Title:
Spatula with multiple-flap scraping edge
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A spatula includes a handle generally defining a spatula axis. The spatula has one end extending from the handle along the axis while a generally flat spatula blade is connected to the other hand of the shank. The spatula blade has two opposing edges at least one of which is a scrapping edge is substantially parallel to the spatula axis. The spatula blade defines a plane of substantial symmetry co-extensive with the spatula axis and extends through the two opposing edges. At least one of the scrapping edges includes a plurality of flexible longitudinal scrapping flaps displaces from each other relative to the plane of symmetry.



Inventors:
Siegel, Jeff (Kings Point, NY, US)
Krent, Adam (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Burnett, David Linn (New York, NY, US)
Lazaroff, William J. (Floral Park, NY, US)
Lincoln, Alison Waite (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/442953
Publication Date:
11/25/2004
Filing Date:
05/22/2003
Assignee:
SIEGEL JEFF
KRENT ADAM
BURNETT DAVID LINN
LAZAROFF WILLIAM J.
LINCOLN ALISON WAITE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/236.05, 15/236.06
International Classes:
A47L13/08; (IPC1-7): A47L13/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REDDING, DAVID A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GOODMAN & TEITELBAUM (BROOKLYN, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed:



1. Spatula comprising a handle generally defining a spatula axis; a shank having one end extending from said handle along said spatula axis; a generally flat spatula blade connected to the other end of said shank and having two opposing edges at least one of which is a scraping edge substantially parallel to said spatula axis, said spatula blade defining a plane of substantial symmetry coextensive with said spatula axis and extending through said two opposing edges, said at least one scraping edge including a plurality of flexible longitudinal scraping flaps displaced from each other relative to said plane of symmetry.

2. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 1, wherein said flaps are angularly displaced from each other.

3. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 1, wherein three flaps are provided.

4. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 1, wherein one flap is coextensive with said plane of symmetry, and another flap is angularly displaced from said plane of symmetry.

5. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 4, wherein the depth of said coextensive flap, in a plane normal to said spatula axis and said plane of symmetry, is greater than the width of said angularly displaced flap.

6. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 1, wherein said spatula blade is formed of a resilient, heat resistance material.

7. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 6, wherein said material is silicone.

8. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 1, wherein the spatula is intended to be used to scrape two surfaces having different heights, one of said opposing edges generally corresponding to one of the heights and the other of said edges generally corresponding to the other of said heights.

9. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 1, wherein the other of said edges is provided with a rounded edge.

10. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 1, wherein the depth of said flaps, in a place normal to said spatula axis and said plane of symmetry, vary along said scraping edge.

11. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 10, wherein said widths of said flaps decreases in the region of said handle.

12. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 1, furthering comprising means for facilitating displacement of said flaps in relation to said plane of symmetry during scraping actions of said scraping edge on a surface to be cleaned.

13. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 12, wherein said means comprises a longitudinal constricted region generally parallel to said spatula axis and proximity to said at least one scraping edge.

14. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 13, wherein said means comprises a longitudinal indentation on at least one surface of said spatula.

15. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 14, wherein two longitudinal indentations are provided one in each side of said spatula.

16. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 15, wherein said two indentations are on opposite sides of said plane of symmetry and arranged on a plane normal to said plane of symmetry.

17. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 15, wherein said indentations are spared from each other a distance on the order of magnitude as spacing between adjacent flaps.

18. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 17, wherein said distances are substantially equal.

19. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 5, wherein said coextensive flap is at least twice the width of said displaced flaps.

20. Spatula comprising a handle according to claim 5, wherein said coextensive flap is at least three times the width of said displaced flaps.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The invention generally relates to cooking implements and, more specifically, to a spatula with a multiple-flap scraping edge.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Spatulas having generally flat blades provided with variously shaped scraping edges have been well known. Typically, known spatulas have been designed with flexible rubber heads, although the market is switching to silicone for its heat-resistance and rigidity. Because spatulas are intended to scrape food products from surfaces of variously configured containers or cooking devices, spatulas have been provided in various configurations in order to conform to surfaces of common cooking containers or devices. Also, such spatulas have sometimes been provided with edges that are somewhat flexible, to better conform or adapt to the specific configurations of the surfaces to be scraped. However, clearly, the more flexible the edge of the spatula is, the less effective it will be as a scraping edge, and it will thus leave films or traces of food products on the surface to be cleaned.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a spatula that does not have the disadvantages inherent in known spatulas.

[0006] It is another object of the invention to provide a spatula that is simple in construction and economical to manufacture.

[0007] It is a still another object of the invention to provide a spatula that can efficiently scrape food, liquid and condiments from the surface of any cooking or food-preparation device.

[0008] It is yet another object of the invention to provide a spatula as in the previous object that is heat-resistant.

[0009] It is a further object of the invention to provide a heat spatula as in the previously objects that has good strength and great flexibility.

[0010] It is still a further object of the invention to provide a spatula of the type under discussion that can be used with most brands of food processors and various cylindrical storage containers.

[0011] It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a spatula that can readily conform to a surface to be scraped while being sufficiently rigid to efficiently remove food products from that surface.

[0012] It is an additional object of the invention to provide a spatula that continues to have at least flap to be in scraping contact with a surface to be scraped even when the edge of the spatula is urged against the surface and becomes deformed.

[0013] In order to achieve the above objects, as well as others that will become apparent hereinafter, a spatula in accordance with the present invention is provided with a multiple-flap scraping edge in which the multiple flaps extend along the scraping edge and are spaced or offset from each other along a direction generally corresponding to the direction of movement of the spatula during a cleaning or a scraping operation.

[0014] More specifically, a spatula in accordance with the present invention preferably comprises a handle generally defining a spatula-axis. A shank is provided, having one end extending from said handle along said spatula axis. A generally flat spatula blade is connected to the other end of said shank and has two opposing edges, at least one of which is a scraping edge substantially parallel to said spatula axis. Such spatula blade defines a plane of substantial symmetry coextensive with said spatula axis and extends through said two opposing edges. Said at least one scraping edge includes a plurality of flexible longitudinal scraping flaps displaced from each other relative to said plane of symmetry.

[0015] In a presently preferred embodiment, three flaps are provided, a center one of which projects from said scraping edge along said plane of symmetry while the two remaining flaps are each angularly offset relative to said center flap to each side of said plane of symmetry. Advantageously, a longitudinal groove generally parallel to said spatula axis is provided on said spatula blade proximate to said flaps to facilitate the flaps to bend at an angle when swept along a surface of a kitchen device, to allow two of said flaps to have complete contact with the surface of the kitchen device regardless of the sweeping or scraping direction. In accordance with a presently preferred embodiment, the center flap, on the plane of symmetry, is made slightly longer in order to catch any substance missed by the other, outer flaps.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] The above and other objects of the invention may be more readily seen when viewed in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0017] FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a spatula with multiple-flap scraping edge in accordance with the present invention;

[0018] FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the spatula shown in FIG. 1, partially broken away to illustrate the end of the shank embedded within the blade of the spatula;

[0019] FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the spatula shown in FIG. 1, taken along line 3-3;

[0020] FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail of region A in FIG. 3;

[0021] FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of the spatula shown in FIG. 1, taken along line 5-5;

[0022] FIG. 6 is an enlarged detail of region B in FIG. 5;

[0023] FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of the spatula shown in FIG. 1, taken along line 7-7;

[0024] FIG. 8 is an enlarged detail of region C in FIG. 7;

[0025] FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view of the spatula shown in FIG. 1, taken along line 9-9;

[0026] FIG. 10 is an enlarged detail of region D in FIG. 9;

[0027] FIG. 11 is a cross sectional view of the spatula shown in FIG. 1, taken along line 11-11;

[0028] FIG. 12 is an enlarged detail of region E in FIG. 11;

[0029] FIG. 13 is a cross sectional view of the spatula shown in FIG. 1, taken along line 13-13;

[0030] FIG. 14 is an enlarged detail of region F in FIG. 13;

[0031] FIG. 15 is a cross sectional view of the spatula shown in FIG. 1, taken along line 15-15;

[0032] FIG. 16 is an enlarged detail of detail G in FIG. 15; and

[0033] FIG. 17 is a side elevational view of the spatula shown in FIG. 1, shown within a cut-away section of a typical food processor bowl.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0034] Referring now specifically to the figures, in which similar or identical parts will be identified by the same reference numerals throughout, and first referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the spatula in accordance with the present invention is generally designated by the reference numeral 10.

[0035] The spatula 10 includes a handle 12 generally defining a spatula axis X. A shank 14 has one end 14a extending from the handle and one end 14b remote from the handle 12 along the spatula axis. The generally flat spatula blade 16 is connected to the other end 14b of the shank 14 and has two opposing edges 16a, 16b, at least one of which is a scrapping edge substantially parallel to the spatula axis X. The spatula blade 16 defines a plane of substantial symmetry P (FIG. 2), the plane of substantial symmetry being co-extensive with the spatula axis X and extending through the two opposing edges 16a, 16b.

[0036] An important feature of the invention is that at least one scrapping edge 16a, in the depicted embodiment 10, includes a plurality of flexible longitudinal scrapping flaps 18, 20, 22 (e.g., FIGS. 5 and 6) that are displaced from each other relative to the plane of symmetry P. In the presently preferred and depicted embodiment three such flaps 18, 20, 22 are provided although it should be evident that any plurality of flaps may be used, with different degrees of advantage.

[0037] Referring, for example, to FIG. 6, one flap 18 is generally co-extensive with the plane of substantial symmetry P, while the other flaps are angularly displaced from the plane of symmetry. Also, in the depicted embodiment, and accordance with presently preferred mode, the depth or length of co-extensive or central flap 18, in a plane normal to the spatula axis X and plane of substantial symmetry P is greater than the width or length of the angularly displaced flaps 20, 22.

[0038] The shank 14 includes a shank extension 14b′ (FIG. 2) that projects deeply into and is embedded within the spatula blade 16 in order to reinforced and stiffen the blade to make it more effective for scrapping purposes. This is desirable particularly when the spatula blade 16 is made of the presently preferred material, namely silicon. The silicon tends to be substantially flexible and the shank extension 14b′ reinforces and prevents the blade from excessively flexing along the axis X.

[0039] Referring to FIGS. 3-16 it will be evident that the depth or length of the flaps, in the plane normal to the spatula axis X in the plane of symmetry vary along the scrapping edge 16a. Thus, with sections take along line 3-3 showing region A, line 5-5 showing region B, line 7-7 showing region C, line 9-9 showing region D, line 11-11 showing region E, line 13-13 showing region F and line 15-15 showing region G, it will be noted that the lateral or displaced flaps are non-existent at cutting plane 3-3, although the depths of the co-extensive or essential flap 18 has started to project outwardly along the plane P. The other aforementioned cutting planes the central or co-extensive flap increases in length or depth and the lateral or angularly displaced flaps 20, 22 project outwardly and remain extended in relation to the central or co-extensive flap 18, with these flaps substantially retaining their dimension relative to each other along the entire height of the scrapping edge 16a, particularly starting with the cutting plane 7-7 and down. Thus, it will be evident that the flaps in the region of the shank are not as essential as the vertically disposed portions of the scrapping edge 16a which is actually used to scrap against the surface. The flaps, being made of silicon, and being relatively short can deflect or pivot relative to a hypothetical pivot point generally aligned with indentations 24, 26 which are provided to facilitate such movements or pivoting actions. The pivoting action allows the flaps to better conform to the specific shape or configuration of the surface being scrapped. The indentations 24, 26 form longitudinal constricted regions or groves generally parallel to the spatula axis X and are in proximity to at least one of the scrapping edges. It will be evident that the longitudinal indentations or groves may be provided on at least one of the surfaces of the spatula although two such longitudinal indentations are use in the preferred embodiment. Preferably, the indentations are spaced from each other at a distance in the order of magnitude as the spacing between adjacent flaps, so that the indentations are in generally close proximity to the flaps. Such distances can be substantially equal.

[0040] The co-extensive essential flap 18 is shown to be longer or wider than the displaced or lateral flaps 20, 22. The specific relative sizes are not critical, although, in the presently preferred embodiment, the essential flap is at least twice the width or length of the angularly displaced or lateral flaps. Along certain cutting planes, the central or co-extensive flap 18 may also attain as much as three times the width or length of the displaced or lateral flaps. See, for example, FIGS. 8 and 10.

[0041] Referring to FIG. 3, for example, it will be noted that the shank extension 14b′ of the shank 14 generally has a rectangular cross-section although this is not critical for the invention. It is a useful cross-section in the context of a generally flat spatula blade in order to maximize the strength or rigidity of the blade while safely imbedding the shank extension therein.

[0042] In FIG. 17, the spatula 10 is shown having the spatula blade received within a food processor bowl 24. The processor bowl includes a lateral cylindrical wall 24a and a central cylindrical projection 26 defining a cylindrical tube 26a and an opening 26b. In order to scrape a food processor bowl having such configurations, the scrapping edge 16a is placed on the interior surface of the outside wall 24a while the shorter scrapping surface 16b is conveniently arranged against the external surface of the cylindrical tube 26a. It will be clear that movement of the spatula within the bowl 24 as suggested will simultaneously scrape the internal surface of the wall 24a as well as the external surface of the tube 26a.

[0043] It should be clear from the above description and the figures that the triple-edge spatula is unique and efficient in its ability to scrape food, liquid and condiments from the surface of many cooking or food preparation device.

[0044] This is made possible by its combination of rigidity and flexibility of its scrapping edges. The three flexible flaps act to remove substances from smooth surfaces in one clean sweep. The edge 16a containing the three flaps 18, 20, 22 as a group between itself and the body of the spatula, as noted, which helps the flaps to bend and angle when swept along the surface of the kitchen device. This allows either of two outer flaps to have complete contact with the surface of the kitchen device whether sweeping in a forward or backward motion. In addition to the shorter outer flaps the middle flap is slightly longer in order to catch any substance missed by the outer flaps. This improves the efficiency of the spatula by allowing a minimum of two flaps to scrape the surfaces of the kitchen vessel when swept in either direction. This creates the equivalent of at least two scrapes for the manual work of one. No other spatula has been made with multiple edges. The silicon allows the three flaps to flex more than other materials would and, therefore, enhancing its functionality. It also makes it easy to clean because one can flex the spatula to clean between the flaps and groves. The other benefit of the triple edge spatula is that it has been designed to function in the most popular brand of the food processors. There are other existing food processors' spatula, but this one has been designed with a profile that is specifically matched to certain vessel interiors, while also working well in other food processor's bowls and other various cylindrical storage containers.

[0045] While this invention has been described in detail with particular reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood that variations and modifications will be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention as described herein and as defined in the appended claims.