Title:
Insulating Beverage Container Sleeve and Label
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a sleeve adapted to slidably receive and engage the outer sidewall of a container such as a cup, a conic object or a cylinder. The sleeve is comprised of a minimum of 40% less material currently used in the industry, by creating a cylinder from a cut, or several cuts of a flat material. The basis of the invention is that current similar objects engage in covering the complete diameter of a cup, conic object or a sleeve in order to engage the outer sidewall. The innovation comprises of using half the circumference plus 5% to 10% depending on the surface and material used—still producing the same result, while saving material.



Inventors:
Warner, Katya (Miami, FL, US)
Application Number:
14/039583
Publication Date:
04/02/2015
Filing Date:
09/27/2013
Assignee:
WARNER KATYA
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
493/276
International Classes:
B65D81/38
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
PAGAN, JAVIER A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALEONLAW, P.C. (ALBUQUERQUE, NM, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A beverage cup sleeve capably of slidably receiving and engaging a beverage container, the sleeve comprising: a. a sleeve body manufactured from a flat section of malleable material, the sleeve body comprising a top length, a bottom length, a right edge, a left edge, an outside surface and an inside surface; and b. one or more slits through the material starting to the right of the left edge and ending to the left of the right edge, a right flap the area between the termination of the slits and the right edge, and a left flap in the area between the termination of the slits and the left edge, the body further comprising strips of material above and below the slits, each slit's length being one half the circumference of a corresponding section of a beverage cup for which the sleeve is manufactured.

2. The beverage cup sleeve capably of slidably receiving and engaging a beverage container of claim 1, wherein the beverage cup sleeve is manufactured from a malleable material selected from the group consisting of cardboard, corrugated cardboard, paperboard, plastic mesh, solid plastic, neoprene, cotton and thick fabric.

3. The beverage cup sleeve capably of slidably receiving and engaging a beverage container of claim 1, wherein the inside surface, outside surface, or inside and outside surfaces can be printed with ink to show a color, a logo, words, pictures or other pre-determined symbols or shapes.

4. The beverage cup sleeve capably of slidably receiving and engaging a beverage container of claim 1, wherein the inside surface, outside surface, or inside and outside surfaces can be receive a label, the label being selected from the group consisting of a logo, a pre-determined set of symbols capably of forming words, pictures or other pre-determined symbols or shapes.

5. The beverage cup sleeve capably of slidably receiving and engaging a beverage container of claim 1, wherein the inside surface, outside surface, or inside and outside surfaces can be embossed with a series of lines, the series of lines creating an image being selected from the group consisting of a logo, words, pictures or other pre-determined symbols or shapes.

6. A method of manufacturing a beverage cup sleeve, the method comprising the steps of: a. stamping or cutting a flat piece of material to create a top, a bottom, and two sides and one or more slits between the two sides, and scoring the material in such a way that the areas above and below the slits can be separated in opposite directions; b. applying paste to two flaps made up of material between the slits and the each side of the material; c. separating the material above and below the slits in opposite directions; d. folding the material along the score marks; and e. pressing the flaps downward against the adjacent material to result in a round cross-section.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

I hereby claim the benefit under Title 35, United States Code Section 119(e) of any United States Provisional Application(s) listed below:

Application Ser. No.: 61/849,728

Filing Date: Feb. 1, 2013

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Non-applicable

THE NAMES OF PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT

Non-applicable

INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC

Non-applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to insulating, grasping and labeling devices, and more particularly to a beverage container sleeve and label.

2. Description of the Related Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 37 CFR 1.98

The following description of the art related to the present invention refers to a number of publications and references. Discussion of such publications herein is given to provide a more complete background of the principles related to the present invention and is not to be construed as an admission that such publications are necessarily prior art for patentability determination purposes.

Coffee, Tea and other hot beverage container sleeves, also known as coffee sleeves, coffee clutches, hot cup jackets, paper zarfs, card-zarfs and cup holders, are roughly cylindrical sleeves that fit tightly over handle-less disposable beverage cups.

Beverage container sleeves' main purpose is to insulate the drinker's hands from the heat emanated by hot beverages through the container's wall. Secondary purposes include, but are not limited to: (1) facilitate grasping of the beverage container; and (2) provide the means to design and make, and/or space, for a label. Such a label comprises logos, messages, drawings and distinctive colors.

Beverage container sleeves are typically made of textured paperboard, but can be made using other disposable or non-disposable materials. Disposable beverage container sleeves allow coffee houses, fast food restaurants, and other hot beverage sellers to avoid double-cupping, the practice of using two or more nested paper cups to insulate a single hot beverage. Non-disposable beverage container sleeves can be made of more durable materials and are generally purchased by consumers for their hot beverages.

Coffee is one of the most cherished and widely consumed beverages in the world. Coffee's stimulating caffeine effect and unique taste makes it a preferred drink for people to start their day. According to Live Science, over 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day, which shows just how popular this beverage is. Coffee sleeves have become a dire necessity for the consumers who are regularly on the move and who purchase their coffee “to-go.” Most coffee houses offer coffee sleeves in order to ameliorate the burning effect of grasping an unprotected cup containing a very hot beverage. An alternative is to offer coffee in doubled cups if too hot. By using coffee sleeves you not only remove the burning factor but also keep retail costs low by avoiding double cupping. The same can be held true for other hot beverages, i.e. hot cocoa, tea, apple cider, etc.

Disposable and compostable hot beverage container sleeves provide the added advantage of protecting the environment. Many sleeves currently on the market are recyclable, thus minimizing the environmental effect of disposing of non-recylcable materials. An even more desirable environmental effect could be achieved if the amount of material used to make an effective sleeve can be significantly reduced.

Insulating beverage container sleeves have traditionally been constructed to wrap around the object using the complete circumference of the object plus an additional length to paste or join the cylinder/cone label together. Solutions to reduce material have focused on using thinner materials, and reducing the surface area of current insulating sleeves, beverage container holders and labels. Unfortunately, there has not been a solution to radically reduce the amount of materials used.

At a minimum, there is a need for insulating beverage container sleeves and holders that comprise the characteristics listed below: (1) adequate insulation, (2) comfortable handling, (3) environmental friendliness, (4) relatively low manufacturing cost, (5) low material requirement (in some cases less than 40% of the material when compared with current solutions), and (6) rapid preparation for use on a cup.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Objects, advantages and novel features, and further scope of applicability of the present invention will be set forth in part in the detailed description to follow, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. The objects, advantages and novel features, and further scope of applicability of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

The present application discloses and claims a unique sleeve adapted to slidably receive and engage the outer sidewall of a beverage container such as a cup, a conical object or a cylinder. The sleeve comprises approximately 40% less material currently used in the industry, by creating a cylinder from a cut, or several cuts in a flat material. The rationale behind the present invention is that the length of material required to manufacture prior art objects is the complete circumference of a cup, conical object or a sleeve in order to engage the outer sidewall. One of the principal inventive aspects of the present invention is that it uses approximately one half of the amount of material required to manufacture most of the sleeves of the prior art, plus 5% to 10% depending on the surface and material used, while still producing the same insulating, grasping and labeling result. The present invention is produced using substantially less material than the prior art sleeves through a simple process of cutting, folding and pasting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated into and form a part of the specification, illustrate an embodiment of the present invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. The drawings are only for the purpose of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention and are not to be construed as limiting the invention.

FIG. 1: is a frontal perspective view of the sleeve of the present invention.

FIG. 2: is a top view of the sleeve of the present invention.

FIG. 3: is an inverted top view of the sleeve of the present invention.

FIG. 4: is a side view of the sleeve of the present invention.

FIG. 5: is a frontal view of various designs of the sleeve preform of the present invention.

FIG. 6: is a frontal view of various designs of the sleeve preform of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is manufactured from a single, planate piece of malleable material, such as cardboard, corrugated cardboard, paperboard, plastic mesh, solid plastic, neoprene, cotton and other thick fabrics and materials commonly found in the art. The material used may be capable of receiving printing, an adhesive label and/or embossing on one or both sides. In the preferred embodiment, the material is printed on one or both sides with a logo, a motto, a pattern, a color or similar decoration or designation of origin.

In manufacturing the invention, the material is trimmed to size and two or more slits (8) are cut across the material. This can be achieved by cutting or stamping the material. In the preferred method of manufacture, the cutting and trimming is performed by a single pass of a slitter-scorer. The resultant body (1) of the sleeve comprises a top length (2), a bottom length (3), a left edge (4), a right edge (5), a front or outside surface (6) and a back or inside surface (7). After the slits (8) have been made, the body (1) of the sleeve comprises three or more horizontal strips (9) above and below the slits (8) that are capable of moving independently from one another. The slits (8) extend all the way through the material, from the outside surface (6) to the inside surface (7). However, the slits (8) do not extend all the way to the two edges (4, 5). The slits terminate before reaching the edges, and the resulting areas between the termination of the slits and the right and left edges form the right flap (10) and the left flap (11). These flaps are glued down during manufacture to stabilize the sleeve and hold its shape. Multiple embodiments of the preform (12) after cutting and trimming are shown in FIGS. 5 and 6.

In the preferred embodiment, as depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6, the top length (2) is longer than the bottom length (3). If both lengths are equal, the preform is rectangular and the result of gluing the flaps (10, 11) down is a cylinder. A cylindrical embodiment may have some usefulness, but standard beverage cups are tapered. In order to be useful for the most commonly used hot beverage cups, the lengths of the top and bottom are different, resulting in a conical frustum when the sleeve is assembled. In the conical frustum embodiments, the slits (8) and the corresponding strips (9) are different lengths. The top slit (13) is the longest because the resultant strips encircle a tapered cup in an area where it has a larger diameter. Each slit below the top slit is progressively shorter. The bottom slit (14) is the shortest, since it wraps around a narrower area of the cup. The difference in slit length is clearly depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6.

The length of each slit (8) is determined by the type of beverage container the sleeve is made to envelop. The amount that the beverage container tapers and the ideal height of the sleeve on the beverage container will be the key factors in determining length of the slits (8), as well as the top length (2) and bottom length (3) of the sleeve body (1). In the preferred embodiment, the length of each slit (8) is equal to one half the circumference of the cross-section of the cup at the position where the slit will sit on the cup when the sleeve is placed on the cup.

To facilitate the truncated conical formation, the top (2) and bottom lengths (3) of the sleeve body are slightly arched in the preferred embodiment. The horizontal slits (8) are also arched in the preferred embodiment, as pictured at the top of FIG. 5. All of the curves of the two lengths (2, 3) and the slits (8) are identical in the preferred embodiment. There are alternate embodiments wherein the slits (8), the lengths (2, 3) and/or the edges (4, 5) are not a simple rounded shape. They can be wavy, zigzaged, have protrusions or recesses to cause variations in the aesthetic look of the finished sleeve. Some examples of these alternative embodiment preforms are shown in FIGS. 5 and 6.

In the preferred embodiment a series of lines (15) are scored into the surface of the preform (12). The scoring can also all be done on the front (6) and back (7) or on one surface only. The scoring (15) is depicted as dotted lines in FIGS. 5 and 6. In the preferred embodiment, four areas are scored. The first scored area (15a) is at the interface between the slits (8) and the left flap (11). The second scored area (15d) is at the interface between the slits (8) and the right flap (10). The third scored area (15b) is on every other strip (16) starting with the topmost strip (odd numbered strips). The scoring (15b) is in the identical location on every odd numbered strip (16). The fourth scored area (15c) is on every other strip (17) starting with the second strip from the top (even numbered strips). The scoring (15c) is in the identical location on every even numbered strip (17). In the preferred embodiment, the third (15b) and fourth (15c) scored areas do not line up with one another. They are offset, as depicted in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6.

In order to begin assembly of the sleeve preform (12) into a finished sleeve, the even (17) and odd numbered strips (16) are separated in opposite directions from one another. Then the strips are folded along the third (15b) and fourth scored areas (15c). This results in the configuration depicted in FIG. 4. FIG. 4 also clearly demonstrates the fact that the sleeve of the present invention can be manufactured using a fraction of the material required to produce traditional beverage sleeves. In the preferred embodiments, paste is applied to the back surface (7) of one flap and the front surface of the other flap prior to folding. The flaps are then folded downward along the first (15a) and second (15d) scored areas, with the pasted side facing the strips (9). This adheres each flap to the even or odd numbered half of the strips (16 or 17), so that the flaps do not stick up in the finished product.

The finished sleeve is shaped like a truncated cone, as depicted in FIG. 1. The sleeve is ready to receive the base of a beverage cup and to be slid upward on the cup until it is firmly engaged to the cup. The top view of the final shape of the sleeve is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The difference between FIGS. 2 and 3 is which side of each flap receives the paste. In one embodiment, the right flap (10) is glued on the front (6) and the left flap (11) is glued on the back (7). In the other embodiment, the strips are folded in the opposite direction; the right flap (10) is glued on the back (7), and the left flap (11) is glued on the front (6).