Title:
Take-out tray
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A removable shelf support structure for use in combination with existing commercial and residential refrigeration systems consisting of two independent members for use in tandem or individually, dimensioned when used in tandem to span the depth and width of most residential refrigerator units, utilizing an “L” bracket construction to allow a small portion of the shelf support structure to rest on the above existing shelving unit in the existing refrigeration system allowing for the shelf support unit to hang suspended from the existing refrigerator shelving unit forming a horizontal surface below said existing refrigerator shelf for use as temporary shelving space, with said shelving units being removable and easily storable when not being utilized for added shelving support for a plurality of items stored in the refrigerator unit.



Inventors:
Toomey-rossow, Eve Marie (Burnsville, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/051563
Publication Date:
08/10/2006
Filing Date:
02/07/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/90.01
International Classes:
A47F5/08; A47F3/06; F25D25/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHWEGMAN LUNDBERG & WOESSNER, P.A. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shelf support structure adaptable for use with existing refrigerator units composed of two independent members, each of said members placed on opposing sides of the existing refrigerator unit shelving or to be utilized individually, each unit spanning the approximate depth of the existing refrigerator unit with a width that allows for the support of a plurality of items on said shelving member for a plurality of uses.

2. The shelf support structure defined in claim 1 wherein each member is removable from said refrigerator unit allowing for utilization of said shelving unit by sliding along existing refrigerator shelving sides when deemed necessary by the user.

3. The shelf support structure defined in claim 1 wherein an “L” bracket slides and attaches said shelving unit to existing refrigerator shelving to be positioned so that a small tab of the unit rests on the above refrigerator shelving, the side of the member to be parallel with the side walls of the refrigerator and the remaining shelf portion of said member to hang below the existing refrigerator shelf unit.

4. The shelf support member defined in claim 3 wherein said “L” bracket are dimensioned so as to enable said shelf support structure to be attached to the existing shelving members of the exiting refrigeration system at an intermediate location in a flat horizontal position.

5. The shelf support structure defined in claim 1 having two opposing members for use in tandem or individually are constructed of thin food grade material that is capable of withstanding the weight and force of sustaining food items and the like in the refrigeration unit.

6. The improvement defined in claim 2 wherein said shelving units are removable utilizing the space below an existing refrigerator shelf when deemed necessary by the consumer.

7. A shelf support structure for use with existing refrigeration units consisting of first and second removable members, each of said members forming a partial shelf when suspended from the existing refrigerator shelving units to enable the use of the space below said existing shelf.

8. The shelving unit defined in claim 5 being constructed of a food grade material that has the durability to withstand frequent cleaning in a variety of water temperature and cleansing products.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISK, APPENDIX

Not Applicable

REFERENCES CITED
U.S Patent Documents
DateInventorClass/Subclass
2538958January, 1951Augenfield108/108
3401997September, 1968Hanifan312/406.1
4023682May, 1977Niece211/184
4515421May, 1985Steffes312/408
4828120May, 1989Beil et al.211/88.01
4923260May, 1990Poulsen312/351
5004302April, 1991Stocking et al.312/408
5403083April, 1995Dasher et al.312/408
5450971September, 1995Boron et al.211/134
5454638October, 1995Bird et al.312/408
5769520June, 1998Jun et al.312/408

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A wide variety of devices have been designed and manufactured for use in home, Restaurant and institutional refrigeration systems to improve storage within. One of the main problems associated with home, restaurant, and institutional refrigeration shelving systems is the insufficient use of available storage space, in particular the vertical space between existing shelving units. Although various shelving systems have been designed to alleviate this particular problem such as the adjustable side mounted systems disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 540,971, 5,769,520, 4,023,682, 4,828,120, 5,454,638, 5,403,083, such units were designed to be incorporated as part of particular models of refrigerators since they are rail or slot systems mounted to the side of the refrigerator and are part of the original manufacturing. These adjustable systems therefore are not available for use in existing units already in consumers homes. These systems can also not be transferred from one refrigeration unit to another. The existing systems do not allow for easy storage of an extra shelf when not in use in the refrigeration unit. It is therefore a principal aim of the present invention to alleviate some of the short comings associated with the known prior art devices and to provide a removable shelving system that is compatible with many of the exiting home, restaurant, and institutional refrigeration systems, which is removable, easy to store when not in use and allows the user to utilize the vertical space between existing refrigerator shelving.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The present refrigerator shelf system has overcome the short comings associated with the known mounted adjustable shelving systems through the removable application allowing the device to be used in various brands of existing refrigeration systems. This hanging support provides a small removable shelving system can be used for supporting various refrigerated products such as take-out containers, pizza boxes, small food items and food containers, flat food containers and the like. This allows the user the convenience of a removable small shelf for added storage in virtually any existing refrigerator system allowing for increased space with in the refrigeration unit. The slide mount system which uses tabs to slide on to and hang from an existing shelf allows for use in refrigerators with either acrylic, plastic or wire existing shelving of varying width and depths, with either top/bottom refrigerator freezer construction or side by side refrigerator freezer construction. The hanging “L” shape utilizes little space on the shelf it is supported by and allows for ample storage space on the shelf below the removable apparatus. The clear acrylic construction allows for durability and visual appeal in virtually any existing home refrigeration system. Previous refrigerator shelving has been mounted to the side of the refrigeration unit allowing for only a set number of shelves that are large and not easily adjustable.

The present shelving is easily removable and small for storage when not in use. The present shelving system is constructed for use in many name brand home refrigeration systems including most models of AMANA, FRIGIDAIRE, GE, WHIRLPOOL, MAYTAG, and many other leading brands. This shelving system can be used to maximize the existing space in these refrigeration units without the need for mounting new shelving or storing large shelf units when not in use. Most importantly this shelving system is cost effective since it is constructed to adapt to existing refrigeration shelving equipment, such a support system requires no additional parts, tools to other means of interconnecting the same into various refrigeration systems. It is therefore a principal objective of the invention to provide a removable shelving system for use with existing shelving systems utilized in many homes, restaurants, institutions and the like. Another objective is to provide a removable shelving unit which more effectively utilizes available refrigerator space by reducing and saving vertical space between existing shelving units. Another objective is to provide a shelving unit that is removable and small enough for easy storage when not in use. Another objective is for the removable shelving to be visually appealing in most models of home refrigeration systems. These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art after considering the following detailed specification which disclosed the preferred embodiment of the present shelving structure in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1. is a perspective view showing the present invention in one form of possible usage within an existing refrigerator unit. The two devices shown are of the same construction and measurements. They are shown in FIG. 1 being used in tandem facing opposite each other. In this view members 1 and 2 are of the same shape and measurement, members 3 and 4 are of the same shape and measurement, members 5 and 6 are of the same shape and measurement, and members 7 and 8 are of the same shape and measurement. The present invention is here shown to slide onto the existing refrigerator shelf (9) fitting between the shelf (9) and the side of the refrigerator unit (10). All measurements are the same for the second device to be used in tandem with the first.

FIG. 2 is a partial perspective showing the side view of the present invention. Member 1 measures 2¼ in width by 1½ in length. The thickness of the unit (8 and 9) measures ⅛ in. The height of the present invention depicted in member 3 is 5 in. The width of the tray portion of the present invention depicted by member 5 is 7½ in. The lip area used to hold boxes onto the tray depicted by member 7 is ¾ in. The inner lip measurement depicted by member 10 is ⅝ in. All measurements are the same for the second device to be used in tandem with the first.

FIG. 3. is a partial perspective showing the present invention from a top view. The width of the entire present invention is depicted as the tray area shown by member 5 with measurements of 13½ in. length and 7½ in length. Both tabs used for securing the present invention to the existing refrigerator shelf are shown depicted by member 1. Again the width of these tabs are shown by member 10 at 1½ in. The length of these tabs is depicted by member 11 at 2¼ in. The spacing between the two tabs is depicted by member 12 and measures 9 inches across. The lip area at the end of the tray portion is depicted by member 7. The thickness of the unit is depicted by member 9. All measurements are the same for the second device to be used in tandem with the first.

FIG. 4. is a perspective view of the present invention showing all of the surfaces described in the previous views. The tabs represented by member 1. The thickness depicted by member 8. The inner measurement between the tabs depicted by member 12. The outer edge connecting the support tabs to the tray unit depicted by member 3 measuring 5 inches. The tray unit depicted by member 5 measuring 7½ inches. The lip area at the end of the tray unit depicted by member 7 measuring ¾ in by 13½ in. All measurements are the same for the second device to be used in tandem with the first.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a shelf system for a home, restaurant, institutional refrigeration system and the like, more particularly, to a removable and storable shelving system for use in existing refrigeration shelving systems. This unit would be suspendable from existing shelving space in order to utilize vertical spacing between shelving units. This increases and maximizes shelf capacity. The preferred embodiment of the invention would be constructed of clear acrylic molded into an “L” shaped design to form the storage space (see drawing for details). The unit would consist of two separate identical pieces to be used in tandem adjacent to each other for larger items such as large container and pizza boxes or separate for smaller containers or clamshell (to go) containers. The units would have one inch by two inch tabs on the top ends of each unit from which they would suspend from the existing refrigerator shelving unit, sliding into place between the side wall of the refrigeration unit and the existing shelving. Thereby creating a small removable, storable shelving system for use in existing refrigeration systems that maximizes the usage of the vertical space between existing shelving.