Patent application title: Detachable handle for liquid container
Eric Nelson (Roy, UT, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65D2310FI
Class name: Container attachment or adjunct handle, handle component, or handle adjunct handle or handle attaching means for encircling a container
Publication date: 2009-01-15
Patent application number: 20090014454
Patent application title: Detachable handle for liquid container
BRETT J. DAVIS
Origin: SANDY, UT US
IPC8 Class: AB65D2310FI
An apparatus for providing a detachable handle for a container, such as a
liquid container. In one embodiment, the apparatus comprises a lower ring
for slidably engaging a circular body of the container. An arm is
pivotally connected to the ring via a hinge such that a C-shaped
engagement member on the free end of the arm may engage a necked portion
of the container via a snap-fit arrangement. A handhold is formed in the
arm for allowing a user to easily pour or transport the container with
only one hand. The apparatus is detachable from the container and is
reusable on other containers.
1. An apparatus for providing a handle for a liquid container, the liquid
container having a cylindrical body and a necked portion, said apparatus
comprising:a first engagement member configured and adapted for engaging
the cylindrical body of the liquid container;an arm extending upwardly
from the first engagement member, said arm having a free end and a
handhold formed therein;a second engagement member disposed on the free
end of the arm, said second engagement member configured and adapted for
engaging the necked portion of the liquid container;a hinge member, said
hinge member operable to allow the arm to travel between a first position
and a second position; andwherein said second engagement member is
unengaged from the necked portion of the liquid container when the arm is
in the first position and is engaged to the necked portion of the liquid
container when the arm is in the second position.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first engagement member comprises a ring.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said second engagement member is operable to engage the necked portion of the liquid container via a snap-fit.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second engagement member comprises a pair of cantilevered arms extending from the free end of the arm.
5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein each of the cantilevered arms is deformable such that the cantilevered arms engage the necked portion of the liquid container utilizing a snap-fit.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first engagement member slidably engages the cylindrical body of the liquid container.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said hinge member comprises a pin.
8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first engagement member comprises a rigid material.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first engagement member and the arm comprise plastic.
10. An apparatus for providing a arm for a liquid container, the liquid container having a cylindrical body and a necked portion, said apparatus comprising:a means for engaging the cylindrical body of the liquid container;a means for engaging the necked portion of the liquid container;a means for receiving a human hand; anda means operable to allow the arm to move between a first position and a second position.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
1. The Field of the Invention
The present disclosure relates generally to liquid containers, and more particularly, but not necessarily entirely, to a removable handle for a liquid container.
2. Description of Related Art
Liquid containers come in various forms. One popular form of a liquid container is a plastic two-liter container. Two-liter containers are a commonly used for soft drinks, including carbonated soft drinks. These two-liter containers are produced from polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PET plastic, using a blow molding process. A two-liter container includes a cylindrical body and a necked portion. The top of the necked portion terminates with a male-threaded spout. A resealable screw-top mates with the male-threaded spout and allows the contents to be used at various times while retaining carbonation. Most modern-day two-liter containers are one piece with a base that is molded with a radial corrugation to provide strength for the bottom and the ability to stand upright. Further, most of the early two-liters had a separate opaque base glued to the hemispherical bottom of the clear polyethylene flask. This base had a coaxial corrugation and drain holes.
One disadvantage to the use of two-liter liquid containers is that they are difficult to grasp due to the relatively large diameter of their cylindrical bodies. In particular, it is difficult to firmly grasp a two-liter is container especially when the container is full. This gripping problem is further aggravated in the case of women and children who tend to have smaller hands than men. Often times, individuals with smaller hands must utilize a two-handed technique, i.e., both of their hands, to pour a drink into a cup from a two-liter liquid container. This two-handed technique is undesirable since it increases the probability of spillage due to the cup tipping over since a hand is not available to steady the cup during pouring. Further, it is cost prohibitive to incorporate a handle into the design of two-liter liquid containers due to the relatively high cost for molding the same into a one time use container. Thus, there exists a need for an efficient and low-cost apparatus for attaching a removable and reusable handle to containers, such as liquid containers and other similarly shaped containers.
The features and advantages of the disclosure will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by the practice of the disclosure without undue experimentation. The features and advantages of the disclosure may be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The features and advantages of the disclosure will become apparent from a consideration of the subsequent detailed description presented in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a device according to one embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 2 is a side view of the device illustrated in FIG. 1 installed onto a liquid container.
For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles in accordance with the disclosure, reference will now be made to the embodiment illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the disclosure is thereby intended. Any alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and any additional applications of the principles of the disclosure as illustrated herein, which would normally occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the disclosure claimed.
It must be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.
In describing and claiming the present disclosure, the following terminology will be used in accordance with the definitions set out below. As used herein, the terms "comprising," "including," "having," "containing," "characterized by," and grammatical equivalents thereof are inclusive or open-ended terms that do not exclude additional, unrecited elements or method steps.
Applicant has discovered a novel device that provides a installable handle for liquid containers. In one embodiment, the device installs onto a liquid container utilizing an annular engagement member for securement to the body the liquid container and two opposing cantilevered arms that engage the neck of the liquid container using a snap-fit technique. The device includes a handhold for receiving a hand of a user. The handhold allows the user to easily lift, transport, and pour from the liquid container. The device is easily removable from the liquid container such that it can be reused in conjunction with other liquid containers.
Referring now to FIG. 1, there is depicted a device 10 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The device 10 includes a lower engagement member in the form of an annular ring 12. The annular ring 12 includes an inner surface 14. The inner surface 14 of the ring 12 defines a circular area 16. The diameter of the circular area 16 is just larger than the diameter of a liquid container (not shown in FIG. 1) for which the device 10 is designed. In this regards, it will be appreciated that the dimensions of the device 10 may be varied to accommodate liquid containers of various sizes. Typically, the device 10 is adapted to be used with a common two-liter liquid container, but may be used with liquid containers of different sizes and shapes. The ring 12 may be constructed from a rigid material such as plastic. However, the ring 12 may also be constructed from a non-rigid material, such as a strap or other similar device.
Extending upwardly from the ring 12 is a riser 18. The riser includes both a lower end 20 and an upper end 22. The riser 18 is attached to the ring 12 at its lower end 20. The upper end 22 of the riser 18 includes two spaced-apart projections, 22A and 22B, that form part of a hinge. The space between the projections 22A and 22B form a slot. A bore 24 extends laterally through each of the projections 22A and 22B. The bore 24 is configured to receive a pin (not explicitly shown). The pin also forms part of the hinge in conjunction with projections 22A and 22B as will be explained hereinafter.
An arm 26 includes a lower portion 28. Extending downwardly from the lower portion 28 of the arm 26 is a projection 30. The projection 30 is sized to fit into the slot formed between the projections 22A and 22B. The projection 30 also includes a lateral bore (not explicitly shown) that is capable of aligning with the bore through the projections 22A and 22B. The pin, discussed above but not explicitly shown, secures the projection 30 into the space formed between the projections 22A and 22B when inserted through the bore 24 and the bore of the projection 30.
It will be understood that the structures of the projections 22A, 22B, 30 and the pin are operable to form a hinge. The hinge allows the arm 26 to pivot between an engaged position and an unengaged position with respect to a liquid container as shown by the double arrows (indicated by the reference numeral 32) and in FIG. 2.
The arm 26 may be of unitary construction. Formed in the arm 26 during manufacture is a handhold 34. The handhold 34 is configured and adapted to receive a hand. The handhold 34 is formed in the arm 26 from a first lateral extension 36 and a second lateral extension 38. Extending between the first and second lateral extensions 36 and 38 is an elongated member 40. The elongated member 40 serves as the actual handhold 34. The purpose of the first and second lateral extension 36 and 38 is to offset the elongated member 40 from the liquid container when the device 10 is installed. This offset provides room for the fingers of a hand to pass underneath the elongated member 40.
Disposed on the upper end of the arm 26 is a C-shaped member 42. The C-shaped member 42 includes two cantilevered arms 44 and 46. The arms 44 and 46 are arcuate in nature as best observed in FIG. 1. Tips 48 and 50 of the arms 44 and 46 are slightly spaced apart. The arms 44 and 46 are constructed from a flexible and resilient material, such as plastic, to allow the tips 48 and 50 to spread apart without damaging the arms 44 and 46.
An inner surface 52 of the C-shaped member 42 defines a spatial area 54 adapted to engage a necked portion of a liquid container. The spacing of the tips 48 and 50 from each other is just slightly narrower than the width of the necked portion of the liquid container for which the device 10 is designed. This allows the C-shaped member 42 to engage the necked portion of a liquid container using a snap-fit mechanism. That is, as the tips 48 and 50 are forced apart, the arms 44 and 46 may flex outwardly to thereby permit the necked portion of a liquid container to enter into the spatial area 54.
Referring now to FIG. 2, there is depicted the device 10 installed on a liquid container 60. The liquid container 60 includes a body portion 62 and a necked portion 64. The first step to install the device 10 is to slidably engage the ring 12 over the body portion 62 of the liquid container 60. This may be accomplished by inserting the necked portion 64 through the ring 12. The arm 26 should be maintained in approximately the position shown by the phantom arm 26A in FIG. 2 so as to not interfere with the installation process. Once the ring 12 has been slid over the necked portion 64 and down the body portion 62 of the liquid container 60 to the correct height, the arm 26 is then rotated forward as shown by the arrow indicated with the reference numeral 66.
Referring now to both FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, as the C-shaped member 42 engages the necked portion 64 of the liquid container 60, the user may need to apply a force to thereby cause the tips 48 and 50 to flex outward as the tips 48 and 50 are pressed against the necked portion 64 of the liquid container 60. Once the tips 48 and 50 of the C-shaped member 42 have flexed sufficiently outward, the necked portion 64 of the liquid container 42 will slip into the spatial area 54 between the two arms 44 and 46. The tips 48 and 50, once passed the necked portion 64, will be restored to their original position due to the resilient nature of the arms 44 and 46. The inner surface 52 of the C-shaped member 42 may engage the necked portion 64 of the liquid container 60. The inner surface 52 of the C-shaped member 42 may be held tightly against the necked portion 64 of the liquid container 60 due to the resilient nature of the arms 44 and 46.
To disengage the C-shaped member 42 from the necked portion 64, the arm 26 is rotated away from the body portion 62 of the liquid container 60. This may require a strong pull in order to separate the arms 44 and 46 such that the necked portion 64 is released from the C-shaped member 42. It will be appreciated that the functions described above are commonly referred to as a snap-fit. That is, the C-shaped member 42 engages the necked portion 64 of the liquid container 60 via a snap-fit. Once the C-shaped member 42 has been disengaged from the necked portion 64 of the liquid container 60, the ring 12 may be disengaged from the body portion 62 of the liquid container 60 by sliding it off of the body portion 62. The device 10 may be reused on other liquid containers.
When installed onto the liquid container 60, the device 10 provides a convenient handle for pouring and transporting the liquid container 60. Advantageously, the device 10 permits a user to pour a drink using only one hand. This allows the other hand of the user to hold a cup into which the liquid inside of the liquid container 60 is poured. When not in use, the hinged portion of the device 10 permits the device 10 to be collapsed or flattened such that the device 10 may easily fit into confined storage spaces, such as a drawer or cupboard.
In accordance with the features and combinations described above, a useful method of installing a handle onto a liquid container includes the steps of:
(a) sliding a ringed portion of the handle onto a body of the liquid container; and
(b) engaging a necked portion of the liquid container with a C-shaped member of the handle with a snap-fit.
Those having ordinary skill in the relevant art will appreciate the advantages provided by the features of the present disclosure. For example, it is a feature of the present disclosure to provide a detachable handle to a liquid container.
In the foregoing Detailed Description, various features of the present disclosure are grouped together in a single embodiment for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed disclosure requires more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive aspects lie in less than all features of a single foregoing disclosed embodiment. Thus, the following claims are hereby incorporated into this Detailed Description by this reference, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment of the present disclosure.
It is to be understood that the above-described arrangements are only illustrative of the application of the principles of the present disclosure. Numerous modifications and alternative arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure and the appended claims are intended to cover such modifications and arrangements. Thus, while the present disclosure has been shown in the drawings and described above with particularity and detail, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use may be made without departing from the principles and concepts set forth herein.