Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yard Vacuum Attachment Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
7,401,378
Hobbs , et al.
July 22, 2008
Vacuum attachment for a yard vacuum apparatus
Abstract
An outdoor yard vacuum apparatus is provided with a removable vacuum attachment. The vacuum attachment adapts the yard vacuum for cleaning and debris removal of a variety of both indoor and outdoor surfaces in a variety of environments beyond the original capabilities of the yard vacuum. The vacuum attachment having a forward facing debris pickup slot of adjustable length, a stiff bristle brush affixed to the bottom surface of the vacuum head, and a set of head carrier wheels axially affixed to the opposing end caps of the vacuum head. The vacuum attachment suited to debris removal from non-carpeted areas, particularly examples such as athletic stadiums and bleachers, convention halls and various other facilities and environments.
Inventors:
Hobbs; Jerry Dean (Puxico, MO), Caldwell; Loran (Puxico, MO)
Appl. No.:
11/406,560
Filed:
April 19, 2006
Current U.S. Class:
15/246.2 ; 15/422.1
Current International Class:
A47L 5/00 (20060101)
Field of Search:
15/246.2,398,415.1,522.1,422.1
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
1941758
January 1934
Riebel, Jr.
2071077
February 1937
Leathers
2867836
January 1959
Duff
4244080
January 1981
Wessel
4570286
February 1986
Ross
D306506
March 1990
Houser
5440781
August 1995
Kitazawa et al.
5652995
August 1997
Henke et al.
6280532
August 2001
Allen
6588058
July 2003
Vanderlinden
6766560
July 2004
Murphy
6979373
December 2005
Rogers
Primary Examiner: Nguyen; Dung Van Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, L.P.
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A vacuum attachment for a portable outdoor yard vacuum apparatus, the attachment comprising: an elongated vacuum head having a debris cavity, an elongated debris receiving slot on a forward facing side of the head, the debris slot for receiving debris into the head cavity while vacuuming, wherein the debris slot is oriented to open between 3 o'clock and 6 o'clock position; wherein the vacuum head is an extended tubular vacuum head having two opposing ends, the debris receiving slot disposed along a length of the vacuum head, the vacuum head having two end caps, the end caps secured to the opposing ends of the tubular vacuum head; and wherein the conduit means is an extended tubular conduit having a lower end joined to and in fluid communication with the debris cavity of the vacuum head, and having an upper end sized and adapted to be removably joined to the vacuum conduit of the yard vacuum; wherein the vacuum head comprises an inner tubular vacuum head and an outer tubular vacuum head, wherein the inner head is retentively and telescopically received within the outer tubular vacuum head, wherein the inner head is telescopically adjustable relative to the outer tubular head so that width of the vacuum head and debris slot is adjustable; and wherein the vacuum head further comprises: a threaded bolt secured to and extending from an inside surface of the inner vacuum head through an elongated vacuum head length adjustment slot in the outer vacuum head, the slot sized to permit the inner head and the bolt to slide in the slot adjusting inner and outer head position between collapsing the inner head into the outer head at one limit to extending beyond the outer head by 4 inches at opposite limit of travel; a threaded wing nut sized and configured to be threadably received onto the bolt, the wing nut and bolt compressing sidewalls of the inner and outer head so as to fix the telescopic position of the inner and outer vacuum heads; and a 1/4 inch stiff bristle brush secured to the bottom surface of the outer vacuum head such that the brush bristles align to brush the surface being cleaned, the brush positioned to be at the 6 o'clock position during use of the vacuum attachment, wherein the wheels are sized to support the vacuum head at a distance of 3/8 inch above the surface to be cleaned; two vacuum head carrier wheels, each wheel positioned beside the vacuum head end cap and axially mounted to the end cap such that the wheel is free to rotate and such that the wheel supports the vacuum head above the floor to be cleaned; and a conduit means of removably joining said head to the vacuum conduit of the outdoor vacuum, said conduit providing closed transport of debris from the head cavity to a vacuum conduit and ultimately to the fan suction of the yard vacuum, wherein the vacuum attachment adapts said vacuum for cleanup uses beyond the original intended use of the vacuum, wherein the debris receiving slot is in substantial axial alignment with axis of elongation of said conduit means. 2. The vacuum attachment of claim 1 further comprising a stiff elongated debris brush secured to a bottom wall of the vacuum head behind the elongated debris slot, the brush positioned to brush the floor surface so as to loosen debris for vacuum pick up, the brush positioned to be at the 6 o'clock position during use of the vacuum attachment. 3. The vacuum attachment of claim 1, wherein the vacuum head is an elongated `U` shaped vacuum head having tow opposing closed ends, wherein the debris receiving slot is the opening in the elongated `U`. 4. The vacuum attachment of claim 3, wherein the conduit is in an extended tubular conduit having an upper end and a lower end, the lower end secured to the tubular vacuum head, the upper head sized and adapted for removably joining the vacuum conduit of the yard vacuum apparatus. 5. The vacuum attachment of claim 4, wherein the vacuum head further comprises: two vacuum head carrier wheels, each wheel positioned beside the opposing closed ends of the vacuum head and axially mounted to the closed ends such that the wheel is free to rotate and such that the wheel supports the vacuum head above the floor to be cleaned. 6. The vacuum attachment of claim 3, wherein the conduit is a flexible hose having an upper end and a lower end, the lower end secured to the tubular vacuum head, the upper head sized and adapted for removably joining the vacuum conduit of the yard vacuum apparatus.
Description
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE The disclosures made herein relate generally to outdoor yard vacuum and leaf blower apparatuses, and particularly to vacuum attachments for such yard vacuum apparatuses which are removably joinable to the lawn vacuum and by their design adapt the yard vacuum to clean a variety of both indoor-and outdoor surfaces in a variety of environments beyond the-original capabilities of the yard vacuum. BACKGROUND Portable or transportable yard or lawn vacuums and leaf blowers driven by small electric or gasoline powered engines are well known. Such yard or lawn vacuums are used by home owners and commercial building grounds maintenance crews to clean and remove various debris from lawns, under treed areas and on driveways, for example. Such portable yard vacuums utilize a small engine or motor to spin a high speed centrifugal fan blower to generate a vacuum, using the motive force of airflow to pick up debris. The operation of the impellers of the fan generate a suction on the inlet side of the blower and a positive pressure on the outlet side, wherein the amount of pressure differential generated is generally inversely related to the volume of air flow through the fan, other factors such as fan speed, impeller geometry, air density, etc. being held constant. Lawn vacuums are commonly configured with the motor or engine mounted inline with the fan shaft and directly to the back of the fan housing, provided with a handle of some variety mounted on the fan or motor housing to allow the entire unit to be carried, and manipulated over a surface to be cleaned during use. Lawn vacuums and blowers are commonly sold configured and equipped for cleanup of outdoor lawn, sidewalk and driveway debris, particularly leaves and lawn clippings. When used as a lawn vacuum, the apparatus is equipped with a bag attached to the fan outlet port to capture and retain leaves and debris in the bag for later disposal. An elongated tube or other debris pick up and transport means is connected to the fan suction port. When used as a yard blower apparatus, an elongated tube is reconfigured to connect to the fan outlet port so that the air flow through the fan is used to blow debris off the driveway by directing and impinging the fan air flow onto debris, thereby displacing the debris. Since outdoor debris such as leaves and clippings can be relatively large in size, the elongated pick up tube is normally of a relatively large diameter, at least relative to the diameter of normal household vacuums. This larger diameter accommodates the pick up of larger size debris encountered in the outdoor environment. A limitation of yard or lawn vacuums is that the attachments provided are configured for outdoor lawn debris pick up but are not well suited for other debris pick up in other outdoor environments or indoor environments such as bleachers in stadiums, theaters, convention halls, zoos, etc. Another limitation of the attachments provided with yard or lawn vacuums is that the vacuum attachment generally consists of little more that a tube having an open debris end. This tube can be used to pick up debris on other environments, but the limited size of the tube and therefore the width of the swath cleaned in each pass of the nozzle requires more passes of the nozzle over the surface to be cleaned. The limited swath width and additional cleaning passes results in the waste of time and movement and makes the cleanup process an inefficient one. Therefore, a vacuum attachment which provides a debris pick up opening having a wide debris pick up, a vacuum attachment that can be removably mounted to and later removed from the vacuum pick up tube of a variety of standard yard vacuums, a vacuum attachment which enhances the functionality of the yard vacuum by adapting the yard vacuum to debris cleanup in a variety of additional environments such as but not limited to bleachers, theaters, athletic stadiums, schools, convention halls, amusement parks, sawdust and debris in building construction, and factories, an attachment that is adjustable in width as to conform to the spacing between, for example, seat rows in a stadium bleacher of theater, such a vacuum attachment for a yard vacuum apparatus would be useful and novel. SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE Accordingly, embodiments of the inventive disclosures made herein comprise a removable vacuum attachment for installing to the suction port of vacuum pick up tube of a portable outdoor yard vacuum apparatus. In a first embodiment of the inventive disclosures herein relate generally to a vacuum attachment for a portable outdoor yard vacuum apparatus, the attachment comprising an elongated vacuum debris pick up head having a debris cavity disposed within and an elongated debris pick up slot on a bottom side of the head for receiving debris into the head. In use the elongated bottom slot faces substantially forward rather than in a floor facing position as would be the case in a conventional vacuum cleaner attachment. With the forward facing arrangement, the vacuum attachment is suit to the pickup of debris such as candy and food wrappers and bags from a stadium, while the head pushes beverage and pop cans and bottles to the edge of the bleacher. The embodiment includes a debris transport conduit means of joining the vacuum head of the present inventive disclosure to the vacuum conduit or blower suction port of the outdoor vacuum. This conduit provides closed transport of debris from the nozzle cavity to a vacuum conduit and ultimately to the fan suction of the yard vacuum and transmits the vacuum developed at the blower to the vacuum head of the subject vacuum attachment. The debris pickup slot of the vacuum attachment faces substantially forward in alignment with the axis of the debris conduit means, as discussed earlier above. This conduit means by design is user installable to the yard vacuum apparatus for use is cleaning and may later be removed after the cleanup job is completed. As discussed earlier, the vacuum attachment adapts the yard vacuum for cleanup uses beyond the original cleaning capabilities of the yard vacuum and enhances the functionality of the yard vacuum by enabling efficient debris cleanup in a variety of additional environments such as but not limited to bleachers, theaters, athletic stadiums, baseball fields, football fields, school buildings, churches, convention halls, amusement park facilities, sawdust and debris in building construction, and factories, among other uses. In a second embodiment of the removable vacuum attachment for a portable outdoor yard vacuum apparatus the vacuum head is an extended tubular vacuum head having two opposing ends and a forward facing slot for receiving debris such as wrappers and chip bags, the slot disposed along a length of the vacuum head, the slot opening generally aligned with the axis of the conduit means. Two end caps are secured to and closing the opposing ends of the tubular vacuum head. The vacuum attachment conduit means is an extended tubular conduit having a lower end joined to and having pressure and fluid communication with the debris cavity of the vacuum head. The upper end-of the tubular conduit is sized and adapted-to be removably joinable to the vacuum conduit of the yard vacuum. In a third embodiment of the removable vacuum attachment for a portable outdoor yard vacuum, the first embodiment is modified to have a vacuum head in the form of an elongated `U` shape. The elongated `U` shaped head has two closed opposing ends. The opening edge between the sides of the `U` provides and forms the bottom elongated debris slot for receiving debris into the debris cavity while the interior of the `U` shape forms the debris cavity. In a fourth embodiment of the removable vacuum attachment, the third embodiment is modified such that the conduit means is an extended tubular conduit or pipe section having an upper end and a lower end. The lower end of the tubular conduit is secured to the tubular vacuum head while the upper head sized and adapted for removably joining to the vacuum conduit of the yard vacuum apparatus, the conduit having closed fluid and pressure communication between the debris cavity and the blower suction intake of the yard vacuum apparatus. In a fifth embodiment of the removable vacuum attachment, the third embodiment is modified such that the conduit means is a flexible hose having an upper end and a lower end, the lower end secured to the tubular vacuum head, the upper head sized and adapted for removably joining the vacuum conduit of the yard vacuum apparatus, the conduit having closed fluid communication between the cavity and the yard vacuum apparatus. In a sixth embodiment of the removable vacuum attachment, the vacuum attachment for a portable outdoor yard vacuum apparatus comprises an extended tubular vacuum head having an elongated debris cavity within and a forward facing debris receiving slot communicating between an exterior surface of the head and the debris cavity. The debris receiving slot is disposed along a length of the vacuum head, the debris receiving slot in a substantially axial alignment with the axis of elongation of the debris conduit. The debris slot is for receiving debris such as chip bags and candy wrappers into the vacuum head cavity while vacuuming. The tubular vacuum head has a length-between 12 to 24 inches and has a diameter between 3 to 6 inches. There are two end caps, each one secured to and closing opposing ends of the vacuum head. A rigid tubular debris conduit is provided for removably joining the vacuum head to the outdoor vacuum apparatus. The conduit provides closed transport of debris from the head cavity to the vacuum conduit of the yard vacuum. The upper end of the tubular conduit is sized and adapted to removably join to a debris vacuum conduit of the yard vacuum. The lower end of the vacuum attachment debris conduit is secured to vacuum head and is in closed fluid and pressure communication with the cavity of the head. In a seventh embodiment of the removable vacuum attachment, the sixth embodiment is modified such that the rigid tubular conduit has a length between 8 to 24 inches and the conduit has a diameter between 3 to 6 inches. The conduit diameter is chosen to removably join with and sealably close on the diameter of the debris vacuum or suction conduit of the yard vacuum apparatus. The vacuum head comprising an inner tubular vacuum head and an outer tubular vacuum head, wherein the inner head is retentively and telescopically received within the outer tubular vacuum head and the inner head is telescopically adjustable relative to the outer tubular head so that width of the vacuum head and debris slot are adjustable. A threaded bolt is secured into a pocket in and extending from an inside surface of the inner vacuum head through an elongated vacuum head length adjustment slot in the outer vacuum head, the slot sized to permit the inner head and the bolt to slide in the vacuum head length adjustment slot of the outer head, thereby adjusting the inner and outer head position between collapsing the inner head into the outer head at one limit to extending beyond the outer head by 0 to 4 inches at opposite limit of travel. A threaded wing nut threadably received onto the bolt on the outside surface of the outer vacuum head, the wing nut and bolt, when tightened, Patent Application compressing the sidewalls of the inner and outer head so as to fix the telescopic position of the inner and outer tubular vacuum heads. Two vacuum head carrier wheels are provided, each wheel positioned beside an opposing end cap of the vacuum head and axially mounted to the end cap such that the wheel is free to rotate and such that the wheel supports the vacuum head above the floor to be cleaned. A 1/4 inch stiff bristle brush is secured to the bottom surface of the outer vacuum head such that the brush bristles align to brush the surface being cleaned, wherein the wheels are sized to support the vacuum head at a distance of 3/8 inch above the surface to be cleaned. In an eighth embodiment of the removable vacuum attachment, the seventh embodiment is modified such that the extended rigid conduit connecting the vacuum head cavity to the vacuum conduit of the yard vacuum apparatus has a length of 20 inches. The conduit has a diameter of between 3 to 6 inches where the diameter is chosen to removably join and sealably engage with the diameter of the debris vacuum conduit of the yard vacuum. The elongated vacuum head has a length of 8 inches and a diameter of 4 inches. The primary material employed in various embodiments of the vacuum attachment of this inventive disclosure is preferably a hard plastic such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), a variety of polycarbonates, or the use of poly-vinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. Many parts which were once metal are now made of much lighter and often stronger plastics. While reducing the production costs considerably, this change over has also made vacuum cleaners much lighter and easier to use. Embodiments are not limited to the use of plastic materials, however, and can be realized in aluminum, steel or brass as examples. It is an objective of the inventive disclosure made herein to provide a yard vacuum attachment that adapts the yard vacuum for cleanup uses beyond the original intended use of the vacuum by enabling efficient debris cleanup in a variety of additional environments beyond the capabilities of the standard yard vacuum, such as but not limited to bleachers, theaters, athletic stadiums, baseball fields, football fields, school buildings, churches, convention halls, amusement park facilities, sawdust and debris in building construction, and factories, among other uses. It is another objective of the inventive disclosure made herein to provide a yard vacuum attachment having a debris pick up opening having a wider cleaning swath than yard vacuum pick up attachments and therefore cleaning a given area in less time and with less effort. It is another objective of the inventive disclosure made herein to provide a yard vacuum attachment that includes a stiff bristle brush in a facing relationship to the surface being cleaned, wherein the brush is used to loosen debris for vacuum pickup. It is another objective of the inventive disclosure made herein to provide a yard vacuum attachment head having an adjustable head width, the head width suited to adjustment for cleaning between seat of a stadium or theater, the width adjustable to accommodate the width of the space to be cleaned. It is another objective of the inventive disclosure made herein to provide a yard vacuum attachment having a debris pick up opening having a substantially forward facing alignment particularly suited to pickup of stadiums, bleachers and athletic field debris such as candy wrappers, chip bags and the like, while sweeping pop cans and bottles to the end of the stadium row for pickup at the end of the row. It is another objective of the inventive disclosure made herein to provide a yard vacuum attachment that has been shown through use to allow two people to clean up stadium bleachers in 30 minutes time, a job that previously required four people for four hours before the invention of the vacuum attachment of the subject inventive disclosure. It is another objective to provide a vacuum attachment for a yard vacuum that cleans various types of surfaces both inside and out. It is difficult to maneuver brooms and dust mops around and through bleachers and rough surfaces, and so a yard vacuum apparatus vacuum attachment that has a width adapted to clean between bleachers and stadium seats, that eases the cleaning of rough surfaces, an attachment that works like a vacuum cleaner but is used on surfaces other than carpets, such a yard vacuum attachment would be useful and beneficial. These and other objects of the invention made herein will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and associated drawings. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The drawings show a form of the invention that is presently preferred; however, the invention is not limited to the precise arrangement shown in the drawings. FIG. 1 presents a perspective view rotated to show details of the bottom of one embodiment of a vacuum attachment for a portable outdoor yard vacuum apparatus in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein. FIG. 2 presents a perspective view of the vacuum attachment of FIG. 1 connected to a portable yard vacuum apparatus in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein. FIG. 3 presents a close up view of the inner and outer tubular vacuum heads of FIG. 2 together with the wing nut and slot head length adjustment means in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein. FIG. 4 presents a partial view of the tubular vacuum head, the view solely to illustrate the orientation of the debris slot and brush when the vacuum head is in use to pickup debris. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In preparation for explaining the details of the present inventive disclosure, it is to be understood by the reader that the invention is not limited to the presented details of the construction, materials and embodiments as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, as the invention concepts are clearly capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and realized in various ways by applying the disclosure presented herein. FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view rotated to show details of the bottom of one embodiment of a vacuum attachment for a portable outdoor yard vacuum apparatus in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein. The vacuum attachment 1 includes an elongated vacuum head 2. The vacuum head 2 has an elongated slot 4 in the bottom of the vacuum head through which dirt and debris can be induced to enter the debris cavity 3 while vacuuming. A tubular conduit 6 having a lower end 7 and an upper end 8 and closed ends 19. The opening of the tubular conduit 6 being in fluid communication with the debris cavity 3. The upper end of the tubular conduit 8 sized and configured to removably and sealably connect to a vacuum connection of the outdoor yard vacuum apparatus so that debris that area gathered through the elongated slot 4 are received in the debris cavity 3 and transported by the vacuum induced air flow along the tubular conduit 6 into the yard vacuum apparatus connected to the upper end 8 of the tubular conduit. The yard vacuum apparatus is not shown. Two vacuum head carrier wheels 20, one wheel axially mounted to each closed end of the vacuum head such that the wheel is free to rotate and such that the wheel supports the vacuum head above the floor to be cleaned. A 1/4 inch stiff bristle brush 18 is secured to bottom surface of the vacuum head such that the brush bristles align to brush the surface being cleaned. The wheels are sized to support the vacuum head at a distance of 3/8 inch above the surface to be cleaned. FIG. 2 presents a perspective view of another embodiment of the the vacuum attachment in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein. The vacuum attachment is connected to a portable yard vacuum Vacuum attachment 1 includes an extended tubular conduit 6. The extended tubular conduit 6 has a lower end 7 secured to the elongated vacuum head, the head comprising an inner tubular vacuum head and an outer tubular vacuum head, wherein the inner head 25 is retentively and telescopically received within the outer tubular vacuum head 26 such that the inner head is telescopically adjustable relative to the outer tubular head so that width of the vacuum head and debris slot 3 is adjustable to the desired width. A threaded bolt 27 is secured to and extending from an inside surface of the inner vacuum head 25 through to an elongated vacuum head length adjustment slot in the outer vacuum head 26, the slot sized to permit the inner head and the bolt to slide in the head length adjustment slot thereby adjusting inner and outer head position between collapsing the inner head into the outer head at one limit to extending beyond the outer head by 0 to 4 inches at opposite limit of travel. A threaded wing nut 28 is threadably received onto the bolt, the wing nut and bolt compressing sidewalls of the inner and outer head so as to fix the telescopic position of the inner and outer tubular vacuum heads. An extended rigid tubular conduit 6, the conduit having a diameter of between 3 to 6 inches, the diameter chosen to removably join with and sealably close on the diameter of the debris vacuum conduit 9 of the yard vacuum, wherein the debris receiving slot 4 of the vacuum head is in substantial axial alignment with axis of elongation of the tubular conduit 6, such that debris slot faces forward rather than in a conventional vacuum attachment. Two vacuum head carrier wheels 20 are shown, each wheel positioned beside the opposing end caps 17 of the vacuum head and axially mounted to the end caps such that the wheel 20 is free to rotate and such that the wheel supports the vacuum head above the floor to be cleaned. A 1/4 inch stiff bristle brush 18 is secured to the bottom surface of the outer vacuum head such that the brush bristles align to brush the surface being cleaned, wherein the wheels are sized to support the vacuum head at a distance of 3/8 inch above the surface to be cleaned. The center void of the tubular conduit is in fluid and pressure communication with the debris cavity 3 of the vacuum head. The upper end 8 of the extended tubular conduit is removably and sealably attached to the vacuum conduit 9 or blower suction inlet of the portable yard vacuum apparatus 10. Using air flow induced by blower 11, debris is induced into the vacuum head 2 through the elongated slot on the bottom of the head and into the debris cavity 3. Debris is carried by air flow through the debris exit hole 14 and into the extended tubular conduit 6 and onwards up into the portable yard vacuum 10. The debris pick up vacuum is induced by the operation of blower 11 which transports air and debris into debris accumulation bag 12. FIG. 3 depicts a close up view of the inner and outer tubular vacuum heads of FIG. 2 together with the wing nut and slot head length adjustment means in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein. The tubular vacuum head comprises an inner tubular vacuum head 25 and an outer tubular vacuum head 26, wherein the inner head is retentively and telescopically received within the outer tubular vacuum head and the inner head is telescopically adjustable relative to the outer tubular head so that width of the vacuum head and width of the debris slot 4 is adjustable. A threaded bolt 27 is secured to and extending from an inside surface of the inner vacuum head through an elongated vacuum head length adjustment slot 29 in the outer vacuum head 26, the slot has a length 30 sized to permit the inner head 25 and the bolt 27 affixed thereto to slide in the slot 29 adjusting inner and outer head position between collapsing the inner head into the outer head at one limit to extending beyond the outer head by 0 to 4 inches at opposite limit of travel. A threaded wing nut 28 is threadably received onto the bolt 27, the wing nut 28 and bolt compressing sidewalls of the inner and outer head so as to fix the telescopic position of the inner and outer tubular vacuum heads. The vacuum head carrier wheel 20 is positioned beside the end cap 17 of the vacuum head and axially mounted to the end cap 17 by an axle such that the wheel is free to rotate and such that the wheel supports the vacuum head above the floor to be cleaned. A 1/4 inch stiff bristle brush 18 is secured to bottom surface of the outer vacuum head such that the brush bristles align to brush the surface being cleaned. The wheels are sized to support the vacuum head at a distance of 3/8 inch above the surface to be cleaned. FIG. 3 depicts another embodiment of a vacuum attachment for a yard vacuum apparatus in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein. The vacuum attachment 1 has a basic `T` shape. The elongated vacuum head 2 is formed from pipe sections including a `T` pipe section 15, and two lengths of pipe 16 which are closed at distant ends by end caps 17. End caps 17 include a side slot 5 which is positioned near the floor surface being cleaned and serves to limit the developed vacuum pressure so that the vacuum attachment may be moved easily across a surface during cleaning without binding tightly to the floor. The extended tubular conduit 6 is an elongated tubular pipe section and is secured to the vacuum head 2 at the `T` pipe section 15. The upper end 8 of the extended tubular conduit is sized and fitted for removably and sealably attaching to a portable yard vacuum apparatus. FIG. 4 depicts an intentionally incomplete view of the tubular vacuum head, the depicted components chosen solely to illustrate the orientation of the debris slot and brush when the vacuum head is in use to pickup debris. Many other essential components of the invention are not depicted in this view, for example the wheels and the tubular conduit. These components and others are depicted in FIG. 1 through FIG. 3 discussed above. Now discussing FIG. 4--In FIG. 4 the vacuum head debris slot is oriented with the debris slot opening between the 3 o'clock position 40 and the 6 o'clock position 41 when the vacuum head is positioned for use on the surface 42 to be cleaned of debris. The vacuum head, as illustrated, is moving forward according to direction arrow 43 to pickup debris from the surface 42. This orientation is preferred for all embodiments of the inventive disclosures herein. In a preferred embodiment, the vacuum attachment for a yard vacuum apparatus has a vacuum head length along the surface to be cleaned of about 18 inches (with the inner vacuum head collapsed into the outer vacuum head), and a vacuum head and tubular conduit diameter of about 4 inches. The 18 inch length has been found through prototype testing to be ideal to fit perfectly between bleacher and stadium seats, eliminating the need to maneuver mops and brooms through tight areas. The adjustment provided between the inner and outer vacuum heads allowing the vacuum head length to be lengthened when the isle to be cleaned requires a wider swath. The discussed construction, illustrations and sequence of operation is for one embodiment of the invention, but is in no way limiting to other embodiments. The operating modes may be changed and enhanced without deviating from the intention of this inventive disclosure. 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, material, and mechanical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. To avoid unnecessary detail, the description omits 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, WWW.YAHOO.COM
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Saturday, July 26, 2008

USPTO Director Press Release

USPTO Director Among Managing Intellectual Property Magazine’s “Top 50”
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Jon Dudas has been named among the “Top 50 Most Influential People in IP” by Managing Intellectual Property magazine. The list is compiled annually, and the 2008 list includes government officials, legislators, judges, industry leaders and others who helped shape intellectual property policy during the previous year.
Ranking Mr. Dudas as among the top 10 most influential people of the top 50, Managing Intellectual Property noted, “Dudas is the first director to succeed in securing full funding for the Office, and his quality initiatives have been upheld as producing ‘historic improvement’ in the quality of both patent and trademark reviews and issued patents and trademarks…”
The article goes on to cite Mr. Dudas’s active role in “promoting the administrations’ applicant quality submissions (AQS) provision to the US Patent Reform Act, Senate bill S.1145.” In the interview, Mr. Dudas told the magazine that the search requirement is a “quality initiative” that makes sense, since “the applicant knows more about their invention that anyone else.”
The article can be found in the July/August issue of Managing Intellectual Property and on the Web at www.managingip.com.

for more patent information contact: WWW.GAPATENTS.COM or WWW.GOOGLE.COM

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lighted Angel Design Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
D572,624
Garrison
July 8, 2008
Lighted angel
Claims
CLAIM The ornamental design for a lighted angel, as shown and described.
Inventors:
Garrison; John D. (Tannersville, NY)
Appl. No.:
D/236,308
Filed:
August 15, 2005
Current U.S. Class:
D11/121 ; D11/124; D11/128
Current International Class:
0901
Field of Search:
D11/117,121,124,125,127,128,131,133,157,158,160 D26/98,99 D21/398,576,587,593,621,627 362/806,808 428/7,8,9,11
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
D162259
February 1951
Sundheim, Jr.
D181262
October 1957
Abramson
D187486
March 1960
Brooks
D193995
November 1962
Carlson
D341331
November 1993
Richards, Jr.
D404669
January 1999
Welter et al.
D405707
February 1999
Smyth et al.
D405722
February 1999
Ayoub
6180193
January 2001
Bostedt
D439543
March 2001
Branaman
D449249
October 2001
Zadok et al.
D453487
February 2002
Roy, Jr.
D453708
February 2002
Roy, Jr.
Primary Examiner: Reid; Stella M. Assistant Examiner: Oswecki; Elizabeth J Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, L.P.
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Description
The sole FIGURE is a perspective view of a lighted angel showing my new design with the rear view being identical.
For more information contact: WWW.GAPATENTS.COM WWW.GOOGLE.COM, WWW.YAHOO.COM
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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cordless Electric Hair Dryer Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
7,380,347
Coats , et al.
June 3, 2008
Cordless electric hair dryer with case
Abstract
A cordless hair dryer assembly designed to be used with only with a renewable power source such as a rechargeable battery. The cordless hair dryer assembly includes a motor assembly, a fan, heating element and an on/off switch. The motor assembly is also configured with a flow controller and a temperature controller. The cordless hair dryer further includes a hose configured with a cap with a plurality of apertures for distributing the airflow.
Inventors:
Coats; Carrie R. (Chickasaw, AL), Coats; Willie (Chickasaw, AL)
Appl. No.:
11/290,310
Filed:
November 30, 2005
Current U.S. Class:
34/97
Current International Class:
A45D 20/12 (20060101)
Field of Search:
34/96-100 392/380,384 132/272,212
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
3377715
April 1968
Hubner
3386184
June 1968
Ponczek
4635382
January 1987
Bourdeau
5124532
June 1992
Hafey et al.
5857262
January 1999
Bonnema et al.
6449870
September 2002
Perez et al.
7096597
August 2006
Zellous
Primary Examiner: Gravini; S. Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, LP
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A cordless hair dryer assembly comprising: a carrying case configured to receive therein the cordless hair dryer, wherein the carrying case is a separate separable component from the hair dryer; a motor assembly, said motor assembly having therein a DC motor, said motor connected to a fan, said motor assembly further including at least one heating element, said fan for creating airflow; a hose connected proximate said fan, said hose for directing the airflow created by said fan; a temperature controller, said temperature controller for regulating the current from the renewable power source to the heating elements; a cap, said cap mounted to said hose, said cap for receiving and distributing the airflow from said hose; and a storage compartment, said storage compartment generally hollow and rectangular in shape, said storage compartment configured to receive therein said motor assembly, said hose and said cap. 2. The cordless hair dryer assembly as recited in claim 1, and further including a renewable power source, said renewable power source being located internally in said motor assembly, said renewable power source being removable. 3. The cordless hair dryer assembly as recited in claim 2, and further including at least one switch, said switch for controlling said DC motor. 4. The cordless hair dryer assembly as recited in claim 3, and further including at least one flow controller, said flow controller for controlling the speed of said fan, said flow controller being variable. 5. The cordless hair dryer assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein at least a portion of said cap has substantially disposed thereon a plurality of apertures, said apertures for distributing the airflow entering said cap from said hose. 6. The cordless hair dryer assembly as recited in claim 5, and further including a string, said string circumferentially disposed on said cap, said string for releasably securing said cap to a human head. 7. A battery operated hair dryer assembly having a carrying case comprising: a motor assembly, said motor assembly having therein a DC motor, said motor connected to a fan, said motor assembly further including at least one heating element, said motor assembly being circular in shape, said motor assembly further including a plurality of air intakes, said air intakes being centrally located on said motor assembly; a battery, said battery being a rechargeable nickel cadmium battery, said battery capable of producing sufficient current for supplying power to said fan and said heating element; a hose, said hose having a first end and a second end, said first end of said hose being mounted to said motor assembly, said hose for directing airflow as the airflow is produced from said motor assembly; a temperature controller, said temperature controller for regulating the current from said nickel cadmium battery to said heating elements; a cap, said cap mounted to said hose, said cap for receiving and distributing the airflow from said second end of said hose, said cap being configured to receive therein a human head, said cap having substantially disposed on one side a plurality of apertures, said apertures being configured to distribute the airflow received from said hose; and a storage compartment, said storage compartment generally hollow and rectangular in shape, said storage compartment having two generally equal portions, said portions being hingably attached along one side, said storage compartment having containers to receive therein said motor assembly, said hose and said cap, said storage compartment further including a mirror substantially disposed on one of said portions, wherein said storage compartment is a separate separable component from said motor assembly, hose and cap. 8. The battery-operated hair dryer as recited in claim 7, and further including a switch, said switch for regulating the current flow between the battery and the fan. 9. The battery-operated hair dryer as recited in claim 8, and further including 3 flow controllers, said flow controllers for controlling the speed of said fan. 10. The battery-operated hair dryer as recited in claim 9, and further including temperature controller, for regulating the current from the renewable power source to the lasting elements. 11. The battery-operated hair dryer as recited in claim 10, wherein said storage compartment further includes at least one container designed to receive a hair comb or brush therein. 12. The battery-operated hair dryer as recited in claim 11, and further including a string, said string circumferentially disposed on said cap, said string for releasably securing said cap to a human head.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates a device that generates and blows hot air, more specifically but not by way of limitation, to a cordless hair dryer that is powered by a renewable power source intergrated into the hair dryer. BACKGROUND Individuals usually engage in daily grooming habits. Most individuals regularly wash their hair and have a subsequent need to dry their hair afterwards. Professional stylist also regular use a hair dryer to dry the hair or assist in styling the hair after it has been cut. Conventional hair dryers have shown to have some limitations. Particularly, conventional hair dryers are powered by a standard 120 volt or 220 volt supply. The hair dryer is connected to the power supply with a cord. This creates limitations as to where the conventional hair dryer can be used. If there is no access to an electrical outlet, a conventional hair dryer can not be utilized. As a result, traditional hair dryers lack portability. Another issue regarding the power supply of traditional hair dryers is safety. Numerous accidents occur each year as users of traditional hair dryers injure themselves when their hair dryer contacts water. As hair dryers typically operate on 1000 watts of power or more, this represents a serious safety hazard to users. Conventional hair dryers also lack portability. Many individuals engage in camping or visiting the beach where it is desirable to dry one's hair after swimming. Without a standard 120-volt electrical outlet, traditional hair dryers cannot be utilized at campgrounds or the beach. Accordingly, there is a need for a device that is capable of generating and moving warmer than ambient temperature air that is powered by a renewable power source. Furthermore, this power source should be integrated into the device. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the object of the present invention to provide a portable hair dryer that is powered with a renewable power source such as but not limited to a battery to facilitate the use of the hair dryer without the need for a standard electrical outlet during operation. It is another object of the present invention to provide a portable hair dryer that is lightweight and easy to carry. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a portable hair dryer that has adjustable heat controls. Another object of the present invention is to provide a battery powered portable hair dryer that has adjustable air speeds. 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 Drawings wherein: FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention; FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention; and FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of a carrying case for the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2. DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings submitted herewith, wherein various elements depicted are not necessarily drawn to scale, and in particular FIG. 1 there is illustrated a hair dryer 100 that is constructed according to the principles of the present invention. The hair dryer 100 comprises a housing 10 constructed of a rigid material such as but not limited to plastic. The housing 10 material must also be heat resistant to endure temperatures of up to two hundred and fifty degrees. The housing 10 has contained therein the standard components of a conventional hair dryer such as but not limited at least one heating element, a fan and a DC motor. Integrally molded to the housing 10 is the barrel 20. The barrel 20 is generally cylindrical in shape and extends outward from the housing 10. The barrel 10 is used to direct the airflow generated from the fan in the housing 10 to a desired location. At the end of the barrel 20 distally located from the housing 10 is the screen 25. The screen 25 filters any particles that may be introduced internally to the housing 10 via a plurality of air intakes 15. The air intakes 15 allow air to enter the housing 10 when drawn in by the operating fan. The airflow is passed over the heating elements and discharged through the barrel 20. Although the barrel 20 is shown as being cylindrical in shape, it is further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the barrel 20 could be numerous different shapes and still perform the intended function as described herein. More specifically but not by way of limitation, the barrel 10 could be oval in shape. It is also further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the end of the barrel 20 distal to the housing 10 could be configured to receive thereon various attachments for diffusing the airflow as it exits the barrel 20. Extending downward from the housing 10 and generally perpendicular to the barrel 20 is the handle 30. The handle 30 is integrally molded with the housing 10 and rectangular in shape. Integrated into the handle 30 and adjacently underneath the barrel 20 is a switch 40. The switch 40 is a conventional on/off switch that is used to operate the hair dryer 100. The switch 40 is positioned intermediate in the electrical circuit that is present between the DC motor in the housing 10 and the renewable power source 60 located at the end of the handle distal to the housing 10. The switch 40 has a first position in which the circuit is open and a second position in which the circuit is closed. In the second position, the hair dryer 100 is activated. Located on the handle 30 intermediate the renewable power source 60 and the switch 40 is the temperature controller 50. The temperature controller 50 is a conventional variable switch that is positioned intermediate in the electrical circuit between the renewable power source 60 and the heating element contained in the housing 10. The temperature controller 50 variably adjusts the heat produced by the heating element by regulating the amount of current distributed to the heating elements as the temperature controller 50 is adjusted. The temperature controller 50 is a standard dial controller that allows more or less current to flow to the heating element as the dial is rotated in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. Typically the temperature controller 50 is rotated clockwise to allow more current to flow to the heating element. If the user desires less heat production, the temperature controller 50 is rotated in a counter-clockwise direction. Mounted to the handle 30 opposite the housing 10 and releasably secured thereto is the renewable power source 60. The renewable power source 60 is a rechargeable battery such as but not limited to a nickel cadmium battery. It is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the renewable power source 60 is capable of producing electric currents required to operate the high current demands of the heating element. Once the stored energy contained in the renewable power source 60 has been depleted, the renewable power source 60 can be recharged with conventional 120 v power supply via charging receptacle 65. The charging receptacle 65 is a conventional polarized receptacle that is integrated into the renewable power source 60 adjacent to the handle. Although only the charging receptacle 65 is illustrated integrated into the renewable power source 60, it is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the renewable power source 60 has a set of LED lights that alert the user to the current power status of the renewable power source 60. The renewable power source 60 is releasably secured to the handle via the attachment mechanism 70. The attachment mechanism 70 is a conventional mechanical fastener such as but not limited to a snap/hook device. The renewable power source 60 is utilized in place of a traditional 120 volt power supply as it allows the hair dryer 100 to be utilized in areas where an independent power source may not be available. Further, the renewable power source 60 provides a cordless hair dryer 100 that facilitates safer use in environments that contain water sources, which create potential shock hazards. Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous different materials could be utilized to manufacture the housing 10 in place of and/or in conjunction with the materials suggested herein. Furthermore, one should recognize that the housing 10 be manufactured in numerous different colors such as but not limited to purple, blue, orange, pink, red, and yellow. Now referring in particular to FIGS. 2 and 3, there is an alternative embodiment illustrated of the present invention. The first component of the hair dryer assembly, the hair dryer 200 comprises a motor assembly 210. The motor assembly 210 houses conventional hair dryer components including but not limited to a variable speed fan, a DC motor and at least one heating element. The motor assembly 210 is generally annular in shape and is constructed of a suitable rigid material such as but not limited to plastic. Centrally located and integrated into the motor assembly 210 is a plurality of air intakes 212. As the fan inside the motor assembly 210 rotates it draws in air from the air intakes 212 to be passed over the heating elements and discharged from the motor assembly 210 via the hose 230. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the plastic used to manufacture the motor assembly 210 is preferably made of plastic that is heat resistant to at least 250 degrees. The motor assembly 210 also has contained therein a renewable battery. The battery is a rechargeable battery that is charged with a conventional battery charger. It is contemplated within the scope of the invention that the battery contained within the motor assembly 210 is capable of generating sufficient voltage to operate the heating element that typically require approximately 1000-1200 watts. It is further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the fan contained within the motor assembly 210 is a conventional low-voltage DC fan. Superposed on the exterior of the motor assembly 210 is a pair of switches 220. The switches 220 regulate the current flow in the circuit between the battery and the fan contained within the motor assembly 210. Those skilled in the art will recognize that a single on/off switch could be utilized to achieve the functionality of the switches 220 as described herein. Mounted opposite the switches 220 integrated with the exterior of the motor assembly 210 is the temperature controller 225. The temperature controller 225 is a standard variable electric switch that allows the current produced from the battery to be regulated within a predetermined range as it is distributed to the heating elements. Although no specific range is required for the temperature controller 225, good results have been achieved with a range between 125 and 250 degrees. Intermediate the switches 220 and the temperature controller 225 are the airflow controllers 215. The airflow controllers 215 are conventional electric switches that adjust the current flow between the battery and the DC fan. This alters the speed at which the fan rotates thus controlling the volume of air heated and discharged. Although it is shown in the illustrated embodiment that three airflow controllers 215 are present, it is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that numerous different airflow controller 215 configuration could be used in place of and/or in conjunction with the airflow controllers 215 as illustrated. More specifically but not by way of limitation, the airflow controller 215 could be a single variable switch. Located on the top portion of the motor assembly is the hose 230. The hose 230 allows the air drawn into the motor assembly 210 through the air intakes 212 to exit the motor assembly and transport the air to the cap 235. The hose 230 is constructed of a suitable semi-rigid flexible material such as but not limited to plastic. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the hose 230 is constructed of a plastic is resistant to high temperatures. It is further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the hose 230 is constructed with an internal support coil to prevent collapse of the hose material upon prolonged exposure to high heat. The second end 232 of the hose 230 is contiguous with a cap 235. The cap 235 is constructed of a suitable flexible material such as heat resistant plastic. The cap 235 is designed to releasably secure to a human head. A string 240 that is circumferentially disposed along the cap 235 is designed to releasably secure the cap 235 to a human head. Substantially disposed on the interior of the cap 235 is a plurality of apertures 245. The apertures 245 are configured to be the outlets for the air flow that was introduced into the cap 235 by the hose 230. The apertures 235 are evenly dispersed and contiguous with the interior of the cap 235 in order to provide sufficient airflow to the adjacent human head. Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous different configurations of the apertures 245 could be used in place of and/or in conjunction with the apertures 245 as illustrated in the accompanying drawings to perform the intended function as described herein. Now referring in particular to FIG. 3, the second component of the hair dryer assembly is a carrying case 300. The case 300 is generally rectangular in shape and hollow for receipt therein of the hair dryer 200 components. The case 300 includes an upper portion 355 and a lower portion 370 that are fastened with a conventional piano hinge 395. Mounted by conventional mechanical methods along the peripheral edge 352 of the upper portion 355 and the lower portion 370 are a pair of opposing fasteners 350. The fasteners 350 are manufactured from a conventional hook and loop fastener and are designed to releasably secure the upper portion 355 to the lower portion 370 in a second position in which the case 300 is closed. In the first position, the case 300 is open allowing access to the components of the hair dryer 200 contained in specialized containers 399 integrally molded into the lower portion 370 of the case 300. Substantially disposed internally in the upper portion 355 is a mirror 360. The mirror 360 is mounted by conventional chemical methods such as but not limited to chemical adhesives. Molded into the lower portion 370 are a motor compartment 385, cap compartment 395, hose compartment 365, charger compartment 397, battery compartment 375, and at least one grooming device compartment 372. All of the compartments 399 are formed with a suitable rigid material such as but not limited to thermoplastic. As is known to those skilled in the art, a thermoplastic is a high polymer that softens when exposed to heat and returns to its original condition when cooled to room temperature. Suitable thermoplastics include but are not limited to, nylon, polystyrene, polypropylene, and acrylic resins. It is preferred that the thermoplastic material be one that can be readily injection molded and is non-toxic. Thermoplastics also provide the opportunity to use a variety of different colors to manufacture hair dryer 200 and case 300. It is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the hair dryer 200 and case 300 could be manufacture in the colors purple, blue, orange, pink, red, and yellow. The containers 399 should be molded to sufficient shape to accommodate therein there intended component. The motor compartment 385 should be generally annular in shape and of sufficient diameter to accommodate the motor assembly 210. All other containers 399 are configured in a similar manner to mate with the shape of the device to be retained therein. Although no specific measurements of the case 300 are required, good results have been achieved with a case that is 12.5 inches in length, four inches in height and three inches in depth. Although good results have been achieved with the described embodiment of the present invention utilizing the renewable power source to power both the heating element and the fan, it is contemplated to be within the scope of this invention that other types of mechanisms could be utilized to power the heating elements. For example, but not by way of limitation, the hair dryer could be configured to utilized a rechargeable battery pack to power the fan, while a butane power heating system could be utilized to heat the heating element of the hair dryer. It is further contemplated that various types of clip attachments could be utilized on the present invention to facilitate easy movement and portability of the hair dryer. Referring in particular to the drawings submitted herewith, more specifically FIG. 1, a description of the operation of the hair dryer 100 is as follows. In use, the user charges the renewable power source 60 using the charging receptacle 65 until the renewable power source 60 is charged to capacity. Once charged, the hair dryer 100 can be transported to a desired location where its use will be required. The user will engage the switch 40 to activate the fan contained in the housing 10 and select the desired temperature level of the airflow exiting the barrel 20 with the temperature controller 50. The user will then direct the airflow to the material that needs to be dried, such as but not limited to hair. Once dry, the user will engage the switch 40 to disengage the fan and heating element contained in the housing. The user will periodically charge the renewable power source as needed and repeat the process as described herein. 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.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Inventors Conference Information

Independent Inventors Conference Set for August 8-9, 2008
Registration Now Open
The 13th annual Independent Inventors Conference will be held on the campus of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)(WWW.USPTO.GOV) in Alexandria, Virginia August 8-9. A pre-conference workshop, for anyone interested in learning about the basics of patents and the importance of intellectual property protection, will be held on August 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. The workshop is for beginners and is a good foundation for the conference It is included in the $100 registration fee.
Top officials of the USPTO, including Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce Margaret Peterlin and Commissioner for Patents John Doll will be presenters at the conference. Also appearing this year will be Louis Foreman, creator and executive producer of the Emmy award winning PBS series, Everyday Edisons.
The registration fee includes all sessions and presentations, morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch both days and a networking reception on Friday night. For additional information about the conference call 571-272-8850.
The Independent Inventors Conference is co-sponsored by the USPTO and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation.
>> Click here for 13th Annual Independent Inventors Information.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Design For A Lighted Angel Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
D572,624
Garrison
July 8, 2008
Lighted angel
Claims
CLAIM The ornamental design for a lighted angel, as shown and described.
Inventors:
Garrison; John D. (Tannersville, NY)
Appl. No.:
D/236,308
Filed:
August 15, 2005
Current U.S. Class:
D11/121 ; D11/124; D11/128
Current International Class:
0901
Field of Search:
D11/117,121,124,125,127,128,131,133,157,158,160 D26/98,99 D21/398,576,587,593,621,627 362/806,808 428/7,8,9,11
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
D162259
February 1951
Sundheim, Jr.
D181262
October 1957
Abramson
D187486
March 1960
Brooks
D193995
November 1962
Carlson
D341331
November 1993
Richards, Jr.
D404669
January 1999
Welter et al.
D405707
February 1999
Smyth et al.
D405722
February 1999
Ayoub
6180193
January 2001
Bostedt
D439543
March 2001
Branaman
D449249
October 2001
Zadok et al.
D453487
February 2002
Roy, Jr.
D453708
February 2002
Roy, Jr.
Primary Examiner: Reid; Stella M. Assistant Examiner: Oswecki; Elizabeth J Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, L.P.
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Description
The sole FIGURE is a perspective view of a lighted angel showing my new design with the rear view being identical.
For more information contact: WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, WWW.GOOGLE.COM, WWW.YAHOO.COM
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Putting Training Device Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
7,396,288
McLauhglin
July 8, 2008
Putting training device
Abstract
A putting training device having two alignment guides positioned to extend from the blade of a putter. In one embodiment the alignment guides extend generally parallel to each other to facilitate a generally parallel putting stroke. In an alternative embodiment, each of the alignment guides generally arcuate in shape and extends from the blade of the putter in a generally concentric manner, to facilitate a generally arcuate putting stroke. The ends of the alignment guides are tapered to prevent the alignment guides from catching on the putting surface. Additionally, at least one of the alignment guides is movable, such that the space between the two alignment guides can tailored for the experience level of each user.
Inventors:
McLauhglin; Terence Kevin Patrick (Coquitlam, British Columbia, CA)
Appl. No.:
11/144,190
Filed:
June 4, 2005
Current U.S. Class:
473/236 ; 473/238; 473/251
Current International Class:
A63B 69/36 (20060101)
Field of Search:
473/236,265
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
3021141
February 1962
Polsky et al.
3039776
June 1962
Faini
3298693
January 1967
Eisenberg
3870315
March 1975
Lawlor et al.
4789158
December 1988
Chiesa
4953867
September 1990
Rigsby
5011153
April 1991
Watkins
5441268
August 1995
Shier
5551695
September 1996
Wolk
5595543
January 1997
Wolk
5716286
February 1998
Swan
5810675
September 1998
Weathers
5924935
July 1999
Prewitt
6827655
December 2004
Burns
6872149
March 2005
Devon
7104898
September 2006
Caserta
7104899
September 2006
Caserta
2006/0276258
December 2006
McLaughlin
Primary Examiner: Passaniti; Sebastiano Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, LP
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A putting training device for a golf putter, comprising: a putter head; a first alignment guide having a first notch proximate one end of the guide that is positionable adjacent said putter head and a tapered edge extending from said first notch to an opposite end that is spaced longitudinally from said first end; said first notch operable to mate with the shape of said putter head; and wherein said first alignment guide is fixedly attached to said putter head; and a second alignment guide having a second notch proximate one end of the guide that is positionable adjacent said putter head and a tapered edge extending from said second notch to an opposite end that is spaced longitudinally from said second end; said second notch operable to mate with the shape of said putter head; and wherein said second alignment guide is slidably attached to said putter head; said second alignment guide being spaced apart from the first alignment guide at a selected distance. 2. The putting training device as recited in claim 1, wherein said first alignment guide and said second alignment guide are generally parallel. 3. A putting training device, comprising: a putter blade, said putter blade being generally elongated having a first end and a second end; a shaft attached to the putter blade and extending upward from said putter blade; a mounting bracket having a first end and a second; said mounting bracket attached to the putter shaft with a screw; said mounting bracket being proximate the top of the putter blade; a first alignment guide having a first notch proximate one end of the guide that is positionable adjacent said putter head and a tapered edge extending from said first notch to an opposite end; said first notch operable to mate with the mounting bracket; and wherein said first alignment guide is fixedly attached to said mounting bracket; a second alignment guide having a second notch proximate one end of the guide that is positionable adjacent said putter head and a tapered edge extending from said second notch to an opposite end; said second notch operable to mate with said mounting bracket; and wherein said second alignment guide is slidably attached to said mounting bracket; said second alignment guide being spaced apart from said first alignment guide at a selected distance and secured to said mounting bracket with a thumb screw, and therein said second alignment guide is longer than said first alignment guide. 4. A putting training device, comprising: a putter blade, said putter blade being generally elongated having a first end and a second end; a first alignment guide comprising a front edge, a top edge and a bottom edge and a first notch cut in said bottom edge to correspond with the butter blade for attaching the first alignment guide to the putter blade and wherein said first alignment guide is slidably attached towards said first end of said putter blade; a second alignment guide comprising a front edge, a top edge, a bottom edge and a second notch cut to correspond with the putter blade for attaching the second alignment guide to the putter blade and wherein said second alignment guide is fixedly attached towards said second end of said putter blade, said second alignment guide being spaced apart from said first alignment guide at a selected distance; and said first alignment guide is movably attached to said putter blade, such that the selected distance between said first alignment guide and said second alignment can be varied. 5. The putting training device as recited in claim 4, wherein said first alignment guide and said second alignment guide are attached to said putter blade such that said first alignment guide is generally parallel with said second alignment guide. 6. The putting and training device as recited in claim 4, wherein said first alignment guide is generally arcuate in shape along said bottom edge from said front edge towards said first notch and said second alignment guide is generally arcuate in shape along said bottom edge from said front edge towards said second notch.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to golf training devices, and more particularly, but not by way of limitation to an adjustable device that is removably attached to a putter blade for training a golfer's putting stroke. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Recreational sports and hobbies are popular all around the world. It is when a person is in the pursuit of some degree of proficiency in these types of activities that a diversion from the routine patterns of life can be experienced. Many times, a person may excel in a particular side interest or pastime to such a degree that they may be competitive with others who have the same interests. A person may enjoy bowling, for example, and find that competing in a league against other bowlers provides them with a great measure of enjoyment. Those who participate in sports as a recreational activity and who desire to have some measure of success in so doing must develop and maintain a certain level of proficiency in the sport's skills. For baseball players, the ability to swing the bat in harmonious manner with the movement of the player's body is critical to successful contact with the baseball. Tennis players must also have the swinging motion coordinated with body movement and eye contact in order to play the game with success. Others who play sports such as racquetball and table-tennis have similar physical attributes that must be developed. Golfers are among those who practice a great deal in order to prepare themselves to play with any degree of competence. They must be able to hit the golf ball with any of a number of different clubs properly under a variety of circumstances. Many golfers hire trainers to assist them in developing their golfing skills. Hours of time may be spent in preparation for a single game. The use of a driving range at a golf course, golf school, or public practice area is often a part of a golfer's training and preparation for a round of golf. Of the many aspects of playing golf, putting is one of the most important components in the game. As a golfer must keep their head very still, in a fixed position during the putting stoke, it is very difficult for the golfer to determine whether the blade of the putter is being drawn back properly during the backswing and whether the blade of the putter is maintained in the proper orientation during the putt. If the golfer's head moves to watch the putter during the putt stroke, the rest of the putting stroke can be affected. Therefore, it is not only important that a golfer be able to practice a mechanically sound putting stroke, but also to be able to readily determine that the putting stroke is being done properly As can be appreciated, there is a need for improved golf training devices that can be used while practice putting to not only help develop a good putting stroke, but can also provide feedback to the golfer that the putting stroke is proper. 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 Drawings wherein: FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention; FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention; FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of an alignment guide in accordance with the principles of the present invention; FIG. 4 illustrates a top perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention showing an attachment mechanism for alignment guides; and FIG. 5 illustrates a top perspective view of another alternative embodiment of the present invention illustrating showing an attachment mechanism for the generally arcuate alignment guides. DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings wherein the various elements depicted are not necessarily drawn to scale, and in particular, to FIG. 1 there is shown a putting training device 100. As illustrated putting training device 100 includes a putter head 110 connected to a putter shaft 120. Two alignment guides, 130 and 140 are connected to putter head 110. Alignment guides 130 and 140 are connected to putter head 110 being generally parallel to each other, and generally perpendicular to the face 112 of putter head 110. In a preferred embodiment, alignment guide 140 is attached in a fixed position on putter head 110, while alignment guide 130 is movable with respect to alignment guide 140 such that the space between alignment guides 130 and 140 can be adjusted. Dashed lines 150, 152, 160 and 162 represent a desired proper parallel putting stroke, with dashed lines 150 and 152 illustrating the desired proper backswing of putting training device 100, and dashed lines 160 and 162 illustrating the desired proper follow through. Referring now to FIG. 2, there is illustrated an alternative embodiment of a putting training device 200. As illustrated putting training device 200 includes a putter head 210 connected to a putter shaft 220. Two, generally arcuate alignment guides 230 and 240 are connected to putter head 220. In a preferred embodiment, alignment guide 240 is attached in a fixed position on putter head 210, while alignment guide 230 is movable with respect to alignment guide 240 such that the space between alignment guides 230 and 240 can be adjusted. Additionally, in this preferred embodiment, alignment guide 230 is shorter than alignment guide 240 to allow the proper arcuate stroke of putting training device 200. Dashed lines 250, 253, 260 and 263 represent a desired proper arc shaped putting stroke, with dashed lines 250 and 252 illustrating the desired proper backswing of putting training device 200, and dashed lines 260 and 262 illustrating the desire proper follow through. Referring not to FIG. 3, there is illustrated a side view of an example of a preferred embodiment of an alignment guide 300, such as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. As illustrated, alignment guide 300 has a notch 310 which is cut to correspond or mate with the shape the putter head or mounting mechanism on which it is to be used. Edge 320 is tapered from the front of top edge 330 towards notch 310, to facilitate the smooth movement of alignment guide 300 during a putting swing by at least preventing edge 320 from catching on the putting surface. It is contemplated that alignment guide 300 be attached to a putter head using suitable mechanical or chemical attachment methods. Good results have been achieved by manufacturing alignment guide 300 from metals, such as thing various types of sheet metal, or from various types of plastics. It is desirable that the chosen material for alignment guide 300 be non-corrosive, durable and strong. It is further desired that the material having a high impact strength and be able to accept and retaining coloring materials for an extended length of time. It is contemplated that alignment guide 300 could be bendable such that, for example, if a golfer utilized an arcuate putting stroke, alignment guide 300 could be readily bend to a particular arc shape to coincide with the golfer's putting stroke. Referring now to FIG. 4, there is illustrated an alternative embodiment of a putting training device 400. As illustrated, putting training device includes generally parallel alignment guides 430 and 440 and a mounting bracket 435, with alignment guides 430 and 440 being similar in shape to alignment guides 130 and 140 of FIG. 1. Alignment guide 440 is fixed to mounting bracket 435 while alignment guide 430 is removably secured to mounting bracket 435 with a screw, such as a thumb screw 432. Thumb screw 432 can be loosened to allow the adjustment of the position of alignment guide 430, such that the space between alignment guides 430 and 400 can be changed. Mounting bracket 435 is placed on the top of putter blade 410 and secured to the putter shaft 420 with a screw 434. Referring now to FIG. 5, there is illustrated an alternative embodiment of a putting training device 500. As illustrated, putting training device includes generally arcuate alignment guides 530 and 540 and a mounting bracket 535, with alignment guides 530 and 540 being similar in shape to alignment guides 230 and 240 of FIG. 2. Alignment guide 540 is fixed to mounting bracket 535 while alignment guide 530 is removably secured to mounting bracket 535 with a screw, such as a thumb screw 532. Thumb screw 532 can be loosened to allow the adjustment of the position of alignment guide 530, such that the space between alignment guides 530 and 500 can be changed. Mounting bracket 535 is placed on the top of putter blade 510 and secured to the putter shaft 520 with a screw 534. As there are at least two schools of thought on putting strokes, a parallel or straight back stroke, and an arcuate stroke, it is anticipated that putting training device 100 be utilized by a golfer practicing the parallel putting stroke and that putting training device 200 be utilized by a golfer practicing an arcuate stroke. Referring now to FIG. 1, the operation of putting training device 100 will now be described. A user or golfer adjusts the position of alignment guide 130 such that the desired space between alignment guides 130 and 140 for the golfer is achieved. For example, the alignment guides 130 and 140 would be set far apart for beginners and set increasingly closer as the golfer's putting skills become more precise. Alignment guides 130 and 140 are then aligned or pointed at the hole or target. A golf ball is placed between alignment guides 130 and 140. As the golfer starts the backswing of putting training device 100, there is instant visual and mechanical feedback on whether the putter face 112 is staying square or is rotating. If putter face 112 is rotating, alignment guides 130 and 140 will provide visual feedback to the golfer by rotating and emphasizing that they are no longer pointing to the target. Additionally, if the putter face 112 rotates sufficiently such that the golf ball comes into contact with one of alignment guides 130 and 140, a vibration will be felt by the golfer. If putter face 112 is maintained in a substantially square alignment during the backswing, alignment guides 130 and 140 will provide visual feedback to the golfer, as alignment guides 130 and 140 will continue to substantially point to the target. Additionally, no contact will be made between the golf ball and the alignment guides 130 and 140 and no vibration will be felt by the golfer. Similarly, as the golfer makes a forward swing with putting training device 100, if the proper alignment of putter face 112 is not maintained, alignment guides 130 and 140 will provide visual feedback to the golfer by rotating and emphasizing that they are no longer pointing to the target. Additionally if the rotation of the putter face 112 is great enough, the golf ball will come into contact with one of the alignment guides 130 and 140 and a vibration will be felt by the golfer. If the proper alignment of putter face 112 is maintained, alignment guides 130 and 140 will provide visual feedback to the golfer, as alignment guides 130 and 140 will continue to substantially point to the target. Additionally, no contact will be made between the golf ball and alignment guides 130 and 140, and no vibration will be felt by the golfer. As can be appreciated, the closer alignment guides 130 and 140 are placed together, the amount of deviation of the alignment of putter face 112 that is needed to have the alignment guides 130 and 140 come into contact with the golf ball is decreased. Referring now to FIG. 2, the operation of putting training device 200 will now be described. A user or golfer adjusts the position of alignment guide 230 such that the desired space between alignment guides 230 and 240 for the golfer is achieved. For example, the alignment guides 230 and 240 would be set far apart for beginners and set increasingly closer as the golfer's putting skills become more precise. The putter face 212 is aligned or pointed at the hole or target. A golf ball is placed between alignment guides 230 and 240. As the golfer starts the backswing of putting training device 200, there is instant visual and mechanical feedback on whether the putter face 212 is staying properly aligned. If putter face 212 is rotating, alignment guides 230 and 240 will provide visual feedback to the golfer by rotating with the putter face 212 and emphasize that the putter face 212 is no longer aligned to the target. Additionally, if the putter face 212 rotates sufficiently such that the golf ball comes into contact with one of alignment guides 230 and 240 a vibration will be felt by the golfer. If putter face 212 is maintained in proper alignment during the arcuate backswing, alignment guides 230 and 240 will provide visual feedback to the golfer. Additionally, if putter face 212 is maintained in proper alignment, no contact will be made between the golf ball and the alignment guides 230 and 240, whereby no vibrations will be felt by the golfer. Similarly, as the golfer makes a forward swing with putting training device 200, if the proper alignment of putter face 212 is not maintained, alignment guides 230 and 240 will provide visual feedback to the golfer by being rotated, thus emphasizing that the putter face 212 is no longer properly aligned. Additionally, if the rotation of the putter face 212 is great enough, the golf ball will come into contact with one of the alignment guides 230 and 240 such that vibrations will be felt by the golfer. If the proper alignment of putter face 212 is maintained, alignment guides 230 and 240 will provide visual feedback to the golfer, as the putter face 212 will continue to substantially point to the target. Additionally, no contact will be made between the golf ball and alignment guides 230 and 240, and no vibration will be felt by the golfer. As can be appreciated, the closer alignment guides 230 and 240 are placed together, the amount of deviation of the alignment of putter face 212 that is needed to have the alignment guides 230 and 240 come into contact with the golf ball is decreased. Although alignment guides 140 and 240 are described as fixed and alignment guides 130 and 230 are described as being movable in preferred embodiments of training devices 100 and 200, it is contemplated to be within the scope of this that either or both of the alignment guides of each putting training device 100 and 200 be adjustable with respect to the other alignment guide, or that neither alignment guide be adjustable, i.e. both are attached at a preset fixed position. As can be appreciated, putting training devices 100 and 200 will help a golfer develop a steady smooth swing while minimizing the margin of error. This is accomplished by training the golfer to have the face of the putter strike the ball square and to facilitate a complete follow through. It is further contemplated that the alignment guides of putting training devices 100 and 200 be connected together such that they could be attachable to the shaft of the putter where the shaft joins the club head (see FIGS. 4 and 5), such that the putting training devices could be utilized with virtually any shaped putter. 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.
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