The Origins of Coffee Cup Sleeve

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Have you ever wondered who invented the coffee cup sleeve? Jay Sorensen came up with the idea after spilling coffee in his lap at a drive through in 1989.

Have you ever wondered who invented the coffee cup sleeve?
Jay Sorensen came up with the idea after burning his fingers on a cup of coffee, causing it to end up on his lap.

Sorensen paid a paper converter 15 thousand dollars to create waffle-textured coffee sleeves, and took his idea to Starbucks in 1993.

Starbucks approved of the product and sought exclusive rights to it, but after disputes about the pricing, Starbucks abandoned the deal.

Sorensen filed for a patent on his idea, called the Java Jacket, in 1994 and was granted one the following year.

After Sorensen successfully fought of their attempt to infringe on his patent, Starbucks came out with their own version called the Coffee Clutch.

Sorensen credits his invention to luck, timing, and positive consequences coming from negative events, particularly the loss of his previous business’ lease and the rise of to-go coffee drinking culture.

Java Jackets are now distributed to over 15 hundred clients at a rate of around 1 billion per year.

You can even see an exhibit on coffee cup sleeve at the New York's Museum of Modern Art.

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