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Title:
IMPROVED LID FOR A CONTAINER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/010242
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A lid that enhances the olfactory experience of a user while providing safeguards against accidental spills and splashes is contemplated. The lid comprises a projection having at least one slit. The projection can extend above a valley of the lid in a first configuration, and extend below the valley in a second configuration. It is contemplated that at least one slit of the projection widens in the second configuration to create a larger opening for aroma to be received by the user.

Inventors:
BRANNOCK, Samuel Lincoln (28482 Calle Mira Monte, San Juan Capistrano, California, 92675, US)
Application Number:
US2018/040816
Publication Date:
January 10, 2019
Filing Date:
July 03, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HARL-BELLA HOLDINGS, LLC (28482 Calle Mira Monte, San Juan Capistrano, California, 92675, US)
International Classes:
A47G19/22; B65D43/02; B65D43/06; B65D47/06; B65D47/20; B65D51/16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CASTANEDA, Steven R. et al. (2603 Main Street, Suite 1000Irvine, California, 92614, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A lid for a container, comprising:

a ridge that at least partially surrounds a valley;

a projection disposed on the valley and that extends above the valley in a first

configuration; and

wherein the projection comprises a first slit having first and second endpoints disposed on the projection.

2. The lid of claim 1, wherein the projection is deformable to reversibly transition between the first configuration and a second configuration in which the projection extends below the valley.

3. The lid of claim 2, wherein two opposing surfaces of the first slit extend away from each other to widen the first slit in the second configuration.

4. The lid of claim 2, wherein the first slit extends between a top surface of the projection and the valley.

5. The lid of claim 4, wherein the top surface is flat.

6. The lid of claim 2, wherein the projection comprises a second slit, and wherein the first and second slits extend vertically.

7. The lid of claim 6, wherein the first and second slits widen horizontally in the second configuration.

8. The lid of claim 1, wherein the projection comprises a spherical body with a flat top surface.

9. The lid of claim 1, wherein the projection is deformable to irreversibly transition from the first configuration to a second configuration in which the projection extends below the valley.

10. The lid of claim 9, wherein two opposing surfaces of the first slit extend away from each other to widen the first slit in the second configuration.

11. The lid of claim 9, wherein the projection comprises a second slit, and wherein the first and second slits extend vertically.

12. The lid of claim 11, wherein the first and second slits widen horizontally in the second configuration.

13. A lid for a container, comprising:

a valley;

a projection that extends (i) above the valley in a first configuration and (ii) below the valley in a second configuration;

first and second surfaces on the projection that define a slit; and

wherein the first and second surfaces extend away from one another as the projection transitions from the first configuration to the second configuration to widen the slit in the second configuration.

14. The lid of claim 13, wherein the projection is deformable to reversibly transition between the first and second configurations.

15. The lid of claim 13, wherein the projection is deformable to irreversibly transition from the first configuration to the second configuration.

16. The lid of claim 13, wherein the slit extends between a top surface of the projection and the valley.

17. The lid of claim 13, wherein the first and second surfaces extend vertically.

18. The lid of claim 17, wherein the first and second surfaces extend away from each other in a horizontal direction to widen the slit in the second configuration.

19. The lid of claim 13, wherein the projection comprises a spherical body with a flat top surface.

20. The lid of claim 13, wherein the valley comprises an opening suitable for drinking a beverage from the container, and wherein the projection is positioned on the valley to allow aroma of the beverage to escape through the slit to a user's nose when drinking the beverage.

21. A method of expanding at least one slit on a lid, wherein the lid comprises:

a ridge that at least partially surrounds a valley;

a projection disposed on the valley, and that extends above the valley in a first

configuration; and

wherein the projection comprises at least one slit;

the method comprising a step of pushing down on a surface of the projection to thereby push the projection below the valley into a second configuration and expand the at least one slit.

22. The method of claim 21, further comprising a step of pulling the projection from the second configuration above the valley to the first configuration to thereby contract the at least one slit.

23. The method of claim 21, further comprising a step of inserting at least one of a stirring rod and a straw through at least one slit when the projection is in the second configuration.

24. The method of claim 23, further comprising a step of pulling the at least one of the stirring rod and the straw inserted in the at least one slit upwardly to thereby pull the projection above the valley to the first configuration and contract the at least one slit.

25. The method of claim 22, wherein the projection comprises a tab, and further comprising a step of pulling the tab upwardly on the projection to thereby pull the projection above the valley to the first configuration and contract the at least one slit.

26. The method of claim 21, wherein two opposing surfaces of each of the at least one slit extend away from one another as the projection transitions from the first configuration to the second configuration to thereby expand the at least one slit.

27. The method of claim 21, wherein the surface is a top surface of the projection.

28. The method of claim 27, wherein the projection comprises a spherical body with a flat top surface.

29. The method of claim 21, wherein a first and second slit of the at least one slit extend vertically on the projection.

30. The method of claim 29, wherein the first and second slits widen horizontally in the second configuration.

Description:
IMPROVED LID FOR A CONTAINER

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/528,323, filed July 3, 2017. All extrinsic materials identified herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

Field of the Invention

[0002] The field of the invention is improved lids for containers. Background

[0003] The background description includes information that may be useful in understanding the present invention. It is not an admission that any of the information provided herein is prior art or relevant to the presently claimed invention, or that any publication specifically or implicitly referenced is prior art.

[0004] These and all other extrinsic materials discussed herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety. Where a definition or use of a term in an incorporated reference is inconsistent or contrary to the definition of that term provided herein, the definition of that term provided herein applies and the definition of that term in the reference does not apply.

[0005] The olfactory perception of consumers is an important factor to consider when developing a certain beverage and/or food product. Through the sense of smell, consumers can gauge the freshness of a product and can sometimes determine whether they will like the product prior to consuming the product. As such, a pleasant aroma can induce consumers into trying the product, and the overall experience while consuming the product can be enhanced by the addition of a pleasant smell. Unfortunately, many consumers on the go are deprived of this olfactory experience because a majority of containers (e.g. , beverage containers, soup containers, etc.) have lids that fail to provide an adequate means of smelling the aroma of the beverage.

[0006] Some have recognized this flaw and have attempted to remedy the problem. For example, Bailey (U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2011/0114655) provides a lid that has a scent aperture positioned near the user' s nose to allow aroma from the beverage to reach the user.

Unfortunately, this approach appears to increase the risk of spilling by having a scent aperture. Other lids that are designed to improve the olfactory experience of users are contemplated by Brannock (U.S. Pat. No. 8,881,938).

[0007] Other problems with lid designs have led to additional lid designs. For example, Herbst (U.S. Pat. No. 4,898,299) discloses a lid having a raised element disposed on a valley of the lid. A downward force can be applied to the raised element to thereby create slits. Herbst contemplates that the downward force causes corners of the raised element to fracture and create slits. Once the slits are formed, the contents of the container can be discharged. In another example, Sherlock (U.S. Pat. No. 3,003,668) discloses a closure for a container that has a protrusion extending outwardly from a portion of the closure. The protrusion is six-sided and extends from the center of the closure. Depending on the force, the protrusion can be pressed to extend below the surface on which it originally extended. Such motion causes a rupture of the material adjacent to corners of the protrusion.

[0008] Although many existing lid designs have provided some improvements, there is still a need in the art for lids that enhance the olfactory experience of drinking an aromatic beverage while providing better comfort and protection when drinking beverages.

Summary of the Invention

[0009] The inventive subject matter provides apparatus, systems, and methods in which a lid for a container can enhance the olfactory experience of a user while providing safeguards against accidental spills and splashes. One contemplated lid comprises a ridge that at least partially surrounds a valley. A projection is disposed on the valley, and the projection comprises a first slit having endpoints disposed on the projection. Typically, the projection extends above the valley to prevent splashing or spilling of the beverage through first slit. Additionally, or alternatively, the first slit can form narrow opening when the projection extends above the valley, and can widen as two opposing surfaces of the first slit extend away from one another when the projection is depressed below the valley to form a wider opening to release the aroma of the substance (e.g., beverage, food, etc.) within the container.

[0010] It is contemplated that the projection can comprise a top surface that is flat. The flat top surface can be provided as an area for a user to push in order to depress the projection and cause two opposing surfaces of a first slit to extend away from one another to widen the slit. Typically, once depressed, the projection extends below valley and the first slit is widened to form a wider opening that releases the aroma of the beverage and allows additional air to enter the container.

[0011] In contemplated aspects, the projection is deformable to reversibly transition between a first configuration in which the projection extends above the valley, and a second configuration in which the projection extends below the valley. As explained above, two opposing surfaces of the first slit can extend away from each other to widen the first slit in the second configuration. Additionally, or alternatively, the projection can comprise a second slit. The first and second slits can extend vertically along the projection, and widen horizontally in the second

configuration.

[0012] In contemplated aspects, the projection is deformable to irreversibly transition from the first configuration in which the projection extends above the valley to a second configuration in which the projection extends below the valley. Two opposing surfaces of the first slit can extend away from each other to widen the first slit in the second configuration. Additionally, or alternatively, the projection can comprise a second slit. The first and second slits can extend vertically along the projection, and widen horizontally in the second configuration.

[0013] Regardless of reversible or irreversible transitions between first and second

configurations, it is contemplated that the projection can comprise a spherical body with a flat top surface. Additionally, or alternatively, the first slit can be formed closed, and then ruptured opened to create an opening when the projection is depressed.

[0014] In another aspect, a method of expanding at least one slit on a lid is contemplated. The lid comprises a ridge that at least partially surrounds a valley, and a projection that extends above the valley. The projection comprises at least one slit. The method comprises a step of pushing down on a surface of the projection to thereby push the projection below the valley and cause two opposing surfaces of each of the at least one slit to extend away from one another to thereby expand each of the at least one slit. In some embodiments, a further step of pulling up the projection to thereby pull the projection above the valley and contract each of the at least one slit is contemplated. [0015] Various objects, features, aspects and advantages of the inventive subject matter will become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments, along with the accompanying drawing figures in which like numerals represent like components.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0016] Figure 1 is a top perspective view of an embodiment of a lid. [0017] Figure 2 is a side perspective view of the lid of Fig. 1. [0018] Figure 3 is a cross-sectional view of the lid of Fig. 1.

[0019] Figure 4 is a top perspective view of the lid of Fig. 1 having a projection that is depressed.

[0020] Figure 5 is a side perspective view of the lid of Fig. 1 having a projection that is depressed.

[0021] Figure 6 is a cross-sectional view of the lid of Fig. 1 having a projection that is depressed.

[0022] Figure 7 is a top view of an embodiment of a lid. [0023] Figure 8 is a side perspective view of the lid of Fig. 7.

[0024] Figure 9 is a top view of the lid of Fig. 7 having a projection that is depressed.

[0025] Figure 10 is a top perspective view of the lid of Fig. 7 having a projection that is depressed.

[0026] Figure 11 is a side perspective view of the lid of Fig. 7 having a projection that is depressed.

Detailed Description

[0027] The following discussion provides example embodiments of the inventive subject matter. Although each embodiment represents a single combination of inventive elements, the inventive subject matter is considered to include all possible combinations of the disclosed elements. Thus if one embodiment comprises elements A, B, and C, and a second embodiment comprises elements B and D, then the inventive subject matter is also considered to include other remaining combinations of A, B, C, or D, even if not explicitly disclosed.

[0028] Also, as used herein, and unless the context dictates otherwise, the term "coupled to" is intended to include both direct coupling (in which two elements that are coupled to each other contact each other) and indirect coupling (in which at least one additional element is located between the two elements). Therefore, the terms "coupled to" and "coupled with" are used synonymously.

[0029] Figure 1 shows an embodiment of a lid 100 that can be coupled to a container. The container can be sized and dimensioned to hold at least one of a beverage and food. Typically, lid 100 has an outer rim 103 that is configured to removably couple a lip of a container. It is contemplated that lid 100 can be removably coupled to a container storing a beverage, such as water, juice, soda, tea, coffee, or hot cocoa. In some embodiments, lid 100 and the container can be removably coupled using threaded engagements, snap fittings, male-female engagements, or any other fastener suitable for sealing a beverage within the container. However, in other embodiments, lid 100 can be permanently coupled to the container. For example, lid 100 and the container could be manufactured as one integral structure and a beverage could be placed inside the container prior to completion of the manufacturing process.

[0030] Lid 100 comprises a ridge 105 that surrounds a valley 107. In other embodiments, ridge 105 can partially surround valley 107. A projection 109 extends above valley 107 as better shown in Figure 2. Projection 109 is located near the center of valley 107, but can be located on other portions of valley 107 or on a portion of ridge 105. Typically, projection 109 is disposed on valley 107 in a position that optimizes the delivery of aroma to a consumer. An aperture 111 is also disposed on valley 107 to provide a drinking opening. In other embodiments, it is contemplated that lid 100 can comprise tear lines that can be ruptured to create a drinking opening or tear lines that extend a drinking opening as discussed in U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 14/948,031, which is hereby incorporated by reference. In yet other embodiments, it is contemplated that aperture 111 can be replaced with a projection. [0031] Ridge 105 typically has an outward-facing wall and an inward-facing wall. The height of ridge 105 can vary across the length of lid 100 as shown in Figure 3. However, it is

contemplated that the height of ridge 105 can be constant across the length of lid 100 in other embodiments. Ridge 105 can form a pentagonal shape when viewed from the top. It should be appreciated that the shape of ridge 105 can help a user identify a drinking portion of lid 100 without the need to look down at lid 100 (i.e. , by touching ridge 105 to distinguish the wider drinking portion from the narrower aroma portion). It is contemplated that the design of ridge 105 can be the same as that discussed in the lid designs of U.S. Patent Application Ser. Nos. 14/948,031 and 15/232,751, which are hereby incorporated by reference.

[0032] Projection 109 typically comprises slits 113 that extend between a top surface 115 and the intersection of projection 109 and valley 107. Slits 113 can extend vertically as shown in Fig. 3. However, it is contemplated that slits 113 can extend in other directions (e.g. , horizontal, angled, etc.). Additionally, or alternatively, it is contemplated that slits 113 can extend in the same direction or different directions. It should be noted that slits 113 form narrow channels that allow some aroma to escape while minimizing leakage/splashing of beverage though slits 113. In some embodiments, slits 113 can each comprise two surfaces (e.g. , a first surface 106 and a second surface 108) that contact one another, such that the distance between the two surfaces increases when projection 109 is depressed to thereby enlarge slits 113. It is contemplated that a partial vacuum can be formed by slits 113 (especially when two opposing surfaces (e.g. , first surface 106 and second surface 108) contact each other) to thereby substantially reduce the amount of spilling that occurs through a drinking opening if the container is accidently tipped over.

[0033] It should be noted that many suitable structures are contemplated for slits 113 including at least one of perforations, incisions, indentations, and solid tear lines. Perforations comprise a row of holes punched in lid 100 that allows a user to rupture the lid along the perforations. An incision comprises a cut through lid 100. An indentation comprises a notch on lid 100 that does not penetrate through the surface of lid 100 but creates a weak point so that a user can rupture lid 100 along the indentation. A solid tear line comprises a material property (e.g. , weaker material than surrounding area, thinner cross-section than surrounding area, etc.) that creates a weak point on lid 100 so that a user can rupture lid 100 along the solid tear line. It is contemplated that perforations, indentations, and/or solid tear lines can be ruptured by pushing down on projection 109.

[0034] Projection 109 can have top surface 115 that is flat and horizontal and a spherical body as shown in Fig. 3. Typically, a user pushes down on top surface 115 of projection 109 to thereby open or widen slits 113 and form larger channels for releasing additional aroma from the beverage inside a container. Projection 109 can comprise a deformable material that can be permanently (i.e. , irreversible transition from first to second configuration or second

configuration to first configuration) or temporarily deformed (i.e. , reversible transition between first and second configurations). Projection 109 can be the same or a different material from lid 100. For example, contemplated materials for lid 100 and/or projection 109 are high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polystyrene, polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), silicone material, bio-plastics, fiber-based materials, metal alloys, ceramics, composites, and any combination thereof.

[0035] It should be noted that lid 100 can be used in two distinct configurations. As shown in Figs. 1-3, projection 109 extends upwardly from valley 107 in a first configuration, which allows a limited amount of aroma to be released through slits 113 while preventing splashing/leakage. By having projection 109 extend above valley 107, the risk of a beverage splashing onto valley 107 via slits 113 is reduced as compared to a projection disposed on the same level or below valley 107. Furthermore, slits 113 form narrow channels that allow some aroma to be released, while minimizing the amount of leakage/splashing through the slits 113 if the beverage splashes on the interior surface of projection 109. Thus, lid 100 in the first configuration provides a reduced risk of leakage/splashing, which is beneficial to those users on the go (e.g. , consumers in their car, walking, or performing any other physical activity, etc.) and those users preparing a beverage for users (e.g. , a barista preparing a hot beverage for a drive-thru consumer, etc.).

[0036] Slits 113 can be widened to create larger channels to release additional aroma from a container by pushing down on projection 109 to depress projection 109 below valley 107 into a second configuration shown in Figure 4. It is contemplated that first surface 106 and second surface 108 of a first slit of slits 113 can extend away from one another as projection 109 transitions from a first configuration in which projection 109 is above valley 107 to a second configuration in which projection 109 is below valley 107.

[0037] Figure 5 shows a side perspective view of lid 100 showing aperture 111 and projection 109. It should be appreciated that any splashed or leaked beverage that is disposed on valley 107 can be returned to the container through aperture 111 and/or projection 109. Additionally, although projection 109 comprises widened slits 114 when depressed, it should be appreciated that the concave structure of projection 109 minimizes the risk of splashing and/or leakage of the beverage. When compared to similar slits or an aperture on a flat valley surface, it is

contemplated that much less splashing and/or leakage occurs with projection 109 having widened slits 114 due at least in part to its concavity. Thus, projection 109 allows additional aroma to be released through widened slits 114 without significantly increasing the risk of splashing and/or leakage of the beverage stored in the container.

[0038] Figure 6 shows projection 109 having widened slits 114 that allow aroma to escape a container. Projection 109 extends below valley 107 in this second configuration. Although projection 109 comprises widened slits 114 that may increase the risk of leakage/splashing as compared to the first configuration, it should be appreciated that the U-shaped cavity formed by projection 109 in the second configuration can collect and return any beverage that leaks or splashes onto valley 107. It is contemplated that widened slits 114 can be sized and dimensioned to receive a stirring rod. For example, a stirring rod can be inserted through one of widened slits 114 to thereby hold the stirring rod. Additionally, or alternatively, the U-shaped cavity of projection 109 can be sized and dimensioned to provide an interference or friction fit with a portion of the stirring rod to thereby provide additional support for holding the stirring rod. For example, the U-shaped cavity of projection 109 can receive a portion of the stirring rod (e.g. , a portion of a Coffee Stix provided by StixToGo ® , a body portion of a plug as shown in U.S. Patent No. 9,216,846 and hereby incorporated by reference, and a portion of other conventional stirring rods) so as to plug or seal widened slits 114 and/or projection 109. It should be appreciated that a partial vacuum can be formed when the U-shaped cavity of projection 109 receives the stirring rod to thereby substantially reduce the amount of spilling that occurs through aperture 111 if the container is accidently tipped over. [0039] Projection 109 can be manufactured in many suitable shapes. For example, projection 109 can form an inverted U-shaped projection when in the first configuration (e.g. , projection 109 shown in Figs. 1-3), which can be depressed to form a U-shaped cavity (e.g., projection 109 shown in Figs. 4-6). It should be appreciated that projection 109 is rounded or curved below top surface 115 (i.e., projection does not have corners for creating new slits). However, in other embodiments, projection 109 can be a structure having corners (e.g., a rectangular shape, a triangular shape, etc.). In such embodiments, it is contemplated that the corners can create additional slits when projection 109 is depressed into a second configuration. Although projection 109 is shown with pre-formed slits 113, it is contemplated that projection 109 can be manufactured without pre-formed slits 113.

[0040] Slits 113 are typically disposed on projection 109 between top surface 115 and the intersection of projection 109 and valley 107 as shown in Figs. 1-3. When projection 109 is depressed into a second configuration, widened slits 114 can also be disposed between top surface 115 and the intersection of projection 109 and valley 107 as shown in Figs. 4-6. As discussed above, it is contemplated that slits 113 are widened to form widened slits 114. For example, slits 113 can be widened to increase the area at least one of the narrow channels of slits

113 by at least one of 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, 200%, 500%, and even greater.

Additionally, or alternatively, the length of slits 113 can also be increased when widened slits

114 are formed. For example, the length of at least one slits 113 can be increased by at least one of 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, 200%, 500%, and even greater.

[0041] It is contemplated that projection 109 can transitioned from the second configuration to the first configuration (i.e. , reversibly transition). For example, the projection 109 can be pulled by a user to contract widened slits 114 and thereby form slits 113 forming narrower channels. Additionally, the projection 109 can then be transitioned back to the second configuration by depressing projection 109 to thereby widen slits 113 to widened slits 114. It should be appreciated that in these transitions two opposing surfaces of slits 113 (e.g. , first surface 106 and second surface 108 of a first slit) are either extending away or towards each other to widen or contract slits 113. In some embodiments, a stirring rod and/or a straw can be used to pull up projection 109 from the second to the first configurations. Additionally, or alternatively, a pull tab can extend upwardly from top surface 115 to assist in pulling projection 109 upwardly from the second configuration to the first configuration.

[0042] Figure 7 shows another embodiment of a lid 200 that can couple to a container. Lid 200 comprises an outer rim 203 and a ridge 205 that surround a valley 207. Similar to lid 100, lid 200 comprises a projection 209 having slits 213 and a top surface 215. Preferably, slits 213 are disposed on projection 209 between top surface 215 and the intersection between projection 209 and valley 207. An aperture 211 can be disposed on ridge 205 for a user to drink a beverage. Preferably, outer rim 203 removably couples a container.

[0043] Projection 209 can extend upwardly from valley 207 in a first configuration as shown in Figure 8. Projection 209 can be disposed on center of valley 207, or in other locations on valley 207 or ridge 205. Preferably, projection 209 is disposed on a location on valley 207 that enhances the delivery of aroma of a beverage in the container once projection 209 is depressed.

[0044] Similar to lid 100, projection 209 can comprise slits 213 that extend vertically. However, it is contemplated that slits 213 can extend in other directions (e.g. , horizontal, angled, etc.) or in a combination of different directions. It should be noted that slits 213 form narrow channels that allow some aroma to escape while minimizing leakage/splashing of beverage through slits 213.

[0045] It is contemplated that slits 213 can be many suitable structures. For example, slits 213 can comprise at least one of perforations, incisions, indentations, and solid tear lines.

Perforations comprise a row of holes punched in lid 200 that allows a user to rupture lid 200 along the perforations. An incision comprises a cut through lid 200. An indentation comprises a notch on lid 200 that does not penetrate through the surface of lid 200 but creates a weak point so that a user can rupture lid 200 along the indentation. A solid tear line comprises a material property (e.g., weaker material than surrounding area, thinner cross-section than surrounding area, etc.) that creates a weak point on lid 200 so that a user can rupture lid 200 along the solid tear line. It is contemplated that perforations, indentations, and/or solid tear lines can be ruptured by pushing down on projection 209. Typically, slits 213 are a plurality of incisions that can be opened or widened when projection 209 is depressed into a second configuration. [0046] Projection 209 can have top surface 215 that is flat and horizontal and a spherical body as shown in Fig. 8. It is contemplated the flat and horizontal nature of top surface 215 provides a surface of projection 209 whereby a user can depress projection 209 and thereby widen slits 213. Projection 209 can comprise a deformable material that can be permanently (i.e. , irreversible transition from first to second configuration or second configuration to first configuration) or temporarily deformed (i.e. , reversible transition between first and second configurations).

Projection 209 can optionally be the same material as the rest of lid 200. For example, contemplated materials for lid 200 and/or projection 209 are high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polystyrene, polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), silicone material, bio- plastics, fiber-based materials, metal alloys, ceramics, composites, and any combination thereof.

[0047] Similar to lid 100, it should be noted that lid 200 can be used in two distinct

configurations. For example, projection 209 can extend upwardly from valley 207 in a first configuration (e.g. , Figs. 7-8). A limited amount of aroma is allowed through the narrow channels of slits 213 in first configuration. It should be noted that the narrow channels of slits 213 prevent or substantially reduce the likelihood of leakage or spillage of beverage from the container. Projection 209 can be depressed into a second configuration shown in Figure 9 to enlarge slits 213 and release additional aroma. As shown, projection 209 comprises widened slits 214 forming larger channels for additional aroma release.

[0048] Projection 209 extends below valley 207 as shown in Figures 10 and 11. Typically, widened slits 214 extend vertically between top surface 215 and the intersection of valley 207 and projection 209. As shown in Figs. 10-11, widened slits 214 are below a top surface of valley 207 and are disposed in a cavity formed by projection 209. Thus, even though widened slits 214 form larger channels that can potentially allow beverage to spill or leak, such widened slits 214 are disposed in the cavity formed by projection, which facilitates return of any spilled or leaked beverage back into the container. It is contemplated that the slits 213 are expanded by two opposing surfaces of a slit extending away from one another as projection 209 is depressed (see, e.g., first surface 106 and second surface 108).

[0049] It is contemplated that widened slits 214 can be sized and dimensioned to receive a stirring rod or other utensil. In some embodiments, projection 209 can form a cavity in the second configuration having a shape that receives a portion of a stirring rod in an interference or friction fit. For example, projection 209 can form a cavity that receives a portion of a stirring rod to plug or seal widened slits 214 and/or projection 209. Similar to projection 109, projection 209 can be manufactured in the form of many suitable shapes.

[0050] As discussed above, slits 213 have narrow channels that are opened or enlarged to form widened slits 214 having larger channels. It is contemplated that slits 213 can be widened to increase the area of at least one of the narrow channels of slits 213 by at least one of 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, 200%, 500%, and even greater. Additionally, or alternatively, the length of slits 213 can also be increased when widened slits 214 are formed. For example, the length of at least one of slits 213 can be increased by at least one of 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, 200%, 500%, and even greater.

[0051] It should be appreciated that contemplated projections can comprise a structure having at least one corner that is suitable to create a slit. For example, a projection can have a rectangular shape that extends upwardly from the valley in a first configuration. The rectangular shape can comprise four corners that form creases between at least a portion of a top surface of the projection and the intersection between the projection and the valley. In some embodiments, the projection can comprise slits disposed between at least one set of creases. Additionally, or alternatively, the projection and/or the valley can comprise slits disposed adjacent at least one crease. It should be appreciated that the projection can be depressed into a second configuration to thereby create slits along and/or proximate to the creases. When a pre-formed slit is disposed near at least one crease in a first configuration, it is contemplated that the pre-formed slit can extend or connect with a created slit when the projection is depressed into a second

configuration. Although a rectangular shape is discussed as an example, other shapes having corners can also be used (e.g. , pentagon, hexagon, triangle, etc.).

[0052] Furthermore, it is contemplated that a projection can be disposed on a lid to thereby create a drinking opening. For example, apertures 111 and 211 can be replaced with a projection as described in the above embodiments. The projection can have a first configuration whereby the projection extends upwardly with slits, and a second configuration whereby the projection extends downwardly with widened slits. It is contemplated that all the features (e.g. , shapes of projection, slit structures, projection locations, reversibility, etc.) described in the projection embodiments above can be incorporated in a projection that replaces a drinking opening. It is further contemplated that at least one tear line can be disposed near the projection to further enlarge the drinking opening created by the projection (e.g. , tear lines that extend a drinking opening as discussed in U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 14/948,031).

[0053] It should be appreciated that the lid embodiments described above can comprise a second projection comprising at least one slit. The second projection can be disposed on the valley or ridge of the lid, and extend upwardly from the valley or the ridge in a first configuration. It is contemplated that the second projection comprises a deformable material such that a predetermined amount of force applied to a top surface of the second projection will transition the second projection below the valley or ridge into a second configuration. Additionally or alternatively, a pre-determined amount of force can be used to pull the projection upwardly from the second configuration to extend above the valley or ridge in the first configuration.

[0054] In further aspects, a method of expanding at least one slit on a lid is contemplated. The lid can comprise any of the embodiments described above. For example, the lid can comprise a ridge that at least partially surrounds a valley, and a projection that extends above the valley in a first configuration. The projection can comprise at least one slit. The method comprises a step of pushing down on a surface of the projection to thereby push the projection below the valley and expand the at least one slit in a second configuration. It is contemplated that the at least one slit is expanded by two opposing surfaces of a slit that extend away from one another as the projection is depressed (see, e.g. , first surface 106 and second surface 108).

[0055] Additionally, or alternatively, a step of pulling up on the projection to thereby pull the projection above the valley and contract the at least one slit is contemplated. At least one of a stirring rod and a straw can be inserted through at least one slit in at least one of the first and second configurations. It should be appreciated that the at least one of the stirring rod and the straw can be used to pull the projection above the valley to the second configuration to contract the at least one slit. Additionally, or alternatively, the projection comprises a tab that can be pulled to transition the projection above the valley and contract the at least one slit. [0056] The lid can further comprise a second projection disposed on the valley or the ridge. In such embodiments, a step of pushing down on a surface of the second projection to thereby push the second projection below the valley or the ridge and expand at least one slit of the second projection to thereby produce a drinking opening is further contemplated. The at least one slit can be expanded by two opposing surfaces of a slit that extend away from one another as the projection is depressed (see, e.g. , first surface 106 and second surface 108). Once depressed, the second projection can be pulled above the valley or the ridge and contract the at least one slit of the second projection.

[0057] As used in the description herein and throughout the claims that follow, the meaning of "a," "an," and "the" includes plural reference unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Also, as used in the description herein, the meaning of "in" includes "in" and "on" unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

[0058] It should be apparent, however, to those skilled in the art that many more modifications besides those already described are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The inventive subject matter, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of the disclosure. Moreover, in interpreting the disclosure all terms should be interpreted in the broadest possible manner consistent with the context. In particular the terms "comprises" and "comprising" should be interpreted as referring to the elements, components, or steps in a nonexclusive manner, indicating that the referenced elements, components, or steps can be present, or utilized, or combined with other elements, components, or steps that are not expressly referenced.