Monday, November 24, 2008

Dice game patent

United States Patent
7,341,250
Lewis, Jr.
March 11, 2008
Dice game
Abstract
The present invention relates a board game that utilizes a game board that has constructed thereon a field grid accommodating two players. The field grid is further defined to removably receive designations for position, roll amount and score for each player. The rounds of play are facilitated by utilizing a random number generator with the game consisting of sixteen rounds. The game further includes a position coin that is used to commence the game and determine that starting position for the players.
Inventors:
Lewis, Jr.; James (Sacramento, CA)
Appl. No.:
11/359,039
Filed:
February 21, 2006
Current U.S. Class:
273/146
Current International Class:
A63F 9/04 (20060101)
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
4016939
April 1977
Thron
4378115
March 1983
Terrero
4856780
August 1989
Begley et al.
4984805
January 1991
Medlock
5054775
October 1991
Banks et al.
5217229
June 1993
Jaime
5901956
May 1999
Warmack
6530571
March 2003
McWilliams
2004/0160002
August 2004
England
2006/0027963
February 2006
Christensen et al.
2006/0151949
July 2006
Doskocil et al.
Primary Examiner: Kim; Eugene Assistant Examiner: Collins; Dolores R. Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, LP
WWW.GAPATENTS.COM
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A method of playing a board game comprising: using a playing surface, said playing surface having: a plurality of spaces configured in rows further being oriented in a generally linear manner, said spaces being further configured for providing an area for removably receiving designations for each player selected from a group consisting of position designation, roll amount and score; selecting a team designation fro the participating players, said team designation being selected from a group consisting of home or visitor; tossing of a position coin by the player designated as home team to determine the position of the player designated as visitor; said position coin having two position designations thereon, said position designations being offense position on one side of the position coin and defense position on the opposing side of the position coin; utilizing a random number generator; said random number generator configured to produce a number between and including one and six, said random number generator being utilized once for each of said players during a round of play; completing a round of play, said round of play being completed once said players for each of said team has utilized the random number generators one time; tabulating a score, said tabulation of said score being derived from a predetermined scoring sheet displaying all possible scoring options for numbers generated by each player using said random generator; wherein the team in the position of defense can accumulate points if the player for the defense generates an equal number to the number generated by the player for the offense; alternating positions, said players alternating position designations upon completion of one round of play and subsequent moving to the next round of play; accumulating points, said players accumulate points during each round of play for purposes of determining a winner based upon the highest point accumulation. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein the random number generator is a six sided die. 3. The method of claim 1, wherein the players engage in sixteen rounds of play to determine a winner. 4. The method of claim 3, wherein the score for the team in the position of offense is five points upon the generation of the number six by the offensive team and the generation of the number one by the defensive team in the same round of play. 5. The method of claim 3, wherein the score for the team in the position of offense is four points upon the generation of the number six by the offensive team and the generation of the number two by the defensive team in the same round of play. 6. The method of claim 3, wherein the score for the team in the position of offense is three points upon the generation of the number six by the offensive team and the generation of the number three by the defensive team in the same round of play. 7. The method of claim 3, wherein the score for the team in the position of offense is two points upon the generation of the number six by the offensive team and the generation of the number four by the defensive team in the same round of play. 8. The method of claim 3, wherein the score for the team in the position of offense is one point upon the generation of the number six by the offensive team and the generation of the number five by the defensive team in the same round of play. 9. A method of playing a board game comprising: having two players, each of said players having one random number generator, each player in turn using said random number generator at least one time on a playing surface, said playing surface having: a plurality of spaces configured in linear rows, said spaces being further configured for providing an area for removably receiving designations for selected from a group consisting of position, roll amount and score; selecting a team designation for each of said players, said team designation being selected from a group consisting of home or visitor; tossing a position coin, said position coin having two position designations thereon, said designations being offense position on one side of the position coin and defense position on the opposing side of the position coin; utilizing a random number generator; said random number generator configured to produce a number between and including one and six, said random number generator being utilized once for each of said player during a round of play; completing a round of play, said round of play being completed once said players has utilized the random number generators one time; tabulating a score, said tabulation of said score being derived from a predetermined scoring sheet displaying all possible scoring options for numbers generated for each player, said score being further recorded in said spaces; wherein the player in the position of defense can accumulate points if the player for the defense generates an equal number with said random number generator to the number generated by the player for the offense; alternating positions, said players alternating position designations upon completion of one round of play and subsequent moving to the next round of play; accumulating points, said players accumulating points during each round of play. 10. The method of claim 9, wherein said player with the team designation of home commences the game by tossing the position coin to determine the position designation for the first round for the player playing with the team designation of visitor. 11. The method of claim 10, wherein playing a round is accomplished by said players rolling one six sided die one time per player. 12. The method of claim 11, wherein said players pay for a total of sixteen rounds to determine a winner based upon the highest point accumulation.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates a board game to be played by more than one individual, more specifically but not by way of limitation, to an apparatus and associated rules for playing a board game wherein the object of the game is to accumulate more points than your opponent, whereby the points are generated with a random number generator. BACKGROUND Playing board games has been a popular pastime amongst individuals for decades. There have been many games heretofore devised and utilized constructed of familiar and expected configurations in order to achieve numerous objectives and requirements. The advantages of the present board game will be understood more readily after a consideration of the drawings and Detailed Description. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a new board game and a method of playing thereof that is designed to contain a plurality of rounds of play with each player alternating between offensive and defensive positions with an objective to accumulate the most points. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a new board game that utilizes random number generators to facilitate the playing of each round of play during the game. It is another object of the present invention to provide a new board game that accommodates two players and utilizes a game board that contains a grid that facilitates the recording of the players' position, the amount generated by the random number generator and the score. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a new board game that can be used to conduct a tournament style of play between a total of thirty six players. It is another object of the present invention to provide a new board game that is easy to use. 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 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 schematic diagram of one embodiment of the playing surface suitable for use with the game of the present invention; and FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the tokens suitable for use with the game of the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings, wherein the various elements depicted are not necessarily drawn to scale, and in particular FIGS. 1 and 2, there is illustrated a board game 100 comprising of the elements according to the principles of the present invention. The elements of one embodiment of the board game 100 include a game board 10, a pair of random number generators 5 and a position coin 15. Typically the game will be played by two players. The rules of the game require that a player use the position coin 15 to determine the position of each player at the commencement of the board game 100. The position coin 15 is a standard two-sided coin that has a single position designation 17 on each side. One side of the position coin 15 designates offense while the opposite side thereof designates defense. Those skilled in the art will recognize that while the position designation 17 illustrated in the drawings submitted herewith are in written words, it is within the scope of the present invention that the position designation 17 could be designated by numerous alternatives in place of and/or in conjunction with words. More specifically but not by way of limitation, the position designation 17 could be a symbol. The game board 10 has a plurality of spaces 12 thereon. The spaces 12 are generally square in shape and are configured in a linear manner in a plurality of superposed rows, each row functioning to record specific information during play. The spaces 12 are configured to removably receive the designations therein. It is further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that that game board 10 could consist of a sheet of paper that has printed thereon the grid 90 necessary to conduct the board game 100. The game board 10 has two team designation spaces 25 that function to identify the two teams, one for each player. The team designation spaces 25 in the present embodiment are designated with the identifiers home and visitor. Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous team names could be used in place of and/or in conjunction with home and visitor. More specifically but not by way of limitation the team designation space 25 could be printed with different team names upon manufacturing of the game board 10. Furthermore, while the game board 10 is illustrated as a schematic diagram in the drawings submitted herewith, it is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the game board 10 could be the field component of a miniature stadium to enhance the simulation of playing a field game such as but not limited to football. It is also contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the board game 100 could additionally be comprised of team player tokens. The team player tokens would have human-like head and thigh representations with a body that resembled a field grid. The team player tokens would have thereon names such as but not limited to Ace, Deuce, Trey, Quattro, Fevor and Big6. The game board 10 further includes adjacent to the team designation spaces 25 a plurality of position designation spaces 30 configured in a linear row. The position designation spaces 30 function to identify the position of each player as originally determined by the tossing of the position coin 15. The position coin 15 is used to commence the board game 100 to determine whether the player will have the position of offense or defense. The player that is designated as the home team will toss the position coin 15 to commence the game. The player that is designated as the visitor team must begin the board game 100 subsequent to tossing the position coin 15 and thereby accepting the position designation 17 indicated thereon the upwardly facing side of the position coin 15. Subsequent to the first round of play, each player will alternate positions during each round of the game. For example, if the visitor player commences with an offense designation in the first round, the home player will be offense for the second round. This will continue through the first eight rounds. A round consists of each player using a random number generator 5 such as but not limited to a six sided die. Although no particular type of die is required, it is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the die for each player be identifiable. More specifically but not by way of limitation the dice could be different colors such as red and green. The opposing players roll the die once during each round. A score is determined as reference herein for each round. The players alternate positions through the first eight rounds. In the ninth round the player with the home team designation will begin by using the position that was used in the first round by the opposing player. During the rounds the position designation 17 of each team is tracked and recorded in the position designation space 30. The position designation space 30 functions to provide a space for the players to removably record whether their respective position is offense or defense as determined by the position coin 15 at the commencement of the board game. The position coin 15 is only used in the first round as previously referenced herein. The player's position of offense or defense subsequent to the initial round will alternate thereafter. The game board 10 further consists of a linear row of round designation spaces 45. The round designation spaces 45 are generally square in shape and have designated therein the round numbers. Although no specific amount of round numbers are required, good results have been achieved using round designation spaces 45 designated with the number one through the number sixteen. Interposed amongst the round designation spaces 45 are the quarter designation spaces 50. The players will play the board game 100 according to the rules referenced herein for four rounds. Subsequent to each round, the players will utilize the rules referenced herein to determine the score achieved for each player. The players will record the number produced by the random number generator 5 for each round in the respective roll amount space 33. Subsequently each player will record their respective score in the scoring tabulation space 40. At the end of four rounds of play the players will tabulate their cumulative score from the preceding four rounds as designated in the scoring tabulation space 40 and record in the quarter designation space 50. Each player will perform this task at the end of every fourth round. Subsequent to eight rounds of play, the players will tabulate their respective scores and record in the half designation space 55. Ensuing to playing rounds nine through sixteen the players will tabulate their cumulative score for all sixteen rounds. The player accumulating the most points wins. The spaces 12 on the game board 10 are configured to removably receive the appropriate scoring or position designations for each player. More specifically but not by way of limitation, the players could use erasable pen or pencil to record their scores, position and number rolled for each round. It is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the board game 100 could additionally contained magnetic pieces with the required information thereon such as but not limited to position designation, score and numbers used to record the number generated by the player with the roll of their die to be releasably secured into the appropriate space 12. The board game 100 in its intended form is designed to accommodate 2 players simultaneously to compete against one another for sixteen rounds of play. It is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the board game 100 could be used to construct a tournament with the tournament having therein a plurality of conferences, divisions and teams. More specifically but not by way of limitation the board game 100 could be used to facilitate a tournament between thirty six players. The players would be divided up between into two conferences of eighteen players. Each conference would have three divisions containing six players. An example league of two conferences, three divisions and thirty six players is listed below. Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous combinations of conferences, teams and divisions are possible within the framework of an elimination tournament. Furthermore, those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous team names could be used and the team names referenced herein is for illustrative purposes only. One example of a possible configuration for a tournament contest and a sample contest schedule for one week, or level of the tournament amongst the thirty six teams is: TABLE-US-00001 Alpha Beta Rank Division Rank Division Rank Delta Division Glory Conference 1 Admirals 1 Gimmicks 1 Frustrators 2 Illusions 2 Moderators 2 Breakers 3 Rangers 3 Imitators 3 Cyclones 4 Tornadoes 4 Tenacles 4 Modifiers 5 Hurricanes 5 Predators 5 Sonics 6 Echoes 6 Oxidators 6 Radials Honor Conference 1 Sentinels 1 Kinetics 1 Levers 2 Volcanoes 2 Saucers 2 Flickers 3 Mediators 3 Dictators 3 Hornets 4 Calculators 4 Flames 4 Centrals 5 Resistors 5 Clouds 5 Spectrums 6 Foilers 6 Formulators 6 Bumbees Week_01 01 vs 04 02 vs 05 03 vs 06 Game Number Home vs Visitor 1 Admirals Tornadoes 2 Illusions Hurricanes 3 Rangers Echoes 4 Sentinels Calculators 5 Volcanoes Resistors 6 Mediators Foilers 7 Gimmicks Tenacles 8 Moderators Predators 9 Imitators Oxidators 10 Kinetics Flames 11 Saucers Clouds 12 Dictators Formulators 13 Frustrators Modifiers 14 Breakers Sonics 15 Cyclones Radials 16 Levers Centrals 17 Flickers Spectrums 18 Hornets Bumbees Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous configurations are possible for determining which team plays each other at a particular point in an elimination style tournament. One example of configurations possible for organizing the contests amongst the teams based on initial ranking within the respect conferences is: TABLE-US-00002 Example Tournament Schedule Schedule Initial Rank Week 01 01 vs 04 02 vs 05 03 vs 06 010402050306 Week 02 01 vs 05 02 vs 06 03 vs 04 010502060304 Week 03 01 vs 06 02 vs 03 04 vs 05 010602030405 Week 04 ga vs gb ha vs hb gd vs hd gagbhahbgdhd Week 05 01 vs 02 03 vs 05 04 vs 06 010203050406 Week 06 05 vs 06 01 vs 03 02 vs 04 050601030204 Week 07 ga vs hb gb vs hd gd vs ha gahbgbagdgha Week 08 01 vs 04 02 vs 05 03 vs 06 010402050306 Week 09 01 vs 05 02 vs 06 03 vs 04 010502060304 Week 10 01 vs 06 02 vs 03 04 vs 05 010602030405 Week 11 ga vs gd ha vs hd gb vs hb gagdhahdgbhb Week 12 01 vs 02 03 vs 05 04 vs 06 010203050406 Week 13 05 vs 06 01 vs 03 02 vs 04 050601030204 Week 14 ga vs ha gd vs gb ga vs hb gahagdgbhdhb Week 15 01 vs 04 02 vs 05 03 vs 06 010402050306 Week 16 01 vs 05 02 vs 06 03 vs 04 010502060304 Week 17 ga vs hd ha vs gd gb vs hb gahdhagdgbhb Week 18 01 vs 06 02 vs 03 04 vs 05 010602030405 Week 19 01 vs 02 03 vs 05 04 vs 06 010203050406 Week 20 05 vs 06 01 vs 03 02 vs 04 050601030204 Example of play between divisions (Week 14): Glory Conference Alpha Division plays against Honor Conference Alpha Division. The teams initially ranked 01 plays against each other, teams initially ranked 02 play each other, continuing until all equally ranking teams are matched in a game. It is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that a tournament with the board game 100 amongst a plurality of teams could involve a potential monetary reward. An example pricing schedule is listed below that demonstrates one possible permutation for tournament play. Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous different permutations of a pricing schedule could be used in place of and/or in conjunction with the pricing schedule referenced herein. TABLE-US-00003 Game Total Pay- Game Play- Example Pricing Schedule ment Games Cost ers Cost Regular Season Games $1.00 20 $20.00 36 $720.00 Playoff Games $1.00 11 $11.00 36 $396.00 Total $2.00 31 $31.00 $1,116.00 Regular Season Winners $1.20 20 $24.00 18 $432.00 Regular Season Losers $0.00 20 $0.00 18 $0.00 Regular Season Organizers $0.60 20 $12.00 18 $216.00 Administrative Fee $0.20 20 $4.00 18 $72.00 Total $2.00 $40.00 $720.00 Playoff 1st Round Winners $0.60 4 $10.80 $43.20 Playoff 1st Round Losers $0.40 4 $7.20 $28.80 Playoff 1st Round Bye Teams $0.80 2 $14.40 $28.80 Playoff Organizers $0.00 4 $0.00 $0.00 Administrative Fee $0.20 4 $3.60 $14.40 Total $2.00 $36.00 $115.20 Playoff 2nd Round Winners $1.26 4 $24.00 $95.99 Playoff 2nd Round Losers $0.56 4 $8.00 $32.09 Playoff Organizers $0.00 4 $0.00 $0.00 Administrative Fee $0.22 4 $4.00 $16.05 Total $2.04 $36.03 $144.12 Championship Winners $1.32 2 $27.34 $54.67 Championship Losers $0.46 2 $13.67 $27.34 Championship Organizers $0.00 2 $0.00 $0.00 Administrative Fee $0.25 2 $4.56 $9.11 Total $2.02 $45.56 $91.12 Board Game Winner $1.32 1 $31.89 $31.89 Board Game Loser $0.46 1 $9.11 $9.11 Board Game Organizers $0.00 1 $0.00 $0.00 Administrative Fee $0.25 1 $4.56 $4.56 Total $2.02 $45.56 $45.56 Playoffs Payout Total Playoff 1st Round $115.20 Playoff 2nd Round $144.12 Championship $91.12 Random Bowl $45.56 Total Check $396.00 The pricing schedule referenced herein demonstrates potential pricing for an elimination style tournament with each team owner, or player investing an equal amount according to the pre-determined pricing schedule. An example of a set of rules for a game constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention as follows: Contents: A game board 10. A pair of dice 5 and a position coin 15. One strategy and instruction sheet will be included with the board game 100. Directions and Rules of the Game: Object of the Game: The object of the game is to accumulate more points through the sixteen rounds of play than your opponent. Start the Game: The game is commenced by the player who has chosen to be the team with the designation, home, using the position coin 15 to determine the position of the team with the designation, visitor. The player playing as the home team will toss the position coin 15. Subsequent to the landing of the position coin 15 the upwardly facing side will have displayed thereon the position designation 17 of the visitor. The position coin 15 has thereon two position designations 17. One side of the position coin 15 is designated as offense and the opposing side of the position coin 15 is designated as defense. The player playing as the visitor team must commence the game utilizing the position designation 17 determined by the tossing of the position coin 15. The position designation 17 alternates for each round thereafter with the exception of the start of the ninth round. In round nine, the player playing as the home team begins with the position designation 17 of the opposing player from round one. Subsequent to round nine, the position designation 17 will continue to alternate for each round until the completion of the board game 100 at round 16. Rounds: The board game 100 comprises of sixteen rounds. Four rounds comprise a quarter of play. Rounds one through four represent the first quarter, rounds five through eight represent the second quarter, rounds nine through 12 represent the third quarter and rounds thirteen through sixteen represent the fourth quarter. During each round, each player will roll their die one time. The roll of the die determines the score achieved in each round. Quarters: The board game has four quarters. The first and second quarters comprise the first half and the third and fourth quarters comprise the second half. Each players score is tabulated at the end of each quarter in addition to the tabulation subsequent to each round. Scoring: Each player's score is determined by their position designation 17 and the number generated by the roll of their respective die. The following table summarizes the scoring for the board game. A scoring example has been indicated in bold type in the scoring tables herein, in the first table if the player with a position of offense rolls a six with their die and the player designated as defense rolls a one on their die, the player designated as offense will record 5 points for round one in the scoring designation space 45 and the player designated as defense will record zero points for round one. All possible scoring configurations from a six sided die are referenced below in the scoring table. Scoring Tables: TABLE-US-00004 Offense Roll 6 6 6 6 6 6 Offense 5 4 3 2 1 0 Points Defense 0 0 0 0 0 1 Points Defense Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 Offense Roll 5 5 5 5 5 5 Offense 4 3 2 1 0 0 Points Defense 0 0 0 0 1 0 Points Defense Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 Offense Roll 4 4 4 4 4 4 Offense 3 2 1 0 0 0 Points Defense 0 0 0 1 0 0 Points Defense Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 Offense Roll 3 3 3 3 3 3 Offense 2 1 0 0 0 0 Points Defense 0 0 1 0 0 0 Points Defense Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 Offense Roll 2 2 2 2 2 2 Offense 1 0 0 0 0 0 Points Defense 0 1 0 0 0 0 Points Defense Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 Offense Roll 1 1 1 1 1 1 Offense 0 0 0 0 0 0 Points Defense 1 0 0 0 1 1 Points Defense Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 While the described embodiment of present invention is a game board 10 and corresponding tokens 200, it is contemplated to be within the scope of the present invention that the game could also be fashioned either in part or whole electronically or rendered in part or whole in computer software and hardware. More specifically but not by way of limitation, a software program could be utilized to manage a tournament schedule as described herein controlling such aspects as but not limited too game scheduling, pricing, playoff schedule, team assignments and monetary payouts. 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 go to WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, WWW.GOOGLE.COM OR WWW.YAHOO.COM.
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Friday, November 21, 2008

"Inspiring Invention" announced

USPTO, NIHFF and the Ad Council Launch "Inspiring Invention" PSA Contest Part of Multi-Year Campaign to Inspire Inventiveness in Kids, Winning Contest Entries Receive Prizes from Sony and Potential National Television Broadcast Exposure
Washington, D.C. -The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation (NIHFF) have teamed with the Ad Council to announce the "Inspiring Invention" public service advertising (PSA) development contest to engage a new generation of children in innovation. This contest is part of the Ad Council’s "Inspiring Invention" campaign, sponsored by the USPTO and NIHFF. The contest is open to school groups at the elementary, middle and high school levels nationwide. In addition to prizes including Sony video and audio production software and hardware, the winning entries will be distributed to media outlets throughout the country in spring of 2009. The contest Web site, developed by Discovery Education, is www.InspiringInvention.org.
The "Inspiring Invention" campaign, launched in April 2007, seeks to make inventing and developing new ideas part of American children’s lives, while also introducing children to how inventions are protected through patents, trademarks and other forms of intellectual property (IP) protection. The campaign aims to primarily reach tweens (ages 8-11), with a goal of motivating these children to pursue inventing and innovating as part of their educations and, later, in their careers. The PSAs developed for the campaign direct children to visit www.InventNow.org to explore and discover their own innate inventiveness.
Judging the "Inspiring Invention" PSA Contest are Dr. James West, inventor of the modern microphone and National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee, as well as members of the Ad Council’s Creative Review Committee (CRC), which is comprised of the best creative talents in American advertising.
"We see this contest as a natural extension of the goals of the ‘Inspiring Invention’ Campaign," Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Jon Dudas commented. "The contest will provide those who enter an opportunity to experience the reward and recognition that creativity and invention can provide, while also learning about the importance of IP protection."
Dr. James West added, "On behalf of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, I’m proud to be associated with this important campaign as it strives to develop the next generation of inventors and innovators. I look forward to seeing the creative ideas generated by the youth of our nation."
Entrants to the "Inspiring Invention" PSA contest will submit their video in either the elementary and middle school or high school categories by March 15, 2009. Initial entries will be submitted to Sony Creative Software on a DVD accompanied by a backgrounder on the production and the theme. If selected as a semi-finalist, contestants will then furnish broadcast-ready components for final judging. One grand prize winner will be chosen from each of the two categories and awarded a prize package featuring Sony Creative Software professional video and audio applications and software, in addition to having the PSA aired on national television.
The contest Web site, hosted by Discovery Education, will link to resources—including downloadable teacher tools, lesson plans, project ideas, inventor biographies and more—that educators can use to teach their students about the history of invention, provide an introduction to intellectual property protection and inspire creative thinking. The Web site will also include full contest rules, regulations and entry forms.
"We are delighted to extend the ‘Inspiring Invention’ PSA campaign through this creative contest, that will help generate interest and excitement among children in exploring their creativity and learning how their ideas can lead to the technological advances of the future," said Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of the Ad Council. "We thank Sony Creative Software and Discovery Education for their support of this important campaign."
Since the launch of the Inspiring Invention PSA campaign, more than 85,000 children have registered on the campaign Web site, www.InventNow.org, and the site has had more than 2.5 million sessions. Additionally, according to a 2007 Ad Council study, of those tweens surveyed who were aware of the PSAs, 62 percent agree that if "kids can invent things so can I".
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The references to specific Sony products and Discovery Education in this press release do not imply endorsement or support of Sony Corporation or Discovery Education by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO makes no endorsement, express or implied, of any commercial products, nor is it responsible for the content or activities of any Sony Corporation or Discovery Education linked sites.
For more information, go to WWW.GAPATENTS.COM or www.GOOGLE.com.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

USPTO 2008 Fiscal year-end results

USPTO 2008 Fiscal Year-End Results Demonstrate Commitment to Sustaining High Performance Patent and Trademark Operations Rose to Highest Performance Levels in Agency’s History
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today released fiscal year-end numbers that demonstrate the agency’s commitment to sustaining high performance in the quality and timely examination of patent and trademark applications. For the first time the USPTO met 100 percent of its Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) goals. The results are contained in the USPTO’s FY 2008 Performance and Accountability Report, which was released to the public today.
“Our exceptional performance reflects the hard work and dedication of the USPTO management team and most importantly, the more than 9,500 bright, quality-focused and results-driven USPTO employees,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Jon Dudas. “Their perseverance in sustaining high performance for the USPTO will carry the agency into the future and continue to help strengthen the IP system for years to come.”
Patents – Optimizing Patent Quality and Timeliness
In FY 2008, USPTO met and, in some cases, exceeded its patent pendency, production, and quality targets. Patents maintained a high level of patent quality by achieving an allowance compliance rate of 96.3 percent, exceeding its goal.
Patents increased production by an additional 14 percent over FY 2007 by examining 448,003 applications—the highest number in history. Production has increased by 38.6 percent over the past four years, compared to a 21.3 percent increase in application filings during the same period.
Patents received a record number of utility patent applications filed electronically (332,617), and achieved a record rate (72.1 percent) of applications filed electronically as well.
Patents achieved an average first action pendency of 25.6 months and an average total pendency of 32.2 months.
Patents received 1,765 patent application filings through the Accelerated Examination Program, 173 percent more than in the program’s introductory year of FY 2007. A 12-month or less pendency rate was also maintained for every application, with an average time to final action or allowance of 186 days.
Trademarks – Optimizing Trademark Quality and Timeliness
For the third year in a row, USPTO met or exceeded all of its performance goals for trademarks as well.
Trademarks ended its year with first action pendency at three months. Trademarks has maintained its first action pendency within the 2.5 to 3.5 month range for more than 18 months, a historic first. Disposal pendency was also maintained at record low levels, ending the year with 11.8 months pendency for cases without inter partes or suspended cases and at 13.9 months for all disposals. This disposal pendency is the lowest in 20 years.
This year saw a record number of applications filed electronically--approximately 268,000 applications comprising 390,000 classes. This represented a record rate of filing; 96.9 percent of all applications were filed electronically.
Quality remained high throughout the year with a first action compliance rate of 95.8 percent and a final action compliance rate of 97.2 percent. Both measures exceeded performance expectations.
Improving IP Protection and Enforcement
The USPTO worked more closely in FY 2008 with its international counterpart offices than ever before. The Agency hosted the follow-up to the 2007 Heads of Office meeting for the five largest IP offices (Europe, Japan, Korea, China, and the United States) to discuss further cooperative initiatives to meet the growing patent application filing demands and improve patent quality.
The USPTO’s Global Intellectual Property Academy trained more than 4,100 foreign officials on best practices for strengthening IP rights and enforcement in their nations.
Achieving Organizational Excellence
The USPTO continues to be recognized as the leader in federal government telework initiatives through its award-winning programs. At the end of FY 2008, 54 percent of USPTO’s employees were eligible to participate in one of 20 different telework programs across the agency. Among those employees who were eligible to telework, nearly 83 percent chose to do so.
Full results of the agency’s progress can be found in USPTO’s FY 2008 Performance and Accountability Report at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/annual/2008/2008annualreport.pdf.
For more information go to www.GAPATENTS.com or www.Google.com or www.yahoo.com..

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Monday, November 17, 2008

USPTO Announces Interim Senior Management Reassignments

USPTO Announces Interim Senior Management Reassignments
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced two temporary reassignments of responsibilities among its senior management, effective immediately.
With the departure of Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Margaret J.A. Peterlin from the agency this month, Commissioner for Patents John Doll will now serve as Acting Deputy Under Secretary and Deputy Director, performing the duties and functions of that position.
During this interim period, Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations Margaret (“Peggy”) Focarino will assume the responsibilities of the Commissioner for Patents.
“With John’s and Peggy’s leadership, we will ensure that the important work of the Deputy Under Secretary and Deputy Director, as well as that of the Commissioner for Patents, continues in an uninterrupted fashion, which is good for our employees, the agency and the intellectual property system,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Jon Dudas.
Mr. Doll has been with the USPTO for more than 34 years, serving in a variety of capacities, including patent examiner, supervisory patent examiner and technology center director. He has been a driving force behind hiring record numbers of new examiners, and in aggressively expanding USPTO’s e-government programs, including EFS-Web—which now accounts for more than 70 percent of patent application filings.
Ms. Focarino has been with the agency for more than 31 years, and has significant experience as a patent examiner, supervisory patent examiner and technology center director. During her tenure as Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations, Ms. Focarino implemented a new approach to training examiners, and supported telework programs for patent examiners and technical support staff, all while maintaining record levels of performance in patent operations.
For more information go to www.GAPATENTS.com or www.GOOGLE.com.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Vacuum attachment fro a yard vacuum apparatus patent

United States Patent
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 go to WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, or www.google.com.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apparatus for Removing and Inserting Optically Read Disks patent

United States Patent
7,344,174
Alden, Sr.
March 18, 2008
Apparatus for removing and inserting optically read disks
Abstract
A gripping apparatus is provided that enables users to insert and remove optically read disks without touching them by hand. The apparatus comprises a hollow frame and a spring-loaded plunger with flexible hooks. When the plunger is pushed down out of the locked position, protrusions on the hooks are forced out of convex indentations and against the inner sides of the frame, compressing the hooks. The apparatus can then be inserted through the central hole in a disk. The user then releases the plunger, which is forced upward by a compressed spring so that the protrusions on the hooks fit back into the indentations. The hooks then expand outward so that the disk is held securely and may be removed from its storage case or a player. Reversing this operation allows a user to insert a disk into a storage case or player.
Inventors:
Alden, Sr.; Jeffrey S. (Bourne, MA)
Appl. No.:
11/239,826
Filed:
September 30, 2005
Current U.S. Class:
294/93 ; 294/100; G9B/17.002; G9B/23
Current International Class:
B25B 9/02 (20060101)
Field of Search:
294/93,94,96,100,99.2,95,902,19.1 81/444 29/764
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
1600649
September 1926
Basini
2752625
July 1956
Ponsell
4283082
August 1981
Tracy
4377956
March 1983
Cooper
5195794
March 1993
Hummel et al.
5503446
April 1996
De Jong
5713618
February 1998
Kocsis
6591739
July 2003
Norcross
Primary Examiner: Cuomo; Peter M. Assistant Examiner: Chin; Paul T Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond A. Galasso & Associates, LP
WWW.GAPATENTS.COM
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A hand-held apparatus for inserting, removing, and otherwise manipulating optically read disks, the apparatus comprising a hollow frame wherein said frame comprises a first concave indentation on the inside of said frame which holds a spring base in place; and a plunger, the plunger comprising flexible hooks, such that the hooks can be compressed and released to capture an optically read disk and allow it to be lifted, each hook comprising a convex protrusion, such that the protrusion fits into a second concave indentation on the inside of the frame; and a top underside, such that a spring can be compressed against the top underside; a spring base, such that the hooks of the plunger extend through holes in the spring base; and a spring which fits within the hooks of the plunger and can be compressed against surfaces between the top underside of the plunger and the spring base. 2. The frame of claim 1, wherein the frame comprises a dimpled grip. 3. The grip of claim 2, wherein the grip is manufactured of rubber. 4. A hand-held apparatus for inserting, removing, and otherwise manipulating optically read disks, the apparatus comprising a hollow frame wherein said frame comprises a first concave indentation on the inside of said frame, which holds a spring base in place; and a dimpled rubber grip, a plunger, the plunger comprising three flexible hooks, such that the hooks can be compressed and released to capture an optically read disk and allow it to be lifted, each hook comprising a convex protrusion, such that the protrusion fits into a second concave indentation on the inside of the frame; and a top underside, such that a spring can be compressed against the top underside; a spring base, such that the hooks of the plunger extend through holes in the spring base; a spring which fits within the hooks of the plunger and can be compressed against surfaces between the top underside of the plunger and the spring base. 5. A hand-held apparatus, measuring two inches in height and one and one half inches in diameter, for inserting, removing, and otherwise manipulating optically read disks, the apparatus comprising a hollow frame wherein said frame comprises a first concave indentation on the inside of said frame which holds a spring base in place; and a dimpled rubber grip, a plunger, the plunger comprising three flexible hooks, such that the hooks can be compressed and released to capture an optically read disk and allow it to be lifted, each hook comprising a convex protrusion, such that the protrusion fits into a second concave indentation on the inside of the frame; and a top underside, such that a spring can be compressed against the top underside; a spring base, such that the hooks of the plunger extend through holes in the spring base; a spring which fits within the hooks of the plunger and can be compressed against surfaces between the top underside of the plunger and the spring base.
Description
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to an apparatus for removing and inserting optically read disks, for example, compact disks (CDs) and digital video disks (DVDs), out of and into protective cases and players. BACKGROUND Optically read disks such as compact disks (CDs) and digital video disks (DVDs) are popular storage devices for audio, graphic, and video media. These disks store information digitally and are typically read by optical readers through laser technology. One of the challenges associated with these disks is the need to keep them clean. Finger smudges, dust particles, other foreign materials, and scratches on the surfaces of these disks may cause optical distortions when the disks are read that can result in loss of quality. Consequently, users of CDs and DVDs must take great care when handling them. When removing CDs and DVDs from their storage cases, for example, they must be careful to hold them by their edges. This is often an awkward procedure, since CDs and DVDs are typically held in place in their storage cases by snapping over circular retaining clips with flexible members in the centers of the cases. It is sometimes difficult to remove CDs and DVDs from these clips without more firmly grasping the disks on the flat top and bottom sides, which can leave finger smudges, dust, and scratches on their surfaces. CDs and DVDs can also be dropped and will sometimes even break during removal when held solely by their edges. Moreover, placing CDs and DVDs in players and removing them subsequently while holding them by their edges is also awkward and difficult. Therefore, there is a need for an apparatus that enables optically read disks to be inserted into and removed from devices without marring the surfaces of the disks. 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 an apparatus that enables optically read disks to be inserted into and removed from devices without marring the surfaces of the disks. It is another aspect of the present invention to provide an apparatus for inserting and removing optically read disks that is simple in design and thus inexpensive to manufacture and purchase. 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, an apparatus is provided that enables users to insert and remove optically read disks without touching them by hand. The apparatus comprises a hollow frame and a spring-loaded plunger with flexible hooks. When the plunger is pushed down out of the locked position, protrusions on the hooks are forced out of convex indentations and against the inner sides of the frame, compressing the hooks. The apparatus can then be inserted through the central hole in a disk. The user then releases the plunger, which is forced upward by a compressed spring so that the protrusions on the hooks fit back into the indentations. The hooks then expand outward so that the disk is held securely and may be removed from its storage case or a player. Reversing this operation allows a user to insert a disk into a storage case or player. 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. 1A is a schematic diagram that illustrates a side view of an apparatus for inserting and removing optically read disks; FIG. 1B is schematic diagram that illustrates a side view of a plunger for an apparatus for inserting and removing optically read disks; FIG. 1C is schematic diagram that illustrates a side view of a spring for an apparatus for inserting and removing optically read disks; FIG. 1D is schematic diagram that illustrates a side view of a spring base for an apparatus for inserting and removing optically read disks; FIG. 2A is schematic diagram that illustrates a side view of an apparatus for inserting and removing optically read disks, in the locked position; and FIG. 2B is schematic diagram that illustrates a side view of an apparatus for inserting and removing optically read disks, in the extended position. 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 present invention comprises a hand-held apparatus for inserting, removing, and otherwise manipulating optically read disks. In an embodiment, the apparatus may be manufactured of lightweight, durable materials, for example plastic, rubber, and metal. An embodiment of the apparatus comprises the following elements: A frame 2, shown in FIG. 1A; A plunger 4, shown in FIG. 2A; A dimpled grip 6 on the frame 2, shown in FIG. 1A; Hooks 8, shown in FIG. 1B; Convex protrusions 10 on the hooks 8, shown in FIG. 1B; A spring 12, shown in FIG. 1C; A spring base 14, shown in FIG. 1D; Concave indentations 16 in the inside of the frame 2, shown in FIG. 2A, designed to fit the convex protrusions 10 on the hooks 8, shown in FIG. 1B; and Concave indentations 18 in the inside of the frame 2, shown in FIG. 2A, designed to fit the spring base 14, shown in FIG. 1D. A hollow frame 2, shown in FIG. 1A, serves to contain the other elements of the apparatus and to allow users to easily hold and employ the apparatus by hand. In an embodiment, the frame 2 may be manufactured of plastic. In an embodiment, a dimpled grip 6 on the frame 2 makes the apparatus particularly easy to hold. The grip 6 may be manufactured of rubber in an embodiment. A spring-operated plunger 4 extends through the top of the frame 2. Users can push the plunger 4 down into the frame 2 with their thumbs or fingers. As shown in FIG. 2B, the plunger 4 comprises flexible hooks 8. In an embodiment, three hooks 8 may be used, as shown in FIG. 1B. Each hook comprises a convex protrusion 10. In an embodiment, the plunger 4 may be manufactured of plastic. A spring 12, shown in FIG. 1C, fits into the center of the plunger 4, shown in FIG. 1B, within the hooks 8. In an embodiment, a metal spring 12 may be used. The spring 12 is placed in between the top underside 5 of the plunger 4 and a spring base 14, shown in FIG. 1D. The spring base 14 fits into concave indentations 18 in the inside of the frame 2, shown in FIG. 2A. The hooks 8, shown in FIG. 1B, of the plunger 4 pass through openings 15, shown in FIG. 1D, in the surface of the spring base 14. The plunger 4 is thus spring-operated. Pushing down on the plunger 4 forces it deeper into the frame 2, compressing the spring 12 against the spring plate 14. When the plunger 4 is released, the force of the compressed spring 12 pushes the plunger 4 upward. The insides of the frame 2, shown in FIG. 2A, comprise concave indentations 16 designed to hold the convex protrusions 10 on the hooks 8. In the locked position shown in FIG. 2A, the flexible hooks 8, the convex protrusions 10 of which are within the concave indentations 16, are at their maximum outward extension. When the plunger 4 is pushed downward, as shown in FIG. 2B, the convex protrusions 10 on the plunger 4 are forced out of the concave indentations 16 on the frame 2, so that the protrusions 10 push against the sides of the frame 2, compressing the hooks 8 together. When the plunger 4 is subsequently released and the spring forces it upward, the protrusions 10 fits again into the indentations 16, so that the hooks 8 expand outward. In an embodiment, the apparatus would measure approximately two inches in height and one and one and one half inches in width. 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. Use A user holds the apparatus over the central hole in an optically read disk in a storage case and pushes down the plunger 4, as shown in FIG. 2B. This compresses the hooks 8, so that the user can insert the apparatus through the flexible members of the retaining clip in the storage case and through the hole in the disk. The user then releases the plunger 4, as shown in FIG. 2A, which expands the hooks 8 so that they lock into position wide enough to hold the disk. Enough space is left between the bottom of the frame 2 and the flanges of the hooks 8 so that the disk fits there securely. The user can then pull the disk out of the storage case, place the disk inside a player, press the plunger 4 again, and pull the apparatus out of the disk. After the disk has played, the user can re-insert the apparatus into the disk, remove the disk from the player, re-insert the disk into its storage case, and remove the apparatus from the disk. None of the user's actions require touching the disk by hand, so that manipulating the disk can be done with much less risk of marring its surface. For more information go to WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, www.google.com or www.yahoo.com.
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