Friday, October 30, 2009

United States Patent 7,318,778
WWW.USPTO.GOV
Owens
January 15, 2008

Golf putter with removable laser

Abstract

A golf putter wherein the putter is equipped with a removable laser. The head of the putter includes a mounting plate which has a mounting plate cover. When the laser is not in use, the mounting plate cover is placed on the mounting plate. When the laser is in use, the laser which includes a mounting bracket is attached to the mounting plate. The shaft of the putter includes a battery located inside of the shaft and the electrical connection to the at least one battery. The electrical connection to the laser is located in the center of the mounting plate and is covered by a cap when not in use. An on/off switch and a height adjustment switch are located on the shaft. The on/off switch controls the electricity to the laser and the height adjustment switch allows a user to pivot the laser as necessary.
Inventors: Owens; Mark R. (Divide, CO)
Appl. No.: 11/415,654
Filed: May 2, 2006
Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application Number Filing Date Patent Number Issue Date
60690039 Jun., 2005

Current U.S. Class: 473/220 ; 473/219; 473/223
Current International Class: A63B 69/36 (20060101)
Field of Search: 473/219,220,221,222,223,224,226,257
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents

5213331 May 1993 Avanzini
5374063 December 1994 Ogden
5388832 February 1995 Hsu
5733202 March 1998 Vargo
6123626 September 2000 Osborn
6227983 May 2001 Yang
6383087 May 2002 Moser
6840869 January 2005 Chen
6875122 April 2005 Collins et al.
6902493 June 2005 Rhodes et al.
Primary Examiner: Legesse; Nini F.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, LP
WWW.GAPATENTS.COM

Parent Case Text


RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to co-pending provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/690,039 filed on Jun. 11, 2005 entitled Owen's Laser Pro Putter.
Claims


What is claimed is:

1. A putter comprising: a putting head; a shaft attached to said putting head; a mounting plate located on the top of said putting head; a removable mounting plate cover capable of attaching to said mounting plate; a laser having a mounting bracket capable of being attached to the mounting plate; at least one battery located in the shaft of the putter; an on/off switch located on said shaft; wherein said on/off switch is attached to said battery; a height adjustment switch located below said on/off switch on said shaft; wherein said height adjustment switch is capable of pivoting said laser upward and downward; an electrical connection where in the electrical wires are located inside the shaft and are connected to said battery; and an electrical connection capable of connecting to said laser.

2. The putter of claim 1 wherein said laser having a mounting bracket that weighs the same as the mounting plate.

3. The putter of claim 1 wherein said batteries are located in the grip of said shaft.

4. The putter of claim 1 wherein said mounting plate comprises a retainer for attaching said mounting bracket.

5. The putter of claim 1 wherein said electrical connection to said laser is a plug in connection.

6. The putter of claim 1 wherein said battery is a AA battery.

7. The Putter of claim 1 wherein the mounting plate comprises an opening for said electrical connection to be located in the center of said mounting plate.

8. The putter of claim 7 wherein said electrical connection is comprised of a retainer.

9. A puffer laser system comprising: a putting head; a shaft attached to said putting head; a mounting plate located on the top of said putting head; a removable mounting plate cover capable of attaching to said mounting plate; a laser having a mounting bracket capable of being attached to the mounting plate; at least one battery located in the shaft of the puffer; an on/off switch located on said shaft; wherein said on/off switch is attached to said battery; a height adjustment switch located below said on/off switch on said shaft; wherein said height adjustment switch is capable of pivoting said laser upward and downward; an electrical connection wherein the electrical wires are located inside the shaft and are connected to said battery; and an opening located in the center of the mounting plate, wherein said opening includes a retainer for attaching and detaching said laser to said electrical connection.

10. The putter laser system of claim 9 wherein said laser having a mounting bracket that weighs the same as the mounting plate cover.

11. The putter laser system of claim 9 wherein said batteries are located in the grip of said shaft.

12. The putter laser system of claim 9 wherein said battery is a AA.

13. A method of using a putter having a laser comprising a mounting bracket, a mounting plate, a mounting plate cover and electrical connection, comprising the steps of: removing said mounting plate cover; attaching said laser to said mounting plate by said mounting bracket; connecting the electrical connection to said laser; turning on the on/off switch; adjusting the height of the laser using a height adjustment switch; putting; disconnecting said electrical connection from said laser; removing said laser by removing the mounting bracket from said mounting plate; and replacing said mounting plate cover.
Description


FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

A golf putter which is equipped with a removable laser for lining up the ball with the hole.

BACKGROUND

Everyone who has ever played golf knows how hard it is to get the ball aimed in the right direction and actually hit the ball in the same direction. Everyone has a unique stroke or technique for lining the ball up with the hole, swinging and actually striking the ball. There is no right way or wrong way to line up and hit a golf ball.

Most every golf course offers lessons on golf, from the basics to more advanced techniques. Of course, the best way to improve your golf game is to practice, practice, practice. Not only does playing a game of golf help improve your game but hitting buckets of balls and just spending time practicing putting.

There are a lot of help devices available as well. For example, there are devices that you can purchase that plug into electricity so that you can practice putting indoors. These devices come in different sizes and shapes but there basic function is to allow a user to practice putting. There are also a number of golf clubs that are equipped with laser type devices.

One example of a laser device used in connection with a golf club is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,123,626 by Osborn. In this configuration, illustrates the use of a laser which is connected to the shaft of the putter over the upper surface of the club head. The laser disclosed is also equipped with a range finder which is visibly displayed for the user.

In U.S. Pat. No. 6,227,983 by Yang, a laser is disclosed wherein the laser is located within a recessed chamber of the club head. Additionally, the club includes an elongated slot on a face thereof in communication with the recessed chamber.

Another laser device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,383,087 by Moser. In this patent, the use of a mirror attached to the toe of the putter head. The location of the laser is such that when the putter is in position to strike the ball, the projected beam of light is reflected in the mirror on the putter head back to the housing from which the laser beam is projected.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,840,869 by Chen discloses an aiming device for a golf club wherein the aiming device includes a fixing seat which attaches to the shaft of a club or the grip. The laser is pivotable on the main body.

Collin et al. discloses the use of a laser in connection with a putter in U.S. Pat. No. 6,875,122. The use of a laser attached putter face is described wherein the laser is powered by a battery located on the grip of the putter. The electrical connection is wound around the shaft of the putter and connected to the battery source. This particular configuration allows for the laser to be removed when not in use.

Finally, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,902,493 by Rhodes et al. a laser device is disclosed which includes a laser, an on/off switch a reflective surface rotatable by a handle and a lever system, a PC board, and a switch to prevent the laser from being accidently shone in the eyes of other persons.

These are just a few examples of various kinds of configurations comprising lasers. One thing is for sure, everyone who wants to improve their golf game certainly has the ability to do so if they are willing to allocate the time and money to do so.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

In one embodiment the putter comprises a head.

In still another embodiment the putter comprises a shaft attached to the head.

In yet another embodiment the putter includes a mounting plate.

In still another embodiment the mounting plate is located on the top of the putting head.

In another embodiment the putter comprises a removable mounting plate cover.

In yet another embodiment the mounting plate cover is capable of attaching to the mounting plate.

In still another embodiment the putter includes a laser having a mounting bracket.

In another embodiment the mounting bracket is capable of attaching to the mounting plate.

In yet another embodiment the putter includes at least one battery.

In still another embodiment the at least one battery is located with the shaft of the putter.

In another embodiment the putter comprises an on/off switch.

In yet another embodiment the on/off switch is located on the shaft.

In still another embodiment the on/off switch is attached to the at least one battery.

In another embodiment the putter comprises a height adjustment switch.

In yet another embodiment the height adjustment switch is located below the on/off switch.

In still another embodiment the height adjustment switch is capable of pivoting the laser upward and downward.

In another embodiment the putter includes an electrical connection.

In yet another embodiment the electrical wires are located inside the shaft and are connected to the at least said one battery.

In still another embodiment the putter contains an electrical connection located in the center of the mounting plate for connecting electricity to the laser.

In another embodiment the laser having a mounting bracket weighs the same as the mounting plate cover.

In yet another embodiment the at least one battery is located in the grip of the shaft.

In another embodiment the mounting plate comprises a retainer for attaching the mounting plate cover.

In yet another embodiment the electrical connection to the laser is a plug in connection.

In still another embodiment the at least one battery is a AA battery.

Still other advantages of various embodiments will become apparent to those skilled in this art from the following description wherein there is shown and described preferred embodiments of this invention simply for the purposes of illustration. As will be realized, the invention is capable of other different aspects and embodiments without departing from the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the advantages, drawings, and descriptions are illustrative in nature and not restrictive in nature.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a golf putter having a laser mounted on the top of the head.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the golf putter depicted in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top view of a golf putter showing the mounting plate.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a golf putter illustrating a mounting plate and mounting plate cover.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

In the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration specific preferred embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that logical, mechanical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. To avoid detail not necessary to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, the description may omit certain information known to those skilled in the art. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims.

FIG. 1 illustrates the face of a golf putter 10 having a mounting plate 20, a mounting bracket 30, a laser 40, an on/off switch 50. The golf putter 10 comprises a mounting plate 20 which is located on the head 60. The mounting plate 20 is capable of receiving the mounting bracket 30 of the laser 40 by inserting the mounting bracket 30 of the laser 40 into the retainer located on the mounting plate 20. The retainer can be a ball and socket type connection or any other type of retainer. Once the mounting bracket 30 of the laser 40 is connected to the mounting plate 20, the electrical connection 80 is connected to the laser 40 by inserting the electrical connection 80 into the opening 90. The opening 90 which is located in the center of the mounting plate 20 is equipped with a cap 100 which is removable. Once the cap 100 is removed, the electrical connection from the laser 40 can be inserted into the cap 100 creating an electrical connection to the battery 110. Once an electrical connection has been established the laser 40 can be pivoted by using the height adjustment switch 120 which is located on the shaft of the putter 10.

FIG. 2 depicts the front of the view of the golf putter 10 wherein the mounting plate 30 of the laser 40 is seen in a mounted position attached to the mounting plate 20. The on/off switch 50 is shown on the shaft 130 of the putter 10. The on/off switch 50 functions to turn power on and off to the electrical connection 80 which is located in the mounting plate 10. The laser 40 is connected to the electrical connection 80 and receives power when the on/off switch is in the on position. When preparing to remove the laser 40 from the putter 10, the on/off switch should be in the off position. Additionally, when replacing the battery 110 in the shaft 130, the on/off switch should be in the off position. In the present embodiment, a single AA battery is disclosed. However, other types of batteries can be used and the number of batteries can vary. The battery 110 is inserted into the shaft 130 by removing the shaft cap 160. Once the battery is inserted, the shaft cap 160 is replaced. FIG. 2 also illustrates the height adjustment switch 120. The height adjustment switch 120 functions to pivot the laser 40 once the mounting bracket 30 of the laser 40 are mounted to the mounting plate 20. By pivoting the laser 40, the laser 40 can more easily be lined up with the hole.

FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of the mounting plate 20 wherein the mounting bracket 30 of the laser 40 are removed. When the laser 40 is not in use, it can be removed from the mounting plate 20 by disconnecting the mounting bracket 30 wherein the mounting bracket 30 of the laser 40 are separate and the laser 40 having the mounting bracket 30 can be placed into a pouch for storage. When the laser 40 having the mounting bracket 30 is not in the mounted position, the mounting plate 20 has a cap 100 which fastens over the opening in the mounting plate 20.

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of a golf putter 10 comprising a mounting plate 20. The mounting plate 20 is covered with a mounting plate cover 150. The mounting plate cover 150 protects the mounting plate 20 from dirt and water. The mounting plate cover 150 acts an additional protective means for protecting the electrical connection 80 which is located in the center of the mounting plate 20. Additionally, the mounting plate cover 150 weighs the same as the combination of the laser 40 having a mounting bracket 30. By having the mounting plate cover 150 weigh the same as the combination of the laser 40 having a mounting bracket 30, the user does not have to adjust their swing depending on whether the laser 40 is in a mounted position or not. For more information go to WWW.GAPATENTS.COM or WWW.GOOGLE.COM.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

United States Patent 7,296,539
WWW.USPTO.GOV
Iljas
November 20, 2007

Spill resistant water and food dish for pets

Abstract

A spill resistant pet food and water dish is provided which incorporates features to prevent contents from spilling over the side of the dish when the dish is jarred or bumped during transport or while in use in feeding, the pet food and water dish being adaptable to a variety of sizes of animals, the dish incorporating a means of securely fastening the dish to the side of the pet carrier or crate, the dish providing one or more cavities within the base of the dish to receive ice packs or ice to chill the contents of the dish. The spill resistant pet dish may be used independently of a cage and placed on the floor or ground for pet feeding, particularly in a moving vehicle or boat, wherein the spill resistant features of the disclosed pet dish are advantageous to minimize or eliminate spillage of food or water from the dish.
Inventors: Iljas; Sandra Eloise (Worthington, OH)
Appl. No.: 11/406,624
Filed: April 19, 2006

Current U.S. Class: 119/61.54 ; 119/454; 119/61.5; 119/61.55; 119/61.57
Current International Class: A01K 1/10 (20060101)
Field of Search: 119/61.5,61.54,61.55,61.56,61.57,454,464,475
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents

4436056 March 1984 MacLeod
5105768 April 1992 Johnson
5743210 April 1998 Lampe
5787839 August 1998 Magnant et al.
5823136 October 1998 Zarski
5960740 October 1999 Pelsor
5960741 October 1999 Ballen et al.
6557489 May 2003 King
6681719 January 2004 Warner
7204202 April 2007 Behun et al.
Primary Examiner: Poon; Peter M.
Assistant Examiner: Berry, Jr.; Willie
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, LP.
WWW.GAPATENTS.COM.

Claims


What is claimed is:

1. A spill resistant feeding dish for a household pet animal comprising: an elongated `D` shaped dish base structure having one or more cavities to receive an ice pack, the elongated `D` shape forming a `U` shaped exterior sidewall, the dish base structure further comprising: a substantially flat rectangular back wall having one or more voids there-through into the ice pack cavity, the back wall attached to opposing edges of the `U` shaped sidewall; a `D` shaped top surface having a closed bottom depression for holding food therein, the depression having cylindrical side walls, the `D` shaped top surface attached to top edges of the `U` shaped sidewall and back wall; a `D` shaped bottom surface, the `D` shaped bottom surface attached to bottom edges of the `U` shaped sidewall and back wall; and a raised cylindrical ring formed on the top surface of the `D` shaped surface, the ring having a cylindrical inside surface joining the cylindrical walls of the depression, a substantially flat top sealing surface, an outside surface of the ring having a circumferentially threaded portion; and a feeding dish cover comprising: a generally cylindrical sidewall having an inside surface, the cover sidewall having circumferential threads on a lower portion of the cover inside surface, the cover sidewall and threads sized and fitted to threadably and removably engage the threaded section of the cylindrical ring; a gasket secured to a ledge of the cover cylindrical sidewall above the threads of the cover sidewall, the gasket sized and adapted to sealably compress between the top sealing surface of the raised ring and the ledge of the cover to provide a water tight seal between the cover and the raised cylindrical ring of the feeding dish; an `O` shaped top wall having an inner circumferential edge and an outer circumferential edge, the outer edge attached to a top edge of the cover sidewall; a cylindrical spill limiting sidewall attached at an upper edge to the inner circumferential edge of the `O` shaped top wall; and a truncated cone shaped surface having an outer circumferential edge and an inner circumferential edge defining a hole where the cone is truncated, the outer edge of the cone shaped surface is secured to the spill limiting sidewall, the inner circumferential edge of the cone sized and adapted to permit the animal to access contents of the dish through the hole in the cone, the cone sloping downwardly towards the hole to encourage displaced food to drain back into the dish through the hole, the cone cooperating with the spill limiting sidewall to minimize spillage of food or water from the dish.

2. The spill resistant feeding dish for a household pet animal of claim 1, wherein the elongated `D` shaped dish base structure further comprises a means of removably and supportively mounting the back wall to a side wall of a cage.

3. The spill resistant food feeding dish for a household pet animal of claim 2, wherein the means of mounting the dish holder back wall to the side wall of the cage comprises: a threaded hole through the back wall; and a threaded screw with a flat head having ridges to allow finger tightening of the screw, the screw sized and configured to threadably, retentively and removably engage the threaded hole in the back wall, the screw removably securing the dish holder to side wall of the cage.

4. A cage mountable spill resistant food feeding dish for a household pet animal comprising: a removable feeding dish for holding food or water, the dish comprising: a generally cylindrical side wall having an inside surface, and outside surface and an `O` shaped top surface attached to and spanning between upper edges of the inside and outside surfaces; a threaded section on an upper portion of the outside surface of the side wall; and a bottom wall peripherally secured to a bottom edge of said sidewall, said bottom wall together with the sidewall forming a closed bottom dish; a feeding dish cover comprising: a generally cylindrical sidewall having an inside surface, the cover sidewall having circumferential threads on a lower portion of the inside surface, the cover sidewall and threads sized and fitted to threadably, removably engage the threaded section of the feeding dish sidewall; an `O` shaped top wall having an inner circumferential edge and an outer circumferential edge, the outer edge attached to a top edge of the cover sidewall outer surface; a cylindrical spill limiting sidewall attached at an upper edge to the inner circumferential edge of the `O` shaped top wall; a gasket secured to a ledge of the cover cylindrical sidewall above the threads of the cover sidewall, the gasket sized and adapted to sealably compress between the top surface of the dish and the ledge of the cover to provide a water tight seal; and a truncated cone shaped surface having an outer circumferential edge and an inner circumferential edge defining a hole where the cone is truncated, the outer edge of the cone shaped surface secured to the inner surface of the cover sidewall, the inner circumferential edge of the cone sized and adapted to permit the animal to access food in the dish through the hole in the cone, the cone sloping downwardly towards the hole to encourage displaced food to drain back into the dish through the hole, the cone cooperating with the spill limiting sidewall to minimize spillage of food or water from the dish; and an elongated `D` shaped dish holder having one or more cavities to receive an ice pack, the dish holder adapted for removably mounting to an interior side wall of an animal travel cage, the dish holder comprising: a top surface having a general `D` shape having a hole therein, the hole sized and adapted to supportively and retentively receive the removable feeding dish, the elongated `D` shape forming a `U` shaped sidewall and a substantially flat rectangular back wall, the back wall having one or more voids through the back wall into the ice pack cavity, the voids to receive ice packs to maintain dish contents chilled.

5. The spill resistant feeding dish for a household pet animal of claim 4, wherein the elongated `D` shaped dish holder further comprises a means of removably and supportively mounting dish holder back wall to the side wall of the cage.

6. The spill resistant food feeding dish for a household pet animal of claim 5, wherein the means of mounting the dish holder back wall to the side wall of the cage comprises: a threaded hole through the back wall; and a threaded screw with a flat head having ridges to allow finger tightening of the screw, the screw sized and configured to threadably, retentively and removably engage the threaded hole in the back wall, the screw removably securing the dish holder to side wall of the cage.
Description


FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The disclosures made herein relate generally to pet food and water dishes, and particularly to pet food and water dishes designed to provide food or water to pets when confined within and transported in a pet carrier or crate. The disclosures herein more particularly relate to pet food and water dishes which incorporate features to prevent contents from spilling over the side of the dish during transmit and which also provide a means of securely fastening the dish to the side of the pet carrier or crate.

BACKGROUND

Pet food and water dishes of various designs are known and are commonly used. Often pet owners or trainers choose to travel with their pet, sometimes perhaps to visit family, to travel to a distant destination for a vacation, or just perhaps to transport the animal from one location to another, perhaps even to a park or outdoor wooded location for exercise. Additionally, sometimes it may be necessary to transport a pet on public transportation. Pet owners transporting their pets using public transportation means such as planes, trains and busses usually have limited options in transporting their pet. In such cases laws and regulations may require pets to be placed into a pet carrier or some other type of cage, for health, safety and cleanliness reasons, as well as to allow transport of the pet in the luggage area of a plane or bus. Often such excursions with the family pet can take a considerable amount of time during which it is prudent and humane to provide to the animal within the cage a ready supply of drinking water and food in a pet dish. When transporting the pet in a cage, the cage can be subject to substantial jostling and bumping which can result in the spillage of food or water from the pet feeding dish resulting in soiling of the cage as well as the environment surrounding the cage. As pet owners know, typical pet dishes with their low sidewalls, broad flat bottoms and wide top openings easily spill their contents when bumped or tipped, and as such are unsuitable for use in pet carriers and cages. Additionally, typical pet dishes do not provide a means of securely mounting the dish to the cage wall and so are free to slide and move within the cage.

Therefore, a spill resistant water and food dish for pets that is designed for use within a pet carrier or cage, that provides a means of removably securing the dish to a side wall of a pet carrier or cage, that incorporates features to prevent the spillage of food and drinking water into the cage and surrounding environment, such a pet food or water dish design would be useful and novel.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Accordingly, embodiments of the inventive disclosures made herein comprise various embodiments of a spill resistant food and water dish for pets, a dish design that is particularly suited for use with a pet carrier or cage. Pets may typically be cats or dogs, but this disclosure is not limited to use with cats and dogs and is applicable for use with a wide variety of and various sizes of animals.

A first and at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein comprises a cage mountable spill resistant feeding dish for a household pet animal comprising a feeding dish for holding food or water, the dish comprising: an elongated `D` shaped dish base structure having one or more cavities therein designed to receive an ice pack or ice to keep the pet food or water chilled. The elongated `D` shaped dish base structure forms a `U` shaped exterior sidewall and a substantially flat rectangular back wall having one or more voids there-through into the ice pack cavity. The back wall is attached on opposite edges to opposing edges of the `U` shaped sidewall. The `D` shaped top surface of the dish base has a closed bottom depression for holding food or water therein, the depression having cylindrical side walls. A raised cylindrical ring is formed on the top surface of the dish structure, the ring having a cylindrical inside surface joining the cylindrical walls of the depression. The outside surface of the raised ring has a circumferentially threaded portion to receive and threadably engage a feeding dish cover. The back wall of the dish base is provided with a means for removably and supportively mounting the dish to a side wall of a cage or animal carrier. The feeding dish cover of the present invention is provided with features to reduce the opportunity for and chance of spillage of food and water from the dish. The feeding dish cover comprises a generally cylindrical sidewall having circumferential threads on a lower portion of an inside surface. The cover sidewall and threads are sized and fitted to threadably and removably engage the threaded section of the cylindrical ring of the dish base so as to provide a partial closure over the food or water in the dish. The cover having an `O` shaped top wall further having an inner circumferential edge and an outer circumferential edge, the outer edge attached to the top edge of the cover sidewall. A truncated cone shaped surface having an outer circumferential edge and an inner circumferential edge defining a hole where the cone is truncated, the outer edge of the cone shaped surface secured to the inner surface of the cover sidewall, the inner circumferential edge of the cone sized and adapted to permit the animal to access food in the dish through the feeding hole in the center of the cone, the cone sloping downwardly from periphery edges towards the hole to encourage displaced food to drain back into the dish through the feeding hole.

The variations of the spill resistant dish, cover and access hole can be made in any size to suit the physical head, mouth dimensional requirements of any particular animal. In particular, the feeding hole in the cover cone must be sufficient to allow the animal to reach food or water within the bowl, but not so large as to permit the contents of the bowl to splash out. Additionally a rubber `O` ring or gasket seal is provided between the cover and the threaded ring of the dish base to provide a leak-proof seal between the cover and the dish.

In another embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the cage mountable spill resistant food feeding dish for a household pet animal comprises a feeding dish for holding food or water, the dish comprising: a generally cylindrical side wall; a threaded section on an upper portion of an outside surface of the side wall; a bottom wall peripherally secured to a bottom edge of said sidewall, said bottom wall together with the sidewall forming a closed bottom dish. A feeding dish cover comprises a generally cylindrical sidewall, the cover sidewall having circumferential threads on a lower portion of an inside surface, the cover sidewall and threads sized and fitted to threadably and removably engage the threaded section of the feeding dish sidewall. The feeding dish cover having an `O` shaped top wall having an inner circumferential edge and an outer circumferential edge, the outer edge attached to a top edge of the cover sidewall. The feeding dish cover further comprising a truncated cone shaped surface having an outer circumferential edge and an inner circumferential edge defining a hole where the cone is truncated, the outer edge of the cone shaped surface secured to the inner surface of the cover sidewall, the inner circumferential edge of the cone sized and adapted to permit the animal to access food in the dish through the feeding hole in the cone, the cone sloping downwardly towards the hole to encourage displaced food to drain back into the dish through the hole. Additionally, a dish holder is provided that is adapted for removably mounting to an interior side wall of an animal travel cage, the dish holder comprising: a top surface having a general `D` shape with a cylindrical depression therein, the depression sized and adapted to supportively and retentively receive the separate removable feeding dish, the elongated `D` shape forming a `U` shaped sidewall and together with a substantially flat rectangular back wall, the back wall having a threaded hole and one or more voids through the back wall into the ice pack cavity, the voids to receive ice packs to maintain dish contents chilled for an extended time. Also provided is a means of removably and supportively mounting dish holder back wall to the side wall of the cage. A rubber `O` ring or gasket seal is provided between the cover and the threaded ring of the dish base to provide a leak-proof seal between the cover and the dish. As in the first embodiment, the dimensions of the spill resistant dish, cover and access hole can be made in any size to suit the size of the animal.

In at least one of the embodiments of the spill resistant pet dish in accordance with the inventive disclosure herein, the means of mounting the dish holder back wall to the side wall of the cage utilizes a threaded hole through the back wall of the dish holder; and a threaded screw with a flat head having ridges to allow finger tightening of the screw, the screw sized and configured to threadably, retentively and removably engage the threaded hole in the back wall. To secure the dish holder base to the cage or pet carrier wall, the screw is inserted through the sidewall of the cage and then received into the threaded hole on the back wall of the dish holder. The screw is then finger tightened to removably secure the dish holder in place on the sidewall of the cage or pet carrier. The invention is not limited to this example means of securing the pet dish to a cage wall. Other means of removably mounting the spill resistant pet dish to a pet carrier or cage wall, as would be know to one skilled in the art, may be utilized without deviating from the intention of this disclosure.

Various embodiments of the spill resistant dish may be realized by use of molded hard plastic or the use of particularly suitable metallic materials such as stainless steel.

Use of the spill resistant pet dish is not confined to use with a pet cage or carrier. Embodiments of the spill resistant pet dish may be used on the floor alone, without a cage or pet carrier, for example while traveling. The flat bottom of the spill resistant dish together with the spill resistance features discussed above provide a pet food and water dish that can be advantageously utilized by placing on the floor or ground to provide food or water to a pet, for example, on the floor of a moving vehicle such as a camper, boat or van.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, components of the spill resistant dish comprises a plastic having added photoluminescent pre-coloured compounds of the type utilized for direct injection molding into the plastic. The resulting photoluminescent or glow in the dark plastic enables the spill resistant dish to be readily located in the dark. Photolumiscent phosphors are available in various grades, high grades proving illumination in the dark for up to 12 hours.

It is an objective of the inventive disclosure made herein to provide a pet dish which is designed for removably mounting to the interior of a pet carrier or cage.

It is another objective of the inventive disclosure made herein to provide a pet dish which is designed to minimize or eliminate spillage of food or water from the dish, and thereby reduce soiling of the case and surrounding environment from pet feeding dish spills.

It is another objective of the inventive disclosure made herein to provide a pet dish which provides a cavity in the base of the dish into which ice packs or ice can be placed to maintain pet food or water in a chilled condition.

It is another objective of the inventive disclosure made herein to provide a pet dish which can be removed from the cage or carrier and used independently and placed on the floor or ground for pet feeding, particularly in a moving vehicle or boat wherein the spill resistant features of the disclosed pet dish are advantageous to minimize or eliminate spillage of food or water from the dish.

The above discussed objects and other objects of the invention made herein are intended to be illustrative of the invention and are not meant in a limiting sense. Many possible embodiments of the invention may be made from the inventive disclosures herein and will be readily evident upon study of the specification and accompanying drawings. Various features and sub combinations of invention may be employed without reference to other features and sub combinations. Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the provided descriptions taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of this inventive disclosure.

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 depicts a perspective view of one embodiment of the spill resistant pet dish in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein.

FIG. 2 depicts a cut-away sectional view of the feeding dish cover in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein.

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. Additionally, the drawings disclose one embodiment as a typical illustrative enabling example. Other embodiments and variations are discussed below and it is to be understood that the inventive disclosure is not limited to the embodiment displayed in the drawings, and is further not limited to the embodiments specifically discussed below, but is intended to be read as covering equivalents within the spirit and intent of descriptions and claims.

FIG. 1 depicts one particular embodiment of spill resistant water and food dish for pets in accordance with the inventive disclosures presented herein. In FIG. 1 the spill resistant water or food dish for pets 1 comprises a `D` shaped base structure have a `U` shaped sidewall 2. A substantially rectangular and substantially flat back wall 3 is attached at opposing ends to opposite ends of the `U` shaped sidewall 2. The back wall is provided with one or more voids there-through into the ice pack cavity 5. The ice pack cavity, generally outlined in FIG. 1 with a dotted line, is closed at the bottom with a bottom surface so as to provide a closed bottom container to hold ice packs or ice to keep the food or water chilled. The `D` shaped base structure is closed out at the top with a `D` shaped top surface 22 having a closed bottom depression 7 for holding food therein, the depression having cylindrical side walls 8. A raised cylindrical ring 6 is formed on the `D` shaped top surface top of the dish base structure, the ring having a cylindrical inside surface joining the cylindrical walls 8 of the closed bottom depression 7. The outside surface of the raised ring 6 is provided with a circumferentially threaded portion to engage a cover.

The rectangular back wall 3 is provided with a means of removably and supportively mounting the spill resistant pet dish to an interior side wall of a pet carrier or cage. In FIG. 1 the means for removably and supportively mounting comprises a threaded screw 9 with a head having ridges 10 to allow finger tightening of the screw, the screw sized and configured to threadably, retentively and removably engage the threaded hole 11 in the back wall 3.

Continuing with FIG. 1, a feeding dish cover 12 comprises a generally cylindrical sidewall 13, the cover sidewall 13 having circumferential threads on a lower portion of an inside surface, the cover sidewall and threads sized and fitted to threadably and removably engage the threaded section of the cylindrical ring 6. `O` shaped top wall 14 has an inner circumferential edge and an outer circumferential edge, the outer edge is attached to a top edge of the cover sidewall.

Still referring to FIG. 1, the cover is provided with a truncated cone shaped surface 16, the cone shaped surface providing a sloped surface to encourage food or water displaced from within the feeding dish to drain by gravity back into the dish. The truncated cone shaped surface 16 having an outer circumferential edge and an inner circumferential edge defining a feeding hole where the cone is truncated, the outer edge of the cone shaped surface secured to the inner surface of the cover sidewall, the inner circumferential edge of the cone defining a feeding access hole sized and adapted to permit the animal to access food in the dish through the hole in the cone. The cone slopes downwardly from the peripheral side edges of the cover towards the hole to encourage displaced food to drain back into the dish through the hole with the aid of gravity. The cone partially obstructs the top of the dish holding food or water, thereby further preventing the water or food from spilling out or otherwise unintentionally leaving the pet dish. More specific details about the spill prevention features of this inventive disclosure are provided further down below.

Now referring to FIG. 2 and to the spill resistant features of the present inventive disclosure. FIG. 2 is sectional view of the feeding dish cover 12 in which one half of the cover has been cut away along an axis of symmetry through the center of the cover as an aid in illustration of other spill prevention features of the present embodiment. Feeding dish cover 12 comprises a cylindrical outside sidewall 13, an `O` shaped cover top wall 14, a spill limiting inside sidewall 15, an inner cone shaped surface 18, and outer cone shaped surface 19, a rubber or pliable gasket 21 provides a water tight seal between the ledge 23 of the cover and the dish, and a feeding access hole 20. In use, food or water is present below the cover and features of the cover cooperate to prevent water and food from splashing out of the dish through the feeding hole when the dish is bumped or displaced. As discussed earlier, gasket 21 provides a water tight seal between the cover and the food or water in the pet dish. The region over the perimeter portions of the food dish are covered by the inner cone shaped surface 18. In the case of water in the dish, bumping or jarring the dish causes a wave-like feature in the water that would tend to splash or ride over the dish walls at the perimeter sidewall of the dish. With the feeding dish cover installed on the dish, the water tends to splash against the inner cone shaped surface 18 near the periphery side walls, and is deflected back into the bowl. Liquids or food that may become displaced from the bowl through the feeding access hole 20 tend to have low velocity if they manage to escape through the center region of the bowl. This low escape velocity in a region over the center of the dish can be illustrated with a thought experiment based on every day experiences. An experiment with a glass half full of water will demonstrate that when the glass is displaced horizontally a wave is created in the glass, the wave moving along the direction of displacement. This wave causes the water level on the side of the glass nearest the direction of the displacement to initially drop in level, and similarly the water level on the opposite side of the glass initially rises in level. More importantly, one can observe that the water at the center of the glass along a line perpendicular to the direction of displacement does not substantially rise or fall in level, meaning no to low displacement or velocity for water or food particles in that region. This low energy or low displacement region lies under the feeding hole in FIG. 2. By this arrangement food or water ejected from a horizontal bump or horizontal movement of the pet feeding dish will tend to have low velocity even if ejected at the center feeding hole. The outer cone shaped surface 19 and spill limiting inside cover sidewall 15 will tend to capture spills and return the material to the feeding dish with the aid of gravity, thereby reducing or elimination spillage.

In FIG. 1 the depicted embodiment the pet dish is formed integrally with the base. A variation of the FIG. 1 embodiment yields another embodiment of the present inventive disclosure. The FIG. 1 embodiment is modified to have a pet dish as a separate bowl that is removable from the base through the hole in the `D` shaped top surface 22. The cover 12 is threadably engaged onto mating threads on the removable dish outside sidewall, permitting the dish with the cover to be removed from the base and used separately from the elongated `D` shaped base structure 2. In this case the base structure serves only to support the dish and cover in a cage or carrier, and serves also as a holder for ice packs or ice to keep the contents of the dish chilled.

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.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Arti Rai at Collegiate Inventors Award Ceremony

Remarks For Arti Rai
Collegiate Inventors Award Ceremony
October 20, 2009 (as prepared)

WWW.USPTO.GOV

Thank you very much Neal. I can’t tell you what a great pleasure it is to have this ceremony as the first public event in my new role at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I am incredibly honored to be participating in tonight’s exciting finish to two days of intense competition between some of the brightest young minds in America. I might add that this event provides something of a soft landing for me since I come to government service from academia. I feel right at home tonight among all of these students—and one of them is from Duke University. How cool is that?

I also have been asked by David Kappos, Director of the USPTO, to personally congratulate all of the collegiate finalists. He would have loved to have been here tonight, but he had a prior commitment. David looks forward to attending this wonderful event in the future. He completely supports the USPTO’s long standing co-sponsorship of the Collegiate Inventors contest and all of the other inventor recognition and educational outreach programs of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. We are proud of our long association and the many joint projects we have undertaken over the last 15 years. We are particularly pleased that last spring our campus in Alexandria, Virginia became the home of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum. I hope that when you are in the Washington, DC area that you come visit this monument to the inventors who have transformed our lives.

Tonight we celebrate the achievements of the next generation of inventors. The innovation and creativity you represent give us all hope that America’s days as the technological center of the world will continue for decades to come. Innovation has always been the engine that has driven our economy, creating whole new industries and millions of jobs. In order for the US to maintain its competitive advantage, it must continue to lead on innovation. Economists overwhelmingly agree that innovation is the only sustainable source of competitiveness in the 21st century. And it will be the key to solving the many social problems we face, from climate change to affordable health care.

For over two centuries the United States Patent and Trademark Office has partnered with this country’s inventors by providing strong and speedy intellectual property protection. As I know from my research, and from my own sister’s experience with her biotech startup, inventors need this protection in order to attract research and development capital. The challenge we face at the USPTO is ensuring that inventors can always look to us for strong and speedy protection.

For inventions like yours, which are coming from universities, the patent system can enable them to reach the marketplace and thereby serve the public. In many cases, inventions that emerge from universities are prototypes, or proofs-of-concept, that require additional investment in order to become marketable. With the patent system’s exclusive rights, university inventors and their commercial partners have an economic incentive to scale up these prototypes.

Those of you who have participated in this competition, as well as thousands of other students in colleges and universities all across the country, are doing your part. Now we must do our part. I pledge to you tonight, on behalf of the 9,000 men and women of the USPTO, that we will fulfill our part of the bargain.

Since taking office a little over two months ago, Director Kappos has moved aggressively to reform the office, expedite the way in which we examine patents, update our IT infrastructure, and reach out to stakeholders and members of Congress to provide a sustainable funding mechanism for the USPTO. We are committed to using all of the tools at our disposal to reduce the amount of time it takes for inventors to get the patents they need to bring products to the marketplace. You will be hearing more in the months to come, so stay tuned and keep believing in your ability to change the world with your inventions.

We fully understand that we must do more to make sure that innovation continues to thrive in America. Two weeks ago at the White House, President Barack Obama presented the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. This medal, which is the nation’s highest award for technological achievement, is administered by the USPTO. In his remarks, the President noted, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” Maybe that something has been revealed on this stage tonight. Maybe that something is on a patent examiner’s computer right now. You as innovators and we as the guardians of intellectual property protection are partners in making sure that that next incredible “something” happens and realizes its greatest potential.

Thank you for doing your part. We will do ours. Best of luck tonight and in all that you do in the future.

For more information go to WWW.GAPATENTS.COM or WWW.GOOGLE.COM.

Friday, October 23, 2009

United States Patent 7,407,114
WWW.USPTO.GOV
Carter
August 5, 2008

Plant pot shaped air freshening apparatus and system comprising same

Abstract

An air freshening apparatus comprises a plant pot-shaped main body, an end cap body and a scent-emitting composition. The plant pot-shaped main body has a cavity therein defining an open end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body and a closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body. The scented air passage extends through the closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body. The end cap body is rotatably mounted on an exterior portion of the plant pot-shaped main body. The end cap body has a scented air passage extending therethrough and the end cap body is movable between a position where the scented air passages are at least partially aligned and a position where the scented air passages are fully misaligned. The scent-emitting composition is disposed within the cavity of the plant pot-shaped main body.
Inventors: Carter; Erica Lee (Racine, WI)
Appl. No.: 11/524,595
Filed: September 20, 2006

Current U.S. Class: 239/59 ; 239/211; 239/289; 239/53; 239/56; 239/57; 428/17; 428/905
Current International Class: A24F 25/00 (20060101); A01N 3/00 (20060101); A41G 1/00 (20060101); A61L 9/04 (20060101); B05B 1/00 (20060101); B05B 15/00 (20060101); B05B 17/00 (20060101)
Field of Search: 47/66.6,67,65.5,66.7,71,83,82,41.01,41.11,65.6 239/59,58,57,43,49,51.5,53,56,211,289 428/17,905
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents

1648570 November 1927 White
2438129 March 1948 Rich
2765194 October 1956 Will
D184893 April 1959 Reinecke
3220913 November 1965 Thomas
3848803 November 1974 Levey
5353546 October 1994 Bock
5477640 December 1995 Holtkamp, Jr.
6854208 February 2005 Chuang et al.
Primary Examiner: Mansen; Michael R.
Assistant Examiner: Williams; Monica L
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Simmons; David O. Galasso & Associates, LP
WWW.GAPATENTS.COM

Claims


What is claimed is:

1. An air freshening apparatus, comprising: a plant pot-shaped main body having a cavity therein defining an open end portion of the plant-shaped main body and a closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body, wherein a plurality of scented air passages extend through the closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body; an end cap body rotatably mounted on the bottom exterior portion of the plant pot-shaped main body, wherein the end cap body has a plurality of scented air passages extending threrethrough and wherein the end cap body is movable between a first position where said plurality of scented air passages are at least partially aligned and a second position where said plurality of scented air passages are fully misaligned; a scent-emitting composition within the cavity of the plant-pot shaped main body; a main body hanging structure having a first end portion and a second end portion, wherein the first end portion is attached to the plant pot-shaped main body and wherein the second end portion includes an engagement element suitably configured for being attached to a support structure; the end cap is a plant pot saucer shaped end cap body having a cavity therein defining an open end portion of the plant pot saucer shaped end cap body and a closed end portion of the plant pot saucer shaped end cap body; the closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body being positioned within the open end portion of the plant pot saucer shaped end cap body; and a hook-shaped support member extending from the plant pot saucer shaped end cap body.

2. The air freshening apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a fluid absorbent article within the cavity of the plant pot-shaped main body, wherein the scent-emitting composition is a liquid fluid at least partially contained within the absorbent article.

3. An air freshening system, comprising: an air freshening apparatus including a plant pot-shaped main body and an end cap body, wherein the plant pot-shaped main body has a cavity therein defining an open end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body and a substantially closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body, wherein the end cap body is rotatably mounted on the bottom exterior portion of the plant pot-shaped main body, wherein the end cap body has a plurality of scented air passages extending therethrough, wherein the substantially closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body has a plurality of scented air passages extending threrethrough, wherein the end cap body is movable between a position where said plurality of scented air passages are at least partially aligned and a position where said plurality of scented air passages are fully misaligned and wherein a scented fluid absorption article is disposed within the cavity of the plant pot-shaped main body; an artificial plant comprised of foliage elements and a base portion; a mounting element disposed within the cavity of the main body; said foliage elements removably mounted at the base portion to the mounting element; and a scented liquid refill apparatus including a watering can-shaped body having a scented fluid reservoir therein at least partially filled with scented fluid, wherein the scented fluid includes a dispensing passage extending through a spout portion of the watering can-shaped body for enabling said scented fluid to be dispensed from the scented fluid reservoir through the spout portion.

4. The air freshening apparatus of claim 3 wherein: the end cap body is a plant pot saucer-shaped end cap body having a cavity therein defining an open end portion of the plant pot saucer-shaped end cap body and a closed portion of the plant pot saucer-shaped end cap body; and a closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body is positioned within the open end position of the plant pot saucer-shaped end cap body.

5. The air freshening apparatus of claim 4, further comprising: a hook-shaped support member extending from the plant pot saucer-shaped end cap body.

6. The air freshening apparatus of claim 3, further comprising: a main body hanging structure having a first end portion and a second end portion, wherein the first end portion is attached to the plant pot-shaped main body and wherein the second end portion includes an engagement element suitably configured for being attached to a support structure.

7. The air freshening apparatus of claim 6 wherein: the end cap body is a plant pot saucer-shaped end cap body having a cavity therein defining an open end portion of the plant pot saucer-shaped end cap body and a closed end portion of the plant pot saucer-shaped end cap body; and the closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body is positioned within the open end portion of the plant pot saucer-shaped end cap body.

8. The air freshening apparatus of claim 7, further comprising: a hook-shaped support member extending from the plant pot saucer-shaped end cap body.
Description


FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The disclosures made herein relate generally to air freshening apparatuses and, more particularly, to air freshening systems including an air freshening apparatuses and fragrance refill apparatuses.

BACKGROUND

Air fresheners, candles and odor neutralizing sprays can be found in virtually every type of enclosed environments. As people spend more time in the homes, cars and offices, they have a desire for those enclosed environments to smell clean and pleasant. In addition to products that masks or eliminates odors, consumers often have the desire for air freshening products that neutralizes and eliminates offending smells. While there are a wide variety of air freshening products on the market today, consumers continue to search for air freshening products that make a unique and/or desirable statement about their lifestyle in addition to providing air freshening functionality. Evidence of this desire can be found in the sheer number of different styles, colors, designs and scents of air freshening products currently on the market.

Air fresheners for automobiles were initially little more than a cardboard placard that had been impregnated with a scented composition. Eventually, these began to be offered in a myriad of different shapes and were decorated with indicia such as, for example, pictures. Today, air fresheners for automobiles are available in a wide variety of configurations such as, for example, air freshening units with powered fan devices that blow scented air throughout the automobile and air freshening units with powered heating devices that gently warm a scent pad such that scent is emitted from the pad into the air.

Air fresheners for home use were simply solid masses of scent-emitting compositions or a volume of liquid scent emitting composition. Air fresheners for home include a myriad of apparatus that delivery scented air by means for spraying a mist, blowing scented air, heating a scent-emitting composition, etc. Whether the intended application is an interior of an automobile or an interior space of a home or office, the widespread appeal of air freshening apparatuses and the desire for unique and innovative implementations of air freshening apparatuses is clear undeniably clear.

Therefore, a new configuration of air fresher that is unique with respect to known air freshening products would be desirable and useful.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

An air freshening apparatus in accordance with the present invention provides a new configuration of air fresher that is unique with respect to known air freshening products. The air freshener has a main body construction that aesthetically resembles a plant pot. A scented composition is disposed within the main body and one or more scented air passages are provided in the main body for enabling scented air to be released from within the main body. To add a touch of personalization and decor to air freshening apparatuses in accordance with the present invention, a real or artificial plant is disposed within the plant pot-shaped main body.

In one embodiment of the present invention, an air freshening apparatus comprises a plant pot-shaped main body, an end cap body and a scent-emitting composition. The plant pot-shaped main body has a cavity therein defining an open end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body and a closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body. The scented air passage extends through the closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body. The end cap body is rotatably mounted on an exterior portion of the plant pot-shaped main body. The end cap body has a scented air passage extending therethrough. The end cap body is movable between a position where the scented air passages are at least partially aligned and a position where the scented air passages are fully misaligned. The scent-emitting composition is disposed within the cavity of the plant pot-shaped main body.

In another embodiment of the present invention, an air freshening apparatus comprises a plant pot-shaped main body, an end cap body, a scent-emitting composition and an artificial plant. The plant pot-shaped main body has a cavity therein defining an open end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body and a closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body. The scented air passage extends through the closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body. The end cap body is rotatably mounted on an exterior portion of the plant pot-shaped main body. The end cap body has a scented air passage extending therethrough. The end cap body is movable between a position where the scented air passages are at least partially aligned and a position where the scented air passages are fully misaligned. The scent-emitting composition is disposed within the cavity of the plant pot-shaped main body. The artificial plant has a base portion thereof removably disposed within the cavity. A foliage portion of the artificial plant extends from within the cavity through the open end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body when the base portion of the artificial plant is disposed within the cavity.

In another embodiment of the present invention, an air freshening system comprises an air freshening apparatus and a scented liquid refill apparatus. The air freshening apparatus includes a plant pot-shaped main body and an end cap body. The plant pot-shaped main body has a cavity therein defining an open end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body and a closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body. The end cap body is rotatably mounted on an exterior portion of the plant pot-shaped main body. The end cap body has a scented air passage extending therethrough. The closed end portion of the plant pot-shaped main body has a scented air passage extending therethrough. The end cap body is movable between a position where the scented air passages are at least partially aligned and a position where the scented air passages are fully misaligned. A scented fluid absorption article is disposed within the cavity of the plant pot-shaped main body. The scented liquid refill apparatus includes a watering can-shaped body having a scented fluid reservoir therein at least partially filled with scented fluid. The scented fluid reservoir includes a dispensing passage extending through a spout portion of the watering can-shaped body for enabling the scented fluid to be dispensed from the scented fluid reservoir through the spout portion.

These and other objects, embodiments, advantages and/or distinctions of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification, associated drawings and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an air freshening apparatus in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a scented fluid refill apparatus in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

FIGS. 1 and 2 show an embodiment of an air freshening apparatus in accordance with the present invention, which is referred to herein as the air freshening apparatus 10. The air freshening apparatus 10 includes a plant pot-shaped main body 12 (i.e., the main body 12), a plant pot saucer-shaped end cap body 14 (i.e., the end cap body 14), a scent-emitting article 16 (FIG. 2), main body hanging structures 18, a hook-shaped support member 20 and an artificial plant 22. The main body 12 has a cavity 23 (FIG. 2) therein defining an open end portion 24 of the main body 12 and a closed end portion 26 of the main body 12. A plurality of scented air passages 28 (FIG. 2) extend through the closed end portion 24 of the main body 12.

The scent-emitting article 16 is disposed within the cavity 23 of the main body 12. An absorbent article (e.g., a sponge) having a scented fluid absorbed therein is one example of the scent-emitting article 16. A solid material made from a scent emitting composition is another example of the scent-emitting article 16. The present invention is not unnecessarily limited by a particular type of scent emitting article. Furthermore, scent emitting articles and compositions are well known and, in view of the disclosures made herein, a skilled person will appreciated implementation of such known scent emitting articles and compositions in practicing the present invention.

The end cap body 14 is rotatably mounted on an exterior portion of the plant pot-shaped main body 12. Preferably, but not necessarily, the end cap body 14 is in the shape of a plant pot saucer. The end cap body 14 has a cavity 28 (FIG. 2) therein defining an open end portion 30 of the end cap body 14 and a closed end portion 32 of the end cap body 14. The closed end portion 26 of the main body 12 is positioned within the open end portion 30 of the end cap body 14.

The end cap body 14 has a plurality of scented air passages 34 (FIG. 1) extending therethrough. The end cap body 14 is movable between a first position P2 where one or more of the scented air passages 28 of the main body 12 are at least partially aligned (FIG. 2) with one or more of the scented air passages 34 of the end cap body 14 and a second position P1 (FIG. 1) where one or more of the scented air passages 28 of the main body 12 are fully misaligned (FIG. 1) with the scented air passages 34 of the end cap body 14. In this manner, a degree of scent emitted from within the main body 12 may be selectively controlled through rotation of the end cap body 14 to a particular relative position with respect to the main body 12. When the scented air passages 28 of the main body 12 are fully misaligned with the scented air passages 34 of the end cap body 14, scented air is emitted at a minimum degree or not at all. When the scented air passages 28 of the main body 12 are fully aligned with at least a portion of the scented air passages 34 of the end cap body 14, scented air is emitted at a maximum degree. A desired degree of scented air emission between the maximum and minimum is achieved by positioning the end cap body 14 such that the scented air passages 28 of the main body 12 are between being fully misaligned and fully aligned with the scented air passages 34 of the end cap body 14. It is disclosed herein that the main body 12 may have the same number or a different number of scented air passages as the end cap body 14. At a minimum, the main body 12 and the end cap body 14 each have one respective scented air passage.

The main body hanging structures 18 has a first end portion 36 and a second end portion 38. The first end portion 36 of each main body hanging structure 18 is attached to the main body 12. The second end portion 38 of each main body hanging structure 18 includes an engagement element 40 (e.g., loop structure, clamp, mounting pad, etc) suitably configured for enabling the second end portion 38 of the main body hanging structure 18 to be attached to and hung from a support structure (e.g., a rear view mirror).

The hook-shaped support member 20 extends from a surface of the end cap body 14. As shown in FIG. 2, in one embodiment, a retention structure 42 (FIG. 2) of the main body 12 attaches the end cap body 14 and the hook-shaped support member 20 to the main body 12. The retention structure 42 extends from an exterior end face of the closed end portion 26 of the main body 12 and extends through an aperture 44 in the end cap body 14. The retention structure 42 is engaged within a cavity 46 of the hook-shaped support member 20. The hook-shaped support member 20 facilitates discrete articles being hung from the air freshening apparatus 10.

An artificial plant 22 has foliage elements 48 and a mounting element 50. A base portion 52 (FIG. 2) of each foliage element 48 is attached to the mounting element 50. In one embodiment, the mounting element 50 is a plastic body (e.g., made of foam). The mounting element 50 and, thus, the base portion 52 of each foliage element 48 is removably disposed within the cavity 23 of the main body 12. A foliage portion 52 of each foliage element 48 extends from within the cavity 23 of the main body 12 through the open end portion 24 of the main body 12 when the mounting element 50 and, thus, the base portion 52 of each foliage element 48 is disposed within the cavity 23 of the main body 12. In this manner, the artificial plant may be selectively removed from and disposed within the cavity 23 of the main body for purposes such as replacing the scent-emitting article 16 with a new one, refilling the scent-emitting article with a supply of scent-emitting composition (e.g., scented oil) and replacing the artificial plant 22 with a different artificial plant.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, a scented liquid refill apparatus in accordance with the present invention is discussed and is referred to herein as the scented liquid refill apparatus 70. The scented liquid refill apparatus 70 includes a watering can-shaped body 72 having a scented fluid reservoir 74 (FIG. 4) therein. The scented fluid reservoir 74 is at least partially filled with scented fluid 76 (FIG. 4). The scented fluid reservoir 74 includes a dispensing passage 78 (FIG. 4) extending through a spout portion 80 of the watering can-shaped body 72. The dispensing passage 78 enables the scented fluid 76 to be dispensed from the scented fluid reservoir 74 through the spout portion 80.

The scented liquid refill apparatus 70 serves a means for refilling the scent-emitting article 16 of the air freshening apparatus 10 with a supply of scent-emitting composition (e.g., scented oil). A cap 82 is engagable within the dispensing passage 78 of the watering can-shaped body 72 for preventing unintended spillage of the scented fluid 76. The watering can-shaped body 72 includes a handle portion 84, which may be engaged by the hook-shaped support member 20 of the air freshening apparatus 10 thereby providing for storage of the scented liquid refill apparatus 70. Together, the air freshening apparatus 10 and the scented liquid refill apparatus 70 form an air freshening system, which jointly provide for air freshening functionality.

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 present 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 embodiments of the present invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical, mechanical, chemical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of such inventive disclosures. 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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

14th Annual Independent Inventors Conference
WWW.USPTO.GOV

The 14th Annual Independent Inventors Conference, co-sponsored by the United States Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Inventors Hall of Fame® Foundation, will be held in Alexandria, VA at the US Patent and Trademark Office campus on November 5-6, 2009.

A pre-conference workshop (November 4, 2009 from 5pm – 7pm) is included with your registration for anyone interested in learning patent basics and how they protect inventions. This workshop is for beginners and is a good foundation for the conference.

USPTO presenters will include David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Roger Kilmer, Director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) . Don Skomsky inventor and winner of NASA's International Create the Future new technology competition.

Registration is now open for this 2-day event. The fee is $120 per person for both days. The registration fee includes all sessions and presentations, morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch for both days.

Thursday evening's networking reception is being sponsored by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO)

For additional information about this event you can call the Inventors Assistance Program at 571-272-8850.

If you have questions about registration or difficulty registering please contact the National Inventors Hall of Fame® Foundation at 330-849-6877.

For more information go to WWW.GAPATENTS.COM or WWW.GOOGLE.COM.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Commerce Under Secretary Awards 600,000th Design Patent
Patent issued to Goal Zero, a subsidiary of Provo Craft and Novelty
WWW.USPTO.GOV


WASHINGTON – Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos was joined by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today to award design patent number 600,000 to Goal Zero, a subsidiary of Provo Craft and Novelty, and a small business located in Spanish Fork, Utah. The patent was granted for the design of a battery system, which works in conjunction with a solar briefcase that recharges the system using sunlight. This patent exemplifies the blending of green technology and appealing design.

"Today, small- and medium-sized businesses play a vital role in driving innovation and the growth of our economy," said Under Secretary Kappos. "Design patent protection can be a smart business strategy in a company’s intellectual property portfolio. They are an efficient and cost effective way to give an owner the right to prevent others from making, using, or selling a product that closely resembles the patented product."

“Small businesses such as Utah-based Goal Zero create 70 percent of all jobs in the U.S.,” Hatch said. “They are the economic engine that drives our economy, and they are largely responsible for the innovation that has kept our nation at the forefront of the world’s economy. I salute Goal Zero and Provo Craft and Novelty on the occasion of their being awarded design patent number 600,000. I think these two companies admirably reflect on the tremendously skilled, entrepreneurial and high-tech workforce that is increasingly making Utah the place to do business.”

Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc., was founded in 1964 and manufactures and distributes craft, hobby, and education products for school projects, as well as portable batteries, battery packs, and solar briefcases. Its products are sold worldwide. Goal Zero LLC is a subsidiary of Provo Craft and Novelty.

Design patents are granted for new, original, or ornamental designs for articles of manufacture. They are intended to give encouragement to the decorative arts and promote commerce by giving designers an incentive to make their products more aesthetically appealing to consumers. The first design patent was issued in 1842 to George Bruce of New York City for printing types. Design patents provide exclusive rights to their owners for a term of 14 years from the date of issuance. More than 23,400 design patents were issued in fiscal year 2009. For more information go to WWW.GAPATENTS.COM or WWW.GOOGLE.COM.

Friday, October 16, 2009

United States Patent 7,284,333
WWW.USPTO.GOV
Lawler
October 23, 2007

Chainsaw kickback protection device

Abstract

A chainsaw kickback protection device includes a chain guard and a mounting bracket assembly. The chain guard includes an elongated guard body and a chain-engaging member. The elongated guard body has a channel extending along at least a portion of its length. The chain-engaging member is disposed within the channel extending at least partially along a length of the channel. The mounting bracket assembly includes a mounting bracket and a connection structure. The connection structure is resiliently and pivotably connected between the mounting bracket and the elongated guard body. The connection structure biases the elongated guard body to a non-displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket. The connection structure enables the entire elongated guard body to move from the non-displaced orientation to a displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket.
Inventors: Lawler; Julie (Rio Rico, AZ)
Appl. No.: 11/417,818
Filed: May 4, 2006
Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application Number Filing Date Patent Number Issue Date
60678739 May., 2005

Current U.S. Class: 30/382 ; 30/371
Current International Class: B26B 17/02 (20060101)
Field of Search: 30/370,371,381,382,383,286
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents

3059673 October 1962 Woleslagle
3182695 May 1965 Rigoni
3384136 May 1968 McDonagh et al.
3808684 May 1974 Ludwig
4193193 March 1980 Holzworth
4257162 March 1981 Pardon
4447953 May 1984 Lombardino et al.
4841641 June 1989 Laidlaw
4991297 February 1991 Cain
Primary Examiner: Payer; Hwei-Siu C.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Simmons; David O. Galasso & Associates, LP
WWW.GAPATENTS.COM

Parent Case Text


CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent application claims priority to co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application having Ser. No. 60/678,739 filed May, 6, 2005 entitled "chainsaw kickback protector", having a common applicant herewith and being incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.
Claims


What is claimed is:

1. A chainsaw kickback protection device, comprising: an elongated chain guard having a chain-receiving channel extending at least partially along a length thereof; and a mounting bracket assembly including a mounting bracket and a connection structure, wherein the connection structure comprises: spaced apart springs in an over-under orientation; spaced apart hinges in side-by-side orientation each spaced apart hinge comprising a pivot pin; and a dust boot to cover and protect the spaced apart hinges and the spaced apart springs; wherein the connection structure is connected between the mounting bracket and the elongated chain guard, wherein the connection structure biases the elongated chain guard to a non-displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket and wherein the connection structure enables the entire elongated chain guard to move from the non-displaced orientation to a displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket.

2. The chainsaw kickback protection device of claim 1 wherein the connection structure limits movement of the elongated chain guard to pivoting about a single pivot axis.

3. The chainsaw kickback protection device of claim 2 wherein the single pivot axis extends substantially at a right angle to a longitudinal centerline of the elongated chain guard and substantially transverse to the chain-receiving channel.

4. The chainsaw kickback protection device of claim 1 wherein: the elongated chain guard has an open bottom face and a closed top face opposite the open bottom face; and the connection structure limits movement of the elongated chain guard to pivoting in an up direction and a down direction with respect to the open bottom face and the closed top face.

5. The chainsaw kickback protection device of claim 1 wherein: the elongated chain guard includes an elongated guard body and a chain-engaging member; the chain-receiving channel is within the elongated guard body; and the chain-engaging member is disposed within the channel extending at least partially along a length of the chain-receiving channel.

6. The chainsaw kickback protection device of claim 5 wherein: the elongated guard body is made of a polymeric material having a first flexural strength.

7. The chainsaw kickback protection device of claim 6 wherein: the elongated guard body has an open bottom face and a closed top face opposite the open bottom face; and the connection structure limits movement of the elongated guard body to pivoting in an up direction and a down direction with respect to the open bottom face and the closed top face.

8. A chainsaw kickback protection device, comprising: a chain guard including an elongated guard body and a chain-engaging member, wherein the elongated guard body has a channel extending along at least a portion of its length and wherein the chain-engaging member is disposed within the channel extending at least partially along a length of the channel; and a mounting bracket assembly including a mounting bracket and a connection structure, wherein the connection structure comprises: spaced apart springs in an over-under orientation; spaced apart hinges in side-by-side orientation each spaced apart hinge comprising a pivot pin; and a dust boot to cover and protect the spaced apart hinges and the spaced apart springs; wherein the connection structure is resiliently and pivotably connected between the mounting bracket and the elongated guard body, wherein the connection structure biases the elongated guard body to a non-displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket and wherein the connection structure enables the entire elongated guard body to move from the non-displaced orientation to a displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket.

9. The chainsaw kickback protection device of claim 8 wherein the connection structure limits movement of the chain guard to pivoting about a single pivot axis.

10. The chainsaw kickback protection device of claim 9 wherein the single pivot axis extends substantially at a right angle to a longitudinal centerline of the chain guard and substantially transverse to the channel.

11. The chainsaw kickback protection device of claim 8 wherein: the chain guard has an open bottom face and a closed top face opposite the open bottom face; and the connection structure limits movement of the chain guard to pivoting in an up direction and a down direction with respect to the open bottom face and the closed top face.

12. The chainsaw kickback protection device of claim 8 wherein: the elongated guard body is made of a polymeric material having a first flexural strength; the chain-engaging member is made of a polymeric material having a second flexural strength.

13. The chainsaw kickback protection device of claim 12 wherein: the elongated guard body has an open bottom face and a closed top face opposite the open bottom face; and the connection structure limits movement of the elongated guard body to pivoting in an up direction and a down direction with respect to the open bottom face and the closed top face.

14. A chainsaw, comprising: an engine block assembly; a chain bar attached to and extending from the engine block assembly; and a chainsaw kickback protection device attached to the engine block assembly and extending directly over a top portion of the chain bar, wherein the chainsaw kickback protection device includes a chain guard, a mounting bracket and a connection structure having spaced apart springs in an over-under orientation and spaced apart hinges in side-by-side orientation each spaced apart hinge comprising a pivot pin; and a dust boot to cover and protect the spaced apart hinges and the spaced apart springs; wherein the connection structure is connected between the mounting bracket and the chain guard, wherein the mounting bracket is fixedly attached to the engine block assembly, wherein the chain guard has an elongated chain-receiving channel extending at least partially along a length of the chain guard, wherein the connection structure biases the chain guard to a non-displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket and wherein the connection structure enables the entire chain guard to move from the non-displaced orientation to a displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket.

15. The chainsaw of claim 14 wherein: the connection structure limits movement of the chain guard to pivoting about a single pivot axis; and the single pivot axis extends substantially at a right angle to a longitudinal centerline of the chain guard and substantially transverse to the chain-receiving channel.

16. The chainsaw of claim 14 wherein: the chain guard has an open bottom face and a closed top face opposite the open bottom face; and the connection structure limits movement of the chain guard to pivoting in an up direction and a down direction with respect to the open bottom face and the closed top face.

17. The chainsaw of claim 14 wherein: the chain guard includes an elongated guard body and a chain-engaging member; the chain-receiving channel is within the elongated guard body; and the chain-engaging member is disposed within the channel extending at least partially along a length of the chain-receiving channel.

18. The chainsaw of claim 17 wherein: the elongated guard body is made of a polymeric material having a first flexural strength and; the chain-engaging member is made of a polymeric material having a second flexural strength.

19. The chainsaw of claim 18 wherein: the elongated guard body has an open bottom face and a closed top face opposite the open bottom face; and the connection structure limits movement of the elongated guard body to pivoting in an up direction and a down direction with respect to the open bottom face and the closed top face.
Description


FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The disclosures made herein relate generally to chainsaw accessory items and, more particularly, to chainsaw kickback protection devices.

BACKGROUND

The use of hand-held chainsaws has become quite prevalent. They are used as tools of the trade by professionals such as, for example, loggers, tree trimmers and the like. Homeowners also use chainsaws for both routine and major yard projects. The use of a chainsaw brings with it the potential for severe injury. One of the main causes of injury is so-called chainsaw "kickback", which is characterized as a saw portion of the chainsaw being thrown in upward and backward toward the operator. One examples of a situation that cause chainsaw kickback is a chain of the chainsaw striking a knot in wood being cut. Another example is an upper run of the chain (i.e., the chain above a chain bar of the chainsaw) engaging a branch or log while a lower run of the chain is cutting a piece of wood. Regardless of the specific situation that causes kickback, the chainsaw kicks-back and, if the operator is unprepared, the momentum may carry the chain saw back far enough, allowing the upper run of the chain to strike the operator in the chest or head thereby causing severe injury.

To overcome this problem, various chain saw guards have been proposed to minimize this problem. While satisfactory, perhaps, these conventional chainsaw guards generally have been found to have certain drawbacks. For example, some are rather complicated in construction and cumbersome to use. Others do not allow for ready attachment to a variety of different types of chain saws, nor afford easy assembly and disassembly. Still others do not allow for ready viewing of the chain, while at the same time affording protection to the operator from flying debris and the possibility of kickback. Still others do not at least partially conceal the saw chain during kickback.

Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a chain saw guard that overcomes drawbacks associated with conventional chainsaw guards in a useful, advantageous and novel manner.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

In one embodiment of the present invention, a chainsaw kickback protection device includes an elongated chain guard and a mounting bracket assembly. The elongated chain guard has a chain-receiving channel extending at least partially along a length thereof. The mounting bracket assembly includes a mounting bracket and a connection structure. The connection structure is connected between the mounting bracket and the elongated chain guard. The connection structure biases the elongated chain guard to a non-displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket. The connection structure enables the entire elongated chain guard to move from the non-displaced orientation to a displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a chainsaw kickback protection device includes a chain guard and a mounting bracket assembly. The chain guard includes an elongated guard body and a chain-engaging member. The elongated guard body has a channel extending along at least a portion of its length. The chain-engaging member is disposed within the channel and extends at least partially along a length of the channel. The mounting bracket assembly includes a mounting bracket and a connection structure. The connection structure is resiliently and pivotably connected between the mounting bracket and the elongated guard body. The connection structure biases the elongated guard body to a non-displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket. The connection structure enables the entire elongated guard body to move from the non-displaced orientation to a displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a chainsaw includes an engine block assembly, a chain bar attached to and extending from the engine block assembly and a chainsaw kickback protection device attached to the engine block assembly and extending directly over a top portion of the chain bar. The chainsaw kickback protection device includes a chain guard, a mounting bracket and a connection structure. The connection structure is connected between the mounting bracket and the chain guard. The mounting bracket is fixedly attached to the engine block assembly. The chain guard has an elongated chain-receiving channel extending at least partially along a length of the chain guard. The connection structure is connected between the mounting bracket and the chain guard. The connection structure biases the chain guard to a non-displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket. The connection structure enables the entire chain guard to move from the non-displaced orientation to a displaced orientation with respect to the mounting bracket.

Turning now to specific aspects of the present invention, in at least one embodiment, the connection structure limits movement of the elongated chain guard to pivoting about a single pivot axis.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the single pivot axis extends substantially at a right angle to a longitudinal centerline of the elongated chain guard and substantially transverse to the chain-receiving channel.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the elongated chain guard has an open bottom face and a closed top face opposite the open bottom face, and the connection structure limits movement of the elongated chain guard to pivoting in an up direction and a down direction with respect to the open bottom face and the closed top face.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the elongated chain guard includes an elongated guard body and a chain-engaging member, the chain-receiving channel is within the elongated guard body, and the chain-engaging member is disposed within the channel extending at least partially along a length of the chain-receiving channel.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the elongated guard body is made of a polymeric material having a first flexural strength and a first durometer, the chain-engaging member is made of a polymeric material having a second flexural strength and a second durometer, and the first flexural strength and the first durometer are greater than the second flexural strength and the second durometer, respectively.

These and other objects, embodiments, advantages and/or distinctions of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification, associated drawings and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a chainsaw kickback protection device in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 shows the chainsaw kickback protection device in combination with a conventional chainsaw.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

FIGS. 1-4 show various aspects of a chainsaw kickback protection device in accordance with the present invention. The chainsaw kickback protection device shown in FIGS. 1-4 is referred to herein as the chainsaw kickback protection device 10. The chainsaw kickback protection device 10 overcomes drawbacks associated with conventional chainsaw guards and provides for kickback protection functionality in a useful, advantageous and novel manner.

The chainsaw kickback protection device 10 includes a chain guard 12 and a mounting bracket assembly 14. The chain guard 12 includes an elongated guard body 16 and a chain-engaging member 18. The elongated guard body 16 has a channel 20 (FIGS. 2 and 3) extending along at least a portion of its length. The chain-engaging member 18 is disposed within the channel 20 and is engaged with an entire portion of a surface of the elongated guard body 16 that defines the channel 20. It is disclosed herein that, optionally, the chain-engaging member 18 may be engaged with less than the entire portion of the surface of the elongated guard body 16 that defines the channel 20. Furthermore, it is disclosed herein that the chain-engaging member 18 may be omitted or may be removably attached to allow for its replacement.

As shown, the elongated guard body 16 has a v-shaped cross-sectional profile in the region that defines the channel 20. Optionally, however, the elongated guard body 16 may have a different cross-sectional profile in the region that defines the channel 20 (e.g., u-shaped). The present invention is not limited to the elongated guard body 16 having a particular cross-sectional shape in the region that defines the channel 20.

The mounting bracket assembly 14 includes a mounting bracket 22 and a connection structure 24. The mounting bracket may be configured in a universal manner for being attached to almost any brand/model of chainsaw or may be configured for attachment to a particular brand/model of chainsaw. The connection structure 24 is resiliently and pivotably connected between the mounting bracket 22 and the elongated guard body 16. In a specific embodiment as depicted in FIG. 3, the connection structure 24 includes spaced apart hinges 26 (only one shown in the cross sectional view) and spaced apart springs 27. The spaced apart hinges 26 are in a side-by side orientation connected between the mounting bracket 22 and the elongated guard body 16. The spaced apart springs 27 are in an over-under orientation engaged between the mounting bracket 22 and the elongated guard body 16 (i.e., constrained within respective pockets of the mounting bracket 22 and the elongated guard body 16). A pivot axis A1 extends through pivot pins 28 of each one of the hinges 26. The pivot axis A1 extends substantially at a right angle to a longitudinal centerline L1 of the elongated chain guard 16 and substantially transverse a plane that effectively bisects the channel 20. In this manner, the connection structure limits movement of the elongated chain guard to pivoting about a single pivot axis (i.e., pivot axis A1).

The spaced apart springs 27 bias the elongated guard body 16 to a non-displaced orientation N with respect to the mounting bracket 22 and enables the entire elongated guard body 16 to move from the non-displaced orientation N to a displaced orientation D with respect to the mounting bracket 22. The connection structure 24 further includes a resilient dust boot 34 that covers and protects the spaced apart hinges 26 and the spaced apart springs 27 from contaminants and damage.

It is disclosed herein that the present invention is not limited to a particular configuration of connection structure. Thus, a connection structure in accordance with the present invention may utilize various types and combinations of elements for enabling directionally constrained displacement. For example, in a broad interpretation, the elongated chain guard 16 has an open bottom face 32 and a closed top face 30 opposite the open bottom face 32. The connection structure 24 limits movement of the elongated chain guard to pivoting in an up direction and a down direction with respect to the open bottom face 32 and the closed top face 30.

In one embodiment, the elongated guard body is preferably made of a first polymeric material having a first flexural strength and a first durometer and the chain-engaging member is preferably made of a second polymeric material having a second flexural strength and a second durometer. Furthermore, the first flexural strength and the first durometer are preferably greater than the second flexural strength and the second durometer, respectively. Polymeric materials such as nylon and polypropylene are examples of the first polymeric material and polymeric materials such as thermoplastic elastomers and high-density foams are examples of the second polymeric material.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the chainsaw kickback protection device 10 is shown in combination with a chainsaw 50. The chainsaw 50 includes an engine block assembly 52 and a chain bar 54. The chain bar 54 is attached to and extends from the engine block assembly 52. A sawing chain 56 is rotatably engaged with chain bar 54. As is consistent with operation of a chainsaw, a drive portion of an engine such as a clutch arrangement (not shown) causes the chain to rotate, thereby facilitating cutting action.

The chainsaw kickback protection device 10 is attached to the engine block assembly 52 via the mounting bracket 22. The chainsaw kickback protection device 10 extends directly over a top portion 58 of the chain bar 54. Furthermore, the chainsaw kickback protection device 10 preferably, but not necessarily, extends along an entire length of the chain bar 54.

In operation, the chainsaw 50 may exhibit kickback, which is a condition where the saw portion (i.e., chain bar 54 and saw chain 56) is thrown upward and backward toward the operator. During such kickback, the chainsaw kickback protection device 10 is configured for enabling the elongated guard body 16 to move from the non-displaced orientation N to the displaced orientation D such that the saw portion is partially concealed by the channel 20 (i.e., the chain-receiving channel) to limit the potential for a body of a person to come into contact with the saw chain 56. Additionally, the chainsaw kickback protection device 10 may be configured such that the elongated guard body 16 moves sufficiently to allow the chain-engaging member 18 to engage the saw chain 56 thereby causing the saw chain 56 to decelerate and, thus, limit potential injury to the operator.

In one embodiment, to enable movement of the elongated guard body 16, the connection structure 14 is configured for enabling the elongated guard body 16 to move from the non-displaced orientation N toward the displaced orientation D when a suitable force is physically applied thereto. For example, when the kickback causes the elongated guard body 16 to hit the body of the operator with sufficient force, the elongated guard body 16 moves from the non-displaced orientation N toward the displaced orientation D. When the elongated guard body 16 hits the body of the operator with sufficient force, the elongated guard body 16 is displaced far enough toward the displaced orientation D so as to cause the chain-engaging member 18 to engage the saw chain 56.

In another embodiment, to enable movement of the elongated guard body 16, the connection structure 14 is configured for enabling the elongated guard body 16 to move from the non-displaced orientation N toward the displaced orientation D when a suitable inertial force is generated by motion of the chainsaw 50 caused the kickback. Accordingly, the actual degree of displacement from the non-displaced orientation to the displaced orientation D is proportional to the magnitude of the kickback action. With a sufficiently large kickback action, the inertial force causes the elongated guard body 16 to displace far enough toward the displaced orientation D so as to cause the chain-engaging member 18 to engage the saw chain 56.

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 present 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 embodiments of the present invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical, mechanical, chemical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of such inventive disclosures. 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.