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United States Patent Application 20170015465
Kind Code A1
RAUPACH; Karl January 19, 2017

Container Assembly

Abstract

A container assembly includes a first container having a first opening, and a second container having a lid wall. A closure hingedly interconnects the first and second containers for swinging movement between a stacked position in which the lid wall overlies and closes the first opening, and an unstacked position in which the lid wall is removed from the first opening. The closure maintains the containers interconnected throughout the movement between the stacked and unstacked positions.


Inventors: RAUPACH; Karl; (Trezzano Sul Naviglio, IT)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Bruni Glass S.p.A.

Trezzano Cristoforo Colombo, 12/14

IT
Family ID: 1000001944262
Appl. No.: 14/963351
Filed: December 9, 2015


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: B65D 21/0217 20130101; B65D 43/166 20130101; B65D 85/72 20130101; B65D 1/0223 20130101; B65D 53/02 20130101
International Class: B65D 21/02 20060101 B65D021/02; B65D 85/72 20060101 B65D085/72; B65D 1/02 20060101 B65D001/02; B65D 43/16 20060101 B65D043/16; B65D 53/02 20060101 B65D053/02

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Jul 15, 2015IT202015000034683

Claims



1. A container assembly, comprising: a first container having a first opening; a second container having a lid wall; and a closure for interconnecting the first and second containers for movement between a stacked position in which the lid wall overlies and closes the first opening, and an unstacked position in which the lid wall is removed from the first opening, the closure maintaining the containers interconnected throughout the movement between the stacked and unstacked positions.

2. The container assembly of claim 1, wherein the first container has first walls bounding a first interior compartment, and wherein the first opening is accessible and is in communication with the first interior compartment in the unstacked position.

3. The container assembly of claim 1, wherein the second container has second walls bounding a second interior compartment and a second opening for accessing the second interior compartment, and wherein the lid wall is one of the second walls.

4. The container assembly of claim 1, wherein the first and second containers are stacked upright along a vertical axis in the stacked position, and wherein the closure includes a hinge for hingedly interconnecting the first and second containers for swinging movement about a hinge axis that is generally perpendicular to the vertical axis.

5. The container assembly of claim 4, wherein the closure includes a first collar wire mounted on the first container and extending at least partly circumferentially around the vertical axis, and a second collar wire mounted on the second container and extending at least partly circumferentially around the vertical axis, and wherein the hinge is connected to the first and second collar wires.

6. The container assembly of claim 5, wherein the closure includes a lever wire and a bail wire, both pivotably connected to the first collar wire, and a catch connected to the second collar wire, and wherein the lever wire locks the bail wire to the catch in the stacked position.

7. The container assembly of claim 1, wherein the first opening is generally circular, and wherein the lid wall has a generally circular shape that is closely fitted in the first opening.

8. The container assembly of claim 1, wherein the closure includes a sealing gasket located between the first and second containers for hermetically sealing the first opening in the stacked position.

9. The container assembly of claim 3, wherein the first container is a jar having a wide mouth as the first opening, wherein the second container is a bottle having a narrow mouth as the second opening, and wherein the wide mouth is greater in area than the narrow mouth.

10. The container assembly of claim 1, wherein the first and second containers have respective first and second interior compartments for holding different objects.

11. The container assembly of claim 10, wherein the first and second containers are constituted of a light-transmissive material for viewing the different objects held in the first and second interior compartments.

12. A container assembly, comprising: a first container having first walls bounding a first interior compartment for holding a first foodstuff, and a first opening; a second container having second walls bounding a second interior compartment for holding a second foodstuff, and a second opening, one of the second wails being a lid wall; and a closure for interconnecting the first and second containers for movement between a stacked position in which the lid wall overlies and closes the first opening, and an unstacked position in which the lid wall is removed from the first opening, the closure maintaining the containers interconnected throughout the movement between the stacked and unstacked positions.

13. The container assembly of claim 12, wherein the first and second containers are stacked upright along a vertical axis in the stacked position, and wherein the closure includes a hinge for hingedly interconnecting the first and second containers for swinging movement about a hinge axis that is generally perpendicular to the vertical axis.

14. The container assembly of claim 12, wherein the first opening is generally circular, and wherein the lid wall has a generally circular shape that is closely fitted in the first opening.

15. The container assembly of claim 12, wherein the closure includes a sealing gasket located between the first and second containers for hermetically sealing the first opening in the stacked position.

16. The container assembly of claim 12, wherein the first container is a jar having a wide mouth as the first opening, wherein the second container is a bottle having a narrow mouth as the second opening, and wherein the wide mouth is greater in area than the narrow mouth.

17. The container assembly of claim 16, wherein the wide mouth of the jar enables removal of a solid food as the first foodstuff the narrow mouth of the bottle enables removal of a liquid food as the second foodstuff.

18. The container assembly of claim 12, wherein the first and second containers are constituted of a light-transmissive material for viewing the first and second foodstuffs held in the first and second interior compartments.

19. A container assembly, comprising: a first container having first walls bounding a first interior compartment for holding a solid foodstuff, and a first opening; a second container having second walls bounding a second interior compartment for holding a liquid foodstuff, and a second opening, one of the second walls being a lid wall; and a closure for hingedly interconnecting the first and second containers for swinging movement between an upright, stacked position in which the lid wall overlies and closes the first opening, and an unstacked position in which the lid wall is pivoted away from the first opening, the closure maintaining the containers permanently interconnected throughout the swinging movement between the stacked and unstacked positions.

20. The container assembly of claim 19, wherein the closure includes a sealing gasket located between the first and second containers for hermetically sealing the first opening in the stacked position.
Description



BACKGROUND

[0001] The present disclosure generally relates to an assembly of interconnected containers for holding various objects, especially different objects, such as solid and liquid foodstuffs.

[0002] There are many applications where different types of related objects are used together, For example, some related solid and liquid foodstuffs are often both eaten together during a meal. As another example, some related solid and liquid cosmetics are often both applied during a makeup session. Such different types of related objects are usually stored and packed in individual, typically different, containers. Sometimes, these stored objects are purchased separately and presented as gifts in their individual containers. Although generally satisfactory for their intended purposes, these individual containers are prone to being misplaced and lost and are, therefore, sometimes unavailable when needed. Storing different objects in a single container, when the types of objects to be used are very different from each other, typically spoils the different objects for their intended uses.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0003] The accompanying figures, where like reference numerals refer to identical or functionally similar elements throughout the separate views, together with the detailed description below, are incorporated in and form part of the specification, and serve to further illustrate embodiments of concepts that include the claimed invention, and explain various principles and advantages of those embodiments.

[0004] FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a container assembly in accordance with this disclosure in a stacked position.

[0005] FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the container assembly of FIG. 1 in an unstacked position.

[0006] FIG. 3 is a sectional side view of the container assembly of FIG. 1 in the stacked position.

[0007] Skilled artisans will appreciate that elements in the figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions and locations of some of the elements in the figures may be exaggerated relative to other elements to help to improve understanding of embodiments of the present invention.

[0008] The structural components have been represented where appropriate by conventional symbols in the drawings, showing only those specific details that are pertinent to understanding the embodiments of the present invention so as not to obscure the disclosure with details that will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of the description herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0009] In accordance with one feature of this disclosure, a container assembly includes a first container having a first opening, a second container having a lid wall, and a closure for interconnecting the first and second containers for movement between a stacked position in which the lid wall overlies and closes the first opening, and an unstacked position in which the lid wall is removed from the first opening. The closure maintains the containers interconnected throughout the movement between the stacked and unstacked positions. This interconnection prevents the containers from being misplaced and lost and, as a result, any objects held in these containers are always available when needed. In addition, this interconnection provides a convenient gift package in which related objects stored in the containers are simultaneously purchased and presented as a unitary assembly.

[0010] Preferably, the first container has first walls, e.g., a base wall and a side wall, which bound a first interior compartment. The first opening is accessible and is in communication with the first interior compartment in the unstacked position. The second container has second walls, e.g., the lid wall and a side wall, which bound a second interior compartment, and a second opening for accessing the second interior compartment. The lid wall is a bottom or base wall of the second container and is integral with the side wall of the second container. The first and second containers can have any shape or size, and can be the same or different. Advantageously, the first container is a jar having a wide mouth as the first opening, and the second container is a long-necked bottle having a narrow mouth as the second opening. The first and second interior compartments advantageously hold different but related objects, such as solid and liquid foodstuffs. The first and second containers are advantageously constituted of a light-transmissive material to enable the different objects contained in the first and second interior compartments to be viewed from outside the containers.

[0011] The first and second containers are stacked upright along a vertical axis in the stacked position. The closure includes a hinge for hingedly interconnecting the first and second containers for swinging movement about a hinge axis that is generally perpendicular to the vertical axis. The closure includes a first collar wire mounted on the first container and extending at least partly circumferentially around the vertical axis, and a second collar wire mounted on the second container and extending at least partly circumferentially around the vertical axis. The hinge is connected to the first and second collar wires. The closure also includes a lever wire and a bail wire, both pivotably connected to the first collar wire, and a catch connected to the second collar wire. The lever wire locks the bail wire to the catch in the stacked position. The closure also includes a seal or gasket located between the first and second containers for hermetically sealing the first opening in the stacked position.

[0012] Turning now to the drawings, reference numeral 1 generally identifies a container assembly that includes a first receptacle or container 2, a second receptacle or container 6, and a closure 14. The first container 2 has a base or bottom wall 3 and an annular side wall 4 that are integral with each other. The walls 3, 4 together bound a first interior compartment 2a, and a first mouth or opening 2b. The second container 6 has a lid or bottom wall 7 and an annular side wall 8 that are integral with each other. The walls 7, 8 together bound a second interior compartment 6a, and a second mouth or opening 6b.

[0013] As illustrated, the first container 2 is a generally cylindrical jar, and the first opening 2b is generally circular and relatively wide, while the second container 6 is a long-necked bottle having a wide, enlarged body shaped as a flask, and the second opening 6b is generally circular and relatively narrow. It will be understood that the first and second containers 2, 6 can have any shape or size, e.g., prismatic, pyramidal, conical, etc., and further that the first and second containers 2, 6 can be the same or different, and still further that the openings 6a, 6b can be the same or different and can have any shape. The first and second interior compartments 2a, 6a advantageously hold different but related objects, such as solid/semi-solid and liquid foodstuffs, or solid/semi-solid and liquid cosmetics, etc. The wide mouth 2b of the first container 2 is particularly suited for removing solid foodstuffs therefrom by hand, while the narrow mouth 6b of the second container 6 is particularly suited for pouring liquid foodstuffs therefrom. The first and second containers 2, 6 are preferably constituted of a light-transmissive material, e.g., glass, for exteriorly viewing the different objects held in the first and second interior compartments 2a, 6a. Although a transparent glass material is preferred, the first and second containers 2, 6 could also be constituted of a plastic, ceramic, or metal material.

[0014] As described in detail below, the entire second container 6, and particularly the lid wall 7, serves as a lid 5 for opening and closing the first container 2. The closure 14 interconnects the first and second containers 2, 6 for movement between a stacked position (FIG. 1) in which the lid wall 7 overlies and closes the first opening 2b, and an unstacked position (FIG. 2) in which the lid wall 7 is removed away from the first opening 2a. The closure 14, as described below, maintains the containers 2, 6 permanently interconnected throughout the movement between the stacked and unstacked positions so that the containers 2, 6 will always be in the immediate vicinity of each other and, therefore, neither container will be misplaced or lost from the other.

[0015] In the stacked position, the first and second containers 2, 6 are stacked upright along a vertical axis. The closure 14 includes a hinge 9 for hingedly interconnecting the first and second containers 2, 6 for swinging movement about a hinge or pivot axis that is generally horizontal and perpendicular to the vertical axis. The closure 14 includes a first, annular, metallic, collar wire 10 mounted on, and held in an annular groove formed about an upper portion of, the first container 2. The first collar wire 10 extends at least partly circumferentially around the vertical axis. The closure 14 also includes a second, annular, metallic, collar wire 11 mounted on, and held in an annular groove formed about a lower portion of, the second container 6. The second collar wire 11 extends at least partly circumferentially around the vertical axis. The annular collar wires 11, 12 preferably have the same diameter. The second collar wire 11 has an arm 12 that extends downwardly therefrom at one side of the vertical axis and terminates in a hook 13. The hook 13 is pivotably hooked on the first collar wire at the same one side of the vertical axis. The hinge 9 is constituted of the arm 12 and the hook 13 and is connected to both the first and second collar wires 10, 11.

[0016] The closure 14 also includes a handle or lever wire 17 and a bail wire 18, both pivotably connected to the first collar wire 10 at an opposite side of the vertical axis away from the hinge 9. The closure 14 further includes an upwardly bent wire leg or catch 19 extending away from the second collar wire 11 at the same opposite side of the vertical axis. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the catch 19 extends through the bail wire 18, and the lever wire 17 is manually pivoted and toggled downwardly to an over-the-center locked position in order to lock the bail wire 18 to the catch 19 in the stacked position. As shown in FIG. 2, the lever wire 17 is manually pivoted and toggled upwardly to unlock the bail wire 18 from the catch 19, thereby enabling the second container 6 to be pivoted away from the first container via the hinge 9. Access to the interior compartment 2a is available through the first opening 2b in the unstacked position, but is blocked by the lid 5 in the stacked position.

[0017] In order to hermetically seal the interior compartment 2a in the stacked position, the lid wall 7 has a generally circular shape that is closely fitted with a snug, tight, friction-fit in the generally circular first opening 2b. In addition, an annular seal or gasket 16, preferably constituted of rubber, is positioned around the lid wall 7 and is sandwiched and compressed between the first and second containers 2, 6 in the stacked position.

[0018] A removable stopper 15 is used for opening and closing the opening 6b of the second container 6. As shown, the stopper 15 is a conventional wire bail stopper, but any stopper, such as a cork, or a screw-on cap, etc., may be used. The stopper 15 may be removed in either the stacked or the unstacked position to pour any liquid foodstuff therefrom.

[0019] The container assembly 1 may be provided with or without the related objects in the containers 2, 6. When related objects are stored in the containers 2, 6, the container assembly is especially suitable as a gift package. For example, solid foodstuffs, such as small cakes, biscuits, chocolates, etc., can be placed in the first container 2, and a liquid foodstuff, such as a wine, a liqueur, or an oil, etc., can be placed in the second container 6. Such solid and liquid foodstuffs are typically consumed together during a light meal or snack.

[0020] In the foregoing specification, specific embodiments have been described. However, one of ordinary skill in the art appreciates that various modifications and changes can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the claims below. For example, the container assembly 1 need not be limited to the illustrated two interconnected containers 2, 6. Indeed, the container assembly 1 can comprise more than two containers. Thus, a plurality of the first containers 2 can be stacked, one above another, and one or more of the second containers 2 can be stacked, one above another, above the first containers. Closures, similar to closures 14, can be used to interconnect adjacent containers. Accordingly, the specification and figures are to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of present teachings.

[0021] The benefits, advantages, solutions to problems, and any element(s) that may cause any benefit, advantage, or solution to occur or become more pronounced are not to be construed as a critical, required, or essential features or elements of any or all the claims. The invention is defined solely by the appended claims including any amendments made during the pendency of this application and all equivalents of those claims as issued.

[0022] Moreover in this document, relational terms such as first and second, top and bottom, and the like may be used solely to distinguish one entity or action from another entity or action without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order between such entities or actions. The terms "comprises," "comprising," "has," "having," "includes," "including," "contains," "containing," or any other variation thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, or arrangement that comprises, has, includes, contains a list of elements does not include only those elements, but may include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or arrangement. An element proceeded by "comprises . . . a," "has . . . a," "includes a," or "contains a," does not, without more constraints, preclude the existence of additional identical elements in the process, method, article, or arrangement that comprises, has, includes, or contains the element. The terms "a" and "an" are defined as one or more unless explicitly stated otherwise herein. The terms "substantially," "essentially," "approximately," "about," or any other version thereof, are defined as being close to as understood by one of ordinary skill in the art, and in one non-limiting embodiment the term is defined to be within 10%, in another embodiment within 5%, in another embodiment within 1%, and in another embodiment within 0.5%. The term "coupled" as used herein is defined as connected, although not necessarily directly and not necessarily mechanically. A device or structure that is "configured" in a certain way is configured in at least that way, but may also be configured in ways that are not listed.

[0023] The Abstract of the Disclosure is provided to allow the reader to quickly ascertain the nature of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims. In addition, in the foregoing Detailed Description, it can be seen that various features are grouped together in various embodiments for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed embodiments require more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive subject matter lies in less than all features of a single disclosed embodiment. Thus, the following claims are hereby incorporated into the Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its own as a separately claimed subject matter.

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