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Q: Coffee lids and Patent protection(s) ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Coffee lids and Patent protection(s)
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: 71-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 02 Dec 2003 12:10 PST
Expires: 01 Jan 2004 12:10 PST
Question ID: 282721
What is the history behind the last three coffee lids to receive a
patent for their unique design feature?
What company or individual designed, filed, and subsequently granted a
patent for each one? Also, what distinguishes these three lids from
each other and what year was the patents granted?

Request for Question Clarification by aht-ga on 03 Dec 2003 23:42 PST

Can you please clarify your question, prior to me completing my
research and providing an answer?

First, are you interested in US patents only, or are you looking for
the last three patents globally?

Second, can you please clarify what sort of information you are
seeking as far as "the history behind" the cup lids goes?

I have identified what I believe are the last three US patents issued
for cup lids usable on disposable beverage cups. After you have had
the opportunity to clarify your question, I will endeavour to provide
you with the Answer you seek.

Thank you,

Google Answers Researcher
Subject: Re: Coffee lids and Patent protection(s)
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 04 Dec 2003 08:06 PST
Hello 71-ga,  

Thanks for the opportunity to answer your question.  

I've included below several of the most recent filings at the US
Patent Office regarding lids for beverage cups of the kind you are
interested in.

I would suggest visiting the Patent Office site yourself and
conducting a search of your own, as there is a lot of additional
information at the site beyond what I've excerpted here.  The search
page for the Patent Office is:

I searched on "cups" and "lids".  There are many recent patents that
should be of interest to you; I?ve summarized the four most recent
patents below.

For each of the patents below, I've excerpted information directly
from the Patent Office site, and also added a brief description of my
own (in brackets []) of the key features of the lids.

The patents can best be understood by viewing the images that are
included with the patent application.  These are also available at the
Patent Office site by selecting a patent of interest, and clicking on
the ?View Images? button at the bottom of the page (you will need to
download a special viewer to see the images -- click on the ?Help?
button on the images page in order to get instructions and links to
the software).  If you have any problem with this, let me know, and
I?ll be glad to walk you through the process.

I hope this information fully addresses your question.  But if you
find you need any additional information or explanation, just let me
know, and I'll be happy to assist you further.



[This lid, patented just last month, is designed with a long, flexible
tab sticking out that can be folded over to seal the hole used for
drinking...the intent is to make it more spill-proof than current

United States Patent  6,644,490  
Clarke  November 11, 2003  



A lid, suitable for "take-away" hot and cold beverage containers,
which reduces spillage of the container contents and allows the user
to store the container contents for consumption at a later date. The
lid comprises a main body portion, incorporating an aperture for
discharging the container contents, and a flexible arm portion,
connected to the body portion and having a closure member positioned
thereon. When a user requires to store the contents of the container
for consumption at a later date, the flexible arm portion can be bent
over the top of the main body portion and the closure member engaged
in the aperture so as to seal it. The main body portion may also
include a recess, suitably shaped to receive the closure member,
wherein, when the user requires to discharge the container contents
through the aperture, the closure member can be engaged in the recess
such that the arm portion does not interfere with the discharge of the
container contents through the aperture.

Inventors:  Clarke; Brian Norman (Huntingdon, GB)  
Assignee:  Solo Cup Company (Highland Park, IL)  
Appl. No.:  924418 
Filed:  August 6, 2001 


[This patent is for a very complex lid design that includes a
push-down tab -- when the the tab is depressed, liquid can flow from
the cup, but releasing the tab will automatically close the opening]

United States Patent  6,612,456  
Hundley ,   et al.  September 2, 2003  

Drink-through cup lid having selectively inwardly and outwardly
rotatable hinged portion


A drink-through cup lid, adapted to matingly engage the upper
peripheral edge of a drinking cup so as to selectively maintain the
lid in a covering relationship on the cup, includes a rim engaging
portion and a central cover portion. The central cover portion further
has a hinged portion which is selectively depressible to so as to
provide a drinking opening in the lid, the hinged portion is biased so
as to selectively substantially return to its normally closed position
within the plane of the central cover portion upon removal of pressure
there-against. The hinged portion includes a hollow raised tab
integrally formed thereon. A recess which is integrally formed on the
central cover portion of the lid is adapted to selectively receive the
raised tab of the hinged portion in detachable locking engagement.

Inventors:  Hundley; Bobby V. (Glendale, AR); Quatmann; Joseph H. (Phoenix, AR)  
Assignee:  Wincup Holdings, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ)  
Appl. No.:  689963 
Filed:  October 12, 2000 


[This is an odd-looking cup with the lid built in -- it extracts from
the inside of the cup and then folds over to form the really
need to see the images for this one].

United States Patent  6,592,504  
Sarson ,   et al.  July 15, 2003  

Disposable cup with spill resistant lid 


The disposable cup has a bottom insert, and a substantially truncated
conical body having an integral lid and a cup opening. The lid is
movable between a raised position and a closed position, possibly via
a semi-closed position. The lid has a free edge, with a liquid passage
opening allowing liquid passage when the lid is in said closed
position. The lid is foldably joined to the body along an arcuate
first score line. The lid further has second score lines arranged at
respective ends of the free edge, the second score lines connecting
the free edge and the first score line so that, when the lid is pushed
towards the cup opening, the lid flips into a position inside the cup
opening, the movement of the lid being substantially aided by the
folding of the lid along the second score lines. The lid has a larger
cross-dimension than the cross-dimension of the body at the closed
position of the lid, so that, when the lid portion is pushed further
into the body, the lid is bent into a convex shape to seal liquid
access along the inside of the cup, and the lid is partly held in the
cup in the closed position by frictional forces between the lid and
the inside of the cup, and partly by the second score lines causing
outer portions of the lid to bend to a substantially vertical
position, thereby increasing the force holding the lid in the closed

Inventors:  Sarson; George E. (Kitchener, CA); Howes-Jones; Daryl J.
(Kitchener, CA); Kleynhans; Gregory John (Guelph, CA)
Assignee:  The Cupworks Corporation (Cambridge, CA)  
Appl. No.:  755140 
Filed:  January 8, 2001 


[This patent is for a two-piece lid system (a one-piece variation is
included as well) which creates a sort of well for vapors to collect,
and provides numerous outlets for the vapors to escape, thereby
enhancing the aroma of the liquid]

United States Patent  6,578,726  
Schaefer  June 17, 2003  

Container lid with a plurality of aroma vent holes in a center portion
of a container lid cover


A one piece and/or two piece container lid designed for allowing a
beverage aroma to escape from a drink container for the enjoyment of
the user of the container. The two piece container lid broadly
comprises an upper lid cover and a lower lid cover. The upper lid
cover includes an annular upper lid top portion with a downwardly
extending skirt disposed around the outer circumference of the top
portion. An upper lid drink opening is disposed on one side of the top
portion. Next to the upper lid drink opening is an upper recess area
formed in part of the top portion. The upper recess area includes a
plurality of aroma vent holes therein. The lower lid cover includes an
annular lower lid top portion with a raised rim therearound. The rim
includes a lower lid drink opening in one side thereon. A downwardly
extending exterior flange is disposed around the outer circumference
of the rim. The flange includes first and second lip grooves for
receiving different diameter containers. A lower recess area is formed
in the lower lid top portion. The lower recess area also includes
outwardly extending stops and a plurality of aroma vent holes therein.
An inner circumference of the upper lid skirt is received around an
upper portion of the flange of the lower lid cover in a snap/press

Inventors:  Schaefer; Debra L. (5447 S. Iola Way, Englewood, CO 80111)  
Appl. No.:  394108 
Filed:  September 10, 1999 


[This patent is for a lid with a self-contained spillover reservoir,
so that hot liquid can slosh out or the cup and sit in the reservoir
to cool]

United States Patent  6,571,973  
Tripsianes  June 3, 2003  

Cup lid with cooling spillover chamber 


A lid for a cup having a rim has a first component having a sip
opening, the sip opening being located on the first component so as to
be adjacent the rim of the cup when the lid is mounted on the cup. The
lid further includes a second component having an edge defining at
least a portion of a spill opening, the spill opening being spaced
from the sip opening substantially along a line corresponding to a
diameter of the rim of the cup when the lid is mounted on the cup. The
lid still further includes a spillover chamber connected to the second
component so as to receive liquid from within the cup through the
spill opening when the cup is tipped toward the second position, the
spillover chamber being outside of the cup when the lid is mounted on
the cup. Finally, the lid includes a transfer structure providing a
path to transfer liquid from the spillover chamber to the sip opening
when the cup is tipped toward the sip opening, and a barrier to
prevent transfer of liquid from within the cup to the sip opening
without passing through the spillover chamber in any tipping position
of the cup.

Inventors:  Tripsianes; Lazaros C. (1555 N. Dearborn Pkwy., Apt. 16A,
Chicago, IL 60610)
Appl. No.:  851531 
Filed:  May 7, 2001 


Again, if you need any additional information on these, just post a
Request for Clarification to let me know, and I?ll be happy to assist
you further.


search strategy: visited the Patent Office web site and searched on
?cups? and ?lids.  Also visited my local coffee shop to examine some
of the cups, lids and patent numbers thereon.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 05 Dec 2003 11:50 PST
Hello again,

I saw your latest comment which you posted after I had posted my
answer, so I just wanted to make sure you realized that your question
has been answered(this service can sometimes be a bit confusing in
that way).

You can read the full answer immediately above this message.

If anything is not clear, or you need more information, just let me know.


Subject: Re: Coffee lids and Patent protection(s)
From: ipfan-ga on 02 Dec 2003 15:21 PST
What do you mean by coffee lids?  A lid for a coffee cup?  Or for a
coffee can?  Or perhaps a coffee pot?  And when you say "design
feature," do you mean a design patent (as opposed to a utility
Subject: Re: Coffee lids and Patent protection(s)
From: 71-ga on 03 Dec 2003 11:14 PST
Coffee lids for coffee cups like the ones you find on McDonald's cups,
Starbucks cups etc.
Subject: Re: Coffee lids and Patent protection(s)
From: 71-ga on 05 Dec 2003 11:39 PST
I was specifically refering to plastic coffee lids from food/drink
establishments like: Starbucks, McDonalds etc. Also, it does not have
to be the three most recent as long as it is plastic and can be found
at restaurants.

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