US 3458107 A
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July 29, 1969 c. LANE ET AL CUP'AND-SPOON ASSEMBLY Filed Dec. 26, 1967 HVVICN'IURS CURTIS LANE KENNETH GLENBY United States Patent 3,458,107 CUP-AND-SPOON ASSEMBLY Curtis Lane, Riverdale, N.Y., and Kenneth Glenby, Woodclilf Lake, N.J., assignors to Lanex Importing Company, Lodi, NJ.
Filed Dec. 26, 1967, Ser. No. 693,224 Int. Cl. B65a 3/00 US. Cl. 229-15 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A cup-and-spoon assembly to be used in connection with an edible product such as soft, foamy ice cream, or the like, to facilitate consumption thereof. The assembly includes a paper cup of generally cylindrical configuration having an open top so that the dispensed edible product can be directed into the interior of the cup. At its exterior side surface the cup has detachably connected thereto an elongated paper spoon of generally rectangular configuration, this spoon being adhesively connected to the exterior surface of the cup with the ends of the spoon being free so that the operator can readily grasp an end of the spoon to detach it from the cup. These assemblies can readily be nested one within another to form a stack, and the elongated flexible paper spoon when detached from a cup can be flexed into a generally trough-shaped configuration to be used in connection with removal of material from the cup.
Background of the invention The present invention relates to disposable articles to be used in connection with the consumption of edible products.
More specifically, the present invention relates to a disposable cup-and-spoon assembly used in order to facilitate eating of products of relatively soft, mushy consistency such as, for example, relatively soft ice cream, sherbets, flavored crushed ice, etc.
At the present time, edible products of this general type are deposited in a cup which has an open top, and the purchaser of the cup of the edible product also receives therewith a suitable spoon by means of which the product is removed from the cup. This spoon is generally a plastic or wooden spoon and forms a unit completely separate from the cup, so that it is necessary to keep on hand a supply of cups as well as a separate supply of spoons, and the vendor of the product must carry out manipulations not only in connection with the cup but also inco'nnection with the spoon. These manipulations undesirably increase labor costs, and in the event that mechanical dispensing structures are used, such structures are-exceedingly complex by reason of the necessity of issuing a spoon to be used with each cup.
Summary of the invention It is accordingly a primary object of the present invention to provide a cup-and-spoon assembly which will avoid the above drawbacks.
In particular, it is an object of the present invention to provide an assembly of this type where a spoon is detachably connected with each cup so that manipulations in connection with the spoon are carried out only by the purchaser and not by the vendor or by any mechanical structure, thus greatly simplifying the manipulations which must be carried out and/ or greatly simplifying the structure used in connection with such spoons and cu s.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide an assembly of this type which has a great simplicity and an extremely low cost providing further economic advantages.
Also, it is an object of the present invention to provide a cup-and-spoon assembly wherein the spoon will in no way interfere with use of the interior of the cup to accommodate an edible product therein.
In addition, it is an object of the invention to provide a cup-and-spoon assembly wherein the detachable connection of a spoon to the cup provides no substantial increase in the size of the structure as represented by the cup itself, so that the presence of this spoon provides hardly any increase in the size of the cup and in fact enables the latter to be treated in substantially the same way as a conventional cup which does not have any spoon attached thereto.
In particular, it is an object of the invention to provide a construction which will enable the cup-and-spoon assemblies to be nested so as to form a stack in much the same way as a stack of conventional cups is formed by nesting one cup in the other.
In accordance with the invention, the cup of the cupand-spoon assembly is of a generally cylindrical configuration and has an open top and a closed bottom, and it is preferred to provide a cup which tapers slightly from its top toward its bottom. The spoon of the invention is detachably connected to an exterior side surface of the cup and is made of a flexible sheet material, such as paper, so that it will easily conform to the curvature of the cup at the exterior side surface thereof. However, the spoon is detachably connected to the exterior side surface of the cup by way of an adhesive which engages the spoon intermediate the ends thereof, so that the free ends of the spoon are readily accessible to facilitate detachment of the spoon from the cup. Furthermore, because the spoon is of a relatively thin sheet material which readily conforms to the curvature of the exterior side surface of the cup, it is possible to nest these assemblies one within the other in much the same Way as any series of conventional cups, without spoons, are nested to form a stack, so that the spoon of the invention does not prevent such nesting of the cups with the spoons attached thereto. When the spoon is detached from the cup the user will flex the spoon so as to provide it with a substantially troughshaped configuration given the sheet material of the spoon the rigidity required for displacing the contents of the cup out of the latter.
Brief description of drawings The invention is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings which for-m part of this application and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective elevation of the cup-and-spoon assembly of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional plan view of the structure of FIG. 1 taken along line 22 of FIG. 1 in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 3 is a perspective illustration of the manner in which the assembly of the invention is used; and
FIG. 4 illustrates in side elevation a stack of the cupand-spoon assemblies of the invention.
Description of a preferred embodiment Referring now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a cup-and-spoon assembly 10 of the present invention. This assembly includes a cup 12 and a spoon 24.
The cup 12 is of a generally cylindrical configuration, tapered slightly from its top open end 14 to its bottom closed end 16 where the cup has a bottom wall 18 (FIG. 2) extending across the interior of the cup and fastened to the side wall 20 thereof in a known manner. Also, the side side wall 20 may be formed with an upper edge 22 which is rolled in a well-known manner and which defines the top opening 14 of the cup 12. Thus, the cup 12 is actually a generally well-known cup structure made of a suitable paper sheet material and having a height which is generally substantially equal to the diameter of the cup, although the height of the cup may be greater or less than the diameter of the cup, since these latter relationships are not critical.
The spoon 24 is also made of a flexible sheet material which preferably is paper, and in fact this spoon 24 is preferably made of the same paper as that which is used for the cup 12. The spoon 24 is of a generally rectangular elongated configuration and in the illustrated example has an end 26 terminating in a straight edge 28 extending perpendicularly across this spoon, while at its opposed end 30 the spoon 24 terminates in a convexly curved edge 32. Thus, the spoon 24 differs from the configuration of a conventional spoon in that it does not have at one end an ovalshaped portion of a width greater than an elongated handle which extends from the oval-shaped portion and is connected thereto by a narrow neck region. Instead, the spoon 24 has opposed parallel side edges providing the spoon along its entire length, except where the curved edge 32 is located, with a constant width equalling the length of the straight end edge 28, so that the maximum width of the spoon extends along substantially the entire length thereof. As is pointed out below, with this simple substantially rectangular configuration it is possible for the operator easily to flex the spoon into the trough-shaped configuration indicated in FIG. 3, with the curved edge 32 providing in this way a front tip capable of digging into the edible product 42 shown in FIG. 3. As is apparent from FIG. 1, the width of the spoon 24 is substantially less than the height of the cup, and the width of the spoon, which equals the length of the edge 28 thereof, may be on the order of one-half the height of the cup, more or less depending upon the size of the cup and the product to be placed therein.
This spoon 24 of the invention is detachably connected with the cup 12 so as to form the cup-and-spoon assembly therewith, and for this purpose the surface 34 of the spoon which is directed toward the outer surface 36 of the side wall of the cup and this outer surface 36 carry at their interface as shown in FIG. 2 a layer of any suitable adhesive 38 which detachably connects the spoon 24 to the cup 12 in such a way that the operator can simply pull the spoon away from the cup with an exceedingly small pulling force reliably preventing any damage to the spoon or the cup so that the spoon can be readily and easily detached therefrom. The layer of adhesive 38 can take the form of any well-known mucilage, paste, cement, or the like well known in the art for adhesively interconnecting the sheets of paper. The adhesive is initially applied in any desired manner either to the surface 36 or to the surface 34 or to both surfaces and then the paper spoon is adhesively connected to the cup while the adhesive drys and sets, or a pressure-sensitive adhesive may be used if desired.
Although the adhesive material itself is of no particular moment in connection with the invention, the manner in which it is disposed with respect to the spoon and cup is important feature of the invention. Thus, it will be noted from FIG. 2 that the layer of adhesive 38 is situated between and spaced at a substantial distance from the free ends 28 and 32 of the spoon 24. Also, the width of the layer 38 is substantially less than the width of the spoon and the layer 38 is also situated between and spaced from the opposed side edges of the spoon. The spoon is thus detachably connected to the cup spaced between the top and bottom ends thereof, as shown in FIG. 1. As a result of this construction the free ends 26 and of the spoon are readily accessible so that either one of these ends may be easily grasped by the operator to greatly facilitate detachment of the spoon from the cup. At the same time, because of the flexible nature of the sheet material used for the spoon 24, the latter is capable of conforming precisely to the cu vature of the exte io u f e 6 of h side wall 20 and the free ends 30 and 26 of the spoon can be easily deflected into engagement with the exterior surface 36 of the cup so that the curvature of the spoon can conform precisely to the curvature of the side wall 20 with the entire surface 34 engaging the surface 36. As a result of this feature it is possible for the spoon to provide substantially no significant increase in the volume of the cup structure itself.
As a result of these latter features it becomes possible to nest the assemblies 10 one within the other to form a stack 40 as indicated in FIG. 4. In this stack 40 each cup 12 with a spoon 24 detachably connected thereto is nested within the next-lower assembly and because of the above features of the spoon of the invention such nesting can be readily brought about in much the same way as conventional cups without spoons can be nested to form a stack. Whenever a cup-and-spoon assembly is removed from the stack 40, the ends 30 and 26 of the spoon will project from the surface 36 so that the spoon is readily available to be detached from the cup.
The manner in which the assembly is used is indicated in FIG. 3. Thus, after the cup 12 has been filled with an edible product 42 of the type referred to above, and after the spoon 24 has been detached, the operator need only manipulate the spoon 24 in the manner indicated in FIG. 3. For this purpose the operator will engage the upper surface of the spoon in the region of one end thereof with an index finger while pressing the outer side surfaces of the spoon toward the index finger so as to curve the spoon around the lower front portion of the index finger, thus giving the spoon the substantially troughshaped configuration illustrated in FIG. 3, and the convexly curved end edge 32 is preferably situated distant from the index finger to form the front tip of the spoon while the straight edge 28 extends around the lower portion of the index finger. In this way the spoon 24 is given a rigidity which is sufficient to enable the end 32 to dig into the edible product 42 so that a quantity thereof will become situated on the end portion 30 to be displaced from the cup 12.
The area of the adhesive 38 is indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 1, and it also will be noted from FIG. 1 that fold lines 50, shown in dot-dash lines, may be provided in the spoon extending centrally along the latter as well as in the inclined directions illustrated, so that flexing of the spoon 24 to the position shown in FIG. 3 can be facilitated.
It is thus apparent that with the structure of the invention an exceedingly inexpensive cup-and-spoon assembly is provided which can be very easily and readily manipulated during use of the structure, as shown in FIG. 3. At the same time, the assemblies can readily be nested to form a stack 40 as shown in FIG. 4, and all of the manipulations in connection with the spoon itself are carried out only by the purchaser so that there is a considerable economy for the vendor.
What is claimed is:
1. A disposable cup-and-spoon assembly comprising a cup having an exterior surface and a spoon detachably connected to said cup at said exterior surface thereof so that said spoon may be detached from the exterior surface of the cup to displace material out of the latter, said cup and spoon both being made of a flexible sheet material with said spoon adhesively connected to said cup at an exterior side surface thereof, and the adhesive connection of said spoon to said cup being disposed substantially centrally along an intermediate portion of said spoon within an area situated inside of and surrounded by the periphery of said spoon.
2. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said cup is of a generally cylindrical configuration and has an exterior convexly curved side surface to which said spoon is detachably connected, said spoon having a configuration different from that of a conventional spoon and being of a generally rectangular configuration and having a substantially constant width along its entire length and an elongated intermediate portion adhesively connected to the exterior side convex surface of said cup, so that said spoon has opposed free ends separate from said cup facilitating detachment of said spoon from said cup.
3. The combination of claim 2 and wherein said spoon has a pair of opposed ends one of which has a straight edge and the other of which has a curved edge, said spoon having parallel elongated opposed straight side edges and said straight end edge extending perpendicularly with respect to said side edges while said curved end edge is convexly curved, so that when said spoon is detached from the cup, said spoon can be longitudinally flexed about the index finger of the holder thereof while held at the end where said straight edge is located, providing at said curved edge a, tip which can be inserted into an edible product with the spoon stiffened by the trough-shaped configuration imparted to the spoon by the longitudinal flexing thereof.
4. The combination of claim 2 and wherein said cup has an open top so that a plurality of said cups and said spoons detachably connected thereto can be nested one within the other to provide a stack of cup-and-spoon assemblies.
5. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said cup is made of paper and has a generally cylindrical tapered configuration provided with a bottom closed end and an open top end larger than said bottom closed end, said spoon being made of a flexible sheet of paper of elongated generally rectangular configuration extending substantially along an exterior side surface of said cup conforming substantially to the configuration of said exterior side surface and extending in a direction substantially parallel to upper and lower edges of the cup, said spoon being detachably connected with said exterior surface of said cup by an elongated portion of adhesive material extending substantially centrally along said spoon spaced between opposed side edges thereof and between opposed ends thereof, so that either end of said spoon is free of said cup to be grasped by the opera-tor for detaching the spoon from the cup whereupon the spoon can be flexed by the operator into a generally trough-shaped configuration for use in removing material from the interior of the cup.
6. A stack of cup-and-spoon assemblies comprising a plurality of cups nested one within the other and a plurality of flexible spoons made of sheet material and detachably connected to the exterior side surfaces of said cups, respectively, each of said cups, except the lowermost cup, having the spoon which is detachably connected to the exterior surface of said cup situated between the latter exterior surface and the inner surface of the next-lower cup, and each of said flexible spoons having an elongated generally rectangular configuration and being provided with a pair of opposed parallel straight side edges, with one end edge which is straight and perpendicular to said side edges, and with an opposed end edge which is convexly curved, so that each of the flexible spoons has a constant Width, except at the region of said curved end edge thereof, differs in its congfuration from the configuration of a conventional spoon, and can be longitudinally flexed about the index finger of a holder of the spoon with the latter held at the region of said straight end edge thereof to provide the spoon with an elongated trough-shaped configuration giving the spoon sufficient rigidity to enable the curved end edge thereof to be inserted into an edible product.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,457,998 6/1923 Norwood 229-1.5 2,745,586 5/1956 Thoma 22.91.5 2,867,365 1/1959 Tourette 2291.5
DAVID M. BOCKENEK, Primary Examiner
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