Title:
FLEXIBLE BOWL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flexible bowl having a base, circumferential wall, and a contoured rim forming an open end and interior surface of the bowl. The bowl is constructed out of silicone or another like material. The circumferential walls are flexible to allow opposing sides to be bent towards each other forming a spout-like channel to allow food to be efficiently removed. The contours on the rim cause the spout to have an oblong end making it more effective in removing food. The base is thick to provide stability. The thickness of the base relative to the weight and dimensions of the wall allows the bowl to be as stable as a traditional bowl. The circumferential wall has a lower, middle, and upper region. The lower region and the rim may be thicker than the middle and upper regions. The bowl is dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe, and oven-proof.



Inventors:
Agresta, Richard (Fairfield, NJ, US)
Levan, Kenneth (Shunk, PA, US)
Hermann, Gunter (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/684919
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/12/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G19/02
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Primary Examiner:
ALLEN, JEFFREY R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ladas & Parry LLP (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A flexible bowl, comprising: a base, circumferential wall, and rim forming an open end and an inside surface for holding food; said circumferential wall being flexible to enable opposing sides of said circumferential wall to be squeezed towards each other in order to form a spout-like channel on said rim to efficiently remove contents from said bowl; the thickness of said base and the weight and dimension of said circumferential wall provide said bowl with a stability equivalent to that of a traditional bowl; and said rim is contoured giving said spout-like channel an oblong end to more efficiently control the removal of food from said bowl.

2. The flexible bowl as in claim 1, wherein said bowl has a lid matching the contours of said rim to cover said bowl.

3. The flexible bowl as in claim 1, wherein said cover has sealing flanges to form a tight seal to said top.

4. The flexible bowl as in claim 1, wherein said bowl is constructed of a flexible material thereby giving flexibility to said circumferential wall.

5. The flexible bowl as in claim 1, wherein said bowl is constructed out of silicone.

6. The flexible bowl as in claim 1, wherein said bowl is microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe.

7. The flexible bowl as in claim 6, wherein said bowl is also oven proof.

8. The flexible bowl as in claim 1, wherein said inside surface of said bowl is smooth to minimize food residue from remaining in said bowl.

9. The flexible bowl as in claim 1, wherein said inside surface of said bowl has volume markings.

10. A flexible bowl, comprising: a base, circumferential wall, and rim forming an open end and an inside surface for holding food; said circumferential wall being flexible to enable opposing sides of said circumferential wall to be squeezed towards each other in order to form a spout-like channel on said rim to efficiently remove contents from said bowl; the thickness of said base and the weight and dimension of said circumferential wall provide said bowl with a stability equivalent to that of a traditional bowl; and said circumferential wall has a lower, middle, and upper region, said lower region being thicker than said middle and upper regions.

11. The flexible bowl as in claim 10, wherein said rim is thicker than said middle and upper regions.

12. The flexible bowl as in claim 10, wherein said bowl is constructed of a flexible material thereby giving flexibility to said circumferential wall.

13. The flexible bowl as in claim 10, wherein said bowl is constructed out of silicone.

14. The flexible bowl as in claim 10, wherein said bowl is microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe.

15. The flexible bowl as in claim 14, wherein said bowl is also oven proof.

16. The flexible bowl as in claim 10, wherein said inside surface of said bowl is smooth to minimize food residue from remaining in said bowl.

17. The flexible bowl as in claim 10, wherein said inside surface of said bowl has volume markings.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention pertains to the fields of food preparation and cookware.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Bowls are traditionally used to contain solid and liquid food or ingredients in furtherance of eating or preparing a meal. Bowls are typically concave shaped and are constructed of a generally rigid and inflexible material in order to provide stability. A funnel or spout is often required to effectively remove ingredients from a traditional shaped bowl because the wide circumference of the outer rim is an ineffective surface for pouring the ingredients in a controlled manner.

Prior art bowls have been developed with flexible walls in order to allow a funnel or spout to be formed on the rim for more efficiently pouring the contents. For instance, the Norpro Flexible Pinch Bowl is a small silicone bowl approximately 2.5″ by 1.5″. The sides of the Norpro Flexible Pinch bowl are intended to be “pinched” towards each other in order to form a funnel. However, the funnel on these prior art bowls are not efficient at effectively pouring the contents. Additionally, these prior art bowls are small and intended to hold only a small volume of ingredients. These bowls may be too unstable to effectively contain heavier foods if the bowls were bigger.

Accordingly, it is desired to have a bowl with contoured walls that can be bent towards each to form a spout-like channel having an oblong end on the outer rim of the bowl in order to allow food to be more efficiently removed in a controlled manner while being as stable as a traditional bowl. It is further desired that the bowl be dishwasher safe and microwave safe. Additionally it is further desired that the flexible bowl can be used as a measuring cup.

Therefore it is an object of this invention to provide a bowl that is as stable as a traditional bowl that has a flexible circumferential wall to allow a spout-like channel to be formed when opposing sides of the wall are squeezed together;

It is another object of the present invention to provide a bowl that is as stable as a traditional bowl that has a flexible circumferential wall to allow a spout-like channel to be formed when opposing sides of the wall are squeezed together and has volume markings to also serve as a measuring cup.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a bowl that is as stable as a traditional bowl that has a flexible circumferential wall to allow a spout-like channel to be formed when opposing sides of the wall are squeezed together that is microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe.

Still a further object of the present invention is to provide to provide a bowl that is as stable as a traditional bowl that has a flexible circumferential wall to allow a spout-like channel to be formed when opposing sides of the wall are squeezed together that is easy to manually clean.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The foregoing objects are met by the present invention directed to a flexible bowl. The bowl has a base, circumferential wall and contoured rim on the top portion of the circumferential wall forming an open end and an interior surface for holding food. The bowl is constructed of silicone or another like material which allows the bowl to be generally flexible, microwave safe and dishwasher safe. The circumferential wall of the bowl is thin to allow opposing sides to be bent towards each other. When the sides of the wall of the bowl are squeezed together, the upper lip forms a spout-like channel to allow the contents of the bowl to be easily and efficiently removed. The contours in the rim provide the spout with an oblong end making it more effective in pouring the ingredients from the bowl. When the force is removed, the sides of the wall return to their original shape.

The base of the bowl is thick so that it provides stability for the bowls. The thickness of the base relative to the weight and dimensions of the circumferential wall makes the bowl as stable as a traditional bowl. It is preferred that the rim of the bowl is constructed of a thicker material so that so that the structure of the spout is maintained while the user squeezes opposing sides of the wall.

The interior of the bowl has a smooth surface to minimize the risk of food residue remaining in the bowl and to make the bowl easy to manually clean. The bowl may have markings to allow the bowl to serve as a measuring cup. The bowl may also have a lid matching the shape of the contoured circumferential wall to cover the open end of the bowl.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred but, nonetheless, illustrative embodiment of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 provides an elevational view of the flexible bowl with a lid thereon;

FIG. 2 provides a top plan view of the flexible bowl with a lid thereon;

FIG. 3 provides an elevational sectional view of the flexible bowl with a lid thereon;

FIG. 4 provides an exploded view of the flexible bowl and lid;

FIG. 5 provides a top plan view of the flexible bowl;

FIG. 6 provides an elevational view of the flexible bowl with the wall being squeezed by a user to form a spout-like channel and ingredients being poured therefrom;

FIG. 7 provides an elevational view of the flexible bowl; and

FIG. 8 provides a sectional elevational view of the bowl.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With particular reference to the drawings, the present invention is directed to an improved bowl having a base 4, a circumferential wall 6 attached to the base 4, and a contoured rim 8 on the top portion of the circumferential wall forming an open end 24 and an interior surface 22 of the bowl for holding food. As shown in FIGS. 1, 5, 6, and 7, the base 4 is generally circular. The exterior surface of the base 4 has a frictional surface which maintains the positioning of the base on the resting surface to ensure that the bowl 2 is not accidentally dislodged. The base 4 is constructed of a thick layer of material to provide stability to the bowl 2. The interior surface 22 of the bowl is smooth to minimize food residue from remaining in the bowl and to allow it to be easily hand washed.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8, a contoured circumferential wall 6 is attached to the base. The circumferential wall 6 which extends above the base 4 at a predetermined height and width depending on the size of the bowl 2 required. The circumferential wall 6 is preferably curvilinear to provide an increased surface for the food. However, the wall 6 may be generally vertical.

The bowl 2 is constructed of a material that is generally flexible, durable and non-toxic. The bowl 2 is preferably constructed out of FDA-grade silicone which is nonporous, easy to clean, dishwasher safe and microwave safe, commercially available from GE Toshiba or Wacker. The bowl 2 may also be made of a silicone material that is oven proof. The bowl 2 is molded from silicone and then cured by being baked. The bowl 2 is then washed to remove toxins.

The circumferential wall 6 of the bowl has a lower 10, middle 12, and upper 14 region. The lower region preferably has thick walls so that it is more stable. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 8, the middle 12 and upper 14 regions of the circumferential wall may have thinner walls so that these portions of the circumferential wall are easily bent. However, the circumferential wall 6 may also have a uniform thickness throughout. The rim 8 is located at the free end of the upper region 14. The rim 8 is preferably a little thicker than the middle and upper regions 12, 14 of the circumferential wall so that it is slightly more stable and less flexible.

As shown in FIG. 6, when the opposing sides of the circumferential wall 6 are bent towards each other, a spout-like channel 16 is formed in the middle 12 and upper 14 portions of the circumferential wall and the rim 8. The spout-like channel 16 provides a narrow concave surface for directing the removal of food inside the bowl.

The rim 8 is contoured so that the distance between the rim surface and the base is continually changing throughout a portion or the entire circumference of the wall 6. The contours in the rim 8 create an oblong end on the spout 16 of the bowl making it more effective in guiding food that is being removed from the bowl. In one embodiment, a lid 18 is shaped to match the contours of the rim 8. The lid 18 has a circumferential flange 20 on its peripheral edge for creating a tight seal on the bowl 2.

The spout-like channel 16 having an oblong end allows food to be easily and efficiently removed in a controlled manner. For example, the flexible bowl 2 allows a user preparing a cake to place the dry and wet raw ingredients in the bowl, move the bowl underneath a free standing electric mixer and then pour the batter into a pan efficiently without needing additional bowls or utensils. Similarly, pancake batter may be mixed in the bowl and then efficiently poured directly from the bowl into a heated pan without requiring additional equipment.

Importantly, the thickness of the base 4 relative to the weight and dimensions of the circumferential wall 6 provides the bowl with a stability equivalent to that on a traditional bowl. Therefore, there is no risk of the bowl 2 being overturned or bending out of shape while food is being held in its interior 22 and the bowl may be used in a traditional manner in addition to applications involving the flexing of the sides of the wall 6.

The interior of the bowl 22 may have markings 26 to designate specific volumes. For instance, a 1.5 quart bowl may have markings to designate 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 cups. The markings 26 may consist of grooves within the interior of the bowl 22 or can be colored indicia applied to the surface.

The bowl 2 may be sold individually or as a set in a variety of sizes. For example, the bowls may be sold in units including 2 cups, 1 quart, 1.5 quarts, and 2 quarts. It is preferable that the set of bowls have dimensions to allow them to stack within each other.

It should be understood, of course, that the specific form of the invention herein illustrated and described is intended to be representative only, as certain changes may be made therein without departing from the clear teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, reference should be made to the following appended claims in determining the full scope of the invention.





 
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