Disposable plates and bowls with attached utensils

Abstract

A food-holding plate or bowl may include a central area and a rim surrounding the central area. At least one utensil-holding strap is formed integrally with the rim. The rim may be provided with cuts and rim material between the cuts may be displaced from a plane of the rim thereby resulting in formation of the strap. The rim may be provided with a cut-out into which a tine portion of the fork or a bowl portion of the spoon may be positioned, so that one of the assemblies may be stacked onto another one of the assemblies in a nested relationship.

Claims

1 . A food-holding plate or bowl comprising: a central area; a rim surrounding the central area; and at least one utensil-holding strap formed integrally with the rim. 2 . The plate or bowl of claim 1 wherein the strap is formed with material of the rim. 3 . The plate or bowl of claim 2 wherein the rim is provided with cuts and rim material between the cuts is displaced from a plane of the rim thereby resulting in formation of the strap. 4 . A food-holding assembly comprising: a plate or bowl with a rim having at least one utensil holding strap; and at least one eating utensil supported by the strap. 5 . The assembly of claim 4 wherein the strap is integral with the rim. 6 . The assembly of claim 4 wherein the eating utensil is supported under the rim and can be removed and replaced as needed. 7 . The assembly of claim 4 wherein the utensil is a fork or spoon and wherein the rim is provided with a cut-out into which a tine portion of the fork or a bowl portion of the spoon is positioned. 8 . The assembly of claim 4 wherein the utensil is supported by two of the straps. 9 . The assembly of claim 4 wherein the plate or bowl is paper or plastic and the utensil is plastic. 10 . The assembly of claim 4 being configured so that one of the assemblies can be stacked onto another one of the assemblies in a nested relationship.
RELATED APPLICATIONS [0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61469273 filed on Mar. 30, 2011. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION [0002] The present invention generally relates to disposable implements from which food may be consumed. [0003] During some social gatherings such as picnics or parties, guests may pass along a buffet line while placing various items of food on disposable plates. Typically, the guests may also carry disposable utensils such as plastic knives, forks and spoons while also placing and carrying their food on the disposable plates. A person may find it difficult to simultaneously carry a collection of utensils or may forget to pick up utensils while putting food items on their plates. It is also difficult to manage utensils and eat without sitting at a table, as is required at certain parties. [0004] As can be seen there is a need for a system which will allow a person to place food on a disposable plate or bowl and eat without being required to hold and manage utensils. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0005] In one aspect of the present invention, a food-holding plate may comprise: a central area; a rim surrounding the central area; and at least one utensil-holding strap formed integrally with the rim. [0006] In another aspect of the present invention, a food-holding assembly may comprise: a plate with a rim having at least one utensil holding strap; and at least one eating utensil supported by the strap. [0007] These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0008] FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views of a food-holding assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the invention; [0009] FIG. 3 is a top view of the assembly of FIG. 1 ; [0010] FIG. 4 is an elevation view of the assembly of FIG. 1 ; [0011] FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the assembly of FIG. 1 ; [0012] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a plurality of the assemblies of FIG. 1 in a nested stacked relationship; [0013] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a food-holding assembly in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention; [0014] FIGS. 8-11 are views of a food-holding assembly in accordance with a third embodiment of the invention; and [0015] FIG. 12 is an enlarged partial view showing the cuts and strap of the assembly of FIG. 1 . DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION [0016] The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out exemplary embodiments of the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims. [0017] Various inventive features are described below that can each be used independently of one another or in combination with other features. [0018] Broadly, embodiments of the present invention generally provide plates or bowls with integral supports or straps for utensils. This design allows the plate or bowl with utensils placed in the straps to be sold as a set, also making it convenient to purchase. Because this invention has a built in strap, there is no need for clips, pockets, tabs or perforations to secure the utensils to the plate or bowl. [0019] Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 6 , it may be seen that an exemplary embodiment of a food-holding assembly 10 may comprise a plate 12 and utensils such as a fork 18 and a knife 20 . The plate 12 may comprise a food-holding central area 12 - 1 and a rim 12 - 2 surrounding the central area 12 - 1 . The rim 12 - 2 may be provided with one or more utensil-support straps 12 - 3 . The straps 12 - 3 may be formed integrally with the rim 12 - 2 . [0020] Referring to FIG. 12 , it may be seen that the rim 12 - 2 may be provided with cuts 12 - 4 and rim material between the cuts 12 - 4 may be displaced from a plane of the rim 12 - 2 thereby resulting in formation of the strap 12 - 3 . It may be noted that while the straps 12 - 3 are shown below the rim 12 - 2 in the Figures, the assemblies 10 may be constructed with the straps 12 - 3 positioned above the rims 12 - 2 . [0021] Optionally, the plate 12 may also be provided with a cut-out 12 - 5 formed in the rim 12 - 2 as shown, for example, in FIG. 2 . [0022] In operation, the fork 18 may be slid under one of the straps 12 - 3 with its tine portion 18 - 1 aligned with the cut-out 12 - 5 . Similarly, the knife 20 may be slid under one of the straps 12 - 3 . Thus the assembly 10 may be conveniently carried by a person as the person passes along a buffet line and gathers food 16 onto the plate 12 . The assembly 10 may also be held comfortably by the person as they eat, while standing or sitting without a table, by removing and replacing the fork 18 and the knife 20 , as needed. A plurality of the assemblies 10 may be stacked together in a nested relationship as shown in FIG. 6 . [0023] Advantageously, the plate 12 may be constructed from paper or other disposable material such a sheet plastic or plastic foam material (e.g. Styrofoam®). The utensils 18 and 20 may be standard disposable plastic and/or biodegradable utensils. Thus the entire assembly 10 may be disposable and/or biodegradable. [0024] Referring now to FIG. 7 , it may be seen that an exemplary embodiment of a food-holding assembly 30 may comprise a plate 26 on which each of the utensils 18 and 20 may be held with multiple utensil-holding straps 26 - 3 formed in its rim 26 - 1 . [0025] Referring now to FIGS. 8 through 11 , it may be seen that an exemplary embodiment of a food-holding assembly 40 may comprise a deep-dish bowl 14 which may be useful for holding soup or cereal. The assembly 40 may be configured to include a spoon 22 held on a rim 14 - 1 of the bowl 14 in a manner similar to that described above with respect to the assembly 10 . [0026] It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing relates to exemplary embodiments of the invention and that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.

Description

Topics

Download Full PDF Version (Non-Commercial Use)

Patent Citations (21)

    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    US-1457998-AJune 05, 1923Harry G NorwoodTable article
    US-1607863-ANovember 23, 1926Henry E ButlerCombination receptacle
    US-2003192898-A1October 16, 2003Haedt Edward L.Tray with built in utensil
    US-2008110901-A1May 15, 2008Juan Carlos Unda, Undaluquin Miguel AngelPlate Pack
    US-2008149634-A1June 26, 2008Mortissa OsborneContainer with utensil holder
    US-2009200315-A1August 13, 2009Etienne Herman Walter BlondeelSet of plastic eating and/or drinking aids
    US-2205726-AJune 25, 1940Charles L LehmanContainer attachment
    US-2584379-AFebruary 05, 1952Catherine A ChmielewskiPie plate
    US-2642731-AJune 23, 1953Valenti AnthonySaucer
    US-3565245-AFebruary 23, 1971William H AsherCombination food container and utensil
    US-3704779-ADecember 05, 1972Ego WerkeFood service tray with cutlery
    US-4863033-ASeptember 05, 1989Buj Elena GSet of eating utensils for children
    US-5222622-AJune 29, 1993Laske Jr Lawrence LDetachable connection between a container and a utensil
    US-5269717-ADecember 14, 1993Genin TrudeauDishware having a liquid-filled rim and eating implements
    US-5938066-AAugust 17, 1999Demars; Robert A.Food serving plate
    US-7017774-B2March 28, 2006Curwood, Inc.Tray with built in utensil
    US-7503464-B2March 17, 2009Mccain Paul RCombination a food plate having detachable, re-attachable eating utensils
    US-D576449-SSeptember 09, 2008B.V. Koninklijke Van Kempe & BegeerDinner tray
    US-D657626-SApril 17, 2012Christopher Morga, Louis DormanCombination bowl and utensil
    US-D657627-SApril 17, 2012Christopher Morga, Louis DormanCombination kitchenwear and chopsticks

NO-Patent Citations (0)

    Title

Cited By (8)

    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    CN-104433588-AMarch 25, 2015黄继昌Bowl where chopsticks can be placed
    US-2012111873-A1May 10, 2012Robyn GabrielSystems and methods for providing dishware having a utensil retainer
    US-9549628-B2January 24, 2017Gena Koufos, Brandon Michael RobinsonContainer or utensil support structure
    US-9878529-B2January 30, 2018Charlotte ArceAdhesive disposable container
    US-D791547-SJuly 11, 2017Carter T. Malcolm, Jacqueline K. MalcolmPlate with receptacle
    US-D793815-SAugust 08, 2017Kyle DonovanPlate
    WO-2017062018-A1April 13, 2017Kyle DonovanAppareil et systèmes d'assiette, gobelet et couvert
    WO-2017109803-A1June 29, 2017Real Med S.R.L.Kit jetable et procédé d'assemblage d'un tel kit