by hand to the contours of the one or more of the contact surfaces 50, 52. However, the patch may be constructed of any variety of materials, so long as it may be attached to one of the contact surfaces 50, 52.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 2-5, the edges 18 and 20 are permanently joined along their full lengths with a permanent adhesive (not shown). In the embodiment of FIGS. 4-5, the patch 58 is attached to the wrap 10 with an adhesive. Numerous other methods may be employed to secure or join the edges 18 and 20 together and attach the patch 58 to the contact surface 50 or 52, such as for example, various adhesives, ultrasonic welding, tape, hook and loop strips, buttons, snaps, looped string or thread, slots and tabs, or any of a myriad of other fastening means and devices. Further, the edges 18 and 20 may alternatively be removably joined.

As can be appreciated and as is evident from the embodiments presented in this disclosure, the simulation of the sporting goods product need not be exact nor to scale. However, the simulation should present the appearance and tactile structure of the desired article

Of course, the configuration of the wrap 10 is not limited to simulating a sporting goods ball or item, but may be configured to simulate any variety of items, such as for example, an animal, a plant, a building, or a product or good. Further, the wrap 10 may be configured to simulate abstract concepts, such as for example a theme. One such theme, for example, could be a representation of a jungle with tactile plant and animal features configured on the outer surface 30 of the sheet 5.

The description herein is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of that which is described are intended to be within the scope of the teachings. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the teachings.