US20120181211A1 - Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy - Google Patents

Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120181211A1
US20120181211A1 US13/351,368 US201213351368A US2012181211A1 US 20120181211 A1 US20120181211 A1 US 20120181211A1 US 201213351368 A US201213351368 A US 201213351368A US 2012181211 A1 US2012181211 A1 US 2012181211A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
container
device
food
lid
means
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Abandoned
Application number
US13/351,368
Inventor
Dan Charlebois
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Dan Charlebois
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Publication date
Priority to US201161461390P priority Critical
Application filed by Dan Charlebois filed Critical Dan Charlebois
Priority to US13/351,368 priority patent/US20120181211A1/en
Publication of US20120181211A1 publication Critical patent/US20120181211A1/en
Priority claimed from US14/931,250 external-priority patent/US20160073751A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C11/00Receptacles for purposes not provided for in groups A45C1/00 - A45C9/00
    • A45C11/20Lunch or picnic boxes or the like
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/02Interior fittings; Means, e.g. inserts, for holding and packing articles

Abstract

A portable, temperature controlling food container device that is used to house, transport and keep a bowl of food hot or cold. The product has a removable lid, which can be opened or closed and is attached with a zipper to the body of the device. It has internal house a cooling or heating element with secured flap covering the element, which allows the user to place hot or cold packs inside them. These packs will keep food either cold or hot as per the needs of the user. The device has handles to allow easy transport of the unit.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/461,390 filed Jan. 18, 2011 and entitled “Bowl Buddy”.
  • FIELD OF INVENTION
  • This invention is a portable, temperature maintaining food container. The invention relates generally to a portable container and, more particularly, to a portable container having a temperature retention compartment.
  • FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
  • None.
  • SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM
  • None.
  • BACKGROUND Field of Invention and Prior Art A. Introduction of the Problems Addressed
  • The growing popularity of the sports, tailgating events and other social and family-type gatherings or outings continues. Along the way, foods have become more in need of temperature control and retention to keep the hot dishes hot and the cold dishes cold. This need has spurred considerable interest in having a better transportable container that can keep foods at the desired temperature level. Since many of the locations where the device is needed lacks easy access to utilities (electricity etc.) there is a problem and need to maintain temperatures without ready access to the electricity. Other problems and needs to address are a properly sized carrier for the food, the storage of thermally controlled devices when not in use, and the ease of use when the user is at the event or gathering.
  • The availability of a portable, temperature retaining food container with improvements that address these problems described herein is not known in the prior art. More specifically, a portable, temperature retaining food container with good temperature retention—hot or cold—and without electricity; easy portability and easy storage features are heretofore not known to exist.
  • B. Prior Art
  • In prior art, disclosures have been made in the field of food temperature control and transporting of containers, but they did not show or anticipate the Charlebois device. For example, a U.S. Design Pat. No. DES 287,921 issued in 1987 to Skamser showed a device that was a sleeve to thermally insulate food. There is no functionality explained, but it appears that it has a flap that closes around the food. No mention of hot or cold elements, straps for carrying or portability are evident so it does not anticipate the Charlebois device. Another device is shown in a U.S. Pat. No. 5,052,369 issued in 1991 to Johnson which demonstrated a heat retaining food container. It is an improved heat retaining foodservice system including a heat retaining food cover, food container and under base, each including a heat storage system comprised of a sealed chamber there within. It shows that the configuration is built-in as a container and not a carrier that may be used with other containers. It does not address cold retention (heat repulsion). It shows no carrying straps or stack ability for storage. Therefore, it does not anticipate or make the Charlebois device obvious to those persons who are skilled in the art.
  • Turning to other devices, a U.S. Pat. No. 5,892,202 was issued in 1999 to Baldwin et al. The thermal storage and transport device or carrying case for storing and transporting heated articles includes a thermal storage assembly having a heat retention member for absorbing and retaining sensible heat and for releasing the sensible heat of an extended period of time. The thermal storage assembly includes a heating coil assembly secured to a surface of the heat retention member. The heating coil assembly includes a resistive heating coil disposed adjacent to the heat retention member. The heating coil has a power cord connected to the coil with the coil being retained within a sealed thermally conductive pouch. The unit needs to be plugged into electricity to recharge the heat coils, the unit lacks cooling capacity, and it appears as a food vendor's device. Therefore, it does not anticipate or make the Charlebois device obvious to those skilled in the art. Finally, U.S. Pat. No. 7,491,912 issued in 2009 to Check is a portable container with a temperature control chamber. Check taught a portable food delivery container that includes a food storage compartment, a control compartment, and a temperature control source. A control compartment lies adjacent to and in thermal conductivity with the food storage compartment. A modular removable temperature control source is disposed within the control compartment, where the temperature control source affects transfer of thermal energy between the food storage compartment and the control compartment to maintain the food storage compartment at a temperature other than the ambient temperature. It lacks handles, stack ability, and flexibility to be used with various sized and designed containers owned by the user. Therefore, it does not anticipate or make the Charlebois device obvious to those skilled in the art.
  • As far as is known, there is no other portable, temperature controlling food container to fully accomplish the objectives and goals of this present device. It is believed that this device is made with fewer parts and with improved configurations and physical features to provide more functionality, when compared to other currently utilized devices or methods for carrying and maintaining temperatures of food. The particular combinations of materials and features are unique and novel. One may conclude that these combinations in Charlebois are not anticipated by prior art.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The device herein is a much improved portable, temperature retaining food container. The device relates generally to a portable container and, more particularly, to a portable container having a temperature retention compartment where a user places the food bowls, hence it is a Bowl Buddy. The preferred embodiment of the Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy is comprised of: (a) a watertight and insulated cylindrical bag container, said container with a closed bottom and open top, said container having an interior surface and an exterior surface; and said container having other operational features [such as sidewalls, bottom surface, watertight, handles]; (b) a watertight lid with features; (c) a means for removably securing the lid to the container [such as a zipper, Velcro, snaps]; (d) at least one heat/cold element; (e) at least one heat and cold element pocket with features [flaps, insulated walls], said pocket interior to the container; and (f) a means for securing the at least one pocket to the interior surface of the container [Velcro™, snaps, zipper] wherein as the device holds food interior to the container bag, the elements are secured in the pockets [with flaps] interior within and to the interior surface of the container bag, and the device keeps the food at the desired temperature by means of cooling and heating elements. All of the components of the improved device are made of durable, washable materials and configured for ease of manufacturing.
  • OBJECTIVES AND ADVANTAGES
  • There are several objectives and advantages of the portable, temperature controlling food container device. There are currently no known prior art devices that are effective at providing the objectives of this invention in a simple and common sense manner. The following TABLE A summarizes various advantages and objectives of the improved Bowl Buddy device. This list is exemplary and not limiting to the many advantages offered by this new device.
  • TABLE A
    Various Benefits, Advantages and Objectives
    This device:
    ITEM BENEFIT
    1. Has a totally releasable lid to permit easy access
    to food bowls even while bowls are inside and
    contiguous to the hot/cold elements;
    2. Has easy to carry handles as flexible straps and is
    fully portable;
    3. Has temperature control elements useful for hot or
    cold temperature source including insulated and
    vacuum sealed liners and PEVA or equal liners;
    4. Comes as a system of three sizes, fully stack able
    for easy storage; and
    5. Has a material for the exterior and interior
    surfaces that are durable and fully hand washable.
  • Noteworthy is that other advantages and additional features of the improved portable, temperature controlling food container device will be more apparent from the accompanying drawings and from the full description of the device. For one skilled in the art of temperature retaining and transporting devices for foods and their accessories, it is readily understood that the features shown in the examples with this device are readily adapted for improvement to other types of food retaining mechanisms and devices.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Figures
  • The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate preferred and alternative embodiments for the Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy. The drawings, together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below, serve to explain the principles of the improved insulated food carrying device. It is understood, however, that the device is not limited to only the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
  • FIGS. 1 A through 1 E are the general sketches of the Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy.
  • FIGS. 2 A through 2 C are the general sketches of the improved insulated food carrying device with the various components shown and denoted.
  • FIGS. 3 A and 3 B show sketches of the prototype device with components shown and of a person using the device.
  • FIGS. 4 A through 4 C are sketches of the improved insulated food carrying device in use.
  • FIGS. 5 A through 5 D show additional sketches showing the different sizes of the device and a close-up of the pockets for the heat/cold elements.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Reference Numerals
  • The following list refers to the drawings:
  • TABLE B
    Reference numbers.
    Ref # Description
    31 Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl
    Buddy
    31A Relatively small Bowl Buddy
    31B Relatively medium Bowl Buddy
    31C Relatively large Bowl Buddy
    31D Bowl Buddy with lid 36 in an open position
    32 Water resistant Bottom of Bowl Buddy
    33 Means to secure bottom to sides of device
    34 Water resistant Exterior Side panel of Bowl Buddy
    35 Handles—straps or equal
    36 Water resistant Lid/top
    37 Means to removably secure lid top 36 to sidewall panel 32
    39 Cold/hot pack elements
    40 Pockets for elements internal to device 31
    41 Means to secure elements 39 in cold/hot pockets 40 such as
    a (hook and loop-Velcro like) fastened flap or the like
    42 Means to secure pockets 40 to interior 43
    43 Waterproof Interior liner
    44 Air gap or optional insulative materials
    50 Hot or cold food
    55 Food units containers—bowls, casserole dishes, jars,
    bottles and the like
    60 Device user/person
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • The present invention presented is the Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy. This device relates to a growing need to provide an improved portable, temperature retaining food container. This invention relates generally to a portable container and, more particularly, to a portable container having a temperature retention compartment. The preferred embodiment of the improved device is described in detail below.
  • There is shown in FIGS. 1-5 a complete detailed and operative embodiment of the improved insulated food carrying device. In the drawings and illustrations, one notes well that the FIGS. 1 A, 1 B and 1 C; 2 A through 2 C; 3 A and 5 A through 5 D show details of the special configuration. FIGS. 1 D and 1 E; 3 B; and 4 A through 4 C help to better describe the use and operation of the improved insulated food carrying device.
  • The advantages of the Bowl Buddy device are that the device:
      • Has a totally releasable lid to permit easy access to food bowls even while bowls are inside and contiguous to the hot/cold elements;
      • Has easy to carry handles as flexible straps and is fully portable;
      • Has temperature control elements useful for hot or cold temperature source including insulated and vacuum sealed liners and PEVA or equal liners;
      • Comes as a system of three sizes, fully stack able for easy storage; and
      • Has a material for the exterior and interior surfaces that are durable and fully hand washable.
  • The preferred embodiment of the Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy is comprised of: (a) a watertight and insulated cylindrical bag container, said container with a closed bottom and open top, said container having an interior surface and an exterior surface; and said container having other operational features [such as sidewalls, bottom surface, watertight, handles]; (b) a watertight lid with features; (c) a means for removably securing the lid to the container [such as a zipper, Velcro™, snaps]; (d) at least one heat/cold element;
  • (e) at least one heat and cold element pocket with features [flaps, insulated walls], said pocket interior to the container; and (f) a means for securing the at least one pocket to the interior surface of the container [Velcro™ snaps, zipper] wherein the device holds food interior to the container bag, the elements are secured in the pockets [with flaps] interior within and to the interior surface of the container bag, and the device keeps the food at the desired temperature by means of cooling and heating elements.
  • The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate a preferred embodiment of the improved portable and temperature retaining Bowl Buddy device. The drawings, together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below, serve to explain the principles of the improved device. It is understood, however, that the device is not limited to only the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
  • FIGS. 1 D and 1 E, 3 B, and 4 A through 4 C show the Bowl Buddy device in Operation and use. These are explained in the section following these paragraphs describing the device.
  • FIGS. 1 A through 1 C are the general sketches of the Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device 31 called The Bowl Buddy. FIG. 1 A shows the complete Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy 31 in a closed position. FIG. 1 B shows the complete device 31 in an open position with lid 36 revealed and the interior (with liner 43) of the device 31. FIG. 1 C shows the cold/hot pack elements 39 which are described below.
  • FIGS. 2 A through C are the general sketches of the improved insulated food carrying device 31 with the various components shown and marked. FIG. 2 A is a TOP view that shows the sidewall panel 34 that is around the circumference of the device 31. The handles 35 (such as canvas or nylon straps or equal) can be viewed as well and the general position of the lid 36 and bottoms 32. FIG. 2 B is SIDE view of the device 31 and demonstrated the handles 35, the water resistant lid/top 36, and the means 37 to removably secure lid top 36 to side panel 32 (such means 37 being a zipper, Velcro™ hook and loop mechanism, a series of snaps or equal). FIG. 2 C is generally an ISOMETRIC view of the Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy 31 with the lid 36, handles 35, sidewall panel 34 and means 37 to removably secure the sidewall panel 34 to the lid 36.
  • FIG. 3 A shows a sketch of the prototype device 31 in an open position with components shown. The means to close 37 is depicted. The Pockets 40 for elements 39 internal to device 31 and the waterproof interior liner 43 are also demonstrated.
  • FIGS. 5 A through 5 D show additional sketches of the Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy 31 showing the different sizes 31A, 31B and 31C and showing a close-up of the pockets 40 for the heat/cold elements 39. FIG. 5 A shows the large Bowl Buddy device 31C with the side panel 34 and handles 35. The lid 36 and means 37 to attach the lid 36 to the top of the side panels 34 are also depicted. In all three views of FIGS. 5 A, 5 B and 5 C are shown the pockets 40 attached to the interior liner 43 of the sidewall panels 34. This is further detailed in FIG. 5 D and described below. FIG. 5 B shows the medium device 31B and FIG. 5 C shows the small device 31A. In these two FIGS. 5 B and 5 C, the components are similar to those of FIG. 5 A. Note well the special cold/hot pack elements 39 are shown ready for placement in the pockets 40. FIG. 5 D shows the device 31D without a lid 36. Here is shown the pocket(s) 40 and a means 41 to secure elements 39 in cold/hot pockets 40 (said means 41 such as a securing means like a hook and loop-Velcro™ mechanism on the flap—or equal). The pocket 40 is also secured to the liner 43 by a means 42 to secure pockets 40 to interior 43 (said means 42 such as Velcro™, adhesive/glue, heat/friction welded to the liner 43 or other fastening manner). In this same sketch, the sidewall panel 34 has the means 37 for removably attaching the sidewall panel 34 to the lid 36 (not shown here).
  • The preferred embodiment of the Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy 31 may be made in various ways and still be within the spirit and scope of the invention. One may see that the prototype may be stamped/cut from structural pieces or from a formable material, then formed and configured to the desired shape. One skilled in manufacturing devices and products similar to the device 31 has a full appreciation of the plethora of processes and materials that may be used to manufacture the improved portable, temperature retaining food container device 31. The sidewall panel 34 and bottom 32 may be contiguous in sheet form or have a joining or means to secure 33 which may require a heat and/or friction welding (plastic), adhesive (plastic, fabric, composites), or a special securing means such as sewing or other fastening means. As a further example and not as a limitation the liner 43 and pockets 40 of the device 31 may be made from a plastic or composite plastic of various types. One suggested material for the liner 43 is presently the preferred material PE/EVA [polyethylene/ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer]. The fabric for the exterior surfaces may be of fabric, canvas, treated cotton, composite materials (nylon, rayon, a polyester, co-polyesters and the like and may be suitable for the panel 32, bottom 33, lid 36 and some variations for the liner 43 and/or handle/strap 35. These are offered for example and not as a limitation. Anticipated in the scope is the air gap or insulative material 44 juxtaposed between the exterior surfaces and the liner 43 of the aforementioned components 32, 34, and 36. Each bowl buddy 31 is specially designed with the unique material. Another specific but not limiting watertight fabric was specified on the initial prototypes as Fabric 600D with Lining:190T (waterproof) or equal. This design has the closed cooling and heating compartments/pockets 40 also made from watertight materials to provide the most optimum temperature retention results. The food containers 55 (such as plastic snap-tops through ceramic or glass containers) are user furnished by the user 60 and may be placed in one of the three (3) included and nested sizes that matches the size of the device 31 to the size of the food container 55.
  • All of the details mentioned here are exemplary and not limiting. Other components specific to describing the improved portable, temperature retention food container device may be added, as a person having ordinary skill in the field of portable, temperature retaining containers well appreciates. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the configuration and materials of the present invention without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention. As an example, various materials of construction may be used for present invention, as long as the materials are lightweight. As another example, various dimensions may be employed for the device and its components. Other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the invention disclosed herein. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only, with a true scope and spirit of the invention being indicated by the claims which follow.
  • OPERATION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • The preferred embodiment of the Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy has been described in detail above. The manner of how the device operates is described below. A person having ordinary skill in the field of portable, temperature retaining containers and related devices in the food preparation and care industry, will note that the description above and the operation described here must be taken together to fully illustrate the concept of the special device 31.
  • FIGS. 1 D and 1 E, 3 B, and 4 A through 4 C show the Bowl Buddy device in operation and use. These are shown and explained here.
  • FIGS. 1 D and 1 E general operation sketches of the Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device 31 called The Bowl Buddy. FIG. 1 D shows the device 31 with the food unit 55 placed inside the liner 43 with the lid 36 removed. FIG. 1 E shows the small device 31A being placed into the medium device 31B by the user 60. The relative larger device 31C is placed nearby. The action by the user 60 demonstrates the stack ability of the units for storing, moving or for packaging at the initial sale. Note the relativity of small, medium and large is in comparison to each other and to the food containers 55.
  • FIG. 3 B shows a sketch of a person 60 using the device 31. Here the person 60 is placing a hot/cold element pack 39 into the pocket 40 and closing the securing means 41 such as a flap with Velcro™ hook and loop mechanism.
  • FIGS. 4 A through 4 C are sketches of the improved insulated food carrying device in use. FIG. 4 A shows the device 31 with the food unit 55 placed inside the liner 43 with the lid 36 removed. Also one may note the means 37 to secure the lid 36 to the side panel 34. In FIG. 4 B, a person/user 60 is shown with the device 31 being carried on the shoulder of the user by the handle 35 or strap. FIG. 4 C demonstrates the small device 31A being placed into the medium device 31B by the user 60. The larger device 31C is placed nearby.
  • Very simply stated, the device 31 is used by a person 60 as follows:
      • 1. The device 31 is removed from storage;
      • 2. The means 37 to removably attach the lid 36 to the sidewall panel 34 is opened or disengaged;
      • 3. One or more of the devices 31A, 31B, and/or 31C is chosen for use with a food unit container 55;
      • 4. A set of pre-conditioned hot/cold elements 39 are placed into the pockets 40 and the means 41 to secure the elements 39 inside the pocket 40 is closed;
      • 5. The food container 55 with hot/cold food 50 is placed inside the device 31, the container 55 being contiguous to the liner 43 and pockets 40;
      • 6. The lid 36 is placed on top of the panels 34 and the means 37 to secure the lid 36 to the sidewall panel 32 is engaged;
      • 7. The straps 35 are grasped by the user 60 for transport to the place of use;
      • 8. And at the place of use, the means 37 is disengaged and the lid 36 is removed from the sidewall panel 34 for easy access to the food 50 in the food container 55.
      • 9. After use the previous steps are essentially reversed and the device 31 is returned to storage.
  • The Improved Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy device may be used in many ways with different foods. For example and not as a limitation uses are anticipated as with:
  • Item Use
    1 Great for salads
    2 Cakes
    3 Veggie trays
    4 Fruit bowl
    5 Pasta
    6 Wings
    7 Dips/soup
    8 Soups
    9 Lunches
  • With the above description or the product device and method to use, it is to be understood that the improved portable, temperature controlling food container device is not to be limited to only the disclosed embodiment. The described features of the special device 31 are intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the description.

Claims (9)

1. An insulated food carrying device called The Bowl Buddy™ comprised of:
(a) a watertight and insulated cylindrical bag containers, said container with a closed bottom and open top; said container having an interior surface and an exterior surface; and said container having other operational features;
(b) a watertight lid with features;
(c) a means for removably securing the lid to the container;
(d) at least one heat/cold element;
(e) at least one heat and cold element pocket with features, said pocket interior to the container; and
(f) a means for securing the at least one pocket to the interior surface of the container
wherein the device holds food interior to the container bag, the elements are secured in the pockets interior within and to the interior surface of the container bag, and the device keeps the food at the desired temperature by means of cooling and heating elements.
2. The device according to claim 1 wherein the other operational features of the bag container include a sidewall panel around a circumference of the bag container, a bottom surface, and a means to connect the sidewall panel to the bottom.
3. The device according to claim 2 wherein the bottom and sidewall panel is watertight.
4. The device according to claim 1 wherein the other operational features of the bag container are at least one handle.
5. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means for removably securing the lid is a zipper.
6. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means for removably securing the lid is a hook and loop mechanism.
7. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means for removably securing the lid is a series of snaps.
8. The device according to claim 1 wherein the features of the pocket is a closing flap to hold the hot/cold element in the pocket.
9. An insulated food carrying device called The Bowl Buddy™ comprised of:
(a) a watertight and insulated cylindrical bag container, said container with a closed bottom and open top, said container having an interior watertight surface and an exterior watertight surface; and said container having a sidewall panel, a bottom surface, and at least one handle;
(b) a watertight lid;
(c) a circumferential zipper attached to the lid and the sidewall panel for removably securing the lid to the container;
(d) at least one heat/cold element;
(e) at least one heat and cold element pocket with closure flaps, said pocket interior to the container; and
(f) a hook and loop mechanism for securing the at least one pocket to the interior surface of the container
wherein the device holds food interior to the container bag, the elements are secured in the pockets by the flaps interiorly within and to the interior surface of the container bag, and the device keeps the food at the desired temperature by means of cooling and heating elements.
US13/351,368 2011-01-18 2012-01-17 Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy Abandoned US20120181211A1 (en)

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US201161461390P true 2011-01-18 2011-01-18
US13/351,368 US20120181211A1 (en) 2011-01-18 2012-01-17 Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy

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US13/351,368 US20120181211A1 (en) 2011-01-18 2012-01-17 Insulated Food Carrying Device called The Bowl Buddy
US14/931,250 US20160073751A1 (en) 2011-01-18 2015-11-03 Insulated Food Carrying System of Nesting Devices

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US14/931,250 Continuation-In-Part US20160073751A1 (en) 2011-01-18 2015-11-03 Insulated Food Carrying System of Nesting Devices

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