Title:
Chinese soup spoon
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A spoon has a bowled area having a base and a surrounding edge extending around the base, and an elongated handle attached to the bowled area, with the handle having a base. A plurality of holes are provided in the base of the handle adjacent the bowled area.



Inventors:
Zheng, Yu (Walnut, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/199432
Publication Date:
02/28/2013
Filing Date:
08/29/2011
Assignee:
ZHENG YU
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G21/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090106985HAND-HELD IMPLEMENT FOR EDGE-TRIMMING SUBSTRATE-MOUNTED LAMINATESApril, 2009Durham
20060179657Shaver with flushable hair chamberAugust, 2006Van Der et al.
20040255473Thin back knifeDecember, 2004Walton et al.
20090133940WEIGHING SERVING IMPLEMENTMay, 2009Woods
20020144408Blade guard apparatus for brush cutterOctober, 2002Cho
20080060204Magnetic knife holderMarch, 2008Chen
20070028459String trimmerFebruary, 2007Thomson et al.
20020000042Folding knife with compression locking mechanismJanuary, 2002Glesser et al.
20100071215TRIMMER FOR SHAVING RAZORMarch, 2010Wonderley
20070011886Wallboard cuttting method and deviceJanuary, 2007Stone
20090172956Flexible Chain Saw for Cutting Tree LimbsJuly, 2009Cheng



Foreign References:
JPH0998875A1997-04-15
JPH11253332A1999-09-21
JP2000279304A2000-10-10
JP2000308583A2000-11-07
JP2000333810A2000-12-05
JP2003310412A2003-11-05
JP2004089647A2004-03-25
JP2004135692A2004-05-13
JP2006015093A2006-01-19
JPS6136159A1986-02-20
Primary Examiner:
PRONE, JASON D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Raymond Sun (12420 Woodhall Way Tustin CA 92782)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A spoon, comprising: a bowled area having a base and a surrounding edge extending around the base; an elongated handle attached to the bowled area, the handle having a base; and a plurality of holes provided in the base of the handle adjacent the bowled area.

2. The spoon of claim 1, further including an enclosing wall extending around the edge of the bowled area and along a portion of the handle.

3. The spoon of claim 2, wherein the holes are provided in the base of the handle at a vertical level that is the same as, or slightly higher than, a top edge of the enclosing wall.

4. The spoon of claim 1, further including a hook provided at an underside of the handle at an end of the handle opposite the bowled area.

5. The spoon of claim 3, wherein the base of the bowled area, the base of the handle, and the enclosing wall define a holding area.

6. The spoon of claim 1, wherein the handle has a neck area that is adjacent the bowled area, with the neck area having a well, and wherein the holes are provided in the well, the well having a depression formed by a surrounding wall.

7. A spoon, comprising: a bowled area having a base and a surrounding edge extending around the base; an elongated handle having a base; a transition area between the bowled area and the handle, the transition area having a different vertical level as the base of the bowled area and the base of the handle; an enclosing wall extending around the edge of the bowled area and along a portion of the handle; and a plurality of holes provided in the transition area.

8. The spoon of claim 7, further including a hook provided at an underside of the handle at an end of the handle opposite the bowled area.

9. The spoon of claim 7, wherein the base of the bowled area, the transition area, the base of the handle, and the enclosing wall define a holding area.

10. A spoon, comprising: a bowled area having a base and a surrounding edge extending around the base; a transition area extending around the edge of the bowled area, and having a outer edge; an enclosing wall extending upwardly from the outer edge of the transition area; an elongated attached to the enclosing wall; and a plurality of holes provided in the transition area.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to Chinese soup spoons, and in particular, to a Chinese soup spoon having draining holes.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Chinese soup spoons have been useful in holding mouthfuls of soup or other liquids. These soup spoons are almost like smaller ladles, having a deep bowled area for holding liquids, and a long handle extending at a steep angle. These soup spoons are effective for scooping and conveying liquids, and also for holding food items with gravy or sauce.

When a person uses a Chinese soup spoon to scoop hot soup with solid food matter (e.g., meat or vegetables) in the bowled area, it is difficult to separate the soup or liquid from the solid food matter. The user may sometimes wish to eat the solid food matter straight from the Chinese soup spoon, but may not wish to consume the hot soup at the same time. It can be difficult to tilt the spoon to allow the soup to drain off along an edge, since the solid food matter may also drain out with the soup.

Some ladles or metal spoons provide holes in the bottom of the bowled area. However, such ladles or spoons cannot be used to scoop soup or liquids, as they essentially act as filters, draining the soup or liquids immediately from the spoon.

Therefore, there still remains a need for a Chinese soup spoon which allows a user to use the spoon for drinking soup or liquids, while also allowing the user to drain the soup or liquid without losing or removing any solid food matter held therein.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

It is an object of the present invention is to provide a Chinese soup spoon which allows a user to use the spoon for drinking soup or liquids, while also allowing the user to drain the soup or liquid without losing or removing any solid food matter held therein.

In order to accomplish the objectives of the present invention, the present invention provides a spoon having a bowled area having a base and a surrounding edge extending around the base, and an elongated handle attached to the bowled area, with the handle having a base. A plurality of holes are provided in the base of the handle adjacent the bowled area.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a Chinese soup spoon according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an expanded view of the portion of the handle of the spoon of FIG. 1 labeled A.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of the spoon of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a spoon according to another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5A is a perspective view of a spoon according to yet another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5B is an enlarged view of the transition area for the spoon of FIG. 5A.

FIG. 6A is a perspective view of a spoon according to yet a further embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6B is an enlarged view of a portion of the handle area for the spoon of FIG. 6A.

FIG. 7 illustrates how the hook can be used to hook or otherwise engage the handle of the spoon against an upper lip or edge of a bowl.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a spoon according to yet another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following detailed description is of the best presently contemplated modes of carrying out the invention. This description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating general principles of embodiments of the invention. The scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

Referring to FIGS. 1-3, the Chinese soup spoon 10 according to the present invention has a bowled area 12 and a long handle 14 extending at a steep angle from an end of the bowled area 12. The bowled area 12 and the handle 14 can be made from the same piece of material, which can be porcelain, metal, plastic, or any other known material used for such soup spoons. The bowled area 12 is generally oval, and is defined by a base 16 and an enclosing wall 18 that extends from the base 16. The enclosing wall 18 extends upwardly along the handle 14 so that an enclosed holding area HA is defined from the bowled area 12 up along a portion of the handle 14.

A hook 20 is provided on the underside of the handle 14 adjacent the end 22 of the handle 14. FIG. 7 illustrates how the hook 20 can be used to hook or otherwise engage the handle 14 of the spoon 10 against an upper lip or edge of a bowl. This allows the spoon 10 to be held inside the bowl against the lip or edge, without having the entire spoon 10 sag or slip into the bowl.

The handle 14 has an elongated base 24 that extends from the base 16 of the bowled area 12. As best shown in FIG. 3, a plurality of holes 26 are provided in the base 24 at a vertical level that is the same as, or slightly higher than, the top edge 28 of the enclosing wall 18. In other words, these holes 26 are located near or adjacent the bowled area 12. These holes 26 allow liquid (e.g., hot soup or gravy) that is held in the holding area HA of the bowled area 12 to be displaced therethrough. By positioning these holes 26 at a vertical level that is the same as, or slightly higher than, the top edge 28 of the enclosing wall 18, the spoon 10 can be seated on a flat surface (e.g., as shown in FIG. 3) without liquid being displaced. However, by tilting the end 22 of the handle 14 slightly in the direction of arrow T, the liquid in the holding area HA will flow towards the handle 14 and then be displaced through the holes 26.

The spoon 10 allows a user to use the spoon for drinking soup or liquids, while also allowing the user to drain the soup or liquid without losing or removing any solid food matter held therein. For example, referring to FIG. 3, if the spoon 10 was not holding any solid food matter, the liquid held in the holding area HA would not spill or leak or otherwise be displaced. The user can then drink from the spoon 10. If the spoon 10 were holding solid food matter (e.g., chunks of meat M), the user can drain some of the gravy or sauce or soup held in the holding area HA by slightly tilting the end 22 of the handle 14, allowing the liquid to flow upwardly along the handle 14 to the holes 26 where the liquid can be displaced without spilling or otherwise losing the meat chunks M.

FIG. 4 illustrates the concepts of the present invention applied to a regular spoon 10a that does not have any enclosing wall 18. The spoon 10a can also have a bowled area 12a and a handle 14a similar to the spoon 10, and the holes 26a can be positioned at the same general vertical level as the holes 26 in FIGS. 1-3. Since there is a small concavity to the bowled 12a and the handle 14a, an enclosing wall is not needed, though such a spoon 10a would not hold as much liquid as the spoon 10.

FIGS. 5A-5B illustrate a modification to the spoon 10 in FIGS. 1-3 using tiered levels. Specifically, the spoon 10b in FIG. 5A can be same as the spoon 10 in that the bowled areas 12, 12b, enclosing walls 18, 18b, and handles 14, 14b are the same, but the transition area 40b between the base 16b of the bowled area 12b and the base 24b of the handle 14b defines an intermediate level, so that there are now three vertical levels: the base 16b, the transition area 40b, and the base 24b. The holes 26b are provided at the transition area 24b. Providing the additional level at transition area 40b can be useful in other applications. For example, a user may use the spoon 10b to scoop soup or stew having two or more types of solid food matter, such as chunks of chicken and bits of pea. The user could desire to have the chunks of chicken stay in the bowled area 12b with the soup, while separating the peas. To do so, the spoon 10b can be tilted so that the peas can be moved to the transition area 40b where soup can be drained from the peas at the transition area 40b. This is merely one non-limiting example of a functionality of the transition area 40b, while other uses and functions are also possible.

FIGS. 6A-6B illustrate a modification to the spoon 10a in FIG. 4. Specifically, the spoon 10c in FIG. 6A can be same as the spoon 10a in that the bowled areas 12a, 12c, and handles 14a, 14c can be almost the same, but the handle 14c of the spoon 10c now has a neck area 40c that is adjacent the bowled area 12c. As best shown in FIG. 6B, the neck area 40c has a defined well 42c with holes 26c provided in the well 42c. The well 42c provides a depression defined by a surrounding wall 44c. As a result, soup or liquid flowing from the bowled area 12c up along the handle can be prevented from reaching the user's fingers by the well 42c and its wall 44c.

FIG. 8 illustrates another spoon 10d that utilizes the concept of the transition area 40b in FIGS. 5A-5B. The spoon 10d can be a ladle that has a handle 14d directly attached to an enclosing wall 18d. The holes 26d are not provided along the handle 14d, but are provided in a transition area 40d that extends radially outwardly around the circumference of the bowled area 12d to define an annular shoulder. The enclosing wall 18d extends upwardly from the outer annular edge of the transition area 40d. Thus, the transition area 40d can be used to separate pieces of solid food matter from the soup or liquid that is held in the bowled area 12d, with liquid draining from the holes 26d.

While the description above refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The accompanying claims are intended to cover such modifications as would fall within the true scope and spirit of the present invention.