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1. WO2020159761 - APPAREIL DE MAINTIEN DE CANETTE DE BOISSON

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

BEVERAGE CAN HOLDING APPARATUS

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to article holding devices and, more particularly, to a beverage can holding apparatus that uses a cam action to lock onto a beverage can more securely and that has an identification window for preventing confusion over whose beverage can is being carried.

Multiple beverage cans get opened during a party, a family gathering, or other similar social setting and the cans tend to be placed on a countertop, end table, or other locations as it may become difficult or undesirable for a person to carry his drink around.

Understandably, it becomes difficult or impossible for the person who opened a beverage can to later know for sure he is picking up the can he opened. For sanitary and health reasons, there is a desire for a consumer to identify the beverage can he opened before drinking from it. But with cans, there is no easy way to write a name on the can in the manner typical with paper or plastic cups.

Various devices have been proposed in the prior patents for holding a beverage can. Although presumably effective for their intended purposes, the existing proposals are inadequate for locking onto a beverage can, for securely holding the can, or for identifying the consumer associated with the beverage can.

Therefore, it would be desirable to have a beverage can holding apparatus having a cam locking lever attachment that enables a user to lock the apparatus onto the top lip of a beverage can in a manner that is secure for carrying the can. Further, it would be desirable to have a beverage can holding apparatus having a finger ring by which a

consumer may carry the beverage can once the cam apparatus is locked on. In addition, it would be desirable to have a beverage can holding apparatus having an identification reservoir that enables a consumer to personalize and identify his beverage can.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A beverage can holding apparatus for assisting a person holding a beverage can according to the present invention includes a cam lever having a hook end operable for engaging the pull tab and a clamping end opposite the hook end, the clamping end defining a bore. A pin is positioned in the bore and defines an axis of rotation for pivotal movement of the cam lever. A cam handle member includes an actuator end rotatably coupled to the pin and a ring opposite the actuator end, the actuator end having an irregular shape that includes a narrow portion having a first radius relative to the pin and an expanded portion having a second radius relative to the pin and larger than the first radius. A clamp is operably coupled to the cam handle member via a linkage and having an inner surface operable to engage an outer surface of the lip of the beverage can when actuated.

The cam handle member is rotatably movable about the pin between a stowed configuration in which the expanded portion of actuator end is displaced from the clamp and a deployed configuration at which the expanded potion of the actuator member bears against and urges the clamp to engage an outside surface of the lip of the beverage can. A cover assembly that includes a cover base is removably coupled to the cam lever, the cover base having a lip portion operable for engaging the lip of the beverage can and covering the drink opening of the beverage can.

Therefore, a general object of this invention is to provide a beverage can holding apparatus for holding a beverage can securely so that it may be picked up and carried easily, even when full.

Another object of this invention is to provide a beverage can holding apparatus, as aforesaid, having a cam locking device that may be deployed by the person intending to carry the beverage can.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a beverage can holding apparatus, as aforesaid, having a cover assembly that covers the drink opening of the beverage can until the user intentionally prepare to take a drink.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a beverage can holding apparatus, as aforesaid, having an identification reservoir that enables a person to personalize or identify a beverage can as being the one he opened.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, embodiments of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Fig. 1 is a front perspective view of a beverage can holding apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, illustrated in use attached to a beverage can;

Fig. 2 is a rear perspective view of the holding apparatus as in Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary side view of the holding apparatus as in Fig. 1, illustrated with a cam handle in a stowed configuration;

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary side view of the holding apparatus as in Fig. 1, illustrated with the cam handle in a deployed configuration;

Fig. 5 is a side view of the holding apparatus as in Fig. 1, illustrating the cam handle moving between the stowed and deployed configurations;

Fig. 6 is a side view of the holding apparatus as in Fig. 3, illustrated with the lid and reservoir cover of a cover assembly in closed configurations, respectively;

Fig. 7 is a side view of the holding apparatus as in Fig. 4, illustrated with the lid and reservoir cover of a cover assembly in open configurations, respectively;

Fig. 8 is a side view of the holding apparatus as in Figures 3 and 4, illustrating the lid and reservoir covers moving between the closed and open configurations;

Fig. 9 is a perspective view of the holding apparatus with the cover assembly removed from the cam lever;

Fig. 10 is a front view of a cover assembly removed from a remainder of the holding apparatus according to the present invention;

Fig. 10A is a sectional view taken along line 10A-10A of Fig. 10;

Fig. 10B is a sectional view from another angle taken along line 10B-10B of Fig.

10;

Fig. 11 is a front view is a front view of a cam lever and cam handle removed from a remainder of the holding apparatus according to the present invention;

Fig. 11 A is a sectional view taken along line 11 A- 1 1 A of Fig. 1 1 ;

Fig. 1 1B is a sectional view from another angle taken along line 1 1 B-1 1B of Fig. 11;

Fig. 12 is an exploded view of the cover assembly as shown in Fig. 9; and Fig. 13 is an exploded view of the cam lever and cam handle as shown in Fig. 9.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A beverage can holding apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to Figs. 1 to 13 of the accompanying drawings. The beverage can holding apparatus 10 includes a cam lever 20, a cam handle 30, a clamp 36, and a cover assembly 40. It is understood that the beverage can holding apparatus 10 is intended for assisting a user in holding or carrying a beverage can 12 of the type having a pull tab 14 for opening the can 12, a lip 16 around the top of the can, and which defines a drink opening 18.

The cam lever 20 has a generally linear configuration defining an imaginary longitudinal axis and has a hook end 21 and a clamping end 22 opposite the hook end 21.

Preferably, the clamping end 22 has a generally rounded shape (Fig. 13) although other configurations may also work. The clamping end 22 defines a bore 23 between respective side walls thereof, the bore 23 being perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the cam lever 20. A pin 24 may be positioned in the bore 23 and to which an end of the cam handle 30 may be attached for rotatable movement thereof as will be described in more detail later. The pin 24 also defines a threaded throughbore 24a perpendicular to the bore 23 and being aligned with and configured to receive the guide pin 38 described later.

The hook end 21 includes a free end in the shape of a downwardly oriented hook or flange that is operable and configured to engage the pull tab 14 of the beverage can

12, it being understood that the pull tab 14 is the mechanism on a traditional beverage can 12 that penetrates a perforated top of the can and opens the drink opening 18 thereof.

The hook end 21 is positioned to grasp the pull tab 14 and provides the stable leverage needed to attach or lock the cam lever 20 to the lip 16 of the can 12 as will become apparent in view of the following description. The clamping end 22 of the cam lever 20 may also define a longitudinal bore 25 extending completely therethrough, the longitudinal bore 25 being in communication with and perpendicular to the bore 23 extending between lateral sides of the clamping end 22 and described previously. The longitudinal bore 25 is aligned with or parallel to the imaginary longitudinal axis of the cam lever 20 and is a component of the linkage that facilitates locking the cam lever 20 onto a can 12.

Further, the cam lever 20 includes a lip flange 26 that is situated intermediate the hook end 21 and clamping end 22. More particularly, the lip flange 26 extends downwardly from a body of the cam lever 20 and may have a unitary construction with the cam lever 20. The lip flange 26 has a shape configuration and is positioned so as to selectively engage an inner surface of the lip 16 of the beverage can 12 as shown in Fig.

9. The lip flange 26 has a generally flat rearward surface (Fig. 1 1 A) that bears against the inner surface of the lip 16 of the can 12 when the cam lever 20 is locked thereto. In fact, the inner surface of the lip flange 26 and the clamp 36 (described later) sandwich the lip 16 of the can 12 and tighten thereabout when the cam handle 30 is actuated as will be described below.

As best seen in Figs. 11A and 1 1B, the cam lever 20 may also include a mounting knob 27 situated along a top side of the cam lever 20, the mounting knob 27 extending upwardly and having a configuration that is operable to mate with a complementary recess in a bottom of the cover base 41 of the cover assembly 40 described later. This is the means by which the cover assembly 40 is mounted or coupled to the cam lever 20.

Next, a cam handle 30 is coupled to the cam lever 20 and is operable either to lock the cam lever 20 to the top of the beverage can 12 or to release the cam lever 20 as will now be explained in detail. The cam handle 30 may include an actuator end 31 and a ring 34 opposed to the actuator end 31. It is understood, however, that the cam handle 30 may have a unitary construction and may be constructed as a molded or fabricated component. The actuator end 31 may include a pair of forks that are laterally spaced apart from one another and coupled to the pin 24 described above. More particularly, the forks of the actuator end 31 sandwich the lateral sides of the clamping end 22 of the cam lever 20 and the pin 24 extends though the bore 23 of the clamping end 22 and though complementary apertures in respective forks so as to facilitate the movements described herein. For instance the forks of the actuator end 31 may be coupled to the pin 24 in a friction fit relationship but that allows the cam handle 30 to be rotated by gentle urging pressure on the ring 34. The forks of the actuator end 31 essentially define a notch configured to receive the clamping end 22 of the cam lever 20.

With specific reference to the actuator end 31 of the cam handle 30, each fork includes a narrow portion 32 (which may alternatively be referred to as a narrow radius portion) and an expanded portion 33 (which may alternatively be referred to as an enlarged radius portion) - each referring to a geographic area extending away from a respective fork aperture. Stated another way, the forks have a non-symmetrical curvature with each portion having a different radius so as to be useful as a cam when rotated between locked and released configurations. As will be described later, a rotatable movement of the cam handle 30 results either in the narrow portion 32 being displaced from the clamp 36 (the“stowed configuration” shown in Fig. 3) or in the expanded portion 33 bearing against the clamp 36 (the“deployed” or“locked” configuration shown in Fig. 4). Movement of the cam handle 30 is illustrated in Fig. 5.

In another aspect, the beverage can holding apparatus 10 includes a clamp 36. The clamp 36 has an inner surface having a concave configuration complementaiy to a

configuration of an outside surface of the lip 16 of the beverage can 12. In other words, the inner surface of the clamp 36 is configured to bear against the outside surface of the lip 16 when the clamp 36 is urged toward the can 12 by the expanded portion 33 of the cam handle 30 (Fig. 4). The clamp 36 defines a channel 37 that is open and accessed through the inner surface for receiving an element of the linkage described below, the channel 37 being aligned longitudinally with the longitudinal bore 25 defined by the clamping end 22 of the cam lever 20.

The clamp 36 is positioned intermediate the clamping end 22 and lip flange 26 of the cam lever 20 (Fig. 1 1 A) and is held in position by a linkage. The linkage includes a guide pin 38 that is partially threaded and is dimensioned to pass through the

throughbore 24a of the pin 24, the longitudinal bore 25 defined by the clamping end 22 of the cam lever 20, and the channel 37 of the clamp 36 (Fig. 13). The guide pin 38 is perpendicular to the pin 24 nested in the bore 23 of the clamping end 22 of the cam lever

20. It will be understood that the threads of the guide pin 38 move threadably in a mating relationship with the threaded configuration of the threaded throughbore 24a defined by the pin 24 (Figs. 1 1 A and 1 1B). Other complementary gearing may also be employed by the linkage for smooth movement actuated by the cam action of the forks of the actuator end 31 of the cam handle 30.

The ring 34 extends away from the actuator end 31 and includes a continuous side wall that defines a circular aperture and void operable to receive a finger of a user of the apparatus. Accordingly, a person is able to manipulate the cam handle 30 between the stowed and locked configurations with his finger inserted in the ring 34.

In addition, a keychain ring 35 is coupled to the ring 34 of the cam handle 30. It is understood that the keychain ring 35 may also be coupled to a top surface of the cam lever 20. The keychain ring 35 has a circular configuration defining an aperture through which the ring of a key ring may be inserted.

In another aspect, the beverage can holding apparatus 10 includes a cover assembly 40 having a cover base 41 reieasably attached to the cam lever 30. The cover base 41 includes a lip portion 43 having a shape configuration complementary to the lip 16 of the beverage can 12 and operable to engage the beverage can lip 16in a friction fit arrangement. When the lip portion 43 is coupled to the can lip 16, the cover base 41 covers and blocks access to the drink opening 18 of the beverage can 12. More particularly, the cover base 41 includes a lid 44 pivotally coupled to the cover base 41 and that is pivotally movable between a closed configuration blocking access to the drink opening 18 (Fig. 6) and an open configuration allowing access to the drink opening

18 (Fig. 7). In addition, a lid opening flange 45 is coupled to and extends from a front edge of the lid 44 and is operable for enabling a user to manipulate and move the lid 44 between the closed and open configurations, as shown in Fig. 8.

Still further, the cover base 41 includes an identification reservoir 46 that defines an open interior area and an identification cover 47. More particularly, the identification cover 47 is constructed of a transparent material, such as a thin plastic such as

Plexiglas® and is pivotally movable between a closed configuration blocking access to the interior area and an open configuration allowing access into the interior area. It will be appreciated that a user may mark his name on a piece of paper or simply insert a colored paper or other distinctive artifact into the interior area and the identification cover 47 may be closed. In other words, the identification reservoir 46 allows each of a plurality of beverage can holding apparatuses to be personalized so that a user always picks up the correct beverage can 12 and they are not confused.

In addition, a bottom surface of the cover base 41 defines a recess 42 that is shaped to selectively receive and mate with the knob 27 of the cam lever 20 described above (Figs. 10A and 10B). The knob 27 and recess 42 are operable to attach the cam lever 20 and cover base 41 in a light friction fit connection that is selectively separated by a gentle pulling force of a user.

In use, the beverage can holding apparatus 10 may be“locked” onto the top of a beverage can, e.g. soda, beer, or the like, so that a user is able to carry the can around without spilling the beverage. First the hook end 21 of the cam lever 20 may be hooked onto the pull tab 14 of a beverage can 12 and the clamp 36 is positioned proximate the lip 16 of the beverage can 12. Then, as described above, the cam handle 30 may be pulled downwardly so that the clamp 36 is tightened against the lip 16 of the beverage can 12 in a cam action (Fig. 5). Once deployed or locked down, a user’s ability to pick up the can using the finger opening of the cam handle 30 is enhanced as described previously. In addition, the user may open the identification cover 47 and a colored paper or an artifact having other distinctive indicia may be inserted into the interior area so as to personalize the apparatus.

It is understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.