Patents Examined by Andrea M. Valenti
  • Patent number: 7380371
    Abstract: A clip includes a body (10) and an opening (14) within the body and in which, in use, a part of a plant can engage. A slot (19), which is of doglegged configuration, extends between the opening (14) and an edge (17) of the body (10). The body (10) can be coupled to a means for providing support to the plant or part of the plant by a second opening (13) for which a slot (18) extends from an opposite edge (17) of the body (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2008
    Inventors: Murray Douglas Jones, Mark Andrew Jones
  • Patent number: 7373902
    Abstract: A device for amusing a cat or other pet is provided that has a housing having a top portion and a bottom portion, a motor disposed in the housing, a belt attached to the housing via an upper shaft and a lower shaft, a string having a first end attached to the belt and a second end extending freely from the belt, and means for activating the motor. In operation the motor rotates the belt causing the string to repeatedly fling outwardly from being hidden within the frame and amuse the cat. Methods for amusing a pet are also disclosed that comprise the steps of automating a string, whereby a free end of the string appears and disappears from view. These methods are preferably accomplished by attaching one end of the string to a rotating belt within a housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Inventor: Michele Levan
  • Patent number: 7363878
    Abstract: A waste extraction system (10) for an aquaculture tank (12) includes a first conduit (18) having a first end (20) and a distant second end, with a second conduit (22) disposed within the conduit (18). The second conduit (22) has a first end (24) which is co-terminus with the end (20) of the first conduit (18). A plate (26) extends transversely across the ends (20, 24) and laterally of the first conduit (18). An axial hole (28) is formed in the plate (26) to provide fluid communication with the second conduit (22), but the plate (26) otherwise closes off or seals the end (20) of the first conduit (18). Legs (30) are formed on an underside of the plate (26) to space the plate (26) from a bottom wall (16) of the tank (12). Apertures (34) are formed in the conduit (18) near its first end (20) to allow water to flow into a flow chamber (36) created between an inner surface of the conduit (18) and an outer surface of the conduit (22).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Inventor: Ian McRobert
  • Patent number: 7363881
    Abstract: The present invention provides apparatus and methods for treating the beaks of poultry to prevent further growth by non-contact heating while protecting the birds' tongues. The birds' tongues are protected by providing pressure on underside of the lower beak of the bird, proximate the base of the lower beak.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: Nova-Tech Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: Marc S. Gorans, Scott C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 7360336
    Abstract: The invention provides a plant base comprising a base section with a seat for a plant pot, in which a tail section extends in a horizontal direction from the rear of the base section. A groove/protuberance combination is provided at the front of the base section and the rear of the tail section that is able to be accommodated in the groove of another corresponding plant base. The groove and the protuberance each has a support surface that is lower or higher than the support surface of the groove, such that when the protuberance of the plant base has been taken up in the groove of the other plant base, one of the two plant bases is lifted from the substrate at the location of the engaging protuberance and groove. Thus, the invention provides a plant base that continuously retains the same orientation during transport over a conveyor belt, with successive plant bases kept a sufficient distance apart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: E. Van Zanten Holding B.V.
    Inventor: Evert Van Zanten
  • Patent number: 7353635
    Abstract: A tree root ball wrapping apparatus (100) includes a circular platform (109, 113) for supporting a separable, open-frame, root-containment structure (103, 105, 107) having an inverted conical shape. A group of pivot joints (201, 203, 205, 207) are located at an upper section of the root-containment structure for separating the root-containment structure into half sections. In practice, the group of pivot joints can be opened during tree transplantation for providing removal of a root ball from the wrapping apparatus by opening the sections at the group of pivot joints for easily facilitating removal of the wrapping apparatus (100) from within a transplantation hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2008
    Inventor: William P. Westrate
  • Patent number: 7353772
    Abstract: A structure for feeding and watering animals, such as cows, goats or lamas which is provided with feeding troughs and comprises an imaginary vertical axis around which the feeding troughs are disposed at a fixed distance therefrom. The individual feeding troughs are overlapping whereby every other one is at a height above the two adjacent feeding troughs. The animals are able to position themselves side by side around the structure and to feed at the feeding troughs so that they are almost touching each other. The feeding troughs are substantially identical to each other and partitions are provided between adjacent feeding troughs so that the animals will not impede adjacent animals eating at an adjacent feeding trough or be able to eat fodder from an adjacent feeding trough. The number of feeding troughs in the disclosed structure is fourteen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2008
    Assignee: Lely Research Holding AG
    Inventor: Karel van den Berg
  • Patent number: 7347162
    Abstract: A bird feeder provides a feed container extending downwardly, a limited support surface positioned around the feed container at a lower end thereof and having one or more feeding ports, the limited support surface being adapted for supporting a feeding animal in proximity to the one or more feeding ports, a biasing mechanism adapted for supporting the limited support surface at a lower end of the feed container and for allowing a limited amount of vertical movement of the limited support surface, and one or more portal shields affixed to the biasing mechanism and adapted to open and close the feeding ports, wherein the biasing mechanism is further adapted to open and close the feeding ports with the portal shields in response to the limited amount of vertical movement upwardly and downwardly, respectively, of the limited support surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2008
    Assignee: Woodstream Corporation
    Inventors: Mark Zieff, John Stone, Douglas F. Melville, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7340859
    Abstract: A planter includes a wire basket having horizontal parallel top rings, bottom rings, and connected vertical wires. Four folding legs each include a top loop rotatably attached to the bottom rings. The legs when in their extended down position each include a short inwardly angled section that nests into the bottom rings for stability. The legs also include an outwardly angled section forming a mid-height detent recess, and a foot. A retainer ring slides downwardly into engagement with all four of the detent recesses to secure the legs in their use positions, which is particularly stable due to the nested relationship with the recesses in the bottom rings. A drip pan, shallow secondary basket and alternative leg-latches are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2008
    Inventor: Jeffrey J. Palsrok
  • Patent number: 7325516
    Abstract: A mobility assistance vest can be easily donned by placing the vest inside up under the dog, then pulling the right and left side sections together over the top line fastening the Velcro strips, and then pulling the chest section by the front shoulder straps through the front legs and securing the shoulder straps to the side sections on either side of the neck. The semi-detachable handle straps at the front legs are then crossed to the opposing side and attached with a snap to D-rings on the shoulder handles for the human handler to provide counter weight or upward support as they both descend the stairs side by side. Alternatively, the detachable handle straps at the front legs can be attached with the snap connector to the D-rings on the rear section of the vest to provide support for assisting the canine while ascending stairs, walking and standing up.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2008
    Inventor: Sarah Anita Moore
  • Patent number: 7322152
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for converting spent water-based drilling mud into fertile indigenous top soil at a well site or location. The fertile indigenous top soil is produced by the steps of: admixing, at a well site, effective amounts of spent water-based drilling mud, mature compost, organic fertilizer, and top soil from the well site to provide a mixture containing spent water-based drilling mud, from about 30 to about 150 volume percent mature compost, from about 5 to 20 volume percent organic fertilizer, and from about 5 to 20 volume percent top soil from the well site wherein each of the volume percents is based on the volume of the spent water-based drilling mud present in the mixture; stirring the mixture for a period of time effective to form a substantially homogenous mixture; and drying the substantially homogenous mixture so as to provide fertile indigenous top soil possessing similar microbial and enzyme characteristics as the top soil at the well site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2008
    Inventor: Houston E. Hill
  • Patent number: 7320294
    Abstract: A ventilated cage and rack system. An embodiment of the invention may comprise a ventilated rack, the rack including at least one air exhaust plenum and at least one canopy disposed within the rack, the canopy being adapted to position a cage assembly below the canopy while maintaining a gap between the top of the cage assembly so as to permit air to be drawn into the air exhaust plenum from the interior of the cage assembly through the top of the cage assembly and to also permit ambient air to be drawn across the top of the cage assembly into the air exhaust plenum. The cage assembly comprises one of a first cage having a first width and a plurality of second cages having a second width, the second width being less than the first width.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2008
    Assignee: Lab Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Lynn Irwin, Chinsoo Park, Rodney Gerringer, Dale Murray, John Huss, Neil E. Campbell
  • Patent number: 7318392
    Abstract: A protective encasement or wrap for a pet carrier for helping prevent drafts and to provide water resistance, includes a cover member which can be of one piece of material, that when laid out on a flat surface, and with the animal carrier placed in its center, will wrap around the carrier, overlapping at the carrier top. The ends that overlap at the top, and along the side border each has a cutout for providing for the insertion of a handle of a carrier. The material is sized such that there is sufficient overhang at either end of the carrier to close off either end. A drawstring, or elastic at the ends, when not completely closed, provides an opening into the interior, permitting opening of the carrier door, and insertion of a hand to pet the animal, provides air circulation, insertion of items, or to remove the pet, without the need to remove the wrap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2008
    Inventors: Patricia A. Rosen, Gabrielle N. Rosen
  • Patent number: 7310910
    Abstract: A device and method for helping a floral designer create a floral arrangement that is well balanced in its distribution of flowers and greens. The device includes a three-dimensional foam structure that has a plurality of different levels. Each of the different levels is of a different size, thereby creating an overall tapered foam structure. Areas of equal size are demarcated on each of the different levels. The areas of equal size are evenly distributed around a plurality of different levels. The demarcation of the various equal sized areas are created either by using an external grid work that lay over the foam structure or shaping the foam into protrusions on each level. Using the equal sized areas as a distribution grid, a floral designer can quickly and easily place flowers and greens throughout the three-dimensional foam structure in a manner that is evenly distributed and well balanced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2007
    Inventors: Terry Miller, Marlin S. Miller
  • Patent number: 7293528
    Abstract: A pet litter containment and cleaning system and methods of using a pet litter containment and cleaning system are described. The pet litter system comprises a pan module and removably attached processor module. Soiled pet litter is conveniently processed by rotating a system of the invention, screening and separating soiled litter from clean litter. Pet waste and soiled litter are collected in bags which may be discarded when full. Systems of the invention may be used with both absorbent and nonabsorbent litters. Systems of the invention minimize human contact with soiled pet litter and pet waste and simplify the care of domestic pets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2007
    Inventor: Andrew Fairhall
  • Patent number: 7278238
    Abstract: An insert assembly is used in combination with a planter container for creating a false bottom therein. The assembly essentially comprises a support platform for supporting a soil-bound plant, an optional spacer member for supporting the support platform, and an optional moisture-receiving tray for collecting and retaining excess moisture emanating from the support platform and the spacer member via the soil. The platform comprises a peripheral support surface that engages either the container or the spacer member for supporting the support platform at the chosen false bottom level in the planter container. Support ribs are integrally formed to the platform to increase its load bearing potential. The spacer member may be utilized as an optional structure to adjust for variable container dimensions and the moisture-receiving tray may be installed at the user's election to maintain a moisture source in inferior adjacency to the support platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2007
    Inventors: Kristine Ann Maniscalco, John Jeffrey Maniscalco
  • Patent number: 7272912
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for converting spent water-based drilling mud into fertile indigenous top soil at a well site or location. The fertile indigenous top soil is produced by the steps of: admixing, at a well site, effective amounts of spent water-based drilling mud, mature compost, organic fertilizer, and top soil from the well site to provide a mixture containing spent water-based drilling mud, from about 30 to about 150 volume percent mature compost, from about 5 to 20 volume percent organic fertilizer, and from about 5 to 20 volume percent top soil from the well site wherein each of the volume percents is based on the volume of the spent water-based drilling mud present in the mixture; stirring the mixture for a period of time effective to form a substantially homogenous mixture; and drying the substantially homogenous mixture so as to provide fertile indigenous top soil possessing similar microbial and enzyme characteristics as the top soil at the well site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2007
    Inventor: Houston E. Hill
  • Patent number: 7263799
    Abstract: The invention provides a plant base comprising a base section with a seat for a plant pot, in which a tail section extends in a horizontal direction from the rear of the base section. A groove/protuberance combination is provided at the front of the base section and the rear of the tail section that is able to be accommodated in the groove of another corresponding plant base. The groove and the protuberance each has a support surface that is lower or higher than the support surface of the groove, such that when the protuberance of the plant base has been taken up in the groove of the other plant base, one of the two plant bases is lifted from the substrate at the location of the engaging protuberance and groove. Thus, the invention provides a plant base that continuously retains the same orientation during transport over a conveyor belt, with successive plant bases kept a sufficient distance apart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2007
    Assignee: E. Van Zanten Holding B.V.
    Inventor: Evert Van Zanten
  • Patent number: 7246572
    Abstract: A confinement and feeding stall for livestock such as horses, cows and the like with side frames spaced so that an animal can stand comfortably but not turn around and narrow enough to prevent other animals from crowding into an occupied stall. A gate is provided at one end of the side panels and a rear closure member may be provided at the other end. The side panels and gate prevent the animal from reaching over or around the side frames to disturb adjoining animals in adjacent stalls. The side frames are connected by elevated top members and flat bottom members to form individual stalls and stalls linked in side-by-side relationship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2007
    Inventor: Bruce E. Wade
  • Patent number: 7246574
    Abstract: A pet toy capable of dispensing catnip or similar substance. The toy comprises a compartment for holding the substance. The toy also comprises a movement-promoting element operative to move the compartment so the substance, or an aroma of the substance, may pass through a sifting hole of the compartment. One embodiment of the toy comprises a rotating element, such as a ball, rotating about a horizontal axis within a larger body as a result of propelling the toy across a horizontal surface. The rotating element includes the compartment holding the substance so that some of the substance escapes the compartment as a result of the rotation of the rotating element. Various alternative embodiments of the invention are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2007
    Assignee: Aspen Pet Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Jack W. Renforth