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Número de publicaciónUS20140374559 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 14/313,862
Fecha de publicación25 Dic 2014
Fecha de presentación24 Jun 2014
Fecha de prioridad24 Jun 2013
Número de publicación14313862, 313862, US 2014/0374559 A1, US 2014/374559 A1, US 20140374559 A1, US 20140374559A1, US 2014374559 A1, US 2014374559A1, US-A1-20140374559, US-A1-2014374559, US2014/0374559A1, US2014/374559A1, US20140374559 A1, US20140374559A1, US2014374559 A1, US2014374559A1
InventoresSally Nakasawa, Daniel Nowell, Brandon Thompson
Cesionario originalMake a Difference Water, LLC
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Methods and apparatus for cup holder adapter
US 20140374559 A1
Resumen
Methods and apparatus for a cup holder adapter according to various aspects of the present invention comprise a container comprising a substantially circular exterior surface and a multi-faceted interior surface. The exterior surface may be suitably configured to be positioned within a round cup holder device. The multi-faceted interior surface is suitably configured to receive a square, rectangular, or otherwise quadrilaterally shaped beverage container. The cup holder adapter may also comprise an upper section and a lower section such that the cup holder adapter may be positioned within round cup holders of various sizes while also being able to receive quadrilaterally shaped beverage containers of varying sizes.
Imágenes(6)
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Reclamaciones(12)
1. An adapter for receiving a quadrilateral shaped container into a circular shaped cup holder, comprising:
a container having:
a lower section having a substantially circular base and a first sidewall section disposed along peripheral edges of the base and extending upwardly therefrom to define an interior of the lower portion; and
a second sidewall section extending upwardly from the lower section to define an open ended an upper section of the container; and
a multi-faceted surface disposed along an interior surface of the upper section and configured to engage one or more corners of the quadrilateral shaped container.
2. An adapter according to claim 1, wherein the lower section comprises a smaller diameter than a diameter of the upper section.
3. An adapter according to claim 1, wherein:
the first sidewall section extends upwardly and outwardly from the base to form an increasingly larger cross-sectional area between the base and an upper portion of the lower section; and
the second sidewall section extends upwardly and outwardly from the upper portion of the lower section to form an increasingly larger cross-sectional area between the upper portion of the lower section and a lip portion of the upper section.
4. An adapter according to claim 1, wherein the multi-faceted surface comprises a series of angled surfaces joined together to form a plurality of substantially right angled quadrilateral receiving sections arranged around a central axis of the upper section.
5. An adapter according to claim 1, wherein the multi-faceted surface extends from a lip portion of the upper section to a bottom portion of the upper section adjacent to an upper portion of the lower section.
6. An adapter according to claim 1, wherein the multi-faceted surface further extends along an interior portion of the lower section.
7. An adapter for receiving a quadrilateral shaped container into a circular shaped cup holder, comprising:
a container having a substantially circular base and a sidewall disposed along peripheral edges of the base and extending upwardly therefrom to define an interior of the container; and
a multi-faceted surface disposed along at least a portion of the interior of the container wherein the multi-faceted surface forms a quadrilateral receiving section configured to engage one or more corners of the quadrilateral shaped container.
8. An adapter according to claim 7, wherein the multi-faceted surface comprises a series of angled surfaces joined together to form a plurality of substantially right angled quadrilateral receiving sections arranged around a central axis of the upper section.
9. An adapter according to claim 7, wherein the multi-faceted surface extends from an upper lip portion of the container to a transition section of the container.
10. An adapter according to claim 9, wherein:
the transition section separates a lower section of the container from an upper section of the container; and
the lower section comprises a smaller diameter than a diameter of the upper section.
11. An adapter according to claim 10, wherein:
the lower section comprises a first sidewall section that extends upwardly and outwardly from the base to form an increasingly larger cross-sectional area between the base and the transition section;
the upper section comprises a second sidewall section that extends upwardly and outwardly from the transition section to form an increasingly larger cross-sectional area between the transition section and the upper lip portion.
12. An adapter according to claim 7, wherein the sidewall extends upwardly and outwardly from the base to form an increasingly larger cross-sectional area between the base and an upper lip portion of the container.
Descripción
    CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/838,825, Jun. 24, 2013 and in incorporates the disclosure of that application in its entirety by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    Cup holders are used in various situations to allow a beverage container to be securely positioned when the individual drinking the beverage is not in the act of actually drinking the beverage. For example, cup holders are useful in vehicles so that a driver is not required to constantly be holding the beverage while driving. Similarly, cup holders are useful during sporting events, movies, and while eating such as while seated around a campfire.
  • [0003]
    However, cup holding devices are universally directed towards conventionally shaped beverage containers such as coffee mugs, water and/or soda bottles, and fountain beverages. Each of these types of containers has generally rounded exterior surfaces. Consequently, non-conventionally shaped beverage containers having straight sides such as rectangular juice boxes and milk containers do not fit securely into existing cup holders.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY
  • [0004]
    Methods and apparatus for a cup holder adapter according to various aspects of the present invention comprise a container comprising a substantially circular exterior surface and a multi-faceted interior surface. The exterior surface may be suitably configured to be positioned within a round cup holder device. The multi-faceted interior surface is suitably configured to receive a square, rectangular, or otherwise quadrilaterally shaped beverage container. The cup holder adapter may also comprise an upper section and a lower section such that the cup holder adapter may be positioned within round cup holders of various sizes while also being able to receive quadrilaterally shaped beverage containers of varying sizes.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0005]
    A more complete understanding of the present technology may be derived by referring to the detailed description when considered in connection with the following illustrative figures. In the following figures, like reference numbers refer to similar elements and steps throughout the figures.
  • [0006]
    FIG. 1 representatively illustrates a side view of a cup holder adapter in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technology;
  • [0007]
    FIG. 2 representatively illustrates a top perspective view of the cup holder adapter in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technology;
  • [0008]
    FIG. 3 representatively illustrates a top view of the cup holder adapter in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technology;
  • [0009]
    FIG. 4 representatively illustrates a bottom view of the cup holder adapter in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technology;
  • [0010]
    FIG. 5 representatively illustrates a top perspective view of a container positioned within the cup holder adapter in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technology.
  • [0011]
    To facilitate understanding of the technology, identical reference numerals have been used, when appropriate, to designate the same or similar elements that are common to the figures. Further, unless stated otherwise, the drawings shown and discussed in the figures are not drawn to scale, but are shown for illustrative purposes only.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS
  • [0012]
    The present technology may be described in terms of functional block components and various processing steps. Such functional blocks may be realized by any number of components configured to perform the specified functions and achieve the various results. For example, the present technology may employ various types of materials, shapes, and sizes suitably adapted to accommodate various types of pre-existing cup holders, which may carry out a variety of functions. In addition, the present technology may be practiced in conjunction with any number of conventional techniques or processes for firming objects such as casting, extrusion, injection molding, and thermoforming, and the system described is merely one exemplary application for the invention.
  • [0013]
    Methods and apparatus for a cup holder adapter according to various aspects of the present technology may operate in conjunction with any suitable beverage container holding system such as a vehicle cup holder, a cup holder integrated into a chair or other furniture, or any substantially tubular-like structure. Various representative implementations of the present technology may be applied to any system for holding beverage containers in an upright position.
  • [0014]
    Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2, 4, and 5, a cup holder adapter 100 may be suitably configured to be inserted, fit into, or otherwise placed into a round cup holder to allow an object that does not conform to the round shape of the cup holder to be positioned securely within same general space with a reduced likelihood of tipping over or otherwise shifting position and cause spillage. For example, in one embodiment, the cut holder adapter 100 may comprise a lower section 102 having a base and a sidewall section 114 disposed along peripheral edges of the base. The sidewall element may extend upwardly from the base 106 to define an interior of the adapter that is suitably configured to be inserted into an existing cup holder device. The lower section 102 may be joined to an upper section 104 having an open end adapted to receive an object such as a beverage container.
  • [0015]
    The cup holder adapter 100 may comprise any suitable rigid or semi-rigid material such as plastic, rubber, cardboard, composite, and the like. For example, the cup holder adapter 100 may comprise any suitable moisture resistant material having a semi-rigid structure suitably adapted to retain a beverage container in a substantially upright position such as while a vehicle is in motion.
  • [0016]
    The lower section 102 may be configured to fit into an existing cup holder device to provide a stable base for the cup holder adapter 100. The lower section 102 may comprise any suitable shape or size to allow the cup holder adapter 100 to be inserted into any substantially round cup holder receiving area such as that for a vehicular cup holder or a beverage container positioned in an arm of a camp chair, a stadium or theater seat, and the like. For example, in one embodiment, the lower section 102 may comprise a structure having a substantially circular cross-sectional area from the base 106 to an open upper portion 108 of the lower section 102. The sidewall section 114 may extend between the base 106 and the upper portion 108 forming a container portion with a substantially circular cross-sectional area between the base 106 and the upper portion 108.
  • [0017]
    The sidewall section 114 may comprise a non-vertical sidewall that extends upwardly and outwardly from the base 106 to form an increasingly larger cross-sectional area in the direction of the upper portion 108. The increase in cross-sectional area may allow the lower section 102 to fit into cup holders of various dimensions. The non-vertical sidewall section 114 may also allow the lower section 102 to be wedged into the cup holder device to frictionally couple the cup holder adapter 100 to the cup holder device to provide a more secure and/or stable fit.
  • [0018]
    The base 106 and the upper portion 108 may comprise any suitable dimensions. Further, the base 106 and the upper portion 108 may be separated by any suitable distance. For example, the base 106 may comprise as diameter of between about two inches and about three inches and the upper portion may comprise a diameter of between about two and one-half inches and about four inches. In one embodiment, the base 106 may comprise a diameter of about two and one-half inches and the upper portion 108 may comprise a diameter of about three and one-quarter inches. The sidewall section 114 may extend between the base 106 and the upper portion 108 separating them by a distance of about two and one-half inches. The sidewall section 114 may extend between the base 106 and the upper portion 108 separating them by a distance of about two and one-half inches. In a second embodiment, the base 106 and the upper portion 108 may comprise a diameter of about three and one-quarter inches and the sidewall section 114 may separate the base 106 and the upper portion 108 by a distance of about four inches.
  • [0019]
    The upper section 104 ma extend upward from the open upper portion 108 of the lower section 102 and provide an internal surface for receiving a non-circular container such as a square cardboard milk container, juice box, and the like. The upper section 104 may comprise any suitable shape or size for receiving objects and/or fitting into a round holder such as a cup holder. The upper section 104 may be coupled to the lower section 102 by any suitable method such as through mechanical attachment. Alternatively, the upper section 104 and the lower section 102 may be formed integrally as a single piece such as from plastic extrusion or injection molding.
  • [0020]
    The upper section 104 may comprise an exterior surface formed substantially similar to that of the lower section 102. The upper section may also be suitably configured to allow the cup holder adapter 100 to be inserted into a cup holder having a diameter that exceeds that of the upper portion 108 of the lower section 102. For example, the upper section 104 may comprise a lip section 112 disposed along an open top edge section of the cup holder adapter 100 and an open transition section 110 engaging the upper portion 108. The upper section 104 may further comprise a second sidewall section 116 extending between the transition section 110 and the lip section 112. The second sidewall section 116 may comprise a constant cross-sectional area between the transition section 110 to the lip section 112.
  • [0021]
    Alternatively, the second sidewall section 116 may have an increasing cross-sectional area moving from the transition section 110 to the lip section 112. The second sidewall section 116 may increase in cross-sectional area at the same rate at the sidewall section 114 of the lower section 102 or it may increase at a different rate. For example, the second sidewall section 115 may form an angle between the transition section 110 and the lip section 112 resulting in a larger rate of cross-sectional area increase between the transition section 110 and the lip section 112 as compared to that between the base 106 and the upper section 108.
  • [0022]
    The upper section 104 may comprise an interior surface configured to receive and hold a non-circular object in an upright position. The interior surface may comprise any system or device for reducing a likelihood that an object will tip over or otherwise shift uncontrollably while inserted into an inner portion of the cup holder adapter 100. Referring now to FIGS. 2, 3, and 4, in one embodiment, the inner surface of the upper section 104 may comprise a multi-faceted surface 202 suitably configured to engage one or more corners of an object having substantially straight sides such as a square or rectangle shaped beverage container. For example, the multi-faceted surface 202 may comprise a series of angled surfaces 204 joined together to form a plurality of substantially right angled receiving sections arranged around a central axis 206 of the upper section 104.
  • [0023]
    The angled surfaces 204 may be arranged such that each right angle aligns with three other right angles disposed along the inner surface to form a socket-like first quadrilateral receiving section 302 suitably configured to receive a quadrilateral shaped container. The angled surfaces 204 may be further arranged to form a second quadrilateral receiving section 304 that may receive a second quadrilateral shaped container having different dimensions that what may fit into the first quadrilateral receiving section 302. The second quadrilateral receiving section 302 may be suitably configured to engage the container along one or more edge portions of the angled surfaces 204 rather than along a corner portion of the substantially right angles.
  • [0024]
    The multi-faceted surface 202 may extend along at least a portion of the interior surface of the upper section 104 to provide a receiving area of varying dimensions to accommodate various sized containers. For example, in one embodiment, the multi-faceted surface 202 may be disposed along the lip section 112 and extend only partway downward towards the transition section 110. In a second embodiment, the multi-faceted surface 202 may extend the entire distance from the lip section 112 to the transition section 110. In yet another embodiment, the multi-faceted surface 202 may extend downward beyond the transition section 110 and into an interior area of the lower section 102.
  • [0025]
    The particular implementations shown and described are illustrative of the technology and its best mode and are not intended to otherwise limit the scope of the present technology in any way. Indeed, for the sake of brevity, conventional manufacturing, connection, preparation, and other functional aspects of the system may not be described in detail. Furthermore, the connecting lines shown in the various figures are intended to represent exemplary functional relationships and/or steps between the various elements. Many alternative or additional functional relationships or physical connections may be present in a practical system.
  • [0026]
    In the foregoing specification, the technology has been described with reference to specific exemplary embodiments. Various modifications and changes may be made, however, without departing from the scope of the present invention as set forth in the claims. The specification and figures are illustrative, rather than restrictive, and modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present technology. Accordingly, the scope of the technology should be determined by the claims and their legal equivalents rather than by merely the examples described.
  • [0027]
    For example, the steps recited in any method or process claims may be executed in any order and are not limited to the specific order presented in the claims. Additionally, the components and/or elements recited in any apparatus claims may be assembled or otherwise operationally configured in a variety of permutations and are accordingly not limited to the specific configuration recited in the claims. Benefits, other advantages and solutions to problems have been described above with regard to particular embodiments; however, any benefit, advantage, solution to problem or any element that may cause any particular benefit, advantage or solution to occur or to become more pronounced are not to be construed as critical, required or essential features or components of any or all the claims.
  • [0000]
    As used herein, the terms “comprise”, “comprises”, “comprising”, “having”, “including”, “includes” or any variation thereof, are intended to reference a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, composition or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include only those elements recited, but may also include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, composition or apparatus. Other combinations and/or modifications of the above-described structures, arrangements, applications, proportions, elements, materials or components used in the practice of the present technology, in addition to those not specifically recited, may be varied or otherwise particularly adapted to specific environments, manufacturing specifications, design parameters or other operating requirements without departing from the general principles of the same.
Citas de patentes
Patente citada Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US5108059 *1 Mar 199128 Abr 1992Curtis Patrick AArticle restrainer
US5484052 *6 May 199416 Ene 1996Dowbrands L.P.Carrier puck
US6123220 *19 Ene 199926 Sep 2000Williams; MarkBeverage container holder
US6361009 *21 Dic 199926 Mar 2002Bernard A. LiCompartment mounted automotive beverage container holder
US7748536 *11 Sep 20076 Jul 2010Cassese Joseph DContainer for snack foods
US20060081750 *8 Dic 200520 Abr 2006Kazyaka Stephen RBeverage container holder and basket
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.248/346.03
Clasificación internacionalB65D3/28, A47G23/02
Clasificación cooperativaA47G23/0216, B65D3/28