Patents Represented by Attorney Northern Michigan Patent Law, PLC
  • Patent number: 8327834
    Abstract: A campfire smokestack comprising an elongated metal tube whose lower end is anchored in a fire pit, for example by burying it in the ground, prior to making a fire, or by placing it into an existing fire. The tube has an open upper end, and its sidewall is perforated over some portion of its length with draft openings, at least some of which are at campfire height such that the fire is built against or adjacent these lower draft openings to permit radial drafting of air directly through the fire into the tube. The fire is accordingly built and burned around or against the lower end of the tube, rather than within or underneath the tube. The smokestack may be used with both natural and manmade fire pits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Inventors: Marc A. Judge, Joseph J Francis, James A. Grant
  • Patent number: 8226074
    Abstract: A corner clamping apparatus capable of adjustably clamping two joined, mitered corner pieces to form a 90-degree corner with a single clamp. The clamping apparatus includes three rigid L-shaped supports, adjustably mounted relative to one another to accommodate differently sized corner pieces and/or variations in the corner pieces or their mitered edges. Four adjustable clamping feet retained in the rigid L serve to adjust the corner pieces to produce an exact miter joint or seam, and to hold the adjusted corner pieces until they can be more permanently joined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Inventor: Christopher N. Hughey
  • Patent number: 7954575
    Abstract: A crawler device for pulling a leader string through electrical or cable conduit. The crawler device has a traction head, for example using caterpillar-type rubber tracks, biased outwardly into contact with the inner wall of the conduit when inserted in the conduit. The traction head pulls its own motor and power supply behind it, serially and flexibly linked to follow the traction head and negotiate curves in the typically small diameter electrical conduit. In the preferred from, the power supply is a series of linked batteries, such that the crawler is an independently and self-sufficiently mobile machine traveling through the conduit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2011
    Inventors: Joel O. Bloxsom, Jason M. Romine
  • Patent number: 7841356
    Abstract: A tent shelter of the type that is erected by at least one arch pole and has multiple fabric walls that intersect to form substantially vertical corners when the shelter is erected. At each corner a strut-and-guy line support structure is provided for supporting and tensioning the fabric walls. Each strut structure includes two strut legs, each leg being integrated with a respective wall of a particular corner. The bottom ends of the strut legs are spread apart in the erected state of the shelter but are interconnected by a flexible strap. The top ends of each set of legs converge to form an inverted V shape. A guy line arrangement tensions each of the corners. The tent body can further be strengthened against severe weather by additional arch poles removably secured to the fabric body in an X configuration crossing the center arch and passing over the corners.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2010
    Inventor: Henry C. Shires
  • Patent number: 7775292
    Abstract: A monitor apparatus and method for monitoring, verifying, and prompting an existing CO2 type fire suppression system in a room or building protected by the suppression system. In its most preferred form the monitor apparatus is a unit contained in a cabinet or housing placed in the protected room, with only a signal connection to the suppression system. The monitor apparatus has a suppressant gas concentration sensor enabled by a discharge signal received from the suppression system, and a datalogger to keep a verifiable record of the suppression system's discharge performance. The monitor unit sends a continue-discharge signal back to the suppression system independently of the continuity of the suppression system's discharge signal if a desired gas concentration level in the room is not reached or held per the suppression system's own requirements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Inventor: Ernest K. Romanco
  • Patent number: 7731297
    Abstract: A dump apron for a dump truck, the apron pivotally mounted around a lower end of the dump opening at the rear of the dump body, and movable in response to the tilt position of the dump body between a lower flow-channeling position and a raised tailgate-securing position. In the tailgate-securing position the apron serves to seal leaks of the loaded material around the tailgate, and to function as a secondary lock to back up the tailgate's primary latching or locking mechanism. In the preferred form, the apron is held at an acute angle to the closed tailgate in the raised tailgate-securing position, forming a trough for collecting particulate material leaking around the tailgate from the loaded dump bed, and allowing visual inspection of the lower end of the tailgate and the tailgate's primary lock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Inventor: Anthony R. Ozanich
  • Patent number: 7694974
    Abstract: A question-and-answer game in which teams of two players are divided into two sets of teammates, and one set of teammates is isolated while the other set of teammates is asked one or more questions about their isolated teammates or about themselves and are designed to elicit how well they know each other. The isolated teammates return, are asked the same questions, and their answers/guesses are compared to their teammates' guesses/answers. In a first round, the questions are asked and answered in open forums where discussion is permitted. In a second round, the questions are asked in a closed forum where discussion is limited or not permitted, and the responses of the isolated teammates are presented one at a time, and if not a match to their teammates' responses, the other teams have an opportunity to correctly match.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: Savvy Ideas, LLC
    Inventors: Carie S. Fowler-Gehring, Debbie L. Fowler
  • Patent number: 7673642
    Abstract: A lightweight, freestanding tent type shelter using a single removable arch pole tensioning the roof canopy between ground-level platform poles that form a perpendicular base for the arch pole. The platform poles are already-carried or found pole type objects such as trekking poles, sticks, skis, paddles and the like already at hand or easily located at a campsite, and the lower side edges of the canopy are provided with connectors for securing the canopy to the platform poles. The canopy has an embedded roof strut crossing the arch pole to add headroom and transfer arch tension to the front and rear ends of the shelter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2010
    Inventor: Henry C. Shires
  • Patent number: 7618223
    Abstract: A personal transfer device for transferring a boater from a dock to a boat moored in a boat lift adjacent the dock, and back again. A cantilevered support is secured to an upper part of the boat lift frame, the support's free end extending out over the dock at a height that does not interfere with normal use of the dock. A hoist carriage, for example a monorail trolley hoist, is movably secured on the cantilever support, and is connected to a transport chair that can be located over the dock at a convenient height for a handicapped boater to seat and/or secure himself. A controller is accessible to the boater seated in the transport chair to raise himself off the dock to a height sufficient to clear any intervening boat lift structures or frame members, and to then transport himself horizontally along the support through the boat lift structure to the boat, where he then lowers himself onto the boat using the controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2009
    Assignee: Handicaptain Brands, LLC
    Inventor: Adam Begley
  • Patent number: 7616096
    Abstract: A movable reference guide mounted to slide over a circuit breaker reference chart on the door of a circuit breaker box to visually mark individual circuit breaker labels on the chart, and indicator lights associated with each of the circuit breakers on the breaker panel opposite the door, the indicator lights responsive to the position of the guide on the reference chart to light up when their corresponding labels are marked by the guide. In the preferred form the guide includes a magnifier lens to enlarge the writing on the labels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2009
    Inventor: Fred Sorensen
  • Patent number: 7523567
    Abstract: A removable protective cover for a hockey skate boot, the cover having a hard but flexible protective shell with an open bottom and heel, and heel-cupping sidewall portions that flex apart diagonally to apply the cover to the boot and to grip portions of the boot heel under tension when released. The shell floats above the surface of the boot on spaced pads secured to the underside of the shell, the pads protecting side-foot, ankle, and instep portions of the foot, while still allowing the boot-laces to be adjusted while the protective cover is installed on the boot. The shell is preferably slotted on the instep to improve flexibility. The initial tensioned fit of the cover on the boot frees the user's hands from having to stabilize the cover while adjusting supplemental fasteners such as straps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2009
    Inventor: Frank McClelland
  • Patent number: 7495584
    Abstract: A switch-equipped lever of the type mounted on a vehicle steering column and having an end knob with a switch mechanism for controlling a remote vehicle system, in which the knob is provided with a wireless signal transmitter, the wireless transmitter controlled by the switch mechanism in the knob to control the remote vehicle system with a wireless signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2009
    Inventor: Fred Sorensen
  • Patent number: 7406977
    Abstract: The present invention is an improved tensioned canopy shelter of the type used by backpackers. The canopy of the new shelter has a lower rear support and a higher front pole support with a horizontal ridge strut. The ridge strut spreads the forward end of the canopy's ridgeline into a catenary-tensioned panel, with dual catenary curves running from the ends of the ridge strut to the rear end of the canopy. The horizontal ridge strut can be supported by a single central upright pole, or it can alternately be supported at its ends by spaced upright poles for even greater stability and easier entry and exit through the front of the shelter, for example using two trekking-type poles. In the preferred form the ridge strut is provided with pole connections to allow either the single- or double-pole options. In a further preferred form, the ridge strut is removably held in a sleeve in such a manner that it may either be left in place or removed when the shelter is rolled up for storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Inventor: Henry C. Shires
  • Patent number: 7353985
    Abstract: A mailbox mount which includes a heavy-duty spring connecting the mailbox to post via a mounting element. The spring allows the mailbox to return to its initial position after being contacted by another item, such as a snowplow or the like to prevent permanent damage to the mailbox. The mailbox mount also includes a mailbox mounting plate with a protective lip or shield on at least the delivery side of the mailbox.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2008
    Inventor: Michael J. Weatherholt, II
  • Patent number: 7350798
    Abstract: A trailer hitch guide for ball-and-socket type hitches has an upright rod visible through the rear window of a towing vehicle, a base adapted to be magnetically attached to a socket-forward portion of the trailer-side hitch socket, and a lever arm that extends below the hitch socket to be tripped by the ball portion of the hitch as the towing vehicle is backed up toward the trailer. The socket-forward mounting of the base places the lever arm forward of the trailer socket, such that the guide rod is visibly tripped before the hitch ball is vertically aligned with the trailer socket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2008
    Assignee: Farrugia Companies, LLC
    Inventor: Terry L. Farrugia
  • Patent number: 7343685
    Abstract: A thread checking apparatus and method for threaded bores in small plastic parts, in which a threaded tap is mounted to rotate on a fixed axis at a workstation, the workstation having guide structure associated with the rotating tap to slidingly engage and guide a part with a threaded bore onto a free outer end of the rotating tap. The rotating tap draws the part down the length of the tap in sliding, rotation-preventing engagement with the guide structure, until the part's threaded bore is fully verified and chased, at which point the part engages a reversing limit switch to automatically reverse the rotation of the tap and drive the chased and verified part back off the tap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2008
    Inventor: Fred Sorensen
  • Patent number: 7219680
    Abstract: A backpackable, collapsible blind designed to be mounted against a tree for use by hunters and others. The blind has a backpack-capable frame with canopy support arms that are collapsible against the frame for use as a backpack, a removable canopy, and a seat on a lower part of the frame that can be used to support a backpack load. The support arms define a unique upper/lower support structure for the canopy relative to the seat, with the canopy having a generally triangular opening located above the seat and a lower end or hem that hangs below the seat and the lower end of the frame for a baseless, open-bottomed blind that is useful for nearly any hunting situation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2007
    Inventor: Alex S. Gresock
  • Patent number: D605104
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2009
    Inventor: William J. Englehart, Jr.
  • Patent number: D619051
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2010
    Inventor: Joseph VanLoozen
  • Patent number: D651397
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Inventor: Adam M. Lett