US20110259846A1 - Adapter systems for glass containers, liquid containment systems, and associated methods of use - Google Patents

Adapter systems for glass containers, liquid containment systems, and associated methods of use Download PDF

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US20110259846A1
US20110259846A1 US13/091,051 US201113091051A US2011259846A1 US 20110259846 A1 US20110259846 A1 US 20110259846A1 US 201113091051 A US201113091051 A US 201113091051A US 2011259846 A1 US2011259846 A1 US 2011259846A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
sleeve
glass container
lid
adapter
combinations
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US13/091,051
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Paul Diegel
Matthew Wright
Jonny Jensen
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SANS BOTTLES LLC
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SANS BOTTLES LLC
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Application filed by SANS BOTTLES LLC filed Critical SANS BOTTLES LLC
Priority to US13/091,051 priority patent/US20110259846A1/en
Assigned to SANS BOTTLES, LLC reassignment SANS BOTTLES, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WRIGHT, MATTHEW, JENSEN, JONNY, DIEGEL, PAUL
Publication of US20110259846A1 publication Critical patent/US20110259846A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D47/00Closures with filling and discharging, or with discharging, devices
    • B65D47/04Closures with discharging devices other than pumps
    • B65D47/046Closures with swivelling dispensing devices
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D25/00Details of other kinds or types of rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D25/28Handles
    • B65D25/2802Handles fixed, i.e. non-swingable, handles
    • B65D25/2805Handles fixed, i.e. non-swingable, handles provided on a local area of the side walls
    • B65D25/2811Vertical, e.g. U-shaped

Abstract

Provided herein are adapter systems and liquid containment systems that fortify, insulate, decorate, and seal glass containers, as well as methods of using the adapter systems and liquid containment systems to reduce waste from disposable beverage containers.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/326,759, filed Apr. 22, 2010, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND
  • This invention is in the field of mechanical devices, and relates generally to adapter systems for fortifying, insulating, decorating, and sealing glass containers in order to convert the glass containers into beverage containers. Liquid containment systems and methods of using the adapter systems or liquid containment systems to reduce waste from disposable beverage containers are also disclosed.
  • Various types of beverage containers are known, and users typically select a particular container based on its intended use and characteristics, e.g., safety, insulation, fragility, appearance, texture, handling, closure system, etc. But each material used to fabricate a beverage container has drawbacks, and the ability to mix-and-match components of known beverage systems to suit a user's needs is limited.
  • Plastic is one of the most popular materials for beverage containers because it is economical, robust, and easily manufactured to meet certain appearance, texture, and handling requirements. However, plastic containers have recently been scrutinized as being potentially unsafe because certain chemicals used in the manufacture of plastic containers can be transferred to the beverage and ingested. This ingestion of potentially toxic chemicals over an extended period of time, especially by vulnerable populations, may lead to disease.
  • Only a limited number of materials that do not impart any known toxicity are available for the manufacture of beverage containers. One of these materials is glass. Users, however, typically avoid glass containers for transporting hot or cold beverages because glass is a poor thermal insulator and can break.
  • Recently, a number of patents and publications have disclosed sleeves for glass containers. For example, Patent Application Publication US 2009/0057257 discloses an elastic, stretchable sleeve or wrap for protecting a container, such as a baby bottle. Similarly, Design Pat. D620,755 discloses a toddler's drinking cup with a sleeve and top. International Patent DE20308453 discloses a bottle cover made of elastic or stretchable material for containing glass fragments in the event of breakage. U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,549,410 and 5,261,554 describe rigid or semi-rigid insulated containers for insertion of canned or bottled drinks.
  • Other patents and publications have disclosed lids for glass containers. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,246,127 and 4,055,267 disclose caps devoid of drinking holes for sealing glass containers. FR2733738 and DE102006013731 disclose resealable lids having multiple perforations designed for sprinkling solid contents.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention provides adapter systems for converting glass containers into beverage containers, liquid containment systems, and methods of using the adapter systems and liquid containment systems to reduce waste from disposable beverage containers. In some embodiments, for example, adapter systems of the invention include sleeves for encapsulating at least a portion of an exterior surface of a glass container and internally threaded lids configured to selectively engage an externally threaded portion of the glass container. Incorporation of sleeves in some embodiments improves mechanical properties of a glass container, such as strength, insulation, safety, and handling, relative to a glass container with no sleeve. Incorporation of a lid in some embodiments provides a means of sealing a glass container to reduce or prevent liquid escape.
  • The invention enables a versatile system platform supporting a variety of glass containers and adapter systems. For example, the sleeves and lids of the present adapter systems are removable, and can be mixed-and-matched to reflect a user's aesthetic or functional preferences. This modular system supports a variety of sleeve and/or lid characteristics, including but not limited to, color, material, style, brand, functional features, and the like. In addition, a variety of glass containers may be used with the present adapter systems. For example, a glass container useful with the present invention may be any industry standard glass container, such as a canning jar, a food container, a baby bottle, or a beverage container. An industry standard canning jar is commonly referred to as a Mason jar, a Ball jar, or a Kerr jar. Suitable glass containers may be made of silicon dioxide, sodalime glass, borosilicate glass, pyrex, lead crystal, and the like.
  • Provided herein are adapter systems, liquid containment systems, and methods of using adapter systems and liquid containment systems. For example, adapter systems and liquid containment systems of the invention are useful for improving the safety, portability, functionality, and appearance of glass containers. Methods of the present invention are useful for reducing waste caused, for example, by excessive use of disposable beverage containers.
  • In an aspect, provided is an adapter system for a glass container, the adapter system comprises a sleeve for encapsulating at least a portion of an exterior surface of a glass container, the sleeve having a thickness of at least two millimeters, and a lid comprising a substantially planar surface having substantially the same size and substantially the same shape as an opening of the glass container; a hole disposed through the substantially planar surface of the lid; and an internally threaded lip configured to selectively engage an externally threaded portion of the glass container. In an embodiment, the adapter system further comprises a plug for sealing the hole disposed through the substantially planar surface of the lid. In an embodiment, the hole has a proximal edge disposed within three centimeters of an outer edge of the substantially planar surface and/or the hole has longitudinal and lateral dimensions that are each less than or equal to two centimeters. In some embodiments, the lid is coupled to the sleeve. In some embodiments, the sleeve is configured as a pair of curved wings. In some embodiments, a handle is coupled to the lid or the sleeve. In an embodiment, the lid includes an O-ring, a plastic base, and a rubber grip. In an embodiment, the lid further comprises a fluid cavity.
  • In some embodiments, the sleeve functions to encapsulate portions of, or all of, a glass container, thereby thermally insulating the glass container, improving handling, and protecting a user from glass shards that may result from cracking or breaking of the glass container. In an embodiment, the sleeve encapsulates at least 50% of the glass container, optionally at least 90% of the glass container, and optionally all of the glass container. Optionally, the sleeve further comprises a semi-adhesive material in contact with an interior surface of the sleeve. For example, a semi-adhesive material comprising rubber or an elastomer may improve contact between the sleeve and the glass container. In one embodiment, the semi-adhesive material completely coats an interior surface of the sleeve. Alternatively, the semi-adhesive material may partially coat an interior surface of a sleeve. For example, the semi-adhesive material may be applied as a ring or a series of dots on the interior surface of the sleeve. In particular, a ring or series of dots disposed near the proximal end and/or the distal end of the sleeve may be sufficient to ensure adequate contact between the sleeve and the glass container.
  • A variety of materials are useful for the sleeve of the present adapter systems and liquid containment systems. In some embodiments, the sleeve comprises, or consists essentially of, a substantially elastic material. Suitable substantially elastic materials include, for example, rubber, neoprene, lycra, cork, elastomers, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the elastomer is, for example, silicone, polyurethane, synthetic rubber, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the substantially elastic material may be a repurposed material, such as repurposed inner tube material, repurposed tire material, repurposed wetsuit material, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the sleeve comprises, or consists essentially of, a substantially inelastic material. Suitable substantially inelastic materials include, for example, cellulose, straw, hemp, wood, fabric, cord, plastic, or combinations thereof. In an embodiment, the wood is selected from the group consisting of ash, pine, oak, maple, juniper, bamboo, spruce, mahogany, olive, poplar, willow, elm, locust, and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, the fabric is selected from the group consisting of knitted fabric, woven fabric, crocheted fabric, corduroy, felt, fleece, leather, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the fabric encapsulates an insulating material, which may, for example, be down, thermaloft, PRIMALOFT®, or a combination thereof. In an embodiment, the plastic may be selected from the group consisting of polypropylene, polycarbonate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyurethane, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, decorative beads, printing, pins, patches, emblems, embroidery, and other ornamental features may be added to a sleeve.
  • Sleeves of the present invention may be made by known processes. For example, plastic and elastomeric sleeves may be made by injection molding, compression molding, blow molding, and the like; wooden sleeves may be made, for example, by carving, weaving, binding, and the like; and fabric sleeves may be made, for example, by sewing, seam sealing, knitting, crocheting, and the like.
  • The physical dimensions and physical properties of the sleeve are important parameters for supporting a range of adapter system and liquid containment system functionalities. In some embodiments, the sleeve has a thickness of at least two millimeters, and optionally in some embodiments of at least three millimeters, and optionally in some embodiments of at least five millimeters, and optionally in some embodiments of at least ten millimeters. In some embodiments, the sleeve has a thickness selected over the range of one millimeter to ten millimeters, optionally for some applications selected over the range of two millimeters to eight millimeters, and optionally for some embodiments selected over the range of two millimeters to five millimeters. Use of a sleeve having a thickness of at least two millimeters is useful for providing thermal insulation and/or texture that improves grip.
  • The geometry and/or morphology of the sleeve are other characteristics important to establishing the functional capabilities of the present adapter systems. In an embodiment, the sleeve is a continuous layer having approximately uniform thickness (e.g., thicknesses within 10% of average thickness). Alternatively, the invention includes systems having a sleeve comprising a discontinuous layer and/or a layer having a nonuniform thickness profile. In some embodiments, a sleeve comprises a base that at least partially supports a bottom of a glass container. In some embodiments, a sleeve comprises a base that completely supports a bottom of a glass container and, in the event of breakage, contains all glass shards within the sleeve. The base of the sleeve may be made of the same material as the wall(s) of the sleeve, or it may be made of a different material. In an embodiment, the base of the sleeve forms a coaster that reduces thermal transfer from the glass container to a surface supporting the glass container. The base may, for example, be made from cork, plastic, wood, foam, fabric, or combinations thereof.
  • Useful lid designs include, but are not limited to, lids having substantially planar surfaces that have substantially the same size and substantially the same shape as an opening of a glass container, a hole disposed through the substantially planar surface of the lid, and an internally threaded lip configured to selectively engage an externally threaded portion of the glass container. Various opening mechanisms for the hole may be utilized, including but not limited to, selectively openable openings, one-way valves, pressure openings, etc. In some embodiments, an adapter system or liquid containment system further comprises a plug configured to seal the hole. Sealing of the glass container may be partial, e.g., where the lid has an open hole therein, or complete, e.g., where the lid includes a plug, or other mechanism, to stopper a hole therein. In an aspect, the plug forms part of a tongue that couples to the lid. In some embodiments, the lid is coupled to a handle or a sleeve.
  • The physical dimensions and shape of the lid, and components thereof, are important parameters for establishing adequate contact between the lid and the glass container. In some embodiments, the lid is configured with an internally threaded lip having a size, shape, thread count, thread pitch, and thread thickness suitable for selectively engaging an externally threaded portion of a glass container. In some embodiments, a gasket or O-ring forms part of the lid and is positioned to abut a flat sealing surface of the glass container. In some embodiments, a rubber grip may encapsulate a plastic base of a lid.
  • In some embodiments, adapter systems comprise one or more handles, which may be integrally formed with a lid or with a sleeve. Handles may form holes or substantially linear components devoid of any holes.
  • A variety of materials are useful for the lids, tongues, and handles of the present adapter systems. Suitable materials include, for example, rubber, plastic, or combinations thereof. In an embodiment, the plastic may be selected from the group consisting of polypropylene, polycarbonate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyurethane, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and combinations thereof. A plastic lid may, for example, improve the mechanical properties of a glass container by reducing the impact loading to which the glass container is subjected.
  • Lids, tongues, and handles may be made according to known processes, such as injection molding, compression molding, blow molding, and the like.
  • In another aspect, a liquid containment system comprises an adapter system comprising a sleeve for encapsulating at least a portion of an exterior surface of a glass container, the sleeve having a thickness of at least two millimeters, and a lid comprising a substantially planar surface having substantially the same size and substantially the same shape as an opening of the glass container; a hole disposed through the substantially planar surface of the lid; and an internally threaded lip configured to selectively engage an externally threaded portion of the glass container; and a glass container. In one embodiment, the glass container is an industry standard glass container. In another embodiment, the glass container is an industry standard canning jar, such as a Mason jar, a Ball jar, or a Kerr jar.
  • In another aspect, provided are methods for using an adapter system or liquid containment system. A method of this aspect comprises the steps of receiving an adapter system comprising a sleeve for encapsulating at least a portion of an exterior surface of a glass container, the sleeve having a thickness of at least two millimeters, and a lid comprising a substantially planar surface having substantially the same size and substantially the same shape as an opening of the glass container; a hole disposed through the substantially planar surface of the lid; and an internally threaded lip configured to selectively engage an externally threaded portion of the glass container, where the adapter system at least partially encapsulates a first glass container; and replacing the first glass container with a second glass container. Methods of this aspect are useful for reducing waste caused by disposable beverage containers.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 provides a top perspective view of an adapter system, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 provides a top perspective view of an exemplary glass container.
  • FIG. 3 provides a top perspective view of a sleeve including a semi-adhesive material, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIGS. 4A and 4B provide top views of a lid having a tongue containing a plug, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 5 provides an exploded view of the lid of FIGS. 4A and 4B.
  • FIG. 6 provides a cross-sectional side view of a lid having a fluid cavity, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 7A provides a side plan view of a lid having an integral handle, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 7B provides a top perspective view of a lid having both a grooved handle and a grooved tongue, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 8 provides a side plan view of a lid having an integral handle, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 9 provides a side plan view of a lid coupled to a sleeve, where the sleeve is configured as a pair of curved wings, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIGS. 10A and 10B provide side plan views of a lid coupled to a sleeve by a hinge, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 11 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system having a contiguous sleeve, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 12 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system having a sleeve made of fabric, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 13 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system having a wooden sleeve, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 14 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system having a non-contiguous sleeve, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 15 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system where the sleeve and the lid comprise compression fittings for receiving a tether, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 16 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system where the sleeve and the lid contain eyelets for receiving a tether, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 17 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system having a sleeve with an integrally formed handle, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 18 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system having a sleeve with an integrally formed handle, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 19 provides a flowchart showing steps for using an adapter system, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • In general, the terms and phrases used herein have their art-recognized meaning, which can be found by reference to standard texts, journal references and contexts known to those skilled in the art. The following definitions are provided to clarify their specific use in the context of the invention.
  • “Encapsulate” refers to the orientation of one structure such that it is at least partially, and in some cases completely, surrounded by one or more other structures. “Partially encapsulated” refers to the orientation of one structure such that it is partially surrounded by one or more other structures. “Completely encapsulated” refers to the orientation of one structure such that it is completely surrounded by one or more other structures. Sleeves of the present invention partially or completely encapsulate a glass container.
  • “Contiguous” refers to materials that are touching or connected throughout in an unbroken sequence, without forming holes or void spaces. Some sleeves of the present invention are contiguous.
  • “Seal” refers to the orientation of one structure such that it at least partially, and in some cases completely, limits an open area of another structure. “Partially sealed” refers to the orientation of one structure such that it partially limits the open area of another structure, i.e., some open area remains. “Completely sealed” refers to the orientation of one structure such that it completely limits the open area of another structure, i.e., no open area remains. Lids of the present invention partially or completely seal a glass container.
  • “Industry standard glass container” refers to any glass container manufactured according to technical specifications shown or described in Finish Drawings and/or Specification Drawings provided by the Glass Packaging Institute, which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties (available at http://www.gpi.org/glassresources/drawings/index.html, accessed Apr. 13, 2010.)
  • “Polymer” refers to a macromolecule composed of repeating structural units connected by covalent chemical bonds or the polymerization product of one or more monomers, often characterized by a high molecular weight. The term polymer includes homopolymers, or polymers consisting essentially of a single repeating monomer subunit. The term polymer also includes copolymers, or polymers consisting essentially of two or more monomer subunits, such as random, block, alternating, segmented, grafted, tapered, and other copolymers. Crosslinked polymers having linked monomer chains are particularly useful for some applications. Polymers useable in the present systems and methods include, but are not limited to, plastics, elastomers, thermoplastic elastomers, elastoplastics, thermoplastics, and acrylates. Exemplary polymers include, but are not limited to, acetal polymers, biodegradable polymers, cellulosic polymers, fluoropolymers, nylons, polyacrylonitrile polymers, polyamide-imide polymers, polyimides, polyarylates, polybenzimidazole, polybutylene, polycarbonate, polyesters, polyetherimide, polyethylene, polyethylene copolymers and modified polyethylenes, polyketones, poly(methyl methacrylate), polymethylpentene, polyphenylene oxides and polyphenylene sulfides, polyphthalamide, polypropylene, polyurethanes, styrenic resins, sulfone-based resins, vinyl-based resins, rubber (including natural rubber, styrene-butadiene, polybutadiene, neoprene, ethylene-propylene, butyl, nitrile, silicones), acrylic, nylon, polycarbonate, polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polyolefin, or any combinations thereof.
  • “Elastomer” refers to a polymeric material which can be stretched or deformed and returned to its original shape without substantial permanent deformation. Elastomers commonly undergo substantially elastic deformations. Useful elastomers include those comprising polymers, copolymers, composite materials, or mixtures of polymers and copolymers. Useful elastomers include, but are not limited to, silicon containing polymers such as polysiloxanes including poly(dimethyl siloxane) (i.e. PDMS and h-PDMS), poly(methyl siloxane), partially alkylated poly(methyl siloxane), poly(alkyl methyl siloxane) and poly(phenyl methyl siloxane), silicon modified elastomers, thermoplastic elastomers, styrenic materials, olefinic materials, polyolefin, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) elastomers, polyamides, synthetic rubbers, polyisobutylene, poly(styrene-butadiene-styrene), polyurethanes, polychloroprene, and silicones. In an embodiment, a polymer is an elastomer.
  • Adapter systems, liquid containments systems, and methods of using the systems will now be described with reference to the figures. For clarity, multiple items within a figure may not be labeled and the figures may not be drawn to scale. Like numerals in multiple figures represent like items, and items numbered with parentheses, e.g., sleeve 102(1)-102(12), represent species within a genus, which may be broadly referred to without parentheses, e.g., sleeve 102.
  • FIG. 1 shows a top perspective view of an adapter system 100(1) including a sleeve 102(1) and a lid 104(1). Sleeve 102(1) has a wall 106 having an exterior surface 108, an interior surface 110, a thickness 112, and an optional base 114(1). Lid 104(1) includes a substantially planar surface 116(1) having an outer edge 118 and a drinking hole 120(1). Drinking hole 120(1) has a proximal edge 122, disposed near outer edge 118, a lateral dimension 124, and a longitudinal dimension 126. Additional holes (not shown), such as vent holes, may be present in some embodiments. An internally threaded lip 128 having threads 130(1) is disposed perpendicular to and joined with substantially planar surface 116(1). Internally threaded lip 128 is configured to mate with and substantially cover an externally threaded portion (e.g., FIG. 2, 204) of a glass container (e.g., FIG. 2, 200). Coverage of the glass by lid 104(1) allows a user's mouth to contact lid 104(1) while drinking from the glass container. Thus, a user's mouth does not directly contact the glass container, which may be hot due to conductive heating from liquid contents within the container.
  • FIG. 2 provides a top perspective view of an exemplary glass container 200 having an outer surface 202, an externally threaded portion 204, an opening 206, a bottom 208, and a sealing surface 210. Glass container 200 may have any regular or irregular shape, but will often be in the form of a cylinder. Preferred glass containers include industry standard glass containers, especially industry standard canning jars. Such canning jars are commonly referred to as Mason jars, Ball jars, or Kerr jars, and are manufactured in two standard sizes according to Glass Packaging Institute DWG. NO. 4614, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety (available at http://www.gpi.org/pdf/drawings/4614.pdf, accessed Apr. 8, 2011). Canning jars are particularly well suited to the present invention because they are manufactured under strict tolerances to have flat sealing surfaces 210. In the context of the present invention, flat sealing surfaces produce a water-tight seal when a gasket or O-ring (e.g., FIG. 5, 500) is compressed between flat sealing surface 210 of glass container 200 and the underside of a substantially planar surface of a lid (e.g., FIG. 1, 116(1)).
  • FIG. 3 shows a top perspective view of a sleeve 102(2) having a semi-adhesive material 300 on an interior surface (such as FIG. 1, 110) of the sleeve. As shown, semi-adhesive material 300 is contiguous and completely covers the interior surface. In alternate embodiments (not shown), a semi-adhesive material may be a ring or series of dots that partially cover(s) an interior surface of a sleeve.
  • FIGS. 4A and 4B provide top views of a lid 104(2) having a tongue 400(1) containing a body 402, a plug 404, and a pin 406. FIG. 4A shows how tongue 400(1) is coupled to lid 104(2) via insertion of pin 406 into orifice 408. Once tongue 400(1) is coupled to lid 104(2), tongue 400(1) may pivot to allow plug 404 to removeably seal hole 120(2). FIG. 4B shows lid 104(2) as completely sealed by tongue 400(1).
  • FIG. 5 provides an exploded view of lid 104(2), FIG. 4, having an O-ring 500, a plastic base 502, and a rubber grip 504. When O-ring 500 abuts a flat sealing surface (e.g., FIG. 2, 210) of a glass container a water-tight seal is created. Rubber grip 504 allows a user to maintain hand-to-lid contact while applying adequate torque on lid 104(2) to easily engage or disengage lid 104(2) with glass container 200.
  • FIG. 6 provides a cross-sectional side view of a lid 104(3) having a fluid cavity 600 configured to hold a solid or liquid—such as ice, 602—that may be used to heat or cool a beverage as it passes through a serpentine channel 604 having an inlet 606 for receiving the beverage and an outlet 608 for delivering the beverage to a user. Threads 130(2) are also visible in the cross-sectional view.
  • FIGS. 7A, 7B, and 8 provide lids 104(4) and 104(5), which have integral handles 700(1), 700(2), and 800. Handles 700(1), 700(2), and 800 extend from lid 104(4) or 104(5) toward a bottom (e.g., FIG. 2, 208) of a glass container 200 and substantially parallel to an exterior surface (e.g., FIG. 2, 202) of the glass container 200. Handle 800 forms a hole 802 to better protect the hand of a user from contact with glass container 200, whereas handles 700(1) and 700(2) form substantially linear components. Handle 700(1) has a constant cross-sectional thickness along planes parallel with the plane of the paper, whereas handle 700(2) contains a groove 702. Groove 702 reduces an amount of material necessary to form handle 700(2) relative to handle 700(1) and improves molding quality due to thermal mass balance. FIG. 7B also shows lid 104(4) as containing an optional tongue 400(2) having a groove 704, which improves grip and allows a user to easily flip tongue 400(2) into an open position. In an embodiment (not shown), handle 800 may contain a groove (such as groove 702, FIG. 7B) and/or lid 104(5) may contain a grooved tongue (such as tongue 400(2), FIG. 7B).
  • FIG. 9 provides a side plan view of liquid containment system 900(1) comprising a glass container 200 sealed by a lid 104(6) that is coupled to a sleeve 102(3). Sleeve 102(3) is configured as a pair of curved wings 902. Only one wing is visible in FIG. 9. As shown, wings 902 have an irregular shape that approximates that of a human hand 904. In alternate embodiments, sleeve 102(3) may be rectangular or triangular with squared or pointed edges, respectively. Lid 104(6) and sleeve 102(3) are fixedly positioned relative to one another.
  • FIGS. 10A and 10B provide side plan views of a liquid containment system 900(2) comprising a glass container 200 sealed by a lid 104(7) that is coupled to a sleeve 102(4) via a hinge 1002. In the embodiment shown, lid 104(7) and sleeve 102(4) are movable relative to one another around an axis defined by the pivot point of hinge 1002. The presence of hinge 1002 allows lid 104(7) to be screwed onto glass container 200 while sleeve 102(4) is in an open position, as shown in FIG. 10A, thereby avoiding possible friction due to contact between sleeve 102(4) and glass container 200. Once lid 104(7) is secured, sleeve 102(4) may be lowered into a closed position, as shown in FIG. 10B. Lid 104(7) may contain a drinking hole 120 and, optionally, a tongue 400 having a plug 404 and/or a fluid cavity 600.
  • FIG. 11 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system 900(3) including a glass container 200, a lid 104(8), and a contiguous sleeve 102(5). For example, contiguous sleeve 102(5) may be made of plastic. Suitable plastics include, but are not limited to, polypropylene, polycarbonate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyurethane, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and combinations thereof. In another embodiment, contiguous sleeve 102(5) may be a substantially elastic material, such as rubber, neoprene, lycra, cork, elastomers, and combinations thereof. Suitable elastomers include, but are not limited to, silicone, polyurethane, synthetic rubber, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, and combinations thereof. Additionally, many of these materials may be repurposed, such as repurposed inner tube material, repurposed tire material, repurposed wetsuit material, and combinations thereof.
  • FIGS. 12 and 13 show additional specific examples of systems, such as system 900(3), FIG. 11, containing contiguous sleeves 102.
  • FIG. 12 shows a side plan view of a liquid containment system 900(4) comprising a glass container 200, a lid 104(9), and a sleeve 102(6) made of fabric. As depicted, sleeve 102(6) is contiguous. Those skilled in the art will, however, appreciate that a non-contiguous sleeve may be made from fabric. Contiguous and non-contiguous fabric sleeves may be made from knitted fabric, woven fabric, crocheted fabric, corduroy, felt, fleece, leather, and combinations thereof. In one embodiment, the fabric encapsulates an insulating material, such as down, thermaloft, PRIMALOFT®, and combinations thereof.
  • FIG. 13 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system 900(5) including a glass container 200, a lid 104(10), and a wooden sleeve 102(7). Sleeve 102(7) may, for example, comprise a series of wooden rods fastened together. In the embodiment shown, rods are fastened together with string or twine 1300, although other fastening mechanisms, such as adhesive, are possible. In an alternate embodiment (not shown), a wood sleeve may be a solid piece of wood carved to receive glass container 200. Suitable woods for sleeve 102(7) include, but are not limited to, ash, pine, oak, maple, juniper, bamboo, spruce, mahogany, olive, poplar, willow, elm, locust, and combinations thereof.
  • FIG. 14 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system 900(6) including a glass container 200, a lid 104(11), and a non-contiguous sleeve 102(8). Non-contiguous sleeve 102(8) reduces manufacturing costs, such as material costs, and allows a user to view a liquid level when glass container 200 is transparent. Non-contiguous sleeve 102(8) may, for example, be made of plastic. Suitable plastics include, but are not limited to, polypropylene, polycarbonate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyurethane, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and combinations thereof. In another embodiment, non-contiguous sleeve 102(8) may be a substantially elastic material, such as an elastomer, rubber, neoprene, lycra, cork, elastomers, and combinations thereof. Suitable elastomers include, but are not limited to, silicone, polyurethane, synthetic rubber, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), and combinations thereof. Additionally, many of these materials may be repurposed, such as repurposed inner tube material, repurposed tire material, repurposed wetsuit material, and combinations thereof.
  • FIG. 15 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system 900(7) where a sleeve 102(9) and a lid 104(12) comprise compression fittings 1500 having eyelets 1502(1) for receiving a tether 1504(1) that joins sleeve 102(9) and lid 104(12).
  • FIG. 16 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system 900(8) where eyelets 1502(2) form part of a sleeve 102(10) and a lid 104(13) for receiving a tether 1504(2).
  • FIG. 17 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system 900(9) including a glass container 200, a lid 104(14), and a sleeve 102(11) having an integrally formed handle 1700 and a substantially flat base 114(2). Base 114(2) terminates approximately along a shape boundary defined by the outer surface of sleeve 102(11), for example, along dashed line A.
  • FIG. 18 provides a side plan view of a liquid containment system 900(10) including a glass container 200, a lid 104(15), and a sleeve 102(12) having an integrally formed handle 1800 and a flat base 114(3). Base 114(3) terminates approximately along an outer edge of handle 1800, for example, along dashed line B.
  • It should be appreciated that all liquid containment systems 900 described herein may be converted into adapter systems 100 upon removal of glass container 200, and vice versa. Further, each of sleeves 102 optionally includes a base (e.g., base 114(1), FIG. 1), each lid 104 optionally includes a tongue 400 having a plug 404 and/or a fluid cavity 600, and each handle and/or tongue may be grooved.
  • The invention may be further understood by the following non-limiting example.
  • Example 1 Method of Using an Adapter System or Liquid Containment System
  • FIG. 19 provides a flowchart 1900 showing steps for using an adapter system 100. In step 1902, a user receives an adapter system 100 comprising a sleeve 102 and a lid 104, where the sleeve 102 at least partially encapsulates a first glass container 200. In step 1904, the user replaces the first glass container with a second glass container.
  • An adapter system 100 comprising a glass container 200 is referred to herein as a liquid containment system 900. Thus, the method of FIG. 19 may be used to convert a first liquid containment system into a second liquid containment system.
  • As an example of the method described in FIG. 19, a person brings his or her adapter system and a used glass container to a coffee shop. At the coffee shop, a barista removes the used glass container and replaces it with a new, clean glass container. Because the glass container is preferably an industry standard glass container, coffee shops can easily stock glass containers that are compatible with the present adapter systems, and customers may take the new glass containers “to go”. Therefore, use of the present adapter systems and/or liquid containment systems according to the present method reduces waste from disposable beverage containers, while protecting users from potential toxins found in some plastic beverage containers. Used glass containers, which are retrieved from customers upon arrival, may be washed and redistributed, for example, when steps 1902 and 1904 are repeated in a subsequent method.
  • Presently, when a customer brings his or her personal, reusable mug to a coffee shop, the barista must often rinse or clean the mug before preparing the beverage. Simply replacing one glass container with a new glass container may expedite the beverage preparation process.
  • It will be appreciated that the present method may be employed in various locations, for example, in a home, an office, or a restaurant.
  • STATEMENTS REGARDING INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE AND VARIATIONS
  • All references throughout this application, for example patent documents including issued or granted patents or equivalents; patent application publications; and non-patent literature documents or other source material; are hereby incorporated by reference herein in their entireties, as though individually incorporated by reference, to the extent each reference is at least partially not inconsistent with the disclosure in this application (for example, a reference that is partially inconsistent is incorporated by reference except for the partially inconsistent portion of the reference).
  • The terms and expressions which have been employed herein are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding any equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof, but it is recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of the invention claimed. Thus, it should be understood that although the invention has been specifically disclosed by preferred embodiments, exemplary embodiments and optional features, modification and variation of the concepts herein disclosed can be resorted to by those skilled in the art, and that such modifications and variations are considered to be within the scope of this invention as defined by the appended claims. The specific embodiments provided herein are examples of useful embodiments of the invention and it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the invention can be carried out using a large number of variations of the systems and method steps set forth in the present description. As will be apparent to one of skill in the art, systems and methods can include a large number of optional components and steps.
  • It must be noted that as used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an”, and “the” include plural reference unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to “a sleeve” includes a plurality of such sleeves and equivalents thereof known to those skilled in the art, and so forth. As well, the terms “a” (or “an”), “one or more” and “at least one” can be used interchangeably herein. It is also to be noted that the terms “comprising”, “including”, and “having” can be used interchangeably. The expression “of any of claims XX-YY” (wherein XX and YY refer to claim numbers) is intended to provide a multiple dependent claim in the alternative form, and in some embodiments is interchangeable with the expression “as in any one of claims XX-YY.”
  • Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meanings as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, the preferred methods and materials are now described. Nothing herein is to be construed as an admission that the invention is not entitled to antedate such disclosure by virtue of prior invention.
  • Whenever a range is given in the specification, for example, a range of integers, a temperature range, a time range, a composition range, or concentration range, all intermediate ranges and subranges, as well as all individual values included in the ranges given are intended to be included in the disclosure. As used herein, ranges specifically include the values provided as endpoint values of the range. As used herein, ranges specifically include all the integer values of the range. For example, a range of 1 to 100 specifically includes the end point values of 1 and 100. It will be understood that any subranges or individual values in a range or subrange that are included in the description herein can be excluded from the claims herein.
  • As used herein, “comprising” is synonymous and can be used interchangeably with “including,” “containing,” or “characterized by,” and is inclusive or open-ended and does not exclude additional, unrecited elements or method steps. As used herein, “consisting of” excludes any element, step, or ingredient not specified in the claim element. As used herein, “consisting essentially of” does not exclude materials or steps that do not materially affect the basic and novel characteristics of the claim. In each instance herein any of the terms “comprising”, “consisting essentially of” and “consisting of” can be replaced with either of the other two terms. The invention illustratively described herein suitably can be practiced in the absence of any element or elements, limitation or limitations which is not specifically disclosed herein.
  • One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that production materials and methods other than those specifically exemplified can be employed in the practice of the invention without resort to undue experimentation. All art-known functional equivalents, of any such materials and methods are intended to be included in this invention. The terms and expressions which have been employed are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding any equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof, but it is recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of the invention claimed. Thus, it should be understood that although the invention has been specifically disclosed by preferred embodiments and optional features, modification and variation of the concepts herein disclosed can be resorted to by those skilled in the art, and that such modifications and variations are considered to be within the scope of this invention as defined by the appended claims.

Claims (24)

1. An adapter system for a glass container, the adapter system comprising:
a sleeve for encapsulating at least a portion of an exterior surface of a glass container, the sleeve having a thickness of at least two millimeters; and
a lid comprising a substantially planar surface having substantially the same size and substantially the same shape as an opening of the glass container; a hole disposed through the substantially planar surface of the lid; and an internally threaded lip configured to selectively engage an externally threaded portion of the glass container.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the hole has a proximal edge disposed within three centimeters of an outer edge of the substantially planar surface and wherein the hole has longitudinal and lateral dimensions that are each less than or equal to two centimeters.
3. The system of claim 1, further comprising a plug for sealing the hole disposed through the substantially planar surface of the lid.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein the lid is coupled to the sleeve.
5. The system of claim 4, wherein the sleeve is configured as a pair of curved wings.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the lid further comprises a fluid cavity.
7. The system of claim 1, further comprising a handle coupled to the lid or the sleeve.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein the lid further includes an O-ring, a plastic base, and a rubber grip.
9. The system of claim 1, wherein the sleeve comprises a substantially inelastic material.
10. The system of claim 9, wherein the substantially inelastic material comprises cellulose, straw, hemp, wood, fabric, cord, plastic, or a combination thereof.
11. The system of claim 10, wherein the wood is selected from the group consisting of ash, pine, oak, maple, juniper, bamboo, spruce, mahogany, olive, poplar, willow, elm, locust, and combinations thereof.
12. The system of claim 10, wherein the fabric is selected from the group consisting of knitted fabric, woven fabric, crocheted fabric, corduroy, felt, fleece, leather, and combinations thereof.
13. The system of claim 10, the fabric encapsulating an insulating material.
14. The system of claim 13, wherein the insulating material is selected from the group consisting of down, thermaloft, PRIMALOFT®, and combinations thereof.
15. The system of claim 10, wherein the plastic is selected from the group consisting of polypropylene, polycarbonate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyurethane, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and combinations thereof.
16. The system of claim 9, wherein the sleeve comprises an exterior surface and an interior surface, wherein the interior surface comprises a semi-adhesive material.
17. The system of claim 1, wherein the sleeve comprises a substantially elastic material.
18. The system of claim 17, wherein the substantially elastic material is selected from the group consisting of rubber, neoprene, lycra, cork, elastomers, and combinations thereof.
19. The system of claim 18, wherein the elastomer is selected from the group consisting of silicone, polyurethane, synthetic rubber, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, and combinations thereof.
20. The system of claim 17, wherein the substantially elastic material is selected from the group consisting of repurposed inner tube material, repurposed tire material, repurposed wetsuit material, and combinations thereof.
21. A liquid containment system comprising:
the adapter system of claim 1; and
a glass container.
22. The liquid containment system of claim 21, wherein the glass container is an industry standard glass container.
23. The liquid containment system of claim 21, wherein the glass container is an industry standard canning jar.
24. A method of using an adapter system for a glass container, the method comprising:
receiving the adapter system of claim 1, wherein the sleeve at least partially encapsulates a first glass container; and
replacing the first glass container with a second glass container.
US13/091,051 2010-04-22 2011-04-20 Adapter systems for glass containers, liquid containment systems, and associated methods of use Abandoned US20110259846A1 (en)

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US20140189981A1 (en) * 2012-11-26 2014-07-10 Lec, Inc. Baby bottle holder
USD747624S1 (en) 2014-12-23 2016-01-19 Mark Johns Walker Jar lid with a closable spout
USD752976S1 (en) 2013-07-02 2016-04-05 Windy Hill Spirits, Inc. Pour spout
US10220984B1 (en) 2015-04-10 2019-03-05 Matthew M. Vigoureux Universal container lid
USD854383S1 (en) 2017-07-07 2019-07-23 Michael L. Felkins, Sr. Removable handle for mason jar
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US20120228318A1 (en) * 2011-03-09 2012-09-13 Martin Jason P Reusable Beverage Container Insulator and Handle
US10538368B2 (en) 2011-12-15 2020-01-21 Jrap, Inc. Lids for beverage containers
US20140189981A1 (en) * 2012-11-26 2014-07-10 Lec, Inc. Baby bottle holder
USD752976S1 (en) 2013-07-02 2016-04-05 Windy Hill Spirits, Inc. Pour spout
USD747624S1 (en) 2014-12-23 2016-01-19 Mark Johns Walker Jar lid with a closable spout
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