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US20110101008A1 - Drink Cup Baffle Device and Drink Cup System - Google Patents

Drink Cup Baffle Device and Drink Cup System Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110101008A1
US20110101008A1 US12695733 US69573310A US20110101008A1 US 20110101008 A1 US20110101008 A1 US 20110101008A1 US 12695733 US12695733 US 12695733 US 69573310 A US69573310 A US 69573310A US 20110101008 A1 US20110101008 A1 US 20110101008A1
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Prior art keywords
baffle
cup
drink
openings
device
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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
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US12695733
Inventor
Peter Anthony Draganic, III
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Draganic Iii Peter Anthony
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G19/00Table service
    • A47G19/22Drinking vessels or saucers used for table service
    • A47G19/2205Drinking glasses or vessels
    • A47G19/2266Means for facilitating drinking, e.g. for infants or invalids
    • A47G19/2272Means for facilitating drinking, e.g. for infants or invalids from drinking glasses or cups comprising lids or covers

Abstract

A drink cup baffle device and system are configured to control fluid from a drink cup to a drinker. The disclosed cup may comprise at least one of a convexity and a concavity on its inside circumference to hold the baffle device. The baffle device may include a first circular baffle insertable into the cup making first contact with fluid in the cup. The first baffle forms a seal against the inside wall of the cup and defines a first plurality of openings. The baffle device further includes a channel formed adjacent to the first baffle around the full circumference of the first baffle to receive fluid from the openings of the first baffle. The baffle device also includes a second circular baffle configured adjacent to the channel forming a seal against the inside wall of the cup and defining a second plurality of openings.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of the priority date of earlier filed U.S. Provisional Patent Application. Ser. No. 61/255,860, filed Oct. 29, 2009 incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Children transitioning from a bottle to a drink cup often end up with beverage down their face and neck to the chagrin of their parents and caregivers. The problem in first introducing a child to a standard drinking cup is their inability to control the speed of flow of their drink in relation to the tilt of their cup. Some caregivers attempt to remedy this problem simply by restricting the amount of beverage in the child's cup but this requires constant supervision of the child for sufficient hydration. There are also caregivers who apply thickeners to their child's beverage in an attempt to slow down the speed of flow. However, while thickeners help control the speed of flow of a child's drink, thickeners actually encourage the child to tilt their cup more aggressively than is needed for normal drinking.
  • [0003]
    The commercially available “Sippy Cup” is one precursor to a child drinking from a regular drinking cup but has a protruding spout. The Sippy Cup is a spill-proof drinking cup designed for toddlers. It works by way of surface tension that prevents liquid from being spilled even when the cup is upended. However, the Sippy Cup encourages a backward-forward suckle pattern to some degree and can even produce an open bit in children. Children using the Sippy Cup may also experience speech problems where the placement of the tongue forward is an issue. Use or over-use of the Sippy Cup may therefore be a contributing factor in speech delays for some children. Good lip seal and strength, as well as tongue placement, are essential for producing many speech sounds. There is therefore a need for some other commercially available alternative to the Sippy Cup.
  • [0004]
    Some caregivers have transitioned their children using a Honey Bear straw but that still encourages sucking. The Honey Bear allows a caregiver or child to control the flow of liquid into the child's mouth by squeezing gently on the bear's tummy to push liquid through the straw. Still other parents may employ recessed lid cups. The recessed lid encourages tongue retraction and improved lip closure but has the additional issues of proper lip seal on the enlarged cup edge and fitting the lid to a cup of a matching diameter and thickness.
  • [0005]
    None of the alternative devices or methods above encourages normal and independent drinking. There is therefore a need for a commercial alternative which encourages normal and independent drinking.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    In one embodiment, a drink cup device is configured to control fluid from a drink cup to a drinker. The device includes a first circular baffle insertable into the drink cup to make first contact with fluid in the drink cup, the first baffle forms a first seal against the inside wall of the cup and defines a first plurality of openings. The device also includes a channel formed adjacent to the first baffle around the full circumference of the first baffle to receive fluid from the openings of the first baffle, the channel configured to balance fluid flow from the openings. A second circular baffle is configured adjacent to the channel and forms a second seal against the inside wall of the cup and defines a second plurality of openings to transfer fluid from the channel to the drinker.
  • [0007]
    In another embodiment, a drink cup device configured to control fluid from a drink cup to a drinker includes a cylindrical disk insertable into the drink cup. The disk has a bottom surface that defines a first plurality of openings, a top surface that defines a second plurality of openings, and a sloping sidewall forming a channel between the bottom and top surfaces. The sloping sidewall is configured to form a water tight seal against the inside wall of the cup to control the transfer of the fluid from the cup to the drinker through the channel.
  • [0008]
    Embodiments of a drink cup system are also described. In one embodiment, the drink cup system is configured to control fluid from the drink cup to a drinker. The system includes a drink cup comprising at least one of a convexity and a concavity on its inside circumference. The system also includes a baffle device insertable into the drink cup to make contact with the at least one convexity and concavity to form a semi-permanent placement of the baffle in the drink cup. The baffle device of the disclosed system also includes a first circular baffle insertable into the drink cup and making first contact with fluid in the drink cup. The first baffle forms a seal against the inside wall of the cup and defines a first plurality of openings. A channel is also formed adjacent to the first baffle around the full circumference of the first baffle to receive fluid and balance fluid from the openings of the first baffle. The channel is also configured to receive the raised edge of the drink cup into a portion of the channel volume. A second circular baffle is configured adjacent to the channel and forms a seal against the inside wall of the cup and defines a second plurality of openings to transfer fluid from the channel to the drinker.
  • [0009]
    Other aspects and advantages of embodiments of the disclosure will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrated by way of example of the principles of the disclosure.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0010]
    FIG. 1 depicts the side view of a drink cup baffle device inserted in a transparent drink cup in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 2 depicts the top view of a drink cup baffle device having second openings concentric with first openings in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 3 depicts the top view of a drink cup baffle device having second openings offset from first openings in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 4 depicts the top view of a drink cup baffle device where a concentric first and second opening are sized the same with both being larger relative to another concentric opening pair in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 5 depicts the top view of a drink cup baffle device where a second opening may be larger in size relative to a concentric first opening below it in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 6 depicts the top view of a drink cup baffle device wherein contact points between the inside wall of the cup and the baffle device form mechanical bonds in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 7 depicts the top view of another drink cup baffle device wherein contact points between the inside wall of the cup and the baffle device form mechanical bonds in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 8 depicts cutaway views of a drink cup baffle device wherein the first circular baffle is configured from its circumference toward the second circular baffle forming a common wall, the common wall comprising variations of a pull-tab in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 9 depicts a drink cup baffle device including at least one perforated geometry and further includes first and second openings configured in a variety of geometrical shapes in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 10 depicts a drink cup baffle device wherein the first openings are spaced around the perimeter of the first baffle and the second openings are located only on a section of the second baffle in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 11 depicts a cylindrical disk drink cup baffle device wherein the first openings are spaced across the face of the first baffle and the second openings are formed on a portion of the second baffle in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 12 depicts the cross section A-A of FIG. 11 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 13 depicts the cross section B-B of FIG. 11 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 14 depicts the side view of a drink cup baffle system including a transparent drink cup with a convexity on its inside circumference and a baffle device inserted against the convexity in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 15 depicts the side view of a drink cup baffle system including a transparent drink cup with a concavity on its inside circumference and a baffle device inserted against the dimple in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 16 depicts the top view of a drink cup baffle device including a lid in a common supporting wall of the baffle device.
  • [0026]
    Throughout the drawings and description, similar reference numbers may be used to identify similar elements in various drawings and supporting descriptions.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0027]
    The disclosed drink cup baffle device and drink cup facilitates a natural transition for children moving from a bottle to a standard drink cup without mess or intervention from parents and caregivers. Because the present disclosure only requires natural and normal placement of a drinker's mouth and tongue to a typical drink cup, it does not therefore produce any side effects to a young drinker's speech and physical development. The present disclosure encourages normal and independent drinking.
  • [0028]
    The disclosed drink cup baffle device and drink cup are designed to take advantage of the particular properties of water that cause it to travel more slowly along the inside surface of the drink cup. That is, the viscosity of the drink cup inside wall creates extra friction for the water making contact with the wall. Thus, the water on the wall sees more resistance to the forces of gravity than the water further inside the cup. Also, the hydrogen bonds between water molecules slow down additional water molecules not directly in contact with the drink cup wall. As explained below, these properties of water are incorporated into the present disclosure by passageways formed between the drink cup wall and the disclosed baffle device.
  • [0029]
    The present disclosure also aids drinking hot beverages by slowing down and cooling the flow of hot liquids across and through air cooled openings and channels into fluid balancing passageways. Additionally, the present disclosure allows older drinkers, incapacitated drinkers, and otherwise distracted drinkers to control and limit fluid flow from their drink cup during meals, in nursing homes and assisted care facilities and at sporting events respectively. Elements and advantages of the present disclosure thus allow novel and useful applications for normal and independent drinking.
  • [0030]
    Commercial embodiments of the present disclosure include versatile combinations of its parts including but not limited to a baffle device independent of but insertable into a drink cup and embodiments including the drink cup itself. The present disclosure therefore has the advantage of properly fitting commercially available drink cups of various diameters, widths, heights and materials. The present disclosure also has the advantage of integrating the baffle device with a specific drink cup to optimize elements and uses included herein.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 1 depicts the side view of a drink cup baffle device inserted into a transparent drink cup in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depicted embodiment shows the drink cup baffle device 100 and the drink cup 110. The baffle device 100 includes the inside wall 115, the first baffle openings 125, the passageway 130, the channel 140, the second baffle 150 with openings 155, and a pull tab protrusion 160. The drink cup device 100 is configured to control fluid from a drink cup 110 to a drinker. The device 100 includes the first circular baffle 120 insertable into the drink cup 110 to make first contact with fluid in the drink cup 110. The first baffle 120 (not depicted) forms a first seal against the inside wall of the cup 115 and defines first openings 125. Each of the first openings 125 together with the inside wall of the cup 115 form a passageway for fluid from the drink cup to the passageway 130. The resulting pathway for fluid from the drink cup 110 to the drinker must therefore include the viscous inside wall of the cup at the first openings 125, the channel passageway 130, and the second openings 155. Fluid through the drink cup baffle device may be further controlled by coating the baffle device with high viscosity coatings.
  • [0032]
    The drink cup baffle device 100 of FIG. 1 also includes the channel 140 formed adjacent to the first baffle 120 (not depicted) around the full circumference of the first baffle 120 to receive fluid from the openings 125 of the first baffle 120. The channel 140 is configured to form a passageway 130 with the inside wall of the drink cup 115 for fluid flowing from the first openings 125 toward the second baffle openings 155. The passageway 130 thus formed with the channel 140 balances fluid from the first openings 125 to second openings 155 near the drinker's mouth. The second circular baffle 150 is configured adjacent to the channel 140 and forms a second seal against the inside wall of the cup 115 and defines second openings 155. Each of the second openings 155 and the inside wall of the cup 115 together form a passageway for the fluid from the channel passageway 130 to the drinker.
  • [0033]
    At least one of the first baffle 120 and the second baffle 150 is friction fit within the drink cup 110. Therefore, the seal of the first baffle 120 against the drink cup 110 and the seal of the second baffle 150 against the drink cup 110 may be accomplished by friction between the respective surfaces. Other embodiments of the disclosure further comprise a material to increase friction between the drink cup baffle device 100 and the drink cup 110. Materials with a high coefficient of friction may be applied to the first baffle 120 and second baffle 150 on surfaces which make contact with the drink cup 110. Conjunctively, or in the alternative, materials with high coefficients of friction may be applied to or formed into the drink cup 110. Suitable materials to increase the friction fit between the baffle device 100 and the drink cup 110 may include silicon, silicon based composites, soft rubbers and/or polymers and their composites. Other disclosed embodiments may include at least one o-ring disposed between the drink cup baffle device 100 and the drink cup 110.
  • [0034]
    In embodiments of the present disclosure, the first circular baffle, the channel and the second circular baffle are discrete and interchangeable parts of the drink cup device. Each interchangeable part is designed to be attached to any other part in various positions to vary a flow rate and a volume of fluid delivered from the drink cup to the drinker. The drinker is therefore able to dial-in a desired flow rate and the fluid volume by aligning larger or smaller holes in the first and second baffles. Some embodiments accordingly include a central axis element whereupon each interchangeable part may rotate and be held in proximity to the other parts.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 2 depicts the top view of a drink cup baffle device having second openings concentric with first openings in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depicted embodiment shows the baffle device 100 including first baffle openings 125, the channel 140, the second baffle 150 and second baffle openings 155. At least one of the first openings 125 is concentric with one of the second openings 155 to provide a path for fluid from the drink cup to the drinker.
  • [0036]
    FIG. 3 depicts the top view of a drink cup baffle device having second openings offset from first openings in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depicted embodiment shows the baffle device 100 including first baffle openings 125, the channel 140, the second baffle 150 and second baffle openings 155. The first openings 125 are non-centric with the second openings 155 to provide a path for the fluid from the drink cup 110 to the drinker dependent on the channel 140 through all angles of position of the drink cup 110. Fluid entering one of the first openings 125 must flow through the channel passageway 130 in order to reach one of the second openings 155. This is true even if the drink cup 110 is turned completely upside down.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 4 depicts the top view of a drink cup baffle device where a concentric first and second opening are sized the same with both being larger relative to another concentric opening pair in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depicted embodiment shows the baffle device 100 including first baffle openings 125, the channel 140, the second baffle 150 and second baffle openings 155. Each of the concentric pairs of first openings 125 and second openings 155 may be larger relative to the next concentric pair. Therefore, by turning the drink cup baffle device 100 and/or drink cup 110 relative to the drinker's mouth, the drinker may increase the volume of fluid to his mouth by selecting larger opening pairs or decrease the volume of fluid to his mouth by selecting smaller opening pairs.
  • [0038]
    FIG. 5 depicts the top view of a drink cup baffle device where a second opening may be larger in size relative to a concentric first opening below it in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depicted embodiment shows the baffle device 100 including first baffle openings 125, the channel 140, the second baffle 150 and second baffle openings 154 on one portion of the second baffle 150 and second baffle openings 156 on another portion of the second baffle 150. The second openings 154 may be larger relative to the second openings 156. The first openings 125 may be smaller relative to the second openings 154 and 156. This embodiment helps insure that the second openings 156 are large enough to deliver the volume of fluid entering the channel passageway 130 from the first openings 125 when the drinker's mouth is nearest the second openings 156 without backing up at the drinker's mouth and spilling out from second openings 156. Also, in the embodiment depicted, second openings 154 being larger than second openings 156 also deliver the volume of fluid entering the channel passageway 130 from the first openings 125 without backing up and spilling out from the second openings 154. The depicted embodiment therefore combines the drinker's ability to select a fluid volume from the second openings 156 or 154 with the fluid backup prevention feature of the larger second openings. 156 and 154.
  • [0039]
    FIGS. 6 and 7 depict the top view of respective drink cup baffle devices wherein contact points between the inside wall of the drink cup and the baffle device form mechanical bonds in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The respective depictions show the baffle device 100 including first baffle openings 125, the channel 140 and second baffle 150, contact points 152 and second openings 155. First openings 125 and second openings 155 depicted are aligned and configured in similar geometries. In alternate embodiments, the first openings 125 and second openings 155 may be offset relative to each other and configured dissimilarly. Contact points 152 form a seal against the inside wall 115 of the drink cup 110 through friction and also through deformation. Where the drink cup 110 is constructed of thin wall materials, the contact points 152 may deform the drink cup wall and provide a mechanical bond with the drink cup 110 where the wall and the baffle device 100 make contact. In other words, the resulting mechanical bonds also include concave deformations in the drink cup 110 which may secure the baffle device 100 in the drink cup. Alternatively, the points 152 are configurable to deform in response to a hard drink cup inside wall 115 and thereby form a mechanical bond with the drink cup 110 at points where the wall and the baffle device 100 make contact. The resulting mechanical bonds include static friction bonds, where at the molecular level some deformation of the drink cup 110 and the baffle device 100 may occur.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 8 depicts cutaway views of a drink cup baffle device wherein the first circular baffle is configured from its circumference toward the second circular baffle forming a common wall, the common wall comprising variations of a pull-tab in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depicted embodiments show four variations of a pull-tab protruding from the common wall. Each variation shows a baffle device including the first baffle 120 and first openings 125, the second baffle 150 and second openings 155, the common wall 600 and the channel 605. The cantilevered pull-tab variation 610 includes the cantilever pull-tab 615 which extends from the common wall 605 to form a recess for the drinker to pull the drink cup baffle device 610 from the drink cup 110 (not depicted). The pillar pull-tab variation 620 includes a pillar pull-tab 625 configured to provide a structure for pulling the baffle device 620 from the drink cup 110. The ring pull-tab variation 630 includes a ring pull-tab 635 configured to provide a structure for pulling the baffle device 630 from the drink cup 110. The tee pull-tab variation 640 includes a tee pull-tab configured to provide a structure for pulling the baffle device 640 from the drink cup.
  • [0041]
    FIG. 9 depicts a drink cup baffle device including at least one perforated geometry and further includes first and second openings configured in a variety of geometrical shapes in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depicted embodiment shows the baffle device 100 including first openings 125, the second baffle 150 and second baffle openings 155, the channel 605 and perforated second baffle geometries 920. The first openings 125 and the second openings 155 may be circular, triangular, rectangular, octagonal, and/or otherwise geometrically configured to allow passage of fluid through the first baffle 120 and the second baffle 150. Different geometries produce different fluid flow dynamics and therefore the choice of geometry is a decision involving desired flow dynamics though appearance may be a secondary consideration.
  • [0042]
    Furthermore, FIG. 9 shows at least one perforated geometry 920 configured to create an aperture with the drink cup inside wall 115 for the passage of fluid from the first baffle 120 and the channel 605 to the drinker when the drinker breaks the perforation 920. Alternate embodiments are also disclosed which create an aperture entirely within the first baffle 120 and/or second baffle 150. The perforated geometry embodiments are particularly advantageous when the baffle device is constructed of thin wall materials such as paper, and expanded polystyrene foam materials where one time use custom use is preferred. Unused perforations are small enough as to prevent leakage of fluid from the drink cup. Unused perforations are also disclosed that do not entirely pierce the baffle device and therefore minimize harbors for contagions.
  • [0043]
    FIG. 10 depicts a drink cup baffle device wherein the first openings are spaced around the perimeter of the first baffle and the second openings are located only on a section of the second baffle in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depicted embodiment shows the baffle device 100 including first baffle openings 125, the second baffle 150 and second openings 155 and the channel 605. The depicted embodiment thus has several advantages. One advantage is limiting fluid flow to the drinker along only one section of the baffle device 100 and therefore preventing spillage from the drink cup. Another advantage of the depicted embodiment is the larger second openings 155 to prevent backup of fluid in the channel 605. However, where the drink cup 110 is tiled at a ninety degree angle with respect to the horizontal, the multiple first openings 125 may allow more fluid into the channel 605 than the second openings 155 may be able to discharge to the drinker. Therefore, the number of first openings 125 and the relative size of the first openings 125 to the second openings 155 may be calculated in the worst case drink cup tilt to prevent backup of fluid in the channel 605.
  • [0044]
    FIG. 11 depicts a cylindrical disk drink cup baffle device wherein the first openings are spaced across the face of the first baffle and the second openings are formed on a portion of the second baffle in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depicted cylindrical disk baffle device 1200 shown has a first baffle 1210 (not shown) defining first openings 1220 and a second baffle 1230 defining second openings 1240. A sloping sidewall forms a channel passage between the first and second baffles and is depicted in the cross sections A-A and B-B in respective cutaway drawings FIGS. 12 and 13 below.
  • [0045]
    FIGS. 2 and 13 depict the cross sections A-A and B-B of FIG. 11 respectively in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depictions include a first baffle 1210 defining first openings 1220 and a second baffle 1230 defining second openings 1240 (not depicted in FIG. 12) and a sloping sidewall 1250 defining channel passage 1260. The sloping sidewall 1250 forms and defines the channel passage 1260 between the first baffle 1210 and second baffle 1230. The sloping sidewall 1250 is configured to form a water tight seal against the inside wall of the cup 115. The channel passage 1260 controls and balances the transfer of fluid from the drink cup 110 to the drinker through the first openings 1220 and the second openings 1240 (depicted only in FIG. 13).
  • [0046]
    FIG. 14 depicts the side view of a drink cup baffle system including a transparent drink cup with a convexity on its inside circumference and a baffle device inserted against the convexity in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depiction includes the drink cup baffle device 100 and the drink cup 110. The drink cup 110 includes the inside surface 115 and raised edge 1410. The baffle device 100 includes the first baffle 120 and first openings 125, the channel passageway 130 and channel 140, and the second baffle 150 and second openings 155, and a pull tab protrusion 160. The channel passage 130 formed by the juxtaposition of the first baffle, the channel 140 and the second baffle 150 is configured to receive the raised edge 1410 of the drink cup 110 into a portion of the channel passage 130 volume. The raised edge 1410 may comprise a continuous bead extending around the full circumference of the drink cup inside wall 115. In other disclosed embodiments, the raised edge 1410 may comprise alternating bead-like small sections and open sections along the circumference of the drink cup inside wall 115. The raised edge(s) 1410 may be comprised of a material similar to that which the drink cup 110 is comprised from and formed as a unitary whole with the drink cup 110 at time of manufacturer. Alternatively, the raised edge(s) 1410 may be insertable into a drink cup as an after-market but integrated part of the drink cup baffle system. To assist in a semi-permanent placement of the baffle device 100 into the drink cup 110, the raised edge(s) 1410 may be comprised of a semi-malleable material in order to allow easier movement of the first baffle across the raised edge(s) 1410.
  • [0047]
    To aid in the control of fluid through the drink cup baffle system to the drinker, high viscosity coatings may be applied to the drink cup inside surface 115 and throughout the baffle device surfaces not limited to but including the first baffle 120 and first openings 125, the channel passageway 130 and channel 140, and the second baffle 150 and second baffle openings 155. In alternate embodiments, the baffle system surfaces listed above may also be embossed with high viscosity patterns to aid in control of fluid through the drink cup baffle system. Such embossed patterns may include, but are not limited to, crenellations, triangular and round ridges of various sizes formed at substantially orthogonal angles to the flow of fluid through the drink cup baffle system.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 15 depicts the side view of a drink cup baffle system including a transparent drink cup with a concavity on its inside circumference and a baffle device inserted against the concavity in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The depiction includes the baffle device 100 and the drink cup 110 with inside surface 115, the first concavity 1510 and second concavity 1520 in the drink cup inside surface 115. The baffle device 100 includes the first baffle 120 and first openings 125, the channel passageway 130 and channel 140, and the second baffle 150 and second openings 155, and a pull tab protrusion 160. Although both the first concavity 1510 and second concavity 1520 are depicted, other disclosed embodiments may only include only one concavity sufficient to hold the baffle device in the drink cup 110. Either the first concavity 1510 or the second concavity 1520 may comprise a continuous dimple extending around the full circumference of the drink cup inside wall 115. In other disclosed embodiments, the first concavity 1510 and the second concavity 1520 may comprise alternating dimple-like sections and open sections along the circumference of the drink cup inside wall 115.
  • [0049]
    FIG. 16 depicts the top view of a drink cup baffle device including a lid in a supporting collar of the baffle device. The depicted embodiment shows the baffle device 100 including the first baffle 120 (not shown) and first openings 125, the second baffle 150 and second openings 155, the channel 140, collar 1610, lid 1620 and lid protuberance 1630. The collar 1610 is configured to form a supporting ring extending inward from the channel 140 toward the center of the baffle device. In embodiments lacking a lid 1620, the collar 1610 may extend from the channel 140 through the center of the baffle device 100 to form a supporting common wall. The lid 1620 may be attachably configured by threaded complementary surfaces of the collar 1610 and lid 1620 or by friction fit surfaces of the collar 1610 and lid 1620 configured to be snapped together. In either the threaded or friction fit embodiments, the lid 1620 may be completely removed. In alternate embodiments not show, the lid 1620 may be partially removed by a hinging mechanism. The lid protuberance 1630 provides a grabbing surface for the drinker to twist, snap, pull and otherwise separate the lid 1620 from the collar 1610. The lid 1620 thus completely or partially removed facilitates the passage of fluids and gases from the drink cup 110 to allow cleaning, quick refilling, and rapid cooling of liquid in the cup 110.
  • [0050]
    Throughout the description, similar reference numbers may be used to identify similar elements depicted in multiple embodiments. Although specific embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated, the invention is not to be limited to the specific forms or arrangements of parts so described and illustrated. The scope of the invention is to be defined by the claims appended hereto and their equivalents.

Claims (21)

  1. 1. A drink cup baffle device configured to control fluid from a drink cup to a drinker, comprising:
    a first circular baffle insertable into the drink cup to make first contact with fluid in the drink cup, the first baffle configured to form a first seal with the drink cup and to define a first plurality of openings;
    a channel formed adjacent to the first baffle around the full circumference of the first baffle to receive fluid from the openings of the first baffle, the channel configured to balance fluid flow from the first openings; and
    a second circular baffle configured adjacent to the channel, the second baffle configured to form a second seal with the drink cup and to define a second plurality of openings to transfer fluid from the channel to the drinker.
  2. 2. The drink cup baffle device of claim 1, wherein each of the first plurality of openings and an inside surface of the cup together form a passageway for the fluid from the cup to the channel and each of the second plurality of openings and the inside surface of the cup together form a passageway for the fluid from the channel to the drinker.
  3. 3. The drink cup baffle device of claim 2, wherein the first plurality of openings are non-concentric with the second plurality of openings to provide a path for balancing the fluid from the first plurality of openings to the second plurality of openings dependent on the channel through all angles of position of the drink cup.
  4. 4. The drink cup baffle device of claim 2, wherein the second plurality of openings may be larger from one opening relative to another opening in the second baffle and wherein the second plurality of openings may each be larger relative to the first plurality of openings to prevent backup of fluid flow in the channel.
  5. 5. The drink cup device of claim 1, wherein at least one of the first and second baffles is configured to form a supporting common wall extending from the channel through the center of the baffle device.
  6. 6. The drink cup baffle device of claim 6, wherein the first plurality of openings are spaced around a perimeter of the first baffle and wherein the second plurality of openings are located only on a portion of the second baffle, and conversely wherein the first plurality of openings are located only on a portion of the first baffle and wherein the second plurality of openings are spaced around the perimeter of the first baffle.
  7. 7. The drink cup baffle device of claim 1, wherein the first plurality of openings and the second plurality of openings are circular, triangular, rectangular, octagonal, and/or otherwise geometrically configured to allow passage of fluid through the respective first and second baffles.
  8. 8. The drink cup baffle device of claim 1, further comprising at least one perforated geometry configured to create an aperture with the inside wall of the cup for the passage of fluid from the first baffle and the channel to the drinker when the drinker breaks the perforation.
  9. 9. The drink cup baffle device of claim 1, wherein the first baffle seal and the second baffle seal share a common device surface and wherein the channel formed therebetween is toroidal, the toroidal channel balancing fluid flow between the first baffle seal and the second baffle seal.
  10. 10. The drink cup baffle device of claim 1, further comprising an elongated portion of the second baffle protruding toward the drinker configured to enable the drinker to pull the baffle device from the cup.
  11. 11. The drink cup baffle device of claim 1, wherein the first seal and the second seal result from a deformation of the drink cup wall and/or a deformation of the baffle device perimeter and thereby form a mechanical bond between the drink cup and the baffle device.
  12. 12. The drink cup baffle device of claim 1, wherein the first baffle seal and the second baffle seal are friction fit to the drink cup.
  13. 13. The drink cup baffle device of claim 1, wherein the first baffle seal and/or the second baffle seal further comprise a material to increase friction between the drink cup baffle device and the drink cup.
  14. 14. The drink cup baffle device of claim 1, wherein at least one of the first baffle seal and the second baffle seal further comprise at least one o-ring disposed between the drink cup baffle device and the drink cup.
  15. 15. The drink cup baffle device of claim 1, wherein the drink cup device is comprised of a plastic material, a rubber compound, a recyclable plastic, and/or a recyclable paper product, the drink cup device therefore flexibly configurable to the inside diameter of commercially available drinking cups.
  16. 16. The drink cup baffle device of claim 1, wherein the first circular baffle, the channel and the second circular baffle are discrete and interchangeable parts of the drink cup device, each interchangeable part attachably configurable in various positions to vary a flow rate and a volume of fluid delivered from the drink cup to the drinker, the drinker able to dial-in the desired flow rate and the fluid volume by aligning larger or smaller holes in the first and second baffles.
  17. 17. A drink cup baffle device configured to control fluid from a drink cup to a drinker, comprising:
    a cylindrical disk insertable into the drink cup, the disk having,
    a bottom surface defining a first plurality of openings,
    a top surface defining a second plurality of openings, and
    a sloping sidewall forming a channel between the bottom and top surfaces, the sloping sidewall configured to form a water tight seal against the inside wall of the cup to control the transfer of the fluid from the cup to the drinker through the channel.
  18. 18. A drink cup baffle system configured to control fluid from the drink cup to a drinker, comprising:
    a drink cup comprising at least one of a convexity and a concavity on its inside circumference; and
    a baffle device insertable into the drink cup to make contact with the at least one convexity and concavity to form a semi-permanent placement of the baffle in the drink cup, the baffle device comprising;
    a first circular baffle making first contact with the fluid and configured to form a seal with the cup and to define a first plurality of openings;
    a channel juxtaposed with the first baffle and formed around the full circumference of the first baffle to receive fluid and balance fluid from the openings of the first baffle; and
    a second circular baffle configured adjacent to the channel, the second baffle configured to form a seal with the cup and to define a second plurality of openings to transfer fluid from the channel to the drinker.
  19. 19. The drink cup baffle system of claim 18, wherein the at least one convexity may comprise a continuous raised bead extending around the inside circumference of the cup, and/or discontinuous sections of raised beads and discrete bumps, and wherein the at least one concavity may comprise a continuous dimple extending around the inside circumference of the cup, and/or discontinuous sections of dimples and discrete dimples, and alternating sections of convexities and concavities.
  20. 20. The drink cup baffle system of claim 18, wherein the drink cup baffle system further comprises at least one high viscosity coating for slowing fluid flow along an inside wall of the drink cup and through the drink cup baffle openings and channel.
  21. 21. The drink cup baffle system of claim 18, wherein at least some of the surfaces of the system are embossed with patterns comprising crenellated, triangular and round protuberances of various sizes to affect the flow of fluid.
US12695733 2009-10-29 2010-01-28 Drink Cup Baffle Device and Drink Cup System Abandoned US20110101008A1 (en)

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US12695733 US20110101008A1 (en) 2009-10-29 2010-01-28 Drink Cup Baffle Device and Drink Cup System

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2014099869A1 (en) * 2012-12-18 2014-06-26 Draganic Peter A Fluid baffle device and system
US9394087B2 (en) 2011-02-10 2016-07-19 Lids2Go Holdings Inc. Fluid flow control device for a container
US9504342B2 (en) 2011-11-17 2016-11-29 Koninklijke Philips N.V. Closure assembly for a drinking cup
US9696339B2 (en) 2014-09-18 2017-07-04 Sagatek Co., Ltd. Three-axis accelerometer

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US2761301A (en) * 1954-03-01 1956-09-04 Tellier Andre Safety drinking cup
US3040897A (en) * 1956-03-09 1962-06-26 Herbert H Holman Invertable container
US3360160A (en) * 1965-12-21 1967-12-26 Spencer Dean Anti-splash guard for drinking receptacle
US3360161A (en) * 1965-10-21 1967-12-26 Marlin B Smith Splashproof drinking vessel
US3549044A (en) * 1968-08-08 1970-12-22 Nathan B Lerner Anti-spilling device for drinking containers
US4018355A (en) * 1974-12-13 1977-04-19 Nissin Shokuhin Kaisha, Ltd. Inner lid of a receptacle for instant-cooking foods
US5540350A (en) * 1995-02-16 1996-07-30 Mallory Industries Inc. Splash/slosh guard for drinking vessels
US6199711B1 (en) * 1995-02-16 2001-03-13 Daryl J. Lansky Splash/slosh guard for drinking vessels
US6783020B2 (en) * 2002-11-15 2004-08-31 Gerber Products Company Toddler drinking cup
US7100790B2 (en) * 2004-04-15 2006-09-05 Dark Richard C G Spill-resistant metered flow cap for a cup
US7210596B1 (en) * 2004-07-16 2007-05-01 Joseph Ruccolo Child's drinking cup
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US2358600A (en) * 1943-03-25 1944-09-19 Bernard A Selten Drinking unit
US2761301A (en) * 1954-03-01 1956-09-04 Tellier Andre Safety drinking cup
US3040897A (en) * 1956-03-09 1962-06-26 Herbert H Holman Invertable container
US3360161A (en) * 1965-10-21 1967-12-26 Marlin B Smith Splashproof drinking vessel
US3360160A (en) * 1965-12-21 1967-12-26 Spencer Dean Anti-splash guard for drinking receptacle
US3549044A (en) * 1968-08-08 1970-12-22 Nathan B Lerner Anti-spilling device for drinking containers
US4018355A (en) * 1974-12-13 1977-04-19 Nissin Shokuhin Kaisha, Ltd. Inner lid of a receptacle for instant-cooking foods
US5540350A (en) * 1995-02-16 1996-07-30 Mallory Industries Inc. Splash/slosh guard for drinking vessels
US6199711B1 (en) * 1995-02-16 2001-03-13 Daryl J. Lansky Splash/slosh guard for drinking vessels
US6783020B2 (en) * 2002-11-15 2004-08-31 Gerber Products Company Toddler drinking cup
US7100790B2 (en) * 2004-04-15 2006-09-05 Dark Richard C G Spill-resistant metered flow cap for a cup
US7210596B1 (en) * 2004-07-16 2007-05-01 Joseph Ruccolo Child's drinking cup
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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9394087B2 (en) 2011-02-10 2016-07-19 Lids2Go Holdings Inc. Fluid flow control device for a container
US9504342B2 (en) 2011-11-17 2016-11-29 Koninklijke Philips N.V. Closure assembly for a drinking cup
WO2014099869A1 (en) * 2012-12-18 2014-06-26 Draganic Peter A Fluid baffle device and system
US9696339B2 (en) 2014-09-18 2017-07-04 Sagatek Co., Ltd. Three-axis accelerometer

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