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Liquid storage, isolation and dispensing assembly




Title: Liquid storage, isolation and dispensing assembly.
Abstract: A liquid storage, isolation and dispensing assembly includes a container, which defines an axis and has an inner surface, top and float. The top is mountable to the upper end with a sealing element engaging the inner surface at a liquid sealing position. The open upper end is least partially unobstructed when the top is at the liquid pouring position. The float includes a top portion, a bottom portion and a sealing edge sized to create a minimal gap between the sealing edge and the interior surface when floating on the liquid surface with the axis generally vertical. Tilting the container creates a gap between the float and the inner surface permitting the liquid to pass the sealing edge and out of the open upper end. ...


USPTO Applicaton #: #20140103042
Inventors: Ronald Scott Tavenner, Michael Jonathan Liebowitz, Suzanne Janet Nason


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140103042, Liquid storage, isolation and dispensing assembly.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO OTHER APPLICATIONS

This application is related to the following US patent applications: U.S. design patent application Ser. No. ______ entitled Top for Liquid Storage Container, and U.S. design patent application Ser. No. ______ entitled Float for Liquid Storage Container, both filed on the same day as this application and both having the same assignee as this application. Disclosures of both are incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

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OF THE INVENTION

Some beverages, such as wine, are susceptible to undergoing chemical changes once the beverage container has been opened, primarily due to contact with the oxygen in air. However, often the wine or other beverage from the newly open container is not consumed or otherwise used. Several techniques have been devised for keeping an open bottle of wine from changing after being opened. One way involves removing the air from the container by either collapsing the container, such as the bag in a box concept, or dropping marbles into the wine bottle to reduce the headspace. Another way is to replace all or most of the air in the bottle, which is about 21% oxygen, with a relatively inert gas such as nitrogen. This is typically accomplished using a spray can of nitrogen followed by resealing the bottle. Another way is to partially evacuate the headspace using a vacuum pump and a special bottle closure. A further way is to pour the wine into a smaller bottle so that there is less headspace. The exposure of other beverages, such as coffee, to air is also a problem. While many of these techniques can be useful to help preserve the quality of a beverage which has not been consumed, they all suffer from one or more of the following shortcomings: being only partially effective, hard to use, expensive, and providing less than elegant solutions, as well as often requiring repeat purchases.

BRIEF

SUMMARY

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OF THE INVENTION

A first example of a liquid storage, isolation and dispensing assembly includes a container, top and float. The container has a bottom and a circumferentially extending sidewall, the sidewall having a lower end an open upper end. The sidewall defines an axis and has an inner surface. The bottom and the sidewall define a container interior for holding a liquid. The top is mountable to the upper end, the top having a sealing element engageable with the inner surface. The top is positionable at a liquid sealing position and at a liquid pouring position. The sealing element creates a liquid seal with the inner surface when the top is at the liquid sealing position. The open upper end is least partially unobstructed when the top is at the liquid pouring position. At least a portion of the inner surface has a constant cross-sectional shape and size along the axis. The float is positionable within the interior. The float includes a top portion, a bottom portion, and a sealing edge. The sealing edge has the same cross-sectional shape as the portions of the inner surface. The sealing edge is sized to create a minimal gap between the sealing edge and the interior surface when (1) the float is floating on the surface of a liquid within the container, (2) the axis is generally vertical, and (3) the liquid surface is along the portion of the inner surface. A liquid within the container can be poured from the container by placing the top at the liquid pouring position and tilting the container causing a portion of the sealing edge of the float to move away from the inner surface permitting the liquid to pass the sealing edge and out of the open upper end.

The first example of the liquid storage, isolation and dispensing assembly can include one or more the following. At least a portion of the sidewall between the lower end and the upper end can have a cylindrical shape. The entire open upper end can flare outwardly to accommodate pouring from the container in any direction. The top can be completely removed from the container when in the liquid pouring position, and the container can include a float retaining element at the open upper end to help maintain the float in the container interior during use with the top in the liquid pouring position. The container can include a float retaining element at the open upper end to help maintain the float in the container interior during use. The float can have a center of gravity positioned within the bottom portion. The float can be configured so that when the float is floating at the surface of a liquid, the sealing edge is generally coincident with the surface of the liquid.

In some examples of the first example of the assembly, the upper end of the sidewall can define a pouring element, and the sealing element and the inner surface can create a pouring gap between the sealing element and the inner surface at the pouring element when the top is at the liquid pouring position, so that a liquid poured from the container passes through the pouring gap and out of the pouring element. At least a portion of the sidewall between the lower end and the upper end can have an other than round cross-sectional shape, such as an oval cross-sectional shape. The other than round cross-sectional shape can have bilateral symmetry, and the top can be mountable to the open upper end at both the liquid sealing position and at the liquid pouring position, with the liquid sealing and liquid pouring positions of the top being oriented at an angle from one another. The pouring element can include an outwardly extending spout-like pouring element. In some examples, the sidewall defines a first axis extending between the upper and lower ends and the top has a second axis oriented generally parallel to the first axis when the top is mounted to the upper end; the top has a top end and a bottom end, the bottom end being positioned within the upper end of the container when the top is mounted to the upper end; the sealing element is a closed loop sealing element; the sealing element has upper and lower regions at different positions along the sealing element, the upper region being closer to the upper end of the container than the lower region; the upper region is aligned with the pouring element when the top is at the liquid pouring position; and the upper region is misaligned from the pouring element when the top is at the liquid sealing position.

A second example of a liquid storage, isolation and dispensing assembly includes a container and a float. The container has a bottom and a circumferentially extending sidewall, the sidewall having a lower end extending from the bottom and an open upper end. The container is positionable at a first, storage orientation and a second, liquid dispensing orientation. The sidewall has an inner surface. The bottom and the sidewall define a container interior for holding a liquid. At least a portion of the inner surface has a constant horizontally oriented cross-sectional shape and size. The portion of the inner surface defines an axis extending between the lower end and the upper end. The float is positionable within the interior. The float includes a top portion, a bottom portion, and a sealing edge. The float is configured so that when the float is floating at the surface of a liquid, the sealing edge is generally coincident with the surface of the liquid. The sealing edge has the same cross-sectional shape as the inner surface. The sealing edge is configured so that when the float is floating on the surface of a liquid within the container and the liquid surface is along the portion of the inner surface, (1) a minimal gap is created between the sealing edge and the interior surface when the container is at the first orientation, and (2) a pouring gap created between the sealing edge and the interior surface when the container is at the second orientation.

An example of a liquid storage and dispensing container assembly includes a container and a top. The container has a bottom and a circumferentially extending sidewall, the sidewall having a lower end extending from the bottom and an open upper end. The sidewall has an inner surface. The bottom and the sidewall defines a container interior for holding a liquid. The upper end includes a pouring element. The top is mountable to the upper end. The top includes a sealing element engageable with the inner surface. The top, when mounted to the upper end, is positionable at a liquid sealing position and at a liquid pouring position. The sealing element creates a liquid seal with the inner surface when the top is at the liquid sealing position. The sealing element and the inner surface create a gap between the sealing element and the inner surface at the pouring element when the top is at the liquid pouring position.

Other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention can be seen on review the drawings, the detailed description, and the claims which follow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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FIG. 1 is an exploded side elevation view of a first example of a liquid storage, isolation and dispensing assembly.

FIG. 2 is a three-dimensional view of the top of the assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a three-dimensional view of the float of the assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the assembly of FIG. 1 in an assembled condition with the float floating on the surface of the liquid within the container.

FIGS. 5-8 are simplified views showing the use of the assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 shows pouring a liquid into the container.

FIG. 6 shows placing the float through the open upper end of the container.

FIG. 7 shows the float resting at the upper surface of the liquid with the top mounted to the open upper end of the container.

FIG. 8 shows the liquid being poured from the container after the top has been removed and illustrates how the float naturally becomes repositioned within the container interior when the container is tilted to allow the liquid to be poured from the container.

FIG. 9 shows a second example of a liquid storage, isolation and dispensing assembly in which the container has an other than round cross-sectional shape and showing the top in a liquid sealing position.

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of the container of FIG. 9 showing the oval cross-sectional shape of the container and the spout-like pouring element created at the outwardly flared open upper end of the container.

FIG. 11 is a three-dimensional view of the float of the assembly of FIG. 9.

FIGS. 11A and 11B are side elevation cross-sectional views taken through the widest and narrowest portions of the float of FIG. 11.

FIG. 12 is a three-dimensional view of the top of the assembly of FIG. 9.

FIGS. 12A and 12B are side elevation cross-sectional views taken through the widest and narrowest portions of the top of FIG. 12.

FIG. 13 shows the structure of FIG. 9 but with the top removed and re-oriented 180° from the position of FIG. 9 placing the top in a liquid pouring position and creating a gap between the sealing element of the top and the inner surface of the container at the spout-like pouring element.

FIG. 14 shows the structure of FIG. 13 at a tilted, pouring orientation permitting the liquid within the container to flow through the gap and out of the container

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

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OF THE INVENTION




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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140103042 A1
Publish Date
04/17/2014
Document #
File Date
12/31/1969
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
0




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20140417|20140103042|liquid storage, isolation and dispensing assembly|A liquid storage, isolation and dispensing assembly includes a container, which defines an axis and has an inner surface, top and float. The top is mountable to the upper end with a sealing element engaging the inner surface at a liquid sealing position. The open upper end is least partially |
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