Title:
Plate, Glass and Cutlery-Holding Unit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A plate, glass and cutlery-holding unit (10, 10′) I suitable for housing plates and/or saucers (11), glasses (12) and cutlery (13) comprises at least two portions (20,30, 30′, 30″) hinged together so that the unit can take up a closed position in which it is intended to house just cutlery, and an open position in which the unit can house plates, saucers, glasses and cutlery.



Inventors:
Giuseppe, Piacenza (Lodi, IT)
Application Number:
11/547295
Publication Date:
12/18/2008
Filing Date:
11/05/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/195, 211/41.2
International Classes:
A47G19/08; A47B43/00; A47L19/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RODDEN, JOSHUA E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HEDMAN & COSTIGAN, P.C. (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. Plate, glass and cutlery-holding unit (10, 10′) suitable for housing plates and/or saucers (11), glasses (12) and cutlery (13) comprises at least two portions (20, 30, 30′, 30″) hinged together so that the unit can take up a closed position in which it is intended to house just cutlery, and an open position in which the unit can house plates, saucers, glasses and cutlery.

2. Unit (10, 10′) according to claim 1, characterised in that said unit comprises a cutlery-holding portion (20) and two fold-away portions (30, 30′, 30″) that carry out the plate-holding, glass-holding and/or saucer-holding function.

3. Unit (10, 10′) according to claim 2, characterised in that said cutlery-holding portion comprises a base (21) and a slot-type seat (22) that can be fitted onto said base (21) to house the cutlery.

4. Unit (10, 10′) according to claim 3, characterised in that said slot-type seat (22) is in the form of a tubular element (23) with a squashed profile suitable for forming the walls of the cutlery-holder and equipped with end closing edges (24) that extend beyond the transversal width of the tubular element (23).

5. Unit (10, 10′) according to claim 4, characterised in that said base (21) is shaped so as to have a perimetric engagement edge (26) cooperating with a bottom (27) arranged inside of it to receive the tubular element (23) closing it at the base through the bottom (27).

6. Unit (10, 10′) according to claim 2, characterised in that said base (21) carries hinged, through a hinge (28) arranged along one or both sides, at least one, but preferably two, fold-away elements (30) having plate-holding and/or saucer-holding and glass-holding function.

7. Unit (10, 10′) according to claim 2, characterised in that the fold-away elements (30, 30′, 30″) are equipped with parallel sectors (25) extending from the inner walls and suitable for constituting engagement seats for the plates and saucers or supports for the glasses.

8. Unit (10, 10′) according to claim 2, characterised in that the unit (10′) is foreseen equipped with two fold-away elements (30, 30″) hinged together in series and with the first of the two elements (30′) proximal, hinged to the base of the cutlery-holder.

9. Unit (10, 10′) according to claim 8, characterised in that the second fold-away element (30″), distal with respect to the cutlery-holder, is configured to be closed on the proximal fold-away element (30′) hinged to the cutlery-holder, to then close both against the cutlery-holder obtaining the closing of the unit (10′).

10. Unit (10, 10′) according to claim 9, characterised in that the wall of the cutlery-holder facing towards the fold-away elements is foreseen equipped with sectors (25) suitable for cooperating with the corresponding sectors (25) extending from the proximal fold-away element (30′) to house the plates.

11. Unit (10, 10′) according to claim 10, characterised in that the end edges (24) extend just from the side facing towards the fold-away elements (30′, 30″) to receive them in closing.

Description:

The present invention refers to a plate, glass and cutlery-holding unit.

Different types of crockery-holders with or without annexed cutlery-holders equipped with compartments suitable for allowing the plates and glasses to be dried by dripping and exposure to the air are known.

In general, according to the prior art such devices comprise a basket equipped with shaped compartments for housing crockery and/or a basket suitable for receiving cutlery, possibly a tray is arranged under such baskets to collect the drip water.

The aforementioned devices according to the prior art are somewhat rigid in size since they have a frame with a fixed profile for example with substantially the same dimensions in plan as those of the collection tray.

When the dry crockery and cutlery are put back in the cupboards and in the kitchen drawers or else when there are not many pieces to be dried, the excessive bulk of such devices according to the prior art represents a drawback.

The general purpose of the present invention is therefore that of providing a plate, glass and cutlery-holding unit that is compact and multifunctional suitable for avoiding the problems of excessive bulk both during use and when not in use.

Another purpose of the present invention is that of overcoming the drawbacks of the prior art outlined above in an extremely simple, cost-effective and particularly functional manner.

In view of the aforementioned purposes, according to the present invention, it has been thought of to make a plate, glass and cutlery-holding unit having the characteristics outlined in the attached claims.

The structural and functional characteristics of the present invention and its advantages compared to the prior art shall become even clearer from an examination of the following description, referring to the attached drawings, which show a support bracket realised according to the innovative principles of the invention itself.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the unit in open position according to a first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the unit of FIG. 1 in closed position;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the unit of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top front exploded view of the unit of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a top side exploded view of the unit of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the unit of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the unit in open position according to a different embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the unit of FIG. 7 in partially closed position;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the unit of FIG. 7 in closed position.

With reference to the figures, a plate, glass and cutlery-holding unit 10, 10′ suitable for housing plates and/or saucers 11, glasses 12 and cutlery 13 comprises at least two portions hinged together so that the unit can take up a closed position in which it is intended to house just cutlery and an open position in which the unit can house plates, saucers, glasses and cutlery.

Preferably, the unit comprises a cutlery-holding portion 20 and two fold-away portions 30 that carry out the plate-holding, glass-holding and/or saucer-holding function.

According to a first embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 6, the cutlery-holding portion comprises a base 21 and a slot-type seat 22 that can be engaged on said base 21 to house the cutlery.

The slot-type seat 22 is in the form of a tubular element 23 with a squashed profile suitable for forming the walls of the cutlery-holder and equipped with end closing edges 24 that extend beyond the transversal width of the tubular element.

Such a configuration of the slot-type seat, as well as allowing the engagement of the slot-type seat 22 inside the correspondingly shaped base 21, allows the fold-away elements 30 to be received in the position with the unit closed giving the group unit itself compactness and low bulk.

The base 21 is shaped so as to have a perimetric engagement edge 26 cooperating with a bottom 27 arranged inside of it to receive the tubular element 23 closing it at the base through the bottom 27.

The base 21 carries hinged, through a hinge 28 arranged along one or both sides, at least one, but preferably two, fold-away elements 30 having plate-holding and/or saucer-holding and glass-holding function.

Advantageously, the unit 10 is made from plastic material due to its qualities of lightness and strength and the slot-type seat 22 can be removed for practicality and for hygiene reasons, nevertheless it is alternatively covered by the purposes of the present invention to make the cutlery-holding portion in a single piece.

The fold-away elements 30 are equipped with parallel sectors 25 extending from the inner walls and suitable for constituting engagement seats for the plates and saucers or supports for the glasses.

With reference to FIGS. 7 to 9 a different embodiment of the invention is illustrated in which the unit 10′ is foreseen equipped with two fold-away elements 30′, 30″ hinged to each other in series, and with the first of the two elements 30′ that is proximal hinged to the base of the cutlery-holder.

According to such an embodiment the cutlery-holder is thus arranged at the side with respect to the unit 10′.

The second fold-away element 30″, distal with respect to the cutlery-holder, is configured to be closed upon the proximal fold-away element 30′ hinged to the cutlery-holder, to then both close against the cutlery-holder obtaining the closing of the unit 10′.

In such an embodiment, the wall of the cutlery-holder facing towards the fold-away elements is foreseen equipped with sectors 25 suitable for cooperating with the corresponding sectors 25 extending from the proximal fold-away element 30′ to house the plates. In such an embodiment the end edges 24 extend just from the side facing towards the fold-away elements 30′, 30″ to receive them in closing.

Suitable elastic engagement means are foreseen to prevent the accidental opening of the unit.

As is also clear from the figures, the unit 10, 10′ according to the invention allows multi-functional use as regards the reduction in bulk being able to operate just as a cutlery-holder or as a crockery-holder and cutlery-holder according to requirements.

From that which has been described above, with reference to the figures, it is clear how a plate, saucer, glass and cutlery-holding unit according to the invention is particularly useful and advantageous. The purpose mentioned in the preamble of the description is thus achieved.

Of course, the shapes that can be taken up by the unit according to the invention can be different from those shown only as a non-limiting example in the drawings. The scope of protection of the invention is therefore defined by the attached claims.