Friday, May 30, 2008

Combined Laudry Washer And Dryer Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
7,320,234
Hershey , et al.
January 22, 2008
System and method for a combined laundry washer and dryer
Abstract
A combined laundry washer and dryer system is provided so that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying. The system comprises a front-loadable washer on top of a dryer, and a second load compartment on top of the washer. A load of laundry is placed in the washer and a second load in the second load compartment. After washing the first load, the washer drops it into the dryer for drying. The second load compartment then drops the second load into the washer for washing. A side-mounted closet may be used to steam clean, dried laundry with air from the dryer. Conveyor belts may be used to move dirty laundry into the second load compartment and clean laundry from the dryer to a sorting area.
Inventors:
Hershey; John P. (Edinburg, TX), Hershey; Leticia (Edinburg, TX)
Appl. No.:
11/338,250
Filed:
January 24, 2006
Current U.S. Class:
68/19.1 ; 68/20
Current International Class:
D06F 39/04 (20060101)
Field of Search:
68/19.1,20
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
2165487
July 1939
Johnson
2816429
December 1957
Kurlancheek
2834121
May 1958
Geldhof
2866273
December 1958
Geldhof
3555701
January 1971
Hubbard
3805404
April 1974
Gould
6006445
December 1999
Large
6012306
January 2000
Raes
6671978
January 2004
McGowan et al.
Foreign Patent Documents
2 450 024
Apr., 1975
DE
Primary Examiner: Stinson; Frankie L. Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates LP
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A combined laundry washer and dryer system, such that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying, the combined laundry washer and dryer system comprising a laundry washer, comprising a drainage plate; and a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door with access to a laundry dryer beneath the washer; a laundry dryer mounted beneath the laundry washer; a second load compartment mounted on top of the laundry washer, the second load compartment comprising a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the second load compartment and with access to the washer; means of loading laundry into the washer; means of loading laundry detergents and softeners into the washer; wherein the means of loading laundry detergents and softeners into the washer comprises at least one fill hole for detergent mounted on the second load compartment and leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; and at least one fill hole for softener mounted on the second load compartment leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; means of removing laundry from the dryer; and means of loading laundry into the second load compartment; and controls. 2. The laundry washer of claim 1, wherein the laundry washer further comprises a front-loadable washer. 3. The means of loading laundry into the washer of claim 1, wherein the means of loading laundry into the washer comprises a front door on the washer. 4. The means of loading laundry into the washer of claim 1, wherein the means of loading laundry into the washer comprises the magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the second load compartment. 5. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 1, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a front door on the dryer. 6. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 1, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer; a chute underneath the trap door on the bottom of the dryer; and a hinged, spring-loaded front door opening from the chute. 7. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 1, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer; and a conveyor belt underneath the magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer, such that the conveyor belt moves the laundry to a desired location. 8. The means of loading laundry into the second load compartment of claim 1, wherein the means of loading laundry into the second load compartment comprises a front door on the second load compartment. 9. The means of loading laundry into the second load compartment of claim 1, wherein the means of loading laundry into the second load compartment comprises a hinged, spring loaded trap door on the top of the second load compartment; and a conveyor belt, such that the conveyor belt deposits laundry on the hinged, spring-loaded trap door on top of the second load compartment. 10. The combined laundry washer and dryer system of claim 1, wherein the combined laundry washer and dryer system further comprises a side-mounted closet, such that the side-mounted closet steams laundry placed inside it, the side-mounted closet comprising at least one hot air vent that extends from the dryer of the combined washer and dryer system into the side-mounted closet; and a door. 11. A combined laundry washer and dryer system, such that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying, the combined laundry washer and dryer system comprising a front-loadable laundry washer, comprising a front door; a drainage plate in the bottom of the laundry washer; and a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the laundry washer and with access to a laundry dryer beneath the washer; a laundry dryer mounted beneath the laundry washer; a second load compartment mounted on top of the laundry washer, the second load compartment comprising a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the second load compartment and with access to the washer; means of loading laundry detergents and softeners into the washer; wherein the means of loadina laundry detergents and softeners into the washer comprises at least one fill hole for detergent mounted on the second load compartment and leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; and at least one fill hole for softener mounted on the second load compartment leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; means of removing laundry from the dryer; means of loading laundry into the second load compartment; controls; and a side-mounted closet, such that the side-mounted closet steams laundry placed inside it, the side-mounted closet comprising at least one hot air vent that extends from the dryer of the combined washer and dryer system into the side-mounted closet; and a door. 12. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 11, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a front door on the dryer. 13. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 11, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer; a chute underneath the trap door on the bottom of the dryer; and a hinged, spring-loaded front door opening from the chute. 14. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 11, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer; and a conveyor belt underneath the magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer, such that the conveyor belt moves the laundry to a desired location. 15. The means of loading laundry into the second load compartment of claim 11, wherein the means of loading laundry into the second load compartment comprises a front door on the second load compartment. 16. The means of loading laundry into the second load compartment of claim 11, wherein the means of loading laundry into the second load compartment comprises a hinged, spring loaded trap door on the top of the second load compartment; and a conveyor belt, such that the conveyor belt deposits laundry on the hinged, spring-loaded trap door on top of the second load compartment. 17. A combined laundry washer and dryer system, such that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying, the combined laundry washer and dryer system comprising a laundry washer, the laundry washer comprising a drainage plate in the bottom of the laundry washer; and a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the laundry washer and with access to the dryer; a laundry dryer mounted beneath the laundry washer, the laundry dryer comprising a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer; a second load compartment mounted on top of the laundry washer, the second load compartment comprising a hinged, spring-loaded trap door on top of the second load compartment; and a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the second load compartment and with access to the washer; a conveyor belt, such that the conveyor belt deposits laundry on the hinged, spring-loaded trap door on top of the second load compartment; at least one fill hole for detergent mounted on the second load compartment and leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; and at least one fill hole for softener mounted on the second load compartment leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; a conveyor belt underneath the magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer, such that the conveyor belt moves the laundry to a desired location; and controls. 18. The combined laundry washer and dryer system of claim 17, wherein the combined laundry washer and dryer system further comprises a side-mounted closet, such that the side-mounted closet steams laundry placed inside it, the side-mounted closet comprising at least one hot air vent that extends from the dryer of the combined washer and dryer system into the side-mounted closet; and a door.
Description
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention relates to laundry washers and dryers and more particularly to combined washer and dryer systems. BACKGROUND Laundry washers and dryers are common labor-saving devices in many homes and businesses. However, washing and drying a single load of laundry typically requires two separate processes. First, the laundry is manually placed in a washer, automatically washed, and manually removed from the washer, and then the laundry is manually placed in a dryer and automatically dried. Because this procedure is labor intensive, combined laundry washer and drier systems have been provided to simplify it. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,671,978 to McGowan provides a combined washer and dryer, which automatically moves laundry from the washer to the dryer by means of an automatic load-feeder, so that the user does not have to manually move the wet laundry to the dryer. U.S. Pat. No. 6,012,306 to Raes provides a combined washing and drying machine "wherein the washing and drying means are mounted within a pivoting subassembly." After the laundry has been washed vertically in a basket, the pivoting assembly moves to tumble dry the laundry horizontally in the basket. U.S. Pat. No. 6,006,445 to Larger provides a combined washing and drying machine with a system of air ducts for drying the laundry. Although these systems allow the user to employ one machine to wash and dry laundry, they only one load of laundry may be washed during a cycle of washing and drying. Until the laundry has been removed, a second load of laundry cannot be washed. Thus, a user with multiple loads of laundry to be washed and dried has to wait during drying times before washing addition loads. Therefore, there is a need for a combined washer and drier configured so that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying. SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE The following explanation describes the present invention by way of example and not by way of limitation. It is an aspect of the present invention to provide a combined laundry washer and dryer. It is another aspect of the present invention to a combined laundry washer and dryer configured so that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying. These and other aspects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and associated drawings. In accordance with the present invention, a combined laundry washer and dryer system is provided so that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying. The system comprises a front-loadable washer on top of a dryer, and a second load compartment on top of the washer. A load of laundry is placed in the washer and a second load in the second load compartment. After washing the first load, the washer drops it into the dryer for drying. The second load compartment then drops the second load into the washer for washing. A side-mounted closet may be used to steam clean, dried laundry with air from the dryer. Conveyor belts may be used to move dirty laundry into the second load compartment and clean laundry from the dryer to a sorting area. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The following embodiments of the present invention are described by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: FIG. 1 is a perspective diagram that illustrates a combined laundry washer and dryer system; FIG. 2 is a perspective diagram that illustrates a combined laundry washer and dryer system with a side-mounted closet; and FIG. 3 is a perspective diagram that illustrates a combined laundry washer and dryer system with conveyor belts. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES The following description of drawings is offered to illustrate the present invention clearly. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the concepts of the present invention are not limited to these specific details. Also, commonly known elements are shown in diagrams for clarity, as examples only and not as limitations of the present invention. The Continuous Washer and Dryer System The present invention comprises a continuous washer and dryer system 2, shown in FIG. 1, with a front-loadable washer 4 on top and a dryer 6 on bottom. Unlike prior washer and dryer sets, the continuous washer and dryer system 2 allows a second load of laundry to be washed while a first load is drying. The continuous washer and dryer system 2 is built with a second load compartment 8 on top of the washer 4 that has the capacity for an average load of laundry and is set to dispense the load automatically into the washer 4 when ready. A standard front door 10 on the second load compartment 8 can be opened so that the user can add laundry to the second load compartment 8. A magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door 12 in the bottom of the second load compartment 8 allows laundry to fall into the washer 4. After the laundry has passed through the magnet-operated, spring-loaded door 12, the spring on the door 12 closes the door 12 upward. Two detergent fill holes, one 14 for dry detergent and one 15 for liquid, are located on the second load compartment 8 in an embodiment, and lead to storage areas with access the washer 4. In an embodiment, the washer 4 comprises a front door 16 that users cam employ to add laundry directly into the washer 4, and if necessary, to remove laundry from the washer 4. The washer 4 further comprises a drainage plate and a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door 18 in the bottom of the washer 4s. The drainage plate is molded with drainage holes so that water can drain from the washer 4 and be diverted through a hose. The trap door 18 allows laundry to fall into the dryer 6. After the laundry has passed through the trap door 18, the spring on the door 18 closes the door 18 upward. Controls 20 on the washer 4 allow the user to control the operation of the continuous washer and dryer system 2. The dryer 6 comprises front door 22 that allows users to remove laundry from the dryer 6, and, if necessary, to add laundry to the dryer 6 manually. Another magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door 24, located in the bottom of the dryer 6, allows laundry to fall through a chute 26 and out a hinged, spring-loaded door 28 in the lower front of the dryer 6, for example into a waiting basket. After the laundry has passed through the door 24, the spring on the door 24 closes the door 24 upward. In the same way, the spring on the door 28 in the lower front of the dryer 6 closes the door 28 after the laundry has passed through the door 28. An embodiment, shown in FIG. 2, comprises a side-mounted closet 30 where clothes can be placed or hung after drying, for example on a bar 32. Hot, moist air from the dryer 6 is vented through specially placed hot air vents 34 into the closet 30 to steam the laundry to reduce or remove wrinkles. A standard door 36 allows the user to open and close the side-mounted closet 30. Another embodiment, shown in FIG. 3, comprises a top conveyor belt 38 and a bottom conveyor belt 40. The top conveyor belt 38 is used to carry laundry to the top of the second load compartment 8. After moving off the edge of the top conveyor belt 38, the laundry falls against a hinged, spring-loaded trap door 42 on the top of the second load compartment 8. The force of the falling laundry opens the hinged, spring-loaded trap door 42, which allows the laundry to fall into the second load compartment 8. After the laundry has passed through the hinged, spring-loaded door 42, the spring on the door 42 closes the door 42 upward. A container area 44 in the second load compartment 8 is used to contain laundry detergent, and another container area 46 in the second load compartment 8 is used to contain laundry softener. After the laundry is moved from the second load compartment 8 to the washer 4 and then to the dryer 6 to be washed and dried, it drops through the trap door 24 in the bottom of the dryer 6, as described above, and onto the bottom conveyor belt 40. The bottom conveyor belt 40 then carries the cleaned and dried laundry to another area, which in different embodiments may either comprise the side-mounted steam closet 30 or an area in another location, for example a sorting area. This embodiment would greatly reduce the labor hours for laundry services that wash and dry large amounts of laundry on a daily basis, for example for uniform companies or hotel chains. In an embodiment, the continuous washer and dryer set 2, shown in FIG. 1, is manufactured of stainless steel, high density and low density plastics, and electrical wiring and circuits. These materials are used to make components similar to those in other stackable washer and dryer sets, comprising, for example, suspension rods, springs, an agitator assembly, hoses, belts, simple controls, and other assorted parts, as is known to those skilled in the art. The side-mounted closet 30, shown in FIG. 2, may also be manufactured of stainless steel. In an embodiment, the drainage plate is manufactured of plastic. The best dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention described above, including variations in form and use, will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and are intended to be encompassed by the present invention. An embodiment measures 60 inches in height, 27.5 inches in length, and 27 inches in depth. An industrial-sized embodiment measures 6 feet in height, 4.5 feet in width, and 3 feet in depth. An industrial-sized embodiment with a side mounted closet measures 6 feet in height, 6 feet in width, and 3 feet in depth. Use To employ the continuous washer and dryer system shown in FIG. 1, a user typically opens the door 16 on the washer 4 and places a first load of laundry into the washer 4. According to the type of washing desired, the user adds dry laundry detergent to the dry detergent dispenser 14, or liquid laundry detergent to the liquid detergent dispenser 15, and operates the controls 20 to control the type of washing and drying and to start the washing. If desired, the user then opens the door 10 in the second load compartment 8 and adds a second load of laundry there. After the washer 4 completes its washing cycle for the first load of laundry and the drainage plate drains the water, the trap door 18 in the bottom of the washer 4 automatically opens, so that the washed laundry drops into the dryer 6. The spring in the trap door 18 automatically closes the door 18 again, and the dryer 6 starts to dry the first load of laundry. The trap door 12 in the bottom of the second load compartment 8 then automatically opens to drop the second load of laundry into the washer 6, and the door 12 is closed by its spring. The washer 6 then starts washing the second load of laundry. At the end of each dry cycle the magnet--released trap door 24 in the bottom of the dryer 6 automatically opens to drop the clean, dry clothes out of the front of the dryer 6 through a chute 26 and door 28, for example into a laundry basket. Successive loads of laundry may be added to the second load compartment 8 continuously. With the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the user may open the door 36 and manually place clean, dried laundry into the side-mounted closet 30, for example by hanging the laundry on the bar 32. When the dryer 6 is in use, hot, moist air from the dryer 6 is vented through the hot air vents 34 into the closet 30 to steam the laundry to reduce or remove wrinkles. To employ the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the user places laundry on the top conveyor belt 38, which carries the laundry to the top of the second load compartment 8, as mentioned above. After moving off the edge of the top conveyor belt 38, the laundry falls against a hinged door 42 on the top of the second load compartment 8. The force of the falling laundry opens the hinged door 42, which allows the laundry to fall into the second load compartment 8. A container area 44 in the second load compartment 8 contains laundry detergent, and another container area 46 in the second load compartment 8 contains laundry softener. After the laundry is moved from the second load compartment 8 to the washer 4 and then to the dryer 6, being washed and dried as described above, it drops through the trap door 24 in the bottom of the dryer 6 and onto the bottom conveyor belt 40. The bottom conveyor belt 40 then carries the cleaned and dried laundry to another area, where the user can retrieve the laundry. Additional loads of laundry can be moved on the top conveyor belt 38 and into the second load compartment 8 each time the washer 4 completes a wash cycle. The present invention thus provides an assembly line, with several embodiments, for continuously washing and drying multiple loads of laundry simultaneously.
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

National Medal Of Technology

Introduction
The National Medal of Technology and Innovation (formerly known as the National Medal of Technology) is the highest honor for technological achievement bestowed by the President of the United States on America's leading innovators.
Established by the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, the Medal was first awarded in 1985. On August 9, 2007, the President signed the America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Act of 2007. The Act amended Section 16 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, changing the name of the Medal to the "National Medal of Technology and Innovation."
The Medal is awarded annually to individuals, teams (up to four individuals), companies or divisions of companies for their outstanding contributions to the Nation's economic, environmental and social well-being through the development and commercialization of technological products, processes and concepts; technological innovation; and development of the Nation's technological manpower.
The purpose of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation is to recognize those who have made lasting contributions to America's competitiveness, standard of living, and quality of life through technological innovation, and to recognize those who have made substantial contributions to strengthening the Nation's technological workforce. By highlighting the national importance of technological innovation, the Medal also seeks to inspire future generations of Americans to prepare for and pursue technical careers to keep America at the forefront of global technology and economic leadership.
Selection Process
The National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee, a distinguished, independent committee appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, reviews and evaluates the merit of all candidates nominated through an open, competitive solicitation process. The Committee makes its recommendations for Medal candidates to the Secretary of Commerce, who in turn makes recommendations to the President for final selection. The National Medal of Technology and Innovation Laureates are announced by the White House and the Department of Commerce once the Medalists are notified of their selection.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bottle Cap Safety Opener Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
7,343,835
Jensen
March 18, 2008
Safety opener
Abstract
Safety Opener is a device having a toothed opening corresponding to the ridges of a standard twist off bottle cap. To use Safety Opener, a consumer simply places a twist off bottle cap attached to a bottle underneath the toothed opening. When the bottle opener or bottle is rotated in the appropriate direction, the twist off bottle cap will loosen. It can then easily be removed by hand.
Inventors:
Jensen; Christopher G. (Chicago, IL)
Appl. No.:
11/524,594
Filed:
September 20, 2006
Related U.S. Patent Documents
Application Number
Filing Date
Patent Number
Issue Date
60725102
Oct., 2005
Current U.S. Class:
81/3.27 ; 81/3.09
Current International Class:
B67B 7/44 (20060101)
Field of Search:
81/3.27,3.55
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
795330
July 1905
Brewington et al.
1610437
December 1926
Frick
D158957
June 1950
Haberkorn et al.
2568612
September 1951
Cullen
2611286
September 1952
Baker
2853906
September 1958
Pesta
D278024
March 1985
Hoffman et al.
D278203
April 1985
Braukmann
4633740
January 1987
Jacobs
4681358
July 1987
Smith
4967622
November 1990
Phillips
5082145
January 1992
McDonald
5313858
May 1994
Stitt
D382784
August 1997
Kagiyama et al.
6070497
June 2000
Farelli
6105468
August 2000
Fohrman et al.
7028359
April 2006
Mazur
Primary Examiner: Thomas; David B Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, LP
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Parent Case Text
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This United States Non-Provisional patent application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/725,102 entitled "Safety Opener" filed on Oct. 7, 2005.
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A bottle opening device comprising: a frame having a toothed opening; and, a first opening and a second opening wherein said first opening is located on one end of the frame and is substantially rectangular with curved ends and wherein said second opening is located on the end opposite said first opening and said second opening is substantially circular. 2. The device of claim 1 wherein the frame is made of plastic. 3. The device of claim 1 wherein the frame is made of metal. 4. The device of claim 1 wherein the frame is made of stainless steel. 5. The device of claim 1 wherein the frame is oblong in shape. 6. The device of claim 1 wherein the frame is rectangular in shape. 7. The device of claim 1 wherein the toothed opening is semicircular. 8. The device of claim 1 wherein the toothed opening is approximately circular. 9. The device of claim 1 wherein the toothed opening is approximately centrally located on the frame.
Description
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE The disclosures made herein relate generally to the food and beverage industry. The invention discussed herein is in the general classification of bottle openers. BACKGROUND Historically, people have opened beverage bottles in a variety of ways. Often pop off caps require the use of a bottle opener to apply leverage to the cap to disengage it from its fit on the top of a bottle. A variety of bottle openers have been developed that permit a user to apply the proper force to these caps. Twist off bottle tops permit a consumer to use his hand to maneuver the cap in a counterclockwise direction to remove it from a bottle. Unfortunately, the sharp edges and ridges on a twist off top can still cause injuries or discomfort to a user's hand. This is particularly true when a twist off top is screwed on tightly or when a user's hands are wet. Hence, there is a need in the art for an effective and inexpensive device for unscrewing conventional twist off bottle caps. SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE Safety Opener is a bottle opener for use with twist off bottle caps. In certain embodiments, it can also be used to open pop off bottle caps. The principal object of this invention is to provide a device that allows a user to easily remove twist off bottle caps. Another object of this invention is to provide a device that also allows a user to remove pop off bottle caps in the traditional manner. Another object of this invention is to provide an affordable device for removing bottle caps. Yet another object of this invention is to provide a device that will allow a user to safely remove bottle caps. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the invention. FIG. 2 depicts an alternative embodiment of the invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The preferred embodiment of Safety Opener is comprised of an oblong frame having a circular-shaped opening on one end, a curved rectangular shaped opening on the other end, and a semicircular and toothed opening in the center. FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the invention. An oblong bottle opener frame 1 measures seven inches in length, two inches in width and one-eighth of an inch in thickness. The bottle opener frame 1 is made of heavy-gauge stainless steel in this preferred embodiment though plastic materials as well as others could be utilized. A circular shaped opening 2 is located on one end of the bottle opener frame 1. A curved rectangular shaped opening 3 is located on other end of the bottle opener frame 1. The circular shaped opening 2 and curved rectangular shaped opening 3 can be used to open pop off bottle caps in the conventional manner. A toothed semi-circular shaped opening 4 is located in the center of the bottle opener frame 1. FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the invention. This embodiment is a wall-mounted version of the invention. A bottle opener frame 20 has a first hole 21 on the top and a second hole 22 on the bottom for easily attaching the frame 20 to a wall or door. The center of the frame 20 has a toothed socket 23 that corresponds to the shape and size of a standard bottle cap. The toothed socket 23 has a first set of teeth 24 at the top and a second set of teeth 25 at the bottom. To use Safety Opener, a consumer simply places a twist off bottle cap attached to a bottle underneath the semi-circular, toothed opening or toothed socket in the center of the bottle opener frame. When the bottle opener or bottle is rotated in the appropriate direction, the twist off bottle cap will loosen. It can then easily be removed by hand or by using the other openings of the device. Obviously, the circular shaped opening and curved rectangular shaped opening may also be used to open pop off, rather than twist off, bottle caps. The materials utilized for Safety Opener may vary widely but could include metal and plastic components. The metals would ideally be selected from available steel or alloys of steel and aluminum. The production process related to the use of these metals insures that the metal is non-corrosive, durable and strong. The selected metal should have high impact strength and be capable of accepting and retaining coloring materials for an extended length of time. The plastic used in the production will ideally be selected for durability and longevity. Thermoplastics are commonly used in the manufacturing of components similar to those used in this invention. Polyethylene, polypropylene, and other similar thermoplastic materials would be among those with the necessary traits. Members of this family are recognized universally as being versatile and of high quality. The plastic components of Safety Opener can also be formed with the use of plastic molding techniques, such as injection molding or blow molding. Injection molding requires melted plastic to be forcefully injected into relatively cool molds. As the plastic begins to harden, it takes on the shape of the mold cavity. This technique is ideal for the mass production of products. Alternatively, blow molding, a form of extrusion, could be utilized. Blow molding involves a molten tube being pushed into a mold. Compressed air then forces the molten tube against the cold walls of the mold. It should be obvious that the components of the present invention can be of various shapes and sizes. It should also be obvious that the components of the invention can be made of different types of plastics and metals or other suitable materials and can be of any color or design. It should further be obvious that a toothed socket and toothed opening are being used synonymously herein to describe an opening of any shape that permits the ridges on a bottle cap to at least partially engage the teeth of the opening. Although this invention is primarily for use with twist off bottle caps, all of the openings could also be used to aid in opening pop off bottles as well. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that changes or modifications may be made to the above-described embodiments without departing from the broad inventive concepts of the invention. It should therefore be understood that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments described herein, but is intended to include all changes and modifications that are within the scope and spirit of the invention as set forth in the claims.
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Friday, May 23, 2008

Multiple Toilet Paper Holder And Dispenser Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
7,374,128
Hendrix , et al.
May 20, 2008
Multiple toilet paper holder and dispenser
Abstract
A toilet paper dispenser that is configured to retain and subsequently dispense a plurality of toilet paper rolls. The toilet paper dispenser further includes a front wall, a rear wall and two side walls that are configured to create a container that is generally rectangular in shape having an interior volume. Contiguously mounted to the front wall proximate the upper portion of the container is a door hingedly mounted to allow access to the interior volume for loading of toilet paper rolls. An access flap is mounted generally beneath the door contiguous with the front wall and is hingedly mounted to provide access to the interior volume for retrieval of depleted toilet paper rolls. The access flap further includes a slot that is configured to dispense sheets of toilet paper from the adjacent toilet paper roll substantially disposed within the interior volume of the container.
Inventors:
Hendrix; Roy D. (Tulsa, OK), Hendrix; Alexis (Tulsa, OK)
Appl. No.:
11/486,570
Filed:
July 14, 2006
Related U.S. Patent Documents
Application Number
Filing Date
Patent Number
Issue Date
60699896
Jul., 2005
Current U.S. Class:
242/560.3 ; 242/594.4; 242/594.5
Current International Class:
B65H 49/00 (20060101)
Field of Search:
242/560,560.2,560.3,561,594,594.1,594.3,594.4,594.5,594.6 D6/518,519,520,523
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
2896871
July 1959
Woodruff
3101181
August 1963
Clelland et al.
3132782
May 1964
Coates, Jr.
3271090
September 1966
Smithers
4034924
July 1977
Carlisle
4098469
July 1978
McCarthy
4135678
January 1979
Williams
D257082
September 1980
Williams
5570938
November 1996
Butler
6302350
October 2001
Burrell et al.
D472398
April 2003
Sparkowski
D478737
August 2003
Sparkowski
Primary Examiner: Rivera; William A Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, LP
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Parent Case Text
PRIORITY UNDER 35 U.S.C. .sctn.119(e) & 37 C.F.R. O1.78 This nonprovisional application claims priority based upon the following prior U.S. provisional patent application entitled: Multiple holder for toilet paper recessed tray, Application No. 60/699,896, filed Jul. 15, 2005, in the names of Roy D. Hendrix and Alexis Hendrix, which is hereby incorporated by reference for all purposes.
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A toilet paper holder and dispenser comprising: a container, said container having at least one wall configured to define an interior volume, said container having an interior volume being sufficient in size to accommodate a plurality of toilet paper rolls therein; a first door configured to open and close about at least one of said plurality of toilet paper rolls; and a second door, said second door having a slot configured to dispense sheets from at least one of said plurality of rolls of toilet paper from said container. 2. The toilet paper dispenser as recited in claim 1, wherein said container is configured such that a first of said plurality of toilet paper rolls and a second of said plurality of said toilet paper rolls are positioned side-by-side. 3. The toilet paper dispenser as recited in claim 1, wherein said container is configured such that a first of said plurality of toilet paper rolls and a second of said plurality of said toilet paper rolls are positioned one above the other. 4. The toilet paper dispenser as recited in claim 1, wherein said second door is operable to provide access to said container for removal of depleted toilet paper roll and insertion of full toilet paper rolls. 5. The toilet paper dispenser recited in claim 4, wherein said container is mountable at least partially recessed into a wall. 6. A toilet paper dispenser comprising: a container, said container having a plurality of walls, including two side walls and a rear wall, said container being configured with an interior volume being sufficient to receive a plurality of toilet paper rolls therein; a first door movably connected to said container and operable between an open position and a closed position; and a second door movably connected to said container and operable between an open position and a closed position; said second door further including a slot; said slot configured to facilitate the dispensing of toilet paper from one of said plurality of toilet paper rolls. 7. The toilet paper dispenser as recited in claim 6, wherein said first door moves about at least one of said plurality of toilet paper rolls when moving between said open position and said closed position. 8. The toilet paper dispenser recited in claim 7, wherein said second door moves about at least a second of said plurality of toilet paper rolls when moving between said open position and said closed position. 9. The toilet paper dispenser as recited in claim 6, wherein said container is configured to accommodate therein a plurality of toilet paper rolls configured in adjacent and approximately equivalent stacks. 10. The toilet paper dispenser as recited in claim 9, wherein said container is to be mountable at least partially recessed into a wall. 11. A toilet paper dispenser configured to retain and dispense four toilet paper rolls comprising: a container, said container having two side walls, a rear wall, and a front wall configured to define an interior volume, said container having an upper portion that is generally arcuate in shape, said container being generally rectangular in shape and having an interior volume being sufficient in size to accommodate a plurality of toilet paper rolls therein; a first door and a second door, said first door being mounted proximate the upper portion of said container and further being contiguous with said front wall, said first door having a first and second position, said first door configured to access the interior volume of said container for allowing the installation of four toilet paper rolls therein, said second door being mounted proximate the lower portion of said container generally beneath said first door and further being contiguous with said front wall, said second door having a first and second position, said second door accessing the interior volume of said container to remove at least one of said plurality of toilet paper rolls; and a slot, said slot being mounted in said second door, said slot being configured have a sheet of toilet paper journaled therethrough from an adjacent toilet paper roll substantially disposed within the interior volume of said container. 12. The toilet paper dispenser as recited in claim 11, wherein said container is configured to retain the four toilet paper rolls in generally planar manner. 13. The toilet paper dispenser as recited in claim 12, wherein said container is mounted adjacent a conventional wall, said container further being partially recessed into the conventional wall. 14. The toilet paper dispenser as recited in claim 13, wherein the container is manufactured from plastic. 15. The toilet paper dispenser as recited in claim 14, wherein said first door and said second door further include an attachment mechanism to releasably secure said first door and said second door to said front wall in their first position. 16. The toilet paper dispenser recited in claim 11, wherein said container is configured to retain the four toilet paper rolls in a generally planar manner and wherein the toilet paper rolls are configured in adjacent and approximately equivalent stacks.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a toilet paper holder and dispenser, more specifically but not by way of limitation, a toilet paper holder and dispenser that is designed to accommodate a multiple roles of toilet paper and facilitate the protection of the toilet paper rolls and the successional use hereof. BACKGROUND Good hygiene is a routine practice for most individuals and is practiced on a daily basis. Toilet paper is a routine part of practicing good hygiene. Toilet paper holders have been in use for years and are routinely located proximate a toilet for a user to access when required. Typically, a conventional toilet paper holder is comprised of a U-shaped bracket or dual post structure that is secured to the wall or cabinet with a spring-loaded telescoping member intermediate the opposing forks of the toilet paper holder. This typical installation is designed for rotatably supporting a single roll of toilet paper. One problem with toilet paper holders is that the typical toilet paper holder can only secure one roll at a time. As the toilet paper holder is emptied an individual must have a refill roll available and change the roll frequently. If the roll is not filled for the next individual to make use of the restroom facilities it can create a difficult situation for that individual. Another issue with typical toilet paper holders is that they leave the toilet paper roll exposed whereby the exposed toilet paper is easily accessible to children or pets who often proceed to unwind at least a portion of the toilet paper roll. This creates excessive waste and frustration for the individual required to clean up after the pet or child. Accordingly, there is a need for a toilet paper dispenser that has the ability to store and subsequently dispense a plurality of toilet paper rolls and simultaneously conceal and protect the toilet paper rolls inhibiting any unwanted dispensing of the toilet paper roll contained therein. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the object of the present invention to provide a toilet paper dispenser that provides for storage, protection and subsequent dispensing of multiple toilet paper rolls. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a toilet paper dispenser that stores the rolls in a concealed container to prevent unwanted disposal. Yet another object of the present-invention is to provide a toilet paper holder and dispenser that stores and subsequently dispenses a plurality of toilet paper rolls that can be partially recessed into a wall proximate a toilet. A further object of the present invention is to provide a toilet paper holder and dispenser that stores and subsequently dispenses a plurality of toilet paper rolls that is lightweight and inexpensive. To the accomplishment of the above and related objects the present invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Attention is called to the fact that the drawings are illustrative only. Variations are contemplated as being a part of the present invention, limited only by the scope of the claims. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A more complete understanding of the present invention may be had by reference to the following Detailed Description and appended claims when taken in conjunction with the accompanying Drawing wherein: FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention; FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the embodiment of the present invention shown partially recessed into a wall; FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention; and FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another alternative embodiment of the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings, wherein various elements depicted therein are not necessarily drawn to scale and wherein like elements and designated with like reference numerals throughout the views and figures, and in particular FIGS. 1 and 2, there is illustrated a preferred embodiment of toilet paper dispenser 100 constructed according to the principles of the present invention. The toilet paper dispenser 100 comprises a container 5 that further includes side two walls 35 and 36, a rear wall 50 and a front wall 60. The container 5 is substantially hollow with an interior volume sufficient in size to accommodate multiple toilet paper rolls 115 (see FIG. 2). The front wall 60 further includes a door 20 hingedly mounted proximate the edge 25. Beneath the door 20 is a access flap 40 that has incorporated therein a slot 30. The container 5 is manufactured of a suitable durable material such as plastic utilizing conventional manufacturing processes such as but not limited to injection molding. The container 5 is designed to be partially recessed into a standard household wall that is manufactured from wood studs and drywall. Those skilled in the art should recognize that although it is desired that the container 5 be mounted partially recessed into a wall, the container 5 could be mounted superposed to a wall and still achieve the desired functionality as described herein. The side walls 35 and 36 are generally perpendicular and contiguous with the rear wall 50. The side walls 35 and 36 are rectangular in shape having an upper portion 70 that is generally arcuate in shape. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the upper portion 70 of the side walls 35 and 36 could be numerous different shapes other than the shape illustrated in the drawings submitted herewith. The container 5 has an interior volume to accommodate approximately four toilet paper rolls 115 as shown in particular in FIG. 2. It is further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the container 5 could be manufactured in a plurality of different sizes in order to accommodate therein different amounts of toilet paper rolls 115 configured in different orientations. More specifically but not by way of limitation, the container 5 could be configured to have an interior volume to retain four toilet paper rolls 115 configured in two equivalent and generally parallel stacks. It is contemplated that the container 5 be available in a plurality of configuration with numerous different toilet paper roll 115 capacities and have the ability to be partially recessed into a conventional household wall intermediate to wall studs 110 that are approximately sixteen inches apart. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the container 5 could be utilized to retain as few as one toilet paper roll 115. Furthermore, those skilled in the art will recognize that the container could be manufactured in numerous different colors and designs without departing from the desired function as described herein. It should also be recognized by those skilled in the art that the container 5 could be manufactured from numerous different amounts of walls in order to create an interior volume. The front wall 60 is mounted generally perpendicular to side walls 35 and 36 and is intermediate thereto. The front wall 60 is manufactured from a suitable durable and rigid material such as but not limited to plastic. Hingedly mounted to the front wall 60 is a door 20. The door 20 is hingedly mounted proximate the bottom edge 25 using a mechanical fastener such as but not limited to a piano type hinge. The door 20 functions to provide access to the interior volume of the container 5 allowing a user to load into the toilet paper dispenser 100 the desired amount of toilet paper rolls 115. While the door 20 is shown in the drawings submitted herewith as being hingedly mounted to the front wall 60, it is further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the door 20 could be mounted in a plurality of different manners. More specifically but not by way of limitation, the door 20 could be mounted on tracks whereby the door 20 would be rolled generally upwards and inward towards the container 5 permitting a user to access the interior volume of the container to stack the desired number of toilet paper rolls 115 therein (see FIGS. 3 and 4 described herein below). The door 20 further includes an attachment mechanism 22 that functions to releasably secure the door 20 to the front wall 60 subsequent to loading of the toilet paper rolls 115 and maintain the door 20 in a closed position. Beneath the door 20 is an access flap 40. The access flap 40 is mounted by suitable mechanical methods to the front wall 60. More specifically but not by way of limitation the access flap 40 could be mounted with a piano type hinge or track mounted allowing the access flap 40 to be rolled generally upward and inward towards the interior volume of the container 5. Disposed within the access flap 40 proximate the top portion 45 is a slot 30. The slot 30 is generally rectangular in shape and of suitable size to accommodate the passing therethrough sheets of toilet paper. A user will journal paper from the toilet paper roll 115 adjacent to the access flap 40 thereby functioning to allow a user to dispense the desired amount of toilet paper from the toilet paper roll 115 via the slot 30. The access flap 40 is releasably secured to the front wall with a keeper 80. The keeper 80 functions to maintain the access flap 40 in a closed position while a user dispenses paper from the toilet paper roll 115 adjacent thereto. The keeper 80 is manufactured utilizing suitable mechanical methods. It is further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the container 5 further includes a plurality of retractable rotating pins internally mounted on the side walls 35 and 36 that are designed to releasably secure a toilet paper roll 115 placed thereon. Furthermore, it is also contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the container 5 further include a button that would function to release the empty toilet paper roll 115 from the retractable rotating pins engaged therewith subsequent to the depletion of the toilet paper roll 115 or when a user desires to remove the toilet paper roll 115 from the container 5. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the toilet paper dispenser 100 could be adapted to hold a variety of different types of rolled paper products. More specifically but not by way of limitation, the container 5 could be adapted to retain and subsequently dispense a plurality of conventional paper towel rolls for use in numerous areas other than a bathroom. Referring now to FIG. 3, there is illustrated an alternative embodiment of a toilet paper dispenser 300. As illustrated toilet paper dispenser 300 includes a body 305 configured to receive two toilet paper rolls 315 positioned side-by-side. A door 310 is movably connected to body 305 and can be opened and closed about toilet paper rolls 315. Door 310 is configured to be rolled generally upward and inward towards the interior of body 305 when in the open positioned, and it is rolled downward and away from the interior of body 305 when in the closed positioned (as similarly shown in FIG. 4). Referring now to FIG. 4, there is illustrated an alternative embodiment of a toilet paper dispenser 400. As illustrated toilet paper dispenser 400 includes a body 405 configured to receive two sets of toilet paper rolls 415 positioned side-by-side with one set positioned above the other. A first set of toilet paper rolls is positioned behind 410 and the second set of toilet paper rolls is positioned behind door 420. Each of the doors 410 and 420 are movably connected to body 405 and can be opened and closed about the toilet paper rolls. Each of the doors 410 and 420 are configured to be rolled generally upward and inward towards the interior of body 405 when in the open positioned (as similarly shown in FIG. 3), and it is rolled downward and away from the interior of body 405 when in the closed positioned. In this embodiment, it is contemplated that the body 405 of toilet paper dispense 400 could be configured with a width to accommodate a single role behind each door 410 and 420. Referring in particular to FIG. 1 submitted herewith, a description of the operation of the toilet paper dispenser 100 is as follows. In use, a user will mount the toilet paper dispenser 100 intermediate conventional wall studs 110 through an appropriate sized aperture in the adjacent wall material such that the container 5 is partially recessed into to wall. Subsequent to mounting the container 5 utilizing suitable mechanical methods, a user will engage the attachment mechanism 22 of the door 20 to allow access to the interior volume of the container 5. A user will then place the desired number of toilet paper rolls 115 into the container 5 and return the door 20 to its closed position. When needed the user will access the paper contained on the toilet paper roll 115 via the slot 30 mounted in the access flap 40. Once the toilet paper roll 115 adjacent to the access flap 40 has been depleted, the user will engage the keeper 80 to open the access flap 40 and remove the depleted toilet paper roll 115. As the depleted toilet paper roll 115 is removed, the adjacent toilet paper roll 115 transitions to replace the removed toilet paper roll 115. The user then threads the toilet paper through the slot 30 and returns the access flap 40 to a closed position. This process is repeated until all of the toilet paper rolls 115 disposed within the interior volume of the container 5 are depleted. The container 5 is then re-loaded with the desired number of toilet paper rolls 115 and the process is repeated. In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. The description may omit certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
For more information contact: WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, WWW.GOOGLE.COM
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

USPTO Toy Challenge

Sally Ride Science TOYChallenge draws more than 1,000 to USPTO campus
They came from all over the country last Saturday, May 17— fifth to eighth grade students, teachers, and parents— to participate in the Sally Ride Science TOYchallenge East Coast National Showcase.
The attendees were officially welcomed to the USPTO by Director Jon Dudas. “World leaders are talking about you every day because the important thing for every head of state is to make sure that their nation continues to innovate, come up with new ideas, and do new things” said Director Dudas in his welcoming remarks to the student contestants, their teachers, and families. “That’s exactly what you are doing here today. So we are incredibly honored that the Sally Ride Science TOYChallenge came to the USPTO.”
During the morning and early afternoon 111 teams comprised of three to six members—half of whom were girls—presented their toy or game concepts to a panel of judges from the USPTO and Sally Ride Science. The toys and games were based on themed categories including games for the family and toys that teach. The entries were judged on originality, creativity, feasibility, design process description, team participation, and clarity of communication.
Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations Peggy Focarino presented awards to this year’s winners. In the category of Games for the Family, the winning team was the Kinetic Energizer Bunnies from Kettering Ohio for their toy “Randomness in a Box.” The team from Cold Spring, Kentucky prevailed in the Get Out and Play category for their toy “The Shell Lagoon.” The SEEK Geeks from Stanhope, New Jersey were the winners in the Toys that Teach category. The name of their toy was “Search for the Starz.” The Grand Prize winners were the Aqua Gamers from Winter Springs, Florida. They designed the “Make a Splash Pool Game.”
The USPTO’s partnership with Sally Ride Science TOYchallenge is part of its ongoing educational efforts to reach out to the next generation of innovators. Those efforts include the current Ad Council “Inspiring Invention” campaign, the newly released i-CREATM curriculum and the USPTO’s long standing support for the National Inventors Hall of Fame’s Camp Invention and Club Invention programs.
For more information about the Sally Ride TOYChallenge competition and this year’s winners go to www.sallyridescience, WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, WWW.GOOGLE.COM

Monday, May 19, 2008

Easy Stairs Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
7,350,306
Reed , et al.
April 1, 2008
Easy stairs
Abstract
Easy Stairs is an L-shaped device having a diagonal sliding rod attached to the two sides. Connectors with locking devices allow the diagonal rod to firmly affix to the sides at various locations. To use Easy Stairs, a user adjusts the diagonal rod along the edge of a stringer. When it is in the correct position for the proper size stair, the lock lever is activated. A line can then be drawn on the inside edge of the device on both sides, forming the shape of the stair. The same stair size is then repeated as many times as is necessary to make a staircase of appropriate size.
Inventors:
Reed; Michael G. (Hermiston, OR), Reed; Traci L. (Hermiston, OR)
Appl. No.:
11/486,571
Filed:
July 14, 2006
Related U.S. Patent Documents
Application Number
Filing Date
Patent Number
Issue Date
60700445
Jul., 2005
Current U.S. Class:
33/474 ; 33/420
Current International Class:
B43L 7/00 (20060101); E04F 21/26 (20060101)
Field of Search:
33/418,419,420,421,474
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
373929
November 1887
Gillette
539534
May 1895
McKinney
973584
October 1910
Thomas
1289047
December 1918
Hall
1438432
December 1922
Evans
1480925
January 1924
Wright
1770304
July 1930
Ferris
2031661
February 1936
Mendenhall
2511654
June 1950
Spoor
3153859
October 1964
Jones
4507869
April 1985
Stude
4539759
September 1985
Dowzall et al.
4712307
December 1987
Kish
4916822
April 1990
Johnson
5083380
January 1992
Robertson
5388340
February 1995
Marty
5430947
July 1995
Courtney
6070334
June 2000
Pretsch, Jr.
Primary Examiner: Smith; R. Alexander Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates LP
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Parent Case Text
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/700,445 entitled "Easy Stairs" filed on Jul. 15, 2005.
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A carpentry device comprising: (a) a first side; (b) a second side perpendicular to the first side; (c) a first connector comprising a pivot, a V-shaped viewer and one or more ball bearings capable of sliding along the first side; (d) a second connector comprising a pivot, a V-shaped viewer and one or more ball bearings capable of sliding along the second side; and (e) a diagonal rod connected to the first connector at the pivot on the first side and the second connector at the pivot on the second side. 2. The device of claim 1 wherein the first side and the second side are made of steel. 3. The device of claim 1 wherein the first side and the second side are made of aluminum. 4. The device of claim 1 wherein the diagonal rod is made of steel. 5. The device of claim 1 wherein the diagonal rod is made of aluminum. 6. The device of claim 1 wherein the diagonal rod is telescoping. 7. The device of claim 1 wherein the first connector and the second connector are made of metal. 8. The device of claim 1 wherein the first connector and the second connector are made of plastic. 9. The device of claim 1 wherein a first locking device is located on the first connector and the second locking device is located on the second connector. 10. The device of claim 1 further comprising: a first set of increments along the first side and a second set of increments along the second side. 11. A carpentry device comprising: (a) a first side made of steel; (b) a second side made of steel perpendicular to the first side; (c) a diagonal rod made of steel that telescopes and is attached to the first side via a first connector made of metal and the second side via a second connector made of steel; (d) a first set of ball bearings attached to the first connector and a second set of ball bearings attached to the second connector; (e) a first locking device located on the first connector and a second locking device located on the second connector; (f) a first pivot located on the first connector and a second pivot located on the second connector; (g) a first set of increments located on the first side and a second set of increments located on the second side; (h) a first V-shaped cut out on the first connector and a second V-shaped viewer cut out of the second connector.
Description
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE The disclosures made herein relate generally to the household improvement industry. The invention discussed herein is in the general classification of stair construction devices. BACKGROUND Building uniform stairs is one of the more difficult and tedious tasks for a carpenter. A layman often finds the task exceedingly difficult and often discovers after many hours of labor that the stairs he built are inconsistently sized and spaced. Traditionally, a carpenter's square is used to measure and mark the stringers for stair building. However, a carpenter's square does not adjust, leaving the user to remember the dimensions of the previous stair and consistently mark the stairs along the stringer. Hence, there is a need in the art for a convenient, inexpensive and effective device for measuring stairs that permits uniform repetition of stair dimensions. SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE Easy Stairs is an L-shaped device having a diagonal sliding rod attached to the two sides. Connectors with locking devices allow the diagonal rod to firmly affix to the sides at various locations in the preferred embodiment. The principal object of this invention is to provide a device that can be used to measure stairs. Another object of this invention is to provide a device that can be easily used by carpenters or layman to efficiently measure stairs. Another object of this invention is to provide an affordable device for measuring stairs. Another object of this invention is to provide a device that will permit a user to make a set of stairs uniform in size. Yet another object of the invention is to provide a device that will allow a user to lock the device in place to insure accuracy in measurements. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2 depicts a close-up view of the connectors of the preferred embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 3 depicts a cross-sectional view of the connectors of the preferred embodiment of the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The preferred embodiment of Easy Stairs is comprised of at least some of the following: an L-shaped device having a diagonal, telescoping and pivoting sliding rod attached to the two sides via connectors. The connectors move on ball bearings and have locking devices to allow the sliding rod to firmly affix to the sides at various locations marked along the two sides. FIG. 1 shows the preferred embodiment of the present invention. A first side 1 is located perpendicular to a second side 2. Along the length of the first side 1 and the second side 2, increments 3 for measuring are shown. The first side 1 and second side 2 form an L-shape. The first side 1 and second side 2 are made of steel, although other types of metals or materials may also be utilized. The first side 1 is approximately 24 inches in length while the second side 2 is approximately 16 inches in length. The first side 1 has a width of two inches and the second side 2 has a width of approximately one and one-half inches. The thickness of both the first side 1 and the second side 2 is approximately one sixteenth of an inch. A diagonal sliding rod 4 is connected to the first side 1 and the second side 2 via connectors 5. The diagonal sliding rod 4 is made of steel though other materials may also be utilized. The diagonal sliding rod 4 is telescoping to permit it to be extended and shortened as appropriate. The connectors 5 utilize ball bearings to slide along the length of the first side 1 and the second side 2 to accommodate various size stairs. Locking devices 6 permit the connectors 5 to be firmly affixed in a designated location along the first side 1 and the second side 2. Pivots 7 on the connectors 5 allow the diagonal sliding rod 4 to change orientation when it is being extended or shortened. A diagonal sliding rod 4 is connected to the first side 1 and the second side 2 via connectors 5. The diagonal sliding rod 4 is made of steel though other materials may also be utilized. The diagonal sliding rod 4 is telescoping to permit it to be extended and shortened as appropriate. The connectors 5 utilize ball bearings to slide along the length of the first side 1 and the second side 2 to accommodate various size stairs. Locking devices 6 permit the connectors 5 to be firmly affixed in a designated location along the first side 1 and the second side 2. Pivots 7 on the connectors 5 allow the diagonal sliding rod 4 to change orientation when it is being extended or shortened. A diagonal sliding rod 4 is connected to the first side 1 and the second side 2 via connectors 5. The diagonal sliding rod 4 is made of steel though other materials may also be utilized. The diagonal sliding rod 4 is telescoping to permit it to be extended and shortened as appropriate. The connectors 5 utilize ball bearings 8 to slide along the length of the first side 1 and the second side 2 to accommodate various size stairs. Locking devices 6 permit the connectors 5 to be firmly affixed in a designated location along the first side 1 and the second side 2. Pivots 7 on the connectors 5 allow the diagonal sliding rod 4 to change orientation when it is being extended or shortened. FIG. 2 depicts a close-up view of the connectors of the preferred embodiment of the invention. The diagonal sliding rod 4 attached to the pivot 7 of the connectors can be seen in greater detail. Also shown are the locking devices 6 that press against the first side and second side 2. The increments 3 can be seen through the V-shaped viewer 20 cut out of the connector 5. To use Easy Stairs, a user adjusts the diagonal rod along the edge of a stringer, permitting it to telescope and pivot as necessary. When it is in the correct position for the proper size stair, the lock lever is activated. A line can then be drawn on the inside edge of the device on both sides, forming the shape of the stair. The same stair size is then repeated as many times as is necessary to make a staircase of appropriate size. The materials utilized for Easy Stairs may vary widely but will likely include metal and plastic. The metals would ideally be selected from available steel or alloys of steel and aluminum. The production process related to the use of these metals insures that the metal is non-corrosive, durable and strong. The selected metal should have high impact strength and be capable of accepting and retaining coloring materials for an extended length of time. The plastic used in the production will ideally be selected for durability and longevity. Thermoplastics are commonly used in the manufacturing of components similar to those used in this invention. Polyethylene, polypropylene, and other similar thermoplastic materials would be among those with the necessary traits. Members of this family are recognized universally as being versatile and of high quality. The plastic components of Easy Stairs can also be formed with the use of plastic molding techniques, such as injection molding or blow molding. Injection molding requires melted plastic to be forcefully injected into relatively cool molds. As the plastic begins to harden, it takes on the shape of the mold cavity. This technique is ideal for the mass production of products. Alternatively, blow molding, a form of extrusion, could be utilized. Blow molding involves a molten tube being pushed into a mold. Compressed air then forces the molten tube against the cold walls of the mold. It should be obvious that the components of the present invention can be of various shapes and sizes. It should also be obvious that the components of the invention can be made of different types of plastics or other suitable materials and can be of any color. While the device described herein is primarily used in conjunction with stair building, it could also be used for a variety of other home improvement tasks or carpentry that require measurements and/or repetition of identically sized units. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that changes or modifications may be made to the above-described embodiments without departing from the broad inventive concepts of the invention. It should therefore be understood that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments described herein, but is intended to include all changes and modifications that are within the scope and spirit of the invention as set forth in the claims.
For more information contact: WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, WWW.GOOGLE.COM, WWW.USPTO.GOV, WWW.YAHOO.COM
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Friday, May 16, 2008

USPTO PILOT PATENT TRIAL PROGRAM

USPTO and EPO to Pilot Patent Prosecution HighwayTrial program to improve quality and pendency at both offices
Washington, D.C. - The Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) today announced that they intend to launch a new trial cooperation initiative called the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) in September. The Patent Prosecution Highway will leverage fast-track patent examination procedures already available in both offices to allow applicants to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently. It also will permit each office to exploit the work previously done by the other office and reduce duplication. In turn, the initiative will reduce examination workload and improve patent quality.
"This pilot is a major step forward in the USPTO-EPO cooperative efforts to manage workloads and will allow us to take advantage of each other's work thereby reducing our backlogs while still maintaining higher patent quality," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Jon Dudas. "The pilot also significantly expands the PPH network in the global patent office community."
"Being prepared to 'utilise' work is both rational and essential if the patent system is to keep its head above water" said President of the EPO Alison Brimelow. "Exploring the implications of projects like PPH is very important."
Under the Patent Prosecution Highway, an applicant whose application filed with either the EPO or the USPTO contains at least one allowable claim may request that the other office fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications. Full requirements for participation in the trial program will be available prior to implementation at www.uspto.gov/web/patents/pph/pph_epo.html (Coming Soon) and www.epo.org.
The purpose of the trial program is to gauge the interest of applicants and determine if the program improves quality and efficiency and reduces the workload at each office. The trial period will be set for one year but may be extended or terminated earlier depending on volume of activity and other factors. Both offices will provide notice of any adjustment in the trial period.
For more information contact: WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, WWW.GOOGLE.COM, WWW.USPTO.GOV, WWW.YAHOO.COM
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