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Title:
Spill Guard Clamp for Countertops
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A spill guard clamp (10) for use on countertops, comprising of a spring steel clamp (20), upper and lower sealing pads (30a and 30b respectively), and two removable lever arms (40). The spill guard clamp (10) is installed by first pressing the removable lever arms (40), and then sliding the spill guard clamp (10) over the edge of the countertop. It is the upper sealing pad (30a) that provides a boundary for preventing liquids and food particles from spilling over the countertop onto below cabinetry and flooring.



Inventors:
Quinones, Christian Oziel (Winter Park, FL, US)
Application Number:
14/016068
Publication Date:
03/05/2015
Filing Date:
08/31/2013
Assignee:
QUINONES CHRISTIAN OZIEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B97/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
TRAN, HANH VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Christian Oziel Quinones (6945 Yates Street Westminster CA 80030)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A clamp mountable on a countertop surface to prevent spills onto cabinetry and flooring, the said clamp comprising:

2. A spring steel clamp and removable first and second pivot arms for opening the said spring steel clamp.

3. The clamp of claim 2, wherein the inner surface of the jaw ends comprise of a sealing pad of an elastic material.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Prior Art

The following is a tabulation of some prior art that presently appears relevant:

U.S. Patents
Kind
Pat. No.CodeIssue DatePatentee
6,564,398B12003-05-20Trott
5,625,9101997-05-06Erickson et al.
2,508,8081947-11-03Warman
1,302,6581919-05-06Henning
1,150,0731915-08-17Spengler

The kitchen countertop is found within many homes as an area where, for example, food is prepared. Additionally, as is well known, kitchen countertops generally contain a sink. In preparing food or in operating the sink, food substances or liquids may spill from the edge of the countertop, onto the cabinetry and flooring directly below. As a result, unsightly food markings and food substances are left to be cleaned from contacted surfaces. In the long term, cabinetry and flooring may experience damage in the form of warping or discoloration.

Several types of guards for the kitchen countertop, particularly for the sink area, have been proposed—for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,564,398 (2003) to Trott, U.S. Pat. No. 5,625,910 (1997) to Erickson et. al., U.S. Pat. No. 2,508,808 (1947) to Warman, and U.S. Pat. No. 1,302,658 (1919) to Henning Although capable of guarding against splashes, these guards are relatively large. The splash guard shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,564,398 (2003) to Trott incorporates a panel portion to direct liquids from the faces of cabinet doors and drawers below the kitchen sink. However, during use, this restricts the ability to open and close cabinet doors and drawers.

There is a need for a device that can: prevent food substances and liquids from spilling over the countertop edge, be easily installed and removed when desired, and mitigate the aforementioned problems.

SUMMARY—

In accordance with one embodiment, a spring steel clamp is provided with removable lever arms and sealing pads of either elastic or sponge material.

Advantages—

Accordingly, several advantages of one or more aspects are as follows: to provide a spill guard clamp that can prevent food substances and liquids from spilling over the countertop edge, that can be easily installed and removed, that is constructed of lesser parts, that can be easily manufactured, that is economical, and that can work in series using multiple units to extended the spill guard boundary.

DRAWINGS

Figures

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the spill guard clamp in use, with the lever arms in place.

FIG. 2 is perspective view of the spill guard clamp in use, with the lever arms shown as being removed.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the spill guard clamp unstressed.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the spill guard clamp in use over the countertop edge.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of multiple spill guard clamps in use for extending the spill guard perimeter.

DRAWINGS

Reference Numerals

10spill guard clamp
12countertop
20spring steel clamp
24jaw ends
26slots
30aupper sealing pad
30blower sealing pad
32wall barrier
40lever arms

DETAILED DESCRIPTION—

Referring now to the figures, FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views of the spill guard clamp 10 in use, with the countertop 12 shown in phantom lines. The spill guard clamp comprises of a spring steel clamp 20, sealing pads 30a (upper) and 30b (lower), and two lever arms 40.

Referring to FIG. 3, the spring steel clamp 20 comprises of a steel base 22, with upper and lower jaw ends 24, similar to conventional binder clips. The spring steel clamp is formed into the distinct profile shape shown in FIG. 3 using conventional sheet metal bending methods. This distinct profile shape contains a slot 26 on both jaw ends 24 for accepting the lever arms 40. Furthermore, the steel base 22 has a shorter length than the jaw ends 24 so as to provide the spill guard clamp 10 a higher degree of discreetness while in use in the kitchen. However, it is to be understood that both the steel base 24 and jaw ends 22 can have the same length in effort to eliminate a step in the manufacturing process.

Sealing pads 30a and 30b have an equal length as that of the jaw ends 24, and are to be attached to the jaw ends 24 by a means of mounting and fastening, such as screws, rivets, adhesives, sliding holder, etc. The sealing pads 30a and 30b are an elastic material such as rubber, but can also consist of a porous material such as a polyester sponge for absorbing water and water-based solutions. Sealing pads 30a and 30b are of a rectangular shape, typically with a 3 mm to 15 mm thickness.

The lever arms 40 consist of a metal rod, which is bent into a single open loop shape by conventional metal rod bending methods. However it is to be understood that the lever arms 40 can also consist of a plate that is formed and cut into a shape consisting of a handle extension.

Operation—

The manner of installing and using the spill guard clamp 10 to prevent spills over the countertop edge is described in this section.

When unstressed, the spill guard clamp 10 takes the position shown in FIG. 3. To install the spill guard clamp 10 over the edge of the countertop 12, one first presses the removable lever arms 40 together as shown in FIG. 3. This produce a cantilever effect, which consequently deflects each jaw end 24 in opposing directions. This allows for the spill guard clamp 10 to be slipped over the edge of the countertop 12. The removable lever arms 40 are then gradually released, causing the spill guard clamp 10 to engage and grip the upper and lower surfaces of the countertop 12 as shown in FIG. 4. The removable lever arms 40 are then removed as shown in FIG. 2, and put away in a storage place such as a kitchen drawer.

While the spill guard clamp 10 is engaged, the upper sealing pad 30a creates a wall barrier 32 (FIG. 4), preventing liquids and food substances from spilling over the upper surface of the countertop 12. For extending the spill guard perimeter, additional spill guard clamps 10 can be placed in series, as shown in FIG. 5. In this configuration, the spill guard clamps 10 are placed end-to-end.

For removing the spill guard clamp 10, one inserts and presses the removable lever arms 40 together similar to the installation method, and removes the spill guard clamp 10 away from the edge of the countertop 12.







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