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1. (WO2019000413) PAIRE DE BAGUETTES AYANT DES SUPPORTS S'ÉTENDANT DANS LE SENS RADIAL
Document

Description

Title of Invention 0001   0002   0003   0004   0005   0006   0007   0008   0009   0010   0011   0012   0013   0014   0015   0016   0017   0018   0019   0020   0021   0022   0023   0024   0025   0026   0027   0028   0029   0030   0031   0032   0033   0034   0035   0036   0037   0038   0039   0040   0041   0042   0043   0044  

Claims

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Drawings

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Description

Title of Invention : PAIR OF CHOPSTICKS HAVING RADIALLY EXTENDING HOLDERS

FIELD

[0001]
The field of this disclosure relates generally to eating utensils for manually manipulating food while eating, and more specifically, to a pair of chopsticks having radially extending holders that inhibit food gripping portions of each of the chopsticks from contacting a surface upon which they are rested when the chopsticks are not in use.

BACKGROUND

[0002]
Chopsticks have been used for many years in Asian cultures as the primary utensil used to grip food while eating. When resting on a surface, such as a table or counter, food gripping portions of the chopsticks are likely to contact the surface and may become contaminated. Contaminated eating utensils can be unappetizing and may even pose a health risk to a user. Likewise, a used chopstick may soil the surface that it contacts.
[0003]
To address these concerns, a pair of chopsticks of the present disclosure has radially extending holders to inhibit contact between surfaces and the food gripping portions of each of the chopsticks.
[0004]
SUMMARY
[0005]
In one aspect, a pair of chopsticks generally comprises a first elongate shaft and a second elongate shaft. The first elongate shaft comprises a first end, a second end spaced from the first end, and a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end. The second elongate shaft comprises a first end, a second end spaced from the first end, and a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end. The radially extending holder of the first elongate shaft is aligned with the radially extending holder of the second elongate shaft along the longitudinal length of the respective elongate shaft.
[0006]
In another aspect, a pair of chopsticks generally comprises a first elongate shaft having a first end, a second end spaced from the first end, and a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end, and a second elongate shaft having a first end, a second end spaced from the first end, and a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end. The radially extending holders of each of the first and second elongate shaft is adapted to support the respective second ends above and spaced from a surface when the first and second elongate shafts are rested on the surface such that the second end of each of the elongate shafts is space a height H above the surface. The height H is between about 2.5 mm and about 6.5 mm.
[0007]
In yet another aspect, a pair of chopsticks generally comprises a first elongate shaft having a first end, a second end spaced from the first end, and a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end, and a second elongate shaft having a first end, a second end spaced from the first end, and a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end. The radially extending holders of each of the first and second elongate shafts have a maximum extent D wherein the maximum extent is between about 9 mm and about 13 mm. The radially extending holders of both the first and second elongate shafts is adapted to support the respective second ends above and spaced from a surface when the first and second elongate shafts are rested on the surface such that the second end of each of the elongate shafts is space a height H above the surface. The height H is between about 2.5 mm and about 6.5 mm.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008]
Figure1is a perspective view of a suitable embodiment of a pair of chopsticks of the present disclosure.
[0009]
Figure 2 is a top view of the pair of chopsticks in general parallel alignment with each other.
[0010]
Figure 3 is a side elevation of one of the chopsticks.
[0011]
Figure 4 is a side elevation of one of the chopsticks resting on a flat surface.
[0012]
Figure 4A is an enlarged view of the food engaging portion or end of one of the chopsticks taken from area 4A of Figure 4.
[0013]
Figure 5 is a front view of the chopsticks.
[0014]
Figure 6 is a side elevation of one of the chopsticks of Figure 1.
[0015]
Figure 6A is an enlarged, fragmentary perspective of a radially extending holder taken from area 6A of Figure 6.
[0016]
Figure 6B is an enlarged, fragmentary cross-section of the radially extending holder taken from area 6B of Figure 6.
[0017]
Figure 7 is a perspective view of another suitable embodiment of a pair of chopsticks of the present disclosure.
[0018]
Figure 8 is a front view of the chopsticks of Figure 7.
[0019]
Figure 9 is a side elevation of one of the chopsticks of Figure 7.
[0020]
Figure 9A is an enlarged, fragmentary perspective of a radially extending holder taken from area 9A of Figure 9.
[0021]
Figure 9B is enlarged, fragmentary cross-section of the radially extending holder taken from area 9B of Figure 9.
[0022]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0023]
Figure1is a perspective view of one suitable embodiment of an eating utensil in the form of a pair of chopsticks, indicated generally at 100. Figure 2 is a top view of the pair of chopsticks 100 in general parallel alignment with each other. Figure 3 is side elevation of one of the chopsticks 100. With reference to Figures 1 and 2, the pair of chopsticks 100 includes a first elongate shaft, indicated generally at 102, and a second elongate shaft, indicated generally at 104. The first and second elongate shafts 102, 104 can be used by a user to grip and eat food.
[0024]
Each of the first and second elongate shafts 102, 104 includes a first end 107 and a second end 108 spaced from the first end. In the illustrated embodiment and as explained in more detail below, each chopstick 100 includes a circular, radially extending holder, indicated generally at 110, attached to each shaft 102, 104 between its ends 107, 108. Each of the first and second elongate shafts 102, 104 includes an upper portion (or holding portion) 106, which, in the illustrated embodiment, is defined as the portion between the first end 107 and a first junction 109. Each of the first and second elongate shafts 102, 104 further includes a lower portion (or food gripping portion) 112, which, in the illustrated embodiment is defined as the portion between the second end 108 and a second junction 111. The upper portion 106 of each elongate shaft 102, 104 is configured to be manually gripped by a user of the chopstick, and the lower portion 112, which defines the food engaging portion of the chopsticks, is configured to grip and hold food while eating by the user.
[0025]
As seen in Figures 1 and 2, each of the radially extending holders 110 is disposed between the respective first and second junctions 109, 111. In one suitable embodiment, the upper portion 106 of each elongate shaft 102, 104 includes a plurality of substantially flat sides while the lower portion 112 is cylindrical such that the lower portion includes a single continuous surface. In another suitable embodiment, the upper portion 106 can be substantially cylindrical and the lower portion 112 includes a plurality of substantially flat sides. In yet other suitable embodiments, the upper portion 106 and the lower portion 112 can both be substantially cylindrical. In yet other suitable embodiments, the upper portion 106 and the lower portion 112 both include a plurality of substantially flat sides. It is understood that the upper portion 106 and the lower portion 112 can have any suitable configuration without departing from some aspects of this disclosure.
[0026]
Furthermore, in one suitable embodiment, each of the elongate shafts 102, 104 are tapered inward from the respective first end 107 toward the second end 108. As a result of the inward tapering, the first end 107 of each of the elongate shafts 102, 104 has a larger cross-sectional area than a cross-sectional area of the respective second end 108. In other words, each of the shafts 102, 104 tapers inward as it extends from the first end 107 to the radially extending holder 110, and tapers further inward as it extends from the radially extending holder 110 to the second end 108. Thus, in the illustrated embodiment, each of the elongate shafts 102, 104 decrease in width from the first end 107 to the second end 108. It is contemplated that in some embodiments, the elongate shafts 102, 104 do not taper and thus have a constant width along their respective length from the first end 107 to the second end 108. It is understood that each of the elongate shafts 102, 104 of the pair of chopsticks 100 can have any suitable configuration without departing from some aspects of this disclosure.
[0027]
In the illustrated embodiment, the first end 107 of each elongate shaft 102, 104 is generally pyramid-shaped having four triangular sides that meet at a central point, as seen in Figure 3. In other suitable embodiments, the first end 107 can be substantially flat, convex (domed) , or concave. It is understood that the first end 107 of each of the elongate shafts 102, 104 can have any suitable shape.
[0028]
In the illustrated embodiment, the second end 108 of each of the elongate shafts 102, 104 includes a substantially flat face with at least one continuous beveled edge circumscribing the face, as best seen in Figures 4 and 4A. It is contemplated that the beveled edge can be omitted in some embodiments. In other suitable embodiments, the second end 108 can be flat, convex (domed) , or concave. It is understood that the second end 108 of each of the elongate shafts 102, 104 can have any suitable shape.
[0029]
With reference again to Figure 3, each of the elongate shafts 102, 104 (only the first elongate shaft 102 being seen in Figure 3 but the second elongate shaft 104 being identical to the first elongate shaft) has a total length L. In one suitable embodiment, the total length L of each elongate shaft 102, 104 are the same and are between about 220 mm and about 270 mm, more suitably, between about 240 mm and about 260 mm, and even more suitably, between about 245 mm and about 255 mm. In the illustrated embodiment, for example, the total length L of both the first and second elongate shaft 102, 104 is approximately 250 mm.
[0030]
With reference still to Figure 3, each of the elongate shafts 102, 104 (again only one of the elongate shafts 102 being seen in Figure 3) has a length A or distance between the first end 107 and the center of the radially extending holder 110, and a length B or distance between the second end 108 and the center of the radially extending holder. In one suitable embodiment, the length A between the first end 107 and the center of the radially extending holder 110 is between about 145 mm and about 185 mm, more suitably, between about 155 mm and about 175 mm, and even more suitably, between about 160 mm and about 170 mm. In the illustrated embodiment, for example, the length A seen in Figure 3 is approximately 167.5 mm. In one suitable embodiment, length B between the second end 108 and the center of the radially extending holder is between about 65 mm and about 105 mm, more suitably, between about 75 mm and about 95 mm, and even more suitably, between about 80 mm and about 85 mm. In the illustrated embodiment, for example, the length B seen in Figure 3 is approximately 82.5 mm.
[0031]
Thus, in the illustrated embodiment, the length A between the first end 107 and the center of the radially extending holder 110 is greater that the length B between the second end 108 and the center of the radially extending holder. More particularity, a ratio of the length A between the first end 107 and the center of the radially extending holder 110 and the length B between the second end 108 and the center of the radially extending holderis between about 1.6 and about 2.4, more suitably, between about 1.8 and about 2.2, and even more suitably, between about 1.9 and about 2.1. In the illustrated embodiment, for example, the ratio of length A to length B is approximately 2.03.
[0032]
It is understood, however, that the length A between the first end 107 and the center of the radially extending holder 110, and the length B between the second end 108 and the center of the radially extending holder can be any suitable length without departing from some aspects of this disclosure.
[0033]
Figure 4 is a side view of one of the elongate shafts 102 resting on a flat surface 120 (e.g., a table, a counter) , and Figure 4A is an enlarged, fragmentary view of the second end 108 of the elongate shaft 102 seen in Figure 4. As seen in Figure 4, the elongate shaft 102 contacts the surface 120 at or adjacent the first end 107 and at the radially extending holder 110. The entire lower portion 112 of the elongate shaft 102, including the second end 108, is disposed above and spaced from the surface 120. That is, the entire part of the elongate shaft 102 below the radially extending holder 110 (i.e., the part of the elongate shaft left of the radially extending holder as seen in Figure 4) is disposed above and spaced from the surface 120.
[0034]
As illustrated in Figure 4A, the second end 108 of the elongate shaft 102 is space a height (or distance) H above the surface 120. In one suitable embodiment, the height H of the second end 108 of the elongate shaft above the surface 120 is between about 2.5 mm and about 6.5 mm, more suitably, between about 2.8 mm and about 5.0 mm, and even more suitably, between about 3.4 mm and about 4.5 mm. In the illustrated embodiment, for example, the height seen in Figure 4A is approximately 3.4 mm. It is understood that that the second end 108 of the elongate shaft 102 can be space any suitable height H above the surface 120 without departing from some aspects of this disclosure.
[0035]
With reference to Figures 4 and 4A, the elongate shaft 102, when resting on the surface 120, defines an angle α between the shaft and the surface. As can be appreciated, the angle α is dependent upon the radius (or more broadly the radial extent) of the radially extending holder 110 and the position of the radially extending holder along the length of the elongate shaft 102. In one suitable embodiment, the angle α between the elongate shaft 102 and the surface 120 is between about 0.6 degrees and about 2 degrees, more specifically, between about 0.7 degrees and about 1.2 degrees, and even more specifically, between about 0.7 degrees and about 1 degree. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, the angle α between the elongate shaft 102 and the surface 120 is approximately 0.8 degrees.
[0036]
Figures 4 and 4A illustrate the radially extending holder 110 of the elongate shaft 102 keeping the lower portion 112 thereof elevated above the surface 120. The other elongate shaft 104 of the chopsticks 100, which is identical to the illustrated elongate shaft 102, functions in the exact same manner. Thus, the radially extending holders 110 inhibits the food gripping end of the first and second elongate shafts 102, 104 (i.e., the lower portions 112) from contacting the surface 120. Thus, the radially extending holders 110 inhibit the elongate shafts 102, 104 from being contaminated or otherwise soiled from the surface, and also inhibit residual food on the elongate shafts 102, 104 from dirtying the surface 120.
[0037]
Figure 5 is a front view of the chopsticks 100 wherein the ends 108 of the first and second elongate shafts 102, 104 are in general alignment, thus providing a view of a face of the radially extending holders 110. In the illustrated embodiment, an outermost region (or rim) 118 of radially extending holder 110 tapers away from a disk-shaped region 116 to provide a rounded edge for the radially extending holder 110. See also Figures 6, 6A and 6B. In some suitable embodiments, the outermost region 118 is substantially flat providing a flat edge for each of the radially extending holders 110. In other suitable embodiments, the outermost region 118 can be tapered to match or generally match the angle α between the elongate shaft 102 and the surface 120. It is understood that the radially extending holders 110 can have any suitable shape without departing from some aspects of this disclosure.
[0038]
With reference to Figure 6B, each of the illustrated radially extending holders 110, which are circular, has a diameter (or more broadly maximum extent) D. In one suitable embodiment, the diameter D of the radially extending holder 110 is between about 9 mm and about 13 mm, more suitably, between about 10 mm and about 12 mm, and even more suitably, between about 10.5 mm and about 11.5 mm. In the illustrated embodiment, for example, the diameter D of the radially extending holder seen in Figure 6B is approximately 11 mm. It is understood that that the diameter D of the radially extending holder 110 can be any suitable diameter or maximum extent without departing from some aspects of this disclosure. In one suitable embodiment, the ratio of the maximum extent D and height H is between about 5.2 and about 1.4, more specifically, between about 4.3 and about 2.0, and even more specifically, between about 3.4 and about 2.3. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, the ratio of the maximum extent D and height H is approximately 3.2.
[0039]
Figure 7 is a perspective view of another suitable embodiment of a pair of chopsticks 200 of the present disclosure. Similar to the previously described chopsticks 100 (shown in Figures 1-6) , the pair of chopsticks 200 of this embodiment includes a first elongate shaft, indicated generally at 202, and a second elongate shaft, indicated generally at 204. Each shaft 202, 204 includes a first end 207 and a second end 208 spaced from the first end 207. In the illustrated example, each chopstick 100 also includes a radially extending holder, indicated generally at 210, attached to each shaft 202, 204 and between the first end 207 and the second end 208. Each of the first and second elongate shafts 202, 204 includes an upper portion 206, which includes the first end 207, and a lower portion 212, which includes the second end 208. However, in contrast to the chopsticks 100 of Figures 1-6, the radially extending holder 210 in this embodiment (Figure 7) is not circular or disk-shaped but rather in the shape of a polygon. Other than the radially extending holder 210 having a different shape, the components of the chopsticks 200 of this embodiment are substantially similar to the chopsticks 100 of the previously described embodiment and, therefore are numbered with a reference numeral in the 200 series that corresponds to the same component in the 100 series of the chopsticks 100.
[0040]
As described above, the main difference between the chopsticks 100 of Figures 1-6 and the chopsticks 200 of Figure 7 is that the radially extending holders 210 are shaped differently. As better illustrated in Figures 8, 9, 9A, and 9B, the radially extending holders 210 are substantially octagon in shape. It is understood that the radially extending holder 210 can have any suitable configuration without departing from some aspects of this disclosure. Additionally, the polygon shape of the radially extending holders 210 may preventing the chopsticks 200 from rolling along a surface when resting on the surface.
[0041]
The chopsticks described herein include a pair of elongate shafts that each includes a radially extending holder. The radially extending holders of each shaft may be circular, polygonal in shape, or any suitable shape without departing from some aspects of this invention. In addition, the radially extending holders may be integrally formed with the shafts. More specifically, each of the shafts may be formed as a single piece. For a given pair of chopsticks, the radially extending holders of the present disclosure are in longitudinal alignment along the length of the shafts. The chopsticks with the radially extending holders as described herein inhibit contact of the food engaging portion of the shafts of the chopsticks with potentially contaminated or otherwise soil surfaces. In addition, the radially extending holders as described herein may inhibit the food engaging portion of the shafts of the chopsticks from dirtying surfaces with food residue. Further, the shape of the radially extending holders may prevent the chopsticks from rolling off an eating surface onto the floor.
[0042]
When introducing elements of the present invention or the preferred embodiment (s) thereof, the articles "a" , "an" , "the" and "said" are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms "comprising" , "including" and "having" are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements other than the listed elements.
[0043]
As various changes could be made in the above constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
[0044]
This written description uses examples to disclose the invention, including the best mode, and also to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the invention, including making and using any devices or systems and performing any incorporated methods. The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal languages of the claims.

Claims

[Claim 1]
A pair of chopsticks comprising: a first elongate shaft comprising a first end and a second end spaced from the first end, a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end; and a second elongate shaft comprising a first end and a second end spaced from the first end, a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end, wherein the radially extending holder of the first elongate shaft is aligned with the radially extending holder of the second elongate shaft along the longitudinal length of the respective elongate shaft.
[Claim 2]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 1, wherein each of the first and second elongate shafts has a length A between the first end and a center of the respective radially extending holder, the length A being between about 145 mm and about 185 mm.
[Claim 3]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 2, wherein each of the first and second elongate shafts has a length B between the second end and a center of the respective radially extending holder, the length B being between about 65 mm and about 105 mm.
[Claim 4]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 3, wherein a ratio of the length A and the length B is between about 1.6 and about 2.4.
[Claim 5]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 4, wherein the ratio of the length A and the length B is between about 1.8 and about 2.2.
[Claim 6]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 5, wherein the ratio of the length A and the length B is between about 1.9 and about 2.1.
[Claim 7]
A pair of chopsticks comprising: a first elongate shaft comprising a first end and a second end spaced from the first end, a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end; and a second elongate shaft comprising a first end and a second end spaced from the first end, a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end, wherein the radially extending holders of each of the first and second elongate shaft is adapted to support the respective second ends above and spaced from a surface when the first and second elongate shafts are rested on the surface such that the second end of each of the elongate shafts is space a height H above the surface, the height H being between about 2.5 mm and about 6.5 mm.
[Claim 8]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 7, wherein the height H is between about 2.8 mm and about 5.0 mm.
[Claim 9]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 8, wherein the height H is between about 3.4 mm and about 4.5 mm.
[Claim 10]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 7, wherein the entire part of the respective elongate shaft below the radially extending holder is disposed above and spaced from the surface when the first and second elongate shafts are rested on the surface.
[Claim 11]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 7, wherein each of the first and second elongate shafts, when resting on the surface, defines an angle α between the shaft and the surface, the angle α being between about 0.6 degrees and about 2 degrees.
[Claim 12]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 11, wherein the angle α is between about 0.7 degrees and about 1.2 degrees.
[Claim 13]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 12, wherein the angle α is between about 0.7 degrees and about 1 degrees.
[Claim 14]
A pair of chopsticks comprising: a first elongate shaft comprising a first end and a second end spaced from the first end, a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end; and a second elongate shaft comprising a first end and a second end spaced from the first end, a radially extending holder positioned between the first end and the second end, wherein the radially extending holders of each of the first and second elongate shafts has a maximum extent D, the maximum extent being between about 9 mm and about 13 mm, the radially extending holders of both the first and second elongate shafts being adapted to support the respective second ends above and spaced from a surface when the first and second elongate shafts are rested on the surface such that the second end of each of the elongate shafts is space a height H above the surface, the height H being between about 2.5 mm and about 6.5 mm.
[Claim 15]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 14, wherein the maximum extent D is between about 10 mm and about 12 mm.
[Claim 16]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 15, wherein the maximum extent D is between about 10.5 mm and about 11.5 mm.
[Claim 17]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 14, wherein the height H is between about 2.8 mm and about 5.0 mm.
[Claim 18]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 17, wherein the height H is between about 3.4 mm and about 4.5 mm.
[Claim 19]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 14, wherein a ratio between the maximum extent D and the height H is between about 5.2 and about 1.4.
[Claim 20]
The pair of chopsticks in accordance with Claim 19, wherein the ratio between the maximum extent D and the height H is between about 4.3 and about 2.0.

Drawings

[ Fig. 0001]  
[ Fig. 0002]  
[ Fig. 0003]  
[ Fig. 0004]  
[ Fig. 0005]  
[ Fig. 0006]  
[ Fig. 0007]  
[ Fig. 0008]  
[ Fig. 0009]