US20080023425A1 - Service caddy for transporting items - Google Patents

Service caddy for transporting items Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080023425A1
US20080023425A1 US11/558,292 US55829206A US2008023425A1 US 20080023425 A1 US20080023425 A1 US 20080023425A1 US 55829206 A US55829206 A US 55829206A US 2008023425 A1 US2008023425 A1 US 2008023425A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
caddy
service
sidewall
resting
item
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/558,292
Inventor
Fabrizio Ricciardi
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Round LLC
Original Assignee
Round LLC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US11/461,127 priority Critical patent/US20080023482A1/en
Application filed by Round LLC filed Critical Round LLC
Priority to US11/558,292 priority patent/US20080023425A1/en
Publication of US20080023425A1 publication Critical patent/US20080023425A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G23/00Other table equipment
    • A47G23/06Serving trays
    • A47G23/0641Serving trays provided with a plurality of openings, e.g. for carrying glasses, bottles or the like

Abstract

A service caddy for transporting one or several full or empty beverage containers, and providing a stacking capability for several beverage containers when it is desired to display or sell at retail multiple containers of beverages. The caddy includes a top surface having item holders, each adapted to receive a beverage container and hold the container in a stable position when being transported. The caddy also includes a bottom surface having a gripping protrusion to enable one to firmly hold the caddy when serving and transporting beverages, and cavities adapted to receive the top portion of a beverage container when a plurality of service caddies are used to create a stacked array of beverage-filled containers. The top surface and the bottom surface are connected by a sidewall. In an embodiment, a resting indenture extends between a lower portion of the sidewall and an inward portion of the bottom surface. The resting indenture is adapted to engage the forearm of the user when the service caddy is used to transport beverage containers.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION
  • The present application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 11/461,127 filed Jul. 31, 2006, titled “Service Caddy for Transporting Items.”
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is directed to a beverage service caddy, and in particular to an easily manufactured multi-beverage caddy that allows a user to carry a plurality of beverage bottles, cans, and glasses and/or cups in one hand while using the other hand to serve the beverages, or remove empty beverage containers after use.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • At various public events such as sporting events and concerts, as well as entertaining at home and serving beverages in a public house, service items such as food and beverage containers are transported to patrons for service of such food and beverages. Various means of transporting service items are known, including the use of a service caddy. However, a problem exists where the caddy is unstable, especially when transporting multiple items, thereby possibly causing the items or their contents to spill or break.
  • A second problem with the traditionally known food/beverage caddy is that its sidewall is substantially circular, having a bottom surface that can be difficult to stabilize while transporting without grasping the caddy with two hands. This shape does not provide adequate stability when the caddy rests, for example, on the forearm of the user; thus, there is a higher risk that the items or their contents will spill or break, or fall out of the caddy.
  • Embodiments of the present invention solve this problem by employing a resting indenture on a lower portion of the sidewall of the service caddy. The resting indenture is at an angle to a bottom planar surface of the caddy and fitted to receive a portion of a mammalian forearm, thus providing adequate stability while the caddy is being used to transport items. The invention further addresses the problem of stabilizing the caddy while being transported by providing a substantially round gripping protrusion forming part of the lower surface of the caddy. In an embodiment, finger grips are formed in or with the gripping protrusion, whereby the fingers of the user engage the finger grips while the bottom surface of the gripping protrusion rests on the palm of the hand of the user.
  • It is an object of the embodiments of the subject invention to provide a service caddy that is quickly and readily stabilized, thereby preventing transported items or their contents from spilling or breaking or falling out of the caddy due to the depth and configuration of the holders in which the items being carried are placed.
  • It is a further object of the embodiments of the subject invention to provide a caddy that maintains its stability even when transporting a maximum quantity of various sized service items, such as beverage containers or other items.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a plurality of cavities in the bottom portion of the caddy to provide stackable capabilities for retail and/or visual display and storage purposes. The upper surface of each cavity in the bottom portion of the caddy is axially aligned with a corresponding item holder in the top surface of the caddy.
  • A further object of the present invention is to provide a brand marketing device that, in addition to enhancing the service of beverages, may be adorned with advertising, sponsor and/or team colors, logos and names, thus providing a desirable souvenir and memorabilia item.
  • In addition, the present invention provides a lightweight beverage caddy that is easy to manufacture at a low per unit cost, such as, for example, by blow molding techniques applied to recyclable plastic.
  • These and other objects of the embodiments of the present invention will become apparent as the subject invention is described in further detail.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In one embodiment of the invention, a service caddy is provided for transporting at least one of a plurality of items simultaneously. The service caddy comprises a top surface, with holders for supporting one or more of the plurality of items. The caddy also has a bottom surface, and a sidewall that connects the top surface and the bottom surface. In one embodiment, the bottom surface includes a gripping protrusion to allow a user to grip the service caddy with the palm and fingers of the carrying hand. The sidewall in an embodiment has a curved resting indenture extending partially up a segment of the sidewall. The resting indenture is at an angle to the bottom surface, and is generally shaped to fit a mammalian forearm, thus providing adequate stability while the caddy is used to transport items.
  • The gripping protrusion in an embodiment is located at the center of the bottom surface of the caddy, allowing the user to grip the outer surface of the protrusion with the palm and fingers of one hand and hold the tray in a stable position. Also, in an embodiment, the outer surface of the gripping protrusion incorporates gripping indentures adapted to receive the fingers of the user while supporting the service caddy.
  • The bottom surface of the service caddy includes a plurality of cavities that are axially aligned with corresponding bottom surfaces of item holders or receptacles formed in the top surface of the service caddy. These cavities provide a stacking capability for beverage containers when on retail or visual display.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an embodiment of a service caddy for transporting items constructed in accordance with the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-section view of the service caddy of FIG. 1, taken along line II-II of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of an embodiment of the service caddy for transporting items of the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the service caddy taken along line IV-IV of FIG. 1, showing the gripping protrusion of the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the service caddy of the present invention;
  • FIG. 6 is a bottom perspective view of the service caddy of the present invention;
  • FIG. 7 is an elevation view of one side of the service caddy of the present invention, showing the location of the resting indenture in the sidewall of the cavity;
  • FIG. 8 is a side elevation view of a first lower service caddy of the present invention holding a plurality of beverage bottles, with the tops of the bottles nested in and supporting a second upper service caddy of the present invention;
  • FIG. 9 is a bottom perspective view of a plurality of beverage bottles held between two service caddies of the present invention as shown in FIG. 8; and
  • FIG. 10 is an upper perspective view of the service caddy of the present invention shown holding a plurality of beverage bottles.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • An embodiment of a service caddy for transporting items will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawing figures. Alternative embodiments will also be described.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1-3 the general outer configuration of the illustrated embodiment of service caddy 10 is substantially circular. More particularly, as shown in FIGS. 1-3, the sidewall 12 of service caddy 10 connects a top surface 14 to a bottom surface 16, wherein the sidewall 12, and the perimeters of the top surface 14 and the bottom surface 16 are all substantially circular in the illustrated embodiment. The top surface 14 of the service caddy 10 includes a plurality of item holders 18. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3, the shape of each item holder 18 is substantially circular. Each item holder 18 extends downward (as seen in FIG. 2) to a predetermined depth suitable for holding beverage-containing bottles, cans, glasses and cups. In the illustrated embodiment, as seen in FIG. 2, the depth of each item holder 18 is greater than half the height of sidewall 12. In an embodiment, the item holders 18 are tapered inward toward the top, and/or beaded 20 (FIG. 2) around the side of each item holder 18 to firmly and releasably grip the bottom of a beverage bottle or other beverage container or item.
  • In the illustrated embodiment of the invention, the item holders 18 are positioned in caddy 10 in a concentric circle, and are spaced equally apart to provide balance when each item holder is carrying an item, such as a bottled beverage. Further, an advertising or sports logo may be displayed in an area 22 that is proximal to the center of the top surface 14 of the service caddy 10. In the illustrated embodiment of FIGS. 1-4, the area 22 is shown slightly indented from the plane of top surface 14, but area 22 may also be co-planar with top surface 14 if desired.
  • As seen in FIGS. 1-3, the sidewall 12 connects the top surface 14 with the bottom surface 16 at the perimeter of the respective surfaces 14 and 16. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 5-8, a lower portion 24 of the sidewall 12 includes a resting indenture 26 having a concave surface 27 that extends at an angle from approximately midway between top surface 14 and bottom surface 16 on one side of sidewall 12. As best seen in FIGS. 3 and 6, the resting indenture 26 slants inward from sidewall 12 to a location on bottom surface at a distance from the outer perimeter of bottom surface 16. While only one resting indenture 26 is illustrated, the present invention contemplates that more than one resting indenture 26 may be included in sidewall 12.
  • The bottom surface 16 also includes a gripping protrusion 36 forming part of bottom surface 16, that allows a user to grip and firmly hold the service caddy 10 in one hand when the caddy is full or partially full of beverages in bottles, cans, glasses or cups. When a user engages gripping protrusion 36, it is contemplated that the gripping protrusion will fit in the palm of the user's hand, while the fingers engage side surface 38 of protrusion 36. In an alternate embodiment, shown in FIG. 6, the side surface 38 includes scallop-like finger grips or indentations 40 for placement of the user's fingers while holding on to gripping protrusion 36, thus providing greater manipulative control of the service caddy 10 while being held by the user by preventing rotation of the caddy 10 while being held by the user.
  • The bottom surface 16 of service caddy 10 further includes a plurality of generally circular shaped cavities or receptacles 42 molded into the body of caddy 10, as best seen in FIGS. 2, 5 and 6. Each cavity 42 has an upper surface 44 that is in axial alignment with an opposing corresponding item holder 18 disposed in the top surface 14, as best seen in FIG. 2. The purpose of cavities 42, to be explained further, is to receive the top portions of beverage bottles and cans that are held in another caddy 10 (FIGS. 8, 9) to provide stacking for retail or visual display purposes. Each of the cavities 42 has a plurality of varying sized substantially semi-circular portions 46 adapted to receive bottles and cans of varying top and upper surface diameters and sizes, as illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9, thus providing the stacking feature of the present invention.
  • As seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, a space 48 is created between side surface 38 of gripping protrusion 36 and the portion 50 of bottom surface 16. Cavities 42 do not extend in a complete circle, leaving a space 54 between juncture wall 52 between each cavity 42 and side surface 38 of gripping protrusion 36. This space 54 is wide enough to allow the fingers of a user to extend between juncture wall 52 and side wall 38 when the user's hand and fingers engage and hold gripping protrusion 36.
  • In use, the service caddy 10 is placed in an upright position with item holders 18 facing upward. The user places the palm of one hand over gripping protrusion 36, simultaneously extending the fingers along side surface 38 in gripping engagement with side surface 38. In the embodiment including finger grips 40 (FIG. 6), the tips of the user's fingers fit into the grips 40 to prevent rotation of service caddy 10 while held in the hand of the user. The service caddy 10 is positioned so that the user's forearm holding the caddy nestably and comfortably fits against surface 27 of resting indenture 26.
  • Either prior to holding the service caddy 10 in one hand as described above, or after, beverage containers such as bottles, cans, glasses and/or cups are placed into item holders 18, as best seen in FIGS. 8 and 10. The inwardly extending upper portions of each item holder 20, in addition to beads 20 (FIG. 2), engage the beverage container and assist in stabilizing and holding the beverage container in item holder 18 as caddy 10 is transported from place to place. The user's palm and fingers of the carrying hand engage gripping protrusion 36 with sufficient force to hold caddy 10 in an upright position, thus preventing spilling of the beverages in the containers in the item holders 18, enabling open bottles, cans, glasses and cups filled with beverages to be readily transported. In addition, the placement of the user's forearm in resting indenture 26 combines with the palm and finger force to aid in stabilizing the caddy 10 in an upright position, even while items are removed from or added to item holders 18, such as full and/or empty containers.
  • The bottom surface 16 of service caddy 10 is configured to allow beverage containers such as bottles and cans to be vertically stacked for display or storage, as illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9. Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the bottom surface 16 of service caddy 10 includes a plurality of cavities 42, each cavity having an upper surface 44 that is axially aligned with a corresponding item holder 18. Semi-circular portions 46 of each cavity are stepped relative to each other, with the semi-circular portions 46 each having dimensions substantially the same as a beverage bottle top or a beverage can top or the like, respectively.
  • When a plurality of service caddies 10 of the present invention are utilized to create a stacked assembly for display or storage, a number of beverage containers are inserted into item holders 18 of a first caddy 10, as shown in FIG. 10. The first caddy 10 is placed on a flat surface, such as a floor, table or the like. The beverage containers are suitably held in item holders 18 as described above, and a second caddy 10 is placed on the top of the caps, open spouts or can rims of the beverage containers, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. The caps or open spouts of the beverage containers are received by and rest against upper surface 44 of a corresponding cavity 42 in the illustrated embodiment. If the beverage containers are cans, the upper rim of the can will engage one of the semi-circular portions 46 of a corresponding cavity 42. In both embodiments, the topmost service cavity 10 is supported by the inherent strength of the bottles, cans or other beverage container. The process is repeated by inserting additional beverage containers into item holders 18 of the topmost caddy 10, and placing additional service caddies 10 on top of the second and ensuing layers of beverage containers or cans. This stacking procedure may be repeated until the inherent compressive bearing load limit of the bottom array of beverage containers is approached. If desired, one caddy 10 with each item holder 18 filled with a beverage container can be sold as a single unit at retail, since the service caddy 10 can be used as a transport tray at home or in a public house for additional beverage containers once the original beverage containers are used and properly discarded or recycled.
  • Several additional embodiments of the above described service caddy 10 have been contemplated. For example, while the above described service caddy 10 is substantially circular, in an alternate embodiment, the caddy 10 may take any other shape suitable for its intended purpose, such as oval, rectangular, triangular or the like. One of skill in the art will additionally appreciate that the service caddy 10 may likewise vary in size. Additionally, in an alternate embodiment, the top surface 14 may include any number of item holders 18, and of mixed shapes and sizes. One of skill in the art will appreciate that each item holder 18 may be adapted to hold virtually any item. One of skill in the art will further appreciate that the sidewall 12 need not be of a uniform height, but may vary. Accordingly, the depth and shape of each item holder 18 may also vary, keeping within the ability to suitably hold a beverage container during transport.
  • While the top surface 14 of the service caddy 10 of FIG. I is adapted to display advertising or a logo in area 22 that is proximal to the center of the service caddy, in an alternate embodiment, advertising or a logo may be displayed, for example, on the bottom of each item holder 18, or alternately, anywhere else on a surface of the service caddy 10. In another embodiment, an additional item holder 18 may be placed where area 22 is located in the illustrated embodiment, or another suitable arrangement of the item holders 18 may be used.
  • Alternate embodiments of the resting indenture 20 have also been contemplated. One of skill in the art will appreciate that the arcs 30 and/or 34 may be substituted with a non-arcuate shapes and optionally straight edges to form the resting indenture 26.
  • In yet an alternate embodiment (not shown), the resting indenture 26 may be a separate member that is demountably attached to the sidewall 12.
  • In all, numerous embodiments have been described herein. While the description above refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The accompanying claims are intended to cover such modifications as would fall within the true scope and spirit of the present invention. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims, rather than the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

Claims (20)

1. A service caddy for transporting at least one of a plurality of items, the service caddy comprising:
a top surface having at least one item holder, the at least one item holder adapted to hold at least one of the plurality of items;
a bottom surface having at least one cavity, the at least one cavity adapted to receive an upper portion of at least one additional item;
a connecting surface extending between the top surface and the bottom surface.
2. The service caddy of claim 1, wherein the at least one cavity is adapted to receive said upper portion of said at least one additional item when said service caddy is in a stacked array with at least one additional similarly structured service caddy.
3. The service caddy of claim 1 wherein the connecting surface comprises a sidewall extending between the top surface and the bottom surface.
4. The service caddy of claim 3 further including a resting indenture on the sidewall.
5. The service caddy of claim 4 wherein the resting indenture comprises a concave surface extending between the bottom surface and a portion of the sidewall.
6. The service caddy of claim 5 wherein the concave surface extends midway through the portion of the sidewall.
7. The service caddy of claim 1 wherein the bottom surface further includes a gripping protrusion adapted to be engaged by the hand of a user.
8. The service caddy of claim 7 wherein the gripping protrusion is located proximal to the center of the bottom surface.
9. The service caddy of claim 7 wherein the gripping protrusion further includes an outer edge, the outer edge having gripping indentations along a periphery of the outer edge, said indentations adapted to receive the fingers of the user.
10. The service caddy of claim 4 wherein the resting indenture comprises a resting surface adapted to receive a user's forearm.
11. The service caddy of claim 7 wherein the gripping protrusion is located in an area of the bottom surface such that the distance between the gripping protrusion and the resting indenture is adapted to substantially approximate the distance between a user's palm and a forearm portion.
12. The service caddy of claim 1 wherein the at least one item holder extends downward from the top surface.
13. The service caddy of claim 1 wherein the at least one cavity extends vertically upward from the bottom surface.
14. The service caddy of claim 1 wherein the top surface includes an area adapted to display advertising material.
15. The service caddy of claim 1 wherein the at least one item holder includes a lower surface adapted to display advertising material.
16. The service caddy of claim 1 wherein the bottom surface is adapted to display advertising material.
17. The service caddy of claim 1 wherein the sidewall connecting the top surface and the bottom surface is adapted to display advertising material.
18. The service caddy of claim 1 wherein the at least one cavity on the bottom surface has a generally semi-circular outer shape.
19. The service caddy of claim 1 wherein the at least one cavity on the bottom surface is adapted to receive an at least one item when the service caddy is in use in a stacked position with at least one other similarly structured service caddy.
20. The service caddy of claim 1 wherein said at least one item holder comprises a circular sidewall and a bottom support surface connected to the circular sidewall, the circular sidewall tapering inward as said circular sidewall extends from said support surface.
US11/558,292 2006-07-31 2006-11-09 Service caddy for transporting items Abandoned US20080023425A1 (en)

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US11/461,127 US20080023482A1 (en) 2006-07-31 2006-07-31 Service caddy for transporting items
US11/558,292 US20080023425A1 (en) 2006-07-31 2006-11-09 Service caddy for transporting items

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Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20070125681A1 (en) * 2005-12-05 2007-06-07 Charles Grubb Decorative multi-compartment storage system and furnishing
US20080230427A1 (en) * 2007-03-22 2008-09-25 Muth James T Keg Stacking Device
EP2724648A1 (en) * 2012-10-26 2014-04-30 Jesus Quintanilla Fernandez Device for serving food, drinks and snacks
EP2789665A1 (en) 2013-04-11 2014-10-15 Tesa Se Silane primers for improving the adhesion of adhesive tapes on hydrophilic surfaces, in particular glass surfaces
EP2789666A1 (en) 2013-04-11 2014-10-15 Tesa Se Black silane primers for improving the adhesion of adhesive tapes on glass surfaces
GB2518698A (en) * 2013-09-30 2015-04-01 Henry Obukohwo Omorere Multiple pod rack
DE102014208814A1 (en) 2014-05-09 2015-11-12 Tesa Se Primer for improving the adhesion of adhesive tapes on hydrophilic surfaces
DE102016210536A1 (en) 2016-04-13 2017-10-19 Tesa Se Colorable primer
USD854423S1 (en) 2016-09-28 2019-07-23 Dean Foods Company Container tray
US10730676B2 (en) 2016-09-28 2020-08-04 Dean Foods Company Caseless container tray

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20070125681A1 (en) * 2005-12-05 2007-06-07 Charles Grubb Decorative multi-compartment storage system and furnishing
US20080230427A1 (en) * 2007-03-22 2008-09-25 Muth James T Keg Stacking Device
US7850019B2 (en) * 2007-03-22 2010-12-14 Muth James T Keg stacking device
EP2724648A1 (en) * 2012-10-26 2014-04-30 Jesus Quintanilla Fernandez Device for serving food, drinks and snacks
EP2789665A1 (en) 2013-04-11 2014-10-15 Tesa Se Silane primers for improving the adhesion of adhesive tapes on hydrophilic surfaces, in particular glass surfaces
EP2789666A1 (en) 2013-04-11 2014-10-15 Tesa Se Black silane primers for improving the adhesion of adhesive tapes on glass surfaces
DE102013206369A1 (en) 2013-04-11 2014-10-16 Tesa Se Silane primer for improving the adhesion of adhesive tapes on hydrophilic surfaces, in particular glass surfaces
DE102013206376A1 (en) 2013-04-11 2014-10-16 Tesa Se Black silane primer to improve the adhesion of adhesive tapes to glass surfaces
GB2518698A (en) * 2013-09-30 2015-04-01 Henry Obukohwo Omorere Multiple pod rack
DE102014208814A1 (en) 2014-05-09 2015-11-12 Tesa Se Primer for improving the adhesion of adhesive tapes on hydrophilic surfaces
WO2015169575A1 (en) 2014-05-09 2015-11-12 Tesa Se Primer for enhancing tape adhesion to hydrophilic surfaces
DE102016210536A1 (en) 2016-04-13 2017-10-19 Tesa Se Colorable primer
USD854423S1 (en) 2016-09-28 2019-07-23 Dean Foods Company Container tray
US10730676B2 (en) 2016-09-28 2020-08-04 Dean Foods Company Caseless container tray

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