US20180098650A1 - Plate With Collapsible and Non-Collapsible Beverage Holder - Google Patents

Plate With Collapsible and Non-Collapsible Beverage Holder Download PDF

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Publication number
US20180098650A1
US20180098650A1 US15/813,095 US201715813095A US2018098650A1 US 20180098650 A1 US20180098650 A1 US 20180098650A1 US 201715813095 A US201715813095 A US 201715813095A US 2018098650 A1 US2018098650 A1 US 2018098650A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
plate
beverage holder
collapsible
composite plate
composite
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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
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US15/813,095
Inventor
Ophelia S. Evans
Gregory A. Evans
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Individual
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Individual
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority claimed from US12/589,725 external-priority patent/US20110095032A1/en
Application filed by Individual filed Critical Individual
Priority to US15/813,095 priority Critical patent/US20180098650A1/en
Publication of US20180098650A1 publication Critical patent/US20180098650A1/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
    • A47G19/00Table service
    • A47G19/02Plates, dishes or the like
    • A47G19/06Plates with integral holders for spoons, glasses, or the like
    • A47G19/065Plates with integral holders for spoons, glasses, or the like with thumb holes, handles or the like enabling the user to support the plate from below
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G23/00Other table equipment
    • A47G23/02Glass or bottle holders
    • A47G23/0208Glass or bottle holders for drinking-glasses, plastic cups, or the like
    • A47G23/0216Glass or bottle holders for drinking-glasses, plastic cups, or the like for one glass or cup
    • A47G23/0225Glass or bottle holders for drinking-glasses, plastic cups, or the like for one glass or cup attachable to a plate, table, or the like
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D1/00Containers having bodies formed in one piece, e.g. by casting metallic material, by moulding plastics, by blowing vitreous material, by throwing ceramic material, by moulding pulped fibrous material, by deep-drawing operations performed on sheet material
    • B65D1/34Trays or like shallow containers
    • B65D1/36Trays or like shallow containers with moulded compartments or partitions

Definitions

  • the present invention relates generally to plates for use at social gatherings, and more particularly, to a plate that enables a person to easily carry food, utensils, and a beverage container with one hand, thus enabling the other hand to be free to shake hands, use eating utensils, and drink a beverage.
  • one aspect of the present invention to provide a composite plate for food and a beverage holder for a drink that is designed to be held with one hand, leaving a user's other hand free to perform other social functions and tasks, such as shaking hands and greeting other guests.
  • Another aspect of the present invention to provide a composite plate with a beverage holder that further includes a feature for holding an eating utensil.
  • a further aspect of the present invention to provide a composite plate with a beverage holder that provides a convenient and stable surface for holding an abundance of food, and stability of the composite plate is further enhanced by weight of a beverage located within the beverage holder.
  • An additional aspect of the present invention to provide a composite plate with a beverage holder that is inexpensive to manufacture.
  • An additional feature of the present invention is to provide a composite plate that includes a collapsible beverage holder so that the bottom of the plate can become planar when the beverage holder is not being utilized, thus enabling the stability of the composite plate to be further improved when the composite place is placed on a level surface.
  • the present invention provides a composite plate for use at social gatherings and the like having an upper surface, a lower surface, and an outer rim, and an aperture passing between the upper surface and the lower surface.
  • a collapsible beverage holder having a top and a bottom, wherein the top of the beverage holder is connected to a perimeter of the aperture in the plate, and wherein the collapsible beverage holder includes folds enabling the collapsible beverage holder to be collapsed such the bottom of the collapsible beverage holder becomes flush with the lower surface of the plate, thus enabling the lower surface of the plate to rest upon a flat surface.
  • FIG. 1 is a partial side view and a partial cross-sectional view of the of a plate configured in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention
  • FIG. 2 is a top view of the plate shown in FIG. 1 ;
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view shown in and taken along line 3 - 3 of FIG. 4 of a coupler configured in accordance with the present invention for connecting a beverage holder within an aperture of the plate shown in FIG. 1 ;
  • FIG. 4 is a top view of the coupler shown in FIG. 3 ;
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the coupler shown in FIG. 4 connected to the plate shown in FIG. 1 , wherein a beverage holder configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention is connected to the bottom of the coupler.
  • FIG. 6 a is an octagon-shaped plate including an aperture for the coupler and configured in accordance with the another embodiment of the present invention
  • FIG. 6 b is an oval-shaped plate including an aperture for the coupler and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 c is an oval-shaped plate having a border and including an off-center aperture for the coupler and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention
  • FIG. 6 d is an oval-shaped plate having an aperture on the side for the coupler and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention
  • FIG. 7 a is a perspective view of a top of a plate configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 7 b is a perspective view of the bottom of the plate shown in FIG. 7 a;
  • FIG. 7 c is a side view of the plate shown in FIGS. 7 a and 7 b;
  • FIG. 7 d is a top view of the plate shown in FIGS. 7 a - 7 c;
  • FIG. 8 a is a side view of a plate having a collapsible beverage holder in the extended state and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention
  • FIG. 8 b is a top view of the plate shown in FIG. 8 a wherein the collapsible beverage holder is in the expanded position;
  • FIG. 8 c is a side view of the plate shown in FIGS. 8 a and 8 b wherein the collapsible beverage holder is in the collapsed position;
  • FIG. 8 d is a perspective view of the bottom of the plate shown in FIGS. 8 a - 8 c:
  • FIG. 9 a is a perspective view of a top of an oval plate configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 9 b is a perspective view of the bottom of the oval plate shown in FIG. 9 a;
  • FIG. 9 c is a side view of the oval plate shown in FIGS. 9 a and 9 b;
  • FIG. 9 d is a top view of the oval plate shown in FIGS. 9 a - 9 c;
  • FIG. 10 a is a side view of an oval-shaped plate having a collapsible beverage holder in the extended state and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention
  • FIG. 10 b is a top view of the plate shown in FIG. 10 a wherein the collapsible beverage holder is in the expanded position;
  • FIG. 10 c is a side view of the plate shown in FIGS. 10 a and 10 b wherein the collapsible beverage holder is in the collapsed position;
  • FIG. 10 d is a perspective view of the bottom of the plate shown in FIGS. 10 a - 10 c;
  • FIG. 11 a is a perspective view of a square plate configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 11 b is a perspective view of the square plate shown in FIG. 11 a;
  • FIG. 11 c is a side view of the square plate shown in FIGS. 11 a and 11 b;
  • FIG. 11 d is a top view of the square plate shown in FIGS. 11 a - 11 c;
  • FIG. 12 a is a side view of a square plate having a collapsible beverage holder in the extended state and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention
  • FIG. 12 b is a top view of the square plate shown in FIG. 12 a wherein the collapsible beverage holder is in the expanded position;
  • FIG. 12 c is a side view of the plate shown in FIGS. 12 a and 12 b wherein the square collapsible beverage holder is in the collapsed position;
  • FIG. 12 d is a perspective view of the bottom of the plate shown in FIGS. 12 a - 12 c.
  • FIG. 1 is a partial side view and partial cross-sectional view of a plate 10 configured in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention.
  • the plate 10 includes an upper surface 11 , upon which food is served, and a lower surface 12 opposing the upper surface 11 .
  • the plate 10 can be constructed of paper, plastic or Styrofoam®, among others, and formed into varying shapes.
  • the plate 10 includes an aperture 15 passing through the top or upper surface 11 and the bottom or lower surface 12 . In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 1 , the aperture 15 is located substantially near the center of the plate 10 .
  • FIG. 2 is a top view of the plate 10 shown in FIG. 1 . Illustrated more clearly is the aperture 15 and top surface 11 . The perimeter 17 of the aperture 15 also is illustrated. A slot 16 , preferably elongated, is located in the perimeter, border, rim, or lip 18 of the plate 10 . The slot 16 is sized to receive a handle of a utensil, such as a fork or spoon. The slot 16 enables a user to carry a utensil in the boarder or outer rim 18 of the plate 10 , thus freeing up the user's other hand for shaking hands with guests or other activities during a social setting. While the embodiment illustrated in FIGS.
  • the aperture 15 can be located in the center of plate 10 , the aperture 15 can be located off-center or at other locations on the plate 10 . Additionally, the aperture 15 can be various sizes and shapes, such as circular, square, hexagonal, octagonal and the like.
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3 - 3 of FIG. 4
  • FIG. 4 is a top view, both being illustrations of a coupler 20 configured in accordance with the present invention for connecting a beverage holder or cup holder 30 ( FIG. 5 ) within the aperture 15 of the plate 10 .
  • the coupler 20 preferably is constructed as a single-piece unit or component with the beverage holder 30 , although they are illustrated as separate components in FIGS. 3-5 for clarity of illustration.
  • the coupler 20 includes a plurality of outwardly extending tabs 22 that are spaced equidistant around the outer peripheral surface 27 of the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 .
  • the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 is sized to slide up through the aperture 15 from the bottom surface 12 and up through and out the top surface 11 of the plate 10 . Once a lip 24 of the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 is flush against the bottom surface 12 of the plate 10 , then the tabs 22 extend outward to prevent the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 from passing back through the aperture 15 and out the bottom surface 12 of the plate 10 .
  • a plurality of equally spaced perforations 23 are located within the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 , just above the lip 24 of the coupler 20 .
  • the perforations 23 are located in the upper portion 21 just above the lip 24 in order to enable any run-off of food juices or the like from top surface 11 of the plate 10 to pass through the perforations 23 and into the beverage holder 30 .
  • a lower portion 25 of the coupler 20 extends around the peripheral surface 27 and below the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 .
  • the lower portion 25 of the coupler 20 has a greater diameter that the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 .
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the beverage holder 30 , connected to the coupler 20 , and located within the plate 10 .
  • FIG. 5 also provides a cross-sectional view of the plate 10 .
  • the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 is shown located within the aperture 15 of the plate 10 .
  • the top 31 of the beverage holder 30 preferably is attached to or formed as a unitary piece with the coupler 20 . If the top 31 of the beverage holder 30 is to be connected within the lower portion 25 of the coupler 20 , when the coupler 20 and beverage holder 30 are separated components, a tab or lip 26 extends horizontally and inward around the interior surface 29 of the lower portion 25 of the coupler 20 . The tab 26 functions to grip and secure the top 31 of the beverage holder 30 when inserted into the lower portion 25 of the coupler 30 , wherein the top 31 of the beverage holder 30 is sized to fit tightly within the lower portion 25 of the coupler 20 .
  • the top 21 of the upper portion 27 of the coupler 20 and the bottom 32 of the beverage holder 30 also are illustrated in FIG. 5 .
  • the tabs 22 and lip 24 of the coupler 20 are shown securing the coupler 20 securely within the aperture 15 of the plate component 10 .
  • the lower surface 12 of plate component 10 rests securely upon, and abuts against, the lip 24 of the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 .
  • a beverage container such as a soft drink or beer can or bottle, can then placed into the beverage container or cup holder 30 .
  • a user can hold the beverage holder 30 and plate 10 of the present invention by grasping around the beverage holder 30 .
  • the bottom 32 of the beverage holder 30 can be set upon a flat surface, such as a table top, and the weight of the beverage within the beverage holder 30 provides additional stability for the component plate 10 , so as not to have the plate 10 tip over and spill a user's serving of food. While the flat bottom 32 of the beverage holder 30 with the component plate 10 can be set on a flat surface, such as a table, without tipping over, additional stability is provided to the plate 10 by the weight of a beverage container located within the beverage holder 30 .
  • FIGS. 6 a -6 d illustrate additional shapes for the plate 10 , wherein all are configured in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 a illustrates an octagon-shaped plate 40 having an aperture 41 for receiving a coupler 20 and slot 41 for receiving a utensil.
  • FIG. 6 b illustrates an oval-shaped plate 44 having an aperture 45 for receiving a coupler 20 and a slot 46 for receiving a utensil.
  • FIG. 6 c illustrates an oval-shaped plate 47 having a border 43 , an aperture 48 to the left side of the plate 47 for receiving a coupler, and a slot 49 for receiving a utensil.
  • FIG. 6 d illustrates an oval-shaped plate 50 without a border 43 , but an aperture 51 to the left side of the plate 50 for receiving a coupler 20 and a slot 52 for receiving a utensil.
  • FIG. 7 a is a perspective view of a top surface 61 of a composite plate 60 configured in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention.
  • the composite plate 60 is similar to a composite or combination of the plate 10 , coupler 20 , and beverage holder 30 , except the composite plate 60 is configured as a single molded or unitary item. All of the parts of the composite plate 60 are molded together as one piece.
  • the composite plate 60 includes a plate 62 and a beverage holder 64 molded into and creating an aperture 70 in the plate 60 .
  • the aperture 70 is the opening in the top 69 of the beverage holder 64 .
  • the plate 60 has a circular shape and includes dividers or ridges 65 on the top surface 61 of the plate 62 .
  • the outer rim 66 of the plate 60 includes a slot 67 for holding utensils.
  • the top 68 of the beverage holder 64 forms a circular ridge or divider 68 to prevent food from spilling into the beverage holder 64 .
  • FIG. 7 b is a perspective view of the bottom surface 63 of the plate 62 and the bottom 71 of the beverage holder 64 shown in FIG. 7 a .
  • the outer surface of the beverage holder 64 is clearly illustrated, and ridges 69 are included in the beverage holder 64 for added strength.
  • the bottom of the dividers 65 are shown as well as the bottom of the circular ridge 68 of the top of the beverage holder 64 .
  • the dividers 65 similar to the ridges 69 in the beverage holder 64 , provide added strength to the plate 62 .
  • the slot 67 for holding utensils also is illustrated in the outer rim 66 .
  • FIG. 7 c is a side view of the composite plate 60 shown in FIGS. 7 a and 7 b . Illustrated are the plate 62 and beverage holder 64 . Also illustrated are the outer rim 66 of the plate 62 and the ridges 69 in the beverage holder 64 .
  • FIG. 7 d is a top view of the composite plate 60 shown in FIGS. 7 a -7 c . Illustrated are the upper surface 61 , ridges 65 , and outer rim 66 of the plate 62 . Also illustrated are the top 68 and the ridges 69 of the beverage holder 64 .
  • FIG. 8 a is a side view of a composite plate 75 including a plate 76 having a collapsible beverage holder 80 configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.
  • the composite plate 75 includes a collapsible beverage holder 80 molded together to form a unitary item.
  • the collapsible beverage holder 80 is comprised of telescoping or accordion-type folds 83 that enable the bottom 86 of the collapsible beverage holder 80 to be compacted and become flush with the bottom 85 of the plate 76 in the compacted position.
  • the collapsible beverage holder 80 is illustrated in the expanded position.
  • FIG. 8 b is a top view of the composite plate 75 shown in FIG. 8 a . Illustrated are the top surface 84 and the outer border or rim 77 of the plate 76 . Raised dividers or ridges 78 in the plate 76 provide added strength to the plate 76 , in addition to keeping different foods on the plate 76 separated.
  • the plate 76 preferably is constructed of a rigid material, such as thick plastic.
  • the collapsible beverage holder 80 preferably is constructed of a flexible material, such as thin plastic. In the preferred embodiment, the collapsible beverage holder 80 is molded of thinner, flexible walls, so that it can be collapsed using its accordion-type joints 83 .
  • the plate 76 is constructed of a thicker plastic, enabling the plate 76 to be more rigid.
  • the top 87 of the collapsible beverage holder 80 is connected to the periphery 82 of an aperture 81 in the plate 76 .
  • a slot 79 is located in the outer rim 77 of the plate 76 for holding a utensil.
  • FIG. 8 c is a side view of the composite plate 75 shown in FIGS. 8 a and 8 b , wherein the collapsible cub holder 80 is shown in the collapsed position. Illustrated are the plate 76 and the outer rim 77 .
  • FIG. 8 d is a perspective view of the bottom 85 of the composite plate 75 , wherein the collapsible beverage holder 80 is in the collapsed position.
  • the bottom of the dividers 78 and the bottom 86 of the collapsible beverage holder 80 are illustrated. Also illustrated are the bottom of the outer rim 77 and the slot 79 .
  • FIG. 9 a is a perspective view of the top of an oval-shaped composite plate 90 including a plate 92 and a beverage holder 94 configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.
  • the composite plate 90 preferably is formed or molded as a single unit or piece.
  • the oval-shaped composite plate 90 is similar to the circular-shaped composite plate 75 in FIGS. 8 a -8 d , except composite plate 90 is oval shaped.
  • Shown in FIG. 9 a is the top surface 91 of the plate 92 including dividers or raised ridges 96 .
  • the dividers 96 keep different foods separated on the plate 92 and provide added strength and rigidity to the plate 92 .
  • the outer border or outer rim 97 including a slot 93 for holding a utensil also are illustrated.
  • the top 101 of the beverage holder 94 is shown in the center of the plate 92 . Ridges 95 in the beverage holder 94 provide added strength and rigidity to the beverage holder 94 .
  • the composite plate 90 preferably is molded from clear plastic that is rigid enough to prevent the composite plate 90 from being easily bent.
  • FIG. 9 b is a perspective view of the bottom 99 of the composite plate 90 shown in FIG. 9 a .
  • FIG. 9 b clearly illustrates the bottom 98 of the beverage holder 94 , including the ridges 95 in the beverage holder 94 .
  • the bottom of the ridges 96 in the plate 92 and the outer rim 97 are clearly illustrated.
  • FIG. 9 c is a side view of the composite plate 90 shown in FIGS. 9 a and 9 b . Illustrated are the plate 92 , outer rime 97 , and beverage holder 94 . Further illustrated are the ridges 96 in the plate 92 and the ridges 95 in the beverage holder 95 .
  • FIG. 9 d is a top view of the composite plate 90 . Shown are the top 91 of the plate 92 , the ridges 96 , and top 101 of the beverage holder 94 .
  • the top 101 of the beverage holder 94 forms a circular ridge that prevents food from the plate 92 from spilling into the beverage holder 94 .
  • the circular ridge 101 also provides added strength to the beverage holder 94 and plate 92 .
  • the top 101 of the beverage holder also defines the opening in the plate 92 into the beverage holder 94 .
  • the ridges 95 and the bottom 98 of the beverage holder 94 also are visible.
  • the outer rim 97 and the slot 93 also are illustrated.
  • FIG. 10 a is a side view of an oval-shaped composite plate 110 configured in accordance with the present invention. Similar to the circular composite plate 75 , the composite plate 110 includes a collapsible beverage holder 114 connected to an aperture 120 ( FIG. 10 b ) in the center of the plate 112 . The top 121 of the collapsible beverage holder 114 is connected to the bottom 113 of the plate 112 .
  • the collapsible beverage holder 114 preferably included accordion-like folds 118 that enable the collapsible beverage holder 114 to be folded into a collapsed position to become flush with the bottom 113 of the plate 112 , thus enabling the bottom 113 of the plate 112 to rest flat upon a flat surface, such as a table.
  • the plate 112 and the collapsible beverage holder 114 preferably are formed or molded as a single or a unitary item.
  • the plate 112 preferably is molded from a rigid clear plastic, and the collapsible beverage holder 114 preferably is molded from a thinner, foldable plastic or polymer.
  • FIG. 10 b is a top view of the composite plate 110 shown in FIG. 10 a . Illustrated are the top 111 and the outer rim 119 of the plate 112 .
  • the outer rim 119 includes a slot 123 for holding a utensil.
  • Raised ridges 116 are formed within the plate 112 to keep different foods separated and provide added strength and rigidity to the plate 112 .
  • the bottom 115 and top 121 of the of collapsible beverage holder 114 also are shown.
  • FIG. 10 c is a side view of composite plate 110 shown in FIGS. 10 a and 10 b .
  • the collapsible beverage holder 114 is shown in the collapsed position, wherein the collapsible beverage holder 114 is shown in the collapsed position, and the bottom 115 of the collapsible beverage holder 114 is flush with the bottom 113 of the plate 112 .
  • the outer rim 119 and the bottom of the ridges 116 in the plate 112 also are illustrated.
  • FIG. 10 d is a perspective view of the bottom 113 of the plate 112 shown in FIGS. 10 a -10 c .
  • the collapsible beverage holder 114 is in the collapsed position, wherein the bottom 115 is flush with the bottom 113 of the plate 112 .
  • the outer rim 119 and the bottom of the ridges 116 of the plate 112 also are illustrated.
  • FIG. 11 a is a perspective view of the top of a square-shaped composite plate 130 configured in accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention.
  • the square-shape composite plate 130 includes a plate 132 and a beverage holder 134 .
  • the plate 132 and the beverage holder 134 preferably are formed or molded into a single or unitary item.
  • the composite plate 130 preferably is molded of a rigid plastic.
  • the dividers or raised ridges 136 keep different foods separated and provides added strength to the plate 132 .
  • the circular ridge on the top 138 of the beverage holder 134 prevents food from failing into the beverage holder 134 and also provide additional strength to the plate 132 .
  • the outer rim 131 including a slot 139 for a utensil is further illustrated.
  • FIG. 11 b is a perspective view of the bottom 135 of the plate 132 .
  • the bottom of the ridges 136 in the plate 132 are shown, and well as the ridges 142 in the beverage holder 134 which give added strength to the beverage holder 134 .
  • the outer rim 131 and the bottom 141 of the beverage holder 134 also are illustrated.
  • FIG. 11 c is a side view of the composite plate 130 shown in FIGS. 11 a and 11 b . Illustrated are the plate 132 , outer rim 131 , and beverage holder 134 . Also illustrated are the ridges 136 in the plate 132 and the ridges 142 in the beverage holder 134 .
  • FIG. 11 d is a top view of the complete plate 130 shown in FIGS. 11 a -11 c . Illustrated are the top 133 of the plate 132 . Further illustrated are the ridges 136 of the plate 132 , and the ridges 138 and 142 of the beverage holder 134 .
  • FIG. 12 a is a side view of a composite plate 150 configured in accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention.
  • Composite plate 150 is similar to circular-shaped composite plate 75 and oval-shaped composite plate 110 , except composite plate 150 is square-shaped.
  • the square-shaped composite plate 150 includes a plate 152 and collapsible beverage holder 154 , preferably formed or molded as a single or unitary product.
  • the plate 152 preferably is molded as a rigid plastic, and the collapsible beverage holder 154 preferably is constructed of a thinner, flexible plastic.
  • FIG. 12 a illustrates the collapsible beverage holder 154 is the expanded position.
  • the collapsible beverage holder 154 preferably includes accordion-like folds 158 to enable the collapsible cup holder 154 to be folded into a collapsed position.
  • the bottom 155 of the collapsible cup holder 154 preferably is flush or in the same plane as the bottom 160 of the plate 152 when the collapsible beverage holder 154 is in the collapsed position.
  • FIG. 12 b is a top view of the square-shaped composite plate 150 shown in FIG. 12 b . Illustrated are raised ridges 156 that function to keep different foods separated on the plate 152 and provide added strength to the plate 152 .
  • a circular raised ridge 162 at the top of the collapsible beverage holder 154 is located in the center of the square-shaped plate 152 .
  • the circular raised ridge 162 provides added strength to the collapsible beverage holder 154 .
  • the raised ridges 156 preferably extend between the periphery or rim 157 or rim of the plate 152 and the circular raised ridge 162 . Also illustrated is a slot 161 in the outer rim 157 of the plate 152 for holding a utensil.
  • FIG. 12 c is a side view of the composite plate 150 shown in FIGS. 12 a and 12 b , wherein the collapsible beverage holder 154 is in the collapsed position.
  • FIG. 12 shows the plate 152 , the bottom of a ridge 156 , and the outer rim 157 .
  • FIG. 12 d is a perspective view of the bottom of the composite plate 150 showing the collapsible beverage holder 154 is the collapsed position. Illustrated are the bottom of the ridges 156 in the bottom 160 of the plate 152 and the circular ridge 162 . The accordion-like folds 158 and the bottom 155 of the collapsible beverage holder 154 also are illustrated. The outer rim 157 and the slot 161 are further illustrated.

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  • Engineering & Computer Science (AREA)
  • Ceramic Engineering (AREA)
  • Mechanical Engineering (AREA)
  • Details Of Rigid Or Semi-Rigid Containers (AREA)

Abstract

A composite plate for use at social gatherings and the like wherein the composite plate serves as a plate for food as well as a holder for an eating utensil, a napkin, and a beverage container, thereby enabling the user to hold all with one hand while leaving the other hand free to shake hands with other guests, and to use the eating utensil or napkin, or to drink a beverage. The composite plate has an upper surface, a lower surface, and an outer rim, and the composite plate includes an aperture passing between the upper surface and the lower surface. A collapsible beverage holder having a top and a bottom, wherein the top of the beverage holder is connected to a perimeter of the aperture in the plate, and wherein the collapsible beverage holder includes folds enabling the collapsible beverage holder to be collapsed such the bottom of the collapsible beverage holder becomes flush with the lower surface of the plate, thus enabling the lower surface of the plate to rest upon a flat surface.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This patent application is a Continuation-In-Part application of patent application having application Ser. No. 12/589,725 entitled “Party Plate” and filed on Oct. 28, 2009, which was published on Apr. 28, 2011, as publication number 2011/0095032, and is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates generally to plates for use at social gatherings, and more particularly, to a plate that enables a person to easily carry food, utensils, and a beverage container with one hand, thus enabling the other hand to be free to shake hands, use eating utensils, and drink a beverage.
  • Description of Related Art
  • At social settings with food, guests typically are walking around carrying a plate of food in one hand and a drink in the other hand. With both hands full or carrying a plate or a drink beverage in each hand, it is difficult for a guest to eat or shake hands with other guests. Guests are burdened with the constant task of finding a table or ledge to put down their plate or drink so they can eat or shake hands with another guest. A guest cannot even with their mouth with a napkin because both hands are generally holding a plate of food and a beverage or utensil. This burdensome problem can seriously affect a guest's enjoyment of a party or social setting.
  • Accordingly, there is a need for a device or apparatus enabling a guest to carry their food and drinks, while enabling them to still enjoy their food and drinks while interacting with other guests.
  • ASPECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
  • Based upon the above-stated issues, one aspect of the present invention to provide a composite plate for food and a beverage holder for a drink that is designed to be held with one hand, leaving a user's other hand free to perform other social functions and tasks, such as shaking hands and greeting other guests.
  • Another aspect of the present invention to provide a composite plate with a beverage holder that further includes a feature for holding an eating utensil.
  • A further aspect of the present invention to provide a composite plate with a beverage holder that provides a convenient and stable surface for holding an abundance of food, and stability of the composite plate is further enhanced by weight of a beverage located within the beverage holder.
  • An additional aspect of the present invention to provide a composite plate with a beverage holder that is inexpensive to manufacture.
  • An additional feature of the present invention is to provide a composite plate that includes a collapsible beverage holder so that the bottom of the plate can become planar when the beverage holder is not being utilized, thus enabling the stability of the composite plate to be further improved when the composite place is placed on a level surface.
  • In order to achieve these aspects and others, the present invention provides a composite plate for use at social gatherings and the like having an upper surface, a lower surface, and an outer rim, and an aperture passing between the upper surface and the lower surface. A collapsible beverage holder having a top and a bottom, wherein the top of the beverage holder is connected to a perimeter of the aperture in the plate, and wherein the collapsible beverage holder includes folds enabling the collapsible beverage holder to be collapsed such the bottom of the collapsible beverage holder becomes flush with the lower surface of the plate, thus enabling the lower surface of the plate to rest upon a flat surface.
  • These and other aspects of the present invention will be best understood upon a reading of the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which form part of the specification, with the understanding, however, that the invention is not confined to a strict conformity with the drawings but may be changed or modified so long as such changes or modifications constitute no material departure from the salient features of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a partial side view and a partial cross-sectional view of the of a plate configured in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a top view of the plate shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view shown in and taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 4 of a coupler configured in accordance with the present invention for connecting a beverage holder within an aperture of the plate shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 is a top view of the coupler shown in FIG. 3;
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the coupler shown in FIG. 4 connected to the plate shown in FIG. 1, wherein a beverage holder configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention is connected to the bottom of the coupler.
  • FIG. 6a is an octagon-shaped plate including an aperture for the coupler and configured in accordance with the another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 6b is an oval-shaped plate including an aperture for the coupler and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 6c is an oval-shaped plate having a border and including an off-center aperture for the coupler and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 6d is an oval-shaped plate having an aperture on the side for the coupler and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 7a is a perspective view of a top of a plate configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 7b is a perspective view of the bottom of the plate shown in FIG. 7 a;
  • FIG. 7c is a side view of the plate shown in FIGS. 7a and 7 b;
  • FIG. 7d is a top view of the plate shown in FIGS. 7a -7 c;
  • FIG. 8a is a side view of a plate having a collapsible beverage holder in the extended state and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 8b is a top view of the plate shown in FIG. 8a wherein the collapsible beverage holder is in the expanded position;
  • FIG. 8c is a side view of the plate shown in FIGS. 8a and 8b wherein the collapsible beverage holder is in the collapsed position;
  • FIG. 8d is a perspective view of the bottom of the plate shown in FIGS. 8a -8 c:
  • FIG. 9a is a perspective view of a top of an oval plate configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 9b is a perspective view of the bottom of the oval plate shown in FIG. 9 a;
  • FIG. 9c is a side view of the oval plate shown in FIGS. 9a and 9 b;
  • FIG. 9d is a top view of the oval plate shown in FIGS. 9a -9 c;
  • FIG. 10a is a side view of an oval-shaped plate having a collapsible beverage holder in the extended state and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 10b is a top view of the plate shown in FIG. 10a wherein the collapsible beverage holder is in the expanded position;
  • FIG. 10c is a side view of the plate shown in FIGS. 10a and 10b wherein the collapsible beverage holder is in the collapsed position;
  • FIG. 10d is a perspective view of the bottom of the plate shown in FIGS. 10a -10 c;
  • FIG. 11a is a perspective view of a square plate configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 11b is a perspective view of the square plate shown in FIG. 11 a;
  • FIG. 11c is a side view of the square plate shown in FIGS. 11a and 11 b;
  • FIG. 11d is a top view of the square plate shown in FIGS. 11a -11 c;
  • FIG. 12a is a side view of a square plate having a collapsible beverage holder in the extended state and configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 12b is a top view of the square plate shown in FIG. 12a wherein the collapsible beverage holder is in the expanded position;
  • FIG. 12c is a side view of the plate shown in FIGS. 12a and 12b wherein the square collapsible beverage holder is in the collapsed position; and
  • FIG. 12d is a perspective view of the bottom of the plate shown in FIGS. 12a -12 c.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 is a partial side view and partial cross-sectional view of a plate 10 configured in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention. The plate 10 includes an upper surface 11, upon which food is served, and a lower surface 12 opposing the upper surface 11. The plate 10 can be constructed of paper, plastic or Styrofoam®, among others, and formed into varying shapes. The plate 10 includes an aperture 15 passing through the top or upper surface 11 and the bottom or lower surface 12. In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 1, the aperture 15 is located substantially near the center of the plate 10.
  • FIG. 2 is a top view of the plate 10 shown in FIG. 1. Illustrated more clearly is the aperture 15 and top surface 11. The perimeter 17 of the aperture 15 also is illustrated. A slot 16, preferably elongated, is located in the perimeter, border, rim, or lip 18 of the plate 10. The slot 16 is sized to receive a handle of a utensil, such as a fork or spoon. The slot 16 enables a user to carry a utensil in the boarder or outer rim 18 of the plate 10, thus freeing up the user's other hand for shaking hands with guests or other activities during a social setting. While the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 show the aperture 15 being located in the center of plate 10, the aperture 15 can be located off-center or at other locations on the plate 10. Additionally, the aperture 15 can be various sizes and shapes, such as circular, square, hexagonal, octagonal and the like.
  • Referring to both FIGS. 3 and 4, FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 4, and FIG. 4 is a top view, both being illustrations of a coupler 20 configured in accordance with the present invention for connecting a beverage holder or cup holder 30 (FIG. 5) within the aperture 15 of the plate 10. The coupler 20 preferably is constructed as a single-piece unit or component with the beverage holder 30, although they are illustrated as separate components in FIGS. 3-5 for clarity of illustration. The coupler 20 includes a plurality of outwardly extending tabs 22 that are spaced equidistant around the outer peripheral surface 27 of the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20. The upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 is sized to slide up through the aperture 15 from the bottom surface 12 and up through and out the top surface 11 of the plate 10. Once a lip 24 of the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 is flush against the bottom surface 12 of the plate 10, then the tabs 22 extend outward to prevent the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 from passing back through the aperture 15 and out the bottom surface 12 of the plate 10.
  • A plurality of equally spaced perforations 23, preferably horizontally oblong-shaped, are located within the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20, just above the lip 24 of the coupler 20. The perforations 23 are located in the upper portion 21 just above the lip 24 in order to enable any run-off of food juices or the like from top surface 11 of the plate 10 to pass through the perforations 23 and into the beverage holder 30. A lower portion 25 of the coupler 20 extends around the peripheral surface 27 and below the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20. The lower portion 25 of the coupler 20 has a greater diameter that the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20.
  • Referring to FIGS. 3-5, FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the beverage holder 30, connected to the coupler 20, and located within the plate 10. FIG. 5 also provides a cross-sectional view of the plate 10. The upper portion 21 of the coupler 20 is shown located within the aperture 15 of the plate 10. The top 31 of the beverage holder 30 preferably is attached to or formed as a unitary piece with the coupler 20. If the top 31 of the beverage holder 30 is to be connected within the lower portion 25 of the coupler 20, when the coupler 20 and beverage holder 30 are separated components, a tab or lip 26 extends horizontally and inward around the interior surface 29 of the lower portion 25 of the coupler 20. The tab 26 functions to grip and secure the top 31 of the beverage holder 30 when inserted into the lower portion 25 of the coupler 30, wherein the top 31 of the beverage holder 30 is sized to fit tightly within the lower portion 25 of the coupler 20.
  • The top 21 of the upper portion 27 of the coupler 20 and the bottom 32 of the beverage holder 30 also are illustrated in FIG. 5. The tabs 22 and lip 24 of the coupler 20 are shown securing the coupler 20 securely within the aperture 15 of the plate component 10. The lower surface 12 of plate component 10 rests securely upon, and abuts against, the lip 24 of the upper portion 21 of the coupler 20. A beverage container, such as a soft drink or beer can or bottle, can then placed into the beverage container or cup holder 30. A user can hold the beverage holder 30 and plate 10 of the present invention by grasping around the beverage holder 30. The bottom 32 of the beverage holder 30 can be set upon a flat surface, such as a table top, and the weight of the beverage within the beverage holder 30 provides additional stability for the component plate 10, so as not to have the plate 10 tip over and spill a user's serving of food. While the flat bottom 32 of the beverage holder 30 with the component plate 10 can be set on a flat surface, such as a table, without tipping over, additional stability is provided to the plate 10 by the weight of a beverage container located within the beverage holder 30.
  • FIGS. 6a-6d illustrate additional shapes for the plate 10, wherein all are configured in accordance with embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 6a illustrates an octagon-shaped plate 40 having an aperture 41 for receiving a coupler 20 and slot 41 for receiving a utensil. Similarly, FIG. 6b illustrates an oval-shaped plate 44 having an aperture 45 for receiving a coupler 20 and a slot 46 for receiving a utensil. FIG. 6c illustrates an oval-shaped plate 47 having a border 43, an aperture 48 to the left side of the plate 47 for receiving a coupler, and a slot 49 for receiving a utensil. FIG. 6d illustrates an oval-shaped plate 50 without a border 43, but an aperture 51 to the left side of the plate 50 for receiving a coupler 20 and a slot 52 for receiving a utensil.
  • FIG. 7a is a perspective view of a top surface 61 of a composite plate 60 configured in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention. The composite plate 60 is similar to a composite or combination of the plate 10, coupler 20, and beverage holder 30, except the composite plate 60 is configured as a single molded or unitary item. All of the parts of the composite plate 60 are molded together as one piece.
  • The composite plate 60 includes a plate 62 and a beverage holder 64 molded into and creating an aperture 70 in the plate 60. The aperture 70 is the opening in the top 69 of the beverage holder 64. The plate 60 has a circular shape and includes dividers or ridges 65 on the top surface 61 of the plate 62. The outer rim 66 of the plate 60 includes a slot 67 for holding utensils. The top 68 of the beverage holder 64 forms a circular ridge or divider 68 to prevent food from spilling into the beverage holder 64.
  • FIG. 7b is a perspective view of the bottom surface 63 of the plate 62 and the bottom 71 of the beverage holder 64 shown in FIG. 7a . The outer surface of the beverage holder 64 is clearly illustrated, and ridges 69 are included in the beverage holder 64 for added strength. The bottom of the dividers 65 are shown as well as the bottom of the circular ridge 68 of the top of the beverage holder 64. The dividers 65, similar to the ridges 69 in the beverage holder 64, provide added strength to the plate 62. The slot 67 for holding utensils also is illustrated in the outer rim 66.
  • FIG. 7c is a side view of the composite plate 60 shown in FIGS. 7a and 7b . Illustrated are the plate 62 and beverage holder 64. Also illustrated are the outer rim 66 of the plate 62 and the ridges 69 in the beverage holder 64.
  • FIG. 7d is a top view of the composite plate 60 shown in FIGS. 7a-7c . Illustrated are the upper surface 61, ridges 65, and outer rim 66 of the plate 62. Also illustrated are the top 68 and the ridges 69 of the beverage holder 64.
  • FIG. 8a is a side view of a composite plate 75 including a plate 76 having a collapsible beverage holder 80 configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. The composite plate 75 includes a collapsible beverage holder 80 molded together to form a unitary item. The collapsible beverage holder 80 is comprised of telescoping or accordion-type folds 83 that enable the bottom 86 of the collapsible beverage holder 80 to be compacted and become flush with the bottom 85 of the plate 76 in the compacted position. The collapsible beverage holder 80 is illustrated in the expanded position.
  • FIG. 8b is a top view of the composite plate 75 shown in FIG. 8a . Illustrated are the top surface 84 and the outer border or rim 77 of the plate 76. Raised dividers or ridges 78 in the plate 76 provide added strength to the plate 76, in addition to keeping different foods on the plate 76 separated. The plate 76 preferably is constructed of a rigid material, such as thick plastic. The collapsible beverage holder 80 preferably is constructed of a flexible material, such as thin plastic. In the preferred embodiment, the collapsible beverage holder 80 is molded of thinner, flexible walls, so that it can be collapsed using its accordion-type joints 83. Similarly, the plate 76 is constructed of a thicker plastic, enabling the plate 76 to be more rigid. The top 87 of the collapsible beverage holder 80 is connected to the periphery 82 of an aperture 81 in the plate 76. A slot 79 is located in the outer rim 77 of the plate 76 for holding a utensil.
  • FIG. 8c is a side view of the composite plate 75 shown in FIGS. 8a and 8b , wherein the collapsible cub holder 80 is shown in the collapsed position. Illustrated are the plate 76 and the outer rim 77.
  • FIG. 8d is a perspective view of the bottom 85 of the composite plate 75, wherein the collapsible beverage holder 80 is in the collapsed position. The bottom of the dividers 78 and the bottom 86 of the collapsible beverage holder 80 are illustrated. Also illustrated are the bottom of the outer rim 77 and the slot 79.
  • FIG. 9a is a perspective view of the top of an oval-shaped composite plate 90 including a plate 92 and a beverage holder 94 configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. The composite plate 90 preferably is formed or molded as a single unit or piece. The oval-shaped composite plate 90 is similar to the circular-shaped composite plate 75 in FIGS. 8a-8d , except composite plate 90 is oval shaped. Shown in FIG. 9a is the top surface 91 of the plate 92 including dividers or raised ridges 96. The dividers 96 keep different foods separated on the plate 92 and provide added strength and rigidity to the plate 92. The outer border or outer rim 97 including a slot 93 for holding a utensil also are illustrated. The top 101 of the beverage holder 94 is shown in the center of the plate 92. Ridges 95 in the beverage holder 94 provide added strength and rigidity to the beverage holder 94. The composite plate 90 preferably is molded from clear plastic that is rigid enough to prevent the composite plate 90 from being easily bent.
  • FIG. 9b is a perspective view of the bottom 99 of the composite plate 90 shown in FIG. 9a . FIG. 9b clearly illustrates the bottom 98 of the beverage holder 94, including the ridges 95 in the beverage holder 94. The bottom of the ridges 96 in the plate 92 and the outer rim 97 are clearly illustrated.
  • FIG. 9c is a side view of the composite plate 90 shown in FIGS. 9a and 9b . Illustrated are the plate 92, outer rime 97, and beverage holder 94. Further illustrated are the ridges 96 in the plate 92 and the ridges 95 in the beverage holder 95.
  • FIG. 9d is a top view of the composite plate 90. Shown are the top 91 of the plate 92, the ridges 96, and top 101 of the beverage holder 94. The top 101 of the beverage holder 94, as shown in FIGS. 9a and 9d , forms a circular ridge that prevents food from the plate 92 from spilling into the beverage holder 94. The circular ridge 101 also provides added strength to the beverage holder 94 and plate 92. The top 101 of the beverage holder also defines the opening in the plate 92 into the beverage holder 94. The ridges 95 and the bottom 98 of the beverage holder 94 also are visible. The outer rim 97 and the slot 93 also are illustrated.
  • FIG. 10a is a side view of an oval-shaped composite plate 110 configured in accordance with the present invention. Similar to the circular composite plate 75, the composite plate 110 includes a collapsible beverage holder 114 connected to an aperture 120 (FIG. 10b ) in the center of the plate 112. The top 121 of the collapsible beverage holder 114 is connected to the bottom 113 of the plate 112. The collapsible beverage holder 114 preferably included accordion-like folds 118 that enable the collapsible beverage holder 114 to be folded into a collapsed position to become flush with the bottom 113 of the plate 112, thus enabling the bottom 113 of the plate 112 to rest flat upon a flat surface, such as a table. The plate 112 and the collapsible beverage holder 114 preferably are formed or molded as a single or a unitary item. The plate 112 preferably is molded from a rigid clear plastic, and the collapsible beverage holder 114 preferably is molded from a thinner, foldable plastic or polymer.
  • FIG. 10b is a top view of the composite plate 110 shown in FIG. 10a . Illustrated are the top 111 and the outer rim 119 of the plate 112. The outer rim 119 includes a slot 123 for holding a utensil. Raised ridges 116 are formed within the plate 112 to keep different foods separated and provide added strength and rigidity to the plate 112. The bottom 115 and top 121 of the of collapsible beverage holder 114 also are shown.
  • FIG. 10c is a side view of composite plate 110 shown in FIGS. 10a and 10b . The collapsible beverage holder 114 is shown in the collapsed position, wherein the collapsible beverage holder 114 is shown in the collapsed position, and the bottom 115 of the collapsible beverage holder 114 is flush with the bottom 113 of the plate 112. The outer rim 119 and the bottom of the ridges 116 in the plate 112 also are illustrated.
  • FIG. 10d is a perspective view of the bottom 113 of the plate 112 shown in FIGS. 10a-10c . The collapsible beverage holder 114 is in the collapsed position, wherein the bottom 115 is flush with the bottom 113 of the plate 112. The outer rim 119 and the bottom of the ridges 116 of the plate 112 also are illustrated.
  • FIG. 11a is a perspective view of the top of a square-shaped composite plate 130 configured in accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention. Similar to the circular-shaped composite plate 60 and the oval-shaped complete plate 90, the square-shape composite plate 130 includes a plate 132 and a beverage holder 134. The plate 132 and the beverage holder 134 preferably are formed or molded into a single or unitary item. The composite plate 130 preferably is molded of a rigid plastic. The dividers or raised ridges 136 keep different foods separated and provides added strength to the plate 132. The circular ridge on the top 138 of the beverage holder 134 prevents food from failing into the beverage holder 134 and also provide additional strength to the plate 132. The outer rim 131 including a slot 139 for a utensil is further illustrated.
  • FIG. 11b is a perspective view of the bottom 135 of the plate 132. The bottom of the ridges 136 in the plate 132 are shown, and well as the ridges 142 in the beverage holder 134 which give added strength to the beverage holder 134. The outer rim 131 and the bottom 141 of the beverage holder 134 also are illustrated.
  • FIG. 11c is a side view of the composite plate 130 shown in FIGS. 11a and 11b . Illustrated are the plate 132, outer rim 131, and beverage holder 134. Also illustrated are the ridges 136 in the plate 132 and the ridges 142 in the beverage holder 134.
  • FIG. 11d is a top view of the complete plate 130 shown in FIGS. 11a-11c . Illustrated are the top 133 of the plate 132. Further illustrated are the ridges 136 of the plate 132, and the ridges 138 and 142 of the beverage holder 134.
  • FIG. 12a is a side view of a composite plate 150 configured in accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention. Composite plate 150 is similar to circular-shaped composite plate 75 and oval-shaped composite plate 110, except composite plate 150 is square-shaped. The square-shaped composite plate 150 includes a plate 152 and collapsible beverage holder 154, preferably formed or molded as a single or unitary product. The plate 152 preferably is molded as a rigid plastic, and the collapsible beverage holder 154 preferably is constructed of a thinner, flexible plastic. FIG. 12a illustrates the collapsible beverage holder 154 is the expanded position. The collapsible beverage holder 154 preferably includes accordion-like folds 158 to enable the collapsible cup holder 154 to be folded into a collapsed position. The bottom 155 of the collapsible cup holder 154 preferably is flush or in the same plane as the bottom 160 of the plate 152 when the collapsible beverage holder 154 is in the collapsed position.
  • FIG. 12b is a top view of the square-shaped composite plate 150 shown in FIG. 12b . Illustrated are raised ridges 156 that function to keep different foods separated on the plate 152 and provide added strength to the plate 152. A circular raised ridge 162 at the top of the collapsible beverage holder 154 is located in the center of the square-shaped plate 152. The circular raised ridge 162 provides added strength to the collapsible beverage holder 154. The raised ridges 156 preferably extend between the periphery or rim 157 or rim of the plate 152 and the circular raised ridge 162. Also illustrated is a slot 161 in the outer rim 157 of the plate 152 for holding a utensil.
  • FIG. 12c is a side view of the composite plate 150 shown in FIGS. 12a and 12b , wherein the collapsible beverage holder 154 is in the collapsed position. FIG. 12 shows the plate 152, the bottom of a ridge 156, and the outer rim 157.
  • FIG. 12d is a perspective view of the bottom of the composite plate 150 showing the collapsible beverage holder 154 is the collapsed position. Illustrated are the bottom of the ridges 156 in the bottom 160 of the plate 152 and the circular ridge 162. The accordion-like folds 158 and the bottom 155 of the collapsible beverage holder 154 also are illustrated. The outer rim 157 and the slot 161 are further illustrated.
  • While specific embodiments have been shown and described to point out fundamental and novel features of the invention as applied to the preferred embodiments, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes of the form and details of the invention illustrated and in the operation may be done by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

Claims (14)

1. A composite plate, comprising:
a plate for having an upper surface, a lower surface, and an outer rim, said plate having an aperture passing between the upper surface and the lower surface;
a collapsible beverage holder having a top and a bottom, the top of the beverage holder being connected to a perimeter of the aperture in the plate; and
wherein the collapsible beverage holder includes folds enabling the collapsible beverage holder to be collapsed such the bottom of the collapsible beverage holder becomes flush with the lower surface of the plate, thus enabling the lower surface of the plate to rest upon a flat surface.
2. The composite plate of claim 1, wherein the plate is constructed of rigid material, and the collapsible beverage holder is constructed of flexible material.
3. The composite plate of claim 1, wherein the plate and the collapsible beverage holder are constructed as a unitary item.
4. The composite plate of claim 1, wherein the plate and the collapsible beverage holder are molded from a polymer.
5. The composite plate of claim 1, wherein the folds in the collapsible beverage holder are accordion-like folds.
6. The composite plate of claim 1, wherein the upper surface of the plate includes a circular raised ridge surrounding the perimeter of the aperture in the plate to prevent food from falling into an opening at the top of the collapsible beverage holder.
7. The composite plate of claim 6, wherein the upper surface of the plate includes a raised ridge between the circular raised ridge and an outer rim of the plate.
8. The composite plate of claim 1, wherein the plate and the collapsible beverage holder are molded as a unitary item.
9. The composite plate of claim 1, wherein the outer rim of the plate is oval shaped.
10. A composite plate, comprising:
a plate for having an upper surface, a lower surface, and an outer rim, said plate having an aperture passing between the upper surface and the lower surface;
a rigid beverage holder having a top and a bottom, the top of the beverage holder being connected to a perimeter of the aperture in the plate, and opening in the top of the beverage holder; and
wherein the rigid beverage holder includes vertical ridges for added strength.
11. The composite plate of claim 10, wherein the plate and the rigid beverage holder are constructed as a unitary item.
12. The composite plate of claim 10, wherein the upper surface of the plate includes a circular raised ridge surrounding the perimeter of the aperture in the plate to prevent food from falling into an opening at the top of the rigid beverage holder.
13. The composite plate of claim 12, wherein the upper surface of the plate includes a raised ridge between the circular raised ridge and an outer rim of the plate.
14. The composite plate of claim 10, wherein the outer rim of the plate is oval shaped.
US15/813,095 2009-10-28 2017-11-14 Plate With Collapsible and Non-Collapsible Beverage Holder Abandoned US20180098650A1 (en)

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US12/589,725 US20110095032A1 (en) 2009-10-28 2009-10-28 Party plate
US15/813,095 US20180098650A1 (en) 2009-10-28 2017-11-14 Plate With Collapsible and Non-Collapsible Beverage Holder

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Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5119967A (en) * 1991-07-05 1992-06-09 Ercolani David A One handed controllable plate and cup holder
US6702141B1 (en) * 2003-02-19 2004-03-09 Richard Cinque One-handed refreshment center
US20060266748A1 (en) * 2005-05-26 2006-11-30 Kim Crawford Combined plate and cupholder
US20140252008A1 (en) * 2013-03-11 2014-09-11 Rouel deLeon Plate with collapsible inserts
US20140367392A1 (en) * 2013-06-12 2014-12-18 Raymond McClinton Dual purpose plate with removable beverage container
US20170156522A1 (en) * 2015-12-04 2017-06-08 Cogent Technology Corporation Combined plate and collapsible beverage holder

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5119967A (en) * 1991-07-05 1992-06-09 Ercolani David A One handed controllable plate and cup holder
US6702141B1 (en) * 2003-02-19 2004-03-09 Richard Cinque One-handed refreshment center
US20060266748A1 (en) * 2005-05-26 2006-11-30 Kim Crawford Combined plate and cupholder
US20140252008A1 (en) * 2013-03-11 2014-09-11 Rouel deLeon Plate with collapsible inserts
US20140367392A1 (en) * 2013-06-12 2014-12-18 Raymond McClinton Dual purpose plate with removable beverage container
US20170156522A1 (en) * 2015-12-04 2017-06-08 Cogent Technology Corporation Combined plate and collapsible beverage holder

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