Food container attachable to cup
A food container (14) that can be mounted on a cup (12), includes a container bottom recess (30) that receives the top (22) of the cup. Walls of the recess form a groove (44) that extends around the container axis (26) and snaps onto a bead (24) at the top of the cup to hold the container securely to the cup. The groove (44) lies at the top of a leadin wall (42) that extends at an inward and upward incline, so the leadin wall is deflected by the cup bead until the bead snaps into the groove.
A person who buys food in a cup, such as coffee or a soft drink, may wish to purchase a second food that comes in a separate container such as donut holes or chicken pieces that can be eaten with the food in the cup. It can be awkward to carry both the cup and the container, and to eat the food in one or both of them. A container that facilitated the carrying of the cup and container and the eating of food out of one or both of them, would be of value.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, a low cost container formed of a deformed sheet of plastic (with or without fibrous material in the plastic), is provided that can be easily and securely mounted on a cup or removed from it, and that facilitates eating food from the cup and/or the container. The cup is of the type that has a bead that projects radially outward from the top of the cup. The container has a bottom recess for receiving the top of the cup. The bottom recess walls form a groove that extends around a vertical axis of the container and that receives the cup bead. The container recess walls include a leadin wall that extends at an inward and upward incline, and that bends outward as the bead moves up the leadin wall until the bead snaps into the groove.
The container has a horizontal bottom wall with a straw-passing upward projection. The upward projection has a straw opening that can pass a straw so the contents of the cup can be drunk through a straw while the container is mounted on the cup. The projection can even project above the top wall of the container.
The novel features of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention will be best understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
To install the container 14 on the cup a person places the cup top 22 within the bottom recess 30 of the container, with the cup bead 24 lying under the leadin wall 42. A person then presses down firmly on the container to cause the cup bead to deflect the leadin wall in a radially outward direction O (away from the axis). Finally, the cup bead 24 snaps into the groove 44, which retains the container on the cup until the container is forcefully removed. There is an interference fit between the cup bead 24 and the walls of the groove 44 after the cup bead lies fully in the groove, which seals the top of the first container 12. The leadin wall preferably has interruptions 42i (
The leadin wall 42 extends at an inward and upward incline A from the vertical of about 25° , although an incline E of about 15° can enable easier deflection of the leadin wall although with less tolerances allowed. Both the leadin wall 42 and the groove 44 extend around the entire axis of the container so there are leadin walls and groove portions on opposite sides of the axis, although they (especially the leadin wall) may have interruptions.
Thus, the invention provides a food container system that includes a container that easily and securely mounts on the top of a common liquid cup in which coffee or soda is sold, wherein the cup has an outward projecting bead at its top. The container has a recess in its bottom that receives the top of the cup. The recess walls include walls forming a groove that receives the cup bead, and also includes a leadin wall that extend at an upward and radially inward incline to the groove. The leadin wall is deflected outward by a cup bead moving upward along the leadin wall, until the bead snaps into the groove. The bottom wall of the container cavity can have an upward projection with a straw opening for the reception of a drinking straw. The projection can extend up to the top wall of the container, and the container can have a circular deflection recess around a circular hole that receives the top of the projection. The system can include a double container that includes top and bottom containers that can open and close on each other. The container can be of circular shape or of rectangular and especially square shape as seen from above.
Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated herein, it is recognized that modifications and variations may readily occur to those skilled in the art, and consequently, it is intended that the claims be interpreted to cover such modifications and equivalents.
1. A food container system that can hold first and second foods, where the first food lies in a cup that has a vertical axis (26) and side walls of round cross-sections and a cup top (22) with an outward-projecting bead (24), comprising:
- a container (14) that forms a cavity (52) and that has a container lower portion (34) that forms a container bottom (36) that supports said container on a horizontal shelf when laid thereon, said container having bottom recess walls that form a bottom recess (30) that receives said cup top, said bottom recess walls forming a groove (44) that receives said outward-projecting bead of said cup;
- said groove having a groove centerline (62) and the groove walls extend sufficiently along said groove centerline to securely hold to said bead;
- said bottom recess walls form a primarily horizontal cavity bottom wall (46) at the bottom of said cavity, and said bottom recess walls form a leadin wall (42) that extends at an upward and inward incline to said groove.
2. The system described in claim 1 wherein:
- said bottom recess has walls that form groove portions (44p) spaced about said axis, that each has a groove opening that faces (50) at an inward and downward incline to the horizontal, with the downward incline being at least 10°.
3. The system described in claim 1, wherein:
- said leadin wall has at least one interruption (42i).
4. The system described in claim 1 wherein:
- said leadin wall (42) has an upper end with an inwardly-facing convex surface (54) leading to said groove, said convex inwardly-facing surface lying a distance (G) radially outward of said groove centerline (62).
5. The system described in claim 1 wherein:
- said container bottom wall (46) has an upward projection (70) with a projection top wall (73) having a straw opening (72) for passing a straw, so a straw can be inserted through the container into the cup.
6. The system described in claim 5 wherein:
- said container has a top wall with a top wall hole (154, 180) therein, and said projection projects higher than said top wall and through said top wall hole.
7. The system described in claim 6 wherein:
- said top wall of said second container has a deflection recess (150, 182) that extends around said stop wall hole and allows said top wall hole to shift position, whereby to facilitate projecting the projection up through the top wall hole.
8. The system described in claim 1 wherein:
- said container comprises a double container (102) that includes bottom and top containers (104, 106), said bottom container (104) forming said double container lower portion and said bottom recess walls that form a groove (44);
- said top container is pivotally joined along a hinge (108) to said bottom container and said bottom and top container are latchable together in a closed position of the double container.
9. The system described in claim 8 wherein:
- said bottom container bottom wall (46) has an upward projection (124) having a straw opening (125) for passing a straw;
- said top container has top and bottom walls with said top wall forming a recess with a space (128) for passing a straw with the space extending down to the level of a top of said projection and with said bottom wall of said top container having a straw opening (129) that allows a straw to be projected through said two straw openings (125, 129) into said first container.
10. A food container system that includes a container (14) that has a vertical axis and that can be mounted on a cup (12) that has a cup top (22) with an outwardly projecting cup bead (24), wherein:
- said container has walls forming a food-holding cavity (52) including a bottom wall (36) for resting on a horizontal surface (40) when the container is not mounted on the cup, and said container has bottom recess walls that form a recess (30) constructed to receive said cup top, said recess walls forming a groove (44) that extends about said axis for receiving said cup bead, and said recess walls including a cavity bottom wall (46) that lies within said circular groove and that forms at least part of the bottom of said food-holding cavity.
11. The system described in claim 10 wherein:
- said bottom recess walls also forms a leadin wall (42) that extends at an inward and upward incline from said bottom wall (36) to said groove (44) for guiding the cup bead as it moves into said groove.
12. The system described in claim 11 wherein:
- said leadin wall extends completely around said axis, but with at least one interruption (42i).
13. The system described in claim 11 wherein:
- said groove has a radius (R);
- said bottom recess walls form a convex inside surface (54) at the intersection of said leadin wall and said groove, with the horizontal distance (C) between an inner side (64) of said groove and an outer side of said convex surface being at least 35% of the radius (R) of said groove.
14. The system described in claim 10, wherein:
- said groove has a centerline (62) and has a groove inner side (60) that extends at an inward and downward incline to lie radially inside the cup bead.
15. A food container that includes a cup (12) with a cup top (22) and a container (14) that has a vertical axis (26) and that is mountable on said cup top, wherein:
- said cup top has an outward projecting cup bead (24), and said container (14) has a bottom wall (46) forming a groove (44) for receiving said bead to hold said container on said cup, with said bead and groove forming an interference fit between them when the bead is received in the groove, to prevent spillage;
- said container bottom wall has an upward projection (70) that lies over said cup top and that has an opening (72) through which liquid in said cup (12) can be withdrawn through said container (14).
16. The system described in claim 15 wherein:
- said projection has a height of between 10% and 60% of the width of a bottom of said container.
Filed: Feb 26, 2010
Publication Date: Sep 1, 2011
Inventor: Terry Vovan (Upland, CA)
Application Number: 12/660,468
International Classification: A47G 19/00 (20060101); A47G 19/22 (20060101);