US 3915331 A
A liquid container has a lid with a generally planar top provided about its periphery with liquid outlet flap valves which serve to stop liquid which is splashing around in the container from being spilled, but allowing liquid to be drawn outwardly from the container on the application of suction to open the valves.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
o mted States Patent 1111 3,915,331
Chenault Oct. 28, 1975 1 NON-SPILL COVER 2,623,368 12/1952 Olsen 220/90.4 3,360,161 12/1967 Smith..... 220/90.4  Invent Russel Chenault, 11 Eaton 3,524,566 8/1970 Parks 220/902 Terrace, SW1 LOndon, England 3,556,338 1/1971 Wilkinson et a1. 220/60 R 22 Filed: 5 1973 3,635,380 l/l972 Fitzgerald 220/90.4 3,727,808 4/1973 Fitzgerald 220/90.4  Appl. No.: 421,762 3,797,696 3/1974 Dibrell 220/90.4
Prima ExaminerWilliam 1. Price 30 F A l 1 Data "Assistant ExaminerAllan N. Shoap Dec. 8, 1972 United Kingdom 56840/72 Attorney, Agent or Firm Fleit & Jacobson  US. Cl. 220/90.4; 222/511; 229/7 51 Int. c1. A47G 19/22  ABSTRACT  Field of Search 220/902, 90.4, 90.6; A liquid container has a lid with a generally planar p 229/7 43; 222 494 545 4 5 4 51 provided about its periphery with liquid outlet flap valves which serve to stop liquid which is splashing  References Cited around in the container from being spilled, but allow- UNITED STATES PATENTS ing liquid to be drawn outwardly from the container on the application of suction to open the valves. 2,161,230 6/1939 Nelson 222/494 2,507,248 5/1950 Swan 222/494 6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 3,915,331
NON-SPILL COVER The present invention relates to covers for liquid containers such as cups, glasses or beakers and which are designed to prevent liquid being spilled when it is slopped around inside the container or when the container is overturned. Such covers are especially useful for childrens cups and for cups used for picnics, and which may be shaken about or tipped over either during transport or in use.
According to the invention I provide a lid for a liquid container comprising a generally planar top having a plurality of liquid outlet flap valves formed in the top adjacent the periphery thereof and openable outwardly of the top by suction applied thereto.
The cover itself is preferably manufactured of a flexible material. Plastics materials are especially suitable for the cover, and polyethylene and polypropylene have been found to provide suitable strength and flexibility, especially low density polyethylene. The valve or valves may be in the form of a cut-out tongue in the cover which under conditions of no stress will be in a closed position, and which when subject to external suction will flex outwardly to allow passage of liquid through the thereby defined slots.
Optionally an air inlet valve or opening may be provided and this may suitably be situated towards the centre of the cover and may be formed in a similar manner to the liquid valves, but will be constructed to allow passage of air into the container when subject to a reduced internal pressure.
The cuts defining the tongues of the liquid and air valves are preferably at an acute angle to the face of the cover adjacent thereto, so that co-operating chamfered edges are formed, which abut one another to improve the sealing effect, and to act as an abutment preventing the tongues moving beyond their closed positions.
The cover may be attachable to the cup, glass or beaker either by means of a screw thread formed on a depending skirt portion thereof, or merely by means of a detent press closure mechanism in conjunction with a rib on the upper periphery of the cup, glass or beaker.
In order that the present invention may more readily be understood, the following description is given merely by way of example, reference being made to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a cover constructed according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational section of the cover of FIG. 1 disposed on a container; and
FIG. 3 shows a modified form of closure mechanism for the cover of FIGS. 1 and 2.
In FIGS. 1 and 2 a cover generally referenced 1 includes a lid portion 2 and a depending skirt portion 3. In the lid portion 2 there is formed a multiplicity of liquid valves 4 each formed by tongues 5 which in their unstressed condition maintain the valves closed, and which then subject to reduced external pressure will open. An air inlet valve 6, optional to the invention, is shown as being located in the centre of the lid 2 and is formed by a cut away portion or tongue 7 which, as shown in ghosted lines in FIG. 2, will deform when subject to reduced internal pressure to allow passage of air therethrough.
In FIG. 2 the means for attaching the cover to the container 8 in a leakproof manner comprises a screw thread closure mechanism in which the skirt portion of the cover has an internal screw thread 8 formed on its inner lower peripheral surface to co-operate with an external screw thread 9 on the upper edge of the container 8.
In FIG. 3 there is shown a modified form of closure mechanism in which a bead 11, formed on the upper outer peripheral edge of the container, snaps into engagement between two ribs 12 and 13 formed on the skirt 3 of the cover 1.
This latter form of closure mechanism has the advantage that it can be used to apply the cover of the invention to a much larger range of beakers and cups, requiring only that the container be provided with an external bead. Various other configurations of ribs and grooves may be used to effect leakproof closure of the cover to a container.
In any event all the components of the invention can readily be manufactured from plastics material by injection moulding techniques as are well known in the art.
The liquid valves should be constructed such that they will not open on only slight internal pressure, but will require some mild suction to be applied to the outside, thereby inhibiting accidental spillage of liquid.
The number and exact distribution of liquid valves provided can clearly be varied according to requirements, but it is to be noted that, by providing them around the entire periphery of the cover any inconvenience due to only a small drinking region will be obviated, and by providing large numbers separated only by narrow strips the entire rim of the unit may provide a drinking lip.
1. In or for a liquid container, a lid comprising a generally planar top, a periphery to said top, attachment means integral with the top and depending from said periphery and cooperable with the container to secure the lid thereto, and a plurality of flap valves formed in the top and spaced about the periphery thereof adjacent the latter, each of said flap valves normally lying in a closed position in which it forms a continuation of the remainder of the top, but being operable outwardly of the top by mouth suction applied thereto for the withdrawal of liquid from the container and including chamfered edges to each flap valve and a valve seat in said top, such seat having correspondingly chamfered edges to cooperate with said edges of said flap valves so that the latter cannot move inwardly of the said top.
2. The lid specified in claim 1, wherein the lid is formed of a flexible plastics material and each of said flap valves is integral with the top and has a hinge edge remote from said periphery.
3. The lid specified in claim 1 and further including in said top an air inlet valve which, unlike the said flap valves, does not open outwardly of the top, but only opens inwardly thereof.
4. A lid as claimed in claim 1, and including a skirt depending from the generally planar top.
5. A lid as claimed in claim 4, wherein said attachment means comprise a screw thread formed on the skirt and wherein said liquid container further comprises a screw thread cooperable with that on said skirt.
6. A lid as claimed in claim 4, wherein said attachment means comprises a rib formed on said skirt and further including a ridge formed on the liquid container and co-operable with that of said skirt to form a spring detent attachment.