Title:
Removable coaster for use with a cup holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cup holder coaster designed to fit in many vehicle cup holders. The coaster may be made of various materials including porous sandstone, wood, plastic compounds, ceramics etc. A key feature of the design is the easy removal of the coaster from the cup holder for cleaning. One embodiment of the invention uses a pivot point design while a second embodiment uses a pull tab configuration. The high-quality coasters may be sold under the tradename “CoasterStone”. Advantageous uses other than in vehicles are also shown and described.



Inventors:
Delk, Carl D. (Mooresville, IN, US)
Application Number:
10/449900
Publication Date:
12/02/2004
Filing Date:
06/02/2003
Assignee:
DELK CARL D.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G23/02; A47G23/03; B60N3/10; (IPC1-7): B65D25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MEREK, JOSEPH C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DANIEL J. O'CONNOR (INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A coaster(20) for use in a cup holder(10) having a bottom wall(16) and side walls(12, 14), said cup holder(10) being supported by a mounting section(17), said coaster having a top etched or pictoral layer(22) and a central thicker layer(23), said coaster further having an angled section(30) on the outer bottom side thereof, said angled section(30) providing means for tipping said coaster to an upper position and removing the coaster for cleaning or replacement.

2. The coaster of claim 1 wherein said mounting section(17) comprises a vehicle dashboard or a vehicle console.

3. The coaster of claim 1 and further including an upper beveled layer(24) and a lower beveled layer(25), said beveled layers providing means for grasping said coaster.

4. The coaster of claim 1 wherein said coaster(20) has a diameter(D) and wherein said angled section(30) has a width(W) which is about one-tenth of said diameter(D).

5. The coaster of claim 3 wherein said angled section(30) extends from said lower beveled layer(25) to approximately the middle of the central thicker layer(23).

6. A coaster(20) in combination with a cup holder(10) having a bottom wall(16) and side walls(12, 14) extending upwardly therefrom, said coaster including pull tab means(60) on an upper outside edge thereof for removing the coaster from said cup holder for cleaning or replacement.

7. A plurality of coasters in combination with a display casing(40) having plural recesses(41, 42, 43) formed therein, wherein said coasters each have an angled section(30) formed thereon for ease of removal.

Description:

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention is related to the support and container arts and, in particular, to a novel coaster design which facilitates easy removal of a coaster from a cup holder or other container.

[0002] The coasters are typically made of high-quality porous sandstone with artwork printed thereon. It is thus desirable to be able to readily remove the coaster from the bottom of a cup holder or other container.

[0003] Spillage from cup holders and containers is common and thus the cleaning of a supporting coaster is often needed.

[0004] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to demonstrate a coaster which may be easily removed from a position such as the bottom of a cup holder.

[0005] It is a further object of the invention to set forth a coaster removal design which may be economically manufactured for widespread commercial appeal in the mechanical arts.

[0006] The coaster product may be made of various sizes and shapes to fit any desired vehicle cup holder.

[0007] It is also an object of the invention to show a novel coaster design which may be adapted for use with many different materials such as wood, plastic compounds, ceramics etc.

[0008] These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those of skill in the art from the description which follows.

PRIOR ART PATENTS AND DESIGNS

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 5,040,719 issued in 1991 teaches the use of a cup holder and an associated coaster.

[0010] The structure and function described herein is significantly different from the prior art as shown in Classes 248(Supports) and Class 220.

[0011] Other broadly related patents are: D230239, issued to Dodge in 1972, U.S. Pat. No. 4,467,934 issued to Hummer in 1984, U.S. Pat. No. 1,334,342 issued to Woods in 1920 and U.S. Pat. No. 3,302,427 issued to Stoner et al in 1967.

[0012] The present invention is believed to be clearly patentable over all known prior art designs in the U.S. and foreign arts.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] A coaster is modified by removing an outer bottom side to create a pivot point so the coaster may be easily removed from the bottom of a standard cup holder.

[0014] A second embodiment for the coaster design includes a pull tab element made of a flexible material and placed on top of the coaster so that it may be easily removed for cleaning or other purposes.

[0015] A particularly sized section of the bottom of a coaster is removed so that a pivot point is created without compromising the support function of the coaster.

[0016] Other advantageous uses for the pivoting coaster design are suggested in the following description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

[0017] FIG. 1 is a side schematic view of a standard cup holder mounted in a vehicle environment.

[0018] FIG. 2 is a top view of the coaster.

[0019] FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the coaster along lines 3 - - - 3 of FIG. 2.

[0020] FIG. 4 is a further sectional view of the coaster along lines 4 - - - 4 of FIG. 2. A side view of the pivot point is shown in FIG. 4.

[0021] FIG. 5 is an end view of the coaster along lines 5 - - - 5 of FIG. 4. The pivot point is again shown.

[0022] FIG. 6 is an underside view of the coaster.

[0023] FIG. 7 shows a typical method of operation.

[0024] FIG. 8 indicates dimensional sizing of various parts of the invention.

[0025] FIG. 9 shows an advantageous use of the invention concepts in a display environment and usage.

[0026] FIG. 10 is a view of the pull-tab embodiment of the invention.

FULL DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0027] Referring to the drawing figures, FIG. 1 is a side schematic view showing a standard cup holder 10 having a right side wall 12, a left side wall 14 and a lower wall 16.

[0028] A coaster 20 is shown as positioned in the bottom of the cup holder and supporting a cup 11.

[0029] The cup holder may be of various shapes used in the art such as round, square, rectangular etc.

[0030] The cup holder is mounted to a mounting section 17 at numeral 18. The broad mounting section 17 may comprise a vehicle dashboard, a vehicle console or other bracket-type mounting section utilized in the support and mechanical arts.

[0031] The coaster 20 is of primary interest in this description and is of a high-quality fabrication made and distributed under the tradename CoasterStone. Other materials besides porous stone may be used in the process of manufacture.

[0032] FIG. 2 is a top view of the coaster 20 and shows a small beveled outer ring 24 and shows a very top layer 22 which includes a pictoral or etched portion at numeral 22a. A catalog showing the various high quality etchings and painting reproductions will be submitted to the U.S. Patent Office.

[0033] FIG. 3 is a sectional view along lines 3 - - - 3 of FIG. 2 and shows the pictoral/etched layer 22, an upper beveled layer 24, a central thicker layer 23 and a lower smaller beveled layer 25. The smaller beveled layers 24 and 25 provide for ease of handling, safety and an overall decorative appearance.

[0034] FIG. 4 is a sectional view along lines 4 - - - 4 of FIG. 2 and again shows the various layers 22-25 of the coaster 20.

[0035] FIG. 4 also shows a critical feature of the invention at numeral 30 which is a cut or angled section on the outer bottom side of coaster 20. This angled section is at an angle of about 25-30° from the horizontal as shown in the drawing.

[0036] FIG. 5 is an end view along lines 5 - - - 5 of FIG. 4 and further shows the shape and sizing of the angled portion 30. As shown, the angled portion 30 extends a little more than halfway, about 60 percent, across the width of the coaster 20. The angled portion 30 extends from the bottom layer 25 upward to about the middle of the central layer 23.

[0037] FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the coaster 20 and further indicates the relative size and shape of the angled portion 30 as compared to the size of the over-all coaster. Grain lines 32 of the stone or wood coaster are shown as running vertically in FIG. 6 so as to provide a strengthening feature for the coaster when used for its intended purpose.

[0038] FIG. 7 shows the method of operation of the invention. When it is desired to remove the coaster 20 from the bottom of a cup holder 10, a slight manual force is applied at point A. The formed angled portion 30 allows the coaster 20 to pivot to an upper area as indicated by arrow B. The coaster may then be easily grasped and removed for cleaning or replacement.

[0039] FIG. 8 is a bottom schematic view of the coaster 20 and shows the relative sizing of the angled portion 30. For example, for a smaller coaster having a diameter D of 2.6″, the maximum width W of the angled section 30 would be about 0.26″ or about one-tenth of the coaster diameter.

[0040] For a larger coaster having a diameter of 4.0″, the maximum width W of angled section 30 would be about 0.40″. For a very large coaster, known in the art as a trivet, the coaster diameter D would be 7.0″ and the maximum width of the angled section 30 would be about 0.70″.

[0041] The above-described relative sizing formed on the coaster is an important aspect of the invention since the coaster support function is not affected while still allowing a tipping function of the coaster when it is desired to remove it, for example, from the bottom of a cup holder.

[0042] Other coaster removal uses are indicated in FIG. 9.

[0043] FIG. 9 shows a wooden display casing 40 used for showing and storage of the decorative coasters.

[0044] The casing 40 would typically have several recesses 41, 42 and 43 formed therein. Each recess would have a coaster 20 or a larger coaster 50, known in the art as a trivet, placed therein.

[0045] For easy removal from the display casing 40, the angled sections 30 again allow a slight manual pressure to be applied to tip the coaster upward and to be removed with no damage to the decorative display pictures or etchings. The coaster tipping method is as indicated in FIG. 7.

[0046] A further embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 10. In this embodiment, a pull tab 60 is formed on the upper outside edge of the coaster 20 as shown. The pull tab may be fabricated of various flexible spring-back materials known in the mechanical arts.

[0047] Thus, the same easy removal of the coaster 20 from a recessed area is achieved.

[0048] While particular structures, dimensions and methods of use have been described herein, it is intended in this specification to cover all equivalent structures and methods of use which would reasonably occur to those of skill in the art.

[0049] The invention is further defined by the claims appended hereto.