US20060027675A1 - Disposable perforated straw - Google Patents

Disposable perforated straw Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060027675A1
US20060027675A1 US10912237 US91223704A US2006027675A1 US 20060027675 A1 US20060027675 A1 US 20060027675A1 US 10912237 US10912237 US 10912237 US 91223704 A US91223704 A US 91223704A US 2006027675 A1 US2006027675 A1 US 2006027675A1
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Prior art keywords
straw
perforations
perforation
perforated
body
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10912237
Inventor
Brian Takeda
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
INFUZE HOLDINGS Inc
Original Assignee
INFUZE HOLDINGS Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G21/00Table-ware
    • A47G21/18Drinking straws or the like
    • A47G21/183Drinking straws or the like with means for changing the flavour of the liquid

Abstract

A perforated straw having a tubular body, which is sealed at one end. The straw has perforations in the body near the lower sealed end. These perforations allow for fluid to pass into the straw while preventing the passage of solids present in the beverage. The size and configuration of the perforations determines which, if any, solids pass through the straw and which remain within the beverage container.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to the field of beverages and devices for the consumption thereof.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Plastic disposable straws have been widely used for years to consume a wide variety of beverages. Plastic disposable straws facilitate the drinking of a beverage by acting as a conduit for the liquids to flow through the tubular segment and into the mouth. This promotes hygiene by allowing the consumer to drink the beverage without having to touch the container with his or her mouth. Plastic disposable straws also allow users to consume beverages while closed with a lid, resulting in less possibility of spills and messes.
  • As with all disposable products, it is extremely important that plastic disposable straws be cost effective. The cost per unit for a straw is often less than a penny, thus making it of little economic consequence to the user and/or provider and therefore making economically feasible to use as a disposable item.
  • Modifications have been made to disposable straws such as diameter changes to allow for thicker liquids to pass through unhindered. Other small changes have included bendable necks, or corrugated joints, (e.g. U-straws, Z-straws, etc.) to allow for the top portion of the straw to bend. The bendable neck allows the consumer to drink the beverage at a variety of angles. It also permits longer straws to be packaged in a more compact manner.
  • Beverages may contain non-liquid components such as pieces of fruit and/or fruit pulp, tea leaves, seasonings, etc. Such non-liquid components may add flavour to the beverage, may enhance the appearance of the drink, or may simply be a by-product of the drink preparation (e.g. fruit pulp, tea leaves). Disposable straws allow any such items in the beverage that are smaller than the straw diameter to flow through the straw and into the consumer's mouth. Straws do not discriminate between what is to be consumed and what is to remain in the beverage container. Furthermore, such objects may become lodged against the opening of the straw or within the straw itself, thereby plugging the straw.
  • Several modifications to the basic straw design are known in the art. For example, spoon straws can be used as both a spoon and a straw. Many straws are made with thickened walls and an angled tip to facilitate the piercing of packaging. However, such modifications provide no advantage with respect to the consumption of beverages containing solids.
  • A further modification is disclosed by Manning in U.S. Pat. No. 5,718,681, issued Feb. 17, 1998, in which is disclosed a straw for use in the delivery of medication. Medication is placed inside Manning's straw, which has a particle barrier inside that prevents escape of the medication. When in use, fluid is drawn in through the lower end of the straw, in the process dissolving the medication and carrying it to the user's mouth. When used to consume beverages containing solid particles or objects, Manning's straw is even more susceptible to becoming plugged than simple disposable straws. For example, the straw is easily plugged by fruit pulp in fruit juices. This is because the particle barrier of Manning acts as a screen inside the straw. As fluid flows into the Manning straw, particles that would not normally plug a simple straw are carried with it and trapped against the particle barrier. However, as these particles build up, the flow through the straw is increasingly restricted until it is completely obstructed.
  • The prior art further contemplates several straw designs incorporating filters for filtering impurities from fluids as they are consumed. As with the Manning straw, these filter straws are more susceptible to becoming plugged than are regular straws because the filters act to trap solids. Furthermore, the filter component significantly increases the cost of the straw, thereby making it unsuitable or impractical for use as a disposable straw.
  • Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a straw that permits consumption of a beverage without taking up objects found in the beverage. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a straw that will not be plugged.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The perforated straw has a tubular body, which is sealed at one end. It has perforations in the body near the lower sealed end thereof. These perforations allow for fluid to pass into and through the straw while preventing the passage of solids present in the beverage. The size and configuration of the perforations determines which, if any, solids pass through the straw and which remain within the container.
  • Unlike conventional straws, the perforated straw is not clogged by solids, such as fruit pulp, tea leaves, or seasonings, present in many beverages. By using the perforated straw, beverages containing such non-liquid materials, which contribute to the taste and/or appearance of the beverage, can be consumed without difficulty.
  • Conventional straws are often plugged by solids because the solids become lodged in the opening at the lower end of the straw. Such solids often tend to concentrate at the bottom of the beverage container. Therefore, in the present invention placement of the perforations on the side of the body of the perforated straw means that they are generally above the solids. In addition, the larger the number of perforations or the more the perforations are dispersed about the circumference of the straw the less fluid flows through any given perforation or portion thereof. In other words, the fluid flow through any given perforation is less than that through the lower end of a conventional straw. Therefore, as the flow is less concentrated there is less force to draw the solids toward the perforation. The solids are therefore less likely to be drawn towards the perforation and less likely to plug it. Even if a solid is drawn toward a perforation such that the perforation becomes blocked, fluid will continue to enter the straw through the remaining perforations. If there is only one perforation on the straw it will preferably have an elongated shape such that if one part of the perforation becomes occluded by a solid particle present in the beverage, fluid can continue to pass through another part thereof. Once the user stops applying suction to the straw, any solids drawn toward the perforations by the fluid flow will fall or drift away. This is in marked contrast to conventional straws where solids are more likely to be drawn into the opening at the bottom of the straw by the higher rate of flow. Since the opening of a convention straw is generally at or near the bottom of the beverage container, such solids do not fall or drift away from the opening.
  • The invention additionally contemplates methods for manufacturing perforated straws. In the first method, two additional steps are incorporated into known methods for manufacturing conventional straws. In the second method, finished conventional straws are adapted to perforated straws.
  • Conventional straws are generally manufactured from a continuous tube of plastic, which is cut at intervals to produce straws of a desired length. In the first step of the first method the tube is perforated to create the perforations. In the second step, an end of the tube is sealed. The first step need not be carried out before the second step.
  • In the second method, ready to use conventional straws are modified to make perforated straws. In the first step of this method one end of the straw is sealed. In the second step the body of the straw is perforated to create perforations. The first step need not be performed before the second step.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Further features and advantages will be apparent from the following Detailed Description of the Invention, given by way of example, of a preferred embodiment taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1A is a front view of the disposable perforated straw; and
  • FIG. 1B is a side view of the disposable perforated straw.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Referring to FIGS. 1A and 1B, in the preferred embodiment the perforated straw 10 consists of a plastic tubular body 20 having an upper end 30 and a lower end 40. The lower terminus 50 of the straw 10 is sealed. On the lower end 40 near the lower terminus 50 are a plurality of slits or perforations 60.
  • When in use, a user applies suction to the upper end 30 of the straw 10 causing fluid to enter the lower end 40 through the perforations 60. The perforations 60 prevent solid contents of the beverage from entering the straw 10 while allowing fluid to enter. In contrast to the straw disclosed by Manning in U.S. Pat. No. 5,718,681, the perforations 60 are on the outside of the body 20. Therefore, there is no point at which solids can accumulate and, therefore, the straw 10 is not susceptible to becoming plugged.
  • The disposable perforated straw 10 can generally be made from the same materials as other disposable straws. This will typically be some variety of plastic. It is important that the material used be suitable for use with food (e.g. non-toxic). It is also desirable that the material be relatively affordable so that the product can be manufactured and sold as a disposable item.
  • In the preferred embodiment, the lower terminus 50 is heat sealed during the straw manufacturing process, however, any suitable means may be used to seal the straw 10. For example, the lower terminus 50 may be sealed by insertion of a plug. In the embodiment disclosed in the Figures the body 20 is tapered inwards toward the lower terminus 50, however, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that the tapering has no bearing on the functionality of the straw 10. The inward tapering is a characteristic of the heat sealing process when the lower terminus 50 is pressed between two flat surfaces and heat is applied. Depending on the means used to seal the lower terminus 50 such tapering may or may not occur.
  • It is contemplated that the perforations 60 will generally have a width of approximately 1 mm to 5 mm, however, the perforations are not limited to this range since their exact size will be determined by the nature of the beverage and the solids contained therein. In the preferred embodiment the perforations 60 have a narrow elongated shape, however, it will be readily apparent to persons skilled in the art that a variety of configurations may be used. In addition, the number of perforations may be varied depending upon the nature of the beverage it is used for. For beverages with larger solids, smaller number of larger perforations may be appropriate. For smaller, finer solids on the other hand, a greater number of smaller perforations may be necessary. Alternatively, the shape of the perforations 60 may be varied. For smaller, finer solids, long narrow perforations 60 may be used. In one possible embodiment the straw 10 would have only one elongated perforation extending about the body 20 in a helical fashion.
  • The placement of the perforations 60 may also be varied. If the nature of the solids in the beverage are such that they tend to collect at the bottom of the beverage container the perforations can be place higher on the body 20 of the straw 10.
  • The dimensions of the straw 10, such as length, diameter, and cross-sectional shape, can be varied depending on the nature of the intended use. For example, for thicker beverages, a straw having a large diameter would be appropriate. If the straw is intended to be used to consume beverages from tall containers then a longer straw would be appropriate.
  • The present invention additionally contemplates a method of manufacturing the perforated straw 10. Disposable straws are generally manufactured as long tubes of plastic that are cut at desired intervals to produce individual straws. The present perforated straws 10 are generally manufactured in the same manner as conventional straws, however, two more steps are required in the manufacturing process. First, the perforations 60 must be made by cutting or perforating the body 20 of the straw 10. This step may be performed before or after the long tube is cut into individual straws. Secondly, the end of the straw must be sealed. This step may be performed before or after the perforations 60 are made.
  • The method of making the perforated straw 10 additionally contemplates a method of manufacture whereby ready-for-use conventional straws are modified by sealing the ends thereof and by cutting or perforating the bodies thereof to make the perforations. This method can be can be carried out by hand or, as with the first method described above, may be automated. For example, using a conventional straw, the perforations can be made by hand by cutting the body of the straw with scissors. And the lower terminus can be sealed by applying heat and pressure such that the material of the straw is heat fused.
  • Accordingly, while this invention has been described with reference to illustrative embodiments, this description is not intended to be construed in a limiting sense. Various modifications of the illustrative embodiments, as well as other embodiments of the invention, will be apparent to persons skilled in the art upon reference to this description. It is therefore contemplated that the appended claims will cover any such modifications or embodiments as fall within the true scope of the invention.

Claims (14)

  1. 1-15. (canceled)
  2. 16-21. (canceled)
  3. 22. A perforated straw comprising a tubular body having an upper end and a lower end, wherein a lower terminus of said lower end is sealed, and wherein said body comprises at least one perforation proximate said lower end, said perforation operative to allow fluid to enter said body of said straw and to prevent solids from entering said body.
  4. 23. The perforated straw of claim 22, wherein said straw comprises a plurality of perforations.
  5. 24. That perforated straw of claim 22, wherein said perforation has a width of between 1 mm and 5 mm.
  6. 25. The perforated straw of claim 22, wherein said straw is made of plastic.
  7. 26. The perforated straw of claim 22, wherein said perforation has a narrow elongated shape.
  8. 27. The perforated straw of claim 22, wherein said lower terminus is heat-sealed.
  9. 28. A method of using a straw having a tubular body with an upper end and a lower end, wherein a lower terminus of said lower end is sealed, and wherein-said body comprises at least one perforation proximate said lower end, said perforation operative to allow fluid to enter said body of said straw and to prevent solids from entering said body, said method comprising:
    a) placing said lower terminus in a liquid;
    b) inserting said upper end a user's mouth; and
    c) sucking on said upper end so as to cause said liquid to enter said user's mouth.
  10. 29. The method of claim 28, wherein said straw comprises a plurality of perforations.
  11. 30. The method of claim 28, wherein said perforation has a width of between 1 mm and 5 mm.
  12. 31. The method of claim 28, wherein said straw is made of plastic.
  13. 32. The method of claim 28, wherein said perforation has a narrow elongated shape.
  14. 33. The method of claim 28, wherein said lower end
US10912237 2004-08-06 2004-08-06 Disposable perforated straw Abandoned US20060027675A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

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US10912237 US20060027675A1 (en) 2004-08-06 2004-08-06 Disposable perforated straw

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US10912237 US20060027675A1 (en) 2004-08-06 2004-08-06 Disposable perforated straw

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US20060027675A1 true true US20060027675A1 (en) 2006-02-09

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Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2008072060A1 (en) * 2006-12-11 2008-06-19 Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance Sa Drinking straw
US20080161758A1 (en) * 2006-11-14 2008-07-03 Insignares Rogelio A Trocar and cannula assembly having variable opening sealing gland and related methods
EP1996050A1 (en) 2006-03-02 2008-12-03 Unistraw Patent Holdings Limited Drinking straw with integral filters
US20090065605A1 (en) * 2006-04-04 2009-03-12 Roche Sharla D Extensible Straw for a Disposable Collapsible Drink Mixing Container
US20100128554A1 (en) * 2007-04-24 2010-05-27 Institut Fur Mikrotechnik Mainz Gmbh Method for mixing and/or conveying, mixing and/or conveyance device, and sample processing chip comprising such as device
US20100135104A1 (en) * 2007-04-24 2010-06-03 Institut Fur Mikrotechnik Mainz Gmbh Acoustic mixing element and mixing device having such an element
US20100155500A1 (en) * 2008-12-19 2010-06-24 Zaccheo Michael J Safety drinking straw
US20100258498A1 (en) * 2009-04-08 2010-10-14 Douglas Finelli Filter Drinking Straw
US7823802B1 (en) * 2006-04-04 2010-11-02 Roche Sharla D Extensible straw for a disposable collapsible drink mixing container
US20100276509A1 (en) * 2009-04-30 2010-11-04 Mauro James R Drinking straw with filter member
US8915454B2 (en) 2011-02-14 2014-12-23 Scott E. Churchill Drinking straws having environmentally-friendly wrappers and methods therefor
US9801790B2 (en) * 2015-03-02 2017-10-31 LeAnn Hessler Enhanced medicine cup with a sipping straw for use with a medicine bottle

Citations (17)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US214617A (en) * 1879-04-22 Improvement in utensils for mixing and imbibing liquids
US2746379A (en) * 1952-11-10 1956-05-22 Mabel V Covington Fruit juice extractor
US3398624A (en) * 1965-10-22 1968-08-27 Stoessel Henry Kurt Drinking straw and tone generator
US3610483A (en) * 1969-12-01 1971-10-05 Ralph Visconti Dispenser with liquid-impervious vent
US4889044A (en) * 1987-03-05 1989-12-26 Alltech Services, Incorporated Fruit juice extractor/straw
US5122272A (en) * 1990-11-05 1992-06-16 E. Charles Iana Drinking water supply container having a removably mounted filter device
US5156335A (en) * 1989-09-05 1992-10-20 Smith Michael L Filtered drinking straw
US5178681A (en) * 1991-01-29 1993-01-12 Applied Materials, Inc. Suspension system for semiconductor reactors
US5236415A (en) * 1990-12-31 1993-08-17 Stallings Ronald V Drinking straw for ingesting unpalatable liquids and method of use
US5335851A (en) * 1992-09-23 1994-08-09 Jerry Adaska Drinking straw for runners
US5688588A (en) * 1996-04-12 1997-11-18 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Water purification device
US6056206A (en) * 1998-12-07 2000-05-02 Whiton; Ian Combination straw, stirrer and citrus fruit squeezer
US6142385A (en) * 1998-01-20 2000-11-07 Tacoma; Michael T. Particle blast nozzle apparatus and method
US6217545B1 (en) * 1999-02-08 2001-04-17 Porex Technologies Corp. Filter with varying density which is responsive to fluid flow
US6482451B1 (en) * 1996-10-10 2002-11-19 Peter Baron Apparatus for producing a flavored beverage
US6702193B1 (en) * 2002-07-25 2004-03-09 David Alan Gates Wine tasting straw
US20040182461A1 (en) * 2003-03-19 2004-09-23 Desmond Margetson Drinking straw

Patent Citations (17)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US214617A (en) * 1879-04-22 Improvement in utensils for mixing and imbibing liquids
US2746379A (en) * 1952-11-10 1956-05-22 Mabel V Covington Fruit juice extractor
US3398624A (en) * 1965-10-22 1968-08-27 Stoessel Henry Kurt Drinking straw and tone generator
US3610483A (en) * 1969-12-01 1971-10-05 Ralph Visconti Dispenser with liquid-impervious vent
US4889044A (en) * 1987-03-05 1989-12-26 Alltech Services, Incorporated Fruit juice extractor/straw
US5156335A (en) * 1989-09-05 1992-10-20 Smith Michael L Filtered drinking straw
US5122272A (en) * 1990-11-05 1992-06-16 E. Charles Iana Drinking water supply container having a removably mounted filter device
US5236415A (en) * 1990-12-31 1993-08-17 Stallings Ronald V Drinking straw for ingesting unpalatable liquids and method of use
US5178681A (en) * 1991-01-29 1993-01-12 Applied Materials, Inc. Suspension system for semiconductor reactors
US5335851A (en) * 1992-09-23 1994-08-09 Jerry Adaska Drinking straw for runners
US5688588A (en) * 1996-04-12 1997-11-18 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Water purification device
US6482451B1 (en) * 1996-10-10 2002-11-19 Peter Baron Apparatus for producing a flavored beverage
US6142385A (en) * 1998-01-20 2000-11-07 Tacoma; Michael T. Particle blast nozzle apparatus and method
US6056206A (en) * 1998-12-07 2000-05-02 Whiton; Ian Combination straw, stirrer and citrus fruit squeezer
US6217545B1 (en) * 1999-02-08 2001-04-17 Porex Technologies Corp. Filter with varying density which is responsive to fluid flow
US6702193B1 (en) * 2002-07-25 2004-03-09 David Alan Gates Wine tasting straw
US20040182461A1 (en) * 2003-03-19 2004-09-23 Desmond Margetson Drinking straw

Cited By (17)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1996050A1 (en) 2006-03-02 2008-12-03 Unistraw Patent Holdings Limited Drinking straw with integral filters
EP1996050B1 (en) 2006-03-02 2016-01-27 Unistraw Holdings Pte. Ltd. Drinking straw with integral filters
US7823802B1 (en) * 2006-04-04 2010-11-02 Roche Sharla D Extensible straw for a disposable collapsible drink mixing container
US20090065605A1 (en) * 2006-04-04 2009-03-12 Roche Sharla D Extensible Straw for a Disposable Collapsible Drink Mixing Container
US8584966B2 (en) 2006-04-04 2013-11-19 Sharla D. Roche Extensible straw for a disposable collapsible drink mixing container
US20080161758A1 (en) * 2006-11-14 2008-07-03 Insignares Rogelio A Trocar and cannula assembly having variable opening sealing gland and related methods
US7798991B2 (en) 2006-11-14 2010-09-21 Genico, Inc. Trocar and cannula assembly having variable opening sealing gland and related methods
WO2008072060A1 (en) * 2006-12-11 2008-06-19 Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance Sa Drinking straw
US8591093B2 (en) * 2007-04-24 2013-11-26 Institut fur Mikrotechnik Mainz Acoustic mixing element and mixing device having such an element
US8764275B2 (en) 2007-04-24 2014-07-01 INSTITUT FüR MIKROTECHNIK MAINZ GMBH Method for mixing and/or conveying, mixing and/or conveyance device, and sample processing chip comprising such as device
US20100135104A1 (en) * 2007-04-24 2010-06-03 Institut Fur Mikrotechnik Mainz Gmbh Acoustic mixing element and mixing device having such an element
US20100128554A1 (en) * 2007-04-24 2010-05-27 Institut Fur Mikrotechnik Mainz Gmbh Method for mixing and/or conveying, mixing and/or conveyance device, and sample processing chip comprising such as device
US20100155500A1 (en) * 2008-12-19 2010-06-24 Zaccheo Michael J Safety drinking straw
US20100258498A1 (en) * 2009-04-08 2010-10-14 Douglas Finelli Filter Drinking Straw
US20100276509A1 (en) * 2009-04-30 2010-11-04 Mauro James R Drinking straw with filter member
US8915454B2 (en) 2011-02-14 2014-12-23 Scott E. Churchill Drinking straws having environmentally-friendly wrappers and methods therefor
US9801790B2 (en) * 2015-03-02 2017-10-31 LeAnn Hessler Enhanced medicine cup with a sipping straw for use with a medicine bottle

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AS Assignment

Owner name: INFUZE HOLDINGS INC., CANADA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TAKEDA, BRIAN;REEL/FRAME:015668/0255

Effective date: 20040803