Title:
Plates with a chamber for holding replaceable decorative inserts
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A plate with a bottom chamber for holding a decorative insert. The plate is made of a clear material such as acrylic, has a downwardly projecting rim on the bottom side and a cap that fits around and over the rim from the bottom. The bottom surface of the plate, the rim and the cap form a chamber in which a decorative element such as a sheet of paper or plastic, photograph, a craft item, or other items may be inserted. The decorative element can be easily replaced by removing the cap.



Inventors:
Casale, Joseph N. (Cary, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/324891
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
01/04/2006
Assignee:
Big Idea Group, Inc.
Quality Products Group, LLC
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCKINLEY, CHRISTOPHER BRIAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Chen Yoshimura LLP (Sunnyvale, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A plate comprising: a plate body having a downwardly projecting rim on a bottom side; and a cap that fits around and over the rim from the bottom side, wherein the rim, the cap and a bottom surface of the plate form a closed chamber.

2. The plate of claim 1, wherein the plate body is make of a clear, hard plastic material.

3. The plate of claim 1, wherein the cap is made of a flexible plastic material.

4. The plate of claim 1, wherein the plate body, the rim and the cap have a circular shape.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to eating utensils, and in particular, it relates to a plate.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a plate that functions as an eating utensil and can be easily decorated with different decorative elements.

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the descriptions that follow and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims thereof as well as the appended drawings.

To achieve these and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described, the present invention provides a plate that includes a plate body having a downwardly projecting rim on a bottom side, and a cap that fits around and over the rim from the bottom side, wherein the rim, the cap and a bottom surface of the plate form a closed chamber.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side cross-sectional view of a plate according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the plate of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, a plate according to an embodiment of the present invention has a plate body 2 and a bottom cap 4. The plate body 2 has a circular shape in the example shown in FIG. 2, but other shapes may also be used. The plate body 2 is preferably made of a clear plastic or glass material (colored or colorless), but other transparent materials may also be used. In one example, the plate is made of acrylic. The bottom of the plate body has a downwardly projecting rim 2a, and the upward facing cap 4 fits around and over the rim 2a from the bottom. The rim 2a and cap 4 in the example of FIGS. 1 and 2 are circular in shape, but they may also be of other shape. The cap 4 is preferably made of a flexible plastic material so it is held securely around the rim 2a. If desired, the cap may be made watertight. The bottom surface 2b of the plate 2, the rim 2a and the cap 4 form a closed chamber in which a decorative element 6 can be held. The decorative element 6, which preferably has the same shape as the chamber, may be a sheet of paper or plastic, photograph, or a craft item such as coloring paper, clay, fabric, sand, etc., or any other suitable material. If a sheet of paper is used, it may be printed or otherwise provided with decorative patterns, or it may simply provide a medium to be written or drawn on. Preferably, the decorative element 6 is placed within the chamber with a decorated side facing upwards so the decorative pattern is visible through the plastic material of the plate 2. In one particular example, the decorative element 6 is a sheet of paper printed with decorative patterns. In another example, the decorative element 6 is a sheet of paper containing drawings or colorings done by a user.

The decorative element 6 can be easily inserted and replaced by removing the cap. The plates can be washed normally after the cap and the decorative element are removed. The plates according to embodiments of the present invention are useful as eating utensils for parties, family gatherings, other occasions, or everyday meals, and can be used by restaurants that serve younger customers.

Note that the decorative elements 6 are not a part of the plate. The plates may be sold commercially with or without the decorative elements, and the decorative elements can be sold either with the plates or separately as replacements.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modification and variations can be made in the plate of the present invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover modifications and variations that come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.





 
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