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Carry container that converts into a protective mat

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Carry container that converts into a protective mat


A carry container is interchangeable between a closed position and an open position, wherein the container converts into a protective mat, such as a placemat, and becomes a barrier against germs. In one embodiment, the carry container includes an outer shell including a bottom panel and four side panels extending from the bottom panel and being configured to releasably attach to each of the two neighboring side panels using a fastener to form a container for carrying one or more items, such as food items. An inner lining formed by a generally square sheet is attached to an inner facing side of the outer shell and defines the protective mat when the outer shell is in an open position and flat on a surface. The container can be easily converted between the closed position (lunch box) and open position (protective mat).


USPTO Applicaton #: #20130319903 - Class: 206546 (USPTO) - 12/05/13 - Class 206 
Special Receptacle Or Package > Combined Or Convertible >Packaged Assemblage Or Kit >Camp Or Lunch Type >Knockdown, Or Nested, Mess Gear Type

Inventors: Rita Floyd-vester, Csaba Vester

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20130319903, Carry container that converts into a protective mat.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This patent application is based on provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/652,418 filed on May 29, 2012.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to food carrying containers and, more particularly, a carry container that converts into a placemat for forming a barrier between the surface upon which the container is resting and the user while eating.

DISCUSSION OF THE RELATED ART

Studies have shown that the most prevalent area for germs in a school setting is the cafeteria table. Some bacteria are capable of causing infections and tend to collect on frequently touched surfaces, particularly in areas where there is a lot of hand-to-mouth contact like the cafeteria table. When children touch the contaminated surface, the germs are transmitted to their hands, and if they subsequently touch their eyes, nose or lips, it is likely that they have infected themselves. The best way to avoid the spreading of germs is to never touch infected surfaces.

Lunch boxes have long been known and widely used by children all over the world. The majority of lunch boxes used today are not washable and, therefore, cannot be properly sanitized. The combination of the unclean lunch boxes and germ-infested cafeteria tables provides an ideal scenario for spreading germs.

Therefore, there is a particular need to overcome the problems discussed above by reducing the amount of germs a child comes into contact with while having a meal away from home, such as having lunch at a school cafeteria table. However, the present invention is neither limited to use by children, nor is limited to use as a placemat in a school cafeteria.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a carry container that is interchangeable between a closed position and an open position, wherein the container opens into a protective mat, such as a placemat, and becomes a barrier against germs. In one embodiment, the container includes an outer shell including a bottom panel and four side panels extending from the bottom panel and being configured to releasably attach to each of the two neighboring side panels using a fastener. The container can be easily converted between the closed position (lunch box) and open position (placemat).

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION

Considering the foregoing, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a container that converts into a protective mat for limiting exposure of the user to germs.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a container that converts into a protective mat that is machine washable.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a washable container that converts into a protective mat is easily converted between a closed position for food items and an open position for eating the food items.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention are more readily apparent with reference to the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a fuller understanding of the nature of the present invention, reference should be made to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the food carrying container that converts into a protective mat in the closed position;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating the food carrying container that converts into a protective mat in a partially opened position, wherein one side panel is open;

FIG. 3 is a bottom view illustrating the food carrying container that converts into a protective mat in the closed position;

FIG. 4 is a top view illustrating the food carrying container that converts into a protective mat in the closed position;

FIG. 5 is a front side view illustrating the food carrying container that converts into a protective mat in the closed position;

FIG. 6 is a side profile view illustrating the food carrying container that converts into a protective mat in the closed position;

FIG. 7 is a top view illustrating the food carrying container that converts into a protective mat according to one embodiment in the open position;

FIG. 8 is a bottom view illustrating the food carrying container that converts into a protective mat according to the embodiment in FIG. 7 in the open position;



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Special receptacle or package
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20130319903 A1
Publish Date
12/05/2013
Document #
13904708
File Date
05/29/2013
USPTO Class
206546
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
45C11/20
Drawings
8




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