Title:
Weight for balancing and steadying stemmed glassware
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention is a weight for balancing and steadying stemware and can be used in either one's home, or the restaurant industry. The invention's main objective is to substantially prevent the knocking or tipping over of stemware, which results in spills and stains, and may possibly damage or destroy good stemware, such as glass or crystal stemware. Another object of this invention is to allow the guest or customer to easily identify his/her own stemware. The invention would also allow for the use of good stemware, rather than plastic stemware, when entertaining or dining outdoors; hence, the guests or customers would be able to enjoy the full flavor and aroma of certain beverages, like wine. The fabric of the invention would not scratch or otherwise damage good stemware, as would a metal or plastic weight. This decorative weight for balancing and steadying stemware inherently acts as a spill, drip, or condensation catcher or collector; and the fabric used to make this invention can incorporate any advertising, logos, patterns, designs, etc. desired. Thus, this invention may also be marketed as an advertising gimmick for restaurants, a souvenir for teams and schools, or a party favor.



Inventors:
Reid, Roberta Anne (Pewaukee, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/302556
Publication Date:
06/14/2007
Filing Date:
12/13/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B91/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCDUFFIE, MICHAEL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Atty Richard S Missimer (Elkhorn, WI, US)
Claims:
I claim as my invention:

1. A device for balancing and steadying stemware that comprises: A. A flexible tube made of fabric, or a similar material that allows for the incorporation of patterns, designs, logos, letters, numbers, advertising, etc., that is long enough to encircle the stem of a piece of stemware; and that is closed on both ends; B. A filling substance, such as sand, pebbles, marbles, a liquid, or some other material that allows said flexible tube to weigh down, balance, and steady the stem of a piece of stemware but does not cause the stemware to break when it is picked up, that is contained within the closed ends of said flexible tube; C. Connectors, such as Velcro, snaps, buttons, fasteners, magnets, or some similar device that allows the ends of said flexible tube to connect and hold said flexible tube around the stem of a piece of stemware; Whereby said device in claim 1 balances and steadies a piece of stemware, substantially protecting it from bring knocked over by an act of nature or a person; Whereby the device in claim 1 would allow the guest or customer to easily identify his/her own stemware; Whereby a guest or customer may pick up the stemware with said device in claim 1 on it without fear of damaging or destroying the stemware; Whereby said device in claim 1 does not scratch or otherwise damage good stemware, such as glass or crystal stemware; Whereby said device in claim 1 inherently catches or collects drips, spills, or condensation; and Whereby said device in claim 1 allows the guest or customer to enjoy the full flavor and aroma of a beverage by eliminating the need to contain the beverage in a plastic container.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to stemmed glassware; specifically, it is a decorative weight to steady and balance stemmed glassware.

DISCUSSION OF THE PRIOR ART

Indoor entertaining and dining with stemmed glassware (“stemware”) has presented several inconveniences for hosts, guests, and restaurant entrepreneurs everywhere. First, guests or servers could bump into or knock down the stemware, causing spills and possibly damaging, or even destroying, the glass itself. Second, guests could easily lose track of which stemware belonged to which guest by either putting the stemware down, then wandering off and returning; or simply loosing track while dining together.

Moreover, the “outdoor room” is becoming increasingly popular in America. Americans have an increasing interest in designing and constructing outdoor living spaces, including, but not limited to, patios, decks, porches, and sunrooms. In 2004, Americans spent $10 billion in outdoor room construction, as well as $3 billion in grills and grilling accessories. Today's market fosters the belief that the outdoor room should be every bit as comfortable as the inside of one's home.

Outdoor entertaining and dining with stemware has presented the same problems as indoor entertaining and dining with stemware. Outdoor entertaining and dining with stemware has also led to several new inconveniences, including, but not limited to, wind and animals knocking down, damaging, or destroying the stemware. And the plastic stemware created to reduce the risk of damaging and destroying good stemware, such as glass and crystal stemware, affects the full flavor and aroma of certain beverages, such as wine.

The prior art is designed for one of two purposes: (1) to assist guests in identifying which stemware belongs to them; or (2) to allow guests to carry a tray full of food and a beverage in one hand, while leaving the other hand free for shaking the hands of other guests and other social activities. U.S. Pat. No. 6,741,150 to Holmes, et al. (2004) and U.S. Pat. No. 6,615,517 to King (2003) are examples of the types of prior art that assist guests in identifying their stemware, commonly referred to as “wine charms.” In some cases, such devices would be too small or too similar to allow the guest to identify his/her stemware without actually picking up the stemware or squinting. U.S. Pat. No. 6,691,890 to Persson (2004); U.S. Pat. No. 6,264,026 to Bradley (2001); and U.S. Pat. No. 5,593,062 to Martin (1997) are examples of the types of prior art that allow guests to carry both food and drink in one hand.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,286,709 to Hudson (2001) is a general, fabric based sleeve that is machine washable and reusable. Although this invention may inherently capture or collect spills, drips, and condensation, this is not a named object of the invention. Further, although an object of this invention is to protect a cold beverage from the warmth of the beverage drinker's hands, the invention's main purposes are to insulate a hot beverage inside of a cup and to protect the beverage drinker's hands from the heat emanating from the hot beverage.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This weight for balancing and steadying stemware has several objects and advantages. First, it substantially prevents the stemware from being knocked or tipped over by guests, the wind, etc. Thus, there is little chance of the beverage inside the stemware spilling and staining clothes, furniture, and other materials. There is also little chance of damaging or destroying good stemware. In the case of a restaurant owner, this invention may save the cost of replacing damaged or destroyed stemware, or reduce the cost of purchasing stemware with designs/advertising.

The fabric from which this invention is made can incorporate advertising, designs, patterns, team and school logos, letters, numbers, etc. Thus, guests may easily be able to identify which stemware belongs to which guest. Further, restaurant owners will be able to incorporate their logos, designs, and ads into or onto the fabric. Therefore, if a guest were to accidentally “walk away” with the invention, the invention would still have a continuing advertising value and would result in repeat sales for both the restaurant, and the inventor. The invention could easily be turned into a party favor, gift, or souvenir. The fabric could even be glow-in-the-dark to allow for use in low-lighting and nighttime settings.

The fabric of this invention also acts as an inherent spill, drip, or condensation collector or catcher, thereby protecting the surface underneath the stemware, as well as the guest's hands, clothes, etc.

Additionally, the fabric of this invention would not scratch or otherwise damage the surface of the stemware, as would a metal or plastic weight.

This invention would allow the guest to hold the stemware by the stem, rather than the bowl. Thus, the guest would not accidentally warm a cold beverage with his/her hands.

Finally, this invention is extremely portable. It is light enough for the guest to transport the stemware from surface to surface, but heavy enough to accomplish its main objective of balancing and steadying the stemware.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a consideration of the drawings and ensuing descriptions.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF INVENTION

This invention is a flexible tube made from fabric filled with marbles, pebbles, liquid, or a similar material that has the capacity to weigh down the stem of the stemware without causing the stem to snap or break off when the glass is picked up by a guest or customer. The flexible tube is long enough to encircle the base of the stemware; and the ends of the tube can be fastened together by Velcro, snaps, buttons, or a similar means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1—Stemmed Glass w/ the “StemSteady” device

FIG. 2—Fabric Tube fastener diagram

FIG. 3—Various Patterns

DRAWINGS—REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 100—Stemware
  • 101—the “StemSteady” device
  • 102—fabric tube
  • 103—glassware stem
  • 104—fabric endpoints
  • 105—fastener

DETAILED DESCRIPTION AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

This invention stems from a need to prevent spillage and damage related to the wind and unintended contact with stemware. This stemware 100 tends to be top heavy and slightly out of balance when not perfectly vertical. The StemSteady device 101 is used to counter balance the stemware and contents so that it has improved stability. The StemSteady device 101 is made up of a fabric tube 102 that is filled with a material that adds weight to the tube (such as marbles, pebbles, sand and the like). The fabric tube 102 is then fastened around the stem of the stemware 103, and attached at both ends of the fabric tube 104 by a fastener 105 that attaches each endpoint 104 to the other.

Once fastened together the device 101 aids in the stability of the glassware, and reduces the likelihood that wind or unintended contact may topple the stemware and spill its content or damage the glass itself.

The tube also lends itself to advertisement that can be printed, silk screened, or etched into the fabric. There can be unlimited decorative options that the inventor or end-user can include. FIG. 3 shows just a few of the unlimited combinations that could be used.