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Title:
COOLING PACK, BEVERAGE CONTAINER INCLUDING THE SAME, AND CORRESPONDING METHOD OF COOLING BOTTLED BEVERAGES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/000082
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A cooling pack (1) for use with a plurality of bottled beverages (3). The cooling pack (1) includes a main body (5) having opposite upper and lower surfaces (5a, 5b). The cooling pack (1) also includes at least one through-hole (7) extending between the upper and lower surfaces of the main body (5), each through-hole (7) being positioned, shaped and sized for receiving an upper portion (3a) of a corresponding bottled beverage (3) to be cooled, each through-hole (7) being further positioned, shaped and sized for abutting against a remaining lower portion (3b) of the bottled beverage (3) to be cooled. The cooling pack (1) also includes at least one opening (9) operatively connected to the at least one through-hole (7), and being configured to define along with the at least one through-hole (7) a combined passageway (11) through which a selected bottled beverage (3) from the plurality of bottled beverages (3) can be individually removed from the cooling pack (1) across the main body (5) of said cooling pack (1).

Inventors:
GREENBERG, Sheldon (48 Applegrove, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec H9A 1W4, CA)
Application Number:
CA2015/050621
Publication Date:
January 07, 2016
Filing Date:
July 03, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GREENBERG, Sheldon (48 Applegrove, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec H9A 1W4, CA)
International Classes:
F25D3/00; B65D75/40; F25D3/02
Foreign References:
US7743626B22010-06-29
CA2074902C1997-12-09
US5101642A1992-04-07
US7316123B22008-01-08
JP2010060151A2010-03-18
Other References:
See also references of EP 3164650A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBIC, LLP (1001 Square-Victoria, Bloc E - 8th FloorMontréal, Québec H2Z 2B7, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A cooling pack (1) for use with a plurality of bottled beverages (3), the cooling pack (1) comprising:

a main body (5) having opposite upper and lower surfaces (5a, 5b);

at least one through-hole (7) extending between the upper and lower surfaces of the main body (5), each through-hole (7) being positioned, shaped and sized for receiving therein an upper portion (3a) of a corresponding bottled beverage (3) to be cooled, each through-hole (7) being further positioned, shaped and sized for abutting against a remaining lower portion (3b) of said bottled beverage (3) to be cooled; and at least one opening (9) operatively connected to said at least one through- hole (7), and being configured to define along with said at least one through-hole (7) a combined passageway (1 1) through which a selected bottled beverage (3) from the plurality of bottled beverages (3) can be individually removed from the cooling pack (1) across the main body (5) of said cooling pack (1).

2. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 1 , wherein the at least one opening (9) includes at least one slit (13). 3. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the at least one opening (9) includes at least one inner slit (13i) contained within the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1).

4. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-3, wherein the at least one opening (9) includes at least one outer slit (13o) extending from the at least one though-hole (7) to a corresponding side border of the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1).

5. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 4, wherein the at least one outer slit (13o) is a corner slit (13c).

6. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 4, wherein the at least one outer slit (13o) is a side slit (13s). 7. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 2-6, wherein the at least one slit (13) includes at least one transversal slit (13) extending entirely across the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1), between the upper and lower surfaces of said main body (5). 8. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 2-6, wherein the at least one slit (13) defines at least one pair of opposing flexible flapping portions (15) being operable between closed and opened configurations.

9. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 8, wherein the opposing flapping portions (15) are configured to rest against one another when in the closed configuration.

10. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 8, wherein the opposing flapping portions (15) are configured to define a gap (17) between said opposing flapping portions (15) when in the closed configuration.

1 1. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-10, wherein the at least one opening (9) is separate from the at least one though-hole (7). 12. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-11 , wherein the at least one opening (9) and the at least one though-hole (7) form a unique channel (19) through which the selected bottled beverage (3) is allowed to pass when removed from the plurality of remaining bottled beverages (3) through the combined passageway (11) of the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1).

13. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 12, wherein the unique channel (19) is configured to have an effective cross-sectional area which adjustably varies in size as the selected bottled beverage (3) passes through said unique channel (19). 14. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-13, wherein the cooling pack (1) comprises at least six through-holes (7), at least four corner slits (13c), and at least two side slits (13s).

15. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 2-14, wherein the cooling pack (1) comprises at least one overlapping flap (21) extending over each given slit (13).

16. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 15, wherein the at least one overlapping flap (21) projects from a corresponding side of the given slit (13).

17. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 2-16, wherein the cooling pack (1) comprises a pair of overlapping flaps (21) extending over each given slit (13). 18. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 17, wherein the cooling pack (1) comprises first and second overlapping flaps (21), the first overlapping flap (21) projecting from a corresponding first side of the given slit (13), and the second overlapping flap (21) projecting from a corresponding second and opposite side of the given slit (13).

19. A cooling pack (1) cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 15- 18, wherein each overlapping flap (21) is provided on an upper surface (5a) of the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1). 20. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 15-18, wherein each overlapping flap (21) is provided on a lower surface (5b) of the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1).

21. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-20, wherein overlapping flaps (21) are provided on both upper and lower surfaces (5a, 5b) of the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1).

22. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 15-21 , wherein each overlapping flap (21) is provided about a rim of each through-hole (7).

23. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 15-22, wherein each overlapping flap (21) is made integral to the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1).

24. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-23, wherein each through-hole (7) has a cross-sectional profile selected from the group consisting of a polygonal cross-sectional profile, a rectangular cross-sectional profile, and a circular cross-sectional profile.

25. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-24, wherein each through-hole (7) has a longitudinal profile provided with at least one inner wall (23). 26. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 25, wherein the longitudinal profile of each through-hole (7) is straight.

27. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 25, wherein the longitudinal profile of each through-hole (7) is tapered.

28. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-25, wherein a taper of each through-hole (7) is complementary to a taper of a bottle neck of a corresponding bottled beverage to inserted into said through-hole (7). 29. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-25, wherein the longitudinal profile of each through-hole (7) is segmented, with a lowermost orifice (7b) of the through-hole (7) being greater than an uppermost orifice (7a) of said through-hole (7).

30. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-29, wherein each through-hole (7) has an inner wall profile (7c) complementary to that of a corresponding bottled beverage (3) to be inserted into said through-hole (7).

31. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-30, wherein the cooling pack (1) is substantially arched along a longitudinal direction (25) of the main body (5), and includes opposite concave and convex sides (27,29). 32. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-31 , wherein the upper and lower surfaces (5a, 5b) of the main body (5) are operatively connected to one another via at least one side surface (5c).

33. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-32, wherein the upper and lower surfaces (5a, 5b) of the main body (5) are operatively connected to the at least one side surface (5c) via at least one sealed joint (31).

34. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-32, wherein the cooling pack (1) comprises a seamless main body (5) made by blow-molding.

35. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-34, wherein the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1) comprises an inlet port (33a) for receiving cooling liquid (35) for the cooling pack (1). 36. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-35, wherein the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1) comprises an outlet port (33b) for evacuating cooling liquid (35) from the cooling pack (1).

37. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-34, wherein the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1) comprises a common port (33) acting both as an inlet port (33a) for receiving cooling liquid for the cooling pack (1) and also acting as an outlet port (33b) for evacuating cooling liquid from said cooling pack (1).

38. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-37, wherein the main body (5) has a thickness configured so that the upper surface (5a) of the main body (5) is lower than an uppermost top rim of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled with the cooling pack (1) when the cooling pack (1) is inserted into the container (37) and mounted about the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled present inside said container (37).

39. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-37, wherein the main body (5) has a thickness configured so that the upper surface (5a) of the main body (5) is lower than a lowermost top rim of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled with the cooling pack (1) when the cooling pack (1) is inserted into the container (37) and mounted about the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled present inside said container (37).

40. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-37, wherein the main body (5) has a thickness configured so that the upper surface (5a) of the main body (5) is substantially flush with a corresponding peripheral rim of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled with the cooling pack (1) when the cooling pack (1) is inserted into the container (37) and mounted about the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled present inside said container (37), so that flaps or lids of the container (37) may be closed down onto the container (37).

41. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-40, wherein the main body (5) comprises foldable sections (43) with at least one handle-shaped cutout section (45) for receiving a corresponding handle of the container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled with the cooling pack (1) when the cooling pack (1) is inserted into the container (37) and mounted about the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled present inside said container (37).

42. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-40, wherein the main body (5) comprises an elongated though-groove (39) positioned, shaped and sized for receiving a carrying handle of a beverage container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled with the cooling pack (1).

43. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-42, wherein the cooling pack (1) comprises at least one bulging member (49) protruding downwardly from the lower surface (5b) of the main body (5) and being positioned, shaped and sized for abutting against a portion of a bottled beverage (3) to be cooled.

44. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 43, wherein the least one bulging member (49) comprises at least one internal bulging member (49i) for extending between at least one pair of bottled beverages (3). 45. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 44, wherein the at least one internal bulging member (49i) is further configured for extending between at least four bottled beverages (3).

46. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 43-45, wherein the at least one bulging member (49) comprises at least one side bulging member (49s) configured for extending at least between a wall of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) and a portion of a bottled beverage (3) to be cooled.

47. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 46, wherein the at least one side bulging member (49s) is further configured for extending at least between a wall of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) and a pair of bottled beverages (3).

48. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 43-47, wherein the at least one bulging member (49) comprises at least one corner bulging member (49c) configured for extending between at least between a pair of walls of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) and a portion of a bottled beverage (3) to be cooled.

49. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 43-48, wherein each bulging member (49) is made integral to the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1).

50. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 43-49, wherein the cooling pack (1) and the at least one bulging member (49) thereof are made by blow- molding.

51. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 43-50, wherein the at least one bulging member (49) of the cooling pack (1) comprises an inlet port (33a) for receiving cooling liquid (35) for the at least one bulging member (49). 52. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 43-51 , wherein the at least one bulging member (49) of the cooling pack (1) comprises an outlet port (33b) for evacuating cooling liquid (35) from the at least one bulging member (49) (and/or corresponding cooling pack (1)). 53. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 43-50, wherein the at least one bulging member (49) of the cooling pack (1) comprises a common port (33) acting both as an inlet port (33a) for receiving cooling liquid (35) for the at least one bulging member (49) (and/or corresponding cooling pack (1)) and also acting as an outlet port (33b) for evacuating cooling liquid (35) from said at least one bulging member (49) (and/or corresponding cooling pack (1)).

54. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 43-53, wherein each bulging member (49) is removably connectable to the main body (5) via a corresponding fastening mechanism (51).

55. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-54, wherein the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1) comprises a given number of through-holes (7) configured for receiving a corresponding number of bottled beverages (3), the given number of through-holes (7) being selected from the group consisting of 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 15, 18, 24 and 28 through-holes (7).

56. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-55, wherein the cooling pack (1) is of modular design and is removably connectable to another one of such cooling pack (1).

57. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-56, wherein the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1) comprises an outer shell (57), and is filled with a substance capable of cooling the bottled beverages (3). 58. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-57, wherein the substance inside the outer shell (57) of the main body (5) is a cooling liquid (35).

59. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 58, wherein the cooling liquid (35) is selected from the group consisting of water, propylene glycol, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose and refrigerant.

60. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 58 or 59, wherein the cooling liquid (35) is introduced into the main body (5), and contained therein via at least one sealed port (33) and a corresponding cap (59).

61. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-60, wherein the main body (5) is made of a material selected from the group consisting of a washable material, a reusable/recyclable material, a plastic material, a flexible material, a resilient material, a stretchable material, and a material having mold- resistant capability.

62. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-60, wherein the main body (5) is made of low-density polypropylene.

63. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-62, wherein the main body (5) comprises textured side surfaces (5c) for improved contact with inner walls of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled.

64. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-63, wherein a given surface of the main body (5) comprises a display area (61) for displaying information selected from the group consisting of promotional information, marketing information, educational information, warning information and disclaimer information.

65. A cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-64, wherein the cooling pack (1) is made of a material indicative of temperature.

66. A cooling pack (1) according to claim 65, wherein the material indicative of temperature is capable of changing color depending on the temperature of the cooling pack (1). 67. A container containing bottled beverages (3) being provided with a cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-66.

68. A method of cooling a plurality of bottled beverages (3), the method comprising the steps of:

d) providing the plurality of bottled beverages (3) to be cooled;

e) providing a cooling pack (1) according to any one of claims 1-66;

f) placing the cooling pack (1) over the plurality of bottled beverages (3) to be cooled. 69. A method according to claim 68, wherein step a) comprises the step of providing the plurality of bottled beverages (3) to be cooled inside a container (37) configured for containing said plurality of bottled beverages (3).

70. A method according to claim 69, wherein step c) comprises the step of placing the cooling pack (1) over the plurality of bottled beverages (3) to be cooled inside the container (37). 71. A method according to claim 70, wherein step c) further comprises the step of closing the container (37), and maintaining the cooling pack (1) over the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled inside the container (37).

Description:
COOLING PACK, BEVERAGE CONTAINER INCLUDING THE SAME, AND CORRESPONDING METHOD OF COOLING BOTTLED BEVERAGES

Field of the invention:

The present invention relates to a cooling pack. More particularly, in its preferred intended use, the present invention relates to a cooling pack for cooling bottled beverages, and also relates to a beverage container including the same, and to a corresponding method of cooling such bottled beverages.

Background of the invention:

Containers or boxes for containing beverages, such as bottled beverages (ex. beer bottles, coolers, soft drinks commercialized in bottled form, etc.) are well known in the art.

For example, in the case of beer bottles, they are usually stored, sold and/or transported via corresponding cases/boxes, which typically are "rectangular" cases, generally made of recycled materials, such as cardboard, or in other countries, sometimes made of plastic materials.

It is also well known in the art that when one wants to enjoy chilled or cooled bottled beverages (ex. beer), generally, one will use a big pail or a bucket full of ice and/or snow, and will individually remove the corresponding bottles from the case and/or refrigerator, and will individually insert them into the aforementioned pail or bucket, which is also quite time consuming. In doing so, the bottled beverages are also subject to any impurities which may be contained in the ice and/or snow that may be used to cover the bottled beverages in order to cool them, and/or keep them at a cool temperature. Indeed, in North American countries, for example, it may be typical to use outdoor snow for such cooling purposes, but once again, such outdoor snow may contain impurities and undesirable matter which one would not want to have on the bottled beverages themselves, for obvious reasons (hygiene, etc.).

In some cases, users instead of using a pail, will use the cardboard container (i.e. the box) itself which contains the bottled beverages, and directly pour ice and/or snow into the container in an attempt to cool the bottled beverages, but in addition to the aforementioned drawbacks regarding possible undesirable impurities and/or hygiene issues resulting from the use of snow and/or ice, generally, when the snow and/or ice melts, the resulting water weakens the structural rigidity of the original container (typically made of cardboard, such as corrugated cardboard, etc.), which often renders the entire container useless afterwards, thereby forcing a given user to find another manner into which to contain and transport the empty bottled beverages, when returning home or to the store, which is further time consuming, cumbersome, etc. In some cases, certain people will even leave the empty bottles behind, which is also very undesirable for obvious environmental and/or economical reasons.

Another substantial drawback associated with the conventional manner of cooling bottled beverages in their original container, and/or transporting them after they are taken away from a cooling environment (for example, a refrigerator, etc.) is that once the bottled beverages in their original packaging container are exposed to ambient conditions (ex. outdoors, etc.), particularly doing warm weather such as in the summer for example, the bottles beverages tend to quickly warm-up, which is very undesirable for obvious reasons. Indeed, once bottled beverages are removed from a fridge for example, or taken outdoors, for example, they quickly warm-up, if left in their original packaging containers, for example, in that these containers are not equipped to cool down the bottled beverages and/or are not equipped to maintain them at a substantially constant cooled temperature.

Known to the Applicant are different prior art references relating to devices to be used with beverages, such as bottled beverages, for cooling purposes.

For example, US Patent No. 7,743,626 B2 granted on June 29 th , 2010, to BUCKINGHAM, relates to a multiple-bottle gel-pack. This document describes a gel- pack for chilling bottled beverages comprising a flexible plastic envelope, sealed around its perimeter, provided with a spaced array of holes therethrough whereby the gel-pack can be draped over a plurality of beverage bottles, with the necks of the bottles protruding through the holes in the gel-pack.

US Patent No. 4,554,798, granted on November 26 th , 1985, to D'AMOUR et al., relates to a bottle cooling device. This document describes a device for cooling a plurality of liquid-filled bottles comprises a container made of a rigid pressure- expandable plastic material and having therein a refrigerant material. The container has top and bottom surfaces and is formed with a plurality of through-holes which extend between the top and bottom surfaces and are each associated with a respective one of the bottles to be cooled. Each through-hole is adapted to receive the neck of its associated bottle and has an inner peripheral wall with at least a surface portion thereof adapted to contact an upper portion of the associated bottle for the cooling thereof. US Patent No. 5,901 ,571 , granted on May 1 1 th , 1999, to WHALEY, relates to a portable beverage carrier. This document describes a portable beverage carrier for transporting beverages while keeping them at a constant temperature for long periods of time. The inventive device includes a case and a cooler insert member. The case functions as a suitcase and includes a base, a top hingedly secured to the base, and a latching means. The cooler insert member is disposed within a hollow interior of the case base and includes a plurality of beverage container receiving cavities. The cooler insert member is collapsible for convenient storage.

US Patent No. 5,522,239, granted on June 4 tn , 1996, to SCHWARTZ et al., relates to a stackable cooling insert for beverage containers. This document describes a cooling insert for use in a beverage container or in a cooler for beverage containers such as cans which has opposed enlarged ends sized to fit in the beverage container with opposed grooves or concave openings formed in said ends for the passage of a straw or grasping with fingers and with the opposed enlarged ends being connected by an elongated center portion of reduced cross section. The ends being dimensioned so that a pair of inserts are stackable.

Also known in the art are the different inconveniences associated with conventional gel packs. Namely, in the case of a standard gel pack consisting of a standard/fixed array of closed holes placed over a corresponding set of bottled beverages located inside a container, such as a beer box, for example, one cannot remove a bottle beverage from the container without having to first remove the entire gel pack from the container as well. Drawbacks associated with this type of gel pack construction/design are varied, but not limited to the following examples: a) several manipulation steps are required, including first the removal of the gel pack itself, then the removal of the desired bottled beverage(s) from the container, and then the replacing of the gel pack back onto the remaining bottled beverage(s) left inside the container, which as can be easily understood, is not only time-consuming but considerably cumbersome when one simply wants to "grab a beer"; b) loss of cooling due to the fact that the entire gel pack, or at the very least, a substantial portion thereof, must be removed/lifted completely from the container to have access to at least bottled beverage from said container, which results in any cooling conditions (ex. low temperature, etc.) under the gel pack escaping out from the container into ambient air as a result of the entire gel pack and/or a substantial portion thereof being removed/lifted completely from the container; c) gel packs with fixed/closed holes do not provide any leeway/adaptability for bottled beverages of different shapes and sizes; d) etc.

Hence, in light of the aforementioned, there is a need for an improved way of cooling bottled beverages (or at the very least maintaining them cool) which would be able to overcome and/or remedy some of the aforementioned prior art problems.

Summary of the invention: An object of the present invention is to provide a "heat-transferring" or "heat- regulating" pack (ex. a cooling pack) which, by virtue of its design and components, satisfies some of the above-mentioned needs and which is thus an improvement over other related cooling packs and/or cooling methods known in the prior art. In accordance with the present invention, the above object is achieved, as will be easily understood from the present description, with a heat-transferring pack (ex. a cooling pack) such as the one briefly described herein and such as the one exemplified in the accompanying drawings. According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a heat- transferring pack for use with a plurality of items to be heat-regulated, the heat- transferring pack comprising:

a main body having opposite upper and lower surfaces;

at least one cavity extending between the upper and lower surfaces of the main body, each cavity being positioned, shaped and sized for receiving therein an upper portion of a corresponding item to be heat-regulated (ex. cooled, heated, maintained at a substantially constant temperature and/or within a temperature range, etc.), each cavity being further positioned, shaped and sized for abutting against a remaining lower portion of the corresponding item to be heat-regulated, the at least one cavity being further configured for allowing a selected item from the plurality of items to be removed from heat-transferring pack directly across the main body thereof.

According to possible embodiments of the present invention, the heat- transferring pack is a cooling pack used for cooling bottled beverages, such as beer bottles, for example, but the heat-transferring pack could also be used as a "heat" pack, as will be explained in greater detail hereinbelow.

Therefore, according to another aspect of the present invention, there is also provided a cooling pack for use with a plurality of bottled beverages, the cooling pack comprising:

a main body having opposite upper and lower surfaces;

at least one through-hole extending between the upper and lower surfaces of the main body, each through-hole being positioned, shaped and sized for receiving therein an upper portion of a corresponding bottled beverage to be cooled, each through-hole being further positioned, shaped and sized for abutting against a remaining lower portion of said bottled beverage to be cooled; and

at least one opening operatively connected to said at least one through-hole, and being configured to define along with said at least one through-hole a combined passageway through which a selected bottled beverage from the plurality of bottled beverages can be individually removed from the cooling pack across the main body of said cooling pack.

According to other possible embodiments of the present invention, and as will be described in greater detail hereinbelow, the heat-transferring pack (ex. cooling pack) and/or, more particularly, the at least one through-hole thereof, may be provided at least one slit (whether it be at least one "inner" slit and/or at least one "outer" slit) for facilitating removal of an item (ex. a bottled beverage) from the heat- transferring pack (ex. cooling pack) via said at least one corresponding thorough- hole and/or slit(s). According to another aspect of the invention, there is also provided a beverage container (ex. a case or a box of "beer" bottles) provided with at least one of the above-mentioned cooling pack.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, there is also provided a method of manufacturing the above-mentioned cooling pack and/or beverage container. According to yet another aspect of the present invention, there is also provided a set of components for interchanging with components of the above- mentioned kit.

According to yet another aspect of the present invention, there is also provided a method of assembling components of the above-mentioned kit and/or set.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, there is also provided a kit with components for assembling the above-mentioned cooling pack and/or beverage container.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, there is also provided a method of cooling a plurality of bottled beverages, the method comprising the steps of:

a) providing the plurality of bottled beverages to be cooled;

b) providing a cooling pack such as the one briefly described herein;

c) placing the cooling pack over the plurality of bottled beverages to be cooled.

Step a) may comprises the step of providing the plurality of bottled beverages to be cooled inside a container configured for containing said plurality of bottled beverages. Step c) may comprise the step of placing the cooling pack over the plurality of bottled beverages to be cooled inside the container. Step c) may further comprise the step of closing the container, and maintaining the cooling pack over the bottled beverages to be cooled inside the container. According to yet another aspect of the present invention, there is also provided a method of doing business with the above-mentioned cooling pack, beverage container, method(s) kit and/or set.

The objects, advantages, and other features of the present invention will become more apparent upon reading of the following non-restrictive description of preferred embodiments thereof, given for the purpose of exemplification only, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Brief description of the drawings:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a cooling pack according to a possible embodiment of the present system.

Figure 2 is a perspective view of a cooling pack used with a plurality of bottled beverages according to a possible embodiment of the present system.

Figure 3 is another view of what is shown in Figure 2, the cooling pack and bottled beverages being now shown placed inside a beverage container according to a possible embodiment of the present system, the container and corresponding flaps/lids thereof being represented in dotted lines.

Figures 4-6 are perspective views representing a manner of removing a bottled beverage from the cooling pack according to a possible embodiment of the present system. Figure 7 is a perspective view of a cooling pack according to another possible embodiment of the present system.

Figure 8 is a top view of what is shown in Figure 7.

Figure 9 is a side view of what is shown in Figure 8.

Figure 10 is a perspective view of a cooling pack according to yet another possible embodiment of the present system.

Figure 11 is a top view of what is shown in Figure 10.

Figure 12 is a side view of what is shown in Figure 11. Figures 13a-13f are schematic representations of possible combined passageways (i.e. through-hole and corresponding opening(s)) according to different possible embodiments of the present system, to exemplify that the corresponding opening(s) may come in various shapes and forms. Figures 13g-13n are schematic representations of possible combined passageways (i.e. through-hole and corresponding opening(s)) according to different possible embodiments of the present system, to exemplify that the number and the positioning of the corresponding opening(s) about each through-hole may be varied. Figures 13o and 13p are schematic representations of possible combined passageways (i.e. through-hole and corresponding opening(s)) according to different possible embodiments of the present system, to exemplify that both inner slits and outer slits, including "side" slits, can be provided about a same through-hole. Figures 13q and 13r are schematic representations of possible combined passageways (i.e. through-hole and corresponding opening(s)) according to different possible embodiments of the present system, to exemplify that both inner slits and outer slits, including "corner" slits, can be provided about a same through-hole.

Figure 14 is a top view of a cooling pack provided with foldable sections and at least one integrated handle-shaped cut-out section according to a possible embodiment of the present system, the cooling pack being shown in a flattened configuration.

Figure 15 is a top perspective view of the cooling pack of Figure 14, the cooling pack being now shown in an operational configuration.

Figure 16 is a side perspective view of what is shown in Figure 15.

Figures 17-20 are cross-sectional views of portions of different cooling packs in order to better illustrate possible longitudinal profiles of through-holes of said cooling packs according to different optional embodiments of the present system. Figure 21 is a side view of a cooling pack provided with bulging members protruding downwardly and cooperating with bottled beverages inside a beverage container according to another possible embodiment of the present system, the container being represented in dotted lines. Figure 22 is a bottom view of a cooling pack provided with bulging members protruding downwardly and cooperating with bottled beverages to be cooled according to another possible embodiment of the present system. Figure 23 is a top view of a cooling pack according to another possible embodiment of the present system, the cooling pack being now shown provided with overlapping flaps. Figures 24-27 are schematic representations of overlapping flaps according to different possible embodiments of the present system.

Figure 28 is a perspective view of a cooling pack according to another possible embodiment of the present system, the cooling pack being now shown provided with an elongated though-groove positioned, shaped and sized for receiving the carrying handle of a beverage container containing the bottled beverages to be cooled with the cooling pack.

Detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention:

In the following description, the same numerical references refer to similar elements. Furthermore, for sake of simplicity and clarity, namely so as to not unduly burden the figures with several reference numbers, only some figures have been provided with reference numbers, and components and features of the present invention illustrated in other figures can be easily inferred therefrom. The embodiments, geometrical configurations, materials mentioned and/or dimensions shown in the figures are preferred, for exemplification purposes only.

Moreover, although the present invention was primarily designed for cooling bottled beverages, such as "beer bottles", "coolers" and the like, as typically found in conventional known beverage containers, it may be used with other objects and/or in other types of applications, as apparent to a person skilled in the art. For this reason, expressions such as "cooling", "bottled", "beverages", "beer", "bottles", "coolers", "container", etc., used herein should not be taken so as to limit the scope of the present invention and include all other kinds of objects and/or applications with which the present invention could be used and may be useful (ex. non-alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, etc.).

Moreover, in the context of the present invention, the expressions "pack", "device", "system", "unit", "assembly", "product", as well as any other equivalent expressions and/or compound words thereof, may be used interchangeably. The same applies for any other mutually equivalent expressions, such as "method" and "process" for example, as well as "cooling", "heating", "heat-regulating" and "heat- transferring", as also apparent to a person skilled in the art.

Indeed, although the present system has been exemplified according to possible preferred embodiments intended for "cooling" (i.e. reducing the temperature of) bottled beverages, or at very least, maintaining them "cool" (i.e. substantially maintaining the temperature thereof), it is worth mentioning that in the context of the present description, "cooling" is also meant to mean "heating", depending on the particular application(s) for which the pack may be intended for, and the desired end results, and consequently, the expressions "cooling pack" and "heating pack" may be used interchangeably, in that the present pack with corresponding components and features could be used for "heating" applications as well. As a result, "cooling" in the context of the present description, is meant to include "heating" as well, accordingly, and if need may be, and in a broad manner, is meant to include "heat- transferring", "heat-regulating" and/or "heat-preservation", as can also be easily understood by a person skilled in the art. Furthermore, in the context of the present description, it will be considered that all elongated objects will have an implicit "longitudinal axis" or "centerline", such as the longitudinal axis of bottle for example, or the centerline of a through-hole, for example, and that expressions such as "connected" and "connectable", or "mounted" and "mountable", may be interchangeable, in that the present invention also relates to a kit with corresponding components for assembling a resulting fully assembled and operational cooling pack (and/or a beverage container including the same).

In addition, although the preferred embodiments of the present invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings comprise various components, and although the preferred embodiments of the cooling pack (and/or portions thereof, such as the optional bulging members, for example) and corresponding parts as shown consist of certain geometrical configurations as explained and illustrated herein, not all of these components and geometries are essential to the invention and thus should not be taken in their restrictive sense, i.e. should not be taken so as to limit the scope of the present invention. It is to be understood, as also apparent to a person skilled in the art, that other suitable components and cooperation thereinbetween, as well as other suitable geometrical configurations may be used for the cooling pack (and/or portions thereof) and corresponding parts according to the present invention, as will be briefly explained herein and as can be easily inferred herefrom by a person skilled in the art, without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Broadly described, and as better exemplified in the accompanying drawings, the present invention relates to a cooling pack enabling to cool bottled beverages (ex. beer bottles, coolers, etc.), in a simpler, easier, faster, cleaner, and/or more convenient manner, than what is possible with conventional gel packs.

List of numerical references for some of the corresponding possible components illustrated in the accompanying drawings: 1. cooling pack (can also serve as a "heating pack")

3. bottled beverage (or simply "bottle")

3a. upper portion (of bottled beverage)

3b. lower portion (of bottled beverage) 5. main body

5a. upper surface (of main body)

5b. lower surface (of main body)

5c. side surface (of main body)

5d. thickness (of main body)

7. though-hole

7a. uppermost orifice (of through-hole)

7b. lowermost orifice (of through-hole)

7c. inner wall profile (of through-hole)

9. opening

11. combined passageway (ex. through-hole and opening)

13. slit

13i. inner slit

13o. outer slit

13c. corner slit

13s. side slit

15. flapping portion

17. gap

19. channel

21. overlapping flap

23. inner wall (of through-hole)

23a. first inner wall (of through-hole)

23b. second inner wall (or "subsequent" inner wall of through-hole)

25. longitudinal direction (of main body)

27. concave side (of main body)

29. convex side (of main body)

31. sealed joint

33. port

33a. inlet port

33b. outlet port 35. cooling liquid (or "substance")

37. container (ex. "box" or "beer box")

39. elongated though-groove

43. foldable section

45. handle-shaped cut-out section

49. bulging member

49i. internal bulging member

49s. side bulging member

49c. corner bulging member

57. outer shell (of main body)

59. cap (for capping inlet/outlet port)

61. display area

Broadly described, and as can be easily understood by the accompanying drawings, the present heat-transferring pack (1) (or "cooling pack") is preferably meant to be mounted on and/or about, and used with, bottled beverages (3), in the manner exemplified in the accompanying drawings. For example, and according to an optional and preferred embodiment of the present invention, the cooling pack (1) is preferably configured so as to take-up and fill-up void(s) above and/or between bottled beverages (3) contained in a given box (37), for example, and for that cooling pack (1) to provide cooling to the bottled beverages (3) by virtue of its cooling temperature, cooling material and/or other cooling properties, in a manner which in addition to not only being able to be placed over the bottled beverages (3), can also be used with or without a box, as can be easily understood when referring to Figures 2 and 3. In the case where the cooling pack (1) is used with a box (37), the cooling pack (1) is preferably also further designed so that to enable to close the lid(s) of the box (37) while the cooling pack (1) is kept inside the box (37), as can be easily understood when referring to the accompanying drawings, and when referring to Figures 4-6, for example. It is worth mentioning that instead of a "cooling" pack (1), the present heat- transferring pack (1) could be used as "heating" pack (1), for heating or preserving heat of items requiring such feature. Thus, in the context of the present description, the expressions "cooling", "heating", "heat-transferring", "heat-regulating", "heat- preservation" and/or any derivatives thereof, can be used interchangeably in certain cases, as can be easily understood by a person skilled in the art.

The present heat-transferring pack (1), hereinafter referred to also simply as "cooling pack" (1), may come in various shapes and/or forms and may include one and/or several of the following components and features (and/or different combination(s) thereof).

For example, and according to one aspect of the present system, and as better exemplified in the accompanying drawings, the cooling pack (1) is used with a plurality of bottled beverages (3) to be cooled and/or heat-regulated, and is designed in order to facilitate removal of a given selected bottled beverage (3) (to be consumed, for example) in a much easier, faster, more effective and/or more convenient manner, in that, contrary to conventional systems, the cooling pack (1) comprises components and features that enable the give selected bottled beverage (3) to be removed from the remaining bottled beverages (3), directly across (i.e. through, etc.) the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1), without having to remove the cooling pack (1) beforehand.

According to one general aspect of the present system, and a can easily understood when referring to Figures 1-12, for example, there is provided a cooling pack (1) for use with a plurality of bottled beverages (3), the cooling pack (1) comprising: a) a main body (5) having opposite upper and lower surfaces (5a, 5b); b) at least one through-hole (7) extending between the upper and lower surfaces of the main body (5), each through-hole (7) being positioned, shaped and sized for receiving therein an upper portion (3a) of a corresponding bottled beverage (3) to be cooled, each through-hole (7) being further positioned, shaped and sized for abutting against a remaining lower portion (3b) of said bottled beverage (3) to be cooled; and c) at least one opening (9) operatively connected to said at least one through-hole (7), and being configured to define along with said at least one through-hole (7) a combined passageway (11) through which a selected bottled beverage (3) from the plurality of bottled beverages (3) can be individually removed from the cooling pack (1) across the main body (5) of said cooling pack (1).

According to one possible embodiment, the at least one opening (9) includes at least one slit (13), whether it be at least one "inner" slit (13i) (ex. a "closed-ended" slit) contained within the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1), as represented schematically in Figure 13b, for example, and/or at least one "outer" slit (13o) (ex. an "open-ended" slit) extending from the at least one though-hole (7) to a corresponding side border of the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1), as represented schematically in Figure 13a, for example.

The at least one outer slit (13o) may be a "corner" slit (13c) and/or a "side" slit (13s), as shown in Figures 7 and 10, and according to a possible embodiment of the present system, the at least one slit (13) includes at least one transversal slit (13) extending entirely across the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1), between the upper and lower surfaces of said main body (5).

As can be easily understood when referring to Figures 4-1 1 , each slit (13) preferably defines at least one pair of opposing flexible flapping portions (15) being operable between closed (ex. "drawn-in") and opened (ex. "drawn-out", "spread-out", etc.) configurations. The opposing flapping portions (15) may be configured to rest against one another when in the closed configuration, but alternatively, the opposing flapping portions (15) may be configured to define a gap (17) between said opposing flapping portions (15) when in the closed configuration. In the latter case, the gap (17) may be a straight gap (17), a curvilinear gap (17), or may take on other suitable shapes and geometrical dispositions depending on the applications for which the cooling pack (1) is intended for, the different types of bottled beverages (3) to be used with the cooling pack (1), and the desired end results, as can be easily understood by a person skilled in the art.

According to one possible embodiment, and as exemplified in the accompanying drawings, the at least one opening (9) is separate from the at least one though-hole (7). However, it is worth mentioning that the at least one opening (9) and the at least one though-hole (7) could form a unique channel (19) (ex. hole, orifice, etc.) through which the selected bottled beverage (3) is allowed to pass when removed from the plurality of remaining bottled beverages (3) through the combined passageway (1 1) of the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1), in which case, the unique channel (19) could be configured to have an effective cross-sectional area which adjustably varies in size as the selected bottled beverage (3) passes through said unique channel (19).

According to one possible embodiment, as illustrated in Figures 7 and 10, for example, the cooling pack (1) comprises at least six through-holes (7), at least four corner slits (13c), and at least two side slits (13s), although various other combinations of through-holes (7), corner slits (13c) and/or side slits (13s) are contemplated for the present system depending on the applications for which the cooling pack (1) is intended for, the number of different bottled beverages (3) to be used with the cooling pack (1), and the desired end results, as can also be easily understood by a person skilled in the art.

According to another possible embodiment of the present system, the cooling pack (1) may comprise at least one overlapping flap (21) extending over each given slit (13), so as to increase a heat-regulation (ex. "cooling") under the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1), by avoiding, or at the very least, reducing, any loss of cold air from the slits (13) when the cooling pack (1) is used in combination with a container (37), as exemplified in Figure 23.

As can be easily understood when referring to Figures 24-27, the at least one overlapping flap (21) may project from a corresponding side of the given slit (13). The cooling pack (1) may also comprise a pair of overlapping flaps (21) extending over each given slit (13), with a first overlapping flap (21) projecting from a corresponding first side of the given slit (13), and a second overlapping flap (21) projecting from a corresponding second and opposite side of the given slit (13). Each overlapping flap (21) may be provided on an upper surface (5a) of the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1), and/or on a lower surface (5b) of the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1). The at least one overlapping flap (21) may provided about a rim of each through-hole (7). Optionally also, each overlapping flap (21) may be made integral (i.e. made of substantially the same material and/or of substantially the same piece, etc.) to the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1).

According to another possible embodiment of the present system, each through-hole (7) has a cross-sectional profile selected from the group consisting of a polygonal cross-sectional profile, a rectangular cross-sectional profile, and a circular cross-sectional profile, although various other suitable shapes and geometrical dispositions are also contemplated and could be used for the present cooling pack (1).

As can be easily understood when referring to Figures 17-20, each through- hole (7) has a longitudinal profile provided with at least one inner wall (23). The longitudinal profile of each through-hole (7) can be straight, or it could be tapered. In the event where the longitudinal profile of each through-hole (7) is tapered, the taper of each through-hole (7) is preferably made complementary to a taper of a bottle neck of a corresponding bottled beverage to inserted into said through-hole (7). The longitudinal profile of each through-hole (7) may also be segmented (either with straight and/or curvilinear walls (23), etc.), with a lowermost orifice (7b) of the through-hole (7) being greater than an uppermost orifice (7a) of said through-hole (7). Preferably, each through-hole (7) has an inner wall profile (7c) complementary to that of a portion (ex. bottle neck and/or bottle body) of a corresponding bottled beverage (3) to be inserted into said through-hole (7). The flexibility of the cooling pack (1), and more particularly, of the material used to manufacture its outer shell (57) or "outer body", also allows the cooling pack (1) to adapt itself to the contour of the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled, with a maximal/optional contact surface and corresponding maximal/optimal thermal transfer (ex. cooling, etc.) to said bottled beverages (3). According to a possible embodiment of the present system, low- density polyethylene is used for the outer shell (57) of the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1).

According to another possible embodiment of the present system, the upper surface (5a) and/or lower surface (5b) of the main body (5) can be made to be substantially circular, polygonal, octagonal, rectangular and/or square, for example, and although the cooling pack (1) illustrated in the accompanying drawings has a main body (5) corresponds substantially to a "parallelepiped", and more particularly, to a "rectangular cuboid", it is worth mentioning that the upper and lower surfaces (5a, 5b) of the main body (5) need not to be "identical" to one another, and may take on various other suitable shapes and geometrical dispositions depending on the applications for which the cooling pack (1) is intended for, the different types of bottled beverages (3) to be used with the cooling pack (1) and/or the different types of containers (37) to be used with the cooling pack (1), and the desired end results, as can also be easily understood by a person skilled in the art.

For example, and according to one possible embodiment of the present system, as exemplified in Figure 1 , the cooling pack (1) may be substantially arched along a longitudinal direction (25) of the main body (5), and may include opposite concave and convex sides (27,29). The manners in which the cooling pack (1) may be manufactured according to the present system are varied also. For example, the upper and lower surfaces (5a, 5b) may be operatively connected to one another via at least one side surface (5c), and in which case, the upper and lower surfaces (5a, 5b) may be operatively connected to the at least one side surface (5c) via at least one sealed joint (31) (ex. seamed edge, etc.), as can be easily understood when referring to Figures 10-12.

Alternatively, and according to a preferred embodiment of the present system, the cooling pack (1) comprises a "seamless" main body (5) which made by blow- molding, as can be easily understood when referring to Figures 7-9. Blow-molding is very simple, fast, economical, and enables to create a unique and common outer shell (57) for the cooling pack (1), in a great variety of different shapes, colors and plastics (ex. low-density polyethylene, and/or any other suitable material and/or plastic). Furthermore, having a blow-molded cooling pack (1) is also advantageous over one made with seamed edges for other various reasons, namely for reducing any possible occurrence of possible leakage of the cooling liquid (5), etc.

As better in Figure 7, the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1) preferably comprises an inlet port (33a) for receiving cooling liquid (35) for the cooling pack (1), and may also comprise an outlet port (33b) for evacuating cooling liquid (35) from the cooling pack (1), but according to a preferred embodiment of the present system, the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1) comprises a common port (33) acting both as an inlet port (33a) for receiving cooling liquid for the cooling pack (1) and also acting as an outlet port (33b) for evacuating cooling liquid from said cooling pack (1).

Because containers (3) used to containing and/or transporting bottled beverages (3) come in various shapes and sizes, the present cooling pack (1) may be manufactured accordingly, and thus, the main body (5) preferably has a thickness of approximately at least "one inch" (1 inch = 2.54 cm) configured so that the upper surface (5a) of the main body (5) is lower than an uppermost top rim of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled with the cooling pack (1) when the cooling pack (1) is inserted into the container (37) and mounted about the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled present inside said container (37), particularly in the case when the container (37) is not a conventional rectangular box and/or if the container (37) has flaps or lids so that they may be closed down normally onto the container (37).

Similarly, the main body (5) preferably has a thickness configured so that the upper surface (5a) of the main body (5) is lower than a lowermost top rim of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled with the cooling pack (1) when the cooling pack (1) is inserted into the container (37) and mounted about the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled present inside said container (37). According to another possible embodiment, the main body (5) may have a thickness configured so that the upper surface (5a) of the main body (5) is substantially flush with a corresponding peripheral rim of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled with the cooling pack (1) when the cooling pack (1) is inserted into the container (37) and mounted about the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled present inside said container (37), so that flaps or lids of the container (37) may be closed down onto the container (37) and/or be supported by said cooling pack (1).

According to yet another possible embodiment, the main body (5) may comprises foldable sections (43) with at least one handle-shaped cut-out section (45) for receiving a corresponding handle of the container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled with the cooling pack (1) when the cooling pack (1) is inserted into the container (37) and mounted about the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled present inside said container (37), as can be easily understood when referring to Figures 14-16. Indeed, one can easily understand that the component providing the groove for the main body (5) and bridging one side to the other, over a handle of the container box which contains the bottled beverages (3), could be provided with a corresponding traversal channel or orifice (i.e. the handle-shaped cut-out section(s) (45)) being complementary to that of the original packaging container (37), so as to enable a user thereof to pass a portion of a hand therethrough for carrying purposes and the like. Optionally also, instead of having foldable sections (43) with at least one handle-shaped cut-out section (45), the present cooling pack (1) could be provided alternatively with an elongated though- groove (39) positioned, shaped and sized for receiving the carrying handle of a beverage container containing the bottled beverages to be cooled with the cooling pack (1), as can be easily understood when referring to Figure 28, for example.

According to another possible embodiment, and as better shown in Figure 21 , the cooling pack (1) may be provided with at least one bulging member (49) protruding downwardly from the lower surface (5b) of the main body (5) and being positioned, shaped and sized for abutting against a portion of a bottled beverage (3) to be cooled.

Indeed, such bulging members (49) would act as "cooling fins" positioned, shaped and sized to fill up free spaces available inside a container (37) containing bottled beverages (3), but more importantly, could be configured to further contact a greater surface area of the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled, for an improved and/or more prolonged cooling via the cooling pack (1) and associated downwardly projecting members (49) acting as "cooling fins". Furthermore, the presence of such bulging members (49) is also advantageous in that they can also serve as "padding" between bottled beverages (3), thereby reducing or eliminating clinging sounds that normally result when neighboring bottles hit against each other during transportation in the container (37).

As can be easily understood when referring to Figures 21 and 22, the least one bulging member (49) may comprises at least one internal bulging member (49i) for extending between at least one pair of bottled beverages (3), and may be further configured for extending between at least four bottled beverages (3). The at least one bulging member (49) may comprise at least one side bulging member (49s) configured for extending at least between a wall of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) and a portion of a bottled beverage (3) to be cooled. The at least one side bulging member (49s) may also be further configured for extending at least between a wall of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) and a pair of bottled beverages (3). The at least one bulging member (49) may comprise at least one corner bulging member (49c) configured for extending between at least between a pair of walls of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages (3) and a portion of a bottled beverage (3) to be cooled.

According to a preferred embodiment, each bulging member (49) is made integral (i.e. made of substantially the same material and/or of substantially the same piece, etc.) to the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1), and preferably also, the cooling pack (1) and the bulging member(s) (49) thereof are made by blow-molding, which is simple, fast, economical, and enables to create a unique and common outer shell (57) encompassing the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1) and its associated bulging member(s) (49) acting as cooling fins. Similarly to what was previously explained, the flexibility of the cooling pack (1), and of its components (ex. combined passageways (1 1) including through-holes (7) and corresponding openings (9) and/or slits (13), optional bulging members (4), etc.), and more particularly, of the material used to manufacture its outer shell (57) or "outer body", allows the cooling pack (1) to adapt itself to the contour of the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled, for a maximal/optional contact surface and corresponding maximal/optimal thermal transfer (ex. cooling, etc.) between the cooling pack (1) and the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled, etc.

Similarly to what was described earlier, the at least one bulging member (49) of the cooling pack (1) may comprise an inlet port (33a) for receiving cooling liquid (35) for the at least one bulging member (49) (and/or the remaining corresponding cooling pack (1) in the case where the main body (5) and bulging member(s) (49) constitute one single outer shell, etc.), and may also an outlet port (33b) for evacuating cooling liquid (35) from the at least one bulging member (49) (and/or corresponding cooling pack (1)), but according to a preferred embodiment of the present system, the at least one bulging member (49) of the cooling pack (1) comprises a common port (33) acting both as an inlet port (33a) and as an outlet port (33b). As can also be easily understood, in the case where the main body (5) and any associated bulging member(s) (49) constitute one single and common outer shell (57) or "body" for the cooling pack (1), it is only necessary to have one common inlet/outlet port (33, 33a, 33b) for both, and said common inlet/outlet port (33,33a,33b) may either be placed on the main body (5) or on one of the associated bulging member(s) (49).

It is also worth mentioning that the main body (5) and any associated bulging member(s) (49) need not constitute one single and common outer shell for the cooling pack (1), in that, according to another possible embodiment of the present system, each bulging member (49) may be removably (ex. selectively, detachably, adjustably, etc.) connectable to the main body (5) via a corresponding fastening mechanism, and the fastening mechanism could be selected from the group consisting of clips, hooks-and-loops (ex. Velcro™), magnets, glues and/or any other appropriate/suitable means, as can be easily understood by a person skilled in the art.

According to another possible embodiment of the present system, and as can be easily understood, the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1) comprises through- holes (7) being multiples of 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, or 24, for example, or worded differently, the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1) comprises a given number of through-holes (7) configured for receiving a corresponding number of bottled beverages (3), the given number of through-holes (7) being selected from the group consisting of 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 15, 18, 24 and 28 through-holes (7), for example, although other suitable numbers of through-holes (7) are contemplated with the present cooling pack (1).

According to another possible embodiment of the present system, the cooling pack (1) may be configured to be of modular design and removably connectable to another one of such cooling pack (1) via a corresponding side connector. The side connector can be selected from the group consisting of clips, hooks-and-loops (ex. Velcro™), magnets, glues and/or any other appropriate/suitable means, as can be easily understood by a person skilled in the art. Optionally also, the side connector is provided with at least one overlapping wing bridging one cooling pack (1) to another adjacent cooling pack (1).

Referring back to the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1), and as previously explained, it may comprises an outer shell (57) or "body" (ex. casing, etc.), being filled with a substance (ex. liquid, solid, granulates, etc.) capable of cooling the bottled beverages (3). According to a possible embodiment of the present system, the substance inside the outer shell (57) of the main body (5) is a cooling liquid (35), and the cooling liquid (35) is selected from the group consisting of water, propylene glycol, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, refrigerant and the like (and/or any possible combination containing one and/or several of these possible constituents and/or other suitable ones, as can be easily understood by a person skilled in the art). The cooling liquid (35) is introduced into the main body (5) of the cooling pack (1) via an appropriate manufacturing process, and contained therein via at least one sealed port (33) and corresponding cap (59). Various additional components and features could be incorporated into the cooling pack (1) according to the present system. For example, the outer shell (57) of the main body (5) may be heat/cooling conductive. As previously explained, the cooling pack (1) may comprise shock-absorbing capability to protect the bottled beverages (3) during transportation thereof. Optionally also, the main body (5) can be made of a material selected from the group consisting of a washable material, a reusable/recyclable material, a plastic material, a flexible material, a resilient material, a stretchable material, a material having mold-resistant capability. The main body (5) could also comprises "textured" (ex. waved, ribbed, knurled, etc.) side surfaces (5c) for improved contact with inner walls of a container (37) containing the bottled beverages to be cooled. The upper surface (5a) and/or lower surface (5b) of the main body (5) may comprise a display area (61) for displaying information selected from the group consisting of promotional information, marketing information, educational information, warning information, disclaimer information, etc. Optionally also, the cooling pack (1) could be made of a material indicative of temperature, and the material indicative of temperature could be capable of changing color depending on the temperature of the cooling pack (1) - for example, the material indicative of temperature could be substantially "blue" when the cooling pack (1) is "cold" (ex. reached a desired temperature or range), and could be substantially "red" when the cooling pack (1) is "hot" (ex. reached a desired temperature or range), etc.

According to other possible aspects of the present system, there is also provided: a) a kit with components for assembling a cooling pack (1) such as the one briefly described herein and such as the one exemplified in the accompanying drawings; b) a kit with components for assembling a container provided with at least one of such a cooling pack (1); c) a container containing bottled beverages (3) being provided with at least one of such a cooling pack (1); d) a bottled beverage having been cooled with a cooling pack (1) such as the one briefly described herein and such as the one exemplified in the accompanying drawings; d) a bottled beverage having been cooled with a container provided with at least one of such a cooling pack (1).

As may now be better appreciated, the present cooling pack (1) and system (ex. with and/or within a box (37), along with corresponding method of cooling using such a cooling pack (1) and system, is advantageous in that it provides a custom fitted cooling pack (1) to be inserted into a beverage case on top of and/or around bottles so that the beverage will remain cooler for longer periods of time. As exemplified and described hereinabove, through-holes (7) are made to fit over and around the bottles. The cooling pack (1) may come in various shapes and forms, and according to one possible embodiment, the cooling pack (1) extends downwardly between the bottles. As also explained hereinabove, the cooling pack (1) may extend all the way down to the bottom of the case or may only extend partially the way down, whether it be halfway, or any other appropriate given proportion with respect to the height of the box, depending on the particular applications for which the cooling pack (1) is intended for, and the desired end results with such a cooling pack.

As may now be better appreciated also, the cooling pack (1) is configured to fit around bottles to ensure maximum contact and maximum thermal transfer. Because the cooling pack (1) is meant to be rested on top of the bottles, whether they be inside the box or not, the presence of such of a cooling pack (1) also adds insulation to maintain coolness within the bottled beverages (3) for a longer period of time. This is particularly true if the cooling pack (1) is used in combination with a box or a container (37) containing the bottled beverages to be cooled or to be kept cool. Another substantial advantage from the present system is that the cooling pack (1) is intended to fills gaps and thus reduces air space between bottles to avoid cooling loss due to warm air circulation thereinbetween. As may now also be better appreciated, the present cooling pack (1) is also advantageous and that not only it provides for cooling purposes, but the nature of the given cooling pack (1) and its corresponding components, such as the optional bulging members (49), enable to protect the bottled beverages (3) during transportation of the box or container, or at the very least reduce sound or noise resulting from adjacent bottled beverages contacting each other during transportation, etc. The present system is also advantageous in that the cooling pack (1) provides for a blanket coverage to keep cold from escaping in that, according to possible embodiments illustrated in the accompanying drawings and described briefly hereinabove, the cooling pack (1) may be provided with corresponding bulging members (49) acting a "cooling fins", whether they be internal bulging members (49i), side bulging members (49s), or corner bulging members (49c), which are configured to extend from side to side and corner to corner to keep cold down in between bottles.

As previously explained also, the bulging members (49) could be made integral (i.e. made essentially of the same material and/or essentially of the same piece) to the cooling pack (1), and more particularly, to the main body (5) thereof, or could be configured to be removably detachable therefrom, via appropriate fastening means (clips, hooks and loops, such as Velcro™, magnets, etc.).

As also briefly outlined hereinabove, the cooling pack (1) can also be designed to be of "modular" conception, so that a given cooling pack (1) having a minimal common denominator of possible cavities or through-holes (7) may be used in conjunction with another such similar cooling pack (1) to cover and be used with a plurality of bottled beverages (3). For example, a pair of cooling packs (1) each being provided with 3 through-holes (7) only could be used to cover a container box having 6 bottled beverages (3), for example. Also, 4 of such cooling packs (1) (i.e. each having 3 holes) could be used to cover and cool a box containing 12 bottled beverages (3), for example. Similarly, 8 of such cooling packs (1) could be used with a case containing 24 bottled beverages (3). In a similar manner, a cooling pack (1) being provided with 4 through-holes (7) could be used with boxes (37) containing a number of bottled beverages which is a multiple of 4, etc. Thus, the possible combinations and/or permutations are quite varied.

It is also worth mentioning that the through-holes (7) of the cooling pack (1) may be reinforced to prevent damage from sharp bottom cap surfaces, or other types of accessories that could be used with bottled beverages (3). As previously explained, the cooling pack (1) is also preferably meant to be malleable so as to facilitate installation over and around bottled beverages (3) and so as to allow for easy removable of bottles from the cooling pack (1), through (i.e. across, etc.) the main body (5) thereof. The cooling pack (1) is also preferably made malleable so that it can be easily be folded or stored away when not in use, or so that it can be easily conveniently contained (ex. folded, stored, lodged, etc.) in appropriate section of a refrigerator or of a freezer, prior to being used with bottled beverages (3). As previously explained, the cooling pack (1) is also preferably made malleable/flexible so as to ensure a maximal/optimal contact and thermal transfer with the bottled beverages (3).

As also previously explained, the cooling pack (1) is preferably meant to be reusable, washable and is made sanitary/hygienic. Moreover, and as mentioned hereinabove, although the cooling pack (1) has been exemplified mainly as a rectangular structure, it is worth mentioning that the cooling pack (1), including its main body (5), and corresponding upper and lower surfaces (5a, 5b) thereof, could come in many shapes and forms, depending on the particular applications for which the pack (1) is intended for, and the desired end results.

As way of one example, the cooling pack (1) could be made circular or cylindrical so as to be used in a bucket which would have a similar configuration. Thus, the present cooling pack (1) may come in various shapes and forms, and according to one possible embodiment, is intended to fill-up void space present within a container (37) containing bottled beverages (3) to be cooled, with a material which is capable of providing appropriate cooling capability. Furthermore, it can be easily understood also that the covering area of the upper surface (5a) of the main body (5) may be different that the covering area of the lower surface (5b) of the main body (5), once again, depending on the particular applications for which the pack (1) is intended for, on the specific container (37) that it is used with, on the desired end results, and/or various other considerations.

It is worth mentioning also that although in the context of the present description, the cooling pack (1) has been exemplified as a cooling pack (1) that is meant to go over (i.e. inserted on top of) the bottled beverages (3) to be cooled, by simply opening the container (37) and simply inserting the cooling pack (1) therein and onto the bottled beverages (3), the cooling pack (1) may also come in the form of a bottom cooling pack (1) which could be inserted into the bottom of the container box (37), after which the bottled beverages (3) could be inserted therein, and/or an upper cooling pack (1) could be used in addition to the lower cooling pack (1), so as to provide the container (37) with a "sandwiching cooling effect" via a pair of opposite upper and lower cooling packs (1) . As a result, for a given container (37), one could have top and bottom cooling packs (1), and one of them could be interchanged with the other if either one, whether the upper or the lower, warms up prior to the other one, etc. As may now be better appreciated, the present cooling pack (1) is advantageous over other related cooling devices and/or methods in that it enables to cool bottled beverages (3) (ex. beer bottles, coolers, etc.) in a simpler, easier, faster, cleaner and/or more convenient manner while overcoming several of the prior art drawbacks having been described in the background section of the present description, namely: a) there is no longer need for ice and/or snow in order to cool the bottled beverages (3) inside the container (37); b) the cooling pack (1) will not hinder the structural rigidity of the container (37) itself (instead, will often improve it); c) by filling-up any voids above the bottled beverages (3) inside the container (37), the cooling pack (1) maximizes a potential reserve of cold contribution to the bottled beverages (3), while containing cold configurations inside the container (37); d) etc.

As may now also be better appreciated, the present cooling pack (1) is also advantageous over conventional cooling packs, such as gel packs with fixed/closed holes, in that by virtue of the through-holes (7) provided with slit(s) (inner and/or outer slit(s), side and/or corner slit(s), etc.), for example, as briefly explained hereinabove, and as exemplified in the accompanying drawings, it enables namely to: a) reduce the number of manipulation steps required in that a bottled beverage (3) contained inside a container and covered by the present cooling pack (1) can simply be removed from said container/cooling pack (1) by pulling the bottle beverage (3) upwardly and/or outwardly through the combined passageway (1 1) of though-hole (7) and corresponding opening (9) (and/or slit(s) (13)); b) there is minimal loss of cooling due to the fact that the entire cooling pack (1) is meant to always be kept inside the container during use, so any cooling conditions (ex. lower temperature, etc.) under the gel pack are preserved because the cooling pack (1) and/or a substantial portion need not be removed/lifted from the container (37) in order to remove bottled beverage(s) (3) from said container (37) - the bottled beverages are simply pulled through and/or sideways the combined passageway (11) of though-hole (7) and corresponding opening (9) (and/or slit(s) (13)) of the present cooling pack (1); c) the present cooling pack (1) with such a combined passageway (11) enable leeway/adaptability for bottled beverages of different shaped and sizes; d) etc.

Of course, and as can be easily understood by a person skilled in the art, the scope of the claims should not be limited by the possible embodiments set forth in the examples, but should be given the broadest interpretation consistent with the description as a whole.