Sleeve, system and/or method for concealing a surface of a container

A sleeve, a system and/or a method conceal a surface of a container for providing privacy to prescription pharmaceutical containers and for providing additional space for displaying advertisements therefrom. The sleeve has at least one rib to slidably receive and frictionally attach the sleeve to the container. When attached to the container, the sleeve conceals a label of the container and/or contents of the container. The rib allows air flow between the sleeve and the container. The sleeve may be labeled with an advertisement and/or other indicia. The sleeve has a base and functions as a cup to assist a user with taking, mixing and/or measuring the contents of the container after removing the sleeve from the container.

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Description

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No.: 61/088,693 filed Aug. 13, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container. More specifically, the present invention relates to a sleeve, a system and/or a method that may slidably receive a container to conceal a label of the container and/or to conceal contents of the container. The sleeve and/or the system may be labeled with an advertisement and/or other indicia. The sleeve and/or the system may frictionally attach to a container, such as, for example, a pill bottle, a liquid bottle, a box, a tube, a dispenser, a vial, a blister pack, a can, a cup and/or the like.

It is generally known that retailers of pharmaceuticals use millions of containers each year to distribute prescription pharmaceuticals. A retailer may re-package a pharmaceutical in a container before selling the pharmaceutical to a patient. Alternatively, the retailer may sell the pharmaceutical in a container received from a manufacturer of the pharmaceutical. The container may display sensitive information about the patient and/or the pharmaceutical. Concealing the sensitive information may be desirable, particularly in public places, such as, for example, in retail pharmacies. The retailer places a label on the container having information, such as, for example, the patient's name, the patient's birth date, the patient's address, the prescribing doctor's name, the prescription number, the name of the pharmaceutical, the quantity being sold, the number of refills available, the instructions for consumption, the indications and/or the like. The container may be transparent, translucent and/or the like and may allow the contents of the container to be viewable through the container.

The labels affixed to the container may use a portion of a surface area of the container taking up space that may otherwise be used for advertising. The retailer may desire additional space on the container to advertise and/or to convey additional information to the patient. Additional space for advertising on a container may allow a retailer to maximize profits through an advertising revenue stream. Selling advertising on each container may allow the retailer to subsidize the costs of the pharmaceutical and/or the container and pass savings along to the patient.

Further, known containers may be provided with a cup for use in mixing, measuring and/or swallowing the pharmaceutical. The cup fits in an inverted position over a cap of the container and has a volume similar to a volume of the cap. It is also generally known to provide a cap for the container that functions as a cup for measuring and/or consuming the pharmaceutical.

Advertising is conveyed to the patient on bags, such as, for example, paper bags, provided by the retailer. The bags hold and/or conceal the pharmaceutical containers. The bags are temporary and are typically torn and/or discarded by the patient shortly after purchase of the pharmaceutical. Therefore, the bags are not viable options for long term exposure to advertisements and/or information and fail to provide privacy to the patients after the containers are removed for use. The bags may not be used to assist the patient in mixing, measuring and/or swallowing the pharmaceutical.

Containers are accessed by and viewed by patients numerous times each day; however, the required prescription labels utilize the advertising space on the containers. The labels prevent retailers from capitalizing on the numerous exposure opportunities available to their advertisers on each container used to distribute the pharmaceuticals.

A need, therefore, exists for a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container. Further, a need exists for a sleeve, a system and/or a method that may provide an opaque barrier to conceal the surface of the container. Still further, a need exists for a sleeve, a system and/or a method that may provide a surface area for displaying indicia, such as, for example, advertisements and/or the like about the container. Still further, a need exists for a sleeve, a system and/or a method that may slidably attach about a surface of the container. Still further, a need exists for a sleeve a system and/or a method that may function as a cup to mix, to measure and/or to assist a consumer in swallowing contents of the container. Still further, a need exists for a sleeve, a system and/or a method that may be adapted for use with containers of various sizes and/or configurations. Still further, a need exists for a sleeve, a system and/or a method that may be placed on and/or removed from the container multiple times, as needed. Moreover, a need exists for a sleeve, a system and/or a method may be secured to a lid of the container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container. More specifically, the present invention relates to a sleeve, a system and/or a method that may slidably receive a container to conceal a label of the container and/or to conceal contents of the container. The container may have an external surface with a label and/or indicia. The sleeve may have an external surface and an internal surface. The internal surface may have at least one rib extending therefrom to slidably attach the sleeve to the container. The rib may allow air flow between the sleeve and the container to prevent vacuum lock from occurring between the sleeve and the container. The sleeve may be opaque to conceal the external surface and/or the indicia of the container.

The sleeve and/or the system may be labeled with an advertisement and/or other indicia. The sleeve and/or the system may frictionally attach with a rib to a container, such as, for example, a pill bottle, a liquid bottle, a box, a tube, a dispenser, a vial, a blister pack, a can, a cup and/or the like. The sleeve may have a lip for attaching the sleeve to a cap of the container. Moreover, the sleeve may have a base and/or may function as a cup for holding liquids and/or a portion of the contents of the container.

To this end, in an embodiment of the present invention, a sleeve for surrounding a container having a surface is provided. The sleeve has a perimeter wall sized to surround the container wherein the perimeter wall has a thickness defined between an external surface and an internal surface wherein the internal surface of the perimeter wall is positioned opposite to the external surface of the perimeter wall wherein the perimeter wall has a diameter about the internal surface of the perimeter wall wherein the perimeter wall has a height defined between a top end and a bottom end wherein the bottom end is positioned opposite to the top end. Moreover, the sleeve has a first protruding area of the internal surface of the perimeter wall wherein the first protruding area extends a distance from the internal surface to reduce the diameter of the perimeter wall and to contact the surface of the container.

In an embodiment, the sleeve has indicia on the external surface of the perimeter wall.

In an embodiment, the sleeve has a second protruding area of the internal surface of the perimeter wall wherein the second protruding area extends a distance from the internal surface to reduce the diameter of the perimeter wall and to contact the surface of the container.

In an embodiment, the sleeve has a lip formed at the top end of the perimeter wall wherein the lip protrudes from the external surface of the perimeter wall in a direction perpendicular with respect to the external surface.

In an embodiment, the sleeve has a rib integrally formed with the internal surface of the perimeter wall wherein the rib reduces the diameter of the perimeter wall and contacts the surface of the container.

In an embodiment, the sleeve has an indentation formed on internal surface of the perimeter wall wherein the indentation increases the diameter of the perimeter wall and allows air to flow within the internal surface of the perimeter wall.

In an embodiment, the sleeve has indicia on the internal surface of the perimeter wall that indicates a volumetric measurement.

In an embodiment, the perimeter wall is opaque.

In an embodiment, the sleeve has a bottom surface integrally formed with the perimeter wall at the bottom end of the perimeter wall wherein the perimeter wall and the bottom surface form a reservoir having an opening at the top end of the perimeter wall.

In an embodiment, the perimeter wall is plastic.

In another embodiment, a system for packaging a consumable is provided. The system has a container having a top end and bottom end wherein the bottom end is positioned opposite to the top end wherein the container has a perimeter that defines a diameter of the container wherein the container has a volume sized to contain the consumable. Further, the system has a lid to enclose the top end of the container. Further, the system has a sleeve having a top end and a bottom end wherein the bottom end of the sleeve is positioned opposite to the top end of the sleeve wherein the sleeve has an internal surface and an external surface wherein the sleeve has a perimeter that defines a diameter of the sleeve wherein the diameter of the sleeve is greater than the diameter of the container to slidably receive the container between the top end of the sleeve and the bottom end of the sleeve. Moreover, the system has a plurality of ribs protruding from the internal surface of the sleeve wherein each of the plurality of ribs extend from the top end of the sleeve to the bottom end of the sleeve wherein each of the plurality of ribs contacts the container to frictionally engage the container to the internal surface of the sleeve.

In an embodiment, the system has a lip integrally formed with the top end of the sleeve that is engaged by the lid.

In an embodiment, the system has an advertisement on the exterior surface of the sleeve.

In an embodiment, the system has a plurality of indentations on the internal surface of the sleeve wherein each of the plurality of indentations extend from the top end of the sleeve to the bottom end of the sleeve.

In an embodiment, the system has an insert having a diameter that is less than the diameter of the sleeve wherein the insert is positioned within the sleeve between the sleeve and the container wherein the insert controls a temperature of the contents of the container.

In an embodiment, the sleeve is opaque.

In another embodiment, a method for filling a container with contents and concealing the contents of the container wherein the container has a surface and a diameter is provided. The method has the step of placing the contents in the container. Further, the method has the step of providing a sleeve that is sized to frictionally receive the container wherein the sleeve has a rib integrally formed therewith that creates an internal diameter of the sleeve that is less than the diameter of the container. Moreover, the method has the step of sliding the container into the sleeve and adjacent to the rib to frictionally engage the container within the sleeve and to conceal the surface of the container.

In an embodiment, the method has the step of placing an adhesive label on the sleeve.

In an embodiment, the method has the step of placing an adhesive label on the surface of the container.

In an embodiment, the method has the step of printing indicia on the sleeve.

It is, therefore, an advantage of the present invention to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container.

Another advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may slidably receive the container to conceal a label of the container and/or to conceal contents of the container.

And, another advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may be labeled with an advertisement and/or other indicia.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container, such as, for example, a pill bottle, a liquid bottle, a box, a tube, a dispenser, a vial, a blister pack, a can, a cup and/or the like.

A further advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may provide an opaque barrier to conceal the surface of the container.

Moreover, an advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may provide additional surface area for displaying indicia, such as, for example, advertisements and/or the like.

And, another advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may function as a cup to mix, to measure and/or to assist a consumer in swallowing contents of the container.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may be adapted for use with containers of various sizes and/or configurations.

Another advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may be placed on and/or removed from the container repeatedly.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may be secured to a lid of the container.

A still further advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may protect contents of the container from exposure to light.

Moreover, an advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may allow retailers to advertise to consumers.

And, another advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may allow consumers to measure liquid contents of the container.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may be used insulate the container and/or the contents of the container.

Moreover, an advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may be used serve consumables, such as, for example, chips, dips, dressings and/or the like.

And, another advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may conceal surfaces of multiple containers.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is to provide a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container that may implement a heating source and/or a cooling source.

Additional features and advantages of the present invention are described in, and will be apparent from, the detailed description of the presently preferred embodiments and from the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an exploded perspective view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective side view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exploded perspective view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective side view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates an exploded perspective view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective side view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective side view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 illustrates a cross-sectional side view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9A illustrates a cross-sectional top view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9B illustrates a perspective side view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 illustrates a cross-sectional top view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 illustrates a cross-sectional top view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 illustrates a cross-sectional top view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 illustrates a cross-sectional top view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 14 illustrates a cross-sectional top view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 15 illustrates a cross-sectional side view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 16 illustrates a cross-sectional side view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 17 illustrates an exploded perspective view of a sleeve and a system for concealing a surface of a container in an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention generally relates to a sleeve, a system and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container. More specifically, the present invention relates to a sleeve, a system and/or a method that may slidably receive a container to conceal a label of the container and/or to conceal contents of the container.

Referring now to the drawings wherein like numerals refer to like parts, FIGS. 1-8 and 15-17 illustrate a sleeve 2, a system 4 and/or a method for concealing a surface of a container 6 in embodiments of the present invention. The container 6 may be, for example, a pill bottle, a liquid bottle, a syrup bottle, a box, a tube, a dispenser, a pipette, a dropper bottle, a yorker bottle, a dispensing spoon, an ointment jar, a cigarette pack, a tin, a packet, a bag, an applicator, an aerosol can, a pill case, an inhaler, a pouch, a vial, a blister pack, a syringe, an irrigation device, a dressing package, an eye-dropper, a beverage can, a cup and/or the like.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 5, 8 and 17, the container 6 may have a top end 26 and a bottom end 28 that may be positioned opposite to the top end 26. The container 6 may have a shape, such as, for example, a cylindrical shape, a rectangular shape, a polygonal shape and/or the like. The container 6 may be transparent, translucent and/or the like and may allow an individual to view the contents of the container 6. Further, in an embodiment, the container 6 may be tinted with a dye that may filter wavelengths of light that may degrade the contents of the container 6. As shown in FIGS. 1-7, 15 and 16, the container 6 may have a cap 8. The container 6 may be threaded (not shown) to receive the cap 8. In an embodiment, the container 6 and the cap 8 may be combined to form a child-safe lock. In another embodiment, the cap 8 may snap onto the top end 26 of the container 6. The container 6 may be distributed and/or sold with or without contents in an environment, such as, for example, a retail pharmacy, a grocery store and/or the like. The present invention should not be deemed as limited to a specific embodiment of the container 6 and/or the contents of the container 6. It should be understood that the container 6 may be any container that may be sold and/or distributed in an environment offering any consumable, medication, pharmaceutical and/or other product as known to one having ordinary skill in the art.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 5, the container 6 may have an external surface 29 defining a perimeter of the container 6. The external surface 29 may have indicia 11 printed thereon and/or a label 14 with indicia 11 printed thereon. The label 14 may be affixed to the external surface 29 of the container 6 with an adhesive, a tape and/or the like. The indicia 11 may indicate, for example, the contents of the container 6. The indicia 11 and/or the label 14 may indicate, for example, a patient's name, a patient's birth date, a patient's address, a prescribing doctor's name, a prescription number, a name of the pharmaceutical that may be in the container 6, a quantity being sold, a number of refills available, instructions for consumption, indications and/or the like. Concealing the contents of the container 6, the label 14 and/or the indicia 11 from public view may be desirable. The present invention should not be deemed as limited to a specific embodiment of the label 14 and/or the indicia 11. It should be understood that the container 6 may have any label 14 and/or indicia 11 as known to one having ordinary skill in the art.

FIGS. 1-8, 9A, 9B and 10-17 illustrate embodiments of the sleeve 2. The sleeve 2 may have a height defined between a top end 20 and a bottom end 22 that may be positioned opposite to the top end 20. The sleeve 2 may have perimeter wall 17 that may have a thickness defined between an internal surface 16 and an external surface 18 that may be positioned opposite to the internal surface 16. As shown in FIG. 2, the sleeve 2 may have a bottom surface 24 at the bottom end 22 of the sleeve 2 that may be integrally formed with the perimeter wall 17 of the sleeve 2 to form a cup-like structure that may be suitable for containing solids and/or liquids. The sleeve 2 may have a shape, such as, for example, a cylindrical shape, a rectangular shape and/or a polygonal shape. The sleeve 2 may be sized and/or configured to slidably receive the container 6 between the top end 20 and the bottom end 22 of the sleeve 2.

The sleeve 2 may be constructed from a material, such as, for example, a plastic, a metal, a paper product and/or a combination of the same. The sleeve 2 may be constructed from a stiff material and/or a rigid material, such as, for example, a plastic, a metal and/or a corrugated paper. The sleeve 2 may be constructed from a transparent material and/or a translucent material, such as, for example, a plastic. In a preferred embodiment, the sleeve 2 may be constructed from an opaque material, such as, for example, a plastic, a metal, a paper and/or the like that may prevent viewing of the external surface 29 of the container 6 while the container 6 is positioned within the sleeve 2. The sleeve 2 may be painted and/or coated with an opaque material to prevent viewing of the external surface 29 of the container 6 while the container 6 is positioned within the sleeve 2. An opaque sleeve 2 may conceal the contents of the container 6, the label 14 and/or the indicia 11 on the container 6 while the container 6 is positioned within the sleeve 2. The sleeve 2 may be manufactured having a color, such as, for example, blue, red, green, orange, yellow, purple, black, gray, white and/or the like. The present invention should not be deemed as limited to a specific embodiment of the material of the sleeve 2, the opacity of the sleeve 2 and/or the color of the sleeve 2. It should be understood that the sleeve 2 may be constructed from any material, may have any opacity and/or may be any color, respectively, as known to one having ordinary skill in the art.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 5, 9A, 9B, 10, 11 and 17, the sleeve 2 may have one or more ribs 10 that may extend from the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2. In an embodiment, the ribs 10 may be integrally formed with the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2. In an embodiment, the ribs 10 may be attached to the internal surface 16 fo the sleeve 2. In an embodiment, the ribs 10 may extend in a generally straight line a length of the sleeve 2 from the top end 20 to the bottom end 22 of the sleeve 2. In an embodiment, the ribs 10 may extend around an interior perimeter of the sleeve 2 in positions that may be parallel with respect to the top end 20 and the bottom end 22 of the sleeve 2. The ribs 10 may extend around and/or along the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2 in varying directions and/or configurations depending on an amount of friction desired between the container 6 and the sleeve 2.

The sleeve 2 may have internal dimensions that may correspond to and/or that may be greater than external dimensions of the container 6. The internal dimensions of the sleeve 2 may be sized to slidably receive the container 6 without resistance. However, the ribs 10 may be sized to protrude from the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2 to create at least one internal dimensions of the sleeve 2 that may be equal to and/or less than a corresponding external dimension of the container 6. An internal dimension of the sleeve 2, such as, for example, a diameter of the sleeve 2 at a rib 10 may be equal to and/or less than a corresponding external dimension of the container 6, such as, for example, a diameter of the container 6 may result in a frictional attachment between the sleeve 2 and the container 6. The ribs 10 may protrude from the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2 a distance sized to minimize an internal dimension of the sleeve 2 to allow for slidable insertion of the container 6 into the sleeve 2. After the container 6 may be slidably inserted into the sleeve 2, friction between one or more of the ribs 10 and the container 6 may resist movement of the container 6 from the sleeve 2. However, the internal dimensions of the sleeve 2 that may be greater than the corresponding exterior dimensions of the container 6 may allow air to flow freely about the ribs 10 around the container 6 between the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2, the bottom surface 24 of the sleeve 2 and an environment outside the sleeve 2. A free flowing of air around the sleeve 2 with the container 6 positioned within the sleeve 2 may prevent a vacuum lock from occurring between the sleeve 2 and the container 6. Therefore, the friction that may exist between one or more of the ribs 10 and the container 6 may be overcome by pulling the container 6 and/or the cap 8 of the container 6 away from the bottom surface 24 of the sleeve 2 with a force greater than the friction to remove the container 6 from the sleeve 2.

FIGS. 9A, 9B and 10-14 generally illustrate various cross-sectional configurations of the sleeve 2 that may exist between the top end 20 and the bottom end 22 of the sleeve 2. FIGS. 9A, 9B, 10 and 11 generally illustrate embodiments of the sleeve 2 having one or more of the ribs 10. FIGS. 12-14 illustrate embodiments of the sleeve 2 that may have one or more indentations 9 that may be formed on the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2. In the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 12-14, the internal dimensions of the sleeve 2 may be equal to and/or less than to the corresponding external dimensions of the container 6. Therefore, friction may exist between the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2 and the container 6 when the container 6 is positioned within the sleeve 2. The indentations 9 may be sized to recess into the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2 to create one or more internal dimensions of the sleeve 2 that may be greater than the corresponding external dimensions of the container 6. The internal dimensions of the sleeve 2 that may be greater the external dimensions of the container 6 may allow air to flow freely about the indentations 9 around the container 6 between the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2, the bottom surface 24 of the sleeve 2 and the environment outside the sleeve 2. A free flowing of air into and out of the sleeve 2 with the container 6 positioned within the sleeve 2 may prevent a vacuum lock from occurring between the sleeve 2 and the container 6. Therefore, the friction that may exist between the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2 and the container 6 may be overcome by pulling the container 6 and/or the cap 8 of the container 6 away from the bottom surface 24 of the sleeve 2 with a force greater than the friction to remove the container 6 from the sleeve 2.

As shown in FIGS. 9A, 9B, 10 and 11, the ribs 10 may be rounded to reduce an amount of surface area exposed to and/or in contact with the container 6. The ribs 10 may be integrally formed with the sleeve 2 and may be, for example, extruded and/or injection molded. In an embodiment, the ribs 10 may be affixed to the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2 with an adhesive and may be constructed from a same and/or a different material as the sleeve 2. As shown in FIGS. 12-14, the indentations 9 may form channels in the sleeve 2 having cross-sectional shapes, such as, for example, a semi-circular shape, a rectangular shape, a triangular shape and or the like to control air flow between the sleeve 2 and the container 6. The indentations 9 may be features that may be formed by, for example, extruding and/or injection molding the sleeve 2. The indentations 9 may be milled and/or cut from the internal surface 16 of the sleeve after the sleeve 2 has been constructed. However, the ribs 10 and/or the indentations 9 may be shaped in any configuration as known to one having ordinary skill in the art.

As shown in FIG. 9B, the internal surface 16 of the sleeve 2 may have one or more measurement lines 34 with corresponding volumetric indicators 36. The volumetric indicators 36 may allow a user to measure and/or to approximate a volume of contents, such as, for example, litters, milliliters, tablespoons, teaspoons, cups, gallons and/or the like that may be placed within the sleeve 2. In an embodiment, a user of the system 4 may fill the sleeve 2 with water to be consumed with contents of the container 6. The user may pour contents of the container 6 into the sleeve 2 and/or may measure the contents with the measurement lines 34 and/or the corresponding volumetric indicators 36 prior to consuming the measured contents. Further, the user may use the sleeve 2 to mix contents of the container 6 with a solvent, such as, for example, water prior to consuming a mixture of the contents and/or the solvent.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the external surface 18 of the sleeve 2 may have indicia 12 thereon. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a label 30 may be affixed to the external surface 18 of the sleeve 2 to display the indicia 12. The label 30 may be affixed to the external surface 18 of the sleeve 2 with an adhesive (not shown). The indicia 12 may be displayed from the external surface 18 of the sleeve 2 by methods, such as, for example, engraving the indicia 12, silk-screening the indicia 12, laser etching the indicia 12, thermal printing the indicia 12, ink printing the indicia 12 and/or the like. Likewise, the indicia 12 may be displayed on the label 30 by methods, such as, for example, engraving the indicia 12, silk-screening the indicia 12, laser etching the indicia 12, thermal printing the indicia 12, ink printing the indicia 12 and/or the like. The indicia 12 may convey information, such as, for example, advertisements and/or the like to a user of the system 4. The present invention should not be deemed as limited to a specific embodiment of the indicia 12, the label 30 and/or the method used to create the indicia 12 on the label 30 and/or the external surface 18 of the sleeve 2. It should be understood that the indicia 12, the label 30 and/or the method used to create the indicia 12 may be any indicia, label and/or printing method, respectively, as known to one having ordinary skill in the art.

FIGS. 8, 15 and 16 illustrate embodiments of the sleeve 2 having a lip 32 at the top end 20 of the sleeve 2. Together with the cap 8, the lip 32 may be used to attach the sleeve 2 about the container 6 with or without the ribs 10 and/or the indentations 9. As shown in FIGS. 15 and 16, the cap 8 may have a rim 42 that may extend beyond to a point between the top end 20 and the bottom end 22 of the sleeve 2. The rim 42 may overlap the lip 32 forming a latch that may resist a movement of the sleeve 2 from the cap 8 and ultimately away from the container 6. Use of the rim 42 on the cap 8 and the lip 32 on the sleeve 2 may achieve a child-safe lock between the cap 8 and the sleeve 2. FIGS. 15 and 16 illustrate embodiments of the sleeve 2 having a lip 33 at the bottom end 22 of the sleeve 2 to receive the cap 8 after the cap 8 has been removed from the top end 20 of the container 6. The rim 42 of the cap 8 may overlap the lip 33 forming a latch that may resist a movement of the sleeve 2 from the cap 8. The lip 33 at the bottom end 22 may be used to store the cap 8 and to prevent a user from losing the cap 8 after the cap 8 is removed from the container 6.

In an embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 17, the sleeve 2 may be sized to receive the container 6, such as, for example an aluminum beverage can. The system 4 may have a heating or cooling source 40 that may be refrigerated, frozen and/or heated. The heating or cooling source 40 may be, for example, a pack or pouch containing a gel that may heat or cool adjacent objects. The heating or cooling source 40 may be configured in a puck-like or cylindrical shape that may be sized for insertion into a cylindrical sleeve 2, as shown in FIG. 17. The heating or cooling source may be situated within the sleeve 2 adjacent to the bottom surface 24 of the sleeve 2. After being refrigerated, frozen and/or heated, the heating or cooling source 40 may be placed between the bottom surface 24 of the sleeve 2 and the bottom end 28 of the container 6 to chill and/or to heat the contents of the container 6 before, during and/or after consumption by a user of the system 4.

The system 4 and/or the sleeve 2 together with the container 6 and/or the cap 8 may be used to distribute the contents of the container 6 to consumers with added privacy. After placing the contents into the container 6 and/or after labeling the container 6 with the label 14 and/or the indicia 11, a user may slidably insert the container 6 into the sleeve 2 between the top end 20 and the bottom end 22 of the sleeve 2. The internal dimensions of the sleeve 2 along with the configurations of the ribs 10 and/or the indentations 9 relative to the external dimensions of the container 6 may result in a frictional attachment of the sleeve 2 to the container 6. An opacity of the sleeve 2 may conceal the indicia 11 of the container 6 and/or the contents of the container 6. Further, the user of the system 4 may provide the label 30 and/or the indicia 12 on the external surface 18 of the sleeve 2. The indicia 12 may be, for example, an advertisement and/or the like.

A consumer or user of the contents of the container 6 may receive the container 6 in public with added privacy as to the indicia 11 and/or the contents of the container 6. Further, the user may store the container 6 with the sleeve 2 in any space and maintain privacy regarding the indicia 11 and/or the contents of the container 6. The consumer may use the sleeve 2 to measure, to mix and/or to take the contents of the container 6. The consumer may access the container 6 numerous times and/or may be exposed to the indicia 12 each time the consumer accesses the container 6. Additional exposures to the indicia 12 may increase the efficacy of any advertisements that may be situated on the external surface 18 of the sleeve 2. Further, after the contents of the container 6 are completely consumed, the consumer may use the sleeve 2 as a receptacle for serving, consuming and/or concealing of additional contents.

It should be understood that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and without diminishing its attendant advantages. It is, therefore, intended that such changes and modifications be covered by the appended claims.

Claims

1. A sleeve for surrounding a container having a surface, the sleeve comprising:

a perimeter wall sized to surround the container wherein the perimeter wall has a thickness defined between an external surface and an internal surface wherein the internal surface of the perimeter wall is positioned opposite to the external surface of the perimeter wall wherein the perimeter -wall has a diameter about the internal surface of the perimeter wall wherein the perimeter wall has a height defined between a top end and a bottom end wherein the bottom end is positioned opposite to the top end; and
a first protruding area of the internal surface of the perimeter wall wherein the first protruding area extends a distance from the internal surface to reduce the diameter of the perimeter wall and to contact the surface of the container.

2. The sleeve of claim 1 further comprising:

indicia on the external surface of the perimeter wall.

3. The sleeve of claim 1 further comprising:

a second protruding area of the internal surface of the perimeter wall wherein the second protruding area extends a distance from the internal surface to reduce the diameter of the perimeter wall and to contact the surface of the container.

4. The sleeve of claim 1 further comprising:

a lip formed at the top end of the perimeter wall wherein the lip protrudes from the external surface of the perimeter wall in a direction perpendicular with respect to the external surface.

5. The sleeve of claim 1 further comprising:

a rib integrally formed with the internal surface of the perimeter wall wherein the rib reduces the diameter of the perimeter wall and contacts the surface of the container.

6. The sleeve of claim 1 further comprising:

an indentation formed on internal surface of the perimeter wall wherein the indentation increases the diameter of the perimeter wall and allows air to flow within the internal surface of the perimeter wall.

7. The sleeve of claim 1 further comprising:

indicia on the internal surface of the perimeter wall that indicates a volumetric measurement.

8. The sleeve of claim 1 wherein the perimeter wall is opaque.

9. The sleeve of claim 1 further comprising:

a bottom surface integrally formed with the perimeter wall at the bottom end of the perimeter wall wherein the perimeter wall and the bottom surface form a reservoir having an opening at the top end of the perimeter wall.

10. The sleeve of claim 1 wherein the perimeter wall is plastic.

11. A system for packaging a consumable, the system comprising:

a container having a top end and bottom end wherein the bottom end is positioned opposite to the top end wherein the container has a perimeter that defines a diameter of the container wherein the container has a volume sized to contain the consumable;
a lid to enclose the top end of the container;
a sleeve having a top end and a bottom end wherein the bottom end of the sleeve is positioned opposite to the top end of the sleeve wherein the sleeve has an internal surface and an external surface wherein the sleeve has a perimeter that defines a diameter of the sleeve wherein the diameter of the sleeve is greater than the diameter of the container to slidably receive the container between the top end of the sleeve and the bottom end of the sleeve; and
a plurality of ribs protruding from the internal surface of the sleeve wherein each of the plurality of ribs extend from the top end of the sleeve to the bottom end of the sleeve wherein each of the plurality of ribs contacts the container to frictionally engage the container to the internal surface of the sleeve.

12. The system of claim 11 further comprising:

a lip integrally formed with the top end of the sleeve that is engaged by the lid.

13. The system of claim 11 further comprising:

an advertisement on the exterior surface of the sleeve.

14. The system of claim 11 further comprising:

a plurality of indentations on the internal surface of the sleeve wherein each of the plurality of indentations extend from the top end of the sleeve to the bottom end of the sleeve.

15. The system of claim 11 further comprising:

an insert having a diameter that is less than the diameter of the sleeve wherein the insert is positioned within the sleeve between the sleeve and the container wherein the insert controls a temperature of the contents of the container.

16. The system of claim 11 wherein the sleeve is opaque.

17. A method for filling a container with contents and concealing the contents of the container wherein the container has a surface and a diameter, the method comprising the steps of:

placing the contents in the container;
providing a sleeve that is sized to frictionally receive the container wherein the sleeve has a rib integrally formed therewith that creates an internal diameter of the sleeve that is less than the diameter of the container; and
sliding the container into the sleeve and adjacent to the rib to frictionally engage the container within the sleeve and to conceal the surface of the container.

18. The method of claim 17 further comprising the step of:

placing an adhesive label on the sleeve.

19. The method of claim 17 further comprising the step of:

placing an adhesive label on the surface of the container.

20. The method of claim 17 further comprising the step of:

printing indicia on the sleeve.

Patent History

Publication number: 20100038273
Type: Application
Filed: Aug 6, 2009
Publication Date: Feb 18, 2010
Inventor: David T. Johnson (Round Lake Beach, IL)
Application Number: 12/462,619

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: With Indicia Or Area Modified For Indicia (206/459.5); Contoured Sidewall (e.g., Curved, Corrugated, Ribbed, Variable Thickness, Etc.) (220/669); Container Holder (220/737); Filling Preformed Receptacle (53/473); Printing Or Protective Coating (53/411)
International Classification: B65D 85/00 (20060101); B65D 8/00 (20060101); B65D 25/00 (20060101); B65B 1/04 (20060101); B65B 61/00 (20060101);