Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2365055 Summary

Third-party information liability

Some of the information on this Web page has been provided by external sources. The Government of Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information supplied by external sources. Users wishing to rely upon this information should consult directly with the source of the information. Content provided by external sources is not subject to official languages, privacy and accessibility requirements.

Claims and Abstract availability

Any discrepancies in the text and image of the Claims and Abstract are due to differing posting times. Text of the Claims and Abstract are posted:

  • At the time the application is open to public inspection;
  • At the time of issue of the patent (grant).
(12) Patent: (11) CA 2365055
(54) English Title: FOLDABLE/COLLAPSIBLE STRUCTURES
(54) French Title: STRUCTURES REPLIABLES/DEMONTABLES
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • A01K 1/00 (2006.01)
  • A01K 1/02 (2006.01)
  • A01K 1/03 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • LEE, WALTER (Australia)
  • AXELROD, GLEN (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • T.F.H. PUBLICATIONS, INC. (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • T.F.H. PUBLICATIONS, INC. (United States of America)
  • AXELROD, GLEN (United States of America)
(74) Agent: GOWLING WLG (CANADA) LLP
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2008-10-21
(86) PCT Filing Date: 2000-02-22
(87) Open to Public Inspection: 2000-08-31
Examination requested: 2001-08-22
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
09/255,117 United States of America 1999-02-22
09/266,389 United States of America 1999-03-11
09/334,529 United States of America 1999-06-16

English Abstract





The present invention relates to a collapsible/foldable structure (10)
suitable for a variety of applications, such as an animal shelter,
pet carrier transportation device, or a collapsible consumer storage container
in general, such as a cooler or ice chest. The structure (10)
comprises a top roof (28 and 30) and bottom platform (26) defining a top and
bottom of said structure and a vertically disposed lower side
section (20) on the bottom platform (26). Front (29) and rear walls (34) are
included. The structure (10) also includes a pair of sidewalls
(12, 14) each pivotally attached to the roof (28, 30) to facilitate inward
collapse of the sidewalls (12, 14) when the sidewalls (12, 14) are
pivoted toward the bottom platform (26). The sidewalls (12, 14) are defined by
an upper (16) and middle section (18) including the lower
vertically disposed side section (20), wherein the upper (16) and middle
sections (18) are pivotally attached to one another and the middle
(18) and lower sections (20) are pivotally attached to one another so that the
upper (16) and middle sidewall sections (18) can be pivoted
inwardly towards the bottom platform (26), to provide a compact collapsed
condition.


French Abstract

La présente invention concerne une structure repliable/démontable (10) adaptée pour plusieurs applications telles qu'un abri pour animaux, un dispositif de transport de cage pour animaux ou un récipient démontable de stockage de produits de consommation en général tel qu'une glacière. La structure (10) comprend un couvercle supérieur (28 et 30) et une plate-forme de fond (26) définissant une partie de haut et une partie de bas de la structure ainsi qu'une section latérale inférieure (20) disposée à la verticale sur cette plate-forme de fond (26). La structure (10) comprend des parois avant (29) et arrière (34), ainsi que deux parois latérales (12, 14) reliées chacune fixe au couvercle (28, 30) pour faciliter le démontage vers l'intérieur des parois latérales (12, 14) lorsque ces parois latérales (12, 14) pivotent vers la plate-forme de fond (26). Les parois latérales (12, 14) sont définies par une section supérieure (16) et une section médiane (18), y compris la section latérale inférieure (20) disposée à la verticale; les sections supérieure (16) et médiane (18) sont reliées pivotantes l'une à l'autre et les sections médiane (18) et inférieure (20) sont reliées pivotantes l'une à l'autre de sorte que les sections de parois latérales supérieure (16) et médiane (18) peuvent pivoter vers l'intérieur en direction de la plate-forme de fond (26), pour se trouver en position démontée compacte.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.




The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or
privilege is claimed are defined as follows:



1. A collapsible/foldable structure comprising:

a top roof and a bottom platform defining a top and bottom of said structure,
including
a vertically disposed lower side section on said bottom platform;

front and rear collapsible walls each movably attached to said vertically
disposed side
section to provide for movement of said front and rear walls;

said front wall having an opening for egress and ingress of an animal;

a pair of sidewalls each pivotally attached to said roof to facilitate inward
collapse of
said sidewalls when said sidewalls are pivoted toward said bottom platform,
said sidewalls
further containing upper and middle section, wherein said upper and middle
sections are
pivotally attached to one another so that said upper and middle sidewall
sections can be
pivoted inwardly towards said bottom platform;

and wherein said top roof further comprises a roof section pivotally attached
to the
upper sidewall sections, so that said roof section can collapse downwardly
along said
pivotable attachment toward said bottom platform;

said sidewalls having an outer and an inner surface thereof, and the middle
wall
section being pivotally attached to the vertically disposed lower side section
only along an
inner edge of the middle wall section to permit hinging of said middle
sidewall inwardly
toward said bottom platform, the upper wall section being pivotally attached
to said middle
wall section only at the outer edge thereof to permit said upper wall section
to collapse into
contact with the outer surface of said middle wall section, and said roof
section being
pivotally connected to said two upper sidewall sections only along the inner
edges thereof to
permit said top to be collapsed into contact with the inner surface of said
upper wall sections.

2. The structure of claim 1 wherein said sidewalls pivotally attached to said
roof, are
pivotally attached substantially along a length of said sidewalls, and said
pivotal
attachment comprises a living hinge.



33




3. The structure of claim 1 wherein said upper and middle sections pivotally
attached to
one another, are pivotally attached substantially along a length of said
sidewalls, and said
pivotal attachment comprises a living hinge.


4. The structure of claim 1 wherein said middle and lower sections that are
pivotally
attached to one another are pivotally attached substantially along a length of
said sidewalls,
and said pivotal attachment comprises a living hinge.


5. A collapsible pet housing structure comprising:

a floor panel having a pair of parallel sides and a pair of ends extending
between the
sides;

a pair of generally opposing walls hingedly attached to the parallel sides of
said floor
panel, each wall comprising at least two generally planar wall panels
connected to one
another by a hinge connection, each of the wall panels having an external
surface and an
internal surface, the internal surface of the wall panels of one wall facing
the internal surface
of the wall panels of the opposing wall, the hinge connection between the wall
panels
allowing the wall panels to cooperate with one another to retain the external
surfaces of the
wall panels at an angle greater than 180 degrees relative to one another, so
that the hinged
connection allows movement of the wall panels from:

a first position where the external surfaces of the wall panels are at an
acute angle
relative to one another when said wall panels are inwardly collapsed into the
housing and are
stored within the housing when in a collapsed condition;

and wherein the hinged connection allows movement of the wall panels to a
second
position where the external surfaces of the wall panels are retained at an
angle greater than
180 degrees relative to one another;

a roof panel extending between the walls and being hingedly connected to said
walls;
and

a pair of endwalls configured to retain the external surfaces of the wall
panels at the
second position relative to one another, so that the roof panel is supported
by said endwalls
when said wall panels are at the second position.



34

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


CA 02365055 2001-08-22

WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357
1 FOLDABLE/COLLAPSIBLE STRUCTURES
2 The present invention relates to foldable/collapsible structures, and more
3 particularly to a lightweight animal shelter having excellent thermal
insulating features
4 and ease of assembly/disassembly. The shelter can therefore be readily
converted into a
compact condition for ease of storage and/or transport, and also presents
itself as an
6 attractive or classic looking doghouse design when fully deployed. This
invention also
7 relates to a pet carrier transportation device and in particular to a
collapsible/foldable pet
8 carrier or portable structure that absorbs or isolates liquid waste that may
be present in the
9 carrier and which carrier design further provides a more sanitary condition
for the pet
when in transport. Furthermore, the present invention also relates to storage
containers,
I 1 including such containers as a cooler, or ice chest, which has generally
rigid walls, yet can
12 be collapsed or folded into a configuration which takes up much less space,
and can
13 therefore be easily stored and/or transported. Finally, the invention
herein also relates to
14 a collapsible structure in general, e.g., a collapsible consumer waster
container.
A fair amount of disclosures have been put forward in recent years, seeking to
16 develop a foldable/collapsible structure primarily for use as an animal
shelter. More
17 specifically, a number of pet houses and enclosures have been proposed with
the purpose
18 of providing a sleeping area for a pet and for confining a pet, when
necessary, for
19 example, when traveling. However, these structures have all tended to be
bulky, of
relatively high weight, difficult to move from one location to another, and
more
21 importantly, not sufficiently foldable/collapsible for ease of storage and
transport. Such
22 prior art designs also have not considered the development of a structure
that provides
23 appropriate thermal insulation, to thereby provide the pet with comfortable
shelter. In
24 short, to date, existing dog houses have been: 1. difficult to construct;
2. take up valuable
space in distribution and at retail outlets; 3. are difficult to transport for
both the
26 distributor and retailer; 4. are difficult for consumers to transport home
or to different
27 locations; and 5. are difficult for consumers to store when not in use.

28 For example, one early attempt at producing a collapsible animal cage is
reported
29 in U.S. Patent No. 3,896,766, which discloses a collapsible animal cage
formed of


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

I rectilinear welded wire fabric. The cage is said to have a front and rear
rectangular end
2 wall structure movable between an erected position and a folded position
overlying a
3 litter tray on the bottom of the cage, side wall structures intermediately
hinged between
4 their tops and bottoms and foldable over the end wall structures, and a top
hingedly
secured to the top of the side walls therein.

6 U.S. Patent No. 4,903,637 discloses what is termed a "container" to house or
carry
7 small household pets, that may be quickly and manually formed between an
erected use
8 mode and a flat folded storage mode. The container is of a gable roofed
house
9 configuration in its erected mode and comprises an interconnected structure
formed by
hingeably related rigid planar elements that occupy a relatively small volume
in the
11 folded storage mode. Handles carried by the roof provide aid in manual
carriage, and
12 releasable fasteners maintain either an erected or storage mode, and en end
wall provides
13 a selectively latchable door.

14 U.S. Patent No. 4,576,116 discloses a collapsible A-frame house providing a
common site for a cat to rest, exercise and play comprised of a roof of carpet-
like material
16 including two integral roof panels with their bottom edges connected to
opposing edges
17 of a floor panel also of a carpet-like material. Stiffening panels are
affixed onto the
18 backside of the roof panels. A cord with two ends slidably passes through
the peak into
19 the house, with cat amusement objects connected to each end. The cord
additionally
provides a manual handle for lifting the house. Collapsing the house for
storage or
21 transport, the house is initially lifted by the cord adjacent the peak. The
flexible nature of
22 the floor panels permits an outward folding or buckling of the floor along
its longitudinal
23 centerline to thereby completely collapse the house into a folded
condition.

24 U.S. Patent No. 4,520,758 discloses an animal house which is particularly
adaptable for use with cats. The house is formed of an elongated base adapted
to stand
26 substantially vertical and a platform at the upper end of the house to form
an animal
27 perch. The base is formed of a single piece of self-supporting material
with appropriate
28 fold lines being provided by either areas of weakening or by rigid material
at the location
2


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

1 of the fold lines or by appropriate hinges to permit folding. The base can
be formed of
2 three separate panels folded into a three-sided figure of triangular cross
section.
3 U.S. Patent No. 5,078,096 discloses a curvilinear, four-sided pyramidal
container
4 for housing and carriage of small household pets. The container provides a
flexible fabric
cover which defines optionally coverable mesh windows and an optionally
coverable
6 openable access door structure. The container carries a rigid bottom insert
and is
7 supported by a rod frame having a square, releasably interconnected bottom
element
8 formed of four interconnected semi-rigid rods and two arched, resiliently
deformable
9 support rods extending upwardly between opposed corners of the structure,
all said rods
carried in loops defined on the inner surface of the cover. The support rods
are
11 selectively removable to allow assembly and collapse of the structure for
storage.

12 U.S. Patent No. 5,121,710 discloses a collapsible doghouse to be used
indoors or
13 outdoors, to provide a comfortable and easy to clean place for a dog to
rest or seek shade.
14 The doghouse includes elongated side walls, a pair of distal walls, one of
which includes
an arched entranceway and another of which includes a cutout drainage slot, a
roof
16 portion, and a weightable base portion, all of which are securely, yet
easily removably
17 connected, and are formed of a substantially solid, yet flexible, water
repellent plastic
18 which will facilitate easy cleaning and drainage, and lightweight
transportation.

19 U.S. Patent No. 5,335,618 discloses a collapsible animal enclosure
comprising a
house unit with spaced side walls and a roof of pliable material, and opposite
ends
21 forming an enclosed area for housing an animal. Support bows extend
transversely across
22 the sidewalls and roof for holding the sidewalls and roof in an open,
spread apart
23 condition. The house unit can be collapsed between a fully erect condition
and a
24 collapsed condition in which the ends are pushed inwardly towards one
another,
collapsing a pliable material between the ends in an accordion-folded manner.
26 U.S. Patent No. 5,425,681 discloses an animal house, including a cap, a
base, four
27 posts and four walls secured together. Both the cap and base include a
groove formed in
28 the inner peripheral portion, and the posts each include two slots for
engaging with the
3


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/US00/04357

I edges of the walls so as to solidly secure the walls in place. The animal
house may be
2 folded into a compact configuration.
3 U.S. Patent No. 5,465,686 discloses a disposable, collapsible pet house
foldable
4 from a unitary blank of material received in a flat state, the house being
foldable from the
blank between a collapsed state for shipping, storage and disposal and an
enclosed, erect
6 state for use.
7 U.S. Patent No. 5,564,454 discloses a collapsible structure having front and
back
8 ends with front and back support members including a single central support
member to
9 pass in direct line along the cover means and thus support the entire
structure at roughly
the center of the cover means. The item may be sewn and easily manufactured in
a
11 fashion so that upon being collapsed it occupies the smallest possible
volume and has no
12 overlapping support members.

13 U.S. Patent No. 5,626,098 discloses a collapsible cage for dogs or rabbits
14 comprising a rectangular base, fold-down end walls and folding side walls
and a roof.
The walls and roof are made of metal grids. The end walls fold down onto the
base one
16 over the other. The sidewalls fold in the middle and are hinged at the top
to opposite
17 edges of the roof allowing the sidewalls and roof to collapse onto the base
over the end
18 walls. The base has a pull out tray and a pan and an access door is
provided in one of the
19 end walls. Releasable clips are provided to hold the walls and roof
together in an
elevated position of the structure.
21 U.S. Patent No. 5,727,502 discloses a collapsible pet home having a base,
side
22 walls, end walls and a roof which can be converted into an exercise pen for
the pet by
23 folding the end walls down onto the base, setting the base on end, and
using the base, side
24 walls and roof to form peripheral walls of the exercise pen. The entire
structure is said to
fold down into a compact package.
26 U.S. Patent No. 5,669,331 discloses a pet housing expandable to hold a pet
and
27 collapsible to suitcase size for manual transport including a pair of
platforms and first and
28 second pairs of spaced walls. The walls are pivotally attached at opposite
ends of the
29 platform and are hinged at intermediate positions for collapse and
expansion.

4


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/USOO/04357

1 U.S. Patent No. 5,752,470 discloses a collapsible system which can be used
for
2 portable pet houses, as well as for emergency housing in ties of disaster.
When using this
3 system, the structure will collapse by pushing in the sides from the middle,
and by letting
4 the front and back fold onto each other.

U.S. Patent No. 5,769,028 discloses a pet carrier including a main and insert
unit.
6 The main unit defines a carrying space having a closed bottom and four
sides, one of
7 which has an opening therethrough large enough to permit an animal to enter
the space
8 through the opening. The insert unit has a closed top, four sides, and an
open bottom.
9 After the animal has entered the main unit, the insert unit is lowered down
into the main
unit to close off the side opening. Then a foldable top closure for the main
unit is folded
11 to secure the carrier and form a handle structure for carrying the carrier.
Both units are
12 foldable and are structured to provide an enhanced strength carrier.

13 U.S. Patent No. 4,006,713 discloses a collapsible dog house with two
opposite
14 side walls, a front wall, a rear wall, a roof and a floor which are
separable components,
preferably made of marine plywood. The floor and roof are provided with
rectangular
16 skirts. The sidewalls are notched and grooved to interfit with the skirts
and front and rear
17 walls. Interlocking means are provided on the two skirts so that when the
skirts are in
18 confronting abutment they define the perimeter of a case whose sides are
the roof and
19 floor of the dog house.

U.S. Patent 4,109,427 discloses a foldable structure considered to be
primarily
21 useful as a doghouse. The structure is foldable between an expanded
configuration in
22 which parallel sidewalls are connected by a top, a bottom and parallel ends
and a folded
23 configuration in which the side walls are adjacent to one another. In order
to achieve a
24 folding action, the top, bottom and the ends each consists of a set of two
parts. The parts
of each of these sets extend beyond the sidewalls. A first group of hinges are
used to
26 pivotally connect the parts of each of the sets to the sidewalls. The
second group of
27 hinges are employed to connect the parts of each set midway between the
sidewalls.

28 U.S. Patent No. 4,195,593 discloses a portable pet-house which defines an A-

29 frame, the roof panel of which are pivoted at the top such that they are
collapsible into a
5


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/US00/04357

i generally planar, carrying mode, preferably being floor and end wall members
carried
2 internally between the roof panels when the unit is in its portable mode.

3 U.S. Patent No. 4,467,572 discloses a collapsible dwelling for animals,
including
4 a plurality of elements hingedly joined with each other which when in
assembled
relationship, cooperatively define an enclosure suitable for pets. All
elements are hinged
6 strategically since the elements can be partially disassembled and he
aggregate parts
7 stacked one upon the other, for inclusion within a container having a length
and width no
8 greater than that of the largest elements.

9 U.S. Patent No. 4,169,428 discloses a sleeping bag for pets formed from a
multiple ply padded sheet of deeply quilted material which is normally folded
along its
11 central portion with opposite halves in overlying relationship to form
lower and upper
12 layers and with the edge portions of each half in alignment with each
other.
13 PCT Application No. WO 97/47185 discloses a house for feeding small
animals,
14 especially dogs or cats made of a folded section of cardboard or other
foldable material
with an essentially square lower section forming a bottom and side walls and a
roof
16 shaped upper section, where the lower section has an access aperture for
the animal. The
17 lower and upper sections are made in one piece from a folded section, where
the upper
18 section can be fitted on and secure the lower section where there is t
least one removable
19 inlay of corrugated cardboard or another absorbent material covering the
bottom.
European Patent 0742 999B 1 discloses an animal shelter, comprising a box
21 having at least one strip curtain made of elastic material in front of an
entrance to the box
22 interior, characterized in that the strips are fastened in a releasable and
in particular too-
23 free, exchangeable manner in a clamp mounting which is fastened to the box.
24 Finally, as it relates to background art concerning foldable/collapsible
structures,
European Patent Application 0 3667 626 Al discloses a portable folding shelter
for
26 domestic animals. The shelter comprises a pair of sidewalls articulated at
the top edges
27 thereof to a respective sloping element in turn articulated to a central
element, a rear and a
28 front apertured wall articulated to the side edges of the sidewalls and
each foldable along
6


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

1 a middle vertical line, the roof of the shelter being provided with a
withdrawing holding
2 handle.
3 Turning to a background consideration relating to pet carriers, it is noted
that a
4 variety of pet carriers have been also been reported in the prior art, all
aimed in one form
or another to facilitate pet transportation. Specifically, pet carriers are
commonly used by
6 pet owners for carrying their pets on trips or as a means for containing the
pets when the
7 pets are shipped from one point to another. Pet carriers also commonly
double as
8 sleeping quarters for the pet as the owner may contain the pet overnight to
prevent the pet
9 from wandering and potentially damaging the home or hotel room in which the
owner is
occupying.

11 There are, however, some shortcomings inherent to common pet carriers.
During
12 transport, the pet will require food and water and periodically will need
to relieve its
13 bodily functions. In addition, the food and water itself, which are placed
in the pet
14 carrier, may be overturned by the pet or by carrier movement during
transportation.
Accordingly, in either case, the pet carriers to date have been inadequate in
their ability to
16 efficiently deal with such problems and to provide the pet with a stable
hygienic
17 environment.
18 For example, some common pet carriers currently available have been
advertised
19 in the "R.C. Steele Wholesale Pet Supply Catalog", Brockport, New York,
which
illustrates "Doskocil Kennels" as a lightweight, portable kennel designed for
safe
21 transportation. Also shown is the "Vari-Kennel" design that contains what
is described as
22 a "dial latch system" for ease of assembly. However, neither of these
designs display any
23 aspect of how to preserve a sanitary condition in the specific carrier
should the animal be
24 forced to relieve itself.

More specifically, reviewing the patent literature as it applies to pet
carriers
26 begins with U.S. Patent No. 5,769,028, entitled "Pet Carrier" which
discloses a carrier
27 including a main unit and an insert unit. The main unit defines a carrying
space having a
28 closed bottom and four sides, one of which has an opening therethrough
large enough to
29 permit an animal to enter the space through the opening, and the insert
unit has a closed
7


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

1 top, four sides, and an open bottom. After the animal has entered the main
unit, the insert
2 unit is lowered down into the main unit to close off the side opening. Then
a foldable top
3 closure for the main unit is folded to secure the carrier and form a handle
structure for
4 carrying the carrier. Both units are foldable and are structured to provide
an enhanced
strength carrier.

6 U.S. Patent No. 5,503,107 entitled "Pet Carrier" discloses a container for
7 manually transporting a pet having a litter box, food container and water
container therein
8 and sliding doors accessible from the exterior of the container for
selectively closing the
9 litter box, food container and water container to prevent inadvertent
spillage. The
container may also include a single compartment or two detachably connected
11 compartments in order that a liter box compartment may be selectively
separated from a
12 food and water compartment. Detachable handles are provided in order that
each separate
13 compartment of the dual compartment embodiment may be carried separately or
as a
14 unified compartment.

U.S. Patent No. 5,839,392, entitled "Pet Carrier" discloses a corrugated
plastic pet
16 carrier with two side panels. A side panel fold line extends between the
base panel and
17 each side panel. In addition, a diagonal fold line is said to extend from
each corner of the
18 base panel to a first median fold line for collapsing the base panel, side
panels and end
19 panels inwardly for collapsing the container from an erect position to a
collapsed,
generally flat position, and back to an erect position.

21 U.S. Patent No. 5,671,698 entitled "Pet Carrier" discloses a pet housing
having a
22 rigid bottom panel enclosed in a bottom cover which is attached to a
plastic mesh which
23 is shaped to form the pet carrier sides and top. The plastic mesh is
attached to inverted U
24 shaped rigid frame members which hold the shape of the sides and top as
well as provide
structural support to protect the pet being transported. The pet carrier has a
rear end panel
26 and door of plastic mesh to complete the enclosure. There is a provision
for a tray and
27 absorbent pad in the bottom of the pet carrier for hygiene as well as a
cover to protect the
28 pet from the environment.

8


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/US00/04357

1 U.S. Patent No. 5,133,294, entitled "Pet Carrier for Vehicles" discloses a
pet
2 carrier for use in a vehicle comprising a platform sized to generally fit on
the passenger
3 seat. Front, rear and side panels are pivotally connected to the platform
for movement
4 between generally horizontal positions and upright positions wherein they
form a pet
enclosure upstanding from the platform.

6 Attention is directed to U.S. Patent No. 5,715,772 entitled "Pet Carrier
Absorbent
7 Pad" which discloses an absorbent pad designed to be used with pet carriers
to absorb
8 liquids that may be present. Specifically, the pad is said to contain an
absorbent layer
9 having first and second sides, a first single direction moisture conveyor
positioned
proximate to at least one side of the absorbent layer for allowing moisture to
pass toward
11 the absorbent layer and for resisting passage of moisture out of said
absorbent layer. A
12 second single direction moisture conveyor is positioned proximate to said
second side of
13 said absorbent layer, wherein the first and second direction moisture
conveyors are
14 oriented about said absorbent layer so that moisture travels across said
moisture
conveyors only toward said absorbent layer.
16 Finally, as it relates to background art concerning pet carriers, attention
is also
17 directed to U.S. Patent No. 4,484,540 entitled,."Collapsible, Portable
Domestic Pet
18 Cage", which discloses a collapsible, portable domestic pet cage for
carrying with a pet
19 keeper such domestic pets as dogs, cats and the like, wherein bent portions
of the cage
can be readily constructed using any connection means and fixing means, and
when
21 collapsed dimensionally in small form, the whole circumferential walls of
the cage is
22 accomodated between vertical walls of a ceiling plate and erected walls of
a receptacle
23 plate or dish so as to be made dimensionally in a small size.
24 Turning next to a background consideration relating to portable storage
designs
for the purpose of, e.g., providing the consumer a convenient method to store
and
26 transport perishable goods, the following summary is provided.

27 First, U.S. Patent No. 5,562,228 discloses a collapsible cooler having four
side
28 walls hingedly attached to a bottom panel. Each of the four side walls is
composed of
29 two trapezoidal subassemblies hingedly connected about a center
longitudinal axis, such
9


WO 00/49855 CA 02365055 2001-08-22
PCT/US00/04357
I that the two subassemblies meet along the shorter edge of the trapezoid. The
side walls
2 further comprises flexible corner panels. The top of the container comprises
a lid which
3 is hingedly attached to the long side of one of the upper side wall
subassemblies. This
4 construction allows the container to be collapsed downward by pushing on the
top panel.
Similarly, the container is expanded by pulling up on a strap which is
attached to two
6 opposing upper side wall subassemblies. The cooler further contains sealed
modules of
7 "blue ice", which is a heat transfer material composed of water and glycol,
or a similar
8 heat transfer material, contained within the panels of the container.

9 U.S. Patent No. 5,622,276 discloses a collapsible container/cooler which has
four
side walls pivotally connected to a bottom panel in such a manner that the
four walls can
11 pivot inward to lie flat on one another in a manner parallel to the bottom
panel. The
12 container further comprises an insulated liner, which is permanently
attached to two
13 opposing walls and detachably connected to the remaining two walls, and an
insulated,
14 removable lid. The container is structurally supported by snaps which serve
to lock the
side walls in position. When these snaps are engaged they constrain the
movement of the
16 side-walls, thereby creating a rigid, right rectangular container.

17 U.S. Patent No. 4,091,852 discloses an inflatable box composed of six
inflatable
18 panels integrally connected so as to form a rectangular box having a top,
bottom, first and
19 second end, and first and second side. The joint between each of the panels
consists of a
defined fold line. Additionally, integral with, and therefore connecting
adjacent edges of
21 adjacent end and side panels, is a rectangular web of non-inflatable
material such that
22 when the box is assembled, with the sides and ends normal to the bottom
panel, the two
23 webs on each end of the bottom panel will fold across the outside of the
end panels so as
24 to provide structural support for the assembled box and therein complete
the box in a
fluid-tight configuration. The insulating character of the assembled box
derives from the
26 air-pockets of the inflated panels.

27 U.S. Patent No. 5,050,766 discloses a collapsible ice chest made from
corrugated
28 paper. The container is constructed from a rectangular sheet that is folded
to create a
29 bottom panel and four side walls with gusset panels which fold over onto
the sides, such


WO 00/49855 CA 02365055 2001-08-22 pCT/US00/04357

i that the container created is free from any leaks. The ice chest is supplied
to the
2 consumer with the bottom pre-filled with ice and the majority of the
vertical expanse of
3 the side walls folded down parallel to the bottom panel thereby creating a
covered ice tray
4 of relatively low profile and small volume. The ice chest is further
supplied with a lid
that telescopes onto the container, even when folded into the ice tray
configuration in the
6 described manner. At time of use, the container is removed from cold
storage, and the
7 side walls are folded into a vertical configuration, therein creating a
ready to use ice chest.
8 This ice chest is intended to be cheap and largely disposable, however it is
disclosed that
9 after being used the container can be emptied and folded back into its
initial
configuration, thereby greatly reducing its size, and reused simply by re-
expanding the
11 side walls in the previously described manner.

12 Accordingly, upon extensive review of all the prior art noted above, it is
first
13 apparent that a completely foldable, collapsible structure, suitable as a
shelter for a pet,
14 comprised of lightweight material having excellent thermal insulating
features and ease of
assembly/disassembly, remains generally unavailable. Therefore, it is a first
object to
16 overcome the disadvantages of the various structures noted above, and
prepare a foldable,
17 collapsible structure which is more economical to manufacture and purchase,
and which
18 can readily be converted into a compact condition for ease of storage
and/or transport and
19 also presents itself in an attractive or classic-looking doghouse design
when fully
deployed. Yet another object of this invention is to provide a
foldable/collapsible
21 structure suitable for a pet which simple to set up, take down and convert
from one use to
22 another.

23 Furthermore, with respect to the extensive review of the prior art related
to pet
24 carriers, although certain pet carrier designs have been disclosed which
are, as noted,
collapsible, and although absorbent pads of certain construction are known,
there remains
26 an on-going demand for a pet carrier design which more efficiently deals
with liquid
27 waste build-up, and which also collapses into a substantially flat
configuration for ease of
28 storage/transportation when not in use. Stated another way, pet carriers to
date have
29 shown themselves to be relatively bulky and heavy thereby failing to
provide a simple,
11


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

1 lightweight and portable pet carrier which provides both comfort and good
hygiene for
2 the pet, and also provides a safe/sturdy structure for protection during
transport.
3 Accordingly, it is also a general object of this invention to provide a pet
carrier
4 that is conveniently collapsible for storage, and which provides both the
pet and the pet
owner with a advantageous method to deal with liquid animal waste which occurs
in the
6 carrier over extended periods of time.

7 More specifically, it is also an object of this invention to provide a pet
carrier
8 design that allows for ease of cleaning of animal waste, and which isolates
the animal
9 from the liquid waste when the pet is forced to remain in the carrier after
relieving itself.
Furthermore, it is also an object of this invention to provide a more humane
method of
11 transporting pets. That is, it is an object of the invention herein to
provide a pet carrier
12 construction wherein the pet can be provided with essential liquid
nourishment when in
13 transport without fear of the pet becoming exposed to unsanitary and
unhealthy
14 conditions due to the evolution of a soiled environment.

Finally, and once again, as can be seen from the above review of the prior
art,
16 while various attempts have been made to provide consumer products such as
a break-
17 apart cooler, there remains an on-going need to improve upon such designs
in order to
18 provide a more durable yet collapsible configuration, that readily converts
from a portable
19 cooler mode to storage mode with minimal hand operation.
It is therefore also an additional object of this invention to provide such a
new and
21 improved collapsible cooler design which is of the aforementioned durable
and reliable
22 construction, and which also provides a waterproof enclosure for ice
cooling, and makes
23 use of living type hinge structure along with a strategic placement of
hinge points in the
24 cooler walls for collapsibility and ease of transport. In addition, it is
also an object of this
invention to provide a portable and collapsible structure that would be
suitable, for
26 example, to restrict access to consumer waste containers and the like, and
which would
27 readily provide the consumer with a convenient, sanitary, and cosmetically
pleasing
28 alternative for storing waste containers

12


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

1 FIG. 1 is a front-end view of the collapsible/foldable structure of the
present
2 invention.

3 FIG. 2 is a front-end view of the collapsible/foldable structure of the
present
4 invention, in a partially collapsed/folded state.
FIG. 3 is a front-end view of the collapsible/foldable structure of the
present
6 invention, in a fully collapsed/folded state.
7 FIG. 4 is a front/side view of the collapsible/foldable structure of the
present
8 invention, in a partially collapsed/folded state.
9 FIG. 5 is an exploded side/front view of the collapsible/foldable structure
of the
present invention, illustrating an optional clip-on chimney feature with solar-
powered fan.
11 FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the optional assembly recess and location
recess for
12 improved stability of the foldable/collapsible structure when in assembled
condition.
13 FIGS 7 and 8 are exploded views of appropriately identified designated
sections
14 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of one preferred embodiment pet
16 carrier/portable structure design.

17 FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of the pet carrier removable tray.

18 FIG. 11 illustrates a front perspective view of a preferred pet carrier
design.

19 FIG. 12 illustrates a side perspective view of a preferred pet carrier
design in
partially collapsed configuration.

21 FIG. 13 illustrates a front perspective view of a preferred pet carrier
design in
22 partially collapsed configuration.

23 FIG. 14 illustrates a front perspective view of the preferred pet carrier
design in a
24 fully collapsed configuration.

FIG. 15 illustrates yet another preferred embodiment of the present invention
is
26 which a perforated removable tray is supported by ribbed supports on the
bottom of the
27 pet carrier/portable habitat.

28 FIG. 16 provides a plan view of the pet carrier/portable habitat of FIG.
15.
13


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/US00/04357

1 FIGS. 17 and 18 provide alternative front sectional view of the pet
2 carrier/portable habitat of FIG. 15.
3 FIG. 19 provides a more detailed side sectional view of the front door
section of
4 the pet carrier/portable habitat.
FIG. 20 is yet another front sectional view, illustrating the optional use of
food
6 and water dispensers.

7 FIG. 21 is a side sectional view of the pet carrier/portable habitat of FIG.
15.
8 FIG. 22 is a perspective view of the invention herein as a collapsible
cooler.

9 FIG. 23 is a side sectional view of the invention herein along lines A-A of
FIG.
1 o 22.

11 FIG. 24 is perspective view of the collapsible cooler in a partially
collapsed
12 configuration.

13 FIG. 25 is a perspective view of the collapsible cooler in a fully
collapsed
14 configuration.
In summary form, and in a first embodiment, the invention herein relates to a
16 collapsible/foldable structure comprising a top roof and a bottom platform
defining a top
17 and bottom of said structure, and a vertically disposed lower side section
on said bottom
18 platform. Front and rear collapsible walls are provided, each pivotally
attached to said
19 vertically disposed side section to provide for pivotal collapse of said
front and rear walls.
The front wall has an opening for egress and ingress of an animal. A pair of
sidewalls are
21 included each pivotally attached to said roof to facilitate inward collapse
of said sidewalls
22 when said sidewalls are pivoted toward said bottom platform, said sidewalls
defined by
23 an upper and middle section including said lower vertically disposed side
section,
24 wherein said upper and middle sections are pivotally attached to one
another and said
middle and lower section are pivotally attached to one another so that said
upper and
26 middle sidewall sections can be pivoted inwardly towards said bottom
platform. The top
27 roof optionally comprises two roof sections pivotally attached to one
another so that said
28 two roof sections can collapse downwardly along said pivotable attachment
toward said
29 bottom platform. The sidewalls contain an outer and inner surface thereof,
and said upper
14


WO 00/49855 CA 02365055 2001-08-22 pCT/US00/04357

1 and middle sidewalls are pivotally attached by a continuous outer surface of
said
2 sidewalls.

3 In yet another summary embodiment, the present invention relates to a
4 collapsible/foldable structure comprising a top roof and a bottom platform
defining a top
and bottom of said structure and a vertically disposed lower side section on
said bottom
6 platform. Front and rear walls are included, said front wall having an
opening for egress
7 and ingress of an animal. The structure also includes a pair of sidewalls
each pivotally
8 attached to said roof to facilitate inward collapse of said sidewalls when
said sidewalls
9 are pivoted toward said bottom platform, said sidewalls defined by an upper
and middle
section including said lower vertically disposed side section, wherein said
upper and
11 middle sections are pivotally attached to one another and said middle and
lower sections
12 are pivotally attached to one another so that said upper and middle
sidewall sections can
13 be pivoted inwardly towards said bottom platform. At least one of said
pivotal
14 attachments of said sidewalls is optionally a living hinge substantially
along the length of
said sidewall.

16 In still yet another summary embodiment, the present invention relates a
17 collapsible consumer container such as a foldable/collapsible structure for
storing
18 perishable goods comprising a horizontally disposed bottom panel and a
vertically
19 disposed side section, a top panel, a pair of side panels defined by upper
and middle side
sections including said vertically disposed side section, including first and
second end
21 panels. The first end panel and second end panel are then hingedly attached
to said
22 vertically disposed side section to provide for pivotal collapse of said
first and second end
23 panel, and said upper side section is hingedly connected to said top panel
and said middle
24 side section, and said middle section is hingedly connected to said
vertically disposed
side section, wherein said side panels can be pivoted inwardly towards said
bottom panel.
26 Turning next to a more detailed description of the various preferred
embodiments
27 of the present invention, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the
collapsible/foldable structure of the
28 present invention is shown generally at 10, and comprising sidewalls 12 and
14.
29 Sidewalls 12 and 14 contain an upper 16, middle 18 and lower generally
vertically


WO 00/49855 CA 02365055 2001-08-22 PCT/USOO/04357

I disposed section 20. As can be seen, the sidewalls contain a pivot 22
preferably disposed
2 on the outer surface of the sidewalls 12 and 14, and a pivot 24, preferably
disposed on the
3 inside surface of the sidewall, such that when collapsing said sidewalls
(see FIG. 2) the
4 upper 16 and middle 18 sidewalls collapse inwardly and towards the bottom
platform 26.
In addition, upper sidewall 16 is pivotally attached to either roof section 28
and 30 at 17.

6 As also shown in FIG. 1, the collapsible/foldable structure 10 further
contains a
7 front wall 29 which preferably defines the front portal opening. Preferably,
and as also
8 shown in FIG. 1, the opening is of a portal/circular configuration of the
classic pet-shelter
9 or doghouse design. In addition, structure 10 further contains a top roof
section
comprising two roof sections pivotally attached to one another at 32, so that
roof sections
11 28 and 30 can collapse downwardly along said pivotable attachment 32 toward
said
12 bottom platform 26.

13 In that regard, attention is directed to FIG. 2, which illustrates the
14 collapsible/foldable structure of the present invention in a partially
collapsed state. As
illustrated therein, the upper 16 and middle sidewall sections are collapsed
and disposed
16 inward in the structure 10 and begin to assume the fully collapsed planar
position, best
17 illustrated in FIG. 3. Also, as shown in FIG. 2, preferably, front wall 29,
which is
18 pivotally attached to vertically disposed section 20, is also made to
collapse inwardly to
19 rest on bottom section 26, and preferably, rear wa1134, which is also
pivotably attached to
vertically disposed section 20, also collapses inwardly and rests upon front
wall 29 when
21 in a fully collapsed state. Those skilled in the art, however, will
recognize that it may
22 also be preferable to modify such pivotable attachment to facilitate the
resting of front
23 wall 29 on top of rear wall 34, when again, in a collapsed state.

24 In addition, as shown in FIG. 1, front wall 29 may contain, at a section
disposed
directly beneath pivot location 32, an opening, preferably of semi-circular
configuration,
26 to facilitate ventilation of the structure. Such opening can also be
optionally placed in the
27 rear wall 34.

16


=CA 02365055 2005-07-25
- = ~1, - .= _ - =
' . ~ QVO DO/49855 !. ~ PCT/US00/04357.

1 Attention= is next directed to FIG. 3, which illustrates the present
invention in a
2 fully collapsed condition. As can be seen in FIG. 3, the interaction of
pivot points 17, 22,
3 24, as well as the inward collapse of the front 29 and rear collapsible
walls 34 which are
4 pivotally attached to the bottom section 26 provide the unique and
previously unavailable
ability to collapse the classic pet shelter design illustrated in FIG. 1 into
a substantially
6 flat, readily transportable structure. .
7 Turning next to FIG. 4, as better illustrated therein, front wall 29 is
shown as
8 pivoting inwardly into structure along pivot edge 36. With attention next
directed to
9 FIG. 5, structure 10 is shown in cut-away view with respect to bottom
section 26. More
specifically, bottom section 26 preferably contains a hollow section 41 in
which sand or
11 other weight or load material can be incorporated, to strategically add
weight to the
12 bottom section to facilitate placement stability. In addition, as also
shown in FIG. 5, the
13 structure 10 may optionally contain an attached chimney type feature, which
in preferred
14 embodiment, is configured to contain a solar-powered fan so that the animal
or pet inside
shelter 10 is treated to improved ventilation.
16 In addition, in preferred embodiment, it can be appreciated that certain
exposed
17 surface of shelter 10 may be vulnerable to chewing and destruction by a
pet, and
18 therefore, should preferably be protected from such action by the strategic
placement of
19 protection material. In that regard, attention is again directed to FIG. 5,
wherein exposed
and/or overhanging surfaces 38 of the roof section or front entrance are
preferably
21 protected with a layer of material that restricts the ability of the animal
to chew on such
22 exposed surfaces and destroy the structure. Accordingly, exposed surfaces
are preferably
23 further protected with plastic sheeting materials, including, but not
limited to polyolefins,
24 vinyl polymers, styrene based polymers, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene
resins, vinyl
polymer. resins, engineering thermoplastics, and thermoset type resins or
coatings which
26 would all provide the necessary barrier to chewing destruction of an
animal.

27 In addition, as also illustrated in FIG. 5, preferably, bottom platform 26
preferably
28 contains a hollow section 41 for the incorporation of a ballast material,
such as sand, to
17

Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/US00/04357

I improve the weight of structure 10 for purposes of positioning stability.
Alternatively,
2 bottom platform can be made from a material that is itself of greater weight
relative to the
3 sidewall and/or roof section.
4 With all of the above in mind, it is herein disclosed that preferably, the
materials
employed for the structure 10 are first selected from those materials that
provide thermal
6 insulation, and accordingly, include expanded type polymer materials,
preferably foam
7 materials, optionally containing a film type surface. Along those lines, and
again with
8 reference to FIG. 1, roof sections 28 and 30, as well as sidewall sections
16, 18 and 20,
9 front wall section 29, rear wall section 34, and bottom platform 26 are all
preferably made
from expanded polymeric foam material, such as expanded or foamed polystyrene
11 material, which foam material may contain an film surface of high-impact
polystyrene. In
12 addition, other foam materials are suitable, including but not limited to
polyurethane type
13 foam materials, polyurea/urethane, polyurea, trimer foam, etc. Accordingly,
in broad
14 embodiment, any synthetic foam material that provides thermal insulation
and
temperature control of the interior of the foldable/collapsible structure will
be suitable for
16 construction of the present invention.
17 Furthermore, the above identified sections of FIG. 1 can also be suitably
prepared
18 from non-foamed plastic material, or, for that matter, plastic material
which provides a
19 void or null space between sections thereof, which would also similarly
provide thermal
insulation characteristics. Moreover, the structure of the present invention
can be
21 prepared from structural type foam material, which, is preferably made from
engineering
22 type plastic resins such as polycarbonate resin. As those skilled in the
art are aware,
23 structural foam material, while perhaps not as efficient as expanded or
cellular type foam
24 material, still can provide thermal insulation efficiency, while at the
same time, structural
integrity to the various compents (sidewalls, bottom platform, roof section)
of the present
26 invention.

27 In addition, it is also possible to prepare structure 10 out of material
made from
28 such techniques as gas-assisted injection molding. Such process, which
preferably makes
29 use of gases such as nitrogen, provides an inert gas to the interiors (null
space) of the
18


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

1 sidewalls 12 and 14, roof sections 28 and 30, front wall 29 and rear wall
34. In addition,
2 said structural components can also be made hollow and optionally contain
common
3 thermal insulation media such as fiberglass or cellulose type material.
4 When foam material is employed in the present invention, it has also been
found
preferable to include, on the outer layer of the foam (i.e., that surface
exposed to weather)
6 a film protective layer that prevents weather damage to the foam layer, and
also provides
7 a better or improved cosmetic appearance. That is, those skilled in the art
will appreciate
8 that the film layer can be made to assume a wood-like grain appearance, such
that the
9 structure 10 takes on the appearance of a wood structure, which is
cosmetically pleasing
to the consumer. In that regard, a particularly preferred embodiment centers
on the use of
i 1 expanded polystyrene foam for the structure 10, and an outer film layer,
also of
12 polystyrene resin. Insulating expanded polystyrene will preferably have a
thickness on
13 the order of 1.25 cm or more to provide an insulating layer to keep the
occupant of the
14 structure warm in cold weather, and cool in hot weather.
On that note, the outer film material can also conveniently serve as an
integral
16 type hinge material. For example, pivots 32, 17, 22 and 24, as shown in
FIG. 1, can of
17 course, comprise an add-on standard type hinge construction, and can
therefore be of
18 sufficient number (running along the length of the structure) to effectuate
the
19 foldable/collapsible mechanism herein described. Alternatively, said pivots
can also run
the entire length of the structure, and be made of a polyolef
n(polypropylene), which
21 therefore provides a living-hinge characteristic to the present invention.
Again, the living
22 hinge can be either a non-integral feature of the roof, sidewalls, and
bottom section (i.e.
23 an add-on), or, alternatively, can be integral to said structural
components as illustrated in
24 the drawings.

Finally, attention is directed to FIGS. 6-8, which illustrates, among other
things,
26 that in preferred embodiment, bottom vertical sidewall section 20 is made
to rest within
27 bottom platform 26. In addition, preferably, the front and rear walls are
made to contain a
28 location recess 42 and an assembly recess 44. Accordingly, those skilled in
the art will
29 appreciate that the location recess 42 and assembly recess 44 will, in
optional
19


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

1 embodiment, improve and lock roof sections 28 and 30 to said front and rear
side wall
2 sections, thereby providing improved, but by no means necessary, structural
integrity to
3 the collapsible/foldable structure of the present invention.
4 While preferred embodiments of the invention provide that the front and rear
walls are hingedly attached to the vertical sidewall section 20 so that they
can be folded
6 inwardly and beneath the side walls and roof, they can be physically removed
from the
7 front and rear openings. When in the open position, the front and rear walls
act to further
8 support the sides and roof, and when the front and rear walls are completely
removed
9 from the structure they can be either placed on top of the structure, inside
or underneath
and then optionally be bound up with suitable fastening so that the complete
structure can
11 be shipped as one package.

12 In all of the above structures, it is also noted that the sidewall sections
16, 18 and
13 20 will hinge on either the inner surface or the outer surface of said
sidewalls depending
14 upon whether the hinge is moving outwardly or inwardly during the
collapsing motion.
That is, placing the hinge on the inner or outer sidewall becomes necessary
because of the
16 thickness required for the preferred double wall construction, which, as
noted, provides
17 an open region for insulation.
18 In addition to the above, the upper portion 16 of the sidewall, which is
hinged at
19 22 to the sidewall 18, may be connected to a flat roof section. The central
flat section
with the two upper sidewalls (which would now be inwardly sloping) would then
form
21 the roof of the house. This type of optional configuration is illustrated,
in part, in FIG.
22 18, as applied to the related pet carrier. In this preferred alternative
embodiment of this
23 form of the invention, the hinges are positioned on the inner and outer
edges of the walls
24 adjacent the inner and outer edges as required for proper collapsing
action.
A preferred pet carrier/portable structure design in accordance with the
present
26 invention is now illustrated in FIG. 9. As shown therein, the pet carrier
110 contains a
27 bottom panel 112 and tray 114 removably placed on the bottom panel, a top
panel 116, a
28 left panel 118, a right panel 120 and a first end panel 122 containing a
screen door section
29 124. In addition, the carrier contains a folding handle 126 which rests
within recess 128.


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/USOO/04357

1 Also shown about the carrier 110 are air holes 130. As shown in FIG. 9, the
first end
2 panel 122 is hingedly attached to vertical side panel 113 so that end panel
122 can be
3 readily made to collapse inwardly into carrier 110. In a similar manner,
carrier 110 also
4 preferably contains a second end panel (not shown) at the rear of the
carrier that is also
hingedly attached to the vertical side panel 113 so that it too can be made to
collapse
6 inwardly into the carrier 110 when the carrier 110 is not in use.

7 With attention directed at both FIGS. 9 and 10, the tray 114 is shown to
have a
8 screen material 132 which screen material preferably rests on top of the
tray 114. The
9 screen material 132 therefore conveniently allows for passage of liquid into
the tray but
also simultaneously supports the pet above any liquid passing into tray 114,
thereby
11 providing an improved sanitary condition for the pet over extended periods
of time.
12 In that regard, screen 132 is preferably constructed from a double layer of
screen
13 material. That is, screen 132 preferably contains a top layer of fine
mesh/screen material
14 to allow for both fluid passage while preventing a paw or nail of the
animal from falling
therethrough and becoming dangerously affixed to said mesh/screen material.
16 Accordingly, such upper layer of mesh/screen material is preferably made
close enough in
17 opening to be comfortable for the animal to walk upon when the animal is
placed within
18 the carrier. This upper layer of fine mesh is then placed upon a lower
structural grid
19 screen which is therein designed to support the animal's weight. With
respect to this
preferred use of a double layer of screen material, it has been found that the
top layer is
21 preferably of mesh size or sieve size No. 400 to about 0.25 (nominal
opening of 0.0038
22 cm to 0.635 cm as noted in the "Handbook of Chemistry and Physics CRC, 58h
Edition,
23 Standard Test Sieves-Wire Cloth") and can be made from plastic or metallic
type
24 screen/mesh material. At such screen/mesh size, and as noted, the mesh will
conveniently allow for passage of liquids, which of course include liquids
spilled by the
26 animal and/or liquid waste produced by the animal if forced to urinate in
the carrier. The
27 lower structural layer can then be readily fabricated from larger and
heavier mesh/screen
28 size material, such as, e.g., mesh size of greater than about 0.635 cm to,
e.g., 12.7 cm,
29 which corresponds to a nominal opening of 0.635 cm to about 12.7 cm. The
lower
21


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

1 structural layer has as its purpose to support the load of the animal, while
again, allowing
2 for fluid passage.
3 Alternatively, those skilled in the art will appreciate that screen 132 can
be made
4 of a simple monolayer type screen/mesh construction, which monolayer
similarly
achieves the goal of allowing for fluid passage and acts to prevent a paw or
nail from
6 falling through and becoming lodged therein, which could cause injury to the
animal.
7 However, if monolayer construction is the choice, the monolayer itself must
be made
8 sufficiently strong/rigid to support the animal's weight contained therein.
In that regard,
9 it has been found suitable to use a monolayer type screen/mesh material of a
mesh size for
positioning on tray 114 so that tray 114 acts to collect liquid or liquid
waste and
11 simultaneously supports the animal above such captured liquids. In that
regard, the mesh
12 size can again be preferably made in the range of mesh size No. 400 to
0.25. However,
13 this is only a preferred range, and as noted above, the selection of mesh
size is done to
14 accommodate passage of fluids and to prevent injury to the animal by
preventing the
animal's paw or nail from becoming trapped.
16 FIG. 11 shows a front perspective view of the carrier 110. As illustrated
therein,
17 the screen door section 124 is preferably hinged at 134 to the end panel
122 and also
18 preferably contains a latch 136. As also shown in FIG. 11, the tray 114
rests in the
19 bottom panel 112, and the folding handle is again shown at 126.

Attention is next directed to FIG. 12, which provides a side perspective view
of a
21 preferred pet carrier design in partially collapsed configuration. As seen
therein, first end
22 panel 122 containing screen door 124 is hingedly collapsed inwardly into
the pet carrier.
23 Similarly, second end panel 138 is hingedly collapsed into the pet carrier,
which
24 collapsing first end panel 122 and second end panel 138 initiates the
folding of the carrier
into a substantially flat construction for ease of storage. Also, as shown in
this particular
26 preferred embodiment, end panel 138 is hingedly connected to vertical side
panel 113.

27 However, while FIG. 12 illustrates the preferred configuration herein where
the
28 first end panel 122 and second end panel 138 are hingedly connected to the
vertical side
22


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/US00/04357

1 panel 113, it will be appreciated that end panels 122 and 138 can simply be
made so that
2 they are releasably engaged to the pet carrier, e.g., by a mechanical
attachment such as a
3 snap-fit or wing-nuts with quick release. In that manner the end panels can
be easily
4 released/removed from the pet carrier and/or placed within the pet carrier
for the purposes
of shipping/storage. Furthermore, although not specifically illlustrated, it
is worth noting
6 that either of the end panels 122 or 138 are preferably made with a non-
frictional type
7 locking mechanism which locks the front and rear walls as between themselves
as the
8 roof section.

9 FIG. 13 illustrates a front perspective view of a preferred pet carrier
design in
partially collapsed configuration. As shown therein, the panels 118 or 120 are
both
11 hingedly connected at 140 to top panel 116. In addition, a hinged
connection is shown at
12 142 and a further hinge connection is placed at 144, which connection 144
connects the
13 panels 118 and 120 to the bottom section 144. As shown in FIG. 13, such
strategic
14 placement of hinges 140, 142 and 144 allows for the panels 118 and 120 to
collapse
downwardly into a substantially flat collapsed configuration, as shown in FIG.
14. That
16 is, with attention to FIG. 14, handle 126 is made to rest in a recess in
the top panel 116,
17 panels 118 and 120 are in a fully collapsed state, as well as panels 122
and 138. In this
18 collapsed state, it can be seen that tray 114 still conveniently rests
within bottom panel
19 114. Accordingly, it can be appreciated that in the collapsed state shown
in FIG. 14, the
pet carrier design herein can be conveniently stored or transported for
further use.
21 Finally, with attention again directed at FIG. 13, as illustrated therein,
hinge
22 connections 140, 142 and 144 are arranged such that panels 118 and 120
collapse
23 inwardly into the carrier. That being the case, the hinge 140 is preferably
hinged so that
24 the hinge itself is positioned on the inside surface of panels 118 and 120;
i.e., the hinge is
inside the carrier as shown in FIG. 13. Hinge connection 142, as also shown in
FIG. 13,
26 is itself positioned on the outside surface of panels 118 and 120, and
finally, hinge 144 is
27 preferably designed so that the hinge is connected to the inside surface of
panels 118 and
28 120. Such positioning of the hinge connections 140, 142 and 144 thereby
facilitate the
23


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/US00/04357

I collapse of the panels 118 and 120, downwardly, into the substantially flat
configuration
2 shown in FIG. 14.
3 Accordingly, in optional embodiment, the left panel 118 and right panel 120
as
4 disclosed herein can be made to contain an upper, middle and lower sections,
wherein
said upper and middle sections are pivotally or hingedly attached to one
another and said
6 middle and lower section are also pivotally or hingedly attached to one
another so that
7 said upper and middle panel sections can be pivoted or hinged inwardly
towards said
8 bottom panel 112.

9 On that note, hinges 140, 142, and 144, as shown in FIG. 13, may comprise an
add-on standard mechanical type plastic or metallic hinge construction, and
can therefore
11 be of sufficient number (running along the length of the structure) to
effectuate the
12 foldable/collapsible mechanism herein described. Alternatively, said hinges
can also run
13 the entire length of the structure, and be made of a polyolefin
(polypropylene), which
14 therefore provides living-hinge characteristics to the present invention.
The living hinge
can be either a non-integral feature of the panels (i.e. an add-on), or, in
alternative
16 embodiment, can be made integral to said panels, in which case the hinge
would be
17 contiguous with the outer surface of the panels 118 and 120.

18 Optionally, tray 114 can be made to contain an absorbent pad, for purposes
of
19 soaking up any liquid spilled by the animal, or liquid waste should the
animal be forced to
relieve itself when contained within the carrier. In addition, as illustrated
in FIG. 14, the
21 tray 112 also preferably contains a recess at 146 which conveniently
provides a location
22 for the consumer to hold onto the tray and remove the tray from the carrier
for any
23 necessary cleaning.
24 With regards to the preferred materials of construction, it is to be noted
herein that
the pet carrier panels are themselves preferably manufactured of panels made
of a plastic
26 outer layer with a polyurethane foam core. Such construction provides
excellent thermal
27 insulation, as well as light-weight and durability for ease of transport.
The plastic outer
28 layer, as previously noted above, can then be preferably made from a
polyethylene or
29 polypropylene resin, to thereby provide a flexible film outer layer for the
purposes of
24


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

1 forming the above noted hinge sections 140, 142 and 144. In that regard, a
polypropylene
2 film would provide the aforementioned living hinge structure while being
integral to the
3 outer plastic layer of the carrier panels.
4 With regard to yet another preferred embodiment of the present invention,
attention is directed to FIG. 15, which again illustrates the pet
carrier/portable habitat 110
6 which bottom panel therein 112 contains support structures 148 attached
thereto. In
7 addition, a perforated removable tray 150, made of plastic, is shown and
which is
8 configured to rest upon support structures 148 at the bottom of the habitat
110.
9 Optionally, the support structures can be part of the tray 150. In addition,
the support
structures 148 can be either integral with the bottom section, or a separate
lift-out
11 component.
12 As specifically shown, support structures 148 are preferably a ribbed
design, of
13 which a plurality preferably extend, as shown in FIG. 16, from the edge of
the bottom
14 section into the carrier and extend towards a circular recessed area 152 in
the bottom
section 112. The circular recessed area 152 thereby acts as a built-in
collection location
16 for any liquid waste produced by the animal. Accordingly, within the
circular recessed
17 area 152 it will be preferable at times to include an absorbent collection
pad.
18 It is also to be noted that the various structural sections of the present
invention,
19 such as bottom section 112, as well as panels 116, 118 and 120, are
preferably
manufactured by a process of blow molding, which provides both an inner and
outer wall
21 structure (twin-wall construction) to the portable habitat herein. Such
twin wall
22 construction is best shown at 154 in FIG. 17, which illustrates a front
sectional view of
23 the portable habitat. In that regard, such blow molded wall construction
provides a much
24 safer environment for the pet, as any impact against the outer wall will be
better absorbed
in such blow molded wall construction as opposed to a single type wall
configuration. In
26 addition, such inner and outer wall construction conveniently allows for
the optional use
27 of insulating foam material, which would provide better regulation and
temperature


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/USOO/04357

I control inside the portable habitat when in transit, or exposed to severe
temperature
2 fluctuations.
3 However, in the broad context of the present invention, single wall
construction is
4 certainly acceptable, and indeed preferable in those cases where a lower
cost alternative
design is contemplated. Furthermore, regardless of whether single wall or twin-
wall
6 construction is present, it is also preferable herein to include, on the
edges of the panels
7 116, 118 and 120 a small overhanging section. This is best illustrated at
131 in Fig. 12,
8 which then serves to position and secure the end panels 122 and 138 as they
are moved
9 into full open position.
Also shown in FIG. 17 is the folding handle 126, and hinges 140, 142 and 144,
11 which as previously noted, can assume either a mechanical or living-type
membrane
12 hinge configuration. For example, in a particular preferred design, hinges
140 and 142
13 are both of the living type or membrane hinge type variety, and hinge 144
can be a
14 mechanical or piano type hinge design. Also better illustrated in FIG. 17
is the feature
that the bottom section 112 contains a downwardly sloping surface 156 which
again
16 facilitates the flow of waste fluid toward the circular recessed area 152
which as
17 illustrated in FIG. 17 to contain an absorbent pad. Finally, the removable
tray 150 is
18 shown in cross-section along with the general location of the ribbed
supports 148.
19 Attention is next directed to FIG. 18, which is yet another front sectional
view of
the portable habitat, illustrating the use of a preferred metallic/chrome wire
door 158. In
21 addition, as further illustrated in FIG. 18, the door 158 contains a spring
loaded pin
22 release 160 along with pins at 162 and 164, thereby releasably engaging
door 158 to the
23 portable habitat structure at either a left or right location. With
attention directed at FIG.
24 19, a more detailed sectional view is provided of the pins 162 and 164. It
is therefore
worth noting that by making the door 158 entirely releasable from the habitat,
different
26 doors can be employed which are more suitable for the particular animal at
issue. For
27 example, in the case of a bird, a small perch can be fitted to the door
structure. In
26


CA 02365055 2005-07-25

WO 00/49855 PCT/US00/04357

I addition, as noted, the door 158 can be made to open and hinge either in a
left or right
2 direction.
3 Attention is also directed to FIG. 20, which illustrates the optional use of
food
4 and water dispensers 166 and 168 in the door 158. In accordance with the
present
invention, as the animal can relieve itself without itself having to remain in
contact with
6 its liquid waste, the pet owner can more humanely provide the animal with
liquid
7 nourishment during prolonged travel periods. Finally, attention is also
directed to FIG.
8 21, which provides a side sectional view of the portable habitat herein. As
best shown in
9 FIG. 21, a space is provided at 170 for accommodating the front door 158
when in
collapsed configuration. In addition, illustrated end panel 138 which contains
holes 172
11 is itself hinged at 174 for collapsing into the pet habitat.
12 Alternatively, it should again be appreciated that end panels 122 and 138,
while
13 preferably hingedly connected to the portable habitat for folding therein,
may optionally
14 be fully releasable for both removal and/or placement within the habitat
during shipping
and storage.

16 FIG. 22 illustrates the present invention, in preferred embodiment as a
collapsible
17 cooler 210 which contains a generally horizontally disposed bottom panel
212 and a
18 vertically disposed side section 224. As illustrated, vertical disposed
side section 224 is
19 adjacent to bottom panel 212 and can be integral thereto. The cooler 210
also contains
top panel 214, and side panels 216 and 218. Side panels 216 and 218 contain an
upper
2T 220, middle 222, and vertically disposed side section 224. The cooler 210
further
22 contains a door or removable section 242 in the top panel 214. Door 242 is
attached to
23 top panel 214 by means of pivot 234, such that door 242 can pivot upward,
and therein
24 allow access to the interior of the cooler 210 for the purpose of placing
items within
cooler 210, or for removing items therefrom.
26 As illustrated in FIG. 23, cooler 210 also contains two end panels 226 and
228.
27 The two end panels 226 and 228 are preferably pivotally attached at 232 to
vertical
28 section 224, and not to horizontal bottom panel 212. In such manner, end
panel 226 can
27

Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

I readily pivot inwardly to rest upon bottom panel 212, and end panel 228 can
pivot
2 inwardly at 230 to rest upon end panel 226. It is preferred that pivots 230
and 232 are
3 disposed on the outer edge surface of the end panels 226 and 228 to better
facilitate the
4 inward collapse of the end panels 226 and 228. With reference to FIG. 23,
pivot
locations 230 and 232 are shown without lower section 224. In other words,
lower
6 section 224, is not shown FIG. 23, so that the location of pivots 230 and
232 can be
7 better illustrated.

8 The pivoting action at 230 and 232 is preferably provided for by a mating
9 protrusion/receptacle on the edge of the front 226 or rear panel 228 and the
adjacent
region of the vertically disposed side section 224. The protrusion/receptacle
may
11 comprise a stud fitted into orifices of both the front/rear panels and the
vertically disposed
12 side section 224, a protrusion and a mating indentation, etc. It all cases,
it is possible to
13 form each half of the pivot integral with the respective panel.
14 Those skilled in the art, however, will also recognize that it may in
addition be
preferable to modify such pivotal/hinge attachment location to facilitate the
resting of end
16 panel 226 on top of end panel 228 when in collapsed state. Furthermore,
those skilled in
17 the art will appreciate that end panels 226 and 228 may not necessarily be
pivotally
18 attached at any location, and may be designed such that they are configured
to be
19 completely removed and separately stored. This would optionally be the
case, e.g., in
those situations wherein the invention herein is applied as a simple
collapsible structure
21 for the storage of consumer waste containers, although other applications
are clearly
22 possible. In such optional embodiment, end panels 226 and 228 would be
assembled in
23 such fashion to pressure fit within the collapsible structure herein. That
is, the end panels
24 226 and 228 can be readily assembled such that they are releasably engaged
to the
collapsible structure by a simple press or interference fit.
26 As illustrated in FIG. 24, once end panels 226 and 228 have pivoted
inwardly,
27 such that they can assume a horizontal posture atop of bottom panel 212,
side panels 216
28 and 218 can pivot inward. The upper and middle sections 220 and 222 of side
panels 216
28


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/US00/04357

I and 218 are hingedly connected to one another about pivot 238. It is
preferred that pivot
2 238 is disposed on the exterior surface of side pane1216 and 218 to better
allow the upper
3 and middle section 220 and 222 to fold inward so as to assume a horizontal
posture
4 wherein the exterior surfaces of the upper and middle sections 220 and 222
rest on one
another. In addition, pivot 238 is preferably a living hinge, extending along
the length of
6 the cooler thereof. In such regard, those skilled in the art will appreciate
that such living
7 hinge would not only provide hinge type function, but would simultaneously
provide a
8 seal thereof, such that liquid contained within the cooler would not leak to
the outside.
9 Such living hinge is preferably made from polypropylene type material, and
more
broadly, polyolefin type polymer material, or flexible type polyolefin
material, such as
11 polyethylene/polypropylene copolymers, and/or polyethylene type copolymers
containing
12 comonomers of the alpha-olefin variety (e.g. 1-butene,l-pentene, etc).
Along such lines,
13 those resins now commonly known as "single-site" or "metallocene' based
polyolefines,
14 which provide a polyethylene copolymer of controlled comonomer composition
distribution, and narrow molecular weight distribution, are contemplated.

16 Upper section 220 is also further connected to the top panel 214 at pivot
236.
17 Pivot 236 is preferably disposed on the interior surface of side wall 216
and 218 to
18 facilitate the collapse of side panel 216 and 218 by way of top section 220
folding inward.
19 Again, and in a manner similar to the above, pivot 236 is preferably of the
integral hinge
variety, and made from the indicated preferred materials.

21 Additionally, middle section 222 is connected to lower section 224 at pivot
240.
22 Pivot 240 is preferably disposed on the interior surface of side panels 216
and 218 to
23 better allow middle section 222 to pivot inward. Also, and in a manner
consistent with
24 the above, pivot 240 is preferably of the living hinge variety, and made
from the preferred
indicated materials.

26 With the hinges so placed, side panels 216 and 218 can collapse inward,
wherein
27 middle section 222 folds inward and downward towards bottom panel 212, and
upper
29


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCTIUSOO/04357

I section 220 pivots inward and towards top panel 214, and therein drawing
pivot 238
2 inward toward the center of cooler 210.

3 FIG. 25 illustrates the present invention in a fully collapsed condition.
This
4 figure shows that the collapsing action described above of side panels 216
and 218 results
in the vertical collapse of top pane1214, such that when the cooler 210 is
fully collapsed,
6 as illustrated in FIG. 25, top panel 214 comes to rest on folded upper
section 220 which
7 rests upon middle section 222. Furthermore, in that situation wherein end
panels 226 and
8 228 are made to pivotally attach to the device, and are not completely
removed, 'end
9 panels 226 and 228 come to rest on bottom panel 212, wherein end panels 226
and 228
are further longitudinally contained by vertically disposed section 224.
11 In accordance with the intended end use of the present invention 210 as a
cooler
12 or ice chest, all panels should be preferably constructed of thermal
insulating materials.
13 Such materials include expanded type twin-wall construction polymer
materials,
14 preferably foam materials, optionally containing a film type (integral
hinge) surface, as
noted above, made via the process of blow molding. However, in the broad
context of
16 the present invention, single wall construction, of non-metallic material,
such as injection
17 molded plastic, is an option, and provides all of the advantages of
collapsibility
18 previously noted.
19 Suitable foam materials, as noted, would include, but not be limited to,
foamed
polystyrene, polyurea/urethane, polyurea, trimer foam, etc. In addition, in
preferred
21 embodiment, it can be appreciated that in order to increase the durability
and structural
22 integrity of the cooler the insulating material of the panels should,
preferably, be coated
23 with a material to effect such an increase in durability and strength.
Accordingly,
24 exterior, and preferably also interior surfaces of the panels, may be
coated with a plastic
sheeting material, including, but not limited to polyolefins, vinyl polymers,
styrene based
26 polymers, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene resins, vinyl polymer resins,
engineering
27 thermoplastics, and thermoset type resins or coatings.

28 Integrating a cooler's need for durability and strength, with the need for
thermal
29 insulation is preferably satisfied herein via the process of blow molding,
wherein the


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/USOO/04357

1 exterior of the panel is made from a polymeric material, thereby providing
strength and
2 durability, and the air void between the skins of the panel would provide
thermal
3 insulation. Similarly, hollow panels made using a thermoforming process
would also be
4 suitable. Additionally, to further improve the thermal insulating properties
of hollow
panels, insulating material, for example foam, as herein noted, may be
incorporated
6 between the opposing skins which form the panel in, e.g., a downstream
operation. The
7 aforementioned techniques for forming panels of suitable durability,
strength, and thermal
8 insulating character is put forth only as a non-exhaustive list of
possibilities. Those
9 skilled in the art are aware that there are a large variety of techniques
and materials which
may be used to obtain panels and insulation of the above construction suitable
for the
11 manufacture of the present invention.
12 In that regard, it is also worth noting that when foam material is employed
directly
13 in the present invention, such as a structural foam, it has also been found
preferable to
14 include, on the outer layer of the foam, a protective film layer that
prevents damage to the
foam layer, and also provides a better or improved cosmetic appearance. The
film layer
16 can be made to assume an appearance which is cosmetically pleasing to the
consumer. In
17 that regard, a particularly preferred embodiment centers on the use of
expanded
18 polystyrene foam for the cooler 210, and an outer film layer, also of a
polystyrene resin.
19 In addition to providing protection for a inner foam layer, and providing
improved
aesthetic appeal, an outer film material, whether a coating on a foam or a
coating on the
21 skins of a thermoformed or blow molded part, as previously discussed, can
conveniently
22 serve as an integral type hinge material. For example, pivots 230, 232,
234, 236, 238, and
23 240, as shown is FIG. 22-24 can all comprise a mechanical standard type
hinge
24 construction, to effectuate the foldable/collapsible mechanism herein
described. In such
regard, e.g., pivot 236, 238 and/or 240 may preferably comprise one or a
plurality of
26 mechanical type hinges, along the length of the cooler 210.
27 Alternatively, and again as noted, said pivots can also run substantially
along the
28 length of the structure, which therefore provides a living-hinge
characteristic to the
29 present invention, Again, the living hinge can be either a non-integral
feature, or,
31


CA 02365055 2001-08-22
WO 00/49855 PCT/US00/04357

I alternatively, can be integral to said structural components as illustrated
in the drawings.
2 When living hinges of the described nature are used the additional benefit
of having a
3 waterproof seam is readily provided.
4 Although this invention has been disclosed and illustrated with reference to
particular embodiments, the principles involved are susceptible for use in
numerous other
6 embodiments which will be apparent to persons of ordinary skill in the art.
The invention
7 is, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the appended
claims:

32

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2008-10-21
(86) PCT Filing Date 2000-02-22
(87) PCT Publication Date 2000-08-31
(85) National Entry 2001-08-22
Examination Requested 2001-08-22
(45) Issued 2008-10-21

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Request for Examination $400.00 2001-08-22
Registration of Documents $100.00 2001-08-22
Filing $300.00 2001-08-22
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2002-02-22 $100.00 2002-02-12
Extension of time $200.00 2002-11-26
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2003-02-24 $100.00 2003-02-04
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2004-02-23 $100.00 2004-02-04
Registration of Documents $100.00 2004-02-12
Registration of Documents $100.00 2004-02-12
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2005-02-22 $200.00 2005-02-04
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2006-02-22 $200.00 2006-02-17
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2007-02-22 $200.00 2007-02-22
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 8 2008-02-22 $200.00 2008-02-01
Final Fee $300.00 2008-08-11
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 9 2009-02-23 $200.00 2009-01-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 10 2010-02-22 $250.00 2010-02-02
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 11 2011-02-22 $250.00 2011-01-31
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2012-02-22 $250.00 2012-01-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2013-02-22 $250.00 2013-01-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2014-02-24 $250.00 2014-02-17
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2015-02-23 $450.00 2015-02-16
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 16 2016-02-22 $450.00 2016-02-15
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 17 2017-02-22 $450.00 2017-02-20
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 18 2018-02-22 $450.00 2018-02-19
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 19 2019-02-22 $450.00 2019-02-15
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
T.F.H. PUBLICATIONS, INC.
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
AXELROD, GLEN
LEE, WALTER
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

To view selected files, please enter reCAPTCHA code :




Filter Download Selected in PDF format (Zip Archive)
Document
Description
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Number of pages Size of Image (KB)
Description 2001-08-22 32 1,787
Representative Drawing 2002-01-31 1 7
Representative Drawing 2008-10-02 1 9
Cover Page 2008-10-02 1 49
Claims 2001-08-22 4 178
Abstract 2001-08-22 1 66
Cover Page 2002-02-01 1 48
Drawings 2001-08-22 16 281
Description 2005-07-25 32 1,803
Claims 2005-07-25 4 176
Drawings 2005-07-25 16 297
Claims 2006-06-16 4 190
Claims 2007-01-25 4 181
Claims 2007-09-11 2 100
PCT 2001-08-22 5 222
Assignment 2001-08-22 3 101
Correspondence 2002-02-05 1 25
Correspondence 2002-11-26 1 42
Correspondence 2003-01-28 1 13
Assignment 2003-11-26 6 217
Prosecution-Amendment 2004-02-12 1 34
Assignment 2004-02-12 10 414
Fees 2007-02-22 1 40
Prosecution-Amendment 2005-01-24 3 105
Prosecution-Amendment 2005-07-25 15 664
Prosecution-Amendment 2005-12-20 3 129
Fees 2006-02-17 1 35
Prosecution-Amendment 2006-06-16 11 509
Prosecution-Amendment 2006-07-27 3 155
Prosecution-Amendment 2007-01-25 9 366
Prosecution-Amendment 2007-03-15 5 232
Prosecution-Amendment 2007-09-11 5 195
Correspondence 2008-08-11 2 52