Title:
SHOT GLASS WITH RELEASING ELEMENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shot glass with a releasing element is described. The apparatus in a first embodiment comprises a cup section comprising a base comprising a top surface, a bottom surface, and an edge, and a wall extending from the base at a first end of the wall, the top surface of the base and the wall defining a cavity. The apparatus in this embodiment further comprises a scraper section comprising a base member having one or more arms, each arm having a peripheral end and a blade member extending from each the peripheral end at a first end of the blade member, each blade member having a first axial edge and a second axial edge and a second end opposite the first end, the scraper section further comprising a head ring mounted to each the second end, and a system for attaching the scraper section to the cup section. The cup section attaches to the scraper section in one embodiment by a boss in the case of the cup section engaging an aperture in the base member of the scraper section. The cup section attaches to the scraper section in another embodiment by a lip in the cup section engaging a groove in the scraper section.



Inventors:
Megleo, Jared (BeachPark, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/132333
Publication Date:
12/11/2008
Filing Date:
06/03/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D6/10
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
ALLEN, JEFFREY R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IP Docket (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A shot glass with a releasing element, comprising: a cup section comprising a base comprising a top surface, a bottom surface, and an edge; and a wall extending from said base at a first end of said wall, said top surface of said base and said wall defining a cavity; a scraper section comprising a base member comprising an arm having a first peripheral end, and a blade member extending from said peripheral end at a first end of said blade member, said blade member having a first axial edge and a second axial edge and a second end opposite said first end, said blade member further comprising a head ring at said second end; and means for attaching said scraper section to said cup section.

2. The shot glass of claim 1, wherein said means for attaching comprises: a lip at a second end of said wall, said second end being opposite said first end of said wall, and a groove in said head ring.

3. The shot glass of claim 1, wherein said means for attaching comprises: a boss extending from said base of said cup section, and an aperture through said base member of said scraper section.

4. The shot glass of claim 3, wherein said boss further comprises a cap.

5. The shot glass of claim 3, wherein said boss is undercut.

6. The shot glass of claim 1, wherein said means for attaching comprises: a boss extending from said base member of said scraper section, and a cavity in said base of said cup section.

7. The shot glass of claim 6, wherein said boss further comprises a cap.

8. The shot glass of claim 6, wherein said boss is undercut.

9. A shot glass with a releasing element, comprising: a cup section comprising a base comprising a top surface, a bottom surface, and an edge; and a wall extending from said base at a first end of said wall, said top surface of said base and said wall defining a cavity; a scraper section comprising: a base member having a plurality of arms, each said arm having a peripheral end and a blade member extending from each said peripheral end at a first end of said blade member, each said blade member having a first axial edge and a second axial edge and a second end opposite said first end, said scraper section further comprising a head ring mounted to each said second end; and means for attaching said scraper section to said cup section.

10. The shot glass of claim 9, wherein said means for attaching comprises: a lip at a second end said wall, said second end being opposite said first end of said wall, and a groove in said head ring.

11. The shot glass of claim 9, wherein said means for attaching comprises: a boss extending from said base of said cup section, and an aperture through said base member of said scraper section.

12. The shot glass of claim 11, wherein said boss further comprises a cap.

13. The shot glass of claim 11, wherein said boss is undercut.

14. The shot glass of claim 9, wherein said means for attaching comprises: a boss extending from said base member of said scraper section, and a cavity in said base of said cup section.

15. The shot glass of claim 14, wherein said boss further comprises a cap.

16. The shot glass of claim 14, wherein said boss is undercut.

Description:

PRIORITY

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/941,976, filed Jun. 5, 2007, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of containers for releasably holding material, more specifically for releasably holding material such as food items, even more specifically for holding food items such as solid or semi-solid food items, such as gelatinized food items.

Containers are used to hold various items. The invention will be described for use with holding and releasing gelatinized food items, but the invention can be used for other food items, such as cheeses, salads, ices, ice creams, custards, puddings, and processed meats, or for any solid, semi-solid, or aggregate material. The invention will also be described for use with one-ounce containers, but the principles of the invention can be used for any other size.

Flavored gelatinized desserts are commonly prepared as single servings, typically in a one-ounce-sized container. The dessert is prepared as a liquid, poured into a plurality of serving-sized containers, and allowed to set. A single container can then be then served to each individual. The containers are typically glass, plastic, or waxed paper. Problems arise in ingesting the dessert, as the dessert material often sticks to the walls of the container. A serving utensil such as a spoon is often required, defeating the informal and portable characteristics of the dessert. Or, users will be required to expend great effort to expel all of the dessert material from the container.

A need exists for a serving-sized container that will release all or substantially all of the dessert material. The present invention meets this need and resolves the inadequacies of the prior art.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprises a shot glass with a releasing element. The apparatus in a first embodiment comprises a cup section comprising a base comprising a top surface, a bottom surface, and an edge, and a wall extending from the base at a first end of the wall, the top surface of the base and the wall defining a cavity. The apparatus in this embodiment further comprises a scraper section comprising a base member having one or more arms, each arm having a peripheral end and a blade member extending from each peripheral end at a first end of the blade member, each blade member having a first axial edge and a second axial edge and a second end opposite the first end, the scraper section further comprising a head ring mounted to each the second end, and a system for attaching the scraper section to the cup section. The cup section attaches to the scraper section in one embodiment by a boss in the base of the cup section engaging an aperture in the base member of the scraper section. The cup section attaches to the scraper section in another embodiment by a lip in the cup section engaging a groove in the scraper section.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The organization and manner of the structure and operation of the invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying non-scale drawings, wherein like reference numerals identify like elements in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the shot glass of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a partially-cutaway perspective view of the shot glass of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the shot glass of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an elevation view of the cup section of the shot glass of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is bottom plan view of the shot glass of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the shot glass of FIG. 1, taken along line A-A as shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is a side view of one embodiment of a portion of the cup section of FIG. 4.

FIG. 8 is a side view of another embodiment of a portion of the cup section of FIG. 4.

FIG. 9A is a partially cut-away side view of one embodiment of the scraper section of FIG. 3.

FIG. 9B is a partially cut-away side view of another embodiment of the scraper section of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

While the invention may be susceptible to embodiment in different forms, there is shown in the drawings, and herein will be described in detail, specific embodiments with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the principles of the invention, and is not intended to limit the invention to that as illustrated and described herein.

The shot glass 10 of the preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in exploded view in FIG. 1, has a cup section 20 and a releasing element, scraper section 44, Scraper section 44, when assembled to cup section 20, as shown in FIG. 2, sits co-axially to and inside cup section 20.

Cup section 20 has a circular base 22 having a top surface 24, bottom surface 26, and edge 28 at the circumference thereof. Base 22 is preferably generally planar, but in other embodiments, top surface 24 and bottom surface 26 can each be one or the other of concave and convex in cross-section.

Wall 30 extends from the edge 28. In the preferred embodiment, wall 30 extends upward parabolically, as shown in cross-section in FIGS. 4 and 6. In another embodiment, wall 30 is an upside-down conico-frustum. In yet another embodiment, wall 30 is a cylinder. Wall 30 has a first end 32 connected to edge 28 and a second end 34, opposite to first end 32.

Wall 30 and top surface 24 of base 22 define an open-topped cavity 36. Boss 38, as will be explained below in more detail, projects from the center of top surface 24 and into cavity 36.

Wall 30 preferably terminates at second end 34 with lip 40. Lip 40 extends radially outward from wall 30 at second end 34. In another embodiment, there is no lip 40 at second end 34.

Scraper section 44 in the preferred embodiment has a base member 46, two blade members 54, 56, and a head ring 58. In the preferred embodiment, base member 46 comprises a first arm 48 and a second arm 50. First arm 48 extends from the center 52 of base member 46 to a first peripheral end 60. Second arm 50 extends from center 52 to second peripheral end 62. First arm 48 and second arm 50 are preferably diametrically opposed, as illustrated, so that the distance between first peripheral end 60 and second peripheral end 62 is approximately the same or slightly less than the inner diameter of wall 30 at top surface 24. In the preferred embodiment, first arm 48 and second arm 50 form the shape of a bow tie. In other embodiments, base member 46 has other shapes. Preferably, first arm 48 and second arm 50 have beveled or sharpened radial edges.

There are various systems to attach scraper section 44 to cup section 20. One way is by a means for attaching base member 46 of scraper section 44 to base 22 of cup section 20. Another way is by a means for attaching lip 40 of cup section 20 to head ring 58 of scraper section 44. Another way is to use means for attaching in both locations.

In the preferred embodiment, base member 46 has an aperture 64 at the center thereof, configured to receive boss 38. In a first embodiment, boss 38 is a cylindrical structure having a height above top surface 24 that is just slightly greater than the depth of base member 46. Boss 38 has a diameter just slightly less than the diameter of aperture 64. When scraper section 44 is inserted inside cavity 36 and properly positioned, a heat iron is briefly touched to the top end 66 of boss 38 to form a cap 68, as shown in FIG. 7, to keep base member 46 attached to cup section 20.

In another embodiment, boss 38 has a slight amount of back draft or undercut, as shown in FIG. 8, so that the diameter at top end 66 is slightly greater than the diameter of aperture 64. In this embodiment, base member 46 is forced over boss 38, but will tend to stay on boss 38 unless pulled off purposefully.

In another embodiment, boss 38 is on base member 46 and aperture 64 is a bore in base 22.

In the preferred embodiment, there are two blade members 54, 56, corresponding to first arm 48 and second arm 50. In other embodiments, there are fewer or greater numbers of blade members. In the illustrated embodiment, blade member 54 is identical to blade member 56. Blade member 54 has a first end 70, a second end 72, a first axial edge 74, and a second axial edge 76. Blade member 54 extends from first end 70, at first peripheral end 60 of base member 46, upwardly, following wall 30 and terminating at second end 72. Blade member 56 has a first end 70′, a second end 72′, a first axial edge 74′, and a second axial edge 76′. Blade member 56 extends from first end 70′, at second peripheral end 62 of base member 46, upwardly, following wall 30 and terminating at second end 72′.

Both blade members 54, 56 preferably have a shape corresponding to the cross-sectional shape of wall 30, be it straight, frusto-conical, parabolic, or other shape, as described above.

Both blade members 54, 56 terminate at their second ends, 72, 72′, respectively, at head ring 58. Head ring 58 is a circular structure, having a diameter approximately equal to the diameter of wall 30 at second end 34. Head ring 58 preferably forms a circular groove 80 corresponding in shape and size to lip 40. In the preferred embodiment, groove 80 opens in a direction toward base 22, as shown in FIG. 9A.

When scraper section 44 is assembled to cup section 20 as described above, lip 40 nests inside groove 80. Accordingly, grasping head ring 58 at any point along its circumference allows the user to twist scraper section 44 relative to cup section 20, as shown by the arrow in FIG. 2. (Please note that scraper section 44 can be rotated in either direction.) Because blade members 54, 56 correspond in shape to wall 30, and the axial edges 74, 76, 74′, 76′ are preferably beveled, the rotation of scraper section 44 scrapes or releases any substance that was held within shot glass 10.

In another embodiment, groove 80 opens in a direction toward wall 30, as shown in FIG. 9B. Accordingly, head ring 58 has to be snapped onto lip 40 by bending head ring 58. In this embodiment, head ring 58 attaches scraper section 40 to cup section 20. In this embodiment, boss 38 can be as described above. In another embodiment, boss 38 has a straight cylindrical shape. In this embodiment, aperture 64 receives boss 38 but there is no backdraft or undercut, and a heat iron is not used to form a cap 68. In yet another embodiment, there is no aperture 64 or boss 38 and scraper section 40 attaches to cup section 20 solely by head ring 58 and lip 40.

In another embodiment, scraper section 44 has but a single blade member 54. In this embodiment, base member 46 is an arm 48 having a first peripheral end 60 with an aperture 64 opposite first peripheral end 60, configured to receive boss 38. Boss 38 is as described above. Single blade member 54 has a first end 70, a second end 72, a first axial edge 74, and a second axial edge 76. Blade member 54 extends from first end 70, at first peripheral end 60 of base member 46, upwardly, following wall 30 and terminating at second end 72. Blade member 54 preferably has a shape corresponding to the cross-sectional shape of wall 30, be it straight, frusto-conical, parabolic, or other shape, as described above.

Blade member 54 terminates at its second end 72 at head ring 58. Head ring 58 is as described above. When scraper section 44 is assembled to cup section 20 as described above, lip 40 nests inside groove 80. Accordingly, grasping head ring 58 at any point along its circumference allows the user to twist scraper section 44 relative to cup section 20, as described above. Because blade member 54 corresponds in shape to wall 30, and the axial edges 74, 76, are preferably beveled, the rotation of scraper section 44 scrapes or releases any substance that was held within shot glass 10.

Material, including by way of illustration and not by way of limitation a gelatinized dessert, is placed within shot glass 10. For example, a gelatinized dessert preparation can be prepared in liquid form, placed within shot glass 10, and allowed to solidify. When a user wants to ingest the contents of shot glass 10, the user twists head ring 58 relative to cup section 20 to release the material, which will then flow easily out of cup section 20.

In the preferred embodiment, shot glass 10 is injection molded from a hot-moldable plastic such as polyethylene or polypropylene. In other embodiments, other materials can be used, such as other moldable plastics, glass, or waxed or siliconized or otherwise waterproof paper.

Shot glass 10 is preferably disposable or reusable. In embodiments in which a cap 68 is not formed on boss 38, scraper section 44 can be snapped off cup section 20 and the two parts can be separately cleaned and dried, and then be reassembled.

The preferred embodiment has two blade members 54, 56. In other embodiments, a different number of blade members can be used. Scraper section 44 can be formed with one, three, or more blade members.

While preferred embodiments of the present invention are shown and described, it is envisioned that those skilled in the art may devise various modifications of the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.