Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Munchkin: 59 Patents

North Hills, CA-based Munchkin develops "innovative products that excite and delight parents, children and pets."

The company was founded in 1991, and sits atop 59 U.S. patents and patent applications.

Straw Drinking Cup from inventor Justin McDonough from 4/14/2009 got our attention:

A straw drinking cup includes a container and a flexible straw having a first, drinking, end and a second and that is disposed within the container. Advantageously, the cup includes a straw positioning mechanism that ensures that the first, drinking end of the flexible straw will remain upwardly oriented to minimize the possibility of leakage, regardless of whether the straw positioning mechanism is in the open position, the closed position, or in transit between the two positions. The straw drinking cup further includes an advantageous venting mechanism that includes a flexible membrane that permits air to flow into the container only when a sufficient pressure differential is developed across the membrane, such as will occur when a consumer is sucking on the flexible straw. The venting mechanism further operates so as to prevent leakage from the container, as sufficient pressure will not exist to draw any liquid across the flexible membrane.

Early this year, Munchkin announced a partnership with Arm & Hammer to develop a line of deodorizing products for the nursery.

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