Title:
Lunch box transforming into a placemat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lunch box transforming into a placemat has at least two zippers with one of the two zippers running along at least three but preferably four sides while the second zipper runs along the remaining sides so as to allow, when all unzipped, to open the lunch box so that it lays falt and becomes a placemat.



Inventors:
Lebel, Caroline (Laval, CA)
Lebel, Denis (Mascouche, CA)
Application Number:
11/829596
Publication Date:
02/07/2008
Filing Date:
07/27/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/216, 206/541
International Classes:
A45C11/20; B65D77/00
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Primary Examiner:
POON, ROBERT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Caroline Lebel (Montreal, Quebec, CA)
Claims:
1. A lunch box transforming into a placemat comprised of: a structure forming a box like configuration in one mode so as to perform the function of a lunch box, the structure consisting of a lid, a front, a back, a first side, a second side, and a bottom; the placemat is located on the interior side of the structure when the structure performs the function of a flat placemat; the structure has a first and a second zipper that run along at least three but preferably four sides of the structure.

2. A lunch box transforming into a placemat as in claim 1 wherein: a lid handle is located on the lid.

3. A lunch box transforming into a placemat as in claim 1 wherein: a secondary handle is located on the first side.

4. A lunch box transforming into a placemat as in claim 1 wherein: an end strap is located on the second side.

5. A lunch box transforming into a placemat as in claim 1 wherein: a pouch is integrated within the placemat.

6. A lunch box transforming into a placemat as in claim 1 wherein: holding straps located on the placemat for receiving catering articles.

7. A lunch box transforming into a placemat as in claim 1 wherein: an end strap is located on the second side along with a pair of tying straps to tie the lunch box to a bicycle rack.

8. A lunch box transforming into a placemat as in claim 1 wherein: the structure is made out of a flexible material having insulating properties.

9. A lunch box transforming into a placemat as in claim 1 having the method of use consisting in the steps of: a user, unzips the first and second zippers and opens and unfolds the lunch box into its placemat configuration so that the user has access to the food.

Description:

This application claims priority based on provisional application 60/835,974 filed Aug. 7, 2006

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to the field of food serving and containers but more particularly to a lunch box that can unfold into a placemat.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There are several inventions in the field of food serving that present products that have two uses. Most have to do with combining utensils with placemats. Others are more like trays with predefined cavities that act like bowls or plates.

There are of course a variety of boxes which can be unfolded into flat pieces of cardboards designed for single use but these patents are generally for the manufacturing process or to disclose means for storage of boxes which are made out of flat sheets of cardboard.

There does not appear to be a practical way to provide for a lunch box that also acts as a placemat.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known devices now present in the prior art, the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to provide objects and advantages which are:

To provide for a lunch container or lunch box which can be easily unfolded to create a practical placemat.

To provide for a lunch container that is designed for multiple usage and not for one time disposable usage.

To provide for a lunch container that can easily be carried about by hand or on a bicycle rack or such racks.

To provide for a lunch container having insulating capabilities.

To provide for a lunch container wherein the placemat configuration presents a useable surface that is easy to clean.

To provide for a lunch container with features such as holding straps for utensils and optional integrated pouch.

To provide for a container that can be used for a variety of other purposes besides carrying food, such as a make up kit.

To attain these ends, the present invention generally comprises a structure forming a box like configuration in one mode so as to perform the function of a lunch box. The structure consists of a lid, a front, a back, a first side, a second side, and a bottom. The placemat is located on the interior side of the structure when the structure performs the function of a flat placemat. The structure has a first and a second zipper that run along at least three but preferably four sides of the structure.

In a variation of the embodiment, a lid handle is located on the lid.

In another variation of the embodiment, a secondary handle is located on the first side.

In another variation of the embodiment, an end strap is located on the second side.

In another variation of the embodiment, a pouch is integrated within the placemat.

In another variation of the embodiment, holding straps located on the placemat for receiving catering articles.

In another variation of the embodiment, an end strap is located on the second side along with a pair of tying straps to tie the lunch box to a bicycle rack.

In another variation of the embodiment, the structure is made out of a flexible material having insulating properties.

The lunch box has the method of use consisting in the steps of a user, unzipping the first and second zippers and opening and unfolding the lunch box into its placemat configuration so that the user has access to the food.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Further, the purpose of the foregoing abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

These together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter which contains illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 Perspective view of the lunch box zippered.

FIG. 2 Plan view of the lunch box unzipped and in placemat mode.

FIG. 3 Perspective view of a variation of the lunch box, zippered, having tying straps.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A lunch box (10) transforming into a placemat (20). The placemat (20) is located on the interior side of a structure (22). The structure (22) is preferably made out of a flexible material having insulating properties and which consists of material that is easy to clean, hard to soil, impermeable as well as having other suitable characteristics for acting as placemat material.

The structure (22) has a first and a second zipper (12, 12′) wherein the first zipper (12) runs along at least three but preferably four sides defined as b, c, d and e (or just c, d and e) while the second zipper (12′) runs along sides a, b′, c′, d′ and e′ (or b, a, b′, c′, d′ and e′).

A lid handle (14) is located on a lid (16). Besides the lid (16), the lunch box (10) has a front (24), a back (26), a first side (28) and a second side (28′), and a bottom (30). A secondary handle (15) is located on the first side (28).

In an alternate embodiment an end strap (29) is located on the second side (28′) along with a pair of tying straps (34) to tie the lunch box to a bicycle rack (not shown).

In order to consume the food in the lunch box (10), the user, unzips the zippers (12, 12′) and opens and unfolds the lunch box (10) into its placemat configuration so that the user has access to the food.

The placemat has an optional pouch (30) integrated within the placemat (20) as well as holding straps (32) for receiving catering articles such as cutlery.

As to a further discussion of the manner of usage and operation of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.

With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.