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Title:
Porcelain container with plastic lid
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A covered vessel comprising a porcelain container with a plastic lid which is ideal for food storage, presentation and stacking is disclosed.


Inventors:
Rosenfeld, Richard (Basalt, CO, US)
Application Number:
09/776295
Publication Date:
08/08/2002
Filing Date:
02/02/2001
Assignee:
ROSENFELD RICHARD
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/508, 220/802
International Classes:
B65D1/10; B65D21/02; B65D43/02; (IPC1-7): B65D21/036; B65D43/08
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Cook, Esq. Alex Mcfarron Manzo Marj Murphy J. (CUMMINGS & MEHLER, Ltd., Chicago, IL, 60606, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A covered vessel comprising: a porcelain container; and a plastic lid for covering said porcelain container.

2. The vessel of claim 1 wherein said lid has an outside rim and an inside rim and said container has a top lip, wherein said outside rim and inside rim of said plastic lid fit around said top lip of said container.

3. The vessel of claim 1 wherein said lid has an indented middle portion, surrounded by a raised portion, said indented middle portion and raised portion being useful for stacking containers with said lids thereon.

4. The vessel of claim 1 wherein said container has a circular lip at the bottom of the container, said lip being useful for stacking of said containers.

5. The vessel of claim 1 wherein said container is a bowl.

6. The vessel of claim 5 wherein said bowl is a serving bowl.

7. The vessel of claim 1 wherein said container is a platter.

8. The vessel of claim 1 wherein said container is a plate.

9. The vessel of claim 1 wherein said container is ovenware.

10. The vessel of claim 1 wherein said lid is made of a low density polyethylene.

11. A covered vessel comprising: a container made of a material selected from the group consisting of stoneware and earthenware; and a plastic lid for covering said container.

12. The vessel of claim 11 wherein said lid has an outside rim and an inside rim and said container has a top lip, wherein said outside rim and inside rim of said plastic lid fit around said top lip of said container.

13. The vessel of claim 11 wherein said lid has an indented middle portion, surrounded by a raised portion, said indented middle portion and raised portion being useful for stacking containers with said lids thereon.

14. The vessel of claim 11 wherein said container has a circular lip at the bottom of the container, said lip being useful for stacking of said containers.

15. The vessel of claim 11 wherein said container is a bowl.

16. The vessel of claim 15 wherein said bowl is a serving bowl.

17. The vessel of claim 11 wherein said container is a platter.

18. The vessel of claim 11 wherein said container is a plate.

19. The vessel of claim 11 wherein said container is ovenware.

20. The vessel of claim 11 wherein said lid is made of a low density polyethylene.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention is directed to porcelain, stoneware or earthenware vessels, including storage and serving bowls, containers, plates, ovenware and platters, with a plastic lid for covering such bowls, containers, ovenware, plates and platters.

[0002] For years, people have preferred to use porcelain bowls for mixing and making food products. This is due to the sturdiness, cleanability and better aesthetics of porcelain bowls. Unfortunately, no one has been able to come up with a lid for porcelain bowls. Applicant believes that this is because others have found it too difficult to make porcelain uniform enough to fit the uniformity of the plastic lid. Applicant also believes that others have been discouraged because porcelain tends to bend and warp and not be exactly uniform in size. Applicant also believes that others have not conceived of a lid design that would work satisfactorily on porcelain bowls.

[0003] As a result, prior porcelain bowls have been inappropriate for food storage because there is no tight fitting lid. While consumers have attempted to overcome this by putting clear plastic wrap or tin foil on such bowls, such attempts end up being disappointing because the wrap or foil is not always air tight, does not remain air tight or is unsuited for stacking bowls or putting other items on top of such bowls.

[0004] Accordingly, consumers have been forced to either transfer the food from the porcelain bowl, used for mixing or stirring, into another bowl made usually of plastic or metal, or use a plastic or metal bowl in the first place. Plastic or metal bowls are undesirable because lack of aesthetic appeal and are not viewed by many consumers as acceptable serving vessels. Porcelain bowls are also preferable over vitro ceramic or Corelle™ type of bowls (also known as white glass) because the porcelain bowls have better aesthetic appeal and are reputed to hold heat better and do not cool down as quickly.

[0005] The present invention overcomes these prior problems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention is directed to a covered vessel comprising a porcelain container with a plastic lid. In alternative embodiments, the container can made of either earthenware or stoneware.

[0007] In a preferred embodiment, in the present invention, the lid conforms tightly enough to the porcelain to secure that the food stored within the container and to keep the food protected from outside elements such as odors. Hence, the lids make the porcelain container suitable for food storage, the appropriate time depending upon the type of food stored within. The lids can then be removed presenting a bowl, plate or platter which is suitable for table presentation.

[0008] In a further embodiment, the lids are designed so the foot or bottom of the container fits into the top of the lid of another container. In this manner, the containers can be securely stacked on one another.

[0009] In still a further embodiment, the lids are designed so that the rim of the container fits in between two rims or lips in the lid to provide a secure fit for the lid on the container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] In describing the preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings wherein:

[0011] FIG. 1 shows a side view of one embodiment of the vessel of the present invention with a porcelain container with a plastic lid thereon;

[0012] FIG. 2a shows a cut away view of the porcelain container of FIG. 1;

[0013] FIG. 2b shows a bottom view of the container of FIG. 1;

[0014] FIG. 3 shows a top view of a plastic lid of an embodiment of the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 4 shows a bottom view of the lid of FIG. 3;

[0016] FIG. 5 shows a cut-away view of the lid and container of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0017] The present invention is directed to a vessel having a porcelain container with a plastic lid for covering the container. While Applicant uses the term “container” herein, the scope of the present invention includes all types of containers, serving bowls, other types of bowls, plates, ovenware and platters.

[0018] FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of the vessel of the present invention with a porcelain container 10 with a plastic lid 12 thereon. In an alternative embodiment, the container could be made of stoneware or earthenware. Preferably, the plastic lid should be made of a soft plastic which is flexible enough to hug the rim of container, as explained below. Such a plastic is a low density polyethylene.

[0019] While lid 12 in FIG. 1 is shown with a raised mid-section, this is merely one embodiment of the present invention, and it is contemplated that other structures or designs for lids will also be within the scope of the present invention.

[0020] FIG. 2a shows a partial cut away view of porcelain container 10. The left side 14 of FIG. 2 shows the outside of the container. The right side 16 is a cut-away view of a section of container 10. The embodiment shown in FIG. 2a includes a lip 18 at the foot or bottom of container 10. As shown in FIG. 2b, this lip 18 forms a circle around the bottom of container 10 and enables container 10 to be stacked on lid 12. Lip 18 is merely one embodiment of the container of the present invention. Other types of bottoms are contemplated in the scope of the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 3 shows a top view of plastic lid 12. In an embodiment of the present invention, lid 12 includes a raised section 20, which slopes down to a middle section 22. This structure offers the advantage of allowing stacking of the containers with lids thereon. More specifically, bottom lip 18 of container 10 of the prior figures fits securely into middle section 22 of lid 12 so that the containers with lids can be stacked on top of one another.

[0022] FIG. 4 shows a bottom view of plastic lid 12. From the bottom view, section 20 is the lowest portion of the lid and then there is a slope upward to middle section 22. FIG. 4 also shows a dual rim structure 24, 26 of an embodiment of the lid of the present application. Rims 24, 26 extend around the edge of lid 12. Preferably, outside rim 24 extends further than inside rim 26. As shown in more detail in FIG. 5, the edge or rim of container 10 fits within rims 24, 26 to produce a snug and secure fit for plastic lid 12 on porcelain container 10.

[0023] FIG. 5 is a cut-away showing how lid 12 fits on container 10 in an embodiment of the vessel of the present invention 12. More particularly, outside rim 24 of lid 12 fits over and outside of edge or rim 28 of container 10, while inside rim 26 of lid 12 fits inside of edge 28 of container 10. This forms a secure and snug fit for plastic lid 12 on porcelain container 10.

[0024] The structure of the present invention makes storage of “left-overs” convenient, as they can be stored in the container in which they had been served and then re-heated and/or re-served in the same container. The lid also enables the container to be put directly into a microwave oven, without having to switch containers such as if a metal bowl was used.

[0025] This description has been offered for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to limit the invention of this application, which is defined in the claims below. For example, the present invention contemplates different shaped lids, containers and bowls.

[0026] Accordingly, the scope of the present invention is not as described in detail above, but as set forth in the appended claims.