Title:
NOVELTY TRAY AND CUSHION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tray/cushion assembly (10) holds a drink container (13) positioned in a cup holder recess (14). Handles (16) and (17) facilitate the carrying of the cushion (10) as a tray. The tray may be an inflatable tray rolled up and housed in transport container when deflated. The container may be two parts coupled together. The assembly is used as promotional item at sporting events



Inventors:
James, Nicholas Michael (Queensland, AU)
Jenkinson, Luke Creswick (Queensland, AU)
Application Number:
12/280326
Publication Date:
07/02/2009
Filing Date:
02/26/2007
Assignee:
The Beer Bum Corporation PTY Ltd. (New Farm, Queensland, AU)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/655.3, 40/320, 294/172
International Classes:
A45F5/00; A47C27/08; A47G23/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KRAMER, DEAN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Venable LLP (1290 Avenue of the Americas, NEW YORK, NY, 10104-3800, US)
Claims:
1. A tray and cushion assembly comprising cushion material enabling the assembly to be utilised as a cushion upon which a patron may sit while watching a game or activity at a venue, the assembly also comprising a number of recesses adapted to hold a drink container in the assembly such that the cushion may also be utilised as a tray for the carriage of drinks, the assembly having handle means enabling the tray to be safely carried, the handle means comprising first and second handles at opposite sides of the assembly.

2. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein the assembly comprises cushion material enabling the assembly to be utilised as a cushion upon which a patron may sit while watching a game or activity at a venue, the assembly also comprising a number of recesses adapted to hold a drink container in the assembly such that the cushion may also be utilised as a tray for the carriage of drinks, the recesses comprising spaced apart cup holders distributed for balance.

3. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein the assembly comprises cushion material enabling the assembly to be utilised as a cushion upon which a patron may sit while watching a game or activity at a venue, the assembly also comprising a number of recesses adapted to hold a drink container in the assembly such that the cushion may also be utilised as a tray for the carriage of drinks, the recesses comprising spaced apart cup holders distributed for balance, the cup holders being able to positively hold a cup.

4. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein the assembly includes a handle positioned and a display so that the assembly may also be utilised as a sign held up by the patron to celebrate a scoring result at a game.

5. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein the assembly may be utilised as a cushion to sit on, a tray to carry drinks and, additionally, as a device to be held up by the patron to indicate scoring activity, at least one of the handles being positioned so that the sign is automatically right way up when the cushion is held up by the handle.

6. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray.

7. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray, the tray being packaged in a rolled up deflated state in a container.

8. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray, the tray being packaged in a rolled up deflated state in a container, the container being a cylinder.

9. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray, the tray being packaged in a rolled up deflated state in a container, the container being configured as a promotional article, for example the container may be in the shape of a football, cricket ball, wheel and so on.

10. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray, the tray being packaged in a rolled up deflated state in a container, the container being in two parts being a base and cap coupled together.

11. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray, the tray being packaged in a rolled up deflated state in a container the container having a clasp and strap to enable it to be carried.

12. An inflatable tray assembly and container for holding the deflated tray, the tray when inflated having spaced apart cup holders.

13. An inflatable tray assembly according to claim 13 wherein the inflatable tray has first and second handles at opposite sides of the assembly.

14. An assembly according to claim 12 wherein the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray, the tray being packaged in a rolled up deflated state in the container.

15. An assembly according to claim 12 wherein the container is a cylinder.

16. An assembly according to claim 12 wherein the tray is packaged in a rolled up deflated state in the container, the container being configure as a promotional article, for example the container may be in the shape of a football, cricket ball, wheel and so on.

17. An assembly according to claim 12 wherein the tray is packaged in a rolled up deflated state in the container, the container being in two parts being a base and cap coupled together.

18. An assembly according to claim 12 wherein the tray is packaged in a rolled up deflated state in the container, the container having a clasp and strap to enable it to be carried.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

THIS INVENTION relates to a multi-purpose cushion and in particular but not limited to a multi-purpose cushion assembly which may be utilised at sporting events.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Many sporting events take place in a stadium, these include cricket, football, rugby league and so on, and it is usual for those stadiums to comprise of tiered system of seating. Seating often employs a fixed backrest and an automatically retractable seat. The retractable seat enables the passage of persons along a row of seats and then the seat is folded down so that the person can sit down on the seat. Due to the economies of space and cost, the seating and backrest are usually of a relatively rigid plastic and must also be robust enough to withstand the rigours of excited patrons at any particular event. Consequently, the seats are made to last and therefore are not made especially for comfort.

In addition to this, leg room is limited and it is often difficult or inconvenient for a patron to access a seat in the middle of a row past those patrons who are already seated. Beverages are often sold at game venues and there are limitations as to the number of cups or drink containers that a patron may carry back to his or her seat. The need to pass other patrons already seated can create a situation whereby drinks are accidentally spilt notwithstanding that trays may be provided at the game venue. Provision of trays to carry drinks provides an additional cost burden to outlets at the venue.

A search of the patent literature reveals prior art as follows: DE 29622696 describes a cushion for use at sporting events where the cushion has a glove section so that it may be worn on the hand configured as an oversize hand. DE 202005011601 describes a flat cushion for use at sporting events, the cushion has a slot for the fingers and thumb holes so that it may be easily handled. DE 298 18 152 describes an inflatable cushion with a valve and six evenly spaced holes. DE 10 2004 029711 describes a cushion and tray combination for use at sporting events having foam centre sandwiched between inflatable sides.

While these arrangement provide a cushion and tray which may include advertising or other surface printing they are not compact and do not make any provision for storage or transport. AU 200071793 on the other hand provides a convertible seat bag where a cushion is formed as part of a carry bag with handles and a lid and pockets.

The above described prior art suffers form a number of disadvantages and accordingly it is an object of the present invention to alleviate these disadvantages at least to some degree by providing a tray to carry beverages that also doubles as a cushion and which may be easily carried. Another object ids to provide a tray to carry beverages that also doubles as a cushion which may be easily carried, stored and transported when not in use.

OUTLINE OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect there is provide a tray and cushion assembly comprising cushion material enabling the assembly to be utilised as a cushion upon which a patron may sit while watching a game or activity at a venue, the assembly also comprising a number of recesses adapted to hold a drink container in the assembly such that the cushion may also be utilised as a tray for the carriage of drinks, the assembly having handle means enabling the tray to be safely carried, the handle means comprising first and second handles at opposite sides of the assembly.

Preferably, the assembly comprises cushion material enabling the assembly to be utilised as a cushion upon which a patron may sit while watching a game or activity at a venue, the assembly also comprising a number of recesses adapted to hold a drink container in the assembly such that the cushion may also be utilised as a tray for the carriage of drinks, the recesses comprising spaced apart cup holders distributed for balance.

Preferably, the assembly comprises cushion material enabling the assembly to be utilised as a cushion upon which a patron may sit while watching a game or activity at a venue, the assembly also comprising a number of recesses adapted to hold a drink container in the assembly such that the cushion may also be utilised as a tray for the carriage of drinks, the recesses comprising spaced apart cup holders distributed for balance, the cup holders being able to positively hold a cup.

Preferably, the assembly includes a handle positioned and a display so that the assembly may also be utilised as a sign held up by the patron to celebrate a scoring result at a game.

Preferably, the cushion may be utilised as a cushion to sit on, a tray to carry drinks and, additionally, as a device to be held up by the patron to indicate scoring activity, at least one of the handles being positioned so that the sign is automatically right way up when the cushion is held up by the handle.

Preferably, the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray.

Preferably, the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray, the tray being packaged in a rolled up deflated state in a container.

Preferably, the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray, the tray being packaged in a rolled up deflated state in a container, the container being a cylinder.

Preferably, the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray, the tray being packaged in a rolled up deflated state in a container, the container being configured as a promotional article, for example the container may be in the shape of a football, cricket ball, wheel and so on.

Preferably, the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray, the tray being packaged in a rolled up deflated state in a container, the container being in two parts being a base and cap coupled together.

Preferably, the assembly is an inflatable tray which may be inflated by the user blowing into a valve in the tray, the tray being packaged in a rolled up deflated state in a container the container having a clasp and strap to enable it to be carried.

In another aspect there is provided an inflatable tray assembly and container for holding the deflated tray, the tray having spaced apart cup holders. The inflatable tray may have first and second handles at opposite sides of the tray. In this embodiment the container may be a cylinder. Preferably, in this embodiment the tray is packaged in a rolled up deflated state in the container, the container being configure as a promotional article, for example the container may be in the shape of a football, cricket ball, wheel and so on. Preferably, in this embodiment the tray is packaged in a rolled up deflated state in the container, the container being in two parts being a base and cap coupled together. Preferably, in this embodiment the tray is packaged in a rolled up deflated state in the container, the container having a clasp and strap to enable it to be carried.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the present invention may be more readily understood and be put into practical effect, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings which illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention and wherein:—

FIG. 1 is a perspective drawing illustrating application of the present invention as a tray;

FIG. 2 illustrates use of the present invention as a seat and as a tray;

FIG. 3 is a plan view;

FIG. 4 is a section through 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an end view;

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate use of the tray cushion as a sign;

FIG. 8 illustrates modes by which the cushion may be carried;

FIG. 9 illustrates a further embodiment;

FIGS. 10, 11, 12, 13 illustrate further embodiments;

FIGS. 14 to 17 are respective top, side underside and end views illustrating an inflatable embodiment; and

FIGS. 18 to 21 are respective front, exploded side views and perspective (showing the parts separated) of packaging of the inflatable embodiment of FIGS. 14 to 17.

METHOD OF PERFORMANCE

Referring to the drawings and initially to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is illustrated a tray/cushion 10 shown located on a terrace seat 11 and a user 12 seated on a cushion 10 and also utilising a cushion 10 in its upside down position to carry drinks as a tray. As shown in FIG. 1, a drink container 13 is positioned in a cup holder recess 14, four of which are shown in FIG. 1.

Due to the relative size of the container 13, which would normally be a plastic cup and the slightly smaller diameter of the recess 14 and the resilient material from which the cushion 10 is made, the cup 13 is positively held by reason of the elasticity of the material from which the surrounding edges 15 of the cup holder 14 is made.

In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 1, handles 16 and 17 facilitate the carrying of the cushion 10 as a tray with either two hands or one handed as illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 illustrate the tray in greater detail and like numerals have been used to illustrate like features. The depth of the cup holders 14 is variable depending upon the nature and configuration of the cup utilised. As can be seen in FIG. 5, an alternative to the material comprising resilience or in combination therewith the cups may utilise a suitable taper at 18 so that at the peripheral rim portion 19 of the cup holders, that portion of the rim may be the portion which is used to positively hold the cup in position as illustrated in FIG. 5. Other combinations of features may be used to positively hold a cup.

The cushion may be in any particular colour. It may typically be represented in the colours of the team being supported at the venue.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate a further application of the cushion according to the present invention where it is configured as a sign in relation to the game of cricket. In FIG. 6 the numeral 6 is shown on one side of the cushion and in FIG. 7 the numeral 4 is shown on the opposite side. The numeral 6 represents a scoring shot in cricket whereby the batsman has cleared the boundary thereby scoring six runs and in FIG. 7 the numeral 4 is a scoring shot whereby the batsman has caused the cricket ball to reach the boundary, thus scoring four. Supporters may thereby stand and easily grasp the handle and immediately show the scoring shot and cheer that result. It will be appreciated in FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 that the position of the handle results in the numeral 6 or the numeral 4 being the right way up. It will also be appreciated that the figures show opposite sides of the same cushion, with 4 on one side and 6 on the other.

FIG. 8 illustrates the convenient ways in which a cushion according to the present invention may carried to the venue for use at the venue. A more compact arrangement is also illustrated whereby in this case a cushion 20 is made in two halves, 21 and 22, with a hinge 23. It will be appreciated with the hinge position 23 as shown that the tray when moved to an open position will be self supported for the purpose of use as a tray due to the hinged position. Thus in the configuration of FIG. 9 the tray may be closed by use of a simple clip or perhaps even loop and pile fasteners on the inside surfaces at 24 and 25. There may be loop and pile fasteners on the surfaces 26 and 27 or other equivalent means to retain the cushion in its operative position as a tray. Cup holders 28 and 29 in this embodiment are on the outside but may equally be on the inside.

As further illustrated in FIG. 9, the cup holders may utilise any frictional means to positively hold a cup in place. In the illustrated embodiment a serrated arrangement at 30 is illustrated.

Subject to the material employed for the construction of the cushion it may be desirable to include an insert or the like to provide additional support for the tray aspect and this is illustrated generally by the dotted line at 31 in FIG. 8.

The cushion according to the present invention may be in any suitable shape that enables it to be utilised as a cushion and tray. It may be circular or oval as illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 12 or it may be in a general form of a country as illustrated in FIG. 11 where it comprises the United States or in FIG. 13 where it comprises Australia.

Referring now to FIGS. 14 to 17 there is illustrated an inflatable tray 50 which may also be used as a cushion, the tray is basically the same shape as the previous embodiment including four drink holders 51 which are pleated to aid in the holding of drink container and two handles 52 that extend right through the tray. The tray may include other features including a dished central section at 53 so that it may be used to serve snacks or carry other items in the middle between the drinks.

In order that the inflatable tray may be carried while deflated it is preferable that it be put in a container 54 of the type illustrated in FIGS. 18 to 21. As best seen in FIG. 21 the tray is rolled up and in its rolled up state projects from the base 55 but may be covered by screwing the cap 56 onto the base. A clasp 57 is provide secured to the cap.

As can be seen the packaging may be carry the theme of the event, in this case a motor racing event, where a wheel shape having corresponding pattern and ornamentation is employed.

Whilst the above has been given by way of illustrative example of the present invention many variations and modifications thereto will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the broad ambit and scope of the invention as set out in the appended claims.