Patents by Inventor William R. Howell

William R. Howell has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20110159778
    Abstract: A system for preventing overinflation of an inner tube is disclosed. In some embodiments, the system may include a wheel; and a tube-bursting region of the wheel, wherein the tube-bursting region is configured to facilitate bursting of an associated inner tube when the associated inner tube is pressurized above a predetermined maximum pressure. A tire system also is disclosed. In some embodiments, the system may include a wheel; and a tube-bursting region of the wheel, wherein the tube-bursting region is configured to facilitate bursting of an associated inner tube when the associated inner tube is pressurized above a predetermined maximum pressure. A children's ride-on vehicle also is disclosed. In some embodiments, the vehicle may include a wheel; and a tube-bursting region of the wheel, wherein the tube-bursting region is configured to facilitate bursting of an associated inner tube when the associated inner tube is pressurized above a predetermined maximum pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2011
    Publication date: June 30, 2011
    Applicant: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald M. Asbach, William R. Howell
  • Patent number: 7938218
    Abstract: Children's ride-on vehicles having a drive assembly that is selectively configured between a plurality of drive configurations, such as responsive to user inputs via user input devices, and a ground detection system that is adapted to detect when at least one of a plurality of wheels loses contact with the ground surface. The ground detection system may be adapted to restrict the plurality of drive configurations responsive thereto. This restriction may be automatic responsive to loss of contact of the at least one of the plurality of wheels with the ground surface, and it may be made regardless, or independent, of user inputs that otherwise would select and/or enable one of the restricted drive configurations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2011
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: William R. Howell, John Rhein, Gerald P. Sitarski, Richard A. Zirnheld, Jeffrey W. Reynolds
  • Patent number: 7918240
    Abstract: A system for preventing overinflation of an inner tube is disclosed. In some embodiments, the system may include a wheel; and a tube-bursting region of the wheel, wherein the tube-bursting region is configured to facilitate bursting of an associated inner tube when the associated inner tube is pressurized above a predetermined maximum pressure. A tire system also is disclosed. In some embodiments, the system may include a wheel; and a tube-bursting region of the wheel, wherein the tube-bursting region is configured to facilitate bursting of an associated inner tube when the associated inner tube is pressurized above a predetermined maximum pressure. A children's ride-on vehicle also is disclosed. In some embodiments, the vehicle may include a wheel; and a tube-bursting region of the wheel, wherein the tube-bursting region is configured to facilitate bursting of an associated inner tube when the associated inner tube is pressurized above a predetermined maximum pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2011
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald M. Asbach, William R. Howell
  • Publication number: 20100059968
    Abstract: A children's ride-on vehicle is disclosed. In some embodiments, the vehicle may include a body having a seat assembly configured to support a child; and a drive assembly adapted to selectively drive rotation of at least one driven wheel in a plurality of drive configurations, and including a motor assembly comprising at least one electric motor, at least one user input device positioned to receive inputs from a child supported by the seat assembly and adapted to selectively actuate the motor assembly, a battery assembly adapted to selectively energize the motor assembly, and a detection system adapted to detect whether an accessory is coupled to the body. The drive assembly being adapted to restrict driving of the at least one driven wheel to less than all drive configurations of the plurality of drive configurations based on the detection system detecting whether the accessory is coupled to the body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 26, 2009
    Publication date: March 11, 2010
    Inventors: Ronald M. Asbach, Mark J. Bergum, William R. Howell, Gary G. Lenihan, Scott H. Mcilvain, David G. Waples
  • Publication number: 20100000644
    Abstract: A system for preventing overinflation of an inner tube is disclosed. In some embodiments, the system may include a wheel; and a tube-bursting region of the wheel, wherein the tube-bursting region is configured to facilitate bursting of an associated inner tube when the associated inner tube is pressurized above a predetermined maximum pressure. A tire system also is disclosed. In some embodiments, the system may include a wheel; and a tube-bursting region of the wheel, wherein the tube-bursting region is configured to facilitate bursting of an associated inner tube when the associated inner tube is pressurized above a predetermined maximum pressure. A children's ride-on vehicle also is disclosed. In some embodiments, the vehicle may include a wheel; and a tube-bursting region of the wheel, wherein the tube-bursting region is configured to facilitate bursting of an associated inner tube when the associated inner tube is pressurized above a predetermined maximum pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2009
    Publication date: January 7, 2010
    Inventors: Ronald M. Asbach, William R. Howell
  • Publication number: 20090321168
    Abstract: Children's ride-on vehicles having a drive assembly that is selectively configured between a plurality of drive configurations, such as responsive to user inputs via user input devices, and a ground detection system that is adapted to detect when at least one of a plurality of wheels loses contact with the ground surface. The ground detection system may be adapted to restrict the plurality of drive configurations responsive thereto. This restriction may be automatic responsive to loss of contact of the at least one of the plurality of wheels with the ground surface, and it may be made regardless, or independent, of user inputs that otherwise would select and/or enable one of the restricted drive configurations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 31, 2009
    Publication date: December 31, 2009
    Applicant: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: William R. Howell, John Rhein, Gerald P. Sitarski, Richard A. Zirnheld, Jeffrey W. Reynolds
  • Patent number: 7621552
    Abstract: Children's ride-on vehicle assemblies having leading and trailing vehicles that are removably coupled together by a connection apparatus. The leading vehicle is an independently operable ride-on vehicle having a drive assembly that is selectively configured between a plurality of drive configurations, such as responsive to user inputs via user input devices. The assembly further includes a detection system adapted to detect whether or not the connection apparatus is in its coupled configuration and to restrict the plurality of drive configurations responsive thereto. This restriction may be automatic responsive to coupling of the leading and trailing vehicles together, and it may be made regardless of user inputs that otherwise would select and/or enable one of the restricted drive configurations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2009
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark J. Bergum, William R. Howell, Gary G. Lenihan, David G. Waples
  • Patent number: 7591335
    Abstract: Children's ride-on vehicles having a drive assembly that is selectively configured between a plurality of drive configurations, such as responsive to user inputs via user input devices, and a ground detection system that is adapted to detect when at least one of a plurality of wheels loses contact with the ground surface. The ground detection system may be adapted to restrict the plurality of drive configurations responsive thereto. This restriction may be automatic responsive to loss of contact of the at least one of the plurality of wheels with the ground surface, and it may be made regardless, or independent, of user inputs that otherwise would select and/or enable one of the restricted drive configurations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2009
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: William R. Howell, John Rhein, Gerald P. Sitarski, Richard A. Zirnheld, Jeffrey W. Reynolds
  • Publication number: 20090229896
    Abstract: Children's ride-on vehicles. The ride-on, or ride-on vehicle, includes a frame having a seat adapted to support a child, and a drive assembly with a battery-powered motor assembly. The ride-on vehicle further includes one or more steerable wheels and one or more driven wheels. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a biasing assembly that is connected to the frame and adapted to bias the seat away from the vehicle's driven wheels. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a free-floating wheel, which is unbiased and travels within a defined range of positions with respect to the ride-on vehicle's frame as external forces are imparted to the wheel. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a high-speed switch positioned for momentary high-speed operation of the ride-on vehicle and a user-manipulable portion may be provided to enable a child to select such a high-speed configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 6, 2009
    Publication date: September 17, 2009
    Inventors: Kurt J Huntsberger, John L. Jones, JR., William R. Howell, Karl D. Lerch, Brian L. Bienz
  • Patent number: 7530411
    Abstract: Children's ride-on vehicles. The ride-on, or ride-on vehicle, includes a frame having a seat adapted to support a child, and a drive assembly with a battery-powered motor assembly. The ride-on vehicle further includes one or more steerable wheels and one or more driven wheels. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a biasing assembly that is connected to the frame and adapted to bias the seat away from the vehicle's driven wheels. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a free-floating wheel, which is unbiased and travels within a defined range of positions with respect to the ride-on vehicle's frame as external forces are imparted to the wheel. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a high-speed switch positioned for momentary high-speed operation of the ride-on vehicle and a user-manipulable portion may be provided to enable a child to select such a high-speed configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2009
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt J. Huntsberger, John L. Jones, Jr., William R. Howell, Karl D. Lerch, Brian L. Bienz
  • Publication number: 20080011527
    Abstract: Children's ride-on vehicles having a drive assembly that is selectively configured between a plurality of drive configurations, such as responsive to user inputs via user input devices, and a ground detection system that is adapted to detect when at least one of a plurality of wheels loses contact with the ground surface. The ground detection system may be adapted to restrict the plurality of drive configurations responsive thereto. This restriction may be automatic responsive to loss of contact of the at least one of the plurality of wheels with the ground surface, and it may be made regardless, or independent, of user inputs that otherwise would select and/or enable one of the restricted drive configurations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 24, 2006
    Publication date: January 17, 2008
    Inventors: William R. Howell, John Rhein, Gerald P. Sitarski, Richard A. Zirnheld
  • Patent number: 7207588
    Abstract: Children's ride-on vehicle assemblies having leading and trailing vehicles that are removably coupled together by a connection apparatus. The leading vehicle is an independently operable ride-on vehicle having a drive assembly that is selectively configured between a plurality of drive configurations, such as responsive to user inputs via user input devices. The assembly further includes a detection system adapted to detect whether or not the connection apparatus is in its coupled configuration and to restrict the plurality of drive configurations responsive thereto. This restriction may be automatic responsive to coupling of the leading and trailing vehicles together, and it may be made regardless of user inputs that otherwise would select and/or enable one of the restricted drive configurations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2007
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark J. Bergum, William R. Howell, Gary G. Lenihan, David G. Waples
  • Patent number: 7195271
    Abstract: Children's ride-on vehicle assemblies that include a leading vehicle, a trailing vehicle, and a connection apparatus, such as a hitch assembly, that selectively interconnects the leading and trailing vehicles. At least the leading vehicle includes a drive assembly adapted to propel the vehicle along a ground surface. In some embodiments, at least the leading vehicle is a battery-powered ride-on vehicle. The hitch assembly is adapted to interconnect the leading and trailing vehicles and to provide a limited range of pivoting of the vehicles relative to each other. In some embodiments, the hitch assembly includes a pinch-relief mechanism that is adapted to provide at least a predetermined clearance between the vehicles. In some embodiments, the hitch assembly is adapted to provide limited pivotal ranges in at least two planes. In some embodiments, the hitch assembly is adapted to selectively uncouple and recouple the vehicles from and to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: William R. Howell, Gary G. Lenihan
  • Patent number: 6994179
    Abstract: A children's ride-on vehicle. The ride-on vehicle includes a frame adapted to support a child, and a drive assembly with a battery-powered motor assembly. The ride-on vehicle further includes one or more steerable wheels and one or more driven wheels. In some embodiments, the ride-on resembles a full-size motorcycle. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a free-floating wheel, which is unbiased and travels within a defined range of positions with respect to the ride-on vehicle's frame as external forces are imparted to the wheel. In some embodiments, the ride-on includes a high-speed switch positioned for momentary high-speed travel of the ride-on vehicle and a user-manipulable portion may be provided to enable a child to select such a high-speed configuration. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a simulated shock absorber and/or a passenger sidecar. Finally, in some embodiments, the ride-on may include wheel assemblies that simulate inflatable wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2006
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt J. Huntsberger, John L. Jones, Jr., William R. Howell, Karl D. Lerch, Brian L. Bienz
  • Patent number: 6755265
    Abstract: A children's ride-on vehicle. The ride-on vehicle includes a frame adapted to support a child, and a drive assembly with a battery-powered motor assembly. The ride-on vehicle further includes one or more steerable wheels and one or more driven wheels. In some embodiments, the ride-on resembles a full-size motorcycle. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a free-floating wheel, which is unbiased and travels within a defined range of positions with respect to the ride-on vehicle's frame as external forces are imparted to the wheel. In some embodiments, the ride-on includes a high-speed switch positioned for momentary high-speed travel of the ride-on vehicle and a user-manipulable portion may be provided to enable a child to select such a high-speed configuration. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a simulated shock absorber and/or a passenger sidecar. Finally, in some embodiments, the ride-on may include wheel assemblies that simulate inflatable wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt J. Huntsberger, John L. Jones, Jr., William R. Howell, Karl D. Lerch, Brian L. Bienz
  • Publication number: 20020108798
    Abstract: A battery-powered scooter. The scooter has a body with a footboard upon which a rider may stand while riding the scooter, and a steering mechanism that is used to steer the scooter. The scooter further includes a drive assembly with a battery-powered motor assembly adapted to drive at least one of the scooter's wheels. In some embodiments, the scooter further includes a cover assembly adapted to prevent a user's body from contacting portions of the drive assembly. In some embodiments, the scooter includes a storage compartment beneath its riding surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 9, 2001
    Publication date: August 15, 2002
    Inventors: Kurt J. Huntsberger, William R. Howell
  • Publication number: 20020068499
    Abstract: A children's ride-on vehicle. The ride-on vehicle includes a frame adapted to support a child, and a drive assembly with a battery-powered motor assembly. The ride-on vehicle further includes one or more steerable wheels and one or more driven wheels. In some embodiments, the ride-on resembles a full-size motorcycle. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a free-floating wheel, which is unbiased and travels within a defined range of positions with respect to the ride-on vehicle's frame as external forces are imparted to the wheel. In some embodiments, the ride-on includes a high-speed switch positioned for momentary high-speed travel of the ride-on vehicle and a user-manipulable portion may be provided to enable a child to select such a high-speed configuration. In some embodiments, the ride-on vehicle includes a simulated shock absorber and/or a passenger sidecar. Finally, in some embodiments, the ride-on may include wheel assemblies that simulate inflatable wheels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2001
    Publication date: June 6, 2002
    Inventors: Kurt J. Huntsberger, John L. Jones, William R. Howell, Karl D. Lerch, Brian L. Bienz
  • Patent number: D503661
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt J. Huntsberger, William R. Howell
  • Patent number: D505364
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt J. Huntsberger, William R. Howell
  • Patent number: D507993
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2005
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt J. Huntsberger, William R. Howell