As illustrated in the attached FIGS. 1-12, a drinking bottle 10 includes a container 20 and a lid 30. As shown in FIGS. 3-4, the container has a hollow interior 22 for holding a liquid and a neck 24 with a threaded outer surface 26. A corresponding inner threaded surface 36 is formed on the lid allowing the lid to be twisted onto the container so as to enclose the hollow interior.
Lid 30 preferably includes a main bottom portion 38, a twist ring 60, a spout 40 and a main top portion 42 with a top surface 32. A spout guard 50 is provided on the twist ring 60.
Spout 40 includes a drinking end 44 and a drinking channel 46 protected by top and bottom spout shells 56 and 58, respectively. Further, spout 40 is movable between a stowed (i.e., closed) position and a dispensing (i.e., open) position. In the dispensing position, spout 40 extends substantially vertically above the top surface 32, and the drinking channel 46 is fluidly connected to the hollow interior 22 of the container through an opening 48 (shown in FIGS. 11 and 12) in the main bottom portion 38 so as to allow a user to drink the liquid from the container. As shown, for example, in FIG. 7, in the stowed position, the spout s folded against the top surface 32 such that its drinking end 44 is positioned adjacent to the top surface 32 and preferably behind the spout guard 50, and the drinking channel is not connected to the hollow interior of the container. Spout 40 is preferably made of soft silicone to allow the user to easily drink through the drinking channel.
Movement of the spout 40 between the dispensing and stowed positions is facilitated by the twist ring 60, which is operatively connected to the spout. In accordance with the preferred embodiment, twist ring 60 is selectively movable between three positions, i.e. a closed position corresponding to the stowed position of the spout, a drinking position corresponding to the dispensing position of the spout, and an open position at which the lid is disconnected from the container. Spout guard 50 is fixedly mounted on the twist ring 60 and partially extends above the top surface 32 so as to partially cover the drinking end 44 of the spout 40 when the spout is in the stowed position. This construction of the spout guard helps to keep the spout clean and prevents the spout from touching other objects when the spout is stowed. A swiping movement of the spout guard 50 causes the twist ring to rotate between the closed position and the drinking position, and correspondingly causes the spout to move between the stowed position and the dispensing position.
The inclination angle of the spout 40 with respect to the top surface 32 can be controlled by the turning distance of the twist ring 60. In other words, the greater the rotation of the twist ring, the greater the angle between the spout and the top surface. In the farthest dispensing position, the spout is preferably substantially perpendicular to the top surface. The silicone material of the spout also acts as a spring mechanism to assist in moving the spout into the dispensing position. The tension in the silicone created when the spout is stowed, helps to spring the spout open when the twist ring is swiped.
A lock switch 52 is provided on the lid 30. Lock switch is preferably movable between a locked position, in which the switch engages a notch 54 of the main bottom portion 38 thereby preventing the twist ring 60 from rotating, and an unlocked position, in which the switch is disengaged from the notch 54 and the twist ring is allowed to rotate. Lock switch 52 is located at the front of the lid, preferably at the spout guard. This convenient location allows the user to easily lock and unlock the lid with one hand. The user can lock the bottle for when he/she throws it into a bag or when he/she just wants to ensure that the spout does not open.
As shown in FIG. 1, in accordance with the preferred embodiment, main top portion 42 of the lid 30 also includes a handle portion 70 and two side walls 72, which extend vertically from the top surface 32 and are spaced apart so as to form a cavity 74 therebetween. When spout 40 is in its stowed position, as shown, for example, in FIG. 7, the spout is located at least partially within the cavity 74 and adjacent to the top surface 32. In fact, a portion of the drinking channel in this stowed position is parallel to the top surface, and a bend is created in the drinking channel, thus closing the channel and preventing any liquid from reaching the drinking end. Handle portion 70 preferably includes a loop 76 allowing a user to hold the bottle. Loop 76 can include a latch (not shown) which can hook onto other items for carrying or storage.
As shown in FIGS. 3-5, an inner mechanism is utilized to activate the movement of the spout 40 in response to the movement of the twist ring 60. The inner mechanism preferably utilizes two custom gears to create the motion. A square shaft 62 is mechanically coupled to the spout 40. The shaft is preferably secured within the lid using a pair of shaft clips. A bevel gear 64 is attached to one end of the square shaft 62. The bevel gear, in turn, rests on an angled ring gear 66, which is coupled to the twist ring 60. As the user rotates the twist ring 60, the inner ring gear rotates, thereby rotating the bevel gear connected to the square shaft. The square shaft then turns moving the spout correspondingly.
A TPR textured grip is preferably provided on the twist ring 60 to allow the user to easily grip and twist the ring to open the spout. The TPR also helps to tighten and untighten the lid to the bottle. A domed silicone air flow seal 68 is preferably provided in the lid to allow air into the bottle to create ventilation necessary for drinking with a straw. Finally, a silicone ring is preferably provided within the lid to seal the bottle to the lid when screwed on.
The disclosed drinking bottle has an innovative mechanism that allows the user to open and close the bottle with a s of a finger, By simply swiping his/her thumb across the front spout guard the user can open the spout. He/she can also use two hands and twist then the entire outer lid to open and close the bottle. This motion of swiping is something that people are used to now with the age of the touch screen which makes this a natural movement.
In the preceding specification, the invention has been described with reference to specific exemplary embodiments thereof It will however, be evident that various modifications and changes may be made thereto without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the claims that follow. The specification and drawings are accordingly to be regarded in an illustrative manner rather than a restrictive sense. What is claimed is: