Title:
CONTAINER WITH ATTACHABLE RETRIEVAL MEANS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container for the storage of goods within a cavity of the container. The container includes retrieval means configured to be detachably coupled with an attachment mechanism in the cavity of the container. A rim and opening of the cavity of the container is angled with respect to a horizontal plane. The container may include a lid for engaging with the rim and/or side walls of the container to substantially close or seal off the opening and, thereby, the cavity. The lid may be configured to form a substantially horizontal top surface, or a top surface that is angled with respect a horizontal plane when it is engaged with the rim of the container. The lid may include a lip or side wall that allows two containers with angled top surfaces to be securely stacked on each other on the top surfaces.



Inventors:
Cholhan, Remy (Rochester, NY, US)
Lapan, Kameron (Moreau, NY, US)
Cholhan, Hilary J. (Rochester, NY, US)
Application Number:
15/032447
Publication Date:
09/15/2016
Filing Date:
10/24/2014
Assignee:
CHOPRIX LLC (Rochester, NY, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D77/24; B65D1/02; B65D21/02; B65D23/10; B65D43/06; B65D51/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
KIRSCH, ANDREW THOMAS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HESLIN ROTHENBERG FARLEY & MESITI PC (ALBANY, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A container for storing goods therein, comprising: a container body including a base and side walls, the base and side walls forming a cavity for the storage of goods therein, and the side walls including a rim that defines an opening into the cavity; a lid configured to engage the rim of the container body in a first orientation to substantially close the opening; and a retrieval means configured to be removably coupled with an attachment mechanism provided on the side walls of the container body, wherein the container body is configured such that the rim is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface.

2. The container of claim 1, wherein the rim is angled from a horizontal plane between about 5 degrees and about 45 degrees.

3. The container of claim 1, wherein the lid forms a substantially horizontal top surface when the lid is engaged with the rim and the base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface.

4. The container of claim 1, wherein the lid forms a top surface that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the lid is engaged with the rim and the base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface.

5. The container of claim 4, wherein the lid includes a lip extending from the top surface.

6. The container of claim 5, wherein the lip extends about a portion of the periphery of the lid that is proximate to the lowest portion of the angled top surface.

7. The container of claim 1, wherein the lid includes a side wall extending about the periphery of the lid and away from a top surface of the lid that is configured to engage at least one of the rim and the side walls of the container proximate to the rim, and wherein at least a portion of the side wall of the lid is angled with respect to an underside of the top surface of the lid at an obtuse or acute angle.

8. The container of claim 1, wherein the container includes at least one first alignment indicator and the lid includes at least one second alignment indicator, the at least one first and second alignment indicators configured to provide at least one of a visual and tactile indication of the relative orientation of the container and the lid to facilitate orientation of the lid into the first orientation.

9. The container of claim 1, wherein the attachment mechanism of the container body is proximate to the rim and distal to the base.

10. The container of claim 9, wherein the side walls of the container body include a neck portion, and wherein the attachment mechanism is provided on the neck portion.

11. The container of claim 1, wherein the attachment mechanism on the side walls of the container body is an open-ended sleeve.

12. The container of claim 1, wherein the attachment mechanism is positioned on the interior of the side walls of the container body and includes a cavity.

13. The container of claim 12, wherein the retrieval means includes an elongate handle portion configured to extend into the cavity of the attachment mechanism.

14. The container of claim 12, wherein the retrieval means includes a projection configured to extend into the cavity of the attachment mechanism.

15. The container of claim 14, wherein the retrieval means includes an elongate handle portion and a container portion, and wherein the projection extends from the container portion and is substantially parallel to the handle portion.

16. The container of claim 14, wherein the retrieval means includes an elongate handle portion and a container portion, and wherein the projection extends from the container portion and is substantially perpendicular to the handle portion.

17. The container of claim 14, wherein the retrieval means includes an elongate handle portion and a container portion, and wherein the projection extends from a free end of the handle portion and is substantially parallel to the handle portion.

18. The container of claim 1, wherein the attachment mechanism of the container body includes a projection or aperture, wherein the retrieval means includes the other of the projection or aperture as compared to the attachment mechanism, and wherein the projection and the aperture are configured to removably couple the container body and the retrieval means when the projection is received within the aperture.

19. The container of claim 1, wherein the attachment mechanism of the container body includes a plurality of deflectable or deformable projections, and wherein the deflectable or deformable projections are configured to apply a compressive force to the retrieval means when the retrieval means is positioned between the projections.

20. The container of claim 1, wherein the retrieval means includes an elongate handle portion and a container portion provided at an end of the elongate handle portion.

21. The container of claim 20, wherein the elongate handle portion of the retrieval means includes a hinge mechanism configured to allow a portion of the handle portion that is distal to the container portion to pivot with respect to a portion of the handle portion that is proximate to the container portion.

22. A container for storing goods therein, comprising: a container body including a base and side walls, the base and side walls forming a cavity for the storage of goods therein, the side walls including an attachment mechanism within the cavity and a rim defining an opening into the cavity that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface; a lid configured to engage the rim of the container body for substantially closing the opening; and a retrieval means configured to be removably coupled with the attachment means of the container body, wherein the lid forms a top surface that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the lid is engaged with the rim and the base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface, and wherein the lid includes a lip extending from the top surface about a portion of the periphery of the lid that is proximate to the lowest positioned portion of the top surface.

23. The container of claim 22, wherein the top surface and lip of the lid are configured to engage a second lid of a second container to facilitate substantially secure stacking of the container and the second container on the lid and second lid, respectively.

24. The container of claim 23, wherein a second top surface of the second lid is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the second container is substantially securely stacked on the container.

25. A goods storage system, comprising: a first container comprising: a first container body including a first base and first side walls, the first base and first side walls forming a first cavity for the storage of goods therein, the first side walls including a first rim defining a first opening into the first cavity that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the first base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface; and a first lid configured to engage the first rim of the first container body for substantially closing the first opening, wherein the first lid forms a first top surface that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the first lid is engaged with the first rim and the first base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface, and wherein the first lid includes a first lip extending from the first top surface about a portion of the periphery of the first lid that is proximate to the lowest positioned portion of the first top surface when the first lid is engaged with the first rim and the first base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface; and a second container comprising: a second container body including a second base and second side walls, the second base and second side walls forming a second cavity for the storage of goods therein, the second side walls including a second rim defining a second opening into the second cavity that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the second base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface; and a second lid configured to engage the second rim of the second container body for substantially closing the second opening, wherein the second lid forms a second top surface that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the second lid is engaged with the second rim and the second base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface, and wherein the second lid includes a second lip extending from the second top surface about a portion of the periphery of the second lid that is proximate to the lowest positioned portion of the second top surface when the second lid is engaged with the second rim and the second base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface, wherein the first container and the second container are configured to be substantially securely stacked on one another via the first and second lids thereof such that the first top surface of the first lid and the second top surface of the second lid are in abutment, the first lip of the first lid engages a portion of the second lid that is void of the second lip, and the second lip of the second lid engages a portion of the first lid that is void of the first lip.

26. The goods storage system of claim 25, wherein, when the first container and the second container are substantially securely stacked via the first and second lids thereof, the first lip of the first container and the second lip of the second container substantially oppose each other.

27. The goods storage system of claim 25, wherein the first container and the second container are configured to be substantially securely vertically stacked via the first and second lids thereof when one of the first or second bases is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface.

28. The goods storage system of claim 25, wherein at least one of the first and second containers includes a retrieval means configured to be removably coupled with an attachment mechanism provided on the respective container.

29. The goods storage system of claim 28, wherein the attachment mechanism is positioned on the interior of the respective side walls of the respective container body and includes a third cavity, and wherein the retrieval means includes a member configured to extend into the third cavity to removably couple the retrieval means and the attachment mechanism.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This non-provisional PCT application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/896,159 filed on Oct. 28, 2013, and entitled “Container with Attachable Scoop,” the entirety of which is hereby included herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of containers for various products, and, in particular, to containers with attachable retrieval means that facilitate the use of the retrieval means to retrieve the contents of the container and that facilitate retrieval of the final contents of the container when the retrieval means is no longer an effective instrument.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Many goods, such as but not limited to foodstuff, are purchased and/or stored in containers that allow for incremental or partial use of the goods. For example, dry goods, semi-dry goods and liquid goods are purchased and/or stored in containers that provide storage and access to the goods over an extended period of time to allow for incremental use of the goods. A spoon, scoop or other goods retrieval means is typically utilized by a user to incrementally remove the goods from the container. The retrieval means may also be utilized as a measuring device to allow for measured incremental or partial use of the goods.

Occasionally, the retrieval means is provided and/or stored within the container itself to allow for dedicated use of the retrieval means with the goods, to prevent contamination for example. Storage of the retrieval means within the container also allows for quick and easy access to the retrieval means. Further, when the retrieval means is utilized as a measuring device, storage of the retrieval means within the container provides for quick and accurate dosage or measurement of the goods.

While various prior art containers with retrieval means used for dry goods, semi-dry goods, and liquid goods are known, the prior art fails in several regards. First, prior container and retrieval means designs prevent easy access to the retrieval means. For example, when the retrieval means is stored within the container, the goods also provided within the container may bury or otherwise hide the retrieval means from the user. The user thereby needs to manually search through the goods for the retrieval means. The retrieval means may become buried or covered by the goods during shipping, handling, or via gravity or settling. Also, the retrieval means may become buried or covered by the goods before the user first opens the container (when the retrieval means is provided within the container by manufacture), and/or through continued use of the container and goods after initially opening the container.

Another drawback of prior containers and retrieval means involves the difficulty of retrieving the final goods or contents of the container when the scoop is no longer an efficient instrument. While the retrieval means may be effective at incrementally removing the goods from the container while a substantial amount of goods are still contained within the container, the retrieval means may be ineffective when a limited amount of goods are left within the container (i.e., the container is almost empty).

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to overcome one or more of the above-described drawbacks and/or disadvantages of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a container for storing goods therein that includes a container body, a lid, and a retrieval means. The container body may include a base and side walls, with the base and the side walls forming a cavity for the storage of goods therein. The side walls may include a rim that defines an opening into the cavity. The lid may be configured to engage the rim of the container body in a first orientation to substantially close the opening. The retrieval means may be configured to be removably coupled with an attachment mechanism provided on an interior of the side walls of the container body. The container body may be configured such that the rim is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface.

In some embodiments, the rim may be angled from a horizontal plane between about 5 degrees and about 45 degrees. In some embodiments, the lid may form a substantially horizontal top surface when the lid is engaged with the rim and the base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface.

In some embodiments, the lid may form a top surface that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the lid is engaged with the rim and the base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. In some such embodiments, the lid may include a lip extending from the top surface. In some such embodiments, the lip may extend about a portion of the periphery of the lid that is proximate to the lowest portion of the angled top surface.

In some embodiments, the lid may include a side wall extending about the periphery of the lid and away from a top surface of the lid that is configured to engage at least one of the rim and the side walls of the container proximate to the rim, and at least a portion of the side wall may be angled with respect to an underside of the top surface of the lid at an obtuse or acute angle. In some embodiments, the container may include at least one first alignment indicator and the lid may include at least one second alignment indicator, and the at least one first and second alignment indicators may be configured to provide at least one of a visual and/or tactile indication of the relative orientation of the container and the lid to facilitate orientation of the lid into the first orientation.

In some embodiments, the attachment mechanism of the container body may be proximate to the rim and distal to the base. In some such embodiments, the side walls of the container body may include a neck portion, and the attachment mechanism may be provided on the neck portion. In some embodiments, the attachment mechanism on the side walls of the container body may include an open-ended sleeve.

In some embodiments, the attachment mechanism on the side walls of the container body may include a cavity. In some such embodiments, the retrieval means may include an elongate handle portion configured to extend into the cavity of the attachment mechanism. In some other such embodiments, the retrieval means may include a projection configured to extend into the cavity of the attachment mechanism. In some such embodiments, the retrieval means may include an elongate handle portion and a container portion, and the projection may extend from the container portion and extend substantially parallel or substantially perpendicular to the handle portion. In some other such embodiments, the retrieval means may include an elongate handle portion and a container portion, and the projection may extend from a free end of the handle portion and extend substantially parallel to the handle portion.

In some embodiments, the attachment mechanism of the container body may include a projection or aperture, and the retrieval means may include the other of the projection or aperture as compared to the attachment mechanism. In such an embodiment, the projection and the aperture may be configured to removably couple the container body and the retrieval means to one another when the projection is received within the aperture. In some embodiments, the attachment mechanism of the container body may include a plurality of deflectable or deformable projections configured to apply a compressive force to the retrieval means when the retrieval means is positioned between the projections.

In some embodiments, the retrieval means may include an elongate handle portion and a container portion provided at an end of the elongate handle portion. In some such embodiments, the elongate handle portion of the retrieval means may include a hinge mechanism configured to allow a portion of the handle portion that is distal to the container portion to pivot with respect to a portion of the handle portion that is proximate to the container portion.

In another aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a container for storing goods therein that includes a container body including a base and side walls, a lid with a lip extending from a top surface of the lid, and a retrieval means. The base and side walls form a cavity for the storage of goods therein. The side walls include an attachment mechanism within the cavity and a rim defining an opening into the cavity that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. The lid is configured to engage the rim of the container body for substantially closing the opening. The retrieval means is configured to be removably coupled with the attachment means of the container body. The top surface of the lid is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the lid is engaged with the rim and the base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. The lip extends from the top surface of the lid about a portion of the periphery of the lid that is proximate to the lowest positioned portion of the top surface.

In some embodiments, the top surface and lip of the lid may be configured to engage a second lid of a second container to facilitate substantially secure stacking of the container and the second container on the lid and second lid, respectively. In some such embodiments, a second top surface of the second lid may be angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the second container is stacked on the container.

In another aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a goods storage system. The system includes a first container and a second container. The first container includes a first container body including a first base and first side walls, the first base and first side walls forming a first cavity for the storage of goods therein, the first side walls including a first rim defining a first opening into the first cavity that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the first base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. The first container further includes a first lid configured to engage the first rim of the first container body for substantially closing the first opening. The first lid forms a first top surface that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the first lid is engaged with the first rim and the first base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. The first lid includes a first lip extending from the first top surface about a portion of the periphery of the first lid that is proximate to the lowest positioned portion of the first top surface when the first lid is engaged with the first rim and the first base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. The second container includes a second container body including a second base and second side walls, the second base and second side walls forming a second cavity for the storage of goods therein, the second side walls including a second rim defining a second opening into the second cavity that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the second base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. The second container further includes a second lid configured to engage the second rim of the second container body for substantially closing the second opening. The second lid forms a second top surface that is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the second lid is engaged with the second rim and the second base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. The second lid includes a second lip extending from the second top surface about a portion of the periphery of the second lid that is proximate to the lowest positioned portion of the second top surface when the second lid is engaged with the second rim and the second base is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. The first container and the second container are configured to be substantially securely stacked on one another via the first and second lids thereof such that the first top surface of the first lid and the second top surface of the second lid are in abutment, the first lip of the first lid engages a portion of the second lid that is void of the second lip, and the second lip of the second lid engages a portion of the first lid that is void of the first lip.

In some embodiments, when the first container and the second container are substantially securely stacked via the first and second lids thereof, the first lip of the first container and the second lip of the second container may substantially oppose each other. In some embodiments, the first container and the second container may be configured to be substantially securely vertically stacked via the first and second lids thereof when one of the first or second bases is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. In some embodiments, at least one of the first and second containers may include a retrieval means configured to be removably coupled with an attachment mechanism provided on the respective container. In some such embodiments, the attachment mechanism may be positioned on the interior of the respective side walls of the respective container body and may include a third cavity. In some embodiments, the retrieval means may include a member configured to extend into the third cavity to removably couple the retrieval means and the attachment mechanism.

Other objects, aspects and advantages of the container with attachable retrieval means of the present invention, and/or of the currently preferred embodiments thereof, will become more readily apparent in view of the following detailed description of the currently preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a container of the present disclosure in an open arrangement;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the container of FIG. 1 in a closed arrangement;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a container of the present disclosure in an open arrangement;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the container of FIG. 3 in a closed arrangement;

FIG. 5 is an elevational perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a container lid of the present disclosure;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the container lid of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view illustrating engagement of the container lid of FIG. 5 with a container of the of the present disclosure;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the container lid and the container of FIG. 7 in a closed arrangement;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of two closed containers of FIG. 8 illustrating a stacking arrangement of the containers;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a container in an open arrangement illustrating engagement of a container lid according to the present disclosure;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view the container of FIG. 10 in a closed arrangement;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of two closed containers of the container of FIG. 11 illustrating a stacking arrangement of the containers;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the two stacked closed containers of FIG. 11;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the container and container lid of FIGS. 5-9 detachably coupled with an exemplary retrieval means of the present disclosure;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of the container of FIGS. 10-13 detachably coupled with an exemplary retrieval means of the present disclosure;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of an exemplary retrieval means and attachment mechanism of the present disclosure;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of an exemplary retrieval means of the present disclosure;

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an exemplary retrieval means and attachment mechanism of the present disclosure;

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of an exemplary retrieval means and attachment mechanism of the present disclosure;

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of an exemplary retrieval means and attachment mechanism of the present disclosure;

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of an exemplary retrieval means and attachment mechanism of the present disclosure;

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of an exemplary retrieval means and attachment mechanism of the present disclosure;

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of an exemplary retrieval means and attachment mechanism of the present disclosure;

FIG. 24 is a perspective view of an exemplary retrieval means and attachment mechanism of the present disclosure;

FIG. 25 is a perspective view of an exemplary retrieval means and attachment mechanism of the present disclosure;

FIG. 26 is a perspective view of an exemplary retrieval means and attachment mechanism of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 27 is a top view of the retrieval means and attachment mechanism of FIG. 26.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In FIGS. 1-2, an exemplary goods container of the present disclosure is indicated generally by the reference numeral 10. As shown in FIGS. 1-2, the container 10 may be suitable to hold, store or otherwise contain goods or contents therein. The goods or contents may be dry goods (e.g., dry foodstuff, such as protein powders, various nutritional/supplement powders, drink-mixes, baking ingredients, etc., dry foods, or dry non-foodstuff, such as dry non-foodstuff powders and granulated goods), semi-dry goods (e.g., semi-dry foodstuff, such as peanut butter, jams or jellies, or semi-dry non-foodstuff) or liquid goods. The goods may be goods that lend themselves to incremental use, such as via incremental removal of the goods from the container 10. The container 10 may be made from any material, such as food-grade material, non-food grade material or a combination thereof. The container 10 may be made from plastics, metals, glass, ceramics, wood or other natural materials, or combinations thereof. For example, at least a portion of the container 10 may be formed via standard plastics manufacturing, such as extrusion blow molding, injection blow molding, stretch blow molding, injection molding, co-extrusion blow molding for multi-layer containers, etc. As another example, at least a portion of the container 10 may be formed via typical cardboard manufacturing with a plastic or metal portion (such as a plastic or metal rim, as described further below).

The container 10 (and the other containers described herein) may be advantageous in that it prevents a retrieval means or scoop from being mixed with or otherwise being “lost” in the goods in the container 10, provides an easily accessible location or arrangement of the retrieval means, allows for improved use of the retrieval means to retrieve goods from the container 10 with the retrieval means, and allows the user to utilize all of the goods or contents in the container 10.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the container 10 may include a container body 12 and a container lid 14. The body 12 and lid 14 may be configured to mate or otherwise engage such that the lid substantially encloses an internal cavity 16 formed by the body 12. The body 12 may include a base 18 and one or more side walls 20 extending at least generally vertically from the base 18. The base 18 may be substantially solid and include a substantially flat or level exterior surface or members such that the base 18 lies substantially horizontal (i.e., lies on a horizontal plane) when placed on a horizontal surface. The side walls 20 of the container 10 may be substantially solid and extend from and about the base 18 to form the cavity 16 between the side walls 20 and the base 18. The side walls 20 may form or include a rim 22 at a top portion of the container 10 that defines an opening, passageway, or access aperture into the cavity 16, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In some embodiments, the rim 22 may be a separate and distinct component attached or coupled to the top portion of the side wall 20 of the body 12, such as a metal or plastic rim 22. In other embodiments, the rim 22 may be integral with the side wall 20 of the body 12.

The body 12 and corresponding lid 14 of the container 10 may form any shape, such as cylindrical, oval, square, octagonal or any other shape or combination thereof. In some embodiments, the side walls 20 of the body 12 may extend substantially vertically from the base 18 when the base 18 is oriented substantially horizontally, such as to form a cylindrical shape. However, the side walls 20 of the body 12 may be angled inwardly or outwardly, or a combination thereof, as the side walls 20 extend from the base 18.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the rim 22 of the container 10 may be oriented at an angle with respect to a horizontal plane (when the container 10 is oriented substantially vertically and/or the base 18 is oriented substantially horizontally). As used herein, a “horizontal plane” is a plane that extends substantially parallel to the horizon and substantially perpendicular to the direction of gravity. In some embodiments, the rim 22 of the body 12 of the container 10 may be angled downwardly from a horizontal plane within the range of about 5 degrees to about 45 degrees, or within the range of about 10 degrees to about 35 degrees, as it extends from a first side of the container 10 to an opposing second side of the container 10 (or angled upwardly as it extends from the second side to the first side). The angulation of the rim or opening 22 of the container 10 creates a natural funnel, which allows the user to retrieve and utilize the entirety of the contents within the container 10 by tipping or otherwise reorienting the container 10. Also, as the angulation of the rim or opening 22 of the container 10 creates a larger opening, as compared to a substantially flat rim or opening 22, the angulation of the rim or opening 22 allows easier access to the cavity 16 (and goods therein). For example, a flat or substantially horizontal rim or opening 22 of a cylindrical container 10 would form a circular opening 22, but when the rim or opening 22 is presented at an angle the rim or opening 22 forms an oval or elliptical shape. The larger opening size, due to the angulation of the rim or opening 22, may allow a scoop or other retrieval means to easily enter the cavity 16, easily move within the cavity 16, and easily exit the cavity 16 with a portion of the goods therein.

As shown in FIG. 2, the container lid 14 may be configured such that a top surface 26 of the lid 14 is angled with respect to a horizontal plane when the lid is engaged with the body 12 and the base 18 of the container 10 is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. In some embodiments, the surface 26 of the lid 14 includes an angulation that is substantially similar to the angulation of the rim or opening 22 of the container 10—i.e., angled with about 5 degrees to about 45 degrees from a horizontal plane.

As also shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the lid 14 may include a side wall 24 extending about the periphery of the lid 14 and configured to engage the body 12. The side wall 24 may be configured such that the lid 14 extends over the top aspect of the rim 22 of the body 12 and the side wall 24 of the lid 14 engages the outer or exterior surface of the rim 22 of the body 12 (and/or the side wall 20 of the body 12), as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In some embodiments, the lid 14 may be configured such that the lid 14 and/or side wall 24 thereof elastically deforms when the side wall 24 engages the rim 22 of the body 12. Thereby, when engaged with the rim 22, the side wall 24 of the lid 14 may apply a compressive force to the rim 22 of the body 12 (and/or the side wall 20 of the body 12).

As the shape of the rim 22 (and side walls 20) of the body 12 and the corresponding lid 14 may not be uniform or symmetrical in shape (e.g., a circular shape), the lid 14 may only mate with the rim 22 and/or side walls 20 of the container 10 in a limited number of “correct” orientations that substantially close or seal the cavity 16 of the body 12. For example, in the exemplary illustrated embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, the body 12 is substantially cylindrical, and therefore the angled rim or opening 22 necessitates that the lid 14 (including the side wall(s) 24 thereof) be substantially oval or elliptical in shape to substantially close or seal the cavity 16. In this way, the lid 14 may only be capable of mating with the body 12 in two “correct” orientations to substantially close or seal the cavity 16. As further explained below (see FIGS. 5-9), the “low” side of the lid 14 may include a lip that facilitates stable stacking of two containers 10 each including an angled lid 14, and therefore the lid 14 and the body 12 of the container 10 may in fact only have one “correct” relative orientation. To facilitate a “correct” orientation of the lid 14 to the body 12 of the container 10 such that the lid 14 engages the rim 22 (and/or the side walls 20) of the body 12 and the lid 14 substantially closes or seals the cavity 16, the body 12 and the lid 14 may each include at least one corresponding or mating alignment indicator 23, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The at least one alignment indicator 23 provided on each of the body 12 and the lid 14 may be any mechanism or configuration that provides a visual and/or tactile indication of the relative orientation of the body 12 and the lid 14. For example, the at least one alignment indicator 23 provided on each of the body 12 and the lid 14 may include a raised portion, a recessed portion, a contrasting color, a symbol or combinations thereof to provide visual and/or tactile indication to the user of the relative orientation of the body 12 and the lid 14 to assist or facilitate manual relative orientation or alignment of the lid 14 and body 12 by the user into a “correct” orientation thereof. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the at least one alignment indicator 23 provided on each of the body 12 and the lid 14 may be configured such that when the lid 14 is engaged or coupled to the body 12 at the rim 22, the alignment indicator 23 of the lid 14 is aligned or joined with the alignment indicator 23 of the body 12. As also shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the body 12 and the lid 14 may each include a plurality of corresponding or mating alignment indicators 23 positioned about the periphery thereof. The at least one alignment indicator 23 provided on the body 12 and/or the lid 14 may be provided on an exterior surface thereof, such as an exterior surface of the side wall 24 of the lid 14 and the exterior surface of the side walls 20 of the body 12. In some embodiments, the at least one alignment indicator 23 provided on the body 12 may be spaced from the rim 22 towards the base 18 of the body 12 such as to not interfere with the engagement of the side wall 24 of the lid 14 with the rim 22 and/or side walls 20 of the body 12 proximate to the rim 22. In some embodiments (not shown), the at least one alignment indicator 23 provided on each of the body 12 and the lid 14 may include mating internally-facing and externally-facing mechanisms, such as a ridge and a slot, that are configured to mechanically align the lid 14 and the body 12 (and, potentially, maintain such alignment) when they are mated.

The interior of the side walls 20 of the body 12 of the container 10 may include at least one attachment mechanism 28, as shown in FIG. 2. The attachment mechanism 28 may be provided proximate to the rim 22 and distal to the base 18. The attachment mechanism 28 may be provided anywhere about the periphery of the side walls 20. As discussed in further detail below, the attachment mechanism 28 is configured to removably or detachably couple with a retrieval means, such as a scoop. In some alternative embodiments (not shown), the container 10 may include a plurality of attachment mechanisms 28 (and/or a plurality of retrieval means).

In FIGS. 3 and 4, another exemplary container according to the present disclosure is indicated generally by the reference numeral 110. The container 110 is substantially similar to the container 10 as described above with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, and therefore like reference numerals preceded by the numeral “1” are used to indicate like elements. The container 110 differs from the container 10 with respect to the configuration of the lid 114. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the lid 114 is configured such that the top surface 126 of the lid 114 is oriented substantially horizontal (i.e., lies on a horizontal plane) when the lid 114 is engaged with the body 112 and the base 118 is positioned on a substantially horizontal surface. The lid 114 may thereby be triangular shaped when viewed from a side of the lid 114 to account for the angulation of the rim and opening 122 of the container 110.

As also shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the lid 114 includes an upper portion 130 and a lower portion 132 as opposed to the side wall 124. The lower portion 132 of the lid 114 is configured to extend into (e.g., abut) the interior surface of the rim 122 and/or the side walls 120 of the body 112 proximate to the rim 122. The upper portion 130 of the lid 114 is configured to rest on the rim 122 when the lower portion 132 is inserted within the rim 122 and/or side walls 120. In this way, the upper portion 130 and a lower portion 132 are configured to seal off or close the opening of the cavity 116. Also, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the upper portion 130 may be triangular or “pie” shaped (when viewed from a side, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4) to account for the angulation of the rim 122 to orient the top surface 126 of the lid 114 substantially horizontal. In this way, the lid 114 may be configured (e.g., the upper portion 130 thereof may be configured) to fill the “empty” space between the lower portion of the angled rim 122 and the horizontal top surface 126.

In FIGS. 5-9, another exemplary container according to the present disclosure is indicated generally by the reference numeral 210. The container 210 is substantially similar to the container 10 is described above with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, and therefore like reference numerals preceded by the numeral “2” are used to indicate like elements. The container 210 differs from the container 10 with respect to the configuration of the lid 214. As shown in FIGS. 5-9, the lid 214 includes a lip, stop surface or side wall 240. The lip 240 may extend from the top surface 226 of the lid 214, and may extend substantially about a portion of the periphery of the lid 214. When assembled with the body 212, the lid 214 may be oriented on the body 212 in an orientation such that the lip 240 is at, or at least proximate to, the lowest portion of the top surface 226. Such orientation of the body 212 and the lid 214 may be facilitated by the at least one alignment indicator 223 on the body 212 and lid 214.

As discussed above, the side wall 224 of the lid 214 may be configured to securely engage or couple with the rim 222 and/or side walls 220 of the body 212 such that the lid 214 substantially closes or seals the cavity 216. As shown in FIG. 6, the side wall 224 of the lid 214 may be configured to account for the angulation of the lid 214 when coupled with a body 212 that includes an angled rim or opening 222. For example, the side wall 224 of the lid 214 may be angled with respect to the top surface 226 (or the underside of the top surface 226) such that when the lid 214 is angled to engage or couple with the body 212, the side wall 224 is oriented or configured to engage the rim 222 and/or side walls 220 of the body 212. In some embodiments, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the portion of the side wall 224 of the lid 214 that engages the “high” side of the body 212 may be angled inwardly or toward the portion of the side wall 224 of the lid 214 that engages the “low” side of the body 212 as it extends away from the top surface 226 or the underside thereof, and the portion of the side wall 224 of the lid 214 that engages the “low” side of the body 212 may be angled outwardly or away from the portion of the side wall 224 of the lid 214 that engages the “high” side of the body 212 as it extends away from the top surface 226 or the underside thereof. The portion of the side wall 224 of the lid 214 that engages the “high” side of the body 212 may thereby be oriented at an acute angle with respect to the interior portion of the top surface 226 and the underside thereof, and the portion of the side wall 224 of the lid 214 that engages the “low” side of the body 212 may thereby be oriented at an obtuse angle with respect to the interior portion of the top surface 226 and the underside thereof. In this way the side wall 224 of the lid 214 may be angled or configured with respect to the top surface 226 of the lid 214 (and the underside thereof) such that the side wall 224 extends substantially vertically when the lid 214 (e.g., the top surface 226) is angled with respect to the angle of the rim or opening 222 (e.g., within the range of about 5 degrees to about 45 degrees). Stated differently, when the lid 214 is angled and engaged or coupled with the body 212 of the container 210, the side wall 224 of the lid 214 may extend substantially parallel (e.g., vertically) to the engaged portions of the side walls 220 of the body 212, as shown in FIG. 7. In alternative embodiments (not shown), the entirety of the side wall 224 of the lid 214 may be angled outwardly away from the interior or center of the lid 214 as the side wall 224 extends away from the top surface 226 and the underside thereof (rather than just the portion of the side wall 224 of the lid 214 that engages the “high” side of the body 212 being angled outwardly).

As shown in FIG. 9, the lid 214 may be configured to mate with a lid 214′ of a second container 210′. Specifically, the top surface 226 and lip 240 may be configured to mate with a lid 214′ of a second container 210′. For example, the top surface 226 and lip 240 may be configured to mate with a top surface 226′ and side wall 224′ of the lid 214′ (and, potentially, the side wall 220′ of the container 210′), respectively, of a second container 210′. The angulations of the lid 214 of the container 210 and the lid 214′ of the second container 210′ may be substantially the same. In this way, as shown in FIG. 9, the container 210 and second container 210′ may be stacked substantially vertically with respect to each other, with the lids 214, 214′ in abutment (with the “low” side of the container 210 in abutment with the “high” side of the second container 210′). In such an arrangement, the lip 240 of the lid 214 of the container 210 may engage the exterior or outer surface of the “high” side of the angled lid 214′ (and/or the side wall 220′) of the second container 210′ to prevent the second container 210′ from sliding off the lid 214. Similarly, the lip 240′ of the lid 214′ of the second container 210′ may engage the exterior or outer surface of the “high” side of the angled lid 214 (and/or the side wall 220) of the container 210 to further prevent the second container 210′ from sliding off the lid 214.

In FIGS. 10-13, another exemplary container according to the present disclosure is indicated generally by the reference numeral 310. The container 310 is substantially similar to the container 210 as described above with reference to FIGS. 5-10, and therefore like reference numerals preceded by the numeral “3,” as opposed to the numeral “2,” are used to indicate like elements. The container 310 differs from the container 210 with respect to the configuration of the side walls 320 and the rim 322 of the body 312. As shown in FIGS. 10-13, the side walls 320 of the container 310 include a neck portion 342 extending between a lower portion of the side walls 320 and the rim 322. The neck portion 342 may form a narrowing portion that reduces or tapers the cavity 316 and the exterior of the container 310 between a lower portion of the container 310 and the rim 322. As shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, the at least one attachment mechanism 328 may be provided proximate to the rim 322 in the neck portion 342.

The neck portion 342 may thereby cause or necessitate the rim 322 and corresponding lid 314 to be sized substantially smaller than the lower portion of the container 314 (e.g., than the lower portion of the cavity 316 and exterior surfaces of the side walls 320). However, as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, the relatively small size of the rim 322 and the lid 314 resulting from the neck portion 342 does not interfere with the stacking or mating ability of the containers 310, 310′ (i.e., does not interfere with the functioning of the rims 322, 322′ and lids 314, 314′ with the lip portions 340, 340′).

As mentioned above, the containers disclosed herein may include a retrieval means configured to removably or detachably couple with the containers, such as to an interior surface of the side walls of the body on the containers. As shown in FIG. 14, the container 210 described above with respect to FIGS. 5-9 may include a retrieval means 250 removably or detachably coupled to the container 210 via an attachment mechanism 228 provided on the interior surface of the side walls 220 of the body 212 of the container 210. In alternative embodiments (not shown), the container 210 may include a retrieval means removably or detachably coupled to the container 210 via an attachment mechanism provided on the exterior surface of the side walls 220 of the body 212 of the container 210. As indicated by the asterisks in FIG. 14, the attachment mechanism 228 may be provided in any number of positions or locations on the side walls 220 of the body 212 (e.g., on the interior and/or exterior thereof). As shown in FIG. 14, the retrieval means 250 may be a scoop or spoon-like device. In alternative embodiments, however, the retrieval means 250 may not be a scoop or spoon-like device, but rather may take any other form capable of being manually used by a user to retrieve the goods or contents contained within the container 210 (and removably or detachably couple with the interior of the container 210).

The attachment mechanism 228 may be configured such that the scoop extends into the cavity 216 from the interior surface of the side wall 220. In this way, the scoop may be easily accessible immediately upon opening of the container 210 via removal of the lid 214. As also shown in FIG. 14, the attachment mechanism 228 may be coupled to the side wall 220 above the contents or goods 244 provided in the cavity 216. In this way, the attachment mechanism 228 may be prevented from becoming mixed within, and potentially hidden in, the contents or goods 244 provided in the cavity 216.

Similar to FIG. 14, FIG. 15 shows the container 310 of FIGS. 10-13 with a retrieval means 350 removably or detachably coupled to the container 310 via an attachment mechanism 328 provided on the interior surface of the neck portion 348 of the side walls 320 of the body 312 of the container 310. The retrieval means 350 of the container 310 may be a scoop or spoon-like device. As indicated by the asterisks in FIG. 15, the attachment mechanism 328 may be provided in any number of positions or locations on the interior of the side walls 320 of the body 312. In some embodiments, the attachment mechanism 328 may be provided on the neck portion 348 of the of the side walls 320 and the retrieval means 350, such as a scoop, may extend or hang at least generally vertically downward toward the base 318 therefrom. In this way, the attachment mechanism 328 may be spaced from the side wall 320 of the body 312 and positioned somewhat internally within the cavity 316. Such an arrangement may make the retrieval means 350 more easily graspable or findable and, thereby, manually decoupled or detached from the attachment mechanism 328 and utilized. As also shown in FIG. 15, the attachment mechanism 328 may be coupled to the side wall 320 above the contents or goods 344 provided in the cavity 316. In this way, the attachment mechanism 328 may be prevented from becoming mixed within, and potentially hidden in, the contents or goods 344 provided in the cavity 316. In some embodiments, the attachment mechanism 328 may be provided on the interior of the side walls 320 of the container 310 on the “high” side of the container 310 (i.e., the side of the container 310 that is proximate to the highest portion of the angled rim 322 or lid 314 and distal to the lowest portion of the angled rim 322 or lid 314). In some embodiments, the attachment mechanism 328 may be provided on the interior of the side walls 320 of the container 310 on the “low” side of the container 310 (i.e., the side of the container 310 that is proximate to the lowest portion of the angled rim 322 or lid 314 and distal to the highest portion of the angled rim 322 or lid 314). In some embodiments, the attachment mechanism 328 may be provided on the interior of the side walls 320 of the container 310 and positioned between the “low” and “high” sides of the container 310 (i.e., between the sides of the container 310 that are proximate to the lowest and highest portions of the angled rim 322 or lid 314, respectively).

It is noted that any of the retrieval means disclosed herein, such as those disclosed in more detail below, may be utilized with any of the containers disclosed or supported by the present disclosure. As such, although a particular retrieval means may be illustrated with a particular container embodiment, the particular retrieval means may be utilized with any of the containers disclosed or supported by the present disclosure (or any portion thereof). As such, the retrieval means disclosed herein below are illustrated with only a portion of an interior or exterior surface of a side wall of a body of a container. The interior or exterior surface of the side wall of the body may be any side wall of any body of any container disclosed or supported by the present disclosure, such as the containers 10, 110, 210 and 310 described above (including any alternative embodiments or variations thereof disclosed or supported by the disclosure).

An exemplary retrieval means 450 according to the present disclosure is shown in FIG. 16. The retrieval means 450 is a scoop or spoon-like device. In alternative embodiments, however, the retrieval means 450 may not be a scoop or spoon-like device, but may take any other form capable of being manually used by a user to incrementally retrieve goods or contents contained within the container 410 (and removably or detachably couple to the interior of the container 410). As such, the form of the retrieval means 450 may at least partially depend upon, or be dictated by, the particular goods or contents within the container 410. As shown in FIG. 16, the scoop 450 may include a handle portion or member 452 and a container portion 454 that defines a cavity 456. The handle portion 452 may be elongate and configured to be manually grasped and used by a user. The container portion 454 and cavity 456 may be configured to “scoop” the goods or contents of the container 410 by being manually dragged or passed through or within the goods.

As also shown in FIG. 16, the scoop 450 may include a projection or member 460 extending from the scoop 450. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 16, the projection 460 of the scoop 450 extends from an exterior surface of a top portion of a side wall of the container portion 454 (proximate to the opening 462 of the cavity 456) substantially opposing the handle portion 452. The projection 460 is initially spaced away from the side wall of the container portion 454, and extends along the side wall of the container portion 454 for at least a substantial portion of the depth or thickness of the container portion 454. In this way, the projection 460 may extend or be oriented substantially perpendicular to the elongate handle portion 452 of the retrieval means or scoop 450. A space 458 is formed between the projection 460 and the exterior surface of the side wall of the container portion 454, and an opening 462 to the space 458 is formed at the end of the projection 460 proximate to the base 455 of the container portion 454, as shown in FIG. 16.

The attachment mechanism 428 provided on the interior (or exterior) of the container 410, such as on the interior surface of the side wall 420 of the container 410, may be configured to accept the projection 460 therein. For example, as shown in FIG. 16, the attachment mechanism 428 may include a sleeve, slot, channel or the like that is configured to accept at least a portion of the projection 460 therein or therethrough. The attachment mechanism or sleeve 428 may include at least one open end 462 and a space or cavity to accept at least a portion of the projection 460 therein or therethrough. In some embodiments, the sleeve 428 may include a wall structure that extends from the interior surface of the side wall 420 of the container 410 and forms a space or cavity between the interior surface of the side wall 420 of the container 410 and the wall structure. The space or cavity between the interior surface of the side wall 420 and the wall structure of the sleeve 428 may be open at opposing ends 462, 462 of the space or cavity. In this way, the sleeve 428 may be configured such that any goods or contents of the container 410 that enter the sleeve 428 via one of the openings or open ends 462 will simply fall through the sleeve 428 and exit the opposing opening or open end 462.

The sleeve 428 may be configured such that an opening 462 faces substantially vertically, and the cavity or space of the sleeve 428 extends substantially vertically (e.g., when the base 418 of the container 410 is oriented substantially horizontal). In this way, when the projection 460 is inserted into the cavity of the sleeve 428 via the opening 462, the projection 460 may extend substantially vertically and the scoop 450 may extend away from the side wall 420 and into the interior of the cavity 416 of the container 410 (e.g., when the base 418 of the container 410 is oriented substantially horizontal). In consideration thereof, as shown in FIG. 17, in some embodiments, the elongate handle portion 452 of the retrieval means or scoop 450 may include a hinge mechanism 464. The hinge mechanism 464 may be configured to allow a portion of the handle portion 452 that is distal to the container portion 454 (e.g., the portion that forms the free end of the handle portion 452) to pivot, fold, bend or otherwise deflect or reposition away from the interior of the cavity 416 of the container 410 and toward the side walls 420 of the container 410, as shown in FIG. 17. In this way, the hinge mechanism 464 may allow for the elongate handle portion 452 to temporarily “shorten” to allow for substantially unobstructed access to the interior of the cavity 416 when the retrieval means or scoop 450 in coupled to the container 410. The hinge mechanism 464 may also allow for the retrieval means or scoop 450 to be utilized with smaller or narrower containers 410 that would not otherwise be compatible with the retrieval means or scoop 450 without the hinge mechanism 464.

In FIG. 18, another exemplary retrieval means or scoop according to the present disclosure is indicated generally by the reference numeral 550. The retrieval means or scoop 550 is substantially similar to the retrieval means or scoop 450 described above with reference to FIG. 16, and therefore like reference numerals preceded by the numeral “5,” as opposed to the numeral “4,” are used to indicate like elements. The retrieval means or scoop 550 differs from the retrieval means or scoop 450 with respect to the configuration of the projection 560. As shown in FIG. 18, the projection 560 is provided adjacent, and parallel, to the exterior surface of the base 555 of the container portion 554 of the retrieval means 550. Further, the retrieval means 550 extends substantially parallel to the elongate handle portion 552 of the retrieval means 550. In this way, when the projection 560 is provided within the attachment mechanism for sleeve 528, the retrieval means 550 will be oriented substantially vertically and extend along the side wall 520 of the container 510. Further, the elongate handle portion 552 of the retrieval means 550 will extend toward the base 518 of the container 510 (not shown) but be spaced from the interior surface of the side wall 520 of the container 510.

In FIG. 19, another exemplary retrieval means or scoop according to the present disclosure is indicated generally by the reference numeral 650. The retrieval means or scoop 650 is substantially similar to the retrieval means or scoop 450 described above with reference to FIG. 16, and therefore like reference numerals preceded by the numeral “6,” as opposed to the numeral “4,” are used to indicate like elements. The retrieval means or scoop 650 differs from the retrieval means or scoop 450 with respect to the configuration of the projection 660. As shown in FIG. 19, the projection 660 is provided on the handle portion 652 of the scoop 650. Specifically, as shown in FIG. 19, the projection 660 extends from the free end of the handle portion 652 on the side of the handle portion 652 that substantially faces away from the base 655 of the container portion 654. In this way, the projection 660 and elongate handle portion 652 may form a hook or U-shape on the “top” side of the retrieval means 650. In use, the projection 660 may be inserted into the cavity of the attachment mechanism or sleeve 628 via the opening 662 thereof such that the retrieval means 650 extends at least generally vertically with the opening of the cavity 656 of the container portion 654 of the retrieval means 650 proximate to the side wall 620 of the container 610 (or the base 655 of the container portion 654 being distal to the wall 620).

In FIG. 20, another exemplary retrieval means or scoop according to the present disclosure is indicated generally by the reference numeral 750. The retrieval means or scoop 750 is substantially similar to the retrieval means or scoop 650 described above with reference to FIG. 19, and therefore like reference numerals preceded by the numeral “7,” as opposed to the numeral “6,” are used to indicate like elements. The retrieval means or scoop 750 differs from the retrieval means or scoop 650 with respect to the configuration of the projection 760. As shown in FIG. 20, the projection 760 extends from the free end of the handle portion 752 on the side of the handle portion 752 that substantially faces toward the base 755 of the container portion 754. In this way, the projection 760 and elongate handle portion 752 may form a hook or U-shape on the “bottom” side of the retrieval means 750. In use, the projection may be inserted into the cavity of the attachment mechanism or sleeve 728 via the opening 762 thereof such that the retrieval means 750 extends at least generally vertically with the base 755 of the container portion 754 of the scoop 750 proximate to the side wall 720 of the container 710 (or the opening of the cavity 756 of the container portion 754 being distal to the wall 720). As the base 755 of the container portion 754 of the scoop 750 may be positioned proximate to the interior of the side wall 720 of the container 710, the attachment mechanism or sleeve 728 may be provided on a neck portion 742 of the container 710 such that the container portion 754 of the scoop 750 is positioned in a larger lower portion of the container 710 (when the scoop 750 and attachment mechanism or sleeve 728 are removably coupled) (see, for example, FIG. 15). In this way, the larger lower portion of the container 710 may accommodate the container portion 754 of the scoop 750 to allow the scoop 750 to be oriented with the base 755 of the container portion 754 proximate to the side wall 720 of the container 710.

In FIG. 21, another exemplary retrieval means or scoop according to the present disclosure is indicated generally by the reference numeral 850. The retrieval means or scoop 850 is substantially similar to the retrieval means or scoop 450 described above with reference to FIG. 16, and therefore like reference numerals preceded by the numeral “8,” as opposed to the numeral “4,” are used to indicate like elements. The retrieval means or scoop 850 differs from the retrieval means or scoop 450 with respect to how the retrieval means or scoop 850 detachably or removably couples with the attachment mechanism or sleeve 828. As shown in FIG. 21, the elongate handle portion 852 acts as the projection 860. As such, the handle portion 852 and/or the attachment mechanism or sleeve 828 are configured to mate with the handle portion 852 extending through the opening 862 and into/through the cavity of the attachment mechanism or sleeve 828. When removably or detachably coupled, the retrieval means 850 may thereby extend at least generally vertically with the base 855 of the container portion 854 of the retrieval means 850 distal to the side wall 820 of the container 810 (or the opening of the cavity 865 of the container portion 854 being proximate to the wall 820).

FIGS. 22-27 illustrate alternative attachment mechanisms that do not form a sleeve-type configuration, but nonetheless provide removably or detachably coupling of the container and retrieval means of the present disclosure. Rather, the attachment mechanisms of FIGS. 22-27 generally include one of a projection or a corresponding aperture, and the retrieval means includes the corresponding other of the projection or the aperture as compared to the attachment mechanism. The projection and the aperture arrangement are configured to removably or detachably couple with each other to removably or detachably couple with the container and the retrieval means.

For example, as shown in FIG. 22 the attachment mechanism on the side wall 920 of the body 912 of the container 910 may include a ball projection 928 of a ball-and-socket joint, and the handle portion 952 of the retrieval means or scoop 950 may include a socket 970 of the ball-and-socket joint (or vice versa). The ball-and-socket joint (the ball 928 and socket 970) may be configured such that when the ball projection 928 is received within the socket 970, the socket 970 exerts a compressive force to the ball projection 928 or otherwise prevents the ball projection 928 from disengaging from the socket 970 without some level of force above the weight of the scoop 950.

FIG. 23 illustrates another exemplary attachment configuration of a retrieval means or scoop and a container. As shown in FIG. 23, the attachment mechanism on the side wall 1020 of the body 1012 of the container 1010 may include a slot 1028 and the handle portion 1052 of the retrieval means or scoop 1050 may include a projection 1072 (or vice versa) with a narrow portion proximate the handle portion 1052 and a wide portion distal to the handle portion 1052. The slot 1028 of the container may define a shape, such as an L-shaped, and define a slot width that is less than the wide portion of the projection 1072. The slot 1028 may also include an opening or aperture, such as being positioned at one end of the slot 1028 that is wider than the wide portion of the projection 1072. The opening or aperture of the slot 1028 may thereby allow the wide portion of the projection 1072 to pass through the slot 1028 and the narrow portion of the projection 1072 to be carried within the slot. In this way, the projection 1072 may travel within the slot 1028 to a position distal to the opening or aperture of the slot 1028 (e.g., below the opening or aperture of the slot 1028) to detachably or removably couple the container 1010 and the retrieval means or scoop 1050. To detach or remove the retrieval means or scoop 1050 from the container 1010, the retrieval means or scoop 1050 can be repositioned such that the projection 1072 travels through the slot until the projection 1072 encounters the opening or aperture of the slot 1028, and the wide portion of the projection 1072 is then passed through the opening or aperture of the slot 1028.

FIG. 24 illustrates another exemplary attachment configuration of a retrieval means or scoop and a container. As shown in FIG. 24, the attachment mechanism on the side wall 1120 of the body 1112 of the container 1110 may include an L-shaped projection or hook 1128 extending at least generally vertically, and the handle portion 1152 of the retrieval means or scoop 1150 may include an aperture 1174 configured to accept the shaped projection 1128 therethrough (or vice versa). In use, the handle portion 1152 of the retrieval means or scoop 1150 may be “hung” on the L-shaped projection 1128 by passing the aperture 1174 over the L-shaped projection 1128 and allowing gravity keep the retrieval means or scoop 1150 and L-shaped projection 1128 engaged.

Similar to the arrangement of FIG. 24, FIG. 25 illustrates another exemplary attachment configuration of a retrieval means or scoop and a container such that the attachment mechanism on the side wall 1220 of the body 1212 of the container 1210 includes a mushroom or bulbous shaped projection 1228, and the handle portion 1252 of the retrieval means or scoop 1250 may include an aperture 1276 (or vice versa). The mushroom or bulbous shaped projection 1228 may include a narrow portion that is proximate to the side wall 1220 of the container 1210, and a wide portion that is distal to the side wall 1220. The aperture 1276 of the handle portion 1252 may be provided proximate to the free end thereof, and/or may define a shape and/or size that is smaller than that of the wide portion of the projection 1228. The aperture 1276 and/or the projection 1228 may be deformable. In this way, the container 1210 and the retrieval means or scoop 1250 may be detachably or removably coupled by initially forcing the wide portion of the mushroom or bulbous shaped projection 1228 against the aperture 1276 until the aperture 1276 and/or projection 1228 deform to an extent that the wide portion of the projection 1228 passes through the aperture 1276 and the narrow portion of the projection 1228 extends through the aperture 1276. The projection 1228 may thereby remain coupled to the aperture 1276 until a user applies enough force to re-deform the aperture 1276 and/or projection 1228 to an extent that the wide portion of the projection 1228 is removed through the aperture 1276.

Yet another exemplary attachment configuration of a retrieval means or scoop and a container is shown in FIGS. 26 and 27. As shown in FIGS. 26 and 27, the attachment mechanism on the side wall 1320 of the body 1312 of the container 1310 includes at least a pair of projections, fingers or members 1378. In a normal or neutral state or position of the projections 1378, the projections 1378 may abut one another or be spaced a first distance apart. If the projections 1378 are spaced a first distance from each other in a normal or neutral state, the first distance may be less than a width or thickness of the handle portion 1352 of the retrieval means or scoop 1350. In use, the projections 1378 may be deflected or elastically deformed such that the projections 1378 are spaced a second distance apart that allows the handle portion 1352 of the retrieval means or scoop 1350 to be positioned between the projections 1378. Once the handle portion 1352 of the retrieval means or scoop 1350 positioned between the projections 1378, the projections 1378 may be allowed to deflect or deform back towards their position in their normal or neutral state to apply a compressive force to the handle portion 1352 therebetween. In this way, the projections 1378 may act as a compression device to removably or detachably couple the retrieval means or scoop 1350 and the container 1310.

As may be recognized by those of ordinary skill in the pertinent art based on the teachings herein, numerous changes and modifications may be made to the above-described and other embodiments of the present invention without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined in the claims. For example, the components of the containers and scoops may be made of any of numerous different materials that are currently or later become known for performing the functions of such components. In addition, not all elements or all features disclosed herein are necessary, and if desired, additional elements or features may be added. Further, any component, aspect or combination thereof described with a particular embodiment may be incorporated in another described embodiment to achieve the same or similar function as it/they achieve(s) in the particular embodiment. Similarly, the components of the containers and scoops may take any of numerous different shapes and/or configurations. Still further, the containers and scoops may include other additional components, or may include fewer components.

For example, the shape, contour and/or size of the container portion and/or handle portion of any of the retrieval means or scoops disclosed herein may be configured to substantially match, mirror, or otherwise accommodate for the interior or exterior side walls of a corresponding container, such as any of the containers disclosed herein. In some embodiments, the shape of the opening of the cavity and/or the base of the container portion of a retrieval means or scoop may substantially match or mirror (or otherwise accommodate for) the interior or exterior surface of the side walls of a corresponding container. In this way, the retrieval means may be removably coupled with the attachment mechanism provided on the interior or exterior of the side walls of the corresponding container, and at least a portion of the retrieval means may be in substantial abutment with, or otherwise accommodate for, the container. Stated differently, the shape, contour and/or size of at least a portion of the retrieval means may account for the shape of the side walls of the corresponding container such that the retrieval means can be removably coupled with the attachment mechanism provided on the side walls of the container (i.e., the shape and/or size of the retrieval means does not interfere with the attachment of the retrieval means on, or proximate to, the side walls of the container).

Accordingly, this detailed description of the illustrated and exemplary embodiments of the present invention is to be taken in an illustrative, as opposed to a limiting sense.