Patent application title: BOTTLES, CANS, AND OTHER STORAGE STRUCTURES WITH SECONDARY STORAGE COMPARTMENTS SUCH AS CAP CONTAINERS
Jeffrey D. Mullen (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65D2504FI
Class name: Receptacles compartmented container compartment in closure
Publication date: 2011-08-18
Patent application number: 20110198355
A bottle is provided with a cap. The cap includes a container that may be
externally opened while the cap seals material inside the bottle. Thus, a
user may retrieve items from inside the cap (e.g., dietary supplements or
candy such as mini M&Ms) before opening the bottle (by removing the cap)
and using the material inside of the bottle (e.g., a water or a soft
6. A can comprising: a cylindrical portion; a bottom portion; a metal top fixed to said cylindrical portion, wherein said metal top includes a first opening that opens into a first storage section defined by said cylindrical portion and said bottom portion, a second opening that opens into a second storage section defined by said metal top, and said first and second storage sections are separate from one another; a bendable metallic cover that covers said second storage section.
7. The can of claim 6, wherein a liquid food is provided in said first storage section.
8. The can of claim 6, wherein a liquid food is provided in said first storage section and a solid food is provided in said second storage section.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/643,991, filed on Jan. 13, 2005 and entitled "Bottle Cap with Container" (Docket No. JDM/009 PROV) and Provisional Patent Application No. 60/718,831 filed on Sep. 19, 2005 and entitled "Bottles, Cans, and Other Storage Structures Having Secondary Storage Compartments" (Docket No. JDM/009 PROV2) which are both hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 This invention relates to bottles, cans, and other types of storage structures.
 FIG. 1 shows traditional bottle 100 that includes bottle housing 110, bottle cap portion 120, and bottle cap portion 130. Bottle cap portion 120 and bottle cap portion 130 are removably attached such that a twist of bottle cap portion 120 removes bottle cap portion 120 from bottle cap portion 130 so long as bottle cap portion 130 is anchored to traditional bottle 100. Traditional cap portion 130 include guides that allow the cap portion to screw onto, and off from, the mouth of bottle housing 110. Such a guide is shown as guides 132 on traditional cap 131. A traditional bottle cap has a rigid top made of hard plastic such that the bottle cap seals soda, or water, into a bottle's housing. Such a rigid hard plastic top housing is shown as top surface 134 of cap 133.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 A bottle cap is provided with a secondary container that is operable to store secondary objects, such as a secondary material, separate from primary material stored in a bottle that the bottle cap is attached to. The bottle cap is also operable to seal the primary material (e.g., a liquid, solid, or gas) in a bottle as well as separately store the secondary objects. The cap container may extend into the bottle and the cap container may be accessible from an aperture located in the top surface of the bottle cap. As a result, a bottle may hold two types of material while still being operable to be dispensed from, for example, a bottle dispensing machine.
 Numerous whimsicle and festive combinations of primary and secondary materials may be stored in a bottle with a bottle cap having a bottle cap container. For example, a bottle may house a liquid such as a water or soda (e.g., a carbonated beverage such as a cola or lemon and/or lime carbonated beverage) while the bottle cap houses a candy or other edible substance (e.g., pieces of chocolate, bits of peanut butter, miniature marshmallows, hard candy, soft candy, or other confectionery product). Doing so may provide a complete snack in one simple, easily distributable package. Similarly, the bottle may house a nutritional liquid such as water, juice, or a beverage including vitamins, while the container holds vitamins, food, nutritional pills, or rations (e.g., a day worth of rations). Such a nutritional combination provides an emergency nutritional package in one easily distributable bottle. Thus, if a emergency victim is in need of nourishment, the emergency victim only has to receive a bottle having a bottle cap container to fully nourish that victim. Additionally, a milk (e.g., a milk, milk-tasting substance, or milk substitute) may be stored in a bottle, while cookies or a syrup (e.g., chocolate syrup) are stored in the bottle cap's container. Prizes, advertising materials, trading cards, or any type of object can be stored in a bottle cap's container.
 One benefit resulting from the inclusion of a container in a bottle cap bottle cap is realized if the bottle cap is on a bottle distributed through a soda machine. The soda machine may cool not only any liquid stored in the bottle, but also anything stored in the cap's container. Thus, if a candy (like a chocolate candy or other confectionery) is stored in the cap's container, the candy may also be cooled by the soda machine. The melting point of some chocolate may be between 98 degrees and 99 degrees. Such chocolate is prone to melting. Yet, such chocolate may not melt if stored with a soda in a refrigerated soda bottle dispensing machine.
 A cap container may open and close from the exterior of the cap. Thus, a user can open a cap's container without having to remove that cap from a bottle. An additional benefit of having the ability to open the cap's container from the external of the bottle is that opening the cap's container is not very messy--any liquid stored in the primary storage container (e.g., the bottle's housing) may not exit the bottle when the bottle cap container is opened. If the bottle cap has never been removed from the bottle (after it was attached to the bottle during manufacturing), then the seal between the cap and the container may not be disturbed when the container is externally opened. Thus, none of the material stored in the bottle, if any, can escape when the external container is opened. Additionally, none of the primary material stored in the bottle may start to spoil as no air may come into contact with the primary material when the bottle cap container is opened.
 A cap container may open and close from the interior of the cap (e.g., a portion of the cap that extends into a bottle when used to seal that bottle). Such a cap container may provide, among many things, security for those objects stored in the cap's container. For example, a prize may be stored in the caps container. Prizes having different rarity may be distributed into the cap containers such that prizes having different rarity have different odds of being located in any particular cap container. To help prevent someone from searching bottles, the cap container may be provided such that the bottle may have to be opened, allowing the primary material to be accessed, in order to retrieve the contents of the container. Additionally, abricating the cap's container in a non transparent color (e.g., a black) may keep the identity/characteristics of the prize hidden until the cap's container is opened.
 A cap's container may be provided such that the cap's container extends into the bottle, protrudes from the mouth of the bottle (e.g., substantially protrudes from the mouth of the bottle), or both. The cap's container can extend down over the mouth of a bottle on the exterior side of the mouth. The cap's container can take on any form such as, for example that of an action figure, sports figure, celebrity figure, or other shape. For example, a bottle cap container may be produced to promote a movie. The cap container can take the form of the shape of a character in the movie and extend down into the bottle (or protrude out from the mouth of the bottle). If extending into the interior of the bottle, the shape of may not be recognizable until the bottle is opened because of the primary material stored in the bottle. Thus, not only may secondary objects be stored in the container (e.g., a prize or candy), but the container itself may be collectible and may provide improve the whimsicle and festive nature of a capped bottle.
 Any type of container may be used in conjunction with a cap container. Any type of cap container can be used. For example a cap container may be a screw-on cap, a pop-top cap, a peel-off top (that has a container attached to the peel-off top), a plastic lid (e.g., a plastic milk lid), or any other type of container. A container may be, for example, a bottle such as a plastic, glass, tin, ceramic, or aluminum bottle.
 Such containers may also include, for example, cans such as an aluminum or tin soda/beverage cans. Such cans can hold any substance or material. For example, the can may be a golf can and cap container may take the form of a removable metal lid (or a plastic lid) with a container formed in, or attached to, the lid. The lid may include, for example, golf tees while the can includes golf balls. Such cans may also be metal cans operable to hold soda. A container may be formed in a metal lid to the soda can. The lid may also have an opening, or be able to provide an opening, for accessing the contents of the soda (e.g., a soda can's mouth). Such a lid container may be accessible from the exterior surface of the lid. Thus, a user may not only access the contents of the soda can (e.g., the soda), but the contents of the lid's container (e.g., materials such as peanuts, fruit slices, flavoring, prizes, collectibles such as collectible tokens/coins, or any other object). The lid's container may include a removable seal (e.g., a peel off piece of plastic or a thin bendable metal) to seal objects into the lid's container. The lids container may extend into the interior of the can, extend from the exterior surface of the lid, or both.
 Cap containers may be filled remotely from bottling plants. Thus, for example, regional bottling plants may have regional bottle cap containers. A cap container filling plant may fill a particular number of caps (e.g., the number specified from a bottle plant) with a particular type of substance/object (e.g., the number specified from a bottle plant), seal the substance/object in the bottle cap container (e.g., by providing a cap container lid in/across the opening of the cap's containing area, and then ship the filled cap containers to the requesting bottling plant. An online website may be provided (or a graphical user interface on an intranet) to assist in the ordering process. For example, an online website may be provided with a number of filling options (where particular fillings can have different prices) such that any person or organization can order filled bottle cap containers. The bottle cap containers may have numerous sizes to hold different amounts of a substance. If, for example, the cap's container extends into a primary housing (e.g., a bottle interior or can interior) then the size and shape of the portion extending into the container may affect the amount of substance that can be stored in the primary housing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The principles and advantages of the present invention can be more clearly understood from the following detailed description considered in conjunction with the following drawings, in which the same reference numerals denote the same structural elements throughout, and in which:
 FIG. 1 is an illustration of a prior art bottle;
 FIG. 2 is an illustration of a bottle with a bottle cap having a container constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 3 is an illustration of bottles with bottle caps having containers constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 4 is an illustration of a bottle and bottle caps having containers constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 5 is an illustration of a can, having a secondary container, constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 6 is an illustration of fabrication alternatives for a can having a secondary container constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 7 is an illustration of a bottle having a secondary storage compartment constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 8 is an illustration of a bottle having a bottle cap having a secondary storage compartment constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 9 is an illustration of a bottle having a bottle cap having a secondary storage compartment constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 10 is an illustration of a bottle having a bottle cap having a secondary storage compartment constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 11 is an illustration of two perspectives of a bottle cap container constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 12 is an illustration of two perspectives of a bottle cap container constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 13 is a process flow diagram of filling and bottling schemes constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention; and
 FIGS. 14-16 are illustrations of bottles amnd bottle cap containers constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 FIG. 2 shows bottle 210 that may include a removable cap 230 at the mouth of bottle 210. Cap portion 220 may also be provided. Cap portion 220 may be secured to bottle 210 such that, for example, twisting cap portion 220 does not remove cap portion 220 from bottle 210. Cap portion 220 may be removably attached to cap 230 such that the initial removal of cap 230 from bottle 210 (after manufacturing) takes more effort than subsequent removals.
 Cap 230 may include container 235 such that objects (e.g., candy, prizes, a gas, advertising, or a liquid) may be stored in container 235 while other objects (e.g., a liquid) may be separately stored elsewhere in bottle 210. The manufacturing process of a liquid filled bottle may be changed such that less liquid is provided in the bottle before cap 230 having container 235 is placed on bottle 210. Container 235 may take up volume inside of bottle 210. Thus, the amount of liquid initially stored in bottle 210 (or removed from the manufacturing process of a traditional material-filled bottle) should take into account the volume of container 235 such that when container 235 is placed in bottle 210, any material in bottle 210 does not overflow. Thus, fill line 240 may be displaced by container 235 from initial fill line 215 of bottle 213 having guide lines 212.
 Container 235 may be spaced from the edge of cap 210 such that the mouth (or lip) of bottle 210 may fit between container 235 and the mouth (or an opening) of bottle 210. Cap 230 may be provided with an aperture and container 235 may be provided in the shape of a test-tube. The mouth of the test0tube of such a container 235 may be aligned with the aperture of cap 230 and the mouth of the test-tube may be attached to cap 230 and around the aperture. Alternatively, the cap may be manufactured (e.g., molded) to include an aperture and a portion similar in shape to a test-tube.
 Cap 230 may include a cap itself that fits into the aperture such that container 235 may be closed. Such a cap may take the form of cap 231 which may include grip portion 232. Cap 231 may be wholly removable from cap 230 (e.g., cap 231 may be temporarily attached via an adhesive to a portion of cap 230 such at the mouth of an aperture in cap 230). Alternatively, cap 231 may be partially removable from cap 230 (e.g., enough to remove any contents stored in container 235). Cap 231 may be partially removable by being pivoted on cap 230.
 Cap 230 and container 235 may be similar to cap 261 and container 265 that share a common opening 266. Opening 266 may be sealed in a variety of ways. For example, cap 230 may mimic cap 272 and have a pivoted cap 273. Alternatively, cap 230 may mimic cap 275 that has a female connector characteristic and have a cap 276 with a male connector characteristic. Layer 277 may be provided as a compressible material such that when separated from cap 275, layer 277 extends beyond the perimeter defined by the aperture in cap 275. When layer 277 is pressed into cap 275, layer 377 may be compressed such that a force is mechanically placed on the walls of cap 275 (thus providing a seal). Alternatively still, cap 230 may mimic cap 284 that includes guide rails such that cap 282 that includes portion 283 having guides 286 may be removably attached to guides 286 of cap 284.
 During manufacturing a number of objects may be stored in container 265. Container 265 may include prizes 291 (e.g., rings, toys, stickers). Such prizes 291 may be selected from a group of different prizes and a select number (e.g., 1 or 2) placed in each container 265. Thus, a bottle of soda having cap 261 and container 265 may provide a functionality similar to a cracker jack's candy box. Advertising 293 may also be placed during manufacturing into container 265 and sealed such that advertising 293 (or any printed material or publication) may be removed by the user of a bottle sealed with cap 266/container 265. Vitamins/nutrients 294 may alternative, or also, be included. Candy 292 may also be included.
 Alternatively, no objects may be stored in container 265 such that less material is stored in the bottle while giving the impression that the bottle is full of material. Accordingly, soda companies may, for example, include an empty container to save the cost of the volume of the liquid (e.g., the cost of 2 ounces). Due to the health savvy nature of today's market this could provide a keen marketing program if a few of the bottles included money, or a redemption certificate, in container 265 ("we saved the money from 2 ounces of soda in each bottle and put all the money into a few select prize-containing bottles--watch your weight, drink less, and make some money in the process").
 FIG. 3 shows bottles 310, 341, and operational chart 350. Any container included in a cap may be sized to accomplish a variety of goals.
 In bottle 310, container 335 is sizes such that container 335 does not extend past the edge of cap 330. Container 335 could alternatively be sized such that container 335 does not extend past cap portion 320 (if, for example, cap portion 320 is included on bottle 310). Doing so may create a relatively small container with respect to the bottle. Such a small container may not be noticeable when the bottle is viewed from the side. Such a small container may not impact the amount of liquid (or other material) that a bottle is capable of storing. A small container may be ideal to store, for example, a coin (e.g., a coin that has no monetary value but that has a point value such as a Pepsi Point). A small container may alternatively be ideal to store, for example, one or more pills, vitamins, or dietary supplements.
 A cap may be similar to cap 348 in that it includes aperture 349 (from which the container that is not shown extends) and plastic ring 339. Plastic ring 339 may be utilized to increase the seal between cap 348 and any bottle cap 348 is attached to. Ring 339 may be a plastic disc covering the interior surface of the top of the cap with, for example, a thick area of plastic at the discs perimeter. Such a plastic disc may include an aperture to align with the aperture 349. An adhesive (e.g., a glue) may be utilized to fix the ring (or disc) to the cap (or the side of the container). Such a disc may be spaced away from the side of the cap such that when the cap is attached to a bottle the lip of the bottle abuts the disc.
Therefore, the space between the perimeter of the disc (or ring) and the cap wall may be roughly equal to the thickness of the mouth of the bottle. A cap may be similar to cap 339 that includes small container 337 and guides 336.
 A container may also be relatively large with respect to a bottle. For example, bottle 341 may include container 345 fixed to cap 344. Cap portion 343 may also be included. Cap 345 may be, for example, nearly the diameter of the cap itself and nearly as long as the bottle. Container 345 may also be widened, or have different dimensions, at certain parts. Preferably, the width of any cross-section of the container does not exceed the largest width at the mouth of the bottle (noting that the mouth of the bottle need not be round). A large container may be used to store large quantities of one or more objects (e.g., an entire candy bar like a Snickers bar).
 Operational chart 350 shows a user enjoying the benefits of one embodiment of a bottle cap having a container that may be externally accessed. Step 351 shows a bottle having a bottle cap with a container that may be externally accessed without removing the cap from the bottle. Step 352 shows a user after that user has opened the cap to the container and while the user is removing objects from that container (e.g., the container could include dietary supplements or a shot of a nutrient enhanced liquid). Step 353 shows the cap being removed from the bottle. The container in the cap may be resealed before this occurs (e.g., CLOSED) or may be left OPEN. In step 354, the user is accessing the material stored in the bottle (e.g., water).
 FIG. 4 shows various additional embodiments that allow two types of material to be stored independently in a single bottle and that can be accessed differently in a single bottle. Cap 441 includes container 412 that may be OPENED and CLOSED internally (e.g., the cap must be removed from the bottle). Lid 413 (e.g., the cap of container 412) may be utilized to seal material inside of container 412 and may take various forms (e.g., lid 413 with guide rails). Similarly, container 412 may be configured to mate with lid 413 (e.g., container 414 with guide rails).
 A seal (e.g., a plastic seal) such as seal 422 may be placed over cap 425 and container cap 423 in order to increase the strength of the initial seal between layer 424 and cap 425. Thus, in order to remove objects (e.g., molecules of liquid) from container 426, seal 422 may need to be broken and removed).
 Cap 430 includes multiple containers 432, 433, and 434 that are each operable to be connected to either cap 431, one of the containers, or both. For example, container 433 may be container 436 and may be operable to be attached and removed from container 435 (e.g., container 434). Each container (e.g., container 435) may include its own lid (e.g., a container cap) such as lid 439.
 A container does not have to reside in the bottle itself but could be, for example, a second bottle that irremovably attaches to the bottle. For example, small bottle 443 may be removably attached to container 444 such that when attached the two portions resemble a larger bottle. Container 444 may be similar to container 447 and include guides 449 that can be attached to guides 448 of bottle 445. The opening to container 447 may be located such that container 447 may not be accessed when container 447 is attached to bottle 445 (and sealed with lid/cap 446). Alternatively, the opening to container 447 may be located outside of where container 447 and bottle 445 attaches such that both the bottle and container may be opened while attached together. Caps such as caps 441 (and cap portion 442) may be utilized to seal material in such bottles/containers.
 The ability to store two types of material in a single bottle provides for many useful combinations. For example, a bottle may hold a non-alcoholic mixer (e.g., a cola, a juice, or a mix) while the container holds an alcoholic liquid (e.g., a vodka, a rum, or an alcoholic beverage).
 FIG. 5 shows can 500 having primary storage compartment 520 and secondary storage compartment 510. Can 500 may be fabricated from any material such as, for example, a metal such as a tin, steel, or aluminum. Primary storage compartment 520 may be any size or shape. Similarly, secondary storage compartment 510 may be any size or shape (e.g., similar to the size defined by lines 540). Primary storage compartment 520 may be originally sealed, for example, via a piece of metal that is permanently dislodged by tab 550. Secondary storage compartment 510 may be originally sealed by a piece of metal, which may be permanently dislodged by portion 550 or another portion. Thus, portion 550 may be able to pivot from opening 520 to opening 510. Alternatively, tab 550 may be able to rotate from opening 520 to opening 510. Alternatively, portion 530 may be used to secondary container 510 after contents are provided in secondary container 510. Tab 550 may be, for example, a piece of metal or plastic that is fixed around the perimeter of opening 510. An adhesive, such as a glue, may be used to fix portion 530 to can 500 over the opening of secondary container 510. Thus, a first substance may be provided in primary container 520 while a second substance may be provided in secondary container 510. Thus, a first substance such as a liquid (e.g., a coca cola, chocolate milk, or water) may be provided in primary containment section 520 while a second substance such as a solid snack (e.g., chocolate bits, cookies, pretzels, peanuts) or non-edible substance (e.g., a prize or advertisement) may be provided in secondary container 510.
 A removable, and re-insertable portion may be provided to seal an opening of either a primary or secondary container. Thus, a user may be able to open the primary storage section of a can and then reseal the primary storage section after a portion of the contents of the primary storage section have been removed. As per one example, the opening to a storage section may be circular with a number of teeth cut out of the perimeter. A similarly shaped portion may be utilized to seal the hole. Particularly, a circular piece of metal may be provided with teeth that protrude from the perimeter. Another circular piece of metal, with a diameter at least that of the diameter of the other circular piece of metal plus the length of the teeth may be attached to the toothed circular piece such that a space is formed between the two. To re-couple the removable toothed portion to the toothed opening, the teeth of the two are aligned and then the removable portion is turned to create a seal. Thus, the perimeter of the can opening may be sandwiched between the toothed removable portion and the non-toothed removable portion attached to the toothed removable portion. A material, such as a rubber or plastic, may be attached to any surface of the removable portion, or can, such that an improved seal can be formed.
 Can 570 includes housing 575 and top lid 571 having primary storage container access aperture 573 and secondary storage access aperture 572 for accessing secondary storage compartment 574. The percentage of space of the interior of housing 575 that secondary storage compartment 574 may be provided in may vary. For example, secondary storage compartment 574 may fill roughly 1%-50%, or more, of the interior storage of a can. Different types of seals may be provided to cover access apertures 572 and 573. As a canned liquid or gas may need a stronger seal, the seal for primary access aperture 573 may be stronger than the seal for secondary access aperture 572 (or vise versa). For example, primary access aperture 573 may be sealed with a piece of material that is the same as the material used to fabricate the can. Thus, a piece of aluminum may be used to seal primary access aperture 573 if, for example, housing 575 is also aluminum. The perimeter of primary access aperture 573, however, may be fabricated from a piece of metal (e.g., aluminum) or other material that is thinner than the thickness of the material used for housing 575 and/or the thickness of the material of the seal that resides within the perimeter of primary access aperture 573. As a result, the perimeter of primary access aperture 573 (e.g., the perimeter of the seal) may be forced to break by a user in order to gain access to the interior of can 570 through primary access aperture 573. If a material stored in a storage compartment does not have to be stored under pressure, then a seal of lesser strength can be used. Thus, a think piece of bendable metal or plastic may be used to seal objects in secondary storage compartment 574 (e.g., pieces of chocolate, peanuts, or any other objects).
 Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that secondary storage compartment 571 for a can may extend out from secondary access aperture 572 in order to increase the amount of space inside of secondary storage compartment 571 without decreasing the size of the storage compartment accessible through primary access aperture 573. Similarly, a secondary storage container having a secondary access aperture may be fixed, or removably attached, to the exterior surface of lid 571 such that no portion of the secondary storage container resides inside can housing 575.
 FIG. 6 shows fabrication processes 610, 620, and 630 that may be utilized for fabricating a can having a primary and secondary storage sections. Perspective 601 is a birds-eye view of one example of a can having secondary storage device 602 and primary storage device accessible through aperture 604. In one fabrication process secondary container 611 is formed in top 612. Top 612 is then fixed to can portion 610. In another fabrication process, a secondary container is partially formed (e.g., portion 621) in top 622 such that a secondary container is formed with portion 621 and a portion of can 620. In yet another fabrication process, top 631 has no secondary storage section (except for a possible opening) and can 630 includes secondary storage section 631. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the opening for a secondary container may be provide anywhere on a can. For example, an opening may be provided on the bottom of a can (opposite side that of the can's primary storage opening) and the secondary container may be provided, accordingly, at the bottom of the can.
 Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that a number of whimsical and festive storage combinations are available to a bottle, or can, with a secondary storage area. As per one example, one storage area can be utilized to store milk. The other storage area can be utilized to store cookies. Furthering this example, the cookies can be cookies that are stacked in a bottle cap container, while the milk resides in the bottle. As per another example, a bottle cap container can include baby formula, while the bottle includes water. If a soda machine is kept cold enough, a number of additional functionalities can be obtained from separating components. For example, water can be provided in the secondary storage container of a can and a soda with a freezing point lower than the freezing point of water can be played in the primary storage container. Calibrating the soda machine to provide cold that would just freeze water, ice cubes can form in the secondary storage device such that a soda purchaser can enjoy his/her soda with fresh ice cubes.
 A slice of fruit may be provided in a bottle cap container (or a can's secondary storage section) and an alcoholic beverage can be provided in the primary storage section (e.g., the bottle). The alcoholic beverage can be, for example, a beer while the slice of fruit is a slice of lemon or lime. Alternatively, a shot of alcohol (or other alcoholic beverage) may be provided in a bottle cap container (and the bottle cap container could be fabricated to provide a standard 1 oz shot), while the bottle includes a different alcoholic beverage (e.g., a beer or a different alcoholic beverage). Alternatively still, a flavoring may be provided in a bottle cap container such that a user can flavor a liquid (e.g., a carbonated soda) himself/herself. Doing so would allow a user to determine how flavorful (and how many calories) are played in a drink. Such a flavoring capability may be useful in, for example, a coffee drink where the flavoring is a creme or sugar. As such, a bottle cap container can be divided into two or more storage sections, each having a peel-off or removable/re-what kind of crisis?quadraturesealable lid such that a bottle cap container can provide both a creme and a sugar (e.g., two or more additional substances). Similarly, the secondary portion of a can may be provided with two or more separate storage sections. For breakfast drinks, a granola, or other solid food, can be placed in a bottle cap container such that a yogurt or other type of drink can receive fresh granola, or another solid food, before being consumed.
 FIG. 7 shows bottle 700 that includes a bottle cap with a secondary storage compartment. Bottle 700 may store, for example, a water or a nutritional beverage while the bottle cap stores a variety of vitamin supplements.
 FIG. 7 shows bottle 700 having label 706 adhered to housing 705. The mouth of bottle 700 is sealed by a cap having grippable exterior side surface walls 702, secondary storage compartment 704, and lid 701 for accessing secondary storage compartment 704. Lid 701 may be anchored to the cap (e.g., via bendable strip 703) such that lid 701 may not be lost when the lid 701 is removed from the access aperture for secondary storage compartment 704.
 Cap 710 shows an access aperture defined by storage aperture perimeter 716 that is operable to store objects 717. Label 706 can include a list of objects 717 and or the substance(s)/objects stored within the primary storage area of a bottle (e.g., water). Lid 711 may include extending flange 714. Extending flange 713 may be similar in size and shape to storage aperture perimeter 716. Thus, for example, flange 714 may be approximately spaced within the exterior perimeter of lid 711 equal to the distance between interior access aperture perimeter 716 and exterior sidewall perimeter 715. Lid 711 may include grip portion 712 that departs from the general shape of lid 711. Lid 711 may be anchored to cap 710 by band 714 or lid 711 may be removably attached exterior surface surrounding exterior sidewall perimeter 715.
 Cap 720 may similarly include interior access aperture perimeter 722 that forms an opening to secondary housing 723, defined by interior housing sidewalls 725, in a cap for housing secondary objects 721 such as edible products separate from the objects stored in the bottle that the cap is used to seal.
 Cap 781 is shown and may include grip side walls 783, screw-on/off guides 782, lip extension 784, and exterior container sidewall 785. Bottle 794 may also be provided with a mouth defined by interior mouth side wall 795. Screw-on/off guides 792 may be found on the exterior surface of the bottles mouth. The lip of the bottle's mouth may be, for example, approximately the same size as lip portion 784 such that guides 792 and 782 can firmly mate with each other. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the diameter of exterior container side wall 785 may be smaller than the diameter of interior mouth side wall 795 such that exterior container side wall 785 can fit inside of interior mouth side wall 785. Additionally, the bottle may appear cylindrical if, for example, the diameter of external grip sidewall 783, which is accessible to a user when cap 781 is used to seal contents inside of bottle 794 and used to receive a screw-on/off force from a user, is roughly the same as the diameter of exterior side wall 793 of bottle 794. The storage space (e.g., space 789) of container 781 may be sealed in any way, or left open such that a small drinking cup is provided. Similarly, no objects may be stored in a secondary container.
 FIG. 8 shows bottle 800 that includes a bottle cap with a secondary storage compartment. Bottle 800 may store, for example, a milk, or other edible liquid, while the bottle cap stores a stack of cookies such as a sugar, icing, or creme stuffed between two cookies (e.g., two chocolate cookies). Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the storage compartment for the bottle cap of bottle 800 may be, for example, longer than the storage compartment for the bottle cap of bottle 700 as it may be desirable for bottle 800 to store more edible products than bottle 800 in a bottle cap's storage container.
 FIG. 8 shows bottle 800 that includes cap container 801 having interior container section 802 that extends into material 809 housed within housing 805. Label 807 includes information as to the contents of cap container 801 as well as the contents of the primary storage area accessible by the mouth of housing 805 when cap 801 is removed. Lid 831 may be used to provide a removable seal to the access aperture to the cap's storage area. Flange 832 may extend out from lid 831 in roughly the same size and shape of the access aperture to the cap's storage area (e.g., so that the exterior perimeter of flange 832 abuts the interior of the access aperture's interior perimeter when flange 832 is placed in the access aperture). Sidewall 833 may extend from lid 831 and may abut against the exterior grip side wall of a cap (e.g., a cap having its own container separate from the storage area of a bottle). Any cap container can take the form of cap container 810. Cap container 810 may have an elongated storage structure 816 accessible by access aperture 814. The length of storage structure 816 may be, for example, approximately the length from the mouth of the bottle to the base of the bottle. The diameter of storage structure 816 (or the widest width of storage structure 816) may be less than the width of the mouth a particular bottle. The height of the side grip wall for bottle cap container 810 (defined by perimeter edge 813 and 817) may be, for example, at least the height of the mouth of a bottle, or the at least the height of the portion of the mouth of a bottle having screw-on/off guides. Lid 811 having sidewall 812 may be used to seal items 815 into container 816. Side wall 812 of lid 811 may extend over, and abut, perimeter edge 813 of cap 811. As shown, bottle 800 may store any combination of substances. For example, the bottle may store milk while the cap container stores a stack of cookies (e.g., 4-10 cookies). Such cookies may be miniature or other sized chocolate sandwich cookies (e.g., an icing or other sugar product sandwiched between two chocolate cookies). Thus, a single bottle with a cap container may provide a milk and cookies snack combination.
 Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that secondary storage compartments may be provided in storage structures other than bottles and cans. For example, secondary storage compartments may be provided in cartons. As per one example, a dividing wall may be provided vertically in the middle of a carton. Opening the carton (e.g., a milk) from one side may access one storage compartment while opening the carton from a second side may open a second compartment. Similarly, a carton may be accessed via an aperture that is similar to a bottle's mouth. As such, a cap having a container may be mateable with the carton's mouth such that a secondary storage compartment may be provided.
 FIG. 9 shows bottle 900 that includes cap 912 used to seal soda 916 into housing 915. As shown by label 919 affixed to housing 810, one cap container/bottle container combination may include a soda and prize. Such prizes may be distributed randomly in cap containers and may have different rarities such that the odds of obtaining particular prizes are different for any one cap container. One type of seal that may be utilized to temporarily seal any cap container can be strip 910 having grasp area 911. Grasp area 911 may extend beyond the cap container such that a user can grab strip 910 and peel strip 910 off a cap. An adhesive may be used to temporarily seal a strip (e.g., strip 931 in cap container 930) around the perimeter of an access aperture to the storage compartment of a cap (e.g., around perimeter 932). A cap container may be fabricated from any material such as a plastic or metal and may include small vertical or horizontal troughs, protrusions, and/or bumps along grip portion 922 in order to increase a users grip. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that a sealed cap container may be removed from the bottle so that the contents of the bottle may be obtained without disturbing the seal to the container. Thus, soda 916 may be completely consumed before strip 910 is removed to expose the contents of cap container 912. Cap container 912 may screw off, pop off, or removably mate with bottle housing 916 in any manner.
 Cap container contents 920 may include any object--whether collectible, edible, informative, or otherwise. Flexible scratch-off prize card 920 may be included such that a user can play a scratch-off game in which prizes may be won. Alternatively, a code (e.g., a number and letter combination) may be printed on the prize card that is associated to a result (e.g., winning a prize or winning no prize). The user may log into a website and enter the code in order to obtain the result. Alternatively still, flexible card 922 may be an advertisement, card including information (e.g., information about another one of the contents of the cap container), or promotional fake redeemable money (e.g., soda prize dollars that can be redeemed for prizes). Flexible card 920 may be made out of any flexible material such that flexible card 920 can be rolled and inserted into cap container 912. For example, flexible card 920 may be made from a flexible plastic, cardboard, or cardboard covered in a plastic or protective coating. Thus, a sportscard, or other trading card, may take the form of flexible card 922. Such sportscards may relate to athletes or celebrities (e.g., include pictures and information about sports athletes or celebrities) and may have varying degrees of rarity. A prize such as a toy, token, stamp, real money (e.g., printed money or coins), or any other prizes may also be included in container 912.
 If card 920 is a trading card, a collectible miniature game toy may be provided. The trading card may include instructions on how to move and operate the miniature game toy during gameplay. Thus, two users can purchase game sodas, retrieve a trading gaming card and/or trading gaming figure and play a game using those cards and/or figures. Different gaming cards and gaming figures may have different instructions and characteristics and may have different rarities. For example, the length of the flexible card may correlate to how far a gaming figure can move. Gaming cards having different heights may be included in the container bottles and associated to different gaming figures. The width of the cards may be used to determine how far a gaming figure can shoot. Another dynamic may be that coin flips may trigger certain actions. For example, players may play in alternating turns where one turn includes a movement phase (e.g., the figure can be moved the length of the card), a shooting phase (e.g., the figure can shoot up to the width of the card or other distance marked on the card), and an action phase (e.g., flipping a number of coins and performing an action associated with the results of the coin flip combination). Thus, if a heads was flipped and then a tails was flipped a "HT" action would be performed (e.g., a HIT shot) whereas if a tails was flipped and then a heads was flipped a "TS" action would be performed (e.g., a MISSED shot)
 FIG. 10 shows bottle 10000 that includes cap container 1016 used to seal the mouth of housing 1001. Cap container 1021 may be temporarily attached to anchor 1022. Anchor 1022 and container 1016 may be temporarily attached before container 1016 is first mated with bottle housing 1001. Anchor 1022 may wedge underneath a flange extending from the housing 1001 in the mouth area of housing 1001. For example, anchor 1022 may wedge underneath flange 1032 (e.g., be forced to wedge underneath flange 1032 when the cap container is first mated with mateable regions 1013 and/or 1032). Generally, bottle mouth portion 1030 includes interior mouth sidewall 1036. Mouth sidewall 1036 may extend generally perpendicular to the closest portion of housing 1035. Mouth lip 1037 may be used to access the contents stored inside of housing 1036) and may abut a portion of the cap container to provide a seal to seal the contents stored inside of housing 1036 in housing 1036. Thus, a flange may be wedged between cap container 1021 and anchor 1022. Anchor 1022 may be left wedged after container 1021 has been unmated from the bottle. Anchor 1022 may exert pressure on container 1021 to create a stable seal between a container 1021 and the access aperture to the bottle.
 FIG. 11 shows cap perspectives 1000 that include perspective 1101 and 1102. Cap container 1101 may include a storage compartment that is located outside of a bottle's housing, inside a bottle's housing, or both. For example, the mouth of a bottle may mate underneath perimeter 1136 such that portion 1139 is located inside bottle portion when cap 1101 is mated with a bottle. The mouth of a bottle may then engulf portion 1139 and extend up into a cavity between perimeter 1136 and container 1139 until, for example, it meets the end of a cavity at roughly location 1137. Thus, the portion of the cap container beneath location 1137 may rest inside of a bottle while the portion above location 1137 (e.g., portion 1136) may rest outside of a bottle. Alternatively, perimeter 1146 may fit over and mate with a bottle's mouth (e.g., the area surrounding a bottle's access aperture) such that the storage container is outside of the bottle. A lid 1113 may be utilized to temporarily, and removably, seal cap container access aperture 1131. Lid 1113 may include sidewalls 1112 and mateable portions 1110. Mateable portions 1110 may mate with mateable portions 1133 in the proximity of, for example, the aperature 1131. Mateable portion 1110 may loc into a trough 1134 defined by extension 1132 that includes mateable portion 1133. The diameter of lid 1113 may be roughly equal to the diameter of a cap container (e.g., roughly the size of perimeter 1135. The height of sidewall 1112 may affect the amount of storage space in a container. For example, the longer sidewall 1112 of lid 1113 created storage space 1124 that is greater than the storage space created by lid 1123 having smaller sidewall 1122 coupled to mateable portion 1121. Cap containers may be fabricated in any color and may have any pattern or type of protruding areas to increase a user's grip on the cap container.
 FIG. 12 shows cap container perspectives 1200 that includes perspectives 1201 and 1202. Cap container perspective 1201 shows lid 1211 having protrusions 112 that align with protrusions on cap container 1214. Lid 1211 may create a temporary seal in the proximity of perimeter 1213. A user may remove lid 1211 from cap container 1214 to access the contents of storage container 1215. A user can also couple and decouple bottle cap container 1201 to a bottle without disturbing lid 1211.
 FIG. 13 shows process flow charts 1310, 1320, and 1330. Process flow chart 1330 includes the process of filling a cap container in step 1311, sealing the cap container (e.g., with a lid) in step 1312, transporting the cap container (e.g., to a bottling facility) in step 1313, filling a bottle in step 1314, and sealing the bottle with the cap container in step 1315.
 Process flow chart 1320 includes filling a bottle with contents in step 1321, sealing the bottle with a bottle cap container in step 1322, and filling the cap container in step 1323. A step of sealing the cap container may also be included.
 Process flow chart 1330 includes receiving a cap container order in step 1331, filling the caps according to the received order in step 1332, and sealing and/or shipping the filled cap container in step 1333.
 Steps in charts 1310, 1320, and 1330 may be performed in any order and may be removed from any process. Additional steps may be inserted into any location of any process flow chart.
 FIG. 14 shows bottle and cap combinations 1405, 1410, 1415, 1420, 1425, 1430, 1435, 1440, 1445, 1450, and 1455.
 FIG. 15 shows bottle and cap combinations 1505, 1515, 1525, 1535, 1510, 1520, 1530, and 1540.
 FIG. 16 shows bottle and cap combinations 1605 and 1610.
 Persons skilled in the art will also appreciate that the present invention is not limited only the embodiments described. Instead, the present invention more generally involves safely storing secondary object inside of a bottle such that the secondary objects are separate from, and do not come in direct contact with, any other material stored in the bottle. The secondary objects should be easily obtainable from the interior of the bottle if access to the secondary objects is desired. For example, a container could be attached to the interior of the mouth of a bottle. The lip of this container could be in-line with the lip of the bottle such that when the bottle's cap is removed, access to both the bottle and the container is provided. All such modifications are within the scope of the present invention, which is limited only by the claims that follow:
Patent applications by Jeffrey D. Mullen, Pittsburgh, PA US
Patent applications in class Compartment in closure
Patent applications in all subclasses Compartment in closure