Title:
Jigsaw puzzle with frame
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An jigsaw puzzle kit is provided comprising a plurality of puzzle pieces each piece having a portion of a puzzle image imprinted thereon, a frame for the image imprinted on said puzzle pieces, said frame being incorporated with the puzzle itself, glue and a sponge applicator therefore for gluing the completed puzzle and frame together, and mounting means for hanging the completed and glued puzzle and frame to a wall or similar surface. In another embodiment, a three-dimensional frame having a shape or design similar to that of a frame used to mount a print, painting or other artwork is also contemplated, wherein the three-dimensional frame includes means by which the completed and glued puzzle may be attached thereto so as to create a complete work of art, including frame.



Inventors:
Kinberg, Benjamin (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/985783
Publication Date:
05/11/2006
Filing Date:
11/10/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gregory J. Battersby, Esq.;GRIMES & BATTERSBY, LLP (Third Floor, 488 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT, 06851, US)
Claims:
Wherefore, I claim:

1. An improved jigsaw puzzle comprising: a plurality of individual puzzle pieces, each puzzle piece including interlocking means provided thereon for engaging adjacent puzzle pieces, wherein each puzzle piece includes an upper surface and a lower surface, wherein a portion of a puzzle image is provided on said upper surface thereof; and at least one frame element, said frame element being integral with said puzzle such that said puzzle pieces are attached directly to said frame element.

2. The jigsaw puzzle of claim 1, wherein said frame element comprises a plurality of edge pieces and corner pieces.

3. The jigsaw puzzle of claim 1, wherein said interlocking means comprise male and female engaging members provided on both said puzzle pieces and on said frame element.

4. The jigsaw puzzle of claim 1, further including an adhesive and applicator therefor, and wherein said puzzle includes an assembled and an unassembled state, and wherein said adhesive may be applied to lower surface of said puzzle pieces when said puzzle is in an assembled state so as to permanently secure said puzzle pieces in said assembled state.

5. The jigsaw puzzle of claim 4, further including wall mounting means for attaching said assembled and permanently secured puzzle to a wall.

6. The jigsaw puzzle of claim 5, wherein wall mounting means comprises at least one mounting loop and at least one wall hook.

7. The jigsaw puzzle of claim 1, wherein said frame element is composed of the same material as and is similar in thickness to said puzzle pieces.

8. The jigsaw puzzle of claim 1, wherein said frame element is three-dimensional and shaped to mimic the shape of a picture frame.

9. An improved jigsaw puzzle having an assembled and a disassembled state, said puzzle comprising: a plurality of individual puzzle pieces, each puzzle piece including interlocking means provided thereon for engaging adjacent puzzle pieces, wherein each puzzle piece includes an upper surface and a lower surface, wherein a portion of a puzzle image is provided on said upper surface thereof, wherein said interlocking means comprise male and female engaging members provided on said puzzle pieces; at least one frame element, said frame element being integral with said puzzle such that said puzzle pieces are attached directly to said frame element, said frame element comprising a plurality of edge pieces and corner pieces, and wherein said frame element further includes male and female engaging members corresponding to those provided on said puzzle pieces; an adhesive and applicator therefor, wherein said adhesive may be applied to lower surface of said puzzle pieces when said puzzle is in an assembled state so as to permanently secure said puzzle pieces in said assembled state; and wall mounting means for attaching said assembled and permanently secured puzzle to a wall.

10. The jigsaw puzzle of claim 9, wherein said frame element is composed of the same material as and is similar in thickness to said puzzle pieces.

11. The jigsaw puzzle of claim 9, wherein said frame element is three-dimensional and shaped to mimic the shape of a picture frame.

12. A method for assembling, framing and mounting a jigsaw puzzle, said method comprising the steps of: providing a jigsaw puzzle having an assembled and a disassembled state, said jigsaw puzzle comprising: a plurality of individual puzzle pieces, each puzzle piece including interlocking means provided thereon for engaging adjacent puzzle pieces, wherein each puzzle piece includes an upper surface and a lower surface, wherein a portion of a puzzle image is provided on said upper surface thereof, wherein said interlocking means comprise male and female engaging members provided on said puzzle pieces; at least one frame element, said frame element being integral with said puzzle such that said puzzle pieces are attached directly to said frame element, said frame element comprising a plurality of edge pieces and corner pieces, and wherein said frame element further includes male and female engaging members corresponding to those provided on said puzzle pieces; an adhesive and applicator therefor, wherein said adhesive may be applied to lower surface of said puzzle pieces when said puzzle is in an assembled state so as to permanently secure said puzzle pieces in said assembled state; and wall mounting means for attaching said assembled and permanently secured puzzle to a wall; assembling said pieces of said jigsaw puzzle with said frame to create a framed puzzle image; applying said adhesive to said lower surface using said applicator; allowing said adhesive time to dry; attaching said wall mounting means to said puzzle and a wall; and securing said puzzle to said wall using said wall mounting means.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a jigsaw puzzle, and more particularly to a jigsaw puzzle that includes a frame for the image featured on the puzzle surface, said frame being incorporated into the puzzle itself, and even more particularly to a jigsaw puzzle kit that includes the jigsaw puzzle and frame, along with glue and an application sponge for gluing the puzzle and frame together, as well as mounting hooks for mounting the assembled and glued puzzle to a wall or other vertical surface.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Jigsaw puzzles and the like have long been known in the prior art. Various attempts have been made to further enhance the enjoyment of the traditional jigsaw puzzle. For example, jigsaw puzzles may be provided with drawing surfaces thereon, as is described in U.S. Patent App. No. 20030181251 which was filed by Morioka and published on Sep. 25, 2003 for “Jigsaw puzzle with drawing surface,” which comprises polyfoam based puzzle pieces each having a drawing surface, a casing with a cover lid pivoted at one end of the casing for opening and closing a space within the casing, said space behind wide enough to hold the puzzle pieces whether assembled or disassembled, and a puzzle frame unit for holding the puzzle pieces assembled therein. In a related application, U.S. Patent App. No. 20030067114 which was filed by Morioka and published on Apr. 10, 2003 for “Jigsaw puzzle with drawing surface” discloses a jigsaw puzzle including puzzle pieces that each having a drawing surface wherein the puzzle pieces are held within a casing, which has a cover lid pivoted at one end of the casing for opening and closing a space within the casing.

Jigsaw puzzles have been used as the focus of a game, as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,193,234, which issued to Jones on Feb. 27, 2001 for “Method for playing a puzzle game,” and which discloses a method of playing a puzzle game wherein outer puzzle pieces are placed inside a puzzle frame, and players may spin a spinner to randomly define how many inner puzzle pieces that player may take to complete an inner region of a puzzle.

The traditional rectangular shape of the jigsaw puzzle has also been fallen by the wayside. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,720,481, which issued to Graham on Feb. 24, 1998 for “Educational puzzle toy set” discloses an educational toy puzzle set having separate interconnecting puzzle pieces each shaped as the silhouette or outline of an animal, plant, or toy with one side including a word description or name of the animal or plant, which can be used as a play item independent of puzzle usage, and an interlocking puzzle border comprised of border pieces, which when assembled, secure and hold together the assembled puzzle pieces.

For those that desire to create jigsaw puzzles out of photographs or other pictures, U.S. Pat. No. 5,865,928, which issued to Lariviere, Jr., et al. on Feb. 2, 1999 for “Photographs and other graphic materials custom cut into interlocking puzzle shapes to construct a collage-puzzle” discloses a novel method of manufacturing collage puzzle pieces using a template having a plurality of channels in the form of line perforations so as to define a plurality of puzzle pieces patterns, the channels being interrupted at selected locations so that at least one portion of each puzzle piece pattern is connected to at least one adjacent puzzle piece pattern.

Support elements have been provided for jigsaw puzzles, as in U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,124, which issued to Lawrence on Oct. 13, 1998 for “Display puzzle” discloses a display puzzle comprising a support and a plurality of puzzle elements, the support and the elements having mutually-interchangeable, releasable attachment members such that the elements are attachable to the support in at least on predetermined display arrangement for support thereby, wherein the support is so formed and each puzzle element has an edge portion so formed that, when each element is attached to the support, the edge portion is spaced from the support and can be pressed manually against the support to pivot the respective element relative to the support to release it therefrom.

Additional features such as storage means or organizing trays have also been developed. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,651,547, which issued to Rannelli on Jul. 29, 1997 for “Portable puzzle storage board” discloses a portable puzzle storage board providing an assembly surface for jigsaw type puzzles and a simple mechanism for securing the puzzle pieces in place with a flexible cover which may be easily engaged and disengaged with the retainer frame of the puzzle storage board. Another such example is U.S. Pat. No. 5,332,220, which issued to Leavy on Jul. 26, 1994 for “Jigsaw puzzle piece organizer” discloses a jigsaw puzzle piece organizer wherein a plurality of trays are provided for holding a plurality of groups of puzzle pieces according to the color and configuration of the puzzle pieces.

Furthermore, developments have been made to the frames and/or borders of the traditional jigsaw puzzle. For example, U.S. Patent App. No. 20010052670 which was published in the name of Clerc, et al. on Dec. 20, 2001 for a “Figural puzzle” discloses a puzzle comprising plurality of figural puzzle pieces surrounded by a border. Each one of the plurality of puzzle pieces is the silhouette of a shape found in a particular class of objects. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 5,624,118, which issued to Gottesman on Apr. 29, 1997 for “Puzzle work station and storage case incorporating special adjustable frame” discloses a combination puzzle work station, puzzle carrying case and adjustable puzzle picture frame kit including selected sizes of interlocking frame sections providing; first, a bordered puzzle workstation and, then, a puzzle picture frame. In yet another example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,890,839, which issued to Ayotte on Jan. 2, 1990 for “Adjustable frame for puzzles” discloses an adjustable frame for jig-saw puzzles defining the exterior parameters of the puzzle, wherein each side of the frame is made up of two or more members connected to each other by clamps that allow linear sliding of the members so as to make the frame independently adjustable as to length and width. A base member is connected to the bottom of the frame to provide a puzzle work surface.

As shall be appreciated, the prior art fails to specifically address either the problem or the solution arrived upon by applicant.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Against the foregoing background, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved jigsaw puzzle kit including a puzzle and a frame therefor, wherein the frame is incorporated with the puzzle itself.

It is another object of the present invention to provide such a jigsaw puzzle kit including glue and an application sponge for gluing the completed puzzle together.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide such a jigsaw puzzle kit that includes mounting panels and hooks for attachment to the back of the completed and glued puzzle and frame.

It is another object of the present invention to provide such a jigsaw puzzle kit that further includes wall mounting hooks complementary to the mounting panels and hooks for mounting the completed and glued puzzle and frame to a wall or similar vertical surface.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide such a jigsaw puzzle kit that is more challenging to complete inasmuch as the border pieces are replaced by the frame, which does not provide a user with the same visual clues to the completion of the puzzle.

To the accomplishments of the foregoing objects and advantages, the present invention, in brief summary, comprises an improved jigsaw puzzle kit comprising a plurality of puzzle pieces each piece having a portion of a puzzle image imprinted thereon, a frame for the image imprinted on said puzzle pieces, said frame being incorporated with the puzzle itself, glue and a sponge applicator therefore for gluing the completed puzzle and frame together, and mounting means for hanging the completed and glued puzzle and frame to a wall or similar surface. In another embodiment, a three-dimensional frame having a shape or design similar to that of a frame used to mount a print, painting or other artwork is also contemplated, wherein the three-dimensional frame includes means by which the completed and glued puzzle may be attached thereto so as to create a complete work of art, including frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and still other objects and advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the detailed explanation of the preferred embodiments of the invention in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the jigsaw puzzle of the puzzle kit of the present invention in the partially completed state;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the completed jigsaw puzzle of the puzzle kit of the present invention showing the elements for gluing the completed puzzle together;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the hardware for mounting the completed jigsaw puzzle and frame of the puzzle kit of the present invention to a wall or similar surface; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the frame of the puzzle kit of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the drawings and, in particular, to FIG. 1 thereof, the jigsaw puzzle of the present invention is provided and is referred to generally by reference numeral 10. The jigsaw puzzle 10 comprises a plurality of puzzle pieces 12 of cardboard or similar material, each having a front surface 14 upon which a portion of a puzzle image 16 is imprinted, and a back surface 18 which in the preferred embodiment is unadorned. The pieces 12 each include interlocking elements 20, which elements 20 serve to engage adjacent puzzle pieces 12 such that the pieces 12 may be assembled so as to form the complete puzzle image 16. In the preferred embodiment, the interlocking elements 20 comprise male and female interlocking members 22, 24 disposed on each of said pieces 12, although other configurations are contemplated, including those currently known in the art.

Also provided is a frame 26 which borders the puzzle image 16, which frame 26 is incorporated as part of the puzzle 10 itself. Depending on the size of the puzzle 10, the frame 26 may formed as a single unit. However, in the preferred embodiment, the frame 26 comprises a plurality of edge pieces 28 and corner pieces 30, each of which includes interlocking elements 20 which correspond to the interlocking elements 20 on adjacent puzzle pieces 12. The frame 26 serves several functions. First, it provides a means by which the puzzle image 16 may be framed and displayed, as if it was actually placed in a physical frame. In such a function, the edge and corner pieces 28, 30 may be made of the same thickness as the puzzle pieces 12, or may be made thicker and with a cross-sectional shape that mimics the cross-sectional shape of an actual frame for a painting or other artwork. The width of the frame 26 may be adjusted so that it presents an aesthetically pleasing framework for the puzzle image 16.

Second, the frame 26 serves to increase the difficulty of assembling the puzzle 10, since an individual no longer has the traditional edge pieces which are easy to identify and assemble so as to provide an outline of the entire puzzle image 16. Since the frame 26 includes the interlocking elements 20, the puzzle pieces 12 that would normally be edge pieces are now indistinguishable from the remaining puzzle pieces.

Also provided with the puzzle 10 is a mounting kit 32 comprising an adhesive 34 and an applicator 36 therefor, as well as wall mounting means 38. In the preferred embodiment, the adhesive 34 comprises liquid glue 40 and the applicator 36 a sponge 42. The liquid glue 40 is applied to the back surface 18 of the assembled puzzle 10 using the sponge 42 and allowed to dry. Once dry, the individual puzzle pieces 12 of the assembled puzzle 10 are secured to each other, allowing the assembled puzzle 10 to be manipulated and moved without the puzzle 10 coming apart.

Also in the preferred embodiment, the wall mounting means 38 comprises at least one mounting loop unit 44, which may be attached to the back surface 18 of the assembled and glued puzzle 10 using the glue 40 or other adhesive means, and at least one corresponding wall hook 46 which may similarly be attached to the wall by means of an adhesive, or other means, such as a nail or screw. Depending upon the size of the puzzle 10, two wall mounting means 38 may be desired so as to provide additional stability and support to the assembled puzzle 10.

Having thus described the invention with particular reference to the preferred forms thereof, it will be obvious that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims. For example, the frame 26 does not necessarily need to be manufactured or formed out of the same material as the puzzle pieces 12, which would necessarily limit the shape and design of the frame 26. For example, the frame 26 may be formed or manufactured out of practically any material, including plastic, wood or metal, and include elaborate carvings or other design details which would normally be found on a picture frame. Such a three-dimensional frame 48 could be manufactured using vacuum forming or an injection molding process, which results in a solid unit. Here too, the three-dimensional frame 48 may be manufactured as a single unit, or with a plurality of edge and corner pieces 28, 30. As illustrated in FIG. 4, these pieces are attached to each other by means of a male element 50 that is inserted into the corresponding female hollow portion of the edge or corner pieces 28, 30. Of course, other means for attaching adjacent pieces 28, 30 are contemplated, including temporary or permanent adhesives, snaps, clips or other similar means known in the art. Such embodiment may include a separate glue surface 54 to which the assembled and glued puzzle 10 may be attached or glued.





 
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