Obscure Patent: Adjustable elevated serving tray for pets
|Written by Gene Quinn
Patent Attorney & Founder of IPWatchdog
Zies, Widerman & Malek
Follow Gene on Twitter @IPWatchdog
Posted: Jun 6, 2009 @ 1:00 pm
Adjustable elevated serving tray for pets
US Patent No. 7,207,290
Issued April 24, 2007
Now I think I have officially seen everything! An adjustable serving tray for pets? What is even more surprising is that according to the Background of the Invention this is a fairly crowded field of technology, with elevated pet feeders being well known. Who knew? Apparently it is not healthy for an animal, particularly a larger animal such as a large dog, to eat off the floor. The Background also says that crawling insects can also easily get into the pets food when the bowl is on the ground. I am sure that is a problem in at least some situations, but exactly how is it that an ant or other small insect would not be able to crawl up the leg of this adjustable tray?
The first paragraph of the Detailed Description of the Drawings explains:
The present invention provides an elevated serving tray providing a functional, economic and attractive method to elevate serving dishes to the correct height for small animals and pets, such as dogs and cats, enhancing digestion, improving accessibility to the food and water dishes, containing food spills and decreasing pest access to the dishes. The height adjustment of the feeding tray is simply done, without the use of tools or supplementary fasteners. The desired height adjustment may be easily chosen and accomplished for each of the two legs, and the desired height is thus locked into position so that it is not accidentally changed. At each of the possible tray heights, the invention provides the same stability. In the preferred embodiment having an raised edge around the tray, both liquid and solid spills from the animal’s dishes is contained. In the embodiment having a tray insert, the dishes are held in place by increased friction. The tray enables many different styles and sizes of dishes may be accommodated on the serving tray. The tray may be easily moved from one location to another without changing the height setting.
Here is claim 1:
1. An adjustable elevated serving tray for pets, comprising:
a) a tray portion having two opposing sides, and an upper planar surface and a lower surface;
b) two leg position brackets positioned on the tray portion parallel to each other along the opposing sides of the rectangular tray, the two leg position brackets having identical parallel side portions, each side portion having two ends, and having multiple angled height adjustment slots located at each of the two ends;
wherein each angled height adjustment slot at each end of the two ends of a particular side portion is at a different angle than the other angled height adjustment slots at that end, with the position and angle of each of the angled height adjustment slots on one of the two ends of each side portion being in mirror image relationship with an angled height adjustment slot on the other end of the same side portion, and identical to the position and angle of a corresponding angled height adjustment slot on the other side portion; and
c) two legs, each leg having a base portion, two upright portions and two bent ends, each of the legs being removably attachable to the two leg position brackets by insertion of one bent end into one angled height adjustment slot on one of the side portions and insertion of the other bent end into the angled height adjustment slot having the identical position and angle on the other side portion.
About the Author
Gene Quinn is a US Patent Attorney, law professor and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He is also a principal lecturer in the top patent bar review course in the nation, which helps aspiring patent attorneys and patent agents prepare themselves to pass the patent bar exam. Gene started the widely popular intellectual property website IPWatchdog.com in 1999, and since that time the site has had many millions of unique visitors. Gene has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the LA Times, USA Today, CNN Money, NPR and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide. He represents individuals, small businesses and start-up corporations. As an electrical engineer with a computer engineering focus his specialty is electronic and computer devices, Internet applications, software and business methods.