Important U.S. Patents, 1996-2002

Important U.S. Patents, 1996-2002

Information is excerpted from documents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office home page and as such is the property of someone entirely unaffiliated with and unknown to Suburban Underground and The OOW.



Human Head's Scalp Scrubber, Cleanser and Dryer
Infant Regurgitation Measuring Chair
Finger Puppet Eating Utensil
Disposable Garment with Inspection Porthole
Santa Claus Detector
Pet Breath Ameliorator
Pet Therapeutic Massager Glove
Discrete wafer assembled cookie and method of making same



Human head's scalp scrubber, cleanser and dryer (#5,655,257)

In bonded on or cabled hair replacement systems, sometimes referred to as "bonded/cabled" hair systems, a natural, semi-natural or artificial hair piece (hereinafter referred to as a "hair piece") is permanently secured over the bald area of a person's head by cable, sewing and/or gluing. This type of accessory is generally known in the industry as a "hair replacement unit," and is, typically, attached along the sides and back portions of the hair piece and the immediately adjacent portions of the wearer's head. Additionally, a piece of double faced tape is used to tack down the front (or, "vent") of the hair piece.

With such a "permanent" attachment method, the hair piece can be worn confidently in virtually all circumstances, such as while swimming, in high winds, and other conditions that would be adverse to a non bonded/cabled on hair piece. Unfortunately, such bonded/cabled systems do not breath well and consequently, neither does the scalp underneath such a hair piece. The result is a buildup of bacteria and dead skin between the scalp and the hair piece. Unpleasant odors are also very evident. To address this problem, Apollo has suggested lifting the hair piece vent, where the unit is only taped on, and using a tooth brush to scrub the otherwise covered scalp. Apparently, Apollo franchises have regularly suggested this approach for at least 14 years. Unfortunately, because the hair piece is attached fairly tight, the use of a tooth brush for cleansing has very limited application. A toothbrush is too short, too thick, too awkward to use, can only be used on a limited portion of the covered scalp and has the potential of spreading bacteria because the bristles are closely spaced and firmly imbedded in bore holes which trap dirt. Additionally, the user runs the risk that, by using a tooth brush, a portion of the bonding or cabling will be torn, loosened or otherwise dislodged.

It is an object of the present invention to design a scalp scrubbing instrument which overcomes the drawbacks of a toothbrush, and which is easily utilized under substantially all replacement hair systems to effectively clean the covered scalp, to control bacteria, to remove dead skin and to otherwise improve scalp health and eliminate unpleasant odors.



Infant Regurgitation Measuring Chair (#6,334,647)

The present invention relates to chairs for infants and more particularly pertains to a new infant regurgitation measuring chair for collecting and measuring the quantity of regurgitation from an infant.

The use of chairs for infants is known in the prior art. More specifically, chairs for infants heretofore devised and utilized are known to consist basically of familiar, expected and obvious structural configurations, notwithstanding the myriad of designs encompassed by the crowded prior art which have been developed for the fulfillment of countless objectives and requirements.

In use, an infant is placed in the infant regurgitation measuring chair. The infant is strapped into the chair using the strap members connected to the seat portion. When the infant regurgitates the regurgitation flows down the tray and into the collection container where the regurgitation can be measured.



Finger Puppet Eating Utensil (#5,848,928)

The invented grasping device is designed for use as a protective finger covering which allows a user to grasp small objects and, which, also becomes an entertaining novelty device which may carry artwork or other indicia exemplifying a face which can be articulated as the device is applied and worn on a user's fingers, thus creating create a puppet that appears to open and close at its mouth.

In addition, the resulting configuration of the puppet as it is being worn on the index finger and thumb is small in size and because it allows greater use of the user's own finger and hand dexterity, the user is then able to reach into confined areas such as a potato chip bag or cookie box to retrieve small food objects.

The puppet prevents direct contact between the fingers and, the food being eaten and is applicable in any situation where foods are normally eaten with one's fingers. The device takes advantage of the user's own natural finger and hand dexterity involving the joints and muscles used in picking up small objects. Putting on and removing the device is easily accomplished due to the finger-lock slits located on each end of the one-piece sheet. The simple one-piece design also minimizes production costs and steps. While a preferred embodiment of the invented grasping device and puppet combination has been disclosed, changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.



Disposable garment with inspection porthole (#6,213,992)

The present invention relates to disposable, absorbent garments and, more particularly, to a disposable garment in which an inspection porthole with a flexible cover is provided on the rear portion of the garment to enable a caretaker to selectively and easily determine whether the garment is soiled.

While many advancements have been made in the field of disposable garments for both infants and adults, which have enabled them to be widely preferred over conventional cloth garments, a number of problems still exist. Among the problems experienced with these disposable garments is the inability to determine whether the garment has been soiled without substantially removing the garment. It is desirable to detect soiling of the garment as soon after it occurs as possible, in order to reduce the occurrence of diaper rashes and other skin irritations and infections. Diapers and other disposable garments have traditionally been produced with opaque back or outer sheets to provide a sanitary appearance for the diaper. Unfortunately, however, the opaqueness of the sheets also serves to conceal the presence of waste material in the diaper.

Currently, there are a limited number of options available to a caretaker for determining whether a garment, such as a diaper, has been soiled. The first of these options is to smell the diaper in order to detect the odor of stool or urine. While this option is non-intrusive to the wearer, it is highly subject to error, since the deodorants applied to the diaper may mask the odor of the waste. Another option is for the caretaker to at least partially remove the garment from the wearer to see whether it is soiled. While this method is more accurate, it is also more invasive and inconvenient, requiring at least a partial removal of the wearer's clothing and diaper. A third option for inspecting the diaper is for the caretaker to stick a finger into the rear portion of the diaper to "feel" whether it is soiled.

While this method also tends to be very accurate, it can be a rather inconvenient and/or unpleasant experience for at least the caretaker.

Accordingly, to overcome the above and other problems, it is desirable to have a disposable, absorbent garment which includes an inspection porthole for determining whether the garment has been soiled without removing the garment. Further, it is desirable to have such a garment in which the inspection porthole is concealed when not in use in order to preserve the sanitary outer appearance of the garment.



Santa Claus Detector (#5,523,741)

The present invention relates to a children's device having illumination means associated therewith. More particularly, the invention relates to a device for signaling the arrival of Santa Claus.

To young children, the arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve is an event filled with joy. Indeed, it is the culmination of days filled with great anticipation and expectation. According to modern folklore, if a child has behaved during the previous year, Santa Claus will reward the child by placing one or more Christmas presents under the Christmas tree while the child is asleep. To prepare for the arrival of Santa Claus, most households recognizing the Christmas holidays will decorate and prominently display the Christmas tree and hang (or display) various decorations, including Christmas stockings. The stockings are hung by the fireplace (i.e., where Santa enters) and are also filled with small presents and/or treats by Santa upon his arrival.

Thus, in the minds of young children, Santa Claus' arrival is denoted by the presence of Christmas presents under the tree and/or Christmas stockings filled with treats. However, none of these customary practices, nor any prior art arrangements known to applicant, provides a Christmas stocking which is capable of being selectively illuminated to signal the arrival of Santa Claus. Furthermore, there are no such prior art arrangements known to applicant which includes a light transmissive three dimensional hollow recognizable character rendition which is capable of being illuminated to signal the arrival of Santa Claus.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a children's device capable of providing selective illumination to signal the arrival of Santa Claus. This is particularly important to young children, providing reassurance that the child's good behavior has in fact been rewarded by Santa Claus.



Pet breath ameliorator (#6,309,676)

An oral hygienic compound and method for use in domesticated animals such as cats and dogs. The primary component of the oral hygienic compound is pure, natural garlic.

The present invention relates to the field of pet hygiene. More particularly, the present invention relates to controlling breath odor in pets. More particular yet, the present invention involves both a method and composition for controlling breath odor in pets such as dogs. Most particularly, the present invention involves the treatment and control of breath odor in pets by dispensing uncooked garlic in powder form to such pets.

As all pet owners are aware, the smell of a pet's breath can be rank enough to repulse the pets' owners, as well as the owners' friends and relatives, thereby adversely affecting the emotional bond between dog and human.

The observation by the inventor that something had caused the breath of her several dogs of various sizes and age to become unoffensive provided the stimulus to experiment with food and eventually led to the inventor's discovery that raw garlic greatly improved bad breath in dogs (and, by extension, other mammals kept as pets). Since the dogs were regularly fed "people food" in the form of table scraps and cooking samples, which they craved, it seemed reasonable to the inventor to conclude that something in the food that the dogs had managed to beg from the cook was effecting a reduction in the dogs' bad breath. In order to identify which of the various daily cooking ingredients had caused the change in the dogs' breath, the inventor conducted a series of tests on her six dogs over testing periods of two days each. The medium upon which varied ingredients were placed was ground beef. The ingredients tested included:

  1. onions browned in olive oil and mixed with fried ground beef.
  2. garlic browned in olive oil and mixed with fried ground beef.
  3. garlic and onions browned in olive oil and mixed with fried ground beef;
  4. garlic and onions browned in olive oil and cooked with canned tomatoes (tomatoes being known for their ability to eliminate certain odors, such as skunk) and mixed with fried ground beef;
  5. ground beef patties coated with onion powder and then broiled;
  6. ground beef patties coated with garlic powder and then broiled;
  7. ground beef patties coated with ground sage and then broiled.

Each of items #1 through #7, when cooled and fed to the dogs, produced no change in the dogs' bad breath. After considering these results, testing procedures were then re-evaluated, leading to the belief that certain spices introduced after cooking might have caused the elimination of the dogs' offensive breath. Accordingly, the following combinations were fed to the dogs over a testing period of two days for each recipe:

  1. broiled ground beef patties sprinkled after cooking with onion powder;
  2. broiled ground beef patties sprinkled after cooking with ground sage;
  3. broiled ground beef patties sprinkled after cooking with Parmesan cheese;
  4. broiled ground beef patty sprinkled after cooking with garlic powder.

None of items #8 through #10, when fed to the dogs, produced any change in the dogs' bad breath. However, feeding the dogs ground beef coated with garlic powder (Item #11) resulted in the elimination of all offensive dog breath odor.

To confirm these results, garlic powder was administered to two additional dogs and to two litters, each litter consisting of 6 puppies. In all 14 animals, bad breath--including "puppy breath"--was eliminated. Thus, garlic in its uncooked state was verified as means for eliminating bad breath in dogs.



Pet Therapeutic Massager Glove (#5,577,273)

Pets are similar to people in that they have a skeletal and muscular system that is subject to aches and pains, too. Unfortunately, the pet cannot explain where it hurts. As massage therapy is good for people's health by increasing blood flow to injured body areas, massage therapy and grooming can be similarly helpful for pets. However, a large, noisy, power-operated device placed directly on a pet's body would frighten most pets as they do not understand the nature of the device being placed upon them. The sight alone of such a device would likely create immediate tension within the pet.

This invention provides a glove for use with a power-operated massager comprising a thumbless glove for fitting onto either hand of a user. The glove has a palm side, a back side, finger extensions of the sides, and an opening for receiving a thumb.



Discrete wafer assembled cookie and method of making same (#5,731,020)

A food product comprising a plurality of preformed discrete wafers being selectively assembled by the consumer into a multi-layer cookie or snack having desired layers of edible food product such as a potato chip or corn chip, etc. with one or more selectable intermediate layer(s) or filler substances such as chocolate, peanut butter spread, etc. disposed between the outer cookie/chip layers. The preformed and packaged layers enable the snack food item to be selectively assembled and arranged by the consumers to suit his/her individual taste and to enable the consumers to experiment with multiple sandwich/cookie constituent ingredient combinations/arrangements.

The present invention relates to food products and so-called snack foods and, more particularly, to a multilayered cookie like product wherein intermediate discrete preformed filler layers may be selectively used between the outer chip or cookie layers to form a selective variety of different combinations of said layers.

This invention relates in general to a food product and more particularly, to a snack type food. In the past several years, a plenteous variety of cookies and other type snack foods have been introduced in the market place.

It is noted that such crispy products, in particular potato chips, are not used to form a sandwich snack with any intermediate filler containing oils, and/or moisture such as chocolate, peanut butter spreads, coconut, etc. because the crispy potato chip hitherto would quickly absorb the oils and/or moisture and become soggy.

Also, such prior art cookie snacks are pre-assembled into a single unified food item, which is in total contrast to the present invention that permits the end consumers to mix and match the cookies with a plurality of discrete intermediate filler wafer like layers.

Although many people do enjoy dipping crispy potato chips, corn chips and the like into peanut butter and/or chocolate etc., such food product combinations have not been provided in pre-packaged form because hitherto the crispy chips are known to become soggy within minutes after such dipping.

In total contrast to the prior art, the present invention provides both a method of substantially preventing a crispy chip such as potato chip from becoming soggy when used in a cookie or sandwich like arrangement including a filler food such as peanut butter and/or chocolate and/or jelly etc. In addition, the present invention provides a new and improved food product package which enables consumers selective combination of: a pair of spaced apart cookies or crispy chips with one or more intermediate layers of food items such as wafers of marshmallow and/or chocolate and/or peanut butter and/or jelly etc. The sandwich like arrangement is pressed together whereby the marshmallow may form an adhesive like layer between the crispy chips and the intermediate filler food or be of a firmer texture so as not to bond with the filler wafers. In this manner, it is noted that the wafered items do not degrade the crispy texture of the chips and/or cookies doing packaging, shipping and storage and each thereby maintains and provides their individualized and distinctive flavors. Also, in this manner the moisture and/or oils etc. contained within the filler wafer layers do not contaminate the chips and/or cookie and/or cracker constituent components doing storage and shipment.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved so-called snack food.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved sandwich type food product.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved filler type cookie.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a laminate food product containing one or more discrete manipulable wafer layers formulated to a firm or semi-firm consistency that will not disintegrate or dissolve or adhere to the fingers of the consumers with handling.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a plurality of crispy potato chips and/or cookies and/or crackers and a plurality of marshmallow wafers and a plurality of intermediate filler food wafers such as chocolate and/or peanut butter and/or jelly-jam and/or candy and/or coconut etc. in a containerized package to enable consumer assembly of a multiple of different layered/wafer snack food sandwich.

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