Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A LID FOR A CONTAINER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/198811
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A lid for a container is disclosed. The lid includes body which is engageable with a container to form a liquid-tight seal and which has an opening for discharging liquids from the container. The lid also has a closure that is adapted to connect with the lid such that the closure is operable to close the opening to prevent liquid discharge and to be positioned clear of the opening to permit liquid discharge through the opening. The closure is releasably securable in the position clear of the opening by engaging a securing formation on the body. Alternatively, the lid has a discharge opening which has a formation for receiving an accessory and a storage cavity for receiving an accessory. wherein the formations of the opening and the storage cavity are the same so that accessories having a complementary formation are interchangeable between the opening and the storage cavity.

Inventors:
COLEGATE MATTHEW (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2020/050342
Publication Date:
October 08, 2020
Filing Date:
April 03, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
JOCO GROUP PTY LTD (AU)
International Classes:
B65D47/32; A45F3/16; A47G19/22; B65D47/08; B65D47/12
Foreign References:
US7669730B22010-03-02
US6783019B22004-08-31
US20170273484A12017-09-28
US6679397B22004-01-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BOSH IP (AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A lid for a container, the lid including :

(a) a body having an upper surface, a seal-forming member that is engageable with a container to form a liquid-tight seal with the container and having an opening for discharging liquids from the container, and

(b) a closure that is operable to close the opening to prevent liquid discharge and to be positioned clear of the opening to permit liquid discharge through the opening; and wherein the closure is releasably securable in the position clear of the opening by engaging a securing formation on the body.

2. The lid defined in claim 1, wherein the closure is connectable to the lid at a location between the securing formation and the discharge opening so that the closure can be folded back to be clear of the opening and can be secured in the securing formation.

3. The lid defined in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the securing formation includes a retention seat in the upper surface of the body for receiving the closure and includes members which engage the closure to retain the closure in the retention seat.

4. The lid defined in claim 3, wherein the closure tapers outwardly from the location to a distal portion and the retention seat has a width dimension that is less than the width of the distal portion.

5. The lid defined in claim 1, wherein the upper surface includes a recessed section for receiving the closure such that the closure is flush with the upper surface of the lid when the opening is closed by the closure.

6. The lid defined in claim 1, wherein the lid includes an aroma vent that allows gas to move into and from the container.

7. The lid defined in claim 6, wherein the aroma vent is positioned in the lid at a location where the aroma vent is closed by the closure when the discharge opening is closed.

8. The lid defined in claim 6, wherein the closure includes a plug that closes the aroma vent when the discharge opening is closed by the closure.

9. The lid defined in claim 1, wherein the closure includes a closure element that is insertable into the discharge opening and which has a first shape which partially closes the opening by co-operating with the discharge opening to permit steam release but minimises liquid leakage and a second shape which fully closes the opening by co operating with the discharge opening to seal the opening.

10. The lid defined in claim 9, wherein the closure element includes first and second sections that are located between the end of the closure element and the first shape and between the first shape and the second shape and each closure element that has a width that is greater than a width of the discharge opening so that the first section has to be forced through the discharge opening to move the closure element to the partially-closed position and the second section has to be moved through the opening to move the closure element to the fully closed position.

11. The lid defined in claim 10, wherein the first and second sections and the discharge opening have a shape that causes an audible clicking sound when the first and second sections pass through the discharge opening.

12. The lid defined in claim 9, wherein a vacuum is applied to a container fitted with the lid by moving the closure to the partially-closed position, pressing down on the lid to expel some air in the container from the discharge opening, and then moving the closure to the fully closed position.

13. The lid defined in claim 1, wherein the body includes a connection opening and the closure includes a connection end comprising a stem for passing through the connection opening and a foot extending from the stem which co-operates with an underside of the body to releasably secure the closure and to seal the connection opening.

14. The lid defined in claim 13, wherein the underside of the lid includes a seat formation which includes sealing formations that co-operate with the foot to form a seal.

15. The lid defined in claim 1, wherein the closure is resilient.

16. A lid for a container, the lid having :

(a) a formation that forms a liquid seal with a container when the lid is fitted to a

container;

(b) a discharge opening that enables liquids to flow from a container that is fitted with the lid and which discharge opening has a formation for receiving an accessory; and

(c) a storage cavity having another formation for receiving an accessory; and wherein the formations of the opening and the storage cavity are the same so that accessories having a complementary formation are interchangeable between the opening and the storage cavity.

17. The lid defined in claim 16, wherein the lid includes one or more accessories selected from the group of a plug, a drinking spout and a straw-receiving ring seal.

18. The lid defined in claim 17, wherein the accessories are deformable to enable insertion and removal of the accessories from the opening and the storage cavity.

19. The lid of claim 18, wherein the accessories have a neck portion that fits within the annular wall of the seat and a radially extending member that mechanically interacts with the lower radially extending shoulder to resist removal of the accessory from the seat.

21. The lid of claim 19, wherein the radially extending member is a continuous annular projection or one or more discrete radial projections.

22. The lid defined in claim 16, wherein the formation comprises a seat having an element that mechanically interacts with the accessory to resist removal of the accessory from the seat.

23. The lid defined in claim 22, wherein the seat comprises an opening defined by an annular wall and upper and lower radially extending shoulders and wherein the element comprises the lower radially extending shoulder.

24. The lid of any claim 16, wherein the lid has an exterior surface and the seats of the opening and the storage cavity are recessed from the exterior surface.

25. An assembly of a container and the lid defined in claim 1 or claim 16 fitted to the container to form a liquid-tight seal.

AMENDED CLAIMS

CLAIMS received by the International Bureau on 02 September 2020 (02.09.20)

1. A lid for a container, the lid including :

(a) a body having an upper surface, a seal -forming member that is engageable with a container to form a liquid-tight seal with the container and having a discharge opening for discharging liquids from the container, and

(b) a closure that is adapted to be moved between an open position clear of the

opening to permit liquid discharge through the discharge opening and a fully- closed position to prevent liquid discharge; and

wherein the closure is adapted to be moved between the open position and the fully- closed position via a partially-closed position in which the discharge opening is substantially closed to minimise liquid spillage via the opening but open to an extent to allow steam to escape for the opening.

2. The lid defined in claim 1, wherein the closure includes a closure element that is insertabie into the discharge opening and which has a first shape which partially doses the opening by co-operating with the discharge opening to permit steam release but minimises liquid leakage and a second shape which fully closes the opening by co operating with the discharge opening to seal the opening.

3. The lid defined in claim 2, wherein the closure element includes first and second sections that are located between the end of the closure element and a first shape and between the first shape and a second shape and of the first and second sections has a width that is greater than a width of the discharge opening so that the first section has to be forced through the discharge opening to move the closure element to the partially-closed position and the second section has to be forced through the opening to move the closure element to the fully closed position.

4. The lid defined in claim 3, wherein the first and second sections and the discharge opening have a shape that causes an audible clicking sound when the first an secon sections pass through the discharge opening.

5. The lid defined in claim 4, wherein the body and the closure element are formed from a deformable material, and therefore the insertion of the first wider section and the second wider section through the discharge opening involves deformation of the discharge opening and the closure element.

6. A lid for a container, the lid including : (a) a body having an upper surface, a seal-forming member that is engageable with a container to form a liquid-tight seal with the container and having a discharge opening for discharging liquids from the container, and

(b) a closure that is adapted to be moved between an open position clear of the

opening to permit liquid discharge through the discharge opening and a fully- closed position to prevent liquid discharge; and

wherein the closure the closure is adapted to be moved to an intermediate position between the fully-open position and the fully-closed position and is adapted to form a vacuum when fitted to a container by moving the closure to the intermediate position, pressing down on the lid to expel air from the cup via the discharge opening, and then moving the closure to the fully-closed position.

7. The lid of claim 6, wherein the lid is formed of silicone polymer.

8. A lid for a container, the lid including :

(a) a body having an upper surface, a seal-forming member that is engageable with a container to form a liquid-tight seal with the container and having a discharge opening for discharging liquids from the container, and

(b) a closure that is adapted to be moved between an open position clear of the

opening to permit liquid discharge through the discharge opening and a fully- closed position to prevent liquid discharge; and

wherein the body includes an aroma vent that allows gas to move into and from the container and the aroma vent is positioned in the lid at a location where the aroma vent is closed by the closure when the discharge opening is closed.

9. The lid defined in claim 8 wherein the closure includes an aroma plug for closing the aroma vent when the discharge opening is closed by the closure.

10. The lid defined claim 9 wherein the closure is adapted to be moved between (a) the open position in which the closure is clear of the discharge opening and the aroma vent so that the discharge opening and the aroma vent are they are both open and (b) a fully-closed position in which the closure closes the discharge opening and the aroma vent.

11. The lid defined in claim 10, wherein the closure is adapted to be moved to an intermediate position that is between the open position and the fully-closed position in which the closure closes the aroma vent and the closure is clear of the discharge opening and the discharge opening is open.

12. A lid for a container, the lid including :

(a) a body having an upper surface, a seal-forming member that is engageabie with a container to form a liquid-tight seal with the container and having a discharge opening for discharging liquids from the container the body includes a top wall which has the an inverted dome-shaped section in a central area of the top wall and a rim around the inverted dome-shaped section, and

(b) a closure that is adapted to be moved between an open position clear of the

opening to permit liquid discharge through the discharge opening and a fully- closed position to prevent liquid discharge; and

wherein the closure is (i) releasably securable in the open position by engaging a securing formation on the body and (ii) is connectable to the lid at a location between the securing formation and the discharge opening so that the closure can be folded back to be clear of the opening and can be secured in the securing formation.

13. The lid defined in claim 12, wherein the securing formation includes a first recessed section in the top wall for receiving the closure and includes members which engage the closure to retain the closure in the retention seat.

14. The lid defined in claim 13, wherein the closure tapers outwardly from the location to a distal portion and the retention seat has a width dimension that is less than the width of the distal portion.

15. The lid defined in claim 14, wherein the rim includes the members on opposite sides of the first recessed section and which that extend above the first recessed section towards each other and define opposed formations, whereby, in use, the closure can be moved so that the section of the closure rests on the first recessed section and so that the opposed formations extend extend above and part way across the closure to retain the closure in this position.

16. The lid defined in claim 15, wherein the top wall includes a second recessed section, and the discharge opening is in the second recessed section.

17. The lid defined in claim 16, wherein the second recessed section and the closure are formed so that an upper surface of the closure is flush with an upper surface the top wall when the closure closes the discharge opening.

18. A lid for a container, the lid including : (a) a body having an upper surface, a seal-forming member that is engageable with a container to form a liquid-tight seal with the container and having a discharge opening for discharging liquids from the container the body includes a top wall which has the an inverted dome-shaped section in a central area of the top wall and a rim around the inverted dome-shaped section, and

(b) a closure that is adapted to be moved between an open position clear of the

opening to permit liquid discharge through the discharge opening and a fully- closed position to prevent liquid discharge; and

wherein the body and the closure are separate components and the top wall includes a connection opening and an engagement formation on an underside of the top wall and the closure is formed to engage with the engagement formation on the underside of the top wall and is formed to extend through the connection opening.

19. The lid defined in claim 18, wherein the engagement formation includes sealing flanges that form a fluid-tight seal with the closure and contributing to holding the closure in position.

20. The lid defined in claim 19, wherein the closure includes a post that extends through the connection opening and a flat seal element that contacts the underside of the top wall and is retained against the underside of the top wall by the sealing flanges.

21. The lid defined in claim 20, wherein the sealing flanges are selected to provide sufficient surface area of contact with the flat seal element to prevent the escape of steam via the connection opening.

22. A lid for a container, the lid having:

(a) a formation that forms a liquid seal with a container when the lid is fitted to a container;

(b) a discharge opening that enables liquids to flow from a container that is fitted with the lid and which discharge opening has a formation for receiving an accessory; and

(c) a storage cavity having another formation for receiving an accessory; and wherein the formations of the opening and the storage cavity are the same so that accessories having a complementary formation are interchangeable between the opening and the storage cavity.

23. The fid defined in claim 22, wherein the lid includes one or more accessories selected from the group of a plug, a drinking spout and a straw-receiving ring seal.

24. The lid defined in claim 23, wherein the accessories are deformable to enable insertion and removal of the accessories from the opening and the storage cavity. 25. The lid of claim 24, wherein the accessories have a neck portion that fits within the annular wall of the seat and a radially extending member that mechanically interacts with the lower radially extending shoulder to resist removal of the accessory from the seat. 26. The lid defined in claim 22, wherein the formation comprises a seat having an element that mechanically interacts with the accessory to resist removal of the accessory from the seat.

27. The lid defined in claim 26, wherein the seat comprises an opening defined by an annular wall and upper and lower radially extending shoulders and wherein the element comprises the lower radially extending shoulder.

28. An assembly of a container and the lid defined in any one of claims 1, 6, 8, 12, 18 or claim 23 fitted to the container to form a liquid-tight seal.

Description:
A LID FOR A CONTAINER

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to a lid for a container. It has application to cups for hot beverages, such as hot coffee, but is not limited to such containers.

The invention also relates to an assembly of a container and a lid on the container.

BACKGROUND

There is considerable interest to reduce the use of disposable coffee cups and other disposable containers made from any types of materials, but particularly plastics materials and paperboard materials.

This interest in more environmentally-responsible products has resulted in the development of re-usable coffee cups and re-usable coffee cup lids.

The applicant has realized that there is a number of problems with known re-usable coffee cup lids. These problems include safety issues related to carrying hot beverages in cups and functional problems relating to drinking from cups with lids on the cups.

The invention provides an alternative to known re-usable coffee cup lids.

The above description is not an admission of the common general knowledge in Australia or elsewhere.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

This application claim priority from Australian provisional applications

2019901134 and 2019903405, the content of each of is incorporated into this specification by this reference.

In one aspect, there is provided a lid for a container, the lid including :

(a) a body having an upper surface, a seal-forming member that is engageable with a container to form a liquid-tight seal with the container and having an opening for discharging liquids from the container, and

(b) a closure that is operable to close the opening to prevent liquid discharge and to be positioned clear of the opening to permit liquid discharge through the opening; and wherein the closure is releasably securable in the position clear of the opening by engaging a securing formation on the body.

The body may have a rim and a skirt.

The lid may be an assembly of two separate components, with (a) one component comprising the top wall and the skirt and (b) the other component comprising the closure. The upper surface, also referred to as the top wall, may include a rim around a least a part of a perimeter of the top wall.

The rim and the skirt may include a recessed section for receiving and supporting a section of the closure in the "back-lock" or "fully-open" position.

The rim may include opposed rim sections on opposite sides of the recessed section that extend above, typically a short distance above, the recessed section towards each other and define the formations.

With this arrangement, in use, the closure can be moved, typically by folding back the closure from the fully-closed position, so that the above-described section of the closure rests on the recessed section of the rim and the formations extend across and retain the closure in this position in the position clear of the discharge opening, i.e. a "back-lock" or "fully-open" position. In a situation in which the lid is formed from a deformable material, it can be appreciated that the formations and the closure can deflect to allow the section of the closure to be positioned on the recessed section and the formations can return to their rest position and, in this position extend over the closure section and retain the closure section on the recessed section.

The discharge opening and the recessed section of the rim and the skirt may be on opposite sides of the top wall.

The body may include one or more aroma vents for allowing vapours to escape from the container.

The closure may be adapted to be moved between (a) the open position (such as the back-lock or fully-open position) in which the closure is clear of the discharge opening and the aroma vent so that the discharge opening and the aroma vent are they are both open and (b) the fully-closed position in which the closure closes the discharge opening and the aroma vent.

In addition, the closure may be adapted to be moved to an intermediate position (i.e. partially closed position) that is between the open position (such as the back-lock or fully-open position) and the fully-closed position in which the closure closes the aroma vent and the closure is clear of the discharge opening and the discharge opening is open.

This combination of the discharge opening and the aroma vent and the closure makes it possible to apply a vacuum to a container/lid assembly by moving the closure to the intermediate position (i.e. partially closed position), pressing down on the top wall to expel some air in the container from the discharge opening, and then moving the closure to the fully- closed position. This feature is particularly suited to arrangements in which the lid is formed from a deformable material but is not limited to these

arrangements. The closure may be adapted to be moved between the open position (such as the back-lock or fully-open position) and the fully-closed position via a partially-closed position in which the discharge opening is substantially closed to minimise liquid spillage via the opening but open to an extent to allow steam to escape for the opening. This is an important feature, by way of example, in situations where a person is carrying the cup with hot coffee between a coffee shop and a workplace.

The closure may include a closure element that is insertable into the discharge opening and which has a first shape which partially closes the opening by co-operating with the discharge opening to permit steam release but minimises liquid leakage and a second shape which fully closes the opening by co-operating with the discharge opening to seal the opening.

The closure element may include first and second sections that are located between the end of the closure element and the first shape and between the first shape and the second shape and each closure element that has a width that is greater than a width of the discharge opening so that the first section has to be forced through the discharge opening to move the closure element to the partially-closed position and the second section has to be moved through the opening to move the closure element to the fully closed position.

The first and second sections and the discharge opening may have a shape that causes an audible clicking sound when the first and second sections pass through the discharge opening.

The body and the closure element may be formed from a deformable material, and therefore the insertion of the first wider section and the second wider section through the discharge opening involves deformation of the discharge opening and the closure element.

It is noted that the invention is not confined to the body and the closure element being formed from the deformable material.

The first section and the second section may be in the form of pairs of opposed outwardly extending projections, for example in the form of teeth.

The closure element may include an upper end wall or other formation that is spaced further away from the insertion end of the closure element than the second wider section.

By way of example, in a situation in which the lid includes a spout and the discharge opening is the spout opening, the closure element may be a cap that fits over an upper section of the spout and closes the discharge opening.

The closure may be resilient. The closure may be an elongate strap with the closure element at a closure end of the strap for closing the discharge opening.

The strap may be connected to the lid at an opposite connection end of the strap. With this arrangement, the closure may be folded back about the connection end of the strap when moving the closure element from the fully-closed position to the back- lock or fully-open position.

The closure may include a wider section at the closure end of the strap and a narrower elongate section at the connection end of the strap.

The strap may include a tapered section that provides a transition between the closure end and the connection end of the strap.

The connection end of the strap may be releasably connected to the body.

The top wall of the body and the connection end of the strap may include complementary formations for releasably connecting the top wall and the connection end together.

The complementary formation of the top wall may be a part of the upper surface of the top wall.

Alternatively, the top wall may include a connection opening and the

complementary formation of the body may be a part of a lower surface of the top wall.

The complementary formation of the lower surface of the top wall may include sealing flanges for contacting and forming a seal with the complementary formation of the connection end of the strap and to contributing to holding the complementary formation of the connection end of the strap in position. In other words, with this arrangement, the complementary formation of the connection end of the strap may be received and retained in the complementary formation of the lower surface of the top wall.

The complementary formation of the connection end of the strap may include (a) a post that extends through the connection opening and (b) a flat seal element that contacts the lower surface of the top wall and is retained against the lower surface of the top wall by the sealing flanges.

The sections of the lower surface of the top wall that form the sealing flanges are selected to provide sufficient surface area of contact with the flat seal element to prevent the escape of steam via the connection end of the strap.

The strap may include an aroma plug for closing the aroma vent.

The lid may be made from any suitable materials.

The body may include a connection opening and the closure may include a connection end comprising a stem for passing through the connection opening and a foot extending from the stem which co-operates with an underside of the body to releasably secure the closure and to seal the connection opening.

The underside of the lid may include a seat formation which includes sealing formations that co-operate with the foot to form a seal.

In a second aspect, there is provided an assembly of a container and the above- described lid on the container.

In a third aspect, there is provided a lid for a container having :

(a) a formation that forms a liquid seal with a container when the lid is fitted to a

container;

(b) a discharge opening that enables liquids to flow from a container that is fitted with the lid and which discharge opening has a formation for receiving an accessory; and

(c) a storage cavity having another formation for receiving an accessory; and wherein the formations of the opening and the storage cavity are the same so that accessories having a complementary formation are interchangeable between the opening and the storage cavity.

The cup lid may include one or more accessories selected from the group of a plug, a drinking spout and a straw-receiving ring seal.

The ring seal may be an o-ring.

The formation may comprise a seat having an element that mechanically interacts with the accessory to resist removal of the accessory from the seat.

The seat may comprise an opening defined by an annular wall and upper and lower radially extending shoulders and wherein the element comprises the lower radially extending shoulder.

The accessories may be formed of resilient material such that it is deformable to enable insertion and removal of the accessories from the opening and the storage cavity.

The accessories may have a neck portion that fits within the annular wall of the seat and a radially extending member that mechanically interacts with the lower radially extending shoulder to resist removal of the accessory from the seat.

The member may be a continuous annular projection or may be one or more discrete radial projections.

The member may be a bead, a lug, a finger, a rib or a combination of these

The lid may have an exterior surface and the seats of the opening and the storage cavity are recessed from the exterior surface. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is described further by way of example only with reference to the accompanying Figures, of which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a lid in accordance with the invention with a closure element of the lid in a fully-closed position;

Figure 2 is another perspective view of the lid shown in Figure 1 with the closure element in the fully-closed position;

Figure 3 is a perspective view of the lid shown in Figure 1 with the closure in a partially-open position;

Figure 4 is perspective view of the lid shown in Figure 1 with the closure in an open position;

Figure 5 is a perspective view of a body of the lid shown in Figure 1, without the closure of the lid;

Figure 6 is a perspective view of the closure of the lid shown in Figure 1, without the body of the lid;

Figures 7 to 9 are a series of perspective views of the lid shown in Figure 1 that illustrate the sequence of steps to move the closure from the partially-closed position towards a fully-open position;

Figure 10 is a cross-section of the lid shown in Figure 1 along the line 10-10 in Figure 3;

Figure 11 is a cross-section along the line 11-11 in Figure 10;

Figure 12 is a cross-section of the body of the lid shown in Figure 5 along the line 12-12 of Figure 5;

Figure 13 is a perspective view of the body of the lid shown in Figure 5;

Figure 14 is a cross-sectional view of the closure of the lid shown in Figure 6 along the line 14-14;

Figure 15 is an oblique top view of a cup lid according to an embodiment of the second aspect of the invention.

Figure 16 is a side view of the cup lid in Figure 15.

Figure 17 is an underneath plan view of the cup lid in Figure 15.

Figure 18 is an oblique top view of the cup lid in Figure 15 with a plug and ring seal unseated from a sipping aperture and a recess respectively.

Figure 19 is an oblique top view of the cup lid in Figure 15 with the plug seated in the recess and the ring seal seated in the sipping aperture.

Figure 20 is an oblique top view of the cup lid in Figure 19 with a straw extending through the ring seal. Figure 21 is a cross-section of the cup lid in Figure 18 along the line AA and with a drinking spout located in the opening.

Figure 22 is a magnified view of the cross-section enclosed by the circle marked B in Figure 21.

Figure 23 is an oblique top view of the cup lid in Figure 21.

Figure 24 to 26 are side elevation, oblique top and top plan views of the drinking spout.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

A lid 3 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention is shown in the Figures 1 to 14 is a two-part assembly of the following separately manufactured components that is formed for use as a lid of a coffee cup (not shown) :

(a) a body 5 having a discharge opening 19 for discharging liquids in the cup; and

(b) a closure 7 that is adapted to be moved between a fully-open position (see Figure 4) in which the closure 7 is clear of the discharge opening 19 and liquid can be discharged via the opening 19 and a fully-closed position (see Figures 1 and 2) in which the closure 7 closes the discharge opening 19.

The invention is not confined to coffee cups and extends to any containers. In addition, the invention is not confined to safety issues in relation to hot coffee and other hot beverages and extends to liquids generally - hot or cold.

The invention is also not confined to a two-part assembly of the body 5 and the closure 7 and extends to (a) one-part lids and (b) lids that are made from assemblies of more than two components.

The lid 3 is made from a silicone polymer, but may alternatively be made from any suitable material or combinations of materials.

By way of example, when the lid 3 is a multiple-component structure, the manufacturing materials may be selected to optimize the functional requirements of the components.

Body 5 of the lid 3

The body 5 includes an upper surface, in the form of a top wall 9, and a skirt 11 that extends from the top wall 9. The top wall 9 and the skirt 11 are discussed further below.

The top wall 9 of the lid 3 has an outer rim 21 that is an interface between the skirt 11 and the remainder of the top wall 9 that is inboard of the rim 21. The rim 21 is in the form of a flat land that extends around the perimeter of the top wall 9. The rim 21 may be any other suitable form. The remainder of the top wall 9 that is inboard of the rim 21 is in the form of an inverted dome-shaped section. The invention is not confined to this arrangement and extends to any suitable shape for the top wall 9.

The top wall 9 is formed to cooperate with the closure 7 to receive and retain the closure 7 in the open position shown in Figure 4, i.e. in a position that is well clear of the discharge opening 19. This position is described above as a "fully-open" position and is also described above as a "back-lock" open position. In this position, it is not

15 necessary for a person to hold the closure 7 open while drinking from the cup as the body 5 holds the closure in the fully-open position.

More particularly, the top wall 9 includes a recessed section 23 in the rim 21 and in an adjacent section of the skirt 11 and a pair of opposed formations 25 that are parts of the rim 21 that extend above the recessed section 23. With this arrangement, in use, 20 the closure 7 can be moved, typically by folding back the closure 7 from the fully- closed position shown in Figures 1 and 2, so that a section of the closure 7 rests on the recessed section 23 of the rim 21 and the adjacent section of the skirt 11 and the formations 25 extend above and part way across the section of the closure 7 and retain the closure 7 in this position in the fully-open position.

With an arrangement, such as with the embodiment shown in the Figures 1 to 14, in which the lid 3 is formed from a deformable material, it can be appreciated that the formations 25 and the closure 7 can deflect relative to each other to allow the section of the closure 7 to be positioned on the recessed section 23 and the formations 25 can return to their rest position and, in this position, extend above and part way across the 30 closure 7 and retain the closure 7 on the recessed section 25.

The discharge opening 19 is in the form of a rectangular slot in the rim 21 of the top wall 9. This section of the rim 21, together with an adjacent section of the skirt 11, are formed as another recessed section 27 of the body 5.

The recessed sections 21 and 27 are diametrically-opposed to each other. In addition, the recessed section 27 and the closure 7 are formed so that the closure 7 is flush with the upper surface of the body 5.

The body 9 also include an aroma vent 31 that is positioned in a central section of the body 9. The purpose of the aroma vent 31 is to allow vapours to escape from the cup (not shown) and to act as an air intake to facilitate flow of liquid from the discharge opening 19.

As can best be seen in Figure 10, the skirt 11 has a lower edge around the perimeter of the skirt 11 that includes a downwardly-facing channel 33 that is adapted to be fitted onto the rim of a cup. The channel 33 is formed to provide a liquid-tight seal between the cup rim and the skirt 11. The invention is not confined to this form of connection between the lid and the cup. For example, the connection may be via a screw thread arrangement or by forming the skirt 11 as a plug that can be inserted into an upper section of the cup and retained by friction in the cup.

Closure 7 of the lid 3

As can best be seen in Figures 6 and 14, the closure 7 is in the form of an elongate strap that includes (a) a closure element 13 at one end, i.e., at a closure end, of the strap and (b) a connection element 15 that couples the strap to the body 5 at the other end, i.e. a connection end, of the strap. In this embodiment, the closure 7 also includes an aroma plug 35 extending from a lower surface of the strap 10 for closing the aroma vent 31.

Figures 6 and 7 show the closure 7 as a separate component. Other Figures shown the closure 7 assembled with the body 5 to form the lid 3.

The closure 7 includes a wider section at the closure end, a narrower elongate section at the connection end, and a tapered section that provides a transition between the closure end and the connection end. The closure 7 is shaped to match the profile of the inverted dome-shape of the top wall 9 so the closure sits flush with the top wall 9 when the closure 7 is in the full-closed position (see Figures 1 and 2).

The closure 7 can be moved between (a) the fully-open position shown in Figure 4 in which the closure 7 is clear of the discharge opening 19 so that the discharge opening 19 and the aroma vent 31 are both fully open and (b) the fully-closed position shown in Figures 1 and 2 in which the closure 7 closes the discharge opening 19 and the 15 aroma vent 31.

In addition, the closure 7 can be moved to an intermediate position shown in Figure 8 that is between the fully-open position and the fully-closed position in which the closure 7 closes the aroma vent 31 and the closure 7 is clear of the discharge opening 19 and the discharge opening 19 is open. This feature of the discharge opening 19 and the aroma vent 31 and the closure 7 makes it possible to apply a vacuum to a container/lid assembly by moving the closure to the intermediate position shown in Figure 8, pressing down on the top wall 9 to expel any remaining air in the cup from the discharge opening 19, and then moving the closure 7 to the fully-closed position shown in Figures 1 and 3. This feature is particularly suited to arrangements such as the lid 3 shown in the Figures in which the lid 3 is formed from a deformable material but is not limited to these arrangements.

The closure 7 can also be moved between the full-open position and the fully- closed position via a partially-closed position in which the discharge opening 19 is substantially closed to minimise liquid spillage via the opening 19 but open to an extent to allow steam to escape for the opening. This position is shown in Figures 3 and 7. This feature is an important feature in situations where a person carries a cup of coffee with the lid 3 on the cup from a coffee shop to a workplace, for example. Positioning the closure 7 in the partially-closed position shown in Figures 3 and 7 allows steam to escape safely from the cup without the risk of liquid spill. The controlled escape of steam avoids a potentially unsafe build-up of steam in the cup.

Closure element 13 of the closure 7

The closure element 13 is formed to block the discharge opening 19 and thereby close the discharge opening 19. With reference to Figures 6, 10, and 11, the closure element 13 is in the form of tab member that extends from a lower surface of the closure 7 and includes:

(a) an insertion end 39,

(b) a first section 41 that is spaced from the insertion end 39 and has a width (as viewed in Figure 11) that is greater than the width of the slot that forms the discharge opening 19 so that the first section 41 has to be forced through the discharge opening 19 to move the closure element 7 to the partially-closed position shown in Figure 7, with the inserted first section 41 providing resistance to removing the closure element 13 from the partially-closed position - see Figure 11;

(c) a first blocking section 43 that has the same transverse cross-sectional profile as the slot of the discharge opening 19 and therefore blocks the discharge opening 19 when the closure element 13 is in the partially-closed position;

(d) a second section 45 that is spaced further away from the insertion end 39 and has a width (as viewed in Figure 11) that is greater than the width of the slot that forms the discharge opening 19 so that the second wider section 45 has to also be forced through the discharge opening 19 in order to move the closure element 13 to the fully-closed position, with the inserted second wider section 45 providing resistance to removing the closure element from the fully-closed position shown in Figures 1 and 2; and

(e) a second blocking section 47 that has the same transverse cross-sectional profile as the slot of the discharge opening 19 and therefore blocks the discharge opening 19 when the closure element 13 is in the fully-closed position, with the lower surface of the closure 7 and the second wider section 47 sandwiching the second blocking section 47 in the discharge opening 19.

It is believed that, whilst the first blocking element 43 blocks the discharge opening 19, the tortuous path defined by the first section 41, the first blocking section 43, and the second section 45 allows steam flow from the cup. The actions of the first wider section 41 and the second wider section 45 are click-fit closure actions because the insertion of the first wider section 41 through the discharge opening 19 results in a clicking sound and the insertion of the second wider section 45 through the discharge opening 19 also results in a clicking sound, with the extent of the audible sound depending on the materials from which the lid 3 is formed. This audible clicking sound is an indication of the engagement of the first wider section 41 and the second wider section 45 with the lid 3 and therefore the location of the closure element 13 in the partially-closed position and the fully-closed position, respectively.

The top wall 9 and the closure element 13 are formed from a deformable material, and therefore the insertion of the first wider section 41 and the second wider section 45 through the discharge opening involves deformation of the material of the discharge opening 19 and the closure element 13.

Connection end 1 5 of the closure 7

The top wall 9 of the body 5 and the connection end 15 of the strap include complementary formations for releasably coupling the body 5 and the closure 7 together.

The top wall 9 includes a connection opening in the form of a narrow slot 47 - see Figures 5 and 10.

The lower surface of the body 5 includes a land 51 that extends from the connection opening 47 toward the recessed section 23 of the top wall 9 and terminates in a shoulder 53. The lower surface of the top wall 9 also includes a pair of parallel opposed side channels 61 with inwardly-extending flanges 65 on opposite sides of the land 51. The lower surface of the top wall 9 also includes a transverse channel 63 that has a flange 67 that extends across the connection opening 47. The channels 63, 67 define a generally M-shaped arrangement of flanges. The purpose of the flanges 65, 67 5 is to contact the connection end of the strap and form a seal, as described below.

The connection end 15 of the strap includes (a) a relatively wide and relatively narrow post 69 that is rectangular in transverse cross-section and extends from a lower surface of the strap through the connection opening 47, (b) a flat seal element 75 that extends from the other end of the post 69 and contacts the land 51 and is held in sealing 10 relationship against the land by the flanges 65, 67, and (c) a lip 71 at the terminal end of the seal element 75 that, in an operative position, extends over the shoulder 53.

It can be appreciated that in the operative position the lip 71 cooperates with the shoulder 53 to resist disengagement of the seal element 75. The sizes of the flanges 65, 67 are selected to provide sufficient surface area of 15 contact with the seal element 75 to prevent escape of steam via the connection end 15 of the strap.

The strap is formed so that the strap can be folded back about the connection end 15 of the strap when moving the closure element 13 from the fully-closed position shown in Figures 1 and 2 to the fully-open position shown in Figure 4. In this regard, the strap includes a transverse groove 77 in a lower surface of the strap proximate the post 69 that defines a fold line that facilitates folding back the strap at this location.

In addition to the advantages described above, the following advantages flow from shape of the lid 3.

A) The positioning and design of the closure 7 works to reduce nose contact and allows head tilt free drinking. As shown in the Figures, the closure 7 is assembled through the lid 3 and thereby allows for the top surface of the closure 7 to sit flush with the top surface of the top wall 9, creating a distinct clean design. The assembly and the sealing design prevents any leaking when the closure units are flexed in either direction and when the top of the lid is compressed

B) The closure 7 folds back and it is retained in the capture member that is built into the body 5 of the lid 3. The design of the capture member allows for the closure 7 to push or pull past the formations (retainers) 25 but to then lock in place when they rebound under the tension from the closure 7 being hinged back. The closure shape tapers and the recessed retainer matches this and catches the closure on rebound. The closure can be released by pulling back slightly on the closure to release from the retainer.

C) The closure component can either be assembled through the lid 3 or be a part of a one-piece mould. When sealing through the lid the unique seal works to seal against liquid and steam and accounts for the potential breach in seal when the lid or closure flexes and moves.

D) The seals have multiple points of contact with the sealing surface and utilise polished surfaces for better sealing.

E) The discharge opening 19 is high enough above the main section of the body 5 to provide room for the nose, allowing head tilt free drinking. There are distinct lid angles.

An embodiment of an alternative lid 100 in accordance with the third aspect described above is shown in Figures 15 to 23. The lid 100 is described in the context of a lid for a beverage cup, such as a coffee cup, but it will be appreciated that the lid is not limited to coffee cup lids and may be used as a lid for other containers.

Features of the cup lid 100 which are the same as the features of the cup lid 3 are denoted with the same reference numerals in the following description and in Figures 15 to 20 as they are denoted in Figures 1 to 14 and the preceding description.

The body 5 of the cup lid 100 has the same general form as the lid 3 in that the cup lid 100 includes a top wall 9 having an upper rim 21, a lower edge 12 and a skirt extending between 10 the upper rim 21 and the lower edge 12. As shown in Figure 21, the top wall 9 includes an inverted dome shape which is recessed below the level of the upper rim 21 to define a depression volume which accommodates the nose of a user when a cup fitted with the cup lid 100 is tilted up toward a user's face while the user sips through cup lid 100.

The spacing between the lower edge 12 and the upper rim 21 decreases from the front of the cup lid 100 to the rear of the cup lid 100. Accordingly, the width of the skirt 11 varies with the width being the greatest at the front which coincides with the opening 10 and has the least width at the rear of the cup lid 100. As shown in Figure 18, the upper rim 21 includes the discharge opening 19, in the form of a sipping aperture, located at the point where the upper 20 rim 21 and the lower edge 12 are spaced furthest apart. The opposite side of the cup lid 20 has the least spacing between the upper rim 21 and the lower edge 12. The opening 19 is defined by an accessory receiving seat, in the form of a circular shoulder 20 which is recessed from the surface of the upper rim 21. The shoulder 20 extends beyond the width of the upper rim 19 in a forward and rearward direction such that the upper rim 21 terminates on either side of the shoulder 20 in a crescent-shaped step 22 that has the same radius of curvature as the shoulder 20 where the step 22 meets the shoulder 20.

The center of the top wall 9 includes an accessory-receiving seat in the form of a storage recess 24 (see Figures 18 and 21) that is defined by a shoulder 26 which is stepped below the 30 level of the top wall 9 by the same distance that the shoulder 20 is stepped below the level of the upper rim 21. The storage recess 24 is further defined by an annular wall 28 which extends downwardly from the shoulder 26 and terminates at a floor 30 which forms the lowermost part of the storage recess 24. The annular wall 28 includes an annular rebate 58, in the form of a U-shaped groove.

While the opening 19 and the storage recess 24 are circular in the embodiment shown in Figures 15 to 20, they may have an alternative shape that is non-circular. For example, they may be square, triangular, elliptical or crescent-shaped, optionally with a radius of curvature that is the same as the radius of curvature of the upper rim 21. The top wall 9 further includes a breather hole 32 disposed at the end of a funnel formation 34 (Figure 15) which is recessed into the top wall 9. The top wall 9 transitions smoothly into the funnel formation 34 to provide the appearance of a gravity well. The funnel formation 34 manifests as a projection 36 (Figure 17) from the underside of the top wall 9. The projection 36 extends downwardly from the underside of the top wall 9 in a tapered profile with a concave side wall and is truncated to provide a flat circular surface that is parallel to plane defined by the lower edge 12. The breather hole 32 allows the air pressure inside a cup fitted with the lid 100 to equalize with the outside air pressure by allowing air to flow into the cup when a drink is sipped through the opening 19. This enables a steady, consistent flow of drink through the opening 19. The breather hole 32 may comprise more than one hole in the lid 100.

Figure 21 shows a cross-section through the cup lid 100 along the line A-A in Figure 18, but with a drinking spout 48 seated in the opening 19.

Upstream of the flange 50 is a circular, hollow stem, in the form of a neck 54, which has an outer perimeter that is slightly less than the perimeter of the opening 19 and the annular wall 28. The dimensions of the neck 54 enable the spout to be fitted into the opening 19 and the storage recess 24 so it can be selectively positioned in either depending on whether the user wants to user the spout 48 or wants to stow it. Further on the upstream side of the spout 48 is a bead 56 which projects radially outwardly from the neck 54. The dimensions of the bead 56 are selected to fit in the annular rebate 58 when the spout 48 is seated in the storage recess 24. The spout 48 is formed of a resilient material that deforms to allow the bead 56 to slip through the narrower annular wall 28 and then expand so that the bead 56 is received in the annular rebate 58.

Similarly, the bead can be deformed to enable removal of the spout 48 from the storage recess. In this position, the bead 56 extends radially beyond the annular wall 28 such that the resilience of the material from which the spout 48 is formed acts to resist deformation of the bead 56 and, therefore, resists, removal of the spout 48 from the storage recess 24. This resistance is supplemented by friction between the spout 48 and the annular wall 28. The same occurs when the spout 48 is seated in the opening 19. That is, the bead 56 deforms so that it can pass through the opening 19 and then expands again when the neck 54 is located in the opening with the bead 56 seated against an underside of the shoulder 20 (as shown in Figure 22). The bead 56 is located away from the flange 50 by a distance that results in the spout being fitted in the opening 19 such that it forms a liquid-tight seal. This is important to prevent leakage of liquids between the spout 48 and the opening 19 and, therefore will prevent liquids dripping onto the user while the cup lid 100 is used. The neck 54 includes a channel 60 that is generally semi-circular in cross-section (Figure 26) for the flow of liquid, such as beverages, from a cup on which the cup lid 100 is fitted. The 15 semi-circular shape is selected to limit the flow, but it will be

appreciated that alternative shapes may be adopted for the channel instead of a semi circular channel. For example, the channel may be circular in cross-section or may be shaped correspondingly to the shape of the opening 19.

The cup lid 100 further includes a plug 38 and a ring seal, in the form of an o-ring 40, as shown in Figures 15, 18 and 19. Referring specifically to Figure 18, the plug 38 has a circular cap 42 with a finger tab 44 wrapped about a section of the perimeter of the cap 44. The finger tab 44 is designed to be pinched between a user's fingers to enable the user to pull the plug 38 from the opening 19 or the storage recess 24. The location and the shape of the finger tab 38 is selected to reduce interference with the user's nose when the plug is located in the storage recess 24 and the user sips through the cup lid 100. It will be appreciated, however, that the form and the location of finger tab 44 is selected to reduce or avoid interference with a use when they are drinking through the cup lid 100 when the plug 38 is located in the storage recess. In other words, the finger tab 44 38 may take other forms and may be located in other positions on the plug 38 that reduce the extent to which the finger tab 44 projects above the surface of the top wall 9 and to reduce the extent to which the finger tab 44 interferes with a user when using the cup lid 100.

The plug 38 has a neck 54 and bead 56 in the same form as the neck 54 and bead 56 of the spout 48. In the case of the plug 38, the neck 54 and bead 56 extending from an underside of the cap 42, but otherwise provide the same functionality as with the spout 48 in terms of fitting the plug 38 into opening and the storage recess 24. However, the plug 38 differs from the spout 48 in that it is a solid body without a flow through channel. This means that the plug 38, when located in the opening, seals the opening 19 to prevent the free flow of liquids through the opening 19.

The o-ring 40, like the plug 38 and the spout 48, also has a neck 54 and bead 56 in the same 10 form as the neck 54 and bead 56 of the spout 48 and, therefore has the same functionality as described above for the spout 48 and the plug 38 in terms of fitting the o-ring 40 in each of the opening 19 and the storage recess 24. The o-ring 40 includes a collar 62 which is dimensioned to complement the shoulders 20 and 26 so that the surface of the collar 62 is generally flush with the upper rim 21 and the top wall 9, respectively, when the o-ring 40 is seated in the opening 19 or the storage recess.

The o-ring 40 includes a central aperture 64 having a circular cross-section and which extends through the o-ring 40 such that it can receive a drinking straw 66, as shown in Figure 20. The aperture 64 has a diameter which snugly receives a straw 66 to form a liquid-tight seal with the straw 66. To deal with different straws having different diameters, a range of o- rings 40 may be provided, each with a different aperture 64 diameter to accommodate the different straw sizes.

As the plug 38, sport 48 and o-ring 40 have the same neck 54 and bead 56 features that fit 25 with both the opening 19 and the storage recess 24, it will be appreciated that the plug 38, sport 48 and o-ring 40 can be interchanged between the opening 19 and the storage recess 24 depending on the requirements of the user. For example, the user may carry the plug 38 and the o-ring 40 and choose to place the plug 38 in the opening 19 for transport a beverage in a cup fitted with the lid 100 and then swap them over when the user elects to use a straw to drink from the cup. Similarly, the spout 48 may be carried with the plug 38 to sipping from the lid 100 and to enable closure of the lid 100 when the need arises.

The interchangeability of the plug 38, sport 48 and o-ring 40 improve the range of options that the user has for a cup that is fitted with the lid 100. For example, the use may use such a cup as a travel cup for coffee (with the plug 38 used to seal the cup when required) or the use may use the o-ring 40 and a straw to drink cold drinks or sugary drinks from the same cup and still retain the liquid-tight seal that makes the cup suitable for use as a travel cup.

In the claims which follow, and in the preceding description, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word "comprise" and variations such as "comprises" or "comprising" are used in an inclusive sense, i.e. to specify the presence of the stated features but not to preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments of the apparatus and method as disclosed herein.

Terms such as "front" and "rear", "inner" and "outer", "above", "below", "upper" and "lower" and the like are used as words of convenience to provide reference points and are not to be construed as limiting terms. The terms "vertical" and "horizontal" when used in reference to the lid throughout the specification, including the claims, refer to orientations relative to the normal operating orientation.

Also, the various embodiments described above may be implemented in conjunction with other embodiments, for example, aspects of one embodiment may be combined with aspects of another embodiment to realize yet other embodiments.

Further, each independent feature or component of any given aspect may constitute an additional embodiment.